Friday, August 29, 2008

The Music of Karzzz

Those who rush to judge Himesh Reshammiya's new CD do so at their own peril. Himanshu's music needs time to grow on you - like hair. But if you have a bald spot to begin with, you have no hope of understanding what he is up to.

On Karzzz, Himesh reaches for something new - he's trying to expand. His vocal range seems to have improved. As a composer, he tries hard to traverse multiple musical styles while retaining his essential oomph. Often he makes sparkling choices. Just as often he makes - in my opinion - ill-advised ones.

The first thing to note about Karzzz is that it showcases Himesh as a composer and singer. Its largely a one-man show with a few women thrown in - the best of them being Harshdeep, who sparkled so recently on a different, much tighter soundtrack. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

We'll begin with the song that held my interest the longest - Soniye Je Tere, which is essentially a "pyaar ki tadap" song. It requires a certain nuttiness to open a song like that with a tabla percussion, accompany it with a campfire chant, throw in a rattling drum and wash it all down with a peti. Its a welcome nuttiness - its one of the few times Karzzz sounds bewildering and fresh.

There are a couple of problems with the vocals though. Himesh's trademark sufi croon is a bad fit for the song. And then Tulsi Kumar comes in with that high pitch screech and almost derails the song. I'd like to pause here to mention that I've always been less than enamored with Tulsi's singing. But on the vibrant Sakhiya (Bhool Bhulaiya), Pritam showed us that she could be used properly. So let's blame Himesh here for giving her too high a scale.

On Tandoori Nights, Himesh creates a slinky house beat with a flamenco riff on an acoustic guitar. He ropes in Sunidhi Chauhan, who immediately seems to wake Himesh up. He throws plenty of trademark vocal hooks into the song.

But Tandoori Nights is a terrible title for a song (Sameer, time to stop hitting that bong while writing songs) - raising visions of gorging at an all-night Indian buffet. And so it is that the track takes a lot of getting used to. And even when you make an effort to really like it, you get that bloated feeling. However, if you are willing to accommodate this feeling as part of the quirky Himesh experience, you'll have much fun with this song.

Often on Karzzz you get the feeling that Himesh is trying so hard to branch out that he fails to make an essential connection with the song. Lut Jaaon - powered by a nifty mid tempo beat - is a prime example of this.

When combining his beats and hooks, Himesh hits his straps on Sisak Sisak Ke, which is a driven, beautifully paced track. Here Himesh also gives us glimpses of the new ways he tries to transform his voice. Its not an unwelcome thing to do - only it has to sound good. Here Himesh gets away with a half-hearted growl.

But when he rolls his Rs on Hari Om Hari Om - a song with a beat that flirts with disco - its downright hilarious. At one point Himesh sounds like he is singing "Hurry Home" in a bit of a cockney accent. But that he flings himself into this bit of hilarity so whole-heartedly makes the song worthy of Himesh's tacky mid-career reputation and one that will probably make his next Greatest Hits quadruple CD.

There are more things of note on Karzzz. Of the songs in which Himesh pauses to flex his traditional Hindustani muscles, Masha Allah is constructed with clever turns of drama. On the sedate ghazal Dhoom Tere Ishq Ki, Himesh puts his vocal chords to the test and ends up giving a fine account of himself.

And on the retread of Ek Haseena Thi, Himesh - sensing the massive familiarity of the song with listeners - does his best to grab our interest with quirky breaks in the rhythm and vocals. He drains some of the impending doom of the original early on, but restores the creepiness with facility later. He does make one bad choice - he hires Shreya Ghoshal and asks her imitate Tulsi Kumar.What he really should have done is invite Himani Kapoor to lend her gorgeous mezzo-soprano to the song.

Karzzz also comes with a second CD where all nine film tracks are remixed.

My thanks to Sadma Ghati for letting me know the CD was available.



Yajnaseni said...

Aspi, what of the music of Rock On? Watched the movie today. Farhan Akhtar is edible until he opens his mouth -- to talk. As a singer, too, he's okay, like the kind you would find in a decent college band. But looks like... oh my -:).

Aspi said...

yajnaseni, I didn't review the music of Rock On because I wanted the people behind it to review it for us. So I let Ehsaan tell us about it and Farhan follow up a bit.

I haven't seen the movie yet, but I think Farhan has an interesting enough face to be a compelling actor. Not sure how he's performed in Rock On - all I've read so far about him has been from his fans to not an unbiased (although highly valid) perspective.

You didn't like him? I couldn't tell for sure.

girlie girl said...

wah wah aspi!! I'm sure everyone here along with me were waiting for this review ever since the movie was first announced! The music sounds...Interesting. It's nothing different from his old stuff. I HATE Tulsi Kumar...i think her voice is god-awful. She has one of the highest piched voice out of anyone in the to Himu that is. WHich is why they always sing together.

I have absolutely NO desire to see this movie. I mean come on...a middle-aged man acting like a 20-something "hero" and wooing a girl half his age while telling the other actress (who's probably still younger than him) that he was her husband in his last life! oh and not to mention beating up the goonda's with his flab and man-boobs!! no thanks! But cant wait for people's (especially yours, Apsi) review on the movie!

Way to kill the original Himanshu...Good Job!

Pitu said...

gg: I completely agree. Mere beloved Rishi ki jagah bhala kaun le sakta hai. Gahh. Who wants to see Himes's falpping man-bobbs on the LP in Om Shanti Om? Ok, wait. Don't answer that :-p

j said...

Karzz was one of my favourites. Subhash Ghai became such a favourite for me that not even Yaadein could knock him from my good graces. Another of Subhash movie that I had loved was Hero with Jackie Shroff.

So will not watch the movie when it comes out but will try to rent the DVD just for the huge entertainment value.

Aspi said...

So j, what happened to your Ghai-love after Kisna? Just curious.

meena said...

.i think the extra zzzs at the end of the movie may be prophetic ;)..

what would the drift janta do if not for Himmess? We owe it to him to watch his latest ego project. I only wish all the drifters could watch it at the same time and have a chat going :)

Sadm Tapori said...

Wah Wah Aspi Ji.
Asi Apke Fan hein
Sadma Tapori
B/O Sadma Ghati

girlie girl said...

oh, another Subhash favorite is Ram Lakhan! I mean, he took Anil Kapoor/Mads acting to a whole new level!

you make a very very good point Meena...we owe it to Himu to watch this movie just for pure entertainment sake! There are very few actors that can make us laugh even though the movie is suppose to be a non-comedy! hehe

leera said...

Tandoori Nights will now join Merhaba (Jimmy) on my list of 'guilty pleasure' songs, the ones I can turn to and sing along with when no one's home and fully enjoy.

Himanshu's music to me is Muzak at its best. I have found it extremely useful (in its repetitiveness) as a background to help me clean. The trance like quality helps get through the severe banality of having to clean out your closet or do the dishes.

However the real treat was the videos. What happened to Urmila? I always liked her and feel somewhat bad that she's in this movie. Himanshu however is a hoot and three quarters. Finally all those 'hailing a taxi' and 'qawali clap' dance moves he practiced in SRGMP last season in their full glory.

Lage raho Emo Unkil.

j said...

Yeah, Kisna was the end of my Ghai love. But then he produced Iqbal so that kind of made up for it.

invalid said...

anyone watched yesterday's episode of saregampa???
i saw anupama touching her husband's feet and i was like WTH....srgmp should be sued for this digusting act!!! women are totally EQUAL to men!!!! shame on srgmp!! sorry but im very pissed off after watching that online...

Amrita said...

Ah, musical Rogaine. Just what was missing from my life. I hope you've all caught the videos - "Lucky at cards, unlucky at love; lucky at love, unlucky at cards." Truer words were never spoken.

Cinderella said...

i haven't heard the music as yet but i'm gonna watch this movie on the very first day hehe..can't miss such awesome entertainment:-p

invalid,totally agree with you!that touching husband's feet thing was soo disgusting!!
and the way Head introduced Anupama was totally hilarious..'Anupama..jisse bahut pyaar karti hain unki sasu maa'!! LOL!! what an intro!!

invalid said...

i swear, srgmp is getting worse episode by episode.

saregamapa = tacky theme + tacky clothes + mostly lack of talent + unfair eliminations + crappy mentors + useless judges

anyone saw the stupid newsroom epi? i was watching the other day and i was like WTH.... this show has reached new levels of tackiness and stupidity!!

ozb said...

fuk them those who hate him.......................salo tum iskeee successs say itnay jaltay kyu u know he haz become worldz 3rd person who can act, sing & compose after britney & micheal jakson..............after reading this ,...aggar himesh haterz mai koi sharam bakeee hey to ab comment naheee karnaa.....

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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ozb said...

whose the editor of this website.................usko bholo...........yeh hr kay baaray mai galat likhnaaa band kar day................warnaaaa hum hr loverz teri site banaaa kar tujhe nangaaaa kar daingay...................

ozb said...
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ozb said...

aspi saalay mere comment kaaa jwaaab likhnaaa

leera said...

Wow Mr OZB and Anon, you have completely misread our HR love at the drift.

What wud Himesh do? wud he throw around MC BC etc at the head of his biggest pankha Aspi, or would he say JMLR and let it go? Ask yourself.

Anonymous said...

While ozb has a right to express his opinions, we should not have to deal with his gutter language. Could you please delete the relevant comments?

Note to ozb:
Ozb (I understand that is your real name), your thoughts and disgreements could have been expressed in a more civilized and wittier way. If you don't know how, just spend some time on this blog and you will learn. BTW, you do sound like himess.

Also, writing critiques of publicly published work and lampooning celebrities is perfectly legal and accepted. Are you going to chase down all the newspaper cartoonists and film/music critics?

If you have something to say, go get your own blog.

-- Texan

Anonymous said...

Agree with Texan !
Aspi - Please delete the uncivic & terrible comments by 2 people

maxdavinci said...

Ha! beat ya by three days!

btw, can you ask shri OZB to make my bog also paavan with his pairon ki dhool?

personally fro me the lut jaaon and dhoom tere ishq were the best!


Aspi said...

Hey, sorry just got back from some long weekend travel.

Ozb, just spoke with Himesh. He says you are lucky with words, unlucky with maa-behen, unlucky with words, lucky with maa-behen. I'm not sure what he meant, but he says if you are true fan, you'll understand.


Aspi said...

Ok, I think I got all the nasty verbiage. Although I couldn't resist keeping one in because it compared HR to Britney and MJ. That was pretty funny.

I'm beginning to think Ozb might be Bappi's online avatar.

m said...

i was flicking through the channel and watched some show on star plus that has Vinit guy (from JJWS show) as one of the hosts.. (along with rahul dude)

and VINIT has a new hairstyle!!! HAHAHAHAHA and it looks like Himesh's Chinese hairstyle.. the wig is probably Himesh's hand-me-downs... he has a major Himesh hangover too and tries to be like him... not in jest he is serious 4 real!

ozb said...

ok............wll c on 17th of oct..........ramzaan ka maheena sharu ho gyaaa hey is liyay mai koicomment naheee likhnaaa chahtaaaa.................17oct......ko dood ka dood aur paani ka paani ho jaye gaaa.........About his sogs & muzic i can only say.........more than 60 percent perople here in kashmir bought his audio cd.....being cerfe outside..................

ozzzz said...

ozb yeh review music ka hai. Woh to release ho chuki hai? Right? Follow nahi kar raha hai kya?

Aur yeh 60% number kaha se le aaya hai tu? Zara source bataa - ya yeh 60% tere hi dost-vost the?

Ozzy Osborne said...

Ozb umm haaa ummm laa mmmm you watch your tongue young man. I'm f*ing Ozzy Osbourne, I'm the Prince of f*ng Darkness. Evil! Evil! and I am a fan of Aspi, no one messes with my friend.. don't make me send Kelly your way to sort you out..

Sharon Osborne said...

Ozzy Ozzzzzy dinner's getting cold and you are still on this bloody site reading Aspi's blog! You are obsessed darling, all i hear these days is Aspi this Aspi that..

ozb ka dost said...

i haaf cum to geev gud niwz!
maay dost ozb haas becum himesh's personaaal azistaant!
jai himesh!
jai himesh!
jai himesh!
now i muuzt go. pooja ki thaali taiyaar karni hai.
so muahahaha to all de himesh haeterz!

Anonymous said...
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Dorothy said...

Somewhere over the rainbow skies are blue and the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true

Anonymous said...
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ozzzz said...

ozb, you said you wouldn't comment because it was ramzan. Lekin tune Himesh ke khatir Khuda ko bhi naraz karna kubool kiya.

Oooooh Kubooool
Tera tera tera suroooooor!

Aspi said...

Ozzzz, you might pretty soon start treading some religion type boundary so be careful please.

ozb, if you can write without a gaali, I'd like to tap into your knowledge of statistics and ask you the following:

In your neighborhood, if given a choice between a hot sigdi on the lap and Himesh on the lap to warm self up, what percentage would prefer Himesh?

Based on your doodh ka doodh comment, what percentage of bumiyas do you think mix doodh with paani?

dockaul said...

@ All- Do forgive me for reposting this rave of mine from SRGMPSHOW forum but had to post for HR Lovers :-)

A few home truths about the bunch of Gurus of SRGMP -

PC - The persistent plagiarist. He should not even be called a Music Director. He is just a remixer. Copies music ad verbatim. All his massive hits are direct copies from Korean/ Turkish/American etc. artists.
AS - Basically a drummer. Does creditable work & has scored music in all huge Amitabh Bacchan films. He really follows his promises to these new comers. Only Aadesh would have the conviction to give a classic song like Jab Jab Saiyyan in Chingari (btw one of my all time faves, Do hear it) to a rank newcomer like Himani Kapoor erstwhile competitor on SRGMP 05. For that act alone He will forever be respectable in my eyes.
SM - The dude , The class act , the only original artist.
HR - This Thing is an oddity. A brilliant music director ( Yes! I move to his beat too), An unconventional singer (Takes oonche surs to stratospheric levels), A superstar of his own making ( The brilliance of the guy , getting Tulsi Kumar to sing in all his hits & wrangling a 3 pic deal with Bhushan Kumar of T series ), Hides his wife Komal & son Swayam to maintain his image?!!, The boor of the show , The jack in box sprouting nasal nonsensical garbage on every episode …

ID - Fits the moniker I has given him Ishmaeel Hathoda to a T. Has the courage of his convictions to actually call Musical reality shows rigged. Brilliant Music Director. He may have scored music in only 7-8 films but will forever be remembered for HDDCS & Devdas.( Hold the presses - Da Hathoda actually smashed a coffee mug on VOI )
MS- Da corpulent attacker! Long time Ishmail Darbar acolyte. Scores pretty high on my guru list for originality & taking unheralded brilliant singers in his maiden break.(How many people will take the risk on debut?)Shail Hada , Parthiv Patel - Wow. These guys had Mussart level talents but were always languishing in the labyrinths of La La land.
SS - The voice of da Baadshah ! Brilliant in a studio !
Versatile but lipsyncs/karaokes most of his concerts!!

Anonymous said...

Aspi - Please delete the Filthy language posts by you know who? It is leaving a bad taste to the readers.

Anonymous said...

Aspi -= Read all comments Under Karzz and delete the Filth.

Anonymous said...

ozb: Aap ke moo se motiyon ki bochar sunke, mujhe ek Ghalib ka sher yaad aagaya. Irshad farmaye ...

Kitnee Shireen hai
teri lab aye raqeeb
Galiyan kha ke mai
bemazaa na hua

Seriously, is this indicative of HR's fan base? I had read somewhere that he appeals mostly to the low-brow audience; presumably some with the ability to use the internet. I am taken aback by the lingual virulence. Clearly someone has taken the light-hearted ribbing that occurs here to heart. You may call this "Aap ka suroor, ghuroor and tehzeeb ka chikna-choor" :-)

-- Texan

girlie girl said...

Aspi, lol on the sigdi on lap question!! Gaali wale Anon, tumhari maa, behen nahi hai ke tum is bhasha be baat karte ho?!?!

I agree, i think those tasteless, vulgar comments have no room in the fun, loving drift area!!

ozb, bad-mouthing Anon, you should be ashamed of yourselves. What would Himu say?!

Aspi said...

Sorry yaar, I have been a little late with everything today. But I'll keep deleting bad language so we keep it clean.

Dockaul, thanks for the review of the judges. ID broke a mug on VoI? Awesome!

In related news, Zee changed the title of SRGMP again confusing my rather dysfunctional DVR. So no episodes this week but I did catch someone doing Himesh on the show while I was in Toronto.

Pitu said...

Texan: Hahaha-ho-ooo-ooo-oo at 'tehzeeb ka chakna choor' JMLR!!