Director Raja Krishna Menon’s latest film, Chef -- the original adaptation of the 2014 Hollywood film -- releases this Friday. But before that, let’s give a listen to the film’s six-track album which has been composed by Raghu Dixit and Amaal Mallik while the lyrics have been penned by Ankur Tewari and Rashmi Virag.
The first song, ‘ Shugal Laga Le’ starts off sounding eerily similar to Junkyard Groove’s ‘Folk You’, before moving into Dixit’s familiar territory, invoking the happy vibes of his 2013 song ‘Jag Changa’ from 2013. Given Chef ’s setting, this one strongly invokes images of Kerala – with boat chants and instruments like the chenda and edaykka in its arrangement. Tewari’s lyrics are equally alluring who introduced me to a new Urdu word, shugal which translates to “do something/have fun”. Another high-energy song of the album is the travel-themed ‘Banjaara’ which doesn’t really have much appeal other than its enthusiastic vibe induced by Vishal Dadlani’s singing and the Celtic-style percussion that dominates the arrangement. In ‘Darmiyaan’ Tewari’s writing skills come to the forefront enhanced by a mellow arrangement featuring exceptional guitar-play, both acoustic and electric.
Dixit gets the underrated Shahid Mallya to lend his voice to ‘Khoya Khoya’ , and the end result is a brilliant rendition with the addition of the sarangi. Nikhita Gandhi gets the soundtrack’s best, ‘Tan Tan’ , and she absolutely nails it. The composer too is in exceptional form here, producing a heady melange of guitars and horns (the latter arranged by bassist Guy Bernfeld).
The last song of is a guest composition from Amaal Mallik, written by Rashmi Virag and performed by Mallik’s brother Armaan. Despite traversing familiar soundscapes with its melody and arrangement, ‘Tere Mere’ will engage the listener.
Like his last Bollywood outing, the 2014 Bewakoofiyaan , Chef too has only two stand-out tracks from Dixit. Hopefully, the film’s happy premise will help push the soundtrack’s cause in cinemas.