A HAPPY WEDDING OF PUNJABI AND ELECTRONIC MUSIC!! (VEERE DI WEDDING – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Shashwat Sachdev, Vishal Mishra, Qaran Mehta & White Noise
♪ Lyrics by: Anvita Dutt, Raj Shekhar, Shellee, Shashwat Sachdev, Gaurav Solanki, Qaran Mehta, Rupin Pahwa, Badshah & White Noise
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 8th May 2018
♪ Movie Released On: 1st June 2018

Veere Di Wedding Album Cover

 

Listen to the songs: Saavn

Buy the songs: iTunes


Veere Di Wedding is a Bollywood coming-of-age film revolving around four friends played by Kareena Kapoor Khan, Sonam K. Ahuja, Swara Bhasker and Shikha Talsania. The film is directed by Shashanka Ghosh and produced by Ekta Kapoor, Shobha Kapoor, Anil Kapoor and Rhea Kapoor. Now, the film has been creating buzz right from its trailer release, and the music which has become a rage across the nation already (not all songs but a select few) has been composed by composers including Shashwat Sachdev, Vishal Mishra, Qaran Mehta and White Noise. Shashwat and Vishal are two young talents that haven’t yet disappointed with whatever they’ve composed. On the other hand, Qaran, who has been assisting music directors like Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Pritam for quite some time now, gets to make his composing debut with this film, and White Noise is actually Sachin-Jigar’s Artists & Repertoire venture like Pritam’s JAM8. So there is reason enough to believe this will be an enjoyable multicomposer album.


The lead composer, Shashwat Sachdev, actually has four songs in the album, which is half the number of original songs there are in the album, so let’s start with his songs. 😁
Pappi Le Loon, the album opener on all the streaming websites as well, is a fun-filled, catchy number, where, surprisingly, the vocals arrangements outdo the composition! You can even say there is almost nothing by way of composition; the entire stress is laid on the way the sound interacts with the booming vocals by Sunidhi Chauhan. Shashwat’s electronic music is impressive too, and as such, he didn’t need a strong tune, to make this song any better! Everything has been done by the entertaining vocals and arrangements. The Punjabi-flavoured portions nicely marry the electronic sound and make this song one to look forward to in the album — one of the main attractions in the album, I would say. And when has Sunidhi Chauhan ever underperformed? And Shellee’s lyrics are suitably quirky and fun.
In another Punjab-meets-electronic music fusion, Sachdev serves a folk song in modern packaging, quite the same way he did ‘Naughty Billo’ back in ‘Phillauri’, where he turned the folk song ‘Jhooth Boliya’ into a trippy hip-hop number. Here he gets to remake ‘Bhangra Ta Sajda’ into an EDM-Punjabi music fusion track named Bhangra Ta Sajda (No One Gives A Damn!). The song itself is really entertaining; it has everything you’d require to groove at a wedding, and out of one too — trippy EDM, entertaining dhols, and a nice touch of sarangi, something Shashwat seems to love hiding in each of his upbeat songs. Romy delivers an amazing performance, and Neha Kakkar delivers one which made me like her voice in a song after a long, long time. The initial retro-ish portion of the song has been done well, and Gaurav Solanki’s lyrics are just quirky fun. (I have a feeling I’ll be saying this about every song in the album)
Shashwat’s best comes with Bass Gira De Raja, where he composes, writes and sings the song! The song is standard Shashwat quirky fusion; the composition instantly has you hooked,and the lyrics actually had me smiling at certain points. The man sings amazingly too, and once the bass drops, the song becomes much more interesting than it was when it started. The way Sachdev plays and experiments with different sounds is what makes me look forward to his composing for many more films in the future. In ‘Phillauri’ he got to do a completely traditional Punjabi sound, and the fact that he is doing such experimental stuff here, showcases his versatility and talent!
His weakest song, and probably the weakest song of the album, Aa Jao Na, comes next, with its repetitive tune that is actually the typical Arijit melody. Even though it reaches a peak at one point, it just goes back to same droning nature over and over again — which gets really boring after a point. What’s more, composer Shashwat Sachdev doesn’t even give us much to chew on as Arijit belts out the repetitive tune — just digital beats and very few piano notes, which don’t really fill in the gaps well. Anyway, I know this song is going to be the biggest and most popular, so whatever I just wrote might just not matter.
The composer with the next largest number of songs is yet another upcoming talent Vishal Mishra, who still has me stunned by his amazing two songs in ‘Qarib Qarib Singlle’ last year. His part of the album starts with the song that everyone loved right from the trailer, Veere, which can best be described as the movie’s theme song. He takes the friendship theme of the film, and constructs such a positive composition using that idea, it’s quite surprising this song didn’t come from a Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy or a Pritam! It totally belongs to the rom-com age of Bollywood when they made happy songs like this for movies like ‘Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu’, ‘Anjaana Anjaani’, etc. The hookline has the listener in a trance the first time it plays, and keeps entrancing the listeners everytime it plays! To break the trance though, unfortunately, there are some elements that the song could’ve done without. First of all, the too-many-to-keep-track-of female singers! If you ask me, Aditi Singh Sharma was the only one who should have sung the female part, because I can unfortunately make out Iulia Vantur over there, and unfortunately, she starts the unfortunate female portion. How unfortunate. But happily, things are better in the second antara, where Vishal Mishra comes back to take things under control, and the female chorus here sounds amazing. He’s the second composer on the album now, who sings just as well as he composes! Wow! We have a cool future for Bollywood music! 🙂 Also, Anvita Dutt’s lyrics make for a really enjoyable friendship anthem, so that middle portion can easily be ignored!
Vishal Mishra sings his next song Dagmag Dagmag along with Payal Dev, who sounds like a less hyperactive version of Neha Kakkar. Anyway, the song could be easily mistaken for an Amit Trivedi song, with that amazingly catchy digital beat, and quirky tune. The hookline, which sounds the cheesiest the first time, really sets in with the passage of time (the number of times you listen to the song) and doesn’t sound as cheesy later on. The arrangements are mostly digital, as mentioned above, and that’s mainly where it resembles the Trivedi sound. Both the singers do an amazing job and seem to have had a fun time singing this track.
Qaran Mehta’s Tareefan, is an insanely catchy and addictive club track, Badshah sounding like he has never sounded before! Qaran’s programming is the main reason the song sounds so fresh, and that addictive hookline, and the loop that goes on behind it in the song, I can’t stop praising the song; it’s like a guilty pleasure listen of mine. 😂 The flak the song has been receiving is just so unjustified — how can you hate a song if you hate its music video? This song will probably remain the catchiest club song of 2018 for me, and even that cringeworthy rap of Badshah’s takes getting used to, but you end up ignoring that by the time you’re addicted to the song. Qaran, hor das kinni tareefan chaidi ae tenu?
The song appears in two more versions, one being a Remix By Dj Notorious, which is also quite addictive (as if the original song wasn’t sounding like a remix itself) and so it sounds like another version of the song, had DJ Notorious programmed it instead of Qaran himself. The Reprise Version acquaints us with a promising new singer, Lisa Mishra, whose voice seems weird on the song at first, but then it starts sounding better and better than that. The unplugged version required such a calm and soothing rendition, because the composition, which is quite strong, makes sure that it can stay fresh in any form, be it a club song, or a soothing number like this reprise.
As for the last song of the album, Laaj Sharam by Sachin-Jigar’s A&R venture White Noise, the song is also quite weak as compared to the rest of the album. Something seems off in White Noise’s fusion of Punjabi and electronic music, but the vocalists Divya Kumar and Jasleen Royal save the song with their entertaining rendition. Jasleen’s voice gets a makeover; she puts on a husky voice here, and I wish she uses this voice in more of her own compositions from now on; of course, when and if the need arises. The hookline for this song sounds unnecessarily repetitive, but the dhols do the job in pulling you through that. Enbee’s rap is passable, and it’s not like it ends soon, and the composers don’t add any entertaining music in the background during that either! Overall, this ends up as the second weakest song on the album for me.


A ten song album, this really delivers what was promised in such a huge scale wedding flick about friendship. The soundtrack has variety, and after listening to it so many times, I can say it has the potential to live even after the movie is watched and forgotten by everyone.The biggest achievement this soundtrack has made, is that, though it has multiple composers, they all have one set aim which they all succeed in — to make Punjabi music marry electronic music!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 8 + 7.5 + 6.5 + 9 + 8.5 + 8 + 8.5 + 6.5 + 7.5 + 7 = 77

Album Percentage: 77%

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: Just Listen to them all in the order given on Saavn. 😂

 

Remake Counter:
No. Of Remakes: 20 (from previous albums) + 01 = 21

Which is your favourite song from Veere Di Wedding? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂

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5 SONGS THAT SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN REMADE!! (MUSICAL LIST #1)

So today marks the start of a new section in the blog — The “LISTS” Section, where I’ll be listing songs based on one particular theme, depending on what theme I’m feeling like listing songs about. :p

What better way to start this section off, than doing it in collaboration with one of my close blogger friends, Jemma Rajyaguru from the Girl At The Piano blog! Her blog is full of random musical thoughts, lists of songs, throwbacks to the Golden Era of Bollywood music, and new releases by new and upcoming artists!

Today, we will both be listing five songs each, which we wish would never have been remade! And yes, after reading my list, be sure to read Jemma’s, as her song choices are just as exciting, if not more exciting, than mine!! Correction: they definitely are more exciting!😁 So let’s get started with my five songs so you can check her list out! 🙂 If you want to check it out now though, here it is!

P.S.: I believe no song should be remade, but these are the ones where I just don’t agree with the remake!

P.P.S: These are in no particular order; it isn’t a Top5 list 🙂


1. Mere Rashke Qamar (Pop Song by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan)

• Original Song Details:

Music by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Lyrics by Ustad Qamar Jalalvi, Sung by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, First Performed in 1988, Music Label: Hi-Tech Music

• Remake Details:

Music recreation by Tanishk Bagchi, Lyrics by Fana Buland Shehri & Manoj Muntashir, Sung by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan & Tulsi Kumar, Used in 2017 Bollywood film ‘Baadshaho’, Music Label: T-Series

One would think that nephew Rahat Fateh Ali Khan would object to mauling his uncle’s gem of a qawwali, but instead, he helps maul it even more, with loud and screechy vocals that would even make the laziest person cringe. Tanishk Bagchi’s constant mandolin hook doesn’t help when it keeps repeating itself all the time amidst the din of Rahat and the backing vocalists shouting.


2. Dum Maaro Dum (Hare Rama Hare Krishna; 1971)

• Original Song Details

Music by R.D. Burman, Lyrics by Anand Bakshi, Sung by Asha Bhosle, for the 1971 Bollywood film ‘Hare Rama Hare Krishna’, Music Label: Saregama

• Remake Details

Music recreation by Pritam Chakraborty, New Lyrics by Jaideep Sahni, Sung by Anushka Manchanda, for the 2011 Bollywood film ‘Dum Maaro Dum’, Music Label: T-Series

One of the party songs I doubt Pritam is proud of making, ‘Dum Maaro Dum’ stands high as a song that ruined the original for me big time. Yes, a lot of cool stuff is going on in the music, but the major letdown is Anushka Manchanda’s vocals, where they create a mess of what Asha Bhosle ji and R.D. Burman actually created in the 70s. And don’t even ask me about the rap.


3. Tu Cheez Badi Hai Mast (Mohra; 1994)

• Original Song Details

Music by Viju Shah, Lyrics by Anand Bakshi, Sung by Udit Narayan & Kavita Krishnamurthy, for the 1994 Bollywood film ‘Mohra’, Music Label: Venus Music

• Remake Details

Music recreation by Tanishk Bagchi, New Lyrics by Shabbir Ahmed, Sung by Udit Narayan & Neha Kakkar, for the 2017 Bollywood film ‘Machine’, Music Label: T-Series

Probably the best remake on the list, but again, Tanishk stuck to his mandolin template here, where he kept repeating the hook of the song on mandolin, and though Neha Kakkar sounds passable, Udit Narayan seems to be the saving grace of the song, sounding younger than ever. The awkward dubstep mid way through the song is just *awkward*!


4. Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas (Blackmail; 1973)

• Original Song Details

Music by Kalyanji-Anandji, Lyrics by Rajendra Kishan, Sung by Kishore Kumar, for the 1973 Bollywood film ‘Blackmail’, Music Label: Universal Music

• Remake Details

Music recreation by Abhijit Vaghani, Lyrics by Rajendra Kishan retained, Sung by Arijit Singh, Tulsi Kumar & Neumann Pinto, for the 2016 Bollywood film ‘Wajah Tum Ho’, Music Label: T-Series

Arijit himself wasn’t happy with the way Abhijit Vaghani programmed his voice in this one; and I can’t help but agree! How would you like it if you got to remake a song by the legendary Kishore Kumar, and get your voice all destroyed by electronic touches? To complement Arijit’s bad voice, we had Tulsi Kumar, who surprisingly sounded better!


5. Waqt Ne Kiya Kya Haseen Sitam (Kaagaz Ke Phool; 1959)

• Original Song Details

Music by S.D. Burman, Lyrics by Kaifi Azmi, Sung by Geeta Dutt, for the 1959 Bollywood film ‘Kaagaz Ke Phool’, Music Label: Saregama-HMV

• Remake Details

Music recreation by Rohan-Vinayak, Lyrics by Kaifi Azmi retained, Sung by Amitabh Bachchan, for the 2018 Bollywood film ‘102 Not Out’, Music Label: Saregama

The most recent remake on the list. One would think Amitabh Bachchan ji would be a bit more sensitive when singing old classics as these, but sadly, he drones the song out in such a way, that you wonder “Waqt ne Kiya, kya Haseen sitam”. Rohan-Vinayak literally do nothing but stand and watch as they treat the listeners to almost six minutes of that torture without any enjoyable music in the background either!!


Well, all in all, I feel recreations were fine until they started to be blown out of proportion and being forced into every single album that Bollywood produced. Thanks to Jemma for giving me the mauka and dastoor to vent out my feelings about remakes; I hope you guys enjoyed our collaboration, and please make sure to check out Jemma’s list (it’s amazing)!

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more such lists about varied topics! 😁

A MUFFLED SOUND EXPLOSION!! (PARMANU – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Sachin-Jigar & Jeet Gannguli
♪ Lyrics by: Vayu Srivastava, Dr. Kumar Vishwas, Sachin Sanghvi & Rashmi-Virag
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 15th May 2018
♪ Movie Released On: 25th May 2018

Parmanu Album Cover

 

Listen to the songs: Saavn

Buy the songs: iTunes


Parmanu is a Bollywood drama/thriller film starring John Abraham, Boman Irani and Diana Penty, directed by Abhishek Sharma and produced by Zee Studios, JA Entertainment and Kyta Productions. The film revolves around the 1998 bomb test explosions conducted by the Indian Army at Pokhran, Rajasthan under the leadership of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam during PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s tenure. The film has opened to mixed reviews, but what had me most excited about the film (since the subject matter isn’t really the kind I like) was the music by Sachin-Jigar. Well, Sachin-Jigar and Jeet Gannguli, as I learned after the album released.


Sachin-Jigar April start the album off with a refreshing song Shubh Din, which follows the folksy Gujarati/Rajasthani template to the tee, but still manages to turn out as an entertaining number. They recreate their own ‘Aavi Re Hoon Aavi Re’ (from the Gujarati movie Carry On Kesar), and the song has a catchy instrumental loop after the hookline, which Sachin-Jigar have made sure, hooks the audience. The arrangements give the impression that the makers were going for something grander, but had to settle for less than what they intended. The folksiness doesn’t come out full-fledgedly as one would expect from Sachin-Jigar, but ends up sounding muffled. The vocals by Keerthi Sagathia and Jyotica Tangri are amazing though, as is Sachin-Jigar’s composition, so at least the song is entertaining for as long as it plays.
The next folksy number by Sachin-Jigar, Thare Vaaste, is like a patriotic recreation of their song ‘Chunar’ (ABCD 2), especially lyrically. Vayu Srivastava’s lyrics are aptly poignant and patriotic, but sadly, the composers’ tune doesn’t match up to that level; it fails to move the listener. The anthemic tune gets repetitive after some time, and though Divya Kumar does well in trying to make the song sound energetic, it is again the fault of the muffled-sounding arrangements, that the song doesn’t come to life as would be expected.
Kasumbi, the best song of the album, also sees the duo follow the folksy template, but this time Vayu’s lyrics are Punjabi, in a film set in Rajasthan. This one starts off like another ‘Chunar’ spawn, but soon sets in as a moving patriotic number — the shehnaai is the most remarkable instrument used here; it harks back to the old patriotic songs. Again, the arrangements sound muffled here too (what’s with the poor programming throughout the album?) but Sachin-Jigar’s tune is so strong, it can be overlooked. Also, Divya Kumar gives an amazing performance, especially in that gem of a hookline. Vayu’s lyrics are beautiful, incorporating the word ‘Kasumbi’, which is probably the name for the saffron colour associated with patriotism in Gujarat and Rajasthan.
The last two songs composed by Sachin-Jigar in this album, have soothing tunes and less of a folksy impact than the previous songs. Sapna is the trademark Sachin-Jigar romantic melody (a la ‘Meet’ from ‘Simran’) in its composition, but the lyrics by Sachin Sanghvi are not romantic at all. Overall it is a pleasant listen, which Sachin-Jigar doing their signature method of repeating an instrumental loop after the hookline. (The loop in this song sounds a lot like the one in ‘Maana Ke Hum Yaar Nahin’ from “Meri Pyaari Bindu”). Arijit Singh is himself in the song, and carries it off like he carries off every song he’s ever carried off. The guitars are enjoyable and soothing, and the sarangi is beautiful, and the song itself is fortunately short — any longer and it would’ve been too long.
The last song by Sachin-Jigar, De De Jagah, is yet another in the same vein as ‘Sapna’, but this time, the lyricist (poet and politician Dr. Kumar Vishwas) complements it with romantic lyrics. What strikes me right away, yet again, is that something is wrong with the mixing, making Yasser Desai’s voice sound like it has been recorded on WhatsApp. Sachin-Jigar’s vibrant composition is one of the best of theirs over the period of 2016-2018, and Yasser Desai, barring the bad use of his vocals, tries to do his best, and succeeds fairly enough. The guitars and tablas complement each other surprisingly well, and the harmonium provides the soul in the song. The tune of the hookline is what will get you hooked to this song, just like songs traditionally are supposed to do.
Now, the reason I described that as Sachin-Jigar’s last song, is because there’s a kind of guest composer we have in the album; he has been waiting patiently for his turn, and I’m more than happy to talk about his song. The man in question in Jeet Gannguli, who has somehow bagged a romantic (read Mohit Suri-like sob-inducing) song in a movie like this. Jitni Dafa is one of those songs we have heard enough of in Bollywood, and I can’t believe the makers would proactively damage their own music album by including such a song in the album. It starts off painfully simple, and until those ‘Aashiqui 2’-ish beats start, it isn’t that painful, but when they do start, you keep waiting for the song to end. Rashmi-Virag write great lyrics, but hey, I’m quite sure John’s character in the film has time to weep like this at such a critical time and dire situation. And the singer is Yasser Desai, trying his best to be a mix of Mustafa Zahid, Arijit Singh, Saim Bhatt and Atif Aslam.


Parmanu has a soundtrack that mostly sticks to the point (barring that guest song) but something is definitely wrong with the arrangements; if they had been better mixed and mastered, the sound would’ve been grander and more enjoyable!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 8 + 7 + 8.5 + 7 + 7.5 + 5 = 39

Album Percentage: 71.67%

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: Kasumbi > Shubh Din > De De Jagah > Thare Vaaste = Sapna > Jitni Dafa

 

Remake Counter:
No. Of Remakes: 19 (from previous albums) + 01 = 20

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

SALIM-SULAIMAN ARE STILL PLAYING!! (102 NOT OUT – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Salim-Sulaiman, Amitabh Bachchan, Hiral Brahmbhatt, Rohan-Vinayak & S.D. Burman
♪ Lyrics by: Hiral Brahmbhatt, Saumya Joshi, Amitabh Bhattacharya & Kaifi Azmi
♪ Music Label: Saregama
♪ Music Released On: 30th April 2018
♪ Movie Releases On: 4th May 2018

102 Not Out Album Cover

 

Listen to the songs: Saavn

Buy the album: iTunes


102 Not Out is an upcoming Bollywood comedy film starring Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor, directed by ‘OMG: Oh My God’ fame Umesh Shukla, and produced by Sony Pictures, Treetop Pictures & Benchmark Pictures. The film is about a 102 year old man, who is trying to make his grumpy, 75 year old son live a livelier life. The music by the film has been composed by Salim-Sulaiman, a duo that comes to the fore once a year, as their past two albums have been the only ones they’ve done in that respective year. Both times (‘Jai Gangaajal’ in 2016, and ‘Poorna’ in 2017) the albums have ended up in the ‘Top 30 Albums’ list of the year, so that makes expectations for this high. However, what does bring expectations a bit lower, is the genre of the film. In Bollywood, pure comedies (without romance) rarely have scope for good music, unless the composers are great. Here the composers are great, so looking forward to the music! Oh, and lead actor Amitabh Bachchan debuts as composer in a guest composition, so there’s another thing to look forward to! Another song has been composed by Hiral Brahmbhatt, and another is a remake by Rohan-Vinayak.


Salim-Sulaiman’s album for this year (since they seem to be trying to do only one album per year, unfortunately) starts with an Arijit song, and boy, what an amazing effect his voice brings here! Bachche Ki Jaan is an upbeat song with an enjoyable Caribbean flavour; Salim-Sulaiman see to it that the listener isn’t bored, by adding colourful arrangements, to a catchy hook, and a very well-made composition around that hook. The antaras especially, with Arijit singing in low pitch, are captivating. The horns and Caribbean percussion sound amazing, but I couldn’t help noticing that in parts, the programming sounded quite old-fashioned. Hiral Brahmbhatt’s lyrics are great as well; fun lyrics to accompany the wacky nature of the film.
The duo also rope in the only present generation singer who comes close to Arijit in terms of singing prowess, Armaan Malik, for a retro jazz number Kuch Anokhe Rules. The composition is sweet and the composers add to it a soulful jazz instrumentation: the drums, trumpets, and violins do a great job harking back to the ’60s. Saumya Joshi writes funny lines, which will definitely leave a smile on your face. Armaan’s vocals are impeccable; only he could have sung it as good, and his previous collaborations with Salim-Sulaiman have given them the perfect idea of what songs are fit for him, as we can see in the song, which I can’t imagine anyone else singing, after hearing Armaan’s rendition. Also, the way he sings “khwaab” with a nuance is amazing!
While the previous songs were by Arijit and Armaan respectively, the duo rope in their predecessor Sonu Nigam for a heart-warming number Kulfi, wherein lyricist Saumya Joshi spins a beautiful metaphor of life as a kulfi, melting away second by second. The duo decorates the beautiful Ghazal-like composition with, initially, an acoustic guitar treatment, but later they take the full-fledged ghazal route and add a soulful Tabla-sitar interlude, which continues into the antara. Sonu Nigam’s vocals, as always, are top-notch; no wonder the duo remembered him for such a song, as only he could’ve pulled off such an intricately nuanced composition.
The next song is Phir Laut Aayi Zindagi, composed, sung and written by Hiral Brahmbhatt. The lyrics are meaningful and oh so relatable, and probably the makers were trying to replicate ‘Kal Ho Naa Ho’s title song. Hiral Brahmbhatt’s vocals, on the other hand, take some time getting used to; her voice is unique, but I guess it’s perfect for such a song which required a blend of a classical background and a slightly modern way of singing. The arrangements are minimal, but Hiral puts in amazing guitar work and a great strings section as well, not to mention the beautiful flute and santoor.
Lead actor Amitabh Bachchan debuts as a composer with the next song, Badumbaaa, a fun song where he takes one stanza and repeats it about five times, but it nevertheless doesn’t sound repetitive. The man has composed and arranged the song, and of course sung it, with one stanza sung by co-star Rishi Kapoor. His arrangements are fun; he has clearly borrowed the idea for the trumpets from so many songs R.D. Burman has composed for him, and the dholaks from songs like ‘Khaaike Paan Benareswala’ (Don). He gets some programming help from Rohan-Vinayak, the composers of ‘Nil Battey Sannata’ and the ‘Ganpati Aarti’ from ‘Sarkar 3’. Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics are very fun, but sometimes, the programming is so jarring, it is hard to hear, especially in the Rishi-sung portions! At the end of the song, you can’t sense what’s happening, as there is an overload of tracks overlapped upon each other, creating a kind of mishmash that is rejected by your brain. All that having been said, the song is still enjoyable, considering it has been composed by Bachchan! The other song programmed by Rohan-Vinayak, is a remake of S.D. Birdman’s Waqt Ne Kiya Kya Haseen Sitam, a very ho-hum rendition by Bachchan, and not up to the mark arrangements by Rohan-Vinayak. I didn’t like the fact that they turned the song into a jazzy number by taking the liberty to change its tune too! Amitabh Bachchan’s voice is no match for Geeta Dutt’s original!


Overall, the album is pleasant and breezy. Salim-Sulaiman have done their part as composers as well as can be done in such a film! Salim-Sulaiman, though out of the scene for long spells of time very constantly, still remain on pitch and are definitely not out of good music!!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 7.5 + 8.5 + 8.5 + 7.5 + 7 + 4 = 43

Album Percentage: 71.67%

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: Kulfi = Kuch Anokhe Rules > Bachche Ki Jaan = Phir Laut Aayi Zindagi > Badumbaaa > Waqt Ne Kiya Kya Haseen Sitam

 

Remake Counter:
No. Of Remakes: 17 (from previous albums) + 01 = 18

Which is your favourite song from 102 Not Out? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂

DIL RAAZI HAI, TO LISTEN ON LOOP!! (RAAZI – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy
♪ Lyrics by: Gulzar
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 18th April 2018
♪ Movie Released On: 11th May 2018

Raazi Album Cover

 

Listen to the songs: Saavn

Buy the songs: iTunes

 


Raazi is an upcoming Bollywood period espionage thriller (I swear I made that term up myself; what else can you call it?!) starring Alia Bhatt, Vicky Kaushal, Rajit Kapur, Jaideep Ahlawat, Amruta Khanvilkar and Soni Razdan in lead roles. The film is directed by ‘Talvar’ fame Meghna Gulzar, and produced by Karan Johar, Hiroo Yash Johar, Apoorva Mehta and Junglee Pictures. The film is based on the novel ‘Calling Sehmat’ by Harinder Sikka. Now, thrillers in Bollywood have very little scope for music. Meghna Gulzar, in her first movie ‘Talvar’, had roped in Vishal Bhardwaj for the music since he was the writer and producer for the film. Here though, she goes for Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, the trio who invented the Bollywood rom-com sound as we know it these days (by which I mean most of the rom-coms that stay obedient and don’t follow the multicomposer trend), which was a surprise. This is the trio’s first project after ‘Rock On 2’ in November 2016, and whose music released in September 2016, so that was a long wait. And even after the wait, it was a thriller film we were going to get their comeback album for, and not a rom-com as I would have liked. Nevertheless, expectations weren’t low! It’s Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Gulzar after all; what can go wrong?


Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, who we are hearing after more than one and a half years, do not make it that obvious. When you come back with a melody as strong as Ae Watan, you really don’t need to worry about whether audiences will remember you even after so long. Half the battle is won there itself! Now, the song comes in two versions, the male version by Arijit, and the female version by Sunidhi. Arijit’s Version has done a good job in attracting the masses towards the album, but that doesn’t mean Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy compromise on its quality. The song is reminiscent of olden day patriotic numbers, complete with a resplendent backing chorus (Raman Mahadevan, Ravi Mishra, Binaya Mohanty, Arun Kamath & Arshad Mohammed). Arijit is in his element, especially when he starts the song with that wonderfully seamless transition from the low to high octave! Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy help him with immersive arrangements that do not fail to appeal to the patriot within you. The strong melody too, makes its mark felt. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s strings and percussions are wonderful, with heavy hangovers from their “Lakshya” album. Just as he started, Arijit ends the song on a high note, literally!
Sunidhi’s Version, on the other hand, takes the folksy rote, making for a blissful and heavenly listen. Sunidhi, as always, sings brilliantly, but it doesn’t end there. She gets an even better backing chorus than Arijit. This time, sweet children accompany the lead singer (from Shankar Mahadevan Academy’s Children’s Chorus). The name that stands out is Satyajeet Jena, who had participated in the last season of “Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li’l Champs”, and he gets his own little solo performance towards the end, which he aces! The children’s chorus, and the tinny programming give the song a wonderful retro touch, like the songs from the era depicted in the film (something like ‘Humko Man Ki Shakti’ from ‘Guddi’). Tapas Roy’s rabaab creates a soulful Kashmiri sound, while Dipesh Varma and Shikhar Naad Qureshi do an amazing job with percussions!
Both versions have mainly the same lyrics, and when it’s Gulzar saab’s pen, you know it can’t go wrong! His lyrics evoke a patriotic feeling right away, and coupled with the beautiful melody, it is hard to ignore this song!
Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy continue the Kashmiri folk with Dilbaro, a bidaai song which sounds happy but is lyrically quite heart-wrenching. (Just like Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s ‘Chaandaniya’ from ‘2 States’ which I like to call the happy sad song.) The melody here is so cute, it’s impossible to not start humming along right away. (Part of that is also because it sounds very familiar, but you can’t pinpoint which song or songs it sounds like!) The lead vocalist here is Harshdeep Kaur, who as always, delivers a charming rendition, and sounds like Alka Yagnik in the high-pitched antara too! Shankar Mahadevan’s surprise cameo is wonderfully placed, as are the lyrics by Gulzar for that portion. Vibha Saraf is the one who should be credited though, for piquing your interest in the song, because it is her sweet Kashmiri lines that suck you in right away. On the arrangements front, Tapas Roy returns for wonderful work on the Rabaab, not to mention Arshad Khan’s heart-wrenching esraj; whenever that plays, it’s as if the strings of your heart are being tugged at. The hookline of the song is so powerfully soothing, cute and charming at the same time, it is difficult not to get the song stuck in your mind after just a couple of listens!!
At the end, we have Raazi, a song that equals the ‘Dangal’ title track in many uncanny ways. First of all, it is one of those rare title tracks where the title of the film actually makes sense in the song. Arijit Singh pulls off a ‘Binte Dil’ yet again in the one minute long prelude to the song, where he does the voice inflection impeccably yet again. It is only when the Esraj (again, splendidly performed by Arshad Khan) takes us back to the actual song, when we come back to trademark SEL sound — a repeating Bouzouki riff (oh so trademark SEL!) by Tapas Roy is wonderful. The repeating chants of “Agar Dil Raazi Hai” are equivalent to ‘Dangal’s “Dangal Dangal“. The folksy arrangements are similar to that of ‘Dangal’! I’m just so happy we have these two beautiful title tracks to cherish forever! They are so similar yet so different! Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy bring in even more of their signature marks when the second antara gets very melancholic, something only Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy can manage without making it over the top! And Gulzar saab’s lyrics manage to wow you yet again. The star of the song is definitely Arijit Singh, using different inflections each time he sings the hookline. No wonder he’s the top singer of today…just that some composers know how to use his talent to the best!


Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy return after a hiatus that seemed longer than it was, and it is only when this album came out when I realised what was missing from Bollywood music in 2018 — smart composers who can manage to compose as per the script, but whose songs have a life outside of it as well! Finally, we get a soundtrack this year, which I’ll be raazi to listen to on loop!!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 9 + 9.5 + 9.5 + 9.5 = 37.5

Album Percentage: 93.75% {I guess we got our Best album of the year so far!}

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: 
Don’t. Even. Ask.

 

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

NOT TOO JUNGLEE, BUT JUST RIGHT!! (DIL JUUNGLEE – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Tanishk Bagchi, Guru Randhawa, Rajat Nagpal, Anand-Milind, Sharib-Toshi & Abhishek Arora
♪ Lyrics by: Tanishk Bagchi, Arafat Mahmood, Guru Randhawa, Majrooh Sultanpuri, Vayu Shrivastav, Devendra Kafir & Abhiruchi Chand
♪ Music Label: T-Series / Pooja Music / Sony Music
♪ Music Released On: The music hasn’t released as a full album
♪ Movie Released On: 9th March 2018

Dil Juunglee

Listen to the T-Series songs: Gaana

Listen to the Pooja Music songs: Gaana


Dil Juunglee is a Bollywood rom-com starring Saqib Saleem and Taapsee Pannu in lead roles. The film is directed by Aleya Sen and produced by Jackky Bhagnani and Vashu Bhagnani. The film’s music is by multiple composers — Tanishk Bagchi, Guru Randhawa, Sharib-Toshi and Abhishek Arora. All of these composers have given something listen worthy in the past, and their style of music suits the romcom genre very well, so it’s probably going to be a fun music album.. let’s see!


Now, this album is somehow split between two music labels — T-Series, and the newly-conceived Pooja Music (belonging to Vashu Bhagnani’s Pooja Entertainment) whose digital marketing is being done by Sony Music. The makers probably wanted a remake of ‘Gazab ka Hai Din’ to feature in the album, but since its rights were with T-Series, that song had to be on T-Series as well, right? Because, obviously! And so I guess the Guru Randhawa song was a bonus add-on, like a ‘Buy one get one free’ kind of deal. So yeah, that’s how I guess this album ended up being on two different music labels. Anyway, since that has nothing to do with the music, let’s move on!
The first song on the T-Series part of the album happens to be composed by Guru Randhawa, along with co-composer Rajat Nagpal, the composers of ‘Ban Ja Rani’ (Tumhari Sulu) and ‘Suit Suit’ (Hindi Medium). While his previous songs in Bollywood have been rehashes of his pop singles, Nachle Na is an entirely original song, and no prizes to guess that it is his best and least contrived-sounding song in Bollywood.. (At the moment of writing this review, ‘Kaun Nachdi’ from “Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety” hadn’t released, which I now believe to be his best yet.) The beats are groovy, and the electronic loop, though harking back to ‘Aa Toh Sahi’ (Judwaa 2), is quite fresh-sounding. Vocals are good, and I’m surprised Neeti Mohan, of all singers was chosen for this song; she does a brilliant job, and surprises me at the same time. It is the lyrics that fall flat.
Now of course, since Guru Randhawa didn’t remake his own song, the music company had to call in someone who could remake some other song. So we have the more-than-part-time remake artist Tanishk Bagchi presenting Gazab Ka Hai Din, a remake of the song with the same name from ‘Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak’. I must say, he has done a good job providing the padding around the old hook; the mukhda is especially beautiful, but the antara is forgettable. But the addition of the old hook sounds so contrived, the beauty of the song ends there. For me, the mukhda of this song is the only memorable part! I wish he had been allowed to build a new song after this mukhda and not borrow from an old one! Jubin and Prakriti sound functional as always; nothing great in either of their renditions. The strings during the hookline are beautiful, they keep your interest intact through the boring parts of the composition. I also noticed that Tanishk has written the lyrics as close as possible to the old song, thereby keeping a small touch of it alive even in the new composition.
However, Tanishk’s other song Beat Juunglee, which features in the Pooja Music part of the album, is an amazing and instantly catchy one, and though he uses the iconic “Yaahooo!” from Shammi Kapoor’s ‘Chahe Koi Mujhe Junglee Kahe’ (Junglee), I’m happy that he hasn’t been made to recreate that number, because his original composition in this song is so insanely catchy!! Armaan Malik was the best choice for this, and the results show brilliantly. Prakriti Kakar gets not much to do, but does well in her one or two lines. Most insane though, is the programming by Tanishk, which has been getting better day by day. The electronic loop which starts the song is crazy and so are the percussions and horns throughout the song. Vayu’s lyrics are always entertaining and they are just that here as well. It just goes to show you how well Tanishk can actually compose when given the freedom. (As if last year’s ‘Shubh Mangal Saavdhan’ wasn’t proof enough!)
Sorry for rambling about that song, but the next song, by Sharib-Toshi, Bandeya, deserves just as much praise. Now this composer duo hasn’t been in the picture for a long time. And by in the picture I mean the way Tanishk is constantly in the picture, every month. The last song they composed was in the recently released “Fukrey Returns”, and now they return with another Punjabi song, this time a sad song sung by Arijit Singh. The composition is soulful, the arrangements heart-warming and the lyrics by Devendra Kafir amazing. The composition has the feel of Anu Malik’s ‘Mere Humsafar’ (Refugee) but the similarity is only in the first line of the hook. Arijit himself is quite at ease with this kind of a song, and is his usual soulful best.
The second best song of the album, after ‘Beat Juunglee’, has to be Abhishek Arora’s Dil Jaane Na, an amazing fusion track that starts off as a soft romantic number, but segues into a pumped-up electronic number with a groovy beat to it. Seasoned voices like Mohit Chauhan and Neeti Mohan are the perfect choice for the song, and they deliver well. I love the way composer Abhishek Arora makes the seamless transition from the soft portions of the song to the upbeat ones, and not just once but numerous times throughout the song. All in all, this song is a treat for people who like light and fluffy music!


The album was “Juunglee” after all, but I loved the Pooja Music part of it much, much, much more than the two songs on the T-Series label. Some things are just meant to be less “Juunglee” and hence less likeable than others!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 6.5 + 7 + 9 + 8 + 8.5 = 39

Album Percentage: 78%

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: Beat Juunglee > Dil Jaane Na > Bandeya > Gazab Ka Hai Din > Nachle Na

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

Remake Counter:
No. Of Remakes: 10 (from previous albums) + 01 = 11

4 GEMS!! (3 STOREYS – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Clinton Cerejo & Amjad-Nadeem
♪ Lyrics by: Puneet Krishna, Amjad-Nadeem, Alaukik Rahi, Shellee & Pushaan Mukherjee
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 27th February 2018
♪ Movie Released On: 9th March 2018

3 Storeys Album Cover

 

Listen to the songs: Saavn

Buy the songs: iTunes


3 Storeys is a Bollywood psychological thriller, starring Pulkit Samrat, Renuka Shahane, Richa Chadha, Masumeh, Sharman Joshi, Ankit Rathi and Aisha. The film, directed by Arjun Mukerjee, is produced by Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani. The film revolves around a chawl, where three stories of three people living in three different storeys, are intertwined. The music for the film has been given by Clinton Cerejo, who usually does music for thrillers like this, and a guest composition by Amjad-Nadeem too, is included in the album. Let’s see what the album for this film consists of!


Lead composer Clinton Cerejo sticks to his usual style of composition, yet manages to create some beautiful tracks. Bas Tu Hai is a poignant and intense romantic melody set on a pulsating alternative rock template (reminiscent of Pritam’s songs), guitars doing just the right trick for the audience to shower their love upon it. The mellow composition is just perfect for such a film that has a mystery vibe to it, and Arijit and Jonita make a great pair together, singing the song with the right amount of intensity, and without making it sound melodramatic. Credit goes to Clinton too, for doing his best to not make it fall into the “typical song” category that such songs usually fall into — the song has repeat value and a life outside the movie. The antara has Arijit going into a full rockstar mode, and it begins amazingly, with a nice rock guitar backing him. Puneet Krishna’s lyrics are nice and soothing as well.
The next song by Clinton happens to fall into his comfort zone. Azaadiyaan is the standard Clinton Cerejo affair, with a soaring melody backed with a minimalistic arrangement. It reminds me of ‘Haq Hai’, another beautiful minimalistic song from Clinton’s album for ‘Te3n’. Bianca and Clinton always complement each other so well, and just like all their previous duets, this one works more because of that chemistry. The harmony between the two has been done well throughout the song. Not a song that will instantly connect, but when it does, you’ll want to keep humming it.
Clinton’s last song is the most fun out of the three songs he has composed. Zaroori Bewakoofi has Mohit Chauhan at his mischievous best, and the backing vocalists supporting him with a camaraderie that is so fun to listen to. The “Kahaani Atrangi Si” loop by the backing vocalists (Vivienne Pocha, Crystal Sequeira & Bianca Gomes) is entertaining, and a special mention goes to Clinton for his vocal trumpet and other entertaining sound effects placed strategically throughout the song, like the quirky sounds in the interlude. Guitars, piano, all the instruments that have been used, reflect a carefree attitude, and the digital beats used are a clever throwback to Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s method of creating carefree songs. The composition is a bit weak, but the backing vocalists and the sound effects help to overcome that! Again, the lyrics here, by Pushaan Mukherjee, are fun too!
Guest composers Amjad-Nadeem return after over half a year to compose a charming garba song, Raasleela. Like all well-made garba numbers, this has strong percussions, a nice flute assortment loop, and the wonderful techno sounds support that even more. The sweet and simple nature of the song is its strong point. Sumedha, sounding uncannily like Shraddha Kapoor in places where the composition is too high, renders the song well, but it could’ve been much better, going by her performances on reality shows, and her previous songs in Bollywood! Amjad-Nadeem do a great job in making the composition catchy though, so everything else is kind of covered up.


Four sweet and simple tracks that work only because of their simplicity!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 8.5 + 7.5 + 7.5 + 8 = 31.5

Album Percentage: 78.75%

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: Bas Tu Hai > Raasleela > Azaadiyaan = Zaroori Bewakoofi

 

Which is your favourite song from 3 Storeys? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂