Rating: ★ ★ 1/2
Rohit Shetty is known for his comedy action flicks with a style of his own, where Ajay Devgan has been the cemented pillar for all his movies till now, with "Chennai Express" , the Director first time brings on board Shahrukh Khan (Srk) alongside Deepika Padukone with Vishal-Shekhar- VS ( Music Composers) and Amitabh Bhattacharya-AB (Lyricist). Vishal-Shekhar has a Hit track record with Srk where they have composed the music for 'Om Shanti Om' and 'Ra.One', both of which had some Super-Hit compositions. As a result, the expectations are Sky-Scraping from the soundtrack, with six originals, a Dub-Step version and one Mashup, let's see if the soundtrack takes us for an entertaining ride or not!
"1234 Get On The Dance Floor" is dominated by Tamil flavour, from the arrangements to the lyrics, everything brings on a South Flavour. Sricharan Kasturirangan is hired for the Tamil vocals, Vishal Dadlani and Hamsika Iyer does the rest of the 'Dhinka Chika'. It certainly has an addictive hook to it but overall the composition is a bit of noisy with too much of instrumentation which will only enjoy a short stint with the listener’s courtesy some aggressive promotions! Not the start we were expecting!
The South-Indianized style gets more exposure with some Tamil vocals at the very start of "Titli" which is clearly the best of the lot; south sensation Chinmayi Sripaada brings in extreme innocence and calmness to this one where any other day and Shreya Ghoshal would have easily bagged this one. Malayalam singer and composer Gopi Sunder makes an entry at 1:30 and WoW Man!..His voice is so very amazing, would be unfair, but his renditions for once reminded me of Shekhar Ravjiani. Talking of lyrics, then AB does a pretty good job with the use of phrase 'Ban Ke Titli, Dil Uda Uda Hai Kahin Door’ for describing the state of mind of a girl who has fallen in love. Musically, both the interludes have some good arrangements, a trademark V-S romantic composition which takes a few hearings to grow! The song also has a "Titli- Dubstep Version" which has all the techno-electric arrangements on the same tempo as the original. Although it provides some variety and innovation on the musical front but with all other things remaining the same, the dub-step version fails to leave a strong impact; would have loved this one in the voice of Shreya Ghoshal which would have resulted in an icing on a cake!
AB is slowly gaining appreciation in the singing department where he always wanted to make a career before he started writing, after the hit 'Ankahee'-Lootera, this time we have "Tera Rastaa Chhodoon Na" , a situational number that is composed keeping in mind a sad sequence post interval. The composition offers nothing new although it's melodious where Anusha Mani sounds good in the short renditions and also the 'Titli' arrangements (techno) from 3.30 to 3:47, still a number that should work well alongside the narration of the movie but not the one that to hear on loop for hours!
The man of the moment Arijit Singh, who has hits in all genres: 'Raabta'- Agent Vinod; 'Phir Le Aaya Dil'- Barfi; 'Tum Hi Ho'- Aashiqui; 'Dilliwali Girlfriend'- YJHD; join hands with Neeti Mohan and Sunidhi Chauhan for "Kashmir Main Tu Kanyakumari". The song fares well on the safe-tried-and-tested template where Arijit Singh is at his usual best and proves yet again that he is master in all forte, interestingly two female singers have been roped in where both of them are used simultaneously which doesn't make much sense as it's very difficult to differentiate the voices, nevertheless the end result is a winner and one that will be enjoyed by the listeners. The lyrics by AB are remarkable and one that he is known for, here is an extract:
'Main Zara Sa Puncture, To, Tu Hawa Ke Jaisi Hai,
Saath Ho, Toh Pahiye, Takdeero Ke Tight Ho.
Bulb Ban Jaun Main, Aur Tu Switch Ban Jaa,
Bhaad Me Jaaye Duniya, Apni Batee Right Ho.'
Up next is "Ready Steady Po" where thumping-adrenaline-techno beats starts off the proceedings pretty well but the song looses the hook in between a bit with too much of things happening, still it will gain popularity as its composed mainly for the promotions/background score. Vishal Dadlani does his energetic part pretty well with support from Brodha V, Enkore, Smokey and Natalie DiLuccio for the English rap. If compared to other V-S upbeat high adrenaline songs, this one fares pretty average!
Veteran singer S.P.Balasubrahmanyam who used to sing for Salman Khan in late 1990's has been roped in for the title song "Chennai Express" which looks like a song for the credentials at the end. SPB brings an exquisite retro charm to the song with his voice, well supported by fresh talent Jonita Gandhi who has been doing cover versions for quite a sometime. The Hinglish lyrics does brings a fun element to the song, the 'Chennaaai aayiii aaayi Chennai Express' and the continuous 'Get On The Train Baby' doesn't helps much and the end result is not so foot tapping nor the one that will be remembered post the movie release! This one is to be enjoyed with the visuals which should be lavishly shot and heavily promoted!
Last to arrive is "Chennai Express Mashup" which tries hard to be electrifying but doesn't excite much. The inclusion of Mashups started with 'Student Of The Year' by V-S, which seemed to be a good move replacing the repetitive remix versions with added extra beats. However, this time it's more of a remix version of Ready Steady Po and Chennai Express, rather than being a Mashup of all the tracks.
Vishal-Shekhar has always been associated with quality soundtracks and this time with 'Chennai Express', it was expected that it would bring some glory Rohit Shetty's musical career (for his directorial films), sadly, things doesn't go as expected and V-S continues their average run after 'Gippi'. The soundtrack suffers from lack of at least one Chart Topper considering the hype and hoopla created around the movie, although aggressive promotions would help the songs to gain some popularity to a certain extent but that is not what we expect out of a V-S ost. Apart from 'Titli', rest of the compositions lacks the musical punch both lyrically and musically!!