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! 😊


 

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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! 🙂

44th MUSIC MASTANI MONTHLY AWARDS (JUNE 2018)

Important Statistics

♪ Number of Albums Reviewed: 5

♪ Albums Reviewed: Veere Di Wedding, Bhavesh Joshi Superhero, Phamous, Race 3 & Sanju

♪ Music Composers: Shashwat Sachdev, Vishal Mishra, White Noise, Qaran Mehta, Amit Trivedi, Krsna Solo, Sundeep Gosswami, Surya Vishwakarma, Vicky-Hardik, Tushar Joshi, Meet Bros., Gurinder Seagal, Shivay Vyas, Rohan-Rohan, Vikram Montrose & A.R. Rahman

Now on with the awards:

44th Music Mastani Monthly Awards

♪ MAIN AWARDS

Singer of the Month (Female) : Nikhita Gandhi for Mujhe Chaand Pe Le Chalo (Sanju)

• Singer of the Month (Male) : Shashwat Singh for Ruby Ruby (Sanju)

• Composer of the Month (Song): Shashwat Sachdev for Bass Gira De Raja (Veere Di Wedding)

• Composer of the Month (Album) : Amit Trivedi for Bhavesh Joshi Superhero

• Album of the Month: Bhavesh Joshi Superhero (Music by: Amit Trivedi; Lyrics by: Amitabh Bhattacharya & Anurag Kashyap; Singers: Naezy, Babu Haabi, Divya Kumar, Arohi Mhatre, Pragati Joshi, Papon & Amit Trivedi; Music On: Eros Music)

• Musical Jodi of the Month (Best Duet) : Sonu Nigam & Sunidhi Chauhan for Main Badhiya Tu Bhi Badhiya (Sanju)

• Lyricist of the Month: Salman Khan for Selfish (Race 3) Shekhar Astitwa for Kar Har Maidaan Fateh (Sanju) AND Amitabh Bhattacharya for Tafreeh (Bhavesh Joshi Superhero)

♪ SONG AWARDS

• Best Romantic Song: Mujhe Chaand Pe Le Chalo (Sanju)

• Best Dance Song: 🤔

• Best Sad Song: Aa Jao Na (Veere Di Wedding) {Just coz it’s better than Ek galti from Race 3}

• Best Club Song: Tareefan (Veere Di Wedding)

• Best Classical-Based Song: N/A

• Best Song With A Western Influence: Veere (Veere Di Wedding)

• Best Song With A Folk Influence: Titri (Phamous)

• Song With The Best Use Of Fusion: Bass Gira De Raja (Veere Di Wedding)

• Best Backing Vocals: Poorvi Koutish for Ruby Ruby (Sanju)

• Best Sound Effects in A Song: Bass Gira De Raja (Veere Di Wedding) AND Ruby Ruby (Sanju)

• Best Retro-Styled Song: Ruby Ruby (Sanju)

• Best Humorous Song: Main Badhiya Tu Bhi Badhiya (Sanju)

• Best Rap in A Song: Naezy and Babu Haabi in Hum Hain Insaaf (Bhavesh Joshi Superhero)

• Best Remake: Bhangra Ta Sajda (Veere Di Wedding)

♪ SPECIAL AWARDS

• Bandar Kya Jaane Adrak Ka Swaad (Best Album That Went Pretty Much Unnoticed) : Bhavesh Joshi Superhero (Eros Music) AND Phamous (T-Series)

• Newcomer(s) of the Month:

– Newcomer of the Month (Singer – Female) : Lisa Mishra for Tareefan Reprise (Veere Di Wedding) AND Priyanka Negi for Titri (Phamous)

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

– Newcomer of the Month (Composer) : Sundeep Gosswami and Surya Vishwakarma for Dil Beparwah & Titri (Phamous)

• Music Label of the Month: Eros Music (Bhavesh Joshi Superhero)

• Most Unusual, But Awesome Choice of Singer: Shreya Ghoshal for Kar Har Maidaan Fateh (Sanju)

Hope you all agree!

Thanks for reading!!

MUSIC KA MAIDAAN FATEH NA HO PAAYA! (SANJU – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: A.R. Rahman, Rohan-Rohan & Vikram Montrose
♪ Lyrics by: Irshad Kamil, Shekhar Astitwa, Puneet Sharma & Rohan Gokhale
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 29th June 2018
♪ Movie Released On: 29th June 2018

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Sanju Album Cover

Listen to the songs: Saavn

Buy the songs: iTunes


Sanju is a Bollywood biopic starring Ranbir Kapoor, Paresh Rawal, Manisha Koirala, Dia Mirza, Vicky Kaushal, Sonam Kapoor, Karishma Tanna, Jim Sarbh and Anushka Sharma among others. The film is directed by Rajkumar Hirani, and produced by him along with Vidhu Vinod Chopra. We all know how Sanjay Dutt features in almost all of Hirani’s films, save ‘3 Idiots’. However, Hirani says he never got to know him personally until one day he started talking about all his hardships during an emotional breakdown. That lit a lamp in Hirani’s mind, and he decided to make a biopic. Now, I can’t comment on the movie as I haven’t watched it yet, but I can sure do a music review, right? 🤣 The music of the film has been composed by three composer entities (one being a duo), Rohan-Rohan, Vikram Montrose and A.R. Rahman. It’s surprising to see Rahman first of all in a multicomposer album, because whenever he did those in the past, it was because he left midway due to other commitments. But here, he was the last addition reportedly! Rohan-Rohan have two songs, and it isn’t their Hindi debut; that happened four years ago with ‘Mumbai Delhi Mumbai’, but it is Vikram’s Hindi film debut — he has done some Hindi pop songs and a Marathi album called ‘Bhay’, which was mediocre. Also, I’ve noticed that Hirani uses music as a prop to take the story forward, but not even in the way other filmmakers do (they’ll have a song play in the background and all). No, Hirani will have a full-fledged four-minute song sequence, but it’ll make the moment fun and enjoyable. However, the music itself isn’t always up to the mark. His favourite film album of mine is ‘Pk’, because the music actually was good there. Let’s check out how the music is with ‘Sanju’, though you might already know by my review’s headline. Sorry. I’m dimwitted that way.


Rohan-Rohan are the ‘chosen ones’ who get to begin this album. And they do it in quite a quirky manner too! Main Badhiya Tu Bhi Badhiya is a song that is supposed to be an old song that the character are singing in the 80s, so the song is composed like a 50s nok-jhhok number. It starts with a wonderful opening prelude, which instantly sucks you into the 50s. Sunidhi’s voice modulation is fantastic, and is obviously one of the best vocal renditions of the year. Sonu Nigam, in comparison seems weak, but I wonder, since he can mimic so well, why didn’t he sing in a nasal tone, as well? He still has sung in one, but it could’ve been more pronounced I feel. Rohan-Rohan’s composition is fun, but takes some time getting used to. And Puneet Sharma’s lyrics are very quirky and funny, especially the part when they talk about ‘family planning’ or rather, the lack of it. The song somewhat addresses Sanjay Duty’s commitment issues, and it’s the typical Hirani way of presenting a serious topic in such a flippant and casual way.

Rohan-Rohan’s second song doesn’t fare too well. Bhopu Baj Raha Hain tries to start with a retro sound as well, trumpets blaring, bhopus belting out weird noises, but it soon transcends into a very weird zone. Nakash Aziz was the obvious choice for the song, and I must say Rohan-Rohan’s arrangements are enjoyable, but I’m sure nobody will listen to this song again. There’s not magnetism or attractiveness to it. The antaras are poorly structured, and I’d never expect this song to be in any big commercial film. The worst part is that this is a Hirani film. Though the duo has tried to create the Hirani zone in this song as well, I feel it could’ve been less effervescent. The lyrics by Rohan Gokhale and Shekhar Astitwa are just a bunch of words you never think much about.

Vikram Montrose, the debutant, also starts off his share of the album with a song that everyone would love because of the motivational touch, the powerful vocals and the inspirational lyrics. Kar Har Maidaan Fateh does carry thag irresistibly moving sound, I agree. The choice of Sukhwinder Singh wasn’t surprising, but the choice of Shreya Ghoshal was surprising, and the way she sings is even more surprising — she sings quite lower than she usually sings. She shines even then, though. Sukhwinder Singh’s parts sound almost heard-before and nothing new, but because of the freshness Shreya brings through her low pitch, the song reaches different levels of awesomeness. Vikram arranges is quite standardly, with rock guitars, percussions, and drums. However, the violin playing the hookline in the interludes, is amazing. Also, the composition took some time to grow on me, but when it did, I couldn’t get it out of my head. All in all, it was a good debut for Montrose.

His second song Baba Bolta Hain Bas Ho Gaya, is hinged on the quirky lyrics by Puneet Sharma and Rohan Gokhale. Papon brings a different, rough texture to his otherwise smooth voice, but I enjoyed Ranbir’s parts more. And Supriya Pathak (not the one you’re thinking of) sings her lines quite funnily. The groove and gun sounds throughout the song have been overused so many times in so many gangster movies in Bollywood, that it sounds boring here. The song is also unbearably long, at just under than 5 minutes. However, I’m sure this song is for the theatres.

And then enters A.R. Rahman, who gets two songs too. Ruby Ruby starts with that irresistible bass line, followed by the wonderful guitars (Keba Jeremiah) and a grungy voice keeps whispering “Rrrrrubyy”. When the actual melody starts, you are initially confused, and the song takes some listens to get used to, but since it depicts Dutt’s drug addiction phase, I think it’s deliberately composed like that — so many lines repeating so many times; there’s actually three discernible different parts in the song that keep repeating over and over. And it sends us into a trance. The percussions are amazing too, as are the strings! Shashwat Singh masters the grunge very well, and I especially loved the part when he does the descension from ‘Tu bhi, ruby, ruby…’. Poorvi Koutish is a capable backing vocalists, and her ‘la la la’ is so haunting, it sucks you in.

Speaking of haunting, Rahman’s next song Mujhe Chaand Pe Le Chalo is just that. A sensuous composition, rendered just perfectly by Nikhita Gandhi, the song immediately has you hooked. It has a number of lines ending with high notes, which Nikhita holds so wonderfully. The rhythm Rahman employs in the background is intriguing, and reminds you of ‘Muskaanein Jhoothi Hai’ from ‘Talaash’ with the shakers, the subtle percussion, and very muffled strings that give the song an even more sensuous atmosphere. Irshad Kamil writes lyrics that suit the ambience of the song, and I feel that the song itself can transport you to the moon. Also, Nikhita hums so brilliantly at the end of the song. 😍


Sanju turns out to be the weakest Hirani album for me, due to the meaningless quirks from the newer songs by the younger composers, that just brings the album down. The music field has sadly not been conquered by Hirani this time.

Total Points Scored by This Album: 8 + 5 + 8 + 6 + 8.5 + 9 = 44.5

Album Percentage: 74.17%

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: Mujhe Chaand Pe Le Chalo > Ruby Ruby > Main Badhiya Tu Bhi Badhiya = Kar Har Maidaan Fateh > Baba Bolta Hain Bas Ho Gaya > Bhopu Baj Raha Hain

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

MY FAVOURITE A.R. RAHMAN SONGS (PART 1: 1992-1999)

So, I had asked my followers on Twitter which composer they would like me to make a list on about my favourite songs by that composer. The options were A.R. Rahman, Jatin-Lalit, Anu Malik and Nadeem-Shravan, four of the most prominent Bollywood composers in the 90s. Of course, only one of them is just as relevant now as he was then, and that is Mr. A.R. Rahman, and maybe that’s the reason he ended up winning this poll.

But then I thought, How am I ever, ever going to cover my favourite ARR songs in one post? The man has so far had a very illustrious career in the music industry, ranging from Tamil to Hindi and even making us proud by composing entire soundtracks for so many Hollywood feature films! So I thought of splitting my post about him into four parts. Or maybe three. Let’s see. Also I’m sure I can’t limit myself in number of songs in such posts, so for whatever composer it may be, I will list as many songs as I feel, really deserve to be listed! So let’s get started with my favourite songs of A.R. Rahman from 1992 to 1999!

P.S. The following list is in order of release of the movies.

P.P.S: Including dubbed Hindi versions of the songs as well, because there are some real gems in those albums. 🙂

Here’s the Saavn playlist so you can listen along.


1. Chhoti Si Asha (Roja; 1992)

Singer: Minmini, Lyrics by: P.K. Mishra, Music Label: Magnasound Media Pvt. Ltd.

Well, Wikipedia tells me that initially, Alka Yagnik was going to sing this song, one of my most favourite songs from when I was a child, but due to date issues, it had to be sung by Minmini, who sang the original Tamil version as well. And little did I know then that this song marked the debut of a young composer who would later on be so influential and bring a sound revolution to Bollywood! This song’s composition is like a dream realised in the mode of a song, and the lyrics, even though they’re dubbed, resonate in some way with each and every one of us! And that iconic opening flute just fills you with happiness whenever you hear it. Enjoy!

2. Yeh Haseen Vaadiyaan (Roja; 1992)

Singers: S.P. Balasubrahmanyam & K.S. Chithra, Lyrics by: P.K. Mishra, Music Label: Magnasound Media Pvt. Ltd.

Another classic from the historic debut album of the maestro, this one is a lilting romantic number that gives me goosebumps everytime I listen to it. SPB and Chithra complement each other oh so well, and the song really reaches its peak when the singers sing “Mere jaane jaan…” The sensuous composition by Rahman and the digital beats that accompany it, are well managed, and Mishra’s lyrics are spot on!

3. Roja Jaanemann (Version 2) [Roja; 1992]

Singer: Hariharan & Sujatha Mohan, Lyrics by P.K. Mishra, Music Label: Magnasound Media Pvt Ltd.

I promise, the 26 years late ‘Roja’ madness will be over; this is the last one! But I love them all so much, especially this one and especially one of the songs I’m cutting out (Bharat Humko) and just had to insert this one here because… It’s so good!! Deliberately listing the Hariharan version because hey, his aalaaps are goosebumps-inducing and also, SPB got his Roja song on this list. Sujatha Mohan’s haunting humming throughout the song is just 😍.

After that he did a number of Tamil films, which definitely were dubbed in Hindi, but I’ve heard only some of those songs, and I like even fewer.

4. Muqabala Muqabala (Hum Se Hai Muqabala; 1995)

Singers: Mano & Swarnalatha, Lyrics by P.K. Mishra, Music Label: Venus

This has become a dance anthem, thanks to Prabhudheva’s movies in this song, and the beats are just as worthy of making this song so popular. The quirky (though bad) lyrics help the song sound silly but likeable, and Rahman’s tune is really catchy — the song isn’t so famous for nothing!

5. Sun Ri Sakhi (Hum Se Hai Muqabala; 1995)

Singer: Hariharan, Lyrics by P.K. Mishra, Music Label: Venus

Rahman experiments a lot with strings and tablas in this one, a beautifully charming romantic number that melts your heart by sweetness. Hariharan gracefully renders Rahman’s just as sweet tune, and it results in a song that I’d listen to for years to come.

6. Kehna Hi Kya (Bombay; 1995)

Singer: K.S. Chithra, Lyrics by Mehboob, Music Label: Universal Music India Pvt. Ltd.

I don’t think I know a soul on this planet who has heard this song and doesn’t like it, except for the 567 souls who have disliked it on YouTube. God bless their ears. This song is a showcase of Rahman’s versatility, composing such a heart touching composition and adorning it with splendid tablas, santoor (I believe) and the Qawwali part which he sings (again, I believe) is so beautiful. Chithra’s voice us as sweet as honey, and the way she pronounced “Unhe” is adorable. The most iconic portion of the song is probably the rushed female chorus, awkwardly trying to fit Mehboob’s lyrics into Rahman’s tune that goes too fast, but it’s an immortal classic by now and we all enjoy it so, nothing more can be said!

 7. Tu Hi Re (Bombay; 1995)

Singers: Hariharan & Kavita Krishnamurthy, Lyrics by: Mehboob, Music Label: Universal Music India Pvt. Ltd.

Now don’t tell me you came here looking for my favourite Rahman songs and didn’t expect me to include this gem. Yes, it’s highly popular and it’s quite surprising to see such craze for a dubbed Hindi song! I mean, the recent dubbed albums by Rahman almost went unnoticed! Rahman’s lilting composition gives me the goosebumps everytime and Hariharan’s silky smooth voice is the USP of the song, coupled with Kavita Krishnamurthy’s strong “Aayi re..” followed by a whole stanza sung by her. The plucked strings give the song its necessary haunting touch, and that high portion in the antara is composition at its best.

8. Hai Rama (Rangeela; 1995)

Singers: Hariharan & Swarnalatha, Lyrics by: Mehboob, Music Label: Tips Music

Yet again, another song you should have expected to feature here even before clicking the link. Indian Classical music is one of the best pacifiers in the world, and in ‘Hai Rama’, Rahman creates a very sensuous atmosphere with the opening music itself — a Bandish from the Raaga Puriya Dhanashree starts the song off supported by the ever faithful tanpura, followed by addictive percussion (Thavil?) and again, immersive strings. The melody only starts and makes things even better. Here, Hariharan sounds quite different from what he did in his previous songs with Rahman, all the gentle qualities shed off and he assumes more of a bold voice here, while Late Swarnalatha does wonders with her voice. 😍 The interludes in this song are amazing, again relying on percussion, flutes and low pitched vocals that are so haunting. The sound Rahman has introduced with this song should have been utilised more by other composers, but I somehow think they would never have accomplished it and hence, didn’t try.

9. Pyaar Yeh Jaane Kaisa Hai (Rangeela; 1995)

Singers: Kavita Krishnamurthy & Suresh Wadkar, Lyrics by Mehboob, Music Label: Tips Music

Now this song is a showcase of Rahman’s splendid work with strings. The same string loop plays repeatedly in the background, never sounding tedious, but making the song more inmersive and accentuating the melody along with enhancing the listening experience. The thumping sounds Rahman included alongside that violin loop, are great and the interludes yet again, are a class apart, especially the violin solo from 2:40 to 3:10 in the video below. And what can one say about Kavita Krishnamurthy’s voice? The great Suresh Wadkar himself, with all due respect to him, fizzles out in front of her. Rahman must make such songs again!

10. Tanha Tanha (Rangeela; 1995)

Singer: Asha Bhosle, Lyrics by Mehboob, Music Label: Tips Music

Again, splendid work with strings and flutes makes this song stand out. With a distinct oriental sound, this one is a great song to listen to when you want to chill out. Asha Bhosle’s naughty voice makes her sound younger than she ever had before, and every time I listen to the song, she reminds me why she is my favourite Mangeshkar sister. I’ve spoken less about Rahman with this song, because the maestro very graciously sits back and let’s Asha ji do her thing while he adds mere digital beats during her vocal portions, and steps forward for the mind blowing prelude and interludes.

11. Yaaron Sun Lo Zara (Rangeela; 1995)

Singers: Udit Narayan & K.S. Chithra, Lyrics by Mehboob, Music Label: Tips Music

Hey, stop complaining about this whole list being about ‘Rangeela’! It is my favourite album from the 90s and I’ve no qualms in including all the songs from it on the list (don’t worry, I won’t!) Also how can I ignore Aamir Khan? All the others have been picturized on Jackie Shroff. This song is one of my favorites for a reason — the upbeat composition by Rahman doesn’t impend him from adding cool stuff with strings, especially in the interludes, where the entire orchestra pitches in. And that quirky sound at the beginning is so iconic! Again, Chitra sounds so cute with her Hindi pronunciation, and Udit Narayan as always sounds young. He still does. That doesn’t mean we should remake this song, Bollywood.

12. Telephone Dhun Mein (Hindustani; 1996)

Singers: Hariharan & Kavita Krishnamurthy, Lyrics by P.K. Mishra, Music Label: Tips Music

One of the most exemplary songs when it comes to bad Tamil to Hindi dubbing, this one actually has a strong and catchy ‘Dhun’, and it seems like a sign for things to come as Rahman would compose something similar five years later for ‘Lagaan’ in the song ‘Ghanan Ghanan’. Hariharan again, changes all preconceptions about him, and sings wonderfully even in a calm but fun dance number. Rahman does his job great with the nice percussions.

13. Awaara Bhanwre (Sapnay; 1997)

Singers: Hema Sardesai & Malaysia Vasudevan, Lyrics by Javed Akhtar, Music Label: Saregama 

Thankfully this dud of a movie had good music. This song is an ode to nature of sorts, and Rahman’s catchy composition is so beautiful. Sadly, my friends think that this song is an original song from the Pears (or was it Ponds) TVC. Rahman’s inclusion of the hill tribe folk music in the interludes is engaging, as are the catchy but minimalistic beats which the melody is based on. Hema Sardesai sounds a lot better here than she does in Anu Malik songs.

14. Chanda Re (Sapnay; 1997)

Singers: Sadhana Sargam & Hariharan, Lyrics by Javed Akhtar, Music Label: Saregama

If this list were in the order of my favourite song to my least favourite song, this one would be somewhere at the very top. The beautiful santoor tune that follows the hook line each time, is goosebumps-inducing, and Hariharan singing the high notes along with Sadhana Sargam’s beautiful voice, are a treat to listen to. The composition of ‘Inn dhundhli dhundhli..” is so ravishing! Javed Akhtar’s lyrics are heart warming as well.

15. Shabba Shabba (Daud; 1997)

Singers: Ranu Mukherjee, Sonu Nigam & Neeraj Vora, Lyrics by Mehboob, Music Label: Tips Music

This song is just as addictive as the characters in the film find whatever it is they’re drinking. I’ve never heard of the singer Ranu Mukherjee, but I commend ARR for finding her because her voice is so perfect for this song. Sonu Nigam seems to be struggling to create a husky voice texture, but Rahman’s addictive tune and wonderful tribal folksy music makes up for it. And don’t miss interlude 2, with an amazing, amazing violin portion!

16. Yeh Jaan (Daud; 1997)

Singers: Kavita Krishnamurthy & Vinod Rathod, Lyrics by Mehboob, Music Label: Tips Music

Another one along the lines of ‘Pyar Yeh Jaane Kaisa’ (Rangeela), this one is another sensuous romantic song. This time though, substituting the strings that repeated in that song, is a low pitched tuba, that sounds just as majestic. The legendarily low pitched Vinod Rathod complement Krishnamurthy well, and the slow and haunting tune by Rahman works wonders. Also, is it just me or does the tube remind you of ‘Roja Jaanemann’ too?

17. Ajooba (Jeans; 1998)

Singers: Hariharan & Sadhana Sargam, Lyrics by Javed Akhtar, Music Label: T-Series

One of my childhood favourites, this song is as beautiful as whatever the most beautiful thing you can think of is. Name it, and this song is more beautiful if not as beautiful, as it. With that impressive flute melody, you cant really go wrong. And Hariharan. And Sadhana Sargam. What can go wrong? And nothing seems to have, even in the picturization. Aishwarya Rai. The seven wonders of the world. What else can you ask for! 😍

18. Tauba Tauba (Jeans; 1998)

Singers: Hariharan & Anuradha Sriram, Lyrics by Javed Akhtar, Music Label: T-Series

Yet another song that looks as wonderful as it sounds, with Rahman doing a great job with the percussion and the intermittent Qawwali touches. Hariharan obviously sounds great; by the end of this list it’ll probably be 1000 times I say it. Again, great work with the folksy sounds that Rahman has produced for the song, especially the Dandiya and the claps etc. The female chorus is wonderful and Anuradha’s haubting humming is a nice addition. Javed Akhtar’s lyrics make it all the better!

 

19. Kehta Hai Mera Yeh Dil (Jeans; 1998)

Singer: Kavita Krishnamurthy, Lyrics by Javed Akhtar, Music Label: T-Series

This one being based on a Carnatic raaga, it is, I believe, Rahman’s forte. And right from the vocal rhythm by Krishnamurthy, to the flute, to the melodious composition, this song is brilliant. There is some funky stuff going on in the video, what with two Aishwaryas, skeletons and whatnot. But the song as a song, is something I’ve loved since childhood. A pure Carnatic song.

20. Jiya Jale (Dil Se; 1998)

Singers: Lata Mangeshkar & M.G. Sreekumar, Lyrics by Gulzar, Malayalam Lyrics by Girish Pulthenchri, Music Label: Venus

Now this is where the actual Rahman magic actually starts, for me. Picking a singer who was almost towards the end of her career, and giving her a boost by making her sing a song with the essence of Kerala in its beats, and knowing it would do so well, I wish every composer had brains like Rahman. While others composers during this period were miscasting Lata Mangeshkar and making her sound too old for the songs she sung, Rahman skillfully managed to create this song in such a pitch that the songstress wouldn’t have to sound strained. And what can I say about Sreekumar’s Malayalam portions? They’re heavenly! And probably the only Malayalam most Indians know. Gulzar’s poetic lyrics (I believe a first for Rahman) served the song well, and wow. Just wow. This song is wow.

21. Ae Ajnabi (Dil Se; 1998)

Singers: Udit Narayan & Mahalakshmi Iyer, Lyrics By Gulzar, Music Label: Venus

If this list seems generic, it’s because it is. Nobody can ignore these songs when it comes to talking about the best Rahman songs! ‘Ae Ajnabi’ is one of those, complete with its haunting classical melody, especially in the antara, where Udit Narayan goes mind bogglingly high, and manages to pull it off effortlessly. Rahman equips a minimalistic duff rhythm in the backdrop, which has been heavily overused these days when composers want to evoke pathos. But some things work only once.

22. Satrangi Re (Dil Se; 1998)

Singers: Sonu Nigam & Kavita Krishnamurthy, Lyrics by Gulzar, Music Label: Venus

The Arabic influence in this song is spectacular, and Sonu Hogan’s vocals, spot-on. The little nuances in his voice are wonderful to listen to, while Kavita’s haunting whispery portions send chills down your spine. Rahman creates a catchy tune, with the accordion (?) that plays the Arabic tune over and over again throughout the song. This song is goosebumps.

23. Dil Se Re (Dil Se; 1998)

Singers: A.R. Rahman, Anuradha Sriram, Anupama & Febi Mani, Lyrics by Gulzar, Music Label: Venus

The iconic title song for ‘Dil Se’ was I believe, Rahman’s singing debut in Hindi, and the man did sing as well as he composed. The way this song goes from soft to loud in a fraction of a second, is worthy of compliments, and especially the classically inclined bits like ‘Piya piya…’ are beautiful. Again, the composer has done amazing work with strings, percussions and made the song sound grand. The song starts with minimalistic bass doing the whole job but goes on to include some really cool percussion.

24. Chhaiyya Chhaiyya (Dil Se; 1998)

Singers Sukhwinder Singh & Sapna Awasthi, Lyrics by Gulzar, Music Label: Venus

Yeah, that’s pretty much the entire album of ‘Dil Se’ I have on this list, but I couldn’t help it! No introductions for this song, just sit back and groove to that irresistible groove that Rahman has equipped it with. And of course, the vocal powerhouses that Sukhwinder and Sapna are!

25. Taram Pum Taram Pum (Doli Saja Ke Rakhna; 1998)

Singers: Babul Supriyo & Srinivas, Lyrics by Mehboob, Music Label: T-Series

A fun song, but Rahman never compromised melody in his songs, so in this song, we get a strong, actually, very strong, melody that not only is catchy, but also melodious. Babul Supriyo and Srinivas have a blast singing it, but the melodious portions in the second stanza onwards are the best. Rahman’s percussion again, is mind blowing and the flute is beautiful. This was one of my favourite songs as a child!

26. Bol Sajni Mori Sajni (Doli Saja Ke Rakhna; 1998)

Singers: Sonu Nigam & Kavita Krishnamurthy, Lyrics by Mehboob, Music Label: T-Series

Now this is a song I discovered a year or two ago, and immediately fell in love with it, making it one of my favourite Rahman songs ever. The way he starts the song with a trademark Kathak portion, complete with Bola and Tablas, and switches over to an immersive romantic melody, decorated with his signature flutes, is commendable. Sonu Nigam has delievered one of his best renditions, and Kavita Krishnamurthy takes control of the song because her portions are quite louder and higher pitched than Sonu’s, making them stand out among the calm rest of the song.

27. Ishq Bina (Taal; 1999)

Singers: Sonu Nigam, A.R. Rahman, Anuradha Sriram & Sujatha, Lyrics by Anand Bakshi, Music Label: Tips Music

Here comes the Titan of a soundtrack, Taal, but don’t worry, I won’t include all 12 songs on the list. The most popular song from ‘Taal’, and it truly deserves to be that. Rahman fuses Qawwali elements with other Indian sounds like ‘Manjeeras’, instruments you’d normally hear in bhajans and the like. But this is a Rahman song and nothing is demarcated within rigid rule barriers. Anuradha takes the female lead quite charmingly, but it is Sonu towards the end who takes the song away, and Rahman with his Qawwali portions, provides a nice break from the repetitiveness (not in a negative way) of the female part. The bass in the female part accentuates the composition, while the violin before Sonu Nigam’s part is wonderful. And who cannot notice Anand Bakshi’s metaphorical lines? 👌

28. Nahin Saamne (Taal; 1999)

Singers: Hariharan & Sukhwinder Singh, Lyrics by Anand Bakshi, Music Label: Tips Music

This song. This song. This song. What can I even say? Probably the best use of piano and sitar (in a non classical song, of course) in any Bollywood song till now. And the beautiful humming, that haunting portion, that goosebumps-inducing portion, and Hariharan’s silky voice, never faltering even one bit, and that beautiful antara. Sorry if that was incoherent. It was, but, I can’t gather ny thoughts about this song just yet. NOTE: Sounds best when heard when it’s raining.

29. Taal Se Taal Mila (Taal; 1999)

Singers: Alka Yagnik, Udit Narayan & Sukhwinder Singh, Lyrics by Anand Bakshi, Music Label: Tips Music

Another quite obvious choice, another rain song, another song where Sukhwinder is relegated to the background but does an amazing job. In this song he is the harbinger of the entire song, singing that classical portion before the song starts, before the female chorus starts, backed by Rahman’s wonderful Indian beats comprising matkas and whatnot, the sounds of raindrops, paayals, ghungroos, how beautiful the soundscape of this song is! And then that BEAUTIFUL flute! The rhythm of the song is really passionate, so befitting for a rain song. And that SARANGI, Wow! Listening to it after so long, in the monsoon season itself, is such an experience! Alka Yagnik (isn’t it her first with Rahman?) sounds cute to say the least, while I just keep waiting for Udit’s part to play, because it is one of my favourite portions of the song, when I could see Akshaye Khanna on screen,an actor I somehow sensed was a good actor, in my childhood. 😂 Even if I write 1000 more words on this song, they won’t do justice to the song. So listen to it yourselves. And also, special shoutout to the Western Version of the song — another auditory “sight” to behold.

30. Kahin Aag Lage Lag Jaaye (Taal; 1999)

Singers: Asha Bhosle, Aditya Narayan & Richa Sharma, Lyrics by Anand Bakshi, Music Label: Tips Music

A spectacular song in all fronts, this one has the same passion that is carried in the title song, but this time, not in so pronounced of an Indian way, if that makes sense. Sure,there are those very adorable Aditya Narayan interactions and tribal portions throughout the song, but it really hinges upon the symphonic arrangements by Rahman — the orchestra, African drums and whatnot. Not that he doesn’t include a lot of Indian music elements. And of course, once they had Asha Bhosle on board, other composers sat back and relaxed, but Rahman has clearly not taken it for granted.

31. Kariye Na (Taal; 1999)

Singers: Sukhwinder Singh & Alka Yagnik, Lyrics by Anand Bakshi, Music Label: T-Series

Another recent acquisition for me wih respect to favourite Rahman songs,this song was very badly overshadowed because of the popularity of the other songs. Again,Rahman uses many Indian music elements like the Matka to make the song sound beautiful,abd Sukhwinder’s voice amongst that minimal background is a must-hear. And Alma’s Punjabi portion is so cute! Anand Bakshi’s lyrics though, are the highlight of the song for me.

32. Ruth Aa Gayee Re (1947 Earth; 1999)

Singer: Sukhwinder Singh, Lyrics by Javed Akhtar, Music Label: T-Series

The Sukhwinder-ARR collaboration was going really strong in the 90s. This song is yet another example of how beautiful the two were together. Here, Rahman takes a typical Qawwali-ish rhythm and composes a motivating song around it, very Indian in its sound, and Sukhwinder’s booming vocals do the rest. No wonder this song became so popular!

33. Rang De (Thakshak; 1999)

Singer: Asha Bhosle, Lyrics by Sukhwinder Singh & Tejpal Kaur, Music Label: Saregama

This song is the quintessential Bollywood grand dance number. Rahman has included everything that is necessary for a hit number, in this song. Asha Bhosle going into the low notes quite effortlessly and sensuously, a captivating tune harking to folk music, engaging arrangements and a wonderful backing chorus. And who knew Sukhwinder Singh was the lyricist for this song? I didn’t! The percussions in this song are marvellous, and so is that flute in the interludes. Ah, sweet memories. If only Tabu could dance better.


Those were my favourite Rahman songs from 1992 to 1999! I hope I wasn’t too obvious and you got to learn some new songs. If not, you’re already an encyclopedia that contains all the knowledge about every Rahman song ever. Stay tuned fir the next part of the series, where I’ll cover songs from 2000 onwards (most probably till 2008)! And thanks for reading such a long post! 😁

WON’T BECOME AS PHAMOUS AS IT DESERVES! (PHAMOUS – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Sundeep Gosswami, Surya Vishwakarma & Krsna Solo
♪ Lyrics by: Puneet Sharma & Naveen Tyagi
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 18th May 2018
♪ Movie Released On: 1st June 2018

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Phamous Album Cover

Listen to the songs: Saavn

Buy the songs: iTunes


Phamous is a Bollywood action comedy starring Jimmy Shergill, Pankaj Tripathi, Shriya Saran, Jackie Shroff, Mahie Gill and Kay Kay Menon. The film is directed by Karan Lalit Bhutani and produced by Raj Khatri. The film has music composed by Krsna Solo, Sundeep Gosswami and Surya Vishwakarma. The latter two composers are debutants, while Krsna is a well known name, from whom we expect great music. Let’s see whether our expectations are met!


Krsna gets to open the album with the the electrifying desi rock number that Bandook is. The film is situated in the Chambal region of Madhya Pradesh, so a full-on gangster track was expected, but what wasn’t expected was that Krsna would produce a twist in the tale with the addition of the electrifying rock elements. Right from the opening ad-lib by Vishal Dadlani, followed by the entry of those rock guitars, you know that you would love the rock in this song. And of course, with the powerhouse that Vishal is, the composer can rest assured that his song will be rendered beautifully and with the right amount of spunk. Puneet Sharma’s lyrics are perfect, calling the gun as the daughter of iron! The composition too, is really catchy, and it doesn’t sound forced, and especially doesn’t sound like the composer has made some extra effort to make the tune match the rock. The grunge in Vishal’s voice, the energy of the guitars, the energetic percussions and the catchy tune, all fit in place to make an effective gangster theme song for the Chambal region.

Sundeep Gosswami and Surya Vishwakarma collaborate to produce the sweet romantic number Dil Beparwah, a song which, surprisingly, marks the first duet of Jubin Nautiyal and Jonita Gandhi! The mandolin with which the song starts instantly sucks you in, with a strong oriental touch, and when Jubin starts off, instantly evoking memory of Sonu Johan’s such romantic songs, you get goosebumps. Rather, I did. Sundeep-Surya’s tune is strong, arrangements are sweet, and that’s why the vocal prowess of Jubin and Jonita seems to have magnified. Yes, the music is quite standard of an affair and nothing too innovative,but sometimes it’s really soothing to hear such a simple romantic song, especially when the arrangements and vocals are spot on like this. Jonita especially sounds great. Naveen Tyagi’s lyrics describe the feelings of young romance really well, and I really loved the second interlude where the composing duo adds beautiful mandolins. The second antara sounds like an unnecessary add-on though, making the song too long for no reason. Anyway, it’s one of the better romantic songs we have got in a long time.

The dance number Titri sees Sundeep go solo, and the song he creates is like a rustic answer to Pritam’s ‘Tukur Tukur’ (Dilwale). Again, Sundeep does a great job with the quirky and rustic ethnic strings, which sucks you in right from the beginning. The backing vocals by him are just as fun, accompanied by quirky rabaabs and harmoniums, not to mention the wonderfully quirky sound effects. The singer Priyanka Negi debuts, I believe, with this song, and it is truly one of the strongest debuts this year! She owns the song and how! I also commend the lyricist Puneet Sharma for presenting a song of this genre without making the lyrics vulgar or anything. Last year, Gaurav Dagaonkar gave us ‘Aye Saiyan’ (Babumoshai Bandookbaaz) which was a similar song, but a recreation. As such, this stands out because of it being original, yet providing a similarly quirky and rustic touch. The composition of course, is catchy, and everyone who hears it is sure to groove along until it is over. Fortunately the song isn’t short.


The album to this film is surprisingly great, with three songs that do two things right — fit well with the script and setting of the film, and are catchy as standalone tracks as well. Sadly, the album won’t become as Phamous as I think it deserves!!

Total Points Scored by This Album: 8.5 + 8 + 8 = 24.5

Album Percentage: 81.67%

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: Bandook > Dil Beparwah = Titri

 

Which is your favourite Song From Phamous? Please vote for it below! Thanks!☺️