Retro with a hint of Punjabi folk

Akshay Kumar’s latest nationalistic outing — Gold has a seven-track album with just one memorable song

Published - August 08, 2018 06:20 pm IST

 Being a sport:A still from Gold.

Being a sport:A still from Gold.

Reema Kagti’s third fleature film as director jumps straight into the sports and patriotic arena. Gold , a film adapted from true-life events in 1948 – is about India winning her first gold medal as an independent nation. Kagti’s lead composers for the film are Sachin-Jigar with additional inputs from Arko Pravo Mukherjee and Tanishk Bagchi.

The movie’s lead composers Sachin-Jigar take on the bulk of the album with five numbers to their credit. Three of their songs have live percussion by veterans; one by Taufiq Qureshi and two by Ranjit Barot. Despite the presence of Qureshi (and his son with an impressive sounding name — Shikhar Naad Qureshi) though, the drinking song ‘ Chad Gayi Hai ’ is just a regular Punjabi flavoured boisterous number that engages while it lasts. Barot’s presence (along with Dipesh Varma), on the other hand, does make a big difference in the inspirational ‘ Ghar Layenge Gold ’ and ‘ Khel Khel Mein ’, both written by veteran lyricist Javed Akhtar. The heavy percussion and the chorus (Rakesh Maini, Madhav Krishna) echoing the title phrase give ‘ Ghar Layenge… ’ an anthemic high, even as lead vocalist Daler Mehndi’s voice oddly processed and awkward in places.

Khel Khel Mein ’ has KK leading the proceedings in style, though the melody progresses on predictable lines. The frenetic beats manage to prop the song up to an extent, though. With ‘ Rasta Rasta ’ Sachin-Jigar go back to Punjabi folk (and the tune is reminiscent of ‘ Chadh Gayi ’). It’s a nice, but very repetitive tune that rides on veteran singer Sukhwinder Singh’s energy for large part. Good percussions once again. The duo deliver their best in the patriotic ‘ Jaaga Hindustan ’ which features mohan veena maestro Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, and his beautiful solos echoing across the sprawling soundscape is the highlight of the song. Divya Kumar does his job well with the lead vocals. There are times though when the song took me back to A. R. Rahman’s ‘ Maa Tujhe Salaam ’, especially when the mridangam appears in the second verse.

Guest composer (and lyricist) Mukherjee seems to channel the sound that used to be Pritam’s signature for romantic songs once upon a time. Phrases like ‘ nainon ne baandhi kaisi dor ’ and ‘ kheencha chala jaaye teri ore ’ reminded me of Pritam’s ‘ Teri Ore’ (the similarity in the instrumental prelude makes one wonder if this is more than just a coincidence). Coming back to the song, the throwback aspect does not help it a lot, given that Pritam himself had milked that template dry. Nevertheless, it’s a passable listen, helped on its way by Yasser Desai’s soulful rendition. Desai also features in the song composed by Bagchi alongside Monali Thakur, Shashaa Tirupati and Farhan Bhiwandiwala. Coming close on the heels of Bagchi’s original in Fanney Khan , the man gets another original work here. And paired with his trusted lyrical partner Vayu, Bagchi produces an incredibly swingy retro jazz piece (incidentally the only song that has a retro feel to it) called ‘ Monobina ’, that the singers deliver to perfection. Vayu’s words range from English to Hindi and Bengali. The Bengali verse is given to Monali Thakur and there is something thoroughly endearing about the singer performing in the language. So while Sachin-Jigar get five songs in a seven-track album, it’s Bagchi who takes home the gold with his single effort.

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