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By Aparajita Ghosh
Love him or loathe him, but you can’t ignore Himesh Reshammiya. The music composer and singer with a nasal voice has given a new definition to Hindi film music. His voice and his uninhibited style of singing has been liked by many and immensely hated by others. But the man continues, undaunted, to create melodies that set the pulse racing, and the feet, tapping. Yes, the music of ‘Namastey London’ is another feather in Reshammiya’s cap.
What makes the songs of ‘Namastey London’ special is that they are not mere good melodies with banal lyrics (like Reshammiya’s songs in the past). This time none other than Javed Akhtar teams up with Reshammiya. And the end result is songs with catchy rhythm and meaningful words. The icing on the cake comes in the form of Mehfil versions of the songs in which Javed Akhtar wields the microphone to recite his poetry.
Directed by Vipul Amrutlal Shah, ‘Namastey London’ is a movie about the clash and eventual communion of different cultures. It is a love story between a Funjabi guy (from apna Punjab) and a London girl who get separated after their marriage. Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif play the respective roles.
The music album of ‘Namastey London’ opens with the ballistic ‘Chakna Chakna’, a full-blown dance number with elements of Punjabi pop and traditional Sufi music fused together. Besides this song’s addictive melody and rhythm, what makes it one of the best songs in the album is the no-holds-barred spirit in which Reshammiya sings it.
DJ Akbar Sami's remix version of this song has an added pep and flavour.
The mood turns slightly sombre with ‘Viraniya’, which is again sung by Reshammiya. Although it is a sad song ‘Viraniya’ has a brisk tempo and a somewhat loud musical arrangement. Yet the number makes an impact because of its catchy rhythm.
While the remix of this song offers nothing engaging, the Mehfil mix catches one’s attention instantly. Poetry recitation by Javed Akhtar is matched by a mellow rendition by Reshammiya and the music is kept in the background only.
The third song ‘Main Jahaan Rahoon’ adds a new freshness to the album. It is a very unlikely Reshammiya composition, featuring vocals by none other that Rahat Fateh Ali Khan (Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s protégé) and Krishna. ‘Main Jahaan Rahoon’ is a semi-ghazal romantic number with simple words that carry deep meaning.
Its remix version is just about okay. It is the Mehfil mix (with Mr. Akhtar’s couplets) that tugs at one’s heart strings.
The romantic mood continues with ‘Yehi Hota Pyaar’ which has Reshammiya going up and down the musical octave. Mostly, Reshammiya keeps his voice low and Sunidhi Chauhan provides an efficacious accompaniment. The song is slow paced and may need a few hearings to latch onto your liking. Its remixed version is slightly peppier and Mehfil version has more variations.
‘Rafta Rafta’ by the UK-based bhangra band RDB (Rhythm Dhol Bass) is a bit of a downer. The song is sung in a way that doesn’t gel with its music, which has a distinct dhol sound throughout. The remix version of the song is still worse.
Former rocker Jayesh Gandhi steps behind the microphone for 'Annan Faanan', a romantic rock ballad with an average melody. Its Mehfil mix is a bit better.
‘Dilruba’ is a full-blown foot-tapping number. It reminds of Reshammiya’s songs two years ago. The number is heavy on beats. Alisha Chinai tries to add more fervour with her singing. But the song lacks the melody to make a listener interested.
To sum it up, the music album of ‘Namastey London’ does offer some good compositions. If you are not averse to Reshammiya’s nasal twang, then you will like the two numbers he has sung. Even Rahat Ali Khan’s number is quite addictive.
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