Music Review: Jab Harry Met Sejal (Hindi)

Composer(s): Diplo, Pritam Chakraborty
Listen to the songs online here: Saavn

Listening to Jab Harry Met Sejal has proved one thing - composer Pritam has really stepped up his game. And that, like Anurag Basu, Imtiaz Ali can bring out the best in him. That isn't to say their third collaboration after Jab We Met and Love Aaj Kal is their best. It's cheery and upbeat, no doubt, as evidenced in the catchy electro-pop-folk fusion Radha and the retro-styled Beech Beech Mein. And also equally lilting. Case in point - Arijit Singh-sung Hawayein and Ghar, a serene, mesmerising melody crooned by Mohit Chauhan and Nikhita Gandhi.

But at close to 59 minutes (including a second version each of Hawayein and Parinda), it's overlong and crams in one too many, with some tunes failing to stand out, either crippled by their generic Punjabi flourishes (Butterfly, Parinda) or due to a ring of familiarity that pervades them (Yaadon Mein, Raula). The exceptions are Safar, a jaunty introspective ride beautifully sung by Arijit (Shah Rukh Khan plays an European tour guide in the film in case you missed the metaphor), and the sufi'esque Jee Ve Sohaneya that's flawlessly complemented by Nooran Sisters on the vocal front.

Diplo's Indian debut Phurr, on the other hand, is a curious affair. The track, the first one to be put behind streaming paywall in India for a limited time before it was made widely available (and definitely not the last), appears to have not too much of his involvement on the composing side barring providing Pritam with the instrumental soundbed (a remix of Agony, it so happens), but as far as the tune itself is concerned, it is a relatively straightforward EDM-trap mix, echoing his own collab with Madonna back in 2015. (Remember Bitch I'm Madonna?) After a terrific Jagga Jasoos, Pritam falters with Jab Harry Met Sejal, but is nevertheless a satisfying listen - just for Ghar and Hawayein, if nothing else.