TRIVEDI’S GROOVY PUNJAB!!! (UDTA PUNJAB – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Amit Trivedi
♪ Lyrics by: Shellee, Late Shri Shiv Kumar Batalvi & Varun Grover
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 18th May 2016
♪ Movie Releases On: 17th June 2016

Udta Punjab Album Cover

Udta Punjab Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Udta Punjab is an upcoming Bollywood crime drama/thriller film starring Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Diljit Dosanjh and Kareena Kapoor Khan in the lead roles. The movie is directed by ‘Ishqiya’ and ‘Dedh Ishqiya’ fame Abhishek Chaubey, and produced by Shobha Kapoor, Ekta Kapoor, Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane, Aman Gill, Vikas Bahl and Sameer Nair. In the movie, Shahid plays the role of a rockstar, while Alia essays the role of a Bihari worker. Kareena portrays the role of a doctor and Diljit, the role of a policeman. What brings them all together, is the drug situation. Now, I don’t know how, but that’s what the story basically is. So let’s head over to the music section. The music for this film has been helmed by Amit Trivedi, whose previous albums like ‘Fitoor’, ‘Shaandaar’, ‘Guddu Rangeela’ and ‘Bombay Velvet’ were really outstanding. So, an outstanding album is expected here, too! Amit has created six songs for the album, with one being reprised, so that makes it seven tracks in all. Let’s see, how many of these seven tracks, cross the standards that Amit has made with his previous works!


1. Chitta Ve
Singers ~ Shahid Mallya, Babu Haabi & Bhanu Prtap, Lyrics by ~ Shellee

A movie that revolves around a rockstar, better have a full-on rockstar-styled number. So Amit decides to place that song right in the beginning of the album. But, it is not full-on! This rock number is totally Amit Trivedi style! I’ll explain. While normal rock songs have an overdose of electric guitars and drums, with hardly any place left for the singer to make any noise, this rock song has left a good amount of place for the singer to leave his mark. Instead of the usual rock instruments, Amit has arranged this song completely on a techno base. Amit’s usual quirky sounds grace the song and that is actually the best part of the song. The song starts off very disappointingly, though. After a great techno tune, with some groovy beats, there comes a rap by newcomer Babu Haabi, that seems pretty forced and also, unnecessarily long! The rapper seems to be imitating Badshah, but fails to create anything engaging (not that Badshah always impresses.. That’s rare) so I don’t get the reason behind choosing a newcomer? However, the part that follows after the rap is good enough to at least provide an enjoyable first-time listen. Shahid Mallya’s folksy voice has been utilized unusually well in an upbeat song. Bhanu Prtap, Indian Idol 4 contestant, accompanies him well. Amit’s composition, though, falls flat. It seems like a repetition of the same tune over and over again, and it frankly gets pretty monotonous after a while. The rap interspersed throughout the song just makes it worse. However, Amit saves his weak composition with excellent arrangements. Techno arrangements, and very, very minimal rock guitars (it is hard to catch them.. Hear the rap carefully! 😀 ) and various sound effects lift up the song fantastically. The beats are just boomingly awesome. The flute interlude (Inapakurti D Rao) is just too cute, and again, easy to miss because the song isn’t really too engaging. Shellee’s lyrics are strictly related to the theme, and situational. Nothing great. Enjoyable for the first couple of listens, but gets tiring later on. A decent start to the highly-awaited album!

 

2. Da Da Dasse
Singers ~ Kanika Kapoor & Babu Haabi, Lyrics by ~ Shellee

The next song starts off with the mesmerizing sounds of bells and chimes, which make way for an odd-sounding synthesizer tune that’s really quirky and cute, too! Kanika, with her ever-so-unique voice, starts singing with that distinct twang in her voice, which is so attractive. Amit has composed a beautiful tune for her to sing, a really catchy and addictive one. The hookline is something that is unconventional, but still appeals a lot. The mukhda that leads up to the hookline is just as addictive and groovy. When you first hear the song, it won’t be something which you would think could ever be called as ‘catchy’ of ‘addictive’, let alone ‘soulful’! Though it is not the ideal ‘soulful’ song, it gives you that sense of calmness. It is soulful in a totally different way. The antara has the exact same tune as the mukhda. In fact, there is a rap by Haabi after both the stanzas, and this time, his rap actually works in favour of the song, and doesn’t irritate like it did in ‘Chitta Ve’. The next thing that must be praised is Trivedi’s instrumentation, which actually has a negligible number of actual instruments, everything being totally based on electronic sounds. However, those sounds are entrancing like they never are! Those beats in the hookline are half the reason why it sounds so groovy and addictive. All throughout the song, Trivedi’s unusual, but cool sounds engage the listener, and male the song complete in a sense. Rock guitars and acoustic guitars can be heard in the background in places, but their role is very obscure, being overshadowed by the electronic sounds. Shellee’s lyrics here actually mean something, and are pretty haunting; Trivedi has masked that with his kind of jolly-sounding composition. A highly impressive and innovative track from Amit Trivedi, and a break from Kanika Kapoor’s incessant lifeless dance tracks. #5StarHotelSong!!

 

3. Ikk Kudi / Ikk Kudi (Reprised Version)
Singers ~ Shahid Mallya / Diljit Dosanjh, Lyrics by ~ Late Shri Shiv Kumar Batalvi

The next on the album is a romantic track of the type we rarely hear nowadays. Late Punjabi poet, Shri Shiv Kumar Batalvi’s poem, ‘Ikk Kudi Jihda Naam Mohabbat Hai’ has been revived to feature in the movie, and the way Trivedi has composed it is outstanding. Now this is what I would call ‘soulful’ without any doubts. The universally accepted ‘soulful’. Trivedi’s composition has shades of the 70s in places (I don’t know… I just felt that), and other parts are so contemporary-sounding, that I wonder how those two eras have sounded so well together. There is no actual hookline, as that is the line which starts the song and it doesn’t seem like a hookline because it isn’t forced onto the listeners at every single moment of the song. The mukhda is totally composed on low notes, whereas the antara majestically treads higher octaves, and how! Kudos to Shahid Mallya for managing those high portions so gloriously! It is like some magic to the ears. In the other version, Diljit doesn’t manage to do even half as good, though. He seems to have got stuck where the variations come in. And it doesn’t sound so romantic, either. Also, he doesn’t do all that high-pitch beauty in the antara, and that makes it sound flat. Going on to the arrangements, Shahid’s version has a soothing acoustic guitar arrangement. (Sanjoy Das) It starts off with beautiful guitars, strings and carries on with the magic throughout. A metronome ticks brilliantly to keep the beats, and soft drums grace the song. However, the reprise has a mishmash of rock guitars (Irshad Mistry) and acoustic guitars (Ankur Mukherjee), with more heavily played drums (Darshan Doshi), which reminds one of Amit’s arrangements in ‘Tere Liye’ (Fitoor). It sounds pretty forced. Batalvi’s lyrics shine in the song, and make for a very soothing, romantic listen. A soothing track right after two hard-hitting electronic tracks! Beautiful work by Trivedi! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

4. Ud-Daa Punjab
Singers ~ Amit Trivedi & Vishal Dadlani, Lyrics by ~ Varun Grover

While ‘Chitta Ve’ did have the title of the movie in its hookline, the actual title song comes in now, with the title warped to suit the Punjabi setting of the movie. And what can I say about this track? Whatever I say is too less. Such an electrifying track, with such a groovy beat and energetic vocals, I’ve not heard for a very long time! (I know you think I’m saying that for all songs; well, so be it, because it’s true!!) The composition is something that takes nanoseconds to grow on you, so basically, when it starts, it has fully grown on you. The tune is that catchy, and especially the hookline, which is what it should be for an ideal song. Again, the tune of the mukhda and antara is the same, and again, they are both followed by a rap, quite like the structure of ‘Da Da Dasse’, but after the second rap, the mukhda plays once more, here. This time the rap goes to Vishal Dadlani. The firs time I saw the singers’ names in the credits, I thought it would be some duet with each of them singing some lines like ‘Guddu Rangeela’ (Guddu Rangeela), but then I found out that Vishal Dadlani is only and ONLY in charge of the rap!! And I applaud Trivedi for trying such an experiment. Anyone else, might have given Vishal the whole song too. But here, Trivedi, confident in his own voice retains his voice for the actual song while Vishal handles the rap (which is equally important for the song to be so likable). Trivedi’s unique voice works wonders for the composition and makes it seem like it has been sung in a carefree manner, which is kind of the main gist of the character of a rockstar, isn’t it? And seeing that Vishal too could’ve done it equally well, it was a brave choice to retain his own voice. Luckily, it turned out splendid. The arrangements are just as electrifying and addictive as the other pats of the song. Mostly, they are techno sounds again, but this time, the quintessential Punjabi tumbi plays an important part in the song. The dhols take Vishal’s first rap forward very enjoyably. The plucked strings (guitar?) are awesome, and can be heard in almost every line. The dubstep in Vishal’s second rap is great too, again, later joined by dhols. Varun Grover’s lyrics are suitable for the look of the film — grungy, carefree, rowdy, but nevertheless enjoyable! One of the most electrifying works from Amit Trivedi, and one of his best performances as a singer, clearly showcasing his versatility! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

5. Hass Nache Le
Singer ~ Shahid Mallya, Backing Vocals by ~ Shadab Faridi, Suhas Sawant, Arun Kamath, Lyrics by ~ Shellee

Acoustic guitars coupled with a wonderful aalaap start off this song, to be later joined by divine harmoniums, strongly indicating a genre I love very much, Qawwali. When Shahid Mallya starts off with his singing, you can’t help but get lost in the mesmerizing music. Amit Trivedi’s composition is nothing new or great; in fact, it is quite similar to the tunes of his previous songs of similar genres — and I can smell ‘Sahebaan’ (Guddu Rangeela) and ‘Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana’ (Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana) very strongly. However, the way he has executed it is hands-down beautiful. He knows where to put the right notes, to make it a beautiful song as a whole. The hookline is divine and mesmerizing, as is the mukhda, while the antara treads familiar territory (Luv Shuv…) Shahid has sung both the songs I mentioned above, so the déjà vu is even more. But the way he sings here, is so divine that you might forget about those songs and this song will just throw them out of your brain and establish a place for itself in your brain. It actually feels as of you are in a gurudwara and that is a very unmatchable feeling. 😀 Backing vocalists accompany Shahid well. The hookline sounds a bit like ‘Ude Jab Jab Zulfein Teri’ (Naya Daur), but that makes it better! The arrangements here are just as mesmerizing as everything else. The sublime rhythm produced by the dholaks (Raju Sardar) along with the harmonium (Akhlak Hussain Varsi), is again, out of the world. The acoustic guitar surprisingly fits well into the song. And I don’t know whether there are tablas or not, because the dholaks are sounding suspiciously like them. So let’s say, theyre in there somewhere. 😛 Shellee’s lyrics are also good, and functional for this genre. May i note that they were similar in ‘Luv Shuv…’ too. 😛 The Amit-Shellee-Shahid give another Qawwali, and give nothing new or innovative, but it tricks you and works its magic on you so much, that you end up loving it! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

6. Vadiya
Singer ~ Amit Trivedi, Lyrics by ~ Shellee

An addictive techno tune starts off the last song in the album. The way it has been programmed, to seem as if it is coming closer to you, is awesome. And when Trivedi starts singing, it sounds like some foreign song, so international-sounding the tune is! The EDM really transports the song to some other level, which is enough to compete with songs of international artists. The tune is so entrancing that you are pretty shocked that it has been arranged on an EDM base, because Bollywood usually uses that for club songs which are loud and noisy, and Bollywood also usually uses it wrong (with Pritam and Vishal-Shekhar being the masters, and Amaal Mallik with his ‘Sooraj Dooba Hain’) But Trivedi had used it in a similar way in ‘Shaam Shaandaar’ (Shaandaar), which seemed forced, and also ‘Rangaa Re’ (Fitoor), which was just an oddball in the soothing Kashmiri folk album. After trying decently twice, his hard work actually bears fruit on the third try. Here, he has done better at EDM than he has ever done, and it works out so brilliantly. It feels as if it is a DJ remixing a song, but not as messily as DJs always do. The entrancing tune gets even more enrapturing due to the EDM. The actual composition is not too much, but Trivedi has added interesting interludes of EDM. programming by Trivedi and Sourav Roy is fantastic. I never felt like I’m hearing a Bollywood song; the level of programming is so high. Trivedi’s voice gets drained behind the wonderful programming, but even if the programming wouldn’t have been there, it would’ve sounded beautiful. His steadiness on those long notes is noteworthy. Shellee’s lyrics too, and bewitching and intoxicating. A spectacular grand finale to the album, with a great use of international a level EDM, and an intoxicating composition and lyrics! #5StarHotelSong!!


To be honest, I wasn’t expecting something this good from Udta Punjab after tgey released the first two songs — ‘Chitta Ve’ and Diljit’s ‘Ikk Kudi (Reprise)’. However, little did I know that all the songs I would like were to be released with the full album! And I was surprised like anything! Amit Trivedi has gone to such lengths to make such addictive songs, most of them having attractive electronic music. Never have i respected electronic beats so much; here, they have been done very classily. And also, thanks to Amit Trivedi for actually representing Punjab positively, and not withh those irritating hip-hop, rap and disco numbers that Bollywood has stereotyped Punjab with. Trivedi has created a whole new music for Punjab, and that Punjab, I would call as Trivedi’s Groovy Punjab!!

 

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: This is more difficult than sin cos tan! So I would say hear them all in the same order they have been given in the album… With “Chitta Ve” first so that your listening won’t be spoiled!

 

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

 

Next “dish”: Do Lafzon Ki Kahani, Chefs: Amaal Mallik, Babli Haque, Arjuna Harjai & Ankit Tiwari

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