Remember the long-awaited songs of Boney Kapoor´s "Prem"? Well I did not expect you to, so don´t worry. However, music listeners had sky high hopes for that collaboration between Laxmikant Pyarelal and Javed Akhtar, which launched the career of Tabu and the non-career of Sanjay Kapoor. But the album? Oh, the album was such a let-down. Not for any fault of the luscious musical passages, mind you. Laxmi-Pyare´s work was as opulent as ever, but for Nilin Dave´s playback singing. Damn you, Mr. Dave. Your voice sucks and I still shake my fists at the sheer mention of your name. Prem proved that music directors should not depend on a musical range limited voice, however novel it may be, to carry their soundtracks to success. But with Rajshri´s latest venture, "Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon", Anu Malik and Sooraj Barjatya have pulled another Prem on us (pun intended).
You see, Southern talent Chitra has a very different voice. It has made "unique" songs like "Kehna Hi Kya" (Bombay), "Raat Ka Nasha" (Asoka) and "Payalay Chunmun" (Virasat) sound stupendous. But Chitra cannot sing a normal track; her lungs just can´t descend to the more mellow octaves. Yet, Barjatya and Malik force the poor woman to do just that... and with expectedly disastrous results.
"Chali Aayee" demands a voice like that of Asha Bhosle or Alisha Chinoi to join Mr. K.K. in its aural journey. But Chitra´s "Aa-ee-e, aa-a-o" sounds like a monkey with a leg caught in a trap. She´s so out of her element, and annoying, you´ll probably fail to note that Anu Malik´s music in the track lacks soul.
Oooh.... Sunidhi Chauhan lends sexy charge to the opening bars of "Sanjana... I love you"... you´re about hooked to the track for two minutes in until.... that voice... not again, please!?! "Tu ishq hai, tujhe pyaar doon.." warbles Chitra, as if she´s drowning instead of drawing her lover near. Thank God K.K.´s there again to claim his undying love for Sanjana, cause with her voice, I´m surprised any dude digs her.
To give Chitra her due, the woman is in fine fettle in the juvenilely worded "Bani, Bani". Her voice is as high-pitched as ever, but this dandiya/ tribal tune is hip and happening courtesy of her effervescence.
Shaan´s "...Aur Mohabbat Hai" is a mushy ballad that´s pleasant on the ears, but even with all the choral support and orchestration, there´s no musical passage that one could call extremely memorable.
"O Ajnabi" (Chitra, KK) made me want to cry... in both it´s happy and sad concoctions. Chitra may only be crying in the latter version, but both are a sad state of affairs.
"Kasam Ki Kasam" with Chitra and Shaan is not bad. Quite tolerable even. But when it´s buried in a pile of musical corpses, you probably won´t care either way.
I don´t care that Kareena herself initiates us to the dumb-as-a-door knob "Papa Ki Pari" track. We´re obviously not impressed. Sunidhi Chauhan takes over for the singing portions, which is fine, but not enough.
The opening riffs of KK´s "Ladka Yeh Kehta Hai Ladki Se" are the lofty standards to which the rest of the MPKDH soundtrack should have aspired. The whole song is evocative of a light summer breeze, but Barjatya has wisely used the "Husna ka mara hoon..." solo for the first few trailers of the film. Maybe because he knew the rest of the soundtrack just doesn´t measure up.
The lyrics to "Bhatke Panchi" may be ´traditional´ but what´s with the "Darwaza Khula Chor Aaye" (Naajayaz) screams at the beginning and end of the track? Since Chitra´s the only singer in the otherwise okay tune, maybe the screech is actually the singer´s own voice upon realizing how Malik has made her sound in the rest of the album.
"Prem! Prem! Prem!" is a supposedly ´Bonus Track´ that actually has the audacity to have Chitra proclaim to KK and Shaan "Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon". Title song, or bonus song, I don´t know what to call it, but Saregama, how about a bonus Tylenol with future CDs and cassettes to control this unintentionally inflicted headache upon listeners?
What a sore disappointment MPKDH has ended up being. (I even prefer the original "Prem" soundtrack more than this rubbish.) And I had such high hopes for Malik´s collaboration with the Barjatyas. I still feel that both Hum Aapke Hain Koun and Hum Saath Saath Hain´s scores were largely garbage. For those music aficionados who went on to make those albums super successful, maybe Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon is also nirvana? Poor souls!