Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Ram Sampath, JAM8, Omgrown Music & Kalyanji-Anandji
♪ Lyrics by: Javed Akhtar, Indeevar, Amitabh Bhattacharya, Mayur Puri, Ram Sampath, Hiral Brahmbhatt & Manoj Yadav
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 24th January 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 25th January 2017
To hear the full songs of this album on Saavn CLICK HERE
To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE
Raees is an upcoming Bollywood action / crime thriller film starring Shah Rukh Khan, Mahira Khan and Naseeruddin Shah in prominent roles. The film has been directed by Rahul Dholakia, and produced by Gauri Khan, Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar. The movie sees Shah Rukh Khan playing a gangster, and that’s pretty much all that we all know about it. The album has released one DAY before the movie, and that’s been frowned upon a lot, mostly by me, and I hated this promotion strategy, if you can call it a strategy. The film had three songs running around TV till the album decided to release a day before. Anyway, the music is by Ram Sampath and JAM8, which is Pritam’s Artiste & Repertoire company promoting new talent. One song by JAM8, it hasn’t been specified who has composed, while the two others are by someone named Aheer. So without further ado, (I mean, how can there be any further ado…) let’s see what this latecomer album has to offer, and whether it was worth the suspense.
1. Laila Main Laila
Singer ~ Pawni Pandey, Additional Vocals ~ Chaandni RMW & Team Omgrown, Original Composition by ~ Kalyanji-Anandji, Music Recreated by ~ Ram Sampath, Original Lyrics by ~ Indeevar, New Lyrics by ~ Javed Akhtar
“Mohabbat ka dasta, tumhe naag hai kya,
Tumhare bhi dil mein, lagi aag hai kya?
Mere liye bhi, tadapte ho tum bhi,
Main betaab jaise, tumhare liye hoon?”
– Javed Akhtar
The first song on the album takes the form of a (yes, again!!) remake of a popular old song. This time, ‘Laila O Laila’ from ‘Qurbani’ gets brought to the slaughtering counter. (Or is it? Let’s see..) Anyway, Ram Sampath takes charge of this ambitious remake. Ram Sampath is somebody I never have seen remaking songs. (Correct me if I’m wrong, but the only remake I remember him doing before is that remake of a folk song, ‘Ambarsariya’ in ‘Fukrey’). So he gets to do the remake to this hit club song of the Disco era. Kalyanji-Anandji’s tune for both mukhda and antara get retained, and that is always a pleasure to know. Not that I was a huge fan of the old song, but all celebrations in India (and please note that that is just figurative) are incomplete without this song playing at least once. With the original tune retained, remaking a song properly almost always becomes a piece of cake. Or so I thought. The tune has been retained, and the item-ish flavour has been retained, so as to keep as much similarity with the original and not make an out-of-place remake, but something still seems missing in the song. The arrangements are fantastic. What else can we expect when Taufiq Qureshi is in charge of percussions! Nothing but awe overcomes you when you hear the wonderful and grand percussions — they are so earthy! They make the song which was originally a disco song, a rural number. And that “Bubuchikum, boom bubuchikum” with which the song starts is just crazy! Thats probably one of the best parts of the song. The arrangements of course, like any item song, are incomplete without whistles and a backing chorus going “hey hey“. And everything’s been done here. Even the legendary trumpets (Ed Gibson) have been used and that epic trumpet tune to the hookline has been played throughout the song. But still, something seems missing! Pawni Pandey, who shot to fame with ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li’l Champs’, has clearly left behind her Li’l-champ-ness. She tries very hard to get the nuances and various little bits of an item song right, but to no avail. (Similar to how Chinmayi couldn’t quite sing ‘Mera Naam Mary’ from ‘Brothers’ well). She only sounds very heavenly when she sings the line, “Laila o Laila Laila, aisi tu Laila“, (she sings in her actual voice there) but not in the lines where she actually sings AS Laila. (On retrospection, I think that might be backing vocalist Chaandni RMW.. So she sounds better than Pawni!) However, that backing vocalist who sings the “phabak phabak” part in this version somewhere in the second interlude, really aces his part! 😀 The lyrics to the antaras have been changed though the tune has been retained, and they carry on the spirit of the old song. At least Javed Akhtar has written something sensible and non-vulgar for such a song too, and not something yucky and stupid. Of course, Indeevar’s classic lyrics for the mukhda can’t really be replaced, can they? Ram Sampath tries his best to deliver a smashing remake, and I must admit, this is better than other recent remakes, (first and foremost, it has no rap! Yay!) but something still lacks, and I can’t seem to understand what!
Note: As I’m writing this review, this song seems to have volatilized from my brain! I mean, it released like a month ago!
Singers ~ Arijit Singh & Harshdeep Kaur, Music by ~ JAM8, Lyrics by ~ Amitabh Bhattacharya
“Deedar tera Milne ke baad hi chhooti meri angdaai,
Tu hi bataade kyun zaalima main kehlaayi?
Kyun iss tarah se duniya jahaan mein Karta hai meri ruswaai?
Tu hi bataade kyun zaalima main kehlaayi!”
– Amitabh Bhattacharya
Pritam Chakraborty’s Artists and Repertoire company, JAM8 get charge of the romantic song of the album. Now isnt it such an honour to compose a romantic song for THE Shah Rukh Khan? And I must say, the team has made a good effort in keeping with the star’s legacy. Before you start hurling curses at me, I will stop judging music by star value and let’s get on with the review! So the composer(s) [I don’t really know who it is exactly for JAM8] composes this song with a very evident feel-good vibe to it, and who doesn’t like such breezy music? The mukhda has a very sunshine-ish tune to it, and the hookline is so nicely inserted into it, just like a jigsaw puzzle piece that fits into another piece perfectly. (Must be some great quality cardboard that that jigsaw puzzle is made of! Sorry.) The mukhda contains some nice couplets followed by the interjection “O zaalima“, and these couplets have been put to such a nice and playful tune, you can’t help but groove to it, though it isn’t the most conventional of tunes. It reminded me of ‘Aaj Dil Shaayraana’ (Holiday)! It also has PRITAM written all over it; the composer(s??) have done a good job of recreating his style. The mukhda also has another line, which has the most brilliant of tunes, in a high scale of notes. (It’s the part that goes “Aankhein marhaba, baatein marhaba“, in case you’re wondering.) The first antara is yet another playful tune that you just can’t get enough of, especially the seamless way the tune goes from low notes to high, in a very clever bridge note. And then the tune of that “marhaba” part comes back with different words, and so do the goosebumps! After the first antara, you think that the song would end, but JAM8 had more in store. When it continues you wait for another antara or the mukhda repeated (like most songs have nowadays) but what you get is even better. A brilliant conclusion comes in the form of nice Sufi-style lines, put to a heavenly tune and Harshdeep’s awesome vocals. The arrangements are fantastic, what with the trademark Pritam guitars and dholaks on a very breezy melody. Some techno sounds are very impressive, like that nice sound at the beginning of the song, playing all the time before Arijit starts, and after each “O zaalima” hook, and in the first interlude. A nice rhythm of daflis (Iqbal Azad), quite similar to the one Pritam himself had given in ‘Gerua’ (Dilwale), gives a nice and traditional touch to the composition. The first time the “O zaalima” hook crops up, there’s a nice hit of drums (Alan Hertz). The acoustic guitars that start the song (Pawan Rasaily & Arijit Singh) are wonderful and lure the listener into the song perfectly. Even the rock guitars actually rock whenever they play. The first antara has this wonderful ‘Tum Jo Aaye’-ish tabla rhythm, taking you back to the ‘Tum Jo Aaye’ days. The second interlude is phenomenal with a nice harmonium-led (Feroz Shaikh) traditional piece. Vocals are topnotch, with both vocalists impressing. Arijit is his usual charming self, and how I love his voice in such cheerful songs. I think even composers do, because I’m hearing less of his bawling and drawling nowadays. Harshdeep is fantastic too, and her husky voice was a perfect choice to get that small amount of rustic-ness required for the song. She also sings that conclusion stanza very convincingly. The lyrics by Amitabh Bhattacharya are a good, fine example of clever poetry and have a nice ring to them, especially when Arijit sings it. The fact that the lyrics are great has been proved already, when the makers resorted to lyrics for building up pre-release buzz for the song, instead of releasing teasers of the audio or stills from the video! “Jo tere ishq mein behka pehle se hi, kya use behkaana, O zaalima!” or “Jiski har dhadkan, tu ho aise, dil ko kya dhadkaana, O zaalima!” It is just, perfectly exemplary writing. A good attempt by ‘almost’ newbies JAM8, to create a good romantic track for SRK, and what they will get in return for this is exposure i.e, exposure that being in an SRK film gives you. Surely, bigger projects are in store for them now after the middling ‘1920 London’ last year!
Note: I’m not too sure whether it is the same people behind this song for JAM8, who were behind the songs for ‘1920 London’ (Kaushik-Akash).
3. Udi Udi Jaye
Singers ~ Sukhwinder Singh, Bhoomi Trivedi & Karsan Sagathia, Music by ~ Ram Sampath, Lyrics by ~ Javed Akhtar
“Kehne ko toh khel hai yeh tera mera sanjha,
Par mera dil hai patang aur teri nazar manjha,
Manjhe se lipti yeh patang judi judi jaaye!”
– Javed Akhtar
Ram Sampath re-enters into the album that was rightly his before JAM8 were taken on board. His next song is a garba track, but it has shades of a romantic track. And this blend has been done so well, that at one point you think it’s a dance number you’re listening to, and at another point, you think it is an out-and-out romantic song. The composition, though quite typical to the genre, is very sweet and innocent, especially the wonderfully crafted hookline. Yes, it has a bit of a 90s touch to it, but that makes it sound all the more charming. The mukhda is a direct plunge into the melody of the song, with the hookline ‘hooking’ you from the very start, just like a hookline is supposed to. That one line that Ram has composed so that we can actually say there is some kind of mukhda (The ‘kehne ko toh khel hai…‘ part) is just sooooo sweet, and whenever it repeats in the chorus, you just can’t help but smile. The antaras have been composed in a just as melodious tune, with an even more evident 90s feel to it, and that touch makes it sound as good as it does! (You see, I have no qualms with 90s touches when they’re well done!) In the second interlude, there’s a wonderful very folksy Gujarati part, crooned by Karsan Sagathia, and that is something to look out for in the song. I like the way Ram has composed such a flavourful Gujarati track, though he isn’t Gujarati himself. That just reflects the unity in diversity of India once again, I guess? 😀 The arrangements are wonderful, and make the song sound grand. If you close your eyes and listen to them, you might just feel you are in the middle of a big Navratri function in the heartlands of Gujarat itself. The powerful, booming percussion (Nitish Ranadive) just can’t be ignored, as it provides such a foot-tapping beat throughout the song. The Gujarati folksy string instruments have been put to great use. That mandolin (Tapas Roy) is just too splendid to ignore! Overall, the arrangements by Sampath set up this very happy and grand ambience, and transport you to Gujarat. Vocals are too impressive to be true. Sukhwinder, as always, is great, but his voice sounds exceptionally well here — barring those small autotunes I can hear occasionally! And the “Chaiyya Chaiyya” (Dil Se) magic is recreated! Bhoomi Trivedi gets her next big song right after her debut in ‘Ram-Leela’, and making great use of the space she gets here, she shines. Her husky voice proves just right for the track, and at places, she sounds just like Sunidhi Chauhan. Karsan’s small interlude, is fantastic, and I don’t know whether it’s a new recording, or a recording of one of his old songs. Probably the former. I don’t know. I don’t think it should matter too. 😛 Javed Akhtar’s lyrics are good; a nice romantic touch is added to the Garba setting with his words. Other than that, there wasn’t anything too exceptional about them. 🙂 A song that will go down as one of the best Garba songs of Bollywood, joining the *recent* hits like ‘Nagada Sang Dhol’ (Ram-Leela), ‘Shubhaarambh’ (Kai Po Che).
Singer ~ Mika Singh, Additional Vocals by ~ Team Omgrown, Music Composed by ~ Aheer for JAM8, Music Produced by ~ Omgrown Music (Ram Sampath’s company), Lyrics by ~ Mayur Puri
“Farzi, duniya hai farzi, tedhi jab kar di ungli, toh seedhi chali,
Marzi, apni marzi, jab Hoti gardi, kismat gale lagi
Dhingana dhingana, dhandhe ka dhingana!”
– Mayur Puri
JAM8 comes back with yet another song on the album, this one credited specifically to new composer Aheer composing for JAM8. The song is your everyday gangster song, something full of attitude and loud beats that you might expect to play everywhere around for a while after the film releases. The composition by Aheer is quite good, getting the attitude and spunk quotient right, with the mukhda particularly starting the song off on a note that would get the listener hooked. As it progresses towards the hookline, the composition does get a bit heard-before and tedious, but bearable. It isn’t like the composition would bore you. The hookline itself is full of that gangster attitude. The one antara that follows too, has a nice retro-styled composition, and reminds one of Amitabh Bachchan’s Angry young Man days. One thing is for sure though, that this song will be played numerous times in parties and functions. The arrangements are your normal massy song fare, with loud masala movie styled percussions (that sound a bit too loud, thus reminding me of Sajid-Wajid’s ‘Madamiyan’ from ‘Tevar’), and cool guitars (Shon Pinto). The star of the arrangements, though, has to be the rock guitars tune, the one we heard in the trailer, and what people were calling the “Raees Theme”. They should’ve released an instrumental track based on that trumpet-and-guitars piece! Vocals by Mika are surprisingly not as irritating as they could’ve been, and that’s saying quite something! He adds a bit of a grunge to his voice in places, and it sounnds great! The song’s duration has been kept very short, under three minutes, and rightly so, situational as it is. Mayur Puri, returning in a film album as Lyricist after quite some time, writes functional lyrics, and from what I gather, it is a song where the gangster and his henchmen are celebrating about the success of their business. Enjoyable, but to an extent, that unfortunately gets reached quite soon.
5. Enu Naam Che Raees
Singers ~ Ram Sampath & Tarannum Malik, Additional Vocals by ~ Team Omgrown, Music by ~ Ram Sampath, Lyrics by ~ Ram Sampath & Hiral Brahmbhatt
“Enu naam chhe Raees, Enu naam chhe Raees,
Akkhi duniya mein yeh single piece, single piece!
Heilo haalaro, hulle hullare ho!!!”
– Ram Sampath & Hiral Brahmbhatt
Here comes another theme song revolving around the central character, Raees. This one has been composed by Ram Sampath and I’m guessing, was part of the album before SRK started making amendments in the album. I say that because it is horribly disappointing! The composition is a typpppppical Ram Sampath composition. But that’s not bad, is it? Well, it isn’t but the result isn’t too satisfactory either. Yes, the composition does have certain hooks that make it work, like the “Heilo haalaro hulle hullare ho…”
loop, which is family catchy, but as a whole, it just doesn’t work out as a theme song which it is meant to be. The hookline seems like something that has been composed for an advertising campaign, and doesn’t seem like something you would add into a Bollywood album. Okay, even if it were sounding like an advertising campaign and sounded good, it would be fine. However, the result is a mishmash of confused sounds and tunes. Barring the vocal loop I pointed out, everything seems below the standards. I don’t even get how the track, which is heavy on trippy Latino and club beats, has found a place in such a folksy (till now) album. It is a bit too far-fetched, no? Arrangements are just that: A confused mash of techno beats and Taufiq Qureshi-ish percussion by Farai Arendse and Dayo Afolayan. Also, I don’t know where the Salsa-style beats came from in this song! Vocals by Ram Sampath sound good, but again, it really does not go well with the rest of the album. Again, the vocalists who have sung the vocal loop, fascinate. Ram Sampath and Hiral Brahmbhatt’s lyrics are a good description of Raees’s character, but could’ve done with a much better comoosition. Sadly, so underwhelming a theme song, that I don’t know if it even will be remembered as one.
6. Saanson Ke
Singer ~ K.K., Additional Vocals by ~ Thomson Andrews, Ryan Dias, Dean Sequeira, Murishka Dcruz, Shazneen Arethna, Gwen Dias, Music by ~ Aheer for JAM8, Lyrics by ~ Manoj Yadav
“Main kis manzil ka raahi hoon, tu kinn raahon pe laayi hai
Samajh paaun na main tujhko, naa tu mujhko…
Jo na manzoor hai mujhko, wohi manzoor hai tujhko
Samajh paaun na main tujhko, naa tu mujhko…”
– Manoj Yadav
As soon as the next song starts, you wonder whether you accidentally opened the “Raaz 5” album. The piano notes that the song starts with evoke memory of everything pertaining to the Bhatts. JAM8 returns yet again, with Aheer helming it yet again. And what follows is a very mediocre sad song, that would have (okay, might have) sounded better in any Bhatt album! The composition has been delivered strictly according to the Bhatts’ needs and requirements, and that template has been followed perfectly. Melancholia, check. Acoustic guitars and strings, check. K.K., check. However, was there any need of such a song here? A wonderfully earthy sad song a la ‘Naina’ (Dangal) could very well have been made as well. And my frustration about this song is much less about it being a trademark Bhatt-ish melody, than it is about it being such a mediocre composition! I mean, Shah Rukh had called in JAM8 to enhance the album, as he thought it was underwhelming, but in such short notice, all that JAM8 too, could offer, is this underwhelming song too! Everything about the composition sounds too heard-before and gives you the feeling that you could just as well hear all of this song’s elements in some other, better, actual Bhatt movie song! That much about the composition. Arrangements fare much better, what with a haunting chorus joining in to make it sound all the more pensive (and also dated, at times). The guitars (Roland Fernandes) help the song nicely throughout the duration. The strings very majestically grace the hookline. The best part of the arrangements are the clarinets and flutes (both by Shirish Malhotra), which you might need to strain your ears to listen to. K.K. as usual, aces the vocals, but again, I can’t help but thinking how bored he must’ve been singing this — a melody, the type of which he has sung a thousand times before! Manoj Yadav’s lyrics are a pleasure to hear, and provide the respite that the other aspects of the song do not. A misfit.
7. Ghammar Ghammar
Singer ~ Roshan Rathod, Music Produced by ~ Ram Sampath, Composition & Lyrics ~ Traditional
“Ghammar Ghammar maru valonu gaaje,
Shaam aavi ne maari matuki phode!”
The last track on the album is a fun Gujarati folk song recreated by Ram Sampath. And I must say, it is quite impressive! The traditional composition has been given a nice techno revamp, and Roshan Rathod has rendered quite zestfully. What’s most impressive is that the techno sounds and the folk instruments blend perfectly and the techno sounds do not tamper the folksy feel of the song whatsoever. I really have nothing much more to say about this! Just enjoy this one! A short track to dance on in Navratri and/or Janmashtami! 😀
Raees turned out to be quite some disappointment. First of all, you would think an album releasing so late (ONE DAY BEFORE THE MOVIE!!) must be so good for it to be delayed so much. After hearing the album, I could gather that the delay must be due to last-minute additions that clearly went wrong. Ram Sampath’s original music for the film getting scrapped, and JAM8’s new songs (out of which one is great, one is above average, and the other is average) being added like one month before the film releases, takes its toll on the album itself. Whatever was the idea behind this last-minute change of music really backfired on the music itself. And all the pre-release hype that could’ve been created by music has just been wasted. I can just say, Much ado about nothing!
Total Points Scored by This Album: 3 + 3.5 + 4 + 3 + 2.5 + 2.5 + 3 = 21.5
Album Percentage: 61. 43%
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: Udi Udi Jaye > Zaalima > Ghammar Ghammar > Dhingana > Laila Main Laila > Saanson Ke = Enu Naam Che Raees
No. Of Remakes: 03 (from previous albums) + 01 (from Raees) = 04
Which is your favourite song from Raees? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂