New York Music Review

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Director Kabir Khan showed his brawny strength in unconventional KABUL EXPRESS and his debut also made waves for its innovative music that made fortune for promising Raghav Sachar. Kabir's second directorial venture, NEW YORK, is one of the most awaited releases with music that promises to be in tune with present day Gen X listener's taste.

Expectations! Yes, there are humongous, both in terms of box-office as well as for musical success! Pritam comes out to be captain of the ship along with two upcoming composers in the form of Pankaj Awasthi and Julius Packiam to deliver the needful. Pritam?s consistency and hi-profile is at stake while two composers are striving to find foothold in marquee. Can NEW YORK be the new ''el-dorado'' for listeners as well as for producers and composers? Does NEW YORK have the tenacity to match the success standards of producer's last big musical hits? Let's not be alien to this NEW YORK and do find citizenship of this hot ''n'' happening city by plugging onto its soundtracks in one-go…

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Youthful to the core and pulsating to the last beat, Pritam makes a chartbusting start to the album in a lovable soft-rock ''buddy-bonding'' soundtrack ''Hai Junoon''. KK's most accomplished work of this year makes most gleaming presence in Sandeep Srivastava's lighthearted cum cheerful wordings that are aesthetically pitched with hook-line ''Hai Junoooonn'' making it a peppy pop anthem.

Feel the breeze of cheery youth that comes smiling in synchronized country western guitar strumming forming engaging prelude that collages with ''cool'' rhythmical pattern in making this a pleasingly audible ''happy-go-lucky'' song. KK's remarkable rendition in modulating mode from high to low octave singing is praiseworthy and surely be putting him in the bracket of ''Best Male Playback Singer of the Year''. Pritam piles up one of finest composition of this year by varying up tempo, timbre and orchestrations, epitomizing out various moods of youth brigade of the flick. This joyous number has been in promos for several months and it's simply delight to hear the original soundtrack.

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''Hai Junoon (remix)'' is surprise and break from regular DJ stuff where Julius Packiam comes out with mix and match of ''lounge'' and ''club-house'' elements in making it one hot-shot promotional feature track. Do play it loud and feel the resonating disco splurge that comes out with KK's booming voice and enthralling rock musical arrangements. Chartbuster!!!

Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy did a tremendous experimentation in quintessentially feminine ''Yeh Tumhaari Meri Baatein'' (ROCK ON) that set new success standards and now the mushy feel of ''cherished paradise'' makes another dazzling presence in beautifully composed ''Mere Sang''. The soulful chorals with tender orchestral flows makes a sublime prelude and later the mood turns enthralling in rigorous rock-mode deliverance to metaphor varying romantic sentimental shades.

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Sunidhi Chauhan gets into classical western pop singing (similar to couple of Mariah Carey's emotional tracks) with flair to mesmerize out an optimistically woven ''feel-good'' background score. Pritam's consistency in composing and imbibing traits of classical pop music scintillates out with perfection. Like the recently heard ''Khabar Nahi'' (DOSTANA), one can expect an engrossing on-screen syrupy chemistry between the lead pair (Katrina-John) with glimmering foreign locations in the backdrop. Julius Packiam makes his second presence in ''Mere Sang (remix)'' with some really foot-tapping disco-beat fillers that sets the tempo high and pulsates out senses with great zest. It's a substantial commercial move by inculcating flashy elements of bombastic ''club'' remix elements that rechristens this mushy number out into upbeat disco-loving track. Do feel the impulse!!!

New York for Oscars. Definitely. Take a bow Kabir Khan. Your work is excellent. Kabir, who says, he was in the US two days before 9/11 and saw first-hand the chaos that followed was stirred enough to work on this film. His second name is Khan! Immediately after the Twin Towers were targeted, the FBI picked up innocent civilians bearing Muslim names as suspects. What happened in captivity? Kabir tells a poignant tale.

New York is a tale of three friends Samir Sheikh (John Abraham), Omar Aijaz (Neil Nitin Mukesh) and Maya (Katrina Kaif). Kabir captures their blossoming friendship and establishes Omar's moving away from their life for seven years. Suddenly the FBI pushes him back into their living room. Framed for transporting illegal arms, Omar is tortured and told to cooperate with the FBI. Omar agrees because he wants to prove that his friend is innocent. But is he?

If you have read Benamar Benatta's tale in the beginning, you will know what Samir, a happy-go-lucky college lad had to go through. Arrested on the airport, Samir is striped, searched, questioned and tortured… for nine months… and then released for lack of evidence. Mentally scarred, Samir is a mess. The FBI does not reveal this bit of information to Omar.

Everything about this film is first rate. The look, the cinematography, the songs, background score, script, dialogues and performances. All three friends, John Abraham, Neil Nitin Mukesh and Katrina Kaif give off standoff performances. In fact, you could say that this film is the turning point in John's career. The scene where he is surrounded by the FBI on the terrace of their headquarters and asked to surrender is super. His face portrays a range of emotions which say, I'd rather die than go through that torture again.'' In one fleeting moment, Kabir transfers Samir's emotions on to you.

Neil is fabulous and Katrina is proving to be a solid performer. Irrfan Khan as Roshan the FBI officer shows another facet to his acting prowess.The end will blow you off your feet. You leave the theatre, deeply disturbed asking questions to yourself. What's more, the film stays with you the morning after as well.

What also works in the film's favour is that it is shot entirely in the United States of America. Can it get more authentic!

Please do not miss NEW YORK.

Rating – 5/5

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