Jhootha Hi Sahi has to be one of the most awaited movies of the year in the line of the already released Dabangg and the upcoming Anjaana Anjaani, and reasonably so. Firstly, itâs Abbas Tyrewalaâs second stint at direction after his debut entry with the super-successful Jaane TuâŠYa Jaane Na. Secondly, it has the music of A. R. Rahman, each release of whose post Slumdog Millionaire has been passed under the scanner, scrutinized to explicit detail, and then compared with his previous releases, and who returns to collaborate with Tyrewala musically and lyrically on this venture too. And thirdly, itâs a film featuring John Abraham, who has been extra choosy with his projects as of late.
Will Rahman be able to recreate the youthful magic and spirit exuded in the film? More importantly, will he be able to live up to expectations? After the terribly mixed bag called Robot, it becomes a very difficult question to answer but let's find out!
Those questions and the whole set of insecurities prior to listening the album as the heavily-promoted opener in the form of "Cry Cry" comes to fore. Perky in its tempo, smooth in its body, the song is overall like smooth chocolate â it makes you feel awesome, but in its own smooth, sophisticated way. The Tyrewala-written mukhda is so catchy you feel like humming to its tune all along. The antara though is pretty deep and intense for the most part and ends up tilting to the semi-philosophical side of the side effects of sadness and tears. Shreya Ghoshal ends up coming right after the second interlude, but she manages to hold her own despite the towering presence of Rashid Ali, who charms the listener with his smooth-as-butter-on-bread vocals. The pair of Rashid Ali and Shreya Ghoshal actually improve the song to another romantic level altogether. Rahmanâs music is terrific and one realizes that heâs back in form, and all he needs for motivation is the right situations and the right lyricists. This oneâs a winner; not only will the song win the hearts of listeners worldwide, but looking at the promotion going, it will have an added bonus of moving way up in the charts.
The fun gets a little funkier with a traditional chaska once the âMaiyya Yashoda: Jamuna Mixâ kicks in. A lot of the traditional Rahman comes back with the whole playfulness making the listener reminiscent to âRadha Kaise Na Jaleâ (Lagaan). Javed Ali rocks to the core in this awesome track that will be just the right pick for Janmashtami, and will be a sure shot hit. Chinmayiâs vocals have âsuper-funâ all over them despite being her semi-classical self. Very Indian in its base and with terrific mixing and sound design, this song clicks with the very first hear. The fusion of Indian instruments and modern bass and drums make for an eclectic mix and you start dancing and feeling free as you listen to the tune of the music, which, yet again, has a captivating mukhda, thanks to the Tyrewala-Rahman combo. As the song progresses, it keeps getting more contagious by the second, thus getting stuck in the listenerâs head. In the last minute or so, as the tempo continues to rise the listener feels exhilarated and the song thereby raises itself to dizzying levels of elation. This song continues to impress with a more international-sounding "Thames Mix", which is more suited for clubs and discos, but continues to sound fresh and distinctly different from the earlier âJamuna Mixâ. The added bass-line in the latter mix is so infectious you tend to lap up this version with both hands. This oneâs a surefire winner and needs added promotion. Rest assured, this song has no stopping it reaching the top.
Rahman goes back to his roots with âDo Nishaniyaanâ. Sonu Nigam turns out to be a terrific performer in this one, which takes you back to the nineties and the songs produced during the mid and late nineties. Thereâs a lot of dĂ©jĂ vu, unfortunately, and if heard distinctly, quite a few sound samples and loops eerily remind you of Rahmanâs previous work, namely âKaise Mujheâ from Ghajini and âJaane Tu Meri Kya Hai from JTYJN. Sometimes this is fine, because it makes the listener reminiscent, but here the track tilts toward the more awkward dĂ©jĂ vu Iâve-heard-this-thing-before feeling being generated in the listener. Itâs not that the song is bad â itâs good, and tends to grow on you after a lot of listens, but for an intense song like this, more was expected from Rahman in terms of creativity and technical sound. The lyrics are commendable, but one wonders why Tyrewala added the word phone in the midst of the poetic Hindi-Urdu setting in the intro, as it naturally sounds weird. The song comes back once again in the form of a âHeartbreak reprise", though one wonders why, as there is nothing remotely different about the song, save for a few minor tweaks and the lyrics. A song that will take a lot of time to grow on you and ends up being a pleasant hear, but one that looked like it should have had more from the titles at the back of the cover.
Fun, fun, fun! Yes, thatâs exactly what âPam Paraâ brings with it. Shreya Ghoshal lets her hair loose once again with this song, and itâs strange why she does it more often than not for Rahman (âLatooâ from Ghajini, and later âRehnumaâ from Blue), who does some really groovy work on this one, by mixing some international sounds that remind you of more of Irish and Scottish music right at the first interludes. The beats are terrific and so contagious youâd have to listen to the song the second time just for the sake of those beats even if you didnât like it the first time. This is classic Rahman â youâll have to get to listen the song again and again to end up liking it. Tyrewalaâs lyrics are fresh and fun, and Ghoshalâs free-flowing vocals, complementing the terrific sound design and composition of the well-mixed song, just make the song the most cheerful song of the lot. A must listen!
Vijay Yesudasâ humming fills our years as he takes hold of the songâs interlude. What continues is a lazy, jazz-like sound, with Yesudasâ comes back to lead âIâll Be Waitingâ , which has trademark Rahman written all over it, what with all the dreamy pad in the background. The swing beats and the percussions perfectly complement the overall romantic mood of the song. Tyrewala has done a commendable job writing both the English as well as the Hindi portions of the song. If he listener is looking for a potential âTu Bole Main Boloonâ, this is it. On a comparative level though, both the songs have their own individualistic appeal and hold their entity very well. A fantastic song!
People usually say that the opener and the closer have to be the strongest points of any soundtrack, be it film or non-film. One wonders, pre-listening, if âCall Me Dilâ suffices as a memorable closing song of the soundtrack before listening to it, and fortunately enough, it does, by being this breezily hummable track with a hint of soft-rock in its base. Rashid Ali comes back after âCry Cryâ to croon beautifully yet again to Tryewalaâs well written lyrics. The acoustic guitar is pleasant and makes the motif of the song catchy and hummable. In fact, considering the lyrics have a subtle hint of romance attached to them, the music really does complement them really well. Individually, itâs a very good song to hear, and ends up being another one of those that grow on you every time you listen to them, but, unlike other Rahman albums, the placement is not right, and the song as a closing track makes the listener feel something is incomplete and more is yet to comeâŠ
Overall, Jhootha Hi Sahi is a very good soundtrack and has a lot of positives, but unfortunately that isnât necessarily a good thing, because much more is expected of Rahman i.e. âexcellentâ and âoutstandingâ. While his previous experimentations in the form of Blue, Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa and Raavan have been far better in comparison, this one, though not disappointing, doesnât reach his standards as a music composer, though post the debacle of the technically-superlative-but-bad-in-content Robot, this turns out to be a breath of fresh air. Give it a try, and who knows, you might end up falling in love with it!