Sunday, October 18, 2015

Tamasha Music Review

Music: A. R. Rahman
Lyrics: Irshad Kamil

Ratings: **** (4 stars)

Soundtrack of Imtiaz Ali's films have always remain crucial to the film itself, for it adds a poetic dimension and a layer to his film's narrative that only accentuates it. For his past two films (Rockstar, Highway), Rahman has taken that responsibility, and Irshad Kamil's words tie the knot between the film's soul and the music. Ali is accused to tell "always the same story", so there's always something similar to look for in the soundtrack too: some fun and frolic, some bittersweet romance, and of course a quintessential journey song. It makes me happy to report that we've got everything again in Tamasha.

The album opens with Matargashti (sung by Mohit Chauhan). It invites to join the fun (even more with those dance moves in the video). It takes multiple listening to get familiar with the song's structure. The repetition of words ("khenchi meri dhoti, dhoti khenchi") is a lovely touch in the interludes which is similar to the "Eco-friendly" part of Sadda Haq from Rockstar. In the same set of exotic violins, mandolin and percussions, the song transcends eras -- from Twitter-Whatsapp to Dev Anand of '50s -- and Chauhan's voice flows through them with much ease.

To ante up the fun quotient, we have Mika's debut track with Rahman, a Punjabi folsky Heer Toh Badi Sad Hai.  Nakash Aziz's nasal "Haaye Hoye" is a nice addition, even more during the racy drums towards the end. My fav part comes around 02:50 where the energy of dhol is mixed with electronic resulting in something like indie pop stuff of the '90s. Kamil has throwaway gems like "Pyaar ke lau me itni jal gayi" throughout the album.

After all the exotic and folksy fun, comes outlandish Wat Wat Wat (in that amateur Bhojpuri that amuses urban masses). Shennai, forming the main part of the arrangement, renders an inherently beautiful tune in a very wacky way. Shashwat Singh takes the lead and delivers with enough enthusiasm. But it is Arijit Singh who takes the cake for me. He gets the mellow part of the song, and delivers with so much affection... I smile everytime at his "Tiiiip Taap Ke". 
There's an EDM Vengeance Mix of the song -- without the Arijit part -- which has very infectious energy too but I stopped caring about it midway.

Arijit Singh is in top form for his second track too, Tum Saath Ho, in which Rahman uses him very creatively, adding another layer of his own voice at a different scale simultaneously. (This could be a genius masterstroke if it is intended for Ranbir's "dual character" in the film.) His part, lyrically, is in counter argument to the female part (magnificent Alka Yagnik) and this turns into a lovely conversation-like form at the end. Kamil's words for both the arguments work beautiful even with a simple phrase like "Kya fark hain". One of the top songs of the album and of this year.

Chali Kahani is the eponymous track of the album, set for a theatrical drama. A sharp flute leads way to grand arrangement (the shennai and violin blend is superb) that crosses genres and legends (from Sohni Mahiwal to Mahabharata to Firaun to Helen of Troy). And who is a better choice than Sukhwinder Singh who dissolves himself within all the grandness? Haricharan and Haripriya takes the centre stage for a ballad and tugs your heart with lines like "Main mar jaaun ya marein dooriyan; dooriyon ke chaadar mein yaadein taakiye". Kamil makes it an equal lyrical winner by adding throwaway gems like "Chhut putt ashiqui mein dhali kahani" and a contemporary mix with classical "Izzat ka karega kachram, bhasam."

Parade De La Bastille starts like a Sufi of the middle-East but it just makes way for a European folk-like piece with splendid bagpipes. Listen and you'll know where the roots of Matargashti are. Very, very intriguing.

Safarnama is quintessential Imtiaz Ali film song. Journey based, peppered with existential thoughts like " Zamane mein jo dhoondha, mujh hi mein tha". Lucky Ali's relaxed voice and the serene arrangements immediately transports you to a beach. Structurally, the song has no verbal interludes -- a prelude and a coda, with just humming, guitars and accordion taking the centre part.

Rahman keeps the most significant song for himself. Tu Koi Aur Hai starts with his slow rendition, steps up a little, and with its immensely immersive arrangements enters into a soap-opera (Alma Ferovic's vocals adds a breeze). And all this dramatically culminates into a choral version of Safarnama. This works like a magic.

A hattrick from the team. You now know what to expect from them, and hope they never disappoint.


Almost a review said...

Superb observations. Just. Plain. Superb.

shubham surkutlawar said...

Good analysis..

Anup Pandey said...

Thank you so much. :)