Tumsa Nahin Dekha…a film virtually unheard of. Anurag Bose, a novice director whose last release, Kucch To Hai, turned out to be a disaster. A star cast comprising of a debutant male lead, Emraan Hashmi, and a very young actress, Diya Mirza. Shall I continue? For the purpose of this article I must…An ever-so repetitive musical duo, Nadeem Shravan, and their extremely ordinary lyricist, Sameer. What does this film have that will allow it to succeed? More specifically, what kind of music would such a film exhibit? Its offerings can’t be too enthralling, let alone impressive, right?
A touch of nostalgia…a streak of style….a bit of beauty…and an intimation of passion. Yeh Dhuan Dhuan is an exquisitely structured piece, and for more reasons than one. Nadeem-Shravan have finally been able to break out of their shackles of repetitiveness and conventionalism by creating a song that encompasses the fundamentals of composition. First and foremost, they create a nice light rock rhythm in the background, which inspires variations of its kind throughout the piece. The nostalgic touch comes from how the song is supported by its instrumental compliments. The use of strings is the main factor in bringing that feel of remembrance. Another huge instrumental benefactor is Richard Clayderman’s pianist rendition, which is superb in its simplicity! Last featured in the mesmerizing rehash of the title track Uuf Kya Jaadoo Mohabbat Hai...!, Clayderman shows his piano prowess by spilling his easy melody over the light rock ballad in the introduction of the piece as well as the two musical interims. The sweet glaze of beauty and the intimacy of romance come alive through the luring vocals of Roop Kumar Rathod and Shreya Ghoshal. Nadeem-Shravan do a fantastic job with finally coming up with a melody that has substance and, what I like to call, “hummability.” I personally can’t think of two other vocalists better suited to render this piece. Maybe not as seductive as she was in “Jaadu Hai Nasha Hai” but Shreya definitely captures the moment of the piece by emitting utmost emotion and sentiment. Honestly, I believe this is the first time that Rathod ji has been offered a song of his caliber; making the most of this opportunity, he too sings with sensation, feeling, and class. Nadeem-Shravan also take full advantage of their chemistry, which is delicately unveiled in the second verse of the song. They play off each other beautifully, and this part of the number is one of the most sensuous verses I have heard in a while! It’s obvious that everyone has done an excellent job in creating this number, so why should we leave the under-dog Sameer out of the picture? He too succeeds in freeing himself from the chains of predictability and writes some very virtuosic lyrics for which Shreya Ghoshal and Roop Kumar Rathod resonate with glory!
In attempt to clarify a common misconception; there is a difference between Nostalgic and Out-dated music. The former simply is inspired by original roots but still has its own style of modernism and flavor; whereas, the latter is simply going back in time and lifting old musical principles, which are, well…out-dated (hence the name). With that in mind, I would like to introduce to you the very nostalgic Bheed Mein. Probably the only element that leads to the nostalgic feel is the background rhythm by Nadeem-Shravan. This is what Nadeem-Shravan are all about, they love this style of music and that is what has hurt them as of late. Fortunately, this track is a bit unique…Back to the rhythm; in contrast to the previous piece, this rhythm is completely eastern influenced, with the tabla taking the lead. Yet, somehow Nadeem-Shravan have been able to modify the music such that it is appealing to everyone, whether its the various breaks provided in the musical flow or the meddling of the eastern-based instruments, the beat has a certain X-factor which rids itself of that out-dated feel we were talking about earlier. The melody is once again of substance and is sung appropriately by Udit Narayan and Shreya Ghoshal, who is a recurring feature in this album. “Bheed mein, tanhai mein…pyaas ki gehraai mein…dard mein, rusvaai mein…Mujhe tum yaad aate ho.” The lyrics by Sameer are not as great as they were in Yeh Dhuan, but in comparison to his past record, these words are quite unique for Sameer. Nevertheless, we’ll take it! Overall, this is a good track for everyone, mostly the upper-aged, yet still remains a notch below the opener.
Fervor, vibrancy, and addictiveness are a few qualitative words that aren’t very characteristic of Nadeem-Shravan compositions in the recent past. Luckily, as this soundtrack has already showcased, Nadeem-Shravan are correcting their flaws and righting their wrongs! Please don’t judge Mujhe Tumse Mohabbat Hai by its clichéd title, because if you do…you’re in for an immense shocker! From the very opening of this piece it’s evident that Nadeem-Shravan are aiming for a different goal, something foot-tapping yet soulful…romantic yet playful, I can happily state that they hit their target dead on with this fun and energized track. From the opening violin performance to the thundering close, Nadeem-Shravan were on a mission to show their versatility that has been masked by their repetitiveness. Let me tell you, although Nostalgia may be an underlying theme in this album, there is no inkling of it here, as this one is a fresh track that will definitely be well received by the younger generation if not everyone! The sensual due of Shaan and Shreya Ghoshal are featured to tickle your senses once more. After Jism’s Jaadu Hai Nasha Hai and Dhoom’s Shikdum, this duo is a popular pair, and frolic together once more to make it a hat-trick! Shreya’s voice is slightly echoed, which makes for a nice effect. The best part of the song, no doubt, would have to be Shreya’s rendition of the title line “Mujhe tumse mohabbat hai, deewangee ki hadh tak…” The melody is so addictive that you’ll be singing this one all the time! Probably supplying those tunes with a few dance moves as well! Maybe not as up to par as he was in Jaadu Hai Nasha Hai or Shikdum, Shaan does an adequate job in rendering along side Shreya. Sameer’s lyrics are probably not as high in preference as they were in the previous two songs, but they are passable…All in all, the question of quality and appeal doesn’t even arise…but one wonders for how long this track will be playing in stereos, cars, houses, and walkmans?
Simplicity liquefied with rich textures of classical music…Vocal innocence intertwined with fine streams of peaceful melodies…and a simple touch swathed by the splendor of nostalgia; when all entwined, a mirage of musical perfection emerges. Woh Humse Khafa Hai is probably the closest Nadeem-Shravan have ever come to creating such a mirage, and it was pretty close! As in Bheed Mein, the rhythm is inspired by its eastern roots and proves why Indian tradition is and will never become susceptible to obsoleteness. The beauty with which the tabla takes command of the flow is a wonder. In addition, Nadeem-Shravan relive the art of the sitar, which as of late is slowly fading from the instrumental forefront with the emergence of more intricate and advanced instruments. Nostalgia prevails once more as the team accompanies their music with the soft play of the flute that adds to the eastern flavor of the number. On a melodic note, the vocal reigns for the male lead are handed over to the expertise of Udit Narayan, whereas the female lead continues to be possessed by Ms. Shreya Ghoshal. If their renditions in Bheed Mein were of class, then their renditions here literally stand in a class of their own! Udit Narayan sings this song with a perfect balance of sorrow and wishfulness as does Shreya. Sameer’s lyrics are definitely up to par, but at the same time, the only aspect of this piece that didn’t meet perfection was in the lyrical department. “Woh humse khafa hai, hum unse khafa hai…magar baat karne ko ji chahta hai. Badi dilnasheen hai, yeh unki adhaaye…aadhaaon pe marne ko ji chahta hai…” Midway…the best piece of the album.
So we’ve finished four of the ten songs and Nadeem-Shravan themselves couldn’t have wished for a better start! With all four tracks owning up to quality music, could it be possible that this album be a nostalgic semi-masterpiece? If it seems almost too good to be true…then it probably is…
The next three pieces, starting with Dhanak Ka Rang, takes this album down an echelon in terms of quality. Dhanak Ka Rang continues Shreya’s streak and showcases her immense versatility in rendition. As she has shown us time and time again, her capability of keeping her voice so much in control but at the same time allowing her vocal notes to wander into the forbidden land of creativity is what has brought her to the fore-front and top of the world of playback singing. Unfortunately, this is the only facet that is showcased in this track. The music is not of comparison to either the nostalgia put forth in a few of the tracks above or even the out-right freshness of Mujhe Tumse Mohabbat Hai. The melody by Nadeem-Shravan deserves some credit but has no hummability. Lyrics by Sameer are above average and thankfully don’t pull this track down below the average mark. All in all, this one might appeal to a few hard-core Shreya Ghoshal fans, but for the most part, falls in the Average category and pales immensely when placed in the same list as the opening four songs.
Nadeem-Shravan fall back in their trap with the very bland Maine Soch Liya. This is exactly what has been kicking them in the past, the lack of creativeness. Ok, forget creativeness…but like usual, their inability to create a song with any appeal whatsoever is why they have faded in the eyes of the critics and the ears of the listeners. Nevertheless, Maine Soch Liya boasts of absolutely nothing! For those of you who still don’t hear a difference between Nostalgia and Out-datedness, give this stale piece a listen and you should be able to rid yourself of any doubt. Thankfully they at least provided the sound of a saxophone and violin here and there to free ourselves of utter-insanity! Unfortunately, the third pairing of Udit Narayan and Shreya Ghoshal fail in accomplishing that hat-trick. Their chemistry, which was so evident in Woh Humse Khafa Hai and Bheed Mein, has completely failed to show up, either it be because of ill-fate or possibly the plain and insipid composition has just scared it away! I must commend Sameer on one issue, he always seems to be able to adjust himself to the situation at hand. If the composition and renditions are of class, so are his lyrics. As Nadeem-Shravan fall back into that ordinariness and mediocrity with which they seem so familiar, Sameer accordingly falls back into his familiarity, which happens to be the same…ordinariness and mediocrity. “Maine soch liya, maine soch liya, kuch bhi ho yaar. Main tho karunga, tumse hi pyar.” Worst song of the album…
Tanhaiya is the last of our three middle mediocre tracks, but when placed after the previous number, this seems to be quite good. From the album’s perspective, this track does have a little bit to offer but not much. Musically, Nadeem-Shravan take the fresh n’ pep route (ala Mujhe Tumse Mohabbat Hai). As you have probably already guessed, the former track doesn’t lay a hand on the latter. Their idea was right, but the project wasn’t thought out properly. For starters, the harmony was nicely created and provided somewhat of an energetic feel; but it’s important to lay the melody on top of the harmony such that everything flows, and this is where Nadeem-Shravan take a fall back. Sonu Nigam’s rendition is up to par, but due to the foreground and background not being in sync, tempo wise, it feels as if the piece is dragging along. That’s my take on it, I could be wrong. This is a good example of something that you would need to listen to yourself; no review will help you decide. Lyrically, Sameer is at his average self…nothing bad but nothing good. Verdict: Exactly what I said before, nothing bad…but nothing that good!
The third group of songs in this album contains rehashed versions of their original, which in this case happens to be the first three numbers: Mujhe Tumse Mohabbat Hai, Bheed Mein, and Yeh Dhuan Dhuan. Luckily, the three re-worked songs are three of the four upper-quality tracks…as if Nadeem-Shravan knew what their strengths and weaknesses were perhaps…?
The first of the three repeats is Mujhe Tumse Mohabbat Hai. It was already very difficult to improve upon the first but Nadeem-Shravan take the challenge in remixing the original to give us the remixed version of Mujhe Tumse Mohabbat Hai. The piece opens up on a great note. The unusual bass instrument meddled with the guitar, both of which are underlined by the sound of gushing winds creates another fresh intro to this feel-good number. The rest of the track is nicely composed and has a disco feel to it. The renditions by Shreya Ghoshal and Shaan are very similar to their portrayal in the original. Regardless, the remix by Nadeem-Shravan doesn’t really take anything away from the song, but at the same time the original is still more enjoyable. .
After listening to this song I’m in quite a conundrum. I’ll reveal the reason why in a bit. The second of our second versions (?) is Bheed Mein II. The reason I placed a question mark after “second versions” was because the fact that on initial and consecutive attempts, I have failed to hear a single difference between this version and its original counterpart. I may be at fault, but it seems to me that the distributors have either made a mistake in repeating the exact same piece or have done this in an attempt to “take up space” in an effort to help sell the album. Hopefully the second reason is wrong because I, and anyone for that matter, would hope that 9 tracks for a single album should be more than enough! Nevertheless, I can’t and wont hold it against Nadeem-Shravan for this error, so…I’ll continue as if this were a second version. This rehash is very very very similar to its original and I will give it the exact same verdict as the first…” Overall, this is a good track for everyone, mostly the upper-aged, yet still remains a notch below the opener.”
After a remix and an extremely repetitive second version, Nadeem-Shravan close the album out with a beautiful instrumental of the opener Yeh Dhuan Dhuan. Remember Richard Clayderman who featured in the original? He’s back and in fine-form to let his piano render the entire track this time. The piano is the perfect instrument for this type of instrumental, and it’s a shame more music directors don’t take advantage of its romantic texture to help build their instrumentals, which are a popular thing of late. Nevertheless, Richard Clayderman lets his piano take over Roop Kumar Rathod and Shreya’s voice exquisitely. Without any chords played by the left hand, he takes care of the melody and in fine fashion. Not bound by the strict limitations of sheet music, Clayderman plays by his most powerful musical receptor…his ears…not his eyes, and that makes all the difference! As sensual as its vocalized original, this instrumental is the perfect way to close out this very unique album.
So, with your very original Nadeem-Shravan and very predictable Sameer, it’s not in the realm of possibility to expect something enthralling, let alone impressive, right? Wrong! Tumsa Nahin Dekha is a unique album in more ways than one: It gives us something that is lacking in this generation of rap and pop (I know you’ve heard me say it many times, but hear it once more)…Nostalgia! It proves that out of ordinariness can come creativity, and out of no expectations can come great things!
Unfortunately, this album didn’t live up to what it could have become. Due to those three mediocre tracks stuck right in the middle, the quality of the album was hampered substantially. But when you have an album that still carries a lot of appeal, you know the other seven songs must really be special. Tumsa Nahin Dekha could have easily been rated an 8.5 or even a 9, but it’s a shame that Nadeem-Shravan couldn’t be consistent. It was difficult to do it in their career…how can we expect it of them in their album? I personally never was a fan of Nadeem-Shravan due to their inability to accustom themselves to the changing expectations of listeners, but they surprised me with this one. Once upon a time…these two men used to live the life of popularity, preference, and mass appeal…but their touch was lost somewhere in the wraths of time…time that brought with it a change in musical genre, musical style, and most importantly, musical generation. Tumsa Nahin Dekha relives the life that Nadeem-Shravan once lived, and portrays them…as they once were…