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Music Review : Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai

 Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai
Director :
Music :
Lyrics :

Starring :
 Milan Luthria
 Irshad Kamil, Nilesh Mishra and Amitabh Bhattacharya
 Ajay Devgn, Emraan Hashmi, Kangna Ranaut, Prachi Desai and Randeep Hooda.

By Abid, Bollywood Trade News Network Send to Friend



Call it sheer luck or co-incidence but the Bhatt's blue eyed boy Emraan Hashmi can truly be called music's lucky mascot and this label is simply not unfounded. Right from his first solo hit film MURDER to his last TUM MILE, music has always played a very central role in his movies and more often than not he has been the face behind one chartbuster or the other. In fact it will not be an exaggeration to say that composers like Himesh Reshammiya and to an extent Pritam too owe their initial success to Emraan. Pritam always comes up with s omething extraordinary for Emraan right from MURDER, GANGSTER, AWARAPAN and TUM MILE and so here too one can expect the two of them to provide us with rocking music as always. Another factor that we must keep in mind is director Milan Luthria who too has ears for good music. Who can forget the path breaking music by the legendary sufi singer and composer, the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan in Muthria's very first film KACHCHE DHAAGE which co-incidentally too starrerd Ajay Devgn, like in OUATIM.

Mohit and Pritam have worked wonders whenever they have come together , be it 'Tum Se Hi'(JAB WE MET) or (LOVE AAJ KAL) and they once again manage to stir quite a few hearts with 'Pee Loon'. The very first strings of the guitar and the enchanting 'alaap' that commences this hauntingly beautiful love ditty is enough to convey that we have chanced upon another chartbuster from Pritam. The song is not a mere ode to love through some lovely simple melody but the main USP of the song is the absolutely mesmerizing sufi 'qawwali' that forms the chorus and is the mainstay, a jewel in the crown, the icing on the cake! The beautiful use of traditional instruments in the 'qawwali' like harmonium, 'tabla', sitar is scintillating. The last time that we had heard something as beautiful as this was in Rahman's 'Kehna Hi Kya'(BOMBAY) and lately it was 'Sajda'(MY NAME IS KHAN). Pritam's all time favourite lyricist Irshad Kamil handles the lyrical department and this is one of those rare songs where the lyrics of the 'mukhda' are simple 'tukbandi'(rhyming) while it's the 'antara' where Irshad's poetic brilliance comes to the fore.

The 'Pee Loon' Remix by DJ A-Myth has it's heart in the right place and not much alteration is done and the main melody is kept intact, though wee bit the pace or tempo has been heightened .

A rather unusual beginning as it's the chorus that kick starts another mesmerizing love ballad, 'Tum Jo Aaye' which is once again a beautiful blend of melody with sufi 'qawwali' as it's main theme. Coming to the compostion, Tulsi Kumar has been given charge of delivering quite a difficult to render song , and she has come trumps and if we take into account the little intricate detailing and voice modulations , she gets a ten on ten and Pritam deserves credit for bringing out the best in Tulsi. And she has none other than the Prince of romantic sufi based songs Rahat Fateh Ali Khan for company who gives the song his unique touch with his eclectic singing, his 'alaaps' et all! Together they a re a delight and the song has all the potential to climb the charts. Once again it will be crime if we miss giving credit to the lyricist Irshad Kamil who is simply superb as he pens down lyrics that are the 'jaan' of the song. .

Rahat Fateh Ali Khan goes solo in the 'Tum Jo Aaye-Reprise' and he breezes through the composition in his characteristic manner, and although both the versions are simply brilliant , yet it's the duet which naturally stands out , maybe it's because of Sachin-Jigar's brilliant programming in the duet that makes it work big time and appeal instantly.

Pritam continues from where he left off in TUM MILE, as the basic essence and arrangements in the next romantic track, 'I Am In Love' takes one back to the Emraan Hashmi-Soha Ali Khan starrer. There are two more versions of the track which we will discuss later on. The first version is sung solo by one of Rahman's favourite, Karthik and is soft, easy to hum with smooth flowing melody that makes for a light hearted romantic outing . The soft piano notes that accompany the song and the strums of the guitar a perfect setting for this amazing love ballad. The song is unique in a way as the 'mukhda' starts off on a slow note and as one comes to the 'antara' the tempo picks up pace which remains the same throughout. Pritam has gone in for the talented but less utilized Nilesh Mishra to write the lyrics and the multifaceted lyricist is way beyond extraordinary in this proclamation of love, a situation that has seen countless songs.

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The next two versions are sung by K.K and Dominique. The second version featuring K.K and Dominique is similar to the first except it has backup croonings by Dominique. K.K is the main singer here and he casts his spell through some high class singing giving it his own unique touch.

'I Am In Love-Dance version' can rightly be called so as the song literally beckons one to dance, lots of background rhythms, light music arrangements consisting of keyboards etc that are dance driven, even the slackened tempo has seen a vigorous jump . Dominique does get a chance to display her singing skills through some fascinating English rendition

Even though the makers are promoting the two love songs, 'Pee Loon' and 'Tum Jo Aaye' quite aggressively, one feels that the compostion 'I Am In Love' too deserves attention as this is one track that would be lapped up by the youth, the one important factor for any movie or album to achieve success.

With Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy's 'Dhanno', still ruling the charts, there is another similar sort of attempt to give a thorough makeover to two of the highly popular cabaret based songs of the seventies, Pancham Da's iconic 'Monica O My Darling'(CARAVAN) and 'Duniya Mein Logon Ko' from APNA DESH and mould them into a totally new song, 'Parda'. And Pritam has naturally roped in the queen of item/dance numbers Sunidhi Chauhan to render the song. Just like 'Dhanno' which just had the 'mukhda' and the main tune intact from the original song, 'Apni To Jaise Taise'(LAAWARIS), similarly Pritam has done almost the same thing. Here only a part of the 'mukhda' from 'Duniya mein logon ko' has been used. The main tune, the superb beginning, Pancham's characteristic 'Monica o my darling' has been kept intact but the 'antara' is completely different. The lyrics too follow the same route and once again it's Irshad's lyrical capabilities that enhance the beauty of the song. The arrangements used in the composition are retro taking us back to the good old days where cabaret songs ruled the roost and were a must in every film. Sunidhi is excellent in an 'avatar' which is tailor made for her, her husky, sensuous vocals conveying the cabaret effect of the song with ease and elan. Rana Muzumder gives ample support as back up vocalist. Since OUATIM is a period film based on lives of the smugglers and dons ruling the underworld in the seventies (which involved frequenting the clubs to watch cabaret), naturally this song will fit quite well into the narrative, however whether it becomes as popular as 'Dhanno' will be hard to tell.

The album ends on a somewhat tame note with the situational 'Babu Rao'. Why we are calling the song tame is because it simply does not excite nor does is befit the high standard that the previous songs have set. And even if we argue that this is a situational song that will form a part of the narrative, this being a gangster flick, yet let's not forget highly popular songs from previous gangster flicks like KAANTE, MUSAFIR and Emraan's very own GANGSTER too which till today remain a favourite of many. Amitabh Bhattacharya's lyrics are apt and situational with lots of Bombaiya overtones and lingo and give a clear insight into the lives of dons and mafias. But there should have been a lot of vibrations and 'dhamaal' in the sounds. A meek effort from the 'high octane' Mika who we expected to come up with another 'Ganpat' (SHOOTOUT AT LOKHANDWALA) style energetic rendition.

Without an iota of doubt, Pritam has another winner on hands in the form of the music album of ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI. Three tracks, 'Pee Loon', 'Tum Jo Aaye' and 'I Am In Love' and it's versions are top class and 'Parda' too has the potential to click. It's after a long time that an album as classy as well as massy as this has hit the stands and needless to add that it will sell like hot cakes and continue Emraan Hashmi's winning streak and we will continue to call him music's lucky mascot. And not to mention Pritam who after KHATTA MEETHA has given us music lovers another opportunity to enjoy.

Rating - 4/5

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