30 Sep 2011

Music Review: Damadamm: Some Himesh Spark, Redundancies Abound

Music: Himesh Reshammiya / Lyrics: Sameer and Shabbir Ahmed
Should we be running for cover, now that the latest Himesh Reshammiya-starring soundtrack is out? We are referring to the string of movies since Aap Kaa Suroor – The Moviee (2007) that have had Himesh in dual roles of screen hero and music composer. He also insists to stubbornly sing the male vocals all through, and some really insipid lyric-writing have made mockery of many a song.
Ta...ta...ta...ta…Tandoori nights, tandoori nights…from Karzzzz (2008), anyone?
Failure has, as music history is witness, attracted ample criticism and Himesh has got the brickbats. We say Himesh is gifted, if misdirected by ambition, as a composer. We will do the best Himesh compositions sometime soon here. Until then, let’s sample the Damadamm soundtrack. 
The title song Damadamm takes its mukhda reference from the traditional Sufi song and twists it well for a competent take. The additional singers - Punnu Brar, Palak Muchhal, Shabab Sabri, Alam Gir Khan, Sabina Shaikh, Vineet Singh and Rubina Shaikh, apart from Himesh add colour to the track. Certainly an above average song, a little slowing down of the pace could have added punch.
Hum Tum is surprisingly soft soothing stuff minus the Himesh histrionics; still would Mohit Chauhan have rendered it better, or a Sonu Nigam or Shaan? Himesh does well though; there is soul there, alright. Soft effective guitar riffs, melancholic and nostalgic. The lyrics are a lift – Zindagi hai badi ajnabi / jaan sakhe isko na hum kabhi / unkahi, unsuni, unbhuji…The stand out song of the soundtrack.    
Aaja Ve is standard Himesh fare with the Aap Ka Suroor hangover and in the Hum Tum space,  a redundancy in both feel, concept and template-stamped Punjabi lyrics – going lutiyave, janiya, jiya naiyo lagtave, dil lutiyave…etc. Been there, done that thing.      
Bhool Jaun uncomfortably changes its mood of the lyrics which ranges from forgetting a person to remembering her, to unfinished desires, with shutters in its flow. Sachin Gupta aids Himesh in the vocals; the effect in totality is haphazard.  
I need my space is an off-putter despite the ‘live life’ lyrics and Queen ‘I want to break free’ reference. Himesh’s vocals are the culprit here, appropriate modulation is lacking and again we are making a list of who could have rendered it better. Dil jo kahe vahi karna hai bondishon mein nahi marna hai maine socha hai, he goes in one breath, followed by jeena hai har mausam…/ I need my space, I want my freedom. Done in by misguided execution. Add it to the mock list please. Madhushala is another off-putter in composition and rendering, both. Himesh is all irritatingly nasal, he still can make intermediate catchy stuff, the retro female scatter is perky, but the song falls flat.  
Mango starts promisingly as a female voice over goes - ‘philosophical research on mangoes, incorporating in it romance, humour and fun.’ Out of the box? Missing someone like mangoes? The female vocals going ‘Mangoes, tarara…parara, I am your Mango (!!?)’ kills it and so does – Tere intezar mein …my time goes…mangoes. A misplaced experiment. Needed a lyrical elevation, which is nowhere to be seen. Mock list grows.
Tere Bina sticks to the nostalgia mood, yet again, there is no denying the punch,. .Par ke bina parinda jaise/ sur ke bina sazinda jaise / ghar ke bina, bashinda jaise/ main yahan, tere bagair… is cool stuff of which we already have sufficient dose of in the soundtrack. It still has the Himesh-vocal soft zing. A word for the intelligent slow drum percussion. A saving grace.
Umrao Jaan is familiar territory with Himesh going nasal with a vengeance. The croaky female refrain of ‘No touching, only seeing’ could have been subdued in this catchy song. Why doesn’t Himesh get another male vocalist, there are so many out there. Understandably, he lip-synchs the same in the film, still why not try alternatives?
Sadhna Sargam is good company to Himesh in the hummable, brief, under three-minute Yuh toh Mera Dil. Some wonderful interplay of guitar at the blooming of love. Impressive soft touch, proving Himesh does well with minimum add-on's than the bang bang Punjabi dhol beats. Remixes, we elude again. Overall, a lot of ‘would have been better moments’ in a soundtrack largely average with some pleasant soft streaks.
Rewind Potentials: 1.Hum Tum, 2.Yuh to mera dil and 3.Umrao Jaan.

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