Saturday, February 23, 2008

Personal thoughts on the music of "U, Me, aur Hum"

I'll admit that I would not have ordinarily looked forward to the music of a film with an orthographically-challenged title such as "U, Me, aur Hum". But with Vishal helming the baton, here is what I thought.

This film is the most 'urban' of Vishal's output. Though not spectacular in any way, it presents enough points of interest to merit a couple of repeats through the playlist. The lyricist isn't a certain stiff-kurta'd maestro here, but Munna Dhiman steps in to produce a couple of interesting poetic fragments. His highest point is the clever "Saiyaan", where Vishal graciously steps into the background to let the lyrics shine. With "nai dilli me.n bareilly jaisaa saiyaa.n" and "saara din afvaaho.n saa phirtaa udtaa-phirtaa hai galii-galii", this is a great track. Vishal adds the right amount of musical embellishments and gets Sunidhi Chauhan to do the same. Though I didn't like this the first time I heard it, it "chipkoo"-ed on from the next one.

Adnan Sami features on 3 tracks as the male voice. Shreya Ghosal and he combine for "Jii Le", a peppy Spanish number with the usual kind of arrangements (Spanish guitars et al.) that make it so. It's a very nice melody, especially the opening piece. I also liked the guitar riffs and the use of the accordions here. Decent track.

There are two version of the title song. Shreya Ghosal does the female solo, while Vishal himself steps up to the mikes for the male version. The tune has all the trappings of a soothing romantic tune and the English pop-lyrics don't distract as in some other songs. With all due respect to the composer, I really think Vishal ought not to sing. His version, in some places, sounds like a scratch track. Music directors are given the benefit of doubt as long as they have something distinctive to offer. However, as yet, Vishal's voice does not have the earnestness of A.R.Rahman, the zaniness of R D Burman, or the folkishness of S D Burman or Ilaiyaraja. He sounds very flat as well as heavy, especially with a female version to compare against. Nice lyrics again.

I didn't like the heavy Punjjaabbee numbers, especially the very noisy (to me) "Phatte". "Dil Dhakda" is slightly better, again with Dhiman's somewhat offbeat takes. However, on the whole, I haven't bothered to come back to these two.

At the end, I'm still playing four of these tracks, especially "Saiyaan", so that's not too bad for a digression on to the mainstream for someone who hasn't always been given his due in that part of public consciousness.

Update: Lyrics can be found at the Gulzarfans egroup.

Also posted on my personal blog.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Shahid Kapur? Really?

So this news item that came in through RSS feeds says that Vishal Bharadwaj has signed on Shahid Kapur in a "a virtual stamp of approval of Shahid's capabilities". Um, OK. My money says this one's made up.

Monday, February 18, 2008

"U, Me Aur Hum" - Music reviews

The music of "U, Me Aur Hum" has finally hit the stands. A collection of music reviews, most of whom seem to like it without necessarily raving about the songs. Until we manage to get our hands on the album and give it a good listen, listen to it online and read some of these early reviews:

Rediff, Milliblog, Sify, Ramanand.