Stanley Ka Dabba (Hindi Movie Soundtrack) – Music Review

Life Bahot Simple Hai is playful and simple, just the way the movie comes across to you as in its trailer. While debutant composer Hitesh Sonik makes the background to Amole Gupte’s lyrics out of flippant sounding percussion et al, he chooses Shaan for the vocals, a man who takes to such songs like KK does to melody. In short, a job well done. The composer carries on the same theme into the next track as well with assistance from programmer Simaab Sen. Dabba has Sukhwinder on the lead vocals with some children’s chorus used to good effect. The arrangement is again quite commendable, the percussion being the highlight. Hitesh and Simaab switch to rock mode with the breezy Nanhi Si Jaan. And once again the imaginative usage of instruments is impressive, the strings, the keys all coming in at the right places. Shankar Mahadevan is on vocals, and as usual he excels in the soaring portions.

The second rock song of the soundtrack, Tere Andar Bhi Kahin, has Vishal Dadlani on the vocals, and he again does his part as expected. The short second version called Aditya Rox, sung by Aditya Chakravarthy, is one of the best tracks of the album for the way the Hitesh (joined for a third and last time by Simaab) beautifully ensconces the boy’s simple vocals in an equally elementary unplugged arrangement. Hitesh closes the proceedings with an instrumental piece called Thirsty Stanley’s Theme. Starting with a plain guitar riff, mildly evocative of Aaromale, the composer goes on to build it up to a fabulous sax-led melange. In between all this Amole Gupte does a cameo as music director, and nails that as well! Jhoola Jhool has class written all over it, the mellow usage of strings and flute, and the singing by Hamsika Iyer, an absolute beauty. Two questions to Mr. Gupte: one, is there anything you are not good at? And two, where were you till TZP happened?

My main fear on seeing Stanley Ka Dabba’s trailer was a soundtrack that would follow TZP’s path and end up a redundant work. But Hitesh Sonik does nothing of that sort, instead debuting with a soundtrack that would make his mentor one Mr. Vishal Bhardwaj extremely proud. Not to forget the contributions of Simaab Sen. And the awesome cameo by Amole Gupte.

PS: I have been told Clinton Cerejo did the programming for the other songs of the soundtrack. Hat tip to him as well! 🙂

Music Aloud Rating — 8/10

Recommended Tracks — Nanhi Si Jaan, Jhoola Jhool, Tere Andar (both versions)

Arun says:

Loved ‘Dabba’! Brings back memories of Makdee. Definite Vishal-Gulzar touch to that song.