Late but very likeable


At the outset, we must apologise for this belated review of a film that released last week! But this is courtesy the music label (Zee Music Company in this case) taking its own time to bring out the singles, and – as is often becoming the case now – and then releasing the album on the eve of movie release.

Secret Superstar’s songs have been created by Amit Trivedi and Kausar Munir, and since the central character is a teenager, the singing voices are mostly young. The rare instance of a more mature voice is Sunidhi Chauhan in ‘Gudgudi’, though her singing here is reflective of youthful wonderment, conveyed beautifully in Kausar Munir’s lyrics. Musically the song carries a familiar sound, but the general happy vibes (the harmonica/accordion, and Tapas Roy’s work on mandolin and banjo particularly) mitigate it to an extent. In fact, the familiarity aspect turns out to be a problem on multiple occasions through the soundtrack; it is often the lyrics and the singing that save it from becoming average fare. And talking of singing, we come to the real superstar of the soundtrack — young debutante Meghna Mishra, the singing voice of Zaira Wasim in the film. One of her best renditions happens in the introspective ‘Main Kaun Hoon’ where the singing takes on a rebellious tone, especially in the soaring portions that she commendably negotiates, even as the composer builds up the song’s intensity to match the singer’s passion. Mishra sounds endearing to an equal measure as she delivers the heartwarming (more for the words than the music, again) ode to the mother — ‘Meri Pyaari Ammi’.

The greatest allure of ‘Nachdi Phira’ is how Kausar Munir’s opening verse is made to work effectively with minor variations in both the breezy rock ballad, and the cheesy dance track ‘Sexy Baliye’. While the former features Mishra again, ‘Sexy Baliye’ is Mika Singh’s show – the cheesiness in the latter seems deliberate, going by the song’s video and the spoofy nature of Aamir Khan’s character. It’s for that reason the song took me back to Sneha Khanwalkar’s Love Sex Aur Dhokha title song. It is in the remaining two songs by Mishra where the composer delivers his best. ‘Sapne Re’ is built on a beautiful folk-flavoured melody, further adorned with a soothing earthy rhythm (Sanket Naik’s work on the percussion). And ‘O Re Manwa’ sees some fabulous guitar playing, though it is the gentle tune and the singer’s ace rendition of it that make it a captivating listen. The last song of the soundtrack sees another talented young newbie debut as vocalist — Kushal Chokshi. ‘I’ll Miss You’ is an expression of teenage romance at its earnest best — the lyrics, an endearing mix of Hindi, English and Gujarati; simple melody and arrangement. More than anything, it’s Chokshi’s sincere singing that will make your heart go out to him.

As I said earlier, Secret Superstar’s soundtrack that is made likeable largely by Munir’s lyrics and Mishra’s promising new voice.

The author writes about music on his website and curates music on Apple Music as MusicAloud

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Printable version | Jun 22, 2021 9:58:29 AM |

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