Delhi Belly Music Review: Scintillating Sampath Dazzles With ‘Delhi Belly’
Without a doubt, one of the most awaited films of the year, or, perhaps, the last three years, Aamir Khan's Delhi Belly is finally on the horizons, ready for release. With Abhinay Deo at the helm of affairs and the promos, starring Imran Khan, Vir Das and Kunal Roy Kapoor, already stirring up a heady buzz with audiences, the film looks set to strike gold at the box office.
In the meanwhile, as this reviewer discovers, the film's ten track score, from composer Ram Sampath, is pure gold itself, crammed full with some of the best numbers this year has heard so far.
Delhi Belly's opener needs no introduction. Ever since it was featured in the film's first promos, bhaag d.k bose, aandhi aayi has become a virtual anthem for youngsters all over, the arguably 'vulgar' lyrics notwithstanding. Music director Ram Sampath's forceful delivery on the vocals, along with some brilliant stringwork from guitarists Sanjoy Das and Eoin Dorsey, paired with Tapas Roy's mandolin and dotara interludes, make this one a rocking tune. Irrepressibly hummable, bhaag d.k bose is a brilliant start to the album.
After the rocking start, Delhi Belly takes a quirky turn with the superb nakkaddwaley disco, udhaarwaley khisko, where Ram Sampath puts a unique spin on the ghazal genre with Akshat Verma and Munna Dhiman's wacky lyrics and Keerthi Sagathia's standout voice. The track is a prime example of Ram Sampath's great talents; he treads a perfect path between satire and seriousness, with some astute arrangements and a sharp tune, making nakkaddwaley an instant favourite.
The truly gifted Chetan Shashital strikes a perfect impression of the late great K.L. Saigal on the eponymous Saigal blues. The odd thing about this entry is the fact that a lay listener is liable to perceive this one as a novelty number, given the sort of sound it captures. But with a stellar electric blues solo from the virtuoso Rudy Wallang (possibly the best guitarist you've never heard of, unless you're a Soulmate fan), the discerning ones will recognise Saigal blues as a work of distilled brilliance on this soundtrack.
Sona Mohapatra's uncommon rustic voice is in fine form on bedardi raja, which brings a whiff of folk to this collection. Though there's nothing special going on here, Sampath chooses to stay folksy with the arrangement here, pairing Mohapatra with Feroze Shah on the harmonium mainly, and giving the melody a very authentic sort of feel. However, the song finds a groovier counterpart in a grind remix from no less than Tigerstyle of UK. The Scottish bhangra duo adds a heady dose of dubstep to the track in their mix, and turns it into an almost hypnotic foot-tapper.
The heavy guitar riffs that jaa chudail begins with give the track a rather campy '60-'70s surf rock sound, complete with almost cheesy-sounding sitar interlude from Sunil Das. Suraj Jagan's growling vocals and some truly kooky lyrics from Amitabh Bhattacharya and Akshat Verma round up the anachronistic feel. Really, this is stuff you couldn't hate if you tried.
It says about the Delhi Belly soundtrack that the only run-of-the-mill, fairly Bollywood type song on the album, tere siva, sounds out of place on the collection. Though it would be a great addition to any other soundtrack, with the huge variety of sounds on Delhi Belly, this one just seems a bit 'alien' to it. Still, Ram Sampath and Tarannum Mallik do a good job on the vocals. But with the relatively staid arrangement and a serious sound, this love song may just be the only 'weak' spot on the album.
Things take off again, with Keerthi Sagathia in full force on switty tera pyaar chaida. The pumping bhangra pop number is driven by a powerful melody, a superb hook, and lyrics from Munna Dhiman with just a hint of melancholy. Though the original doesn't have much by way of innovative arrangements, the punk remix of the same track takes the rock quotient up several notches with some heavy guitarwork from Shon Pinto and Nirdosh Sobti, adding oodles to the core melody of the track.
The final number on the album, I hate you (like I love you), has a melody that wouldn't completely be out of place on a Sufi rock album. The track sounds ultra interesting, not the least because of the presence of a certain Aamir Khan on the vocals. The fact that Aamir is heard delivering a few quirky spoken word lines makes one wonder if he isn't just planning on striking a special appearance in the video of the track. Even without him, though, the track is a gem of a work, fitting in trumpet interludes straight out of the wild, wild west, some superb vocals from Keerthi Sagathia, Sona Mohapatra and Shazneen Arethna, the last delivering the track's English refrain. The track wraps in a super vocal coda from Keerthi and Ram Sampath that lends the track an unbelievable amount of energy in its closing moments.
Ram Sampath's key talent is his gift for coming up with some superb melodies, of which there are many on the Delhi Belly soundtrack. With no two tracks sounding similar, the sheer variety on this album is enough to keep the listener hooked. With numbers that are guaranteed to have listeners stuck on them, one can be sure that Ram Sampath's work on Delhi Belly is one of the most amazing listens of the year so far, and simply a must own.
Release Date : 01 July 2011
Director : Abhinay Deo
Cast : Vijay Raaz, Zafar Karachiwala, Raju Kher, Paresh Ganatra, Rahul Singh, Shenaz Treasury, Shilpa Mehta, Anusha Dandekar, Pradeep Kabra, Kunaal Roy Kapur, Lushin Dubey, Rajendra Sethi, Imran Khan, Vir Das, Rahul Pendkalkar, Bugs Bhargava, Ashraf Ul Haq, Poorna Jagannathan, Kim Bodnia, Mansee Desshmukh, Ramesh Kannaa
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