Planet Bollywood
Jhoom Barabar Jhoom
Producer: Aditya Chopra (Yash Raj Films)
Director: Shaad Ali
Starring: Abhishek Bachchan, Preity Zinta, Bobby Deol, Shruti Seth, Amitabh Bachchan and Lara Dutta
Music: Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy
Lyrics: Gulzar
Singers: Shankar Mahadevan, Neeraj Shridhar, Alisha Chinoy, Zubeen Garg, Sunidhi Chauhan, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Mahalaxmi Iyer, Vishal Dadlani, Vasundhara Das, K.K and Sukhwinder Singh
Audio On: Yash Raj Music    Number of Songs: 7
Album Released on: 15 May 2007
Reviewed by: Gianysh Toolsee  - Rating: 7.5 / 10
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Public Rating Average: 5.11 / 10 (rated by 410 listeners)
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Opinion Poll: Has JBJ lived up to the hype?

The hype factor is too much! Is this the way movies and music are going to be promoted? Each biggie carries so much hype that in the end, it’s all about mediocrity. Case in points are endless. Not to forget that the hype is even larger if the project stars A-List superstars. It is a sad state of affairs to notice that hype has rendered so many mediocre, untalented and uncreative people in Bollywood, rich, famous and popular today. Who really cares when there is an audience ready to pay for it?

Even if this soundtrack comes from one of the leading production houses in India, it will be analyzed minus the hype created. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy (SEL) are firstly lucky enough to be composing continuously for Yash Raj Films and most of their last projects starred Amitabh Bachchan and Abhishek Bachchan. Leading actresses are also roped in to co-star in these big budget movies. And when Yash Raj Music is using all the latest gimmicks to market the CD, consider half of the job done for the music directors.

But wait! The other half of the job is also made easy because of the success formula found by Yash Raj Films. In fact, Yash Raj Films always depends on a specific success formula before Dhoom (2004). For each specific genre of movie produced post-Dhoom, the same methodology is used again. Get this straight: ‘Jhoom Barabar Jhoom’ will work because it relies on the success formula of ‘Bunty Aur Babli’! Yes Gulzar, Mahalaxmi Iyer and Alisha Chinai are here too! What an amazing coincidence?

Gypsy style of music is the base of Jhoom and it is ‘indianized’ by a stunning rendition of Shankar Mahadevan, the ‘dhol’ beat and classical alaaps. SEL also add a strong rock flavor in the background and a plethora of new sounds to package the track. Shankar Mahadevan emphasizes much on the words of ‘Jhoom Barabar Jhoom' throughout the track. What is worth noting in the energetic number, which is rhythmically catchy, is the gypsy music. Kudos for the fusion of the gypsy-meets-indian, blended with the vocals of Shankar Mahadevan. Still, the track is not electrifying as it should have been. The lack of real punch missing might be compensated by its choreography on screen.

Now this is electrifying! Shankar Mahadevan, Sukhwinder Singh, K.K and Mahalaxmi Iyer all singing Jhoom Barabar Jhoom cannot miss the target this time! The punch, the ambience, the driving rhythm, the excitement and the ‘Jhoom’ factor are all present to assure a successful track. The difference from the first version is in the form of the music played and the arrangements. The gypsy style of music is replaced by a strong techno sound, with more beats to accompany the ‘stanzas’. It is an exotically colorful collection of melodic lines and progressive sounds. The main tune is not tampered while the ‘Indian-ness’ is extracted from the voices of Sukhwinder Singh and K.K. The climax is its plus point and the song will reach its audience in no time! Encore!

The third version is all here and this one subsequently jumps genre. JBJ attempts a hip-pop genre and possibly a funkier style with Shankar Mahadevan, Zubeen Garg and Sunidhi Chauhan doing just that. The rendering is unconventional but it caters more for a younger audience with Sunidhi Chauhan stealing the spotlight. Music is a continuity of the original track and means more of an alternative of how ‘Jhoom Barabar Jhoom' can be presented, if packaged using different instruments, rhythms and a bit more imagination. Once again, the tune is the same but this time, the tempo has been increased. Overall, still rocking and vibrant!

Ticket To Hollywood has the most unpredictable music by SEL with a strong loud rock background score and it can be qualified as a situational number. Neeraj Shridhar gets the lion share in the singing while Alisha Chinai is relegated to merely singing a few lines. In itself, the track is quite bland with no melody but Neeraj Shridhar really impresses. Techno beats are inter-spread in the track while the chorus adds more life.

The best song of the year so far is Bol Na Halke Halke! Crafted by SEL with austere precision, the piece is rich in melody, emotions and music. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan is the man behind ‘Bol Na Halke Halke’! Without his voice, the track would not have been the same or the uniqueness would have been missing. Listen to his reprise in the last ‘stanza’. Mahalaxmi Iyer is good but there is something missing in her voice this time. SEL are truly impressive in the orchestration and arrangements for this piece. All the small details have been noted. Firstly, the composition in itself is absolutely superior with difficult ‘stanzas’ and complicated notes. Secondly, to back the excellent tune, the number of instruments used is stunning. With the flute to the guitar and the violins to accompany the voices in the ‘mukhda’, they have showed full control on every single aspect of the song. Hats off!

In the same league of 'Ticket To Hollywood', Kiss Of Love is another situational number rendered by Vishal Dadlani and Vasundhara Das. It’s a strictly funky number with good music and above average singing. Vishal Dadlani does not disappoint in his rendition and applies a rough tone which further amplifies in the ‘antara’. Vasundhara Das is good but does not create any impact whatsoever. SEL experiments with the music a lot with more vocal effects, an effective chorus and a thrilling sound in the interludes.

‘Jhoom Jam' is an instrumental potpourri of all the tracks backed by the strong ‘dhol’ beat in the background. An interesting instrumental as each track is presented in another form while keeping the same essence.

The soundtrack will get attention due to hype and the stars. Without the stars, only ‘Bol Na Halke Halke’ could have stand on its own. However, the signature tune of ‘Jhoom Barabar Jhoom' is catchy and will get more popular if the films scores big time on screen. Including three different versions in the soundtrack is not the best idea. How about two more original songs, fresh compositions and different singing experiences? Gulzar’s lyrics have been given a new lease.

SEL successfully manage to hit the bull’s eye with their proper use of zingy sounds, effective arrangements, lively tunes, rhythmic variations and groovy beats. They can be techno wizards but they can also be gypsies as well! The soundtrack is also equally rich in terms of singing with a long list of talented singers but it’s Shankar Mahadevan and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan who steal the show all the way!

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