The fact that Adnan Sami has an incredible voice, one of the best, is undeniable. His compositions for Bollywood movies thus far have been brilliant, yet another fact everyone will nod with in agreement. With the music for 1920, a period piece that is a love story with a thriller/horror twist, Sami proves his talent once again. With this soundtrack, Sami went in a different direction than many of the hip albums out today. He brought together some of the greatest voices of Hindi cinema, including Pandit Jasraj, Parveen Sultana, Shubha Mughal, Asha Bhonsle and Kilash Kher, and made an album that seems both classical and new at the same time. Each song is a treat to the ears and makes you want to know what could possibly be happening in the scene that the track accompanies.
The instrumental 1920 Theme is one of the most gorgeous I have heard in a long while. The piano and the guitar are lovely and the melody just beautiful. This really shows off Sami’s mastery at composition and orchestration. I added it to my iPod favorites mix right away. The biggest compliment I can give it is that as I (a former ballerina) listened to it, I could imagine myself dancing to it or choreographing a ballet to the lyrical and exquisite notes. A++++!
There are two versions of Vaada Tumse Hai Vaada, one with Pandit Jasraj and one with Parveen Sultana. While the lyrics are basically the same, each song is musically different. Though vocally both are marvelous, Pandit Jasraj’s version is the better of the two musically. In the Jasraj version, there is much more of an Indian flavor to the backup music, and a very cool female chorus that adds to the song. Jasraj emotes the haunting lyrics wonderfully. The version with Parveen Sultana disappoints in one way but wows in another, the disappointment being the backup music. There is a beautiful stirring beginning and the acoustic guitar is fabulous, but then it gets into the meat of the song and there is a stock synthesizer back beat (it could be part of any song) that really lets the song down. However, her voice makes the song sublime – she is just brilliant and gets better as the songs goes on. I loved her rendition, and could listen to her sing all day, so I wish they had used the back up music or something like it from Jasraj’s version for her track. Definitely listen to both, for these are not songs you want to miss. Both tracks make you want to know what will be happening in the film while the song is playing, which is a mark of a great soundtrack.
Bichua with Shubha Mughal is the song that takes the beat of the album and makes it a go a little faster. The song is an item number in the film, picturised on Rakhi Sawant. The Indian beat is great and the musicians on the track are brill! Shubha Mughal has a distinctive voice, which I loved. She sings in a lower register and she sounds great on the track. Wonderful inflection. Another excellent song on an excellent album. The remix is a faster version of the song and is good too, but I would stay with the original.
Asha Bhonsle lends her exceptional voice to Aisa Jalta Hai Jiya. She, as usual, is absolutely outstanding and the music Sami has composed fully backs her up. There is one odd change up in the middle but that is soon forgotten, as you get lost in the music and the melodious tones of her voice. Everything fits together perfectly; this is another highlight on the album! What more can I say but listen to it, you will love it!
About singing on the track Tujhe Main Pyar Karu Kailash Kher said in an interview: “In the film 1920 I have sung a song for Adnan Sami, it is a very romantic song. It is so special for me because I have sung it for my dear friend Adnan Sami. We wanted to work with each other for a long time and with this film we have done that.” They have worked well together and made another great track. It has a marvelous piano line at the beginning and the orchestration of the song is superb. Kher’s voice evokes a very mournful, yearning feeling and again it makes you want to go see the film to see what could be going on in the scene. The lyrics maybe repeat a bit too much, but that is being picky. Another wonderful song, man can he compose!
Granted this album is not one to listen to if you want to dance like mad in front of your mirror. It is a collection of songs to get lost in the enjoyment of listening to great music. If classic voices and music is not your thing, this may not be your cup of chai, but try it because I think it might make you like them. Each song is wonderful and shows the mark of a great composer. The only thing that I wished was that Sami himself had sang on one of the tracks – that would have made it even better. I would give it 3.75 stars if I could but since the graphic will only do 3.5 that will have to do!
Be sure to check out 1920 when it hits theaters on September 12th. The film is directed by Vikram Bhatt and stars Rajnesh Duggal, Adah Sharma and Anjori Alagh.