Major Saab

out of

Producer: ABCL
Director: Verinder Raj Anand
Music: Anand Raaj Anand, Aadesh Shrivastava
Anand Raaj Anand, Dev Kohli

Reviewed by Anish Khanna

Amitabh Bachchan just might be back to stay. In what is probably the most significant attempt at a comeback the Desi film industry has ever seen, the Big B's every move and film are being scrutinized with rather dubious eyes, especially after the disaster called "Mrityudaata". Well, if the soundtrack of his forthcoming film - "Major Saab" - is anything to go by, then this film is going to be just the right blockbuster that its title character is looking for. Anand Raaj Anand (who jokingly referes to himself as A.R. Anand) comes up with a score that is fresh, pleasant on the ears, and yet well within the boundaries of commercial tastes.

The album opens with "Akeli Na Bazaar Jaya Karo", which is a reggae-type number sung with playful gusto by Udit Narayan.

Next, we have "Pyar Kiya to Nibhana", which is an Enigma-esque love duet between Udit Narayan and Anuradha Paudwal. The song itself definitely has a catchy beat and appears in both a faster and more mellow form later on (with excellent instrumentals). I found Ms. Paudwal's singing to be a bit lacklustre in the first version of the song, making one realize even more why her return to playback singing has not been as successful as one might have predicted. Another reason for the lull in Ms. Paudwal's career can be found in the next song - "Pyar Karna Hai" - where Alka Yagnik is able to soar through the Arabic rhythm with a great amount of ease and technical skill. A. R. Anand also makes a more than welcome appearance in the end of the song, and he sounds more "Rafi" than current Rafi-clone favorite Sonu Nigam.

Sudesh Bhonsle makes a tolerable appearance on this album in the brief drill sergeant routine "Himmat Kabhi Na Todenge". In "Deewana Ban", however, I found Mr. Bhonsle's brief low bass/baritone to be simply awful.

Kumar Sanu is right at home in the romantic solo "Tere Pyar Mein", which also has some great poetic lyrics. Incidentally, can we have a little more "pyar" in this album?

The album closes with the controversial song "Sona Sona" composed by Aadesh Shrivatsava for "Lal Baadshah", but recently incorporated into this film instead. After listening to this lively play on Punjabi folk and bhangra songs, I can understand what all of the fuss was about. Although Sonu Nigam and Sudesh Bhonsle are great in the number, it is Punjabi singer Jaspinder Narula who easily steals the show with her attractive nasal, deep-throat belt.

Incidentally, this album makes a shameless plug for the ABCL film "Naam Kya Hai", which has been lying in the cans unable to find a distributor. Two numbers from the film are shoved into the middle of this album at rather odd times. We can forgive ABCL this one fault, however, as they have produced an album which has a great deal of repeat value and will definitely do its best in attempting to aid Aby Baby to succeed in his return to Bollywood.

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