Composer: Pritam, J.A.M 8
Lyrics: Amitabh Bhattacharya, Irshad Kamil, Kumaar
Sushant Singh Rajput- and Kriti Sanon-starrer Raabta has been caught in controversies for a while. First it received a legal notice from the makers of 2009 Telugu film Magadheera alleging plagiarism, almost three weeks ago, the film’s composer, Pritam, requested that the producers remove his name from the film credits. He has a policy of not working on recreations of other songs in his albums. The producers wanted to recreate an existing song from the music label (T-series) as part of promotions. The final touches was then completed by Pritam’s company J.A.M 8.
But after all this talk, the music is very ordinary. Most songs belong to the marquee where the current cacophony of Bollywood music resides. It sticks to the current yet relatively outworn pop model and ticks all the boxes — there is a happy pop/electronic number, another version of the same song, one sad song, one sufi piece and recreation of existing hits. The album opens with Ik vaari by Arijit Singh. An acoustic guitar is paired with synth chords while heaving electronic sounds go into a crescendo.The new-age percussion loops join in and add pace to the piece. Singh sounds effortlessly confident but the composition doesn’t leave an impact. The piece also has a Jubin Nautiyal version, which is a softer rendition with a male chorus in the background. The song didn’t need two versions (this isn’t a remix). Singh’s version is better. Singh and Nikhita Gandhi attempt a reworked Raabta from Agent Vinod, also a Pritam composition. The song starring Deepika Padukone (she makes a guest appearance in the film) opens with a riff on the guitar that merges with soft keys and Gandhi’s husky voice. The older version by Shreya Ghoshal did sound better, this one — with an increased pace, more instruments and electronics and autotuners — is just tolerable. Singh plays wonderfully with his voice and adds some sheen to the piece that at times begins to sound like bubblegum pop.
Lambiyan si judaiyan is the melancholic number here. It opens with a violin and acoustic guitar prelude and soon goes into the ’90s dholak-and-synth routine. Suddenly there are chants of Ali Maula, which seems like a misfit here, but then it is being promoted as the album’s sufi number, without the understanding of the genre. Again, Singh works the song well, and makes it a robust number. Composition wise, it’s one of the better pieces in the album. Main tera boyfriend, a remake of J Star’s 2015 Punjabi number, Na Na. Singh helms this one too. Neha Kakkar and Meet Bros join him here. The heavily mechanised number has a catchy beat and is sure to make it to the dance floor. But the music has nothing new to offer. Atif Aslam is roped in for Darasal. We liked the Prateek Kuhad style of pop composition here. But Aslam sings it like he is singing a song for his band Jal, with much power. The softness needed for a love ballad here surfaces occasionally.
Raabta is already on air and in clubs. The songs, however, aren’t here to stay.