This is one album that one picks up with absolutely zero expectations. A project that has been in making for long (it was earlier titled 'Marathon'), 42 Kms is releasing at a time when the word 'marathon' is becoming more and more identifiable, at least in the metros. Still, a film that is aimed for a niche audience with music by relative newcomers (Tubby & Parik) and lyrics by Shahab Allahabadi, 42 Kms doesn't really make you overtly excited about what's in store in its music.
Opening track 'Chand Zameen Pe' takes its inputs from 'Kya Mujhe Pyaar Hai' [Gangster] and 'Aksar' [Hijack]. Add to it the voice of KK and you know that the inspiration here isn't coincidental. Featuring Rags & Clinton, 'Chand Zameen Pe' is an inspirational track about the protagonist's belief in conquering the world with sheer hard work and determination. A number with a Western setting to it, 'Chand Zameen Pe' may have ordinary lyrics but is perked up to an extent due to contemporary arrangements and some good singing.
Set in hip-hop genre, 'Zara' sees Sonu Nigam getting all husky in his rendition. Even though the beats here are catchy with backup vocals by Storm adding on to the hip-hop appeal, there is something still missing in the number that could create a good overall impact. 'Zara', which also appears in a forgettable 'remix version' sees Gayatri Ganjawala entering the scene 100 seconds into the song. In fact her presence still manages to perk up the proceedings a little and though there is no chance for this ordinary track to travel much distance, it may not be a bad watch on screen if aided by some seductive moves!
A number with a predictable base to it, 'Ai Meri Zindagi' is a conventional track about living life and being positive about the day to follow. A kind of number that has been heard a zillion times before, it may well have been somehow exciting if only the music and the singing were energetic. However, the composer duo follows a conventional route while Roopkumar Rathod and Mahalakshmi Iyer merely go through the motions only to make 'Ai Meri Zindagi' an overall forgettable outing.
Shaan seems to be the only person on the scene who thought that by being ever-so-youthful and excited, he could make things happen for 'Marathon'. He succeeds to an extent as well and even though the tune here is nothing new or extraordinary, it at least is peppy in sound due to a decently paced rhythm. Sunidhi Chauhan's entry on the scene is good as well though the 'antara' portion is in complete contrast to the vibrant 'mukhda'. An ordinary number but still better than the rest.
However, the worst is reserved for the end and what's even more pitiful is the fact that it has Udit Narayan and Shreya Ghoshal at the helm. A number straight out of 'Aayi Milan Ki Bela' and 'Nadia Ke Paar' days, 'Aate Jaate' is so boring and pedestrian that it starts making the rest of the album good. A love song set in a village, 'Aate Jaate' justifies its title and is best forgotten just 'aate jaate'!
42 Kms is a below average album that doesn't stand a chance. Except for 'Chand Zameen Pe' and to some extent 'Tumse Milke Hua', there isn't much that leaves any impression whatsoever.