Music Review: ‘Jabariya Jodi’

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Sidharth Malhotra & Parineeti Chopra are back together in ‘Jabariya Jodi’ under Ekta Kapoor’s production and debutant director Prashant Singh’s vision. After his AD work on movies like ‘Tanu Weds Manu’ (2011) & ‘Raanjhanaa’ (2013) he is finally delivering his first movie as a director on the big screen. Set in UP & Bihar, India this movie is an unusual love story set around weddings, dowry & kidnapping in Bihar. Chopra has a glamorous new look and has had a good start to the year with a small role in ‘Kesari’ (2019) while Malhotra is ready for a film which will get box office success. As a fun romantic story the music of the movie should be vibrant with strong commercial numbers led by these two young heartthrobs of the silver screen. Although this is yet another pick’n’mix album, it’s primarily led by Tanishk Bagchi and Vishal Mishra.

A customary remake song opens this soundtrack with Khadke Glassy setting the tone for a proper commercial album. The original Ashok Mastie and Honey Singh collaboration is revived with the music and additional lyrics of Bagchi but still keeping a fair of the original vocals & lyrics by Channi Rakhala. Honey Singh’s original composition did blend a fair bit of urban beats with Punjabi and Bagchi only extends that further adding some more modern beats and urban sound effects. He has stripped out any Punjabi musical bits and kept it purely urban for making the song more current. There are some interesting sounds & programming bits added in but nothing spectacular. The female vocals by Jyotica Tangri are quite interesting and work well for Chopra on screen as she as a soft sexy tone to her vocals. The video features the lead couple in a Holi festive setting but it’s just really odd and misplaced to see a Punjabi vocals song in what seems to be a hard-core Bihari and Lucknowi accent movie making one wonder why they are singing a Punjabi song! But as a song this one is obviously directed for the club & commercial radio audience and has a good vibe to it. It’s a good revival for long forgotten Ashok Mastie and very good easy-flowing lyrics by Bagchi but this is just another of many remakes.

Now this is a party dance number that is more fitting to the setting of the film. Zilla Hilela is a pure Bihari number and a really strong one to become a sure shot hit with the masses at every level. Bagchi does some excellent programming and arrangement work on this song as he blends urban beats with hard-core Bihari music and mainstream Bollywood styling. Bihari music has gone huge recently and its influence on Bollywood can be clearly felt with this song that will help elevate the Bihari music scene to even further heights across India and Internationally. The use of powerfully dholak and harmonium melodies with synthetic sounds creates a lot of depth in this song that sounds really full on the speakers. The music packs a punch with a great of progression that can get a dead man to stand up and get dancing. The lyrics by Shabbir Ahmed with Bagchi have a high dose of attitude and excitement while keeping the Bihari flavour intact in the choice of words. There is not much lyrical content but they cleverly use original wordings of this classic regional hit and coat it with very easy to sing along to Hindi lyrics. The combination of Dev Negi and Monali Thakur is electric with supporting vocals of Raja Hassan & Pravesh Mallick. The amount of energy Negi & Thakur throw into the song they could easily power the speakers with their voice without electricity! The control is amazing and this is clearly the best party number to watch out for that will drive people dancing silly be it in the clubs, weddings or in the streets.

It’s great to hear the poetry of Rashmi Virag after a while on Dhoonde Akhiyaan. Their romantic vibes are just brilliant and they have written yet another masterpiece here. The mix of sufi and Hindustani classical styles in music and lyrics is what makes this a great song to listen to. It’s almost a jugalbandi (jam) of these two styles and Bagchi has done a stellar job in handling this composition. The instrumentation is beautifully recorded and it has a delicate balance of melodies that is soothing to the ears. The arrangement of the lyrics is phenomenal that gives the song a natural effortless vibe that is deeply romantic. Vocals by Yasser Desai and Altamash Faridi are equally stunning to listen to. While Desai takes the soft but rustic tone under the Hindustani style, Faridi takes on the really high sufi renditions. Both of them handle it really well making one wanting to listen on the repeat. Definitely one of the top romantic songs this summer or monsoon season.

Khwabfaroshi is written, composed and sung by Sachet Tandon and Parampara Thakur. A contemporary rock song in essence, this is a nice song to listen to even though it seems to be a background situational song in the film. It has a lot of strong attributes to push it into the limelight and kudos to Sachet-Parampara for putting this song together. The electric guitar work is one of those that you have to listen to. It’s simply amazing and of the standard of some of the top rock guitarists in the world. The arrangement has good amount of progression going from a soft slow start to a super high ending with some brilliant keys, bass & drums accompanying throughout. The lyrics and deep and well written but strong in language and definitely not flowing which takes away some ease of listening of this song. But then Tandon’s vocals bring back quite a bit of ease back into the song. His vocals are very melodious and soulful even at high-pitched rock chorus parts. This man is truly talented but needs a little more refinement in his writing to tick all the boxes. Nonetheless a good song to listen to even though it is a background number.

Ki Honda Pyaar (Male Version) is a soft romantic number composed by Vishal Mishra to the lyrics to Raj Shekhar. With Arijit Singh’s powerful vocals behind it, this is one good number to listen to. Although a sad song of heartbreak and separation, the musicality of the song is uplifting with a good progression & high notes. Singh’s vocals are perfect as always be it on the high or the low notes. His expressions are gorgeous to listen to and very emotive. Shekhar’s lyrics are decent but not great. There is something missing and an effortless flow of simplistic wording is possibly it. There is fair amount of thought and depth in his writing but it just isn’t there which is the let down in the song. Mishra uses some interesting mix of instruments set to a synthetic drum pad beat but his use of Sarod and keyboards is brilliant to listen to. At points his arrangement has too much going on and takes the attention of the vocals which is the highlight of the song. A decent song overall but could have been handled a lot better.

Mishra and Tangri get behind the mic together for Macchardani next that is a bubbly wedding song. The chirpiness & cuteness of the song is capable of putting one in a happy mood no doubt. Shekhar’s lyrics are well thought and stays close to the North Indian setting of the film and uses many references that even makes this a good number for wedding performances as it has good bit of tease to it as well. The composition is decent with a strong chorus but the music is quite average. It doesn’t really have any personality to it putting it neither here nor there. It’s inspired from a number of wedding songs but fails to deliver something specific or new. Mishra does well on the vocals keeping it rural and cute but Tangri is more backing than lead. Not a stand out song clearly.

Neha Kakkar and Mishra take a shot at Ki Honda Pyaar (Female Version) doing an exact flip of the song to the same lyrics and music. It is a big depart for Kakkar from her typical big party tunes recently as she demonstrates her classical control and ability to handle a soft romantic number. She sure does a great job handling the song well but her voice is strong and punchy that works better for party numbers rather than a sad romantic number. She doesn’t handle the low notes too well though and for the dramatic high finale bit Mishra comes in who actually delivers that part even better than Singh in the original. A good alternate version but perhaps not the ideal number for Kakkar.

Glassy 2.0 is a one of those that sounds like a dilemma that director Prashant Singh couldn’t solve. It’s a remake of Khadke Glassy again but with lyrics by Kumaar and music by Ramji Gulati with Ashok Mastie. This one is a full female lead song with Tangri taking total control of the number. Her vocals sound a lot better here as the music is more simplistic giving her a lot more room to showcase her vocal expressions. The music sounds closer to the original here and so much more relatable but of course not wholly creative. Lyrics are the best part of this version as what Kumaar does no one else can. His flow is perfect and he sets a groove that just flows through. That is what years of experience brings and it is difficult to fault this song in the lyrics department considering the nature of the song. But alas it is still a remake of a remake and Bagchi’s version is stronger musically & vocally for commercial use.

FINAL WORD
The soundtrack of ‘Jabariya Jodi’ almost delivers on expectation with elements of fun, romance, party and heartbreak. For a wholesome album of 8 songs, only a couple feel like forced songs but most of them are quite effective, even the background ones. The album is purely commercial and so much so that they land up using whole lot of Punjabi songs in a UP-Bihar movie driving a big visual and aural disconnect. But keeping the visual and story aspect aside the songs do work and deliver good music. Bagchi is the real star of the album with two big party numbers Zilla Hilela and Khadke Glassy with the former being the better song even though Khadke Glassy is the lead driver song of the album. Rashmi Virag are super impressive with their writing in Dhoonde Akhiyaan making it a top romantic song this summer with brilliant vocals of Yasser Desai and Altamash Faridi while Vishal Mishra and Arijit Singh’s collaboration on Ki Honda Pyaar closely follows behind. Sachet-Parampara deliver the surprise in the album with a strong background song with great rock music & lead vocals on Khwabfaroshi. The rest of the songs are average fillers to stack the album up but still adding some value overall. Overall this is a good pop commercial album to listen to with a fair mix of genres and styles to help drive audiences to the cinema screens delivering some fresh sounds for summer parties or long drives alike.

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

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