Jun 29, 2008

The (already forgotten) music of Haal-e-Dil

Perhaps the fates that govern the musical birthchart of Vishal Bhardwaj ordain that several of his works are intended to be criminally under-heard. A more earthly reason for hardly anyone noticing the music of "Haal-e-Dil" could be attributed to it being an under-promoted film featuring a bunch of not-so interesting newcomers in an average script. This album is also one of those multi-composer efforts, featuring Raghav Sachar, Pritam, and Anand Raj Anand in addition to Vishal.

(I'll restrict myself to Vishal's double-header in this post, but a brief review of the album can be seen at Karthik's MilliBlog.)

Rahat Fateh Ali Khan re-appears in a Vishal song after that superbly rendered cautionary ode to love in "Omkara". "Haal-e-dil" begins with what sounded to my untrained ears as the digderidoo (perhaps just some electronic consort), and fits into the category of songs usually classified as "soulful". Also featuring the backing vocals of Shreya Ghoshal, the song is melodious and measured, with a hint of a Sufi influence. Typically for Vishal, the arrangements are interesting with a couple of eclectic interludes (is that a mandolin we hear in the middle, or just a guitar?). With Rahat leading the way, the elements of the song come together wonderfully.

The other Vishal credit on this album is a reprise of the title song, by Rekha Bhardwaj. It's a more modern, rock-ish version, rendered in characteristic fashion by the talented missus who can zig-zag the registers nicely. It does come in second to the Rahat version, but these Munna Dhiman lyrics (also a variation of the other song) are perhaps a touch better here ("tere kohre me.n dhuup ban ke kho jaau.n"). And there's some nice guitar backing all through.

In all, a cameo by Vishal and gang which, though it won't set any cash registers or weekly top 10s ringing, is worth a devoting a quiet moment or two if you can catch it.

(Crossposted at the Vishal blog.)

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