When verse wins over music

Daas Dev’s impressive seven-track album soars only because of its poetry

March 21, 2018 08:35 pm | Updated 08:36 pm IST

 Music and lyrics: Daas Dev’s album uses the poetry of Bulleh Shah and Munir Niazi, and Faiz Ahmed Faiz

Music and lyrics: Daas Dev’s album uses the poetry of Bulleh Shah and Munir Niazi, and Faiz Ahmed Faiz

Five music composers come together to create Daas Dev’s seven-track album. It begins with Sehmi HaiDhadkan, an intense and melancholic song whose familiarity is heightened by the presence of Atif Aslam’s vocals. Composer Vipin Patwa fares much better in his second offering, ‘Tain To Uttey, that features Pakistani singer, Javed Bashir. Adapted from a Bulleh Shah poem, the song features Patwa’s dark, nuanced melody (raga Bairagi Bhairav/ Revathi). The frenzied folk rock fusion in the background orchestration accentuates the song’s allure. Then there’s Anupama Raag, an addition to Bollywood’s small kitty of female music composers who offers up Azaad Kar’. Raag’s fine debut is set to Gaurav Solanki’s fabulously written verse with a simple and incredibly soothing melody and arrangement (I can can never get enough of that seven-beat lullaby-like cadence). The lyrics are perfectly rendered by the earthy, sincere voice of Swanand Kirkire (who incidentally debuted with Mishra’s Calcutta Mail 15 years ago). Shamir Tandon’s weak tune Marne Ka Shauk (penned by Sameer Anjaan) is alleviated by the track’s intensity, thanks to a heavy arrangement (the esraj/sarangi in the interlude is a nice contrasting addition) and vocals by Krishna Beura and Papon.

Pakistani poet, Munir Niazi’s Kuj Shoq Si Yaar forms the basis of Arko’s Rangdaari, with the composer-lyricist supplying his own words for the song’s main melody. It’s standard melancholic rock fare which could have been better if – as is the usual problem with Arko songs – it had not been for Arko himself leading the vocals. It’s also a pity when a superior singer like Navraj Hans only performs for about 40 seconds, rendering Niazi’s verse. After Bulleh Shah and Munir Niazi, it is Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s turn to get a contemporary treatment in Raat Youn DilMain Teri’. And among the three, Faiz gets the best pick. The perennially underrated Sandesh Shandilya is the man in this case, presenting the poem in a charming ambient package with some fabulous touches like the mellow use of the saxophone. Papon and Shradha Mishra deliver this one. Even Shandilya’s other song titled ‘Challa Chaap Chunariya’, penned by Deepak Ramola, has a similar soundscape but it’s pace is much faster. Shandilya does a brilliant job in this case, incorporating folk elements into an immersive electronic arrangement. Rekha Bhardwaj has always nailed folksy tunes, and delivers equally well here too.

Usually, Bollywood’s Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay novel adaptations almost always have had good music, once even winning a National Film Award (Amit Trivedi for Dev.D ). While this soundtrack doesn’t reach peak levels, it’s mighty impressive nonetheless especially for its poetry.

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