Every new entrant in the music industry generates some amount of buzz or hoopla — depending on who it is and who is backing them. There are only a few singers or bands that have made a mark whenever they have returned with a music album — Ali Zafar does this with his latest venture “Jhoom”.
Before we go into the details of the music, the compositions and the arrangements, one must appreciate Ali Zafar for knowing his strengths; he is a great vocalist who makes pop music.
With “Jhoom” Zafar goes to the next level — more than just a notch above “Masty”, and better than “Huqa Pani” in terms of music production and the choice of instruments.
The album is an amalgamation of acoustic numbers and sufi pop; the star goes on to compose and sing two of Mirza Ghalib’s classic verses. Three of the 12 tracks on the album, namely, “Allah hu”, “Nahin Re Nahin” and “Daastan e Ishq” have already been performed on ‘Coke studio’. The remix culture helped Zafar with two more tracks, an R & B mix of “Jhoom” and the dhol version of “Daastane Ishq”.
The highlight of the album is definitely the title track “Jhoom”, that takes you through a melodic journey of simple yet convincing poetry, encompassing the concept of love; one that can be interpreted in different manners.
The song has an intrinsically catchy melody and a progressive feel; it grows on to you as a listener. Next comes an acoustic number “Jab Se Dekha”, which has a very mellow feel and the reason why the song can possibly be seen in a Bollywood flick is because it fills up the vacume that the likes of Lucky Ali and Shaan left empty since they faded from the pop music scene of India.
With “Jee Dhoondta Hai” Zafar achieves an significant milestone. It’s a signature Ghalib verse which has previously been sung by Roop Kumar Rathod and maestros like Malika e Tarannum Noor Jehan and Mohammad Rafi.
Upnext is another Ghalib classic “Koi Umeed bar Nahin Aaati”. This too has been sung by different artists but his rendition has a melancholic vibe, thereby not only does he capitalise on great poetry but he gives it his own colour. Zafar leaves his signature with the track “Tu Jaane Na” which is quite similar to “Sajania” in terms of music and lyrics.
All in all Ali Zafar has grown as a musician. This makes up for the disappointment felt with “Masti”.
Jhoom overall is a well thought out album, even though all tracks pertain to the same genre. The bigger question remains, how many of these songs will make it to Bollywood?
Published in The Express Tribune, March 26th, 2011.
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