But I digress: the music has been composed by Vishal and Shekhar, at the outset a seemingly good match to provide the soundtrack for the soft, youthful romance projected by Ranbir. And while Vishal-Shekhar try hard on this as always, they come up with a CD that feels safe - like we've covered this ground before.
Since I try looking at the glass half full, we'll talk about the positives here. But its also fair to expect me to explain why I didn't like some of the songs.
First, I love Punjabi music - but these days I'm all Punjabi-ed out. And this theme runs through Bachna, thus leaving me less than feeling fresh. But let's take Lucky Boy for example - the second track from the CD. The song - about a girl making a sales pitch for her reportedly considerable charms - is rendered by Sunidhi Chauhan.
Lucky Boy has a thumping club beat that teeters between house and disco - a bit too much towards the latter for my liking. The song has but a single hook - the chorus - which over a repetitive beat tends make the rest of the song less interesting. Midway through the song V-S employ Hard Kaur to do a rap bit. But because they want to keep the creamy smoothness of the song intact, they muzzle Hard Kaur's spunk. It ends up derailing the song.
I had similar issues with Ahista Ahista. The vocals are given to Lucky Ali and Shreya Ghoshal - the latter of which I'm not sure V-S have figured out how to exploit fully yet. And Small Town Girl (Shankar Mahadevan) - a song that V-S try hard to punch up with musical arrangements and changes of pace - ultimately falls victim to playing too close to its genre.
But because composers work hard on CDs and also have to produce a steady stream of output - its unfair to dismiss them thus. So on to the glass half full: there are two killer tracks on the CD and its no coincidence that two of the newer female vocalists that I am very enthusiastic about make an appearance on them.
Shilpa Rao (who made her name on Tose Naina Laage Re) sings Khuda Jaane with KK. Shilpa has a luscious voice and a ghost of a lisp that is drop dead sexy. And V-S make her do a delicious little musical sigh throughout the song that sounds terrific. Unlike Shreya, V-S seem to get the best out of KK. His pop range (which I'll have to talk about in a post some day) is on display here. Throughout this CD, V-S work hard to construct catchy background vocals - the payoff comes here.
Himani Kapoor has a small part to play in the other track I dug - Jogi Mahi. I enjoyed the fact that she gets to sing in her throaty speaking voice. Shekhar Ravjiani sings most of Jogi - a part touching, part cracking song about announcing an emergent love to the world - and starts by bravely exposing his voice right away. This deft, quiet start nicely sets up the rhythm on a dafli when it kicks in.
On songs like this V-S use the synth sparingly - which they do here but when they do they make it count. Sukhwinder Singh provides backup vocals and its a matter of conjecture what he could have done with the song. But you can hear the love for this composition in Shekhar's voice and its important to give in to the passion rather than commerce every now and then.
Finally, there is the matter of the title song - a song made legend by Kishore Kumar, RD Burman and Rishi Kapoor in Hum Kissi Se Kum Nahin. I remain hugely fond of horns in a song but not bombastic trumpets. V-S have no choice but to reuse the big band signature of the song in order to retain its essence. But the remake strips the original of its over the top drama and ends up delivering tepid nostalgia. To be fair, its hard to see how the situation could have been avoided unless V-S had been left alone to tinker with the song without consequence to the built-in brand recognition. They smartly keep Kishore's vocal track on the CD but their bid for nostaliga with Kishore's son Sumit's voice doesn't have the payback they might have been looking for.
Thanks to Ritha for recommending this album to me
- ritha loved the Khuda Jaane remix but is disappointed by the song's look
- Mind Rush thinks someone likes Bips and Himani a lot
- dilip vala liked the CD
- j wonders why V-S haven't promoted the CD on JJWS
- Amrita briefly reviews Singh is Kinng and Bachna Ae Haseeno
- Pitu is unimpressed by the title song and Chintu Jr and has a bet to make
- Jog Mahi should have been Sukhwinder's song says Sania
- What's with all these positive reviews asks Ridhima