December 23, 2006 7:22am CST
The year belonged to them with super hit albums (‘Don’ and ‘Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna’) to their credits and surprises are in store with ‘Salaam-e-Ishq’. They created a rage of “yuppie” musical entertainment that proved ground-breaking success in tinsel town. Shankar Ehsaan Loy (SEL), the impressive and energetic musical triumvirate of Bollywood is back in action but this time they are shouldered with loads of expectations and responsibility to live up to their film magnanimous grandeur and their trend setting records. In ‘Salaam-e-Ishq’ they have experimented with westernized country music and Afro-American styled reggae music in couple of soundtracks to create a different beat and feel. SEL teaming up with Nikhil Advani gave Bollywood a breathtaking superlative album ‘Kal Ho Na Ho’ and now the expectations are monumental from them. This time, its contemporary Sameer to the credits as lyricist than poetically affluent Javed Akhtar. Nikhil Advani, the prodigal directorial talent from Karan Johar camp comes up with biggest line up of star cast with surprises of multifaceted characterizations. The high production value, larger than life opulence, shimmering outfits, breathtaking visuals, exotic locations and magnanimous face value coupled with SEL effective music creates gargantuan hype for the film and album. The westernized cultural feel of country music and upbeat feel of reggae music creates oceans of romanticism as Adnan Sami comes up with sentimental soundtrack “Dil Kya Kare”. The rhythmic electric guitar strums and reggae styled chorus creates an ambience of romantic idealism. Adnan Sami shows his vocal excellence in this soulful ballad that has “yuppie” flavored lyrics like “Bhool gaya Dil Saal Mahina, January mein bhi aaya pasina…” by Sameer. It can be accounted as finest vocal effort by Adnan this year and by far the most innovative work by SEL in recent times as they strike equilibrium between country music and reggae music with sheer delight. This time it’s classically nurtured voice of Shanker Mahadevan showing spectacular colors in traditional classical musical “ragas” and “alaaps” embellished in flavors of fusion “jugalbandi” in frolicking soundtrack “Saiyaan Re”. SEL tries to recreate or rather rehash “Kajre Re” but the end product is not as fruitful as Shilpa Rao is no match to seductive Alisha Chinoy. Loy Mendosa chills out with dollops of rap lyrics to make it upbeat but its “qawalli” flavors that rule the soundtrack. It is big let down if one is to expect and compare with “Mahi Ve” or “Kajre Re” for its festive touch but Shanker Mahadevan’s classical and animated performance impresses against all odds.