Director Kabir Khan’s ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ has shattered many records and won accolades and hearts everywhere. Pritam composed some nice situational numbers which had grown post the movie’s release. ‘Phantom’ on the other hand is a thriller, where the focus shifts to background music rather than the soundtrack. As a result, he offers six tracks with three originals and three reprise versions.
“Afghan Jalebi (Ya Baba)” is one of those massy numbers that instantly catches your attention. A folksy tune with an Arabic touch, add to that some pulsating music crafted around some insane writing by Amitabh Bhattacharya. The result is a chartbuster! The arrangements and the overall fun element is where one gets a sense of déjà vu and lands in a territory where Pritam’s very own “Saree Ke Fall Sa” from ‘R…Rajkumar’ meets “Pungi” from ‘Agent Vinod’. Debutant Syed Asrar Shah energy is impressive and the highlight of the composition is certainly the chorus part ‘Khawaja Ji Ke Paas Teri’.
The other version “Afghan Jalebi (Film Version)” is the same as the original one and one can’t find any slightest difference between them and curiously wonder why it has been credited to another singer, Akhtar Channal Zahri.
Akhtar Channal Zahri sings the “Afghan Jalebi (Dumbek Version)” and certainly this one is the best of all the four versions. Akhtar’s renditions are raw and are more inclined towards the Sufi genre. Notice the elegant dictions when he renders ‘Afghan Jelabi, Mashooq Ferabi’. The ‘e’ here is intentional and hear it to know why! The use of Dumbek and tabla makes this version completely different. The string instruments employed in between is not to be missed either.
And then we have Pritam’s favourite Nakash Aziz (“Saree Ke Fall Sa” from ‘R… Rajkumar’) for “Ya Baba (Fitna Farebi)” which goes same as the original with some less energetic music, albeit more filmy renditions by the singer, except for the last one minute where we welcome some change in the lyrics but nothing much special here from the composer.
“Saware” is a soothing melodious number which rides smoothly on Arijit Singh’s vocals. The whole composition has a story flowing with it where the second ‘antara’ is very well written by Amitabh Bhattacharya and the chorus part has an overall trance feeling. THis is where Kabir Khan makes his presence felt. Expect this one to be heard at various junctures in the movie. Post the movie’s release, this track is expected to grow in popularity.
“Nachda” is the surprise element of the soundtrack – Shahid Mallya (“Iski Uski” from ‘2 States’) takes the centre stage with his intense renditions beautifully weaved around some sensational lyrics by Kausar Munir, which have a lot of depth and meaning, giving the word ‘Nachda’ an altogether different meaning. As for the arrangements, we get to hear some electric guitar riffs at the start and then the string instruments takes hold of the proceedings. The overall result is an eccentric amalgamation of rock flavour and Arabic elements. Both the interludes are heavily arranged and it’s one of those compositions where the whole packaging is top notch. This is Pritam at his very best!
‘Phantom’ is one of those Pritam’s soundtracks where one was not sure what’s in store for them and that’s where the soundtrack strikes gold. Kabir Khan has a knack of using the songs beautifully alongside the narrative, case in point; “Zindagi” and “Tu Jo Mila” in ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ recently. “Nachda” and “Saware” are set to grow once the audience watch it on screen and “Afghan Jalebi” satiates the masses. The ‘Dumbek Version’ stands out among the four!