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Where there is dance, there has to be music. So, a film, which has dance as its core theme, is expected to have music as one of its key elements. Ronnie Screwvala’s new production ‘Bhangra Paa Le’ traces the journey of Jaggi (Sunny Kaushal) and Simi (Rukshar Dhillon) as they try to win a Bhangra championship/talent hunt competition. The album has been put together by a bunch of composers from Pritam’s A&R company Jam8 and Rishi Rich. The lyrics have been written by Shloke Lal, Siddhant Kaushal, Mandy Gill, A-Bazz, Kiranee and Yash Narvekar.

“Bhangra Paa Le”, the title track, pays homage to “Bhangrapa Le”, the Rajesh Roshan composed song from ‘Karan Arjun’ (1995). The hook-line and a few lines (“bolo bolo bolo…”) written by Indeevar from the original song have been retained. The rest of the song boasts of a new tune (Shubham Shirule from Jam8) and fresh lyrics (Mandy Gill). This is, perhaps, the best ‘recreated’ track one has heard in the recent times. The new tune merges seamlessly with the bits and parts of the original composition and what you get is a track that warrants repeated hearings.

“Kala Joda”, the popular folk song from Punjab, is presented in a new, contemporary avatar by Akashdeep Sengupta from Jam8. The lyrics have been written by Shloke Lal (Jam8), Raftaar and Manisha. The lyrics suggest a face-off between two dance groups; this aspect of the song comes to the fore quite effectively. The song has an upbeat rhythm and gets one hooked to it instantly. Romy and Shalmali Kholgade do a very good job behind the mic. So do Raftaar and Manisha who render the rap portions.

“Peg Sheg”, like “Kala Joda”, is a song replete with Punjabi lyrics and upbeat rhythm. But, barring this similarity, this is a completely fresh track and does not really have a folk influence to it. In the video, we see the lead pair Sunny Kaushal and Rukshar Dhillon showing off some well-choreographed moves. Composers A bazz and Nilotpal Munshi (Jam8) and lyricists Shloke Lal (Jam8) and A bazz put together a sufficiently engaging track which boasts of some very good techno-based arrangements.

A.R. Rahman’s popular track “Rangeela Re”, from his first, proper Hindi film ‘Rangeela’ (1995) gets a new spin as “Ho Ja Rangeela Re” by as many four composers – Rishi Rich, Yash Narvekar, Kiranee and Shubam Shirule (Jam 8). Just like the title track, here also the team of composers have retained bits and pieces of the original track and created a fresh melody around it. A. R. Rahman was not too happy with the way “Humma Humma” was recreated but he might have a different opinion of this neatly composed and produced track.

The exuberance of celebration comes to the fore in “Ajj Mera Yaar”, composed by Shubham Shirule and Ana Rehman (both from Jam8). The orchestral arrangements and the choral voices give an impression of this song being played during one of the stage performances being given by Sunny and his team. The composition is good and the rich arrangements compliment it wonderfully.

Up next is a sweet, playful song titled “Raanjhan” in which we see the characters played by Sunny Kaushal and Shriya Pilgaonkar attending a wedding and indulging in some playful banter at the same place. In the song, we also see Sunny pulling off some bhangra steps wonderfully well. “Raanjhan” is steeped in Indian melody and the lyrics (Mandy Gill) compliment the Indian-ness in the composition well. Shubham Shirule has composed and arranged the song and has done a good job with both.

“Sun Sajna”, composed by Rishi Rich, Kiranee and Yash Narvekar, is layered with techno-based arrangements with some samples of traditional Indian instruments.  The track has an interesting sound to it and is engaging to a certain extent but overall, it sounds a bit generic and not something that has the potential to linger in your memory for long.

Sunny Kaushal plays two characters in the film – one is the younger character in the present times and the other is the older man who was a soldier from a bygone era. “Re Sardar” seems to be the song which is picturised on the older character. It comes across as a war-cry kind of a ‘track’ and is expected to be played during an important war-sequence, the glimpses of which one saw in the trailer, picturised in the film. “Re Sardar” has an uplifting tune (Keeran – Jam8) and the lyrics (Shloke Lal – Jam8) are quite effective too.

“Jhoomar Dhaaga” is a love song with a spiritual bent to it. This song also seems to be set in the period in which Sunny and Shriya’s story unravels. The mukhda is very nice but it is the antara portion where the song attains new heights. Mandy Gill’s voice, Shubham Shirole’s composition and the lyrics (written by both of them) strike a chord instantly and compel you hit the replay button once you are done listening to the song.

KAG/Kaushik-Akash-Guddu (Jam8) bring in both techno beats and a bit of traditional instruments to layer “Sacchiyaan” with. The track is consistently engaging and benefits hugely from the power-packed rendition by Harshdeep Kaur and Amit Mishra. The lyrics (Siddhant Kaushal) are not as impactful as most of the other songs in the album.

The last song to feature on the album is one of the best on it. “Angana” will quench you thirst for listening to a true-blue Indian melody in a Hindi film. Ana Rehman has put together a gorgeous composition which also has very good orchestral arrangements, dominated by the sound of Indian instruments to boast of. Shloke Lal impresses again with the command he has over words. It is an absolute delight to hear Javed Ali and Shreya Ghoshal’s voices on a single track. 

‘Bhangra Paa Le’ is a solid album – there are as many as eleven tracks and most of them manage to leave a lasting impression. This should prove to be the break-out album for Jam8. Though the year has just begun, one is pretty sure by the time it comes to an end, ‘Bhangra Paa Le’ will be remembered as one of the best film soundtracks to have come out this year.