Just a couple of weeks after Pritam returned from his hiatus, another composer duo who went AWOL from Bollywood around the same time are back. Vishal-Shekhar, the duo who composed music for Student of the Year (SOTY) in 2012 are back with SOTY2. While the earlier film, isn’t exactly known for its music (in fact its most famous song was the widely panned ‘Ishq Wala Love’), let’s see how they have fared with SOTY2.
Like they have done many times in the past, Vishal-Shekhar repackage another song of their idol R D Burman, the iconic ‘Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani’ from the 1972 film Jawani Diwani. The high point of the latest version still ends up being the bits from the original melody, especially the parts where they retain Kishore Kumar’s voice, the composers add their own melodic bits around the original tune to good effect (Anvita Dutt adds to Anand Bakshi’s lines). It is the arrangement that is not up to the mark at all times. To sum up, not the best recreation to have come from the duo.
As you can imagine, this is not the only dance/party song in the album. It’s a good thing the school is fictional – I would be seriously concerned about the academic levels otherwise. Each of other songs in the album, only makes you want to come back to this remix, and the original Pancham composition. Vayu writes ‘Mumbai Dilli Di Kudiyaan’ that features Dev Negi, Payal Dev and Vishal Dadlani on vocals. The song feels dated, in more ways than one. Dadlani and Dev also lead ‘Jat Ludhiyane Da’. Aside from the fact that the number sees the introduction of female rapper, Deane Sequeira there’s nothing particularly interesting about it.
Neha Kakkar and Shekhar Ravjiani’s ‘Hook-up Song’ fares relatively better among the three, with its catchy pop base and that slightly reggaeton-esque rhythm. Kumaar’s lines aren’t anything to write home about, but you can’t expect a lot in a song with that title. Visahl-Shekhar deliver their best in the mellower tracks of the album – the two Punjabi folk-flavoured romantic pieces, both written by Anvita Dutt. ‘Fakira’ is the more imaginatively constructed among the two, sung very well by Sanam Puri and Neeti Mohan. ‘Main Bhi Nahin Soya’ has Arijit Singh behind the mic, and it’s his rendition of the sedate melody that helps it rise above the ennui-inducing arrangement. That said, both songs feature some lovely use of guitars and other plucked strings.