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Kambakkht Ishq: Skip this music

By Raja Sen
June 29, 2009 13:26 IST
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It's rare when a modern day Anu Malik album grabs your attention and gives you a bunch of memorable tunes. The soundtrack for Kambakkht Ishq isn't one of those blue-moon kinda days. This one's just plain weak, like Pritam going on a bender and recycling old tunes because he's too hungover to do anything else.

There's the Bhool Bhulaiyya groove written all over RDB's album-starting Om Mangalam as it begins, but the over-impassioned Kambakkht Ishq vocals remind one of Kailash Kher going all Sidhu-Sidhu in Chandni Chowk To China. There's a random snippet of a girl cooing 'Will you marry me?' and a guy sneering a 'no', and it's rather sloppily folded into the song. Anyway, this isn't a track to be taken seriously as a song, and should have been a minute shorter.

Time for puppie fanboys to turn up their tweeters with Neeraj Sridhar's Lakh lakh, a completely boring bit of randomly Punjabi filler that never quite gets going. Eminently skippable, the sort of stuff that a shaadi band plays in between good songs.

In the gimmick track of the album, a breathy (and visibly older) Alisha Chinai struts her chords to sing Bebo, *the* Kareena track with a chorus so annoying it reminds one of the Kapoor superstars early, exasperatingly loud years. Bebo main Bebo, Dil Mera Lelo? I mean, really? It's going to be that kind of a film? Shudder.

The film's title track is handed over to KK and Sunidhi Chauhan, and they pour in the enthu towards Kambakkht Ishq -- but the song, and its soporific, repetitive beat, stays cold till the very end. And it doesn't help that the singers seem instructed not to say the word 'aisi', pronouncing it instead as 'assi,' like in '80.' Whatever, this is a track built on the ghosts of many a hit, and bringing nothing fresh to the table. It's not dancefloor good, it's not car radio good, it's just not good.

Shaan and Shreya Ghoshal are roped in for ballad duties with Kyun, yet another nondescript ballad that could only work if the leading pair show off staggering chemistry... actually, nix that. It's a weak song, with a tinkly piano and truly vague backup vocals, not to mention synthesiser madness, and gives you nothing to remember, though Ghoshal hits the high notes well.

Then come the remixes, and RDB get another shot at Om Mangalam (which sounds marginally better than the original, enough to at least make it to dancefloors); the Lakh Lakh Electro Dance Mix stays irritatingly generic; the Bebo Club Mix shows surprising potential, but that Bebo-main-Bebo chorus is an insurmountable obstacle for any song, especially one that sounds like it was made in the 1980s; the Kambakkht Ishq Remix is pumped up adequately but it's still a song minus any character -- and with a headachey groove.

Shreya goes solo then with yet another version of Kyun, a song that looks like it was made for Yuvvraaaj kinda film. Maudlin to the extreme, Ghoshal trills the words lovingly but the lyrics are cloying and it ends up being the kind of song that makes you wish for distortion-heavy guitar to drown out the piano and the inexplicable hah-hah backup choir.

The album ends with Welcome To Hollywood, a tourguide track that mentions LA locations like Rodeo Drive, talks about lights, Brando and Pacino... and ends up being a predictably written song that doesn't try too hard, which is why it's the least objectionable song of the album. It's also just about two minutes long, which helps.

Some of the songs may yet work because of the film itself, but this is a very poor album. Akshay Kumar is his own genre in Bollywood today, and so while this CD tries to be like Singh Is Kinng, it comes across worse than Chandni Chowk To China, tolerable at best and loathsome at worst. You could do far better things with your money -- and your ears.

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Raja Sen