A REFRESHING ‘RAINBOW’ IN THIS HOT SUMMER!! (DHANAK – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Tapas Relia
♪ Lyrics by: Manoj Yadav, Mir Ali Husain & Tapas Relia
♪ Music Label: Junglee Music / Times Music
♪ Music Released On: 18th May 2016
♪ Movie Releases On: 17th June 2016

Dhanak Album Cover

Dhanak Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Dhanak (meaning ‘rainbow’) is an upcoming Bollywood road travel film, starring Hetal Gadda and Krish Chhabria in the lead roles of siblings, Pari and Chotu respectively. The film has been directed by Nagesh Kukunoor (director of ‘Iqbal’, ‘Dor’, ‘Mod’, ‘8×10 Tasveer’, ‘Aashayein’ and ‘Lakshmi’, to name a few), and it is produced by Manish Mundra, Nagesh Kukunoor and Elahe Hiptoola. The movie follows the journey of the two siblings. Pari has promised Chotu, her blind little brother, to help him get back his eyesight before he turns 10 years old. When she sees Shah Rukh Khan on a poster for an eye donation drive, she is convinced that the superstar will help her in her mission. 😀 So, the story seems interesting. Now, moving on to the music. Nagesh’s last film ‘Lakshmi’s music was also composed by the same person, and he had given a spectacular soundtrack, which I still hear today, two years later. The man, I believe, is extremely underrated in the Bollywood industry. And his name is Tapas Relia. This time, let’s see what Tapas has to offer, with his six songs!


1. Jeene Se Bhi Zyada Jeeyein
Singer ~ Shivamm Pathak, Lyrics by ~ Manoj Yadav

Tapas Relia starts off the album with a breezy, refreshing, folksy melody crooned beautifully by Shivamm Pathak. The song itself starts with a wonderful aalaap by Shivamm, followed by temple bells, a wonderful sarangi, and a wonderful folksy rhythm takes over within forty seconds. Guitar plucks, bagpipes, sarangi come together to make the song seem like a fusion of three cultures, three musical styles. Tapas’ composition is so mature, yet immature. It flushes you with new energy and re-energises you as soon as it starts playing. It is also very jolly-sounding and sure to make you nod your heads up and down. The hookline comes as a pleasant surprise; high-pitched, unlike the otherwise low-pitched song, and that makes it sound all the more beautiful. The rest of the song, too, has been crafted very beautifully, which shows the immense efforts put into it by Tapas. As I said before, the arrangements range from Rajasthani-flavoured sarangi to Irish-flavoured bagpipes, to a typical olden-day European jig, with the clapping of hands, making it sound very lively. This wide range of musical styles from all over the world make the song sound rich. Shivamm’s voice really surprised me. It was a great surprise for me when he sang the song in such a deep voice! He sounded almost like a mix of Papon and Sukhwinder Singh. He boldly sings the composition and brings a smile on your face.  Manoj Yadav’s lyrics too, work for the same cause. It is basically a song about living life to the fullest, and even more! The way the lyricist has given so many ideas of how to live life that way, makes me really want to do them, but that’s pretty far-fetched, isn’t it? Unfortunately. Hmmm. A vivacious song to start off the album, refresh you, and also brighten up your day. BEAUTIFUL! I would recommend you to hear it as soon as you wake up; it sounds all the more rejuvenating! This summer, this song is my ice-cream! #5StarHotelSong!! (can I give more? 😦 😦 )

 

2. Chal Chalein
Singers ~ Papon, Vibha Saraf & Shivamm Pathak, Lyrics by ~ Mir Ali Husain

The next song starts off with an unusual but lilting fusion of an almost neverending loop of a harp, with a regal trumpet. Papon’s smooth-as-silk voice switches your attention totally towards him, and then Vibha, who I only know as the singer of ‘O Soniye’ (Titoo MBA), starts off with a voice that seems less trained, less experienced, yet functional. At this moment, the song is in a comparatively low phase. But when the hookline starts for the first time, that is the magical part. After that, the song goes only on a climb uphill, and never comes back in that valley again. The composition is fantastic, and the orchestration is fabulous, and grand. With the hookline, a nice and groovy rhythm with guitar chords, and a cool Caribbean rhythm kicks in. At the same time, Shivamm Pathak kicks in with a totally Rajasthani-flavoured line; Tapas shows his brilliance in making two cultures meet, yet again. The idea is excellent, but what matters most is the execution, which is superb. Arrangements basically revolve around the Caribbean rhythm with bongo-Congo drums. Vibha gets an interesting solo portion in an antara, where you can hear a wonderful mandolin in the background. Arrangements pick up with royal strings and trumpets, but only yo go back to the Caribbean. 😀 This creativity is what I love in Bollywood, instead of the usual bleating of “goats” in romantic songs. A wonderful folk flute assortment leads a great tune in the song; whenever it plays, it just makes you feel so fresh. In fact, the whole song is unbelievably refreshing. The three singers are undoubtedly great, with the major portion of the sing belonging to Papon and Vibha as a duet, while Shivamm only sings a small, but awe-inspiring Rajasthani folk part. The duet portion is beautiful, too! Mir Ali Husain, who I think I’ve never heard of, comes up with an immensely meaningful and relatable piece of writing. Stuff like “iss raat Ki bhi hogi ek seher”, and “duniya mein aaye hai, Dil paaye hain; kyun na jeeyein?” restore my faith in Bollywood lyrics, and make Mir Ali Husain a one of the heroes for Bollywood lyrics. A song fit for a road trip, again with pretty much the same message as the first song, this time with a Caribbean rhythm instead of an Irish jig! And Tapas’ beautiful fusion bowls me over yet again!! BRILLIANCE AT ITS PEAK!! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

3. Dum-A-Dum
Singers ~ Chet Dixon & Devu Khan Manganiyar, Lyrics by ~ Tapas Relia (English Lyrics) & Traditional (Amir Khusro & Bulleh Shah) 

The next offering on my plate (come on guys, it’s a food-based music blog, and I never get to talk about food, so now food has paid me to give it a special appearance in my next review.. Please don’t mind it, and forgive it!) is an interesting one. We’ve heard many recreations of the eternal folk song “Damadam Mast Qalander”. Well, I’m sure we have never heard anything like this before! This version right here, is a fusion of the traditional folk song with some nice and gentle English lines. The song starts right away with some English vocals by Chet Dixon, who’s singing as the American hippie in the film. It’s not something you can call catchy, but it is really fun to hear. The fun starts when the hippie starts trying to teach Chotu (the little boy) how to sing the song, and his failed attempts. Chet’s polished English vocals coupled with Devu’s folksy, rustic, earthy voice make a brilliant combo, and sound awesome together. Secondly, Tapas’ attempt to make a believable jam between both has succeeded. It sounds realistic, like when the boy breaks into “Dum-A-Dum” when he can’t sing the English lines. Tapas has composed and written the English parts really nicely, and they don’t sound preachy, though they carry a moral. The arrangements too, are refreshing, with a mix of acoustic guitars and the traditional dholaks, nothing more! Towards the end, the hippie and the little boy do a beautiful jugalbandi with Dixon also trying out the folk song. A refreshing adaptation of the classic song! Who would have thought it would become a jam between a foreigner and a folk singer!? #5StarHotelSong!!

 

4. Dhanak
Singer ~ Monali Thakur, Lyrics by ~ Mir Ali Husain

A refreshing, mellifluous flute prelude starts off the title song of the album. Considering title songs, I’m always a bit skeptical whether they will be good or not, because titles might not really work if they’re really short, like ‘Dhanak’. While some composers just keep repeating the title a thousand times and thus making it the hookline of the song, others come up with pretty unusual, but innovative and pleasant ideas of implementing the title into the title song, and Tapas is one of them! The way he has used the title, smack in the middle of the hookline, only once in every hookline, is commendable, and all the more effective, as well! His composition is one of the best compositions I’ve heard this year — lilting, breezy, enlightening and dreamy at the same time. The mukhda starts the song off on a very beautiful note, and the hookline is what does the magic. Such a beautiful atmosphere gets created when the hookline plays, that I just can’t describe it. Antaras are sweet and simple, too. In fact, the composition as a whole is a beautiful lullaby-ish composition, which will also work to refresh you whenever you feel low. The arrangements are top-notch, with the serene flute (Paras Nath) leading, and Dilshad Khan doing a spectacular job with the sarangi. Rain-stick shakers sprinkle the required sweetness into the song. Twinkling sounds in the percussion are just too good. In the first interlude, a beautiful bongo-Congo rhythm accompanies the flute to create a beautiful ambience, while the flute leads the way through the second interlude, accompanied by guitars. Strings (Jeetendra Thakur’s violins) in the antaras just add to the grandeur. Monali’s voice is just too sweet to be ignored; in fact, she is the star of the song. Had some other singer sing this song, it wouldn’t have produced the same effect! NOBODY. The way she sings the hookline, is just too cute, making you fall in love with her voice yet again (Because I know everybody already loves it either from ‘Zara Zara Touch Me’ or ‘Sawaar Loon’ or ‘Moh Moh Ke Dhaage’, which I feel are the important milestones in her Bollywood journey.) Each and every word in her voice seems so calming and soothing. Mir Ali Husain comes up with lilting words as well, poetic to the core. Meaningful as they are, they instantly connect with you. A lullaby that has been crafted beautifully! A winner in all aspects!! The best hookline of the year till now, for me!! Forgive me for twisting it, but I want to say this — Abb dekhenge hum dhanak, raaton mein!! #5StarHotelSong!! (Again, I feel like giving more!!)

 

5. Mehandi
Singers ~ Anwar Khan Manganiyar, Swaroop Khan & Niyaz Khan, Lyrics by ~ (Traditional)

The next song, which is the last verbal song on the soundtrack, gets into traditional Rajasthani wedding flavour. Three folk singers with a folk background — out of which only Swaroop is known to me, and I’m guessing Anwar Khan is Devu Khan Manganiyar’s father or some relative — carry the song forward. The traditional mehandi song has been given a nice and groovy techno beat by Tapas, making it all the more appealing and also making it sound catchy and innovative. Of course, traditional instruments do make an appearance as well — with Dilshad Khan coming back on his sarangi, and stealing the show here, as well. Khartals (those clicking sounds are of the khartalsby Jasu Khan Manganiyar (another Manganiyar! What a talented folk musician family! 🙂 ) too sound great in the folk-techno song. The composition won’t appeal to all; after all, it is a folk song. However, the quality of the music is commendable. The trio handles the song boldly, with their bold voices being the highlight of the song. I’m astonished at how high they can go with such a deep voice! Awesome! Swaroop is kind of sidelined, with the other two getting more portions to sing, out of which I can’t differentiate between the two. All in all, a fun and groovy traditional song, which will lift up your mood! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

6. Theme To Dhanak
(Instrumental)

The album ends off with a small instrumental, standing at three minutes long. It starts with a dreamy piano piece, that is so lilting, you can go off to sleep. The soulfulness of the piano takes the song levels ahead of what it might have been without the piano. When the piano stops, beautiful strings take over. Jeetendra Thakur’s violins are so grand, you cannot help but praise them. A symphony of sorts is created there and then, after which the piano is played again, joined by a bit, just a bit, of brass instruments, like some motivational music. The real surprise is in the last 45 seconds of the song, where the piano gives way suddenly to traditional Rajasthani percussion — matkas, dhols, manjeeras, khartals, accompanied by beautiful sarangi playing the tune of the mukhda of ‘Jeene Se Bhi Zyada Jeeyein’. I must say, that was a pleasant surprise after the lilting piano-strings orchestral piece. And the song really ends the album on a high. A perfect grand finale to the album. Kind of a gist of the whole album, with lilting orchestra, and lively folk music! #5StarHotelSong!!


Dhanak turned out to be just as expected, nothing less, nothing more. I had high expectations and they were met! Tapas impressed as always, but I can’t help but praise the way he has done fusion in each and every song, except probably the title song. All the songs have a great display of folk instruments coupled with some or the other kind of foreign music, be it Western classical, or Caribbean folk, or even Irish folk. Tapas has actually showed us how to bring versatility into simplicity. Simple but appealing compositions, lifted levels and levels higher due to the grand arrangements! What more can a music lover ask for? Tapas shows us a refreshing ‘rainbow’ (dhanak) in this hot, hot summer!!

 

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: Whatever you want!! 😀 

 

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

 

Next “dish”: Junooniyat, Chefs: Meet Bros. Anjjan, Jeet Gannguli, Ankit Tiwari & Stereo Nation

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2 thoughts on “A REFRESHING ‘RAINBOW’ IN THIS HOT SUMMER!! (DHANAK – Music Review)

  1. Wow ! What a review
    Tapas is onne of the most underrated composers we have today n this album proves it as its definitely not going to get noticed by the masses
    Still your writing makes this album sound more beautiful than what it actually is
    Keep up the good work 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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