Wednesday, September 03, 2008

maverick malik does it again: but no one noticed

In addition to being a font of trashy songs (disco bhaa.nga.Daa from Ganga Jamuna Saraswati, Daddy Cool from Chaahat) and the under-sung classic Do me a favour let's play holii (holii (holii (holii))) from Waqt: The Race Against Time), Anu Malik's also been a champion of the bold and shocking lyric. The stellar example was Sexy Sexy Sexy from Khuddar, a song that caused a storm not when the audio cassettes and CDs hit the market, but when the clips started doing the rounds on countdown shows (Karisma Kapoor's skimpy outfit didn't help matters much). The watered-down version (replace all occurrences of sexy with baby: mercifully, we didn't have lines like he's a sexy elephant) joined the film in the bin of the forgotten forever (a pity, since its convoluted plot and heady mix of Bollwood tropes offers great fodder for a meeting of the sofa spuds).

Years later, after going through an incongruous phase of being a critical darling for stringing decent melodies while working with above-average lyrics, Mr. Malik has returned to flood 2008 with stinker after super stinker starting off with Anamika. Another furball in the kitty was the limpid soundtrack for Love Story 2050 released on the day of American independence. This is a Bollywood skiffy featuring Priyanka Chopra as Zeisha and her man Harman Baweja making his début as a Hrithik Roshan-lookalike. Listen to the classic score that Vangelis conjured for Blade Runner and then weep, wail, lament and convulse in syncopated grief as you listen to Malik recycle tropes from You Only Live Twice (the opening string riff shows up in miilo.n kaa) and Jaanbaaz (Lover Boy's a.ntaraa starts off sounding like an Anu Malik melody and then starts sounding like rejected material from pyaar do pyaar lo). The little gem on the soundtrack is the fruit of a collaboration between Alisha Chinai and Mr. Malik (once again, since the Khuddar song had Ms. Chinai warbling about what people called her). The track opens with a soundscape of electronic sounds against with Ms. Chopra zestfully looping corny lines with as much oomph as in permitted in family-friendly soft-core fare:

Zeisha (pronounced: zaay-shaa). She's tomorrow's woman that yesterday spoke about. She's a mystery. She's an enigma wo (pause) ek raaz hai.

As the track moves along the railroad of rejected samples, Ms. Chinai renders an oh-so-familiar onomatopoeaic riff, before launching into the line that marks a new frontier for Mr. Malik:

Hey you, lover boy. Will you be my toy?

Over and over and over just so that you don't miss it. Lest you are confused, this film was never (I repeat never) going to be called Toy Story 4. The next line, when it finally shows up, registers a knell of danger: kheluu.N khilono.n se phir to.D duu.N; Ouch. Does this mark the first ode to Steely Dan III from Yokohama in Bollywood? "All I can say is that we have not left any musical note or poetic phrase unturned" says lyricist Javed Akhtar in the liner notes. But only the macrobian Mr. Malik could have shown the way. Ave Anu.

No comments:

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.