Music Review: ‘Gunday’

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After his directorial debut with below average box office performer ��Mere Brother Ki Dulhan�۪ (2011), Ali Abbas Zafar is back with an action crime thriller ��Gunday’ starring Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor playing best buddies on screen as they rule the criminal world of Calcutta. They seem to have a lot in common as best buddies in the movie including their love interest in the sizzling Priyanka Chopra. The trailers of the film look powerful enough to spark interest in the story and draw audiences to the big screens for what looks like some great cinematography. This could change Zafar�۪s Bollywood fate and give him a career hit. On the music side he has kept loyalties with Sohail Sen who did give him musical hits in ��Mere Brother Ki Dulhan�۪ with song like Dhunki and more. Sen has also had success with songs on ��Ek Tha Tiger�۪ (2012) amongst other non-commercial films and this could be his dedicated big hit platform as well. He has the amazing Irshad Kamil by his side along with Bappi Lahiri, Gautam Susmit and Zafar himself giving him company on the lyrics of this 10 song album.

Music Review: ‘Gunday’

Jashn-E-Ishqa is a real good start to the album in the voice of Javed Ali with Shadab Faridi on the choruses. Rock meets big orchestra sound for the instrumentation and composition of this song where Sen creates a big milestone for himself as this tune is both hummable and enjoyable to hear as a standalone film situational track that could enjoy great airplay on radio and TV. Javed Ali�۪s voice is very well suited to the style of the song and the lyrics by Kamil that are simply awesome as they are usually flowing out of his pen. The lyrics give this song a different level of attitude and style that work perfectly with the music breaks programmed by Sen making it sound larger than life.

Tune Maari Entriyaan starts off with Bengali vocal bits by the legendary Bappida and one knows this will be a fun tune to listen to. Unlike all the recent songs in this league of street fun songs, this song has a lot more class thanks to the elegantly done vocals by rock stars Vishal Dadlani and KK. Neeti Mohan delivers a stylish female vocal as well that is sexy and with a lot of attitude to complement fun love chase lyrics by Kamil where he sums the chase of two boys behind one girl. The centre bridge of the song has an excellent demonstration of Sen�۪s instrumental depth that he keeps building till the end of the song with a use of a number of instruments that create the perfect setting of Bengal even though the song has a broader appeal and will go excellently across the country from Mumbai to Delhi to Chennai and even the international markets.

The deep soulful romantic voice of Arijit Singh comes next on Jiya that reminds one of Dil Se Re from ��Dil Se�۪ (1998) with the same deep ambience relatable to that song with deep bass and excellent violins to build to the strong feelings depicted in this song by Kamil�۪s lyrics that talk about the deep connections of love the character is tied in. The instrumentation by Sen is massive and deeply inspired by the work of Rahman on ��Dil Se�۪ and ��Roja�۪ (1992) with the Kashmiri music flavour. This is a top song to listen to for strong romantic song lovers.

Kamil pens yet another romantic number with a lot of vigour set in its words with Asalaam-E-Ishqum that is sung by Neha Bhasin and Bappi Lahiri. The vocals are a little dry here and let down a bit along with the composition as well that is a bit disco and falls flat at points. Sen desperately tries to revive this song with modern effects and electric guitar solos but fails to do so successfully. The use of trumpets is a little overdone making this one songs to skip as this could have been so much better to deliver the good lyrics it has.

Shahid Mallya is a voice to confr̬re with on Saaiyaan that is a very attractive song thanks to the rural voice texture of Mallya. The man with a voice to die for who delivered two excellent songs in ��Mausam�۪ (2011) returns with this song that is very classical in composition and its melodic appeal. Kamil has written this song as if with deep scars to the heart with a religious music touch to it. Sen has brought it to life by keeping it simple to let Mallya�۪s voice and lyrics take the lead in this song and rightly so. The overall combination of all makes this a song worth listening to!

Mann Kunto Maula is a rock-sufi style of a composition in the voices of Altamash Faridi and Shadab Faridi who keep it note perfect even in their high pitch parts while sounding soft and sweet which is just exquisite to listen to. Kamil has written something totally different here with a mix of classic Urdu with simple Hindi to call upon the blessings in this religious song. Sen has revolutionised Sufi with a mix of strong rock aspects to this song which is very refreshing to listen to. The song does not have commercial appeal so is very niche but very well nonetheless.

Title song Gunday in the voice of Sen himself with lyrics by director Zafar has an interesting mix of country music guitar with dirty beats bass style of music. Sen�۪s vocal performance is the most noticeable in this song that has anthem style of arrangement as it builds up. Rap by Kinga Rhymes starts of this song that then goes to tell the story and journey of Bikram and Bala from rags to riches. The song is an uncommon style of title song that is not very situational and will work really well as a song to turn up on a long drive. Zafar does a fairly good job on the lyrics as well.

Rhythm of Jashn-E-Ishqa starts off with a strong percussion bit in this short two minutes instrumental piece with Shadab Faridi�۪s voice chanting Jashn-E-Ishqa to some fantastic musical arrangement that builds up faster as it goes along to a very high pitch. This is a situational piece for background score and is musically very interesting to listen to.

Doing away with the rock-sufi composition in the original Sen does a purely classical version of the religious song Mann Kunto Maula (Classical) with simple dholki, harmonium and chorus vocals making this song sound exactly like it should. Although now it sounds like many other such songs in this category but this is exactly how it should be in its pure form and thus works. The song later breaks and goes into a qawaali style showcasing Sen�۪s musical depth for different genres of music. The vocals of the Faridi brothers sound mesmerising now!

Priyanka Chopra's cabaret look in 'Gunday'
Priyanka Chopra’s cabaret look in ‘Gunday’

Bappi Lahiri gets to do a full Bangla version of the fun street song Tune Maari Entriyaan (Bangla Version) with Monali Thakur this time. Bappi Lahiri and Gautam Susmit have done the lyrics of the song as well. The song sounds very sweet in Bangla and still possesses the class and fun elements with its composition.

FINAL WORD

Sohail Sen excels in the delivery of the soundtrack of ��Gunday�۪ with a lot of variety throughout the album with below average work on just one song. He consistently develops and builds the theme of the film with its music and keeps it different and fresh throughout. Tune Maari Entriyaan and Jashn-E-Ishqa have a fun sound and are potential commercial hits while all the others create a unique identity for themselves. Irshad Kamil is consistent with his pen and works his magic on every song giving Sen enough motivation to package them beautifully with music all around. Vocal performances by Arijit Singh, Javed Ali, Shahid Mallya and Faridi brothers are just brilliant. The OST has no massive Bollywood singer names and is still able to deliver a great soundtrack with the young talent in the industry and sure is capable of setting a landmark of things to come in the year ahead. ��Gunday�۪ is definitely an album worth checking out with not just the Eastern sounds of India but for overall good quality musical entertainment.

��BizAsia Showbiz��Rating ��� 8/10

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