Jai Veeru

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Jai and Veeru are names associated with one of India’s biggest films, Sholay. Now their namesake, Fardeen Khan (No Entry and Hey Baby) and Kunal Khemu (Kalyug and Traffic Signal) starrer Jai Veeru is about to hit screens. Let’s hope that a little bit of the magic Sholay’s Jai and Veeru had rubs off on this movie.

Jai Veeru has music by Bappi Lahiri with lyrics penned by Sameer and Omer Inayat. Playback singers consist of Mika Singh, Tulsi Kumar, Raja Hassan, Hard Kaur and Javed Ali. In addition to those well-known names, the album also has its fair share of newcomers.

Made under the banner of Venus and Siddhivinayak Movies, Jai Veeru is directed by Puneet Sirat (I – Proud To Be Indian). Jai Veeru also stars Anjana Sukhani (Salaam-e-Ishq), Diya Mirza (Tehzeeb and Shootout at Lokhanwala) and Arbaaz Khan (Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya). It is scheduled to release on March 11th 2009.

The album gets off to a great start with the incredible Sufi. The song commences with a beautiful flute melody and then transforms into a brilliantly composed and emotionally charged romantic duet. Newcomer Saim is undoubtedly the crowning glory of the song. His vocals are very expressive and while there are some high notes where he falters a little, he more than makes up for it during the course of the song. ‘Sufi’ is probably one of Tulsi Kumar’s best songs. Her young and high-pitched vocals are not everybody’s cup of tea but she is close to outstanding in this song. She does tend to get a little too squeaky in the high notes but like Saim her expressive vocals compensate for that. Sameer’s lyrics are a really good – he resisted mediocrity and he mostly succeeded as there are not many run-of-the-mill phrases in the song. ‘Sufi’ reappears as solo version by Saim which is equally as good. The track also appears as a remix, which is a rock version of the track. Give the remix a miss, for it is noisy and the tempo on the singing creates this weird blend of fast-paced, loud rock music with really slow-paced singing.

Tennu Le, written and sung by Pakistani singer Omer Inayat, is a catchy track that will have you tapping you feet to it in no time. Omer sounds great whether his singing in English or Urdu/Punjabi. He pens a brilliant track with western lyrics that actually make sense. Musically, the track is very hip and trendy, well composed by Bappi Lahiri. Omer has definitely made a powerful debut into the Indian Music – his youthful and fresh vocals sets him apart and hopefully we get to hear more of him in the future. The remix version of ‘Tenu Le’ by DJ Akhil Talreja and NTeDIT is strictly a matter of taste. It is a club mix with loud beats and the fine trendy arrangements of the original are completely erased. Do not be surprised if you eventually just skip it and listen to the original instead.

Dhun Lagi is probably the album’s low point. It is a well composed track, with Mika and Raja Hassan’s enthusiastic vocals but tends to sound relatively mediocre. It sounds like the all the other party/dance tracks out there. Unlike the great musical quality of ‘Sufi’ and ‘Tennu Le’, ‘Dhun Lagi’ is way below average. The two remixes of the track only make the track worse as the additional beats make the song very noisy. However, if you do have to listen to ‘Dhun Lagi’, try the Electronic Mix (DJ Akhil Talreja featuring NTeDIT) rather than the Progressive Mix (DJs Akhil Talreja and N.Y.K ).

Next is Aisa Lashkara, by Rema Lahiri (Daughter of Bappi Lahiri) and Hard Kaur, another hip-hop, trendy number but unlike ‘Tennu Le’, this track is not as appealing. Hard Kaur’s vocals are too intrusive and loud. She sounds great when she is heard in minimal dosages like ‘Move Your Body Now’ (Kismat Konnection) and ‘Lucky Boy’ (Bachna Ae Haseeno) but featuring her so extensively is not a good idea. Furthermore, Rema’s vocals are not impressive enough to save this track. Her vocals are expressionless. She is basically a version of Hard Kaur that is not rapping. Lahiri’s well composed hip and trendy music loses out to his ill choice in playback singers.

The desi-dance-track Agre Ka Ghangra is quite impressive. Think De Taali’s ‘Maari Teetri’ meets Krazzy 4’s ‘Dekhta Hai Tu Kya’. Mouli Dave, Raja Hassan and Javed Ali (as you have never heard him before) are behind the mic and their enthusiastic vocals make you give this track a shot. Well written and well composed, this track has the chance to become extremely popular if picturised and choreographed with equal gusto.

The album ends with the remixes.

In summary, ‘Sufi’, ‘Tennu Le’ and ‘Agre Ka Ghangra’ are the only tracks in the album worth listening to. One may experiment with the various remixes, but they are strongly advised not to. However, Bappi Lahiri should be commended for not using the usual names in the singing business and opting for newcomers like Saim and Omer. Jai Veeru is worth a shot.

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