Shah Rukh Khan produced Always Kabhi Kabhi‘s first look has perhaps sealed the movie’s fate. However, the music of such a film should and always does come with big expectations. Does the soundtrack need to be upbeat to reflect the youthfulness of the film? Or can it get away with being averagely impression-making to ease the audiences in and then wow them with the picturisations? Let’s delve a little further into the soundtrack and see what it has to offer!
Always Kabhi Kabhi – Title track
As expectations go, the title track of a film that has an association with SRK needs to be the one which draws the audiences in. This particular track does just that but perhaps tries a little too hard in doing so. Sung by ex-Indian Idol contestant Bhavin Dhanak as well as Sanah Moidutty and Apeksha Dhanedkar, the song reflects the college feel almost to a tee. After a few listens, it’s sure to grow on you in it’s entirety but it’s safe to say that the best part of the song is towards the end with the introduction of a slower more mature voice which comes in and completely changes the course of the track. Overall, the song is one you’d be able to dance to because the beat will draw you in.
The title itself makes this song stand out. First impressions make you think that this is sure to be a fun song with “out-of-the-box” lyrics. Upon hearing the track, it’s clear this impression is pretty correct. With a very repetitive type of catchy melody and an auto-tuned set of voices, this track it seems was composed to be an out-and-out dance number. It is the unnecessary auto-tune that makes it a little difficult to catch the lyrics straight away and sing along but the beat would be easy to move to. Musically directed by Pritam and lyrics written by Amitabh Bhattacharya, Antenna is sure to create an impression among the younger crowds but doesn’t have a universal appeal as such. The Reloaded version just gives the song a dance beat which, quite frankly, it would’ve done fine without.
Better Not Mess With Me
This song comes in two versions – club mix vs. rock mix. The tune itself is, once again, reflective of a college atmosphere with lyrics that suggest a rivalry scenario. In comparing the two, Sunidhi Chauhan rocks the rock version in a way only she can do with the high-pitched and rugged nature of the mix. The Club mix on the other hand sung by Shefali Alvaris falls short slightly. It’s difficult to pinpoint why this is apart from the point that perhaps the attitude needed in singing such a song (with obvious ghamandi words to accompany) is conveyed better by Chauhan. The melody, once again, is fresh and bubbly echoing the ups and downs of college life to perfection.
Another song in the album which comes in two different styles: Sufi (with mystical and religious undertones) and Soul (with a Rhythm and Blues feel). Naresh Iyer gives a great performance in the Soul version and Shafqat Amanat Ali does wonders in the Sufi version. This is the much needed slow-jam needed to balance out an otherwise very youthful album. Both versions do justice to the song and the maturity of the lyrics. Overall, both editions a very soulful and deep track which, quite frankly, hits the spot perfectly and makes you sway from side-to-side.
School Ke Din
From the very start this track just makes you want to move your body. Arguably the catchiest track of a selection of catchy tracks in the album, this is the song which you can picture in your head. It’s the one song which will make you think of your very own school ke din. Sung commendably by Suhail Kaul and Ishq Bector as well as some chorus voices, School Ke Din is a sweet song which perhaps emphasises the underlying theme of the movie. A buoyant beat makes the song which will no doubt be popular amongst those of school-going age.
Undi The Condi
It’s hard to say what you would expect of a song titled such. This one is, once again, a very melodious, moderately upbeat composition with Shaan and Aditi Singh Sharma lending their vocals. A melody which takes you back a decade or two with a beat you could perhaps do the “twist” to, Undi The Condi fails to create any kind of impression at all. It seems the voice of the acclaimed Shaan just goes to waste in such a track.
Always Kabhi Kabhi – Title Track Unplugged
“Sometimes in life it happens, friendship has turned to love…” This track gets you from the initial lyrics in English. Vinnie Hutton and Apeksha Dhandekar take this song to a whole new level. This version makes up for the shortcomings of its namesake. Although sounding more like an acoustic rendition, the lyrics touch you all the more and make you want to listen all over again as soon as it finishes. A soul-inspired track which is sure to rise in popularity amongst those who prefer the slower, more heart-warming numbers.
In conclusion, this album perhaps can be seen as having one too many preppy numbers. It remains to be seen whether these work with the audiences before or after the release of the film. Having said that, the slower tracks make up for where the others lack and this is perhaps what makes it an all-rounded album. As mentioned earlier, the anticipation of such an album is always high but it is yet to be seen if the music will be that which is listened to for years to come or switched off pretty much as soon as the hype dies down.