Rochak Kohli delivers one of the year’s best songs with Bheege Mann in the August 2 release Khandaani Shafakhana. Kohli is a super-talented composer (Tera Yaar Hoon Main, Meer-E-Karwaan) and his tunes here lift a better-than-average soundtrack. While the lyrics are adequate, Kohli’s strong melody and Altamash Faridi’s voice lend a touch of the ghazal to the slow-burn tune. Bringing it all together is Aditya Dev’s impeccable production.
Kohli also gets the superb Tochi Raina back into the studio. Raina’s million-dollar voice was heard in the hits Pardesi (Dev.D), Gal Mitthi Mitthi (Aisha) and Kabira (Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani), but he isn’t singing as frequently as he should. Raina delivers the album’s second-best song Udd Ja, where the understated arrangement lets his voice find the spotlight.
Khandaani Shafakhana, directed by Shilpi Dasgupta, is about a woman who inherits a sex clinic from her uncle. The movie stars Sonakshi Sinha, Varun Sharma and Badshah.
Badshah’s contribution is Saans To Le Le, which has a groovy beat and pleasant vocals by the composer and Rico. The song is surprisingly relaxed, compared to Badshah’s usual work in Bollywood. Could this be because of its take-a-chill-pill theme, or because Badshah is evolving as a musician? His latest blockbuster Paagal similarly eschews the loud and unimaginative aesthetics of his early hits like Saturday Saturday.
Tanishk Bagchi delivers two tracks, but before we take a scalpel to them, a defence of the bugbear of Hindi film music connoisseurs. The trend of recreations is understandably intolerable, but Bagchi does what he does fairly well, given the commercial pressures, and he does it better than his peers (for instance, Gourov-Roshin’s Mungda redux in Total Dhamaal, Amaal Mallik’s remake of Neend Churayi Meri from Golmaal Again).
Bagchi has a fun take on the 1996 hit Sheher Ki Ladki from the Suniel Shetty-starrer Rakshak. Badshah turns up as both rapper and singer. Bagchi smoothly replicates Vishal-Shekhar’s cool trick of making the vocals of the original and the recreation mesh with each other in The Jawaani Song from Student of the Year 2. Plus, there are thankfully only 20 seconds of the new melody. Bagchi is probably reading the hate mail.
The other Bagchi song, Koka, is a revamp of a 2011 hit by Jasbir Jassi. Though it sounds like a hundred other contemporary Hin-jabi dance songs, the track has a great original hook by Bagchi and a female singer who is not Neha Kakkar. Not having to hear her in a Bagchi song is an existential relief.
Singer Payal Dev makes her debut as a composer with Dil Jaaniye. It is a romantic ballad with the kind of syrupy melody that whispers “T-Series” in your ears. Jubin Nautiyal and Tulsi Kumar are fine, but the real star is the wonderfully done pianica riff by Aditya Dev.