Mikey McCleary – The Bartender. Classic Bollywood: Shaken Not Stirred. Music Review

Click on the song titles in the review to watch the original movie version of the songs.

Anoushka Manchanda’s languid rendition of Yeh Raat Yeh Chaandni almost makes you wish there was a video to the song; such is the sensuality her voice oozes. Mikey McCleary does not let any of that oomph go waste, with a lovely arrangement to boot. The composer goes a step ahead in the Monica Dogra-rendered cover of Ajeeb Dastan Hai Yeh, completely changing the face of the song in its guitar-led arrangement, from the carefree song it was to a sensual-flavored one. The last single-song-entry is from Sagarika Mukherjee, Babuji Dheere Chalna. Fabulous singing by Sagarika, it really saddens me the way that lady has been under-rated in the industry. Orchestration-wise nothing very creative from McCleary in this one, the charm is pretty much owing to the original. Rest of the soundtrack is divided among ex Sa Re Ga Ma Pa finalist Mauli Dave and jazz  Suman Shridhar.

Mauli starts off with Chalte Chalte, a song where McCleary produces some wonderfully imaginative arrangement highlighted by the tabla usage, but the track as such didn’t quite work for me. Jaane Kya Tune Kahi again has pretty normal orchestration by the album’s general standards, but Mauli does a spectacular job of singing it. The singer takes up another Geeta Dutt classic Waqt Ne Kiya next, and delivers it with finesse, helped greatly by McCleary in the background. Mauli bows out with another commendable cover, that of Yeh Sama. The composer leaves the best of the album for his favourite collaborator Suman Shridhar. Of the three songs she sings though, two you would already be familiar with. First is the one that came in this Coke ad, Tum Jo Mil Gaye Ho. Brilliantly addictive orchestration and singing! Then there is the mindblowing reinvention of Khoya Khoya Chand from Shaitan. And finally we have Pukarta Chala Hoon Main where we hear a completely new avatar of Suman, which is equally appealing. The orchestration is quite along the lines of the original, guess Hemant Kumar was ahead of times in his arrangement as it was.

An exotic bevy of retro-based cocktails this from Mikey McCleary, The Bartender. MUST.NOT.MISS.

Music Aloud Rating — 8.5/10

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