A BULLET THAT MISSES THE BULLSEYE!! (SONCHIRIYA – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Vishal Bhardwaj
♪ Lyrics by: Varun Grover & Ashok Mizaj Badr
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 20th February 2019
♪ Movie Released On: 1st March 2019

Sonchiriya Album Cover

Listen to the songs: Saavn | Gaana

Buy the songs: iTunes

 


Sonchiriya is a Bollywood film starring Sushant Singh Rajput, Bhumi Pednekar, Manoj Bajpayee, Ashutosh Rana and Ranvir Shorey in lead roles. The film is directed by ‘Ishqiya’ and ‘Udta Punjab’ fame Abhishek Chaubey, and produced by Ronnie Screwvala. The film is a drama surrounding the lives of the dacoits of Chambal, and has music by Vishal Bhardwaj, Chaubey’s regular but for the album of ‘Udta Punjab’ which was by Amit Trivedi. Vishal only composed for his own directorial ‘Patakha’ last year, and it was a nice break from his usually heavy and mellow types of soundtracks, wherein almost all songs were peppy and enjoyable. With ‘Sonchiriya’, I expect him to come back to his mellow music, but I expect it to be amazing, as his previous collaborations with this director have been!


The rural dacoits-of-Chambal setting of the film is established through the album’s opening number, Baaghi Re, a rock song with amazing use of guitars (Ankur Mukherjee), evoking a taste of the Wild West as usually depicted in films of Tarantino and the like. Vishal Bhardwaj hands over the vocals to Mame Khan, a name we saw in many songs in the Mirzya soundtrack by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy in 2016. His rural voice is perfect for the song, and though the song is a bit slow-paced, it is his vocals that will have you hooked for the most part of it. Varun Grover’s lyrics are suitable for a song about rebellious dacoits, making this kind of a theme song for the film. It is the song’s Remix, though, that had me more impressed, where the producers (The Groove Room Producers) create an even more energetic mix of Vishal Bhardwaj’s haunting melody, complete with even more fascinating guitars as the original version. This one is closer to the classical rock we know of these days, while the original sounded bare, maybe because of the lack of drums, which are played in full force here, hence giving the guitars an accompaniment.
After this point, the album goes back to the handful of singers Vishal Bhardwaj equips in all his albums these days — Rekha Bhardwaj, Arijit Singh and Sukhwinder Singh.
Arijit Singh gets to perform solo, with a haunting, quintessentially Bhardwaj-esque Ruan Ruan. It is Arijit’s opening line that pulls the listener into the song immediately, after which follows the signature Vishal Bhardwaj whistle effect, accompanied by a pleasant guitar. The melody is calm and mellow, and the guitars (Ankur Mukherjee, Dhruv Vishwanath, and Saurabh Suman — bass) are what propels it to another level; that hookline is a beauty in its composition, but without the interspersed guitar portions, it would have sounded bare. I personally enjoyed how the hookline is broken into small bits, letting it take its own sweet time to sink in. The antara is where things gets slightly haunting, but that’s just Mr. Bhardwaj trying not to let things get too staid. Arijit’s rendition is wonderful. I cannot believe it is his first release of 2019; normally, by this month of any year, we get atleast five songs of his! Hopefully this song finds its audience.
Rekha Bhardwaj and Sukhwinder Singh each get two songs on the album, and Rekha further gets to sing a reprise of one of her songs, making her song count three in total. Her solo song is the title song, Sonchiraiya, which, in its original version, starts with a very mellow humming portion, complete with sound effects of water flowing. The harpsy guitars (Chintoo Singh) do well to create the haunting atmosphere, and Bhardwaj’s melody is so heart-rending, it is bound to make the listener emotional. The slow-going composition gets even more touching in the antara, where it changes tone for a while (during the ‘sonchiraiya, sonchiraiya‘ in the cross-line) only to get back to its haunting self with the arrival of the hookline. The song almost has a lullaby-ish tinge to it, accentuated by the use of instruments. The guitar is played like a sitar in the second interlude, and that makes for a wonderful listen. The digital sound effects used throughout the song, and the pensive notes of the piano too, make it a very satisfying listen all in all. Rekha Bhardwaj delivers it with poise, and that’s what attracts me to the song over and over again. The lack of orchestral strings in this version is more than made up for in the Reprise Version, which starts even more haunting than the original, what with the piano starting it off on a gloomy note, followed by the wind instruments. As Rekha starts the melody, the Budapest Film Orchestra led by Daryl Griffith kicks in with its magnificent sound. The melody that sounded so beautiful in its original version, though, sounds distorted by the haunting aspect of it — the soothing composition doesn’t match with the haunting, mostly loud, string treatment. Rekha’s vocals in this version, too, seem a step lower than what she showcased in the previous version. If you are an ardent strings lover, go for this version!
Rekha Bhardwaj’s third song is a duet with Sukhwinder Singh, a dance number called Naina Na Maar. It seems like Vishal Bhardwaj wanted to make something like ‘Gali Gali’ (Pataakha), but clearly couldn’t manage to recreate that magic. The composition is a happy one for sure, but isn’t something I’d want to visit again after one listen. Sukhwinder as expected, delivers wonderfully with his energetic high-pitched voice, but when you hear what Rekha Bhardwaj has to offer, you end up wishing the song wasn’t sung by her — Sunidhi Chauhan would’ve been the obvious choice! The arrangements are quite enjoyable — harmonium, dholaks and folksy strings scattered all over the piece. The traditional lyrics are fun too, but it is the little repeat value of the song that works against it.
Saanp Khavega is Sukhwinder’s show all the way, another pensive melody driven by a strong orchestral arrangement, this time complete with chorus singers (Mridul Ghosh, Sudhanshu Shome, Pankaj Dixit & Tanmay Bhawalkar) as is Vishal Bhardwaj’s trend in his emotional songs. The song is grand in its instrumentation and vocals, but the melody is quite weak; nothing to revisit as such. Varun Grover’s lyrics are a nice take on the not-so-nice ways of the world. Overall, it is a situational track that isn’t so memorable but for its grand arrangements and choir.


Sonchiriya is a good album overall, but it definitely is not of the stature that Vishal Bhardwaj has created for himself over the year, regarding his music albums. The last time his music album had me so confused was also not an album for his own directorial; it was ‘Drishyam’ for Nishikant Kamat. Save for the Rekha Bhardwaj gem and the Arijit melody, none of these songs really have it in them to attract me once more before the year ends, unless it is for the year-end listings.

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 7 + 7.5 + 8.5 + 9 + 7 + 7.5 + 6.5 = 53

Album Percentage: 75.71%

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: Sonchiraiya > Ruan Ruan > Baaghi Re (Remix) = Naina Na Maar > Baaghi Re = Sonchiraiya (Reprise) > Saanp Khavega

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

REMAKE-GIRI, BAHUT HUI, THAK GAYI HAI ABB JANTA!! (LUKA CHUPPI – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Tanishk Bagchi, White Noise Studios, Abhijit Vaghani, Tony Kakkar, Goldboy, Dilip Sen, Sameer Sen, Gurmeet Singh & Bob
♪ Lyrics by: White Noise Studios, Anand Bakshi, Nirmaan, Tony Kakkar, Mellow D, Harmanjit, Kunaal Vermaa & Raja
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 22nd February 2019
♪ Movie Released On: 1st March 2019

Luka Chuppi Album Cover

Listen to the songs: Saavn | Gaana

Buy the songs: iTunes


Luka Chuppi is a Bollywood film starring Kriti Sanon, Kartik Aaryan, Pankaj Tripathi, Aparshakti Khurrana, and Vinay Pathak. The film is the directorial debut of Laxman Utekar, and is produced by Dinesh Vijan. The film is a social comedy revolving around a couple who decide to enter a live-in relationship, and the problems they face from their relatives and the society in general. The music from Maddock’s productions has usually been good, though there was a slight dip in the quality of the music in Sachin-Jigar’s album to ‘Stree’. Well, here, the music is credited to multiple composers, including Sachin-Jigar’s Artists & Repertoire venture White Noise Productions, last heard in ‘Laaj Sharam’ (Veere Di Wedding), Abhijit Vaghani, and the lead ‘composer’ (read remake artist) Tanishk Bagchi. I just call him the lead remake artist, because the other two composers, too, have presented recreations, and coupled with Bagchi’s three remakes, that makes this album full of remakes. So basically, my review is going to be like a race where remakes are pitted against each other: knowing fully well that they have almost zero chance to cross the finish line.


Right from the beginning of the opening track of the album, Poster Lagwa Do, the Sachin-Jigar vibes hit you square in the face. The beats, distinctively similar to those of ‘Johny Johny’ (Entertainment) give away that this song has been worked upon by Sachin-Jigar’s A&R company, White Noise Productions (though i suspect it has been ghost programmed by the duo themselves, because of their close association to Dinesh Vijan). Anyway, the song, which is a remake of Dilip-Sameer’s ‘Yeh Khabar Chapwa Do Akhbaar Mein’ (Aflatoon), rides on the success of ‘Simmba’s ‘Aankh Marey’, in that the makers rope in Mika Singh to do the honours with the male vocals. Well, it doesn’t work half as well as it did in the former song, and another reason for that may be because the female singer there was a more effervescent Neha Kakkar as opposed to an amateur-sounding Sunanda Sharma here. One of the singers who I’d actually like to see the female portions of the song to have been sung by, though, is Nikhita Gandhi, who is instead relegated to an embarrassing two lines of rap that are easy to miss! The composition, though kept intact, gets new lyrics for the antara, and the lyrics have been credited to White Noise Studios too — I wish Sachin-Jigar would follow Pritam’s JAM8 when it comes to crediting individual artists (though their lack of individual credits just makes me believe stronger in my theory that they are the men behind all the music credited to White Noise and just don’t want to be named because of the album being a multicomposers album!) That said, the song is levels below any previous Sachin-Jigar presentation; the beats are dated, there’s no originality or innovativeness in the programming and the song ultimately lacks appeal and repeat value.
The other ‘guest’ composer, Abhijit Vaghani, presents his take on Akhil’s song ‘Khaab’, originally composed by Bob. Duniyaa is a pleasant recreation of the already present original romantic song, with completely different lyrics by Kunaal Vermaa, replacing Raja’s lyrics from the original. The new lyrics are sweet, and the new composition for the antara too, is appreciated. Akhil has been roped in to sing this version as well, which is a good choice, as the singer of the original also gets his Bollywood break in the bargain. Dhvani Bhanushali sings the female portions alongside him, and does quite a good job too; she sounds much better in low notes here (though clearly autotuned), than she does in high notes in songs like the recently released T-Series pop single ‘Main Teri Hoon’ by Sachin-Jigar. The flute is quite melodious, and is one of the features taken from the original. Thankfully, the beats of the original, which were quite passable, have been changed and made to sound a bit more melodious, with guitars and strings accompanying the composition.
Tanishk Bagchi, who ‘composes’, or ‘recreates’ the next three songs of the album, starts off with Coca Cola, a funky and more glitzy touch to the original by Tony Kakkar. Of course, Neha Kakkar gets to pitch in, and while her brother’s original composition’s tempo is cranked up quite considerably, she gets to sing a new antara, which seems to end as soon as it starts. Again, the choice of retaining the original singer’s voice is a commendable move. Tanishk’s programming saves the song; it’s uptempo beat and strings make it a fun one-time listen — unfortunately, it is not so fun that I would press the repeat button. There is that infectious digital beat that starts the song off though, and it thankfully plays for quite some times for those who loved it. To Tony Kakkar’s original lyrics are added some new lines by Mellow D — the lines sung by Neha Kakkar and the rap by Young Desi. Obviously enough, this is going to be the next club anthem though, for lack of anything better these days.
Tanishk goes on to present another love song, named Photo, this one being a remake of Karan Sehmbi’s ‘Photo’, composed by Gold Boy. Again, the singer is retained, and again, I commend that decision. Tanishk’s beats are really basic though, and provide nothing new to the original song — which was already sufficiently catchy if this was supposed to be catchier. The flute is a nice attraction, but the original had guitars, which I am missing here. The short length of the song keeps it thankfully not boring, but the repetitive composition by Gold Boy would not have been so pleasant if it had gone on for longer. The singer Karan Sehmbi has a nice folksy texture to his voice, which explains why T-Series backed him for a pop single, and agreed to let him sing its remake, which wasn’t the case three years ago when ‘Soch Na Sake’ (Airlift) was sung by Arijit Singh. Nirmaan’s lyrics are cute, with the lyricist also throwing in a clever self-reference in the second verse. A melodious song, but loses appeal because of the digital beats, which makes it sound more like a pop song than a film song.
The last song, Tu Laung Main Elaachi, a remake of ‘Laung Laachi’s title track by Gurmeet Singh, is probably my least favourite of the album. And there are quite a few reasons for that. First of all, a really sweet Punjabi song sung by a really good Punjabi singer, Mannat Noor, has been redubbed by Tulsi Kumar — the first bad choice. Second, the beats have been degraded in sound; there is no freshness in the song as one should expect from a recreation. It sounds like the song has just been recreated for the sake of doing so. The chorus singers at the beginning and the end are nothing short of irritating! The bass has been increased in the recreation, though, it seems, and wow, I’m sure that required a lot of effort! :/


Luka Chuppi is the result of the remake trend in Bollywood going far overboard. I am not sure how the makers always come up with stupid reasons to justify their including remakes in their albums, but I’m sure nothing can justify completely avoiding original music in your album! Atleast for the sake of art, and music in general, if they would have planned out the music of this album less hastily, maybe it would have been better. And it isn’t like these remakes are great, either! 

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 6 + 8 + 7 + 6 + 5 = 32

Album Percentage: 64%

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: Duniyaa > Coca Cola > Photo = Poster Lagwa Do > Tu Laung Main Elaachi

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