With a title like Raincoat and a clearly grim unique presentation for Rituparno Ghosh’s film, picking up the soundtrack one can hardly expect your typical Indian music. And thus, the film lives true to that delivering a soundtrack that is thematic but quite frankly—different. The music for Raincoat is different, thematic and a display of the commanding performances of Shubha Mudgal and newcomer Meena Mishra. A lyrically dependent album, those who are interested in songs that actually tell a story should run to pick this one up quickly.
Shubha Mudgal is deep, dark and husky in the folk song “Mathura Nagarpati”, a long but pleasant song that sets the mood for the rest of the soundtrack. The chorus is even addictive in parts, but by far it is Shubha who just simply delights with her rendition which elongates the feeling expressed in the tune. The song has a religious undertone and opens up the album appropriately considering the rest of the soundtrack is little different.
Hariharan, a rarity these days, sings the first version of “Piya Tora…Kaisa Abhiman?”. A ghazal like lethargic background laces the song but it is predominantly Hariharan who vocalizes the lyrics. In the second version, it is Mudgal who questions the lover about pride. However, her version is complimented by interludes by Gulzur which makes her version a bit different. Pleasant, if not anything else.
The rustic feel continues with "Raha Dekhe", a song only Mudgal could emote the way it is-- depressing and emotional.
"Akele Hum Nadiya Kinare", a song about solace in solitary seems like the thematic tune that once again Mudgal masters with her elongating vocals. The lyrics carry more of a metaphorical contrast much more than anything else and Debojyoti has complimented it with an apt composition.
Meena Mishra, credited as the vocalist in "Hamare Galiyan", is a simply a singer among singers in the shaadi folklore. The song is a throw back to yesteryears and certainly creates the ambiance of being at a wedding celebration. Though Mishra is the credited vocalist it is hard to discern her vocals, however, that is certainly acceptable, considering that the song has served its purpose more than aptly. A sad (mandatory, no?), version of the tune also accompanies this.
"Jug Jiye" is the sister song to the former almost continuing from it as a shaadi festival tune. The vocalists, style and theme change very little.
The soundtrack for Raincoat is obviously not for everyone. But kudos do go out to the film maker and musical composer Debojyoti Misra for creating a score that is obviously constructed keeping the dreary, wet and sometimes depressing mood of the film in mind. Having written the lyrics for this album herself, Ghosh has taken control of two aspects of the film and has shown great capability just as that. After all, who knows better what kind of songs should be included more than the director themselves? Those that are looking for that thematic song or are in that kind of “rainy day” mood should certainly rush to listen to this one and fast.