While composers Ajay-Atul do not touch the stupendous high in Super 30, the film’s music is an engaging soundtrack, says Vipin Nair

There has been a curious case of anachronism with Hindi film soundtracks this year. While so far it was period films that have featured contemporary sounds (Kalank, Bharat etc), in Super 30 the opposite is the case. There are multiple songs from the album that hark back to times earlier than the movie’s subject Anand Kumar’s timeline would indicate. Not that it matters much if the songs are good of course, and despite their patchy run last year, Ajay-Atul’s music is always an exciting prospect.

Before I delve deeper into my quibble above, let me pick the one song from the album where the sound and the time go hand in hand – the beautiful, albeit formulaic, romantic piece ‘Jugraafiya’. Several of the song’s elements are trademark Ajay Atul – a grand backdrop marked by sweeping violins, the waltz-y rhythm etc. But when the percussion hits, it morphs into a 90s number (except happier). It also helps that the man behind the mic is Udit Narayan, sounding a lot better than he has in his occasional recent outings. Giving Narayan company is the brilliant-as-always Shreya Ghoshal. I quite liked the regionalisation that lyricist Amitabh Bhattacharya done to the word “geography” with the title.

But, am I the only one who has difficulty processing the phrase, “safedi ki chamkaar” in a romantic context? Moving on to ‘Paisa’ – lyrically an ode to the Mammon, but musically the track is an obvious throwback to the 70s. The thrill, the fervour is recreated successfully by the composers, though it also comes with its share of repetitiveness. Vishal Dadlani on vocal duty is a great choice here.

Continuing on the same retro, suspenseful note, but with a lighter, jazzy base (and therefore featuring some delightful use of horns and bass) is ‘Question Mark’. The track is conversational and investigative in nature, after a fashion, and has the movie’s main man Hrithik Roshan leading the vocals. While I cannot authoritatively comment on Roshan’s accent, his delivery works and he receives support from the chorus. The surprise switch in tempo in the second half tips the scale a bit towards a 70s mode a la ‘Paisa’, however, I did find this a more engaging affair.

The track, ‘Basanti No Dance’, as you can guess, is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the classic Dharmendra quote from Sholay. The song is evidently a Holi song, but the focus is not so much on the festival as it is on celebrating Hindi (interestingly at times the percussion seems to reference another cult Holi song – ‘Jai Jai Shiv Shankar’). The mock English lines get daunting after a point though. It’s a good show of exuberance by the singers Prem Areni, Janardan Dhatrak, Divya Kumar and Chaitally Parmar. With the anthemic ‘Niyam Ho’ Ajay-Atul are back in their home turf – grand orchestral sound, harmonies et al, and the composers ace it like they always do.

Bhattacharya’s lines that rant against social inequalities and the like, indicate that this is the movie’s theme song, and the chorus delivers them fabulously.

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