CAREFREE EUROPEAN EXPERIMENTATION!! (BEFIKRE – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Vishal-Shekhar
♪ Lyrics by: Jaideep Sahni
♪ Music Label: YRF Music
♪ Music Released On: 1st December 2016
♪ Movie Releases On: 9th December 2016

Befikre Album Cover

Befikre Album Cover

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Befikre is an upcoming Bollywood rom-com film starring Vaani Kapoor and Ranveer Singh. The film is written, directed and produced by Aditya Chopra, who returns to the director’s chair after 8 years, after his last film, ‘Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi’. This new film of his celebrates being carefree in love, and looks like a light-hearted and fun romantic comedy. The film is scheduled to release on 9th December 2016, and prior to a film’s release, as always, it is solely the music and the occasional dialogue promos that provide it that extra boost in the pre-release week, that will take the public to the theatres. The duo behind the music is none other than Vishal-Shekhar, who have had a fantastic year, what with the single from ‘Fan’, the ‘Sultan’ album, the ‘Akira’ album and the ‘Banjo’ album. Though the last album was a bit disappointing as compared to the others, this one is bound to have great music, with the film having been set in Europe, and more particularly, in Paris, and we know how good the duo are with Western-styled music. The film’s music has had a long promotional period, starting on September 9th 2016, and spanning to December 1st, when the whole album released. Till then, the makers released five singles and just when I started to think that they will follow the strategy that Sony Music followed for ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’, the full album released, but just a week before the film does. That’s better than two days before the film though! During the long span of time for which the makers have been promoting the songs, many songs have already struck a chord with the public. So without further ado, lest the movie should release before I finish writing (as you know by now how I tend to overflow with words), let’s jump into this album!

By the way, I’m starting something new from this album onwards.. I noticed that lyrics haven’t been getting their due in my reviews unless they’re very bad (😂) so before the review of every song begins, I will add some of my favourite lines from the song as a kind of showcase! 😀 They might be lines I love, or lines I want to ridicule or lines that are simply humorous! Or they can be lines that sum up the whole song for me! So look out for those! Hope you like them! 😀


1. Nashe Si Chadh Gayi
Singers ~ Arijit Singh & Caralisa Monteiro

“Oh, udti patang jaise, mast Malang jaise,
Masti si Chadh gayi humko turant aise,
Lagti current jaise nikla warrant jaise,
Abhi abhi utra ho net se torrent jaise!”

The first song of the album is the one that has been making the most buzz lately, and it certainly deserves to be on the tip of everyone’s tongues! The song is a nice mélange of Punjabi and European musical elements, and the result is fascinating and quite intoxicating. The composition by Vishal-Shekhar is just the most basic thing you can hear these days, yet it surprises me how beautiful it ends up sounding for some reason! At first listen, it sounds like a very typical, run-of-the-mill Punjabi tune, but later grows on you so much, that the name of the song just suits the song! Vishal-Shekhar have overdone themselves, and also made an awesome and trippy song by using just three choruses that keep on repeating throughout the song, with a conclusion that concludes it on a very good note. Before this, I’ve never seen any other composer (of course, other than Himesh Reshammiya) do the whole repeating-the-tune-all-throughout-the-song thing so well! Vishal-Shekhar take three main tunes, the first being the hookline, “Nashe Si Chadh Gayi oyeee..” the second being the French counterpart of the hookline with those cute and funny “Kaale-oh, Kaale-oh” chipmunk voices, and the last being the wonderful fast-paced portions. The concluding stanza is just an awesome revamp of what traditional Punjabi songs usually comprise. It takes the song from the trippy and upbeat portions to a lilting, but still trippy, romanticised portion, which yet again makes way for the upbeat part before the song ends. Of course, we must compliment the arrangements too, for making a tune that might otherwise be seen as repetitive, into something so intoxicating. The Spanish/Arabic trap music, complete with that Arabic percussion, is just too irresistible. Also, the way the song starts off, with a drop of whatever-you-want-to-assume, is suchhhhhh an apt beginning to the song, which is clearly about intoxication. :p The techno sounds that the duo has added in between the lines of the hookline, are amazing, especially the “Kaale-oh” which I mentioned earlier. The club beats that might be a commonplace thing in the West, do sound quite innovative as per Bollywood’s standards, and yet bring some kind of old-world charm to the song due to the very earthy Punjabi composition. Also, it is interesting how the duo has kept the song sounding quote pleasant to the ears and not too loud, in spite of the beats! Now, on to the vocals! First of all, Arijit sheds his goody-two-shoes image, and renders this with all the spunk and gusto he can muster, which, not surprisingly, is a lot!! Whatever he has done seems to have worked so well, that people I know have actually asked me whether the singer of the song is Adnan Sami or Benny Dayal! Also, the way Arijit says “oyeee”! Too good! Caralisa on the other hand, gets the best portions of the song, and though they are in French, I find myself singing the hookline in French rather than the one in Hindi! Jaideep Sahni’s Lyrics are fun and very intelligently pleasant. Take this for example: “Khulti basant jaise, Dhulta kalank jaise, Dil ki daraar mein ho Pyaar ka cement jaise, Akhiyon hi akhiyon mein Jung ki front jaise, Mil jaye sadiyon se atka refund jaise”! Jaideep’s lyrics acually reminded me of ‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga’ (1942- A Love Story) because of the descriptions of the girl followed by the word “jaise”! A song that will actually get you grooving on it for many days to come! Nashe sa chadh gaya oyeee.. gaana nashe sa chadh gaya! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

2. Ude Dil Befikre
Singers ~ Benny Dayal & Sophie Choudry

“Dard mein yeh nikhre, haath mein jo pakde,
Banke rooi bikhre, armaan hain roohon ke nakhre!”

The next song is the much-awaited title song of the film, which we all heard in the trailer, and which increased everybody’s expectations from the album! So, the composition could otherwise be a very common Bollywood tune, but since the setting of the movie is Paris, the tune sounds all the more European, and we actually start to think of it as a folksy European tune! Anyway, those earlier Bollywood songs of Raj Kapoor’s era were inspired by European music! Back to the song, it takes on a much louder feel than the first song. The composition, as I said, is a nice and folksy European one if you look at it that way. The mukhda is basically the hook of the song, and it is marvellous! The youthful feel to it makes it gain this youth appeal that will really work in its favour. The antara is even better, with its European folksy nuances added perfectly by the duo to a very old-fashioned-sounding composition and delivered impeccably by Benny Dayal. The part where they count in French and end on a blasting Un! (meaning ‘one’) is so good! The opening tune, too, is good — the one played on those folk instruments. Speaking of instruments, let’s go on to the arrangements! The song starts off with awesome Balkan sounds, one sounding a lot like a bazooka. Also, a wonderful oud/rabaab can occasionally be heard there, while the rest is probably synth sounds. However, that amaziiiiinnng percussion just takes away your breath! Not that I doubt Vishal-Shekhar have the ability to do it, but Mikey McCleary is the music producer for the album, and maybe that’s where that distinct European feel has come into all the Bollywoodish tunes! Later in the song we can hear nice claps that go along with the beats, and that bazooka tune keeps repeating, only to please the listeners! 😀 The second interlude has a wonderful rabaab solo which is definitely not to be missed! What’s more, the second antara that follows is completely arranged on that rabaab! Towards the end, Benny evokes a very nomadic folksy voice that tops the whole European setting! Benny is absolutely marvellous throughout the song. His husky voice proves just right for the nuances in Balkan folk music (which of course, does meet the Turkish/Arabic music in some way — Europe and Asia being close as they are). Sophie Choudry is supposed to have sung the French vocals, but the only French vocals I hear are a whisper at the beginning of the song, before the mukhda begins, and that’s kind of minimal. But I guess she also joins Benny in the French counting. Jaideep’s lyrics here aren’t something extraordinary, but good for a situational title track. It definitely does describe the carefree nature of the main characters! A spunky title track, with an old-world tune but livening arrangements and vocals, which make this one a winner! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

3. Je T’aime
Singers ~ Vishal Dadlani & Sunidhi Chauhan

“Na dis jamais je T’aime, je T’aime, Na dis jamais je T’aime,
Kehna na yaar pyaar hai, na dis jamais je T’aime!
Phir dil niklega haathon se, Kar le khud pe reham,
Neendein phislengi raaton se, Kar le khud pe reham!”

The next song takes the form of a dreamy, lilting melody that befits the city of Paris in all ways! The song starts with a dialogue from the movie, and I hate when movie dialogues are incorporated into the audio tracks even in today’s world of editing and autotune. So I will have to ignore those dialogues, which are thankfully backed by a nice guitar, and get on to the actual song. A nice and soothing whistle starts off the song, and it abruptly stops to make way for the hook line of the song, which is started off very nicely by Vishal Dadlani. The duo’s composition is the first and foremost reason for the song instantly appealing to your ears. It is impossible to not love this song! 😀 The lilting melody that the duo has crafted in a very European style, sounds both catchy and sensual at the same time. The part after the mukhda which goes “Dard mein royega tu, yaar bhi khoyega tu..” sounds as dreamy as dreamy can get! Also, the line before the hookline is beautifulllll! Towards the end, a wonderful concluding stanza shows how the duo can keep up a certain kind of romance in the air throughout the song. The hookline itself overflows with romance and passion. The arrangements help just as much in making the song worth hearing again and again. A wonderful burst of classical French-styled music, complete with the orchestra, finger snaps, acoustic guitars and whatnot, brings a smile to your face. The saxophone wonderfully bridges stanzas to each other, while the violins excel in the interlude. Again, the duo (and McCleary) do a wonderful job at the instrumentation. The xylophone-thing in the antara, is just tooooooo adorable! The vocals are amazing and couldn’t have been any better! Vishal sounds very sensual, while Sunidhi sounds unusually young, to a great effect. The romance between the two characters can be feel even though the song, and that’s kind of rare in a song! Jaideep’s lyrics are wonderful here too, and the “Never say I love you” theme is very beautifully conveyed. A wonderful piece of art, possibly Vishal-Shekhar’s best romantic song of this year! And Sunidhi is just 😍😍😍😍! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

4. You And Me
Singers ~ Nikhil D’Souza & Rachel Varghese

“Raste, tedhe medhe raste, jab bhi ho jaaye kabhi yahaan, dal-dal lage jahaan,
Hass le, baahon ko phaila ke, thodi pi jaaye khuli Hawa, free mein mili hawa!”

As soon as this next song starts with its funky beats, you can’t help but get up and groove! A wonderful Mikey McCleary-ish guitar piece warmly welcomes you into the song, and then the crazy elements start appearing one by one. First of all, a weird-sounding bazooka-like sound, which gives way to an awesome and zany vocal rhythm that goes “wave it up up pom wayyy owww” and really gets you into the feel of the song. The composition turns out to be quite a simple one, in that it has not much going on, but it is really fun to hear. The mukhda is really nice, and though it has the same tune repeating eight times, it doesn’t seem monotonous at all. The antara might lose some of your attention, but as soon as it gets to the part where it is about to join the hookline, it gets its act together, and gets saved by a narrow margin! Also, since its short, it doesn’t really matter! The duo’s arrangements are really fun and enjoyable. That foot-tapping beat is just something you can’t forget easily, and see Ranveer and Vaani dancing to it in the video and the step won’t leave your head either. 😛 The drums have been put a really good use, while that aforementioned bazooka-thing (maybe a mouth organ) really excels throughout the song. Even in the interlude, it takes centre stage. The ukulele is awesome throughout the song. Vocals are topnotch yet again. Nikhil D’Souza gets a song he deserves after a long time, and seizes the opportunity, shining throughout. Rachel Varghese, a singer who has been singing for Mikey McCleary quite often, gets her big break after songs in small albums, that went unnoticed, though good. She sings her lines with the required amount of spunk. Jaideep writes fun lyrics that scream “friendship”. It is fun to listen to those situational lyrics. A teddy-bear song i.e, one that you can cuddle with as if it’s a teddy bear, because it’s so cute! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

5. Labon Ka Karobaar
Singer ~ Papon

“Dhoop mein ishq chaaon, dard mein aaraam,
Makhmali har raat, sharbati har shaam
Ishq ka leke naam, dil se nikle salaam
Na chhupa na dabaa, hoja tu belagaam”

After the zany and funky beats, yet another dreamy song comes our way, and just as the former romantic song on the album, this one too, is high on European music conventions! However, no complaints, because in this one, everything falls into place right away. The composers start the song right away, and as Papon takes over right from the first second of the second, you cant help but remember his wonderful rendition of ‘Bulleya’ from Vishal-Shekhar’s other album with YRF this year, ‘Sultan’. Anyway, back to this song. The tune is entrancing. From the first note to the last, the duo makes sure the listener’s attention is on nothing but the song, and they go to great lengths to do so. The song starts off with a nice and cute piece that verges on opera. The same tune repeats in a more quick tempo, and it sounds just as beautiful there too. And at the end of the verse, we get the title of the song. 😀 The “Rooh gaaye, jhoom jaaye…” line is just pure blisssssss! NOTHING could have taken its place on the song, and I’m so glad the duo has asse!bled the song the way they did. And then we go on to the antara, which just leaves no doubt that the song has turned out as fascinating as could ever be! The lines of the antara are just so captivating and sensual, that you just can’t not like them! Not to mention that they’ve been penned down wonderfully by Jaideep as well! The arrangements are something else that stun you from the first second of the song. The mandolin and harmonica just don’t know their limits! They keep on playing, yet make you crave for more. The violins are just opulent. The güiro, which is what’s making that croaking sound at 1:14 and 1:19, and at many, many other places in the song, is just an unsung hero! The violins in the antara actually make it sound silky! The way the antara has been abruptly glued to the hookline, in all its abruptness, seems such a seamless transition and I can’t praise Vishal-Shekhar enough for that! Towards the end, the various degrees of “Jebon mein bikhre hain taare” are a delight to hear! Papon’s voice is heaven! This man sings hardly three to four songs every year, but makes sure all of them are spectacular gems. Sadly, they’re some of the least promoted songs in their respective movies. 😦 In this song, he has taken on a wonderfully pleasant, sultry voice that suits the theme oh-so-well! Jaideep Sahni’s lyrics are something that can’t be spoken enough about! The way each line glides into the other, thanks to the duo Vishal-Shekhar’s expertise, makes them even more pleasant to listen to. The way he has described “kissing” as “Labon ka Karobaar” (the affairs of the lips) is innovative as well as super-genius. A gem!! Nothing less, nothing more! Please YRF, use this in the movie so that everyone can hear it!! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

6. Khulke Dulke
Singers ~ Gippy Grewal & Harshdeep Kaur, Backing Vocals by ~ Vishal Dadlani, Kunal Ganjawala & Ankur Tewari

“Ik jindadi na Kar haanji-hunji,
Maar de chhalanga with a bungee, bungee”

Everything about this album was European till now. There were some glimpses of Punjabi in ‘Nashe Si Chadh Gayi’, but that too was overshowed by internationally-appealing club beats. But now, we get a full-too, completely Punjabi song. The song does appear as an incongruity in the otherwise European-themed album, but if I were to judge it as a fun song, it stands proudly in its place. The composers try their best to give it a tune that will attract listeners even after the Western-ness of the previous tracks. And, Indians since we are, the song surely does appeal! The Punjabi-flavoured composition really gives the song a very fun theme and something that can be easily danced on. The song has this sinister sound, unlike the light sound of most Punjabi dance songs. The line “Ishq Di bungee baandh le yaaaaar…” is just so catchy, that you will find yourself singing it all day if you hear the song enough. The hookline too, is fun and enjoyable. The antara is nice and relieving from the loudness of the mukhda. The backing vocalists singing the “Ik jindadi na Kar haanji-hunji” line really surprised me and I found that part really funny, in a good way! The overall tune of the song smelled strongly of Vishal-Shekhar’s own ‘Dil Dance Maare’ (Tashan), but I didn’t find this as irritating as that one. 😛 The arrangements are just as required — loud and quirky. The brass band really squeezes its own life out by overworking itself. The tumbi tune at the beginning is so catchy, as are the horns. The dhols really sound great on earphones. The arrangements might seem like a mishmash at first listen, but in earphones they sound very clear, so do try that experience. Vocals are where the song falters a bit, with Gippy singing in a painfully high-pitched voice. However, you get accustomed to that too, thanks to the other wonderful elements of the song. Also, Harshdeep Kaur is there as the female vocalist, so what can go wrong! She sings her parts very efficiently, and for some reason, reminded me of Shreya Ghoshal’s voice! I don’t know why! 😛 Vishal Dadlani, Kunal Ganjawala and Ankur Tewari in the backing vocalists do an awesome job and provide nice entertainment just when the song seems to be dipping downwards. Jaideep’s lyrics here are quite situational, but that use of the ‘Bungee’ as a metaphor for love is hilarious!!! 😀 Enjoyable! Seems like a black sheep, but is actually a fun respite from the heavy romance in the previous song! I enjoyed it! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

7. Love Is A Dare

(Instrumental), Vocals ~ Rachel Varghese & Sophie Choudry

The album ends on a pact note, with an instrumental track, which is essentially a mélange of all the upbeat tracks we heard in the album. The track starts on a hard-hitting note, with rock guitars starting it off and the “kaale-oh” chipmunk sound from ‘Nashe Si Chadh Gayi’ accompanying it. Later on, it turns into a very thrilling instrumental rock version of the song, which sounds just as infectious as the original song itself. The techno sounds having been used quite generously, the instrumental version really does sound great. After that, not so seamlessly, the song switches to the title song, and this time, Sophie’s French vocals are audible clearly. Against the backdrop of wonderful Spanish guitars, Sophie’s French part from the title track makes for a good variation from the hard rock sound of the initial song. A nice tap-dance music follows, with the tune of the title track played on Spanish guitars, violins gracefully accompanying. And then we switch to the next track, with Rachel Varghese reprising the “wave it up up pom” from ‘You and Me’ for a very short time period, before the song switches yet again to ‘Je T’aime’, the only lilting and lulling piece in the whole instrumental track. Wonderful violins play the main melody of the song, while trumpets wonderfully complement it. Before you know it, the instrumental, which was almost as long as a complete song in itself, is over! Though the medley as such wasn’t very fluid, it was a pleasure to hear all the great songs from the album again. A good finale to the album! #5StarHotelSong!!


Befikre is easily Vishal-Shekhar’s best album this year. Seven tracks full of variety make for a nice repeat-listen album. The last time we had such a good, wholesome commercial album was not too long ago, in ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’. With two dreamy romantic ballads, four fun and enjoyable songs and one instrumental, the album has a lot to offer, and succeeds in its intention. The carefree attitude of the main characters is reflected well in the album, and it is nice to see an album that both sticks to the film’s requirements as well as caters to the audiences. Vishal-Shekhar close their account for 2016 with a winner — a carefree mix of experimental tracks that offers songs according to Bollywood’s music sensibilities, but with an European twist!

 

Final Rating for this Album: सा < रे < ग < म < प < ध < नी < सां

Note: The letter which is underlines is the final rating.

Recommended Listening Order: Labon Ka Karobaar > Je T’aime > Whatever order suits you! 😀

 

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

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