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Music Review: ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’

Second release for Ayushmann Khurrana this year is the forthcoming ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’ also starring Kriti Sanon and Rajkummar Rao in a what seems like a love triangle. Written by Nitesh Tiwari and directed by his wife Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari, the trailers show a different Sanon in a performance driven role with a strong UP accent. Rao seems forever brilliant with Khurrana doing an equally exciting job in their roles to make this rom-com believable & something to look forward to. The music of the film should be equally fun for this young coming on age romantic comedy that depicts the changing India in the second and third level cities. A mix of urban & rural should be the expected flavour of the music in the movie with a mix of romantic and dance tunes. The album is the collaborative work of a mix of artists including Arko Pravo Mukherjee and Tanishk Bagchi.

Sweety Tera Drama is written by Shabbir Ahmed with the music of Bagchi and is a cheesy fun dance number. The music is a crossover between an item number and a wedding number thus possessing a double dance quotient. Set to a lot of whistles and a synthetic dholki beat, the music has elements of both modern and rural music. Dev Negi with Shraddha Pandit and Pawni Pandey deliver energetic vocals retaining the UP swag in their delivery. Negi is just brilliant and gives the song a lot of personality that makes it an easy one to listen on a repeat. Ahmed’s lyrics are easy and cool at the same time. They don’t have a unique characteristic but still catchy and great to listen to thanks to the vocal delivery and the upbeat music. This will easily become a song for weddings in the north and on radio airplays.

Arko Pravo Mukherjee takes over the next song completely giving it all his brilliance and multi-talents from writing to singing to composing and music. Nazm Nazm is a gorgeous romantic ballad that is super emotional to listen too. His deep voice reciting soulful deep lyrics are heart-warming to listen to. His soft tone gives extra warmth to the song with lyrics that have a strong touch of sufi music to it. The use of soft string instruments and keys gives the song a lot of peaceful characteristics that are typical to a Mukherjee song. He keeps it mostly acoustic to keep it simple and that really works in favour of the song. This is not a big commercial song but it sure is a brilliant one to listen to.

Bagchi does the same as Mukherjee with the next song Twist Kamariya taking over its lyrics, music and vocals together but with some help from Vayu on music and lyrics while Harshdeep Kaur, Yaseer Desai and Altamash Faridi deliver the vocals for him. An innovative take on a rural setting song is the key feature of the song combining urban break-beats with dholki and crude rural lyrics define the sound of the future here and Bagchi delivers it quite well. The real surprise of the song are the vocals of Kaur who is completely unrecognisable in her new avatar. She has done upbeat numbers before but none like this which showcases her super vocal range and amazing talent. The lyrics are repetitive that make it an easy dance track and describe the vivacious character of Sanon in the film giving it that free personality and charm that should get every girl in the party to get up an dance. But maybe it is a little too ahead of its time and lacks that oomph which might hold the song back a bit with the listeners.

Bairaagi has the soulful voice of Arijit Singh with supporting vocals of singer composer Samira Koppikar. A classic Singh romantic song, this composition mixes folkish lyrics by Puneet Sharma with soft rock instrumentation. Singh’s high pitched treatment is powerful yet soothing to listen to. His controlled delivery brings out the deep and emotive feelings of the song nicely although there is not much range in the lyrics to go with after the first two minutes. The crescendo of the song is nicely done and there is a very gradual progression to it that will make it yet another naturally lovely song to listen to with Singh’s strong vocal signature to it.

Badass Babuaa is yet another song that bridges the rural-urban music gap very well, this time with a strong hip-hop beat. Sameer Uddin combines tumbi strings with an awesome Indian Bihari/UP rap treatment lyrics by Abhishek Verma which gives it a very cool and unique sound. The beat is very simple but the lyrics are uber cool and very well arranged. Abhishek Nailwal & Uddin sing this nicely keeping zero emotion in the lyrics like a rap vocal would be but with tons of high-brow attitude to it. Neha Bhasin manages to get a fair bit of supporting vocals too but nothing great about it. This is not a song that commercial success would ride on but it will totally rule the speakers of the rickshaw drivers across India.

Khurrana takes on Mukherjee at his own song and does a brilliant job with Nazm Nazm (Ayushmann Khurrana version). He breathes new life in the song and actually makes it sound a lot livelier and light. The addition of heavy violins also add a new layer of musical progression to the song with the same lyrics. The depth in the song is reduced with the voice replacement but it still is a great song with perfect vocals by Khurrana.

Koppikar goes solo on her composition with Bairaagi (Samira Koppikar version). She gives the song a simple Punjabi dholki beat with beautiful acoustic guitars to make this also a livelier version of the song that is a lot more pleasant to hear. The ambience in the song is great to hear and the instruments are a lot tighter while her vocals are a contrast with her heavy voice but they both add up very nicely making this a yet another refreshing song to listen to.

Nazm Nazm (Sumedha Karmahe Version) is yet another gorgeous version of this great song that starts of to what seems would be an unplugged version but brings in some really good flute solo with acoustic guitars and synthetic drums. The sound is still unplugged and performance driven with focus entirely on Karmahe’s note perfect vocal. It’s her voice and the awesome flutes that are worth listening here that tug on the emotional heart strings.

The music album of ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’ is overall a fine one to listen to. The soundtrack seems a bit disjointed with a mix of artists and no consistency in the overall sound but these are all good songs that work well individually. With well-rounded artists like Arko Pravo Mukherjee and Tanishk Bagchi on the album it is difficult to go wrong here as these guys put great work along with their talent to work on every song they produce. Lyrics are good but not the strength of the soundtrack but the compositions and vocals sure do make this a good album to listen to. Arijit Singh, Dev Negi, Harshdeep Kaur, Samira Koppikar, Sumedha Karmahe and Ayushmann Khurrana himself have delivered great sounding renditions on their respective songs. Nazm Nazm and Bairaagi deliver the soulful romantic touch to the album while Sweety Tera Drama and Twist Kamariya bring out the fun and dance on the album. The songs try hard to merge urban music with rural lyrics and style which could be the real strength of the album that could work across the masses. Overall this is not path-defining or path-breaking album in anyway but it is well balanced and gives just the right listening pleasure to the listeners. Rating – 7.5/10


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.