Producer: Vishesh Ent. Ltd./Tips Films
Director: Vikram Bhatt
Starring: Dino Morea, Bipasha Basu, and Vishwajeet Pradhan
Music: Nadeem Shravan
Lyrics: Sameer
Singers: Udit Narayan, Alka Yagnik, Abhijeet, Sarika Kapoor, Jolly Mukherjee, Bali Brahmbhatt, Suzzan
Audio on: Tips
Number of Songs: 8
Reviewed by: Narbir Gosal
Reviewer's Rating: 7.0 out of 10

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Raaz is the next offering from talented director Vikram Bhatt. Like Kasoor, which released earlier this year, this film offers a suspenseful story, a very good looking cast (Bipasha and Dino are not only a reel life couple, but a real life model couple as well), and romantic music. However unlike Kasoor, the music for this film isnīt as likeabe and the fault is Nadeem Shravanīs. The songs are pleasing but N-S need to learn how to experiment in their music. They seem to loop the same basic backbeat into each song, which makes them all sound monotonous and boring at times. Never the less, this soundtrack is still enjoyable, not mainly for the music, but more for Sameerīs lyrics which for once are romantic without being repetitive.

Jo Bhi Kasmein is a nice opener to the soundtrack. Udit Narayanīs vocals infuse life into the track, as usual he is good in this song. Alka Yagnik is given a high octave to sing at which at times is ok, but here it begins to grate on the nerves. We miss the restraint of the Alka we saw earlier this year in Kitni Bechain Hoke from Kasoor. Still her vocals in this track are commendable. Lyrically Sameer shows some innovations for his play on words, and the track sets a romantic atmosphere which carries through the album. The music for this song is nice in general. Sweet little interludes are immersed in the track, but the general backbeat has a īIīve heard it beforeī feel to it. Nadeem Shravan always seem to falter with their backbeats. They always sound similar and are repetitive, which is never a good thing. However they do make good use of the chorus which highlights the verses. Overall this sugary sweet song will be best appreciated for itīs lyrics.

Next up we have Abhijeet and Alka back to sing the romantic Tum Agar Saamne. The opening to the song is abrupt but flows into a nice little melody. As usual the backbeat to the song gets repetitive and annoying. The violins add a nice little touch to the otherwise ok track. Abhijeet is his usual best. His silken vocals carry the track to a different height and one wishes he werenīt such a pompous person in real life, then we could enjoy his singing so much more. Alka sounds a little better in this track, she fits the romantic mould and pleases the listener. Lyrics again are a plus point although they seem old fashioned at times. Romance oozes from this ear-pleasing number.

Aapke Pyaar Mein is by far one of the best tracks on the album. This version featuring Alka Yagnik is much better than the male version. Nadeem Sharvan make good use of their three favourite instruments, the violin, the saxophone and the piano in the opening. Sadly the jhankar style backbeat takes away from that effect. Violin interludes add a seductive and passionate appeal to the track. Alka really excels in this number. She eases through even the difficult notes (especially in the verses) with no effort. Lyrics are seductive, poetic and romantic, making this likeable track a definite winner. The male version by Abhijeet, titled Pyaar Se Pyaar Hum, is equally good. His vocals fit the songs well and like this version the lyrics are well written.

Kitna Pyaara Hai is another good song with the same old tiresome beat. Despite a dramatic opening weīre soon made to suffer another repetitive backbeat courtesy N-S. By this point the violins are getting repetitive as well. Still the melody of the song carries this track. Lyrics are great. The poetic words help the song a great deal. Udit Narayan does a great job, his intoxicating vocals get hypnotic. Alka isnīt too bad either, but she seems to get lost in the track. Overall this track caters to a more romantic audience.

Itna Main Chahoon is a change from all the romantic numbers on the album. The serious tone to the track is a somewhat welcome change, lyrics are meaningful and well written. Even the music, as repetitive as it is, is heightened by the poetry. However when hearing the song one can easily identify itīs inspiration. Remember Mujhe Ishq Da Lagaya Rog from Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin? Well if you do, then youīve heard this one before. Udit and Alka do a commendable job with this track, but the vocals do not demand much from them.

Mujhe Tere Jaisi picks up the pace. The racy synthesized beats are repetitive yes, but still catchy. The violins and saxophone along with the chorus are intertwined into the track giving it some life. The lyrics are strictly okay in this one. Udit does a decent job, but newcomer Sarika Kapoor is a welcome change from Alka, even if her mousy vocals sound somewhat odd.

The album ends with a strange note. Yeh Shaher (Shanti Shanti) sounds out of place. The song begins with an arabic feels which fails miserably under N-S wand. The song transfers to a dance number without an adequate backbeat. Jolly Mukherji sounds at home in this track, his deep vocals mould well to the theme of the song. Bali Bhrambhatt isnīt as annoying as weīre used to, he lends credible support. The female lead, Suzzan, gets lost in the track and is almost regulated to a backup singer. The lyrics fit into the track, but ultimately are nothing to write home about. Overall this song will appeal to very few people.

Overall you think that this soundtrack would have been much better had Nadeem Shravan decided to experiment a little. Weīve grown accustomed to their repetitive backbeats. Itīs time for change. For that reason they will never be regarded as innovative composers like Anu Malik and A R Rehman are. Even a little experimentation wouldnīt hurt. Look at Kitni Bechain Hoke (Kasoor), Ek Dil Hai (Ek Rishtaa) or Dilbar (Sirf Tum). Despite being repetitive, they all had something which made them memorable, a little bit of experimentation. to add to all of this some of the songs are influenced by their own work from the past. You can hear some of their previous work in this album, which is not good. Nadeem Shravan definitely need to rethink their strategy if they want to last. This album is worth the buy, and get the CD only if you liked Kasoor immensly, otherwise get the cassette.