Planet Bollywood
Producer: Vashu Bhagnani
Director: Remo D’Souza
Starring: Jackky Bhagnani, Pooja Gupta, Riteish Deshmukh, Angad Bedi, Chandan Roy Sanyal, Arshad Warsi
Music: Sachin-Jigar
Lyrics: Sameer
Singers: Jigar, Atif Aslam, Hard Kaur, Neeraj Sridhar, Apeksha Dandekar, Priya Panchal, Mika Singh, Neuman Pinto, Lehmber Hussainpuri
Number of Songs: 11
Album Released on: 01 March 2011
Reviewed by: Ankit Ojha  - Rating: 8.0 / 10
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Public Rating Average: 5.11 / 10 (rated by 410 listeners)
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The duo of Sachin and Jigar rocked it with immense promise in their debut compositions for Satish Kaushik’s Teree Sang, but fizzled out with the soundtrack of the sequel to Krantiveer: The Revolution. And now, they’re back with a mammoth 11-track soundtrack for their third outing, F.A.L.T.U, which is unusual for more reasons than one: first of all, the soundtrack has absolutely no remixes ; secondly, the soundtrack is available only on digital download – a first for any Hindi movie’s original soundtrack – and lastly, this one sees Atif Aslam in collaboration with the duo for the very first time for one song. On the flip side, what’s not hot is that this movie is a Vashu Bhagnani production, bringing back Jackky Bhagnani in yet another college film post the disaster that was Kal Kissne Dekha. While the music did decently, it wasn’t much for the audience to expect anything out of this outing. Does it impress? Well I was watching the promos of F.A.L.T.U and for some reason wasn’t too inclined to grab the music, but when a good friend told me to try it, I decided to give it a shot. And boy, I surely didn’t expect what was to come!

Starting off with a reverbed echo of Jigar’s lyric-less rendition, the listener gets right into the groove of “Le Ja Tu Mujhe”, a track featuring none other than the pop sensation Atif Aslam. Taking some time to build up, this soft rock ballad hits the right chords to form a place in the heart of the listener. The soft strings of the acoustic guitar, coupled with ample, occasional riffs of the electric guitar, with some amazing drumming, makes this song one to watch out for. The saarangi piece before the second stanza is terrifically composed and positioned into the track. Lyrics by Sameer are a highlight, and rightly stated by a dear friend and colleague at Planet Bollywood on our discussions about him, “He’s gone into semi-hibernation mode, but still hasn’t lost his touch!” Overall this is a fine composition with terrific rendition by Atif in particular, singing one of his best songs in a long while.

The mood takes an abrupt crazy turn where Hard Kaur, who hogged unwanted album space in this year’s Patiala House, comes back with a groovy song – “Char Baj Gaye” – that has her as a solo vocalist. Reading the titles one sure does feel scared venturing into the realms of the track, but the intro has enough punch to tap your feet and move your head. The song is too groovy to resist, honestly, and the credit goes to the duo of Sachin and Jigar for executing the sound very stylishly. The lyrics aren’t bad or senseless to hear, and point toward the inbuilt nature of the youth to party hard and have fun whenever they get the chance to. And you know what? Weirdly enough, Hard Kaur ends up growing on you, as does the song.

Coming back to easy-on-the-ears, Neeraj Sridhar gets behind the mic, along with Apeksha Dandekar, lending their vocals to “Rab Sab Se Sona”. With subtle, soothing desi beats, some terrific sound arrangements and good composition by the duo, this song takes to you almost immediately. Though at many places it reminds you of the feel to the Rahat Fateh Ali Khan crooned “Rishte Naate”, it’s probably nothing more than a fleeting thought and you get back to enjoying the song. A very cute number with some lovely writing by Sameer, this one will go to the playlists of all the iPods belonging to music lovers and romantics alike.

The acoustic guitar comes back, followed by Jigar Saraiya’s soulful vocals to “Awaaz”, which is arguably the best song of the album so far. The placement of the tracks into a sorted playlist is what one also gets to see here. Sameer’s lyrics are yet again super-strong, with Jigar making his words sound mellifluous at best. The standard of production makes it at par with a whole lot of Rahman’s sounds produced way before Slumdog Millionaire fame. Terrific orchestrations in the most intense portions in the second half of the song take the listener to another height altogether! The flute piece that plays right before the first stanza is bang on, and will give the listener goose bumps. The duo deserve a standing ovation for this one and should be aggressively promoted to gain a stranglehold over the charts.

The genres make a switch yet again as the title song – “Fully Faltu” – comes to the fore. I usually don’t like Mika Singh, but Sachin and Jigar’s musical prowess even make this much heard genre fun to hear. The beats are very desi, and let me add that once you’ve heard them on headphones, you’ll be able to notice the amazing bass-line, which by the way is also present in the earlier “Char Baj Gaye”. Agreed that this track is nothing new, but it sure does make you tap your feet.

The “Rahman” feel is back again with “Gale Laga Le”, which marks the return of Jigar Saraiya, who now shares his mic with Priya Panchal. Exhilaration returns with this romantic number that has a very intense mukhda that hooks you. Priya Panchal’s vocals do sound eerily like Tulsi Kumar, though you don’t really mind. The strums of the guitar do the trick here as well. Post “Awaaz”, this is the most interestingly composed track that is sure to impress the listener again and again.

Remember how awesome 90s Indi-pop sounded? Well, be happy, ‘cause “Nayee Subah” brings back good memories of all of them. While you can still hear a lot of this genre in the form of pop in Hollywood, songs like this are rare – one might actually argue that we’ve heard songs like “Life is Crazy” and we’ve had a lot of Rock On!!, I would argue that there was some inimitable charm in the pop songs of the 90s which this song has tried to bring back. Neuman Pinto’s vocals sound fresh, and Sameer’s breezy lyrics makes you smile and feel hopeful about every unpredictable future event. The harmonica that comes to fore before the song ends just about makes your day. While there will be takers and detractors for this song, I would wholeheartedly recommend it.

Sachin and Jigar then shift gears toward full-on experimentation with “O Teri”, which is essentially a soft-rock track that has an eclectic composition throughout. From one hearing, you come to know already that this one’s a jam session with the way it starts. And boy, does it kick serious ass! Totally devoid of any cliché or any rigid rule, this one’s even made Sameer go absolutely wild and wacky in the lyrics department. Sound arrangements are very, very good. This is essentially a very difficult track to compose because if a single element fails it kills the song instantly but thankfully it succeeds with flying colours! I feel happy that post Dev.D, people are actually experimenting more often in Hindi film soundtrack by breaking unwritten rules and formulating new ones. This one’s a sure-shot recommendation from me! And believe me, once you get into the groove of it; this is going to be an addiction you won’t be able to resist.

Has anyone of you ever gone to school and gotten terribly low marks? Has any one of you ever not cared about studies even a day before the examinations? Well, Sameer’s written a hilarious song called “Percentage” that is so relatable to us all who’ve gone ahead and said yes to the above questions. And while this song will also cater to a niche audience, the groove is so catchy and contagious, it just sticks to you! It’s a rollickin’ fun track that deviates from its tempo once or twice to give some punches and leave space for (believe it or not) a Malayalam piece! While a few will find it catchy, there are many who wouldn’t really hear it regularly, as it’s quite situational for the movie. But there are laughs and smiles a plenty here so give it a go!

And just when you thought hatke was in, comes a conventional Pritam-esque sounding “Beh Chala” that doesn’t quite make the required impact, nor does it bring any thehraav to the album. The silver lining is, of course, Neeraj Sridhar’s amazing vocals and Sameer’s lyrics, and as an individual number it might as well work, but the placement of the soundtrack just suddenly slows down the pace. This is one track you wouldn’t mind listening to once or twice, but won't really come back to regularly.

Wild suddenly comes back, and the loop of the crying baby, followed by some interesting mixing, and the full-on beat (Prodigy’s “Smack My Bitch Up” anyone?) gets the listener back into the groove! Lehmber Hussainpuri (of RDB fame) croons full-on for “Bhoot Aaya” , with some very innovative and amusing lyrics by Sameer! The men will find this very relatable, as there’s stuff like: “Jab Main Chhota Bachcha Tha Tab Badi Shararat Karta Tha, Ab Jo Main Bada Ho Gaya hun Badi Shararat Karta Hoon, Jab Main Chhota Bachcha Tha tab Superman Pe Marta Tha, Ab Jo Main Bada Ho Gaya toh Supergirl Pe Marta Hoon, Jab Main Chhota Baccha Tha Cartoon Watching Karta Tha, Ab Jo Main Bada Ho Gaya to Birdwatching Karta Hoon..” The high-energy will take the whole song – and the listener with it – to dizzying heights. This one’s another strong recommendation to the youth and the high-energy music lovers!

Wow after a very long time have I enjoyed something as energetic, varied and youth-oriented as F.A.L.T.U, let’s face it there’s not been much in the way of fresh music in Bollywood (confirmed by the recent lousy releases for movies such as Game and Thank You). Thankfully the music here is devoid of cliché and marks the return of relative new composers with a variety of new sounds that will sparkle magic into your ears from start till end. Yes it’s a bumper 11-track soundtrack with not a single remix, which is a feat in itself considering nowadays remixes are the norm. And for just Rs. 40 for the entire album, you get a mind-blowing soundtrack that is a breath of fresh air and as such, value for money is guaranteed. Just go grab the album from its online store, and I’m sure you won’t have any regrets. Easily the best soundtrack of this year so far courtesy Sachin Jigar!

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