out of

Producer: Venus Records & Tapes, Ltd.
Director: Dharmesh Darshan
Music: Nadeem-Shravan
Lyrics: Sameer

Reviewed by: M. Ali Ikram

Nadeem-Shravan are back? Yes, courtesy of the overseas collaboration between the latter and the former absconded, murder suspect. The music director duo with an enviable track record of hits from the early and mid-nineties work hard to recreate the magic that once was, under the helm of Raja Hindustani director, Dharmesh Darshan. (If you remember, Shravan’s solo venture in Rishi Kapoor’s Aa Ab Laut Chale yielded near dreadful results.) Yep, the music works folks, but there’s one major grouse. For a love story, this flick’s got an insufficient number of songs. Eight tracks on the album, and three are double versions of earlier tunes!

We start the proceedings with Udit Narayan, Alka Yagnik and Kumar Sanu’s rendition of  “Dil Ne Yeh Kaha Hai Dil Se”. A sweet, upbeat and frothy tune, Sameer demonstrates he can provide memorable lyrics when the situation dictates. Of late, Bollywood’s most prolific lyric writer had been dishing delicious and dreadful words in the same soundtracks. Thankfully, Dhadkan (and Sanjeev-Darshan’s Deewane) should herald an end to this slump for Sameer Saab. The hallmark of a truly great song is perfect complementation between the lead singers, chorus, lyrics and music. Nadeem-Shravan achieve that perfection here.

Comparisons are necessary when you include the same song twice in an album, and so it must be said that Sonu Nigam and Alka Yagnik’s stab at “Dil Ne Yeh…” pales in comparison to the aforementioned effort. Nigam’s got an excellent voice and has risen in popularity faster than any other contemporary playback singer. But the guy is still very young, and he just does not have the mature voice needed for this evocation of love. Sonu plays the male vocals good, but Narayan and Sanu play it better… much better. (Yagnik is consistently in form for both versions.)

Abhijeet and Alka Yagnik deliver enough of the required sweetness for the upbeat version of  “Tum Dil Ki Dhadkan Mein Rehate Ho”. This violin and dholak-based track is well-accentuated by Abhijeet’s soft delivery. Kumar Sanu’s version of the same track is piano and violin-based and more serious and somber in mood. I prefer the instrumentation in the latter as Nadeem-Shravan have a tendency to overkill the dholak’s use in their songs, even though their strength lies in their great string-based chords. For a change, the violins and piano are brought to the fore in Sanu’s solo, making the song the clear winner.

Dulhe Ka Sehra Suhana Lagta Hai” is obviously sung by the Late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Interesting that the maestro agreed to lend his vocals to the competition (including Anu Malik and Anand-Milind) which pilfered his songs for their Bollywood scores. Goes to show that the man held no grudges against Nadeem-Shravan, and thankfully so. It is always pleasant to hear the great musician’s awaaz and this song is no exception. What sets it apart from all the other shaadi songs of late is Mr. Khan’s voice.

Aksar is Duniya Mein” (Alka Yagnik) and “Na Na Karte Pyar” (Alka Yagnik and Udit Narayan) are average efforts. The problem is there is nothing to set these numbers far apart from the common-place, as was done in the first two tracks of the album. I am confident that “Na Na Karte Pyar” (an inferior rehash of “Dilbar” from Sirf Tum) will have great picturization, but Yagnik’s high-pitched “Margayi, Margayi…” refrains are taxing on the ears. Wonder why music directors insist on making our most competent singers flounder by singing notes in ranges outside their comfort zones? It is not fair to the singers or us listeners.

The instrumental version of  “Tum Dil Ki Dhadkan” is no great shakes. Elevator music is what this is.

Thankfully, there are three really awesome songs in Dhadkan, that make one anxious to see Dharmesh Darshan’s next effort. Accompanied by some great visuals, maybe all the tunes will be great. But five true songs in a romance-themed film? Talk about short-changing us. Then again, maybe Nadeem could not provide enough necessary overseas supervision of the album to add more songs to the film. Savour what there is here. You might not hear much more Nadeem-Shravan in the future.