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! 🙂

Bal’KI’ GOES MULTI’KA’MPOSER!!! (KI & KA – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Meet Bros, Mithoon, Ilaiyaraaja & Yo Yo Honey Singh
♪ Lyrics by: Kumaar, Yo Yo Honey Singh, Sayeed Quadri & Amitabh Bhattacharya
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 25th February 2016
♪ Movie Releases On: 1st April 2016

Ki & Ka

Ki & Ka


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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Ki & Ka is an upcoming Bollywood rom-com, starring Kareena Kapoor Khan and Arjun Kapoor in lead roles. It is written and directed by R. Balki, and produced by Sunil Lulla, Ralesh Jhunjhunwala, R.K. Damani R. Balki himself. The film revolves around a young married couple whose relationship challenges the gender roles placed upon men and women by the society. R. Balki is back after a whole year, after his middling ‘Shamitabh’. I had reviewed the album to ‘Shamitabh’, and I found myself one of the rare few who liked it, though not loved it. That album had been composed by Balki’s favourite, Ilaiyaraaja. So it was pretty natural for me (and many others… I hope! Come on, who’s ready to own up? :p ) to think that the music for R. Balki’s next, ‘Ki & Ka’ would also be composed by Ilaiyaraaja, as were his previous ventures — ‘Cheeni Kum’, ‘Paa’ and ‘Shamitabh’. Until the first poster came out, which I’ve included in my post. It credits Ilaiyaraaja as the “Music Director” and further specifies that the Music is by Ilaiyaraaja, Meet Bros & Mithoon. Weird as it sounds, it is the truth. 😛 Ilaiyaraaja was expected but what wasn’t expected was tat he would get to compose merely one song. Instead Meet Bros (The duo has gotten their first realllllyyy big project after their split with Anjjan) get to compose more than a half of the album, with three songs and four tracks, one of them being a “so-called” remake of Yo Yo Honey Singh’s hit, ‘High Heels’. What is left goes to Mithoon, which is, as guessed, a calm song. 😀 More of this later, i.e, in the review! 😀 So lo and behold! Here is my first review after ‘Bhaag Johnny’ (Ya. Sorry for disappearing.) Read on to find out what I liked and what not about the ‘Ki & Ka’ music album! 🙂


1. High Heels Te Nachche
Singers ~ Aditi Singh Sharma, Jaz Dhami, Yo Yo Honey Singh & Meet Bros, Music by ~ Meet Bros, Original Music Riff & Rap By ~ Yo Yo Hoeny Singh, Lyrics by ~ Kumaar

{NOTE: I know you’ve already scrunched up your face because I wrote the title of the song like that, but that’s what they changed it to on iTunes, so I’ve no option 😛 }

Not technically a remake, but being propagated among the audience as one, this song has got an unfortunate fate. Meet Bros have actually worked pretty hard to make this “remake” unconventional. They have gone to such lengths as changing the whole hookline of the song. But Alas! People still think it’s a remake! 😦 Personally, I loved this one. If remakes are to be made, whether of old songs or of new ones, then they should be like this, not just revamping the old song and making it fast and adding club and techno elements here and there, but actually showing some creativity by altering it completely. Really, hats-off to Meet Bros for having the courage to offer this one to the producers, and the producers must be realllllly huge-hearted to have accepted it! This remake has nothing similar to the original, except the hook tune played on some computerized horn, which was in Yo Yo Honey Singh’s original, and of course, the rap in the interlude (If I can call it one??). The addition of Aditi Singh Sharma as a singer was a great move, making the song more acceptable for Bollywood, with voices for both male and female in a dance track. The new hookline has totally infected my mind, and has also totally overridden the original song in my head. Another thing I loved is when Aditi says “Shut up!” after Yo Yo’s rap. 😛 Thank God someone in this world has the guts to tell him that. 😀 The antara is owned by Aditi, who makes every possible effort to keep it to herself, and succeeds eventually. Jaz Dhami actually sounds good, unlike what he sounded in this year’s ‘Humne Pee Rakhi Hai’ (Sanam Re). Must be the impact of a good composition, that made him sound good too. Kumaar’s lyrics are typical Punjabi dance track lyrics, but one can’t ignore funny and punny stuff in the lyrics. All in all, a great and enjoyable start to this album. And again, I think this IS NOT A REMAKE!! But I Know in fact, that it is a #5StarHotelSong!!!!

 

2. Ji Huzoori
Singers ~ Mithoon & Deepali Sathe, Backing Vocals by ~ Arun Daga, Music by ~ Mithoon, Lyrics by ~ Sayeed Quadri

Next up is the song by Mithoon, again someone not expected to be composing in an R. Balki album! 😀 This year he already gave great soothing songs like ‘Mar Jaayen’ (Loveshhuda), ‘Sanam Re’& ‘Tere Liye’ (Sanam Re). So I expected something great from him in this album too. And it was no surprise when he gave me just that! 😀 The song starts off slowly with Mithoon singing, some introductory lines, which later, become the mukhda of the song. But before that, the hookline by A run Daga plays, which is such an essentially beautiful part of the song, that I wonder why Arun has been credited as the “Backing Vocalist!” Mithoon really knows how to create an attractive composition, and most of the time, he succeeds in creating a song just like a spiderweb that in this case, is trapping listeners. The notes in the antara have been woven together so comfortably, with the oh-so-mesmerising hookline interwoven after each line, sung by Deepali, who definitely has a smaller role than Arun in the song, yet she isn’t accompanying Arun in the backing vocals list! One thing I’d love to mention about Mithoon’s songs recently, are that the backing vocals are one of the main attractions of his songs! In ‘Sanam Re’, Anirudh Bhola had one or the best backing vocals I’ve ever heard, and here Arun Daga has been given the role of the magician, what with his incessant “Mohabbat hai yeh ji huzoori nahi” and “Ji haan” throughout the song. The “Ji haan” parts are just so irresistibly addictive! Mithoon too sounds great as the main singer, giving us a good break from the Arijit fever that has taken over Bollywood. Arrangements are top-notch, and Mithoon has to be commended for putting it all together so seamlessly. The percussion (all seems electronic) tablas and manjeeras make the song sound really Rahman-ish, and I wouldn’t be surprised if someone thinks this is a Rahman song. (Which they won’t, because nowadays, in Bollywood, Mithoon is more popular than Rahman in my opinion). The occasional piano pieces are enough to steal your breath. The second interlude has a wonderful shehnaai solo that is worth hearing again and again. Mithoon does his best to create a haunting impact through this song. It kind of reminds you of his early days in the industry (‘Lamhaa’, ‘Anwar’). Like always, saving the best for the last, now’s the time to talk about the lyrics. Smart lyrics by Sayeed Quadri, who usually writes great love songs, but all Bollywood-ish, whereas this one here actually sounds realistic. Even if you just read them without hearing the song, they would appeal to you, I swear! 🙂 A great composition by Mithoon, great singing by him, accompanied by Backing vocalists without which the song would have lost half its magic touch, and outstanding applause-worthy lyrics by the great Quadri saab, make this song a #5StarHotelSong!!!

 

3. Most Wanted Munda / Kabir Most Wanted Munda
Singers ~ Meet Bros / Meet Bros & Palak Muchhal, Rap By ~ Earl Edgar (Version 1) / Arjun Kapoor (Version 2), Backing Vocals ~ Thomson Andrews, Keshia Braganza, Gwen Dias & Ryan Dias, Music by ~ Meet Bros, Lyrics by ~ Kumaar

Meet Bros’ next song comes in two versions. This one is really quirky and groovy, just like their first song. This one starts with catchy synthetic sounds, that grabbed my attention at once. The backing vocals are awesome in this song as well, what with the girls singing “Nobody hega like him” and “Kehti hai har kudi”. Though the composition on its own practically has no power to attract listeners, it is all the other attractive decorations that help it do so. These include vocals, backing vocals, arrangements and the quirky and funny lyrics by Kumaar. Meet Bros have once again chosen themselves over Mika (Thank God!) and they sing the song really energetically as it should be. It reminds me of songs by almost all composers (except Rahman, who was always following his own trends 😛 ) during the 2006-2008 period. The arrangements are cool, as well, mainly digital, but then they’re to catchy to ignore. Especially the cool tune that starts off the song, which repeats many times throughout the song. A very Ilaiyaraaja-ish first interlude comes across as a pleasant surprise, with the typical train rhythm and beautiful strings. Earl’s rap is good and the lyrics are pretty funny too. 😀 The second version starts off with horns and alien-like voices singing “Most wanted mundaaa…” In this version, the lyrics have been reversed as if it is actually the munda singing about himself — “Main hoon most wanted munda” as opposed to the “Yeh hai most wanted munda”. Palak sounds good in the antara, which hasn’t been altered (probably the only part which has been kept as it is in terms of lyrics). I mean, even the backing vocals lyrics have been changed!! 😀 This one is the version I found more trippier, with more dynamic arrangements — the horns, the dhols. Also, Arjun’s really good at rapping. His accent sounds better in this rap. 😀 Once again, Kumaar writes really funny lyrics that instantly caught my attention. They totally go with the theme of the movie. 😛 Though they make no sense if you happen to randomly pick up this song out of the crores of Bollywood songs, its situational nature gives the assurance that it would become crystal clear if seen in the movie. A catchy dance track, highlighting the fact that men can do what women can — cooking, chopping (vegetables that is!), bargaining, shopping, blah, blah… It’s so quirky that it is a #5StarHotelSong!! 

 

4. Foolishq
Singers ~ Shreya Ghoshal & Armaan Malik, Music by ~ Ilaiyaraaja, Lyrics by ~ Amitabh Bhattacharya

So the next song marks the entry of the last composer in the album — Ilaiyaraaja. When a song is by Ilaiyaraaja, it is impossible to describe it without using the word ‘quirky’. Also, it is impossible not to hear synthetic sounds in it. This composition too, shows his quirky side (isn’t that his only side? 😀 ) and the arrangements are really cool too. You can even say they’re youthful. Shreya renders his composition with ease, being pretty used to his style of composing, but I felt Armaan was a bit out-of-place here. Raaja’s composition is not something that would appeal to the audience though, and it is so confusing for me to decide whether I liked it or not! One time I listen to it, I like it, and the next time it sounds annoying. 😥 It has a number of turns, getting out of beat too in some places (deliberately!) On top of that, it sounds pretty irritating when the singers sing “Foooolishq”. 😭 It isn’t a very smart coinage by Amitabh, from whom I was expecting a lot more! However, the arrangements are really good, with the flutes, finger snaps, rock guitars and xylophone-ish sounds, making the song sound pretty oriental Japanese. The antara has a much better tune than the mukhda which falls flat because of the not-so-catchy hookline. It is pretty much only the hookline which is in the mukhda. The other line in the mukhda too isn’t so catchy. Though Shreya and Armaan can’t be criticized for it, they could’ve sung it in a more enticing way. Amitabh’s lyrics, as I said earlier, disappoint, and one wonders where Swanand Kirkire went! (See the irony. This year Amit Trivedi worked in ‘Fitoor’ with Swanand Kirkire, who has worked with Ilaiyaraaja and R. Balki many times previously, whereas Amitabh, who worked with Amit many times, is working with Ilaiyaraaja and R. Balki 😛 ) The lyrics hardly make any sense. 😦 The song which I was really excited about, disappoints in many departments except the music arrangements, which are the saving grace of the song for me! A song which has confused me so much that I don’t know whether I like it or not!

 

5. Pump It (The Workout Song)
Singers ~ Yash Narvekar & Meet Bros, Music by ~ Meet Bros, Lyrics by ~ Kumaar

The quintessential barnyard instrument — the banjo — starts off this song, which is the last offering from Meet Bros in the album, and also the finale of the album itself. Debutant Yash Narvekar starts off and you can’t help but think about Benny Dayal — He sounds so similar to Benny. Meet Bros support him in mainly the hookline. The composition is groovy and actually such that it will motivate you to workout. It has been arranged like a club song, with techno beats and all. Some EDM stuff too has been kept in store for us, and especially the tune of the antara sounds suitable for a club song, I don’t know why. :p The hookline is pretty weird, and not as catchy as the rest of the composition. The catchiest part in the song in my opinion was the antara. The song surely does engage you, but it isn’t one that stays with you for a long time afterwards. Kumaar’s lyrics aren’t great, but typical, and work for the song. Though nothing is ‘bad’ as such in the song, it makes for a weaker song than all the others, in the sense that it doesn’t stay with you after it’s over.


Ki & Ka was an album that I wasn’t expecting so much from after I learnt that it is a multicomposer album. I was expecting Ilaiyaraaja to compose all the songs, but what a surprise that the others overshadow him in this album. Mithoon scores an ace with his one and only song, the best in the album for me, and Meet Bros don’t disappoint with any if their songs, though the last falls a bit short of being a great one. Ilaiyaraaja comes up with a confusing song, which, instead of growing on me, went backward and (what should I say??) ‘ungrew’ on me. All in all, the album for ‘Ki & Ka’ is one that is suitable for the rom-com genre, and way better than Balki’s last album ‘Shamitabh’, if I were to compare. R. Balki made a great choice by going the multicomposer way!!! 🙂

 

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: Ji Huzoori > High Heels Te Nachche > Kabir Most Wanted Munda > Most Wanted Munda > Pump It > Foolishq

 

Which one is your favourite song from Ki & Ka? Please vote for it below! 🙂

 

Next “dish”: Baaghi, Chefs: Meet Bros, Amaal Mallik, Ankit Tiwari & Manj Musik