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Music Review :: Cocktail

We present to you the exclusive music review of Homi Adajania’s Cocktail.

Director Homi Adajania (of Being Cyrus fame) has taken up some serious responsibility by naming his newest film, Cocktail. Somewhere deep within, one hopes that both the music, as well as, the movie will be as potent as its ‘spirit’ed equivalent and deliver a nice long-lasting kick which will make you want to revisit it time and again. In this case, the onus falls on music director Pritam to achieve the aforementioned goal. One expects an all-rounder album with just the right amounts of peppiness and emotions. Has Pritam managed to fulfill these expectations? Let us take a look.

Pulsating techno beats pave the way for the opening track, Tumhi Ho Bandhu. Sung by Kavita Seth & Neeraj Shridhar, you will instantly fall in love with this sure-shot chartbuster which speaks about the power of love and how love conquers all. Despite being highly synthesized, Kavita Seth’s raw, rustic old-school voice creates a dichotomy of sorts. On the other hand, the perfect dash of reverberation, a subtle hint of echo and a highly addictive chorus by Neeraj Shridhar gives the song a very surreal vibe. Kavita ji, I want to hear more of you. Please sing more songs.

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For those not in the know, the title of this song is borrowed from one of the most famous Sanskrit shloka, Twameva Mata.

If the movie is named Cocktail, one anticipates a song with the word daaru (meaning: alcohol) in its title. In this case, Daaru Desi plays out next in the voices of Benny Dayal & Shalmali Kholgade.  If you are expecting a full-fledged dance track, get rid of all those conceptions since Daaru Desi surprises you with its laidback and care-free attitude. The USP of this track lies in the voices of its lead singers which sound so different from what you must have heard earlier. Special mention to Shalmali who really impressed me with her rendition and seems to be improving with every progressing song.

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Pritam beautifully makes use of his 2 favorite instruments – guitar and drums – in Yaariyaan. Agnee’s lead vocalist Mohan Kanan and Shilpa Rao sing this symphonic track with great elan. It is funny that by now one can easily identify a song composed by Pritam thanks to his characteristic music arrangements. This track is in the league of those from one of his best albums till date, Life In a Metro. What stands out are the poignant lyrics which speaks about friendship, love and sacrifices.

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A reprise version follows suit with Sunidhi Chauhan & Arijit Singh taking to the mic. WOW! Oh wow! I sorely and solely miss Pritam for such tracks. Despite having a vague sense of déjà vu, Sunidhi takes this song to an entirely new level with her soothing rendition. Coupled with classical overtones by Arijit, this song will give you goosebumps when heard in isolation with utmost concentration. A stunner of a track!

When you have a song titled Second Hand Jawani coming from the house of Pritam, you can expect fireworks all the way. Sung by Neha Kakkar, Miss Pooja, Nakkash Aziz, the handling of this one bears a stark resemblance to Pritam’s own Bhangra Bistar from Dil Bole Hadippa. Agreed that both have different ‘antaras‘, yet you keep back going to Bhangra Bistar. Tch, tch. This one disappoints.

Teri Naam Japdi Phiran makes up for the previous damper. Javed Bashir, Shefali Alvares & Nikhil D’ Souza easily glide through this Punjabi party song though my only grouch is the usage of wannabe English lyrics which could have been replaced by more lines from Javed. All in all, I would sing this to my loved one.

A remix version ensues and as usual, it follows the stereotypical route. Fastened pace, added beats and a dollop of echoes doesn’t always result in a great remix though this one’s passable.

Luttna (Saif Al Malook) explores the Punjabi Psychadelic Rock genre and Indian elements are interspersed with utmost elegance. Sung by Masuma Anwar, Sahir Ali & Anupam Amod, the song presents pain in the truest sense with a modern day twist and plays out with great pathos resulting in some serious retrospection about love.

They return with another version of the same which has lesser beats and instruments yet the beauty and charm of the track remain intact.

Up next is Jugni which, originally, is a Pakistani song whose rights have been purchased by the makers of Cocktail. Reviewing it as a standalone track, the melody truly haunts you. Arif Lohar & Harshdeep Kaur excel at playing with your emotions with this trippy song.

Two additional songs composed originally by Yo Yo Honey Singh – namely, Main Sharabi & Angreji Beat – feature in the movie, if not necessarily in the soundtrack. Main Sharabi works in parts, especially the addictive chanting of the title but suffers from a slight hangover of Hard Kaur’s Ek Glassy. Angreji Beat, on the other hand, is an out and out winner – perfect beats, perfect vocals, perfect arrangements, perfect addictiveness, oozes of attitude – everything works in its favor to make it the perfect party track.

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As the album came to an end, I felt overwhelmed with the sheer volume of songs since the complex nature of every track begged for immense concentration while reviewing. Pritam manages to deliver a charming amalgamation of differing musical styles with every song. A special mention is in order for the genius Irshad Kamil for his heartwarming and innovative yet simple lyrics without which the album would fall flat. By churning these together, the end-product will surely appeal to listeners looking for a fun party soundtrack with subtle innate emotions. I say, go for it now!

SHRESHT’S PICKS: Tumhi Ho Bandhu, Yaariyaan (Reprise), Tera Naam Japdi Phiran, Angreji Beat.

RATING: **** out of *****.

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Hark ye, padawaans! Follow the musical force on Twitter @highonscore

Follow Shresht Poddar on Twitter @shreshtpoddar


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