Sunday, May 10, 2009

black pearls: sab gol maal hai

Jack Sparrow would have been proud of Bollywood's music directors. Their copious output hides several treasures that, in a matter of time, will make it to portals like Karthik's.

Ever heard of a film called Dhoondte Reh Jaoge? No no no, not the rip-off of The Producers. This was a 1998 flick starring Naseeruddin Shah, Javed Jaffrey. It was also one of those many minor movies that had songs by the now-defunct music director duo Jatin-Lalit. Known for the undeniably obvious influence of the music of R. D. Burman on their songs, they were (and Lalit Pandit still is) known for plagiarism from foreign shores, an affliction that most of the Bollywood music directors suffer from. Since any Jatin-Lalit soundtrack is always welcome (if only for a sampling), I was glad to have chanced upon the songs of the film recently. Things opened well when I realised that the brothers Pandit seemed to have chosen nothing less than Alan Mencken and Tim Rice's Academy Award-winning song A Whole New World from Aladdin with na tum bolo. A few tracks later, the "tribute" to the late RDB emerged with jaan-e-man jaane do, which lifted the melody from Bundal Baaz's kyaa huaa yaaro.n.

With which we move over to the all-encompassing genre of Indipop to examine the interesting album Sona that Sona Mohapatra cut with her now-husband Ram Sampath. Ram Sampath's been rather successful what with Tanha Dil and the stint with Siddharth Achrekar as Colourblind. But Sona, while showcasing a great voice and some enjoyable arrangements, opens with bolo naa, a song that works off a riff that's so much like the riff on Sting' Shape of my Heart. This is quite unfortunate given that a few years later, Ram Sampath was the victim of plagiarism.

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