There are several reasons the music of the upcoming Farhan Akhtar-Deepika Padukone starrer Karthik Calling Karthik is very interesting to listen to.
The music of KCK is diverse. You'll hear all kinds of different but neighboring genres integrated to sound seamless - which comes from the composer's diverse influences.
Its emblematic of the new sound that so many new wave Bollywood directors desire - smart, urban, contemporary. It's not just enough to create hits anymore, composers have to deliver feel and popularity in a single package.
Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy settled down for a bunch of jam sessions. A month later, they had this whip smart soundtrack.
KCK's flagship single is a song about a budding romance called Hey Ya! Unlike on Wake Up Sid where Clinton Cerejo's scratch vocals were retained on the massive hit Kya Karoon - this time Clinton's vocals were laid down for the final song. Hey Ya! is a frothy electropop track. Several times Clinton breaks out into a neo-soul alto, but only slightly so, keeping the song squarely in pop territory.
KK sings a ballad about a life transformed by love called Jaane Ye Kya Hua - a song that is allowed to breathe and develop amidst a meandering melody. Jaane starts like a power ballad, settles into an easy groove and gets its soul from a harmonica and KK's bravura singing.
Shankar Mahadevan opens the title track and hands it off to Suraj Jagan who sings it in low slung notes. KCK is a trippy, psychedelic song which gets its mojo from several deliciously conceived backup vocal bits by Suraj himself, Caralisa Montiero and Malika Singh.
Midival Punditz and Karsh Kale collaborate to deliver the instrumental Karthik 2.0. Tasked to compose the background music for the movie, Punditz and Kale realized they had a theme on their hands while scoring one of the scenes. Thus born spontaneously and added to the CD, K2.0 has speed metal guitars styled with electronica. It sounds terrific. Several times the Punditz will break the song down and incorporate KCK's signature phone dial tones into the music. There is some generic pacing with violins at the end, but its rousing and its absolutely forgiven given the other surprises on the track.
There are other interesting songs on KCK that you should explore. A more trademark SEL style - hindustani vocals over a dance beat - is put on high octane on Uff Teri Ada. SEL labored over this song the longest and paired Shankar Mahadevan with Loy's daughter Alyssa Mendonsa who makes a delicious debut. Kailash Kher does a stellar job on Kaisi Hai Yeh Udaasi which has a nifty melody driven by the interplay between a flute and guitar.
Ehsaan, Punditz, thanks for sharing your notes with me!