There are few albums that capture your heart in an instant and take you into a world of ebbing poetry and magical music and the fact that Saawariya captivates you so proves the power of its music.
Hand in hand with the music of any Sanjay Leela Bhansali film comes mammoth expectations due to his impressive repertoire in the musical department. But with his biggest flick yet, he takes a huge risk. If casting two newcomers in lead roles for his largest venture yet wasn’t alarming enough, it’s as if Bhansali is on a rebellious streak of sorts! His latest risk goes by the name of Monty Sharma, the composer of the album. Though he composed a brilliant background scores for Bhansali’s Black and Devdas as well as the background score for lesser known films like Silsiilay, Lucky and Aashiq Banaya Aapne, he has not composed a full-fledged album—until Saawariya that is. Luckily enough for the SLB, Sharma, after working on this album for years, delivers with a plethora of flying colours, making this an unforgettable soundtrack.
‘Doli mein bhitaake
Sitaaron se sajake
Zamaane se churake le jayega
Saawariya, ah ah ah, Saawariya, ah ah ah, Saawariya
The best way to describe this album is a journey of romance in its most subtle form. Welcoming you to what will truly be a wonderful musical experience is Shail Hada as he so flawlessly croons the title track Saawariya. It’s crystal clear that both Monty Sharma and Bhansali have a keen eye for talent. After showcasing Shreya Ghoshal so beautifully in Devdas, they present to us yet another singer evidently soaked with talent. As far as the composition goes, it’s catchy from the word go and is soft yet upbeat at the same time. Sameer’s lyrics are perfect though the song falters towards the end with the uncalled for English lines. Nevertheless, one can overlook this minor flaw and easily recognize this as one of the greatest tracks of the year.
‘Jab se tere naina
Mere nainon se laage re
Tab se deewana hua
Sabse begaana hua
Rab bhi deewana laage re’
Shaan arrives with Jab Se Tere Naina which is such a delicate number that you can almost feel its fragility. Though Shaan pulls off the song extremely well, it’s Sameer’s stunning lyrics that catch you unaware. Probably the only flaw in this, and it’s probably just attributed to my picky nature, is that it gets a bit repetitive at times. Also, it takes a few listens to grow on you unlike the title track which you fall in love with from the very first beat. Thankfully this doesn’t make it any less of a great composition which will most definitely work completely in-sync with the film.
‘Ghumsum chandni ho
Nazaneen ho, ya koi hoor ho
Dilnashin ho, Dilkashi ho
Ya Jannat ka noor ho
Now this is classic Sanjay Leela Bhansali, reminding you of eloquent compositions in Devdas, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and Khamoshi. Say hello to Masha-Allah, my personal favourite of the entire album. With each track, Sameer’s lyrics keep getting deeper and more enjoyable. Monty Sharma truly deserves a standing ovation for such a sparkling composition. Though the album credits Kunal Ganjawala and Shreya Ghoshal for the vocals, it’s primarily a Kunal song with Shreya pitching in quietly in the background. Kunal proves his versatility and takes us back to his ‘Bheege Hont’ charm. One wishes Shreya had more to do because she probably would have made this amazing track even better. Elegance at its finest!
‘Thode badmaash ho tum
Thode nadaan ho tum
Haan magar yeh sach hai
Hamari jaan ho tum’
After three tracks led by male singers, Shreya Ghoshal’s Thode Badmaash couldn’t come at a more opportune time. It’s beyond me how after singing so many tracks in her career, she enchants every single time. Luckily enough, she has such a wonderful composition and even more captivating lyrics to support her. Shreya’s voice is haunting, sweet and truly touches you, making for an enthralling track.
Pehle nahin thi chandni
Chand woh bharmaa gaya
Tujhkho dekha sharma gaya
Woh churane laga hai nazar’
If you’re expecting the album to suddenly drop a few notches like the majority of recently albums, think again. I advise you not to underestimate the perfectionist nature of Monty Sharma and Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Yoon Shabnami is one of the most unique tracks of the album because the first half is quiet and suddenly the track breaks out into a series of Indian beats which are extremely well stitched into the song. Then it tones down once again and manages to keep you listening at the same time. Another pretty unknown singer, Prathiv Gohil sings this track straight from the heart and demonstrates brief flashes of lead singers like Sonu Nigam and K.K. while maintaining a unique voice. The music during the last 45 seconds of the song is gleaming with brilliance.
‘Ho saawariya, nahin chain,
Daras bina nahin chain.
Saiyyan, daras bina nahin chain’
Shail Hada and Prathiv Gohil team up with the lingering vocals of Richa Sharma who has a lasting effect with her rendition in Daras Bina Chain Nahin which was in fact used in the theatrical trailer. Coupled with the lasting effects of the singers is an movingly crafted composition. While listening and absorbing the music, you can see it fitting into the film extremely well and with Bhansali’s knack for gorgeous visuals, expect nothing short of spectacular.
‘Sawar, sawar gayi mein
Kab se ghadi mein doori atariyaan
Beet naa jaaye, o rama, sari umaariyaan
Sawar, sawar gayi mein’
It looks like the females have taken over! After much anticipation, Shreya Ghoshal returns for a three-and-a-half minute rendition in Sawar Gayi. We already know how talented and charming Shreya is and I don’t even have any adjectives left to praise her. Let’s just say she’s at her usual best. Similar to the rest of the tracks, this one is not loud and in-your-face. On the other hand, it creeps up on you slowly and is pure melody.
‘Jaan-e-jaan, iss dil mein tum samaaye ho
Dil mein samaaye ho
Jaan-e-jaan, iss dil mein tumhi samaaye ho
Tum mere ho! Bas mere ho! Mere hi ho!
Dil naa dukhaaoge aur door jaaoge ho’
It’s ironic how in an album of a romance film, Jaan-e-Jaan is the first duet. Who better to do the honours than Kunal Ganjawala and Shreya Ghoshal? This one definitely takes quite a few listens to create the same effect as the rest of the tracks but it’s still well done. One can’t help notice Sameer stumble a bit as the lyrics get a bit corny. I think most of the problem lies in the fact that after eight tracks one begins to feel like it’s getting a bit monotonous.Not the best of the lot, but still a notable effort.
‘Arre hai, ek din aasmaan se pari…aayegi
Lot ke phir naa vaapas kabhi…jaayegi
Arre hai, uske khamosh aahat sunta hoon mein
Raat din, har ghari
Lamha lamha intezaar ussi ko’
Well, at least Sameer is back in action with Pari that sees Kunal Ganjawala behind the mic for another track. Again, it’s on the slow side and doesn’t completely capture you. It’s more like a track that would work really well on-screen but you can’t identify it’s full potential until you actually see it on celluloid. It would also be nice to see someone other than Kunal do the honours though he does a great job. I think at this point one tends to scrutinize the tracks down to every little beat. Take this one in your stride and move on with the rest of the album.
‘Chhel chabeela, rang rangeela
Badan kateela, ho raseela
Roop sajeela ,yaad hateela
Tang pajama kurta dheela’
Surprisingly enough, it’s Alka Yagnik’s first and last appearance in a fun track titled Chabeela. After a bunch of tracks slowly-paced (though very enjoyable), this one is nice simply because it’s different. It has a different singer, a different mood and a different pace as well. Some might want to gag at Sameer’s playful lyrics but at the same time if you take them lightly, they’re quite cute. Like most of the tracks, it will take time to reach its full potential as a popular song but I guarantee that it will eventually. Alka Yagnik definitely makes her presence felt in the overall picture of the album. It’s fun-spirited and does make you smile!
Adequately bringing closure to the album is the Saawariya Reprise featuring the same singer. A lot of albums like to remix and reprise and all that jazz, but this is one of the few whose second installment of the track actually differs from the first. A really great way to end a beautiful album off on a positive note!
You must know before venturing into Saawariya that you won’t like at least half the tracks after one listen. It’s only after a few listens and maybe even after seeing one or two on screen that one can truly understand the genius behind this album. In some ways it’s similar to the tracks of Devdas in the sense that many tracks didn’t work initially. Today, they have become legendary. I expect the same route for Saawariya. After listening to the songs, half of you will agree with this rating and the other half will laugh with scorn and claim that it’s nothing special. So yes, I am warning you before-hand, if you are expecting a mass-oriented masala album, Saawariya is not the album for you. On the other hand, if you like to submerge yourself deep within melodious love ballads, then expect to open your arms and embrace Saawariya whole-heartedly.
It’s an unbelievable burden for a virtually debutant music director to take on the task of composing the tracks for such a prestigious film, but Monty Sharma takes that overwhelming burden and casts it off his shoulders like no tomorrow. The fact that he has actually exceeded expectations is a great thing. He only falters towards the end of the album where he gets repetitive. After his spat of Himesh films, I had truly lost respect for lyricist Sameer. But after his work in this album, he has re-invented himself and unleashed the poet inside him (barring in mind one or two tracks). And boy, is it a pleasant change to listen to an album sans English lyrics (disregarding the unnecessary English in the title track)!
I know it’s my job to dissect each and every track, but in totality this is such a beautiful album that it shadows all blemishes along the way. Now that you have so dutifully listened to me ramble on and on, I urge you with every fiber of my being to grab these tracks at the earliest opportunities and open your soul to a wondrous world of delightful magic called Saawariya.