Composed alliances

October’s five-track album scores with Shantanu Moitra’s musical prowess

April 11, 2018 09:09 pm | Updated 09:09 pm IST

From four songs in Piku (incidentally his 2015 Bollywood debut) to two songs in Pink (2016), composer Anupam Roy’s contribution gets further halved in Shoojit Sircar’s latest, October . If I had not seen Roy’s name in the credits, I would not have thought of him as the composer for ‘ Tab Bhi Tu’ — the melancholic piece is possibly the most un-Anupam Roy-ish work I have heard; the presence of Rahat Fateh Ali Khan behind the microphone does not help much either. It is only the occasional deft guitar work (Sanjoy Das and Rishabh Ray) that prevents the song from sounding entirely dated. After being associated with two of Sircar’s previous ventures as Abhishek-Akshay ( Vicky Donor , 2012 and Running Shaadi, 2017), Abhishek Arora goes solo with ‘ Theher Ja ’ penned by Abhiruchi Chand who previously collaborated with the composer on his song ‘ Dil Jaane Naa’ from this year’s release Dil Juunglee . The song scores well on all counts — neat, simple lyrics by Chand, an incredibly engaging funky arrangement (I sense some Get Lucky influence in places) from Arora and Armaan Malik doing a brilliant rendition, backed by Neuman Pinto.

The rest of the soundtrack belongs to the man with whom Sircar has had the most memorable musical collaborations with — Shantanu Moitra. The duo’s first work together Yahaan in 2005 still remains the best soundtrack for a Sircar film, in my book. Moitra delivers splendidly to expectations in the breezy ‘ Manwaa ’, a song written by his trusted lyrical partner Swanand Kirkire. The gentle melody is delivered spotlessly by Sunidhi Chauhan, while Pronob Biswas’s (another name associated with Moitra) classical ad-libs echoing in the backdrop complement her singing wonderfully. The ambient arrangement is highlighted by the use of strings. While on the subject of strings, the composer creates a theme melody for the movie that is a soulful mélange of violins, cello, viola and harp — Rohan Roy’s work on lead violin is particularly moving. Tanveer Ghazi, who wrote the poem ‘ Tu Chal ’ for the movie Pink (also set to music by Moitra) writes a similarly titled ‘ Chal ’ for October . This one is different from the former though, with a much lighter and benign tone, and set to a sprightly tune. Unforunately the tune and the arrangement do not impress. Monali Thakur on vocals though does a great job and that makes it an engaging listen while it lasts, as do Ghazi’s carpe diem-implying lines.

October has a decent soundtrack where Sircar gets the best songs from his oldest collaborator.

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