This is a review of the soundtrack.
For the full review of the film, click HERE.
In 2010, Yash Raj Films got it right after a long time with debutant director Maneesh Sharma's Band Baaja Baraat (BBB), which was a complete surprise package from a production house which began stagnating with their films. Band Baaja Baraat not only introduced a talented storyteller (Sharma) but also a promising lead actor (Ranveer Singh), and was one of the best films of last year. The entire team of that film now returns with their latest venture Ladies vs Ricky Bahl, about a man who seduces and cons beautiful women to steal their money, until he meets his match. The premise might sound like a curious mix between Bachna Ae Haseeno and Bunty Aur Babli (both also Yash Raj productions), but we can hold our speculation until the film's release.
Composer duo, and current Yash Raj favorites, Salim-Sulaiman return as the music directors for the soundtrack of Ladies vs Ricky Bahl with Amitabh Bhattacharya as lyricist. Like the music of BBB, this album too aims for the spunky, youthful and fun vibe and succeeds for the most part. It doesn't recreate the same magic of BBB but also doesn't disappoint.
The album has distinct his and hers tracks dedicated to the lead characters. The first track, Aadat Se Majboor, is focused on Ranveer Singh's character. Sung by Benny Dayal with Singh joining in the rap segments, it's a track about the lead character's compulsive conning habit and love for women, the two supposedly being intertwined. The song doesn't have the same-tapping quality of 'Dum Dum Mast' from BBB, but is catchy nonetheless due to its youthful composition and most of all, Dayal's smooth vocals. The Aadat Se Majboor (Remix) undoes any good the original accomplished with a very routine dance remix.
Next up is the number dedicated to the female lead, Anushka Sharma's character. Jazba, sung by Shilpa Rao is an instantly likable fusion track, with a catchier beat to it than 'Aadat Se Majboor.' Rao dives into the song with full force and adds to it the energy and believability that makes the song work so well. The Jazba (Remix) replaces Rao with another talented singer, Anushka Manchanda. This one is a western club track, letting go of most of its Indian sounds. It's a better remix than that of 'Aadat Se Majboor' too, though the club beats might not be for everyone.
Thug Le is a trademark Salim-Suleiman dance track. Sung by Vishal Dadlani and Shweta Pandit, the song gets off to a promising start with the violin loop. It's a boys-versus-girls dance track and works only in the violin interludes. The lyrics are kept quite colloquial, as is Bhattacharya's style. Despite Dadlani and Pandit's best efforts to add some energy, the song doesn't rise above the oft-heard battle of the sexes song that is such a favorite of Hindi films.
In a film industry obsessed with Punjabi dance tracks, adding yet another one to the mix means it needs something unique to stand out. Jigar Da Tukda is modeled along the lines of 'Ainvayi Ainvayi' from BBB, a Punjabi number that worked very well. This time, Shweta Pandit and Salim Merchant do their best to give 'Jigar Da Tukda' the Punjabi zest, but the composition just doesn't make it. Bhattacharya's lyrics are Gore se, chitte se, punjabi se, chehre pe tere Gucci ka chasma tera. Jaise ke lassi ke glass mein vodka ka shot tapka.
The album ends on a high note with the instrumental track, Fatal Attraction. It's a techno track at the core but embellished brilliantly by guitar and flute interludes, making it dynamic and eclectic. This might be the one track in this album that begs for repeat listening.
With Ladies vs Ricky Bahl, Salim-Sulaiman present another youthful and fun album that isn't overbearing in its peppy-ness. The songs are fast, catchy but also soft at the same time. The soundtrack doesn't carry the same freshness as BBB or other great albums by the composer duo, but is a good listen. It remains to be seen how the songs are used in the film, which would enhance them to make them more appealing. Until then, the countdown to seeing how a Ricky Bahl cons several women is on.
To listen to the full album, click here.