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Sanjay Leela Bhansali uses the pitterpatter of rain, a radio, an accordion and KK’s outstanding vocals and blends them to create a soul-stirring amalgamation – the title track of Guzaarish. Gloomy in mood, the song makes for an exquisite listening experience. Though philosophical in nature, lyricist Vibhu Puri takes the light-hearted route to explain the beauty of life in Sau gram zindagi.

The underrated Kunal Ganjawala digs his teeth into this number and renders it with relish. However, there isn’t much novelty in Bhansali’s composition – the song seems like a leftover from the soundtrack of Saawariya.

Saiba opens with Fracois Castellino’s (recently heard in Nakhre from Action Replayy) operatic vocals in Konkani. Popular Marathi playback singer Vibhavari Joshi takes over and renders this languidly paced song to perfection. Joshi’s voice has an unconventional texture that’s refreshing and though predominantly a romantic number, Saiba stirs a tinge of sadness.

Puri’s lyrics in Chaand ki katori are reminiscent of the kind of poetry Gulzar pens. Bhansali’s tune is haunting and singer Harshdeep Kaur is exceptional in her rendition of this poignant number. Udi is a heady concoction of Spanish sounds and Sunidhi Chauhan’s sensuous vocals. Bhansali creates a festive mood here and uses Shail Hada’s backing vocals to heighten the drama.

The pick of the lot, however, is Tera zikr (Shail Hada, Rakesh Pandit). An ode to beauty, this Sufi-esque qawwali starts off slow before morphing into a spellbinding fusion of Indian and Western sounds. Shail Hada is fantastic and Rakesh Pandit makes a solid impression with his highpitch vocals. Brilliant stuff.

Jaane kiske khwaab, in spite of its short running time, fails to make an impression and Daayein baayein (KK) though breezy doesn’t quite leave a mark. Shankar Mahadevan proves why he is the best in the business with his powerful rendition of Dhundhli dhundhli – a melancholic number of longing and pain.

Shail Hada makes a subdued return in Keh na saku. Bhansali creates a clean composition using onl the piano as the main accompanying instrument and Puri’s lyrics superbly describe the joy of falling in love. Though a romantic ballad, the song manages to create a sombre mood, which is the case with most of the songs in this album. There is an underlying air of pathos in the entire soundtrack which gives an initial feeling of monotony.

But after you have heard the album a few times, the songs will captivate you. It is evident that a lot of heart and hard work has gone into the making of Guzaarish’s music. And with this classy album, Bhansali makes a striking debut as a music composer.

Verdict: Worth a buy.

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