Kabhi Hit, Kabhi Miss
By MovieTalkies.com, 20 May 2011
Bollywood this season, seems to be going all out to woo its youth audiences. After films like F.A.L.T.U., Luv Ka The End and Pyaar Ka Punchnama, all starring newcomers in topline roles, Roshan Abbas' debut directorial effort, Always Kabhi Kabhi is set to be the latest release in line to catch 'em young.
Starring four newcomers, Ali Fazal, Satyajeet Dubey, Zoa Morani and Giselli Monteiro in lead roles, Always Kabhi Kabhi comes from the pedigree of Shahrukh Khan's Red Chillies Entertainment, and is produced by the King Khan's wife, Gauri. The film's soundtrack, with six originals and four reprises, has Pritam managing the music, while Amitabh Bhattacharya, Irfan Siddiqui, Prashant Pandey and director Roshan Abbas himself pen the lyrics.
Though the Always Kabhi Kabhi soundtrack is done by Pritam for the most part, the opener on the album, the title track always kabhi kabhi, sees Ashish Rego and Shree D handle composing duties. A fairly radio-friend sound, the track has an upbeat melody that opens up with the flute and guitars and proceeds into a synthesised arrangement. Bhaven Dhanak and Sanah Moidutty handle lead vocals on the first, fast version of the track, along with Harmeet Singh, who sounds a bit like Rahat Fateh Ali Khan at times. Though the lyrics are a bit run-of-the-mill, the fast version of the track does make for an enticing tune.
An unplugged version of the track is also used as a closer for the album, with Vinnie Hutton, who also plays guitar on the track, handling male lead vocals. Apeksha Dandekar, who is on backing vocals for the fast version, comes in the female leads and harmonises well with Hutton.
Though the lyrics are tacky and the main version of the song sees its vocalists autotuned needlessly, antenna, the second track on the album, will work solely by virtue of its infectious melody. The number, an out and out club track, sees a heavily processed Benny Dayal and Apeksha Dandekar in a duet, along with director Roshan Abbas, who helps out in the intro. With a pumping, thumping sound and busy arrangement, the number has great energy, and could be the breakout track on the album.
This is especially true with a later reprise called antenna (reloaded) - SRK mix, which predictably, could see the King Khan make a surprise appearance in the video. The track hasa rather dramatic sounding opening and sees KK sharing singing duties with Apeksha, thankfully, needing no pitch correction, though the arranger still chooses to put a delayed electronic effect on both the lead vocals, making Dandekar sound like a '90s europop singer.
'Desi' rapstar Ishq Bector opens up school ke din with some of his trademark rhymes, while a pairing of acoustic and electric guitar riffs lay down the background tune of the track. The track is quite interestingly arranged, bringing the talented Suhail Kaul on lead vocals, along with a set of chorus and harmony singers backing him up. Though are just about okay, the song strikes quite an impression, thanks to Kaul.
A classic, rock and roll vibe kicks in with better not mess with me, a typical girl-power number. The track appears in two versions, one rock mix with Sunidhi Chauhan on vocals, while Shefali Alvaris is on leads for a later club mix. Sunidhi's rock version features some great guitar riffs between her verses, though Chauhan herself sounds a bit childish on her part. Alvaris, instead, seems to have a voice better suited for the vibe of the number's club version, and turns in a catchy sound with the number.
The next track, undi the condi continues in the contemporary rock and roll vibe of its predecessor, and brings Shaan and Aditi Singh Sharma in duet on the leads. Though it has a catchy tune, the track could have done with better lyrics, especially since few people will understand what the title phrase of the track, undi the condi, means. (It's short for 'understand the condition'.) While there are times on the track where one feels like the filmmakers behind Always Kabhi Kabhi are trying a bit too hard to fit in with the youth, the track is still good for a few listens.
The final original track on the album, jane kyun, wraps up on a slower, softer note than the rest of the entries on the soundtrack. The simple, soaring melody appears in two versions, one called the soul version and the other called the sufi version, though the difference seems to be only in the choice of vocalists. While Naresh Iyer sits in on the soul version, Shafqat Amanat Ali brings in his trademark sound for the sufi version. Both versions are arranged in a similar manner with a prominent string section and acoustic and electric guitar work backing up. Though the track is nicely crafted by Pritam, it doesn't quite seem to have the 'x-factor' that could make it truly memorable.
Overall, the Always Kabhi Kabhi soundtrack seems to be a fairly middling effort from Pritam and gang, though the positives outnumber the negatives here. Nearly every track on the album uses 'hinglish' lyrics, which seems to be the go-to move for filmmakers looking to give their music a contemporary feel. Pritam responds appropriately and crafts a set of similarly modern sounds to match up, with hits-in-the-making in tracks like antenna and better not mess with me, while Ashish Rego and Shree D. also turn up a good effort in the title track of the film. With quite a few hits and some misses, the Always Kabhi Kabhi soundtrack lives up to its title...