Planet Bollywood
Producer: iDream Productions
Director: Robby Grewal
Starring: Sushmita Sen, Sushant Singh, Rajesh Khera, Dinesh Lamba, Tushar Dalvi and others
Music: Sandeep Chowta, DJ Na
Lyrics: Abbas Tyrewala
Singers: Sowmya Raoh, Sneha Pant and Vaishali Samant
Audio On: Times Music    Number of Songs: 9
Album Released on: September 2003
Reviewed by: Narbir Gosal  - Rating: 6.0 / 10
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Public Rating Average: 5.11 / 10 (rated by 410 listeners)
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Sandeep Chowta does it again...well almost. Samay is a movie that definitely could have done without the routine song and dance, yet the producers and first-time director decided to go with the

filmi ingredient. To do the job they have pulled in Sandeep Chowta as well as a couple of guest DJ┬┤s. Sandeep takes a relatively laid back approach to the album. The result is that he comes up with a few punches but nothing path breaking like his previous works.

The album get┬┤s started with the heavily promoted item number, Laila Laila sung by Sowmya Raoh. As usual Sandeep is in his element with this fast paced pop ditty. Occasional piano and guitar rifts give the song a latin feel in parts, but the song is a foot tapping techno number all the way. Sowmya sings like a dream, matching the skills of Sunidhi Chauhan and Alisha Chinai for the most part. Lyrics for the most part are functional, at times interesting, and always keep with the theme of the track. This is a great start to the album.

Sandeep┬┤s only other song contribution to the album is the somewhat boring Zindagi sung again by Sowmya Raoh. Sandeep┬┤s composition is pretty lifeless. His use of guitar┬┤s, harp┬┤s and piano in a meandering composition doesn┬┤t really strike a chord with the listener. Sowmya does a decent job with the singing, but nothing note worthy. Lyrics are nice, but you┬┤ll be fighting to stay awake to hear them. This one deserves a skip.

Sandeep does a reprise of Zindagi under the title Losing to Win. It┬┤s not so much a song as it is an instrumental. But it┬┤s not much of a departure from the original. Sandeep just adds more instruments here trying to create an ambience of fear. The result is actually worse than the original. The fleeting violin arrangements impede on the composition and on the whole, this sounds a lot more like noise rather than a song. If you didn┬┤t enjoy the original, chances are you won┬┤t enjoy this one either.

Aaj Ki Raat is composed by guest composer DJ Na┬┤ryan with Jayanta Pathak. Sung by Sneha Pant the song scores only with the music. As a fast paced trance number, DJ Na┬┤ryan scores on all accounts. Mixing record scratches and some radio voice over┬┤s he adds a little extra to the song. The song fails on account of the vocals. Sneha Pant is fine as the singer, but the song would have really scored had there not been any words at all. The mundane lyrics don┬┤t help either. As a result

Aaj Ki Raat is more a miss than a hit.

Jab Andhera Hota Hai composed by DJ Notorious and Amit Das suffers the same fate as

Aaj Ki Raat. The song would have been much better had there been no vocals at all. The techno track is fast paced and well orchestrated, but the singing is really such a downer. There is nothing wrong with Vaishali Samant┬┤s voice, it┬┤s just that singing ruins the overall impact of the song. Lyrics don┬┤t really matter much at this point. This one may find some takers, but would have been better without a vocal track.

The soundtrack also provides four instrumentals which will be used mainly as background music for the film. It┬┤s a known fact that Sandeep is India┬┤s leading instrumentalist, he does wonders for the usually mundane music pieces, and here it┬┤s no exception. The first instrumental is the theme piece Samay. You can literaly hear the seconds ticking away as soon as the piece begins. With an eerie voice over and a gradually building composition Sandeep creates a dark and foreboding mood. The use of piano is haunting, and laced with chimes and various synthesized sounds, it makes for a great theme.

For the next instrumental, Man Hunt, Sandeep was obviously inspired by

tabla enthusiasts Tabla Beat Science. His take on their great work is very interesting to say the least. The use of tabla is excellent adding a dark undertone to the piece. It brings back memories of the Malik theme piece from Ram Gopal Varma┬┤s Company. This score is very hypnotic.

Next up is The Chase, another dark and gloomy instrumental which is heavily orchestrated at parts. As the instrumental plays out, it begins to pick up momentum. Sandeep uses violins, tabla and various horn instruments to create an aura of suspense. The clapping effect is a nice touch as well, and just like

Man Hunt, this piece ends quickly.

The last instrumental is titled Last Clue and it takes the listener back to the title theme piece. There is not much of a difference between the Samay theme piece and the Last Clue instrumental piece. Sandeep does switch it up a bit half way through the song. With a host of violins taking over and a incessant percussion rift he gives the instrumental a nice finish.

The selling point of Samay┬┤s soundtrack is definitely Sandeep Chowta┬┤s instrumental scores. The problem is that instrumental┬┤s aren┬┤t what the audience likes to listen to. They don┬┤t make the same impact as vocal songs do, and therefore the audio of Samay faces an uphill task in terms of sales. While Sandeep┬┤s instrumental┬┤s are no doubt great, the rest of the soundtrack (barring the jazzy Laila Laila number) falls flat on it┬┤s face. Buy Samay if you are a Sandeep Chowta loyalist, otherwise it may be a disappointment.

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