Music Review Happy New Year

Expectations:
The expectations from the music are gargantuan – and we expect a grand and big sound as well.

Music:
The album begins with 'Indiawaale' (Shankar Mahadevan, K K, Vishal Dadlani, Neeti Mohan), which however seems to be the last or climactic song of the film, in the best '70s-meets-Manmohan Desai tradition of Amar Akbar Anthony-Naseeb-Desh Premee.
Irshad Kamil writes with a fiery simplicity and directness that we have been missing from his powerful pen of late ('Dushman ke chhakke chhuda de hum Indiawaale / Yun to seedhe bade / Kabhi chahen to haathon se lete laqeerein chura').

Vishal-Shekhar's tune is extremely infectious, with a superb mukhda and a mass-friendly rhythm, though we wish that the sound was softer, more acoustic and in that sense, bigger. Pyarelal had arranged one of their best songs, 'Deewangee', in Om Shanti Om and this could have been a second superb candidate for another go with him after his expertise in this genre! Among the singers, KK and Vishal stand out, the former effortlessly!

The electronic version is obviously different in its packaging, but the innate melody carries the day again, despite the not very appealing tenor given to the sound of the song that is almost like a remix.

This song is also a dominant part of the 'World Dance Medley' (Neeti Mohan-Vishal Dadlani-Sukhwinder Singh-KK- Shankar Mahadevan-Shah Rukh Khan) in which other tracks from the album are also blended. This version sounds like an end-credits number and the patriotic portion (Irshad Kamil) recited by Shah Rukh Khan is the winning highlight of this track. Irshad also writes equally effective verse later in the song ('Duniya se humko kya le jaana / Yaaron ke dil mein ho thikana').

A lovely rhythm offsets the raag-rich melody, 'Manwa Laage' (Shreya Ghoshal-Arijit Singh). Shreya is in customary excellent form and is superlative and more, but Arijit (he is loud but brilliant)'s portions are handicapped by a loud, very synthetic backing music. The mixing also seems to overpower the melody, which by itself carts us to the exotic era of Laxmikant-Pyarelal in its compositional and orchestral structure and choral patterns – though the acoustic bigness and immaculate mixing is missing.

A strange feature of this melody is that despite the allure of this composition and its execution by frontline singers, it does not linger long as semi-classical songs usually do. Obviously, the transparent reason for this mystery is the treatment that should have been more faithful to the raag, sur and singers than to its (excessive) modern packaging. V-S should introspect and look objectively at this, because even their 'Naina' (from RA.One) suffered for this reason – and 'Manwa Laage' was a superior song!

Sukhwinder Singh sings 'Satakli' (apologies to Singham Returns, but this is a far better track!) with his characteristic aplomb. The orchestration is apt though once again, the levels of the vocals should have been higher than that of the accompanying instruments, even if Sukhwinder is capable of overpowering even loud orchestration!

It is the chorus, however, that suffers in the over-production, ending up subdued when it should have been truly rousing. Also, we fail to understand when the first antara is completely in the R.D. Burman mould when the base is Marathi folk!
The fourth song we enjoyed was 'Nonsense Ki Night' (written by Farah Khan with Vishal and Shekhar). The lyrics gain the method-in-the-madness nonsense element from direct (as in literal) English translations of famous Hindi proverbs, like 'Dance not coming, courtyard crooked' from 'Nach Na Jaane Aangan Tedha' and so on. Mika is his unchangeable but competent self and is accompanied by vocal portions by Shah Rukh Khan and others. We rather liked the treatment given to the song, both in terms of composition and instrumentation.
The decline in the score begins with 'Dance Like A Chhamiya' (Sunidhi Chauhan-Vishal Dadlani), in which Sunidhi personally excels, even as she is handicapped by a track as super-trite as possible for a singer of her capability. There is nothing to write home about in the words and the overdone tune and cacophonous sound. The lyricist is not credited – and we do not blame him for being in denial of this one!
The score gets more banal with 'Sharabi' (Manj Musik-Nindy Kaur-Vishal Dadlani-Shekhar Ravjiani), wherein Kumaar is needed along with V-S to write the most clichéd Punjabi-Hindi-English number.

The short music piece, 'The Heist' (John Stewart) is added to the album maybe to give the general feel of a heist film.

Dr Zeus composes 'Lovely' (Kanika Kapoor-Ravindra Upadhyay-Miraya Varma-Fateh), which is again a very typically 'with-it' Punjabi-pop song in the tradition of Kanika's 'Baby doll', but without the erotic charisma of the song. The early Pritam-like feel of the track is spoilt by the endless repetition of the first line, the noisy music and a passage sung by a wannabe Yo Yo Honey Singh. In impact, this is barely a fraction of Yo Yo's 'Lungi dance' from Chennai Express. And its other gimmicky version 'Kamlee' is even more tired and tiring for the listener.

Overall:
Three breezy songs dominate, while 'Lovely' may do well for every short span. The ratings are purely for the commercial prospects of the score. On a qualitative front, the score is average after the abovementioned winning tracks.

Our Pick:
'Manwa Laage', 'Indiawaale', 'Satakli', 'Nonsense Ki Night'

Music: Vishal-Shekhar & Dr. Zeus
Lyrics: Irshad Kamil, Kumaar, Farah Khan, Jiwan Mann, Vishal Dadlani & Shekhar Ravjiani
Music Label: T-Series
Article written by staff at Bollywood Hungama. Read more

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