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The orchestra in Ajnabee is on some kind of auto-pilot, doing things on its own, oblivious to any expectations you may have that it may take a new course

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  Aks has tracks to commend it

Anu Malik's let-down in Yaadein


Stale tunes, dead orchestra

Ajnabee  is overdue by nearly two years, and comes  insipidly after Anu Malik's purple patch


Rs 55

Starring Kareena Kapoor, model-turned-actress Bipasha Basu, Bobby Deol and Akshay Kumar, this film comes from the director duo of Abbas-Mastan.

In their earlier films, Baazigar  and Daraar , Abbas-Mastan had portrayed stran
gers turning acquaintances and more. They seem to have returned to their favourite theme, if you go by the catchline on the album, "Never trust a stranger".

Wish Anu Malik had trusted Ranjit Barot, who probably was a stranger to him two years ago. Ranjit assisted him on the score for Aks, and Ajnabee has no hint of the interesting things Anu has attempted in that Amitabh Bachchan starrer. The orchestra in Ajnabee is on some kind of auto-pilot, doing things on its own and oblivious to any expectations you may have that it may take a new course. Not a whiff of original thinking anywhere.

Adnan Sami makes a guest appearance with his tune Mehbooba mehbooba, which he sings with Sunidhi Chauhan. With a beginning gambit taken from Batman , this doesn't sound strikingly original either. The track comes in a second, noisier version, called "e-groove mix" (in any case you don't find many natural instruments on this album). DJ Khalif, in true trance style, distances the voices and gives us more indigestible synth sounds.

Mohabbat naam hai kiska (Udit Narayan and Alka Yagnik) and Mere zindagi mein ajnabee (Kumar Sanu and Sunidhi Chauhan) fall very much into the mix-and-match section of Anu Malik's repertoire.

The sultry number Mujhko neend aa rahi hai by Sonu Nigam and Sunidhi Chauhan is low pitched. In spite of the booming bass and drum tracks, and the whisper of waves which make the interludes interesting, the song sounds formless. The mix of grand sweeping tremolo violins, orchestral bangs and tender flutes does excite a bit of curiosity though.

Dance music is just that. Loud, not much thought going into it. Kaun main haan tum echos Chura ke dil mera in the beginning. And then you hear four characters mouth some unconvincing  dialogues.

Kasam se tere aankhen aiya re aiya re starts with an interesting beat but simmers down to a stale 4/4 beat and an even more insipid tune by Udit Narayan, Sonu Nigam, Alka Yagnik and Sunidhi Chauhan.

Jab tumhe aashiqui maloom by Kumar Sanu has a nostalgic whistle intro. Late '80s R D Burman gone haywire. The more expressive Kumar Sanu tries to sound the more the uncertain edges of his voice peek out.

In Ajnabee,  all Anu Malik does is recycle his earlier hits. The album even features a song welcoming the new millennium, and you end up feeling as though you are reading a newspaper two years old. Totally uninteresting, in the final reckoning.

S Suchitra Lata

Published on 5 September 2001

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