Anybody who enjoyed watching "Chandni Bar" and "Satta" must have been very surprised by the promos of "Aan - Men At Work". For the trailers are very untypical of Madhur Bhandarkar in terms of style. The movie is an action thriller so it is strange that the promos are focusing on the romantic pairing of
Akshay Kumar and Lara Dutta (though the most recent trailers are starting to focus on action). The songs reflect this promotional strategy. Anu Malik has gone back to his old romantic self in this album.
Easily the best track, "Dil Se Dilbar" leads the way on the theme of love.
Kumar Sanu and Anuradha Paudwal are very experienced at these types of numbers and so fly their way through the song effortlessly and confidently. The ordinary lyrics (by Sameer, who seems to have gone back ten years) do not really matter, as it is the singing and the tune that leave the most impact. This is a song that is aimed at the masses and most listeners should lap up the melodious tune.
After such a lively song, the next one may send you to sleep. "Jab Tak Rahega" is another old-fashioned slow duet but without the charm of the previous track. It doesnÂ´t help that there is some similarity to "Ajnabee Tum Lagte Nahin" ("I - Proud To Be An Indian"), which is a number that I prefer over this one. Abhijeet and Anuradha are fine and do their best with the material they have.
A love story (oops, I mean, er, an action thriller) would not be complete without a sad song. A mandatory composition, "Koi Pyar Na Kare" is largely saved by Sonu NigamÂ´s vocals. He expresses the dard side of love very well without going overboard. Ditto for Shreya Ghosal in the separate duet version of the same track. I think Anu Malik is repeating himself here as the tune is very similar to "Dil Se Dilbar". HeÂ´s hidden the similarity by making that tune fast-paced and slowing this one down. But listen carefully... Every time Sonu croons
"koi pyar na kare", it sounds like "pehli baar hogaya" (a line from "Dil Se Dilbar").
Now that the lovey-dovey stuff has been done, it is time for a couple of item numbers! There have been better dance numbers but still, "Jugnu Ki Payal" is quite likeable. The lyrics are by Tejpal Kaur. I donÂ´t think IÂ´ve ever heard the vocals of Shaswati before but on the evidence of this track, she has a good voice. Supported by
Zubin, ShaswatiÂ´s rendition is seductive and teasing. Her vocals are similar to Sunidhi ChauhanÂ´s so Shaswati would do well to make sure that she does not get slotted as a Sunidhi-wannabe in the future.
Talking of Sunidhi Chauhan, she turns up in "Nasha Nasha" (lyrics by Dev Kohli). This dance number has a good beat and you can shake your thang to it. SunidhiÂ´s voice has been computerised slightly to give it a raspy feel. There have been a spate of "nasha" dance songs this year (most of them by Sunidhi) and if youÂ´ve been listening to those then you may find this one just ordinary. Incidentally, for this song and the last one, Akbar Sami and Jatin have been credited for the sound design.
The sweet duet, "Humein Aapse Shikayat Na Hui, Na Hai, Na Hogi" harks back to the era of 1960Â´s music. Rendered by Sonu Nigam and Alka Yagnik, it is the least contrived song in the album. While I do like "Dil Se Dilbar", that song is typical in some respects. There is a sign of more creativity on Anu MalikÂ´s part in "Humein Aapse..." The singers charm us with their golden vocals. The lovely thing about the song is the flute sound that recurs throughout it. The last one is a routine track. "Hamare Baad" is nothing special to write home about. The only interesting thing about it is seeing Shabbir KumarÂ´s name on the sleeve cover. Some singers refuse to go away.
Udit Narayan, Ujwala and Sarika Kapoor join him.
The album of â€śAan - Men At Workâ€ť is very formulaic in terms of content. Anu Malik has thrown in slow love songs along with dance numbers. While there is nothing exactly earth-shattering here, it is a good for a few listens. After a few listens though, Iâ€™ll probably put the audiocassette aside for a long time and let it catch dust.