Music Review: ‘Befikre’

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Aditya Chopra is back in the director’s chair with ‘Befikre’ starring Ranveer Singh and Vaani Kapoor which is a major shift from his previous works all starring the great Shah Rukh Khan. A romantic drama based in Paris, the trailers seem to have tons of limitless romance and provocative scenes that work perfectly well with Singh’s personality. The on screen chemistry of Singh and Kapoor seems like wild fire with crazy amounts of sensuality to every scene. But the trailer doesn’t seem to give away much with what seems like a lot of fun and tons of kissing. What Yash Raj Films (YRF) have got really right with this film is the online promotions. With many viral videos, behind the scenes, musical videos along with trailers there is a lot of digital material that is going around and will attract the savvy Indians to the cinemas. The music behind these viral music videos is the handy work of two geniuses Vishal-Shekhar with the amazing Jaideep Sahni who has penned some of the best YRF work including ‘Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi’ (2008) and ‘Chak De India!’ (2007). A lot of French music influences should dominate the sound of this film with what should be a vibrant and powerful soundtrack to mark the return of Chopra to direction.

'Befikre'
‘Befikre’

The deep and soulful voice of Papon opens the album with Labon Ka Karobaar in a true French composition. Vishal-Shekhar pack it with a lot of accordion and violins. The song almost gives one the fell of walking through the streets of traditional France and captures the vibe of the traditional cities well. The beat is a little up-tempo which doesn’t add to well with the other instruments but Papon’s voice sits in-between and balances out the frequencies perfectly to deliver a good sound. Sahni’s lyrics are purely dedicated to love and how a kiss crosses all barriers and apprehensions. His take on what a kiss makes one feel is quite interesting to hear and blissfully romantic. Papon’s vocals are quite consistent throughout but he lets simplicity in his vocal delivery let the lyrics stand out here. A good song but not a great song to open the album with.

Nashe Si Chad Gayi packs in a lot of new age music sounds with strong electronic beats and urban synths. The melody is very catchy on this song with an upbeat ambient sound that is very Claude Challe / Buddha Bar style that takes one back to Paris again. A mix of African drums gives it good variation too making a great world music song. Arijit Singh nails the vocals very well on this song as if going with the lyrics he truly is intoxicated and deeply nashe mein. His vocal texture is perfect for the style of the song and very groovy at the same time. He even delivers the Punjabi vocals perfectly to the T! The use of French lyrics to start with and end the song brings the setting of the song alive quite strongly and are well delivered by Caralisa Monteiro. Sahni takes a very interesting thought of getting intoxicated in love and expands around it to create an innovative composition. The variation in lyrics is quite diverse going from the slow to the faster rhymes and even into traditional Punjabi lyrics. All-in-all this is a unique composition and a very niche vibrant song that has a lot of swag about it!

The title track Ude Dil Befikre is perhaps the most popular song on the pre-promotions with its very dynamic and unique music. The strong Arabic vibes is synonymous with France’s major Middle-Eastern population which is commonly heard being played by street musicians across top cities. The music has a lot of attack and catchy hooks which gives it a lot of character and pretty much a young personality. A beautiful bassline rolling throughout the song is my favourite part of the song as one doesn’t even realise it exists.. that’s how good the recording and execution is. The use of Moroccan Tarija drums along with Buzuq & Oud gives the song that perfect Turkish-Arabic flavour and are very well recorded. The arrangement of instruments is different than what is normally heard and thus gives it a unique sound. Benny Dayal delivers the vocal in a way that it seems as if this song was written for him! Perfection is the word as hi brings out his Arabic personality but in a Bolltwood style which is what will perhaps make this an iconic song. Also known as the dare song, the lyrics are all about free flight for the heart with no love complications or hold backs. It’s all about the impulse and Sahni puts is quite nicely with a simple four by four poetry format that is all about rhymes. This is by far the coolest song on the album!

You and Me is a cool and funky song executed in uplifting jazz style. It’s got all the happy elements to it that makes it a cute and lovable song. The song pretty much has a deep bass and claps running throughout with some filler instruments thrown in here and there including a harmonica solo & acoustic guitar. The stripped back music gives a lot of room for the vocals to standout and the amazing Nikhil D’souza clearly shines through it along with Rachel Varghese by his side. They have that jazz tonality and stylish execution that they deliver to their English & Hindi parts on the song. Both do a really good job and complement each other quite well. Lyrics too are quite simplistic which is the entire nature of the concept of this friendship song. It talks about those small imperfect minutes in daily life that you get through with a friend while out taking a walk, shopping, stuck in traffic or simply the small differences once comes across when sharing a room with a friend which is what makes this song a cute one and quite easy to fall in love with. The vocal scatting is quite catchy and sticks the song right in the addictive part of ones head which will get one humming the melody of this song for hours once heard.

befikre-khulke-dulke-340x

Punjabi superstar Gippy Grewal takes Khulke Dulke by a storm delivering his well-known authentic party textured Punjabi vocal. His style is unique and it will take this song places making it the big one for the current wedding season in India. Harshdeep Kaur supports him on the female lead and her delivery style is a more urbanised Punjabi which suits Kapoor’s character in the film. Musically Vishal-Shekhar combine electronic beats and wedding band style trumpets with tumbi and dhol’s in chorus. The song has a very full sound compared to the earlier You and Me which is always good to hear for a Punjabi number. The lyrics and theme of this song are not far too different from the others as this is all about letting go and loving like a befikre. Sahni comes up with some interesting “Punjabi-ised” words like “worry-aan” and “ishq di bungee” which is quite cool and will catch on well with listeners. All-in-all this is a great Punjabi party song that is hard not to dance along to.

Je T’aime is finally a love song on the album which is not really a love song as it says never say I love you. The lyrical contrast of this song is what makes it really interesting. It talks about all the negatives and emotional holdbacks that result from falling in love. Starting in the voices of Singh & Kapoor in a dialogue conversation from the film, the music comes in with soft calming instruments and is composed in a French ballad style. The arrangement is not too great on this and not very attractive as developing a melodic sound like the other songs on this album but it does a fair job. Vishal Dadlani himself voices this song with Sunidhi Chauhan and their vocal delivery is pure but nothing great or memorable about it.

Love is a dare (instrumental) is a background piece for the film that combines the various musical pieces featured of the film together into one. Perhaps a casting song it is a mash up of all the songs in alternate renditions executed with electric guitars, keyboards, trumpets, violins and more. It retains all the major hooks of songs to deliver a single track that has all the defining sounds of the album packed into one. There is no particular listening pleasure that this track delivers and is pretty much an album filler.

FINAL WORD
Aditya Chopra always works hard on his music and creates music that lives through a generation. Is the music of ‘Befikre’ one of them is something that only time will tell. Unlinke his previous projects he does not have Shah Rukh Khan executing them on screen neither is this a romantic larger than life story that Chopra is know to direct. Thus the fate of this album is something that we will find out once the film is out and a year thereafter but it surely has all the elements to make it a modern day classic and a hit with the younger generation. Vishal-Shekhar do a brilliant job in developing a unique sound for each song making them memorable and iconic. Each song has a unique concept that the melody is defined around and they perfect for the French setting of the film and the Befikre theme. Jaideep Sahni’s lyrics are as always very expressive and detailed. The lyrics are catchy and easy to sing along to which will help make each song stay in the mind for a longer shelf life. The use of singers is quite diverse as well with the likes of Arijit, Benny Dayal, Nikhil D’souza and Papon stepping out from their usual style to deliver a different vocal take on their respective songs. The addition of Gippy Grewal to the soundtrack makes an exciting addition to the album to. Ude Dil Befikre, Khulke Dulke, Nashe Si Chadh Gayi are some of the best songs on the album. Overall this is a good soundtrack with no bad song on the album but each song is for a younger audience with not much for a mature audience to be able to relate to. It’s not often Aditya Chopra directs a film and when he does you know this is an album to keep.

BizAsiaLive.com Rating – 8.5/10

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