Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Pritam Chakraborty
♪ Lyrics by: Amitabh Bhattacharya & Kausar Munir
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 10th August 2015
♪ Movie Released On: 28th August 2015
To hear the full songs of this album on Saavn CLICK HERE
To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE
Phantom is a Bollywood action thriller film, starring Saif Ali Khan and Katrina Kaif in the lead roles. The film is directed by Kabir Khan, fresh from the success of his ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’, and produced by Sajid Nadiadwala and Siddharth Roy Kapur. The film is loosely based on Hussain Zaidi’s novel, ‘Mumbai Avengers’, which was based on the aftermath of the 26/11 attacks on Mumbai. It opened to mixed reviews from the public, but what have I got to do with that?? I’m only concerned about one thing — the music! And the music for this film is by none other than Pritam Chakraborty, working with Kabir Khan for the second album in a row! After the commercial success of both the album and film ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’, I couldn’t wait to see what this one had to offer. Also, this was the last album Pritam had composed before going on that long one-year break, which interestingly released after ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’! 😀 The album consists of three songs, with one of them appearing in four versions, so one hopes that since not quantity, it will definitely offer the be in terms of quality! Short soundtracks in Bollywood have usually proved themselves this way! So, let’s tale a look at what Pritam has to offer to the music lovers out there, with this short soundtrack! 🙂
1. Afghan Jalebi (Ya Baba) / Afghan Jalebi (Film Version) / Ya Baba (Fitna Farebi) / Afghan Jalebi (Dumbek Version)
Singers ~ Syed Asrar Shah & Akhtar Channal / Akhtar Channal / Nakash Aziz / Akhtar Channal, Lyrics by ~ Amitabh Bhattacharya
Pritam discovers a new singer, from Pakistan and gets him ready for a grand debut in Bollywood with this song. Syed Asrar Shah, or simply Asrar, has been roped in to do the honours with this song, and another man who we’ve heard in Coke Studio, Akhtar Channal accompanies him. The song is a whacky, zany song with those exotic Arabic arrangements and even the tune screams Arabic all the way. Claps and other techno arrangements grace the song in places. And not to mention the flute! It is what steals all your breath away! Wonderfully crafted! The first version, Ya Baba, has been laid on techno sounds, whereas the film version has a slight inclination towards rock and also folk, and the third version by Nakash has different lyrics but similar arrangements, while the last “Dumbek Version” is the one that intrigued me the most, with Pritam’s use of simply Afghani folk instruments. In all versions the singers excel, except in Nakash’s version, it seems that he was drained of all his energy before starting the recording. That makes it pretty dull, which isn’t ever expected from Nakash. The song is recorded such that it sounds as though the singers are actually singing live at some function on a mic. The tune is something that makes you say in an instant, “Bhai Waah!” Amitabh’s lyrics are just as zany and crazy and catchy and make a good camaraderie with the tune. All I can say is that, the superhit machine, Pritam, is now back in the true sense!! #5StarHotelSong!!
Singer ~ Arijit Singh, Lyrics by ~ Amitabh Bhattacharya
I’ve said it time and again, and here I’ll end up saying it again — there’s no one better than Pritam to bring out the best from Arijit. Leaving us before his year-long break with the album ‘Holiday’ containing three great songs by Arijit, all of different genres, and not using him in ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ after that, it is fair enough that he gives him a chance in this album. And that, he does! The first time you hear the song, you might not think that it is something extraordinary and might connect it to some of the other songs that have been releasing nowadays that fall into the same category of soft rock romantic ballads, sung by Arijit. But as you keep listening to it over and over again, you will definitely find something special in this song. The tune is way more deep and emotional than that superficially wannabe emotional tune that most of Arijit’s songs have lately. It touches the heart and makes you feel wonderful. Instrumentation by Pritam is no less beautiful. It starts off very entrancingly, and proceeds just as soothingly, with minimal arrangements until the first hookline is reached, when the impactful soft drums and guitars enter. Arijit’s voice sounds perfect for the song, and even though it is tailor-made for him, the song doesn’t invoke any feelings of disgust at him for singing the similar type of songs. Pritam’s composition is melancholic and very appealing, especially in the second antara, which has a different tune as the other stanzas of the song, more intense and soothing. The beautiful electric sitar before that stanza is sure to make those goosebumps instantly appear on your skin! Amitabh has yet again written unique words, something that most people wouldn’t really think of soon, and it shows that he must’ve taken some time to crack the lyrics, even though he is the literary genius that he is! Though the song stands over five minutes, it doesn’t seem like it is over when it is, because you just want to play it over and over on loop until you get satisfied, which I guess would be never!! Arijit and Pritam are an eternal combo, which can never go wrong, and they prove it yet again in this song!! Haunting!! #5StarHotelSong!!
Singer ~ Shahid Mallya, Lyrics by ~ Kausar Munir
The third (and last — :O ) song in the album makes it presence felt with a very unusual title for a song in such a movie — ‘Nachda’. One finds himself wondering what for such a name might be needed for a song in a political thriller film. Everything, however, gets cleared once the song starts. The song itself is a song with a captivating, thrilling tune, that plays on loop throughout the song, not sounding monotonous even for one moment inspite of the repetitions! Shahid Mallya, who had been brought into the limelight by Pritam himself four years ago with ‘Rabba Main Toh Mar Gaya Oye’ (Mausam), joins hands with Pritam again after many collaborations after that, and together, they give us a track that is worth cherishing, due to the thrilling and hooking tune that Pritam has so expertly crafted. The intense and haunting antaras are the only parts when the tune diverts from the otherwise ever-prevailing loop tune that makes up the whole song, and makes for a pleasant diversion from that hook tune. Especially the high-pitched first antara, gives you the chills that run down your spine. Pritam also scores full marks with the orchestration, with the Arabic-flavoured Oud taking the predominant role in the arrangements, only to be supported by other instruments occasionally, like the wonderfully pleasing Middle-Eastern percussion and electric guitars. The song is the only song not written by Amitabh Bhattacharya in the album, instead, it has been penned by Kausar Munir, another lady who can’t stop impressing with her words, following Priya Saraiya closeby. She uses pure Punjabi words to convey her thoughts, and ends up conveying them very effectively. Something very devotional and spiritual is hidden behind those words that she has written, making the song sound really powerful. A perfect song to end the album with, and also my personal favourite from the album! Haunting, captivating and a very effective grand finale to a short album! #5StarHotelSong!!!
Phantom is the true comeback of Pritam — the Pritam who I remember had gone on a break, who would churn out catchy yet melodious music with a snap of his fingers. And this album seems to be a collection of just that! Pritam at his best, with all the songs appealing and catering to a certain portion of the audience — ‘Afghan Jalebi’ and its variants for the masses, ‘Saware’ for the lovebirds and ‘Nachda’ for the classes. With such a short soundtrack, it was sure that the songs wouldn’t have much to do with the promotions, and have been placed only for valid reasons. However, the one massy song has managed to gather the popularity that it required! After a totally massy ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’, with Pritam not quite into his regular form, this ‘Phantom’ proves that the former Pritam is still there, just waiting for yet another masterpiece to deliver!! A masterpiece by Pritam, haunting and thrilling to the core!!
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: Nachda > Saware > Afghan Jalebi (Dumbek Version) > Afghan Jalebi (Film Version) > Afghan Jalebi (Ya Baba) > Ya Baba (Fitna Farebi)
Which is your favourite song from Phantom? Please vote for it below! 🙂
And once again, thanks for bearing with me — I know how EARLY I’ve posted this review! 😝 🙂