Middling in the Air

Hawaizaada-a lovely balance of whimsy and introspection.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5
Written by Suanshu Khurana | Updated: January 23, 2015 12:00:43 am

Composers: Rochak Kohli, Mangesh Dhakde, Vishal Bharadwaj, Ayushmann Khurrana
Lyrics: Vibhu Puri, Rochak Kohli, Mirza Ghalib

First things first. The best part about Hawaizaada’s songs are its lyrics — a lovely balance of whimsy and introspection. It is something needed in a film, which is set in the late 19th century and is about a man who created the first airplane. In today’s scenario, where words can be more cacophonous than the tunes, the film’s lyrics are quite well-written in khaalis Hindustani with every line penned with care. Director Vibhu Puri, whose lyrics were heard in a few tracks in Guzaarish, is behind most of them. What lets down Hawaizaada, however, are some compositions that don’t seem to do justice to the lyrics.

The album opens with Hawaizaada dil in Rochak Kohli’s voice. The song has a breezy quality to it with an acoustic guitar doing the trick. The instrumental landscapes created are pleasant too. But it needs that Paani da rang touch to get a facelift. Kohli’s voice, however, has a lovely jingle quality to it.

Then comes Daak ticket, aimed to be a soulful number with the flute and tabla in the background. It makes us really glad that Puri attempts a song on a concept lost in the world of email and instant messaging. The lyrics go: Shaan mein chalengi tope…Tope wo sarkaari hogi, Dekhna ek din naam ki apne, daak ticket jaari hogi. But despite Mohit Chauhan and Javed Bashir crooning this to perfection, the song is overcrowded with notes. Kohli loses the soul of the song in the process.

Mazaa my Lord is a Goan melody with a ’40s nasalised Bollywood style to it. It’s hard not to love the accordion prelude and the hook that follows. Mohit Chauhan is his usual self but the real spunk of the song lies with Neeti Mohan, who displays her high-pitch abilities brilliantly. Ayushmann Khurrana’s rendition of Ghalib’s iconic ghazal Dil-e-nadaan lacks the cadence and flow that an Urdu ghazal needs. As much as an overkill Arijit Singh’s voice has become, this song needs him and his Hindustani classical expertise.

Ud jayega hans akela in Sukhwinder Singh’s voice begins well but loses its sheen 20 seconds into the piece. Chants follow soon after. But Singh’s brilliant vocals are completely wasted. Vishal Bhardwaj saves the album by spinning a lavani towards the end. Dil todne ki masheen in Rekha Bharadwaj’s voice paired with dholki, drums and dafli is an intelligent item song choice. It’s a shringari lavani but it’s not hard to spot the flavor of nirgun (devotional) lavani in it. Bharadwaj also melds Spanish guitar notes through some parts.

Harshdeep Kaur’s vocals soar beautifully in Yaadein gathri mein. The album concludes with Teri dua, in the power-packed voices of the Wadali Brothers. It’s been a while since we heard such fine harmonium interludes in Bollywood. Halfway into the song, it changes into a bhajan, and then comes back to where it started.

Hawaizaada is an average album that could have been better if all the songs were not running in a variety of directions. Buy it for some quirky and interesting lyrics.

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