You can listen to the soundtrack here.
That faint resemblance to his own Fatak (Kaminey) apart, Vishal Bhardwaj presents a very entertaining package in the title song, seamlessly layering the folk base with other genres, even African chants at one point. The multifarious string and percussion sounds stand out in the arrangement, while Sukhwinder Singh and Ranjit Barot deliver the vocals. More African elements adorn the choral section of Khamakha. And that is exactly what imparts the song a dreamy, haunting quality overruling the predictability of the main tune, possibly owing to Vishal Bhardwaj’s singing. Best part of the song comes towards the end, where the African chorus meets Prem Dehati’s folk singing. The star of Oye Boy Charlie is Gulzar with his trademark wacky lyrics, which Rekha Bhardwaj, Mohit Chauhan and Shankar Mahadevan (forgot when the last time Shankar sang for this Vishal was) seem to have a ball of a time rendering. The qawwali elements are very heard-before, but that won’t stop you from being hooked to this one. That rock n roll-esque twist in the second interlude is particularly brilliant. Lootne Wale has a lot of its engagingness deriving from Sukhwinder Singh and Master Saleem’s flawlessly nuanced singing. In fact the shorter Reprise version where Sukhwinder goes solo scores over the original as Vishal replaces the standard dhol-led template with a far more imaginative one.
Sha Ra Ra, Chor Police and Chaar Din Ki’s brass band-based templates fail to rise beyond their situational value, but they may make for a better viewing. Particularly Chaar Din, which seems to be a verbal duel of sorts between Pankaj Kapur and Imran Khan. The other two are rendered respectively by Prem Dehati and Pankaj Kapur. Nomvula sounds straight out of a Putumayo compilation; Vishal bringing to life an African forest with his arrangement to back a stunningly harmonised African chorus. Credits name Umoja though I am not sure if that refers to the lead singer or the group as such. And then there is Badal Uthiya. Where the composer gets his better half to deliver a semi-classical tune (kaapi/piloo based, I think) to a lounge-based arrangement that is almost Prem Joshua-esque with its sitar + guitar combination. The chill out feel is accentuated in the Reprise version while Prem Dehati takes over Rekha’s role. Didn’t work for me as good as Rekha’s original though, there is something ethereal about the lady singing classical.
Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola. Not the best work born out of Vishal Bhardwaj-Gulzar team, but replete with instances of ingenuity the duo is famed for. Neatly assisted by Clinton Cerejo and Simaab Sen.
Music Aloud Rating: 8/10
Top Recos: Badal Uthiya, Matru Ki Bijlee, Khamakha
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