ALBUMS OF 2017 (2017 ANNUAL WRAP-UP: PART 5)

So, this is technically the last part of the 2017 Wrap-Up, and it sums up the albums of the year — best, worst, underrated and disappointing! Without further ado, since I’m already so late, let’s jump right into it!

– Best Albums of 2017 (Top 30)

• 30 – 21 (The ‘Could’ve-Been-Better’)

30. FIRANGI

Music By: Jatinder Shah
Lyrics By: Dr. Devendra Kafir, Ashraf Ali & Krishna Bhardwaj
Singers: Sunidhi Chauhan, Jyoti Nooran, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Mamta Sharma, Daler Mehndi, Devender Pal Singh & Shafqat Amanat Ali
Music Label: Zee Music Company
Music Mastani Rating: नी
Personal Favourite Song (a.k.a, A Song I Would Take With Me to 2017, If I Had To Pick Only One and Forget the Rest, Literally!): Sajna Sohne Jiha

 

29. QARIB QARIB SINGLLE

Music By: Rochak Kohli, Vishal Mishra & Ali Merchant
Lyrics By: Hussain Haidry & Raj Shekhar
Singers: Jyoti Nooran, Sultana Nooran, Atif Aslam, Papon, Antara Mitra, Neeti Mohan, Vishal Mishra & Rochak Kohli
Music Label: Zee Music Company
Music Mastani Rating: नी
Personal Favourite Song: Jaane De

 

28. BAREILLY KI BARFI

Music By: Tanishk Bagchi, Tanishk-Vayu, Arko Pravo Mukherjee & Samira Koppikar
Lyrics by: Shabbir Ahmed, Tanishk-Vayu, Arko Pravo Mukherjee & Punit Sharma
Singers: Dev Negi, Shraddha Pandit, Pawni Pandey, Pravesh Mallick, Harshdeep Kaur, Yasser Desai, Altamash Faridi, Tanishk Bagchi, Arko Pravo Mukherjee, Ayushmann Khurrana, Sumedha Karmahe, Arijit Singh & Samira Koppikar
Music Label: Zee Music Company
Music Mastani Rating: नी
Personal Favourite Song: Nazm Nazm (Ayushmann)

 

27. TOILET: EK PREM KATHA

Music By: Vickey Prasad, Manas-Shikhar & Sachet-Parampara
Lyrics By: Siddharth-Garima
Singers: Sonu Nigam, Shreya Ghoshal, Sukhwinder Singh, Sunidhi Chauhan, Palak Muchhal, Sachet Tandon & Parampara Thakur
Music Label: T-Series
Music Mastani Rating: नी
Personal Favourite Song: Gori Tu Latth Maar

 

26. BABUMOSHAI BANDOOKBAAZ

 

Music By: Gaurav Dagaonkar, Abhilash-Joel, Debojyoti Mishra & R.D. Burman
Lyrics By: Ghalib Asad Bhopali & Anand Bakshi
Singers: Armaan Malik, Orunima Bhattacharya, Vivek Naik, Neha Kakkar, Papon & Mohit Chauhan
Music Label: Saregama
Music Mastani Rating: नी
Personal Favourite Song: Barfani

 

25. MOM

 

Music By: A.R. Rahman
Lyrics By: Irshad Kamil, Rianjali, Rajakumari & A.R. Rahman
Singers: A.R. Rahman, Shashaa Tirupati, Sukhwinder Singh, Blaaze, Jonita Gandhi, Suzanne D’Mello, Rianjali, Rajakumari, Darshana KT, Sudeep Jaipurwale
Music Label: T-Series
Music Mastani Rating: नी
Personal Favourite Song: Chal Kahin Door

 

24. JIA AUR JIA

 

Music By: Nisschal Zaveri, Sachin Gupta, Sameer Nichani & Shankar-Jaikishan
Lyrics By: Mudassar Aziz, Raqueeb Alam, Vachaspati Mishra & Hasrat Jaipuri
Singers: Asees Kaur, Nandini Srikar, Rashid Ali, Jyotica Tangri, Smita Malhotra & Shivangi Bhayana
Music Label: Zee Music Company
Music Mastani Rating: नी
Personal Favourite Song: Na Jaa By Nandini

 

23. NOOR 

Music By: Amaal Mallik & R.D. Burman
Lyrics by: Manoj Muntashir, Kumaar & Anand Bakshi
Singers: Armaan Malik, Amaal Mallik, Tulsi Kumar, Yash Narvekar, Sukriti Kakar & Prakriti Kakar
Music Label: T-Series
Music Mastani Rating: नी
Personal Favourite Song: Hai Zaroori

 

22. LIPSTICK UNDER MY BURKHA

Music By: Zebunnisa Bangash
Lyrics by: Anvita Dutt
Singers: Zebunnisa Bangash, Malini Awasthi & Neeti Mohan
Music Label: T-Series
Music Mastani Rating: नी
Personal Favourite Song: Le Li Jaan

 

21. LUCKNOW CENTRAL

Music By: Arjunna Harjaie, Tanishk Bagchi, Rochak Kohli, Sukhwinder Singh & Mychael Danna
Lyrics by: Kumaar, Adheesh Verma & Sukhwinder Singh
Singers: Divya Kumar, Mohit Chauhan, Raftaar, Arijit Singh, Amit Mishra, Neeti Mohan, Sukhwinder Singh, Renesa Bagchi, Brijesh Shandilya, Arman Hasan & Vayu Srivastava
Music Label: T-Series
Music Mastani Rating: नी
Personal Favourite Song: Rangdaari

 

• 20 – 11 (The ‘Just-A-Tad-Less’)

20. DEAR MAYA

Music By: Anupam Roy & Sandman
Lyrics By: Irshad Kamil & Rashi Mal
Singers: Rekha Bhardwaj, Anupam Roy, Harshdeep Kaur, Jonita Gandhi & Rashi Mal
Music Label: Zee Music Company
Music Mastani Rating: नी
Personal Favourite Song: Sune Saaye

 

19. PHILLAURI

Music By: Shashwat Sachdev & Jasleen Kaur Royal
Lyrics By: Anvita Dutt, Shellee, Aditya Sharma & Neeraj Rajawat
Singers: Romy, Vivek Hariharan, Diljit Dosanjh, Mika Singh, Jasleen Kaur Royal, Shehnaaz Akhtar, Shilpi Paul, Anushka Sharma & Pawni Pandey
Music Label: T-Series
Music Mastani Rating: नी
Personal Favourite Song: Sahiba

 

18. RUNNING SHAADI

Music By: Abhishek-Akshay, Anupam Roy, Keegan Pinto, Sandeep Madhavan & Anjana Ankur Singh
Lyrics By: Manoj Yadav, Shellee, Keegan Pinto, Sonal Sehgal, Tanveer Ghazi & Anas Ali Khan
Singers: Labh Janjua, Bappi Lahiri, Kalpana Patowary, Anupam Roy, Hamsika Iyer, Sukanya Purkayastha, Sonu Kakkar, Sanam Puri & Jubin Nautiyal
Music Label: Times Music
Music Mastani Rating: नी
Personal Favourite Song: Mannerless Majnu

 

17. A GENTLEMAN

Music By: Sachin-Jigar
Lyrics by: Vayu Srivastava & Priya Saraiya
Singers: Benny Dayal, Shirley Setia, Siddharth Basrur, Priya Saraiya, Vishal Dadlani, Jonita Gandhi, Ash King, Raftaar, Jigar Saraiya, Sidharth Malhotra, Arijit Singh & Shreya Ghoshal
Music Label: T-Series
Music Mastani Rating: नी
Personal Favourite Song: Bandook Meri Laila

 

16. SECRET SUPERSTAR

Music By: Amit Trivedi
Lyrics by: Kausar Munir
Singers: Meghna Mishra, Kushal Chokshi, Sunidhi Chauhan & Mika Singh
Music Label: Zee Music Company
Music Mastani Rating: नी
Personal Favourite Song: Nachdi Phira

 

15. OK JAANU 

Music By: A.R. Rahman, Tanishk Bagchi & Badshah
Lyrics By: Gulzar, Hard Kaur, Navneet Virk, Aaryan Dinesh Kanagaratnam, Kaly, Mehboob & Badshah
Singers: A.R. Rahman, Arijit Singh, Neeti Mohan, Arjun Chandy, Savithri R. Prithvi, Paroma Das Gupta, Hard Kaur, Kaly, Aaryan Dinesh Kanagaratnam, Ashima Mahajan, Shashaa Tirupati, Jonita Gandhi, Nakash Aziz, A.R. Ameen, Jubin Nautiyal, Badshah, & Srinidhi Venkatesh
Music Label: Sony Music
Music Mastani Rating: नी
Personal Favourite Song: Sunn Bhavara

 

14. BADRINATH KI DULHANIA

Music By: Amaal Mallik, Tanishk Bagchi, Bappi Lahiri & Akhil Sachdeva
Lyrics by: Kumaar, Shabbir Ahmed, Akhil Sachdeva & Indeevar
Singers: Amaal Mallik, Shreya Ghoshal, Arijit Singh, Dev Negi, Monali Thakur, Neha Kakkar, Ikka, Badshah, Rajnigandha Shekhawat, Bappi Lahiri, Anuradha Paudwal, Ameen Sayani & Akhil Sachdeva
Music Label: T-Series
Music Mastani Rating: नी
Personal Favourite Song: Roke Na Ruke Naina

 

13. BEGUM JAAN

Music By: Anu Malik
Lyrics By: Kausar Munir & Rahat Indori
Singers: Asha Bhosle, Kavita Seth, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Sonu Nigam, Kalpana Patowary, Altamash Afridi, Shreya Ghoshal, Anmol Malik & Arijit Singh
Music Label: Times Music
Music Mastani Rating: नी
Personal Favourite Song: O Re Kaharo

 

12. TUBELIGHT

Music By: Pritam Chakraborty
Lyrics By: Amitabh Bhattacharya & Kausar Munir
Singers: Amit Mishra, Kamaal Khan, Dev Negi, Nakash Aziz, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, K.K., Atif Aslam, Jubin Nautiyal, Papon, Shafqat Amanat Ali & Javed Ali
Music Label: Sony Music
Music Mastani Rating: नी
Personal Favourite Song: Main Agar

 

11. SIMRAN

Music By: Sachin-Jigar
Lyrics by: Priya Saraiya & Vayu Srivastava
Singers: Jonita Gandhi, Guru Randhawa, Sunidhi Chauhan, Arijit Singh, Shalmali Kholgade, Divya Kumar, Jigar Saraiya & Mohit Chauhan
Music Label: T-Series
Music Mastani Rating: सां
Personal Favourite Song: Pinjra Tod Ke

 

• 10 – 1 (The ‘Yes-We-Made-It’)

10. QAIDI BAND

Music By: Amit Trivedi
Lyrics By: Kausar Munir, Habib Faisal, Sidhant Mago & Peter Muxka Manuel
Singers: Arijit Singh, Yashita Sharma & Peter Muxka Manuel
Music Label: YRF Music
Music Mastani Rating: सां
Personal Favourite Song: Phir Nayi

 

9. CHEF

Music By: Raghu Dixit & Amaal Mallik
Lyrics by: Ankur Tewari & Rashmi-Virag
Singers: Raghu Dixit, Vishal Dadlani, Armaan Malik, Nikhita Gandhi & Shahid Mallya
Music Label: T-Series
Music Mastani Rating: सां
Personal Favourite Song: Khoya Khoya

 

8. RAAG DESH

Music By: Rana Mazumder, Ram Singh Thakuri & Siddharth Pandit
Lyrics By: Sandeep Nath, Rana Mazumder, Pt. Vanshidhar Shukla & Revant Shergill
Singers: K.K., Shreya Ghoshal, Sunidhi Chauhan, Rana Mazumder, Revant Shergill, Siddharth Pandit & Shriya Pareek
Music Label: T-Series
Music Mastani Rating: सां
Personal Favourite Song: Tujhe Namaami Ho

 

7. RUKH

Music By: Amit Trivedi
Lyrics by: Sidhant Mago
Singers: Arijit Singh & Mohan Kannan
Music Label: Zee Music Company
Music Mastani Rating: सां
Personal Favourite Song: Khidki

 

6. RANGOON

Music By: Vishal Bhardwaj
Lyrics By: Gulzar & Lekha Washington
Singers: Sunidhi Chauhan, Arijit Singh, Rekha Bhardwaj, Sukhwinder Singh, O.S. Arun, Vishal Bhardwaj, Kunal Ganjawalla, K.K., Vivienne Pocha & Dominique Cerejo
Music Label: T-Series
Music Mastani Rating: सां
Personal Favourite Song: Tippa

 

5. SHUBH MANGAL SAAVDHAN

Music By: Tanishk-Vayu
Lyrics By: Tanishk-Vayu
Singers: Ritu Pathak, Brijesh Shandilya, Shashaa Tirupati, Ayushmann Khurrana, Mika Singh, Raja Hasan, Rajnigandha Shekhawat & Arman Hasan
Music Label: Eros Music
Music Mastani Rating: सां
Personal Favourite Song: Kanha

 

4. JAGGA JASOOS

Music By: Pritam Chakraborty
Lyrics By: Amitabh Bhattacharya & Neelesh Misra
Singers: Arijit Singh, Nikhita Gandhi, Amit Mishra, Tushar Joshi, Pritam Chakraborty, Amitabh Bhattacharya, June Banerjee, Antara Mitra, Geet Sagar, Aaroh Velankar, Sunny MR & Ashwin Kulkarni
Music Label: T-Series
Music Mastani Rating: सां
Personal Favourite Song: Phir Wahi

 

3. POORNA

Music By: Salim-Sulaiman
Lyrics By: Amitabh Bhattacharya
Singers: Arijit Singh, Vishal Dadlani, Raj Pandit & Salim Merchant
Music Label: Zee Music Company
Music Mastani Rating: सां
Personal Favourite Song: Poori Qaaynaat

 

2. MERI PYAARI BINDU

Music By: Sachin-Jigar
Lyrics By: Kausar Munir & Priya Saraiya
Singers: Parineeti Chopra, Arijit Singh, Sonu Nigam, Nakash Aziz, Jonita Gandhi, Jigar Saraiya, Sanah Moidutty, Clinton Cerejo, Dominique Cerejo & Monali Thakur
Music Label: YRF Music
Music Mastani Rating: सां
Personal Favourite Song: Maana Ke Hum Yaar Nahin

 

1. JAB HARRY MET SEJAL

Music By: Pritam Chakraborty, Diplo & Rocky Wellstack
Lyrics By: Irshad Kamil
Singers: Sunidhi Chauhan, Shahid Mallya, Arijit Singh, Shefali Alvares, Shalmali Kholgade, Jyoti Nooran, Sultana Nooran, Dev Negi, Aman Trikha, Tushar Joshi, Mohit Chauhan, Nikhita Gandhi, Diljit Dosanjh, Neeti Mohan, Tochi Raina, Nikhil D’Souza, Pardeep Singh Sran, Jonita Gandhi, Mohammed Irfan & Cuca Rosetta
Music Label: Sony Music
Music Mastani Rating: सां
Personal Favourite Song: Ghar

 

 

Those were the Top 30 albums of 2017!!

 

– 5 WORST ALBUMS OF 2017

(In other words, zero expectations and zero delivery)

• Coffee With D (Music by Superbia)

• Sarkar 3 (Music by Ravi Shankar, Rohan-Vinayak & Niladri Kumar)

• Guest Iin London (Music by Raghav Sachar & Amit Mishra)

 Sweetiee Weds NRI (Music by Arko Pravo Mukherjee, Raaj Aashoo, Jaidev Kumar, Palash Muchhal)

• Ram Ratan (Music by Bappi Lahiri)

 

– 10 Underrated Albums of 2017

• Poorna (Music by Salim-Sulaiman)

• Rukh (Music by Amit Trivedi)

• Raag Desh (Music by Rana Mazumder & Siddharth Pandit)

• Qaidi Band (Music by Amit Trivedi)

• Begum Jaan (Music by Anu Malik)

• Running Shaadi (Music by Abhishek-Akshay, Keegan Pinto, Anupam Roy, Anjana Ankur Singh & Sandeep Madhavan)

• Dear Maya (Music by Anupam Roy)

• Lipstick Under My Burkha (Music by Zebunnisa Bangash)

• Jia Aur Jia (Music by Nisschal Zaveri & Sachin Gupta)

• Babumoshai Bandookbaaz (Music by Gaurav Dagaonkar, Abhilash-Joel & Debojyoti Mishra)

 

– 5 Disappointing Soundtracks of 2017

• Half Girlfriend (Music by Tanishk Bagchi, Farhan Saeed, Mithoon, Ami Mishra & Rahul Mishra)

 Machine (Music by Tanishk Bagchi & Dr. Zeus)

• Munna Michael (Music by Tanishk Bagchi, Vishal Mishra, Tanishk-Vayu, Pranay Rijia, Meet Bros. & Javed-Mohsin)

• Raabta (Music by JAM8, Meet Bros & Pritam Chakraborty)

• Mubarakan (Music by Amaal Mallik & Gourov-Roshin)

 

 

And with that, we come to the end of my 2017 Wrap-Up! I hope you enjoyed it, and do leave your comments below about any way to improve it next year! 🙂

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SINGERS OF 2017 (2017 ANNUAL WRAP-UP: PART 4)

Singers make the song as lively as they sound, they make the song ultimately appeal to the common listener. So, before the new year starts, let’s honour the best singers (female and male) of the year!!

 

Best Singers of 2017

– Best Female Singers of 2017 (Top 20)

20. Sunidhi Chauhan for Bloody Hell (Rangoon)

This was one of the first big solo female songs of the year, and Sunidhi’s powerhouse perfromance made it all the more enjoyable. Sunidhi knows how to infuse life into such numbers, and the husky texture of her voice helps even more!

19. Neha Bhasin for Dil Diyan Gallan (Unplugged) [Tiger Zinda Hai]

Just as she made magic with her rendition of the most famous romantic song of 2016, ‘Jag Ghoomeya’, this time, Neha Bhasin strikes back with her rendition of ‘Dil Diyan Gallan’, and Vishal-Shekhar’s Kashmiri touch along with her amazing folksy accent make the song sound great, though not as great as ‘Jag Ghoomeya’.

18. Prakriti Kakar for Hai Zaroori (Noor)

This subtle sad song just might be Prakriti’s big relaunch, but sadly, it is one of the most underrated and unnoticed songs of the year.

17. Monali Thakur for Khol De Baahein (Meri Pyaari Bindu)

Monali’s feathery voice suited this lullaby-ish melody. The saccharine quality of Monali’s voice especially helped the Bengali portions of the song sound sweet for non-Bengali listeners as well!

16. Yashita Sharma for Phir Nayi (Qaidi Band)

Yashita Sharma doesn’t get too many songs in the films, but Amit Trivedi now seems to be bent on pushing this talented singer forward. The fact that he made her sing the entire album of ‘Qaidi Band’ alongside Arijit Singh only proves the point. Her sweet rendition of this melodious number was really memorable.

15. Meghna Mishra for O Re Manwa (Secret Superstar)

Yet another talented singer, this time a teenager, backed by Amit Trivedi. The sixteen-year-old got the debut of her dreams with this album, and this song was a beautiful rendition by her, poignant and subtle.

14. Orunima Bhattacharya for Barfani (Female) [Babumoshai Bandookbaaz]

Gaurav Dagaonkar struck gold with this album, and alongside that, singer Orunima Bhattacharya got this very sensuous and heavenly classical melody to sing, and she nailed it!

13. Jyoti Nooran for Tera Noor (Tiger Zinda Hai)

The powerful vocals of Jyoti Nooran in a song about women empowerment — what could be remotely better than that??

12. Meghna Mishra for Nachdi Phira (Secret Superstar)

Once more, Trivedi brings the best out of a teenage singer, and this song was undoubtedly the best performance by both Trivedi and Mishra in the entire album!!

11. Shreya Ghoshal for Rozana (Naam Shabana)

I know, there was a time when Shreya had almost ten songs out of twenty in any top 20 list. But this year, this is the sole song of hers on the list, but what a song! Her mellifluous voice proves yet again that her title of ‘Nightingale’ is justified!

10. Parineeti Chopra for Maana Ke Hum Yaar Nahin (Meri Pyaari Bindu)

Wait a second, keep those tomatoes and eggs with yourselves, because even though I know I shouldn’t be adding an actor on a list of top singers, you’ve got to admit that nobody other than Parineeti with her beautiful husky voice, could’ve sung this ghazal better.

9. Kalpana Patowary for O Re Kaharo (Begum Jaan)

This tear-inducing rendition of the heart-rending song, deserves as many accolades as it can get. However, with the tanking of the film, the album got forgotten as well!

8. Ronkini Gupta for Rafu (Tumhari Sulu)

Many people think Ronkini is a debutante, but she has sung before this in ‘Aankhon Dekhi’ (music by Sagar Desai). In this song, she wonderfully uses her classically-trained voice in a way that makes this mellow composition even more deep.

7. Nandini Srikar for Na Jaa Reprise (Jia Aur Jia)

In probably her only film song this year, Nandini Srikar gives an unforgettably soulful rendition of a semiclassical song composed by a newcomer! Her strong voice gives the song more emotion than it would have with another singer — as we saw when Asees Kaur sang another version of the same song.

6. Rekha Bhardwaj for Yeh Ishq Hai (Female) [Rangoon]

Now, Rekha sang almost five songs for ‘Rangoon’, but this one is seared in my memory, because of the divine way in which she sang it! This Sufi version of ‘Yeh Ishq Hai’ scores way higher than Arijit’s version, because the Sufi styled singing by Mrs. Bhardwaj makes it more heavenly.

5. Shashaa Tirupati for Chal Kahin Door (Mom)

The sweet self-discovery number scored by Rahman for ‘Mom’, would not have been the same if Shashaa Tirupati had not sung it. The talented singer had a really successful year, and this is only one of the great songs that she sang this year!

4. Rekha Bhardwaj for Badnaam Jiya De Gaari (Anaarkali Of Aarah)

One of the rare songs Mrs. Bhardwaj sang out of ‘Rangoon’ this year, this one is a beautiful THUMRI, with shades of Naushad’s composition style. But without the seasoned voice and vocal prowess of Rekha Bhardwaj, it would have been tough to connect to the melody, and drown in the song!

3. Shashaa Tirupati for Sunn Bhavara (OK Jaanu)

One more Shashaa song, and another classical melody. Shashaa uses all her classical training to infuse life into this one, and the result is a soulful and cute song!

2. Madhushree for Soja Zara (Baahubali 2: The Conclusion)

We all know by now that this song was a lullaby-cum-Krishna-pooja. The choice of Madhushree as the lead vocalist though, was a brave one by Kreem, and how delighted they must’ve been to see that the result was so charming!

1. Shashaa Tirupati for Kanha (Shubh Mangal Saavdhan)

This is definitely my favourite song of the year as far as the vocals go! Shashaa yet again channels her classical singing prowess, this time, with quirky additions in English, and the result is yet another beautiful melody, where Shashaa sounds a lot like Shreya Ghoshal!

Female Singers I Missed in 2017: Last year, too, I missed Shilpa Rao’s voice even though she had ‘Bulleya’ (Ae Dil Hai Mushkil) to her credit, but this year, she was practically absent from the scene! Also, Neeti Mohan was almost absent until the second half, but she got a string of mediocre songs after that, and almost no solo songs!
– Best Male Singers of 2017 (Top 20)

20. Arijit Singh for Roke Na Ruke Naina (Badrinath Ki Dulhania)

The subtlety with which Arijit sang this sad number is definitely something to be noticed and remembered. Yes, there wasn’t much different in the way he sang it, but he did carry the melody with a charm and maturity.

19. Mika Singh for Laddoo (Shubh Mangal Saavdhan)

I know, I know, it would otherwise be weird to have a Mika song on the Top 20 male singers list, but I’ve got to give his one to him — his splendidly delightful performance in this song was one of the main reasons it succeeded!

18. Arijit Singh for O Saathi (Shab)

Many people still wouldn’t know about this song, but Arijit’s amazing aalaaps in this song definitely make for it, a place in this list of mine!

17. Mohit Chauhan for Baras Ja (Simran)

Mohit Chauhan has been relegated to the background with the advent of singers like Arijit and Armaan, but he does still get one odd amazing song to sing, and this year Sachin-Jigar took care of that. This song is one of his most soulful renditions, and I’m sure it would’ve created more impact, had it been released and promoted better!

16. Armaan Malik for Uff Yeh Noor (Noor)

One of Armaan’s early releases this year, this was a fun and cute and enjoyable song, thanks to his boisterous singing, and amazing expression!

15. Benny Dayal for O Mere Sanam (The House Next Door)

Once more, a singer with a very little nu!ber of songs this year, but the song that features on this list has to be one of the greatest performances of his, in his entire career! I wish composers learn from this and go back to using Benny as a romantic singer!!

14. Arijit Singh for Jhumritalaiyya (Jagga Jasoos)

A cute and charming youngsters’ love song from the very brave film ‘Jagga Jasoos’, which dared to make such conversational songs as a part of its soundtrack, and rendered wonderfully by Arijit, this had to be on the list.

13. Atif Aslam for Jaane De (Qarib Qarib Singlle)

The melancholic melody was great on its own, but Atif’s soulful singing and amazing nuances infused in it, a different quality of its own, which no other singer could have done. Hence, it features on my list.

12. Shahid Mallya for Khoya Khoya (Chef)

Yet another lesser known song, but Shahid’s rendition in his distinct rustic voice, made it one of my favourite songs of the year, not to mention one of the most unique male songs of the year.

11. Arijit Singh for Hawayein (Jab Harry Met Sejal)

The song which created a huge ripple across the nation, this one was rendered beautifully by Arijit, and with the King of Romance SRK featuring in the video, it was a double treat. At the end of the day, though, it was Arijit’s amazing charisma that made the song an instant hit, and a song to stay forever.

10. Armaan Malik for Tere Mere (Chef)

Now even though this song was removed from the album, it remains one of Armaan’s most perfect performances, with amazing nuances taken by him at every turn of the song.

9. Arijit Singh for Haareya (Meri Pyaari Bindu)

This year, just like every year, Arijit got a number of hit songs, but some remain in the top 10 for a reason. This song is here because Arijit Singh sang the song in Ayushmann Khurrana’s style, a method which singers would adopt in the past, so that the song would seem more genuine. And here, Arijit Singh nails it; as much as Ayushmann gets credit for lip-syncing so well!

8. Arijit Singh for Enna Sona (OK Jaanu)

This song was one of the first Arijit songs to release in 2017, and it became an instant hit, thanks to the amazing singing by Arijit.

7. Tushar Joshi for Musafir (Jagga Jasoos)

It’s usually the lesser-known songs that have the best vocals, lyrics, music etc. This song is the debut of Tushar Joshi, who turns out to be a strong contender among the likes of Armaan and Arijit. His voice texture is amazing and I’m sure Pritam will push and promote him even more in the next section of movies he signs!

6. Javed Bashir for Seene Mein Lagi Aag (Mirza Juuliet)

When this song released I was surprised that such a great song had gone into a film which probably nobody will notice. I do my bit of promoting the song and Javed’s amazing performance, by placing it at the sixth position.

5. Sonu Nigam for Mann Beqaid Huva (Anaarkali Of Aarah)

Sonu Nigam got many songs that didn’t deserve his voice, this year. But this one was a song that deserved Sonu and only Sonu. The charming composition by Rohit Sharma needed a feathery voice like Sonu’s to propel it. Again, should’ve reached more earphones across the world.

4. Arijit Singh for Safar (Jab Harry Met Sejal)

No words for this. Just drown into Arijit’s voice.

3. Vishal Dadlani for Banjara (Chef)

A power packed performance by one of the greatest singer composers of the industry, this one is also an emotional journey song, made better by Vishal’s singing.

2. Armaan Malik for Barfani (Babumoshai Bandookbaaz)

Armaan in a classical song, was a dream come true. The man can really sing perfectly, though it didn’t seem like he could, based on his contemporary numbers. However, he proves us wrong with this spellbinding performance in yet another very underrated song of the year.

1. Sudeep Jaipurwale for Be Nazaara (Mom)

I never expected a debutant to top my list of male singers, but I am proud that it is for such a strong performance, a classical performance that would make even the top Bollywood singers of these days feel insecure!

 

Male Singers I Missed in 2016: Just like last year, I missed K.K. a lot; though he sang some songs in small albums, whose compositions were quite middling, I wished he had got some good song in a big film! Also, Javed Ali, who only sang a song in ‘Tubelight’ and if anything else, I can’t remember. Sonu Nigam too, should’ve sung better songs!

– Best Duets of 2017 (Male-Female, Male-Male & Female-Female included!) {Top 20}

20. Amit Mishra & Neeti Mohan for Meer-e-Kaarwaan (Lucknow Central)

19. Sonu Nigam & Shreya Ghoshal for Hans Mat Pagli (Toilet: Ek Prem Katha)

18. Diljit Dosanjh & Neeti Mohan for Raula (Jab Harry Met Sejal)

17. Amit Mishra & Arijit Singh for Galti Se Mistake (Jagga Jasoos)

16. Nakash Aziz & Dev Negi for Naach Meri Jaan (Tubelight)

15. Sonu Nigam & Palak Muchhal for Gori Tu Latth Maar (Toilet: Ek Prem Katha)

14. Arijit Singh & Nikhita Gandhi for Ullu Ka Pattha (Jagga Jasoos)

13. Jyoti Nooran & Sultana Nooran for Khatam Kahani (Qarib Qarib Singlle)

12. Clinton Cerejo & Dominique Cerejo for Iss Tarah (Meri Pyaari Bindu)

11. Arijit Singh & Nikhita Gandhi for Raabta (Raabta)

10. A.R. Ameen & Anjali Gaikwad for Mard Maratha (Sachin: A Billion Dreams)

9. Arko Pravo Mukherjee & Asees Kaur for Kaari Kaari (Dobaara)

8. Sonu Nigam & Rahat Fateh Ali Khan for Aazaadiyan (Begum Jaan)

7. Romy & Pawni Pandey for Sahiba (Phillauri)

6. Nikhita Gandhi & Mohit Chauhan for Ghar (Jab Harry Met Sejal)

5. Jonita Gandhi & Nakash Aziz for Saajan Aayo Re (OK Jaanu)

4. Sunidhi Chauhan & Shahid Mallya for Radha (Jab Harry Met Sejal)

3. Vishal Dadlani & Raj Pandit for Poori Qaaynaat (Poorna)

2. Jubin Nautiyal & Neeti Mohan for Bawara Mann (Jolly L.LB 2)

1. Jyoti Nooran & Sultana Nooran for Jee Ve Sohneya (Jab Harry Met Sejal)

– Best Ensemble Songs of 2017 (Top 10)

10. Dev Negi, Shraddha Pandit, Pawni Pandey & Pravesh Mallick for Sweety Tera Drama (Bareilly Ki Barfi)

9. Ash King, Jigar Saraiya, Raftaar & Sidharth Malhotra for Bandook Meri Laila (A Gentleman)

8. Dev Negi, Aman Trikha, Sunidhi Chauhan & Nooran Sisters for Butterfly (Jab Harry Met Sejal)

7. Dev Negi, Neha Kakkar, Monali Thakur, Rajnigandha Shekhawat & Ikka Singh for Badri Ki Dulhania (Badrinath Ki Dulhania)

6. Shreya Ghoshal, Sunidhi Chauhan, K.K. & Rana Mazumder for Tujhe Namaami Ho (Raag Desh)

5. Jonita Gandhi, Mohammed Irfan & Cuca Rosetta for Yaadon Mein (Jab Harry Met Sejal)

4. Neeti Mohan, Arjun Chandy & Prithvi for Jee Lein (OK Jaanu)

3. Sukhwinder Singh, Vishal Bhardwaj, Kunal Ganjawalla & K.K. for Julia (Rangoon)

2. Sukhwinder Singh, Bhoomi Trivedi & Karsan Sagathia for Udi Udi Jaye (Raees)

1. Sunidhi Chauhan, Sukhwinder Singh, Rekha Bhardwaj & O.S. Arun for Tippa (Rangoon)

So that was all for the top singers of 2017!!!

ARRANGEMENTS AND PROGRAMMING IN 2017 (2017 ANNUAL WRAP-UP: PART 3)

These days, most people don’t seem to notice the arrangements or music in a film, because it is obviously overpowered by the singers, tune and lyrics. But for me, the arrangements are definitely something to listen to carefully. It is quite fun to see which instrument a composer decides to put where. Also, many times, the arrangements are done by other people, programming is done by specific programmers! So, to give these hard workers their due, I decided to include this as a part of my Wrap-Up.

Arrangements might not be interesting to listen to, for everyone, but know this: they are undoubtedly the parts of the song that make you love it or hate it subconsciously. Even if you do not pay attention to the music, when the lyrics are going on, it is obvious that the music is playing some games with your brain — if it is playing good games, you like the song. Otherwise, you don’t!

So let’s see what my favourite (top 20) song arrangements and programming of the year, are!

Best Arrangements & Programming in 2017 — Top 20

20. Lagdi Hai Thaai (Simran)

Arranged & Programmed:- Sachin- Jigar
Additional Programming:- Rajat Nagpal
Mix & Mastered:- Shadaab Rayeen
Mix Assistant Engineer:- Abhishek Sortey
Music Production Head: Romil Ved
Live Instruments:
Strokes:- Tapas Roy
Trumpet:- Kishore Sodha
Flute:- Naveen Kumar

19. Beech Beech Mein (Jab Harry Met Sejal)

Music Production & Sound Design: Dj Phukan And Sunny M.R.
Music Programming : Rohan Chauhan,
Additional Programming And Arrangement : Sunny M.R.
Backing Vocals – Arjun Chandy, Akashdeep Sengupta
Mixed and Mastered by Shadab Rayeen @ New Edge
Assistant Engineer : Abhishek Sortey & Dhananjay Khapekar
Recording Engineers- Ashwin Kulkarni, Himanshu Shirlekar, Aaroh Velankar, Aniruddh Anantha, Alan Hertz
Music Assistants :Tushar Joshi, Amit Sawant, Shubham Shirule, Akashdeep Sengupta
Musicians :
Electric & Bass Guitar – Warren Mendonsa, Ernest Tibbs
Horns – Andrew Lippman (trombone), Ludo Louis (trumpet and flugelhorn)
Production Manager : Anupam Amod, Manoj Harsh, Supriti Banerjee

18. Chal Kahin Door (Mom)

Additional Programming – Ishaan Chhabra, Jerry Vincent, Tr Krishna Chetan, Pawan Chilamkurthi, Parag Chhabra, Kumaran Sivamani, Gulraj Singh
Music Supervision By Rianjali, Srinidhi Venkatesh
Mixed By Ishaan Chhabra & Tr Krishna Chetan
Mastered By Suresh Permal
Flute – Naveen Kumar, Kamalakar
Chennai Strings & Sunshine Orchestra – Conducted By Vj Srinivasamurthy, Recorded At Am Studios, Chennai
Guitars- Keba Jeremiah

17. Yaadon Mein (Jab Harry Met Sejal)

Music Production & Sound Design: DJ Phukan and Sunny M.R.
Music Programming : Nikhil Paul George, Ketan Sodha , Ramon Ibrahim, Sunny M.R.
portuguese guitar performance and Arrangement : Mario Pacheco
Portuguese Guitar & Cuca Roseta Recorded By Pedro Serraninho @ Atlantico Blue Studios
Mixed And Mastered By Shadab Rayeen @ New Edge
Assistant Engineer : Abhishek Sortey & Dhananjay Khapekar Recording Engineers- Ashwin Kulkarni, Himanshu Shirlekar, Aaroh Velankar, Aniruddh Anantha
Music Assistants : Tushar Joshi, Amit Sawant, Shubham Shirule, Akashdeep Sengupta
Production Manager : Anupam Amod, Manoj Harsh, Supriti Banerjee

16. Bandook Meri Laila (A Gentleman)

Arranged & Programmed by Sachin – Jigar
Music Production Head – Romil Ved
Mix & Mastered – Eric Pillai ( Future Sound Of Bombay)
Mix assistant engineers- Michael Edwin Pillai & Lucky

15. Raabta (Raabta)

Sound Design- Dj Phukan and Sunny M.R
Music Programming- Rohan Chauhan
Additional Programming- Johan Folke and Stefan
Mixed and Master by – Shadab Rayeen @ New Edge
Assistant engineer- Abhishek Sortey& Dhananjay khapekar

14. Holi Khelein (Begum Jaan)

Songs Arranged and Produced By Hitesh Modak
Songs Mixed & Mastered By Eric Pillai (The Future Sound Of Bombay)

13. Radha (Jab Harry Met Sejal)

Music Production & Sound Design: Dj Phukan and Sunny M.R.
Music Programming : Sunny M.R., Arijit Singh, Utkarsh Dhotekar and Tony DB.
Vocal cuts: Rohan Chauhan
Mixed and Mastered by Shadab Rayeen @ New Edge
Assistant engineer : Abhishek Sortey & Dhananjay Khapekar
Recording Engineers- Ashwin Kulkarni, Himanshu Shirlekar, Aaroh Velankar, Aniruddh Anantha
Music assistants : Tushar Joshi, Amit Sawant, Dev Arijit, Shubham Shirule, Akashdeep Sengupta
Percussions : Sukanto Singha, Sunny M.R.
Production Manager : Anupam Amod, Manoj Harsh, Supriti Banerjee

12. Tamma Tamma Again (Badrinath Ki Dulhania)

Mandolin – Tapas Roy
recorded at Paresh Music Studio
Programming- Tanishk Bagchi
Additional Programming- Ganesh Waghela
Mix assistant engineers – Michael Edwin Pillai & Lucky
Song mixed & mastered by Eric Pillai(future sound of bombay)
Music Supervisor: Azeem Dayani

11. Sahiba (Phillauri)

Executive Music Producer Vivek Hariharan
Backing Vocals Vivek Hariharan, Anurag Sharma, Abhiruchi Singh, Pawni Pandey, Vibha Saraf, Varsha Tripathi, Gaia
Music Producer Shashwat Sachdev
Plucked Instruments David Sinchury,Sanjoy Das, Youngmin Kim, Shashwat Sachdev
Bass Guitar Kamran ‘Mannu’ Zafar, David Sinchury, Shashwat Sachdev
Piano & Keys Shashwat Sachdev
Rhythm Section & Percussions Bashiri Johnson, Shashwat Sachdev
Dholak Manoj Kumar Hela
Czech National Symphony Orchestra Conducted by Stilec Marek at CNSO Recording Studios, Prague Orchestration by Clifford Bradley & Shashwat Sachdev
CNSO National Symphony Orchestra –
Orchestra Members
Violins Rosik Alexej, Tupy Martin, Hurnik Jiri, Vojta Pavel, Novotny Josef, Bialas Martin, Valek Martin, Silar Filip, Kaudersova Miluse, Kohoutova Marksta, Jirousek Zdenek, Bohm Petra, Vorac David, Selmeczi Jakub, Kohoutek Jiri, Hrda Pavel, Anghelescu Costin, Senova Veronika
Viola Zigmund Jiri,Untermuller Karel,Kukovic Petr,Maskova Dagmar,Bazant Vladimir,Stippl Jan,Kimel Filip,Kodad Stanislav
Cello Jahoda Milos, Kutmanova Stepanka,Janek Petr, Stehlik Roman, Havelik Martin, Sporcl Petr, Bilkova Olga, Suva Vladimir
Double Bass Nejtek Pavel, Geryková Silvia, Gardoň Jaromír, Otevřel Tomáš
Technical Support Pistora Jan
Sound Engineers – Virasat Studios, Mumbai: Shashwat Sachdev
Kailasa Studios, Mumbai Engineer: Neeraj Singh
Enzy Studios, Mumbai Engineer: Julian Mascarenhas CNSO Recording Studios, Prague Engineer: Kotzmann Jan, Katzmann Cenda
Mixed & Mastered by Shadab Rayen
Assistant to Shadab Rayen Abhishek Sortey
Artist & Repertoire Consultant Vivek Hariharan

10. Ullu Ka Pattha (Jagga Jasoos)

Music Production and Sound Design: Dj Phukan and Sunny M.R
Music Programming: Sunny M.R.
Ulule Vocals: Vivienne Poocha
Ulule Production: Dj Phukan
Assistant engineers: Abhishek Sortey & Dhananjay khapekar
Recording Engineers- Ashwin Kulkarni, Himanshu Shirlekar, Aaroh Velankar
Vocal Conductor- Tushar Joshi, Kaushik Das
Musicians :
Electric and Acoustic Guitars – Roland Fernandes, recorded at Fiddle on the roof.
Flamenco Guitars – Daniel García Diego
Mixed & Mastered by Shadab Rayeen @ New Edge
Production Manager- Anupam Amod, Manoj Harsh

9. Bawara Mann (The State Vs. Jolly L.LB 2)

Music Arrangement : Chirrantan Bhatt
Mix And Master: Vinod Verma

8. Banjara (Chef)

Acoustic Guitar: Raghu Dixit
Percussions: Vikram Rozario
Bass: Gaurav Vaz
Group Vocals: Nimish Shah, Bhavani, Nikitha Venkatesh, Sunaina Benne, Parag Chabra, Nakul Abhyankar
Programming and Arrangement: Nakul Abhyankar
Guitars: Sanjay Kumar
Recording and Premix Engineer: Anirudh Sankaran
Programming, Backing Vocals and Strings Arrangement: Nakul Abhyankar
Recorded by Aditya Srinivasan at Wandering Minstrel Studios, Bengaluru.
Mixed and Mastered by Balu Thankachan at 20dB Sound Studios, Chennai.
Assisted by Sethu Thankachan.

7. Tippa (Rangoon)

Music Producers:​​Clinton Cerejo, Hitesh Sonik & Ketan Sodha
Violin:​​​​Suresh Lalwani
Choir Arrangements:​​Neuman Pinto
Recorded By:​​​Salman Khan Afridi @ Studio Satya, Mumbai.
Mixed By:​​​Steve Fitzmaurice for 365 Artists
Assistant Mix Engineer:​Charles Wong
Mixed at:​​​The Pierce Rooms, London
Mastered by:​​​Christian Wright@ Abbey Road Studios, London.

6. Sunn Bhavara (OK Jaanu)

Kora – Keba Jeremiah Tabla – Sai Shravanam Additional Programming – Ishaan Chhabra Mixed by Ishaan Chhabra, TR Krishna Chetan Mastered by Tony Joy

5. Badnaam Jiya De Gaari (Anaarkali Of Aarah)

Arrangers/Programmers – Rohit Sharma & Ashish Chakrabarty

4. Soja Zara (Baahubali 2: The Conclusion)

Arrangers/Programmers – G.Jeevan Babu
Flute- Naveen Kumar

3. Maana Ke Hum Yaar Nahin (Meri Pyaari Bindu)

Programming & Arrangements: Sachin-Jigar
Mix Engineers: Shantanu Hudlikar & Abhishek Khandelwal
Recording Engineer: Abhishek Khandelwal & Mansi Tare
Recorded & Mixed At: YRF studios
Music Production Head: Romil Ved

Live Instruments:
Guitars: Krishna Pradhan
Piano: Rinku Rajput
Flute: Shreeram Sampath
Sarangi: Dilshad Khan
Percussions: Arun Solanki

2. Kanha (Shubh Mangal Saavdhan)

Programmed by -Sourav Roy & Tanishk Bagchi
Violin – Manas
Sarod – Pradeep Barot
Additional Percussions – Krishna Kishore.
All Live Instruments Recorded at Tanishk’s Studio
Mix Assistant Engineers – Lucky
Additional Programming by – Tanishk and Kishor
Mixed by – Michael Edwin Pillai (Future Sound of Bombay)
Mastered by – Eric Pillai (Future Sound of Bombay)
Recorded at: Re n Raga Studio (Henry Moniz) and Paresh Music (Parth and Chakir)

1. Udi Udi Jaye (Raees)

Live Percussions by : Nitish Ranadive
Mandolin and Charango by : Tapas Roy
Bass : Vin Benjamin
Kantele by : Jutta Pesonen
Additional Arrangements :- Vrashal Chavan , Nitesh Bisht
Recording Engineers : Yash Divecha and Nitesh Bisht
Mixed By: Yash Divecha and Nitesh Bisht at Omgrown Music, Mumbai
Mastered By: Donal Whelan at Hafod Mastering, Wales
Assistant Engineers : Priyank Sharma , Girish Patro , Shayan Chakraborty
Executive Producer for Omgrown Music: Sona Mohapatra

 

So that was all for arrangements and programming! I hope you enjoyed the list! Please share your favourites below in the comments!

Next up: we will honour the celebrated singers of the year!!

LYRICS OF 2017 (2017 ANNUAL WRAP-UP: PART 2)

Lyrics are an integral part of any song. They are what make you dislike a song that is very catchy, or like a song whose tune you hate. They convey the story behind the song. In 2017, we had our share of good and bad lyrics. In Part 2 of the Annual Wrap-Up, I only found it just to honour the lyricists, the people who have as equal a hand in the making of the song as the composers do, but sadly, aren’t acknowledged by many!

This year, I especially noticed two lyricists who were highly consistent. Kausar Munir and Irshad Kamil. The two are seasoned artists, and have always written great stuff, but this year was an exceptional one for both of them. Also, Amitabh Bhattacharya, Gulzar and Manoj Muntashir too, had a great stint at writing, this year.

So let’s recall the best lyrics of the year!

 

Best Lyrics of 2017 — Top 20

(Click on the song’s name to hear it on YouTube)

20. Nazm Nazm (Bareilly Ki Barfi)

Lyrics by: Arko Pravo Mukherjee

This song from the charming romantic movie, that was truly the sleeper hit of the year, was a charming romantic ballad that highlights what one feels like in the initial stages of love. The composer, Arko, usually writes his songs himself, and as is the case here, it usually results in phenomenal poetry!

“Mere dil ke lifaafe mein, tera khat hai jaaneya,
Nacheez ne kaise paa li kismat yeh jaaneya ve!”

 

19. Jhumritalaiyya (Jagga Jasoos)

Lyrics by: Neelesh Misra

When the song is written with a certain boyish scharm, it somehow appeals more. Neelesh’s genius in describing a world that conspires to make the protagonist’s heart feel happy, as the heart’s servants, is especially exceptional!

“Duniya yeh thodi thodi hai behtar lagey,
dil ke naukar-o-chaakar lagey,
Jhuk ke poochhe kya hai aarzoo!”

 

18. Main Kaun Hoon (Secret Superstar)

Lyrics by: Kausar Munir

This album, though it featured quite stereotypical rock music from Trivedi, was redeemed by Kausar Munir’s beautiful lyrics. This particular song was the quintessential ‘doubt-yourself-on-the-way-to-your-goal’ song, but Kausar moulding her pen into that of a fourteen-year-old, made it all the more relatable!

“Darr lagta hai sapno se, kar dein na yeh tabaah,
Darr lagta hai apno se, de dein na yeh dagaa!”

 

17. Aazaadiyaan (Begum Jaan)

Lyrics by: Kausar Munir

The travails of a country just broken into two parts by partition was beautifully captured by Kausar Munir in this heart-rending song. The feelings of both countries’ citizens were mutual, with their home sweet homes lost, and all their treasured objects and memories lost forever!

“Laadla lakdi ka jhoola, laadla mitti ka choolha,
Sohni mohni maa hai kahaan?Natkhati si meri galliyan, nazron ki chhuppan chhupaiyyan,
Gori gori baahein kahaan?
Hai woh chhat taare kahaan, hai woh chaubaare kahaan?
Hai woh dariya kinaare kahaan?”

 

16. Musafir (Jagga Jasoos)

Lyrics by: Amitabh Bhattacharya

Amitabh Bhattacharya has written the concluding song of ‘Jagga Jasoos’ so beautifully, and it gelled in with the storyline so beautifully, it was a pity it got such a less fan following, amidst the upbeat numbers like ‘Ullu ka Pattha’ and ‘Galti Se Mistake’.

“Yahaan mera tere siva, hai dooja nahin koi re,
akela mujhe chhodke, na jaana yun nirmohi re!”

 

15. Sahiba (Phillauri)

Lyrics by: Anvita Dutt

This Punjabi folksy number is beautifully written by Anvita, whose lyrics provide just the right emotion for a sad romantic number, especially with the help of the Mirza-Sahibaan love story to help propel it forward.

“Tujhse aisa uljha, dil dhaaga dhaaga khincha,
dargah pe jaise ho chaadaron sa bichha
Yun hi roz yeh udhada, buna,
Qissa ishq ka, kayi baar, humne phir se likha!
Sahibaan, sahibaan, chal wahaan jahaan Mirza!”

 

14. Ghar (Jab Harry Met Sejal)

Lyrics by: Irshad Kamil

A wonderful poetic song about separations and the ingenious metaphor of the empty house, this song is one of the most underrated songs of the year. Kamil really knows how to pen heart-touching lyrics, and with Imtiaz Ali and Pritam, it just gets better.

“Humse jaane kyun bewajah, jalte hain faaslein,
Milna tere gale par, milte hain ye gale,
Aaja mita, yeh jo hai faasla tera mera,
Khali hai Jo tere bina, main woh ghar hoon tera!”

 

13. Rafu (Tumhari Sulu)

Lyrics by: Santanu Ghatak

Newcomer composer Santanu Ghatak strikes gold with his debut song from ‘Tumhari Sulu’, and the best part is that, he writes the lyrics himself and that too, so amazing. A taste of what’s in store:

“Teri bani raahein, meri thi deewarein,
Unn deewaron pe abb maine likh li baharein,
Abb shaam hui, tu jo aaya, so gayi thi kaliyaan,
Kuch tuney si hai maine ki hai rafu, yeh doriyaan!”

 

12. Jaane De (Qarib Qarib Singlle)

Lyrics by: Raj Shekhar

Raj Shekhar — a lyricist who comes to the Bollywood scene once in a blue moon, returned this year with this song, and what a beautiful piece of poetry he has written!

“Behtar toh yeh hota, hum mile hi na hotey, magar jaane de..
Aadatan toh sochenge, hota yun toh kya hota, magar jaane de.”

 

11. Sapne Re (Secret Superstar)

Lyrics by: Kausar Munir

One more on the list by Kausar, from ‘Secret Superstar’. This one is all about dreaming, and the positive and cute lyrics by Kausar are such that anyone who has a dream to fulfil, can relate to! The feeling that a teenage girl gets when

“Aaja diary mein chhupa doon, aaja tujhko choti mein baandhoon
kahin kisi ko na dikh jaaye, sapne re, sapne re, sapne mere!”

 

10. O Re Kaharo (Begum Jaan)

Lyrics by: Kausar Munir

Once again, lyricist genius Kausar Munir writes a heart-rending bidaai song, but it transforms into a very dark and heavy song, lyrically. Test this:

“Jhumke jhoomar, naak ki kilein, ek ek karke utrenge saare,
Deti hoon tujhko jo nazrein churaake, chunari duaaon ki ye rakhna tu pehle”

 

9. Sune Saaye (Dear Maya)

Lyrics by: Irshad Kamil

This motivational song motivates you to be ready for your luck to change by 180 degrees, and keep your heart open for the numerous opportunities or roads to happiness that might be awaiting you! Kamil once again pens down beautiful words.

“Bas darvaaza kholke rakhna, khud ko itna bol ke rakhna
Aaye na mujhko, Sab rishton ko, naap ke rakhna, tol ke rakhna
Main hoon badi naadaan, poore hoke armaan,
koi pyaara mehmaan jaane, kahaan se kabhi bhi aa jaaye..”

 

8. O Re Manwa (Secret Superstar)

Lyrics by: Kausar Munir

Another one from the Secret Superstar album, by Kausar Munir. Enjoy this one without too much of a description, which will just prevent you from enjoying it earlier!

“Tinke tinke ko jodke, kyun main puliyaan banaane lagi?
woh maine chhod ke kyun nadiyaan banaane lagi?
Taare taare ko tod ke, kyun main jhoomar banaane lagi?
Chaand churaake kyun ghar main sajaane lagi?”

 

7. Phir Wahi (Jagga Jasoos)

Lyrics by: Amitabh Bhattacharya

A father-son relationship is always shown quite poignantly in our films. However, here is one song where Amitabh Bhattacharya very perfectly captures the emotion between a father (though he isn’t Jagga’s real father) and his son.

“Dil kyun joda agar dil dukhaana tha,
Aaye kyun thhe agar tumko jaana tha?
Jaate jaate labon pe bahaana tha, phir wahi..”

 

6. Enna Sona (OK Jaanu)

Lyrics by: Gulzar

The first big film of the year had a wonderful album by Rahman, including most of the Tamil film ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’s songs, remade into Hindi. However, lyricist Gulzar had to write two new songs for the Hindi audience, and one of them was this one — a heart-warming song written entirely in Punjabi.

“Kol hove te sekh lagda ae, door jaave te dil jalda ae,
Kedi agg naal, rab ne banaaya, rab ne banaaya, rab ne banaaya?
Enna sona kyun rab ne banaaya?”

 

5. Tera Noor (Tiger Zinda Hai)

Lyrics by: Irshad Kamil

Lyrically, this album was the weak point in Irshad Kamil’s career this year, but he wrote one such song that is about the way the world has changed for the worse, and it really deserves to be in the top 5 lyrics of the year. The song, fabulously crooned by Jyoti Nooran, goes like this:

“Jo thi tere wajood pe duniya, baithi hai baarood pe duniya,
Mool toh sabko bhool gaya hai, jeeti hai ab sood pe duniya,
Saare qaayde kitaabein bhool gaye, mitti mein saare phool gaye..
Mujh mein koi baat nahin, koi auqaat nahin, 
Tu hi toh hai shaan meri, tu hi hai guroor!
Kyun door… Tera noor…
Zikr-e-ilahi ka jab hai, mujhko surroor!”

 

4. Yeh Ishq Hai (Rangoon)

Lyrics by: Gulzar

This list won’t be complete without a song by Gulzar from ‘Rangoon’! This song describes the heart as a Sufi poet, and Gulzar’s piece of poetry is just perfect to complement that!

“Bekhud sa rehta hai, yeh kaisa Sufi hai,
Jaage toh Tabrizi, bole toh Rumi hai,
Yeh Ishq Hai re, yeh ishq hai!”

 

3. Hai Zaroori (Noor)

Lyrics by: Manoj Muntashir

Another very less noticed song of the year, but such  beautiful lyrics by Muntashir deserve to be noticed. The song is all about the difficulties in life and how crying sometimes helps a lot in finding a way out!

“Muskuraane ke, kitne bahaane thhe,
Phir bhi Aankhon ne, kyun nami chun li?
Dil ki baatein toh Sab aasmaani thi,
Hum hi pagal thhe, iss dil ki Jo sun li!”

 

2. Maana Ke Hum Yaar Nahin (Meri Pyaari Bindu)

Lyrics by: Kausar Munir

This has been on the top of my lyrics list for almost half of the year, until the one that’s below it released! A beautiful ghazal from the point of view of ex-lovers, and Munir weaves the words so carefully and thoughtfully. The result is this:

“Phool jo bandh hai, panno mein toh, usko dhool bana dena,
Baat chhide jo, meri kahin tum, usko bhool bata dena,
Lekin woh bhool ho aisi, ki jisse bazaar nahin,
Tu jo soye toh, meri tarah, ik pal ko bhi karnar nahin!
Maana ke hum yaar nahin!”

 

1. Safar (Jab Harry Met Sejal)

Lyrics by: Irshad Kamil

So the best lyrics also belong to the best album of the year, huh? And not surprising either, because Irshad Kamil and Imtiaz Ali’s collaborations always result in a song based on travel, and just like all those, this one too, is perfectly written!

(The entire song is amazing: can’t choose any particular lyrics!)


 

So those were the lyrics awards for 2017! Stay tuned for the countdowns and awards for the other departments too! 🙂

P.S. I hope I finish this year itself! 😅😆

2017 – THE YEAR THAT WAS (2017 ANNUAL WRAP-UP: PART 1)

As I did last year, I will summarize the various music albums that released this year, highlighting my favourites, my least favourites and some individuals who really didn’t fail to impress me the year round. 2017 was the year of Remakes for me, and my idea of counting the remakes resulted in a total of 40+ remakes (including remakes of pop singles) this year! The year was full of music by many well-known composers like Pritam, Amit Trivedi, Sachin-Jigar and many new talents, out of which especially Tanishk Bagchi scored high with his amazing and unconventional sound. Also, his reunion (occasionally) with his partner Vayu Srivastava also brought about a string of enjoyable numbers like the entire album for “Shubh Mangal Saavdhan”. As for composers I missed this year, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy top my list. However, next year they are returning with many albums, thankfully. Himesh Reshammiya is also somebody I missed this year; though he might not have provided the best music. Anyway, let’s get on with the month-wise summary. I apologize in advance if it is too long. I hope it keeps you hooked!

2017 – The Year That Was

January

The year started on such a low note, right in the midst of me still being obsessed with December 2016’s ‘Dangal’ by Pritam and ‘Befikre’ by Vishal-Shekhar, and the absence of good new music just made me keep listening to those two soundtracks on loop. For instance, the first album of 2017 to release was T-Series’ Kaabil, with music by Rajesh Roshan & Gourov-Roshin. Of course, Gourov-Roshin had to remake, and no wonder both the songs they remade were Rajesh Roshan songs. The only song I’d take ahead from this album would be ‘Kisi Se Pyar Ho Jaye’ by the duo, though, since it was a well-made and catchy, and most importantly, contemporary-sounding remake. The other songs by Roshan, though some were good, had very little freshness quotient. And Gourov-Roshin’s ‘Haseeno Ka Deewana’ is one of the worst songs of the year, so the less said about it, the better. The other prominent music company, Zee Music Company, had two albums in January: Coffee With D by Superbia (Gourov-Roshin-Shaan) and Raees by Ram Sampath & JAM8. The former was forgettable — I’ve already forgotten, actually. The latter was highly disappointing as well, though. Ram Sampath struck gold in the Garba ‘Udi Udi Jaye’, and the Gujju folk ‘Ghammar Ghammar’, but the rest was quite underwhelming, including a remake of ‘Laila O Laila’, which, by the way, had amazing percussion by Taufiq Qureshi. Out of JAM8’s three songs, clearly only ‘Zaalima’ has passed the test.
Sikhya Entertainment released the song from HARAAMKHOR, a typical Jasleen Kaur Royal song, but pleasant and breezy at that. Sony Music won the race in January, with the album of the debacle of a film, OK JAANU. A.R. Rahman dubbed most of his songs from ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’ for the film (the best being ‘Saajan Aayo Re’), not to mention two new beauties, ‘Sunn Bhavara’ and ‘Enna Sona’. Of course, a remake by Tanishk Bagchi featured, of a Rahman song, ‘Humma Humma’ (Bombay), which was also great if not excellent.
However, at the end of January, I was still more into ‘Dangal’ and ‘Befikre’ than these new developments!

 

February

February was quite similar to January in terms of quantity — I only reviewed four albums, and they were two each on Junglee Music & T-Series. Junglee Music ‘s account for the year started off with an underwhelming album to Irada, with Neeraj Shridhar trying a hand at composition, and succeeding only in the melodious portions of the album. Weird, because he usually sings upbeat numbers. Clearly, he composes the soft ones better! Papon’s ‘Chand Rajai Odhe’ and Harshdeep’s ‘Mahi’ stood out, but don’t make a mark when we consider the entire year. Junglee’s second album was a pleasant surprise — Running Shaadi, with its many composers, was an album I was expecting almost nothing from. Abhishek-Akshay, who never impressed me much in the past, scored high with two out of three of their songs, namely the enjoyably corny ‘Pyaar Ka Test’ and the upbeat ‘Mannerless Majnu’. Newcomer Keegan Pinto too, impressed with his songs, and Anupam Roy as always provided the much needed level-headed romance to the album.
T-Series started off with Jolly L.LB 2, another good multicomposer album from which I expected nothing but got much more. Chirrantan Bhatt’s ‘Bawara Mann’ would probably be one of the most memorable romantic songs of Bollywood. The others by Manj Musik, Meet Bros. and Vishal Khurana were situational, but enjoyable. Vishal Khurana’s Qawwali ‘O Re Rangreza’ was particularly beautiful. It was the mammoth Rangoon that finally became my favourite album of the year at that time, and made me forget my obsession with ‘Dangal’ and ‘Befikre’. Vishal Bhardwaj’s movies are always dream projects and thus, his whole heart and soul goes into making the film along with its music. The 12 tracks on the album were a show of sheer creativity and innovation, even by using the retro setting of the film. Songs like ‘Julia’, ‘Tippa’, ‘Mere Miyan Gaye England’ and ‘Bloody Hell’ were really innovative, while ‘Yeh Ishq Hai’ and ‘Alvida’ were very stereotypical but beautiful Vishal Bhardwaj melodies.
Thus, February ended on a great note with a theme-based album, but little did I know what March had in store!!

 

March

March was a good if not great month for Bollywood music, but we did get many great albums that lay in the 80s-90s range on my percentage scale. The month saw the release of a number of films of varying popularities, ranging from some with almost zero buzz to three sequels with a great amount of buzz. T-Series had the rights to the music of these three sequels (two are spin-offs), ‘Commando 2’, ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’ and ‘Naam Shabana’. While Badrinath Ki Dulhania was a great commercial album, with no song out of place or dislikeable, made with the help of three composers — Amaal Mallik, Tanishk Bagchi & newcomer Akhil Sachdeva. Naam Shabana was yet another album where the music seemed just like a side thing, and wasn’t really needed. That being said, composer Rochak Kohli did give two great songs ‘Rozana’ and ‘Zinda’ sung by Shreya and Sunidhi respectively. However, Commando 2 was a huge disappointment, composer Mannan Shaah unable to produce anything as good as the album to the first film. Armaan Malik’s ‘Tere Dil Mein’ was a brief respite though. Another big album on T-Series’ list this month was the folk-inspired Phillauri, by newcomer Shashwat Sachdev and Jasleen Royal. Jasleen’s two songs fit perfectly into her two different templates — the first being the typical Jasleen wedding song, and the other being the typical Jasleen melody — that being said, both were good songs, the latter being relaunched just recently due to the Virushka wedding! But main composer Shashwat shined with his Punjabi folk songs, and a club song with an amazing mix of hip-hop and Punjabi folk. Machine was another T-Series album, composed by Tanishk Bagchi, with one special song by Dr. Zeus. The album was highly forgettable and you wouldn’t know there was a film called ‘Machine’ had it not been for the later released ‘Cheez Badi’, a remake by Tanishk of Viju Shah’s song from ‘Mohra’, which is the only song that hit the charts or got noticed by the nation.

It was Zee Music Company’s Poorna by Salim-Sulaiman that stole the thunder this month and surpassed even ‘Rangoon’ in terms of ratings. Three heart-touching songs on the album, but alas, it went highly unnoticed, like all great albums do. Anaarkali of Aarah was another surprise from composer Rohit Sharma, another album that dared to maintain its songs according to the script. A wonderful thumri by Rekha Bhardwaj is one of the best songs of the year! Zee’s last album for the month was Trapped, another script based album, proving to be the launch vehicle of composer Alokananda Dasgupta. The songs were good, but aimed at a niche audience, and mostly background pieces. Thus, March brought on a mix of great and disappointing albums.

 

April

In April, a very small number of films released as compared to March. Bollywood produced only four albums (that I chose to review), while the other two I reviewed were a dubbed film (Bahubali 2) and a Tamil film (Kaatru Veliyidai). Keeping “Kaatru Veliyidai” aside, I’ll talk about the Hindi music.
T-Series had two albums this month — Noor by Amaal Mallik, and ‘Maatr’ by Fuzon and Kavita Seth. ‘Noor’ was Amaal’s second solo album after “M.S. Dhoni – The Untold Story” and once again, he proved that he is one of the only composers among the current batch, who has the calibre of delivering a nice and complete album. In particular, ‘Hai Zaroori’ was an amazing sad song, sung beautifully by Prakriti Kakar. Maatr, on the other hand, was a yawn fest, with a song that was almost eight minutes long!
Zee Music Company too, had two albums to its credit this month — ‘Mirza Juuliet’ by Krsna Solo, and ‘Baahubali 2: The Conclusion’ by M.M. Kreem. Mirza Juuliet was a good album, but most of it was very heard-before and not meeting the level of Krsna’s earlier work. However, Javed Bashir’s qawwali, ‘Seene Mein Lagi Hai Aag’ was delightful! Baahubali 2: The Conclusion was another album to a sequel, where the composer is expected to do better than the first instalment, but ends up delivering something that is relatively worse. Nevertheless, ‘Soja Zara’ still remains one of my favourite songs of the year, and my favourite song from both the ‘Baahubali’ albums together.
Times Music had the best album of the month, Anu Malik’s Begum Jaan, a beautiful mélange of classical and folk-based melodies, with heart and soul, transporting one to Anu Malik’s old albums like “Refugee” and “Border”.
All in all, April was a month where we heard some pleasant music!

 

May

In May, I reviewed five albums, and all five were on different music labels, which is quite a rare sight!
T-Series had its home production Hindi Medium‘s album to its credit, with a multicomposer soundtrack including Sachin-Jigar, Guru Randhawa, Intense, Rajat Nagpal and Abhijit Vaghani scoring for its songs. The soundtrack itself was forgettable, even though Sachin-Jigar had done two of its songs — of which ‘Ik Jindari’ was an amazing motivational ballad.
Sachin-Jigar returned to the scene with a bang with YRF’s Meri Pyaari Bindu, a beautiful album that remained the best album of the year for quite some time, before ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’ by Pritam surpassed it three months later! The songs were full of variety, and included my favourite song of the year — ‘Maana Ke Hum Yaar Nahin’, which is probably the most emotional melody I’ve heard in a substantial amount of time! With this soundtrack, Sachin-Jigar proved that they too, have the potential to become the next Pritam, or Vishal-Shekhar, or Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, and prove that they can score for rom-coms just as well as these three titans can!
Zee Music Company had a much-hyped album to its credit this month — Half Girlfriend, because all of Mohit Suri’s films have had memorable albums. However, this time, the music missed the bullseye big time, and the large horde of composers including Mithoon, Tanishk Bagchi, Farhan Saeed, Rahul Mishra, Ami Mishra and Rishi Rich. If I were to choose one song though, it would be Farhan Saeed’s ‘Thodi Der’. P.S. The English songs were a miserable attempt at making things sound international.
The docu-drama Sachin: A Billion Dreams, had music by A.R. Rahman, and this album which was on Times Music, though very short, was quite in line with the movie’s theme, and the delightful ‘Mard Maratha’ saw Rahman roping in a young talent Anjali Gaikwad, who later happened to participate, and WIN Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li’l Champs this year!
Eros Music had the worst album of the month, and probably the year, which was the album to Sarkar 3, an album full of weird ‘Govinda Govinda’ chants in each and every song. The album could best be described as an officially released background score of the film.
So, as you see, May was a mixed bag as far as music was concerned, ‘Meri Pyaari Bindu’ being the only fully worthwhile album on the list!

 

June

June was Zee Music’s month, with them having the rights to three albums that month. The best of the three was undoubtedly Anupam Roy’s Dear Maya, with its beautiful, classically-inclined music, and wonderful lyrics by Irshad Kamil. Sandman had a guest composition which wasn’t as great. Next was the multicomposer Behen Hogi Teri, including songs from composers like Rishi Rich, Jaidev Kumar, Amjad-Nadeem, Kaushik-Akash-Guddu & Yash Narvekar. The album was good, as a rom-com’s album, but as is the case of most multicomposer albums, it would’ve been much better off, had it been composed by a single person. The last album with Zee this month was the album to the horror flick Dobaara. The album, along with the film, tanked, though it had one great song each by Arko Pravo Mukherjee and Samira Koppikar.
Out of T-Series’ two albums, Raabta by Pritam (initially), and JAM8 (eventually) and Meet Bros. was an enjoyable album, but not up to the Dinesh Vijan standard. Hence, even though it topped charts, it didn’t top the Music Mastani charts. The best to come out of the album was the introduction of the tropical house genre through its title track, and also the debut of Nikhita Gandhi! T-Series’ other album was the banal Sweetiee Weds NRI, of which I can only remember that I had loved a song by Arko, and nothing else.
The last two albums were on different music labels — YRF’s ‘Bank Chor’ and Sony Music’s ‘Tubelight’. Pritam’s charming music in Tubelight made it the album of the month, whereas the horde of multicomposer in Bank Chor could not really keep up with the comedy genre of the film, and provided a mixed affair — Rochak Kohli faring best with his song ‘Tashreef’.
At the end of June, though, a lot of new chart busters had been added to the playlist, and that’s commendable!

 

July

This month in Bollywood music was one which I wouldn’t mind if it hadn’t even existed, save for one or two albums.
Of course, the default favourite is Pritam’s Jagga Jasoos, which was on T-Series, but I would have appreciated if the company had released the background songs that played in the film, and given the composer his due for his immense four years of hard work! It’s a very saddening sight to have to see him plead to the makers for its release!!
T-Series also owned the rights to the music of the thriller Mom, a soundtrack by A.R. Rahman that was highly experimental and hence overlooked, but I would say, it was a result of a lot of effort and consistent work. The sound effects throughout the album not only increased the suspenseful feeling while watching the movie, but also gave a very unconventional sound to a script that was quite stale.
Lipstick Under My Burkha by debutante composer Zebunnisa Bangash was another worthy album this month — with its short duration, it still managed to put across the message it needed to.
Also on T-Series was the music for the comedy Mubarakan, another multicomposer album, where only Amaal Mallik shined. Rishi Rich’s title track was good too, but Gourov-Roshin’s parts of the album were avoidable!
Guest Iin London was a banal album by Raghav Sachar and Amit Mishra, but T-Series’ last album of the month, Raag Desh was an amazing patriotic delight, marking the debt of Rana Mazumder as a composer, and with a guest composition by Siddharth Pandit. The album was truly one of the surprise albums of the year.
Saregama had the rights to the album of Indu Sarkar, one of the most mediocre works from Anu Malik’s studio, with extra long songs that tested our patience only two minutes into them.
Tips Music’s Shab was the ray of hope that showed that Mithoon still has that experimental potential in him, and the album was surprisingly devoid of stereotypes, and quite melodious too.
Last and definitely not the least (with its ten songs), Eros Music released the album to their production Munna Michael, yet another multicomposer album that had nothing going for it. The only song that became famous was Javed-Mohsin’s ‘Ding Dang’ — which was bad. Vishal Mishra’s ‘Pyar Ho’ was a good romantic song though.
So as you can see, there are so many worthless albums of July 2017.

 

August

August was a phenomenal month in terms of music. A lot of top composers released their works this month, and most of the albums were amazing too.
The first to release was Divo Music’s album to the dubbed Hindi version of Dhanush-Kajol starrer VIP 2 – Lalkar, of which the songs were not made to connect with Bollywood audiences, and hence, I don’t really remember anything!
T-Series released three albums this month — all either great or good. Partition 1947 was another short album by Rahman, where the song ‘Do Dilon Ke’ shined among two other folk songs. Toilet – Ek Prem Katha scored high despite having a multicomposer album, and more importantly, comprising only debutant composers! All three debutants, of which two were duos, seized the opportunity and gave their best, Manas-Shikhar scoring highest with their ‘Gori Tu Latth Maar’. The use of seasoned singers for three out of four songs (Sonu Nigam, Shreya Ghoshal, Sukhwinder Singh & Sunidhi Chauhan) was another reason the songs appealed so much to the ears. T-Series’ last this month, and their best, was Sachin-Jigar’s album to the action comedy A Gentleman, which was one of those albums that makes itself appear as a complete and wholesome album. The international sound that many of the songs carried was commendable.
Zee Music’s sole album this month was Bareilly Ki Barfi, a multicomposer album with Tanishk Bagchi, Tanishk-Vayu, Samira Koppikar and Arko Pravo Mukherjee doing the honours. The upbeat songs by Tanishk and Tanishk-Vayu were the best, while the romantic songs by Samira and Arko followed suit.
Albums which I expected nothing from, like Saregama’s Babumoshai Bandookbaaz, too, fared well this month. Gaurav Dagaonkar got his due in the industry after a long time meddling in small works here and there.
Eros Music’s Sniff was one album I strictly disliked, and avoided listening to during my repeat listening of the entire year’s albums.
YRF’s Qaidi Band by Amit Trivedi was an album that proved yet again after “Bombay Velvet” that Amit Trivedi can compose an entire album based on one theme, given the situations! The use of only two singers for the entire album made it more unconventional, and it didn’t even make the listening experience boring like when Arijit sings all the songs in movies like “Aashiqui 2”. Also, YRF’s release strategy for he album was amazing; they released the entire album without releasing any singles! A brave move, but it hampered the business of the album. Anyway, music lovers like you and me, lapped it up.
And now for the month’s, and year’s best: Pritam’s Jab Harry Met Sejal. Sony Music’s terrible release strategy notwithstanding, the album is truly one of Pritam’s best works of all time, and with Imtiaz Ali’s clear vision, it turned out to be a mélange of many genres, many situations and many different musical styles. It also marked Sunidhi and Mohit singing for Pritam after long times! (2013-2015 was the last time either of them sang for him.)
With the conclusion of August, music lovers were as happy as a dog given a life long supply of dog food. There was only one really bad album, and that was a very insignificant one too, if I may say so.

 

September

September was almost as strong as August, musically. Again, it had many top composers’ works releasing, and many new talents shining.
First of all, Eros Music, who had just gotten over the failures if ‘Munna Michael’ and ‘Sniff’ in the past two months, finally earned themselves a feather in their cap with the best album of September, thanks to Tanishk-Vayu and their phenomenally enjoyable album to the comedy Shubh Mangal Saavdhan. The quirky and never-heard-before music was something characteristic of Tanishk-Vayu, and especially ‘Kanha’ remains the favourite song of the year for a number of people. Later on, Eros Music also launched the album of Newton, wherein Rachita Arora made a very promising debut with two versions of her satirical song “Chal Tu Apna Kaam Kar”.
T-Series had mannnnnny albums to their credit this year. The best was undoubtedly Sachin-Jigar’s album to Simran. The album was great, but I now realise it was a very temporary album, as in, its effect has worn off with time. Still, the music still tops anything else that released that month. Sachin-Jigar and T-Series also collaborated for Sanjay Dutt’s cry fest Bhoomi, where a dip in quality was noticed in their music, but it was still quite good, not bad.
T-Series’ other albums included ‘Lucknow Central’, ‘Daddy’, ‘Judwaa 2′, Poster Boys’ and ‘Baadshaho’. The best according to me was the multicomposer Lucknow Central, where Arjunna Harjaie returned after a year and a half and showcased immense talent in composing three of the best songs of the album. Rochak Kohli and Tanishk Bagchi joined to compose other good songs for the album. Of course, the superhit Judwaa 2 half became a superhit thanks to its music, which, though I didn’t care much for it, did top charts. The two remakes by Sandeep Shirodkar were many people’s favourites, though I preferred the original songs, by Meet Bros. and Sajid-Wajid. Speaking of Sajid-Wajid, they had only three songs by them released this year. The other two were from Daddy, and were good as always in arrangements, but bad in their compositions. Olefonken, Norwegian DJ joined them for the last song of the album, a stupid remake of Bappi Lahiri’s ‘Zindagi Meri Dance Dance’.
The other two were also avoidable albums — Baadshaho being one of the worst albums to come out of Milan Luthria’s list of albums. Poster Boys too, was an album I didn’t care to listen to again while revisiting the albums.
The last album was Saregama’s Haseena Parkar by Sachin-Jigar, another not-upto-the-mark album by them, but not bad either!
So September ended with me looping the album of ‘Shubh Mangal Saavdhan’!

 

October

October served as the calm after the storm, even though it too had its share of great albums.
T-Series had three albums this month, the best being Raghu Dixit’s Chef which left us wishing Raghu composed for more films in Bollywood! Amaal Mallik’s guest composition ‘Tere Mere’ was beautiful too. The other albums on T-Series this month were Golmaal Again by Amaal Mallik, DJ Chetas, Lijo George, and Thaman S., And ‘Ranchi Diaries’ by Nickk, Jeet Gannguli (his only song this year!), Tony Kakkar and Bobby-Imran. ‘Golmaal Again’ was another album where Amaal Mallik shined among the other composers, though it wasn’t that his songs were exceptional too. Ranchi Diaries was another album I ‘forgot’ to listen to again. You know why.
‘Golmaal Again’ featured a remake of the song “Aate Jaate Hanste Gaate” from ‘Maine Pyaar Kiya’, and its rights were in Saregama. Abhishek Arora’s remake was fine, not great.
Zee Music too had four albums this month, the best being Amit Trivedi’s Rukh, which Zee hasn’t even released completely yet. Two songs that have released though, are exceptional. Amit Trivedi also had Secret Superstar on Zee Music this year, and it was another amazing thing hat he was able to compose from the point of view of a fourteen-year-old aspirant singer. Meghna Mishra got her dream debut in an Aamir Khan film. Meanwhile, songs sung by seasoned singers like Sunidhi and Mika, were released towards the end, which was a really nice move. Amartya Rahut’s Tu Hai Mera Sunday was another surprisingly great album this month, while Jia Aur Jia was an amazing debut for Nisschal Zaveri, owner of Enzy Studios. Saregama also owned the rights to the remake of ‘Jia O Jia’, and Nisschal remade it very craftily.
October was a good month for music, but the music was not the usual loud, chartbuster music that we get every Diwali. Rather, it was soft, subdued, and just the way I like it!

 

November

November was another mixed bag. A number of albums of varying degrees of excellence released. T-Series itself released five of the ten albums. The multicomposer Tumhari Sulu was T-Series’ chartbuster album this month; it’s songs were lapped up by the public. Mikey McCleary and Sagar Desai’s Ribbon too, was an unconventional and calm album. Shail-Pritesh’s Dil Jo Na Keh Saka proved that they can arrange better than compose, and Bappi Lahiri’s  Ram Ratan should never have released (or maybe I should never have mustered up the courage to listen to it). The album to The House Next Door by Girissh G, was commendable, but only one song, i.e, ‘O Mere Sanam’ was a great romantic song of Mithoon’s level.
Zee Music too, owned one good and one great album. The good album was the multicomposer Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana, an album full of clichéd-ness and romance that had staled a couple of years ago. The great album on the other hand, was Rochak Kohli and Vishal Mishra’s Qarib Qarib Singlle, also the best album of the month. The songs were novel-sounding and catchy, making it enjoyable.
Saregama released the only song of Ittefaq, an above average remake of “Raat Baaki” from “Namak Halaal”, recreated by Tanishk Bagchi.
Divo Music released the multicomposer album to Julie 2, another album I was frightened to listen to again.
Last up was Mithoon’s album to Aksar 2 released by Tips, which was an album that degraded in quality with every next song.
November really was a mixed bag.

 

December

December was the month where T-Series could’ve had ‘Padmavati’s music to its credit, but since the release got postponed indefinitely, they had to instead own the rights to only Raaj Aashoo’s mediocre album to Tera Intezaar.
Zee Music fared better; Jatinder Shah’s album to Firangi was a treat for folk music lovers, and people who live music that shows the real Punjabi culture. They also had the rights for Fukrey Returns, a rare multicomposer album that was alright and not all that bad. Shaarib-Toshi’s ‘Ishq De Fanniyar’ stood out among the many songs.

Saregama’s Monsoon Shootout was an album that, in spite of being good, will be (and has been) wiped out among the influx of the 2018 albums and Tiger Zinda Hai, the last album of the year, and Vishal-Shekhar’s only album of the year. The album is great in that Vishal-Shekhar do not resort to the usual Salman herogiri, except in ‘Swag Se Swagat’, and also do not hesitate from experimenting with the sound. Sadly, it doesn’t have much of repeat value.
Thus, the year ended on quite a weak note, and frankly, the period from March to May and August to October were the only strong points in music this year!

 

So there was my roundup of 2017! Stay tuned for the lists (if I get proper time, they’ll be posted soon) of top singers, lyricists etc! Till then, adios!

THE ALBUMS OF 2016 (2016 MUSIC MASTANI ANNUAL WRAP-UP: PART 4)

We saw the best lyrics and singers of 2016, now it’s time to talk about the albums. So I decided not to do a separate work on composers as it gets way too personal that way, plus I have less time, plus I’ve done something similar to a composers article in the first part which was a composer-wise summary of each album, but with the composer’s works scattered across the article instead of under one heading. Anyway, this might be the last part of my Wrap-Up before we return to my usual reviews.

So this article will be about the albums of 2016 — the best, the worst, the underrated and the disappointing.

 

Best Albums of 2016 (Top 30)

(Click on the album’s name to hear the songs on YouTube)

• 30 – 21 (The ‘Could’ve-Been-Better’)

30. HAPPY BHAG JAYEGI

Music By: Sohail Sen
Lyrics By: Mudassar Aziz & Dee MC
Singers: Harshdeep Kaur, Shahid Mallya, Neeti Mohan, Mika Singh, Tarannum Malik, Danish Sabri, Altamash Faridi, Arijit Singh & Javed Ali
Music Label: Eros Music
Music Mastani Rating: 
Personal Favourite Song (a.k.a, A Song I Would Take With Me to 2017, If I Had To Pick Only One and Forget the Rest, Literally!): Zara Si Dosti

 

29. ROCKY HANDSOME

Music By: Sunny-Inder Bawra, Bombay Rockers & Ankit Tiwari
Lyrics By: Manoj Muntashir, Sagar Lahauri, Sachin Pathak, Shekhar Astitwa, Bombay Rockers & Abhendra Kumar Upadhyay
Singers: Shreya Ghoshal, Sunny Bawra, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Sunidhi Chauhan, Bombay Rockers & Ankit Tiwari
Music Label: T-Series
Music Mastani Rating: Not Rated, Would Be a ध
Personal Favourite Song: Rehnuma

 

28. AZHAR

Music By: Amaal Mallik, Pritam Chakraborty, DJ Chetas & Kalyanji-Anandji
Lyrics by: Rashmi-Virag, Manoj Yadav, Anand Bakshi & Kumaar
Singers: Armaan Malik, Arijit Singh, Antara Mitra, Sonu Nigam, Prakriti Kakar, Aditi Singh Sharma & K.K.
Music Label: T-Series
Music Mastani Rating: नी
Personal Favourite Song: Tu Hi Na Jaane

 

27. BANJO

Music By: Vishal-Shekhar
Lyrics By: Amitabh Bhattacharya
Singers: Vishal Dadlani, Hriday Gattani, Nakash Aziz, Shalmali Kholgade & Ajay Gogavale
Music Label: Eros Music
Music Mastani Rating: 
Personal Favourite Song: Udan Choo

 

26. BUDHIA SINGH: BORN TO RUN

Music By: Hitesh Sonik, Sidhant Mathur & Ishaan Chhabra
Lyrics By: Prashant Ingole, Gopal Datt, Abhishek Dubey & Kantakabi Laxmikanta Mohapatra
Singers: Siddharth Mahadevan, Arhaan Khan, Rituraj Mohanty, Mohan Kannan, Sidhant Mathur, Chintan Kalra, Aashna, Nanki, Jahnvi, Shairee, Kshitij & Malvika
Music Label: Zee Music Company
Music Mastani Rating: नी
Personal Favourite Song: Born To Run (Anthem)

 

25. NEERJA

Music By: Vishal Khurana
Lyrics By: Prasoon Joshi
Singers: Kavita Seth, Arun Ingle, Archana Gore, Pragati Mukund Joshi, Mayuri Patwardhan, Mandar Apte, R.N. Iyer, Mohan Kannan, Neha Bhasin, Shekhar Ravjiani, Shadab Faridi, Farhan Sabri & Sunidhi Chauhan
Music Label: T-Series
Music Mastani Rating: Not Rated, Would Be a नी
Personal Favourite Song: Gehra Ishq

 

24. RUSTOM

Music By: Ankit Tiwari, Jeet Gannguli, Arko Pravo Mukherjee & Raghav Sachar
Lyrics By: Manoj Muntashir, Mandar Cholkar & Arko Pravo Mukherjee
Singers: Ankit Tiwari, Shreya Ghoshal, Arijit Singh, Palak Muchhal, Jubin Nautiyal, Aakanksha Sharma, Sukriti Kakar, Jasraj Joshi, Atif Aslam & Arko Pravo Mukherjee
Music Label: Zee Music Company
Music Mastani Rating: 
Personal Favourite Song: Dekha Hazaro Dafaa

 

23. AIRLIFT

Music By: Amaal Mallik & Ankit Tiwari
Lyrics by: Kumaar
Singers: Arijit Singh, Tulsi Kumar, Ankit Tiwari, Brijesh Shandilya, Divya Kumar & K.K.
Music Label: T-Series
Music Mastani Rating: Not Rated, Would Be a नी
Personal Favourite Song: Tu Bhoola Jise

 

22. WAITING

Music By: Mikey McCleary
Lyrics by: Manoj Muntashir, Mikey McCleary & Ankur Tewari
Singers: Nikhil D’Souza, Anushka Manchanda, Mikey McCleary, Vishal Dadlani & Kavita Seth
Music Label: Zee Music Company
Music Mastani Rating: सां
Personal Favourite Song: Zara Zara

 

21. TE3N

Music By: Clinton Cerejo
Lyrics by: Amitabh Bhattacharya
Singers: Clinton Cerejo, Amitabh Bachchan, Benny Dayal, Divya Kumar, Bianca Gomes & Vishal Dadlani
Music Label: T-Series
Music Mastani Rating: नी
Personal Favourite Song: Rootha

 

• 20 – 11 (The ‘Just-A-Tad-Less’)

20. MOHENJO DARO

Music By: A.R. Rahman
Lyrics By: Javed Akhtar
Singers: A.R. Rahman, Sanah Moidutty, Arijit Singh, Bela Shende, Shashaa Tirupati, Shashwat Singh & Arjun Chandy
Music Label: T-Series
Music Mastani Rating: नी
Personal Favourite Song: Sarsariya

 

19. A FLYING JATT

Music By: Sachin-Jigar
Lyrics By: Vayu Shrivastav, Raftaar, Priya Saraiya & Mayur Puri
Singers: Mansheel Gujral, Raftaar, Tanishkaa Sanghvi, Atif Aslam, Sumedha Karmahe, Kanika Kapoor, Vayu Shrivastav, Sachin Sanghvi, Jigar Saraiya, Vishal Dadlani, Divya Kumar, Asees Kaur, Daler Mehndi & Navraj Hans
Music Label: Zee Music Company
Music Mastani Rating: नी
Personal Favourite Song: Toota Jo Kabhi Taara

 

18. DEAR ZINDAGI

Music By: Amit Trivedi & Ilaiyaraaja
Lyrics By: Kausar Munir & Gulzar
Singers: Jasleen Kaur Royal, Sunidhi Chauhan, Arijit Singh, Vishal Dadlani & Alia Bhatt
Music Label: Sony Music
Music Mastani Rating: नी
Personal Favourite Song: Tu Hi Hai

 

17. KAPOOR & SONS (SINCE 1921)

Music By: Amaal Mallik, Badshah, Tanishk Bagchi, Arko Pravo Mukherjee, Benny Dayal & Nucleya
Lyrics by: Badshah, Kumaar, Dr. Devender Kafir, Abhiruchi Chand, Christopher Pradeep & Manoj Muntashir
Singers: Badshah, Fazilpuria, Sukriti Kakar, Neha Kakkar, Arijit Singh, Asees Kaur, Armaan Malik, Benny Dayal & Arko Pravo Mukherjee
Music Label: Sony Music
Music Mastani Rating: Not Rated, Would Be a नी
Personal Favourite Song: Saathi Rey

 

16. JAI GANGAAJAL

Music By: Salim-Sulaiman
Lyrics by: Manoj Muntashir & Prakash Jha
Singers: Pravesh Mallick, Sukhwinder Singh, Udit Narayan, Keerthi Sagathia, Richa Sharma, Divya Kumar, Bappi Lahiri, Sugandha Date, Arijit Singh & Amruta Fadnavis
Music Label: Zee Music Company
Music Mastani Rating: Not Rated, Would Be a नी
Personal Favourite Song: Maai

 

15. SANAM TERI KASAM

Music By: Himesh Reshammiya
Lyrics By: Sameer Anjaan, Shabbir Ahmed, Himesh Reshammiya & Subrat Sinha
Singers: Ankit Tiwari, Palak Muchhal, Neeti Mohan, Akasa Singh, Darshan Raval, Himesh Reshammiya, Arijit Singh, Sreeram Chandra & Mohammed Irfan
Music Label: Eros Music
Music Mastani Rating: Not Rated, Would Be a नी
Personal Favourite Song: Haal-e-Dil (Female)

 

14. SARBJIT

Music By: Shail-Pritesh, Amaal Mallik, Jeet Gannguli, Shashi-Shivamm & Tanishk Bagchi
Lyrics by: Rashmi-Virag, Sandeep Singh, A.M. Turaz, Jaani, Late Haider Najmi & Arafat Mehmood
Singers: Arijit Singh, Tulsi Kumar, Sonu Nigam, Sukhwinder Singh, Shail Hada, Sunidhi Chauhan, Kalpana Gandharv, Shafqat Amanat Ali, Munnawar Masoom, Shashaa Tirupati, Altamash Faridi, Rabbani Mustafa Khan, Arsh Mohammad & Supriya Pathak
Music Label: T-Series
Music Mastani Rating: नी
Personal Favourite Song: Allah Hu Allah

 

13. UDTA PUNJAB

Music By: Amit Trivedi
Lyrics By: Shellee, Late Shri Shiv Kumar Batalvi & Varun Grover
Singers: Shahid Mallya, Bhanu Prtap, Babu Haabi, Kanika Kapoor, Diljit Dosanjh, Vishal Dadlani & Amit Trivedi
Music Label: Zee Music Company
Music Mastani Rating: नी
Personal Favourite Song: Ikk Kudi

 

12. BAAR BAAR DEKHO

Music By: Jasleen Kaur Royal, Amaal Mallik, Arko Pravo Mukherjee, Prem Hardeep, Badshah & Bilal Saeed
Lyrics By: Prateek Kuhad, Kumaar, Arko Pravo Mukherjee, Aditya Sharma, Bilal Saeed, Amrik Singh, Badshah & Indeep Bakshi
Singers: Jasleen Kaur Royal, Prateek Kuhad, Neeti Mohan, Armaan Malik, Arko Pravo Mukherjee, Badshah, Amar Arshi, Neha Kakkar, Bilal Saeed
Music Label: Zee Music Company
Music Mastani Rating: नी
Personal Favourite Song: Nachde Ne Saare

 

11. M.S. DHONI: THE UNTOLD STORY

Music By: Amaal Mallik
Lyrics by: Manoj Muntashir
Singers: Armaan Malik, Palak Muchhal, Arijit Singh, Siddharth Basrur, Adithyan A. Prithviraj & Ananya Nanda
Music Label: T-Series
Music Mastani Rating: नी
Personal Favourite Song: Kaun Tujhe

 

• 10 – 1 (The ‘Yes-We-Made-It’)

10. NIL BATTEY SANNATA

Music By: Rohan-Vinayak
Lyrics By: Manoj Yadav, Nitesh Tiwari & Shreyas Jain
Singers: Neuman Pinto, Rohan Utpat, Aarti Shenai, Nandini Srikar, Mohan Kannan & Hariharan
Music Label: Eros Music
Music Mastani Rating: सां
Personal Favourite Song: Maula

 

9. FITOOR

Music By: Amit Trivedi
Lyrics by: Swanand Kirkire & Caralisa Monteiro
Singers: Arijit Singh, Amit Trivedi, Jubin Nautiyal, Sunidhi Chauhan, Nandini Srikar, Zebunissa Bangash & Caralisa Monteiro
Music Label: Zee Music Company
Music Mastani Rating: Not Rated, Would Be a नी
Personal Favourite Song: Hone Do Batiyaan

 

8. BOLLYWOOD DIARIES

Music By: Vipin Patwa
Lyrics By: Dr. Sagar
Singers: Arijit Singh, Javed Bashir, Pratibha Singh Baghel, Jyoti Nooran, Sultana Nooran, Papon & Soumen Chaudhary
Music Label: Zee Music Company
Music Mastani Rating: Not Rated, Would Be a सां
Personal Favourite Song: Titli

 

7. BEFIKRE

Music By: Vishal-Shekhar
Lyrics by: Jaideep Sahni
Singers: Arijit Singh, Caralisa Monteiro, Benny Dayal, Sophie Choudry, Sunidhi Chauhan, Vishal Dadlani, Nikhil D’Souza, Rachel Varghese, Papon, Gippy Grewal & Harshdeep Kaur
Music Label: YRF Music
Music Mastani Rating: सां
Personal Favourite Song: Labon Ka Karobaar

 

6. JUGNI

Music By: Clinton Cerejo & Kaashif Sahib
Lyrics By: Shellee, Baba Bulleh Shah, Kaashif Sahib, Clinton Cerejo & Waris Shah
Singers: Javed Bashir, Vishal Bhardwaj, Clinton Cerejo, Bianca Gomes, Rekha Bhardwaj, Nakash Aziz, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Jazim Sharma, Neha Kakkar & A.R. Rahman
Music Label: Sony Music
Music Mastani Rating: Not Rated, Would Be a सां
Personal Favourite Song: Bolladiyaan

 

5. SULTAN

Music By: Vishal-Shekhar
Lyrics By: Irshad Kamil & Badshah
Singers: Vishal Dadlani, Shalmali Kholgade, Isheeta Chakravarty, Badshah, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Mika Singh, Harshdeep Kaur, Mohit Chauhan, Sukhwinder Singh, Shadab Faridi, Jyoti Nooran, Sultana Nooran, Papon, Neha Bhasin & Shekhar Ravjiani
Music Label: YRF Music
Music Mastani Rating: नी
Personal Favourite Song: Bulleya

 

4. AE DIL HAI MUSHKIL

Music By: Pritam Chakraborty
Lyrics By: Amitabh Bhattacharya & Badshah
Singers: Arijit Singh, Amit Mishra, Shilpa Rao, Jonita Gandhi, Nakash Aziz, Badshah, Pardeep Singh Sran, Meenal Jain, Antara Mitra, Ash King & Shashwat Singh
Music Label: Sony Music
Music Mastani Rating: सां
Personal Favourite Song: Bulleya

 

3. DHANAK

Music By: Tapas Relia
Lyrics By: Manoj Yadav, Mir Ali Husain & Tapas Relia
Singers: Shivamm Pathak, Papon, Vibha Saraf, Chet Dixon, Devu Khan Manganiyar, Monali Thakur, Anwar Khan Manganiyar, Swaroop Khan & Niyaz Khan
Music Label: Times Music / Junglee Music
Music Mastani Rating: सां
Personal Favourite Song: Dhanak

 

2. DANGAL

Music By: Pritam Chakraborty
Lyrics By: Amitabh Bhattacharya
Singers: Sarwar Khan, Sartaz Khan Barna, Raftaar, Jonita Gandhi, Daler Mehndi, Arijit Singh, Jyoti Nooran, Sultana Nooran & Alia Bhatt
Music Label: Zee Music Company
Music Mastani Rating: सां
Personal Favourite Song: Dangal

 

1. MIRZYA

Music By: Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy
Lyrics By: Gulzar
Singers: Daler Mehndi, Akhtar Chanal, Saieen Zahoor, Jyoti Nooran, Sultana Nooran, Mame Khan, Siddharth Mahadevan, Suchismita Das, Shankar Mahadevan, Mohan Kannan, Kaushiki Chakraborty & The Salvation Singers
Music Label: T-Series
Music Mastani Rating: सां
Personal Favourite Song: Aave Re Hitchki

 

 

Those were the Top 30 albums of 2016!!

 

– 5 WORST ALBUMS OF 2016

(In other words, zero expectations and zero delivery)

• Santa Banta Pvt. Ltd. (Music by Jaidev Kumar, Jassi Katyal, Amjad-Nadeem & Millind Gaba)

• Direct Ishq (Music by Tanishk Bagchi, Vivek Kar & Raeth Band)

• Veerappan (Music by Jeet Gannguli & Sharib-Toshi)

• Mastizaade (Music by Amaal Mallik, Meet Bros. Anjjan & Anand Raaj Anand)

• Housefull 3 (Music by Sharib-Toshi, Sohail Sen, Millind Gaba, Mika Singh & Tanishk Bagchi)

 

– 10 Underrated Albums of 2016

• Dhanak (Music by Tapas Relia)

• Bollywood Diaries (Music by Vipin Patwa)

• Mirzya (Music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy)

• Jugni (Music by Clinton Cerejo)

• Nil Battey Sannata (Music by Rohan-Vinayak)

• Sarbjit (Music by Shail-Pritesh, Amaal Mallik, Jeet Gannguli, Tanishk Bagchi & Shashi-Shivamm)

• Jai Gangaajal (Music by Salim-Sulaiman)

• Te3n (Music by Clinton Cerejo)

• Waiting (Music by Mikey McCleary)

• Budhia Singh: Born To Run (Music by Hitesh Sonik, Sidhant Mathur & Ishaan Chhabra)

 

– 5 Disappointing Soundtracks of 2016

• Rock On 2 (Music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy)

• Force 2 (Music by Gourov-Roshin & Amaal Mallik)

• Kahaani 2 (Music by Clinton Cerejo)

• Dishoom (Music by Pritam Chakraborty)

• Wazir (Music by Shantanu Moitra, Rochak Kohli, Advaita, Gaurav Godkhindi & Prashant Pillai)

 

 

And with that, we come to the end of my 2016 Wrap-Up! I hope you enjoyed it, and do leave your comments below about any way to improve it next year! 🙂

SINGERS IN 2016 (2016 ANNUAL WRAP-UP: PART 3)

The singers are what infuse life into the composition of the music composers and the words of the Lyricist. I only thought it fair to dedicate Part 3 of our Music Mastani Annual Wrap-Up for 2016 to the singers of the songs we loved. After all, the singer is what matters to the “common public”, if not as much to music lovers as us!

So here we go with the countdowns for the best singers of the year 2016!

 

Best Singers of 2016

(Click on the singer’s or song’s name to hear the song on YouTube)

– Best Female Singers of 2016 (Top 20)

20. Jonita Gandhi for Sau Tarah Ke (Dishoom)

This song was Jonita’s required big break. After working for two years or so with Vishal-Shekhar and A.R. Rahman and the other odd composers, Pritam finally gave this talented girl her big break with this song, a racy dance song that flipped her image completely! I never imagined that Jonita Gandhi could’ve sung such a song, before she did!

19. Nahid Afrin for Rajj Rajj Ke (Akira)

Debutant, and former ‘Indian Idol Junior’ contestant stuck fold with her very first song. Of course, music-maker duo Vishal-Shekhar were instrumental in making this happen and become a success. The teenager sung this song with such maturity, and it is surprising! The rocking performance is something to be remembered for days!

18. Sona Mohapatra for Qatl-e-Aam Unplugged (Raman Raghav 2.0)

Despite all those controversies she created and/or reacted to (for which I salute her, by the way!) this year, she did deliver one song, comoosed by husband Ram Sampath. And whenever they get together for a song, the result is bliss. The same is the case with this song, where Sona uses her voice to he best ability, resulting in a beautiful poetic song.

17. Monali Thakur for Cham Cham (Baaghi)

This song is just enjoyable. Monali’s spunky rendition makes it all the more enjoyable. What else can I say? Dance to the beats!

16. Sunidhi Chauhan for Aisa Kyun Maa (Neerja)

We don’t get to hear Sunidhi singing soft tracks everyday, yet ironically, this year, almost all of her songs were soft tracks! This one was a beautifully sung track, maybe a bit low in the composition department, but Sunidhi really stunned me with the vocals.

15. Zebunissa Bangash for Haminastu (Fitoor)

With that earthy voice of hers, Zebunissa renders this song about Kashmir with such ease, that it is scary! And her voice is something to die for! Sadly, it went unnoticed due to the film’s debacle at the box office.

14. Shreya Ghoshal for Jab Tum Hote Ho (Rustom)

Shreya has been singing great songs for Ankit Tiwari all throughout his career (in ‘Aashiqui 2’, ‘Samrat & Co.’, ‘Rocky Handsome’ and now ‘Rustom’) and in this song she proves yet again why she is called the nightingale of modern Bollywood music. Though the song wasn’t used in the film and hence didn’t reach to the desired amount of people, this song is your typical Shreya Ghoshal affair… Melodious and heart-rending.

13. Monali Thakur for Dil Ye Ladaku (Saala Khadoos)

Monali Thakur’s voice never gets boring to the ears. Here she sings as cutely as a three-year-old girl, and makes us fall in love with her voice instantly! The innocent love ballad that it is, this song ought to have got more listeners!

12. Sunidhi Chauhan for Just Go To Hell Dil (Dear Zindagi)

Another one of Sunidhi’s soft tracks this year has creeped its way into the list, and it is Amit Trivedi’s beautiful and impactful sad song from Alia Bhatt-SRK starter ‘Dear Zindagi’. Her bold voice helps this song to sound the way it does!

11. Kavita Seth for Jeete Hain Chal (Neerja)

Another song from Vishal Khurana’s debut album Neerja, this one is a soul-stirring motivational song. Kavita Seth’s awesome voice always does wonders, and that’s exactly what happened here.

10. Qurat-ul-ain-Balouch for Kaari Kaari (Pink)

Another soul-stirring rendition, another rustic voice, another spell-binding result. The pain in Qurat-ul-ain-Balouch’s voice conveys the song’s message very, very well, and it also gives us another gem to cherish.

9. Jyoti Nooran & Sultana Nooran for Hota Hai (Mirzya)

This Nooran Sisters duo is really going places! After working with Rahman, Vishal-Shekhar, Anu Malik and Sneha Khanwalkar, (and Pritam later on) the singer duo worked with Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy for a number of songs in Mirzya, and this one really showcased their immense boldness and boisterous nature. This one is not something to miss!

8. Neha Bhasin for Jag Ghoomeya – Female (Sultan)

She has sung so many urban songs before, that this sudden rustic rendition took everyone by surprise. But leave it up to Vishal-Shekhar to subvert an established belief! Neha Bhasin has sung this song so charmingly, that it is hard to play Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s rather generic-sounding version of the same song after listening to this!

7. Jonita Gandhi for Gilehriyaan (Dangal)

Pritam sure did give Jonita those awesome club numbers ‘Sau Tarah Ke’ and ‘The Breakup Song’, but he made sure to also give her a song that will end her account for this year on a high note, and he result was this song, in which Jonita sounds so free and flowery. Her voice here is so sweet, that one can get diabetes! Bhale hi Bapu sehat ke liye haanikaarak na ho, lekin ye gaana toh hai!

6. Shreya Ghoshal for Rehnuma (Rocky Handsome)

The nightingale didn’t sound to sweet in this song; she sounded as sultry as you could never have imagined! The haunting melody brought out the best in Shreya Ghoshal for this song, and resulted in a beautifully ‘handsome’ rendition by Shreya in the low notes, which we rarely get to hear her sing in!

5. Shashaa Tirupati for Sarsariya (Mohenjo Daro)

Now this was probably the second sweetest (Read on to find what was the sweetest!) thing of he whole year. Shashaa’s rendition here was topnotch and she really sounded AWESOME singing this melodious dance+romance song. And when she sings those parts in that Mohenjo-Daro-an language…Uff! (💘💘💘💘💘💘)

4. Kaushiki Chakraborty for Kaaga (Mirzya)

This song might be short, it might have gone unnoticed, but that doesn’t stop me from placing Kaushiki’s scintillating rendition of it in the fourth place! The classical touches have been performed impeccably by the expert and the result is just dreamy!

3. Neeti Mohan for Haal-e-Dil – Female (Sanam Teri Kasam)

This has to be counted as one of Neeti’s best songs. The haunting composition just helps in elevating her voice to such a position that we cannot dare dislike it. And the small nuances she adds are amazing!

2. Monali Thakur for Dhanak (Dhanak)

Now this was the sweetest thing of he year. Monali’s sugary voice singing a sugary lullaby, nothing can be better! Just wow!

1. Palak Muchhal for Kaun Tujhe (M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story)

This has to be the best sung song of he year. Creating such a big wave across ths nation, that too, by a female-singer song, which is on top of that, an emotional sad song, is rather unusual! But it happened! It happened and it probably became the biggest hit of the year. It also became Palak’s career’s best. She has put in all the required expression to make this song sound the way it does. And also tried not to sound like Shreya!

 

Female Singers I Missed in 2016: Shalmali Kholgade (she had three to four songs in big budget films, but nowhere to actually shine) and Rekha Bhardwaj (who sang the song in Tum Bin 2, the song in Jugni, that sadly didn’t make it to the list, and almost nothing else)! Also, Shilpa Rao, who except for her short stint in Bulleya (ADHM) sang nothing else.

 

– Best Male Singers of 2016 (Top 20)

{Beware of the large number of Arijit Singh songs in the list.. He was just on fire this year.. then again, which year was he not? 2011? Yeah.. that’s right.}

20. Hriday Gattani for Udan Choo (Banjo)

Hriday Gattani had impressed me way back in 2014 itself when Rahman launched him in ‘Lekar Hum Deewana Dil’. Here, he got an awesome romantic ballad, where he got to flaunt his silky smooth voice. And it was a success!

19. Armaan Malik for Buddhu Sa Mann (Kapoor & Sons)

Young talent Armaan Malik sounds charming singing a party track, and here too, he does the same. Crooning the groovy song must’ve so fun, but he makes it fun for us to listen to as well!

18. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan for Jag Ghoomeya (Sultan)

Though it appears lower on the male singers list than its female counterpart did on its list, this one is no doubt one of the cutest renditions by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. Though the song was tailor-made for him, he still surprised us with his charming vocals and cuteness.

17. Amit Trivedi for Pashmina (Fitoor)

Probably the only composer on this list (I don’t think it’s fair not to call Vishal Dadlani a full-time singer!) It just proves how great Trivedi has rendered his sing. His voice has that amazing lilt which has made this song one of the best songs of the year.

16. Nakash Aziz for Jabra Fan (Fan)

This being the only song in this movie, that too, not included in the final cut of the film, it had to be great. Vishal-Shekhar did deliver a great fun song, but equal credit goes to Nakash Aziz, who is the expert at singing such songs, and who blew it away in his first song with Vishal-Shekhar! It is truly a memorable performance by the singer!

15. Arijit Singh for Taarefon Se (Dear Zindagi)

This was a charming performance from Arijit. His distinct voice in a jazz song, was a treat to the ears. Just too mellifluous, his voice!

14. Shahid Mallya for Ikk Kudi (Udta Punjab)

Though this version of the song got drowned under the mors popular, but less deserving Diljit Dosanjh version, this one is my personal favourite. Shahid’s vocals are beautiful, and his high notes are perfect. Nothing better than a Punjabi earthy song to soothe the ears!

13. Arijit Singh for Yeh Fitoor Mera (Fitoor)

This is what I warned you for in the beginning. Arijit was on a roll this year, and that’s evident in the fact that he has sung very less droning and boring Bhatt songs this year. This was one of his earliest hits of the year, and what a rendition! The grace in his voice is just enough to make you fall in love. Over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again!

12. Arijit Singh for Tu Hi Hai (Dear Zindagi)

On one hand, Arijit sings these intense romantic songs, and on the other hand he sings these cute and innocent romantic songs. Both are lapped up by audiences. Now this song has been promoted terribly by Sony Music on TV, but I hear it wherever I go on people’s phones. Isn’t that proof enough that it is an amazing song? Arijit sounds charming as ever in this sweet little song.

11. Armaan Malik for Besabriyaan (M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story)

The biggest hit that Amaal-Armaan gave this year took the form of a motivational song, and half the motivation lay in Arman’s smooth and silky voice. His voice texture is just something to die for. Hear this song if you haven’t already, and you’ll understand.

10. Papon for Labon Ka Karobaar (Befikre)

Papon in this song sounds sweet and sensuous at the same time. It definitely makes for one of the best renditions of the year. His nuances are enough to kill!

9. Sonu Nigam for Dard (Sarbjit)

Six to seven years ago, this man was everywhere. Thankfully, this year, he got some great songs if not a lot of bogus ones. And thankfully, this song here is one of the best of the year, and maybe one of his best for years to come! His rendition reminds one of the times when he used to sing like Arijit does nowadays and Udit Narayan did before his time — in every other movie!

8. Vishal Dadlani for Bappa (Banjo)

Now this song really wore away with time, and it wasn’t actually a very perfect Ganpati track as it had all the usual stuff and nothing new, but Vishal’s delivery was immensely energetic and I couldn’t help but to catch on some of that energy, which made Vishal’s voice the sole reason for me to keep hearing the song afterwards. Impeccable performance!

7. Armaan Malik for Jab Tak (M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story)

Armaan is a rockstar. Give him a party sing, he’ll rock it. Give him a fun and cute romantic song, he’ll rock that too. Now give him an intense romantic song, and he’ll rock that as well! This song was one of his best performances, and also the song from which I started loving his voice — a lot!

6. Arijit Singh for Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (Ae Dil Hai Mushkil)

Okay so most of you would place this song on the first position, but I don’t really agree. The singing is unblemished, no doubt about that. But I don’t really think shouting so much sounded too good! 😀 Hence the drop by five positions, and this performance of Arijit’s takes the sixth position on our list!

5. Shankar Mahadevan for Aave Re Hitchki (Mirzya)

Shankar Mahadevan’s voice is just so strong. It can move your heart so effectively. Here, he sings so poetically and dreamily, you can’t help but fall in love with his voice. Wowwwww! 😀

4. Amit Mishra for Bulleya (Ae Dil Hai Mushkil)

A name that has been doing the rounds for quite a few years, but he gets his big break now, with this smashing performance of his in Bulleya. Pritam senses Amit Mishra’s capabilities and gives him a Sufi-Rock number that outdoes all other Sufi-Rock numbers that have ever released. Turns out that Amit’s version is better than the version of Arijit that released later!

3. Arijit Singh for Channa Mereya (Ae Dil Hai Mushkil)

This has to be the one of the best songs Arijit has sung. He gets the emotion just right, and the result is very endearing. This song has been on everyone’s playlists this year, and it’s impossible to let this performance go unfelicitated! 😀

2. Papon for Bulleya (Sultan)

Again, Papon’s creamy voice, again for a Vishal-Shekhar composition, again a beautiful result. This is one of the best renditions of 2016, and also one of the most unnoticed ones too. I wish that when Sultan starts getting considered a classic 30 years down the line, this song gets its due!

1. Daler Mehndi for Dangal (Dangal)

The best performance of this year had to be, hands down, Daler Mehndi’s booming vocals for the Dangal title song. His ravishing voice had me clutching my sofa handrest while listening to it at home and had me on the edge of my seat when it kept playing in the theatres during the movie. Might be considered by some as a ‘pain to the head’s song, but I simply LOVED IT!

 

Male Singers I Missed in 2016: K.K?? Singing one or two songs with middling compositions nowadays! Though I must admit this year was a bit better off with the songs he sang composed by Amaal Mallik. Also missed Javed Ali, who sang one song in Happy Bhag Jayegi which didn’t satisfy me and an awesome Qawwali I’m Krsna’s Cute Kameena which was way too satisfying.

– Best Duets of 2016 (Male-Female, Male-Male & Female-Female included!) {Top 15}

15. Sarwar Khan & Sartaz Khan Barna for Haanikarak Bapu (Dangal)

These two youngster boys crooned this song with such gusto, that it really deserves to be on this list. This Duet really is something that we are lucky to have got to hear!

14. Sunidhi Chauhan & Vishal Dadlani for Je T’aime (Befikre)

Both of these singers have sung many duets together, and it’s always been an awesome result. This one too, is a beautiful song, with nice European touches, and Vishal and Sunidhi carrying them out flawlessly.

13. Neeti Mohan & Arijit Singh for Wafa Ne Bewafai (Teraa Surroor)

Now this was a dreamy song that I fell in love with instantly. Arijit at his charming best, and Neeti singing in her characteristic feathery voice, impressed highly. These two were a perfectly matched pair in this song.

12. Payal Dev & Arko Pravo Mukherjee in Dil Nawaziyaan (Tum Bin 2)

This song was a treat towards the end of the year. A Classical-Western fusion song, this one had Payal Dev showcasing her prowess at classical notes, and Arko singing English lines in the most charming way imaginable.

11. Sunidhi Chauhan & Arijit Singh for Darkhaast (Shivaay)

Arijit’s lilting voice was well complemented by Sunidhi’s bold one, in this romantic ballad. The way they contradict each other, yet make such a nice pair together, is just wonderful. Then again, one of their earliest duets and one of Arijit’s earliest songs (Yaariyan Reprise – Cocktail) was just as intriguing!

10. Antara Mitra & Arijit Singh for Itni Si Baat Hain (Azhar)

The Gerua duo came back together with this song, and produced an even better effect in this song. Arijit, as always, sounded awesome and lovable, and even Antara Mitra, with her short part, made her presence felt.

9. Sumedha Karmahe & Atif Aslam for Toota Jo Kabhi Taara (A Flying Jatt)

This was one of the most lulling songs of the year; Atif and Sumedha’s vocals make it sound more so. The dreamland-ish melody has been brought to life by these two singer’s melodious voices, and what a nice find Sachin-Jigar have got in Sumedha!

8. Daler Mehndi & Navraj Hans for Raj Karega Khalsa (A Flying Jatt)

This rocking duo shook the audiences with their awesome rendition of this Sikh anthem. The pulsating rhythm helped their voices to really stand out in the song, and the result was an awesome and booming song.

7. Sanah Moidutty & A.R. Rahman for Sindhu Ma (Mohenjo Daro)

Probably known to everyone as ‘Tu Hai’, this song is a soothing Duet between Rahman, who has his ethereal voice, and newcomer Sanah. Both of them sounded their very best, and though this might be one of Rahman’s songs that might get washed out after some years, the vocals will make it a treat to hear anytime.

6. Palak Muchhal & Arijit Singh for Dekha Hazaro Dafaa (Rustom)

This was a lovely Duet by Palak and Arijit. One of the best of the year, this song is surely one that will stay with music lovers for a long time. Arijit is charming, while Palak is rather cute in this song!

5. Sukhwinder Singh & Shadab Faridi for Sultan (Sultan)

As pulsating as A Flying Jatt’s ‘Raj Karega Khalsa’, this one had a more universal appeal. Moreover, Sukhi paaji’s and Shadab’s bold rustic voices made the song sound all the better.

4. Neeti Mohan & Armaan Malik for Sau Aasmaan (Baar Baar Dekho)

Neeti’s voice is just so mellifluous! Armaan complements her well, and together, they make this song one of the best duets of 2016. There isn’t a single note in the song where they mess up or make you withdraw your attention from the song!

3. Rekha Bhardwaj & Late Jagjit Singh for Teri Fariyad (Tum Bin 2)

The rework of this Ghazal witnessed Rekha Bhardwaj stepping in to fill the places and actually make it sound like a remake. Jagjit Singh’s voice has been retained and it is such a pleasure to hear his voice yet again!

2. Prakriti Kakar & Sonu Nigam for Tu Hi Na Jaane (Azhar)

Sonu Nigam on another splendid track this year, this time joined by Prakriti Kakar, really made quite the ideal sad song for us to listen to anytime. This song is something that will never die away.

1. Nandini Srikar & Zebunissa Bangash for Hone Do Batiyaan (Fitoor)

The only female-female duet on this list, this song is one of my favourites of the year, only and ONLY because of the wonderful rustic voice behind it. Though the composition is oh-so-melodious, and the lyrics are to cherish, these two ladies have sung this song in a whole new scale of excellence. And that’s why it is my favourite duet of the year!

 

 

– Best Ensemble Songs of 2016 (Top 10)

10. Arijit Singh, Bela Shende, A.R. Rahman & Sanah Moidutty for Mohenjo Mohenjo (Mohenjo Daro)

9. Benny Dayal, Divya Kumar & Bianca Gomes for Rootha (Te3n)

8. Javed Bashir, Pratibha Singh Baghel, Jyoti Nooran & Sultana Nooran for Mann Ka Mirga (Bollywood Diaries)

7. Mame Khan, Suchismita Das & Akhtar Chanal for Chakora (Mirzya)

6. Arijit Singh, Khushboo Grewal & Roach Killa for Girl I Need You (Baaghi)

5. Badshah, Mohit Chauhan, Sukhwinder Singh, Megha Sriram Dalton & Anugrah for Bolo Har Har Har (Shivaay)

4. Harshdeep Kaur, Siddharth Mahadevan & Jasleen Kaur Royal for Nachde Ne Saare (Baar Baar Dekho)

3. Arijit Singh, Ash King & Shashwat Singh for Alizeh (Ae Dil Hai Mushkil)

2. Shashaa Tirupati, Altamash Faridi & Rabbani Mustafa Khan for Allah Hu Allah (Sarbjit)

1. Daler Mehndi, Saieen Zahoor, Akhtar Chanal, Jyoti Nooran, Sultana Nooran & The Salvation Singers for Mirzya (Mirzya)

 


So that was Part 3 of the Annual Wrap-Up! Stay tuned for the next parts, and Happy New Year! 🙂