Album + Soundtrack
Satish Kaushik's Milenge Milenge is a delayed release from 2004, its completion allegedly affected by the real-life break-up of its lead actors. Whatever the truth, it's a highly anticipated release, and with Bollywood that means as much for the music as for the film itself. In charge of the score is one-man phenomenon Himesh Reshammiya - but this time he has delivered something of a dud.
Reshammiya burst onto the Bollywood scene back in 1998 with the hugely successful Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya, and has contributed to over 60 film soundtracks since. He has also taken to playback singing, acting and judging on a popular Indian television talent show. Unfortunately, these digressions appear to be having a negative effect on his abilities as a composer, as Milenge Milenge displays all too evidently.
A soundtrack which was most likely created over six years ago will undoubtedly feel a little dated, but this collection could well have been put together rather shoddily in the early 90s. The melodies of the five original songs are forgettable and the arrangements are poor at best. What appears to be an attempt at drama merely comes out as melodramatic, some sort of parody of itself.
The worst part is that each track gives you the feeling of potential, as if it could have been so much more. Instead, Reshammiya manages the almost impossible and makes some of the best vocal talent in India sound bad. Alka Yagnik seems shrill, Sonu Nigam lifeless, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan dull and Shreya Ghoshal tinny. Most importantly, it's about time someone warned Reshammiya that lending his unremarkable singing to his soundtracks probably does more harm than good.
The one chink of light in this dreary album is the unplugged version of Tum Chain Ho, thankfully devoid of a thudding arrangement as seen in the other tracks. Vocals are provided by Vineet Singh, a superb singer who Reshammiya championed on television. His belief in this young talent provides some hope that he hasn't yet lost sight of what comprises great music.
Milenge Milenge is an unimaginative, uninspired and unremarkable piece of work. Perhaps if he could stop being quite so self-indulgent and concentrated on what he once did best, Reshammiya could live up to the immense potential he showed several years ago.