Music Review: ‘Dabangg 3’

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The soundtrack of ‘Dabangg 3’ really does sound like a soundtrack and stays true to the ‘Dabangg’ brand of music delivering good music for the third time in the series. The only issue is that the album overall is good.. not great.

BizAsia Rating

3.5

Arbaaz Khan has passed the baton to the legendary Prabhudheva to direct the third edition of the super-hit series that should finally deliver a hit for Salman Khan who has delivered some poor films for his annual Eid releases. ‘Dabangg 3’ is taking over the Christmas release position and should hopefully rock the box office earnings owing to the success of the ‘Dabangg’ franchise and the fact that there is not much competition that weekend. Salman Khan is back as a funky cop with an ego, style and killer personality supported by Sonakshi Sinha, Arbaaz Khan, Mahie Gill and Sudeep as the baddie. This epic successful series has produced some huge cheeky hit numbers thanks to the amazing talent of Sajid-Wajid who are back at the helm of this soundtrack. There are huge expectations from this album after delivering some mammoth romantic and item numbers in both the previous movies. Hopefully Sajid-Wajid still have it and can rock the charts again to end 2019 on a high.

Sajid-Wajid open the album with the iconic Hud Hud that is a title melody of the ‘Dabangg’ series and has been constantly present in all three films in some form or the other. They keep reinventing the song for every film and this version is a little more philosophical and has a different edge to it. Power and aggression are perhaps the main flavors of this song compared to the style and attitude being the main flavors in the earlier songs. I am sure the video will bring Khan’s typical style that follows with the character of Chulbul Pandey but hearing the song it seems rather serious & intense thanks to the composition. The strong beats & deep bass give it that characteristic that makes it iconic by giving the song a high scale. The expanse in the arrangement with the use of a range of instruments gives the song a lot of power but the arrangement is quite clichéd and 90’s in its appeal. The vocals are a chorus mostly throughout giving little room to individual singers to shine but Divya Kumar, Shabab Sabri and Sajid sound quite wholesome together even on the high pitch chorus. Lyrics by Jalees Sherwani and Danish Sabri sum up the fearless personality of Chulbul Pandey’s character. Not as great a song as its previous versions and could have been better. It sounds very dated and that is its biggest let down. 2.5/5

Javed Ali’s brilliant vocals grace Naina Lade delivering that big classic-style romantic numbers that the ‘Dabangg’ series are known for. Sabri’s vocals are exceptionally warm while being simple and heart-wrenching. He nicely captures those first look moment of falling in love when you see that someone who just takes your breath away. The composition is quite classical and that gives the song the retro touch while being very modern at the same time as Ali’s voice and delivery makes it very contemporary. The simplicity with a basic Dholki running with a violin ensemble let the vocals & lyrics shine through. Even the arrangement is creative but very subtle giving the song its uniqueness.  The vocals are just brilliant and have the sufi Hindustani touch to them that works perfectly for the style of this song. He almost takes you back and forth between the 90s and 2019 of how he delivers one line after the other. This is a great romantic number even though it is not a Rahat number like the previous films and it should become equally popular on airplay. 4/5

Salman Khan gets behind the mic himself for Yu Karke that is a cheesy love chase & tease song. A full masti song with proper street tapori touch to it this is a perfectly fitting song for the Chulbul Pandey character. Sajid-Wajid do a great job in conducting Khan’s vocals and actually make him sound like a singer singing in key but obviously a lot of effects and vocal processing is applied to it that can be clearly heard. There is absolutely no depth to his vocal but that is not required in this song so that’s fine & workable. But the very fact it is his own vocals will surely give the cinematography of the song a different edge amplifying the fun factor of the song. The use of trumpets and a cleaver mix of percussions make this an easy number on the ears and even very enjoyable. Payal Dev’s supporting vocals are flat and allow Khan’s vocals to shine. She does deliver the shyness and cuteness though that works well in contrast. Sabri’s lyrics are catchy and flow well with the punch line. Mixing whistles with the Yu Karke phrase works quite well and this should easily become the tapori song of the year once Khan’s onscreen magic works on this song. Generally a good song in this category packed with canny fun. 3.5/5

Already becoming the talk of the Bollywood music industry as the next big item number, Munna Badnaam Hua is a super cleaver remake and an original at the same time. The song reinvents the hit song title from the first film keeping the same hook melody but completely fresh musicality and lyrics in this version. The pace of the song is infectious and one can’t help but dance to it even while sitting down! Sabri is the real star delivering some brilliant lyrics for Sajid-Wajid to compose around. The lyrics are naughty, fun, cute, stylish and just out there with a brilliant flow that is very easy to get addicted to. Even the rap is just perfect for this song and Badshah delivers it spot on in his familiar Haryanvi style that even works in this UP setting. Kamaal Khan is a great addition to the song and sounds totally different to his O Oh Jane Jaana avatar. His vocals are well controlled and have a full powerful vocal delivery. Mamta Sharma is back on the vocals in a spectacular fashion and does a great job yet again like her performance on Munni Badnam Hui. Having her on the song brings that remake familiarity to the song that works well. Musically the arrangement is totally unique and very dynamic. There is complete music mayhem with so much going on that it completely sounds like a party! If the task was to bring back the classic item numbers and deliver a superhit like the previous two ‘Dabangg’ movies then full marks to this song as it really does it. 4.5/5

Another romantic number Awara has a slightly rustic sufi style to it with boundless depth to it in its music and vocals. The song opens with very soothing clean vocals of Muskaan who does a great job supporting a sensational vocal by Salman Ali. His range and control is just phenomenal! He even delivers an entire verse at a high vocal end which really pierces through reaching the heart. The pain is quite evident in the song and his vocal amplifies it. The classical nuances and variations that he delivers are worth a listen. The lyrics by Sameer and Sajid are very nicely written and drive a lot of sadness through how the lines flow almost like a poetry. There are different sections of the song that work on different arrangements and it is down to the lyrics that really lead those variations. Musically Sajid-Wajid concentrate on the arrangement more so as classically there is a lot of good work that is gone in this song and the orchestra does a great job of giving depth to the intricate musicality in this song. The only drawback is perhaps there is a sense of familiarity in the song and the music is too simple almost as if picked from a 90s movie. Still a good listen thanks to a terrific vocal. 3/5

The album ends with yet another romantic number called Habibi Ke Nain penned by Irfan Kamal. It’s a good listen especially hearing the vocal combination of Shreya Ghoshal with Jubin Nautiyal. There is a good blend in their vocal textures with Ghoshal’s exquisite clarity and Nautiyal’s husky vocal quality. They both do well in their respective spaces and deliver the variations and range very well being the extremely talented singers they both are. The song has a qawwali format and that arrangement adds a different dimension to the song. The lyrics could have worked in a normal Bollywood romantic ambiance style as well but the sufi qawawli styling kinda works. Harmonium, Tabla and dholak are the lead instruments and are well performed by the musicians. Kamal’s lyrics are soothing and it moves well from one line to the other but there is a lack of connect at times that feels a little out of place. Overall there is a lot of good content in this song at over 5 minutes but it is not something extraordinary working as a good supporting song in the album. 3.5/5

FINAL WORD

Sajid-Wajid are back with a bang and they still have it big time! They show that new talent can come and go but their experience talks for itself and they can still deliver music that goes with the current trends. The soundtrack of ‘Dabangg 3’ really does sound like a soundtrack and stays true to the ‘Dabangg’ brand of music delivering good music for the third time in the series. The only issue is that the album overall is good.. not great. There is a defined sound to the album and this time it is a lot more romantic than party. Naina Lade is the big romantic number and it is a good one thanks to Javed Ali’s top vocals while Habibi Ke Nain and Awara feel like secondary fillers but yet again with good vocals by Shreya Ghoshal, Jubin Nautiyal and Salman Ali respectively. The title song Hud Hud seems to be a very mediocre song and a big let-down opening the album. But then on the big mischievous party songs Munna Badnam Hua is a great number and gives a different angle to remakes altogether. The addition of Badshah to the song with the return of Kamaal Khan is a good one for this song. Salman Khan does a good job on Yu Karke too thanks of studio technology working well with Payal Dev creating a good fun number. Danish Sabri does a good job consistently on all the songs and shows his talent across different genres. Overall the album checks out on the expectations and is a good one to listen to. It’s also good to see the album release well before the movie with even the music videos kept a secret but will that damage the marketing of the movie is something to wait and watch.

BizAsiaLive.com Rating – 3.5/5

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.

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