Music Review: Jab Tak Hai Jaan
Sudha (Lakshmi) Rao
(This article is sponsored by Sounds Of India)
Jab Tak Hai Jaan(Sudha (Lakshmi) Rao (especially fond of Hindi and Tamil golden oldies) performs with Saptaswar and other groups (based in the New England area) and Friends’ Orchestra (based in Madras, India) and also gives track-based performances. Has hosted and sung at many a show over the last 24 years. Closely associated with TANKER Foundation (www.tankerfoundation.org) in Madras that helps the poor and needy affected by kidney ailments. Sudha’s music website: www.youtube.com/user/sudsless. )
Producer: Aditya Chopra (Yash Raj Films)
Director: (Late) Yash Chopra
Cast: Shahrukh Khan, Katrina Kaif, Anushka Sharma
Singers: Rabbi Shergill, Shreya Ghoshal, Raghav Mathur, Shilpa Rao, Harshdeep Kaur, Neeti Mohan, Javed Ali, Shakthisree Gopalan
Instrumentalists: Ranjit Barot, Faizan Hussain, Nishad Chandra, Keba Jeremiah, Keith Peters, Naveen Kumar, Joel Shearer, Tapas Roy, Chandresh Kudwa, Sanket Naik, Darshan Doshi, Arun Solanki, T.Raja, Y.P.Prasad, M.Lakshmi Narayanan, Navin Iyer, Kiran Kumar.
CD by: YRF Music
2012 has not been kind to Bollywood which mourned the loss of actors, actresses and directors, cinematographers, music directors like Rajesh Khanna, A.K.Hangal, Jaspal Bhatti, Ravi, Achla Sachdev, Dara Singh, Joy Mukherjee, Ashok Mehta, and most recently, the king of romance and renowned producer and director Yash Chopra.
Yash Chopra’s career as Director included films like Waqt, Aadmi aur insaan, Daag, Deewar, Kabhi Kabhi, Silsila, Chandni, Darr, Dil to Pagal Hai, Veer Zaraa and his yet to be released latest and last offering Jab Tak Hai Jaan. His films were heavy and emotionally charged and filled with passion but what stood out is the romance that each film managed to carry and convey despite the theme of the film. And what also stood out in his films was the amazing quality of music and lyrics that he commanded and received from his music directors and lyricists. Almost every film of his (be it produced or directed by him) has had an impressive music score and has been huge hits with audiences, young and old alike. Who can forget Kabhi Kabhi which even today is an anthem for lovers or a song like ai mere zohra jabee which has withstood the test of time and is still such a hugely popular favourite!!
Jab tak hai jaan, Yash Chopra’s last directorial venture before he passed away in October 2012 is due for release during the week of Diwali worldwide. Like most Yash Chopra films, it is said to be packed with all the necessary ingredients that his films are noted for. Yash Chopra teamed up with Gulzar and A.R.Rahman for the lyrics and music of the film – and as Rahman has reportedly recently stated, the film’s music combines the old world charm and soul of Indian film music that the audience love and also retains his style and flavour of compositions.
Challa – by Rabbi Shergill with Punjabi lyrics – a catchy song that blends modern with folk – Rabbi sings with open throatedness and is uninhibited though the song. Neat guitar and drums throughout the song. This song was reported to be Yash’s favourite in the film and Shahrukh is supposed to have mastered the correct chords to play on the guitar while shooting for the song.
Jab tak hai jaan – is a romantic poem written by Aditya Chopra and recited with loads of emotion and husky passion by ShahRukh Khan with the music in the background complementing the mood and lyrics.
Saans sung by Shreya Ghoshal and Mohit Chauhan has a symphonic feel to it – a cloyingly sweet and syrupy archetypal Yashraj films duet with the requisite romantic lyrics and the overlays of violins and chorus backup…. not extraordinary and bordering on lachrymose sometimes. But the song seems to have taken the audience by storm, as do usually most of the romantic anthems of Yash Chopra’s films!
Saans – the reprise by Shreya Ghoshal – is melancholia laden – I am sure it will play at that point when the audience’s eyes are filled with tears and their hearts heavy with all the angst and sadness that the film has bestowed upon them!!
Ishq Shava – I Guess no film, however soft or romantic it is advertised to be, can be spared of the nightclub/disco type of song – with the lead pair taking centre-stage with loads of back up dancers joining them to make this the song that is likely to be remixed further or made into an instrumental version. The song is average with Raghav Mathur and Shilpa Rao routinely belting out the vocals - however, the orchestration is peppy – there is a nice percussion and variety of strings accompaniment (guitar, oud, mandolin and Saz) throughout.
Ishq Dance is a unique instrumental piece - completely percussion based and foot tapping all the way – nicely done by drummer Ranjit Barot and percussionists Faizan Hussain (nephew of Zakhir Hussain) and Nishad Chandra.
Jiya re is an upbeat and cheerful song by talented Neeti Mohan is sung with verve and is my pick of the album – it combines melody and rhythm and turns out to be a very pretty song indeed. Neeti has a strong voice and her modulation and control and range are really wonderful!! Good guitar and Bass work also add to the song’s charm.
Heer is by Harshdeep Kaur, one of my favourite young singers (of Ik Onkar and Chand ki katori fame) – Kaur’s opening humming and the dholak sets the mood of the song – calmingly tender and spiritual – the gentle guitar, flute and violins accompaniment and Kaur’s lovely, clear and coffee-whiskey texture of vocals ensure a winning combination of singing, orchestration and lyrics!
Jab tak hai Jaan by Javed Ali and Shakthi Sree Gopalan – starts soft rock/ballad style and becomes a typical Yashraj crowd pleaser – dholak and all – half way through Shakthi Sree comes in and just takes over with her lovely lovely voice. Even though it is not that remarkable a song, I think it might become a hit.
The album may not be as sugary or syrupy as Yash Chopra’s recent romantic hits – but it has all the requisite sweetness, strong lyrical inputs (Gulzar in this case), peppiness, cheerfulness, sadness, melodrama and melodiousness that are trademark of Yashraj films music scores in the last couple of decades…May not be on the lines of Waqt, Daag or Kabhi Kabhi, Silsila or even Dil to Pagal hai but definitely worth buying – as a tribute to Yash Chopra. May his soul rest in peace. His movies and their music however will continue to bring countless moments of joy and melodic pleasure to fans worldwide.
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