13B – Music Review

13bscreenAfter a splendid show in Luck By Chance, the musical trio of Shankar Mahadevan, Ehsaan Noorani and Loy Mendonsa have returned with the score for the new horror flick 13B. Considering the fate of horror movies in Bollywood of late (barring Raaz 2 to an extent), how this Hindi-Tamil bilingual movie fares in the box office will have to be seen. Whatever the case may be, music lovers can be relieved that the music section has not been a let down, having come from the reliable composers. Here is Music Aloud’s take on the soundtrack.

Sab Khairiyat Hai
A pleasant number kicking off the playlist, well delivered by Shankar Mahadevan on the vocals. The song starts off on a country-ish note before drifting off. The motif played on harmonica has been the one of the highlights of the song. Unfortunately the song is too short to have enough of, lasting just under 2 minutes. Quite surprisingly you see the remix version of the song to be twice as long, over 4 minutes. But on listening you find that the length is only due to the elaboration of the interludes. The remix has been done well by Gulraj Singh, adding a slight rock feel to the song. Following this up with Gulraj’s previous work, namely the breakbeat version of the Johnny Gaddar title song starting with the famous lines “Johnny Mera Naam”, there is surely much more to expect from this man!

Bade Se Shehar Mein
A song exhibiting Rahmanesque elements owing to its instrumentation and mood reminiscent of numbers like Dekho Na from Swades, the song is nevertheless the pick of the album. The song has been splendidly rendered by Karthik, who is an established singer in the South. First Behka in Ghajini and now this. It is heartening to see Karthik finally getting his due in Bollywood from being just a member of the chorus or one among four to five singers singing a singles. And if other music directors are really listening to these tracks, then this man should go a long way in Bollywood.

Aasma Odh Kar
Listening to the song, one wonders if it has been primarily designed keeping in mind the Tamil version, going by the Southie feel to it, classical tinge and all. And the vocals department has been put in the safe hands of Shankar Mahadevan and Chitra. The best part of the song according to me is in the antara (second stanza) where Shankar starts off on a classical note with tabla for accompaniment and suddenly there is a switch in mode when Chitra starts singing Mushkil Badi.. The effect has been superb! Shankar had tried a similar thing in Sapnon Se Bhare Naina from Luck By Chance, switching from minimal accompaniments in one line to heavy instrumentation in the next line, with excellent results there too. Coming back to this song, Gulraj Singh again displays his flair wdith an excellent remix, slightly jazzing up the song. Especially praiseworthy are his improvisations using violins.

Oh Sexy Mama
Baba Sehgal returns after a long hiatus (or so I feel; if there was any of his works in between they obviously weren’t worth close attention) to render this number having a trance-like feel. Anoushka Manchanda, the ex-Viva girl, pairs up well with Baba. Her voice is well-suited for such songs as has been seen in the past with songs like Golmaal and she does perfect justice to the song. However the song falls below expectations considering that this was the most hyped song of the album. The remix has been done by DJ Shane as befits a song of this type, but there wasn’t much left for him to do considering that the original already had its share of electronic elements in it.

Guess the theme is extracted from the BGM of the movie as this has been credited to Tubby-Parik who have done the background score for the movie. The brothers exhibit a good knowledge of western music in this heavily orchestrated track with an excellent chorus. The track conveys the horror mood very effectively, which hopefully will be reflected in their background score for the whole movie as well.
For those who do not know much about the pair, Indrajit “Tubby” Sharma and Parikshit “Parik” Sharma have been into music arranging and producing since early 2000 and have a handful of popular movies and albums to their credit. This year they also moved into full scale music direction with 42 kms. I haven’t had a chance yet to listen to that album, but if this theme song is anything to go by, that album has to be checked out for sure. More details about the duo can be found at www.tubbyparik.com.

Though 13B may not be as good as Luck By Chance or many other past works of SEL, the album can nevertheless be termed a decent offering from the trio. Which is more than enough coz for all you know the songs might well be wasted in the movie, the movie’s genre being of such a type. I am still reeling from the shock due to what can be termed the “annihilation” of one of the best songs from SEL, Tere Naina, in Chandni Chowk To China. Only about 1 minute of the entire song appeared in the movie and on seeing the picturization one felt that it would have been better had the song not appeared in the movie at all! The director deserved a lynching for such a criminal act! I sincerely hope that such a fate does not befall this album or any future works from arguably the best music directors in Bollywood today after ARR.

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VIP says:

@ Hassan
Songs are good beyond doubt. Had it come from any other music directors it would have got a lot more accolades. But when it comes from SEL there tends to be a greater expectation. That is purely the reason for this under-rating I suppose.

Ajay says:

o sexy mama is really a very nice song….