Haider Music Review – Right shades of dark

Posted: September 17, 2014 by moifightclub in bollywood, music, Music review
Tags: , , , ,


There is a distinct smell of honesty in things which are fundamentally correct. You have got to love anything when it is done with utmost sincerity and no sluggishness. This is why we wait for Vishal Bharadwaj’s films and music. His latest offering is out, and we strongly recommend you get a taste of it. Here’s why:

So Jao – The eerie calm of a dark night perpetuated by heavy bass notes and a near mourning dead voiced ensemble consisting of Bashir Lone, Bashir Bhawani, Muzamil Bhawani, Mayukh Sarkar, Aalaap Majgavkar and others take upon themselves to scare the life out of us in this calm yet intense song. The singers might all be mourning but they are in perfect sync and you will find yourself reaching for the repeat button without a doubt. The sound of shovels attacking mother earth is impactful, to say the least. Top class!

Jhelum – Yet another dark song where the music arrangement is spread out. The magical electric guitar surprises you as it creates an atmosphere of contemplation. Vishal, helped greatly by the words from Gulzar, paints a picture of grief, the kind that will suck you and might make you sad, very sad. I might be thinking too much but then I feel the words ‘jhelum hua kharaa’ came out right from Gulzar’s heart as he reflected on the massacres he witnessed, during partition. That perpetual sinking feeling owes a lot to the wonderful Simaab Sen who has produced this song in the album. Vishal Bharadwaj doesn’t sing much in films. We wonder why.

Gulon mein rang – The thing with good poetry is that it can never be badly performed (unless of course, KRK decides to rap it). To make it even better, words have been modified and what’s better than to see Gulzar and Faiz in one song! We honestly didn’t expect much from Arijit Singh, (who is breathing these days with microphone attached to his throat) because we knew, the sound would be indistinguishable from most of his songs off late. I won’t say we were shocked and surprised with his rendition here. It is strictly average but the music arrangement takes it a notch higher, especially the hopeful note on which the song ends. Talking of this iconic kalaam, even Mohit Chauhan did it nicely here.

Ek aur bismil – With an adorable arabian touch and sufi setting, this version paints a fantastic belly dance setting in the mind. The clarinet in the song is exact and lends much richness to the song. Unlike the ‘bismil’ song (to which this song owes its title and tune) which has a podium/stage setting, this feels more intimate, street like and humble.

Do Jahaan – Call me an incurable romantic, but I cannot wait for Suresh Wadkar singing a ‘suresh wadkar वाला’ song. No, I don’t mean ‘totey udd gaye’ (ek thee dayan) sort of song. I mean ‘tere liye’ (7 khoon maaf) sorts. A lazy setting that somehow has become Vishal Bharadwaj’s forte along with Suresh Wadkar’s depth is something to look forward to. This song is exactly like that. An added bonus is to hear Shraddha kapoor’s voice which doesn’t sound processed and adds a ‘real’ feel to the song.

Aaj ke naam – After her fantastic ‘har ghadi’ in D-Day, Rekha Bharadwaj gives us a ‘by the tabla’ ghazal that has ‘tragedy’ written all over it. This is also a work of Faiz Ahmed Faiz. Vishal Bharadwaj quietly sneaks in gentle keyboard notes to give a contemporary feel to the overall setting. Since the ghazal talks of so much sadness (With the excellent use of ‘new’ words for hindi film songs like – ब्याहता), extreme caution is advised because it will leave you sad, very sad.

Khul Kabhi – Good things were said about this song by Vishal Bharadwaj himself in a recent interview on Radio Mirchi, Bombay. Perhaps what Vishal Bharadwaj didn’t estimate was the flood of Arijit Singh’s songs with whom we are playing ‘catch up’ on daily basis. This song is good and we couldn’t help feel that this should have been sung by Vishal Bharadwaj himself. No doubt that would have been the thought at the time of composing it. It is a ‘FVBV’ song all the way (For Vishal, By Vishal). Arijit is efficient and average at best, what is lacking is the exclusive, infectious feel that this tune and crazy romantic song deserved.

Bismil – The ‘stage’ song! With Sukhwinder, there is always a danger that perhaps he will sound too ‘sukhwinder’ and hijack the song. It doesn’t matter in this case because there is an army of excellent back up vocalists, and a ‘beyond awesome’ rabaab at work along with him. The song paints a dark picture of deceit with an upbeat tune. The lyrics give away everything there is to correlate with Shahid Kapoor’s anger in the film. These days when music composers take pride in saying ‘ये गाना डांस फ्लोर पे महिना भर बजेगा’ , here is a song which might become a hot favorite of people who are into stage dramas. The overall feel reminded me of ‘Sheher’ of gulaal which can also be re-created on stage with impact, if only some people are up to it. A thunderous song that gives you a feel of large auditorium. Kudos!

Aao Na – I feel Vishal Dadlani somehow saves his ‘year’s best’ when he teams up with Vishal Bharadwaj. While I still maintain that ‘Dhan te nan’ is his best, this song stands right next to it. The passion, drums and singing, all are just top notch. Did I miss anything? Oh yes, that bloody mother of a tune on guitar. I cannot write enough good things about this song. Double thumbs up!

Vishal Bharadwaj and Gulzar have given us a brilliant album that has right shades of dark, much like the background and context of the film. In a year that has been marred with too much trash and vomit inducing tracks, Haider is what leaves a lasting sweetness on our taste buds.

As Vishal says, क्या बात है!

– by @rohwit

  1. “… Arijit Singh, (who is breathing these days with microphone attached to his throat)…” Hahaha, chumma, sir!

    Also, isn’t it “Jhelum hua khaara”?

  2. Devarsi Ghosh says:

    Agree with the review pretty much except that you are too harsh on Arijit. He’s an exceptional singer bogged down by the Pritam-Bhatt-Tips complex, and it’s delightful when he croons for VB or Amit Trivedi (Queen)

    • @Rohwit says:

      Hi devarsi, the choice is of the singer. I absolutely loved his work in queen and the recent ‘palat’ from MTH. We surely don’t like all songs of an artist to sound the ssme. Variety is what we would like to hear and unfortunately even as I type this, there are too many songs of his which sound same. Similar. Same.

  3. To be true, I didn’t read the whole review because I want to be through the album once. But I was looking for your views on Arijit’s songs, and found some match. I was slightly disappointed by him getting those two, of which I wanted at least Gulon mein Rang bhare sung by Vishal (as tweeted once to Rekha ji recently too).

    And lastly, about Aao na, yes, I am absolutely in love with the song from the time I saw the trailer itself. It’s been on loop, while listening, and while humming all day. Though I don’t have the same thoughts about Dhan te Nan. Maybe I missed something there, but I don’t put the song that high, and it’d certainly go below ‘aao na’ on my list.

    and oh, the beginning of the song.

    And oh, Suresh Wadkar singing.

    When he makes such good music, I sometimes wish Vishal leaves movies and makes music albums with these legends. Sukhwinder, Suresh Wadkar ji, Rekha ji, and of course, the one and only. So we don’t have to wait for years for these treasures.

    • @Rohwit says:

      🙂 Listen to Dhan te nan again.. Koi chaal aisi chalo ke samandar bhi pull pe chaley! I guess it was slightly out of Dadlani’s zone because the voice had a constant ‘yamma yamma pancham’ flavor and to sing along in tune with that voice is quite commendable, I thought.

      Yes VB should make more music 🙂

  4. […] is to the album of the year! Haider You can read the review here –  https://moifightclub.wordpress.com/2014/09/17/haider-music-review-right-shades-of-dark/ You can listen to the music review @ BBC here – […]

  5. Mahaveer says:

    Hamlet ki tarz par aur Jhelum ki tarah gahra aur sarsarata sangeet. Kya baat hai!
    Yes, I agree VB should start composing music as full job. Also agreed your take on Arijit, he is indeed a talented singer and probably wants to make the most of the purple patch but the repetition is killing the charm.
    My top picks from the album – Aao na, Gulon me, Bismil, and Do Jahan.

  6. […] tune. Who cares if people forget about the music 3 days after the promos end! Last year, it was Haider, a music album that enveloped the feel of the film and not compromising with the melody in the […]

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