Music

'Chhichhore' album review: a good listen

College tunes: The soundtrack is a good listen all the same  

Despite the hype surrounding the film, composer Pritam and lyricist Amitabh Bhattacharya’s last partnership earlier this year, Kalank, did not quite work as expected. Nearly five months down the line, the duo bring us another soundtrack, Chhichhore. Contrary to the former, this one has hardly had any buzz around its release. What makes one optimistic though is that the last time the team worked with director Nitesh Tiwari, it was for the spectacular Dangal. Let’s see if they have managed to deliver something on the same level this time around too.

Formulaic route

True to the movie’s theme, Pritam and Bhattacharya present a college nostalgia song in the soundtrack with ‘Woh Din’. The effort at evoking college memories in the song however follows a formulaic route, both musically and lyrically. As a result, the song is nice, but it’s nothing out of the ordinary. Good singing in both its versions though – the talented Tushar Joshi (who seems to be the composer’s protégé, going by his discography) singing the main version and outdoing Singh who sings the second. Speaking of nostalgia, ‘Kal Ki Hi Baat Hai’, the next song, has one aspect that’s way more effective at taking one back in time and that’s KK’s vocals. The song itself is familiar Pritam territory, reminiscent of compositions like ‘Raabta’ on occasion, but the there are some lovely touches in the arrangement that make the song appealing (Shirin Malhotra on clarinet deserves a special mention), and of course the singer whose voice does not appear to age at all, sounding his soulful best.

Smartly crafted

Pritam gets Singh to sing two more songs in the album – two variants of a song, rather. ‘Khairiyat’ is a moody, melancholic piece that harks back to Pritam’s earlier days of composing for Emraan Hashmi films. Given that this is the genre that has given the singer his overblown repute of being a sad mood specialist, Singh makes no mistake in his rendition. I find it amusing that the two versions are titled ‘Khairiyat’ (Sad) and ‘Khairiyat’ (Happy) – while there is some difference between the orchestration of the two tracks, the second one does not by any means sound “happy” – even Bhattacharya’s lines seem to be the same across both.

Moving on to two happier songs though, ‘Fikar Not’ is a fun dance track where Bhattacharya’s way with conveying life lessons through humorous words comes to the fore once again as he captures the carpe diem theme here through quirky analogies. Equally quirky are the lyricist’s words in ‘Control’, a song that presumably is set around exam preparations. The theme of abstinence that runs through the song sort of takes my mind back to the brilliant ‘Haanikaarak Bapu’ from Dangal. While not as imaginative a song, this one is smartly crafted, and helped along by the singing from Nakash Aziz, Manish J. Tipu, Geet Sagar, Sreerama Chandra and Bhattacharya.

Chhichhore’s music does not compare equally with the brilliance of Dangal, but is a good listen all the same. In the meantime, we still await for the soundtrack that truly heralds Pritam’s return to musical brilliance.

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Printable version | Mar 4, 2021 12:25:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/those-were-the-days/article29354583.ece

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