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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Paanch Adhyay Music Review - from an unbiased point of view

Am I singer? No. Am I a music director? No. Do I know sargam? No.

Then? Read on…

I used to sing in my college days and never came back home empty-handed from any inter-college competition. And to do so, I never had to manipulate any judge, though I was very keen to do that as a student of engineering who always studied at canteens and table-tennis rooms thus knew it better than anyone else how to pass exams with good marks. 

Anyway, that’s why I guess, I’m entitled to write Khullam-Khulla what I felt about the music of Pratim’s Paanch Adhyay.

I saw the trailer of the movie and it didn’t make me jump off the chair, frankly. At the same time, it didn’t make me helpless either, as because I couldn’t flee from the spot. Though the movie didn’t move me instantly but a sense of interest grew inside me, and I think, for that, the trailer did its part rather convincingly.

Now let me begin with the music director: Shantanu Moitra.

Needless to confirm, he’s one of the best in the world. No bias intended given our Bong connection, but after R D Burman, if there’s someone who can blend western music into eastern folk which can also be termed as ‘Indian Country’, it’s none other than Shantanu da.

Plus creating an infusion of music… using electronic sound along with acoustic sound, honestly, many people in the industry should actually learn that from him, while they don’t even bother to change the chord structure as part of their inspiration drawn from the western numbers.

What I’ve really liked about the music of Paanch Adhyay is, all the songs are based on a signature tune. It was a huge risk in fact to give into monotony, but it didn’t happen. Of course thanks to Shantanu da who knows how to fiddle with musical instruments to create a magic in sync!

The number ‘Ure Jaye – sung by Subha Mudgal in Bengali which again belted out by Swanand Kirkire in Hindi as ‘Uda Jaye’ – is a fantastic piece to indulge in again and again. A typical Kirtan feel of both the songs but with a non-typical Kirtan rendition has made them class apart which I reckon you won’t mind to hum, consciously and subconsciously, if not unconsciously, once the tune sets in on your mind. Lyrics are also very good of these numbers that have helped Mudgal and Kirkire alike to leave their marks behind as singers.

Not very sure of the numbers ‘You and Me’ – sung by ever-green Usha di (Usha Uthup) and ‘Phire Paowar Gaan’ – sung by Ashutosh Ganguly aka Ash King. It has somewhat felt, finally age is catching up with our beloved and respected Usha di, while neither the lyrics nor the music could also tick. And for the Ash Kings, I think it’s time to understand that pronouncing simple Bengali words with lots of tongue distortion or Herculean labour doesn’t elevate a song up to the genre of Pop. Since, Pop is a different thing altogether.

In the number ‘Baavri’, Shreya Ghoshal has proved once again why we should believe in the reality that she has everything in herself when it comes taking the musical legacy of Ashaji forward with an almost equal aplomb. Shreya's been just the best fit to this song which is too good a composition – both music and lyrics-wise.

‘Agontuk’ – the number sung by Shaan and Shreya hasn't really cut the mark. Despite being a huge admirer of Shaan, I would take the initiative to state it with conviction that days are rife of late for film and music directors to use the real talent in male voice instead of going by names.

I strongly and vehemently feel, Parthasarathi of the band Ekalabya would have sung it a million times better than Shaan had in that particular song. And I’m not saying this because Partha is a good friend of mine but I’m saying this because I knew it for a fact.

Last but not least, the number ‘Rahoon Tere Peechhe’ sung by Kaushiki Chakraborty is THE SONG OF THE MOVIE! I’m not getting into Kaushiki’s singing prowess, as I don’t qualify to do that. Not even in my wildest of dream. But, it’s indeed mesmerising the way she has expressed and exuded each and every word. Not to mention, the texture of her voice in that song that will surely give you many Goosebumps, if you bother to go deep into the lyrics and close your eyes to get lost in the tune.

Overall, Paanch Adhyay music is going to give us a good treat for our soul through the ears. As Pratim D. Gupta, being an intelligent guy, has understood… it’s always easy and wise to get into the audience heart in India, precisely in Bengal, through their ears.

So, all the best to Paanch Adhyay and its entire unit!

PS: You can hear all the tracks here:

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