Music Review: ‘Dear Zindagi’ Is A Dull & Underwhelming Effort
Alia Bhatt and Shah Rukh Khan in a still from <i>Dear Zindagi</i>.
Alia Bhatt and Shah Rukh Khan in a still from Dear Zindagi.

Music Review: ‘Dear Zindagi’ Is A Dull & Underwhelming Effort

Amit Trivedi's last two outings have been above average to put it straight. Teaming up with Kausar Munir for Dear Zindagi meant the album will be poetic and quirky and may be, just may be, a bit experimental.

Is it? No.

Why? Read on.

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Tu Hi Hai

In Tu Hi Hai, Kausar Munir accommodates everything between an ‘ammi ka suit’ and ‘gubaar’ in one song which is trying too hard to be dreamy. The mood is quirky, Arijit singh is feather-light on senses, but somehow the song doesn’t affect either the romantic or a ‘truck anonymous’ poet, who gets happy when diary and shayari rhyme.

Tareefon Se

Alia in a moment from <i>Dear Zindagi</i>.&nbsp;
Alia in a moment from Dear Zindagi

Tareefon Se has a smart aleck undertone that makes you smile barely for one minute in the song. Kausar Munir credits the beloved of our hero with enough faculties that won’t melt away with just a compliment. The mise-en-scène is brightened up with a saxophone and Arijit Singh is as gentle as a lullaby singer even shushing in between. This is easily the best penned song of the album.

Let’s Break Up

Alia in a still from <i>Dear Zindagi</i>.&nbsp;
Alia in a still from Dear Zindagi

Let’s Break Up is a weak prequel to the recent Breakup Song that we have heard in ADHM. The hook is dance floor-friendly, lyrics cheeky but the song in its entirety is dull. It honestly didn’t matter what Vishal Dadlani was trying to sing (even ‘woh o-o-o’ ing in between for effect) for one simple reason - the tune is just too boring!

Just Go To Hell Dil

With the faint malaal mein (from Dhadaam Dhadaam - Bombay Velvet) like pain, Maria Carey-sque Sunidhi Chauhan and a dynamic music setting, Just Go To Hell Dil for the most part is a tolerable song, but its antara is where the song gets its filmi DNA back and soars, thanks to excellent backup singers.

Ae Zindagi Gale Laga Le

SRK and Alia in a poster of <i>Dear Zindagi</i>.
SRK and Alia in a poster of Dear Zindagi.

Ae Zindagi Gale Laga Le has been smartly re-imagined twice in the album. The one with Arijit singh (Take 1, if you will) feels breezy and soulful. The close of the song gives us a peek into the narrative though. The finality with which the song hits crescendo has a ‘bollywood film climax’ written all over it.

The Take 2 version by Alia Bhatt sounds funky and what delighted me was the fact that she sounds imperfect, like most of us would if we are drunk and nursing a heartache in a club setting. Both these versions came as a surprise to me and I loved them!

The album has an Amit Trivedi stamp of familiarity and that is largely becoming a ‘not-so-good’ thing. Minimal experimentation and dull tunes might get some appreciation due to pretty faces who will enact them on screen but as an album, Dear Zindagi doesn’t score high and remains yet another underwhelming effort by the composer who is capable of much more.

Rating: 3 Quints

(Rohit Mehrotra is always looking for a good song, language and genre no bar. He blogs at almostareview.wordpress.com)

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