Naam Shabana

A theatrical poster of "Naam Shabana" featuring Taapsee Pannu. (Twitter photo/@taapsee)

Album: “Naam Shabana” (T Series)

Music: Rochak Kohli & Meet Bros. Anjjan

Lyrics: Manoj Muntashir & Kumaar

A time will soon come when we will find every film with a re-creation. It will then be an academic exercise which song from which older film is a part of which new soundtrack. Here it is a (comparatively smart, we admit) rework of Bappi Lahiri’s “Zooby Zooby” (“Dance Dance”/1987) by Rochak Kohli, who also sings it with Sukriti Kakar. Kakar does not only an efficient job but sounds sweet enough. Mercifully, the re-created portion is small and only repeated frequently.

Rochak Kohli also composes the two worthwhile tracks on the score. Though familiar in tenor and giving the feel of being a Western composition treated with Indian words, “Zinda” is lifted by Sunidhi Chauhan’s nuanced understanding of the song and situation and some nice words (Manoj Muntashir). It’s a superb rendition by Chauhan, as a cheerleader of the much-underrated PLAYBACK singer in today’s era of quarter-baked crooners and upstarts.

Even more haunting is the lead track, Shreya Ghoshal’s “Rozana,” which is one of those very rare songs where you even recall the antara’s (inner verse) tune in a couple of listens. Muntashir’s lyrics are impressive after a long, long time and Ghoshal gets a solid song to sink her formidable creative teeth into again after eons. To say that she makes the best out of this increasingly rare occasion in film music is superfluous.

Meet Bros. Anjjan’s sole song “Baby Besharam” (Jasmine Sandlas-Meet Bros. Anjjan) has an infectious groove and Jasmine Sandlas’ husky voice fits the bill. The lyrics (Kumaar) could have been more tasteful, and lines like “Rafaa Dafaa Sufi Bando Ko Karke/Nasha Vasha Kar Lo (Get intoxicated after getting rid of Sufi devotees)” could have been avoided. The song is a musical gimmick like so many MBA (that’s Meet Bros. Anjjan) tracks, but I admit it is supremely catchy while it lasts.

This is the first album of 2017 after “Kaabil” that is worth cherishing, chiefly for the songs by the Czarinas of the post-2000s playback – Chauhan and Ghoshal, in meaty and diverse solos. Makes a change from the Sufi overdrive by near-identical toned males, all with poor diction!

Rating: 3.5 /5

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