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Subhash Ghai’s classic Karz starring Rishi Kapoor, Simi Garewal and Tina Munim was one of the most prominent and well known Bollywood movies of the 80s. Ever since, many have created movies loosely based on Karz, the latest example being last year’s Om Shanti Om. After 28 years, director Satish Kaushik has braved it all to remake the classic for the modern-day Bollywood audience. The industry was buzzing with surprise, curiosity and even criticism upon the announcement of the film. The cast comprises of Himesh Reshammiya, Urmila Matondkar and Indra Kumar’s daughter Shweta Kumar who makes her Bollywood debut. It is hardly a surprise that the multifaceted Himesh Reshammiya is also donning the music director cap for his second feature film. Produced under the T-series label, the movie’s soundtrack is made up of 9 tracks and 10 remixes. Now the question lies, does Mr. Reshammiya do justice to the expectations set by an album that defined Hindi music years ago? Has the artist re-invented himself after churning out some monotonous albums in the last couple of years? Is the 2-CD compilation really worth your money? Let’s have a listen, shall we!

First up we have Lut Jaon that is already doing the rounds on TV and quickly turning out to be a favourite. The track starts off on a haunting new note with Harshdeep Kaur giving a soulful opening. Himesh’s vocals follow soon after and it is a pleasant surprise to hear that the singer has toned down his nasal-y vocals. The melody and musical arrangements of the song are praiseworthy and beautifully put together and are the winning factors of the song. The Lut Jaon Remix speeds it up with the techno background beats switching the track into a foot tapping dance number although one wonders whether this remix is actually necessary.

Usually with remade soundtracks, we get oldie goldies butchered to death with unnecessary techno beats and fast tempo. So in that sense, it really is to Himesh’s credit that he steered away from that route (except for one track, but more on that later!). Hari Om serves to be the alternative to the original’s ‘Om Shanti Om’. Himesh starts off the track with a few less than effective dialogues expressing his dire need to find his love. The guitar strums a beautiful note as it smoothly blends with the drum beats. The musical arrangements once again grips you to the song. The song also comes in an Indian Mix and Electro Mix and both are equally good and give a new flavour to the original. With each and every song in the album, the musical arrangements keep getting better and better.

Now when you have a song titled Tandoori Nights, your expectations lower a bit. It really comes as a shock when you actually start singing along to this catchy tune. The guitar beats are amongst the best and with the reggae flavour, the track is a sure-fire hit. The English lyrics have been done to taste. Himesh and Sunidhi’s vocals compliment the vibe of the song perfectly. The Remix version goes for a much faster tempo although the repetition of the chorus line tests your annoyance.

Soniye Je Tere serves as the first emotionally charged love track of the soundtrack. The last three tracks were more modern compared to this track. This one puts more emphasis on classical tunes but also mixes in a few hip hop and rap beats. Tulsi Kumar gives Himesh company in this duet and gives a nice rendition. The track will most likely take you back to vintage Himesh tracks from a year back, along the lines of ‘Aafreen’ from the film Red. This track lacks the engrossing musical factor that seemed to be present in the last three. Even the Remix is worth the skip.

Beginning with a beautiful melody, Dhoom Tere Ishq Ki gets off to a great start with fantastic musical arrangement. Himesh softly croons this number and doesn’t go over the top very often, which is a very pleasant surprise. He gets all the notes right and even if this track doesn’t catch on as fast as the more fast-paced tracks, it slowly grows on you. The Remix version completely butchers the wonderful original.

Sisak Sisak Ke initially sounds like an average track but as usual, Himesh is able to come up with a chorus that sticks in your head even if you don’t want it to. After a while, you just begin to accept it for what it is and enjoy it to the fullest. He uses his far from original formula of repetition but it still makes for a fairly enjoyable track even if it isn’t the best of the album. The Remix is a club version of the song and it serves its purpose quite well.

Now if you’re looking for classic Himesh, along with his nasal twang, Tere Bin Chain Na Aaye is the track for you. This is a classic Himesh duet and Tulsi Kumar also does a decent job of holding her own. The instruments are used very well even if the lyrics aren’t too creative. It’s absolutely nothing compared to the outstanding ‘Lut Jaon’ but it makes do for a romantic duet. The Remix doesn’t suit this song very well and I’d personally stick to the original.

Don’t let the title fool you, Masha Allah is nowhere close to the magical number from last year’s Saawariya. Personally I feel that another singer might have been able to sing this song which more soul but Himesh does what he can. He takes a risk by moving away from the slow tunes for a few portions here and there, but what really annoys the listener is the fact that there is absolutely zero variety in the lyrics. The melody isn’t too bad and the musical arrangements are very pleasant, however the monotonous lyrics ruin this track. But don’t let this deter you because if you’re a fan of Himesh’s slow tracks, I suspect you won’t mind this either. The Remix is fabulous and works extremely well!

Finally, we come to the most highly awaited track of the album since it’s the only one which has been retained from the original Karz. Retaining the melody and lyrics of Ek Hasina Thi, Himesh replicates the original almost exactly and surprisingly does a very good job. Some may disagree that it doesn’t have the same old world charm (which it doesn’t!) but Himesh seems to have put a lot of effort into maintaining the essence of the original. This is probably one of the tracks that he’s sung the best in a long time because you can tell that it’s vocally challenging and he doesn’t overdo it at all. Shreya Ghoshal is a delight to listen, as usual. Even the Remix track is fairly good, though it really could have been avoided.

Earlier we asked whether Himesh Reshammiya has re-invented himself with this album. We can safely say that he has at least started to venture into a new direction with his compositions. Over the last few years, the nasal voice and monotonous compositions were highly criticized and it seems he has taken this as constructive criticism and worked around it and the result is appreciable. Most of the tracks are very well composed and Himesh’s effort in the vocal department is apparent. Without a doubt, there are several tracks in this album that are sure to add to Himesh’s impressive chartbuster repertoire.

Our Rating

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