Jatin-Lalit’s soundtracks in the early 1990’s came as a breath of fresh air. After the loud and inane songs that dominated the late eighties, there was something very appealing about Jatin-Lalit’s tunes. Their gentle melodies with soulful rhythms made many listeners’ hearts flutter with delight. Though they often reminded one of Pancham, they had enough originality to be able to distinguish themselves from him. Arguably, it is the success of “Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar” that perhaps gave Jatin-Lalit the big break they needed. The album has a youthfully exuberant take on old themes such as friendship, love and sacrifice, which are wonderfully expressed by
Majrooh Sultanpuri. The numbers exude a kind of freshness that tinkle your senses.
“Yahan Ke Hum Sikandar”, as obvious from the title, is about being competitive and the determination to be winners in life. It catches hold of that feeling that most of us have when we are at college. That feeling of being in control of our destiny and at the same time wondering what the path of life will bring us. It also expresses teenage rebellion against teachers and family and conveys the unity of friendship. Udit Narayan and Sadhana Sargam (supported by vocal turns from Jatin and Lalit) bring the themes to life with their spirited vigor.
“Humse Hai Sara Jahan” (Sadhana Sargam, Jatin and chorus) follows the same thoughts but with a touch of romance. The tune and the use of instruments bring out that 1970’s feeling. In this way, the song is quite old-fashioned and for this reason the track is enjoyable. Jatin’s silky and soft voice lends the song a certain charm.
Onto the enchanting opening of “Pehla Nasha”, the song that is an unforgettable classic. Sadhana’s tender whisperings at the beginning is a joy to behold. “Chaahe tum kuch na kaho, Maine sun liya, Ke saathi pyar ka, Mujhe chun liya, Chun liya… Maine sun liya…” She sighs as the piano notes ripple in the background. Listening to her is like falling onto a bed of roses. Udit describes the feelings that are brewing up in the first spell of love. His rendition is powerful and he articulates the emotion of bliss and unprecedented ecstasy.
“Arre Yaaro Mere Pyaaro” (Udit Narayan, Vijayeta Pandit and chorus) is upbeat and likeable. Once again, the words portray the thoughts of student characters in the film- that of the desire to be rich and successful. Amit Kumar and Alka Yagnik make their only appearance in the album in “Naam Hai Mera Fonseca”. Lyrically, this is the weakest song in the soundtrack. It belongs to the rock n roll genre and Amit leaves an impression. Alka Yagnik, on the other hand, sounds ill-suited to such a track.
The album returns to the use of piano music in “Roothke Hamse Kahin Jab Chale Jaoge Tum”. A sad song, this beautifully scored number is a wonderful yet haunting melody. Jatin’s evocative rendition lingers in your mind long after the track has ended. Also unforgettable is Majrooh Sultanpuri’s poetry, which speaks of the realization of how special someone is after being separated from them.
A witty battle of the sexes, “Shehar Ki Pariyon Ke Peeche Jo Hain Deewane” is perhaps a more conventional Hindi film song than any of the other numbers in the album. This might be due to the fact that J-L have abandoned the use of western instruments for this one and returned to eastern instruments. The song once again showcases the chemistry that Udit Narayan and Sadhana Sargam share. This is a lively track that is punctuated by a joyful chorus.
True to its name, the album of “Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar” is a winner!