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Attaboy Mum-boy!

Bombay Boys
Rs 75

You've seen him imitating all the Bombay stars. You've gaped at his atrocious puns. You've marvelled at how he turns routine music channel shows into intelligent culture criticism. And you just heard him sing.

Jaaved, mimic extraordinaire, excels in his rap number, Mumbhai, where he's a pidgin English-spouting schoolboy now, a toughie the next moment, and a hijda the third. It is a medley of the voices of the city's diverse, colourful people. Jaaved puts to use his keen knowledge of the language-traits of various classes and communities, and the effect is indeed funny, but one objection could be that he works from stereotypes.

Mumbhai portrays the stangle-hold of the underworld on the country's richest city. Someone remarked to him, when Bombay was renamed Mumbai, that it should actually be called Mumbhai. Bhaigiri, rule of the toughs, is something the city lives with. Jaaved turned the idea into a song when this offer to sing came along.

The James Bond signature tune and the theme from Mission Impossible reportedly inspired Mumbhai. It retains that sense of unfolding mystery, and is undoubtedly the best song in the album.

Kaizad Gustad, the Canadian-born Indian who directed Bombay Boys, got only a couple of songs written for it. The rest were already on pop albums, and he just put them all together; the album's more a compilation than an original.

Mehnaz has a good voice when you can hear it in the overloud Paisa paisa paisa song. Whether money rattles you or not, this song does.

Fable is from Robert Miles. Channel V and MTV fans must already be familiar with its instrumental version and its video of middle-aged dancers performing on the walls and ceiling.In addition to the instrumentals this version has lyrics by Fionella Quinn.

Lucky Ali's Sunoh begins with a simple been and lots of silence, but a sophisticated electronic orchestra takes over and renders it characterless.

Mastana's theme is a noisy heavy metal sort of instrumental with Naseeruddin Shah laughing and speaking in sinister undertones. Shah, by the way, played the don in Bombay Boys.

Yeah yeah from Indus Creed is again heavy metallish and not very impressive. A truly unfortunate dance mix of that lovely ballad Lemon Tree from Fool's Garden is also included.

Tabla dholak by Vinay Mandke is like the routine Hindi film song. It's totally unacceptable to feminist sensibilities with its description of the heroine as a tabla and a rosogollah.

In Quest, Anaida' s voice sounds mature, almost like that of Sinead O' Connor.

Bombay Blues predictably aspires to be a blues song. But it sounds like a lot of noise and the trumpet is definitely not in the blues style.

Mantra' s Waltzing Matunga is a charming serenade in the rock and roll style, reminding one a bit of the Beatles' slow love song And I love her. This is the next best song, after Mumbhai, in the album. Raageshwari' s Oye Shaave needs no description; she has already got undeserving coverage on the music channels for this insipid song.

Ashutosh Phatak and Dhruv Ghanekar have composed the music for Paisa paisa paisa, Mastana's theme, Yeah yeah, Tabla dholak and Bombay Blues.

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