GOOD IN AN ABNORMAL WAY!! (BHAAG JOHNNY – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Devi Sri Prasad (DSP), Arko Pravo Mukherjee, Sajid-Wajid, Yo Yo Honey Singh & Mithoon
♪ Lyrics by: Kumaar, Arko Pravo Mukherjee, Faiz Anwar, Yo Yo Honey Singh, Amitabh Verma
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 24th August 2015
♪ Movie Released On: 25th September 2015

Bhaag Johnny

Bhaag Johnny

To hear the full songs of this album on Saavn CLICK HERE

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Bhaag Johnny is an action thriller Bollywood film, directed by Shivam Nair, produced by Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar and Vikram Bhatt. The film features Kunal Khemu, Zoa Morani and Mandana Karimi in lead roles. The film released on 25th September 2015, to negative to mixed reviews. The film, having been produced by T-Series, was expected to have some good music, and it pretty much stood up to expectations. The music has been given by South-Indian hit machine Devi Sri Prasad, the king of remakes Arko Pravo Mukherjee, remaking one of Sajid-Wajid’s hit songs from Sonu Nigam’s album ‘Deewana’, the youth sensation Yo Yo Honey Singh, and the person without whom such albums feel incomplete, Mithoon. Each of these have one song, except Mithoon who bags two. So, here’s what I thought about ‘Bhaag Johnny’s music!


1. Daddy Mummy
Singers ~ Devi Sri Prasad & M.M. Manasi, Music by ~ Devi Sri Prasad, Lyrics by ~ Kumaar

Devi Sri Prasad is one of those composers, who hold a huge status and fame down South, but migrate towards the Bollywood industry once in a blue moon. He impressed Salman Khan (and I bet nobody else) with ‘Dhinka Chika’ (Ready), a remake of his Telugu song ‘Ringa Ringa’ (Arya 2), and he impressed him so much that three years later, Salman gives him a chance to compose Daisy Shah’s introductory song in ‘Jai Ho’ (and also in Bollywood, for that matter), ‘Naacho Re’, which impressed me, but was too short and ignorable for the public. Now he comes after a year and a half, in a T-Series film, and I don’t know why or from where. He gets to compose a party song, and so he takes his Telugu song ‘Aakalesthe Annam Pedatha’ (Shankar Dada Zindabad) and remakes it in Hindi. But it isn’t the first time it has been reused! It has already been reused by DSP himself in the Tamil movie ‘Villu’ with the same name as it has in Hindi. So the idea for this song isn’t original. No matter how long its history may be, the song definitely has some vibes that hook you onto it. The tune is amazingly catchy, and the arrangements are really innovative and groovy too. Techno beats dominate, and give the required party effect. The beats can’t be ignored at all. The tune might be annoying for some, but I liked it. Though the song isn’t decent at all considering everything else, like the concept, lyrics etc, it is viable for the catchy tune and great booming beats. Kumaar must’ve written worse than what it must’ve been in Tamil. :p Regarding vocals, M.M. Manasi’s unusually thick voice provides the perfect texture for a song of this playful nature. DSP’s portions have a good tune, but I would’ve preferred Divya Kumar singing them, at least the ones that aren’t raps like “Tu hai beautiful naari…. Baahon Se Teri lipatke”. Programming is awesome and so are the interludes, with great Caribbean touches to them. The awesome percussion and great strings and flutes helps you to pay all attention to the song. A good party, and a decent (music-wise, Okay?? :p ) album-opener. DSP is back with a bang, but the lyrics are what make the song lose that tag. Oh, who am I kidding…here goes… #5StarHotelSong! 🙊

 

2. Iss Qadar Pyaar Hai
Singer ~ Ankit Tiwari, Music Recreated by ~ Arko Pravo Mukherjee, Orignal Composition by ~ Sajid-Wajid, New Lyrics by ~ Arko Pravo Mukherjee, Original Lyrics by ~ Faaiz Anwar

Sonu Nigam’s soulful and lovely song from his album ‘Deewana’ had had its title track remade earlier this year for the film ‘Ek Paheli Leela’, by Meet Bros. Anjjan. Now, for this album, another song of that album has been called for remaking. What follows is an account from the song’s point of view. (Didn’t you know songs have feelings, a heart and brains too?? 😛 ) The song must’ve been walking nervously on its way to T-Series office. When it arrived at the office, it must’ve been soooooo happy to learn that Arko is going to remake it. It then must’ve surrendered itself totally to Arko for a few months (or days?? Who knows?) But it didn’t know what injustice it was going to face. When it came to know about the injustice, the song happened to file a case in the Court for Enforcement of Songs’ Rights. Firstly, it complained that the legendary singer who became famous because of itself, was being replaced by an amateur who didn’t know how to sing for anything it cost. Then it claimed that its lively nature was being converted to a sleepy, monotonous paced nature, just to get more YouTube views. Another complain it had against the T-Series team was that it’s tune was changed for the worse!! The song, in conversation with Music Mastani last month, claimed, “I had no idea they would change my whole structure! I have been ruined completely!! They robbed me of my whole essence!” We are with the song in its struggle against T-Series, and wish it wins this case against T-Series. Okay, now I’ll stop being a reporter and tell you straightforward: Nothing in this song is better than the original! The tune has only been changed for one note, and it spoils the whole antara. The pace has been slowed down to such an extent that it is intolerable, because of Ankit Tiwari’s sleepy and drugged voice. Arrangements are modernized: guitars, synth beats and nothing much other than that. Arko writes the new lyrics, to make it more Bhatt-ish. Arko has never disappointed with any remake this much, before this!! Even the song says, “My new makeover is unimpressive! I should go into hibernation now!!”

 

3. Aankhon Aankhon
Singer ~ Yo Yo Honey Singh, Music by ~ Yo Yo Honey Singh, Lyrics by ~  Yo Yo Honey Singh

While ‘Daddy Mummy’ was a general party song, this next song is a Yo Yo Honey Singh club track. Though many of his club tracks have been absurd and weird and whatnot, this one is unusually classy and immensely catchy! I’ve never liked a club song of Yo Yo this genuinely before! They’re usually crazy and illogical. Of course, this one isn’t like really scientific like Christopher Nolan’s films, but compared to go Yo’s previous club songs, this one surely has an upper hand in the race. Arrangements being energetic and enough to make you get up and move along to them, and the lyrics being a bit better than whatever Yo Yo usually writes, this one gave me no scope of cursing it. The English parts make it sound like a real English song. The Punjabi parts may annoy, but the composition takes care of that. The techno beats are something that would have you hooked right from the beginning to the end. Things get a bit soft in the second antara before the dynamic arrangements return in the hookline. Speaking of the hookline, it has a really great tune, which was enough to grab my attention. There isn’t much more to write about it, except that it’s a #5StarHotelSong!!

 

4. Kinna Sona
Singer ~ Sunil Kamath, Music by ~ Mithoon, Lyrics by ~ Amitabh Verma

Mithoon jumps into the album finally. Along with Arko, he’s the only person I expected to deliver something awesome. However, Arko let me down, and surprisingly, DSP and Yo Yo Honey Singh have impressed till now. With the advent of Mithoon, though, I expect the next two songs to be lovely. This very song consolidates my thought about that. It starts in a wonderful Sufi style, with Sunil Kamath sounding really great with his rustic voice. Acoustic guitars and tablas make way for the actual composition to set in. And when Sunil starts to showcase the beautiful composition which Mithoon has come up with, you are sure to drown in its divine and serene nature. The modern arrangements consisting of guitars and the beats blend in well with the traditional tabla beats, presenting a kind of rock Sufi love ballad. It really reminds you of Mithoon’s early days in the industry, his albums ‘Anwar’ and ‘Lamhaa’. Leaving the style of music he has been stereotyped to be able to make, he shuts up all his criticizers, by creating something that sounds as if the old Mithoon has composed it. The antaras are the most soothing and beautifully composed parts of the song, though the mukhda isn’t far behind. After the hookline, there are some really captivating guitar plucks, which make you leave your mouth gaping in awe. Moving onto debutant Sunil Kamath’s vocals, he sounds like Shadab Faridi in his vocal texture and style, but sounds awesome!! Some places he sounds husky, whereas some places his voice is as sharp as a knife’s edge. Both textures of his voice appeal to the ears, though. Towards the ending Mithoon overlaps two tracks of his voice, both singing the same lines but not in sync. That harmony steals your breath away. Amitabh Verma writes efficient romantic lyrics that are meaningful, probably the best lyrics of the album. Though simple, their appeal lies in that simplicity. Mithoon gives Sunil Kamath a strong and powerful debut, with a captivating yet soothing composition, penned wonderfully by Amitabh Verma. The song really is ‘Kinna Sona’! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

5. Meri Zindagi
Singer ~ Rahul Vaidya, Music by ~ Mithoon, Lyrics by ~ Amitabh Verma

After that sublime melody by Mithoon, it’s time for another song composed by him. I was expecting a lot because of how excellent ‘Kinna Sona’ was, but he disappointed me by coming up with something that anybody who’s a regular reader of my blog, knows that I hate. That is those monotonous Pakistani rock songs! Especially the ones Mithoon is unfortunately forced to bring into each and every album. This one literally overdoes the melancholia, with too much dukh-dard overflowing in each and every line. Arrangements are good except the rock arrangements. So whatever instruments are used in this rock song, which aren’t rock guitars and drums, I liked. That’s pretty less, only the flutes and other wind instruments. The strings are also grand and orchestral. Rahul Vaidya, however, steals the show with his versatile voice, bringing in great variations in many lines. The composition did not appeal to me at all simply because it was too plain and staid to appreciate with a big heart. The hookline crosses all heights of melancholia. Amitabh Verma writes according to the theme here too, so it turns pretty boring after a while. Barring Rahul’s mellifluous voice and some of Mithoon’s arrangements (the ones that aren’t rock) this track had nothing that appealed to me except the typical Mithoon-cholia!


Bhaag Johnny was an album that lived up to my expectations, but in a weird way. The people from whom I expected nothing, literally, actually impressed me, and those from whom I expected a lot, disappointed me big time! DSP gives a good youthful party number, while Yo Yo comes up with what I feel is the best club song of his Bollywood career. Mithoon, although impressed greatly with one out of two songs (which is also the best of the album), ruins everything in the next song, while Arko churns out what I think is his worst remake ever. Still, Mithoon has to be commended for making use of two relatively lesser known singers, who prove their talent with their respective songs, instead of vouching for the regular Arijit and Irfan. So, the two upbeat songs score better than two of the three calm songs, which is very unusual, in my opinion. So, I would conclude by calling it good in an abnormal way!

 

Final Rating for This Album: सा < रे < ग < म < प <  < नी < सां

Note: The letter which is underlined is the final rating. 

Recommended Listening Order: Kinna Sona > Aankhon Aankhon > Daddy Mummy > Meri Zindagi > Iss Qadar Pyaar Hai

 

Which is your favourite song from Bhaag Johnny? Please vote for it below! 🙂

 

TEMPORARY KATTI WITH SHANKAR-EHSAAN-LOY!! (KATTI BATTI – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy
♪ Lyrics by: Kumaar
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 28th August 2015
♪ Movie Released On: 18th September 2015

Katti Batti Album Cover

Katti Batti Album Cover

 

To hear the full songs of this album on Hungama CLICK HERE

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Katti Batti is a Bollywood rom-com film, which starred Imran Khan and Kangana Ranaut in the lead roles. The film was directed by Nikhil Advani, and produced by him along with Siddharth Roy Kapur. Vivan Bhatena also starred in a supporting role in the film. The story is about two people Madhav (Maddy) and Payal, played by Imran and Kangana respectively, who are in love, but a sudden turn of events makes Payal leave Maddy. So the plot of the story goes something like that. Nikhil Advani, who had also directed “Hero” this year, releasing a week before this, now comes back to his forte, that is rom-com. The film flopped inspite of such a great hype; maybe a fault in the storytelling. Anyways, how does that concern me? Let’s talk about the music. The music has been given by Nikhil’s favourites for rom-coms, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. After the success of their album to Zoya Akhtar’s “Dil Dhadakne Do”, I expect them to do exceptionally well in this album. a) because they are awesome at composing for rom-coms — they have been stunning us right from ‘Kal Ho Naa Ho’ and albums like that, and b) because their collaborations with Nikhil, I believe, are always awesome, and should be in the future too! They have composed five songs for the movie, now only to see how much they appeal to me. So, here we go!! 🙂


1. Sarfira
Singers ~ Siddharth Mahadevan & Neeti Mohan, Rap by ~ Qaran Mehta

I worship Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy when it comes to club songs. Here, the album starts off with a similar club song, as they used to give in the past, with full on techno sounds and more techno sounds and even more techno sounds. However, let me confess to you, that this time, I didn’t find anything special in the song at all! Starting with techno sounds that make you go, “Oh, the same typical club beats… Let’s see what comes up ahead.” this song doesn’t have the trio going beyond the usual things that they put in every club song, making it sound pretty stale than the other club songs. Their experimentation power is very high, as we know from other songs, then, I wonder why they didn’t use that power of theirs here! The song starts with techno sounds that sound a lot like they’ve been played on a keyboard, followed by guitar strums which are really energetic and enthusiastic. Neeti’s intermissions saying “Fizool hai” are also good enough to make you feel that something extraordinary just might be around the corner. But when Siddhartha starts to sing, the tune of what he sings, carries a very heavy déjà vu feeling, something we have heard from Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy many a time in the past, and so it doesn’t click right away. What’s more, the mukhda does not even get over, or so it seems, before the hookline starts, very abruptly and it sounds pretty odd, as if the trio was in a hurry to get to it. However, the hookline itself is catchy as far as composition goes. Arrangements are nothing special though. As we progress towards the antara, the composition does get a little interesting, or at least more than the the previous parts. Arrangements, however, stay dull and bland. There comes a point when you start wondering why they didn’t put any arrangements other than the typical EDM, techno beats, just as a small attraction somewhere in the interlude or something. Well, that’s because the interlude is reserved for some new rapper called Qaran Mehta (what’s up with the spelling? Is it just to make it look cool? Because he didn’t rap that good.. It’s really annoying the way he raps) The composition has its shares of interesting and dull moments, whereas the arrangements are ordinary all throughout the song. Vocals by Siddharth and Neeti are good, but just that, nothing more. No variations, no anything. Lyrics by Kumaar though, are worth hearing — they do connect with today’s audience, though they are nothing extraordinary or funny like his other songs. Something which the trio has done so many times, the magic has just worn off now, and results in an unattractive song. Not such an impressive start to the album!

 

2. Sau Aasoon
Singers ~ Shankar Mahadevan & Rasika Shekhar

What I was actually expecting from the trio from the first song in the album, comes a bit late, but it comes better than expected. Better late, than never, right? There’s nothing like a sad, romantic, soft rock number from Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. On top of that when it’s sung by Shankar himself, the expectations are tripled. Even though it’s a soft, sad number when we hear the tune, it takes on a really addictive form when we hear the arrangements, and Shankar’s versatile vocals suit the mellow song. High notes and low ones alike, he sings with great ease, as always. The song starts off with a wonderfully captivating guitar riff, joined a few seconds later by another awesome electric guitar playing beautiful notes. Shankar, when he steps in, deliberately sings out of the regular beat, pretty much like what the trio made Arijit do in ‘Mast Magan’ (2 States). He starts when you least expect it, because the guitar riffs mislead you. But it sounds exceptional when he jumps into the song unexpectedly. The hookline is something that you would feel like hearing over and over again forever. Rasika’s husky voice, though it might be sounding a bit too much autotuned, has this addictive tone to it, which makes anyone fall in love with it. However, in this song, she has two different roles: the humming and once or twice to sing the hookline. The first job she executes very well, but our heavy and husky voice just isn’t cut out for singing the hookline, which I would’ve preferred in Shankar’s husky yet soft voice. The antara has a very sweet and touching tune, including many variations, executed perfectly by Shankar. The backing chorus also supports well in these parts. Towards the ending we witness a beautiful jugalbandi of sorts between Shankar and Rasika, and it ends the song on a marvellous note. Arrangements consist of guitars, both acoustic and electric, sounding really great together in the same song. The drums have been added which increase the addictive nature of the song. To give the song a polished appearance, we have the piano, a misfit in a rock song, but sounding exceptional here particularly! Kumaar’s lyrics, are meaningful here, and again he surprises me with his immensely great ability to write both meaningful and meaningless songs with the same dedication or carelessness respectively. 😂 A complete Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy show from start to end! The song will get you pondering after it’s over and leave a huge impact! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

3. Lip To Lip
Singers ~ Nikhil D’Souza & Ritu Pathak 

Youngsters Nikhil D’Souza and Ritu Pathak (credited wrongly as Phatak :p ) bag the next song, a cute little romantic song revolving around “kissiyaan” (kisses). The main element of this song that enters right from the starting and stays till the end, and because of which you keep listening, is the quirkiness of it. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy try to make a quirky, catchy and youthfully mad song, and succeed with distinction! I mean, the great composers that they are, how would they fail? Nikhil has been employed very effectively and he brings the Westernized flavour into the song, while at the same time, Ritu Pathak brings in the desi flavour and gives the best performance of her career, in my opinion. She keeps aside all the cheapness she brings into every other song and sings this one with all possible naughtiness, but without the cheapness. A time in the song comes when she goes totally nasal into Shamshad Begum mode, and another when, in the interlude, she says “O Sajnaa Veeee” in an unmistakable Richa Sharma voice. In fact, she kind of sounds similar to Richa Sharma throughout the song! Wonderful attempt! Nikhil is his usual casual, carefree a sounding self, and his fresh voice is always a pleasure to hear, unless the composition isn’t interesting. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s composition took no time at all to grow on me, and in no time, I found myself humming the tune many times! The tune of the line “Main yaaaar tenu miss kardi, tenu yadaan vich kiss kardi…” is just too cutely addictive! The arrangements, too are unmatchable! A beautiful vocal rhythm starts off the song and the same rhythm forms the pillars for the song even later on in it. Acoustic guitars, saxophone, some quirky Amit Trivedish sounds, work together to make it a wonderful listening experience. Drums and some Arabic percussion also make an appearance later on in the song. Kumaar uses some gimmicky terms and his Hinglish lyrics are tough to forget, but very easy to remember. They have an instant youth connect and may be the reason why this song worked so much! In short, the song is something you must not miss, if you’re looking for something new, fresh, breezy et al!! Extra marks for the way Ritu Pathak has been made to sing!! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

4. Ove Janiya / Ove Jaaniye (Reprise)
Singers ~ Mohan Kannan / Sayani Palit

Yes, I know. I’ve written the spelling of the reprise version differently right? :p Contact Zee Music Company for more details. I myself have no idea why it’s named like that! 😀 Anyways, after hearing the song, all of Zee’s mistakes are forgiven. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy present a soft, slow and calm, sad number sung beautifully by Mohan Kannan. When he last worked with them for ‘Chaandaniya’ (2 States), it resulted in an awesome sad song, with a groove to it that was hard to forget! This time, the song has no catchy groove as such, but it is the composition, which hooks you…if not instantly, then at least after two or three listens. The arrangements, though as minimal as possible, have the capability to soothe you down, and the song is just as effective as a lullaby to lull you to sleep, and I mean that in a positive way. First of all, mild piano notes start off the song, and an African-style percussion instrument gives the rhythm along with guitars and shakers and even the cymbals of drums, but all used in such a tranquil manner, that you wouldn’t believe it. Mohan renders the composition beautifully, and his voice just increases the serenity of the song manifold. His sargam portion in the first interlude stole my breath away. Otherwise too, he is spot-on with his rendition. Kumaar has written meaningful lyrics again, in Punjabi, romantic and emotional at the same time. The words have a unique ring to them, thanks to the trio’s unusually soft but beautiful composition. The reprise sees classical singer Sayani Palit come behind the mic, also making her Bollywood debut. Her version wasn’t as hooking as Mohan’s to me, but that would vary from person to person. Of course, her technicalities in singing the song are more perfect than Mohan, but it makes her version sound more difficult to connect with and less youthful and less contemporary than Mohan’s. This version has been sung on a backdrop of only very soft piano, and nothing else at all! Those piano arrangements are wonders to behold and the trio deserves a huge applause for them. If only somebody whose voice had more weight, maybe Kavita Seth or Rekha Bhardwaj had sung this version, it would have done way better. Or, if they had to retain Sayani, a nice clasica backdrop would’ve been more than enough to make me delighted, complete with tablas and sitar and the likes. The original is beyond all expectations, while the reprise falls just below them! Anyhow, both versions have scintillating arrangements, and lyrics, and the composition can’t be missed at any cost!! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

5. Jaago Mohan Pyaare
Singers ~ Siddharth Basrur, Digvijay Singh Pariyar, Raman Mahadevan & Rasika Shekhar

To conclude the album, we have something very unusual. Taking a glimpse at its name, you would think it is some bhajan, but press the play button and your ears seem to be playing tricks on you. It is a high-energy rock song, with a little folkish touch to it, sung with immense energy and dynamics by four singers with heavy voices. Well, I have to admit, the composition isn’t bad, and while it plays, you will enjoy it to the utmost, but the drawback is that, after it gets over, you will practically forget it. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy try to bring that one crazy song that each of their albums nowadays have, but they do not quite surpass the bar that they themselves have raised to a very high level with the very recent ‘Gallan Goodiyaan’ (Dil Dhadakne Do). Siddharth Basrur, with his Vishal Dadlani-like voice, gets a bit too loud at times, but overall does good. Raman Mahadevan, who was a Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy regular atone particular time, and Digvijay Singh Pariyar, newcomer, and whose voice falls between that of Sanam Puri and Divya Kumar, do well too. The sole female singer, Rasika Shekhar, getting her second song in the album, sounds perfect here, contrary to being a misfit in ‘Sau Aasoon’. Arrangements are good but lack anything extraordinary. A fusion of rock and Punjabi folk, has been heard before, and hearing the way they have been used here, definitely doesn’t make it stand out as a composition by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. The tumbi part particularly sounds very ordinary. The rock guitars and drums sound better and if the song would have been purely rock, I wouldn’t have minded, but probably the script called for a Punjabi twist. If so, the trio had the capacity to work wonders with that! Kumaar, however, saves the trio by writing interesting lyrics, a boys vs. girls faceoff. As I said, the composition is great, but it has no repeat value. I am only hearing it now, because I didn’t have time when it released. :p I might be the only person, other than Imran Khan, Kangana Ranaut and everyone else associated with the film, who must be hearing it now! Not bad, but not excellent like the trio usually does! Vocals are good, so is the composition, and so are arrangements. But only the lyrics are great!


Katti Batti definitely doesn’t score among Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s best works, having two downright average songs (above average if compared to other composers’ work at present) and the rest awesome. There used to be a time when each and every song in an S-E-L album used to be stellar, enticing and magical in its own way. Since their mainstream comeback with ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ in 2013, this has definitely got to be their most underwhelming album. And yeah, that’s counting the ‘One By Two’ album and their two songs in ‘Darr @ The Mall’! The others, ‘2 States’, ‘Kill/Dil’ and ‘Dil Dhadakne Do’ had very few of the dull moments and compared to that, this one has too many!! And I’m not saying this is a bad album — not at all, because it is good in its own way. Just that it’s not the usual awesomeness that is expected from Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. That said, I’m on a temporary ‘katti’ with Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy henceforth, till their next Bollywood album ‘Ghayal Once Again’ releases, from which I’ll be keeping immense hopes nevertheless! 😁

P.S. I’m already ‘batti’ with them because of their stellar soundtrack to Marathi movie ‘Katyar Kaljat Ghusali’!

 

Final Rating for This Album: सा < रे < ग < म < प <  < नी < सां

Note: The letter which is underlined is the final rating.

Recommended Listening Order: Ove Janiya > Lip To Lip > Sau Aasoon > Ove Jaaniye (Reprise) > Jaago Mohan Pyaare > Sarfira

 

Which is your favourite song from Katti Batti? Please vote for it below! 🙂