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

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

Shab Album Cover

 

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


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


1. O Saathi

Singer ~ Arijit Singh, Lyrics by ~ Mithoon

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

Rating: 5/5

 

2. Musafir

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

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

Rating: 2.5/5

 

3. Awaari / Awaari (Reprise)

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

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

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

 

4. Afiya

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

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

Rating: 4/5


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

 

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

Album Percentage: 76%

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

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

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

 

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

A BREACH IN THE RAABTA!! (RAABTA – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: JAM8, Meet Bros., Sohrabuddin & J-Star
♪ Lyrics by: Irshad Kamil, Amitabh Bhattacharya, Kumaar, Jitendra Raghuvanshi, J-Star & Raftaar
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 3rd June 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 9th June 2017

Raabta Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Raabta is an upcoming Bollywood romantic reincarnation drama, starring Kriti Sanon, Sushant Singh Rajput, Jim Sarbh, Varun Sharma and Rajkummar Rao. The film is the directorial debut of already many times successful producer, Dinesh Vijan. The film is produced by him along with Homi Adajania, Bhushan Kumar and Krishan Kumar. The film’s official gist is this: “When a human being dies, they lose 21 grams from the body. This, they say, is the weight of the soul. The journey of a soul transcends over space and time… beyond the realms of this earth. This film tells the story of two seemingly ordinary individuals, going about their lives until their paths cross and they realize that they belong with one another. Unaware of a connection that was forged several hundred years ago, Shiv and Saira are inexplicably drawn to each other, and it takes them on a hysterical rollercoaster of love, intrigue, entertainment and life (twice over!). When two souls unite, they become one.” 😴 Hopefully, it is executed well. The music of the film is by JAM8, and a guest composition by Meet Bros. also features on the album. I guess we all know the controver(sies) surrounding the music of the film, due to that one guest song, so there is no point reiterating them. We all know who the actual composer of the songs credited to JAM8 is, but he wishes that his name shouldn’t be associated with ‘Raabta’ because of his policy to only compose for solo-composer albums, so there’s no point in naming him. I just hope the music company learns its lessons and reconsiders it’s actions!! On this grave (😄) note, let’s start with the music review of ‘Raabta’. 


1. Ik Vaari Aa / Ik Vaari Aa (Jubin Version)

Singers ~ Arijit Singh / Jubin Nautiyal, Music by ~ JAM8, Lyrics by ~ Amitabh Bhattacharya

“Hai pyaar toh kayi dafaa kiya,
Tujhse nahi kiya toh kya kiya,
Tera mera yeh vaasta,
Hai iss zindagi ki daastaan,
Ya phir koi hamaara pehle se raabta?
Toh ikk Vaari aa, aa bhi jaa!”

– Amitabh Bhattacharya

The album starts off with a very happy-go-lucky, romantic club number, with a lilting yet groovy sound. The composition has the stamp of Pritam all over it, and the way it flows is in the trademark way that almost all Pritam songs flow. The song’s melody starts off right with the hook, which is a wonderfully composed piece, that efficiently works in pulling you into the song. The antara following it, too, is very happy-sounding and charming, but it is the last stanza, which I call the ‘conclusion’ because it just doesn’t seem like an antara, is what steals the thunder. That part has been composed in a very entrancing manner, and is a major throwback to the corresponding ‘conclusion’ part in Pritam’s ‘Tu Chahiye’ (Bajrangi Bhaijaan). The high-pitched bridge line that leads to the hookline, is just amazing. The arrangements are quite similar to Pritam’s previous club song arrangements, with the upbeat EDM portions, and that wonderful “chipmunk” that we heard in ‘The Breakup Song’ (Ae Dil Hai Mushkil) last year. There is a Sajid-Wajid touch in the arrangements somewhere (‘Mukhtasar’ from ‘Teri Meri Kahaani’ and ‘Raat Bhar’ from ‘Heropanti’). But on a whole, the EDM has a very international touch to it, and it sounds like JAM8 is trying to recreate Pritam’s club arrangements in an international style. But because I always something out-of-this-world in a Pritam club song, and since this song is by his company, this song was quite underwhelming in that department. The pumped-up portions of the arrangements sometimes clash with Arijit’s super-high-pitch, and that sounds quite odd at times. That brings us to Arijit’s vocals. Definitely not the best he’s performed, but he still manages to carry the song in a quite charismatic way, and doesn’t drive you to sleep like he did in ‘Half Girlfriend’. But of course, the parts where he goes super-high-pitch, made me uncomfortable, and that doesn’t happen with every other singer. In the second version of the song which takes a sans EDM route, and is more reliant on guitars to propel it, everything that sounded wrong in the arrangements is set right. A slight rock guitar backdrop makes the song lighter than it was in the original version, and definitely more enjoyable. The company also replaces the fun chipmunk-like EDM with a nice vocal chorus, which gives off ‘Tum Mile’ vibes somehow,and immediatel removes all Sajid-Wajid vibes. As for the vocals, they have improved due to Jubin’s smooth treatment of the composition, taking care not to sound like he is straining his voice too much, and handling the high notes much better than Arijit did. And the small nuance he takes while singing “yaara” and all of its rhyming words, is just magnificent! In the conclusion stanza, Jubin gets to sing an entirely differently-tuned line that fits in perfectly and sounds as good as its counterpart in the original version. Oh, and it is a welcome change, considering that we have been hearing the original for over a month now. So this reprise is really one of the best reprises to have come out, ever! Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics are great, and suitable for a fun romantic number. I don’t know what I missed in the first version, but something is surely missing. To cover it up though, the Reprise takes a nice romantic twist!

Rating: 3.5/5 for Arijit’s Version, 4.5/5 for Jubin’s Version

 

2. Raabta (Title Track)

Singers ~ Nikhita Gandhi & Arijit Singh, Original Composition by ~ Pritam, Music Recreated by ~ JAM8, Original Lyrics by ~ Amitabh Bhattacharya, New Lyrics by ~ Irshad Kamil

“Hadd se zyaada mohabbat hoti hai jo,
Kehte hain ke ibaadat hoti hai woh,
Kusoor hai, ya koi yeh fitoor hai,
Kyun lage sab kuch andhera hai,
Bas yehi noor hai,
Jo bhi hai manzoor hai!”

– Irshad Kamil

The recreation craze continues as ‘Raabta’ (Agent Vinod) is recreated in this movie, which takes its name from that song. But how fortunate are we, that the man who made the original song, is the one who is remaking it (through his company, that is). The track, originally a romantic number, and probably the first time Arijit Singh actually came into large notice, though he had sung other songs before that, has now been remade into a dance track for the film. But this dance track is as far from a regular Bollywoodish dance track as you can imagine. It has a very quite and soothing vibe to it, and a very unexpected twist in the form of a nice interruption wherein JAM8 introduces to Bollywood, a new genre of music called ‘Tropical House’, which sounds like some techno Caribbean music. Anyway, the new composition that the group has made for the remake, is great. The mukhda, sung by newbie (in Bollywood) Nikhita Gandhi, is charming and scintillating, with its romantic vibes really reaching you. The way they have joined it to the hookline of the original song too, is quite cool. The time the song goes downhill is when, after the nice and refreshing Tropical interlude, Arijit comes back to reprise his portion, the antara from the original song, a part I felt didn’t quite merge with this song. Yes, I know that if the hookline adapted well into this song, every other part should too, but I just didn’t feel the antara this time. When it went back to the new composition, I started grooving to the beats again. So it was like a sudden disconnection from the song. But then, JAM8 makes up for it in the fantabulous (which is a very small word to describe it!) ‘conclusion’ part of the song, which has a lilting and entrancing tune. Especially the oddly-but-fantastically placed line, “Jo bhi hai manzoor hai!”, is a wonderful bridge from the ‘Conclusion’ to the hookline. And the continuous EDM beats, really infuse life into the song. The composers also add wonderful piano notes occasionally, and the guitars that start off the song are so vibrant! So I guess I have already spoken about the arrangements as much as I could. Moving on to the vocals, Nikhita Gandhi, another singer from the Rahman camp of singers, joins Pritam’s camp for this one (quite similar a story to that of the other well known ‘Gandhi’ singer, Jonita — not sisters!) And she totally owns her debut. Yes, Arijit gets the major part in the song, but because she opens it so smashingly, the listeners get hooked and keep waiting for her voice to return. Sadly, it comes back only for the hooklines. Arijit is his usual self, trying to be charming , succeeding and also acing that aforementioned ‘conclusion’ portion. Irshad Kamil writes the new lyrics for this song, wrapping Amitabh Bhattacharya’s already awesome lyrics with an awesomeness of his own. A song that takes itself miles away from its original, neither better nor worse, but just at par, in a different genre. Barring the copy-paste antara, the song is quite good.

Rating: 4/5

 

3. Sadda Move

Singers ~ Diljit Dosanjh, Pardeep Singh Sran & Raftaar, Additional Vocals ~ Ashwin Kulkarni, Music by ~ JAM8, Lyrics by ~ Irshad Kamil & Amitabh Bhattacharya, Rap by ~ Raftaar

“Bhangra ke rhythm mein, tuney Bharatnatyam kyun milaaya?
Mere mehboob, dekho sadda move!”

– Irshad Kamil & Amitabh Bhattacharya

In the next song, JAM8 cuts out the whole international feel that was looming over the album all this time, to replace it with a street hip-hop number in Punjabi style. And I must say, how disappointed I was, hearing this song. The composer takes a very weird route with this song. There isn’t much by way of composition, but whatever is, sounds like very often recycled Punjabi lines used innumerable times. Like the antaras. And the mukhda just starts off so abruptly, it takes time to adjust to it. Actually, a rap starts the song, and it is quite obnoxious. Raftaar. That “Sadda Move Move” line by Raftaar is so irritating. The hookline of the song, too, isn’t too impressive. Arrangements are what lift the song up for me. That flute loop that plays every now and then is just insane — a glimpse of the trademark Pritam-ish insanity that JAM8 has so far, cruelly kept out of this album. The digital beats are quite groovy, but they don’t really provide anything new and innovative, which is what I would like to hear when I listen to a Punjabi street hip-hop number. The tumbi and “burrrhhhaaaa“s are the typical Punjabi people clichés, thrust into the song just to stereotype Punjabi music. But I must say, the dhols are quite engaging. The vocals are above average — Diljit sounds good but not excellent; probably the composition is barring me from liking his rendition too. On the other hand, his co-singer, Pradeep Singh Sran, who made it big in Bollywood with his song ‘Cutiepie’ (Ae Dil Hai Mushkil), brings back his Labh Janjua-ish voice and steals the listeners’ hearts. Raftaar is strictly annoying, and his rap is least enjoyable. Overall the song has a strong Meet Bros-ish vibe. Legends Amitabh Bhattacharya & Irshad Kamil come together to write something that Kumaar or Shabbir Ahmed would’ve written by themselves, if they had been approached. Quite stereotypical, and ‘enjoyable’ would be an exaggeration. A clear dip in the level of the album. 

Rating: 3/5

 

4. Lambiyaan Si Judaiyaan

Singers ~ Arijit Singh, Altamash Faridi & Shadab Faridi, Music by ~ JAM8, Lyrics by ~ Amitabh Bhattacharya

“Tere nishaan, yaadon mein hai,
Tu kyun nahin, taqdeer mein?
Naadaan dil, hai dhoondhta,
Qurbat teri tasveer mein.
Mumkin nahin hai, tujhko bhulaana,
Mumkin nahin hai, tujhko bhulaana,
Dekhe khudaya, do aashiqaan diyaan tabaahiyaan
Ve badi lambiyaan si judaiyaan!”

– Amitabh Bhattacharya

After three relatively happy-sounding songs, it was necessary, I guess, for the composers to bring in a touch of pathos in the album. So they bring a sad song sung by Arijit, which I feel is loosely modelled on Pritam’s ‘Channa Mereya’ (Ae Dil Hai Mushkil), because of the slight Sufi touch to it. The composition, I have to say, is something that disappointed me highly. I just couldn’t find anything great in it. The song is trying so hard to be emotional, but manages to ve not even one bit emotional! And that almost never happens with Pritam songs. The first two stanzas are composed on the same tune, and that is a major drawback, because it is what makes the song sound very, very monotonous. The very first line of the song made me think, “What?” because the music that starts off the song is very promising! After that it becomes a crying fest, something so overdramatic I wouldn’t have expected it to be a song from a big banner films as ‘Raabta’. The hookline is so unidimensional, it hardly managed to touch my heart as an emotional song should. The composition ends with another “conclusion” stanza, and this time, that stanza is clearly trying to emulate the “conclusion” of ‘Channa Mereya’ (Ae Dil Hai Mushkil) with its composition, arrangements and Arijit’s singing style. The arrangements of the song are also very heard-before, and stale arrangements. The Dholak rhythm has gotten so old and typical, I wish no composer uses it in sad songs anymore! The music that starts the song though, the violin one, is very good! And that is what made me believe the rest of the song too, would follow suit. Arijit sings this one with utmost lack of expression, almost like a robot. It seems he spent all his energy in ‘Ik Vaari Aa’. The Faridi brothers pitch in for a good but again, clichéd, Sufi interlude, that only makes the song sound more artificial. Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics are good, but not amazing. A sad song that makes me sad that it had to be in this film.

Rating: 2/5

 

5. Main Tera Boyfriend

Singers ~ Arijit Singh, Neha Kakkar & Meet Bros., Original Composition by ~ J-Star & Sohrabuddin, Music Recreated by ~ Meet Bros., Original Lyrics by ~ J-Star & Jitendra Raghuvanshi, New Lyrics by ~ Kumaar

Na Na Na Na!

– J-Star & Jitendra Raghuvanshi

Guest composers, Meet Bros, step into the album now, for their remake of the popular track of J-Star’s, ‘Na Na Na Na’. Now there’s a huge controversy regarding who stole the song from whom and blah blah blah. But besides all that, I think the whole nation is raving about the song and how catchy it is. The original was definitely one of the catchiest pop songs of that year and even now, and Meet Bros try to keep its catchiness intact. They have built a typical Bollywoodish composition around it, which sounds least like a Meet Bros. composition, and more like a Pritam one. How coincidental because JAM8’s ‘Sadda Movie’s sounded like a Meet Bros song. The Mukhda starts the song off on a very nice tune, and expectations rise right away. It is the antara that could’ve been better, and repeating each Antara twice was not needed; it just made the song that much longer. The hook… Do I need to speak about it! 😀 The arrangements too, are very similar to Pritam’s, complete with the chipmunk noises here too. The club sounds are great as well, and make the song enjoyable at all points. The vocals are energetic, with Arijit replenishing all his drained energy, and giving a very spunky rendition of the song. Is it just me, or does anyone else also think he sounds amazing in upbeat numbers as well!? Neha cannot match up to her co-singer’s level and performs a bit disappointingly this time. Meet Bros. also come and sing an interlude that would have sounded better had it stayed out of the album. 😥 And after that, there’s a lady’s voice that says “I Wanna be your boyfriend.” 😮 Kumaar’s lyrics are the usual type of lyrics that go into such songs. A song that I didn’t expect much from, since it was a remake, turns out to be quite foot-tapping!

Rating: 3.5/5

 

6. Darasal

Singer ~ Atif Aslam, Music by ~ JAM8, Lyrics by ~ Irshad Kamil

“Inkaar mein jo chhupa hai woh ikraar ho!”

– Irshad Kamil

Finally, to finish off the album, JAM8 bring an Atif Aslam romantic melody, something that is quite quintessential in recent T-Series albums. As soon as the song started, it reminded me of ‘Jeena Jeena’ (Badlapur) because of the similar pattern of the guitar piece. The composition is actually very sweet, and it is also slow-paced like ‘Jeena Jeena’, and would suit well for a waltzy arrangement too. But JAM8 choose to keep things minimal and grace the song with nothing more than a nice and sweet guitar riff, and occasional amazing strings. The tune, though slow-paced, grows on you instantly. It is instantly likeable, unlike all the other JAM8 songs in the album, which I took some time to get accustomed to (Except the Jubin ‘Ik Vaari Aa’). I loved the way how they repeated the last line of every antara twice, and the last line of the song thrice. The antara itself is very calm and soothing, and gives a very breezy feel to the song. In the Mukhda, the line where he repeats the words twice, is just outstanding! (“Teri Ada, Ada Pe Marta…” etc.) This is actually what is expected from an ideal romantic comedy. Sadly, it comes in at the end of this album! 😪 Atif’s vocals are some of the best I’ve heard from him in quite a while; he sings the song with a totally different charm than he sung his other songs of late. It draws the picture of the typical boy-next-door image in Bollywood rom-coms. Kamil’s lyrics are just beautiful! Some of them are just salute-worthy, like the one I’ve featured up there at the beginning of this song’s review. Finally, a cute romantic song that befits the film’s romantic aspects. 

Rating: 4.5/5


Raabta is an album I wouldn’t have expected (read, I would have expected much more) from a romantic film like this. Most of the songs are prohibited to be the usual fun-and-frolic that we associate with Pritam, for no specific reason. In fact, the dance song from guests Meet Bros is better than the dance song from JAM8 itself. JAM8 sticks to a very conventional route, save the title track, and only manages to deliver well in two songs in that conventional barrier (‘Darasal’ and ‘Ik Vaari Aa’). But I can’t take away from the album that, as an entire album, it is full of variety and sounds good. It is just lacking on the innovative quotient, and likeability quotient, and hence, the repeat value. ‘Raabta’ means ‘connection’, but there is a slight breach in this Raabta!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 3.5 + 4.5 + 4 + 3 + 2+ 3.5 + 4.5 = 25

Album Percentage: 71.43%

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: Darasal = Ik Vaari Aa (Jubin Version) > Raabta (Title Track) > Ik Vaari Aa = Main Tera Boyfriend > Sadda Move > Lambiyaan Si Judaiyaan

 

Remake Counter
No. of Remakes: 15 (from previous albums) + 02 = 17

 

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

EACH SONG, DOBAARA! (DOBAARA – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Arko Pravo Mukherjee, Samira Koppikar, D. Wunder & Macks Wolf
♪ Lyrics by: Arko Pravo Mukherjee, Puneet Sharma, D. Wunder & Tasha Tah
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 24th May 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 2nd June 2017

Dobaara Album Cover

 

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Dobaara is an upcoming Bollywood horror film, starring Huma Qureshi, Saqib Saleem, Adil Hussain, Lisa Ray and Rhea Chakraborty in crucial roles. The film has been directed by Prawaal Raman and produced by the director along with Ishaan Saksena, Vikram Khakhar and Sunil Shah. It is an official remake of the 2013 Hollywood horror film ‘Oculus’, which is considered to be one of the scariest movies of all time. So horror films in Bollywood have been very miserably made, with people flying around so pathetically that it looks hilarious. For once, I feel that this is going to be a well-made horror film in Bollywood. Of course, another thing typical of Bollywood horror films is that they have romantic songs. For ‘Dobaara’, the music has been composed by Arko Pravo Mukherjee, Samira Koppikar, D. Wunder and Macks Wolf. Well, I know nothing about the latter two names, so I can’t speak about them, but I am expecting a lot from the first two names — Arko and Samira. Arko has been giving great songs for the whole of the last year and I don’t think he wants to stop now, so expecting good, creative songs from him. Meanwhile, Samira has vanished from composing after her amazing debut more than two years ago, with ‘Maati ka Palang’ (NH10). And she’s back now. Again, expecting a good song from her. So let’s see exactly how haunting the music of ‘Dobaara’ is!


1. Kaari Kaari / Kaari Kaari (Reprise Version)

Singers ~ Arko Pravo Mukherjee & Asees Kaur / Arko Pravo Mukherjee & Payal Dev, Music by ~ Arko Pravo Mukherjee, Lyrics by ~ Arko Pravo Mukherjee

“Maazi ko maazi rehne de, ankhiyon se nadiyaan behne de,
Toote inn waqt ke tukdon ko, rab ki farmaaish sehne de,
Shaakhon se kaliyaan tooti hai, jab se tu khud se yun roothi hai,
Zara dekh gaur se, oh saaiyaan, aks yeh tera, tu hi hai!”

– Arko Pravo Mukherjee

The song with which Arko starts off the album, reassures me yet again, that he is going to give amazing songs for this album. A beautiful, and by beautiful I mean extremely beautiful and more than that too, semiclassical melody is what the album starts with, and Arko can bask in the success of the song as it will reach many a listener’s hearts. The composition is a semiclassical melody that instantly hooks you, and Arko has structured it in a way that Bollywood songs usually aren’t. For example, after the mukhda, there’s a short stanza that doesn’t fall into any category and it goes “Tere jaisa hi dikhta hai, aks tera..” That stanza is bliss! The antara is just as soothing as the mukhda, while the hookline (which is subtly hidden within the Mukhda/antara) is just outstanding. As in all classical tunes, this one has intricate nuances, and the vocalists carry them out well. The song, featuring in two version, gets everything right in both versions. The arrangements are slightly different in each version. The first version has a beautiful, acoustic setting, with the guitar riff sounding mind blowing. Piano starts it off with a wonderful female voice programmed so as to enchant you right at the beginning! But the guitar riff that sets in once the melody starts, is just so simple and down-to-earth, that it is tough to dislike! The slide guitars + snaps combo in the interlude is wonderful as well. The Reprise takes the more classical route, and it starts off in a different way altogether. The guitar riff has been scrapped from this, and replaced by digital beats, along with something sounding like a Chinese xylophone. The arrangements of this one were a major throwback to ‘Ab Tohe Jaane Na Dungi’ (Bajirao Mastani), and how coincident that Payal Dev has sung that one too. This one has an amazing aalaap in the interlude, and it is entrancing. Of course, no Arko song is completed without at least one guitar strum or riff, and he brings the guitar into play in the antara. The vocals are flawless in both versions. Asees in her version, gives her career best performance, and it sends chills down the spine listening to her perfecting each and every note, especially the nuances in the hookline. Payal, on the other hand, gives a more classically-toned rendition, which is probably why I remember the ‘Bajirao Mastani’ song. The thing to note is when she suddenly goes high in one of the hooklines towards the end. That was splendid! Arko, with his deep voice, enters in the antara, but complements the two ladies well in their respective songs. He writes the lyrics as well, and gives an aptly romantic, and soulful piece. A mind-blowing classical-based song, but kept extremely simple, all the better to win hearts with! 💜

Rating: 5/5 for Original, 5/5 for Reprise

 

2. Humdard / Humdard (Alt. Version)

Singers ~ Jyotica Tangri / Neha Pandey & Parry G, Music by ~ Arko Pravo Mukherjee, Lyrics by ~ Arko Pravo Mukherjee, Rap in Alt. Version Written by ~ Parry G

 “Takleef hogi, bechain honge, yeh raaste hain pathreeley,
Woh Zindagi ki, kahaani kaisi, ke bin lade hi jo jee le!”

– Arko Pravo Mukherjee

The next song by Arko, is highly disappointing. It is supposed to be some kind of sad song, but it barely manages to get the emotion right. The composition is more like a club song where a lady is sitting and singing a song while the main characters are sitting in the bar trying to forget their breakup. The beginning itself is so abrupt and odd, that it is tough to go on trying to like the song. The antara is good compared to the rest of the song, though. The arrangements are mostly digital beats that irritate mostly, and remind one of the songs from the ‘Saansein’ (2016) album. However, there’s a nice portion on strings that is mildly entertaining. Both versions have basically the same arrangements, but they differ in the vocal department. And both singers, I must say, fail to fit the bill here, and both of their renditions turn out to be least satisfying. The first version has Jyotica Tangri trying to be Neha Kakkar again, but even Neha Kakkar wouldn’t have sounded great in this song. Maybe Sonu Kakkar. And in the Alternate Version, newcomer Neha Pandey doesn’t impress at all, unfortunately; she suddenly changes vocal tones and that sounds very weird. And a quite impressive rapid rap by Parry G, who impressed even in ‘Jai Maa’ (Behen Hogi Teri), also features in the second version. I must say he sounds a lot like Yo Yo Honey Singh. The lyrics by Arko, are the saving grace of the song. They are actually good, and deserved a better composition to accompany them! A disaapointment from Arko after that brilliant song.

Rating: 1/5 for the Original, 1.5/5 for the Alternate Version

 

3. Ab Raat (Version 1) / Ab Raat (Version 2)

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

“Dard dard andhera, zakhm si chaandni, Dhul jaayegi dhoop mein,
Sard haathon ka ghera, shehar ki berukhi, kho jaayegi goonj mein,
Parindon ki azaanein, gungunaati raah bhi, kehti hain aankhein choomke,
Bas, Abb raat guzarne waali hai, abb raat guzarne waali hai,
Abb raat guzarne waali hai, bas raat guzarne waali hai!”

– Puneet Sharma

At first, I thought this song is a remake of the old song ‘Ab Raat Guzarne Waali Hai’ (Awara), because the lyrics of the hook are the same, but it apparently isn’t, because this song has been released by Zee and not Saregama. 😂 Anyway, Samira steps in with her song, and even this song features twice. (The makers are really taking the title ‘Dobaara’ very seriously, huh?) However, I have no complaints with this song featuring twice. The song is a very, very soulful composition that gives you goosebumps. It is songs like this that must be added into horror films and not useless romantic songs. Samira’s composition is haunting to the core, very apt for the situation. The mukhda starts a bit slowly, but as soon as the hookline plays for the first time, you start getting intrigued and immerse yourself into the song. The first antara has an amazing tune, as does the second one, which is more like a Pritam-ish conclusion, rather than an antara. The arrangements by Samira, are yet another example of how to impress with the most used and most clichéd template ever. She employs a very effective soft rock arrangement to the first version, and it provides the required strength to the composition, which would sound sleepy without it. The drums, acoustic guitars and rock guitars complement each other very well, and it provides such a BEAUTIFUL ambience, spellbinding indeed. A Version 2 has been given a more acoustic treatment till the hookline starts, with the Acoustic guitar prominent. However, instead of making it plain and boring with only the guitar, Samira adds in a bit of this and a bit of that to make it sound better. A heart-rending flute has been employed in various places, and especially the interlude’s flute portion is something not to miss. Samira still doesn’t resist to add the drums here either, though. So this version sounds more like a Lounge Version, due to the combination of the flute, acoustic guitars and drums. Vocals are again flawless in both versions, Arijit at his soulful best, and Samira singing in a very different voice than she has in her other songs. She keeps it high-pitched, unlike the low pitch she uses in many of her songs. She has a co-singer named Jonathan Rebeiro, who has given a couple of words here and there as backing vocals. Last but definitely not the least, can we admire the lyrics here? The song is such a soulful song, but behind that tune are the genius words of Puneet Sharma, who writes less frequently, but has written some amazing songs for ‘Revolver Rani’ (2014; also the first album I ever reviewed!!) and songs for albums like ‘Cute Kameena’ (2016), ‘Mr. Joe B. Carvalho’ (2014) and ‘Aurangzeb’ (2013). But here, he gives another amazing piece of writing, which I just instantly fell for. The song is about waiting for the dark times to pass, and as they say, “This too shall pass”. A ravishing song!

Rating: 4.5/5 for Version 1, 5/5 for Version 2

 

4. Malang

Singers ~ Tasha Tah & D. Wunder, Music by ~ D. Wunder & Macks Wolf, Lyrics by ~ D. Wunder & Tasha Tah

“Malang Malang Maiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnn” 🐏

– D Wunder

This next song makes me recheck whether I’m actually listening to the ‘Dobaara’ album anymore or not. A generic Punjabi club number on the lines of Dr. Zeus’ songs is what makes up the “grand” finale to this album. The composition is so irritating at places, but catchy in some places. The hookline has the lead female singer bleating like a sheep, “Maiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnn”. That part is so irritating. The arrangements are typical club beats, but they aren’t so engaging. The vocals are execrable, and I’ve given an example up above. The English parts of the song are enjoyable though. But that’s like a “One in a million” good part, to quote the song. The Punjabi parts are so irritating, you forget to like anything else. Lyrics? What lyrics? Appalling.

Rating: 0.5/5


Dobaara is an album that depends on the Reprise versions to propel it. Three out of the four songs have another reprise, so that we hear it again. Thankfully, all these reprises are either better than or equal in comparison with the original songs, so I’m not complaining. Arko strikes gold, and what shiny gold, in the first song of his, but disappoints with the next one. Meanwhile, Samira Koppikar gets her guest composition extremely well, in both versions. Whoever D Wunder & Macks Wolf are, I hope they aren’t looking at Bollywood for a career. An album that gets a much higher rating than it would have, thanks to reprises, which made us hear the songs “dobaara”!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 5 + 5 + 1 + 1.5 + 4.5 + 5 + 0.5 = 22.5

Album Percentage: 64.29%

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: Kaari Kaari = Kaari Kaari (Reprise) = Ab Raat (Version 2) > Ab Raat (Version 1) > Humdard (Alt. Version) > Humdard > Malang

 

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

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

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

Half Girlfriend Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


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


1. Baarish

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

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

Rating: 3.5/5

 

2. Thodi Der

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

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

Rating: 4/5

 

3. Tu Hi Hai

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

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

Rating: 1.5/5

 

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

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

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

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

 

5. Lost Without You

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

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

Rating: 3/5

 

6. Stay A Little Longer

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

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

Rating: 2/5

 

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

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

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

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

 

8. Half Girlfriend (Love Theme)

(Instrumental, Music by Mithoon)

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

Rating: 3.5/5


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

 

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

Album Percentage: 53%

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

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

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

 

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

SACHIN-JIGAR’S PYAARA, AFEEMI ALBUM!! (MERI PYAARI BINDU – Music Review)

I would like to start by thanking YRF for releasing the full album early, but giving no such indication by uploading a jukebox or a complete OST on iTunes so that we don’t keep waiting for more! And thanks (this isn’t sarcasm) to Jigar Saraiya for confirming on Twitter, in reply to my question, that it is indeed the full album.

Update — 11th May 2017 — Today YRF released the “full album” on iTunes.


Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Sachin-Jigar
♪ Lyrics by: Kausar Munir, Priya Saraiya & Rana Mazumder
♪ Music Label: YRF Music
♪ Music Released On: 25th April 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 12th May 2017

Meri Pyaari Bindu Album Cover

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Meri Pyaari Bindu is an upcoming Bollywood rom-com starring Parineeti Chopra and Ayushmann Khurrana in lead roles. The film is directed by Akshay Roy and produced by Maneesh Sharma. The film is about a writer played by Ayushmann, who, after being frustrated at the lack of critical appreciation his novels get, despite him being a successful writer, moves back to his hometown Kolkata to find inspiration to write better literature. Well, he has been writing his new book for three years. It so happens that he is reminded of one of his best friends, and stumbles upon a cassette of their favourite songs’ playlist. It is from here, that he gets Inspiration for his new novel. So, the crux of the film is quite interesting — it seems sweet and simple, and a look at the many “mini-trailers” (or chapters) they’ve released for the film will reveal that it is a bit quirky and very musical too. All in all, it is something I’m waiting for, and I believe everyone is waiting for. So without ruminating any more upon the movie, let us cherish the music till then, as that is the only way to get closer to the movie before the release. The music for the film has been given by a duo whose music I appreciate and adore, and they’ve got a fair share of high ratings on this blog (not to mention a few forgiveable not-so-good ones), and that duo is the dynamic duo Sachin-Jigar. So last year, since they concentrated on Gujarati film music, they could only manage to do one Bollywood film, ‘A Flying Jatt’s, an album which was amazing musically, but lacked repeat value. Of course, this year they are the busiest music directors on the block, with five films including this one. For this music album, they’ve composed six tracks, a perfect number for a musical in Bollywood. Hoping that these men surprise us just as they always do (though it won’t be much of a surprise) I’m diving into this expected-to-be awesome album!


1. Maana Ke Hum Yaar Nahin

Singer ~ Parineeti Chopra, Lyrics by ~ Kausar Munir

“Raaste mein tum milo toh,
Haath milaane ruk jaana!
Saath mein koi, ho tumhare,
Door se hi tum muskaana,
Lekin muskaan ho aisi,
Ki jismein ikraar nahi,
Lekin muskaan ho aisi,
Ki jismein ikraar nahi,
Nazron se naa karna tum bayaan,
Woh jisse inkaar nahin!
Maana ke hum yaar nahin!”

– Kausar Munir

The album starts off with a song we have heard about a year ago, in the video where YRF announced the film. Parineeti was talking about how the makers insisted that she should sing the song. And right from that day, when I heard how beautifully she sings, I couldn’t wait for this day, when I would listen to the full song and review it. The song is essentially a ghazal, and Sachin-Jigar have composed it sooooo beautifully, that it reminds you of many 90s songs, or the 90s era in general, with its tune. The poetic words by Kausar Munir (more on them later) have been put to such a charmingly delightful tune by the duo, that it hardly seems like a sad song. The mukhda is so spectacular, it just pulls you into the song, and you won’t emerge out of it until the song is over. It is the antaras, though, that amazed me the most. Again, a spectacular tune, but this one sounds very layered, as if there are deeper meanings to it, which get revealed one by one, each time you replay the song. Also, Parineeti adds different nuances and variation in both antaras, so it almost feels as if both antaras are composed on the same tune, but still different. That brings us to her vocals. Parineeti’s voice has this rawness to it, which I haven’t heard in any of the actress-singers’ voices. (Well, maybe Priyanka Chopra and Shruti Hassan, but not beyond these). Her husky voice suits the ambience of the song so well, that it just transports you to another world. Of course, she is a trained classical singer, but her command over the tune is amazing considering that she must’ve not been in touch with singing for a long time. And an added bonus is that her voice hasn’t been autotuned! That’s brave, and I appreciate it. Not that it sounds bad anyway. Sachin-Jigar’s arrangements are out of this world. They recreate the 90s through the arrangements — that flute loop (Shreeram Sampath) is spell-binding! It has you hooked right from the first time it plays, and then it keeps on amazing you throughout the song. The folksy percussions (Arun Solanki) in the song are mystifying too. And the piano (Rinku Rajput), played so gracefully right when we don’t expect it, in small pieces all over the song, is so sweet! A special appearance by the sarangi (Dilshad Khan) in the second interlude is something you must not miss at any cost. (In other words, hear the full audio, not just the video promo!) Beside all these wonderful nostalgic instruments, the hardworking guitars (Krishna Pradhan) are sidelined, but they give a constant rhythm throughout, and if you listen carefully, they have an important contribution indeed. Now, I have saved the best for the last. And that is Kausar Munir’s lyrics. She gave us a wonderfully written album, “Begum Jaan” just last month. And she’s already at it again! Her words are so heartbreaking, it gives a whole new definition to sad songs. Both the antaras, not to mention the mukhda, have been written wonderfully! And Sachin-Jigar very cleverly knew how to put a tune to those words so that they don’t sound maudlin and melancholic. Splendid work by Sachin-Jigar and Kausar Munir. A sad song with a refreshing feel! My intuition tells me this will go on to be one of my favourite songs of the year, and probably all time.

Rating: 5/5

 

2. Haareya

Singer ~ Arijit Singh, Lyrics by ~ Priya Saraiya

“Khuli aankhon se dekha woh, haseen khwaab hai tu,
Dil mein jo utar jaaye woh, pyaari baat hai tu,
Tere naam ka nasha, nasha, hai zubaan pe chhaa gaya,
Iss bekhudi mein doobne se main khud ko na rok sakeya!”

– Priya Saraiya

While we had a wonderful old-world-charm in the first song, Sachin-Jigar bring in their favourite, a nice modern touch, to the next song. The composition is odd! And I say that in the best way possible! It has this offbeat touch to it, a tune that is mostly associated with rock songs these days. But no, Sachin-Jigar, the experimentalists that they are, use it for a romantic song! And it works, and succeeds with distinction. The mukhda starts, and you start to get interested in what will come next. When a song compels you to listen to it further because of that reason, it has to be interesting! And then the hookline starts. So low-key, so modestly, so inconspicuously and oh-so-subtly! Unlike the hooklines in which the tempo, instrumentation and vocals go higher in pitch, loudness and whatnot, this one is exactly the opposite. It gets subtle and quiet after a huge and suspenseful buildup to it. It takes a genius to pull that off successfully, and therefore Sachin-Jigar must be geniuses! They could very well have added some rock elements in that hookline, but they refrained from doing so. And it just increased the appeal of the song manifold! Yes, a composition that suits the rock genre, has nothing but a simple (but very infectious, mind you) guitar riff in the arrangements. And I must mention Indrajit Chetia here, for his AMAAAAZZZZING guitar work throughout the song! Ayushmann’s Arijit’s (you’ll see why I did that) vocals are so impressive! The man brings in such a convincing imitation of Ayushmann’s voice, like the way he pronounces each word while singing and the slight nasal twang, that one would initially be confused whether Arijit has sung the song or Ayushmann. He gives his own voice a complete makeover and modifies it just to suit Ayushmann, and how crazy is that? I’ve not seen this happen in quite a while. These days, either a singer’s voice suits an actor by default, or it doesn’t. But a singer tweak his voice for an actor? That’s so 90s! And so amazing! In the antara, he does that amazing transition between the low octave and high octave, so effortlessly, that he does perfect justice to Sachin-Jigar’s composition, which I doubt anyone else could’ve pulled off. Guest lyricist Priya Saraiya writes in a mix of Punjabi and Hindi, and presents yet another amazing piece from her side. A lovestruck man’s emotions are depicted clearly by her writing. A nice experimentation, where a composition tailor-made for rock, is given an acoustic and unplugged type of arrangement. Of course, special mention to Arijit!

Rating: 5/5

 

3. Ye Jawaani Teri

Singers ~ Nakash Aziz & Jonita Gandhi, Lyrics by ~ Kausar Munir

“Yeh jawaani teri, yeh jawaani meri,
Yeh jawaani teri, yeh jawaani meri,
Yeh jawaani teri, yeh jawaani meri,
J – j – jeene nahi deti!”

– Kausar Munir

Well, we had two romantic songs, one mature and the other slightly more youthful. Be prepared to go even further down memory lane, as we go back to the main characters’ college days and are treated to an amazing retro treat from Sachin-Jigar’s music bank. So basically this is the fun song of the album where the two protagonists are in college, having fun, without a worry. And Sachin-Jigar’s track reflects the same attitude in it. The composition sounds odd at first, but once you realize what it is, you’ll be like “Ohhhhhhh”, and then realize the cleverness of the music directors. The hookline is what the song relies on to propel it, and very aptly, it has been composed to the tune of the iconic Shammi Kapoor guitar riff. After you realize that, the padding, like the mukhda and antara, start sounding amazing thanks to you having discovered the theme of the song. Particularly the line that Jonita sings before the hookline arrives, with that nasal touch, has an amazing tune! The arrangements stick to the retro theme very well, and the guitars (Shomu Seal) steal the show, aptly supported by amazing trumpets (Kishore Sodha), saxophone (Shyamraj) and drums (Debashish Banerjee). It all gives that required retro feel that the song needed. In places, it reminded me of ‘Let’s Talk About Love’ (Baaghi), another good song of the same genre, but one which was suppressed by mediocre vocals and composition. The vocals too, suit the song well, though I thought Nakash could’ve been substituted by Vishal Dadlani and the song would’ve gone miles higher. Jonita sounds very different from what we have heard from her in the Rahman and Pritam camps. She does that aforementioned retro-nasal thing superbly, and ditches her thin and sweet voice to bring in a tinge of naughtiness and youthfulness for this one. Kausar Munir’s lyrics here are purely situational, and I can’t really praise them or the opposite. A fun youthful number, that might take some time to grow.

Rating: 4/5

 

4. Iss Tarah

Singers ~ Clinton Cerejo & Dominique Cerejo, Lyrics by ~ Kausar Munir

“Tu ret si haathon se, aisi phisal jaati hai,
Mujhe rokna nahi aata, tujhe theherna nahi aata,
Tu sarphiri hawaaon mein, phirki si kyun phiri jaaye,
Mujhe baandhna nahi aata, tujhe thaamna nahi aata!”

– Kausar Munir

Another retro-themed number joins the album, this time a disco song, composed in a trademark Michael Jackson way. Sachin-Jigar take their experimentalism further ahead with this one, and produce a crackling dance song. The composition in the beginning is so less, it almost sounds as if the singer is reciting the lines like a little child recites a poem in front of the class. However, that’s what increases the appeal of the song. And then when the line by Dominique comes in, you are dazzled by its brightness. Brightness as in, Sachin-Jigar’s smart use of the disco elements to make the composition beautiful. And then comes the hard-hitting hookline, which is one of the best I’ve heard in a while, and also something very similar to Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s composition style, a trio who I believe established this style of music in Bollywood. The arrangements are entrancing, especially the trumpet (Kishore Sodha) that plays in the hookline, and steals the limelight right away. The disco-themed digital beats are amazing, and set up a groovy beat even before the tune of the song starts. The guitars (Paresh Kamath) are great too, as are Sachin-Jigar’s clever additions of finger-snaps and the trademark disco sounds. The hookline’s arrangements are out of this world. The vocals too, are mind blowing. Clinton Cerejo, after his successful stint as a music director in Bollywood last year (in three movies) returns to the mic, and nails the song. But the one who steals the spotlight is his better half, Dominique, in her very short portion, that repeats just twice in the entire song, but leaves a lasting impression, and makes you love her voice so much! And that part, as mentioned above, has been composed just as well! Kausar’s lyrics are full of contrast, and it is very interesting to listen to. A successful disco-based retro number, which I can’t wait to watch in the movie! 

Rating: 5/5

 

5. Khol De Baahein

Singer ~ Monali Thakur, Hindi Lyrics by ~  Kausar Munir, Bengali Lyrics by ~ Rana Mazumder

“Barse jo saawan, toh daudke tu aana,
Khud ko tu bheegna sikha de,
Barse jo saawan, toh lautke tu aana,
Khud ko tu bheegna sikha de…”

– Kausar Munir

After a sad song, a romantic song and two dance numbers, it is romantic time again, and this time we get a rather unconventional romantic song. The composition is so beautiful and cute, and it reeks of the Bengali culture with its tune. It has this lilting, lulling tune that just doesn’t let you get bored. Yes, it does take some time to fully grow on you, but when it does, it does so very fulfillingly, and you end up loving the song unconditionally. The mukhda in Bengali, starts off the song wonderfully, while the hookline in Hindi is cute and harmonious. There’s a beautiful short stanza in Bengali after that (“kokhono kokhono…“) which just sounds so endearing. And the antara too, keeps you listening. All in all, Sachin-Jigar’s composition is a winner. The arrangements are no less. On the most part, it is a soothing guitar-led instrumentation (Guitars by Krishna Pradhan), and though the guitars aren’t hard-hitting they are just as amazing as the guitars in ‘Haareya’. The piano notes at the end of the song are beautiful as the conclusion of the song. Monali is the perfect choice as the singer; she goes back and forth between high and low notes effortlessly, and pronounces the Bengali words immaculately. She sounds very cute as always in this lulling romantic song. Kausar’s Hindi lyrics are great, but when I asked one of my friends for a translation of the Bengali lyrics, I got to know that Rana’s Bengali lyrics are just as endearing. Modest and simple, but very strong in terms of composition and arrangements and especially vocals!

Rating: 4.5/5

 

6. Afeemi

Singers ~ Sanah Moidutty & Jigar Saraiya, Lyrics by ~ Kausar Munir

“Dhaani si, dhaani si, sharbati paani si,
Dheere se dheere se, teri chaahat chadhti hai,
Thodi naadaani si, thodi shaitaani si,
Dheeme se dheeme se, teri aadat badhti hai,
Tu hai toh mere roobaroo, par kya karoon,
Yakeen hi nahi aata,
Shaam se subah karoon, dekha karoon,
Raha bhi nahi jaata!
Afeemi, afeemi, afeemi hai yeh pyaar,
Afeemi hai tera mera pyaar!”

– Kausar Munir

A very simple and humble song brings up the rear of the album. This song is a very sweet and beautiful romantic song, composed in a very trademark Sachin-Jigar way, keeping things sweet and simple. The composition starts off so effervescently, with that sprightly mukhda. And the hookline is a typical Bollywood romantic song hookline, nevertheless, it hooks you right away. The antara has been composed beautifully as well, one line strictly sounding very similar to a line from ‘Maana Ke Hum Yaar Nahin’ itself, but that’s alright. Also, the hookline sounds like the line “Pooche jo koi, toh tera naam doon“, from Sachin-Jigar’s own ‘Tera Naam Doon’ (Entertainment). Overall though, the song is addictive! Such a simple romantic song, which was also great in its composition, was long-needed in Bollywood. The arrangements follow conventional arrangements, in that it contains everything you would expect in a contemporary romantic song — guitars (Kalyan Baruah), piano (Rinku Rajput), drums (Lindsay D’mello). But the flute by Hamtu is unexpectedly amazing, as are the strings that pitch in occasionally. I personally loved the way the hookline is arranged, on that simple guitar riff, and I love those small rattle-like instrument additions that sound so lovely! Vocals are perfect, with Sanah Moidutty finally getting a song where she is allowed to sing more than or equal to her male co-singer (who in this case happens to be Jigar himself) which she couldn’t do in her previous two songs, ‘Moto Ghotalo’ (Gori Tere Pyaar Mein) and ‘Tu Hai’ (Mohenjo Daro). Her voice is a nice and sweet voice with the vocal quality of someone who has the potential to make it big in Bollywood, where such voices are lapped up by music directors. Jigar himself accompanies her fantastically, and I believe the duo has programmed his voice less than they normally do, and that adds to the natural touch in the song. Kausar’s lyrics are fascinating, and it also marks the first time (probably; I’m not a database) that someone has compared love to opium (‘afeem’ = opium), after comparing it to stuff like alcohol, and hookah bars. A very ‘Afeemi’ (addictive) song!

Rating: 4.5/5


Meri Pyaari Bindu turns out to be just as great and musically rich as I expected it to be. Sachin-Jigar, after a hiatus in which they scored for one Bollywood film ‘A Flying Jatt’, which sadly didn’t have the potential to stay with us for long, they give us yet another taste of their awesomeness, after they had given us two of my favourite albums of theirs, ‘Happy Ending’ in 2014, and ‘Badlapur’ in 2015. Another feather in their cap, ‘Meri Pyaari Bindu’ might just be one of their best performances!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 5 + 5 + 4 + 5 + 4.5 + 4.5 = 28

Album Percentage: 93.34% {Surpassing ‘Poorna’ at 92.5%, that makes it this year’s best album 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: From start to finish in the same order.

 

Which is your favourite song from Meri Pyaari Bindu? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂

PURAANA ZAMAANA NAYA HO GAYA!! (BEGUM JAAN – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Anu Malik
♪ Lyrics by: Kausar Munir & Rahat Indori
♪ Music Label: Junglee Music / Times Music
♪ Music Released On: 7th April 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 14th April 2017

Begum Jaan Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE

To hear “Murshida” on Saavn CLICK HERE

To buy “Murshida” on iTunes CLICK HERE


Begum Jaan is an upcoming Bollywood period film, starring Vidya Balan, Ila Arun, Gauhar Khan, Pallavi Sharda, Mishti Chakraborty, Raviza Chauhan, Priyanka Setia, Flora Saini, Ridheema Tiwary, Poonam Rajput, Gracy Goswami, Pitobash Tripathy, Ashish Vodyarthi, Chunky Pandey and Naseeruddin Shah. The film has been directed by National-Award-Winnig Director Srijit Mukherji, and produced by Mahesh Bhatt, Vishesh Bhatt and Play Entertainment. The film is the official Bollywood remake of Srijit’s Bengali film, ‘Rajkahini’. The film, set in 1947, is about a brothel, and how the Radcliffe line that decided the borders of India and Pakistan during Independence, passes right through the middle of it. The struggle of the ladies at the brothel, and their fight for their home, os what constitutes the story. The concept seems great, and with great actors, it is sure to get amazing response. The music of the film has been composed by Anu Malik, and it is a perfect choice; he would be able to do the music of the era better than most of the younger composers. Anu himself says he hasn’t heard the music of the Bengali original film, so as not to be influenced by it, and I haven’t heard it either, so as not to compare. Anu Malik has composed five songs for the movie, with one of them having two versions, making it a total of six tracks. So let’s see how the album turns out!


1. Prem Mein Tohre / Prem Mein Tohre (Reprise)

Singers ~ Asha Bhosle / Kavita Seth, Lyrics by ~ Kausar Munir

“Parde mein tohre, Chori chori chori chori, jiya jaaye na,
Parde mein tohre, chori chori chori chori, mita jaaye na,
Aata hai chhupke tu mere dar par,
Ghayal dil aur dhadkan banjar,
Ghayal dil aur dhadkan banjar!
Haldi mali jo ghaanv pe tohre, har zakhm mera hara ho gaya,
Yeh kya ho gaya?”

– Kausar Munir

Of course, this song was the one about which rumours were pouring in right from the day Anu Malik must have recorded it. And why? The answer is simple — none other than living legend Asha Bhosle had sung it. So headlines like “ASHA BHOSLE, LIVING LEGEND, GIVES VOICE TO VIDYA BALAN”, or “ANU MALIK AND ASHA BHOSLE COMBO BACK TOGETHER” popped up at me many a time. Yes, the song has been sung by Asha Bhosle, who was last heard in a forgettable (and already forgotten) song from ’31st October’. This song, however, has no chance to be forgotten. The composition is a serene, classical composition, which just touches your heart right away. Yes, it might take time to grow for some, because it is quite slow-paced, and, being a classical song, it has quite a paucity of aalaaps and murkis, but then, you can’t expect all classical songs to be replicas of each other, can you? So the tune that Anu Malik finally presents to us is amazing, though it has got some barriers in some places, like I said before, the slow pace. The composer makes up for this with the wonderful classical arrangements, which make a breeze of fresh air blow against your (ears???) face. The tanpura paves the way for something marvellous right in the beginning, and surely, a wonderful oud takes over, and booming, grand percussions join after some time, accompanied by the innocent sound of the paayals. One highlight in the arrangements is the wonderful second interlude, which features a RAVISHING sitar instrumental piece which just steals your breath! And the antara that follows is a musical masterpiece; something that only the old composers of Bollywood are capable of doing. That stanza has a wonderful tune, a wonderful strings background, and then, when the tabla finally joins the song (quite late, but still worth it!) you feel utterly satisfied with the song! The paayal jingle at the end of the song signifies a beautiful end to it. The song has two version, both of which have the same arrangements but differ in the vocals. One is by Asha Bhosle, while the other is by Kavita Seth. (By the way, I didn’t see any headlines saying “KAVITA SETH SINGS A SONG FOR ‘BEGUM JAAN'” before the album released.) Asha Bhosle’s version sounds more like a romantic song, with her very sweet voice, which is quite intact, as it was even twenty years ago, considering her age! When I first heard her version when it released I thought she hadn’t done some of the aalaaps properly, but then I heard Kavita’s version and automatically started liking Asha’s. Kavita sings the song more impactfully, demolishing any traces of it being a romantic song — she has sung a bit too loudly, and she misses even more aalaps and sings in a very plain and straightforward tone. It sounded weird at first, but it is passable. Kausar Munir’s lyrics are good but could have been better, more layered. A wonderful classical romantic song to start the album off.

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

 

2. Aazaadiyan

Singers ~ Rahat Fateh Ali Khan & Sonu Nigam, Lyrics by ~ Kausar Munir

“Reh gayi rassi pe chunari,
Reh gayi khoonti pe kurti,
Reh gayi woh laaj kahaan?
Reh gaya gumbad mein Allah,
Reh gaya furqat mein Rabba,
Reh gaya woh Ram kahaan?
Hain hari se woh kahaan, hain galeeche woh kahaan?
Pehle chaman woh bataao kahaan?
Hind pe tha naaz jinko, hain woh kahaan?”

– Kausar Munir

A pathos-filled, heart-rending melody is what follows the semiclassical romantic song. This song describes the pain and suffering of the people, who had to migrate to the other side of the border, after the partition of India. And very graphically, Anu Malik has brought that pain right into his composition. Right from the moment it starts, till the moment it ends, the song has a composition that will make it hard for you not to flinch in pain, just by hearing it. The mukhda is wonderful, and the “aah nikli hai yahaan” verse is very pleasant-sounding, but it has been written cleverly, sarcastically. Clearly, the distress that the people felt on leaving their homes was paramount. The antara is what makes the song as heart-rending as ever; it has strings of melancholic notes that hit right at the heart. The way each line sounds different from the other is amazing. It reminds you of Anu Malik’s ‘Border’ and ‘Refugee’ days. The only drawback I can think of about the song is its duration — over six and a half minutes long. (Almost all of the songs of ‘Border’ and ‘Refugee’ too, were that long! 😄) But it is kind of repetitive to be listening to for so long. Anyway, since the composition is good, I’m cool with it. The arrangements are very impressive. The beautiful use of the shehnaai throughout the song leaves you amazed. Furthermore, the second antara has a wonderful Sufi rhythm to it, and the percussion throughout the song is just ravishing. The nagadas at the beginning are really great in giving you the feel that something epic is going to follow. The twinkly (xylophone??) sounds that the song abounds in, are pleasures to the ears. Anu Malik has outdone himself wih the use of strings and percussion in the song. The two singers make this song enrapturing. Rahat’s rustic voice sets the atmosphere for a pathos-filled song, while Sonu Nigam accompanies him with an aptly moving rendition — his parts reminded me a lot of ‘Sandese Aate Hain’ (Border). Finally, it is time to talk about Kausar Munir’s colossally great lyrics. I must not spoil it for you; so please listen to them very carefully! This song won’t be noticed by too many people, at least not in this era dominated by raps and club songs, but whoever does notice it, would definitely love it!

Rating: 4.5/5

 

3. O Re Kaharo

Singers ~ Kalpana Patowary & Altamash Faridi, Lyrics by ~ Kausar Munir

“O re kaharon, Doli utaaro, pal bhar ko thehro toh zara,
Dil se lagaake, bas ikk dafaa ve, dene do gudiyon ko dua,
Teri bindiya nikharke, choodiyan bikharke, chunari mein chehke,
Tera kajra ho kaara, gajra ho pyaara, angana tera mehke.”

– Kausar Munir

Another poignant melody makes its way into the soundtrack, and this time it is a bidaai song, but of course, metaphorically. More about that later. The composition is a sinister and melancholic melody that effectively transfers its sadness to the listener. Anu Malik has composed this one with all his heart and soul, and again, it reminds me of some 90s song which probably Jaspinder Narula would’ve sung for him. The “teri bindiya nikharke…” verse is amazing, and very soulful. The title of the song comes as a bridge between two verses, or an ending to a verse, instead of using it as a hookline. The antara too has been composed very soulfully, and it instantly hooks you, especially the “soja soja gudiya soja” part. The arrangements infuse even more grandeur, in a very earthy way, into the song. The star of the arrangements is hands-down, the flute, which Anu has interspersed in between the poignant melody. The percussion is booming and very thought-provoking, and whatever is the intention of having it so booming and powerful, that intention has been served; the song is as impactful as it can get. I can just imagine what an impact it’ll have in the theatre. Again, Anu makes wonderful use of the paayals, and the strings, especially that wonderful crescendo of the strings in the beginning of the song, which really reminded me of Rahman’s ‘Rangeela’ songs. Kalpana Patowary, who is known as the Bhojpuri queen, has done such a song for the first time in her life, I guess! And she aces it! This avatar of hers is way better than all those weird songs she has sung before in Bollywood, and she handles all the nuances so expertly, that it is something to wonder why no composer has tried it out before. A big thanks to Malik for doing it. Altamash has a single line that plays multiple times, and it is like an interlude, not making much difference to the grand performance that Kalpana has already stolen away. Kausar Munir’s lyrics are literally bidaai lyrics, but there’s definitely a deeper meaning that could only be discerned after the film releases. I even have a theory, but let’s not hypothesize here. And I’m sure, wherever this song fits into the film, that scene would be enhanced manifold. Anu Malik concludes the song with a grand symphonic strings and flutes and percussion intersection. An extremely captivating composition, that amazes with its sinister sound.

Rating: 5/5

 

4. Holi Khelein

Singers ~ Shreya Ghoshal & Anmol Malik, Lyrics by ~ Kausar Munir

“Mor pankhudi udi udi,
Natkhat bansi baji baji,
Gagan giri, gopi saji,
Vrindavan ki gali gali,
Kanha ke rang khili khili, kanha ke rang khili khili,
Holi, holi, holi, khelein brij ki har bala, brij ki baaalaaa!”

– Kausar Munir

The moment this song starts, you know that it is a playful song, and after all that serious romance and pathos that filled the previous songs, you are nothing but ready for it! And what a pleasant surprise you get when you find that it is a purely classical Holi song (as if that wasn’t discernible from the title, but then… Whatever.) Anu Malik composed this song very intrinsically, every note resounding in your ears after it plays. The overall sound of the song itself, is so delightful, and it just goes to tell you, that Anu has gone a long way after he did that ‘Do Me A Favour Let’s Play Holi’ (Waqt) song that is oh-so-infamous among Indians. Yes, it has an old-world-charm to it, but happens to please you very much, with its happy-go-lucky tune. Every line sounds different from the preceding one, and again, just as in ‘Aazaadiyan’, that’s what makes the composition so special. The antara is even better in terms of composition, where things calm down, and it is extremely soothing. The arrangements make the song sound even more exquisite. The percussion throughout the song gives a very grand feel to the celebratory song, and folk instruments like the nagadas, bansuri, rabaab, tablas, and dholaks. The rhythm is a very traditional Holi rhythm, being played in so many Holi songs, but it doesn’t bore you due to the more modern way it has been arranged. The vocals are great, but Anmol’s amateurish parts seem like an interruption into Shreya Ghoshal’s professional-sounding parts. Shreya sounds as ravishing as ever, and as always, hits the high notes beautifully. She sang the “holi holi holi yeh kyaaaa ho gaya” so beautifully, no wonder she is called the Nightingale. Anmol doesn’t sound hideous, but still serves as a kind of unwanted interruption. At the end wonderful kathak bols make up a beautiful conclusion. Kausar’s lyrics are very sweet, and the Krishna connection she has made makes the song even more beautiful to hear. A treat for classical music lovers!

Rating: 5/5

 

♪ Bonus Song

5. Murshida

Singer ~ Arijit Singh, Lyrics by ~ Rahat Indori

“Pehli shart judaai hai, Ishq bada harjaai hai
Dil pe kisne dastak di, Tum ho ya tanhaai hai
Tujhe bhoole baithe thhe, Phir se teri yaad aayi hai
Dil pe kisne dastak di, Tum ho ya tanhaai hai?”

– Rahat Indori

So this song just only released today, as a bonus track. It is a beautiful, breezy Sufi melody, and has a very charming touch to it. Anu Malik’s composition barely sounds like an Anu Malik composition, it sounded more to me like something composed by a Salim-Sulaiman, or a Pritam. The reason will be clear to you after you hear its mukhda. The same charm that accompanies the songs of the two aforementioned composers, is present in this song. Until of course, Anu Malik takes the unconventional route and switches track to an amazing Sufi detour, which is probably the most welcome detour of the world. The antaras are amazing, but a bit ordinary as compared to the rest of the song. One line in the antara gets all sinister and dark, reminding one of Vishal Bhardwaj. But then the mukhda, with its beautiful notes, returns. The rhythm in the mukhda, where the guitars are played so soothingly, in a play-stop-play-stop manner, is so infectious, you just nod your head along to that rhythm. The other arrangements too, are very impressive, especially that majestic sarangi that starts off the song. In the Sufi detour that makes up the hookline, amazing tablas play, and that guitar keeps rocking. Arijit sings in his trademark charming voice, and changes from a feathery whisper of a voice to a blooming voice very easily. His effortless rendition really etches a place for itself in your heart. This song has been penned by Rahat Indori, the Lyricist who has worked with Anu Malik so many times in his peak time in the 90s, and the latest in ‘Gali Gali Chor Hai’ (2012). He has written such a poetic song, as he always has done in the past, and I just became so happy on hearing the lyrics. A perfect song to close the album!

Rating: 4.5/5


Begum Jaan is like a throwback to the songs of yore. Barring the new bonus track, the album has evident shades of nostalgic melodies that remind one of the old Bollywood songs, and Anu Malik does a great job in recreating the 1947-ish era with his music. The album is full of poignant melodies that are high on the musical quotient, if not high on repeat value (for some). All I can say is, puraana zamaana naya ho gaya, yeh kya ho gaya! 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4 + 3 + 4.5 + 5 + 5 + 4.5 = 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: O Re Kaharo = Holi Khelein > Aazaadiyan = Murshida > Prem Mein Tohre > Prem Mein Tohre (Reprise)

 

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

SARVAGUNA SAM’POORNA’!!! (POORNA – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Salim-Sulaiman
♪ Lyrics by: Amitabh Bhattacharya
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 3rd March 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 31st March 2017

Poorna Album Cover

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Poorna is an upcoming Bollywood biopic, starring Aditi Inamdar and Rahul Bose, and the film is directed by Rahul Bose, and produced by the director along with Amit Patni. The film is a biopic on Malavath Poorna, who, at 13 years and 11 months, became the youngest girl to have scaled the highest peak on Mt. Everest on May 25th, 2014. The film is an inspirational one, and I’m sure it will win many hearts once it opens in theatres tomorrow. I mean, the indian cricket team has seen it and loved it, so aren’t we bound to, too? The music of the film has been composed by Salim-Sulaiman. The duo has been absent for quite a long time. There was a time when Salim-Sulaiman composing for a film had to mean it was 90% a rom-com. But their last five Bollywood projects have been ‘Jai Gangaajal’ (2016; an action flick), ‘Wedding Pullav’ (2015; a rom-com), one song from ‘Ungli’ (2014; a political satire), the song from ‘Mardaani’ (2014; an action film), and two songs from ‘Kaanchi’ (a political thriller). Out of five films over three years, they seem to have been consciously trying not to choose rom-coms, as they signed only one! Now they sign this movie which definitely isn’t a rom-com. And they give us three songs, one of which has a second version. Hopefully, like another three-song-wonder, Amit Trivedi’s ‘Kai Po Che’ (which is the epitome of ‘Quality over Quantity’) this one too has an amazing soundtrack. So let’s see how this short album turns out to be! 🙂


1. Kuch Parbat Hilaayein / Kuch Parbat Hilaayein (Intimate)

Singers ~ Arijit Singh / Salim MerchantBacking Vocalists in First Version ~ Raj Pandit, Crystal Sequeira & Gwen Dias

“Woh toofan kya, chattanein jisko mod de,
Woh udaan kya jo, unchaai pe dum tod de,
Khudpe hai bharosa rakhna tujhe,
Jeete jee nahi hai rukna tujhe!
Itihaas hai likhna tujhe!
Kuch parbat hilaayein, toh baat hai!”

The first song comes to us in two versions, so we will focus on each separately. The track is a wonderful motivational song, composed marvellously by Salim-Sulaiman. The tune does tread on familiar territory, and you can easily tell that it is Salim-Sulaiman’s composition. The mukhda is simple and sweet; though it sounds heard before, it doesn’t disappoint in its intention of being a motivational tune. Yes, in some parts the composition sounds a bit dreary, but everything can be excused when that liveliest hookline arrives, and takes away your breath. The first antara follows the same tune as the mukhda, while the second takes on a more pensive form, and aptly, given the motivational theme of the song, just like so many Bollywood motivational songs do. They all go serious for some reason, midway. But no complaints. Salim-Sulaiman have wrapped it up quite nicely by bridging it to the hookline in a grand way, making great use of the percussion. That brings us to the arrangements. The Northeast Indian arrangements are audible for like the first minute or so, and then later on they somehow get dissipated amongst a lively show of drums (Darshan Doshi) and guitars (Nyzel D’Lima). The percussion is amazing though, with Sulaiman’s trademark djembe. The backing vocalists (Raj Pandit, Crystal Sequeira, Gwen Dias) are amazing with their Northeastern inputs, and their little rhyme which they sing at the end is adorable. Arijit’s vocals are good, but I felt he could’ve used his lively voice here, instead of his droning voice. (If you have been following me since the inception of my blog, you will know the difference between the two Arijit voices.) Some places he gets very lively, while others, he falls flat, like that mukhda. On a whole though, it is enjoyable hearing him singing a non-romantic song! The “Intimate” version fares well in its own place, trying to be a mellowed-down version of the original, and succeeding. This time, the composition has been backed by wonderful acoustic guitars and occasional piano — providing the required intimate sound. Salim’s vocals are a good substitute because they are soothing and calm; Arijit’s were more suited to the first one. Again, the backing vocalists, in trademark Salim-Sulaiman style, provide a nice and majestic backing chorus. Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics are just magically motivational. A good start to this motivational album! 

Rating: 4.5/5 for the Original Version, 5/5 for the Intimate Version

 

2. Poori Qaaynaat

Singers ~ Raj Pandit & Vishal Dadlani

“Chaahe talaashe, gehraaiyaan samandaron ki saari,
Chaand sitaaron, sooraj ki chaahe naap aaye doori,
Par Kabhi dhoondhein tere bhi andar toh jaane!
Hai poori qaaynaat tujhmein kahin,
Sawaalon ka javaab khud hai tu hi!”

For the next song, Salim-Sulaiman recycle their song “Chheene Re Mora Chain” from Coke Studio @ MTV Season 3, resulting in a makeover of a romantic semiclassical song, to a motivational one, again, so apt for the situation of the film. The composition is an amazing one, especially the hookline, which constitutes about 75% of the song! But since it is a semiclassical song, that is expected, just as phrases are repeated a thousand times in classical songs. The fusion is amazing, and I always like me a little rock with classical (Remember ‘Piya Tu Kaahe Rootha Re’ from ‘Kahaani’ by Vishal-Shekhar?) Here, too, Salim-Sulaiman ace it by interweaving the rock portions nicely in between two chunks of the classical parts. There is one antara, also falling into the classical part of the song, and it makes the ambience of the song a shade darker than the rest; the composition is already quite haunting in the way that classical songs always haunt you, pleasantly. The arrangements are ravishing! The rock guitars (Nyzel D’Lima) and drums (Darshan Doshi) do not leave the song even in classical parts, and that’s what makes it even more appealing to the senses. To bring a classical touch to the song, the duo has incorporated a wonderful sitar(Chirag Katti) loop that just blows your mind. In the interlude, a wonderful strings-tablas combination sounds amazing, and even part of the antara is backed by only wonderful tablas. The arrangements are very upbeat on a whole, and won’t leave you dissatisfied. The vocals are beautiful; Raj Pandit carries out the aalaaps effortlessly, and Vishal Dadlani, with his booming voice, aces the rock portions. The lyrics by Amitabh Bhattacharya, are motivational yet again, and save for the fact that they repeat many times, I enjoyed them! A scintillating fusion! 🙂

Rating: 5/5

 

3. Baabul Mora

Singer ~ Arijit Singh

“Baabul mora, mora, naihar chhooto hi jaye,
Din ka chola peeche chhoda,
Raat ki chadar odha chali,
Baabul more teri muniya,
Teri duniya chhod chali”

To call it an end to the album, Salim-Sulaiman present a very sombre, pensive classical song. It is a composition which is quite heavy to the ears, unless you really love classical music, which I do! The song starts with a heart-rending high-pitched part sung by Arijit beautifully. The composition that follows might bore some, but it will be a treat for, as I said before, classical music lovers. It is not a song you would hear on loop, but while it lasts, you would cherish it. The small nuances in the composition have been very well-rendered by Arijit. His voice goes straight out to touch the heart, and leaves an impact on you. The arrangements are minimal, with a constant beat going on in the background, intensifying it manifold. Arijit handles the aalaaps and nuances very carefully, and it results in a cherishable sad song. The lyrics are adapted by Amitabh Bhattacharya from Nawab Wajid Ali Shah’s thumri of the same name. The rest of the lyrics are new, and that makes it a non-remake in my eyes. Anyway, the song seems to be in a situation where the girl in the movie misses her home. A beautiful classical melody to end the album, but not something to listen to on loop.

Rating: 4/5


Poorna is a short and sweet album. All three songs and the one version are amazing and contribute something to the movie. They could be played at different situations in the movie, and fit well in with the narration. There are two motivational songs, one sad song, and one happy and pleasant one. Variety shows itself through just four songs. Salim-Sulaiman have done a great job, and though the number of albums they’re doing is diminishing, the quality seems to be increasing and increasing year by year. The duo has long since thrown off their rom-com stereotype, and has started achieving great musical feats, by climbing up the mountain of endless rom-coms, and choosing content-oriented films after reaching the peak! A short but wholesome album: in Hindi, ‘Sarvaguna Sam’POORNA’!!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4.5 + 5 + 5 + 4 = 18.5

Album Percentage: 92.5% {That makes it the top-scoring 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: Poori Qaaynaat = Kuch Parbat Hilaayein (Intimate) > Kuch Parbat Hilaayein > Baabul Mora

 

Remake Counter:
No. Of Remakes: 08 (from previous albums) + 00 (from Poorna) = 08

 

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