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By: Joginder Tuteja, IndiaFM
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Since the day Jaan-E-Mann was launched, the film has been in news across all media forums. With enterprising producer Sajid Nadiadwala at the helm, a solid trio of Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar and Preity Zinta forming a formidable starcast, grapevine about the generation leap in the film, Anupam Kher's dwarf act to editor turned director Shirish Kunder's directorial debut - everything about the film was always in limelight.
Except for one thing! Anu Malik, the film's composer!
Why? That's something that you realize after you hear the album. This is because in true sense this is THE comeback that Anu's fans would have been expecting from him who has been having a rather dull period at the music charts. He was seen on the small screen with 'Indian Idol' but didn't have much to show himself when it came to his work. With Jaan-E-Mann he just hits back at his detractors who had proclaimed his time in the Bollywood musical scene to be over. Because with Jaan-E-Mann he creates a kind of music that truly befits the musical genre of the film. With a unique pairing with Gulzar saab to boost, fireworks were obviously expected from the film but it's a different feeling altogether when one really lends an ear to the album.
Aamir Khan did it in Fanaa, Akshaye Khanna followed it up in Aap Ki Khatir while Shahrukh Khan has made waves with Don - The Chase Begins Again, i.e. by lending their voices for a song. Now Salman Khan does it too for the opening song of the album 'Humko Maloom Hai' where he doesn't sing but narrates a couple of lines that go as:
"Mohabbaton mein jeene wale khushnaseeb hain, mohabbaton mein marne waale bhi ajeeb hain;
Azeem hai hamari dastaan jaan-e-mann, faaslon mein rehte hain lekin kareeb hain"
The melody that follows is unique as Sonu Nigam starts singing 'Hum Ko Maaloom Hain'. An extremely difficult number to compose and sing, both Anu Malik and Sonu Nigam make it all sound so easy inspite of Gulzar saab coming up with his trademark 'conversational' lyrics rather than a conventional prose. One can hear a variety of instruments in this marvelously orchestrated number that may sound akin to an A.R. Rehman composition but it still completely original. In the end, the song takes a sad turn and even comes close to Ismail Darbar's 'Tadap Tadap'. Grand is the way to describe the arrangements of this song which has Sadhna Sargam finally getting some due. She may be singing only 2-3 big songs in a year but while doing so she makes sure that she leaves a mark. This is what happens in 'Humko Maaloom Hai' that takes its own time to come to your lips but once it does (after you have heard it 10-15 times), there is no looking back!
It's time to have some fun now with the arrival of 'Jaane Ke Jaane Na' where Anu Malik surpasses his own effort after 'Tumse Milke Dil Ka Hai' [Main Hoon Naa]. A qawalli with a feel good factor from the very first note coupled with Bollywood musical feel, 'Jaane Ke Jaane Ne' has Sonu Nigam and Sukhwinder Singh getting into a nice little duet that has an immense bring-on-the-smiles appeal to it. With Farah Khan at the helm of choreography, expect a magical outing once again! Sonu Nigam is exceptional in the qawalli inspite of Sukhwinder's presence while Krishna adds on with his voiceover. Gulzar saab has a knack of surprising every now and then and he does that well again by adding on an English word at some nook or corner. A word about Anu Malik's orchestra - it is GRAND once again! A 'club remix' of the song comes after original versions of all the tracks are over and it turns out to be a true DJ mix with an expected add-on-the-pep effect.
One may go ahead and say that the beginning of 'Ajnabi Shehar' is akin to the signature tune of 'Titanic' but what one needs to remember is that it is mainly the instrument used i.e. flute which is same and hence one could at maximum term it as a healthy inspiration. Sonu Nigam sings his third [and yet another diverse] song that could have been lapped by none else than Late Mohammad Rafi if he was alive today. The best song of the album which brings back the nostalgia of the 60s, it could well have been a song composed for a Shammi Kapoor or a Biswajeet or a Joy Mukherjee!
Anu Malik truly reinvents himself with 'Ajnabi Shehar', a soulful melody which is a new experience altogether in today's music scenario and has a healing appeal to it. Loneliness coupled with introspection has been presented in a unique manner which has sad undertones but still entertains one in a big way. This is the kind of song that one may want to put on in a repeat mode, switch off the lights and go to sleep! Gulzar, Anu Malik and Sonu Nigam excel as a team and come up with a highly classy outcome!
The signature tune of 'Humko Maaloom Hai' marks the beginning of 'Sau Dard' which is yet another brilliant song to arrive after 'Ajnabi Shehar'. And yes, the song again brings composer Anu Malik in a new light altogether as he applies a lot of energy in this second sad song in succession. Sonu Nigam sings fourth superb song in succession and continues to outperform himself in each song. Expect the auditorium to witness a pin drop silence when this poetic number is on.
Anu Malik seems to have worked really hard on the score of Jaan-E-Mann and that shows in 'Sau Dard' which is unlike anything that he has composed in the past. A beautiful song to hear from all quarters, be it rendition wise, lyrically or musically. Especially watch out for Suzanne's voice being used to create a chorus effect a la an opera which consolidates on the grandeur look and feel of the film. Watch out for the 'Grove Mix' of 'Sau Dard' that comes after a while and unlike most remixes floating on the music stands, this one actually 'stands' out for itself and gives the track a different dimension by actually creating a groovy feel!
SUPERSTAR - now that's a term that you would have observed in the promos of Jaan-E-Mann that are currently on air [remember the glittery sets with SUPERSTAR written all over?]! For this stage number 'Udh Jaana....Bro', Kunal Ganjawala begins the show with Sunidhi Chauhan and Adnan Sami joining him soon. A rhythmic song that has it's opening strings coming close to the tune of guitar as in 'Aisa Pehli Baar Hua' [Har Dil Jo Pyaar Karega], it has that concert feel to it that is so very needed to give it an authentic appeal. Yes, compared to the songs in the past which were absolutely new tunes, this one lags a little behind. Still one may not want to take away the euphoric feel that the song may end up creating once the choreographed version is out on the big screen! As expected the 'Club Mix' of the song comes as well that doesn't sound much different from the original which itself is high on rhythm, arrangements and a high adrenaline outcome.
When Anu Malik had presided over 'Indian Idol', he had promised some of its participants that one day he would be giving them a break. He fulfills the promise by roping in Rahul Vaidya, Amit Sana and Prajakta Shukre to sing for 'Kubool Kar Le', the beginning of which is a direct take off from lesser heard 'Sanam Tum Hampe Marte Ho' ['Wajood'] that was composed by Malik himself and featured Madhuri Dixit and Mukul Dev. Well, leaving this one bit of reuse aside, the song has been given a fresh treatment throughout. A song about a man trying to woo a girl and a group of friends motivating her to say yes, it mainly takes a pep-n-rhythm route with Udit Narayan taking the lead. A situational track with Monali Thakur and Suzanne joining the singers as well, it is just like 'Udh Jaana' i.e. being good till it lasts and promising good visuals on screen.
Jaan-E-Mann starts off on a brilliant note and the first four tracks [along with the remix versions of 2 of them] raise the bar so high that one starts expecting a moon from an entire album. 'Udh Jaana' and 'Kubool Kar Le' are fine too but given a choice one may just want to play on 'Hum Ko Maaloom Hain', 'Jaane Ke Jaane Na, 'Ajnabi Shehar' and 'Sau Dard' and relish the melody. Anu Malik creates a music that should silence all his detractors while Gulzar saab must be happy this his lyrics are presented in a new light for a hardcore commercial film like Jaan-E-Mann.
Jaan-E-Mann adds on to the list of must-buy albums this season and makes it a double treat for music lovers in a matter of 10 days who are having a gala time with 'Don' making a splash too! Sajid Nadiadwala has a winning score in hand that should take a flying start in the A centers and gradually start making a mark in the interiors as well!