The most heartening aspect of Himesh Reshammiya’s latest foray is that his music is devoid of the crass commercialism that had come to become his definition after a spate of ludicrous releases like Red,Apne,Shakalaka Boom..not to mention two dozen other unpardonables.My problem with the guy was never with his *nasal* voice as so many others testify to but my grouse(s) with Himesh were always his manipulative tune structures and rhythm patterns.So when I first listened to the title track of Aashiq Banaye Aapne I was immediately struck by the marked freshness the guy offered from a dozen other singers who aped each other.His originality hooked me on…and yet it was this same originality that disillusioned me.Slowly I could see through his monotonous subterfuge-The guy repeated the hook lines so many times,it was only natural you would be humming it a little while later(This even Himesh admitted to in an interview).
But Radio,atleast partially,attempts to set aside this issue.Himesh,for one, has sung many of the songs in a lower octave so as to minimise his nasal influences.And most importantly there seems to be a whole hearted attempt on the part of Himesh towards re-structuring the way he makes music.So there is no more of manipulation in the kind of the incessant repetition of the refrains.
After going through my (unnecessary;yes,but I thought the context is important in this case)ramblings you must be impatient to hear the verdict.So here it goes…Though admirable for reasons cited above,the album is comme ci,comme ca(so so in common parlance) at best.The title track,named Mann Ka Radio,is refreshingly good.Himesh’s considerable effort to not sound nasal passes off in flying colours.The music is tuneful and the orchestration catchy.The folkish Zindagi Jaise Ek Radio is mediocre.Afterall,it is based on a premise that lends itself so very well to the creative vision of the lyricist(Subhrat Sinha in this case) that the actual lyrics are glaringly underwhelming(The song attempts to make a comparision between one’s life and a radio).Thankfully the next,Jaan-e-Mann,is comforting though passable.Set to a lilting tune,the song meanders through Reshammiya’s as well as Shreya’s vocals.An extended shehnai burst opens the very earthy Piya Jaise Ladoo Motichur Wale after which Rekha Bharadwaj takes over through her inimitably rustic vocals.With minimal orchestration a soulful Himesh makes an impact in the leisurely paced Koi Na Koi Chahe.Shreya vocals sounds amazingly gossamer in another languorous albeit melodious number Teri Meri Dosti Ka Aasmaan.Yet, from here on it seems as if Reshammiya got into an auto pilot mode to race against an impending deadline.So,the rest to follow(Damadji Angna Hai Padhare,Shaam Ho Chali Hai,Rafa Dafa Kiya Nahin Jaaye) seem hackneyed and contrived,rather,unimaginatively.
Radio,on the whole,turns out to be a par-boiled effort.
My Picks-Mann Ka Radio(if you’re able to care-a- damn for the lyrics)
My Rating-One Cheer!