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Jannat…in search of heaven proclaims the title of the latest Mahesh Bhatt–Mukesh Bhatt film. For many, the search for heaven may end here. Pritam, the young composer of the Jannat soundtrack, is known for his ability to grasp the needs of the time and his compositions are incisively targeted at the casual music listener (the term casual only implies that the mood of the music is casual i.e. easygoing, flirtatious, and rhythm-heavy).

In rhythm: Most tracks in the album make for easy listening

So, cheers to the power-packed title track Jannat jahan. The lyrics echo the idea of the film (heaven is money and power) and the song pulsates with the aggressive energy of newcomer Rupam Islam. His rendition suits the mood of the song, reminiscent as it is of Dire Straits’ Money for Nothing.

Pritam scores with the very likeable opening track Zara sa. Sung by KK in his characteristic style, the song is peppered with the long wo o os that KK used in his album Humsafar, released earlier this year. As always, KK is easy on the ear. As always, we’ll try to excuse his extra stresses on select words though words such as zara and fiza could have as much impact without the undue emphasis on a particular letter.

The lyricist for all but one song on this album is Sayeed Quadri. His song, Zara si dil mein de jagah, is printed as Zara sa on the album leaflet. However, that does nothing to divert attention from the predictable penmanship in this album opener.

Apart from that, Quadri wins with Haan tu hai. Simple, yet effective, the song’s undemanding language and thoughts are easy to understand, yet not devoid of substance. The song is a spirited salutation—a remembrance of a loved one. Could somebody clarify whether the beloved is male or female? The opening lines sung by KK suggest a female with lyrics such as main jub bhi, jahan bhi, kadi dhoop mein tha, teri zulf ne mujhpe saaya kiya. This seems to be endorsed by a female voice reciprocating the man’s love.

But, the following stanza implies the person is male: koi bhi aisa lamha nahin hai, jis mein mere tu hota nahin hai, main so bhi jaoon raaton mein lekin tu hai ki mujh mein sota nahin hai. It’s not easy to understand whatever is being passed off under poetic licence.

Door na ja has great lyrics, emotive singing and is, overall, a good composition except for the melodic tuning of certain words and lines. The singer Rana Mazumdar belongs to the Kishore Kumar gharana. The track Judai, the only song on the album not originally composed by Pritam or written by Quadri, sounds like a space filler. Written by Kamran Ahmed, the song’s melodic structure is weak, with a repetitive pattern in the stanzas.

Buy the music of this film if the current trends in music engross you.

Jannat, Sony and BMG, Rs160.

Kushal Gopalka is an archivist and student of Indian music who writes for Swar Aalap, a monthly newsletter

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