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'Dabangg 3' music review: Third time’s a charm

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Composers Sajid-Wajid deliver their best for this installment of the Salman Khan franchise

It was Zandu Balm in part one, and Fevicol in the second. In Dabangg 3, the product the makers decide to promote through an item song — wonder if they get paid for this sort of thing — is ‘Set Wet ka gel’. Munna Badnaam Hua riffs off Lalit Pandit’s hit song from the first film of the franchise – surprisingly Pandit is not credited, perhaps because the central hook they use here was ‘borrowed’ from Pakistan to begin with?

In addition to reversing the role of the ‘badnaam’ person (unwittingly aligning the song to the Pakistani original – ‘Ladka Badnaam Hua), Danish Sabri and Badshah’s lines are enjoyably tongue-in-cheek at times, and feature a bunch of meta moments with a lyric like ‘Salman Khan hua darling tere liye. Mamta Sharma is unsurprisingly the female singer, joined by Kamaal Khan and Badshah filling in the rap bits. This is not the only song that alludes to previous instalments of the franchise. There is also Hud Hud, where composers Sajid-Wajid once again build on the first film’s title song. Though there are clearly borrowed elements, the melody and arrangement have a more pronounced folk (Punjabi, of course) flavour. And Sukhwinder Singh is replaced by Divya Kumar, accompanied by Shabab Sabri and Sajid. I assume the presence of Prabhu Deva at the film’s helm to be the reason for the soundtrack’s other dance song having a South Indian flavour. Nothing much of interest going on here otherwise though, prime reason being that it is the heavily processed voice of Salman Khan leading the proceedings, with Payal Dev giving him company for brief moments. The kissing sound that keeps repeating throughout the song is another reason that is likely to keep listeners away.

Love and music

In keeping with the general Dabangg format, the other half of the album is set aside for romantic melodies, with the added bonus of a third ballad taking up the spot of the usual remix. One of the composers’ favourites, Shreya Ghoshal features in Habibi Ke Nain, joined by Jubin Nautiyal. Excepting the strange word ‘habibi’ itself, and the overall familiarity, the song is really pleasant and very well delivered by the singers. The quality of the vocals is the highlight of ‘Naina Lade’ as well; Javed Ali doing the solo act in this case. Interesting that the obsession with eyes seems as much a running theme with the Dabangg soundtrack series as the name dropping of brands. There was ‘Tere Mast Mast Do Nain’ from part one and ‘Tore Naina Bade Dagabaaz’ from the second.

The final song titled ‘Awara’ features a curious change of scale after a prelude from Muskaan with singer Salman Ali who, in the higher registers, sounds a lot like Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.

I find Sajid-Wajid to have delivered a better set of songs in Dabangg 3 than they did in the second part. In fact this is the best they have sounded in quite a while.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 7:42:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/dabangg-3-music-review-third-times-a-charm/article30350789.ece

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