Amit Trivedi delivered one of the best soundtracks of 2014 in Vikas Bahl’s ‘Queen’. The composer teams up with the director again for his latest directorial outing titled ‘Shaandaar’. One expects the team to score an even better soundtrack this time as apart from the Phantom brand, the film has Karan Johar’s name attached to it. Anvita Dutt, who wrote the songs of ‘Queen’ and is the screenplay writer of ‘Shaandaar’, writes just one song (“Gulaabo”) and Amit’s frequent collaborator is roped in to write the rest of the songs.”
One gets to hear horns blaring in the interlude before Vishal Dadlani’s husky voice makes an appearance in “Gulaabo”. The horns are heard throughout the song and their overwhelming presence lingers in your mind long after you are done listening to the track. The punchy track benefits greatly from Vishal’s joyously unrestrained voice. Anusha Mani does not get too many lines to sing but makes an impact nevertheless. Overall, “Gulaabo” turns out to be a fun number with some very innovative arrangements.
The largely engaging prelude music, consisting of dhols, sitar and horns, plays for almost fifty seconds before Amit Trivedi croons “Shaam Shaandaar” and you cannot help but notice how similar is this track from many songs the composer has to his credit. In fact, the one song that instantly comes to one’s mind is “Jugni” (‘Queen’). Of course, the song had a different flavour but the tune was similar. “Shaam Shaandaar” is a good track that should go down well with a particular situation in the film but the reason you would not like to hear it multiple times is because of its overfamiliar tune.
“Nazdeekiyan” has the kind of sound and feel which you would expect to find in a Disney production’s soundtrack. The track has a pleasant feel to it which soothes one’s senses. The arrangements are lovely. “Nazdeekiyan” has a distinct old world charm to it which makes it endearing. Even though the track makes for easy listening, the tune is not something which you would remember for long. Neeti Mohan is very good with her rendition but Nikhil Paul George’s heavily accented singing sans any feelings is hard to get impressed with.
After three tracks, which had a very urbane feel to them, comes “Senti Wali Mental”, a song which has a very Indian sound to it. You do not really expect an Amit Trivedi composition to carry such a strong Indian sound. Yes, he occasionally does something on similar lines. The track does have a feel similar to “Chokra Jawaan” (‘Ishaqzaade’). The track revolves around some playful banter between a young man and a woman presumably in a wedding-like setting. The song is extremely catchy and has some wordplay brought to forth by Amitabh Bhattacharya.
Amit surprises again by composing “Raitaa Phailgaya”, a punchy track with a boisterous feel to it; something which Sajid-Wajid are expected to pull off. Amit does bring in certain nuances that leave his impression on the track but full marks to him for coming out of his comfort zone and delivering an impressive number that does not really boast of his characteristic sound. The arrangements come together to give synth-pop meets bhangra sound to it. Divya Kumar’s high-spirited voice matches the riotous energy of the song perfectly.
‘Shaandaar’ is not as good as ‘Queen’ was but it is far from being a disappointment. Amit Trivedi tries to amalgamate his style with a conventional Bollywood sound and the result is not bad. The songs released so far have been picturised very well. Plus, the star power of Shahid Kapoor and Alia Bhatt and the genre of the film will make sure that the music stays in public memory for some time.