A Musical Hamlet!! (Haider – Music Review)

After turning Macbeth into Maqbool, Othello into Omkara, now it’s time for Vishal Bharadwaj to create his own Hamlet-turned-Haider. Many of us have read Hamlet and know the story but still it will surely be a treat to watch it being captured in Bharadwaj’s camera. Even if you don’t know the story, you’ll get much idea just from the songs and the special among them being Bismil which tells the whole story in the song form. So let’s get drowned ourselves in the weird musical world of Vishal Bharadwaj.Haider_Poster


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Music: Vishal Bharadwaj;  Lyrics: Gulzar;  Music Label: Junglee Music


1. Aao Na – Singer: Vishal Dadlani

One cannot forget the Dhan Te Nan‘s energetic combination and here Vishal is again singing for the other Vishal. Dadlani’s dynamic vocals take the song to a different level. Filled with Rock arrangements, decorated with aggressive Guitars, this song engages you to its core. While listening, you simply cannot concentrate on anything else. Firstly, it draws the listeners towards itself and then holds them until it finishes. The hook line Aao na is damn attractive. Even from far, you can judge this song to be a classy one.


2. Bismil – Singer: Sukhwinder Singh

This is a composition that has been made to tell the story of Hamlet. Gulzar has written in a way that if you carefully analyse each word, you’ll get the idea what actually Haider is about. Sukhwinder has been rightly called up as he is the man who can do complete justice to these kind of unique compositions. Rubab, a instrument very similar to Sarod is paying a very prominent role in making the story melodious. There’s shift in moods in each stanza which has actually made the song damn interesting and since the mood of the composition shifts with the story, it creates excitement as to know what’s gonna happen next. Vishal has nurtured the rhythm section in an utterly delightful way. This is a song that one “Should” and not “Must”, listen. 


3. Khul Kabhi – Singer: Arijit Singh

Bharadwaj comes to his soothing zone where Arijit renders for him for the first time. This is the typical and not the innovative Vishal. The composer has led the arrangements mostly using Violins and the perfectly sounding rhythm with a spell-bound tune that engages enough to force you to play it on a loop. The antara is marvelously astounding, being structured systematically. Gulzar’s poem is way beyond the praise. Arijit is loved by everybody and this song will add some musically sensible people on his list. 


4. Gulon Mein Rang Bhare – Singer: Arijit Singh

Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s extraordinary rendition gets Bharadwaj to be inspired, opting for Arijit to deliver it and most importantly justify it. Now if anybody hasn’t heard the original composition, Arijit would get a standing ovation from him/her. If the listener has heard the original one, obviously he/she won’t be able to find the exact charm and soothe. Vishal has kept the arrangements simply based on Guitar without relying much upon instrumentation so as to keep the basic melody of this song alive and highlighted. You haven’t heard the original? Then don’t! And take your hats off for Vishal and Arijit.


5. Ek Aur Bismil – Singer: Sukhwinder Singh

It’s a bewildering attempt from Bharadwaj. The one that we heard is a slow mood variant track having a lot of melancholy in it and suddenly this ek aur version has been made with a completely different aspect. Rubab was used there which yielded Arabic touch and here he has developed that even more by creating the specific kind of rhythm. The brass section has been focused more which perishes the tribal effect that the rhythm is providing. No it’s not a sequel, not a reprise, not an unplugged, but a complete different song. 


6. Jhelum – Singer: Vishal Bharadwaj

This composition comes under the cliche` category of Vishal Bharadwaj where songs like Khamakha (Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola) lies. Jhelum is a famous Indo-Pakistani river and from that comes the song Jhelum Jhelum, dhundhe kinaara (searching the bank of the river). It starts with haunting Violin effects, and Vishal Bharadwaj’s dreamy vocals supported well with astonishingly splendid Santoor and relevant Guitar strums. The arrangement is fabulous wanting the listener for more. If you know Vishal Bharadwaj, you are gonna love it!


7. So Jao – Singers: Alaap Majgavkar, Sourabh Joshi, Mayukh Sarkar, Muzamil Bhawani, Bashir Bhawani, Bashir Lone

It’s an extended but slow version of Aao Na. Very creatively Bharadwaj has delivered it by making ambient sounds sound like rhythm. The structure of the song is lovable. So many singers for such a small track. I wonder if so many singers were needed for this track. Since all of them are unknowns, it’s tough to guess who is actually leading the song. This track is not an audio material, and is mainly situational. So, the composer has intelligently kept the duration as short as possible. Must attempt if Aao Na is loved. 


8. Do Jahaan – Suresh Wadkar, Shraddha Kapoor

The duet is unique in the way that on one side there’s a veteran and on his opposite is a very new actress-turned-singer. Not unique for the tune though. It’s a heard-before tune specially the line mere do jahaan saath le gaya. I am actually very sure I have heard this tune in a Lata Mangeshkar song mostly of 90s. (Let me know if you find that). The song is entirely on Guitar arrangements. Suresh Wadkar’s part is if outdated, Shraddha’s part is actually a fresh sounding material. She sings in some Kashmiri dialect beautifully. Her voice has been programmed really well reducing the 90s effect which we get from Wadkar’s portion. Lovely Shraddha with a 90s Wadkar.


9. Aaj Ke Naam – Singer: Rekha Bharadwaj

Not anything innovative or unique, still this nazm lives up to the expectation. Bharadwaj saves the last for his beloved. Gulzar has written in the exact way the composition needed. If not for anything, listen for the soothing Tabla. The song, notifies the spirit of women. The song simply says “Cheers to women playing different roles in one lifetime”. This average sounding nazm has been decorated with beautiful instrumentation and prodigious writing by Gulzar.


Haider is one of the few albums of Vishal Bharadwaj where not a single track disappoints. Musically, hugely innovative and lyrically, highly dream-zoned.


The Final Verdict:  AGREE



Next:  Bang Bang 



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