When the music album of race(2009) came out it created waves across the nation with its extremely danceable and hummable tunes. Attached to its popularity were also of course accusations of plagiarism and uncredited inspiration against the baby-faced Pritam Chakraborthy, the composer. The album consists of roughly 16 songs including a clutter of remixes which expectedly pale in comparison to their parents. The album immediately became a chartbuster and even to this day, a decade since then, its ability to exude aural pleasure on ears partial to pop music hasn’t waned much.
Coming to our topic of discussion, “Zara Zara Touch Me”, sung by Monali Thakur is a nearly four-minute long track which may be categorized as an item number but it isn’t one in the strictest sense. It is a slow, low solo song which transmits elegantly the pure, raw desire brimming in the heart of the belle as she attempts to tempt the main man of the film, resolutely setting all her assets to the task. The overnight popularity of the song in dimly lit places of urbania is testament to how it well it was received as a song of seduction by the whole nation.
Item songs and party songs are not always the kind one delves into the texture of. The barbaric beats and the equally obstreperous vocals are more than enough criteria to ensure on-loop playing at mass events. But Zara Zara forces the listener to do just that, to delve into the texture of the track itself. Singing I believe is a vastly misunderstood profession measured by the masses by means of extremes when it ought to really be adjudged by the emotions invoked in the listener by the singer. It really isn’t easy to invoke all the vast array of human emotion via voice alone. Ms. Thakur in this track manages to convince us that, nevertheless, it is possible.
The music provides an apt accompaniment to Ms. Thakur with its echoing bass notes and ebbing trumpets ushering us into the track. The sounds are redolent of descent and the gap between the beats themselves evoke a slow atmosphere where the onus is on these blank spaces between the beats and not the beats themselves. Added to this, the supporting vocals by what sounds like a duo of reggae singers, only increase the sensuousness of the song with an almost incantatory intensity.
If one were to use a particular set of word to describe the mood effects of this song it would include these words: mesmeric, hypnotic, spell-binding. This effect is achieved by employing one simple trick that many musicians seem to overlook or to be totally unaware of while composing- to lay emphasis on the chords not readily available to the listener on first or second listen. Lure him in by stressing on parts of the song where the listener least expects to find something. This is what Zara Zara achieves and credit must be given to Ms. Thakur as well for those vocals which more than convey the essence of the song.