Wednesday, September 17, 2008

~*~1920-MuSiC ReViEw~*~ Stand Apart From the Rest

What are you going to do when you see the names of “Pandit Jasraj, Parveen Sultana, Shubha Mudgal, Asha Bhonsle and Kailash Kher” on the cover of an Album?Gonna take it?? Yes I did the same... Last weekend I was at planet M looking for the Album of Kidnap (which was not released that time). When I went to the CD station and found one CD in side that, I pushed play button and the voice I heard was so different and haunting that I have to pick up the cover to check the singer and after that I was lighter by a couple of hundred bucks more. That CD was of 1920, a periodic-romantic-horror by Vikram Bhatt.

After “Raaz” Bhatt gave several flops as Aetbaar, Jurm, Ankahee, Red, Speed, Life Mein Kabhie Kabhiee etc and finally he is back to the formula that gave him his biggest hit and comes up with a romantic supernatural thriller 1920. Being a hit or not, Vikram Bhatt movies have always been good on musical part and so the hopes from this album was also high (at least to me). The music of this album his given by Adnan Sami whereas the lyricist is Sameer, who gave several hit albums together. Here is may take of the album

1.Vaada Tumse Hai Vaada: This was the song that I heard at Planet M and this one forced me to buy this CD. This track has been sung by Pandit Jasraj (who is basically known for his classical base and I think in this album, for the first time he is giving his voice to a movie song) with immense fervor. In this romantic track Adnan used an appealing fusion of traditional and contemporary instruments and sounds that gels well with the mood of the song. The use of female chorus makes this deep composition a treat-to-hear. Sameer’s meaningfully eloquently apt lyrics get cordially rewarded when they get the voice of maestro.

“Meri Palko Mein, Tere Sapno Ka Dar Hai,

Mere Is Dil Mein Teri Chahat Ka Gum Hai

Meri Rag Rag Mein Tu Bas Tera Prem Samaya Hai Samaya Hai

Meri In Saason Mein Ab Teri Sanson Ki Sargam Bajti Hai

Vaada Tumse Hai Vaaada, Hooo Vaada Tumse Hai Vaaada

Janmon Ka Pyar Ka Dard Ka Hooo Saathiya”

Besides the long Alaaps at the concluding part shows the flawless power of classical singing by Pandit Jasraj. But now coming to the shortcoming of the music, in this classical-inspired-fusion-based music arrangements virtuoso’s voice got lost somewhere (especially when he sings in lower baritones) due to the overpowering arrangements. But overall, the fusion of classical singing with modern arrangement is infact inimitable and this track is worth-hearing number if one wants to hear an almost perfect fusion. This song really grows on repeated hearing.

2. Vaada Tumse Hai Vaada: when I heard the lengthy starting Alaaps, I was sure that this must have been crooned by some classical singer and BINGOO! When I read the name on cover I was shocked to see the name of another luminary classical music veteran Begum Parveen Sultana (Who sung "Hame Tumse Pyar Kitna" in movie Kudrat and got Filmfare Best Female Playback Award in 1981 and I am a die-hard fan for her “Bandishes” and stupendous "dherena","dheem ta nana"s). This track sounds completely different from the first track (although uses the same lyrics) due to characteristic pitch of her. The use of modern music arrangements and specially the sprightly electric guitar tune through out the song give great artistic melodic values to the songs. This song is again a treat for all traditional singing lovers which even after fusion remain Classical at the core.

3. Bichua: Next track contains more surprises for you and you will find Shubha Mudgal, classy folk singer, warbling the folkish track “Bichua” which is an item number (with a touch of Qawalli) featuring the so called goddess-of-item-songs Rakhi Sawant. This track is already doing well on music channels. The way Shubha, sung the song it is going to make you feel that no one could have done better job then her. The energy, the passion and the dedication she showed while singing this not-so-easy song is superb and her voice amazingly go well with Rakhi Sawant. The music arrangement of this song is of typical Indian type (use of harmonium, dhol, sarangi and “Dhol Na Dhol Na Mere” through out the song) but there is something missing in this song. Club mix: The club mix of Bichua is going to be a treat for fast music lovers where the disco beat fillers and synth used in the song gives it a pacy impact.

“Jab Dass Jaaye Bichua, Zeher Chadayein Bichua

Bada Tadpaaye Bichua, Bach Ke Tu Rehna Zara”

4. Aisa Jalta Hai Jiya: Well not satisfied with surprises? No problem, next track gives you legendary Asha Bhonsle crooning an attention-grabbing and mesmerizing romantic number, “Aisa Jalta Hai Jiya”. In this song you will find classical Asha giving voice to song of loving and yearning. The music arrangement is of 60’s style giving it a feel of “kahin deep jale” but this one is a bit fast from that legend. Lyrics are simple but apt.

“Bechein Mere Mann Ka Mayura, Lagta Hai Tanhan Jeevan Adhura

Tann Mein Sabhi Hai Birha Ke Jhula, Ab Toh Piya Ke Adhron Ka Pyala”

5. Tujhe main pyaar karun: Next track completely belongs to Kailash Kher where he used his dismal and expressive voice to generate a lingering feeling. Use of soft keyboard notes, poignant violin and sumptuous female Alaaps through out the song gives song the feeling it needs and this one is supposed to be a background song delivering an escalating sense of vanished love. This track is worth listening more than once.

“Dilon Ki Baat Nahin Janthe, Yeh Sab Zuban Waale

Vafa Ka Jurm Samjhte Hai Yeh Sab Jahaan Waale

Agar Yeh Jurm Hai Toh Yeh Jurm Baar Baar Karoon”

6. 1920 theme: At the end of album comes a lonesome instrumental number showing a wonderful piece of work by none other than Adnan Sami who mixed soft and synchronized piano and violin to give this instrumental. A perfect ending of album.

My take: The music of 1920 gratifies the requirements and circumstances of the film. This album has an elegant and unusual classical music feel that may not work for lovers of fast music but it would be a great listening experience to the virtuosos as Pandit Jasraj (who for the first time giving his voice to a movie song) and Parveen Sultana along with Asha, Subha and Kailash kher. "Vaada Hai Tumse Vaada" stands out as the most striking and will fulfill the need of classical singing lover whereas "Bichua" featuring Rakhi will surely draw crowds in theatres because of its coarse appeal. Now coming to the cons of the album, at few instances the music overpowered the vocals, but nonetheless the soundtrack of 1920 is mellifluous. I would easily give 4 stars out of 5 for the originality of the album and perfect singing.

Monday, September 15, 2008

~*~RoCk On~*~LiVe YoUr DrEaMs~*~

You are young and life is long
And there is time to kill today
And then one day you find that
Ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run
You missed the starting gun…

(David Gilmour’s classic solo from TIME (Pink Floyd’s album)…… This song is among my all time favorite and it came to my mind again when I was watching Rock On…)

“The poorest man in the world is the man without a dream. The most frustrated man in the world is the man with a dream that never becomes reality.”~~Myles Munroe

I think everyone of us agree with me on this quote…. Well Munroe or not, this quote does have a very strong effect on me. I strappingly think that one should reverie and try to follow it also. There are times when dreams come true and at times they do not, but what’s harm in it.
Few of us have a dream but we may be unable to follow it because of several reasons but there are people among us who go all the way to achieve their dreams. This is the theme of the movie Rock On….

Story: Rock On is story of four friends who try to make their dreams come true inspite of all the problems they faced.
Rock On is the story of 4 Men, Adi aka Aditya Shroff (Farhan Akhtar), Joe aka Joe Masceranhas (Arjun Rampal), KD aka Killerr Drumer (Purab Kohli) and Rob (Luke Kenny ) and their band MAGIK. Movie starts with the band trying to croon their newly composed song talking about the unanswered question of the nature and then shifted to the current time where Adi is a triumphant investment banker who uses to live in a lavish penthouse with his beautiful wife Sakshi (Prachi Desai). Adi has everything but he still suffers emptiness in his life and became a profession gripped workaholic. Joe spends his time idling away, teaching guitar to the neighborhood kids, while his wife Debbie (Shahana Goswami), runs the family business and household. KD now looks after his family’s jewelry business, though he hates it, while Rob is now a composer doing jingles and tunes.

There fate takes a turn when Sakshi and KD met by chance and then Sakshi discovered about Adi’s rock band and about his past where she founds another side of Adi which is different to his usual career obsessed, workaholic looks and discovers the truth about him. To make Adi happy, she makes an attempt to reunite his friends who have now fallen apart. Now will the friends be reunited? Will the rock band MAGIK, again work? Will the charm return back to Adi and Sakshi’s married life, which otherwise seems loveless?

I am not going to tell you that. For that you have to watch the movie and have to feel the magic of MAGIK

Farhan Akhtar (as Aditya the lead singer) makes a great debut as an actor, totally natural and effortless. Adi, who ends up as the most successful of four, is an investment banker, with a pretty wife and a cool house. So all in all seems to have a ideal life, perfect career, a perfect home, a perfect gorgeous wife. But he still he is haunted by the angst inside his own heart and always refuses to share his past with his wife but he never realized that he is also not sharing his present with her as well. He always has a cold expression, a stiffed smile which always fails to connect with others and a behavior which displays aggravation.But still, he is a practical guy, who feels one must compromise to get ahead she told her wife that “Compromise to karna padta hai”. In spite of using minimal dialogues, Farhan delivers a creditable debut in form of near perfect expression. Even the pulse throbbing at his temple, when he tries to control an extreme emotion and when he was singing on the stage, was something that I had only read about, but viewed it for the first time. People complained bout his husky baritone, but he remind me of his father.

Arjun Rampal: After appearing in countless mediocre movies and roles, he comes up with a astonishingly efficient and poignant performance as the idealist Joe the lead guitarist, the man who refuses to part with his guitar, who can give up his life for his friend Adi, and who unintentionally contributes to the break up of the friends. He lives a substandard existence with no occupation, no attention in family business and aggravated wife. Watching his own dreams fade away, his wife slowly losing all her idealism, he teaches the neighborhood kids guitar, passing on the tales of Magik to his son. By giving guitar tuitions and some performances in parties he tries to quench his thirst for music. Arjun Rampal delivers an influential performance yet again and sizzled the screen. Even a background presence by him, even without a single word made the screen sizzle. And his chemistry with Farhan was amazing.
“You may say I'm a dreamerBut I'm not the only oneI hope someday you'll join us And the world will live as one" ~~John Lennon

Purab Kohli as Killer drama aka Kedar Javeri aka KD is luminous as the fun loving, flirty KD, who is the heir of a Jeweler store with all the riches and luxuries to his disposal. Yet he has that streak of dissatisfaction too. In starting he seems to be living a life of a failure or jerk with an easy attitude as a Casanova, who knows business and yes, the way he handles the drums was amazing. He makes you smile, and your heart ache. As he laughingly sings “I will survive”, in a perfect manner.

“I will survive

It took all the strength I had not to fall apart

kept trying hard to mend the pieces of my broken heart

and I spent oh so many nights just feeling sorry for myself

I used to cry Now I hold my head up high

and you see me somebody new

I’m not that chained up little person still in love with you”

Besides he also does well in the serious scenes, especially when he discovers about Rob’s secret and when he is furious with Joe for dropping out. A performance of life time.

Luke Kenny as Rob, on the keyboard, who always starts with D major is the man with awesome, sexy hair… you have to see it to believe it… The way he enjoys while being on the keyboard was amazing be it Tum ho toh or Socha hai kya.
Post the breakup, he tries to keep his bond to melody alive, by composing jingles for advertisements and working with Annu Malik ( Initially I thought that he was sad because of that only). The quiet resignation in his eyes that silent teardrops and his love for music was just awesome.. I don’t have words to describe it. A restrained approach along with a strong-minded attitude of a guy trying to make the best of the few days left in life, Luke Kenny’s performance is praiseworthy. His accent does nothing to undermine him, in fact just adds on to his impact.

His attitude reminds me of…..

“When skies are cloudy and gray,

They're only gray for a day,
So wrap your troubles in dreams,

And dream your troubles away.” - Bing Crosby

Sakshi (Prachi Desai aka Baani on Idiot Box) is the ideal stunning wife of depressed Aditya. A wife, who is still trying to solve the jigsaw of her husband’s life and in quest of trying to gain joy and content for him, she decides to give him back his life, his music. She is going to be probably the best find of this year with no after effect of Ekta Kapoor’s camp. Means no melodrama, no killer looks or no overreacting. She looks unblemished absolutely and huggable when she breaks into that smile, lifting up the spirits. I simply fall in love with her (yeah that’s true) when she sung
"Ajeeb Dastaan hai ye, kahan shuru kahan khatam,

ye manzilein hain kaun si, na wo samajh sake na hum"
She reminds me of Nat King Cole in Smile

“Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness

Although a tear may be ever so near

That's the time you must keep on trying

Smile, what's the use of crying?

You'll find that life is still worthwhile

If you just smile”

Debbie (shahana Goswami) is the wronged wife of Joe. Wronged why???? Wrong in the manner, that she leaves her dreams of becoming a stylist as she have to join Joe’s family business of fishing to earn bread for the family. Her display of a woman irritated with her fish smelling hands, the everyday money asking MACHCHI WAALI’s and on bekaar Joe. In my views, Shahana Goswami, is the most noteworthy one in the movie with the maximum dialogue delivery in the movie. A perfect portrayal of a goaded person, she quarrel and smiles appropriately.

“Turning back the pages of my sweet shattered dream
I wonder if she'll ever do the same;
And the thing that I call living is just being satisfied
With knowing I've got no one left to blame"

Direction: Abhishek Kapoor aka Gattu, is the cousin of Tusshar Kapoor and Ektaa Kapoor. He is in this film industry for long and made his debut in the “Ashique Mastane” and also acted in "Uff! Yeh Mohabbat" (remember???) with Twinkle Khanna. Besides, he also directed the movie "Aryaan" starring Sohail Khan and Sneha Ullal but here he comes as a a breathe of fresh air. There’s a perfect flow to the narration which is amazing, what with the intermittent flashbacks thrown in. The way he showed the change in the Adi’s behavior was amazing (the say his Chaukidaar, greeted him and he replied differently both the time but he catched his tona and his expression in a perfect manner).
And again in the scene, where the band is told by the recording company executive, to include one wedding remix song, so that it goes with the public taste, and the band members signing on the agreement reluctantly, seems a bit drawn. And this showed the reality where rock bands have to end up making crap songs, just for the public taste.
The rock band here is just a metaphor, or just a background, for the larger picture, that is follow your dreams. And on that scale, the movie works really well. The scenes are quite naturally filmed, though there is a lot of Dil Chahta Hai hangover and one can easily feel the effect of Farhan all over the film. And now coming to the best part of the movie, Climax scene, the way it was picturized was amazing. When I heard Sindabaad for the first time I thought that it would be juss an ordinary song but the way it came on the satge I found it as one of the best song of the movie.
Cinematography: Jason West just impresses with the right shots and angles. The beautiful yet calm backdrops and settings are apposite at all places, might it be the band’s practice arena or Adi’s home, the cemetery, the stage of performances or the end scene of lying Buddha in the sea.

Songs: Songs and lyrics are typically strange when compared to the present Bollywood music and it might not go well with all genres. But in my vies the songs were amazing be it “Pichchle Saat dino main”, “Sinbad the sailor” or “Rock on”. Shankar-Ehasaan-Loy and Javed Akhtar are at their customary best, but what makes the main difference is Farhan Akhtar’s unusual baritone that catches attention and brings on life to the lyrics and musicIf you like soft music you have “Yeh tumhari meri baatein” and “Tum ho Toh”, are just right ones to make the heart go tipsy. Specially the way the last two songs were picturized and fused was amazing.

My Take: I always go by the following lines

“Believe the unbelievable, Dream the unthinkable
You can do all things, if you believe
You can reach the unreachable, See the unforeseeable
All things are possible, To them that believe”

And Rock on make me feel stronger on the above lines. When it came to write the concluding part of the review what I felt is I am short of word, but one thing I will say that this flick is a must watch for understanding a fact that, everyone desires his sustenance in form of a vision, an aspiration and a drean which needs to acquire life and breath and become a reality.

“We grow great by dreams. All big men are dreamers. They see things in the soft haze of a spring day or in the red fire of a long winter's evening. Some of us let these great dreams die, but others nourish and protect them; nurse them through bad days till they bring them to the sunshine and light which comes always to those who sincerely hope that their dreams will come true.” Woodrow Wilson

Friday, September 5, 2008

~~KaRzZZz-Music Review~~

After flabbergasting success of vivacious and breathtaking Aap Kaa Surroor our nassy Himesh Reshammiya (HR) is back with a vengeance as Monty in Karzzz, where he is playing the legendry role of Rishi Kapoor's Monty, in Satish Kaushik's remake of super hit Karz, In this movie he played role of actor, singer and Music director all together. Well, the music of Karzzz is out now and one can say it is super lengthy and fully loaded with 8 original tracks and one rearranged version of the title song and as many as 10 remix tracks making Karzzzz a bunch of 19 tracks, all hedonistic with typical HR characteristics –typical instrument arrangements, nasal singing and lengthy alaaps, repetitive phrases through out the song. The lyrics are by Sameer and music was released on T-Series music. Here is my take of the album.

Lut Jaaon Lut Jaaon: First track of the album starts with a catchy beat and then HR joins with is typical nasal “Aaaaaa” and then female lead Harshdeep Kaur pitches in with a small para “Tumse Mohabbat Kar loon Jee Bhar Ke..Poori Hasrat kar loon Jee Bhar ke” then HR comes in full swing (I heard that lines Harshdeep lines is a direct lift from Punjabi words in “Aao huzoor” by Karunesh but I am not sure). This song seems to be the title track as there is use of “Us Karzzz pe” at regular intervals. Well, HR sung this Sufi-soft-rock-type ballad quite well and the slow tempo arrangements suits the mood well too, specially the use of Harshdeep Kaur (who crooned Ik Onkaar in RDB, Cadbury perk and Visa Card jingles) whose deep voice engender an importunate haunting and lingering background effect throughout the song. This is a highly enticing track that one can't stop humming after just one listening.
Remix: Well, this remix is quite different from the original version but still I loved it for its different music arrangement specially the dhol and dholak beat along with saxophone.

Hari om: In second track HR is back with his own revamped version of “Om Shanti Om” where he changed legendry “tumne kabhi kise se pyaar kiya” to “Ye mohabbat bhi kya cheej hai, na jeene deti hai na marne deti hai” in AB styled voice to redo the magic that Rishi did on a giant moving gramophone record. If you are not going to judge it against “Om Shanti Om”, the song is good and will take a few listening before it grows on you. Especially the energy and the use of guitar, drum and typical Indian instruments as Dhol and Ghanti are quite impressive… But still I am thinking the way HR holds guitar (Aisa lagta hai ki majboori me pakd rakha hai)
Remix: There are two remix versions "Indian Mix"- which used Indian instruments with ghanti and that too at fast beat, mixed well and will suit the festive mood and an "Electro Mix" this one is going to work in discs. For me remixed were better than original cos they will not drag ur attention towards the voice.

Tandoori Nights: Are you hungry?? Well I am not going to serve you anything but HR is going to serve you “Tandoori Nights” as the third track. I think HR is spreading his rule to Dhabawala’s too through this track. Better I should come back to song. HR crooned this track with conspicuous Sunidhi and used the elements of hip-hop, a bit of rock and trance music with use of lively electronic beats. This appetizingly spunky number is attractive in its elegiac pattern but will not last longer.
Remix: this fast remix version is by DJ Akbar Saami and he added some more hip-hop with fater beats but again it failed to catch a hold on listeners.

Soniye Je Tere: HR has something for everyone in his kitty (hoga hi aakhir gaane hi itne hain), now he is back with an emotionally intense number “Soniye Je Tere”. In this track tries out Indian classic but also didn’t forget to add rap-n-reggae to it to make it good for all. Well in this song HR excels especially in high pitches and his partners-in-nasal rhyme Tulsi Kumar who got a few lines to add as well in evoking romantic hues and vibes. Now coming to the controversies what I heard that this is a complete lift from same titled song by a Punjabi singer Kulwinder Kally. Well HR saab now what say??
Remix: Again this songs comes better in the remix version by Akbar Saami giving it a lounge mix feeling with extra electronic beats to it.

Dhoom Tere Ishq Ki: This track is HR version of “Dard-e-Dil” and this song comes out spectacularly with different composition and arrangements. So for the best of the lot. This song is simply superb but could have been more wonderful if HR has not used his nasal voice, as one can easily say that it has Rahat Fateh Ali khan written on it.. But anyways the main thing that does the wonder is Sameer’s apt simple yet engaging lyrics. And yes the use of “Aur thodi der mein hum juda ho jaayenge” gives song an edge. Perfect fusion of traditional Indian instruments (tabla, sitar, harmonium, Dhol and sarangi) with westernized beat patterns is the main attraction of the song.
"Tumse milna, Jiya Dolna, Tumse milna, Jiya Dolna
tere bin bole sab bolana, meri aashiqui ke bhed kholna
Fursat ke pal me doobana, Apne hi dil se joojhna
Laagi kyun ye laagi lagan, apni hi lagan se poochna"

Remix: This smooth flowing romantic track doesn’t require a remix like this one burdened with energized electronic disco beat fillers. It is like listening “Laagi tumse man ki lagan” mixed with “Hare raam hare raam”.

Sisak sisak ke: After sweet “Dhoom tere ishq ki” HR steps in fusing rap-n-reggae flows with Indian instruments to produce a supposedly riveting and highly pulsating “Sisak Sisak Ke” which gives a glimpse of ostentatious 80’s disco epoch. This will be a treat for HR fan’s where he used blazing mast electronic beats and frisky rap inputs but for me the track lost its glam when HR started harshly hymning the humdrum beats. In this song HR’s try to become RDB goes in vain.
Remix: Remix is quite different from the original one and Akbar Sami, mostly used saxophone to give keyed up disco beat to it along with excess use of rap.

Tere Bin chain Na aave: So after trying Sufi rock, Foodie song, Punjabi love song and disco fever, our HR is now in mood of Ghazal and he comes with “Tere Bin Chain Na Aave” where Tulsi Kumar joins him in giving out feminine sentiments. But this song totally belongs to HR where he modulated his tones in varying pitches (his voice is quite different in this track). The best part of the song is the use of attractive touch of conventional Indian music and arrangements.
Remix: Well I think that remix of this is not required because it totally destroyed the mood of the original song which is quite impressive.

Masha allah: Next comes a desi-fied-sufi-rock-ballad based romantically impulsive track “Masha Allah” (I am confused how to classify it). This song will surly gonna remind you of “Allah Kare” from “Ahista Ahista”. The lyrics of this song are quite impressive and I was confused whether this one will be the “Dard-e-dil” of this Karzzz or “Dhoom tere ishq ki” will be. This song is well sung by HR with varying pitch from low to high through out the song at regular interval. This song deserves second hearing also because of the fantastic music arrangement and the apt lyrics. Well written and well performed.
Remix: Done well by Akbar Saami at a higher tempo.

Ek Haseena thi: Do you remember the tale of Kamini and Ravi’s love??? Nahh probably HR knew this so he stepped in Kishore Da’s shoes to sing one of the most admired tracks of Bollywood. The lyrics are kept same as that legendry track but instead of relying more on guitar tune, HR relied on his and Shreya’s singing potential and rearranged the music arrangements without killing the soul of the song. But one thing that confused me that why is he trying to say starting lines in AB mode voice???
Remix: Hmm will say that this is going to be the best remix of the album, which grows on the rhythm and will surely sound good at high volume. The beats added to the song maintain the theme of song and it is a good tribute to insistent original by Lakshamikant-Pyarelal.

My Verdict: After delivering more than 20 back to back smash hits Himesh & T-series combo is back with Karzzzz. Well Karzzzz is a typical HR soundtrack with a mix of mass appealing as well as class appealing tracks ( as Lut jaaon and Dhoom tere Ishq ki I am quite sure that soon Lut Jaaon, Hari Om, Dhoom tere ishq ki and Tere Bi Chain na aave will find it places on chart along with the remixes of Hari omthat is surely gonna suit the coming festive mood. But still the album is burdened by that many songs that after a time point one can easily get bored and here comes the extra ZzZz in picture. I will easily give it 3 star out of 5.

Track I liked
Lut jaaon (original and remix)
Dhoom tere ishq ki
Tere Bin chain na aave
Soniye Je Tere (original and remix)