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Music Review :: English Vinglish

We bring to you the exclusive music review of Gauri Shinde’s English Vinglish.

The relatively young & recent music composer Amit Trivedi is known for his seemingly eccentric filmy scores. You have heard his music in Dev D, Aisha, No One Killed Jessica, Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu, Ishaqzaade etc. He has tasted success with every album of his which has made him the new go-to guy for a sure-shot chartbuster. Coming back to Gauri Shinde’s English Vinglish, the veteran heartstopper Sridevi is making her highly-awaited (and publicized) comeback with this movie. She looks fresh, the movie looks fresh – so shouldn’t we expect a fresh soundtrack from Amit too?

The album opens up on a charged note with the fast-paced Badla Nazara. I’ll be honest – initially, it vaguely comes across as a situational, thematic song. After repeated hearings, I couldn’t help but admire the sense of urgency prevalent throughout the song. The lead character has been placed in unfamiliar surroundings with new people, new dialects and differing cultures and is trying to make her peace with it. Check it out:

[youtube_video id=jqxF6MT4sZo]

The song beautifully captures the nuances of this overwhelming & unnerving situation with some of the funkiest rhyming lyrics I have heard in a long time (courtesy: Swanand Kirkire). Singer Shilpa Rao, with her sultry voice, seems to be the perfect choice and puts in her heart & soul. Personally, my favorite lines from the track are:

Teda lagta hain sab kuch yun, acchha lagta hain phir bhi kyun,
I’m trying vying dekho toh, I’m liking viking this that woh,
Dheeme dheeme, slowly slowly I’m learning vearning,
Seekhun veekhun nai zubaan

I actually played both the versions simultaneously in a music editing software. The effect of hearing a faux-duet of the two was simply cool. 

The male version of Badla Nazara, sung by Amit Trivedi himself, left me confused since I was unable to choose my favorite. Undoubtedly, Badla Nazara is an amazing track!

Amit Trivedi is heard once again in his solo Dhak Dhuk. In short words, this track is a gem. Swanand’s hardcore rustic Indian words, coupled with, Amit’s music sensibilities does wonders. I will urge you, dear readers, to hear this track a few times on loop to understand its beauty. From what I’ve understood, this song reflects the character’s heartfelt emotions. The lead character is lost in a dilemma – she’s going away to a new land leaving behind her lover and is questioning her heart. Over the dominant Indian percussions, one can hear some western sounds lost in the background, thus creating, in a way, a musical dichotomy. Genius, I tell you. Sample this:

Piya bin dil lage na ek pal ko mann ma lage thes, kaise jau main paraye des.

The album lineup plays out like a story too. The next track Manhattan makes it clear that the protagonist has reached the ‘paraye des’. At the start of the track, a conversation plays out between the lead characters. Forgive me, but I have to pen this uber cute conversation:

Sridevi (a.k.a Shashi): Ye apne lambi lambi buildings hoti hai na. Plane se dekha tha.
Lady A: Shashi, woh Manhattan hai.
Sridevi: Man – hat – t – tan?
Chick B (accented): Man, aadmi. Hat, uh, topi. Aur, mom what’s tan in Hindi?
Lady A: Uh.. Uh.. Tan Matlab.. Dhoop Ki Chhao.”

And this is exactly what plays out – “Aadmi, Topi, Dhoop Ki Chhao, Manhattan!Pretty much glorifying Manhattan, this one is definitely a situational track yet is so ingeniously innovative.  Both the singers, Clinton Cerejo & Bianco Gomes, have done a fantastic job. At one point in time, the names of some of the major designer brands are rapped:

To your left is Prada, to your right is Zara,
Giorgio Armani, Thank God It’s Friday,
Gucci & Versace, Jimmy Choo, Givenchy,
Louis Vuitton, ton, t…t..t…ton ton,
Moschino, chino, c..c.c…chino chino.

Next up is Gustakh Dil by Shilpa Rao (once again!). Is it just me or does she vaguely sound like Anushka Manchanda Anyway, this one is another hidden gem. Fantastic arrangements, along with the forlorn sound of the cello, complement Shilpa’s voice. I must say Shilpa Rao is, slowly but steadily, carving her own niche and emerging as one of the most sought after singers.

Gustakh Dil, dil mein mushkil, mushkil mein dil, gustakh dil.” Poetic, isn’t it?

A very unconventional half-Marathi, half-Hindi track Navrai Majhi ends the album on a positive note. Clearly a celebratory song, this one is set amidst a wedding. Sung by an array of singers including Sunidhi Chauhan, Swanand Kirkire, Neelambari Kirkire & Natalie Di Luccio, this track made me want to dance thanks to the infectious joyous vibes emitted from it. A slight glitch would be the inclusion of Sunidhi Chauhan who, despite being a great singer, comes across as a bit too commercial for this track.

I can happily say that Amit Trivedi has composed an excellent album befitting Sridevi’s comeback venture. Despite lacking an out-and-out commercial track, the album manages to hold itself well – especially thanks to Swanand Kirkire’s amazing lyrics. Go grab your copy, NOW!

SHRESHT’S PICKS: Badla Nazara, Dhak Dhuk

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

Stay tuned to for the regular musical updates.

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

Follow Shresht Poddar on Twitter @shreshtpoddar


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