Nautanki Saala – Music Review

Nautanki Saala posterYou can listen to the soundtrack here.

Of Mera Mann Kehne Laga’s four versions, composer Falak Shabbir’s own original rendition is the best. Mainly for that guitar-harmonica combo that leads the arrangement and props the song above the heard before-ness of the tune. Which is proven from the fact that the reprise does not work that well. The female version has Tulsi Kumar taking on from Falak, and to her credit, sounds better than she usually does. But that still is not good enough. It doesn’t help either that the composer uses a rather middling arrangement here. And the remix sounds amateurishly cacophonous. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan sounds his best singing Rashid Khan’s Sapna Mera Toota. There is nothing path-breaking about Rashid Khan’s (debut?) composition, but makes for a good listen. Retracing the path they tried in Vicky Donor to great effect, Ayushmann Khurana and Rochak Kohli combine Punjabi lyrics with a simple tune and an equally simple guitar-led arrangement in Saadi Galli. Like with Paani Da here too Ayushmann’s singing is not without flaws, but works well for the song. And he has an impeccable Neeti Mohan for support. Neeti in fact has a more prominent role in the reggae-ish unplugged version. One more badly done remix follows.

And then comes lead composer Mikey McCleary – giving a Bartender twist to Anand Milind’s (which they borrowed from Ilayaraja of course) superhit Dhak Dhak. And replacing Mikey’s regular fav for such songs, Suman Shridhar, is actress Saba Azad who does an equally spunky, even if mildly flawed, job with Bruno Carvalo and Geet Sagar on chorus. In his other cover, that of Laxmikant Pyarelal’s So Gaya Yeh Jahan, the man keeps the original vocals by Nitin Mukesh and most of the original arrangement intact while layering it with some of his own. Doesn’t work as effectively as the first one, though it features some slick guitaring. Tu Hi Tu has Ayushmann doing a soulful crooning to an equally heart-warming East European flavored sound from the composer. Dil Ki Toh Lag Gayi’s arrangement might totally have worked for a cover of Ek Ladki Bheegi Bhaagi Si. As it happens, it is another original piece from Mikey, though it belongs to the Bartender line of songs in its retro feel. Saba Azad returns on the vocals, and pulls off an even better job here with her deliberately languid rendition. The final song Draamebaaz works more for the lines and the fabulous rendition by Geet Sagar than the arrangement. Nevertheless, good enough closure to the album.

Nautanki Saala. A multi-composer soundtrack where every composer does a good job, but Mikey McCleary reigns supreme.

Music Aloud Rating: 8/10

Top Recos: Dil Ki Toh Lag Gayi, Dhak Dhak, Tu Hi Tu, Saadi Galli

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