If there are any composers who have continued to enthrall audience till date, they are Nadeem-Shravan. Their timeless melodies, right from the days of Aashiqui, have continued to entertain music lovers for 25 years now. Hence, it was a great news indeed to know that Nadeem Saifee was making a comeback to composing, albeit independently and sans his partner Shravan Rathod. With Sameer as the lyricist, it is pretty much expected that the hit team would strike all over again.
It is a pretty underwhelming start for the soundtrack as the title track 'Ishq Forever' turns out to be as dull an outing as one would dread for a comeback affair. Really, one wonders what made the entire team actually sign off on such a boring song that just doesn't rise once, be it in 'mukhda' or the 'antara'. Leave aside the fact that it hardly comes across as a kind of signature composition that Nadeem-Shravan have been known for, even as a standalone number it fails to cut ice. Very disappointing, with even the singers (Zubin Nautiyal, Palak Muchhal) not managing to make it rise over the ordinary.
The song that follows too, 'Bilkul Socha Na', is just marginally better and one ends up wondering if the wait was indeed worth it for the return of one half of the composer duo. This time around there is at least a brief hint of the music of yore, but that isn't much of a solace either as the boredom continues. It is rather surprising that for a romantic musical like Ishq Forever, the songs right at the beginning don't manage to entertain one bit. This time around, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan pairs up with Palak Muchhal but the outcome stays on to be dull.
The manner in which 'Expectation' begins and then continues, it reminds one of that infamous song 'Exercise' [Prem Aggan]. A campus song where Neeti Mohan goes around wondering if life would have been better off had there been no Chemistry or History in the curriculum. This is further peppered with the talks of YOLO [You Only Live Once] with a forced rap as an add-on. Naah, this one doesn't cut ice either.
'Happy Birthday' is a kind of song which acts as a final nail in the coffin. A dated composition which is rendered by Nakash Aziz (who seems to be wondering if he is indeed there for the right song), it is a celebration number with an ordinary tune and basic arrangements. The 'antara' portions have that Nadeem-Shravan touch to them, though not belonging to their best, and eventually the song just about manages to hang on, but that's about it.
There is some respite though with something lively to appear in the soundtrack. Javed Ali and Shreya Ghoshal come together for 'Ishq Ki Baarish', a love song which is quintessential 90s. This one actually manages to hold on well and though it appears a little too late in the day, one doesn't mind that as there is something in there for those who were hunting for that trademark sound of Nadeem-Shravan. Not that this one is extraordinary either, but still when compared to what had been unleashed so far, this one at least manages to make its presence felt.
Surprisingly, the soundtrack gets further better with the next song that appears, 'Mere Ankhon Se Nikle Ansoo'. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan is also in form with this song that is truly into mush and romance, hence giving listeners something to cheer about. Shreya Ghoshal too steps into Alka Yagnik mode for this song and one is instantly reminded of many a song belonging to this mode and genre that were sung by Udit Narayan and Alka Yagnik in the era gone by. Truly, this song should have been placed right at the beginning of the album, especially due to an impressive 'antara' that it boasts of.
The album returns to its earlier mode though with 'Oh My God' which tries to be all hip, cool and trendy, and doesn't succeed on any count. Siddharth Mahadevan goes about singing 'Nauthty Naughty Munde, Hotti Hotti Kudiyaan', though not to much avail and while he is joined by Sarosh Nanavaty for this dance floor number, this 80s inspired track is best left skipped.
One expected better, much better, from the comeback of Nadeem Saifee on the musical scene.
'Mere Ankhon Se Nikle Ansoo', 'Ishq Ki Baarish'