Lyrics: Javed Akhtar
The things that are good about composers Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy are just about the same things which are good about every album the trio has ever touched — great composition structures and intelligent arrangements. In Zoya Akhtar’s Dil Dhadakne Do, the composers stick to the same strength. All arrangements come with perfect interludes and preludes, the urban chic sound — one that gives a feel of the film — and those electric guitars played by Ehsaan. What, however, has lost its sheen is the melody, which, barring a couple of compositions, is either stale or not good enough to stay. Akhtar tries to narrate stories with lyrics, but, despite repeated replays, the album fails to give us enough melody for the stories to take flight.
The album opens with a techno rock title song rendered by Farhan Akhtar and Priyanka Chopra. You can brace yourself for the upcoming statement. Chopra sounds better than Farhan. She is energetic and upbeat as compared to Farhan’s laboured singing. The vocals of both, however, have been massively auto-corrected. The tune does have a catchy hook and some fine guitar interludes, ones that turn the song into a slick piece and the album’s better composition. Another song that caught our attention was Girls like to swing by Sunidhi Chauhan. A drum and trumpet duet led us into a riot of rhythms with Chauhan crooning her lungs out, fitting the vocals in difficult structures. It’s impressive how Chauhan does not miss even a quarter of a beat and lets this one flow like a pearl in the fog. The composition, however, could have been better. This is followed by an overfamiliar Pehli baar from the classic rock marquee. The song sounds like a leftover from Zoya’s last outing, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. It opens with moderately pounded drumbeats that continue almost throughout. Shankar Mahadeven’s son Siddharth does a brilliant job with the vocals. He is accompanied by Sukriti Kakkar, who is just about okay.
Gallan goodiyan is aimed at being a Punjabi party number, ones that Mahadevan specialises in. Sung by Sukhwinder Singh, Shankar Mahadevan, Yashita Sharma and Farhan, the song, however, is nowhere close to the composer’s past accomplishments. It is run of the mill and has no impact, thanks to the same old beats and an average composition. Phir bhi begins well as a graceful ballad with Divya Kumar’s vocals but loses track 30 seconds in. Reflective lyrics float along. But, the composers include far too many singers — Farhaan, Alyssa Mendonca and Vishal Dadlani, among others, and the song becomes a sonic soup.
It has been a while since Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy gave us anything rock solid. Time for a different sonic path? Probably.
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