Ragini MMS (2011) is known as a scare-fest, but its music was functional. Much has changed since by way of trends, and today, promotional songs as well as other lip-synch numbers are considered much more important from the commercial point of view. However, we have long stopped expecting great music for a film on the supernatural, which till Raaz (2002) was a foolproof combination recipe for a super-hit movie.
Let us start with the lead track, 'Baby Doll' (Meet Bros. Anjjan – who also composed it – with Kanika Kapoor). It is a nice song with an arresting hook for getting in certain audiences and music consumers, but not something that will stay on. For one, the lyrics (Kumaar) are in hardcore Punjabi and so the beats become paramount. With lyrics beyond ken for those who cannot fathom the language, the song will only remain alive till the promos and film last, unlike a 'Munni' or 'Chikni Chameli'.
Having said that, the song's hook is infectious and the singing is energetic. The composition is as per demands and as we said, we do have a fly-by-night hit. As always, its remix version has nothing special about it other than the mandatory modification of beats.
Over to Yo-Yo Honey Singh, the composer-singer of the next track: 'Chaar Botal Vodka'. Here the issue is different. The lyrics (Ustad Bhagdarh Ali Khan) hover between an amusing account of a hangover and the crass objectification of a woman ('Sooji sooji aankhen meri / Phir bhi dekho / Ladkiyon ko kaise hain nihaare'). This is now an alarmingly recurrent trait in Yo Yo's very limited movie work (like the lines 'Kudiyon ka laga hai buffet / Chahe jo karlo choose' in the 'Aaj blue hai paani' track in Yaariyan) and the rapper should seriously junk it!
Once again, the rap-based hook is almost as interesting as the lead track, but isn't it really high time that we thought of entire songs that linger, not hooks?
The overdone genre of a Sufi-ana love song resurfaces here as 'Maine Khud Ko', with an oh-so-predictable musical structure and lyrics (Kumaar). The Mustafa Zahid version is much more soulful because the singer is obviously more experienced. However, we still liked the reprise by Kshitij Tarey, whose earnest attempt to excel is praiseworthy.
'Lori Of Death', sung by Arpita Chakraborti, emerges as a novel concept composed by Chirantan Bhatt, with lyrics by Manoj Yadav. A lullaby with a dark twist, it is the only fresh track in this score. The singer is efficient, but at the risk of sounding a nitpicker, we must state that a true-blue and seasoned playback singer would have raised this niche song to the next level. Casting a voice has probably become even more important than casting an actor, since music itself is facing inimical challenges of all kinds.
This is a score that will work for a while. The rating is for the score's commercial prospects. Let's not expect anything lasting or substantial here.
'Baby Doll', 'Lori Of Death'
Music: Meet Bros. Anjjan, Yo Yo Honey Singh, Chirantan Bhatt & Pranay Rijia
Lyrics: Kumaar, Ustad Bhagdarh Ali Khan & Manoj Yadav
Music Label: T-Series