With a name like "Jism", a film album better ooze a certain mysterious sensuality. And that is exactly what the talented and versatile M.M. Kreem produces here - in a complete 180 degree turn from his last "Sur". The catch and arguable stars of this album, though, are Neelesh Misra and Sayeed Quadri, two new lyricists - who write "Gulzar-ish" lyrics that "out-Gulzar" the man himself.
"Jaadu Hai Naasha Hai"... the first strains seductively jump from this album and instantly conjure images of a sexily-clad, leggy Bipasha Basu. But who is this mysterious voice? Shreya Ghoshal re-asserts, through the ease with which she sings the "Jism" tunes as exquisitely as her "Devdas" numbers, that she is much more than a fly-by-night singer. Ms. Ghoshal is here to stay and will become a force to reckon with. The Enigma-ish music recalls M.M. Kreem´s earlier "Criminal" work (when he was known as M.M. Keeravani) and Neelesh Misra´s lyrics are great. Shaan lends Shreya Ghoshal apt support in the duet version of this song, adding careful melodious emphasis to every word he sings here. Shaan has now proved that he is not just another pop crossover.
The other lyrical highlight of the album is the brooding "Awaraapan Banjaraapan". What a treat it is to hear K.K. not screaming or vocal-grinding! When given an appropriate tune, he proves that he can do wonders with it. And Sayeed Quadri´s lyrics are nothing short of exquisite. M.M. Kreem appears in two reprises of the number (including the slow version) and does equal justice to his own creation.
There are two ghazals on this album. The first is "Mere Khwabon Ka" where Udit Narayan demonstrates a surprising and welcome restraint. Mr. Narayan has never been as comfortable in his lower range as when he is belting in higher octaves, but he still does a commendable job here. Sayeed Quadri´s depressingly dark lyrics are beautiful. The other ghazal is the more romantic "Shikayat Hai" with Roop Kumar Rathod breezing through home ground.
Shreya Ghoshal is once again at her seductive and playful best in "Chalo Tum Ko Lekar" - a more upbeat tune. She impresses with both her vocal and emotional range.
Overall - this is a great album in keeping tune with what appears to be the milieu of the film. M.M. Kreem demonstrates that he is a versatile composer, and unlike his southern counterparts, he is about much more than catchy arrangements and synthesizers. And one hopes that Neelesh Misra and Sayeed Quadri, who do great work here, will continue to pen more such poignant thoughts. The album is a must for music lovers.