Music Review: Tahaan

By Joginder Tuteja, Bollywood Hungama News Network

Tahaan - the film's title doesn't quite give out what it is all about. However, with the film's publicity being on for over a fortnight now, one does get to know that this Santosh Sivan film is about a young boy named 'Tahaan' who is based in Kashmir. Expecting a score which would be serene and won't really follow a set pattern, as expected in a commercial soundtrack and something that would bring with it the feel of Kashmir, one plays on Tahaan which has its music composed by Taufique Qureshi. Though the album has as many as 16 tracks, there are only 5 song pieces while the remaining being a part of the background score.

Though Taufique Qureshi is the composer for the film, Tahaan kick starts with a song by Adnan Sami who doubles up as a composer and singer. Seemingly, a last minute inclusion into the album to enhance it's market value, 'Jee Lo' actually turns out to be a fun outing as it comes with a strong peppy feel to it. A number about living life to the fullest and smiles and happiness all around, 'Jee Lo' has a mix of Indian and Western melody that makes it a good fit for the situation.

From here on, Taufique Qureshi takes on the listener till the album's end. 'Mastaan Mastaan' is a track which arrives in both 'modern' and 'folk' version. The modern version has 'Kvanaa-The Band' collaborating with Taufique Qureshi to come up with a track which has clear Western influence to it even as the basic essence of the track carries a folk feel to it. Rendered by Ritesh Menon, 'Mastaan Mastaan'- just like all other numbers in the album are expected to be - adds on to the background score for the film.

This one is a decent hear and sounds much better than the hardcore folk version which comes next. Sung by Gulzar Ganai with lyrics by Lt. Poet Mr. Fazil Kashmiri, the folk version of 'Mastaan Mastaan' appears to be either an old recording or there has been a deliberate attempt to make it sound like one in order to keep the folkish feel intact. In fact Gulzar Ganai later returns with 'Ha Faqeero' which has lyrics by poet A.G. Madhosh. Yet again, it is the old recording feel out here as well and even as one can't really make out the lyrics due to them being quite rooted, one looks forward to how the song has been placed in the film.

The sound which kick starts Chakhri Modern is the one that is just the same as heard in 'Sajna Ji Vaari Vaari' from Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. and a little earlier in 'Bhumbhro' from Mission Kashmir. Clearly inspired from the folk music (yet again), this track turns out to be as good as 'Jee Lo' due to it's peppy and lively feel. Sung quite well by Sumedha Karmahe, 'Chakhri' too has been made to sound quite modern in feel, as justified by the song's title, and comes close to A.R. Rahman's 'Kuch Bhi Na Socha' from Bombay, in it's spirit and styling.

Remainder of the album is all about the background pieces which range from 50 seconds to at maximum 2 minutes. Rooted 'Tahaan Victory - Theme' has a feeling of euphoria, 'Tahaan - The Beginning' is haunting with snow peaked mountains seemingly right in front of a listener, 'Agony' has a violin occupying the center stage, 'The Missing' is engaging while also coming close to being scary, 'Hope' is serene, just like the mood of the situation, 'Storytelling' almost child-like and hence not straying away from the film's theme, 'Shaft Of Light' so seamless that one doesn't feel any transition from 'Storytelling', 'Kashmiri Pundits' and 'Dilemma' so silent that they are hardly audible, 'Idrees's Rebel - Theme' coming with a cry and finally a really slow 'Tahaan - Theme'.

In fact it is surprising that the makers indeed thought of coming with an album for a film like Tahaan which could incorporate a few songs only for situational purposes. Again, it is highly improbable that any of the songs would feature in entirety in the film. This leaves only the background pieces which are again meant to aid the narration than entice a listener to play it on the move. This is why one can be sure that even the makers of Tahaan would know that theirs is not a soundtrack which results in chartbuster sales.

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