MUMBAI

A crashing disappointment

Blah affair:There is nothing in the album that is half as memorable as the theme songspecial arrangement

Blah affair:There is nothing in the album that is half as memorable as the theme songspecial arrangement  

The trailer of Thugs of Hindostan had a segment where the music was reminiscent of ‘He’s a Pirate’, the theme song of Pirates of the Caribbean (of course, that’s not the only similar element between the two films). The good news is that the movie’s three-song soundtrack does not have the ( POTC ) tune. The bad news though, is that there is nothing in the album that is half as memorable as the theme song.

All three songs of the album are of the boisterous, energetic nature, providing composers Ajay-Atul the perfect setting to employ their signature grand, percussion-laden orchestral style. The first song ‘ Suraiyya ’ is as richly orchestrated as they come — an assortment of folk percussions, a brass section, Tapas Roy’s plucked strings, etc. to back Vishal Dadlani and Shreya Ghoshal’s top-notch vocals. It’s these factors that make the song a vibrant affair despite a weak melody. ‘ Manzoor-e-Khuda ’ too features a great vocal line-up — Ghoshal joins Sunidhi Chauhan and Sukhwinder Singh, and the three display fine form with their voices. The arrangement, though again comprised of similar elements, is more rebellious in its import, in line with Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics. The song is rather predictable in its progression though, unfortunately — might work as a situational piece in the movie, but does not provide much value as a standalone song. The composers produce their best for the soundtrack in ‘ Vashmalle ’ — the phrase means “to sing and dance with joy”, thanks to the incredible ‘ Washmallay ’ from Season seven of Coke Studio Pakistan, one of my favourite songs from the show.

This ‘ Vashmalle ’ appears to be a song of drunken revelry, and Ajay-Atul’s heavy folk-infused backdrop (that features Macedonian Symphonic Orchestra among others) conveys the mood wonderfully, even as Singh and Dadlani do a spectacular job on their part. I loved Bhattacharya’s lines, especially the second verse, which is a smartly worded drunk anthem.

The Thugs of Hindostan soundtrack — barring ‘ Vashmalle ’ where the composers really get going — is sadly a mish-mash of an album. Given that the composers and lyricist Bhattacharya are collaborating with the same director who got Vishal-Shekhar to deliver the brilliant Tashan ten years ago (yes yes, he also did Dhoom 3 after that), I had higher expectations for the film’s score.

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