Planet Bollywood
Producer: Ram Gopal Varma
Director: Rohit Jugraj
Starring: Mohit Ahlawat, Nisha Kothari
Music: Nitin Raikwar, Prasanna Shekhar, Bapi-Tutul
Lyrics: Nitin Raikwar, Sandeep Nath
Singers: Sonu Nigam, Sunidhi Chauhan, Shreya Ghoshal, Shweta Pandit
Audio On: T-Series    Number of Songs: 5
Album Released on: July 2005
Reviewed by: Mandeep Bahra  - Rating: 6.0 / 10
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Public Rating Average: 5.11 / 10 (rated by 410 listeners)
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Nitin Raikwar is composing more these days in addition to writing lyrics. He composed “Toofan Sa” in Road and although the songs “Berang Zindagi” and “Ishq Da Tadka” from Naach are credited to Amar Mohile on the CD, it is Nitin who gets composing credit in the film’s opening credits. Here, he composes three of the five tracks and writes the lyrics for four of them. The results aren’t that bad either!

Jatin-Lalit’s neice, Shweta Pandit, has come a long way since her sweet girlish singing in Mohabbatein. Naach showcased a totally unexpected sensuousness in her singing and she continues to pull out all the stops with her aggressive rendition in “Zindagi Jeene Ka Naam Hai”. Nitin Raikwar’s energetic arrangements help make this opening number one to remember.

Some calm is brought to the proceedings with the mellow, “Suraj Ki Kirno”. However, this slow paced song has some dramatic music interludes, particularly the strings section. Sexy renditions from Sonu Nigam and Shweta add to this songs appeal making it a repeat worthy track.

Nitin’s lyrics for the title track, “Hero” are a little cheesy, but Prasanna Shekhar’s dance based music and Sunidhi Chauhan’s excellent vocals make the song worth listening to. However, Sunidhi’s pronunciation of “James” is a little strange; she sounds like she’s saying “gems”.

When Sonu Nigam starts the next track with the lines, “Main gussa hoon tujhse, nahin pyaar tujhse…”, one’s immediate reaction is to hit the ‘skip’ button. “Jaan Hai” starts as some boring Broadway musical with its conversational lyrics and Andrew Lloyd Webber style arrangements. However, once Sonu gets to the lines “Jaan hai…” the song really picks up. Unfortunately, the usually competent Shreya Ghoshal sounds painfully out of sorts hitting the high notes. This song is a bit of a let down after the first three numbers.

The album ends on a low note, both figuratively and literally. “Sindoori Aasman” has a languid pace and will have even the most patient among you reaching for the ‘stop’ button. Bapi-Tutul’s melody is fine and Sonu and Shweta sing well, but the song is so slow and badly positioned at the end of the album. After the energetic first few tracks, this is the last thing one wants to hear!

If you’re looking for a break from convention, James fits the bill. The album may not be path-breaking but at least it’s a step in the right direction.

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