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The soul sounds stronger than the song

The Bin Roye soundtrack features stellar voices from both sides of the border but it’s ‘Maula Maula’ by Abida Parveen and Zeb Bangash that brings the best of classic and contemporary together

The soul sounds stronger than the song

Bin Roye, coming out soon over the Eidul Fitr weekend, is one of the most highly anticipated films of the year till now. Featuring Mahira Khan and Humayun Saeed in lead roles, the film has its fans anticipating the kind of chemistry and charisma that they obsessed over in popular Hum TV serials, Humsafar and Zindagi Gulzar Hai. It’ll take another week or so to decide whether it will deliver on expectations or not but meanwhile, the soundtrack has been online to create some kind of hype beyond the film’s promotional teasers. Bin Roye has been projected as a musical and so the musical score holds an overwhelming importance in deciding its strength.

Composed and sung by Shiraz Uppal, the Bin Roye title track sets the mood for the film. It’s lightweight and romantic, like a soft breeze blowing through Juliet’s balcony, and the piano nudges it along. Uppal’s vocals are liquid perfection and Shakeel Sohail’s lyrics unravel the storyline without giving away too much. It’s a good song but it stops short of being great. There is something too generic about the track; there’s too much narrative and not too much catchy melody or chorus to make the tune outstanding. It’s just not memorable. ‘Bin Roye’ sounds more like a TV serial’s title track rather than a film’s. And even as a TV serial’s track it doesn’t deliver the impact that Quratulain Baloch’s ‘Woh Humsafar Tha’ or Ali Zafar’s ‘Zindagi Gulzar Hai’ did.

The producers made a smart move by weaving Indian vocalists into the soundtrack; the film will be releasing in India and the inclusion of Hindi playback singers will definitely resonate well with viewers. That said, ‘Chan Chariya’ the Punjabi track performed by Rekha Bhardwaj wastes her vocal prowess. Fariha Parvez could have sung this one, possibly even better. Rekha Bhardwaj has excellent command on the Punjabi vocals but her voice is like a pebble creating ripples on the surface of still water. There is no depth and certainly no soul. There’s none of the Rekha Bhardwaj character and edge, edge that expressed itself to perfection in my favourite (Rekha Bhardwaj – Usha Uthup) number, ‘Darling’ from Saat Khoon Maaf. I Personally did not like Shani Arshad’s composition; it’s much of a jhankar mix.

‘Ballay Ballay,’ however, is destined to be a hit. It’s a new take on a classic dance number, a crowd pleaser and one can see it picking up popularity at weddings. The song begins conventionally but then departs and takes on a life of its own. Popular Indian playback singer Harshdeep Kaur blows life into Shiraz Uppal’s composition and their vocals effectively complement each other.img2

For the uninitiated, it must be reiterated that Ankit Tiwari is the same genius who gave us the massive hits ‘Sunn Raha Hai’ (Aashiqui 2) and ‘Galliyan’ (Ek Villain). These are just two of the numerous hits he has composed as well as sung since his relatively recent debut in Bollywood. ‘O Yaara’ on the Bin Roye soundtrack has been composed by Waqar Ali but delivers the brooding melancholy that Tiwari has now become infamous for. There is a sense of loss, distress and a betrayal at the hands of life but not at the hands of love. It’s quintessential Tiwari.

Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s ‘Teray Bina Jeena’ will undoubtedly become the Bin Roye anthem, the one song that will attach itself to the film and go down in history as its USP. Composed by Sahir Ali Bagga, who has acquired critical as well as commercial fame (but not enough), ‘Teray Bina Jeena’ is catchy and has an uplifting tune. It could have been any good old Bollywood song had it not been for the reverberating dholki and then of course, an image of Humayun Saeed’s dance moves plant it firmly on this side of the border.img3

The piece de resistance on Bin Roye’s soundtrack, however, is ‘Maula Maula’ that features not just Qawalli queen Abida Parveen but also Zeb Bangash who effortlessly matches Parveen’s deep, vocal perfection with a ripple of contemporary sweetness. Her voice rises from Abida Parveen’s rich baritone like petals on a rumbling oceanic wave. The combination is unique. It’s a Sufic, soulful number (would you expect anything else from them?) and one that can easily be played on repeat, over and over again.  The fate of love is left in the hands of God, ‘Maula’, and that resonates as deeply as this song. It promises to become the soul of this soundtrack.

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