Music Review: ‘Fanney Khan’

DJ Munks

Music Reviewer


Atul Manjrekar makes his directorial debut with the today’s release ‘Fanney Khan’ with what is a very exciting mix of a cast. Evergreen Anil Kapoor takes the title role of the film as the cool father with Rajkummar Rao, Divya Dutta and the gorgeous Aishwarya Rai Bachchan playing the other leading roles. The concept takes on an aspirational and impactful theme ‘a dream never dies’ at its core. Lady Bachchan seems to have the most exciting role here as glamorous pop star – Baby Singh. With music being an integral central aspect of this film the importance on getting it right would have been the fundamental focus for Manjrekar and who better than Amit Trivedi for the job. He is the best with thematic film project, especially those with music at its core going by his work on ‘Secret Superstar’ (2017). The brilliant Irshad Kamil has penned down all the songs on the album so there is much to look forward to hearing on this album.

Pop star Baby Singh’s character opens the album with Mohabbat as a true stage performance worthy party tune. Tanishk Bagchi is roped in to compose this party-tune meets item-number style song. The music is predominantly programmed electronic music but with a catchy arrangement & sticky synth hooks that make the song memorable. Although there is nothing vastly original about the composition as it brings some of the 90s music influence to the song but there is something that works here. It is perhaps the fact that in the era of 90s revivals & remakes Bagchi goes for an original song but with a 90s party feel to it. Sunidhi Chauhan’s vocals are spot on as this is the kind of songs where her true strength is. A bit of glamour & sass, a bit of power and whole lot of fun.. and Chauhan delivers it perfectly across her massive vocal range. The lyrics are really simple and that is perhaps a strong quality for this song to have to make it cling on. This is clearly not the most innovative or the best party song of the year but with the charm & beauty of Aish added to it on screen this song does have potential to become famous on radio & TV plays around the world.

Halka Halka feature the voices of Divya Kumar with Chauhan romanticising what sounds like a better club tune here compared to Mohabbat. This romantic song is treated musically as a pure club electro tune but a strong beat and nicely done key synths giving it that edge missing in the music of the earlier song. This song is more 2018 than the earlier song and Trivedi does a great job in balancing the soft romantic vibes with the clubby melody of the song. The soft vocals and romantic lyrics follow a totally different vibe & trajectory compared to the music and that is an exciting space to be in. The arrangement is quite natural and does not come across as contrasting. Kumar’s sufi style high pitched vocals are the best part of the song. Lyrics are soulful and engaging throughout and give more depth to the vocals thanks to the Kamil’s choice of words. Overall this song works and is a good one to listen to.

Trivedi gets on the mic himself for Achhe Din next which is the aspirational song of the album and perhaps the theme song of the album in many ways. The simplicity of the lyrics makes the song relatable for every person wondering when their dreams would come to life. Kamil captures the wondering, the praying, hoping, pains and the frustrations that come with aspirations. Trivedi keeps the vocals and music rather plain and straightforward yet again making this believable as a common man’s song with all its simplicity. Overall the song is very situational to the movie and works in that domain. It does not have anything overly exciting or brilliant about it.

The innocent voice of Monali Thakur brings alive Tere Jaisa Tu Hai which is all about individuality and being proud of who we are. The song has a great message to it with the lyrics playing the most important part here. This is a very powerful song and the lyrics capture the importance of pursuing dreams and keeping one’s individuality very well. But what really impresses in this song are Thakur’s vocals. Her vocal range, control, voice texture, pitching and the delivery of every word is just perfect! The way she holds the top notes and then drops down to the lowest notes in the very next line is quality like none other. She really deserves a best singer award for this song. Trivedi let’s her shine but also musically supports her with really full and powerful musical backing. The rock execution goes perfectly with the lyrics and performance in the song and the band is really well recorded. The drums, bass & electric guitar glue the song together in a very strong melody and the trumpets bring in the emotion to the song. This is by far the best song on the album and one worthy of some award nominations. Must listen!

Fu Bai Fu is a very creative song that connects some of the biggest Bollywood songs, dialogues and film titles together into a single song in a very unique way. This song is all about Kamil’s creative writing and how he weaves popular names, songs and dialogues together. It doesn’t make sense a lot of the time but the jesting flow and senseless banter has something to it that makes the song intriguing. Top this with yet another brilliant vocal performance by Thakur and you have a special edge to this song. Musically the song is average as the instrumentation is nothing special but the entire focus is on the unique arrangement of the song that works with the lyrics here. One can play an “identify the song/movie/dialogue” game with this song but it is difficult to drive any real entertainment or meaning from this song otherwise.

There has to be remake these days in every album.. but that is not really Amit Trivedi’s style so he gets Sonu Nigam to do a karaoke of Badan Pe Sitare instead fitting it perfectly with Fanney Khan’s character as a wannabe Rafi. Nigam has sung this song a million times live on stage with his band when reviving the classics and so no doubt he does it really well. But there is nothing unique or different here to listen to. Rather go back to basics and listen to the original classic Rafi deliver Badan Pe Sitare.

The music album of ‘Fanney Khan’ has the expected intricate Amit Trivedi touch to it. It has a unique sound that is commercial but charmingly different at the same time. He always manages to give a unique touch to his music that makes it not sound like a factory manufactured conveyor belt music. He brings out music nicely as the central theme here giving it good variety to the album covering dance to romantic to thematic music. He delivers some strong music compositions here even though they are not commercially the biggest. Irshad Kamil consistently delivers great lyrics throughout the album going from extremely creative to keeping it simple in an effortless way. Tere Jaisa Tu Hai is the best song by far when it comes to overall calibre of all round talent. Monali Thakur simply kills it here with her award worthy vocals. Her work on Fu Bai Fu is worth a listen too. Sunidhi Chauhan is the headline leading star of the album with Mohabbat and Halka Halka both being good party tunes of the album. This is a decently good album and true to its expectations making it worth a listen. Rating – 3/5