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Expectations soar when Vishal Bhardwaj and Gulzar make music together, quite justifiably. After all, they have given us some remarkable songs in Maachis, Omkara, Satya and more recently Kaminey! Ishqiya is their latest collaboration and a surprisingly short one – there are only four original songs in this album!

Dil toh bachha (Rahat Fateh Ali Khan) is undoubtedly one of the best songs you will hear this year. The simplicity of the lyrics and the soulfulness of the composition bowl you over the first time you listen to it. With the emphasis solely on Khan’s brilliant vocals, this simple melody lingers long after you hear it. Fantastic!

Up next is the boisterous number innovatively titled Ibn-e-Batuta. Sukhwinder Singh and Mika Singh bring gusto to their singing, which makes this song very enjoyable. Gulzar’s lyrics comprise strange yet catchy words and Bhardwaj’s tune is refreshingly original. This number has all the makings of a sure-shot hit.

Ab mujhe koi (Rekha Bhardwaj) focuses solely on the singer’s lovely vocals backed by minimal use of instruments including a gentle strumming of the guitar. This mellow, slow-paced song may not see instant popularity but will grow on you.

The last track, Badi dheere jali, is yet another track by Rekha Bhardwaj. Though this composition is based on Indian classical music, there is a hint of western fusion here. In spite of its gentle pace, there is an element of poignancy to this song. This one is more for connoisseurs than the aam janta.

Like most albums these days, there are a couple of mandatory remixes in this one too.

Verdict:  The music of Ishqiya doesn’t disappoint. Good stuff!

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