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Beat street

Jhoom Barabar Jhoom
Yash Raj Music, CD, Rs. 149.

The less said about this filmi album, the better. Because there is hardly anything to talk about. Jhoom Barabar Jhoom is really for people who live, breathe, eat the dance floor, and go bump, grind, and groove even in their sleep. A pity something like this comes from the stables of Shankar-Ehsan-Loy who gave us the refreshing Dil Chahta Hai.

This Shaad Ali Sahgal film, from what one has got to see and hear till now, is being made for the Indian diaspora, especially in the UK and US. The whole album sounds like one big bhangra party with some songs thrown in, in between. It is also unbelievable that this same combination of director and musicians has earlier given hits like “Saathiya” and “Bunty aur Babli”.

I’m also still wondering what a poet like Gulzar is doing in between all this. The lyrics are barely audible and comprehensible above the din, and can’t rescue the album. And while I’m saying all this I’m also aware of how the title-track “Jhoom Barabar Jhoom” and “Ticket to Hollywood” have already “topped the charts” (whatever those charts are). There are two more versions (or is it three? I can barely tell the difference) of the title track seen in “JBJ”, “JBJ” and “Kiss of Love” and “Jhoom Jam” (instrumental sequence). “Bol Na Halke Halke” sung by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Mahalaxmi Iyer, the only slow number in the album, doesn’t hold out much hope either and is lost in the recesses and shadows of the other tracks.

The credits boast singers like Shankar Mahadevan, Neeraj Shridhar, Alisha Chinai, Sunidhi Chauhan, Vasundhara Das, KK, and Sukhvinder Singh. The least one expects with such a diversity of musicians is diversity itself. Which doesn’t surface even once for a breath. One would wisely leave this album for kids looking for something to stomp their feet to, to get rid of some excess adrenaline.


The Dio Years
Black Sabbath, Warner Music, Rs. 395

This album features tracks from the anthemic Heaven and Hell (1980) and Mob Rules(1981) when founder members of Sabbath, Tony Iommi and Terry Butler teamed up with Ronnie James Dio. From Heaven and Hell you have “Neon Knights,” “Lady Evil,” “Heaven and Hell,” “Die Young” and “Lonely is the Word”. From Mob Rules there is “Turn up the Night”, “Voodoo ” and “Falling Off the Edge of the World”. Dio reunited with Sabbath for the Dehumanizer album and tour. Songs like “After All,” “T. V. Crimes” and “I” from the collaboration are fe atured. There is also “Children of the Sea” which was part of the live act.

Last year Dio, Iommi and Butler reunited (yet again!) and recorded three songs “The Devil Cried,” “Shadow of the Wind” and “Ear in the Wall” which in the true tradition of Sabbath, have generous dollops of gloom and doom, supra-human yowls and wailing guitars. If you are a Sabbath fan, you most probably would have all these songs and the extra three songs are a happy bonus. The album also works if you are not a hard-core Sabbath person, this would fill that little gap in your collection.

Madonna – The Confessions Tour
Warner Music, DVD, Rs. 695

This is a recording of Madonna’s Confessions tour at London’s Wembley arena. After watching it carefully and thinking deeply about the whole exercise, the only conclusion your’s truly could come to was that this would be alright to screen at pubs where you can stare at a giant screen and quaff over priced drinks.

Or you could use it as ambient sound and visuals for a party that needs some conversation. Whenever there is a lull in the conversation, you can be sure someone would look at the screen and say: “I went through a Madonna phase” and then you can have long conversations about the fashions and other awful things about the appalling 80s. Or you could have self-styled music critic saying “Madonna is the master of reinvention” and list others who have or have not reinvented themselves successfully.

Madonna pulls out all stops in this effort turn the world into a dance floor and one just has to doff one’s hat to her energy. The extras are again nothing to write home about. Just random rehearsal stuff and gushy interviews with cast and crew. Which makes one wonder at the necessity of extras in the first place.


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