Will we get a thrill ride that will keep us at the edge of our seats or a damp squib at the box office? Speed stars Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock and the character affectionately known as the BUS (which oddly enough means stop in Gujarati, which wouldn’t really make you very…. speedy). Oh, wait a sec, that’s the wrong movie! Ah,, here we have our Hindi film titled, “Speed” brought to us by that fan of the “inspired” films, director Vikram Bhatt. It’s interesting that Mr. Bhatt at this point in his career is desperately trying to score a hit after recent flops like “Red” and “Life Mein Khabie Khabie”. Actually, it’s been several years since he has had any hit to his credit. You’d have to go all the way back to “Raaz”. So what’s a starving for a hit director to do? Get inspired of course! The cast of this movie includes a veritable boatload of second tier stars such as Aashish Chaudhary, Aftab Shivdasani, Amrita Arora, Sanjay Suri, Sophie Chaudhary, Tanushree Datta, Urmila Matondkar, and Zayed Khan. Harry Baweja produces the movie. If the producer, director and cast don’t impress you, then perhaps Pritam as the music director will. Yes, the bearded one returns with a new soundtrack after scoring huge hits like “Life in a…Metro” in 2007. So now, do you feel the need…. for “SPEED”!? (Side Note: Tips Music, once a giant in the music industry, has released the soundtrack, somehow getting it away from the omnipresent T-Series which seems to release everything these days.)
It’s always a odd mix in Hindi films when you have an action movie that is also a musical. Certain directors like Sanjay Gupta (“Musafir”, “Zinda” and “Shootout at Lokhandwalla”) combine the action and musical genre well. With a title like “Speed” the moviegoer might think that the music would be “Fast” and “Furious”. Let’s speedily go through this review and find out what kind of music Pritam has brought to us this time.
At first listen, the music seems to be anything but fast and furious as Pritam falls back to his soft-techno-pop-ballad-dance music pattern. It seems that when the music director wants to coast through, he falls back on this tried and true formula. Not that it’s a bad thing; it’s just that he has raised the bar so high with his recent soundtracks that we expect more from him.
The first track, “Hello” is a peppy number that zips along at a pleasant pace. In this age of instant gratification and super fast come ons, this number will hit home to a lot of listeners. The super youthful Shaan provides the voice for the guy who is trying to win over the girl of his cellular dreams. The husky voiced Sunidhi Chauhan provides the sultry put downs that make Shaan try even harder. It’s standard dance-pop fare, but grows on the listener the more you listen to it. Mayur Puri provides the not so deep lyrics. Do you feel the need for “SPEED”? Not yet, as this song is slightly up-tempo, but doesn’t break any speed limits with its originality.
The next song zips right into the fast lane. Pritam amps up the music and hits the accelerator to bring us, “Wanna Wanna”. Shaan and Sunidhi return to drive you crazy with this track that is heavy on the synths and adds dhol beats at just the right moments. Pritam knows how to get listeners going and this shows how deft he is in putting together a catchy catchphrase with the right musical arrangement. Mayur Puri is gonna gonna impress with “Wanna Wanna”. Do you feel the need for “SPEED”? Yes! Pull me over right now, because I’m going to be blasting this song on my car stereo and breaking the speed limit. (Note: Dear readers, I do not now or ever condone speeding. Unless you feel like it that is!).
Whew, so far I have not been pulled over for speeding, but shall I slow down with the next oddly titled track, “Tikhi Tikhi”. There are different versions of this song on the album, and the placement of them is odd, as you have this version (STOMP) followed by the regular version and after another song, the third version. The stomp beat is a repetitive heavy percussive beat at regular intervals (sorta like stomping your feet down on the floor when an ant is crawling up your pants and at the same time clapping your hands together.). It’s certainly a different sounding track that breaks from the standard dance tempo tunes that Pritam is known for. The singer Joy (Last heard on the soundtrack for “Kya Love Story Hai”) infuses a youthful feel to the track. Mayur Puri’s lyrics are just right, after all, how deep do you want a song that is titled “Tikhi Tikhi” to be? For the record, the first STOMP mix is the best one out of the three on the album. So, do you still feel the need for “SPEED”?! Yes, keep speeding down the fast lane!
Now, oddly enough the fourth track is, “Tikhi Tikhi” again (déjà vu). This is the original mix, and it’s sllllooow. The percussive rhythm is softer than the STOMP version, and the song somewhat slows down the momentum that the first three tracks had built up. I wonder who actually decides on the order of songs on apna Hindi soundtracks? I can’t believe that Pritam would actually want the two Tikhi(s) in a row. I could fill this paragraph up with verbose comments on how the track is perfect for lounging around and setting your car on cruise control, but I will spare you. Do you still feel the need for “SPEED”!? Not so much with this track, let’s slow down and simply enjoy the view.
For the next track, “Loving You”, Pritam brings back the “Whoah WHOAH OHHHH” chorus that he seems to like so much. I seriously think that he must have these guys on speed dial (ouch, sorry, couldn’t resist). Smooth voiced kurly krazy Sonu Nigam always raises the quality of any song that he vocalizes and this one is no exception. He brings an energy level to the song that is ably supported by Pritam’s somewhat standard use of drum machines, keyboards and a smattering of Spanish guitar (Something we have heard before in soundtracks like “Ankahee”). Antara Mitra provides the female vocals, and is passable. It’s time to drive fast and furious again as the song speeds by at a quick pace. Mayur Puri’s lyrics are just right. I think I feel the need for “SPEED” again, though Pritam is speedily running out of creativity on this album.
The sixth and final track is another version of “Tikhi Tikhi”. The stomp beats return, but with a faster up-tempo rhythm. It’s really nothing new, or even interesting and by this time you might be tired of listening to the song, I know I was. It certainly made me quite aware that on this soundtrack, we only have four original songs and the rest is all filler. Will you still feel the need for “SPEED”!? Not so much, by the end of the album, as it seems the car has run out of gas.
The songs to watch out for on this album are “Wanna Wanna” and “Hello”. Do speed and add these to your IPOD’s playlist. To be honest, I think Pritam hit cruise control on this album, sat back, and composed the songs in the basic Pritam house style. So, while I felt the need for “SPEED” at the beginning of the album, by the end of it, I just want to park the car and get on to other things as I sing, “It’s my way, or the highway!”