Vishal. Means Big. So he is, and this time, so is the soundtrack. Literally and figuratively.
The man who brought us rock way back in 2003 and Kalinka in 2011 (as Darling) is this time here with a soundtrack of no less than twelve songs, ranging from Prem Dehati’s renderings to Zulu.
Of course, you get the taste of Gulzar’s pen in the album.
The album begins with the heard-by-everyone title track, that does nothing but makes you dance. There is a madness in the tune, and Gulzar’s lyrics maintain that madness. My guess is that you would have danced to it already. If not, do that, cuz you need not be a dancer to dance to this tune.
The second song of the album, Khamakha Nahi has a foreign element (I dunno which country really) in the beginning chorus, and then it gives you a taste of something like Bekaraan. The romantic track has some simple lyrics by Gulzar, which one can almost identify as his. Loved it.
Oye Boy Charlie, sung by Rekha with Shankar Mahadevan and Mohit is one lovely piece from the album. The song has an English title, desi Gulzar’ed lyrics, desi music and earthy voices. To top it all, the visuals are quite interesting with a comic element. Listen to it. Watch it.
The next track, Hatt Lootnewale, has some lyrics against oppression, and the music isn’t too attractive. But the song has got the best of the singers, as Sukhwinder Singh and Master Saleem, something that may change the listeners’ perception in due time. The popularity of the song will depend a lot on the story/picturization and publicity.
Next comes Shara-ra-ra. A small, one n a half minute track, sung by Prem Dehati. The song is a earthy track with the music, lyrics, and even the brass-band based arrangements being village type. However, this doesn’t sound like Piyush Mishra earthy. So, good, but not exceptionally so.
Badal Uthya ri Sakhi. That’s what the best song of the album is called. The track, sung by Rekha (and later by Prem Dehati in Reprise) is ma’am singing in a full classic-folk mood, with minimal music, and a Sitar ruling the background. The song is actually an old folk song from Haryana and quite popular there. So you know what it is. Do listen. And listen. And let it grow on you.
The joke was, after his debut in Mausam, this guy gets two songs in Vishal Bhardwaj’s Matru ki Bijlee ka Mandola. His name is Pankaj Kapur.
Pankaj sings the next two tracks of the album, which are fun, but would be enjoyed actually when the movie comes out, or at least the video comes out. Pankaj’s singing shows you one side of theatre artist that has hardly been touched by cinema. Try the tracks, or wait for the videos.
The next track is a first in India. It’s called Nomvula, and it’s Zulu music, sung by Umoja [Umoja means Unity in Swahili]. Even the lyrics of the song have been imported, without any Hindi/English being added to them. The music is nice, but I guess an adaptation, maybe something like Kalinka, would be better.
The end of the album comes with a reprise version of Badal Uthiya by Prem Dehati, and a small one for Lootnewale, sung by Sukhwinder. Badal Uthya is ‘almost’ as good as by Rekha, and Sukhwinder’s Lootnewale sounds a little more less noisy than the original version.
Overall, the album has a lot in terms of variety, and some tracks are wonderful; Khamakha, Oye Boy, and Badal Uthya to name the best. But then a few elements were missing too. Both the songs by Rekha are good, but Sukhwinder this time doesn’t seem to have got his fair share despite the number of tracks. When the album was over, I even missed Suresh Wadkar who’s been there for most of Vishal’s albums, including 7KM.
So yes, the album is good. Vishal has done some good work. And it’s worth listening to. But the thirst that came with the big size, isn’t quenched.