MEHBOOBA, a stylized Bollywood love triangle made with lavish opulence and hi-profile star-cast brings back the flavors of conventional "filmi" music. Ismail Darbar, a musical phenomenon associated with magnanimous costume dramas DEVDAS and HUM DIL DE CHUKE HAI SANAM makes a significant appearance with MEHBOOBA. The other promising highlights are veteran Anand Bakshi's last lyrical works that bring euphoric aura of melodious 70's, 80's and 90's. Ironically speaking, it has arrived after a long delay of almost a decade but still the music carries the liveliness and vivacity of emotions that can enthrall its target listeners.
Udit Narayan's mellifluous flows that were success secret for many 90's romantic numbers makes a refreshing solo presence in love cum seduction title song "Tu Meri Mehbooba". The sauntering flute notes in the prelude followed by contemporary arrangements comprise primarily of piano, violin chorals makes a rejoicing chemistry with lovable Bakshi saab's wording. Its major highlight is beautiful Udit Narayan's voice that mesmerizes well in Darbar's synchronized works in delivering out a serene romantic feel.
The flamboyance of lavish extravaganza gets added to the romantic flavors with resounding chorals and aggressive arrangements in another affable sounding number "Khawabon Ki Rani". Udit Narayan makes another striking presence with his modulating overtones in signifying the intrinsic worth of "dream-girl" with easy-on-ears poetic semblance. Ismail Darbar makes enchanting inclusion of delightful flute notes, impressive violin chorals in contemporary style of arrangements.
"Dilruba", a lovable solo number by Udit Narayan unravels to 70's era when music of Laxmikant-Pyarelal ruled the hearts. It has vigorous instrumental backdrop where one can expect boy wooing a girl by showing his insatiable passion for her. This song may not be as striking as earlier two numbers but will certainly bring some shades of 70's and 80's era in its enthusiastic spirits.
Now the golden phase of Showman Subhash Ghai gets into action where Udit Narayan along with Alka Yagnik sings out typical 80's love track "Yaar Tera Shukriya". Once again the melodious touches of Laxmikant-Pyarelal makes strong impact that was reminiscently impressive in romantic songs in films like KARMA, SAUDAGAR etc.
Ismail Darbar had breathtaking music appeal in "Nimbooda" (HUM DIL DE CHUKE SANAM) and strong evocative melodramatic touches in "Chalak Chalak" (DEVDAS). "Babuji", a festive "nautanki" song takes its inspirational hues from the melodic and subjective appeal from these two tracks with strong impact of Laxmikant-Pyarelal's stylized works. Alka Yagnik's varying vocals jesters out mischievously impish wordings where lead actors Sanjay Dutt and Ajay Devgan sing out couple of lines in intoxicating moods.
"Kuch Kar Lo" proves to be most ambitious endeavor of the album as it comes out in three different versions, moods and flavors by leading contemporaries. Shankar Mahadevan's version proves to be trendiest version of all where modernized orchestrations makes its illustrative impact. Kavita Subramanyam sings out in tandem this number that is expected to be highlighting festive decorum of the celebrations. Shankar's modulating vocals; Darbar's resounding orchestrations are the major spotlights that make it special for big on-screen display. Sonu Nigam's version is the shortest but arrives as solo track where Bollywood's age-old music traditionalism strikes out with full instrumental flows. Finally, its out and out classically oriented appeal ushered through impressive vocals of Kavita Subramanyam in the third version. Darbar's immaculately pristine command on various instruments comes out in tandem in gesticulating out a brilliant "jugalbandi". It enthralls out a thriving appeal of splendor dancing works with vigorous traditionalistic music in its backdrop. If shot aesthetically with slick choreographic moves, it can well mark surprise resurrection of Manisha Koirala back into marquee.
It's time for revival of 80's disco-station in "Achcha to Ab Main Chalta Hoon", an ostentatiously conceived stage number sung vociferously by Sonu Nigam. This comes out as situational number where protagonist makes contemporary stage performance for his lady love in typical 80's disco stylized ways.
Ethnicity makes the final blows in the album through traditional "qawalli" in "Deewana Main to Deewana" through customary voices of Aslam Sabri, Sonu Nigam and Sukhwinder Singh. It's a song where both lead protagonist's sketches out the silhouettes of their "Mehbooba" (beloved) in the form of engrossing "jugalbandi" rendition. Anand Bakshi saab's lyrical appeal is heart-piercing and works well with the mood of the situation.
MEHBOOBA brings quality Bollywood's conventional music to ears that have melodic as well as subjective substance in it. Ismail Darbar impresses with his style of traditional and classical music in soundtracks like "Tu Meri Mehbooba", "Khwabon Ki Rani" and "Kuch Kar Lo". It has arrived at a time when the musical scenario is completely changed but still the album holds promises for all its contemporary "filmi" music listeners.