BOLLYWOOD QUEEN OF THE 70’sSa Re Ga Ma, Rs.250Bollywood music would not have been what it is, if not for the versatile Asha Bhosle.” For the singer who began her career in 1943, with versatility unmatched, this tribute – Asha Bhosle, Bollywood Queen Of The ‘70s – by Sa Re Ga Ma, is just not in tune.

Compiled by Najma Merchant, the two-CD album contains 26 songs from an era when the music directors were struggling to keep up the high standards set by the composers of the 1950s and 1960s. Of course, some of them were still around but melody was fast giving way to music which did not quite live up to the taste of the connoisseurs.

Asha could modulate her voice to suit the character on the screen. She was at her best when she sang to seduce and this collection is full of such numbers. Of course, not all fall in the category of memorable ones but there are quite a few that made Asha famous.

Aptly the album opens with “Dum Maro Dum” and moves on to the more difficult “Piya Tu Ab To Aaja” from Caravan. In “Reshmi Ujala Hai Makhmali Andhera”, the tempo is soft, thanks to Sachin Dev Burman. The evergreen number from Zanjeer — “Dil Jalon Ka Dil Jala Ke” — and “Sajna Hai Mujhe Sajna Ke Liye” help the album maintain the pace before it peters out with two forgettable selections.

CD-2 is marked by the soft numbers from Mere Jeevan Saathi and Anamika even as the rest fall much below standards. The saving grace is “O Saathi Re” from Muqaddar Ka Sikandar.

A pity, two of her personal favourites, “Ye Mera Dil Pyaar Ka Diwana” from Don and “Husn Ke Lakhon Rang” from Johny Mera Naam, do not find a place in this tribute to the Bollywood Queen of the ‘70s.

The tribute fails to do justice to Asha’s versatility.

KOI AANE WALA HAIN – STRINGSSony BMG, Rs. 175The Pakistani band makes a comeback with this new album. All the ten songs are quintessentially Strings in every beat and rhythm. Yet it doesn’t trail the same path as the earlier albums. There’s a technological edge to the album, which give most songs a rock feel. But Bilal’s soothing voice takes over your senses in the softer numbers.

“Koi Aanay Wala Hai” is the first song, and probably the most popular number in the album (Known more for the video starring John Abraham). A signature Strings song, it is soft, melodious and grows on you slowly. It is one of those songs that set your foot tapping and the body moving. “Aik Do Teen” is diametrically opposite, a little unlike Strings. A fast number, it is funkier lyrics wise, and you can feel Bilal enjoying his singing. Perfectly hummable.

“Humsafar” and “Keh Diya” are a good listen. It doesn’t stir you really, but does no harm either. “Jago” is more insightful, with the guitar strumming strongly in the background.

“Jab Say Tumko” is a re-worked version of the song from their second album. It is loud, a perfect rock track with heavy guitar strums and instrumentations. “Jab Bhi Mein” and “Sonay Do” are the next two tracks. While the first is groovy, the second is more remorseful. “Titliyaan” and “Hum Hee Hum” can be skipped.

(Complied by V.L. and M.R.)