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One isn’t exactly dying to listen to the music of choreographer Ahmed Khan’s Paathshaala – the film has been in the making for a few years now, the initial promos are plain average and there is no buzz around the film, at least so far. Besides music director Hanif Sheikh isn’t a known name in the business nor does he have any chartbusters to his credit – so one hits the ‘play’ button with zero expectations.

But Aye khuda (Salim Merchant) impresses right away. The combination of Salim’s fresh vocals and Sheikh’s engaging melody makes this gentle, almost indi-pop-like track a delight. And though the lyrics are philosophical, the style of the composition makes it soothing and likeable.
Changing gears completely, Sheikh’s next composition is a fast-paced song that will make your head nod. Khushnama by rocker Vishal Dadlani is a track with tempo, loads of attitude and sung with gusto.

It’s been a while since we heard a good Lucky Ali number and Bekaraar makes the wait worth it! A typical Ali song with plenty of guitar strumming and a haunting tune, Bekaraar is likely to be the most popular track on this album.

Mujhe teri (Tulsi Kumar, Akanksha Lama & Hanif Sheikh) is the only song in the album that features a female singer. Both the singers do a decent job but this soft ballad doesn’t quite rise above the ordinary. And though it seems like a situational song that is likely to appear at various crucial points in the film, Kailash Kher’s rendition of Teri marzi is heartfelt.

An interesting feature in this album is music director Hanif Sheikh’s choice of singers – most of them are composers in their own right – Salim Merchant, Vishal Dadlani & Lucky Ali. 
Paathshaala springs a pleasant surprise.

Verdict: Average.           

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