Zoya Akhtar’s first movie Luck By Chance (2009) had the melodious ‘Sapno Se Bhare Naina’ and the happening ‘Yeh Zindagi Bhi’ by music trio Shankar Ehsaan Loy (SEL). From Dil Chahta Hai (2001) to the recently released Game (2011), which had the melodious ‘Maine Yeh Kab Socha Tha’, but didn’t get the right dues because the film bombed at the box office, SEL has been consistently providing music which matches the theme of the script. The same can be said about Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara.
Electric guitars along with the bass open ‘Dil Dhadakne Do’, which has a strong Rock On!!! (2008) influence from start to finish. Shankar Mahadevan , Suraj Jagan and Joi Barua in the singing department do the necessary to meet the requirements of the situation. Music connoisseurs familiar with the sound and style of the soundtrack of Rock On!!! will lap this track. It can be categorized as a situational track with a passable tune. Lyrics by Javed Akhtar contain an abundance of English wordings such as “Hey Hey” and “Baby Baby”. 'Dil Dhadakne Do' is written and composed for the youthful theme and does not offer anything special in terms of creativity; therefore falls into the average category. The soundtrack’s opening gives listeners a hint that situational tracks can be more frequent.
‘Ik Junoon (Paint It Red)’ has the SEL stamp all over it and even comes with an excellent singing performance by Vishal Dadlani, whose raw vocals add that rough edge to this fast-paced track. Equipped with a catch melody, easy words such as “Ooo Aaa”, the piece sits on a strong programming with zingy sounds, pulsating beats, exhilarating interludes and an interesting chorus! Shankar Mahadevan, Ehsaan Noorani , Alyssa Mendonsa and Gulraj Singh together add their own touch and the product is a song full of energy. The track mainly works for two reasons: the tune is awesome and the programming is stunning, with soft guitars in the background. Furthermore, SEL has already attempted a similar track in the past with the title track of Heyy Babyy (2007), which also had the familiar words like “Ohh Aaa” and a déjà vu programming.
Soft guitar acoustics start off the proceedings of ‘Khaabon Ke Parinday’, which can be classified as a chill-out song and one can totally relax, just listening to the voice of Mohit Chauhan. His vocals contribute to the charm of this piece. The latter sails effortlessly through the whole song; without sounding that he is in fact singing. Alysaa Mendosa comes up with a good performance. The neat arrangements and soft instrumentation, especially the guitars altogether render this piece totally cool. Javed Akhtar’s lyrics such as “Jo Bhi Ho So Ho” are touching, yet simple.
Use of guitars is usually well presented in SEL’s soundtracks and ‘Der Lagi Lekin’ is a classic example! It is more of a reflective song in the voice of Shankar Mahadevan and progresses into a typical SEL’s song in the middle with common stanzas. It is the longest song in the whole soundtrack. Shankar Mahadevan has sung too many of these songs in his own assignments and it now sounds too stale. A new singer would have added more dimension to the lyrics by Javed Akhtar.
‘Sooraj Ki Baahon Mein’ is another catchy track from the stable of SEL and has a very 80’s programming. The tune is fun and funky, with the bass by Ardeshir Mistry. Singing by Dominique Cerejo, Clinton Cerejo and Loy Mendonsa are commendable. ‘Toh Zinda Ho Tum’ is where Farhan Akhtar recites a few lines, with minimal musical arrangements.
Both remixes ‘Ik Junoon (Remix)’ and ‘Senorita (Remix)’ by DJ Shiva set the quasi-progressive tone and quickly build to the chorus before unraveling in slow keyboard swells and mutant vocals. The super dense hyper programmed drill and bass make both of them must-listens!
It is surprising to note that there is no title song in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. The soundtrack does not belong to any singers and with four characters; there are a plethora of singers contributing to each songs. Lyrics by Javed Akhtar are apt. SEL produces sounds which have been heard before and could have been more creative in their compositions. But credit goes to their consistency of churning out above average music for Excel Entertainment. ‘Ik Junoon (Paint It Red)’ and ‘Senorita’ are hummable and catchy, while ‘Khaabon Ke Parinday’ is a pleasant number. An infectious track is missing though in a Hrithik Roshan's movie!