'Kal Ho Na Ho'. 'Lakshya'. 'Kyun Ho Gaya Na'. The cheery trio of Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy has composed 3 great albums in succession. Make that 4 as the trio strike gold once again with the Revathi-directed 'Phir Milenge'.
'Phir Milenge' is Revathi's first attempt at commercial Hindi cinema. Rumouredly based on the Hollywood hit 'Philadelphia', the film stars Salman Khan, Abhishek Bachchan and Shilpa Shetty. Salman plays an AIDS patient, who is a musician by profession, while Abhishek plays a young, dynamic lawyer.
The album kicks off with a number which oozes lyrical brilliance. Undoubtedly the best track of the album, 'Jeene Ke Ishaare' is beautifully penned by adman Prasoon Joshi. Apart from the poignant lyrics, Shankar Mahadevan's serene vocals and generous use of the guitar contribute in enhancing one of the best compositions of the year.
Unfortunately, the proceedings are jarred by a song composed by Nikhil-Vinay. Unimaginative lyrics, predictable musical patterns and lackluster singing by Sonu Nigam and Shreya Ghosal result in 'Betaab Dil Hai' sound like a stale nineties number which drones on for a minute too long. The sad version of the song is a trifle better, though, as Sonu Nigam makes a much better effort this time.
Shankar, Ehsaan, Loy return to bring back the freshness to the album. 'Khushiyon Ki Koshish' makes an impact with the introduction piece itself and Srinivas and Mahalaxmi take over and delight with their effervescent vocals. Guitar aficionados will freak out at the guitar solos used as interludes, which is quite a rare feature in Hindi songs.
Shankar, Ehsaan, Loy then hand over the reins to Bhavatha Raja, who composes two tracks with equal finesse. 'Phir Milenge' is the kind of piece which might be used often during the course of the film. In spite of its short length, it makes an impact. 'Kuchh Pal' is a beautiful number with some great musical arrangements, as the various instruments complement Vijay Yesudas' mellifluous voice. Prasoon Joshi's lyrics are another unique feature of this song.
Bombay Jayshree, the voice behind the seductive 'Zara Zara' (RHTDM), lends her vocals to 'Khul Ke Muskurale', a song filled with optimism. Apart from Jayshree's husky, brooding voice, the song boasts of fantastic lyrics by Prasoon Joshi. While he has maintained a sophisticated poetic touch, the message the song conveys is beautifully expressed.
'Yaad Hai Woh Pehli Mulaqat' is based on the same tune as 'Jeene Ke Ishaare', almost like a sad version, albeit with different lyrics. Abhijeet yields the microphone this time and although he sings well, the song isn't as good as the livelier 'Jeene Ke Ishaare'.
The one who deserves the most credit for this album is undoubtedly Prasoon Joshi. The adman-turned-lyricist has proved his versatility. After the witty repartee in 'Ladki Kyon' (Hum Tum), this time, he has concentrated on maintaining a strong poetic flavour to the lyrics. Yet, the lyrics, which are filled with poignancy, never get heavy and are extremely hummable. Shankar, Ehsaan, Loy fans will lap this album up as the trio have composed some of the best songs of the album. A la previous S-E-L ventures, 'Phir Milenge' is soothing, mesmerizing and vibrant...