Subhash Ghai keeps his formidable reputation of having some of the best melodies of the film industry with "Kisna".
In case we ever forget, Subhash is the 'Ghai' who gave us such abiding musical hits as "Karz", "Hero", "Karma", "Saudagar", "Pardes" and "Taal".
Yes he did slip up slightly in his last film "Yaadein" where Anu Malik came up with just a few hummable tunes.
With "Kisna", Subhash Ghai returns to full form.
His collaboration with A.R. Rahman yielded what was probably the composer's best Hindi score ever, in "Taal".
In "Kisna" Rahman has contributed just one tune. And what a tune!
"Hum hain iss pal yahan" is the most dulcet ballad of the year after "Tere liye" in "Veer-Zara". The undulating rhythms, the enchanting contours, Javed Akhtar's gently evocative lyrics suggesting there's more to love than possession and triumph, and the softly supple singing by Udit Narayan and Madhushree add up to a ballad that you can hold close to your heart for a while.
Easily the best composition of Rahman in recent times, "Hum hain" also comes in two other versions, one instrumental and the other choral, which you won't get on the cassette. And how much poorer that would make you!
Also for the CD alone are the unusual antakshari songs "Ga tu aisi dhum mein ga" (excellent vocals by Kailash Kher, M. Salamat and others) and the English language "My wish comes true" sung with a sensuous sweetness by Sunitha Sarthy that reminds us of Vasundhara Das' English song in "Lagaan".
In fact, you might think of Rahman's "Lagaan" score more than once as you run across the gorgeous grooves of this album. But the similarities are skin deep.
Ismail Durbar who has yet to prove himself beyond the precincts of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's cinema does so amply and explicitly in the majority of the tracks.
I don't know what Rahman would've done if left to do the whole soundtrack. What Durbar does is seductive and impressive by any yardstick. The musical arrangements are neat and commodious, they knit Javed Akhtar's images into a pastiche that brings the emotions and visuals from the film to life even before one frame of Ghai's epic is seen.
For epic, it's sure to be. The music score proves it. From the joyous outburst of "Wohi din aa gaya" to the skillfully woven qawwalli paces of "Chilman uthegi nahin", to the raga-rich romantic articulation of Ustad Rashid Khan in "Kahe ujadi mori neend" to the spiritually inspiring sounds of "Aham brahmasmi" (sung by Sukhwinder with full throated glory)....Every track is there because it had to be and not because it has been forced into a pre-arranged corner.
Like Ghai's other scores, "Kisna" is a soundtrack that blends a spontaneous flow of emotions with tightly structured tunes that you thought went out of fashion with the compositions of Laxmikant-Pyarelal.
"Kisna" brings back an epic grandeur to the sounds of film music. And yes, if Rahman gives us the ultimate love ballad "Hum hain iss pal jahan", Durbar doesn't lag far behind with "Tu itni pagli kyon hai".
If only the quality of the female vocals in Durbar's love song was as qualitatively elevated as Rahman's!
Singers bringing in every texture enter and exit from this epic album bringing with them their own interpretation of what Javed Akhtar's words and Ismail Durbar's tunes mean....creating relevances that go beyond the immediate excite