London Dreams – Music Review

london dreamsBarso Yaaron gets into hard on rock right from the word go, Vishal Dadlani’s spunky vocals and Ehsaan Noorani’s guitar bound to get you head banging the moment you hear it. This goes on for some two minutes until Roop Kumar Rathod makes a classicalised entry, and then the song’s rock feel is sort of diluted, taking on a more Indianised form. There is no dip in the energy level however, Roop Kumar matching up with Vishal Dadlani on that front. The song does a revisit to the rock mode in the last one minute which ironically is an ode to Hanuman! I am waiting to see how this is picturised, so as to get the exact purport of the lyrics. Roop Kumar has been superb on the vocals, the crescendo towards the end particularly amazing.  Next up is a humorous song Man Ko Ati Bhavey. Though the arrangement is for most part the regular SEL fare, they do some clever tweakings in places to convey the humour effectively. That combined with Prasoon Joshi’s lyrics and Shankar Mahadevan’s flippant rendition are enough to make this song may be not as humorous as some of the tracks in QGM but engagingly funny nevertheless. DJ Amyth’s remix is also done well, thankfully managing without processing the vocals.

Tapkey Masti is again reminiscent of the trio’s general arrangement when it comes to Punjabi songs, the dark overtones and Punjabi singer Feroz Khan’s seasoned singing mitigate the repetitive feel to an extent. However even that doesn’t help in sustaining interest for a long time. Ditto with DJ Amyth’s remix. But SEL more than make up for that song with a totally refreshing title song, Khanabadosh. A google search told me that Khanabadosh translates to nomad, and figuratively speaking a travel is the general idea conveyed by Prasoon Joshi’s lyrics as well, the orchestration perfectly matching up. My favourite from the album, and perhaps my favourite SEL tune from 2009. Wonder who this new singer Mohan is. The breezy effect of the song however is totally lost in the remix version by DJ Amyth.  In between all the heavily orchestrated tracks comes this relatively milder track called Khwab Jo which has Shankar Mahadevan and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan competing with each other in terms of bringing out the classical complexities. Though the rendition is classical the instrumentation is the rock way.

Roop Kumar Rathod makes his second appearance alongside Milind (from the music director-duo?) to deliver Yaari Bina which is a track eulogizing friendship. If you take out the electronic elements, this doleful tune could very well pass off for a song from the 90s. The middle-east flavoured Jashn Hai Jeet Ka is another delectable track. I liked the voice of the singer Abhijit Ghoshal (wonder if it is the K for Kishore contestant) who has done a good job of the song. But the highlight of the song is undoubtedly the electronic-rock-arabic arrangement by the MDs. The soundtrack ends with the trancy Shola Shola which has Zubeen Garg behind the mike. Long since I heard a song from him I suppose. In any case, a good track to be making a return. I especially liked the way SEL have laced mild classical elements (Raga Abheri/Dhanasri I suppose) in the interludes. But I wonder why they had to synthesize the flute sound when it might have sounded wonderful with an actual flute.

When a soundtrack has as many as 11 songs, it is hard to have everything up to the mark. But SEL have almost managed that feat in London Dreams, in the process producing arguably their best soundtrack of the year to date. And whats even more gratifying is the fact that this one has minimal resemblances to their past works barring a couple of songs. Sincerely hope that Vipul Shah has got his stuff right in the visualisation of the songs. First Blue, then Tum Mile, Passage and now this. I am overwhelmed by the sheer number of good albums this month!!

We have been receiving feedback from readers asking to include ratings of the albums we review. And honouring that demand, our rating of London Dreams is 8/10.

Recommended tracks – Khanabadosh, Jashn Hai Jeet Ka, Shola Shola, Khwab Jo.