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A middling album

Fiza is neither here nor there, despite the efforts of Anu Malik, A R Rahman and Ranjit Barot

Tips, Rs 55

Fiza stars Jaya Bachchan, Hritik Roshan, Karisma Kapoor and Neha. It is a very important movie for many reasons.

Fiza is the directorial debut of noted film critic Khaled Mohamed, who after years of ripping apart others' movies, tries his hand at movie making. He's the man who writes those sardonic reviews in Filmfare and Times of India.

This is also current heart-throb Hritik Roshan's second film, and the first after Mansoor Khan's Josh to feature two big stars as siblings.

Anu Malik is being watched for consistency, after he gave a series of good scores in Refugee, Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega and Josh. And last but not the least, Fiza has two guest composers, A R Rahman and Ranjit Barot.

The album opens with Aaja mahiya, which has been all over the TV channels. Anu Malik plays with a very catchy rhythm and employs to good effect the vocals of Udit Narayan and Alka Yagnik.

Many lines are typical of Gulzar's conversational style. He writes a string of couplets suffixed with 'Aaja mahiya' for this infectious number. The extended ending is noteworthy, but the cassette's inlay card makes no mention of the singer who joins in this outburst of joy.

Mehboob mere has a catchy rhythm again. Sunidhi Chauhan handles this mature and robust song with incredible confidence. Listen to it and guess her age -- chances are you'll say she's above 30! She's just in her teens, by the way. There is a strong Dil Se hangover in this song though, with lyrics by Tejpal Kaur.

The title song Tu fiza hai has Sonu Nigam crooning in a vastly un-Sonuvian voice, at least for the initial two utterings of the word Fiza. The opening and the intermittent operatic interludes sound good. Anu Malik has long been enamoured of Latin tunes, and has mercifully stopped blatant copying these days. This tune has definite Latin moorings.

Gaya gaya dil is Anu Malik's insipid territory again. For all the panache he displays in the initial three tracks, he returns to inanity, and how! This is a listless song but Hritik's dancing skills may yet give it some life.

Kadar Ghulam Mustafa, Murtaza Ghulam Mustafa, Shrinivas and A R Rahman pitch in with their vocals in Piya haji ali -- a song composed by Rahman and written by Shaukat Ali. This is no fancy number, but a fairly orthodox qawwali sans any frills.

Jaspinder Narula and Asha Bhonsle are assigned non-descript tracks -- Na leke jao and Aankh milaoongi. Both have good rhythm programming, which Anu Malik seems to have mastered lately.

Ranjit Barot makes an appearence with Mere watan - Amaan's fury sung by Zubin. It displays his already known mastery over theme composition.

The album really does not reflect the importance attached to the film. Except for the first three numbers, this is just a middling album, neither here nor there. Anu Malik seems to grope around when he is asked to score for even a slightly unusual film like Fiza. The inclusion of Rahman and Ranjit Barot tracks doesn't seem to help either.

Karthik S

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