Sanam

“Sanam Teri Kasam” movie poster.

Film: Sanam Teri Kasam

Label: T-Series

Music: Himesh Reshammiya

Lyrics: Sameer Anjaan, Shabbir Ahmed, Subrat Sinha and Himesh Reshammiya

Before we proceed, let us first note the only downside of this score — that several tracks give us déjà vu of earlier Himesh Reshammiya songs, all recent ones. However, the best tracks are “Haal-E-Dil,” especially in the female version, and “Main Teri Yaadon Mein,” and, at the beginning, let me also say that this is Reshammiya’s best music after “Dangerous Ishhq” (2012) as a well-rounded album. It may or may not burst charts, but will remain in respected memory for years.

One more point: Reshammiya’s brilliant merging of Indian and Western instruments has always been exemplary, whatever the caliber of his compositions. And this album contains some of his better work in recent years.

The lead and title track is hollered by Ankit Tiwari with Palak Muchhal singing in her best Shreya Ghoshal-esque voice. The click-type rhythm has been heard before in this composer’s songs. The lyrics (Sameer Anjaan) are average, and the phrasing too resembles many recent songs of Reshammiya’s. It is to his credit that the song still haunts. The reprise version of this song has Mohammed Irfan replacing Tiwari, without really making a perceptible difference.

Neeti Mohan is given ‘chaalu’ mode in “Tu Kheench Meri Photo” with two new singers, Akasa Singh and Darshan Raval. While Raval is in wannabe Arijit Singh mode, the infectious beat of the song sails the two new crooners through, with Mohan dominating.  

Reshammiya tries his hand at writing “lyrics” in “Ek Number” (Reshammiya-Mohan), with lyrics like “Wikipedia pe check kar le / Google tu search kar le / Naiyyo milega aisa yaar soniye / Ek number.” To make matters worse, Reshammiya pronounces “Google” as “Guggal.” He also rolls his ‘ra’ sound so that ‘number’ sounds like ‘numbarrrrrr,’ which he should have avoided.   

Once again, the ingenious tune and musical treatment haunts and does not let go, and Mohan goes from Western to a caressing Indian idiom effortlessly. To repeat once again, here’s the only true female playback voice after Ghoshal — versatile and expressive while being musically “taiyyar” (honed).  

Reshammiya also sings “Bewajah” with “Darbadar” sounding like “Darrrr-badarrr” (like someone unfamiliar with Hindi and Urdu would sing) and gives the song a soft tenor, but we do feel, as with his song in “Prem Ratan Dhan Payo,” that he could have entrusted a singer with this otherwise very upbeat track that is also perhaps the most ‘modern’ track on this score, with a wonderful use of the rock guitar.

Singh gets the modern redux of Reshammiya’s splendid composition “Khaali Salaam Dua” (“Shortcut Romeo”) in “Tera Chehra,” because the ‘antara’ almost replicates the ‘antara’ of the earlier song. Singh handles the song masterfully, a ‘given’ when he is offered a song out of the ordinary. Reshammiya handles the words in a skilled manner, suggesting that his tune was made perhaps after the words were written, which can also explain the subconscious déjà vu.

The prelude of “Main Teri Yaadon Mein” is fabulous, and Reshammiya and Singh as composer and singer prove their joint synergy. Subrat Sinha writes on a ‘contemporary’ track, and Singh is simply excellent in this wonderful meeting point of rhythm and melody.

The haunting “Haal-E-Dil” finds Mohan in a skilled Himesh-ian mode, by which we mean that she gets expertly into the convoluted modes of Reshammiya’s compositional construction. Her resonant timber moves to soothing and back to haunting in an instant with enviable skill. Reshammiya’s composition is in the genre of the ‘spook-fest’ songs that used to be instant hits. We believe that the film too is a love story with some such elements. 

The male version by Sreerama Chandra finds the singer in high-pitched mode, but, because he is a male voice, the sound is nowhere near as pleasant. That said, Chandra sings well.

All in all, a soundtrack to cherish, and we only wish that bigger stars had executed these ‘big’ songs onscreen.

Rating: 4/5

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