Monday, March 31, 2008

The indiepop of Jannat

Ignore everything else about Pritam's work on Jannat for a moment and zero in on the song Judai.

There is one sweet guitar measure constructed with four sixteenth beats and one dotted half note that is reminiscent of Spaghetti Westerns. A drum set and a drum machine are used to construct a house beat. A bass and rhythm guitar form the trappings of a rock song. And Kamran Ahmed - who has also composed the song - sings in Hindustani style but clips his vocals. The result is a genuine attempt at doing something new that sounds really good (and the kind of fusion I really enjoy).

Later yet, the song is rehashed (as Lambi Judai) only without similar vocal restrictions on Richa Sharma. If you happen to watch Dhoom Macha De, you might have seen Richa's propensity to improvise and here she digs into the opportunity with relish. As a result she records her third great Bollywood number (right up there with Maahi Ve and Billo Rani).

The rest of the album is a series of Pritam power ballads. And in this genre a number of us have embarrassing skeletons in our closet. How about that time when Phil Collins' Another Day in Paradise made me cry? Shudder! This sort of music should come with a warning: enjoy now and regret later.

And if I were Bappi Lahiri, I'd hold Pritam's hand and announce "Tum India ka Pheel Collins hey!" Two of the more polished songs are given to K.K. who is in fine form here. Depending on your leanings, you'll like one better than the other. I dug the hooks and harmonies in Haan Tu Hain more than rousing notes in Zara Sa. Your purchase will vary but they are both deliberately overproduced (something Pritam tends to do with panache).

Finally Jannat is closed out by a Foreigner-meets-Nickelback song sung by Fossils' Rupam Islam. Its gritty, gravelly, tight guitar rock (perhaps a little lacking in variety). Rupam has a really neat growl and he sounds nice and decadent when delivering notes that are slightly off-key.

All through the CD you get the feeling that the reason indiepop still hasn't delivered a huge star might be because its best exponents are making Bollywood music.


Anonymous said...

at the risk of sounding desemo, i cried listening to Judai this afternoon in my car

Anonymous said...

I wasnt going to check this one out because I'm totally over the music from Emraan Hashmi's movies but... okay. I know who to come beat up if I hate it. :P

Also, heard Tashan and loved it. A lot.

Anonymous said...

Aspi, u are my hero!
thx for posting this, was going to suggest that u review this album. guess u beat me to it.
was listening to the songs this weekend and i love them. My favourites are judaai, haan tu hain and zara sa.
i cant get over it, its playing on repeat on my phone :)

Aarohi said...

'Lambi Judai' is written and composed by Kamran Ahmed.

Unknown said...

aarohi, thanks for pointing that out. I modified my post accordingly.

Anonymous said...

I hope these songs are genuinely Pritam;'s own compositions. I was watching the news last night which had a 15 minute capsule on Pritam's compositions and the sources they have been lifted from. Two songs of 'race' have been lifted almost fully from a Chinese and Korean song (including the lyrics 'dam dadam dadam'???or something like that).I found it very strange to hear these words when i saw the movie. And then to see the same words in a Chinese song was hilarious.

Anonymous said...

Ok I did not like that Judai song. At all :-/ *goes back to shrieking Khwaja mere Khwaja*

SSS said...

Loved 'Lambi Judai'!! Its freakin brilliant!
Has anyone else heard Tashan?? I'll cringe as I say this, but its mind-blowing! It's what Vishal-Shekhar do best!! A full fun soundtrack!

Unknown said...

spruha, have been listening to Tashan but sparingly. I'll do a review soon - I think I have some idea now of what V-S are trying to do on the CD.