On paper, it had all the makings of a winning collaboration. There was composer Amit Trivedi, who has rewritten the rules of Hindi film music; lyricist Irshad Kamil who can weave the most profound Sufi thoughts into everyday language and two genuinely talented folk singers, Jyoti Nooran and Harshdeep Kaur. The song they created together titled, Teriya tu jaane celebrates unconditional love. How can they not get it right?
But all good intentions aside, the inaugural song of the revamped Coke Studio@MTV Season 4 doesn’t quite hit the sweet spot, right from the start. In the beginning itself, the saxophone instantly reminds of Dreamum wakeupum from Aiiyya. It turns out to be a minor thing, but it’s hard to ignore the similarity in the hookline with Gal mitthi mitthi bol, one of Trivedi’s smash hits from Aisha. The problem with this track is that it sounds too much like Trivedi. Normally a class apart in arrangement, at least by Bollywood standards, it doesn’t save the day here. We like that the composer’s interpretation of a “serious” idea isn’t the expected Sufi-rock treatment — unlike its Pakistani counterpart, where it is the overarching genre but the song could have been a lot more. The variety on display in Coke Studio@MTV has been one of its winning aspects.
Trivedi goes for a jazz and electro-funk sound but we’ve heard him play it before. The arrangement is smooth, shuttling between genres with ease; but it doesn’t come together well, we don’t feel the message of the song in its melodies.
However, Kamil does a neat job with the words.
Unlike the last two seasons of the show where each producer created a set of six new songs, the new format has one song per producer that will be released each month. The usually dependable Trivedi may have had a bad day, but the revamped format of the show is already drawing a lot of flak for its format and its addition of a separate music video along with the live version.
Although it is still too early to jump to conclusions, this is certainly an inauspicious start to the new season.