The Saif Ali Khan starrer ‘Chef’, which borrows its plot from director Jon Favreau’s American drama of the same name is expected to be a light-hearted, slice of the life film like the original. Director Raja Krishna Menon’s last film ‘Airlift’ had a good album. Also, the fact that this film has been co-produced by T-Series makes one expect at least a decent soundtrack in the offering. Raghu Dixit, known for his distinctive vocal texture and composing abilities, has scored four out of five songs in the album.
Boisterous singing, an addictive percussion based rhythm and a simple, easy-to-hum tune – you find all that you expect in a typical Raghu Dixit track in “Shugal Laga Le”. As is the case with the composer’s signature tunes, this one makes an impression in the first listening itself. The bohemian and carefree vibe of the song, even though a tad familiar, is infectious. Ankur Tewari’s lyrics have a nice blend of simplicity and novelty.
The much-in-demand Amaal Mallik pitches in as a gust composer and offers us “Tere Mere”, sung by brother Armaan Malik. Even though Amaal has done a variety of songs and proved his versatility as a composer, one who is familiar with his body of work can figure out, without seeing the credits, that it is an Amaal Mallik composition. One is not complaining as despite not boasting of any novelty value, “Tere Mere” makes for a pleasant hearing.
“Banjara”, due to its laidback and happy vibe and a percussive rhythm, sounds like an extension of “Shugal Laga Le” initially. But, as you listen to the full audio track, you realise the two tracks are quite dissimilar to each both in terms of the composition and the mood. Through the song, we get a glimpse of the journey Saif and his son undertake after they plan to travel across different cities with their food truck. Vishal Dadlani’s voice, too, helps in this regard.
Nikitha Gandhi (“Raabta” – ‘Raabta’, “Ullu Ka Pattha” – ‘Jagga Jaasoos’, “Ghar” – Jab Harry Met Sejal’), one of the brightest new singers on the bloc, carries the jazz-based “Tan Tan” very well. The use of trumpets, saxophone and drums lend the quintessential jazz driven texture to it. Raghu Dixit’s composition is quite engaging and should be lapped up by average Hindi film music listeners – the ones who do not listen to jazz regularly.
“Khoya Khoya” is perhaps the most Bollywood-friendly track Raghu contributes to this album. The song, laced in melancholy, has an old world charm to it accentuated by the sound of the moderately used sarangi. Shahid Mallya sings the song fabulously and one cannot help but wonder why his voice is not used more often in Hindi films. Raghu sets the mildly classical tune amidst the backdrop of contemporary arrangements.
Raghu Dixit does well in his third Hindi film as a music director. He does not really deliver an album that one expects to be remembered for a long time but he, along with guest composer Amaal Mallik, makes sure that the soundtrack does not offer a single dull moment. While the songs different in quality, there is not a single track that would make you hit the skip button.