As a producer and a director, Suneel Darshan's name is associated with several films that had popular music. 'Barsaat' and 'Dosti', both released in 2005 and produced and directed by Suneel Darshan, were the last popular albums by the once formidable music composer duo Nadeem-Shravan. Nadeem Saifi made a comeback last with 'Ishq Forever', which was also his first film as a solo composer. Neither the film nor did the music managed to leave any kind of a mark but Nadeem is back again with a new soundtrack. What makes the music of 'Ek Haseena Thi Ek Deewana Tha' a little special is that it brings Suneel Darshan and Nadeem Saifi together after more than a decade.
There is a whiff of the late 90s sound in "Ek Haseena Thi Ek Deewana Tha", the title track but the song does have any element that would suggest that it has been composed by one half of the Nadeem-Shravan duo. Honestly, one does not really warm up to the song initially. Add to it, the dated arrangements and Yasser Desai's overtly auto-tuned voice does not make you happy either. However, the basic tune has its high-points and makes you come back to the song again after you have listened to it once. The alternate version "Tum Kahaan The" sounds better as Palak Muchhal's far more skilled voice takes centrestage here.
One does not have to wait too long for the arrival of a song that engages from the beginning to the very end as "Hue Bechain", the second track in the album, does that. Unlike the title track, this one has the quintessential Nadeem-Shravan sound one was used to hear several years back. While Palak renders the romantic number effortlessly, the effort that Yasser puts to modulate his voice and sound in a certain way is quite evident.
Another number is in the offing, this time with an upbeat rhythm, in "Hanste Hanste". Yasser Desai seems to have a better control over his voice here. Lazy orchestral arrangements notwithstanding, the simple and catchy tune makes an instant impression and takes you on a nostalgia trip to the early millennium. Nadeem writes the kind of over-simplistic poetry Sameer used to write for Shravan and him during their glorious days as composers.
"Nain" is the fourth track on the album that has romance at the core to it but like the three songs one heard earlier, this one has a distinctive flavour of its own and sounds different from them. As far as first impressions go, "Nain" takes the cake as it has a catchy hook line that is endearing as well. The song makes an impression as a whole and is engaging to be played on a loop at least a couple of times.
"Aankhon Mein Aansoo", a song seeped in melancholy, boasts of being the most well-orchestrated track on the album. Pads, flute and keyboard are effectively played to give the track a well-rounded effect. Though Yasser Desai needs to tone down his laboured singing, the song suits his voice fine. Palak Muchhal's voice, heard in the final moments of the song, serves as a good contrast to Yasser's voice.
'Ek Haseena Thi Ek Deewana Tha' is a much better effort from Nadeem Saifi compared to 'Ishq Forever', the film which the composer made his comeback with last year. Like most composers from the 80s and 90s, Nadeem has not really succeeded in adapting to changing tastes in music. The album has a dated sound, the orchestral arrangements are far from being imaginative but most of the songs do manage to engage you. Nadeem should come back with better arrangers and music producers the next time.