Music Review: ‘Rock On 2’ Leaves Us Less Than Impressed
(This story is from The Quint’s archives and was first published on September 23, 2016.)
I liked the music of Rock On because for someone who has zero rock music sensibilities, the album dumbed it down nicely and was blessed with some really good songs (Phir Dekhiye and Ye Tumhari Meri Baatein). With Rock On 2, I was again searching for something good just like part one.
The continuous guitar riff ensures that Jaago stays in your head even if you aren’t a fan of the flat singing by Farhan. He has been given all the comfortable parts in the song which Akhtar recites just like you see cute kids reciting poems in school. It is Siddhartha Mahadevan who infuses real enthusiasm in the song. When he calls out Jaago, it’s hard not to root for him. The sheer energy and attitude from him is applause-worthy because you know he has worked hard unlike, well you know!
Udja Re by Shankar Mahadevan and Shraddha Kapoor has the right amount of filmi-rock song sound. There is that background alaap which isn’t bad and Shraddha does very well in tackling the highs. No Siddhartha Mahadevan here to ‘help’ her. I did feel the lyrics were at places ordinary and the composition, lacklustre especially in the antras. That said, the song isn’t bad at all.
You Know What I Mean
Farhan Akhtar has an easy tune (surprise!) and a good band for company here. The backup vocals are underwhelming but not half as bad as the lead singer here. The singing is so average that you couldn’t care less about words, emotions have been economised in favour of just ‘getting done with it’ - you know what I mean?
Manzar Naya has a nice strum all throughout and it is occasionally interrupted by Farhan Akhtar’s singing. There is a whistle in the song that’s soothing but the sheer embarrassment of Akhtar’s singing makes you uncomfortable and even if you are listening to the song on headphones, you might look around to see if anyone is judging you for hearing this song. The only good part is the guitar... how I wish they would have given us an instrumental track.
Tere Mere Dil
Tere Mere Dil has a rich arrangement and again good singing by Shraddha Kapoor. There isn’t a place where she goes wrong. You do feel the tune could have been a bit wilder but may be the makers were looking for an understated sound here. Still, a nice song that might not move you but won’t torture your senses either.
Wo Jahaan has a delicate start that arrests your senses almost immediately. Shraddha is extremely good and there is a little sarod in the song as well. But, all the good work goes south the moment Farhan Akhtar decides to jump in. Even though the tune is kept least challenging (surprise again!), cringeworthy lyrics sound even worse when Akhtar sings and recites them. A song that could have been so good but couldn’t be.
Hoi Kiw/Chalo Chalo
This is the best song of the album without a doubt. A khasi song that has north-eastern roots as a Meghalyan folk tune. Shankar Ehsaan Loy have mixed the Hindi words beautifully in a tune that is racy and brimming with celebration. Kit Shangpilang, Pynsuklin Syiemiong and Usha Uthup are splendid to put it mildly.
Digvijay Singh Pariyar has a soulful voice and it has been put to good use in Ishq Mastana. The tune at times is predictably Bollywood climax song-y but Digvijay’s free flowing and powerful singing is a good enough reason to listen to this one.
There is nothing memorable in the album and it just plods along with ordinary lyrics and the underwhelming singing by Farhan destroying some really interesting tunes on the way. How I wish the dumbing down could have stopped with the first album. And yes, coming straight out of the gloriously unbearable lyrics from Mohenjo Daro, Javed Akhtar’s lyrics are borderline cringeworthy here as well.
Rating: 2.5 Quints and boo!
(Rohit Mehrotra is always looking for a good song, language and genre no bar. He blogs at almostareview.wordpress.com)
(The Quint is now available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)