On his Facebook page recently Aamir Khan wrote, "..In Ram Sampath, I predict that a STAR is born!!! He has been a talent in hiding for sometime now, and post Delhi Belly nothing can stop him. Mark my words...."
Well let’s mark his words then! Until a few weeks ago Ram Sampath was indeed a past tense…a music director who had failed to create a lasting impression on the Bollywood scene with his previous soundtracks (Khakee, Family etc…) and was history. But talent never dies and that’s clearly something Aamir Khan saw in Ram Sampath by handing him arguably his biggest project to date, the music to the highly anticipated (adult) comedy caper Delhi Belly. Note it’s not DB that marks his return as only a few weeks ago we heard his super fun and addictive music to Luv Ka The End. However without question, it’s the music to Delhi Belly that will make or break his career so let’s see if he passes the hardest test of his career…to put things into perspective the music must be an ingenious cocktail of innovation, wackiness, variety, energy, adult comedy, satire and ideally new age fusion to support the Aamir Khan Production banner. Ahem, easier said than done right?
Woohoo welcome to NEW AGE rock fusion! “Bhag D.K. Bose” (Track 1) is already a RAGE thanks to a brilliant promo video - mostly for good reasons and partly for the wrong ones but whichever way you look at it the song is a breath of fresh air in every way imaginable! This addictive ballad moves at a pace of lightening thanks to some peppy punk rock arrangements smothered by an acoustic (then later electric) guitar and drums making it insanely catchy and infectious- the mandolin’s appearance mid-way is irresistible! Ram Sampath keeps up the pace in the singing department and you just know from the way he sings this that he’s having a complete blast from start to end! And for his first Bollywood song he does fantastically well though it's no surprise considering he’s uttering the most ingenious lyrics that you will hear in a long while, written by path breaking lyricist Amitabh Bhattacharya. These rebellious and free thinking lines have connected with the youth and it's no surprise because there are multiple (anti) social messages beneath the surface here. But talks of censorship are ridiculous, if you understand the double meaning of this song then good for you and if you don’t there’s no need to lose sleep over it, there’s still a lot to amuse yourself so please just enjoy the song for what it is. Note the hook line “Bhag D.K. Bose” is a creation of Akshat Verma who is the film’s script writer and of course, being ingenious it had the approval of a certain Mr. Aamir Khan. Overall this is one helluva jackass song that challenges the status quo (in more ways than one!) and laughs in the face of the usual trash we hear in Bollywood! It is new age music and one of the very best of 2011. Ram Sampath you have done it…but personally I salute the genius lyricist who is redefining the concept of writing. Take a bow AB!
Phew the high energy of the previous song is calmed with the next “Nakkadwaley Disco Uddharwaley Khisko” (Track 2), which must be one of the most stylish takes on the qawwali genre in a long while! Whilst the usual qawwali instrumentation is present, it is used in a slow satirical manner and kept in the background with pop arrangements reverbing at the core- the effect is quirky and unusual but very cool indeed! What’s more the comic lines (by Akshat Verma and Munna Diman) will leave you amused and fit in perfectly with the on screen antics of the film. The slow singing by Keerthi Sagathia is intentional and adds a ‘serious’ effect. Overall this one will be appreciated more on screen as it isn’t as catchy as the opener but it’s still incredibly clever and charming nonetheless. Deserves a try or two and then you too might just get hooked onto this chillin' new age qawwali twister. Super slick!
After a couple of slow songs we get back into the flow with the rustic sounding dance number “Bedardi Raja” (Track 4). Ram Sampath doesn’t experiment so much with the original version here so it’s catchy and easy to groove to. The dhols in particular are addictive and melodious. The vocals by Sona Mohapatra are rustic but super sexy! The interesting factor comes in the form of the quirky and amusing lyrics by AB. This should be a blast on screen for sure. Oh and if you are really getting into the groove of the hatke nature of the soundtrack then be sure to catch the “Grind Mix” later (Track 9) because it absolutely rocks.
Hahaha…there are hook lines and then there’s “Jaa Churail” (Track 5). Well that’s the odd title and hook line (created by Akshat Verma) for our next track but suffice to say what you are about to hear is one hilarious song that will have you in stiches! Yes credit is due to AB’s fantastic lines again but honestly, if a lesser singer sang them they would not have had the same effect. Ram Sampath’s choice is a masterstroke as upcoming talent Suraj Jagan evokes those lines in truly mind-blowing fashion! Emotions such as love, hurt, passion, jealousy, anger and hatred are received LOUD and CLEAR (add an apostrophe or two) but the thing is against the comic backdrop of the music (kickass rock fusion!), they just tickle you even more! Just pay attention to the way he extenuates the hook line and the way he growls out words such as “churaaaaiiilll” “fidddda” and “go to helllllll”, his feelings of pain and and anger (at being dumped) sound so real it’s palpable. Devilishly funny, this is another ingenious effort!
Ok enough of the laughter folks, it’s time for a bit of romance with Track 6 “Tere Siva” . Hmm, not sure if there’s a parody in the conventional approach taken by Ram Sampath with this song but it really does sound pretty ‘typical’. Yes percussive drum beats amalgamated with a traditional soft dhol is soothing indeed but it’s nothing new right? The ‘typical’ feel may also be something to do with the fact that AB’s lyrics are missing but then that’s probably intentional given the nature of the song! Singing is by Ram Sampath and Tarannum Malik and they do a reasonable job. As pleasant as it is, the song sounds well out of place on this album but at least it adds variety? A wee bit disappointing then...
The last original song on the soundtrack is the fabulous fusion of tradition and pop called “I Hate You (Like I Love You)” (Track 8). When you peel away the layers here you find another intricate song thanks to more experiments applied by the composer. The key to the success here is the amalgamation of tradition and pop and it’s achieved through the use of repeating two sets of chorus lines, firstly “I Hate You Like I love You” (rendered by Sona Mohapatra and Shazneen Arethna) and then “Tere Pyar Ne Kar Diya Deewana” (rendered by Keerthi Sagathia) on a mainly retro pop background…well we all know it shouldn’t work but it somehow does! In between this we have the odd vocal bursts from Aamir Khan thrown in for good measure (“Dil todduu haddi bhi, kungfu kaylun kabaddi bhi”). But otherwise these lines (by Akshat Verma and Ram Sampath) mean absolutely nothing however add the on screen antics and it will surely explode into life! Then just when you think it’s all over you get a 2 minute qawwali encore that puts the icing on the cake, bravo Ram Sampath bravo!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again! In order to truly appreciate bold and innovative soundtracks like Dehli Belly you are going to have to watch the film as the music (apart from the odd song like “Bhag D.K. Bose” which is insanely catchy) is very hatke but also very relevant to the crazy antics associated with the script of the film. Otherwise chances are you will plead ignorance and catch the next typical masala rubbish that we get by the droves elsewhere. Open your ears people, this is NEW AGE music and it’s an absolute treat to listen to. Amit Trivedi (the original king of new age fusion) has some competition at long last in the form of Ram Sampath who has come of age himself...P.s. Someone just shouted “Bhag D.K. Bose” for song of the year!