Shankar Ehsan Loy, the musical trio is a treat especially because of their fantastic production values and brilliant music arrangements. They've been having a good year after the success of Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna and Don. Salaam-e-Ishq soundtrack was eagerly awaited and was launched amidst much fanfare. As one starts listening to it, the first track Dil Kya Kare is one of the most charming songs I've heard this year. But I can't say the same thing about the songs that follow. Saiyaan Re, Mera Dil, Salaam-e-Ishq and Tainu Leke carry flavours of songs composed by S-E-L earlier. Even though the production values are high class, these songs don't bind your attention beyond a point. You would have to wait for the tantalizingly sexy remix of Babuji Dheere Chalna and Kailash Kher's brilliant ode to life Ya Rabba to feel good about this album. Salaam-e-Ishq is definitely worth a buy but it is high time Shankar Ehsan Loy updated their musical style. For one expects nothing but the best from them.
It's good to have Adnan Sami back to doing what he does best. Wielding the mike to let his Cadbury voice melt you with its sheer magic-n-grandeur. But Dil Kya Kare is a winner more so because of fantastic production values one has come to associate with a Shankar-Ehsan-Loy album. The simplicity with which this charming song enters your heart effortlessly is an experience that you wish to relive again and again. Even Sameer surprises with compelling lyrics reeking of youthful energy with lines like Bhool gayan din saal mahina...January mein bhi aaye pasina...Aata hai aaram kahin na...Dil kya kare...or there's another one in ...Nikloon main phati jeans pehenke...Shirt ken a hosh button ke...Bajjte hain sub sur dhadkan ke...Dil kya kare....Apart from Adnan's voice, the well manicured chorus vocals are another highlight of this number. Acoustic guitar rhythm, keyboard sounds and piano dreams makes Dil Kya Kare a wonderful experience all the way.
Saiyaan Re reminds you in spirit of Mahi Ve from 'Kal Ho Na Ho'. And of course when it has Shankar Mahadevan as one of the singers, there's bound to be some classical raga based stuff thrown in too. Well, there's tabla colluding with the drum-n-bass. Some manjeera sounds are mixed too. A talented singer in Shilpa Rao (She made her presence felt in Javeda in Anwar soundtrack) displays her decent singing skills (Though I liked her better in Javeda). The end result of Saiyaan Re is a mixed one. For at one hand you like the superior musical talents merging together. It will have a mass impact too. But Shankar Ehsan Loy shouldn't be expected to deliver a Kajra Re in every album. S-E-L have set high standards and when they try to repeat themselves, it's a bit of a let down.
The moment tabla loop takes over proceedings in Mera Dil, one is reminded of Mitwa from 'Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna'. I don't think S-E-L lack talent to deliver fresh goods each time. Shaan sings his part impeccably but the choice of singer in Nihira is a wrong one. For, she breaks up as she reaches the higher pitch zone. Even the texture of her singing lacks the emotional quality one would associate with a playback singer in one of the most eagerly awaited film music albums of the year. Electric guitar piece in the middle is a regular fare, though the repeated melody stays in your mind. Over all, Mera Dil doesn't offer anything drastically different. It's average fare.
The title track Salaam-e-Ishq once again carries a staple S-E-L stamp with the regular tabla-dholak combo and a Panjabi flavour that has come to be associated with most of their albums. There's nothing outstanding about the melody but what makes this song special is superb production values, wonderful chorus s