Planet Bollywood
Vaada Raha
Producer: Samir Karnik, Sunil A. Lulla
Director: Samir Karnik
Starring: Bobby Deol, Kangna Ranaut, Atul Agnihotri, Dwij Yadav
Music: Toshi Sharib, Babbu Mann, Monty Sharma, Rahul B. Seth & Sandy, Sanjay Chowdhury
Lyrics: Turaz, Babbu Mann, Sandeep Nath, Rahul B. Seth & Sandy
Singers: Toshi, Babbu Maan, Parthiv Gohil, Sharmista Chateerjee, Shell Hada, Shaan, Shweta Pandit, Kunal Ganjawala
Audio On: Eros Music    Number of Songs: 10
Album Released on: August 2009
Reviewed by: Atta Khan  - Rating: 6.5 / 10
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Public Rating Average: 5.11 / 10 (rated by 410 listeners)
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With so many soundtracks releasing at the moment, one would be forgiven for thinking that Bollywood is on some kind of gold rush! Ahem, maybe it’s got something to do with the backlog of movies finally racing off the production lines that were earlier postponed due to the strikes? But is the recent glut of music releases worth a listen and how do you distinguish between the good, bad and ugly? Well dear listeners…you can certainly tune into to get the full lowdown!

Sameer Karnik’s Vaada Raha….I Promise is one music release which provides more curiosity than other soundtracks simply because of the sheer variety of composers involved. There are FIVE in total, which begs the question as to why so many were required? Further reference to the back of the CD cover reveals some sparkling talents including Toshi Sharib (Raaz TMC (2008) and Jashnn (2009) fame), Punjabi folk singer Babbu Mann and Monty Sharma (Saawariya (2007), Chamku (2008) fame). The two not so well known composers are the duo Rahul B. Seth & Sandy and Sanjay Chowdhury who provides some instrumentals and the background score….PHEW! So was such an investment worth it? Does the music live up to expectations? Well YES…but only in parts. So overall, is it worth a listen? YES!

Toshi Sharib did well in their debut soundtrack for Vikram Bhatt’s Jashnn (2009) earlier this year. However you felt they had much more to offer so it will be interesting to see what they achieve in their sole offering here for the title song “Vaada Raha…” . Unfortunately it’s a bit of a let down. Clearly instructed to provide a melodious number, they churn out a very typical dhol-beat song that does not impress at all. Honestly the arrangements are so flat and cheesy you want to forget it instantly… lyrics by Turaz are a complete wash out as well. Singing from Toshi is normally lively but here he sounds dull. Overall, to say it’s a disappointment would be an understatement! Back to the drawing board for this duo.

“Vaada Raha Remix” is much more the Toshi Sharib we know and love! Gone is the annoying dhol fusion and in its place we get more bearable techno beats. Definitely more enjoyable than the original.

Babbu Mann is one of those rare multi-faceted talents that can compose, write and sing a song from beginning to end. Unfortunately we haven’t seen much of him in Bollywood recently. Thank god then that the producers of this movie are his fans because the next track “Rab Na Kare” justify their selection with one of the best songs of the soundtrack! There’s nothing complicated or particularly innovative here, but Mann puts his heart and soul into this and that’s enough to make it enjoyable. A haunting melody dominates but is topped with a traditional touch particularly the layering beats/tabla fusion which are infectious but understated. Mann’s low octave vocals are pure magic as expected. His lyrics are also good. The soundtrack begins to fulfill some of it’s potential!

“Rab Na Kare Accoustic Version” is a shorter rendevous with Babbu Mann who is much higher on the emotional quotient. Gone are the catchy beats but his voice resonates throughout making for a good listen.

But the true PINNACLE of this album arrives alongside the name of a different composer: Monty Sharma. He’s not produced much in the way of quality music since his impressive Chamku (2008). That was until now! Because Monty has realized his potential fully here in the BEST song of the album, a heart-felt cry from the heavens called “Kubul” . The way the singer (Parthiv Gohil) utters the opening line “Kubul…Kar Le Maula” will simply cast a spell on you until the song finishes such is it’s outrageous charm and affection! And you are pretty helpless, what with the slow pace, the soft and blissful orchestral arrangements and the delightful piano piece to name but a few of it’s attractions. Add some amazingly fresh and bewitching vocals by little known artists Parthiv Gohil and Sharmista Chateerjee and you have a winner all the way. Shail Hade provides great support and needs no introductions as one of Monty’s protégés. The poetry by Sandeep Nath is enriching, in fact the word “Kubul” itself has an alluring charm to it and one has to say it’s been a long time since this word has been used so effectively in a song. Enough said. Just add this to your “favorite songs of 2009” playlist and be proud to repeat it over and over again….and remember the composer: Monty Sharma.

Having reached the pinnacle of Vaada Raha, we could end the review here as nothing else gets close to it. But we must continue to the end…

An uplifting song follows in the form of “Aaj Aasman” . Nothing spectacular here, just a pleasant relaxing tune which is certainly worth a listen for Shaan’s vocals alone. Shweta Pandit joins him and provides reasonable support. Lyrics and music composition is by Rahul B. Seth & Sandy. Enjoyable listen.

The same duo end the soundtrack with another upbeat track “Achal Hain Mere Hausle” . The excellent (acoustic) guitar strumming is the highlight of this one. However it needs to be enjoyed on screen since it supports the “hope” theme of the movie. Rahul B. Seth pens some effective lyrics. Kunal Ganjawala (and chorus) performs sincerely as usual but the song is too situational for repeated listening.

We then have three good instrumental ‘themes’ by Sanjay Chowdury including “Vaada Raha” , “Flying High” and “Lost in Love” . Each one is well composed and should fit in well with the movie.

Overall, Vaada Raha lives up to some of it’s potential as big names such as Babbu Mann deliver. Only Toshi Sharib are disappointing. However it’s Monty Sharma who steals the show yet again with the superb “Kubul” which is the worth the album price alone. Don’t miss that song for anything!

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