After making a first listen of the soundtrack for Bluffmaster, you realize that most of these songs will be used either in a marketing campaign, or as a background score. A couple of the songs may be picturised, but Bluffmaster´s concept is close to a Hollywood soundtrack, mostly pieces will be used as background in the film. With that said, Bluffmaster is a wicked album, one for those who belong to the remix generation. This album is a mix of original songs, theme pieces, some remixes of old songs (that are well done for the most part), and Trickbaby lends 3 songs from their album ´Hanging Around´ and also two remixes. It´s a potpourri that has something for everyone. It will be intersting to see the placement of these tracks in the film.
The album opens on a rocking note with a remix of the song Sabse Bada Rupaiyya/Bluffmaster. Most of you will recognize the song from the promo´s. The basic beat for the song is similar to the song "Pon The Replay" by American artiste Rihanna, but it´s remixed in with the original vocals from the 1976 film of the same name. Trickbaby remixes some jazzy influences into the song giving the mix it´s spice. The song was originally composed by Basu Manohari. Mehmood´s vocals still sound surprisingly fresh considering that it´s a remix. Trickbaby deserve points for that!
Indi-Yarn is a track from the Trickbaby Album ´Hanging Around´. The song is a danceable mix of samples from the 1956 film Aasha (Eena Meena Deeka) and the 1983 film Souten (Shayad Meri Shaadi) and some original vocals. The mix doesn´t go down easy, it´s annoying and kind of awkward. Neelaa is another number from Trickbaby´s album ´Hanging Around´. This track caries a sample from the song Sar Se Sarke (Silsila, 1981). Neelaa is is definite winner. It´s a musical number with a hypnotizing lounge beat. The beat is layered with instruments from the sample and additional mixing for effect. Vocals are used to set the mood, rather than sing through the whole song. This is a good remix to listen to while driving.
Trickbaby also lend 9 Parts Of Desire, from their album ´Hanging Around´ to The Bluffmaster soundtrack. It´s a sensuous track laden with synthesizers, banjo´s and soft vocals. The Hindi line ´Parde Ke Peeche´ repeated during the chorus is the only Hindi in the song. It´s sung in English by Trickbaby (not sure if that is a singer or group), but the vocals leave a nice impression. This one will win over lounge lovers. The Hindi version of the Trickbaby song 9 Parts of Desire is titled Parde Ke Peeche. It´s basically the same song as the original with a translation of lyrics into Hindi by Jaideep Sahni. Trickbaby has kept the original vocalist, but her voice is mixed into the song too softly to make any impact. Therefore the song looses some of it´s edge. Stick with the English version, but the Hindi version makes for a decent listen.
Say Na Say Na is written and sung by Aneela with production from Robert Uhlmann and Arash. It carries a decent dhol beat, but is seriously repetitive. The vocals are drowned in a sea of Dhol´s, but that´s okay, cause neither the vocals or Jaideep Sahni´s lyrics are good. This may find favour amongst some, but it´s charm wears off fast.
Bure Bure/Boro Bro is an upbeat track which will win you over. Who cares if you can barely understand what is being said. Written and Produced by Robert Uhlmann and Arash, this song is manly sung in a foreign language (sounds like a middle eastern language) with very few Hindi lyrics added by Jaideep Sahni. The song is still a winner despite the language barrier thanks to a robust musical arrangement. The addition of the flute sample heightens the songs flavour.
Tadbeer Se Bigdi Hui Taqdeer is remixed as the ´Destiny Mix´ on the album. It´s has a nice, subdued lounge flavour to it. Heavy base, and some horns and percussion add a modern flavour to S.D. Burman´s original composition. Sameerudhin provides the remix of the song originally from the 1950 movie Baazi. Thankfully the vocals (Geeta Dutt) stand up despite the remix this time around as well. Sameerudhin is successful in creating a soothing and sexy atmosphere with the song, giving it a cool new spin.
Ab Aur Do Paanch originally appeared in the film of the same name in 1980. This remix by Sameerudhin is a fast paced, psychedelic ride. It opens with some nostalgic beats and morphs into a trance song. Kishore Kumar´s vocals are remixed into the arrangement for effect, but the song itself is mainly a musical piece. In this case, the remix of Rajesh Roshan´s composition doesn´t hold up as the previous remixes, but it´s still a decent number.
The Gateway Theme is a musical piece with a resounding upbeat feel to it. Sameerudhin´s production gives the piece a fleeting feel. Like a bird flying over buildings. It´ll be a nice piece to use for the films light moments. Sameerudhin also provides another theme piece called Come Fishing/Bluffmaster! Theme. This one is vastly different from the last theme piece. It´s got a cool, jazzy beat and snippets of dialogue mixed into the beat. The beat gains a little bit of momentum as it moves through the theme piece. This one is easy listening and should incorporate into the films proceedings well.
Next up is the hip hop influenced Right Here Right Now. The music by Vishal Shekhar is really good, an interesting mix of strings and tabla used to accentuate a bouncing hip hop beat. The real treat is that the song is performed by Abhishek Bachchan and Sunidhi Chauhan. The producers would have been wise to rope in Priyanka Chopra, since she is a trained singer, but Sunidhi is as dependable as ever. Abhishek´s performance is raw and off note but thankfully it has been mixed well into the song. The contrast between Sunidhi Chauhan´s voice and Abhishek´s baritone is perfect for the kind of sound this song is aiming at. This is the album´s hands down winner!
Right Here Right Now is presented again as a hip hop mix. The song contains additional rapping by Vishal Dandlani of the musical duo Vishal Shekhar (who composed the original and this remix). The difference between this track and the original is some subtle production and the awful rap. I have no idea why some music composers insist on adding the rap, they still have miles to go before mastering this style. Sometimes our music directors do a decent job of using the rap mix, but often it can ruin a good song. In this song, the periodic rap bridges can make you cringe, but doesn´t distract from the overalll track. And you always have the original to go back to.
If you´ve liked past movie soundtrack like Musafir, Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena and Dus, then chances are you´re going to like Bluffmaster. The album has a youthful feel to its music, and contains a good mix of songs. Not all the songs have mass appeal (Say Na Say Na, Do Aur Do Paanch and Indi Yarn will appeal to select audiences) but there is not an over-whelming bad song either. In fact the whole album is easy to listen to without skipping a track. Real standouts include Sabse Bada Rupaiyya, Right Here Right Now, Bure Bure/Boro Boro and Neelaa. With an interesting cast, good promotion and now a good album to back it up, Bluffmaster is shaping up as a film to look forward to.