After the widespread success of Band Baaja Baraat, the same winning team is back with Ladies vs Ricky Bahl. Salim-Sulaiman and Amitabh Bhattacharya have reprised their roles as music directors and lyricist respectively.
The album contains 7 tracks and features the vocal talents of Benny Dayal (Papu Can’t Dance – Jaanu Tu), Shilpa Rao, Shraddha Pandit (Title Track – Band Baaja Baraat), Shewta Pandit (Do Dhari Talwar – Mere Brother Ki Dulhan), Salim Merchant (Shukran Allah – Kurbaan), Vishal Dadlani (Title Song – I Hate Luv Storys) and Anushka Machanda (Mit Jaaye
Gham – Dum Maro Dum).
Ladies vs Ricky Bahl reunites Anuskha Sharma and Ranveer Singh and also marks the debut of Parineeti Chopra, Priyanka Chopra’s sister. Ladies vs Ricky Bahl verses the box-office on 9 December 2011.
Aadat Se Majboor gets the ball rolling. Benny Dayal, who set the mic ablaze with Dum Dum Mast and Tarkebein in Band Baaja Baraat sings this track, and he is a musical vision of suave and charm as Ricky is in the film. It is not a stand-out-of-the-crowd kind of number but it is infectiously catchy courtesy of its trendy musical arrangements. Raveer Singh showcases his rapping skills a bit. While he does not fail miserably, he doesn’t pass with flying colours either. The remix of Aadat Se Majoor appears later on the album, an ill mash of odd sounds and beats deserving of the skip button.
Next is Jazba. Salim Merchant commences the song by crooning the word ‘Jazba’ in his signature style that listeners have come to love in Shukran Allah (Kurbaan) and Rab Rakha (Love Breakups Zindagi). Just because of that adorable start to the track, one knows that they will come to like the song sooner or later. Then comes Shilpa Rao, who embodies the track’s desi/contemporary style and vocalises Bhattacharya’s well-penned lyrics with confidence and skill in equal measure. If you like Dhunki (Mere Brother Ki Dulhan) there is a good chance you will like Jazba as both feature a brilliant desi/contemporary fusion with strong female singers. However, while Dhunki was bold and loud, Jazba conveys the same sentiments in a softer way that is easy on the ears. Jazba’s remix sees Anushka Machanda behind the mic instead of Shilpa. It is a good alternative to the original in that it sheds the desi elements of the original, making the track an out-and-out contemporary track. However, if you like the musical intricacies desi/contemporary fusion in the original you might want to forgo the remix.
The third track Thug Le by Vishal Dadlani and Shewta Pandit gets off to a promising start with cool violin loop but fails to follow through. While the concept of a battle of sexes is slightly amateurish, Salim-Sulaiman and Bhattacharya attempt to make is worth one’s while but once again it fails to impress. One may draw comparisons with Hum Tum’s Ladki Kyon, the last boys-verses-girl track to hit the Indian music scene. Though Ladki Kyon did not have the trendy music of Thug Le, it had witty and relatable lyrics about how the opposite sexes view each other. Bhattacharya sadly aims and misses in department, a first for him. Even Vishal Dadlani who usually dominates a song with his larger-than-life vocals sounds rather unenergetic. In short, unremarkable.
Jigar Da Tukda sounds like an attempt by Salim-Sulaiman to re-create Ainvayi Ainvayi. If this is true, then sadly, Jigar Da Tukda fails in comparison. It just does not have the same zest and zeal that Ainvayi Ainvayi did. Comparisons aside, it is a decent Punjabi dance track and Bhattacharya’s Hinglish lyrics are rather clever. That being said, it borders on mediocrity. Indian film music is not short of Punjabi dance numbers and therefore every new such number needs to have the that ‘it’ factor or that edge to set it apart from the drones and sadly Jigar Da Tukda does not have it. However, a colourful, well choreographed and aesthetically performed picturisation may save it from being a total write-off.
The album comes to an end with Fatal Attraction a pulsating techno instrumental with brief yet utterly beautiful flute renditions amidst the techno. Add in Salim-Sulaiman’s and what sounds like Natalie Di Luccio’s vocalisations and the track is golden. It is confident and thrilling yet vulnerable and grounded at the same time, probably illustrating the emotional phases of the film’s narrative. If instrumentals is your thing than Fatal Attraction is as good as they come.
In conclusion, Salim-Sulaiman have raised the bar for music in Indian Cinema and since their debut into the music scene they have done nothing but reached new heights. While their recemt work, Azaan and Love Breakups Zindagi did not carry the chartbusting quality of Band Baaja Baraat, they were still well composed albums with considerable appeal. Unfortunately, Ladies vs Ricky Bahl is not even as impressive as the former albums, what say of comparisons with Band Baaja Baraat. That being said, videos of Aadat Se Majboor and Jazba are making rounds of the music channels to much applause, thus indicating that scintillating picturisations and the reprise of the Raveer-Anuskha appeal may be the this album’s saving grace. In any event give Aadat Se Majboor, Jazba and Fatal Attraction a go.