From ‘Baazigar’ (1993) to ‘Hungama 2’, Anu Malik’s association with Venus Records & Tapes has been strengthening yearly. The Jain brothers have entrusted most of their home productions to the tunesmith for nearly three decades now – something rarely seen in the Hindi film industry. The Anu Malik-Sameer Anjaan combo has done wonders and together they have created many hits such as “Mehfil Mein Baar Baar” from ‘Soldier’ (1998), “Aate Jaate Jo Milta Hai” from ‘Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega’ (2000), “Nazar Nazar” from Fida (2004),”No Entry / Ishq Ki Galli Mein” from ‘No Entry’ (2005), amongst the long list of hummable songs. Priyadarshan also teamed up with Anu Malik for the comedy classic ‘Hera Pheri’ (2000).
The highly publicized “Chura Ke Dil Mera 2.0” is instantly likeable from the opening notes and while it has been very much contested, it grows each time you listen to it, thanks to the energetic singing of the talented Anmol Malik and the underrated Benny Dayal. The recreated track from ‘Main Khiladi Tu Anari’ (1994), which had original lyrics by Rani Malik, is upbeat and fast-paced. With fresh interludes and ‘antaras’ to keep up with times, this recreated version is going to be a favourite on the dance floor. Even though the magic from the original track is absent as Kumar Sanu’s voice contributed a lot to the success of the original track (it was even reported that music maestro A. R Rahman liked the song when it was released), Anmol Malik’s dependable vocals will keep it alive for the current generation.
A classic Anu Malik romantic melodious tune surprisingly opens up “Chinta Na Kar” with a soft acoustic guitar piece before making a 180-degree change and the tempo completely diverges from the smooth melody. We are presented with an engaging, foot-tapping and catchy original tune, in the voices of Nakash Aziz and Neeti Mohan. Both performers show their vocal prowess as singing a ‘masala’ type Anu Malik song still has lots of modulations. The ‘antara’ is completely refreshing and the guitar pieces are wonderfully played. The opening could have been transformed into another bonus romantic track as Nakash has already given us a glimpse of his romantic capabilities in the intro. Anu Malik brings back the guitar pieces which were common in “Dil Kehta Hai” from ‘Akele Hum Akele Tum’ (1995).
In a classic Priyadarshan style,“Hungama Ho Gaya” is full of ‘masti’, good vibes and can be described as a party track to be appreciated on screen with Shilpa Shetty dancing and grooving to the beats. Reminiscent of multi-starrer tracks where all leads were happily dancing and singing, Anu Malik who is an expert in composing situational tracks such as in ‘Ishq’ (1997), ‘Om Jai Jagadish’ (2002) and ‘Main Hoon Na’ (2004), comes up with an ultra-peppy song which matches the situation to the T. Aided by a good orchestration and programming, the piece has the Anu Malik stamp all over it. Anmol Malik who continues to amaze with her high-pitched rendition, nails it and the popular Mika Singh follows suit. After impressing the audience with a lot of energy in the totally rocking party song “Talli” from ‘Ugly Aur Pagli” (2008), Anmol shows she can easily adapt to the requirements of any song and make it stand out as she gives her best to every song.
After rediscovering Papon in “Moh Moh Ke Dhaage” from ‘Dum Laga Ke Haisha’ (2015), it takes an ace composer to rediscover Benny Dayal, who sounds fresh in “Pehli Baar”. A college/campus-based song with an original tune, it sometimes reminds us of Anu Malik’s songs in ‘Ishq Vishq’ (2003). This solo track makes excellent use of the latest sounds and the programming totally stands out without overshadowing the main tune. It is a strong contender to today’s young composers who try to find a tune to click with the younger generation and this one does the trick. Sameer’s lyrics are a big plus here.
Renowned for bringing back the chorus in Hindi film music in the early ‘90s with “Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhen” from ‘Baazigar’ (1993), the versatile Anu Malik always makes a suitable use of the chorus to blend melody and orchestration without creating a cacophony. After a long wait from his stable, he brings back his chorus with some nice acoustic guitars in “Aao Chalen Hum”. The opening chorus sets the tone for a sweet, innocent and heart-felt tune, with an old-charm Anu Malik melodic touch to pep up things. Interestingly, the song moves well with Antara Mitra aptly delivering. Annica Chhabbra (uncredited) renders it more beautifully with the poignant lines “Raaton Ko Suraj Chhup Jata Hai Kyun” and then Nakash Aziz takes over with his high-pitched entrance in the ‘antara’. The track ends with the children chorus and brings back nostalgia.
After ‘Dum Laga Ke Haisha’ (2015) and ‘Begum Jaan’ (2017) which had contrasting themes, Anu Malik proves once again that age is merely a number and music is a universal language. The work he has done in ‘Hungama 2’ displays that he uses melody on the forefront while carefully and musically blending them with the latest sounds and programming trends. Working with tunesmith Sameer Anjaan is also a big bonus as they understand the pulse of the audience. This energetic soundtrack is a welcoming relief in 2021!