TRIVEDI’S CUTE ZINDAGI! (DEAR ZINDAGI – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Amit Trivedi & Ilaiyaraaja
♪ Lyrics by: Kausar Munir & Gulzar
♪ Music Label: Sony Music
♪ Music Released On: 15th November 2016
♪ Movie Releases On: 25th November 2016

Dear Zindagi Album Cover

Dear Zindagi Album Cover

 

To hear the songs of this album on Saavn CLICK HERE

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Dear Zindagi is an upcoming Bollywood comedy drama starring Alia Bhatt, Shahrukh Khan, Kunal Kapoor, Ali Zafar and Ira Dubey. The film is directed by ‘English Vinglish’ fame Gauri Shinde, and produced by Gauri Khan, Karan Johar and Gauri Shinde herself. This is a story of Kaira (played by Alia) and Jug (played by Khan). Kaira is a budding cinematographer looking for a perfect life. Enter Jug, an unconventional thinker, who gives her a new perspective of looking at life. So, the storyline has Gauri Shinde as we know her, written all over it! Gauri’s last film also touched upon the small beauties of life, and I’m sure this will delve more into that. The director chooses to compose for this film, the person that had made her first film’s album such a success, and that is, as we all know, Amit Trivedi. Who, by the way, gets to compose for SRK for the first time in his career in the bargain! (And Alia for the third!) Looking at the film’s teasers and promos, fresh music is expected, and who better than Trivedi to get in that freshness? His track record this year has been amazing, but he didn’t really get to compose in his comfort zone, what with the grand music that ‘Fitoor’ called for, or the extra-dark and unconventional music that was required by ‘Udta Punjab’. With this film, I’m sure he’s going to be back in his comfort zone, which is fresh, feel-good music! So let’s get into this album right away!


1. Love You Zindagi / Love You Zindagi (Club Mix)
Singers ~ Jasleen Kaur Royal / Alia Bhatt, Backing Vocals ~ Rajiv Sundaresan, Suhas Sawant & Joell Mukherjii

So, the album starts off with what I would like to call the title song of the album, but I clearly can’t. The song appears in two versions, so let me speak about them one by one. The first version is definitely the song that is doing the rounds these days, what with Alia who can be seen embracing the small joys of life in its video, which really looks cute! On the music front, too, this one scores pretty well. Amit’s composition for this song is easily his signature style of composition, and a layman can easily guess at this stage of Trivedi’s career, whether a song is composed by him or not. The mukhda is full of sugary-sweet notes that really appeal to you at once, not to mention the cute way those “Hi Hi Hi”s and “Bye Bye Bye”s have been composed! And the hookline is just fabulous! 😀 The antara follows the same kind of template, starting off gracefully and then going into a fun staccato. The hookline is what will attract more listeners though for sure. The arrangements in this version, though, are heavenly. A wonderful flute (Inapakurti D Rao) starts the song off, and then breezy guitars (Joell Mukherjii) take over for the most part of the song. And then wonderful trumpets (Ketan Sodha) and a nice mandolin and banjo (Tapas Roy) provide the breeziness factor a boost. Darshan Doshi’s drums give a nice upbeat nature to the song. It is the vocals that make the song sound even more cute, as Jasleen does her wonderful small baby thing yet again. However, that admiration of her rendition lasts only as long as you don’t hear Alia’s rendition. In the club mix, amidst a cool chivda of techno sounds, her voice sounds soooooo beautiful! And then you just can’t help but compare her to Shraddha and discover who is clearly the better singer. (Alia!) In the song, she sounds like Jonita Gandhi a bit at some places, especially during the “Hi Hi Hi” and “Bye Bye Bye“. Amit has conveniently increased the tempo for this one, succeeding in living up to the ‘Club Mix’ title. Backing vocalists Rajiv Sundaresan, Suhas Sawant and Joell Mukherjii are the magicians behind that beautiful hookline, and had they not been there, the hookline wouldn’t at all have stood out so well! And then, we come to Kausar’s lyrics, which are another breath of fresh air! Talking about having an affair with life, it is very fun and cute to the ears! The soundtrack starts off with a song that is fun in all, but one version falls flat because of the singer, while the other is more of a remix. Anyway, enjoyable but not great great great. 🙂

 

2. Tu Hi Hai
Singer ~ Arijit Singh, Backing Vocals ~ Joell Mukherjii

The next song is yet another fresh song. Amit’s composition is one of the cutest things I’ve heard this year, and that cuteness is alleviated thanks to Arijit’s feathery voice. The mukhda instantly grabbed my attention and pulled me into the song, and it won’t take time for anyone to love this song. The hookline falls into the category of hooklines which I love — the ones that don’t proclaim themselves as the rulers of the world. It blends into the mukhda and you hardly notice when it’s over. Also, after Arijit sings “Tu hi hai“, I felt like doing the Shammi Kapoor Shimmy, for some reason — maybe there’s some retro touch hidden somewhere in the song! The hookline is followed by a nice line that goes “Door yeh kaun hai..” That right there, is my favourite part of the whole song. The antara takes the tune of the mukhda itself, and that is Trivedi’s usual style, and I loved it especially in this song, because the tune is so good, that it deserves a double repeat. As a conclusion, Trivedi adds a nice little stanza that goes “Mere sheron mein yeh kaun hai” which goes on to even ask who is in his diary, guitar, balloons and whatnot. The entire composition style reminded me of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s ‘Kuch Toh Hua Hai’ (Kal Ho Naa Ho) — NOT ANKIT TIWARI’S ‘KUCH TOH HUA HAI’ FROM ‘SINGHAM RETURNS’ PLEASE!! The freshness is quite similar to the freshness to the freshness of that song, and it just shows you how ahead of their time Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy were at that time. Amit’s arrangements are perfect. Breezy acoustic guitars (Joell Mukherjii) coupled with nice drum beats make for a nice and soothing arrangement. The guitars, as they start the song off, reminded me of another Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy song ‘Dil Kya Kare’ (Salaam-E-Ishq)! The interludes are well embellished with Tapas Roy’s wonderful mandolins. But the star of the arrangements is the vintage spoon-on-a-glass chink sound, and Amit has really overdone himself by using that in such a wonderful manner here. Backing vocals (Joell Mukherjii) in the mukhda constitute the chorus going “Oooohh oooohh” in a wonderful harmony. Sony Music, however, doesn’t reveal the musician credits until the song promos are released, so I can’t really speak about the musicians and backing vocalists. 😦 Arijit’s vocals are the perfect match for this cite composition, and he renders it with ease, and the right amount of cuteness. Kausar’s lyrics are wonderful, a bit in the Gulzar style of writing. Very cute!! Signature Amit Trivedi meets Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

3. Taarefon Se
Singers ~ Arijit Singh

{Looks like Sony Music has misspelled ‘Taareefon’ 😅}

As soon as the next song starts, you can’t help but scream out the name of one of Amit Trivedi’s most famous albums, the one that actually brought him his first huge acclaim in the commercial style of music, ‘Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu’. The composition is a nice, soothing one, done in the traditional jazzy style. But don’t get me wrong. Amit’s jazz in ‘Bombay Velvet’ and this jazz is not the same at all. Over there, he had to compose according to the 1960s Bombay theme, but here, he composed a traditional modern jazz song, no matter how confusing that sounds. 😀 The composition reminded me particularly of ‘Gubbare’ (Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu) but also reminded me of all the songs in that album in general. The soothing tune provides a nice relief to the ears, and works in its intentions. The way the mukhda starts, you would feel that the song won’t really get so catchy, but as it progresses, it grows on you like slow poison, reminding me of yet another such song, Rahman’s ‘Aise Na Dekho’ (Raanjhanaa) which started off sounding like the black sheep of the album, but ending up being at par with the rest of the songs. The hookline of this song has been composed beautifully by Amit, and it just sounds so intoxicating and cute. The antara keeps the intoxication in the song continued, with its nice and easy-going tune. The line “Maana sabse tu, haseen hai nakhrewaali…” in the mukhda is just mind-blowing! Arrangements, are fabulous here too. A perfect result is obtained by Amit’s trumpet+drum couple. Additionally, piano provides the soothing effect in the jazz, while a backing chorus gives the required harmonies. About the vocals, I really can’t say anything except praise Arijit yet again for his brilliant rendition!! Every note of his touches the ears with a nice feel, hence making the already dulcet composition sound even more calm. Kausar Munir just writes yet another set of amazing lyrics, cuteness overloaded! A song that seems to be rejected from ‘Ek Main Auar Ekk Tu’, and placed here, but shines in this album nevertheless! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

4. Let’s Break Up
Singer ~ Vishal Dadlani

The next song is a booming, fun track that brings in to the album a peppy aspect. The composition is a nice and upbeat one which instantly hooks you, and has you listening the whole time. The style of composition which Amit has used here, too, is quite retro. It reminds you of that MJ hip-hop music that Vishal-Shekhar had used in the ‘Bang Bang’ title song. The mukhda starts off the song very ebulliently and makes the listener ready for a fun song to follow. The hookline is where the song falters a bit, looking like Amit has stuck some other song’s hookline to the song’s mukhda, making things sound quite odd. Both parts are good in their own places, but do not go together too well. The first antara is also in the same tune as the mukhda (Amit seems to have taken this style very seriously!) and provides more cheeriness in the song! The second antara is also nice and innovative with a trance-y touch to it thanks to the arrangements that sound unplugged with nothing but claps accompanying the melody. In short, the tune is good except for the mistake that the hookline is. Arrangements are nice and euphoric, with those MJ hip-hop beats overpowering everything else. Drums and fantastic brass instruments provide more attractive music. The second interlude is a typical Amit Trivedi quirky musical piece. Those digital beats are just insane!! Vishal Dadlani was the perfect choice for this song, if not Benny Dayal. He renders the composition with the required effervescence. I just love the way he sings “Basically, basically, basically”. He is the saving grace of the hookline, along with the trumpets. Kausar Munir writes a better piece about breakups than Amitabh Bhattacharya did in ‘The Breakup Song’ (Ae Dil Hai Mushkil). However, due to lack in the catchiness of the hookline, they don’t stand out much! Fun, but won’t stay around for too long!

 

5. Just Go To Hell Dil
Singer ~ Sunidhi Chauhan, Backing Vocals ~ Rajiv Sundaresan, Suhas Sawant, Arun Kamath, Crystal Sequeira & Bianca Gomes

The next song brings in the much-awaited melancholia in the album (Though I don’t like the melancholia of those typical romantic songs, I await the melancholia that people like Rahman, Vishal-Shekhar, Pritam, Trivedi and Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy offer!) The song is a sombre melody that, yet again, grows on you like slow poison. The composition is not really one that I would expect from Trivedi, I would expect such a composition more from Pritam. And I say that because it sounds a lot like Pritam’s ‘Life In A… Metro’ songs and his ‘Yaariyan’ (Cocktail). The composition is nonetheless beautiful. It has all shades of emotion, and doesn’t bore for even one of its five and a half minutes. The hookline is something that will instantly hook you, and that is also where the song starts sounding like a trademark Pritam composition. The mukhda is essentially a beautifully woven piece, with notes strung in line one after the other in a beautiful fashion, making he result phenomenal. There is always a part which takes the song up in such songs, and here, that part is the wonderful “Oh Roothe Dil, Roothe Dil, Roothe Dil…” line. It is from there, that the song starts working its magic on you. Though I don’t always love English hookline in essentially Hindi songs, the hookline in this song blends in well, and turns out to be a success. The antara again, resembles the mukhda and now I’m 100% sure that this is now Trivedi’s style. The second antara gets the composition treading on nice high note that instantly strike a chord with the listener. The provide a kind of climax to the song. The whole composition in all, makes this song the cranked-up equivalent of ‘Gustakh Dil’ from Gauri Shinde and Trivedi’s last album ‘English Vinglish’, which was another “addressing-the-heart-and-accusing-it-of-its-infinite-faults” song. The arrangements win half the battle for the song. A wonderful piano starts off the song, followed by a graceful violin (Jitendra H. Thakur). The guitars (Rushad Mistry & Warren Mendonsa) set in and make the atmosphere of the song even more beautiful. That electric guitar loop playing in the hookline is what actually reminded me of Pritam’s guitar loops in ‘Yaariyan’ (Cocktail) and ‘Kabira’ (Yeah Jawaani Hai Deewani). Drums (Darshan Doshi) are another quintessential but fabulous addition to the song. Sunidhi’s effusive vocals are enough to take the song to sky-level. She sings the whole song with such conviction, it doesn’t make Amit’s emotional composition sound hollow. Backing vocalists support Sunidhi very well, and I loved how the male backing vocalists and the female ones have distinct parts. Kausar Munir’s lyrics are wonderful, and add the pain and angst to the already angsty composition. This one is a sure shot winner! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

6. Ae Zindagi Gale Laga Le (Take 1) / Ae Zindagi Gale Laga Le (Take 2)
Singers ~ Arijit Singh / Alia Bhatt, Composition by ~ Ilaiyaraaja, Music Recreated by ~ Amit Trivedi, Lyrics by ~ Gulzar

 So, for the grand finale to the album, that has done quite good till now, we get a classic song remade by Amit Trivedi. It seems like Sony Music made the makers of the film rummage through the very short list of classic albums they had under their label (almost all went to Saregama-HMV!) and the makers finally found the gem they wanted in that short list. The song was ‘Ae Zindagi Gale Laga Le’ from ‘Sadma’. And, very appropriately, going with the film’s theme (Alia is a cinematographer), Sony Music names these two versions of the remake as “Take 1” and “Take 2”, indicating that it is just their take on the classic, and not an ambitious thing that we call a ‘remake’ nowadays! 😀 The best part about this ‘take’ of the wonderful classic, is that the original composition has been kept intact! Nothing at all has been changed in Ilaiyaraaja’s heavenly composition, and I really appreciate the makers for that! So might Raaja himself! 😀 Even the lyrics by Gulzar saab have been kept as they were in the old song. All that has changed are the vocals and arrangements. So let’s go version-wise. The first version has Arijit behind the mic, with his third song in the album. Who better than Arijit to recreate the magic that Suresh Wadkar had infused into this composition? He sings the song with a nice nasal twang to his voice, and makes sure the glory of the composition remains intact. Amit’s arrangements for this take of the song are wonderful. A nice rock aspect has been given to the song, and the guitars and drums help in making the song appeal to new-age listeners. In the second version, actress Alia Bhatt takes over, and with her sweet voice, renders the haunting composition very effectively, except in the occasional slips here and there. You can tell that her vocals have been incorporated into the track without any tinkering with them. The arrangements here are more of an internationally-appealing type. Such arrangements are getting popular worldwide now, and it is really nice to know that Amit has done this without spoiling the song too much. The EDM sounds nice, and it even goes into a kind of dappankuthu towards the end. These arrangements are definitely more techno than the ones in the first version. What a brave step to recreate this classic, which could’ve gone very bad, hahd Trivedi not used such intelligence! The result is quite safe and amazing! #5StarHotelSong!!


Dear Zindagi turns out to be one of Amit Trivedi’s safest albums till date. He has never tried to get his unconventional touch to such commercial films. Though the film is also not one of SRK’s usual films, I wouldn’t actually be expecting so many songs in the film after seeing the promos. Yet, Trivedi comes up with 8 tracks for the film, and none of them actually have anything going against their favor. Yes, the title track and ‘Let’s Break Up’ do have some minor glitches, but all in all, the album turns out to be a very safe album in that it sounds great, but I’m not really sure about its playlist life! All the songs are very cute and fun to hear, though. Hereby declared: Amit’s cute music makes for a very cute “zindagi“! 

 

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: Tu Hi Hai > Taarefon Se > Just Go To Hell Dil > Ae Zindagi Gale Laga Le (Take 1) > Ae Zindagi Gale Laga Le (Take 2) > Love You Zindagi = Love You Zindagi (Club Mix) = Let’s Break Up

 

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

HIGHWAY (MUSIC REVIEW)

The fifth album of this category is ‘Highway’. Okay, so the songs of this album weren’t popular as such among the public, as only two of them were promoted before the film released. However, everyone seems to have heard the songs. Everyone wants to prove that they have heard a Rahman album, and they will even say that the songs of Highway are so good that they keep listening to the album on loop! :/ And after that if you ask them how many songs are there, they will reply, ‘about two-three, right? So sad that this album has such a less number of songs!’ Then you would probably just leave them to hear what they think is the ‘whole album’ of ‘Highway’. 😀 The songs of Highway, barring two particular tracks, are experimental to the core, and I don’t think people loving songs like ‘Tune Maari Entriyaan’ and ‘Sunny Sunny’ at that time, would play this album on loop even now! However, the music was appreciated by critics and all, so that is the ticket for ‘Highway’ to appear in this category of reviews. 🙂


Album Details:-

Music by:- A.R. Rahman | Lyrics by:- Irshad Kamil, Lady Kash ‘n’ Krissy, Sant Kabir | Music Label:- T-Series | Music Released On:- 24th January 2014 | Movie Released On:- 21st February 2014

Highway Album Cover

Highway Album Cover

 

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


Highway is a drama film which released on 21st February 2014. It is written and directed by Imtiaz Ali, and produced by Sajid Nadiadwala. It stars Alia Bhatt and Randeep Hooda in lead roles. It is the story of a city girl who gets kidnapped just before her marriage, and is held for ransom. However, a bond of affection starts to develop between her and her kidnapper, and that’s what this movie is about. After the success of ‘Rockstar’ and its music, Imtiaz Ali again tries to make a different film. And the music director is the same, A.R. Rahman! Ever since I came to know that he was composing for this film, I was very excited and expected a lot from the album. So let’s see whether the music of ‘Highway’ had met my expectations then, and what I think of it now.


1. Patakha Guddi (Female Version):- Singers ~ Jyoti Nooran, Sultana Nooran & Backing Vocals by A.R. Rahman, Lyrics by ~ Irshad Kamil

The Nooran Sisters, Jyoti and Sultana, who have been seen in Coke Studio singing for Hitesh Sonik and in MTV Sound Trippin’ for Sneha Khanwalkar, surprisingly make their Bollywood debut with a Rahman song! In this song based on Punjabi Sufi folk music, which is their forte, you are sure that there is going to be some magic awaiting you ahead. Right from the starting when the techno beats start, to the ending, this song will entertain you through the whole duration of four minutes and forty five seconds through which it lasts. The singers have done a splendid job, and Rahman has made a great decision of launching them in Bollywood! The flute used all through the song, is used brilliantly, and it sounds so beautiful! I loved this fusion of Punjabi Sufi with techno beats, and it sounds wonderful! The song twists and turns like a ghaat, but the tune is so lovable that the complexity will be forgotten. (And if you–for some of the fake Rahman fans out there–still think it’s complicated, then just hear the other songs, because there are more than two 😀 ) Rahman’s backing vocals are also awesome (“oo-oo-oo-oo”). As loudly as it started, it ended just as gently 🙂 A beautiful mix of Punjabi Sufi and techno, with the energetic vocals of the Nooran Sisters, who are going to make it big in Bollywood, I am sure! It is a  #5StarHotelSong!

 

2. Maahi Ve:- Singer ~ A.R. Rahman, Backing Vocals by ~ Maria Roe Vincent, Rhea Raphael, Neethi Dorairaju, Lyrics by ~ Irshad Kamil

I personally feel, that a Rahman album is incomplete without his voice. Since he didn’t sing in ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’, I guess that’s why he decided to sing two songs in ‘Raanjhanaa’, and now my theory is proved again in this album. He does sing a song, and it comes in the form of this beautiful, romantic song, which is a typical Rahman song! It starts with some beats which are so catchy that you will instantly start swaying slowly, without realizing it. These beats don’t disappear through the whole song, and they are always there throughout the song to accompany you, lest you get bored (but you won’t!) The line ‘Tu saath hai, ho din raat hai’ is very catchy too. Rahman’s voice is magical as usual, and slowly, it will start growing on you, so be patient! 🙂 This song has been concluded in a very different way, and I liked it! Right from ‘yeh jeena bhi, na jeena bhi…’ till the end of the song, it is a perfect conclusion to this sweet song! A perfect romantic song, performed by the maestro himself, with utter perfection! However, it is a very typical Rahman song.

 

3. Kahaan Hoon Main:- Singer ~ Jonita Gandhi, Lyrics by ~ Irshad Kamil

A singer who debuted with a song like ‘Chennai Express (Title Song)’, that too, a very minimal portion, gets a Rahman song as her second song! What a leap! Starting off with piano notes, and with Jonita’s voice supported by very just piano following, this song will grab your attention instantly…NOT! This song will take a long time to grow on you unless you are a fan of Western romantic songs. This song has no trace of anything Indian except the language, and the ending tune of the antaras, where the singer takes a kind of taan or something. After Neeti Mohan, I think Rahman is off to make a permanent space for Jonita now in Bollywood as well! She has sung brilliantly! But still, I would have preferred Sunidhi or Neeti herself in this song, for some reason. Either of them could have taken the song to another level altogether. Good to see Rahman encouraging new generation singers, too, however! (Sorry for the sentences contrasting each other in each line!) The piano solo in the second interlude is too good! Also the strings have been coordinated very well! Thumbs up for Rahman to create such a Westernized track but it’s not catchy at all, so it won’t connect with most of the Indian audience, who need dhamaka, even in romantic songs 😀

 

4. Wanna Mash Up:- Singers ~ Kash ‘n’ Krissy, Suvi Suresh, Lyrics by ~ Kash ‘n’ Krissy

The moment it starts, you know it’s going to be something totally different from what Bollywood witnesses everyday. Yes, it is. It is a song written and sung totally in English. Lady Kash and Krissy, if you remember (you probably won’t) had also sung for Rahman in ‘Enthiran’ (‘Robot’ is the Hindi version). They had sung the song ‘Irumbile oru Iradhaiyam’, (Known as ‘Naina Miley’ to the Hindi audience). They are back to sing for Rahman in this track, which is a great attempt by Rahman. He has done a commendable job in composing a Western hip-hop type number! The lyrics are such that you will hardly understand much, but the way Kash ‘n’ Krissy sing it is outstanding! To be frank, I didn’t like the song when it released. But after the movie released, and after the song videos were uploaded on the T-Series YouTube channel, I saw the video of this song, and I guess it is a crucial part of the film. It shows the character played by Alia Bhatt dancing and enjoying herself, while in custody of kidnappers! So it is a situational song, and that’s why it won’t appeal to you unless you watch the movie. Purely situational, but hear it if you are a fan of electronic hip-hop! This track is not a regular Rahman track!

 

5. Sooha Saaha:- Singers ~ Zeb (Zebunnisa Bangash), Alia Bhatt, Lyrics by ~ Irshad Kamil

Here is a plain beautiful song! I was waiting for a song like this from Rahman for a very, very long time! And the best thing about it is that, it is a lullaby, and it does its work perfectly! The ukelele has been played at the starting by Haniya, and her partner, Zeb, sings the song. Alia Bhatt opens with some humming, which is also beautiful! When Zeb starts, you get the feel of sleeping in a village on a starry, calm night. Such magic I have never experienced while hearing any song! The mukhda and both antaras are totally different from each other. The antara sung by Alia Bhatt is great. She can sing very well, but her pronunciation is a bit bad. For ‘dekhoon’ it sounds like she’s saying ‘dekho’ and ‘baari’ sounds like ‘baarey’. Zeb is fantastic as well and her voice gives the required folkish feel to the sound. The lyrics by Irshad Kamil are highly innovative. Take the title line, for instance–‘Sooha saaha amma ka’–which means red rabbit of mother! A mother singing a lullaby, and calling her child a red rabbit of hers! So cute!! So sad that it wasn’t noticed because it deserved to be! 😦 Nothing to say. Just that this song is a  #5StarHotelSong!

 

6. Patakha Guddi (Male Version):- Singer ~ A.R. Rahman, Lyrics by ~ Irshad Kamil

The thoughts in your head while you are about to play this song for the first time–“Wow! Patakha Guddi again! That too, sung by the one and only A.R. Rahman! This is gonna be awesome!! Woohoo!! ARR Rocks!”–Right? Well, it’s natural to think so! I have even included this song separately because I wanted to write a LOT about it. So, here are your thoughts after the song starts–“Okay, abhi tak toh sirf shuruaat hai, aagey aagey dekhte hain hota hai kya!”–because it starts great! The first part of the song is actually great, if you except Rahman’s vocals! The new antara is good, too! Harmonium and manjeera are played in this version! It becomes a Sufi Qawwali instead of techno Punjabi Sufi. After the second antara, however, you might skip the track, because in comes an unwanted noise of rock instruments. Electric guitar and drums enter the song just like mosquitoes enter our houses in the evening! UNWANTEDLY! This rock part is totally a bin bulaaya mehmaan in this Sufi track. It even stays for that long! It lasts for exactly one minute!! After that, the song comes back on track and becomes the Sufi Qawwali again, and you would think–“What had happened to this song in between?”–because you would actually be shocked that such a great Sufi Qawwali transformed into a rock beast all of a sudden. Just as if it had gotten possessed by some ghost or something! :O After the rock portion is over, you feel that because you were criticizing his pronunciation in the earlier part of the song, Rahman put in the rock portion to punish you. I felt exactly like that! 😀 I had read that this was initially going to be the only ‘Patakha Guddi’ version in the soundtrack, but when Rahman found out that the protagonist is a woman, he made the female version too! Thank you, Imtiaz Ali, for writing a script with a female protagonist! 😀 Great attempt of a Sufi Qawwali, which Rahman could have made the best track in the album, had it not been for the rock part! :/

 

7. Implosive Silence:- Singer ~ Jonita Gandhi

This track is something which showcases the immense talent of Rahman! In an interview, he described it as “a state of mind—soothing yet enigmatic”. It features Jonita humming something and it is reversed. It has also been described by Rahman as “a musical piece which tries to capture the sounds in Alia’s character, Veera’s head as the travels along the highway”. Well, it does exactly that! It sounds like a confused person is thinking a lot, and all the thoughts are getting mixed up in the person’s head! A reverse track, which does what it’s supposed to excellently!

 

8. Tu Kuja:- Singer ~ Sunidhi Chauhan, Lyrics by ~ Irshad Kamil

Sunidhi with Rahman! A very rare combo which has given songs in the past, but not in the very recent past. One song, which was very famous, sung by Sunidhi and composed by Rahman was ‘Saiyaan Pakad Baiyaan’ from ‘Nayak’, and the other one, was ‘Gulfisha’ from ‘Ada…A Way of Life’. Well, here she is singing for Rahman for the third time! This song’s title line, ‘Tu Kuja Man Kuja’ refers to a Persian phrase, and the parts which follow are Hindi and inspired by the Amir Khusro song ‘Kirpa Karo Maharaj’. It sounds like a devotional or ‘bhakti’ song, and is beautifully rendered by Sunidhi! It is a bit too experimental, however, and it won’t connect with the audience of today. Not that it got that famous, either, as most people don’t even know about it! It is like a rat which lives in our house, without us knowing about it! The lyrics which are a mix of Persian, Sanskrit and Hindi are too dramatic to digest! This is what I call ‘the experimentalist Rahman’. Nobody would even catch the tune of this song in two of three listens, like they do for other songs! Too dramatic, too experimental, but great music and just as fabulous vocals!

 

9. Heera:- Singer ~ Shweta Pandit, Lyrics by ~ Sant Kabir, modified by Irshad Kamil

This song is the song in which Shweta puts an end to all the weird stuff in this soundtrack, and croons a sweet and simple melody. The violin piece at the starting is great! It sounds beautiful. The antaras have a better tune than the mukhda. Shweta has sung Sant Kabir’s ‘dohe’ to which Rahman has made a tune, very well! It is a very calming song, and it will definitely give you a soothing effect. Shweta’s voice sounded very nice in this song. I hope she sings for Rahman more often as she is always featured in his tours and all. A track which lacks repeat value but is undoubtedly a ‘heera’ and also a  #5StarHotelSong!

 

Overall:- Highway is not a bad album at all, when it comes to the demand of the script. Also, the music given by Rahman and the experimentation done by him is very clever and outstanding! All of the songs except the first two, lack one common thing, and that is repeat value! Nobody would want to repeat the songs, as they would be too tired to do that! Yes, it is a bit tiring to listen to so much experimentation in one hour. Though the music met the demands of the script, it is nothing without the script. The music of ‘Gunday’ and ‘Hasee Toh Phasee’ also matched the demands of the script, but it also had repeat value. Barring the first two tracks, none of the songs are such that you would play them again. Of course I have given the tag of ‘5StarHotelSong’ to four songs, but that stands individually and is not at all related to the final rating of the album! Overall, an album with good music, but height of experimentation, which is why it failed and didn’t get so popular. Good for listening to before sleeping, though, for mental peace!

 

Final Rating for this Album:- सा < रे < ग < म < प < < नी

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

 

Review by Rujul Deolikar

Next dish:- Shaadi Ke Side/Effects, Chefs:- Pritam Chakraborty and Mikey McCleary