The soundtrack gets off to a decent start with the rock-ish title song, primarily owing to the expressive rendition by Sunidhi Chauhan and Kunal Ganjawala and the mild Latino infusion in the softer sections. Sunidhi is in fact the star of the song, due to which the female version, where Sunidhi goes solo except for Shilpa Rao on the chorus, is a better listen. A “bonus” version of the song is a complete revamp, making it a more techno-fusion (and annoying!) affair. Abhishek Ray’s vocals don’t improve matters any bit. Wonder if he did the composition too. Javed Ali sounds fabulous crooning Kaise Kahein Alvida and here the arrangement is quite in line with what one connects with Nishat Khan, the composer creating the perfect ghazal feel with the orchestration. Javed sounds weird in Dil Dar-Ba-Dar though, for the brief cameo he does there singing the Arab-esque title refrain. The song itself is pretty weird for that matter, the composer attempting to put together a lot of different sounds and not quite achieving the desired results. The rendition by lead vocalist Shilpa Rao is impeccable as usual, but the song is left wanting on so many other departments.
Javed Ali’s voice re-assumes its non-weird form in Sararara, a song that is interesting in parts for its sprightly Punjabi components but seems to get tedious on repeated listens. Sukhwinder Singh’s version of the song however sounds much better, probably coz this genre is bread-and-butter for him. And in the end Javed Ali returns again with Shilpa Rao to deliver Ishq Tere Jalwe, the bass loop of which reminded me of the opening guitar portions of Pritam’s tribute to Mohiner Ghoraghuli, Bheegi Bheegi. But if that and the overall Pritam-ness are overlooked, Ishq.. is a beauty, Nishat Khan creating a haunting rock-based track and the vocalists doing their job to a tee.
A soundtrack that is hardly reflective of the musical genius that Ustad Nishat Khan is, but Yeh Saali Zindagi a fairly enjoyable debut from the filmy perspective. I prefer the classical exponent Nishat Khan to the Bollywood composer though. And I was sort of hoping for at least one track featuring the man on his sitar. 🙁
Music Aloud Rating — 7.25/10
Recommended Tracks — Kaise Kahein Alvida, Ishq Tere Jalwe, Yeh Saali Zindagi (female)