Ever since I listened to the OST of Aamir, I became a huge fan of music director Amit Trivedi. Haara, Phas Gaya, Ha Raham, Ek Lau…Every song in Aamir oozes innovation, hard work and sheer talent. Needless to say, when the music of Dev.D came out, I was jumping with joy. Prior to the music’s release, I had been following Anurag Kashyap’s blogs on PassionForCinema.com, and I read that after playing the song Duniya for Anurag, Amit revealed that it took him six songs to get there. After checking out those six songs, Anurag says that he decided Dev.D would become a musical, and he rewrote the entire script. Now, with information like that at the back of my mind, I thought to myself, Amit’s compositions must be pretty darn good for a writer-director to change his entire script to lend itself to a musical, without that being the original intent. And, by God, it’s true--all the compositions in Dev.D are not just pretty darn good, they are magnificent! Guys, Amit Trivedi has presented us with the biggest musical gift ever—18 tracks, all in one OST, Dev.D, each track sounding unique and fresh and convincing us that Amit Trivedi is a genius when it comes to music composition. You think I’m exaggerating, eh? Well, let’s check out each of the 18 tracks right now.
Tired of the musical attyachar we’ve been suffering through in 2008? Never fear, Emosanal Attyachar, the Brass Band Version (3.59), is here to the rescue. I’ve never heard such a unique band-baajaa composition—while the lyrics of the song revolve around the pain of a break-up (Dev and Paro’s break-up), the band-baajaa music is joyous and festive. Master Rangeela and Rasila sing the song with such seriousness that it actually ends up making you giggle as some of the lyrics like, “Smoking smoking nikle re dhuaa…Arrey what to tell you darling kyaa huaa,” just sounds funny with trumpets blasting your ears throughout the song! The way they pronounce emotional as “emosonal” and tragedy as “trageedeey” is really funny. I couldn’t help but imagine, while listening to this song, how funny it would be if Devdas showed up at Paro’s wedding as a member of the band-baajaa troupe and started singing this song, scaring the living daylights out of all the guests! Okay, I’ll stop my silly ideas attyachar. But, all jokes apart, this is one wickedly awesome and fun composition, and lyricist Amitabh Bhattacharya packs the song with plenty of innovative phrases such as, “yeh dil pighlaake saaz banaaloon, dhadkan ko awaaz banaaloon,” and “arrey sapnay dekhe jannat ke par mitti mein mil jaayein.” In short, this is the perfect song to celebrate all your break-ups!
While the way Amit Trivedi starts off singing Duniya (3.51) does remind one of Chakkar Ghumiyo from Aamir, the song is quite different and fun to listen to (and sing along to). I love the way Amit sings “jhee-jhee-jhee” and pronounces “tamasha” as “tamaasaa” and stretches the “haaye duniyaa, yeh duniyaa baddi gol hai” part. Amitabh Bhattacharya draws from phrases today’s youth uses such as “jhol,” “agadam tigadam,” “chappa-chappa.” The use of the harmonium in the song is also nice.
Nayan Tarse (3.08), also sung by Amit Trivedi, is another splendid song and is one of my favorites. The opening with strings, guitar and trumpet is dramatic and immediately catches your attention. 42 seconds into the song the beat picks up with the drums. Amit Trivedi sings very nicely in the lower octave. Even though the song has rock flavors to it, Amitabh Bhattacharya uses words normally included in classical songs such as “nayan,” “daras,” “malhaar,” and “bisar,” which is quite innovative and makes the song unique. It’s a song in which the protagonist is trying to get over his grief and past, it seems, with the repetition of words like “swahaah” normally used in havans. My favorite stanza in the song is, “saawan barse…chuban de hazaar, sawan barase…gaali si lage malhaar…” Absolutely beautiful!
Pardesi (4.0), sung by Tochi, has a rustic feel to it, mainly due to Tochi’s pronunciation style. The use of the sitar xylophone is interesting. Shellee’s lyrics are excellent, “Raam ji karo beda paar, Waqt ne kar daalaa bantaadhaar. Ib ke howegaa rey agge yaar, Mann baawli baawli buchh saa laagey, Kabhi itt doley kabhi utt bhaagey,” “dil ki takhti pe naam likhaa teraa.”
Are you feeling depressed? Well, Saali Khushi (3.12) is the perfect song to listen to when you’re feeling down. Once again Amit Trivedi grabs the mic, and Amitabh Bhattacharya pens down the lyrics. The use of the word “saali” to refer to “khushi” stands out and sounds just like the way people from our generation talk. The song has a brooding feel to it. “Dhoondoon kaise, hai aas bhi…jali hui” is another powerful line by Amitabh. According to Amit Trivedi, Amitabh is a singer and writing is just a hobby for him…well, I hope this hobby ends up being a full time occupation for him because he is AWESOME at it!
Paayaliya (5.54) sung by Shruthi Pathak (Mar Jaawaan from Fashion) and written by her, also, is perhaps the best composition in the entire Dev.D OST. The words “stunning” and “beautiful” are understatements for this song in which everything—the lyrics, the singing, the choice of instruments—is perfect. The sounds of the paayal, the use of the shehnaai, and Shruthi’s classical style singing is fantastic. It’s the longest track on the CD, but, honestly, you just can’t get enough of this song—this is one of those songs worth listening to again and again and again and again…The lyrics are very sweet— “paayaliyaa chan-chan-chan-chan shor kare, piyaa ghar jaaoon….Araj-araj kare, karaj-karajwaa ko karey har pal bechain. Daras daras ko kahey paayaliyaa aas lagaavey din rein.”
Mahi Menu (2.53) is a short track crooned and it happens to be crooned by one of my favorite Punjabi singers, Labh Janjua. The lyrics by Shellee get the point across clearly— “Mahi menu nahin karnaa pyaar! Rabba! Main hun karaan das ki?!,” “Kivey kodaa ghut lavaan hun pi?” The song is upbeat and will make you want to dance. But the lyrics and Labh Janjua’s style of singing make it seem as if the protagonist has fallen in love out of his own will and can’t stand it.
Amit Trivedi renders Aankh Micholi (4.0) and he also shares the lyrics-writing job for this song with Amitabh Bhattacharya. The xylophone sounding instrument (or, maybe it actually is the xylophone) gives the song a slightly mysterious feel every now and then. Raman Mahadevan does a good job with providing backing vocals. The feelings conveyed in this song are those that everyone can relate to: “Kaisi kaisi aankh macholi khele zindagi? Kabhi door, kabhi paas aaye, kabhi yun hi muskuraaye, kabhi aaye jaaye, aaye jaaye, aisi zindagi...,” “Kaisey kaisey rulaaye zindagi! Kaise kaisey nachaaye zindagi.” Yup, life can be frustrating at times, no?
Newcomer Aditi Singh Sharma does a terrific job of singing Yahi Meri Zindagi (3.43). The bird chirping and use of string instruments gives the song a dramatic feel. This is a song bound to be picturized on Chanda. Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics offer insight into the innocent side of Chanda: “Kudrat muskurati hai meri naadaani pe.” Chanda, in Dev.D, seems to be one who enjoys her life— “Suraj ki kuch boondey tapki hai peshaani pe, Sargoshi khud sey karti hoon pehraani mei…Yahi meri zindagi hai…khil khilaake main toh udd chali.” I like how the song picks up tempo and then slows down and then picks up pace again.
Dhol Yaara Dhol (4.10) is also another one of my favorite songs from Dev.D. Shilpa Rao’s deep voice and soulful singing is always a treat to listen to. Kshitij Taare (Mushkil Khushaa from Dus Kahaniyaan) accompanies Shilpa gracefully, but it is Shilpa who steals the show. Shellee’s lyrics are amazing and full of rich imagery: “Chaa gayaa mujh pe jaadoo kar ke, Vaari tore jaaoon main sadke, Dhol yaaraa dhol. Mann mei mori hook uthi hai, Koyal jaise kookh uthi hai, Dhol yaaraa dhol…Mauj ki peengey jhooloon, De de mohe haath de de. Ambar udd ke choo loon, Tore saath saath tore,” “Oh Ranjhanaa mere yaar, Tori sang, Tori sang, Rangi rangaayi, Preet mei tori main hoon nahaayi. Khushiyon ki khatiyaa hogi, Sang hongey hum tum yaaraa, Waah waah re, Waah waah. Preet mei baawanri ho jaaoon main oh, Jism kaa tore aanchal odh loon main oh, Tujhpe qurbaan ho jaaoon…Tu sang toh baat ban jaaye.” I like the way Shilpa pronounces "ishq" as "issak", giving the song a folk touch.
Joi sings Ek Hulchul Si (4.28) with a lot of energy and enthusiasm. It’s a loud rock number, not necessarily one you’d want to listen to often like some of the other songs on the CD, but it really is filled with optimism and should lift your spirits when you’re feeling a bit fed up of life’s low moments. Some of the lines Amitabh Bhattacharya has written are worth bringing to your attention, “Dhadkan maheen, Dil mei jagaati ek hulchul si. Kohraa hata ke suraj jalaati ek hulchul si…Zindaa hai ek hulchul si. Hadh nazar ki jahaan talak hai, Ek bharam hai, Woh jo dhanak hai, Sach hai…Jeene ki ek talab phir jagaaye ek hulchul si, Bujhti saanso si ko kash banaaye ek hulchal si…”
Hikknaal (3.47) is a fun, Punjabi dance number filled with masti and sung by Labh Janua. I love the phrase Shellee comes up with, “ankhaan dunaali” and “udaa de totey.” The ek-taaraa/banjo sounding instruments really establish a playful mood throughout the song, and I enjoy the way Labh says “ashe-ashe” before “ashique.” Oye, aa jaao! Get up and bhangra paao naa yaaro!!!
Bound to be picturized on Chanda, Dil Mein Jaage (3.01) is written and sung by Anusha Mani (Lazy Lamhe from Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic) and she sounds so mischievous. The piano is used generously throughout the song. Anusha’s deep voice is addictive to listen to and it’s great the way she can sing the high pitched “o-o-o” notes. She seems to be having lots of fun in the song, making me wonder if Chanda in Dev.D is going to be portrayed as a Chandramukhi who loves her lifestyle. “Dil mein jaage armaan aise, Kho jaaoon khwaabon mein. Neela ambar halke baadal, Bhar loon main aanchal mein. Saanso mein sargam gaaye, Haule haule kuch keh jaaye. Dhuaan dhuaan hai ye samaa, Lagta hai saara jahaan hai mera.” Or, maybe the song is an expression of Chanda’s feelings when she falls in love with Dev. Guess we’ll have to wait for the film to come out to find out, no?
Emotional Attyachar Rock Version (4.01) is a really loud rock number sung by Bonny Chakravarthy with a lot of vigor and dedication. He sounds so angry, just as the song requires. It actually sounds as if he’s ready to beat the…you know what out of someone! The yelling is kind of hard on the ears if you aren’t into such numbers, but Bonny’s energy is commendable. It’s one of those songs you can scream off the top of your lungs when you are absolutely furious. Just make sure no one is around you unless you’ve got earplugs to supply. Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics are full of agony, “Barpaa jo ek shor hai, Pukhtaa hai pur zor hai…Khud se aankhein hi naa mil paaye…Aankhon ke aage jo hai, Manzar laava barsaaye. Jalta hai dil jalta hai, Til til main jalta hoon…Is lamhe ki haqeequat gawaara naa kar paaye, Jaltaa hai dil…Hat jaa re, hat jaa re, nazaro sey pare…Ansoon mere behte rehte khoon ke…Aankhon ka hai dhokhaa, Aisaa teraa pyaar, Teraa emotional attyachaar.” Oh, and by the way, Amitabh also throws in the “B” word twice towards the end…Wow!
Ranjhana (1.47) is a very short song full of pathos and is sung by Shilpa Raoh and Kshitij Tare. Once again, lyrics are by Shellee. The use of the sarangi is beautiful. I have a feeling this song is for after Dev D’s death…maybe (I speculate a lot, don’t I?)
Mahi Mainu Sad Version (1.21) is another short track, but Labh Janjua sings this song soulfully and almost a cappella. It’s a cry of pain. “Mahi Mainu NAHIN Karnaa Pyaar.” Ah! The pain, confusion (and beauty) of love.
Dev-Chanda Theme 1 (2.23), rendered by Neuman Pinto and Bianca Gomes, is catchy, playful, and the opening reminds me of the opening to Kaisi Paheli from Parineeta. The pa-pa-para part is cute. Grab your loved one and dance away to this song.
Dev-Chanda Theme 2 (1.47) is outstanding...brilliant…so surreal and mysterious. It just leaves you speechless and lost in thought after listening to. Abhijeet plays the violin wonderfully and Amit Trivedi’s whistling is haunting. This is a captivating composition. I’m left awestruck.
I really don’t have words to express my admiration for Amit Trivedi after listening to Dev.D’s 18 tracks. He really is a genius and has shown us he really knows his job well—each song is unique and Trivedi explores different genres—Rajasthani folk, rock music, band-baajaa, Awadhi, Punjabi, European styles music…amazing!
According to an interview with Amit Trivedi, he said that the music of Dev.D is supposed to be the “Baap of different genres.” He’s wrong—it isn’t the baap of all music genres, it’s the Daadaaji! I can’t wait for the release of Amit Trivedi’s next project, Condition Applied.
Guys, get away from your computer, run to your local music shop and grab a bunch of copies of Dev.D’s CD for yourself and to hand out to everyone you know. It isn’t every day that we get to listen to such outstanding compositions. Here is a BIG round of applause for you, Amit Trivedi—You ROCK, dude, you rock!