Please click HERE for our review of the movie.
Below is a review of the soundtrack.
Zoya Akhtar’s eagerly awaited second film (after a promising debut with Luck By Chance) is almost here. Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (ZNMD) has an intriguing lineup of actors – Hrithik Roshan, Katrina Kaif, Farhan Akhtar, Abhay Deol, Kalki Koechlin – which is only adding to the hype. The film’s soundtrack brings together the Akhtars’ favorite composing trio – Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy (S-E-L) – with, who else, Javed Akhtar as lyricist. S-E-L have gone for a mature sound with ZNMD, and considering the film is about three young men going on a bachelor trip to Spain, the music is surprisingly mellow and controlled. It seems like a conscious effort to stay away from loud, eccentric music, which has never been S-E-L’s modus operandi anyway. The album takes a few listens to grow on you, but lacks any memorable songs.
The album kicks off with Dil Dhadakne Do, which seems to be the film’s anthem. Sung by Joi Barua, Suraj Jagan and Shankar Mahadevan, it’s a typical feel-good number from S-E-L. The song is about enjoying life carefree, expressing yourself and breaking boundaries. It reminds of the music of Rock On! in its beat and especially the chorus. It's not an especially unique track but it's also never a bad thing to have such positive songs. The Remix version, by DJ Shiva, amps up the song slightly but it sounds pretty much the same.
The second track Ik Junoon (Paint It Red) is one of the best in the album. It’s a trademark upbeat number from S-E-L but treated slightly differently, and apparently accompanies the characters frolicking in the "tomatina" festival in Spain. Sung by Vishal Dadlani and backed up by Shankar Mahadevan, Ehsaan Noorani, Alyssa Mendonsa and Gulraj Singh, the song oozes youthfulness but doesn’t get unnecessarily loud. The auto-tuning on Dadlani's vocals seems unnecessary when the overall song is so grounded and doesn't have the techno sound. However S-E-L have given the track hints of funk, which definitely adds to its repeat value. The Remix version makes it a true dance number.
The third song Khaabon Ke Parinday brings in the soothing voice of Alyssa Mendonsa, joined much later by Mohit Chauhan. It’s a happy, nosedived-into-love kind of song with a very uplifting effect. Mendonsa does the song complete justice and her fluid voice works wonderfully with the soft music. Chauhan's entrance towards the latter part of the song is incorporated well into the song and adds a new dynamic to it. Enjoy this track for all it's mushy-ness.
Senorita is the film’s most unique track. In true musical fashion, the three male leads take to the microphone in this one. Farhan Akhtar, Hrithik Roshan and Abhay Deol, joined by Spanish singer Maria Del Mar Fernandez, make this an enjoyable number that is seductively fun. Akhtar’s lyrics are more funny – singing “I don’t know what you just said” after the Spanish verse by Fernandez. Deol and Roshan get the more romantic lyrics. All three can surprisingly hold a tune, even if their voices have been nicely smoothed out in the recording process. Overall, a fun number and perhaps the only really catchy song in the album. The Senorita (Remix) by DJ Shiva is faster-paced and makes for a good dance track.
Shankar Mahadevan finally makes an appearance with Der Lagi Lekin. It is the only "sad" song in the album, but more about moving on from the past and hoping for a happier future. It's a sensitive, pensive song but lacks the grip to make you want to come back to it.
Sooraj Ki Baahon Mein is another feel good number. Sung by Dominique Cerejo, Clinton Carejo and Loy Mendonsa, the song is about embracing life and how wonderful the world is. However, the song is simply too ordinary and offers nothing new from S-E-L. The composition, vocals and even lyrics have all been heard before in some variation or another. The song almost seems redundant after the far better 'Ik Junoon' and 'Dil Dhadakne' Do earlier.
The album ends with Toh Zinda Ho Tum, a very mellow composition with Farhan Akhtar simply reciting poetry. The track is mostly instrumental with Akhtar coming in to recite the philosophical words written by lyricist (and his father) Javed Akhtar. Just like 'Der Lagi Lekin' this one too requires a certain frame of mind to listen and appreciate it.
With ZNMD, the trio S-E-L have delivered an album that is apt for the theme and mood of the film - it remains light and upbeat. Barring 'Ik Junoon' and 'Senorita', however, there isn't much refreshingly new music here. The songs will probably have more effect within the context of the film, but just as an album, it's missing the spark of the many previous winners by S-E-L. A good first listen, but that's about it.