There are certain directors you trust with music. Shoojit Sircar is one of them. With Vicky Donor, Piku and Yahaan in his repertoire, we placed our bets on October being one of the finer Bollywood albums to come out in 2018. Did the Varun Dhawan starrer live up to expectations?
‘Theher Ja’ is composed by Abhishek Arora, a soothing, and upbeat composition (and also features on A Humming Heart’s inaugural monthly playlist where our writers pick the best music of the month). Armaan Malik’s ability of singing was never questioned, and he does a good job handling the song but it is Arora’s superb melodic sense that stands out. The electronic arrangement and the melody showcase his keen intuition as a composer.
It was surprising to see Anupam Roy listed as the composer for ‘Tab Bhi Tu’. Not because director Shoojit Sircar employed Roy – he did wonders in Piku and then in Pink for Rising Sun Films – but because the melody is so unlike anything he has composed in his Bollywood career. ‘Tab Bhi Tu’ sees Rahat Fateh Ali Khan crooning, an average melody. The song is a perfect Bhatt camp fit, and that sound is just dated.
Shantanu Moitra has three songs in October. ‘October Theme’ was met with a great response after the trailer of the film was released. The primary instrument used is the violin, played by Rohan Roy and backed by Maria Ten and Polina Romanova. Moitra also employs the cello, harp and viola to great use.
Moitra composed, Swanand Kirkire penned and Sunidhi Chauhan sung ‘Manwaa’ is the other standout track in the album. The sound is that of a typical ‘journey song’. The melody is engaging, as is the instrumentation. Pronob Biswas layers the song with Hindustani classical vocals in the background, which make the song more enjoyable. Further proof that a good singer can elevate a song a great deal.
Moitra’s final track is ‘Chal’, sung by Monali Thakur. The song takes a while to grow on you, and perhaps the same can be said of Thakur’s vocals. Ankur Mukherjee’s guitar is particularly charming.
So did October live up to the expectations of being one of the albums to look out for this year? Not entirely, but the five-track album is original, with no remixes, comprising two good songs and another that grows in confidence as it progresses – in today’s times, that’s about as much you can ask from a Bollywood music album.