It comes as an interesting coincidence that I happened to listen to Viju Shah’s Tumma Tumma Ele after a long time today, thanks to a conversation with @meemeera on twitter. Pritam’s Pungi bears a strong flavor of that song – the funny exuberant arrangement led by the characteristic percussion, the wacky lyrics by Amitabh Bhattacharya, and Mika in his trademark style supported on vocals by the lyricist, composer and Nakash – even while it is original in its own way. Being Sriram Raghavan this could very well be some sort of tribute(wiki tells me that Aar Ya Paar was based on a James Hadley Chase novel. Interesting) . The remix is an unimaginative fast forward work of the original. If I’ll Do The Talking Tonight makes some sort of impression on you it is only due to Boney M’s epic original from which it legally borrows, and the vocal efforts of Neeraj Sridhar, Aditi Singh Sharma and Shefali Alvarez. Both of which are majorly sabotaged due to the overuse of the processing. And as if that wasn’t enough more techno sounds get added in the remix! The instrumental theme, with that quintessential whodunit hook, is of purely functional nature, and unnecessarily long I felt.
Pritam finally seems to have got over his three-version fever. Only to take it one step ahead, giving us FOUR versions of Raabta! And for a change all four versions pretty much worked for me. I liked Night In The Motel best though, the piano and Aditi Singh Sharma’s vocals forming quite an addictive combo (a lot of places have credited Hamsika as singer for this song, Aditi herself confirmed that she sang this). Good to hear her handle a soft melody as comfortably as she does rock numbers. Arijit Singh’s singing didn’t quite work for me in the original version, but he sounds quite awesome along with Shreya Ghoshal in Kehte Hai Khuda Ne and with Hamsika Iyer in Siyaah Raatein. Joi Barua does a short cameo at the end of each version. The composer leaves the best for last, the mujrah with a modern twist called Dil Mera Muft Ka. A song that is bound to draw flak from fans of the regular mujrah, but immensely catchy otherwise. Right from the opening bulbul tarang that seems so like a nod to a similar opening in the legendary qawwali Pardah Hai Pardah, Pritam is right on top of the arrangement, choosing a raag very conducive to techno/rock-flavoring, sindhubhairavi. Hat-tip to the harmonium player, he is brilliant. Nandini Srikar is in excellent touch rendering guest lyricist Neelesh Mishra’s interesting lines, very nicely supported by Muazzam Beg and the chorus formed by Shadab Faridi, Altamush Faridi, Shabab Sabri and Rizwan. Surprisingly the remix sung by Malini Avasthi sounds more conventional, barring the occasional techno elements thrown in. Nevertheless the arrangement is less imaginative in this case and gets tedious, despite the classy singing.
Agent Vinod. One of the most awaited soundtracks of the year, and Pritam does not disappoint. Highly enjoyable track from the composer!
Music Aloud Rating – 7.5/10
Top Recos: Dil Mera Mufta Ka, Raabta (Night In The Motel), Pungi