You are not wrong if you have mammoth expectations from the music of “Matru ki bijlee ka mandola”, primarily because of two names – Gulzar and Vishal Bhardwaj; or more importantly these two coming together. They literally create magic on screen – no exaggeration. With a rural backdrop for this dark comedy, let us see what the duo has in store for us.
“MATRU KI BIJLEE KA MANDOLA” – the title song is just perfect. The song which had already got me hooked with its appearance in the trailer will make you dance – guaranteed. With addictive beats and an even more addictive tune and loop, Sukhwinder Singh is just the apt choice for this song. Though the song has a heavy VB hangover, you still cant help but dance to this lovely number.
“OYE BOY CHARLIE” has trademark Gulzar lyrics where we hear “Timbuctoo”, “Vitamin ki goli” – something only Gulzar can use and get away. While Shankar mahadevan sings in a totally new manner, Mohit chauhan too gets something different from the usual romantic songs he sings normally. But the star of the song is Rekha Bhardwaj who makes the song a total audio delight. Hence we are treated to another foot tapping catchy song.
“KHAMAKHA” begins with a lovely chorus (Which country I am not sure) before the heavenly voice of Vishal saab takes over. And well, this is vintage VB stuff. There is something in this tune, something which reminded me of his earlier works (Maachis, Hut tu tu.) – Maybe that melody or the simplicity of the tune. It took me two three hearings to finally get goosebumps. Vishal’s voice is super soothing and he is absolutely flawless. What I particularly loved was the shift towards the end of the song – when the song actually changes genres and Prem Dehati sings few lines on Haryana – lovely and beautifully done. I could also hear Clinton Cerejo somewhere in the background. Am I right?
“LOOTNEWALE” starts off as a rebellious song and it turns out to be just that. A song which has a not-so-awesome tune, it is the lyrics and the vocals which make it an overall very good song. both Sukhwinder Singh and Master Saleem are superb. The way they pronounce the word “Lootnewale” is in sync with the movie’s Haryanvi backdrop. This is one song which will appeal more on screen.
The song has a reprise version where only Sukhwinder singh does the singing. I have a feeling that many will love this version more than the original. For me, both are equally good.
We have four short tracks lined up next.
“SHARA-RARA-RA” is a short folk track sung by Prem Dehati. I’m not sure whether it is actually a folk or has been composed by VB. It sounds like an old folk song to me. In a way this song reminded me of the soundtrack of Gangs of Wasseypur – the rural folksy tune, the arrangements and the choice of singer. With a duration of one and a half minutes, it is catchy and enjoyable. Again it will be more of a visual song than a lone audio one.
“CHAAR DIN KI” begins with Pankaj kapur’s voice and we instantly smile. Soon he is joined by Imran Khan (Who tries to make his voice as masculine and raspy as Pankaj Kapur and sounds good too.) Both of them have a ball – literally. As for the lyrics, I’m sorry. It would be improper to even comment on them. Just listen to them and marvel at the sheer creative genius of Gulzar saab. The tune again seems a “heard before” one.
In short this is one more thoroughly enjoyable track which will definitely have an equally interesting video.
“CHOR POLICE” is more of a short dialogue / satire on the present day cenario in our country. Pankaj kapur again sings / narrates this one. Once again it remains to be seen how this is utilized in the movie.
“NOMVULLA” is an engaging track sung by the African Umoja. Just hear it and enjoy it. That’s all you can do. All I can say is that inspite of alien lyrics, it still manages to hold your attention. Smart thing to keep the song short.
If Vishal Bhardwaj delivered his JACK (Title song), KING (Oye boy charlie) and ACE (Khamakha) in the first three songs of the album, he keeps his trump card – his QUEEN for the best.
BADAL UTHIYA is one of Rekha Bhardwaj’s finest songs ever. The tune which is a traditional haryanvi one gets a lounge-ish makeover and Rekha delivers it with utmost perfection and flawlessness. Her vocals in this song reminded me pretty much of “Badi dheere jali” (Ishqiya). She is in one word – awesome. I only wish the song would have been a little longer.
The song has one more version by Prem Dehati who sings it in his own style and the result is quite good, though not as good as Rekha ji’s version. (Obviously!)
OVERALL – as I finish listening to the album a third time, I can only say that Vishal Bhardwaj does it again… well almost. Yes, you do get that feeling that somewhere the album is lacking something. But ten, it is too early, because MATRU is an album where majority of the songs rely on their picturization. And it is very much possible that the videos would make a big difference in forming an opinion about few songs.
For me, I got what I expected. Because I’ve learnt one thing from Vishal Bhardwaj – he is totally a master in surprising us. He’ll produce some of the finest gems when we are least expecting them. Only he can include an African folk song in a hindi movie.
As for gulzar saab’s lyrics, I have no words. The man continues to show us why he’s the best.
Also, where’s that “Kharratein” portion which appears in the beginning of the video of “Oye boy charlie”?
AND… Now I suddenly realize what is amiss – SURESH WADKAR. You were needed to complete this album.
MY PICKS – BADAL UTHIYA, KHAMAKHA, OYE BOY CHARLIE, TITLE SONG
MY RATINGS – 8 / 10