Music Review: ‘Dhadak’

DJ Munks

Music Reviewer


Making her Bollywood debut in the just released ‘Dhadak’ (2018), Janhvi Kapoor is the newest starlet to hit the Bollywood scene under the Karan Johar banner and the direction of Shashank Khaitan, well known for his new-age romantic films. But unlike his other films ‘Dhadak’ is a a Hindi version of superhit Marathi film ‘Sairat’ (2016). Ishaan Khatter is in the leading role with bad man Ashutosh Rana also an important part of the cast with the setting now shifted to Rajasthan. The music of ‘Sairat’ gained a lot of popularity and success so there was equal pressure on the music of ‘Dhadak’ to deliver national & international success. Marathi duo Ajay-Atul are behind the music of this short four song romantic album with the lyrics by the amazing Amitabh Bhattacharya.

Dhadak (Title Track) features the voices of Ajay with Shreya Ghoshal and is a great song to open the album with. A pure romantic ballad with a very strong and intricate composition, this is a song to live through ages. The orchestration and its conduction is what makes this song really iconic and enormous with a big sound making this sound like the opening of a story that defines an era. The arrangement has intensity, emotion and lot of depth that the songs builds over its progression. Vocals by the leading duo are very strong and very well controlled. The passion in Ajay’s voice is moving at points while Ghoshal’s melodic voice is sweet and gorgeous to listen to. Lyrics are yet again the highlight of the song as one would expect in a Bhattacharya romantic song. Sentences like “Jo Mere Dil ko Dil banati hai tere naam ki Dhadak hai na” are just heart melting to listen to. The flow is effortless and the way he constructs his poetry gives the song a memorable personality which will surely help making this a song a regular on radio plays and perhaps last the test of time.

Zingaat in its original Marathi form took the Marathi music scene by a storm. So much so that even in international markets club scene the Marathi song became a common feature for everyone to show their dance energies. The music duo have decided to keep the music same as the original Marathi version which is understandable considering the success of the original but it is a little weird to except of a Rajasthani film setting. The music style is nothing close to what Rajasthani music sounds like with its strong Marathi folk instrumentation but other than that the song works as its energy is epic. The song has a constant very high tempo that not many Indian songs are made in and thus the energy levels in this song are through the roof. Lyrics are the key differentiator here with a touch of tasteful fun that Bhattacharya has put together. The delivery style of the lyrics is still got a Marathi touch to it in accent with Ajay-Atul voicing the song themselves. They maintain good energy & control throughout which works in favor of the song and should hopefully make it a success number topping that of its original counterpart.

Ajay goes solo for Pehli Baar next to a grand strings orchestration start next. The violins and double bass arrangement with flute thrown is just brilliant even before the vocals kick in. The song has a reminisce touch that would make anyone listening think about their first love. The vibes are just very warm from this song thanks to the amazing instrumentation. The music score is quite complicated and the composition is perhaps one of the best heard in recent times as it mixes strong British opera & jazz styles with India music in a very charming way. Can’t rave enough about Ajay-Atul’s music skills in this song! Ajay’s vocals are somber and have a huge range in different parts of the song but they don’t make a strong impact or stand out. Similarly the lyrics and good but not great. The thought and poetry are apt and effective to the setting of the song but it doesn’t stick on in the first few listens. Perhaps a few replays and taking one’s attention off the music piece will create a better balance in the overall musical experience.

The final song on the album is another romantic number Vaara Re in the voice of Ajay again. The song is a background song per say and perhaps one of those that plays on the credit roll outs. The song has a great musical range going from the soft flute bridge parts to high intense climax parts on the chorus, yet again demonstrating some really good music arrangement talent. Compared to Pehli Baar this song has a stronger lyrical hook and flow making it more memorable. The lyrics are happy and sad at different parts summarizing the movie as such. Vocally Ajay does a good job in keeping it together with the massive range this song presents but his voice is not captivating enough. Overall this song is missing that star quality to elevate it to the next level.

For a strong romantic story with existing legacy being a remake of a hit Marathi film the expectations were quite high from the music of ‘Dhadak’. Ajay-Atul along with Amitabh Bhattacharya do a decent job to deliver to those expectations but perhaps fall a little shy of the same. Being a small album with just four songs there is not much variety in the album in music styles and collaborating talent with Ajay Gogavale being the voice on all four songs (Ghoshal & Atul contribute a para on a song each). That does give consistency to the album and he is good no doubt but some songs could have been better delivered by others. Musically the album some considerable amount of depth in its instrumentation and it has something that is missing in most patched-up-together albums – “a music score”. Some of the compositions are iconic and the conduction of the orchestra is just amazing on Dhadak (Title Track) and Pehli Baar. Zingaat tries to be the party and dance song of the album but being so strongly in the Marathi music style it seems out of place with the album and does not have a more universal appeal for the masses even though it is a strong track. Overall this album offers an above average experience with very strong music work but being mediocre on other fronts.  Rating – 3.5/5