Emraan-Shraddha in 'Basanti' song in 'Ungli'

Think of the Bollywood inspiration of ‘The East’ (2013) then you would arrive at the forthcoming film ‘Ungli’ (2014) starring Emraan Hashmi, Kangana Ranaut, Randeep Hooda and Sanjay Dutt. Director Rensil D’Silva of ‘Kurbaan’ (2009) fame is hoping for another hard hitting film where a group of 4 decide to tackle corruption themselves by kidnapping officials to teach them a lesson just like Naseruddin Shah did in ‘A Wednesday’ (2008). Rensil has a good taste in music as witnessed in ‘Kurbaan’ and this time with Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions working behind the scenes, the music expectations would have been high but considering the fact it is a social dramatic music might suffer on the thematic front. Thus a mix of Sachin – Jigar, Salim – Sulaiman and Gulraj Singh have been summoned to deliver the soundtrack of this short 5 song album with Amitabh Bhattacharya working with all the music director’s to bring consistency to the sound.

Emraan-Shraddha in 'Basanti' song in 'Ungli'
Emraan-Shraddha in ‘Basanti’ song in ‘Ungli’

Dance Basanti is the work of Sachin – Jigar with the lyrics of Amitabh Bhattacharya and is already doing the rounds on TV and radio with the beautiful Shraddha Kapoor doing her first item number with Emraan Hashmi in a club setting. Vishal Dadlani is the real star of the song with his classy and energetic vocals. The texture of his voice itself makes one wanna get up and dance. The composition is urban but super desified with Punjabi ek-tara and even a desi beat texture which has a bit of Dholak mixed in it if you listen closely. The arrangement is very well done and this is an easy club hit to start the album with that is fun and a good blend of sounds including supporting rap vocals by Anushka Manchanda. The title itself is so catchy that it just works as an item number meets a club tune. Overall this is not a phenomenal party must but a decently good tune that will help drive audiences to the cinema.

Perhaps the most interesting song on the album that has a really good vibe and melody to it is Pakeezah. Sung and composed by Gulraj Singh who does an effortless job making this an overall a good listening experience that listeners will fall in love with on first play. Gulraj’s vocals have a raw ambience to it with a touch of Kashmiri flavour that he represents very well in the music as well with flutes and soft acoustic guitar plus drums in a soothing arrangement. Lyrics by Manoj Yadav do touch you heart and are purely romantic in the true sense of the word Pakeezah. Definitely a hit and a must listen to song.

Aadarniya Ungli is a rock themed situational song that pretty much gives the finger to “respected” politicians and bureaucrats. For a rock setting like this with lyrics that are dynamic and strong no one could have done a better vocal job than Vishal Dadlani again supported by Neeti Mohan this time. Lyrics by Kumaar are complex but fun thanks to the composition by Aslam Keyi who has done a good fusion instrumentation job with a mix of sitars thrown in on the rock drums that soon change over to an urban beat structure. The clarity of instrument frequencies is not too great so it could have been recorded better. Overall this is not a song for the masses but situational to the movie and so not one in the limelight. But on the creative front it has the right mix of elements that create a new sound in this category.

Music Review: 'Ungli'
Music Review: ‘Ungli’

Next song Auliya is the work of Salim-Sulaiman in the voice of Armaan Malik who is extraordinary with his soulful melodic voice. His vocals take different lyrical movements in the song in an effortless manner with folk renditions in the bridge parts with very nice transitions. The music composition complements his voice well where the musical duo have decided to keep it simple with amazing piano work and acoustic guitars so that the vocal and the associated lyrics by Amitabh Bhattacharya get the room to breathe and get the bandwidth to be heard well. The lyrics are very good and deep in the part one of the song but the poetic rhyme and thus the composition takes a beating in the second half of the song leaving its melodic track which is quite shameful as this is perhaps one of the best tracks heard in recent times. Must listen!

Ungli Pe Nachalein is the title track of the album and written by Kumaar while the composition is by Aslam Keyi again. The song has been yet again been given a club vibe with tons of hot models surrounding Emraan Hashmi in the video. The arrangement is quite average and so is the instrumentation except for the last bit where there is an innovative use of Carnatic violins which I am not entirely certain if it works. Dev Negi۪s vocals are average along with Shipra Goyal who has just been given the cheesy chorus lines. Kumaar۪s lyrics are good and hold the song together and not good enough to create an impact with the listeners. The song will work on the TV screens but fails overall.

FINAL WORD

Ungli۪ is a mashup of various talents and thus lacks clarity in direction and consistency in its soundtrack. But it sure does have some good numbers including Pakeezah, Dance Basanti and Auliya which is good 3 out of 5 songs. Gulraj Singh is most impressive with his vocals on Pakeezah and his Kashmiri stlye composition that speaks volumes of his talent. He is the one to watch and sure will be giving the likes of Arijit Singh a run for their money. Armaan Malik is equally impressive on Auliya under the big wing of Salim-Sulaiman and will thus fly safely through. But overall Dance Basanti will take the lead on this album being a party item tune with a cool title and Vishal Dadlani۪s funky vocals and not to forget to mention Shraddha Kapoor۪s hot moves in the video. Aslam Keyi and Kumaar۪s combination take on the tough task of delivering the title songs of the film but do not impress a lot with their work and thus create the low points of the album. Overall Ungli۪ is an above average soundtrack but a really small one of 5 songs and thus not worth a place in music collections. It۪s three good songs will work well for some time and then phase out quite quickly from listener۪s memory.

BizAsia Showbiz Rating 7/10