MUSIC REVIEW: ‘Shuddh Desi Romance’ – An Unlikely Candidate For The Year’s Best

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The duo of Sachin-Jigar composing music for films, have remained on the fringe so far, but that is about to change with the soundtrack of ‘Shuddh Desi Romance’. It is a career resurrection, a big league break to be on the Yashraj music label.

The Chauhans, Sunidhi and Mohit start a tug of war on Tere Mere Beech Mein using a ‘chaddar’ to shed some light on their new found love life. The tuba-trombone-accordion intersperse warms the cockles of your heart and sets your feet up for some fancy footwork. It’s almost like a smooth advert for a brand of dappled sunshine in your routine, damp, dull life.

The Saraiyas, (note the teaming) Jigar and Priya sing Gulabi. Lute instruments and harmonium, the folksy sounds of Rajasthan mixed with autotune vocals is gorgeous. Had the tempo been slow, one would return to Ek Pardesi Mera Dil Le Gaya (‘Phagun’) but the times are changing. Gulabi is as much modern as it is a vintage tribute to romance with breezy lyrics and spirited singing.

Divya Kumar’s Chanchal Mann Ati Random starts off on a beaten track, then shifts to raga-rock interlude, and its Divya’s song altogether, jumping genre hurdles with a catchy chorus chasing him through the maze.

The title track has its roots back in the nineties, when Govinda-Karishma shimmied to Jeth Ki Dopeher Mein Paaon Jalaye Hain, and other B movie spin-offs, most dubious of them, Asha Bhonsle screeching, ‘macchi ban jaongi, kebab ban jaongi (holy cow!) in ‘Sarhad’. Despite, Sachin-Jigar give their ‘Shuddh Desi Romance’ a zing of its own – coming-of-age lyrics, a ‘pure’ template to an old format?

Of the five instrumental tracks, and each one of them keeps getting better than the previous arrangement. These boys have something of a wizardry in arrangement, going latin, blues, desi, ambient – what a symposium of sounds.