Pritam. Bhatts. Emraan Hashmi. This combination has to deliver. Period. And if it doesn't, it is nothing less than sacrilege. After all there is a long standing reputation, as created by Gangster, Awarapan, Jannat and Tum Mile which has to be maintained. With lyricist Kumaar (who has been around for a decade and has been delivering consistently ever since then) bagging his biggest project till date as the only man contributing with the words, there are very good expectations from the music here.
While one expects a series of romantic tracks in Crook, there is a surprise in store as a dance number 'Challa' kick-starts the proceedings. Based on a traditional folk song, as acknowledged in the credit details as well, it has the signature sound of 'Tana na tana na' which hooks you on to it in the first listening itself. Though the song would have attracted the likes of Sukhwinder Singh to be the obvious choice as a singer, it is Babbu Mann, a top name in Punjabi film and music industry, who keeps the fun going. Suzanne D'mello, the only female singer in the entire album, gets to croon a few interspersing lines in English but it is the 'desi' rhythm fused with Western arrangements that make 'Challa' - also arriving later in a 'remix version' - a track that should find good acceptance, especially up North.
Though 'Challa' wasn't exactly what one expected from a Bhatt-Pritam-Emraan combination, the rest of the album pretty much delivers as expected starting from 'Mere Bina'. A soulful number with a soft rock feel to it, 'Mere Bina' is a solo track (as is the case with all the remaining songs as well) with upcoming singer Nikhil D'Souza making the best of the opportunity. He has recently delivered a hit in 'Anjaana Anjaani Ki Kahani' [Anjaana Anjaani] and also impressed with his outings in Aisha and Udaan. Now with 'Mere Bina', he has delivered again by bringing on a youth flavour with a strong urban to it.
One can sense the team's confidence in the song by the sheer fact that 'Mere Bina's is repeated a couple of more times in the album. First to come is a Mohit Chauhan rendered version which is titled as 'Tujhko Jo Paaya'. With just a guitar playing in the background and lyrics doing all the talking, one notices the simplicity with which lyricist Kumaar has conveyed the emotions of romance so beautifully. This is on display once again with KK - an obvious choice of a song belonging to this genre - coming up with his own take in the 'unplugged version' of 'Mere Bina'.
Let's acknowledge this, though 'Mere Bina' does take a little time to settle down due to it's unconventional flow and not so quintessential Bollywood appeal, the repeated placement of the song (thrice) right through the album means that it does succeed in turning out to be one of the many highlights of Crook.
With all men enjoying there time behind the time, it was difficult to imagine one of the favourite singers for composer Pritam, Neeraj Sridhar, to be missing in action. He gets to sing a fun track 'Kya' which has some addictive beats ensuring that it catches attention in the very first listening. To think of it, the song does follow a basic template that Pritam has mastered when it comes to youthful songs but still 'Kya' does turn out to be an immensely loveable song. A number where one can well imagine Neeraj to be smiling while crooning this one and a feel good appeal via visuals on screens as well; 'Kya' should find it's way into the charts.
Now this is a song that could have been straight out of a Mahesh Bhatt or Vikram Bhatt directed film. 'Tujhi Mein' carries the kind of sound that Bhatts have pretty much patented over the last couple of decades and one is only thrilled to hear it all over again. A love song with Kumaar impressing yet again with simplicity in his lyrics, 'Tujhi Mein' is also special due to the man behind the mike - KK. One does expect the singer to come up with something smashing in every Bhatt film and 'Tujhi Mein' is no different. No wonder, a 'reprise version' comes in as well which just doubles the fun.
Though 'Challa' is the kind of number which is placed to attract crowds, Crook has a lot more to offer when it comes to some really quality songs. While 'Kya' has a fun element to it, it is songs like 'Mere Bina' and 'Tujhi Mein' which come with a catalogue appeal. These are the ones which would not just stay with the audience long after the film is off the screens but also find their way into the future compilation albums. While Pritam has ensured a hit album for Bhatts yet again, Emraan Hashmi continues his good run after Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai when it comes to quality melodious songs.
'Mere Bina', 'Tujhi Mein', 'Kya', 'Challa'.