Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara Music Review: Originality The End
When is it that Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy traipse into Vishal-Shekhar synth-sound territory and vice-versa? Collaboratively they’re beginning to sound like a five piece band when for Ik Junoon Vishal fronts the vocals, with Shankar, Ehsan chorusing him, Loy and Shekhar engineering a funk sound. There’s no telling which musical team this song belongs to. It sounds like a cross between Anjaana-Anjaani and Uff Teri Ada – the first a V-S composition, the other by the trio amigos!
The faux overlaps that once could not trick your ears, when you could tell a SEL track from a VS track (which you still can at times, Patiala House was full-on SEL) is blurring with their choice of film-makers who are demanding for a particular sound that fits not the musician’s oeuvre, but their own brand of what is in and cool.
For the sake of music let’s just hear them out. How different is the music of I Hate Luv Storys from Anjaana-Anjaani or Break Ke Baad (Vishal-Shekhar)? It’s their sound; you know when you hear a track from any of these films. Which is a good thing, right? Quote unquote, ‘It’s their style.’
The same can be applied for SEL’s Karthik Calling Karthik, Wake Up Sid, Housefull, I suppose. Quote unquote, ‘It’s their stamp.’
The trouble is when you scratch your head trying to correctly place which soundtrack a particular song you are listening to belongs to.
Unlike (and I hate to use his name as the only gold standard) Rahman’s songs, which are equally hallmarked by his genius, and yet, every song you listen to, you know which film its from, irrespective of the film’s fate or the music’s success before the film squashed it with shoddy treatment.
It’s that individual insignia which is disappearing with the glut of comme ci comme ca soundtracks being churned out by composers to cater to the new wave of jhatpat film-makers who do not invest in music as a Yash Chopra, or a Sanjay Leela Bhansali does – thorough understanding of its recall value and not just its instant catchy beat and rhythm.
Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara suffers from that indifference – to not having put in any effort to create a new sound – especially when the film was being shot entirely in Spain, why does it have to be Bollywood staple?
Dil Dhadakne Do is nursery school sound of rock – the same weather-beaten sound SEL exposed us to in Rock On, that they were finally performing on stage as our desi version of rock-pop.
Alyssa Mendonsa’s voice in Khaabon Ke Parinday is wistfully pixie and utterly levitating, when Mohit Chauhan meets her mid-air and they glide above our illusory heads. A bossa nova drumming style (samba nod) has been applied and the result is pure bliss.
Maria Del Mar Fernandez stamps her flamenco feet forward inviting the three leading men to a musical face-off in Senorita, each actor then singing a duel unprepared for, but even so, in gay abandon (and I use that judiciously) belting out an impromptu performance that will earn them some great applause, not so much for the singing as much for their spirited participation is this joyous, celebratory song with pulsating verve.
Shankar Mahadevan’s solo Der Lagi Lekin is tad boring, lyrics by Javed saab mawkish school poetry. This song could have easily been accommodated in the recent release Stanley Ka Dabba. A symphonic sweeping sound towards the end is designed to massage your tear ducts.
Clinton-Dominique Cerejo’s Sooraj Ki Baahon Mein is inspired by Michael Jackson’s Billy Jean. Steeped in 80’s disco pop, it has an infectious rhythm and is reminiscent of ABBA’s swede-heart.
Farhan Akhtar recites ho-hum Toh Zinda Ho Tum – underscored by a pining cello. Verse that reminds you of Javed saab’s Rotomac pen ad where he cossets you to trudge ahead…’zindagi hai toh khwab hai, khwab hai toh manzilein hain, manzilein hain to raaste hain, raaste hain to mushkilein hain‘…uh chalte bano, kyunki zindagi na milegi dobara…try again!