When two of the biggest Bollywood banners -Karan Johar۪s Dharma Productions and Shah Rukh Khan۪s Red Chillies Entertainment -come together for a project with a host of newcomerswith some in-builtBollywood gene then anticipation for the projectcould be a littleconfusing. Student Of The Year۪introduces Alia Bhatt, Siddharth Malhotra and Varun Dhawan andmarks the return of Johar as the director after My Name Is Khan۪ (2010), shifting away from his standard format of casting the biggies, including SRK, for his project. This time his endeavour is to launch a number of careers of hot 20-year-olds, allwith Bollywood in their blood, with a young college story. The trailer reminds one of Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar۪ (1992) mixed with Mohabbatein۪ (2000) with the typical Johar family touch and the extravagance of the Chopra clan in a modern day package.
A fun musical score would be critical to such a project that is designed for the mass youth market of India. Although Vishal-Shekhar have not directly worked with Johar as a director before, theyhave proved their talent on a number of films withhim as a producer, especially with the youth appeal, making them an obvious choice for this film. Talented Anvita Dutt Guptan of Tees Maar Khan۪ (2010), Dostana (2008) and Bachna Ae Haseeno۪ (2008) fame has written the lyrics for what could be the return of college-day films to Bollywood after the phenomenal success of many similar.
Student theme rules and sets precedence with the first song called Ratta Maar which is in a way a disappointment as it lacks panache and sounds purely average with a simple composition. The lyrics are good but would have suited better in a movie like 3 Idiots۪ (2009)instead of a glamorous Johar film. Vocals by Vishal and Shefali Alvares are fairly decent. Good filmography and video is the only thing that can help make this song a hit and cult in colleges so over to Johar to save this song.
Radha in the voice of Vishal and Shreya Ghoshal with a special vocal appearance by the golden voice of Udit Narayan and is a big improvementin comparison to the opening track. The song is a good fusion mix of modern with traditional to an upbeat arrangement of music. With a classic Dholki beat and keyboard sampling playing a major role the song gives the impression of a cultural day stage performance in the college that could be a lot of fun. The vocals are much better and the lyrics are carefully layered to keep the fun going. Radha is an enjoyable track with a sticky personality to it.
Ishq Wala Love is a song that reminisces innocent college love with many subtleties and a classy vibe to it. A very basic table beat leads the composition which is refreshing for a 2012 movie. Vocals by music director Shekhar, Salim Merchant and Neeti Mohan are engaging with a beautiful soft texture to them. Heart-felt emotions shine through the lyrics that are very simple if you listen carefully and reflect the confusion of first love like in the line Ishq Wala Love itself which pretty much means the same thing.
The soundtrack finally picks up and delivers what is a basic expectation from a young Johar film with The Disco Song. Rejuvenating the monstrous classic super-hit Nazia Hassan song Disco Deewane with her original vocals is perhaps one of the most challenging things to do for a music director and Vishal-Shekhar deliver it effortlessly. With an average dance beat start it is impossible for one to predict what is about to hit them later when Disco Deewane drops in. Designed perfectly to get any party kicking like nothing else with requests for repeat pouring in, this song has to be a favourite with any DJ. Benny Dayal and Sunidhi Chauhan are just perfect together and deliver the fun that Guptan has carefully laid out avoiding messing up the original Hassan classic. It’s amust listen song on repeat onan iPod orin the caron a weekend.
Kukkad in the voice of newcomer Shahid Mallya is simply really cool. A total Delhi-ite song with a mix of Punjabi lyrics is a number that will easily rule radio-play throughout the North of India and international charts. The arrangement and composition is funky with animal sound effects, English bits arranged to a modern techno bass beat and desi synths this song is ideal for wedding parties to be played at a high drunk point which will bring out the funny side out of every listener on the dancefloor. Vocals by Mallya and the lyrics are the highlights of the song which is a must listen.
Music Directors Vishal and Shekhar voice Vele that is another Delhi Punjabi flavour song with the more urban vibe to it that would normally reflect in UK music sound typical to RDB style. The arrangement includes English rap and even some dubstep music mix creating an exciting mix. What lacks is the mass appeal in this song making it a step-child on the soundtrack and may thus get unfairly ignored as it has a good vocal performance by Shekhar and Guptan does well with the Punjabi rhymes.
Finally Mashup of the Year is a wrap up song of the soundtrack that samples allsix songs very well. Mixed by DJ Kiran Kamath this track sets a new trend of album mashups rather than direct single song remixes.
Vishal-Shekhar once again prove they are one of the finest music duos in the industry who can churn out hits ranging in variety of film concepts, music genres, composition styles and regional music flavours to wrap them up together to produce commercial hits. Johar has done a good job in inspiring the music and lyrics evident in the soundtrack keeping with his style and the film’s young theme. The choice of singers by Vishal-Shekhar is bold with a number of credits to themselves and, to be frank,none disappoint. All-in-all Student of the Year۪ soundtrack starts badly but picks up to a good level leaving the listeners on a high on a fun journey. Kukkad, The Disco Song and Ishq Wala Love are good numbers to reflect the talent and high calibre work gone in this album.
BizAsia Showbiz Overall Rating 7.5/10