Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Amaal Mallik, Anupam Roy & Clinton Cerejo
♪ Lyrics by: Kumaar, A.M. Turaz, Manoj Yadav, Anupam Roy, Siddhant Kaushal & Jizzy
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 1st March 2019
♪ Movie Released On: 8th March 2019
Buy the songs: iTunes
Badla is a Bollywood film starring Taapsee Pannu and Amitabh Bachchan in lead roles, and directed by Sujoy Ghosh. The film is produced by Gauri Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Sunir Kheterpal, Akshai Puri and Gaurav Verma. The review of this album being already as it is, I’ll jump right into talks about the music, which is by Amaal Mallik, Clinton Cerejo and Anupam Roy. This is Amaal Mallik’s return to film music after a year, after his one-odd song in ‘Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety’ last year, and it is his first for Sujoy Ghosh. Whereas the other two have composed for Sujoy previously in his productions and/or directorials — Clinton in ‘Te3n’ and ‘Kahaani 2’, and Anupam in ‘Pink’. So let’s see how these ever-trustworthy composers of Sujoy’s fare, this time being guest composers to the lead composer Amaal Mallik!
We hear Amaal Mallik composing for a Bollywood film after a year from ‘Subah Subah’ (Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety), and he returns with two songs (but three tracks) in the same album. Kyun Rabba appears in two versions, the first a traditional Bollywood/Bhattish Rock-Sufi melange, which we have gotten enough of in the 2010s, but I guess some more was needed before the decade ends, just to bring back a.sense of nostalgia. That way, the song is quite nostalgic, what with Amaal employing heard-and-loved elements like the rock guitars accompanying the Sufi elements like Dholak and Tabla (Satyajit and Ratnadeep Jamsandekar). The most attractive part of the arrangements though, are the drums, especially the cymbals, evoking a feel of the chimta from Qawwalis, making it sound like a rock Qawwali! The melody is plain, with a beautiful hookline, and it is catchy, I have to give it that due credit. Armaan’s vocals are spot-on as always; the fact that even though Amaal was relatively absent from the composing scene, Armaan was still singing for other composers, proves the point. The Acoustic Version is yet another traditional Bollywood take on the melody, this time with piano included as a main instrument. The punch that the Rock Version had is missing in this, but this version has a flow that one would want if they wanted to hear a more subtle variant of the song. Personally, I favour the first version!
Amaal’s second offering is a sad song, Tum Na Aaye, in the voice of K.K., another singer we mostly get to hear in only Amaal’s soundtracks over the past year. The song immediately arrives to its melancholic point, wasting no time in long mukhdas or preludes. That is a bit off-putting, but the hookline is strong enough to keep the listener listening. K.K.’s voice soars in the high notes, reminding us how there is an amazing singer who doesn’t get as many songs as he deserves anymore! The arrangements are again, a rock template, with guitars and drums driving the arrangements all the way. A.M. Turaz’s lyrics are standard Bollywood sad song lyrics; nothing remarkable there. The song is a good listen, but I would have preferred a mellower, softer version of the song.
And after Amaal’s part of the album, we get two songs from the other composers, Clinton Cerejo and Anupam Roy, who have both previously worked with Sujoy Ghosh in his productions and/or directorials.
Clinton returns to the Ghosh camp after two short soundtracks — ‘Te3n’ and ‘Kahaani 2’, both in 2016. Those two albums were very mellow and had the Clinton touch all over them, but what he presents here in ‘Badla’, is not at all like what he gave in those albums. Aukaat is a rap song following the new rap craze that ‘Gully Boy’, Emiway Bantai’s ‘Machayenge’, and some other Indie pop songs have brought into the scene. The song starts with Clinton’s trademark haunting piano notes, and goes on to a haunting rap song, carrying the film’s mystery theme well. However, as soon as Amitabh Bachchan and Amit Mishra start with the proceedings of the song, you feel a disconnect, because the song isn’t really catchy in terms of its rap. It is the music that manages to keep you gripped for the short duration of the song, but other than that, the song is yet another typical Bollywood rap song that has nothing new to offer, not even with the lyrics by Siddhant Kaushal.
Anupam Roy’s song is a similar situational track, Badla. Now this song carries a sound you’d never associate with Anupam Roy, a kind of retro digital sound that first irks you out, but then sets in as something weirdly new and addictive. The lyrics by Manoj Yadav and Anupam Roy are all about things changing in the world around us, and the tune manages to keep you hooked, especially in and around the hookline. The mukhda is enough to pique your interest. The minimalistic digital beat is perfect, while the composer adds the occasional eleftronic music sounds to make the song sound atmospheric. The song turns into a drag after the antara starts, though, and it is safe to skip the rest of the song after that.
Badla is yet another one of those albums where one composer has to compose all the musically perfect songs, the songs that would attract the audiences, while the others have to create situational tracks that wouldn’t matter to the public once they’re already seated for the movie. Yes, Amaal is the one who does the best job here, followed by Anupam Roy. A disappointing song by Clinton Cerejo still doesn’t make me worried though; he has the potential to do much better, and just didn’t get the scope here.
Total Points Scored by This Album: 8 + 7.5 + 7 + 5 + 6.5 = 34
Album Percentage: 68%
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: Kyun Rabba > Kyun Rabba (Acoustic) > Tum Na Aaye > Badla > Aukaat
Which is your favourite song from Badla? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂