1. Chicha ledar – The song starts with that familiar sound that all the people who lived near a cotton extracting/beating shop would easily identify. (Those huge sitar-like eqipuments) and then with appropriate ‘building up’ the song launches into a constant beat arrangement and in comes Durga!. Backed by extremely good lyrics the song grabs you and runs and runs! Special mention of the amazing use of words like ‘cheecha ledar, sarau, word play (whether i like the weather)’! The constant ‘joota joota joota’ gives the song a ‘remixed’ feel and then the ‘dub step’ comes in! Maha-amaJing! My grouse with the song is that it is JUST 4 minutes. Clearly a GAJJJJAB start to the album! (Varun insists that the usage of ‘sarau’ is a tribute to Lucknow, I must add).
Special mention of Durga (the 12 year singer), listen carefully how she says ‘dil’ in the song. Everytime! That’s called hugging the lyrics and not just singing it! Kudos!
2. Kaala re – Sneha khanwalkar. at. her. best. If the ‘keh ke loonga’ made us all hear Sneha launch into her ‘catty’ avatar. This one explores the playful undertones (with a very dark and haunting cello/bass arrangement). Saiyyan kartey ji coal-bazari. A song that’s helped a great deal by excellent lyrics. (Kaala bilkul surmey wala). All shades of black, explored. very. well. Perhaps some parallel will be drawn with the sound of A.R. Rahman.
3. Electric piya – Rasika D Rani starts of (and must say the pronunciation of ‘elektric’ is very very ‘chic’!’) Then a very bhojpuri (Trinidad Tobago also?) music setting takes over (aided by ‘casio’like sound, harmonium, dholak and manjeeras). Dholak and Harmonium are quite prominent in addition to the vocals. A very naughty (in a very un-womaniya way) song. This is more like leg pulling of your ‘piya’. The words are pronounced in a flow and might not be able to get into the mind immediately. Repeat the song and you will find yourself smiling.
4. Bahut Khoob – I am VERY interested to see the way this is going to be filmed. Very theatrical in the way it uses the voice of the kids (And at times Sneha in between). Hear it to make an opinion on the song. Mix and scratch and mix and scratch again and again!
5. Taar bijli – Harmonium with a lot of female backup singers (and some ‘chammach’ on dholak) leaves us with Padamshree Sharda sinha to weave magic. The setting is very playful. Lyrics full of gentle banter directed towards her in-laws by the bride. ‘Na idhar na udhar hi sihaare piya’…! excellent lyrics. The song is NOT another ‘womaniya’. While Womaniya was more ‘intimate, naughty and personal’, this one puts out the banter in open and poses some questions to the entire family about the bridegroom. The song is actually a satire on the worsening condition of Bihar in 80s and 90s. Perhaps the most conventional song of the pack. Sweet and melodious.
6. Aabroo – Starts with bulbul tarang and dholak. The setting is very ‘gali mohalla’ style. Piyush mishra gets into action (and you can picture him sitting on a ‘chowk’ surrounded by people) A little different from his normal style, Piyush mishra emotes ‘ekdam ghus key’. Bhupesh singh very smartly contests Piyush mishra (not teams up, contests). An election campaign song, It’s the ‘compteesan’ that has been got music as a background. Kudos to Piyush Mishra! Hilarious to the core. A genre that has resurfaced after a long time!
7.Perpendicular theme – Using a mix of brass band and other sounds, this less than a 2 minute track ends too soon (May be weird just for me, because I am used to the ‘themes’ being longer). A kid’s playful voice a shehnai (may be) and drums at times. Also, the brass band plays a tune in between. I have heard it somewhere and can’t put a finger to it. Who can remember it? I liked the song but disliked the fact it’s too short. The theme is paced so well that you would want to listen to it for a longer duration but then, it ends!
8. Moora – Guitar and mandolin together and you know the song will make you smile. Sneha khanwalkar gives a whispering start to the song. Chiefly using Mandolin and Guitar (just ‘by the side’ arrangement), the beauty of the song is that the vocals are also understated. Would have liked a little more ‘energy’ in the vocals. The lyrics anyway talk of hope so found this version a little dim. The interesting part of this version is a faint ‘male’ voice. It’s the voice of Robbie styles from trinidad) who played cuatro and mandolin in the song. Best part – he doesn’t know hindi.
9. Tunya – Bulbultarang’s excellent use with the members of ‘Baal party’ (and if you hear attentively I guess there is a bit of Sneha in the background too). This is just 1:22 minutes track and boy is it sticky or what? As I continue to complain about the duration of this track I can’t help but feel this will make a great ringtone too!
10. Bahut Khoob (8 Bit dubstep) – Excellent use of the 8 bit dubstep arrangement has made this piece (which is still less than 3 minutes!) breezy and intriguing at the same time. From 1:50 minutes, Sneha uses Super mario music (With altered tempo) and then constructs a bit of her own tune around it. This is sheer brilliance! (90s kids! rejoice!). Although in the lyrics post , it was mentioned that the words are random, I am quite sure that the kids are referring to the movements of a train. Varun points out that the song refers to the movement of ‘Ganga, the river’. Hear hear and then let’s discuss?
11. Electric piya (Fused) – Not remixed, Fused! Pretty straight forward ‘fused’ version. Harmonium remains and is aided by uniform beats and at times echo. Didn’t like this version much. May be you will. Try it out.
12. Moora (Morning) – Compared to the previous version of ‘Moora’, this one starts with more instruments and the mandolin makes way for ‘The ‘Humni ke chori ke nagariya’ (From Gangs of Wasseypur part 1, soundtrack) boy Deepak gets behind the microphone again to give us a more soulful rendition of this song. Lyrics, excellent. Energy (and music arrangement) – Up to the mark! No guitar. Some echo. Some trans like sound. Kabir-sque lyrics. Ends very very techno istyle! My pick of the album, this.
13. KKL – Sneha! Sneha! echoes ‘KKL’ which is nothing but Keh ke loonga. This version will tickle all the ‘techno junkies’ at the right places. If we remember right, the ‘loonga loonga keh ke’ (From part 1 isn’t used in Gangs of wasseypur part 1, the film). This track features the all male chorus from the song and then mixes up with tiny bits of Sneha’s voice. Sneha has used the bits from the part 1 song superbly! This is what you can easily call as a ‘ball busting ass kicking’ music arrangement. (Try getting the ‘चीख’ of sneha out of your head when she goes ‘Teri keh ke longaaaaaaa’). What I shudder thinking about is – our reality TV shows will kill this song by ‘performing’ on this.
A lot of talk has happened pointing directly towards how some of the tracks in Gangs of wasseypur sound like ‘Sound trippin’. If we are to back in time by say 2 years (when Gangs of wasseypur’s music was being made), MTV had no idea of Sound trippin. Could it not be a possibility that Sound trippin came AFTER viacomm heard the music and sounded off their Music channel to make a show around these ‘unique’ songs and sounds that Sneha accumulated? Think about it.
With the Music of Gangs of Wasseypur 1, sitting pretty already and other credentials in her bag (rather backpack!), Sneha Khanwalkar delivers a different sound with this album. While the Gangs of Wasseypur 1 album was tilted heavily towards the folk sound, this one is more contemporary. The selection of singers and lyrics continue to play a smart role in the overall feel of the album. Piyush mishra appears for just one song and hits a homerun. Varun Grover should probably start preparing for a speech already because kala rey will cause a lot of cheecha ledar and might make a moora of a lot of lyricists this year. All we shall do is just celebrate the arrival of a deeply rooted (to the story line and narration) lyricist and yes the words bahut khoob would be incidental.
Our pick – Entire album. With so much prem pritam pyare and bro-jid-sque music around, if any film album is worth your full time, it is this.