7 Khoon Maaf

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Vishal Bharadwaj is a name that has not only made its place among the elite directors of Bollywood, but even among the classy and talented music composers. His upcoming project, as both director and music director is 7 Khoon Maaf, starring Priyanka Chopra. The story of the film is based on the Ruskin Bond penned ‘Merry Widow’. Priyanka marries seven different people in her search for love but one by one all of them die a mysterious death. What happens and why it happens is the story of this highly anticipated film. With hit albums like Kaminey and Ishqiya in his kitty, the name Vishal Bharadwaj on the soundtrack does seem to excite you, expecting a first class album. So, let’s find out does Vishal live up to the standards he has set for himself or does he disappoint?

Darling, the track that has been making waves ever since the theatrical trailer arrived, opens the album and takes you for a ride from the word go. Said to be inspired from a Russian folk track ‘Kalinka’, Vishal does a great job in creating this catchy and haunting song. Rekha Bharadwaj is at the helm here, but what takes the cake is Usha Uthup’s voice. She sounds extremely different here and takes the song up many notches higher. Lyrics are unique and fresh, kudos to Gulzar, especially the line ‘Darling public mein sansani ek baar karne do’. All in all, it’s a great beginning to the album and now one looks forward to the other tracks eagerly.

Vishal Bharadwaj takes it upon himself to render the next track Bekaraan. Set in the same pace as the sad title track of Kaminey ( also sung by Vishal), ‘Bekaraan’ is actually a romantic track, which initially may take time to grow on you, but once it does, you can’t help but delve into the mood of this soft, soothing number. This is actually one of those tracks which you can listen to with lights off and a peaceful atmosphere. Gulzar’s lyrics add to the beauty of the track, especially with a never heard before word ‘Bekaraan’, which means off the shores. The way the song ends with Lilah, is worth mentioning for it sounds too good. Vishal Bharadwaj, does a perfect job for a singer and continues the successful string of the album.

Vishal and KK come together on O Mama, which is a haunting rock track. It is a duet by KK and Clinton Cerejo, though KK holds the centre stage for most of the track. What is a revelation is to hear KK in this rockin’ avatar, especially since lately we have heard him mostly on romantic ballads. The track basically describes the female protagonist with reference being made to a wild cat. I think this will be a favourite for sure. On a side note, hardly anyone would know that Vishal Bharadwaj had composed for the yet to be released film Paanch, and KK was used as one of the singers, so we will be treated to this combination once again!

Next arrives Aawara Aawara, which moves on a semi-classical route. The song is sung brilliantly by Master Saleem. This is one of the better tracks in the album, and while it would appeal to lovers of the more traditional genre at once, it might take a few listens to grow on others. Yet, this song should be able to make its way to your heart and mind, so much that you cannot stop humming it.

Suresh Wadekar is heard after ages in Tere Liye , which definitely is like poetry, with the musical arrangements complimenting it very well. This one too relies on a bit of a classical base, but the mood of the song is soft and romantic. Suresh Wadekar’s silky vocals just add to the charm of the song. Gulzar’s lyrics deserve special mention, for it is the lyrics that makes most of the wonders here. The only drawback is that it does not carry the mass appeal and may and probably will go unnoticed. But for music lovers, this track is a must.

Rock is in again, with Dil Dil Hai a solo sung by Suraj Jagan, who is an expert when it comes to such tracks. The beginning reminds you of the tune of the title track of Rock On. However, ‘Dil Dil Hai’ turns out to be an altogether different song, and in fact, a far more rock and mad track than ‘Rock On’. Vishal Bharadwaj opts for raw rock here and while Suraj Jagan is at his usual great vocals the track sounds like it will depend more on the visuals and the scene. We will wait and see!

Rekha Bharadwaj is back for a solo, this time for a track that is more of a prayer titled Yeshu. The song is over six minutes and lends for a kind of mixed review. There are certain good and certain not so good moments in the track, and at times it tends to get boring. For some, it may work in a certain mood, but on the whole it is not a wow I must listen to this track.

‘Darling’ is revisited in Doosri Darling, which is a bit different from the earlier version. This version is closer to the original Russian folk song, the track begins rushing directly from the word darling and goes straight into the Russian lyrics. However, Rekha Bharadwaj soon takes over with a slower pace and the song becomes much more like the original version. The best part is definitely the set of slow lines rendered each by Rekha Bharadwaj and Usha Uthup. The climax features the lyrics and tempo increasing in speed and ends with a bang.

Last comes O Mama (Acoustic) and as the name suggests, the only instrument in use here is the acoustic guitar. This one is a softer, smoother version of the original rock flavored track rendered also by KK. The singer shines again in this rather short, just a little under 2 minutes track. The lyrics are a bit different but keeps the lines referring the protagonist as a wild cat.

On the whole Saat Khoon Maaf is a very good album and definitely meets expectations from Vishal Bharadwaj. Certain tracks may not catch you in the first spin, but they are bound to get you hooked sooner or later. Vishal maintains his masterful grip on music and makes this album worth a buy for music lovers!

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