INNOVATIVE! EMOTIONAL! ENJOYABLE! EXPERIMENTAL! BEAUTIFUL! (SARBJIT – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Amaal Mallik, Tanishk Bagchi, Jeet Gannguli, Shashi-Shivamm, Shail-Pritesh
♪ Lyrics by: Rashmi-Virag, Sandeep Singh, A.M. Turaz, Jaani, Late Haider Najmi & Arafat Mehmood
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 29th April 2016
♪ Movie Releases On: 20th May 2016

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Sarbjit Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Sarbjit is an upcoming Bollywood biographic drama film, starting Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Randeep Hooda, Richa Chadda and Darshan Kumar. The film is directed by ‘Mary Kom’ fame Omung Kumar, and produced by Vashu Bhagnani, Bhushan Kumar, Sandeep Singh, Omung Kumar, Deepshikha Deshmukh, Krishan Kumar, Jackky Bhagnani and Rajesh Singh. The film portrays the struggle of Sarabjit Singh (Randeep Hooda), an Indian national who was convicted of terrorism and spying by a Pakistani court, through the eyes of his sister, Dalbir Kaur (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan). Sarabjit’s wife, Sukhpreet is played by Richa Chadda. Sarbjit’s sister Dalbir fought with the Pakistani Government for nearly 23 years before Sarbjit being declared as innocent. Sarbjit’s case is fought by Awais Sheikh (Darshan Kumar). The film narrates the heart-wrenching story of Sarabjit and his sister and wife. In ‘Mary Kom’, I remember how I was expecting barely four songs, and I got the surprise of seven songs, and a stellar album (scoring a सां on the blog). Here, I expected many songs, because it’s natural looking at the long list of music directors. I expected a maximum of seven songs, and lo and behold! I get ten! 😀 I don’t know where so many songs will go in a biopic, but I can assume one thing for sure, that the songs will be mind blowing just like ‘Mary Kom’, which made me believe that Omung Kumar has a very great music sense. There are five entities, and seven people behind the music this time, and all have had successful stints in the past. The first is Amaal Mallik (with one song); I don’t have to introduce him, do I? And I don’t need to tell you about his past hits, because you already know! So I expect a lot from his as usual. The next is Jeet Gannguli, also with one song, who didn’t quite impress this year with ‘Sanam Re’, but impressed with his single in ‘One Night Stand’, so expecting a good one here too! The next composers are duo Shail-Pritesh, with their Bollywood debut. Shall Hada and Pritesh Mehta have been assistants of Sanjay Leela Bhansali, so again, expecting good music, if not great! Also, their maiden Marathi album ‘Carry On Maratha’ last year was spectacular! And they have five songs… So that explains it. 😀 Tanishk Bagchi, who scored this year with ‘Bolna’ (Kapoor & Sons), and had one of the greatest hits of last year ‘Banno’ (Tamu Weds Many Returns), has two songs in this album. Expectations are a lot from this youngster too! Last but definitely not the least, both the composers from ‘Mary Kom’, Shashi Suman and Shivamm Pathak, come together for a song, having worked separately in ‘Mary Kom’. Why would I expect great things from them, either? 😀 So, with this huge album’s huge introduction, I know you are already exhausted, but there’s lots more… Sorry!! 😀 Read on to see how emotionally right the album of ‘Sarbjit’ is!! 🙂


1. Salamat
Singers ~ Arijit Singh & Tulsi Kumar, Music by ~ Amaal Mallik, Lyrics by ~ Rashmi-Virag

Amaal gets to open the album, and wow! He takes full advantage of the fact that he has only one song in such a huge album, by giving something spectacularly good. To start with, electric guitars give a single blare, quickly followed by wonderful sarangi, harmonium and beautiful sparkling sounds. This is just the beginning of the soulful arrangements. The splendid arrangements continue throughout the whole song, and never fail to catch your attention. It is Amaal’s composition, though, which plays the lead role in the song, and that’s how it should always be! Have a strong composition, and the rest falls in place all by itself (of course, there are some exceptions!). A soulful song, with every note touching your heart deeply, is probably the best thing that you could ever find in an album. What’s more, Amaal composed it owhen he was just 17 years old! What a remarkable feat, because the composition is his most mature composition EVER, and it deserves nothing but many rounds of applause, which would also seem less. The antara, though, is the same tune as the ‘Hero’ theme song. 😀 Loved how Amaal incorporated that here! Going the Himesh way, who put ‘Desi Beat’ (Bodyguard) into ‘Son Of Sardaar’ title song, and ‘Main Jahaan Rahoon’ (Namastey London) into ‘Lonely’ (Khiladi 786). 😀 Amaal goes the traditional way for arrangements, of course, adding some modern twists, to create a pan-generational appeal. What I have to endlessly praise, is that, even though he has added some modern elements, like electric guitars and all, he has made sure not to go overboard, and that is what I appreciate about him —  he knows how much is right, and the songs are perfectly done. Traditional instruments include the tablas, woodwinds (they sound oh so beautiful!!!), dafli, harmonium and so many more instruments just making small cameos. The first interlude has a traditional string instrument which has been amplified and made to sound like an electric guitar, while the second interlude has been decorated wisely with the flutes. The flutes have to get a special mention for being used so beautifully all throughout the song, especially the last time the hookline is sung. Speaking about vocals, Arijit sounds as majestic as ever, possibly even more, and his low-pitched voice which I never like, suddenly appealed to me a lot! Tulsi, too, sings exceptionally well! She must sing like this more often!! Both of them score great together again, after ‘Soch Na Sake’ (Airlift). Rashmi and Virag write some soulful romantic lyrics, typical Bollywood style, but still appealing, especially the different words in the hookline each time. What a brilliant start to the album by Amaal! Amaal’s most mature composition hands-down! And the flutes!! 😘 #5StarHotelSong!!

 

2. Dard
Singer ~ Sonu Nigam, Music by ~ Jeet Gannguli, Lyrics by ~ Rashmi-Virag & Jaani

The next song starts similarly, with the sarangi notes touching each corner of the heart and making our eyes watery. (Okay, that’s exaggeration.. 😝) Anyway, the instrument always sounds very majestic, and so, it is an appreciated start to the song. Jeet composes this one, with Sonu behind the mic, ready to stun the audiences again. Jeet’s composition is totally emotional and it will make you emotional, especially when you try to sing along. The line ‘Jo tujhe lagta baarish hai, woh main hoon jo ro-oon’, has been crafted soooooo beautifully! I loved that line so much, it can’t be explained in words. The whole song, in fact, seems to be composed really carefully, unlike today’s timepass songs that are composed in seconds by adding techno beats and a repetitive rhythm, and become super-duper hits. Jeet has given such a composition last year too, with ‘Hamari Adhuri Kahani’ title song. He knows how to make songs emotional and heart-touching even if they sound overdramatic sometimes. Yes, this song does sound a bit too dramatic, but Jeet has somehow managed to make it very lovable! Both the mukhda and antara share this property. There is a paragraph that comes once in the song, and it is the peak point of the song, like the climax of a movie. The instrumentation suddenly intensifies there and the vocals go high-pitched and also, the composition is more intense there. This paragraph is “Pankh agar hote…” Marvelous! Jeet’s arrangements in the song are spectacular. Acoustic guitars, sarangi, cello, dafli and violins make up the main arrangements. Digital beats support the whole song. Sonu’s voice never disappoints me, and it appeals here too. He has one of those magical voices that nobody can ever match. He renders Jeet’s heart-wrenching composition with so much ease, that it is unbelievable, but believable only because it’s him! By the way, I can totally imagine Rahat Fateh Ali Khan singing this one; if only there was a reprise! Rashmi-Virag and Jaani team up to write brilliantly heart touching lyrics, and since they’re so good, I don’t care that it took three people to write them! It makes perfect sense, in fact. 🙂 A wonderful song from Jeet; I consider it as one of his best! And with it, the album gets yet another #5StarHotelSong!!

 

3. Tung Lak
Singers ~ Sukhwinder Singh, Sunidhi Chauhan, Shail Hada & Kalpana Gandharv, Backing Vocals ~ Deepti Rege, Mayuri Patwardhan, Roshni, Hargun, Music by ~ Shail-Pritesh, Lyrics by ~ Sandeep Singh

Shail-Pritesh step in for the next song, which will be their Bollywood debut song. The duo get an upbeat Punjabi bhangra number, which is pretty heavy for a celebratory song. I’ll explain. The song starts off with a high-pitched couplet sung by Shail, which is highly impressive. Then the song starts off, complete with the typical bhangra noises made from the mouth, which is impossible to explain. 😄 The hookline is catchy, but doesn’t have a universal appeal. The composition is, as I said, heavy on the ears. And a celebratory song should be light! The makers have tried to recreate the magic of ‘Gallan Goodiyaan’ (Dil Dhadakne Do), but that had a prominent modern sound to it, and hence appealed even though it was kind of heavy. I have to applaud the efforts, though! The duo has included many twists and turns in the composition, and it is quite difficult to understand what’s going on. Arrangements are awesome, with typical Punjabi dhols, dhadd, nagada, tumbi and the vocal sounds. There is a weird dubstep treatment in one paragraph, which leaves you wondering, “Is this 1990 (the time period of the movie, or rather, the starting period of the movie) or 2015?” The singers are spot-on with their rendition, though. Sukhwinder Singh never disappoints in such songs, and singing such a fast-paced composition with so much energy, is not an easy feat! Kudos to him! Sunidhi Chauhan sounds like what she sounded in the 2000s, maybe because the song sounds like that. The song also has a 90s feel (it’s supposed to, but I don’t think that’s deliberate! :P) Shail is good in additional vocals, while Kalpana (The Haryanvi ‘Old School Girl’ from ‘Tanu Weds Manu Returns’ singer) has a rap portion which she handles well, but again, it seems out of place. The lyrics are celebratory, and suit the occasion, but not so amusing as they were meant to be. The song has left me in a fix. I don’t seem to understand it. It seems a mishmash of tunes of various Punjabi songs, and it’s WAY TOO COMPLEX for a celebratory song!

 

4. Rabba
Singer ~ Shafqat Amanat Ali, Music by ~ Tanishk Bagchi, Lyrics by ~ Arafat Mehmood

Young composer Tanishk steps in with his first song of the album, and brings in Shafqat Amanat Ali, a voice we’ve not heard for quite some time now. The song is a melancholic song composed on a Middle-Eastern template, of which the beats are groovy. The composition itself, I found a bit overdramatic at places. It has quite a dated feel to it, but Shafqat takes it higher with his deep and silky vocals. Tanishk tries to do justice to the theme of the movie, but the composition is not something that you would call catchy. Arrangements are good, with flutes, santoor and some electric guitars too. However, again, they are heard-before and turn out to make the composition pretty dull and make it sound more monotonous. The antara gets really boring at a particular moment, and at that time, it seems like a task to continue with the song. The lyrics too, are not very impressive. Backing vocals seem to be trying hard to impress, but don’t. An exhausting composition, whose saving grace is Shafqat’s vocals and the Middle-Eastern template (a bit).

 

5. Meherbaan
Singers ~ Sukhwinder Singh, Shail Hada & Munnawar Masoom, Music by ~ Shail-Pritesh, Lyrics by ~ A.M. Turaz

Take a look at the singers and you get no prizes for guessing that the song is a Qawwali. Shail-Pritesh have done a wonderful job at composing a Qawwali that follows the traditional template, and also hooks you. Sukhwinder, again using his magical voice, starts off the song, to be joined by Munnawar in the AdLib. And after that, the real fun part of every Qawwali starts, when the tablas start all of a sudden, and everything falls into perfect rhythm. A wonderful sitar-tabla jugalbandi has been showcased by the duo, and that is what invokes the “waaah”, at the sheer beauty of it all. The duo has used such beautiful arrangements all throughout the Qawwali! Following the regular Qawwali template, they still manage to give something innovative, by using no, or very little, harmonium! I mean, I thought a Qawwali is nothing without a harmonium! This Qawwali, however, relies on the sitar mostly to do its job. And boy, does it work! The rapid way in which the sitar is played, it would take sheer concentration and talent to do that! And the duo is full of that, it seems! The composition, like all Qawwalis, will not appeal to all, but to me, it sounded realllly catchy. The hookline sounds better because of the arrangements, otherwise, such a simple hookline wouldn’t sound so good in a Qawwali. However, the other parts have been composed very well! Especially the line before the hookline, “Toh phir karde khatam yeh jo sarhad hai hamaare darmiyaan”. Wow!! What a stupendous tune! And it provides a seamless transition from the mukhda to the hookline. On the vocals front, Sukhwinder fortunately handles the most part of the song. Munnawar & Shail too have a good number of parts, yet it feels like Sukhwinder is that main singer, the one who sits in front of all the rest in a baithak. 😂😂 Towards the end, all three do a great jugalbandi, withh Munnawar and Sukhwinder handling aalaaps, Shail handling the hookline. And towards the end, this Qawwali breaks into full bhangra mode for some reason, with dhols and the nagada. Turaz’s lyrics are apt for a Qawwali, and like all Qawwalis, they are situational words, and suits a devotional Qawwali. A great harmonium-less Qawwali, with a great trio of singers, and a beautiful composition from the duo! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

6. Barsan Laagi
Singer ~ Shail Hada, Music by ~ Shail-Pritesh, Lyrics by ~ A.M. Turaz

A wonderful, feel-good sitar solo starts off the song, with Shail’s aalaaps accompanying it. Once he starts singing the real composition, you can’t help but go “Wooooowww!!!” Atleast, that’s what I felt! The song is a breath of fresh air after the heavy songs of the album up till now. Shail-Pritesh’s composition is sooooo beautiful, I really felt like it was one of Rahman’s 2000s compositions, and I also felt like it was one of those beautiful Lata Mangeshkar songs from the 1950s! There is a lot of magic in the composition, and when songs make you feel rejuvenated and refreshed, you have got to notice that there is a certain spark of magic in them. This song is one of those. The duo has put before us an exquisite, radiant, semi-classical composition, which is really hard to dislike. The hookline, which has nothing to do with the title of the song, “Aaj malang nu savran de, Khushiyon da pani barsan de”, is just simply charming. The antaras are sweet, but definitely not simple, nevertheless they shine like gems in the song. About the arrangements, what can I say?? They are just too captivating and enchanting for me to say anything. The aforementioned sitar has a prominent part, in both a low pitch and high pitch, and acoustic guitars have been used well in the hookline, along with ravishing strings. The matka sounds exceptionally sweet, too! There are shehnais at places too, waiting to astonish you with their wonderful sound. Shail’s vocals are beautiful too! No wonder he was Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s favourite! His voice has the right texture — a mix of rustic and smoothness. Turaz yet again, writes marvelous lyrics! A feel-good song, which will really lift up your mood! Shail-Pritesh excel in the composition, arrangements and Shail sing is it out beautifully! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

7. Allah Hu Allah
Singers ~ Altamash Faridi, Shashaa Tirupati & Rabbani Mustafa, Additional Vocals by ~ Arsh Mohammed & Supriya Pathak, Music by ~ Tanishk Bagchi, Lyrics by ~ Late Haider Najmi (Traditional), Additional Lyrics by ~ Arafat Mehmood

Tanishk’s next song is a fusion Qawwali, with a striking rock template. After a mediocre song, ‘Rabba’, he impresses highly with this second song of his. First of all, the composition is really complicated, yet it has the appeal to all kinds of people, especially music lovers! Many twists and turns in the composition ensure it to appeal even more. The chorus “Apna kar lijo mohe, daras de dijo mohe, karam kar dijo mope” has been composed so beautifully, it is impossible not to like it. And the whole song is just as likable and soulful. Each line holds something new in store, and the fact that it has been composed on the roopak taal, with seven beats, increases its attractiveness manifold for me. To me, that rhythm sounds very classy and I love any song composed on it! The offbeat treatment done in the antara, where the words don’t necessarily fit right into the rhythm, has turned out really beautiful. Arrangements are beautiful too. Qawwali instruments like tablas, harmonium, and then simple clapping blended gracefully with modern styles of music like rock with the rock guitars, drums, make for a very interesting listen. It sounds very enticing as long as it plays. The bulbultarang too, sounds great in the beginning. However, the tablas are what won my heart over. 😍 They have been beautifully done, and the rock guitars complement them BEAUTIFULLYYY! A wonderful flute interlude is not to be missed, either. Vocals are spot-on, and the two male singers can’t really be differentiated, while Shashaa sings only in the chorus with them; most of the song is a chorus song, though. Haider Najmi’s traditional lyrics have been really well-used, and thank God they have been used so wonderfully, while Arafat writes apt new lyrics too. So Tanishk makes up for his mediocre song with this highly awe-inspiring song! IMPRESSIVE is all I can say!! The Rock-Qawwali has never been done so well, without sounding too filmy! A winner in all departments! I can hear this one on loop! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

8. Mera Junoon
Singer ~ Shail Hada, Music by ~ Shail-Pritesh, Lyrics by ~ A.M. Turaz

The Sikh devotional song ‘Jo Mange Thakur’ starts off this song, along with some flutes plauign around the vocals. Shail-Pritesh’s fourth song, this one is a melancholic song but motivating nevertheless. The composition is painfully soulful, and touches the heart, quite unusually. Usually, such songs seem overdramatic, but here, the emotions have been well woven into the song, so as to make it seem justified. And it sounds a lot like a Sanjay Leela Bhansali composition. This composition too, has many twists and turns, so making it pretty difficult to follow it, yet striking some chord somewhere with the listeners. Especially the hookline, is something stellar. Shail’s heart-touching rendition makes the song all the more believable, and the spectacular lyrics by Turaz describe the determination and passion of a sister, still looking for her brother, even after so many failures. And Shail has brought the lyrics to life with his lively rendition. Arrangements done by the duo are fabulous as well. The percussion rhythm playing all throughout the song is the base of the song, while flutes and woodwinds join occasionally, only to add more magic into the already magical ambience. The guitars too, have been played well. As I said earlier, A.M. Turaz has written motivating lyrics that describe the feelings of a very strong-willed person. Another complete package! This is how melancholia should ideally be portrayed! Perfect! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

9. Nindiya
Singer ~ Arijit Singh, Music by ~ Shashi-Shivamm, Lyrics by ~ Sandeep Singh

Shashi Suman and Shivamm Pathak, the two masterminds behind the ‘Mary Kom’ album, come together for a single song, after having worked separately in that album. In ‘Mary Kom’, Shashi had composed a simple, sweet lullaby, ‘Chaoro’, which had been beautifully sung by Priyanka Chopra. This time, Shashi, along with Shivamm, goes a step further and cranks it up a notch higher. The composition this time is really complex and layered, unlike the one-dimensional lullaby that ‘Chaoro’ was. This one has many dimensions. On one note it sounds sweet and simple, while on the next, it suddenly sounds haunting. I really get the goosebumps WHENEVER I hear this song, no matter how many times I’ve heard it before. It has this magical feel to it, and this time, the magical feel surpasses the magical feel of all the other songs of the album — it actually sounds realistic! I really can’t explain it all, but you will have to hear it yourself! It is just a spectacular song from the two! Arijit’s vocals are a brilliant choice; when he sings in the soft and husky voice, his voice sounds really soothing, so here’s anothter thing in favour of the duo. Arrangements are splendid too. Strings make up most of the arrangements, be it violins or folk instruments. Other sound effects like chimes have been used properly to make the song sound like a lullaby, with the harp pitching in at places! The flute too, helps in making the song something to hear again and again. Sandeep Singh’s lyrics are calming too, and with the composition, it sounds even better! At under three minutes, this is the song that stands tall above them all! That’s all I can tell you!! For further information, hear the song!!! BRILLIANCE AT ITS PEAK! 👌👌 #5StarHotelSong!!

 

10. Sarbjit (Theme)
Vocals ~ Shail Hada, Music by ~ Shail-Pritesh

With all those extraordinary songs, there should be an instrumental theme to top it off, right? I mean, albums sound complete with an instrumental! 😀 So, the makers of ‘Sarbjit’ decide to give an instrumental theme to finish off the album. Shail-Pritesh manage to make a haunting piece of music, with the strings playing the major role in it. The sarangi in a very low pitch handle almost everything in the track. The percussion beats in the background are catchy too. Shail pitches in with some ravishing vocals and it sounds even better. Towards the end, the song starts going uphill until it reaches a climactic part where brass, strings and percussion all meet each other at their respective majestic bests. A three minute instrumental that will transport you to the BGM of any Sanjay Leela Bhansali movie, and also, a ravishing finish to the album by Shail-Pritesh, the stars of the album! #5StarHotelSong!!


Albums like Sarbjit are very rare nowadays. The makers of ‘Sarbjit’ have really been very brave by having such an album. By “such”, I mean an album which isn’t afraid of not being noticed, an album which clearly doesn’t rely on commercial stuff, and treads its own path, ignorant of the hullabaloo around it. Not all of the songs would appeal to the masses, except maybe ‘Salamat’ and ‘Dard’. The others are strictly instrumental in carrying the story forward. And that’s what I appreciated about the album. Innovative! Emotional! Enjoyable! Experimental! Beautiful!

 

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 {Ohhh this is gonna be tough!!}Nindiya > Allah Hu Allah > Salamat = Dard > Barsan Laagi > Meherbaan > Mera Junoon > Sarbjit (Theme) > Tung Lak > Rabba

 

Which is your favourite song from Sarbjit? Please vote for it below!! Thanks! 🙂

 

Next: A Surprise! 😀

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4 thoughts on “INNOVATIVE! EMOTIONAL! ENJOYABLE! EXPERIMENTAL! BEAUTIFUL! (SARBJIT – Music Review)

  1. The best multicomposer album of recent times..And after hearing all the techno/rap songs recently,This classically soothing album was like an oasis in the desert.
    Your review was just like the album,which had so many lengthy songs but still brilliant.So many lengthy reviews of so many songs,still I enjoyed every single word 😀 Great job bhau!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Phew ! Now this one was really exhausting. But definitely worth the time i took to read this one. Thanx for reviewing it in such a detailed manner 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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