The title track Barfi instantly brings to mind the cheerful songs of yesteryear, especially Kishore Kumar’s whimsical numbers. It’s a lighthearted take on the protagonist’s gloomy life (Radio on hua, amma off hui, toota har sapna, munna mute hi aansoon bahaye) with outstanding lyrics by Kirkire. Mohit Chauhan is fabulous in his rendition – happy and playful. Kirkire gets his own version too and does a marvelous job of it.
Singer Nikhil Paul George is undoubtedly the star of the breezy Main kya karoon. He conveys the wonderful state of helplessness while in love so aptly in this gorgeous track. Pritam uses minimal instruments, mainly the guitar and a soft chorus, to elevate George’s melodious but slightly rough-around-the-edges voice, which works great for the lazy tempo of this ballad.
Pritam ensures Kyon will have an enduring appeal for its listeners for everything about this song – melody, vocals and arrangement – evokes nostalgia. He ropes in Papon and Sunidhi Chauhan to render this retro-style duet and the singers are impeccable in their delivery. Aashiyan (Shreya Ghoshal, Nikhil Paul George) has a lovely, old-world charm with the accordion, flute and violin featuring prominently. Ghoshal is in stellar form in this short but lively track, which will put a smile on your face.
Arijit Singh is captivating in the haunting ghazal Phir le aaya dil – reprise. He is especially good in the semi-classical bits. Pritam fuses jazz sounds with the tabla and sitar superbly in this one. Rekha Bhardwaj is also at her best in the softer version of the same song. Saawali si raat is a soothing lullaby that will whisk you to another world. Singh delivers this dreamy song in a whispery manner and the result is delightful.
The soundtracks of Gangster and Life In A… Metro were glorious examples of the Anurag Basu-Pritam collaboration. And Barfi! reiterates the fact that Pritam reserves his best for Basu. There isn’t a single false note in the entire album. Must-buy.