Salim and Sulaiman are back after their lacklustre effort with Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl and leaving some wondering whether they had lost their edge. From the initial promos of Jodi Breakers we may have been a tad underwhelmed by the story but the tune Kunwara definitely captured the audience’s attention. The film does have strong factors going for it with the unusual jodi of Bipasha Basu and Madhavan and the music by the Merchant brothers looking for that album to prove their detractors wrong. Salim and Sulaiman work well with the rustic and desi sound they are known for and mixing it with a jazzy and breezy sound; but when they are pushed into Pritam-slickness mode the results are rather iffy. Jodi Breakers is a very interesting album, that gives us our usual Salim Sulaiman sound but the slower songs are not their strength here.
We start the album with the rollicking Kunwara where the opening shehnaii sound is mixed alongside the electronica beats, which immediately hook you in. The song rather reminds you of ‘Ainvayi Ainvayi’ in a good way, because the various styles introduced in the chorus mesh together so well. Salim sounds really good taking the vocals, his singing sounds a bit rushed in places. The line ‘Meh Ho gaya single, I wanna mingle’ is unintentionally hilarious as Salim sounds as if he’s saying the British slang word minger, which is probably not what Madhavan wants! The bridge of the song is fabulous with a face off with the shehnaii against the potent guitar riffs. It’s definitely one of the best party tracks in a while. One of the favourites on the album, it’ll likely be picked up in the clubs and dance floors which means the Merchant bros have a winner on their hands.
Next up is the even better, Bipasha which is bluntly catered towards who else? The song starts off with a very seductive hook that draws you right in, and then Shradha Pandit comes on with her slinky ‘item girl’ voice. Pandit sounds gorgeous on this track, and definitely matches the sexiness of her namesake. The producing values are excellent, interspersing the typical item song elements of the thumping drums, and the hip-hop sound, but adding a bit of qawalli in there to give it some verve. It sounds so good, even if the lyrics are the standard fare of ‘that sexy girl you can’t have’ and they do leave more to be desired. The chorus is very hummable and it trumps the previous song because it sounds so fresh and danceable. Keep this one on repeat! The song comes with a compulsory remix, and it works pretty well too. Thankfully, Salim and Sulaiman know how to make their remixes different from the usual ones we get and this one is nice too.
After two great tracks, we get into soggy territory with, Darmiyan, which has Shafqat Amanat Ali taking the lead vocals with a song that doesn’t challenge him at all. Usually he is hired for the obligatory soulful song, and this one does not amount to anything really. The composition is nice, with the tabla beats and accordion fitting nicely together. Yet again, it’s the lyrics which are quite routine and repetitive especially in the chorus. Salim comes in with the English parts, which sound like cheesy boy band lyrics, but kudos for him for being quality material for the next Backstreet Boys! The Reprise version, sung by Shreya Ghosal is much better in its spare and low key quality. Ghosal makes this slower much more effective with her emotional delivery. Listen to this one instead!
A situational track, Mujhko Teri Zaroorat Hai, fares a tad better with Salim’s crooning at the beginning of the track. One can imagine this tune being put alongside the lead pair realizing their feelings for each other. The lyrics are simple without being too dull and boring. Shadaab Faridi adds some extra depth to the song with his interesting and lovely voice that contrasts Salim’s smooth vocals. The breezy and guitar heavy orchestration are the usual situational sound that makes this almost forgettable song if not for Faridi’s voice. The song also has an upbeat Remix that features Rahat Fateh Ali Khan instead of Salim and quite honestly, it makes all the difference. Khan’s vocals make this a remix worth savouring and his voice really works alongside the electronic and rock style infused in this song. The remix makes the song very danceable and dreamy too.
The last track is the dreamy, Jab Main Tumhare Saath Hun, bringing back the lovely jazzy and dreamy style we love from Salim and Sulaiman. It also helps that most of their best songs feature their ubiquitous singers Benny Dayal and Shilpa Rao, who do their best on this track. Rao sounds lovely here and uses that gorgeous clear-cut voice to ample effect here. Dayal also sounds so expressive and smooth during the chorus. Salim also appears with the English verses interspersed throughout the song and the lines are a little less cheesy than before! The orchestration is interesting with the sitar in the back and the saxophone in the beginning of the track.
Jodi Breakers is an a good album but it is let down by two duds that fail rise above the humdrum lyrics. Salim and Sulaiman are slowly regaining their edge in the music industry, but this album does not really rise above and excite the listener in the long term. Hopefully the film will have good picturizations of these songs to keep this album current.