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Music Review: Mr. Singh Mrs. Mehta

Sudha Rao

(This article is sponsored by Sounds Of India)

Mr. Singh Mrs. Mehta

Cast : Prroshant Narayanan, Aruna Shields & Lucy Hassan
Music: Ustaad Shujaat Husain Khan
Lyrics: Amitabh Verma
Director: Pravesh Bhardwaj
Producer: Tutu Sharma & Manu S Kumaran

Elegant arrangments, dazzling accompaniment and superb vocals and sparkling lyrics mark this very understated audio score of the recently released film (which unfortunately has been panned by critics and audiences alike) dealing with marital infidelity, betrayal and heartbreak.  The album includes 6 vocal tracks and 4 instrumental pieces – the vocal tracks rendered by some of the most gifted voices of today and mostly falling under the genre of filmi-ghazal all composed by Grammy award nominee and Sitar Maestro Ustad Shujaat Hussain Khan (son of Ustad Vilayat Khan) along with Shaarang Dev Pandit with lyrics by Amitabh Verma.

Fariyaad - by Richa Sharma – Richa’s rich vocals play a prominent role in this folk cum Sufi styled offering.  Tabla and sitar are the main accompaniments for this simple tune, which may be reminiscent of many similar genre songs that have been composed in the recent past. 

Barhaan dil mein sung by KK is a ghazal that gently starts making its way into your heart even as you hear the opening accordion introduction – the accordion interweaves with the vocals and along with the violin and flute provides for a beautiful garland of melody and poetry delicately woven together. 
This song has a female version sung by Shreya Ghoshal – who is amazingly sweet and soothing.  Shreya is so much at home be it a ghazal or ballad or peppy song or bhajan – one of our most talented singers today, blessed with a voice that has both sweetness and control and fantastic range and versatility.

Ajnabi Aankhen – Roop Kumar Rathod simply captivates in this bittersweet ghazal, which is both heart tugging and melodious.  His mature and soothing voice washes over the listener and creates an auditory delight.  The accompaniments are a fusion of rock and classical with drums and tabla and keyboard and guitar.  The flute also tiptoes in and out creating an overall mood of pathos and tenderness.

Ai Khuda – Shujaat Hussain shows what a multi-talented artiste he is – his throaty voice with its rich timbre is absolutely pat for this song beautiful in melody and lyrics that falls into the genre of romantic ballad cum ghazal blues – blending both western and Indian styles both in tune and arrangements.  A very typical late 70’s and the early 80’s melody– sung with ease and sophistication by Shujaat.

Behoshi Nasha Khusboo  - This lovely duet rendered effortlessly by Udit Narayan and Shreya Ghoshal is once again a Ghazal blending with soft rock – the rhythm and interludes are off beat and invoke a day in the hills with gentle rain falling and creating a feeling of sheer enchantment!  The song’s highlights are the offbeat rhythm and orchestral arrangements and the wonderful harmonizing of Shreya and Udit in the refrain.

Loser’s theme – maybe a situational piece (shades of Raag Abhog) dedicated to the betrayed spouses who form the main protagonists of the film.

A shade of Red – Instrumental – The sitar alaap gently graduates into a rhythm infused symphony with violins and bells and piano and flute competing for honors.

Nail polish on the toes – An instrumental track, the title of which might make sense while watching the film – a purely narrative or situational track based on Raga SindhuBhairavi – the sitar solo in the beginning melding with the other instruments making it a rich symphonic fusion.

Six gorgeous vocal tracks, four very beautiful instrumental pieces form this very low key and cast aside music offering.  The album is embellished with orchestral accompaniment of the highest standards – exceptional flute, sitar and tabla work and very charming vocals are the highlights of this album.  One word I have for the music of Mr.Singh Mrs Mehta:  Captivating!

(Sudha (Lakshmi) Rao is a homemaker & amateur light music singer (specializing in the golden oldies) based in New England. Sudha may be heard singing with Saptaswar on June 27th 2010 at a concert ‘Aate Jaate Hanste Gaate’ featuring songs from the films of Aamir/Salman/Shahrukh Khan at 6 pm at Watertown Middle School, Watertown, MA. For more details please visit http://www.unitedindia.net or http://www.saptaswar.org )

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