WONDERFUL MUSIC AND MEANINGFUL LYRICS! (MULK – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Prasad Sashte & Anurag Saikia
♪ Lyrics by: Shakeel Azmi
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 28th July 2018
♪ Movie Released On: 3rd August 2018

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Mulk Album Cover

Listen to the songs: Saavn | Gaana

Buy the songs: iTunes


Mulk is a Bollywood socio-religious drama, starring Rishi Kapoor, Taapsee Pannu, Prateik Babbar, Ashutosh Rana and Kumud Mishra. The film, directed by Anubhav Sinha and produced by Deepak Mukut, opened to rave reviews because of its bold content and it’s hard hitting message. Now, such movies aren’t expected to have a music album, but ‘Mulk’ makes sure it has three songs, an apt number of songs in such a film. The music is composed by Background music artist Prasad Sashte, while a guest composition is by Anurag Saikia, who is fresh from the success of his songs from ‘Karwaan’. So let’s see how the songs go with the theme of the film! 😊


Prasad Sashte opens the album with an upbeat celebratory number Thenge Se, which, in its opening beats itself, maintains that it is a song meant to groove to. The opening lines of the composition cleverly hark back to ‘Kajra Mohabbat Wala’ (Kismet), and the feel of the song is more or less the same happy-go-lucky feel that that song carries. Prasad employs three singers to sing three different stanzas with the same tune; the three-mukhda structure, however, doesn’t bore, because all three singers do their best, while Tapas Roy’s string instruments do their part in making the song entertaining at every step. Sunidhi Chauhan opens the song with a boom, while Suvarna Tiwari, fresh from the success of her song ‘Prabhu Ji’ (High Jack), which was coincidentally sung for the guest composer of this album, Anurag Saikia, brings in a rustic and earthy feel, and Swanand Kirkire does the same. Meanwhole, Amit Padhye’s harmonium and Shadab Mohammed’s dholaks engage the listener. Shakeel Azmi’s lyrics are fun and go well with the upbeat theme of the song.

Prasad’s second song Khudara starts with Islamic chants that tell you that it would be a very pensive and sombre melody. As soon as Vishal Dadlani starts singing, your doubts are cleared: the song turns out to be a heart wrenching sad song, which reaches its peak in the hookline, a soaring high-pitched portion rendered perfectly by Dadlani. Mithun Mohan, Ashwin, Anirudh, Himanshu, Tushar & Prasad do well in the backing chants — it really does its bit to increase the song’s appealing nature. The arrangements are mainly soft rock arrangements where the guitars are the only notable instruments; the rest relies on Dadlani’s captivating vocals. Shakeel Azmi’s lyrics are as heart-rending as the composition that Sashte has spun. However, at two antaras, the song seems extra long; it could’ve been kept at one.

The guest composer Anurag Saikia pitches in for the last song, and it is always a delight to read his name on the credits of any album; and it is commendable that he has reached this stage after doing just three songs in two albums before this! Piya Samaye is a proper Qawwali, something we haven’t got to hear in Bollywood for quite a long time. Or especially not one that has been done so tastefully. Arshad Hussain and Shafqat Amanat Ali complement each other beautifully, and Anurag’s composition suits the theme of the film so well, as do Shakeel Azmi’s lyrics based on secularism. The tablas, dholaks, harmoniums that are expected in a Qawwali, are amazing, but here Saikia also adds a wonderful bass, which, if you can catch it, mesmerizes you. And the strings conducted by Jitendra Javda are just mind blowing. All in all, this song is the perfect grand finale for a short and beautiful album like this!!


Mulk was not really expected to have songs, and since it does, I never expected them to be such gems, to be honest! I just can’t express how happy I am that Mulk is one such album that I will never forget, both because of its wonderful music and its meaningful lyrics!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 8.5 + 8 + 9.5 = 26

Album Percentage: 86.67%

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: Piya Samaye > Thenge Se > Khudara

 

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

DON’T MISS THIS ‘TRIP’PY KARWAAN!! (KARWAAN – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Anurag Saikia, Prateek Kuhad, SlowCheeta, Shwetang Shankar & Imaad Shah
♪ Lyrics by: Akarsh Khurana, SlowCheeta, Imaad Shah & Prateek Kuhad
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 13th July 2018
♪ Movie Releases On: 3rd August 20181400x1400bb1

Listen to the songs: Saavn

Buy the songs: iTunes


Karwaan is an upcoming travel comedy film starring Dulquer Salmaan, Irrfan Khan and Mithila Palkar in lead roles. The film is directed by Akarsh Khurana, the director of ‘High Jack’ which released earlier this year, and produced by Ronnie Screwvala and Priti Rathi Gupta. With just one film to his credit, Akarsh Khurana has showed us that he does indeed, give much importance to the music in his films. The multicomposer album to ‘High Jack’ was a quirky album, high on EDM and fusion and whatnot. Two composers entities, Anurag Saikia and SlowCheeta & Shwetang Shankar, who had composed for that film too, are retained for this album, while two others, namely, Imaad Shah (who composed ‘Calcutta Kiss’ from ‘Detective Byomkesh Bakshy’ in collaboration with Saba Azad) and Prateek Kuhad (debuting in Bollywood as a composer, but who has already sung a song ‘Kho Gaye Hum Kahan’ in ‘Baar Baar Dekho’) are the two new additions to the soundtrack. So let’s jump in and see whether the journey that listening to this soundtrack is, turns out to be a memorable one!


SlowCheeta and Shwetang Shankar’s Dhaai Kilo Bakwaas actually turns out to be three minutes of insane fun; the duo mixes cool Malayalam sounds with a trippy hip-hop arrangement, and an amazing rap by SlowCheeta which has some bloody relatable lyrics interrupts the songs for about a minute. I still don’t understand by SlowCheeta calls himself that! He raps so rapidly, I mean! 🤣 Anish John and Sanjeev Kumar Nair are behind the main vocals, and whoever is the main vocalist out of the two, sounds a lot like Rahul Pandey or Jubin Nautiyal. The lyrics by SlowCheeta are hilarious; about how the plans of a group that has set out on a trip, go haywire.

To link to SlowCheeta’s second song, where he just raps and doesn’t compose, we need to enter young talent Anurag Saikia’s territory of the album. Heartquake is everything ‘Selfish’ (Race 3) was trying to be — a breezy and gentle Hinglish romantic ballad. Anurag however, gets it right because of his wonderful use of sound. The way the song starts itself, with the guitar loop and a tribal chant, is enough to pull you in. And as Papon starts with his dreamy voice, you fall into a lilt along with the beautiful mandolins, strings and tablas that Saikia has employed in the arrangements. Akarsh Khurana’s lyrics work because they don’t seem to be trying too hard, but are just right. One English word in each line isn’t a low allowance, I agree, but somehow, everything fits in beautifully. Maybe it has to do with the fact that Anurag’s composition is the seamlessly beautiful. The coda at the end going “Mashallah.. yeh sama..” is so beautiful, as well. But where does SlowCheeta come into the picture, you ask? Well, he features in the Aftershocks Version of the song, where Anurag re-composes the song to make it fit for a trippy beat and an EDM vibe which sounds like it fell out of the plane from the ‘High Jack’ soundtrack and landed in the caravan in the ‘Karwaan’ soundtrack. 😃 The new composition is really catchy as well; SlowCheeta aptly adds his signature punch with a punchy rap, while Papon now pronounces ‘Heartquake’ as ‘Heart-ku-wake’, which sounds a bit appealing, I must admit! The arrangements for this track are nowhere near the original, obviously, but at least the composer didn’t put the same composition through an endless EDM loop and make it sound like an unnecessary remix! 👍

Anurag Saikia’s part of the album ends up with the heard-before but still engaging travel ballad Chota Sa Fasana, which again uses electronic music as its base and that’s why it becomes so entrancing. I’m sure the composer could’ve made the background a bit more ‘happening’, but it seems deliberately muffled to give the feel of an immersive journey, when you just stare out of the window and feel the breeze on your face. The ‘Oh-oh’ chants after every line of the hookline are enjoyable, as well as Arijit Singh’s trademark vocals; I admit I took my time to like them in this song, but I eventually did! As long as Anurag Saikia keeps his compositions this strong, though, any flaw or discrepancy in the arrangements or vocals would be completely overlooked!

The next artist that stands out in the soundtrack is Prateek Kuhad, who has his separate couple of songs in the album to show his mettle. The mellow Kadam transcends you to this dreamy mind space, where the artist uses his wonderful guitar loops to calm you down, and his distinct voice gives the song an edge above other songs of the same type, say, by Jasleen, who usually composes in the same style. The lyrics too, are by Prateek, and he writes them very meaningfully; they are kind of on the lines of the theme of self-discovery. If ‘Kadam’ gets repetitive for you, though, Saansein is what you’re looking for. This too, starts as a very plain and simple song; it sounds like a sad song almost. The piano in the initial portions is just too sweet to get over, until the composer adds a bass line that gets you nodding your head along to it, and then he adds shakers, too! The composition too, is catchy, and there comes a point where he leaves it to the drums and guitars to take over, and boy, do they take over! This is the food your head-nod needs! Eagerly waiting to hear more of Prateek’s music in the coming months!

Finally, Imaad Shah (Composer) and Saba Azad (Singer) present Bhar De Hamara Glass, an irresistible retro number with some cool sound effects. However, the voice gets a bit irritating after a bit, and I can’t really see myself listening to this song over and over! Therefore, it’s signature Madboy/Mink stuff, but just doesn’t seem right over here!


Just like ‘High Jack’, we get another melodious album for Karwaan! This is a ‘TRIP’py Karwaan you must take a ride in!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 8.5 + 9 + 7.5 + 8.5 + 8 + 8.5 + 7 = 57

Album Percentage: 81.43%

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: Heartquake > Saansein = Chota Sa Fasana = Dhai Kilo Bakwaas > Kadam > Heartquake (Aftershocks) > Bhar De Hamara Glass

 

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

DEBUTANTS HIJACK THE ALBUM FROM NUCLEYA!! (HIGH JACK – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Nucleya, Anurag Saikia, Rajat Tiwari, SlowCheeta & Shwetang Shankar
♪ Lyrics by: Akarsh Khurana, Vibha Saraf, SlowCheeta & Rajat Tiwari
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 5th April 2018
♪ Movie Releases On: 18th May 2018

High Jack Album Cover

 

Listen to the songs: Saavn

Buy the songs: iTunes


High Jack is an upcoming Bollywood comedy film starring Sumeet Vyas, Sonalli Seygall, and Mantra Mugdh, directed by Akarsh Khurana and produced by Phantom Films and Viu. The trailer makes it seem like a movie that requires insanely quirky music, and the music is by multiple composers. Nucleya, Anurag Saikia, Rajat Tiwari, SlowCheeta & Shwetang Shankar are composing for this album, and barring Nucleya, all the other composers are debuting with this album. So, fasten your seatbelts as we take off on this flight that is the album of this film!


Nucleya starts off the album with probably the freshest song I’ve heard in a while, Behka. The song starts with a pleasant guitar strum accompanied by a fresh EDM sound, that runs all throughout the song, and Nucleya does a nice job not making it boring, even though the song runs for four minutes! Vibha Saraf sings one stanza at the beginning, and the same one towards the end; barring that, the song is completely EDM — and good EDM at that! Nucleya is great at this kind of stuff, and it’s nice to see a Bollywood producer actually letting him make it. Anurag Kashyap directed his energies into making a high octane rap song earlier this year in ‘Mukkabaaz’, and now he (because Phantom produced the film) lets him do his signature EDM, which turns out mind blowing.
Nucleya’s other song Aapaatkaleen, is a short theme song with dialogues by the cast members, and another catchy and groovy EDM rhythm, and fun sound effects. It’s nice to see Nucleya get experimental with sound in a Bollywood film.
Anurag Saikia’s Bollywood debut happens with another experimental track, the best of this album, Prabhu Ji. The song appears in two versions. Both versions have the same arrangements, but just sung by two different singers, Asees Kaur and debutant Suvarna Tiwari.
The Asees Kaur Version will definitely be the radio’s favourite, while music lovers would love the Suvarna Tiwari Version, because of the classical singing talent she possesses. At the end of the day, both versions are enjoyable. Anurag Saikia’s composition is a winner, because it is an efficient bhajan-like tune, and the amazing fusion with Electronic music is a wonderful touch, making the song sound extremely fresh. The lyrics by director Akarsh Khurana are great, and intentionally (or unintentionally?) funny, because in such a film you know this isn’t going to be a real bhajan situation, so the lyrics sound all the more quirky!
SlowCheeta and Shwetang Shankar step into Bollywood with Kripya Dhyaan De, another song with some sick electronic programming, especially with the bagpipes. There isn’t much by way of composition here, as it is primarily a rap song, but that too, has been done tastefully. However, it isn’t something that you’ll think of much after listening to it. It’ll play and get over, and you’ll forget about it soon. That’s not saying it isn’t catchy though, and the composers have given it a nice soundscape.
The last composer Rajat Tiwari, also debuting with this album, presents his song Happy Ending Song, also in two versions. Both the First Version and the Second Version go completely acoustic and say so too, in the lyrics by Akarsh Khurana. (“Electronic music kaafi sun liya, isiliye acoustic bajaana hai“). The composition itself is enjoyable, feel-good, much like the rest of the songs in the album, and again the arrangements and vocals are done well. Taaruk Raina is a great find, he sings the song in a charming way in both versions, and while Sumedha Karmahe accompanies him (sounding as usual like she could have sounded better) in the first version, Manasi Mulherkar (sounding like Shefali Alvares). The lyrics are enjoyable and suitable for the end credits scene.


Barring one song, the album is completely high on electronic music, but more than that, it is a launchpad for four talented composers, who kind of hijack the album from Nucleya!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 8 + 7 + 8.5 + 8.5 + 6 + 7 + 7 = 52

Album Percentage: 74. 3%

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: Prabhu Ji (Both Versions) > Behka > Happy Ending Song (Both Versions) = Aapaatkaaleen > Kripya Dhyaan De

 

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