When the teaser of Khuda Kay Liye was released in 2007, the younger generation wanted to know more about the man who sang Bandeya rather than what the film may actually have to offer. That curiosity made the film’s music album sell like hotcakes, but the craze didn’t stop there- now people wanted to know how such a beautiful song had been picturised and the only way of knowing that was to buy a cinema ticket.
This is not only how the music of Pakistani cinema’s comeback film created pre-release-hype but also how film promotion works in Bollywood: the only dominant film industry that heavily relies on soundtracks for revenue. But to achieve similar results you need to have a Bandeya on the cards, something truly unique, impeccably simple and stereo friendly.
Unfortunately the music album of Bin Roye has nothing so extraordinary to offer. Despite featuring the likes of Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Harshdeep Kaur and Ankit Tiwari in a mix of pop, techno, bhangra and semi classical tunes, the music of the film is quite forgettable. The only song that has that potential is mainly sung by Abida Parveen, the repeated playing of whose qawwali for a beverage commercial has killed its shock value for the average listener.
However Abida’s magnanimity is not the only thing that hovers over the 8 minute 30 seconds long ‘Maula Maula’ as Zeb Bangash’s sweet voice guarantees you a more peaceful exit from the Haal that Abida’s voice puts you in. Listen to it during night time and you’ll see how both the haunting and serenading sides of Maula Maula take the shape of a ‘Lullaby for an anxious child’. Kudos to Shani Arshad for finding the synergy between artists from two opposite poles of the music industry. His next song for the film Chan Chareya is a techno take on Rekha Bhardwaj’s voice, which may sound like an appeasing experiment at first but doesn’t necessarily grow on you.
Bin Roye, the title track of the film has the potential to make you cry, Bin Roye. Probably the most ordinary work that the very talented Shiraz Uppal has to offer so far, it seems like just another pop song he must have scrapped while conceiving Manja we and Rabba Yeh Kia Hua. The similarity of arrangement and composition to these previous hits is uncanny and the lack of effort in coming up with something fresh is disappointing.
On the other hand Ballay Ballay, also composed by Uppal is your quintessential mehndi /shaadi song. Flooded with multiple layers of flutes, dhol, tabla, shehnai and guitars in the background, the song makes good use of Harshdeep Kaur’s vocal prowess by giving her a wide vocal range to play with. Apart from the much-needed tribute to Punjabi Tappay in the beginning, you also get to hear some meaningfully penned lyrics in the Shaadi number. Poet Shakeel Sohail smoothly encapsulates the bittersweet feeling of a daughter leaving her family to become a part of a new one, with just the right amount of prayers and party.
However Waqar Ali makes a total waste of Ankit Tiwari in the shockingly disappointing O Yara. This semi classical rendition seems borrowed right from the archives of Ismail Darbar and at some point Sanja Leela Bhansali too. Similarly the Seema Jawad and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan duet Teray Bin Jeena is one of those rare Rahat songs that don’t stay in your mind. It actually sounds exactly the same as the Rahat song you’ve just skipped on 8xm. Something as myopic and conventional wasn’t really expected from Rahat’s best buddy, Sahir Ali Bhagga.Bin Roye stars Humayun Saeed, Mahira Khan and Armeena Khan and is all set to release on Eidul Fitr.
Verdict: Apart from some flashes of brilliance by Abida Parveen and Shaani Arshad, the music of Bin Roye is very conventional and nothing new to the ears.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 10th, 2015.
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