Asha Bhonsle adds gravitas to the ghazal’ish Prem mein tohre, but age-related strains are evident in her vocals. But compared to Kavita Seth’s oddly detached rendition, Asha’s version seems more nuanced and soulful. Anu Malik handles the music well, particularly the strings in the background. Rahat and Sonu go through the motions in Aazaadiyan, with Anu rehashing his stock tunes and backgrounds for the nth time, while O re kaharo‘s generic quasi-Middle Eastern sound is painfully outdated. Holi khelein seems more like Anu needed a song to challenge his talent show contestants. Begum Jaan is from another era, music included.
PS: The bonus song, Woh subah, has Anu elegantly modernizing Khayyam’s pensive melody, though Arijit and Shreya sound too clinical when compared to Mukesh and Asha Bhosle’s original vocals. But Arijit does score well in the other bonus song—the soundtrack’s best—Murshida, aided generously by vintage Anu Malik-style tune, bringing back memories of Refugee.
Keywords: Begum Jaan, Anu Malik
Listen to the songs on YouTube: