At the very onset, one thing that needs to be clarified about the music score of 'Banaras - A Mystic Love Story' is that it is not a 'conventional' Himesh Reshammiya and Sameer score [if we can dare to say that!], inspite of the fact that it comes with the Reshammiya tag. Composed more than a year back when the film's shooting began, the songs have a different feel and mood to them than the 'Jhalaks' or the 'Jhooms' of today. Having said that, does the music of this Pankaj Parasher directed film really have a hammer strong impact on you? Read on to find it out! Its not just the setting of the film which is unconventional ['Banaras' deals with spiritualism in conventional times], its even the mix of starcast ranging from Urmila, Ashmit Patel, Dimple, Raj Babbar and Naseeruddin Shah that makes one sit up and take notice.
1) Kitna Pyar Kartein Hain [Himesh Reshammiya, Alka Yagnik]
Best song of the year marks the beginning of the album as Reshammiya croons 'Kitna Pyaar Karte Hain'. And no, this time around its not an item/promotional number that he sings for a movie. Instead, this is an extremely sober, soothing and tuneful number that stays with you long after the album is over. A 'raaga' based number, 'Kitna Pyar Karte Hain' may have ordinary lyrics but the melodious tune more than compensates for the lyrics as the song truly compliments the peaceful setting of 'Banaras'. Himesh Reshammiya is subdued in his approach this time around rather than going all out and comes up with yet another good track to his name. After a gap, it's the turn of Alka Yagnik to sing a solo for the same song and as always she delivers expectedly.
2) Ishq Mein Dilko [Sonu Nigam, Sunidhi Chauhan]
Yet another good song in succession, 'Ishq Mein Dilko' makes it two in a row as Sonu Nigam and Sunidhi Chauhan immerse themselves in love by all means while crooning the track. Just like 'Kitna Pyaar' earlier on, 'Ishq Mein Dilko' too takes it easy when it comes to pace and just flows with the emotions by taking a melodious approach. A heartwarming number that should make a couple in love weak-kneed, 'Ishq' is also a revelation for Sunidhi as she comes out of her item song style to instead sing a sugar coated romantic number.
3) Rang Dalo (along with folk version) [Sonu Nigam, Shreya Ghoshal, Sailesh]
It's always tricky to come up with a Holi number because there are instant comparisons with 'Rang Barse' [Silsila]. Reshammiya attempts at creating one such number (that also appears in a folk version with Sailesh giving company to Sonu Nigam) that does have an element of fun, frolic and celebrations but one still feels that the song doesn't have it in to be popular even till next 'Holi'. At maximum, this track by Sonu Nigam and Shreya Ghoshal may sustain a viewer's in the film, but there doesn't seem to be much shelf life beyond that. Reshammiya has tried to incorporate the 60s/70s style chorus in the song but that still doesn't make 'Rang Dalo' the most sought after number this season!
4) Purab Se [Shreya Ghoshal]
From this point on, the album takes a spiritual turn as Shreya Ghoshal begins crooning 'Purab Se'. An early morning number devoted to the Sun God, 'Purab Se' does succeed in creating a spiritual feel that goes well with the mood of the movie. Lyrics are meaningful and should work well for the followers of devotional tracks. Those looking for a typical Bollywood outing may want to restrict themselves to the first three tracks in the album while only those who have a fair knowledge of classical music and/or are interested in hearing devotional music may proceed from this moment on!
5) Yeh Hai Shaam Banaras Ki [Sanjeev Abhayankar]