Shahid Kapoor movies are awaited with bated breath post the success of Jab We Met (2007), Kismat Konnection (2008) and last year’s critically acclaimed Kaminey (2009). And the result of such expectations is that the soundtrack is also eagerly expected, which sends risk and pressure waves to the composer. Out of his last two efforts post Kaminey, Dil Bole Hadippa! (2009) turned out to be a decent commercial entertainer with foot-tapping music while the other, Chance Pe Dance (2009), was a failure critically as well as commercially. Not only was the soundtrack a huge letdown, the movie was no great shakes either. Both these movies had one thing in common – they both sank at the box-office without a trace!
Cut to the present – the promos of Badmaa$h Company have sent the viewers into a tizzy, be it for the slickly edited trailer, or Anushka Sharma’s sudden transformation from girl-next-door to glam-doll, or maybe even the song Ayaashi playing as a background score to the trailer, it has been in the news since it’s worldwide release! And there’s this additional myth factor that ‘YRF-makes-good-music’ that ups the expectations. So the question is, does it live up to its billing? The shiny cover of Badmaa$h Company’s audio CD awaits my ‘inauguration ceremony’…..
Electric guitar riffs welcome your ears as the opening track, “Ayaashi”, starts off with its ear-piquing prelude, which builds up, adding more beats all the way from the introductory vocals of Krishna Kumar Kunnath (better known as K. K.) till the first chorus, where a background middle-eastern beat is added to make an addictive fusion of beats. Lots of horns can be heard at very low gain, which enhance the whole song to make it energetic and perhaps reflect the old school mood (the movie being set in the mid 90s). The percussion samples are used at the right places and you’ve nothing left but to shake your body to the tune! Anvita Dutt’s lyrics heighten the sense of energy and emphasize on the aspect of having fun till it lasts! K. K.’s vocals are perfect for a full-on energy driven track. The listener will appreciate that for once we don’t have a Bhangra-dominated hit by Pritam but something fresh.
The number returns sometime later in “Ayaashi Remix” that starts off really well, but meanders somewhere and never comes back to impress. The original is surely loads better. Abhijeet Nalani could have done something far more innovative than this random remix. Average at best.
With YRF’s limited promotion of the movie, one knows of nothing but the inclusion of “Ayaashi” in the soundtrack. One thus moves to the next track, titled “Jingle Jingle” – not the best title to give to a song, and certainly not the best follow-up to the catchy opener. Not that it’s bad. The beats are good, the mixed guitar loop is catchy and Mohit Chauhan, Master Salim and Farhid sing aptly. But the lyrics by Anvita are trashy! If you find it playing on a radio station, you won’t change the channel, but you’ll never want to listen to the song at will. One wonders, after listening to this track, whether Pritam has lost his shine by creating a stale déjà vu! But Pritam usually steps up a gear just when a soundtrack needs it so let’s be hopeful and move toward the next track…
Alas we wished too soon because “Chaska” goes through the same pattern. Whilst the music is high on the baseline, awesome beats, cool percussion and synth samples, the lyrics downgrade the overall package limiting it to a situational track only. The minute the song starts playing, Krishna tries hard to captivate the audience through his singing but fails due to the lyrics. A surprise revelation to the listeners would be that URL can sing, when we thought he could only rap! And it may not be Anvita’s fault here – the director would want a situational offering, which is why both Pritam and Anvita might have churned out this effort. Putting sympathies to one side we still can’t like the song anyway!
“Chaska Remix” is slightly up-tempo here. Joshilay has done a good job here creating an enjoyably foot-tapping effort although he can do nothing about the lyrics which are an ear-sore! How I wish the song as a whole had something much more energetic and innovative to offer.
“Fakeera” , post Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s stint at “Rishte Naate” (De Dana Dan) is actually fun. For once the lyrics hold some potential. Being a soft rock track (Pritam’s forte) this one is quite different from the soft-rock hits by Pritam in the years gone by – it’s fast-paced, and contains a lot of energy, but tilts dangerously to pop-rock. After “Jingle Jingle” and “Chaska” though, “Fakeera” doesn’t allow us to praise it and listeners will find random faults in the song, the main being the feeling of déjà vu. Saying that the song might grow on you after a few hearings. It’s a feel good soft rock track that genuinely deserves the aggressive promotion “Ayaashi” is getting.
And just when you think this is a wasted album, comes the title track, "Badmaash Company" as the super finale of the album. This song starts off where it left in “Ayaashi” , bringing back the thump of the beat and the boom of the bass-line! Though the synth-horns eerily remind us of “Dhan Te Nan” from Kaminey, the feelings cease when the song moves forward. Benny Dayal seems to have become a favorite with Yash Raj Films after his stint in “Pocket Mein Rocket” from Rocket Singh – Salesman of the Year (2009). Here as well, he goes full on, attitude laced in his voice. Like “Ayaashi” , this track too has got superb sound arrangements and awesome mixing! The chorus has to be the best part of the whole song, because that’s when the beat changes to something completely catchy and addictive, which in turn hooks the listener for the whole song! Anvita Dutt gets back to the funk in her writing post “Ayaashi” , and the zany lyrics actually seem to work here. Worth the listen for the thump, the eclectic sound design, mixing and of course, Anvita’s being back in form with this one.
Five original tracks and two remixes later, I put the CD back in the cover and look at the glossy cover blankly. And if the body is the cover, and the soul is the music CD, I would surely call this album a ‘body-beautiful-minus-soul’ affair. Except for “Ayaashi” and the title track (and to a very small extent, “Fakeera” ) the album is distastefully situational and mundane – something not expected of Pritam. We know that the songs need to fit into the situation of the movie but then again, we also know we want something that has a rock-solid repeat value. Sadly tracks like “Chaska” and “Jingle Jingle” spoil the album. All in all, it’s a disappointing affair from a regular hit-maker but then again, post the soundtracks of Toh Baat Pakki! and Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge? , we couldn’t be more surprised.
As a final word, I would like to request Pritam to bring back the hits, else 2010 won’t be the golden year for him like 2009 was…