SHANTANU SCORES, OTHERS ARE FORCED!! (OCTOBER – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Shantanu Moitra, Anupam Roy & Abhishek Arora
♪ Lyrics by: Tanveer Ghazi, Swanand Kirkire & Abhiruchi Chand
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 28th March 2018
♪ Movie Released On: 13th April 2018

October Album Cover

 

Listen to the songs: Saavn

Buy the songs: iTunes


October is a Bollywood film starring Varun Dhawan, Banita Sandhu and Gitanjali Rao. The film is directed by Shoojit Sircar and produced by Ronnie Lahiri and Sheel Kumar. The film’s music is scored by Shantanu Moitra, Anupam Roy and Abhishek Arora, three composers who have recurring composed for Sircar’s films. Let’s see how well this album turns out!


Lead composer Shantanu Moitra really knows how to shed his Raju Hirani composition style when necessary. For Shoojit Sircar production “Pink” (2016), he created a pensive melody “Kaari Kaari”. This time, he starts the album off with the instrumental that has gained monumental success (especially since it is an instrumental), the October Theme. The track is full of beautiful violins (lead violin by Rohan Roy), a soulful piano (George Joseph, Artem Panteleev), not to forget the deep cello (Ilya Ten). Shantanu’s composition is beautiful, but the treatment he gives it with the instrumentation is what makes it redeeming.
That’s proved in the next song Chal, where the same tune, doesn’t create quite the same impact. Shantanu adds a very awkward 70s pop sound, not going quite well with the standard set by its instrumental version. Monali’s voice sounds very different, and Tanveer Ghazi’s lyrics create no impact whatsoever except a bit of occasional awkwardness. I must say though, the guitars (Ankur) are catchy.
It’s in Manwaa that the composer strikes gold. Sunidhi Chauhan’s voice is a perfect choice for the heart-warming semiclassical composition, and Shantanu’s trademark style of repeating an instrumental loop in the background works wonders as always. Swanand Kirkire pens soulful lyrics, while Shantanu accompanies Sunidhi’s voice with amazing arrangements — mostly digital beats, making it a wonderful fusion track. The composition of the antara is excellent, Sunidhi mastering the high notes as always. The song is hands down the best of the album, and most suited for the film!
Anupam Roy’s Tab Bhi Tu, in the initial couple of listens, sounds like the typical Bollywood Rahat cry fest, but after some time, I warmed up to it. It is definitely a new genre that Anupam Roy tried, and the composition, though maudlin and heavy to the ears, takes some getting accustomed to before you keep humming it all day. Shamik Chakraborty’s arrangements are the highlight here, with the electric guitars (Rishabh Ray) and drums (Sandipan Parial) standing out, and the flute (Sushanta Nandi) neutralising the rock. Tanveer Ghazi’s lyrics, again, create less impact.
Abhishek Arora’s song Theher Ja, is probably the one that suits the film the least, and though the composition is amazing, the composer ruins it with a techno beat, and electric guitars and the like. I would’ve preferred an unplugged version or a version with piano and violins against Armaan’s soothing vocals. Abhiruchi Chand’s lyrics are functional.


Considering that there were no songs in the film, the composers managed to give some good songs, but nothing more, except one I’ll love forever! What the result is, is that Shantanu, also the background score composer for the film, ends up composing within the film’s soundscape, but the others’ songs sound forced in just to create a music album! 

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 8 + 6.5 + 9.5 + 7 + 6 = 37

Album Percentage: 74%

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: 
Manwaa > October Theme > Tab Bhi Tu > Chal > Theher Ja

 

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

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

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

102 Not Out Album Cover

 

Listen to the songs: Saavn

Buy the album: iTunes


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


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


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

 

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

Album Percentage: 71.67%

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

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

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

 

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

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

SAME STORY ∞!! (HATE STORY IV – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Tanishk Bagchi, Arko Pravo Mukherjee, Mithoon, Baman-Chand, Tony Kakkar & Himesh Reshammiya
♪ Lyrics by: Manoj Muntashir, Kumaar, Rashmi-Virag, Sanjay Gupta, Sameer Anjaan
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 23rd February 2018
♪ Movie Released On: 9th March 2018

Hate Story IV Album Cover

 

Listen to the songs: Saavn

Buy the songs: iTunes


Hate Story IV Is a Bollywood thriller (cough cough, ahem ahem) starring Urvashi Rautela, Karan Wahi, Vivan Bhatena and Ihana Dhillon, directed by Vishaal Pandya, and produced by Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar and Vivek Bhatnagar. The film has music by Tanishk Bagchi, Arko Pravo Mukherjee, Mithoon, Tony Kakkar and Baman-Chand. Now all of these composers have been working with T-Series for quite some time, but that doesn’t mean I expect too much from the album! The reason being that the ‘Hate Story’ franchise has never been strong on music, no matter how popular it has been.


Tanishk Bagchi’s remake spree which seems to be inexorable, continues just as strongly as it had started off. I can’t even remember when it started. ‘Humma’? ‘Tamma’? Who knows. But now he gets to Himesh Reshammiya’s bank of songs. The producers browse for a moment through Himesh’s repertoire, and finally pick out two of his songs, for Tanishk to recreate. Tanishk, reluctantly, complies. One of the recreations has backfired terribly — Aashiq Banaya Aapne ends up being a lazy club number, in which Neha Kakkar lazes around as if she’s reciting a poem instead of singing a song. Tanishk’s too loud programming stuns the ears, and the way he uses Himesh’s voice is terrible. Tanishk never does a remake without having Tapas Roy play the hook of the song on a mandolin or some other ethnic string instrument, and he does that here too, just increasing the heard-before-ness of the song. Manoj Muntashir’s lyrics are almost the only worthwhile stuff in the song. The second one, Naam Hai Mera, at least has good vocals and music, and if you forget that the essence and beauty of the original song, which was soulful, has been demolished, you will like it. Neeti’s powerful voice luckily propels this one to where it is, and Tanishk’s EDM is refreshing. It is the lyrics here, that spoil the song.
Moving on to the original numbers, Arko’s Boond Boond is the best of the lot, with a nice Latino vibe to it, but it is not all that innovative either. It sounds like Arko was trying to recreate the type of songs Bollywood made in 2006-2008, when we were obsessed with Latin American music. Jubin’s voice doesn’t suit the song a lot, but Neeti saves the day (again), while the lyricists Manoj Muntashir and Sanjay Gupta (the filmmaker??) have nothing much to do except search through old Bollywood songs and put together all the clichéd phrases they could find.
Mithoon’s first song of the year is highly disappointing — Tum Mere Ho tries to be a ‘Sanam Re’-esque love song, but ends up being sleazy and lazy. The vocalists Jubin and Amrita Singh only increase the laziness with their lazy voices, making me too lazy to write a review for the song. The only good thing here, are the percussions in the interlude. That’s a nice touch.
If that song was lazy, wait till you hear Mohabbat Nasha Hai, a typical Tony Kakkar cry-fest. But though his previous cry fests like ‘Khuda Bhi’ (Ek Paheli Leela) and ‘Mile Ho Tum Humko’ (Fever) have been quite good, this one, being a mishmash of all of them, and with the same boring beats, is just plain boring. In one of the versions, I can at least listen to Neha Kakkar when her part comes (she sings better here than she sang ‘Aashiq Banaya Aapne’), but in the Male Version I don’t even have that liberty. Oh well.
The other best song of the album, at par with Arko’s song, happens to be Baman-Chand’s Bhatt-ish melody Badnaamiyan. The Male Version by Armaan Malik fares much better, and that’s the one that is the best of the album. Armaan’s voice suits the romantic composition, and Baman-Chand’s arrangements are great, though heard before, especially the electronic tabla. Sukriti Kakar doesn’t do too well in the Female Version, and even the arrangements don’t support her, being the usual boring arrangements used for such songs.


With the fourth instalment in this series (fifth if you count ‘Wajah Tum Ho’), it is evident that T-Series, who seem to have been making the films only for the music, might stop making the films soon, because the music is certainly going down…!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 5.5 + 6 + 7.5 + 5 + 5 + 4.5 + 7.5 + 6 = 47

Album Percentage: 58.75%

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: 
Boond Boond = Badnaamiyan > Naam Hai Mera = Badnaamiyan (Female) > Aashiq Banaaya Aapne > Mohabbat Nasha Hai = Tum Mere Ho > Mohabbat Nasha Hai (Solo)

 

Which is your favourite song from Hate Story IV? Please vote for it below! Thanks!

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

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

Dil Juunglee

Listen to the T-Series songs: Gaana

Listen to the Pooja Music songs: Gaana


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


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


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

 

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

Album Percentage: 78%

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

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

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

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

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

DECEMBER 2017 ROUND-UP (FUKREY RETURNS, FIRANGI, TERA INTEZAAR & MONSOON SHOOTOUT – Mini Music Reviews)

It is time for my Round-Up for December 2017, which is slightly delayed due to me being so busy, but better late than never, right?

December 2017 Round-Up

This Round-Up includes the following music reviews:

1) Fukrey Returns – Prem-Hardeep, Jasleen Kaur Royal, Sumeet Bellary, Shaarib-Toshi, Gulraj Singh, IshQ Bector, Shree D & Laxmikant-Pyarelal

2) Firangi – Jatinder Shah

3) Tera Intezaar – Raaj Aashoo

4) Monsoon Shootout – Rochak Kohli, Viveick-Mayur, Chinmay Harshe, Chetan Rao & Vikram Shastry

The music review for “Tiger Zinda Hai” will be posted separately.


♦ Fukrey Returns, But Ram Sampath Doesn’t! – FUKREY RETURNS Music Review

♪ Music by: Prem-Hardeep, Jasleen Kaur Royal, Sumeet Bellary, Shaarib-Toshi, IshQ Bector, Shree D, Gulraj Singh & Laxmikant-Pyarelal
♪ Lyrics by: Kumaar, Late Anand Bakshi, Aditya Sharma, Satya Khare, Raftaar, Rohit Sharma, Arsalaan Akhoon, Shree D, Mrighdeep Singh Lamba & Vipul Vig
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 16th November 2017
♪ Movie Released On: 8th December 2017

 

Listen to the songs: Saavn


So Fukrey has returned. Sadly, the man behind “Fukrey”s enjoyable music, Ram Sampath has not returned, and after his underwhelming stint in ‘Raees’, he doesn’t get a chance to bounce back with a franchise that was initially his. Anywho, let’s judge on what we have been given.
Prem-Hardeep, the original composers of ‘Kala Chashma’ before Badshah remade it in ‘Baar Baar Dekho’, get a chance now, to ruin somebody else’s song. Laxmikant-Pyarelal’s ‘O Meri Mehbooba’ (Dharam Veer) gets ‘remade’ into Mehbooba, a banal club song which starts and ends with the Fukras being rejected by a random girl in the club, who happens to be singing in Neha Kakkar’s voice. Yasser Desai gets one line that repeats over and over again, and it is frankly the best line of the song. Raftaar’s rap is too stereotypical. Jasleen Kaur Royal’s Peh Gaya Khalara, though fitting into her now-overused Punjabi dance number template, is quite enjoyable, with the sweet vocals by herself and Divya Kumar, Akasa Singh & Akanksha Bhandari accompanying them. The arrangements are what make the track more enjoyable, and also the quirky lyrics.
Familiar territory is entered in Ishq Bector & Shree D’s semiclassical Raina, which, though quite soothing, gets tedious due to its length (it is the only song on the album over three minutes long, and goes up to over four minutes long!) The arrangements help propel it forward though, and also Shree’s vocals. Shaarib-Toshi enter the Bollywood scene after a long time with a delightful Punjabi melody, Ishq De Fanniyar. The male version by Shaarib is great, but the Female Version has all the feels, hence scores higher. The beautiful melody seems like a wonderful sequel to the first movie’s ‘Ambarsariya’. The lyrics are sweet as well, not to mention amazing accordions in the arrangements.
The techno sounds come along with the last three songs, bunched up together, out of which two are by Sumeet Bellary (composed for ‘Fuddu’ last year), and one is by (another person who re-enters Bollywood as a composer after a loooooong time, longer than Shaarib-Toshi), Gulraj Singh.
Sumeet’s two songs rely on weird techno gimmicks, which fail to propel the songs forward. Tu Mera Bhai Nahi Hai is a quirky friendship anthem, but is pulled down by lack of catchiness in both music and composition. Bura Na Maano Bholi Hai is like a title song, but gets all over the place in no time. The arrangements are slightly better here. Both songs are sung by Gandharv Sachdev, wit Shahid Mallya joining him in the latter song, and aren’t all that well sung.
Gulraj does well in his title song, Fukrey Returns, with a nice catchy musical loop, and heavy use of brass and techno sounds which makes his song sound even better. Siddharth Mahadevan on the vocals is a bonus.


Not as great as the first movie’s album, but still a commendable album considering the amount of new talent on there. But nevertheless, I wish Ram Sampath had returned!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 2.5 + 3.5 + 3.5 + 4 + 4 + 3.5 + 3 + 3.5 = 27.5

Album Percentage: 68.75%

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: Ishq De Fanniyar = Ishq De Fanniyar (Female) > Peh Gaya Khalara = Tu Mera Bhai Nahi Hai = Raina = Fukrey Returns > Bura Na Maano Bholi Hai > Mehbooba

Remake Counter:
No. Of Remakes: 43 (from previous albums) + 01 (from Fukrey Returns) = 44


♦ Quite A Desi Album! : FIRANGI Music Review

♪ Music by: Jatinder Shah
♪ Lyrics by: Dr. Devendra Kafir, Ashraf Ali & Krishna Bhardwaj
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 21st November 2017
♪ Movie Released On: 1st December 2017

 

Listen to the songs: Saavn


The song with almost the least amount of Punjabi words (second only to ‘Gulbadan’, which comes later on in the album) in its lyrics, Oye Firangi, starts the album off, and Jatinder Shah steals your heart right away. The charming melody immediately gets you grooving — thanks to a little EDM twist in the hookline — and though it is very simple, it is amazing thanks to the programming, and Sunidhi’s marvellous voice. There comes a British-era ballroom style orchestral portion at the end, but I wish the composer had extended that into another antara instead of ending the song with it! Another charming but heard-before melody, Sahiba Russ Gayiya, starts from where ‘Channa Mereya’ ended, with a similar structure and arrangement. Rahat’s voice is a boon to the song, and it’s the first song of his in a long time that doesn’t get on my nerves.(Ahem, ‘Mere Rashke Qamar’!) I love the way he pronounces the hookline. The Unplugged Version sung by Shafqat Amanat Ali, is funnily named ‘Sahiba (Male)’, as if Rahat’s version wasn’t by a male singer. The song itself is an improvement on the original, in that we get to hear Shafqat’s impeccable aalaaps, and though the choice of Shafqat doesn’t make it sound less like a Pritam song in general [Shafqat is just as much of a Pritam camp singer as Rahat is!] it surely does sound less like ‘Channa Mereya’, because the electric guitars have been toned down. Acoustic guitars play the larger role here. However some factors make both versions balance out at the end.
If ‘Sahiba’ had ‘Channa Mereya’ written all over it, Tu Jit Jawna has ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’s title song all, and I mean ALL over it! Daler Mehndi, who I wish had sung the BMB number too, sings this one, and so it is quite bearable, but otherwise, it falls flat and sounds hollow in its emotion. It is also lyrically a counterpart to ‘Oye Firangi’, except Daler paaji doesn’t call him a ‘Firangi’ (foreigner), while Sunidhi did.
Gulbadan is a Qawwali-esque number, sung by Mamta Sharma. Good to hear her sing a different kind of song, though I’m sure the video will be the same kind of Bollywood ‘item number’. The hookline is greatly composed, with amazing arrangements by Shah, but again, falling into the too much tried-and-tested category of arrangements. I guess the best that comes out of this song is hearing Mamta Sharma’s gentle voice, because she thankfully hasn’t been made to sing in the annoying loud voice of hers.
But the album’s best is the wonderful folksy number, Sajna Sohne Jiha, which transports you back to the Punjab of the olden days. Wadali Bros’ Qawwali ‘Ve Sone Diya Kangna’ has been given a nice reinterpretation by Shah, and it works so well. The rhythms at the beginning really bring out the song’s folksiness, and Jyoti Nooran’s strong voice helps propel it to the finish line, where it emerges the winner compared to the other songs of the album!


A very desi album to the film ‘Firangi!’

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 3.5 + 3.5 + 4 + 3.5 + 3.5 + 5 = 23

Album Percentage: 76.67%

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: Sajna Sohne Jiha > Sahiba Russ Gayiya (Shafqat) > Oye Firangi = Tu Jit Jawna = Gulbadan = Sahiba Russ Gayiya



♦ No Intezaar for This Album! : TERA INTEZAAR Music Review

♪ Music By: Raaj Aashoo
♪ Lyrics by: Shabbir Ahmed
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 11th November 2017
♪ Movie Released On: 1st December 2017

 

Listen to the songs: Saavn


After a long time (or is it the first time?), one single composer gets a chance to compose an album for a film starring Sunny Leone. Somehow, she debuted smack in the middle of the multicomposer craze and so, got mainly multiple composers to compose for all her films! Raaj Aashoo handles the album.
The title track, titled Intezaar Title, instead of a more apt ‘Tera Intezaar’ (Obviously, because that’s the film’s name), is a dreary 2000s melody, sung by Shreya Ghoshal too, as if she is still in her debut year. Adding to the ennui, is the Qawwali-ish chorus. Raaj’s composition is good, but dated. The arrangement is the best thing about the song, especially the flute. Another very typically 90s melody, Khali Khali Dil, sees Payal Dev and Armaan Malik at their clichéd best. The digital sounds do not help make it more ‘modern’ or anything, and even the harmonica fails to create any impact. Quite a similar sound follows in the dreary Mehfooz, another song straight out of Nadeem-Shravan’s music-bank. The guitar work makes it sound like a version of Mithoon’s ‘Sanam Re’ title track, sans the tablas. Yasser gets a version, and, sounding like Arijit as always, manages to make it sound genuinely interesting. The arrangements here too make this song much more interesting than ‘Khali Khali Dil’. The song appears in two more versions, one by Palak Muchhal and the other by a new singer named Hrishikesh Chury. Palak’s 2½ minute long version fares better than Hrishikesh’s normal length one, because of the pleasant arrangements. Also, Hrishikesh tries to sound like Kumar Sanu.
The best song on the album, Abhagi Piya Ki, becomes the best only because the others don’t deserve it. It appears in two versions, a banal one sung jarringly by Kanika Kapoor and Raja Hasan, and a slightly better version sung much better by Payal Dev and Javed Ali. The tablas that went missing from ‘Mehfooz’ seem to have come to this song, and they play in surplus. The semiclassical touch to the song is good, but the 90s melancholia seems to have followed the composer like a thundercloud whenever he sat to compose for this film.
The only song that does not sound anything like a 90s song is Sexy Baby Girl, and it doesn’t work because it tries to sound uber-cool with its lead singer Swati Sharrma, like always, trying to add unnecessary style to her words, resulting in a disaster. Also, the lyrics are cringeworthy.


This is not an album anyone would have waited for. 

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 3 + 2 + 2.5 + 2.5 + 2 + 3 + 3.5 + 3 = 21.5

Album Percentage: 53.75%

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: Abhagi Piya Ki (Javed/Payal) > Abhagi Piya Ki = Intezaar Title = Sexy Baby Girl > Mehfooz = Mehfooz (Palak) > Mehfooz (Hrishikesh) = Khali Khali Dil



♦ Surprising Monsoon in Winter!!: MONSOON SHOOTOUT Music Review

♪ Music by: Rochak Kohli, Viveick Rajagopalan, Mayur Narvekar, Chinmay Harshe, Chetan Rao & Vikram Shastry
♪ Lyrics by: Sumant Vadhera, Kartik Krishnan, Deepak Ramona, Chinmay Harshe, Rohit Bhasy, Neeraj Sharma, Vinit Gulati, Nidhi Gulati
♪ Music Label: Saregama
♪ Music Released On: 19th December 2017
♪ Movie Released On: 15th December 2017

 

Listen to the songs: Saavn


Rochak gets two songs, and reminds us why he’s one composer that keeps popping up in numerous albums scattered over the year’s span. It is because of his strong melodies. Pal is a cherishable melody which, though predictable, does give you goosebumps, and makes you want it to rain. Arijit’s heart-touching rendition is enough to make anyone fall for the song. On the other hand Miliyo Re is a very Sachin-Jigar-ish romantic song, with Monali and Rochak behind the mic, with vocals that aren’t amazing, but are functional. The composition is good but very commonplace; not as distinct as Rochak’s other songs this year.
Viveick-Mayur present their only song Andheri Raat next, a haunting song with weird Marathi rap, and awesome Punjabi-flavoured male vocals. Neha Bhasin kills it behind the mic, as does her co-singer, Rajiv Sundaresan, doing the aforementioned Punjabi-flavoured portions. The Marathi rap by Aklesh Sutar is funny, and quite weird too.
The other three songs are quite situational, all by newcomers, with neither one exactly standing above the others. Chinmay Harshe’s Miss You Balma, by Akriti Kakar, is experimental but has you questioning “Why??” because the jazzy composition and the rock arrangements don’t really gel well with each other. Akriti aces the vocals though, singing in an unusually (for her) low pitch. The other duo, Chetan Rao & Vikram Shastry, present two songs, one being a folksy item song Maachis Ki Teeli, in which the very unconventional choice of singer, Bhavya Pandit, whi hasn’t ever sung such a song, proves to be great, as she adjusts to the song’s folksiness very well. Her co-vocalists provide good company as the loafers interjecting occasionally. The last song Faislay has a quite dated tune, and a very mismatching digital loop that starts it off, but Mandar Deshpande’s singing brings it up.


An album that is good, but still will be a wipeout.

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4 + 4 + 3.5 + 3 + 3.5 + 3 = 21

Album Percentage: 70%

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: Pal = Miliyo Re > Andheri Raat = Maachis Ki Teeli > Miss You Balma = Faislay



Hope you liked this section of reviews! The review for ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ will be out soon!

NOVEMBER 2017 ROUND-UP #2 (QARIB QARIB SINGLLE, TUMHARI SULU, AKSAR 2 & DIL JO NA KEH SAKA – Mini Music Reviews)

NOVEMBER ROUND-UP #2

November 2017 Round-Up #2

This Round-Up covers the rest of the albums of the November 2017 releases. Due to ‘Padmavati’s withdrawal from the 1st December release date, ‘Firangi’ and ‘Tera Intezaar’, have moved their dates to 1st December, so they will be included in the December Round-Up. The albums featured in this post are:

1) Qarib Qarib Singlle – (Music: Vishal Mishra & Rochak Kohli)
2) Tumhari Sulu – (Music: Tanishk Bagchi, Guru Randhawa, Rajat Nagpal, Amartya Rahut & Santanu Ghatak)
3) Aksar 2 – (Music: Mithoon)
4) Dil Jo Na Keh Saka – (Music: Shail-Pritesh)



♦ Qarib Qarib Perrfect: QARIB QARIB SINGLLE Music Review

♪ Music by: Vishal Mishra, Rochak Kohli & Ali Merchant
♪ Lyrics by: Raj Shekhar & Hussain Haidry
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 10th November 2017
♪ Movie Released On: 10th November 2017

Listen to the songs: Saavn
Buy the songs: iTunes


Relative newcomer Vishal Mishra gets two songs in the film, and I must say, these two songs are definitely going to consolidate his place in the industry, even though I think it had been consolidated right from the moment he debuted (that spark that a good debutant possesses is always discernible). I say so because both his songs can be counted as his Bollywood career’s best music as yet. The opening track, Khatam Kahani, is outright hilarious, putting to great use the Nooran Sisters’ folksy voices to concoct a song with a strong Rajasthani folk element, and still having an amazing melody. Harmonium, khartals and dholaks provide us with the required expense to travel to the land of kings. Raj Shekhar’s comic lyrics enhance the listening experience, and they are quite comparable to the lyrics of ‘Haanikaarak Bapu’ (Dangal), when the lovers agree to kill each other. 😃 After the delightful and upbeat folksy number, Vishal puts in extra effort to create a sad song that is just as soulful as the first song is peppy. Jaane De, though nothing that we’ve not heard before — the seven-beat rhythm, on Atif’s sugar-sweet vocals — is a treat to listen to, mostly thanks to Mishra’s amazing composition, not to mention Raj Shekhar’s excellence that reflects in the lyrics. The words have such a poetic twinge to them, it just calms the soul. Arrangements are soulful too — the guitars and tabla being most prominently beautiful. A nice Spanish guitar interlude is a perfect interval from the melancholia.
Rochak Kohli also gets to present two songs, the first a journey-based one, again with amazing lyrics by Hussain Haidry. The unexpected twist midway through the song really puts one off guard, but it is really innovative. The composition of the rest is quite pleasant, with a nice and groovy lilt to it, and Rochak Kohli presents it with a nice drumbeat. {He is quite good with drum beats — ‘Rozana’ from ‘Naam Shabana’ earlier this year was another song where he presented great drum work!} Papon’s feathery voice is perfect for the song. Rochak’s second song Tanha Begum, is at the peak of experimentation, and is probably the most experimental song I’ve heard this year so far, which is at the same time so entertaining. It is a clever take on Nawab Wajid Ali Khan’s classical song, ‘Baabul Mora’, which was also remade earlier this year in ‘Poorna’ by Salim-Sulaiman. This time though, Hussain Haidry’s lyrics give it a modern twist. Actually, the modern lyrics are interspersed with some very old-school lyrics, and the contrast is brought out even better with Antara Mitra handling the old-school parts with an amazing imitation of Suraiya, while Neeti Mohan handles the modern portions with an amazing rock template supporting her. Rochak’s composition for the whole song is different, and quote innovative: only the lyrics of the hook from the Nawab’s old song have been taken.
Ali Merchant steps in last moment to make a hastily-made Qarib Qarib Singlle Mashup, which is probably the worst track on the album. Also, it is just a mashup of ‘Khatam Kahani’ and ‘Tanha Begum’. The beats are mismatching and don’t fit in with the folksy vibe of the songs. These two songs don’t even REQUIRE a remix!


An enjoyable album from two young composers, where both of them bring out the best in them! The album is (barring the mashup) Qarib Qarib Perrfect!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4.5 + 5 + 4 + 4.5 + 1 = 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: Jaane De > Khatam Kahani = Tanha Begum > Tu Chale Toh > Qarib Qarib Singlle Mashup

 

Remake Counter:
No. Of Remakes: 40 (from previous albums) + 01 (from Qarib Qarib Singlle) = 41

{Will have to count ‘Tanha Begum’ as a remake since I had counted ‘Baabul Mora’ (Poorna) as one}



♦ Light-Hearted Album Where the Mellow Song Scores High! : TUMHARI SULU Music Review

♪ Music by: Tanishk Bagchi, Guru Randhawa, Rajat Nagpal, Amartya Rahut, Santanu Ghatak, Laxmikant-Pyarelal & Haji Springer
♪ Lyrics by: Guru Randhawa, Javed Akhtar, Vayu Srivastava, Siddhant Kaushal & Santanu Ghatak
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 4th November 2017
♪ Movie Released On: 17th November 2017

Listen to the songs: Saavn
Buy the songs: iTunes


Remake specialist Tanishk Bagchi leads the album, with two out of the five songs. Since he is the currently in-demand remake specialist, it would be treason not to demand yet another rehash from him. This time, the song chosen is Mr. India’s ‘Hawa Hawai’, which has been named Hawa Hawai 2.0. If I’m not wrong though, this is Hawa Hawai 3.0 because Mikey McCleary remade it already in 2011. 😆 The song itself is peppy, and a perfect celebratory number. Kavita’s vocals being retained is the best part of the song, while I can’t figure out where Shashaa’s voice is. The composer plays around with technology and cleverly copies and pastes the gibberish bits into different parts in the song, creating an overall whimsical and enjoyable effect. His second song too, is, coincidentally, based on the metaphorical flying. Manva Likes To Fly is the standard Tanishk experimental song, where the composer plays around with technology to merge electronic sounds and Indian classical sounds. The classical instruments in particular here, sounds beautiful. Shalmali’s voice is perfect for the uplifting nature of the song, and Vayu Srivastava as usual writes positive lyrics that make you smile by default.
Next up is the much overrated, in my opinion, Ban Ja Rani, in which Guru Randhawa represents his pop song composed by Haji Springer, in a way that it doesn’t fit into the movie’s setting at all — but since when has that mattered? The whistling is the catchiest part in this song. Amartya Rahut too, in his song, Farrata, tries to create a nice and upbeat song complete with a children’s chorus (Adithyan leads and sounds very cute) and enjoyable ukuleles. However, the song fails to create an impact. Armaan Malik fails to make the song sound better, and the composition is many notches lower than what Amartya offered in the recent ‘Tu Hai Mera Sunday’.
What really grabbed my attention is newcomer Santanu Ghatak’s Rafu, a beautiful semiclassical number, which really gave me the goosebumps. Written as soulfully as it has been composed, and sung just as beautifully by Ronkini Gupta, who has sung previously in ‘Aankhon Dekhi’ under the music direction of Sagar Desai. She is a voice to counter Kaushiki Chakraborty’s classical singing prowess.


This blend of music directors manages to provide the film it’s required happy-go-lucky touch, although very superficial. It is ironically the most mellow song, by debutant Santanu, that steals the show.

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 3.5 + 4 + 3 + 3 + 4.5 = 18

Album Percentage: 72%

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: Rafu > Manva Likes To Fly > Hawa Hawai 2.0 > Ban Ja Rani = Farrata

 

Remake Counter:
No. Of Remakes: 41 (from previous albums) + 01 (from Tumhari Sulu) = 42


♦ Aksar Sune Huye Gaane: AKSAR 2 Music Review

♪ Music by: Mithoon
♪ Lyrics by: Sayeed Quadri
♪ Music Label: Tips Music
♪ Music Released On: 7th November 2017
♪ Movie Released On: 17th November 2017

Listen to the songs: Saavn
Buy the songs: iTunes


The only song from the album that stands out right away is Aaj Zid, a wonderful romantic song with a groovy techno rhythm. Mithoon proves he is not only able to just make addictive romantic songs, but also club numbers. Well we knew that if you remember ‘Woh Ajnabee’ from his earlier days. Arijit sings wonderfully, and it is all in all a very nice and upbeat song, without letting go of the sensuality that should be a part of such a film’s music. The other two songs are the usual pathos-filled Bhatt-ish songs I have started to get afraid of hearing nowadays. Jaana Ve is so crybaby-ish, it is sad, and Arijit’s voice being auto tuned in the hookline is sad too, because he is a singer who doesn’t need autotuning! The antara of the song gives signature Mithoon goosebumps though! About Tanhaiyaan, the lesser said, the better. Pakistani pop is one genre which composers never experiment with, and present it as it is every single time. Here too, the fake emotions fail to penetrate our eardrums and touch the heart. The album is not even magnificent lyrically, which I would usually expect from a Sayeed Quadri-written album! But he seems to have moulded in with the stereotypical Bhatt setting as well.


An album which we have ‘Aksar’ heard. Definitely not as good as Himesh’s album to the first film.

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4 + 3 + 2 = 9

Album Percentage: 60%

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: Aaj Zid > Jaana Ve > Tanhaiyaan



♦ Shail-Pritesh Sarbjit Mein Jo Kar Sake, Yahaan Nahin Kar Sake!: DIL JO NA KEH SAKA Music Review

♪ Music by: Shail-Pritesh
♪ Lyrics by: A.M. Turaz, Devshi Khanduri & Sandeep Singh Kamboj
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 7th November 2017
♪ Movie Released On: 17th November 2017

Listen to the songs: Saavn
Buy the songs: iTunes


With the title track of Dil Jo Na Keh Saka, I find that Shail Hada has lost that magic touch that used to be present in his voice until ‘Sarbjit’; he sounds terribly off tune in some places, while his co-singer, Shreya Ghoshal has been terribly miscast, and tries to fit into the mould of the song but fails. Shail-Pritesh’s composition is quite the typical 90s romantic song, and so fails to create much impact. However, the duo gets it amazingly right in the much more breezy and pleasant Bandh Khwabon Ki, in which Shail Hada thankfully returns to normal, barring some places. The composition here is thankfully, more contemporary and relatable. The finger snaps are really enjoyable, and the guitars are refreshing too.
Going to the retro portion of the album, Khwabon Ko Ankhon Mein is an enjoyable jazz number, and soulful too. The piano is splendid, as is the brass portion, because if the brass in jazz is bad, then it isn’t jazz. Aditi Paul sings beautifully too, touching the high notes effortlessly. The last romantic song on the album, Tanha Tanha Ghum Ke Dhunde Dil, is a pleasant and breezy love ballad, again, a bit more inclined towards the previous decade than the current. Nevertheless, it provides for a fun couple of listens, after which its beauty kind of wears off. Jubin handles the vocals well, and with the 90s-ish composition and his voice, it sounds like a runaway song from ‘Kaabil’. The guitars are good here too, and very simple. Aditi Paul has less to do here, so she pales in comparison to Jubin. Obviously.
Out of the upbeat songs, Band Viyah Da Baje, builds on Shail-Pritesh’s earlier ‘Tung Lak’ (Sarbjit), but still manages to turn out enjoyable — Divya Kumar & Pratibha Baghel with their energetic voices infuse life into the complicated composition — surprisingly the first really complicated tune on the album, and intricacy is the thing Shail-Pritesh and their mentor Sanjay Leela Bhansali are known for! The ‘Tung Lak’ hangover stays till the end though, especially in the female portions. The second upbeat song, Nadaniyan Kar Jaati Hai, is a youthful club song with a very avoidable composition and just as avoidable vocals. It turns out to be the worst on the album!


Shail-Pritesh can do much better than this, but I guess they are much, much better at those classical melodies like they presented in ‘Sarbjit’, and they must stick to that!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 2.5 + 3.5 + 3.5 + 3 + 3.5 + 1.5 = 17.5

Album Percentage: 58.33%

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: Bandh Khwabon ki = Band Viyah Da Baje = Khwabon ko Aankhon Mein > Tanha Tanha Ghum Ke Dhundhe Dil > Dil Jo Na Keh Saka > Nadaniyan Kar Jaati Hai



So that’s it for November, stay tuned for the Monthly Awards, which will be up in a moment!

OCTOBER 2017 ROUND-UP (CHEF, TU HAI MERA SUNDAY, RANCHI DIARIES, GOLMAAL AGAIN, JIA AUR JIA — Mini Music Reviews) + Important Announcement!!


The Important Announcement

Due to the scarcity of time, from now on, I will sum up the entire month’s reviews in a set of two articles each month, one usually around the 15th of the month and the other towards the end. Of course, certain albums that I feel need a separate post (either because they might have many songs, or be spectacular albums, or even if the movies are highly awaited ones) I will do so for those albums. I will reveal the chosen album for this month — it’ll be “Secret Superstar” — I don’t guarantee it’ll be rated very high, but because of the buzz surrounding it, it requires a separate post, I feel! Meanwhile, the usual monthly awards posts will sum everything up once again at the end of every month in the form of awards. I really hope this format helps me balance my schedule! And I can’t wait to return to my normal long posts — till then enjoy your luck of getting to read short reviews from my side!!


October 2017 Round-Up

So this post will cover the reviews for the all but two of October releases that have already released — ‘Chef’ by Raghu Dixit & Amaal Mallik, ‘Tu Hai Mera Sunday’ by Amartya Rahut (Bobo), ‘Ranchi Diaries’ by Nickk, Jeet Gannguli, Tony Kakkar & Bobby-Imran, ‘Golmaal Again’ by Amaal Mallik, Thaman S., Lijo George-DJ Chetas & Abhishek Arora, and ‘Jia Aur Jia’ by Sachin Gupta, Nisschal Zaveri & Sameer Nichani. There will be separate reviews for ‘Secret Superstar’ and ‘Rukh’, both by Amit Trivedi.



♦ A Delectable Treat For The Ears: CHEF Music Review

♪ Music by: Raghu Dixit & Amaal Mallik
♪ Lyrics by: Ankur Tewari & Rashmi-Virag
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 26th September 2017
♪ Movie Released On: 6th October 2017

Listen to the songs: Saavn
Buy the songs: iTunes

Listen to ‘Tere Mere’: Saavn
Buy ‘Tere Mere’: iTunes


Raghu Dixit starts off the album with Shugal Laga Le, a song having a heavy folk influence from Kerala. The backing vocalists provide that freshness associated with Kerala, and Raghu’s characteristic voice makes it all the more intriguing to listen to. In his arrangements too, he adds a dash of everything, and especially those percussions are mind blowing, along with the banjo. Ankur’s lyrics made me acquainted with a new phrase “Shugal Laga Le” meaning “find a hobby, or find something to do”. The next song by him is also reliant on folk music, this time Celtic/Irish. Banjaara is steeped heavily on the beautiful flutes that characterise Irish music, with amazing percussion and backing vocals yet again. Vishal Dadlani does great justice to the sing with those power-packed vocals. The song is one of those many motivational songs that Vishal gets to sing in Bollywood, except that this time, it has a whole new style to it. The mellow Darmiyaan, exudes a positivity in spite of the fact that it is a sad song — mostly because of Raghu’s ebullience. A splendid guitar backdrop makes it simple and sweet, and Raghu’s diction has to be lauded. Raghu takes forth the melancholia in a more Bollywood-ish way in Khoya Khoya, which I rank as the best of the album — underrated Shahid Mallya taking charge of the vocals in a very beautiful way, and Dixit’s composition has that old-world-charm to it. The sarangi is quite impressive here! The alternative rock set up will make this one loveable to many! Raghu’s last song on the album is the effervescent Tan Tan, rendered with spunk by Nikhita Gandhi, the only female vocalist on the album. In her texture, she gives off vibes of Shalmali and Shefali. Guest composer Amaal Mallik, whose song Tere Mere was also removed from the album later, produces a song you can immediately tell is by him. That doesn’t make its richness diluted, though — it’s still wonderful, with the nice dholak rhythm accompanying Armaan Malik’s beautiful voice. Also, Rashmi-Virag’s lyrics are amazing!
All in all, Chef is one of the best albums of the year in that it is a clever mix of melancholia, inspiration and romance. Raghu Dixit must sign more and more Bollywood films — I firmly believe that this is his best Bollywood album yet!

Total Points Scored by This Album (in the order mentioned in the review): 4 + 5 + 4 + 5 + 4.5 + 4 = 26.5

Album Percentage: 88.3%

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: Banjaara = Khoya Khoya > Tan Tan > Tere Mere = Shugal Laga Le = Darmiyaan



♦ A Perfect Sunday Album: TU HAI MERA SUNDAY Music Review

♪ Music by: Amartya Rahut
♪ Lyrics by: Milind Dhaimade
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 29th September 2017
♪ Movie Released On: 6th October 2017

Listen to the songs: Saavn
Buy the songs: iTunes


Out of Arijit’s two songs, the classically-steeped sad song Dhundlo Tum fares better, with an addictive strings orchestra accompanying it, and it quickly steers away from the Bhatt-ish genre that it starts off with. Had that continued, it wouldn’t have been half as good. The digital Sitar is beautiful. His other song, Thodi Si Jagah, is also classical-based for some initial parts, before it turns into an upbeat number that loses itself halfway through the song. The rock backdrop ofthe hook line couldn’t have been more clichéd. Arijit’s vocal prowess is clearly showcased in the song though. It is Amartya’s violin solo that impresses though, with its distinct classical tune. The title song, Tu Hai Mera Sunday, takes a pleasant Christmassy turn, with soft jazz making your ears happy. Shalmali renders it with a familiarity that makes you feel amazing. The brass portions have been done really well here, as are the drums. The clarinet and piano is wonderful too. It is nothing more than the lyrics that make it sound even more personal though. Ash King’s Yeh Mera Man is a pleasant departure from his previous song ‘Bandook Meri Laila’ (A Gentleman) and brings him back to his comfort zone. Again, a jazzy tune gives the song a kind of spring, and that whistle portion is so pleasantly surprising and charming, it is hard to dislike. The guitars are impressive here. Yeh Jo Pyaar Hai, a clubbish number sung by Nandini Srikar, is probably the weakest of the album, where the tune and the arrangement are just mismatched; the hookline sounds like this song was pitched for the situation of ‘Aaj Ki Raat’ (Don) before ‘Aaj Ki Raat’ was finalised.
Amartya’s best album to date provides us with a nice mix of classical music, jazz music and a banal club number! This album will go highly underrated and unnoticed though!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album (in order mentioned in the review): 4.5 + 4 + 4 + 3.5 + 3 = 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: Dhundhlo Tum > Thodi Si Jagah = Tu Hai Mera Sunday > Yeh Mera Man > Yeh Jo Pyaar Hai



♦ Uninteresting Diaries: RANCHI DIARIES Music Review

♪ Music by: Nickk, Jeet Gannguli, Tony Kakkar & Bobby-Imran
♪ Lyrics by: Nickk, Manoj Muntashir, Tony Kakkar & Sattwik Mohanty
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 7th October 2017
♪ Movie Released On: 13th October 2017

Listen to the songs: Saavn
Buy the songs: iTunes


Some newcomer Nickk is — he has just been made to make another ‘Baby Doll’, now that Meet Bros. just be refusing to do it. However, Fashion Queen has something in addition to the usual ‘Baby Doll’ sequels — an Arabic strings backdrop that just helps it as much as a car can help you fly. The new singer Raahi seems disillusioned with the ideals that it is okay to sing like Kanika Kapoor if you aren’t her. The composer’s rap is dumb. Helicopter‘s lyricist and composer Tony Kakkar uses the word ‘helicopter’ as a metaphor for ‘getting high’. 😶 Siblings Tony and Neha render it with as much mediocrity as they can muster. I can’t believe Tony is the same guy behind ‘Saawan Aaya Hai’ (Creature 3D) and ‘Khuda Bhi’ (Ek Paheli Leela), but then he has made ‘Ek Do Teen Chaar’ (Ek Paheli Leela) and ‘Do Peg Maar’ (One Night Stand). Jeet Gannguli’s Thoda Aur is the composer’s usual pathos-filled romantic number — you would think that after a year-long break, he would return with something pleasant. But it is the same old Arijit-Palak love story. And the irony is that this song sounds like ‘Saawan Aaya Hai’ (Creature 3D). So did Tony help him here instead of making his own song better? 😏 The last song is a banal Mika solo Godfather, composed by Pritam’s former assistants Bobby-Imran, which I couldn’t even finish once when I started to listen to it.
This is a Hodge-podge of the worst songs from the weirdest mix of composers ever.

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 2 + 1.5 + 3 + 0.5 = 7

Album Percentage: 35%

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: Thoda Aur > Fashion Queen > Helicopter > Godfather



♦ Amaal Ka Kamaal (Again): GOLMAAL AGAIN Music Review

♪ Music by: Amaal Mallik, Thaman S., Lijo George, DJ Chetas, Abhishek Arora, Anu Malik & Raamlaxman
♪ Lyrics by: Kumaar & Rahat Indori
♪ Music Label: T-Series [“Aate Jaate Hanste Gaate” on Saregama]
♪ Music Released On: 6th October 2017
♪ Movie Released On: 20th October 2017

Listen to the songs: Saavn
Buy the songs: iTunes

Listen to “Aate Jaate Hanste Gaate”: Saavn


The album to the much-awaited fourth instalment to the ‘Golmaal’ series starts with the Title Track, where South film composer Thaman S. is called in just to do that clichéd Kuthu rhythm we are all bored of. Brijesh Shandilya does well as the lead male singer, but Aditi Singh Sharma sounds utterly replaceable. She gets another song, Itna Sannata Kyun Hai, composed by Lijo George and DJ Chetas, where her part towers over her male co-singer Amit Mishra’s parts. The hookline is like a desperate scream in our ears, to make noise. The EDM after the hookline is so bad, I can’t describe it. Amaal Mallik, lead composer, gets two songs, where one is obviously a 90s remake. ‘Neend Churayi Meri’ (Ishq) is the privileged song, named by the company as Maine Tujhko Dekha. The song’s best part is that Neeraj Sridhar returns after a long time to sing a song that is tailor-made for his song. Sukriti Kakar complements him well, but the song is better as an individual song than it is as a remake. Had the hookline been original, it would have been amazing! Amaal’s second song happens to be the album’s best — Hum Nahi Sudhrenge gives those rays of positivity like ‘Apna Har Din’ did in ‘Golmaal 3’. Though the song is similar to Amaal’s other EDM numbers like “Sooraj Dooba Hai”, “Buddhu Sa Mann” and “Zindagi Aa Raha Hoon Main”, it works well because of its positivity and Armaan yet again sings charmingly! What Saregama holds of the album is an unplugged, slow-paced version of ‘Maine Pyaar Kiya’s Aate Jaate Hanste Gaate, sung very simply by Nikhil D’Souza and Anushka Manchanda, and arranged soothingly by Abhishek Arora (of Abhishek-Akshay) and Samyuktha Narendran. It doesn’t work too much though, in spite of not changing much from the old song.
The worst Golmaal album is held up solely by Amaal’s songs (or song).


Total Points Scored by This Album: 2.5 + 2.5 + 3.5 + 4 + 3.5 = 16

Album Percentage: 64%

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: Hum Nahi Sudhrenge > Maine Tujhko Dekha = Aate Jaate Hanste Gaate > Itna Sannata Kyun Hai = Golmaal Again (Title Track)

 

Remake Counter:
No. Of Remakes: 35 (from previous albums) + 02 (from Golmaal Again) = 37


♦ Nisschal O Nisschal, Aur Compose Karo! : JIA AUR JIA Music Review

♪ Music by: Nisschal Zaveri, Sachin Gupta, Sameer Nichani & Shankar-Jaikishan
♪ Lyrics by: Mudassar Aziz, Raqueeb Alam, Vachaspati Mishra & Hasrat Jaipuri
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company [“Jia O Jia Reprise” on Saregama]
♪ Music Released On: 17th October 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 27th October 2017

Listen to the songs: Saavn
Buy the songs: iTunes

Listen to “Jia O Jia Reprise”: Saavn


The songs by Sachin Gupta start off the album, and though they do not impress you immediately, you do get attuned to them on hearing them for a couple of times. Na Shukre is a wild rock song about carefree girls, and Smita Malhotra makes a rocking debut with her vocals in this, the rock guitars played wonderfully. Shivani Bhayana’s Naach Basanti, on the other hand, is a bit too rowdy to go with its amazing club arrangements, but apparently by the lyrics, it is supposed to be some sort of an ode to “Sholay”. Many of the small additions by Gupta in this song happen to catch your attention, like the techno sounds at the beginning, and the folksy portion at the end.
The newcomer composer, Nisschal Zaveri, steps in for the rest of the songs (with lyrics) and I must say, he does quite an amazing job in his first album itself. His lullaby-ish, classical-based Na Jaa appears in two versions, one in Asees Kaur’s voice, with a stark resemblance to her singing in ‘Kaari Kaari’ (Dobaara), while the other is in Nandini Srikar’s voice. Obviously, Nandini’s version wins my heart because of her seasoned voice and more classically inclined singing. The Tabla in this song has to be mentioned, as do the strings, guitars and mandolin. The arrangements overpower the voice of Asees in her version, another drawback of that version. Nandini’s version has everything that the music buff longs for in a good song.
Zaveri’s other song, released by Saregama, is a reprise of Shankar-Jaikishan-Mohd. Rafi classic Jia O Jia, and is an apt remake of the song, with an upbeat clubbish sound, one of the freshest remakes I’ve heard this year. The song feels like a splash of water on your face — despite being a remake, Zaveri uses his creativity to make it a bit unconventional, without being bogged down by the thought of what’s popular these days. The synth has been used amazingly, and the backing chorus singing “Jia O” after every hook is just sweet! Jyotica sounds amazing in this song, the least she has sounded like Neha Kakkar ever! But Rashid Ali, being heard after a long time, falls flat due to the excessive programming done to his voice. The Latino turn of sound midway into the song takes time to get used to, but is awesome!
The background score composer for the film, Sameer Nichani, gets one of his instrumental pieces added to the album, and it is called Jia Aur Jia Theme, and is heavy on Spanish guitars, played in a very sensuous way. It is extremely short at one and a half minute, but soothes your senses for all its worth.
A hidden gem of an album, wherein we find a new composer who must get many, many more songs in Bollywood!! Zaveri scores higher than Gupta here.


 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 3.5 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 4 + 4 = 23.5

Album Percentage: 78.33%

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: Na Jaa By Nandini > Jia O Jia Reprise = Na Jaa = Jia Aur Jia Theme > Na Shukre > Naach Basanti

 

Remake Counter:
No. Of Remakes: 37 (from previous albums) + 01 (from Jia Aur Jia) = 38


I hope that wasn’t too long (though I know it was) but this is what I’m going to have to do until I am a bit more free. I personally liked this method of reviewing and don’t mind continuing it forever too! So maybe, just maybe, you might get the “Secret Superstar” and “Rukh” reviews in this format too, but in separate posts and not clubbed together! Lets see! Till then, enjoy music! 😉