[an error occurred while processing this directive]EXPECTATIONS
Hardly any. These are what one's expectations are from the music of Striker. If the film's title is hardly encouraging enough to check out what the music has to offer (Striker is about a carom player living in slums and surrounded by criminals), the cast, people behind the film as well as an abrupt release announcement preceded by an audio release are hardly enticing enough. Moreover, even with six composers (Shailendra Barve, Amit Trivedi, Yuvan Shankar Raja, Swanand Kirkire, Vishal Bhardwaj, Blaaze) contributing a song or two, you do feel apprehensive if Striker would indeed be an ensemble affair worth making a beeline for.
Reluctantly one plays on Striker and Sonu Nigam brings on the longest track in the album, 'Cham Cham', which lasts more than seven minutes. Composed by Shailendra Barve (who was the guest composer in Taare Zameen Par with a beautifully composed 'Mera Jahan' to his credit), 'Cham Cham' written by Jeetendra Joshi is yet another soothing piece with a 'qawalli' base to it. However, instead of following a tried and tested genre, 'Cham Cham' makes a good effort (and also succeeds) in being slower in pace and also maintaining a good blend of rhythm and melody that starts settling in after one has given it a patient hearing 3-4 times.
Amit Trivedi (of Dev D fame) comes up with 'Bombay Bombay' which appears to be a jam session that has been impromptu converted into a full fledged number for a film. Prashant Ingole's lyrics don't quite bring in much novelty in the proceedings, especially the part where Siddharth (the lead actor in the film and also the singer here) starts 'talking' about the essence of 'Bombay'. Also, the number eventually appears to be a wannabe track with not much grip in it to make you play it on in a repeat mode. At best a track that may appear briefly in the background.
'Haq Se' is composed by Yuvan Shankar Raja who is a known name down south with close to 75 films to his credit. His number here does take it's own time to settle in and though it is not really the kind that would result in the sales soaring for Striker, it has a hook to it which catches your attention. One wonders though if he could have roped in some other singer than himself since he does sound awkward, especially in the 'mukhda' person. This Nitin Raikwar written track is yet another theme track and is about motivating an individual to for his dreams.
Swanand Kirkire gets into a 'sufi' mode and plays the triple role of a composer, lyricist and singer for 'Maula'. A well paced number with an interesting beginning via means of various instruments coming together that remind one of R.D. Burman's sense of orchestra, 'Maula' has a soothing feel to it and after 'Cham Cham' turns out to be another track that turns out to be a decent hear.
The best of the lot though comes in the form of 'Yun Hua' which has Vishal Bhardwaj and Gulzar pairing up once again. 30 seconds into the song and you know that it has a distinct stamp of this musical 'jodis' that is fast earning a loyal audience for itself. A soft song which remains Indian in appeal throughout with a touch of Western classical shade to it, 'Yun Hua' is sung beautifully by Vishal who makes one sit up and wonder all over again that why doesn't he get behind the mike more often? After singing the title track of Kaminey, he impresses once again.
After 'Cham Cham', composer-lyricist team of Shailendra Barve and Jeetendra Joshi return with 'Pia Saanvara' which is the first (and the only) song to arrive with a female voice. A soft song which has an uncanny resemblance to the title track of Chalte Chalte in it's beginning portion, 'Pia Saanvara' comes on it's own the moment Sunidhi Chauhan takes over. A slow moving number with a semi-classical base to it, 'Pia Saanvara' is about a woman pining for her love to come close to her all over again.
The album ends on a euphoric note with Blaaze's 'Aim Lagaa' which has a Remo Fernandes feel to it and picks up the steam from the word 'Go'. Rest assured, this number should find an appearance all through the background score of Striker, especially at the crucial junctures. A rap track that doesn't require much attention from a viewer and listener from the lyrics perspective, it has good enough beats that go well with the theme track that Striker would have been expecting. A good ending to the album.
As stated earlier, it's zero buzz around the film coupled with largely unknown names and coming together of an unconventional score that would go against Striker from the sales perspective. Nothing wrong with being unconventional but then if an album has to make an impression commercially, it requires an adequate backing as well; something which is completely missing in case of Striker.
'Aim Lagaa', 'Yun Hua', 'Cham Cham'