Hands up those of you who have heard of Mithoon? No I’m not talking about the actor but the latest music sensation…No? Ok now the first clue is that he was part of the team that brought to us the amazing soundtrack Bas Ek Pal last year…remember? No? Ok what about his incredible double act in Anwar (Maula Mere Maula and Javeda Zindagi)? Still No…well the question is where have you been all this time whilst this young newcomer has been setting waves on the Bollywood music front?!
Whether this is your first listen to Mithoon’s musical talents or if like me you are already a fan, his latest venture (and first solo album), Shyam Bajaj's The Train, is quite simply an exhilarating ride that everyone should take and a very worthy follow up to Bas Ek Pal from last year (some would say just as good!).
The album kicks off with the irresistible Woh Ajnabee which is easily one of the most catchy and additive songs of 2007. The clapping hands that ignites the album resonates throughout the song leaving you on a high foot-tapping mood! Shilpa Rao’s rendition (mainly of the two words woh ajnabee is quite simply infectious and she impresses throughout but who would have thought Mithoon could sing as well? Well here he is behind the mic reciting Sayeed Quadri’s wonderful lyrics and making a good job of it too…double kudos to Mithoon for producing and singing this extremely uplifting and delicious song which holds incredible replay value!
The tempo is upped in the ‘remix’ version but one feels the original was peppy enough and therefore you feel like returning to that…
The listener is then immediately taken to another mood with the absolutely mesmerizing Beete Lamhe sung by the ever dependable Krishna Kumar Menon (K.K.). The slow, quiet build up to the song and the opening lines instantly give away the mood of the song Dard mein bhi yeh lab muskhurah jaate hai, beete lamhe humme jab bhi yaad aate hai… The pace of the song then picks up with some soothing and fresh techno arrangements by Mithoon. This song, of a man reminiscing the good times was made for K.K.’s silky smooth vocals and his palpable emotions make this song a winner all the way leaving you to hit the repeat button time after time after time! Another stunning song!
Incidentally the ‘lounge mix’ version of this song by Goldeyy is a fantastic remix as it slows down the original and softens the music so you can hear more of the singer; perfect for K.K. to evoke a more emotional rendition of an already sad song…in a word, superb!
Next up we have arguably the best song of the album, the utterly spellbinding, the genius that is...Mausam. This techno track oozes quality throughout; be it the superb drum beats that awaken your senses throughout the song to the perfectly subdued rendition by Mithoon, it is one classy arrangement that has to be heard to be believed! In particular the use of the piano to intertwine melodiously with the drums is just a treat to behold…the pace is perfect, the mood is perfect, the atmosphere is perfect....to portray of a man’s sadness in the way life is treating him…quite simply a breathtaking effort by Mithoon! Sayeed Quadri gets a special mention for his lyrics which are masterful:
Ek mukamal kashmakash hai zindagi, us ne humse ki kabhi na dosti, jab mili mujhe ko ansoon ke woh tofe de gaye…hus-sake hum aise mokay kum diye…hus sake hum aise mokay kum diye…zindagi ne zindagi bhar gham diye…jitney bhi mausam diye sab nam diye…’ - Sayeed Quadri
The ‘remix’ version is another winner for this album as the effort by Akbar Sami is an intoxicating cocktail of musical arrangements which deserves repeated listening of this amazing tune!
One has to say the album has been 100% stellar thus far and you sense that something has to give…and that’s exactly what happens with the next song, Teri Tamanna. Don’t get me wrong this is a good racy number (Emraan Haashmi on screen!) with a catchy tune but it does not reach the dizzying heights of the previous songs. However it’s still a good listen. K.K. is joined by new singing sensation Zubeen Garg and they form a good partnership to deliver another cool dance number.
BUT HOLD ON!! The best version of this track is yet to come! The remix version by Akbar Sami is infused with the required gold dust to make it infinitely more addictive than the original - He peps things up in more ways than one with incredible results, Kudos to Akbar Sami here. You will never enjoy so many remixes in an album and this sits at the top of the tree asking to be applauded from start to finish!
Last but not least we have the title song Zindagi Train Hai sung by none other than Shaan, the master of all serious vocals. You see, the song is a relaxing philosophical score about how life is similar to a train…on the track of time etc; .an adoring tune that challenges the mind to understand, appreciate and contemplate…The rendition by Shaan is flawless and he is supported with some apt lyrics by Quadri saab. The musical arrangements by Mithoon are also extremely relaxing with some addictive beats.
All in all, The Train is breathtaking and will uplift your mood each and every time you have the opportunity to listen to it! Everything about this album oozes class, melody and soul; from the astounding techno music, awe-inspiring remixes, to the mesmerizing singing and some wonderful lyrics, in this reviewer’s opinion, The Train is the best album of 2007 so far (alongside Life in a…Metro) and will be a hard act to follow…
Mithoon’s debut album will grip every listener and astound them to repeated listening. That’s the true meaning of quality! Do yourself a favor and buy this album. Only then will the name Mithoon be inscribed in your memory. He is making waves in the industry and long may it continue, kudos Mithoon and thanks for giving us the amazing ride that is The Train!