Ex-lovers Dino Morea and Bipasha Basu reunite for their fifth cinematic excursion together with Saurabh Shukla’s film, Chehraa, a film that boasts of music by one of India’s reigning music directors, Anu Malik. While the music of this film is not as catchy as the duo’s earlier runaway hit, Raaz, it still manages to offer some very appealing tracks.
The album begins with “Mausam Ki Izazat”, a tune composed not by Malik, but by Nikhil-Vinay, who unfortunately have been reduced lately to guest appearances on film soundtracks a la “Phir Milenge”. The song is executed beautifully by Kunal Gunjawala, who managed to score a hit in this year’s “Bheegey Hont” from the film Murder. His voice, which is quite reminiscent of another of today’s popular singers, Shaan, is complemented by a lady who is quickly becoming a force to reckon with in Hindi music these days, namely Shreya Ghoshal, who manages to exude sensuality and innocence with her voice. To Malik’s discredit, this song actually manages to be the best track on the album.
The next song, “Kabhi Khamosh Baithogi”, features Kumar Sanu-clone, Babul Supriyo, accompanied by Mahalakshmi. With lyrics by Rahat Indori, who in my opinion is a very underrated lyricist in Hindi cinema, the song has a feel similar to one of Malik’s earlier hits, Baazigar. It sounds as if it was composed during that time. Needless to say, it still manages to have mass appeal even today. A slow, romantic number that has a haunting feel to it, it is easily one of the best tracks on the album.
Sonu Nigam joins Shreya Ghoshal for the third song in this album, entitled “Hadh Se Jyada Sanam”, a song that is featured once again in a sad version with only Sonu Nigam’s vocals. If the songs have a déjà vu feeling to them, it’s because T-series has very blatantly lifted the tracks from their earlier release this year, Rakht - a film that ironically stars Bipasha Basu and Dino Morea again. The song is composed by Naresh Sharma with lyrics by Dr. Deepak Sneh, both of whom have yet to make a huge impact on today’s Hindi music scene. Even though you may feel cheated that the same song has been used in two different albums, at least the song is a pleasant one. Another romantic duet, its pace is quite slow and actually may not appeal to everyone. For those not ready to hit the fast forward button, the song is mainly appealing because of its featured vocalists, who do a fine job with it.
A fourth composer makes his fleeting appearance on this album with “Teri Baahon Mein”, a song that again was featured earlier this year in Akshay Kumar and Aishwarya Rai’s film, “Khakee”. With music by Ram Sampath and lyrics by Sameer, it again features the Sonu Nigam-Shreya Ghoshal combination. Truthfully, the song was one of Khakee’s best, so you can’t help but to forgive T-series for repeating it; however, you also can’t help but to wonder that with a name like Anu Malik on this album, why has he been featured only once out of the first four songs.
Not to worry…he comes back with “Chillake Chillake”, a song whose title literally means ‘scream, scream’. Sung by Viva, who earlier was found in this year’s film Lakeer, it begins quite appropriately with a scream at the beginning of the song. It is featured once again in a remix version created by DJ Nikhil Chinnappa. The song tries its best to appeal to today’s youth and is aimed at those proud of their rebellious ways as the lyrics encourage the ‘let me be me’ attitude. The lyrics are cringe-worthy and the song actually made me want to hit the fast forward button.
Fortunately though, Malik makes up for “Chillake Chillake” with “Khushboo Khayal Hoon”, with the exception of the English chorus that croons “All I want is you, all I want is you, I love you.” With lyrics by Zamir Qazmi, the song is sung by Alka Yagnik, who always manages to do her best when her vocals are set to a track by Malik. Although it may not prove to be a revolutionary track, it still manages to exert some appeal for those searching a slow, romantic song with some beautiful vocals.
Finally, the album ends with Alisha Chinoy, who appears to have patched up with Anu Malik after they had a reported rift. Seems as though with this track, you wish the two were still not talking. The song begins with an almost frightening chorus repeating “Tabahee Tabahee” which happens to be the title of the song. It is obviously meant to showcase the female who will appear in the video of this film. The vocals by Chinoy are ok and the music by Malik is quite foot-tapping; however, the entire arrangement is just plain awful. Some unnamed male is featured in the background screaming all kinds of lyrics in a very rough voice. Not to mention, the irritating female chorus that keeps on repeating “Tabahee Tabahee”. This album could easily have done without this song.
Overall, Chehraa turns out to be a mixed bag - some romantic songs, some upbeat ones. Not to mention, it offers some songs that have already been heard before. If you can stand the two duds, “Tabahee Tabahee” and “Chillake Chillake”, this album is worth a buy mainly because of the first two songs. But if you want to save your money, your music collection surely will not be missing a masterpiece.