With the award-winning trio; Shankar Mahadevan, Ehsaan Noorani and Loy Mendonsa (SEL) teaming up with old associates Karan Johar and Dharma Productions to compose for Wake Up Sid , one expects a lot from this album after the musical super-success of Rock On!! and the (musical) hit Luck By Chance.
SEL get a little experimental with the soft-rock genre in this soundtrack consisting of five original songs (four of which are composed by them, the one guest composition is by Amit Trivedi), and a remix. But the best part of it is that it turns out to be a breath of fresh air after the overdose of commercialized Bhangra-Hip Hop amalgamations that Pritam and co. has dished out in the past few months (a la Dil Bole Hadippa and Love Aaj Kal etc). That’s not to say that Pritam’s compositions are not worth listening to, but once in a while, albums like Wake Up Sid provide a welcome change from the repeated feeling of déjà vu we have experienced for some time (except for the odd soundtracks like Kaminey and Ruslaan, which have also provided a welcome breaks from the monotonous ‘Bhangra’).
The album takes a breezy start with it’s title track, Wake Up Sid, which is pleasant on the ears and immediately gets you into the soft-rock groove. The strings, pads and beats are easy on the ears, and the heavy guitar in the chorus really brings you alive! This one’s a pure winner, and the masses will start loving the track from the word go. Another highlight is Shankar Mahadevan’s crooning to the upbeat lyrics (by Javed Akhtar) that reflect upon the life of Siddharth ‘Sid’ Mehra and where he should be heading. Loy Mendonsa backs Shankar effectively. The last few seconds of the track increases the pitch, giving it a new high and for us, a newfound addiction.
The track even has a ‘Club Mix’ (later on the CD), which isn’t exactly your typical DJ mix, but a rock mix that should work as well as the original itself. Whilst that was successful in making listeners (lazily) hum and sway their heads from side to side, with the help of the added tempo and energy,this one makes you shake your head semi-vigorously and tap your feet!
Kya Karoon? is another track in the alternative / soft rock mode that surely brings a smile to your face (somehow it oddly makes me reminisce “Strawberry Swing” by Coldplay in their recent album Viva la Vida). The lyrics make you connect with the main protagonist, ‘Sid’ and his life, the way he lives it, carefree and jobless etc. Clinton Cerejo’s vocals (coupled with effective backing by Dominique and Loy) make the listening experience a soothing one. If you give this a chance to grow on you it will definitely reward you.
Aaj Kal Zindagi continues with the feel of the whole album, though this one is high on the emotional quotient, and tends to stir your heartstrings particularly when Shankar Mahadevan starts crooning Javed Akhtar’s lyrics:
Tere liye nayee hai zameen naya aasman,(Likh de hawaa mein koi nayee daastaan…
The song turns out to be the most beautiful of the enterprise so far – it really makes you feel like doing something big, achieving something in life. Emotion is the domineering force in the composition and the highlight is the singing by Shankar Mahadevan, who returns after the title track, only this time he registers the additional emotional impact. A must listen!
If you thought Aaj Kal Zindagi was emotional, then here comes another contender titled Iktara and one that is surely going to have you either moist-eyed or emotionally stirred by the end of the song. The singers (especially Kavita Seth) give their all, and combined with the composition by guest composer Amit Trivedi (Dev.D fame), this song turns out to be the most soul-stirring of the lot. Lyrics by Amitabh Bhattacharya (who also doubles up as a fabulous backing vocalist to this one) register an impact. Another fabulous listen!
The album ends on the same light-hearted note with which it started in the form of Life is Crazy, which is brimming with vibrancy and energy and as a result, turns out to be an addictive hear. In fact, you might become so fond of it that you will want to have it on repeat-mode until your thirst for the song is quenched! What also works in the track are the zany vocals by Uday Benegal and Shankar Mahadevan (with effective backing by Loy and Alyssa Mendonsa). SEL have another potential hit on their hands and whilst it isn’t as impacting as the previous two it’s still as addictive and provides a fitting end.
After the soundtrack ends, I find myself smiling – rather grinning – broadly (and widely) and a feeling of upbeat happiness fills inside me at listening to such refreshing music. Since the emergence of commercial soft-rock which was received in such spectacular fashion with Pritam’s Life in a… METRO , we had another great (rock) soundtrack Rock On!! and now it’s back to rule our hearts with Wake Up Sid. Whilst not the best out of the stables of Shankar, Ehsaan & Loy (they have composed far better songs) the soundtrack still turns out to be a must-buy for music lovers, lovers of soft-rock, and probably fans who want a real change from the commercial soundtracks that have come up in the form of Wanted, Dil Bole Hadippa! and the like.