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By: Joginder Tuteja, IndiaFM
Thursday, April 12, 2007
There was a time when director Raj Kanwar was a regular in churning out one 'masala' blockbuster after another. Gradually he moved to making family entertainers with Andaaz turning out to be his latest blockbuster. He moved on to make a mushy romantic flick in the form of Humko Deewana Kar Gaye that didn't quite work, especially in India, but in the meanwhile launched Raqeeb in the capacity of a producer. Directed by debutant Anurag Singh with lyrics by Sameer, Raqeeb starring Jimmy Sheirgill, Rahul Khanna, Sharman Joshi and Tanushree Dutta takes Kanwar back to his masala-mix days where he puts in everything from romance to action to thrills and his forte - drama!
Roping in Pritam as a composer is a clear cut master stroke since he has been only moving higher up with every musical release of his, latest being the soundtrack of Metro. Sadly (and surprisingly), Pritam's score of Raqeeb is an all time low if one looks at his repertoire of work in last couple of years.
Strings of guitar at the beginning of 'Jaane Kaise' pave the way for a romantic ballad to begin soon. With K.K's name visible in the credits, one expects nothing less than something special because the singer and composer have a superb track record ever since the two started working together. Unfortunately the tune isn't anything special at all as it turns out to be a mediocre at best.
If it would have come from a lesser composer, it may just have turned out to be a decent her but call it high expectations from Pritam that one isn't impressed at all. A remix version comes towards the end but the original itself is so lukewarm that there isn't much that even added beats can do. One in fact gets a wee bit worried about what's in store from remaining tracks since normally it's the opening track that sets the pace for an album.
Raj Kanwar's style of music sense is fused with Pritam's modern day arrangements to create 'Channa Ve Channa'. Result is such that neither the song retains its ethnic feel nor does it turn out to be an out and out contemporary song. Now this is what one calls an ideal popcorn break song since it doesn't quite force you to be rooted on your seats. Rendered by Gayatri Ganjawala, who's singing style in this song comes close to that of Richa Sharma, this is second straight number in the album that belongs to the quick-skip variety.
A 5 second oriental style crooning at the beginning of 'Dushmana' gives one an impression of something different coming up but the myth is broken soon after. Taking the album only further down, 'Dushmana' comes twice in the album, once in the vocals of Kunal Ganjawala and then Sunidhi Chauhan. A sorta title song due to the inclusion of line 'Hai Raqeeb Tu Mera' in the opening lines, this is what one calls a typical Sameer track.
The composition belongs to the mid-90s and if not for the heavy duty arrangements and Sunidhi's crooning in her version, it would have been an out and out disappointment. Not that Sunidhi's vocals bring it to the chartbuster status but the spark she brings in makes this fast moving number with rhythm as its base at least listenable.
First duet of the album comes in quite late in the album when Tulsi Kumar and Zubin come together for 'Tum Ho'. A high on orchestra track that could be termed as a distant cousin of 'Fanaa' [Humko Deewana Kar Gaye] (and that's not just because the term 'Fanaa' appears here as well), 'Tum Ho' is a kind of track that has a potential to at least look eye candy if choreographed well with lavish picturisation. Still, there is nothing exceptional that Pritam churns out here and at maximum it's just the arrangements factor that gives 'Tum Ho' some kind of chance.
When the title of a track goes like 'Qateel', you know that you are in for a song that would most likely have a climax setting. Well, the standards set from the very beginning of the album is maintained till the very end as 'Qateel' only justifies the mediocre setting of the entire soundtrack. Alisha Chinoy, who is currently basking in the glory of her super successful 'It's Rocking' can't do much to help the proceedings in 'Qateel' which is so very 80s that one just wishes to move out of the album.
It is hard to believe that Raqeeb is an album by Pritam who has done so much this year with diverse albums like Just Married, Hat Trick, Kya Love Story Hai and very recently Life In a... Metro.