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Amit Trivedi English Vinglish Review

Soundtrack. Released 2012.  

BBC Review

Trivendi stands on the verge of big success.

Jaspreet Pandohar 2012

Charged with the task of composing the soundtrack to English Vinglish, the comeback vehicle for 80s Bollywood queen Sridevi, Amit Trivedi might have done the obvious. He could have given the album a retro feel, or stuffed it full of brash item numbers and pointless remixes.

Fortunately neither he nor the film's director, Gauri Shinde, give into the temptation of producing such fare. Nor do they recreate the kind of histrionic numbers Sridevi mimed along to on Mr India, Chandni and Nagina.

By opting for a subtle score and a set of situational songs, Trivedi produces a mature soundtrack that is well suited to its graceful leading lady and the grown-up, multi-cultural drama that it accompanies.

The title track, English Vinglish, encapsulates the storyline of a woman’s confusion and excitement at learning a new language and discovering the fresh world it opens up. Shilpa Rao’s warm "Hinglish" vocals make this a likeable listen.

Rao also excels in Gustakh Dil, an emotive ballad that’s never melodramatic, mainly thanks to Swanand Kirkire's stirring lyrics and Trivedi’s fine, contemporary rock-influenced composition. The result is a song that would feel at home in any international movie.  

Lending his own voice to Dhak Dhuk, Trivedi's husky tone is inviting, complementing lyrics expressing the nervousness felt when leaving one land for another.

Less alluring is Manhattan, the only dud amongst a good collection. There's a fine line between catchy melodies and an annoying song, and Manhattan oversteps it. The flat tune and quirky tourist guide lyrics, describing the city of towering skyscrapers and designer stores, stirs little but irritation.

The closest Sridevi gets to flexing her dance muscles on screen is to the cheerful Marathi wedding song, Navrai Majhi. Feminine and merry, the celebratory track features Sunidhi Chauhan's perky vocals leading a number of supporting singers, one of whom is lyricist Kirkire. Cross-cultural touches add to its eclectic sound.

Having delivered hit albums like Ishaqzaade, Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu and Dev D, Trivedi proves here that he’s a talent unafraid of experimenting. He stands on the verge of big success.

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