Film: "English Vinglish"; Music Director: Amit Trivedi; Lyricist: Swanand Kirkire; Singers: Shilpa Rao, Amit Trivedi, Clinton Cerejo, Swanand Kirkire, Bianca Gomes, Sunidhi Chauhan, Natalia Di, Luccio and Neelambari Kirkire; Rating: ***1/2
Evergreen beauty Sridevi is returning to the silver screen after a hiatus of 15 years with "English Vinglish". Its soundtrack covers six tracks, created by new-age master composer Amit Trivedi, with lyrics penned by Swanand Kirkire.
The album kicks off with the title track "English vinglish", a peppy and energetic track to start off the day and fight challenges in life. Sunita Rao's vocals blend quite well with Trivedi's, and the number definitely elevates the spirit. The lyrics, in true Hinglish style, don't seem vague and have been penned with an aesthetic approach by Kirkire. There's good use of instruments like violin fused with contemporary sounds.
The track also has a male version where Trivedi takes centrestage. Musically it isn't too different, but the magic of the singer's voice strikes the right chords and charms the listener all the way.
It is followed by "Dhak dhuk", a folksy and soft number which deals with the anxieties of a young bride leaving for another country. Trivedi is brilliant behind the mike in this one, with his soulful rendition. This gloomy composition grows on the listener. The use of flute in the song to good effect is especially plausible, and Kirkire has penned lyrics, which tug right at the heartstrings.
Next up on the playlist is "Manhattan". Dialogues by Sridevi, envisioning the hustle bustle of a US city, welcome the listener in this track. It starts on a high note full of energy but fails to create an impact. Clinton Cerejo is average in the vocal department, but the surprise package is Bianca Gomes who impresses with her voice. Some good techno sounds here and there with the flute are nice on the ear, but the track still falls short of expectations.
"Gustakh dil" brings back the duo of Trivedi and Rao together and their voices really do wonders. Such perfect sync is a rarity and this might well be one of the best duets this year in Bollywood. The track uses minimal sounds and focusses on the singers' talent, bringing the best out of them. It has bit of a rock touch to it. Kudos also to Kirkire for doing justice to the song with his beautiful words.
Rounding up the album is "Navraj majhi", crooned by an ensemble of singers including Sunidhi Chauhan, Swanand Kirkire, Natalie Di Luccio and Neelambari Kirkire. The song captures the essence of a traditional Marathi wedding. Sunidhi is good on the vocals while Natalie D'Luccio and Trivedi enjoin a modern flavour to this folk track. The lyricist and his mother, Neelambari Kirkire, also join the celebration. It's fun all the way.
Although the "English Vinglish" album lacks the lustre of new age Bollywood albums, it manages to leave the listener smiling with its simple approach. There are no remixes and nothing out-of-the-box here, but it delights.
(Bhaskar Pant can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)