BHANSALI’S MUSICAL GRANDEUR!! (PADMAAVAT – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Sanjay Leela Bhansali
♪ Lyrics by: A.M. Turaz, Siddharth-Garima & Swaroop Khan
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 21st January 2018
♪ Movie Releases On: 25th January 2018

Padmaavat Album Cover

 

Listen to the album: Saavn

Buy the album: iTunes


Padmaavat is an upcoming Bollywood period film starring Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh in lead roles, and Aditi Rao Hydari, Jim Sarbh, Raza Murad and Anupriya Goenka in supporting roles. The film is directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and produced by himself along with Sudhanshu Vats and Ajit Andhare. So the film has been in the news for the past three months and so, and as happy as I am that it is finally releasing, I can’t stop wondering what Bhansali himself must have gone through during all this. Anyway, on to the music. Bhansali had started off in ‘Khamoshi’ with a composer duo that was quite famous back then — Jatin-Lalit. With his next film though, he started to push debutants, and we got Ismail Darbar and Monty Sharma. However, with “Guzaarish”, he started composing his films’ music himself, and that tradition has carried on to his fourth film after “Guzaarish”. The results were phenomenal everytime he composed for a film himself, and I’m expecting, of course, this one to be no less!!


Before going into the songs, two things I notice immediately are how late the music has released, since music plays such an integral part of Bhansali’s films, and the second thing I notice is corollary to that — it has only six songs, breaking the usual Bhansali tradition of ten songs — it seems this movie hinges more on its script than its music. That being said though, the album is a treat for lovers of music from different regions! Now, let’s see how the songs fared for me.
The minor blemishes in Ghoomar (will get to them) are wisely covered up by an enticing Rajasthani folk chorus and arrangement, which doesn’t make it necessary to delve deeper into the song for any criticism. The starting and end chorus portions let by Swaroop Khan, complemented by the wonderful female chorus — Aditi Paul, Tarannum Mallik, Pratibha Baghel & Kalpana Gandharv, are brilliant and rich in their sound, grand as an SLB song can only be. The blemishes referred to earlier are mainly whenever Shreya goes into ultra-high pitch, as in the antara. Percussions are delightful, with the dhols and khartals stealing the show, and the subtle sarangi and shehnaai too, make their presence felt. The only other song on the album that sounds Rajasthan-based is Holi, a folk song of the Manganiyar and Langa communities. Richa Sharma’s stupendous rendition figures well amidst the Mughal-e-Azam-esque music, with Shail Hada’s wonderful Aalaaps making the Mughal-e-Azam-esque feeling stronger! The tablas and all other percussions too, for that matter, are wonderful here, as is the sitar, and even the wonderful peacock sounds.
The next part of the album sounds wholly and solely Middle-Eastern, in keeping with the Khilji Dynasty sound. Khalibali seems to be a celebratory number in the villain’s lair, where the villain is lovestruck at first sight of you-know-who. And if the film had been produced by Disney, the song would not have been out of place. Not that it is out of place here too, but can’t imagine Khilji dancing to this just as I couldn’t imagine Bajirao dancing to ‘Malhari’ until I saw it. The song itself is quite enjoyable, with an overbearing Balkan touch, and nice Arabic warbling in the backing chorus. Shivam Pathak has a nice time crooning the song, and gets the evilness of Khilji quite perfect. Shail Hada complements him well. I just don’t know why it starts like a song from a movie like “Robot”. The arrangements are great — the Arabic violins, percussions give it an enjoyable touch.
More enjoyable as a Middle-Eastern themed song is Binte Dil by Arijit, breaking the usual Arijit-SLB song stereotype. The warbling by Arijit here is amazing, but gets awkward after a point. The oud and percussions are well done. The song starts promisingly but slows down in the middle portions, where Arijit sounds strained. The compositions of both these Khilji songs are quite ho-hum too, frankly.
The other two songs fit neither in the Rajasthan category nor the Middle-Eastern themed category. That being said, Ek Dil Ek Jaan is a wonderful Sufi romantic number, sung wonderfully by Shivam Pathak, the lucky man who gets to sing for both the male leads. The song is highly propped on his vocals, because otherwise it is a typical SLB Raag yaman number, almost a mix of ‘Laal Ishq’ (Ram-Leela) and ‘Aayat’ (Bajirao Mastani) in equal proportions. The best of the album also features here; Nainowale Ne by Neeti Mohan is a wonderful romantic number, which is heavily inspired by classical music. Neeti’s rendition is one of her most cute yet mature renditions yet. Bhansali increases the song’s richness by adding wonderful musical arrangements like the sitar, santoor, peacocks (again), matka, and the beautiful backing chorus towards the end and in the interlude. The song is way too short, and I wish it were much, much longer!! Siddharth-Garima’s lyrics are beautiful too, with a mix of innocence and sensuousness.

On a concluding note, you might have noticed I wrote almost nothing  about the lyrics in the album — thats because barring Siddharth-Garima’s ‘Nainowale Ne’, the lyrics are nothing but the usual, run-of-the-mill material.


Not as intriguing as Bhansali’s other albums, but definitely has a place of its own, with so much musical richness in the arrangements!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album:8.5 + 8.5 + 8 + 8 + 8 + 9.5 = 50.5

Album Percentage: 84.17%

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:  Nainowale Ne > Holi = Ghoomar > Khalibali = Ek Dil Ek Jaan = Binte Dil

 

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

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