Light play, clever shooting angels, or whatever people might be waiting for, when Vishal Bhardwaj announces a film, there is a breed of people that waits for the music of his film because even if it is ‘7 Khoon maaf’-ish, the music album comes packed with a lot of ‘Gulzar Goodies’. Save for the mess that the music release of the film created, we really can’t complain much because as someone wise once remarked ‘If it’s worth the wait, then shut up!’
1. Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola – Sukhwinder…O Sukhwinder! You have done so much on the same lines already, yet you make it sound all so easy and peppy! Excellently arranged and marvellously penned, the song gives a lesson or two to some ill-fated idiots who think in order to sound catchy (and in order to use the name of the film in a song) they have to have an ‘item’ to endorse it. The splendid African weaving in between (with a continuous guitar note in the background) gives the song a certain amount of class that is always missing when it comes to halkat sheilas who are talking about munnis all the time. The bass effect that ‘stops and starts’ gives just the adequate thump to the song. 2 Thumbs up!
2. Khamakha – Beautiful ‘evening’ guitars, accompanied by a coral like backup group (with African lyrics?), excellent bass and, and, and Vishal Bhardwaj! Sung like a madly in love ‘aashiq’, this is easily one of the best arranged songs by Vishal ever. The simple yet never so beautifully expressed habits of those in love (sleeping by the window, for example) are a forte of Gulzarsaab. What amazes simple listeners like us is his ability to convey love every time in the simplest manner without EVER repeating words. Anyway, the end of the song, the last 1 minute and 14 seconds of the song, tell us why there is an ever-growing army of hopeless romantics who wait for a Vishal Bhardwaj music album. The song is pregnant with a range of varied emotions that haven’t been explored before. The note on which the song starts and the note on which ends will tell you exactly what we are talking about. 3 Thumbs up!
3. Oye Boy Charlie – ‘Singerwala Shankar Mahadevan’ starts the song and the song shoots higher thanks to Rekha Bhardwaj and Mohit Chauhan. There is a bit of saxophone and then there is a bit of nasal Shankar Mahadevan (that is just too good!) and then there is a good amount of ‘motorwala mouth organ’ in between along with good guitar. ‘Vishal purists’ might not like the song much because there is an element of cacophony in between, where you feel VB is trying too hard to arrest your attention by throwing in too many elements altogether. There are way too many elements that I missed in the first hearing. It is a fun song with an element of ‘Jhoom Barabar Jhoom’ and ‘Kajra re’ and ‘Satrangi re’ and some comedy and this and that!
4. Lootnewaley – Sukhwinder and Master Saleem start the song. If you play the song with the ‘Awara’ expectation from Master Saleem, you will be a tad disappointed. Sukhwinder emotes better than Saleem to convey the anger. The track is serious. The words are direct and effective. Clearly, a revolution is being hinted. At times chaotic (which may be intentional), the song won’t set music charts on fire. You might argue that any other set of singers could have done the same job as Sukhwinder or Master Saleem have done. The fantastic possibility that these two names promised is clearly missing. How we wish they were exploited better!
5. Sha ra ra – Prem Dehati starts the song again with the typical mela like music arrangement. The brass bands sing along with the singer to elevate the effect of the song. A very short track that begins and ends leaving the brass bands in your mind.
6. Badal Uthiya – The track starts beautifully with Prem Dehati echoing at a distance and then the music setting takes a completely contemporary turn with generous dose of sitar in between. Rekha Bhardwaj does a splendid job (What’s new?) with this track and even though the Prem Dehati version of the song is my favorite, this track can’t be sidelined at all. Rekha Bhardwaj in her typical ‘soul drugged with romance’ voice makes it very hummable.
7. Char dina ki – A Haryanvi kickass item that just elevates the level of the album and how! Excessive usage of brass bands and some real catchy lyrics ensure that it has a very roadside feel. The beginning of this track has shades of ‘chicha leather‘ from Gangs of Wasseypur. Pankaj Kapur, Prem Dehati and Imran Khan go behind the microphone for this and clearly Mr. Kapoor is having fun like only he can. Excellent track! (Mind it – ‘Char dina ki chamak chandni’ will linger in your head…shart laga lo tau!)
8. Chor Police – A fun recitation by Pankaj Kapur with heavy dose of political wrongdoings that the elected government has been committing. Ends with a splash! Back up vocals, brass band and excellent tempo ‘waali’ claps is what make this track up…good one!
9. Nomvula – African track it may be, but this composition has fun written all over it. If you aren’t one of the ‘I don’t understand the words so I won’t automatically like the song’, then you will like it. A very ‘by the beach with beers’ feel. Really what’s music got to do with language?
10. Badal uthiya (Reprise) – There are few good souls that are trying their best to give the masses a taste of the sheer variety that Hindustani classical offers. This song is an addition to that effort. Prem Dehati accompanied with excellent sitar and a contemporary music arrangement hold your soul hostage. The words, the pronunciation of the same, the stillness, the sadness, everything has traces of God particle in it. If you didn’t know, God particle is generally defined as a song/composition that has mastery of Gulzar saab and Vishal Bhardwaj in it.
11. Lootnewaaley (Reprise) – A strong vocal demonstration against the shrewd landlords, Sukhwinder leads the backup singers in what sounds like a ‘lagaan-like’ track, feel wise. Word rich and music light. The track is clearly banking a lot on the visuals. It isn’t musically as structured as the other version. Clearly a circumstantial song.
Including the recitations and other titbits is the new ‘in’ thing for Hindi film O.S.T these days. Strictly ‘song-wise’ speaking, Khamakha, Badal Uthiya (both versions but Prem Dehati version), title song and Oye Boy Charlie are the ones that will remain with us and that’s a lot of them! We missed the mandatory ‘Have Vishal, so Suresh Wadkar will sing’ song.
An album that benefits (like all of us!) with the presence of Gulzar saab and showcases the obvious abilities of Vishal Bhardwaj, the composer. Also, those having silly doubts on Gulzar saab (Ref: JTHJ) have gone missing and how! ख़ामाखा का doubt, वो भी अल्लाह पे? हट पगले!
– Post by @Rohwit (who is currently देहाती.)