It has taken quite a struggle for the small-budget, internationally-acclaimed film Josh to finally make it to Pakistani theatres alongside big releases like Main Hoon Shahid Afridi, Zinda Bhaag and Ishq-e-Khuda this Eid.
From the film’s soundtrack, the only video track that has been released is probably not getting as much air time on music channels as other pop songs due to Ramazan and its ‘different’ sound. However, the remaining three songs from Josh’s soundtrack are rather simple and basic, with only a few striking moments. Shahi Hasan and his studio Indus World Music have produced three songs for the film while the remaining one has only been mixed by him. After a disappointing season of Cornetto Music Icons, where none of the songs succeeded in making a great impact despite having big names in the line-up, Shahi applies his age-old approach to music in Josh. While the music does sound catchy at some instances, it appears to be repetitive and overdone. Having said that, the overall mood of the music does manage to create a raw appeal, which is needed for an independent film like Josh. However, the real impact will only be felt once it’s played in the cinemas
This one is a typical Punjabi techno number with a catchy tune that is bound to make you shake a leg! The song is produced by Manesh Judge, Noor Lodhi and Michael Anand and is written by Barinder Judge.
The sound mixing has been done by Shahi Hasan. Tu Nach is by far the most captivating song in the film. However, it isn’t really an extraordinary composition – you are likely to find hundreds of Punjabi tracks with a similar melody. Nevertheless, it’s the groovy, engaging beat of the tabla that makes this song so powerful. The rap does not appear out of place within the song, but it does seem slightly exaggerated at places.
Mohabbat Ka Junoon
One of the major issues with composing Allama Iqbal’s poetry is that it has been done so fashionably by the band Junoon that anything different feels like abuse, whereas anything similar seems to be a complete rip-off. Mohabbat Ka Junoon, a poem by Allama Iqbal, is featured as the thematic soundtrack for the film and has been composed by Noor Lodhi and Asim Khan. The vocals are by Noor Lodhi, music is given by Shahi Hasan, Manesh Judge & Noor Lodhi, whereas the song has been produced by Shahi Hasan. The clichéd use of guitars and the tabla makes the sound appear weary. While Iqbal’s lyrics hold a deep, philosophical and interesting meaning to them, an avid music listener will hardly be able to contain a yawn. Innovation is what’s lacking here and not content.
The Time Has Come/Yeh Dil Kyun Mera
The third song of the film has two versions to it and is the original soundtrack (OST) for the movie. Both versions of the song have been composed by Shahi Hasan and Zoe Viccaji, who has also given the vocals. It’s a slow and mellow number with a soft and somewhat grey feel to it. The sound of the guitar sets an ideal background for the film, which highlights stories inspired by Indo-Pak partition. The melody is powerful and flows smoothly, at least in the English version of the song called The Time Has Come. However, in the Urdu version, one can notice Zoe trying to make an extra effort that does not suit her vocal texture.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 18th, 2013.
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