102 Not Out – Music Review (Bollywood Soundtrack)

Songs and partial credits at the end. You can also listen to the soundtrack here.

After having lent his baritone voice to many eminent songs over the past few decades, Amitabh Bachchan turns music director in 102 Not Out with the song Badumbaaa that he composes and arranges, and Rohan Vinayak (the duo who did that fine debut two years back with Nil Battey Sannata) produce. Quite an entertaining debut it turns to be too, thanks to an earworm of a melody and an effervescent orchestration that sees fab use of horns (Kishore Sodha). Amitabh Bhattacharya, who is no stranger to quirky songs, does some fun wordplay around the phrase Badumbaa that Bachchan has popularly used on social media on multiple occasions. The actor also heads the vocals, spiffing up Bhattacharya’s lines with some wacky ad libbing of his own; his co-star Rishi Kapoor too joins him behind the mic briefly, but isn’t as effective. The rest of the soundtrack has been composed by Salim Sulaiman, and their first offering is an equally boisterous track called Bachche Ki Jaan Loge Kya written by Hiral Brahmbhatt. Carrying an addictive Latin dance vibe about it, this song too features an incredible horns section and delivering the song in style is Arijit Singh. Brahmbhatt herself takes up the vocalist role for the second piece she pens (and composes, apparently – thanks to Rujul for this info), Phir Laut Aayi Zindagi. A rather ordinary track this one, both by way of its tune and the treatment (aside of some melodious flute solos), particularly when compared with the other songs in offer.

The incidence of jazz-flavoured songs in Bollywood has been seeing a rise in the recent few years – Salim Sulaiman decide to add one of their own to the pile with Kuchh Anokhe Rules and gets Armaan Malik to deliver it. A great idea on both counts – the composers nail the retro jazz sound here, and Malik is in spectacular form. The movie’s writer Saumya Joshi, who is the author of the song’s light-hearted verse, also writes the soulful ode to old memories titled Kulfi. The soft melody and a fittingly gentle orchestration (highlighted by the sitar and Ojas Adhiya’s tabla) help accentuate the longing in the lines, as does the characteristic earnestness with which Sonu Nigam delivers them. The only redundant effort in the lineup, as is the case with a lot of recent soundtracks, is a classic recreation. It is SD Burman-Kaifi Azmi-Geeta Dutt‘s Waqt Ne Kiya from Kaagaz Ke Phool that the makers pick up for 102 Not Out, Bachchan handling the singing. Rohan Vinayak‘s arrangement isn’t jarring, in their defense, but it is rather insipid and unimaginative, and the singing follows suit.

Salim Sulaiman have had a rather limited presence in Bollywood the past 3-4 years, but this “one soundtrack a year” business does appear to have bolstered their output quality – Poorna in 2017 and Jai Gangaajal in 2016 that were both classy soundtracks, and in 102 Not Out the duo deliver their best work in a very long time!

Music Aloud Rating: 3.5/5

Top Recos: Kuchh Anokhe Rules, Bachche Ki Jaan, Kulfi, Badumbaaa

This review first appeared in the Mumbai edition of The Hindu.

Musician Credits

Bachche Ki Jaan
Singer: Arijit Singh
Music Directors: Salim-Sulaiman
Lyricist: Hiral Brahmbhatt
Music Producer: Jim Satya
Additional Vocals : Salim Merchant, Raj Pandit, Sukriti Kakar Guitars : Ankur Mukherjee Horn Section : Trumpet : John Lake Trombone : Robert Edwards Saxophones & Flute : Andrew Gutauskas
Mixed by : Aftab Khan at Blue Productions
Mastered by : Aftab Khan at Headroom Studio
Recorded by : Aftab Khan, Raj Pandit at Blue Productions
Recording Assistants : Dhiren Garg, Samarth Srinivasan

Singer : Sonu Nigam
Lyrics : Saumya Joshi
Music Producers : Salim – Sulaiman
Additional Music Production : Raj Pandit
Guitars : Ankur Mukherjee, Nyzel D’lima
Tabla : Ojas Adhiya
Mixed by : Aftab Khan at Blue Productions
Mastered by : Aftab Khan at Headroom Studio
Recorded by : Aftab Khan, Raj Pandit at Blue Productions
Recording Assistants : Dhiren Garg, Samarth Srinivasan
String Section : Budapest Art Orchestra
– Conductor : Peter Pejtsik
– Company : East Connection Music Recording CO.
– Recording Engineer : Gabor Buczko
– Recording Producer : Miklos Lukacs
Strings Orchestration : Samarth Srinivasan
Additional Vocals : Samarth Srinivasan

Music Composer & Arrangement By : Amitabh Bachchan
Singers : Amitabh Bachchan & Rishi Kapoor
Music Produced By : Rohan-Vinayak
Lyrics By: Amitabh Bhattacharya
Song Mixed & Mastered By : Tanay Gajjar at Wow&flutter Studio.
Assisted By: Rupak Thakur Music & Vocal Recordist : Shaitus Joseph – A V Studio ( Juhu ), Annu Poojari – Shankh Studio ( Khar ), Kshitij Anand – Octavius ( Bandra ), Chinmay Mistry – YRF Studio ( Andheri )
Trumpets : Kishore Soda
Dholak : Shadab & Yusuf
Additional Programming : Abhijit Nalani
Additional Vocal Treatment : Shaitus Joseph
Percussions : Arun Solanki
Chorus : Umesh Joshi & Group

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