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Saapna: the 'Oye oye' girl Review

Oye Saapna,
what's this?

The Oye oye girl comes up with an unremarkable album

Hai Mera Dil
Rs 50

Remember Oye oye, that catchy song from Tridev? That's probably Saapna's most memorable number to date (it's also one of Abhijeet's best numbers -- and he did a splendid job). Saapna also sang in films like Vishwatma and Jaanbaaz. Her non-film albums boast such music directors as R D Burman and Viju Shah. Saapna's timbre reminds you of Anuradha Paudwal, and her singing on this album is supervised by her guru Satyanarayana Sharma.

Magnasound gets Sunjay Dutt to recommend the tape on television, with the visuals of the title song cutting in and out on his voice. Hai mera dil is in the good old rock and roll style, and the orchestra, with its cheerful trumpets, must be the work of Leslie Lewis, he of hundreds of jingles and Colonial Cousins. Rajesh Roshan, the man behind the commercially lucky but uninspired score of Kaho Naa... Pyar Hain, is the other composer on this album.

Leslie Lewis calls himself L L Raj on this tape, while also mentioning in brackets his name as we know it. Is he like M M Keeravani, the composer who calls himself Maragathamani for his Tamil movies and M M Kreem for his Hindi movies?

Aaja meri laila is dismayingly full of synth and bhangra sounds. Why do women in Indian pop inevitably pose as Lailas, dream objects with no identity of their own? There's something demeaning about pop that's just playing up to stereotypes. Blame the lyricists Sameer and Dev Kohli.

Gujarati chohren by Dev Kohli has Saapna sounding like a pre-teen. The tune has an unmistakeable Rajesh Roshan progression. India offers a variety of men from its various states, and that's the reason she prefers India to any other place in the world! Did Nehru ever think of this angle to our diversity? Hear, hear, all ye who scorn Indipop: the genre's doing national integration too!

Yeh pyar kya hai is an R&B song with a guitar and a sitar on the interludes. The chord changes surprise in the stanzas. Chahen tumhen is a slower ballad, but loses its grip after the first few bars as it meanders formlessly. Sax phrases in Kenny G style float in and out, and the tune generally is overfamiliar pop.

Side B continues with a haphazard stringing of styles. If you hear the patriotic Paigham by Sudesh Bhosle, you also find a folk song pasted on an unnecessary pop beat in Beliyon dholi bajao. This second number could remind you of Colonial Cousins' Tell me you love me, and perhaps take you farther back to Salil Choudhary's Bichua from Madhumati. The voice singing the alaap finds no credit. Ham hain tum ho has more melodic identity than the other tracks, even though it sounds like a song out of some '80s Hindi film. Saapna's enunciation is startlingly similar to Anuradha Paudwal's.

Kaate ke dhaba describes how she met her munda at the dhaba (Dev Kohli at it again); it sounds like a not so reputable floor show number!

S Suchitra Lata

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