Composers: Anu Malik
Lyrics: Varun Grover
Composer Anu Malik’s comeback album after a 10-year hiatus, comprising seven songs from Yash Raj Film’s latest venture Dum Laga ke Haisha, tries quite hard to fit in with the modern radio. Sometimes it succeeds, but largely it just serves up a weird mishmash in terms of tunes, however with the right intention. One can see what Malik wants to do, but he’s unable to deliver in the actual song.
One track, however, which has three versions, can easily be described as Malik’s honest link with the past, but there are other songs where either the voices do not sync with the scales of the instruments or there is a patched up approach. What works though, are the song’s sometimes simple, sometimes intelligent and sometimes quirky lyrics that set the tone of the film. Varun Grover’s words stay at the centre of a lot of what we hear, sometimes baring the soul and sometimes showcasing unflappable coolness.
There are strokes of genius in Moh moh ke dhaage. Sung by Papon, in his deep baritone, there is a certain Hariharan “thehraav” in this one. It begins softly in raag Yaman but after two lines, it acquires the ‘komal swaras’ of Puriya dhanashri. For the next four minutes, the song freely roams around in the two ragas. The transitions from one raga to another are smooth and without patchwork. Two interludes, one created on shehnai and one on the flute form the pillars of the song and turn it into a beautiful and breezy number. It also has a Monali Thakur version, where the singer begins the song really well. But the moment she tries the high pitch, we begin missing Shreya Ghoshal’s flawless tone, which could have worked better.
The title track in Kailash Kher and Jyoti Nooran’s voices is a riot and not in a good way. It has been sung well, but the melody is a huge disappointment. Tu slowly seeps into the dewy-eyed ’90s style Nadeem-Shravan music but fails to stay. Dard karara in Kumar Sanu and Sadhna Sargam’s voices is again a throwback to the ’90s, with staccato table beats and alaap chorus. The beat reminded us of Dekha hai pehli baar, and may just work.
Sunder susheel thodi special dhoondenge gets full points for some fantastic lyrics playing on the idea of qualities needed for the perfect husband and wife. Bike bhi ho, sanskaar bhi ho, aur vafadaar bhi ho, sings Malini Aawasthi in her rustic voice but the surprise here is
Rahul Ram, who sings this one to a riotous perfection. We wish Malik had returned to his classic sound with an emphasis on grand melodies. For now, the album sees sporadic goodness.