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Taal took up the old money versus knowledge debate, or what we in India know as the Lakshmi versus Saraswati battle, and set it against the backdrop of a love triangle in the age of music television

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Quick links:

Read review of the Aks album

Visit the Yaadein website
 

 Review

Second prize, maybe 

Yaadein
Tips

Rs.60

Yaadein has some predictable music, and makes a far less flamboyant statement for Anu Malik than Aks

Subhash Ghai prides himself on the music in his productions. From Hero to Taal, his opulently produced films have featured music with a blockbuster feel. Taal, where he worked with Rahman, turned out to be a huge commercial hit not only in India but abroad as well.

Taal took up the old money versus knowledge debate, or what we in India know as the Lakshmi versus Saraswati battle, and set it against the backdrop of a love triangle in the age of music television. Ghai introduced a music composer (Anil Kapoor) and MTV in very crucial roles, and made Aishwarya Rai a singer, all of which made Taal a more pronounced music-centred film than any of his earlier films. Ghai reportedly lost sleep working with Rahman, literally that is, because the composer prefers to work at night!

Since Rahman is away working on Bombay Dreams, Ghai has now returned to Mumbai's most popular composer, Anu Malik. There seems to be some autobiographical streak in the film, going by what Ghai writes on the sleeve of this album. He says he made this film from his heart, inspired by "inner emotions" and characters that moved him to make a film for "every Indian family ... searching for complete harmony and happiness within the family". Is that a warning that we're in for another Hum Aapke Hain Kaun?

Jackie Shroff has been a favourite with Ghai, and he's in this film too, in addition to big stars like Hrithik Roshan and Madhuri Dixit. And as part of the promos for the film, the "showman" has been singing the praises of Anu Malik. He organised a big show for the release of the album, where its songs were presented to a live audience. Ads on India's television channels had drummed up quite a bit of expectation.

I bought a copy the very day after it was released. And I've heard it several times over the last two days. Just before I heard Yaadein, I had heard Anu Malik's Aks , and given it a thumbs-up review. Yaadein is not in the same class, but it doesn't stoop too low either.

Anu Malik's music arranger in Aks is Ranjit Barot, who did a great job, and in Yaadein  he has Bipin Panchal and Tabun Sutradhar. 

Hariharan's Kuchh saal pehle, is mediocre in tune and orchestra, reminding you of the many undistinguished tunes of Laxmikant-Pyarelal in its dholak beat.

Ae dil dil ki duniya mein by Sneha Pant and KK has some traces of the composer we glimpsed in Aks. The bass, the build up and the tune reflect some thought, as does the unpredictable flow of some instrumental phrases. The 'dard' that he tries to express is deliberately high pitched, almost a scream. But the tune does not stick together. 

Yaadein aati hain is sung by Hariharan and is repeated by Sunidhi Chauhan and Mahalaxmi Iyer on Side B. The tune is straightforward, the sargams are contemplatively placed between the lower octave sa and pa. There's some predictable syrup, and the interludes dwell in soft flute and sitar notes. The voice-over eulogising yaadein or memories is probably that of Jackie Shroff, if the inlay card showing him caressing a rose is any indication.

The instrumental Theme music is also based on the same tune and has just a snatch of the opening line on the piano before it attempts the Titanic soundtrack feel in huge violin ensembles (unhappily simulated on the keyboard and very obviously so). The result is shoddy.

Jub dil miley by Asha Bhonsle, Udit Narayan, Sukhwinder Singh and Sunidhi Chauhan reminded me somewhat of R D Burman's song Dhanno ki ankon mein, but I'm not suggesting that Anu Malik's song owes anything to that song. The beginning sets an almost eerie tone, with deep drums, bass, and a taut melodic aspect. The lead voice-chorus passages are snappy and attractive, and on the whole this is a musically well thought-out number.

Chamakti shaam hai by Sonu Nigam and Alka Yagnik falls in the mould of Choli ke peeche kai hai  in its beat and phrasing. I'm constantly reminded, as I was when I heard Sonu Nigam on this track, how much he is influenced by Mohamad Rafi's gayaki. 

Eli re eli by Hema Sardesai, Kavitha Subramaniam and Alka Yagnik finds Kavitha singing the more classically inclined phrases, and Hema doing the Western soul expressions. A nice folksy beat pattern, and a shehnai that comes and fades out subtly every now and then. Looks like raga Bhim Palas (or Abheri) is the flavour of the season -- Rahman did something like this in the song Kannodu kanbadellam from Jeans.

Chanda tare is a love song by Sukhwinder Singh and Kavitha Subramaniam and has the by now predictable Sufi touch. There's some raga Ahir Bhairav in this one. Sukhwinder sounds pleasantly different in the lower notes; he is always singing full-throated, high phrases. Kavitha's voice gets strained on the line Chanda taare

If Yaadein and Aks were to compete for Anu Malik's season's best album, I would vote without any hesitation for Aks.

S Suchitra Lata



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