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's quick Rock On!! review
- girlie girl on why she hates Tulsi Kumar and has no desire to see this movie
- Pitu on why she agrees
- j loved the original so will wait for the DVD
- We all are in debt to Himesh says meena
- leera on the many uses of HR's music
- invalid is pissed at this weekend's SRGMP episode
- Karzzz is musical rogaine for Amrita
- Cinderella will watch this on the first day
- Ozb on why Himesh is like Britney Spears and Michael Jackson
- What would Himesh do? asks leera
- Texan isn't amused by Ozb's style
- maxdavinci's review of Karzz