Bajirao Mastani – Music Review

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Bajirao Mastani – Music Review

Sanjay Leela Bhansali is by far Bollywood’s most artistic , adventurous and sophisticated storytellers. He is versatile and creates absolute magic on celluloid. As a music composer Sanjay Leela Bhansali creates the perfect music to accompany his spellbinding narrative and to complete his masterpiece creations. The lyrics are written by Siddharth–Garima, (Qawwali lyrics by Nasir Faraaz, Marathi lyrics by Ganesh Chandanshive), Prashant Ingole, (Traditional lyrics Sukhakarta Dukhaharta by Samarth Ramdas).

The music of Bajirao Mastani possesses Maharashtrian ambiance, complete with riffs, choruses and traditional Marathi verse and excerpts, dominates this soundtrack, this is easily Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s finest musical outing since the 1999 “Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam.” This is also Bhansali’s third musical score as a composer and quite easily his best yet, because it supersedes his last “Goliyon Ki Ras Leela-Ram Lila” despite the fact that this time he has entered a domain outside his Gujarati home ground — by composing for the Maharashtrian ethos.

 

The album opens with Deewani mastani. A 17th century Maratha powada (poem), like a war cry by Ganesh Chandanshive, acquires a different visage with oud (a form of lute or mandolin played principally during the Mughal era) and Shreya Ghoshal’s singing grabs your soul and intrigues a listener,  The song, even in the middle, has oud playing touching Marathi folk and then enters a qawwali mode. The structure changes drastically, but maintains the theme. Brilliance hits loud and clear.

Arijit Singh’s Aayat, with a strong ghazal ang and minimum orchestration, gets Singh’s voice to shine. There is a qawwali digression, which works well. This track is the epitome of serenity. One of Arijit Singh’s most finest pieces of Music in recent times. His true skill, talent and creativity as a vocalist shines brightly as he leads Altamash Faridi, Farhan Sabri, Mujtaba Aziz Naza and Shahdab Faridi who wonderfully supports him with soulful chorus vocals.

Malhari is a vibrant, energetic but the vocals by Vishal Dadlani and the type of track does not gel too well with the rest of the soundtrack which is painted in the magic of 17th Century Maratha-Mughal magic. It is too contemporary for a film like this.

Mohe Rang Do is a masterpiece and will be seen in many stage performances in years to come like Devdas tracks Kahe Ched Mohe and Maar Daala, It is one of the more complicated compositions. The structure takes sharp turns that are completely unpredictable. It opens in a rhythmic beat and Shreya Ghoshal transcends you to another universe with her vocals. The shehnai prelude is otherworldly, so are the Kathak bols recited by Pt Birju Maharaj. This could earn her the best female vocalist award of the year if Deewani Mastani or Pinga does not !

Albela Sajan is absolutely flawless! The track is a reprise of an earlier SLB track from “Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam”. It is again a multi-singer song (Geetikka Manjrekar, Kanika Joshi, Kunal Pandit, Prithvi Gandharva, Rashi Raagga and Shashi Suman)  The traditional lyrics are integrated with a wonderful Maharashtrian flavor in its classical tune.

 

 

Ab Tohe Jaane Na Doongi  (vocals by Payal Dev-Shreyas Puranik) is a haunting melody that stays with you, and is heightened by the sparse but superb orchestration. The intense romantic feel of the song is exquisite, It grows on you with ease. The beats and use of instruments that not very frequently found in modern music, and  are universe altering!

Pinga is a delicious mix of at least  two or three well-known Marathi folk tracks and Shreya is well supported by Vaishali Made. The energy of the song and the way Bhansali has shot the song will no doubt add to the dimensions of this dynamic song.

Aaj ibaadat  which is hidden in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s 10-song album Baajrao Mastani. A flute prelude is followed by an age-old Vedic chant Mangalam bhagwan Vishnu that soon leads us to another way of addressing one’s God — Maula. It’s a unique Vedic-Islamic interaction, where a Vedic chant is layered with a word from the Quran.

Fitoori is intelligently crafted , with strong shringari lavani beats. Bhansali has taken elements from some famous lavanis. Fitoori works well, with the sensuality of a lavani, traditional manjeera and a fantastic harmonium interlude in place.

Sukhwinder Singh belts out “Gajanana,” a tribute to Lord Ganesh, composed as a spin on the traditional Ganpati aartis by composer Shreyas Puranik and written by Prashant Ingole.

Baajirao Mastani sounds fresh, like carefully restored music from Bajirao’s times in the 17th Century. Some tracks work better than the others. You won’t hear better music this year! This is truly the meaning of Indian Art! This soundtrack perfectly tributes the beauty, vanity, pride, power, love and essence of 17th Century India, Maratha Rule. Thank you, Sanjay Leela Bhansali for yet again creating timeless music that will reside in our souls for years to come.

Rating: 9/10 | 4.5 Stars

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