Album Rating: 9/10
Music: M.M.Kreem

There are two ways to compose music for a Bollywood film song after the underlying tune is ready. The first way is to fill in the gaps left by the vocals with some interludes and otherwise provide a rhythm and a background scale. Not much effort goes into composing these songs. A programmer does it for you. The second way is where you write descriptive notes and pay attention to every detail of every note rising out of every instrument played by an orchestra. There are composers who use both. And when they do it, they do it like few other. Also, these are some exceptional composers who create a certain ambience through their choice of musical notes and sounds. Very few are so talented. It’s like Hans Zimmer’s music in the Batman trilogy where the music played a quintessential role in building up the tense environment. S.D.Burman and his son R.D.Burman were experts at defining the environment through music. And then there’s M.M.Kreem.

M.M.Kreem a.k.a. M.M.Keeravani, that guy behind Sur and the original version of Criminal, scores the music for Jism. Looking back at the album in 2017, I do feel Keeravani sir was on grass when composing the tracks. Every track is imaginative and converses with you. The tunes are hum-able, simple, yet unique. The arrangements, although predominantly synthesizers are used, are top notch. Neither an instrument extra anywhere, nor a note.

Jism was released in 2003 amidst great curiosity among the public. A raunchy Bipasha romancing a newcomer John Abraham was something people couldn’t afford to miss. The movie, however, wasn’t anything beyond a typical Bhatt house affair – some sex, some crime, some lust and voila! you have a new movie.

But Mahesh’s productions are known not for their stories but their music. From Sadak, Aashiqui, Phir Teri Kahaani Yaad Aayee, Zakhm, Sir to present day flicks, music is what makes their productions click. Jism is probably at the pinnacle of all their musical endeavours. Now you’ll say I’m exaggerating. No, not really!

Khanjar se haathon pe lakeerein, koi bhala kya likh paaya, humne magar ek pagalpan mein, khud ko chala hai seene mein..” goes the antara of one of the songs. The lyrics oozes crazy love. When was the last time you heard such lyrics? Long time, for sure. These lines are from one of the versions of Awarapan Banjarapan, a lyrical endeavour that has three versions to it, each with different sets of lines. Loneliness forms the undertone for two of them, while the third goes a few levels down to the world of tragedy. And like I mentioned earlier, the music creates these environments as much as the lyrics by Sayeed Quadri do.

K.K. sings the more famous version of the song, while M.M.Kreem sings the other two including the tragic version. And you just can’t decide which one’s your favourite. My pick would be K.K. because he underplays the emotions with a suppressed voice. He sounds magical.

The other singer who rules the album, along with K.K., is Shreya Ghoshal. I remember how she arrived with Devdas, but really shot to fame with this album. Today, she is the undisputable queen of melody. Shreya lends her soft and silky smooth voice for Neelesh Mishra’s words in Chalo Tumko Lekar Chalein, a dreamy start bubbly song by sensuous lady about taking her love on a romantic joyride. M.M.Kreem has used beautiful synthesizers and Violins here, the effects are mesmerizing and yet again, the music sets the mood upfront.

Shreya also sings the other big hit from the album. Shreya’s solo version give this seductive sultry song all it needs. Jaadu Hai Nasha Hai is one of the most famous songs ever written and composed. It’s dark, sensuous and drop dead gorgeous. Lyrics by Neelesh Mishra is a standard affair. This song has a duet version with Shaan joining her. But, Shaan doesn’t sound as good as he did in many of his previous hits. His voice feels out of place in the duet, maybe Udit Narayan would’ve done justice to it.

Speaking about Udit, we have another offbeat track in Mere Khwabon Ka Har Ek Shaqs Isi Sheher Mein Hai. Udit singing a ghazal, how cool is that? The mukhda feels like it’s just another ghazal. A normal filmy start is what the song has. Udit also doesn’t sound too excited at this stage. Even the first interlude sounds pretty normal till the flute steps in and M.M.Kreem’s favorite piano runs in the background and the antara just takes this song to its heights. A harmonium pays the doors of your ears a short and sweet visit in the first antara, while a flute fills the void in the second. The ‘less is more’ approach towards the composition, the subtle silences and the small glimpses of different instruments aptly create an aural void which only adds to the void created in your mind by the beautiful lyrics.

Shikayat Hai is an interesting track. Written by Saeed Quadri, it doesn’t match up to the other quality lines in this album. Yet, as a standalone song it can score higher in terms of lyrical quality. The tune is, well, nice! It’s well sung by Roop Kumar Rathod, a voice you don’t get to listen often. However, the track just doesn’t match up to the rest. It drags a lot, although it’s not a lengthy track. It’s just not a nice feeling after listening to all the other beautiful tracks.

Jism belongs to a time when Bollywood moved from the senseless compositions that dominated the late 90s to cater to a new young audience that demanded quality music. Producers like Mahesh Bhatt carried out quite a few experiments by hiring various composers and lyricists. Some made it, some left a mark. What’s unfortunate is that M.M.Kreem could never reach such heights in Hindi film music. But, Saeed Quadri was the real find of this album. He went on to write some of the most beautiful songs written, not just in the modern era, but in the history of Bollywood.

Format: WAV 44kHz 16-bit
Recording Quality: 5/5
 Label: Saregama
Source: Saregama

I bought this album on Saregama’s website in the Hi-Res WAV format. Visit my page –  Music Originals to know more about legal music available online in India.