Music: Jeet Gannguli
Lyrics: Rashmi Singh
Singers: Arijit Singh, Mohammed Irfan, Neeti Mohan, Jeet Gannguli, Ustad Rashid Khan and Usha Uthup
National Film Award winner Hansal Mehta collaborates with his National Film Award winner muse Rajkummar Rao for his upcoming film CityLights, which is an official remake of the British film Metro Manila. Mahesh Bhatt and Mukesh Bhatt’s Vishesh Films is producing the venture along with Fox Star Studios. The film chronicles the journey of a common village man who shifts to Mumbai for a better livelihood. He along with his wife overcome the various challenges that come their way. Having so many impressive people altogether in a film, the music definitely needed to be coming from one of the best. There are huge expectations from Jeet Gannguli’s next album after his very successful Aashiqui 2. So do the songs impress us? Let us find out in the song by song music review:
Muskurane: Sung by Arijit Singh, this song is the perfect opening for any album. The song is mesmerising and it is Arijit’s velvety voice that takes your pleasure quotient to another level of high. Jeet Gannguli’s composition is lilting, and the simple yet meaningful lyrics leave you awestruck. The musical arrangement is superb and you can’t get enough of this song. The song beautifully describes everything that’s happening in your life.
There is another Unplugged version of the song sung by Mohammed Irfan, which is equally beautiful. Mohammed Irfan’s mellifluous voice makes you go numb on you senses. More aptly, this song shows you how a same song can be sung in two different ways by two of the most romantic singers of the present times. But unfortunately, Arijit Singh’s version is a happy song, while Mohammed Irfan’s version is more on the sad lines and therefore a bit slow. You might lose interest in the middle and want to get back to Arijit, but trust us both the songs are equally enthralling.
Soney Do: Crooned by Arijit Singh, this song is a deep thoughtful number which is a perfect combination of western beats and Indian classical music. Arijit’s voice sounds well in this brooding track, which comes as a welcome change for his fans who have always heard him doing romantic tracks and peppy numbers. The whole composition is so fantastic then when you listen to the track you can actually visualize the situation along with it. The classical interludes, along with the thought-provoking lyrics make this song an overall delight to hear.
Ek Charraiya: This song by Arijit is a simple, earthy and gives you the feel of a lullaby. For some reason, there is a certain bit of huskiness in Arijit’s voice, which is unavoidable to the listener, and it keeps ticking you every bit of the song. The tune is not catchy in the beginning, but after a couple of lines you start humming along with the singer. The song has a feel of Bengal’s earthiness as it seems like a Bengali folk number, and it is not surprising as Jeet Gannguli has scored music for zillions of Bengali films, and he has used that experience to good effect here. The composition is simple but the lyrics are pathos arousing. The minimal usage of instruments in this song disguises the fact that that this can be considered a not so good song coming from Arijit Singh.
There is also an unplugged version of the song, which has been sung by Jeet and this one somehow is better than Arijit’s version. Jeet’s singing is nice. There is hardly any difference in the two songs, apart from the fact that who is a better singer. Although Arjit is the better singer, in this song it is Jeet who comes out with a better version. Maybe Arijit was having a bad voice day!
Darbadar: Sung by Neeti Mohan, this song takes sometime to capture your attention. It is a typical dance bar song, which describes not just the big bad world, but also gives a ray of hope along with it. Neeti’s voice has been very aptly used and the apt lyrics suggest that this song will definitely be integral to the plot of the film as it kind of acts as an eye opener for the protagonist, Rajkummar Rao. The lyrics and the tune convey the angst of the central character in the film and describes ably his futile search a better livelihood. This song definitely will not be hummed a lot many times as it will create the effect only when you see it in the film and later on you might forget it altogether.
CityLights: Sung by Ustad Rashid Khan and Usha Uthup, this is the fusion styled title track of the film. It is Khan’s classical vocals and the heavy deep voice of Uthup that bring this song to life. Ustad’s classical alaaps are to die for, while Usha’s unique vocals provide the perfect racy feel to the song. It is their jugalbandi that creates one hell of a dhamaka. Jeet Gannguli’s composition will seamlessly blend into the screenplay of the film and will not be something that you would want to listen to after coming out the theaters. This might definitely provide an emotionally thrilling end to the racy film.
Verdict: Jeet Gannguli has done a fantastic job with this album and most of its songs will stay with you long after your movie viewing experience. The album treads on an unfamiliar path and it is definitely one of the albums that you would want to listen to while on a long drive to the countryside. Our picks from the album are Muskuraane (Arijit Singh and Mohammed Irfan’s versions), Soney Do and Ek Charraiya (Jeet’s version).
Reviewed by Prateek Sur
**** Very good