Madhur Bhanderkar's flicks has always been an expose on the underbelly of controversially social relevant issues, and JAIL is one more add to the list. This brings out Neil Nitin Mukesh in is most news-making and challenging role with his character's insightful journey into the dilapidated status of present-day jails and prisoners.
Bhanderkar's consistency with meaningful social subject has met with critical acclaim with accolades but music has never been instrumental in giving it razor-shaped edges. Barring the exception of flamboyantly brazen FASHION, all his films has met with average response musically with his favorite Shamir Tandon being there at the helm of affairs mostly. JAIL adds the names of upcoming Sharib-Toshi along with Tandon's efforts with the surprise package of great Lata Mangeshkar singing mournfully soul track for the flick. It will be the controversial burning issue, path-breaking performances with inputs of absorbing background score that will be garnering major spotlight, rather than melodic amusement, but still surprises are always there waiting to happen.
Can the addition of hot-n-happening Sharib-Toshi be peppier enough to add spice and draw listeners? Can Shamir Tandon's aesthetics be sufficient enough to make this musically happening album? Let's break the shackles of impounding of such "ifs and buts" and analyze the music watchfully...
After the chartbusting "Maahi" (RAAZ-THE MYSTERY CONTINUES) and rock-infused tracks of JASHNN, Sharib-Toshi carry munificent baggage of Sufi rock with them and infiltrate forcefully with as much as three versions of the album's catchier track "Saiyan Ve". The first version is hot-headed solo performance by Toshi with zingy electric guitar strumming along with drum rattling making engaging prelude. Composed for party dancing, this Sufi-rock number is dominated with hook-line ("Saiyaan Ve O O O Saiyaan Ve...") with least to offer in routine lyrics.
Despite some "heard-before" syndrome in rock arrangements, it has classical affixation in "alaaps" with catchier bass-line giving it catchier outlook to lure listeners. Toshi's peculiar vocals works for the feel but the improvisation comes striking all the way in its "rock version" with Sharib and Neil Nitin Mukesh joining him in tandem. The concoction of bass and electric guitar strumming and jamming is impulsive and infectious too and gels well to create sturdy rock feel. This scores the finest with vocals getting optimum space in loud streams of electronic sounds, pleasing bass-line and thumping drumming. As the pulses races high, the third version comes in the styling of "club-remix" attire with all racy hullabaloo of setting party lovers on tizzy. It's that special and conventional dark-room disco maneuvered club number that is filled with accelerating beat-juggles, DJ spins and scratches to deliver the thump. Go for it!
"Milke Yun Laga", a somber toned rock musical offering tenders the mood to a large extent with quality melodic exhibit, both in arrangements and composition. Sharib-Toshi pulls up another winner in this heartrending emotional number with gloomy ambience epitomizing the travesty of destitute lost in the cruel world. This time its Sharib's loud and imposing voice behind the mike, delivering the needful in appealing tones with eclecticism in grungy rock-metal orchestrations. It powers well with enthralling guitar works (in all playing modes), emanating varying shades of happenings. Even A.M Turaz's wording brings out that sadistic and compelling concoction of melancholic sentiments and works progressively with the beat-patterns of this compelling rock number.
Shamir Tandon makes zesty "n" hasty maneuvers to imbibe folksy traits of ever-popular "Jhoomka Gira Re" (MERA SAAYA -1966) with raunchiness of "Babuji Zaara Dheere Chalo" (DUM -2002) to come up with an average number "Bareily Ke Baazar". Sandeep Nath's wordings brings in "nautanki" flavors in Sonu Kakkar's loud yelling voice with mood of "qawalli" thrown in to evoke "masti" but the end result is dismal. This one goes for the front-benchers and if met with expectations of situation then it is likely to be received with whistles and claps from interiors viewers.
The remix version is a respite from the original version with foot-tapping electronic sounds, DJ spins accommodating with repetitive lyrics and contemporary instrumentals. Nikhil Chinappa along with Naved Khan gives it upbeat edges with stylish English back-up with Rajasthani folksy tinge in giving it trendy disco-beat feel for party-freaks.
It's rhythm-divine to hear legend like Lata Mangeshkar sing in present trend of "inspired" musical age and so the prayers of God's mercy and forgiveness echoes in her voice in "Daata Sun Le". Shamir Tandon's composition lacks the soulful finesse to imbibe the austerity of Lataji's pristine voice with extra-narrative lyrics of Ajay Kumar Garg, making it too drawn-out for hear. The song sounds similar to Rahman's heartfelt "Ek Tu Hi Bharosa" (PUKAR -2000) but the penetrative resonance of touching hearts is too thin. It will be a crime to criticize Lataji singing but Tandon's composition is too placid to grip her immaculate rendition.
"Daata Sun Le (Contemporary Remix)" is appreciable improvisation with mastered depiction of electronic sounds, varied tones and synchronized chorals and instrumentals befitting for the sartorial eloquence of this melodic divinity.
JAIL is imprisoned with mediocrity and unimposing melodic works with just two above average numbers rising above the rest to give flick's thriving narrative thrust. Sharib-Toshi shows excel with "Saiyan Ve" and "Milke Yun Laga" while Shamir Tandon's disappoints completely. It's a welcome return for legend Lata Mangeshkar but the song ("Daata Sun Le") is not just up to her highest standards. This album is passable and surely won't be posing any threat to today's best selling albums.