Planet Bollywood
42 Kms
Producer: Eastern Union Entertainment
Director: Nisha Chainani
Starring: Mandira Bedi, Sameer Dattani, Purab Kohli, Bikram Saluja, Prashant Chainani, Nausheen Ali Sardar, Nauheed Cyrusi, Mahima Mehta, Gautam Kapoor, Vivek Vaswani, Rajesh Khera, Saurabh Dubey, Anupam Shyam, Dara Singh Randhawa and Mohan Bhandari
Music: Parik-Tubby
Lyrics: Shahab Allahbadi
Singers: Mahalakshmi Iyer, Roop Kumar Rathod, Shreya Ghosal, Udit Narayan, Gayatri Ganjawala, Sonu Nigam, Clinton Cerejo, K.K, Shaan, Sunidhi Chauhan
Audio On: Virgin Records    Number of Songs: 6
Album Released on: 16 January 2009
Reviewed by: Gianysh Toolsee  - Rating: 6.0 / 10
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Public Rating Average: 5.11 / 10 (rated by 410 listeners)
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Forty-two kilometers – seriously, aren’t there more captivating titles? New kids on the block, Parik and Tubby have both their fresh releases with weird titles. Excited in coming into the dirty world – or should we say, the ‘masquerade’ of composing, their 13B title track – an original instrumental version – shows the early efforts put in by debutant composers. 13B has music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy.

Realistically, the young composers are aware that there is no big exposure in 42 Kms. So what’s their style? 'Aate Jaate' is the ultimate reply – a 90’s nostalgic feel in each line. And yes, this is original.

Rare in the Bollywood studios for playback singing, veteran Udit Narayan, who will probably admit having sung a thousand of ‘Aate Jaate’ in his successful singing career spanning over 25 years, is in the best shape ever. Let’s come to the point; a simple melody, covered with layers of basic sound design, enveloped with melodious voices will somehow find its way in the ears of listeners. Backed by Shreya Ghoshal’s neat and clear vocals, she contributes in adding texture to the simple tune, in a large way. What makes the track enjoyable is the rustic sounds, heard at the beginning and the blend of the harmonium, tabla and guitar acoustics. In retrospective, the duo is heavily inspired from Vidyasagar’s ‘Rafta Rafta’ from Hulchul. Shahab Allahbadi shows potential in penning effective lyrics.

The next best song is 'Ai Meri Zindagi' solely because of the impact of the two voices – Roop Kumar Rathod and Mahalakshmi Iyer. The song progresses with awesome acoustics and ballad sounds. Nothing great – just a nice flow of highest level singing, with Mahalakshmi Iyer joining in the middle of track. Roop Kumar Rathod tries the high-pitched singing and both singers hit the high notes at certain parts. 'Ai Meri Zindagi' also has well-composed flute interludes and tight arrangements. A little magic is missing in the tune to render it memorable. More efforts are expected when such singers are selected.

Starting off with a chorus and a long prelude, K.K’s vocals wait no time to shine in ‘Chand Zameen Pe’, which settles as an average song. Rags & Clinton provide their vocals to the interludes. Heavy use of the guitar is once again present. Parik-Tubby does not have a bad composition in hand – the tune is not mind-blowing but lacks vigor. Where they fail is in adding punch to the song to render it catchy.

‘Zara' is a classic example where no hype and no big names can destroy the popularity of a song. In fact, the number has a right mix of hip-pop, pop and trendy sounds. Sonu Nigam and Gayatri Ganjawala are passable. An equally average track which leaves listeners asking for more in terms of hit material.

'Zara (Remix)’ is better than the original. Storm joins in the background vocals. The synthesizers play a significant part in the overall structure of the song.

‘Tumse Milke Hua’ is archaic stuff. Coupled with technical flaws like a mismatch between the ‘mukhda’ and ‘antara’, the supposedly young-n-peppy track does not offer much to listeners. Shaan and Sunidhi Chauhan sound uninterested, delivering mixed performances. While the chorus can be heard at the beginning, the heavy use of acoustic guitars is worth a mention.

In their first attempt, the music directors show great potential. Drifting from today’s style and laying more emphasis on melody and singing, the duo is set for a long run in the industry. The only set-back is that they do not know how to add punch to their beautifully composed tunes. This is exactly what makes the difference between Pritam and other music composers. 42 Kms is a soundtrack which will be overlooked because of a lack of big names, but it is worth a listen.

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