Batti Gul Meter Chalu music review: Arijit, Anu Malik, Atif Aslam's combined might can't lift this forgettable album
'Dekhte Dekhte', the token Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan ghazal recreation in every T-Series outing, cannot save the music of Batti Gul Meter Chalu from mediocrity.
The first song of Shree Narayan Singh's upcoming film Batti Gul Meter Chalu, 'Gold Tamba', was released over a month ago and it revealed a funny bone in the film, which was, prior to that, being considered a serious social drama. But as you listen on, the film's OST starts to unravel its philosophical nuances.
'Gold Tamba' is composed by the legendary Anu Malik. Everyone associated with the song, including the vocalist Nakash Aziz and lyricist duo Siddharth-Garima (who are also the film's co-writers), have imbibed Malik's old school wacky charm. Aziz, whose last memorable track was 'Naach Meri Jaan' from Kabir Khan's Tubelight last year, gets a track worthy of his potential. He embraces the quintessential Anu Malik elements that are peppered all over the song. Siddharth-Garima also come up with hilarious combinations in the chorus (Gold-Tamba, Gabbar-Sambha, Rambo-Ranjha and shorts-lehenga).
Anu Malik shows few signs of ageing in his music but he fails to hit the iconic level that countless of his hits have achieved, like 'Garam Chai Ki Pyali', 'Oonchi Hai Building' and 'Tan Tana Tan' (which he rejigged for David Dhawan's comedy Judwaa 2 last year). 'Gold Tamba' is a commendable attempt on the music composer's part but falls short because of its predictable beats.
'Dekhte Dekhte' is a follow up to hits like 'Mere Rashke Kamar', 'Sanu Ik Pal' and 'Halka Halka', and is yet another attempt by T-Series to regurgitate Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's ghazals. Inspired by the timeless 'Sochta Hu Ke Wo Kitne Masoom The', 'Dekhte Dekhte' has been refashioned into a pacier and more accessible romantic number. While the composer Rochak Kohli amps up the tempo, he ensures that he retains the qawwali essence of the original. He uses musical supplements to only complement the qawwali and does not fall prey to the temptation of turning it into an EDM mess. Manoj Muntashir must be credited for his brilliant additional lyrics that are way more accessible as they steer clear of the liberal doses of Urdu that the original track is known for. However, he does retain the ethos of heartbreak that the ghazal entailed.
The recreated song has been sung by Atif Aslam and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan in two separate versions. While it is tough to rank one over the other, Rahat's version is definitely closer home as his textured voice lends itself more to a ghazal. Atif does not do a half bad job either. His vocals oscillate between the innocent and the vindictive, which provides the song a much-needed range. But it makes little sense for the two seasoned singers to render identical versions of the same song. Rochak and T-Series should have tried to tweak one of the versions in order to give it a unique voice. It would not have been a difficult job had they tried, since they clearly do not mind rehashes.
'Hard Hard', like 'Gold Tamba', is another dance number but fares way lower on the recall value meter. Mika Singh, Sachet Tandon and Prakriti Kakkar try to pump all their energy into the track but it remains insipid overall, thanks to the unexciting composition by Sachet-Parampara. The composer duo composed a song in Shree Narayan Singh's last film, Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, and another one more recently in Yamla Pagla Deewana: Phir Se. But 'Hard Hard' proves yet again that their arrival is yet to be announced. Mika's peppy voice cannot elevate the dull dance number either as he seems to hold himself back in the song rather unnecessarily.
The final song, 'Har Har Gange', is arguably the album's best offering. Sachet-Parampara's composition here is far better than that of 'Hard Hard'. The lyrics by Siddharh-Garima are possibly the most meaningful in the entire album. Their ode to the Ganges is rejuvenating, made purer and more spiritual by the vocals of Arijit Singh. He treats the song with just the right amount of sensitivity.
Overall, the music of Batti Gul Meter Chalu is forgettable, besides the token Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan ghazal recreation in every T-Series outing, Anu Malik's relatively tepid attempt at revisiting his signature quirky music and the genuinely underrated gem 'Har Har Gange'.
Listen to the album here.
Batti Gul Meter Chalu stars Shahid Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor and Yami Gautam. It is co-produced by Shree Narayan Singh, and Bhushan and Krishan Kumar's T-Series. It is slated to release this Friday on 21 September.
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