The combination of R. Balki and the great Amitabh Bachchan is coming back on screen with the addition of Dhanush to the screen with Shamitabh۪. After the success of their last venture Paa۪ (2009) that did well with the critics and with the audience as well, the forthcoming Shamitabh۪ should be interesting to watch with a totally different vibe seen in the trailers for the film. Kamal Haasan۪s younger daughter Akshara Haasan is also making her debut in this film which would be huge for her sharing screen space with Big B. On the music front the legend of Ilaiyaraaja has composed the entire soundtrack which happens to be his 999th album! It seems unlikely that anyone can beat that number but it would be interesting to see what he does with the music here to make it work in Bollywood mainstream. His previous works in Bollywood haven۪t hit the big time but with the help of one of the best lyricists in Bollywood right now – Swanand Kirkire this would be interesting to hear.
Ishq E Phillum in the voice of Suraj Jagan is an interesting composition with a suspense style arrangement which works well with the rock voice of Jagan. The lyrics talk about the love and obsession for films and every aspect of it. Right from hair and eyes of a character to every emotion and shot that they bring to life for the viewer۪s get a salute from Kirkire here. Perhaps not his best work but within the context required it does a reasonable job. The composition is interesting with good work with bass strings on a synthetic beat that work as a hook here. Over the sound is very artificial as if composed on a keyboard and thus lacks depth. The arrangement of lyrics is quite standard as well. On a whole this is just a standard background track and wouldn۪t have much joy on media plays.
Bollywood۪s jazz and blues singer Caralisa Monteiro comes on next with Sha Sha Sha Mi Mi Mi. Her vocals are soft and warm but the lyrics and dull instrumentation makes her sound rather flat without a range throughout the song. A break of the syllables of the film title Sha-Mi-tabh۪ with laughable lyrics which are the work of Kausar Munir is perhaps one of his worst works. Dekha tujhko jab se, jab se, Zoo mein camerey tab se, tab se makes you cringe listening to this. The composition is very south Indian urban heard in a lot of songs down south with repeating words. Nothing original or attractive about this song!
Amitabh Bachchan gets on the mic next like he does in most of R. Balki films for the song called Piddly Si Baatein which is perhaps the best song on the album. The song is melodic on the composition with simple instrumentation and Big B۪s crude vocals creating an unusual mix. The arrangement is very jazz and light tempo ballroom style along with a nice violin orchestra bridge in the middle as well that has an interesting drop in the song. Amitabh gives the song good attitude in his vocals and manages to keep the notes pure and intact from the highs to the lows. The best feature is the lyrics of the song talking about tiny bits of life and the tiny moments in love and life as a whole. This is perhaps the song with the most potential in the album thanks to the Big B giving it is voice making it a good listen. The bad part of the song is its video with Amitabh sat in a toilet pod on a pot singing to a tissue roll and hand shower! What was Balki thinking?
Shruti Haasan lends her voice to her sister on the song Stereophonic Sannata next. This is a cool Hip-Hop urban style song with a very cool beat and vocal raps. There is sannata on the other instruments to let Shruti capture the young listeners with this college style song doing a mash up for Indian vocal scatting to an urban beat. Shruti۪s vocals are quite powerful with tons of oomph and the focus of the song. The lyrics by Kirkire don۪t make must sense overall as the focus is entirely on the music and vocals here. A mix of Hindi and English lyrics tries to make this cool but if only they were good as well it would make a lot of sense and work well overall pushing the song towards success. A mention of who۪s who of Bollywood music from Gulzar to Honey Singh is kinda misplaced without much sense to it. Right now the song is just cool for a few listens and not beyond, and thus not a true winner on the album.
Thappad is next in the voice of Suraj Jagan again and Earl D۪souza. The composition is yet another average song that lacks substantial talent on the performances. The music is quite flat and digitally synthetic. It has good programming no doubt but the progression and arrangement are quite mediocre. The vocals go with the theme of the song but the lyrics are dull and boring and simply not attractive. I am sure there are better topics out there to write songs about than a slap on the face! Quite a ridiculous song this is worth skipping to the next.
Lifebuoy is an upbeat tune that starts to a trance twist and then goes into break beat and back to club setting. But guess what_ the song is a modern take of the age old classic advertisement jingle for Lifebuoy soap! Suraj Jagan makes you laugh as this is totally funny and awesome in a way listening back to this classic jingle. We wonder how much Lifebuoy must have paid for this promotion within the movie. This maybe cool but it does not classify as a song of the album for its slightly over a minute۪s duration.
Ilaiyaraaja might be a legend on the final step of becoming the first music composer to have composed 1000 soundtracks but he sure does not impress much with the OST of Shamitabh۪. His work is clean but not awesome to stand the competition with the mainstream Bollywood composers. The music on all songs sound very flat with not much depth or real instrumentation. The casio keyboard sounding compositions are rather unattractive to listen to at times. Suraj Jagan is the vocal lead of the album although Big B steals the show with Piddly Si Baatein which is the best musical piece on the album. Stereophonics Sannata has good vocals by Shruti Haasan as well but like most other songs the lyrics fail them. A lot better was expected from Kirkire and Munir with their pens on the lyrics front as some of the songs are just plain bad work. But considering these two lyricists usually do a great job I guess the combination of R. Balki and Ilaiyaraaja working with them just doesn۪t work. Overall the album lacks creativity and a good wholesome sound that will work in Bollywood as the musical standard has shot up too high for this soundtrack to make a mark.
BizAsia Showbiz Rating 5/10