Mild annoyance on the lyrical front (Amitabh Bhattacharya) aside, Afghan Jalebi is highly enjoyable with its deft mix of folk and filmy elements. On vocals is another Bollywood debutant from across the border who had two wonderful songs this last season of Coke Studio, Asrar, who is as energetic here as he was in those songs. The song has three more version in the movie (yes, this is a Pritam soundtrack), most impressive of which is the Dumbek version featuring another person known to us from Coke Studio, Akhtar Channal Zahri with one of his trademark renditions. The arrangement here is more folksy (good use of string instruments) except for the electronic elements around the lead refrain (khwaja ji ke paas..). Yet another version has both Asrar and Akhtar Channal’s voices, while the fourth titled Fitna Farebi is sung by Nakash Aziz that despite a decent job from him, comes across as the weakest among the lot.
The four versions of Afghan Jalebi constitute two-thirds of Phantom’s soundtrack. Saware is marred a little by the familiarity in Arijit Singh’s singing, but that is more than made up by Pritam’s haunting tune and an ambient arrangement that adds to the feel. Best of the soundtrack is Nachde, a dark song loaded with Arabic elements both in tune and arrangement and rock flavour to boot – a mix that almost always works. Doing a fine job behind the mic is a singer rather rarely seen in Bollywood of late (wonder why), Shahid Mallya.
Phantom. Short soundtrack (assuming T-Series doesn’t have a part 2 jukebox up its sleeve) from Pritam, but an engaging one all the same.
Music Aloud Rating: 7.5/10
Top Recos: Nachde, Afghan Jalebi (film version), Saware