ROCHAK’S Ph.D IN PUNJABI FOLK! (KHANDAANI SHAFAKHANA – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Rochak Kohli, Tanishk Bagchi, Badshah, Payal Dev, Jasbir Jassi, Shyam Bhateja & Anand-Milind
♪ Lyrics by: Tanishk Bagchi, Mellow D, Shabbir Ahmed, Kumaar, Badshah, Gautam G Sharma, Gurpreet Saini, Davinder Khandewal & Deepak Chaudhary
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 26th July 2019
♪ Movie Released On: 2nd August 2019

 

Khandaani Shafakhana Album Cover

Listen to the songs: JioSaavn | Gaana

Buy the songs: iTunes


Khandaani Shafakhana is a Bollywood comedy film starring Sonakshi Sinha, Varun Sharma, Badshah and Annu Kapoor. The film is directed by Shilpi Dasgupta and produced by Bhushan Kumar, Mahaveer Jain, Mrighdeep Singh Lamba, Divya Khosla Kumar and Krishan Kumar. The film revolves around a woman who has to take over her uncle’s infamous sex clinic. The music of the film has been given by the remake expert Tanishk Bagchi, the rapper who is acting in the film Badshah, Rochak Kohli, fresh from the success of his brilliant work in ‘Music Teacher’ earlier this year, and Payal Dev, Who is surprisingly debuting as a composer, making it another mainstream female singer doing so after Kanika Kapoor last year with ‘Chhod Diya’ (Baazaar). So let’s see how this multicomposer album to this film turns out to be.


Music promotions for any film these days start with remakes, and ‘Khandaani Shafakhana’ makes sure it isn’t the norm-breaker. Tanishk Bagchi’s interpretations of old Bollywood super hit songs and/or Punjabi pop songs are a norm these days: another norm this album shies away from breaking.
The album hence starts with Koka, a Tanishk Bagchi remake of Jasbir Jassi’s pop song ‘Koka Tera Kuch Kuch’ from the album ‘Just Jassi’. Tanishk does add his own composition to the hookline from Jassi and Shyam Bhateja’s original, and manages to present us with a catchy and groovy remake. Badshah’s presence in the film warrants a rap from him, while Jasbir Jassi is called to dub the rest of the vocals, and he delivers them in top form. Dhvani Bhanushali, taking the support of oodles of autotune, however, sounds odd; not that singing prowess matters so much in a dance track like this. The beats are catchy, and there’s also a T-Series advertisement thrown in very abruptly in the beginning. If that’s your kind of thing, ‘Koka’ is for you.
Tanishk’s second remake happens to be that of a 90s Bollywood song. Sheher Ki Ladki is a highly unimaginative, though still attractive, recreation of Anand-Milind’s ‘Shehar Ki Ladki’ (Rakshak), with Badshah donning the singer’s cap, obviously coming nowhere close to the original singer Abhijeet Bhattacharya in doing so. His ‘Hi, how are you?’ and ‘How do you do’ sounds so bland as compared to Abhijeet’s (which also features in this song as a bonus addition, I guess, as Tanishk likes to sample the original singers’ voices like Kumar Sanu in ‘Aankh Maarey’ from ‘Simmba’ and Kavita Krishnamurthy in ‘Hawa Hawai 2.0’ from ‘Tumhari Sulu’). Chandana Dixit too, gets her original line featured behind an extremely loud and high-pitched Tulsi Kumar. The latter gets her own original verse too, sounding not as bad! Badshah’s rap is more irritating here than in ‘Koka’, where it actually went with the flow of the song. Also irritating is how Bagchi never lets the hook of the song complete, always interrupting it with that jarring electronic loop that plays so many times throughout the song. A good attempt to revive the song, but people would obviously go for the original!
Apart from acting in the film and rapping in two remakes, Badshah also gets selected to prepare his own original song for the film, which, not surprisingly, tops the two remakes by Tanishk. Saans Toh Le Le is a groovy song with the trademark Badshah beats, but with a retro Punjabi folk twist, a la ‘Naughty Billo’ (Phillauri) and ‘Bhangra Ta Sajda’ (Veere Di Wedding), both songs by Shashwat Sachdev. The programming really makes the song interesting, especially Tejas Vinchurkar’s folksy flute pieces, and makes the middling composition sound more interesting to listen to. Badshah, along with Rico, deliver the lines well, too, making it an all in all fresh listen.
Payal Dev makes her composing debut with this album, in a song called Dil Jaaniye, a very sweet romantic duet by Jubin Nautiyal and Tulsi Kumar. The composition, though reminiscent of many romantic Punjabi songs Bollywood has churned out over the years, still makes a mark, and especially the mukhda gets you gripped enough to listen forth. Aditya Dev’s arrangements are soothing, the Indian percussions (Chari, Shashi, Mushtaq and Sharafat) taking centre stage, along with the wonderful Pianica piece by Aditya Dev himself. The antara sung by Jubin is great, but the one with Tulsi sounds a bit unnecessary, because it stretches the song a bit too long, and then we have to listen to it in Tulsi Kumar’s double-layered, badly processed voice. Shabbir Ahmed, a rare choice for romantic songs as this, writes functional lyrics. However, the stars of the song are definitely Payal with her composition, Aditya with his arrangements and Jubin with his part of the vocals.
Two more soft songs follow, both by Rochak Kohli. In Bheege Mann, he goes back to the style of music he composed for the songs he did for Luv Ranjan films, ‘Tera Yaar Hoon Main’ (Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety) and ‘Dil Royi Jaaye’ (De De Pyaar De). The same kind of dulcet melody decorated with guitar riffs, piano notes (arrangements courtesy Aditya Dev) and stray aalaaps, but this time Arijit Singh is replaced by an equally efficient Altamash Faridi, thereby giving the song a rustic touch with his earthy voice. The composition is strong, and will have you enraptured for its entire duration, in spite of its similarities with Kohli’s previous numbers. Gautam G Sharma and Gurpreet Saini write pensive lines to accompany the serious composition, but all-in-all, it is a pleasant song to listen to.
Rochak’s second song, Udd Jaa, is a delight to listen to, because it starts with ethnic strokes of the bouzouki, mandolin and rabab (Tapas Roy), immediately blending into a folksy dholak rhythm, very Rochak-ish (reminding one of ‘Meer-e-Karwaan’ from ‘Lucknow Central’!) which is then followed by the beautiful voice of Tochi Raina (where was the man for so long!?) which suits the motivational and inspirational nature of the song so well! Rochak churns out a very creative composition, which sounds straight out of Coke Studio thanks to the gratuitous folk sounds. While listening to this song, I realise how heavily Rochak relies on folk music to make his songs sound rich, right from the initial days (I think he started using it mainly with ‘Mera Yaar Funtastic’ from ‘Welcome 2 Karachi’) to his songs in ‘Hawaizaada’, to the earlier mentioned ‘Meer-e-Karwaan’ (Lucknow Central), the beautiful Punjabi romantic song ‘Nain Na Jodeen’ (Badhaai Ho), right to the very recent songs in ‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga’. Rochak is incomplete without presenting Punjabi folk music in a very flattering way in his songs! Back to the song, Kumaar’s lyrics in the song suit the inspirational aspect of it, and complement the melody well, and put together, Tochi, Rochak and Kumaar end this album on a high note, with a strong folksy melody!


This album turns out to be one of the better-compiled multicomposer albums by T-Series after a while, the last ones being ‘Kabir Singh’ and ‘De De Pyaar De’ in my opinion! All four composers here try to bring what the movie needs, Tanishk with his mass-attracting remakes with club beats, Badshah with his trademark catchy beats, Payal Dev with her great composing debut and finally Rochak with his astounding use of Punjabi folk music.

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 7.5 + 6 + 7 + 8 + 8.5 + 9 = 46

Album Percentage: 76.67%

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: Udd Jaa > Bheege Mann > Dil Jaaniye > Koka > Saans Toh Le Le > Sheher Ki Ladki

 

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