“SLB, the composer has arrived”
Music: Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Ratings: *** 1/2
1. Deewani Mastani
This song changes its soundscape throughout its course—starts with spectacular folk style introduction by Ganesh Chandanshive, then oud –like instrument leads to Shreya Ghoshal rendering melancholic devoted love, and ends like a qawwali. The longest track of the album is little too long.
Led by Arijit Singh, this track does remind you of Laal Ishq (based on the same raag Yaman, I’m told) from SLB’s last RamLeela. But it is more like Tera Zikr (again same raag) from his Guzaarish, with its similar rhyme based wordplay, lyrics about internalizing and consuming love and comparing lover to intangible things, and a similar sufi-like entry from a different more earthy vocals. Minimally arranged, yet this is hugely ambient, has grand feel and mood of its own that is very much relatable to a Bhansali film.
A street procession kind of song that has its energy—in its arrangements and Vishal Dadlani’s voice too – but gets too noisy for its own good. Skippable.
4. Mohe Rang Do Laal
After Devdas, Bhansali ropes in Pt. Birju Maharaj again for this dadra like song, sung by Shreya Ghoshal, which opens like a morning composition, with sounds of bird chirping and splendid shennai enters like a beaming ray. Good that SLB doesn’t get overboard, and delivers a track of fair length.
5. Albela Sajan
Ustad Sultan Khan’s Albela Sajan Aayo Re gets an interesting bhajan twist with eclectic chorus – Shashi Suman, Kunal Pandit, Prithvi Gandhrava, Kanika Joshi, Rashi Ragga and Geetikka Manjrekar. Again, the use of shennai shines.
6. Ab Tohe Na Jaane Doongi
A modern romantic composition which, if doesn’t sound true to the historical setting of the film, fits well into the Bhansali’s scheme of grandeur. No, it’s nothing heavily orchestrated. Simple ornamentation of sounds (shehnai again) letting vocals take the front stage and how! Payal Dev gets a great break here; her voice texture goes well with the melody. Same with Shreyas Puranik. Hugely likeable song.
A lavani duet, led by Shreya Ghoshal and Vaishali Made, warms up nicely. The chorus falls a little harsh on ears but the long stretch of a mukhda is nicely done and slightly addictive too. The addition of flute towards the fast-paced end is a great touch. But you know you’ve been hearing a lot of electronically generated sounds in a folk song which is not something to be happy about.
8. Aaj Ibadat
Bhansali wants to try out amalgamation of cultures of sorts here… bookended with Hindu devotional chants with (fake) Sufi lyrics. But that idea doesn’t transform into the music. It remains within its confines—no matter how neat and grand-sounding, the song doesn’t take a flight. Javed Bashir also sounds a little misfit for the song.
Based on a folk template, this exotic-sounding number is meant to be an “item song” of that era. Vaishali Made, sounding like Shreya Ghoshal at places, is hypnotic. You’ll sway away with her, and being Maharashtrian herself, she gets Marathi diction perfect. Lyrics of chorus part is pretty mediocre though.
Most of the Ganpati prayer songs end up being noisy. The high tempo chorus part in interludes here is relaxed and neat. Sukhwinder is obvious choice for anything powerful in vocals.
The album has its own sound – resonantly grand, rich and ambient – and in the process of making it, seems like Bhansali has found his own sound. He surely has come a long way as music composer with Bajirao Mastani.