After the phenomenal success of jazz-based tunes in Anurag Kashyap’s not-so-phenomenal Bombay Velvet, composer Amit Trivedi’s next album is an average outing. Guddu Rangeela is a neat (it’s still got Trivedi at the helm) but tepid album. At the onset, it seems to be missing Trivedi’s midas touch. The tunes can, in fact, pass off as Vishal-Shekhar or Salim-Sulaiman compositions on many occasions. The chorale uplift that has been given to all the songs is a little too generic to last beyond the summer. It also comes across as a safe repackaging of what works. In this case, the only thing that works are Irshad Kamil’s clever lyrics.
The album opens with the Calypso style title song. It’s lyrical, tells a story with much happiness and has an impish yet intelligent sense of humour. Sung by Trivedi and Divya Kumar, the lyrics by Kamil that go Do baaghi, hain anuraagi, dono ke peeche phire maut bhaagi, certainly get our attention. The problem is that the track itself isn’t good enough to come back to. This, despite a beautiful shift to the electric guitar and change in atmospherics from the more popular and common tambourines, bass and keys, for the most part. The remix version of the song changes in terms of speed (it becomes faster). It has Shahid Mallya’s intonations instead of Trivedi’s and includes the dholak. But it isn’t really a new gear, just a different turn of phrase.
This one is followed by Sooiyaan, a love ballad that is breezy and easy on the ears. Sung by Arijit Singh and Chinmayi Sripada, it’s also one of the more refreshing compositions in the album. In fact, Sripada seems to have reinvented herself since we heard her in AR Rahman’s Guru. The track opens with a prelude and Singh and Sripada singing without any rhythm. Almost a minute later a congo is heard playing a dholak-style rhythm pattern, giving the track a jangle and an interesting hook. Sahebaan comes from the same marquee as Sooiyaan. The only difference is the techno beats in the song. It’s again a soft and interesting ballad with a contemporary touch. Mallya’s voice sounds like it is meant for the track. Kamil again brings up a line which gives the conventional a fresh touch. Arshad Khan’s esraj interlude works really well.
The album concludes with Mata ka email, which has been the film’s promotion song. Director Subhash Kapoor turns composer here, to give us a peek into north Indian jagraatas. The song is a spoof and has quirky lyrics like Kal raat mata ka mujhe email aaya hai, mata ne mujhko Facebook pe bulaya hai sung by Gajender Phogat to a typical dholak and synthesiser sound. Funny for a moment, but largely forgettable.
Overall, the album has a decent palette but lacks depth. It is passable, quite underwhelming as a project.