Director Nikhil Advani and music composers Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy have proved to be a formidable team with each of their collaborations resulting in a good soundtrack. The director’s upcoming film ‘Hero’ is the first instance in which one sees the composers’ names missing from the credits of a film directed by him. But, Advani and the composers trio join hands again for ‘Katti Batti’, an urban romantic comedy which stars Imran Khan and Kangana Ranaut in the lead roles. Kumaar is one of the most prolific lyric writers today but he rarely gets the opportunity to write for an entire soundtrack. He gets one such opportunity with this soundtrack which marks his second collaboration with Nikhil Advani (the first being ‘Hero’) and the first with Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy.
The different layers between the earthy and a contemporary sound in “Lip To Lip” have been brought out wonderfully by the contrasting voices of Nikhil D’Souza and Ritu Pathak. This playful track benefits from a fresh tune with the portions sung by Ritu being slightly edgier than the ones rendered by Nikhil. The arrangements consist of techno beats, acoustic guitars, percussions and a saxophone heard sporadically throughout the song.
The well-packaged EDM structure and the catchy beats uplift the familiar tune of “Sarfira” to a few notches higher. The song has a vibrant feel to it but how one wishes the composers had put together a more intricately woven tune. The track is engaging but does not boast of any novelty whatsoever. Kumaar writes some fun lyrics that are in sync with the lingo used by the youngsters today. Siddharth Mahadevan and Neeti Mohan’s energetic voices add to the youthful appeal of the song.
The fact that Shankar Mahadevan’s voice does not suit Imran Khan is evident in the promo of “Sau Aasoon” that has hit the airwaves recently. One could have ignored this but one cannot possibly overlook the fact the audio track does not complement Shankar’s voice at all. Rasika Shekhar, who sings the female portions, does well. The tune, coupled with the arrangements dominated by electric guitar and drums, is nice. Although the song has a melancholy flavour to it, the music is pretty light.
The composers infuse several genres of music to present a heady cocktail called “Jaago Mohan Pyaare” which is led by the enthusiastic voices of Rasika Shekhar, Siddharth Basrur, Digvijay Singh Pariyar and Raman Mahadevan. Kumaar’s lyrics are ordinary with lines like ‘Fraud Iraade Chinese Waade’ that make you cringe. The lyrics hint at the song being one that arrives after the couple have a fall out. The number makes for a fun listen and should go well with the situation which it is written for.
After lending his voice for two stunning songs (“Khanabadosh” – ‘London Dreams’, “Chandaniya” – ‘2 States’) composed by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy in the past, Mohan Kannan sings “Ove Jaaniya” another beautiful number composed by the trio. “Ove Jaaniya” is a gorgeous track which, in parts, bears a resemblance to “Bhor”, the Indian Ocean track which was heard recently in ‘Masaan’. The pensive track effectively conveys the pain and anguish of a lover. Kumaar’s thoughtful verses complement Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s music very well. The female version, sung by Sayani Palit, sounds wonderful with the newcomer’s fresh voice and some pleasant piano notes creating a soothing impact on the listener’s mind.
Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy stick to a safe and familiar approach and the kind of fresh sound they came up with in soundtracks like ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ and ‘D Day’ is missing here. Kumaar writes for a full soundtrack after a while and proves that he is, indeed, a versatile lyricist. He could have gone easy with the Punjabi verses as there seems to be an overdose of Punjabi lyrics. The music of ‘Katti Batti’ is not the best that the director and composers’ team have given us. Having said that, the soundtrack does justice to the genre of the film and gives the listeners six tracks, none of which make for a bad listen.