BizAsia Music Review: ‘Sultan’

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Salman Khan�۪s big Eid release, ‘Sultan’, is just around the corner with the month of Ramadan already upon us. This will be a big project for director Ali Abbas Zafar from his previous project ��Gunday�۪ (2014) gradually increasing the commercial level and star value of his films. The pressure must be immense releasing a Salman Khan film following his two major hits in 2015 in the shape of his Eid release ��Bajrangi Bhaijaan�۪ (2015) and the Diwali release ��Prem Ratan Dhan Payo�۪ (2015). Khan�۪s pairing with Anushka Sharma is a bit of an odd combination but it would be interesting to see their on-screen chemistry. The music of both the 2015 Khan films were a big success as he takes personal interest in the music but this time the reigns are in the hands of hitmakers Vishal-Shekhar. Considering the duo have been predominantly missing from the scene for over a year since the amazing ��Bang Bang�۪ (2014) soundtrack [not counting one song album ��Fan�۪ (2016). The lyrics of Irshad Kamil never really let you down and thus the expectations from this album are quite high to have a full soundtrack with variety and class.

Salman-Anushka in 'Sultan'
Salman-Anushka in ‘Sultan’

Starting with the genre that Vishal-Shekhar are best know for, Baby Ko Bass Pasand Hai is an easy hit party song to impress the masses with. Fit for the weddings and clubs equally, Vishal�۪s music and vocals blend the traditional start and the electronic beats that kick in shortly later. The Haryanvi ascent is very well delivered by Vishal & Shalmali Kholgade. The rap has more Haryanvi character and a fun vibe to it thanks to the work of the top man in this business Badshah. The arrangement is quite simple and effective in favour of the song keeping it easy for everyone to enjoy the song. The instrumentation, lyrics & vocals could have been a lot better going by Vishal-Shekhar�۪s standards but the song does the trick of delivering a good party tune.

No one could have delivered Jag Ghoomeya any better than the amazing Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. This is a song written for him clearly and his magic works perfectly making this a gorgeous romantic song expected from a Salman Khan movie. This song has the best of everything from lyrics to vocals to brilliant composition that is full with beautifully played soothing musical instruments giving it that perfect Valentine�۪s Day feel. What Vishal-Shekhar do very well here is let the brilliant Ustad�۪s vocals and Kamil�۪s deeply charming lyrics do the talking while the music takes a back seat. The story this song tells through its words is just spellbinding. This song is perhaps the return of Rahat big time to Bollywood and makes this one of the best songs of the year that will impress one and all.

440 Volt starts to what sounds like another soft romantic but turns out to be a fun romantic number that is delivered by a totally different sounding Mika Singh. Lyrics are not at all cheesy or crude but rather charming and flirtatious that work well for Singh�۪s different singing style that is rather a soft and subtle version. It works and Singh should definitely do more such songs rather than his party songs all the time. More importantly in the qawali style composition set to a clean dholki beat merged with lead electric & bass guitars is quite unique and creative by the music directors. Interestingly a good listen which does not have a 440 volt hit making factor to it but a 220 volt it sure does.

Title song Sultan is next in the voices of Sukhwinder Singh and Shadab Faridi. For a sport drama film, the song can boast of pace, versatility and dynamism. The strong guitar work layered on top of a clean rock drum and bass puts you right in the middle of an energetic rock concert and then the inspiring and motivational lyrics combined with the powerful vocal of Sukhwinder puts you right in the film�۪s sports ground. The guitar piece is sensational and beautifully recorded while the lyrics are amazing for this category last heard on ��Bhaag Milkha Bhaag�۪ (2013). This song will surely become a cult and an anthem for the sports category.

Music Review: 'Sultan'
Music Review: ‘Sultan’

Another love song packed with masti that only Mohit Chauhan can deliver is the next song Sachi Muchi. Mohit�۪s vocals put you in the happiest of the worlds that are cute and adorable in the delivery style. Irshad has put in a lot of Haryanvi word deliveries in there that puts the song nicely into the setting of the film. Sachi – Muchi are perfect rhyming words themselves and Irshad carries that through nicely for the full song keeping a fun rhyming aspect of the song running across. Harshdeep Kaur leads the female vocals and makes it sound good complementing Mohit nicely giving the village girl rustic touch to her loved up vocals. The best part of the song is the arrangement of the song going from a big band to Spanish guitar and duff style and then to a high point electronic piece on the chorus. The song has a good flow to it that is super catchy and addictive.

The stunning voice of Papon takes centre stage next on Bulleya. A sufi song as the title would suggest, Bulleya is a song that connects love to devotion. The melody is nice and Papon�۪s vocals puts one right into the meditative zone as he has the ability calm any nerves down with his voice. Irshad further amplifies the message with the words he has penned. They sound complex on first listen but the poetry unwinds and simplifies with every listen which is something amazing to listen to and realise as the lyrics demand attention. The composition is quite typical Bollywood that has been heard quite a few times so no points in that department to the musical duo but due credit to them for the instrumentation. The small nuances in the music are like working with an artisan and have tons of detailing to it with a blend of different sounds. The mouth organ solo at the start is delectable!

Tuk Tuk features the voices of the Nooran Sisters along with Vishal himself which would sound like an odd combination but it is just sheer genius. This is my favourite song on the album the first minute blows one away with its blend of sounds, unique composition and distinguishable lyrics. The very idea of this song is revolutionary with rural traditional vocals set to an urban beat with raps and psychedelic synths, deep bass combined dholki pieces and awesome lyrics to the theme of wrestling. Now that truly is a lot to fit all in a song! As a theme song for wrestling this piece of 4 minutes of music is iconic. It is not commercial but is truly contemporary in its melody and worth a stand up applause to Vishal-Shekhar for conceptualising it. Nooran Sisters deliver the vocals in a sensational way. An amazing song to say the least.

Neha Bhasin�۪s version of Jag Ghoomeya (female) is a beautiful acoustic version of the original played simply to the music of a ghatam and Kashmiri Rabab. The then Neha�۪s voice itself is a deep and soulful instrument that is more effective than anything else at tugging at those heart strings. The warmth and soul in her voice is rustic but contemporary in her delivery style that works perfectly considering the nature of the lyrics. The poetry is beautifully delivered in a non-commercial way that is melodic to the core thanks to the genius of Vishal-Shekhar. Must listen!

'Sultan'
‘Sultan’

Shekhar gets on the mic himself for the final song on the album with Rise of Sultan which is an alternate title song on the album. The composition is situational to a big climax with larger than life instrumental scale to it with bugles, nagada drums, violin choruses and massive vocal harmonies. The music truly has a rise to it and elevates from a few notes at the start to this magnanimous sound for a king of sport to arrive on the field. A great sound to this track but it is a background standalone piece only for the film and not a song as such to listen to without the visuals going with it.

Khan�۪s version of Baby Nu Bass Pasand Hai is just a bad take on the original song. Quite clearly Khan�۪s vocals have been processed with tons of effects and filters to make it sound club worthy which it clearly isn�۪t. Ishita on the female vocals does a mediocre job as well. Rather skip then listen to the full song. Khan should ideally stick to acting instead going by this song.

Khan�۪s version of Jag Ghoomeya is rather more appropriate to his voice texture and so this song doesn�۪t sound bad but yet again quite clearly a lot of work has gone on his vocals with processing. At least he does a decent job of sticking to the notes here but does not have the vocal capability to deliver the high or low notes sounding relatively flat. Considering the original is done by a vocal maestro, Khan�۪s version sounds like an amateur version somewhat.

FINAL WORD

The soundtrack of ��Sultan�۪ is exactly what was expected for a big Salman Khan Eid release. It has variety, depth in its genres, great music composition, fabulous vocal deliveries and great lyrics all through song after song. With over 10 songs it has enough meat and material to it to make is a wholesome album as collector�۪s piece. Will it be a bigger hit than ��Bajrangi Bhaijaan�۪? Maybe.. only time will tell as it has everything going for it to take it there.. especially if the film becomes a hit. The music sticks to the situations in the film and the Geographic�۪s of the setting of the film in its words and vocal styles. Vishal ��� Shekhar have clearly spent a considerable amount of time perfecting each song making them all stand out from each other and anything out there and they succeed at it mostly. Their choice of singers is to the point and they each deliver very well (expect the Salman Khan versions of course). Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Mohit Chauhan, Papon, Mika, Nooran Sisters, Harshdeep Kaur, Sukhwinder Singh, Neha Bhasin are all brilliant. Irshad Kamil�۪s lyrics are a class as one would expect from him where we delivers a mix of songs going from simple and catchy lyrics to emotional and complex pieces as well. Tuk Tuk & Jag Ghoomeya are the best two songs on the album while Baby Ko Bass Pasand Hai is clearly the biggest hit of the party season. Sachi Muchi & 440 Volt are good fun love songs as well and recommended to listen to. Overall ��Sultan�۪ OST is a fine piece of team work that should get everyone excited for the film while each song capable to making it to the charts as well.

BizAsia Showbiz Rating ��� 8.5/10

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