RATING ★ ★ ★ 1/2
Director Kabir Khan's Bajrangi Bhaijaan shattered many records and won accolades and hearts everywhere, Pritam composed some nice situational numbers which had grown post movie release, "Phantom" on the other hand is a thriller where the focus shifts to background music rather than the soundtrack, as a result he offers six tracks with 3 originals and 3 reprise versions, let’s check them out!
"Afghan Jalebi (Ya Baba)" is one of those massy numbers that catches attention instantly, a folksy tune with an Arabic touch add to that some pulsating music crafted around some crazy insane writing by Amitabh Bhattacharya, result: Chartbuster! The arrangements and the overall fun element is where one gets a sense of déjàvu and lands in a territory where Pritam's very own 'Saree Ke Fall Sa' (R..Rajkumar) meets 'Pungi' (Agent Vinod). Debutant Syed Asrar Shah energy is impressive; the chorus part 'Khawaja Ji Ke Paas Teri' is certainly the highlight of the composition. The other version "Afghan Jalebi (Film Version)" is the same as the original one and one can't find any slightest of difference between both of them, wonder why it has been credited to another singer Akhtar Channal Zahri.
Akhtar Channal Zahri sings the "Afghan Jalebi (Dumbek Version)" and certainly this one is the best of all the four versions. Akhtar's renditions are raw, and are more inclined towards the Sufi genre, notice the elegant dictions when he sings 'Afghan Jelabi..Mashooq Ferabi' (the 'e' here is intentional, hear it to know why). The use of Dumbek and tabla makes this version completely different and yes the use of string instruments in between is not to be missed. Keep this one on Repeat Mode!
And then we have Pritam's favourite Nakash Aziz (Saree Ke Fall Sa) for "Ya Baba (Fitna Farebi)" which goes same as the original with some less energetic albeit more filmy renditions by Nakash except for the last one minute where we some welcome change in the lyrics but nothing much special here from Pritam this time.
"Saware" is a soothing melodious number which rides smoothly on Arijit Singh vocals. The whole composition has a story flowing with it where the second paragraph is very well written by Amitabh Bhattacharya, the chorus part has a trance feeling to it and its where Kabir Khan makes his presence felt, expect this one to be heard at various junctures in the movie. This is one song that should grow immensely post movie release.
"Nachda" is the surprise element of the soundtrack where Shahid Mallya takes centre stage with his intense renditions beautifully weaved around some sensational lyrics by Kausar Munir which has a lot of depth and meaning to it, giving the word 'Nachda' an altogether different meaning..Superb. As for the arrangements, we get to hear some electric guitar riffs are the start and then the string instruments takes hold of the proceedings and the overall result is an eccentric amalgamation of rock flavour and Arabic elements. Both the interludes are heavily arranged and its one of those compositions where everything from the lyrics to the vocals to the arrangements are top notch. Pritam at his very best!
"Phantom" is one of those soundtracks from Pritam where one was not sure what's in store for them and that's where the soundtrack strikes gold. Kabir Khan has a knack of using the songs beautifully alongside the narrative, take for instance 'Zindagi' and 'Tu Jo Mila' in 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan' recently. 'Nachda' and 'Saware' to grow post movie release where 'Afghan Jalebi' satiates the masses where Dumbek Version stands out among the four!