As a composer, Soumik Sen makes a good start. Now, it's up to him as a director to place the songs well in Gulaab Gang's narrative.
One expects an earthy soundtrack for the film Gulaab Gang, which is rooted in the rural heartland.
The film has no heroes and heroines singing romantic numbers, so the music was a challenge for director Soumik Sen, who also composes the music.
Gulaab Gang has lyrics by Neha Saraf. Shreya Narayan and Soumik writes a song apiece.
The enchanting chant of Gan, Gagan Gan kick-starts the proceedings, reminding one of the sound prevalent in the New Age cinema of the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Gulaabi is sung with aplomb by Malabika Brahma and Shilpa Rao. The piece has a good rhythm and one expects the track to be heard in many places in the film to elevate the proceedings.
The sound of the guitar, followed by the saxophone, gives a Western feel to Dheemi Dheemi Si with Kaushiki Chakraborty singing in a manner that reminds one of the compositions that R D Burman is best remembered for.
Malabika Brahma joins in for this number. With politics at the centre of the film, Dheemi Dheemi Si is a situational track.
The way Sharm Laaj begins, one is instantly reminded of the matka sound that was the hallmark of Kariye Na from A R Rahman's Taal. There’s a different mood to this song, though, with Malabika Brahma and Pavni Pandey coming together for this Shreya Narayan written number.
Expect Sharm Laaj to fill in the item number space in Gulaab Gang, though one wonders where exactly such a scene would fit into the film's narrative. The overall mood of the song is entirely different from other rural item numbers such as Aa Re Pritam Pyaar (in Rowdy Rathore) or Kaddu Katega (from R...Rajklumar).
Neha Saraf pens the lyrics for Aankhiyaan, a solo number sung by Kaushiki Chakraborty.
One hearing of the song is enough to understand why Soumik was so keen to rope her in as the voice of Madhuri Dixit in the film. On the lines of Paani Paani Re (from Maachis), this soothing number has just a guitar accompanying Kaushiki's vocals. Easy on the ears, it is again situational but should work in the context of the film.
Kaushiki continues to make her presence felt in the album with Rang Se Hui. A folk melody, it has a ’70s feel, but is not as impressive as the songs preceding it.
Rang continues to be in vogue as Snehalatha Dixit begins her rendition with the opening lines.
Soon after, Madhuri Dixit takes over and renders the traditional track Rangi Saari Gulaabi.
Madhuri's singing voice is totally unrecognisable. She displays an altogether different tone, texture and depth. One wonders why she did not sing earlier. Of course, it is apparent that the song is the work of an actor and not a professional singer, but it is still unique in its own way.
Last to arrive is Teri Jai Ho, which is an ode to womanhood by Soumik. He sings this number which is also written by him.
This is the best song in the soundtrack. It is also the only number in the album that features a male voice.
A soft-n-smooth number, it has some impressive lyrics that are made all the more special by Soumik's rendition. This is one of the songs from the album that can be conveniently put on loop. Also, it won't be a bad idea to build a music video around it.
Gulaab Gang music starts off well, and ends even better. As a composer, Soumik Sen makes a good start. It is up to him as a director to place the songs well in the film's narrative.