Laal Singh Chaddha: Bollywood’s Captivating Music Review



Songs and soundtrack credits at the end

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The lyric video of Kahani describes the song as “the soul of Laal Singh Chaddha”, and you can see that in the reflective lines (top work from Amitabh Bhattacharya). There is a feather seen floating about in the lyric video – people who have watched Forrest Gump would know the significance of that of course – here it also works as an indicator of Pritam’s lightweight treatment of the song. The composer has always had his way with these sweet, cutesy melodic pieces, and this one, with its waltz rhythm and the general European sound (a delightful profusion of accordion and plucked strings) is an instant throwback to the pinnacle of such songs from the man – Barfi.

Sonu Nigam may be a more accomplished singer than Mohan Kannan, but there is something about the earnest delivery that the latter does in his version of Kahani that makes it a wee bit more endearing, despite Sonu getting an extra verse. Sonu Nigam gets one more beauty in the album, another lovely, jaunty melody that operates in pretty much the same zone as Kahaani, albeit with a romantic theme, Main Ki Karaan. Amusing coincidence that Barfi had a romantic song with literally the same title, in Hindi – Main Kya Karoon – although the coincidence ends there! Sonu aces it as expected, with the occasional Punjabi folk interventions from Romy. Not sure if this is the Forrest Gump comparison playing in my head, but I wonder if the song was modeled on Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head, which was quite famously used in the movie – going by the mood, the instrumentation, the rhythm, etc. There is even a clarinet that pops up in the second half (beautiful solo from Shirish Malhotra), like trumpets appear in Raindrops. None of this is a slight on Main Ki Karaan, of course, the song is a gem.

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That takes us to the serious half of the album. Tur Kalleyan is a motivational song that plays out almost like a Sufi track. Once again, the composer aces the melody – after a prelude by Arijit Singh, it is largely Shadab and Altamash Faridi’s show (good to see the brothers start to get quality songs again this year) who power through the soaring notes with practiced ease, topping it off with some fab improvisations towards the end.

Like Tur Kalleyan, Tere Hawaale too opens with an impassioned rendition from Arijit Singh, but continues along a mellower, prayer-like path, riding on Arijit and Shilpa Rao’s fabulous vocals, supported by some great harmonium and tabla. Loved how towards the end of Tere Hawaale, Pritam circles back to the segment that kicks off the song, except in Shilpa’s voice.

If Kahaani and Main Ki Karaan were throwbacks to Pritam’s Barfi soundscape, Phir Na Aisi Raat Aayegi takes us even further back in time, to the songs the composer used to do for Emraan Hashmi-Mahesh Bhatt movies. It is nice to hear a song of this kind from the man after a long time – it still sounds haunting, and Arijit does a fine job of matching the soulfulness through his voice. Even so, if I were to pick a song that doesn’t match the overall level of this soundtrack, it would be this one.

The last time Pritam and Amitabh Bhattacharya came together for an Aamir Khan movie, they produced the brilliant Dangal. Six years later, we have another musical gem on our hands in Laal Singh Chaddha!

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Music Aloud Rating: 4/5

Top Recos: Kahaani, Main Ki Karaan, Tere Hawaale

PS: While listening to Phir Na Aisi Raat, I couldn’t help but wonder how it might have sounded in the voice of KK. ☹

Soundtrack Credits

Kahani
Music – Pritam
Lyrics – Amitabh Bhattacharya
Singer – Mohan Kannan
Music Arrangement and Production – Jim Satya, Stefan Mathew, DJ Phukan & Sunny M.R.
Sound Design – DJ Phukan, Sunny M.R. & Ashwin Kulkarni
Mix & Master – Shadab Rayeen at New Edge
Chief Engineer & Shootmix – Ashwin Kulkarni
Music Production Manager – Anurag Sharma
Sound Engineers – Ashwin Kulkarni, Aniruddh Anantha, Pranav Gupta, and Harjot Kaur
Vocal Conductors – Akashdeep Sengupta, Dev Arijit & Aniruddh Anantha
Mixing Assistant to Shadab – Pukhraj Sonkar and Anup Kumar
Musicians
Bass – Roland Fernandes & Pranab Das
Accordion – Satyajit Prabhu
Ethnic Stringed Instruments – Tapas Roy
Orchestra – Budapest Film Orchestra
Lead Orchestrator – Daryl Griffith
Orchestrator – James Yan
Score Editor – Wes Hicks
Session Conductor – Daryl Griffith
Orchestra Recording Engineers – Péter Barabás, Gergő Láposi
Orchestral Contractors – Kriszti Lőkös, Réka Lőkös, Csaba Lökös
Orchestral Production By – Maestro Music UK
Orchestra Contracted By – CLMusic
Orchestra Recorded At – Tom Tom Láng Studio, Budapest
Piano Performed By – Daryl Griffith
Piano Recorded At – Pannónia Studio, Budapest
Piano Recording Engineer – Tamás Dragon

Main Ki Karaan
Music – Pritam
Lyrics – Amitabh Bhattacharya
Singers – Sonu Nigam, Romy
Music Arrangement – Anurag Saikia, DJ Phukan, Sunny M.R. & Zafar Ansari
Sound Design – DJ Phukan, Sunny M.R., and Ashwin Kulkarni
Mix & Master – Eric Pillai at Future Sound of Bombay
Chief Engineer & Shootmix – Ashwin Kulkarni
Music Production Manager – Anurag Sharma
Sound Engineers – Ashwin Kulkarni, Aniruddh Anantha, Pranav Gupta, and Harjot Kaur
Vocal Conductors – Akashdeep Sengupta, Dev Arijit & Aniruddh Anantha
Sound Engineer (at Yashraj Studios) – Vijay Dayal
Assistant to Vijay Dayal – Chinmay Mestry
Mixing Assistant to Eric – Michael Edwin Pillai
Musicians
Live Instruments Conducted by DJ Phukan and Anurag Saikia
Guitars – Ishaan Das
Ethnic Stringed Instruments – Tapas Roy
Clarinet – Shirish Malhotra
Whistler – Shubham Shirule
Backing Vocals Design and Perform – Anurag Saikia & Tushar Joshi
Chorus Arranger – Nikhil Paul George
Choral Arranging, Conducting & Soprano Solo – Timbre Cierpke
SONUS Choir: Joy Baker, Reagan Bunce, Tetra Cierpke, Timbre Cierpke, Sadie Dunn, Emily Hinkle, Rachel Stoltz & Danielle Taylor

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Tur Kalleyan
Music – Pritam
Lyrics – Amitabh Bhattacharya
Singers – Arijit Singh, Shadab Faridi & Altamash Faridi
‘Tur Kalleyan’ phrase suggested by Kulvinder Bakshish Singh
Music Arrangement and Production – Himonshu Parikh, DJ Phukan & Sunny M.R.
Sound Design – DJ Phukan and Ashwin Kulkarni
Mix & Master – Shadab Rayeen at New Edge
Chief Engineer & Shootmix – Ashwin Kulkarni
Music Production Manager – Anurag Sharma
Sound Engineers – Ashwin Kulkarn



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