Itâ€™s summertime! Time for the mood to be light, the warm rays of the sun to wash over you and time for love to bloom like a rose (cue Bollywood style mandolin and cheery chorus ala â€śDilwale Dulhania Le Jayengeâ€ť). It is time for innocent and not so innocent love. It is a time for rebirth and a time to gain some brownie points on the Karmic scale. One would say, that it is a time for a â€śKismat Konnectionâ€ť.
Last summer we had â€śJab We Metâ€ť which fanned the flames of the lovey dovey set and catapulted the careers of Shahid Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor through the stratosphere. Itâ€™s a shame that in real life the couple in question broke up just prior to the release of that film. While the hype surrounding Kareena as the second coming in Bollywood has been doused by the disastrous â€śTashanâ€ť, itâ€™s now Shahid Kapoorâ€™s litmus test, to determine if he can carry a film on his shoulders. The spin masters in Bollywood are notorious for creating and undoing relationships between the two leads of a film in order to generate public interest in the film itself. â€śKismat Konnectionâ€ť is no exception as the gup chup going around is that Kareena broke off with Shahid because he was in the midst of an affair with (drum roll please) co-star Vidya Balan. One thing is for sure, itâ€™s a fresh pairing and it will be interesting to see how experienced director Aziz Mirza (â€śChalte Chalteâ€ť), who is back after a long hiatus, is able to portray the two supposedly real life love birds.
So we have fresh love, a fresh pair of lead actors, a hopefully fresh director with renewed creative energy, but what about the music director for the film? Well, faithful PB readers, Aziz Mirza and the Taurani brothers( TIPS,the producers) have roped in none other than â€śfreshâ€ť faced Pritam to compose the music for the film. Pritam has been quiet of late, with very few releases this year (as compared to last year), his last being the superhit soundtrack for â€śJannatâ€ť and before that â€śRaceâ€ť. It seems that this music director whose music always sounds a bit â€śfamiliarâ€ť is trying to take on less assignments in order provide better quality soundtracks. Unfortunately Pritam continues to be dogged by the stigma of being a copycat who doesnâ€™t have any originality, but letâ€™s forget that for a moment and focus on his strengths. He is probably the best arranger/remixer in Bollywood today. No one else can capture the fresh youthful spunky funk of his tunes. Letâ€™s face it; heâ€™s the one to go to if you want catchy music that will get the youthful masses running to your door. So, itâ€™s a wise choice that Mirza went with Pritam, especially considering the chart busting success of last yearâ€™s â€śJab We Metâ€ť. So will this simply be JWM redux? Read onâ€¦. read onâ€¦. and perhaps your heart will skip a beat as you feel that summer love magic.
Last yearâ€™s summer anthem was the classic title track from â€śBhool Bhulaiyaâ€ť. I happened to be in India at the time, and no matter where you went, the track was being played all over the place. You know the song is a hit when auto rickshaw drivers are singing it while they are driving alongside Chowpatty Beach in Mumbai. Can Pritam pull a repeat? I think he almost has with the first track, â€śAai Paapi (Tu Hai Meri Soniye)â€ť, which could very well be the anthem for the summer of 2008. Immediately and immensely likable upon the first listen, the song gets into your head and wonâ€™t get out! Pritam has created an infectious melody with a repeating set of keys throughout the song and synth â€śbloopsâ€ť and â€śbleepsâ€ť that add depth to the funky stomp hip moving percussion. The music director has roped in Neeraj Shridhar (former lead singer of the now defunct Bombay Vikings) to provide the stellar vocals, as his voice is perfectly suited for songs in this genre. Lyrics by the ever-dependable Shabbir Ahmed are straightforward and direct with a hint of naughty playfulness. I dare anyone to stand still to this as even I who am no â€śdisco dancerâ€ť found my feet moving. The promos showcasing Shahid Kapoorâ€™s dancing and Vidya Balanâ€™s glancing is quickly gaining popularity on the music channels. Play this one loud, and feel the â€śKismat Konnectionâ€ť!
Before you fall into the whole kismat/destiny thing with your potential loved one, donâ€™t forget that first you have to â€śMove Your Body Nowâ€ť and get down andâ€¦ahemâ€¦dirty first. So, after the sensitive soul searching of the second track, the soundtrack takes it to another more physical level with this track that seems to be tailor made for some bumping and grinding on the dance floor. The track starts out with the strangely likable masculine-feminine vocals of hard-core U.K. rapper Hard Kaur (who shot to fame after her excellent singing on the â€śJohnny Gaddarâ€ť soundtrack). From there a staggered hip-hop beat is accentuated by the strong point of the song, Shaanâ€™s vocals. Nothing conveys youth more than Shaanâ€™s smooth voice, and he adds just the right amount of pep to the track. Akriti Kakkar (past winner of Sa Re Ga Ma and last seen on the soundtracks to â€śRedâ€ť, â€śNamastey Londonâ€ť, and â€śShaka Laka Boom Boomâ€ť) complements Shaanâ€™s vocals very well. The strength of the track is the memorable rhyming structure/rhythm of the vocals. Shabbir Ahmed provides the requisite â€śdeepâ€ť lyrics for the song such as, â€śâ€¦kudi to lagdi hai naughtyâ€¦â€ť and â€śâ€¦freaky..freakyâ€¦raat ho gayeâ€¦â€ť. Donâ€™t mind the second version of this song found later on the album, as singer Adeel doesnâ€™t sound siginificantly different from Shaan to change the nuances of the song. Pump up the volume on this one as you groove to the dhoom of â€śKismat Konnection!â€ť
Once youâ€™re done sweating on the dance floor, and you are gasping for some romance, youâ€™ll be more than ready to listen to the excellent fourth track, â€śIs This Love (Kahin Na Laage)â€ť. The track is simply irresistible to the ear. Itâ€™s a perfect combination of soft pop music with lilting vocals and the catchy chorus singing the refrain, â€śâ€¦is this loveâ€¦â€ť at just the right moments. Vocalist Mohit Chauhan (of Silk Route fame) attempts to recapture the magic of his track, â€śTum Se Hiâ€ť from â€śJab We Metâ€ť and proves that he should be getting more opportunities to sing for apna Bollywood films. Shreya Ghoshal provides the sultry yet fragile vocals and matches Mohit Chauhan in a romantic jugalbandi that can warm up even the coldest of hearts. Lyrics by Sayeed Quadri add depth to the romantic momentum generated by the melody. Light the candles as you dance comfortably close to this magical tune and say to your potential loved one, â€śThis is love and kismat!â€ť
The next track is probably the weakest of the set, but at least Pritam is off the hook, since, â€śSoniye Ve (Dhak Dhak Dhak)â€ť is a pretty straightforward Bhangra track that sounds so familiar that it could be mistaken for any of the hundreds of songs in this genre that listeners have heard throughout the years. Thereâ€™s really not much to say about it. Bhangra fans will like it, but it fails to capture the manic energy of â€śNagada Nagada..â€ť from â€śJab We Metâ€ť. Sonu Nigam gives an average performance as does Sunidhi Chauhan, and both singers seems bored singing along to this by the numbers bhangra track. Before you start cursing Pritam though, be aware that guest composers Sajid-Wajid who have in my opinion, a tendancy to provide average music, compose this one. The only saving grace for this track, will be if the video in the film is shot really well and raises the bar for the music, otherwise forget this one and go back to â€śMove Your Body Nowâ€ť. Perhaps this one isnâ€™t a connection, but rather a â€śkismat mis-konnectionâ€ť!
â€śKismat Konnectionâ€ť is an enjoyable album (sans the Sajid Wajid track and disposable remixes) that sounds like it could have been titled, â€śJab We Met 2â€ť. Just like the summer, itâ€™s warm, youthful, naughty, and full of love. Itâ€™s obvious that Pritam has spent some time and effort on his songs and I can see â€śAai Paapi (Tu Hai Meri Soniye)â€ť and â€śBakhuda Tumhi Hoâ€ť scorching the music charts. Time will tell whether this film will add to Shahid Kapoorâ€™s popularity, but one thing is for sure, Pritam has another hit soundtrack on his hands. The albumâ€™s a perfect backdrop for that sweetest of emotionsâ€¦. summer love. Donâ€™t fight it and youâ€™ll find yourself scoring some extra karmic love points by giving in to this â€śKismat Konnectionâ€ť!