The Indian Film Industry seems to be a hot topic for filmmakers these days. After the success of Om Shanti Om and Luck By Chance, the newly incorporated Anil Kapoor Films Company (Gandhi My Father) is trying their hands on a comedy on the same subject, Shortkut – The Con is On. Starring Akshaye Khanaa (Dil Chahta Hai and Race), Arshad Warsi (Munnabhai series) and Amrita Rao (Vivaah and Main Hoon Naa), Shortkut is directed by Neeraj Vora, the man responsible for the screenplays of rib tickling movies like Hera Pheri, Hulchul, Bhool Bhulaiya and Golmaal. Music has been given by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy (Rock On!) with lyrics penned by Javed Akhtar. Playback singers comprise of Sonu Nigam, Alka Yagnik, Shreya Ghosal, Javed Ali and Shankar Mahadevan.
The con-act starts 10th of July 2009.
The album starts with Patli Galli, an energetic number about encouraging one to take short cuts in life, enthusiastically sung by Shankar Mahadevan. The music is a clever mix of modern and desi sounds where Punjabi dhols and tumbi are interwoven within contemporary percussion and electric guitars. The song is slightly slow-paced for a comical commercial number that is usually sent out to impress and rouse audiences before the movie’s release. Other than that, it is well written and an overall sound song. One would have expected the remix of the number to increase the tempo of the song and give it more oomph but DJ Nasha and Nucleya do a terrible job of it. It is a miracle that these two individuals have been allowed to work in the music industry. Listeners and readers do yourselves and your ears a favour and pretend the album does not have any remixes.
Next is Kyon Hota Hai Dil Deewana, a lovely qawali by Shreya Ghosal and Javed Ali. It is a simple entertaining number, slightly similar to Shankar-Eshaan-Loy’s Kajra Re from Bunty and Babli. It is not a bad number, in that is the sung well by Javed and Shreya with nice lyrics by Javed Akhtar. However, songs like these have been heard before and therefore Kyun Hota Hai Dil Deewana lacks the x-factor that will elevate the song to something novel and creative.
Kal Nau Baje is a melodious romantic duet sung beautifully by Alka Yagnik and Sonu Nigam. The sweet music combined with Akhtar’s equally sweet lyrics makes the song a sheer delight. Like Kyon Hota Hai Dil Deewana, it is also a song that most of you would have heard before but the endearing performance of Alka Yagnik and Sonu Nigam saves the song from going from the music library to the recycle bin.
The album ends with Mareez-e-Mohabbat sung by newcomers Nikita Nigam, Kirti Sagathia, Hrishikesh Kamekar and Shankar Mahadevan. Like Kyon Hota Hai Dil Deewana, this one too is a qawali, but with a twist. It has rap interwoven between the dhols and tablas. While the first qawali was softer, this one is loud and celebratory. The change of singers during the mid-verses maybe a bit weird and it has a rather unruly start, but Mareez-e-Mohabbat is quite fun at the end of the day. If it is picturised with as much gusto as it was composed with, this track will do wonders. Again, it is advised that the remix of this number be completely ignored if one does not want to hinder their sense of hearing.
In summary, Shortkut is a good album, might be even better when heard within the movie in the context of all the fun and frolics promised by the film’s promos. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy are a talented trio and as a result none of the songs are bad. They are just not chartbuster material. Nonetheless, fans of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and music enthusiasts will still appreciate these compositions. At first impression, the album may not be impressive but it grows on you and the familiar filminess of the songs is somewhat heart warming.