Thrillers seem to be the flavour of the month. After the successful Raaz II, and the forthcoming Aa Dekhe Zara, it is R. Madhavan (Rang De Basanti and Mumbai Mere Jaan) starrer 13B’s turn to shock and awe. Shankar-Eshaan-Loy who are known to give countless chartbusters are in-charge of the music department while Neelesh Misra is penning the lyrics. The album has 9 tracks, 5 of them remixes and features the singing talents of Anushka Manchanda (‘Ek Hockey Doongi Rakhe’ — Chak De India), Karthik (‘Behka’ – Ghajini), Shankar Mahadevan, Loy Mendonsa and Chitra(‘Rang De Basanti’ — Title Song). Also making a rare appearance is Baba Sehgal.
13B also stars Neetu Chandra (Oye Lucky Oye and Garam Masala) and is being directed by debutante Vikram Kumar. Made under the banner of Big Pictures, 13B hits cinemas on the 6th March 2009.
The album commences with the short and sweet Sab Khairyat Hai. Sung by Shankar Mahadevan, this track is very reminiscent of SEL’s ‘Taare Zameen Par’. The acoustic guitar and mouth organ gives the track a very innocent touch. Misra’s lyrics are simply beautiful. ‘Sab Khairyat Ha’i also appears as a remix that only improves the already perfect track. Gulraj Singh provides the track with additional beats and a faster tempo that will surely make the remix much more popular than the original.
In the same line as ‘Sab Khairyat Hai,’ is Bade Se Seher Mein, a song about family, love and happiness. Karthik’s rendition is just incredible. The sweetness in his voice is what makes the song beautiful. Misra’s lyrics, again, are very well-written, especially the verse about bringing a child into family. The backup chorus in the song deserves mention as the voices sound just as heavenly as Karthik’s. ‘Bade Se Seher Mein’s’ remix by DJ Shane cleverly preserves the track’s beauty while giving it a make-over with an increased tempo and additional back beats.
Next is the romantic Aasma Odh Kar, sung by Shankar Mahadevan and Chitra. It is melodious duet with a foot-tapping backbeat and excellent lyrics by Misra. The remix by Gulraj Singh is even better. It gives the track a middle-eastern flavour, thus making it more appealing to a wider range of listeners.
Late but not the least, is the album’s ‘it’ number (movie’s item number), Sexy Mama. Sung by Baba Sehgal, Anushka Manchanda and Loy Mendonsa, the track presses all the right commercial buttons. It has a somewhat questionable but catchy chorus (o sexy mama, won’t you do the sa re ga ma), vocals oozing attitude and music that will have you heading for the dance floor in no time. Things just keep getting better with the remix by DJ Shane.
The album ends with the movie’s theme music composed by Tubby and Parik. It’s sinister, edgy and just an all round creepy piece of music that is perfect for a thriller of the horror variety.
In summary, Shankar-Eshaan-Loy gives us another great album. Opportunities for good music are far less for thrillers as songs can hinder the movie’s narrative. Nonetheless, 13B still has good quality music to offer that are soothing to the ears and entertaining. ‘Sexy Mama’ is obviously the album’s life support but ‘Aasma Odh Kar’, ‘Bade Se Shehar Mein’ and ‘Sab Khairyat Ha’i are still incredibly well composed and well-written tracks. 13B is definitely worth a shot.