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August 28, 2001

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Review

Vivek Fernandes

One of the unfortunate aspects of having to work in the Hindi film industry is that you're expected to live up to your reputation. Or at least your last release.

For Shankar-Loy-Ehsaan, it would mean Dil Chahta Hai. Admittedly, a tough task to follow.

Abhay, the trio's third outing in Hindi cinema as composers, taps out a different beat.

Syncopated rhythms blend with traditional ragas in the first song -- Koyal se mili (Shankar/Sujatha). Shankarís mellow timbre and the orchestration, especially the flute and guitar arrangements, lend a haunting seductiveness to the song.

A peppy Nandhini follows with the upbeat Zinguria. With its carnival-like festive feel and the fusion of Afro drum sounds and dhol beats, itís a foot-tapper.

The music suddenly loses steam then. Hasde hasde (Shankar/Mahalaxmi) has strange laughing noises in the background. And the lyrics are far from poetic, making this probably the worst of the compilation.

A still from Abhay Dekho Abhay -- a techno trance number challenges Shankar, but his vocal chords prove his worth. Donít mind the song being repetitive -- itís trance, after all.

The last two songs of the film, Kal tak mujhko gaurav tha (Kamal Haasan) and Hey! Who are you (Kamal Haasan/Manisha Koirala) have strong influences of Andrew Lloyd Weber's music. They are overtly theatrical. It works in the former. But when Madam Koirala faces the mike in the latter, you know youíve had enough.

The second side of the cassette has previous hits of Kamal Haasan, including Hey! Ram, O Maria and Dekhta hoon koi.

A still from Abhay Technically, the compositions are proficient -- the cadence, harmony, instrumentation, even the vocals are striking.

But the score, as a whole, lacks the allure of its predecessors. No earthy charm of Bhumbro bhumbro (Mission Kashmir) or the catchy appeal of Woh ladki hai kahan (Dil Chahta Hai), here.

Not mediocre fare. But given a choice between DCH and this one, I'd go for the former.

Also read:
Abhay music in Tamil flying off the shelves
Everything you wanted to know about Abhay
Kamal Haasan: 'The future? I may not act at all!'

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