Producer: Mukesh Bhatt, Mahesh Bhatt, and Vishesh Bhatt
Director: Anurag Basu
Starring: Emraan Hashmi, Shiney Ahuja, and Kangna
Music: Pritam and Gautam Chatterjee
Lyrics: Sayeed Quadri, Neelesh Mishra, and Mayur
Singers: K.K., Abhijeet, Sunidhi Chauhan, Kavita Seth, Zubeen, and James
Audio On: SaReGaMa
Number of Songs: 8
Released on: March 19, 2006
Reviewed by: Aakash Gandhi
Reviewer's Rating: 7.5 out of 10
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The Mukesh Bhatt-Anurag Basu producer-director duo has always come up with winners when it comes to music. Be it the blockbuster Murder, the super natural Saaya, or the romantic Tumsa Nahin Dekha. For the first time they hooked up with music director Pritam to create the soundtrack of their next popular project, Gangster.

Right off the bat the music of Gangster carries with it high expectations. The Bhatt’s already have a musical reputation and Pritam is quickly climbing to the very top of the music scene. On a side note, Pritam has also composed for Vikram Bhatt’s very special Ankahee, the music of which (which is quite good) has released almost simultaneously with Gangster’s.

Unfortunately, the similarities between Pritam and the Bhatts don’t just end with musical appeal. As the Bhatt camp is knows to be highly inspired by Hollywood, Pritam too is known to be “inspired” by world music; lifting multiple tunes in almost each and every one of his soundtracks. And we all know that bad habits are hard to let go of. With yet a few more lifts in Gangster, Pritam is earning himself a rather scandalous reputation. And it will catch up with him.

Pritam takes the company of a couple of my favorite lyricists, Sayeed Quadri and Neelesh Mishra. Let’s have a look-see at whether or not Gangster will be another musical winner for the Bhatts, Anurag Basu, and Pritam…

“Aankhon se pad ke tujhe, dil pe maine likha. Tu ban gaya hai mere jeene ki ek wajahh.”Sayeed Quadri

Tu Hi Meri Shab Hai is a winner right from the get-go! Pritam’s sweet arrangements and K.K.’s silky smooth vocals melt together to create a genuine song that only grows on you with more exposures. Pritam’s male chorus is another fixed asset that appears throughout the piece, and almost forces you to sing along and be a part of the catchy chorus. The guitar, flute, and vast array of flavorful instruments come together to form an amalgamation of wondrous sounds. Sayeed Quadri lives up to the level of Pritam’s arrangements by writing something as fresh as the sounds that enthrall the track. And people say the poetic generation has faded?

A second version appears, which is pretty much just a remix of the original. There is also a Euro Mix version, which has been done by Bunty Rajput. Based off of this song and the following one, one can tell that Pritam is a very talented man, and he is capable of coming up with some great stuff that’s completely original. Why he feels inclined to remake tunes is out of my understanding.

Mujhe Mat Roko is yet another highly original piece by Pritam that showcases the man’s versatility; an asset we have never seen before from Pritam! The track is special due to its unconventional nature, light arrangements, unique lyrics, and impressive rendition. Pritam has structured the track such that is serves as a Hindi bhajan, which has beautiful words penned by none other than Mr. Sayeed Quadri. Vocalist Kavita Seth gives an extremely controlled rendition that fits the classical genre; in which she superimposes her vocal soul on Pritam’s composition with tender elegance. Kudos to the entire cast of Mujhe Mat Roko.

And so begins the descent into the land of plagiarisms and blatant lifts…

The first victim is the extremely melodious Lamha Lamha. The track makes an entrance much like a fresh breeze through open corridors. Abhijeet makes a rare appearance and does a wonderful job in rendering the track, as does Sunidhi Chauhan in her respective version. Pritam weaves his magic over this tune, as it grows on you with each exposure. The light-hearted arrangements coupled with Neelesh Mishra’s breezy writing style (the only thing original in the song) make for an extremely relaxing journey for your ears. But, it’s unfortunate that Pritam has lifted the tune lock stock and barrel from Pakistani singer Warris Baig’s 1998 track Kal Shab Dekha Maine. Don’t’ take my word for it…listen for yourself.
Listen To: Lamha Lamha Listen To: Kal Shab Dekha

Ya Ali is another great Arabic composition by the band Guitara. Oops, I mean Pritam! Rendered quite well by the debutant singer from Assam, Zubeen; the track has a certain catch factor that will definitely go down with the masses. Pritam adds a touch of Arabia, rightfully so as that is where the song was born. Original - Title: Ya Ghaly. Artist: Guitara. Album: Qisati. Year: 2002.
Listen To: Ya Ali Listen To: Ya Ghaly

Finally we have the best song on the lot in the form of Bheegi Bheegi. Pritam has re-composed this tune utterly well with the aid of singer James and lyricist Mayur. The track is filled with emotions of sorts and hits every key with perfection. Apparently Pritam and the Bhatts felt they couldn’t get away with lift number three so they decided to do a favor and actually credit the original source – Prithibi. It really doesn’t make sense why they choose to rip off some artists and not others? Nonetheless, Pritam’s version, on basis of composition, is excellent. The man does have a great way of re-structuring arrangements so that he gives it his own signature touch. But the question is of dignity, is it not? Nonetheless, have a listen for yourself and make your own judgments…
Listen To: Bheegi Bheegi Listen To: Prithibi

All in all, I would say that Gangster is a sure winner. It has mass appeal; it has a flavorful array of tunes to sample, and it features some fresh singers. However, I would have loved to rate this soundtrack a bit higher if not for the immense lack of originality put forth by Mukesh Bhatt, Anurag Basu, and Pritam. Real life gangster Abu Salem has decided to sue Bhatt from behind bars for allegedly basing the film’s story off of his life. Yeah, tell me about it! Go grab yourself a copy of this soundtrack. You’ll enjoy it. Just know where the music is coming from. Because ignorance is not's laziness.

Audio clips provided graciously by