After ‘Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi’ (2008) Shah Rukh Khan is ready to deliver his Punjabi ascent again opposite Anushka Sharma in Imtiaz Ali’s forthcoming romantic flick ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’ (2017). But Sharma will be talking back with a Gujarati ascent this time and instead of Punjab they will be going around Europe. The trailers do look exciting and it would be great to see their chemistry bring romantic magic yet again to the big screens under Ali’s writing and direction. He sure gets a good balance of romance and drama in his films along with some chart-topping music added in. The trailers and early singles released present the same touch of commercial music as expected so this should be an exciting album for the masses with hopefully something unique thrown in by the music team. The soundtrack for this film is composed by hit-maker Pritam with the amazing Irshad Kamil by his side on the lyrics.
Shahid Mallya rocks the folk vocals on Radha with Sunidhi Chauhan brining the party and glamour to the song. Radha has already been creating some waves on radio and online plays with it’s east meets west composition. A full throttle party tune, Pritam does a great job in linking traditional folk melody with modern synthetic beats. The use of Dhol, tumbi and flutes gives a very authentic sound that works with Mallya’s voice while the club beats work perfectly with Chauhan’s power packed vocals. Lyrically the Punjabi lyrics are the best part of the song and they have a gradual progression that lead it up to the party bit. The contrast of female part of confession with the Casanova male part of trying to avoid the complications of love is an interesting mix. The bridge between the folk and party bit doesn’t work on the first listen but grows on slowly. A good song that works well for easy listening and party too at the same time!
Disco vibes dominate the music of Beech Beech Mein with vocals from an Arijit Singh never heard before! His vocal texture and delivery is totally unlike him and unrecognisable for the main part of the song and jumps from that to his original style back and forth in a rather unique way. It’s really good to hear Arijit do something different and he does it really well yet again. The beats and bass are uber cool and can easily get the most limp bodies to start grooving to it. The arrangement is very fun and uses trumpets, keyboard synths and vocal loops in a beautiful way to remind one of the Bollywood disco era. Female vocals by Shalmali Kholgade and Shefali Alvares are funky and exciting to listen to. Lyrics are a great asset of the song as they are super unique & don’t follow normal conventions and style but they are easy to sing along too and catchy. Overall a fabulous nu-disco party tune perfect for every occasion with it’s positive vibes.
Radha (Official Remix) by DJ Shilpi Sharma takes the first part of the song closer to a more Punjabi feel with hoye shouts and dhol notes followed by a fuller club beat and a more electronically processed vocal that gives it a little more depth for the club setting. The surprise bit towards the end is a set of new lyrics defining a happy ending. But Sharma chooses to strip back the club beats of this part which takes the song back down to finish with rather than finishing on a high with the club beats. A decent remix with clearly more material added in to give it an extra edge and differentiation to the original.
Safar is a gorgeous song to say the least. An expected song from Pritam which is kind of his trademark with a deeply acoustic vibe & unique style like Bulleya or Kabira. The soft ballad with killer plucked guitar work is amazing to listen to in this jazz composition. The bass guitar and jazz drums is amazing to listen to as they hide behind Singh’s genius solo that is right up his alley. The control, range and even the distortion in his voice falls like soulful and mesmerising magic on the ears. Lyrics are the best heard in a long time and a piece of Kamil genius! The simplicity in arrangement amplifies the story telling of the mysteries of life’s journeys of a person who has come a long way from home n never gets to stop. A must listen song that is bound to make one addicted to its jazz soulful renditions.
There has to be a Punjabi party song on any commercial sound track with the aim to be a big success and the music of ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’ is no different. Butterfly fills in that void and gives the album yet another dance track. This is a free spirited care-free song that is all about running and living the life in the open fields of Punjab. The music has that fun and openness about it along with the energy that goes with Punjabi music making it a great song for weddings as well. Dev Negi & Chauhan lead the vocals of this energetic and colourful track. The Punjabi tadka is very strong with the instrumentation and arrangement of the song. Negi’s recitation of the song, especially of the word butterfly sets the character & setting perfectly into the fields of Punjab. Lyrics are all about belonging to your roots & living a life of freedom in the homeland. Pritam kills two birds with one stone and goes into climax music progression towards the end with Nooran Sisters delivering a powerful rendition in their alap style. The song is a bit cheesy & the arrangement is not unique as such but it sure is a catchy number.
Beech Beech Mein (Electro Funk Mix) coverts this disco song into a club tune with a strong electro beat along with Kygo style synth treatment. Although this is a good alternate version of the original with strong club vibes that gel with the vocal styling of Singh, it does not excel compared to the original. The party feel is a lot stronger in the original and the disco treatment works better with this composition.
For romance on the road film, a romantic song has been missing from the album so far. Hawayein fills that void with a solo from Singh on the vocals. The music is soothing but not dull and has an uplifting personality to it. Singh’s voice has a positive vibe to it and a calming element to it. The music and arrangement is rather mediocre though with nothing refreshing about it but that is not to say it doesn’t work. It still sounds great and has a full music domain with tons of emotions projected mainly through the lyrics which are the top aspect of the song. The winds of love are very well referenced with the poetry flowing very well. A good song but not perhaps the best romantic work of Pritam as such.
Butterfly (Official Remix) by DJ Shilpi Sharma again is a very mediocre remix that lacks any personality at all. The Punjabi flavour is almost totally lost and the electronic beat is very dull that clearly does not work with the style of the song. The remix is a rather forced one with tons of reverb on the vocals and sounds totally artificial. Avoid listening to this remix if you enjoyed the original.
The much talked about song Phurrr features the beats of global superstar DJ Diplo of Major Laser and Jack U fame. The man clearly has a thing for India with strong visual association with India in his super-hit Lean On. He collaborates with Pritam here to create an electronic music track of the next level never heard before in Bollywood before. A very deep bass beat rules the instrumentation of the song throughout with some rather average vocals from Mohit Chauhan & Tushar Joshi. The lyrics are rather average as well and the focus is mainly on the psychedelic music composed by Diplo. The song doesn’t sound like one that will appeal to the masses or even has something exceptional about it for the discerning listeners except for its star value.
UK boys Punjabi Hit Squad have a go at remixing Butterfly with a dhol mix of the track. Their version is a lot better than than of DJ Shilpi as it retains the Punjabi flavour of the song but at the same time it is rather simplistic with a simple dhol loop added in throughout. The production quality of the remix is rather dull and low on ambition. At least it captures the feel of the song correctly and should help promote the song well in the UK market.
Pritam once again delivers a really good soundtrack with ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’. With the big names of Shah Rukh Khan and Imtiaz Ali behind this project, the pressure to deliver a strong commercially viable album is evident and Pritam is the best to deliver that. He brings is typical style to some of the tracks and goes beyond to deliver some really good exceptional tracks. Safar is by far the best song on the album with Beech Beech Mein, Radha, Hawayein and Butterfly are all good songs on the album with tons of potential for chart success. Remixes are always a tricky one and except one the other remixes are a waste of space here. Arijit Singh is the star of the album delivering a new him on Beech Beech Mein but he is at his best on Safar. Irshad Kamil shines yet again with some brilliant lyrics on the album. He fluctuates between good and great but nothing short of good lyrics anywhere. Overall this is an exciting OST to come out this year that has something for everyone from masses to the the discerning listeners with a lot of focus on dance and party numbers in line with the current music trends. A good listen and an album worth adding to your iPods and car music systems.
BizAsiaLive.com rating – 8.5/10
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.