Music Review: ‘Shershaah’

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‘Shershaah’ soundtrack is definitely much better than expectations. Karan Johar and Vishnuvardhan have done well picking each song that is just beautiful to listen to while adding a whole lot of value to the movie. Each song fits with the story and setting of the film and thus feels perfectly adequate in itself.

BizAsia Rating

4

Director Vishnu Vardhan is making his delayed Bollywood debut with war biopic ‘Shershaah’. Starring real life couple Sidharth Malhotra and Kiara Advani, the movie is a true story of Indian army captain Vikram Batra who led this unit with a positive poise and valour during the Kargil War and gave his live to save an injured soldier. A proper youth icon till date, this would put a lot of pressure on the director & Malhotra to depict him well on screen. The trailer looks great going on his journey from a college boy to the brave soldier he became. The romantic angle is brought well to light as well with Advani playing the love interest in this movie releasing soon on OTT via Amazon Prime. Vardhan has a great reputation down south in creating good music for his movies and he would surely want to deliver something great for his Bollywood debut. He has handpicked songs from a host of various artists so it remains to be seen if this mix-match setup gets him to live up to his reputation.

The first single Raataan Lambiyan is a beautiful romantic number that is the outcome of the brilliance of Tanishk Bagchi. He has a talent not just for music but when it comes to writing Punjabi flavoured songs he delivers some brilliant work. Think Ve Maahi of ‘Kesari’ (2019) and this single is as beautiful. Writing lyrics for a composition that he is structuring at the same time just makes it really easy for him to deliver something impactful. The flow of this song is extremely calming to listen to. Even though it is a separation song being away from your love, it has an aura of happiness about being in love itself thus bringing some really positive vibes to it. The arrangement is a common one but that just makes the song even better and easy on the ears. The soft tones of the instruments chosen like flute, dholak, ghatam and duff beats gives it a very gorgeous sound texture and well programmed by Bagchi. His lyrics are very well written as the emotions of separation are spot on while having a really upbeat expression about them. Vocally both Jubin Nautiyal and Asees Kaur do a great job. The husky texture of Nautiyal and depth of Kaur’s vocals add a lot of value to this song. The chemistry between them also comes through in their performance making the lyrics a lot more believable. Although the setting of the song in the movie is the 90s, the vocals give it a more modern feel. On the whole this is one of the best romantic songs this year. 4/5

 

The second single release called Ranjha features two of the most beautiful sounding young talents in Bollwood – Jasleen Royal and B Praak. The result is amazing! The album has moved rather quickly from a soulful romantic first single to a sad romantic song here. While Royal delivers the stanzas, the chorus is in the safe hands of Praak. The music represents a mix of emotions in the song. While Royal delivers her part on the soft sombre striped down music, Praak delivers to a higher pitch rock music depicting the surge of emotions at the cusp of separation when your love is ready to go away on war. The music is also the work of Royal and she excels in arranging this song. It is a complicated composition with multiple levels of progression and it has been delivered seamlessly. At the same time the music lets the vocals and lyrics shine. The range of Praak and soft depth of Royal’s vocals are worth a listen. Perhaps even better part of the song are the lyrics by Anvita Dutt! It’s not always a sad romantic song has a memorable chorus and this song has it. The melody and flow is so strong that it just sticks in the head and touches the heart. A great number and definitely worth at least a 4/5 but for making a sad separation song memorable this deserves extra credit. 4.5/5

 

A war biopic releasing on Independence Day cannot exist without a patriotic song. But no one could have anticipated that song to be what Jai Hind Ki Senaa has turned out to be. This song is unlike any other war song and all credit to Vikram Montrose for it. The treatment of the song is very 2021 with a super grand sound. The deep percussions blended with electro synths, violins and tons of backing vocal shouts gives this song some serious aggression. It has an urban styling layered with hardline electric lead guitars which gives it that rock feel which drives the aggression. Apart from the music the other great thing about the song is the rhyming quick progression lyrics by Manoj Muntashir that also makes it rap genre giving it a great multi-genre blend that makes it very current and on trend. The lyrics are beautifully written and is a proper salute not just to martyr Vikram Batra but every solider who fights for India with unparalleled vigour and determination. The lyrics commend the focus and drive of a solider in a clean and dynamic way. Montrose’s vocals have a nice edge to them with a unique vocal quality. His delivery is cut through and charged although the nature of the song doesn’t give him much room to demonstrate his vocal capabilities. It still sounds good and the music and lyrics make this a must listen number even though this is a background song for the movie. 4/5

B Praak recreates his 2017 original for this movie as Mann Bharryaa 2.0 putting a completely different positioning for this Punjabi song. What was a heart break song about a suppressive relationship has been cleverly changed into a song of everlasting separation by death, and it completely works! Praak’s voice, his musicality and his production works so well that if heard attentively it is bound to make a listener cry. As tough & bold his voice is, it has a piercing quality to go deep and dig out emotions from its listeners. There is great amount of reverb to give more depth and give it a moving quality here as a sad background situational song for the passing of the soldier. It is sung from the perspective of his lover and dear ones left behind and the composition has a strong dramatic character to it that further amplifies the emotional styling of the song. The music is cleverly done with loads of violins and keys and have an intricate sadness about it. Jaani has done well flipping with lyrics around and putting in new para’s that are closer to the setting of the movie. His Punjabi writing is very systematic and drives a strong 4 x 4 poetic movement in his lines. This works really well here as the arrangement simplifies and lets the listeners focus stay on the emotions presented in the words. This is truly very moving song and a must listen for Praak’s perfect vocals, albeit a remake. 4/5

 

Bollywood’s resident Gujarati boy Darshan Raval delivers Kabhii Tumhhe which is another sad romantic song about separation but with a reassurance to meet again with every promise made to be there. His vocal style works for the partly pure acoustic song with focus on his bare vocals supported by a piano, violins and flutes. There is dramatic progression with backing vocals that drives more emotions into the song but Raval pretty much holds the fort on his own and does that well with a husky tone. Javed-Mohsin duo have composed this nicely giving the arrangement a moving characteristic with the right choice of instruments supporting the right choice in singer. The melody is quite engaging for a sad a song and so is quite memorable. Credit also goes to the brilliant work of Rashmi-Virag on the lyrics. Their lines are simply beautiful! There is depth in the emotions and the thought in each sentence is worth noting over multiple listens. This a good song in its own although within the album it feels a scale behind songs like Ranjha already on the album. 3.5/5

 

Palak Muchhal leads Kabhi Tumhhe (Female Version) and sounds as sweet as a morning bird in this song. Her soft voice texture sounds magical while being note perfect. Her bare vocals with just piano, flute and violins give the song an eerie quality that is deeply impactful. She is almost flat and whispering that gives the song a sombre sad feel in itself. The lyrics are a response to the original lyrics in the earlier song and thus sound complete in itself as if this was a duet but keeping them separate has further added value to the song. The only thing is this song is a little too sad to listen to. 3.5/5

 

FINAL WORD

‘Shershaah’ soundtrack is definitely much better than expectations. Karan Johar and Vishnuvardhan have done well picking each song that is just beautiful to listen to while adding a whole lot of value to the movie. Each song fits with the story and setting of the film and thus feels perfectly adequate in itself. The brilliant part is that each of the 6 songs are background songs and not performed in to the camera giving further authenticity to the character of Capt. Vikram Batra & thus the movie. There is great amount of romantic songs in the album with one patriotic song which is the only negative here as there is less variety and by the end of the album one can’t help but feel a little blue, although that fits well for the movie but not as an album. Nonetheless, each song is brilliant on this soundtrack. Raataan Lambiyan is truly the romantic song of the year so far thanks to the excellent work of Bagchi & vocals of Nautiyal, while Ranjha, Mann Bharryaa 2.0 and Kabhii Tumhhe are all really good sad songs. B Praak is a force to recon with and Royal is super as always. Lyrics of Muntashir & music of Montrose on Jai Hind Ki Sena is worth a listen. All in all this is a great album with each song worthy of success in their own right.

 

BizAsiaLive.com Rating – 4/5

 

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.

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