Director Abhishek Chaubey teams up with musician Amit Trivedi, a Phantom Films regular, for Udta Punjab. I don’t think I have heard a better title for a film in last couple of years which can rival the coolness of Udta Punjab. Find out if the soundtrack of the film is as cool.

Now, what Amit Trivedi has done in Chitta Ve is use the title smartly but you do get a feeling that too much is happening at once, and I am not even remotely suggesting anything about the rap portion because that is not bad at all. Babu Haabi, Shahid Mallya and Bhanu Pratap try their heart out but are let down by a somewhat clumsy music structure towards the second half of the song. The man who gave us an elaborate orchestral setting in Bombay Velvet seems to like autotune a lot off late. Why autotune? Why? A hummable song that goes awfully wrong towards the end

Da Da Dasse is a song that resembles Nucleya’s Aaja sporadically. Kanika Kapoor shines here and how! A ‘pind pop’ song with Babu Haabi rapping it up, it’s a Babaji ki Booti with slightly more layered arrangement and solid lyrics. We would really like to hear more of Kanika Kapoor in varied genres!

Ikk Kudi comes in two versions. One has the ever-so-impeccable Shahid Mallya and the other one is sung by the talent powerhouse Diljit Dosanjh. Shahid’s version is light music-wise, allowing him more space to improvise. As a result Shahid’s version sounds slightly more intense than Diljit’s. Diljit’s version is fragile and quieter, may be that’s why, in this version the instruments are more intense than they are in Shahid’s. Even though the evergreen poetry of Batalvi might appeal only to those who understand Punjabi, both these versions are absolute gems.

I have always felt Amit Trivedi, the singer, wants to sound like a ‘sanskari’ boy and could never go totally crazy, that was till I heard this song. In what is probably the best song of the album, in Ud-daa Punjab we hear Trivedi going full ‘break your bones and steal your car thereafter’ crazy. Vishal Dadlani, who matches Trivedi’s raw energy at every step is a treat to listen to. After Dhan Te Nan from Kaminey, Vishal has finally sung a song with overflowing swag and zero artificial aggression. Every line of this song is worth a hundred wolf whistles, minimum.

Hass Nach Le sung by Shahid Mallya has its heart at the right place, lyrics-wise. However, the tune tires you out fairly quickly, which is quite a feat because the song has a superb harmonium all throughout. Vadiya has a ‘Scatman’ meets ‘Nucleya’ sound. I am not even protesting the fact that Amit Trivedi has sung one more song. Highly derivative, the song sounds like a keyboard preset tune that is played for 4 minutes with aforementioned reference points. It would probably go down as the weakest song by Amit this year.

Of course we expected much more because it is after all the ‘am’ ‘it’ man at work, but the overall album is a tad underwhelming. Pick this one up for Ikk Kudi, Da Da Dasse and of course Ud-daa Punjab and you won’t be disappointed.

This review first appeared on Quint here

Audio link to my review on B.B.C. here