For the music to Lootera, Amit Trivedi was given a brief to produce music set in the 1950s to support the setting of the film (directed by Vikramaditya Motwane of Udaan fame). So you will find the compositions are very simple however it’s the way Amit Trivedi adds a timeless quality to the music that is most impressive here. Add to that some beautiful poetry from Amitabh Bhattacharya (AB) and you have one of the best albums of 2013. Incidentally all suggested allegations of plagiarism are vastly exaggerated.
If you enjoy melancholy songs then “Ankahee” will be a treat for you! It is such a well-written song that the composer even allowed the writer to sing it - rare occurrence indeed. But AB takes it in his stride and produces a fine performance with soft vocals that suit the dreamy backdrop of the music which includes the use of strings, drums, violins and percussion. The key difference is that the music is expressed in such a way to make the song feels like it belongs to a previous era and as a result we have a soothing and soul-stirring song can be repeated time after time with no hint of staleness, thanks to the brilliant and thought provoking lines of AB.
“Manmarziyan” is soft but musically stronger (than “Ankahee”) combining the santoor and the guitar in perfect harmony to give us some delightful arrangements that flow like water from heaven. Later Amit adds an orchestra in the interludes to give it greater impact. Shilpa Rao is Trivedi’s best (female) singer by far and she proves it here yet again with another powerful but controlled rendition. AB and Amit support her in the background. Lyrics are again top notch. This is another strong composition for the film and a song for all occasions when you want to relax. Beautiful.
“Monta Re” is a superb rendezvous to the 1950s that works so well because of the way Amit weaves his guitar strings alongside Bengali folk music. The bilingual vocals of Swanand Kirkire are just the icing on the cake. Should work amazingly well for the film.
Arguably the best song on the album is “Sawaar Loon” . It sounds like a song from the 1950s yet has a magical feeling to it at the same time that gives it instant appeal to every music fan of today. Amit’s use of the flute, dholak and violins is classy but he adds his own touch to modernize it like the mandolin strums in the interlude or the backing vocals. Monali Thakur adds dollops of sweetness to the song with a faultless rendition. AB’s poetry is poignantly romantic and fresh. Delightful!
Unfortunately the soundtrack dips a notch with the final two songs. There is nothing particularly wrong with “Shikayatein” or “Zinda” but they sound out of place and don’t suit the 1950s setting of the film. If you listen carefully they sound more like Udaan songs. “Shikayatein” is the better of the two and stands out for Mohan Kanan’s vocals. Apart from these two songs, Lootera is another classy soundtrack from Amit Trivedi with lyrical mastery by AB. In fact the entire album proves that you don't need commercial songs to connect with the listeners. Highly recommended folks!