After the mega-musical success of both Baazigar and Soldier, Abbas-Mustan and Anu Malik team up again for their fifth album together, Chori Chori Chupke Chupke. Based on past experience, Abbas-Mustan seem to have a good knack for music. Witness the music for Khiladi, Baazigar, Daraar, and Soldier, and you will know what I am talking about. Baadshah, the last Anu Malik/Abbas-Mustan combination, was average, not quite living up to the expectations. Unfortunately, Anu Malik did not improve much from his last effort. Chori Chori Chupke Chupke has a little bit of everything for everyone, but ends up a big, musical mess.
The album begins with the title song sung by Alka Yagnik and Kumar Sanu-clone, Babul Supriyo, who showed some promise in Raj Kanwar´s Dhai Akshar Prem Ke and Raakesh Roshan´s Kaho Na...Pyar Hai. Although the song itself is no "Baazigar O Baazigar", it definitely has some appeal. Alka Yagnik whizzes through the song with ease. Babul Supriyo also does a fine job in keeping up with her. With a relatively long movie title, it probably was quite difficult to come up with a decent title song. But, Anu Malik and Sameer have succeeded in delivering the goods with this one.
The title song is followed by, "Dekhne Walon Ne", sung by Alka Yagnik and Udit Narayan. Another love song, it is quite reminiscent of the Anu Malik during the Baazigar/Khuddar/Main Khiladi Tu Anari days. In fact, the tune very much resembles some of the tunes from Anu Malik´s Khuddar soundtrack. But, since this is Anu Malik we are talking about, it is definitely no surprise that he has decided to recycle some old tunes. At least, this time, they are his.
For Punjabi lovers, the next song may be somewhat appealing. Being Punjabi myself, I hesitated when realizing that the title of the third track was called "No. 1 Punjabi". I consoled myself with the fact that it was sung by Sonu Nigam and Jaspinder Narula, both of whom were featured in Soldier´s "Tera Rang Balle Balle". Unfortunately, "No. 1 Punjabi" is no "Tera Rang Balle Balle". The track is ok and basically serves its purpose of being an obligatory bhangra song. But, it is definitely not too catchy nor too memorable. Given the mediocrity of the song, the singers do a competent job.
Anaida? Huh? What is she doing in a filmi album? Credit (or more appropriately, discredit) goes to Anu Malik for roping her into this soundtrack. The song is called "Deewani Deewani" and even features the bad boy himself in the background. Most likely, it is picturized on Preity Zinta, who plays a dancer in the film. As such, it just is another cabaret number, which is unfortunate because Anaida has a pretty nice voice.
The fifth track is back to the traditional love song formula. And, Anu Malik does a good job of composing love songs. Entitled "Dil Tera Mera Dil" and sung by Sonu Nigam and Alka Yagnik, the song is very melodious. It is nice to hear Sonu Nigam accompany Alka, as opposed to the usual Udit Narayan and Kumar Sanu. Both do a fine job of carrying the tune well on their shoulders.
It is purely an insult to Alka Yagnik´s talent to ask her to sing a song like "Love You, Love You". Usually, any song that has English lyrics has to be really mind-blowing for the track to be worth listening to. But, this song is horrible. There is absolutely no other word to describe it. Alka´s voice sounds stretched and screechy. The lyrics are atrocious. And, to the misery of the listeners, Anu Malik spoils the song even more with his absolutely irritating voice. My advice - hit the fast-forward button as fast as possible.
The album changes pace and style with the next track, "Mehndi Mehndi", sung by Jaspinder Narula. The music is very typical in terms of wedding tunes, but Jaspinder Narula does her best to keep the song alive. It is nice to hear Jaspinder after what seems like an eternity. But, the song has a very sad feel to it. There are some songs which are melancholy, yet worth listening to. As an example, take Anu Malik´s composition for Fiza, "Na Leke Jaao" also sung by Jaspinder Narula. It has very depressing lyrics, but Anu Malik´s music is excellent and Jaspinder´s vocal range is extremely impressive. But, this track is just average.
The album ends with "Dulhan Ghar Aayee", which is less than two minutes long. The song begins with the sound of a ´shenaai´ and then changes pace with what sounds like a typical Punjabi ladies´ sangeet. It´s actually really fun to listen to, and mainly features a chorus repeating lines about a dulhan coming home to her in-laws. Unfortunately, the song is really short, which is sad because it could have evolved into another sangeet song, like the one from Sunny Deol´s "Dillagi".
Overall, this album is a huge disappointment. With credits like Preity Zinta, Rani Mukherjee, Abbas-Mustan, Anu Malik, and Sameer, this soundtrack had potential to be a large musical success (and, yes, I purposely left Salman Khan out of the list). But, the album falls short. It ends up being a mixed bag - some nice love songs, some nice wedding songs, but also some horrible tracks worth forgetting.