BEAUTIFULLY BLENDED MUSICAL COCKTAIL!!! (MARGARITA WITH A STRAW – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Mikey McCleary & Joi Barua
♪ Lyrics by: Prasoon Joshi, Mikey McCleary & Joi Barua
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 2nd April 2015
♪ Movie Released On: 17th April 2015

Margarita With A Straw Album Cover

Margarita With A Straw Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Margarita With A Straw is an upcoming Bollywood film, starring Kalki Koechlin in the lead role and Revathy and Sayani Gupta in supporting roles. The film has been directed by Shonali Bose, and produced by Shonali Bose & Nilesh Maniyar under the banner of Viacom18 Motion Pictures. The plot revolves around the character of Laila played by Kalki, a girl who has cerebral palsy. The movie talks about the struggle she goes through, in doing the normal activities in her life. The film was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) as a part of the Contemporary World Cinema Programme on 8th September, 2014 and got great reviews from everywhere. The music of this film has been given by Mikey McCleary, and he went on to win the Asian Film Award for Best Music Composer, for his work in this very film! This assures us that there is light to be something special in the music, or else it wouldn’t have won such a prestigious award! One song in two versions is also composed by guest composer Joi Barua. Let’s have a look at exactly how great the music of “Margarita With A Straw” is!!


1. Dusokute / Dusokute (Duet)
Singers ~ Joi Barua / Joi Barua & Sharmistha Chatterjee, Music by ~ Joi Barua, Lyrics by ~ Prasoon Joshi & Joi Barua

So the album kicks off with our guest composer, Joi’s song. This song was actually a song from Joi’s first Assamese album ‘JOI’, and he had composed and written it in his college days. However, now, he debuts in Bollywood with the same song, rewritten with Hindi lyrics, and giving the song a wider section of the audience to appeal to. The song starts with Joi’s unique, husky voice, which is kind of the main attraction of the song and will definitely keep you listening. His voice is perfect for this type of rock song. The electric guitar tune playing throughout the song, is something that would appeal to everyone and it has been composed so expertly! Arrangements consist of the regular rock music arrangements like rock guitars and drums. Towards the end, we get to hear a wonderful display of the brass section, which has been appointed very creatively in a rock song! Kudos to Joi for that! The first version is really short at 2½ minutes, but for those begging for more (I guess that applies to every one of us) there is another version — the Duet. The duet version runs for almost 5 minutes, and is surely going to appeal to you, if you have been left wanting more after the solo version. The first 2½ minutes are exactly the same as the solo version (except some lyrics), but after that we see some great new things which sets us into wonder, why they made two versions, if both are the same till a certain point! So I’ll just describe what happens after till where we’ve heard in the solo version. Joi sings some great, energetic lines from where he stopped in that version. Sharmistha takes over, with her equally husky and magical voice, and gets an equally energetic and rockstar-ish part to sing, which she manages with ease. An interlude of brass instruments entertains us until Sharmistha comes back with the hookline, a bit too high-pitched and mismatching for her voice, but we manage to bear with it, because rock performances are never that perfect anyways, so it sounds natural. After Joi comes back, he ends the song brilliantly with the mukhda which he sings after calling it the end. Great trumpet parts do wonders towards the ending of the song as well. Prasoon Joshi has written great lyrics, youthful but romantic at the same time. The term ‘Dusokute’, suggested by Joi, means ‘in your eyes’ in Assamese. Prasoon’s Hindi lyrics sound great around this catchy phrase. I would advise you to hear the duet version, because of the creative additions! A rocking and addictive composition by Joi! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

2. Foreign Balamwa
Singer ~ Sonu Kakkar, Backing Vocals by ~ Keya Dutta, Shilpa Chadhdha, Sugandha Tamse, Sulbha Ninad Samang, Music by ~ Mikey McCleary, Lyrics by ~ Prasoon Joshi

Mikey McCleary enters the soundtrack with this song, and along with him, his characteristic quirk and liveliness evident in all his compositions, also enters. And the result of this quirk is a thoroughly enjoyable, groovy, catchy, weirdly attractive and highly addictive composition which you instantly develop a liking towards. Most of the credit for all this has to go to Mikey, who seems to have worked very hard to master such a desi, yet classy number — two very opposite things coexisting in one song. First of all, the composition is so lovable, yet lively, that the notion of lovable being calm can be strongly proved wrong by just one listen to this song. Sweetness overflowing from the song, yet a sense of craziness also equally overflowing. This song is the whole package. Mikey’s arrangements are truly to be appreciated. Without noticing them, you just cannot end the song! The Calypso-type arrangements complete with the trumpets (Ketan Sodha), the percussion, guitars and some additional extra techno beats not usually witnessed in Calypso, all make it very attractive and exciting indeed. Very well-arranged, and recorded, hence winning half the battle there itself. The other half, not totally in Mikey’s hands. On the vocals front, he has appointed Sonu Kakkar, who does her job fascinatingly! Her electrifying voice, once used strictly for item songs, has now got the classy (at least a bit!) status, thanks to the entry of her sister Neha to do the item songs now. 😂 Jokes apart, she carries out all the nuances perfectly, creating a great positive impact on the song there itself. Her sharp, distinct and electrifying vocals really do impress and increase the likability standards for the song. She really does justice to the composition by providing the perfect blend of rowdiness and class. The best part is her improvisation in the ending. Though she might not have been instructed, she puts on a great show which is a pleasure to hear! Backing vocalists also count a lot, as is witnessed in this song. They make a huge difference and take the song a long way! Prasoon’s lyrics are highly and unbelievably creative! You have to hear them to believe it! He has also mixed awesomely, gaanv-ki-chhori type lyrics and English words, thereby making it very, very entertaining to hear. After reading this persuasive essay of mine, you are bound to listen to this song, at least once! For me, please!? A perfect song to cheer you up! Kudos to Mikey for making such a grand entry into the soundtrack! 😊 #5StarHotelSong!!

 

3. Choone Chali Aasman
Singer ~ Rachel Varghese, Backing Vocals by ~ Mikey McCleary, Music by ~ Mikey McCleary, Lyrics by ~ Prasoon Joshi

For his second song, Mikey opts for the one-Bollywood-song old singer, Rachel Varghese, who had debuted with ‘Kya Karein’ from ‘NH10’ not long ago. This time, she gets an inspirational and much less dull song than the first one she sang, and she delivers it with great expertise. She has a distinct husky voice, and she uses it well, making it work in favourite if the song. Mikey’s choice as her to sing the song turns out to be perfect. Mikey’s composition is slow-paced, but engaging, and will remind you of Western songs, heard in English movies at emotional points in the films. The composition is also very inspirational, and lovable. This it might take a while to grow on you, when it does, you will find it really worthy of hearing again and again. Of course, the calmness it imparts, helps increase its likability. Mikey’s arrangements, consist mostly of instruments like guitars, jingle bells, and drums played in a calm way, unlike they are usually played. A great string orchestra has been appointed by Mikey to make it sound more grand, and indeed it does sound so. A very efficient backing chorus led by Mikey, increases the effect of the song even more! Prasoon Joshi, yet again, writes great lyrics, again putting us into a state of awe. His lyrics are at the inspirational peak! And so creative! He has used metaphors to carry out what is really meant to be said. Motivational, they give a sense of happiness as well. Mikey’s beautiful composition, rendered wonderfully by Rachel Varghese, and put to Prasoon Joshi’s awe-inspiring lyrics! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

4. Meri Aadat Mera Hissa
Singer ~ Anushka Manchanda, Music by ~ Mikey McCleary, Lyrics by ~ Prasoon Joshi

A mellow and sombre guitar riff, welcomes us into the next song, sung by Anushka Manchanda, who has worked with Mikey quite a number of times in his Bartender albums (which feature revisitations of classic Bollywood hits) This time, she gets a haunting, sad type of song, and she, who I always have tagged as strictly a club singer, carries it out with such perfection, that I was left awestruck, hearing this avatar of her voice. She has done a commendable job and has done justice to Mikey’s grave composition. Talking more about his composition, it has the perfect seriousness and emotion to it, that the lyrics call for, and also, the haunting tone of it, makes it much more feasible. Mikey has infused the right amounts of soul and heart into it, to make it attract all kinds of music lovers. The arrangements part has nothing except a chilling, sombre guitar riff which keeps playing throughout the whole song. It really does wonders, this small guitar loop, and makes the composition, which probably might not have worked as much without it, stand out. Prasoon manages to make us go all praise for his lyrics, one more time!! By writing what is in his heart, he manages to win over our hearts! Of course, the shining star in this short 2½ minute song, is Anushka, without whom half the effect of this song wouldn’t have been accomplished. A haunting, grave composition, rendered emotionally and perfectly by Anushka Manchanda! Great writing by Prasoon yet again! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

5. I Need A Man
Singer ~ Vivienne Pocha, Music by ~ Mikey McCleary, Lyrics by ~ Mikey McCleary

Just as the jazzy trombones and saxophones start this song, you know that you are going to go on a short, but memorable trip to the Jazz era of the 60s. And indeed, this song does exactly that! Sung fully in English, in Broadway-styled vocals, like we hear in all those old English movies from the 50s-60s and also in many Disney movies (😃) this song, lively, energetic and dynamic, does nothing but get you swaying and moving along with it. Vivienne Pocha, mostly known for her backing vocals in many Bollywood movies, and also heard in songs like ‘Shano Shano’ (Yuvvraaj) & ‘Loser’ (Housefull), renders this song with such unbelievable energy, that you really are left shocked by the time it ends. Her accent closely resembles that of the African-American singers who actually used to sing such songs, and she really has to be applauded for that! Her voice modulation is terrific, and her energy doesn’t seem to be drained out even after such vivacious singing! Kudos to her again for that! The arrangements also resemble a lot, the Jazz-Cabaret era of that time, with drums, saxophones, trombones, all placed in the song perfectly and played very playfully. The playful tune also helps to increase the song’s appeal. It will surely appeal to those looking for a change in the music of Bollywood. Mikey’s lyrics are nothing too great, either, but suit the theme and the style of the song. What matters is, that the song should be liked by one and all, and I really hope it is! Vivienne Pocha finally comes into the limelight with a song to call her very own, thanks to Mikey!! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

6. Don’t Go Running Off Anytime Soon
Singer ~ Mikey McCleary, Music by ~ Mikey McCleary, Lyrics by ~ Mikey McCleary

The next song, is another English one, this time out-and-out romantic. Well, Bollywood seems to have derived a whole formula for romantic songs, what with the whole Arijit revolution having happened and all, but this song doesn’t follow that formula at all. Nevertheless, it still has the same vibe and lovable aspect to it, which makes you smile and like it instantly. First of all, Mikey has kept things very simple, with a very sweet and straightforward composition, no twists and turns, very predictable, yet a winner. It is a song, the type of which we have never witnessed in Bollywood, wholly in English, romantic, no Indian instruments, only a simple tune backed by simple acoustic guitar riffs. The sweetness and simplicity of it all, is the USP of the song here. Sweet and cute lyrics by Mikey enhance the hearing experience (I don’t mean audio-quality-wise, but I mean that you would love the song even more). Lines such as “You’re Little Miss Organized and I’m Mr. Mess” and “You yell at me whenever I leave stuff in the sink.” make it seem all the more simple, and also less and less cinematic and dramatic. It sounds as of someone in real-life has composed it for his love, and not for a movie. That just makes it more magical as ever. Mikey’s thin voice works in favour of the song. His voice is really great, and attracts listeners, ensuring they have their attention completely towards the song for the whole time. Just as the previous two songs, this one too ends before we know it, and before we want it to. As Leonardo da Vinci said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication!” And this song is sophisticated in all aspects, just because of the simplicity it, so innocently, carries! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

7. Aai’s Aalap
Singer ~ Rajnigandha Shekhawat, Music by ~ Mikey McCleary

We return to India, with the next track. Rajnigandha Shekhawat, Sufi singer from Rajasthan, carries out the aalaps in the song with perfection, and her voice actually suits as the voice of a distressed mother. (Aai means ‘mother’ in Marathi). She does a brilliant job as she carries the song on her shoulders, assisted by wonderful arrangements done by Mikey. The predominant instrument in the track is the piano, which makes the track showcase a wonderful fusion of classical and Western. Tanpura At places also has been placed well, and the sitar also sounds awesome when it is heard in pieces here and there. Towards the end, the low sound of a cello or viola impresses, after which a beautiful plucking sound endears us. Overall, the song gives out an emotional feeling, one that will surely be loved by all. With nothing much more to describe in this track, as it has no lyrics, and no tune as such, all that can be advised is, to definitely hear this track! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

8. Laila’s Theme
Music by ~ Mikey McCleary

Bollywood’s obsession with ‘themes’ of the main character of its movies continues with this song. Although, there’s nothing not to like in this instrumental piece. The piano notes, played in such a dulcet, calm way, do the job of keeping the listeners with their ears glued to wherever they’re listening to the song from. The beats join in after a while, and make the theme a bit more lively and groovy (as in, to which you can nod your heads to, not get up and dance!) Strings join in later on, just to increase the already magical ambience that had been created thanks to pianos and the beats. The theme also ends soon, as it seems, as you get immersed into the beauty of it all. However, everything has to end, and this ends too,unfortunately. Mikey’s cute composition and arrangements make it very worthwhile to hear. Many people steer clear of instrumentals, but this is one, I bet you don’t want to miss for anything!! #5StarHotelSong!!


Margarita With A Straw ended up exceeding all the expectations I had in mind for it, giving beautiful quality music, one after the other. Joi Barua as the guest composer gives a lively and funky rock song, while Mikey McCleary delivers his career best in my opinion (because he almost always gets one or two songs in multi-composer albums) by giving us a whole lot of variety, right from Caribbean folk, to Broadway, to contemporary music. No wonder he won the Asian Awards for this album. It was really worth it, and each and every second of this album deserves your attention, right away! It also needs to be heavily promoted to be noticed at all, by the public! So if you’ve not yet tried it, immediately go and taste this wonderfully blended music all cocktail by Mikey McCleary, Joi Barua & Prasoon Joshi!

 

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: The order on the jukebox attached above! 😃 Because all are equally great!

 

Which is your favourite song from Margarita With A Straw? Please vote for it below! 🙂

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4 thoughts on “BEAUTIFULLY BLENDED MUSICAL COCKTAIL!!! (MARGARITA WITH A STRAW – Music Review)

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