Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Kaustav Narayan Niyogi, Munish Makhija & Tony Kakkar
♪ Lyrics by: Kaustav Narayan Niyogi, Tony Kakkar & Qateel Shifai
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 27th April 2016
♪ Movie Releases On: 27th May 2016
To hear the full songs of this album on Saavn CLICK HERE
To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE
Cabaret is an upcoming Bollywood romantic/dance film, starring Richa Chadda, Gulshan Devaiah and cricketer S. Sreesanth in lead roles. The film is directed by debutant Kaustav Narayan Niyogi and produced by Pooja Bhatt. The film is based on the struggles in the life of a cabaret dancer, and I strongly guess that the film is set in the past. When the film is about a dancer, and that too, cabaret dancer, one expected great music. This time, the music has been given by newcomers though. The director of the film, Kaustav Narayan Niyogi, is one of the music directors, while actor Munish Makhija is another. The only name in the music directors list who is known for music, is Tony Kakkar. If the director felt the need of composing songs himself, it must be required and he must’ve given his best shot! He has composed three songs along with Munish, while Munish composes or rather, remixes, two songs all by himself, both remakes of traditional songs. Tony gets only one song, and thankfully, it isn’t a club song, so we can expect something beautiful. With that, I start reviewing the music of ‘Cabaret’!
1. Paani Paani
Singer ~ Sunidhi Chauhan, Music by ~ Kaustav Narayan Niyogi & Munish Makhija, Lyrics by ~ Kaustav Narayan Niyogi
The first song of the album is composed by Kaustav and Munish together as a duo. Sunidhi being credited as the singer of the song really increases expectations, and they are eventually met. The song starts with a techno tune, which is really hooking. As Sunidhi bursts in with her bold and heavy voice, the song shines even more. The composition treads familiar item song territory, reminding heavily of ‘Kamli’ (Dhoom 3), yet charms in its own way. Kaustav-Munish do come up with stuff that serves as an instant earworm. Though the composition does invoke memories of other Sunidhi songs, it does impress nevertheless. The hookline, mainly, has the power to attract listeners. Sunidhi’s vocals are the main attraction in the song. The song would have sounded boring, had another singer sung it. She has infused right amounts of energy and feel to the song and doesn’t make it sound cheap, which is the usual tag given to songs in this category. Her vocal nuances and variation do impress, and after all, she is one of the best today. The duo’s arrangements are really cool, and though they are a LONG way from cabaret, they appeal, and so it makes the song worth listening. Electronic tablas before the hookline impress, as do electric guitars wonderfully throughout the whole song. Other than those, everything else is digital, and it still sounds great! It is commendable how the duo has made the song classy by adding all the techno elements and rock elements. Kaustav’s lyrics are typical to item songs, but as I said, the arrangements plays the gamechanger and elevates the lyrics, not making it sound like one. A good fusion by the newcomers! Catchy and groovy, with the wonderful Sunidhi’s great voice! Good start to the album! #5StarHotelSong!!
2. Phir Teri Bahon Mein
Singer ~ Sonu Kakkar, Music by ~ Tony Kakkar, Lyrics by ~ Tony Kakkar
Tony steps in next, for his sole composition in the album. Just a few days ago, I had really thrashed his song ‘Do Peg Maar’ (One Night Stand), which was really very cheap. However, this time he is here with a romantic song, sung by his second sister Sonu, whose voice I really enjoy more than Neha’s. The song has been styled like a ghazal and has been composed really soulfully. Tony seems to have put all his soul into the composition and also seems to want to apologise for the blunder that was his last song. The composition is one of those rare gems that arrive once in a while, which is really, really, slow-paced, yet it appeals to you. It makes you want to keep hearing again and again on loop, and that is what means the song has been successful. Sonu sings with all her heart and soul, and impresses like never! The arrangements are highly subtle, with almost nothing but acoustic guitars and digital beats. They sound beautiful with the slow-paced song, and the soulful vocals. Tony has worked really hard to make this composition mind-blowing, and his sincerity is evident in the heart-rending resulting composition. I just thought one line in the antara resembled the antara of ‘Sunn Raha Hai’ (Aashiqui 2). The mukhda, or you can say the hookline, is really emotional and soulful, while the antara just keeps those emotions intact until the end of the song! Tony writes as soulfully as he composes, with wonderful ghazal-like lyrics that accompany the song really well! I just have one real complaint against the song, which is that it is wayyyyy too small at 3 minutes and 32 seconds! 😀 A complete winner in all departments! Composition is stellar, arrangements are fabulous, while the vocals and lyrics are heart-touching. What more can I ask for?? The album just got better with Tony’s song! #5StarHotelSong!!
3. Do Anjaane
Singer ~ Roopkumar Rathod, Music by ~ Kaustav Narayan Niyogi & Munish Makhija, Lyrics by ~ Kaustav Narayan Niyogi
The next song is a haunting, yet scintillating piece by Kaustav and Munish. A haunting start with a whistle creates the perfect ambience for the song, after which a synthesizer tune builds up to the actual melody of the song. The duo has taken the retro path for this one, making the song sound like a Bollywood 70s or 80s song. The overall composition is very soulful and lovely. The mukhda makes the perfect start to the song, with a hooking tune. The antara is even better and sounds more retro. All in all, the composition is very impressive and goes with the theme of the movie. It reminded me a bit of early Rahman songs. The duo has done a really good job at making it feel that they aren’t newcomers in this field at all. Techno sounds don’t sound weird here, as they are neither overused nor are they too raw. They are just perfect so they do appeal. There are literally no more arrangements other than techno sounds, which do the job of keeping listeners’ ears glued to the song. There is a wonderful wind instrument solo in the second interlude, and though it is pretty soft to the ears, it does impress. Roopkumar, who we are hearing after a pretty long time, impresses with his seasoned vocals, and we can just sit back and relax throughout the song, thanks to his perfect rendition of the song. He doesn’t fail to impress in any part of the song, though it is a pretty simple composition. Kaustav’s lyrics are good, not great. A great song, with a beautiful tune and impressive vocals. The bonus is that, the techno arrangements don’t disappoint! #5StarHotelSong!!
4. Mohe Na Aaye Na Jag Se Laaj
Singer ~ Neeti Mohan, Music by ~ Munish Makhija, Lyrics by ~ Qateel Shifai (Traditional)
For the next song, Munish wears the cap of the sole music director. The song is a classical mujra-styled song, but not the usual one, as it is fused with techno arrangements. The composition is traditional, and legends such as Pankaj Udhas, Abida Parveen, Anuradha Paudwal, Salma Agha have all tried a go at it. For Gen-Y though, here it is, remastered and rearranged, much to my disappointment. I hadn’t heard the old versions of the song before this, but the composition was the same, so actually, Munish has done nothing on the composition front. The composition, whoever has done it and passed it down generation to generation, is splendid. A soothing feeling overcomes you as the song plays, and this is all because of the traditional composition. Neeti gets to do the vocals, and shines like always, her husky voice being the star of the song. She does complete justice to the composition. What a fabulous rendition she’s done, and that would only be believed when heard. A wonderful aalaap towards the end makes your day. That is all that is good about the song, and also the traditional lyrics by Qateel saab. Everything else is just a trick on the ears. By adding various annoying techno sounds, Munish plays with our brain, tricking us into thinking he’s done a very extraordinary renovation of the song. However, it is just an obstacle in the otherwise great song. A mujra done in a rock template has been heard before (Dil Mera Muft Ka from ‘Agent Vinod’ and Hamari Atariya Pe from ‘Dedh Ishqiya’). A techno-mujra would be so interesting, but only if very well-done! Munish has just added weird beats everywhere, and since the composition is traditional, a traditional approach was expected, at least some fusion like tablas and sitar with the techno sounds would have been better. I can’t do anything but commend Munish for his efforts, but I would’ve liked it, had he not spoiled the song. An original techno-mujra or a rock-mujra would’ve been better! In spite of all that, award-winning rendition from Neeti Mohan!! Hear it only for her and the soothing composition!
5. Aakhri Shaam
Singer ~ Bhoomi Trivedi, Music by ~ Kaustav Narayan Niyogi & Munish Makhija, Lyrics by ~ Kaustav Narayan Niyogi
After a techno-item song, a ghazal-styled romantic song, a haunting song, and a mujra, here comes a disco cabaret number. Bhoomi Trivedi gets to do the honours of singing the track. The song starts off with haunting piano notes, and a voice saying “I love you” very weirdly. As soon as the mukhda starts, you get the feeling that something is missing in the track. And that something is, innovation in the composition. The tune seems really typical to disco cabaret numbers of the past (except of course, with more digitalization). The tune is so heard-before, you feel like listening to a Bappi Lahiri 80s number instead of this. Secondly, on top of the heard-before tune, it isn’t well-polished and put together well either! It seems like a mashup of so many cabaret songs. And when the composition is weak, there is practically no hopes for the song to survive for long in our playlist, forget in our minds. Bhoomi does her work with great responsibility, and ends up being the star of the song. Her rendition is at par and maybe even better than her rendition of ‘Ram Chahe Leela’ (Goliyon Ki Rasleela — Ramleela), but due to the weak and dated composition, it hasn’t been exploited to its fullest. The arrangements are great as well, but again, a bit too dated. I mean, Bollywood has been there and got over that a few years ago! The disco era has been revisited many times in the recent past, and Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy seem to have given it its best tribute with many songs in the Don franchise. The techno sounds are typical (and frankly, this album has started to make me hate techno!! It is so overdone here!!) and the strings and piano try to survive among those noises, but can barely be noticed. Kaustav’s lyrics again, are typical with the essential rhyming words of ‘shaam’ and ‘jaam’ and ‘mere naam’ in many disco songs of the past. When disco was introduced to Bollywood, nobody would have thought such an overdone tribute would be made in the future! A miserable composition whose only saving grace is Bhoomi’s bold vocals! Plus, one of those songs that gets stuck in your mind unwantedly, so you decide whether to hear it or not!
6. Bibi Sanam
Singer ~ Usha Uthup, Backing Vocals by ~ Bianca Gomes & Shazeen Arethna, Music by ~ Munish Makhija, Lyrics by ~ Traditional, Additional Lyrics by ~ Kaustav Narayan Niyogi
The last song on the album is another remake. This time a traditional Afghani folk song has been remade. The song has got a complete pop makeover, and Munish has employed some hip-hop arrangements to complement the composition, which is traditional. It is the song that most suits the cabaret theme, and it has been remade decently too. However, what it lacks is spunk and style, and instead seems to be trying way too hard to sound cool. The backing vocalists, who are usually a great accessory in songs, bring down the song’s quality. What I felt about the arrangements was that they were pretty cool, yet a bit undercooked. They didn’t seem perfect and it left the song sounding a bit incomplete. The horns are a great choice though! And so are the hip-hoppish beats. Usha Uthup, with all due respect, doesn’t sound as good as normal, but I’m sure that’s not her fault! The lyrics are traditional, and the additional lines added by Kaustav are in tune with the theme and work. Weak composition, weak arrangements, and weak vocals — weak song. Another folk song ruined by experimentation.
I was expecting a lot from Cabaret. Little did I know that the makers wanted to overdo it with the experimentation. Great compositions have been spoiled by weird techno sounds. At first it was fine, but when the whole album practically turned out like that, it got pretty annoying. But that’s not why I liked the first three songs and not the last three. I liked them because they were good, and the others were trying to be too good! Munish Makhija with his remakes does decently in both, but spoils them with the arrangements. Out of Kaustav-Munish’s three songs together, ‘Do Anjaane’ got most of my love, while ‘Paani Paani’ closely follows, and ‘Aakhri Shaam’ takes the last position. Tony Kakkar is the star of the album with his one and only song scoring full marks from me. 🙂 This album is a classic example of why sweet and simple wins the race; too much experimentation ruined the album.
Final Rating for This Song: सा < रे < ग < म < प < ध < नी < सां
Note: The letter which is underlined is the final rating.
Recommended Listening Order: Phir Teri Bahon Mein > Do Anjaane > Paani Paani > Mohe Aaye Na Jag Se Laaj > Bibi Sanam > Aakhri Shaam
Which is your favourite song from Cabaret? Please vote for it below! 🙂
Next “dish”: Sarbjit, Chefs: Shail-Pritesh, Tanishk Bagchi, Amaal Mallik, Jeet Gannguli & Shashi-Shivamm