By Faridoon Shahryar, Bollywood Tarde News Network
Aadesh Shrivastava is a decent music composer but he fails to take his music a few notches up to be bracketed as funtabulous. His last effort Saawan - The Love Season surprised with its pleasant melodic content and Alag doesn't disappoint either. Yet, it is apparent that if he makes a few more concentrated attempts, he can surely give the Himesh, Anu and Pritams of the world a run for their music room. Most importantly he should stop getting impressed with Rahman's special sounds and the tapori style of Anu Malik. If he can sway the world to the melody of Baaghbaan and the electrifying energy of Kya Ada Kya Jalwe Tere Paro, then there's no shortage of talent. A dash of self belief and Aadesh can surely sound marching orders.
Sabse Alag has two versions. And both the versions are the best thing about this album. The first one has a medley of singers like Kunal Ganjawala, Shaan, Hemachandra, Nihira Joshi and Gayatri Ganjawala. It's a soft number with worth-crooning chorus line. All the singers are in good form, lyrics is sensible and the minimalistic music arrangements, makes it a ginger-listen. A steady rhythm line, sedate use of strings, harmonized choruses and even a classical alaap lends this song authenticity. The second version has Kunal Ganjawala making inroads into the recesses of abstract. There's no addition in the music arrangements, yet a solo sound makes it better than the first one. It's a song you'd like to listen again and again.
If dancing is your passion and you don't have anything better to groove to, then play the DJ Suketu Mix of Shaan and Vasundhara Das, aptly titled Hai Junoon. Heavy on bass, Vengaboys-fillers, a race-with-time tempo (that shall make the dancing near the pool a hearty experience), saucy female chorus and overall natty arrangements by Aks. The original version is pace-ignited too, though it's more of controlled aggression than a full-throttle-orgasm. A western rhythm loop, English chorus line (popping up more often than required) and an impressive vocal rendition by Vasundhara Das are a few of the highlights. Shaan suits his part well. Still, Hai Junoon can't come any close to the deliriousness of Paro. Aadesh is a rhythm guy and he should take stock of his talent next time around. For if he could do it ten years ago then he should be able to do it again.
Apun ki toil bindaas boli
Hai Life ye circus yaaron
So let's do bhankas yaaron
To aao jhoomo gao
Nahin to kalti maro
Reminds you of Shahrukh Khan's Apun Bola. Right! It's a tapori number with 'apparently' the right kinda attitude. Lots of situational music instruments (icing being the live whistling), rhythm sounds taken out from the mouth and whacky lyrics. I don't know why but in spite of listening to this 'attempted' tapori anthem the strange bhelpuri of Mumbaiyya lingo and Bhangra beats fails to make the same impact as Aati Kya Khandala or even Apun Bola. Shaan, Kailash Kher, Aadesh Shrivastava and Vasundhara Das try too-hard-to-please but the result is more of a cacophony than anything else.
Saanjh ki pighalti dhoop mein makhmali savera ghul gaya
Chahton ki mahki boond se surmai andhera dhul gaya
Saanjh ki Pighalti is easily the most valuable song of this album in terms of brilliant lyrics (Rahul Seth and Nusrat Badr have been credited as lyricists but it's not specified as to who has written which song), delectable vocals of new find Ujjaini (whose vocals are wrapped in 24 karat Gold) and the music arrangements are well manicured. The song starts with the Indian Classical scatting of Krishna sniffing the gentle tabla beats as the sun sheds its inhibitions and wears its golden robe. The flute piece is like the auspiciousness of the morning descending near the Holy Ganges while the strings build up the crescendo invoking the Gods to continue unraveling their mercy. Indian Classical vocal scatting traverses the length and breadth of this song adding a touch of novelty. A truly stunning composition!
The Soul of Alag is the theme track rendered by Ujjaini and Hemachandra. Relying exclusively on Indian Classical vocal scatting, chimes, situation enhancing keyboard sounds and light guitars it's a sensible effort, but nothing spectacular. There's no set pattern and the drum section in the middle is badly managed.
There's nothing spectacular about Alag as a whole except for that gem called Saanjh ki Pighalti and the two special versions of Sabse Alag. I must say, I have great expectations from Aadesh Shrivastava and here's hoping he takes his music to that 'Next' level. Hopefully Babul will do what Alag couldn't.