EPIC AND LEGENDARY!! COME FALL IN LOVE.. WITH THIS ALBUM!! (MIRZYA: DARE TO LOVE – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy
♪ Lyrics by: Gulzar
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 8th September 2016
♪ Movie Released On: 7th October 2016

Mirzya Album Cover

Mirzya Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Mirzya – Dare To Love is an upcoming Bollywood romantic period drama, directed by the famous Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, and produced by Rohit Khattar, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, P.S. Bharathi and Rajiv Tandon, and Cinestaan Film Company. The film stars new talents Harshvardhan Kapoor (Anil Kapoor’s son) and Saiyami Kher (Tanvi Azmi’s niece). The film is inspired from the famous Punjabi folklore of “Mirza-Sahibaan”. Well, after great movies like ‘Rang De Basanti’, ‘Delhi-6’ and ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’, I’m sure Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra has put in more than his best for this ambitious film, and I was hoping this magnum opus worked out well; sad that it didn’t! Meanwhile, we got to enjoy the music of the film, and whether the film works or not, we are always here to enjoy the music, which is expected to be great, just like all of Rakeysh’s other film’s music was. Seeing how successful his decision of roping in the most successful musical trio of Bollywood, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, turned out in his last outing ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’, Rakeysh ropes them in for this ambitious project as well. But this time, he changes his usual lyricist Prasoon Joshi, and ropes in the mastermind Gulzar, who had also worked with him on his first film ‘Aks’. Gulzar was the perfect choice when it comes to a movie like this; clearly, a theme-based movie, which will need songs strictly following its narrative. Another point I would like to note is that Daler Mehndi has scored the background music of the film, and six of the fifteen tracks in the album are his background vocal tracks — less than a minute long, and nothing that can be described individually, so I would advise you to hear them while watching the movie if you don’t like such tracks. First of all, let’s see how Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s nine tracks constituting the actual reviewable part of the album fares! Hopefully, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy shoot the arrows right on the bullseye!


1. Mirzya
Singers ~ Daler Mehndi, Sain Zahoor, Akhtar Chanal, Jyoti Nooran & Sultana Nooran, Chorus ~ Shankar Mahadevan, The Salvation Singers, Nikita Deshpande & Sapna Pathak

The title track arrives first on the album, and it is something that will leave you awestruck by the end of it. It is Pakistani folk singer Saieen Zahoor (spelled by T-Series as Sain) who gets to open the track, and his voice is very representative of the setting and locale of the film — a rural area. It is fascinating things such as this that constitute the best moments of the song. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy seem to have taken great efforts in making this one what it is. The song is a great showcase of beautiful folksy rhythms and melodies, and I’ve never seen the north-western folk music represented in such a beautiful way in films recently (Thank you, Badshah and Yo Yo Honey Singh!) All the singers associated with this song are natives of that region, but surprisingly, the music-makers themselves, aren’t! What a magnificently remarkable work they’ve done! The composition has many layers, tones and undertones. At first listen, it sounds like a very happy-go-lucky folk song, until you start noticing the sinister and emotional undertones too! The song starts with Saieen’s folksy voice singing a verse that hookss you instantly, and then his wonderful “Mirzyaaaaa hoo-ohhh” starts off the actual song. Daler Mehndi steps in, with all his energy focused onto the song, bringing out a brilliant performance. His famous high notes don’t fail to fascinate here either. The hookline is genius at its peak. The mukhda has Daler Mehndi singing an awesome high-pitched portion, and along with Saieen, he carries it out with impeccable finesse. But the high point a of the composition is whenever Daler sings “Oh mirzyaaaa“. The “Gol gol ghume zameen…” line, too, has been composed beautifully. The antara is led by the Nooran Sisters, and their part is very cuteand likable. Akhtar Chanal is in there somewhere, not getting much scope to shine individually, but I’m sure his voice is making a difference somewhere or the other. The backing vocals are beautiful, and their roles are so important in making the song what it is. Towards the end, they sing a wonderful, dreamy portion that goes like “Sunn teri oh dastaan re mirzya“, and it is so good!! The Salvation Singers’ intermittent vocals in between the lines of the song, are too good to miss. This is one of those songs where the backing chorus plays a very important role. Coming to the arrangements by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, they are very energetic and catchy. The rhythms by Taufiq Qureshi instantly catch your attention, and you can’t forget the rhythm on which the song is composed. The dhadd plays throughout the song, infusing the Punjabi touch to it, while the earthy string instruments are something you don’t get to hear everyday. Towards the end Naveen Kumar’s BRILLIANT flutes and pungis play a very upbeat folksy piece which makes you smile. At the end of the song, you just can’t help but think how skillfully Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy have crafted the music and composition for this song. Gulzar’s lyrics are clearly folk lyrics out of which we can understand some things here and there, and so it might appeal to less people, but I loved whatever I could discern! The way he has employed a story-telling manner to put forth the legend of Mirzya, is commendable. A title track that is as legendary as the legend it is supposed to be describing! Something as fascinating as this can simply not go unnoticed or unappreciated!! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

2. Teen Gawah Hain Ishq Ke
Singers ~ Siddharth Mahadevan & Sain Zahoor, Chorus ~ The Salvation Singers & Loy Mendonsa

The sound of a woodwind opens up the next song and you can easily understand that this one is going to be a fresh romantic song with a folksy aura to it. Sure enough, that is just what you get. It is Saieen Zahoor again, who gets to start the sing off with a very enchanting couplet, that made me get goosebumps. And what follows is pure bliss. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy get it right with the composition, a breezy and enjoyable one which is as fresh as you can imagine. Of course, the trio has excelled in making these songs, but this one seems to top them all. The composition is a breeze of fresh air. After Saieen’s couplet, Siddharth sings a wonderful vocal rhythm which goes ‘Tannanaa Nannanaa” and the wonderful Salvation Singers accompany him in the “Hoo-oh-ohh“. The mukhda is something that instantly gets you hooked. The hookline is entrancing, if not anything else. The low notes of the mukhda make you ready for a very soft and quiet song which stays in the low notes for the whole time, but the antara is an exception, where the trio expertly let the composition traverse into high notes, and it sounds equally tranquil. Towards the end, Saieen does a wonderful closing aalaap, which is worth looking out for! The Salvation Singers and Loy do a wonderful job in supporting Siddharth, who is clearly at his best here. The man usually gets high-pitched, high-energy, dynamic songs where he is forced to yell (though it sounds good, nothing against that!) but this seems to be the very first song where he has actually been able to sing in a normal pitch, voice and without risking his throat! 😀 And the result? It is a very melodious, mellifluous voice that I couldn’t ever imagine Siddharth Mahadevan producing! Leave it up to Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy to discover new singing styles in singers, even if the singer is the son of the first third of the trio. 😀 It is the arrangements that add the necessary charm to the song. With those guitar riffs playing throughout the song, it is impossible to not get lost in the music! It is Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s trademark, those riffs! In each song they have some or the other musical loop, be it that vocal one in ‘Mera Yaar’ (Bhaag Milkha Bhaag) or the digital one in ‘Gallan Goodiyan’ (Dil Dhadakne Do) which starts off the song. Along with those guitars, the trio has a wonderful folk percussion instrument called the dimdi (played by Abhay Rumde) which helps to get the folksy feel. There are other sounds like chinks on glass, which must be the genius of Taufiq Qureshi at work. 😀 It is the backing chorus made up of the Salvation Singers and Lot that make the song as breezy as it is. Last but definitely not the least, Gulzar’s lyrics come into picture. What a brilliant hookline he has written! “Teen gawah hain ishq ke, ikk rab hai, ikk tu, aur main!” (There are there witnesses of love, one is God, and you, and me!) I don’t know where he gets such ideas from, but much to our enjoyment, he gets them anyway! 😀 Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy ace this one, and deliver what must be the breeziest love song I’ve heard in a while! Kudos to Siddharth Mahadevan for showing this side of him! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

3. Chakora
Singers ~ Mame Khan, Suchismita Das & Akhtar Chanal, Chorus ~ Shankar Mahadevan & Suchismita Das

You would be a nasty, ugly little liar, if you said that you weren’t waiting for some or the other kind of a dance track in this movie. When it’s a folk-themed movie, based in Rajasthan, and when you have composers like Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy on board, wouldn’t you be eager to hear a dance song? Yes you would, at least I think you would. And so, the next song presents itself as a folksy dance track. Of course, there can’t be a straightforward dance track when it comes to Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy either! They have to twist it some way or the other. And so what do they do? They conveniently infuse techno beats into the Rajasthani folksy song. And the result is stupendous!! The composition has the very much necessary folk touch, and calls out to you right away. The mukhda starts with a very enticing “Arey Haalaaaaaa” by Mame Khan, a contemporary folk artist who has sung in Coke Studio Season 2 for Amit Trivedi, indicating that a folksy melody is following. The mukhda is very catchy, and both Mame Khan and Shuchismita Das sing wonderfully to make it sound entrancing. The hookline, “Lipat lipat chal gayo re dola” is sooooo good! The trio has made up a very appealing melody for that. The antara is made up of many twists and turns, all of which just make the song sound even more beautiful. With one singer singing half a line, which is later continued by the other singer, this part is definitely not to be missed! The song may be raaga-based, but it really doesn’t seem to be, with the arrangements that the trio has given. A wonderful techno sound has been added to the song, reminiscent of the times when the trio has introduced such songs to Bollywood, and in particular, the entire sound reminded me of ‘Koi Kahe Kehta Rahe’ (Dil Chahta Hai). The other folk instruments play an important role in making the folk aspect of the song stand out — particularly the percussion. The vocals are magnificent, though I do bear a grudge against Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy for having autotuned Mame Khan’s voice! 😦 It sounds good autotuned too, but I feel the folksy aspect would’ve stood out if it had been left as it was. Suchismita sings wonderfully as she always does, but gets little space to be noticed among Mame Khan’s wonderful singing. Akhtar Chanal, once again, is sidelined and I think he’s the person who sings those mystical-sounding chants at the start of the song, which I thought sounded a lot like Gulzar! 😀 Shankar Mahadevan’s backing vocals are amazing, and he leaves no space empty, making sure every second of the song is filled with some sounh or the other! Gulzar’s lyrics are great, here as well, perfectly describing love in a very metaphorical manner. The underlying suggestion that the line “Aasmaan par udey chakora, chaand pakadne jaave, ishq udey jab tez dhaar pe dono pankh kataave” gives, also explains the pain of the two lovers. A fun song, with undertones of emotion and love! Genius stuff from Gulzar, and brought to life very effusively by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Mame Khan & Suchismita Das! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

4. Aave Re Hitchki
Singers ~ Shankar Mahadevan & Mame Khan, Chorus ~ Sapna Pathak, Arsh Mohammed, Rehan Khan, Firoz Khan & Farhan Sabri

When the gratifying sound of the sarangi opens a song, the song more often than every time, turns out to be a very beautiful one. And this one is another song which can be added to that list. The song wonderfully starts off with an enchanting sarangi piece, played by Mame Khan’s troupe. And then the roopak taal sets in to make the ambience more soulful and soothing. It is the first line of the composition itself, that brings out the goosebumps. The tune is so sweet and charming, that you just can’t NOT like it. The way the mukhda is made up of three parts, the first one being the first line, “Nidra mein kisne...”, the second being “Sandesa aayo na chhithiyaa bhijayi…” and the third going on a different scale and tune with “Dhoop mundhere chadh gayo dola..“, is a masterstroke idea. And the hookline, oh!! It is so charming, that you end up falling in love with it by the time it has played twice. There are actually two very wonderful hooklines or refrains in the song — the title of the song being one, and the second being a just as wonderfully composed (in fact, sounding better!) “Talaiyya sookhi, keekhar sookha, bheetar sookha re“. The seamless transition from each line of that hookline, is what makes it so beautiful. The antara traverses very calm notes, that instantly connect with the listener. And towards the end there’s a wonderful bit of the song, which goes “Mann tarse, ghan barse“.. And the way the trio has composed these two words in so many different tunes, also with the tune of the hookline, is such a pleasure to hear! 😀 What can I say about the vocals? Shankar Mahadevan is at his graceful best. The RAAGA-based composition couldn’t be sung better by anyone but him, and I particularly loved how he sings the high notes! The backing chorus effusively sings the hookline, and makes it stand out amazingly. The arrangements are nothing to miss, either! The trio has appointed a number of instruments to help to make the song sound grand. I must bring out the sarangi, (by the Mame Khan Troupe) which has been played the most beautifully throughout the song. One part in the interlude where the hookline’s tune has been played on the sarangi, is just awesome. And then there are the brilliant, BRILLIANT guitars (Neill Mukherjee) which support the composition on every note. The Spanish Guitars in the interlude particularly, are worth hearing a million times! Dholaks (also by the Mame Khan Troupe) are also great. But one of the most intriguing sounds in the song, is Shankar Mahadevan’s flawless “HICHH!” in one of the hooklines, which you really have to watch out for! 🙂 Gulzar’s lyrics are worth a salute, and I can’t really say anything much except that you should go and hear them and also try to decipher them, and when you do, wait for the smile that’ll come on your face! 😀 A masterpiece from Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, fit for repeat listening, and wonderfully bringing out the rajasthani folk part of the movie! #5StatHotelSong!!

 

5. Hota Hai
Singers ~ Jyoti Nooran, Sultana Nooran, Saieen Zahoor, Akhtar Chanal & Daler Mehndi, Chorus ~ The Salvation Singers & Shankar Mahadevan

The angst in the album was missing, until this song comes along in the playlist. The way it starts, you wouldn’t think it would turn into a sinister, dark-sounding, angsty song later on! The Nooran Sisters start off with a very groovy vocal beat, which is basically Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy showing off at how well they compose such groovy vocal loops. This song is the song around which the gist of the story is centered. The line “Chot kahin lag jaati hai par zakhm kahin par hota hai” is the tagline of the film, and Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy wonderfully incorporate it into the song. The way the composition is not delimited by a fixed tune, and is rather flexible, in that the folk singers can be seen at their liberty to sing anything anytime, is just fabulous. I personally loved the way Akhtar Chanal & Saieen Zahoor interrupt throughout the song with weird vocals, that actually bring you to like the song even more. But the song belongs to the Nooran Sisters, who are at their best in bringing a whole different kind of suspense to the song, and vivaciously bring forth the ideas of Gulzar saab. The composition itself is filled with very dark undertones and the dark sound of it all does nothing but attract you. There is a wonderful line in the song sung by Shankar Mahadevan along with the Salvation Singers. And to top it all, at the end, Daler Mehndi comes back with his hard-hitting “Ohhhh mirzyaaaaa” from the title song. The composers have made sure that the composition, despite all of its unconventional-ness, reaches out to the listener and grabs him, not instantly, but a bit more each time. It is the awesome arrangements that give the song half of its greatness. The techno beats and the typical Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy club beats fuse with a mesmerizing folk act by the Nooran Sisters, Saieen and Akhtar. The sarangi (Delshad Khan) in the interlude is just wow. And then there are the khartals (Mame Khan Troupe) which attract your attention. And the harmony between Jyoti and Sultana Nooran is unmatchable! Gulzar’s lyrics are all about how love is deceptive and blah blah, but the way he has portrayed it, is worth listening. Something unconventional, that might not get the desired praise and acclaim, but definitely touched my heart! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

6. Ek Nadi Thi
Singers ~ Jyoti Nooran, Sultana Nooran & K. Mohan, 

This song starts with a wonderful heart-touching aalaap by one of the Nooran Sisters (really can’t distinguish which one!) The real magic though, starts when Mohan Kanan with his very deep voice starts to sing the sweet melody of the song, and it is from this moment that you really start grooving to the song. The beats too, are worth grooving to! The song is arranged on nothing but acoustic guitars and claps and snaps, giving a very homely and minimalistic feel to the entire affair. The composition by the trio is so catchy and absorptive at the same time, that you just can’t forget it once you hear it. The hookline is just something that seems to have come from the composers’ hearts. The antara continues the freshness of the song, and the harmony that the Nooran Sisters create with K. Mohan, who is probably the only lead singer on the album who is not known for folk, is pretty awesome! The high notes touched by the Nooran Sisters and the low notes rendered by Mohan, complement each other very well, despite so much contrast. I can hear Shankar Mahadevan leading the Salvation Singers in the background, and it sounds so beautiful, that sometimes, you will find yourself focusing more on his parts than the parts of the lead singers! I wonder why T-Series hasn’t credited them like they have for the other songs! The arrangements mesmerize you with their simplicity — who has ever heard a song arranged merely on acoustic guitars and claps and snaps, when the song is in an album made for a folksy movie? Well it is allthe work of the mastermind percussionist Taufiq Qureshi! Towards the end, the two entities, Nooran Sisters and K. Mohan, perform a wonderful harmonic interpretation of the hookline, with one of them saying one line and the other following the first, with the classic style of starting right in the middle of the first singer’s line. Gulzar’s words make it known that the nadi (river) that he’s talking about is Sahibaan, and he has woven a metaphorical story around her through the song. Simplicity takes over in this otherwise quite complicated album! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

7. Doli Re Doli
Singers ~ Shankar Mahadevan & Mame Khan

The wonderful opening lines sung by Mame Khan bring an opulent start to the next song, which is a very unconventional bidaai song! The opening lines by Mame Khan sound like the start of a garba, but then stop sounding like one almost at once, and when you get to know, much to your disappointment that the song isn’t a garba, you get excited on knowing that it is, indeed, a soft jazz song! Yes, you read it right! A bidaai song with a jazz backdrop! After Mame’s introduction is over, Loy’s keyboard comes in and steals the show, coupled with a wonderful trumpet (Victor Garcia) that was definitely not anticipated! And while all this magic is happening, Shankar is busy at the mic, singing a tranquilizing aalaap. When the first line of the melody hits you, you can’t believe your ears for a minute, but then your ears decide to digest the fact that the composition is so melodious, and though it has a sad undertone, you can’t help feel your mood lightened up a bit after hearing. The classical-based composition coupled with the emotional soft jazz arrangements consisting of showstopping keyboard solos by Loy, not to mention the drums (out of which the cymbals are played oh so wonderfully! — credits to Kalyan Pathak). The signature melodica played by Shankar himself, is the epitome of classiness in the song. That brings us to the vocals which are by Shankar too, and couldn’t be better! I can’t praise him enough for this song! The way he brilliantly breezes through those aalaaps in the song (they’re almost everywhere — try to locate each and every one of them, as they’re not to be missed!) Gulzar, on the other hand, writes away at a heartrending piece of poetry, which puts forth the sentiments of the bride during bidaai, very well. Lines like “Chaukhat pyaar Jo pair dhare toh, main len den chukayo baabul” (I have repaid all the debts to my parents after I cross the threshold of their house) tell you why Gulzar is such a renowned writer. 🙂 The sweetness of the album reaches a new level with this song. Something that is as unconventional as this, has to be par excellence! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

8. Kaaga
Singer ~ Kaushiki Chakraborty

After all that folk and the jazz of the previous song, you’re really not ready for what awaits you in this song. As soon as it starts playing, an opulent symphony strikes you and you feel as of you’re in some orchestra performance, where one of the stalwarts like Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Chopin, Haydn and the like. The violins really fill your heart and mind with some pleasing and soothing quality, but also leave you craving for more after it all ends. BUT WAIT!! We haven’t finished yet! I still have to tell you about the start! So, back to the beginning of the song. After that wonderful symphony — which, sadly, T-Series and Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy haven’t given any sort of musician credits for (which is simply not done, okay! You don’t NOT give musician credits for some song I really wanna know the musician credits of! 😦 ) — so yeah, after that symphony, a sweet twinkling sound (xylophone most probably) takes you to the main melody of the song, and who waits for you there? The fantastic classical singer, the majestic Kaushiki Chakraborty. With her each and every note, she manages to take away some fraction of your breath, and that’s why you call it breathtaking! Her AALAAPS are simply amazing, and it is her magnificent vocals that decorate the already magnificent composition and arrangements by the trio. Wonderful use of strings and the flute, makes this song what it is. The brass portions give a very otherworldly feel, and you feel as if you are in outer space. Gulzar’s lyrics are nostalgically refreshing! Something in which Kaushiki, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, and Gulzar, all are at their very best! And special bows to the musicians!!! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

9. Mirzya Theme – Broken Arrows
(Instrumental)

To end the album, we have an instrumental that is bound to get you teary-eyed, to the extent that even if you’re in Shangri-La while listening to it, you will get that inabominable feeling of pain and hurt in your heart. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy yet again bring in the strings — this time the violin, to bring out the emotion in the piece. The trio cleverly takes the backing chorus’ humming tune from ‘Teen Gawah’ and weaves it into a mellow, sombre and emotional piece, which is quite brimful of emotions. The violin does the job in the first half of this piece and in the second half, the relay is seamlessly passed on to the flute, which is the best choice ever! Again, T-Series and the trio haven’t provided any musician credits of any sort, so I take it for granted that they played the instruments themselves. Anyway, it is a beautiful way of the composers and director telling us that all that happiness in the ‘Teen Gawah’ sequence was just illusory, so don’t pay it any attention, because we all know the fate of Mirza and Sahibaan. A track that will play in the back of your head in your free time and try to make you feel like you’re in a movie and your life is depressing, so try to limit that depression to the characters of the movie and listen to the song, to have a wonderful experience! Emotion at its best! 🙂 #5StarHotelSong!!


Mirzya – Dare To Love is an album that really forces you, not dares you, to love it. Nine wonderfully arranged musical pieces with awe-inspiring vocals by attractive rustic voices, coupled with groovy beats from the maestros Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and the vision of a mastermind like Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, makes this album one to die for. The choice of singers is fantastic — Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy gather up a team of folk singers and wonderfully employ them throughout the album. The Nooran Sisters and Saieen Zahoor, particularly, strike gold through this album. The Noorans spectacularly make their presence felt throughout the album. The two Pakistani folk singers, Saieen and Akhtar Channal, though they get less scope, don’t fail to impress you, while Mame Khan and his musician troupe, hailing from the deserts of Rajasthan, amaze you with their rustic vocals. The two very smooth-textured voices on the album, Suchismita Das and Kaushiki Chakraborty, both from West Bengal, do magic in their relatively small roles on the album. K. Mohan and Siddharth Mahadevan, practically the only commercial singers of the new generation on the album, do a splendid job in their respective songs, though the Noorans do overshadow Mohan in his song. Shankar Mahadevan himself spectacularly sings two of the songs, which are two of my favorites from the album too! Not to mention the wonderful harmonies of The Salvation Singers!! Just splendid! 😀 And last but not the least, Daler Mehndi with his splendid baritone voice surpassing all with his rendition of the title song, and his theme tracks that are interspersed throughout the album. A special mention to his voice that goes “Ohhhh mirzyaaaaaaaa” at the end of every television promo of the movie. 😍😍😍😍 When will the goosebumps get to sleep!? Gulzar’s words perfectly make this album a repeat-listen-worthy album, and it is in albums like this that my emotions overflow so much and I rave about the album, not noticing that my “conclusion”, which is supposed to be the shortest part of the review, is just a complete introduction altogether. I guess that the last time I did so was in ‘Bombay Velvet’. So, without further ado, let’s go on to my verdict! This miraculous album will make you fall in love… With itself!

 

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: Why ask!? Why rub salt on my wounds!! 😢😢😡

 

Which is your favourite song from Mirzya – Dare To Love? Please vote for it below!

PRITAM’S MUSICAL MASTERPIECE!! (PHANTOM – Music Review)

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

Phantom Album Cover

Phantom Album Cover

 

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!!

 

2. Saware
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!!

 

3. Nachda
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! 😝 🙂