Music Review Mumbai

Déjà vu with a hint of new

Feel-good sound: Shah Rukh Khan and Alia Bhat in Dear Zindagi

Feel-good sound: Shah Rukh Khan and Alia Bhat in Dear Zindagi  

Amit Trivedi returns as a composer for the new Gauri Shinde film with a bunch of feel-good tracks

Gauri Shinde’s sophomore effort Dear Zindagi seems to be about continuities and departures, at least when it comes to the music. While she retains Amit Trivedi, the composer from her debut film English Vinglish, Swanand Kirkire makes way for Kausar Munir as the lyricist. And in keeping with the current trend in Bollywood, the soundtrack also features a remix of an old song.

‘Love You Zindagi’ comes with the quintessential Trivedi stamp; in fact, it even carries echoes of the title track of his last outing with Shinde. Not to say that the song doesn’t impress, the joie de vivre in Munir’s lines and the arrangement (with the horns, banjo et al) is bound to rub off on you.

However, the singing by Jasleen Royal just about works; the initial allure is increasingly wearing thin due to a certain monotony in her style. She does, however, do better than the movie’s leading lady Alia Bhatt, who sings the dance floor-friendly club mix of the song. And that’s not saying much considering her competition. The melody does lend itself well to a party mix, but the lyrics (used as is from the original) don’t quite work in the new context.

It seems to be the season of celebrating breakups; after ‘The Breakup Song’ in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, Trivedi-Munir add to the “split-up songs” list with the high-spirited ‘Let’s Break Up’. It ends up almost as effective as the former, largely owing to the composer’s neatly realised retro funk sound and Vishal Dadlani handling vocals like the rock star he is. The déjà vu aspect is prominent in ‘Just Go To Hell Dil’ too.

It is particularly reminiscent of the underrated beauty from Aisha, ‘Lehrein’, owing to that violin solo (Jitendra Thakur) and the heartbreak theme. Even so, the soulfulness of the melody will make you overlook the familiarity, along with Sunidhi Chauhan’s remarkable singing with easy switches from desolation to angst around the title refrain.

After hogging the limelight with six songs (including the background tracks) for Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, Arijit Singh dominates again with three songs inDear Zindagi. The romantic ‘Tu Hi Hai’ rides on the breezy framework of plucked strings and a cheery tune, delivered to a tee by the singer. Singh also gets the soundtrack’s best: a delightful jazz-flavoured piece titled ‘Tareefon Se’.

Trivedi ends the soundtrack with two adaptations of Ilayaraja-Gulzar’s 1983 classic from Sadma, ‘Ae Zindagi Gale Laga Le’. One rendition, ‘Take 1’, is a rock-flavoured take on the song, sung by Singh.

Trivedi once again delivers for Shinde, like he did the first time, with a bunch of feel-good tracks that don’t always sound fresh but are definitely engaging.

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

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 11:26:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/D%C3%A9j%C3%A0-vu-with-a-hint-of-new/article16461834.ece

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