Nabi Buba Nabi

Nabi Buba Nabi

Nabi Buba Nabi

It happens to the best of us. So why point a finger at the heavens if Daler Mehndi is overtaken by a dash of narcissism? And even if Nabi Buba Nabi sounds like the latest conundrum to coil your mind, you are willing to forgive the spirited torch-bearer of bhangra just for one reason - experimentation by the track. Mehndi makes liberal mentions of his name in the body of lyrics, and one would even attribute it to a dash of impudence.

Sample this - Mehndi says enjoy, which he croons in a gravelly, R D Burmanesque trill, or Mehndi ke paas aaja, which forms part of the quintessential pacy love track Tera mera pyaar. Agreed, Mehndi was but a blurb in the horizon before his Bolo ta ra ra ra became the last word, tenet and dictum in bhangra. But his latest experiment rankles in parts, and makes you wish he did not sacrifice the inherent simplicity in his earlier compositions for spectacular effects.

Mehndi proclaimed with aplomb that he dreamt of the lyrics of the title track. Well, at first hearing, it does have a robust onomaetopic effect, but all it does is take you round and round in circles, with no obvious impact. Surprise, surprise, just as you plan to settle into the soothing cadence of folk lyrics, the singer displays his affinity for grammar school, by belting out the major portion of the song in English. With due respect to Mehndi, this trespassing is a little jarring. In any case, Nabi buba nabi does have the tempo to make for some value.

Mehndi’s kid-with-candy act continues with the sultan of the crass, Dig dig daisy. You begin to wonder about his botanical leanings, as the track sinks further and further into depravity. The tune is no redeemer, as it is highly pedestrian and passable. The two lyricists, Daler and Sanjeev Anand, have executed their massacre perfectly.

Flashes of Daler’s earlier brilliance surface in Patti pudina, which does have a tongue-in-cheek appeal. The singer’s unbridled energy and some innovative orchestration make for the one just-there bright spot in the album. You are soon reminded of Main dardi rab rab and Ho jaayegi balle balle. Sadly, Daler does not carry the salvation any further.

The surprise packet, which falls short, is the romantic ballad, Na jaane. Seems like this track was hastily inserted to complete the dressing. Now, Daler’s voice is piquant rather than soothing, and this goes against the very premise of a love-soaked rendition. Sorry, this time, the glove just does not fit.

Meandering without a sense of direction - that is what Nabi Buba Nabi is. What it lacks is Daler’s soul. There is a sense of evident holding back, and trading quality music at the altar of commercialism