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Folk music with Mumbai masala

Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam
Rs 42

Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali chose Ismail Darbar, a violinist, to compose music for this film. Bhansali and Darbar toured Gujarat and Rajasthan extensively in search of authentic folk tunes. This album presents a film version of the folk tunes of that region.

The album starts out with a light, soft duet, Chupa chupa badal mein by Udit Narayan and Alka Yagnik. They don't disappoint. Towards the end the chorus comes in with a folk tune, asking the moon to show itself, and then announcing the moon's arrival. Neat.

Nimbooda (it means lemons), sung by Kavita Krishnamurthy and Karsan Sargathia, is an old Rajasthani folk song, sung to this day by folk artistes. If you've heard the Rajasthani folk music tapes brought out by Music Today, you've already heard this tune.

Kavita repeats the word Nimbooda with no change in expression, making it monotonous. The high pitch does not really suit her voice. The song, as you see it on television, is more Mumbai cinema than "authentic Gujarati" -- the lavish wedding preparations, the heavy costume jewellery, the dancing ...

Aankhon Ki Gustakiyan is a slow, haunting song by Kavita Krishnamurthy and Kumar Sanu. The lyrics are exquisite, where the lovers ask forgiveness for their mistakes in love -- mistakes like their shyness -- and give proof of their love. The saxophone, flute and violin interludes are pleasant. There are lively variations in the rhythm.

Man Mohini is unusual. Shankar Mahadevan sings, or rather raps out, this song. It is extremely fast, which seems expected of Shankar Mahadevan, after his album Breathless.

Love Theme is a short piece by Shankar Mahadevan with some humming from Kavita Krishnamurthy. It uses an electronic piano and an electronic guitar. The beat is typical jazz. Shankar Mahadevan sings a lot of breezy "pa" and "la" syllables usually associated with jazz. A nice change.

Dholi Taro Dhol Baaje is by Kavita Krishnamurthy, Vinod Rathod and Karsan Sargathia, and they sing it with punch. It is built like a dance number, but the melody is good too.

The title song, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, is by Kavita Krishnamurthy and newcomer Mohammed Salamat, with some background singing by Dominique. Mohammed Salamat's voice suits the ghazal-like structure and he emotes well. The piano and violin bits are interesting, so too the chord progressions.

Kaipoche is a loud song by Shankar Mahadevan, Damayanti, K K, and Jyotsna Hardikar. It is in dialect and is based again on a folk tune. Ismail Darbar has taken great pains over the folk tunes, reworking the orchestra to suit the tastes of the film-going crowd.

Hariharan has sung the ghazal Jhonka Hawa Ka sensitively. It gets a classical flavour with the alaap in the beginning.

Albela Sajan is a classical-style song sung excellently by Ustad Sultan Khan (the sarangi maestro), Shankar Mahadevan, and Kavita Krishnamurthy. The alaap bits and sargams sound good, thanks to the low key they've chosen. There are some tight vocal harmonies too. This one deserves to be a hit.

K K and Dominique sing the last song, Tadap Tadap. K K sings with feeling. Some well-done trumpet interludes catch your attention, but the tune is cranked again and again with different words and so it gets boring.

This album has a variety of songs -- folk, jazz, classical -- showcasing Ismail Darbar's versatility and talent. Newcomers like Mohammed Salamat and Karsan Sargathia deserve mention. With its variety of styles it will appeal to many listeners.

Divya Minisandram

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