More misses than hits

Blackmail’s soundtrack falls short of listeners’ expectations despite Amit Trivedi’s musical efforts

April 05, 2018 09:15 pm | Updated 09:15 pm IST

For the second time in a row, an Amit Trivedi soundtrack for T-Series features ‘additional songs’. In the case of the upcoming Blackmail, the term has been used to denote the work of other composers despite Trivedi being credited for the entire soundtrack. Of the two, one is a recreation of a two-year-old track by Guru Randhawa called Patola . As far as remixes go, this one has actually undergone a reverse transformation of sorts. The original (composed by Preet Hundal) was an electronica number featuring rapper Bohemia. The Blackmail version though is shorter with an emphasis on folk elements minus the rap. It’s definitely an improvement for the film, but the song itself is too ordinary to be ruffled about.

The second non-Trivedi song appears to be an original, written and composed by Badshah. ‘Happy Happy’ features the vocals of Aastha Gill, an oft Badshah collaborator. Like their earlier work together, this one too rides on a catchy hook that sticks better than Patola , despite the average composition and lyrics.

When it comes to Trivedi’s compositions, his trusted lyrical partner Amitabh Bhattacharya pens four songs. And like a song they came up with early on in their collective careers – ‘Emosanal Attyachaar’ from Dev. D (2009) – Bewafa Beauty has an uncharacteristically cheesy synth and dholak led arrangement that seems reminiscent of an older musical era. But unlike the former, Blackmail ’s track does not come across as spoofy and therefore does not sustain interest beyond a couple of listens Pawni Pandey’s vocals are fabulous though. Trivedi himself leads the intense, rage-filled ‘ Badla that essentially conveys the film’s central theme. The composer’s vocal fierceness finds a perfect companion in Divine’s equally aggressive rap written with Dhaval Parab. Trivedi’s brilliant rendition of Sataasat makes it the album’s best with its laid-back vibes evocative of his older work, especially ‘ Saali Khushi also from Dev. D . However, the newer track is still an earworm thanks to its spectacular arrangement with the use of Kishore Sodha’s trumpet. It is only in the melodic ‘ Nindaraan Diyaan that the composer’s singing falls short. It’s still a pretty good listen thanks to a solid tune that lends itself to a mellow setting as well the Udaan -esque rock switch it receives in another version.

Despite having Trivedi in his team, Blackmail ’s director Abhinay Deo doesn’t have much success with Blackmail ’s music.

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