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   Music Review : Chandni Chowk To China

 Chandni Chowk To China
Director :
Music :
Lyrics :
Starring :
 Nikhil Advani
 Shankar - Ehsaan - Loy, Bohemia, Bappi Lahiri and Kailash- Paresh - Naresh
 Rajat Arora, Kailash Kher and Bohemia
 Akshay Kumar, Ranvir Shorey, Deepika Padukone, Gordon Liu and Mithun Chakraborty.

By Abid, Bollywood Trade News Network Send to Friend

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Right from his debut film KAL HO NA HO with Shah Rukh Khan, under the banner and guidance of Karan Johar, Nikhil Advani has shown that he certainly is a connoisseur of good quality music. And that continued with SALAAM-E-ISHQ, despite Nikhil going solo. On both the occasions his favourite composers were the highly versatile and talented trio of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. The compositions of KAL HO NA HO (specially the title track with some awesome lyrics by Javed Akhter) are still a favourite with many music buffs and 'Its the time to disco', a must number for every happening party. The music of SALAAM-E-ISHQ was the only redeeming factor of the long and in parts boring film. However, this time around Nikhil has been extra careful and as is the norm in big budgeted extravaganzas, he has chosen multiple composers to do justice to the music department. Of course his favourite S-E-L have the major portions followed by Kailash Kher, who along with his brothers Paresh and Naresh has been assigned two tracks and then there is Bohemia, the rapper from USA who has a single track. And last but not the least our very own, Bappi Da. So, lets get, set and go and see what they have in store for us.

The first track has Kailash-Paresh-Naresh painting the real character of the main protagonist, Siddhu (played by Akshay Kumar) in a really humorous way. And in their own characteristic manner they come up with a superb situational number, 'S.I.D.D.H.U'. In fact, there could not have been a better and more entertaining way to convey the essence of the character, a simpleton who dreams big but does not believe in hard work. The totally Indian raaga (melody) with help from Indian musical instruments like harmonium, 'sitar' and 'tabla' is good. The absolutely on dot hilarious lyrics by Kailash Kher ('Maar ke man ko pyaaz tamatar kaat raha hai' and 'Chandni Chowk ka hai ladka, Lagaye tadke par tadka') including his transition into a brave-heart, need praise. And of course Kailash Kher's brilliant rendition, all converge into a number that will help establish the character and introduce him to the audience in a light hearted manner. The song is in keeping with the narrative of the film.

Then we come across three different versions of the title track, 'Chandni Chowk To China'. The first one is an all fun and rib-tickling composition with Akshay Kumar's voice, Neeraj Shridhar holding fort along with Anushka Manchandani and Shankar Mahadevan. The number is a totally 'bindas', 'dhamaal' and 'ched-chaad' one but people with real knowledge of music will know and agree that a lot of effort has gone in composing the number. The music arrangement is a superb blend of Indian, Western and Oriental, and to top it all, the rhythm is gripping. The drill (march- past) sounds along with some bombastic drumming drive home the thriller/action point well. The part where Shankar Mahadevan comes in and the song changes from Oriental and Western to Indian is typically and adorably S-E-L. Neeraj is in his elements as he conveys the over confidence and the typical self praising attitude of the lead protagonist well and so does Anushka, whose voice modulations are great. The title track manages to convey the theme and spirit of the movie and is thus successful in its attempt to provide the listener with ample amount of fun as well as gives an insight into the film through it.

The remix version of the title track by D.J Amyth is good and once again shows that a lot of musical input has been used. Despite the rhythm and pace being heightened the fun and frolic continues unabated.

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The third version (in fact it is a totally new song!) of the title track is by Bohemia , the Punjabi rapper who hails from California (USA) and is one of the known names in the Punjabi rap world having composed many chartbusters. His new genre of music, known as Desi-Hip-Hop is not only for those who understand Punjabi but for those who love rap music. And may be that was the reason as to why Akshay homed in on him (much similar to Snoop Dogg in SINGH IS KINNG) to compose a song to portray his humble beginnings from Old Delhi's Chandni Chowk( 'Gali Parathe Wali') to a chef in Bangkok right down to a Bollywood superstar. The song travels down the memory lane (literally!). Akshay lends his voice here as well (again similar to Snoop Dogg's 'SINGH IS KINNG' ) and is hilarious as he commences the number introducing himself in his typical Punjabi accent continuing to surprise and make us laugh (as well) with his singing abilities, 'Kithe chali ye , Gobi da phul ban ke, Kudiye badami oye'. In fact , the song can be called a continuation of the title track of SINGH IS KINGG and the result, another chartbuster in the offing.

The much waited 'India Se Aaya Mera Dost' , a rehash of veteran composer, Bappi Lahiri's iconic number (with Shailey Shailendra's lyrics) 'Bambai Se Aaya Mera Dost' (AAP KI KHATIR-1977), a composition that made Bappi Da, a composer to reckon with and also made him a household name as a singer, gets a new garb. And one must commend the composers (new composer, son Bappa Lahiri too helps out!) for putting in their extra bit as the song sounds fresh and appealing to the ears. The Oriental aspect that is added makes it hilarious and the confluence of the old number with the new addendums (read Taufeeq Qureshi's spellbinding percussions!) makes for a good hear. And one is positive that when the 'Khiladi' grooves to its infectious beats, he will surely bring the house down thus fulfilling the purpose of roping in the veteran composer himself ( with help from Ravi Khanwilkar) to render his chartbuster.

The talented trio, S-E-L are back with a nicely crafted love ballad, 'Tere Naina' which has a very soft, melodious feel to it. The number has the stamp of S-E-L all over. The all Hindustani melody is pleasing to the ears. But what is unique about it is that the melody changes from smooth (in the 'antara') to high, to fast and then slow. The tempo keeps changing all the time and that is the beauty of the track. Shankar Mahadevan does a fine job (as a singer) specially in high pitched parts and his rich and sonorous vocals are a delight to the ears. Needless to add, Shreya is mesmerizing. The use of Oriental music (thankfully for once it does not attempt to be funny!) is top class and helps convey the flavour of romance well. The lyrics are nice, simple and Rajat Arora shows that he is adept at writing filmy lyrics too. The use of simple Hindi is refreshing.

One man army Kailash Kher (singer-lyricist-composer) with help from his brothers Paresh and Naresh comes back to end the album with an extremely motivating and engaging number, 'Chak Lein De'. An entirely situational track that will be used in the background during hard core action scenes. The lyrics are top class and the number conveys the superb message of self belief. It is an extremely rhythmic track that can make the adrenalin pump and soar at the same time!. The fusion of sufi with soft rock is amazing and so is Kailash Kher's scintillating singing. The beginning of the song with its rhythmic digitalized, synthesized beats makes one disbelief the fact that it has actually been composed by Kailash Kher, more famous for earthy, Indian compositions. Kailash shows his hold over Western instruments as his orchestral arrangements are good and apt .

The remix version is brilliant. The singing is more in chorus in the beginning and the added synthesized beats later along with hard rock guitaring, plates and percussions makes it for a nice hear, specially suited for long drives on the highway.

On the whole the audio album of CHANDNI CHOWK TO CHINA is an assortment of different compositions of different moods and hues, but in keeping with the script and requirement of the film. While it is a notch below Akshay's SINGH IS KINNG album, it still has the potential to emulate its success, thanks especially to the title track (and its versions), 'S.I.D.D.H.U'. and 'Tere Naina'!

Rating - 3.5/5

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