THE THREE-MAN ARMY IMPRESSES!! (LAAL RANG – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Vipin Patwa, Mathias Duplessy & Shiraz Uppal
♪ Lyrics by: Mange Ram Koch, Dushyant Kumar, Shakeel Sohail, Kausar Munir & Vikas Kumar
Kumar
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 5th April 2016
♪ Movie Releases On: 22nd April 2016

Laal Rang Abum Cover

Laal Rang Abum Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Laal Rang is an upcoming Bollywood action thriller starring Randeep Hooda, Piaa Bajpai, Akshay Oberoi, Rajneish Duggall and Meenakshi Dixit. The film is directed by ‘Youngistaan’ director Syed Ahmad Afzal and produced by Nitika Thakur. The movie is a story revolving around friendship and brotherly love and it is set in Haryana. Without getting into the complex details of the plot, let me introduce the music composers, what I’m actually supposed to be writing about. 😀 This movie has music by ‘Finding Fanny’ composer Mathias Duplessy, this year’s ‘Bollywood Diaries’ composer Vipin Patwa, and singer-composer Shiraz Uppal. Mathias leads the way with three songs to his credit, Vipin having two songs with one having two versions, and Shiraz getting merely a single song. Mathias had scored a brilliant situational soundtrack for ‘Finding Fanny’ (two songs, technically) while Vipin gave me a pleasant surprise with his songs in ‘Main Aur Charles’ last year, and ‘Bollywood Diaries’ earlier this year. Shiraz Uppal has not really impressed me as a composer (except with ‘Data Di Diwaani’ from ‘Youngistaan’), so I don’t know what he has in store for me, and I would be glad if I’m surprised by him. 😀 So, let’s get this review started without further ado!


1. Bhaang Ragad Ke
Singers­­­ ~ Vipin Patwa & Vikas Kumar, Music by ~ Vipin Patwa, Lyrics by ~ Mange Ram Koch (Traditional)

Knowing that the film is a crime action thriller, I was expecting something of this sort coming my way, and little did I know it would be the very first song on the album! 😀 The song starts off with a techno sound joined after some time by a Punjabi styled tumbi, and a wonderful but short adlib by the singer, in a very impressive voice. The real song starts after that, right from the hookline itself. The hookline is really catchy, both in terms of tune and vocals too. The song is written completely in Haryanvi, and is actually a remake of a traditional devotional (I know, I’m shocked too.. 😂 ) song. However, Vipin has been made to re-style it so it suits to more of a Haryanvi gangster type feel. 😛 It is a weird song, and it definitely won’t appeal to all. It had me hooked for the first one or two minutes, but later on slowly loosened its grip on me. First of all, it has no universal appeal due to the Haryanvi lyrics. Secondly its length (5 minutes and 54 seconds) stretches to a bit too long, for such a song. I got bored after one antara. What I have to praise is Vikas and his energetic rendition. He seems to be a folk singer picked up from the vast stretches of Haryana itself. Vipin’s arrangements also cannot be praised enough. The rock template blended with Haryanvi folk sounds intriguing. But again being too repetitive, it becomes boring after some time. A decent start to the album, but a good twist to a traditional song to make it a gangster-ish song.

 

2. Bawli Booch
Singer ~ Vikas Kumar, Music by ~ Mathias Duplessy, Lyrics by ~ Dushyant Kumar

It’s Mathias Duplessy coming in with the next song, an offbeat romantic track with a brilliant folksy touch. A wonderful rhythm comprising tumbi, tabla and another folk string instrument, starts off the song and you instantly find yourself grooving to the weird rhythm. Mathias has composed a very sweet romantic song, which brings Haryanvi folk together with European folk, thanks to the wonderful magic created with the various types of instruments and the tune they’re played in. Vikas Kumar again sounds perfect in an outrightly folkish song, singing effortlessly, and striking a chord. Mathias has employed wonderful backing vocalists going “Ohhhh ahhh” who really play an important role in making the song as catchy as it is. The wonderful rhythm mentioned before never makes your attention drift elsewhere, which I think is an attribute of a superb song. It is a wonder how Mathias, being a French national, composes folk songs so beautifully and perfectly. He’s definitely going the Mikey McCleary way! Guitars and tablas and even violins contribute greatly to the attractive arrangements. A pure Qawwali-ish interlude is really quirky, because of some sound effects by a backing vocalist. More such backing vocalists add weird and quirky noises throughout the song. Dushyant Kumar’s lyrics, again have some Haryanvi limbo interspersed throughout them, but all in all, are understandable. Simple and sweet, an unconventional romantic track which has you hooked from the beginning, and is also catchy (which is quite unlike romantic tracks). Great start by Mathias! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

3. Mera Mann
Singers ~ Shiraz Uppal & Kashif Ali, Music by ~ Shiraz Uppal, Lyrics by ~ Shakeel Sohail

Next up is Shiraz Uppal’s song, who really has impressed me a lot with his stint in Bollywood as a singer, but not as much as a composer. For ‘Laal Rang’, he comes up with the second romantic track in the album, this time outrightly Bollywood in style. It is a Sufi track, the likes of which have been heard in Bollywood many times during the recent times, thanks to composers like Pritam, Vishal-Shekhar and even A.R. Rahman. Here comes a relatively new composer, with a song from the same family of romantic Sufi songs. A wonderful aalaap starts off the song, with female voices humming gracefully, making a wonderful first impression. A really high-pitched mukhda makes way for an abrupt and low-pitched hookline. There is a sort of noticeable difference in the transition to the hookline, which bowls you over for a second, but when you hear the hookline, it’s as if nothing ever bothered you, because of the magically composed hookline! Shiraz has composed a sweet, simple, heard-before type of song, but nevertheless, it strikes a chord with the listener. The duet between Shiraz and Kashif is really enchanting. Shiraz takes over the parts which require a soft and mellifluous voice like his, while Kashif seems to have taken charge over the folkish parts with a rough edge to his voice. Tablas and harmoniums are the prominent instrument in the rhythm that forms the base of the song, with guitars appearing in a completely Pritam-ish way. Even drums make a small cameo towards the beginning of the song. All in all, these different instruments make for a soothing listen. Shakeel Sohail’s are definitely nothing new or innovative as such, but with the simple composition, they go well and sound good. A PERFECT song in all departments, and easily Shiraz’s best as a composer! Wish there was a small female part too, though! 😀 #5StarHotelSong!!

 

4. Aye Khuda
Singers ~ Mukhtiyar Ali & Sameer Khan, Music by ~ Mathias Duplessy, Lyrics by ~ Kausar Munir

This one starts off with a harp played in a distinct ‘Finding Fanny’ way. I don’t know why, but I instantly got reminded of ‘Finding Fanny’ because of that harp. 😀 Mathias brings the European flavour back into the soundtrack after a heavenly Sufi song by Shiraz. The ‘Fanny Re’ singer features in this track along with a debutant Sameer Khan. Sameer starts off with Mukhtiyar joining him after a while. The song has a really soft feel, almost like an unplugged song. The harp sound is incessant throughout the song, and it is the thing that binds all other aspects of the song together, somehow. Sameer too has a slight folkish touch to his accent, but not full-fledged, making for an interesting voice. His voice texture has deliberately been made husky and it sounds awesome. Mukhtiyar who joins in later, has a bolder and louder voice, creating a larger impact than Sameer’s. Cello has a great role in the song too, and brass instruments join later on. A great orchestra is set up in the otherwise quiet song, towards the end. This part by itself is reason enough to hear the song continuously on loop! The composition has a slight mysterious and gloomy touch to it, as the lyrics talk about a distressed soul tired of the world. Towards the end, the gloomy touch gains intensity and that is the climax of the song — beautiful arrangements, and Mukhtiyar’s booming vocals accompanied by a wonderful symphony. Kausar’s lyrics are the highlight of the haunting situational track, and they’re really meaningful. Haunting to the core, with wonderful arrangements!! Great duet by the two male singers and for me, Mathias’s best composed track of all!!! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

5. Laali Dil Se
Singer ~ Sameer Khan, Music by ~ Mathias Duplessy, Lyrics by ~ Kausar Munir

This song, too starts off brilliantly. And when you have an extravagant start to a song, it is very easy to hook listeners for the rest of the song. Brisk strokes on a violin are a great way to start off a song. It has given a distinct European folk feel to the song, kind of Spanish-Portuguese, reminding one of ‘Sweeta’ (Kill/Dil). It is yet another angst-filled song, this time taking a turn towards the rock side. The castanets have been used very finely, and sound awesome! Mathias’s composition is not exactly catchy, in fact, it is quite heavy to the ears. Nevertheless, it has the power to impress you a lot. Sameer sounds different in this song from what he sounded in ‘Aye Khuda’, but it is a good difference. Mathias has done a splendid job with the arrangements, which I’ve talked a bit about above as well. Violins, electric guitars and drums, castanets, and wonderful interruptions by sarangi are the gist of the instrumentation. The part when Sameer breaks out into a angst-filled rant is really spectacular. His variations are beautiful too! Kausar’s lyrics suit the feel of the song, full of angst and fire. A song not as good as Mathias’s other two songs, but still does have an impact on you! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

6. Kharch Karod (Version 1) / Kharch Karod (Version 2)
Singers ~ Vikas Kumar / Vikas Kumar, Music by ~ Vipin Patwa, Lyrics by ~ Vikas Kumar

The last song in the album comes in two versions, each only about two and a half minutes long. The first one starts off in a tune that quite (okay, a lot) resembles that irritating “Yella yella yella yella” interlude from Sachin-Jigar’s ‘Jadoo Ki Jhappi’ (Ramaiya Vastavaiya). Well, OK. After that it turns into a clubbish track in which a guy tries to impress a girl. Harmoniums and techno sounds are the backbone of the song. The harmonium has been played in a typppppppical trademark Himesh Reshammiya… And that’s not a complaint! 😀 It sounds great. But the total club treatment sounds kind of out-of-place for the song (that you will understand on hearing the second version of the song) and it just makes the song sound like a Punjabi hip hop single. The composition though is awesome, by Vipin Patwa, with mischievous vocals by Vikas Kumar, who’s trying to establish the album as his own, apparently. The second version, or the “slow” version as named on YouTube, is way better than the first, as the song gets a complete makeover, in terms of the arrangements. Tumbi lures you into the song, and then brilliant bongo-congo has been played that just keeps up the great ambience. Vikas kicks in with great silky vocals (a surprise!) and sings the same tune, in such a way that it sounds as fresh as ever! Singing a fast song slowly really does make a great difference, but only the pace isn’t the reason why it sounds better. As I specified earlier, Vipin’s attractive arrangements are also responsible for the greatness of this version. Shakers are also there to keep us listening, and the tumbi never-endingly plays throughout the song, in a very attractive way. The lyrics are the same — they’re ordinary. Vipin saves the grand finale of the album by giving the song in the second version, and only the second version would be a #5StarHotelSong!!


Laal Rang — who would be expecting one great sing after the other in an album like this? This film literally came from nowhere, without much hype, and that’s fine, but the release date too, came like a shock (so early after the trailer released). Three composers who have impressed me with their early works, but they don’t really have a good number of movies to their credit, either. However, they seized this opportunity and made the best use of it as possible. Mathias scores a 100% with all three of his songs being highly impressive, and so does Shiraz with his one song. Vipin, however, takes the backseat here, with just one of his three tracks being extraordinary. Who ever thought this album would be SO good? I never did! Anyways, I’m happy that there is yet another dark horse album this month after ‘Love Games’. This three-man army has done a spectacular job!

 

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: Aye Khuda > Mera Mann > Kharch Karod (Version 2) > Bawli Booch > Laali Dil Se > Bhaang Ragad Ke > Kharch Karod (Version 1) 

 

Which is your favourite song from Laal Rang? Please vote for it below! 🙂

 

Next “dish”: Nil Battey Sannata, Chefs: Rohan-Vinayak

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4 thoughts on “THE THREE-MAN ARMY IMPRESSES!! (LAAL RANG – Music Review)

  1. Once again a gr8 review of a small yet appealing album. Hoping ur review gets in more listeners for this album, which may not even get listeners for it post film release. Keep It Up 👍

    Liked by 1 person

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