By Faridoon Shahryar, Bollywood Trade News Network
Aadesh Shrivastava redeems himself in the Salman Khan starrer Saawan...The Love Season after the mishap called CHINGAARI by unleashing his best work since BAGHBAN. It's a combination of an adrenaline accelerating dance number, a soulful Qawwali and several easy-on-ears melodies. What I like about this album is a shift from deliberate-incorporation-of-rap in any of the tracks and thankfully there are no remixes so it makes it easier to judge the composer by his original work.
'Punjabi Ankhonwali' is a bhangra rock number that makes the electricity wires rub shoulders in style. The electric guitar melody, the western beats merging with the bhangra dhol, ladki yeh hai kudiyon mein Salman hook line, power-packed vocals of Shaan and Sunidi Chauhan are some of the highlights besides the female chorus and apt arrangements from start to finish. This track will thrill many a marriage party in the Shaadi season.
Ishq mein lut gaya wo khazaana hoon
Main ek beeta hua zamana hoon
Mere dard pe roye khushiyan
Main gumnaam ek fasaana hoon
Ek fasaana hoon...
Saawan Kumar pens vintage poetry of sixties and seventies. Sonu Nigam never sounded so good. And guest composer Sajid-Wajid will always be proud of 'Tu Mila De'. After listening to this qawwali, one is transported to the Mohammad Rafi sad symphonic songs like 'Mere Mitwa' and 'Aaj puraani rahon se koi mujhe awaaz na de'. The base of harmonium and tabla is not tampered with. No western rhythm sneaks in to appeal to the generation next. Everything goes right for this number, but the one who literally shines like the embers of a volcano is Sonu Nigam at his best. There are sections when he climbs the higher pitch and his rendition is very akin to that of Sabri Brothers. It's heartening to hear a commercial singer having the sensibility to touch the true sufiyana texture.
Kunal Ganjawala sets the night breeze on fire with 'Jo Maangi Khuda Se'. The mist in the mountains pull the curtain of romance as tender beats of ebullience like a lamb on open green fields scampers in slow motion. Everything about this song is poetic, be it the piano notes with which it starts followed by flute on keyboards, a sterling strings section playing in the background for most part adds to several other ambience sounds augmenting the first-snowfall-on-a-honeymoon-feeling. I was pleasantly surprised to hear another version of the same song in Jaspinder Nirula's voice. Well, her expressive velvety vocals add another dimension to a song that one feels like grooving to again and again. Listen to it at night with lights closed and make sure you press the repeat button.
It's the time to disco girl Vasundhara Das is Ready for love as she announces from rooftop in a typical Nazia Hasan style. A retro number reminding you of Asha Bhonsle's 'Jawaani Jaaneman' groove, inebriated with the innocence of love. A regular disco beat coated with the requisite bass guitar riffs and glowing-light-fillers reminiscent of Disco Station and Nisha heat up the proceedings. Das is the right choice as she sings with control and attitude. She should sing more often in Bollywood.
The title track 'Saawan...The Love Season' has a gorgeous hook line expressively sung by Shaan and Sunidhi Chauhan. This track is a coming-together-of traditional melody and modern arrangements. Tabla and drums gel together as if a river uniting with the sea. Strings create the background while the trumpet and flute embellish the various stages of this love season. Santoor-like-fillers have been judiciously used to create an effect of a waterfall or maybe a transition in thought process. A welcome relief.
'Mere Dil Ko Dil Ki Dhadkan Ko' has familiar Arabian music arrangements with Shreya Ghoshal making her presence felt for the first time on this album while Shaan does his part with expert ease. The golden strains of Rabab begin the proceedings inviting attention immediately. Rhythm is primarily African beats colluding with drum-n-bass. Sarod pieces light up the song with its magnetic appeal while live Harmonica distinctively sounds in the background at certain junctures. In the keyboard world, live playing of such instruments isn't something common. But, to get the best effects, nothing beats the live sound of the actual instruments rather than the electronically generated ones.
Saawan...The Love Season... A Pleasant Surprise!