2016 – THE YEAR THAT WAS (2016 ANNUAL WRAP-UP: PART 1)

So the albums of 2016 have finally finished releasing (:P) , and with the release of the ‘Dangal’ album, the Bollywood scene for this year wraps up… and I will be summing up the music scene of this year in my 6-7 part wrap-up series. This one just happens to be the first part of that section, and though I know this little 6-to-7-part thing won’t exactly turn out how I first conceived it to turn out, I hope it sums up the music scene of the year quite well for you readers. 🙂 In this first part, I’ll just talk about the general stuff like what released when and how I liked it, and ill go month-wise of course, because, well, who doesn’t like to be systematic!?

So here’s the first part of the “MUSIC MASTANI ANNUAL WRAP-UP 2016“!

PHEW! In a nutshell, 2016 was a middling year in terms of music for me. Yes, there were your occasional biggies with great party rap songs featuring Badshah and Raftaar and Yo Yo Honey Singh (:P) but then so many albums from which I expected a lot, didn’t turn out to be quite as good as expected. On the other hand, other albums from which I expected as much as you expect sugar to taste spicy, (maybe because of the low-key promotions or Newcomer cast or unknown music directors or whatever) pleasantly surprised me.

As it happens every year, songs came and went, I kept writing my reviews. However, I must say that there was quite a little music to actually cherish this year. Albums that impressed were very impressive no doubt, but the problem was that they got released like ages apart from each other. And when a good album came, it had a strong competitor in the same month, or within a two-month radius. This means that the good albums came in bulk when they did, but the remaining part was pretty bleak! Of course, every album can’t be a ‘Bombay Velvet’ or a ‘Barfi’, but still,my musical sensibilities weren’t quite fulfilled this year.

Of course, the composers who usually impress, impressed this year too, with some occasional ups and downs, and thankfully, the year ended on a good note. It had started well, but somewhere in the middle — May, June, July, August — it started slowing down with innumerable albums catering to public demand and no real quality music releasing one after the other. The music scene picked up more momentum during September, and after that, we got pretty good songs for the rest of the year.

So now, I will analyse the year month-wise.. If you are interested, do read on, but be warned that it will be quite long.. as you know my writing. 😀 Hopefully, I can keep you hooked!!

 

2016 – The Year That Was

January

Well, I didn’t really want this year to start so quickly, as I was still experiencing the magic of the ‘Bajirao Mastani’ and ‘Dilwale’ albums that came out at the end of last year. Isn’t it boring to leave hold of something you cherished so much, and then start the year off with something relatively boring? Because that’s what January 2016 was — a mediocre start to the year with the odd great album.

• Albums of Movies that Released in January: Wazir, Chalk ‘n’ Duster, Airlift, Kyaa Kool Hain Hum 3, Jugni, Mastizaade & Saala Khadoos

• Composers that had Songs in These Albums: Shantanu Moitra, Ankit Tiwari, Rochak Kohli, Advaita, Gaurav Godkhindi, Prashant Pillai, Sandesh Shandilya, Amaal Mallik, Sajid-Wajid, Clinton Cerejo, Kaashif Sahib, Anand Raaj Anand, Meet Bros. Anjjan & Santhosh Narayanan

So as you can see, T-Series practically ruled the first month of the year, with four albums (Wazir, Airlift, Mastizaade & Saala Khadoos). And they had with them a mixed bag of songs. While Wazir seemed like a mix of background scores with the promotional song ‘Atrangi Yaari’ by Rochak Kohli standing out, and even somebody like Shantanu Moitra disappointing, Airlift fared better with Amaal Malik and Ankit Tiwari pitching in with some of their best music. That album had some repeat value, which is not so regular for a movie like Airlift. On the other hand, Mastizaade was full of cheap songs, and didn’t really bring out the best in Meet Bros Anjjan and Anand Raaj Anand, but compelling Amaal to deliver yet another awesome song (‘Rom Rom Romantic’). Santhosh Narayanan debuted in Bollywood with his five-track album, Saala Khadoos, which wasn’t exceptional, but nevertheless good.

Zee Music Company had but one album, the album to the adult comedy Kyaa Kool Hain Hum 3, and it had composers Sajid-Wajid trying to prove that they too, could make modern music, but failing in their motive. One or two songs being good, this album was a total washout. And Sony Music had the best album of the month to its credit — Jugni. Clinton Cerejo (with guest composer Kaashif Sahib) must’ve worked immensely hard to produce an album with such a vast variety of songs — and that too, 12 of them! Sony Music also had Sandesh Shandilya’s album Chalk ‘n’ Duster, which nobody really knew had released, and that tells you what it was about.

 

February

February, the month of love, saw the release of countless romantic movies, which it was very difficult to keep track of, as there were only four possible dates on which to release all of these movies. Of course, there were your odd non-romantic movies, but the !month had a predominant romantic theme to it. After ‘Bajirao..’ and ‘Dilwale’, the romantic songs to release had to pass that certain standard that had been set by these albums — the best romantic albums of the season.

• Albums of Movies that Released in February: Sanam Teri Kasam, Ghayal Once Again, Fitoor, Sanam Re, Direct Ishq, Ishq Forever, Loveshhuda, Neerja, Bollywood Diaries, Love Shagun, Tere Bin Laden – Dead Or Alive

• Composers that had Songs in These Albums: Himesh Reshammiya, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Amit Trivedi, Mithoon, Amaal Mallik, Jeet Gannguli, Epic Bhangra, Vivek Kar, Tanishk Bagchi, Raeth Band, Nadeem Saifi, Parichay, Vishal Khurana, Vipin Patwa, Rishi-Siddharth, Ashish Pandit, Band of Bandagi, Ram Sampath, Ali Zafar & Abhishek-Akshay

So as you can see, there were a hell lot of films to be released on those four poor days. It’s good to take advantage of a leap year, but so much? 😛 Anyway, it isn’t my fault that only one of these films actually worked at the box office! So let’s get back to music.

This month clearly belonged to Zee Music Company, with 7 out of 11 of those albums on their label. (Ghayal Once Again, Fitoor, Direct Ishq, Ishq Forever, Bollywood Diaries, Love Shagun, Tere Bin Laden 2) We know that quality beats quantity, and this is what Zee got wrong here. Out of those seven albums, only two were worth listening! But first, about the bad ones! (I loooove to pulverize albums like this, don’t I!)

So Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy opened their account this year with the album to that oh-so-low-key sequel to the 1990 hit, ‘Ghayal’. It was such a forgettable album that I even forgot that Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy started their 2016 with it — I directly jump to “Mirzya” that came much, much later! Two songs would’ve been alright, had the composers put in a bit more efforts. So that got washed out like this: {Insert: a picture of fingers snapping} And then Direct Ishq comes along, acting like an album with a lot of variety.. “Oh, I have eight tracks, by three different composers, and the protagonist in my movie is a rockstar girl!” If eight tracks were enough to make an album great, Kai Po Che wouldn’t have even released, Mr. Direct Ishq! Ishq Forever became Nadeem Saifi’s (of yesteryear hitmakers Nadeem-Shravan) sureshot last album ever, what with him desperately trying to use Gen-Y singers, but keeping the same stale tunes he used to deliver with his partner-in-music-making. Love Shagun was yet another album that came out of nowhere, and didn’t have tracks that were suitable for a good rom-com (though I remember I had liked one Kunal Ganjawala song from it). Lastly, Tere Bin Laden 2 was an album that tried to be a bit too dependent on the “less quantity” thing, and a waste of talents like Ram Sampath and Ali Zafar, having them composing very generic tunes.

Now for the great music on Zee Music in February.. Fitoor and Bollywood Diaries. While the former was a movie everyone knows (but most people don’t know most songs from it) the latter movie, almost nobody knew about, but each album had some great music in its bag, Amit Trivedi and Vipin Patwa respectively bringing put their best in each album. Though Fitoor could’ve been very slightly better, I will still say that it was the first great album of 2016, that everybody knew about.

T-Series released Bhushan Kumar’s wife’s second debacle, Sanam Re this month. At least Yaariyan had good music, though it flopped. This one didn’t care to do even that much. Amaal Mallik delivering the odd good song in this album, and Mithoon creating a stunning title song, the rest was pretty boring! T-Series’ other album Neerja, however, fared better, with debutant Vishal Khurana, really hitting the chords of the heart, delivering a very heart-warming album.

The last two albums this month were Eros Music’s Sanam Teri Kasam by Himesh and Tips Music’s release for this year, Loveshhuda. (Do they release more than two albums in any year nowadays?) The former had Himesh delivering some of his best and quirkiest music for such a low-budget film, and helping to propel it forward, while the latter had Mithoon and Parichay delivering your everyday rom-com music — nothing exceptional. This way, the month of February was more of an exhausting period than a fun one, this year!! 😦

 

March

The dryness followed in March, even though the albums that released were actually quite good. It just didn’t feel complete for some reason, despite the albums being good. Maybe that exhausting February was still working its evil magic on me.

• Albums of Movies That Released in March: Zubaan, Teraa Surroor, Jai Gangaajal, Cute Kameena, Kapoor & Sons (Since 1921) & Rocky Handsome

• Composers that had Songs in These Albums: Ashutosh Phatak, Manraj Patar, Ishq Bector-Shree D, Himesh Reshammiya, Salim-Sulaiman, Krsna Solo, Amaal Mallik, Badshah, Benny Dayal, Tanishk Bagchi, Arko Pravo Mukherjee, Nucleya, Sunny-Inder Bawra, Ankit Tiwari & Bombay Rockers

This month, too, T-Series was leading with three albums. The first was the colossal Zubaan, which, after Jugni, I was expecting a lot from. Ashutosh Phatak’s debut didn’t really impress as much as expected, and with those Punjabi tracks by Manraj Patar in the middle, the album didn’t really impress too much. With Teraa Surroor, Himesh continued his good music spree in the year, and also his obsession with all things ‘surroor’. Though it wasn’t as good as Sanam Teri Kasam, it was still quite good. Rocky Handsome was the best of T-Series this month, with Sunny-Inder Bawra making a smashing debut with some great melodious tracks, and The Bombay Rockers’ super-hit ‘Rock Tha Party’s infectious tune. Ankit Tiwari also performed well in this album!

Sony Music came next with a great album to Kapoor & Sons, and Amaal Mallik’s first outing from T-Series proved to be a huge success. Arko and Tanishk gave the best of the album though, and touched our hearts.

Zee Music came with two albums this month, one for an action film, Jai Gangaajal, which had Salim-Sulaiman successfully exploring the folk music scene, and resulting in a very fun and interesting album with the right mix of folksy dance tracks, satirical tracks and emotional tracks. The second one is Cute Kameena, one of the rare albums that Krsna Solo composes outside of the Tanu Weds Manu franchise. It was good enough for a rom-com but not as good as Krsna’s songs in the aforementioned franchise.

 

April

Though it had some good albums, March still felt incomplete, and April could do very little about it. The multicomposer trend just grew in this month, and it got out of hand. T-Series ruled this month as well, but the winner of the month was actually with Eros. It was also the month I started reviewing again!! After my board exams! :p

• Albums of Movies that Released This Month: Ki & Ka, Love Games, Fan, Nil Battey Sannata, Laal Rang, Baaghi & Santa Banta Pvt. Ltd.

• Composers that had Songs In These Albums: Meet Brothers, Mithoon, Yo Yo Honey Singh, Ilaiyaraaja, Sangeet-Siddharth, Vishal-Shekhar, Rohan-Vinayak, Mathias Duplessy, Vipin Patwa, Shiraz Uppal, Amaal Mallik, Manj Musik, Ankit Tiwari, Jassi Katyal, Amjad-Nadeem, Millind Gaba & Jaidev Kumar

T-Series had an unignorable presence in April. Starting off with Ki & Ka, which had Meet Brothers doing their biggest work (in terms of number of songs) and very successfully carrying it out, not without help from an original song by Honey Singh, and also guest compositions by Mithoon and Ilaiyaraaja, this album was pleasant. Love Games dismisses any misconception that Bhatt music can never be innovative, and Sangeet-Siddharth with their very innovative music, saved the Bhatt reputation this time. Laal Rang was yet another mixed bag album with mostly cool and some boring songs, and Mathias Duplessy did a good job after his debut in Finding Fanny. Baaghi ended the month for T-Series on the note that multicomposer albums sometimes are good. Three out of four of the T-Series albums this month were multicomposer ones and also quite good ones too, so why not?

Zee had only one album — something that was so horrendous, that I didn’t waste time reviewing it — Santa Banta Pvt. Ltd. An album full of Punjabi songs that make people generalise Punjabi music as bad, which it actually isn’t!

YRF came with one of its three albums of this year — Fan. It had only one song, but Vishal-Shekhar made sure it was so memorable, that the film could rely on solely its promotion, though that move of releasing it in every regional language they could think of was quite far-fetched.

As I stated before, the winner of the month was with Eros Music — Nil Battey Sannata. An album with a heart, this one was beautifully crafted by debutant duo Rohan-Vinayak and ended up being one of those dark horse albums of the year, even.

 

May

May was an even drier month than February, with very few great albums. Again, T-Series just seemed to take the multicomposer trend for granted and new composers started popping up in each album, though the trailer had never initially credited them! However, one album really benefited from this trend!

• Albums of Movies That Released In May: One Night Stand, Traffic, 1920 London, Azhar, Sarbjit, Veerappan, Cabaret (hasn’t released yet) & Waiting

• Composers that had Songs in These Albums: Tony Kakkar, Meet Brothers, Jeet Gannguli, Vivek Kar, Mithoon, Shailendra Barve, Sharib-Toshi, Kaushik-Akash, Amaal Mallik, Pritam Chakraborty, DJ Chetas,  Tanishk Bagchi, Shail-Pritesh, Shashi-Shivamm, Kaustav Narayan Niyogi, Munish Makhija & Mikey McCleary

Barring two albums, the entire May month was with T-Series. One Night Stand was an album that was desperate to deliver what was needed in a movie starring Sunny Leone — two item songs, and the rest Bhatt-ish. Still, Meet Brothers and Jeet Gannguli managed to do well. 1920 London is the beginning of when I started getting bored of Sharib-Toshi’s music. Their songs were heavily templated and monotonous and it just got on my nerves. Kaushik-Akash, newcomers, did a better job, but not too great either. Azhar and Sarbjit are the albums that made T-Series actually pass this month without rocks getting thrown at their office (read: comments getting hurled at them on YouTube) Azhar had Amaal bravely fill in the shoes of Pritam, just three weeks before the album released, and still deliver some great music. The one song of Pritam that was retained though, became one of the year’s greatest romantic hits. And then there was DJ Chetas (autocorrect is telling me to spell his name as ‘Cheats!’*) ruining yet another classic.

The month belonged to Sarbjit, however, with its ten gems compiled expertly by whoever compiled it. Shail-Pritesh, assistants of Bhansali for a long time, finally got a break in Bollywood, and delivered five of the songs of the albums. Tanishk Bagchi had a wonderful rock Qawwali to his credit, and Amaal Mallik and Jeet Gannguli produced what their best at — melodious romantic songs. Sadly, most of the album never reached most of the audience.

Veerappan had Sharib-Toshi proving yet again that they make atrocious upbeat numbers, and Jeet Gannguli trying his hand out at a folksy item song. But more than that, it showed that it was just a fluke when Ram Gopal Verma got Rahman to compose for ‘Rangeela’. Lastly, Cabaret was an ambitious-looking album that turned out to be disappointing for the most part. The director of the film composing music didn’t really work as well as it does when Bhansali does the same.

Traffic was how we learnt that the magic of Mithoon’s music doesn’t wear away with time, as the four-year old album released this year. And lastly, Waiting was what stole the limelight in May. Mikey McCleary had produced a sweet little album for the film, and it was lapped up by Music lovers, but another unnoticed album.

 

June

June was the month when the music scene started to improve slightly more, if not improve drastically. Composers like Amit Trivedi, Tapas Relia and Clinton Cerejo pitched in to make this month a memorable one for Bollywood music in 2016.

• Albums of Movies that Released in June: Housefull 3, Do Lafzon Ki Kahani, Dhanak, Te3n, Udta Punjab, Raman Raghav 2.0, Junooniyat and 7 Hours To Go

• Composers that had Songs in These Albums: Sharib-Toshi, Sohail Sen, Mika Singh, Millind Gaba, Tanishk Bagchi, Amaal Mallik, Arjuna Harjai, Ankit Tiwari, Babli Haque, Dr. Zeus, Tapas Relia, Clinton Cerejo, Amit Trivedi, Ram Sampath, Meet Bros. Anjjan, Jeet Gannguli, Bobby-Imran, Sugat-Shubham & Hanif Shaikh

This month, as usual, T-Series had its usual large number of albums. With 5 out of 8 of the albums that released that month, T-Series just shows that it prefers quantity over quality. Housefull 3 became the epitome of an album with bad songs on my blog, me dissing it whenever possible in any review when any composer delivers a bad song. Do Lafzon Ki Kahani, being short and simple, turned out to please for merely two or three weeks, after which it too got boring. Raman Raghav 2.0 was one of Ram Sampath’s few underwhelming albums, with that song ‘Qatl-e-Aam’ and its Unplugged version standing out, along with ‘Behooda’. Junooniyat was your usual T-Series affair, minus Mithoon and Amaal Mallik. It had some pretty good songs, but only Ankit’s ‘Ishqe Di Lat’ managed to survive the test of time. T-Series’ best this month was Te3n, which had Clinton delivering four phenomenal tracks for a thrilled like that. It was a much needed relief and the first album to a thriller after maybe ‘Talaash’ by Ram Sampath, that entertained so much.

Zee Music had two albums, one a washout and the other a great experimental one. 7 Hours to Go was an album I reviewed because I was getting bored, and maybe I shouldn’t have too. Looking back, there was no reason to have chosen to review that album! The good album that Zee owned that month though, was Amit Trivedi’s second album of the year — Udta Punjab. It had music transcending the usual Punjabi stereotypes and actually bringing out the beauty in Punjabi music, at the same time blending it with nice modern touches. Save for a couple of songs, this album was worth listening to.

It was Times Music’s album that was the best of the month, however. Tapas Relia composed some great folksy fusion tracks for Dhanak, and the album really touched my heart. Its title song still rules my heart. Sadly the album didn’t get its due. 😦

 

July

July was yet another month that just dragged on. It was very, very dry. There were not too many weighty films that released this month. Two biggies, Sultan and Dishoom released this month, plus a Rajinikanth film that was dubbed into Hindi, and that’s about it!

• Albums of the Movies that Released In July: Shorgul, Sultan, Great Grand Masti, Kabali, Madaari, Dishoom

• Composers that Had Songs In These Albums: Lalit Pandit, Niladri Kumar, Vishal-Shekhar, Sanjeev-Darshan, Sharib-Toshi, Superbia, Santhosh Narayanan, Vishal Bhardwaj, Sunny-Inder Bawra & Pritam Chakraborty

This month started off with Zee’s quite unnoticed album Shorgul, which actually had a pleasant surprise in that debutant Niladri Kumar gave a splendid song, and Lalit Pandit gave a couple of good songs. For its status the album was good enough. Zee also had the third installment of the ‘Masti’ series to its credit. Sanjeev-Darshan gave some great music to this album, while Sharib-Toshi and Superbia (Gourov-Roshin-Shaan) didn’t quite. Sanjeev-Darshan together made this the best album to the three adult comedies (Mastizaade, Kyaa Kool Hain Hum 3 & Great Grand Masti) that released this year.

T-Series too had but two albums this month. Madaari was a two-song show, with Vishal Bhardwaj disappointing with his composition, but newcomers Sunny-Inder saving the album with their heart-rending song. T-Series also had the rights to the Dishoom album, an album which was sadly by Pritam. Save for the club song Sau Tarah Ke, the album was not at all up to Pritam’s standards!!

Think Music, before this solely a South Indian music company, had to open their Hindi department this year because of Rajinikanth’s Kabali, probably because no other company wished to buy the rights to the album. It was not too bad, but not as good as any album Rahman would compose for Rajinikanth, which themselves aren’t too good! It was washed out within a week.

It was YRF that stole the thunder in July, with their Sultan. Vishal-Shekhar working for the first time with Salman Khan, this album had all you needed. It was a great mix of emotions, fun and motivation. The duo seemed to have put in their best to make their comeback after two years and their first work with Salman memorable. Nine tracks, pure fun. Being the first commercial album of the year for a biggie that really called for repeat listening, this album surely comes on my list of best albums of the year.

 

August

The musical scene just continued to get better in August, however slightly, but improving anyhow. It was yet another month where we got to hear all types of music!

• Albums of Movies that Released In August: The Legend of Michael Mishra, Budhia Singh – Born To Run, Fever, Hai Apna Dil Toh Awara, Mohenjo Daro, Rustom, Happy Bhag Jayegi & A Flying Jatt

• Composers that had Songs in These Albums: Meet Bros. Anjjan, Nikhil-Ujjwal, Som-Raul, Abhinav Bansal, Rishi-Siddharth, Hitesh Sonik, Sidhant Mathur, Ishaan Chhabra, Ranjit Barot, Tanishk Bagchi, Tony Kakkar, Onesia Rithner, Rahul Bhatt, Faizan-Agnel, Shamir Tandon, Rahul Jain, Ajay Singha, Subhash Pradhan, Pervez Quadir, A.R. Rahman, Arko Pravo Mukherjee, Jeet Gannguli, Raghav Sachar, Ankit Tiwari, Sohail Sen & Sachin-Jigar

Phew! Look at that composers list! So many of these albums were multicomposer ones, it was scary! But I must say, so many of them were great albums. Zee Music led the way with five of the albums of this month. Budhia Singh Born To Run turned out to be a mice motivational album, almost at par with Nil Battey Sannata. Hitesh Sonik’s guest composition really stood out there. Next up was the colossal album Fever. With a troop of eight composers, this fifteen-track album wasn’t boring in the least. Tony Kakkar, newcomer Rahul Jain and Tanishk Bagchi did especially well. Hai Apna Dil Toh Awara was a refreshing album, that came as quite a surprise, it was so good! Rustom was an album that had all it required for a hit album, and it did become a very big hit. All songs got their deserved due. And finally, Sachin-Jigar’s only project of the year, A Flying Jatt, impressed with its nice mélange of melody and rhythm.

T-Series fell quite behind this month, what with only two releases. The first was The Legend of Michael Mishra, an album that seemed like a rapid amalgamation and put-together of unrelated songs. Abhinav Bansal (newcomer) and Som-Raul (also newcomers) managed to impress in this otherwise banal album. The second T-Series album was Mohenjo Daro, which was quite disappointing for a Rahman album! I mean, the songs were good, but there were only three! The instrumentals were food (except those verrrryy boring “Whispers of The Mind/Heart”) but instrumentals never do last long enough to make a huge impact — My favourite songs being ‘Sarsariya’ and its instrumental counterpart ‘Lakh Lakh Thora’.

Eros Music too had an album this month. Sohail Sen’s first solo album after Gunday in February 2014, Happy Bhag Jayegi was a very refreshing album, having everything from peppy dance tracks to emotional numbers to romantic songs. And Sohail really aced it.

 

September

In September, I actually started to feel like the year is getting better and better and better each month. With so many big ticket films lined up for release and their albums having well-known composers, this month was like a trip to the past, when composers like Vishal-Shekhar and Sajid-Wajid worked in the same month!

• Albums of Movies that Released In September: Akira, Freaky Ali, Baar Baar Dekho, Pink, Raaz Reboot, Banjo, Days of Tafree & M.S. Dhoni – The Untold Story

• Composers that had Songs in These Albums: Vishal-Shekhar, Sajid-Wajid, Amaal Mallik, Jasleen Kaur Royal, Arko Pravo Mukherjee, Bilal Saeed, Badshah, Faiza Mujahid, Shantanu Moitra, Anupam Roy, Jeet Gannguli, Sangeet-Siddharth, Bobby-Imran & Rochak Kohli

T-Series had five albums in September. Akira by Vishal-Shekhar was an album with nothing innovative, but quite good songs for that matter. Plus it was for a movie that barely needed those songs! Freaky Ali was Sajid-Wajid’s chance of redeeming themselves after Kyaa Kool Hain Hum 3, and they succeeded only partially. When Jeet Gannguli actually gave some good music for the Bhatts’ movie Raaz Reboot, I started believing that the music scene was getting better. Days of Tafree was a washout, while the album that stood out this month was also with T-Series, and it was Amaal Mallik’s first solo album, to the M.S. Dhoni biopic. Seven songs of different themes of Dhoni’s life, made this album one full of variety, and that gem Kaun Tujhe still stands out as one of 2016’s best songs.

Zee Music had only one album this month, but that album was totally worth it. Baar Baar Dekho was your rare multicomposer album that actually called for repeat listens. Even with the five different composers, the songs seemed weaved together very well. Again, Amaal and Arko’s songs were awesome, while Jasleen Royal made a smashing debut.

Times Music’s Pink was forgettable except for a wonderful song in which Shantanu Moitra redeemed himself, Kaari Kaari. Anupam Roy, in his second Hindi album after Piku, failed to attract much attention.

Eros Music had Vishal-Shekhar’s Banjo, which was an innovative album that didn’t seem too great at first, but definitely grew. The experimentations done by the duo, plus the massy influence added, was a masterstroke by the duo. It was the harbinger signifying that something great was to arrive in October, and it sure did. 😉

 

October

Now October was surely the BEST month for Bollywood in terms of music (I say that because most films flopped..) Let’s recall what our Diwali was like:

• Albums of Movies That Released In October: Mirzya, Tutak Tutak Tutiya, Saat Uchakkey, Shivaay & Ae Dil Hai Mushkil

• Composers that Had Songs in These Albums: Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Sajid-Wajid, Gurinder Seagal, Vishal Mishra, Raaj Ashoo, Millind Gaba, Vivek Kar, Jaidev Kumar, Bapi-Tutul, Niranjan Khound, Saket Singh, Mithoon, Jasleen Kaur Royal & Pritam Chakraborty

T-Series owned the whole of October except one album. Tutak Tutak Tutiya was another multicomposer album that had the audience hooked when it released and then disappeared within one week of the film’s release. Of course, that isn’t because the songs were bad, but it is because something called ‘ADHM’ released around that time. More on it later. Saat Uchakkey was another album I reviewed because there was nothing else to do, but I was pleasantly surprised by Vivek Kar and Bapi-Tutul’s songs. Shivaay was nothing as grand as it had been touted to be. Barring the title song and Darkhaast, the album was nothing new. And Jasleen as the guest composer spoiled it by repeating what she did in Baar Baar Dekho.

Lastly, T-Series had the rights to the music of Mirzya, a grand and legendary album. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy outdid themselves with a mix of folk and techno sounds, but never crossed the line with the techno elements, resulting in a nice art-film type album. :p Gulzar’s lyrics were the main highlight of the album. After that small and forgettable album to Ghayal Once Again, this was a welcome change.

Sony Music then came with the album of the film that made so much buzz this year due to that controversy which I don’t need to repeat. The album to Ae Dil Hai Mushkil was one of the best this year and after probably Sultan, probably the best commercial album of the year. Pritam’s comfort zone is rom-coms and he delivered, and how! Six tracks full of fun and emotion make this album unforgettable. This way, October ended on a high with the storms that were Mirzya and Ae Dil Hai Mushkil.

 

November

So they say that after a storm comes a calm. Half of November stayed true to this saying. Indeed, the first half of the month seemed like the calm after a storm. Nothing great was releasing, until two albums released at the end, which restored my belief that the end of the year was going to have better music than the other part.

• Albums of Movies that Released In November: Rock On 2, Tum Bin 2, Force 2, Saansein & Dear Zindagi

• Composers that had Songs in These Albums: Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Ankit Tiwari, Gourov-Roshin, Amaal Mallik, Vivek Kar & Amit Trivedi

Again T-Series was ahead, with three out of these five albums. Out of which only one deserved to even be an album. Force 2 was a desperate mix of techno plus an unnecessary spoilage of a classic song. Superbia minus Shaan (Gourov-Roshin) composed some atrocious songs in this movie, while Amaal Mallik tried to save them but didn’t quite succeed. Vivek Kar’s first solo outing was not anything special, just a mix of Bhatt-ish tunes, out of which a semi-classical song, Royi, stood out. It was Ankit Tiwari’s (not first) solo album Tum Bin 2 which helped T-Series this month. A good mix of upbeat and romantic songs, this one was a good break from his various single-song appearances in multicomposer albums.

Zee Music’s Rock On 2 was a Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy album that got completely washed out. With nothing interesting, this album was forgettable, despite having such a big banner behind it. Sadly Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy seemed exhausted after Mirzya.

On Sony Music — Amit Trivedi’s Dear Zindagi happened to be the best album of the month, but arriving late, it got clubbed with the December albums like ADHM got clubbed with these November albums. Anyway, it was a great album, though having less repeat value.

 

December

And as we came to the end of the year, two more biggies came up with some of the best albums of the year. And who other than Vishal-Shekhar and Pritam to be behind those albums? And who better than these two to finish the year off with a bang!!

• Albums of Movies That Released In December: Kahaani 2, Wajah Tum Ho, Befikre & Dangal

• Composers that had Songs in These Albums: Clinton Cerejo, Mithoon, Abhijit Vaghani, Meet Bros, Gourov-Roshin, Vishal-Shekhar & Pritam Chakraborty

Saregama’s sole release this year was the album of the sequel to Kahaani, where Clinton Cerejo replaced Vishal-Shekhar, and didn’t quite satisfy my expectations.

T-Series too had only one album in the form of Wajah Tum Ho, wherein three remakes made the album get whatever fame it got.

YRF’s Befikre and Zee Music’s Dangal were the two great albums this month, with Vishal-Shekhar experimenting with European music in the former and Pritam with Haryanvi folk in the latter. Both emerged as winners and I also personally believe that the Dangal album is better than ADHM, if not more popular.

 

So there was my roundup of 2016! I hope I didn’t bore you. Anyway, since there weren’t any awards in this part, it won’t really matter if you hadn’t read it (Sorry for not telling this before.. :P) because the next parts will have awards! 🙂 Stay tuned for the awards!!

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3 thoughts on “2016 – THE YEAR THAT WAS (2016 ANNUAL WRAP-UP: PART 1)

  1. That was a long one,but for one second it didn’t make me feel bored,unlike most albums this year! True that most of them didn’t even carry any expectations with them,but composers like Pritam Da,Vishal-Shekhar,Amit Trivedi,Arko & Amaal Mallik saved the music scene this year and how!
    While music this year was middling,your reveiws sure were not! Wish you a very good year ahead with your reviews!! 😃😃

    Like

  2. Amazing !
    Was bit exhausting to read but got to revise some of the albums which i had forgotten. Thanx for the amazing writeup n m looking forward for more of such roundups 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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