MULTICOMPOSERS KI KHATTI-MEETHI BARFI!! (BAREILLY KI BARFI – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Tanishk Bagchi, Arko Pravo Mukherjee, Tanishk-Vayu, Samira Koppikar & Sameer Uddin
♪ Lyrics by: Shabbir Ahmed, Pravesh Mallick, Arko Pravo Mukherjee, Tanishk-Vayu, Puneet Sharma & Akshay Verma
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 11th August 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 18th August 2017

Bareilly Ki Barfi Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Bareilly Ki Barfi is an upcoming Bollywood rom-com, starring Kriti Sanon, Ayushmann Khurrana, and Rajkummar Rao in lead roles. The film is directed by ‘Nil Battey Sannata’ fame Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari, and produced by Nitesh Tiwari and Shreyas Jain. The movie revolves around the Mishra family, who are in search for a suitable groom for their daughter, played by Sanon. The complexities and pressure of getting married is too much for Bitti, Sanon’s character, and she decides to run away. On the run, she finds a book, ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’ at the train station, and picks it up, only to realise that the female protagonist thinks a lot like her! Thus she embarks on a quest to look for this someone who thinks so much like her. The story seems very content-driven, but that’s not to stop it from having some good music; in fact, most content-driven films have better music than others! Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari’s first film, ‘Nil Battey Sannata’, had an awesome album completely composed by a newcomer duo, Rohan-Vinayak. This time, the makers go for the multicomposer route. Tanishk Bagchi, Tanishk-Vayu, Arko Pravo Mukherjee, Samira Koppikar and Sameer Uddin are composing the music for this film. As I am expecting an overall good album, and since every name is a known name (even Sameer Uddin, who is the one who had done those remixes in ‘Bluffmaster’ long ago) I don’t think I need to say what I expect from each of them individually! So let’s help ourselves to this ‘Barfi’!


1. Sweety Tera Drama

Singers ~ Dev Negi, Pawni Pandey & Shraddha Pandit, Music by ~ Tanishk Bagchi, Lyrics by ~ Shabbir Ahmed, Rap Written and Performed by ~ Pravesh Mallick

An aptly U.P. flavoured start to the album, the first song is a fun and upbeat dance number, along the lines of ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’s title song. Coincidentally, the man behind it is Tanishk, the composer of that song. The composition is very fun and enjoyable, and the composer has kept it relevantly short; such songs are least enjoyable if they ramble on for four minutes and longer. The shortness gives it a crisp feel, and leaves you wanting more. There is one mukhda and one antara, both composed entertainingly. The arrangements too resemble those of ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’ title song, with the dholaks (Naveen Sharma), harmoniums and bulbultarang (Pradip Pandit) and quirky digital beats. The star music is amazing, especially that sarangi bit by Sangeet, that is so easy to miss! Tanishk adds very fun sound effects like that rap by Pravesh Mallick, then a random but funny “Myujik” that just plays anytime. His digital instrumentation is fun as well. The song has been sung by three singers and the rapper. The rapper, as stated before, brings out the U.P. flavour very well, and begins on a promising note. Dev Negi is his usual fun self, while Pawni and Shraddha, the two female vocalists, with two lines each, make a difference even with the little scope! Shabbir Ahmed’s lyrics are fun too! A fun dance number that strives to be simple but sweet!

Rating: 4/5

 

2. Nazm Nazm / Nazm Nazm (feat. Ayushmann Khurrana) / Nazm Nazm (feat. Sumedha Karmahe)

Singers ~ Arko Pravo Mukherjee / Ayushmann Khurrana / Sumedha Karmahe, Music by ~ Arko Pravo Mukherjee, Lyrics by ~ Arko Pravo Mukherjee

Arko steps forth to present his song, and as is the requisite whenever Arko composes for a multicomposer album nowadays, he gets to do the romantic song of the album. Well, since he is so good at making these, it seems logical. This song here, is yet another example of his romantic song composing skills. The composition is charming, but there is one small drawback, and that is that it takes a long time to grow. It consists of many twists and turns, and isn’t instantly hooking like most of his other songs. The second antara is particularly beautiful. The hookline manages to get the audience charmed. The lyrics though, are beautiful, and are another instance of how beautiful Arko himself writes!! The song appears in three versions, though, and one does feel that it is one too many. Arko doesn’t sing this song as well as he sang ‘Kaari Kaari’ (Dobaara), ‘Dariya’ (Baar Baar Dekho) or ‘Saathi Rey’ (Kapoor & Sons), and thus, his version comes across as slightly boring. The arrangements in this version also resemble ‘Tere Sang Yaara’ (Rustom) with those extra sugary Duff rhythms and synthesizer tune (Keys by Aditya Dev). It reduces the likability a bit. Ayushmann increases the ear-friendliness of the song with his trademark charming voice, and renders it with ease. His style of rounding the vowels makes the song sound so much like he has composed it himself. The variations he takes on many notes, which Arko had not, makes the song sound more layered. The arrangements too, get more Ayushmann-ish, with acoustic guitars (Krishna Pradhan), but the Arko-ness is retained with the amazing piano notes. Thankfully, the Duff rhythms are done away with. The last version happens to be a female version; a version I personally feel was least required. So Zee Music releases videos of singers singing covers of hit songs, and I almost know that this version will be used as that. Not to take it away from Sumedha though; she sings beautifully! Arko arranges this one with a soothing flute, but nothing else really stands out! A romantic song that features so many times, we have no choice but to love it!

Rating: 4/5 for Arko’s Version, 4.5/5 for Ayushmann’s Version, 3.5/5 for Sumedha’s Version

 

3. Twist Kamariya

Singers ~ Harshdeep Kaur, Yasser Desai, Tanishk Bagchi & Altamash, Music by ~ Tanishk-Vayu, Lyrics by ~ Tanishk-Vayu

The next song has Tanishk coming back together with his partner with which he debuted, Vayu. They keep coming back together occasionally, and it is quite fun. Though their last song ‘Beat It Bijuriya’ could’ve been better, this one is a real treat. The composition is very simple, and if it were not for the amazingly quirky beats and arrangements, the song would not have sounded half as good. Of course, a very templated dhol rhythm accompanies the song, but a very quirky digital sound also comes along with that and everything sounds so innovative. The interlude is amazing, with the dhols and shehnaai. Rock guitars are really electrifying in the antara. The hookline, the way it is sung, is so cool. The pause between ‘Twist’ and ‘Kamariya’ really makes the difference. Im probably hearing Harshdeep Kaur in this zany avatar for the first time. I mean, she has sung upbeat numbers, but not so crazily funny! Tanishk-Vayu’s lyrics are a clever mix of Bhojpuri and Hindi and English. A song that calls for loud whistles and cheers in the theatre! U.P. folk meets techno music!

Rating: 4/5

 

4. Bairaagi / Bairaagi (Samira Koppikar Version)

Singers ~ Arijit Singh / Samira Koppikar, Music by ~ Samira Koppikar,  Lyrics by ~ Puneet Sharma

Samira Koppikar, who really pleasantly surprised me with her song in ‘Dobaara’ earlier this year, jumps onto the album next, with a melancholic song that is sung by –obviously — Arijit! The song is good, I can’t take that away from it. But somewhere the composition evokes so many memories of previous Arijit songs that were composed on the same rock lounge-ish template. It actually sounds like a Pritam song when that beautiful backing chorus comes in, and that’s probably the best effect of the song. The composition too, is beautiful, and hits the heart straight. I just don’t think I would listen to it a lot. The vocals are, obviously spot-on. What can be expected when it is Arijit? Fortunately, there’s another version, possibly for the music lovers. Samira sings this one, and it starts with a heavenly chorus by her. She sings in beautifully, and is first of all supported by a wonderfully soothing folksy string instrument, evoking memories of ‘Sahiba’ (Phillauri). Later that Punjabi feel is increased, when a nice dholak-led rhythm sets in. This version is definitely better than Arijit’s. The lyrics by Puneet Sharma are aptly romantic and melancholic at the same time. The word ‘bairaag‘ is a word I don’t think I’ve heard in a Bollywood song after ‘Laal Ishq’ (Ram-Leela)! Beautiful song, but might not stay with me for long.

Rating: 3.5/5 for Arijit’s Version, 4/5 for Samira’s Version

 

5. Badass Babua

Singers ~ Abhishek Nailwal, Neha Bhasin & Sameer Uddin, Music by ~ Sameer Uddin, Lyrics by ~ Akshay Verma

A relatively newer addition to the album (as the composer Sameer Uddin wasn’t credited in the trailer or first poster of the film), this one is a funky “gangsta” song, probably made for Rajkummar’s character in the movie. The U.P. vagabond and rowdy feel is brought out with entertaining lyrics rendered with spunk by Abhishek Nailwal and the composer himself. The gangster feels are brought out by the rap, the techno beats and the overbearing sinister tone. The composition is catchy, but again, not a very lasting tune. The arrangements are more of what the song might be remembered for, if at all. The vocals are fine, and obviously the male singers have done an amazing job, or else, it wouldn’t have sounded so much like a gangster song full of attitude. Neha Bhasin is sidelined unfortunately, and reminds me of Ambili’s portions in ‘Hum Hain Bank Chor’ (Bank Chor). Entertaining, but not everlasting.

Rating: 3/5


Bareilly Ki Barfi is a relatively good multicomposer album. I think these days, the quality of multicomposer albums is definitely increasing, because makers now know the formula for it. You obviously need two upbeat numbers to increase the album’s hit status, and of course, a romantic song, a sad song (preferably by Arijit) and then a couple of versions. Zee seems to have mastered the formula, and they produce another album like ‘Behen Hogi Teri’, which is a mix of styles from different composers, yet comes together as a united album. With a mixed variety of songs, these multiple composers have come up with a nice, khatti-meethi Barfi!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4 + 4 + 4.5 + 3.5 + 4 + 3.5 + 4 + 3 = 31

Album Percentage: 76.25%

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: Nazm Nazm (Ayushmann Khurrana) > Twist Kamariya = Sweety Tera Drama = Nazm Nazm = Bairaagi (Samira Koppikar) > Bairaagi = Nazm Nazm (Sumedha Karmahe) > Badass Babua

 

Which is your favourite song from Bareilly Ki Barfi? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂

A TRIPLE-DEBUT TREAT TOILET!! (TOILET: EK PREM KATHA – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Vickey Prasad, Manas-Shikhar & Sachet-Parampara
♪ Lyrics by: Siddharth-Garima
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 13th July 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 11th August 2017

Toilet – Ek Prem Katha Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Toilet – Ek Prem Katha is an upcoming Bollywood satire, starring Alshay Kumar, Bhumi Pednekar, Divyendu Sharma and Anupam Kher,  directed by Shree Narayan Singh, and produced by Aruna Bhatia, Shital Bhatia, Abundantia, Viacom Motion Pictures, Arjun N. Kapoor and Hitesh Thakkar. The film comes in support of PM Modi’s ‘Swacchh Bharat Abhiyaan’ by raising fingers at the issue of open defecation, prevalent in remote and underdeveloped parts of the country. Now it is a really good topic, but somehow, by the trailer and promos, I am not sure whether it will be carried out in a humorous way without looking dramatic. Anyway, the music, very surprisingly, has been scored by three debutant music composers, two duos and one individual. Vickey Prasad, Manas-Shikhar and Sachet-Parampara are the five lucky people who got to debut in Bollywood with an Akshay Kumar album, and how wonderful an opportunity is that!! I hope they make great use of it though, and provide us with a nice and clean ‘Toilet’! {Sorry for the desperate joke!}


1. Hans Mat Pagli

Singers ~ Sonu Nigam & Shreya Ghoshal, Music by ~ Vickey Prasad

The first newcomer starts off the album with a cute romantic song which sends off a great rural-setting vibe. The song’s composition is nothing innovative as such, but it still manages to hook the listeners, since it is so cute and such a throwback to Bollywood of the 90s. The only grouse I have with the composition is that the hookline sounds a lot like the antara of ‘Pardesi Pardesi’ (Raja Hindustani), which would be where the 90s vibes are coming from. The song is structured quite oddly, with a male mukhda, a male antara, and then a female mukhda followed by a female antara. Why couldn’t they just club the mukhdas together and the antaras together? That way, the listener would get some variation from male to female and then back to a male voice. Anyway, as they wish. The composition for all these stanzas is very cute again. The recording seems a bit faulty and raw, but that’s probably deliberate? The arrangements are again, not anything new or innovative, but that soft Qawwali setting to the hookline gives a soothing feeling, and the dholaks have been played beautifully, as are the plucked string instruments throughout the song, and the guitar itself. There is a wonderful rapid tabla piece before Sonu sings his antara. The rhythm is heard before, but the cuteness of the composition helps you listen to such a rhythm yet again without complaining. The vocals send you back to 2005-2007, when Sonu-Shreya duets were the thing. Every director wanted a Sonu-Shreya duet in their film; sadly, nowadays, that happens only in films where the director knows only about the old singers, and hence his music ends up sounding outdated. But here, there is no datedness whatsoever. It is more like a nostalgia. Both singers do an amazing job, though I somewhere thought that Shreya was struggling with such a high-pitched line in the antara. Siddharth-Garima choose the perfect line for the hookline; it increases the cuteness quotient of the song. The rest of the lyrics are cute too, but not too innovative. A good song to start the album with, but it has its own faults.
Rating: 4/5

 

2. Bakheda

Singers ~ Sukhwinder Singh & Sunidhi Chauhan, Music by ~ Vickey Prasad

Vickey has the second song to his credit as well, making him the main composer on this album. This song takes a more lively route, but stays a romantic song. As soon as it starts, the folksy vibe hits you, and you are also relieved that Vickey has used a more modern recording style for this one; it proves that the recording was deliberately done that way for the previous song. The composition is a lively one, but the hookline is really a letdown — it is so staid and bland. Also, we have heard such a hook so many times where the mukhda builds up to it, and then after a pause, the hookline takes the song forward. The antaras are very well composed. Sukhwinder, at his usual energetic self, renders the song with ease, and creates a good impact on the listeners. The problem lies in Sunidhi’s vocals, which seem less energetic as usual. It really sounds like she wasn’t interested, or maybe the pitch was too low. That makes her portion sound very odd, despite the beautiful composition of the antara. The arrangements are lively folksy arrangements with the percussion leading, and a nice plucked instrument entertaining throughout. A sarangi can also be made out occasionally. The percussion is the star of the song though. Siddharth-Garima, again, write an effective song to go with the film, but the impact of the lyrics doesn’t reach the audience out of the film. A functional song, but won’t really stay with you for long.
Rating: 3/5

 

3. Gori Tu Latth Maar

Singers ~ Sonu Nigam & Palak Muchhal, Backing Vocals ~ Umesh Joshi, Vijay Dhuri, Swapnil Godbole, Karan Kagale & Rishikesh Patel, Music by ~ Manas-Shikhar

The Rahman vibe hits you as soon as this one starts with the beautiful chimey music at the beginning. Manas-Shikhar, another debutant duo, enter the album with this song, and with only one song to prove their worth, they seize the opportunity and let me tell you, they make the best use of it, better than both of the other composer teams on this album! They employ a very lively setting to a supposed-to-be sad song. It is the festival of Holi, but of course, Bhumi Pednekar’s character is mad at Akshay’s character, because of we know what! So this is a situational song, in which Akshay pleads to her for forgiving him. Against the backdrop of a Holi song, a very emotional song, and I’ve heard something like this for the first time. Siddharth-Garima’s lyrics reveal all the emotion in the best way possible. Now let’s go back to Manas-Shikhar’s music. Their composition is just so catchy, especially the mukhda, which should be catchy in order to hook the listeners right away. It sounds like something straight out of a Rahman song. The hookline also succeeds in being a very beautiful, and catchy line. The antara is the female part of the song, and it has a very beautiful tune as well, which will remind you of the 90s songs, that used to slow down in the middle for the female parts. There’s a nice tempo-rise towards the end, in which we hear the already popular “Radhe Radhe” chorus. Sonu Nigam renders the tune with such brilliance, knowing when to emote which emotion, and wonderful aalaaps. Palak too, sings beautifully, and the brilliant composition of her portion helps her do that wonderfully. The arrangements are ever fluctuating, with the emotional and soft sound from the mukhda alternating with the usual Holi sound of the dholaks and other percussions. The shehnaai is played in a very beautiful tune. Those bells at the beginning are the most beautiful though. A wholesome song that defines what Bollywood is all about — colour, festivity, emotion and dance! Oh, and congratulations to Manas-Shikhar for a smashing debut!
Rating: 5/5

 

4. Subha Ki Train

Singers ~ Sachet Tandon & Parampara Thakur, Backing Vocals ~ Sukriti Kakar & Rituraj Mohanty, Music by ~ Sachet-Parampara

The last of the debutants bring up the finale of the album, which happens to be yet another cute romantic song. This one is a little less folksy than the others, but it does have the effect that it should. Sachet Tandon and Parampara Thakur have composed a lilting melody, that, though situational, and very predictable, still makes you smile and feel good. The prelude gave off some vibes of “Tere Sang Yaara” (Rustom). The mukhda is very sweet and simple, and instantly grabs your attention. The letdown here is the hook, which is as staid and heard-before as imaginable. But the antara is mind-blowing; especially the second line of it. The arrangements too, follow a very simple template, with that cute Duff rhythm, and in a wonderful second interlude, the flutes assortment and strings orchestra just mystifies. The first interlude with the mouth organ is splendid too. Sachet and Parampara handle the vocals themselves, and strangely enough, employ Rituraj Mohanty and Sukriti Kakar as backing vocalists for the aalaaps. Parampara’s is a voice to look out for, while Sachet’s voice just blends in with the multitude of new male voices we have in Bollywood, other than Arijit. 😅 Again, Siddharth-Garima stick to situational yet catchy lyrics; the hook lyrics made me smile. A good finale, and a promising debut, but not a song that will stay in my head for more than a month.
Rating: 3.5/5


Toilet – Ek Prem Katha is an album just like Akshay Kumar movie albums usually are — fun, vibrant and groovy, but with an overbearing romantic theme. What makes it even more special is that all the composers are debutants and it is commendable of the makers to have accepted the three for a film which will reach so many people! Seizing the opportunity, all three newcomers do a good job, and especially Manas-Shikhar do an amazing one. The album is a triple-debut treat!!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4 + 3 + 5 + 3.5 = 15.5

Album Percentage: 77.5%

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: Gori Tu Latth Maar > Hans Mat Pagli > Subha Ki Train > Bakheda

 

Which is your favourite song from Toilet – Ek Prem Katha? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂

A LIPSTICK WITH SHADES OF WOMEN EMPOWERMENT!! (LIPSTICK UNDER MY BURKHA – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Zebunnisa Bangash (Zeb)
♪ Lyrics by: Anvita Dutt
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 14th July 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 21st July 2017

Lipstick Under My Burkha Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Lipstick Under My Burkha is an upcoming Bollywood film starring Konkona Sen Sharma, Ratna Pathak Shah, Aahana Kumra, Plabita Borthakur, Sushant Singh, Vikrant Massey, Shashank Arora and Vaibhav Tatwavaadi. The film has been directed by Alankrita Srivastava, and produced by Prakash Jha. I don’t think it is necessary to introduce the film to you; you’ve probably heard  lot about it, thanks to our beloved Mr. Nihalani. Without further ado, I’ll veer towards the music. The simple and short three-song album is composed by Zebunnisa Bangash (Zeb), who we have all heard singing many times before in Bollywood. But this is (I believe) her composing debut in Bollywood. So let’s give it up for her, and see what she has to offer in this women-uplifting soundtrack!


1. Jigi Jigi

Singer ~ Malini Awasthi

A ladies sangeet kind of song starts off the album, but of course, it has apt folksy vibes, considering that Zeb Bangash has composed it. It is actually an adaptation of a folk song by Haji Saifuddin, which Zeb had performed at the Sandaraa music concert in New York in 2015, a concert that was fronted by Zeb along with Brooklyn’s clarinet virtuoso Michael Winograd, which was a musical collaboration exploring a vast repertoire of South Asian musical traditions blended with the sounds and sensibilities of Eastern Europe, the Balkans and New York, according to the YouTube video that Michael Winograd has posted of this song. The Balkan flavour still appears prominent in Zeb’s Bollywood recreation of the song, but all the musician credits have changed, that is, she’s reworked the arrangements. First of all, the composition is a raunchy and catchy one, kind of like the songs from earlier this year’s ‘Anaarkali of Aarah’. The ‘Jigi Jigi’ hook seems like gibberish, or it could be something in Afghani, who knows, but it is catchy nevertheless. The composition traverses the sinister line of notes, and in befitting in such a strong film, which Anvita Dutt makes clear through her lyrics. What impresses me even more are the arrangements. The wonderful folksy sound that the rabaab (Siddiq Sameer), dholaks (Sharafat) and harmonium (Ankur Mukherjee) collectively exude, makes the song sound even more raunchy. The tambourine (Sharafat) gives a very unconventional rhythm throughout the song. There is a brief brass band (Shyam Raj & Friends) interlude that sounds like the only Bollywoodish cliché in the song, besides the harmonium, but still sounds great. The simple dholak-led rhythm is wonderful though. Malini is her usual folksy and raunchy self, and delivers the song with zest and zeal. A nice and folksy start to the album!!

Rating: 4/5

 

2. Ishquiya

Singer ~ Neeti Mohan

The next song in the album happens to be the only song which hasn’t been adapted from any other song like both of the other songs on the album. It takes the form of a retro, disco funk kind of song, a genre which really has seemed to have taken off quite abruptly in the past month or so, what with “Munna Michael” trying, and ‘Beech Beech Mein’ (Jab Harry Met Sejal) succeeding. This one is sung solely by Neeti Mohan, and that makes it all the more interesting somehow. Zeb’s arrangement is really sprightly, and light and frothy, something that instantly lightens up the ambience and mood. The composition is a lilting one, but perfect for the electrifying  music. There are crescendo notes all over the composition, and they make the song sound all the better, not making it he everyday retro funk song. Zeb makes the antara a bit more mysterious and suspense-holding, and sensuous. The drums and disco sounds have been done perfectly. You can’t really ask for a better done track. The backing vocalists help increase the intriguing feel of the song. The trumpets, guitars and occasional strings (what a surprise!) are amazing. The amazing arrangements are complemented very well by Neeti’s whispery voice, and she sets free of all inhibitions to render a no-holds-barred performance. Anvita Dutt’s lyrics seem situational, but they are functional nonetheless. A nice throwback to the REAL disco era, and not the Bappi Lahiri disco era!

Rating: 4/5

 

3. Le Li Jaan

Singer ~ Zebunnisa Bangash

For the finishing act, Zeb reprises yet another of her previous performances, this time, ‘Laili Jaan’ which she had sung at Coke Studio. The song was itself an adaptation of an Afghani folk song, and this one has the same composition, decorated with Hindi lyrics. The way it starts, you are instantly thrown back to the 1940s-1950s, the Charlie Chaplin era. And that effect is produced by Michael Winograd’s amazing clarinet. But Zeb retains the Afghani flavour by employing a wonderful rabaab (Siddiq Sameer) and accordion (Patrick Ferrel), making it sound a lot like the Balkan style of music, something that is so underdone and awfully underrated in Bollywood! More wonderful guitars and ethnic strings (Ankur Mukherjee), coupled with the drums (Kami Paul), throw in a modern touch. The composition itself is a sugar-coated raunchy one, exuding the folk feel as no other song ever did. It kind of reminds me of a couple of Vishal Bhardwaj’s songs from ‘Saat Khoon Maaf’. The hookline literally takes away your life, as Zeb sings “Le li le li le li jaan”, which means “You took my life!” 😍 The antaras are beautifully composed, reminding one of the wonderful 50s, when even Bollywood was heavily influenced by this kind of music, and it reflected in O.P. Nayyar’s music very highly. The treatment given to the song too, is highly unconventional, but it really wins your heart by the time it is over! Another clarinet portion ends the song on a bright and lively note for us. Anvita’s lyrics are cute and simple! A song that should serve as an example of how Balkan music must be done in Bollywood!

Rating: 4.5/5


Lipstick Under My Burkha is a short and sweet folk-oriented album that we hardly get to hear these days in Bollywood. Getting on board a composer from Pakistan herself was a great move, in order to get that folksy touch. The variety in the album is still so ranged, even though two out of three songs sprout from the same folk music. A disco funk song stands out among these folk songs as well, and all of them are unconventional in their approach. What’s most important, all the songs have been sung by women, and composed by a woman, which is so apt for the film. So the album is like a lipstick with different shades of women empowerment!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4 + 4 + 4.5 = 12.5

Album Percentage: 83.34%

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: Le Li Jaan > Ishquiya = Jigi Jigi

 

Which is your favourite song from Lipstick Under My Burkha? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂

NECESSITY IS THE “MOM” OF EXPERIMENTATION!! (MOM – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: A.R. Rahman
♪ Lyrics by: Irshad Kamil, Rianjali, Rajakumari & A.R. Rahman
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 27th June 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 7th July 2017

Mom Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE

 


Mom is an upcoming Bollywood thriller, starring Sridevi, Sajal Ali, Akshaye Khanna and Nawazuddin Siddiqui. The film has been directed by Ravi Udyawar, and produced by Zee Studios, Sunil Manchanda, Naresh Agarwal, Mukesh Talreja, Gautam Jain and Boney Kapoor. The film revolves around a mother and her daughter, and as the daughter never reciprocates the love which her mother gives her, the mother, played by Sridevi, just waits patiently for that day. However, an unfortunate incident (not revealed because this is a thriller, duh!) widens the gap between the two, to a point of no return. Now the mother has to make a choice between what is wrong and what is very wrong, in order to fight for her daughter’s love. So the story seems quite intense, and way at the other end of the spectrum than Sridevi’s previous film ‘English Vinglish’, though that too had a “Mother” subplot. What is another attraction in this film, is that it has A.R. Rahman giving music. Now, it has been a long time since Rahman has signed such a small film, and I’m very glad he did, because it’ll just go to prove that he provides his best to any film (that is, if the music is good). He has given seven songs for this soundtrack, and Boney Kapoor calls it one of his best works. Let’s check for ourselves!


1. O Sona Tere Liye

Singers ~ A.R. Rahman & Shashaa Tirupati, Lyrics by ~ Irshad Kamil

“Aaye na kabhi, aankhon mein nami,
Khushi ka jahaan, laayenge hum hi,
Yeh toh baat hai, jeene ke liye,
Hoon zaroori main, tu bhi laazmi!
O Sona, tere liye, duaaon se jalte diye,
O Sona, tere liye, farishton ne sajde kiye!”

– Irshad Kamil

The beginning song of the album is aptly, a lullaby, from a mother to her daughter. Yes, it is sung by a male voice, with a small stanza by a female voice, but the sentiments come forth nevertheless! I personally never think the gender of the singer matters, when the lyrics say what they want to. Anyway, the song starts off quite slow, and reminds you of many a Rahman composition, with its dulcet, slow-paced yet heart-moving sound. The structure of the composition is quite similar to earlier this year’s ‘Hind Mere Jind’ (Sachin: A Billion Dreams). The composition is very, very moving; it starts off like a soothing Western tune, high on Western arrangements, like the guitars. As soon as the hookline kicks in, the song starts gaining pace, and the composition of the hook is just so beautiful, you just can’t help but get a bit emotional. The antaras both having the same tune, have been composed so calmingly, and their soothing vibe is what makes the song sweet and simple. Rahman keeps the arrangements simple, with a basic piano melody and guitar riff (Keba Jeremiah) forming the base of the arrangements. The piano chords throughout the song give the song more gravitas. As soon as the hookline starts, a wonderful guitar riff takes centre-stage. The first interlude has a wonderfully done strings piece, by the Chennai Strings and Sunshine Orchestra, conducted by VJ Srinivasa Murthy, and that is intertwined later with Kamalakar’s beautiful flute piece. And it is at interludes like this, where you can truly appreciate Rahman’s arrangements. The second interlude takes an unexpectedly Pritam-ish turn, with the digital notes, playing in a loop, in the trademark Pritam way. Again, a nice guitar piece is superimposed on that. Mind you, this is the only song on the soundtrack without any kind of experimentation in arrangements whatsoever, so it’ll probably be the most popular and public-friendly song from the film, or maybe not. As far as the vocals are concerned, Shashaa outdoes her mentor and co-singer, the composer himself, in her small stanza. Rahman’s voice doesn’t really suit the composition, but there are some places where you think nobody else could’ve sung it. Shashaa, on the other hand, manages her lines well, with a beautifully pitched voice, and not only does she do her solo portion well, but she enhances the song with her various backing vocal inputs as well. That “Tere Liye, Tere Liye” she sang once, after Rahman had sung the hookline, has stuck in my head! Irshad Kamil’s lyrics are beautiful, beautiful and beautiful. The fact that, due to Rahman’s diction, some of it is unclear, is different though. A nice and dulcet start to the album, which is now going to take an experimental turn, so brace yourselves!

Rating: 4.5/5

 

2. Kooke Kawn

Singers ~ Sukhwinder Singh, Blaaze, Suzanne D’Mello, Lyrics by ~ Irshad Kamil & Traditional

“Kothe utte kooke kawn! (Kooke kawn, Kooke kawn!!)”

– Irshad Kamil

This song onwards, the soundtrack becomes purely experimental; some things are such that we’ve never heard experimented with before and others are merely an everyday experimentation for us, which Rahman too happened to do in this album. This song falls into the second category. A Punjabi club number isn’t a new idea to Bollywood music listeners. In fact, Rahman himself has given a Punjabi experimental number ‘Jugni’ in Tamil album ‘Kaatru Veliyidai’. This one is different, though. The song starts with the cawing sound of a crow, and that makes you think, “WHHATT?” (For the uninitiated, “Kawn” in the song’s title actually means “crow”). And then a typical club setting is set up by Rahman, and Sukhwinder’s initial lines, though they aren’t a very strong start to the song, sound fascinating due to their incongruity. The folk song (apparently some of the lyrics are “traditional”, as per T-Series) sounds mismatched as well as perfectly fitting into the club setting, at the same time. But it isn’t until the “oh-oh-ohhhh” portion arrives, that you actually get the addictiveness of the song. There is one antara, that sounds like Rahman tried to give his trademark sound to a Punjabi song. The composition isn’t too strong; most of the addictiveness of the song arises from its fabulous arrangements. The guitars (Keba Jeremiah) during the aforementioned “Oh-oh-ohhhh” part sound very good, and help to make the song appeal to a very niche audience, that likes guitars in Punjabi songs. 😂 Of course, Rahman doesn’t keep out the dhols that characterize a Punjabi song. He ropes in Taufiq Qureshi (Feat. Arun Solanki, Deepak Bhatt, Dipesh Varma, Omkar Salunkhe, Gautam Sharma, Shikhar Naad Qureshi) to control the amazing percussion and rhythms. But still, it is the guitars that shine. An interlude has a very rowdy-sounding, Naagin-dance type of sound, which must’ve been introduced because Sridevi is in the film. (Though she won’t be dancing on it, but it seems like a kind of tribute! 😄). To conclude, Rahman puts in an odd end in the form of a brass band kind of sound, which only reminds me of ‘Zingaat’ (From Marathi Movie ‘Sairat’). Sukhwinder handles the song well, and especially the rapid-paced portion in the antara. Blaaze has a short rap towards the end, and I can’t say the clichéd line that it’s better than the Punjabi rappers we hear these days, because it isn’t, frankly! 😂 But Suzanne D’Mello really shines in her backing vocals portions. Irshad Kamil’s lyrics and whatever the Traditional lyrics were, are hardly intelligible. An experimental song, and probably the most addictive Club song from Rahman after ‘Pappu Can’t Dance’ (Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na) way back in 2008. 

Rating: 4/5

 

3. Raakh Baakhi

Singers ~ Jonita Gandhi & Rianjali, Lyrics by ~ Irshad Kamil

“Aag toh hai yeh magar dil ki, jalaaye, kisko jalaaye,
Cheekh seene mein hai dabi jo, bulaaye, kisko bulaaye,
Zindagi mein toh teri jaan, kahin chalaaki, kahin chalaaki,
Roz bun-bun ke tu humdard, banaaye, kisko banaaye,
Raakh baaki thi jisse, leke chali hai aandhi,
Phoonk maari hai kisse waqt bujhaaye, kisko,
Ashq dete na mujhe koi, nazar kuch din se,
Dard mera hausla hai toh rulaaye kisko?”

– Irshad Kamil

Next up is a thoroughly experimental, rock song, with very less rock elements! The composition by Rahman is a proper composition you would expect to be in a rock song, embellished heavily with electric guitar strums and drums, with a pulsating rhythm! Not that the rhythm of the song that Rahman has used here, isn’t pulsating! In fact, it is quite thrilling, considering that only a few rock guitar portions are helping it stand up. A techno loop provides the rhythm throughout the song, which is very low on the composition front; it is more like a song that is completely whispered by Jonita Gandhi. She seems to get the weirdest (but beautifully experimental) songs from Rahman! ‘Implosive Silence’ (Highway) was a reverse of her humming, and now this is a whispered song, barring some English lines that are more like an angsty outburst. The few instances where the rock guitars do show up, are amazing. Though the song has no tune as such, the words are chanted in such a way, that it almost sets up a catchy rhythm, like the parts when she says “Jalaaye, Kisko Jalaaye“, or “Bulaaye, kisko bulaaye”. Jonita herself, sounds very different from her usual voice, even in the parts where she properly sings those English lines. Or maybe the English lines are by backing vocalist Rianjali, who has given great supporting vocals. The song seems like it will be placed in the background score somewhere, during a crucial point in the film. There are more frequent electric guitars towards the end of the song, and those parts are really fun to hear. At first when I heard this song, I thought, “What a waste of six minutes, when this is all you have to hear.” Now I see how amazing it would sound at the cinemas. However, I must say, it sounds quite repetitive after some time; you just have to wait it out in some parts when it gets boring, because it gets better towards the end. Irshad Kamil’s lyrics are full of angst, and appropriate for the thrilling setting of the film. A thrilling song, that would sound amazing in the film itself, but still sounds catchy even now. Less repeat value, though.

Rating: 3.5/5

 

4. Freaking Life

Singers ~ Rianjali, Raja Kumari, Suzanne D’Mello & Darshana KT, Lyrics by ~ Rianjali, Raja Kumari & A.R. Rahman

“All my life I’ve been trying to run,
And now I can’t see,
Now I can’t breathe,
All the time I had, I just faded away,
All this time I was scared of me,
But now I’m just me,
And I won’t leave,
No, I can’t go back,
I’m just flying free!”

– Rianjali, Raja Kumari & A.R. Rahman

Another youthful song is up for us to listen to, after that thrilling BGM-kind of song. This one starts off in a very staid manner, with an electric sound that starts it off quite vaguely. And as the singers start off, with that very cheesy-sounding line, you just wait for it to get better. And it does. A very cheerful composition follows, and especially Suzanne’s portions (“All my life I’ve been trying to run…”), the mellifluous one before the hookline, is amazing. The hookline itself, is again, very boring and sounds as if the singers are taking out their frustration on the listeners for some reason. The “It’s my, it’s my, it’s my” is so irritating. I mean, one moment, they’re happy, and the other, they’re frustrated with their lives. The four singers (one is Darshana KT, the backing vocalist) sound great as a whole, but I could separate Suzanne D’Mello being her usual awesome performer self, and singing beautifully. It is her part of the song, which is the best, coincidentally. The song also reminded me of the other such song that released this year, “Buri Buri” (Dear Maya), which followed quite the same template, but wasn’t so long. A.R. Rahman, along with two of the singers, Rianjali and Raja Kumari, pen down the lyrics, which are a clichéd depiction of teenagers. The arrangements are a bit better, with nice techno sounds embellishing the frustrated singers’ outbursts. This song isn’t going to stay with me for long; it is befitting as an English pop single.

Rating: 2.5/5

 

5. Chal Kahin Door

Singer ~ Shashaa Tirupati, Lyrics by ~ Irshad Kamil

“Ranjishon, ruswaaiyon se, bewajah bechainiyon se,
Uljhe raaston se, dard ke sab bandhanon se,
Khush nahi hai dil tu jin se, apni hi unn uljhanon se,
Chal Kahin dooooor chale!!”

– Irshad Kamil

Now this song, is what we were waiting for, from Rahman, ever since he gave us “Agar Tum Saath Ho” (Tamasha). The way he fused Indian classical with Western sounds in that song, is now an example of excellent fusion, without it having to be rock. This one too, is along the same lines. The composition starts off like an offspring of “Kahaan Hoon Main” (Highway), and continues being so for about one minute, until a very, very unexpected turn arrives, which has a very sanctimonious-sounding tune, and then it bursts into a Western orchestral piece. The composition is a very beautiful one, taking many such unexpected twists and turns, and by the time it ends, we are just awestruck. The antara is so charmingly cute, and again, it breaks into a waltzy tune somewhere in the middle, which makes you feel as of you’re floating in the sky, if I were to be sounding the most clichéd I can. The number of time Rahman seamlessly switches genres and rhythms in the song, is just amazing. The arrangements follow the composition and change with it everytime. The song starts off with the peaceful sound of water flowing in a stream, and this is when the prelude similar to ‘Kahaan Hoon Main’ is sung. To increase the serenity, Rahman’s piano chords, as always, provide the required soothing quality. Soon enough, the stream vanishes, and, in a very ‘Chali Kahani’ (Tamasha) way, the composition changes tune and rhythm, and I would describe this portion as a bhajan-like portion, because of the wonderful chimes, Manjeeras and harp that Rahman has employed on the arrangements. As the hookline actually breaks out, the Chennai Strings & Sunshine Orchestra comes back to awe us with its ravishing strings, and a string guitar strum ends the long Mukhda. Only to bring yet another fascination in the form of a BEAUTIFUL flute (Kamalakar) portion that leaves you spellbound. The Antara brings back the bhajan-like part, but later on, it changes course again, into a waltzy tune, decorated with a beautiful flute piece in the background. And then the violins start up yet again, as soon as the hookline returns. Actually the song ends here, but Rahman throws in a bonus one-and-a-half-minutes of music to leave us spellbound before we end the song. The guitars provide a nice rhythm to Shashaa’s humming in this portion, which is like an interlude, and the flute returns to kill us yet again. The hookline is repeated once more after that ravishing interlude, and then the song (which was surprisingly 6½ minutes long, but never felt so long) ends, sadly. Shashaa sings something that I think is her best yet. After ‘Sarsariya’ (Mohenjo Daro) and ‘Sunn Bhavara’ (Ok Jaanu), she gets yet another masterpiece with Rahman, and she seizes the opportunity to showcase her singing prowess yet again. Her talent is so properly utilised by Rahman everytime, as he seems to direct her talents to bring out her best each time. And now I am yearning for her to sing a proper Bhajan with Rahman’s music, because we all know what masterpieces Rahman makes in the name of bhajans! Irshad Kamil’s lyrics are wonderful here too! Quite like the lyrics of his recent song “Sune Saaye” (Dear Maya) with Anupam Roy, this one too, is about forgetting your worries and staying happy! 😍 A song that leaves you utterly spellbound and speechless. One of the best experimentations of the year!

Rating: 5/5

 

6. Muafi Mushkil

Singer ~ Darshana KT, Lyrics by ~ Irshad Kamil

“Chehre pe Khalish hai baaki,
Yaad mein woh tapish, hai baaki,
Bante bante bante banta hai,
Mausam matam jaisa phir,
Hote hote hote hota hai,
Hansna bhi ghum jaisa phir,
Koi ho hum jaisa phir,
Andhera, uthaale, ujaala, sambhaale,
Aankhon ki jheel mein, subah hai jawaan!
Subah se rootha toh, Maafi, maafi, maafi, maafi mushkil!”

– Irshad Kamil

This song starts off in a very distinct way, very, very different from any song (at least any song in a Bollywood soundtrack) that I’ve heard, ever! The a cappella style takes a never before heard form, with a very quiet and soft sound. The composition is good, but again, very experimental, and will appeal only to a niche audience. The part where it goes high in a crescendo, is just mind blowing, and singer Darshana KT carries it out amazingly. Again, it reminds me of ‘Kahaan Hoon Main’ (Highway)! The first half comprises only Darshana singing in the foreground and singing the a cappella portions in the background, while the piano leads the second half of the song, making it sound more intense and beautiful from that point. It aptly sounds mysterious when the piano enters, and it sounds like a sad song; but I’ll have to watch the film to know what exactly it is. Darshana’s vocals are amazing, and she makes a smashing debut in singing, under Rahman’s experimental sound. Now this isn’t a song to go on playing on loop, but as many times as you listen to it, you’ll get something more out of it. The first time, you will definitely not love it. The second time is better, and the third time is (as always) the best. Irshad’s lyrics are good, while I think some of the backing vocals she does in the a cappella portions, is Arabic. The song is interesting, with many layers to unfold each time you listen to it!

Rating: 3.5/5

 

7. Be Nazaara

Singer ~ Sudeep Jaipurwale, Composition & Lyrics ~ Traditional, Music by ~ A.R. Rahman

The finishing song to the album is a traditional classical melody, with traditional lyrics, arranged by A.R. Rahman. Sudeep, a singer from the Jaipur Gharana of singing, gets to debut in Bollywood, and I must say, what a brilliant vocal texture he has. It’s not exactly the earthy, folksy texture you find in usual folk singers, but it is surprisingly very clear and smooth, because of which he can do perform the intricacies of the composition with perfection. The composition itself is so strong, it won’t go without leaving your mouth hanging, and making you leave whatever you are doing at the moment to concentrate only on the song. Again, the nuances of it are so beautiful, and that is the beauty of folk compositions! Rahman adds a modern touch with his digital arrangements, also adding beautiful chimey sounds that make the song even more deep-sounding. In the true nature of a classical song, it is 7 minutes and 35 seconds long, but you never get bored for one second. A perfect, spine-chilling (because of its intricacy) finale to the experimental album!

Rating: 4/5


Mom is an album that is quite brave in its presentation. Never before have I seen such an unconventional album, that is half made out of songs that we would usually never hear except in the theatre, in the Background music of a film. But Rahman and the makers of ‘Mom’ have tried it and emerge successful too. There is such a variety even in the experimentation — with a Punjabi club song, a whispered-out rock song, an a cappella sad song, a semiclassical song which has numerous twists and turns and a purely classical song. Yes, it is less on repeat value, but this album will be remembered for standing out as an unconventional one. The makers needed such experimental music for a thriller like this, and so I would just tweak the age-old saying and say that “Necessity is the Mother (or rather, MOM) of Experimentation!!” 

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4.5 + 4 + 3.5 + 2.5 + 5 + 3.5 + 4 = 27

Album Percentage: 77.14%

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: Chal Kahin Door > O Sona Tere Liye > Be Nazaara = Kooke Kawn > Raakh Baakhi = Muafi Mushkil > Freaking Life

 

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

A PERFECT, SOOTHING, SHAB-TIME ALBUM!! (SHAB – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Mithoon
♪ Lyrics by: Amitabh S. Verma & Mithoon
♪ Music Label: Tips Music
♪ Music Released On: 22nd June 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 30th June 2017

Shab Album Cover

 

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


Shab is an upcoming Bollywood romantic drama, starring Ashish Bisht, Arpita Chatterjee and Raveena Tandon in key roles. The film has been directed by Onir, the director of films like ‘My Brother Nikhil’, ‘Bas Ek Pal’ and ‘I Am’. The film has been produced by Sanjay Suri and Onir for Anticlock Films, WSG Entertainment and Surya Entertainment. So since I don’t know much about this film, let’s jump right into talks about the music. Onir’s one-time collaborator for ‘Bas Ek Pal’, Mithoon, has been roped in for the music of this film as well, and in the process, he bags his first solo album after 2013’s ‘3G’ {Yes, it too, had one background piece by Amar Mohile, in which case his last non-infiltrated soundtrack was 2010’s war film ‘Lamhaa}. The music of ‘Lamhaa’ (and even ‘3G’, at that) was amazing, and that just goes to show us how Mithoon can free himself in solo albums, unlike the restricted Mithoon we see in multicomposer albums. For this film, since he has composed the majority of the ‘Bas Ek Pal’, in which Pritam had played the infiltrative role, we know he shares a great rapport with Onir, and can just hope that this collaboration between the two turns out to be just as great. With no further ado, let’s get into this short soundtrack!


1. O Saathi

Singer ~ Arijit Singh, Lyrics by ~ Mithoon

Of course, along comes Arijit, right in the first track because this is a Mithoon soundtrack after all, which is rather incomplete without an Arijit song nowadays. (Then again, any soundtrack without Arijit these days, is deemed as incomplete, so I don’t really know what to say.) So Mithoon starts the album of ‘Shab’ (which means ‘Night’), with a song that is perfect to listen to at night-time, preferably just before going to sleep, and I say that because it is so soothing and emotional. Yes, it has a sensuous tinge to it too, and that soothing tinge is quite like that heard in many old Western songs. The composition itself starts off in a very Western manner, with those short lines with a nuance in the middle. And Arijit renders them spot-on. After those lines, though, there is the real black magic that starts, and black magic of a Mithoon song is superior to any other composer’s black magic for me, and when Mithoon is in the form, he will definitely produce a very successful, addictive composition that just haunts you. And the portion that gives you these amazing goosebumps, is the part that goes “Tuuuu Iss Jagah…”. 💜. Arijit’s intricate nuances during that part, really give you gooseflesh such as you might never have experience before, in any song, except in a Mithoon song itself. And yet, the composition isn’t something you could call ‘typical Mithoon’ either. He seems to mould himself accordingly, each time. But one thing is for sure: after the underwhelming music he gave in ‘Half Girlfriend’, he makes up for it highly, with this single song! The arrangements just help to increase the haunting nature of the song. A very soft guitar starts off the song, and that hooks you instantly. Later, a very templated Mithoon beat sets in, but it doesn’t hamper the song at all, because at the same time, the beautiful cross line starts. And how do I even explain the hookline? The amazing variations Mithoon has made Arijit take in the hookline, each time he sings it, are just so awe-inspiring! They touch your heart instantly. The guitar and digital beats continue for the rest of the song, and nothing much more by way of arrangements caught my attention, except a couple of drum beats occasionally. Arijit’s vocals are topnotch. I don’t know why composers hesitate to give him different types of songs, and though this isn’t completely different from his stereotype, it still shines because he sings in such a nuanced manner, and not in a templated manner, as if he is trying to recreate the magic of a former song of his. This song is trying to create history on its own merit, and that is what is amazing about it. One place where Arijit just stole my heart then and there was, when, in the ‘antara‘, which actually has the same tune as the mukhda, he sung the word “Zindagi” in such a professional way, with a nice variation on the “Gi” syllable at the end of the word. And of course, he sung the hookline so beautifully, I can’t imagine anybody else singing it; they wouldn’t have done as much justice to it. The lyrics by Mithoon too, are amazing! A perfect, soothing song to start the album off. 

Rating: 5/5

 

2. Musafir

Singer ~ K.K., Lyrics by ~ Amitabh S. Verma

The way the next song starts off, with a very highly promising harp portion, you would think that it would blow you off your feet by the time the melody starts off. However, after the harp portion ends, the song just goes downhill from there, barring some occasional interruptions of catchy music. I can say very confidently though, that the composition is the major spoilsport here. The hookline provides brief respite intermittently, with the “Aiyyayyaa Aiyyayyaa” loop that, though very heavily influenced by many such songs that have released over the past ten years, is catchy nevertheless. A line in the antara, goes abruptly low-pitched, and it sounds quite forced and awkward. Mithoon, once again, succumbs to peer pressure and tries to spin up a composition that reeks a lot of many other songs, and of course, using K.K. as the singer makes it sound even more clichéd. That having been said, I must admit, that K.K. has really done a great job at singing, as always. It is the music arrangements that redeem the song’s favour in our hearts. The harp in the beginning of course, is amazing, but all throughout the rest of the song, a nice drum-and-guitars rhythm stabilises the arrangements and make them listenable. A nice interlude on a mouth organ, is a nice and pleasant thing to listen to. The second interlude on the accordion is even better! Mithoon’s clever additions of chimey sounds, also helps in keeping us listening. The lyrics by Amitabh Verma are not excellent, but good enough. Quite disappointing after the first song which was a masterpiece, this one is a one-time listen; any subsequent listens will be due to the amazing arrangements!

Rating: 2.5/5

 

3. Awaari / Awaari (Reprise)

Singers ~ Mithoon / Neha Bhasin, Lyrics by ~ Amitabh S. Verma

The first note on the guitars, of the following song gives a feeling that a jazz song is about to follow. And the riff that follows is so catchy, you instantly get drawn into the song. The composition of this song is like a breeze of fresh air after the tedious composition of the previous song. The Mukhda starts a bit too abruptly to digest, but it steadies down as it approaches the hook. The hook is a very sweet and catchy one, reminding me of Hawaiian folk. The first antara follows the structure of the Mukhda, with that oddly-placed first line. But it is the second antara that has all the magic in it. That tune is so like a Mithoon trademark magical composition. The magic of the composition only comes out full-fledgedly, though, in the Reprise, and I’ll tell you why later. First, the arrangements. While the original version sung by Mithoon, has a very breezy and pleasant touch with the nice jazzy guitars mentioned before, and a very nice Caribbean touch through the percussion, the Reprise sung by Neha Bhasin has more of a lounge-ish feel, complete with calming guitars, and a slower pace and tempo. The lovely piano and finger snaps in Mithoon’s version make it seem more lively, and more of a daytime song, if you know what I mean. But Neha’s version is beautifully arranged so that it sounds like a perfect night-time, soothing song. The Reprise really won over my heart with its simplicity and less stuff happening in the background, giving more space for the listener to get drowned in its magical sound. Coming to the vocals, recently Neha expressed her desire to sing all-female songs in an interview, and surprisingly, one of her solos released not long after that. She aces the beautiful composition with a very layered and nuanced rendition of the song, in her trademark husky voice. This time, she takes up a higher pitch than she usually sings her songs in. The slow pace that she gets to sing the song in, make the composition sound better, and that’s how we finally get the gravitas of the composition in this version. After ‘Jag Ghoomeya’ (Sultan) last year, she gets another song to shine in, solo. Mithoon, on the other hand, sings his version with a lively and playful aura around him, and manages to connect with the listeners, but not quite as much as Neha could. Amitabh Verma’s lyrics are good here as well, mostly they are a description of the male protagonist’s dream girl. Experimentation by Mithoon pays off here, with a typical Mithoon composition arranged to a playful Caribbean rhythm in one version, and a serene and graceful arrangement in the other.

Rating: 3.5/5 for Mithoon’s Version, 4/5 for Neha’s Version

 

4. Afiya

Singers ~ Mohammed Irfan & Arun Daga, Lyrics by ~ Amitabh S. Verma

The final song on the album comes in form of a Qawwali-ish song, much similar to the types of songs Mithoon used to give us before the whole ‘Tum Hi Ho’ turnabout. The composition is a very strong sad song, and has every element of Mithoon’s beautiful composing skills. The song has heavy influences of Mithoon’s ‘Banjaara’ (Ek Villain), but still manages to stand tall. The hook is beautiful, and the antaras manage to keep you listening. That lower pitched line in the Antara is mind blowing, and the way it proceeds till the next interlude, has to be some of the best parts of the song. By way of arrangements, Mithoon employs a beautiful digitally-produced rhythm that really works in the Qawwali genre. The claps always work, and work here too. The Saarangi is one beautiful addition to the arrangements, as is the santoor. These were two instruments I would least expect in a Qawwali. The vocals by Mohammed Irfan and Arun Daga are very impressive as well. They harmonize with each other and complement each other spectacularly. Amitabh Verma has written great lyrics here too, but I don’t really know what “Aafiya” itself, means! A perfect end to the album; a trademark Mithoon Qawwali!

Rating: 4/5


Shab, is quite an impressive album from Mithoon, after a long time. It has been a long time since he has been allowed to compose solo for a film, like he used to back in the day, and he lives up to expectations. Though there is an overpowering romantic theme in the album, the album manages to escape from being monotonous or repetitive. And a reason for that is, that there are only four songs. But since only one of them is distinctly disappointing, I can say that Mithoon has really performed well, considering that he never gets solo albums nowadays. Overall, this is a perfect ‘Shab’ (Night) time album, full of soothing music! 

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 5 + 2.5 + 3.5 + 4 + 4 = 19

Album Percentage: 76%

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: O Saathi > Awaari (Reprise) = Afiya > Awaari > Musafir

 

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

A SUPER-BRIGHT, LED TUBELIGHT!! (TUBELIGHT – Music Review)

CONGRATULATIONS!!! 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏🎉🎉🎉🎉 Guys, this calls for celebrations!!! After releasing the first song ‘Radio’ on May 17th, Sony Music stretches the music promotions till the eve of the film’s release! As I’m writing this, the time is 10:35 PM on Thursday, 22nd June, the night before the film releases. So Sony Music overtook Zee Music with this one. Zee Music had released the music of ‘Raees’ on the Thursday morning before the film, so now Sony goes one step further and rekeases this one roughly twelve hours before the film! Claps! A round of applause! Hats off! And the best part, the album has TEN songs. *Slow claps*. Before the album released Sony released five singles at tortoise speed and then left us hanging till 9:30 PM or so on 22nd June 2017. Wooosh! Phew! Geez.


Music Album Details
♪  Music by: Pritam Chakraborty
♪ Lyrics by: Amitabh Bhattacharya & Kausar Munir
♪ Music Label: Sony Music
♪ Music Released On: 22nd June 2017, 9:30 PM or so
♪ Movie Releases On: 23rd June 2017, 9:00 AM or so

Tubelight Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Tubelight is an upcoming Bollywood war drama film, starring Salman Khan, Sohail Khan, Mohammad Zeeshan Ayyub, Zhu Zhu and Om Puri, directed by Kabir Khan, and produced by Salma Khan, Salman Khan and Amar Butala. The film is set against the backdrop of the 1962 Indo-China War, which was fought over a disputed Himalayan border. The film is the official adaptation (no, not the “copy”, SRK fans!) of 2015’s “Little Boy”, an American film directed by Alejandro Gomez Monteverde. Of course, Salman Khan is looking very innocent in the promos, and the film seems to be another feather in the cap of the Kabir Khan-Salman Khan combo. Not just that, but even the music director of the film brings with him, many hopes and expectations from the audience. Pritam has been a constant collaborator with Kabir Khan, and right from their first album together, ‘New York’, he has been giving great music for Kabir’s films, and he has done three of Kabir’s films, making this the fourth film. The maestro gave an iffy soundtrack to ‘Raabta’ earlier this year, but then chose not to be associated with it for reasons we know. So for all practical purposes, this becomes his first album of the year. So, let’s see what Pritam has to offer in this long soundtrack that released twelve hours before the film!


1. Radio / Radio (Film Version)

Singers ~ Amit Mishra / Amit Mishra, Additional Vocals ~ Akashdeep Sengupta, Backing Vocals by ~ Tushar Joshi, Lyrics by ~ Amitabh Bhattacharya

“Aankhon mein aaye, aansoon khushi ke,
Phoola samaaun na main,
Haaye marr hi jaaun na main, haaye marr hi jaaun na main, ho ho,
Harkat ajoobe, Karne se khud ko, rok paaun na main,
Haaye marr hi jaaun na main, haaye marr hi jaaun na main!
Gaaunga Sur mein oonche, gaana yeh mera goonje,
Jammu se Jhumri-Talaiya,
Sajan Radio-oh-oh-oh-ohhhh, bajaiyo, bajaiyo, bajaiyo zara,
Sajan Radio-oh-oh-oh-ohhhh, bajaike sabhi ko nachaiyo zara!”

– Amitabh Bhattacharya

{NOTE: Sony had initially released a version of this song that actually had Kamaal Khan’s vocals in it, but later on it was replaced by a solo version by Amit. The Kamaal Khan Version was the film version, but now Amit has redubbed Kamaal’s parts. Even in the Film Version. Maybe Sony has credited him so that he doesn’t sue them or anything.}

So Pritam starts the album off with the quintessential, focus-the-cameras-on-Salman-Khan-dancing, sure-to-be-popular kind of song. This time, thankfully, it focuses less on Salman’s character, and stupid gimmicks like Bass and Selfies, but it apparently plays a role in the narrative. The protagonist gets a very good news, via the radio, the only source to get news of the war in those times, and hence, the whole village celebrates by singing this quite festive song, ‘Radio’. Pritam leaves no stone unturned in trying to compose this song in a catchy way, and still keeping the superhero’s image intact. 2015’s ‘Selfie Le Le Re’ (Bajrangi Bhaijaan) was low on the composition front, and Pritam fixes those problems and adds a more rich tune, here. The mukhda is the only odd thing; it might take time to get used to, but from the hookline to the end of the song, it takes you on a fun ride, showcasing Pritam’s trademark fun and desi side. The hook is something that will surely never leave my mind and heart, it has touched me with its cuteness. The way the word ‘Radio’ has been elongated with those intricate nuances, is just mind blowing. And extra marks to Amit Mishra, who rendered them just as perfectly. The antara, which is what Kamaal had sung in the initial version, which was taken down, has been composed just as charmingly, and I actually felt a nice old-world-charm in it. And the bridge from the antara back to the hookline, the part that goes “Jammu se Jhumri-talaiyya“, for some reason appealed to me a lot! The latter part of the song is just everything we had heard earlier in the song, played again, but I assure you, it doesn’t seem tedious or boring to listen to. Pritam has employed some wonderful arrangements to make this song sound as innovative as it can, in a Salman Khan movie. The accordion (Jeff Taylor) that starts off the song itself, draws you in so strongly, it is hard to stop listening right away. And then the composer brings in his usual upbeat Indian beats, the dholaks (Rhythms by Nitin Shankar & Dipesh Verma) standing out brilliantly especially in the hookline. The trumpets (Samuel Ewens) too, have a wonderful effect on the song. There’s a wonderful accordion (Jeff Taylor) solo in the second interlude which is something that can’t be missed at any cost! Sadly, people who will just be watching the badly-edited video song on TV, will miss it! The fiddle (Eli Bishop) is just lovely, standing out most prominently in the beginning of the antara, and as the antara progresses, we can hear one odd Banjo (Matt Menefee) note, which stands out like a sore thumb, but a good one, I guess!! Amit Mishra, Pritam’s latest blue-eyed boy, renders this one with amazing vocal prowess. It wasn’t always in his previous songs, that Amit hit the notes perfectly, but somehow, he manages to do so in an upbeat song where the melody plays the main game. Kudos to him for improving his vocals! Especially the low notes in the antara, he performs magnificently. The Film Version is basically the same song, but with Amit taking up different lyrics in the antara (this is what Kamaal had sung earlier, quite terribly too, at that, and I’m glad Pritam removed his voice. But then why have Sony credited him? May I say “LOL”?!). But that one gets a little less marks as the corresponding part in the antara of this song isn’t as hooking as the “Jhumri-talaiya” portion that I had loved! The situational lyrics by Amitabh are quite easy to decode, and we can easily understand what’s going to go on in the film when this song plays. It isn’t just a roadside attraction like ‘Selfie Le Le Re’ was in ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’. A solid start to the album; this song might not be the favourite of Salman Khan’s or Pritam’s fans, but it left me awestruck with its innocent and charming nature! 

Rating: 4/5 for Original Version, 4/5 for the Film Version

 

2. Naach Meri Jaan

Singers ~ Nakash Aziz, Dev Negi, Kamaal Khan & Tushar Joshi, Kumaow Backing Vocals by ~ Dev Negi, Anurag Saikia, Akashdeep Sengupta & Tushar Joshi, Lyrics by ~ Amitabh Bhattacharya

“Rishta humaara, jaise ki dori, se judi ho patang, patang, patang, patang!
Tujhse bichhadke chal na sakoonga, ek bhi main, kadam kadam kadam kadam!
Palkon pe mujhko bas toone bithaya,
Jeene ka nuskha yehi, toone bataya,
Chhed ghata ko, banke pavan tu, chhodke saare, kintu parantu,
Naach meri jaan, hoke magan tu, chhodke saare, kintu parantu!”

– Amitabh Bhattacharya

The second song comes across more as the commercial, show-off-Salman’s-stardom kind of song, than the first song. But this time, along with Salman, his real-life and reel-life brother, Sohail Khan, also gets the spotlight. The song is being touted as a ‘Brotherhood Anthem’, and that, it is. It is heartwarming to hear Pritam’s composition for this one. A very innocent composition at heart, it really suits the ambience of the film, and will set the base for the two brothers’ love in the film, perfectly. The prelude is a wonderful folksy instrumental on a folk instrument of the Northeast India. After the prelude ends, I found myself very tempted to sing “Jashnbaazi Ki Shaam Hai..“, the opening lines of Pritam’s ‘Tukur Tukur’ (Dilwale), because the feel of both songs is just so similar. Even after the mukhda plays, though, that song cannot be forgotten, and yet another Pritam song, ‘Chicken Kuk-Do-Koo’ (Bajrangi Bhaijaan), comes to mind. Pritam always does those slightly Goanese flavoured songs with utmost care and fun, in the process, making us get a very fun song to listen to. The composition of the mukhda starts off the song very beautifully though, despite all the throwbacks to his previous songs. And the hookline too, is amazingly charming. The antaras, both having the same tune, witness Pritam doing his (yet again) trademark repetition of one word many times, and that effect sounds really cute and catchy here. The composition overall gives out a very beautiful old-fashioned feel, and I mean it in a good way. Pritam does the Laxmikant-Pyarelal thing again, and scores. The arrangements in this song are much more richer, than the Pritam songs that it sounds like. The entire song is based on a folksy rhythm, with a strong whiff of the Northeastern flavour. The percussion stands out very prominently, as a quirky and catchy one. The folksy instrument keeps playing throughout the song, and you can’t help but keep humming the flute portions in the second interlude. That interlude is hands-down, the best part of the song for me. Close behind comes the folksy chorus part, sung in Kumaow, the dialect spoken in the hilly areas where the film is set. Dev Negi, Tushar Joshi, Anurag Saikia & Akashdeep Sengupta, do an amazing job singing those lines. As for the lead vocals, Nakash Aziz is his usual energetic self, whose best is always brought out by Pritam. Dev Negi sings the other brother’s portions in the audio song, or so I believe, because I can hear Kamaal Khan’s soft-and-unimpactful voice in the video, and that’s not the same voice in the audio song. 😂 So again, Kamaal gets replaced for the album version of the song, just as he was in the first song. Whoever has sung those parts in the audio then (though I’m guessing it is Dev Negi) has done an impressive job compared to what Kamaal sounds like in the video. Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics are a very cute take on the dynamics (in the song, very smooth and easy-going, which I don’t think it is like in real life… Right?? 😂😂😂) between two brothers. To sum it up, this song is something that touches your heart, as well as makes you tap your feet, at the same time!

Rating: 4.5/5

 

3. Tinka Tinka Dil Mera / Tinka Tinka Dil Mera (Film Version)

Singers ~ Rahat Fateh Ali Khan / Jubin Nautiyal, Chorus ~ Vivienne Pocha, Shazneen Arethna, Marienne D’Souza & V. Chandana Bala, Traditional Shepherd Calls by ~ Jubin Nautiyal, Vivienne Pocha & DJ Phukan, Lyrics by ~ Kausar Munir

“Tinka tinka dil mera, teri lau mein, jalta hai,
Jaaye tu chaahe kahin, mere dil mein dhalta hai,
Qatra qatra, dil mera, teri raah mein behta hai,
Jaaye tu chaahe kahin, mere dil mein rehta hai!”

– Kausar Munir

After two upbeat and foot tapping numbers, the pathos and poignance that eventually gets to all Pritam-Kabir Khan soundtracks, sets in. What is presented to us next, is a pensive melody that really brings tears to your eyes, and I’m not exaggerating! Pritam ropes in his long-time collaborator, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan from across the border, to sing this song, and I must say, he was the perfect choice for this song. Of course there is a “Film Version” by Jubin Nautiyal as well, but more on that later. The composition is essentially a heart touching one, complete with little nuances throughout its length. The mukhda, which is in its entirety, the hookline itself, hits you right where it should. The folksy bits in the interludes, (rendered powerfully by Jubin Nautiyal, Vivienne Pocha & DJ Phukan), are really impactful and provide a raw and earthy feel to the song. Even the basic composition by Pritam is very raw and rustic, not like Pritam’s usual alternative rock-styled sad songs a la ‘Saware’ (Phantom), ‘Daayre’ (Dilwale), etc. The antara does something inside you that not even the mukhda could do. The high notes it touches are just so heart-rending, it leaves a lasting impression, at least it left one on my heart. The slow pace really works in the song’s favour, and evokes memories of another such song by Pritam, “Ashq Na Ho” (Holiday), which was also, coincidentally, about the sentiments of family members of a soldier when he goes off to war. There is yet another “roadside attraction” as I call it, in the song, and that is the Chorus, singing like an English choir. Vivienne Pocha, Shazneen Arethna, Marienne D’Souza and V. Chandana Bala do that with a striking brilliance. It kind of resembles the similar chorus we had in ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’s ‘Zindagi Kuch Toh Bata’. Now, to talk about the leading man, Rahat. I think that if I say he has done extraordinarily in the song, it would be an understatement. His rustic voice produces a magic it has not produced of late, and reaches out to your heart. Jubin, on the other hand, not having the same vocal texture in other songs, tries impressively to produce it, and even succeeds to an extent. The way he has moulded himself to fit into the rustic standards of the song, is very impressive. But of course, some of the magic that Rahat could provide, is evidently missing in Jubin’s version. {Fun fact here: Even in ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’, Jubin had sung one version of ‘Zindagi Kuch Toh Bata’, and the other one was a duet between Rahat and Rekha Bhardwaj!} Pritam’s arrangements are some of the most beautiful arrangements I’ve heard for a sad song this year. Usually, composers while arranging the sad songs are of the (mis)conception that it would be fitting to arrange it very monotonously, with the same sounds repeating all throughout the song. They almost never try to experiment at it, but here, Pritam has experimented by adding touches of the folksy flavour (credited by Sony Music as “Traditional Shepherd Calls”) and a Western flavour through the Choir. Even in the instruments, he tries to bring variety, by gracing some parts of the song with nothing but a serene-sounding piano, making the song suitable for a lullaby, but other parts heavy with rich and lush instrumentation, especially the finale to the song, where the American choir starts to sound African (but I guess that’s how the Hill Regions’ folk music sounds). Interspersed throughout the song, is a string instrument that is very fascinating; that would be the Swedish Nyckel Harpa (played here by Emelia Amper). Regular orchestral strings too prevail in the song, and sound magnificent especially in the first interlude. The instrumentation doesn’t stop even at the percussion part of the song, where Pritam employs Dipesh Verma, Omkar Salunkhe & Backtracks to produce a very intriguing Afro kind of percussion section. The guitar, of course, is a nice and pleasant addition to everything else that sounds so heavy. Even though the song is very emotional though, it never sounds heavy to the ears, and that is definitely because the arrangements have been kept so soothing to the ears, especially the minimal piano/xylophone parts. Both version are the same in arrangements, only differing in the vocal department. Kausar Munir, guest lyricist, pens down this song as a very heart-moving depiction of one brother’s love for the other, who is obviously off at war. SPLENDID!!

Rating: 5/5 for the Rahat Version, 4.5/5 for the Jubin Version

 

4. Main Agar / Main Agar (Film Version)

Singer ~ Atif Aslam / K.K., Chorus in Atif’s Version ~ Vivienne Pocha, Shazneen Arethna, Nisha Mascarenhas & V. Chandana Bala, Lyrics by ~ Amitabh Bhattacharya

“Main agar, sitaaron se churaake laaun roshani,
Hawaaon se churake laaun raagini,
Na poori ho sakegi unse magar, teri kami,
Main agar, nazaaron se churake laaun rangatein,
Mazaaron se churake laaun barqatein,
Na poori ho sakegi unse magar, teri kami!
Yeh duniya paraayi hai, bas ek apna hai tu,
Jo sach ho mera woh savere ka sapna hai tu!
Dekhunga tera raasta, ho kuchh tujhe bas Khuda na Khaasta!” 💜

– Amitabh Bhattacharya

Finally, with the fourth song in the soundtrack, the TYPPPPPPICAL Pritam vibe enters, and by that I mean a very soft and dulcet melody, with rock arrangements that send you on a trip to dreamland. The song starts off very promisingly. Very, very promisingly. The mukhda starts off right away with the hookline, which is a haunting line, that you catch onto instantly! It takes these abrupt turns into that “Haunting Note” territory, and when a tune goes into that territory, you end up loving it right away! That part even reminded me of the same “Haunting Note” territory part in “Zindagi Kuch Toh Bata” (Bajrangi Bhaijaan). But after that nice and dulcet tune, in comes a very oddly placed high-octane rock portion that defies the era and time period in which the film is set; it sounds very much like the formulaic songs that Pritam sometimes composed for the Bhatts. But fortunately, the composition is so strong, you overlook the mismatch of the era and the musical style. The antara gets back into that Haunting territory, and in the high notes, it just sends chills along the length of your arms. But hands-down, the best part of the song is the part where the title comes into play. Again, towards the end, a wondrous chorus joins (Vivienne Pocha, Shazneen Arethna, Nisha Mascarenhas & V. Chandana Bala), giving a very goosebumps-inducing experience. The arrangements in this one, are quite different from the folksy feel that the album carried till now, as is clearly evident right when the first electric guitar riff plays. The guitars, nevertheless, are very engaging, and Pritam does that technique of his which we heard in ‘Kabira’ (Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani) and ‘Saware’ (Phantom), where the guitar just seems to play in a never-ending circular loop. The song starts off, however, with a very serene and soothing piano-driven instrumentation, and those first sixty seconds of the song are something to savour, because then, after that, the drums (Backtracks) and guitars (Warren Mendonsa & Oscar Foreleg Storm) overshadow everything else. Once in the antara, between the lines “woh lamha hoon main“, and “Phaagun Ke Mahine“, you can hear a very Indian Qawwali-ish instrument, like the chimta, and I wonder what that is doing in this song. Whatever it’s doing, I loved that it is doing whatever it is doing. 😍 The basic rhythm of the song is very engaging. One grouse I had during the finale of the song is that the chorus + guitars + Atif yelling at the top of his voice, gets so loud at one point, that you have to decrease the volume from whatever volume you are listening it at, because it just doesn’t sound consistent with the rest of the song. That brings us to Atif. He pronounces his words quite better than he does usually, and leaves no doubt in out mind that this song was tailor-made for him and solely him. Whatever has irked me about the loudness in the original song, isn’t quite set right completely in the Film Version by K.K., but as a song, this one is a more glitzy version of the melancholic song. This one has modern club beats (reminding one of “Tum Mile” title song), which sound like even more of an oddity considering that the film is set in the 1960s. And to think that a club version is the Film Version, is well, awkward. Pritam tweaks the tune a bit, adding a part where K.K. repeats the word “bepanah“, and uses his trademark neverending guitar loop there too. K.K.’s vocals are enjoyable, and I must say, he grazes the high notes way better than Atif does, in a very effortless manner. Pritam also does away with the female choir here, and ends the song softly, instead of loudly like the original version. Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics in this song, though, are what will make people to listen to it, even fifty years down the line. Such poetic lines, and so meaningful! Wow! He even writes different lyrics for two portions in the so-called “Film Version”. I still have a gut feeling that Atif’s version would be the Film Version, and Sony has just written it on the K.K. version by mistake. Both versions are slight misfits in the album, but a great song nevertheless. Despite a few grouses here and there, it is made up for by the SPECTACULAR lyrics!

Rating: 4/5 for Atif’s Version, 4/5 for K.K.’s Version

 

5. Kuch Nahi / Kuch Nahi (Reprised) / Kuch Nahi (Encore)

Singers ~ Javed Ali / Shafqat Amanat Ali / Papon, Lyrics by ~ Amitabh Bhattacharya

“Naa nabz, naa hi saansein, Kuch nahi, kuch nahi
Tere bina hai jeena, Kuch nahi, kuch nahi
Naa ashq naa hi aahein, Kuch nahi, kuch nahi
Tere bina hai marna, Kuch nahi, kuch nahi!
Tere bina main kyun, Tere bina main kya?
Har pehar darbadar, Kuch nahi, kuch nahi..
Naa aks naa hi saaya, Kuch nahi, kuch nahi
Tere bina hai mera, Kuch nahi, kuch nahi!”

– Amitabh Bhattacharya

The grand finale to this much-awaited and much-delayed album, appears in three versions. So it is as of Pritam is making up for all the time we spent waiting, by giving us a treat of two extra versions! Let’s remind ourselves that ‘Tu Jo Mila’ (Bajrangi Bhaijaan) also featured in three versions, one by K.K., one by Javed Ali and the last by Papon. Well here, Pritam follows a similar template, giving one version to Javed, one to Papon and the third to someone he has collaborated with many times, but has been absent from Bollywood for quite a long, long time, Shafqat Amanat Ali. So first version first. Javed Ali gets to sing the original version of the song, and what an apt choice that is, for, he renders it so beautifully with his voice that is the perfect blend of rustic and sweet. The composition immediately gives off fragrances of ‘Tu Jo Mila’, right from the first line, but Pritam takes detour from that similar tune quite soon in the proceedings of the song, only to make it sound like a different line of ‘Tu Jo Mila’. The bottom line was that, I couldn’t forget ‘Tu Jo Mila’ the whole time I was listening to this song. The guitar in the beginning is played very similar to that in ‘Tu Jo Mila’, and by very I mean very, very. Is that a complaint? No, not at all. The composition, despite all similarities, is very beautiful and has a soul of its own. The rest of the arrangements, too do not emulate ‘Tu Jo Mila’ either. While that song had more of an alternative rock setting, this one goes a more rooted way, with the use of traditional (by which I mean traditional Western) arrangements: the orchestra is phenomenal, you just have to keep your ears ready for phenomenal performances by the strings, especially in the antara. And can we take a moment to appreciate the impeccable beauty of the composition of the “tere bina main kyun, tere bina main kya?” line!? Even the antara is very soulful, but it is the hookline with its ‘Tu Jo Mila’-esque properties, that draws you in right away. Anyway, the arrangements are amazing, and a nice rhythm section, again, has been employed all throughout. A wonderful flute interlude plays the ‘Main Agar’ hookline, and that part reaches your heart instantly! This arrangement stays for the Reprise by Shafqat, but it is changed in the Papon version. Papon’s Version has a slightly different arrangement than the other two. A mellow piano, and a twinkly xylophone backdrop welcomes us into the song, with a cello following quite soon. And then the strings just free up so beautifully, and showcase their beauty right away. Here, Pritam does away with the percussion, and keeps it like a classical Western song, and you will get a feeling that you are in some authentic Symphony House in Prague. The interlude too, changes from the flute one to a string orchestra one, with piano leading us to the antara. The antara has hints of brass instrumentation as well, and the percussion returns, but not as pronounced at it was in the two other versions. All in all, this version has the richest arrangements of the three. As for the vocals, I’ve already mentioned how Javed’s high pitched voice helps him directly reach our hearts. Shafqat seems a bit out of form, and that vibrato that used to be the characteristic of his voice, seems to have vanished, making his singing sound duller than his former singing, but better than other singers nowadays!! How I wish the old singers that Pritam has used in this album get many more songs today. Papon in his version, uses his deep, metallic voice to awe his audience and fares way better than Shafqat, but again, I felt the composition only suited Jared’s high pitched voice. The other two have sung well, but the composition just doesn’t go with those low voices for me. But the arrangements helped to make those versions better. Amitabh Bhattacharya keeps the lyrics the same in all three versions, and that’s good too, because the lyrics are so wonderful and deep. 🙂 A perfect finale to this album, in three options! Choose your preferred option and enjoy!!

Rating: 5/5 for Javed’s Version, 4/5 for Shafqat’s Version, 4.5/5 for Papon’s Version


Tubelight turned out to be quite worth the excruciating wait. With only five original compositions, and each of them scoring in their own ways, Pritam has made this album a treat for music lovers. The typical Pritam practice of adding lots of reprises in albums has been revived, the last such album of his being probably ‘Dishoom’. But those reprises were so redundant. Here, each reprise has its own specialty. About the album on a whole, it is so full of variety, while also keeping the emotion of the film intact. Though there are three songs that are uninhibitedly sad/mellow songs, even the two upbeat songs have tinges of emotion in them hidden somewhere. Since this album took such less time to grow on me, at least, I would say that it is a superbright, LED tubelight, which of course, light much faster than the normal ones! 😉

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4 + 4 + 5 + 4.5 + 4.5 + 4 + 4 + 5 + 4 + 4.5 = 43.5

Album Percentage: 87% {Just 0.5% short of getting the top rating! Oh well.}

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: Kuch Nahi = Tinka Tinka Dil Mera > Tinka Tinka Dil Mera (Film Version) = Naach Meri Jaan = Kuch Nahi (Encore) > Radio = Radio (Film Version) = Main Agar = Main Agar (Film Version)

 

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

SAAT SURON SE SAJA ALBUM!! (DEAR MAYA – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Anupam Roy & Sandman (Sandeep Patil)
♪ Lyrics by: Irshad Kamil & Rashi Mal
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 19th May 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 2nd June 2017

Dear Maya Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Dear Maya is an upcoming Bollywood drama film that marks the comeback of Manisha Koirala, and also stars Shreya Chaudhary and Madiha Imam, alongside her in the film. The film has been directed by debutante Sunaina Bhatnagar, who has been Imtiaz Ali’s Assistant Director in ‘Jab We Met’ and ‘Love Aaj Kal’, and is now foraying into direction herself. The film has been produced by Shobhna Yadav and Sandeep Leyzell. The film is about two 14-year old girls who live in Shimla, Anna and Ira, who find out about an old lady named Maya Devi (played by Koirala), who hasn’t come out of her house for 20 years. The reason she hasn’t stepped out of her bungalow for 20 years is because, when she was of a marriageable age, nobody agreed to marry her. The two teenagers, mischievous as they are, decide to prank her by writing fake love letters pretending they are one of her suitors from Delhi, saying he wants to marry her. Full of hope and excitement, Maya leaves for Delhi to meet the suitor. Six years later, the 21-year old Anna and Ira set off to Delhi to find Maya and apologize. So the plot seems very intriguing, and it will surely be very enjoyable to watch. One might expect the music of the film to be composed by A.R. Rahman or Pritam due to Imtiaz Ali’s constant collaborations with the two, but Sunaina chooses Anupam Roy for the music of this film. The Bengali film composer, who debuted in Bollywood almost exactly two years ago, has already gotten some great songs to his credit — the full album of ‘Piku’, two songs in ‘Pink’, and one song in ‘Running Shaadi’. But what makes this fourth album of his extra special, is that it is his first album for a non-Shoojit Sircar film. And that’s saying quite a lot. It means others have started recognizing his immense talent. And that also means we as listeners get to hear more of him! Yay! Joining him with a guest composition is Sandeep Patil, who goes by the name of “SandMan”. Expecting lots from this album, mainly due to the type of film it is, I am diving into it ready for some brilliance!


1. Saat Rangon Se / Saat Rangon Se (Acoustic Version)

Singers ~ Rekha Bhardwaj / Anupam Roy, Music by ~ Anupam Roy, Lyrics by ~ Irshad Kamil

“Dhoop ko churaaungi, chhupanugi wahaan, ho,
Ik naya savera hai, chhupa hua jahaan,
Dheere dheere savere ko jeeti jaaungi,
Bheege bheege ujaalon ko peeti jaaungi,
Maine khud ko aaj keh diya hai haan!”

A wonderful, pleasant piano portion kicks off the first song on the soundtrack — a lilting melody all about loving yourself and living life to the fullest. The composition by Anupam Roy is a very uplifting, soulful one, composed on the seven-count rhythm that I love oh-so-much! The mukhda is aptly gripping, and though the song starts quite slowly, it is that seven-count rhythm that pulls you in eventually, a rhythm which is always used when you want everyone to love your song! (Like ‘Abhi Mujh Mein Kahin’ from ‘Agneepath’ and ‘Bhagwaan Hai Kahan Re Tu’ from ‘PK’.) The antaras follow suit and are as soulful as they can get, and they just leave you feeling happier than ever. The “Hmm-hmm-hmm” by Rekha at the end of every stanza is just so charmingly delightful! The Acoustic Version has the same composition and lyrics, and differs only in terms of arrangements and vocals. The arrangements in the first version are just ethereal. The piano notes suck you into the song and you succumb very happily, but the tablas are as soulful as the word can get. The chimes that play occasionally in the song bring a very breezy touch to it. Whereas, in Acoustic version, aptly named, Anupam employs simple piano and guitars, and removes the tablas, too, making the song sound soulful in a very different manner. Definitely, the piano is the highlight of that version. Again, shakers provide a nice calmness to the song. A wonderful strings interlude sweeps you off your feet! The vocals in both versions are impeccable. Rekha, as always, carries the song to a new level altogether, and her high notes are spot-on. As always, her little nuances work only in favour of the song. Anupam too, manages to keep intact the tranquility of the song, and with his metallic voice, sucks you completely into the song. That high-pitched line in the antaras both singers sung in their individual styles, but both of them sang it so melodiously! Last but definitely, definitely, not the least, Irshad Kamil’s lyrics, which are very meaningful and loveable. They’re all about loving yourself, and accepting life the way it is. A perfect, semi-classical start to this album!

Rating: 5/5 for The Original, 5/5 for the Acoustic Version

 

2. Sune Saaye

Singer ~ Harshdeep Kaur, Music by ~ Anupam Roy, Lyrics by ~ Irshad Kamil

“Bas darwaaza khol ke rakhna, khol ke rakhna,
Khud ko itna mol ke rakhna, mol ke rakhna,
Aaye na mujhko, sab rishton ko, naap ke rakhna, tol ke rakhna,
Main hoon badi naadaan, poore hoke armaan,
Koi leke muskaan jaane, kahaan se kabhi bhi aa jaye,
Soone Saaye, tune paaye,
Soone Saaye, jo hai paaye!”

The next song sucks you into itself right from the first note, which happens to be an amazing sitar strum, followed by a just as amazing guitar riff. And just as these two come into play, you get a feeling that this song is going to make you really happy. And that’s exactly what it does. The song is essentially an inspirational, motivational one, about being positive. Once again, Anupam Roy gets into play an outstanding semiclassical composition that immediately works its magic on the listeners. The mukhda with its low notes definitely impressed me, but even more impressive is the antara, with an amazing tune that has the capability to make you feel nostalgic, just as it did to me. And the high notes in the antara are just WOW!! Both antaras make sure you don’t leave the song midway. The 5 minute long duration of the song has been utilised well, minute for minute by Anupam. That reflects in the arrangements as well. Anupam has very wonderfully employed a fusion arrangement that does nothing but remind the listeners of the ‘Piku’ album. A wonderful soft rock base of rock guitars and drums, played in a very tranquil manner, coupled with acoustic guitars, comprises the Western part of the arrangements. The Indian classical portions of the arrangements comprise nothing but a sitar. And that Sitar is hands-down, the star, the highlight of the song. Everytime it plays, it tugs at your heartstrings and makes you crave for more. And more. Until finally, your heart is satisfied when Anupam throws in an OUTSTANDING sitar interlude after the first antara. I don’t even know how much I should appreciate that part, but it will definitely be one of my favourite usages of sitar in Bollywood music forever! And what makes it sound even better, is that the rock background doesn’t stop even when the sitar is being played! Impressive stuff. The vocals are astounding, Harshdeep owning the song just like she always does! Her rendition here reminds one of ‘Heer’ (Jab Tak Hai Jaan) due to the charisma in her voice, the seamless undulations from low to high octaves. Towards the end too, the sitar plays a wonderful piece, coupled with Harshdeep’s beautiful aalaap Irshad Kamil’s lyrics are amazing here too! They are about waiting patiently for that life-changing moment that comes to everybody, in its own time. The “pyaara mehmaan” referred to in the first line, made me smile very openly, and when a song’s lyrics make you smile that way, you know they are effective!! A song that exudes charisma and nostalgia!

Rating: 5/5

 

3. Kehne Ko

Singer ~ Jonita Gandhi, Music by ~ Anupam Roy, Lyrics by ~ Irshad Kamil

“Rakhna chhupake baat woh, ek din jo boli raat ko,
Aankhon mein aankhein daalke, haathon mein leke haath ko,
Tum bin aasaan nahin hai, lagta hai jaan nahin hai,
Dil Hai, Sama nahin hai,
Jhootha hai jo yahi, kehne ko dil nahin,
Dukhta hai dil kahin, kehne ko dil nahin,
How do I say goodbye?”

Melancholic piano chords welcome you into the next song, followed by an even more melancholic composition. Anupam Roy gives a sad song in the form of this song, and for the most part, it is quite maudlin, and not as engaging as the previous two songs. The Mukhda itself provides a faltery start to the song, and the line “How do I say goodbye?” sounds so very overtly sentimental. The first antara too, doesn’t strive to uplift the nature of the song, but things get interesting only in the second interlude, when Anupam introduces a wonderful soft rock instrumentation, and the composition of the second Antara too, is very engaging. One line in the antara, really touched my soul though, and that is the high-pitched one that ends the antara, “Dil hai, samaa nahin hai!” Jonita renders that line with such a wonderful, nuanced touch. That brings us to her vocals. She is definitely the star of the song, and brings some interest into the maudlin song. Arrangements are completely Western, with the pianos dominating for a major first part of the song, and then, as mentioned above, the soft rock template, complete with drums and guitars, kicks in. The strings in the first interlude, too, do not manage to garner the listeners’ interest. Irshad Kamil’s lyrics are good enough, but again, quite melodramatic. A rare melodramatic song from Anupam, but I’m sure it is just his first, so no worries!! 

Rating: 3.5/5

 

4. Buri Buri

Singer ~ Rashi Mal, Music by ~ Sandman (Sandeep Patil), Lyrics by ~ Irshad Kamil, English Rap Lyrics by ~ Rashi Mal

(What should I even quote here?)

Sandman enters the album for the final song of the album, an upbeat English pop styled song, sung by newcomer Rashi Mal. This song is probably the song revolving around the two 14-year old girls in the movie. The composition is quite good, but falls flat in places, especially the hook that goes “Karein Buri Buri Buri Buri Buri Buri Buri Buri Baatein“. And that “baatein” is whispered in such a way, that you can barely hear it unless you strain your ears. And also, after they say “buri buri buri…“, there’s a weird gasping noise, and you’re like “What the heck?”. The “I’m a sunshine girllllll” is something that would sound at home in a Barbie advertisement. The arrangements are cool, the beats are groovy, and various techno sounds have been put to good use. Rashi Mal’s vocals are mediocre, but anyday better than Anushka Shahaney who sang the English songs in ‘Half Girlfriend’. At least her accent is genuine. She pens down the English lyrics herself, and coupled with Kamil’s Hindi lyrics, they make a good situational song about the careless characters. Above average, but not something that would cater to Bollywood audiences.

Rating: 2.5/5


Dear Maya is an album that delivers as expected. Anupam Roy scores with three out of his four songs, the fourth one lagging a tad behind. His specialty is fusion, and here too, in the best song of the album, “Sune Saaye”, he showcases a brilliant fusion. The other songs follow templates, and out of that one works brilliantly (Saat Rangon Se). Sandman, on the other hand, provides a mediocre, situational song that won’t really go much ahead. Overall, this is an album that works partly, but whatever works, works big-time!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 5 + 5 + 5 + 3.5 + 2.5 = 21

Album Percentage: 84%

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: Sune Saaye > Saat Rangon Se = Saat Rangon Se (Acoustic Version) > Kehne Ko > Buri Buri

{Note: Though ‘Sune Saaye’ and both versions of “Saat Rangon Se” scored the same, I loved ‘Sune Saaye’ much more!}

 

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