From the recent promos and promotional activities, Turning 30 looks like an interesting take on the chick flick. Indie-darling Gul Panag stars, seeming to be the Indian, albeit more messed up Bridget Jones, so the soundtrack by Siddharth-Suhas is an edgy and eclectic mix of tunes.
The title track Turning 30 is definitely one of the better songs on the soundtrack. It begins with some aggressive guitar riffs that immediately feel like it’s a Queen song, till Aditi Singh Sharma arrives on the track. She has a wonderful voice that is so powerful on the Dilli track from No One Killed Jessica but she still retains some of that snarl on this girly track. The song is a perfect chick flick song with lyrics that intersperse the Hindi and English about being a sexy strong woman and getting the men to shell out the money The chorus turns up the raunchy with the catchy ‘Boy let’s get down and dirty, ladki you’re turning 30’. Sharma shows a slinkier side to her voice, when she purrs out the usual sultry lines you might find in an item number. The title tune also has a remix, Turning 30 (Remix) which is the usual generic type, though it does get you in a dancing mood, which is the aim, though this one enhances the raunchy side and it would work nicely in a club.
The next song is My Kajra also combines an edgy guitar riff with some typical electronic beats, it’s fusion number that ends up being a lacklustre item song. The vocals by Saptak are quite rubbish as he sings as if he’s going through motions and not adding any verve or fun to an upbeat song like this. At times, it sounds like he’s trying to ape KK, but his voice is just not suited to a such a high melody and it renders his voice emotionless and straining throughout. This is probably due to the composition of the song, because it ends up as just a usual dance number, with the stock electronic beats. The lyrics too, are a bit of a mouthful for Reecha, ‘Saawariya is living in my eyes, he’s my kajra’ another instance of where the Hinglish, however hip it sounds it just does not work for the song. My Kajra (Remix) is no better and drowns out the vocals with it’s overstuffing of the Euro-style electronica beats, which do not work for the song.
Tinka Tinka is one of the best tracks on this soundtrack. Especially for the opening strums of the acoustic guitar that are seamlessly integrated into the song, along with an interesting variation on the accordion and a lovely Indian tabla backbeat that makes appearances as well. To some it may sound like the oft-repeated Pakistani rock style Sufi numbers, but it really integrates all the various influences with it’s sprinkling of all the various instruments that create an interesting and lovely melange of a song. Hamza Farooqui’s voice is equally affecting and sweet, and we can really feel the ‘dard’ in his voice, because the lyrics by Raam Goutam allow Farroqui to really put some emotion into this sad song. It definitely seems like a song that will probably be put with a montage of the lead character going through some hardships.
One of the duds that grows better with each listen is Will You Marry Me which starts off with a strumming electric guitar riff and Suraj Jagan’s gruff voice asking for marriage which immediately sets up a paradoxically good love song. Then Aparna Dauria cuts in with her charming soft voice debating about her answer. A situational song, the lyrics are a bit off-putting on the first listen when you are expecting a rock number. However, I really grew to love this duet between the two, debating and commenting on their habits and it combines a love song with a fresh update. It’s a cute song with excellent vocals by Jagan and Dauria, who make this duet tangy and sweet. The music also features a section which sounds a tad similar to The Beatles’s “Strawberry Fields Forever’ which is very unnecessary in it’s cheesy proclamations in English.
The last song of the album is Sapney which has an intimate acoustic guitar opening with Suhaas Shetty singing soulfully. His voice has an uncanny similarity to A.R.Rahman, which is a bit jarring but he eases into the song well. The song has an Irish almost U2-esque sound with it’s integration of a strong guitar riff, violins and loud drums. The chorus is quite catchy, and it’s not the best song but it is a nice listen, if you like the emerging indie-rock sound in recent Bollywood soundtracks.
Overall, the Turning 30 soundtrack is an interesting affair, it’s definitely one of those soundtracks that are part of this burgeoning wave of indie-rock, and genre-bending music ushered in by Amit Trivedi. However, this album definitely holds it’s own and is worth a listen on a club night or night in too!