Call it a sequel to the chartbusting album Aap Ka Surroor - which rewrote history in music sales for a pop album in India. This soundtrack of Himesh Reshammiya’s debut movie is ubiquitous in all corners of the world. A brand in the making since the release of the music of ‘Aashiq Banaya Aapne’, the composer who has so far already essayed the role of a producer (TV Serials), composer and singer is back with a bang in business, with tunes targeted for the masses.
Messiah and Reshammiya were synonymous when producers of small budget movies saw rushes for their projects when the music caught on wildly with the masses. Promotional videos were being shot at brisk rate to secure box office success and the composer was featured in the videos, holding the mike in the cool-n-stylish manner. Termed as a hurricane in 2006, in terms of the never-seen-before storm created in the music charts since the arrival of the new millennium, Himesh Reshammiya’s name was on everyone’s lips and mind. Frenzy is an under-statement when his own music videos from his album were first aired. So much happened that acting was the next phase in his brand building. The awareness phase was over and proved to be the biggest hit of the brand building strategy. Charged with more energy, the team of Reshammiya-Sameer-Chadha are back to rock the world.
An air of aggressiveness is felt in the voice of Himesh Reshammiya in Assalaam Vaalekum– a loud voice is heard which reaches high notes and is quite rough in the rendering. Does the situation require vengeance? The rap genre is aptly mixed with Urdu words and add to that, the Reshammiya brand of music, which extracts sounds from soft rock to industrial-techno genres. The macho mood is confirmed with the male chorus supporting the singer while the rap portions infuse a certain break in this incomprehensible act of agitation in the singing. Lack of simplicity combined with the heavy pressure on the vocals, relegate the track to an average position.
The ‘wow’ factor in Tera Mera Milna is Shreya Ghoshal, who accompanies Himesh Reshammiya in this powerfully intense romantic number. The composer is heard mostly in the middle octave and rightfully suit the demands of the song. Shreya Ghoshal displays her sweet, innocent and clear vocals in the stanzas. An ace tune crafted by the composer, who extensively uses the acoustic guitars from the prelude to the background music, while adding sarangi accompaniments resulting in a touching duet. Tera Mera Milna is further complemented by the soothing interludes and atmospheric running sounds in the background, which makes it one of the best romantic numbers ever composed by Reshammiya.
I’ve a great feel for melody as well as today’s sound which not too many people have. My father worked with Laxmikant-Pyarelal and I’ve imbibed their magnificent understanding of orchestration.’ - Himesh Reshammiya, [December 2004, hindisong.com]
The composer is right in the above statement as the inspiration from the great Laxmikant-Pyarelal’s orchestration and style of composing is present in the highly melodious Jhooth Nahi Bolna. What strikes in the number is the rich and loud orchestration heard together with the high pitched female chorus. The solid classical foundation is observed in the instruments employed like the continuously playing tabla till the end. However, the violin is sadly missing in the orchestration and Jhooth Nahi Bolna would have a greater musical value if this particular instrument was added. Special mention to the long raaga-based ‘mukhda’. Himesh Reshammiya’s alaap at the start set the tone for the rhythmic track and Shreya Ghoshal continues with the impressive rendition in the stanzas.
Entry of techno beats and the disco bass are evident in a Reshammiya album and the smashingly addictive Ya Ali continues with the hit-making formula. The mix of popular Reshammiya’s brand of music and repeated techno beats add more zing to the piece. Acoustic fusion in the prelude is worth listening while the highly energized Reshammiya renders confidently, stretching his vocals at certain places with the non-stop rendition of the words ‘Ya Ali’. Sunidhi Chauhan who sings for Mallika Sherawat in the sequence does a mind-blowing job, even if she is heard mostly in the background. Overall ‘Ya Ali’ would have been spicier if it was longer and if more importance was dedicated to the composition and orchestration.
The romantic Tere Bina relies more on acoustic sounds and the signature tune of ‘Aap Ka Surroor’ (from the album) while the singing by Reshammiya gets a bit monotonous. Overkill of the same sounds and orchestration are pretty much evident and there is a lack of freshness overall. Gregorian chants in the prelude (which has become a favorite with the composer since he visited Germany) is quite scary while the rest of the orchestration is mechanical. Un-credited female whispers are heard in the background. However, credit should go to Reshammiya for the melodious composition, which might not get the merited accolade due to the similar singing and typical sounds.
The semi-classically challenging Kya Jeena, is a complex number with emphasis on simplified raagas and loud orchestration. The richness in the Indian melody is worth noting. Such songs have become rare with the increasing use of music softwares but Reshammiya decides to get back to the basics. Instruments chosen include the pleasing harmonium which really bring a different feel to the track. Jayesh Gandhi’s supportive vocals coupled with the efficient chorus and the interludes all enhance this piece gradually. Himesh Reshammiya tackles different vocal ranges and may be one of his rare renditions, where he is heard in the low, middle and high pitch.
Mehbooba Mehbooba officially signifies peace between Himesh Reshammiya and Asha Bhonsle. The ever-green track from ‘Sholay’ (which was originally lifted from Demis Roussoss’s ‘Say You Love Me’!) is marketed as A Tribute to Panchamda (R.D Burman). A potpourri of sounds is heard in the background and the track can easily be classified as a light pop song. Himesh Reshammiya and Asha Bhonsle are at very much ease (with no pressure) and did not care much about the singing. It’s mostly a fun number, not to be taken seriously. Remixes: All of the above tracks come in the form of a remixed version, with a bonus unplugged version of ‘Tanhaiyan’, a dark mix of 'Assalaam Vaalekum', a house mix of ‘Tera Mera Milna' and an electro mix of ‘Ya Ali’. Honestly, the remixes have been done so poorly and there is nothing refreshing in their new avatar.
Since the soundtrack is the work of a composer, singer and actor, technical aspects are going to be highlighted.
Less generous on the experimentation of new sounds and arrangements, the soundtrack lacks a pinch of innovation. Considering today the number of new sounds, genres and structures, music directors are experimenting with, Himesh Reshammiya could have done wonders if a new sound was introduced. Having already targeted his audience and keeping his fan base in mind, the packaging of the songs is exactly from his previous album and hits.
Singing: Although the composer has worked with female singers like Tulsi Kumar, Akriti Kakkar, Amrita Kak and Himani Kapoor in the past, the choice in the soundtrack, or for his movie, is a totally different story . Established female singers or the finest voices, are roped in, like Shreya Ghoshal, Sunidhi Chauhan and Asha Bhonsle.
Himesh Reshammiya appears in all the tracks and sounds comfortable mostly in the romantic ‘Tera Mera Milna', the expressive ‘Tanhaiyan’ and trendy ‘Ya Ali’. One of his biggest projects to date, he has musically dared to compose complicated stanzas, which he himself has rendered. The shocking truth is that some stanzas are mostly suited for another voice. The logic behind is about the perception of the voice, which reflects on the tune.
Supportive Vocals: An important component in the structure of this soundtrack is the extensive use of the background vocals. Jayesh Gandhi is once again impressive in his supportive vocals and hats off to him to be able to complement the tracks with his exquisite voice. His repeated appearances just after the multiple preludes in various Reshammiya’s assignments since 2004, have been getting better and better. Special mention to ‘Imli Imli’ (Blackmail).
Sameer’s lyrics do show flashes of inspiration from ‘Tere Naam’ for the romantic numbers. In short, Himesh Reshammiya has packed too much in the soundtrack, thereby diluting the impact of the complexity of the tunes. He is today stuck in a creative impasse – where there is a compulsive need for a new sound and a new treatment for his original compositions. What is really missing is a single super hit song – which would have been the worst hurricane in the music charts for the prolific composer. Assalaam Vaalekum!