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Naam Shabana Music Review

Despite being a song-less film, ‘Baby’ (2015) had a fairly good album consisting of four tracks. ‘Naam Shabana’, a prequel to the aforementioned film, traces the journey of Shabana Khan (Taapsee Pannu) as circumstances force her to take up joining a crime fighting unit. Rochak Kohli, who started off as a co-composer with Ayushmann Khurrana on some of his earlier hit songs, has been steadily making a name for himself as a composer. Barring one song (“Baby Besharam”) by Meet Bros, the entire album is credited to Kohli. The songs have been written by prominent lyricists like Manoj Muntashir and Kumaar. With such well-known names at the helm of affairs and four original tracks at one’s disposal, one expects the album to carry a couple of tuneful numbers.

“Rozana” is the kind of saccharine sweet, traditional Hindi film song that you would expect an Amaal Mallik or an Ankit Tiwari to compose for T-Series’ music bank. The song which conveys Shabana’s feelings for a man she is, presumably, in a relationship with, has a very likeable tune riding on a wave of some lovely verses written by Manoj Muntashir. A song like this should work as a calming or relief factor in this intense thriller. Shreya Ghoshal, whose voice one hears after a very long time, sounds fresh as ever.

After hearing the first song on the album in Shreya Ghoshal’s voice, it is a pleasure to see another stalwart lending her voice to a track. Sunidhi Chauhan lends her expertise to “Zinda” and along with Manoj Muntashir’s engaging wordplay, helps in lifting the song from its restrictive situational appeal. On paying close attention to the lyrics, and from the way the song sounds, one assumes it will probably arrive in the film at a time when Shabana realises her true calling in life. Unlike “Rozana”, this one would probably grow on you when you see the film.

Rochak Kohli borrows the hookline from Bappi Lahiri’s “Zooby Zooby” (‘Dance Dance’) and props it up with an appropriately heavy techno sound in “Zubi Zubi”, making it sound better than the original. While the hook lines similar to the original, the rest of the song boasts of an original tune which complements the immensely catchy hook. Sukriti Kakar sings the song with the right amount of spunk and Rochak lends good support as a backing vocalist. “Zubi Zubi” should serve its purpose of spicing up the buzz for the film before it hits the theatres.

Jasmine Sandler’s voice and the way “Baby Besharam” starts off, one is instantly reminded of “Yaar Na Miley” (‘Kick’). As one finish listening to the track, one realises it is not a patch on the latter, which, itself, was a middling composition. Jasmine’s spirited rendition fails to compensate for a dated tune by Meet Bros and some lazy writing by Kumaar. One wonders if T-Series pulled this song out of an old music library which Meet Bros had delivered years back.

Rochak Kohli gives a good account of him as a composer; all three of his compositions are listenable with two of them being chartbuster material. Meet Bros’ sole contribution to the album is nothing to write home about. Keeping in mind the genre of the film, one must give it to the makers and the record label for putting together a soundtrack that boasts of a couple of potential hit numbers that could serve as good marketing tools for the film.

Rating: 3/5

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