Amar Mohile does one of his best works in recent times in his sole track for Shaitan, the techno-based mishmash called Josh. Interesting in parts, but the mix of genres somewhere strikes a discordant note. Might become a fave at parties, but not my kind. Colin Terence, Shraddha and Abhishek do the vocals, I didn’t quite like the rap portions. The second guest composer, the Bengali lyricist-MD-singer Anupam Roy (who recently composed that fabulous Bengali song in the movie Autograph, Amake Amar. If you haven’t listened to it yet, do so here. NOW! It’s a must-not-miss! apparently I was wrong, it is not the Bengali composer but this person, who has also commented below. Really sorry for the mix-up), makes his Bollywood debut with a nice guitar-dominated instrumental piece called Retro Pop Shit. Surely not as good as Amake Amar, but a good listen nevertheless. Enter guest composer no. 3, the world music guru Ranjit Barot. And of this three songs, Chandan Shive-rendered (Marathi?) Pintya is marred by its functional nature. Amy’s Theme is fabulously orchestrated, with Suzanne D’Mello and the chorus doing their job to a tee. But there too the functionality of the track gets in the way of the entertainment quotient. Nevertheless the composer himself gets behind the microphone and delivers a wonderful rock-based title song.
And that brings to the fore lead composer of the soundtrack, Prashant Pillai. A man who has in the past worked with A R Rahman, has in the past worked with Shaitan’s director Bejoy Nambiar for one of his short films called Rahu, and has already given two movie scores in Malayalam impressive by their unique fusion-based sounds. Here too the man starts off right on top with that whacky multi-genre multilingual trailer-accompaniment track called Bali (The Sound of Shaitan). The singing by Farhad Bhiwandiwala, Preeti Pillai and K S Krishnan (who is also the lyricist for the song) is spot on. Nasha is equally entertaining, the composer preparing a breezy techno-fusion template for this one. The vocal department is handled by Prashant himself, with Bindu Nambiar. A Rock and Soul version of the same song sees Prashant replaced by Ranjit Barot and Farhad. Fareeda sees more fusion, this time the rock-based kind, Suraj Jagan doing the vocal honours. The arrangement is once again very catchy, the dark overtone, the carnatic twist on guitar (raga Hindolam I felt) et al. The composer pays another tribute in Hawa Hawai, reproducing in a very quirky manner the original arrangement from Mr. India and getting Suman Sridhar to render the song in her typical voice and style. Interesting as it is, the song still doesn’t match up to the Laxmikant Pyarelal classic, and the charm it carries about it is mostly borrowed. The vocal tracks are rounded off with a spectacular folk-based song sung by Kirti Sagathia and Preeti Pillai, O Yaara that shows shades of Sindhubhairavi raga in places. Bringing up the rear are two situational instrumental pieces from the man, the short pulsating Enter that leaves a ringing in your ears long after it gets over, the electric guitar-led Outro, and the cacophonously rock track from Bhayanak Maut, Unleashed, which is not exactly an instrumental piece but all it has in terms of vocals is unintelligible growling.
A superb debut from Prashant in Bollywood, characterized by the unconventionality that has set him apart in Malayalam so far. And a superlative effort from the bunch of composers with a leaning towards functional tracks which should work better on-screen.
Music Aloud Rating — 7.25/10
Recommended Tracks — Bali (Sound of Shaitan), Nasha, O Yaara, Zindagi