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Ram Sampath Delhi Belly Review

Released 2011.  

BBC Review

A fresh and funny soundtrack that’s destined to become a cult classic.

Jaspreet Pandohar 2011

The mere mention of the words Delhi Belly is enough to conjure stomach-churning thoughts. Fortunately, none of the unpleasant sounds you might expect to hear whilst suffering the predicament feature on the soundtrack to Aamir Khan’s new Hinglish film of the same name. Thanks to some of most amusing lyrics and original music to have come out of Bollywood in the past few years, this is an audio feast well worth digesting.

The credit goes in equal parts to composer/singer Ram Sampath and his team of talented songwriters: Amitabh Bhattacharya, Akshat Verma, Munna Dhiman and Chetan Shashital. Together they have crafted eight of the most quirky and entertaining songs to have graced an Indian film in recent years. As if taking inspiration from Quentin Tarantino, they have ensured director Abhinay Deo’s saucy comedy caper has a va va voom score designed to enhance the film’s edgy dialogues and attract the urban Indian youth audience it is aimed at.

Starting with the explosive fusion-rock track Bhaag D.K. Bose, Aandhi Aayi and ending in the hilarious retro-disco of I Hate You (Like I Love You), Sampath and gang go all out to challenge listeners. Like Delhi Belly the picture, their soundtrack dares to push the boundaries of decency and taste. Hidden sexual innuendos in Bhaag D.K. Bose and the in-your-face anti-female chant in Jaa Chudail may offend the more sensitive or conservative, but true Bollywood music devotees will appreciate what these songs have to offer. If you’ve ever felt the need to run for your life or curse a two-timing lover, you’ll worship these numbers.

Qawwali fans will adore the infectious Nakkaddwaley Disco, Udhaarwaley Khisco, sung expertly by Keerthi Sagathia whose inflections and vocal tone are reminiscent of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Shashital also does an excellent job of mimicking yesteryear playback artist K.L. Saigal in Saigal Blues, an angst-ridden, blues-inspired ode to the legendary singer/actor generally considered the first superstar of Bollywood. The Punjabi-pop-flavoured Switty Tera Pyaar Chaida, love ballad Tere Siva and raunchy item number Bedardi Raja complete the perfect package.

Fresh, frenetic and wickedly funny, Delhi Belly is more than the sum of its parts. Not a duff note or bad lyric amongst them, the songs work equally well on their own – but as a collection, this is destined to become a cult classic.

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