Planet Bollywood
Producer: Subhash Ghai
Director: Subhash Ghai
Starring: Aishwarya Rai, Anil Kapoor, Akshay Khanna
Music: A.R. Rahman
Lyrics: Anand Bakshi
Singers: Alka Yagnik, Anuradha Sriram, Asha Bhosle, Hariharan, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Rahman, Richa Sharma, Sonu Nigam, Sujatha, Sukhwinder Singh and Udit Narayan
Audio On: Tips    Number of Songs: 12
Album Released on: 2000
Reviewed by: Aniket Joshi  - Rating: 10.0 / 10
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Public Rating Average: 5.12 / 10 (rated by 411 listeners)
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Taal is undoubtedly the most eagerly awaited Hindi film album of the year. Taal is the first time A. R. Rahman has set tunes to Anand Bakshi's lyrics. Taal is the first time "showman" Subhash Ghai has worked with A. R. Rahman. Ghai has said numerous times that Taal has the best music than any of his previous films. That statement proves to be true, in my opinion. However, everyone else who'd heard the music of Taal even before the album released, was saying that Rahman is at his best in Taal. I don't quite agree with that, Rahman's best work in my opinion is Dil Se.. I think it'll be sometime before Rahman tops Dil Se.. Nevertheless, Taal is an excellent album. Rahman has focused a lot more on melody in Taal.

The CD begins with "Ishq Bina Kya Jeena" which is being shown in the trailors. Anuradha Sriram, Sonu Nigam, Sujatha (who's barely heard), and Rahman sing this beautifully penned number. The song focuses on how one can't live without ishq nor how one can't die without ishq. Anuradha Sriram really surprised me. She sounds very sweet and sings well too, which she hasn't done in a lot of her previous songs. Sonu Nigam does a good job with the last verse he has to sing. Rahman uses the flute and tabla very effectively.

"Taal Se Taal Mila" is sung by Alka Yagnik and Udit Narayan. Both Alka and Udit sing the song almost flawlessly. Lyrics by Anand Bakshi are again well penned, with a slight punjabi touch this time. That punjabi touch in the lyrics is present in a few other songs in the album as well.

"Nahin Samne" is my favorite song of the album. Hariharan sings this soft romantic number. Hariharan does a good job as he always does with slow paced songs. The highlight of the song however is the orchestration and the use of the sitar. Sukhwinder Singh is also given credit, but it's hard to spot him.

It's very easy to spot Sukhwinder Singh in the next song, "Ramta Jogi". Alka Yagnik is also present in the song, but Sukhwinder dominates most of it. Sukhwinder's rendition is very good, he makes the punjabi touch come alive. The other Sukhwinder-Alka duet is "Kariye Na." I feel this one is slightly better than "Ramta Jogi". "Kariye Na" has an 'on top of a hill feeling', which Rahman creates easily right from the beginning with the bass and echoes. Sukhwinder renders the song very well.

Richa Sharma joins Sukhwinder to sing "Ni Main Samajh Gayee". The punjabi influence is again present. Richa Sharma makes you forget that Jaspinder Nirula is needed to make you enjoy song such as this one! The interesting thing about the song is that Rahman has used just one beat throughout out the song, which leaves a little extra load on the singers' part.

"Kahin Aag Lage" is a jungle-type number sung by the annoying Aditya Narayan (thankfully, the kid has only a few lines in the beginning and a few at the end), Richa Sharma, and Asha Bhosle. Richa Sharma is barely heard in this one. However, it's glad to see Ashaji sing for Rahman again. This song might not be as good one of the Asha-Rahman songs from Rangeela, but it's definitely enjoyable nevertheless.

"Raga Dance" and "Beat of Passion" are the two instrumental tracks in the album. The latter is the title music. The former appeared on the first trailor, where Anil Kapoor is conducting an orchestra. "Raga Dance" is the better of the two tracks in my opinion.

"Ishq Bina - Ishq Bina" is another version of "Ishq Bina Kya Jeena" sung by Kavita Krishnamurthy this time. Sukhwinder is also given credit, but he's missing completely. Midway through the song, heavy techno beats take over from the tabla, and the chorus begins to repeat "ishq bina kya jeena yaaro.ishq beena kya marna yaaro." Hopefully it'll also have a good dance by Aishwarya as well.

"Kya Dekh Rahe Ho Tum" is very brief song sung by little girls. There isn't much to write about this one.

There's a brief 'western' version of "Taal Se Taal Mila" sung by Sukhwinder and chorus. This one's packed with heavy beats, unlike the Alka-Udit version.

Ghai has worked very hard with Rahman and Bakshi-saab to come up with the songs for Taal, and the hard work of all three men is evident in the songs. The film is said to be Ghai's best yet, lets hope that rumor is true. Rahman has once again proved that he's the most creative music director of today's times. Taal is must-buy to put it simply.

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