Andhadhun – Music Review (Bollywood Soundtrack)

Songs and musician credits at the end.

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

Director Sriram Raghavan’s propensity to pay tribute to movies from the bygone era often tends to percolate through into the music in his films as well. In Andhadhun, that throwback happens most notably in Aapse Milkar Achcha Laga. Barring that processed vocal sample (I think) that keeps popping up once in a while, composer Amit Trivedi’s arrangement is highly engaging. The fit between the words and the tune for the title refrain took some getting used to, but I am totally in love with that hook now. Abhijeet Srivastava and Aakanksha Sharma sound wonderful as well, delivering the lines written by Jaideep Sahni (reuniting with the director after Johnny Gaddaar). Orchestration of the alternate Reprise version of the song is more retro-aligned, with more prominent acoustic elements (piano, plucked strings etc), but the singing by Ayushmann Khurrana isn’t up to the mark. Given that Khurrana’s lead character in the movie plays a pianist, the album was expected to feature the instrument a lot, and on this count, the makers do not disappoint one bit. Aside of making it part of the orchestration in most songs, director Sriram Raghavan and composer Amit Trivedi include in the soundtrack two instrumental theme pieces, both on piano. The waltz-y Theme 01 is my favourite – pianist Jarvis Menezes producing a fantastic rendition of the beautifully constructed classical melody. Theme 02 is a faster one that deftly segues in and out of bits from another of the album’s songs, Wo Ladki, and produces enjoyable results. Arijit Singh leads the original version of Wo Ladki, extending his run of good songs this year. Once again the melody has a bit of a yesteryear flavour to it, but it is the delightful combination of the piano (Menezes) and accordion (Sameer Chiplunkar) and violins (Chennai Strings) backing the melody that makes the piece truly addictive.

Naina Da Kya Kasoor sees the composer get behind the mic himself, and while his singing has that repetitive quality linking back to some of his older renditions, the song itself doesn’t sound like a rehash (although the Naina Da Kya Kasoor hook does take one back to R D Burman’s Teesri Manzil track O Mere Sona Re – interesting that even lyrically there is a kasoor linking both songs) and turns out really likeable. There is also an electronic version of the song that is decidedly inferior to the original, but “classic song remixes” have got me so fed up that remixing a song from the same album almost feels like a welcome respite. Trivedi also sings Laila Laila that has a more pronounced déjà vu feel, but the jolly vibe of the song (Menezes’ piano put to splendid use yet again), accentuated by Jaideep Sahni’s words, will have you nodding along. O Bhai Re has Sahni in sparkling form with his pen, even as Trivedi unleashes his trademark line of quirky arrangement (and of course there is Akhlak Hussain Varsi playing the harmonium!) to aid the lyricist, which is once again effective albeit familiar. And singers Altamash and Shadab Faridi deliver on their part in style. Seeing as Amit Trivedi has delivered the rest of the soundtrack well, it is surprising that the director went to a different set of composers for the movie’s title track. To their credit though, Raftaar and debutant Girish Nakod deliver a scorcher of a title song. Kicking off once again with a haunting piano riff, the song quickly picks up intensity with Raftaar’s rapping+singing, but it is the Marathi percussion that is the highlight of the composition, taking it to a climactic high.

While Raftaar and Girish Nakod deliver my favourite song from the album, the second half of 2018 is definitely looking much better for Amit Trivedi. Most importantly, Andhadhun contains some of the freshest tunes that he has delivered this year. And once again, kudos to Sriram Raghavan for consistently ensuring good music in his movies, with different composers each time. And so glad that despite his love for the yesteryear, he did not choose to adapt an old song, and went for that retro sound instead. Wish all movie-makers in Hindi showed this kind of sensibility.

Music Aloud Rating: 3.5/5

Top Recos: Title Song, Aap Se Milkar Achcha Laga, Wo Ladki, Theme 01

Musician Credits

Song – Naina Da Kya Kasoor
Singer & Composer – Amit Trivedi
Lyricist – Jaideep Sahni

Song – Aap Se Milkar
Singers – Abhijeet Srivastava & Aakanksha Sharma
Music – Amit Trivedi
Lyricist – Jaideep Sahni

Song – Woh Ladki
Singer – Arijit Singh
Music – Amit Trivedi
Lyricist – Jaideep Sahni

Song – Laila Laila
Singer – Amit Trivedi
Music – Amit Trivedi
Lyricist – Jaideep Sahni

Song – Oh Bhai Re
Singer – Shadab Faridi & Altamash Faridi
Music – Amit Trivedi
Lyricist – Jaideep Sahni

Song – AndhaDhun Title Track
Singer – Raftaar
Music Director – Raftaar
Composed by Raftaar & Girish Nakod
Lyrics by Raftaar & Girish Nakod
Produced by Bluish Music
Live Bass – Naresh Kamath
Piano – Jarvis Menezes
Live Percussions Arranged by Satyajit Jamsandekar
Live Percussionists – Satyajit Jamsandekar, Ratnadeep Jamsandekar, Dipesh Verma & Rahul Rupawate
Live Percussions Recorded by Anubhav Saxena at Enzy Studios
Live Bass Recorded at Kailasa
Mixed and Mastered by Abhishek Ghatak

Song – AndhaDhun Theme 01
Music – Amit Trivedi

Song – AndhaDhun Theme 02
Music – Amit Trivedi

Song – Naina Da Kya Kasoor (Electronic)
Singer & Composer – Amit Trivedi
Lyricist – Jaideep Sahni

Song – Aap Se Milkar – Reprise
Singer – Ayushmann Khurrana
Music – Amit Trivedi
Lyricist – Jaideep Sahni

Crew Names:
Composed & Produced by Amit Trivedi
Recording Studio – A T Studios Mumbai
Recording Engineers A T Studios – Mumbai – Abhishek Sortey & Urmila Sutar
Assisted by Firoz Shaikh
The Chennai Strings Recording Studio – D. J. Studio – Chennai D Raj
All songs Mixed & Mastered by Shadab Rayeen, A T Studios & New Edge – Mumbai
Assisted by Abhishek Sortey & Dhananjay Khapekar
All songs Mastered for iTunes by Shadab Rayeen at New Edge – Mumbai
Executive Producer A T Studios – Krutee Trivedi
Head Of Production A T Studios – Aashish Narula

Musician Names:
Programmed by Amit Trivedi, Vineeth Jayan & Raja Rasaily Jarvis Menezes
Piano – Jarvis Menezes
Guitar, Ukulele, Mandolin & Banjo – Ankur Mukherjee
Accordion – Sameer Chiplunkar
Harmonium – Akhlak Hussain Varsi
The Chennai Strings – Conductor – M. Kalyan & Team

Backing Vocals – Keshia Braganza, Lara Pinto & Gwen Dias

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