When there is no competition, you generally don’t get good products, because sooner or later, producers of those products would hallucinate and think they are Gods, and their consumers are insignificant. This theory fits perfectly when we think of film music in our country. If you don’t believe me, try to remind yourself of 5 film albums which you liked last year. Got my drift?
We live in times when everything should make money for the makers. Music has to be catchy enough for caller tune. Who cares if people forget about the music 3 days after the promos end! Last year, it was Haider, a music album that enveloped the feel of the film and not compromising with the melody in the process. The first quarter of this year has ended and Dibakar Banerjee has given us Detective Byomkesh Bakshy.
The album starts with immensely talented Madboy/Mink jiving on Calcutta kiss. I don’t know about you but I never thought we will witness such vibrancy and joie de vivre in a film song. The song kicks it and does a kick ass job at it. It has a deliciously flirtatious vibe, and my God, it is amazing! Saba Azad is a Goddess and I love the way she economizes her vocal spend on Hindi film songs. A wise man told me long time back that Sneha Khanwalkar might create good sound but she has a long way to go for making a melodious song that sticks in your head. Now I don’t know how they will use all songs in the film, but if used well, I challenge you to come out of the hall and not have ‘Bach ke bakshy…tu jhoootha hai makkaar‘ playing in your head. With this song, Sneha builds a villa on the already cemented spot that she occupies – one of the few, very few good musicians of our times whose songs will outlive us all and future generations will try unsuccessfully to find out the ‘formula’ behind the varied sounds she produced in her lifetime. I don’t know Sneha but I would love to know the questions she asks the maker when she is given the brief on the song that she has to make for a particular film. She gets it right every time!. Double pat to the lyricists of the song (Sneha and Dibakar, we are told)…whoever came up with beh gaya jo khoon uska kya blood type hai?!! The ‘bach ke bakshy tu jhootha hai makkar‘ has the same deadness to it, which some of us would remember experiencing when we heard kiley ka rahasya‘s title song.
I have always had a bone to pick with the non-film music scene in India, which has more often than not tried hard to bollywoodize itself to get validation (read recognition and money). The almost disgusting attempts at aping our innovative and rich neighbors’ music scene have failed because we try to put a bollywood touch to everything, and the sound gets hijacked. In comes ‘Byomkesh in love‘, and you feel not everything is wrong after all. The song has been fused well and in spite of English words in between, you will surely smile at the thumri-sque complaints of the singer asking her beloved to stay with the ‘other’ woman. The only other time it was done so beautifully was when Ram Sampath created this beautiful song. That was 13 years ago. In spite of somewhat average lyrics, what will arrest your attention in ‘jaanam’ is the tripping Synth arrangement in the song. Suryakant Sawhney does a great job at giving us a retro but not dated love song.
There was a time when to make your film song ‘hep’, you had to have a song from Suraj Jagan. It worked but not totally, may be because the songs always wanted mass acceptance from Bollywood music lovers who are overfed with silly items songs and template of rondu-rotlu songs. Thankfully ‘Life’s a bitch’ by Akshay De is NOT at all like that. The song doesn’t try to pander to ‘General population’ and keeps the death metal ( is it?) feel alive. Akshay de is angry and his rough (yet never out of tune) singing makes it up for a song which you will either love, like I do or hate! Nothing grey here. Chase in Chinatown marched passed all of us in the first trailer of the film. The music and the mood of this track is elevated a great deal by Vyshnav Balasubramaniam. The rap is rough and much like ‘life’s a bitch’ this might not be everyone’s cup of tea but the track is trippy and one that fits the stealthy title to the T. Yang Guang Lives – is a meandering track that has interesting sound to it. IJA has created this more like a background score with occasional commentary. Thanks to the superb pace of the entire O.S.T., this track might wear you out because it breaks off a lot in between. It won’t be wrong to conclude that the track is more a film piece than a song piece. That said, the track will give multiple orgasms to bass junkies.
Dibakar got 7 composers to make 7 songs. I am not the most vocal advocate of bringing hajaar composers in one O.S.T because I feel that the sound of the film gets compromised and doesn’t stay uniform. Thankfully, it is not the case here. For all we know, Dibakar would do a ‘kahaani’ and not include any song in the film. Even then, every note that you encounter in this album wraps itself around the feel of the film so well that it makes you want to see the film immediately!
We dont know what the film has in store for us. All we have got so far is just an eerie anticipation of something sinister which is about to unfold and the music just enhances that feeling. I cannot ask for anything more from an O.S.T..
Let us know which song worked for you and which one didn’t.