Saat Khoon Maaf – Melody Meets Thriller!
Very rarely does Bollywood come up with experimental music in commercial mainstream movies. Out of the huge number of masala movies, very few are based on women. When a movie has all the smart yet unconventional elements combined with a name like Vishal Bhardwaj, it is inevitable that the movie and its music would be something notable. After all it is only this producer that can perform the herculean task of merging controversy, a solid story, mainstream actors and a huge array of enthralling music into one thus creating a sure shot winner. For these reasons alone, I decided to review the music of 'Saat Khoon Maaf', although it is delayed, this music cannot be ignored!
With 'Saat Khoon Maaf' (inspired from Ruskin Bond's story Susanne's Seven Husbands), Vishal Bhardwaj decides to swim against the tide once more, his previous movies, Omkara, Kaminey, Ishqiya were famous for their interesting mix of music and were all loved by public and critics alike.
The album starts with 'Darling', the infectious track that faced criticism as soon as the first teasers were released which showed Priyanka Chopra in all her seven avatars created hype and then the first winds of controversy came blowing in as rumor started about 'Darling' being copied from the Russian choir song, 'Kalinka'. The album however, gives credit to the original track. What makes 'Darling' stand out from the rest is its orchestral display. Usha Uthap's distinguished vocals meet Rekha Baradwaaj's melodious voice as they sing out the mischievous lyrics!
Next in line is 'Bekaraan', an Urdu ghazal by the noted poet, Gulzaar. This is a huge contrast from 'Darling', it soft melody combined with a beautifully penned song steals the show and is one of the best one from this exciting album. Flowing effortlessly, 'Bekaraan' is soothing and mysterious at the same time. This soft, romantic number is sung by Vishaal himself and if you are familiar with the kind of melodies he chooses to sing, you must know what I am talking about. Although this is a typical Vishaal Bharadwaj track with minimal orchestration and more focus on vocals, it still makes its mark and has the quality to linger on. A must listen for all those who loved 'O Saathi Ray' from Omkara – 'Bekaraan' will never disappoint the ghazal lovers!
'Awara Awara' comes next changing the mood completely. It boasts of classical instruments combined with heartrending lyrics and Master Saleem's distinguished voice making it a perfect blend of upbeat sufi and semi classical tunes. The complete shift of genera's right from the beginning of the album proves how versatile this producer can be. Blending contrasting melodies, distinguished vocals and heartrending lyrics creating exceptional compositions each more notable than the next!
Shifting the mood back to soft and romantic, 'Tere Liye' is the classic Vishaal track with an impressive jazz appeal to it. Another one penned down by Gulzaar, this track extends to a whooping six minutes! Moe of a poem than a song, 'Tere Liye' is a solo by Suresh Wadkar and delivers just what it promises, an extended melody full of palatable piano drills and romantic lyrics ('Halki si sardiyan aur saans garam ho, Shaamon ki shawl bhi, thodi si, narm ho, Tere liye kishmish chune, Piste chune, Tere liye...') that are signature Gulzaar words. Although not the best in this album, this one too will appeal to 'ghazal' listeners.
Knowing the winding road this album has been taking, it is inevitable that the next number to follow would be a huge contrast to 'Tere Liye'. 'Dil Dil Hai Dil', is a complete shift from the earlier tracks. A rock number, somehow resembling 'Zehreelay' from Rock on pulls you out of romantic mode to pure metal. This death rock number has harsh and repetitive drumming but beautifully complements the violent parts of 'Saat Khoon Maaf'. Sung by Suraj Jagan, 'Dil Dil Hai Dil' fails to make a mark despite its power packed orchestration.
When the album has everything from ghazal, semi classical melodies to hard rock, how can it be complete without a devotional track? 'Yeshu' voiced by Rekha is just that, a melodramatic number, 'Yeshu' portrays the varied emotions of the protagonist and is definitely a situational track. Complete with a chorus and chanting, this church prayer extends to six and a half minutes but fails to be a good individual song.
'O Mama' defines the protagonist in the most cunning way imaginable! With tangy wordings like ('O' Mama, Kanche mare, Billi jaisi aankhon wali, Ek meow si ladki, O' Mama, O' Mama...') it brings the tempo up a few notches. Sung by KK and Clinton Cerejo, 'O Mama' is another rock number in this versatile album and promises a fan following from youth as well!
'Saat Khoon Maaf' is a delight to listen to. Having something in it for everyone it is one of the most versatile soundtracks. A mix of ghazal, classical, rock and pop, this album has everything in it in order to win numerous awards. A huge jump ahead by Vishaal Bhardwaj, who has come a long way from his 'Chorr Aye Hum Woh Galiyaan' days. This album is definitely worth buying, even for those who are not fans of bollywood music!
Avril Lavigne back to her original Avatar!
Avril Lavigne has finally released her third album titled "Goodbye Lullaby" which is a huge change from her previous album. The Canadian pop-punk singer has moved on and shows signs of maturity in her new album.
Talking about the album, she said, "It is a more emotional, rawer record and I think it's good for me to kind of switch it up a bit and do that. I think, if anything, this record... may be able to gain more of a mature audience along with it, and I hope to keep the same kind of core younger group. Its different this record for me, but it's very me. It's my personality, it's my style. It's not like I went and did something totally different or anything like that. It just showcases a different side to me and more of that. I have been bringing back old songs that I did when I was younger and starting new ones and doing it on my own and playing the piano more and just recording it at my house... it was just a different approach."
However, it seems Lavigne has fallen between two worlds, not yet sure of what her style is. The cover shows Avril in a dress on a piano with wilted roses! Definitely not her 'Girlfriend' avatar that had been perfected so beautifully. The album might not be able to grab a different audience for her as she is hoping. After all, it is always difficult to see a punk rocker in romantic mode!