A PERFECT, SOOTHING, SHAB-TIME ALBUM!! (SHAB – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Mithoon
♪ Lyrics by: Amitabh S. Verma & Mithoon
♪ Music Label: Tips Music
♪ Music Released On: 22nd June 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 30th June 2017

Shab Album Cover

 

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


Shab is an upcoming Bollywood romantic drama, starring Ashish Bisht, Arpita Chatterjee and Raveena Tandon in key roles. The film has been directed by Onir, the director of films like ‘My Brother Nikhil’, ‘Bas Ek Pal’ and ‘I Am’. The film has been produced by Sanjay Suri and Onir for Anticlock Films, WSG Entertainment and Surya Entertainment. So since I don’t know much about this film, let’s jump right into talks about the music. Onir’s one-time collaborator for ‘Bas Ek Pal’, Mithoon, has been roped in for the music of this film as well, and in the process, he bags his first solo album after 2013’s ‘3G’ {Yes, it too, had one background piece by Amar Mohile, in which case his last non-infiltrated soundtrack was 2010’s war film ‘Lamhaa}. The music of ‘Lamhaa’ (and even ‘3G’, at that) was amazing, and that just goes to show us how Mithoon can free himself in solo albums, unlike the restricted Mithoon we see in multicomposer albums. For this film, since he has composed the majority of the ‘Bas Ek Pal’, in which Pritam had played the infiltrative role, we know he shares a great rapport with Onir, and can just hope that this collaboration between the two turns out to be just as great. With no further ado, let’s get into this short soundtrack!


1. O Saathi

Singer ~ Arijit Singh, Lyrics by ~ Mithoon

Of course, along comes Arijit, right in the first track because this is a Mithoon soundtrack after all, which is rather incomplete without an Arijit song nowadays. (Then again, any soundtrack without Arijit these days, is deemed as incomplete, so I don’t really know what to say.) So Mithoon starts the album of ‘Shab’ (which means ‘Night’), with a song that is perfect to listen to at night-time, preferably just before going to sleep, and I say that because it is so soothing and emotional. Yes, it has a sensuous tinge to it too, and that soothing tinge is quite like that heard in many old Western songs. The composition itself starts off in a very Western manner, with those short lines with a nuance in the middle. And Arijit renders them spot-on. After those lines, though, there is the real black magic that starts, and black magic of a Mithoon song is superior to any other composer’s black magic for me, and when Mithoon is in the form, he will definitely produce a very successful, addictive composition that just haunts you. And the portion that gives you these amazing goosebumps, is the part that goes “Tuuuu Iss Jagah…”. 💜. Arijit’s intricate nuances during that part, really give you gooseflesh such as you might never have experience before, in any song, except in a Mithoon song itself. And yet, the composition isn’t something you could call ‘typical Mithoon’ either. He seems to mould himself accordingly, each time. But one thing is for sure: after the underwhelming music he gave in ‘Half Girlfriend’, he makes up for it highly, with this single song! The arrangements just help to increase the haunting nature of the song. A very soft guitar starts off the song, and that hooks you instantly. Later, a very templated Mithoon beat sets in, but it doesn’t hamper the song at all, because at the same time, the beautiful cross line starts. And how do I even explain the hookline? The amazing variations Mithoon has made Arijit take in the hookline, each time he sings it, are just so awe-inspiring! They touch your heart instantly. The guitar and digital beats continue for the rest of the song, and nothing much more by way of arrangements caught my attention, except a couple of drum beats occasionally. Arijit’s vocals are topnotch. I don’t know why composers hesitate to give him different types of songs, and though this isn’t completely different from his stereotype, it still shines because he sings in such a nuanced manner, and not in a templated manner, as if he is trying to recreate the magic of a former song of his. This song is trying to create history on its own merit, and that is what is amazing about it. One place where Arijit just stole my heart then and there was, when, in the ‘antara‘, which actually has the same tune as the mukhda, he sung the word “Zindagi” in such a professional way, with a nice variation on the “Gi” syllable at the end of the word. And of course, he sung the hookline so beautifully, I can’t imagine anybody else singing it; they wouldn’t have done as much justice to it. The lyrics by Mithoon too, are amazing! A perfect, soothing song to start the album off. 

Rating: 5/5

 

2. Musafir

Singer ~ K.K., Lyrics by ~ Amitabh S. Verma

The way the next song starts off, with a very highly promising harp portion, you would think that it would blow you off your feet by the time the melody starts off. However, after the harp portion ends, the song just goes downhill from there, barring some occasional interruptions of catchy music. I can say very confidently though, that the composition is the major spoilsport here. The hookline provides brief respite intermittently, with the “Aiyyayyaa Aiyyayyaa” loop that, though very heavily influenced by many such songs that have released over the past ten years, is catchy nevertheless. A line in the antara, goes abruptly low-pitched, and it sounds quite forced and awkward. Mithoon, once again, succumbs to peer pressure and tries to spin up a composition that reeks a lot of many other songs, and of course, using K.K. as the singer makes it sound even more clichéd. That having been said, I must admit, that K.K. has really done a great job at singing, as always. It is the music arrangements that redeem the song’s favour in our hearts. The harp in the beginning of course, is amazing, but all throughout the rest of the song, a nice drum-and-guitars rhythm stabilises the arrangements and make them listenable. A nice interlude on a mouth organ, is a nice and pleasant thing to listen to. The second interlude on the accordion is even better! Mithoon’s clever additions of chimey sounds, also helps in keeping us listening. The lyrics by Amitabh Verma are not excellent, but good enough. Quite disappointing after the first song which was a masterpiece, this one is a one-time listen; any subsequent listens will be due to the amazing arrangements!

Rating: 2.5/5

 

3. Awaari / Awaari (Reprise)

Singers ~ Mithoon / Neha Bhasin, Lyrics by ~ Amitabh S. Verma

The first note on the guitars, of the following song gives a feeling that a jazz song is about to follow. And the riff that follows is so catchy, you instantly get drawn into the song. The composition of this song is like a breeze of fresh air after the tedious composition of the previous song. The Mukhda starts a bit too abruptly to digest, but it steadies down as it approaches the hook. The hook is a very sweet and catchy one, reminding me of Hawaiian folk. The first antara follows the structure of the Mukhda, with that oddly-placed first line. But it is the second antara that has all the magic in it. That tune is so like a Mithoon trademark magical composition. The magic of the composition only comes out full-fledgedly, though, in the Reprise, and I’ll tell you why later. First, the arrangements. While the original version sung by Mithoon, has a very breezy and pleasant touch with the nice jazzy guitars mentioned before, and a very nice Caribbean touch through the percussion, the Reprise sung by Neha Bhasin has more of a lounge-ish feel, complete with calming guitars, and a slower pace and tempo. The lovely piano and finger snaps in Mithoon’s version make it seem more lively, and more of a daytime song, if you know what I mean. But Neha’s version is beautifully arranged so that it sounds like a perfect night-time, soothing song. The Reprise really won over my heart with its simplicity and less stuff happening in the background, giving more space for the listener to get drowned in its magical sound. Coming to the vocals, recently Neha expressed her desire to sing all-female songs in an interview, and surprisingly, one of her solos released not long after that. She aces the beautiful composition with a very layered and nuanced rendition of the song, in her trademark husky voice. This time, she takes up a higher pitch than she usually sings her songs in. The slow pace that she gets to sing the song in, make the composition sound better, and that’s how we finally get the gravitas of the composition in this version. After ‘Jag Ghoomeya’ (Sultan) last year, she gets another song to shine in, solo. Mithoon, on the other hand, sings his version with a lively and playful aura around him, and manages to connect with the listeners, but not quite as much as Neha could. Amitabh Verma’s lyrics are good here as well, mostly they are a description of the male protagonist’s dream girl. Experimentation by Mithoon pays off here, with a typical Mithoon composition arranged to a playful Caribbean rhythm in one version, and a serene and graceful arrangement in the other.

Rating: 3.5/5 for Mithoon’s Version, 4/5 for Neha’s Version

 

4. Afiya

Singers ~ Mohammed Irfan & Arun Daga, Lyrics by ~ Amitabh S. Verma

The final song on the album comes in form of a Qawwali-ish song, much similar to the types of songs Mithoon used to give us before the whole ‘Tum Hi Ho’ turnabout. The composition is a very strong sad song, and has every element of Mithoon’s beautiful composing skills. The song has heavy influences of Mithoon’s ‘Banjaara’ (Ek Villain), but still manages to stand tall. The hook is beautiful, and the antaras manage to keep you listening. That lower pitched line in the Antara is mind blowing, and the way it proceeds till the next interlude, has to be some of the best parts of the song. By way of arrangements, Mithoon employs a beautiful digitally-produced rhythm that really works in the Qawwali genre. The claps always work, and work here too. The Saarangi is one beautiful addition to the arrangements, as is the santoor. These were two instruments I would least expect in a Qawwali. The vocals by Mohammed Irfan and Arun Daga are very impressive as well. They harmonize with each other and complement each other spectacularly. Amitabh Verma has written great lyrics here too, but I don’t really know what “Aafiya” itself, means! A perfect end to the album; a trademark Mithoon Qawwali!

Rating: 4/5


Shab, is quite an impressive album from Mithoon, after a long time. It has been a long time since he has been allowed to compose solo for a film, like he used to back in the day, and he lives up to expectations. Though there is an overpowering romantic theme in the album, the album manages to escape from being monotonous or repetitive. And a reason for that is, that there are only four songs. But since only one of them is distinctly disappointing, I can say that Mithoon has really performed well, considering that he never gets solo albums nowadays. Overall, this is a perfect ‘Shab’ (Night) time album, full of soothing music! 

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 5 + 2.5 + 3.5 + 4 + 4 = 19

Album Percentage: 76%

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: O Saathi > Awaari (Reprise) = Afiya > Awaari > Musafir

 

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

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2 thoughts on “A PERFECT, SOOTHING, SHAB-TIME ALBUM!! (SHAB – Music Review)

  1. Another well written review from your side. The Shab is actually the best time to chk out this album n also read ur review. Keep up the good work 😃 👍

    Like

  2. Although the Musafir song was among the lowest rating 2.5, I really loved the song and heard it from the awesome voice of KK. Damn loved it ❤️
    And yah O saathi is amazing 😉

    Like

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