1. Jiya ho bihar – The song starts with faint ‘thaaps’ as if a traditional song but soon is joined by electric guitars and then the techno arrangement leads us to the very desi Manoj Tiwari. The song makes no bones, thanks to excellent Manoj Tiwari and some real catchy lyrics (Tani Taan kheech ke taansen kehlawo rey bhaiyya, for example). The backup vocals are excellent. Somewhere in the background you will hear shehnai as well. Yes. The marriage of techno sound with Manoj tiwari is just brilliant. There is a constant ‘bhaiyya bhaiyya’ in the background!
There is always that song from which you associate a movie, This one will be the image of Gangs of Wasseypur).
2. I am a hunter – (पापी लोग का नाम है – वेदेश सोकू, मुन्ना ओर रजनीश) The song starts with a ‘Heyllllo’(and TRUST ME!, you will repeat the ‘heylllo’ to hear if it is actually said the way it is said) and then something that we all have done while growing up! (Listen and tell me if you can find it, not telling it here). Special mention must be made for Sneha. This is a fun song and trust me, the song has 2 funny moments per second. Be it the laughter in the background, be it the interplay between vocals along with the constant Caribbean beats the song has ‘fun’ written all over it. Yes, it’s a tad naughty. Still, the words like ‘bhokali’ will ensure that this is played by guys (Andgirls, may be!) in bonfires. Yes. Up till now Patti rap was THE song that got guys (and sometimes girls together)in a gathering . Now, that place belongs, rightfully to ‘I am a hunter’.
3. Tain Tain – A good harmonium along with at least 10 other sounds suddenly start this song. Then it all settles down. The beat continues and so does a siren! And then Sneha khanwalkar goes ‘tey tey tey’. Before you figure out what’s happening, the brass band arrests your attention! Ok, too much happening at the same time! This has to be a background sound. This track is justa mix of a lot of sounds (whistles, vocal ‘ta ta ta chu chu ley ley lu li’ and so much more!). Remember the track ‘dol dol’ from ‘Yuva’? This track, in principal is the same, BUT is very DESI. The ‘constant casio synthesizer beats wali bhookh’ in me.
4. Womaniya (Performed by – Khushboo Raj, Rekha jha ओर उनकी सहेलिया) Singers start this song in a way that will remind the people who have grown up in north India, those ‘sangeet’ settings that happen during marriages wherein the ‘ladies’ (pronounced as – lay-dis) sing and poke fun at the new bride or may be her ‘in laws’ or may be her ‘bridegroom’. The words are pure ‘North’ and are laced with lot of fun (and naughty-ness). People who will have tough time trying to find the meaning of the songs will get the ‘fun quotient’ when the backup vocal singers will go ‘o o o ho ho ho’ Very naughty! The music setting is very ‘drawing room’ like and even when backup singers giggle you get the feel that they are sharing a joke! Singing is just incidental to the setting. Kudos Sneha! Kudos for reading this very rare Very very rare genre. The words of this song in particular have a flavor of north. Big time. Varun Grover, take a bow! Also the singer will remind you of that one character in such family settings who is the ‘leader’ and repeats certain words in order to poke fun at the bride, डबल अर्थ wala fun. (case in context – Patna and satna. ‘Satna’ means when someone sits uncomfortably close to someone else)
5. Kehke loonga – Night. That’s what the ‘itchy’ start of this song reminds you of. Sneha gets behind the microphone and gets on with it. Accompanied by Amit Trivedi, the ‘graveyard’ feeling of the song gets scarier when the intentions are reflected in words. No matter where you are, I will dig you up and ‘teri keh ke loonga’. It has a very ‘Ghar mein ghus ke maroonga’ feel. Still, it’s not loud. The song just stares at you with the coldness of a dead body. We need Sneha khanwalkar to sing more. Much more. Much much more. She is THAT good in the song. Composed by Piyush mishra and arranged by Sneha. Amit Trivedi is his usual brilliant self! Theresonating sound of howling might not be liked by all. Dark. Scary. This sums up the song.
6. Bhoos ke dher mein – Manish J. Tipu and Bhupesh start the song and will actually lead you into believing that it’s a sad song. Suddenly, an ‘all male’ group of backup singers (accompanied by harmonium and brass band), get into your ears shouting ‘Na milihey’ (you shall not get). This song has a message. More like the songs that you associate with the wanderers who give out message about life in their songs. The difference? There are way too many singers (and at times a barking dog in the background if I heard right!). Situational song. Has a very ‘chadhta suraj dheerey dheerey dhalta hai dhal jayega’ (A qawwali-sque song by Aziz Naza, very popular up North). Won’t be a chartbuster. May be that’s exactly what is needed. Let’s see.
7. Ek Bagal mein – Flute and Sitar talk between themselves and put you at ease immediately and then the strong bass creates a perfect platform for Piyush Mishra (PM) to start what is probably the most powerful song (in terms of effect that it will leave on you) of this film. The excellent use of electric flute deserves a repeat mention. It is THAT good. There is no doubt that this song is penned by PM himself and composed by him as well. The song has a little ‘jis raat sheher mein khoon ki baarish aayi thee’ feel in between. I suspect this song will find a place in the second part of the film as well. Minimalistic ‘arranged’ music. Authentic is the word. 2 thumbs up!
8. Bhaiyya – This track performed by the musahars of sundapur is another avtaar of a folk song but is music heavy. My guess, this is a background song again. It ends too soon. Didn’t touch me. May be you will like it.
9. Suna Gadh – performed by Sujeet (From Gaya ओर उनके दोस्त भाई लोग). The song uses a slow tabla and ‘manjeera’. Very folk. But too short. सब लोगों को नही समझ आएगा. It has a sound of a ‘folk singer’ closing his eyes as he connects with self and the powers that be via his singing.
10. Lehera – Yes, some shayari. Some ‘UP-Bihar’ style shayari about how people are selfish. The stop and go and stop and run! music arrangement completely reminds a ‘northie’ like me of the roadside ‘nautanki’ music. To you, it might remind of ‘pintya gela’ (from shaitaan) in essence, because the instruments used are completely different but the linear tune is somewhat ‘pintya gela’ like.
11. Mann Mauji – Probably one of the best romantic songs this year. iktaara, algoza and so many other beautiful sounds along with the singer usari banerjee is a touch of pure genius. Even the singing style has a touch of vintage in it! ‘Khula hai bajuband phata hai kaaj sambhal ke chalna hoga’. Composed and penned by Piyush mishra ji, arranged excellently by Sneha, this song has a sweet vintage feel. Hear it. The ‘secondary vocal’ (at times algoza, at times violin) that constantly accompanies the singer is so so so vintage. Brings back the days of कुएँ के किनारे गाना और नाचना.
12. Humni ki chhoree ke – (Sung by Deepak Kumar – मुजफ्फरपुर वाले) – With just the harmonium and very पक्का ओर रिसा हुआ गला the singer gives us a flavor of a very very touching song. It’s a folk bhojpuri song and many a singers have sung it already. We could come across pawan singh and few others (Check them out on youtube) but this version, with minimalistic music arrangement has everything that will make you very sad. lump in throat stuff. Even if you don’t understand the meaning of it. Magic of good music isn’t it?
13. Womaniya (remix) – Starts exactly like the ‘live’ version but the bass and trance effects soon take over. Something that I haven’t heard ever. Something Desi…real wala desi mixed with ‘mehengai dayan’ like remix (from peepli live). The naughty feel of the song is retained. At times I felt some excessive instruments were used but I won’t be surprised if this is played in pubs and people go ‘OMG OMG’! There is a brief romantic exchange of words between shehnai and electric guitar…Just too damn good! मुहझौंसा and what not! This remix grew on me!
The pronunciation of ‘womaniya’ as ऊमनिया is just too adorable (in both the versions) and too UP-Bihar like.
14. Keh ke loonga (remix) – The roadside shayari about life (Along with constant beats and ‘loonga loonga’ in the background) starts the song. A faint ‘siren’ (The one that you associate with IPL when a bowler bowls a No-ball and free hit is about to be executed. This is a short version and thankfully so, because the music arrangement and the overall sound of this song is in contrast to the theme of the album. Passable.
Overall a fantastic album! The music stays true to the overalls of the film. Even though 2 remixes are included (to make the album appeal to the ‘non small town’ पब्लिक) फिर भी, This will go down as a फसाद मचाने वाला album by Sneha Khanwalkar and Piyush Mishra. Comparisons will be made with the OST of Omkara, Dev D, Gulaal and so on but this album will stand it’s ground. Quite easily.
The backdrop is more or less same (in terms of geography) so the sound influences could overlap. Still, inclusion of some pure folk songs of the region is a superb idea and makes the album more relatable. The effort in terms of penning the right lyrics (Piyush mishra, Varun Grover and Vikas (for hunter – english lyrics), arranging and composing music (Piyush mishra and Sneha khanwalkar), singers and the sheer research about it all is praiseworthy.
Rough around edges, raw and melodious in equal measure, here is an unputdownable power album that deserves a listen.
In the days of ch**** Studio (इंडिया) and all those wannabe ‘EXPERIMENTAL page 3 types’, here is an album that gives u a sound and taste of what the sound of those places is like. Those places are called ‘Chowk’ in small towns. (an open market area in a city at the junction of two roads)
Chowk Studio. Anyone?
वूफ़र फाडी दिया भैय्या!
My Picks – Entire album.