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<i>Mere Jeevan Saathi</i>

Courtesy: Joginder Tuteja, IndiaFM

What Shahrukh Khan is to Chopras and Johars, Akshay Kumar is to Darshans. Rarely are any movies coming from Dharmesh Darshan and Suneel Darshan that do not star Akshay Kumar. And this time around, there would be two of such releases in the span of 4 weeks. First would be Bewafaa directed by Dharmesh Darshan while the second is 'a-little-long-in-the-making' - Mere Jeevan Saathi directed by Suneel Darshan and starring Karisma Kapoor (in her first negative avtaar) and Amisha Patel. Produced by Suraj Prakash, MJS has music and lyrics by Darshan regular Nadeem Shravan and Sameer ( Raja Hindustani, Dhadkan, Ek Rishta, Haan Maine Bhi Pyaar Kiya, Andaaz, Bewafaa ). Let's see if MJS matched up to the standards to this impressive lineage!

Title song 'Mere Jeevan Saathi' appears thrice in the album. First is a stage show version by Sonu Nigam that is fast paced and is analogous to the pacy version of 'Mera Dil Jis Dil Pe Fida Hai' from 'Bewafa'. Just like Bewafa had a melodious and a rock version of the number that alternates between 'dilruba' and 'bewafa', 'Mere Jeevan Saathi' too has a similar experiment. Though the difference here is both the versions are love (and no hate) songs with one being on stage and other around the trees! While the stage version by Sonu Nigam is good, it isn't as pulsating and rocking as one would have liked it to be. It is in fact the melodious rendition by Kumar Sanu and Sadhna Sargam that reminds one of vintage Nadeem Shravan and instantly catches attention. Sameer's lyrics are like the ones they always manage to write for the Darshans while Sanu's singing is what takes the song a step further. A Top-10 material at the least! And this is the reason why it is repeated again as well!

Love duet 'Tum Bin Na Hum Ji Sakenge' comes so close and yet a little far from 'Adayein Bhi Hai Mohabbat Bhi Hai' by Nadeem Shravan from 'Dil Hai Ki Maanta Nahin'. It catches up on its own intermittently though, but still the heard-before feeling stays throughout the song. In the end, this duet by Udit Narayan and Alka Yagnik is an average number and doesn't really touch your heart strings.

'Deewani Main Deewani' is a foot taping 'shuddh hindustani' number with ghunghroos, tabla, dhol and whatever it takes to compose a song that caters to the interiors. Sameer's lyrics are typically the ones that compliment Nadeem Shravan's music while Sadhna Sargam completely overpowers Abhijeet in this love 'n' hate song. And guess what! You hear every word ranging from 'Saajan', 'Dhadkan', 'Bewafa' to 'Dilbar'. The best part is - all this really works!

Another good song in succession comes up in the shape of 'Tasveer', a solo by Alka Yagnik. Vintage NS, vintage Sameer, vintage Alka! This sums up the feel of this love song that talks about I see you everywhere I look, and that's because I love you so much. On the face value, this seems like yet another love song but it's the treatment and the music arrangements by the ever-reliable NS that make even this average-appearing song as one of the hummable/likeable kinds.

With expectations reset in the album after quite a few good tracks, one looks forward to the remaining two numbers 'Ek Masoom Sa' and 'Mashooqa'. With melody in full stream, 'Ek Masoom Sa' diverts your attention. In an attempt of being youthful and lively, it turns out to be plain average in the end. Also it doesn't really suits the off-late mature image of Akshay Kumar. The number by Sonu Nigam and Sadhna Sargam looks like the ones that are shot on the streets of a foreign locale and is seemingly a misfit in the album.

'Mashooqa' is a westernized track by Shaan and Alisha Chenoy that in spite of being an average composition has a potential to make it to the charts if picturized and presented well. But pray why Shaan has suddenly started sounding like he has just arrived from a Himesh Reshammiya recording. That rolling of 'Rrr' in his tongue never seems to cease in an attempt to sound a cool dude!

The album ends with an 'Introduction to Barsaat' , starring Bobby Deol, Bipasha Basu and Priyanka Chopra. In the voice of Priyanka Chopra, it is a flat publicity (and that's it) because apart from rattling down the credits in the movie (Nadeem Shravan, starcast, Suneel Darshan) and a one liner by Kumar Sanu ( Barsaat Ke Din Aaye ), there is nothing more in this 2 minute promo!

Coming back to MJS, it has a definite Nadeem Shravan stamp written all over it. But anywhere close to Raja Hindustani, Dhadkan, Andaaz or Bewafa ? No, not at all! The music is good but doesn't quite meet up the high expectations one had from the movie. Still smooth sailing is expected for this album due to at least 3 enjoyable songs (Title track, Deewani, Tasveer ) and obviously the A-class starcast, production house and publicity.

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