Manorama – Six Feet Under

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Manorama Six Feet Under seems like the meeting point of new directors, fairly new actors, new lyricists and new music composers. Abhay Deol is definitely raising eyebrows by taking an almost unconventional route with films like Ek Chalis Ki Last Local and then making his presence felt in commercial hits like Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. Also starring Raima Sen and Gul Panag, debutant director Navdeep Singh’s Manorama Six Feet Under falls into the grey genre—where it’s neither startlingly white nor is it pitch black.

What makes this album special is that Jayesh Gandhi, who has sung some brilliant tunes in the last few years, is one of the music directors along with Raiomand Mirza. Various lyricists are assorted throughout the six tracks of the album.

Woh Bheege Pal is sung by none other than Jayesh Gandhi himself, and naturally, he does a fantastic job of bringing soul to the composition. This one falls into the latest genre making waves in Bollywood; that of soft rocks tracks with deep soul-stirring emotions embedded into them. However, it stands out from the others because it relies not-so-much on beats but more on vocals. A track like this also needs lyrics that touch your heart in some sort of way, and Jayesh Gandhi along with Surendra Mishra get the job done.

Clearly intended to act as the USP number of the film, it also comes in two more versions. The first is Woh Bheege Pal Version 2 sung by the talented Zubeen Garg who brings his own flavour to the track. The next is the Remix of Jayesh’s version which allows beats to completely overpower the vocals. In the end, the DJ Akbar Sami Remix, like most, tears apart a beautiful track. Plus, by the third version, it gets a bit tedious.

Far more subtle than the first track, Tere Sawalon Ke is soft and soothing to the ears. Composers these days fail to realize that simple and soft beats are quite often more appealing than a cacophony of random sounds (see ‘Dum’ in RGV Ki Aag). Note the interlude of violins which fits perfectly into the tune. Roopkumar Rathod and Mahalaxmi Iyer lend their voices for this one and quietly work their magic. Manoj Tapadia’s lyrics are fantastic. A wonderful composition and sheer melody at its finest!

Listening to Kailash Kher is always a pleasure and the same goes for Dhundla Jo Sama Bandha. This eloquently penned track gives him ample scope to prove to us what an amazing singer is and the power his voice holds. This is another one of those different tracks, but it’s different in a good way. It’s a really clever composition which builds up throughout its five minute duration. It won’t appeal to everyone, but if you’re a Kailash-fan, quickly grab this one as it’s a great showcase of his talent.

Richa Sharma carries her harsh vocals into Dhokha which is by far the weakest of the lot. Musically, lyrically and vocally it just doesn’t stand out. In fact, I’m not sure if it really has a tune. It might work well in the film but I wouldn’t give this one a second listen unless forced to.

It’s nice to see composers continue to try and push the envelope, and for their first attempt, Jayesh Gandhi and Raiomand Mirza have definitely made an impression. Though not all the tracks are ones you’d want to take home with you, there are a few that stick like glue into your head and touch your heart.

Manorama Six Feet Under isn’t your typical masala album, but then again, who and what define “typical”? If you look at the albums released this year, most of them don’t classify under what you’d consider a “conventional” Bollywood album. I think it’s about time we change, or at least broaden, the definition of a conventional Bollywood score.

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