Friday, July 18, 2003

more soundtracks

Kuch Naa Kaho: PRELIMINARY NOTE: The story is as boringly Dabbaa as you can get (if the rumour mills are to be believed, this is the desi version of Jerry Maguire). The title song opens with a pleasant catchy whistle. The main melody line passes bearability tests. The chorus (which starts off with the title) has some annoying dholaks at the beginning though (Sorry, I suffer from Laxmikant-Pyarelal syndrome, so it's tough for me to stomach dholak-music). Apart from some moderately interesting Carnatic-esque scatting at the beginning, Tumhe aaj mai.nne jo dekhaa (the Carnatic feeling persists) is skippable. The lyrics degrade in quality too (why Javed, why?). And I sense traces of a Dil Chahta Hai hangover. S, E & L managed to sound different and breakaway (and fresh, dare I say) with DCH, but I'm getting tired of waiting for them to get out of that cloud and do something different. From a triviamonger's P. O. V, this song marks the playback singing début of Sujata Bhattacharya. Baat merii suniye to zaraa (Mahalaxmi Iyer dueting with S) has more predictable lyrics, but a nice guitar hook and gave me a sense of nostalgic déjà vu -- the Carnatic element persists, albeit mildly. Kehatii hai ye hawaa starts off like it was the obligatory Punjaabii number on the soundtrack. Richa Sharma then moves into the main melody line against a strong rhythm track and S enters with the chorus line from the title song, righting all the wrong done in the title track -- restoring the rocksy passion that the three words required. And the lyrics are more bearable. It ends with a simple fading lick played on the electric guitar. This might just be my pick on the album. With standard rhythm programming, ABBG PPOG IPKI UPOG has the irritating Udit delivering some terrible lyrics along with Mahalaxmi Iyer (and a chorus of kids). Although more bearable than the alphabet soup ditty that Raam Laxman had dished out for Hum Saath Saath Hain, this candidate for the "longest string of letters strung together to stand for words" is skippable as is the next song (another Uditty -- Udit ditty/oddity -- good one no?), the only one with Kavitha Subramanium (formerly Krishnamurthy), achchhii lagatii ho. The soundtrack also suffers from the same problem that most soundtracks these days do: there is no element of surprise -- no interesting variation in the melody, nothing interesting in the rhythm section (kahaa.N ho tum pa.ncham?)

Darna Mana Hai: A purely functional soundtrack. Which is not such a bad thing. Salim-Suleiman build an entertaining web of dance-floor electronica and vocal refrains (the most common being "Daranaa manaa hai and jo Dar gayaa vo mar gayaa). The song with the latter refrain as the title even has the rather out-of-place word Khaanaa badosh in it! And the melody sounds a lot of ishq meraa ba.ndagii hai. It's always a pleasure to listen to Sunidhi Chauhan. Triviamongers will note Raghubir Yadav singing on Homework (where Aparna Jha scores by being more bearable than that nasty bit of kiddy crap called Aditya Narayan). And there are some familiar and some new names (in the singing department) on the soundtrack: Clinton Creejo (is this the same Clinton, backing and supporting vocalist for A R Rahman??). Sonu Nigam (yes, apologies to all his fans, but I find the baby-faced fine-example-of-wasted-talent rather irritating) can't bring enough oomph and verve to Stop. The clicking lighter at the opening of No Smoking almost got me humming It's Probably Me -- understandable no?? Ravi Khote is decent (slightly KK-ish), but his pronunciations need more work (it's dhuaa.N not dhuaa!). {SIDENOTE: Perhaps one of the stories is about a smoker trying to quit -- reminds me of the Stephen King short Quitters, Inc, which was the source for one of the segments in Cat's Eye}. A remixed version of the title track brings up the rear.

Kyon: ASIDE: Another common trend with websites popping up dedicated to Hindi movies -- the "The Film" suffix. Good time to make a spoof called chitrapaT, eh? Here's the "official" music site. A great trove for trivia mongers, because there's no way in hell (or heaven) that you can listen to the first track and name Bhupen Hazarika as the music director. As it turns out, the first track, dhiire se kuchh has rhythm programming similar to parii huu.N mai.n and by the Colonial Cousins (any surprise that Lez Lewis was associated with both?). A pleasant song. The lyricist for the album is Prasoon Joshi (the same guy who made great splashes in the advertising world with the Tha.nDaa ads; the same guy who wrote for Silk Route's Boondein, Shubha Mudgal's crossover Ab Ke Sawan, and the title song for Lajja). When was the last time I heard the word bataashaa? Asha is next with her version of baadalo.n kii oT me.n. There we go -- another rare word, oT. Asha still fumbles occasionally with pronunciation (it's haath not haat). Besides the words are occasionally stretched to fit the tune. Impedence mismatch? Both this song and the first one sound like adaptations of folk tunes. Next up: taDak taDak (huh??) with a host of voices: Dominique, KK, Sunidhi Chauhan and Sonu Nigam (ugh!). A bouncy bouncy song with lots of electronica and processed voice samples, and smooth sax ruined by Sonew KneeGum trying again to sound popsy (I really don't think I'm biased against him -- I just wish he'd stick to what he does best -- sing well -- and stay away from indulging in vocal histrionics that he just isn't made for). The lyrics are more competent than one would expect for this kind of song. Asha returns as pop diva with Jaa Re Jaa. The lyrics take a hike on this one, the tune isn't much to write about, and Asha just lacks the oomph now. Despite all the acclaim she receives for continuing to sing ably given her age, her failings with pronunciation and an aging voice get more and more painfully evident with each new song. She should probably release a couple of hard-core hindustani classical albums -- her voice can still manage those formal inflections and it would be better proof of her abilities than her status as pop diva. Rave music, an appropriately named musical track streams up next. Opening as lounge/atmospheric, it swings forward to a standard dance floor beat, and stays there, ending up as a decent candidate for some video game music. Kay Kay (KK) steps up to the microphone for the strictly standard dance floor song sun le saaraa jahaa.N. Almost consciously, Kay Kay redeems himself with the next mild romantic lament, aise ko_ii jaataa hai -- would the observation that the song sounds like a Silk Route number be a coincidence? Nice instrumentation. The only song I haven't been able to catch is Bhupen Hazarika's version of badalo.n kii oT me.n.

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