BizAsia Music Review: ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’

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Just like season change every year, a big budget Salman Khan film comes every year around Eid. After a boring but superhit ��Kick�۪ (2014) he is back this year as a producer and actor with ��Bajrangi Bhaijaan�۪ (2015) even with a time consuming court case and an almost jail sentence looping over him in the past few months. Directed by Kabir Khan of ��Ek Tha Tiger�۪ (2012) fame the film also stars Kareena Kapoor back after last year�۪s average ��Singham Returns�۪ (2014). The story of a little Pakistani girl lost in India alone who relies on her Bajrangi Bhaijaan to take her back home to unite her with her family. A typical Salman Khan trailer with big action scenes and some item numbers mashed up together gives the story out quite easily leaving very little to imagination. As always on the music front, one can expect music for the masses with a big few street numbers and a few romantic songs all in this one album. Pritam is back on the scene after a quite long year with a list of lyricists including Kausar Munir and Mayur Puri by his side.

Selfie song Bajrangi Bhaijaan 340x

Kicking off with a dance tune already doing the big rounds across radio and TV channels Selfie Le Le Re in the voice of Vishal Dadlani is a total street party tune in the typical Salman style. With the selfie craze all across the world this song is for the masses to push the craze to a different level. Vishal�۪s vocals are energetic all through with a bit of masti to it and works well as Salman�۪s voice. Pritam�۪s music is not typical to his style all together but reminds one of Balam Pichkari in some parts. Packed with a mix of drum beats and trumpets as the lead bass it works well as a modern day street party tune. Mayur Puri�۪s lyrics are nothing stunning but catchy nonetheless for the punch line but a decent mix of emotions and fun lines. The focus on Hanuman Jayanti is quite evident with Jai Jai Bajrang Bali throughout. The rap by URL is quite cool though and something different for a song in this category. Overall this is a song for the masses and selfie lovers and with Salman there it is a sure shot hit for the summer season even though it is not a great song.

The mesmerising voice of Atif Aslam takes over next in a solo romantic performance on Tu Chahiye. Sadly the first impression of the song is quite dull. The composition just does not work and is very inconsistent going from a soft romantic start to a heavy house beat song and back. The lyrics by Amitabh Bhattacharya are surprisingly repetitive to deliver a fake rhyme and without any depth to them. The only saving grace is Atif�۪s voice that tries to blend in with the party feel of the song and a possible good video with Salman and Kareena that could make it work. Disappointing to say the least!

Bhar Do Jholi Meri (Traditional) is a good Qawalli in the voice of Adnan Sami with a nice traditional melody to it. Pritam finally does a good job to impress with this folk number that delivers on all the cultural nuances that one could look for in a qawalli. The instrumentation is most impressive with some amazing authentic dholki and harmonium work. Kausar Munir is a wizard with traditional urdu songs and he doesn�۪t disappoint here that brings the whole Haji Ali feel to life with very emotional lyrics depicting the trying times the characters are going through in their cross border journey. Adnan�۪s vocals are on the note and his delivery is perfect for the feel of this song. By far one of the best qawalli�۪s of recent times. Sadly this song is not one would see on music channels or radio plays due to its style and genre.

Another party song features next, which is actually better than the opening song, in the voice and vocal flair of Mika Singh. Aaj Ki Party is an easy dance tune to digest and bob around with. With a simple tune and Marathi dhol beat and whistles this is an easy song to even create a great video with to make it an all-round hit. Mika�۪s delivery is typical to his style and there is nothing wrong with repeating a formula that works. Lyrics by Shabbir Ahmed are easy to sign along with and enjoy as a group. With a great bridge of instruments in the middle of the song and Kishore Kumar style vocal jabber throughout add the extra zing to the song making it the song to watch out on the desi party charts.

Aaj Ki Party - Bajrangi Bhaijaan

Chicken-Kuk-Doo-Koo in the voices of Mohit Chauhan & Pritam himself is a cheeky fun song that will make even a person just finishing up his dinner hungry for a second round. Produced with a mashup of South Indian wind instruments and Goan acoustic guitar and beats the music is quite innovative and well composed with a bit of Spanish funk to it at the very end. Mohit�۪s vocals are very cool and perfectly balanced keeping the amusement factor at the centre of his delivery. Mayur Puri�۪s lyrics are different then what you would normally coming from his camp and reminds one of the parody song from ��Mr India�۪ (1987) and the calendar character with hungry kids all around. Good Sunday song to listen to while cooking with the family.

Zindagi Kuch Toh Bata in the voice of Zubin Nautiyal with backing vocals by Pritam is a background situational song mashing up all the emotions of the characters difficult journey. Lyricist Nilesh Mishra does a good job putting all these emotions together while painting a picture of the beat down scene in the film. Composed in a church prayer gospel format the song is powerful in its limited appeal and Zubin�۪s soft vocals are a good contrast to the composition. Overall a decent song to listen to but being situational it will work better in the film than a standalone song.

The amazing rock voice of KK is heard next on Tu Jo Mila. Starting with a beautiful range of strings, the starting of song is perhaps one of the most beautiful ones heard in a long time. KK�۪s deep but soft vocals work like magic on this really emotional love song. Kausar Munir creates something really refreshing and brilliant to say the least that epitomises the lover and love between the characters. Pritam finally shows his true talent and brilliance with the arrangement of this song and exceptional instrumentation. The technical aspects are perfect to the note where every instrument can be heard clearly and has a place of its own. Truly remarkable song to listen to and it is up to the radio channels to feature this and make it a big hit that it really deserves to be.

Bhar Do Jholi Meri (Reprise) is the alternate traditional version of the original but clearly a better one if you like things done traditionally in the way they should originally be. Featuring the voice of famous Pakistani Qawal Imran Aziz Mian, previously having worked with Pritam on Cocktail (2012), delivers authenticity and folk qawali style of the next level. With a troupe of equally talented backing vocals they can easily get you moving along with him with claps and head bobbing. Recording the shout-y voices of a qawali troupe is quite difficult but Pritam does a stunning job with equally well recorded and balanced instruments with the dholki beats tuned to note precision. This is a song that unites India and Pakistan to the beat of a song. Excellent!

Next mesmerising Javed Ali delivers a beautiful alternate version to KK�۪s Tu Jo Mila (Dekhna Na Mudke). His vocals don�۪t have the depth that KK delivers but there is a different touch of softness and romantic tonalities to his voice that make this alternate version equally powerful. The composition is different and more upbeat climax style finale song.

How do you take a background situational song and make it relevant, listenable as a standalone song and a commercial hit? Well here is an example of that. Zindagi Kuch Toh Bata (Reprise) has the leading vocals of the amazing Rahat Fateh Ali Khan supported by the none other than the outstanding Rekha Bhardwaj who can put anyone in a trance with just a few words said in her gorgeous voice. The instrumentation is rather boring in this version but with these two amazing voices there, you don�۪t really need any music at all. The composition is nothing special and is the same as the original but the focus is entirely on Rahat and Rekha here.

Adnan Sami -Bajrangi Bhaijaan 340x

The most beautiful song on the album features for the third time with Tu Jo Mila (Reprise) this time in an acoustic format in the stunning voice of Papon. With minimalistic instrumentation and a totally new musical arrangement Pritam has very successfully managed to see the same song through in 3 different styles which is commendable as a music director. Papon is flawless and that makes is super easy to create a hit with this song version that is very soothing and relaxing to listen to at any time.

FINAL WORD

After a gap of a year Pritam returns to the scene with a wholesome album with 11 songs of ��Bajrangi Bhaijaan�۪. The expectations were a lot more from him to deliver an album packed with commercial hits all through but it disappoints on that front. Although with a good number of big tunes including Selfie Le Le, Aaj Ki Party, Tu Jo Mila there are a number of average songs as well. One thing that he has done really well in this album is pack all his favourite singers into this album. From Papon to Rahat to Rekha to Mika to Vishal to Atif to Adnan.. they are all here gracing this album. The lyricists disappoint a little too with Kausar Munir delivering the best songs. Overall the album has the typical assets of a Salman Khan film with a balance of love and fun to make it a masses album. But its success will be short-lived.

BizAsia Showbiz Rating ��� 7/10

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