Sunday, November 22, 2009


Composer Shantanu Moitra and lyricist Swanand Kirkire (of 'Parineeta' and 'Lage Raho Munna Bhai' fame) are making a comeback with a jovial bang!

Unconventionally entertaining. Authentic. Endearing.

These are expressions that one associates with Rajkumar Hirani's films and currently extend to the 3 Idiots soundtrack. The carefree and down to earth album takes listeners on a journey to merry college days and the memory of friends that matter.

A sunny day kicks off with an early rising rooster and a waking melody in which students express their wonderful philosophy statement: Yes indeed bhaiyya, 'Aal Izz Well'! Guitars and a myriad of percussions join cheerful campus voices repeating a catchy "doom kechiketa yeah" or similar youthfully rhythmic jabber, whistling all your worries away in 4 and a half minutes flat!

(Videos posted here are available in higher quality in Aamir Khan's official Facebook fan page.)

Next comes one of the soundtrack's moments of genius with a sparkling 'Zoobi Doobi', a gypsy-jazz style swing. Sonu's dash accompanies Shreya's pizzazz along with a brass section, strings and accordion. The picturization of this promo song is doing the rounds on the Internet, featuring everyone's dream girl and boy, Kareena Kapoor and Aamir Khan. The tune is likely to stick with you once you happily lap up its upbeat spiral of sweet lyrics and easygoing rhythm.

'Behti Hawa Sa Tha Woh' is a soft melody with a slight mantra-like feel that allows its nostalgic lyrics to seep in. Shaan's stirring vocals shine fully in this ode to life-changing friendships that are long gone, making this one of his best tracks up to date.

The remaining two songs may initially surprise a trained listener and non Hindi speakers may want to enjoy them to the fullest by reading the lyrics translations*. The fact is that Hindi film soundtracks tend to often put aside the situational power of their songs, given that the commercial value of the music must guarantee box office success. 3 Idiots is an album with a difference that chooses to place an unconventional bet ("no risk… no brain"!): its tunes sound catchy or moving but remain authentic enough to seamlessly fulfill their cinematic purpose.

A good example of this choice is 'Give Me Some Sunshine'. Soft piano droplets give way to a peppy college anthem that could be sung by any generation of graduates. Unsophisticated vocals, clapping and harmonica notes spruce up the simple chords, making this a perfect song for student parties and sleepless dorm nights with your best friends. Incidental film monologues delivered by Sharman Joshi give the tune its extra feel good quotient.

An almost unrecognizable Sonu Nigam finalizes the album with 'Jaane Nahin Denge', boasting a high command of emotional variations. The instrumentals and his voice echo soft ripples of resolve that intermittently fluctuate into waves of life-infusing arguments. The song's last note leaves the listener in a quiet and sustained bedazzlement.

It then dawns on us that naughty or nice, Christmas will deliver us a soulful and thought provoking film, brilliantly presented in a light and entertaining envelope. Not surprising coming from director Rajkumar Hirani, who has the art and science of blending these elements to create bewitching magical potions.

Get ready to greet Santa Claus saying "Sab thik thak... Aal izz well, chachu!"

Outside links

* Bollywood Hungama video interview with Shantanu Moitra, Swanand Kirkire and Rajkumar Hirani Part 1 and Part 2

* Buzz18's footage of the online 3 Idiots music release

* 3 Idiots official website (music samples in the canteen)

* Pre-release lyrics translations by Ashu and more lyrics translations by TheBollywoodFan.

Album information
Music: Shantanu Moitra
Lyrics: Swanand Kirkire
Singers: Sonu Nigam, Shreya Ghoshal, Shaan, Swanand Kirkire, Shantanu Moitra, Suraj Jaggan, Sharman Joshi
Label: T-series
Tracks: 7 (5 originals + 2 remixes)
Album release: 09 Nov 2009
Available on Itunes

Film information
Producer: Vidhu Vinod Chopra
Director: Rajkumar Hirani
Starring: Aamir Khan, Sharman Joshi, R Madhavan, Kareena Kapoor, Boman Irani, Mona Singh, Parikshit Sahani, Javed Jaffrey


  1. (Sorry, typo in the last post.)

    Thanks so much for posting your thoughts on the 3 Idiots soundtrack!

    This blog is a labour of love by people who really enjoy Hindi Cinema and want to help share it with the world. Everyone who posts here is doing so on a volunteer basis and all take time away from their own busy schedules to contribute.

    If you have some thoughts on the soundtrack please feel free to add them here. I'm sure it would be much appreciated, as this is a group effort. :-)

    The videos and stills can be found on Pucca Idiott's page, but also on YouTube, various news channels, etc. They were posted here as a visual and audtiory reference for the readers.


  2. Aline,
    A very vivid review of the songs. love the way you make the music come alive through words like "soft piano droplets" It is not your regular film album and I am sure the music will mean more to the listners after they have watched the movie...

  3. Hey Ashu!
    That compliment coming from a word person like you feels glorious :-) I agree with you that this music will shine even brighter after we can watch the film. Counting down to it!

  4. Hello Aline,

    Great review. It's insightful and makes you want to run to the store and get the album. I especially look forward to "Jaane Nahin Denge" to listen to a different Sonu.

    "Zoobi Doobi" has made its way to my head and my son and I are humming it as we get ready for school!

    I liked how you pointed out at the authenticity of the album. If they got that right, then the rest should flow, as you say, seamlessly.


  5. Hello Mira,
    The same thing I said to Ashu goes to you.

    I can see you and your son humming (and dancing) to 'Zoobi Doobi'.

    I did not refer to the Latin references Sonu made me think of in 'Jaane Nahin Denge' because most readers may be unfamiliar with them, but I guess I can say to you that the emotional energy he put into it reminded me a bit of Rafael's eloquence (improved and enhanced) and the melody reminded me of José José tunes.

    Maybe I am off the mark but it really rang a bell there. :-)

  6. I enjoy your music reviews very much, Aline.


  7. Hello Isabel,
    And I enjoy the fact that you come and read us even with a busy schedule. Hugs right back at you :-)


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