Black&White is a film which is truly tangential to the kind of work Subhash Ghai has done in the past. Known for his 'masala' potboilers, especially when it comes to films directed by him, Ghai has taken a realistic route with Black&White.
Centered on the theme of terrorism in the land of Afghanistan and the thoughts that go in the mind of a terrorist, the film marks the launch of newcomer Anurag Sinha in a lead role. Anil Kapoor, Shefali Chhaya and Aditi Sharma form rest of the star cast for Black&White which has Sukhwinder Singh in charge of composing the entire album with Ibraheem Ashq is the lyricist. Expect a truly situational score here.
'Main Chala' is a track narrating the journey of a man who gets into an introspective mood and tries to find solutions to the kind of issues and the situations he finds himself embroiled into. Sung by Sukhwinder Singh himself (and later by Shreya Ghoshal in the female version - 'Main Chali'), 'Main Chala' comes across as a theme track which should find itself placed throughout the film's narrative. The tune here is surprisingly plain average for a track which marks the opening of an album and weak musical arrangements do not help the cause either. Even with slight Middle East touch given to the song, it hardly appeals and makes you look at the next song in apprehension to check if it is any better.
Sukhwinder Singh continues to dominate the album as he sings the next number as well, 'Peer Manavan', this time with Shradha Pandit in tow. A celebration number with a true Punjabi folk feel to it, the song is seemingly set in rural Punjab, as demonstrated through the rhythm and arrangements. Staying Indian in it's appeal throughout with zero Western touch even in the musical instruments used, 'Peer Manavan' turns out to be a situational track which should make for a decent hear within the realms of movie viewing.
By the time 'Jogi Aaya' arrives, you are convinced that Black&White would have all it's songs set as background pieces. Rendered by Sukhwinder Singh along with Sadhna Sargam, 'Jogi Aaya' has a devotional feel to it both from composition and singing perspective. With not much in it to make a listener sit up and take notice of this lukewarm number, the makers have added a 'remix version' of this as well. It turns out to be an effort in vain since it sounds more laughable than inspiring to hear a remix version of a devotional track like this.
It's the turn of Hans Raj Hans this time around to give company to Sukhwinder Singh for 'Haq Allah' which, as the title of the song indicates, is rendered in appreciation of God. A Sufi track which has it's theme centered on the protagonist praying to God to help him sail through bad times, 'Haq Allah' is yet another barely average composition that fails to invoke excitement. A fast forward variety that later arrives in a shorter follow up version as well, 'Haq Allah' continues to be on to the strictly situational feel of the album.
Remember the song 'Tala Tum Tala Tum' from Subhash Ghai production Aitraaz? Surprisingly, this Himesh Reshammiya tune for a love song is reused by Sukhwinder Singh for his patriotic number 'Ye Hindustan Hai'. Of course, it is the Subhash Ghai sense of music which is prevalent in case of both 'Tala Tum' and 'Ye Hindustan Hai' but the punch is just not there this time around. First song in the album which has someone other than Sukhwinder Singh calling the shots, 'Ye Hindustan Hai' has Udit Narayan singing his only number in the album.
Later, Jagjit Singh also gets to sing a solo version of the same song. With far lesser intrusion from music instruments, the song focuses on Jagjit Singh's voice more than anything else. Does it help by any means to take the song above the average mark? Not really!
'Black&White' turns out to be yet another weak soundtrack from a film coming from the house of Subhash Ghai in the recent times. Bombay To Bangkok, Khanna&Iyer, Good Boy Bad Boy - somehow the man has not just been getting it right for last few albums from his films. Of course, there are hopes still with Rahman collaborating with him on Yuvraaj coming later this year. But till then, there is nothing much to cheer about for music in Ghai films as Black&White doesn't help the cause much.