Rating: ★ ★ ★ 1/2
A young film often offers a good opportunity to a composer to go ahead and get some funky tunes in place. "Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu “comes from the house of Dharma Productions, who after a long association with the composers Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy has moved on, first Ajay-Atul for 'Agneepath' and now the young talented Amit Trivedi, who shot to fame with 'DEV.D'-2008 (a soundtrack that was called as the 'Baap of all genres') and produced some handsome stuff in 'Aisha', 'No One Killed Jessica', 'Udaan' and 'Chillar Party'. Amitabh Bhattacharya (lyricist) has been a regular associate with Amit Trivedi since his debut in 'Aamir' and now when these two artists come together under a banner like Dharma Productions with Imran Khan and Kareena Kapoor coming together for the first time, one expect the soundtrack to be lively, peppy and at the same time rich in quality. So, let's dwell inside and hear what these artists have to offer in the five originals and two remixes!
It opens with a crackling title track "Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu" that has been making roars and catching lots of eyes with its quite eventful video. Benny Dayal and Anushka Manchanda's dictions are as usual perfect and brings on the required attitude to the song, Shefali Alvaris supports them well and being a non-admirer of the auto-tuned effect, simply loved how the vocals have been auto-tuned here. The composition has a mild peppy orchestra going through its four minute run which never gets too loud neither too pacy and that's what makes it a winner. Amitabh Bhattacharya keeps it simple this time without getting into some provocative forte with his writing. (As in 'Agneepath').
No second thoughts and the number returns back with the same set of singers as "Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu-Remix". This time it's fast paced loaded with some usual remix protocol, which should make up for an adrenalizing dance number in New Year parties!
Remember 'Sham' from the movie 'Aisha'?..Yeah, who can forget such a beautiful composition, here is another lively number "Gubbare" which lands in the same corridor as 'Sham'. Some pretentious instrumentals starts off in the first 30 seconds, from there on , Nikhil D’souza takes centre stage with Amit Trivedi and Amitabh Bhattacharya providing the backing/supporting vocals and Shilpa Rao joining in at the end. Amitabh Bhattacharya gets his poetry in motion and what draws attention is the affluent use of Trumpet/Saxophone (from 2.00 to 2.30 and onwards)-a certain trademark of the composer. Few hearings and the song will grow on you and should definitely be used well in the movie.
"AuntyJi" develops some curious expectations due to its unusual name and moreover the singer's name Ash King, who has till now crooned some beautiful romantic numbers- 'Te Amo' (Dum Maaro Dum), 'I Love You' (Bodyguard) and 'Suno Aisha' (Aisha) specifically and with AuntyJi, he enters a completely different genre (fun/comic) which is still unexplored for a voice like him. The song is a take on the middle aged woman with a touch of Retro to it reminding me some crazy numbers of Late Shammi Kapoor. Much emphasis is laid on the instrumentals (trumpet and guitar) for both the interludes with some Spanish vocals added in the first. Ash King breaks the shackles certainly in this number, Amitabh Bhattacharya's lyrics are worth a hear at least once, especially the 2nd antara, but on the musical front as a dance number, this number fails to lure you to the dance floor. Interesting attempt although!
The soundtrack takes a 180 degree turn with "Aahatein", an absorbing soft-sad-soulful number that goes unplugged for the first 1.30 minutes on piano and vocals and digs in deep with Karthik and Shilpa Rao weaving magic around some simple yet intriguing lyrics by Amitabh Bhattacharya that makes up for a 'High Repeat' value. Of course a track like this does have a restricted/niche audience for itself but in the context of the film, it should fit in pretty well.
What surprises though is the other version "Aahatein-Remix" with Shekhar Ravjiani and Shilpa Rao behind the mike. A conversion of a soft number into a remix is a risky affair and sometimes composers do spoil the whole ambience of the original through addition of some unnecessary thumping beats and high tempo. But Amit Trivedi makes sure to keep the mood and aura of the original intact with some ornamented and refined innovation. Shekhar Ravjiani strikes gold with his deep low/whisper notes and the final outcome is even better than the original. Plug in your earphones and take special notice how the song picks up at 1.07 and then at 1.42, simply WoW!
"Kar Chalna Shuru Tu" brings Vishal Dadlani and Shilpa Rao together once again after some terrific compositions in "Anjaana Anjaani" last year and as a mere co-incidence, the song knocks at the doorsteps of ‘Aas Paas Khuda' and 'I Feel Good' if the overall theme is taken into consideration. Shilpa Rao falls flat at high notes (2.10 to 2.15) but overall does well to match upto Vishal Dadlani's vociferous voice. Amit Trivedi makes his presence felt with his trademark use of 'Chorus' and 'Trumpet/Saxophone' in tandem with the vocals, which is certainly the USP of the composition, especially at 4.06: Majestic! After a long time, a talent like Vishal Dadlani has been used to his full potential and the result is an engaging, philosophical composition which marks a perfect end to the soundtrack.
If compared to soundtracks like 'I Hate Luv Storys'; 'Anjaana Anjaani', 'Break Ke Baad' , then Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu will find a middle spot between all these soundtracks. Listeners searching for some 'masala' numbers may feel disappointed with just one (title track), but with the soundtrack of 'Agneepath' settling well along the listeners (apart from its Chikini Chameli), expect the soundtrack to grow with time and more specifically as the movie inches close its silver screen release. The Title track is already a hit with 'AuntyJi' getting a mixed response after its video, 'Gubbare' and 'Aahatein' requires some time, while 'Kar Chalna Shuru Tu' should definitely be an interesting watch onscreen, whether used as a background score in a situation or something else innovative!
I rate it 3.5 out of 5