Rating: ★ ★ ★ 1/2
Vishal Shekhar (Music Director), Farah Khan (Director) and Shahrukh Khan...the combination has always worked and had produced some blockbuster music, case in point, "Main Hoon Na" and "Om Shanti Om", as a result "Happy New Year" comes with loads and loads of expectations as one expects some out and out Masala commercial numbers, moreover when the heist premise is weaved around a 'World Dance Competition'. A huge track list of eleven compositions including two reprise/remix versions, a Mashup, one instrumental and seven originals raises the bar even more, whether the expectations are met or not..Read on!
Contrary to the Desi name.. "India Waale" is dominated by techno arrangements. It's a perfect pre-climax material and is "THE" dance number of the movie with some apt lyrics that would make much more sense in the movie. For the vocals, a massive combination of Vishal Dadlani, K.K, Shankar Mahadevan and Neeti Mohan makes sure that the overall outcome is super awesome, although the composition offers nothing new but it would be a Hit neverthless. Moving on.."India Waale-Electronic" makes no sense for its inclusion in the soundtrack and lacks innovation and acts as a mere filler as everything else remains exactly the same with some added western arrangements.
Up next.."Manwa Laage" bears the V-S melodious-soulful stamp all over it and is Desi-Romantic to the core. Shreya Ghoshal's honey dipped vocals melts your heart and then there is Arijit Singh who creates an irresistible aura of his own alongside Irshad Kamil's dreamy lyrics that beautifully defines the state of mind of two people who are about to fall in love with each other. A special mention to the folk-ish chorus part from 3.00 to 3.14 and the continuous use of Dhols throughout the song, overall this is easily the best composition of the soundtrack and is here to stay in the top 10 list for quite some time to come.
The first thirty seconds with the super energetic chorus part 'Radhe Radhe Bolo Jai Kanhaiya Lal Ki' makes one curious and excited for "Satakli" that would be an obvious choice for Rohit Shetty's 'Singham -3'. The hook line becomes annoying and repetitive after a certain point and even an artist like Sukhwinder Singh has nothing much to do here. As of now, this seems an introductory song for Abhishek Bachchan and may look good on screen, as an audio, it deserves a SKIP!
Composed by Dr.Zeus.."Lovely" is what Deepika Padukone has been waiting for past so many years, an introductory song for the character of Mohini in the movie, make no mistake, it will shatter all the previous records of 'Munni', 'Sheila' and 'Chikini Chameli' and will create a havoc in single screens. The arrangements are innovative and a mix bag which starts off with Arabic, some Hip-Hop, some rap portions, some Punjabi Dhols and on top of that the seductive, tempting voice of Kanika Kapoor ( 'Baby Doll' fame ) supported magnificently by Ravindra Upadhyay, Miraya Varma and Fateh..ahhh..Delicious! Dr.Zeus "Kamlee" with the same set of singers minus the Arabic feel plus some Punjabi folk theme/lyrics in both the anatara's, it's always interesting to hear some quite good variations in reprise versions like this. Pretty good move..Chartbuster!
A Mashup of three songs "World Dance Medley" starts off with Neeti Mohan, a short sad slow version of Manwa Laage, what is interesting though is the monologue by Shahrukh Khan followed by an innovative take on 'India Waale' which ignites the patriotism in one's heart and sounds even better than the original one.
Up next "Nonsense Ki Night" is made for a dance sequence in the movie and is a fun take on English with some nonsense lyrics, one needs to listen carefully to realize that the whole song is a translation of various Hindi Idioms to English, quite creative. Mika Singh is at his usual best, expect some mad funny picturisation.
"Dance Like a Chammiya" is very reminiscent of composers very own 'Sheila Ki Jawaani' considering the overall treatment especially the second interlude with Vishal Dadlani's rap with lots of Dhols. It's the usual item number element where Sunidhi Chauhan yet again makes us believe that she is born for such genre and does full justice to this addictive number, the lyrics are clichéd but yet again the picturisation may bring laurels for this one. Wait for the video.
Punjabi Techno-Hip-Hop arrangements at the very onset sets the mood for "Sharabi"; which is more inclined towards pop genre but we are slowly accepting this trend in Bollywood soundtracks which started with 'Cocktail' two years ago. Manj Musik sings this one in his trademark high pitched style supported well by Nindy Kaur for the short rap but Vishal Dadlani and Shekhar Ravjiani hardly makes their presence felt as far as vocals are concerned. The lyrics caters well to the Honey-Singh-Generation weaved around drinking and party, as a result it's going to be a hit in the discotheques and a favourite amongst the party lovers this new year!
Pretentious Electric Guitar strums starts off John Stewart's "The Heist - Instrumental" which is would be played in the background during the heist, honestly, the marvellous guitar riffs and keyboard reminded me off the background score of Ocean's series..Need I say more? Go hear this and give yourself an eargasm!
To conclude, "Happy New Year" caters to the masses and is very situational with some compositions that would work well alongside the narration of the movie. Not the usual V-S soundtrack that one would expect 'the beautiful 'Manwa Laage'. Neverthless 'Lovely' and 'Dance Like Chammiya' will gather lots of whistling and hooting, 'Sharabi' would be heard in full bass volume in cars with extra woofers and 'India Waale' would become a huge hit with more than month when the movie hits the silver screen.
The Writer/Blogger is Editor/Music Critic @www.planetbollywood.com