By Joginder Tuteja, April 30, 2007 – 11:02 IST
Soundtrack of Aap Ka Surroor – The Moviee easily qualifies as THE most awaited album of the first half of 2007. Expectations from the music are gargantuan to say the least and reasons are aplenty…and not quite unknown to the listeners.
a) First and foremost, it is nothing short of an acid test for Himesh Reshammiya as over and above handling the music and singing department, he also turns a lead actor with the film
b) Himesh Reshammiya and Sameer have given dozens of superhit tracks together. Their fans would settle for nothing less than that here.
c) Lot is expected from the choreography/picturisation of each and every song. After all director Prashant Chadha is the man who made Reshammiya a household name through his innumerous music videos.
d) Off late, Reshammiya’s track record has been a mixed bag with a mix of hit and not-so-popular soundtracks. ‘Aap Ka Surroor’ is his chance to silence his detractors once for and all.
e) Last but not the least, as the release date of the film is coming nearer, majority of media seems to be targeting it left, right and center for no rhyme or reason. Now the ball is in the court of his loyal fans to decide the fortunes of his dream album.
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Reshammiya greets listeners with ‘Assalaam Vaalekum’, a stage song where Reshammiya does what he is best at i.e. wear his trademark attire, bring mike close to his mouth and croon with an undisputed energy which is always witnessed when he is front of a live audience. A song in appreciation of the woman he loves, it is one of those rare Reshammiya numbers that takes more than just a couple of times to catch up on you.
While the ‘sufi’ element is present throughout the track, it is still left to the two mix versions, first a regular ‘remix’ followed by the ‘dark’ mix, which bring an altogether different mood to the song and give it a different attitude. Out of these two remixes, while the former is an entire song running with a different orchestra, latter is purely for the dance floor/lounge.
Though in last six months or so remix versions have been more of a nuisance rather than being an add-on, in case of ‘Assalaam Vaalekum’ it turns out to be a rare case of a remix salvaging an original and actually turning out to be a highlight of the album.
There is a brief ‘aalaap’ at the beginning of ‘Tera Mera Milna’, a well written track, which is just an opposite of ‘Assalaam Vaalekum’ when it comes to being easy on ears in the very first hearing. Those who are still not tired of accusing Reshammiya of having a nasal twang would have to rethink before making such a comment again since he is remarkably restrained for most part of the song.
A melodious track that has Shreya Ghoshal as Reshammiya’s female partner and moves at quite a decent pace with just the right ‘thehrav’ and right dose of orchestra, ‘Tera Mera Milna’ is one of the best tracks of Reshammiya this year. Another fact to be noticed in this song is that ‘antara’ is much more impressive than the ‘mukhda’ which makes the song sound further interesting as one hears it in totality.
Just like ‘Assalaam Vaalekum’, even ‘Tera Mera Milna’ comes in two more versions – a ‘regular’ and a ‘House’ mix. Though the original stands tall in this case, if one has to choose between the two remixes, it would be ‘House mix’. This is because it is not just an assortment of a consistent rhythm playing along but has some variety of shades provided at different junctures of the song to make the remix stand out.
Reshammiya and Shreya Ghoshal are heard once again in ‘Jhooth Nahi Bolna’ which turns out to be even better than the two numbers preceding it. This romantic track with a core Indian base to it only takes the album in the right direction since proceedings only seem to be getting better every five minutes.
There is an extensive use of ‘tabla’ and ‘ghunghroo’ in the song which reminds one of the Nadeem Shravan score of the mid-90s. The feeling is further strengthened when one senses the mood of ‘Pardesi Pardesi’ [Raja Hindustani] as the track progresses.
A high-on-orchestra track seemingly designed for the interiors audience, ‘Jhooth Nahi Bolna’ is what Bollywood songs have traditionally been made of and is surprisingly very un-Reshammiya! Well, one doesn’t mind that at all since as a listener one now waits to hear something new from him now. There is absolutely no need for the remix version of a song like this and the same holds good for ‘Jhooth Nahi Bolna’ too, though the music company feels otherwise and hence the presence of an easy-to-skip ‘remix’ version here!
Nevertheless, when it comes to original tracks, things continue to be better as the best song of the album comes in the form of ‘Tanhaiyan’. A track that was first aired exactly 6 months as a part of campaign that marked the kick start of film’s shooting, ‘Tanhaiyan’ is an eminently likeable song which has strong melody as its foundation with the rhythm and arrangements making it an irresistible track.
You may like it or dislike the song but it would be impossible for you to ignore it. So what if Reshammiya croons ‘Tanhaiyan’ as ‘Tanhaiieeyaan’, the song still doesn’t cease to be catchy. A track about a man hopelessly in love with a female and can’t see or think anything beyond her, it is one of Sameer’s better written tracks this season.
There is a surprise in store with an unlikely pairing of Sunidhi Chauhan with Reshammiya as she croons with a slight westernized accent and gives an altogether different dimension to the track. A shorter two minutes ‘unplugged version’ is equally impressive and continues to keep the listener involved while the ‘remix version’ ensures that music catalogue in the club dance floors have one more addition to the list.
Have Pritam and Zubin started the trend of ‘Ya Ali’ post ‘Gangster’? This is the first thought which comes to mind when a song with a namesake title comes next. Yet another Reshammiya-Sunidhi Chauhan combo, ‘Ya Ali’ turns out to be a damp squib after a thrilling impact created just a few moments ago in ‘Tanhaiyan’.
Though the theme of ‘Ya Ali’ is similar to ‘Tanhaiyan’ with even the lyrics having ‘Tanhaiyan’ as a key word, there isn’t much about it that would a listener to play it on in a repeat mode. While Sunidhi continues to play her westernized part, Reshammiya does render with a punch but at maximum for a situational appeal.
Designed for the dance floors, the ‘remix version’ isn’t anything to write home about though the ‘Electro Mix’ is indeed electrifying when it comes to high intensity arrangements. Wish the basic tune too could have been equally interesting and this mix version would have created a much larger impression.
‘O Huzoor…Tera Tera Tera Surroor’ – the words that started it all for Reshammiya to make him an overnight rock star – are heard again along with the signature tune at the beginning of ‘Tere Bina’. ‘Ya Ali’ is forgotten pronto as this sad track about difficult-to-be-living-life-without-my-beloved would be picked up soon by all broken hearts. Based on melody, the song comes as a welcome relief after all the heavy duty sound that one had to bear in ‘Ya Ali’ and innumerous remix versions heard so far.
Reshammiya manages to hold on a listener’s interest into what he wants to say through his restrained singing and makes ‘Tere Bina’ one of the better tracks of ‘Aap Ka Surroor’. Even the ‘remix version’ that comes later brings in its own feel and sounds well enough to be used for a promotional music video.
‘Kya Jeena’ carries the same mood as ‘Tere Bina’ and turns out to be an even better hear hence adding on to the list of likeable tracks in ‘Aap Ka Surroor’. Set in a semi-classical mode, it goes quite easy on arrangements and just has ‘tabla’, ‘ghunghroo’ and a few other instruments in the background to take this 5 minutes song through to its completion. With faint resemblance to ‘Tere Bina Nai Jeena’ by legendary Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan saab, ‘Kya Jeena’ at most comes to being an inspiration but that’s about it as it maintains its own identity. The same cannot be said about the ‘remix version’ though since it sticks out like a sore thumb.
Now this is absolutely criminal! When an album has been peaking so well with one song after another making a good impression, what exactly was the need of remixing ‘Mehbooba Mehbooba’ from ‘Sholay’; and that too with sounds of ‘Ae Saala’ in the background? While Reshammiya sings yet another track in quick succession, what surprises is Ashaji’s presence in the track as she sings along too.
The original is such that it would sound good in whatever format it is presented but still it’s presence in the album is baffling to say the least and that too twice! One wonders if this is the same track that Reshammiya had earlier promised to create for ‘RGV Ke Sholay’?
If not for ‘Ya Ali’ and ‘Mehbooba’, ‘Aap Ka Surroor’ may have been an enjoyable album from beginning till the end. Add to that a dozen odd remixes which are surprisingly still added to each and every album. Nevertheless, while ‘Tanhaiyan’ is the pick of the lot, ‘Jhooth Nahi Bolna’ and ‘Tera Mara Milna’ along with the remix version of ‘Assalaam Vaalekum’ are enjoyable too. With ‘Kya Jeena’ and ‘Tere Bina’ doing well to justify their presence in the album, ‘Aap Ka Surroor’ overall turns out to be an album that does have its moments throughout.
Due to huge expectations factor, it would take some time for a listener to warm down to the album. Still, if one is patient enough to give it a hearing with a clear state of mind without measuring the pros and cons till the nth state, ‘Aap Ka Surroor’ is worth a good hear.