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out of

Producer: D. Rama Naidu
Director: Yogesh Ishwar
Music: Anu Malik
Lyrics: Sameer
Audio on : Tips

Reviewed by: Mohammad Ali Ikram

aaghaaz.jpg (14522 bytes)A quiet and disarmingly pleasant release.  That about sums up the musical aptitude of D. Rama Naidu's latest production, Aaghaaz.  Thanks to the talent of Anu Malik, some fine verse courtesy Sameer and our more talented Bollywood playbacks, this album surprises by being better than most big releases of late.  It does have some low points, but even these are far better than the highs of most other albums.

If the entire soundtrack were of the calibre of Alka Yagnik and Babul Supriyo's "Mann, Tera Mera Mann", I would have had no difficulty dishing out a ten.  Unfortunately, sustaining this peak of melody and prose is most difficult.  One thing is for sure, Mr. Malik is always able to give Alka the type of tunes which best utilize her unique vocals.  Nice also to hear Babul Supriyo gaining plenty of work after years of neglect, (even if it is on the shoulders of the over-rated Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai).

It cannot be a coincidence that "Dosti Ho Gayee Hai" is thematically and musically similar to last year's "Ruki Ruki Thi Zindagi" from Mast.  Everything from the playback singers (Sunidhi Chauhan & Sonu Nigam) to the train sounds in the distance are the same.  Not a poor copy, but too bad they could not replicate the rambunctious and energetic excitement of the original.  Malik should keep his promise not to copy others. 

"Dil Ko Pathar Bana Nahin Sakta" is much more enjoyable and Malik-esque in nature.  So it is more enjoyable too.  Courtesy some guitar trills here, plenty of violin support there and the Alka, Kumar Sanu duo "ballad-ing" up the proceedings, you cannot help but thank the music director for being himself. 

It is back to 'inspirational' mode for both a male and female solo of "Dil Dil Dil, Awara Dil".  The music's remix origins are Enigma and Deep Forest inspired and most dance-worthy, but what is with the insipid lyrics?  Tapori thoughts, I always say, best suit tapori (read David Dhawan) films.  Credit goes to Hema Sardesai's spunky rendition though for making her version most listenable.  Sadly, Sonu Nigam does not have the same success his turn around.

Luckily, he is back in vocal form courtesy the title track, "Aao Milke Aaghaaz Karein".  The music conveys a semi-patriotic fervor, but not the lyrics.  What's up with that?  Who cares though, I flipped for the great dholak solo.  Bring on the conflict in the story, the tune seems to be saying.   I whole-heartedly agree.

There's cause to next rejoice babes, as Sunidhi Chauhan and Hema Sardesai vocally gang up on the quiet Kumar Sanu and Rahul for "Nav Nav Lakha Baala Haar".  Sameer succeeds in making this wedding-based song different from the assembly line by avoiding the typical male/female conflict we always hear.  Combine that with a Punjabi-jazz styled musical base, and we have a Winner.

Amazing how the low expectation music and movie releases are often better than those hyped up.  As a whole, Aaghaaz is the type of album that has many songs you will actually want to pop in to the compact disc player a couple of years from now.  Too bad one cannot say the same for Badal, Hum Saath Saath Hain and Chal Mere Bhai.