This is a redux of the 1982 Shaukeeen (the first known film to use numerology in the title!) and Akshay Kumar is co-producer. From him, we can generally expect a cocktail of music makers, like in OMG – Oh My God! and Boss, and a couple of good tracks.
Piano chords open the Arko Mukherjee written and composed 'Meherbani' sung by Jubin Nautiyal, a typical 'modern' romantic ditty with Sufi overtones and contemporary treatment. The singer has the typical tenor and texture that is said to work today, though why Jubin emulates Adnan Sami in many portions of the song is best known to him.
The composition is alright, and may even appeal to many listeners today, but our issue is with the lyrics. Arko seems to have ignored basic grammar and there are two major and avoidable bloopers within the words. In fact, it is the first line that goes ' Hai saaz tu tera (instead of the correct 'teri') tarz mein' that first draws attention to the lyrics.
And that's not all. In 'Aashiq mijaaz' (Aman Trikha-Hard Kaur), lyricist Siddharth Banerjee serves an ungrammatical 'feast'. It starts wrong ('Fail kiya tha maine university / Kyoon ki bahut busy tha main karne mein aashiqui') and then delivers the irreparable mess that is 'Dekh liya hai maine poori country / Kyoon ki seekha nahin maine kuch siwaay aashiqui.'
Also, one wonders how and why these gaffes were not noticed by anyone, especially since all the metres could have been retained with correct words. In this song, we liked the sound given to it by composer Hard Kaur and also her vocals alongside Aman Trikha's, and that is why the lyrics stand out sorely even more.
Faring somewhat better than his co-composers here is Vikram Nagi, whose 'Ishq kutta hai' written by Shabbir Ahmed is well drawled-out by Mika. Shabbir does get inelegant as he pens the yucky metaphor 'Har aashiq ke kaan mein ussne moota hai' (sic) just to rhyme with the word 'kutta', but he redeems himself with the witty 'Jisne bhi iss se zyaada laad ladaya hai / Haddi samajh ke issne ussko khaaya hai.'
We really liked the overall interlude music that has a haunting feel and also the sudden and mellifluous use of the sitar during the second part of the song.
The second Vikram Nagi-composed song, 'Lonely' (Anu Malik with an un-credited but digitally processed voice) has a passing charm as it lingers for a while in mind. Anu delivers the song in his typical way. The lyrics by Nagi himself are again odd, however, – the character expresses 'Lagta hai kyoon aisa mujhko / Ke tu hi hai mera pyar' practically at the end of the song after expressing pangs of loneliness without her!
As for the two Yo Yo Honey Singh creations, he seems to have clearly decided to reboot and redux his existing limited hits in both words and tunes, with only cosmetic changes. Of course, 'Manali Trance' (Neha Kakkar with Yo Yo) has a fresh feel at the beginning, but as we move along, we realize that there is a decided deja vu feel of 'Party with the bhoothnath' from Bhoothnath Returns.
And 'Alcoholic' goes back to Yo Yo's favourite obsession – alcohol of course. The feel is again the same as his previous songs without any attempt at creative freshness.
The original film was not exactly one of R.D. Burman's memorable scores. This one too does not reach that level. But in passing a couple of tracks just might work.
Meherbani, Ishq kutta hai
Music: Yo Yo Honey Singh, Arko Mukherjee, Hard Kaur & Vikram Nagi
Lyrics: Sahil Kaushal, Arko Mukherjee, Siddharth Banerjee, Shabbir Ahmed & Vikram Nagi
Music Label: Zee Music