Akshay Kumar and Raj Kanwar´s last project together Andaaz created magic, both musically and at the box-office. The composers were Nadeem-Sharavan and ´Andaaz´ will be remembered as one of their best and most popular albums ever. However, this time around Raj Kanwar has opted for Anu Malik, who did an excellent job in his Salman-Preity-Rani starrer Har Dil Jo Pyaar Karega. At the last moment the musician with the midas touch, Himesh Reshammiya, was roped in and that added the extra zing to the album .
Another point not to be missed is that Humko Deewana Kar Gaye is also music giant T-series´ next production after the excellent Lucky-No Time For Love. So with such a musical legacy behind them, expectations become insurmountable. Let us see if the challenges are met with or not.
The album commences with the soft and beautiful play of the guitar and Himesh the singer ( and of course the composer !) who gives it everything as he soulfully renders Tum Saanson Mein . Sample Sameer´s simple, yet meaningful, lyrics - Tum saanson mein , Tum dhadkan mein , Tum nazar mein , Tum jigar mein , Utar gaye , Hum ko deewana , Hum ko deewana , Humko deewana , Deewana kar gaye Himesh croons beautifully , varying the tenor and pitch of his vocals as per the lyrics . Tulsi Kumar gives good company to Himesh . The affect is magical and the song a winner .
The Tum saanson mein remix by Akbar Sami is excellent , as he has taken care not to tamper with the plus points of the original composition and has added the extra beats and rhythm at the appropriate places . More importantly , the singers´ voices have not been relegated to the background.
The third variant of Tum Saanson Mein is the unplugged version and the tempo has been slowed and the instruments reduced . Orchestra plates and soft guitaring dominate the background arrangements. Himesh brings out the feelings in Lagan lag gaye hai yaar portions very well ( with his singing) . The chello has been used beautifully.
The remaining songs are by Anu Malik and let us check them out one by one. Some old-fashioned chorus and melody followed by earthy Indian percussion sounds, which announce the arrival of the title track, Humko Deewana Kar Gaye. It can be hailed as one of the best romantic duet of 2006 (till Fanaa arrives!). Sonu Nigam is at his romantic best, mouthing some excellent lyrics (with a lot of feelings) - Tum jo na aate to achcha tha, Aake na jaate to achcha tha, Tum aate jaate jaana, Hum ko deewana kar gaye Tulsi Kumar too does a good job.
With excellent usage of flute and santoor by Anu, this is a song that will grow with each hearing. This traditional, soft and earthy romantic number also has shades of Salman´s Dil Deewana Bin Sajna Ke (Maine Pyaar Kiya) and is bound to have a long innings at the top of the music charts. The masses and those who are fed up with hip-hop, reggae, and bhangra potpourri being dished out regularly these days will savour it.
Incidentally, this is the same song that Aadesh Shrivastava claims as his composition and the late Anand Bakshi´s son wants financial compensation from Raj Kanwar (saying it is his father’s lyrics). Anyway, whether it´s Anu/Sameer or Aadesh/Bakshi (late) one thing is certain - they have a long-term winner here.
There are two sad versions of the title track, one rendered by Tulsi Kumar and the other one by Sonu Nigam. Both commence with good ´alaaps´ by Tulsi. But in her own version, Tulsi falters after the good beginning as she gets squeaky and one longs for a Shreya or Alka. In his version, Sonu Nigam is at his best once again as he croons more soulfully and with more feelings here. The ´shehnai´ interludes give the impression of a wedding ceremony.
Expectations that were raised after the excellent title track come crashing down as the next track For Your Eyes Only turns out to be a routine, heavy orchestra dominated dance floor number, though Krishna does try his level best to save this one. And to his credit, his Punjabi parts turn out to be the best portion. Nandini tries to sound like Alisha Chinoy but fails miserably. Honestly speaking, For Your Eyes Only seems to be an attempt by Anu to make a statement - ´ Even I can do a Kajrare!´ But it turns out to be poor Kajrare wannabe. The only hope is that this potpourri and mishmash will be redeemed by Akshay´s electric dancing like in Chakle Chakle (from Anu´s Deewane Huye Paagal).
The remixed version of For Your Eyes Only is an ordinary job by Jatin Sharma and it fails to add any laurels to the only disappointing composition of this album.
The next song by Sonu, Bhula Denge Tumko begins with a beautiful couplet by Sameer - Na ji saken yahan, Na mar sakein yahan, Hansne ki baat chodo, Na ro sakein yahan, which aptly sums up the whole situation. The song is of a defeated and dejected person, who has reached a dead end in a blind alley (of course in love!).
A situational track, though it is a sad number; the pace is superb. Sample Sameer´s apt and excellent lyrics again – Yeh dard ki aahein, Juda hui raahein, Bhula denge tumko sanam dheere dheere, Mohabbat ke saare sitam dheere dheere.
The background musical arrangements reflect the tormented and disturbed state of mind to perfection. Sonu is once again superlative and picks up from where he left off in Tanhai (Dil Chahta Hai). Even the picturization (as seen in the promos) is somewhat similar to the above-mentioned number. Does it mean another award for Sonu like for ´Dil Chahta Hai´? Only time will tell. The title of the movie in a female voice, embedded in piano notes, enhances the song further.
The Bhula Denge Tumko Sanam remix by Jatin Sharma is a job well done , though there was no need to touch the superb original version .
Good news for all those lovers of techno-´qawwali´ who have been thirsting for another good one, ever since Anu gave us the superb trend setting Tumse Milke (Main Hoon Na). The wait is over and though it may not be in the same league as the former, it is good. The basic inspiration of this techno-´qawwali´, Mere Saath Chalte Chalte has been drawn from the timeless classic Humein To loot Liya Husn Waalon Ne (wonder why Harry Anand never thought of remixing it!). Shaan shows his diversity and proves why he is one of India´s top singers today. Krishna once again tries to sound like the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and does the job quite well. But it is Sunidhi Chauhan who is just marvelous. The way she sings Dil na kabhi todenge, it’s not in my fitrat (habit), is fantabulous.
Some beautiful flute notes commence the next track Dekhte Dekhte, the beginning of which instantly reminds one of the title track of Raj-Anu´s Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega. Maybe it is deliberate. Later on the song takes a Nadeem-Shravan-ish hue and sounds like a number from the T-Series music bank. But once again the lyrics stand out - Dekhte dekhte hum kahan kho gaye, Chahaton ke safar mein pata na chala, Manzilein thi yahan raaste kho gaye. Abhijeet and Alka Yagnik manage to lift the song to a reasonable level.
On the whole Humko Deewana Kar Gaye is a good comeback for Anu Malik in 2006, after a pathetic 2005. He has served a menu that has a varied mix, which is bound to appeal to almost all the segments and we hope he continues in the same form with Jaanemaan and Umrao Jaan. One cannot ignore Himesh´s contribution and it is with the addition of Tum saanson mein that the audio of Humko Deewana Kar Gaye got turbo charged to jump to the top of the countdown charts and actual across-the-counter sales.