Shaandaar – Music Review (Bollywood Soundtrack)

Shaandaar-PosterSongs and full credits at the end of the review.

Launched along with a fun (Victorian-themed?) party video a few days back – that also featured Shahid Kapoor’s sister Sanaa – Gulaabo has already become a hit. And for good reason too, the song is equally effective without the video, thanks to an arrangement that isn’t overdosing on techno elements. Amit Trivedi’s love for brass instruments has been rather prominent in a lot of his recent songs (pinnacle of which of course was Bombay Velvet); he puts them to excellent use here too amidst all the dancey elements. Behind the mic Vishal Dadlani and Anusha Mani do a sprightly job singing Anvita Dutt’s quirky lyrics, especially the former with his powerful voice. Second dance track of the soundtrack Shaam Shaandaar has its most interesting bit in that techno to dhol switch around the mukhda. The song then settles into familiar territory, and the composer himself does the vocals. Engaging, but nothing special here. The drinking song Raitaa Phailgaya is under similar déjà vu threat from the techno Punjabi template but is saved by Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics (have been humming Gulzar ke geeton mein jab Yo Yo Honey Singh ghus gaya toh raita phail gaya since evening) and Divya Kumar’s singing.

Senti Wali Mental, as its title suggests, has some wacky lyrics (Amitabh again) delivered in a conversational format over a very endearing folk tune. Given its length (over 9 minutes) – for which I assume the movie has an explanation – the song switches modes more than once; not all of them working in the song’s favour. The first half is my favourite with its dominant folk-based arrangement highlighted by Tapas Roy’s saaz. Excellent singing throughout the song – Arijit Singh, Neeti Mohan and Swanand Kirkire doing the honours on this one. And finally there is the soundtrack’s best, the romantic Nazdeekiyan riding on a gorgeous melody and sprawling orchestration (also a super bassline) that imparts the song a dreamy quality. The vocals are handled by Nikhil George and Neeti Mohan, Neeti in particular doing a brilliant job.

Shaandaar. After Queen last year, Amit Trivedi delivers another fine soundtrack for Vikas Bahl.

Music Aloud Rating: 8/10

Top Recos: Nazdeekiyan, Senti Wali Mental, Gulaabo

Full credits (as supplied with the youtube jukebox – kudos to Zee Music for that!)

1. Shaam Shaandaar: Singer – Amit Trivedi | Lyricist – Amitabh Bhattacharya

2. Gulaabo: Singers – Vishal Dadlani & Anusha Mani | Lyricist – Anvita Dutt

3. Nazdeekiyaan: Singers – Nikhil Paul George & Neeti Mohan | Lyricist – Amitabh Bhattacharya

4. Senti Wali Mental: Singers – Arijit Singh, Neeti Mohan, Swanand Kirkire & Amit Trivedi | Lyricist – Amitabh Bhattacharya

5. Raitaa Phailgaya: Singer – Divya Kumar | Lyricist – Amitabh Bhattacharya

Produced & Arranged at – A T Studios by Amit Trivedi
A T Studios – Producers – Krutee Trivedi & Aashish Narula
Recording Studio – A T Studios – Mumbai & Nysa Studio – Mumbai
Recording Engineer – Shadab Rayeen & Praveen Murlidhar Assisted by Abhishek Sortey & Firoz Shaikh
Mixed by – Shadab Rayeen, A T Studios – Mumbai
Mastered by – Donal Whelan, Masteringworld – U.K.

MUSICIANS (Album Credits) :
Programmed by – Amit Trivedi
Additional Programming – Sourav Roy & Gourab Dutta
Dhol & Percussions – Sanket Naik
Dhol & Dholak – Hanif & Aslam
Saaz & Tumbi – Tapas Roy
Shehnai – Omkar Dhumal
Horn Section – Media Culture Artist Sourcing

Backing Vocals:
Thomson Andrews & Ryan Dias – Gulaabo
Rajiv Sundaresan, Kshitij Wagh ,Vibha Saraf & Sarodee Borah – Senti Wali Mental

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