PARTIAL MUSICAL ROBBERY!! (BANK CHOR – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Rochak Kohli, Kailash Kher, Shamir Tandon, Baba Sehgal & Shrikanth Sriram
♪ Lyrics by: Adheesh Verma, Gautam Govind Sharma, Kailash Kher, Ambili Menon, Varun Likhate & Baba Sehgal
♪ Music Label: YRF Music
♪ Music Released On: 24th May 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 16th June 2017

Bank Chor Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Bank Chor is an upcoming Bollywood crime comedy, starring Riteish Deshmukh, Vivek Oberoi, Bhuvan Arora, Sahil Vaid, Vikram Thapa and Rhea Chakraborty in lead roles. The film is directed by ‘Luv Ka The End’ fame Bumpy, and produced by Ashish Patil. The film is apparently a comic caper about someone who chooses the wrongest day possible, to rob a bank. Along with two sidekicks who do not know how to even pick a lock. It looks like a spoof on YRF’s own ‘Dhoom’ franchise, and it would be hilarious, I’m sure. The music album is another multicomposer album, as is the norm nowadays. Kailash Kher, Rochak Kohli, Shamir Tandon, Baba Sehgal and Shrikanth Sriram are behind the music. Kailash Kher knows how to compose for comedies, as he proved to us in ‘Chandni Chowk To China’s, so expecting something just as cool as ‘Phatte Chak Lein De’ which was in that film. Rochak Kohli takes the lead, as he has three songs in the album, and after his cool music for ‘Naam Shabana’, a thriller, it will be interesting to see how he moulds himself for a comedy. It’s not that he hasn’t composed for a comedy before, though — remember ‘Welcome 2 Karachi’? Hopefully his songs here are better than those. Shamir Tandon, who has barely impressed me ever before, gets one song, while rapper Baba Sehgal is back with this album, with a single song. Shrikanth Sriram has an instrumental piece to his credit. Hopefully these five men have put together an album that is catchy as well as humorous and sticking to the theme of the movie. Let’s see!


1. Hum Hain Bank Chor

Singers ~ Kailash Kher & Ambili Menon, Music by ~ Kailash Kher, Lyrics by ~ Kailash Kher, Rap Written by ~ Ambili Menon

Kailash Kher, known for his legendary Sufi songs, kicks off the album with its title track, a song that banks on repetitive shouts of the movie’s “clever” title, to propel it forward. Sure enough, the continuous repetition of the title of the film in the way Kailash does it, manages to elicit a few guilty laughs from the audience. The tune as such is very, very artificial and generic, something that wouldn’t have got even one listener if it hadn’t been for the repetitive gag that is the repetition of the “hook”. And I must specify one thing: if you come across this song and you’re like “Oh, how nice, Kailash Kher is back at composing! Let’s give this a go, maybe it’s a Sufi fusion track!”, I’m sorry to tell you that you will be disappointed, so it’s better not to dive into this one with those outrageous expectations, because you know this is a comedy film. And anyway, he has done music for another comedy film in the past, “Chandni Chowk To China”, in which his songs were quite enjoyable too! Looking at it from that point of view, the song is quite enjoyable. The only fun part in the actual composition is the “Jab chori kar loon, chor ke ghar chori, chori karke khoob karoon munhjori!” That line in the antara is the only catchy part of the tune. The arrangements are quite cool, too, by the way. The saxophone is just amazing, and some comedic sound effects entertain the listeners throughout. Kailash’s husky, high-pitched voice is perfect for the song, and he manages to at least sing his faulty composition right. And yeah, since “Bank chor” doesn’t really sound like what he clearly intends it to sound like, he pronounces “Bank” as “Bhank” so that it does. His companion, Ambili, raps something somewhere in the middle that really doesn’t go well with the rest of the song. Kailash pens down the lyrics himself, and I must admit, some of the lyrics are just as hilarious as a song’s lyrics can be. {Which isn’t much; I mean, how loud can you laugh out because of a song!!} An apt song for the film, but not a repeat-listen song! 

Rating: 3/5

 

2. Tashreef / Tashreef Unplugged (Cups Version)

Singer ~ Rochak Kohli / Rochak Kohli, Music by ~ Rochak Kohli, Lyrics by ~ Adheesh Verma

Rochak Kohli steps in now, with his first song out of the two he has composed for the film. And this song, is one of the most innovative stuff we have got from a comedy film of late. If only the makers of ‘Housefull 3’ had roped in Rochak. Anyway, the song is a breezy, feel-good song, about the protagonist who is clearly not feeling very good. The composition is highly innovative and creative, with a country flavour that I’ve lately noticed Rochak uses a lot, like he did in most of his songs from “Hawaizaada”. The composition sounds odd at first, but later, it grows on you amazingly. The arrangements really stand out right away. The guitars are what bring in a nice Goan flavour, similar to that “Crazy Mode” of Pritam’s songs, like ‘Agal Bagal’ (Phata Poster Nikhla Hero), and ‘Chicken Kuk-Do-Koo’ (Bajrangi Bhaijaan). The very weird additions of noises like “Toing toing toing” and other hen and pigeon sounds make the song sound lovely in a very different way. And also cute! The ukulele also sounds beautiful, and makes the arrangements sound very creative. Rochak sings in various different noises, as told earlier, but even when he’s singing in the normal way, it sounds very different from how he usually sings, and it is amazing! He keeps the pitch low, and it makes the song even more effective in bringing out the stress of the protagonist. An unplugged version is actually true to its name (sounds a lot like an unrefined cover version), and the cups that were used in the original too, are more prominent here, due to it being unplugged. It has less of a repeat value though. Adheesh Verma’s lyrics are very impressive, because they’re actually funny in an intellectual way. A highly creative song from a composer who has always meddled around with this kind of arrangement, but never gone up to this level. And now I doubt whether he can outdo himself after this!!

Rating: 4/5 for the Original, 3/5 for Unplugged Version

 

3. BC Rap Knockout: Mumbai Vs Delhi

Singers ~ Naezy & Pardhaan, Music by ~ Shamir Tandon, Lyrics by ~ Varun Likhate

Next up we get something, which at least I have only seen in YouTube videos till now. And it is a Rap Battle. Yes, it is perfectly alright to add the word ‘Epic’ in there, because the song is really an epic showdown between a resident of Mumbai and one of Delhi. There’s no composition as such, as the whole song is a Rap Battle. The arrangements by Shamir Tandon are cool as the backdrop of the battle, and they’re completely digital. What is actually worth hearing the song for, though, are the two amazing rappers behind it. Naezy stands for Mumbai, and Pardhaan for Delhi, and then we get to hear a hilarious competition about which city is the best. The whole attitude which the two rappers carry about themselves is what hooks the listeners to the song, even if it is merely on audio (as of now). Some of the lines they throw at each other are so outlandish, you end up laughing out loud, or at least smiling. And all the credit for that goes to the Lyricist, Varun Likhate. He has penned down an efficient rap battle, and it really sounds very genuine. A nice rap battle.

Rating: 3.5/5

 

4. Jai Baba Bank Chor

Singer ~ Nakash Aziz, Music by ~ Rochak Kohli, Lyrics by ~ Gautam Govind Sharma

This song is the second song by Rochak Kohli on the soundtrack, and after the very creative song, ‘Tashreef’, I bet nobody would have qualms in saying that this one disappoints big-time. The composition is very mediocre, and something we have heard many times. On top of that, Rochak equips a very stale Mumbaiya rhythm to act as the arrangements. Very loud arrangements, and not programmed well enough, makes it sound even more irritating. Nakash’s singing is as usual, energetic and full-hearted. Sadly, the composition doesn’t support him. Gautam Govind Sharma’s lyrics are sad to hear too. A disappointment from Rochak Kohli.

Rating: 1.5/5

 

5. Bae, Baba Aur Bank Chor

Singer ~ Baba Sehgal, Music by ~ Baba Sehgal, Lyrics by ~ Baba Sehgal

This song starts with beats making it sound as if it is a song from an English zombie film. Baba Sehgal is back in Bollywood after quite some time, and he has made this rap song. That makes it the second complete rap song in the soundtrack. This one grips you from the beginning just because of that Zombie-ish background. The rap isn’t too impressive, but you manage to keep listening just because of that background sounds. There is a nice rap in the interlude where Baba Sehgal sings random Spanish names. There isn’t much more by way of arrangements, either, other than that Zombie-ish background, and random sounds of people shouting, lions roaring and whatnot. This time, the shouts of ‘Bank chor!’ aren’t as effective as they were in Kailash Kher’s song. Baba Sehgal raps fine, but the lyrics are very boring. Another stale track, relying on a tune in the background and Baba Sehgal’s name to make it work.

Rating: 2/5

 

6. Mela – The Bank Chor Theme

(Instrumental), Music by ~ Shrikanth Sriram

Someone called Shrikanth Sriram produces this instrumental piece which is so boring, you will be surprised. It is basically the same sounds playing over and over again for five and a half minutes. There is a weird trumpet-like sound playing the main part, and cool percussion in the background, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, … You get the point.

Rating: 1/5


Bank Chor‘s music album starts off quite promisingly, but then just diffuses into a typical, monotonous and trying-to-be-funny kind of zone. I must salute Rochak Kohli though, for his creativity in ‘Tashreef’, and Kailash Kher for his versatility in the title song. The other songs, barring the rap battle by Shamir Tandon, are easily forgettable. An album that only partially manages to steal your heart

Total Points Scored by This Album:  3 + 4 + 3 + 3.5 + 1.5 + 2 + 1

Album Percentage: 51.43%

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: Tashreef > BC Rap Knockout: Mumbai Vs Delhi > Hum Hain Bank Chor = Tashreef Unplugged (Cups Version) > Bae, Baba Aur Bank Chor > Jai Baba Bank Chor > Mela – The Bank Chor Theme

 

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

THODI DER AUR THEHER JAAUN??? (HALF GIRLFRIEND – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Mithoon, Tanishk Bagchi, Rishi Rich, Farhan Saeed, Rahul Mishra & Ami Mishra
♪ Lyrics by: Manoj Muntashir, Arafat Mehmood, Tanishk Bagchi, R. Rekhi, Veronica Mehta, Yash Anand, Yash Narvekar, Ishita Moitra Udhwani, Kumaar, Anushka Shahaney, Laado Suwalka & Kunaal Vermaa
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 27th April 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 19th May 2017

Half Girlfriend Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Half Girlfriend is an upcoming Bollywood romantic drama film, starring Shraddha Kapoor and Arjun Kapoor. The film is directed by Mohit Suri, and produced by Shobha Kapoor, Ekta Kapoor, Mohit Suri and Chetan Bhagat. The film is an adaptation of Chetan Bhagat’s 2014 super-hit novel {In that everyone started hitting it after reading it, so it became super hit} of the same name. I have read that book and didn’t think much of it. And I’m not going to waste time on the plot. So let’s see who is behind the music this time. Now Mohit Suri is always up for new musical talent, and he brought Arijit Singh, Ankit Tiwari and Ami Mishra into the limelight with his previous film albums. I must say, ‘Ek Villain’ and ‘Hamari Adhuri Kahani’ were better off than ‘Aashiqui 2’, which was full of clichés. And now this movie seems like it will be a complete detour from the usual type of music we hear in his other films. Maybe, just maybe, the songs with the lead characters staring at each other for infinite amounts of time, and shots of Shraddha Kapoor crying her eyes out, will not be removed and maybe we will be spared the melodrama that exists in all other Suri movies. But then again, maybe not. Maybe Mohit Suri will make Chetan’s rom-com into a romantic drama just like his other films. And of course, maybe the music will follow suit. That is confirmed as soon as I read the name of the first music director, Mithoon. He has collaborated with Mohit Suri in almost all of his movies, and the only collaboration I didn’t like of theirs, was ‘Tum Hi Ho’ (‘Aashiqui 2), after which I loved the sings from the next two movies. He gets three tracks here, but all are based on the same song. Tanishk Bagchi, the latest composer going tons of places this year, gets a single song here, and hopefully he opens his account with Mohit Suri fabulously so that we get to hear him in more Mohit Suri albums. Rishi Rich, after a long hiatus after the ‘Hum Tum’ song, returns {he has two more albums upcoming this year!} and he gets two tracks. Next up is Ami Mishra, who debuted with ‘Hasi’ from ‘Hamari Adhuri Kahani’ in 2015, and vanished after that. He gets one song too. Then we have the debutants. Rahul Mishra with one song (I have never heard of him so can’t say what I’m expecting), and Farhan Saeed, who is debuting only as a composer; he has sung a couple of songs previously, and in this album, he gets to compose two tracks, out if which one is a version of the other. So with an astounding ten tracks to review, I must start right away.


1. Baarish

Singers ~ Ash King & Shashaa Tirupati, Music by ~ Tanishk Bagchi, Lyrics by ~ Tanishk Bagchi & Arafat Mehmood

Tanishk gets to open the album with his only song in the film. The song is a romantic song, with a tune that will have any Bollywood music lover hooked right away — because it adheres to all Bollywood sensibilities so obediently. The composition is like a trademark Bollywood romantic composition, and sweet too, at that. The mukhda makes the song start in a very sweet way, but that bridge from the mukhda to the hookline, which goes “Aankhon Ke Darmiyaan…” comes so abruptly, you are baffled for a moment. But afterwards, it is nothing but an uphill journey for the composition. The antara is how antaras in romantic songs traditionally are — calm and soothing. Again, an abrupt pause has been added at the end of the antara, which could’ve been avoided since the two lines fit together perfectly even without a pause! The tune for the mandolin loop that plays throughout the song is just so lovely! The hookline itself is yet again, something that will appease all Bollywood lovers, especially 90s music lovers. The arrangements which Tanishk has used in the song work in favour of the song, and as I said, that mandolin loop is sooooo catchy and hummable. The santoor starts off the song wonderfully, and it suits the ‘rainy’ theme of the song. The flute and strings too, add to the beauty of the song. As for the vocals, Ash King does well, but we have heard more outstanding renditions from him, in front of which this seems so ordinary. Shashaa just has to hum a line in an interlude. Tanishk & Arafat Mehmood wield the pen and produce utterly nonsensical words, defying all the laws of grammar. And however serious they might be trying to sound, it just sounds ridiculous. A song that sticks to those criteria that would make it a hit in Bollywood, but doesn’t dare to go experimental.

Rating: 3.5/5

 

2. Thodi Der

Singers ~ Shreya Ghoshal & Farhan Saeed, Music by Farhan Saeed, Lyrics by ~ Kumaar

The next song in the album is another romantic song; the only difference is that this time, both of them love each other — in the first song it was like one-sided. Like tape. This song marks Farhan Saeed’s Bollywood debut as a composer, and it is actually a re-work of his own pop single of the same name. Thank goodness, he brings in a female singer to sing this one with him, and it is none other than Shreya Ghoshal. She handles the nuances very well, and her saccharine voice suits the composition very well. Farhan too, sings his parts well, but it doesn’t have the same impact. The composition itself, sounds very nice to the ears, but clearly has something missing and like the last song, only caters to people who like traditional, typical, same-old-kind of music. The hookline has a great tune though. The arrangements are better off here, with a wonderful sarangi taking care of the people who want variation in the song, and that sarangi solo in the interlude is not to be missed. The guitars are evidence of the fact that the song would’ve sounded so bland without the sarangi — they’ve been played that boringly. It would’ve been quite nice to hear a Sufi treatment given to the song, like tablas/dholaks and the like. A harmonium can be heard, but in very miserly quantities. Occasionally the sarangi reminds you of ‘Roke Na Ruke Naina’ (Badrinath Ki Dulhania), and I even started humming its antara, after the mukhda of this was over. Kumaar’s lyrics are not great, and there are places where they’re about the day not being able to live, and the night not breathing when the two characters aren’t together. Good for a couple of listens, but not something to repeat over and over again.

Rating: 4/5

 

3. Tu Hi Hai

Singer ~ Rahul Mishra, Music by Rahul Mishra, Lyrics by ~ Laado Suwalka

The piano notes of the next song start and instantly you think ‘Bhatt’. Even though they aren’t in any way associated with this film, the piano notes just scream ‘Bhatt’ at you — “BHATT! BHATT! BHATT!” And when you continue listening to the song, you realize that the piano notes were right and you should have listened to their warning cries. Rahul Mishra, a debutant helms this track, and tries to make it as bland and dead as ever. The composition is a trademark Bhatt-ish one, and even though those songs sometimes do impress me, this one falls into category of them which I utterly despise right from the first time I hear them. The hookline is something decent, and that’s pretty much it, because it has been composed so drearily. Dreadfully slow, the song seems to get nowhere and leaves no impression on you after it ends. And the duration doesn’t help, because five and a half minutes is pretty long, for a staid composition. The only part of the song that seems impressive (only to an extent, because it is nothing new) is when the chorus singers try to make the song a Sufi song, and they succeed, but then Rahul starts with the Pakistani pop stuff again. Rahul Mishra’s vocals are quite good; he should carry forth his singing in the industry. The arrangements sound like a terribly-slowed-down version of the arrangements of the ‘Sanam Re’ title track. That tablas and electric guitars arrangement got old after just one song — ‘Sanam Re’. The lyrics by Laado Suwalka are even more typical than the composition. Not a very impressive debut, but hopefully somebody likes it and gives Rahul Mishra another chance.

Rating: 1.5/5

 

4. Phir Bhi Tumko Chaahunga / Pal Bhar (Chaahunga Reprise)

Singers ~ Arijit Singh & Shashaa Tirupati / Arijit Singh, Music by ~ Mithoon, Lyrics by ~ Manoj Muntashir

Mithoon steps in with the next track, and that’s something I was looking forward to, because he has been giving somewhat impressive songs in Mohit Suri’s film albums. However, when I played the song, the result was so anticlimactic I can’t express it in words. Mithoon’s composition sounds like a very desperate attempt to recreate the magic of ‘Tum Hi Ho’ (Aashiqui 2), a magic which I was immune to anyway, so this song too, didn’t affect me with its supposed magical composition. Of course, the song will become a rage nevertheless. Come on! It is Arijit and Mithoon after all! The song fares well for the mukhda, after which it seems to disassemble itself and both antaras sound like a different song altogether. Especially the female antara, seems like Mithoon strung together some completely unrelated notes to construct it. The first antara is slightly better, and it is a relief they’ve repeated it like thrice in the Reprise Version. But the drawback of the Reprise is that there’s no mukhda there. Also, the words and tune don’t match, creating that “Dubbed Music” effect, when you understand the song is dubbed because the words don’t fit well into the composition. Arijit gets into his dull mode here, and in some places you really feel that he drifted off to sleep. Shashaa in her antara does well, but not excellent. The arrangements are also boring. In the first version, they are fine, until those ‘Tum Hi Ho’ beats take over and you go like “Oh Goddddd! Not again!”. I loved the piano notes in the beginning though, and the santoor interlude. There’s a place before Shashaa’s antara where a wonderful flute mesmerizes you. But after that, there’s a staccato piano piece that sounds so random, haphazard and horrible. The Reprise gets the arrangements better. It starts with some weird harp-like sound, and a sound like water dripping from a leaking pipe, and Arijit’s voice is programmed such that you’ll actually believe he’s in some dingy underground basement where a pipe is leaking. But the better part of the arrangements is later, when strings are added in. Otherwise, everything is almost the same as the first version. So both versions have their own plus points. Manoj Muntashir’s lyrics are definitely the highlight of both the tracks. They surpass Mithoon’s arrangements, his dull composition and Arijit’s dreary rendition. One read through them and you’ll be stunned. Mithoon in his uncreative form.

Rating: 2.5/5 for the Original Version, 2.5/5 for the Reprise

 

5. Lost Without You

Singers ~ Ami Mishra & Anushka Shahaney, Music by ~ Ami Mishra, Lyrics by ~ Kunaal Vermaa & Anushka Shahaney

A bit of freshness seems to enter the album with the next song, Ami Mishra’s contribution to the album. It is a song with half-English, half-Hindi lyrics, and with a rock backdrop. The composition of the Hindi parts again, sticks to the normal Bhatt music criteria. The only way the song sounds fresher is due to the English parts, which are interspersed with the Hindi portions quite gratuitously. There’s a catch to that too, though. The “singer” behind those English parts, Anushka Shahaney, seems to be putting on a very artificial accent, something that will barely impress you once you hear it, and it sounds like nonsense because you can’t make out her English. Meanwhile, Ami continues droning on his Hindi portion, which isn’t quite different from his other song ‘Hasi’ (Hamari Adhuri Kahani). Especially the “aaaaa aaaaa” sounds very similar to ‘Hasi’. The arrangements consist of very typical rock elements, the guitars and drums playing throughout the song. There is an interlude where Ami has added some oriental sounding guitar-like sound. The Hindi lyrics by Kunaal Vermaa, are again, nothing innovative, and you barely pay attention to them as the song continues to play. Anushka Shahaney, who has written whatever she rambles herself, should’ve sung in such a way that we could’ve understood what she had written. Ami Mishra disappoints this time, but at least something is fresh here — the addition of English parts, even though they’re unintelligible. The album is just going more and more downhill.

Rating: 3/5

 

6. Stay A Little Longer

Singer ~ Anushka Shahaney, Music by ~ Farhan Saeed, Lyrics by ~ Anushka Shahaney, Additional Lyrics ~ Ishita Moitra Udhwani

Farhan Saeed returns, this time with Anushka Shahaney. And they spoil ‘Thodi Der’ for us. This song is basically an English version of that song, as is evident from its name.. a direct translation from Hindi to English. The composition, I already liked before, but here, even the little nuances that featured in the Hindi version have been gotten rid of, because it’s English right? And English songs can’t have nuances in them right? The song just sounds mediocre, even more so because of the way Anushka sings them in that accent. Her lyrics this time can at least be made out — but they sound very ridiculous. And of course, they don’t fit into the tune, so she has to sing “come” as “cu-uhm”, “love” and “lu-uhv”, “new” as “nyu-oo”, and she has to add “Oh”s and “Ah”s anywhere randomly. Ishita Moitra Udhwani helps her with “additional lyrics”, a term which I don’t understand because can’t two people write a song together? Or did she just replace one word by another so she deserves less credit? 😏 The only thing better here, is the arrangement, which has not only sarangi, but a very opulent symphonic orchestra towards the end, something that wouldn’t have suited in the Hindi song, but something which this English version didn’t deserve, frankly. Supposed to be soothing, but the singer makes sure it is anything but that. At least the arrangements respect us.

Rating: 2/5

 

7. Mere Dil Mein / Mere Dil Mein (Dialogue Version)

Singers ~ Yash Narvekar & Veronica Mehta / Yash Narvekar & Veronica Mehta, Music by ~ Rishi Rich, Hindi Lyrics by ~ Yash Anand & Yash Narvekar, English Lyrics ~ R. Rekhi & Veronica Mehta, Additional Lyrics ~ Ishita Moitra Udhwani

Rishi Rich comes into the album very, very late, with a song you can call the title song of the film. And it is the only so-called upbeat number in the entire album. As such, we are bound to love it, especially people like me who were bored to death by the previous songs. The song is essentially a hip-hop number, with a groovy beat, and Rishi Rich informs us right at the beginning, “This is the Rishi Rich beat”. The song starts with some dialogue by someone sounding like Kangana Ranaut… Don’t miss it! The hookline is insanely catchy, and that “I gotta let you know…” line too, is very catchy. The composition is very repetitive though, and these two things are repeated over and over again so many times, you get annoyed after some time. There are not many more things constituting the arrangements, except that trippy beats and various weird sound effects. Veronica Mehta, who also featured in Rishi Rich’s “Hum Tum” song, at least sings in a more believable accent, but again, many of the words are not decipherable. Yash Narvekar, on the other hand, sings the male portions well, and I think Bollywood has a new Benny Dayal now. In charge of the lyrics are two people each for English and Hindi lyrics. 😂😂 And again, that additional lyricist, Ishita Udhwani, helps them, but they seem to not want to place her in the main lyricist’s list. Poor girl. There’s another version called the Dialogue Version, which has some of the most cringe-inducing dialogues from the film. That ‘Sentiyaa Gaye Hum Toh‘ dialogue is so cheesy! The dialogues come across as very annoying, and it is so evident that Arjun Kapoor wasn’t the right choice for playing this village boy. 😑 At least this song breaks the seemingly neverending spree of depressing songs!

Rating: 2.5/5 for the Original Version, 1.5/5 for the Dialogue Version

 

8. Half Girlfriend (Love Theme)

(Instrumental, Music by Mithoon)

An instrumental track by Mithoon arrives to finish the album off. Mithoon provides us with a love theme, similar to the love theme he gave in ‘Aashiqui 2’, which was, I admit, a soul-stirring track. Here, he gives us an instrumental with selected lines from “Phir Bhi Tumko Chaahunga” played on the piano. Since I loved the piano notes in the song, I loved the first part of this track, where everything is just on plain piano. Later on, the orchestra pitches in, and brings a haunting and grand feel to the track. A choir can be heard as well, trying to make it sound even more haunting. After that comes a flute part which is beautiful. The orchestra returns to support the flute, and the song ends on a very grand note, like every instrumental should. Though I didn’t like the actual song which this track is based on, I thoroughly enjoyed the instrumental, and four and a half minutes just flew by.

Rating: 3.5/5


Half Girlfriend is a half-baked album. You know, when you fry something and it remains raw inside? That’s what this album is like. The makers have gone into such trouble making ten tracks for this movie, and sadly, not even one is memorable. All of them stick to typical clichéd song-making styles, and even a simple would be memorable, only if the composition were better. Tanishk and Farhan’s songs stand out by far, the rest seem to lag behind. I’ve heard a lot of good things going around about this album, and I waited. I heard it thrice like I do for any album before writing its review. And then I heard it while reviewing and that’s when I really understood how good (read bad) it is. Now I can’t wait any longer for my brain to like this album, can I? Thodi Der Aur Theher Jaaun? No way!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album:  3.5 + 4 + 1.5 + 2.5 + 2.5+ 3 + 2 + 2.5 + 1.5 + 3.5 = 26.5

Album Percentage: 53%

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: Thodi Der > Baarish = Half Girlfriend (Love Theme) > Lost Without You > Phir Bhi Tumko Chaahunga = Pal Bhar = Mere Dil Mein > Stay A Little Longer > Tu Hi Hai = Mere Dil Mein (Dialogue Version)

 

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

PUNJABI MEDIUM!! (HINDI MEDIUM – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Sachin-Jigar, Guru Randhawa, Rajat Nagpal, Intense, Sukhbir & Abhijit Vaghani
♪ Lyrics by: Priya Saraiya, Kumaar, Guru Randhawa, Arjun & Ikka
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 21st April 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 19th May 2017

Hindi Medium Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Hindi Medium is an upcoming Bollywood comedy film, starring Irrfan Khan, Saba Qamar and Deepak Dobriyal in lead roles. The film is directed by Saket Chaudhary and produced by Dinesh Vijan, Bhushan Kumar and Krishan Kumar. The film follows a young couple who wish to enter the English-speaking society for the sake of their daughter. After watching the trailer, this one looks like it will be a laugh riot, and I’m eagerly waiting for it. The music for this one is given by Sachin-Jigar, Guru Randhawa, Rajat Nagpal and Abhijit Vaghani. While Sachin-Jigar have worked hard and given two new and original songs, the rest have “remade” hit pop songs, and you’ll get to know soon why “remade” is in inverted commas.


1. Suit Suit

Singers ~ Guru Randhawa & Arjun, Original Composition by ~ Intense, Music Recreated by ~ Guru Randhawa & Rajat Nagpal, Lyrics by ~ Guru Randhawa & Arjun

“Oh tenu suit suit karda!” 

– Guru Randhawa

The album starts with something that T-Series are experts at. Recreating old songs. After butchering many songs from Bollywood, T-Series now expands its reach to the Punjabi pop singles they have released earlier. And thus, we get “Suit Suit”, by Guru Randhawa and Arjun (the guy who shot to fame by reprising Bollywood songs into English in a quite ludicrous manner). The song is as typical as a Punjabi pop song can get and after getting to know the soul of Punjab in ‘Phillauri’, thanks to Shashwat Sachdev and Jasleen Royal, we are just taken back to the fake Punjabi feels. Nobody’s going to get tricked into thinking this is what Punjabis listen to all day. Well, maybe at weddings. Anyhow, the song is not even eligible of being called a remake, because it is the exact same thing copied and pasted here, with faster beats. I heard the original, and it has such slow beats, it sounded odd. Thankfully, the new song has faster beats to go with the song. I must admit that the song itself is catchy and my hatred towards the act of remaking songs cannot make me deny that. The beats are something on the lines of the EDM beats that many American artists just add into their songs by default, even before constructing the tune and all. The clichéd tune, originally composed by someone going by the name of Intense, is far from intense, but it is interspersed with Arjun’s English rap, which seems to sound the same in all his songs. In fact, he starts the song off, and that’s how all his female fans will instantly be drawn into the song. The interludes comprise of a weird sound that sounds something like a pig squealing. The hookline is one of the most commonplace tunes, but it still manages to be catchy. Sadly, the rest of the song just sounds repetitive. There’s an impressively rapid rap by Arjun in the second interlude though. I don’t really know what Guru Randhawa and Rajat Nagpal have done by way of recreation here, because everything just sounds the same, but then, they have done the monumental task of making the beats faster. And then again, I am not so well-versed with the original song. Guru Randhawa’s voice is so rustic and earthy, it would “SUIT” a rustic folk song, and I would love to see him do that! As for the lyrics, the hookline is the only reason I can see, for the song to be added in this film — Saba Qamar’s character in the movie must’ve worn a suit to try to fit in with the elite society. But then, couldn’t Sachin-Jigar have made an original, even comedic and better, song for that situation!?

Rating: 2.5/5 {Only for the beats and the hookline!}

 

2. Hoor

Singer ~ Atif Aslam, Backing Vocals by ~ Dawn Cordo, Arun Kamath & Shambhavi Singh, Music by ~ Sachin-Jigar, Lyrics by ~ Priya Saraiya

“Lafzon ke haseen, dhaagon mein kahin,
Piro rahaa hoon kabse main huzoor,
Koshishein zara, hain nigaahon ki,
Tujhe dekhne ki ho khataa zaroor,
Deewangi kahoon isey, ya hai mera fitoor?
Koi hoor, jaise tu!”

– Priya Saraiya

Sachin-Jigar step into the album with the second song, a romantic song with a heavenly Qawwali-ish treatment. The song also brings together Atif Aslam and Sachin-Jigar yet again, after so many beautiful songs that trio has given us over the years. I can’t really say the same about this song though, unfortunately. The song starts with wonderful humming by an awesome backing chorus (Dawn Cordo, Arun Kamath & Shambhavi Singh) but when the actual melody sung by Atif begins, it loses you somewhere. Sachin-Jigar have constructed a very iffy composition there, something that leaves you confused as to whether you like it or not. No, I don’t mean it is bad at all! It is a lilting composition, with the words flowing into one another very freely, but the composition just didn’t connect with me, something I felt very guilty of, and odd about, because I loved that spectacular album of theirs, ‘Meri Pyaari Bindu’. The antara was something I could hardly pay attention to as it was not gripping. I kept waiting for that one part in the song that would have me hooked, but it never came. 😦 The few great things I can rave about in the song, though, were the arrangements. A wonderful harmonium-led (Rinku Rajput) portion starts off the song, with occasional tabla beats (Rupak Dhamankar), that sound marvellous. And then the piano (Rinku Rajput) and Drums (Lindsay D’mello) too, are wonderful. The guitars (Kalyan Baruah) that conclude the song sound amazing! It provides a nice lounge-ish feel, with the fusion of Classical and Western Contemporary. Atif’s vocals are great, and his trademark faltering voice infuses beauty into the vocals. He sings the high-pitched line in the hookline beautifully! I’ve already written about the beauty with which the backing vocalists support him. That leaves the lyrics by Priya Saraiya. These are amazing as well, aptly romantic. The hookline has been written very well! A song that excels in everything except the composition, which could’ve been much better compared to Sachin-Jigar’s previous compositions.
Rating: 3.5/5

 

3. Oh Ho Ho Ho (Remix)

Singer ~ Sukhbir, Original Composition by ~ Sukhbir, Music Recreated by ~ Abhijit Vaghani, Lyrics by ~ Kumaar, Rap Written and Performed by ~ Ikka

“Oh ho ho ho, oh ho ho ho, oh ho ho ho, oh ho ho ishq tera tadpaave!” 

– Kumaar

This song is like a bonus addition. Yeah, because it is just a remix (and a futile one too, at that) of a very famous Bhangra song, “Ishq Tera Tadpaave” by Sukhbir. And guess who’s the chosen one to remix it? Abhijit Vaghani. And guess what he does? Just adds a rap by Ikka somewhere in the middle, which makes the song sound vulgar, and he obviously adds a line about drinking. Who is going to listen to this song, when the original is still fresh in the people’s minds? If they wanted to make the characters dance to it in the film, they could’ve done so without adding a song in the album. I guess Abhijit has added extra beats, but it doesn’t really make a difference. And by the way, kudos to the way T-Series has named the song. “Oh Ho Ho Ho” is like the way I used to search on Google when I heard this song playing in weddings and didn’t know what it is! 😏 A song banking on the popularity of the original. 

Rating: 1/5 {including 0.5 as a bonus for at least choosing this song.}

 

 

4. Ek Jindari

Singer ~ Tanishka Sanghvi, Backing Vocals ~ Sugandha Date, Karishma Butia, Stiphen Ghorpade, Prateek Mane, Arya Mahale, Anica Chabra, Music by ~ Sachin-Jigar, Lyrics by ~ Kumaar

“Suraj jaise chamkenge, dekhe hain saddi ankhiyaan ne hai sapney ambraan de, eh sapney ambraan de,
Boond boond jodenge pal pal, door door beh jaayenge, eh naal samandaraan de, eh naal samandaraan de!
Assi, aithe khade, hai jaana pare,
Na kum humko tol!
Assi, zidd pe adde, junooni bade,
Eh dil ke ne bol!
Haan ek jindari meri, sau khwahishaan,
Ek ek main poori karaan,
Haan ek jindari meri, sau khwahishaan,
Mushkil humein rokna!”

– Kumaar

Sachin-Jigar get to wrap up this album, thankfully. And the song really does make for a grand finale! It starts with a vocal rhythm sung by the cute Tanishkaa Sanghvi, Sachin’s daughter, coupled with wonderful rhythms by Taufiq Qureshi, someone who always makes the song sound great when he works with Sachin-Jigar. The song is a motivational one, and stands true to its theme, with a hard-hitting rhythm and a composition that does succeed indeed to move you. The mukhda starts the song off on such a high level, that it must’ve been difficult to compose the rest of the song without letting that level drop. And I must say, Sachin-Jigar succeed in that mission exceptionally well. That neverending, breathless styled line in the mukhda is astounding! The two antaras that follow are amazing, the first being another “strong will and motivation” type stanza emulating the tune of the mukhda, while the second is a toned-down and calm one, a nice respite in an amazingly hard-hitting song. The “assi…” effect in the lines before the hookline is really intriguing, and Tanishka renders it with spunk. The hookline itself is so well-placed, and the chorus (Sugandha Date, Karishma Butia, Stiphen Ghorpade, Prateek Mane, Arya Mahale, Anica Chabra) joins Tanishka to make it sound more effective. The arrangements are electrifying, with the rock guitars, drums, and Taufiq Qureshi’s amazing percussion lifting up the already amazing composition manifold. Tanishkaa handles the composition with maturity and cuteness, a deadly combination. How cool is it that motivational songs sung by kids are the most motivational! 😄 Kumaar’s lyrics are some of the best lyrics by him this year, and maybe in his career. The song I was waiting for arrives at the end!

Rating: 5/5


Hindi Medium is quite a decent album, overall. It is a Sachin-Jigar show all the way, and I wouldn’t have minded if the other two songs hadn’t been there. Anyway, those two are the reason this album will score very low. Though Sachin-Jigar leave me confused with one song, the other ones makes up for that completely. Abhijit Vaghani can keep on “remaking” songs, while Guru Randhawa will hardly be seen again in Bollywood, I guess, especially not as a music composer. They just added this song because they needed it. Anyway, since all the songs but one are Punjabi, why don’t we call the album Punjabi Medium? 😄

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 2.5 + 3.5 + 1 + 5 = 12

Album Percentage: 60%

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: Ek Jindari > Hoor > Suit Suit > Oh Ho Ho Ho (Remix)

 

Remake Counter:
No. Of Remakes in 2017: 10 (from previous albums) + 02 (from Hindi Medium) = 12

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

SHREYA + SUNIDHI = SHABANA!! (NAAM SHABANA – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Rochak Kohli, Meet Bros. & Bappi Lahiri
♪ Lyrics by: Manoj Muntashir, Kumaar & Anjaan
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 9th March 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 31st March 2017

Naam Shabana Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


P.S. The song ‘Dil Hua Besharam’ can be heard on Saavn, while its reprise ‘Baby Besharam’ can be heard on the YouTube audio jukebox. The Saavn link doesn’t have the latter whereas the YouTube jukebox doesn’t have the former. Thought it necessary to inform in case you get confused! 😀


Naam Shabana is a Bollywood thriller, starring Taapsee Pannu in the titular role, and Manoj Bajpayee, Prithviraj Sukumaran, Elli Avram and Taher Shabbir in supporting roles. The film has been directed by Shivam Nair, whose ‘Bhaag Johnny’ flopped in 2015. The film has been produced by Neeraj Pandey and Shital Bhatia. It is a spin-off to the 2015 super-hit film ‘Baby’, and shows the journey of Taapsee Pannu’s character Shabana from ‘Baby’, before she was roped in to be a part of the mission. The movie is definitely awaited, because of it being the first of its kind; Bollywood has been free of any spin-offs as such, and it is just wonderful that the first Bollywood spin-off is that of such a wonderful thriller. Anyway, let’s go over to the music, because we have a little more time to wait for the movie. We all remember that ‘Baby’ had been touted to be a songless film. Nevertheless, three songs had been included in its album — technically two, because one of the songs had a male and female version. Meet Bros. Anjjan had composed one promotional track, while M.M. Kreem, had composed the two-version track in question. The soundtrack was like an accessory to the film, and not something to cherish in your playlist for a long, long time. This movie seems to be different, in that it has four original tracks, with one having two versions, thus making it five songs. Rochak Kohli, who of late, just composed single additional songs that released after the albums of ‘M.S. Dhoni – The Untold Story’ and ‘Wazir’ released, comes back with a substantial chunk of an album after a long time. He last composed three songs out of the five-track ‘Welcome 2 Karachi’ (which were quite ignorable) and before that, three out of ten in ‘Hawaizaada’ (which I still listen to!) So I am not quite sure what he can give in this album, where he has three out of five songs. The other two songs are two versions of the same song, composed by Meet Bros, without Anjjan. Hopefully, they don’t give something too-hard-to-grasp like ‘Baby’s ‘Beparwah’. So let’s see what kind of music this album to a much-awaited thriller, holds in hand!


1. Rozana

Singer ~ Shreya Ghoshal, Music by ~ Rochak Kohli, Lyrics by ~ Manoj Muntashir

“Inn aankhon se yeh bataa, kitna main dekhun tujhe,
Reh jaati hai kuchh kami, jitna bhi dekhun tujhe,
Rozana main, sochun yahi,
Ki jee loongi main besaans bhi,
Aise hi tu mujhe, milta rahe agar, rozana, rozana!”

– Manoj Muntashir

Rochak decided to start the album off with a mellow, soothing song that would be enough to transport us to dreamland. The first song in the album is a romantic song that has a very beautiful composition; Rochak gets everything right in that he composes this one with the perfect Bollywood ideals of ‘romance’. Each and every note hits your heart and hits hard. The mukhda gives a nice headstart to the song, and the hookline is one which doesn’t care much about imposing itself on you but grows on you like slow poison just as I like it. The antaras hold all the magic of the song; the very powerfully lilting tune of the antaras just leaves you spellbound. The arrangements are quite minimal, but Rochak gives an impressive strings backdrop for most of the song, especially the strings in the interlude are very impressive. Guitars and piano soothe your senses like nothing else can. And also, Rochak has employed a kind of Marching rhythm to the antara. I don’t know why that’s there, but it doesn’t hamper the song in any way. The arrangements provide for a nice nighttime lullabyish listen. And the vocals are by none other than the melody queen, Shreya Ghoshal. She handles each word with utmost care, and the whispery way in which she sings the song proves yet again how wonderful she is as a singer. Unnecessary bouts of loudness can never be found when she is behind the mic. The lyrics by Manoj Muntashir are mind blowing, especially the paragraph I’ve showcased above! A MINDBLOWING start to the album, and it will definitely consolidate Rochak’s career in Bollywood.

Rating: 5/5

 

2. Zinda

Singer ~ Sunidhi Chauhan, Music by ~ Rochak Kohli, Lyrics by ~ Manoj Muntashir

“Ziddi raaston se paanv yeh, aaj bhi, jhagadna toh bhoole nahin,
Haare hain kayi dafa toh kya, aaj bhi, hum ladna toh bhoole nahin,
Aaj bhi dil baaghi hai, bas yehi kaafi hai,
Zinda hoon abhi, baaki hoon abhi,
Meri har saans mein thodi si zindagi hai abhi!”

– Manoj Muntashir

After the lulling romantic song, Rochak throws in a motivational kind of song next. This time, the composition is a bit weak. It sounds great in the first listen, but later on I found that it is quite typical and offers nothing new. The mukhda starts off the song on a slow pace, which only speeds up when the hookline arrives: the only portion of the song that remains with you after the song ends. Wonderfully composed on pensive sounding high notes, that part will definitely hook you on to the song and assure that you don’t leave it halfway. The antara that follows is also quite sombre, and doesn’t leave an impact on you, unless you hear it many times. On a whole, the song’s tune has nothing much to lap up. The arrangements also fail to offer anything different or innovative. The tune is already so laidback, but the arrangements refuse to make it more interesting, staying very minimal until, again, the hookline comes. Strings and guitars can be heard, but nothing stands out very boldly. Sunidhi Chauhan provides to the song, everything that the tune and arrangements could not. Her energy, though diffused in the song, manages to make the song repeat-listenable, even if only once or twice. Lately, she seems to have gotten stereotyped to these kind of songs. The lyrics by Muntashir, too, are good in their purpose of being motivational. A motivational song that fails to motivate a lot, but is functional to an extent. 

Rating: 3.5/5

 

3. Zubi Zubi

Singers ~ Sukriti Kakar & Rochak Kohli, Original Composition by ~ Bappi Lahiri, Music Recreated by ~ Rochak Kohli, Original Lyrics by ~ Anjaan, New Lyrics by ~ Manoj Muntashir

“Mere dil, gaaye jaa, zoo zoo zoobi zoobi zoobi,
Masti mein gaaye jaa, zoo zoo zoobi zoobi zoobi!”

– Anjaan

Next up we have Rochak’s final song for the album, and it happens to be an upbeat club number. This one is a remake, of Bappi Lahiri-composed ‘Zooby Zooby’ (Dance Dance), and it is quite a decent remake too, at that. The composition, though faltering at the beginning, turns out to be quite catchy. The mukhda is what I have a problem with — it seems forced and a bit childish. But right from the first time the hookline is sung, till the end of the song, it is an enjoyable track! The great thing is that, like it used to happen before, only the hookline of the original song has been taken, while the rest has been composed afresh. The antara is a nice continuation of the sensuous dance song, but then that line from the mukhda, “humko hai jaan se bhi pyaari aashiqmizajiyaan“, comes back to irritate. The arrangements are fantastic discoesque arrangements, recreating the Bappi Lahiri era in today’s style. Rochak has added groovy beats, and that amazing programming effect he has added to his own voice when he sings the hookline, keeps me waiting for his parts to come! It makes him sound like an awesome robot. 😀 Sukriti also, has sung well, except the mukhda. (Again!) She sounded a lot like a fake Shefali Alvares there, and I found it quite irritating, as I would have if Shefali herself had sung it. The rest of the song, she shines. Kumaar reworks around Anjaan’s original hookline, and pens down aptly enjoyable lyrics. A good remake, spoiled by a mediocre first stanza.

Rating: 3.5/5

 

4. Baby Besharam / Dil Hua Besharam

Singers ~ Jasmine Sandlas & Meet Bros / Aditi Singh Sharma & Meet Bros, Music by ~ Meet Bros, Lyrics by ~ Kumaar

(Nothing to showcase, thanks to Kumaar’s lyrical masterpieces which you’ll read of later on in the passage)

The next song is yet another club song, this one by Meet Bros. The composition sticks quite close to Bollywood’s conventions of composing a ‘catchy’ club song. Right from the beginning Meet Bros “try” to get us caught on to the composition, which, unfortunately, is very staid. The mukhda is bad, and the hookline follows suit. The antara doesn’t provide much respite in this respect either. The arrangements are typical club beats, and it sounds like it should’ve released a year or two ago. Meet Bros have added this weird synthesiser tune, which sounds like the song is part of a comedy movie, an adult comedy to be precise. I wonder if this song was actually composed for some other movie before, and then moved over to ‘Naam Shabana’ Because it couldn’t find a place anywhere else. The vocals are what differentiate one version of the song from the other. It actually had released first in Jasmine’s voice, and that one is outright banal, sounding like it is trying to imitate ‘Yaar Na Miley’ (Kick). Aditi Singh Sharma, though not eligible to win a Best Singer prize or anything for her rendition, provides respite MERELY IN COMPARISON TO Jasmine Sandlas. At least her voice is more club-environment-friendly. Yes, she does spoil some lines with her unnecessarily stylish accent. Oh yeah, and she knows how to pronounce the “Baby” as “Bebe” (which you need to practise if you ever want to make it big in Bollywood as a club singer!), as opposed to Jasmine singing “Baby” as “Bebi”. The way they sing “beyyyyyysharam” is quite torturous. I guess it was first going to be included in ‘Besharam’ as the title track (that would explain the comedic arrangements), until Ishq Bector & Shree D saved us by stepping in. Kumaar’s lyrics feature lyrical masterpieces like “Rafaa dafaa sufi bandon ko karke nasha vasha karlo“, and “Thoda sa bigadne mein bolo na kya harz hai?“. *Slow claps*

Rating: 1/5 for Baby Besharam, 1.5/5 for Dil Hua Besharam


Naam Shabana is a decent album, but not great. Its predecessor had two songs, so it was okay that only one worked. This has four songs, out of which only one works perfectly, the others are decent, and one is bad. For a thriller, the album is apt, with a romantic song, a motivational song, and two situational club songs. However, it will have less of a connect with the audiences. Rochak has done a commendable job though! The only good thing I might remember about this album years later is that it has both Shreya and Sunidhi, modern stalwarts of the Bollywood music industry, lending their voices to the songs.

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 5 + 3.5 + 3.5 + 1 + 1.5 = 14.5

Album Percentage: 58%

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: Rozana > Zubi Zubi = Zinda > Dil Hua Besharam > Baby Besharam

 

Remake Counter:
No. Of Remakes: 08 (from previous albums) + 01 (from Naam Shabana) = 09

 

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

A TRIED-AND-TESTED MACHINE! (MACHINE – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Tanishk Bagchi, Dr. Zeus & Viju Shah
♪ Lyrics by: Arafat Mehmood, Niket Pandey, Ikka, Mohammed Irfan, Jasmine Sandlas, Shabbir Ahmed & Late Anand Bakshi
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 21st February 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 17th March 2017

Machine Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Machine is an upcoming Bollywood romantic thriller starring Kiara Advani and Mustafa Burmawalla, who is the son of Abbas Burmawalla. The directors of the film are Abbas-Mustan themselves, and the movie has been produced by Jayantilal Gada, Haresh Patel, Pranay Chokshi, Abbas-Mustan Films productions, and Dhaval Jayantilal Gada. The film revolves around two racing enthusiasts who fall in love. Abbas-Mustan’a films are known as very massy thrillers, and this seems to be no exception. Music seems to play a very important part in their films, and they make it a point to promote their films’ albums heavily before the movie’s release. And they’ve worked quite well with whatever compoosed they’ve worked with in the past. With the exception of their latest movie before this, ‘Kis Kis Ko Pyaar Karoon’ which had quite a dull album (and it wasn’t a thriller), many of their albums have been hits. They’ve collaborated with Jatin-Lalit (‘Khiladi’), Anu Malik (‘Baazigar’, ‘Baadshaah’, ‘Soldier’, ‘Ajnabee’), Himesh Reshammiya (‘Humraaz’, ‘Taarzan: The Wonder Car’, ‘Aitraaz’, ’36 China Town’) and Pritam (‘Naqaab’, ‘Race’, ‘Players’, ‘Race 2’). All of these albums were quite popular. However, the album to ‘Kis Kis Ko Pyaar Karoon’ was below even that. And it was a multicomposer album! This time around, the duo try to change that by roping in a single composer for five songs of the album, and a guest composer for one song. The man behind most of the album here is Tanishk Bagchi, who is currently riding on the success of his two enjoyable songs from ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’. He has worked with the duo in ‘Kis Kis Ko Pyaar Karoon’, for one song (the best song of that album). The guest composer is Dr. Zeus, who also had a song in ‘Kis Kis Ko Pyaar Karoon’. I’m expecting quite a lot from Tanishk though, so let’s jump right in!


1.Itna Tumhe

Singers ~ Yasser Desai & Shashaa Tirupati, Music by ~ Tanishk Bagchi, Lyrics by ~ Arafat Mehmood

(Can’t find any lyrics worth this space)

The soundtrack opens wih a romantic song filled with the Bhatts’ templated sound, but also paying “homage” to another old song, which, since it hasn’t been credited, has to be a “coincidence”. The song’s first line itself makes you instantly think of “Aakhir Tumhe Aana Hai” (Yalgaar), but all the coincidences flee at the end of that line, as composer Tanishk Bagchi sets the song to its very own composition that is quite catchy in itself. Now, Tanishk has never really given such a templated song before, at least not in the romance genre of songs, so it takes a little time to get accustomed to the fact that Tanishk has composed it. Till then, though, the song grows on you. The similarities in the first line of the mukhda notwithstanding, the rest of the song fares quite well as a romantic Bollywood song. Some places sound very heavily heard-before, but that doesn’t lessen the likeability in any way. The antara with its high notes sounds a bit uncomfortable to the ears at first, but sets in after a couple of listens. As a whole, it sounds like a song that the Bhatts had reserved but then never got a film to add it into. The English interlude by Shashaa Tirupati sounds very generic, but again, good enough. The arrangements are what makes the song even more likeable — the strings at the beginning are nice, and the digital beats are charming. Not to mention the cool twinkling sounds that Tanishk had added, which adds considerably to the ‘mechanical’ sound of the song, given that the name of the movie is “Machine”. Yasser Desai (who had dented last year with a couple of songs in ‘Beiimaan Love’ which I had no time to review) doesn’t quite fit in with the song, and his voice is kind of hard to digest; it sounds too robotic. Autotuned heavily, it is quite weird to listen to at first, but as everything else does, his voice also sets in later. Shashaa does her English interlude beautifully, but other than that, doesn’t have any other lines. Arafat Mehmood’s lyrics are quite laidback, not to mention that the conscious effort to add the “..aana hai” and other rhyming stuff at the end of every hookline sounds a bit too forced! An above average start to the soundtrack, but gets the “Machine” theme right, because of the great arrangements and accidentally mechanical vocals.

Rating: 3/5

 

2. Chatur Naar

Singers ~ Nakash Aziz & Shashaa Tirupati & Ikka, Music by ~ Tanishk Bagchi, Lyrics by ~ Niket Pandey, Rap by ~ Ikka

(Utterly banal lyrics!)

Next up we get a party song, which is mandatory in every Abbas-Mustan film, so that they can show the actor driving up in a cool Lamborghini, and then the branded sunglasses of the actress. This time, without Pritam, they have to resort themselves to a quite low-standard party song (I believe that Pritam has given them the best party songs in the past) which tries to be a remake of the classic ‘Ek Chatur Naar’ (Padosan) but fails, because it sounds nothing like it except in bits and parts. And since they haven’t credited the old song’s musicians, I’m taking it to be a ‘spin-off’ like I did for ‘Mere Miyan Gaye England’ (Rangoon). The composition is upbeat and might (notice that I say MIGHT) get Gen Y dancing to its beats, which I still think are too loud for today’s music sensibilities. Though the composition is something I wouldn’t care to listen to again, the arrangements are quite youthful and lively. The beats really do make the song enjoyable, and Tanishk’s offbeat additions make the arrangements all the more weirdly likeable. Weird vocal tweaks added in the weirdest places are quite funny to hear. Otherwise, the composition is quite generic. The vocals are enjoyable as well. Nakash Aziz is enjoying himself in this party track, and his variations make the song worth listening. Shashaa Tirupati sings her lines like a typical club song singer, and she gets her voice programmed heavily as is the tradition in such songs. Ikka’s rap is very short thankfully, and it is not that great either. The other lyrics by Niket Pandey are another set of words more bent towards rhyming instead of making sense. Heard as a club song, it might work. But if you hear it thinking it is a remake, it will spoil the song.

Rating: 2/5

 

3. Brake’An Fail

Singers ~ Jasmine Sandlas, Rajveer Singh & Ikka, Music by ~ Dr. Zeus, Lyrics by ~ Jasmine Sandlas, Rap by ~ Ikka

“Teri Meri Kahaani, duniya yaad karegi soch le,
Brake’An ne mereya fail te sajjna, rok saki te rok le!”

– Jasmine Sandlas

Dr. Zeus enters the soundtrack with his guest composition, another club/party song. Abbas-Mustan seriously can’t go without adding at least two of these in their albums! The song surprisingly, shows no resemblance to previous Dr. Zeus songs, and I was really surprised when I couldn’t find any of those screeching ladies and that trademark Dr. Zeus shattering glass in the song! The composition is quite a melancholic one, considering that it is for a club song. I mean, if he removed the club beats, it could just as well go as an undercover agent and place itself in a Sanjay Leela Bhansali soundtrack as the melancholic track. (Okay, just kidding!) The hookline “teri meri kahaani…” is quite catchy, and the rest of the song too, isn’t bad at all. The composition is actually catchy for once. It is one of those Dr. Zeus songs (probably the only one?) that doesn’t irritate. The arrangements are suitable for the song, and this time, Dr. Zeus aptly replaces those screaming ladies (from ‘Happy New Year’s ‘Lovely’ and ‘Ek Paheli Leela’s ‘Desi Look’) with car brake sounds, according to the theme of the movie, car racing. Jasmine’s vocals suit the song well, and the song wouldn’t have had the same impact with somebody else singing it. Rajveer Singh has quite little to contribute but Ikka has an extra long rap in the middle somewhere, which we just have to wait for it to end. Jasmine herself writes the lyrics for this one, and they are completely in Punjabi, and they seem quite meaningless, considering that it is a Club song. A good song from Dr. Zeus after all those screaming ladies and all that shattering glass.

Rating: 3/5

 

4.Tu Hi Toh Mera

Singer ~ Yasser Desai, Music by ~ Tanishk Bagchi, Lyrics by ~ Arafat Mehmood

(Very staid lyrics!)

Tanishk re-enters wih the fourth track of the album and one can’t help but think of Disney Princesses when this track starts. The arrangements really increase the Disney feel of the song. The composition is quite likeable until that jarring Pakistani pop styled line comes up and the hookline that follows too, follows the same template. The parts where the tempo is slow and everything actually sounds like a ballroom dance, are the best parts of the song, while everything else sounds below average, straight out of a Bhatt movie. The arrangements too, excel in the ballroom portions of the song. The sparkling sounds, coupled with the extravagant strings, set very fantastic arrangements to the song, and especially the beginning of the song, which is very waltzy, sounds amazing. But again, the parts before and during the hookline, sound very laidback and clichéd. There is a nice Spanish interlude which is enjoyable as well. Again, Yasser tries to be Arijit desperately, and one can’t help but sit and point out parts where he sounds a LOT like Arijit, which is almost the entire song. It would’ve been better for the makers to have just called in Arijit. Arafat Mehmood’s lyrics here too, are very very heard-before and offer nothing new. A Bhatt-Disney fusion doesn’t work so well.

Rating: 2/5

 

5.Tera Junoon

Singer ~ Jubin Nautiyal, Music by ~ Tanishk Bagchi, Lyrics by ~ Arafat Mehmood & Mohammed Irfan

“Jeena muhaal hai abb, tera sawaal hai abb,
De bataa, tu zara, kya naam loon main tere pyaar ka!”

– Arafat Mehmood & Mohammed Irfan

Finally, here comes what I was expecting from Tanishk after he showed us his versatility in ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’. The composer takes his much-used desert-nomadic styled arrangements (he used it before in ‘Rabba’ from ‘Sarbjit’) and weaves a wonderful melody through it. The composition is just so melodious, it hooks you right away. It is one of those songs that you end up loving even though they are so ordinary, simple and heard-before. However, what made me love this one in spite of all these factors, was the simplicity of the composition, the fact that the déjà vu in the composition didn’t matter to the makers, and they just presented this song with a very simple coating. The arrangements are fascinating, with the mandolin rising high above everything else, even the strings. The claps give wonderful beats that are the highlight of the song. The overlying Arabic flavour works wonderfully in favour of the song. And the vocals are beautiful! Jubin sings in a way I’ve never heard him sing before, so much so that I hardly recognized him the first time I heard the song, until I read the credits! Well, it just goes to show his versatility. Arafat Mehmood is joined by Mohammed Irfan the singer to write this one, and I must say, the composition saved the lyrics, which resort to weird-sounding words to make it work. A great song hidden in an album of songs that are concentrated more in the “average” zone!

Rating: 4.5/5

 

6. Cheez Badi

Singers ~ Udit Narayan & Neha Kakkar, Original Composition by ~ Viju Shah, Music Recreated by ~ Tanishk Bagchi, Original Lyrics by ~ Late Anand Bakshi, New Lyrics by ~ Shabbir Ahmed

“Tu Cheez Badi hai mast mast, tu cheez badi hai mast!”

– Late Anand Bakshi

The last song of the album was a later addition in that it released much later than the other five tracks did. And since I’m always so late in writing reviews, I get the advantage of adding such latecomer songs in my reviews. 😉 Anyway, about the song. As you might already have gauged by reading the name, the song is a remake (this time an official one) of the 1994 super-duper hit track by Viju Shah (who was one of the most innovative young composers of the time) ‘Tu Cheez Badi Hai Mast Mast’ (Mohra). And the man who has been churning out one remake after another, Tanishk Bagchi, is in charge of this one. It was a relief to see him remaking it, instead of T-Series’ other go-to’s for remakes these days, Gourov-Roshin. So after two great 90s songs remade, Tanishk remakes this one with the club theme in mind. It starts off like an ordinary club song, but then that trademark “Pa ni saaaa…” from the old song comes in to indicate that it is a remake of that song. The composition contains almost nothing new except for a short line that Udit Narayan sings (he has redubbed everything for this song; his voice clipping hasn’t been retained from the old song). And yes, that line sounds quite odd in the song. It doesn’t gel in well with the rest of the song. The previous two remakes by Tanishk of course, had the old song’s tune retained, so this one is an odd one out that way. I liked the way he brought the old song’s antara’s tune to become the mukhda and then the antara too, of this version. The arrangements disappoint, with very everyday club beats. The mandolin playing the hookline’s tune provides respite, and so do the electronic tabla beats, but otherwise, the EDM is quite heavy, and too loud as well. The interludes both consist of very heavy EDM that is tough to digest with one of your favourite old songs. I enjoyed the small portion where Tanishk incorporated the old song though, in the second interlude. Vocals by Udit Narayan are awesome; he always manages to sound young! Neha Kakkar too, sings her parts well, without adding unnecessary nuances anywhere. Shabbir Ahmed’s additions to Anand Bakshi’s original lyrics are not any more crazy than the original, and the part which goes “zabardast dast” really calls for a cringe. Not one of Tanishk’s best remakes, but I would say it isn’t his “dosh dosh” as new lyrics have been added, unlike his other remakes (with the exception of the “Badrinath” title song).

Rating: 3/5


Machine seems to be an album miserably bowing down to supposed public demands. There’s a remake, three club songs, three Bhatt-ish romantic songs (of which one excels). Tanishk’s songs range from one sode of the spectrum to the other. If some are utterly boring, some are just as beautiful. Dr. Zeus gets it right with his sole song, but it won’t be something on my playlist for long. A tried-and-tested machine!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 3 + 2 + 3.5 + 2 + 4.5 + 3 = 18

Album Percentage: 60%

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: Tera Junoon > Brake’An Fail > Itna Tumhe = Cheez Badi > Tu Hi Toh Mera = Chatur Naar

 

Remake Counter:
No. Of Remakes: 07 (from previous albums) + 01 (from Machine) = 08

 

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

NO ‘IRADA’ TO HEAR IT AGAIN! (IRADA – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Neeraj Shridhar
♪ Lyrics by: Sameer Anjaan
♪ Music Label: Times Music / Junglee Music
♪ Music Released On: 1st February 2017
♪ Movie Released On: 17th February 2017

Irada Album Cover

Irada Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Irada is a Bollywood thriller film, starring Naseeruddin Shah, Arshad Warsi, Sharad Kelkar, Sagarika Ghatge and Divya Dutta. The film is directed by Aparnaa Singh, and produced by Falguni Patel and Prince Soni. The movie is an eco-thriller about a mysterious bomb-blast at a factory, and the repercussions that follow. The movie having released already, and I being as lazy and late as I can to write the review for some reason, I should just hurry and get on with it. So the music has been composed by someone who we have been hearing behind the mic for years, (and also somebody who hasn’t sung a “good” song for quite a long time) Neeraj Shridhar. The singer-turned-composer isn’t composing something for the first time in his life; I believe he debuted with one song in Akshay Kumar’s ‘8×10 Tasveer’. Neeraj has composed four songs for the thriller film, and hopefully they bring the thriller touch to the film very nicely. Also expecting him to have sung a song. That being said, let’s dive on into the soundtrack of ‘Irada’!


1. Mahi

Singers ~ Harshdeep Kaur & Shabab Sabri

“Birha mein tere, kamli hui main,
Japdi hoon mala, main tere naam ki…
Kehnde ne saare, pagli hui main,
Abb na khabar mujhe subah Shaam ki!”

The first track on the album starts off the album very romantically, with a charismatic romantic song, high on Rajasthani folk elements and a very scinitllating tune. The composition by Neeraj Shridhar really took me by surprise. But then again, he coming from a pop background, such a composition could be expected from him also, as pop is a genre where you are free from the bindings of the script and whatnot. The song starts off with a wonderful folksy introductory couplet, sung by an uncredited backing vocalist, and she sounds great trying to emulate Rajasthan’s folk vocalists. As soon as the song starts, and right away starts with the hookline, you can’t help but be reminded of Anu Malik’s ‘Hamein Jab Se Mohabbat Ho Gayi Hai’ (Border; 1997), and coincidentally, that song too had a heavy use of the word “Maahi”. 😀 Here, Neeraj has beautifully made a hookline from that word, but it also sounds quite ordinary. One can’t help but keep waiting for something path breaking to arrive, but it doesn’t. Both the antaras have a nice tune too, a mélange of high and low notes. There is a kind of conclusion to the song after the second antara ends, and one just feels that it was completely unnecessary. It stretches for almost one minute, in a Qawwali style, which could have instead taken place in one of the interludes. But it looks like since Shabab had hardly anything to do for the first four minutes of the song, one minute was allotted solely to him at the end. Neeraj’s arrangements are fascinating. Rajasthani folk instruments find their way into his song, the sarangi and other strings being the most prominent. The beats for the rest of the song are digital, and I also feel that could’ve been replaced by traditional dholak beats. And then during that one minute of Qawwali, Neeraj adds the necessary tablas and harmoniums. The flute that starts the song is just fascinating. Harshdeep Kaur renders the song with ease, but I can say that it is the first time I’ve heard her sound so dull and melancholic; she could’ve put in more expression instead of just singing the song! She always sounds so beautiful! Shabab, as I said has almost nothing to do except yell (yes, I do mean yell) “aaaja maaaahiii” behind whatever Harshdeep is singing. Sameer’s lyrics are clichéd to the core, as always. A middling start to the album. Good tune and arrangements, but boring execution.

Rating: 3.5/5

 

2. Irada

Singer ~ Nikhil Uzgare

(Nothing to showcase; what a belch-like song)

The next song takes the form of a hard-hitting rock song which fails to impress except in the rock itself. Neeraj’s composition sounds very rash and all over the place. We know rock can sound very orderly if done well, but sadly, this one is not that. The mukhda seems detached from the hookline, which in turn seems a separate entity in itself. The lines don’t flow into one another as they should in any good song. The hookline sounds like a tune made by a debutant composer. (Well, technically Neeraj can be regarded as one, but he’s been around in Bollywood for so long so as to judge what works and what doesn’t!) The singer (debutant Nikhil Uzgare) belts out the hookline convincingly as a rock singer, but his voice lacks the connect that voices like Suraj Jagan and the like have. The arrangements are impressive, with the rock hitting the right notes. Rock guitars have been played impressively, as are the drums. Sameer’s lyrics are good, but get lost somewhere in the noisy singing and weird tune. Only the rock rocks, and that doesn’t help when the tune is bad!

Rating: 1.5/5

 

3. Chaand Rajai Odhe

Singer ~ Papon

“Chaand rajai odhe, gum jaaye chaandni,
Dastak dena hawa, chup rahe raagini,
Nindiya ki duniya mein khoyi rahe tu,
Akhiyon ke paalne mein, soyi rahe tu,
Main gaauun loriyaan, main gaaun loriyaan,
Main gaaun loriyaan, main gaaun loriyaan!”

Now we are treated with another dulcet melody, this time a male-sung song, which is a lullaby. The song immediately reminded me of ‘Masoom Sa’ (Madaari; 2016), another song from father to child. This time too, Neeraj gets it right as far as the composition is concerned. The composition has all that it needs to succeed as a lullaby, and especially the “Main gaaun loriyaan” hook is impressive. The antaras are also impressive, and the tune treads over the low octaves so wonderfully, that it gives a really fascinating touch to the low notes. The man rendering these notes is responsible too for that though. Papon, fresh from the success of ‘Labon Ka Karobaar’ (Befikre; 2016) sings this song in his metallic voice so splendidly that it just touches your heart directly. His voice has the glint of magnetism that makes sure your audience falls asleep, but doesn’t, while you sing a lullaby (if you get what that means!) Arrangements are tranquil, with guitars racing ahead of everything else and making sure things are in right place. Strings help to infuse that orchestral quality into the song, while shakers sound marvellous, shaking subtly in the background. The piano notes that you can hear if you listen carefully, are BEAUTIFUL! The only wrong thing I can point out in this song is its duration; it gets quite testing to sit and hear an almost seven-minute-long lullaby! But that’s not a creative fault. Sameer’s lyrics are just marvellous here, suitable for a lullaby and very moving. A well-done lullaby, with a lilting touch.

Rating: 4/5

 

4. Mitran De

Singers ~ Master Saleem, Kaur B & Earl Edgar

(Nothing to showcase here!)

The last song comes and you are sure that Neeraj has played ‘Alternate the Genres’ in this album. First a romantic song, then a loud rock song, then a lullaby, and finally, a loud Punjabi party song. This song literally follows the Punjabi alcohol party template to the tee. The mukhda starts the song off as frivolously as possible, but by the time the hookline arrives, you start getting used to the song. It sounds like those Punjabi songs everyone in Bollywood used to make during the 2007-2010 period. The antara actually has a good tune, by which I mean enjoyable. There are two antaras, one sung by Kaur B, and the other by Master Saleem. That brings us to the vocals. Three vocalists in a song that Neeraj himself could have very well sung himself seems quite preposterous. Okay, at least Master Saleem was a good choice. But Earl Edgar’s portions seem too forced to believe. His rap is believable, but the parts he tries singing sound bad! Kaur B gives us a good break from Neha Kakkar with her unique voice. Arrangements are typical club song arrangements, with heavy techno sounds and the Punjabi instruments pitching in to do all they can to help increase the loudness. The tumbi stands out here too, but then again, give me a song where it doesn’t. The dhols are very pompous, and contribute to the noise pollution. In all this, I feel the song hasn’t been recorded properly, as there’s a harshness to every singer’s voice. Sameer’s lyrics don’t go beyond the usual ‘Let’s drink till our liver breaks down’ stuff we hear everyday in Bollywood. (Am I overdoing it? Because nowadays we don’t hear that stuff everyday! Maybe that era has passed!! If so, I’m happy! :P) A Punjabi song that is enjoyable, but with every enjoyability in life, you get unwanted problems. 😉

Rating: 2.5/5


Irada turned out to be not as inspiring as its name. Neeraj Shridhar could’ve made a spectacular soundtrack! But sadly, the songs don’t live up to the mark. Two of the songs fare quite good, the other two are weak. Overall, the album isn’t one which you would be listening even one month down the line.

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 3.5 + 1.5 + 4 + 2.5 = 11.5

Album Percentage: 62.5%

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: Chaand Rajai Odhe > Mahi > Mitran De > Irada

 

Remake Counter
No.of Remakes: 04 (from previous albums) + 00 = 04

 

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

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING!!! (RAEES – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Ram Sampath, JAM8, Omgrown Music & Kalyanji-Anandji
♪ Lyrics by: Javed Akhtar, Indeevar, Amitabh Bhattacharya, Mayur Puri, Ram Sampath, Hiral Brahmbhatt & Manoj Yadav
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 24th January 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 25th January 2017

Raees Album Cover

Raees Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Raees is an upcoming Bollywood action / crime thriller film starring Shah Rukh Khan, Mahira Khan and Naseeruddin Shah in prominent roles. The film has been directed by Rahul Dholakia, and produced by Gauri Khan, Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar. The movie sees Shah Rukh Khan playing a gangster, and that’s pretty much all that we all know about it. The album has released one DAY before the movie, and that’s been frowned upon a lot, mostly by me, and I hated this promotion strategy, if you can call it a strategy. The film had three songs running around TV till the album decided to release a day before. Anyway, the music is by Ram Sampath and JAM8, which is Pritam’s Artiste & Repertoire company promoting new talent. One song by JAM8, it hasn’t been specified who has composed, while the two others are by someone named Aheer. So without further ado, (I mean, how can there be any further ado…) let’s see what this latecomer album has to offer, and whether it was worth the suspense.


1. Laila Main Laila

Singer ~ Pawni Pandey, Additional Vocals ~ Chaandni RMW & Team Omgrown, Original Composition by ~ Kalyanji-Anandji, Music Recreated by ~ Ram Sampath, Original Lyrics by ~ Indeevar, New Lyrics by ~ Javed Akhtar

“Mohabbat ka dasta, tumhe naag hai kya,
Tumhare bhi dil mein, lagi aag hai kya?
Mere liye bhi, tadapte ho tum bhi,
Main betaab jaise, tumhare liye hoon?”

– Javed Akhtar

The first song on the album takes the form of a (yes, again!!) remake of a popular old song. This time, ‘Laila O Laila’ from ‘Qurbani’ gets brought to the slaughtering counter. (Or is it? Let’s see..) Anyway, Ram Sampath takes charge of this ambitious remake. Ram Sampath is somebody I never have seen remaking songs. (Correct me if I’m wrong, but the only remake I remember him doing before is that remake of a folk song, ‘Ambarsariya’ in ‘Fukrey’). So he gets to do the remake to this hit club song of the Disco era. Kalyanji-Anandji’s tune for both mukhda and antara get retained, and that is always a pleasure to know. Not that I was a huge fan of the old song, but all celebrations in India (and please note that that is just figurative) are incomplete without this song playing at least once. With the original tune retained, remaking a song properly almost always becomes a piece of cake. Or so I thought. The tune has been retained, and the item-ish flavour has been retained, so as to keep as much similarity with the original and not make an out-of-place remake, but something still seems missing in the song. The arrangements are fantastic. What else can we expect when Taufiq Qureshi is in charge of percussions! Nothing but awe overcomes you when you hear the wonderful and grand percussions — they are so earthy! They make the song which was originally a disco song, a rural number. And that “Bubuchikum, boom bubuchikum” with which the song starts is just crazy! Thats probably one of the best parts of the song. The arrangements of course, like any item song, are incomplete without whistles and a backing chorus going “hey hey“. And everything’s been done here. Even the legendary trumpets (Ed Gibson) have been used and that epic trumpet tune to the hookline has been played throughout the song. But still, something seems missing! Pawni Pandey, who shot to fame with ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li’l Champs’, has clearly left behind her Li’l-champ-ness. She tries very hard to get the nuances and various little bits of an item song right, but to no avail. (Similar to how Chinmayi couldn’t quite sing ‘Mera Naam Mary’ from ‘Brothers’ well). She only sounds very heavenly when she sings the line, “Laila o Laila Laila, aisi tu Laila“, (she sings in her actual voice there) but not in the lines where she actually sings AS Laila. (On retrospection, I think that might be backing vocalist Chaandni RMW.. So she sounds better than Pawni!) However, that backing vocalist who sings the “phabak phabak” part in this version somewhere in the second interlude, really aces his part! 😀 The lyrics to the antaras have been changed though the tune has been retained, and they carry on the spirit of the old song. At least Javed Akhtar has written something sensible and non-vulgar for such a song too, and not something yucky and stupid. Of course, Indeevar’s classic lyrics for the mukhda can’t really be replaced, can they? Ram Sampath tries his best to deliver a smashing remake, and I must admit, this is better than other recent remakes, (first and foremost, it has no rap! Yay!) but something still lacks, and I can’t seem to understand what!

Note: As I’m writing this review, this song seems to have volatilized from my brain! I mean, it released like a month ago!

Rating: 3/5

 

2. Zaalima

Singers ~ Arijit Singh & Harshdeep Kaur, Music by ~ JAM8, Lyrics by ~ Amitabh Bhattacharya

“Deedar tera Milne ke baad hi chhooti meri angdaai,
Tu hi bataade kyun zaalima main kehlaayi?
Kyun iss tarah se duniya jahaan mein Karta hai meri ruswaai?
Tu hi bataade kyun zaalima main kehlaayi!”

– Amitabh Bhattacharya

Pritam Chakraborty’s Artists and Repertoire company, JAM8 get charge of the romantic song of the album. Now isnt it such an honour to compose a romantic song for THE Shah Rukh Khan? And I must say, the team has made a good effort in keeping with the star’s legacy. Before you start hurling curses at me, I will stop judging music by star value and let’s get on with the review! So the composer(s) [I don’t really know who it is exactly for JAM8] composes this song with a very evident feel-good vibe to it, and who doesn’t like such breezy music? The mukhda has a very sunshine-ish tune to it, and the hookline is so nicely inserted into it, just like a jigsaw puzzle piece that fits into another piece perfectly. (Must be some great quality cardboard that that jigsaw puzzle is made of! Sorry.) The mukhda contains some nice couplets followed by the interjection “zaalima“, and these couplets have been put to such a nice and playful tune, you can’t help but groove to it, though it isn’t the most conventional of tunes. It reminded me of ‘Aaj Dil Shaayraana’ (Holiday)! It also has PRITAM written all over it; the composer(s??) have done a good job of recreating his style. The mukhda also has another line, which has the most brilliant of tunes, in a high scale of notes. (It’s the part that goes “Aankhein marhaba, baatein marhaba“, in case you’re wondering.) The first antara is yet another playful tune that you just can’t get enough of, especially the seamless way the tune goes from low notes to high, in a very clever bridge note. And then the tune of that “marhaba” part comes back with different words, and so do the goosebumps! After the first antara, you think that the song would end, but JAM8 had more in store. When it continues you wait for another antara or the mukhda repeated (like most songs have nowadays) but what you get is even better. A brilliant conclusion comes in the form of nice Sufi-style lines, put to a heavenly tune and Harshdeep’s awesome vocals. The arrangements are fantastic, what with the trademark Pritam guitars and dholaks on a very breezy melody. Some techno sounds are very impressive, like that nice sound at the beginning of the song, playing all the time before Arijit starts, and after each “O zaalima” hook, and in the first interlude. A nice rhythm of daflis (Iqbal Azad), quite similar to the one Pritam himself had given in ‘Gerua’ (Dilwale), gives a nice and traditional touch to the composition. The first time the “O zaalima” hook crops up, there’s a nice hit of drums (Alan Hertz). The acoustic guitars that start the song (Pawan Rasaily & Arijit Singh) are wonderful and lure the listener into the song perfectly. Even the rock guitars actually rock whenever they play. The first antara has this wonderful ‘Tum Jo Aaye’-ish tabla rhythm, taking you back to the ‘Tum Jo Aaye’ days. The second interlude is phenomenal with a nice harmonium-led (Feroz Shaikh) traditional piece. Vocals are topnotch, with both vocalists impressing. Arijit is his usual charming self, and how I love his voice in such cheerful songs. I think even composers do, because I’m hearing less of his bawling and drawling nowadays. Harshdeep is fantastic too, and her husky voice was a perfect choice to get that small amount of rustic-ness required for the song. She also sings that conclusion stanza very convincingly. The lyrics by Amitabh Bhattacharya are a good, fine example of clever poetry and have a nice ring to them, especially when Arijit sings it. The fact that the lyrics are great has been proved already, when the makers resorted to lyrics for building up pre-release buzz for the song, instead of releasing teasers of the audio or stills from the video! “Jo tere ishq mein behka pehle se hi, kya use behkaana, O zaalima!” or “Jiski har dhadkan, tu ho aise, dil ko kya dhadkaana, O zaalima!” It is just, perfectly exemplary writing. A good attempt by ‘almost’ newbies JAM8, to create a good romantic track for SRK, and what they will get in return for this is exposure i.e, exposure that being in an SRK film gives you. Surely, bigger projects are in store for them now after the middling ‘1920 London’ last year!

Note: I’m not too sure whether it is the same people behind this song for JAM8, who were behind the songs for ‘1920 London’ (Kaushik-Akash).

Rating: 3.5/5

 

3. Udi Udi Jaye

Singers ~ Sukhwinder Singh, Bhoomi Trivedi & Karsan Sagathia, Music by ~ Ram Sampath, Lyrics by ~ Javed Akhtar

“Kehne ko toh khel hai yeh tera mera sanjha,
Par mera dil hai patang aur teri nazar manjha,
Manjhe se lipti yeh patang judi judi jaaye!”

– Javed Akhtar

Ram Sampath re-enters into the album that was rightly his before JAM8 were taken on board. His next song is a garba track, but it has shades of a romantic track. And this blend has been done so well, that at one point you think it’s a dance number you’re listening to, and at another point, you think it is an out-and-out romantic song. The composition, though quite typical to the genre, is very sweet and innocent, especially the wonderfully crafted hookline. Yes, it has a bit of a 90s touch to it, but that makes it sound all the more charming. The mukhda is a direct plunge into the melody of the song, with the hookline ‘hooking’ you from the very start, just like a hookline is supposed to. That one line that Ram has composed so that we can actually say there is some kind of mukhda (The ‘kehne ko toh khel hai…‘ part) is just sooooo sweet, and whenever it repeats in the chorus, you just can’t help but smile. The antaras have been composed in a just as melodious tune, with an even more evident 90s feel to it, and that touch makes it sound as good as it does! (You see, I have no qualms with 90s touches when they’re well done!) In the second interlude, there’s a wonderful very folksy Gujarati part, crooned by Karsan Sagathia, and that is something to look out for in the song. I like the way Ram has composed such a flavourful Gujarati track, though he isn’t Gujarati himself. That just reflects the unity in diversity of India once again, I guess? 😀 The arrangements are wonderful, and make the song sound grand. If you close your eyes and listen to them, you might just feel you are in the middle of a big Navratri function in the heartlands of Gujarat itself. The powerful, booming percussion (Nitish Ranadive) just can’t be ignored, as it provides such a foot-tapping beat throughout the song. The Gujarati folksy string instruments have been put to great use. That mandolin (Tapas Roy) is just too splendid to ignore! Overall, the arrangements by Sampath set up this very happy and grand ambience, and transport you to Gujarat. Vocals are too impressive to be true. Sukhwinder, as always, is great, but his voice sounds exceptionally well here — barring those small autotunes I can hear occasionally! And the “Chaiyya Chaiyya” (Dil Se) magic is recreated! Bhoomi Trivedi gets her next big song right after her debut in ‘Ram-Leela’, and making great use of the space she gets here, she shines. Her husky voice proves just right for the track, and at places, she sounds just like Sunidhi Chauhan. Karsan’s small interlude, is fantastic, and I don’t know whether it’s a new recording, or a recording of one of his old songs. Probably the former. I don’t know. I don’t think it should matter too. 😛 Javed Akhtar’s lyrics are good; a nice romantic touch is added to the Garba setting with his words. Other than that, there wasn’t anything too exceptional about them. 🙂 A song that will go down as one of the best Garba songs of Bollywood, joining the *recent* hits like ‘Nagada Sang Dhol’ (Ram-Leela), ‘Shubhaarambh’ (Kai Po Che).

Rating: 4/5

 

4. Dhingana

Singer ~ Mika Singh, Additional Vocals by ~ Team Omgrown, Music Composed by ~ Aheer for JAM8, Music Produced by ~ Omgrown Music (Ram Sampath’s company), Lyrics by ~ Mayur Puri

“Farzi, duniya hai farzi, tedhi jab kar di ungli, toh seedhi chali,
Marzi, apni marzi, jab Hoti gardi, kismat gale lagi
Dhingana dhingana, dhandhe ka dhingana!”

– Mayur Puri

JAM8 comes back with yet another song on the album, this one credited specifically to new composer Aheer composing for JAM8. The song is your everyday gangster song, something full of attitude and loud beats that you might expect to play everywhere around for a while after the film releases. The composition by Aheer is quite good, getting the attitude and spunk quotient right, with the mukhda particularly starting the song off on a note that would get the listener hooked. As it progresses towards the hookline, the composition does get a bit heard-before and tedious, but bearable. It isn’t like the composition would bore you. The hookline itself is full of that gangster attitude. The one antara that follows too, has a nice retro-styled composition, and reminds one of Amitabh Bachchan’s Angry young Man days. One thing is for sure though, that this song will be played numerous times in parties and functions. The arrangements are your normal massy song fare, with loud masala movie styled percussions (that sound a bit too loud, thus reminding me of Sajid-Wajid’s ‘Madamiyan’ from ‘Tevar’), and cool guitars (Shon Pinto). The star of the arrangements, though, has to be the rock guitars tune, the one we heard in the trailer, and what people were calling the “Raees Theme”. They should’ve released an instrumental track based on that trumpet-and-guitars piece! Vocals by Mika are surprisingly not as irritating as they could’ve been, and that’s saying quite something! He adds a bit of a grunge to his voice in places, and it sounnds great! The song’s duration has been kept very short, under three minutes, and rightly so, situational as it is. Mayur Puri, returning in a film album as Lyricist after quite some time, writes functional lyrics, and from what I gather, it is a song where the gangster and his henchmen are celebrating about the success of their business. Enjoyable, but to an extent, that unfortunately gets reached quite soon.

Rating: 3/5

 

5. Enu Naam Che Raees

Singers ~ Ram Sampath & Tarannum Malik, Additional Vocals by ~ Team Omgrown, Music by ~ Ram Sampath, Lyrics by ~ Ram Sampath & Hiral Brahmbhatt

“Enu naam chhe Raees, Enu naam chhe Raees,
Akkhi duniya mein yeh single piece, single piece!
Heilo haalaro, hulle hullare ho!!!”

– Ram Sampath & Hiral Brahmbhatt

Here comes another theme song revolving around the central character, Raees. This one has been composed by Ram Sampath and I’m guessing, was part of the album before SRK started making amendments in the album. I say that because it is horribly disappointing! The composition is a typpppppical Ram Sampath composition. But that’s not bad, is it? Well, it isn’t but the result isn’t too satisfactory either. Yes, the composition does have certain hooks that make it work, like the “Heilo haalaro hulle hullare ho…” loop, which is family catchy, but as a whole, it just doesn’t work out as a theme song which it is meant to be. The hookline seems like something that has been composed for an advertising campaign, and doesn’t seem like something you would add into a Bollywood album. Okay, even if it were sounding like an advertising campaign and sounded good, it would be fine. However, the result is a mishmash of confused sounds and tunes. Barring the vocal loop I pointed out, everything seems below the standards. I don’t even get how the track, which is heavy on trippy Latino and club beats, has found a place in such a folksy (till now) album. It is a bit too far-fetched, no? Arrangements are just that: A confused mash of techno beats and Taufiq Qureshi-ish percussion by Farai Arendse and Dayo Afolayan. Also, I don’t know where the Salsa-style beats came from in this song! Vocals by Ram Sampath sound good, but again, it really does not go well with the rest of the album. Again, the vocalists who have sung the vocal loop, fascinate. Ram Sampath and Hiral Brahmbhatt’s lyrics are a good description of Raees’s character, but could’ve done with a much better comoosition. Sadly, so underwhelming a theme song, that I don’t know if it even will be remembered as one.

Rating: 2.5/5

 

6. Saanson Ke

Singer ~ K.K., Additional Vocals by ~ Thomson Andrews, Ryan Dias, Dean Sequeira, Murishka Dcruz, Shazneen Arethna, Gwen Dias, Music by ~ Aheer for JAM8, Lyrics by ~ Manoj Yadav

“Main kis manzil ka raahi hoon, tu kinn raahon pe laayi hai
Samajh paaun na main tujhko, naa tu mujhko…
Jo na manzoor hai mujhko, wohi manzoor hai tujhko
Samajh paaun na main tujhko, naa tu mujhko…”

– Manoj Yadav

As soon as the next song starts, you wonder whether you accidentally opened the “Raaz 5” album. The piano notes that the song starts with evoke memory of everything pertaining to the Bhatts. JAM8 returns yet again, with Aheer helming it yet again. And what follows is a very mediocre sad song, that would have (okay, might have) sounded better in any Bhatt album! The composition has been delivered strictly according to the Bhatts’ needs and requirements, and that template has been followed perfectly. Melancholia, check. Acoustic guitars and strings, check. K.K., check. However, was there any need of such a song here? A wonderfully earthy sad song a la ‘Naina’ (Dangal) could very well have been made as well. And my frustration about this song is much less about it being a trademark Bhatt-ish melody, than it is about it being such a mediocre composition! I mean, Shah Rukh had called in JAM8 to enhance the album, as he thought it was underwhelming, but in such short notice, all that JAM8 too, could offer, is this underwhelming song too! Everything about the composition sounds too heard-before and gives you the feeling that you could just as well hear all of this song’s elements in some other, better, actual Bhatt movie song! That much about the composition. Arrangements fare much better, what with a haunting chorus joining in to make it sound all the more pensive (and also dated, at times). The guitars (Roland Fernandes) help the song nicely throughout the duration. The strings very majestically grace the hookline. The best part of the arrangements are the clarinets and flutes (both by Shirish Malhotra), which you might need to strain your ears to listen to. K.K. as usual, aces the vocals, but again, I can’t help but thinking how bored he must’ve been singing this — a melody, the type of which he has sung a thousand times before! Manoj Yadav’s lyrics are a pleasure to hear, and provide the respite that the other aspects of the song do not. A misfit.

Rating: 2.5/5

 

7. Ghammar Ghammar

Singer ~ Roshan Rathod, Music Produced by ~ Ram Sampath, Composition & Lyrics ~ Traditional

“Ghammar Ghammar maru valonu gaaje,
Shaam aavi ne maari matuki phode!”

– Traditional

The last track on the album is a fun Gujarati folk song recreated by Ram Sampath. And I must say, it is quite impressive! The traditional composition has been given a nice techno revamp, and Roshan Rathod has rendered quite zestfully. What’s most impressive is that the techno sounds and the folk instruments blend perfectly and the techno sounds do not tamper the folksy feel of the song whatsoever. I really have nothing much more to say about this! Just enjoy this one! A short track to dance on in Navratri and/or Janmashtami! 😀

Rating: 3/5


Raees turned out to be quite some disappointment. First of all, you would think an album releasing so late (ONE DAY BEFORE THE MOVIE!!) must be so good for it to be delayed so much. After hearing the album, I could gather that the delay must be due to last-minute additions that clearly went wrong. Ram Sampath’s original music for the film getting scrapped, and JAM8’s new songs (out of which one is great, one is above average, and the other is average) being added like one month before the film releases, takes its toll on the album itself. Whatever was the idea behind this last-minute change of music really backfired on the music itself. And all the pre-release hype that could’ve been created by music has just been wasted. I can just say, Much ado about nothing!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 3 + 3.5 + 4 + 3 + 2.5 + 2.5 + 3 = 21.5

Album Percentage: 61. 43%

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: Udi Udi Jaye > Zaalima > Ghammar Ghammar > Dhingana > Laila Main Laila > Saanson Ke = Enu Naam Che Raees

 

Remake Counter
No. Of Remakes: 03 (from previous albums) + 01 (from Raees) = 04

 

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