Planet Bollywood
Jhootha Hi Sahi
Producer: Madhu Mantena
Director: Abbas Tyrewala
Starring: John Abraham, Pakhi, R Madhavan, Raghu Ram & Nandana Sen
Music: A.R. Rahman
Lyrics: Abbas Tyrewala
Singers: Sonu Nigam, Shreya Ghoshal, Karthik, Rashid Ali, Javed Ali, Chimayi, Viyay Yesudas
Audio On: Sa Re Ga Ma    Number of Songs: 9
Album Released on: 17 September 2010
Reviewed by: Ankit Ojha  - Rating: 7.0 / 10
More Reviews and Analysis by PB Critics:
    • Feature Review by Atta Khan - Rating: 5.0 / 10
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Public Rating Average: 5.1 / 10 (rated by 413 listeners)
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Opinion Poll: Has the music for "Jhootha Hi Sahi" lived up to your expectations?

Jhootha Hi Sahi has to be one of the most awaited movies of the year in the line of the already released Dabangg and the upcoming Anjaana Anjaani, and reasonably so. Firstly, it’s Abbas Tyrewala’s second stint at direction after his debut entry with the super-successful Jaane Tu…Ya Jaane Na. Secondly, it has the music of A. R. Rahman, each release of whose post Slumdog Millionaire has been passed under the scanner, scrutinized to explicit detail, and then compared with his previous releases, and who returns to collaborate with Tyrewala musically and lyrically on this venture too. And thirdly, it’s a film featuring John Abraham, who has been extra choosy with his projects as of late.

Will Rahman be able to recreate the youthful magic and spirit exuded in the film? More importantly, will he be able to live up to expectations? After the terribly mixed bag called Robot, it becomes a very difficult question to answer but let's find out!

Those questions and the whole set of insecurities prior to listening the album as the heavily-promoted opener in the form of "Cry Cry" comes to fore. Perky in its tempo, smooth in its body, the song is overall like smooth chocolate – it makes you feel awesome, but in its own smooth, sophisticated way. The Tyrewala-written mukhda is so catchy you feel like humming to its tune all along. The antara though is pretty deep and intense for the most part and ends up tilting to the semi-philosophical side of the side effects of sadness and tears. Shreya Ghoshal ends up coming right after the second interlude, but she manages to hold her own despite the towering presence of Rashid Ali, who charms the listener with his smooth-as-butter-on-bread vocals. The pair of Rashid Ali and Shreya Ghoshal actually improve the song to another romantic level altogether. Rahman’s music is terrific and one realizes that he’s back in form, and all he needs for motivation is the right situations and the right lyricists. This one’s a winner; not only will the song win the hearts of listeners worldwide, but looking at the promotion going, it will have an added bonus of moving way up in the charts.

The fun gets a little funkier with a traditional chaska once the “Maiyya Yashoda: Jamuna Mix” kicks in. A lot of the traditional Rahman comes back with the whole playfulness making the listener reminiscent to “Radha Kaise Na Jale” (Lagaan). Javed Ali rocks to the core in this awesome track that will be just the right pick for Janmashtami, and will be a sure shot hit. Chinmayi’s vocals have ‘super-fun’ all over them despite being her semi-classical self. Very Indian in its base and with terrific mixing and sound design, this song clicks with the very first hear. The fusion of Indian instruments and modern bass and drums make for an eclectic mix and you start dancing and feeling free as you listen to the tune of the music, which, yet again, has a captivating mukhda, thanks to the Tyrewala-Rahman combo. As the song progresses, it keeps getting more contagious by the second, thus getting stuck in the listener’s head. In the last minute or so, as the tempo continues to rise the listener feels exhilarated and the song thereby raises itself to dizzying levels of elation. This song continues to impress with a more international-sounding "Thames Mix", which is more suited for clubs and discos, but continues to sound fresh and distinctly different from the earlier “Jamuna Mix”. The added bass-line in the latter mix is so infectious you tend to lap up this version with both hands. This one’s a surefire winner and needs added promotion. Rest assured, this song has no stopping it reaching the top.

Contemporary upbeat lounge beats with a gripping bass-line and synth-samples kick-start the song "Hello Hello" rendered by Karthik with the perfect blend of haunting mystery and emotional flow. A similar themed song was heard in Karthik Calling Karthik’s soundtrack in the form of its title track, and though it’s evidently not politically correct to compare both the songs due to the different stories in both the films, this one excels in comparison to the previous due to its terrific sound design, beautifully written lyrics – two thumbs up to Tyrewala for that– and gripping vocals. The audio effects in the form of telephone beeps and the likes blend in well with the song, and thankfully don’t pull the song down to being nothing but a situational effort. This one can be heard anytime and anywhere, and like the previous tracks contains immense repeat value. It’s safe to say that Rahman has yet another winner in his kitty, but it’s still too soon to analyze whether he has made a complete, satisfactory album like he almost usually does.

Rahman goes back to his roots with “Do Nishaniyaan”. Sonu Nigam turns out to be a terrific performer in this one, which takes you back to the nineties and the songs produced during the mid and late nineties. There’s a lot of déjà vu, unfortunately, and if heard distinctly, quite a few sound samples and loops eerily remind you of Rahman’s previous work, namely “Kaise Mujhe” from Ghajini and “Jaane Tu Meri Kya Hai from JTYJN. Sometimes this is fine, because it makes the listener reminiscent, but here the track tilts toward the more awkward déjà vu I’ve-heard-this-thing-before feeling being generated in the listener. It’s not that the song is bad – it’s good, and tends to grow on you after a lot of listens, but for an intense song like this, more was expected from Rahman in terms of creativity and technical sound. The lyrics are commendable, but one wonders why Tyrewala added the word phone in the midst of the poetic Hindi-Urdu setting in the intro, as it naturally sounds weird. The song comes back once again in the form of a “Heartbreak reprise", though one wonders why, as there is nothing remotely different about the song, save for a few minor tweaks and the lyrics. A song that will take a lot of time to grow on you and ends up being a pleasant hear, but one that looked like it should have had more from the titles at the back of the cover.

Fun, fun, fun! Yes, that’s exactly what “Pam Para” brings with it. Shreya Ghoshal lets her hair loose once again with this song, and it’s strange why she does it more often than not for Rahman (“Latoo” from Ghajini, and later “Rehnuma” from Blue), who does some really groovy work on this one, by mixing some international sounds that remind you of more of Irish and Scottish music right at the first interludes. The beats are terrific and so contagious you’d have to listen to the song the second time just for the sake of those beats even if you didn’t like it the first time. This is classic Rahman – you’ll have to get to listen the song again and again to end up liking it. Tyrewala’s lyrics are fresh and fun, and Ghoshal’s free-flowing vocals, complementing the terrific sound design and composition of the well-mixed song, just make the song the most cheerful song of the lot. A must listen!

Vijay Yesudas’ humming fills our years as he takes hold of the song’s interlude. What continues is a lazy, jazz-like sound, with Yesudas’ comes back to lead “I’ll Be Waiting” , which has trademark Rahman written all over it, what with all the dreamy pad in the background. The swing beats and the percussions perfectly complement the overall romantic mood of the song. Tyrewala has done a commendable job writing both the English as well as the Hindi portions of the song. If he listener is looking for a potential “Tu Bole Main Boloon”, this is it. On a comparative level though, both the songs have their own individualistic appeal and hold their entity very well. A fantastic song!

People usually say that the opener and the closer have to be the strongest points of any soundtrack, be it film or non-film. One wonders, pre-listening, if “Call Me Dil” suffices as a memorable closing song of the soundtrack before listening to it, and fortunately enough, it does, by being this breezily hummable track with a hint of soft-rock in its base. Rashid Ali comes back after “Cry Cry” to croon beautifully yet again to Tryewala’s well written lyrics. The acoustic guitar is pleasant and makes the motif of the song catchy and hummable. In fact, considering the lyrics have a subtle hint of romance attached to them, the music really does complement them really well. Individually, it’s a very good song to hear, and ends up being another one of those that grow on you every time you listen to them, but, unlike other Rahman albums, the placement is not right, and the song as a closing track makes the listener feel something is incomplete and more is yet to come…

Overall, Jhootha Hi Sahi is a very good soundtrack and has a lot of positives, but unfortunately that isn’t necessarily a good thing, because much more is expected of Rahman i.e. ‘excellent’ and ‘outstanding’. While his previous experimentations in the form of Blue, Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa and Raavan have been far better in comparison, this one, though not disappointing, doesn’t reach his standards as a music composer, though post the debacle of the technically-superlative-but-bad-in-content Robot, this turns out to be a breath of fresh air. Give it a try, and who knows, you might end up falling in love with it!

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