Singer Sonu Nigam and percussionist Bickram Ghosh decided to work together as composers and went on to score for movies like ‘Sooper Se Ooper’ and ‘Jal’. They are now ready with their debut album titled ‘The Music Room’. While the music of ‘Sooper Se Ooper’ was fairly conventional, ‘Jal’ was a very experimental album. Not much is known about the album and one is not sure about the kind of music the duo has come up with for this non-film album. Have they combined both their sensibilities into creating a new sound? Let’s find out.
“Saiyyan Bina”, the opening track of the album, is electro-fusion number. However, the basic tune is very average and is uplifted, to a certain extent, by the arrangements. The songs starts off with some lyrics written in chaste Hindi but you figure out soon enough that Sonu Nigam has written some awfully predictable, filmy lyrics. One had expected a better start.
Both the trance based music and the lyrics (which speak of wanderlust) of “Paane Chala Tha” lend a dreamy vibe to it. The free flowing tune is very simple but it has a very addictive quality to it. The tabla beats (by Bickram Ghosh) are very appropriately used. If not for the unconventional arrangements, one would have easily mistaken it to be a Hindi film song. The lyrics (Sonu Nigam) convey the mood of the song but are weak nevertheless.
“Khamakha” is the kind of song one would have expected to hear in a Sonu Nigam album from the late 90s. The wonderful jazz based arrangements help in packaging this above average tune well. The lyrics adhere to the playful mood of the song are marginally better than those of the other two tracks.
“Walida”, a track with influences of folk music in it, has been written by guest lyricist Shruti Pathak. Shruti, primarily a singer, has earlier written the song ‘Paayaliya’ for Dev D. The feel of folk music is accentuated by the traditional instruments. The tune sounds a little familiar and has a haunting feel to it.
With “Spyder-Man”, Sonu Nigam and Bickram Ghosh pay a tribute to the Spiderman Theme composed by Paul Francis Webster and Robert Harris. They retain the jazz feel of the original song and compose an original tune around it. The composition is wildly experimental and impressive. The combination of jazz with Bollywood sound makes for an interesting listen.
“Tumhi The Mere” is a raga based track with an Indian sound to it. There are some electronic beats heard sporadically as well. The intensity of the song increases with time and soon, it turns out be a devotional number. Sonu Nigam is flawless in his rendition.
The weirdly interesting title of the last track on the album, “Laila Ko Hara Do”, catches your attention immediately. The song, with a wide range of musical influences, takes some unpredictable turns and is engaging throughout. The lyrics, written by Sonu Nigam, are whacky but barely innovative.
The Music Room is a good effort by Sonu Nigam and Bickram Ghosh who, devoid of any barriers associated with film music, let their imagination run wild and come up with an album that is a mélange of the sensibilities possessed by each of them. The orchestral arrangements are the highlight of this album. The one thing that Sonu Nigam should not pursue further is writing lyrics as he is clearly not good at it. One sorely feels the absence of good lyrics through a major part of the album. While most of the songs make for a good hear, some tracks do not impress as much because of their lackluster tune.