War music review: Vishal-Shekhar's album is too short to leave an impression, lacks their signature spunk

The War soundtrack offers two songs, 'Ghungroo' and 'Jai Jai Shivshankar', which are catchy in their own right, but lack repeat value.

Pratishruti Ganguly October 01, 2019 15:36:26 IST
War music review: Vishal-Shekhar's album is too short to leave an impression, lacks their signature spunk

Hrithik Roshan, Tiger Shroff, and Vaani Kapoor's upcoming espionage action film War is all shades of slick. From hair-raising stunts, luxurious vehicles being pounded to dust, to flamboyant costumes, and breathtaking locations, the film almost seems to tick the right boxes (at least from the trailer) as far as the lavish Yash Raj Films are concerned. All the boxes, save one. With a two-song + three-themes-album, the music spread of War is disappointingly meagre.

War music review VishalShekhars album is too short to leave an impression lacks their signature spunk

Vaani Kapoor and Hrithik Roshan in a still from Ghungroo from War. YouTube

The first song from the lineup, titled 'Ghungroo', is undoubtedly catchy. The hitmaker duo, Arijit Singh and Shilpa Rao, who have been the voice of chartbusters like 'Bulleya' (Ae Dil Hai Mushkil) and the Kalank title track, belt out this part romantic-part dance number with their signature elan. Their dreamy, husky voices, Warren D’Souza's mastery with the guitar, oodles of funky percussion, and a catchy chorus makes 'Ghungroo' a definite earworm. However, composers Vishal-Shekhar, who have set the benchmark with their effervescent party numbers, seems to have resorted to their own library of signature tunes to create the soundtrack. Despite its appeal, it is almost impossible to ignore the obvious similarities of 'Ghungroo' with the Bang Bang title track (also composed by Vishal-Shekhar), sung effortlessly by Benny Dayal and Neeti Mohan for yet another Siddharth Anand action film with Hrithik in the lead.

War music review VishalShekhars album is too short to leave an impression lacks their signature spunk

A still from Jai Jai Shiv Shankar from War. Image from Twitter

Perhaps, the rationale behind churning out remakes (at an alarmingly high rate) is listeners would associate the brand new regurgitation with the nostalgia of the original track. It possibly also indicates the audience would not be required to listen to the remake as many times to familiarise themselves with the lyrics or the tune, in turn making it an "instant hit." The flipside to using iconic lines from classic Bollywood songs, however, is that listeners instinctively compare the new number with the original one. Although not a remake, 'Jai Jai Shivshankar' falls victim to such a listener's expectation. Make no mistake, 'Jai Jai Shivshankar' is a bass-heavy fun dance number. Where it falters, though, is that it is not memorable enough to make any impression on the audience. It is so unoriginal that it could be replaced by a certain 'Radha Teri Chunri' (Student of the Year), the entire Student of the Year line-up or even the 'I Hate Luv Storys' title track, and there is a possibility that one won't be able to notice the difference.

The rest of the album consists of the three theme tunes — of the film, and its two male leads. This is where background score composer Sanchit Balhara hits it out of the park. The first theme tune, for the film, is action-packed, with a suitably pacy rhythm and a resounding, all-encompassing melody. Kabir (Hrithik) and Khalid (Tiger)'s theme tracks are also significantly dissimilar. Since Kabir is a rogue, possibly absconding spy, his theme music is also appropriately suspenseful. Khalid is the spy tasked with capturing his former mentor, and thus, the composers have infused his track with a generous dose of heroism, with a brisk tempo, and EDM-inspired beats. The introduction of techno also indicates Khalid is much younger than Kabir, since EDM began segueing into the pop culture scene as late as the 2010s.

Had the album of War offered a longer selection, it probably would have been relatively easier to decide if the soundtrack warrants repeat listens. The two songs are not half-bad, but fail to bring anything new to the table. The background score is brilliant, and is the only thing to write home about in this mediocre album.

Listen to the entire jukebox here

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