THE CASE OF THE UNCONVENTIONAL BOLLYWOOD SOUNDTRACK! (DETECTIVE BYOMKESH BAKSHY – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Madboy/Mink (Imaad Shah & Saba Azad), Sneha Khanwalkar, Dibakar Banerjee, Blek, Peter Cat Recording Co. (PCRC), Mode AKA, Joint Family & IJA
♪ Lyrics by: Madboy/Mink (Imaad Shah & Saba Azad), Sneha Khanwalkar, Dibakar Banerjee, Rishi Bradoo, Suryakant Sawhney, Sandeep Madhavan, Akshay De & IJA
♪ Music Label: YRF Music
♪ Music Released On: 16th March 2015
♪ Movie Releases On: 3rd April 2015

Detective Byomkesh Bakshy Album Cover

Detective Byomkesh Bakshy Album Cover

 

To hear the full songs of this album on Saavn CLICK HERE

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Detetctive Byomkesh Bakshy is an upcoming Bollywood detective thriller film, starring Sushant Singh Rajput in the titular role of the fictional detective Byomkesh Bakshy, created by Bengali writer Sharadindi Bandyopadhyay, upon whom he wrote many stories, and many films and TV shows have already been made in Bengali, this one being the first in Hindi! Supporting him are actors like Anand Tiwari playing his sidekick, Swastika Mukherjee and Meiyang Chang playing characters with grey shades. Thanks to director Dibakar Banerjee, those of us who aren’t familiar with Bakshy babu, like me, will be introduced to this sleuth. Those of us who have read his stories in Bengali, will get to see a new adaptation of the two stories ‘Satyanweshi’ and ‘Pother Kanta’, which are the stories which the film showcases. The film is a joint production between Dibakar Banerjee and one of the biggest production houses of Bollywood, Aditya Chopra’s Yash Raj Films. Going by the trailers, which were very intriguing, the movie is sure to have something unique and not just a regular detective flick. The music, I had thought, before the album released, would mostly consist of Background pieces, and therefore, wouldn’t be something that would make much of a mark. When the album released, I saw that SEVEN different names of people or groups were responsible for the music. Even though I saw that it is a multi-composer, I had some hopes, because this year, we’ve seen some brilliant cases of multi-composer albums that have triumphed like ‘Hawaizaada’, ‘NH10’, ‘Khamoshiyan’ to some extent. Seeing Sneha Khanwalkar having composed a song increased my expectations as she was the only person who I recognized. And last but definitely not the least, I thought about how prestigious both the production houses are, and how they can ever fail in giving a good album. So, did they meet my expectations? Read on to find out!


1. Calcutta Kiss
Singers ~ Imaad Shah & Saba Azad, Music by ~ Madboy/Mink, Lyrics by ~ Madboy/Mink

The strong percussive beats really give a wrong impression at he starting of the song, because who would think a retro jazzy, foot-tapping number would follow those beats, which could pretty much make their place in any upbeat song of these days as well. Anyways, as soon as that rhythm starts which takes you back to the 50s – 60s era, the song starts to fall into place. The sound effects in the prelude are very well-appointed, and they do give the retro feel, which works in favourite of the song, given the era that the film is set in. Saba and Imaad, who are the members of this Madboy/Mink band, themselves come behind the mic to create an atmosphere that’ll surely get you up and dancing to the enthusiastic rhythm. Saba sings in her trademark style, the Bartender voice, and helps the song become what it is, a catchy cabaret-ish number with shades of jazz. Had it been anyone else (except maybe Shalmali) the effect wouldn’t have been even half of this. The band has remade one of their songs from their album ‘All Ball’, which was called ‘Taste The Kiss’, adding some Hindi vocals in it, and also making Saba (or Mink) sing most of it. In the original, Imaad (or Madboy) had sung everything. The composition is just as lively and groovy as the rhythm, and has that mysterious element in it. The line “Do you know what time it is” is the peak of the song, and ensures the listeners to be humming along. Trumpets, piano, guitars and those sound effects, all create a queer, but wonderful environment. And that percussion is just awesome throughout the song. Even the lyrics build up a sense of suspense and mystery. Due to the beats, composition, vocals and to some extent, the Hindi lyrics, this song would probably be the closest to Bollywood music that there is on this soundtrack, and the most commercial as well. An impressive retro jazz number, which will make you tap your feet and nod your head along to its beats! Fabulous! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

2. Bach Ke Bakshy
Singers ~ Gowri Jayakumar, Big Deal, Thomson Andrews, Trevor, Rap by ~ Smokey the Ghosht, Craz Professa, Music by ~ Sneha Khanwalkar & Dibakar Banerjee, Lyrics by ~ Sneha Khanwalkar & Dibakar Banerjee

The next song is jointly composed by Sneha Khanwalkar (Probably the most well-known person on this soundtrack for Bollywood listeners) and Dibakar Banerjee, the director himself. So, wonder what this song has, that he had to contribute something to Sneha’s sole composition? Well, to tell you what it has would be a pretty long thing to do, so you better ask what it doesn’t have! Right from addictive rap, to a catchy, suspenseful composition, to dubstep, to some weird programming, it has everything that would just instantly appeal to your ears, which might be craving for something so unconventional for ages now! Smokey the Ghosht & Crazy Professa open up with their rap, which is quite a lot unlike the rap that is getting famous in India by some people (hinting at Honey Singh, Raftaar, Badshah, Dr. Zeus and the lot of Punjabi rappers that have been ruining the Bollywood industry with their only-they-think-it-is-cool rap) However, this rap really sounds awesome, and not an irritant. The hookline which follows, is some really mysteriously composed one and instantly stands out as something innovative. Gowri with her classical-based parts, balances out the song. Arrangements have been done just amazingly by Sneha. We already know how great she is at that. Mostly techno sounds, because that is what she is known for, and she uses them excellently. Disco beats also sound awesome in Gowri’s line. The weird breaking that she does with the vocals is evident here too, and works for the song. The lyrics are also well-suited to the theme of the movie, and provide for an interesting listen, so listen carefully! Overall, the song is a perfect theme song for a detective movie, which can arouse in the listeners, a sense of curiosity and eagerness to watch the movie. Innovation is her middle name, and she proves it yet again with this haunting track!! Great going Sneha! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

3. Byomkesh In Love
Singers ~ Rishi Bradoo, Anil Bradoo & Usri Banerjee, Music by ~ Blek, Lyrics by ~ Rishi Bradoo

Electric guitar starts off this song vibrantly, followed by some lively English lines, which sound very much like a full-fledged English song. It will surely appeal to you, though, even if you don’t like English songs. Because what comes next will blow your mind. Usri Banerjee comes in with her traditional classical Indian part, and provides the second aspect of this song. Two genres from across the world, when are fused together in one song, sound brilliant. The band Blek, an alt punk band consisting of Rishi Bradoo, Jared Creado and Linford D’Souza, has amalgamated both the genres very naturally, as though they were meant to co-exist. However, here’s the truth: the English part of this song is Blek’s 2012 song ‘Fog + Strobe’, and now, three years later, for Bollywood, they have infused a Thumri by Usri Banerjee into it, so it fits into the script and yet appeals to the audience! Really, hats off to them for accomplishing this! The arrangements are awesome, as well. The regular drums, electric guitars of English punk music, backs even the classical parts, giving a great contrast. The vocals have been done as well as international artists. And Usri stuns with her amazing rendition of the classical part. A romantic song, which is really unconventional! Kudos to Dibakar for fishing out such a weird and unusually extraordinary song from Indie artists like Blek! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

4. Jaanam
Singer ~ Suryakant Sawhney, Music by ~ Peter Cat Recording Co. (PCRC), Lyrics by ~ Suryakant Sawhney

The retro waltz beats with which this song starts, are enough to divert your attention from whatever you are doing at the moment, and do nothing else but solely hear this wonderful romantic number. Peter Cat Recording Co. (PCRC) is a Delhi based psych rock band, and they have revamped their song ‘Pariquel’ from their album ‘Sinema’, by making it into a full Hindi song, with Hindi lyrics. Suryakant Sawhney, a member of the band, had sung the original version in English and he sings and writes the Hindi version for this album very efficiently. The arrangements are really very captivating, and you can’t help but nod your head to those waltz beats. Even the clattering sounds like those castanets, as used in old Bollywood films’ cabaret songs like the music of O.P. Nayyar and the lot, has been used magnificently! But here, I think they are just two drumsticks (not the vegetable) which are being hit on each other. (If you can’t hear them, hear closely when the singer says “Ye din toh aayega..”) The occasional sound of a cymbal, and drums, sounds good in the song. The composition is very, very sweet and addictive, and Bollywood is already familiar to this type of composition, thus giving it more of a Bollywood audience to appeal to. The whole song seems to have been intentionally muffled, to make it sound more like it has been recorded in the 50s or so. That is why, when the song ends, you feel awkward, because of the sudden silence. 😀 Suryakant’s vocals are a bit off tune at some places, but it wouldn’t have sounded that good if they hadn’t been, and would’ve sounded very artificial. And the lyrics have shades of betrayal in them. Definitely hear this one, for its beautiful tune, thought-provoking lyrics and awesome arrangements!! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

5. Chase In Chinatown
Singers ~ Vyshnav Balasubramaniam, Sandeep Madhavan & Manas Ullas, Music by ~ Mode AKA, Lyrics by ~ Sandeep Madhavan

This is one of the original songs on this score, a song which breaks any previous conception that metal is something which Bollywood is not cut out for at all. You must have heard it in the trailer of the movie, and must have fallen in love (let’s say fascination, because it doesn’t sound right to fall in “love” with a metal song 😂 ) So you must’ve got fascinated by it right when you heard it in the trailer. And fascinate you is all it does! It hardly has any intelligible words, so the lyrics don’t count here. The vocals have a very small role to play, when the guys yell some things, and half of them since you can’t make out, you subconsciously ignore the vocals too. But they are full of angst wherever they do exist. So all your attention goes to the stellar arrangements — the brilliant electric guitars, the bass sounds, the techno synth sounds, which just impress you more and more each time you hear the song. The mic feedback sound effects also sound awesome. The rhythm which the song is on, is one that, yet again, manages to make you dance. The various sounds that the band has used in this track, never fail to catch your attention. Yet another brilliant and unusual composition, this one introducing metal genre into Bollywood, with a whole lot of cool new sounds!! A must-listen!! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

6. Life’s A Bitch
Singer ~ Akshay De, Music by ~ Joint Family, Lyrics by ~ Akshay De

The next track on the soundtrack is yet another metal song, this time more full-fledged, open and bold than the previous track. Again, the lyrics and vocals play very less part as compared to the arrangements and composition. Unlike the previous track, this one won’t instantly appeal to all listeners. Joint Family very conveniently just picks up their 2007 song with the same name and gives it to Dibakar to make it a part of his film’s soundtrack. The attempt to create a Metal song in India in 2007, that too, such an open one, has to be appreciated! It might come across as too loud for some, but awesomely cool to others. As for me, I fall in between these two categories. I’ve been impressed by the wonderful arrangements on the track and the awesome , but those monstrous vocals of the lead singer kinda put me off. I get that this is the whole idea of Metal, but the yelling was a bit too much to bear. 😂😂 Moving on, the accent of Akshay De seems like he’s an Australian. 😜 A great attempt to introduce heavy metal to India, but I guess it’s a bit too heavy. Nevertheless, it deserves at least one listen!

 

7. Yang Guang Lives
Singer ~ IJA, Music by ~ IJA, Lyrics by ~ IJA 

This song (or background piece) is composed by band IJA, and showcases some stunning sound effects. It starts with the sound of a gong, followed by some percussion beats, after which it falls silent for quite some time. The vocals are nothing but a man whispering some things in anger, which arouse the sense of suspense and mystery inside you. The whole song is pretty silent, with nothing much to hear or describe in a review, for the first two minutes, after which a catchy techno tune starts, which slowly gains pace and intrigues you as it progresses. Meanwhile the members of IJA keep whispering stuff. It eventually takes a rock form, and the electric guitars have been played in an awesome way. The composition seems to be one that would be played in the climax of the movie, in the background, when things are tense, when the detective is very, very close to solving the mystery. Drums also complement the guitars, making it end as something which makes you think what you just heard. Something different from the usual background pieces included in Bollywood albums. Hear it for the awesome sound effects and the marvelous arrangements towards the end!! A silent ending to the album! #5StarHotelSong!!


Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! Whatever I say about this album, it would be an understatement. Dibakar Banerjee has stayed true to his convention of doing the unconventional, whereas Aditya Chopra has broken all the stereotypes that had been given to YRF by including such tracks in this album and producing the album. Both of them together have picked out in total, seven songs from artists from a music scene that barely gets the importance it needs in India. By doing this, they have taken it upon themselves to promote such talents, and they have done so with utmost excellence. Each of the artists have very efficiently delivered what was needed from them, and definitely what was unexpected. Dibakar stays true to his film’s tagline i.e, EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED!! And this was indeed unexpected!! 

 

Final Rating for This Album: सा < रे < ग < म < प < ध < नी < सां

Note: The letter which is underlined is the final rating.

Recommended Listening Order: Jaanam > Byomkesh In Love > Calcutta Kiss > Chase In Chinatown > Bach Ke Bakshy > Yang Guang Lives > Life’s A Bitch

 

Which is your favourite song from Detective Byomkesh Bakshy? Please vote for it below! 🙂 Thanks!

 

Next “dish”: Ek Paheli Leela, Chefs: Dr. Zeus, Amaal Mallik, Meet Bros. Anjjan, Tony Kakkar & Uzair Jaswal

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