Dil Bechara (Music review), Hindi – A R Rahman

The title song is tantalizingly short and it’s perhaps the shorter-than-usual duration that wants you to listen to it more and more! Amitabh Bhattacharya seems to be channelizing his inner Vaali, the Tamil lyricist, who pioneered the use of English words and phrases in film song lyrics a few decades ago with Rahman and it became such a craze in Tamil Nadu that everyone there is adequately annoyed with that Tanglish trend by now. In Hinglish, it does sound corny, but if you hear it from the perspective of the love-sick youth, it perhaps is enjoyable. But some of the musical choices by Rahman within Amitabh’s verse makes for thoroughly endearing phrases – like that ‘Tere birthday dai dai dai’ part! Above all, the song’s steady thrum is massively addictive and makes you snap your fingers or move your feet impulsively.

The song gets a superbly funky remix in Friendzone that comes alive with the 80s retro pop sound, with all its synth glory!

Taare Ginn is a delightful, Disney-Alladin style sweeping melody that gains so, so well due to the singers’ prowess – Shreya Ghoshal and Mohit Chauhan, who soar magnificently in that ‘Yeh waada hai… ya iraada hai’ phrase in the antara, and change the song’s pitch! The line just before they soar, where Shreya is singing on top of Mohit seemed like a hat-tip to Alaipayuthey Yaaro Yaarodi’s “Eekki pola nilaavadikka Indhiranaar pandhadikka!”. That’s also the most interesting aspect of the song, besides the nuanced musical backgrounds – the way Rahman overlaps both the voices singing different lines in multiple places in the song making you think during the song beyond that enjoy it! The way the song steadily accentuates the music and almost comes to a halt before the antara starts, and the way it retains only one antara and lets the spritely music end it smoothly add to the charm!

Taare Ginn’s melody is also briefly explored in the instrumental piece, The Horizon of Saudade, even as it goes beyond the song and moves to a poignant violin solo heartbreakingly layered over sprawling strings.

In Khulke Jeene Ka too, Rahman extends the vocal overlap, but here, Arijit and Shashaa sing the same line together, but in different pitches! The song’s Latino twang is thoroughly charming and makes the package sound like something that jumped off an Imtiaz Ali soundtrack. This is also the most conventionally structured song of the soundtrack, with the same tune being used in the antaras twice, punctuated by lovely interludes.

Main Tumhara and Mera Naam Kizie play on the other end, breaking most conventional structures and sound like Hindi filmy songs carved out of a Western musical. Jonita and Hriday Gattani are outstanding in Main Tumhara, handling the sudden twists in the melody – the ‘Main tumhara’ that appears after, ‘Maahi mere maseeha marzi bata kya teri’ is a particularly surprising twist that works well in the context of the song. The O.P.Nayyar whiff is pretty prominent in Mera Naam Kizie that also musically (Clarinet?) takes one to May Maadham’s Palakaattu Machanukku! The singers—Poorvi Koutish and Aditya Narayan—hold the song brilliantly.

Maskhari sounds like uninhibited glee! The song’s structure has many phrases, both worded and musical, that sound almost like adverting jingles! The prominent mandolin musical phrase that opens and closes the song is one, and so is the ‘Achcha khaasa kaam’ set of lines. That set even as ‘Peeda Hari Balm’ made popular by the Zandu Balm ad jingle! Hriday and Sunidhi seem to be having a whale of a time singing this one!

Unlike the way Rahman adopted Arabic musical style in Bombay’s Andha Arabic Kadaloram, he used more conventional and familiar styles in other songs like Guru’s Maiyya Maiyya. Afreeda too sounds like a starting point like Arabic Kadaloram – not familiar, sounds new in terms of usage, and throws predictable flow out of the window… to the point that it makes one uncomfortable! But if we still stick to it, it is to Rahman’s credit, with the vibrant and edgy music, and the singers – Sanaa Moussa and Raja Kumari.

Dil Bechara is perhaps Rahman’s most accessible, most fluid, and most complete recent soundtracks. There’s a distinct sense of bringing back some of his most cherished musical cues from his early days into his newer formats, but without going all way to experiment and confound the listening experience. The result is a hugely enjoyable soundtrack that anyone can ‘get’ very fast and stay on it, absolutely besotted!

Listen to the songs on YouTube | On JioSaavn