Jhoom Lay - Schehzad Mughul (2002)

The guy who rocked with Arsh and gave hits like "Bhoolay Na Kabhi" and "Yeh To Phir Bus" is back in the ring with his second solo venture. If you have been a keen listener to Schehzad's earlier work, you will notice a marked improvement in his music as well as his voice in "Jhoom Lay". Seems the singer made the best use of the time that he spent away from the music scene. Today's Schehzad is a much better vocalist and has grown out to become a good songwriter too. The album is certainly worth the wait for all his fans.

"Jhoom Lay" is an album set on a light mode. One doesn't feel like pressing that 'Stop' button till the pause after the last song does it for you. The title track "Jhoom Lay" is an out and out dance number. It has got a very upbeat rhythm and you'll feel your toes tapping in no time. The next "Aa Jao Na" is the voice of a broken heart desperate to have the love of his life back. The nicely penned lyrics along with Schehzad's expressive vocals add the right feel to this 'Call of the lover'. "Dastaan" is the tale of a person in search of a soul mate. This song appeared on his last two albums but the mood given to the song in this album suits it better than the rock mood on his previous offerings.

"Kon Hai Woh" has Schehzad sharing his feelings with the girl of his dreams. This absorbing song will have you humming along the lyrics. "Faaslay" is a classic song and is highly ambient. It creates an ambience where you will find yourself lost in the crescendo of expressions. Hadiqa's and Schehzad's vocals here strike a perfect note, complementing each other. Backing vocals and arrangement of the song are very impressive, portraying effectively the pain of a distant-love relationship. "Bus Yunhi" imparts the message of 'Never give up'. The video of this song is already on air and one can't help being reminded of Back Street Boys' "Quit Playing Games" because of its similar beats.

The two 'Jiyos', "Hass Ke Jiyo Yaro" and "Jamm Ke Jiyo" are two peppy numbers and don't really demand a high IQ level to figure out what they are about. "Jamm Ke Jiyo" is a bhangra dance number. "Balliye" and "Mein Ne Tu Chura Liya" are both very romantic songs with a heart touching feel. Both of the ballads are very beautifully sung. "Paigham" as the title suggests, conveys to help each other to make this world a better place: "Chalo ab aisa kartey hein, jahan se hum guzartay hein, wahan aik naam likhtay hein, koi paigham likhtay hein ..."

"Jugni" (club mix) is a straight-faced effort on Schehzad's part. The singer couldn't do the justice to one of the most famous folk melodies of our culture. In fact, nobody does "Jugni" better than Aalam Lohar with his Chimta. All the wrong beats and Schehzad's Urdu accent let down the folk classic. "Yeh Tu Phir Bus" and "Bhoolay Na Kabhi" are already quite popular and don't need any introduction as we've heard them various times. These are the tracks which have kept Schehzad in people's minds all the while when he was away on a sabbatical. But if you compare the songs in this album with the ones in the last album, you'd feel a marked improvement in a number of areas of his music.

Unlike his last two average attempts, "Jhoom Lay" has all the ingredients to strike the right chords and this is perhaps why the album has fared well compared to his earlier albums. Just like most of the pop albums churned out these days it's a mixed bag carrying dance and bhangra numbers, ballads and humable pop songs. But Schehzad should be given the credit of coming up with mature song writing skills and improving his vocals. Though Schehzad does have a good voice this album has him exercising control over his voice lowering and raising it at the right notes, which lends a pleasant effect to the album.

The lyrics are penned by the singer himself, along with some songs by M. Nasir. Lyrics aren't outstanding but they're comparatively better. Mughul has done all the compositions with a little help in "Aa Jao Na" from Nabeel. The melodies are humable and catchy. Nabeel Chishti (Aaroh) is a promising guitarist and his work on Aaroh's songs and Junaid's album "Dil Ki Baat" does make him a guitarist to watch out for. All the rhythm guitars and guitar solos carry the perfect essence of the song and really enhance the feel of the song. The guitar solo in "Hass Kar Jiyo Yaro" by Akbar is also a very good work. Most of the songs have been sequenced by Kamijee (Aaroh). "Baliye", "Jamm Ke Jiyo", "Hass Ke Jiyo Yaro", "Bhoolay Na Kabhi" and "Mein Ne Tu Chura Liya" are sequenced by Immu (Fuzon), Tanseer (Karavan), Wasim and Shani. Music arrangements and beats successfully capture the peppy mood of the album.

Yaasir Ijaz Ahmed
The News International, Pakistan