VISHAL-SHEKHAR’S STRONG MUSICAL KICK!! (AKIRA – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Vishal-Shekhar
♪ Lyrics by: Manoj Muntashir & Kumaar
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 16th August 2016
♪ Movie Releases On: 2nd September 2016

Akira Album Cover

Akira Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Akira is an upcoming Bollywood action film starring Sonakshi Sinha in the titular role, and Konkona Sen Sharma and Anurag Kashyap in other prominent roles. The movie has been directed by A.R. Murugadoss and produced by himself along with Fox Star Studios. It is the first time Murugadoss isn’t remaking his own movie into Hindi (remember ‘Ghajini’ and ‘Holiday’?) But he’s still remaking somebody else’s movie. And that somebody and his move happens to be Santha Kumar’s 2011 Tamil flick ‘Mouna Guru’. But there’s a twist, which is that, the main character in this movie has been shown as a strong female character, going on the lines of woman empowerment, replacing the male character in the original. The story is about a girl named Akira who finds it difficult to adjust to the society she lives in, and ends up displaying her anger, by which she often ends up in trouble. Troubled by her trouble, she is sent to Mumbai, where she gets into trouble again, as we can guess from the trailer. What trouble, how trouble, why trouble and which trouble (and who trouble, too, if you will) is what we will discover in the movie, but I see a corrupt cop played by Kashyap in the trailer so that would change things a lot, I guess. 😛 Anyway, I’m here to talk about the music. After going for A.R. Rahman in ‘Ghajini’ and Pritam in ‘Holiday’, Murugadoss experiments again and tries out a duo that is working with him for the first time, and a duo that is just done with giving one of the best commercial albums of the year, ‘Sultan’. Yup, behind the music of ‘Akira’ are none other than Vishal-Shekhar, who surely have worked hard for the album, and after ‘Sultan’, I’m expecting a lot from them, though the movie isn’t music-oriented at all. The duo has made four songs, with one of them featuring in two versions, making that a total of five tracks. Without further ado, let’s see how much of a kick or punch the music of ‘Akira’ is!


1. Rajj Rajj Ke (Version 1) / Rajj Rajj Ke (Version 2)
Singers ~ Sonakshi Sinha & Vishal Dadlani / Nahid Afrin & Vishal Dadlani, Lyrics by ~ Kumaar

The duo starts the album off with a power-packed theme song, that automatically goes and makes itself a place with songs like ‘Jee Karda’ (Badlapur) and ‘Chhil Gaye Naina’ (NH10). The angst and frustration takes the form of a catchy, heart-touching and foot-tapping song that showcases the nature of the main character very well. The duo has excelled with the composition, gathering various notes that sound pretty energetic and full-of-fury when put together. The song starts with Vishal singing a line that is so soft, yet it is a wonderful opening to the energy and power that is to follow in the rest of the song. The mukhda is a beautifully haunting tune which lures you into the song, in quite a spooky way, but all the spookiness is enjoyable and awe-inspiring. The antara is something that will leave you in shock, with your jaw wide open; it treads on a wide range of notes, starting high and ending low, and how beautifully! The hookline is what you would call a power-packed line. All the fury and emotions of the singer gets poured out in just that one line, and it is sooooo touching, in a unique way! Vishal-Shekhar’s booming arrangements are another reason to hear the song on loop, what with rock guitar strums helping to increase the energy, while drums help the hookline sound marvelous. The first interlude is a wonderful Spanish guitar solo, which sounds astounding! The whole song is placed on an upbeat and groovy beat, which you would love to hear on loop! On the vocals front, the song, featuring in two versions, gets a different treatment from each of the two female singers. While Sonakshi, singing just as a publicity stunt, surprisingly pulls off the song quite commendably (sounding like a non-autotuned Kanika Kapoor), ‘Indian Idol Junior’ Season 1’s finalist Nahid Afrin stuns in her Bollywood debut, and steals the show in her version. The way she sings “Dard bedarrrdaaaa” at the end of the hookline, is so haunting! Her rendition of the wonderfully composed antara is something you can’t afford to miss! Vishal Dadlani, on the other hand, sings his one line, “Dard Bedardaaa, Dard Bedardaaa” in a very rustic voice, with two tracks of his voice over later upon each other, and sounding great! Kumaar’s lyrics display very well the misery/fury of the protagonist and suits the theme very well. Vishal-Shekhar score with the very first song on the album, which is definitely an energetic high! Though both versions are good, I would recommend Nahid’s version to the music lovers! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

2. Purza
Singer ~ Arijit Singh, Lyrics by ~ Manoj Muntashir

With the next song, it seems like Vishal-Shekhar have totally forgotten the angst and fury of the first song, and have drowned themselves into complete romantic mode, but again, when it is Vishal-Shekhar, you can never expect a straightforward, in-your-face romantic song, and that’s just the case with this one, too. The duo has composed a very upbeat and feel-good romantic song, which definitely leaves you puzzled at its unexpected twists and turns; as I said, you can never expect anything straightforward from this duo! The mukhda very beautifully introduces the listener to a very happy-sounding romantic song, which has shades of 90s IndiPop music. The hookline is just bliss, with a very cute repetition of a fabulous line, which will just make your day with its wide range of notes, ranging from low to high. The antaras are just as beautiful, with a very distinct Vishal-Shekhar touch, and reminding me a bit of their ‘Taxi No. 9211’ days, with love songs like ‘Ek Nazar Mein Bhi’. The instrumentation is another marvel by the duo. Acoustic guitars galore, they set the right ambience for the song, while the drums kick in to infuse the spunk into the song. Later on, we witness a wonderful fusion of European-styled harmonica with Caribbean percussion. The interlude after the first antara is one of the most diverse ones I’ve seen in such a breezy romantic song! Starting with apt techno sounds, and going back to the regular acoustic guitars, that interlude is a marvel to hear and believe! Vocals by Arijit are smack-on-the-bulls-eye, and in spite of the various dim-witted people on YouTube commenting stuff like, “Sorry, Arijit, this one wasn’t for you brother”, and “Arijit, itna ghatiya gaana kyun gaaya??” (which, in short, means, “Arijit, why did you sing such a horrible, terrible, nasty, unpleasant song?!”) I would like to believe that Arijit has sung with all his charm, and those who are open to Arijit singing songs other than songs from the ‘Raaz’, ‘Jannat’, ‘Murder’, and ‘Aashiqui’ franchises, would definitely appreciate hit vocals in this one! Manoj Muntashir’s lyrics reach another high, with very charming and cute romantic lyrics, and coupled with Vishal-Shekhar’s cute tune, they sound even more beautiful! A wonderful romantic song that not only defines how great Vishal-Shekhar are at making unique romantic songs, but also how to make a romantic song with Arijit, without relying on a melancholic tune to do the work for you! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

3. Kehkasha Tu Meri
Singer ~ Shekhar Ravjiani, Lyrics by ~ Manoj Muntashir

It seems that Vishal-Shekhar are finding it harder to leave the romance behind, than the fury! Because here they are, back with a romantic song, the second in an album where you would least expect even one of them! The song happens to be a remake of the duo’s own ‘Haravali Pakhare’, one of their two songs from the album of the Marathi movie ‘Balak Palak’. The composition is a gem of a composition, with every note touching the bottom of your heart, and stubbornly refusing to get out from your mind. The mukhda is bliss, North-Eastern folk screaming at you froim every note, and the way it connects with the hookline, with a brisk “Roshani Se bhari”, is spectacular and a delight to the ears. The hookline itself, though sounding very, very heard-before, is very charming. The antara takes a rather mellow route, with the notes taking unexpected downward twists, before things go back to the heavenly “Roshani Se Bhari” line, and the wondrous hookline. The arrangements are also not very unique or different, but manage to leave you in a very calmed state. Scintillating sounds of chimes and sparkling sounds lighten your mood up, while things crank up a bit during the hookline, with the duffs playing a nice Assamese rhythm. The piano and strings accompany each other very well in the interlude, and you are free to just drown in the bliss! Shekhar, with his soft and silky voice, renders the song with ease and charm; then again, when does he not sound charming!? I couldn’t help but remember Javed Ali’s voice, and how I wish there was another version sung by him too! 😀 Manoj yet again, impresses you with his lyrics, though simple. I contradict my own statement, and say that Vishal-Shekhar make straightforward romantic songs too, but just as beautifully as the twisted ones!! This is a perfect example of that! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

4. Baadal
Singer ~ Sunidhi Chauhan, Lyrics by ~ Manoj Muntashir

The pathos enters the album with the final song on it, and in a very IndiPop manner. The duo ends the album with a melancholy tune, which fails to impress as much as the other songs, but still manages to stay with you for quite a good amount of time. The duo’s composition actually sounds like they’re stuck in the early 2000s and forgot to change things in the song to make it sound like it is new. The mukhda is painfully stale-sounding, but the antara makes up for it with a cool assortment of notes that actually touch your heart. Otherwise, the song’s emotion is quite hollow and not so touching. The arrangements constitute not much but a guitar loop that sounds quite trippy, but overdone so much, that you find it kind of irritating towards the end! The arrangements could have had much more happening back there, but the duo seems to have been in a time constraint to deliver this track, hence the shortcomings! Sunidhi, however, manages to leave her mark, as always. Her bold voice is perfect for the song, and the confident way she does her aalaaps, even though she hasn’t been trained in classical music, is commendable! She sings the hookline very charmingly, and you can’t help but fall in love with her voice yet again! Hernhigh notes are a pleasure to hear too! Manoj seems to have been struggling to write something emotional, so that it seems to come out as a desperate attempt to turn the protagonist’s eyes into clouds — we don’t know if it is the black ones or white ones, mind you! 😀 A decent melody, rescued by Sunidhi’s confident carriage!


Akira is an album which definitely wasn’t supposed to have such astounding music, as I had thought when it was announced itself! Without having much scope to do so, Vishal-Shekhar manage to create four songs, with two romantic ones that will surely stay with you for long, an energetic song that redefines the meaning of anthems, and a sad song that doesn’t work as much as the makers would’ve wanted it to! Anyway, these three songs are more than enough to shine in an album where even two astounding songs would be a surprise! After the great and commercially appealing album to ‘Sultan’, Vishal-Shekhar deliver a power-packed kick with this album as well!

 

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: Purza > Kehkasha Tu Meri > Rajj Rajj Ke (Version 2 — Nahid) > Rajj Rajj Ke (Version 1 — Sonakshi) = Baadal

 

Which is your favourite song from Akira? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂

 

Next “dish”: Baar Baar Dekho, Chefs: Jasleen Royal, Amaal Mallik, Arko Pravo Mukherjee, Bilal Saeed, Badshah, Prem Hardeep

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One thought on “VISHAL-SHEKHAR’S STRONG MUSICAL KICK!! (AKIRA – Music Review)

  1. Very well written review. Its difficult to make songs for such films as there are no proper situations. But still Vishal-Shekhar made the album very well n u have written the review that well too. Way to go Buddy ☺

    Liked by 1 person

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