A combination of multi-talented Writer/Director Dibakar Banerjee and the artistic duo of Vishal-Shekhar (V-S) promise some unconventional, innovative stuff in the Political thriller Shanghai. Fresh from the success of Kahaani, V-S bring in a complete package with some trademark script interwoven situational numbers and some melodious tunes. Eight tracks with 2 remixes..Let's check them out!
"Bharat Mata Ki Jai" is a winner straightaway, courtesy some bold/funny/sarcastic lyrics by Dibakar Banerjee himself that describes our country (the Good and Bad things!). Some loud Dhol beats throughout the four minute duration provides the energy. Keerti Sagathia leads from the front and is brilliant with support from Vishal Dadlani, Mandar Apte, Chintamani Sohoni, Dibakar Bannerjee and R N Iyer. A track that will be enjoyed with the Emraan Hashmi presence! Added Dhol beats combined with whistling sounds bring together "Bharat Mata Ki Jai -Remix" which is not very different from the original and only acts as filler for repeat hearings.
Today, a soundtrack is incomplete unless an item number is included to attract eye balls and lure audiences to the Big Screen. "Imported Kamariya" is a pretty average effort if compared to V-S previous works- “Chammak Challo” (Ra.One) and “Sheila Ki Jawani” (Tees Maar Khan). Mamta Sharma is a name that is almost certain with item numbers but this time, Richa Sharma gets behind the mike (and sounds different) with support/chorus vocals from Vishal Dadlani and Shekhar Ravjiani. The lyrics by V-S regular Anvita Dutt Guptan are what demands attention and is the only innovative thing in this track which carries a Dibakar Bannerjee stamp. Hear it for the lyrics and Richa Sharma.
The third track "Duaa" instantly touches the soul with minimal use of orchestra thus focusing more on vocals, lyrics and melody. After “Dil Mera Muft Ka” (Agent Vinod) recently, Nandini Shrikar proves her versatility and her combination with the young talented Arijit Singh (“Raabta” from Agent Vinod) proves to be a one deadly affair that is made for repeated hearings. Notice how emotionally and elegantly Arijit handles the high notes. In short he’s one massive talent! The lyrics by Kumaar are top-notch to say the least. Shekhar Ravjiani is heard with some alaap in the interlude. The last one minute gets a bit too classical else it's a- Must Hear!
Up next is another absorbing, captivating V-S chartbuster "Khudaaya" where Shekhar Ravjiani will leave you in a trance for the whole 2.50 minutes. A sublime subtle orchestra sets the mood with the short but terrific qawwali part (1.17 - 1.34) with opulent use of harmonium and Raja Hasan (Reality show contestant) supporting vocals; seriously he deserves more than the chorus parts. The clapping chant is used throughout but the way it grows at 2.08 is worth noticing. Neelesh Misra is one gem of an artist/writer/lyricist and he proves his menace once again with this number where each and every word is filled with pathos and emotions and makes one feel the pain. For the remix lovers, DJ Kiran brings on "Khudaaya Remix" which is well organised and well paced without sounding loud and overdone.
The soundtrack takes a 180 degree U-Turn with "Morcha" which reminds of a certain Ajay-Atul (Agneepath) forte with all the nagada's and manjeera's at the very onset. Raja Hasan leads the vocals with support from Vishal Dadlani and is spot on, though his raw, rustic voice reminds me of Sukhwinder Singh but still kudos, way to go young man! Clearly it's the most important number if seen from the film's perspective and a perfect climax material. Vishal Dadlani hardly disappoints whenever it comes to writing and it shows in the straightforward lines about promises and protests in the mukhda and antara. One word: Riotous!
Last to arrive is "Mantra Vishnu Sahasranamam" which makes the proceedings completely traditional and devotional with sitar at the background. Indeed a brave attempt to include a devotional Sanskrit mantra in a Bollywood soundtrack, would love to see how it's used in the movie.
Shanghai is a complete package, “Khudaaya” and “Duaa” is for those listeners hunting melody and lyrically heavy tunes, whereas “Morcha” and “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” keeps the theme of the movie intact. V-S once again takes a different route after 'Kahaani' and provides the listeners with some quality stuff that is very well written and composed and not just a re-hash of their previous tunes. Give it a few hearings folks and let the magic of V-S grow!