More than half the films spewed out of Bollywood have English titles along with random English words in our songs and Western babes dancing with our stars. In the midst of this Western invasion, Yash Raj Films presents Laaga Chunari Mein Daag—a film with an Indian heart and soul. After Parineeta, Pradeep Sarkar is back with Rani Mukerji and Konkona Sen Sharma spear-heading his female-centric film about the lengths a simple girl goes to for her family.
You won’t find the seemingly regular English phrases embedded into Swanand Kirkire’s lyrics, nor will you find Western music bytes inserted into Shantanu Moitra’s compositions. But let me tell you, it’s such a relief to have our good old Indian tunes making an appearance in this album!
The album opens on a vibrant note with Hum To Aise Hain which brings together two of our most talented female singers, Sunidhi Chauhan and Shreya Ghoshal. This track dives straight into the feeling of excitement and showcases the playfulness and innocence of two girls. It’s definitely an enjoyable and foot-tapping track that really puts a big smile across your face for its sheer upbeat feel. Both Sunidhi and Shreya are fantastic because not only do they have to simply sing, but they have to capture two personalities through their voice. Naturally, they pass with flying colours. Swanand Kirkire’s lyrics are fit for the occasion and he deserves a round of applause for the slow interlude towards the end which Sunidhi croons wonderfully. It’s nice how you are introduced to the main characters through the song. The entire track simply radiates energy.
Starting off with a Spanish tune, you can tell that Zara Gungunalein Chalo is the song set in Spain. This track has a solid beat; not too fast, not too slow. It’s quite feel good and the lead singers Babul Supriyo and Mahalaxmi Iyer carry it on their shoulders adequately. It’s not exactly brilliant or anything to rant and rave about, but it’s still worth a listen and works as a romantic track.
Chunari Mein Daag, composed by Roshan and with lyrics by Sahir Lududhianvi, is not a commercial song that you can expect to see topping the charts any time soon. It’s completely situational and one can vividly see it working in the film, but it’s not a track you’d want to listen to in your spare time. The composition is absolutely applaud-worthy because it combines Indian instruments with regular beats so perfectly. Ditto for the lyrics, which are beautifully penned. Shubha Mudgal uses her unique voice to add an interesting flavour to the track.
Shantanu Moitra returns with another feel-good romantic track titled Ik Theeki Theeki Si Ladki featuring KK and Shreya Ghoshal. In comparison, this one’s slightly better than Zara Gungunalein Chalo because it’s more unique and the lyrics stand out. It doesn’t strike you as a great track on the first listen, but it continues to grow on you due to the endearing melody. About three quarters in, it goes a bit haywire with the addition of computer effects which could have easily been left out. However, not to worry as soon after it returns to its regular pace and tune, allowing the listener to breathe a sigh of a relief. Except for about thirty seconds, it’s melody at its best!
Look out for this one on-screen. Why? The elegant Hema Malini will be gracing the silver screen for this mujra track sung by Rekha Bhardwaj who recently blew us away with her Namak in Omkara. Titled Ehi Thaiyaa Moti, you can safely say that this is a real mujra track with soulful lyrics and classical beats. By far and large, its not the most appealing track on the album and doesn’t instantly appeal to you like Anu Malik’s Salaam in Umrao Jaan. But there’s something special about it that you can’t exactly put your finger on. Maybe it’s the earthy voice, the truly classical music or the simplicity. Either way, it won’t make an impression on most listeners at first but its popularity will definitely rise once audiences watch Hema Malini dazzle us with her dancing skills.
Kachchi Kaliyaan breaks all the conditions that mentioned earlier. It has the English bits, the Western-style beats at some points, but for some odd reason its essence remains Indian. Note that this will probably be the track featuring Rani, Konkona, Kunal and Abhishek so it already has quite a lot going for it. It’s a great dance track but the random English parts are honestly a disappointment. I’m not being picky, but it just seems out of place. All the singers, Sonu Nigam, Shreya Ghoshal, KK and Sunidhi Chauhan pull their weight equally. If you overlook a few blemishes, it’s an enjoyable, fun track that will definitely be crawling up the charts soon.
With only six tracks, the album Laaga Chunari Mein Daag really does possess a lot of variety. You have your conventional romantic tracks (Zara Gungunalein Chalo, Ik Theeki Theeki Si Ladki), the mandatory dance sequence (Kachchi Kaliyaan), a free-spirited track (Hum To Aise Hain), a mujra with classical lyrics, classical beats and a classical beauty (Ehi Thaiyaa Moti) and finally an unconventional song (Chunari Mein Daag). It’s got something for everyone, minus those craving Himesh-style dance tunes. I’m sure all the tracks will work perfectly in the film as they seem to agree with the both the mood and storyline. Shantanu Moitra and Swanand Kirkire can give themselves a pat on the back as their combo has once again proved prosperous. However, this one isn’t as mesmerizing as their earlier outings. After a rocking Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, Yash Raj Films has another winning soundtrack under their belt though in a completely different genre. One thing’s for sure—this chunari is almost, but not completely, daag-less!