EK COMPOSER, DO COMPOSER, TEEN COMPOSER!! (LUCKNOW CENTRAL – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Arjunna Harjaie, Rochak Kohli, Tanishk Bagchi, Sukhwinder Singh & Mychael Danna
♪ Lyrics by: Kumaar, Adheesh Verma & Sukhwinder Singh
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 18th August 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 15th September 2017

Lucknow Central Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Lucknow Central is a Bollywood drama film, starring Farhan Akhtar, Gippy Grewal, Inaamulhaq, Deepak Dobriyal , Diana Penty, Rajesh Sharma and Ronit Roy. The film has been directed by Ranjit Tiwari, and produced by Viacom18 Motion Pictures, Monisha Advani, Madhu C. Bhojwani and Nikkhil Advani. The plotline of this film closely resembles that of recently released ‘Qaidi Band’, and it is obviously a coincidence of the worst case. There is a difference though. The music here, is done by multiple composers. Leading the way is youngster Arjunna Harjaie, with three songs, and after he impressed so much in ‘Titoo MBA’, I cant wait to hear what he did here. Tanishk Bagchi has two songs too, and one is a remake, because he is the remake specialist according to T-Series. Guest composer Rochak Kohli presents one song in the album. All three of these composers have proved their mettle in the past, and it goes without saying that when it is an Advani production, the film is bound to have good if not great music. Also, I think Farhan Akhtar himself looks into the music of his films, and so it is bound to be great. Comparisons between this film and ‘Qaidi Band’ are sure to happen, but I noticed ‘Qaidi Band’ relied much more on the music, and this will rely much more on plot points. It reflects even in the number of songs — that film had nine, while this one has five and one version. So let’s see if this album supports the film!


1. Kaavaan Kaavaan

Singer ~ Divya Kumar, Chorus ~ Shivek, Anubhav, Aditya, Shubham, Umesh, Veljon, Vishal and Sarthak From Asm Academy, Original Composition by ~ Sukhwinder Singh & Mychael Danna, Music Recreated by ~ Arjunna Harjaie, Original Lyrics by ~ Sukhwinder Singh, New Lyrics by ~ Kumaar

When Bollywood starts remaking songs from Hollywood movies (doesn’t matter that the song is Hindi, though) you would think things are finally messed up for real. However, it is a pleasant surprise when the remake actually turns out to be good, and quite innovative. Arjuna Harjai (now spelling his name as Arjunna Harjaie) returns after a year and a half, after the song from ‘Do Lafzon Ki Kahani’ last year, and gets the opportunity to recreate this quite popular Punjabi number ‘Ajj Mera Jee Karda’ (Monsoon Wedding). The original had been composed jointly by Sukhwinder Singh and the film’s composer Mychael Danna. Now this remake is quite a good one. The composition has been kept intact for most of the song, with Arjunna having composed a new prelude to the song, with a haunting tune that immediately gets you interested. The original composition is good, and the “Kaavaan Kaavaan” portions, which I found irritating in the original, actually sound good here. The thing that makes this remake worthwhile though, is the amazing music. Arjunna equips a booming dhol rhythm (Vishal Dande), that has the required effect on the listener, making him or her groove to it happily. The shehnaai gives a wonderful traditional feel to the song. Strings and dafli have been used occasionally to infuse a strain of pathos through the song, and especially the antara (incorporated from the original itself) is beautiful, both in tune and its arrangements. The numerous tempo changes would normally be very confusing to a listener, but here, Arjunna manages them so seamlessly, it is unbelievable. As for the vocals, Divya Kumar steps into Sukhwinder Singh’s shoes without a problem, but because he does so, it evokes memories of Divya’s own ‘Jee Karda’ (Badlapur) in the first line of the song. 😄 And then a layman can easily say, “Hey! It’s a copy!” Because he wouldn’t know that ‘Ajj Mera Jee Karda’ came before ‘Jee Karda’. But I commend the makers for firmly sticking with Divya’s voice anyway, since he has sung amazingly — the Punjabi-ness comes across beautifully through his voice, and he especially does the emotional portions very nicely. Kumaar’s additional lyrics are good too, adding on Sukhwinder’s original. An apt remake, with an amazing rhythm, and changes that do not disrupt the original song’s integrity.

Rating: 4/5

 

2. Meer-E-Kaarwaan

Singers ~ Amit Mishra & Neeti Mohan, Music by ~ Rochak Kohli, Lyrics by ~ Adheesh Verma

Rochak Kohli enters the soundtrack next, with his sole song, which happens to be a wonderful Sufi duet, with, again, a strain of pathos running through it. The composer doesn’t usually get to do such songs, but he did impress us with the amazingly soothing ‘Rozana’ (Naam Shabana) earlier this year, so it is no surprise that he ended up composing this one so well. The composition is so fresh, and quite like the Pritam school of alternative rock, it mixes Sufi sounds with a templated rock rhythm. Without the Sufi, the rock would’ve sounded incomplete, and vice versa. So it is like a beautiful combination that couldn’t be avoided. The antara is beautiful, and I must mention Neeti here, because she has sung her antara splendidly, and it is a delight to hear her in that whispery voice of hers. Her co-singer, Amit Mishra, builds on where Pritam left him off in ‘Bulleya’ (Ae Dil Hai Mushkil), and here, he makes an effort to remain soft and not as energetic as he was there, and the result is excellent. The arrangements are rich as well, the dholaks providing the authentic Sufi touch, while the amazing guitar work (Keba Jeremiah) and strokes (Tapas Roy) are one of the highlights of the song. The choruses at the end and in the second interlude, have been composed beautifully. Also, there’s a pause after the second interlude, where one thinks the song ends, but it seems Rochak has more to give us! The lyrics by Adheesh Verma are great too! A song that wonderfully mixes elements of Pritam and Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy styles of composition, and a beautiful Sufi-Rock arrangement!

Rating: 4.5/5

 

3. Teen Kabootar

Singers ~ Mohit Chauhan & Divya Kumar, Additional Vocals ~ Aflatunes, Music by ~ Arjunna Harjaie, Lyrics by ~ Kumaar, Rap Written & Performed by ~ Raftaar

Arjunna returns to the album with his second song, this time, a fun a cappella number full of onomatopoeia. The beginning itself gets your interest peaked and you listen closely right from the beginning, where the singers do an innovative sargam, that sounds excellent. The composition by Arjunna, yet again, resembles the style of a cappella that Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy are well-known for, and they have succeeded with it in songs like ‘Maston Ka Jhund’ (Bhaag Milkha Bhaag). The composition doesn’t appeal to you at once though. It is the various vocal rhythms and sound effects that help you to find it appealing. The vocalists do an amazing job. Mohit’s metallic voice is the perfect choice for the song, and when he goes seamlessly from low to high notes, it sounds wonderful! Divya usually takes the high octaves and does so here as well. These lead singers definitely do well, but the backing vocalists also provide a very fun element to the song! The interlude where they sing “Chaaku Chaaku Leke Jaa..” is so fun to listen to! Even Raftaar’s rap adds an element of fun to the song. About the arrangements, whatever I say will be less. Amazing percussions (Taufiq Qureshi’s Mumbai Stamp) and guitar work makes the song appealing to listen to, and as mentioned before, Arjunna’s amazing use of the a cappella style in a desi way makes this song sound very unconventional. Kumaar’s situational lyrics too are clever and serve the purpose well. This song might be Arjunna’s ticket to many more Bollywood films which need quirky music!!

Rating: 4/5

 

4. Rangdaari

Singer ~ Arijit Singh, Backing Vocals by ~ Arjunna Harjaie, Music by ~ Arjunna Harjaie, Lyrics by ~ Kumaar

Arijit Singh has started to get songs in every film yet again; there was a kind of low phase intermittently. The only difference is that before, it used to appear right at the beginning of soundtracks. Now it has changed. And in this album too, we see an Arijit Singh song popping up as the fourth song on the soundtrack. The composition is amazingly beautiful. Arjunna Harjaie composes a wonderful Sufi tune, which is familiar to the ears, but soothing nonetheless. The hookline is something you’ve heard time and again, but still works its magic to soothe you down. Especially that line “tu laagey mujhe dushman si..” has been composed very beautifully. The antaras are beautiful, and the whole structure of the song reminds me of the recently released ‘Bairaagi’ (Bareilly Ki Barfi) which sadly, didn’t work for me as well as this. Arjunna decorates his magical composition with stellar musical instruments. First of all, he gives the genuine Sufi touch with the dholaks (Aanchal Goud), which sound wonderful and very earthy. But it is the interlude, in which he introduces a wonderful flute piece (Shubham Shirule), accompanied by a MIND-BLOWING sargam by Arijit (or is it Arjunna?). And it is then that the song gives off beautiful Rahmanish vibes, but also gets its own place in your heart. The Duff rhythms do sound too heard-before, but they’re ignorable due to the wonderful things Arjunna has added besides that. The ethnic strings sound amazing here, and as always, Tapas Roy has done magic with them. The vocals by Arijit are top-notch, but it is his everyday composition and he aces it as was expected. The lyrics are very impressive here as well. A beautiful Sufi song, with a familiar sound, but still impressed me because of its innocence!

Rating: 4.5/5

 

5. Kaavaan Kaavaan (Remix)

Singers ~ Sukhwinder Singh & Renesa, Original Music by ~ Sukhwinder Singh & Mychael Danna, Music Recreated by ~ Tanishk Bagchi, Original Lyrics by ~ Sukhwinder Singh, New Lyrics by ~ Kumaar

So ‘Kaavaan Kaavaan’, the opening track of the album, gets a ‘Remix’, or so T-Series calls it. But this isn’t the remix of Arjunna Harjaie’s song. It is the remix of the original song from ‘Monsoon Wedding’, done by Tanishk Bagchi, the third composer of the album. Also, I wouldn’t call it a remix at all, since it might just be another remake of the song by Tanishk, but Arjunna’s must have gotten chosen as the main version. This one is merely Tanishk’s original take on this song. That having been said, I can say Tanishk has worked very hard on this one. He tries to add digital beats wherever possible to make the song sound fresh, but some places it just doesn’t work, especially after the Indian arrangements that led the Arjunna version. Not that Tanishk hasn’t added dhols and all, but the emotion of the song doesn’t come across as well in this one. For a dance track though, this is better. Tanishk also ropes in Sukhwinder himself to re-dub the song, and that’s definitely a plus point. Renesa does the female portions of the song, and she sounds awesome. What bugged me was the hookline, where I found the backing vocalists too loud. A more zesty remake, but not more effective.

Rating: 3.5/5

 

6. Baaki Rab Pe Chhod De

Singers ~ Brijesh Shandilya, Vayu, Tanishk Bagchi & Arman Hasan, Music by ~ Tanishk Bagchi, Lyrics by ~ Kumaar

Tanishk’s second song serves as the caboose for this album, closing the album on a very lively and bright note. I say this because right from the beginning of the song, you know it is going to lift your spirits. It starts quite similarly to ‘Raula’ (Jab Harry Met Sejal), with lively plucked strings. The composition is fun to listen to, too, but gets slightly disjointed in the latter parts. It starts off brilliantly though, and the hookline is delightful. The arrangements here too, are mainly digital beats, but this time they succeed in remaking the song livelier. Tanishk’s trademark liveliness comes across well through this song, and it is a thing to wonder, why he spends time in doing some remakes. The singers do justice to the song, the lead singer, Brijesh doing an exceptionally good job. Little Arman Hasan, who we heard in ‘Kankad’ (Shubh Mangal Saavdhan), singing alongside his father Raja Hasan, does well too. Vayu has probably done some backing vocals, so I couldn’t really place him in the song! Kumaar’s lyrics, are amazing. He writes some amazingly positive lines in this one too, taking the support of various scientific inventors like Thomas Edison and Graham Bell. Lively song, but could’ve been slightly better!

Rating: 4/5


Lucknow Central is one of those rare multicomposer albums that is a delight to listen to. Well, I guess when each composer knows what he is best at, and delivers the best of whatever he is best at, with the proper supervision by the director and producer, the multicomposer album can also turn out well. Ek Composer, Do Composer, Teen Composer, But No Sign That This Album is Multicomposer!!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4 + 4.5 + 4 + 4.5 + 3.5 + 4 = 24.5

Album Percentage: 81.67%

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: Rangdaari = Meer-E-Kaarwaan > Kaavaan Kaavaan = Baaki Rab Pe Chhod De = Teen Kabootar > Kaavaan Kaavaan (Remix)

 

Remake Counter:
No. Of Remakes: 31 (from previous albums) + 02 {counting both different takes on ‘Ajj Mera Jee Karda’} = 33

 

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