Half Girlfriend Music

"Half Girlfriend," starring Arjun Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor, releases on May 19. (Shraddha Kapoor/Twitter photo)

Album: “Half Girlfriend” (Zee Music Company)

Music: Mithoon, Tanishk Bagchi, Farhan Saeed, Rahul Mishra, Amis Mishra & Rishi Rich

Lyrics: Arafat Mehmood, Tanishk Bagchi, Manoj Muntashir, Kumaar, Laado Suwalka, Ami Mishra, R. Rekhi & Veronica Mehta, Yash Anand, Yash Narvekar , Ishita Moitra Udhwani, Anushka Shahaney & Kunaal Vermaa

The musical “ensemble cast” of the album does little to create anything remotely memorable. In fact, it has multiple hark backs to the worst “big” album of 2016 – “Housefull 3,” which had a similar cocktail of musical screw-ups. The difference between that non-ambitious album, and this is that in those songs there was at least a certain catchy caliber (!) at a superficial level for undemanding listeners, akin to Bappi Lahiri’s worst songs in the ‘80s.

Not so with this soundtrack, in which the catchiest ‘mukhda’ (in the matter of tune) is “Baarish,” the lead track is sung (without any aspiration to excel whatsoever!) by Ash King and Shashaa Tirupati with music by Tanishk Bagchi. Bagchi also writes the lyrics with another word-supplier, Arafat Mehmood. The fitting to phonetics is obviously done at the cost of meaning or substance, with a verse like “Yeh Mausam Ki Baarish” (Should not this be “Yeh Baarish Ka Mausam”? This is like saying, ‘This apple of the juice’ instead of ‘The juice of this apple’!

There is no ascending narrative graph in the lyrics – a prime requisite – either: in the first ‘antara,’ the besotted lover says, “Kabhi tujh mein utaroon/To saanson se guzaroon” (Sometimes I merge with you and pass through your breath – Yucks!) and even a grammatically faulty “Panaah mujhko paana hai tujh mein” (I have to seek shelter within you) which should have been “Panaah mujhko PAANI hai tujh mein.”

And lo and behold, in the second ‘antara’ the man says that he is asking the wind (“Hawa”) for information about her whereabouts! This ‘directionless’ song, therefore, underscores the all-pervading superficial quality of the soundtrack. And our experience is that superficial music scores are based on similar scripts and characters and do not lend themselves to weighty movies. For the sake of all connected with the movie, we hope we are proved wrong for once.

The second song, “Tu Thodi Der Aur Theher Jaa” (Shreya Ghoshal with its composer Farhan Saeed) is written by Kumaar, and we wonder what made him address the male sweetheart again as “Zaalima,” which is meant for the female gender. Discussing this with a poet, we came to know that in Sufi poetry, such gender flip licenses are permitted, but well, this is not a Sufiana song, nor do we think the parties concerned know this either! Unlike in such Sufi poetry, this seems to be done with the usual phonetics in mind – the word fitting to meters and tune. Saeed’s tune is like any other today – more about the hook and nothing else! Wonder how Ghoshal strayed here.

Manoj Muntashir’s “Phir Bhi Main Tumko Chahoonga” is quite well-written, but Mithoon’s dull tune compensates for the good words in a negative sense. Arijit Singh adds to the mess with his atrocious diction. His “Kuch” comes across as “Kyeechh” warbled in a casual manner, and it is horrifying that for the umpteenth time, he sings “Tum Tum Na Raho” as “Th-um th-um na raho.” Co-singer Tirupati adds nothing. In the reprise, “Pal Bhar” Arijit goes solo(w).

Without any checkpoint from today’s composers, lyricists (if they bother to attend his whimsical dubs, as per what we hear), recording engineers, musicians, filmmakers and even stars, most crooners and singers truly go berserk in the zones of Hindi and Urdu diction! This is also clear from “Tu Hi Hai,” which is a song composed and sung by Rahul Mishra and written (with some decent patches) by Laddo Suwalka.

After this, there are three songs that can only be termed insufferable atrocities. Strong terms these, but lovers of quality lyrics, music and vocals (let us not even talk orchestration or sound) will find that I have been both tepid and kind!

Rishi Rich, from a band of NRI poppers who helped, gives us atrocities over a decade back in films as assorted as “Hum Tum” and “Kyaa Kool Hain Hum.” returns to torment us with something called “Mere Dil Mein.”

Now, let us see the (dis-) “credits” of this…er…song. They go like this: “Singers: Veronica Mehta & Yash Narvekar, English Lyrics: R. Rekhi & Veronica Mehta, Hindi Lyrics: Yash Anand & Yash Narvekar, Additional Lyrics: Ishita Moitra Udhwani.” Too many cooks obviously make such broths filthy, not just spoilt. This song even has a “Dialogue Version.’ Whazzat again? Never mind. Spare your mind!

We have two more lyrics that the greatest poets would love for their literary value – Yes, we are bitingly sarcastic, in case you are innocent enough to miss the point! There is something called ‘Stay A Little Longer” – the trouble is, this song does not stay at all anywhere within the listener. Someone called Anushka Sahaney writes and renders this item into a total wreck. We once again have Madam Udhwani doing additional lyrics.

Then there is “Lost Without You,” a song in which the melody is lost with or without anyone’s help. Helping this item go missing are the lyrics by Kunaal Verma and Sahaney, who once again assaults us with her vocals in this song that has Ami Mishra taking responsibility for the (de-)composition and the vocals.

As for Sahaney, she sings only slightly better than gibberish – well, what else can we call English that we cannot follow while listening? Then there are words that sound as if they are “AB” and we look at the lyrics we realize that they are “OP.”

In any case, the accent (pun intended) here does seem to be on having as much mediocrity as can be forced into one music score. Is there a saving grace? YES, THERE IS NO RE-CREATION! But now, we know why they are so important for impoverished talents whose original output is so pathetic!

Rating: 1.5 / 5

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