Music Review: Issaq

Yet another film based in Banaras after Raanjhanaa, can the music compete with Rahman?
Yet another film based in Banaras after Raanjhanaa, can the music compete with Rahman?

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With the controversy surrounding the film’s background theme being a lift from an English film,  Issaq’s music gets a kick-start, thanks to plagiarism. It ends there. The rest of the soundtrack is anything but.

Mohit Chauhan’s Issaq Tera is a staple love ballad where ‘haathon mein raet sa, issaq tera’ lyrics allude to love’s free-flowing poetry. It’s reminiscent of Tum Se Hi (Jab We Met) or the over-familiar patios of Mohit singing it in a style defining him. Jheeni Re Jheeni sung by Rashid Khan recalls Aaoge Jab Tum (Jab We Met) or if we speak of Rashid Khan’s style – and isn’t that how music is defined? Pratibha Bhagel accompanies the ustad on Jheeni Re. Its highly evocative style, and sarangi strain is melismatic.

Rahul Ram, guitarist for the band Indian Ocean, sings Bhole Chale for guest composer Sachinn Gupta. It bounces like a balloon filled with laughing gas. It wouldn’t be out of place in a zombie film, even suiting the morbid ghats of Benaras where one can laugh at one’s misery at the cool lashings of the Ganga waves. Just that head should not be moth-eaten, only smoke filled. Do as says Logic Baba (Ram’s sobriquet in the band).

Ankit Tewari sings Aag Ka Dariya, a rock number which isn’t coming together, despite the gritty singing style. Krsna composes Enne Unne, a light weight number air-lifted on its ‘halka’ beat of instruments and feather-touch rendition by Tarun Sagar, Mamta Sharma, Papon and Kirti Sagathia. The chorus has a Hamka Peeni Hai (Dabangg) ring to it.

Actor Raghubir Yadav sings Bhagan Ke Rekhan Ki with Malini Awasthi – a bidaai song harking the eighties Nadiya Ke Paar days. Super. Smita Jain’s duet of Issaq Tera is standard. Sachinn Gupta attempts to sing Aag Ka Dariya in his sweet voice, somewhat mis-matched voice quality, too syrupy.

Issaq’s stress is on voice over music and that should keep it above the mild auto-tuning mess it has started with. Scrap the trailer, and the film’s music is worth tuning into.