Akarsh Khurana has an ear for music. The soundtracks of Karwaan (2018) and High Jack (2018) were flavourful and occasionally interesting. Some of their composers are back for Khurana’s Netflix series Mismatched. Joining Prateek Kuhad, Slowcheeta, Anurag Saikia and Imaad Shah are Dee MC, Jasleen Royal, Nikhita Gandhi and Taaruk Raina.
The Mismatched soundtrack is of a piece with the Karwaan and High Jack albums. The template is a couple of soft ballads along with some wacky cross-genre stuff. Mismatched, starring Prajakta Koli and Rohit Saraf, is a young adult love story. Luckily, both the love songs don’t disappoint.
Prateek Kuhad, who had been sounding like a wilted plant since 2018’s cold/mess, has got hold of some good dark coffee and made Kahaan Ho Tum, a song full of good cheer and purposeful lyrics. Kuhad’s lyrics are usually about someone in stasis or drifting through the motions. Here the lyrics are crisp and build towards a definite climax.
The other love song is from the very dependable Anurag Saikia, who scored Panchayat in 2019. Aise Kyun is mostly acoustic, like Kahaan Ho Tum. It captures the honeymoon period of a fresh relationship and is just the right amount of cute. Nikhita Gandhi makes herself sound like a schoolgirl, complementing the track’s puppy-love vibes.
Gandhi is just as good in Tabdeeli, which is solely credited to her. It has great production but is a so-so tune, like the rest of the album.
Revisionist synthwave, which is still not showing signs of becoming uncool, shows up in Jasleen Royal’s Jaana. It’s an extremely well-produced song that never, however, takes off. Synths return in Imaad Shah and Samar Grewal’s Milne Ka Bahaana. The intricate production can only do so much in a bad tune with uninspiring vocals.
Taaruk Raina and Slowcheeta’s Main Chala has a terrific hook. The rock bits, sung by Raina, are as great as the rap in between is unnecessary. In Dee MC’s Dil Ki Baat, the coda has all the juice for a good pop song. All the rap before it is tiresome. We understand that hip-hop has been popular since February 2019, but using it everywhere won’t keep it in for long.