Values, globalization, spirituality, religion, love and fate are the themes that constitute the story of Anwar. Trapped into the thoughts of despair, into the web of loneliness and into the dirty wings of capitalism can make any human being experience hell on earth and suffer this endurance till their last breath. Experience Anwar’s music, which brings an era ridden with the need of revolution to life. The soundtrack, more so the first pair of songs, is a musical tornado of rich Indian musical treasures. Adventuring into this treasure is the most heavenly experience.
Nothing sounds more beautiful than a soulful voice blending with semi-classical music. Inspirational is synonymous to Maula Mere. Carrying only a few instruments in its body, Roop Kumar Rathod’s vocals bring brilliance and density to further embellish this melodic gem. Amalgamating voices from a choice of chorus is another inventiveness while the catchy and rhythmically addictive chants of ‘Maula Mere’ add more breath. The occasional ‘Ishq Hai’ clashes in a positively stunning style with the highly soothing dynamic music, which meshes very well with the deep lyrics of Sayeed Quadri. Subtle electronic music invites a wide delight of other rich sounds like the tabla - which re-affirms that it forms the backbone of a pure Indian song. Semi-classical feel is brought into the picture with the flute and instruments like the piano and synthesizers (strings) leave their moment of spiritual magic in the piece. Why does it have to end? Encore!
Exploration into this dark, doom and dreamy side of love is undertaken in this next gorgeously textured recording. Abstract in nature, its classical base further defines its hypnotic and addictive nature – something close to the earth with the sounds of water from rivers flowing, the loneliness of souls and the evocation of feelings. Melancholy electronic wandering samples coupled with semi-classical alaaps and chorus produce a fuzzy-ambient piece. Haunting female vocals backed by melodic piano notes make Javeda Zindagi irresistible. And the alluring part is it is a duet – but an unparalleled one at that. Developing a snail’s pace, Kshitij’s voice blends into these guitar riffs, tabla pieces and soft strings delicately. Complex and sensible, the piece marries genres and experiences and captures sounds and moods unheard before. Indian music presented in its raw form to be appreciated and which is proudly standing on the emotional intensity of Shlipa Rao’s breathy effervescent vocals. The orchestra responds superbly, the sound is brilliant and clear – is this a dream? Fortunately no. It’s real.
The man behind these two above gems is Mithoon, the nation’s newest and youngest sensation. All of twenty-one years in age, one is really out of words here to describe his creativity, sincerity and harmonic melodies. Hats off!
The rest of the tracks are composed by Pankaj Awasthi.
Lost, depressed and aghast reflect the state of mind of the vocalist in this next piece. Unequally rich in music, the deepness of the song lies in the expressive vocals – a cry for a beloved who is now far away. This painful suffering of love is evoked in Dilbar Mera. A noir mood is settled throughout where the screeching musical notes and abrupt rhythms are repeated. Neither thoughtful nor dense, the piece exhibits a manifestation of deprived affection – with an instrumental show of tablas and violins played in a depressed mode. Pankaj Awasthi’s efforts to expose this troubled mind of worry, heartbreak and revenge is commendable although the piece takes time to be appreciated. His rough vocals, coupled with the semi-classical music, make the piece an incoherent one. The voice diverges from the standard classical vocal range and results into a pure outlier.
Emotions are felt in the voice of Pankaj Awasthi in Jo Maine Aas Lagayi. Intentionally situational, the short piece touches the nerves because of the difficulty in finding anything enchanting.
The flute occupies the heart of Anwar’s Dream – A Symphony in Blue, which is an instrumental dreamy sequence. The weak and nomad music deviates it from a quality piece and nearly ends up as a quasi-cacophony. Basically lacking a standing, the theme doesn’t strike any chords. The densely complex, intriguing and musically powerless Into the Black combines cheap keyboard sounds with classical pieces by Pankaj Awasthi. The short length kills the theme at embryo level and prevents it from maturing into a situational track. Seriously missing its soul, the music ends up as a poor situational piece, which will be lost in the screenplay. Mela – Shadow of Sunlight follows the same classical alaaps with rhythmic patterns of the keyboards. As part of the background music, the short piece is empty in all senses - an instrumental filler with no thrills.
Bring Shilpa Shetty to dance on Bangla Khula! Charged with energy, Megha Sriram is the soul of this track which tends to be mischievous. Arrangement wise, this Ghunghroo composed tune turns out to be poorly lively due to its already heard before fast paced music, highly weird lyrics by Dharam Sarthi and the copy of Anu Malik’s chorus. The Bangla Khula (Dance Mix) by Vishvjeet manages to be quite exciting due to the beats and arrangements. The westernization of the piece is unsuitable but fans of high beats might have some fun, but with no Shilpa in the picturization!
Anwar is one of those albums that is a meaningful journey to the sounds of pure Indian melody, semi-classical verses and vocally enriching experiences. Pankaj Awasthi’s dreamy epic instrumentals and densely complex classical singing add nothing superior. And they seem mostly randomly rhythmic chaos with more situational music than solid instrumentals. It appears that he was replaced as there are two opposite sounds in the album. Mithoon’s first two compositions are experiments in rhythms, voices, genres and he finally ends up being the master, even at experimental levels. Imagine his future now! The assortment of sounds, chorus and instruments perfectly captures the mood of the story. Mithoon brings the sound programming at par with experienced music directors. His realistically musical flight leaves listeners in a space where relaxing or spiritual exercises are welcomed. Imaginative, he chooses the best voices (Roop Kumar Rathod) and newcomers to pour their soul and heart in each piece. Lyrically speaking, the poetry is yet another perfect piece in this musical puzzle.
The soundtrack asks to be appreciated and meditated to. The feeling of listening to such music is purely spiritual and inspirational. Ever experienced of what music can be when it is thoughtful and deeply felt? 'Maula Mere’ and ‘Javeda Zindagi’ (Tose Naina Lagey) are the answers.