Music Review: Agneepath (Ajay-Atul)

by Srikanth Mantravadi

I haven’t heard much of Ajay-Atul’s music but I have heard a lot about them. From the little I have heard (Singham and Shock) they seem like strong melody driven composers in the traditional mould. Agneepath is a very interesting album in that sense. Chikni Chameli is an upbeat cocktail that is drunk on its own feverish pace although it is slightly unidimensional tunewise. Deva Shree Ganesha is another high octane number sung by Ajay who sounds a lot like Sukhwinder Singh in a good way. The mesmeric chant like mukhda works wonders and so do the portions leading up to it. Both these songs, put together, bring a strong Marathi flavour to the album. Talking of Sukhwinder Singh, he also gets to sing here, along with Krishna and Anand Raj Anand, in a qawwali’ish Shah Ka Rutba. The song has an engaging rhythm except for its situational appeal.  Gun Gun Guna is amateurish, tune wise, and unexciting. O Saiyyan puts the soundtrack firmly back on track with a very Vishal Bharadwaj’ish opening. It sees Roop Kumar Rathod in spellbinding form, gliding over the dulcet melody with ease. Lovely song. The soundtrack has a gem of a song in Sonu Nigam’s Abhi Mujh Mein Kahin. It promises one endless hours of repeat listening with its fabulously intricate tune and outstanding orchestration. What Ajay-Atul do well here is to unshackle the tune to give Sonu free reign over it and his vocals are a soaring triumph. The background is nicely clutter free. Notice how there is just a piano accompaniment at the beginning of the antara before a tabla slowly kicks in and melds into a hide & seek playing santoor orchestral. Sonu’s soulful singing, which is so calibrated in the antaras, rises emphatically towards the end. This is a mature performer at his peak and I hope to see more of him in the soundtracks of 2012. Ajay-Atul provide stirring orchestration to the song, the high notes etched by Sonu feeding off on the powerful orchestration; not to forget the morose violins that give it an atmospheric feel. Wonderful,wonderful song.

Ajay-Atul are a compelling addition to the talent explosion in the Hindi music industry and consolidate well after the delightful start in Singham.More power to them!