By Zafri Mudasser Nofil, IANS
Vishal Bhardwaj, whose earlier compositions in films like "Satya", "Maachis" and "Maqbool" received critical acclaim, mixes rustic elegance with classical forms to come up with another commendable score in "Omkara", an adaptation of Shakespeare's "Othello".
The composer, who falls under the parallel-genre of Indian musicians, is nearly successful in bringing out the rural element in the film's score, without compromising on melody.
The film is set in the rural heartland of Uttar Pradesh. In the opening title track, "Omkara", Sukhvinder Singh of "Chaiyya chaiyya" fame is able to do justice to the rhythmic swaying number with his voice.
"O saathi re" is a romantic number and is sung beautifully by Shreya Ghoshal and Vishal himself.
The next song is the item number "Beedi". Sunidhi Chauhan, Sukhvinder, Nachiketa Chakravorty and Clinton Cerejo have lent their voice in this number that reminds one of the "UP Bihar lootne" number in "Shool". Bipasha Basu does the Shilpa Shetty act by swaying to the gyrating beats of "Beedi".
"Jag ja", the next song, is a lullaby sung by Suresh Wadkar.
Then we have another peppy, rustic number "Namak". Sung by Rekha Bhardwaj and Rakesh Pandit, one gets the feeling that Vishal is perhaps trying a "Kajra re" with this mujra-qawwali.
The standout number of this album is undoubtedly "Naina thag lenge". Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, of "Lagi man ki lagan" and "Jiya dhadak dhadak" fame, sings this soothing number to perfection with his unusual flair. Vishal makes good use of the sitar in "Naina..."
"Lakkad" is a classical-based song by Rekha, but it has hardly any unique elements for it to qualify as a great number.
The last piece is the instrumental "The tragedy of Omkara", very appropriate with the film's tragic end.
Classical music buffs and those looking for something new after getting tired of Himesh Reshamiyya's nasal renditions can find some hope in "Omkara". Gulzar's lyrics are excellent as usual, though the slow love numbers deserve special mention.
Not a "must buy" album, but certainly a "worth buying" one.