Salaam Namaste, undoubtedly the most awaited album of the year, has finally got released. And why shouldn't there be celebrations when there are number of factors in its favor:
a) First and foremost the backup of Yashraj banner that has delivered 4 consecutive musical hits in 12 months - 'Dhoom', 'Hum Tum', 'Veer Zaara' and 'Bunty Aur Babli', in spite of the fact that the quality and variety of music varied across films.
b) Vishal and Shekhar as the composers, who are fast vying for a top slot after the stupendous success of 'Dus'
c) Saif Ali Khan and Preity Zinta coming together as a pair after a rocking Kal Ho Na Ho. Also they get into a change of image from their last major roles in Parineeta and Veer Zaara respectively.
d) A rocking feel to the entire movie (and hence the music) that should be patronized in a BIG way by the youth.
e) Above all, a fantastic promotional drive by Yashraj films that would ensure that the music and movie would reach out to every cinegoer.
With such great facts and anticipation accompanying the movie, it comes as no surprise that the music of 'Salaam Namaste' is much awaited in 2005. Directed by debutant Sidharth Anand, this romantic popcorn flick produced by Aditya Chopra and starring John Abraham in a special appearance also sets the stage for lyricist Jaideep Sahni, who gets the biggest break of his career so far!!
Let's play on the album and see if these factors combine together to result in yet another rip-roaring 'dhoom-dhamaakedar' ride. After all when the makers of 'Dhoom' and the composer of 'Dus' meet, this is the least one expects!!
When the signature tune of the title song 'Salaam Namaste' begins, it clearly indicates that it could well play an important part of the background score. Kunal Ganjawala does a great job in sounding 100% as Saif Ali Khan and while Vasundhara Das doesn't exactly come across as a Preity Zinta voice, her 'videshi andaaz' gives the number an exotic touch. The now-trademark 'bhangra dance number' feel to this zippy song makes it an instant HIT material and it would be least surprising to see the number race up to the top in no time. The theatrical promotion of a teaser with this song in the background for last 2 months should only help the cause!!
Look out for a sensual admiration song between a girl and a boy - ‘My Dil Goes Mmmm’ that comes in next. This time its Shaan's turn to give a near-perfect rendition for Saif Ali Khan while Gayatri Iyer is his duet partner. The song seems to be 'inspired' by 'Ladki Kyon' [Hum Tum] with the difference being that while 'Ladki Kyon' was more as the battle of the sexes, 'My Dil' gets more up close and personal with personal likes and little squabbles between the lead pair which seems to be living in together. A melodious track that is instantly catchy, it may not be the most innovative of tunes but goes in synch for a movie of this genre.
After Vasundhara Das and Gayatri Iyer, it is Sunidhi Chauhan to join the gang with a situational fun song 'What's Going On'. A rhythmic song set in a western mode, it is a 'beat one-beat two' kind of a soft track seemingly set on dark and empty streets in the night. Kunal Ganjawala gives company to Sunidhi in this 'conversation' song that is also reminiscent of the style of 70s. The song turns out to be better than 'My Dil Goes Mmmm' in terms of both music and lyrics and is quite enjoyable till the end. Special mention to Jaideep Sahni for coming up with lyrics that seem to be straight out of day to day happenings!
For the fourth song in succession, there is a different singer rendering her vocals for Preity Zinta. This time it is Mahalaxmi Iyer who pairs up with Sonu Nigam in the soft track 'Tu Jahaan' that comes quite close to Adnan Sami's 'Sun Zara' in 'Lucky' early this year. The rhythm is exactly the same while Sonu's rendition too is as soft'n'silky as always. A romantic mushy track, it has nice lyrics again that set the mood for a lovely evening. After a few peppy tracks, this is the first slow track that comes but one doesn't mind that at all. The number is not a blockbuster material but adds on to the album as a whole.
From hereon begin the round of remixes and the first to come is simply mind-blowing. An 'English Club Mix' of 'My Dil Goes Mmmm' turns out to be the best track of the album due to its enhanced pace and is easily a promotional material in the same genre as Tata Young's 'Dhoom Machale'. Expect this rocking English version remixed by DJ Aqeel and sung by Kunal Ganjawala and upcoming Caralisa Monteiro to rock the show a week in advance to the movie's release. The instrumental of the same 'Mix' version does the trick again, hence turning out to be a total discotheque material!
Next to come is the 'Dhol Mix' of the title song 'Salaam Namaste', which is remixed by Nikhil Chinappa and Naved. Unlike the case of remix of 'My Dil', here the pace of the song remains the same with a few beats added here and there. Though one doesn't mind this version coming up, it is not much different from the original.
With high expectations [as stated earlier] and the standards set by Yashraj films and music, a listener looks for nothing less than a blockbuster musical score. Hence whatever one hears, one tends to look for more. Ditto in the case for 'Salaam Namaste' where one gets the feeling of "if only there was one more chartbuster song!". Nevertheless, one is satisfied with the end results due to an overall entertaining appeal of the album.
There are at least a couple of tunes [Title song, English version of 'My Dil'] that are going to rock the charts while the others too would be picked up the followers of the album if the movie has a good run at the box office.