Devdas is the highest paid for soundtrack ever. Its rights were bought at an unheard of 12 crores by Universal. Well, is it really worth all that cash? Well that’s for Universal to decide.
However, all I know is, Devdas is the best soundtrack to come out this year, and maybe the best OF the year. Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Ismail Darbar join hands once again to give us another awesome soundtrack. Though Devdas may not hold the mass appeal that HDDCS had, it’s still a great album nevertheless. Devdas is a period film, and taking that into consideration, Darbar had to really work hard on creating an ambiance for the songs. He’s very successful at that, with the help of newcomer lyricist Nusrat Badr. Badr has pulled off something that’s very hard for ANY lyricist to do. He’s remained simple, yet poetic, and also come up with songs that will fit like a glove to the situations. It’s true that I haven’t yet seen the film, but listening to the songs you feel like you are there, and you know what’s going on the film. Not many lyricists are able to combine all those aspects and come up with brilliant results. Mr. Badr, take a bow!
Shreya Ghosal marks her debut with “Silsila Yeh Chaahat Ka.” The song is about a girl waiting for her lover, sounds familar na? But thanks to Darbar the songs turns out to be one of the best on the album. The tabla and the chorus wonderfully compliment Ghosal’s flawless rendition; notice the way she easily carries off the part where she has to stretch the “piya” refrain. Shreya Ghosal’s voice is very similar to Chitra's (a fellow staff member pointed that out), and she’s done some amazing work for a newcomer in this album.
“Maar Daala” sung by Kavita K. Subramanium and K.K. is a mujra. When I first heard this song on the television promos being aired, I quite didn’t like it. Even on the CD, it took a few listens before I began to like it. Now, it’s one of the best tracks on the soundtrack in my opinion. The singing by Kavita is flawless. The slight harmonium touch by Darbar really adds to the flavor of the song. K.K. is held to the background, and only appears near the end of the song.
If you liked “Aankhon Ki Gustakhiyan” from HDDCS, I can pretty much guarantee you’ll like “Bairi Piya”. The song falls in the same genre as the previously mentioned song from HDDCS, a chhed chhad song, but done with a lot of grace and maturity. Yes, that’s quite hard to put together. Shreya Ghosal and Udit Narayan render this number. The singing, like all of the songs in the album is just mind-blowing. The unique part of the song is the “ish” that Darbar has put in at certain points in the song, very unique!
Next up we have a pure classical number “Kaahe Chhed Mohe” written by Pandit Birju Maharaj, who also sings the song along with Kavita K. Subramanium and Madhuri Dixit. The song will probably hold appeal only to hardcore classical music lovers. The highlight of the song is definitely Madhuri Dixit. Madhuri doesn’t sing here, she’s there just to recite some verses. It’s amazing how elegant she sounds when she’s rendering her lines. I don’t think this one will find many listeners on the CD, but on the screen this song will sizzle for Madhuri’s dancing I bet.
Next up is “Hamesha Tumko Chaha” sung by Kavita and Udit Narayan. This song is my favorite of the album, simply for the “preetam” refrains. That’ s one of the highlights of the song, along with Udit’s and Kavita’s rendition. The way the emotions are expressed through this song is just beautiful. Lyrics by Nusrat Badr are again, simple yet wonderful.
“Chhalak Chhalak” is a song that will probably be picturised on Shah Rukh Khan and Jackie Shroff at a “kotha”. Udit Narayan and Vinod Rathod lend their voices here. I don’t think everyone will like this song, but I like it for it’s playfulness and simplicity. A song fitting this situation could’ve turned out horrible, but Darbar and Bhansali’s execution is pretty nice. Nice to hear Vinod Rathod in a good song after such a long time...
The album is dominated by females, alas we have a male solo in the form of "Woh Chaand Jaisi Ladki" sung by Udit Narayan. The song will probably be picturised on a drunk Devdas who is remembering Paro. The composition is very simple, and wonderfully sung by Udit Narayan, he's emoted really well in his singing. The lyrics also deserve a special mention.
“Morey Piya” is sung by Shreya Ghosal and Jaspinder Narula. Those who think that Jaspinder Narula can only sing Bhangra/Punjabi songs need to get their ears checked. This song is semi-classical and again may not find many takers, however, I personally liked it. I hate to keep repeating my self, but the singing is just great here. Jaspinder really surprised me, she easily carries this number even though she’s never sung songs such as this before.
Next we have “Devdas - The Theme.” This is the same music piece that was heard in the first promo. This is not something that you’d wanna play over and over. Nonetheless, it’s up there with other themes from other Hindi films such as Moksha, Asoka, etc.
Finally we have “Dola Re Dola” sung by Kavita K. Subramanium, Shreya Ghosal, and K.K. This song will go down really well with the masses. It reminds me a lot of “Nimbooda” from HDDCS. However, the song still holds its own. The singing is very good again, Shreya tries very hard to keep up with Kavita, and succeeds most of the time. The opening tabla beats are just remarkable. This song will definitely be a highlight on screen. Namely because Madhuri and Aishwarya are supposed to be dancing together during this song, is that reason good enough for you to await this song during the film?
Devdas could have been a tough assignment for any music director. However Ismail Darbar has really put a lot of effort into his work, and it shows. Credit must also be given to the singers, who just bring out the best of themselves. Rarely have we an album where ALL the songs are perfectly sung, Devdas is such an album. Bhansali deserves a pat on the back for taking the risk of bringing in two newcomers (Badr and Ghosal) on such a huge project. All in all, Devdas is without a doubt, a MUST buy.