45th MUSIC MASTANI MONTHLY AWARDS (JULY 2018)

Important Statistics

♪ Number of Albums Reviewed: 4

♪ Albums Reviewed: Soorma, Dhadak, Nawabzaade & Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster 3

♪ Music Composers: Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Ajay-Atul, Gurinder Seagal, Badshah, Guru Randhawa, Rana Mazumder, Siddharth Pandit & Anjjan Bhattacharya

Now on with the awards:

45th Music Mastani Monthly Awards

♪ MAIN AWARDS

Singer of the Month (Female) : Jonita Gandhi for Lag Ja Gale (Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster 3)

• Singer of the Month (Male) : Diljit Dosanjh for Ishq Di Baajiyaan (Soorma)

• Composer of the Month (Song): Ajay-Atul for Dhadak (Dhadak)

• Composer of the Month (Album) : Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy for Soorma

• Album of the Month: Soorma (Music by: Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy; Lyrics by: Gulzar; Singers: Diljit Dosanjh, Shankar Mahadevan, Sukhwinder Singh, Sunidhi Chauhan, Daler Mehndi, Hemant Brijwasi, Ehsaan Noorani, Sahil Akhtar, Shehnaz Akhtar; Music On: Sony Music)

• Musical Jodi of the Month (Best Duet) : Ajay Gogavale & Shreya Ghoshal for Dhadak Title Track (Dhadak)

• Lyricist of the Month: Gulzar for Ishq Di Baajiyaan (Soorma)

♪ SONG AWARDS

• Best Romantic Song: Ishq Di Baajiyaan (Soorma)

• Best Dance Song: Zingaat (Dhadak)

• Best Sad Song: Pardesiya (Soorma)

• Best Classical-Based Song: Davaa Bhi Woh (Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster 3)

• Best Song With A Western Influence: Dil Ka Parinda (Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster 3)

• Best Song With A Folk Influence: Pardesiya (Soorma)

• Song With The Best Use Of Fusion: Flicker Singh (Soorma)

• Best Backing Vocals: Shankar Mahadevan in Ishq Di Baajiyaan (Soorma)

• Best Sound Effects in A Song: Tere Naal Nachna (Nawabzaade)

• Best Retro-Styled Song: Dil Ka Parinda (Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster 3)

• Best Humorous Song: Zingaat (Dhadak)

• Best Rap in A Song: Badshah in Tere Naal Nachna (Nawabzaade) for lack of another song.

• Best Remake: Lag Ja Gale (Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster 3)

♪ SPECIAL AWARDS

• Bandar Kya Jaane Adrak Ka Swaad (Best Album That Went Pretty Much Unnoticed) : Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster 3 (Saregama)

• Newcomer(s) of the Month:

– Newcomer of the Month (Singer – Female) : Saberi Bhattacharya for Davaa Bhi Woh (Saheb biwi Aur Gangster 3)

– Newcomer of the Month (Singer – Male) : Atul Gogavale for Zingaat (Dhadak)

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

• Music Label of the Month: Sony Music for Soorma

• Most Unusual, But Awesome Choice of Singer: Jonita Gandhi for Lag Ja Gale (Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster 3)

Hope you all agree!

Thanks for reading!!

DANCE, ROMANCE AUR GANGSTERPANTI!! (SAHEB BIWI AUR GANGSTER 3 – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Rana Mazumder, Siddharth Pandit, Anjjan Bhattacharya & Madan Mohan
♪ Lyrics by: Kumaar, Revant Shergill, Sandeep Nath, Kausar Munir & Raja Mehdi Ali Khan
♪ Music Label: Saregama
♪ Music Released On: 26th July 2018
♪ Movie Released On: 27th July 2018

Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster 3 Album Cover

 

Listen to the songs: Saavn | Gaana

Buy the songs: iTunes


Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster 3 is a Bollywood action / crime thriller starring Sanjay Dutt, Jimmy Shergill, Chitrangada Singh and Mahie Gill in lead roles, directed by Tigmanshu Dhulia and produced by Rahul Mittra and Tigmanshu Dhulia. The film opened to mostly negative reviews, but thankfully, we music reviewers don’t have to poke our little noses into that. The music album of the film is primarily composed by Rana Mazumder, who made a spectacular  debut last year with Tigmanshu Dhulia’s ‘Raag Desh’, in which the guest composer was Siddharth Pandit, also featuring as guest composer here. They are joined by Anjjan Bhattacharya too, the second guest composer. Now, I barely remember any tracks from the previous installments of this franchise, showing how short their repeat value was. Let’s see whether the tracks in this instalment are any better.


Let’s get the songs by the two guest composers covered first — just my OCD, nothing else. 😂

Kesariya Jugni is another of the countless takes on the ‘Jugni’ folk song, but other than the tumbi nothing reminds me of the original, so I don’t think I’d classify it as a recreation! Anjjan Bhattacharya, who I always believed to be the melody master when Meet Bros. Anjjan was still a trio, takes the opposite path here; he relies more on the sound to propel his song forth. The aforementioned tumbi gives the song its required Punjabi energy, while other techno sounds help give it a universal connect. Dhols and all are present, but don’t contribute much. My favourite touch was the “Aao ji aao sarkar…” portion sung by Amit Gupta. The Nooran Sisters (whose surprisingly it is the first song of the year ONLY! 😕) carry the entire song on the shoulders; whenever it starts getting remotely repetitive, the Noorans keep it interesting and listen-worthy. Kumaar’s lyrics are something that would fit into a ‘Tanu Weds Manu 3’ as well, but Anjjan’s music it what makes it suit the vibe of this franchise.

The other guest composer Siddharth Pandit creates the Baba Theme, which succeeds as a gangster song, but fails to keep the listener attentive. Revant Shergill’s rendition is weak, the composition is closer to a recitation of sorts, and the arrangements are way too repetitive (more than Sanju’s ‘Baba Bolta Hai’ too!) for my liking. Revant Shergill even pens the lyrics, which again, are unsatisfactory. This song is something to skip if you get bored of repetitive sounds in songs.

Rana Mazumder starts his portion of the album with a recreation (more like a cover) of Lag Ja Gale from ‘Woh Kaun Thi’. After Lata Mangeshkar, the only singer who’s gotten even close to her rendition was Shreya Ghoshal, who I’ve been fortunate enough to hear singing this live! Rana Mazumder though, ropes in Jonita Gandhi, who had me floored by her rendition! Obviously not close to Lata di’s rendition, but from the current crop of singers, it’s only Gandhi who can get even this close to Shreya’s rendition too. What’s an added bonus, is that Mazumder keeps the arrangements really, really wonderful. The calmness and emotion of the original song has been kept intact, since Rana has used a beautiful orchestra, wonderful twinkling sounds, a mellifluous flute, chimes, and even a well-placed, iconic sitar. Of course, Madan Mohan ji‘s song is immortal, but I’m pleasantly surprised with this presentation of it. It is definitely a recreation I’d want to reach a million views in a day, but sadly, that kind of ‘recognition’ is in some other song’s fortune. 😦

As we veer over to Rana Mazumder’s original part of the album, we see a shift in the music from the modern, gangster-y music which the two guest composers had used in their songs, to a noticeably Pancham-ish vibe in Mazumder’s original songs. Three of the next five songs have that distinct Pancham touch, the first one being Andheron Mein Rishtey, which features in two versions, both with the same jazzy arrangement, which was a staple arrangement for detective/gangster films in the 70s or so. The trumpets are fascinating, as is the bass, and the composition is aptly sinister, as are Sandeep Nath’s lyrics. The Male Version by Arijit Singh falls below the Female Version by Mandakini Bora (newcomer?) though; Arijit’s sleepy voice just didn’t suit the theme of the song. Mandakini renders the song sensuously; such songs are best in female voices, I feel. That said though, her voice isn’t something I’d listen to the song solely for.

More along the Panchamda vibe is Dil Ka Parinda, which is crooned by the composer along with Usha Uthup. It starts with a pacy Latin rhythm with amazing Spanish guitars and Caribbean-style percussions. The first time around, the song sounds a bit pretentious, but it grows on you with the number of times you listen to it; Usha Uthup as usual is at her best in such songs; she leaves no stone unturned in making it her own song. Even composer Rana Mazumder tries to pull off a Pancham, but he doesn’t do it as well as he had done under Vishal-Shekhar’s music direction in ‘Twinkle Twinkle’ (The Dirty Picture). Even if you don’t like retro songs, you should listen to this song if only for the guitars and percussions. Sandeep Nath’s lyrics, yet again, are fun, though nothing exciting.

Rana departs from the Pancham vibe gradually, but Aye Huzoor still has some distinct Pancham touches in the arrangements. Rana uses sitar wonderfully again, and a very commendable use of muffled tabla sounds makes it a very delightful composition. The ‘Hey Shona’ (Ta Ra Rum Pum) duo Shaan and Sunidhi Chauhan render the song beautifully; Sunidhi is singing in the same voice which she had sung in, in that song as well. Though the composition is listener-friendly, I don’t think I see myself revisiting it many times in the future. Kausar Munir has written some cliché Bollywood romance lyrics, but they’re not dated as in irritating at all.

The last song, Davaa Bhi Woh, is drastically different from the previous songs of the album. It is entirely reminiscent of the Ismail Darbar – Sanjay Leela Bhansali combinations in ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’ and ‘Devdas’, especially the latter. Right from the female chorus in the beginning, to the overbearing tablas and kathak sounds, like the ghungroos and bols, this song is splendid. The new singer Saberi Bhattacharya is wonderful as well, and reminds me of Alka Yagnik in places. Rana Mazumder spins a beautiful melody based on Raag Khamaaj (I believe; don’t quote me) and reminds you of other songs like ‘Jagaave Saari Raina’ (Dedh Ishqiya). The conclusion to the song is magnificent as it should be, and I wonder what it is doing here in this soundtrack. 🙄


Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster 3 turns out to be the most memorable album of the franchise; I can see myself humming most of these tunes in the near future at least! Rana Mazumder manages to churn out entertainingly varied songs even for a gangster flick!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 6.5 + 4 + 8.5 + 6 + 6.5 + 7 + 7.5 + 9 = 55

Album Percentage: 68.75%

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: Davaa Bhi Woh > Lag Ja Gale > Aye Huzoor > Dil Ka Parinda > Andheron Mein Rishtey (Female) = Kesariya Jugni > Andheron Mein Rishtey (Male) > Baba Theme

Remake Counter:
No. Of Remakes : 29 (from previous albums) + 01 = 30

Which is your favourite song from Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster 3? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂

NAWABS THAT PARTY AND DANCE IN CLUBS..? (NAWABZAADE – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Gurinder Seagal, Guru Randhawa & Badshah
♪ Lyrics by: Guru Randhawa, Kunaal Vermaa, Ikka, Kumaar, Sandeep Nath & Badshah
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 17th July 2018
♪ Movie Releases On: 27th July 20181400x1400bb2

Listen to the songs: Saavn | Gaana

Buy the songs: iTunes


Nawabzaade is an upcoming comedy film starring Raghav Juyal, Dharmesh Yelande, Punit J. Pathak and Isha Rikhi. The film is directed by Jayesh Pradhan and produced by Lizelle D’Souza and Mayur K Barot. The music for the film is composed by Guru Randhawa, Gurinder Seagal and Badshah. I don’t really expect much from the album, looking at the composer names, and I’ll be honest: I’m reviewing it so I don’t have to have only two big albums, Dhadak and Soorma competing in the monthly awards. 😅 So let’s see what entails…


Guru Randhawa continues his spree of rehashing his pop sinhles under T-Series, into Bollywood club tracks; he also continues making the Bollywood variants sound fresher and less raw than the pop songs — giving them a more polished sound. High Rated Gabru is propelled by the two special appearances by Varun Dhawan and Shraddha Kapoor, though. The song is your typical Guru Randhawa EDM number that attracts you at first, but wears off with further listens. As for me, it hasn’t worn off yet though, so I guess this is one of the stronger ones. I like the drum beats Guru has put in occasionally, and the club sound still sounds fresh, so I guess he still has the audience grooving. The Female Version is even more unnecessary than having ice cream in December. Aditi Singh Sharma’s over-stylised vocals seem to say “Remember me? I haven’t got a song in Bollywood for a long time, but I still can’t sing in a normal voice.” The Punjabi reprise of the lyrics just sounds odd. The programming in this version isn’t as fresh and bubbly as in the male version, so it’s bound to get less takers.

Badshah too, is made to rehash his tried-and-tested formula, with a steady beat running throughout the song, Tere Naal Nachna is adorned with noises like an Indian auntyji going “Hainn?” The bass line though, is really addictive, and the hookline by newcomer (?) Sunanda Sharma is irresistible. Badshah has the most catchy female singer portions in his songs! Looks like after Aastha Gill, he is now introducing another quirky singer. The lyrics are the usual Badshah rap stuff, while vodka makes a cameo in the hookline, as always.

Lead composer Gurinder Seagal gets three songs to his credit: he doesn’t make much of the opportunity, though. Amma Dekh is a pacy dubstep number that should have been released two or three years ago. Sukriti Kakar awkwardly tries to sing like Neeti Mohan, while Ikka provides a banal rap portion. Gurinder does give it a cool sound though, with a variety of sound effects used throughout the song. Kumaar’s lyrics are nothing except for Sameer’s hookline from the song ‘Amma Dekh’ (Stuntsman).

If that was cringeworthy though, what awaits you in Mummy Kasam will have you wincing in terror. The staid-by-now Bollywood kuthu rhythm has been given a tedious presentation here, with cringeworthy lyrics by Kunaal Vermaa, and weird vocals by Gurinder Seagal. Ikka presents an even worse rap in this song than he did in the former. Payal Dev tries to sound like Neha Kakkar, and obviously fails. Too loud for my liking.

The only song where Gurinder remotely proves that he can compose, and not just program, is Lagi Hawa Dil Ko, which just happens to be the best song of the album because all the others are nowhere near it. It sounds refreshing to get a normal, romantic melody after so much noise, and my brain felt glad to get to process something for once. Altamash Faridi leads the vocals wonderfully, while others like Gurinder Singh, Shivay Vyas, Nettle and even Mika Singh in a short energetic departure from the romantic tune, complement him well. The reason this song stands out from the others is that it has variety. The arrangements are pleasant — guitars, harmonica, tablas, even, in a short Qawwali portion, drums, trumpets and rock guitars in a rock-and-roll portion, this song has a wide range. Sandeep Nath’s lyrics are nothing great, but more of better-than-the-rest.


Except for one experimental song, this album is mainly going to be heard and forgotten. In fact, I can’t even guarantee that the experimental song won’t be forgotten!!

Total Points Scored by This Album: 6.5 + 5.5 + 7 + 5 + 3 + 7.5 = 34.5

Album Percentage: 57.5%

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: Lagi Hawa Dil Ko > Tere Naal Nachna > High Rated Gabru > High Rated Gabru (Female) > Amma Dekh > Mummy Kasam

Remake Counter:
No. Of Remakes : 27 (from previous albums) + 02 = 29

Which is your favourite song from Nawabzaade? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 😊


 

WILL YOUR HEART SKIP A DHADAK? (DHADAK – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Ajay-Atul
♪ Lyrics by: Amitabh Bhattacharya
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 11th July 2018
♪ Movie Releases On: 20th July 2018dhadak-hindi-2018-20180711-500x500

Listen to the songs: Saavn | Gaana


Firstly, what a beautiful album art. It could have been more beautiful had the music label credited the music composers and lyricist on it. This is a big problem when it comes to Zee Music.

Dhadak is an upcoming romantic drama, an adaptation of Marathi blockbuster ‘Sairat’ (2016), starring Ishaan Khatter and Janhvi Kapoor, directed by the ‘Dulhania’ franchise director Shashank Khaitan, and produced by Karan Johar, Apoorva Mehta, Hiroo Yash Johar and Zee Studios. The Marathi film had an amazing and short music album by Ajay-Atul; the songs still ring in your ears whenever you think about the film and ‘Zingaat’ became popular worldwide. Well, director Khaitan (who has usually had multicomposer albums for his films, scored by people like Sharib-Toshi, Sachin-Jigar, Amaal Mallik, Tanishk Bagchi and Akhil Sachdeva) almost by default has to rope in the same duo for the remake. Of course, they get to cash in on the success of the Marathi film in the bargain. The question always plagues me whether Ajay-Atul really wanted to do the film or not, just like I thought last year when A.R. Rahman agreed to compose for ‘OK Jaanu’. But the songs of ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’ were his babies so he kind of had to say yes. Same here with Ajay-Atul, I believe. But that aside, I’m sure Ajay-Atul have given it their all and not compromised on the quality of the songs. Let’s see how fast their songs makes our heart dhadak this time!


‘Sairat’ became known for its wonderful symphony, which was recorded live by composers Ajay-Atul at Los Angeles. Obviously, they had to create something to equal that, and so, Dhadak Title Track opens the album with a ravishing section of strings in the beginning. Now, I don’t know or care whether they have been recorded here in India or over at Los Angeles, but they sound beautiful, abd the duo has composed that portion very well, complete with the female backing vocalists humming it to perfection, and the flute accompanying them to make it a complete package even before the song starts. Ajay Gogavale and Shreya Ghoshal, the lead vocalists of ‘Saathiya’ (Singham), make the song beautiful with their voices, and yes, Ajay’s voice is a kind of folksy voice that suits wonderfully in Marathi songs, but Hindi music listeners are getting irked by it. I for one, am used to it, and couldn’t ask for anyone else to have sung this song. He sings the high portion at the end beautifully. Ajay-Atul really outdo themselves when they present that adorable, sweet and charming portion sung by Shreya in the antara; I wish the song was one antara longer! The brilliant use of piano and aforementioned strings makes it an auditory masterpiece, but what makes me listen to the entire song each time is the flute at the end, where Ajay-Atul tweak the tune for one note, and give the hook an entirely new feel! Mandolin has also been used to wonderful effect in Shreya’s stanza, and also a matka-like instrument. Of course, the backing chorus provides a wonderful choir setting when Ajay and Shreya sing the hook together towards the end. Amitabh Bhattacharya writes good lyrics, and they do highlight he young romance between the protagonists well.

The second original song, Vaara Re, also witnesses Ajay-Atul doing a great job with sound; a Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy-esque (harking back to the beginning of ‘Uff Teri Ada’ from ‘Karthik Calling Karthik’) electronic riff meets a wonderful sitar portion and again,you get hooked right away. The composition for this one takes time to reach its peak; the initial couple of lines leave you indifferent, but once it reaches the cross line (Mudke dekhna hi kyon..) and travels to the hookline with a flourish of strings and flutes, you are completely hooked to the song. Again, the interlude comprises a great flute and piano portion, with the female backing chorus humming, and their harmony in the second verse is great. The song is basically just two mukhdas separated by the interlude — a rare occurrence in Ajay-Atul songs. Then again, having one antara as in the title track is also rare for Ajay-Atul. The lyrics for this one are more along the inspirational/motivational/life skills route, obviously still romantic though, and Ajay once again provides a bold rendition, but I can’t help but miss Sonu Nigam in this song; it would’ve given it a softer quality and calmer tone.

Of the two songs retained from ‘Sairat’, Zingaat which retains its name as well, works better for me; the essence of the original is kept intact and the meaningless and flirtatious fun of the song too, remains untouched. Yes, Ajay-Atul’s arrangements and the word ‘Jhingaat’ (misspelled and hence mispronounced badly as ‘Zingaat’) is in essence Maharashtrian sounding, but the lyrics by Amitabh Bhattacharya really make it sound more suitable for Hindi. He writes such organic-sounding lyrics, I find myself singing that more than the Marathi one, because the Marathi in the Marathi song is actually not the Marathi I speak. Naturally, I am inclined towards the Hindi one. Which does not mean that one is better than the other. Oh, and Atul sohunds so wonderful singing in Hindi! His voice is so clear and unlike the folksy texture of his brother’s voice. I almost thought Amitabh Bhattacharya has sung it; they have a similar voice. So that was more of a lyrics and accessibility review than a music review, but yeah, the song is great.

‘Yad Lagla’ becomes Pehli Baar in what I found, is the poorest track of the album. The new lyrics by Bhattacharya do not convey the innocence and expression that Ajay-Atul’s original Marathi lyrics did, wherein it actually sounded like a teenage boy was lovestruck and dreamily singing a love song for his crush. Here, the Hindi lyrics ruin it. Yes, they fit well with the music, but the expression is missing. It should have either been in some Rajasthani dialect, to retain the organic-ness of it. But obviously, Ajay-Atul’s music is spot-on. ‘Yad Lagla’ was a gem and hence, by the theorem of similarity, this song will win over your heart with the wonderful percussion, the brass instruments and the soaring symphony portions. Interlude number 2 especially, is heaven. I’m happy I’ve been listening to this music for two more years than some others! 😊


A lot was expected from Dhadak just because of the original album of the film it is an adaptation of. The retention of Ajay-Atul promised us that the album would be of the same standards, but actually, my heart didn’t dhadak much too differently, or skip a dhadak after listening to the songs, except the title track!

Obviously the album is much better than what Bollywood is offering these days so it has secured quite a high score on the rating scale though.

Total Points Scored by This Album: 9 + 8 + 8.5 + 8 =  33.5

Album Percentage: 83.75%

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: Dhadak Title Track > Zingaat > Vaara Re = Pehli Baar

 

Remake Counter:
No. Of Remakes : 25 (from previous albums) + 02 = 27

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

SHANKAR-EHSAAN-LOY KE TAGDE SUR!! (SOORMA – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy
♪ Lyrics by: Gulzar
♪ Music Label: Sony Music
♪ Music Released On: 3rd July 2018
♪ Movie Releases On: 13th July 2018

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Soorma Album Cover

Listen to the songs: Saavn

Buy the songs: iTunes


Soorma is an upcoming Bollywood sports biopic starring Diljit Dosanjh, Taapsee Pannu and Angad Bedi in lead roles. The film is directed by Shaad Ali and produced by Sony Pictures Networks Productions, Chitrangada Singh and Deepak Singh. The film doesn’t look like anything Shaad Ali has tried before, being an out and out biopic of professional Indian field hockey player and ex-captain, Sandeep ‘Flicker’ Singh. As always, Shaad Ali has roped in Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy for the music. Not only have they delievered some of their best soundtracks with Ali, but they’ve also opened their account in 2018 with ‘Raazi’, my favourite album of the year. So it goes without saying, that I’m rooting for the songs of this album to turn out extraordinary!


The album could well be considered to have two theme songs, but the one which stands out instantly is the Soorma Anthem, starting with an amazing flute, accompanied by a wonderful guitar loop, the tune of which becomes the tune of the first line of the song. The composition is quite low-pitched but Shankar Mahadevan’s range is so wide, he covers the low and high notes equally well. The composition by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy is an instantly distinguishable Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy composition, with numerous twists and turns and a 90s dharm that doesn’t seem tedious or drab at all. The high portions in the antara are beautiful, and meanwhile, the trio decorates the song with amazing arrangements like percussions which somehow suit the hockey theme so well, because it sounds like the sound you would get when two hockey sticks are tapped to one another. The Punjabi percussions and the strings have been orchestrated masterfully as well, and the backing chorus is one of the main highlights of the song; they’ve been used just as well as they’d been used in ‘Raazi’s ‘Ae Watan’, especially the way they sing ‘Sooormaa’ alongside the main man. What can one say about Gulzar saab’s lyrics? The inspirational value of the lyrics is so high, that it doesn’t feel pretentious, or dramatised even for one moment.

The second song that can be called a theme song for the album is Flicker Singh, which takes a more pronounced Shaad Ali-SEL route, in its composition and arrangements and overall sound. The Punjabi percussions are enjoyable, especially because the dhol resonates so wonderfully, and the trio uses the usual rock guitars, which is like a tradition for them in Shaad Ali soundtracks. The song takes you to the ‘Jhoom Barabar Jhoom’ title song, in the ‘Ding ding ding’ part that is euqivalent to ‘Jhoom jhoom Jhoom’ from the latter song. About two minutes into the song, it takes a folksy turn with nice dholaks and manjeeras, and the composition by the trio is so strong there, you instantly fall in love with it. Whenever Daler Mehndi comes with his portions, it brings the song to a new level altogether! Once again after ‘Mirzya’, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy make the most out of him, in an ensemble track again, like the title track of Mirzya! Each and every singer actually has done his part very well, and has left no scope for complaints in that department. Daler Mehndi, Hemant Brijwasi, Shehnaz and Sahil Akhtar, along with Shankar and Ehsaan, render this song perfectly. The second antara has another splendid portion full of aalaaps that takes your breath away.

The same set of singers, minus Daler Mehndi, return in Pardesiya, a sad song that is one of the most heavenly numbers I’ve heard since a long time, in Bollywood. I believe Hemant Brijwasi leads this one [EDIT: Ehsaan Noorani has confirmed on Twitter that Shehnaz Akhtar is the lead singer]. The song starts off slowly, but it serves as a setup for the listeners, and then you get sucked up into a beautiful Sufi sad song, with majestic tablas and sarangi taking over, and Shankar Mahadevan’s amazing sargam winning your heart. The composition is heart rending, and instantly has you feeling for the character, even though we don’t know what exactly has happened at the point this song will play in the film! Midway into the song, it changes into a magnificent bhajan with the beautiful manjeeras and tablas playing the Bhajan theka. The lyrics by Gulzar are just as heart-rending, and it makes the listening experience all the more inmersive and personal.

Good Man Di Laaltain becomes the second Gulzar song using that phrase in the second year, last year’s song being ‘Bloody Hell’s (Rangoon). Another coincidence is that Sunidhi is signing this song too. She gets two lines in the second verse, but as always, does well. The song belongs to the leading man Sukhwinder Singh, who never fails to spread his infectious energy all over every song he sings. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s composition is good, but grows with time and didn’t hook me instantly. But one thing I can say for sure is that, the composition isn’t bad at all! For a celebratory number, the trio has produced a functional song, and it works in its intent, especially the tangibly Indian hookline. Any true Indian will nod his head on the ‘Good man diiiii…’ line. The percussion again stands out, but the trio add some digital beats, which sound all the more quirky — kind of like ‘Iski Uski’ (2 States). Gulzar’s lyrics are fun, as required.

The song that defines the album for me, which released first and features on the album first, though, I will talk about now, at the end. Ishq Di Baajiyaan is the quintessential Punjabi romantic number, in which I could find nothing wrong! It’s very rare for a song to be so perfect, and this song has made that achievement, in my eyes. From the starting introductory Sufi-ish chorus chants by Diljit and Shankar Mahadevan, to the moving and intense composition, to the fresh Punjabi arrangements adorned with amazing violins and mandolin, to the head-nod-inducing dholak percussion which plays throughout the song, to Diljit’s impeccable rendition especially in the antara,  the composition of which harks back to Vishal Bhardwaj’s work in the 90s, this song has had me hooked since it released. Gulzar’s lyrics are so, so, so beautiful, I can’t help but wonder how he still comes up with such lyrics even after having written so much — clearly artistic ideas never get exhausted when you have the talent. 🙂


Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy in their first album of 2018 presented a soundtrack that went well with the movie, and showcased their talent at creating a Kashmiri sound. Now for their second film of the year, they reunite with a director they’ve worked with quite often, a director they know in and out, and for whom they’ve given some of their best soundtracks, and I can only say, their ‘tagde sur’ (strong melodies) will always stay immortal!

Total Points Scored by This Album: 9 + 8.5 + 9.5 + 7.5 + 10 = 44.5

Album Percentage: 89%

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: Ishq Di Baajiyaan > Pardesiya > Soorma Anthem > Flicker Singh > Good Man Di Laaltain

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