SACHIN-JIGAR’S PYAARA, AFEEMI ALBUM!! (MERI PYAARI BINDU – Music Review)

I would like to start by thanking YRF for releasing the full album early, but giving no such indication by uploading a jukebox or a complete OST on iTunes so that we don’t keep waiting for more! And thanks (this isn’t sarcasm) to Jigar Saraiya for confirming on Twitter, in reply to my question, that it is indeed the full album.

Update — 11th May 2017 — Today YRF released the “full album” on iTunes.


Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Sachin-Jigar
♪ Lyrics by: Kausar Munir, Priya Saraiya & Rana Mazumder
♪ Music Label: YRF Music
♪ Music Released On: 25th April 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 12th May 2017

Meri Pyaari Bindu Album Cover

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Meri Pyaari Bindu is an upcoming Bollywood rom-com starring Parineeti Chopra and Ayushmann Khurrana in lead roles. The film is directed by Akshay Roy and produced by Maneesh Sharma. The film is about a writer played by Ayushmann, who, after being frustrated at the lack of critical appreciation his novels get, despite him being a successful writer, moves back to his hometown Kolkata to find inspiration to write better literature. Well, he has been writing his new book for three years. It so happens that he is reminded of one of his best friends, and stumbles upon a cassette of their favourite songs’ playlist. It is from here, that he gets Inspiration for his new novel. So, the crux of the film is quite interesting — it seems sweet and simple, and a look at the many “mini-trailers” (or chapters) they’ve released for the film will reveal that it is a bit quirky and very musical too. All in all, it is something I’m waiting for, and I believe everyone is waiting for. So without ruminating any more upon the movie, let us cherish the music till then, as that is the only way to get closer to the movie before the release. The music for the film has been given by a duo whose music I appreciate and adore, and they’ve got a fair share of high ratings on this blog (not to mention a few forgiveable not-so-good ones), and that duo is the dynamic duo Sachin-Jigar. So last year, since they concentrated on Gujarati film music, they could only manage to do one Bollywood film, ‘A Flying Jatt’s, an album which was amazing musically, but lacked repeat value. Of course, this year they are the busiest music directors on the block, with five films including this one. For this music album, they’ve composed six tracks, a perfect number for a musical in Bollywood. Hoping that these men surprise us just as they always do (though it won’t be much of a surprise) I’m diving into this expected-to-be awesome album!


1. Maana Ke Hum Yaar Nahin

Singer ~ Parineeti Chopra, Lyrics by ~ Kausar Munir

“Raaste mein tum milo toh,
Haath milaane ruk jaana!
Saath mein koi, ho tumhare,
Door se hi tum muskaana,
Lekin muskaan ho aisi,
Ki jismein ikraar nahi,
Lekin muskaan ho aisi,
Ki jismein ikraar nahi,
Nazron se naa karna tum bayaan,
Woh jisse inkaar nahin!
Maana ke hum yaar nahin!”

– Kausar Munir

The album starts off with a song we have heard about a year ago, in the video where YRF announced the film. Parineeti was talking about how the makers insisted that she should sing the song. And right from that day, when I heard how beautifully she sings, I couldn’t wait for this day, when I would listen to the full song and review it. The song is essentially a ghazal, and Sachin-Jigar have composed it sooooo beautifully, that it reminds you of many 90s songs, or the 90s era in general, with its tune. The poetic words by Kausar Munir (more on them later) have been put to such a charmingly delightful tune by the duo, that it hardly seems like a sad song. The mukhda is so spectacular, it just pulls you into the song, and you won’t emerge out of it until the song is over. It is the antaras, though, that amazed me the most. Again, a spectacular tune, but this one sounds very layered, as if there are deeper meanings to it, which get revealed one by one, each time you replay the song. Also, Parineeti adds different nuances and variation in both antaras, so it almost feels as if both antaras are composed on the same tune, but still different. That brings us to her vocals. Parineeti’s voice has this rawness to it, which I haven’t heard in any of the actress-singers’ voices. (Well, maybe Priyanka Chopra and Shruti Hassan, but not beyond these). Her husky voice suits the ambience of the song so well, that it just transports you to another world. Of course, she is a trained classical singer, but her command over the tune is amazing considering that she must’ve not been in touch with singing for a long time. And an added bonus is that her voice hasn’t been autotuned! That’s brave, and I appreciate it. Not that it sounds bad anyway. Sachin-Jigar’s arrangements are out of this world. They recreate the 90s through the arrangements — that flute loop (Shreeram Sampath) is spell-binding! It has you hooked right from the first time it plays, and then it keeps on amazing you throughout the song. The folksy percussions (Arun Solanki) in the song are mystifying too. And the piano (Rinku Rajput), played so gracefully right when we don’t expect it, in small pieces all over the song, is so sweet! A special appearance by the sarangi (Dilshad Khan) in the second interlude is something you must not miss at any cost. (In other words, hear the full audio, not just the video promo!) Beside all these wonderful nostalgic instruments, the hardworking guitars (Krishna Pradhan) are sidelined, but they give a constant rhythm throughout, and if you listen carefully, they have an important contribution indeed. Now, I have saved the best for the last. And that is Kausar Munir’s lyrics. She gave us a wonderfully written album, “Begum Jaan” just last month. And she’s already at it again! Her words are so heartbreaking, it gives a whole new definition to sad songs. Both the antaras, not to mention the mukhda, have been written wonderfully! And Sachin-Jigar very cleverly knew how to put a tune to those words so that they don’t sound maudlin and melancholic. Splendid work by Sachin-Jigar and Kausar Munir. A sad song with a refreshing feel! My intuition tells me this will go on to be one of my favourite songs of the year, and probably all time.

Rating: 5/5

 

2. Haareya

Singer ~ Arijit Singh, Lyrics by ~ Priya Saraiya

“Khuli aankhon se dekha woh, haseen khwaab hai tu,
Dil mein jo utar jaaye woh, pyaari baat hai tu,
Tere naam ka nasha, nasha, hai zubaan pe chhaa gaya,
Iss bekhudi mein doobne se main khud ko na rok sakeya!”

– Priya Saraiya

While we had a wonderful old-world-charm in the first song, Sachin-Jigar bring in their favourite, a nice modern touch, to the next song. The composition is odd! And I say that in the best way possible! It has this offbeat touch to it, a tune that is mostly associated with rock songs these days. But no, Sachin-Jigar, the experimentalists that they are, use it for a romantic song! And it works, and succeeds with distinction. The mukhda starts, and you start to get interested in what will come next. When a song compels you to listen to it further because of that reason, it has to be interesting! And then the hookline starts. So low-key, so modestly, so inconspicuously and oh-so-subtly! Unlike the hooklines in which the tempo, instrumentation and vocals go higher in pitch, loudness and whatnot, this one is exactly the opposite. It gets subtle and quiet after a huge and suspenseful buildup to it. It takes a genius to pull that off successfully, and therefore Sachin-Jigar must be geniuses! They could very well have added some rock elements in that hookline, but they refrained from doing so. And it just increased the appeal of the song manifold! Yes, a composition that suits the rock genre, has nothing but a simple (but very infectious, mind you) guitar riff in the arrangements. And I must mention Indrajit Chetia here, for his AMAAAAZZZZING guitar work throughout the song! Ayushmann’s Arijit’s (you’ll see why I did that) vocals are so impressive! The man brings in such a convincing imitation of Ayushmann’s voice, like the way he pronounces each word while singing and the slight nasal twang, that one would initially be confused whether Arijit has sung the song or Ayushmann. He gives his own voice a complete makeover and modifies it just to suit Ayushmann, and how crazy is that? I’ve not seen this happen in quite a while. These days, either a singer’s voice suits an actor by default, or it doesn’t. But a singer tweak his voice for an actor? That’s so 90s! And so amazing! In the antara, he does that amazing transition between the low octave and high octave, so effortlessly, that he does perfect justice to Sachin-Jigar’s composition, which I doubt anyone else could’ve pulled off. Guest lyricist Priya Saraiya writes in a mix of Punjabi and Hindi, and presents yet another amazing piece from her side. A lovestruck man’s emotions are depicted clearly by her writing. A nice experimentation, where a composition tailor-made for rock, is given an acoustic and unplugged type of arrangement. Of course, special mention to Arijit!

Rating: 5/5

 

3. Ye Jawaani Teri

Singers ~ Nakash Aziz & Jonita Gandhi, Lyrics by ~ Kausar Munir

“Yeh jawaani teri, yeh jawaani meri,
Yeh jawaani teri, yeh jawaani meri,
Yeh jawaani teri, yeh jawaani meri,
J – j – jeene nahi deti!”

– Kausar Munir

Well, we had two romantic songs, one mature and the other slightly more youthful. Be prepared to go even further down memory lane, as we go back to the main characters’ college days and are treated to an amazing retro treat from Sachin-Jigar’s music bank. So basically this is the fun song of the album where the two protagonists are in college, having fun, without a worry. And Sachin-Jigar’s track reflects the same attitude in it. The composition sounds odd at first, but once you realize what it is, you’ll be like “Ohhhhhhh”, and then realize the cleverness of the music directors. The hookline is what the song relies on to propel it, and very aptly, it has been composed to the tune of the iconic Shammi Kapoor guitar riff. After you realize that, the padding, like the mukhda and antara, start sounding amazing thanks to you having discovered the theme of the song. Particularly the line that Jonita sings before the hookline arrives, with that nasal touch, has an amazing tune! The arrangements stick to the retro theme very well, and the guitars (Shomu Seal) steal the show, aptly supported by amazing trumpets (Kishore Sodha), saxophone (Shyamraj) and drums (Debashish Banerjee). It all gives that required retro feel that the song needed. In places, it reminded me of ‘Let’s Talk About Love’ (Baaghi), another good song of the same genre, but one which was suppressed by mediocre vocals and composition. The vocals too, suit the song well, though I thought Nakash could’ve been substituted by Vishal Dadlani and the song would’ve gone miles higher. Jonita sounds very different from what we have heard from her in the Rahman and Pritam camps. She does that aforementioned retro-nasal thing superbly, and ditches her thin and sweet voice to bring in a tinge of naughtiness and youthfulness for this one. Kausar Munir’s lyrics here are purely situational, and I can’t really praise them or the opposite. A fun youthful number, that might take some time to grow.

Rating: 4/5

 

4. Iss Tarah

Singers ~ Clinton Cerejo & Dominique Cerejo, Lyrics by ~ Kausar Munir

“Tu ret si haathon se, aisi phisal jaati hai,
Mujhe rokna nahi aata, tujhe theherna nahi aata,
Tu sarphiri hawaaon mein, phirki si kyun phiri jaaye,
Mujhe baandhna nahi aata, tujhe thaamna nahi aata!”

– Kausar Munir

Another retro-themed number joins the album, this time a disco song, composed in a trademark Michael Jackson way. Sachin-Jigar take their experimentalism further ahead with this one, and produce a crackling dance song. The composition in the beginning is so less, it almost sounds as if the singer is reciting the lines like a little child recites a poem in front of the class. However, that’s what increases the appeal of the song. And then when the line by Dominique comes in, you are dazzled by its brightness. Brightness as in, Sachin-Jigar’s smart use of the disco elements to make the composition beautiful. And then comes the hard-hitting hookline, which is one of the best I’ve heard in a while, and also something very similar to Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s composition style, a trio who I believe established this style of music in Bollywood. The arrangements are entrancing, especially the trumpet (Kishore Sodha) that plays in the hookline, and steals the limelight right away. The disco-themed digital beats are amazing, and set up a groovy beat even before the tune of the song starts. The guitars (Paresh Kamath) are great too, as are Sachin-Jigar’s clever additions of finger-snaps and the trademark disco sounds. The hookline’s arrangements are out of this world. The vocals too, are mind blowing. Clinton Cerejo, after his successful stint as a music director in Bollywood last year (in three movies) returns to the mic, and nails the song. But the one who steals the spotlight is his better half, Dominique, in her very short portion, that repeats just twice in the entire song, but leaves a lasting impression, and makes you love her voice so much! And that part, as mentioned above, has been composed just as well! Kausar’s lyrics are full of contrast, and it is very interesting to listen to. A successful disco-based retro number, which I can’t wait to watch in the movie! 

Rating: 5/5

 

5. Khol De Baahein

Singer ~ Monali Thakur, Hindi Lyrics by ~  Kausar Munir, Bengali Lyrics by ~ Rana Mazumder

“Barse jo saawan, toh daudke tu aana,
Khud ko tu bheegna sikha de,
Barse jo saawan, toh lautke tu aana,
Khud ko tu bheegna sikha de…”

– Kausar Munir

After a sad song, a romantic song and two dance numbers, it is romantic time again, and this time we get a rather unconventional romantic song. The composition is so beautiful and cute, and it reeks of the Bengali culture with its tune. It has this lilting, lulling tune that just doesn’t let you get bored. Yes, it does take some time to fully grow on you, but when it does, it does so very fulfillingly, and you end up loving the song unconditionally. The mukhda in Bengali, starts off the song wonderfully, while the hookline in Hindi is cute and harmonious. There’s a beautiful short stanza in Bengali after that (“kokhono kokhono…“) which just sounds so endearing. And the antara too, keeps you listening. All in all, Sachin-Jigar’s composition is a winner. The arrangements are no less. On the most part, it is a soothing guitar-led instrumentation (Guitars by Krishna Pradhan), and though the guitars aren’t hard-hitting they are just as amazing as the guitars in ‘Haareya’. The piano notes at the end of the song are beautiful as the conclusion of the song. Monali is the perfect choice as the singer; she goes back and forth between high and low notes effortlessly, and pronounces the Bengali words immaculately. She sounds very cute as always in this lulling romantic song. Kausar’s Hindi lyrics are great, but when I asked one of my friends for a translation of the Bengali lyrics, I got to know that Rana’s Bengali lyrics are just as endearing. Modest and simple, but very strong in terms of composition and arrangements and especially vocals!

Rating: 4.5/5

 

6. Afeemi

Singers ~ Sanah Moidutty & Jigar Saraiya, Lyrics by ~ Kausar Munir

“Dhaani si, dhaani si, sharbati paani si,
Dheere se dheere se, teri chaahat chadhti hai,
Thodi naadaani si, thodi shaitaani si,
Dheeme se dheeme se, teri aadat badhti hai,
Tu hai toh mere roobaroo, par kya karoon,
Yakeen hi nahi aata,
Shaam se subah karoon, dekha karoon,
Raha bhi nahi jaata!
Afeemi, afeemi, afeemi hai yeh pyaar,
Afeemi hai tera mera pyaar!”

– Kausar Munir

A very simple and humble song brings up the rear of the album. This song is a very sweet and beautiful romantic song, composed in a very trademark Sachin-Jigar way, keeping things sweet and simple. The composition starts off so effervescently, with that sprightly mukhda. And the hookline is a typical Bollywood romantic song hookline, nevertheless, it hooks you right away. The antara has been composed beautifully as well, one line strictly sounding very similar to a line from ‘Maana Ke Hum Yaar Nahin’ itself, but that’s alright. Also, the hookline sounds like the line “Pooche jo koi, toh tera naam doon“, from Sachin-Jigar’s own ‘Tera Naam Doon’ (Entertainment). Overall though, the song is addictive! Such a simple romantic song, which was also great in its composition, was long-needed in Bollywood. The arrangements follow conventional arrangements, in that it contains everything you would expect in a contemporary romantic song — guitars (Kalyan Baruah), piano (Rinku Rajput), drums (Lindsay D’mello). But the flute by Hamtu is unexpectedly amazing, as are the strings that pitch in occasionally. I personally loved the way the hookline is arranged, on that simple guitar riff, and I love those small rattle-like instrument additions that sound so lovely! Vocals are perfect, with Sanah Moidutty finally getting a song where she is allowed to sing more than or equal to her male co-singer (who in this case happens to be Jigar himself) which she couldn’t do in her previous two songs, ‘Moto Ghotalo’ (Gori Tere Pyaar Mein) and ‘Tu Hai’ (Mohenjo Daro). Her voice is a nice and sweet voice with the vocal quality of someone who has the potential to make it big in Bollywood, where such voices are lapped up by music directors. Jigar himself accompanies her fantastically, and I believe the duo has programmed his voice less than they normally do, and that adds to the natural touch in the song. Kausar’s lyrics are fascinating, and it also marks the first time (probably; I’m not a database) that someone has compared love to opium (‘afeem’ = opium), after comparing it to stuff like alcohol, and hookah bars. A very ‘Afeemi’ (addictive) song!

Rating: 4.5/5


Meri Pyaari Bindu turns out to be just as great and musically rich as I expected it to be. Sachin-Jigar, after a hiatus in which they scored for one Bollywood film ‘A Flying Jatt’, which sadly didn’t have the potential to stay with us for long, they give us yet another taste of their awesomeness, after they had given us two of my favourite albums of theirs, ‘Happy Ending’ in 2014, and ‘Badlapur’ in 2015. Another feather in their cap, ‘Meri Pyaari Bindu’ might just be one of their best performances!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 5 + 5 + 4 + 5 + 4.5 + 4.5 = 28

Album Percentage: 93.34% {Surpassing ‘Poorna’ at 92.5%, that makes it this year’s best album so far!!}

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: From start to finish in the same order.

 

Which is your favourite song from Meri Pyaari Bindu? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂

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30th MUSIC MASTANI MONTHLY AWARDS (APRIL 2017)

Important Statistics

♪ Number of Albums Reviewed: 5 + 1 Tamil

♪ Albums Reviewed: Mirza Juuliet, Begum Jaan, Noor, Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, Maatr + Kaatru Veliyidai (Tamil)

♪ Music Composers: Krsna Solo, Anu Malik, Amaal Mallik, M.M. Kreem, Fuzon, Kavita Seth + A.R. Rahman

Now on with the awards:

28th Music Mastani Monthly Awards

♪ MAIN AWARDS

• Singer of the Month (Female) : Madhushree for Soja Zara (Baahubali 2: The Conclusion) AND Prakriti Kakar for Hai Zaroori (Noor)

• Singer of the Month (Male) : Javed Bashir for Seene Mein Lagi Aag (Mirza Juuliet)

• Composer of the Month (Song) : Amaal Mallik for Hai Zaroori (Noor) AND Krsna Solo for Seene Mein Lagi Aag (Mirza Juuliet) AND M.M. Kreem for Soja Zara (Baahubali 2: The Conclusion)

• Composer of the Month (Album) : Anu Malik for Begum Jaan

• Album of the Month: Begum Jaan (Music by: Anu Malik; Lyrics by: Kausar Munir & Rahat Indori; Singers: Asha Bhosle, Sonu Nigam, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Kalpana Patowary, Altamash Faridi, Shreya Ghoshal, Anmol Malik, Kavita Seth & Arijit Singh; Music On: Junglee Music / Times Music)

• Musical Jodi of the Month (Best Duet) : Sonu Nigam & Rahat Fateh Ali Khan for Aazaadiyan (Begum Jaan)

• Lyricist of the Month: Kausar Munir for Aazaadiyan (Begum Jaan) AND Manoj Muntashir for Soja Zara (Baahubali 2: The Conclusion)

 

♪ SONG AWARDS

• Best Romantic Song: Seene Mein Lagi Aag (Mirza Juuliet)

• Best Dance Song: Holi Khelein (Begum Jaan) AND Soja Zara (Baahubali 2: The Conclusion)

• Best Sad Song: O Re Kaharo (Begum Jaan) AND Hai Zaroori (Noor)

• Best Club Song: N/A (Gulabi 2.0 from Noor doesn’t quite fit the bill)

• Best Classical-Based Song: Soja Zara (Baahubali 2: The Conclusion) AND Holi Khelein (Begum Jaan)

• Best Song With A Western Influence: Hai Zaroori (Noor)

• Best Song With A Folk Influence: Holi Khelein (Begum Jaan)

• Song With The Best Use Of Fusion: Seene Mein Lagi Aag (Mirza Juuliet)

• Best Backing Vocals: Backing Vocals in Soja Zara (Baahubali 2: The Conclusion)

• Best Sound Effects in A Song: Uff Yeh Noor (Noor)

• Best Retro-Styled Song: Aazaadiyan (Begum Jaan)

• Best Humorous Song: Uff Yeh Noor (Noor)

• Best Rap in A Song: Uncredited rap from Gulabi 2.0 (Noor)

• Best Remake: N/A {No good ones; the only one was Gulabi 2.0}

♪ SPECIAL AWARDS

• Bandar Kya Jaane Adrak Ka Swaad (Best Album That Went Pretty Much Unnoticed) : Mirza Juuliet (Zee Music Company)

• Newcomer(s) of the Month:

– Newcomer of the Month (Singer – Female) : N/A

– Newcomer of the Month (Singer – Male) : N/A

– Newcomer of the Month (Composer) : N/A

• Music Label of the Month: Junglee Music / Times Music (Begum Jaan)

• Most Unusual, But Awesome Choice of Singer: Prakriti Kakar for Hai Zaroori (Noor)


Reviews Next Month: Meri Pyaari Bindu, Hindi Medium, Half Girlfriend, Sachin – A Billion Dreams, Raabta

AN OVERTLY-SENTIMENTAL ALBUM!! (MAATR – Music Review)

This surpasses ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ and ‘Raees’ as well! The album releases one day after the movie. This calls for a huge round of applause! :/


Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Fuzon & Kavita Seth
♪ Lyrics by: S.K. Khalish & Munawwar Rana
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 22nd April 2017
♪ Movie Released On: 21st April 2017

Maatr Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Maatr is a Bollywood revenge thriller starring Raveena Tandon, Alisha Khan, Madhur Mittal, Divya Jagdale & Rushad Rana. The film is directed by Ashtar Sayed and produced by Anjum Rizvi, Innama Sayed, and Manoj Adhikari. The film has released to terrible reviews, and so I will focus on the music. The music is by Pakistani band Fuzon, comprising vocalist Khurram Iqbal, guitarist Shallum Xavier and keyboard player Imran Momina. This is the band’s second Bollywood outing after they did a song, ‘Ishq Khuda’ in 2014 movie ‘Heartless’. As a guest composer, Kavita Seth steps in for one song. I’m expecting nothing from the album, and T-Series’ own lack of interest to promote it makes me think it isn’t anything great. Let’s see.


1. Zindagi Ae Zindagi / Zindagi Ae Zindagi (Version 1) / Zindagi Ae Zindagi (Version 2)

Singers ~ Rahat Fateh Ali Khan / Khurram Iqbal / Kavita Seth, Music by ~ Fuzon, Lyrics by ~ S.K. Khalish

The album starts with a very melancholic song that is very, very maudlin in its overall sound and sounds like it fits in a B-Grade movie. The composition by Fuzon goes all over the place haphazardly, and takes that stereotypical sudden high-pitched turn many a time in its duration, which is a threatening seven minutes forty-seven seconds! (I’ve never heard a sad song that spanned over such a long time before!!) When you wish it was over, you discover that more than half of it it still left. The depressing length is actually not the biggest drawback — the composition is. Had the composition been better, I would’ve happily sat for a ten-minute-long song too. (Remember ‘Teri Fariyaad’ from ‘Tum Bin 2′?) The arrangements are the typical sad-song arrangements; the flute leads the proceedings, but takes the song nowhere. No variation in the arrangements throughout the eight minutes doesn’t boost the listeners’ morale. That seven-count rhythm (like Roopak taal without the tablas) is such a cliché in Bollywood’s melancholic songs, but I must say, it sounds even more depressing without tablas. To top it all, the song comes in three versions!! Rahat Fateh Ali Khan brings in the pathos in the first version, but without making the song sound poignant. His voice bores the listener. On the other hand, Khurram Iqbal in his version, sings as if he has never sung for a film before — it sounds like a stage performance has been recorded! Composers, it’s very much alright to use autotune if the singer has sung pathetically! The third version is sung by Kavita Seth, and it has to be the best out of the three. She brings the pathos into the song very efficiently. I’m not going to lie — I didnt pay attention to the lyrics at all. It was too big a task. A song made to portray the sadness of the characters in the movie, ends up depressing you!

Rating: 1/5 for the Rahat Version, 0.5/5 for Khurram Version, 1.5/5 for Kavita Version

 

2. Aisi Hoti Hai Maa

Singer ~ Kavita Seth, Music by ~ Kavita Seth, Lyrics by ~ Munawwar Rana

The next song is by guest composer Kavita Seth, and again, it is a highly-melancholic affair, but this time, a bit better. We have heard numerous ‘Mother’ songs in Bollywood, and all of them have been so beautiful and sentimental. They made us sentimental with the characters of the movie. Here, at least Kavita Seth’s composition is beautiful. It traverses the odd notes very nicely, and also gets very sweet in places. The hookline is tedious though. The mukhda and antara make the song better. The arrangements are minimal for the most part, but guitars and strings feature prominently. Piano notes take over occasionally, and all in all, a very mellow ambience prevails throughout the song. Of course, I like to hear happier songs about mothers, but what to do, when Bollywood loves sad ones? Kavita’s singing isn’t as polished as it was in her songs ‘Iktara’ (Wake Up Sid) and ‘Tumhi Ho Bandhu’ (Cocktail). I prefer it when she sings in that voice instead of this very deep and sombre voice, like she did in this year’s ‘Prem Mein Tohre Reprise’ (Begum Jaan). Munawwar Rana’s lyrics are good too. A decent song.

Rating: 2.5/5

 

3. Zindagi Yun Guzar

Singer ~ Khurram Iqbal, Music by ~ Fuzon, Lyrics by ~ S.K. Khalish

The last song on the album corrects what both previous songs of the album so far, had gotten wrong. The melancholia has been cut out. As an added bonus, the length isn’t a century. The composition is a sweet one, a nice happy-sounding one, though clichéd. It can’t quite be grasped easily, but is good nevertheless. It is a kind of ghazal, if you will. The arrangements are way better, and a lot is going on. It is basically a soft rock template, and sounds like something from Coke Studio. The drums, especially the cymbals have been played nicely, and the guitars as well. The sarangi adds a lounge-ish touch to the song. Piano chords also sound good in the arrangements. All that having been said, the song won’t necessarily stay with you for long. The vocals by Khurram are way better here than in his other song. He handles the nuances beautifully, and it reminded me of Fuzon’s song ‘Ishq Khuda’ (Heartless), which he had rendered so effortlessly. The lyrics are good too. A soothing song; the only good song in the album.

Rating: 3.5/5


Maatr is a very mediocre album. I was half-expecting this, but I didn’t think it would be that tedious to listen to. At least one song makes it above 3/5. Had Fuzon kept the length of the first song less, and not included so many versions of it, it might’ve appealed more, and scored more too. Kavita’s guest composition was average. On a whole, this is a skippable album.

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 1 + 0.5 + 1.5 + 2.5 + 3.5 = 9

Album Percentage: 36%

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: Zindagi Yun Guzar > Aisi Hoti Hai Maa > Zindagi Ae Zindagi (Kavita Seth Version) > Zindagi Ae Zindagi (Rahat Fateh Ali Khan Version) > Zindagi Ae Zindagi (Khurram Iqbal Version)

 

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

GRAND BUT BLAND!! (BAAHUBALI 2: THE CONCLUSION – HINDI VERSION – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: M.M. Kreem
♪ Lyrics by: Manoj Muntashir
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 5th April 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 28th April 2017

Baahubali 2 Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Baahubali 2: The Conclusion is an upcoming Indian epic historical fiction film, starring Prabhas, Anushka Shetty, Rana Daggubati, Sathyaraj, and Tamannaah Bhatia. The film has been directed by S.S. Rajamouli, and produced by Shobu Yarlagadda and Prasad Devineni. The film is being distributed in Hindi by Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions. The film is a sequel to 2015’s super-duper hit ‘Baahubali: The Beginning’. Technically this one is a prequel and (SPOILER ALERT FOR ALL WHO HAVEN’T WATCHED THE FIRST FILM, IF ANY OF YOU EXIST) shows the story of Baahubali himself, as opposed to his son Shiva’s story in the first film. It also gives the answer that all India is awaiting — Why Katappa Killed Baahubali. The makers have even made it into a trend called #WKKB. 😂 Anyway, the music director of the film is the same man who did the first film (of course!), M.M. Kreem. The first album was very situational, but three songs nevertheless stood out, out of seven. This album is smaller in size, with five songs, and I also hope it is better in terms of quality too. What I’m expecting is grand, royal and majestic music. And I’m pretty sure I will get it too. Without further delay, let’s jump right into the album to this much-awaited film of 2017.


1. Jiyo Re Bahubali

Singers ~ Daler Mehndi, Sanjeev Chimmalgi & Ramya Behra

“Gali gali teri lau jali, jiyo re Baahubali,
Praanon se badhke humko hai, tu pyaara,
Sab gaayenge, dohraayenge, abb tera jayjaykara!”

The album starts off aptly with a grand, anthemic title song giving the titular character, Baahubali, a larger-than-life image, projecting him as a Superman. The composition by Kreem is quite similar to his other such songs that were included in the first movie. It flows freely, the only impediment it face being the anthemic “Aisa, woh aisa, jaise parvat avichal sa” chants, that kind of restrict the flow of the song. The female portion has been composed very beautifully, and also the mukhda by Daler Mehndi. The rest is very passable, and forgettable as soon as you finish listening to the song. Kreem uses the strings section from ‘Mamta Se Bhari’ from the first film, a very clever inclusion because that portion was like the definition of the song, and the theme song of the film. That brings us to Kreem’s arrangements, which are, very suitably, full of grand war-based sounds, like the booming percussions and impressive strings. The chorus portions are least effective however, and fail to raise the interest of the listener. Vocals are grand, and Daler Mehndi aces the mukhda and hookline. He has just as much scope in the song as Bombay Jayshri had in ‘Mamta Se Bhari’ and Kailash Kher in ‘Jal Rahi Hain’ (Both songs from the first film, in which these singers had negligible portions compared to the chorus, who took away the most part of the song). Similarly, here, Ramya Behra in her stunning antara, and Sanjeev Chimmalgi in his antara. Again, I reiterate that the chorus portions, though important in keeping with that whole war theme of the movie, sound very mediocre. Manoj Muntashir’s lyrics take the grandeur to another level. Only partially impressive in every department except lyrics, in which it is completely impressive!

Rating: 3/5

 

2. Veeron Ke Veer Aa

Singers ~ Aditi Paul & Deepu

“Oh oh re raja, veeron ke veer aa,
Nainon se tu na door hona,
Main toh hoon teri, phir kaisi deri,
Le jaa jahaan tera thikaana,
Haath se ye haath jod lo na,
Hai saath dono ko behna,
Bas teri hai Devasena!”

As soon as the song starts, I got reminded of a construction site, metal clanging against metal, hammers and construction tools at the go. It reminded me a bit of ‘Manohari’ from the first movie. Turns out it isn’t a construction song though, as the lyrics clearly indicate. Anyway, first things first — the composition. M.M. Kreem provides this very weird-sounding composition, which sounds seductive at places (as it is supposed to be), but falls flat in others. The “na na, na na, na na” loop sounds amazing, and the mukhda hooks you, but, as happened in the first song, you will lose your interest in the antara. It just has such a haphazard composition which you can’t keep track of, so you just give up. The bridge line between the antara and hookline though, is cleverly done. The vocals are good, not great. Neeti Mohan would’ve been perfect for the song. I’m still waiting for Aditi Paul to come with another stellar song like ‘Ang Laga De’ (Ram-Leela). That being said, she manages to convey the romance nicely, and does the seductive-Devasena thing properly. Her companion, Deepu, also does well. Kreem’s arrangements barring the construction site sounds are fascinating; a very nice assortment of strings and brass instruments give the song a much-needed grandeur. Manoj Muntashir’s lyrics are functional for the situation. Good but not great.

Rating: 3/5

 

3. Soja Zara

 Singer ~ Madhushree

“Gopiyon ke peeche, phire tu nisdin, palchhin,
Thhak gaye paanv tere!
Saans zara le le, ruk jaa Kanha, thham ja,
Maan bhi jaa pagle!
Saanvare! Baawre!
Kal bhi hongi ye rang raliyaan,
Kal phir aana oh re chhaliya,
Dooba yeh din, chal so jaa!
Kanha soja zara, oh Kanha soja zara!”

Now this is what I was waiting for from this album. A song with a very charming old-world 90s charm to it, this one is a nice and sweet romantic song, using the example of Radha-Krishna, like so many romantic songs like to do in Indian songs. Kreem’s composition is majestic and magnificent, obviously based in a Carnatic Raaga, and the result is just enticing! The mukhda pulls in the listener right away, wih its lilting and upbeat tune, two qualities we don’t quite get in the same song nowadays! The mellifluous hookline is a respite from the jarring hooklines of many recent songs, and the antara is just fabulous with its sweetness double than that of the mukhda. The composer also decorates the composition with wonderful arrangements — on a catchy beat that almost sounds Caribbean if the Carnatic melody is removed from the song! The flute stands out, as it should if the song is based on Lord Krishna! Guitars too, have been played very enticingly, and you can’t not like them! The duff gives a nice old-fashioned-sounding beat to the song. The flute show in the second interlude is MIND-BLOWING!! Madhushree (after a long time!!) proves herself yet again, and though I was initially wishing Shreya Ghoshal had sung this one after hearing its Telugu version, I’m satisfied with Madhushree’s rendition as well. The backing chorus in this song surpasses any backing chorus I’ve heard this year! Their conclusion to the song from 4:00 onwards in the song, ends the song on a beautiful note. Manoj Muntashir’s lyrics here are as cute and sweet as those two words can get! MAGNIFICENT!

Rating: 5/5

 

4. Jay-Jaykara

Singer ~ Kailash Kher

“Kya kabhi ambar se, surya bichhadta hai?
Kya kabhi bin baati, deepak jalta hai?
Kaisi hai yeh anhonee, har aankh hui nam,
Chhod gaya jo tu, kaise jiyenge hum?
Tu hi kinaara, tu hi sahara, tu jag saara,
Tu hi humaara suraj, tu hi taara,
Jay-Jaykara, Jay-Jaykara,
Swami dena saath humaara!”

Kailash Kher, who had sung two songs in the previous film’s album, out of which I loved none, rather got bored by both, returns in this album to sing yet another melancholic song, something I get really apprehensive of hearing. However, to my pleasant surprise, this song is actually better than all the other melancholic Kailash Kher songs out there. The tedium hits you initially but wears off with the advent of that war-chant-like chorus in the interlude after the mukhda. The composition is soulful, but I wouldn’t exactly call it heart-rending. Again, the humming from ‘Mamta Se Bhari’ is incorporated into this song. From the antara, the song sounds very lively, and not melancholic. Kreem’s arrangements help to make this easier, the booming percussion providing an awesome beat, and the strings infusing grandeur and a majestic quality to the song. Kailash Kher has sung well, in his trademark style, and he has been well supported by the chorus singers, who take it away in that interlude I wrote about above. The lyrics make out to us that it isn’t exactly a sad song, it is rather a plea from the subjects to their king Baahubali. And Manoj Muntashir has written them so well, they actually compel you to focus on them instead of the composition for most of the time! A song with great lyrics, a good composition and supported by amazing arrangements, but lacking in repeat value. 

Rating: 3.5/5

 

5. Shivam

“Kya mrityu uss maha samar ki janani hai,
Jiska, varnan, srushti karti,
Kya ambar ki nagari se woh rakhwala aaya,
Jiske paanv choome dharti?”

Another melancholic-sounding song starts, but yet again, the beginning deceives us as it changes course soon enough. This song is like a short background score, an anthem of sorts. There is very less by way of composition, and so, it doesn’t quite stay with you as a listener. The arrangements too, are minimal except for a nice background percussion that gives the song its anthemic quality. The santoor that starts the song is great. The chorus again takes centre stage for most of the song, but the lead vocals are by Kreem’s son, Kaala Bhairava. The lyrics have very little substance, but are very well written. A song made to be heard in the cinema hall.

Rating: 2/5


Baahubali 2 is an album that fits in with its predecessor. The songs do not make much sense or appeal to one without the visuals. The case was similar with the previous album. At least that one had two to three amazing songs to hear as audio songs. Here? Just one. I’m happy at least that one song is outstanding! A soundtrack that sounds grand, but deep down below, is bland!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 3 + 3 + 5 + 3.5 + 2 = 16.5

Album Percentage: 66%

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: Soja Zara > Jay-Jaykara > Veeron Ke Veer Aa = Jiyo Re Bahubali > Shivam

 

Which is your favourite song from Baahubali 2? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂

AMAAL’S ‘NOOR’AANI ALBUM!! (NOOR – Music Review)

Music Album Details

♪ Music by: Amaal Mallik & R.D. Burman
♪ Lyrics by: Manoj Muntashir, Kumaar & Anand Bakshi
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 24th March 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 21st April 2017

Noor Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Noor is an upcoming Bollywood drama starring Sonakshi Sinha in the titular role and Purab Kohli, Kanan Gill, Shibani Dandekar in supporting roles. The film, directed by Sunhil Sippy and produced by Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar and Vikram Malhotra, is based on Pakistani author Saba Imtiaz’s novel, ‘Karachi, You’re Killing Me!’ which is the account of a Pakistani journalist and her misadventures in both her profession and her love life. The film takes the setting to Mumbai, of course, or else who knows who would have to incur the wrath of You-Know-Who. Anyway, we are here for the music. So, the music of the film has been given by Amaal Mallik, making it his second ever completely solo album after ‘M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story’. Of course, I expect something fresh and light-hearted in keeping with the movie’s promos and theme. After two good songs in ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’ earlier this year, it is his second venture this year and hopefully it will get just as amazing a response.


1. Uff Yeh Noor

Singer ~ Armaan Malik, Backing Vocals ~ Roshni Baptist, Aditi Paul, Abin Thomas, Shishir Samant & Akshay Jadhav, Lyrics by ~ Manoj Muntashir

“Seedhe seedhe sab chale, par ye tedhi chale,
Afra-tafri ho jahaan, ye bas nahi miley,
Paagalon se zyaada paagal, miley zameen aur maange baadal,
Kahin se jaake zara akal laa,
Uff ye Noor, Wallah!”

– Manoj Muntashir

The first song happens to be an apt title song, a song that enlightens us on what we can expect from the character of Noor in the movie. And it does give us quite a detailed insight on that, as well. Amaal’s composition is not only buttery and light-hearted, forcing you to groove to it, but it is also instantly catchy. A very Amit Trivedi-ish vibe accompanies the composition, and that hookline is one of the cutest stuff I’ve heard in a while. The groove that the song carries with it, is just unmatchable. The composition of the antara is just amazing. What helps the composition big time are the arrangements, trying to lighten the mood even more, what with the amazing brass instruments — the trumpet (Ketan Sodha), the Saxophone (Shyaam) and the trombone (Blasco). These three instruments remind one of another song from the genre, ‘Suno Aisha’ (Aisha) which was by Amit Trivedi. There’s an amazing flute portion (Tejas Vinchurkar) towards the end of the song, that’s very easy to miss, so listen carefully, and there is also another flute/woodwinds portion in one of the interludes, which is amazingly played! Occasional strings and those two dholak beats (Akshay Jadhav) at the beginning of the hookline, are some easily missable additions that Amaal has added into the song. Of course, you can’t talk about this song without talking about the instrument that gives it most of its fresh vibes, which is the guitar (Meghdeep Bose). The vocals by Armaan are amazing, and show his versatility; of course he doesn’t just sing romantic songs! It is probably one of his best performances. He controls our emotions of fun and laughter so well in this song, and also conveys the character of Noor very perfectly, as does lyricist Manoj Muntashir. The lyrics are where the similarities to ‘Suno Aisha’ end officially. In ‘Aisha’, Aisha was placed on a pedestal and how her ego was raised when Amitabh Bhattacharya wrote stuff like “Tum ho kamaal, tum bemisaal, tum lajawaab ho Aisha.” On the other hand, Manoj is doing nothing but hurting Noor’s ego, by saying stuff like “Kahin se jaake nayi shakal laa, and “Aankhon mein gussa bhara hai, chehre pe baarah baja hai“! Jokes apart, Manoj does a great job writing the lyrics! A nice protagonist-oriented song, with innumerable fresh vibes!

Rating: 5/5

 

2. Gulabi 2.0 / Gulabi Redux

Singers ~ Amaal Mallik, Tulsi Kumar & Yash Narvekar / Yash Narvekar, Tulsi Kumar & Amaal Mallik, Original Composition by ~ R.D. Burman, Music Recreated & New Composition by ~ Amaal Mallik, Original Lyrics by ~ Anand Bakshi, New Lyrics by ~ Kumaar

“Haal hua behaal hua mera haal hua behaal!!!”

– Kumaar

We are all familiar with probably the most famous Rafi song ever, ‘Gulabi Aankhein’ (The Train), a song that almost everyone, from the kids, to the grandparents in India, know by heart. Why wouldn’t we know it, considering that it has been through so many remakes and recreations and revamps by the likes of Atif Aslam, Raghav Sachar and of course the wonderful performance by Sonu Nigam in London. Well, now, the makers of ‘Noor’ make sure we get yet another version of the song, this time, a club revamp. Well, this song actually un-grew on me. I used to like it (just like) the first time I heard it, but it just slipped away after that; I couldn’t bring myself to love it any more, and whatever I liked also started to seem ordinary. The good thing about this remake is, that it only retains the hook of the old song. However, the tune that works as padding, is a bit weak, except the “haal hua behaal hua mera haal hua behaal” loop. The antara is super-ordinary, something I never expected from Amaal. The numerous interruptions going “gulabi, gulabi“, sound boring after some listens. There is an English female rap though, that is quite entertaining. The arrangements are mostly EDM, which is loud for the most part, but I will still maintain that it is better than all the noisy cacophony we find ourselves tripping to nowadays. Vocals are okay-ish as well, and the two versions differ from each other only in terms of vocals, the first one sung by Amaal, the second by Yash Narvekar. Still, Yash has backing vocals in the first song, and Amaal has backing vocals in the second. 😄😄 The two songs sound pretty much the same. The female singer is Tulsi Kumar, supposedly singing in a newly thick voice she has obtained. I just hope she doesn’t think that voice is good, and I hope she stops using this kind of voice. The additional lyrics by Kumaar are functional considering it is a club song. A cacophonous remake, which I hadn’t expected!

Rating: 3/5 for Gulabi 2.0, 3/5 for Gulabi Redux

 

3. Jise Kehte Pyaar Hai

Singer ~ Sukriti Kakar, Backing Vocals ~ Roshni Baptist, Mohini Gaur, Shishir Samant & Meghdeep Bose, Lyrics by ~ Kumaar

“Yeh sabhi mausam ho rahe apne
Kal talak thhe jo ajnabi
Yeh safar yunhi le chala aage
Piche ab raahein na rahi!
Saari khwahishein,
Dil ki yeh farmaishein,
Tune suni iss tarah,
Koi duaa, jis tarah, sunle Khuda!”

– Kumaar

The next song turns out to be a very light-hearted romantic song, something that we know Amaal is an expert at, especially after ‘Sau Aasmaan’ (Baar Baar Dekho). This song is quite similar to that one in terms of overall feel of the song; a very sprightly and vivacious sound helps you forget your worries for the entire length of the song. The mukhda starts off quite abruptly, but you get used to it. The hookline is the peak of the song, obviously. But it is the antara that really surprised me pleasantly. I’ve never heard an antara starting so calmly and without making any ruckus like “Oh, I’m the antara now, you guys!” In fact, it just merges in so well with the interludes, you feel it is some extra stanza in the interlude, until it is so long that it has to be an antara. The arrangements add to the lightness of the song, the guitar (Ankur Mukherjee) played in this very MJ kind of way, is so oddly placed in such a song, yet so wonderful-sounding. The vocals are nice as well, Sukriti sounds cute in her very energetic rendition. I couldn’t help missing Neeti though, who usually sings such songs. Then I realised it would just sound like ‘Sau Aasmaan’ Part 2, so I started accepting Sukriti’s voice after that. 😂 The way she sings the sargam, in the first interlude is very beautiful. Kudos to Amaal for composing that. The backing vocalists really have a spectacular job, repeating the lines of the hookline after Sukriti. Lyrics are just as happy and boisterous as everything else, and suitable for the theme of the song. An enjoyable romantic song!

Rating: 4/5

 

4. Hai Zaroori

Singer ~ Prakriti Kakar, Lyrics by ~ Manoj Muntashir

“Nasamajh thhe hum, jo yeh bhi na samjhe,
Waqt aane par, sab badalte hain!
Manzilein kya hain, aur raaste kya hain,
Log pal bhar mein, yahaan rabb badalte hain!
Kisi ke vaaste kahaan, kinaare aayi kashtiyaan,
Yeh dooriyan hai bas dooriyan!
Ke chori chori chupke se chupke se rona, hai zaroori,
Ke paani paani ankhiyon ka, ankhiyon ka hona, hai zaroori,
Reh gayi aarzoo ik adhuri,
Ke kabhi kabhi aisa bhi, aisa bhi hona, hai zaroori!”

-Manoj Muntashir

A sombre and pensive melody brings up the rear of the album, and it is a sheer delight to the ears. In spite of the song being pensive and slow-paced, it touches your heart in a way that probably no song has, recently. The song has a very beautiful tune, which makes you feel as if you are flying high in the sky. The composition has a very Western classical touch to it, and the arrangements just support the same feeling. The mukhda itself is so hard-hitting, you can’t help but listen further. And that hookline, that’s what can be charged legally for making people go crazy and making them speechless. The antaras carry forward the serious feel of the song perfectly, and it makes for a great listen overall. That bridge line between the antara and hookline is so heartbreaking! The arrangements as I was saying, are amazing. They ooze out grandeur like a leaking pipe. The live strings are so overwhelming (in a positive way), it transports you to a whole different world. You will feel like you are sitting in an Orchestra Hall in Europe. The slow pace is made up for by the grand arrangements, which make sure nobody has the audacity to dismiss this song by calling it boring. Twinkly sounds, heavenly wind instruments and amazing guitars (Joell Mukherjee) in an interlude, constitute the rest of the arrangements. Amaal’s piano notes are amazing, and he plays them like little treats throughout the larger treat that the song is. Prakriti steals the show, and after ‘Bheegh Loon’ (Khamoshiyan), it is her second song where she gets the opportunity to shine by herself. Her graceful, lilting voice in this song is something that I frankly never expected her to pull off, and she has!! Manoj Muntashir’s lyrics are a spectacular piece of poetry, and it is after such a long time that I’m hearing a sad song that doesn’t go overboard with its sentimentality. I’m ready to be sad for a day, listening to this song on loop! Amaal surpasses his own ‘Kaun Tujhe’ (M.S. Dhoni) with this one!

Rating: 5/5


Noor is a charming album. With just four tracks, it still has the most variety I’ve seen in recent albums. With not song sounding even close to the next, Amaal provides us with a mixed bag, wherein anything you pick out from it, will be a treat to the ears. Barring one. Of course, everything has some flaws. Here, it is the club song. I’m sure Amaal would’ve been better off producing an original club song than remaking an old song! Anyway, the rest of the songs are a breeze of fresh air, something that has dwindled nowadays, what with music makers following some unnecessary clichés that will make their music hit for a week or so. But this album seems like something that will stay on my playlist for sure. ‘Noor’ means ‘light’, and the songs are so light-hearted, so I call this album Amaal’s Noor-aani album!! Bright and light!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 5 + 3 + 3 + 4 + 5 = 20

Album Percentage: 80%

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: Hai Zaroori = Uff Yeh Noor > Jise Kehte Pyaar Hai > Gulabi 2.0 = Gulabi Redux

 

Remake Counter
No. Of Remakes in 2017: 09 (from previous albums) + 01 (from Noor) = 10

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

PURAANA ZAMAANA NAYA HO GAYA!! (BEGUM JAAN – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Anu Malik
♪ Lyrics by: Kausar Munir & Rahat Indori
♪ Music Label: Junglee Music / Times Music
♪ Music Released On: 7th April 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 14th April 2017

Begum Jaan Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE

To hear “Murshida” on Saavn CLICK HERE

To buy “Murshida” on iTunes CLICK HERE


Begum Jaan is an upcoming Bollywood period film, starring Vidya Balan, Ila Arun, Gauhar Khan, Pallavi Sharda, Mishti Chakraborty, Raviza Chauhan, Priyanka Setia, Flora Saini, Ridheema Tiwary, Poonam Rajput, Gracy Goswami, Pitobash Tripathy, Ashish Vodyarthi, Chunky Pandey and Naseeruddin Shah. The film has been directed by National-Award-Winnig Director Srijit Mukherji, and produced by Mahesh Bhatt, Vishesh Bhatt and Play Entertainment. The film is the official Bollywood remake of Srijit’s Bengali film, ‘Rajkahini’. The film, set in 1947, is about a brothel, and how the Radcliffe line that decided the borders of India and Pakistan during Independence, passes right through the middle of it. The struggle of the ladies at the brothel, and their fight for their home, os what constitutes the story. The concept seems great, and with great actors, it is sure to get amazing response. The music of the film has been composed by Anu Malik, and it is a perfect choice; he would be able to do the music of the era better than most of the younger composers. Anu himself says he hasn’t heard the music of the Bengali original film, so as not to be influenced by it, and I haven’t heard it either, so as not to compare. Anu Malik has composed five songs for the movie, with one of them having two versions, making it a total of six tracks. So let’s see how the album turns out!


1. Prem Mein Tohre / Prem Mein Tohre (Reprise)

Singers ~ Asha Bhosle / Kavita Seth, Lyrics by ~ Kausar Munir

“Parde mein tohre, Chori chori chori chori, jiya jaaye na,
Parde mein tohre, chori chori chori chori, mita jaaye na,
Aata hai chhupke tu mere dar par,
Ghayal dil aur dhadkan banjar,
Ghayal dil aur dhadkan banjar!
Haldi mali jo ghaanv pe tohre, har zakhm mera hara ho gaya,
Yeh kya ho gaya?”

– Kausar Munir

Of course, this song was the one about which rumours were pouring in right from the day Anu Malik must have recorded it. And why? The answer is simple — none other than living legend Asha Bhosle had sung it. So headlines like “ASHA BHOSLE, LIVING LEGEND, GIVES VOICE TO VIDYA BALAN”, or “ANU MALIK AND ASHA BHOSLE COMBO BACK TOGETHER” popped up at me many a time. Yes, the song has been sung by Asha Bhosle, who was last heard in a forgettable (and already forgotten) song from ’31st October’. This song, however, has no chance to be forgotten. The composition is a serene, classical composition, which just touches your heart right away. Yes, it might take time to grow for some, because it is quite slow-paced, and, being a classical song, it has quite a paucity of aalaaps and murkis, but then, you can’t expect all classical songs to be replicas of each other, can you? So the tune that Anu Malik finally presents to us is amazing, though it has got some barriers in some places, like I said before, the slow pace. The composer makes up for this with the wonderful classical arrangements, which make a breeze of fresh air blow against your (ears???) face. The tanpura paves the way for something marvellous right in the beginning, and surely, a wonderful oud takes over, and booming, grand percussions join after some time, accompanied by the innocent sound of the paayals. One highlight in the arrangements is the wonderful second interlude, which features a RAVISHING sitar instrumental piece which just steals your breath! And the antara that follows is a musical masterpiece; something that only the old composers of Bollywood are capable of doing. That stanza has a wonderful tune, a wonderful strings background, and then, when the tabla finally joins the song (quite late, but still worth it!) you feel utterly satisfied with the song! The paayal jingle at the end of the song signifies a beautiful end to it. The song has two version, both of which have the same arrangements but differ in the vocals. One is by Asha Bhosle, while the other is by Kavita Seth. (By the way, I didn’t see any headlines saying “KAVITA SETH SINGS A SONG FOR ‘BEGUM JAAN'” before the album released.) Asha Bhosle’s version sounds more like a romantic song, with her very sweet voice, which is quite intact, as it was even twenty years ago, considering her age! When I first heard her version when it released I thought she hadn’t done some of the aalaaps properly, but then I heard Kavita’s version and automatically started liking Asha’s. Kavita sings the song more impactfully, demolishing any traces of it being a romantic song — she has sung a bit too loudly, and she misses even more aalaps and sings in a very plain and straightforward tone. It sounded weird at first, but it is passable. Kausar Munir’s lyrics are good but could have been better, more layered. A wonderful classical romantic song to start the album off.

Rating: 4/5 for the Original Version, 3/5 for the Reprise Version

 

2. Aazaadiyan

Singers ~ Rahat Fateh Ali Khan & Sonu Nigam, Lyrics by ~ Kausar Munir

“Reh gayi rassi pe chunari,
Reh gayi khoonti pe kurti,
Reh gayi woh laaj kahaan?
Reh gaya gumbad mein Allah,
Reh gaya furqat mein Rabba,
Reh gaya woh Ram kahaan?
Hain hari se woh kahaan, hain galeeche woh kahaan?
Pehle chaman woh bataao kahaan?
Hind pe tha naaz jinko, hain woh kahaan?”

– Kausar Munir

A pathos-filled, heart-rending melody is what follows the semiclassical romantic song. This song describes the pain and suffering of the people, who had to migrate to the other side of the border, after the partition of India. And very graphically, Anu Malik has brought that pain right into his composition. Right from the moment it starts, till the moment it ends, the song has a composition that will make it hard for you not to flinch in pain, just by hearing it. The mukhda is wonderful, and the “aah nikli hai yahaan” verse is very pleasant-sounding, but it has been written cleverly, sarcastically. Clearly, the distress that the people felt on leaving their homes was paramount. The antara is what makes the song as heart-rending as ever; it has strings of melancholic notes that hit right at the heart. The way each line sounds different from the other is amazing. It reminds you of Anu Malik’s ‘Border’ and ‘Refugee’ days. The only drawback I can think of about the song is its duration — over six and a half minutes long. (Almost all of the songs of ‘Border’ and ‘Refugee’ too, were that long! 😄) But it is kind of repetitive to be listening to for so long. Anyway, since the composition is good, I’m cool with it. The arrangements are very impressive. The beautiful use of the shehnaai throughout the song leaves you amazed. Furthermore, the second antara has a wonderful Sufi rhythm to it, and the percussion throughout the song is just ravishing. The nagadas at the beginning are really great in giving you the feel that something epic is going to follow. The twinkly (xylophone??) sounds that the song abounds in, are pleasures to the ears. Anu Malik has outdone himself wih the use of strings and percussion in the song. The two singers make this song enrapturing. Rahat’s rustic voice sets the atmosphere for a pathos-filled song, while Sonu Nigam accompanies him with an aptly moving rendition — his parts reminded me a lot of ‘Sandese Aate Hain’ (Border). Finally, it is time to talk about Kausar Munir’s colossally great lyrics. I must not spoil it for you; so please listen to them very carefully! This song won’t be noticed by too many people, at least not in this era dominated by raps and club songs, but whoever does notice it, would definitely love it!

Rating: 4.5/5

 

3. O Re Kaharo

Singers ~ Kalpana Patowary & Altamash Faridi, Lyrics by ~ Kausar Munir

“O re kaharon, Doli utaaro, pal bhar ko thehro toh zara,
Dil se lagaake, bas ikk dafaa ve, dene do gudiyon ko dua,
Teri bindiya nikharke, choodiyan bikharke, chunari mein chehke,
Tera kajra ho kaara, gajra ho pyaara, angana tera mehke.”

– Kausar Munir

Another poignant melody makes its way into the soundtrack, and this time it is a bidaai song, but of course, metaphorically. More about that later. The composition is a sinister and melancholic melody that effectively transfers its sadness to the listener. Anu Malik has composed this one with all his heart and soul, and again, it reminds me of some 90s song which probably Jaspinder Narula would’ve sung for him. The “teri bindiya nikharke…” verse is amazing, and very soulful. The title of the song comes as a bridge between two verses, or an ending to a verse, instead of using it as a hookline. The antara too has been composed very soulfully, and it instantly hooks you, especially the “soja soja gudiya soja” part. The arrangements infuse even more grandeur, in a very earthy way, into the song. The star of the arrangements is hands-down, the flute, which Anu has interspersed in between the poignant melody. The percussion is booming and very thought-provoking, and whatever is the intention of having it so booming and powerful, that intention has been served; the song is as impactful as it can get. I can just imagine what an impact it’ll have in the theatre. Again, Anu makes wonderful use of the paayals, and the strings, especially that wonderful crescendo of the strings in the beginning of the song, which really reminded me of Rahman’s ‘Rangeela’ songs. Kalpana Patowary, who is known as the Bhojpuri queen, has done such a song for the first time in her life, I guess! And she aces it! This avatar of hers is way better than all those weird songs she has sung before in Bollywood, and she handles all the nuances so expertly, that it is something to wonder why no composer has tried it out before. A big thanks to Malik for doing it. Altamash has a single line that plays multiple times, and it is like an interlude, not making much difference to the grand performance that Kalpana has already stolen away. Kausar Munir’s lyrics are literally bidaai lyrics, but there’s definitely a deeper meaning that could only be discerned after the film releases. I even have a theory, but let’s not hypothesize here. And I’m sure, wherever this song fits into the film, that scene would be enhanced manifold. Anu Malik concludes the song with a grand symphonic strings and flutes and percussion intersection. An extremely captivating composition, that amazes with its sinister sound.

Rating: 5/5

 

4. Holi Khelein

Singers ~ Shreya Ghoshal & Anmol Malik, Lyrics by ~ Kausar Munir

“Mor pankhudi udi udi,
Natkhat bansi baji baji,
Gagan giri, gopi saji,
Vrindavan ki gali gali,
Kanha ke rang khili khili, kanha ke rang khili khili,
Holi, holi, holi, khelein brij ki har bala, brij ki baaalaaa!”

– Kausar Munir

The moment this song starts, you know that it is a playful song, and after all that serious romance and pathos that filled the previous songs, you are nothing but ready for it! And what a pleasant surprise you get when you find that it is a purely classical Holi song (as if that wasn’t discernible from the title, but then… Whatever.) Anu Malik composed this song very intrinsically, every note resounding in your ears after it plays. The overall sound of the song itself, is so delightful, and it just goes to tell you, that Anu has gone a long way after he did that ‘Do Me A Favour Let’s Play Holi’ (Waqt) song that is oh-so-infamous among Indians. Yes, it has an old-world-charm to it, but happens to please you very much, with its happy-go-lucky tune. Every line sounds different from the preceding one, and again, just as in ‘Aazaadiyan’, that’s what makes the composition so special. The antara is even better in terms of composition, where things calm down, and it is extremely soothing. The arrangements make the song sound even more exquisite. The percussion throughout the song gives a very grand feel to the celebratory song, and folk instruments like the nagadas, bansuri, rabaab, tablas, and dholaks. The rhythm is a very traditional Holi rhythm, being played in so many Holi songs, but it doesn’t bore you due to the more modern way it has been arranged. The vocals are great, but Anmol’s amateurish parts seem like an interruption into Shreya Ghoshal’s professional-sounding parts. Shreya sounds as ravishing as ever, and as always, hits the high notes beautifully. She sang the “holi holi holi yeh kyaaaa ho gaya” so beautifully, no wonder she is called the Nightingale. Anmol doesn’t sound hideous, but still serves as a kind of unwanted interruption. At the end wonderful kathak bols make up a beautiful conclusion. Kausar’s lyrics are very sweet, and the Krishna connection she has made makes the song even more beautiful to hear. A treat for classical music lovers!

Rating: 5/5

 

♪ Bonus Song

5. Murshida

Singer ~ Arijit Singh, Lyrics by ~ Rahat Indori

“Pehli shart judaai hai, Ishq bada harjaai hai
Dil pe kisne dastak di, Tum ho ya tanhaai hai
Tujhe bhoole baithe thhe, Phir se teri yaad aayi hai
Dil pe kisne dastak di, Tum ho ya tanhaai hai?”

– Rahat Indori

So this song just only released today, as a bonus track. It is a beautiful, breezy Sufi melody, and has a very charming touch to it. Anu Malik’s composition barely sounds like an Anu Malik composition, it sounded more to me like something composed by a Salim-Sulaiman, or a Pritam. The reason will be clear to you after you hear its mukhda. The same charm that accompanies the songs of the two aforementioned composers, is present in this song. Until of course, Anu Malik takes the unconventional route and switches track to an amazing Sufi detour, which is probably the most welcome detour of the world. The antaras are amazing, but a bit ordinary as compared to the rest of the song. One line in the antara gets all sinister and dark, reminding one of Vishal Bhardwaj. But then the mukhda, with its beautiful notes, returns. The rhythm in the mukhda, where the guitars are played so soothingly, in a play-stop-play-stop manner, is so infectious, you just nod your head along to that rhythm. The other arrangements too, are very impressive, especially that majestic sarangi that starts off the song. In the Sufi detour that makes up the hookline, amazing tablas play, and that guitar keeps rocking. Arijit sings in his trademark charming voice, and changes from a feathery whisper of a voice to a blooming voice very easily. His effortless rendition really etches a place for itself in your heart. This song has been penned by Rahat Indori, the Lyricist who has worked with Anu Malik so many times in his peak time in the 90s, and the latest in ‘Gali Gali Chor Hai’ (2012). He has written such a poetic song, as he always has done in the past, and I just became so happy on hearing the lyrics. A perfect song to close the album!

Rating: 4.5/5


Begum Jaan is like a throwback to the songs of yore. Barring the new bonus track, the album has evident shades of nostalgic melodies that remind one of the old Bollywood songs, and Anu Malik does a great job in recreating the 1947-ish era with his music. The album is full of poignant melodies that are high on the musical quotient, if not high on repeat value (for some). All I can say is, puraana zamaana naya ho gaya, yeh kya ho gaya! 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4 + 3 + 4.5 + 5 + 5 + 4.5 = 26

Album Percentage: 86.67%

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: O Re Kaharo = Holi Khelein > Aazaadiyan = Murshida > Prem Mein Tohre > Prem Mein Tohre (Reprise)

 

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

KRSNA ACES THE EMOTIONAL QAWWALIS!! (MIRZA JUULIET – Music Review)

Music Album Details

♪ Music by: Krsna Solo & DJ Notorious
♪ Lyrics by: Sandeep Nath
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 14th March 2017
♪ Movie Released On: 7th April 2017

Mirza Juuliet Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Mirza Juuliet is a Bollywood romantic drama starring Piaa Bajpai and Darshan Kumaar. The film is directed by Rajesh Ram Singh, and produced by Green Apple Media, Falansha Media Pvt. Ltd, and Shemaroo Entertainment. So I’m just interested in the music of this movie, since it has been composed by somebody who has really impressed me in the past, Krsna Solo. The composer, who has earlier scored music for the ‘Tanu Weds Manu’ franchise, and also ‘Jolly LLB’ and ‘Cute Kameena’, out of which the later was a surprisigly good album of last year, now gets another film where it is obvious the film won’t do well, but let’s hope he tries to save it with his music, which I expect will be good!


1. Tukda Tukda

Singer ~ Asees Kaur

“Badalne lagi hain saansein meri, abb angaaron mein,
Ke tujhse hi sajne lagi main singaar mein,
Lo doob rahi hoon main sapnon ke majhdhaaron mein,
Ke raat din hain mere abb gulzaaron mein!”

Krsna begins the album with a breezy romantic song, one that befits his composing style completely. The melody is a lilting one, but a bit too simple, so much so that I took a long time to get accustomed to the simplicity, and look beyond it to find the beauty in the composition. Four to five listens will do the trick, but that’s what is frustrating — you don’t get hooked right away. The composition starts off well enough, but you keep waiting for that one part where you will be treated with something extraordinary; sadly, it never comes. The antara is a nice, high-pitched and mellifluous portion, and the only part for me where the song picked up pace. The arrangements contribute a lot to the magical quality of the song. A wonderful flute embellishes the interludes, and breezy guitar strums, and piano notes decorate the rest of it. Digital snaps are what make the beats even more enjoyable and breezy. Krsna adds some very-typical-of-his-style quirky sounds, and those are a welcome addition as well. Asees sings the song well, but I couldn’t quite connect with the composition in spite of her beautiful rendition. Her rendition of the antaras is something to look out for! Somewhere though, her voice lacks the freshness that a Neeti Mohan or a Jonita Gandhi could’ve infused into it. The lyrics are beautiful romantic lyrics, and Sandeep Nath, back after an extraordinarily long time, makes a good comeback. A song that keeps you waiting for an amazingly extraordinary part which never comes.

Rating: 3.5/5

 

2. Muhabbat Ko Misuse / Muhabbat Ko Misuse (Remix)

SingerKrsna Solo, Remix by ~ DJ Notorious

“Ishq gadhe ki laat, ye jispe pad jaaye,
Adiyal ghode sa woh ziddi add jaaye,
Ruk jaaye phir pyaar ki garmi,
Yaar ke aage naak ragadni, ragadni, ragadni pad jaaye!
Bematlab ego mein, issues na kar,
Emotion ko, ko, ko, tu confuse na kar,
Mohabbat ko, ko, ko, tu misuse na kar!”

Krsna brings in more of his quirk with the next song, an enjoyable upbeat number which he sings himself. The composition doesn’t grip you instantly, but after a couple of lines, and when it does get you grooving in that weird desi manner, which you are so ashamed of showing off to your friends, it gets you grooving hard. The antara is just as enjoyable as the beginning, and that hookline is so unconventional, broken up into parts like that, like a rain that keeps stopping and lurching and stopping and lurching. Krsna adds a quite fun rap in the second interlude. The arrangements are very fun too, with this amazing percussion beat, and upbeat trumpets, giving it this nice Caribbean flavour. The flute which starts the song off is aptly gripping, and it atleast keeps you listening further. A nice mandolin also features in the arrangements, infusing liveliness into the song. Krsna’s vocals are aptly rowdy and folksy. The way he pronounces certain English words in colloquial Indian village pronunciation. The quirk of his voice goes hand-in-hand with the quirk he has added in the composition and arrangements, resulting in a fun listen. Sandeep Nath’s lyrics are just as humorous, and enjoyable. A remix by DJ Notorious rehashes the already upbeat (but having a slow pace nevertheless) composition, and throws in glitzy club beats, making the song seem like a fish out of water. It does not sound good with the club treatment. A decent, enjoyable song, with a banal remix.

Rating: 4/5 for the Original Version, 2/5 for the Remix

 

3. Seene Mein Lagi Aag

Singer ~ Javed Bashir

“Seene mein lagi hai aag, dil khaak na hovey,
Woh aashiq hai bekaar jo barbaad na hovey!”

The third song of the album is a ravishing song, composed in the form of a Qawwali, and wonderfully rendered by Javed Bashir. Krsna’s composition here will do nothing more than tug at your heartstrings, and it instantly grips you to it, even though it is not the kind of song that will gain immense popularity, unless attached with a film associated with a superstar. The composition dives right into the hookline, and that line has been composed in such a heartfelt manner, the emotion just gets poured out into you when you listen to it. To compose a tune which is supposed to be sad, but still not make it overtly sentimental, and melodramatic, is a difficult task, and yet, Krsna has managed to overcome it very efficiently. The antaras scale high notes, and ensure that the listener keeps listening till the end. The arrangements are another aspect of the song that ensure that your complete attention is on the song. Of course, the traditional Qawwali beat plays on the tablas and dholaks, and meanwhile, a heart-rending shehnaai plays occasionally and takes your breath away. Guitars are the highlight of the arrangements, though. Yes, guitars. The rock guitars do not play throughout the song, and only can be heard at countable places, but when they are played, they leave you shocked and mystified at the same time. Acoustic guitars, too, have been used throughout the song. Javed Bashir’s vocals are one of the best things that the song has to offer. His aalaps are spot-on, especially the “Seene mein lagi…..” take-off he sings everytime before he sings the hookline. His voice infused the required folksiness into the song, and it is so refreshing. The duration of the song is quite long, but never does it bore you, thanks to the wonderful composition, arrangements and vocals. Sandeep Nath’s lyrics here too are amazing, especially the hookline. RAVISHING!

Rating: 5/5

 

4. Teri Razamandi

Singer ~ Javed Ali

“Shah-e-karam humko, tera sahaara hai,
Bigde naseebon ko, tuney sanwaara hai,
Dil ne duaaon mein tujhko pukaara hai,
Tere dar ke deewane aaye hain,
Jholi bharke muraadein laaye hain,
Duniya ne thukraaya hai, tuney hi apnaya hai,
Abb toh koi jalwa kar tu, Ali hamaara hai!
Hai teri razamandi toh hai bulandi, bulandi, bulandi!”

Another Qawwali comes to us, this time, a more traditional spiritual one, as opposed to the previous, romantic one that was fused with modern instruments. This composition is mellow, and heart-melting. It seems like another one of those songs where the protagonist is praying for a solution to his woes. The hookline is very impactful, and the way the last word is repeated thrice, though quite unconventional and very Krsna-ish, gives a nice effect. The “duniya ne thukraya hai, tuney hi apnaaya hai” line is very beautifully composed. The antara gets a bit staid, and very predictable, but it gets better when the “duniya….” line comes back to bridge the antara to the hookline again. With two mukhdas (once repeated at the end), and two antaras, the song is a traditionally long Qawwali, but one thing I missed is that there was no upbeat part at the end, where the tempo increases, like other Qawwalis. On the other hand, the slow pace of the song gives a very tranquil and divine touch to it. The arrangements are your everyday Qawwali arrangements; the harmonium and chimtas and claps give it the required divine sound. The tablas have been played in a heavenly way. Javed Ali leads the group of Qawwals, and does it effectively, creating a serene effect. His characteristic silky voice was the best choice for the song. He handles all the high notes very well, but doesn’t falter  in the low notes either. Sandeep Nath’s lyrics explain the predicament of the protagonist and how he surrenders to the divine for help. A very appeasing Qawwali. 🙂

Rating: 4.5/5


Mirza Juuliet, like almost all of Krsna’s albums, is a surprisingly good one. All four songs have something or the other to like in them, and I don’t think any song disappoints as such. With a few flaws here and there, this album surprisingly turns out to be a very high scorer. Though it didn’t (and won’t) get it’s due, I will surely do the needful by listening to it in the future. The last thing I would like to say is that Krsna aces the Qawwalis here too, just as he did in ‘Tanu Weds Manu’!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 3.5 + 4 + 2 + 5 + 4.5 = 19

Album Percentage: 76%

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: Seene Mein Lagi Aag > Teri Razamandi > Muhabbat Ko Misuse > Tukda Tukda > Muhabbat Ko Misuse (Remix)

 

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