Updated: March 7, 2014 12:50:38 pm
In his second outing as a composer since Bollywood became home, Ali Zafar could have hit the ball out of the park. His previous tunes in London Paris New York, albeit not sticking around, did hold some promise of a better future. It also has to do with some gritty, guitar-based music, which may not have been superior to the existing Bollywood tunes some years ago, but did bring a breath of fresh air to an industry that was becoming monotonous with synth and tabla sounds. With Total Siyappa, in which Zafar has juggled the role of lead actor, composer, lyricist and singer, what comes across, yet again, is the fact that Zafar is massively talented. But he needs to convey that talent in a more tuneful way. Popularity of an album’s music may not pin down its brilliance but the tunes in this one seem far from busting any charts. Total Siyappa is a not bad, sometimes pleasant album, but falls completely flat on more occasions than one.
The album opens with the title song Total Siyappa, a string of Punjabi dialogues and lyrics set to a fast-tempo. Zafar impresses with his lyrics 200 litre aansu, 300 kilo gam, Godji bata do jaayen kahan pe hum. The orchestration comprises the same old synth and drums and soon splinters off in several directions.
Palat meri jaan is quite Atif Aslam-ish and courts this confusion till the end. It begins in a standard slow and slack way with a guitar, synthesised sound in the background and some falsettos by Zafar but soon picks the tempo with drums pounding to bring decent electric guitar riffs to the fore. But while the orchestration is not too bad, the song is nothing to write home about.
It is from the third song onwards that things begin to look up a little. The middle-eastern style of Nahin maloom is fun, catchy, interesting, even eloquent. Zafar blends it well with the duff, his voice and layers of Fariha Parvaiz’s voice. The good thing about Zafar here is his pronunciation. Every word he utters blends well with the tune. Asha is cheeky and a bubbly pop tune that again tries to relay the film’s genre. But it’s a lovely flowy melody, which moves in a set structure that Zafar establishes in the beginning, and has a lovely blues feel to it with an acoustic guitar paired with an organ sound.
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Chal buleya is a beautiful rendition of this popular piece of poetry that we’ve seen in Bollywood. Zafar’s version does not come with an excess of harmonium interludes or heavy pounding on the dholak. It’s very softly rendered, in a Punjabi folk style. One of our favourites on the album, this song stayed with us.
We hope Zafar’s next is like his fabulous gigs in Pakistan.
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