A composer who had lost contact from Bollywood music after he got separated from his former music partner Pritam, ruled the Bengali film music excellently. He tried hard to regain his position in Bollywood. Many times he got success too. But there was a void which was still left after many successful albums. That void was finally filled last year by one of the most successful albums of the last decade Aashiqui 2. Jeet Ganguly had the most number of songs in that album and he got his first Filmfare for that. Few days back, we got the news that Rajkumar Rao and Hansal Mehta won National Awards for best acting and best direction respectively for the film Shahid. So, Citylights has basically the best music director, best actor and best director of last year. So, there’s hardly any chance of leaving anything related to this film. Also, there’s a new lyricist in the town, Rashmi Singh. It is her first film album.
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Music: Jeet Ganguly; Lyrics: Rashmi Singh; Music Label: Sony Music
1. Muskurane / Muskurane (Unplugged) – Singer: Arijit Singh / Mohammed Irfan
After a long time, we get to hear Esraj. I should not call it a typical Bollywood melody as it has been very well instrumented and arranged. The Piano flicks are fabulously played, supported well by Violin and Esraj in the first and second antara respectively. By seeing the trailer, it seems that Rashmi Singh has written exactly according to the situation. It is all about the struggling life, the couple spent in Mumbai. Jo mile usme kaat lenge hum, thodi khushiyaan thode aansu baant lenge hum. The song has been mixed very well and it sounds great to ears. Arijit Singh’s soulful voice spells and spreads the magic on the listener. The Unplugged version has Mohammed Irfan, the second favorite of listeners these days. This sad melody gets more saddened in the unplugged version. The lyrics gets slightly changed and there’s Piano and Violin only, absenting Esraj from the scene. Piano, in this version is truly enchanting. It leaves a slight Pritam-ish impact too. Due to the Piano piece, I find the unplugged version better. Sad, soulful and endearing.
2. Darbadar – Singer: Neeti Mohan
It’s a very complex tune and a very different one from the regular tunes of Jeet Ganguly. The arrangement is also quite captivating, as if something continuously keeps you engaged. The choice of singer is very unique as I cant imagine Neeti Mohan’s voice for this melody. Although she managed unimaginably, she sounds very similar to Chitra Singh. The tune of the first two lines have a haunting sound and the rest of the mukhda sounds like a 90’s song. Lyrics is again very apt for the film. It is one of the most difficult compositions by Jeet Ganguly.
3. Ek Charraiya / Ek Charraiya (Unplugged) – Singer: Arijit Singh / Jeet Ganguly
Jeet Ganguly meets versatility in this sweet folksy melody using a Jaltarang-like sound and an enormously sweet tune by Guitar. Violin, in the antara is enchanting. Arijit has done a complete makeover of his voice. It’s a treat for his fans to listen him in a croaky though wheezy voice which has worked in his favor. If the lyrics is not inspired by any folk song, it is highly applauding for a debutante to write such sweet and thoughtful lyrics. The song reminds of some of the old RD Burman’s Bengali songs that used to have similar kind of melody. We get to hear Jeet Ganguli’s voice for the first time in the unplugged version of this song. It’s good but you can’t help comparing it with Arijit’s voice and then it has to fail. His voice seemed plane and staid in comparison with Arijit’s vocals. There are very minor differences in this version, notably in the use of percussion. A lovely melody which is musically and lyrically cute and uniquely sung. #WelcomeSong
4. Soney Do – Singer: Arijit Singh
This is one of those songs which do not rely much upon the composition and the basic melody but on the way it has been recorded, arranged and sung. It is a masterpiece when considering the overall mixing Eric Pillai has done and the arrangements which has given each sound the required importance. Notably, the droning sound which gives a thrilling impact to the song. That droning sound could have had a very irritating texture if it had not been treated properly. The tune is quite dull in the mukhda but it gets easy on ears as the song proceeds. Arijit has done a complete justification with this Jog raga based song which belongs to the Khamaaj thaat. He rendered the tune perfectly as well lived up to the technicality. Lyrics is poetic yet real. A positive result of a classy mixing and arranging.
5. Citylights – Singer: Usha Uthup, Ustad Rashid Khan
It’s a nice fusion track which has Ustad Rashid Khan for the classical part and Usha Uthup for the pop half. Although there’s not much scope of a good tune, still Jeet Ganguly has managed to keep the listeners engaged. This engagement is mainly because of Ustad Rashid Khan as the classical part is quite catchy and interesting. There didn’t seem any need for Usha Uthup as she got just one line to croon i.e citylights. The rhythm has been kept fast paced with Electric Guitars and light but dynamic percussion. The weakest of the album, still engaging.
Citylights is a path-breaking soundtrack for Vishesh Films as they have finally kept aside their conventional romantic sound. All the songs are unique in their own way. Muskurane is a romantic melody which is soulful and has brilliant instrumentation. Darbadar is good but Soney Do is excellent in terms of sound and arrangement. Citylights sounds weak but deserves a listen. This leaves us with the best track of the album Ek Charraiya which has a folksy sound rendered perfectly by Arijit Singh. After extracting the best from Rajkumar Rao in Shahid, Hansal Mehta has extracted the best from Jeet Ganguly.
The Final Verdict: POSSIBLE
The Verdict Order: DISAGREE < NOT A PROBLEM < OKAY < POSSIBLE < AGREE
Listeners Ki Sameekshaa (Public Review)
- A good attempt by Jeet. The good news is that he didn’t remake any Bengali song this time.
- Ek charraiya is the best track of Jeet till date. It’s a masterpiece. Well balanced album I should say.
- It’s truly the best work of Jeet. I loved all the songs. Soney Do is a mind blowing haunting melody and Darbadar, Ek Charraiya are beautiful too. Muskurane is a bit normal.
- Jeet surprised me big time. 9/10 for this album. Best of his career.
Next: Kuku Mathur Ki Jhand Ho Gayi