Wednesday, May 04, 2005

soundtrack notes ... and a musical tail

Shantanu Moitra (Ab ke Sawan, the Mann ke Manjeere project) produces what might be a fatal mistake so early in his career as a music director: a great soundtrack. Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi (have stopped hoping to catch this in a theatre in Atlanta, GA) boasts a different melody for the Gaalib verse made famous by Jagjit Singh. JS's version boasts comfortable pathos, this one seems best treated as a a smouldering lament. The other songs work wonderfully towards a composite mood, but the extra tracks (courtesy: the strange space-filling approach adopted at Virgin Records) don't quite cut it (after all, how can you expect to react to the familiar beat of My Sharona just after Mudgal's voice has faded away???!). Pritish Nandy's poetry reading doesn't add much value and I keep knocking those two tracks off my playlist. I keep settling for the tracks featuring lyricist Swanand Kirkire on vocals. And Shobha Joshi's wonderful Thumarii naa aaye piyaa.

When I said "fatal mistake" I was using context without prelude. The context was the disappointing soundtrack to the Parineeta remake (I've stopped shuddering at the thought of the visual onslaught when the movie hits the marquee). The only tracks I could stick with were the Chitra/Swanand Kirkire duet raat hamaarii to (although I still can't quite welcome Chitra's timbre) and kaisii pahelii zi.ndagii with Sunidhi Chauhan doing a great job as a club crooner against a doo-wop progression arranged with some nice bass and a brush pattern on the drums.

The new Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy/Gulzar collaboration Bunty aur Babli has to be evaluated without recalling the last time they worked together (the fabulous aasamaa.N ke paar from Rockford). The froth of the arrangements and the presence of Gulzar as a lyricist are evident in an album (no guaranteed longevity, mind you) whose only failing seems to be an inability to function as a coherent collection.

Elsewhere on this blog my notes on the recent Zakir Hussain/Shiv Kumar Sharma concert at Atlanta surface with disappointment.

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