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‘Guns of Banaras’, the official remake of the 2007 Tamil film ‘Polladhavan’, is set in Banaras/Varanasi and thus, one expects the music of the film carry the rooted, ingenious touch of the North Indian city. Though it is largely an action film, it has a romantic track as well. Furthermore, one has good expectations from the music as the music team (composer Sohail Sen and lyricist Sameer Anjaan) comes with a lot of experience.  

The album opens with “Band Bajega”, a fun, celebration number where the hero talks about the ill-effects of marriage and warns the groom about how getting married will lead to a life of suffering. Shahid Mallya brings in a lot of energy to the song with his spirited rendition. Sohail Sen’s tune is quite catchy but the lyrics (Sameer Anjaan) could have been better. Though one is supposed to see things in a lighter vein here, a few lines do come across as borderline sexist. Despite this, it is a fairly tuneful number that makes for a fun listen.

The sound of santoor marks the arrival of “Dheere Dheere”, a romantic track sung by Mohit Chauhan and Pawni Pandey. While Mohit Chauhan has proved his prowess as a singer adapt at singing romantic numbers (apart from being equally good in rendering songs in other genres), Pawni, who has a couple of hit songs to her credit (“Sweety Tera Drama” – ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’, “Laila Main Laila” – ‘Raees’), gives a good account of herself as well. Sohail’s tune is likeable and arranger Prakash Peter layers it with rich orchestral arrangements, consisting of several Indian instruments apart from a few western instruments like acoustic guitar, violin and piano. Sameer writes some simple but effective lines that complement the tune well. The English lines come across as unnecessary.

“Bande Hain Shankar Ke” is the title track of the film, bits of which one got to hear in the trailer of the film. The song describes the youth of the holy city of Banaras and gives one an idea about their colourful nature. The song also aims to give an ode to Lord Shiva; apart from the line ‘bande hain Shankar ke’, one gets to see hear chants in the name of Lord Shiva in the song. The grooviness in the song is nicely amplified by the thumping rhythmic arrangements (Prakash Peter). Sohail Sen sings the song well and one wonders why he does not come behind the mic more often.

“Pagal Hai Dil Mera”, the last track to arrive, is also the best song on the album. The song is stepped in Indian and benefits hugely from the wonderfully mellifluous composition which Sohail has weaved in. He also does a very good job as a vocalist. The song goes on a high as he sings “tu dil mein bas gayi re….”.Palak Muchhal’s saccharine voice further helps in bringing out the sweetness in the song to the fore.  If you are somebody who had been longing to hear a nice, traditionally Indian love song, this is a song you must listen to.

In the recent times, one has seen several films, which are set in Uttar Pradesh, having songs with Punjabi lyrics in them. Thankfully, ‘Guns Of Banaras’ does not go down that path. The music is in sync with the plot and milieu of the film. And, it is good to see Sohail Sen being one of the very few young composers who like to incorporate Indian melody in their songs.