Planet Bollywood
The Shaukeens
Producer: Murad Khetani and Ashwin Varde
Director: Abhishek Sharma
Starring: Anupam Kher, Annu Kapoor, Piyush Mishra, Lisa Haydon and Akshay Kumar
Music: Yo Yo Honey Singh, Arko Mukherjee, Hard Kaur and Vikram Nagi
Lyrics: Sahil Kaushal, Arko Mukherjee, Siddharth Banerjee, Shabbir Ahmed and Vikram Nagi
Singers: Yo Yo Honey Singh, Jubin Nautiyal, Neha Kakkar, Sahil Kaushal (Lil Golu), Aman Trikha, Mika Singh and Anu Malik
Audio On: Zee Music Company    Number of Songs: 6
Album Released on: October 2014
Reviewed by: Anish Mohanty  - Rating: 4.0 / 10
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Shaukeen (1982) had some good music by R.D Burman, with ‘Yeh Rang-E-Mehfil’ being the best track of the album. While the film revolved around three old men trying to impress the girl, it also had a romantic track which gave the composer enough fodder to compose five songs which were high on melody. More than three decades after its release, the film has been remade into The Shaukeens. From what one could gauge from the promos, the film does not have a romantic track like the original version. However, since the film has Akshay Kumar in a special appearance with him playing a superstar no less, one expects a couple of songs to be picturised on him; songs which, probably, would have no relevance with the plot of the film but would serve as promotional tools.

Akshay’s character in the film is supposed to be an alcoholic and the first track in the album ‘Alcoholic’ highlights this fact. Yo Yo Honey Singh seems to be fast becoming a regular fixture with the films produced by Akshay Kumar. After composing songs for his earlier productions ‘Boss’ and ‘Fugly’, he finds his name on the credits of ‘The Shaukeens’ album too. The song has energetic beats and mirthful lyrics which lend an instant connect factor to the song. The song, in parts, sounds like a rehashed version of ‘Party All Night’ (Race 2) because of similar arrangements and sound production.

Arko Mukherjee doubles up as composer and lyricist for ‘Meherbani’, a romantic number picturised (again) on Akshay Kumar. The song has minimal orchestration with some lovely piano notes heard throughout its entire duration. Jubin not only sings well but also, successfully, brings out the emotions in the song. Alas, Arko, as a lyricist does a disservice to the composer in him. The song has such poorly constructed sentences that it would make anybody familiar with Hindi or Urdu cringe. For instance, the phrase ‘Tujhse Mila Toh Paa Liya Har Cheez Main’ should have ideally been ‘Tujhse Mila Toh Paa Li Har Cheez Maine’. To camouflage his shortcomings, he uses many Urdu words in the song but they are so inappropriately placed that it only helps in bringing his inadequacy as a writer to the fore. Why do so many composers, these days, write lyrics when they do not have a decent command over the language they are writing in? Mithoon, Vishal Dadlani- are you guys listening?

Yo Yo Honey is brought in to compose another dance number titled ‘Manali Trance’. The song has an intoxicating vibe to it but the music is hardly exciting. The arrangements consist of the standard techno sounds. Neha Kakkar sings the song with aplomb and delivers the right expressions through her voice. SAhil Kaushal (Lil Golu) apart from writing some uninspiring lyrics, joins Neha behind the mike for a couple of lines.

Hard Kaur makes her debut as a film composer with ‘Aashiq Mizaaj’. One would have expected to hear her rap for a couple of portions but that is not the case and it is Aman Trikha who is credited as the solo vocalist here. The song fails miserably in its visibly desperate attempt to sound trendy, contemporary and well, cool. Hard Kaur seems to have borrowed bits and pieces from various sub standard dance numbers one has heard in the recent past and joined them to create this mess of a song.

The next track ‘Ishq Kutta Hai’ is no different as composer Vikram Nagi follows the same formula of borrowing elements from different dance numbers and integrating them into one song. The song, even with Mika’s spirited singing, fails to rise above its templatized tune and monotonous sound.

‘Lonely’ would only interest you if you derive pleasure from listening to music that is so bad that at first, it actually makes you roll your eyes in disbelief and then, burst into peals of laughter; music so bad that it’s good! After listening to the song, you wonder whether it is a sad song or a parody. Anu Malik, who sings the song, seems as confused. The composition is amateurish, to say the least. The fact that it ends on an abrupt point further validates this point.

The Shaukeens carries a very different sound from the original film and quality wise, it is not a patch on the latter. Most of the songs have been composed with the objective of promoting the film before its release. Except for two songs (‘Alcoholic’ and ‘Meherbani’), the album fails to serve that purpose.

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