Student of the Year 2 music review: Vishal-Shekhar's power-packed lineup is marred by misguided notions of 'youth'

Pratishruti Ganguly

May 08, 2019 10:57:48 IST

From 'Gulabi Aankhein' to 'Yeh Chand Sa Roshan Chehra' to 'Disco Deewane', 2012 smash hit Student of the Year did not shy away from churning out remixes of classic Bollywood numbers. Even though Mohammad Rafi fans scoffed at Shanaya's (Alia Bhatt) introduction song, there were far many appreciators than there were detractors. What made its soundscape appealing was its healthy mix of dance numbers, love ballads and crowd-pleasing regurgitation of classics.

Seven years later, the makers of Student of the Year 2 decided to follow the *exact* same path that its predecessor trod in 2012. Franchises are all about callbacks, but it seems that Student Of The Year 2 has a parallel 2019 track for every song in the original album.

Student of the Year 2 music review: Vishal-Shekhars power-packed lineup is marred by misguided notions of youth

Ananya Panday, Tara Sutaria and Tiger Shroff. Image from Twitter

Despite the criticism that it has has faced, the 'Jawaani Song' probably packs the hardest punch. Vishal Dadlani's electric voice powers through the revamped version of Kishore Kumar-RD Burman's classic 'Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani'. Music director duo Vishal-Shekhar are a hoot here, but the song is weighed down by such lyrics as "We're young and crazy/ Aaj ki raat honi amazin'". There is a generous slice of the original composition in this reprised version, and is almost Vishal-Shekhar's tribute to the master composer, which has been rebooted to suit the taste of the generation. Singer Payal Dev has a comparatively smaller part in the number, but she holds her own in this high-energy track.

Mumbai Dilli Ki Kudiyan. Source: Twitter.

Mumbai Dilli Ki Kudiyan. Source: Twitter.

'If you haven't guessed already, 'Mumbai Dilli Ki Kudiyan' is the 'Radha' of Student of the Year 2, even if Remo D'Souza disagrees. The sangeet number is fittingly groovy and has a singsong head-bobbing, foot-tapping quality to it, but when the lyrics of a song aims at gross generalisation of an entire gender without (obviously!) no statistical proof, then it becomes rather difficult to ignore it completely and enjoy its 'sick' beats.

This is the first stanza of the song:

"Girls, girls, girls
You know they wanna party all night
You know they wanna party till the sun comes up
You know they want it"

"Easy breezy" and "frivolous" do not always necessitate stupidity.

A still from the Hook Up Song. YouTube screengrab

A still from the Hook Up Song. YouTube screengrab

If one manages to gloss over its lyrics of  'Hook Up Song', it is quite an enjoyable ride, which bears the potential of becoming one of the party anthems of 2019. With Neha Kakkar and Shekhar Ravjiani's powerful vocals gallivanting through the track, the snazzy composition is a sure winner in the Student of the Year 2 jukebox.

Whereas most of the Student of the Year 2 songs are arguably an inferior take of its predecessor's sprawling jukebox, 'Fakira' far supersedes 'Ishq Wala Love' in this round of who-did-it-better. YouTube sensation Sanam Puri's pitch-perfect voice perfectly complements Neeti Mohan's textured, husky voice. Amid a deluge of dance numbers, 'Fakir' acts as a balm for sore eardrums.

The 'Jawaani Song' may be the USP of Student of the Year 2, but it is 'Main Bhi Nayi Soya' that captures the emotional core of the film to the hilt. Arijit Singh has mastered the art of pulling at the heartstrings of his audience with his impassioned singing. (Case in point- 'Channa Mereya' and 'Main Tenu Samjhawan'). In the most emotionally charged moments, Singh's voice breaks, almost echoing that of the listener impeded from humming along by the lump in their throat.

What made the soundtrack of Student of the Year a winner was that, despite an abundance of high-energy tracks, the songs were dramatically different from one another.  By the time one reaches the last song of Student of the Year 2, 'Jatt Ludhiyane Da', it is almost impossible to differentiate it from the bevy of other peppy songs in the line-up. Barring a few songs, the Student of the Year 2 album seems to be an amorphous mass of homogeneous  songs.

The jukebox of Student of the Year proved to be a fitting pop culture confectionery for a Bollywood-obsessed fandom that grew up munching on romantic comedies. That Student of the Year 2 is a follow-up to the "young and crazy" 2012 film is spoon-fed to almost a point of exhaustion. Unfortunately, tracks like 'Hook Up Song' and 'Mumbai Dilli Ki Kudiyan' perhaps indicate that the understanding of the "jawaan" pulse is a tad misguided in this film.

Listen to Student of the Year 2's jukebox here.

Updated Date: May 08, 2019 12:01:24 IST

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