“It’s won over thirteen awards! That’s a record for a newcomer soundtrack!”- Says Nadeem. The soundtrack that shot Nadeem-Shravan into stardom was released ironically under a label that refuses to release any of their soundtracks any more, T-Series. Aashiqui, a T-Series gem whose recognition was received musically because of the super success the film faced, is a musical soundtrack that remains an excellent listen today, twelve years after the film released. Any Bollywood music lover has probably heard the beautiful, “Bas Ek Sanam” once, and would have definitely hit the repeat button after words. Aashiqui is one of the best romantic soundtracks that Bollywood has seen in the nineties.
Anuradha Paudwal was a popular singer back then when composers didn’t want Lata or Asha etc. to sing. She’s not used as much now in songs, but as is with most T-Series soundtracks she’s all over this soundtrack, the only female singer in fact. That being the case her voice is at the right alto throughout each of the tunes. This was also one of Kumar Sanu’s biggest soundtracks. Singing eight out of the eleven songs as a male vocalist he simply delights!
The piano, saxophone and jhankar beats have always been N-S trademark. In recent songs they’ve been using it a lot, but do mange to provide something different in the music. The opening track “Jaane Jigar Janeman” exemplifies just that but works more because of Sameer’s excellently romantic lyrics which provide the accurate rhythm to the effect of the music on Nadeem-Shravan’s part. The song is repeated twice.
“Main Duniya Bhula Doonga” is another meaningful romance song with Kumar Sanu. A little slower, the duo is perfect in preventing their voices from sounding redundant. The harmonica intervals and the light drum base blend wonderfully with the violin orchestration. The verses too are showered with wonderful instrumentation. Sameer’s lyrics also hit the spot here.
One can’t really pinpoint the best song of the soundtrack, but the title track, “Bas Ek Sanam Chahiye” would certainly be one of the biggest contenders. A male and female version each holds excellent singing by Kumar Sanu and Anuradha Paudwal. Orchestration, drum use all contribute to the beautiful songs. Though the musical base can still be heard in few of N-S’s songs now, this song blends it all together sounding much better than the numbers they have been giving us lately. Sameer is fine form here.
A slower tune, “Nazar Ki Samne” is a song highly filled with jhankar. They use the dholak excellently until the last minute. Still prevalent with other sounds, the song is enhanced with Sameer’s beautiful lyrics, “Tanhayee Jeena Na De…Beechaine Tadapaye…”, and excellent singing by Kumar Sanu and Anuradha Paudwal.
The second contender for being number one on this beautiful soundtrack would be “Dheere Dheere Se Meri Zindagi Mein Aana”. Starting off much differently than all of the other tunes on the soundtrack, the tune is more techno styled (that’s not saying much for the time it was released), Rani Mallik is just perfect with her lyrical contribution to the soundtrack. Again Anuradha Paudwal and Kumar Sanu sing beautifully, though Sanu does hit the nasal portions at times.
Udit Narayan’s solo contribution to the soundtrack in “Mera Dil Tere Liye” doesn’t stand out as much because of the song itself. The song is a wordy tune that does entertain and still carries beautiful orchestration, though some parts carry the Nazar Ki Samne music. Udit does manage to stand out.
“Tu Meri Zindagi Hai” is a slow ghazal styled number which is short and sweet. A tad bit sad; slow it is also blessed with beautiful singing on Kumar Sanu’s part. Sanu manages to outshine Paudwal in this number. This is also a musical base we’ve heard frequently from the duo.
Kumar Sanu’s too solos; “Dil Ka Alaam” (lyrics by Madan Paal) and “Ab Tere Bin Jee Lenge Hum” are the less favorable songs on the soundtracks but aren’t a deterrent in liking the songs themselves. The latter is a hero’s inebriated tune while the former is a lover’s tune. Sanu still walks away with the glory.
Aashiqui was a success in its own right. Unlike soundtracks like Kaho Na Pyaar Hai, which are good undoubtedly, but are over credited over other excellent tunes like Refugee, the film and music has got its due of acclaim. Sameer came up with excellent lyrics for every single song. Pity that he uses most of the same words today. In the end, while he deserves a lot of the credit, it is truly a beautiful collection of compositions by the melody kings Nadeem-Shravan.