The album starts [unsurprisingly] with 'Tum Hi Ho Bandhu' and I'd make a safe bet that we have stepped onto the Summer Anthem of 2012. Pritam uses an easy-on-ear tune with interesting set of keys and the breezy nature of the song, makes it a perfect beginning to the album. What make this song incredibly infectious is the vocals of Kavita Seth and Neeraj Shridhar. The stellar singing of Kavita and the playfulness of Neeraj in this song makes it a total blast! Irshad Kamil deserves credit for turning the devotional line 'Tum Hi Ho Bandhu' into this pleasurable form and his rest of the lyrics are as refreshing. This fresh youthful spunky song will rule charts and clubs, that's a certainty!
'Daaru Desi' comes next and this light-hearted song on friendship, surely is addicting. Starting with an air-guitar, followed by some grooves that Pritam knows the secret, 'Daaru Desi' grows on you. Benny Dayal and Shalmali Kolgade make another diverse pairing that delivers a second smash-hit. The lyrics retain its fresh and frolic template and is well-quenched with camaraderie lines. Another winner!
'Yaariyan' starts with a brilliant rock tune - which won't be stranger to your ears if you listen to Coldplay. We all know Pritam isn't an ardent defender of plagiarism and frankly, I've started to think that Pritam is rather gifted with re-hashing skills than being a copy-cat. His talent to 'Bollyfy' tunes and handing it a novel soul is extraordinary. Moving on, 'Yaariyan' is a gem of a song. Pritam puts on his 'Life In a Metro' shoes and present a more refined template of his 'Jiyein Kyun'. Mohan Kanan's vocals are brilliant and since the song goes unplugged at several instances, you become more and more in awe of his explosive voice. Shilpa Rao does an awesome job too as Irshad Kamil keeps churning out heavenly lyrics that are full of pain and heartbreak. Rocking!
The next song is 'Second-Hand Jawaani' which caters for raunchy masses that breathes item songs. Unfortunately, Pritam provide an over-used template where the musical settings fails to provide the required energy. Miss Pooja, Neha Kakkar & Nakkash Aziz have boisterous and irreverent vocals that fit the song but they can't do much wonders. Same for the raunchy lyrics that doesn't click much. One saving grace for this track will be if the video in the film is shot really well. Until then, disappointing!
Pritam goes experimental with the next track 'Tera Naam Japdi Phiran'. A dancefloor setting - which surely is taken somewhere but like I said above, I don't give a damn! This cool club tune is glazed with soft English lines and loud Punjabi lines and the result is pretty quirky and unusual. Javed Bashir, Nikhil D'Souza & Shefali Alvaris make a charming combo while the lyrics are average. This new age Punjabi song is better with some repeated hearings and is a slick try by Pritam.
The next track - 'Luttna (Saif Ul Malook)' could perhaps shut all the mouth of Pritam cynics. This psychedelic song dazzles bewitches and uplifts your musical senses that you're forced to tight your belts. This painful Sufi track is embodied by some brilliant setting - among which the killer electric guitar and tabla makes the most impact. Pritam also makes amazing usage of electronic synch - in fact, Pritam's whole settings to this track is a testament that he got amazing talent. Masuma Anwar, Anupam Amod & Sahir Ali Bagga sing this track with verve as their vocals give you orgasmic pulses. The qawalli portion is outstanding. As for the lyrics, they are very soulful and are more impactful as you keep entangling yourself into this brilliant song. Take a bow Pritam, you have made those cherishing for quality-music go into a trance!
A piano - an instrument with which Pritam is churning gems this year - starts the seventh track: 'Jugni'. This soulful Folk-Punjabi song goes crescendo with the bass as Arif Lohar's powerful vocals are the highlight of this brilliant piece. Though, the interludes are repetitive, the rocking vocals and the melodious setting makes it a must-listen. Harshdeep Kaur provides great support while lyrics are okay. All-in-all, another rock ballad from Pritam but amazing nonetheless.
'Yaariyan Reprise' follows and the rock settings are completely removed. Pritam delivers a caressing melodic sound with a piano. Sunidhi Chauhan is in amazing form here as she flows with the song. Given the unplugged sections that are still present in the Reprise version, we are blessed to be able to witness how elegantly Sunidhi transits from low and high notes. Arjit Singh is the singing discovery of 2012 - courtesy of gems like 'Raabta' and 'Duaa' - and he shows his talent yet again. Truly brilliant version!
I was intrigued what Pritam could offer with 'Luttna Version 2' after the original blew me away. While he uses a great musical setting and a louder hard-rock portion in the 'Luttna', the antaras were less impactful without the 'Sufi-touch'. It's a great song but lacks the cocktail party effect of the original version. A wonderful song but stick to the other version!
'Tera Naam Japdi Phiran Version 2' ends this album but apart from the intensified dancefloor settings, it doesn't provide much difference from the first one.
All-in-all, this Cocktail is mix of diverse genres of music lovers that's one of the best soundtrack, Pritam has given. Cocktail’s album oozes of freshness and in this summer, this reunion of Love Aaj Kal team is perfect. It's mostly for connoisseurs of diverse genres of music but also provide 2 stellar chartbusters like 'Tum Hi Ho Bandhu' and 'Daaru Desi'. Imtiaz Ali (though only writer) - after JWM, LAK and Rockstar - proves that he has a fine ear for quality music. This Cocktail definitely won't leave your auditory senses sober but nonetheless, consume it without moderation!
My Picks: Tum Hi Ho Bandhu, Luttna (Saif Ul Malook), Daaru Desi, Yaariyan, Yaariyan Reprise & Jugni.
My Rating: 4.5/5