And on Tashan, a very important project for them if less seismic than OSO, they seem to be working hard to forge a signature sound. What is this sound exactly? A variety of instruments, employed in carefully limited combination and amped down to not overwhelm the vocals. Its a clean sound - devoid of dense synth dubs, back beats or huge guitar crunches. V-S have been quick to embrace electronica before, but on this CD they seem to be telling us: this is what we are most comfortable with.
Along with this, V-S seem to have established a go-to ecosystem of trusted singers who they rely on to bring their songs home. Often it seems they build in a number of hooks specifically for the singer they've hired.
Take the opener Dil Haara for example. The song is constructed entirely around the natural lilt in Sukhwinder Singh's voice. V-S give him more sonic variety to traverse than he is normally used to. And he does a fine if not memorable job - his voice is a little too rustic and his diction too sharp to negotiate the softer turns in the song. Later, he has to negotiate a tricky psychedelic up-tempo transition towards the end which doesn't work very well - although you want to salute V-S for taking that chance.
On Falak Tak - the singular ballad on the CD - V-S employ Udit Narayan, who with his phulka puri voice is the romance king of Bollywood. And his deliciously gentle drawl envelopes this song completely. Accompanying him is Mahalaxmi Iyer, whose voice I listen to very carefully ever since her bravura work on Jhoom Barabar Jhoom (she's fast turning into a female K.K. with her versatility - only her voice quality is better). And through two-thirds of the song, V-S resist the temptation to throw keyboards in - choosing instead a steady two piece percussion and a couple of guitars to create a gorgeous slow-grind sound.
Even on Chhaliya (Sunidhi Chauhan, Piyush) - a song about a woman with overwhelming self-esteem - they pull out the six string after the first verse and render a solo piece that doesn't overwhelm the song. Chhaliya - for all its mainstream appeal - is also reasonably complex in terms of change of pace and hooks, something V-S did on Rehem Kare (Cash) with much success.
This approach helps them when asked to do something like Dil Dance Maare (Sukhwinder, Udit, Sunidhi) - it allows them to retain a lot of dignity while creating a hugely corny song.
Finally, Tashan Mein, which closes out the CD, is sung by Vishal and Saleem, the latter of which employs a tremendous nasal drawl to infuse the song with much decadence. Tashan Mein is paced in a manic way with a simmering verse exploding into a more breathless chorus. Its got nonsense lyrics but a rather cool Hindustani alaap leading into a folksy bridge.
There are four brief spoken words on the CD as well - each voiced by the principal actors in the film: Kareena, Saif, Akshay and Anil Kapoor. They are meant to be thumbnail character sketches and add a little bit of glamor to the entire album. They amused me quite a bit: look, there's Kareena trying to sound bindaas, here's Saif flaunting his burnished cool, there's Akshay trying to be funny and if you pretend Anil Kapoor is skewering an actor skewering desi villain stereotypes, you might chuckle.
- Amrita can't get two songs out her head
- Sidekick can't bring herself to like anything except Dil Haara
- anu g recommends a book by Ganesh Anantaraman
- SkD loves the CD
- Pratik enjoyed it
- girlie girl still hasn't given Tashan a listen
- ritha felt all the songs started well but lost steam soon enough
- Are V-S touring US wonders Mind Rush
- Yes, with Aish and family says m
- Bella loved Dil Haara and Tashan Mein but couldn't listen to Dil Dance Maare
- megan is over Sunidhi's vocals