You definitely don't expect anything conventional from the music of Udaan. First and foremost, the genre by itself signifies that there won't be place for any quintessential Bollywood naachgaana here. Secondly, the film doesn't have the concept of hero-heroine. Thirdly, the film comes from the house of Anurag Kashyap. If music of his films like Dev D (which still had a love story at the core of it and yet was different), Black Friday and Gulaal are any indication, Udaan too should have something unique to offer. Now have composer Amit Trivedi and lyricist Amitabh Bhattacharya managed to come up with something which is not just different but also carries the potential to be popular? Well, let's explore.
One has to be attentive right from the beginning of 'Kahaani-Aankhon Ke Pardon Pe' due to an extended guitar piece that plays on for full 80 seconds before Joi Barua and Neuman Pinto come together behind the mike. A slow track that does make you listen to Amitabh Bhattacharya's words carefully, 'Kahaani-Aankhon Ke Pardon Pe' gets into a soft rock a minute later, hence bringing on the theme and mood, as evidenced in campus scores. A track that brings to fore the conflict in the mind of protagonists who are unsure about their tomorrow, 'Kahaani-Aankhon Ke Pardon Pe' is a good theme number that marks the kick start of the album.
The moment 'Geet Mein Dhalte Lafzon Mein' begins, you know that it is an Amit Trivedi creation. Remember the constant rhythm of 'Ek Hulchul Si' [Dev D]? It's the same sound all over again which forms the base of this track where both Amit Trivedi and Amitabh Bhattacharya take over the role of singers as well. This time around the mood is that of hope and a better life ahead, hence bringing in a positive sense to the proceedings. Easy on airs, 'Geet Mein Dhalte Lafzon Mein' could have been one heavy number if not tuned so simply.
There is a 50s sound in the way 'Udaan-Nadi Mein Talab Hai' begins. By this time around, you know that Udaan is truly turning out to be a theme album in itself since there is a certain all around consistency in the sound that flows from one song to another. There is a gradual build up that the tune undertakes as the song turns out to be yet another instance where one can reference back to the mood that was set in Dev D. Amit Trivedi, Joi Barua and Neuman Pinto come together for this 'we are free' track which should go well during the film's narrative.
You get the sense of 'maajhi re' kind of number in the way 'Naav-Chadhti Lehrein Laang Na Paye' begins. Lyrics only add on to the overall impact. Compared to earlier songs, this one doesn't quite make one hear in admiration mainly due to the jingle feel that it carries. Singer Mohan gets into the space which could have been created for Kailash Kher and though he does fine as required by the genre, he is not aided by the kind of tune which could have made 'Naav-Chadhti Lehrein Laang Na Paye' stand out when compared to the rest.
'Motumaster-Iski Maa Agar Isse' which comes soon after doesn't make you jump with joy actually, mainly because of the loud manner in which it begins. Ok, so intent here was to come up with something funny, quirky and truly unconventional. In fact Anurag Kashyap's lyrics do help the cause as well but the way it is sung (in a rustic manner) and the tune which is not quite exciting results in 'Motumaster-Iski Maa Agar Isse' not quite becoming another 'Ranaji' [Gulaal]. With a huge bunch of singers coming together in the form of Raman Mahadevan, Amitabh Bhattacharya, Bonnie Chakravarthy, Kshitij Wagh, Shriram Iyer, Tochi Raina, Amit Trivedi and Anurag Kashyap, this song doesn't click.
Thankfully, Udaan returns to normalcy with 'Aazaadiyan-Pairon Ki Bediyan' which goes back into the same mode as the earlier tracks in the album. Amit Trivedi, Neuman Pinto, Nikhil D'Souza and Amitabh Bhattacharya come together for this soft track that again reminds of many a song that find an acceptance amongst the hostel crowds. Yet another track about breaking the rules, 'Aazaadiyan-Pairon Ki Bediyan' is practically composed in the same mode as 'Kahaani-Aankhon Ke Pardon Pe'.
A near 3 minutes piano piece by Felix Hug forms the 'theme' of Udaan. Soft and subtle, haunting and beautiful, this track (with additional voices by Joi Barua and Neuman Pinto) marks a good ending to the album which has the kind of tracks that actually go on to break quite a few rules when compared to core Bollywood outings.
Udaan is a good experimental album which means that it would require a very strong word of mouth to actually reach out to the audience. Absence of any star cast means that there is an additional effort required for the music to find a wider visibility. Moreover, the album is releasing only a fortnight before the film's arrival which means lesser time for promotion. Udaan is one of those albums that don't necessarily take a huge start at the music stands. However, the theme flavour of the album means that it should make an impact in the long run, especially if the film goes on to find patronage from audience.
Kahaani-Aankhon Ke Pardon Pe, Geet Mein Dhalte Lafzon Mein, Udaan-Nadi Mein Talab Hai