Music: Vishal Bhardwaj
1. Aao Na
After experimenting grunge rock with Dil Dil Hai in 7 Khoon Maaf, Bhardwaj produces yet another very neat similar composition. The other Vishal is spot on with his vocals. Melancholy mixed with angst, this tune depicts the psyche of the titular character of the film.
For the play within the actual play- Hamlet, which tells the crux of the story, Bhardwaj sets this track on it- starting off with folksy rubab and dramatically building up on percussions and chorus. Gulzar Saab poetically adapts the story by incorporating the Kashmir setting in the song (“Baramullah Ke Sheeripur Se” and “Jhelum Laal Laal Hua”). And obviously, Sukhwinder Singh’s thumping voice is the ideal choice for it.
3. Khul Kabhi Toh
Khul Kabhi Toh is typical Vishal Bhardwaj lazy, wintry composition which, ideally, VB sings himself or lets Suresh Wadkar to do the magic. And until before this album, Vishal Bhardwaj was the only leading composer left for whom Arijit Singh hadn’t lent his voice. With this, he checked him off too. Bhardwaj identifies Singh’s style and allows him to completely own this song with his nuances. The repetition of words (“boond-boond”, “paani-paani”, “khelun-khelun”) is a lovely touch to the jazzy tune.
4. Gulon Mein Rang Bhare
Legendary poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s revolutionary work Gulon Mein Rang Bhare is fused with western arrangements. Though the track creates a serene atmosphere in its way up to the 5 minute mark, it feels a bit under-developed; and may be a clearer voice like that of Shafaqat Amanat Ali Khan’s would have done a better job than Arijit? Yet, even after listening to the whole album, I find myself singing this one. It definitely grows.
5. Ek Aur Bismil
Bhardwaj has a habit of giving witty names to the versions of a song in an album- remember, Doosri Darling (from 7 Khoon Maaf)? The Bismil track is reworked with exquisite Arabic percussions to create Ek Aur Bismil.
Bhardwaj gets himself behind the microphone to render this lyrically haunting piece. His strained yet relaxed voice goes well with the mood created by minimal arrangements.
7. So Jao
As per the original text of Hamlet, the grave-diggers in the play sing while digging the grave. So Jao, sung by folk singers- Bashir Lone, Bashir Bhawani, Muzamil Bhawani, Mayukh Sarkar, Aalaap Majgavkar, Sourabh Joshi, is that song. The shoveling sound set to the hook from “Aao Na” with even more euphemistic lyrics confirms that.
8. Do Jahaan
Do Jahaan is, again, vintage Vishal Bhardwaj. This calming piece is led by velvety voice of Suresh Wadkar. Shraddha Kapoor supports the track with her Kashmiri bits but she never rises above- some other female singer would have.
9. Aaj Ke Naam
Unlike popular romantic ghazals, Aaj Ke Naam is a tragic tribute to those who lost their loved ones. Though short in length, it follows the intricacies of a ghazal arrangement beautifully and is led by flawless Rekha Bhardwaj.
Nine distinct tracks of varied genres, competently packaged, this is the ingenious duo of Vishal-Gulzar we desperately wait for and always look forward to!