Lyrics: Amitabh Bhattacharya
Music: A R Rahman
Rahman is known to be very choosy with his projects unless influenced by friends. Lekar Hum Deewana Dil is Imtiaz Ali's brother Arif Ali's directorial debut and looks quite similar to Imtiaz's films before Rahman joined him... those fun and frolicking rom-coms. Though I didn't expect another Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na or anything huge, it's always exciting to see Rahman experimenting. Also, this is his first collaboration with lyricist Amitabh Bhattacharya.
Bhattacharya's penchant for gibberish in disco songs is evident in the start of Khalifa (sung by A R Rahman, Shweta Pandit, Hriday Gattani, Suzanne D’Mello and Mahesh Vinayakram) but for later part he channels out his inner Gulzar and draws out heavy thoughts like "Aasman zara nichod ke, pee gaye sharbat neela; suraj ka ek tukda, baadal ka ek tukda, do ungliyon se pakda; chaba liya!" Rahman incorporates Carnatic vocal percussion with the techno bits without making it sound cluttered or noisy, and all the electronic bits and processed vox just adds up to the energy of the song.
Maloom has such a playful tune that at a point it sounds like an ad-jingle. Debutant Hriday Gattani makes a fine entry here and is suitably accompanied with Nakash Aziz. Jonita Gandhi seems like a modern day replacement of Kavita Krishnamoorthy as all her songs for Rahman so far (Highway, Kochadaiiyaan and this), I've imagined in Kavita's voice (especially when she stretches "Maaaaloom" at around 03:18). Gandhi, however, has serious diction issues.
The start of Allahda is very Barfi-esque (that's a compliment for Pritam, of course) of which the violins are very reminiscent of Jhootha Hi Sahi. It has a lovely percussion throughout, beautifully arranged with guitar and flute. Shiraz Uppal sounds lovely but ordinary.
The star song of the album is Mawwali Qawwali. Its carefree nature takes me to Socha Na Tha kind of space. It has more of musical arrangements than singing, from drum rolls to piano to African percussion to bass guitar! The lead vocal (Raghav Mathur) actually enters half way late in this four and a half minute song. His voice provides good blend of fun and romance to this song. But for most of the parts, I would like to know where was Javed Ali when this song was being recorded?
The similar more-music-than-vocal is carry forwarded in another carefree and rather short track Tu Shining sung by Hriday Gattani again. It is enjoyable but easily forgettable track of the album.
The last track Beqasoor is something which Rahman would have composed for a Mani Ratnam film. The tune is vintage Rahman. He layers two vocals on parallel pace making the song haunting and letting it burn like a slow flame. Nakash Aziz is top notch but it is Shweta Pandit who completely owns the song putting her heart in the rendition.
Rahman has already delivered the album of the year for Imtiaz Ali's Highway. For his brother, the album is not half bad. Such experimental outings are surely fun, hopefully for Rahman too.