Bharat music review: Vishal-Shekhar's eclectic album doles out bonafide chartbusters, suffers from inconsistent writing

Pratishruti Ganguly

Jun 04, 2019 12:00:45 IST

If there is one thing that even the most avid Salman Khan fans cannot deny is that most of Khan's recent films have been based on formula — a larger-than-life, almost infallible hero, an impossible task, hair-raising action, visually-stunning locales and a music album of the highest recall value. And for the most part, the formula has borne fruit, at least in terms of commerce.

Hence, after two outings with Sultan and Tiger Zinda Hai, music director duo Vishal-Shekhar and lyricist Irshad Kamil have joined forces for Salman Khan and Ali Abbas Zafar's upcoming patriotic drama, Bharat.

Bharat music review: Vishal-Shekhars eclectic album doles out bonafide chartbusters, suffers from inconsistent writing

Salman Khan in a still from Bharat trailer. YouTube screengrab

'Slow Motion' is the kind of chart topper-in-the-making that makes for great head bobs and foot-taps, but perhaps should not be dug beyond its heady, dazzling exterior. Not that Bollywood does not resort to Hinglish from time to time, the profusion of similar sounding English words in the hook line, "Aaja doob jaaun teri aankhon ke ocean mein/ Slow motion mein" makes the song sound unintentionally funny and silly.

However, Vishal-Shekhar more than makes up for the lack of sensible words. The composers left no stones unturned to jazz up the number, using a cocktail of instruments, including guitar, bass, Indian reeds, wood-winds and percussion. Sung by Nakash Aziz and Shreya Ghoshal, 'Slow Motion' is a bonafide crowd-pleaser.

Nakash Aziz, who is turning out to be the hit-making machine of the decade with songs like 'Afghan Jalebi', 'Mera Wala Dance' and 'First Class' under his belt, makes optimum use of his raw-yet-stylised voice. Ghoshal, like in all her songs, is in top form.

Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif in a still from Chashni. Source: Twitter

Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif in a still from Chashni. Source: Twitter

Both the versions of 'Chashni' are soul-stirringly beautiful, and make for arguably the best songs from the jukebox. Like 'Laapata' in Ek Tha Tiger, 'Dil Diya Gallan' in Tiger Zinda Hai and 'Jag Ghoomeya' in Sultan, 'Chashni' is temperate and stayed. Abhijeet Srivastava's voice softly sails in the known territory, without resorting to unnecessary flashiness.  Neha Bhasin's version is equally comforting, ably supported by Sameer Uddin's guitar. The songs are brimmed with wistful nostalgia, almost giving its listeners a warm sense of belonging.

'Aithey Aa' has recall value alright, but unfortunately calls to mind several hundred other songs that belong to the peppy sangeet/wedding category. The tunes are insipid, and the lyrics are not impressionable enough to liven up the zest-less number. Despite boasting of talents like Akasa Singh, Neeti Mohan and Kamaal Khan, 'Aithey Aa' sounds like auto-tune-on-steroids, coupled with jarring yet ironically forgettable music.

Much like its namesake from Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, 'Zinda' is a pumped up number full of inspirational jargon. With done-to-death fiery lyrics, thumping beats and an overuse of electric guitar, 'Zinda' has some rousing moments but overall, fails to create a profound impact on the listener. Despite lyrics penned by Ali Abbas Zafar and Vishal Dadlani's dynamic range, 'Zinda' fails to stick the landing. 

'Turpeya' is another winner from Vishal-Shekhar's album. The Sukhwinder Singh number could have been another run-off-the-mill motivational/nostalgic track, but Vishal-Shekhar masterfully merge the pensive lyrics with EDM music, making it one of its kind.

Salman Khan in a still from Bharat. YouTube

Salman Khan in a still from Bharat. YouTube

In a sea of patriotic songs that have dropped in 2019, 'Aaya Na Tu' stands out for its riveting lyrics, which have been lent a transcendental, almost hymn-like quality by Jyoti Noorani's sharp, raw vocals. Vishal-Shekhar mixes traditional instruments tabla and dholak with guitars and drums, concocting a modern folk ballad with a noteworthy earworm quality.

'Thap Thap' has all the Arabic blends that you would imagine in a Salman Khan film being directed by Zafar. Sukhwinder Singh's hoarseness provides the perfect canvas for the melodious number. With a generous amount of dhol being part of the song, Vishal and Shekhar bring in the much-needed oomph to 'Thap Thap'. The song oscillates from the rapid parts and the slow, rhythmic portions between the chorus and the verses.

The Bharat jukebox is a classic example of a hit-and-miss album. While the music director duo offer an eclectic mix of punchy sounds, it is Irshad Kamil's lyrics that weigh down the album.

Listen to the entire album here

Updated Date: Jun 04, 2019 12:00:45 IST