Shankar Ehsaan Loy (SEL) adds more dimensions to their eclectically supreme filmography by venturing into new genre of cross-cultural cinema through soulful love saga MARIGOLD. Unlike their commercially thriving albums, it caters mainly to the international diaspora with a global feel. Set against the exotic locales of Goa, it construes the love chemistry between compassionate Bollywood choreographer (Salman Khan) and naïve Hollywood starlet (Ali Larter) with mixed-mash blend of Indo-western musical outburst. SEL delivers their finest soft rock ballad of this year in “Yeh Pyar Kya Hai (seven stages of love)” but thereafter the album disappoints as it shapes itself into decayed style of Bollywood music in the bunch of situational soundtracks. These soundtracks are speculated to be a spoof or parody on Bollywood’s hypocritical attitude and professional insincerity as it bounces back to yesteryears format of musical displays in a sardonic and derisive way.
The colors of love can’t be so impetuously sentimental refined as “seven stages of love” masquerades itself into blend of over-sappy emotions in soulfully delightful “Yeh Pyar Kya Hai(Seven stages of love)”. Shaan’s immaculately pristine vocals unravel the delightful bon-voyage of lovable emotions with the magnetism of his mystifying volubility that penetrates charmingly with soul-stirring orchestration. It reminisces back the charisma of his everlasting “Aksar” (Album –Aksar) with dash of minimal guitar strumming that forms mesmerizing chemistry with subtle piano and violin notes. Javed Akhtar’s “full of joie de vivre” lyrical flow expressively recites the “seven stages of love” concurrently and builds up a castle of eternal love in utmost mystifying way. SEL comes up with their finest soft rock ballad of the year and they splendidly re-live the magic of their everlasting tracks “Jeene Ke Ishare” (PHIR MILENGE) and “Pal” (ROCKFORD) with subtly poetic expressions.
Shaan gets into groovy shades as he extols out a racy dancing soundtrack “Yeh Pyar Hai (that’s love)”, a delightful beach song that mesmerizes about the surreptitious endeavors of love. This furtively penned work by Javed Akhtar is shades parallel to dreamy journey of “Yeh Pyar Kya Hai” but works coherently with the youthful sentiments. It’s an average gleeful offering that should find the trapping of conventional Salman Khan solo track in his “Casanova” dancing attire. SEL’s vigorous arrangements bring the fervor of Goan delightful fest and its animated percussive orchestration works in tandem with Shaan’s modulating voice in delivering a concert feel to the track.
Vikas Bhalla (?) A sub-standard actor who tried his fortune as pop songster decades back (album –“Dhuan Dhuan”), rises from ashes and now makes a formidable appearance as lead vocalist in conventional Bollywood yelling treat “Paagal Si Saari Lehrein (Beach Blanket Bollywood)”. This can’t be anything contemporary SEL stuff as they shed their wizardry in nurturing out a sarcastically situational number with stereotyped musical aesthetics. Alka Yagnik’s synchronized mellifluous display proves lucky escape for Vikas Bhalla’s gullible vocal display but overall its slapdash presentation makes it a disappointing affair. It’s moreover a flaccid tribute to 80’s and 90’s style of musical work where composers tried to invigorate the desired feel to match its situational needs.
Nihira Joshi made promising vibes in SAALAM-E-ISHQ and now SEL trusts on another fresh talent Nikita Nigam in pollinating a tenderly communicative “Saccha Pyar (The meaning of love)”. Nikita’s vocal tonality is quite analogous to Hema Sardesai and this number comes out in conventional western classical mode with middling impact. Javed Akhtar’s receptive lyrics are well synchronized into soft and supple orchestrations but the amiable outcry sounds sloppy and faded. Like Nihira, Nikita shows enormous promise and deserves better outing as this may go unobserved.
Mediocrity plagues again in the album as Vikas Bhalla makes his second occurrence along with Alka Yagnik, Sneha Pant and Nihira Joshi in lethargically romantic track “Tan Man (Marigold Erupts)”. This loosely packed number makes notable dent for its outdated 60’s feel that comes with folksy flavors with bountiful of stereotyped Bollywood notes and rhythms. Skip it and wait for its cinematic display as it will find more authenticity in its visually illustrative display.
After “One Love” (RAKHT), Shaan makes another affable bondage with foreign musical talents as actress Ali Larter along with “Truth Hurts” (American R n B singer Shari Watson) teams up imposingly in nerve-racking and daunting love track “Listen to the music”. It’s slow and pulsating westernized concoction with dash of classical “ragas” cadre’s it in fusion genre but it flourishes moreover as a background score for the film than an amusing track.
Cross-cultural endeavors have always propelled the ethnicity of foreign culture and now it sparks off as a classical opera track in sentimentally refined “The Meaning of Love”. It’s a delightful solo treat by “Truth Hurts”, an English version of Nikita Nigam’s “Saccha Pyar Hai” that comes with synchronized philharmonic displays. It works on an instrumental ensemble of brass, woodwinds, strings and soft percussive elements, delivering a subtle sentimental feel. It will have restricted takers for its classy ambience as earlier impressive tracks like “My Heart will go on” (by Sunita Sarthy in KISNA) went unnoticed but overall it has a mesmerizing feel that should work magic in the forbidding romantic moments of the film.
Soul-stirring “Yeh Pyar Kya Hai (Seven stages of love)” is rehashed into English phraseology as director Willard Carroll pens up impressive “Seven stages of Love”. The soft and expressive vocals of American vocalist “Truth Hurts” concocts remarkably with Shaan’s ebulliently synchronized vocals in reciting this delectably sweet love track. SEL retains the subtlety of instrumental work that proved magical in “Yeh Kya Pyar Hai” and rechristens it delightfully for its target listeners. Feel the suppleness of emotions that transcends meticulously in its fussily conceived verses that gels well with the supple musical flow.
MARIGOLD goes special and benchmarks itself musically for “Yeh Pyar Kya Hai” (both versions), a quixotically poetic delight by veteran Javed Akhtar and director Willard Carroll with supreme vocal display by youthful Shaan and vibrant “Truth Hurts”. Its rough patches lies in its situational tracks that finally bring down the nostalgic feel. SEL dares to be different but fails to notch up anything spectacular or impressive as SAALAM-E-ISHQ, JHOOM BARABAR JHOOM or KABHI ALVIDA NA KEHNA.