Maan Gaye Mughal-E-Azam, starring Mallika Sherawat and Rahul Bose, involves a drama troupe that performs socially relevant plays and an undercover agent who has to save the world; needless to say, it is a full-on comedy. Anu Malik composed the music, and, interestingly, the lyrics were penned by Sanjay Chhel, who is also making his directorial debut with the film. Anu Malik has been experimenting with his compositions in his last few soundtracks: some have been good and some not so much. He often mixes many different tempos, moods, and styles all in one song, and here many of the songs follow that pattern. So does it work? Yes, in a way. Groundbreaking, no; but he was on the right track for a few of the tunes.
Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya starts the album off with a very techno bang! A very fast paced track, that has many different voices with many different ranges. Listed on the CD are Shaan, Anushka Manchanda, and Mahalakshmi Iyer, but also the track includes Ishg Bector. This is the first track that shows you that Malik’s style of mixing many different tempos and incorporating surprising musical changes is still part of his repertoire. He gets it right on this one! When you listen to it you imagine it playing in a dance club and lots of bodies jammin’ to the techno beat, however I can’t really see that as the picturization in this film. It’s actually a take on the classic track by the same name in the film Mughal-e-Azam but most of the lyrics aren’t the same. There are only one or two lines that sort of retain the original composition. A enjoyable track to listen to and each time you like it even more.
Marmari Baahen, with Kunal Ganjawala and Mahalakshmi Iyer, is the best track on the album and a highlight of Malik’s efforts. It begins with the gorgeous voice of Kunal Ganjawala singing a simple ‘whoaaaaa oohh ooh’, and then with the addition of Mahalakshmi Iyer on a different stanza you get the feeling this is going to be a great song. It is! This song also had a lot of unexpected musical changes, but again each one transitioned smoothly and it all sounded great. The singers and the music were perfect together. Both singers sound fantastic and sing with great feeling. The song is just smooth; you just get lost in the music. I personally would take out the whistling (a personal pet peeve), but even with that I added it to my playlist after the first hearing and I think you will, too.
The album includes a Marmari Baahen Remix, which is a totally different take on the song and it has a lot of interesting parts. As always, Anu Malik lends his voice to a track, and he sounds pretty good on this version of the song. There is lots of rap in English by both male and female singers that does not seem to fit. It might have been cool as a separate song with just those sections. It is an interesting experience to listen to it once for “a break”, but then I recommend you put the original on replay.
The legendary Pankaj Udhas sings the ghazal Ek To Sharab Kum (Part I and 2) wonderfully. It is an interesting addition to the soundtrack after hearing the last two songs. It might be part of one of the plays presented in the movie – we will have to see if I am correct. The instrumentation of the track stands out and backs up his voice very nicely, plus the pure instrumental sections are great. I loved the parts where it was simply his voice and the music with no sound mixing effects. If you did not know what a ghazal was, you would say it really feels like he is singing a poem and you would be right. Not something to dance to, but it works for pure listening enjoyment.
Finally, we have Ishqaiyaan with Sonu Nigam, Sunidhi Chauhan, and Aftab Hashim Sabri. The track starts out with the brilliant Sunidhi Chauhan and sounds like a song from olden days. But then it changes to a totally different song, with a bit of a rap, and then into a full-on Indian beat that is played wonderfully by the musicians. Sunidhi sings with great inflection – she really stood out on the track. Another part I loved was the ’ji haan’. A fine song to listen to, and I can’t wait to see the picturization. Sonu Nigam was good, but it was better on Sunidhi’s voice. Both singers sang with great energy and kept up with the liveliness of the beat. It was a bit long for me, and after four and a half minutes of the six and three quarter length I was ready for it to be over, although near the end the qawaali sung by Aftab Hashim Sabri makes it worth listening to it all.
On the remix you hear Alisha Chinoy with Sonu, and like many remixes this one was faster and filled with more electronica. It was different enough that I liked it too, so be sure to give it a listen.
With only four tracks and two remixes Mann Gaye Mughal-E-Azam is not a vast album but it does have some quality music. Chart busters? Maybe not, but that is fine because they make for good listening and will probably be even better once seen in the context of the film. I say check it out!