The master of traditional grandeur productions and epic intricate soundtracks aka Sanjay Leela Bhansali is gunning for the brave Christmas release with his saga ��Bajirao Mastani�۪ going head on with Shahrukh Khan�۪s ��Dilwale�۪. Talk about brave scripts and productions and Bhansali is known well for them but this parallel release to a SRK production is really taking it to the next level. This historical romantic tale of one of Maharashtra�۪s most well-known warriors is definitely going to be worth seeing if trailers are anything to go by. Bhansali spends hours getting every shot right that are frame and look perfect��_ and ��Bajirao Mastani�۪ looks no different with a talented cast including Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh as the leading man. Another aspect that Bhansali does very little of for selected projects but clearly excels in is music production that he does for very classically intricate projects and we would have the pleasure of witnessing that with this film. With lyricists Siddharth���Garima on majority of the tracks, we expect the soundtrack to be period and traditional but magnanimous and epic in its own right with strong folk Marathi music influence.
True to its roots and Bhansali�۪s attitude of keeping his music pure and as close as to his film, he starts with pure Marathi folk Natya Sangeet as the opening intro to a gorgeous romantic ballad called Deewani Mastani. Shreya Ghoshal delivers one of her most emotive solo performances that is very melodic and very controlled considering the range she has to deliver. Music is immaculate and authentic folk at the start of the song and nicely shifts into a romantic ballad with soft string instrumentation led by a Mandolin. The romantic vibe used in this song is very true to Bhansali style heard on his previous works. Lyrics are deeply romantic and talk about the pain of love in a gorgeously depicted by Deepika in the video and a stunning palatial court as she performs for the high warrior confessing her obsession and love for him. This is perhaps one of the best works of Bhansali and brilliantly composed.
Aayat in the voice of Arijit Singh is yet another romantic song that is a male solo this time but in a totally different musical genre. With strong Mughal influence this song is composed entirely in a ghazal and qawalli style with tons of soulful ambience to it contrary to the Marathi heritage of the film. The opulent instrumentation and deep duff beats dominate the song with a clear modern day bass guitar strums at the back that create a beautiful blend of the modern with the old instruments. Arijit demonstrates his classical range at the beginning and then goes into a deep soulful style that he is most known for and not disappointing a bit at that! His high alaaps are note perfect. The lyrics are a piece of brilliance stanza after stanza. This is something you would hear written for the likes of Jagjit Singh or Ghulam Ali but nicely packaged together and made current with Arijit�۪s vocal perfection. Amazing to listen to!
Dance and celebration take centre stage next with Malhari with the man best for this genre. Vishal Dadlani delivers yet another power packed performance even with its flashback setting. Vishal combined with Bhansali�۪s instrumentation literally bring the party scene alive in front of your eyes without any visuals while listening to this song. Lyrics by Prashant Ingole are a celebration of perhaps the return of the warrior king from a war and the whole kingdom gets into an up tempo dance celebration with a lot of nagadas and grand trumpets to announce the victory. With a number of Marathi words thrown in the lyrics are true to its time and celebration and nicely packaged to create a full throttle street celebration that is non-complex and easy to enjoy even in a modern day time of today. Great attempt from Bhansali at making this a viable party song for recent party scene without the use of any club beats.
Mohe Rang Do Laal is a pure classical Kathak dance composition arranged using only classical instruments to a beautifully recorded Tabla lead accompanied by flute and shenai amongst other instruments. The sound of ghunghroo�۪s and Tabla is so serene and refreshing in so many ways and makes one proud listening to the beauty of Hindustani classical music and India�۪s strong musical cultural heritage. Kudos to Bhansali for bringing it back in 2015 as a reminder and keeping it simple and pure! Shreya delivers yet another beautiful and classically perfect vocal performance with the great Kathak guru Pandit Birju Maharaj delivering the Kathak bol. Lyrics are very well written and arranged for a perfect Kathak performance that talk about yet another cute moment shared between lord Krishna and his lady love.
Albela Sajan is classically harmonious with great synergy between the voices of Shashi Suman, Kunal Pandit and Prithvi Gandharva. A traditional welcome song with traditional instrumentation synonymous with Karnatic music, this song drives its influence from further south of Maharashtra ��� the neighbouring state of Karnataka and thus showcases the diversity in the music of Maharashtra itself from East to West. The sound is really full in the chorus and very bare in the bridge which is a beautiful contrast to hear in this strong classical piece. Lyrics are a good modification of the traditional lyrics revised for the film. A well done music piece that is very situational to a scene in the film.
A slightly more modern musical composition brings a nice change half way in the album with Ab Tohe Jane Na Doongi. A very emotional vocal performance by Payal Dev is folkish and crude very gorgeous to listen to. Shreyas Puranik supports on the male vocals who sounds simply amazing. Both their vocals work really well together and have a gorgeous texture to it very pleasing to the ear. The sad emotions of the lyrics accurately come alive in their vocal renditions as the lovers plead each other not to leave. The pleading is very sensuous in an elegant way reminiscent with the high status of the characters. This is perhaps one of the most beautiful and simply lovely songs to listen to that can be heard on repeat endlessly.
Pinga is a very strongly Marathi song that turns into a filmy song very quickly with Shreaya�۪s more fun vocals. Marathi classical Dholki takes the lead in the instruments with some superlative playing of this drum by the studio artist that is worth listening to. Bhansali keeps the instrumentation very classical for this song but strongly rooted in the culture and the time setting of the film. Shreya delivers a nice excited and fun filled vocal performance with the support of Vaishali Made as want sounds like a girls fun night out. Lyrics are very happy and celebrate the bonding of the ladies and the companionship of the characters. This song lacks the commercial qualities but has been done well for a situational scene sequence in the film.
Aaj Ibaadat features the outstanding voice of Pakistani singer Javed Bashir supported by Shahdab Faridi and Altamash Faridi. As music as his voice is a blissful pleasure to listen to, the lyrical thought amplifies the emotion a few hundred times. This song has the power to put the most volatile moods to rest and bring peace to any loving heart. The idea of meeting the love of one�۪s life – their prayer face-to-face is just stunningly well put by Siddharth-Garima duo. Bhansali even combines this idea of meeting your prayers with actual prayer recitations complementing the lyrics giving the song a real heavenly feel. The vocals of the 3 male singers has so much depth to it that it each word resounds with the listener. Bhansali has arranged this song beautifully with some amazing sitar work on it. Pure paradise!
Fitoori features the lyrics of Prashant Ingole again and is in the voice of Vaishali Made given the lead this time. The 2009 Zee TV Sa Re Ga Ma Pa winner does a very good job delivering a strong but sexy vocal considering the nature of the song. Her Maharastrian background helps her deliver small nuances with some word pronunciations to deliver that Marathi touch and attitude to give some character to the performance. Bhansali keeps song is a Mujra compositional style with a certain bit of sex appeal to it in its arrangement and instrumentation with good use of harmonium and Tabla plus Dholki. He even gives the composition some traditional Marathi Lavni touch which is exciting to hear in a mainstream Bollywood film.
For the final song, Sukhwinder Singh takes centre stage with Gajanana. Referring to the great lord Ganesh, this song is a traditional prayer recitation for most of the songs duration with traditional lyrics to the typical composition that goes with this prayer that has been heard a number of times in various films including ��Agneepath�۪ (2012). The intensity picks up as the song advances along with Singh�۪s vocals to deliver that intensity and power that goes with this prayer song. Nothing unique about this song except some new situational lyrics added by Ingole but this is something that will definitely be played at the Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations next year.
The amount of effort that Bhansali has put in the music of this detailed 10 track album is simply commendable! The attention to detail in instrumentation, compositional style and cultural lyrics proves once again the kind of director he is��_ a perfectionist. The music is perfectly in sync with this epic historical story from the great land of Maharashtra of one of its greatest heros and Bhansali leaves no stone unturned to make each song of ��Bajirao Mastani�۪ relevant and an aural masterpiece individually. The precision in recording techniques creates such strong melodies that make each song a treat to listen to. Normally a historical soundtrack would fit in world music category but Bhansali delivers songs like Deewani Mastani, Malhari and Aayat that are also commercially significant in 2015. Aaj Ibaadat and Ab Tohe Jaane Na Doongi are two other great songs worth listening to. Lyrics by Siddhart-Garima are consistently brilliant in every song while some great vocals feature constantly on every song. All-in-all Bhansali does a fabulous job on this album with grand musical production of epic standards expected from him that is worth listening to for musically discerning audience of all ages.
BizAsia Showbiz rating ��� 9/10