Planet Bollywood
Producer: Nitin Manmohan
Director: Anubhav Sinha
Starring: Sanjay Dutt, Abhishek Bachchan, Suniel Shetty, Zayed Khan, Shilpa Shetty, Esha Deol, Diya Mirza
Music: Vishal-Shekhar
Lyrics: Pancchi Jalonvi
Singers: Sonu Nigam, Alka Yagnik, Sunidhi Chauhan, Udit Narayan, Sukhwinder Singh, Sapna Mukherjee, Shaan, K.K., Babul Supriyo, Hariharan, Mahalaxmi, Caralisa Monteiro, Nandini Srikar and Earl D’Souza
Audio On: T-Series    Number of Songs: 13
Album Released on: May 2005
Reviewed by: Mukul Deshpande  - Rating: 9.0 / 10
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Talent. Voice. Versatility. Vocal range. He had it all. Still, he was ignored by music directors. What does he do? Compose his own music and then sing for himself!

Yes, I'm talking about Shankar Mahadevan, the man behind Breathless (go get it if you haven't already) and now Dus. Of course, there are other stars in the Dus audio - namely Ehsaan, Loy, Udit Narayan, Asha Bhosle, Sukhwinder Singh and Sameer. But all in all, Dus is Shankar's album.

Gems, there are three in this album:

"Hindustani" is the first one. As it is obvious from the name, the song oozes patriotism. But that's not all. The song's assets also include great music (good use of different instruments here) and a foot-tapping (and body-shaking) rhythm. Udit and Shankar (he can scat too!) are brilliant, while Domnique and Mahalaxmi provide ample support.

The second gem is "Sur mile hai", a song describing the most beautiful place on earth. One listen and you're stuck with this extremely hummable tune. Asha, Udit and Shankar - is this the perfect combo? - do a great job with their microphones.

And finally, the best gem - "Dus" (the Domnique, Hema Sardesai and Shankar version). Everything about this song is just - great. One complaint though - the song is a little too short. We wanted more of this delicious stuff!

The other songs in the album are anything but fillers:

"Chandni roop ki" is one of those nice slow songs that remind you of calm lakes and green fields. Sameer is pretty good at describing whoever he's describing. Shankar hisses his way through, and ultimately it's one particular chord (at the end of the "mukhda") that carries this song past the finish line.

With "Mahiya", Sukhwinder Singh proves yet again that "Chhaiyyan chaiyyan" was no flash in the pan. His vocals and Sameer's pen work wonders for this song, while Shankar lurks in the background. Note though that it does take time and taste to enjoy the Persian/Pathaani feel to this song.

Then there is another song titled "Dus". This song even has the same first line - "Hai koi mard hindustani jo mujhe chhoo sake?" - as the other "Dus", but it doesn't quite reach the greatness of its namesake. Sandeep Chowta's music is not bad, but the singers - Saumya and Anupama

(at least one of these two sounds like a Shweta Shetty wannabe) - are boring in a weird way.

"Piya" has decent music by Sandeep again. However, the song is basically just one line repeated over and over again, and so a singer who could provide variety was a must. Sujata tries her best, but I can't help thinking what Jaspinder Narula could have done to this song.

Dus was Mukul Anand's next biggie - until Mukulji expired. The video clips of Dus that I see everyday make me feel even more sad about Mukulji's untimely death. Bollywood had lost a great director in the middle of 1997.Dus (the film) will never release.

The Dus CD - a mast must-buy.

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