Planet Bollywood
Producer: Ramesh Sippy
Director: Vikram Bhatt
Starring: Vishwaas Pandya, Alisha, Swapnil & Aditya Ralkar
Music: Himesh Reshammiya
Lyrics: Sameer
Singers: Himesh Reshammiya, Kunal Ganjawala, Gayateri Iyer, Udit Narayan, Alka Yagnik, Sonu Nigam, Sunhidi Chauhan
Audio On: Sa Re Ga Ma (RPG)    Number of Songs: 7
Album Released on: 30 July 2007
Reviewed by: Atta Khan  - Rating: 4.0 / 10
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Public Rating Average: 5.11 / 10 (rated by 410 listeners)
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The enigma that is Himesh Reshammiya returns after a short break with another Bhatt production, this time with another thriller, the oddly titled Fear. Alas a short break is an awfully long time for the work horse that is Himesh! In fact it is surprising to note that this incredibly popular composer has only released a hand full of soundtracks this year…I mean by this time last year he was well into double figures but music fans lets not be selfish, lets consider his other commitments such as acting…let us not forget his part in Aap Ka Surroor?! Ahem, but we digress! Seriously though Himesh has been fairly quiet this year and you wonder if this is helping him to produce music more consistently. The results suggest that it is but only marginally. At the turn of the year we had the average Red, followed by arguably one of his best ever pieces of work in Namaste London, then the very ordinary Shakalaka boom boom and Fool N Final, then the good Aap Ka Surroor and finally the slightly above average Apne… so with this kind of consistency we should have…erm….well with Himesh it’s anyone’s guess guys but one things for sure, the Bhatts pride themselves on having a good soundtrack so let’s find out if he can deliver!

Himesh’s subdued tones kick start the album with the very average Tanha Tanha. Himesh how many times have you re-hashed this kind of ‘rock’ music? Don’t you get tired? Typical beats repeating themselves time after time after time, monotonous music, average lyrics and absolutely ZERO innovation. Just crooning out verses louder during parts of the song does not necessarily improve it! Oh and Himesh, for the line Sukoon saara cheen gaya…you pronounce ‘cheen’ as ‘cheen’ not ‘chin’! Verdict: One for die hard Himesh fans only!

The Tanha remix may give you something more than the original. Try it but don’t expect miracles!

Things don’t get much better with the suspense thriller Dil Dhadkata Hai….the singing of Kunal Ganjawala would normally stir the emotion of many listeners but here even he sounds bored with the ordinary lyrics offered to him by Sameer and the bland music that Himesh has arranged. Oh you feel for the singer! Yes those monotonous beats return with a vengeance topped with cries of ‘Ishq Ishq’ in the background, how original Himesh! Verdict: There is absolutely nothing to write home about here so I’ll just reach for the skip button and end the misery!

Gayateri Iyer is the unfortunate singer to be chosen for the female version of this song. Alas no singer can save this bland effort from failure as the album plunges further into disarray….

Some beautiful piano notes greet the next track and your prays are answered as the album finally takes a turn for the better with Dil ki Daro Deewar Pe. You see Himesh returns to semi-classic Hindi arrangements for this love song and relies on the golden pairing of Udit Narayan and Alka Yagnik to deliver the goods! Words cannot describe how satisfying it is to hear Udit again after such a long period of absence, he sounds like his old self and delivers a fine performance ably assisted by Alka. Shame the music is not up to the high standards of the singing; more drum beats are the order of the day but at least there is some melody here as well. Verdict: This is easily the best track of the album but let’s be honest that was not a difficult achievement- Nice listen but nothing special!

Udit and Alka are joined by Sonu Nigam for another love song Tu Hai Ishq. If you were asked to close your eyes and listen to this song without knowing its original your mind will take you back to the 90s when these tracks were churned out in their droves! You have the same orchestration here, same background tune, same lyrics, same stanza hell even the singing sounds the same! Maybe the semi- classic feel is the desired output from Himesh but why not enhance it? Why not add the Himesh touch like you achieved with great success in the Tere Naam? Verdict: This one has ‘heard it all before’ and ‘average’ written all over it!

The final track is the title song Fear which is relatively one of the better songs here. Sunhidi Chauhan’s subdued tones are the USP. Unfortunately Sameer lets it down again with some average lyrics topped with cheesy English lines! The music is ok considering it’s a situational thriller. Verdict: Worth a listen for Sunidhi’s vocals but that’s it!

For someone who claims to churn out songs every day of the year with 1000s of songs in the bank, Fear is a worrying effort by Himesh. It is arguably his worst soundtrack this year and even ardent fans will have a gripe about this one. There is no theme, spark, creativity or the odd ‘Himesh trademark’ track that you find in most of his albums e.g. Apne / Shakalaka Boom Boom had the title tracks, Fool N Final had a theme and even Red had some decent rock remixes etc. After his deplorable acting performance in Aap Ka Suroor, Himesh is definitely on form here but for the wrong reasons. Let’s hope his next album hits the jackpot! On the law of averages, there is a good chance it will be but to help proceeding I suggest a change in baseball cap is in the order!

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