Gone are the days when the Burmans (S.D. and R.D.) made the music of Navketan International Films the envy of all other producers. Dev Anand’s films have since floundered with average to unforgivably dreadful music. Dev’s latest trick to win favour with the listeners is to employ four music directors to score the music for Love At Times Square. Young hot-shot Lucky Ali and gifted composer Adnan Sami get picture credits on the front of the CD jacket, while Rajesh Roshan and Aadesh Shrivastava have to be satisfied with their names only in print on the back. The ‘four-composers’ tactic is actually a relative success………
"Sote Sote" kicks off the album and is a soothing duet composed by Lucky Ali. As with most of Lucky’s compositions the guitar takes the lead in the arrangements. Lucky croons in his usual manner along with Sapna Mukherjee to create an enjoyable number that has repeat value. Nice to hear Sapna sing a song of substance for a change; she’s been wasting her talent on frivolous, forgettable numbers for too long. Listen out in the verses for the very subtle resemblance to R.D.Burman’s "Ek Ladki Ko Dekha To Aisa Laga" from 1942 A Love Story.
Aadesh Shrivastava composes the second track on the album, "Sapna Ho". This love ballad is another soothing track with great singing from Sonu Nigam and Vijayta Pandit-Shrivastava. The song has modern contemporary orchestration but the tabla and sitar are blended in so perfectly that none of the exquisite sounds on this track clash. Another repeat worthy number.
Kavita Krishnamurthy handles the semi-classical melody of "Aisa Ho Koi" with practised precision (no surprises there). Lucky Ali’s composition is not as instantly appealing as "Sote Sote" but the song does grow on you with time. The pop sound of the arrangements give the song a more commercial feel which will probably help sell the less commercial tune.
Adnan Sami is a much better composer than he is a singer. When he composes for himself, the brilliance of his compositions usually compensates for his short-comings as a singer. That’s exactly what happens in the catchy, "Raat Hai Jawan" and it’s short sad version, "Aaja Aaja". Javed Akhtar’s lyrics definitely help lift Sami’s creation to another level. Encore!
It’s a sad moment when a veteran composer like Rajesh Roshan produces such a moronic number like "Love At Times Square". Firstly, he steals a riff from eighties pop band Yazoo; a tune already employed by Kalyanji-Anandji in the early 80’s for the title track of Yudh. Secondly, he ropes in Alka Yagnik to screech the number at an unbearably high pitch, not to mention Alka’s poor pronunciation of the song’s English title. Disappointing that Rajesh Roshan’s only number jars with the rest of the album.
Aadesh’s second track begins with a Qawwali intro. by an uncredited and unrecognisable male voice. The rest of the pleasant but formulaic song is competently sung by Udit Narayan, Abhijeet and Jaspinder Narula. This track may not be award winning material but as it follows the dreadful title track, it will allow your ears to recover in comfort.
Lucky Ali borrows sounds from Sandeep Chowta’s "Kambakth Ishq" and combines them with his own trademark humming in "Ye Raste Ye Masti". The guitar leads once again in this Lucky Ali solo (miscredited as a duet with Kavita Krishnamurthy). The song moves at a relaxed pace employing mid range notes, ensuring Lucky doesn’t stray uncomfortably into those high notes. Remember his failed attempt at the high notes in the over-rated Sur?
Dev Anand seems to have salvaged the musical aspect of his films by bringing together fresh talent for this film. Lets hope he can do the same for all the other aspects that have deteriorated over the years (script, direction, story, etc.…).