Barfi! Music Review (Pritam)

Anurag Basu and Pritam are a team. So much so for me that I generally tend to forget Kites as Anurag’s movie, going back dircetly to Metro, which the two worked on together, and literally rocked.

Here, they come once again, to give you an album, where not a single piece of a single song seems to be touching Metro. Yeah, it’s all, all new.

The album begins with Ala Ala Matwala Barfi. Mohit Chauhan makes some wonderful onomatopoeic noises here, but it’s the simple tune of Pritam that deserves equal credit. Ranbir this time seems to be doing even better than what he did in rockstar, though it’s not really good to compare as the two are very different movies.

Back to the song. I hope you have all heard the first, Mohit Chauhan version of the song. So more on the Swanand Kirkire version. This one didn’t sound THAT interesting to me after Mohit’s version, though Swanand’s solid voice gives a different touch to the song. Sounds more like an old composer singing his song.

Nickhil Paul George (or call him Nikhil if you so prefer) singing Main kya karoon has been my favorite since the day I heard it for the first time, mostly for the vocals, again other than the light, simple arrangements. The singer, who has sung with Ash King, does sound a lot like him, at least in style. Actually this was quite clear with these two songs that Barfi! is gonna be a much lighter album than Metro, or even an average album of nowadays, and so it is.

The third song, Papon and Sunidhi’s Kyon na hum tum is a simple one. Simple as in, with not too much of new elements. Just a simple song with some nice lyrics. The lyrics of the song are actually sweet, the way ‘roopak’ is used in that. Not sure if what exactly is roopak in English, but I can tell you ‘nazar ke kankadon se khamoshi ki khidkiyan yoon todenge’ is roopak twice. That’s the part I loved the most in this one, with Papon’s evergreen singing.

Arijit Singh is Pritam’s favorite singer nowadays. You can pick any of his past five albums to confirm that. And this time he gets a completely different assignment from his mentor. The song, phir le aaya dil, is more like a Ghazal in its treatment, with all the ‘thehraav’ and of course the tabla based arrangements. And Arijit sings it the lovely Urdu piece quite well.

Of course, Pritam doesn’t leave his beautiful song to Arijit alone this time, not in this Ghazal mode, and gets a perfect version done from none other than Rekha Bharadwaj. Need not say she is a killer yet again, right from the VERY first line. No surprises, it’s in her very forte. MUST listen.

One more experimental-beautiful-old-sounding piece is Aashiyan sung by Shreya and Nickhil. Shreya is a little different with her voice here, though Nickhil remains his regular voice only. The arrangement of the song is interesting, in all its old-western touch. So much so that I can see a girl in something like a polka-dotted frock, in almost black-n-white. Yeah, that’s what music can do to you. To me at least. Anyway, you can guess how much I am into the song, and it is worth it. Very sweet-cute types, nature touching lyrics.

The last song of the album (discounting all the repeat versions as I’ve talked about them all) is Saanwali si raat ho, once again sung by Arijit. This one is a very slow, very simple, and very minimally arranged number. The lyrics are wonderfully romantic in this one. Fall in love with them.

OK. So overall Barfi! is very much in tune with what you would have already heard from the album, almost continuing in the same mood (other than Phir le aaya dil), but still giving you enough to stick on to, for quite a long time. The good things about the album are: It’s simple arrangements, beautiful lyrics, quality compositions, and lastly, it’s lack of remixes. Actually remix is something you wouldn’t even think about in this album. It’s a Barfi that you’d like to savour for quite some time.

PS: At times, I felt like this was a Shantanu Moitra album, with all the slow-soulful-remixless music, and Swanand Kirkire’s lyrics. Special accolades for Pritam for doing something that I’d say out of his comfort zone.