Planet Bollywood
Producer: Ayesha Shroff
Director: Kaizad Gustad
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Jackie Shroff, Javed Jaffri, Zeenat Aman, Gulshan Grover, Madhu Sapre, Padma Lakshmi, Katrina Kaif
Music: Talvin Singh and Sandeep Chowta
Singers: Ila Arun, Jay Sean, Juggy D, Sukhwindra Singh, Sowmya Raoh, the1shanti, Ravi Singh, Rare Form, Sunitha Parthasarthy amd Sonu Kakkar
Audio On: Sony music    Number of Songs: 15
Album Released on: 15 August 2003
Reviewed by: Narbir Gosal  - Rating: 9.0 / 10
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Public Rating Average: 5.11 / 10 (rated by 410 listeners)
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Bollywood has really been experimenting with their films this year, the results have been mixed, but it is a good sign that we are headed in a good direction. Sadly things in the music industry have been so-so this year, that is until now. Kaizad Gustad´s ambitious new venture Boom is not only

hatke in story, style and treatment, but especially in it´s music as well. It´s not your regular Bollywood soundtrack (complete with an item number and a few romantic duets) this is more like a Hollywood soundtrack. The music of this film is obviously directed at the younger generation, who should lap it up quickly. International audiences will also enjoy it, this is Bollywood´s first true cross over album. With music inspired from the motion picture, you can expect these songs to either pop up in the background of the film or not appear in the movie at all. Boom rises above the general fusion music genre and takes it to the next level.

The soundtrack begins and ends with the haunting title track sung by the reclusive Ila Arun. Boom has been composed by Talvin Singh. For the past decade Talvin has been one of the leaders of U.K.´s Asian Underground scene. Here Talvin uses the Trip Hop/Lounge genre of music to set the mellow mood. The song fits the same mould as some of his past works off albums like OK and Anokha (where he also worked with A R Rahman). Ila Arun´s rendition is very husky and throaty, blending in perfectly with the song. It´s great to hear her voice instead of the often annoying Sapna Aswathi. Talvin´s composition builds up gradually as the song plays and has a trance like effect on the listener. Using a lot of unusual instruments and synthesized beats, the songs creeps. It´s easy to see why Talvin won the coveted Mercury music Award. The track is featured again at the end of the album under the Dat Guy Remix. What´s interesting about this version is the way Talvin has extended his original and an unusual rendition by Ila. She almost sounds like a man here thanks to voice modification on Talvin´s part. The composition doesn´t build up like the original but keeps a steady pace that will keep your head bobbing.

Talvin´s only other contribution to the album is Zindabad featuring Ravi Singh. This song may not really catch on as easily as the title track and that is thanks to Talvin´s half baked effort on the composition. Composed as a Sufi number, the track get´s way too congested due to overbearing music arrangements. Ravi Singh sounds more like Sukhwindra Singh in this number and gives a decent rendition, but most of his lines are drowned out by the beat.

Sandeep Chowta makes quite a few appearances on the album, the most notable being the stunning Seduction Saavariya featuring Sunitha Parthasarthy and his protégée Sonu Kakkar (she sang ´Babuji´ from the film Dum). Hands down the best track of the album, Sandeep shows that his time working with American DJ Fatboy Slim has really paid off. Composed in a lounge music style, Seduction Saavariya (what a great title) is a hypnotic journey. Sandeep uses both eastern and western instruments to create a truly seductive fusion of sounds. It´s almost on the same level as some of Enigma´s works (particularly Sadness). Sunitha impresses with her English portions which go down smooth. Her Hindi portions are also a treat to listen to, she gets to display great control over her voice, unlike the raunchy Babuji number.

Sandeep composes three intrumental pieces, again showing why he is revered as one of the better musicians on the Bollywood scene. Sandeep should consider himself up there with the likes of Rahman and Ranjit Barot as one of India´s most cutting edge musicians. The first of his three instrumentals is the interestingly titled Dope The Pope featuring Sukhwindra Singh and Sowmya Raoh. Composed in the dance/trance/techno style, the instrumental has a pulsing backbeat which will surely have your body moving. Sandeep uses Sowmya and Sukhwindra´s vocals only for background effect, letting the music take control of the situation. This is just a taste of things to follow from this composer.

Another gem courtesy of Sandeep is the instrumental piece Two Dons and a Bitch. The song carries a heavy arabic influence which can be heard via persian chants, as well as various arabic instruments. The song style actually reminds you a little or Sting´s Desert Rose, but definitely more upbeat and fun. Sandeep effortlessly mixes a danceable beat with unorthodox instruments to create a cool flavour. His hold over the genre is exquisite. With no vocals this makes for easy listening and is definitely an interesting track.

Sandeep composes Ramp-Age in a dance style with a twist. What is really interesting about this number is the way Sandeep has used Sowmya Raoh´s vocals in the arrangement. It fades in and out giving the track a ghostly presence. Also layering a techno beat with violins and flutes gives the track a cool appeal.

The first of D´Caro´s two offerings is Nuttin Happen feat. Rare Form. The song is essentially a brush off by a girl (who isn´t going to let this man get close to her), and is semi comical in it´s lyrics. The rap mixed in with the tabla and

tumbi (which fades in and out) makes for an interesting listen once or twice, but after that the song definitely looses it´s charm! D´Caro and Rare Form do a good job with their respective vocal renditions.

D´Caro also does the instrumental It´s Safe which has no vocals. D´Caro gets it right this time with his trance infused beats. Eastern percussion mixes with a funky guitar rift over a trance based composition in a racy track which will surely grab your attention!

Jez Humble composes Bhavani Dayani, yet another scintillating instrumental. The jungle beat is instantly gratifying, but what really works well in this song is the computer like beeps and a soft violin which fades in the background. Funky, futuristic and energetic, this song will definitely find favour amongst jungle music fans with it´s fast paced composition. It´s unlike anything Bollywood has seen before.

Up to this point, Boom has been all about the trance/jungle/trip hop and lounge flavour, but there is also a strong Punjabi influence on this album. And the Punjabi flavour begins with the inescapable hit Mundian To Bach Ke by Panjabi MC. Unless you´ve been living in an underwater cave for the past year, you´ve surely heard this number in clubs, on the radio...just about everywhere. Composed about 5-6 years back by Panjabi MC for his album Legalized, Mundian... gained popularity in North America after heavy play in Toronto clubs brought the track to rapper Jay Z´s attention. He added a rap, revamped the track as Beware of the Boys and added a video in collaboration with Panjabi MC... the rest, as they say is, history. Here the song is featured in it´s original version minus the Jay Z rap, and as usual it´s the same old. The dhol and tumbi laced over the Night Rider theme still get your feet tapping, but the song is definitely loosing it´s charm considering it has been played out! It seems the song has been added just to boost the sale prospects of the album in India and abroad.

Nachna Tere Naal (Dance With You) is composed by the Rishi Rich Project and features Jay Sean and Juggy D. For those of you who are unaware, Rishi Rich isn´t exactly a newcomer to the music scene. He worked with Bally Sagoo on Ghar Aaja from the album Anything But Silent and recently gave Craig David a hit with the Rise and Fall Remix (in which even Craig David sang a little punjabi). Here Rishi makes a perfect bhangra/hip hop track to get you off your butt and on the floor. With a flute sample repeating in the background, Rishi adds a catchy hip hop beat to make a surefire hit. Jay Sean´s English portions are perfectly written and mix well with Juggy D´s punjabi portions. Both singers have a good hold over their vocals. Like

Seduction Saavariya, this track perfectly mixes East with West to come up with a instantly likeable hit.

I See You Baby by Groove Armada feat. Gram´m A Funk gets a revamp courtesy D´Caro who remixes the Groove Armada hit and gives it a punjabi spin. Originally featured on Groove Armada´s 1999 album Vertigo, I See You Baby (Shakin´ That Ass) became an instant club hit thanks to a catchy beat and a repetitive title. On Boom the tune sounds like a completely different song altogether! With added punjabi lyrics and a sample from a popular punjabi song integrated onto the original beat, it´s definitely a fun experience. Especially funny is the way they repeat the phrase ´don´t touch me mainu kaindi´ in punjabi. I See You Baby is a foot tapping riot sure to go down well with the masses.

The last of the punjabi funk comes in the form of Punjabi 5-0 by Dum Dum Project feat. the1shanti. Now as some of you may (or may not) know 5-0 is a slang term for the police, so as you can see there is a hip hop influence. This hip hop/punjabi tuned track is a funky good time. The1shanti does a decent job with his rap lyrics. This is a good track to blast when chilling with friends!

Boom is definitely a foray into new territory for Bollywood. It´s exactly what Bollywood has been waiting for, something fresh and new. It can best be described as a potpourri of sounds which will surely grab your attention if you´re into a young, hip sound. Whether it be the mystical title track, the mesmerizing

Seduction Saavariya, the funky instrumentals or the peppy (and for once original) punjabi numbers, this album will be a hit with those who like to party. Boom is literally an explosion of sounds and a must add to your collection!

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