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Two good tunes, thank you

Rs 40

Amitabh Bachchan's last few films have been disasters musically. Then Bade Miyan Chote Miyan came along with some fun tunes. And now, Suryavamsham can boast of at least a couple of well-composed songs. The film is a southern offering: the producer (G A Seshagiri Rao) and director (E V V Satyanarayana are from Andhra Pradesh.

Amitabh lends his deep gravelly voice to Chori chori. His voice is a delight, of course, even though the parts he sings are not exactly in key. His singing-intoning provides a stylish contrast to the high-energy singing of Sonu Nigam and Jaspinder Narula, making Chori chori one of the better songs we have heard in recent times. The rhythm seems inspired by the music of Zakir Husain in the theme album Music of the Desert, an excellent offering from Music Today. Jaspinder sings fluent alap snatches. The Amitabh charisma on screen might also nudge this song into success.

Peepal ke patwa is competently executed by Sonu Nigam and Jaspinder Narula, and its appeal owes much to its tabla-dholak beat and its Rajasthani folk melody. Anu Malik itches to plagiarise, mostly from talented Tamil music composers. This time, for Dil Mere, he reaches out to the tune of a recent hit Rojapu, chinna rojapu and adds his own orchestra arrangements. Kumar Sanu sings badly, and pronounces awfully. This flicked version figures three times in this cassette. The second version on Side B, also by Kumar Sanu, even lifts a flute bit from the original. Chitra sings the third version.

The title song begins with conches and a roll of drums, and the effect is of impending war. The drum rolls continue all over the brief song. Sonu Nigam again does a good job. Kore kore sapne, by Kumar Sanu and Anuradha Paudwal, is insipid. The tune wanders listlessly: there are santoors, daflis, a chorus, the bits are all mixed up between wanting to be Western and wanting to be Indian and ending up with no identity. This is intended as a soft number and Kumar Sanu makes it wishy-washy with his weak vocals.

Har subah is another soft number, with its background vocals inspired by African tribal music. Chitra sings with ease and confidence. The bass on her voice is funky. This song has a rich orchestra, and the ghatam (earthen pot) adds an original feel. In the stanzas it peters out into old Anu Malik, repetitive and tuneless.

Two tunes on this album suggest Anu Malik could be turning into a thinking composer. Let's hope he does.

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