One expects a rustic soundtrack for Bandook which is finding a rather sudden release for itself. The film's texture indicates an 'interiors' backdrop and hence music by Nikhil Kamath and Lavan-Veeral with lyrics by Shiv Saagar and Aditya Om (with Kapil Sibal as the guest lyricist) is expected to step into that territory.
There is a surprise in store though at the very beginning of the album with Kapil Sibal written 'Tu Jaldi Bata De' actually turning out to be much more than just a decent start. With a Sufi backdrop to it and core Indian melody, this Nikhil Kamath composed song is well rendered by Bandana Sharma and Siddharth Hazarika. In fact its beginning also reminds one of 'Aankhein Teri' [Anwar] though the song comes on its own soon after. Later Shahid Mallya comes behind the mike instead of Siddharth for a 'sad version' and he along with Bandana ensures that the song is likeable yet again.
The way 'Chunaav Re' begins, it reminds listener of folk music from North. In fact the song also drops hints of 'Mehengai' [Peepli [Live] ] which was further revisited in 'Chalao Naa Naino' [Bol Bachchan]. The song is about politicians making their momentary appearance during elections and how villagers can pretty much see the difference which they know won't last for long. A situational song, this Rekha Bhardwaj song could have been more energetic.
It's the very title of the song 'Shortcut Me Gundai' that takes the cake as it doesn't make any pretence whatsoever about the target audience it is aiming at. Sung by Altaf Raja with Raju Bhavsar joining him as well, this situational track is reasonably catchy. Having said that, this song based on the Altaf Raja's style of rendition from the 90s would primarily aim at his fan base and followers.
Just when one thought that the album was sucked in deep into the world of rustic/ situational/ theme score, there comes 'Mrigtrishna Marusthal' which is sung by the Late Jagjit Singh. What could arguably by the last released song of the great singer, this one is a rather serene number. Of course some heavy duty poetic lyrics as well as its situational theme would limit its reach. However just for the nostalgia, this one is not a bad inclusion in the album. No wonder, it arrives thrice in the album with Tori Dattaroy being roped in for the female version.
Nikhil Kamath brings himself on board for singing 'UP Ki Holi' which is again a folk based song that actually reminds one of a lesser known Rakhi Sawant number 'Lattoo Phira De' [Rakhtbeej]. With some energetic picturisation, this one should be a decent inclusion in the film's narrative though outside that it doesn't stand much of a chance. Later in the album though, Raju Bhavsar joins Nikhil Kamath for the 'ethnic version' as well.
Tori Dattaroy returns on the scene with semi-classical 'Mohe Balam'. This is a serene outing as well and after it has been heard for 3-4 times, one starts getting a better hang of it. Though one doesn't really see the song covering a greater distance commercially, as a standalone number it is still a bonus when one was expecting music of an altogether different texture in Bandook.
Lavan-Veeral enter the album from this point on and their first offering is 'Ganga Ki Lehren'. This one fits in quite well with the stage and setting of the film and though it has a quintessential 50s/60s feel to it, one can at least hope that this Lavan sung number would find a good placement for itself in the narrative. There is a contrasting outing though in the form of 'UP Me Chalti'. A song about gun culture in UP, Bihar and MP, this song rendered by Lavan and Veeral lasts a mere two minutes. Well, it is better that way since this much 'beeped' number is better off curtailed than heard in entirety.
'Taandav' which follows next is in the Ram Gopal Varma mode, especially the kind that was heard in Rakht Charitra. Rendered by Lavan, this one is out and out situational and can be expected to play during an action/dramatic point in the film's narrative. He continues to sing, this time for 'Shaadi Ho Jalsa Ho' (arriving in a 'rock version' as well) which is again in the RGV mode and brings on the kind of mood that one expects from a song that glorifies 'bandook'.
Bandook has a little more to offer than what one had expected from it at the beginning. While there are songs that are primarily genre based and go with the film's theme and storyline, there are a couple of love songs as well as serene numbers that add variety to this rather heavy album. Though one can't really foresee any substantial commercial gains for the songs, the fact that an album manages to survive as many as 15 tracks without a single female item number (despite an obvious temptation due to the film's setting), is a reason worthy enough to be acknowledged.
Tu Jaldi Bata De, Mrigtrishna Marusthal, Mohe Balam
Bandook Music Review