The music of ‘Tanu Weds Manu’ was one of the best of 2011 in Bollywood. The soundtrack came as a pleasant surprise as nobody was expecting much from a team which consisted of a new composer (Krsna) and debutante lyricist (Raj Shekhar). Though it had songs from different genres, it went on to become hugely popular and a few songs (“Saddi Gali”, “Yun Hi”, “Jugni”) are still played on music channels. It had a rustic flavour and one expects a similar sound from its sequel.
One has to wait for a while to find out what the original composer-lyricist team has to offer as the first song “Banno” has been composed by Tanishk and Vayu and has written by Vayu. It is an original composition with only the hook line retained from the folk song it seeks inspiration from. You cannot help but break into a smile as Swati Sharma sings ‘Banno Tera Swagger Laage Sexy’. The whacky tune, the infectious lyrics and the spirited singing by Brijesh Shandilya and Swati Sharma make this song an absolute riot. The song has a rustic flavour to it and the additional twisted lyrics make it more fun.
Krsna does not make a very exciting entry what with “Mat Ja Re”, sounding dated from the first note to the last. The sound of ‘dafli’ is always welcome but Krsna seems heavily inspired from the music of the late 90s while composing the number. For that reason, the music sounds very unoriginal. Ankit Tiwari’s voice suits the melancholy song perfectly. Raj Shekhar’s thoughtful lyrics give the song a bit of an edge.
Jyoti Nooran, one half of the Nooran Sisters (“Pathaka Guddi” – ‘Highway’, “Dum Laga Ke Haisha” – ‘Dum Laga Ke Haisha’), is roped in to bring the requisite Haryanvi flavour to “Ghani Bawri”. The music is simple and catchy. Though it does not offer anything different, the pulsating beats and Jyoti’s terrific singing makes it an engaging affair. The remixed version of the song has a heavy bass sound coupled with dubstep beats which compliment the song very well.
Jazz music is the flavour of the season. After a jazz based soundtrack in ‘Bombay Velvet’ and the track “Swing” (‘Dil Dhadakne Do’), one gets to hear another jazz number called “Old School Girl”. It would be interesting to see how this song is used in the film as one was clearly not expecting such a song in this album. The song sounds like a generic jazz number and does not offer much novelty in terms of the tune. Anmol Malik sings well and her voice does not come across as screechy like it did in her earlier songs.
The song can be heard in another version titled “Old School Girl (Haryanvi Version)” sung by Kalpana Gandhary. The alternate version has a more laidback feel to it and is sung by Kalpana in an (intentionally) heavy Indian accent. The fact that she sings a jazz based English number in an unmistakably Indian accent makes it sound funny.
“Move On” is an ambitious attempt at making a ‘New Age’ break up song by blending several genres. However, beneath all the irregular pattern of music lies a familiar and conventional tune. That does not mean the song is bad. The song is a good mixture of rock and qawalli elements and is sung with the right attitude by Sunidhi Chauhan.
In the opening notes of “Ho Gaya Hai Pyar” newcomer Dev Negi’s husky voice sounds similar to Arijit Singh. But, the singer so comes into his own and does well. He sounds fairly different from the way he sounded in “Coffee Peetey Peetey” (‘Gabbar Is Back’). The song has an old world charm to it and has a soothing effect on the listener’s mind. Raj Shekhar beautifully conveys the feelings of a person who has fallen in love for the second time with the same person.
The A.R Rahman influence is evident in “O Saathi Mere”, sung by Sonu Nigam. The sound is the kind that one associates with a classical number composed by Rahman. The song also reminds one of Sajid-Wajid’s raga based track “Chaandaniya” from ‘Rowdy Rathore’. “O Saathi Mere” is a beautiful composition, no doubt. But, the familiarity factor robs the song off some of its charm. The minimally used Indian instruments have been well utilized.
The film is titled ‘Tanu Weds Manu Returns’ and it marks the return of composer Krsna and lyricist Raj Shekhar. After disappointing with his last projects post ‘Tanu Weds Manu’ Krsna makes a good comeback. He manages to pack in a jazz based song, a rustic dance track and songs with a strong Indian flavour to them in one album and that’s commendable. With ‘Tanu Weds Manu’, Raj Shekhar had proved that he is one of the best lyricists to have arrived in recent times. He displayed a natural flair of writing poetry in Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi and he is in terrific form here too. Tanishk and Vayu, who have scored the music for many radio and television shows, make a successful film debut with “Banno” that has already become popular. The music of ‘Tanu Weds Manu Returns’ does not quite match up to the standards of the original soundtrack but is a good follow up nevertheless.
Anish Mohanty tweets @anishmohanty