Planet Bollywood
Producer: Aditya Chopra (Yash Raj Films)
Director: Kunal Kohli
Starring: Aamir Khan, Kajol, Rishi Kapoor, and Tabu
Music: Jatin-Lalit
Lyrics: Prasoon Joshi
Singers: Shaan, Kailash Kher, Sonu Nigam, Sunidhi Chauhan, Mahalaxmi Iyer, and Babul Supriyo
Audio On: Yash Raj Music    Number of Songs: 7
Album Released on: 12 April 2006
Reviewed by: Gaurav Sathe  - Rating: 8.0 / 10
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Yash Raj Films in the last few years has offered us pure class, whether it is Dhoom’s foot tapping numbers or Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s addictive Bunty aur Babli, the result has been the same: exceptional work bringing success. This time they have opted for Jatin-Lalit, who have been out of the news for quite some time now. The last time they were in the limelight was for another Yash Raj production, Hum Tum- an immediate success. Directed by Kunal Kohli, Fanaa boasts of a stellar cast with Aamir Khan and Kajol joining hands.

The last few months have been one of the most disappointing ones for me, as a supporter of classy music versus ordinary trash we hear every week. So let us see whether Fanaa can recreate Jatin-Lalit’s old melody. What is important here is that Jatin-Lalit have left their place vacant for a long time now, and their return marks the end of their journey in Bollywood.

The album begins with Chand Sifarish, currently being aired on every channel of every hour. Rendered by Shaan and Kailash Kher, it is clear that we are not in for the usual average music, whether it is Pyaare Mohan or Humko Deewana Kar Gaye. Jatin-Lalit have done wonders: the soundtrack is fresh, Shaan sounds as if he will run away with the best singer award, and Kailash sounds as good as he did in Kailasa (his debut album). Most of all however, the song is creative. The most important part here however, is the fact that the song leaves the boring contemporary style of today’s musically deteriorating era and teams up with songs from the 1980’s to leave a dramatic effect; leaving the listener stunned by the melody of the track.

Finally, the biggest plus factor is Prasoon Joshi’s lyrics, which are absolute masterful: In my view, he has given Sameer or Nusrat Badr and perhaps even Gulzar or Javed Akhter, a run for their money. Prasoon are you listening?

The next song is Mere Haath Mein, where one will find a change of singers in the form of today’s popular Sonu Nigam and the versatile Sunidhi Chauhan. The song has been in the news supposedly because Aamir and Kajol apparently lent their voice. However that is not true. They have merely been allotted a few lines to say. Mind you, Aamir does an excellent job.

About the quality of the composition. Well, it is a romantic track and is full of immaculate poetry. The song is one that will get better with time, however it is no match for JL’s Hum Tum title track. Although Sunidhi sounds wonderful, I personally would have opted for Shreya to step behind the mike this time. The song needs a soft delicate voice and although Sunidhi gives it her all, Shreya (keeping in mind her sweetly rendered Piyu Bole from Parineeta) would have faired better.

The third song has Mahalaxmi Iyer singing Des Rangila, a patriotic song in full flow. As I have stressed before, Fanaa has aroused concern among the critics. This time however, I will let them rant on, as Des Rangila is simply Jatin Lalit’s version of Veer-Zaara’s ‘Aisa Des Mera’. While the vande mataram chorus at the end tries to lift the song from Below Average to Average, it is definitely no match for the Veer-Zaara version. On the whole, this is a disappointing soundtrack especially from Yash Raj who have set high expectations. Mahalaxmi Iyer has done wonders recently with the teeny Chup Chup Ke in Bunty aur Bali to the romantic Tu Jahaan from Salaam Namaste, she is finally building a niche in Bollywood. However, her talent goes to waste in this “nothing” composition, and I wouldn’t expect this to even reach the top 20. Prasoon Joshi now makes a hatrick- his lyrics have been exceptional so far and Des Rangila continues it.

Sonu Nigam and Sunidhi Chauhan team up again for Dekho Na and one hopes it will relieve us from the disappointing Des Rangila. Like Mere Haath Mein, the song is slow paced, requiring a soft rendition and both deliver brilliantly. The song takes time to join your lists of all time favorite romantic duets, however it takes some time to grows on you. Like the first two songs in the album, it sounds promising ,and Jatin-Lalit have offered yet another winning formula. Sonu and Sunidhi are at their usual best, with musical arrangements supreme and it will undoubtedly give Himesh Reshammiya (Bollywood’s current newest sensation) a run for his money in 36 China Town.

The next song is probably the best out of the bunch and although it is a faster version of the opener Chand Sifarish, it offers solid entertainment. Fast paced, with words like Fanaa For You, the song is the highlight- with a sizzling dance-floor type rhythm coupled with soothing melody and an outstanding rendition, it offers a bonanza and Jatin-Lalit’s composition will fare extremely well. A winner all the way, I would be surprised if it didn’t stay in the top 10 for a long time.

The second to last song is an instrumental piece titled Destroyed In Love. One would assume that it will be used as a background theme in the movie.

The last of the album is Chanda Chamke and although it is made with much more confusing and puzzling lyrics, it is merely a remake of the Yaara Yaara song in Hum Tum. Purely situational, the song is obviously meant for the younger children. Although this is a patience-testing composition, the lyrics like all other songs, deserves praise and appreciation.

Jatin-Lalit’s last offering doesn’t give us a Dilwale Dulania Le Jayenge or a K3G, but it is still a notch higher than some of the run-off-the-mill music we’ve been hearing as of late. Looking at that, Fanaa is different, with only one track standing out as disappointing. All others are Good with Chand Sifarish (despite criticism) being the highlight. Yash Raj have churned out, not a complete hit, but a semi-hit album in Fanaa. Perhaps Dhoom 2 will make up for this.

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