I AM (Hindi Movie Soundtrack) – Music Review

You can buy the soundtrack at a discounted rate from flipkart.

I AM’s soundtrack kicks off with the reason I was so looking forward to it, Amit Trivedi, his sufi-based fusion track Baangur (composed in raag Kalyani?), a preview of which has already made its debut on the net. And the song is replete with signature AT elements, from the iktara-like instrument (played by Tapas Roy I am guessing) that opens the track to the harmonium phrases that appear in the interlude. The opening guitar riff did remind me a bit of some part of the instrumental section of Yeh Pal from NOKJ but only for a brief moment. While the mukhda is taken up by Mame Khan’s earthy vocals, he goes to the background in the antara to get on centrestage the other sufi exponent Kavita Seth. Got a feeling she isn’t quite comfortable at the lower pitch portions though. The remix is a very shoddy job, stripping the song of all its subtle layers and inserting a standard dj template. The basic skeleton of Amit’s second song Issi Baat Pe seems a continuation of Baangur itself, but the composer weaves a fantastic fabric of instruments around it, dominated by veena (played by one Narayan Mani, as told by Amit), to create a very entertaining arrangement. The interplay between the electric guitar and veena in the interlude is particularly fascinating. The singing by KK is as expected, spot on. Tune-wise there is nothing special about the song though, and I didn’t quite like the processed vocal refrain. Ergo, one of my less fave songs of the soundtrack, and of Amit. There is a remix for this one too by The Bombay Bounce, the same fellow who remixed Lehrein in Aisha. While his remix there was subtle, here it is nothing more than a regular clichéd DJ mix. AT takes leave with another excellent track called Saye Saye, this time drawing from the arrangement of Aitbaar from NOKJ in its instrumentation — similar muted usage of the electric assemblage, same oud-like instrument et al — yet giving it an identity of its own, a more classical-oriented one. And this time on the vocals Amit gets two other excellent singers — inimitable Rekha Bhardwaj and Mohan who fortunately seems to have a lot of good songs his way (and from his interview given to us last year we know this song will appear in the part called I am Megha 🙂 ). The 1.5 minute long instrumental section towards the end, punctuated with the vocal ad-libs, is wonderful.

KK gets a second song in the sparsely orchestrated melody from Rajiv Bhalla called Bhojhal Se. The way Bhalla keeps adding layers behind the haunting tune as the song progresses is commendable. Paroma Dasgupta joins KK in the remix which is pretty much the opposite of the original, pacy and heavy on electronic elements. Nevertheless it is tastefully done. The composer himself gets behind the mic for his second song Wundoo Yeredoo (or Ondu Eradu as kannadigas might know it 🙂 ) Though a dip from his first track, this one too works, for its quirky multilingual lyrics and the composer going beyond the usual techno dance track-level arrangement. Onir gets one of his old timers from My Brother Nikhil, Sorry Bhai etc, Vivek Philip, to do the last track Aankhein. But unlike his previous outings with Onir, Philip disappoints here, giving a just-about-average melody which even Karthik’s vocals are unable to buoy up to a great extent. May be it’s the relativity working against it after some really good tracks, but I didn’t find it very interesting.

Barring a couple of glitches, Onir once again displays an impeccable musical sense with another quality soundtrack. And a good debut from Rajiv Bhalla.

Music Aloud Rating – 8.25/10

Recommended Tracks – Saye Saye, Baangur, Bhojhal Se

Arun says:

Not very impressed! Onir’s previous movies had better soundtracks.

adithyajones says:

Great album…This album reminds me of Onir’s previous Bas Ek Pal which also had excellent songs like this from multiple music directors..

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anfaal says:

nyc work by all the 3 composers…and i hav slight disagreement wid wat u said abt the song aankhein,i feel its just as gud as al the othr songs,..just my opinion:-)