When you are obsessed with music labels for copyright related issues and you plan to do something that makes music labels start following you, you must be Sonu Nigam. When the companies stopped offering him to sing songs, he started creating them. He teamed up with Bickram Ghosh last year, a renowned percussionist, in Soopar se Oopar and composed his first film album. Though the album didn’t do well, he didn’t mind and moved forward to compose his next album. Jal is set in the Rann of Kutch, India about an overconfident water diviner named Bakka, who tries to solve the drought problems in his village, but faces unforeseen circumstances when he tries to help a female ornithologist save flamingos.
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Music: Sonu Niigaam & Bickram Ghosh; Music Label: Saga Music
1. Jal De – Singer: Shubha Mudgal; Lyrics: Sonu Nigam, Sanjeev Tiwari
The soundtrack starts with a fusion title track rendered beautifully by the legendary Shubha Mudgal. It’s a haunting classical melody aptly supported by electronic sound. The rhythm is constant throughout the song and maintains a quite engaging sound which if once adjusted, doesn’t at all allow the listener to vary his focus. It’s a very unique composition, for which they have used ragas like Marwa and Puriya combined with rare musical instruments like the Armenian Duduk. The mukhda is something that one could wonder how would it had been composed. Inspite of it being formed by a raaga, it is superbly catchy and melodious. It’s a masterpiece and will probably be listed under the best compositions of Sonu Nigam and Bickram Ghosh. #WelcomeSong
2. You Fill My Life – Singers: Suzanne D’Mello, Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan; Lyrics: Sonu Nigam, Bickram Ghosh
It’s an enormous example of a real fusion. Probably, the best choice composers made by giving this song to Suzanne. It’s a peaceful soothing melody which might be helpful for meditating. A perfect westernized basic tune with English lyrics intelligently blended with the pure Classical music. Again, the perfect choice for the classical part. Sonu Nigam finally debuts in lyrics too with Bickram Ghosh and what a phenomenal work they have done! Harmonica has a minute but mesmerizing role in the antara and the same goes for Sarod played in the end. The song would have a better vibe if it had a shorter duration. It MAY be felt boring to some after a while but perfect for those who like peace and fusion and a peaceful fusion.
3. Zaalima – Singer: Sonu Nigam; Lyrics: Sonu Nigam
Sonu Nigam’s Takeedein (Warning) effect has again come alive in this weird techno track which has been solely written by Sonu Nigam. For the same vocal texture, he had won the Musical Sameekshaa Awards last year. The composers have kept the techno element more than the requirement and that somewhat dominates the basic melody. The tune of the mukhda is beautiful, haunting and catchy. The rhythm is engaging and constant throughout the song. A lot of experimentation has been done with the interlude which makes it boring and stingy to this otherwise well composed melody. If you loved Takeedein (Warning), give it a listen! If you haven’t even heard Takeedein, must listen!
4. Paani Si Behti Jaaye – Singer: Ambarish Das
A track with a very short duration, emerges out well because of the brilliant singing by Ambarish Das who sang for the second time for Sonu and Bickram after their first album Soopar Se Oopar. The melody is quite effective with a cool Piano base but the best part is its prelude which is played with Sarod. Another element to listen for is the ending alaap by the singer that makes the song worth the attempt.
The Sorrow Within has heavy violin orchestration with a mourning sound making the title quite apt. The Sweet Dream Of Water starts slowly making the listener thinking of it as a meditative track but soon catches a wonderful rhythm with a Djembe resembling sound and enchanting Matka beats. Oh yes, it has vocals too, and that is more than enough for an instrumental track. The Tragedy Of Rann is a very very short track with a haunting and depressing sound which is quite apt. The Water Ritual 1 and The Water Ritual 2 have the magic of Bickram’s percussion. The former being the lighter and the latter is a level higher having a greater frequency of rhythm and also some heavier sounds. It seems that Bickram Ghosh decided to show all his creativity in the two longest instrumental tracks, Anger and Chase filled with different percussive elements that is a treat for all the percussionists. Ankhiyan – Anthem first seems to be an additional instrumental version of You Fill My Life as it has Ustad’s part of the parent track. But it has many such more elements that is really beautiful like the Sitar played in the middle and ending responsibly done with Sarangi. For a change, there’s brass section applied in Bakka and Kesar – The Tryst With Water and a voice too with an intense alaap. Dried Up Tears has beautiful Sarod aptly supported by Piano in the background, which after a while is replaced by Violin and at the end comes Sitar while Violin being continued. Sarangi along with Flute creates a soothing impact with the help of Violin in Mesmerized By Rann while Nature and the Machine and The Barren Land is again an applauding percussion show and yes, with Sarangi and Violin respectively in background. The Cry of the Soul is an apt melancholy and The Flow of Water has beautiful sound of water flowing played most probably by Santoor which is continued in The Hope of Water also. Lastly, Bakka Pani De and The Mirage and the Tornado have repetitive haunting background with good rhythm, the former being more lovable.
Jal is a light soundtrack if you consider just the songs but a very lengthy one when instrumentals are included. All the four songs are beautifully composed. They all have fusion texture which have interesting sounds, instruments intelligently played with the wonderful support of percussion. Jal De is undoubtedly the winner as I failed to mark any flaw in the track. Too much instrumentals have been included which doesn’t create a good impact on a listener only if he is highly not involved into music. The album is also a nice gift for percussion players and lovers and yes, for Sonu Nigam fans. After a disappointing start of their collaboration, Sonu Nigam and Bickram Ghosh has shown immense art and creativity in their second musical outing.
The Final Verdict: POSSIBLE
The Verdict Order: DISAGREE < NOT A PROBLEM < OKAY < POSSIBLE < AGREE
Listeners Ki Sameekshaa (Public Review)
- In their music reflects their genius.Tabla aur Guitar ki jugalbandi hum pehle bhi sun chuke hai in .. Take a bow!
- We are blessed to have musicians like the two of them. Hat’s off to what you’ve done in specially Zaalima n Jal De.
- OMG! I got goosebumps listening to Zaalima from . The music and singing was out of this world.
- Solid! Loved Sonu Nigam’s voice in Zaalima.
- Sonu Nigam and Bickram Ghosh’s music of Jal has every property of JAL, it quenches your thirst of music & drowns you are completely into its beats & tempo.
Next: Bhootnath Returns