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<i>Zinda</i>

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Courtesy: Joginder Tuteja, IndiaFM

Sanjay Gupta has been a pioneer when it comes to a different style of storytelling by means of bringing together style and content. Last two releases of Gupta also boasted of some great music [Kaante and Musafir] and one expects nothing less from 'Zinda'. With 'Musafir', Gupta had launched two separate versions of the film's music - CLUB and LOUNGE. The trend continues with 'Zinda' that again comes in a 2 CD pack. A White Feather Films production, 'Zinda' is presented by Sanjay Dutt and Nitin Manmohan, stars Dutt along with John Abraham, Lara Dutta and Celina Jaitley and has music by Vishal Shekhar, Shibani Kashyap & Strings. Club version has music by Nikhil Chinapa and DJ Nawed for number of tracks.

Shibani Kashyap's terrific 'Zinda Hoon Main' appears in three versions - 'Delirious Dance Club', 'Fun Da Mental mix' and a regular 'Lounge' version. Virag Mishra's lyrics are out of the ordinary and credit should go to composers Shibani Kashyap, Nikhil Chinapa and DJ Naved for coming up with a delicious helping that makes you sway to its beats at any given moment. Music arrangement is top class, the western setting of the song could challenge any international MTV production, Lara Dutta in her Spanish looks hasn't looked more gorgeous ever while Shibani as a singer tells a tale through such a wonderful rendition that you just can't help setting the number in a repeat mode while on a long drive at a full throttle. The number should rock the charts in days to some and should grace the dance floors across the country.

'Fun Da Mental mix' has the same pace as far as singing is concerned but it is the remix by Julius Packiam and Jayant Luthra that gives 'Zinda Hoon Main' a different feel to it. The basic feel of the track still remains same and conveys a lot about the basic theme of the movie that is about a man's basic question around his very survival. In contrast, as soon as the lounge version of the song begins, you know that there is something intriguing about the setting of the movie.

The version becomes much slower with limited arrangements to give Shibani an open stage to display her singing prowess once over again. There is some classical aspect too added on to this version that makes one hear the number even closely. Unlike some of the other remixes in the recent albums where just a few beats are added/knocked off here and there, in the case of 'Zinda Hoon Main' it is apparent that a lot of hard work has gone in to come up with three entirely different versions.

Next comes 'Yeh Hai Meri Kahani' that features in two versions - lounge and club that is called as a 'K Rap' mix. Sung and composed by Pakistani band 'Strings', 'Yeh Hai Meri Kahani' is written by Anwar Maqsood with the lounge version also featuring Sanjay Dutt and John Abraham. Just like the opening track 'Zinda Hoon Main', this track too has its powerful lyrics as its mainstay. It is not difficult to compose a song by putting in some funky arrangements to enhance its appeal but it is the lyrics that actually decide [in most instances] the sustaining power of a track.

In the songs of 'Zinda' so far, it is in reality the lyrics that make the songs such an enjoyable hearing that you just can't help but admire the final product. With a core Pakistani pop feel to it, 'Yeh Hai Meri Kahani' should work for a quite some time to come, irrespective of the movie's fate at the box office. If one has to choose between the lounge and the club version for this track, one would opt for the former due to its soft 'n' haunting feel.

Another number composed by Strings that follows next is 'Har Saans' that is written by Anwar Maqsood and sung by Krishna who had also sung 'Zindagi Mein Koyi Kabhi Aaye Na Rabba' in Gupta's last 'Musafir'. The song is about a man regretting the presence of someone in his life who has got him off track when he was just on his way to getting back to normalcy. A theme song that may appear in the background score of the movie, this 'sufi' number is sung brilliantly by Krishna. And yes, the power of lyrics continues to dominate the scene even in the case of 'Har Saans'. With additional music by Kinky Roland, things become hardcore techno in the 'Black Mamba mix' that has a lot of 'Mambo-Jumbo' influence to it. Obviously foot tapping and more suited for that 'club effect', it rocks all over again.

Vinod Rathod is known for singing fun-on-the-street-kind of numbers but there is a pleasant shift in 'Maula' where he turns absolutely sober for a song about pain and loneliness. Written by Vishal, it has music by Nikhil Chinapa and DJ Nawed but unlike the songs before it, this one is meant to be heard in isolation with great concentration without bothering to hop on to the dance floors. In the song an apparently disturbed man is shown to be requesting GOD to protect him and take care of him. Its club version comes as 'State Of Grace Mix' that is in fact like any other remix, with just an added beat and an instrument here or there. And no, for a change this club version doesn't really entice you to wear your dancing shoes. But yes, it is still a good listen nevertheless.

One can find himself dancing lightly to the beats of delightful 'Kya Main Zinda Hoon' that is sung and composed by Shibani Kashyap with Sanjay Gupta himself picking up the pen to write down the track. Just like numerous soundtracks from Hollywood movies, 'Zinda' too has each of the tracks revolving around the movie's theme i.e. essence of living and 'Kya Main Zinda Hoon' too is in the same mode. Shibani does well wonderfully once again and it is good to hear a new singer coming behind the kind of tracks that are straight from the territory of Sunidhi Chauhan. Welcome Shibani!

Male version of 'Kya Main Zinda Hoon' comes as 'Chal Rahi Hai Saanse' by Kailash Kher where things get much more serious and thought provoking. While the lyrics are same, it is music by Nikhil Chianapa and DJ Nawed that turns around the song 360 degrees by making it sound extremely painful and heart wrenching. Gupta has been known for his marvelous shot-taking; now witness him in his lyricist avtaar where he does well too.

While all songs so far had been in multiple versions to suit the club and the lounge taste, there is 'Kabhi Muskura De' that appears in only one version. Vishal Shekhar have only this song to their credit in 'Zinda'. The song brings to fore Sanjay Dutt once again after 'Maya' [Home Delivery] and he shows a remarkable shift in his entire rendition style. The song is again about attitude [as like most of his earlier songs] and narrates his ability to take over the challenge in any format, come what may. Written by Vishal, the song appears in the lounge version and would be heard more often as days progress due to its haunting feel.

'Zinda' is more of a theme album [first of its kinds for a mainstream commercial movie] rather than a conventional Bollywood score and works quite well for its genre. For the lovers of some genuinely new sound and different music, it is a welcome change to hear 'Zinda'. After 'Kaante' and 'Musafir', 'Zinda' is bound to be another musical success for Sanjay Gupta.

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