A few days ago I read an article featuring an interview of Bedabrata Pain. How he and his wife were fighting a case against an electric razor company holding them responsible for their son Ishaan’s demise. A former NASA scientist, Bedabrata Pain has earlier produced a film “AMU” starring Konkana sen and directed by his wife Shonali Bose.
In Chittagong, the 16 year old Ishaan was supposed to be playing the main role. Now as the film is ready, Bedabrata dedicates this to his son. As he said in this interview, “someone decided to take my surname too seriously”
Shankar ehsaan loy are back after a long time. Their last outing was Don 2 which had little of novelty and more of repetition of the tunes used in the first Don.
“BOLO NA” is sung by Shankar Mahadevan. To say that this track is good would be an understatement. It is fantastic. A totally classical song based on the raag Baageshri, this one is a brilliant composition with equally brilliant lyrics penned by Prasoon Joshi. The use of sitar and other instruments makes the song even better. And of course the climactic finish to the song by some brilliant tabla rendition.
And as for Shankar Mahadevan’s singing, it is top class. The last time I heard something like this sung and composed by him was “Sapno se bhare naina” from Luck by chance.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for all classical lovers.
“BECHAYAN SAPNE” is sung by Abhijeet Sawant and Mahalaxmi Iyer with backing vocals by Shankar Mahadevan, Gulraj singh and Sameer Khan. A sweet Bengali-ish tune, this one is sung very well by Abhijeet Sawant. He is very good in both the high and low notes. He is accompanied by Mahalaxmi Iyer, who is good, but I felt maybe shreya ghoshal would have been a better choice for this song.
Again good lyrics by Prasoon joshi, this one will grow on you after few listenings. It is soft and soulful.
“JEENEY KI WAJAH” is a complex composition. Sung by 6 singers including the chorus, this one is outstanding. The chorus will give you goosebumps (Aarti Sinha, Mani mahadevan, Kshitij Wagh, Pooja Gopalan, Raman Mahadevan and Shreekumar Vakkiyil) and the multi layered tune will make you fall in love with this one. Once again, brilliant use of instruments and some very inspiring lyrics by Prasoon Joshi.
We finally have the song “ISHAAN” sung by Bedabrata Pain himself. The grief in his voice is evident as he sings prasoon’s brilliantly penned lyrics. And he sings well. The song dedicated to Bedabrata’s son is backed by a lovely chorus by Aarti Sinha, Mani mahadevan, Kshitij Wagh, Pooja Gopalan, Raman Mahadevan and Shreekumar Vakkiyil. This one will definitely move you. Honest and pure stuff.
Just like “Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Se”, even here we have few instrumental tracks by R.S.Mani & John Wilson.
“THE BATTLE” and “CHITTAGONG” wonderfully done with rich orchestration apt for a film like this, especially the pakhawaj in the former one.
Both songs are a treat to hear to.
“INSPIRATION” and “MASTERDA” are start off well but with running times of only one minute each, they really don’t make too much of an impression. Though they are good, I wish they had been a bit longer.
OVERALL a superb surprise package from the dependable trio. While they make their mark by four superb tracks, the guest composers give us some good instrumental stuff too.
I’ve always maintained that SEL are too good when it comes to instrumentals and background score (BGM). Their background scores in “Dil chahta hai”, “Lakshya” and “Wake up Sid” are evidences of how well they do with the instruments. Chittagong is no different. If there is one thing which stands out throughout all 4 songs of the album, it is the instrumentation in every single song.
As far as the lyrics are concerned, need I say anything? With Prasoon Joshi at the helm of affairs, brilliance is bound to happen.
For every music director, there will be few of his albums which will remain close to their hearts, inspite of not being very popular commercially. I have a feeling “Chittagong” is that album for Shankar – Ehsaan – Loy.
MY VERDICT – 8.5 / 10