'Peepli [Live]' brings rock, folk, satire together (Music Review)

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By Ruchika Kher

Film: "Peepli [Live]"; Music Directors: Indian Ocean, Raghuveer Yadav, Nageen Tanvir and Ram Sampath; Lyricists: Sanjeev Sharma, Swanand Kirkire, Noon Meem Rashed and Gangaram Sakhet; Singers: Indian Ocean, Raghuveer Yadav, Brij Mandal, Bhadwai and Nageen Tanvir; Rating: ***1/2

When Aamir Khan is the producer, then one needs to be prepared for the unpredictable. And that's exactly the case with the soundtrack of "Peepli [Live]". The music composed by multiple artists is Indian to the core and borrows heavily from our country's folk music.

The album boasts of six tracks including one remix.

The music of "Peepli [Live]" starts off with "Des mera" by fusion-rock band Indian Ocean. The song is originally from the band's 'Jhini' album that was released in 2003. But for this film, the lyrics were tweaked a little to suit the theme.

The track is a lively, upbeat classic Indian Ocean number. Its rustic influences add character to it and make it interesting.

The song has another version, which has a few western beats as well. This version is not as raw as the original.

Next is "Mehngai dayain" in the voice of Raghuveer Yadav, who plays a pivotal role in the film as well. The song is a satire on the rising prices and will do well owing to its relevance in the present time. The folk touch to the song and the added chorus make it a good rendition.

The song also has a remixed version, which has western beats along with the Indian influence.

Then comes the dark and edgy "Zindagi se darte ho", which makes you sit up and take notice. The hard-hitting song has Indian Ocean behind the mike. The song is basically a poem by Noon Meem Rashed. The seven-minute-long song is soaked in rock flavour that makes it even more interesting.

Finally Nageen Tanvir, daughter of noted theatre personality Habib Tanvir, sings "Chola maati ke ram", a philosophical song about death. The song is very unlike a Bollywood song and that's what gives it an edge. It is inspired by music from Chhattisgarh.

On the whole, the sound track of "Peepli [Live]" is a robust mix of carefully selected songs from various sources. It is unlike a typical Bollywood album...but being different is what works and clicks with audiences nowadays.

(Ruchika Kher can be contacted at [email protected])