Kalki Koechlin’s upcoming movie Margarita With A Straw has not only attracted the attention of critics, it has also whipped up anticipation among its fans. The bold storyline bordering on the sexual preference of a person with cerebral palsy is beautifully backed by a hard-hitting yet melodic soundtrack composed by Mikey McCleary. The blend of different music styles and the finesse with which each track has been treated also earned McCleary the Best Composer award at the Asian Film Awards.
McCleary has directed six tracks in this movie and has written the lyrics of the English songs in the album. With Prasoon Joshi penning the lyrics of the Hindi songs, the album has a total of eight tracks. It also features a song composed by National Award-winning composer Joi Barua.
Barua opens the album with Dusokute, a duet sung by the composer along with Sharmistha Chatterjee. The musical treatment is engaging as the composer incorporates his mixed-style elements of rock, soul, jazz and world music. It is mainly manoeuvered by the male verse with minimal focus on Chatterjee’s smooth vocals. Unlike the usual romantic tracks, this duet is compelling with the sturdy vocals of Barua and striking lyrics penned by Joshi. The album moves on to a male version of Dusokute, featuring the same musical composition.
McCleary takes the reins with Foreign balamwa, presenting lively sounds filled with club and dance beats. The crude vocals of Sonu Kakkar offer much-needed zeal to this vivacious track. The music, filled with grueling drum beats and resonant guitar strums, will definitely find its place in club and party playlists.
Rachel Varghese does a commendable job in one of the lingering tracks of the album, Choone chali aasman. The number focuses primarily on the spirited voice of Verghaese backed by an intricate musical composition. The musical orchestration rides on the blend of string instruments and percussion, adding a blues flavour.
Meri aadat mera hissa brings in a soft-rock songs flavour and relies only on refined guitar plucks. This sad song sung by Anushka Manchanda is one of the shortest numbers in the album.
McCleary forays into his forte with the jazz number I need a man penned by the composer himself. The music is filled with the jazz elements of trumpets, violins and cello and compliments the polished voice of Vivienne Pocha. The singer brings in her soulful, powerful singing to the track, which reflects an international jazz club setting.
Don’t go running off anytime soon features McCleary behind the mic. The song highlights country-style composition with laidback guitar strums backed by peaceful vocals. The song takes listeners back to one of McCleary’s old jingles, The little things you do.
Aai’s aalap is a nice surprise. The composer has succeeded in creating seamless classical-Western fusion through this track. Sung by Rajnigandha Shekhawat, Alaap is impeccably fused with Western instruments like the piano, guitar and violin.
The musical track Laila’s theme might also work as a background score for the film. The number starts on a slow space with a primary sound palette of guitar and piano, which gradually escalates to a medium pace theme with add-ons of other musical elements.
Verdict: A complete album