The songs and score of the two seasons of Amazon Prime Video’s Four More Shots Please! are all original compositions by Mikey McCleary. But the show’s musical vocabulary is unmistakably inspired by Rhea Kapoor’s productions Aisha, Khoobsurat, and Veere Di Wedding.
Like these films, Four More Shots Please! also follows urban and affluent women grappling with love, life and friendships. The lyrics, by McCleary and others, dutifully reflect these themes, and are seldom anything left field.
The music is just as functional. It’s all easy-listening pop, occasionally touching upon the sentimental, with a bit of everything, from blues to rock to electronic to bhangra. The tunes sound exactly like the stuff the show’s heroines could be expected to enjoy, unless the character played by Bani J is secretly into punk rock.
Season one’s soundtrack had a bit more variety, with the relentless liveliness punctuated by some calming and relaxed tunes, such as Darshan Raval’s Yaara Teri Yaari and Yahaan, sung by Saachi Rajadhyaksha.
This time, it feels as though the creative team did not put as much effort into the soundtrack. Only one song stands out as something you could probably listen to even if you were not a fan or viewer of Four More Shots Please! That’s Sixteen, a piano-based ballad, beautifully sung by Medha Sahi. The unfussy lyrics by McCleary and Natania Lalwani perfectly communicate the heady rush of adolescent romance.
Another good track is Warning Signs, a playful ditty foretelling of a sexual encounter. Zoe Siddharth’s coquettish singing is right on the money, and the brass evokes images of cabaret. The hook is pretty catchy, as is the case with quite a few of McCleary’s tunes across both seasons.
Since the songs are short, meant to carry a scene along and definitely not intended to set fire to the charts, they are usually amazing in bits, with a catchy hook here or a cool riff there. If expanded, some of these songs could make for good pop music. Lollipop, for example, has a memorable hook that certainly deserves more than what it’s a part of.
The best song is still the opening theme. It’s catchy and sassy, a combination that is hard to pull off at a time when pop music culture is entirely dominated by upbeat dance music. Season two’s soundtrack includes a cacophonous remix of the tune.
The rest of the soundtrack has nothing to write home about. A lot of the music in Four More Shots Please! resemble advertising jingles – they start on a high note, quickly reach the chorus section, and then stay on that high for the entire duration. The songs are designed to accompany a scene, and given that requirement, only a few tracks work as something other than background sounds.