Music Review: Kalank (Hindi)

Composer(s): Pritam Chakraborty
Listen to the songs online here: JioSaavn

With Kalank, Pritam Chakraborty goes off his typical playbook to explore traditional sounds, populating the album with syncretic, style-hopping dance numbers that, while probably not completely true to the period the film is set in, is impeccably produced and brims with energy. Opener Ghar More Pardesiya is hymnal, rhythmic jugalbandi enlivened immensely by Shreya Ghoshal and Vaishali Mhade, and a hypnotic mix of sitar and tabla that recalls to mind his own Mere Dholna Sun (Bhool Bhulaiyaa), in a good way that is.

Ghoshal returns a second time for Tabaah Ho Gaye, a melancholy-soaked kathak piece that finds its echoes in Silsila Ye Chahat Ka (Devdas, which was incidentally Shreya's singing debut), and here again, Pritam envelops her voice in a profusion of strings, pakhawaj and tabla, building up to an extended, rousing climax of a tarana that's downright spellbinding. Shreya Ghoshal, for her part, lends her characteristic velvetiness and flawlessly translates the vigorously classical notes of the two compositions.

First Class, weighted by a tinge of wistfulness in its lyrics, has season favourite Arijit Singh and Neeti Mohan delivering an exuberant take of the Arabesque flavoured melody, incorporating a perfect sprinkle of qanun, flute (ney) and foot-tapping percussion, even as Pritam ropes in a fantastic sounding Javed Ali for Aira Gaira, who is tailor-made for the ebullient qawwali alongside Antara Mitra and Tushar Joshi, the electrifying blend of sitar, mandolin, clarinet and dholak complementing their vocals so beautifully.

Jonita Gandhi's lively rendition powers the colourful Rajasthani folk number Rajvaadi Odhni, with the composer adorning the tune with a feverish fusion of Indian strings (kamaycha, sarangi, swarlin), morsing, bhapang and handclap grooves (khartal). The soundtrack's pièce de résistance is of course the title song, the utterly enchanting sufi melody a showcase for Arijit Singh and Shilpa Rao's impassioned rendition as it's for the brilliant construction, propelled along by harmonium (played by Arijit, no less!), qanun, strings and tastefully deployed Indian percussion. Pritam, after a year-long absence, delivers a musical extravaganza that's by turns addictive, refreshing and vibrant.