Expectations are high due to the nostalgia factor.. J.P. Dutta and Anu Malik putting their minds together again for a war saga immediately evokes memories of "Sandese aate hain..." and patriotism. It is obvious that Mr. Malik had been feeling the pressure. Does he try to be innovative and outdo himself? No. But he does provide an album that is on par with his previous work and will serve the film well. The melodies and instrumentals offer little in way of innovation, but the album still works.
The great thing about this album, interestingly enough, is that for once it isnīt about the music. The REAL stars here are the singers who plough through songs that in some cases last over 10 minutes and donīt fatigue; and Mr. Javed Akhtar, who exquisitely crafts extra-long verses for extra-long songs without losing the listenerīs attention. The songs are predictable; the presentation is beautiful.
Before the soldier can go off to work, we get the "please donīt go" back and forth in "Pyar Bhara Geeth". Sonu Nigam (one of the highlights of the album in general) and new golden-child Shreya Goshal invest the song with just the right balance of emotion and playfulness. Sonu is especially good in his higher range - something we havenīt heard in a long while.
And once the soldiers are gone, the women miss their men. This is expressed in "Seemayen Bulayen Tujhe" which contrasts a chorus of marching soldiers with a beautiful 8-minute melody sung effortlessly by Alka Yagnik and picturized on every woman in the cast. This is Alkaīs only appearance in the album but the extended stay is welcome.
The soldiers also miss home and there are a lot more guys than girls in the cast - so they get TWO songs. The anthem "Main Kahin Bhi Rahoon" brings together many playback talents - Sukhwinder, Sonu Nigam, Rooopkumar Rathod, Udit Narayan, and Hariharan and strikes the right chord of patriotism. Roopkumar Rathod outdoes himself with his tragically passionate solo "Kush Rehana". Again, the latter song is one of the lyrical highlights of the album.
The song portion of the album concludes with the post-war survey of the living and dead - "Ek Saathi Aur Bhi Tha". Javed Akhtarīs heart-wrenching lyrics and Sonu Nigamīs sober rendition are sure to bring tears to everyone's eyes when picturised on screen. Just listening to the song is enough to give one chills.... And the song concludes with a customary plea for world peace.
The other two numbers are instrumental tracks of previous songs. All in all - with just five vocal tracks, the album is very long. It is obvious that each song is trying to fairly include every star involved in the project. But when a song can last 8 or even 10 minutes and still hold your attention - you know that something is just right.