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Music Review - London Dreams

Sudha (Lakshmi) Rao

(This article is sponsored by Sounds Of India)

London Dreams

Produced by:  Aashin Shah
Directed by:    Vipul Shah
Lyrics: Prasoon Joshi
Music Directors: Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy
Actors: Ajay Devgan, Salman Khan, Asin, Om Puri, Rannvijay Singh
Singers-Vishal Dadlani, Roopkumar Rathod, Shankar Mahadavan, Abhijeet Ghoshal, Zubeen Garg, Feroz Khan, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Mohan.
Music on: T-Series

London Dreams, which opened end October, has had very lukewarm reception at the box office according to reports.  The music of the film by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy has also had mixed reception with critics and audiences.  Most songs are a blend of rock and Indian folk and light and classical styles.  The movie revolves around a group of young musicians trying to make it big in the world of music in London – so fusion of styles is essential while trying to reach out to a worldwide audience and that’s exactly what this film’s music offers its listeners.

The album is different in that it has no conventional duets – they also do not strike you as average or run of the mill simply because of the quality of the vocals and arrangements and also the way in which each tune has been composed – retaining a distinct flavour despite blending styles.   Shankar-Ehsan-Loy have consistently been creating some very good music over many years and this album showcases some very talented vocalists, some new, some already established, all male however, in this case. 

Khanabadosh – my pick of the album – a track that gets you right from the word go...the intro, opening refrain and then the gradual build up of this title song are really charming.  Mohan, a young and fresh voice backed up with very good chorus support is energetic and vivacious and sparkles!  The song is foot tapping and has some good lyrics too.   Khanabadosh is supposed to be a Persian/Urdu word meaning nomad or one who literally carries his house on his shoulders…(thanks to several sites on Google which came up with these meanings) – a metaphor for our protagonists who have travelled far from their home country to pursue their dreams of a musical career in London!  
Khwab jo – Shankar Mahadevan and Rahat Fateh Ali simply sizzle in this philosophical song that has some brilliant moments and vocal acrobatics by both talented singers.  Both vie for honours in this song that has heavy electric guitar accompaniment to a melody that is essentially classical Indian.  The percussion is also heavily western and the end result is a cool blend of indo-rock!
Man Koti bhaave – a fun song throughout with a very folksy flavour.  The song is fast paced and never loses its momentum at any point.  And Shankar is at his rustic best with his uninhibited rendition of this song that is truly worth shaking a leg to!!  The remix is quite redundant in this case as honestly, this song just does not need a remix to pep it up any more!

Shola Shola – as this song progresses, it starts reminding the listener of Fanaa from Yuva – sounds a tad similar, esp. the refrain.  Otherwise, a slightly serious song with excellent vocals from Zubeen Garg (the talented Assamese singer/lyricist who shot to fame with Ya ali).

Tapkey Masti –– not your average bhangra, this song…unpredictable in tune and yet steady in tone and feel – the melody maybe typical and familiar but is carried with flair and panache by Feroz Khan, a rising Punjabi singer whose voice just does have a teeny weeny resemblance to Sukhvinder Singh but definitely sounds more full throated and less nasal than Singh – the background score with its twists and turns and the thumping Punjabi rhythms are quite infectious and complement Khan’s effervescent vocals!

Jashna Hai Geet Ka -    a song with motivational lyrics sung with great feel by Abhijeet Ghoshal.  The song takes a couple of listens to start growing on you – the guitar riffs in the interlude adds to the rock element of the song while the tune especially the refrain are very Indian and are pretty catchy.      
Yaari Bina – fast paced and very philosophical song about friendship picturised on our two heroes sung with a lot of passion and feel by Milind and Roop Kumar Rathod.  Both singers have tremendous ranges and sail through their high notes so effortlessly.  The thaan section in the middle of the song is particularly impressive and beautifully rendered.  After Khanabadosh this would be my second pick of the album.

Barson Yaaro –doesn’t seem too impressive in the first part – but the arrival of Roop Kumar Rathod and the consequent change of mood and rhythm and style suddenly stir up things and make for an electrifying finish as the song reaches a charged crescendo with lines from the Hanuman Chalisa.  A tailor-made song for Vishal Dadlani and Rathod who both have amazing voice control and range!

Personally, a first listen to the music of London dreams was encouraging enough and I found that a couple of songs just stand out with well-written lyrics and wonderful vocals and arrangements.  Actually, I just loved the album – and after a long time, I really enjoyed listening to all the songs multiple times without having to fast forward to the next one halfway through or hit the stop button!  Though the remixes are unnecessary, this album seems to be adhering to a trend that has come to stay in most current Bollywood movie soundtracks.  Definitely worth the buy!!  

Sudha (Lakshmi) Rao
November 5, 2009

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