Bombay Velvet (Music review), Hindi – Amit Trivedi & Mikey McCleary

After 3 minutes of lively ‘circus music’ in Aam Hindustani, Shefali Alvares arrives in smouldering style, mouthing Amitabh Bhattacharya’s amusing Mumbaiya filmy verses, with the brass band offering solid backdrop. Shefali does a redux in Shut Up too, an essentially Amit Trivdedi’esque tune, but with a really smooth jazz makeover. Shefali’s 3rd song, Mohabbat buri bimari is her best though, her casual drawl and vocal shenanigans going one step above Neeti Mohan’s comparitively good-girl variant of the same song (Version 2), a flamboyant, expansive tune that truly picks up steam mid-way when the piano, that accompanied the ‘Mohabbat buri’ line, paves way for the brass band to offer similar, more engaging accompaniment. In comparison, Shalmali and Mikey’s version 1 seems overdone and too stylistic.

Mikey’s other, outside-the-soundtrack remix of C.I.D’s Jaata kahaan hai is a remnant of his Bartender series, with Suman Sridhar in super form, as usual. Papon is in his elements in Darbaan, a contemplative tune that gains as much from Amitabh’s lines, as it does from the fantastic interludes and melancholic backgrounds.

And then, Neeti Mohan comes back with a vengeance. In Ka kha ga, she literally has a conversation with the jazzy backdrop, while she does even better in Dhadaam dhadaam, a sweeping, crushing melody where she cries out like a diva. Naak pe gussa sees her working impressively with the OP Nayyar’ish tune, while the brisk, circus (again!) sound offers her perfect cover in Sylvia, a playful tune that uses pauses beautifully. Behroopia, the only ‘modern’ song of the soundtrack is a mesmerizing tune in true Amit style, fabulously sung by Mohit Chauhan and Neeti. The 3 instrumental pieces are really immersive, particularly the theme. Bombay Velvet eschews Bollywood-style for a more international jazz flavor and comes out as Amit Trivedi’s phenomenal labor of love!

Keywords: Bombay Velvet, Amit Trivedi, Mikey McCleary, #300, 300