There was a time when Sanjay Leela Bhansali's films were known for their exceptional music. Post 'Black' (the one song 'Haan Maine Chukar Dekha Hai' and the background score were excellent), there has been a steady decline in the quality of the music in his films. He turned composer with one song ("Thode Badmaash") in 'Saawariya and then, decided to compose the music for all his directorial ventures himself. The music of his last few films has not been bad but it has been far from being memorable. His new film 'Padmaavat' has been mired in controversies for a very long time and looks forward to hear the kind of music he has put together for this historical drama.
"Ghoomar" is the first song that was released from the film and it is, also, the best song on the album. A simple and easily hummable tune is set against a rich orchestral background that, apart from giving a grand sound to the track, reflects the folk music of Rajasthan, the state in India where the film is based in. Shreya Ghoshal, whose voice is heard after one is through one minute and thirty-two seconds in to the song, sings the song with aplomb and gets good support from Swaroop Khan and backup vocalists. Though the lyrics (A M Turaz) have Rajasthani phrases in it, they are easily decipherable and just like the tune, have a sing-along quality to them.
"Ek Dil Hai" is one of those maudlin love songs that pop up in Bhansali's films these days. Songs like "Laal Ishq" ('Goliyon Ki Raas-Leela Ram Leela') and "Aayat" ('Bajirao Mastani') would feature in this category. The romantic number is far from being bad but does not bring anything new to the table. Shivam Pathak, who participated in a popular talent hunt contest and had also composed a couple of songs for 'Mary Kom' co-produced by Bhansali, does a good job behind the mic and puts some effort in lending a bit of maturity to his youthful voice.
After lending his voice to Shahid Kapoor, Shivam Pathak modulates his voice and makes sure it sounds different as he sings "Khalibali" for Ranveer Singh. "Khalibali" is in the same mould as "Malhari" ('Bajirao Mastani') but neither has the zest nor is as tuneful as the latter. The song has been produced well, courtesy Shail-Pritesh but Bhansail's tune is insipid and makes you lose interest in the song halfway through it.
Bhansali redeems himself to a certain extent with "Nainowale Ne", a pleasant number powered by Neeti Mohan's voice. The tune is not extraordinary but is nice nevertheless. Also, it is one of the best produced tracks on the album. Apart from the fine orchestral arrangements, the little nuances like the male choral vocals adds to its charm. It is a pity this was a song that did not make it to the film's final cut.
After "Khalibail", the Middle Eastern sound makes another appearance in "Binte Dil". The track is roughly three minutes long and that I a good thing as the tune does not have the punch to hold your interest for a long time. Arijit Singh modulates his voice well to sound like a Middle Eastern singer. The soundtrack closes with a well sung and composed "Holi" which derives its roots from a traditional song.
'Padmaavat' has the weakest music for a Sanjay Leela Bhansali directed film. The music of the film further shows his limitations as a composer and reinstates the fact that he should seek the services of another composer.