Life in a Metro Music Review
Ever since the film Metro [now rechristened Life In A...Metro] was conceptualized, it has been in news for multiple reasons. a) It comes in the wake of Anurag Basu’s critically and commercially acclaimed film Gangster, b) It has Basu joining hands with country’s one of the top film making houses UTV Motion Pictures, c) Last but not the least a lot is expected from composer Pritam who has delivered Gangster with Basu and together the duo has promised a new sound in Metro by making a rock band.
Needless to say expectations are sky high from the album, especially so since barring Reshammiya Namastey London and to an extent Shakalaka Boom Boom, none of the other new releases of the year have made much dent at the music stands. Looking at Pritam to revive the music industry that is lying low for some weeks now, one plays an all-male album that has singers as diverse as Adnan Sami, KK, James, Soham, Suhail and Pritam himself. Apart from these singers, others who make the band are Niladri, Kalyan Baruah, Jim Satya, Titu & Eric Pillai.
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Once you have heard the entire album of Metro, you are left with just one thing to say – “Pritam and Anurag Basu – you have done it”!
As expected, it’s an electronic guitar that marks an opening to the album with the number ‘In Dino’. First few seconds into the song and you know it belongs to a genre that Pakistani bands have perfected over the years now – Soft Rock! A beautiful love song written by Syed Quadri which tells the story about the protagonist who is trying to find love for himself/herself, it could suit any of the love stories featuring Shilpa Shetty/Shiney Ahuja, Kay Kay Menon/Kangana/Sharman Joshi or Irrfan Khan/Konkana Sen.
Soham is the singer who has been entrusted with the responsibility of crooning this major number that could be the film’s highlight since this 6 and a half minutes long has a kind of depth that has all in it to take the story forward. A brilliant composition by Pritam that again shows the young composer’s versatility.
An excellent beginning to the album which is concluded by ‘In Dino Revisited’ that is a ‘remix version’ by Bunty Rajput. A Club Mix which is just a superb way to take a party going on with flashy lights, a lounge and some couches in tow, ‘In Dino’ has superhit written all over it, at least amongst its target age group of 15-40.
Lyricist Amitabh Verma and crooner K.K. had worked wonders in ‘Zindagi Hosh Mein’ [Bas Ek Pal] . Now the two get together again, this time under the baton of composer Pritam, to croon ‘Alvida’ which builds up the tempo from where ‘In Dino’ left. Beginning on a soft note with poetic lyrics like “Chupke Se Kahin, Dheeme Paanv Se, Jaane Kis Tarah…Kis Ghadi; Aage Bad Gayi, Humse Raahon Mein, Par Tum To They Par Yahin, Kuch Bhi Naa Suna, Kab Ka Tha Gila, Kaise Keh Diya….Alvida”, the track peaks up with the arrival of the song’s highlight word ‘Alvida’.
A song about separation, it becomes vociferous soon after as K.K. gets into a mode that only he can as he changes track from being deep in love to someone who has been spurned in love, as shown by the pitch in his voice that moves from being low to turn very high. Hearing him croon such tracks in a regular manner, one can’t help but wonder if he is someone who is actually quite romantic at heart and some love stories of his own to tell? Same holds good for Amitabh who demonstrated his hold on new age writing once again while Pritam announces once again that he is ready to rock!
James, who has sung ‘Bheegi Bheegi’ [Gangster] and ‘Chal Chale’ [Woh Lamhe] , two highly popular numbers for Bhatt-Pritam combo, is roped in to sing the ‘Reprise version’ of ‘Alvida’. The lyrics are different here as this time around the protagonist is shown to be realizing the fact that it is one ‘goodbye’ that is for the keeps with a point of no written. Yes, there is a feeling of being scorned, rejected and dejected in the way the protagonist feels and that’s all what combines to make for anger being vented out in this version!
Soon after ‘Alvida’, K.K. returns with ‘O Meri Jaan’ that starts on a soothing note, though again western in format, with a rhythm that builds on in a gradual manner to set the stage for K.K. to get started. Sandeep Srivastava is the relative newcomer who writes lyrics like ‘Dil Khudgarz Hai Fisla Hai Phir Haath Se, Kal Uska Raha Ab Hai Tera Iss Raat Se’ to set a romantic outing for the players on the screen.
Both Pritam and K.K. grasp the situation quite well and come up with a melodious rock ballad that is a hallmark of contemporary composers like Vishal Shekhar, Salim Sulaiman and of course Pritam. After ‘Alvida’ that only opens up the wounds, ‘O Meri Jaan’ acts at healing them with a sound that promises hope, love and life! Singer Suhail only takes it forward in the ‘Reprise Version’ of ‘O Meri Jaan’.
From the mature vocals of K.K., the song is handed over to Suhail who adds on his own boyish charm to make ‘O Meri Jaan’ aimed at the campus audience which have hundreds of young hearts beating for the ones they have fallen for!
After singing the ‘Reprise version’ of ‘Alvida’, James moves on to sing ‘Rishtey’ that has en electronic guitar followed by faint sound of drums building on the pace. Lyrics by Syed Quadri are such that one can’t help but highlight them – “Rishety To Nahi, Rishton Ki Parchaiyaan Mile, Ye Kaisi Bheed Hai, Bas Yahan Tanhaaiyaan Mile”.
On hearing the way a song like this is sung, one can instantly make out that the entire team is thoroughly enjoying creating ‘Rishtey’, especially James whom one can imagine getting into a full-on rock mode a la ‘Bheegi Bheegi’ [Gangster]. Yet another superb song in succession, this time centered on a strange virtue of life called ‘relationships’ and how they get made and broken for unexplained reasons, it is introspective, thoughtful and extremely touching.
Perhaps to make the song more appealing for the club hopping crowds and make it sound more spicy so that it has a wider appeal, a ‘remix version’ of the song arrives later that has DJ Nihil Chinappa and DJ Naved coming together to create ‘Rishtey Revisited’. And yes, it is different as it is not one of those made-in-a-factory-and-assembled-on remix versions that do not sound any different from dozens of remix versions floating around.
After a mushy ‘O Meri Jaan’, young Suhail is back with ‘Baatein Kuch Ankahee Si’ that throws in a surprise since it arrives in an ‘Unplugged’ format. Collaborating with lyricist Sandeep Srivastava again, Suhail tells the tale of someone who is sighting love and is now trying to ascertain if it is really the kind that would make life beautiful.
Due to unplugged nature of the song, the entire focus of ‘Baatein’ is on Suhail with just a guitar being played in the background and the singer doesn’t disappoint at all. Coming on his own in this track, Suhail announces his arrival and ensures for himself that he has a longer innings in Bollywood. There is further surprise in store as none other than Adnan Sami is heard crooning the track a little later.
Now that’s quite lovable because talents of the likes of Pritam and Sami merging together is a dream come true and that reflects in the way Sami goes about rendering this version. After ‘Dil Kya Karen’ [Salaam E Ishq], ‘Baatein’ is yet another restrained track from Sami where he gets into a romantic mood and comes up with yet another heartfelt rendition.
Later DJ A-Myth ‘remixes’ the song as it arrives in a ‘Revisited’ version with techno arrangements supporting Adnan as he stands behind the mike. All of this only adds to the smiles…..and fun!
“Good or bad, respect your life as it gives you a lot” – that’s the message in ‘Kar Salaam’ written by Syed Quadri which has Suhail and Soham coming together with Pritam himself behind the mike. After some introspective, romantic and angry tracks, ‘Kar Salaam’ comes across as a completely different number since it focuses more on ‘masti’ and ‘mazaa’ with a ‘desi’ feel to the orchestra that could be termed analogous to that of ‘Dil Mein Baji Guitar’ [Apna Sapna Money Money] .
Yes, there is a rock addition here as well so that the genre of the album doesn’t get disturbed but overall it has a different feel when compared to the rest of the album as each of the singers get into a fun and full-of-life mood!
Once you are through with ‘Metro’, you can’t exclaim that both film and music making is certainly going in the right direction. No composer or artist can afford to take his or her place in the industry for granted and both Pritam and Anurag Basu, in spite of all the laurels behind them, seem to have fully understood this quite well. That’s the reason instead of playing safe and making something has worked for them over the years, they make something out of the box and the results are for everyone to be seen.
Agreed that for the followers of ‘dil-vil-pyaar-vyaar’ kind of music may be left wondering about the nature of this album but then one also wonders if such taste still exists in abundance; especially in today’s scenario. ‘Metro’ is an exceptional album and the entire band ensures that they go all out in making something that is a unique experience itself, especially for Bollywood music followers.
A new sound makes ‘Metro’ a must buy for those who want their music to truly ‘rock’.