It's been a while...and I'm not just talking about the much-awaited album. For those who don't know, I'm from the earlier forum; "the good old days" some will say. Time, writing, and more time has seen me spend less on this forum. But I'm here, not for long, just to post a quick review of Jogiya, and off I'll go again! Most are doing a fine job here mind you. Before I do, a quick greeting to the old guys, and as cliche as this may sound, you all "know who you are".
Back to business...
Jogiya. My honest opinion?
I'm not just saying that because I'm a fellow fan. Perhaps! And in defence, I don't think GM is great because I like him, I like him because he's great. Simples. No bias here in this review. It's honest, I pinky promise.
Normally 'title songs' are commercially viable, but not neccessarily the 'best' on an album. It's different here. Much different. Jogiya is, for me, the heart of the album, and for once a Punjabi album title is a reflection of the mood of the whole songlist. Jogiya (album) is sufi in every sense, and Jogiya (song) is melodically magical and sentimentally seducing. It flows up and down, but heads in one direction throughout. A wave if you will. A wave of detached divinity. Going back to the album title, Jogiya really captures the mood of the album. It's as if GM said "right, I know what I am, and I don't care about what 'will work' now, I want to put out an album about my love for divine attachment, and secular detachment". So he did. Go through the album and you'll find that the mention of a Sai is never far away, and who cares what 'some might say'; audhi (GM) jithe laggi...laggi rehende. Maan's his own man. That's why we always feel connected to his work. We 'hear him'.
In fact, GM is no stranger to releasing albums of collective common themes. In the West it happens quite often. Singer/songwriter John Mayer released his "Battle Studies" album and all his songs were a collection of his expressions of 'fighting love'. Eminem released "Recovery" with songs about his desire to put certain things right. Let's go back to GM's "Heer". If you were to brainstorm words (like back in school!) around the word HEER, you would come up with "Kudiye", "Akhiyan", "Je Tu Bin Daseya". How about "Punjeeri"? Not much changes. Brainstorm around that and we get "Pind (diya galliyan)", "Boliyan", "Veezey", "Jagga (of tradition)". Whether this is a concious decision or not, the fact of the matter is, his artistry and ability to create diverse songs, which all come back to the 'essence' is unrivalled in Punjabi music.
Enough with the waffling, and more with the work. "Saddi Jithe Laggi", is in simple terms, inspiring. Although dominantly sufi in lyrics, it has a "I don't give a damn what you think" nuance. You be what you are, and I'll be me. Kindly tough. He's paid homage to his late Sai, and delivered a few of social-filled verses in "Gal Tere Matlab Di" and "Paindey Door Pichoran De".
Above all, here's the song that grew on me quicker than a Sukhshinder Shinda song release (and that's fast) - "Tere Bhajon". I'll be honest, I was skeptical. I heard a snippet and was afraid it might be to Jogiya, what "Taare Gawaa Ne" was to Boot Polishan - a 'filler' song. I'll hold my hands up, I was wrong. The song surprised me; it was beautiful, and strangley I could not dismiss the sufi touch to this aswell (note the Kalaam line). "Taare Gawaa Ne", though filmed, and hugely public, for me was 'too easy' for GM, and pretty 'draggy'. Not a compositional highlight.
The lyrics throughout Jogiya are spiritual, meaningful and quite simply important. The only downside, and I mean slight, is the music. I was weary of this before buying the album, but I feel that Jaidev Kumar, who in his right is a legend of the game, needs to play it better with GM. I sometimes feel the justice is not done to his lyrical demands. I felt there could have been the impactful, 'start/stop', to "Saddi Jithe Laggi", or even an over emphasis on "Gal Tere Matlab Di." However, this is GM, he often bypasses all rules on his route to success. The album is one of his more 'complete'. The amount of times I hear 'artistes' say "In my album, I have love songs, sad songs, duet songs, wedding songs, donkey songs, king kongs" WHAT?! You don't have to cater for all our senses, just be real, and the audience will listen. GM does this. GM did this. Jogiya is lyrically supreme and in one word, the album is 'beautiful'.
NOTE - The UK album inlay card contains details of the forthcoming UK BOX OFFICE TOUR DATES, including two dates at THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL, and the LG Arena Finale.
Normally UK fans attend GM concerts in anticipation of new material. At least now we get to sing along.
That's it. Done. Three years in waiting and it's arrived. But it hasn't ended, for GM songs never do. You'll be humming Jogiya til his 2015 Tour!