In 1981 a classic was created. Umrao Jaan’s music had released and created a sensation all over the country. The movie gave Indian Cinema many of its classic songs, such as Dil Cheez Kya Hai or In Akhon Ki Masti. Those songs have truly become some of the best known songs of Bollywood and are the songs that we will never forget. Twenty-five years later, JP Dutta has decided to remake Umrao Jaan. The movie stars a grand cast of Aishwarya Rai, Abhishek Bachchan, Shabana Azmi, Sunil Shetty and Puru Raj Kumar. The hardest part of remaking a classic movie like Umrao Jaan, is not its setting, or its acting. Its the music. The first Umrao Jaan’s music was a big success and those songs are remembered till this very day. Now the new Umrao Jaan’s music has released. Comparisions are obviously going to be made. But lets take a look at if Anu Malik and JP Dutta have lived up to the sky high expectations.
“Salaam” is the first track inputed in the album. The songs starts off very slowly and graciously churns out soft coy beats which are emotion-filling and striking. Alka Yagnik’s voice compliments the lyrics and brings a certain innocence and mujra-like feel to the song. “Salaam” is a flawless track, the perfect music, the perfect voice and judging by the trailer, the visualization is just as good. The song is already on the charts and could very well be the next number one song in the coming days.
The album moves forward to the next track titled “Pehle Pehel”. The song is a good follow up from the previous track. The sweetness in Alka’s voice once again makes this song very magical. The lyrics could have been better, but the good qualities make up for that.
Sonu Nigam joins the album with a duet with Alka Yagnik for the song “Behka Diya Humein”. Sonu and Alka work together to give this song a magical classical touch. Everything is done with utmost care in this song, making this one of the most beautiful compositions of the album. The song in its picturization is as beautiful. Abhishek and Aishwarya cooing to the voices of Sonu and Alka, there is only one word to describe all of this – beautiful.
The next song is “Jhute Illzaam”. This song is more of an important situational song for the movie, however it definitely expresses the pain and feelings of a woman for her love. It’s definitely a song that is needed for a story and movie like this.
The next songs “Main Na Mil Saku Jo Tumse” and “Pooche Rahe Hai” also add to the story and are good to the ears as well.
“Agle Janam” is a very touching song about a mother and her daughter. The song comes in two versions, one by Richa Sharma and the other by Anu Malik’s daughter. The latter doesn’t sound good as it’s rather obvious the female voice is not ready for playback just yet. Richa Sharma’s verision is very touching. On the contraray it’s not a song you can put onto your iPod and just listen to. “Ek Toote Dil Ki” is another song which is strictly okay.
One wishes that there would be a slight variaton between the first half of the album and the second. The album starts out with passion but as you make your way down the tracks something fades off. The album sort of loses its touch towards the end. Nevertheless, Anu Malik and JP DUtta are good. The album could have been a bit better. Saying that, the tracks are not bad at all, but sometimes you get a deja vu or “I’m bored” feeling from listening to some of the tracks.
On the whole, Salaam, Bekha Diya Humain, Jhute Illzaam and Pehle Pehel are the songs which stand out the most and are probably going to be the ones which will be popular or remembered.
Umrao Jaan had its world-wide release on November 3rd, 2006. Be sure to catch Aishwarya Rai doing the role of her life.