Suhel Rais Khan’s Jazbah – Music Review

jazbahSuhel Khan, son of sitar maestro Ustad Rais Khan, and Vinod Bhatt, came out with their debut independent album titled Ustad Sultan Khan and friends in the year 2007. The album had seen reasonable success in the market, marked by some exceptional compositions. This year the pair is back with their next album. While in the first album they used the name of Ustad Sultan Khan in the title to gain leverage, this time they have decided to have a go without such a name, calling their album Jazbah. Lets see if they have a sound set of compositions to back their move.

Meri Aankhon Mein

Increase the tempo of this song a bit, add some percussion in the background, and one would get reminded of Pancham da classics like Ruk Jaana from Warrant. As it happens however, this song is a rather toned down one with not much instrumental backing except for a keyboard and a bass guitar. Suhel and Shreya Ghoshal do a clean job of the vocals, with Suhel even sounding like Kishore Kumar in some places. On the whole a good listen.

Jaane Kyon

This pleasant semi-classical song is marked by some excellent sitar (wonder if it is Suhel’s dad Ustad Rais Khan). The singers are ghazal exponent Bhupinder Singh, wife Mitali Singh and Suhel. For the uninitiated, Bhupinder-Mitali are quite active on the ghazal front, having released a handful of albums together and individually in the past.

Dil Toda Tune

As the title suggests, this is a melancholic song, sung soulfully by Akbar Ali and Suhel Khan. I believe this Akbar Ali is the same Pakistani singer who had given some splendid performances as contestant of Junoon Kuch Kar Dikhaana Hai on NDTV Imagine. Apart from sitar, this song also sees the entry of sarangi in the second interlude played by Ustad Sultan Khan in all probability. The cameo by Pramila Rao towards the end has also been pretty impressive.

Jhanki Lagi Chhaon Ki

Sultan Khan joins the vocalists this time, accompanied by Shreya Ghoshal and Suhel Khan. The song starts off on a folk note characterised by the sarangi bit, but the song isn’t exactly what you would call folk. And though the song sounds promising at the beginning it grows monotonous as it progresses. And to be frank I am a great fan of Sultan Khan the sarangist but not that appreciative of Ustad Sultan Khan the vocalist.

Deewana Mera Dil Sanam

Suhel Khan’s next teammate from his previous album Ustad Sultan Khan and Friends, Sadhana Sargam, is introduced in this song to sing along his side. Though it is pleasant-sounding, the tune is rather flat and fails to engage the listener much.

Bhar Aaye Ankhiyan

Its not everyday that you get to hear the usually bubbly Jaspinder Narula singing soft songs. But she does a wonderful job, singing alongside Suhel Khan to produce an enjoyable song with a semi-classical flavour.

Man Re

Suhel ropes in another singer Tarannum, another contestant of Junoon I believe, to accompany him in this song. But the song almost completely belongs to Suhel as he takes you through the various nuances of the song with ease. The flute-sarangi in the first interlude is catchy.


After hearing the songs so far, this one strikes you as rather offbeat, to say the least. Even stranger is the arrangement of the song. I am not quite sure what it is that Suhel intended by the song. The lyrics and the rendition style suggest that the number was meant as a pep-up song, but the instrumentation continues along the lines that was followed in the previous songs. As a result the attempts at liveliness by Rahul Vaidya, ex-Indian Idol runner up, and Suhel Khan sound rather odd. Suhel especially sounds totally out of place in this song.


Suhel redeems himself from the previous faux pas to produce another brilliant semi-classical. This time he is joined by another reality show product, ex-Indian Idol semifinalist Keka Ghoshal. This is really where Suhel the singer really belongs. Wonder why he had to try singing the previous one at all. And Keka has been brilliant.

Saiyaan Tori Boli

This song is my favourite from the album, having elements of fusion to it. The singing has been done well by Suhel and Preeti Uttam, the daughter of Uttam Singh. Uttam Singh, in case you remember, was the composer who hit the headlines in 1997 for his brilliant compositions in Dil To Pagal Hai, but unfortunately couldn’t live up to those standards subsequently, delivering just a couple of good soundtracks after that. I was rather surprised to learn that Preeti Uttam has been around for quite some time, starting off with Lakdi Ki Kathi from Masoom, singing in almost a couple of dozens of movies hence. And listening to this song can’t help but wonder why she never made it to the top.

Yaad Tihari

Javed Bashir, vocalist of the Pakistani Mekal Hassan Band, puts forth an excellent display of his classical knowledge as he engages in a sort of bout with Suhel Khan in this ghazal (I hope I am right in classifying this as a ghazal). Pramila Rao provides excellent support with her high-pitched rendition in the backdrop.

Taj Deena

Mitali Singh returns to deliver the last song of the album with Suhel Khan. This one again reminds of yesteryear Bollywood songs. However the similarity this time works negatively for the song, as the tune is one of which we have had enough and more in the yesteryear songs itself.
The composer duo of Suhel Khan and Vinod Bhatt spin off yet another fine album, albeit marred by a couple of fumbles. In any case they more than make up for those with other songs. I did feel however that Suhel committed an overkill by partaking in every song of the album, whereas he could have avoided singing in at least a couple of them. These minor foibles notwithstanding, if you are the type looking for some music that goes easy on your ears, I strongly recommend this album.

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