A blind, rollerskating dancer meets a scrappy street-fighting biker, who fights… blindfolded? Throw a whole bunch of death- and gravity-defying stunts into the mix, the unlikely pairing of glamazon Deepika Padukone and boy-next-door Neil Nitin Mukesh, and the controversial title Lafangey Parindey and you have the makings of what promises to be one of the most unconventional films to come from under the Yash Raj banner – up until now known for saccharine, melodramatic mushy romances.
Helming the film is ad man turned film director Pradeep Sarkar, who in a break from his usual collaboration with composer Shantanu Moitra (Parineeta, Laga Chunari Mein Daag has this time round turned to R Anandh to create the film’s music – another former advertising man whose most famous composition is apparently the Limca jingle. And Swanand Kirkire (3 Idiots) gives the lyrical backing to the score.
Title track Lafangey Parindey sets the tone for the album (and the film) as something definitely far removed from what you might expect from a standard old-school Yash Raj romance – forget misty eyed lovers, dressed in pastels, frolicking in the Swiss Alps. Based on the promise of this track alone, we’re in for a whole new thrill ride! This is an aggressive, heavy-metal inspired, grunge track, punctuated with wailing guitars, a growling, gravelly lead vocal from Ronit Sarkar, and anthemic, layered backing vocals. It’s definitely not a standard Hindi film song – play this one with the volume up loud for the full epic effect.
The alternative rock vibe continues with Man Lafanga, but this song is an acoustic, stripped back track, with a summery, breezy, easygoing vibe. Mohit Chauhan of ‘Masakali’ fame has mellow vocal that is delivered with an almost lazy drawl to them. Just when you think things are getting predictable, some crazy instrumentation and experimentation with rhythm keeps you on your toes. This is a complex, lovely song, with instant appeal.
Dhatad Tatad is a full-on rock track – with a driving, hypnotic drumbeat at its core, and an urgency conveyed skillfully with some vocal gymnastics from Shail Hada(‘Saawariya’ title track) and Anushka Manchanda(‘Golmaal’ title track). Chaotic, claustrophobic, and anarchic – this fast-paced dhol-heavy song is another one to turn up loud at parties!
Shilpa Rao (‘Khuda Jaane’ – Bachna Ae Haseeno sings Nain Parindey, a slower tempo, emotion filled ballad with a melancholy appeal that only grows with repeated listening. Shilpa’s breathtaking, heartfelt vocals will make this track a definite standout for many listeners.
Rang Daalein adds even more variety to the mixed bag of musical genres on the album, kicking off with a grinding industrial synthesized bass-line, and bringing plenty of heavy 80s pop-glitter-glam-rock to the mix. This is a super fun retro inspired track, with vocalist Suraj Jagan (‘Give Me Some Sunshine’ – 3 Idiots) alternately growling lines, and spiraling up into a glam falsetto! If there’s a track on the album that deserves an INSANE picturisation, it’s this one. As a child of the Eighties, I have to pick this as my favourite track.
The only song with an English title: Born To Fly isn’t really a “song” at all – it’s an instrumental piece that is akin to the Overture you get in musicals sometimes – a medley or soundscape, comprising significant pieces from all the songs in a work. You can make out snatches of some of the other songs on the album in ‘Born to Fly’, but really, it’s a dramatic, very filmi piece of music, lending itself to creative visualizations of all kinds of amazing stunts and action sequences. Hugely evocative, this piece really shows just what huge talent music director R Anandh has to work with. It rounds off the album on an impressive note, leaving you wanting more.
Also included on the album is the club remix of Man Lafanga – which chops up and speeds up the original vocals, adding techno beats and effects. In short – it’s nothing special – it makes the original, lovely, breezy acoustic song into a song with a danceable beat, but… sometimes these things are better left alone in my opinion.
Overall, this album is a solid, enjoyable listen – definitely different and refreshing, without pushing too many boundaries.