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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A TRIPLE-DEBUT TREAT TOILET!! (TOILET: EK PREM KATHA – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Vickey Prasad, Manas-Shikhar & Sachet-Parampara
♪ Lyrics by: Siddharth-Garima
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 13th July 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 11th August 2017

Toilet – Ek Prem Katha Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Toilet – Ek Prem Katha is an upcoming Bollywood satire, starring Alshay Kumar, Bhumi Pednekar, Divyendu Sharma and Anupam Kher,  directed by Shree Narayan Singh, and produced by Aruna Bhatia, Shital Bhatia, Abundantia, Viacom Motion Pictures, Arjun N. Kapoor and Hitesh Thakkar. The film comes in support of PM Modi’s ‘Swacchh Bharat Abhiyaan’ by raising fingers at the issue of open defecation, prevalent in remote and underdeveloped parts of the country. Now it is a really good topic, but somehow, by the trailer and promos, I am not sure whether it will be carried out in a humorous way without looking dramatic. Anyway, the music, very surprisingly, has been scored by three debutant music composers, two duos and one individual. Vickey Prasad, Manas-Shikhar and Sachet-Parampara are the five lucky people who got to debut in Bollywood with an Akshay Kumar album, and how wonderful an opportunity is that!! I hope they make great use of it though, and provide us with a nice and clean ‘Toilet’! {Sorry for the desperate joke!}


1. Hans Mat Pagli

Singers ~ Sonu Nigam & Shreya Ghoshal, Music by ~ Vickey Prasad

The first newcomer starts off the album with a cute romantic song which sends off a great rural-setting vibe. The song’s composition is nothing innovative as such, but it still manages to hook the listeners, since it is so cute and such a throwback to Bollywood of the 90s. The only grouse I have with the composition is that the hookline sounds a lot like the antara of ‘Pardesi Pardesi’ (Raja Hindustani), which would be where the 90s vibes are coming from. The song is structured quite oddly, with a male mukhda, a male antara, and then a female mukhda followed by a female antara. Why couldn’t they just club the mukhdas together and the antaras together? That way, the listener would get some variation from male to female and then back to a male voice. Anyway, as they wish. The composition for all these stanzas is very cute again. The recording seems a bit faulty and raw, but that’s probably deliberate? The arrangements are again, not anything new or innovative, but that soft Qawwali setting to the hookline gives a soothing feeling, and the dholaks have been played beautifully, as are the plucked string instruments throughout the song, and the guitar itself. There is a wonderful rapid tabla piece before Sonu sings his antara. The rhythm is heard before, but the cuteness of the composition helps you listen to such a rhythm yet again without complaining. The vocals send you back to 2005-2007, when Sonu-Shreya duets were the thing. Every director wanted a Sonu-Shreya duet in their film; sadly, nowadays, that happens only in films where the director knows only about the old singers, and hence his music ends up sounding outdated. But here, there is no datedness whatsoever. It is more like a nostalgia. Both singers do an amazing job, though I somewhere thought that Shreya was struggling with such a high-pitched line in the antara. Siddharth-Garima choose the perfect line for the hookline; it increases the cuteness quotient of the song. The rest of the lyrics are cute too, but not too innovative. A good song to start the album with, but it has its own faults.
Rating: 4/5

 

2. Bakheda

Singers ~ Sukhwinder Singh & Sunidhi Chauhan, Music by ~ Vickey Prasad

Vickey has the second song to his credit as well, making him the main composer on this album. This song takes a more lively route, but stays a romantic song. As soon as it starts, the folksy vibe hits you, and you are also relieved that Vickey has used a more modern recording style for this one; it proves that the recording was deliberately done that way for the previous song. The composition is a lively one, but the hookline is really a letdown — it is so staid and bland. Also, we have heard such a hook so many times where the mukhda builds up to it, and then after a pause, the hookline takes the song forward. The antaras are very well composed. Sukhwinder, at his usual energetic self, renders the song with ease, and creates a good impact on the listeners. The problem lies in Sunidhi’s vocals, which seem less energetic as usual. It really sounds like she wasn’t interested, or maybe the pitch was too low. That makes her portion sound very odd, despite the beautiful composition of the antara. The arrangements are lively folksy arrangements with the percussion leading, and a nice plucked instrument entertaining throughout. A sarangi can also be made out occasionally. The percussion is the star of the song though. Siddharth-Garima, again, write an effective song to go with the film, but the impact of the lyrics doesn’t reach the audience out of the film. A functional song, but won’t really stay with you for long.
Rating: 3/5

 

3. Gori Tu Latth Maar

Singers ~ Sonu Nigam & Palak Muchhal, Backing Vocals ~ Umesh Joshi, Vijay Dhuri, Swapnil Godbole, Karan Kagale & Rishikesh Patel, Music by ~ Manas-Shikhar

The Rahman vibe hits you as soon as this one starts with the beautiful chimey music at the beginning. Manas-Shikhar, another debutant duo, enter the album with this song, and with only one song to prove their worth, they seize the opportunity and let me tell you, they make the best use of it, better than both of the other composer teams on this album! They employ a very lively setting to a supposed-to-be sad song. It is the festival of Holi, but of course, Bhumi Pednekar’s character is mad at Akshay’s character, because of we know what! So this is a situational song, in which Akshay pleads to her for forgiving him. Against the backdrop of a Holi song, a very emotional song, and I’ve heard something like this for the first time. Siddharth-Garima’s lyrics reveal all the emotion in the best way possible. Now let’s go back to Manas-Shikhar’s music. Their composition is just so catchy, especially the mukhda, which should be catchy in order to hook the listeners right away. It sounds like something straight out of a Rahman song. The hookline also succeeds in being a very beautiful, and catchy line. The antara is the female part of the song, and it has a very beautiful tune as well, which will remind you of the 90s songs, that used to slow down in the middle for the female parts. There’s a nice tempo-rise towards the end, in which we hear the already popular “Radhe Radhe” chorus. Sonu Nigam renders the tune with such brilliance, knowing when to emote which emotion, and wonderful aalaaps. Palak too, sings beautifully, and the brilliant composition of her portion helps her do that wonderfully. The arrangements are ever fluctuating, with the emotional and soft sound from the mukhda alternating with the usual Holi sound of the dholaks and other percussions. The shehnaai is played in a very beautiful tune. Those bells at the beginning are the most beautiful though. A wholesome song that defines what Bollywood is all about — colour, festivity, emotion and dance! Oh, and congratulations to Manas-Shikhar for a smashing debut!
Rating: 5/5

 

4. Subha Ki Train

Singers ~ Sachet Tandon & Parampara Thakur, Backing Vocals ~ Sukriti Kakar & Rituraj Mohanty, Music by ~ Sachet-Parampara

The last of the debutants bring up the finale of the album, which happens to be yet another cute romantic song. This one is a little less folksy than the others, but it does have the effect that it should. Sachet Tandon and Parampara Thakur have composed a lilting melody, that, though situational, and very predictable, still makes you smile and feel good. The prelude gave off some vibes of “Tere Sang Yaara” (Rustom). The mukhda is very sweet and simple, and instantly grabs your attention. The letdown here is the hook, which is as staid and heard-before as imaginable. But the antara is mind-blowing; especially the second line of it. The arrangements too, follow a very simple template, with that cute Duff rhythm, and in a wonderful second interlude, the flutes assortment and strings orchestra just mystifies. The first interlude with the mouth organ is splendid too. Sachet and Parampara handle the vocals themselves, and strangely enough, employ Rituraj Mohanty and Sukriti Kakar as backing vocalists for the aalaaps. Parampara’s is a voice to look out for, while Sachet’s voice just blends in with the multitude of new male voices we have in Bollywood, other than Arijit. 😅 Again, Siddharth-Garima stick to situational yet catchy lyrics; the hook lyrics made me smile. A good finale, and a promising debut, but not a song that will stay in my head for more than a month.
Rating: 3.5/5


Toilet – Ek Prem Katha is an album just like Akshay Kumar movie albums usually are — fun, vibrant and groovy, but with an overbearing romantic theme. What makes it even more special is that all the composers are debutants and it is commendable of the makers to have accepted the three for a film which will reach so many people! Seizing the opportunity, all three newcomers do a good job, and especially Manas-Shikhar do an amazing one. The album is a triple-debut treat!!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4 + 3 + 5 + 3.5 = 15.5

Album Percentage: 77.5%

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: Gori Tu Latth Maar > Hans Mat Pagli > Subha Ki Train > Bakheda

 

Which is your favourite song from Toilet – Ek Prem Katha? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂