This review appeared first here – http://www.thequint.com/entertainment/2016/01/20/music-review-fitoor-sounds-above-average-at-best

You can listen to the music review here – http://www.bbc.com/hindi/multimedia/2016/01/160129_music_review_vm.shtml

Once the ‘it’ kid on the Bollywood music scene, Amit Trivedi has matured rather well, thanks to some soulful melodies and a refreshing presentation through varied genres. Every project of his is welcomed by music lovers almost the same way they used to wait for a new album by AR Rahman in the 1990s. In Fitoor, he teams up with Swanand Kirkire for lyrics and some of the finest musicians around.

The title song of a film is generally expected to make a strong point for the album as a whole but I am not sure what transpired into assigning a ‘predictable as ever’ tonal treatment to ‘Yeh Fitoor mera’. Arijit sings songs like these by the dozen and there is nothing new here except the use of ‘parvardigara’, which appears to be an attempt to sound ‘serious’ and pucca, because the album is devoid of any ghazal-like composition and the boring back-up vocals towards the end don’t help either. In the end, it sounds like a formularized Arijit song with elaborate arrangement.

With a rich rabaab running around like an excited kid all throughout the song,‘Haminastu’ is perhaps the best composition of the album. Zeb’s enthralling range is on ample display here. Her subtle throaty variations in the song are reminiscent of someone narrating a story with multiple characters and altering the voice for effect.

The contemporary percussion is subtle in ‘Hone do batiyaan’ and what envelops the composition is playful singing by Zeb and Nandini Srikar along with an unmistakeable Kashmiri charm, thanks to the excellent rabaab play. The sheer congruity between the singers is endearing to say the least and effective to put it mildly. Without doubt, the lyrics for both Haminastu and Hone do batiyaan are the best in the album.

In Pashmina, I don’t think Trivedi’s voice needed the polishing it was subjected to because the sensuous fragility of the song hits a speed bump every time one uses synthetic autotune, that too in a song that’s called Pashmina! Add to this the sameness of Triviedi’s singing and the song doesn’t leave the impact it could have because of its unique arrangement.

 What is possibly the weakest song in lyrical department, Tere liye never really touches your heart in spite of the grand presentation. Sunidhi and Jubin are let down by an excessive sanitised arrangement and weak lyrics which left me unaffected.

Just when you thought the song couldn’t get more laboured, Amit Trivedi joins Sunidhi Chauhan and makes Rangaa re (Hindi version) unbearable although it has few sparks of excellent arrangement. The English version of the same song sounds better largely because Caralisa Monteiro is more in sync with the mood in comparison to a near robotic Amit Trivedi.

The album has 3 songs that put the ‘it’ in Amit but the rest are plain, at times boring like grown-ups with no spark, now where is the fun in that? I give the soundtrack 3 Quints out of 5.