It was the screening of 'Salaam E Ishq' which changed it all.
Since Sunil Manchanda is the producer of both 'Salaam E Ishq' and 'Cheeni Kum', promo of the latter was showcased and ever since then 'Cheeni Kum' is touted to be one of the coolest films arriving this summer. Promising 'a sugar free romance' of a 60 something Amitabh Bachchan and a 30 something Tabu who has a 50 something father [Paresh Rawal], 'Cheeni Kum' is a light hearted entertainer by R Balki who has entrusted Ilaiyaraaja and Sameer with the responsibility of creating the film's soundtrack.
Now that's the way to surprise a music lover. There is absolutely no prelude with an instrument of any kind as Shreya Ghoshal kick starts the proceedings with the very first second of the title song 'Cheeni Kum'. It is interesting to see two distinct individuals belonging to different sensibilities [Sameer and Ilaiyaraaja] coming together to create a song and the result is impressive to say the least.
While Ilaiyaraaja brings his own distinct flavor, Sameer too works on his writing to shape up in a format that suits the subtlety of the situation. Arrangements in the track are crisp that make Shreya Ghoshal's voice sound so crystal clear that makes one stand up and appreciate her immense talent once again.
Another version of the song is heard later in the album when 'Sooni Sooni' comes. Rendered by Vijay Prakash, it is a slightly sad version of the song as it involves the character played by Amitabh Bachchan to be looking forward to his beloved coming and meeting him. A track that should run in the background, 'vSooni Sooni' with Manoj Tapadia as a co-writer reminds one of similar songs that were composed during late 70s/early 80s.
When one almost thought that melody couldn't become better after the 'title song', there is a surprise in store with the arrival of 'Baaten Hawa'. Shreya Ghoshal once again demonstrates that she is the best in the business when it comes to crooning a plain melodious track with a sweet-n-innocent charm. A poetic love song that has a childish feel to it, it is one of the best works of Sameer who gets out of his commercial trappings and proves that he can deliver as per the vision of a director and composer.
An extremely likeable track that brings a smile on your lips, 'Baaten Hawa' comes in two versions 'With' and 'Without'. While the former version has Manoj Tapadia writing some funny dialogues for Amitabh Bachchan who talks [and not sings] about the ways men go about impressing a woman, the latter doesn't carry this part.
A love ballad that comes with fusion of Western orchestra and Indian melody with rendition based on classical mood, 'Jaane Do Na' is yet another solo track for Shreya Ghoshal. The song belongs to the mood of the 60s and the 70s where a girl playfully fought with her lover to let her go back home. Sheer fun when seen on screen with Amitabh trying to persuade Tabu to stay on with him as she resists his calls, 'Jaane Do Na' is not the kind that would be remembered for months but would suit the film's narrative.
Sound of piano is heard in 'Theme Melody' as Ilaiyaraaja shows his mastery as a master musician with a strong hold on various sounds of the world. A musical piece boasting of numerous instruments coming together is created that is an extremely pleasant hear and turns out to be quite comfortable on ears.
If one wishes to relax after a heavy day in isolation, 'Theme Melody' is the piece to be played as it succeeds in creating a peaceful environment. On the other hand 'Melody [Saxophone]', which turns out to be the last piece of the album, has a naughty appeal to it and is more playful and lively since it moves at a decent pace and ensures some racy happenings on the screen when it is played.
'Cheeni Kum' turns out to be an enjoyable album which has its moments throughout its 7 track duration. While one never expected a musical from a film which told a love story that had never been seen before, 'Cheeni Kum' manages to throw in a nice-n-little pleasant surprise.