Sunday, June 5, 2016

Sultan Music Review

“Welcome back, Vishal-Shekhar!”

Music: Vishal-Shekhar
Lyrics: Irshad Kamil
Ratings: *** ½ 

1. Baby Ko Bass Pasand Hai
During one concert I attended, Vishal Dadlani tried Feedback and Bass both in the sound and asked audience what they preferred. Everyone cheered for bass. He said, “I love bass too.”

Wouldn’t be surprising to know if the hookline “Baby Ko Bass Pasand Hai” was suggested by Dadlani and Kamil worked around it (and how!). Kholgade add sultriness in her voice for the innuendo in this catchphrase to effect. Structurally, looks like Vishal-Shekhar tried to join two hooks in the opening. And since it is un-cool these days to do a dance number without a rap, there’s Badshah in it doing his job too.

2. Jag Ghoomeya
The song starts well; its ambience does evoke images of desert and a wanderer in your mind which is what the song is about. It’s derived from and built on Rajasthani folk but, despite of a controlled Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, the track starts sounding templatised after a point.

3. 440 Volt
The huge thing to notice here, again, is how Vishal and Shekhar have made Mika, a singer who's done-to-death for a restricted genre, sound so refreshingly controlled and restrained. The guitar pitted on a folksy arrangement is interesting, but, again, the tune gets templatised. Hat-tip to Kamil Saab for quirky “Haryana mere liye Argentina tha.”

4. Sultan
Vishal-Shekhar, sort of, reinvent themselves here. Catchy hooks (particularly “Khoon mein tere mitti”); no standard structure; experimental; high-energy rock; complete live-concert stuff. And of course Sukhwinder is the best choice for such high octane tracks. Shadab Farhidi compliments well.

5. Sachi Muchi
Starts with brass band rendering an effervescent tune; enters into country music; transcends into anthemic pop track. Reminiscent of Vishal Shekhar’s own ‘Uff!’ from Bang Bang, it does have their trademark over it. Always a delight to listen to Harshdeep Kaur. Mohit is suitable choice for this one.

6. Bulleya
A sufi done Bollywood style instantly robs it off of all the depth. But Papon does his best to lend enough gravitas to it. The slightly digressive harmonium at the start is what intrigues me into this song.

7. Tuk Tuk
Before the song reveals its real character, its energy, halfway into its length, it follows a meditative approach. It starts with a fading echo of a verse, birds chirping, eventually grows into dhols, techno and rap (by Vishal Dadlani; he raps here after Udta Punjab and is equally killer).

8. Jag Ghoomeya (Female)
The highlight of the song is Neha Bhasin’s soothing voice. Minimal on arrangement (mainly strings) but is more evocative than the male version.

9. Rise of Sultan
The dust that fell off from the rock show of title track starts rising here… into a superbly rousing chorus of the hook “Khoon Mein Tere Mitti”, dhols and violins.

Nine tracks for a Salman Khan film of which more than half works very well.  But the soundtrack achieves more than just that. Vishal-Shekhar are in fine form after a long time.

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