By Satyajit, Glamsham Editorial
It's raining (read "reigning") star-kids season! When it comes to grandiloquent star-launch, the names of hi-profile star-kids are expected to be heard, and so they make great noise in this year's most lavishly packed teen-flick titled STUDENT OF THE YEAR (SOTY).
After the outstanding commercial success of B-town's most received youth flick, KUCH KUCH HOTA HAI, this Karan Johar directed flick holds great expectations on all fronts, as it is touted to be amongst this year's most awaited films. In the musical department, Karan Johar changes his loyalty from triumphant trio Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy (S-E-L) to the reliable composer-duo, Vishal-Shekhar, with Anvita Dutt Guptan's cherubically youthful lyrical moves making maximum blast in the credits. Will they together click as the next best winning team? Let's check out...
Hip-hop meets 'Disco-Deewane'! In the 80's, actor-director Feroze Khan took an audacious musical move by launching out first Pakistani pop diva Nazia Hassan into Hindi filmdom, who later became a worldwide sensation through her bestselling track "Disco Deewane" (Album-Disco Deewane, Music-Biddu, Lyrics- Anwar Khalid). It also generated colossal turbulence in the Bollywood musical fraternity and created a rage for "Disco-fever" nationwide. In the opening track, "The Disco Song", Vishal-Shekhar revitalizes this hysterical wave by incorporating strong elements of "Disco Deewane" with trendy Afro-American Hip-Hop buzz. It starts off belligerently with frenzied hip-hop emceeing, followed by thriving Benny Dayal and Sunidhi Chauhan's racy vocals setting floors on fire. Even after decades, the svelte tones of late Nazia Hassan at intermittent places sounds sweet and refreshing, and forms a formidable back-bone for this lively dancing track. It's like present-meeting-past with techno-improvisation as two diverse genres (Hip-Hop and Disco) collides optimally and generates a magic; overall a great innovation that should be trendsetting for others to follow. Ostentatiously loud production values and slick chorographical skills (Remo D' Souza) in the promos have already created a strong buzz among teenyboppers. It will be really interesting to see this number getting energized pompously on big screen. A sure-shot chartbuster in the days to come. Smash Hit!!!
"Kuch to Hua Hai" (KAL HO NA HO), "Suraj Hua Maddham" (K3G), "Tum Hi Dekho Na" (KANK) and now "Ishq Wala Love" ! Dreamy romantic quotient has always been mercurially high in almost every Karan Johar directed flick, and this factor domineers again with same fragility of tender expressions in the smoothly crooned "Ishq Wala Love" . The soundtrack comes with a semi-classic binge (table and sitar loops) with a relaxed "lounge" musical decorum in arrangements emitting out a set of intrinsically soft innocent romantic expressions. Salim Merchant's smoothly charmed vocals initiates the proceedings with able support of Shekhar Ravjiani's gentle rendition. Newbie Neeti Mohan's immensely silken vocals are the biggest surprise and highlight that enamors as it pulverizes the desired supple femininity into the track; a talent that deserves to be heard again and again. Anvita Dutt Guptan's dreamy poetic expressions ( "Meri neend jaise pehli baar tooti hai, Aankhein band kar ke dekhi hai maine subah, Hui dhoop zyada leke teri roshni din chadha...Ishq wala love) are like "cool" verbatim that works and is the finest of the album. Vishal-Shekhar sets a perfect "sur" again for the desired romantic situation; all it requires is a mushy visual spectacle that delivers a spectrum of romanticism on silver screen. Cool!!!
Vishal-Shekhar enters Salim-Suleiman's territory of noisy "bhangra" beat buzz in the next soundtrack, "Kukkad" , a hi-pitched "teasing-pleasing" disco number. It comes more like a sequel to tracks like "Ainwayi Ainwayi" (BAND BAAJA BAARAT) and "Jigar Da Tukda" (LADIES VS RICKY BEHL), two outrageously mass-friendly loud floor tracks. Shahid Mallya is at his boisterous loud this time, with loads of trendiness striking rich in feminine back-up chorals of Nisha Mascarenhas and Marianne D'Cruz. "Kukkad" comes more like a DJ special number, a track that should find its maximum takers in garish Punjabi weddings and functions.
Whether its multi-colored "Mahi Ve" (KAL HO NA HO) or flamboyant "Shaava Shaava" (K3G), every Karan Johar's flick is fully embellished with trendy feast of traditionalism that has worked wonders in creating a potential style-quotient for the flick. "Radha" , a track that mixes ethnicity of "Radha-Krishna" eternal love with strong cultural invasion of Hip-hop, electronica and rollicking rock-music that brings back the same zeal and thrust; a number that should probably allure family audiences to the theatres. The classically refined "alaap" and music in the prelude has typical A.R Rahman feel in Shreya Ghoshal's shimmering voice, following with a typical westernized groovy disco binge that packs sensuous chorals, rigorous drumming and thriving synth-beats and gives a desired bombastic cultural feel. Vishal and Shekhar's eclectically loud vocals join the fun and add to the pep-factor, but finally it is ever-dependable Udit Narayan's refined rendition in the latter stage that raises the tempo, having strong shades of "Dhoom Tana Na" (OM SHANTI OM), and making this as the best track of the album. As far as mood and feel is concerned, "Radha" reminds to some extent of "Maiyya Yashodha" (JHOOTHA HI SAHI), but the arrangements and composition are as different as cheese and chalk. It's again a great innovation by Vishal-Shekhar in setting a fervent cultural dancing mood that should work in raising the glam-factor of the flick. Impressive!!!
Cramming...boon or bane! Our education system has found a new critic in new-age B-town soundtracks, a genre that has delivered hits like "Jame Raho" (TAARE ZAMEEN PAR), "All Izz Well" and "Give Me Some Sunshine" (3 IDIOTS) and the recently heard "Pam Pam Para" (AALAP), finds its new entrant and buddy in "Ratta Maar" ! Conceived on the peppy feel of Hollywood's HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL, and epitomizing out the plight of modern-day students, it comes like a vibrant and chirpy situational track. Vishal Dadlani's evocative vocals join the fun with Shefali Alvarez's smooth voice, and together they form a frolicsome rock-band; a cool and peppy number that might burn "exam-stress" and should enlighten proceeding on the big-screen.
To raise the pep-factor of this teenybopper's delight album, Vishal-Shekhar deliver a spicy "bhelpuri" of "bhangra" and Hip-hop in immensely funky sounding "Vele" . This one comes like a true UK "bhangra" stylized discotheque track, where frenzied electronically tuned synth-beats and dub-step beats collages well with hip-hop emceeing and vocals. Vishal-Shekhar deliver a carefree feverishly loud "bhangra" feel in vocals too. An animated ambience that is prevalent in almost every DJ friendly party. Like "The Disco Song" and "Kukkad", this one goes out especially for the fun-loving campus crowds who love to "chill and party" in their own way; overall a decent DJ stylized party track that should work pompously on big screen.
To celebrate all the musical moods of STUDENT OF THE YEAR, the finale comes in the form of "medley" titled "Mashup of the year" , a musical piece that mixes fun-element of every soundtrack of this album. It's a frolicsome collage that should bring bright and mushy moments of the flick together in one frame; a "cool" DJ endeavor by DJ Kiran Kamath that should draw party animals on the floor. Rocking!!!
STUDENT OF THE YEAR is a complete youthful musical entertainment, an album that brings all the positive elements of a typical Karan Johar entertainer. Vishal-Shekhar deliver a potential winner this time where soundtracks like "The Disco Song" , "Ishq Wala Love" and "Radha" are likely to be raising high on charts. There is added funky party fun in "Kukkad" and "Vele" and the situational sounding "Ratta Maar" . Lacking in face value but enjoying the feast of lavish production values and generous promotions, the music of this album can be the next prosperous happening on the audio stands, and a flourishing run at the box-office will be a "sone-pe-suhaaga" to the prospects of this album.
Rating - 3.5/5