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Music Review : 7 Khoon Maaf


Tere Liye Tere Liye
Lafzon Mei, Lamhon Ki, Doliyan Laaye Hain
Sheron Mei, Khushboo Ki, Boliyan Laaye Hain

Yes, this is a gift from Gulzar & Vishal to all of us; a gift of musical words detailing certain moments which have been carefully crafted. Teaming with Vishal Bharadwaj yet again, Gulzar brings us this buoquet of songs with flowers of all moods.

Halki Si Sardiyan Aur Saans Garam Ho
Shaamo Ki Shawl Bhi, Thodi Si Narm Ho
Tere Liye Kishmish Chuney, Pistey Chuney, Tere Liye
Humne To Parindo Se, Baaghon Ke Saude Kiye

The sweetness of Suresh Wadkar’s voice pours honey into our ears. This song Tere Liye is sweeter than the lullaby Jag Ja that Wadkar sang in Omkara. There is a romantic huskiness that he has infused into the song and that actually works for it. Wish other musicians would utilize his voice too, its been such an under-used voice.

The same can be said of KK too. When I heard him in O’Mama, I felt I was hearing his voice after such a long time. KK rocked the song. His voice is perfect for that pitch and the high-level energy.

Aise Dabey Paon Aaye Woh Ki Chhaap Na Ho
Khwaab Mei Mil Jaaye Lekin Woh Khwaab Na Ho
Umeed To Nahin, Phir Bhi Umeed Ho
Koi To Iss Tarah, Aashiq Shaheed Ho

And the way Gulzar glides from sweet melody to a rock song mode is fantastic. This reminded me of Mai Khuda from Paanch. Vishal’s composition of this song is superb, with great orchestration.

But Vishal does not restrict himself to composing, he takes to the mike too. The song Bekaraan is similar sounding to the title song of Kaminey. The same voice quality and softness is in display. Its like an onion that he peels, layer after layer; wallowing in emotions.

Ik Zara Dekhiye To, Aapke Paon Taley
Kuchh To Atka Hai Kahin, Waqt Se Kahiye Chaley
Udti Udti Si Nazar Mujhko Chhoo Jaye Agar
Ek Tasleem Ko Har Baar Meri Aankh Jhuki Hai
Aap Ko Dekh Ke Badi Der Se Meri Saans Ruki Hai

Its a beautiful poetic expression of how time comes to a stand-still and the tender request to let time move on as the moment hath passed. Gulzar is a true wizard of words and phrases.

His devotional lyrics in Yeshu song has a haunting feel of loneliness and search for the Almighty. It highlights the fact that we think of the Lord only at times of desperation and need for a saviour, much like the way a child looks to hide itself in the safe arms of his mother.

Koi Nahin Iss Waqt Yahan
Iss Waqt Mujhe Apnaana
Aagosh Mei Apni Le Lo
Phir Chaahe Jahan Le Jaana

But what’s even more remarkable is the way Gulzar paints the picture of Christ bearing the cross, although his love is all encompassing.

Tum Pyaar Hi Pyaar Ho Lekin
Kya Pyaar Saleeb Hoti Hai

Rekha Bharadwaj has sung this soft number in an inimitable voice that envelops empathy, love, yearning, desperation and loneliness. Each line of the song has an accentuated expression. What was surprising was that, there was no church-bell or sounds of gong or a ticking clock in the song.

In the album, the above song is preceeded by another rock number Dil Dil Hai, sung by Suraj. Not many may recall but Suraj had sung the Zahreelay Zahreelay song in Rock On! Here too, Suraj has put in all his energy.

Dil Dard Ki Matki Hai, Dil Jaan Ki Aafat
Badmashiyan Karke, Dikhlaaye Sharafat
Jo Dil Ko Chura Le, Dil Uski Amaanat
Sab Ishq Ke Mujrim, Ik Dil Ki Zamaanat

John Abraham is a rock star in the movie, so I guess this song would be picturised on him. I don’t recall any rock songs of Gulzar, prior to this album, but here he gives us two gems. The words are not there as fillers, these are well meaning lyrics and not casual rhymes. Hats off to Gulzar for switching between genres/subjects of different songs without diluting the intensity. And accolades to Vishal too.

While we think that all moods have been covered, Vishal surprises us with Awaara song. Sung beautifully by Master Saleem, this is fabulous song describing a nomadic existence. A life of wantoness, moving from one place to another without being rooted.

Awaara Awaara
Hawa Pe Rakhe Sookhe Patte, Awaara
Paon Zameen Pe Lagte Hi Udd Lete Hain Dobara
Na Shaakh Judey, Na Jadh Pakdey
Mausam Mausam Banjara
Awaara Awaara

Saleem has added another dimension to the song by singing it with such gusto, else it would have become just another song. Anyhow, I fear this still could just end-up becoming one of the lesser heard songs from the movie.

And now for the Darling song that is the face of the movie as part of the first trailer.

Darling, Aankhon Se Aankhen Chaar Karne Do
Roko Na Roko Na Mujhko Pyaar Karne Do
Bekaif Hai Bahara, Bechain Jaane Yaara
Bulbulon Ko Abhi Intezaar Karne Do

I was so happy to hear Usha Uthup sing again; and alongside Rekha Bharadwaj, that was such a treat. They complement each other very well, without stomping on each other’s foot. Both bring their own uniqueness to the song and can be audibly distinguished. Also, since they have sung on different notes and pitch it enriches the hearing experience. The “rrrr” factor as in Darrrrrling and Rrrrokona is so rhythmic.

Even the reprise of the song, Doosri Darling, is fantastic. That song has a faster tempo making it sound like a remix which it is not. The two versions are very distinct, one from this land and the other from beyond the Khyber Pass, lyrically.

Finally the acoustic version of O’Mama is a slow painful reprise of the original song. The cat’s meow seems a lot mellow here as KK restrains himself. If the original was a full blown act, this is a quickie; same effect but low in intensity.

Overall, the album is a collector’s as well as a listener’s delight.

This post was first published on PFC

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2011 in bollywood, movies, music review

 

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Raavan : Maoist Connection & Music Review

Have been listening to the music of Raavan non-stop. I had tweeted quite sometime back that rahman+gulzar = magic; and that’s coming true again. The album has been an overwhelming experience with some fantastic and fresh sounds that haven’t been heard before. Rahman’s musical notes and Gulzar’s thoughtful lyrics make for a great listening experience.

Let me start with the controversial topic of maoism/naxalism. Like Dil Se, Bombay and Roja, Mani Ratnam has picked up another socially relevant theme for the silverscreen. I loved his terror ravaged trilogy and this time around I am hoping that he has got it right again. The theme of naxalism is sprayed around by Gulzar in a strong yet poetic charm in two of the songs.

I shall first discuss the comical song Kata kata bechara bakra which is fun to begin with, but has the references to naxalites. The theme of the song is age-old, of a man getting married and hence being called ‘bechara bakra’ ready for the chopping block.

kata kata bechaara bakra kata kata bechaara
mana mana le khair maanale aakhari raat kuwaara

But soon after that follows these words :

dulhe miya dulhe miya dand-vand pelo
dulhe miya chhodo joru jhaarkhand le lo

The village folks ask the guy to do some body-building [dand-vand pelo]; forget about his wife and chase the cause of ‘jharkhand’. Gulzar slips in the message with such subtlety. The song has a beautiful earthy feel with Sapna Avasthi and Ila Arun bringing the Rajasthani folk flavor and turning it into a celebration of sorts. This is only the second time that Sapna Avasthi has sung for Rahman, 10 years after Chaiyya Chaiyya, and she still sounds as energetic as she was back then. Although the credits mention Kunal Ganjawala, his voice is totally lost amidst so many voices in the chorus.

Since we all know that the movie is titled Raavan for a reason. And where there is Raavan, there has to be a Ram and Sita too. This melancholic song Behne De sounds like Ram’s heart bleeding for Sita after she has been kidnapped by Raavan.

Umeed ko aag laga zara
Sehra ki pyaas bujha zara
Ghan itna baras ke galne lagoon
Mei paani ke upar tarne lagoon

A man missing his sweetheart very badly, that’s what the song is about. It also speaks about the deep bonding and love between two inseparable beings. It has the feel of emptiness that is expressed beautifully in words and perfect pitched voice of Karthik.

Shart lagi hai mar jaane ki
Jeena hai toh pyaar mei
Dil kahin bhi ho mera
Jaan rakhi hai yaar mei
Behja behja hai saagar ka kehna
Behja behja hai nadiya ko behna

Coming back to the theme of naxalism, there is another song Thok De Killi which has been powerfully sung by Sukhwinder Singh. Its a scorn against the caste/class barrier, about the have’s and have-nots. It first describes the condescending look that the upper caste/class people give to the downward trodden:

Sabko ghoore aankh dikhaye
Tanashahi kare daraye
Oh baakad billi hey

And then, the song goes on to say that no one has ever discussed the problems of people below poverty line.

Aaja milke baithe
Haal sunaave dil ka
Kela woh khaate hain
Humko phenke chilka chilka

The despair of being teased as ‘backward’ is brilliantly penned in the song. The instrumentation is fabulous and the drum beats are that of an uprising against this class/caste barrier.

Pichde pichde keh ke humko
Khoob udaye khilli dilli
Sehte sehte ab toh
Gardan ghar rakh kar jaate hai
Choti ho gayi kabren
Bin mundi hi mar jaate hain

The gross violence inflicted against the backward castes by the upper-caste is very well described in the last 3 lines of the above stanza. It speaks of the gruesome acts of terror where people are beheaded callously and the body being buried while heads are being tossed out. Such a painful act of violence has been put down so effectively. I am sure the movie will capture the essence of the song well.

sadiyon se chalata aaya hai
unch ninch ka lamba kissa
abb ki baar hisaab chuka le
chir ke le le apna hisaa
apna khun bhi laal hi hoga
khol ke dekh le gaal ki jhilli

And finally, the vengeful act of the maoist is spoken about. How they have decided to take law in their own hands and settle the score. The song will remain with you for long, that’s for sure. This is one of the best songs of the movie, but unfortunately people will soon forget all the stanzas and only the start will be hummed.

Another song which will remain with you for long is Ranjha Ranjha Kardi Vey. A perfect song tailor-made for Rekha Bharadwaj to lend her vocals melodiously. Originally written and sung by Bulle Shah, we have had many versions of this including Abida Parveen’s. Its a part of folk legends and this time Gulzar picks up this one.

Ranjha ranjha kardi vey mai
Aape ranjha hoyi

The song has a rustic rhythm and folksy feel to it. Rekha does complete justice to the song. Its a sad romantic song that describes the woes of love and the look out for that elusive lover who is nowhere to be seen.

Waqt katata bhi nahi
Waqt rukta bhi nahi
Dil hai sajde mei magar
Ishq jhukta bhi nahi

The pangs of separation is evident in the musical notes. And the soft singing adds to the sadness. Although I believe that Sonu could have done a better job because Javed Ali has a hollow voice which does not emote much. There is no expression in his voice and that is one reason I have never been able to like Jashn-e-bahara song for Jodha-Akbar.

There is another romantic number Khili Re rendered by Renee Bharadwaj. That’s the weakest song for me. Haven’t liked it much until now. Its a song very typical of Rahman and reminded me of Sawariya Sawariya Mai To Huyi Bawariya from Swades; it has the same soft feel to it.

Finally, I come to the new-age Raavan named Beera this time around. A naxalite out to fight against the system.

Beera ke dus maathe
Beera ke sau naam
Chhede jo beera ko
Dhama dham dham dham

The reference of dus-maathe could be about having a brilliant mind that does organizing, planning, plotting, communicating, executing the plan; all in one go. And the sau-naam would well be the many aliases that he is known by, just my guess of the interesting lyrics. The song has a lot of African drum-beats which gives it the much needed energy and aggression. At around 3 mins length, I felt it was short. I wished it was long 7-8 minute piece, but nope.

The album is a sure-shot success with great sounds, superb lyrics, fine instrumentation and some inspired singing. A great album indeed.

By the way, I got some clues on the storyline of the movie. If you can recall Khalnayak, its on those lines is what I can make of it. Madhuri Dixit aka Ganga is chsing Sanjay Dutt aka Ballu, while Ram is on the lookout for both. And when Ganga finally returns, she has to give her testimony in court to prove her innocence, much like Sita had to do after returning to Ayodhya. The difference is that, in Khalnayak , Ganga did not get kidnapped. In this movie, the leading lady gets nabbed by Beera. Another new addition is the presence of an emissary in the form of Govinda., the man who knows the jungle terrain inside out. This angle was not there in Khalnayak.

But I am sure it will not be this simple, Mani Ratnam definitely has some other plans; maybe a few twists in the storyline will make it interesting. Whatever it is, I am waiting for the movie to release. Desperate to watch it. Till then, let me immerse myself in the soundtrack of the movie.

 
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Posted by on May 5, 2010 in bollywood, music review

 

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Music Review : Kaminey

This is the best music album until now, and I am quite sure that it would be the best for this year. Vishal Bharadwaj is at his experimental best and Gulzar is just amazing with the pen.

The song Dhan Te Nan is already doing the rounds in disc and the video is allover the music channel. The song has high decibel energy and is sung with great enthusiasm by Sukhwinder Singh and Vishal Dadlani. The lyrics are amazing … read this :

koi chaal aisi chalo yaar abke
samandar bhi pul pe chale
phir tu chale us pe ya mein chaloon
sehar ho apne pairo tale

The music is really racy and the energy gets to you. Vishal Dadlani has surprisingly matched Sukhwiner’s verve.

Trust Gulzar to whip people and drive home the message on AIDs and he does it verbally, fatak! That’s the song – fatak. He belts the lyrics with great sensitivity and talks about the spreading germs:

jitna bhi jhoot bole thoda hai
keedon ki basti da makoda hai
raaton ka bichoo hai kaatega
ye zehrila hai zeher chaatega
darwazon mein kunde ko
dafaa karo ye gunde
ye shaitaan ka saaya re
fatak

Sukhwinder Singh and Kailash Kher give a folksy touch to the song. And then comes the Ghalib take on ye ishq nahi aasaan and this is how Gulzar modernises it:

ye ishq nahi aasaan
aji AIDS ka khatra hai
patwaar pehan jaana
yeh aag ka dariya hai

His pen has the magic to weave words on any topic, and he does with with such beauty. Observe the way he uses patwaar to mean the word condom. It drives home the message, loud and clear. I just wonder how this song will be picturised in the movie.

Vishal Bharadwaj himself takes up the mike to belt the title track of Kaminey. Its a solemn song about lost dreams, lost friends and unfulfilled hopes. And Kaminey is not just a reference to characters but the ambitious dreams, untrustworthy pals etc. Its a soliloquy.

meri aarzoo kameenee
mere khwab bhi kaminey
ik dil se dosti thi
yeh hazoor bhi kaminey

After the Delhi-6 song of Genda phool, Rekha Bharadwaj is back again. This time, singing to her hubby’s tunes and the song is Raat Ke Dhai Baje. Its a fantastic fusion of western music and rustic lyrics. The song is rendered by 3 other singers – Sunidhi Chauhan, Kunal Ganjawala and Suresh Wadkar. It has a fine rhythm that gets to you slowly. A nice song indeed.

ishq mein jalte hue
saans tezabi lage
raaz khulta hi nahi
koi toh chaabi lage

chikne chikne lachhe hain
reshmi se phande
chupdi chupdi baaton mein
bhole bhale bande

tanhai ne fursat di hai
arey pehli baar mohabbat ki hai
aakhri baar mohabbat ki hai

Mohit Chauhan finally gets to sing Pehli Baar Mohabbat Ki Hai, which is nice romantic ballad. After his ok-dokie song in Love Aaj Kal, this sounds refreshing. He should sing more often. This song may sound like reprise of Raat Ke Dhai Baje, but its not. The similarity lies only in the lyrics. The mood is different, the song is different. I think there must be a reason for the similar sounding words, though.

thode bheege bheege se
thode nam hain hum
kal se soye voye bhi,
toh kam hain hum
dil ne kaisi harkat ki hai
pehli baar mohabbat ki hai
aakhri baar mohabbat ki hai

The album also has the remix of Dhan Te Nan and Raat Ke Dhai Baje. And then there is a small musical instrumental piece called Go Charlie which is a medley mix of other songs. All in all, its a great album with awesome music, great vocals and fantastic lyrics. Its a must-buy!

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2009 in bollywood, movies, music review

 

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