Billoo Re! Billoo Barber music

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A packed album with music by Pritam and lyrics by Gulzar and others, this one has almost too much going on.  I sat down to listen and write a review multiple times but got distracted from my writing with the listening!

The album opens with Marjaani – Sukhwinder, and Sunidhi rock the Kasbah in this foot tapping number with a distinct middle Eastern beat. This song is picturized on Kareena and SRK and the costumes also evoke a Mid-Eastern vibe.
As usual the lyrics from Gulzaar Saab are unique and funny:
Rab ke huzoor mein kasme bhi khaa li,
Duniya ki auni pauni rasme nibha li!
Duniya na mane khasma nu khaye,
Khasma nu khaye Marjaani!

Next up is Love mera Hit Hit sung by Neeraj Sridhar and Tulsi Kumar.  This is probably the most inane but also the catchiest song in the album.  Picturized on Deepika and SRK and in a very futuristic setting, the song will rock the dance floors at desi parties.  Lyrics by Ashsish Pandit and Mayur Puri are funny, but also have an over-abundance of Hinglish in the chorus that seems unnecessary, given that the main song is itself a mix of Hindi and English:
Mujhe tu zara si haan is dil mein entry de!
Chupa le yun mujhko na rahe koi exit!

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Next up is the Priyanka and SRK song You get me Rocking and Reeling (Khudaya Khair) sung by Neeraj Sridhar with lyrics by Syed Qadri.  Except for the Khudaya Khair bit, the song does not work for me but that is a problem I have with pure English lyrics! I have no doubt though that with Priyanka looking like a million bucks this song will work on screen.  So far it is the noisiest song in the album.

Then we come to Ae AA O sung by KK, Rana Majumdar and Suraj with lyrics by Neeraj Sridhar. ‘Yeh Ambar yeh  dharti kahe puka ke – Ae AA O!’   A situational song, likely is the introduction of the superstar who will shake up Billoo’s life.  It basically talks of the star status and heights of glory yada yada, and is middling, again with some pure English lyrics – so not a favorite of mine.  I read somewhere that this song was shot by Santosh Sivan so I am expecting some stunning visuals.

The story of Billoo Barber is somewhat familiar to us.  The next song is the sad number Jaaoon Kahan sung very well by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.  The lyrics are by Sayeed Qadri and involve a railing at the gods and fate – sab hua ab to fanaa, bas raha baaki dhuaan, main gham se rishta jod ke jaoon kahan!  The soulful vocals make this one an excellent number.

The best song in the album is no doubt Billoo Bhayankar, sung by Ajaya Jhingaran, Raghuveer, and Kalpana.  Gulzar Saab has some zany lyrics and the songs works for me at an elemental level, invoking that rustic feel sans the modernization we saw in Dil Dance Maare.  Some on SB (Aarohi, Tango) rightly recalled Chalat Musafir when talking of this one.
Arre Poocho nahin mooche taraase talwaari,
Mooch hi to dekh ke kaurav ki fauj haari!
Billoo Bhayanakar!
Billo se bada hajjaam nahin re,
Saari duniya mein aisa koi naam nahin re!

Khudaya Khair is the softer and more melodious version of Rocking and Reeling; sung by Soham, Akriti Kakkar, and Monali and written by Gulzar.  The pure poetry without English is refreshing and uniquely Gulzar:
Woh Surme ki tarah meri aankhon mein rehti hai….
Mano na mano tum sote sote, khwabon mein bhi khwab dikhati hai!
Mano na mano tum pari hai woh, pari ki kahaniyan sunati hai!
Khudaya Khair!

The album includes the obligatory remixes – 8 of them in this case.  Of these the Hit hit remix simply rocks!  Dance floor friendly, this will be the one people will be grooving to.  So what is the verdict on this album?  I think Pritam has delivered a solid album, with a lot of fun, some dross, some soul, and some zany stuff.  Gulzar’s lyrics standout and this album will climb the popularity charts quickly.  The songs (barring one or two) work well and should add to the film.   The film is focused on Billoo and his encounter with the Krishna from his past life.  There are a few too many “filmy item” songs, but one can only hope that they will be shown in some film within film sequence and be of limited length.  In the end this music should drag people into theaters to see Irrfan deliver the goods as Billoo!

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