You can listen to the soundtrack here.
The first thing that comes to mind when listening to Shor In The City’s lead composers Sachin-Jigar’s Karma Is A Bitch is Aali Re from NOKJ — the crude lyrics, the grungy vocals, the rock-flavor. But despite all that the composer duo manage to make it completely theirs with some wonderfully imaginative arrangement, helped to a great extent by Suraj Jagan, Priya Panchal (who is also the lyricist) and Swati Mukund. Earlier the composers open the soundtrack in style with a refreshing melody called Saibo. Adorned with a delightful set of instruments and coming in the voices of Shreya Ghoshal and Tochi Raina, the song is an absolute treat. And they had to go and spoil the magic with a remix! If the remix sounds any good, that is totally borrowed from the original and has nothing to do with the remixer. The composers bow out with a genre they have never yet gone wrong in — melancholic rock. In fact the title song may very well count a notch above their previous such songs, with the fabulous Mohan Kannan from Agnee doing the singing.
That brings in composer no. 2, Harpreet Singh. Harshmeet starts with an attempt at fusion, Deem Deem Tana. I am not sure if it was something in the arrangement or Shriram Iyer at the lead vocals, the song reminded me of something from the repertoire of OM The Fusion Band, a band that Iyer, Amit Trivedi, Amartya Rahut et al were part of a few years back. Where the composer really announces his entry though is the next track, Teri Justujoo (Saaware), a beautifully presented semiclassical melody. The vocals by Roop Kumar Rathod do evoke memories of some of his previous semiclassicals, but such trifles cease to matter relative to the beauty of the track. Bringing up the rear are two old songs from Agnee and Kailasa apiece and both impress as they did in their original appearance, Ujale Baaz with its sinister subdued arrangement, and Babam Bam with its ethereal invocation of Lord Shiva (which also has throat singing in the background in many places I noticed for the first time. Interesting.)
More amazing tunes from Sachin Jigar. A commendable debut from Harpreet Singh (assuming this is his debut). And a revisit of two good songs from Agnee and Kailasa. Applause to the musical sense of the makers of Shor In The City. Hoping they have an equally good movie sense, for the musicians’ sake more than anything else.
Music Aloud Rating — 8.5/10
Recommended Tracks — Saaware, Saibo, Karma Is A Bitch, Shor
PS: Just as I was finishing this review I was told by @sangeetpremi that the two songs from Harpreet Singh are from a Sufi compilation titled Teri Justujoo released by Sony some three years back. Too bad it didn’t get much exposure, hope this movie helps in some belated recognition.
PPS: Shall be doing an interview of Sachin Jigar very soon. With such talent it would be a crime not to feature them. So watch out for that.