So how long have music lovers been waiting for this album
marking the second directorial foray of the talented Sanjay Leela Bhansali
(Khamoshi: The Musical)? Eons,
of course! Bhansali proves a director, with an ear for great music, can extract
memorable songs from most music directors. Using newcomer Ismail Darbar's
talent for the novel and creative music, along with simple lyrics from an inspired Mehboob, we're
gifted an album that will likely rank among the best of 1999. Great way to end the
century! Some might feel it does not quite scale the stratospheric heights of
Khamoshi: The Musical, but for a first effort, Darbar demonstrates that he has got
more than what it takes to succeed. (Not since A.R. Rahman's Roja
has a music director made such a strong initial impact.)
Udit Narayan starts the album with a dazzling duet, accompanied by
Alka Yagnik (who sings only one song for this film, as with Bhansali's last
film). "Chand Chupa Badal Mein" tells the cute tale of
the moon playing hide-and-seek games, as the hero tries to cuddle with his reticent
love. Yagnik and Narayan render the tune perfectly, as Darbar layers it with some
decidedly contrasting musical interludes, overlapping in perfect harmony. If there
is one grouse, it is that the female chorus singers are shriekingly off-tune with their
"Aayaa Re Aayaa Chanda" refrains here. Thank God, they interrupt
the proceedings only twice or thrice throughout the song.
Smash! Kavita Krishnamurthy's well-accompanied solo, "Nimbooda"
infiltrates its way into your heart with a great beat, even though I have no clue what our
heroine is singing about - something to do with lemons? Actually,
Krishnamurthy dominates the proceedings throughout the score, quite a relief as most
music directors have been neglecting her of late. Bhansali knows her true worth, and
I smell awards in the air.
The chorus ably supports Kumar Sanu and Kavita Krishnamurthy
throughout the proceedings of "Aankhon Ki Gustakhiyan Maaf Ho".
The song has a varying instrument scheme, marked by decided punctuations in the
beats. A mellow and melodious tune, sure to win your heart after a few listenings.
"Man Mohini" is Shankar Mahadevan's
awakening to the virtues of his love. It is a short song, very percussive and beat
heavy, and somewhat remniscent of Mahadevan's Breathless album
The gifted Hariharan leads us through the depths of emotion in "Jhonka
Hawa Ka", Kavita Krishnamurthy providing some haunting choral support
near the end. You can literally hear the gusts of wind in this soothing picture of a
man's yearning for the far-off maiden.
Kavita, Vinod Rathod, newcomer Karsan Sargathia and
the chorus seem to be singing and dancing with aplomb in "Dholi Taro Dhol
Baaje". Kind of a combination of a Holi and fishermen's tune, the
music is foot-tapping though if I am ever asked to memorize the lyrics, my head will spin
Shankar Mahadevan's clearing the throat beginning of HDDCS's "Love
Theme" seems to be marking a likely music lesson scene in the movie...
Mahadevan starts the unworded tune, with a Remo Fernandes-like
"Shabba Da Day Da..." rendition, before the mini-song adds Kavita to the mix of
a "Lala Lala..." tune. (Yeah, I know I am not being really clear.)
Let us be grateful that this album appears to (hopefully) be including some of the
musical pieces from the movie. (Do you not hate it when there is a great mini-tune
in a movie, and it is never on the audio cassette or CD?)
Sounds like the "March of a Wounded Soldier of Love". That is what they
should call "Tadap Tadap" for non-Hindi/Urdu speaking
listeners. Kay Kay, Dominique (both used often by A.R.
Rahman) and chorus vent anger in having suffered some sort of undeserved
punishment because of love. Interwoven layers of percussion and sky-drawing chorals;
I am hooked!
"Albela Sajan Aayo Ri" is rendered by Ustad
Sultan Khan, Shankar Mahadevan, Kavita Krishnamurthy in a fusion of techno with Gulzar's
"Lekin" songs. I don't know how musical purists will
react to it, but wowza! This tune blows up the unnecessary walls between different
"Kaipoche" seems like another fishermen's tune, but
these folks are singing about the rules of flying kites. Shankar Mahadevan, Damayanti
Bardai, Kay Kay, Jyotsna Hardikar and the chorus do a good job
with the vocals, but here is a situational song needing to be seen in the context of the
movie to be appreciated.
Why does my favourite song from the movie have to be at the very end of the album?
I guess good things come to those who wait. The operatic female opening of "Hum
Dil De Chuke Sanam" leads into an unforgettable mini-rift of violins.
Closely thereafter follow the voices of a perfect Kavita Krishnamurthy, Dominique
and another new playback singer, Mohammad Salamat. You will notice
that the film's title song is not very wordy, yet it communicates a plethora of emotions
through the instrumentatal passages. Violins, flutes, harps, chimes, dhols and
Arabic instruments (I can't even recognize them all) mesh together for perfection.
(Those folks lucky enough to see the film's trailers will have already had the benefit of
watching an aerial view of gorgeous Aishwarya Rai spin with graceful
abandon to this song.)
I am sure we all expected Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam to have some great
music. Who knew that Bhansali would deliver on our expectations? A variety of
great tunes and nothing too long or short; it is truly cherishable. Buy the album
and you will applaud its numerous introductions to talented new playback singers and Ismail
Darbar. Will Darbar deliver more gold in the future? Who knows?...
For now, just savour this musical treasure. When the film opens, you
can be guaranteed we will all be among the first in line.