Music Review: Chennai Express – Fast Track To The Film

The film's music races ahead of us, as we try to keep pace with its bullet speed.

We are going to get on the dance floor without delay – the item number 1234 (Get On The Floor) has a chorus unionizing over a ‘booty shake’ which if isn’t ringing well in your ears will sound like they’re saying something about thumping your ‘voluminous’ chest. And that’s about what this raucous number does – split your ear by half, prescient even, ‘talk less, dance more’. Ah, that blissful sound of clatter as music.


Right then, Titli saunters in from some Elysian field. Chinmayi and Gopi Sunder flit around fragrant bushes singing in a nectar-dipped honey tone voice, punctuated by a Tamil chorus which takes us to Jiya Jale (Dil Se). There’s a ‘khanak’ to this melody, something about it wearing its heart lightly on its sleeve that gives the sound of Titli a ‘butterfly effect’. Music composers Vishal-Shekhar massacre the titli with a dubstep version. Chasing butterflies is one thing, hammering them onto a wall, that’s the dubstep version.

Tera Rasta Chhodon Na, sung by lyricist Amitabh Bhattacharya and Anusha Mani is a fast moving tune on slow moving lyrics. Fast forward to a sleight of hand trick at the end of the track where transmission fades out. Spot on.

Kashmir Main, Tu Kanyakumari hauls us back to the dance floor and this one is bearable. The singers Sunidhi Chauhan, Arijit Singh, Neeti Mohan lend voice. Ready Steady Po says Vishal Dadlani with a bunch of kids rapping – what is this techno-cracy?

SPB (S P Balasubramaniam) expresses the title track in his accented hinglish which is still stuck in the time warp of ‘Ek Duje Ke Liye‘ days. Anyone for the line, ‘Come faaast, come faaast, don’t be slow‘ from Hum Bane Tum Bane Ek Duje Ke Liye will know how SPB has fast-tracked his Chennai Express.

Ticket khareed ke, baith ja seat pe, nikal na jaaye kahin Chennai Express‘ is what SPB sings in the title track, twanging the last syllable of Chennai, ai-ai-ai like a thorn on his cushy seat. Best to remain seated, or else, someone will take your place. Speaks for the music too, wait for the film.

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Manish Gaekwad

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