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Gangsta rap
in Mumbai

Shah Rukh Khan makes a charming, atonal singing debut with a song that blends gangsta rap with folk beats

Rs 55

Remember Suresh Peters? He's the one who sang Chukubuku chukubuku raile, that runaway Rahman hit from the Tamil film Gentleman. Here he sings Hum bhi hai josh mein with another southern singer, Mano. Like the best of Peters's songs, it banks on a stylised speaking out of the words rather than on a melodic rendering. One of the interludes is notable for its symphonic violin arrangement, which is followed by tribal-style ululation, both of which add unusual colour and contrast. There is no loud drumming. The rhythm is made up predominantly of a bass pattern, and is simple and catchy. Mano's voice is close to S P Balasubramanyam's, and the two singers together do a neat job.

After Amir Khan, it's now Shah Rukh Khan's turn to have a go at singing. Shah Rukh sings the utterly charming Apun bola with Hema Sardesai. Anu Malik combines a gangsta rap beat and a folk-style beat and turns out a fun number that thrives on Mumbai street language. Shah Rukh achieves just the right sort of atonal voice that the song calls for: he's puzzled why his girl is angry if he speaks the truth about his love!

Hai mera dil by Alka Yagnik and Udit Narayan is no weighty composition; it is one of those pleasant numbers, with a bossa nova beat and a guitar-dominated melody. It takes on an instrumental avatar too.

Hum to dil se haare is a sentimental number, again presented in an instrumental version and a voice version. The instrumental version is like those fillers we used to hear on Akashvani: a guitar replacing the voice and playing the main melody. In this day and age, when multiple track studios offer all kinds of remixing possibilities, you would expect the music composer to add some new elements to the second versions, but such creativity is not in evidence.

The soft Mere khayalon ke mallika is sung with dignity by Abhijeet, and its interludes are subtle, but you can't say it's unforgettable. Zinda hai hum to/ tere hi love se is a Latino-style carnival song by Abhijeet, Joy Mukherjee and Hema Sardesai. The beat's samba, and the orchestra brass. Hema's voice sounds strained at points because of the high pitch given to her.

Josh is a Shah Rukh-Aishwarya starrer with a gangster-vs-honest-guy story. Nice guy falls for gang leader's sister, and confronts him. You'll find a shoddy story outline at the Venus Movies website. Josh's music may show an Anu Malik working more intelligently than before, but the website's nothing to rave about.

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