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Yatra - Music Review

By: Joginder Tuteja, IndiaFM
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
While the debate is on around whether Anu Malik's score for Umrao Jaan matches up to the class of Khayyam's classic score in the namesake flick a couple of decades back, the soundtrack of Yatra enters silently. Why is the film special? For three reasons: 1. The film has music by Khayyam. 2) The film stars Rekha as a coutesan once again after Umrao Jaan. 3) Nana Patekar is in the lead along with Rekha and hence makes the casting special. Directed by acclaimed Gautam Ghose, the film comes from the production house of Bipin Kumar Vohra who had made 15 Park Avenue early this year. Apart from Khayyam, Ghose too handles the music of around half the album.

With a niche theme like Yatra and a expectations of a score dipped in Indian classical music, one plays on the album. Well, it turns out that the album is indeed hardcore classical and is aimed only at a minute section of audience.

Asha Bhonsle crooning for Rekha. Now this is a celebration in itself, more so with a setting like Yatra. A 'ghazal' set for a 'mujra', 'Jaam-e-Mohabbat' is about this female who knows about her beauty and the power she has that never fails to catch the attention of men around her. Ahmed Wasi's writing is made of 'sher-o-shayari' that will be appreciated by the followers of this genre. Khayyam keeps his composition rooted without trying to go the filmy route and hence the track would find only niche followers. Rekha too narrates a line or two in between but that doesn't excite much either.

Ahmed Wasi and Khayyam come together again to create 'Aap To Mere Hi Khwabon', a love duet by Udit Narayan and Alka Yagnik. While the tune is soulful, the musical arrangements tend to belong to 50s and 60s kind. One feels that the song may have sounded a lot better only of modern technology could have been used to pep up the arrangements while keeping the tune intact.

Talat Aziz is heard after a long time in the Hindi movie soundtrack when he renders 'Saaz-e-Dil-Nagma-e-Jaan'. His class is visible once again as he effortlessly goes ahead with this complex track that is a lot more than just being semi-classical. Written by Naqsh Lyalpuri, the nuances of the track are such that it would be understood and picked up with glee only by a select few who are followers of this genre. Meanwhile for those who love conventional music from Hindi movies, this one would be a quick skip. In fact, so far the album proves that it is mainly for the classically inclined and has little or nothing for conventional music followers.

Asha Bhonsle and Khayyam come together again for 'Madhur Madhur'. The song has a 'pahadi' feel to it, especially with the sound of flute in the background. The light beats accompanying the song too have a eastern flavor to it that gives the song a Bengali/Assamese touch. Yet another track with classic overtones, this one written by Maya Govind is poetic all the way and would be followed mainly by Hindi literature followers.

Now where does this come from? That's the first thought that comes in mind as soon as heavy bass western beats are heard. To top it up, there are moans and groans of a female that makes one check the CD in surprise if the track is actually a part of the film's soundtrack. Well, it actually is as the remix version of Kabhi Aar Kabhi Paar is heard next! Surprised? Well, even we were but one gives the album a benefit of doubt since this track sung by female singer Jojo may be for a situation in the film. Originally composed by O. P. Nayyar, for the remix version Goutam Ghose himself pitches for the music. Simply avoidable!

From this moment on, it is Goutam Ghose all the way at the composer's seat with each of the tracks being traditional and hardcore classical. First to come is 'Tadpe Bin Baalam' which is a 'dadra' and rendered by Shuvra Guha. In fact she is heard in as many as 4 tracks from here. Next come Ustad Rashid Khan's 'Garaje Ghata' and 'Biya Biya', a 'tarana', which are again traditional tracks and strictly for those who understand Indian classical music to the finest detail.

Keya Acharya sings 'Panchhi Pinjre Se' which can be given a hear by an average listener since it is more of a song rather than classical rendition and hence can be identified to some extent. Keya's rendition reminds one of Rekha Bhardwaj who again is a pro in classical rendition and has a similar voice and style.

Shuvra returns with 'bhairon thumri' titled 'Dareja Dareja' which was originally composed by Kunwar Shyam. Sound of 'ghunghroo' indicate that this classical track is for the 'mujra' setting though the lyrics are of the kinds that are difficult to be understood, let aside being followed, by the man on the street. She also croons 'pilu thumri' titled 'More Ankhiyan Bhool Gayi' and also pairs up with Aditi Bhattacharya for 'Jaoji Na Karo', a 'mishra khamaj'. Well, the result is just the same as the tracks preceding them.

Unlike Umrao Jaan where Khayyam did have a few chartbusters up his sleeve, with Yatra he doesn't take any leliency to come up with a crowd pleasing score and only follows the movie's genre. Simply stated, Yatra is just not for the average man on the street and is strictly for those who are not just the followers of Indian classical music but also understand such music to the minutest details.

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