Planet Bollywood
Producer: Ramgopal Varma / K Sera Sera Productions
Director: Prawaal Raman
Starring: Tusshaar Kapoor, Anatra Mali
Music: Ajay-Atul, Amar Mohile
Lyrics: Taabish Romani, Nitin Raikwar
Singers: Kunal Ganjawala, Shweta Pandit, Sunidhi Chauhan, Sonu Nigam, Vinod Rathod
Audio On: Times Music    Number of Songs: 6
Album Released on: 18 June 2004
Reviewed by: Vijay Venkataramanan  - Rating: 7.5 / 10
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From its trailers, RGV’s “Gayab” promises to be a hell of an entertainer. Yet another production branded with the Factory stamp, this one too promises to be fresh meat for those can’t stand mushy stuff like “Hum Tum.” Like previous specimens churned out by The Factory, “Gayab"’s soundtrack too is a mixed bag. Though it has some goodies, a couple of tracks are bound to send you into splits. But what makes this CD a must buy is its special, “bonus” track – “Ek Hasina Thi (Remix)” – More on that later.

Gayab Hoke” does a fine job of setting up the mood of this film. Sung by Kunal Ganjawala, it has an upbeat rhythm and simple, but effective lyrics by Taabish Romani. The track may not be exceptional, but is one of those enjoyable ones that can really get stuck in your head after a couple of hearings. Ajay-Atul have carefully ensured that their music adds tinges of the RGV spookiness factor to the song.

Tanha” sung by Sonu Nigam is a slow, melodious track that heavily draws inspiration from slow ballads of A.R. Rahman and Sandeep Chowta. Portions of it take us back to “Aasman Kehta Hai” from the film “Mast”, while the beat is reminiscent of “Eh Ajnabi” from “Dil Se”. The flute interludes, though highly complimentary to the track, seem like they have been lifted straight out of Rahman’s library. A pleasant listening nonetheless.

Dilkash” is another thoroughly enjoyable track. Kunal Ganjawala and Shweta Pandit’s vocals with their youthful zest provide a perfect foil for Ajay-Atul’s heavy orchestration. While many a composer may have been tempted to have this song sung by Sunidhi Chauhan, Ajay-Atul wisely go for the restrained Shweta Pandit.

Talk about the devil and there she is. An RGV album without Sunidhi Chauhan? Impossible! Ms. Chauhan makes her entrance into this album with “You are my Superman, you are my Spiderman.” It seems impossible to fathom what Taabish Romani was thinking while writing these lyrics. I hope, in the best interests of everyone involved that this track is seriously meant to intentionally be laughed at. Ajay-Atul nonchalantly include portions of the “James Bond” and “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” themes, sans any credits to the originals on the CD cover. But RGV need not worry because after listening to this track, Monty Norman, John Barry, and Ennio Morricone would be embarrassed to even file for any sort of copyright infringement.

Main love tumse” defines lyricism idiocy. Nitin Raikwar alternates his words between Hindi and English with utmost annoyance. To add to its lunacy, Amar Mohile lifts the tune right out of A.R. Rahman’s “Yeh Jaan Le” from “Daud” which incidentally was also sung by Vinod Rathod. Skip this track before it drives you to shoot yourself!

The album redeems itself from this slump with Amar Mohile’s “Rampage Notes”, the film’s energetic theme track. Mohile carries forward the style of his score from “Road” yet again, using subtle chants and laughs in the background. This time however, he psychotically drives this track through noisy percussion and orchestration. Psychotically awesome!

And now for the REAL reason to buy this CD, it’s bonus track – “Ek Hasina Thi (Remix)” from the film of the same name. For those who have seen the film, there is no denying that its title track is mesmerizing. Even more arresting is this remix by Amar Mohile. Unlike most remixes, this one stays away from being unnecessarily loud, but is easily one of the most exquisitely tampered remixes we have heard. Mohile’s futzed layering of Dominique and Zubin’s exceptional voices is sensational. His creative re-arrangement of the beats and multi-layered electronic ostinatos make this track a benchmark for all future remixes. So all those wannabe “DJs” out there who churn out their remix albums every week – It wouldn’t hurt to take some lessons from Amar Mohile.

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