Thursday, October 11, 2012


“CHALLA”: Okay a lot has been said about this song and most of it is true. This one is more of rabbi and less of Rahman and almost nil of Gulzar. And Shahrukh khan with a guitar doesn’t help it either. But it is hell catchy a tune – no doubt about that. Right from the opening guitar portions which are superb (falsely alleged by some to be a rip off), this one will be loved by rabbi fans. He sings in his customary style with a bit of besuraapan at places which is now being accepted without much ado (Just as in the case of Atif aslam).
Rahman does make sure he puts his customary styled music in between, like that yuvvraaj – ish chorus before the 2nd antara. Overall it did take quite a few listenings but now I like this one. Definitely not brilliant, but good nonetheless.

“JIYA RE”: Six years, Rahman roped in the group VIVA to sing a song in the film “Lakeer”. Now he gets Aasma girl Neeti mohan to croon this one. CLEARLY this one will be picturized on Anushka Sharma. And what a song it is! Neeti mohan’s voice is too good as she infuses a lot of attitude and energy into the song. The high point of the song is the “jiya jiya re” loop. The way that “jiya jiya re” loop’s tune in a crescendo is mind blowing – addictive, simple and very hummable. One of my favorite songs of this album.

“SAANS” is vintage Yash Chopra material. Starting off in a “dil ka rishta” style (Yuvvraaj), this one comes in the form of a vengeance from Rahman and Gulzar. Everything about the song is grand – the arrangements, the instruments including a bagpiper, the chorus and to some extent even the lyrics. Shreya ghoshal is the true star of the song as she aces in her singing. She is simply outstanding. Mohit chauhan here seems a bit nasal but sounds very nice.

The antara reminded me of “Kismat se tum humko mile ho” (Pukar), especially that last line of the antara where shreya goes very high scale (Just like anuradha paudwal did.)
We haven’t had a single proper LOVE ballad this year. “Saans” just fills that void. Reminding me of “Do pal” and “Ye hum aa gaye kahaan” (Veer zaara) at places, this one is my favorite song of the album. Give it repeated hearings. It will grow on you in a way you would never have expected. As i hear it more and more, it is becoming one of my favorite songs this year. And whats with the “Yuvvraaj” hangover? Why do people have so much problem with it? Yes it does have a strong yuvvraaj hangover. So?

“ISHQ SHAVA”: When I first heard the name, I thought this would be some routine Punjabi track like “Say shava shava”. Fortunately it turned to be something else. Well, this one has a slight “hawa hawa” hangover.
Firstly, the choice of singers is okay – While Raghav mathur sounds nice, shilpa rao's vocals didnt work with me. Sunidhi chauhan would have been better anyday. What i didn't like was their occasional “Say what” and “yeah yeah” rap inputs.
That said, the arrangements of the song are brilliant. The initial loop on the guitars is addictive. I am humming this song since last few days. It is catchy too. I initially did not find it Rahman material; I still dont. But the fact that it is growing on me cannot be denied. Plus I am sure the video will be something.

“HEER” is a gem, no doubt. Harshdeep’s beautiful flawless singing coupled with Gulzar’s Punjabi lyrics and Rahman’s simple divine tune makes this song a winner. The antara is even better. Throughout the song we hear that characteristic Dafli – dholak beat which I guess is mandatory in all Yash Chopra movies in atleast one song. The SAANS tune in between is killer.
There are some soft songs in our collections with which we begin our mornings – songs which give us peace of mind and numb our senses, bracing us up for a hectic day ahead. “Heer” is one such song. The more I listen to it, the more I am realizing what a fantastic singer Harshdeep is.

“JAB TAK HAI JAAN” starts off in a brilliant manner. Javed ali’s singing seems superb. The first one minute ensures me that this one is going to be the perfect title song.The addition of Tabla and dholak makes this a typical YRF number. Shaktisree Gopalan's introduction to the song makes it even better. This is going to be placed at a crucial moment in the movie I am sure - expect it to be played in the scene where Yash chopra will be fully dominating your lacrimals. This one i am liking after an initial dislike.

“SAANS” is reprised in a sadder version of the original. Here too, shreya ghoshal enthralls us with her singing. The version only helps one appreciate the song more.

“ISHQ DANCE” is reminiscent of Rahman’s instrumental works "Beats of passion" and “Raaga dance” from Taal. Ranjit barot’s rendition of the drums is superb. A piece sans any backing melody or tune, this is just drums, drums and some more drums. We do have a “Hey hey hey” chorus towards the end which seemed unnecessary. But overall it is quite decent and will be loved by those who love instrumentals.

“JAB TAK HAI JAAN – THE POEM” is what “Qaidi number 786” was for veer zaara. Only here the poem is accompanied by a fantastic instrumental piece and some less fantastic lyrics. While Shahrukh’s rendition of the poem sounds good in places to constipated towards the end, I am totally in love with the music of the poem. The guitars are simply awesome and that sound of 2 drum sticks clashing with each other is something brilliant, a feeling which can be experienced only by someone who has played the drums or closely seen them being played. How I wish this tune had been converted into a song, or atleast had a voiceless version.

OVERALL, after an initial impression of what appeared to be a mediocre album, finally this one is getting on to me.
It has 3 maestros of direction, music direction and lyrics come together for the first time. While it is not that perfect typical Rahman album, nor is it a typical Gulzar one, it is definitely a YRF one, not as good as Yash chopra's previous works, but still very good.

From what I surmise, not enough creative freedom must have been given to them, because there are few mandatory things Yash Chopra requires in his films’ music, as I mentioned before. And when you don’t give creative space to two of the most creative people of their respective fields, the results are never going to be extra ordinary. A music director and lyricist when given freedom produce wonders – “Gangs of Wasseypur” is the best and most recent example of that fact.

“Jab tak hai jaan” may not be another “Rockstar” but it definitely is very good work. Let us not forget this is Yash Chopra we’re talking about – someone who converts songs to beautiful videos on the celluloid screen.
Writing the album off is totally not done. A reviewer on twitter called it the shittiest album in the last three years. Yeah right. You better listen to rowdy rathore.

I still remember when I finished listening to the “audio cassette” of veer zaara in 2004, I removed my headphones and felt mesmerized and exhilarated by the entire audio track. That feeling is missing in Jab tak hai jaan. Period.

Final word? Even if you have heard it and disliked it, keep listening. After ten days If you are in love with it totally, thank me. If not, well, wait for the movie. I am positive the picturization will make the difference.


MY RATINGS – 8.50 / 10 (I gave it an extra 0.25 for the brilliant orchestration throughout the album. That Rahman is a master in that cannot be denied and shows clearly here too.)

1 comment:

  1. Comments are spot on and I completely concede to the point of view. Well written!