If you’re a sucker for romantic songs then the soundtrack to Love U Mr Kalaakar (LUMK) is a must buy! Those of you who call yourself hardcore music fans will not find this surprising given the music is composed by Sandesh Shandilya, a music director who has been an enigma for a number of years since producing a couple of fabulous debut soundtracks to Chameli (2003) and Socha Na Tha(2005). Whilst both of these would easily rank as two of the best soundtracks of the previous decade, the music director failed to repeat his early promise with some pretty average releases that ultimately saw his career spiral downwards. Nobody knows what happened but for his fans the question is can he recreate the magic of his once undoubted talents?
Track 1: “Sarphira Sa Hai Dil” is simply irresistible! The peppy beats are pleasant yet infectious and are supplemented by a number of other soothing instruments including two of the composer’s favourites; the guitar and the saxophone- way to go Sandesh, what a reminder of your past! Singing is also a highlight and the selection of Neeraj and Shreya is perfect. Neeraj in particular surprises with his versatility and adds a lot of soul to the song. Manoj Muntashir’s lyrics aren’t unique but heartwarming and the addition of an English chorus works well in the background…Come on give yourself a reason to love with this cracking romantic number!
After a good start, Sandesh chooses ridiculously high octave beats in Track 2: “Tera Intezaar” and they kind of irritate and detract from the overall enjoyment factor. In fact you would be hard pressed to recognize many other instruments such is their powering nature. If you can get over those beats you will find another melodious song with singing by Vijay Prakash and Gayatri Ganjawala. Lyrics are a little mundane however. What a shame. There is a remix “Tera Intezaar Revisted” later at Track 6 but it still contains those horrible beats adding a few other instruments such as the flute and a new singer Reeky Dev.
Thankfully the composer gets back on track with Track 3: “Bhoore Bhoore Badal” with some lovely ethnic chanting in the background. What follows is a love ballad that flows like a soothing river thanks to the flute and a soft tabla. The highlight once again are the sweet vocals by Shreya this time partnering Kunal (Ganjawala). Lyrics by Manoj are of the dreamy kind and just the sort to whisk you into the clouds…critics would argue it’s nothing new which is fair point but who cares when it’s sweeter than candy?
Track 4 is the title song “Love U Mr. Kalakaar” and not surprisingly it’s an upbeat effort portraying the sweetness of our protagonist “Mr Kalakaar”…not a bad effort but neither does it give enough for repeated listening. Singers here are Kunal and Gayatri. One for the film only.
Track 5 “Kahin Se Chali Aa” follows on from Track 3 in terms of sound structure but this time it’s got a more serious undertone to it. So Sandesh eases the pace and lowers the volume of his instrumentation and adds a more authentic flavor to proceedings with strings, tabla et al. Manoj’s lines portray well the feelings of two parted lovers. What gives it an emotional quotient is the effortless singing by Mohit Chauhan and in particular, Shivangi Kashyap whose vocals ooze pathos. If you are currently parted with your loved one then this song will make you want to get together again…quickly!
The final song Track 7 “Reaching for the Rainbow” is yet another romantic song but with a difference…it’s in English. Now this isn’t a new concept but rarely has it been done done well and kudos to Sandesh for making a good attempt. The music is a simple guitar strung melody with the odd sounds here and there but Sandesh know that sometimes simple works. The real trump card is the choice of singers (Jenice Sobti and Vinnie Hutton) whose vocals ooze pathos. Listen out of the ethnic chants that make a return from Track 3. A very peaceful ending.
As well as oozing melody and of course romance, the underlying quality of the music here is that it has soul, something that once made Sandesh Shandilya one of the most talented composers on the Hindi scene (checkout Chameli and Socha Na Tha if you haven't already!). Though his music career has taken a nose dive in recent years, it’s music like this that proves that his flame is still burning albeit, only just. Thanks for the reminder Sandesh!