After a rather dismal fate with Shaadi Ke Side Effects۪ (2014) earlier this year, Vidya Balan is back on the screen in the lead role as a spy in Bobby Jasoos۪, under the Born Free Entertainment banner. Newcomer Samar Shaikh gets behind the lens for what looks like a light and fun film based in Hyderabad, India. The trailers look really interesting with all focus on Balan all through. On the music front, he has made an unusual choice of going with Shantanu Moitra who hasn۪t done much music direction in the mainstream Bollywood circuit since his top years with the amazing and hugely successful music of 3 Idiots۪ (2009) and Raajneeti۪ (2010). This film could be his big ticket revival and break that he needs to get some commercial film projects. With Swanand Kirkire of Barfi!۪ (2012) fame by his side doing the lyrics it should be easier for him to deliver good music for this off-beat film with a touch of Hyderabadi spices to it.
Setting the film straight into the heart of Hyderabad with Karnatic shennai, Jashn is an upbeat celebratory song in the voice of Shreya Ghoshal. Showcasing her versatility of doing songs other than romantic ballads, Shreya does really well on this one with flair of excitement and bubbliness that the character has in the song trailer. Celebrating career success of the character, this song truly is a Jashn and apt for any celebration party. Moitra has used Karnatic music references very smartly in the song so as not to limit its appeal to the North Indian and international followers of Bollywood music. Bonnie Chakraborty joins Shreya in the final verse of the song but the focus entirely lies with Shreya who is the star of the song and carries the smooth flowing lyrics by Kirkire well. This song should see some good success in the Indian radio and TV plays but will be limited in the international markets.
Tu in the voice of Papon and Shreya Ghoshal is a romantic song with a very deep Hindustani classical music composition by Moitra. The arrangement is very well done jumping from classical to a modern bridge of the song with electronic drum pads and flute solos. The vocal focus is entirely on Papon who has a niche texture to his voice that works harmonically with the classical bits of the song. His classical training and perfect note delivery is worth listening to. Shreya۪s vocals are limited to the bridges and don۪t stand out. Kirkire does a good shift on the lyrics from the first song into this classical poetry driven lyrics that brings something different to the current romantic songs scene and should get some decent radio play.
Neeraj Shridhar makes an appearance with a fun song called B.O.B.B. that is in a way the title song of the film. Neeraj does well delivering a typical Hyderabadi ascent and words in a fun style. The composition is interesting with a clich̩d style of a story telling and comical bond style music arrangement to give the song the fun element. Electric guitars, trumpets and drums form the musical score to Kirkire۪s lyrics that seem to have gone through lot of research to incorporate Hyderabadi bits. Sadly the song fits well within the movie as a background score but will not be able to fly or deliver anything for the mass audiences.
Sweety is a fun romantic song that is easily the peppiest song to come out this summer and is very vibrant and happy in every way. The boy chases girl song has an interesting mix of playful vocal performances including that of Aishwarya Nigam of Munni Badnam Hui fame. The soft electronic beats give way to trumpets and mandolin solos with a Karnatic shennai loop in the background. Some additional deep bass would have helped add more depth to the song but the snappy direct sound was preferred by Moitra considering the nature of the song. With very light fun lyrics that are easily hummable and definitely addictive, this song surely has the most potential of finding success in the album with possibly high radio play if it manages to get off the ground and pick up some mass.
Tu (Reprise) in the voices of Papon and Shreya Ghoshal again this version is definitely softer and very interesting of how it has been done with a role switch between both the singers. Shreya now takes centre stage with the main classical vocals by Papon sticks to the chorus bridge vocals. It is shocking how this will surprise you if you carefully listen to it to understand how nicely different the song becomes with just a simple vocal switch. Shreya۪s classically trained brilliant voice definitely makes this a better version than Papon۪s original.
Shantanu Moitra delivers a good commercial come back with this short soundtrack of Bobby Jasoos۪. Although his music is deeply rooted in the Karnatic music setting of Hyderabad to do justice to the film and direction by Samar Shaikh, Moitra still manages to grow the music out of the regional limitations and makes a decent attempt to reach a wide audience. Unfortunately none of the five songs are commercially superlative to create a big bang about his work and the film but they are averagely good listens. Shreya Ghoshal is the real star of the album and carries the OST well just as Balan would be doing on screen for her Bobby character. Papon stands out as well on his classical delivery of Tu. Kirkire does a fairly good job on the lyrics as well to give simplicity to the album. Overall this is a highly focused film music approach with situational bits at the heart of every song and limited in its commercial music appeal that would hold its success back.
BizAsia Showbiz Rating 6.5/10