Planet Bollywood
Producer: Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar
Director: Satish Kaushik
Starring: Urmila Matondkar, Himesh Reshammiya, Shweta Kumar, Gulshan Grover, Danny Denzongpa, Imran Hasnee, Rohini Hattangadi, Dino Morea, Raj Babbar, Asrani, Bakhtiyaar Irani
Music: Himesh Reshammiya
Lyrics: Sameer
Singers: Himesh Reshammiya, Harshdeep Kaur, Sunidhi Chauhan, Tulsi Kumar, Shreya Ghoshal, Earl D’Souza
Audio On: T Series    Number of Songs: 19
Album Released on: 25 August 2008
Reviewed by: Amanda Sodhi  - Rating: 5.5 / 10
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Public Rating Average: 5.11 / 10 (rated by 410 listeners)
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Well, well. It has been over a year since Aap Kaa Surroor: The Moviee—The Real (hmmm, or maybe not so real) Luv Story was released on Himesh Reshammiya’s mother’s birthday. And, now the sans cap Himesh is back with more hair and of course a brand new OST: Karzzzz (did I leave out any z’s?). Just to clarify, there will beno comparison to the original Karz’s OST because that would result in a music review devoid of nice things to say…remakes very rarely seem to live up to the original, whether it be films or music.

First up is Lut Jaaon Lut Jaaon. This is definitely the best song in the entire OST. We are greeted with a flute at the very beginning of the song. Percussion instruments soon join us, as well. And then, waah, kyaa baat hai, we hear one of HR’s trademark alaaps followed by Harshdeep Kaur’s (Red, Salaam-e-Ishq, Rang De Basanti) deep and melodious voice crooning, “Tumsey mohabbat kar loon jee bhar ke.” Of course, Himesh can’t resist staying away from the mic for long and quickly interrupts, rattling off a laundry list of things love has put him under “karzzzz” for. This song is very catchy, deserves multiple listens and, needless to say, is a hit.

Next up is Hurry Home, I mean Hari Om Hari Om, although it really sounds like he was shouting the former. It is quite funny to hear Himesh uttering some dialogues with pauses in between in which we hear the sort of sound used for Jaadoo’s entry in Koi Mil Gaya. Too bad the song doesn’t end with just the dialogues. No, no, how could we be so naïve to hope for that? As soon as the dialogues are over we are in for an unbearable composition of club beats, shouting and English phrases thrown in every now and then. The choice of instruments also resembles that of Jhalak Dikhlaja (Aksar) to a certain extent.

Were you just about to eat a Tandoori Prantaa, Tandoori Roti or Tandoori Chicken? Chances are you’ll soon lose your appetite after listening to Tandoori Nights. The addition of the words “Tak-Tanna-Na-Na” before “Tandoori Nights” is just hilarious. This is the perfect song to play at a dhaabaa. Or, even better, next time you’re at a dhaabaa you can musically place your order: ek plate tak-tanna-na-na tandoori roti and ek plate tak-tanna-na-na tandoori chicken. Or, maybe once you’re through with this song the very thought of tandoori food will make you shudder. Neither Himesh Reshammiya nor Sunidhi Chauhan make a good impression, the rap by Earl is unnecessary and the lyrics are superficial.

Oye hoye, now we get to listen to Himesh Reshammiya sing again and this time in Punjabi! Soniye Je Tere starts off with rap by Earl D’Souza resembling the song Ek Kalsa (Fool N Final). After 1 minute and 9 seconds we hear the harmonium and the song begins to sound a lot like Tune Mera Chain Vain (Anthony Kaun Hai). Tulsi Kumar sounds as if she’s out of breath, sings way too high-pitched, and her fragile voice is a sharp contrast to Himesh’s rough n’ tough rendition.

After hearing Himesh sing for four tracks in a row, one would hope he’d hand the mic over to another male singer. What ever happened to giving “roti” to other singers? Anyway, we get to hear Himesh, yet again, singing Dhoom Tere Ishq Ki. The combination of the flute, tablaas, sarangis and harmonium is rather beautiful and this semi-classical, slow number seems to be very enjoyable…that is until Himesh starts singing, and that, too, nasally. Oops, he’s not nasal, he’s just singing “high-pitched.” This song would have been AMAZING had he used a singer like Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Jayesh Gandhi, Javed Ali, Krishna, or even SaReGaMaPa ex-contestant Mussarat Abbas. On a side note, this composition will remind you of Aawan Akhiyaan from Ahistaa Ahistaa (a GREAT OST and film, by the way).

Sisak Sisak Ke is another pathetic song with equally as pathetic lyrics. I’m warning you to stay away from this song, otherwise, you’ll end up uncontrollably crying sisak sisak ke and bilakh bilakh ke.

Tere Bin Chain Na Aave is a nice, semi-classical, romantic composition bringing together the tabla, violin, Himesh Reshammiya (and his alaaps) and Tulsi Kumar. Unlike with the other songs, the repetition of the phrase, “Tere Bin Chain Na Aave” further enhances and reinforces the concept of longing for one’s beloved. While the song is very similar to Aashiq Banaya Aap Ne’s title track, Tulsi Kumar is no match for Shreya Ghoshal.

Masha Allah is another painful song to listen to. If only Himesh had sung this song softly…Or, if only he had tried another singer…Interestingly enough, my detective dimaag suspects it is Jayesh Gandhi behind the alaaps, but he is UNCREDITED. The shehnaai, guitar, violins are all thrown in…is this Himesh’s definition of Sufi Rock?

Ek Haseena Thi is the last track. Both Himesh Reshammiya and Shreya Ghoshal do a nice job of singing. More than that, though, I’m thrilled that I’ve managed to get through the entire CD.

I’m not even going to bother getting into DJ Akbar Sami’s remixes. While I used to be impressed with how he’d come out with catchy remixes of even Himesh’s slow numbers, the remixes in Karzzzz are useless. Neither your dil wants to dance maare and neither does your body.

Now what to say about lyricist Sameer? I know he is a man full of talent as he has given us wonderful lyrics in the past for films such as Raaz, Saajan, Raja Hindustani, Saawariya, Aashiqui, Dil, Baabul, Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein, etc. He is certainly capable of penning down powerful lyrics, but for some reason he fails to do so and has been failing to do so for quite some time with HR’s last few projects. Perhaps HR is dictating the nature of the lyrics? I remember Himesh saying on Koffee With Karan that he has a formula for lyrics…that he will repeat a phrase or word over and over in a song so it becomes easy for people to remember and they end up singing it, even against their will. And, for the most part, this technique does work as many people have been telling me that they’ll catch themselves humming a few of his songs, even the ones they don’t like.

It is sad to see Himesh copying elements of his own past songs in Karzzzz even though he had so much time to work on this OST. It is also sad to see him waste the female singers…in the few songs female singers are present, they are only given a few lines. Does Himesh really need to dominate so much? Many of the compositions had the potential to be memorable if Himesh had used another male playback singer. Hearing the same voice singing in the same, loud style for 19 tracks in 2 CDs is tiresome. I give Karzzzz a 5.5 out of 10, knowing that despite my review, people are still going to buy the album. He’s created a strong fan-following for himself…that is the power of “Brand Himesh.” If only “quality” was a value I could associate with this brand.

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