BizAsia Music Review: ‘Phantom’

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Director Kabir Khan is heading for a double release this year. Still riding on the success of the amazing ��Bajrangi Bhaijaan�۪ (2015) that is still not gone off the screens across the globe and ringing the cash registers. He is back with Saif Ali Khan & Katrina Kaif doing tons of action scenes in action thriller ��Phantom�۪. Based around the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attacks this is definitely going to be a controversial film especially across the border from India. If it is a Kabir Khan film then the music has to be that of Pritam who knows how to get a right balance of musical creativity and commercial success. The soundtrack of ��Bajrangi Bhaijaan�۪ delivered just that and the expectations are no different from the music of ��Phantom�۪. Amitabh Bhattacharya and Kausar Munir assist him with delivering the lyrics on this OST.

Katrina Kaif & Saif Ali Khan in 'Phantom'
Katrina Kaif & Saif Ali Khan in ‘Phantom’

One can expect a tune like this only from the Pritam camp.��Afghan Jalebi (Ya Baba) brings the Arabic Belly dancing flavour to Bollywood with style and class while keeping the true essence of the genre. The harmonium hook is simply super cool for it to be a harmonium piece in an accordion style. The arrangement is very well done and blends different instruments together in a perfect way to make it a song that can be easily heard on repeat on radio, TV and even the clubs. Amitabh�۪s lyrics are nice and deliver a lyrical groove to work well with the music. The use of Urdu is simple rather than going hard towards Arabic and Pashton to make it an easy song to sing along to. He compares Katrina�۪s character well as sultry and mysterious women who makes one fall in love with her simple and complex ways at the same time. Vocals are that of Pakistani sufi pop singer Asrar who is already creating waves across the border. His delivery here is graceful with a touch of fun to his tonality making this an ideal song to swing around to.

Saware in the voice of Arijit Singh is a soft romantic number unlike the more rock-ish love songs that Arijit has been doing recently. The song has a sweet melody both musically and in Arijit�۪s delivery that has been handled well by Pritam to deliver a good composition. But Amitabh�۪s lyrics, although quite deep, are a little complex to make this a little difficult listening experience for the audience. The words are gorgeous though with a warm rhyme to it. Overall the soft lounge vibe of the song is refreshing to listen to and should have a reasonable airplay but won�۪t manage to climb the charts that easily.

Nachda features the lyrics of Kausar Munir and the amazing voice of Shahid Mallya. The man of Rabba Mein toh Mar Gaya Oye, Iski Uski and Kukkad fame renders a perfect vocal here yet again. The song has an upbeat sufi melody with an Arabic touch and Punjabi lyrics that work very well together. Pritam uses sarod and a few other string instruments in the background in a genius way against a very deep bass and electronic beat. Electrical guitar solo along with Sarangi is worth listening to in the bridge. The lyrics are simply brilliant and very engaging as Kausar mixes love, devotion and intensity of circumstances well together that are beautifully delivered by Mallya. The song is offbeat in many ways and thus is too different to become a commercial hit. But it sure is a song to get some critical fame.

Afghan Jalebi (Filmi Version) is in the voice of Balochi singer Akhtar Chanal Zahri who delivers a more tribal touch to the vocals. The rest of the composition and lyrics are exactly the same as the original. If one listens to both the songs back to back it is quite difficult to differentiate or choose one over the other but it�۪s only about the vocal texture that Pritam has decided to feature this is a different track.

Ya Baba (Fitna Farebi) is yet another similar composition version this time in the voice of Nakash Aziz of Saree Ke Fall Sa fame. Nakash gives the song a more Bollywood touch on the vocal style. Although his delivery is perfect this song is Arabic in nature and works well in that vocal style. Lyrics change for the last chorus in this song with Arabic lyrics instead as he addresses Katrina�۪s character Fitna Farebi.

Katrina Kaif Phantom

Afghan Jalebi (Dumbek Version) is now the true version of Balochi singer Akhtar Channal Zahri who is famous for is Coke Studio sessions with true sufi folk touch to his voice. He delivers a crude but vibrant vocal on a new musical composition by Pritam. The song uses a simple table beat to start off with but then flows into a modern rock area that doesn�۪t really work is sounds like Pritam is trying too hard. He then goes into a very refreshing Sarangi solo that is perfectly fitting. This version could have been a true Balochi folk version of the song but the rock bridges spoil it. Other than that this version is better version on the instrumentation front.

FINAL WORD

Pritam does a good job on this album bringing the flavours of Western Pakistan home to Bollywood fitting perfectly with the theme of ��Phantom�۪. The intense action storyline doesn�۪t give much room for music and thus so the album lacks variety and four versions of the same song Afghan Jalebi that is perhaps not required. But the song is a hit seller easy as it brings Afghani flavours to Bollywood to stay for a long time. Saawre and Nachda are fairly good songs as well with depth in male singers in this album. Ranging from folk Baluchi singers to Pakistani pop singers to superstar Bollywood singers this album has it all in the male singer�۪s category. With not a single female singer on the album and not much variance in the genres of music, the soundtrack of ��Phantom�۪ is quite limited. But what it has is good and worth listening to. Overall this album is a decent entertainer and worth a few listens.

BizAsia Showbiz Rating ��� 7/10

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