Courtesy: Joginder Tuteja, IndiaFM
Bollywood continues to experiment while still staying within the realms of commercial constraints. Taxi No. 9211 is one such movie in that direction that is about the lives of two distinct individuals, Nana Patekar and John Abraham, who meet on a road en route to meeting a day end deadline. A Ramesh Sippy production, Taxi No. 9211 is a Milan Luthria film who has earlier directed distinct flicks like Kachche Dhaage, Chori Chori and Deewaar - Let's Bring Our Heroes Home.Vishal-Shekhar are the composers at the helm while Dev Kohli and Vishal himself write.
If Sippy's last, Bluffmaster, had an experimental score then Taxi No. 9211 too begins on an uncommon note with a song in appreciation of aamchi Mumbai. Or is it Bombay? Well, lyricist Vishal keeps the followers of both names happy by labeling the song as "Boom-bai Nagariya". First to come is the Living in the City version that has some dialogues by Nana Patekar and John Abraham incorporated in it. It's a rhythmic number with western arrangements while keeping the Indian melody intact. The song has (as expected) a strong Mumbai flavor and would be a hot contender for all the 'autowallahs' and 'taxiwallahs' in the city. Surprise element of the song is Bappi Lahiri who makes a good comeback, not as a composer, but as a singer. Vishal gives him some vocals support while Merriene and Nisha are the female voices behind the song. A little faster 'Club Mix' version by Guru Sharma comes in towards the album end and pumps up the adrenalin all over again.
If 'Right Here Right Now' [Bluffmaster] was a starting point for the hip-hop genre to become popular in Bollywood, then 'Ek Nazar Mein Bhi' takes it further with a good melody to boost it. K.K., who has been showing a wide range in his singing style over last couple of years, is the man behind this track as well that is set on the dance floor of an up market joint. Sunidhi Chauhan joins KK in this Vishal written number. The Vishal-Shekhar style of music is all there due to an obvious R.D. Burman flavor that proves once again that the great Burman da was well ahead of his times in the 70s. In fact the more you hear this number the more you can visualize Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh jiving to the beats. That's the 70s nostalgia for you. Go for it!
A new sound arrives with Adnan Sami's 'Meter Down', a promotional number for the movie that is already being touted as hot in the industry circles. The song has heavy influences of jazz in it and Adnan's unique rendition makes it all the more interesting. It may not be the idea of someone who was expecting a typical Bollywood score from this album as 'Meter Down' has a situational feel to it. Written by Vishal, this is a theme song for Taxi No. 9211 and should be fun to watch when its music video featuring Nana Patekar arrives. A 'Rock 'N' Roll Mix features next which is again a Guru Sharma remix that continues the mood of jazz with foot tapping beats added on.
From this point on it's the turn of Dev Kohli to take over as a lyricist for the rest of the album. After all the fun-n-frolic in the first three tracks of the album, its time to get introspective in 'Aazmale Aazmale'. Sung by Shekhar [of the Vishal-Shekhar duo], the song is sung well and has a situational feel to it. The number may not be having much in it to make its presence felt as a part of the album but one expects that its placement in the movie would justify its inclusion as a part of the soundtrack.
Kalyan Barua's guitar at the very beginning of 'Bekhudi' sets expectations for a highly melodious number to follow. Shaan [a favorite with Vishal Shekhar] begins to croon the track in his trademark manner and makes the song meet the expectations. Though even this number is situational, it makes you hear the number more closely to understand its finer points and poetic lyrics. Check these lines for instance...
Taqdeer Kal Ki Kitaab Hai, Saara Likkha Usme Hisaab Hai Kya Khabar Woh Kal Ki Hawa, Chale Kis Taraf Kya Pata Jod De, Tod De Zindagi
Bekhudi is indeed one of the best songs of the album so far and can be considered one good reason to go for the album.
Finally comes Udne Do which is about a man's inspiration to fly high and reach the skies. A rhythmic number with all around western arrangements, it has Kunal Ganjawala all energetic and charged up. The feel of the song conveys it to be set in a night club with Harshdeep making a brief appearance intermittently. While Kunal's rendition is all about reaching the heights, Harshdeep conveys the feel of love and togetherness in a folksy tone.
Taxi No. 9211 has an unconventional score that may not have a hero-heroine 'naach-gaana' around the trees, but has a mostly entertaining collection of situational songs/theme tracks. Bekhudi, Ek Nazar Mein Bhi, Moombai Nagariya and 'Meter Down' are the songs that make Taxi No. 9211 a decent enjoyable album that works in spite of a situational feel.