Star rating : 3.5/5 (Three and Half Stars)

Music Director: Shantanu Moitra

Shantanu Moitra’s music had texture and an ace tonal ring to it. There’s sensitivity, grace and charm in his music. And with Madras Cafe, he ventures out of his comfort zone of classical feel and make heart wrenching music that has a more contemporary ambiance.

Shoojit Sircar’s film that stars John Abraham and Nargis Fakhri in lead roles is a spy thriller set against the backdrop of Lankan Civil War. And Moitra’s music does justice to the film’s theme as its brooding  songs create the perfect setting of somberness but his tender songs seem almost magical. Indeed Bollywood can do with a little more of this man whose music is starkly different from his contemporaries, not someone who can stake a high claim at versatility but is darn perfect at what he does!

John Abraham in Madras Cafe Movie Stills
John Abraham in Madras Cafe Movie Stills

Maula Sun Le Re  – Madras Cafe Music Review

The first song of the album is Maula Sun Le Re sung by Papon of Jiyein Kyun fame. Known for the resounding quality of his voice, the singer uses it right with Ali Hayat’s soulful lyrics. The song is solemn and will drench in its beauty. One of the foremost reasons why the song feels so soothing to the ears is because it revels in its simplicity and enmeshes the guitar well with the native vocals.

The reprise version of Maula Sun Le Re is a refurbished version of the original but the gusto of this one is higher. Papon is stellar in his bit and it has a hint of moving hilt to it.

Jaise Milein Ajnabi – Madras Cafe Music Review

The film’s second track Jaise Milein Ajnabi is sung by Zeb Bangash. It was a quite a delight to see Moitra working with Zeb again for their first ensemble product is still on my playlist. After getting introduced to the Pakistani singer on the singing reality show hosted by Monica Dogra called The Dewarists, Moitra along with Swanand Kirkire and partners Zeb-Haniya delivered Season 1’s best track Kya Khayaal Hai. Zeb’s voice is very grounded and beautiful. Moitra has been careful in associating only plain guitar strumming background to her voice and doesn’t introduce much fanfare beyond that. The song will evoke some nostalgic strings of your heart. Quite a good composition this one is!

Khud Se – Madras Cafe Music Review

Khud Se by Manoj Tapadia and Papon again has the air of melancholy. Hitting off with violins, the song’s background transcends between moods but sticks to grim largely. It isn’t a dull number really but won’t really appeal to too many people.

The Last Word – Madras Cafe Music Review

The album is almost spectacular as it flaunts sheer beauty from each track. Soulful and mesmerizing, each composition is unique and yet they all blend well in the same frame. My personal favorites is Maula Sun Le Re but then it is hard to get Ajnabi off the loop too. Sadly the audience for such music might be limited, but those who love Moitra’s style won’t be disappointed. I am settling for 3.5/5 for this one. This unconventional album and the interesting scores hit the right notes with me!

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