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“Huge!” – that’s the one word in which you can describe the expectations one has from the music of ‘Bunty Aur Babli 2’. ‘Bunty Aur Babli’, which came out 16 years back, boasted of a high-quality soundtrack that also went on to become immensely popular. With key members (producer, music directors etc) of the original film teaming up for its sequel, one expects the moon from the soundtrack. Gulzar, who had written the songs in the original, has not been repeated though. Replacing him is Amitabh Bhattacharya, today’s top lyricist who has collaborated with Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy in the past on albums like ‘Housefull’ (2010), ‘2 States’ (2014) and ‘One By Two’ (2014).

The album opens with “Tattoo Waaliye”, a song that sounds nothing like Shankar – Ehsaan – Loy have composed in the past. The song, at best, sounds faintly like the kind of sound the trio had put together for the ‘Tere Bin Laden’ album. After you hear the song once, you can’t help but compare it to the several banal Punjabi pop songs, composed/rendered by rookie musicians, that drop on the internet every week.

The expectations you have from the album, however, implore you to listen to the track a couple of times before dismissing it completely. Sadly, even after repeated hearings, it comes across as a listless track. The tune is yawn-inducing and is devoid of the spunk that you would expect in a song of this kind. Singers Neha Kakkar and Pradeep Sran put their best foot forward and manage to lend some energy to the song.

The voice modulations, along with the ‘attitude’ Arijit Singh brings to “Luv Ju”, prove to be the highlight of the song. While the song fails to make much of an impression in the first hearing, it grown on you as you listen to it a couple of times more. The unconventional tune takes some time getting used to but after a point, you do notice and appreciate some of the interesting things the trio has done here. That being said, it is definitely not the kind of song that will be remembered for months to come.

“Bunty Aur Babli 2”, the title track, is supposed to be a reimagined, quirkier version of the title song of the original film. The song turns out to be a pale shadow of the original and is the kind that makes you want to skip to the next song. Siddharth Mahadevan sings well but the tune itself is so uninspiring that he fails to salvage the song. The rap portions written and sung by Bohemia, which seems to have been forced into the song, do not leave a mark either.

“Chaalis ka ho kar bhi sattarah ke tevar, shobha nahin dete tujhe sajnaa mere….” – the quirky lines written by Amitabh Bhattacharya contribute towards making “Dhik Chik” a mildly enjoyable track. Lines like these also give the impression that the song has been picturized on the older Bunty and Babli (Saif Ali Khan and Rani Mukerji) in the film. The table-dholak sound and Sunidhi Chauhan’s expressive rendition add some vibrancy to the song; something which the tune fails to do.

Even if you keep comparisons aside, it is hard to suppress the sense of disappointment that one feels after listening to the ‘Bunty Aur Babli 2’ soundtrack. With a team like this, one had expected much, much better music. There is not a single track on the album that you feel like going back to after listening to the entire album.