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Music review: 'Lipstick Under My Burkha' and 'Toilet: Ek Prem Katha'

The music for 'Lipstick Under My Burkha' is a wonderful Middle-Eastern homage while 'Toilet: Ek Prem Katha' falters because of its familiarity

July 18, 2017 07:19 pm | Updated July 20, 2017 12:10 pm IST

Lipstick Under My Burkha

Two of the three songs Pakistani singer-songwriter Zebunnisa Bangash composed for the soundtrack of Lipstick Under My Burkha derive from her past works, but with Bollywood friendly variations. ‘ Le Li Jaan ’ appeared previously as ‘Laili Jaan’ on the sixth season of Coke Studio (the last one with Rohail Hyatt at its helm, before Strings took over). Bangash (and her partner Haniya) had done a gipsy jazz take on the Afghan folk song originally sung by Ahmad Zahir.

While Bangash (and arrangers Patrick Ferrel and Michael Winograd, part of world music band Sandaraa with Bangash) strips down the arrangement for this version, she still retains the groovy base and the song will still make you want to swing along. Ferrel’s accordion and Ankur Mukherjee’s guitars and double bass form the song’s backbone, and clarinettist Michael Winograd and rabab player Sadiq Sameer (who has collaborated with Bangash and Haniya on Coke Studio previously) go to town with their improvisations.

Through it all Bangash’s practised rendition sits comfortably above all the music. Anvita Dutt (retains some smart references to the Afghani original) also writes Hindi lyrics for the other Afghan song adapted for the soundtrack, ‘ Jigi Jigi ’. Earlier, Sandaraa performed the Afghan original. Malini Awasthi makes a fine choice for vocals, her folksy style giving the song a new flavour, while Bangash too makes some neat variations in the arrangement, aided by Mukherjee. The composer takes the disco route for her original track – ‘ Ishqiya ’ – and produces engaging results here too, helped on its way by Neeti Mohan’s singing prowess and a trippy bass line from Karl Peters.

After a fine (though infrequent) run as playback singer in Bollywood, a commendable composing début from Bangash.

Toilet: Ek Prem Katha

Sonu Nigam and Shreya Ghoshal almost equally divide the song ‘Hans Mat Pagli’. While the former delivers the first half of the track, Ghoshal makes her entry midway. Both singers ace the immensely hummable melody from first-timer Vickey Prasad.

The composer’s second song of the album, ‘ Bakheda , has its high point in the mellower melodic portions performed by Sunidhi Chauhan. However, the rest of the track, though cheery, sounds very familiar. Chauhan’s singing partner, Sukhwinder Singh too amplifies its heard-before feel. Sachet Tandon and Parampara Thakur get behind the mic for their composition ‘ Subah Ki Train ’, and both prove to be competent singers. The composition itself is once again hindered a bit by the familiarity aspect, but the general feel good vibes help mitigate that to an extent. ‘ Gori Tu Latth Maar ’ from Manas Shikhar builds up almost like ‘ Tum Tak ’ from Raanjhanaa (2013) until the ‘ Gori Tu ’ hook when it gets more folksy and fast-paced, keeping up with the festive backdrop the song is set in. Nigam is the singer for this one too, joined by an equally commendable Palak Mucchal.

The soundtrack has a bunch of promising new people behind it, producing a pleasantly engaging soundtrack whose only drawback is the déjà vu.

Vipin Nair writes about music on MusicAloud.com and curates music on Apple Music as MusicAloud

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