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Jhoom Barabar Jhoom ( Hindi Film Songs , )

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Album Review
- The Thump Is Here
By Aparajita Ghosh

Like a rabbit out of a magician’s hat, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy flip out yet another captivating music score in Yash Raj Film’s presentation ‘Jhoom Barabar Jhoom’. The movie, directed by Shaad Ali, has a kaleidoscopic star cast: Abhishek Bachchan, Preity Zinta, Bobby Deol and Lara Dutta. And topping them all is Amitabh Bachchan in a rather stylish and zany avatar as the sutradhar.

What is most striking about the songs of ‘Jhoom Barabar Jhoom’ is that it retains the very Indian flavour of music despite all the guitars, synthesizers and drums. Desi melodies are rinsed in the contemporary popular style of music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. Gulzar, who has been broadening the vocabulary of his songs, writes a number of good songs, not necessarily poetic, but retaining the spirit of the movie and its music.

This is the musical flavour of ‘Jhoom Barabar Jhoom’ in a nutshell for you.

A first look at the album makes you think that an overdose of Jhoom is in store. As many as four songs have the word ‘Jhoom’ in their title. Thankfully, the versatility of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy shines through and makes each song different from the other.

The ‘thump’ arrives with ‘Jhoom’, a pulsating dance track with a Punjabi flavour. The dhols, drums and guitar blend together in harmonious cohesion and Shankar Mahadevan renders Punjabi verses by Gulzar in a boisterous, freewheeling spirit. In the movie, the song is shot on Amitabh Bachchan in a rockstar’s attire (long hair, feathered hat, overcoat, jeans and boots et al) strumming away on a double-arm guitar.

With the mood already set, the album reaches a new high with the title track ‘Jhoom Barabar Jhoom’, sung by KK, Sukhwinder Singh, Mahalaxmi Iyer and Shankar Mahadevan. This seven-minute track is a musical extravaganza with a variety of instruments like keyboards, guitars, bagpiper, drums and dhol. While KK and Sukhwinder Singh give a folk touch to this number, Shankar Mahadevan struts the highs and lows of octaves with an impressive rendition towards the finale.

‘JBJ’ is a zippy track based on a melody quite different from the previous two songs. Despite the slightly hip-hop touch to this track, the north Indian feel is pretty evident in the song’s music. Shankar Mahadevan teams up with Sunidhi Chauhan and Zubeen for this perky and lively track.

The album then steers into fun and frivolous mood with ‘Ticket To Hollywood’, a soft and lilting number sung by Neeraj Shridhar and Alisha Chinai. Though the song’s title is in English, it has some very desi lyrics by Gulzar.

Just when it seemed that the thump was getting overbearing, the album switches gears and in comes the romantic track ‘Bol Na Halke Halke’ by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.

This mellow, melodious song has some touching lyrics by Gulzar, like Umrein lagi kehte huey, do lafz they ek baat thi, woh ek din sau saal ka, sau saal ki woh raat thi. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s voice is full of emotions that the words express. And Mahalaxmi Iyer manages to hold her ground opposite Rahat with her impressive singing.

There is something catchy about the next track ‘Kiss Of Love’, crooned by Vishal Dadlani and Vasundhara Das. This is a composition for the dance floor – fast in tempo, loud in beats and yet very desi in flavour.

The album concludes with ‘Jhoom Jam’, an instrumental collage of all the ‘Jhoom’ tracks peppered with dhol beats.

Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy have yet again come up with a brilliant score in the music of ‘Jhoom Barabar Jhoom’. Every track in the album has an appeal. Some tracks make you tap your feet and shake your leg, the others pull a string at your heart.

Rating: ***
Album Songs

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