You can listen to the soundtrack here.
(01.02.2011 – Updating a few artists I got to know the contribution of only recently, and HAD to be mentioned)
The allure of Darling is majorly owing to the beauty of the Russian original Kalinka. Vishal Bhardwaj does pep the song up his way, but when you have such a wonderful base tune to build on it is hard to go wrong. I am grateful to him for introducing me to such a wonderful Russian folk track though. Usha Uthup is a perfect choice for this song, and makes a fabulous combo with Rekha Bhardwaj. A second version of the song Doosri Darling starts off with the actual Russian lyrics, before Gulzar saab takes over. And here Vishal improvises further to fantastic results, the constant change in tempo working wonderfully. Love the way Rekha sings Darrrrling!! Clinton Cerejo and Francois Castellino join the two ladies in this version. Bekaran imparts a feel quite akin to the two songs Vishal Bhardwaj has sung in the past. But the orchestration is richer this time (that beautiful classical violin in the second interlude is played by the veteran duo Ganesh Kumaresh), and that with Gulzar’s lyrics are enough to have you hooked to this one. O’Mama has Vishal doing rock in a way he’s never done before, almost like making a statement that he can pull off rock as good as any of the new composers-in-the-block. And pull it off he does in a mind-blowing manner! And Gulzar..what this man is made of I wonder, there seems to be no genre this man cannot handle! I would have expected Vishal Dadlani or Suraj Jagan to be roped in for this one, but the composer goes for KK, and he totally aces it, supported in the right places by Clinton Cerejo. Vishal also presents a short Unplugged version sung by KK again, his voice assuming more of its usual soulful texture. And the song all of a sudden turns into a stirring love ballad.
Vishal aces the orchestration for the sufi-based Awaara, providing a pulsating Arabic template to go with Master Saleem’s devout rendition. Niladri Kumar is splendid with his sitar phrases in the first interlude. May be due to the raag similarity (Ahir Bhairav, to be hazarding a guess) and the Middle East flavour, the song reminded me of the composer’s classic from Maachis, Chappa Chappa. Tere Liye is best listened to with headphones on, eyes closed. Suresh Wadkar’s vocals and the tranquil orchestration are enough to put all of your worries in life away. It is good to see Wadkar’s voice still having the magic after all these years. Displaying a Rahman-esque penchant for the eclectic, the composer features a third classical veteran in this song, Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt with his Mohan Veena (which is the sitar-esque sound you hear in the latter half of the song). Vishal presents a second rock track with Dil Dil Hai, but this time doesn’t impress as much as he did with O’Mama. There are interesting riffs all through the song, but on the whole it turns out to be a slightly cacophonous affair. Suraj Jagan does the vocals this time around. The soundtrack ends on a sinister note, Rekha Bhardwaj crooning an elaborately orchestrated Yeshu. The orchestration (by the Bombay Film Orchestra, with Suresh Lalwani at the head) and the vocals are spot-on here too, but the functional nature of the track brings down the entertainment value of the song.
If that one track is given maafi, another superb soundtrack from Vishal Bhardwaj for 7 Khoon Maaf that once again underlines his versatility (And Gulzar’s as well, of course!). Waiting to see if the movie turns out to be equally interesting. The inclusion of so many classical veterans reminds me of A R Rahman‘s lineup for Mani Ratnam‘s Iruvar. And yes, tip of the hat to Hitesh Sonik, Clinton Cerejo and Simaab Sen for their contribution as producers, which I don’t know on a song-by-song basis hence could not point out in the respective cases.
Music Aloud Rating – 8.75/10
Recommended Tracks – Darling, O’Mama, Bekaran