Planet Bollywood
Producer: Sudhish Rambhotla
Director: Mani Shankar
Starring: Sameer Dattani, Sunil Shetty, Om Puri, Rahul Dev, Raima Sen, Sushant Singh, Jackie Shroff (Special Appearance)
Music: Karthik Raja, Shashi Pritam (Pritam & Sandeep Chowta as guest composers)
Lyrics: P.K. Mishra and Iqbal Patni
Singers: K.K, Sonu Kakkar, Hariharan, Sadhna Sargam
Audio On: Sony BMG    Number of Songs: 11
Album Released on: July 2008
Reviewed by: Atta Khan  - Rating: 7.5 / 10
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Public Rating Average: 5.11 / 10 (rated by 410 listeners)
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(Note the CD Cover of Mukhbiir OST was poorly constructed, very little information was given to credit each song for the singers and lyricists and consequently the review reflects this).

Mani Shankar’s Mukhbiir marks the release of another budget movie but will the producers cut corners on the music front (let’s face it the music is unlikely to sell this kind of movie) or will there be anything interesting for us music fans?

Well as is current custom and practice, the producers back multiple music directors to help proceedings. So first up we get our favourite Pritam who opens the soundtrack with Tu Salaamat which is an extremely catchy pop song without being very different or unique (hell it even sounds similar to Zara Sa from K.K’s last song for Pritam!). Nevertheless the melody will instantly strike a chord with you guaranteeing some repeated listening in the process. K.K. is brilliant as usual but then again isn’t he always? The lyrics are nothing to write home about. A decent start then for Mukhbiir courtesy of Pritam!

The talented musician Sandeep Chowta then takes the soundtrack up a notch with the rocking Jeena! The drums and percussion have been heavily synthesized to enhance their effects and the background guitar play is equally delicious! With the pace tuned to perfection, this track will have your feet tapping in no time yet we have yet to discuss the true USP which is the singing. Sonu Kakkar (of Babuji Zara Dheere Chalo fame) was introduced by Sandeep and listening to her rendition of Jeena you can see why he was impressed, her vocals have this rustic feel yet at the same time they hold this sweet and innocent charm that touch your inner being! Naturally lyrics take a back seat to the music and singing of this calibre. Suffice to say Jeena is a winner all the way, kudos Sandeep!

Some haunting lyrics greet you with the next track Dhoonde Dil and they remain a fixture throughout putting some listeners off but that would be an eternal shame because this is undeniably THE highlight of Mukhbiir and here’s why…first and foremost it marks the return of Hariharan after what seems a long time away, who knows this could have been recorded years ago but the sound of his vocals (particularly when soft) are a treat for any listener and for this track he is simply out of this world. The music is also very melodic (with a prevalent acoustic guitar playing in the background) whilst holding a fine ambience of a man longing for his dearest…until we get another break in the form of a lyrical verse whose culmination results in a brilliant crescendo and Hariharan’s vocals are switched to a guest singer who renders the final verse with verve and energy! The lyrics are easily the best of the album and the intermittent vocals add to the emotional rollercoaster. Dhoonde Dil is beautiful from start to finish and takes Mukhbiir OST to new heights. Congratulations to Sashi Pritam for producing a memorable track!

Tere Bina reverts to traditional Hindi music but one with a difference in that it holds a light mystical charm and one that grows on you as the song progresses. However let’s be clear on one thing, it relies heavily on the absolutely magical vocals of Sadhna Sargam which will blow you away! Listen to it for her truly bewitching rendition particularly at 2:20mins where she stops singing for a few words...otherwise the music is enjoyable and has a particularly delightful percussion / piano piece to support it. The musician behind this one is Kartik Raja. Mukhbiir is turning out to be a fascinating soundtrack after all!

Kartik Raja ends the soundtrack with Piya Mere Banjaara which follows on from the traditional arrangements of the previous song, although this one is more dance orientated. This is not a bad track but is arguably the least enjoyable here. Expect plenty of dhol / tabla arrangements here. Singing is average as are the lyrics (apologies but there are no credits on the CD cover for this song).

In conclusion there is not a single failure in the soundtrack of Mukhbiir which turns out to be one of the pleasant surprises of 2008. Granted there are only five original tracks (the remaining are a collection from past classics such as Metro etc) and they don’t necessarily gel into any meaningful theme but each track has a unique appeal and is completely enjoyable (barring the last one maybe) and consequently the album is a very attractive proposition. I congratulate the producers for aspiring to such a collection of tracks. Sadly despite this, the way movies are promoted these days, the reality is that the OST is unlikely to have much of an impact on the fortunes of the movie and how it performs at the box office.

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