Choose your channels

Taj Mahal Music Review

Taj Mahal Music Review
Kabir Bedi, Manisha Koirala, Pooja Batra, Arbaaz Ali, Kim Sharma
Akhbar Khan
Music proves old is gold
Monday, May 30, 2005 • Hindi Comments

Naushad nears 90, and yet he seems capable of serving sublime surprises.

At a time when much of film music is becoming more facile than sponsored jingles, it's a pleasure beyond measure to experience Naushad's treasure-trove of ghazals in this superbly packaged, handsomely produced soundtrack.

You only have to see how this super-veteran has used Hariharan's expressive baritone in "Apni zulfein mere shanon pe bikhar jaane do" to know the difference between boys and men.

Naushad drives a hard bargain. His tunes are old fashioned and they don't allow feeble modern nuances to sully the immaculate tunes. A great deal of the enchanting impact of Naushad's compositions hinges on Uttam Singh and Gurmeet Singh's expert orchestration. The chorus line seems to have jumped out of "Mughal-e-Azam" to seduce us into a state of supreme submission.  

Blessedly, Hariharan takes charge of most of the male vocals. He's joined by the atypical timbre of Preeti Uttam's voice in the skilled and unpredictable "Ajnabee thehro zara". The tune climbs to a crescendo and falls effortlessly in a whispering salutation to the oldest sentiment on earth. Love in its most ornate avatar finds gratifying expression in this album.

The duet between Kavita Krishnamurthy and Preeti Uttam in the qawwalli "Ishq ki dastaan" harks back to Lata Mangeshkar and Shamshad Begum in Naushad's "Teri mehfil mein" in "Mughal-e-Azam". And you can feel Bade Ghulam Ali Khan's soul in Ajoy Chakraborty's "Yeh kaun mujhe yaad aaya".

You can hear the footprints of a time gone by. The vocals are accompanied by a separate CD of musical themes, all persuasively pristine in their evocation of time that is gone with the wind.

This album is not on par with Naushad's "Mughal-e-Azam" or Ghulam Mohamed's "Pakeezah". But hey, this is as pure as film music gets nowadays.