Baadshaho Music Review

Ajay Devgn is seen in a still from the song “Rashk-e-Qamar” in “Baadshaho.” (photo provided)

Album: “Baadshaho” (T-Series)

Music: R.D. Burman, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Tanishk Bagchi, Abhijit Vaghani, Ankit Tiwari & Traditional

Lyrics: Sant Kabir, Sahir Ludhianvi, Fana Buland Shehri & Manoj Muntashir

Dear Milan Luthria-sir,

I have always hugely respected your sense of melody and lyrics and the way you choose and integrate your songs in your films. I have great admiration for the melodious outcome of “Kachche Dhaage,” “Chori Chori,” “Once Upon A Time In Dobaara” and “Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai Dobaara.”

I know you tend to use at least one re-creation in most of your films, like the twin hits of R.D. Burman in “OUATIM” ingeniously blended by Pritam and his “Taiyab Ali” in its sequel, besides the chartbuster “Ooh La La” that Vishal-Shekhar reworked in “The Dirty Picture.” There was also “Jab Chhaye Mera Jadoo” reworked in “Hatrick” and a Pakistani Qawwali that was incorporated into “Kachche Dhaage” though it WAS a Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan composition like the rest of that score.

But never have I been so much disillusioned by a Milan Luthria soundtrack as by “Baadshaho.” Sir, your weakest outings till now were “Hatrick” and “The Dirty Picture” with just one good original song (“I Am Coming Home” and “Ishq Sufiyana”) each. But what do we see in a big film like “Baadshaho,” which is your co-production with the leading music label in the Hindi film industry?

We begin with Fana Buland Shehri’s poem “Rashk-e-Qamar” (spelled as “Rashke Kamar” by those apathetic to and ignorant of Urdu). This is an old Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan composition that has been “brought back” with the help of Tanishk Bagchi (who does good original work when allowed, like your film’s co-release “Shubha Mangal Saavdhan” proves) with additional lyrics functionally written by Manoj Muntashir.

Nothing inspiring here, though the song works superficially because of its intrinsic strength, and as a nostalgic gimmick. And you have used technology to bring in a whiff of Nusrat’s vocals amidst the singing of his nephew, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. But a passing appeal apart, there is nothing to savor and nothing here that lingers.

About the female version by Tulsi Kumar and Shabab Sabri – I would prefer not to comment on the assault on our senses here. As if two are not “two” much, there is a reprise version by Rahat again.

There is also “Socha Hai,” which we are told is now off the movie (because of problems with music rights!) and all networks (well, I heard it on today, so someone’s pulling a fast one). This is Muntashir’s and Bagchi’s part re-treatment of the popular 1975 “Deewaar” hit “Keh Doon Tumhein” written by Sahir Ludhianvi and composed by R.D. Burman. The excerpts from the original are included in this Jubin Nautiyal-Neeti Mohan song. But R.D. Burman and Sahir must be cursing technology that made this possible. This is a gasping rendition by Jubin Nautiyal with a decent performance from Neeti Mohan. And lo and listen! This one has another version too, which is called “Love Version”! Socha Hai, but I don’t quite understand the rationale, rhyme or reason for this description!

So this film sets a kind of record by having FIVE versions in all of two re-created worse-ions!

Finally, among the unoriginal, we have “Piya More” by Mika Singh and Neeti Mohan, where Mohan is more herself than in “Socha Hai,” and Mika warbles his mechanical way through. This song is composed by Ankit Tiwari, and like most of his songs do not have recall value even five minutes after it is over. But what have we here? This song is also mired in controversy as being very similar to what Tiwari has palmed off to another, smaller producer! So, again due to legalities, we will hear a slightly altered version in your film. Gawd! Is this a soundtrack from the same director whose music peaks we have mentioned in the beginning???

Then there is “Hoshiyaar Rehna” rendered by Neeraj Arya’s band Kabir Cafe, which is a fun and satirical creation of Sant Kabir, a traditional song with great verse, sung and composed with the correct modern feel by them. BUT – this one’s not specially created for the film either!

So, Milan-sir, WHO, if any, are the composers and lyricists of your new musical thriller? No one has created a completely original song, forget something as worthy as “Ishq Di Galli” from “Kachche Dhaage” or “Aate Aate Aa Gaye Paas Hum” from “Chori Chori.” Apologies for the frank angst of an admirer of your past music.

Rating: 2/5 (more out of respect for the originals)

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