Director Sriram Raghavan’s propensity to pay tribute to noir often tends to percolate through into his films’ music as well. In Andhadhun , that throwback happens most notably in ‘Aap Se Milka’ . Barring that processed vocal sample (I think) that keeps popping up, 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 that hook becomes very addictive. Abhijeet Srivastava and Aakanksha Sharma sound wonderful as well, delivering lines written by Jaideep Sahni (who reunites with Raghavan after the 2007 Johnny Gaddaar ). While the orchestration of the song’s reprise version is more retro-aligned with more prominent acoustic elements (piano, plucked strings, etc), Ayushmann Khurrana’s vocals though, aren’t up to the mark.
Given that the actor plays a pianist in Andhadhun, the album was expected to feature the instrument a lot, and on this count, the makers do not disappoint.
Other than making the instrument a part of the orchestration in most of the soundtrack, Raghavan and Trivedi also include two instrumental themes on the piano. The waltz-y ‘Theme 01’ is a particularly enchanting – pianist Jarvis Menezes produces 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’ with enjoyable results. Arijit Singh leads the original version of the track which has a yesteryear flavour to it. But it is the delightful combination of the piano (Menezes) and accordion (Sameer Chiplunkar) with violins (Chennai Strings Orchestra) backing the melody that makes the piece truly addictive.
‘Naina Da Kya Kasoor’ sees the composer get behind the mic himself, and while his performance has a repetitive quality, the song itself doesn’t sound like a rehash. Although, its hook is reminiscent of R.D. Burman’s Teesri Manzil track ‘O Mere Sona Re’. There is also an electronic version of the song that is decidedly inferior. Since classic remixes have got me so fed up that when a song from the same album is revamped, it feels like a welcome respite. Trivedi also sings ‘Laila Laila’ that does sound familiar, but its jolly vibe (with Menezes’ splendid piano playing), 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. 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 film’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 rap and singing. But it is the Marathi percussion that is the highlight of the composition, taking it to a climactic high.
While Raftaar and Nakod deliver my favourite song from the album, the second half of the year is definitely looking good for Amit Trivedi. Most importantly, Andhadhun contains the freshest set of tunes that he has delivered this year.