Ram-Leela: Music Review (Bollywood Soundtrack)

Ramleela_posterYou can listen to the soundtrack here (link via @prakshid)

In Ang Laga De, composer Sanjay Leela Bhansali successfully creates a haunting ambient mélange predominantly of strings and percussion, even as Aditi Paul rules the semiclassical rendition (patdeep raag, my guess). Last I heard Aditi was in that lovely song from the Tamil movie Kumki.  Dhoop has Shreya Ghoshal at her fluent best, negotiating the ups and downs of the nuanced piece with ease. The orchestral arrangement however bears a distinct SLB stamp about it and it is hard not to be reminded of songs from his older movies while you hear it. Shreya’s other song Nagada Sang Dhol too is plagued by the same problem, but there is enough energy in the singing and the mod garba arrangement to more than make up for that foible and make it addictive. Aditya Narayan’s voice bears a striking resemblance to his dad’s, and he does sound like a very promising singer. This apart, there is not a lot that is interesting about the two songs he sings in Ram-Leela. Ishqyaun Dhishqyaun has an interesting arrangement in fact, combining folk with world and techno elements quite deftly, but everything is summarily decimated by the lyrics (you might take a hint from the title of course!).  Tattad Tattad is run-of-the-mill dance material that gets tedious beyond a point (and it didn’t help that the first time I heard the song was with its official video).

Adding one more beauty to his fast-growing repertoire of good songs is Arijit Singh with Laal Ishq. The composer structures the yaman (kalyani) raag-based piece like a prayer, and Arijit renders it most soulfully, ably supported by the chorus in the right places. Bhansali’s staple singer Shail Hada gets two songs in the soundtrack, both of which see the singer in top form. Same cannot be said about the composer though in either case. Lahu Munh Lag Gaya’s folk arrangement gets monotonous after a while, offering nothing new over the five minutes. Poore Chand is relatively better off, neat arrangement and all (interesting to hear a thavil among the percussion, I think I heard it in Dhoop also), but there is only so much that the pensiveness keeps you engaged. The Gujarati folk song Mor Bani Thanghat Kare is presented with some interesting contemporary additions in the arrangement, and charms like most folk pieces do, courtesy Osman Mir’s flawless rendition with Aditi Paul in support. Ram Chahe Leela is the one song that stands out from the rest in terms of arrangement, featuring some interesting fusion of guitars (particularly the bass) with the bhajan ensemble. But it is Bhoomi Trivedi who is the highlight of the song, pulling off an exuberant yet fabulously nuanced rendition.

Ram-Leela.  A soundtrack that is quite comparable to Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s last, Guzaarish, in its mix. This hangover factor is concerning though.

Music Aloud Rating: 7.5/10

Top Recos: Laal Ishq, Ang Laga De, Nagada Sang Dhol, Mor Bani

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Vipin says:

Hadnt given a thought on that yet. 🙂 Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Lootera would be among my top choices, but there is a good chance Raanjhanaa might win many. Not always do my ratings match the general acceptance levels.

khan kapoor says:

In 2011 and 2012 you gave highest ratings to rockstar and Barfi and both won best music awards in major award functions. how about your opinion on this year? which movie will win for it’s music?