AMAAL’S SOLO CENTURY!!! (M.S. DHONI: THE UNTOLD STORY – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Amaal Mallik
♪ Lyrics by: Manoj Muntashir
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 5th September 2016
♪ Movie Releases On: 30th September 2016

M.S. Dhoni - The Untold Story Album Cover

M.S. Dhoni – The Untold Story Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story is an upcoming Bollywood sports biopic, based on the life of the current captain of the Indian cricket team, Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The movie stars Sushant Singh Rajput as Dhoni, Anupam Kher as Dhoni’s father, Bhumika Chawla as his sister, Disha Patani as his ex-girlfriend and Kiara Advani as Sakshi Dhoni, his wife. The movie has been directed by Neeraj Pandey, abd produced by Arun Pandey and Fox Star Studios. The movie, which releases tomorrow, chronicles the journey of M.S. Dhoni and how he became the successful man he is now. The music of the movie has been given by Amaal Mallik, and what’s special is, that after successfully spending two years in the industry, he has finally got his first full solo album to compose, wih nobody else interfering, and I’m glad because if not anybody else, he is the one person who really deserved that. So let’s see, whether Amaal can hit Dhoni’s famous helicopter shot with this album!!


1. Besabriyaan
Singer ~ Armaan Malik

Amaal starts off his first solo album with a soothing motivational song, sung by none other than Armaan. The song starts off with a wonderful piano solo, followed by guitar strums that will tell you that you’re in for something very calm. And sure enough, Amaal fulfills your desire by making the rest of the song live up to the starting. The composition is perfect for that of an inspirational song, depicting M.S. Dhoni’s years of training and hard work. The mukhda gives the song a perfect start, with a tune that instantly grabs the listeners’ attention. The way Amaal puts that high-pitched line in the mukhda, right before the hookline, is beautiful! That line makes a difference, and it is then when you realize how much you’re really going to enjoy the song. The hookline is wonderfully composed, though comprising only one word, and again, that is something commendable. The antara keeps the soulfulness going, and again, the high-pitched line comes to captivate you and also brings with it a lot of gooseflesh. 😀 Amaal uses various common instruments, but the way he uses them just goes to remind you how great a musician he is. The guitars (Ankur Mukherjee & Meghdeep Bose) are amazing as usual, but it is the violins (CMA Musicians, Mumbai; Conducted by Suresh Lalvani) that grab most of your attention throughout the song. The interludes are wonderfully graced by the sound of the violins, and they sound extraordinary in the song. There are also flutes (Tejas Vinchurkar) which leave you mesmerized. The electric guitar too, plays in the interlude and the acoustic guitar leaves you awestruck in the hookline of the song. There is a beautiful piano piece in the second interlude, very easy to miss, sandwiched between the guitars and the violins, but do go back and notice it and how extravagantly it has been played. Coming to the vocals, Armaan sings the song with utmost ease and elegance, bringing out the calmness as well as the inspirational touch very well. Again, it is because of him, that the high-pitched notes that Amaal had thought of, work out so well. The way he glides from one note to the other in the hookline, is enough to make anyone fall in love with his voice, yet again! Even Amaal, for that matter! 😀 Manoj Muntashir’s lyrics are apt for the situation, and very meaningful as well. They do a good job in making the song sound good, and if it weren’t for this man’s lyrics, the tune by Amaal could just as well have gone to some romantic song in another film! Thank God though, that it didn’t happen! 😀 An awe-inspiring and otherwise inspiring start to the album! after hearing this one, my besabriyaan (impatience) to hear the rest of the songs increases! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

2. Kaun Tujhe
Singer ~ Palak Muchhal

The mellow notes of the piano welcome you to the next song, a melancholic love song from the point of view of the girl. The song is a gem, in that it is a beautiful, and perfect blend of emotions, soulfulness and beautiful music that you can relax to. Amaal seems to have put his entire soul into making this song, as is evident from what is in front of us. The composition is something that haunts you even after you hear it only one time, and you instantly fall in love with it. We heard a similar song to this just last month, which was ‘Jab Tum Hote Ho’ (Rustom), a sad love song from the female point of view, but this one seems to surpass that as well. Amaal’s composition is a very matured one, and doesn’t seem overdramatic at all. The mukhda itself is something that gets you attuned to what is going to follow; it is a wonderful line with haunting notes played in a very beautiful sequence. The hookline has the notes going a bit higher, and it seems as though it is a part of the mukhda itself. It is actually the vocals that make the hookline sound outstanding, and makes us see it as an independent part of the song. What excel in the composition by Amaal though, are the brilliant antaras. The melancfoly of it all is concentrated in these parts of the song, and this is when it actually hits you very strongly. The line just before the antara ends, “meri nigaahein, hain teri nigaahon pe, tujhe khabar kya, bekhabar” is something I would love to listen to over and over and over and over and over again, and I mean it!! The brilliant humming by Palak after the hookline is something you find yourself waiting for after each time the hookline plays! The arrangements are graceful, with strings leading the song, and digital beats beautifully providing the mellowed-down atmosphere of the song. Guitars (Ankur Mukherjee & Meghdeep Bose) are audible in the hookline, and they are wonderful. There is a beautiful flute (Tejas Vinchurkar) and strings interlude after the first antara, and that is something to hear on loop. And then, the vocals. Palak has done an outstanding job, with probably the best performance in her entire career. She sings both the low and high portions with ease, and also, she doesn’t try to copy Shreya Ghoshal here!! 😀 Her voice too, seems to have matured a lot, and maybe it must be a miracle brought about by Amaal’s programming, but either way, I’m up for more songs like this by her!! Manoj’s lyrics perfectly describe the feelings of a girl in love, and are cute as well as emotional, especially when we come to know that this song is going to be picturtised on Dhoni’s first girlfriend, who had passed away in an accident. Amaal has outdone himself with this one; a beautiful love ballad from the female point of view! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

3. Jab Tak / Jab Tak (Redux)
Singers ~ Armaan Malik / Armaan Malik

Amaal brings the next song in two versions, and this is yet another love ballad, this time, picturized on Dhoni and his now-wife, Sakshi. This song follows a more cheerful composition, and is more dreamy in the sense that there is absolutely no melancholy kicking in. The composition is again, very matured, and Amaal has done a good job in making it very appealing. The mukhda starts with the song title itself, and it is a line that you will never forget once you hear it. It has that instant magically appealing effect on the ears. Though it starts off a bit slow, you will start falling in love with it after the hookline starts — “mere paas tum raho, jaane ki baat na karo“. The line makes you feel free and transports you in a different world altogether. And Armaan’s humming after the line, is hauntingly, magically, mesmerizing! And just then Amaal comes up with another beautiful antara, but it ends so soon, you fond yourself craving for more. “Well, no worries”, says Amaal, “I’m here with a redux too!” The redux has the same basic composition, but a faster tempo to it, and where the first version would be a matured romantic song, the redux would probably be one made for a more lighter situation, or maybe even just for the delight of the listeners. The main point is that, the song is longer due to longer interludes, and this one too, doesn’t leave you. Well, Armaan sounds mesmerizing in the first version, while he seems to be enjoying himself a lot in the redux, much to the delight of the listeners. Amaal’s arrangements in both versions are spot-on. While the first version has a mellowed-down, very dulcet atmosphere around it, and makes you feel very light, as if you’re flying, the second version has a more Amaal-ish instrumentation, with peppy guitars (Ankur Mukherjee), both rock and acoustic, and even drums. The first version accomplishes its dulcet nature with strings (played by the CMA Musicians and conducted by Suresh Lalwani) that really make you shiver at their grandeur. (That’s a compliment. Sorry if it doesn’t look or sound like one, but everything isn’t what it seems! 😉 ) The highlight of the first version’s arrangements though, are intensely grand trumpets, that steal your breath away whenever they play, much to your surprise, because this kind of a symphonic arrangement is rare in Bollywood, though Pritam, Ajay-Atul and A.R. Rahman (and maybe others) have tried it previously. The lyrics by Manoj Muntashir are beautiful in both versions, and are one of the reasons the song stands out – because of its simplicity. Something that will be on my playlist forever!! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

4. Phir Kabhi
Singer ~ Arijit Singh

And of course, the next song is what all the so-called music lovers that show themselves on Twitter and Facebook before the release of every album, asking composers if the album has any song by Arijit Singh, were waiting for. It is yet another romantic song (God, is Dhoni even gonna play anything in this movie?????) This time too, Amaal gives the song a nice, pleasant and breezy touch, and it appeals to the listeners’ ears immediately. The composition, though treading very familiar territory, instantly stands out. Amaal tunes the mukhda beautifully, the high notes working well as usual. The hookline has a nice, breezy feel and can be heard on loop. The antara too, is very soft to the ears, and very simple. Amaal excels in the arrangements; having gone to great lengths to arrange the instruments in a beautiful manner. This song is the most extensively arranged song on the album in my opinion, with guitars doing a great job in making it seem so. The ukelele played by Ankur Mukherjee really adds a beautiful oriental touch to the whole song. African ethnic vocals in one of the interludes made me think M.S. Dhoni somehow got transported to Ashutosh Gowariker and A.R. Rahman’s Mohenjo Daro. :p They sound awesome nonetheless! And harmonicas wonderfully steal the show in their charming portions. Arijit is the perfect choice for the vocals, and he handles the composition very gracefully. Those fans on social media aren’t idiots after all, are they? Manoj’s innocent lyrics really help the listeners connect to the song very well, and help the song reach heights. This song stands out in that it is so simplistic and innocently heard-before, that I loved it!! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

5. Parwah Nahin
Singer ~ Siddharth Basrur

The next song is a rock song, very heavy in its treatment, and something that I believe Amaal is doing for the very first time. As a first attempt, the song has turned out to sound exceptionally good. The composition is something you can conveniently groove to and tap your feet to. The song starts with whispers that have been sung in a grungy voice. This part isn’t something that would instantly grab your attention, but it is the rock guitars that arrive next, that make you listen ahead. The mukhda, is quite nicely composed, with a nice catchiness to it. The hookline is something that could’ve been composed better, though. The antara as well, is a typical rock composition, and is good as a whole. Amaal has put in many efforts as is evident. The arrangements are electrifying, with the mandatory electric guitars (Jeenti Dutta, Keshav Dhar & Armaan Malik), and drums (Jai Row Kavi) infusing the spunk into the song. The interludes have wonderful, elevating portions of rock, with the electric guitars playing wonderful tunes. Whoever has played the electric guitar in the second interlude, kudos to him! Siddharth Basrur, an otherwise very efficient singer, doesn’t really seem at comfort in this song though. Though he gets the grunge and huskiness into the song, it all just doesn’t work as a whole. Manoj Muntashir, again, writes a great song, with a good inspirational and motivational message to it. A song that will work in the film, but not as an audio song.

 

6. Padhoge Likhoge
Singers ~ Ananya Nanda & Adithyan A. Prithviraj

A very out-of-place dappankuthu rhythm starts the last song on this album, and it isn’t until you understand what the song is actually about, when you start loving it with all your heart. The song is a peppy, fun number, probably picturized on the lead character as small kids. It sounds like Dhoni’s sister is lecturing him about how he should study, but the smart kid that Dhoni was, argues in a very fun manner, and in the bargain, we get a wonderful song from Amaal. 😛 The composition is enjoyable, the hookline in particular being the peak point in the song. Though invoking memories of Amaal’s own ‘Chaarr Shanivaar’ (All Is Well), the song manages to appeal. The mukhda gives a good headstart to the song, while the antara dwindles a bit, but soon comes back to the catchiness of the other parts. The line before the hookline, sung in a very cute way by the little boy, is something very well composed by Amaal as well. The arrangements are enjoyable as well, especially the percussions (Dipesh Verma, Omkar Salunkhe & Keyur Barve; Arranged by Dipesh Verma & Daboo Malik) which are definitely the highlight of the music. And then there’s that shehnaai (Omkar Salunkhe) in the interlude and antara which grabs your attention. The peppy way in which all this falls into place, is worth hearing. And now, to talk about the singers. Ananya Nanda, winner of ‘Indian Idol Junior Season 2’ (yet another singer from the season debuting this month, after Nahid did in ‘Rajj Rajj Ke’ from ‘Akira’) plays the role of elder sister well, and her voice sounds mature and pleasant to listen to, while it is the cute and innocent voice of Adithyan A. Prithviraj, which steals the show. What a cute Dhoni he plays. And the words given to him make him sound even cute, thanks to Manoj Muntashir. He makes the two singers sing lyrics that are so funny at parts, especially when Adithyan sings against studies. 😀 OUTSTANDING! A fabulous end to the album! #5StarHotelSong!!


M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story turns out just as expected. Amaal hits that helicopter shot and wins to his credit an album that would be remembered in the list of his greatest works. Though the filmmaker seems to have concentrated on Dhoni’s love story a lot more than his sports career, Amaal caters to his vision and cooks up a great album with six songs that will bring the story forward. Amaal scores a century in his first solo album!!

 

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: Jab Tak > Kaun Tujhe > Besabriyaan > Jab Tak (Redux) > Phir Kabhi > Padhoge Likhoge > Parwah Nahin

 

Which is your favorite song from M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂

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