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Music Review: 13 B

Sudha (Lakshmi) Rao

(This article is sponsored by Sounds Of India)

13 B

Producer: Big Pictures
Director: Vikram K Kumar
Lyrics: Neelesh Mishra
Music : Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Tubby and Parik
Starring : Madhavan R, Murli Sharma, Neetu Chandra, Poonam Dhillon, Sachin Khedekar

13 B made simultaneously in Hindi and Tamil with a world wide release in March has received encouraging reviews for both the movie and audio.  Vikram Kumar’s Sci-fi-cum-supernatural thriller has some very good music by Shankar-Ehsan-Loy who consistently keep giving the audience first-class music in most of their films. The music tracks are the same for both languages with lyrics for the Hindi film by Neelesh Mishra (of Sikandar and Jism fame), and Tamil by Thamarai.  Tubby (Indrajit Sharma) and Parik (Parikshit Sharma) who have been arranging and producing music and recently composed music for 42 kms have done the background score for the film and are credited with the theme music on the album.

Sab Khairiyat hai – by Shankar Mahadevan – a dreamy sort of song– Shankar as always is flawless in this really short ditty.  This must be the title song of the film since it is the theme song of the TV show around which the movie is based.
The remix version by Shankar and Gulraj Singh seems to be an extended version of the original.  As in all remixes, there is more punch and more emphasis on the percussion and rhythm with the base and lead guitar striking a very interesting wallop.

Bade se shehar main – lovely singing by A.R.Rahman’s find Karthik whom we have heard in a number of Tamil songs till now.  The song has wonderful strings and organ work and is supported by a soft and effective chorus.  This song is both elegant and stylish in composition and arrangement and rendition.  Karthik’s voice is smooth and silky and carries the song with grace throughout.

DJ Shane’s remix version of this song is just that – a fast and more rocking version of the original – as always demanded by the situation in the film or for more spotlight in dance clubs or discotheques.  Personally I prefer the original version which is far more appealing and interesting.

Aasmaa odhkar – Chitra and Shankar Mahadevan.  – This feel good song is ably shouldered by the indubitable singing skills of Chitra and Shankar.  What a pleasure to hear these two singers in a duet – that too a wonderfully melodious one – after a long time……Chitra is subdued and low pitched while Shankar is passionate and full throated in this song which has lovely flute and keys and strings flanked by a lively rhythm section.  

Most remix versions in my opinion are redundant – but hey who am I to deny somebody the pleasure of dancing to this number in a disco or night club…however the remix is not without its merits - the vibrant strings section and flute and synthesizer segments stand out in this version.

Oh sexy mama – this song might start off giving the impression of being run of the mill. But it picks up and becomes quite interesting as it progresses.  And the hint of Persian lilt adds to the overall appeal of the song as the song goes into its refrain – there is a nice flute bit that plays parallel to the refrain in perfect complement.  The singing is good and not over the top like many of the rap and techno songs that we are so used to in many of the recent Hindi albums.  After a long time, one hears Baba Sehgal who is joined by Anushka Manchansa and Loy Mendonsa.  

DJ Shane’s remix version is really punchy with all the techno and voice effects as needed to make it different to the original version which was already racy and fast paced!

13 B theme music is a symphonic and rock mix of thrill and tension!  Tubby and Parik who did the background score for the film have provided the requisite suspense and terror and provided the perfect ambiance for this horror-cum-science fictional film.  

One never associates Hindi horror films with great music tracks!  But in this case, the music of 13 B is definitely a cut above most other recently released Hindi film music albums and while the composers might have succumbed to the remix mania that seems to have taken over Hindi film music, it is definitely a pleasure listening to the melodious vocals of Karthik, Shankar Mahadevan and Chitra, original or remix version notwithstanding!

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