Planet Bollywood
Woodstock Villa
Producer: White Feather Films
Director: Hansal Mehta
Starring: Sikander Kher, Neha Oberoi, Arbaaz Khan, Shakti Kapoor, Sachin Khedekar, Boman Irani, Anupama Varma
Music: Anu Malik, Shibani Kashyap, Bappa Lahiri
Lyrics: Virag Mishra, The Aryans, Manoj Muntashir
Singers: Anchal Datta Bhatia, Mika Singh, The Aryans, Shaan, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Shibani Kashyap
Audio On: T-Series    Number of Songs: 9
Album Released on: 25 April 2008
Reviewed by: Gianysh Toolsee  - Rating: 7.5 / 10
More Reviews and Analysis by PB Critics:
    • Review by Aakash Gandhi - Rating: 7.5 / 10
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Public Rating Average: 5.1 / 10 (rated by 411 listeners)
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Be ready to enter the domain of noir music.

Venturing into strings and tantalizing electronica experiences is an experimental excursion. Experience the pulsating synths, the female voices which provide hypnotic rides and sensual overtones and the pumping electronic music crossing all genres. Boundaries are crossed with an amalgam of talent, futuristic sounds, intense lyrics and advanced programming. In an attempt to dig further into the darker atmospheric sounds, a romantic angle is created too. Less said, the better as such soundtracks are experimental and trance/techno/new age fans will have a painfully long wait before another record label agrees to such projects.

Anchal Datta Bhatia’s mysterious, aggressive and rough-mode vocals kick start the thrilling Dhoka. The compelling tune by Anu Malik combined with the lyrics of Virag Mishra opens up the soundtrack in a dark atmospheric music. A flute piece pre-dominates the track in intensity at the beginning, with music in the background manifesting a high-tempo coming. The music switches gears to a highly infectious rhythm, with high percussions, trance/techno loops and a strong beats’ fare. Due to its short length, the musical effect is dampened, however, the track carries an unusual musical flavor and is enjoyable. It also sets the tone for the soundtrack, crossing established genres and includes a mixture of Middle-Eastern sounds and keyboards’ samples. Anchal Datta Bhatia is vigorous in her singing showing an extreme ease with the rendition of item songs, requiring gusto and a strong girly voice.

Her vivacious vocals are further exploited in the Dhoka - Club Mix, by popular and experienced Nikhil Chinapa. DJ Nawed also gives a helping hand to create a trance oriented remix, poisoned by galloping beats. The revamped version gets a subtle face lift with more electronica and more emphasis on electronically filtered vocal effects and buffering mixing abilities. A potentially exciting dance number is missed by the two experts as the tempo and the beats in the background do not twist and remain stagnant till the end note.

A specialist in recreating tracks is offered the task. Mika’s earlier hit Saawan Mein Lag Gayi Aag undergoes plastic surgery by Anu Malik, who does marvelously well at pumping the beats/bass and accelerating the tempo. Virag Mishra chips in his contribution by writing the rest of the track, excluding the original ‘mukhda’ which is retained. The tracks also has a fast-paced chorus, adding more life to the peppy tune. High on beats, Mika’s entry is fantastic, creating ambience and a feel-good mood to the piece. Unfolding at an amazing speed, Malik keeps the music concise with the right combination of compelling zingy beats and sounds, ending on a sweet outro. As no surprise, Anu Malik again shows that in recreating hit tracks into bigger hits, better leave it to him.

The two remixing experts, Nikhil Chinapa and DJ Nawed, set the benchmark for an intoxicating Saawan Mein Lag Gayi Aag – Club Mix. Intense, explosive and ground-breaking, the remix is a trend-setter and a first of its kind in Bollywood. The recipe contains pulsating and pronounced beats with a killing sound, a mix of scratch and buffering remixing, applied vocal trance effects and intermittent pauses. Sharp trance effects are reasoned in the background, while futuristic percussive beats coupled with long hard-charging synths throughout slamming instrumentation, produce trance/hard techno slamming sounds. All resulting into a hard trance experience with Mika’s vocals providing the twists. Absolutely smashing!!!

The music is party ready. Be prepared for generous doses of heavy drums and bass, tough progressive rumblings, percussive beats and highly charged orchestral sounds. The Aryans and Bappa Lahiri are at the helm of affairs in the rock influenced Kyun. Assuring the music part, Bappa Lahiri presents a powerful, loud and efficient sound structure to incorporate The Aryans high-pitched singing and lyrics as he reproduces the song. Dive into the live band sounds, the throbbing bass sounds and the trance background score with an exciting, thrilling and progressively haunting music. The Aryans messes up in the middle by delivering a rather weak reprise of the verses but still grabs constant attention by the strong singing. Nevertheless, the rock guitar piece as the second interlude evokes the potential in the young Bappa Lahari. The punchy rhythm coupled with the rough male voice translate into an upbeat production. 'Kyun' offers attitude – a song with a desire to excel, apt lyrics by the band, all dipped into a soft-rock meets hard-rock style of music with crashing percussion and distorted rock guitars, wonderfully arranged and executed.

Lushly created, a romantic quotient is accentuated in the melodious Yeh Pyaar Hai. Bearing the trademark Malik’s melody he perfected over the decades, he presents us a warm and an ear-pleasing track, which builds progressively with apt touches on the keyboard and frequent guitar scratches. Shaan and Anchal Datta Bhatia cast their evocative vocal spell adding depth and passion to the lyrics of Virag Mishra. The track is alluring with a refreshing tune from the composer, who has arranged the melody for the electronic instrumentation with spectacular precision. Sometimes light, sometimes pensive, the romantic excursion succeeds due to the singing too. Shaan’s vocals express lightness, youthfulness and vibrancy whereas Anchal Datta Bhatia showcases another hidden facet of her exquisite voice – soft, clear and deep. 'Yeh Pyaar Hai' is enjoyable, with a soft breeze of romance.

For those who are looking for a Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s song with a meditative prose, look no further! Compositionally, Malik creates an atmosphere of spirituality full of instruments ranging from chords, single beats and a manifestation of lower octave notes on the keyboard in Koi Chala Ja Raha Hai. New age music is further promoted by peaceful interludes, while the male vocals’ lay in the centre with a mélange of ghungroo pieces and acoustic instruments. The singer packs an intense performance in over five minutes. Experimental as it gets, Malik does not force the use of the instruments – carefully playing them at selected places with acute precision, resulting in a wonderfully sounding blend of instruments and electronic music. ‘Koi Chala Ja Raha Hai’ is a monumental shift for Malik as he tries experimenting with a genre from the likes of Oliver Shanti.

In addition to the strings, bass, drums and electronic pumping heard so far, Shibani Kashyap brings her new own melodic and lively touch in Dhoka Dega. A noir thematic mood is flourished with keyboard swells, guitar acoustics, strings and more synthesizers’ work. Shibani Kashyap’s vocals infuse mystery with a hypnotic feel, adding to a continuous build-up of a thrilling, yet enjoyable background score. Extensive emphasis is laid on keeping the score free of pulsating beats/bass and Kashyap’s vocals remain at centre stage. The high quality of the vocals is dangerously seductive, exciting and captivating. Funky keyboard interludes contribute more zest to the score and the composer shows great mastering of both the composition and the singing with panache. ‘Dhoka Dega’ is simply wonderful and needs to be enjoyed!

The underlying darkness is brought again in Raakh Ho Ja Tu – which is a reprise of ‘Kya Main Zinda Hoon’ from Zinda, from the same composer/singer with a different lyricist - Manoj Muntashir. The prevailing mood is present with the singer unfolding another chill-out and ambient-style composition, with laid-back keyboard music, the drum and bass combination and again the favorite strings. Not moving away from the style created, Shibani Kashyap uses her vocals as a main instrument, behind a lightly-composed background score. Rock guitar sounds are also heard.

Anu Malik is not yet in the big league. However, he is back in town! Having scrapped his old orchestration tricks and by re-inventing himself with a new sound design and programming, there is more to hear from him if he stays focused on quality work. Bappa Lahari makes a spectacular entry with the orchestration of ‘Kyun’ relying heavily on hard-rock material and an amazingly progressive orchestration well-coordinated. Shibani Kashyap keeps her trademark style, adding more gravity to the soundtrack. Thankfully Viraj Mishra’s lyrics are put to good use. The soundtrack of Woodstock Villa is experimental in nature, bringing the best out of each one associated with the music production. Each track has a specialty and a certain individuality of its own. Kudos to White Feather Films for experimenting with such music! ‘Koi Chala Ja Raha Hai’ from Anu Malik is a treat, while ‘Kyun’ from Bappa Lahiri and The Aryans is the best song of the soundtrack. Go for it!

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