The audiences have not even started to recover from Excel Entertainment’s last offering, the incredible Rock On!!, and they have been plunged into their latest album, Luck By Chance. Farhan Akhtar’s second venture as an actor is written and directed by debutant Zoya Akhtar and has an impressive cast list, namely Konkona Sen Sharma, Sanjay Kapoor, Rishi Kappor, Dimple Kapadia, Juhi Chawla, Isha Sharvani and Hrithik Roshan. A movie about the Indian Film Industry, Luck By Chance has music by Shankar-Eshaan-Loy and lyrics by Javed Akhtar. The album has seven songs with playback singers comprising of newcomer Amit Paul, Mahalaxmi Iyer, Sunidhi Chauhan, Loy Mendonsa, Shankar Mahadevan and Shekhar Ravjiani.
Luck By Chance is made the banner of Big Pictures and Excel Entertainment Pvt Ltd and will hit the sliver screens in January 2009.
It will be unwise to say that after Rock On!!, there are no expectations from the music of Luck By Chance. However, it will also be unwise to compare it with Rock On!! seeing as it was a different movie with musical needs separate from LBC. So keeping that in mind, let’s find out if Luck By Chance is lucky enough to be given a chance.
The album commences with Yeh Zindagi Bhi by Loy Mendonsa and Shekhar Ravjiani. It is a contemporary track with uplifting and inspirational music, however the track’s beginning does have similarities with Massive Attack’s Tear Drop. Loy and Shekhar’s vocals are first rate while Javed Akhtar’s lyrics are brilliantly depict how the human spirit reaches for the stars no matter what.
After the contemporary ‘Yeh Zindagi Bhi’, it is time to get desi with Bawre. An energetic qawali, rendered by an equally lively Shankar Mahadevan and Loy Mendonsa and Illa Arun. The Rajasthani Ensemble is do not fail to impress as they give the track an exotic touch. ‘Bawre’ has been well penned by Akhtar and supremely composed by Shankar-Eshaan-Loy. The track cleverly combines dance, romance and also a little drama. It will be interesting to watch the song’s picturization to see if it matches the track’s colourful and enthusiastic nature. ‘Bawre’ also appears a remix at the end of the track. The remix gives the already fast-paced track a western spin and despite the bad reputation of remixes out there, this one is tastefully mixed by Midival Punditz.
The album takes a melodious turn with Pyaar Ki Dastaan, a love duet sung by debutant Amit Paul and the talented Mahalaxmi Iyer. A typical Shankar-Eshaan-Loy love number, it is easy on the ears with its light dhols. However, it is the vocals of newcomer Amit that makes the track amazing. Amit’s endearing voice (think Udit Narayan meets Sonu Nigam) will undoubtedly tug at the listeners’ heartstrings. Once again the lovey-dovey lyrics are well penned by Akhtar.
Next is the feel-good Yeh Aaj Kya Ho Gaya rendered by the ever-so-amazing Sunidhi Chauhan. This track is another reason for why Miss Chauhan should be crowned India’s nightingale in the same line as legends Asha and Lata. The sheer versatility in her vocals is brilliant. She pulls off this contemporary track with utmost ease and does not cease to amaze. Although it is the shortest track on the album, the excellent composition will no doubt make one repeat this song more than once. The guitar work, especially, should be highly commended and the lyrics once again are first-rate.
Easily the best track of the album, Sapno Se Bhare Naina is a winner all the way. A melancholy track has never been so appealing. Shankar-Eshaan-Loy definitely score bonus points for combining classical vocals with fast-paced western music. Shankar’s classical vocals are outstanding and no one else could have rendered it better. Lyrically, the track is fantastic. ‘Dare to dream’ acquires a whole new meaning as struggles associated with trying to fulfill one’s dreams is perfectly illustrated by Akhtar.
Drawing the album to a close is O Rahi Re, a slow, vocally potent track sung excellently by Shankar Mahadevan. ‘O Rahi Re’ is in the same line as ‘Sapno Se Bhare Naina’ and ‘Yeh Zindagi Bhi’, as far as the theme is concerned. In this track, the struggle of an artiste is depicted as a traveler unsure as to the path to their destination. The music is soft and melodious and once again the guitar work is amazing. At this point in the review, it will be pointless to praise the lyrical genius that Javed Akhtar is as it goes without saying.
Luck By Chance, as far is music goes, is a great album. It is undoubtedly one of the best composed albums from Shankar-Eshaan-Loy. However, unlike their last offering Rock On!!, it might not be universally appealing. While music enthusiasts and fans of Shankar-Eshaan-Loy will appreciate the unique and fresh Luck By Chance, others may disregard it just because it does not contain a typical mindless item number.
All in all Luck By Chance may not be lucky enough to capture the hearts of millions but definitely has a chance to win the hearts of true music fans.