If there was any doubt that Anu Malik may be coming back to B'wood with a full head of steam after back-to-back releases in Anamika (poor) & Woodstock Villa (good), then there should be no question now, as Malik returns within just a couple of weeks with the music of Hastey Hastey. After the subtle improvements in Woodstock Villa, one has hopes that Hastey Hastey, at the very least, will encompass a few hummable tunes. Malik continues his love affair with lyricist Sameer on this musical rendezvous...
Ah, the days when tracks would be classified as "Happy" and "Sad" makes a comeback with the title track of Hastey Hastey. Both Happy and Sad versions bring together vocalists Shiv Ram Kumar & Sunidhi Chauhan. While the former is a rather upbeat composition filled with acoustic riffs, string flurries, and a light semi-rock rhythm; the latter is the typical slow version of the stanzas, with minimal instrumentation - including a pretty piano intro with harp support. Melodically, the tune suffers from the "heard-it-before" school of melody, with a heavy Malik 90's hangover. I also have some issues with Kumar's rendition, who sounds like a cheap rehash of Abhijeet's extinct vocals. Verdict: Very ordinary piece of work not worth your time.
Bheegi Bheegi Teri Zulfein, rendered nicely by Kunal Ganjawala, has a quick 8 beat hip-hop rhythm to it with some very breezy instrumentation. The song will find a place with a segment of the youth population due to its old-school feel and kicked-back atmosphere. Melodically, the song is a slight improvement from the opening number, yet still lacks the spice of a tune that will linger on your lips after its play time expires. Sameer is drenched in regularity, with yet another clichÃ©d slate of poetry. Verdict: This track barely reaches the grounds of mediocrity.
Hum Hain Tum Ho brings more substance to the table with Sunidhi Chauhan adding her husky touch to Anu Malik's, once again, slightly improved melody. What I like about this song hovers towards the backgrounds. Malik's freedom with instrumentation breaks this track of usual genre boundaries, allowing for more flexibility in the foregrounds. The quasi-trance feel, mixed with piano riffs, claps, and other synthesized sounds creates a distinctive feel for the entire composition. Lyrics take a back seat to the aural happenings. Verdict: A temporarily enjoyable song for the moment - any more than a few quick exposures to it will kill it.
There is absolutely no way I am going to waste your time and mine by going into full analysis of each of the next six songs, and here's why...
Combined, New Age Mantra and Rock The World take up a total of, count it, SIX spots on the track listing. I can understand a composer, or filmmaker, wanting to create various versions of a good song, but ... both these tracks are as spoiled as year-old milk. Pathetic chorus lines, laughable lyrics, and hollow rhythms/arrangements come together to completely harass you as a music lover! Verdict: It's a disgusting state of affairs.
Well, any progress that Malik may have made in his recent comeback has all been thrown away with the pathetic outings in Rock Your World and New Age Mantra, along with the rest of Hastey Hastey. Hum Hain Tum Ho is the only piece that stands any kind of a chance. In Malik's defense however, it's quite evident that these songs have been recorded years ago (I hope!). Needless to say, I do not recommend the soundtrack of Hastey Hastey to anyone. But for those who still do have faith in Anu Malik, as a composer, may want to pick up another soundtrack of his that has just released, Don Mithuswami, which contains a few Malik compositions. Other than that, there isn't much to look forward to here. Sorry folks!
Aakash Gandhi is Managing Editor and Senior Writer for Planetbollywood.com. He also freelances for the Asian Variety Show at avstv.com.