Upon picking up the audio for Juhi
Chawla and Shah Rukh Khan's
first joint venture, I could not help thinking to myself that the music might fall below
average. After wonderful scores in 1998's Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya,
Pyaar to Hona Hi Tha, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai,
and Jab Pyaar Kisi Se Hota Hai, music directors Jatin-Lalit
reassured those on the music scene that they were indeed forces to be reckoned with.
Unexpectedly, they fell below average with only a few hummable numbers in 1999's Pyaar Koi Khel Nahin and Silsila Hai Pyaar Ka,
with only Sarfarosh and Sangharsh
being above average. But, they're back! And, this time, they've brought back the same
promise they showed in Aziz Mirza's earlier films, Raju Ban Gaya
Gentleman and Yes Boss.
The album begins with the title song, sung perfectly by Udit
Narayan, whose track record for the past several years has been immaculate. He
carries the song with such ease that it's difficult to push it out of your head. Javed
Akhtar does a nice job with the lyrics - a song that can even have you laughing with lines
like 'Kabhi naye packet mein beche tumko cheez purani'. If you know your local
Indian grocery store well, you'll know that these lyrics couldn't be further from the
truth. But, amidst all the joking, dil to hai hindustani.
The second song of the album is immediately catchy. Entitled 'Banke
Tera Jogi', one wonders if Mr. Akhtar was suffering from a hangover from Taal's 'Ramta Jogi'. But, alas, that's not the case. Sung by
Sonu Nigam and Alka Yagnik, the lyrics can be quite a
tongue twister. But, if you enjoyed this song as much as I did, learning the lyrics are no
problem after hearing it 20 times in one sitting. Sonu clearly shows his vocal flexibility
- one of India's few male singers that can do a 'What is Mobile Number?' as well
as he can do a 'Kismat Se Tum Humko Mile Ho'. Although Alka's voice is as sweet
as ever, one has a feeling that Jaspinder Narula would've done more justice to this very
Punjabi-sounding song. Incidentally, Ms. Narula does appear in the
background towards the end if you listen close enough. All in all, a great song.
Next, the album features 'I Am the Best', sung in one version
by Abhijeet and another by Jaspinder Narula. My first instinct was to hit
the fast forward button with a song title like that. But, Jatin-Lalit's treatment makes
the song irresistable. Its feel is very similar to Qayamat Se
Qayamat Tak's 'Papa Kehte Hain'. With the exception of some of Abhijeet's
English pronunciations, this song really turns out to be a treat. In my opinion, Jaspinder
does a better job, demonstrating that she doesn't necessarily have to stick to the Punjabi
numbers. Incidentally, one can't stop imagining Shah Rukh and Juhi crooning this to one
another with their crew of admiring fans. If you've seen the promos, the song is really
well picturized and both look like they're having a blast.
With the fourth track, 'Aur Kya', the album slows down quite
a bit. Javed's poignant lyrics and Jatin-Lalit's flowing music make this love song a very
nice one. Reminiscent of Yes Boss's 'Main Koi Aisa Geet Gaon' and 'Ek Din Aap',
this song features Abhijeet and Alka Yagnik, both of whom do a tremendous job. Don't be
surprised if this one's shot on beautiful locales in Switzerland a la Yash Chopra.
'Na, na, na, na' is Alka's response for this one. You might
be wondering what the question is...ask Abhijeet and he'll tell you: 'Kuch to Bata'.
The fifth song on the album, it showcases both Abhijeet and Alka Yagnik again. The lyrics
sound as if they would be more appropriate in a David Dhawan had they been a bit more
vulgar. But, Javed's proven that he can go beyond beautiful poetry with this number. It's
just as catchy as 'Banke Tera Jogi' and the title track, and revolves around the
hero chasing his beautiful heroine. But, to our hero's agony, she's not giving in so
Shankar Mahadevan croons 'Vande Mataram' for
the seventh song. It's unique, but not something that can be heard over and over again.
Tackling subjects like crime and corruption in India, it has a very patriotic feel, which
isn't so difficult to figure out from the title of the song. Probably the only mediocre
song on the album, it lacks the poignancy of Border's 'Mere
Dushman Mere Bhai', or even Pukar's 'Ek Tu Hai Bharosa'.
With 'zakhmi sadakein' and 'ghayal galiyaan', the song even features
noises of bullet shots. Yet, in the end, it seems as though something's missing.
Finally, the album ends with 'Aao Na Aao Na' sung by none
other than Lalit Pandit. Yes, you're right if you guessed one half of
Jatin-Lalit. It's short, but sweet. Although Lalit's voice is not conventional sounding,
there was no reason that the duo could not have lengthened it.
Overall, the album is a pleasant surprise from Jatin-Lalit, whose earlier efforts this
year have not been too impressive, with the exception of Sangharsh and Sarfarosh. If you
buy the CD, it features three remixes of the title song, one of which is done by remix
master, Bally Sagoo. Judging by the promos of the film and by its music, this film should
definitely be a sure-fire hit!