AN ALBUM WHICH GROWS ON YOU IN SLOW MOTION!! (BHARAT – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Vishal-Shekhar, Julius Packiam & Ali Abbas Zafar
♪ Lyrics by: Irshad Kamil & Ali Abbas Zafar
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 17th May 2019
♪ Movie Released On: 5th June 2019

Bharat Album Cover

Listen to the songs: JioSaavn | Gaana

Buy the songs: iTunes


Bharat is a Bollywood film starring Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Disha Patani, Sunil Grover, Tabu, Nora Fatehi, and Jackie ShroffThe film is directed by Ali Abbas Zafar and produced by Atul Agnihotri, Alvira Khan Agnihotri, Bhushan Kumar and Krishan Kumar. Two previous films that salman Khan did with Ali Abbas Zafar had music by Vishal-Shekhar, and it isn’t a surprise that they are retained for the third collaboration as well. Both the previous albums, which were on YRF Music, were a mix of entertaining and experimental music, so here’s to hoping that Bharat too, features such a mix of entertainment and experimentation. Also, background scorer Julius Packiam, along with director Ali Abbas Zafar, has composed one theme song for the album. Let’s dive right in! 😊


        Vishal-Shekhar open the album with the quintessential Salman Khan crowd-pleaser song, and I’m glad to inform you, that this sing has pleased this reviewer as well! Slow Motion is a song that ironically took no time to grow on me, a song that I started humming right away after I first heard it. The infectious energy the song carries can be attributed to the duo’s amazing work at the composition and arrangements, Meghdeep Bose’s upbeat programming and arrangements, and the top-notch singing by the vocal powerhouses Nakash Aziz and Shreya Ghoshal. Now, it isn’t the first time Vishal-Shekhar have equipped Shreya in her vivacious and bubbly side, but it sounds so different from their previous collaborations with her! First of all, her lower register provides an amazing touch to the song, which makes you want to listen till the end. Nakash, as always, sings at the top of his lungs and aces it. Meghdeep Bose’s arrangements consist of a contagious tune played first on a plucked string instrument and then on rock guitars (Warren Mendonsa and Meghdeep Bose) that starts the song off on a very catchy note. It is followed up by amazing percussions by the usual group — Dipesh Verma, Omkar Salunkhe, Keyur Barve, Khwab Haria and Shikhar Naad Qureshi — with an amazing interlude midway through the song. The duo’s composition though, is what makes the song so catchy; without that hookline, this song would not be much despite all the booming sounds. Irshad Kamil is made to pen standard Bollywood massy lyrics — the hookline makes one smile, but the rest, especially the antara, makes one cringe. Well, lyrics can be ignored, can’t they?
Of course, after the crowd-pleaser dance number, next on the template of a ‘Salman Khan music album’, comes a romantic number made for Arijit but not sung by Arijit. Chashni happens to fit into this category, a dreamy lullaby sort of song, that harks back to ‘Dil Diyan Gallan’ (Tiger Zinda Hai), only with some of its compositional movements — it is very hard to notice. Overall, the duo’s composition is a very happy-go-lucky one, with a playful vibe; the hookline having a guitar groove to it that makes it irresistibly hummable. Said guitar (played by Aman Moroney, also one of the programmers of the song) repeats throughout the song along with a matka-like sound, making the sing sound earthy. Again, Irshad Kamil’s lyrics are the standard Hindi-Punjabi mix that has infested Bollywood of late, nothing great. What deserves special mention, though, is the singing by Abhijeet Srivastava. The man, one song old (‘Aapse Milkar Achcha Laga’ from ‘Andhadhun’) gets the essence of the song beautifully, and does a much more impressive job than he did in his debut; this will probably be his most memorable song, his big break. Vishal-Shekhar also add their standard V-S strings in the interlude (a quite short interlude, at that, but wait, there’s just the tiny guitar groove where the second interlude should be, so I guess the first interlude is long in comparison!) and those strings hark back to their own songs ‘Naina’ (Gori Tere Pyaar Mein) and again ‘Dil Diyan Gallan’ (Tiger Zinda Hai).

‘Chashni’ appears in a Reprise Version as well, as is the norm in an Ali Abbas Zafar-Vishal-Shekhar-Salman Khan album. Ironically, all three songs ‘Jag Ghoomeya’ (Sultan), ‘Dil Diyan Gallan’ (Tiger Zinda Hai) and ‘Chashni’ (Bharat) had three different singers but their female versions are all sung by Neha Bhasin. Hubby Sameer Uddin is in charge of producing this one, and his guitars and plucks add the same vibe as we heard in her songs in ‘Sultan’ and ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ too, so I am guessing he produced them there too, but YRF doesn’t give that kind of credits, so there’s no way to know! 😐 The bass in this version is booming, it really gives a beautiful earthy feel, and I kind of wish this arrangement had been used for the male version, because Neha Bhasin disappoints with her rendition this time.

Also expected for an Ali Abbas Zafar-Salman-Vishal-Shekhar collaboration, is a Sukhwinder Singh song. Little did we know that this time we would get not one, but two songs. So, the first is Turpeya, a song which has Vishal-Shekhar give an EDM spin and makeover to their own ‘Dard-e-Disco’ (Om Shanti Om). This song, I got bored of in 2 minutes when I first heard it because of the tedious composition, but it has an interesting soundscape (courtesy Abhijit Nalani). The only song on the album devoid of any live instruments whatsoever, it has the programmer doing quite well with the sound — the Punjabi percussion going on throughout is a bit monotonous, but the sounds which start the song off are really interesting, especially the Oud-ish sound followed by the santoor in the mukhda. Sukhwinder, as expected, delivers the song with spunk, but I just wish the composition were better.
And I get what I wished for in Thap Thap, which also starts with an intriguing digital sound. The song progresses with an intriguing tempo crank-up, and by the time it comes to the hook, it brings a very catchy bass portion, followed by an amazing live percussion portion and a nice strings portion that is clearly digital but still manages to grab your attention. Sukhwinder’s energy is top-level here too, and Vishal-Shekhar do not dilute the energy in a four and a half minute-long number; they smartly end the song at under three minutes. Nicely done!

Zinda is what we would expect as the theme song, and here the listeners are given in to a little surprised, which is that the song has been composed by the background music director and the film director in collaboration! Julius Packiam and Ali Abbas Zafar present a spunky theme song, a song that carries motivation with it very effectively. Starting with a great rock guitars with a chorus to accompany it, the song finally dips into a very melodious portion led by Vishal Dadlani, in his strangely sweet but at the same time grungy voice. The lyrics, also by Zafar, are aptly inspirational and motivational. The background has a cool bass line, and that rock guitar just doesn’t fail to keep impressing you throughout!

Back to the Vishal-Shekhar part of the album, we have two situational tracks left (not like the former half of the album wasn’t situational — barring ‘Chashni’ and to an extent ‘Slow Motion’, all the songs are more or less situational) One is a dance track, in two versions, and the other, my favourite song of possibly the year.
If you know me, you know I’ll leave the favourite for the last. So let’s talk about the dance song. 😁
Starting off with a very quirky ladies’ chorus led by Neeti Mohan, Aithey Aa immediately reminds one of ‘Baby Ko Bass Pasand Hai’ (Sultan), but here it is clear from the lyrics that Salman’s character is not going to be doing monkey business in the song video as he did in that song. 😂 The catchy chorus leads to Akasa’s wonderfully commanding voice, singing more catchy lines, coupled with Vishal-Shekhar’s cool EDM music (yes, even though that part of the film is set in 1983, but sigh, Bollywood just doesn’t understand anymore). The drop after the ‘Oh Aithey Aa‘ is infectiously catchy, but I wish I could hold a grudge for it being an electronic drop in a period film. Alas, I can’t! I’m enjoying it! 😂 Kamaal Khan’s antara first sounds odd because he is clearly auto-tuned or something of that sort, but it later sounds alright. Thankfully, he gets just two lines and then hands the mic back to Akasa and Neeti. What I don’t understand is whether Neeti has also sung some lines in the main melody, or if she is only singing the ladies’ chorus in the background.

The Dance Version of the song, ridiculously named, as if the former wasn’t capable of making me break into a dance (it sure was), wins my favour, not only because it is more creatively imagined, but because it had me liking more, a song which I had already liked in its initial version. *I hope the previous sentence made sense. Please read it again and again if it didn’t.* This song has Vishal-Shekhar adding more playful arrangements like a tabla and dholak section (Raju Sardar, Sanjeev Sen and Madhav Pawar) in the antara, a booming percussion section in the “closer aa” section and the drop tune, instead of being played digitally, has been relayed to a shehnai (Yogesh More), so you can imagine my happiness at how the composers have exercised full artistic freedom in this version — which seems like a ‘music dircector’s cut’ kind of version — I’m glad it made it onto the album. The other major difference between this version and the first, is that the main melody is handed over to the male singer completely, and this time the singer is also better — Nakash Aziz. The way he sings the “kurbaan” before the hook is amazing. Meanwhile, Neeti reprises her “Hand pump” couplet here as well. I wished to hear a little more of her in this version, but I guess the tablas and desi percussions more than made up for it. Irshad Kamil’s lyrics here in both versions, at least showcase some quirk and intelligent humour and are not standard Bollywood crap like ‘Slow Motion’.

And now for my favourite song of the first half of 2019. AND THIS IS A BIG MAYBE, but I’m not embarrassed to say that I love this song infinitely. Aaya Na Tu is one of the best made songs — with a tangible completeness to it. A song which has almost nothing missing — right from the vocals, to the intricate arrangements, to the beautiful, beautiful, and beautiful composition, this one is a winner all the way. The first time I heard it, I knew it needed more time to be assessed, and was I right. The more I listened to it, the more magic it unraveled on the way. Jyoti Nooran in her lower register is an auditory pleasure, it kind of makes me think she can sing all the songs in this pitch, which Rahat Fateh Ali Khan sang a bit too high-pitched, and it would sound beautiful. (Ahem, ahem, I’m looking at you, Mr. Rashq-e-Qamar!) Vishal-Shekhar’s intricate composition, most probably based on classical music, is decorated with beautiful arrangements by Meghdeep Bose. The percussions again, are the highlight of the song. Dipesh Verma and his team have done a splendid job here, but Jai Row Kavi joins them on the drums to give it more depth, the drums hitting home right at the perfect moments in the hookline. Indian sounds like shehnai (Yogesh More) and Tablas and Dholak (Raju Sardar, Sanjeev Sen and Madhav Pawar) give the song that rustic and homely feel. I’m guessing the lyrics are somewhere in the context of patriotism, and as such it reminds one of Amaal Mallik’s ‘Tu Bhoola Jise’ (Airlift), which wasn’t so rich with its percussion, but had the brass section working wonders for it. Here too, a stray trumpet features. The backing vocals are vast, and you can’t talk about the sing without mentioning them. All the biggest names from the Bollywood backing vocalists have come together for the backing vocals — Marianne D’Cruz, Neumann Pinto, Bianca Gomes, Vivienne Pocha, Shazneen Arethna, Rajiv Sundaresan, and Francois Castellino. And of course, if you didn’t notice Vishal Dadlani’s vocal humming in the beginning of the song, please go and immediately check it out again!! That is the part that makes you want to start listening to the song again, and then obviously, you can’t just stop because it is followed up by such a good song after that intro! So yes, that was my favourite song of the album, in all its intricacy and poignancy.


Vishal-Shekhar keep up the good work in their Ali Abbas Zafar-Salman collaborations, with this album sounding a bit weaker at first listen, but unravelling a series of wonderful observations as we listen to it more! An album that grows in slow motion! 😊

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 9 + 8 + 7.5 + 7 + 8 + 8.5 + 8.5 + 9 + 10 = 75.5

Album Percentage: 83.89%

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: Aaya Na Tu > Aithey Aa (Dance Version) = Slow Motion > Aithey Aa = Zinda > Thap Thap = Chashni > Chashni (Reprise Version) > Turpeya

 

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

4 GEMS!! (3 STOREYS – Music Review)

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

3 Storeys Album Cover

 

Listen to the songs: Saavn

Buy the songs: iTunes


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


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


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

 

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

Album Percentage: 78.75%

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: Bas Tu Hai > Raasleela > Azaadiyaan = Zaroori Bewakoofi

 

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

REVISIT THE BLACK-AND-WHITE ERA! (RANGOON – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Vishal Bhardwaj
♪ Lyrics by: Gulzar & Lekha Washington
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 19th January 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 24th February 2017

Rangoon Album Cover

Rangoon Album Cover

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Rangoon is an upcoming period film (read war action romantic epic drama) starring Saif Ali Khan, Shahid Kapoor and Kangana Ranaut in lead roles. The film has been directed by Vishal Bhardwaj, who is back after his super-hit, ‘Haider’, and produced by himself, along with Sajid Nadiadwala and Viacom18 Motion Pictures. The movie is set during the World War II, and is a love triangle including an actress Julia (played by Ranaut), her lover Rusi (played by Saif Ali Khan) and an Indian soldier, Nawab, (played by Shahid Kapoor) whom the actress falls in love with. As is the usual case with all Vishal Bhardwaj directorial, the director himself has scored the music for the movie, and as usual, the man has provided a huge soundtrack for music lovers like us. With twelve tracks, this album surpasses all his previous albums to his directorials in terms of number of songs, and that’s what makes me all the more eager to jump into the album! With Gulzar’s lyrics, the album is sure to be yet another album like ‘Haider’, that we’ll be able to cherish for long! Also, given the setting of the film, I am expecting a lot of jazzy, funky and retro music, something along the lines of Bombay Velvet, and I’m also looking forward to something oriental, only because the movie is named ‘Rangoon’ which is the city in Myanmar now known as Yangon. And Myanmar means east, and east means ‘Close to China’!! So I’m expecting that eastern touch in the music too! 😀 So, with these colossal expectations, let me dive into the music of ‘Rangoon’!


1. Bloody Hell

Singer ~ Sunidhi Chauhan, Choir ~ Nisha Mascarenhas, Marianne D’cruz Aiman, Shazneen Arethna, Rishikesh Kamerkar, Suhas Sawant, Vikas Joshi & Rajiv Sundaresan, Lyrics by ~ Gulzar

“No no, sorry sorry, karte ishq Kiya angrezi mein,
Arre khullam khulla do hothon ka jaam piya angrezi mein,
Baji ek bell, tring trring! Bloody hell!”

– Gulzar

The unusual sound of a whip starts off the first song on the album, and unless you know that Kangana Ranaut’s character in this song is based on Fearless ‘Hunterwali’ Nadia, you might be quite confused on hearing the song. Anyway, I knew it and now you do too, so on with the review. As I said, the very interesting but odd sound of a whip starts the song off, and one wonders what innovations Vishal Bhardwaj intends to have put into the song. The beginning of the song makes it very clear that the song is going to be used in a stage performance, with the audience’s applauds and whistles and other sounds. It is when the melody of the song starts, that you find yourself thinking why you are listening to the song; it is kind of weird at first. Especially the “Talk Talk Talk” and “Walk Walk Walk” might discourage you from listening any further, right away. However, the song opens up later, and how! Vishal’s composition, though very clichéd as far as such stage performances go, manages to make you cling on to it, and hum it after it is over. The line before the hookline (“No no sorry sorry…”) is just such a beautiful tune! The hookline itself is another bit of underwhelming notes, but I guess it doesn’t hamper the song as much as the flawed beginning does, as the mood of the song has already set in by the time it plays. The antaras are what smell strongly of Vishal Bhardwaj, as they have a strong Vishal Bhardwaj feel to them. The second one, which was quite short, reminded me of ‘Bismil’ from ‘Haider’, maybe because of the storytelling style of Gulzar’s lyrics. The first antara has a cool repetition of the lines Sunidhi sings by a harmonious backing chorus. Vishal’s arrangements are enjoyable, with the trumpets playing an utterly important role in them, especially in the hookline. The piano played in a very upbeat manner gives a nice beat to the song. I’m sure you’ll hear the piano where you would least expect it, in the song. Strings are used well too in places. The use of bass has been done generously, and it makes the song sound modern even though it has a retro styled composition. And of course, the male and female choruses both do an amazing job with their respective parts. Sunidhi, a once-in-four-years singer for Vishal Bhardwaj, owns the song, with her efficacious voice, and it reminds you of the days when Sunidhi used to sing numerous songs of this type. She gets the grunge in her voice right when needed, and gets her voice soft and sweet when needed, all so seamlessly. Gulzar’s lyrics are a fun take on what it would’ve been like at a soldier’s camp during the World War II, though they are quite the whimsical. Some parts make entire nonsense. 😛 A good start to the album, and probably the most commercial Vishal Bhardwaj’s music can get!

Rating: 4/5

 

2. Yeh Ishq Hai / Yeh Ishq Hai (Female Version)

Singers ~ Arijit Singh / Rekha Bhardwaj, Choir in Female Version ~ Mahesh Kumar Rao, Nazim Khan, Subhan Sultani & Sonu Khan, Lyrics by ~ Gulzar

“Sufi ke sulfe ki, Lau utthi Allah hoo! Allah hoo, Allah hoo, Allah hooooo!
Sufi ke sulfe ki, Lau utthi Allah hoo!
Jalte hi rehna hai, Baaki na main na Tu.. yeh ishq hai re… Yeh ishq hai!”

– Gulzar

Vishal Bhardwaj tries to tone down the craziness that the first song caused, by giving us a dulcet romantic song as the next song on the soundtrack. And what we get is a soothing, calm melodious romantic piece in a typical Vishal Bhardwaj style of composition! Now I always love this typicality of Vishal Bhardwaj, and nothing changed this time. The composition seemed slow and ‘different’ at first, but later it grew on me very quickly. The mukhda dives right into the hookline, and then continues to very low-pitched notes that soothe your senses as much as they can be soothed. The hookline does have very slight shades of Rahman’s ‘Dil Se Re’ (Dil Se), but barring that slight uncanny resemblance, I wouldn’t really go all bonkers about that similarity. The mukhda intrigues you so much that you don’t even realise when the interlude is over and the antara has started. The antara is a melodious, high-pitched piece that reminds me of ‘Khul Kabhi’ (Haider), another vintage Vishal Bhardwaj-styled melody from the composer. The way the high notes fall back to low notes and continue with the hookline, is just amazing. It is the second Antara that holds all the magic though. Although the tune of both is the same, Vishal introduces pleasant variations in the second antara (I’m talking about the “Allah hoo” part!) and it is just so heavenly! And at the end, when the hookline plays, it is such a beautiful high pitch, that you can say nothing but “Waah!” Saying so much about the composition, I must say that it wouldn’t have sounded this great without the wonderful arrangements. Guitars (Ankur Mukherjee) lead the way, with nice wind instruments (Ashwin Shrinivasan) following. And that magnificent digital beat that sounds like jingles, is toooooo good! The first interlude has a beautiful flute piece, while the second goes with a nice rustic rabaab, which you can also hear faintly playing in the background in other parts of the song. Arijit’s voice suits the song perfectly, and though I wished Vishal himself had sung it during the first couple of times I heard ths song, I am now totally convinced that there was no voice other than Arijit’s, that could’ve done justice to the composition, and also, I so trust Vishal now with Arijit’s voice. He always gives him the best songs, and doesn’t hesitate to experiment with his voice. Arijit too, has introduced a husky quality in his voice here, and it sounds mesmerizing, quite like it did in ‘Khul Kabhi’ (Haider). He hits the high notes with such intensity and perfection, that it is hard to believe he was the same man who was made to drone out songs like ‘Raat Bhar’ (Heropanti) and ‘Saanson Ko’ (Zid) in such a disturbingly low pitch. That much was what I thought about the male version of the song. But if you skip to the track number 9 on the soundtrack as it is shown on Saavn or iTunes or the YouTube jukebox, you will find hidden there, a gem in the form of the female version of the same song. Now that version is pure bliss. And of you thought the male version was heaven, you will find this to be pure salvation. Vishal Bhardwaj has given it a complete makeover, adding a nice Sufi-style Qawwali arrangement. Tablas (Navin Sharma), dholaks (Raju Sardar & Navin Sharma) and harmoniums (Firoz Shah) replace the guitars that were so prominent in the original song. It makes the song sound so spiritual all of a sudden. The tune has been tweaked when the antara joins to the hookline, where, instead of going to the high notes as Arijit did, the tune goes back down to the low notes. And Rekha Bhardwaj renders this version majestically. Nobody else could’ve done it and produced the same effect. And she is ably supported by a nice backing chorus, giving a very mehfil-ish feel to it all. Gulzar’s lyrics are amazing! I think you will have to listen to them to experience it yourself, but I must say they are a nice depiction of love. And in the female version, a beautiful introductory piece has been added by the veteran lyricist, which is not to be missed! A romantic piece that takes your breath away. Special points to the female version that makes romance sound so spiritual.

Rating: 4/5 for Male Version, 5/5 for Female Version

 

3. Mere Miyan Gaye England

Singer ~ Rekha Bhardwaj, Choir ~ Deepti Rege, Mayuri Patwardhan, Archana Gore, Pragati Joshi, Aditi Prabhudesai, Aparna Ullal, Arun Ingle, R. N. Iyer, Mandar Apte & Nitin Karandikar, Lyrics by ~ Gulzar

“Saat samundar paar gaye par paanv nahin bheege,
Aise pahunche huye piya hai, aji gaanv nahin bhoole!
Jo utre kheton mein, wahin par padi hoon main,
Jahan par milte thhe, wahin par khadi hoon main!
Aji itna hai bas bhool na jaaye mera bus ishtand,
Conductor chooke na! Conductor chooke na!
Conductor chooke na… Driver chaunke na!”

– Gulzar

When a movie’s name is ‘Rangoon’, one isn’t surprised when the makers decide to come up with a spin-off of the old classic ‘Mere Piya Gaye Rangoon’ from the 1949 film ‘Patanga’. And mind you, I said ‘spin-off’, and not ‘remake’. And no, spin-off is not the new euphemism I’ll be using for remakes, so there’s no need to be releasing yourselves, composers making bad remakes! Anyway, back to the point. The song has been composed entirely differently, with only the first line of the hook bearing whatsoever resemblance to the old song. Instead of ‘Rangoon’ from the old song, Vishal Bhardwaj has cleverly changed it to ‘England’ (given the fact that the film is set against the backdrop of the World War II) and changed ‘Piya’ to ‘Miyan’. He has composed an entirely new song, no mater what people say about it being a remake, because it isn’t. The composition is instantly catchy and has a very happy-go-lucky tune to it, which makes it all the more likeable. The ‘ha-ha-ha’ that sets the song going, is very mesmerising in a fun way, and after that, it is a full-of-fun, enjoyable song, probably another of Julia’s performances, given its situational nature. The mukhda starts off from the hookline (and is entirely composed of the hookline itself, I must say), which starts off quite similar to the old song’s hookline, but then goes on into one of those endless lines that stops unexpectedly, making it so fun the first time you hear it! The “kahan karenge land” part is what I’m referring to. The antaras are beautiful, with a very tangible, traditional touch to them. The composition of those parts is indescribably enjoyable, something similar to Vishal’s work in ‘Oye Boy Charlie’ (Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola). The part in the antaras which is the bridge from the antara to the hookline, (“Jo utre kheton mein…”) is brilliantly fast paced, and brings back the tempo fabulously after the slowdown in the antara! Vishal’s arrangements are a class apart. Again, ‘Oye Boy Charlie’-like instrumentation can be observed, with harmoniums leading the way, and tablas (Musharraf Khan & Sanjiv Sen) and dholaks (Mohd. Yusuf, Hafeez Khan, Sharafat Khan, Raju Sardar) leading the fantastic percussion. A beautiful detour from the main fun-filled ambience of the song occurs in the form of the second interlude, when a very heart-moving shehnaai (Sanjeev Shankar) piece suddenly changes the whole feel of the song, and the antara that follows seems like a very emotional part of the song (more so because of Gulzar’s lyrics), until the hookline comes back to cheer things up again. Not that it is going to be make you rather teary-eyed though; it is a very subtle emotional detour in the song, and certainly a magical move by Vishal Bhardwaj. Rekha Bhardwaj is very effervescent in her delivery of the upbeat composition. Who could be a better replacement (though this is a spin-off and not a remake) than her, for the legendary Shamshad Begum? She is always such a pleasure to listen to, and the fact remains true here as well. Her rendition makes her sound like a very young and boisterous person, and it suits to the theme of the song perfectly. Gulzar’s lyrics are amazing, about a lady missing her love, who is away fighting the war in England. References to Hitler and Churchill really, really enrich the listening experience and it also makes the song interesting for History lovers (who isn’t one?) And the second antara, of course, has been written beautifully! A nice SPIN-OFF to an old classic, and one of the most fun and quirky songs of recent times!

Rating: 5/5

 

4. Tippa

Singers ~ Rekha Bhardwaj, Sunidhi Chauhan, Sukhwinder Singh & O.S. Arun, Choir ~ Vivienne Pocha, Marianne D’Cruz Aiman, Neuman Pinto & Rajiv Sundaresan, Lyrics by ~ Gulzar

“Aaja uchhalenge, pakdenge paani ki boondein, aa bhi jaa..
Geeli hawaayein agar paani maange, toh kyun de, kyun bhala?
Tupur tupur, naach re nupur paayi.. tupur tupur naach re nupur paayi,
Googly Jhinak jhaayi..
Hey, tap tap gol gol tippe mein jo doobe, far far farmaaish dekhe hain ajoobe..!”

– Gulzar

What follows, is an even more enjoyable, situational track that proves wrong all notions that situational songs never grip you before you watch them in the movie. Because this one here, is a stellar example of a song that intrigues and fascinates you so much, yet you do not understand what exactly is going on, but get a vague idea. Of course, to understand you’ll have to watch it in the movie, but for now, the song is not something that you will have to keep on hold till the movie releases! The song is an perfect example of a brilliant onomatopoeic song, with sounds like “Tap Tap”, “Chhuk Chhuk”, “Bud Bud”, “Jhinak Jhayi” making up the gist of the lyrics. And the spectacular arrangements help propel the otherwise very undecipherable song, to new heights. The composition on its own sounds like a 90s Vishal Bhardwaj composition {And turns out it is a reuse of one of Vishal Bhardwaj’s title songs for an animated television series, “Alice in Wonderland”} and intrigues you the way it would have in the 90s, when Vishal’s songs werw way ahead of their time. It has many layers, just like ‘Haider’s ‘Bismil’, and it seems that there is some hidden story in it, which of course, will unfold on 24th February. The song starts with a very haunting, but catchy tune, and as the hookline arrives you are fascinated by the various sound effects. But when the hookline does arrive, you notice how wonderful a tune it is. Hear it again in entirety, and the mukhda also sounds better the next time. The first antara follows the same tune as that of the mukhda, but of course, when it is Vishal Bhardwaj, it means variations, so the variations are evident here as well. The second antara has a more commercially appealing tune, but it still appeals just as much as the other unconventional parts of the song. Sukhwinder’s “Maajhi Re” interlude touches your heart. And whenever they build up the suspense before the hookline by saying “tap tap tap, tap tap tap“, it is so fun to just guess when the climax will arrive and the hookline reveals all the suspense. (And this happens every time you hear the song, just like a good thriller movie). Vishal’s arrangements are splendid, a mélange of great sound effects and beautiful orchestration. The violins (Suresh Lalwani) are the most prominent instruments throughout the entire song, and they are played in those vivid strokes, making them sound so regal. Of course, there are sound effects in such magnitudes that I’ve very rarely heard in a Bollywood song, and even if I have, they hadn’t been used to such a good effect. But here, sound effects like the raindrops, and train sounds start off the song so intriguingly! That creaking noise gives such an awesome beat, and it is joined by the raindrops and later on, the “tap tap” chorus, making it sound ever-so-harmonious. Also, that sudden outbreak of percussion when the hookline finally starts after the endless “tap tap“, is amaziiiiinnng! The vocals are amazing, with four lead singers and a choir supporting them. I would especially like to point out O.S. Arun, a professional Carnatic singer, who has sung his parts so majestically! And he sounds a bit like Suresh Wadkar, so I’m surprised Vishal Bhardwaj didn’t think of Suresh Wadkar. The others are all seasoned Bollywood singers — Sukhwinder (bringing the “Chaiyya Chaiyya” touch in yet another train-themed song!), Rekha Bhardwaj (at her mesmerizing best) and Sunidhi (carrying the hookline with such marvellous finesse). The choir is amazing in its parts. Gulzar’s lyrics make it clear that the song is about rain, trains and dimples, but I’m sure there’s a deeper meaning to it; the movie might reveal that! However, I loved the striking use of onomatopoeia! That in itself is a masterstroke. Innovative, yet nostalgia-inducing! A song about rains, trains and dimples!

Rating: 5/5

 

5. Ek Dooni Do

Singer ~ Rekha Bhardwaj, Choir ~ Vivienne Pocha, Bianca Pinto, Marianne D’Cruz Aiman, Crystal Sequeira, Rajiv Sundaresan, Thomson Andrews, François Casstellino & Neuman Pinto, Lyrics by ~ Gulzar

“Jaagti hoon, aankhein khole, khwaab ke maare, khwaab ke maare,
Ungli jal gayi, ginte ginte, raat ke taare, raat ke taare!
Ek bujhe toh ek jalta hai, ek tamasha sa lagta hai,
Kab tak ginti rahun pahaadein?”

– Gulzar

A Spanish touch hits you right as the next song starts, with a nice Spanish guitar starting the song off on a very energetic note. The song is yet another song that you cannot ascertain what it is about yet, and we must only guess that it is another stage performance by the leading lady. The composition by Vishal Bhardwaj loyally sticks to the Spanish theme, thus automatically sticking to the European theme of the movie too. It is quite similar to what we heard Rajesh Roshan give recently in ‘Mon Amour’ (Kaabil), but has more dark shades than that one. The song starts off slowly, with Rekha Bhardwaj singing one line, with a nice touch of intimacy and sounding great. After that, the tempo elevates quite abruptly and fumbles you for a moment until the song takes on its pace and goes steadily ahead after that. The hookline is the only part of the song that sounds out of place and distracting, if you will. The hookline doesnt quite fit in too well with other parts of the song, especially the extraordinary tune of the antara, which is an enjoyable part of the song. Because of the less appealing tune, this song might not appeal as much as the others. And then of course, the situational nature acts as a barrier here. Anyway, Rekha has rendered the song beautifully, and in the process lets us enjoy the song solely due to her amazing singing. Arrangements by Vishal range from guitars to the traditional Spanish castanets and harmonicas. The backing vocalists do a fantastic job at those weird Spanish interjections, and they sound so much like an actual Spanish song! Gulzar’s lyrics do not disclose at all, what the song is going to be for in the movie, and otherwise, aren’t much of a remarkable feat either. They are just fun and simple words, nothing to place on a pedestal! A good one, but lacking that patchiness that the others; it sounds rather odd.

Rating: 4/5

 

6. Alvida

Singer ~ Arijit Singh, Lyrics by ~ Gulzar

Alvida, alvida, toh nahi… Alvida, alvida toh nahi!
Jism se Jaan juda toh nahi!
Rooh mein beh raha hai Tu, rooh mein beh raha hai tu!
Aye kahin tu khuda toh nahi!”

– Gulzar

After the relatively disappointing song, Vishal Bhardwaj comes up with yet another typical trademark Vishal Bhardwaj composition. And this one follows his own template to the tee. Complete with a morose tune, and minimal arrangements, with a hint of soft rock instrumentation here and there, this one is a package custom-made for Vishal Bhardwaj’s diehard fans and appreciators! The composition, as I said before, is highly melancholic, but it appeals to you after a couple of listens. The mukhda is something that might suck the energy out of you the first time you hear it (I’m not lying, it was so beautiful, it actually did do that!) and you might dismiss it as too exhausting and heavy music, but later, you realise the beauty it contains. The composition has shades of ‘Jhelum’ from ‘Haider’ (which I remember describing as a trademark Sanjay Leela Bhansali-styled melody! Both of these stalwarts, SLB and VB sure know how to make us teary-eyed now, don’t they?) which are evident in the darkness of the tune. The antaras see the composition calm down a bit, traversing notes that are more gentle in their sound. In the first antara, comes that small soft rock interlude, that was characteristic of Vishal Bhardwaj years ago. The second interlude has a wonderful Sufi interlude, and that is the main reason why you’ll come to love the whole song after a couple of listens — only because of a wonderfully placed Sufi portion that comes unexpectedly from nowhere. When Arijit sings “jaaniyaaa..” in the second antara, my mind suddenly remembered a song I haven’t heard for years — ‘Haal-e-Dil’ from “Haal-e-Dil”, another Vishal Bhardwaj composition, in which Rahat Fateh Ali Khan sings “Jaaniyaaa..” in quite a similar way! And also, when Arijit sings “Sab chhod chhad taaron ki aadh mil lenge“, it sounds so much like the antara of Vishal’s song ‘Dum Ghutta Hai’ from ‘Dirshyam’! Funny how your subconscious mind remembers stuff at just the right time, eh? 😀 Vishal’s arrangements are so minimal, that you pay more attention to the melody, something you wouldn’t have done if there would’ve been more pompous arrangements. Vishal cleverly keeps the instrumentation down, so that the beauty of the composition can be beheld. Still, I hear the saxophone (I.D. Rao) in the first interlude, and it doesn’t bleat itself out so that you know its there; it has been played so gently, in a way you would never imagine a saxophone able to be played! The harmoniums and Tablas/dholaks in the Sufi interlude have to be one of the best touches given to any song in recent times! It is so beautiful how that Sufi portion agrees with the rest of the song so well and gels in seamlessly. Arijit’s vocals are impeccable! They are what make the song sound all the more wholesome and different from any other Vishal Bhardwaj song (but then again, Arijit sings so many songs for Vishal that after a few years it might be hard to separate the two sounds!) Gulzar’s lyrics are amazing for the theme of the song and are heart touching. A typical Vishal Bhardwaj affair, that doesn’t fail to impress!!

Rating: 5/5

 

7. Julia

Singers ~ Sukhwinder Singh, Vishal Bhardwaj, Kunal Ganjawala & K.K., Choir ~ Clinton Cerejo, Dominique Cerejo, Vivienne Pocha, Bianca Gomes, Neuman Pinto, Rishikesh Kamerkar & Asif Ali Baig, Lyrics by ~ Gulzar

“Tune Jaan ko jind ko chhoo liya, humein teri ghulami qubooliya,
Tu hi aaka hai usooliya, tu hi aaka usooliya,
O Julia! Pa pa pa pam pam pam! Miss Julia! Pa pa pa pam pam!”

– Gulzar

Whatever magic Vishal Bhardwaj has created in the former part of the album, he overdoes all of it with this next piece, a foot-tapping, vaudevillian melody in which the operatic theme is taken quite seriously! And the result is a song that sounds like a genuine male opera piece. Four singers behind the mic, this one is a pleasure to hear not only because of the great tune or arrangements, but also because of the differing vocal styles of all four singers. So let’s begin from the beginning! I always start talking about the composition of the song, but here, I would like to start with the arrangements — some splendid European-themed arrangements that tread over multiple musical territories. First of all, the booming percussion just hits you hard, and leaves you shocked by the end of the song, in a mesmerizing way. Of course, the brass band follows suit, with just as intriguing instrumentation. And the strings orchestra doesn’t fail to impress either! It is the ravishing strings that infuse life into the song, which would’ve sounded incomplete without it. And in the antara, the arrangements break out into Latino-flavoured ones, while in one of the interludes, a mystifying Arabic musical piece intrigues you, and that’s when you notice how many different styles of music the song is composed of. The composition itself would sound half as great without the larger-than-life arrangements! The composition isn’t one that would hook you immediately, and definitely not if you are one of the multitude of Bollywood fans who like the meaningless rap we hear in every other song nowadays. The composition is made up many, many sets of tunes, which make up the mukhda, a strong and hard-hitting hookline, and an antara that is a good continuation of the magic. The mukhda is very slow to start off, but when it does pick up pace, it does so mind-bogglingly! The “Julia jaaye, jaaye re..” line is some spectacular black magic! Well, I must say, the whole composition itself is! The hookline is, as it should be, the main attraction of the song, and it has valid reasons to be so. It has a genuinely catchy tune, and that pompous sound to it makes it sound all the more catchy! That “Pa Pa Pa Pam Pam Pam” after each time they sing “Julia“, is just tooooooooooooo good!! It all sounds so grand, that it is unbelievable after a few listens, after which you will skip all the songs of the album to listen to this one. The antara is a bit damped considering the beauty of the rest of the song, but it soon moulds its way into the hookline, and the magic goes on. So it serves as a good respite from too much regality in the goings-on of the song. Now, what I’ve been waiting to talk about — the vocals! Never in recent times have I seen a song with so many singers (of the same gender!), executed so wonderfully! It must’ve taken weeks to compile each one’s parts together and entwine them to make a composition that sounded appealing and also fit the lyrics (if they were written before the composition process). Sukhwinder is at his efficacious best, while Vishal Bhardwaj sounds great in a song of the type which he usually never sings. K.K. and Kunal Ganjawala (two singers I used to confuse with each other when I was younger! What a coincidence!) are a bit underused, but whatever they get to sing, they sing marvellously! K.K. has not more than four lines (maybe even less), but he makes sure he makes those lines beautiful, while Kunal has a bit more than him. The lyrics by Gulzar depict very nicely the immense fan following Kangana’s character in the film has! Situational again, but they have a nice ring to them! MARVELLOUS! This one is like an opera performance!

Rating: 5/5

 

8. Chori Chori

Singer ~ Rekha Bhardwaj, Choir ~ Vivienne Pocha, Bianca Pinto, Marianne D’Cruz Aiman & Crystal Sequeira, Lyrics by ~ Gulzar

“Nukkad nukkad dekh rahe ho tum, thode se khoye thode se gumm,
Nukkad nukkad dekh rahe ho tum, thode se khoye thode se gumm,
Peeche peeche aate ho, bin aavaz bulaate ho,
Moongphali ke daane aise phenka na karo, piya ji Chori Chori!
Chori Chori Dekho aise dekha na karo!”

– Gulzar

Once again, we are transported to the 1940s with this song, another solo song by the albums leading lady, Rekha Bhardwaj. The song is a throwback to the black-and-white era of Bollywood, when O.P. Nayyar churned out all these melodies that were clearly inspired by European music. This one is a similar piece, particularly reminding me of ‘Leke Pehla Pehla Pyaar’ (C.I.D. – 1956). It starts with wonderful European-flavoured accordion and mandolin, making you ready for a retro-themed composition. And sure enough, the composition by Vishal is so evocative of the old songs I mentioned above! It is almost like a throwback to that era. The antara slows down the tempo a bit, and for a while everything is quiet, but then the Spanish touch returns with finger snaps and whatnot! Speaking of which, the arrangements of fabulous! The strings and the accordion is magical! The occasional drums contribute to the fun flavour of the song, and that fun second interlude is a must-listen! Rekha’s vocals are beautiful, reminding you of Asha Bhosle’s songs of that era. The lyrics by Gulzar, once again, do not disclose too much, except that there is yet another possibility that it is one of Julia’s stage performances! The lyrics are quite cute as well. Everything about this track is like a throwback to the black-and-white era of Bollywood!

Rating: 4.5/5

 

9. Rangoon Theme

(Instrumental)

Finally, that theme we heard in the trailer arrives on the soundtrack! And what a treat to the ears it is! An astounding mélange of wonderful strings and brass instruments, it sounds aptly and perfectly oriental! It starts off subtly with the strings of a harp being plucked in a quite mellow way, and soon, the lead viola (Suresh Lalwani) starts playing a very heart-rending tune, which has a distinctly Chinese touch to it. (Fair enough, because China is close to Myanmar.) The other violas and violins join it soon, and add to the majesticness of the song. Later on cellos, and brass instruments like trumpets, French horns , tuba and trombones join. The gong sounds amazing, too. The one-and-a-half minute track is definitely going to let those goosebumps have a party in the movie hall! Magnificent!!

Rating: 5/5

 

10. Be Still

Singer ~ Dominique Cerejo, Lyrics by ~ Lekha Washington

“Be still, my heart, be still!
Come down from the windowsill of my throat,
Don’t jump to the gut!”

– Lekha Washington

The next song is the first of the two English songs that bring up the caboose of the album. This one is a waltzy melody that intrigues you with its calm notes. Vishal has tried his best at a convincing waltz, and succeeds just as well. The hookline is what grabs your attention right away, as the song starts with it. The piano has been put to great use, as are the strings, and whatever is giving those waltz beats in the background! Dominique Cerejo has sung gloriously, and it actually makes you feel as if you’re hearing her perform live, such is the conviction in her voice. Lekha Washington lyrics are good, too, and cute too, at that! A fantastic waltz!

Rating: 4/5

 

11. Shimmy Shake

Singer ~ Vivienne Pocha, Lyrics by ~ Lekha Washington

“A little Shimmy shake, a little double take,
Time’s a-running out, so kiss me!
I am alive now, so are you Amour,
Remember this somehow, so kiss me!”

– Lekha Washington

The last song of the album happens to be an outright fun song about the Shimmy, a very fun dance form of the era shown in the movie. The composition is fun, and Vivienne delivers in a just as fun way. The arrangements, aptly jazzy, are a nice mix of piano, trumpet and guitars. The lyrics are fun as well, and I can’t really think of any more to say about this! 😀 Seize the opportunity and dance away!

Rating: 3.5/5


Rangoon is marvellous! Vishal Bhardwaj delivers a theme-based album just as he always does, with nothing out of place and everything sounding great even though he has tried some experiments here and there. The 40s/50s flavour is evident in most songs, and the result is a fun soundtrack with no single song I can call bad as such. With his, it is probably the most fulfilling Bollywood album of the year so far, and I must say, there wasn’t much of a doubt that it would be! Another masterpiece from VB!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4 + 4 + 5 + 5 + 5+ 4 + 5 + 5 + 4.5 + 5 + 4 + 3.5 = 54

Album Percentage: 90%

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: From Track 1 to Track 12 nonstop 🙂

 

Remake Counter
No. Of Remakes: 04 (from previous albums) + 00 = 04

 

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

A MIDDLING ‘KAHAANI’! (KAHAANI 2 – Music Review)

So sorry for being late, but there was some technical problem, maybe network error, due to which I couldn’t access my own blog. :p Luckily, a new song from the album released yesterday, so I now got to include that in the review!!


Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Clinton Cerejo & Rabindranath Tagore
♪ Lyrics by: Amitabh Bhattacharya & Rabindranath Tagore
♪ Music Label: Saregama
♪ Music Released On: 19th November 2016
♪ Movie Released On: 2nd December 2016

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Kahaani 2 Album Cover

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE

To hear “Anandoloke” on Saavn CLICK HERE

To buy “Anandoloke” on iTunes CLICK HERE


Kahaani 2 is a Bollywood thriller starring Vidya Balan, Arjun Rampal, Jugal Hansraj and Naisha Khanna. The film is directed by director of ‘Kahaani’, Sujoy Ghosh, and produced by the director along with Jayantilal Gada. The makers have made it known that the film is by no means a sequel to the 2012 runaway hit ‘Kahaani’, but since the storyline fits well with the theme of that movie, the makers have decided to club this movie with that, in order to make a sort of ‘Kahaani’ franchise. Bhatts, learn something! But instead of lecturing the Bhatts for making an infinite number of franchises, and including infinite instalments in each of the franchises, I should focus on the music of the movie. For the first movie, we had one of the top composer duos of Bollywood, Vishal-Shekhar, behind the music of the album. This time around though, we have a composer that hasn’t yet proved himself as a great composer to the masses, but for music lovers like us, he has provided many beautiful albums. And that man is Clinton Cerejo. Just this year, he has given us two wonderful albums, one for the musical ‘Jugni’ with 12 tracks, and the other for the thriller ‘Te3n’, with 5 tracks. Here he comes for his third film of the year, yet another thriller, with a mere 3 tracks. The album should really live up to the standards that ‘Kahaani’ has set, but I also have a guilty thought that with just 3 songs and without Vishal-Shekhar, the album won’t exactly meet my expectations. Anyway, I will hear it with an unbiased mind and hope to like it! 🙂


1. Mehram
Singer ~ Arijit Singh

So with everyone bowing down to the public’s demand of having Arijit in an album, here we see Clinton doing so as well. The first song on the album very conveniently blends Arijit’s singing prowess with Clinton’s beautiful composing style. Clinton has composed a nice and breezy romantic song that pleases you instantly. The mukhda is characteristic of Clinton’s usual composing style, and instantly takes you into the calm and breezy world of the song. The line “Mujhe kuchh mat de…” takes the song to a wonderful high, and from there, seamlessly joins the hook line, which has distinct shades of Cerejo written all over it. So much so that you almost feel that the song is a happier version of Clinton’s ‘Haq Hai’ (Te3n). No complaints, though! The first antara, as is the convention nowadays, follows the tune of the mukhda, while the second takes a beautiful turn, without any interlude between the hookline and itself. The whole composition in all, however, turns out to be an utterly soothing one, and at the end of the song, calls for a repeat listen. The arrangements are nice as well. In addition to the breezy composition, Clinton puts in some nice acoustic guitars (Sachin Mittra & Clinton Cerejo) to keep the song catchy, with electric guitars and drums joining in whenever an impact is to be created. Especially in the hookline, the drums make a huge difference and increase the likability factor by a lot! Arijit’s vocals prove yet again why every composer is after him for at least one song in each of their albums. Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics are nice and pleasant as well. This starts the album off on a very pleasant note! Unexpected but accepted. #5StarHotelSong!!

 

2. Lamhon Ke Rasgulle
Singers ~ Sunidhi Chauhan & Bianca Gomes

“Okay. Don’t worry… There might be some situation in the film where this song will fit in..” That was an exclusive insight into my mind, which was clearly confused after hearing this song, and I was trying to convince it. But of course, I couldn’t manage to convince it. This next song sounds like a total misfit. In all aspects. The song just doesn’t seem right! As soon as starts, you think it might be like those 80s disco songs that indicated something sinister would happen right when they ended (that was such a cliché in those films!). However, all traces of that thought disappear when the song actually starts, and its composition is nothing that would build up to something thrilling and suspenseful. In fact, it sounds way too happy-go-lucky to catch hold of in a normal situation too, let alone in a thriller film. It might’ve been better suited to a rom-com, but there too, it wouldn’t have gone too far. The composition wears out after the first one hundred seconds or so, and that’s mainly because Sunidhi is behind the mic. Two songs the song really reminded me of, were ‘Thank God It’s Friday’ (Himmatwala) and the very recent ‘Let’s Break Up’ (Dear Zindagi). The arrangements can be thanked for that. The disco sounds are really enjoyable! The brass instruments and the synthetic chords really remind you a lot of Amit Trivedi’s arrangement style. Another reason this song sounds so similar to the ‘Himmatwala’ song, can be that Sunidhi sang that one too. Here, she gets to share the song with Bianca Gomes, who sounds like a less harsh-sounding version of Shefali Alvares. Both ladies carry the song wonderfully, and give yet another reason to hear it once. Amitabh’s lyrics are quite situational, and undecipherable (at least to me) at this stage. Could’ve done good, but sadly got placed in the wrong album! A song that depends on vocals and arrangements to propel it forward.

 

3. Aaur Main Khush Hoon
Singer ~ Ash King

The next song is yet another happy-go-lucky, breezy song, again sounding like Amit Trivedi ghost-composed it. Again, it sounds as if it has been placed wrongly. This outrageous idea of putting romantic and breezy song in albums that seemingly don’t require them has been getting too ridiculous nowadays! Anyway, the composition is good, but gets boring after quite some time. I just found it hard to catch hold of. The hookline might be the best part of the song, everything else seems inconsistent and flying all over the place. The guitar riff doesn’t help either, it just makes the song sound like it belongs in ‘Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu 2’. The guitars and ukulele (played by Clinton Cerejo) keep playing incessantly throughout the song, and sometimes sound very sweet, other times, very unnecessary! The harmonica also sounds nice whenever it plays. Ash King renders the song with such impeccable ease! The playful way he sings Amitabh’s playful lyrics, is endearing. There’s nothing much more to say about this song!

 

♪ Bonus Song

4. Anandoloke

Singer ~ Clinton Cerejo, Composition & Lyrics by ~ Late Rabindranath Tagore

This song just released the day the movie released, which was yesterday, and luckily for me, I was having technical problems posting the review… And I happened to stumble upon this! 😀 The song follows ‘Kahaani’s convention of taking a beautiful Bengali song and recreating it for the movie. For the first film it was patriotic song ‘Ekla Cholo Re’, a Rabindranath Tagore composition. This time around as well, it is a song by Rabindranath Tagore, and this time it is ‘Anandaloke Mongalaloke’, a Rabindra-sangeet song that has been re-interpreted in many different ways before in Bengali films, and now for the first time in a Hindi film. Tagore ji’s original composition is just as soothing and relaxing as was ‘Ekla Cholo Re’, and Clinton adds his grand instrumentation to make it sound even more soothing to the ears. The piano, which is always the best way to start such a song, starts off this song very grandly, accompanied by a strong orchestra, with a brass instruments bringing in the brightness. After this, wonderful flutes play a playful melody that just makes you feel loved! Throughout the song, the scinitllating arrangements just steal your attention, and hence, that language barrier (which I don’t really believe in anyway) gets smacked right in the nose! 😀 The vocals by Clinton are amazing! He carries the song with the required responsibility, while he also employs an awesome choir to accompany him, reminiscent of the choir he has assembled for ‘Haq Hai’ (Te3n). At the end of the song, you just can’t help but feel that this was the Clinton you were waiting for! #5StarHotelSong!!


Kahaani 2 is one of those albums that is very misleading. A thriller with three songs out of the four in its album, being happy and breezy is such an irony. Contrary to how heart-moving the album to ‘Kahaani’ by Vishal-Shekhar was, this one just disappoints. With the exception of ‘Mehram’ and ‘Anandoloke’, this album has hardly anything working in its favour! After two great albums, Clinton Cerejo closes his account this year with a not-so-good album. Hopefully, he gets back on his wonderful track next year! Also, not liking this album might not have much to do with me hit living the tracks, than it has to do with me not liking that the album is full of tracks which will merely help in promotion, and not included in the actual movie. This ‘kahaani’ gets nowhere close to the first!

 

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: Anandoloke > Mehram > Aaur Main Khush Hoon > Lamhon Ke Rasgulle

 

Which is your favourite song from Kahaani 2? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂

TRIVEDI’S CUTE ZINDAGI! (DEAR ZINDAGI – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Amit Trivedi & Ilaiyaraaja
♪ Lyrics by: Kausar Munir & Gulzar
♪ Music Label: Sony Music
♪ Music Released On: 15th November 2016
♪ Movie Releases On: 25th November 2016

Dear Zindagi Album Cover

Dear Zindagi Album Cover

 

To hear the songs of this album on Saavn CLICK HERE

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Dear Zindagi is an upcoming Bollywood comedy drama starring Alia Bhatt, Shahrukh Khan, Kunal Kapoor, Ali Zafar and Ira Dubey. The film is directed by ‘English Vinglish’ fame Gauri Shinde, and produced by Gauri Khan, Karan Johar and Gauri Shinde herself. This is a story of Kaira (played by Alia) and Jug (played by Khan). Kaira is a budding cinematographer looking for a perfect life. Enter Jug, an unconventional thinker, who gives her a new perspective of looking at life. So, the storyline has Gauri Shinde as we know her, written all over it! Gauri’s last film also touched upon the small beauties of life, and I’m sure this will delve more into that. The director chooses to compose for this film, the person that had made her first film’s album such a success, and that is, as we all know, Amit Trivedi. Who, by the way, gets to compose for SRK for the first time in his career in the bargain! (And Alia for the third!) Looking at the film’s teasers and promos, fresh music is expected, and who better than Trivedi to get in that freshness? His track record this year has been amazing, but he didn’t really get to compose in his comfort zone, what with the grand music that ‘Fitoor’ called for, or the extra-dark and unconventional music that was required by ‘Udta Punjab’. With this film, I’m sure he’s going to be back in his comfort zone, which is fresh, feel-good music! So let’s get into this album right away!


1. Love You Zindagi / Love You Zindagi (Club Mix)
Singers ~ Jasleen Kaur Royal / Alia Bhatt, Backing Vocals ~ Rajiv Sundaresan, Suhas Sawant & Joell Mukherjii

So, the album starts off with what I would like to call the title song of the album, but I clearly can’t. The song appears in two versions, so let me speak about them one by one. The first version is definitely the song that is doing the rounds these days, what with Alia who can be seen embracing the small joys of life in its video, which really looks cute! On the music front, too, this one scores pretty well. Amit’s composition for this song is easily his signature style of composition, and a layman can easily guess at this stage of Trivedi’s career, whether a song is composed by him or not. The mukhda is full of sugary-sweet notes that really appeal to you at once, not to mention the cute way those “Hi Hi Hi”s and “Bye Bye Bye”s have been composed! And the hookline is just fabulous! 😀 The antara follows the same kind of template, starting off gracefully and then going into a fun staccato. The hookline is what will attract more listeners though for sure. The arrangements in this version, though, are heavenly. A wonderful flute (Inapakurti D Rao) starts the song off, and then breezy guitars (Joell Mukherjii) take over for the most part of the song. And then wonderful trumpets (Ketan Sodha) and a nice mandolin and banjo (Tapas Roy) provide the breeziness factor a boost. Darshan Doshi’s drums give a nice upbeat nature to the song. It is the vocals that make the song sound even more cute, as Jasleen does her wonderful small baby thing yet again. However, that admiration of her rendition lasts only as long as you don’t hear Alia’s rendition. In the club mix, amidst a cool chivda of techno sounds, her voice sounds soooooo beautiful! And then you just can’t help but compare her to Shraddha and discover who is clearly the better singer. (Alia!) In the song, she sounds like Jonita Gandhi a bit at some places, especially during the “Hi Hi Hi” and “Bye Bye Bye“. Amit has conveniently increased the tempo for this one, succeeding in living up to the ‘Club Mix’ title. Backing vocalists Rajiv Sundaresan, Suhas Sawant and Joell Mukherjii are the magicians behind that beautiful hookline, and had they not been there, the hookline wouldn’t at all have stood out so well! And then, we come to Kausar’s lyrics, which are another breath of fresh air! Talking about having an affair with life, it is very fun and cute to the ears! The soundtrack starts off with a song that is fun in all, but one version falls flat because of the singer, while the other is more of a remix. Anyway, enjoyable but not great great great. 🙂

 

2. Tu Hi Hai
Singer ~ Arijit Singh, Backing Vocals ~ Joell Mukherjii

The next song is yet another fresh song. Amit’s composition is one of the cutest things I’ve heard this year, and that cuteness is alleviated thanks to Arijit’s feathery voice. The mukhda instantly grabbed my attention and pulled me into the song, and it won’t take time for anyone to love this song. The hookline falls into the category of hooklines which I love — the ones that don’t proclaim themselves as the rulers of the world. It blends into the mukhda and you hardly notice when it’s over. Also, after Arijit sings “Tu hi hai“, I felt like doing the Shammi Kapoor Shimmy, for some reason — maybe there’s some retro touch hidden somewhere in the song! The hookline is followed by a nice line that goes “Door yeh kaun hai..” That right there, is my favourite part of the whole song. The antara takes the tune of the mukhda itself, and that is Trivedi’s usual style, and I loved it especially in this song, because the tune is so good, that it deserves a double repeat. As a conclusion, Trivedi adds a nice little stanza that goes “Mere sheron mein yeh kaun hai” which goes on to even ask who is in his diary, guitar, balloons and whatnot. The entire composition style reminded me of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s ‘Kuch Toh Hua Hai’ (Kal Ho Naa Ho) — NOT ANKIT TIWARI’S ‘KUCH TOH HUA HAI’ FROM ‘SINGHAM RETURNS’ PLEASE!! The freshness is quite similar to the freshness to the freshness of that song, and it just shows you how ahead of their time Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy were at that time. Amit’s arrangements are perfect. Breezy acoustic guitars (Joell Mukherjii) coupled with nice drum beats make for a nice and soothing arrangement. The guitars, as they start the song off, reminded me of another Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy song ‘Dil Kya Kare’ (Salaam-E-Ishq)! The interludes are well embellished with Tapas Roy’s wonderful mandolins. But the star of the arrangements is the vintage spoon-on-a-glass chink sound, and Amit has really overdone himself by using that in such a wonderful manner here. Backing vocals (Joell Mukherjii) in the mukhda constitute the chorus going “Oooohh oooohh” in a wonderful harmony. Sony Music, however, doesn’t reveal the musician credits until the song promos are released, so I can’t really speak about the musicians and backing vocalists. 😦 Arijit’s vocals are the perfect match for this cite composition, and he renders it with ease, and the right amount of cuteness. Kausar’s lyrics are wonderful, a bit in the Gulzar style of writing. Very cute!! Signature Amit Trivedi meets Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

3. Taarefon Se
Singers ~ Arijit Singh

{Looks like Sony Music has misspelled ‘Taareefon’ 😅}

As soon as the next song starts, you can’t help but scream out the name of one of Amit Trivedi’s most famous albums, the one that actually brought him his first huge acclaim in the commercial style of music, ‘Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu’. The composition is a nice, soothing one, done in the traditional jazzy style. But don’t get me wrong. Amit’s jazz in ‘Bombay Velvet’ and this jazz is not the same at all. Over there, he had to compose according to the 1960s Bombay theme, but here, he composed a traditional modern jazz song, no matter how confusing that sounds. 😀 The composition reminded me particularly of ‘Gubbare’ (Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu) but also reminded me of all the songs in that album in general. The soothing tune provides a nice relief to the ears, and works in its intentions. The way the mukhda starts, you would feel that the song won’t really get so catchy, but as it progresses, it grows on you like slow poison, reminding me of yet another such song, Rahman’s ‘Aise Na Dekho’ (Raanjhanaa) which started off sounding like the black sheep of the album, but ending up being at par with the rest of the songs. The hookline of this song has been composed beautifully by Amit, and it just sounds so intoxicating and cute. The antara keeps the intoxication in the song continued, with its nice and easy-going tune. The line “Maana sabse tu, haseen hai nakhrewaali…” in the mukhda is just mind-blowing! Arrangements, are fabulous here too. A perfect result is obtained by Amit’s trumpet+drum couple. Additionally, piano provides the soothing effect in the jazz, while a backing chorus gives the required harmonies. About the vocals, I really can’t say anything except praise Arijit yet again for his brilliant rendition!! Every note of his touches the ears with a nice feel, hence making the already dulcet composition sound even more calm. Kausar Munir just writes yet another set of amazing lyrics, cuteness overloaded! A song that seems to be rejected from ‘Ek Main Auar Ekk Tu’, and placed here, but shines in this album nevertheless! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

4. Let’s Break Up
Singer ~ Vishal Dadlani

The next song is a booming, fun track that brings in to the album a peppy aspect. The composition is a nice and upbeat one which instantly hooks you, and has you listening the whole time. The style of composition which Amit has used here, too, is quite retro. It reminds you of that MJ hip-hop music that Vishal-Shekhar had used in the ‘Bang Bang’ title song. The mukhda starts off the song very ebulliently and makes the listener ready for a fun song to follow. The hookline is where the song falters a bit, looking like Amit has stuck some other song’s hookline to the song’s mukhda, making things sound quite odd. Both parts are good in their own places, but do not go together too well. The first antara is also in the same tune as the mukhda (Amit seems to have taken this style very seriously!) and provides more cheeriness in the song! The second antara is also nice and innovative with a trance-y touch to it thanks to the arrangements that sound unplugged with nothing but claps accompanying the melody. In short, the tune is good except for the mistake that the hookline is. Arrangements are nice and euphoric, with those MJ hip-hop beats overpowering everything else. Drums and fantastic brass instruments provide more attractive music. The second interlude is a typical Amit Trivedi quirky musical piece. Those digital beats are just insane!! Vishal Dadlani was the perfect choice for this song, if not Benny Dayal. He renders the composition with the required effervescence. I just love the way he sings “Basically, basically, basically”. He is the saving grace of the hookline, along with the trumpets. Kausar Munir writes a better piece about breakups than Amitabh Bhattacharya did in ‘The Breakup Song’ (Ae Dil Hai Mushkil). However, due to lack in the catchiness of the hookline, they don’t stand out much! Fun, but won’t stay around for too long!

 

5. Just Go To Hell Dil
Singer ~ Sunidhi Chauhan, Backing Vocals ~ Rajiv Sundaresan, Suhas Sawant, Arun Kamath, Crystal Sequeira & Bianca Gomes

The next song brings in the much-awaited melancholia in the album (Though I don’t like the melancholia of those typical romantic songs, I await the melancholia that people like Rahman, Vishal-Shekhar, Pritam, Trivedi and Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy offer!) The song is a sombre melody that, yet again, grows on you like slow poison. The composition is not really one that I would expect from Trivedi, I would expect such a composition more from Pritam. And I say that because it sounds a lot like Pritam’s ‘Life In A… Metro’ songs and his ‘Yaariyan’ (Cocktail). The composition is nonetheless beautiful. It has all shades of emotion, and doesn’t bore for even one of its five and a half minutes. The hookline is something that will instantly hook you, and that is also where the song starts sounding like a trademark Pritam composition. The mukhda is essentially a beautifully woven piece, with notes strung in line one after the other in a beautiful fashion, making he result phenomenal. There is always a part which takes the song up in such songs, and here, that part is the wonderful “Oh Roothe Dil, Roothe Dil, Roothe Dil…” line. It is from there, that the song starts working its magic on you. Though I don’t always love English hookline in essentially Hindi songs, the hookline in this song blends in well, and turns out to be a success. The antara again, resembles the mukhda and now I’m 100% sure that this is now Trivedi’s style. The second antara gets the composition treading on nice high note that instantly strike a chord with the listener. The provide a kind of climax to the song. The whole composition in all, makes this song the cranked-up equivalent of ‘Gustakh Dil’ from Gauri Shinde and Trivedi’s last album ‘English Vinglish’, which was another “addressing-the-heart-and-accusing-it-of-its-infinite-faults” song. The arrangements win half the battle for the song. A wonderful piano starts off the song, followed by a graceful violin (Jitendra H. Thakur). The guitars (Rushad Mistry & Warren Mendonsa) set in and make the atmosphere of the song even more beautiful. That electric guitar loop playing in the hookline is what actually reminded me of Pritam’s guitar loops in ‘Yaariyan’ (Cocktail) and ‘Kabira’ (Yeah Jawaani Hai Deewani). Drums (Darshan Doshi) are another quintessential but fabulous addition to the song. Sunidhi’s effusive vocals are enough to take the song to sky-level. She sings the whole song with such conviction, it doesn’t make Amit’s emotional composition sound hollow. Backing vocalists support Sunidhi very well, and I loved how the male backing vocalists and the female ones have distinct parts. Kausar Munir’s lyrics are wonderful, and add the pain and angst to the already angsty composition. This one is a sure shot winner! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

6. Ae Zindagi Gale Laga Le (Take 1) / Ae Zindagi Gale Laga Le (Take 2)
Singers ~ Arijit Singh / Alia Bhatt, Composition by ~ Ilaiyaraaja, Music Recreated by ~ Amit Trivedi, Lyrics by ~ Gulzar

 So, for the grand finale to the album, that has done quite good till now, we get a classic song remade by Amit Trivedi. It seems like Sony Music made the makers of the film rummage through the very short list of classic albums they had under their label (almost all went to Saregama-HMV!) and the makers finally found the gem they wanted in that short list. The song was ‘Ae Zindagi Gale Laga Le’ from ‘Sadma’. And, very appropriately, going with the film’s theme (Alia is a cinematographer), Sony Music names these two versions of the remake as “Take 1” and “Take 2”, indicating that it is just their take on the classic, and not an ambitious thing that we call a ‘remake’ nowadays! 😀 The best part about this ‘take’ of the wonderful classic, is that the original composition has been kept intact! Nothing at all has been changed in Ilaiyaraaja’s heavenly composition, and I really appreciate the makers for that! So might Raaja himself! 😀 Even the lyrics by Gulzar saab have been kept as they were in the old song. All that has changed are the vocals and arrangements. So let’s go version-wise. The first version has Arijit behind the mic, with his third song in the album. Who better than Arijit to recreate the magic that Suresh Wadkar had infused into this composition? He sings the song with a nice nasal twang to his voice, and makes sure the glory of the composition remains intact. Amit’s arrangements for this take of the song are wonderful. A nice rock aspect has been given to the song, and the guitars and drums help in making the song appeal to new-age listeners. In the second version, actress Alia Bhatt takes over, and with her sweet voice, renders the haunting composition very effectively, except in the occasional slips here and there. You can tell that her vocals have been incorporated into the track without any tinkering with them. The arrangements here are more of an internationally-appealing type. Such arrangements are getting popular worldwide now, and it is really nice to know that Amit has done this without spoiling the song too much. The EDM sounds nice, and it even goes into a kind of dappankuthu towards the end. These arrangements are definitely more techno than the ones in the first version. What a brave step to recreate this classic, which could’ve gone very bad, hahd Trivedi not used such intelligence! The result is quite safe and amazing! #5StarHotelSong!!


Dear Zindagi turns out to be one of Amit Trivedi’s safest albums till date. He has never tried to get his unconventional touch to such commercial films. Though the film is also not one of SRK’s usual films, I wouldn’t actually be expecting so many songs in the film after seeing the promos. Yet, Trivedi comes up with 8 tracks for the film, and none of them actually have anything going against their favor. Yes, the title track and ‘Let’s Break Up’ do have some minor glitches, but all in all, the album turns out to be a very safe album in that it sounds great, but I’m not really sure about its playlist life! All the songs are very cute and fun to hear, though. Hereby declared: Amit’s cute music makes for a very cute “zindagi“! 

 

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: Tu Hi Hai > Taarefon Se > Just Go To Hell Dil > Ae Zindagi Gale Laga Le (Take 1) > Ae Zindagi Gale Laga Le (Take 2) > Love You Zindagi = Love You Zindagi (Club Mix) = Let’s Break Up

 

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

CL1NT0N’S SH0RT, EXP3R1MENT4L & SW3ET SOUNDTRACK!! (TE3N – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Clinton Cerejo
♪ Lyrics by: Amitabh Bhattacharya
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 30th May 2016
♪ Movie Releases On: 10th June 2016

Te3n Album Cover

Te3n Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Te3n is an upcoming Bollywood mystery/thrilelr film, starring Amitabh Bachchan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Vidya Balan in the lead roles. The film has been directed by Ribhu Dasgupta, and produced by Sujoy Ghosh, Gulab Singh Tanwar, Anirudh Tanwar, Abhijit Ghatak, Deepak Dhar, Ram Mirchandani, Hyunwoo Thomas Kim, Suresh Nair, Sameer Rajendran and Gauri Sathe. The movie is the story of a cop (Vidya Balan), a priest (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) and a vengeful man (Amitabh Bachchan) who investigate a kidnappings which is similar to an 8-year-old unsolved case. Going by the trailer, the movie sure looks promising. Four years ago, Sujoy Ghosh had directed ‘Kahaani’, and now he’s producing a thriller that has the same feeling, and which is also set in Kolkata. The music for ‘Kahaani’ was by the awesome duo, Vishal-Shekhar, but the album for ‘Te3n’ is composed by ‘Pyaar Ka Punchnama’ fame Clinton Cerejo. This composer has been working in the industry for many years, as backing vocalist, singer and composer. I believe he’s very, very underrated. Earlier this year, he gave an album that is still the best album of the year till now, in my opinion. That was ‘Jugni’, a musical, with as much as 11 songs composed by him. This time, it is a thriller film, so not many songs are expected. He has composed four songs, with one having two versions, making a total of five tracks. Let’s see how gripping, thrilling and soulful these five tracks turn out to be!


1. Haq Hai
Singer ~ Clinton Cerejo

Clinton starts off the album on a very promising note. A piano chord strikes your ears very impactfully, only to carry the song forward very gently and softly. The song is something like an anthem for demotivated souls, to encourage them to move on. And this motivational spirit is reflected in the composition, as well as in the lyrics. Clinton composes a soulful tune, that doesn’t take any time to impress you. The hookline is pure and genuine soothing music. The way Clinton composes a soft and gentle mukhda and antara, while increasing the punch in the hookline, is really worth hearing. Both the mukhda and the first antara have the same intriguingly gentle and smooth tune. The composition is sure to hook you. After the hookline, Clinton has added a very beautiful, slow line — “leke rahoonga haq mera, karta hun vaada”. That line sounds so wonderful in its place. The second antara is something that doesn’t sound like a separate stanza, but seems like a continuation of the hookline itself. Clinton’s arrangements are very minimal in the song, with just a very addictive spoon-on-the-glass tapping sound, that carries the composition elsewhere. The piano chords are very soft in the background and you can hear them if you really pay close attention. The hookline witnesses a magnificent soft rock template, with drums without the rock guitars, but with strings. The first interlude has a wonderful piano solo, joined with brisk strings. The second antara has been instrumentated more heavily, with strings. The last time the hookline is sung, rock guitars kick in as well. Clinton’s smooth and gentle voice does complete justice to the composition, and he sounds like a mix of K.K. and Benny Dayal. Amitabh Bhattacharya pens a beautiful song, motivational to the core. It is another one of those songs that teach you to fight defeat with a brave heart. A motivational song, that doesn’t go overboard with motivation, and stays sweet and simple. A hookline that will transport you to another world and flawless lyrics. All in all, a verrrryy promising start to this album! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

2. Rootha
Singers ~ Benny Dayal, Divya Kumar & Bianca Gomes

Bengali folk percussion greets us into the next song, a foot-tapping techno-folk fusion with lots of magic in store for us. After the soulful start to the album, Clinton lightens up the ambience, with an entrancing song. The song isn’t exactly a dance number, nor is it a soulful song. It is somewhere in the middle of these two, though. The composition is slow, beguiling, dreamy and crazily addictive. Clinton makes sure the fusion works effectively, and so he fuses a Western-styled composition with partly Western and partly Bangla folk arrangements. The Bangla percussion goes on throughout the song, with manjeeras. The mukhda by Benny, is something that will definitely grab you right away. And when the hookline starts off, you can’t help but dancing to its beats. The tune is so catchy, in spite of being so slow, that you can’t stop yourself from nodding your head. Divya and Benny sound great together in the hookline. Divya also handles the antara (the same composition as mukhda, again) perfectly, excelling in the high notes, since his voice is more folk-oriented. Bianca wonderfully leads some lines in Bengali (extracted from folk song “Sujon Majhi Re”), which have programmed so beautifully, distorting her voice completely, but totally to our amusement. It sounds very interesting. There is no second antara, but the notes from the previous stanzas are repeated along with the hookline once again. The song ends beautifully with Bianca singing part of the Bengali lines and the sound fading away. Arrangements are experimental, but too good. The electronic part is bang on, and has the desired effect of hooking the listener, while the Bangla folk (Durgopooja style) sounds welcome. An interesting fusion to hear, I must say. I personally loved the entrancing techno arrangements, as well as the Bangla percussion. Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics are suitable for the thriller genre, and seems to make it sound like a song to be placed in a critical situation in the movie. Something that is fit for ‘Coke Studio’! A wonderful experimentation by Clinton that bears very sweet fruits! The trio of singers are excellent! GRIPPING! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

3. Kyun Re (Version 1) / Kyun Re (Version 2)
Singers ~ Clinton Cerejo / Amitabh Bachchan, Backing Vocals by ~ Clinton Cerejo

After the brief trippy respite, the composer takes us back to soothing melancholia with the next song. This song, being short and sweet in all aspects, is really touching and haunting. Once again, the composer sticks to a subtle composition with very minimal arrangements, soulful vocals and the lyricist makes it big with beautiful lyrics. Clinton’s core composition is something that touches your heart, something that won’t appeal instantly, but will win your heart over while you’re listening to it. And in no time, you will find yourself loving it. At the base level, it is a very simplistic melody, perfect as a Background piece. The arrangements are solely acoustic guitars, and they sound great, with one riff endlessly going on through the whole song. At three and a half minutes, the duration is very short, but just enough to soak it all in. The melancholic composition wouldn’t have appealed if it were any longer. And what I loved is the way the composition wins your heart even with its sombre, grave manner. The mukhda and antara both, are different here and both have been composed very soulfully. The hookline doesn’t try to force itself onto us, and I loved that. The composition is more cut out for Clinton, though Bachchan does a great job, too. Just that I liked a smooth and gentle voice as Clinton’s for this one. Clinton joins Amitabh well in the hookline. However, it will be better for the makers to include the Amitabh version in the film to make it sound more believable, because the lyrics are situational. Amitabh (Bhattacharya) goes into Gulzar mode, and writes conversational lyrics, as it Amitabh’s character is singing to his long-lost granddaughter. He doesn’t go too philosophical, theoretical, analytical, but keeps the words simple and relatable. And that’s what makes the song emerge out as a winner. Simplistic to the core, this dark and haunting composition will completely win your heart! Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics are top-class. Clinton’s version is for the music lover, while Amitabh’s is fit for the big screen! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

4. Grahan
Singer ~ Vishal Dadlani

The last song on the album starts off with a futuristic robotic voice saying words that suit the theme of the film, like ‘confusion’, ‘doubt’, ‘security’, ‘truth’. This weird part is then followed by an electrifying rock song sung by none other than Vishal Dadlani. Techno sounds played in a discoesque manner make way for Vishal’s husky and grated voice. He starts off in a low pitched voice, and then goes to the high pitch, something he does wonderfully. Clinton’s composition is really suitable for the film, which is a thriller film. The tune is fast-paced, and not exactly catchy, but appreciable. The exciting arrangements help the composition, which is a bit weak to be completely gripping. The hookline itself, though, is really impressive. It is the padding that disappoints. The high-pitched rock styled line in the mukhda was a bit weak in terms of composition. The antara too, sounded a bit too templated. Anyway, the arrangements are so engaging, that all this is hidden. The electrifying rock guitars, drums, and techno sounds have been wonderfully employed to accompany each other. Towards the end, however, the volume gets a bit too much, and I found it quite unbearable after Vishal screams like a typical rockstar. That is what I don’t like in rock! 😀 Vishal, however, is at his best, trying to pour out all the angst into the song, and making for a great listen. Amitabh’s lyrics too have a tint of mystery in them, and it goes well with the whole theme. It’s less hooking than the other songs, but nonetheless, it is perfect in its own place! Vishal, the rockstar, renders it with all the energy possible!


Te3n wasn’t an album that was expected to even have an album. But, Bollywood’s standards are that mystery thrillers have some songs to fit into the background, and hence, we have been given an album here. Earlier this year, Bachchan starred in the thriller ‘Wazir’ which had a multicomposer album, out of which very few songs could satisfy me; the promotional song turned out to be the best! However, this time, the album being short and simple, all songs being perfectly composed and written and sung, there is no feeling of anything missing. After a stunning ‘Jugni’ earlier this year, Clinton has given a wonderful, short, simple, exper1m3ntal and swe3t s0undtrack!!

 

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: Rootha > Haq Hai > Kyun Re (either version) > Graham

 

Which is your favourite song from Te3n? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂

 

Next “dish”: Sultan, Chefs: Vishal-Shekhar

WHEN EXPERIMENTATION GOES HAYWIRE!!!! (CABARET – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Kaustav Narayan Niyogi, Munish Makhija & Tony Kakkar
♪ Lyrics by: Kaustav Narayan Niyogi, Tony Kakkar & Qateel Shifai
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 27th April 2016
♪ Movie Releases On: 27th May 2016

Cabaret Album Cover

Cabaret Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Cabaret is an upcoming Bollywood romantic/dance film, starring Richa Chadda, Gulshan Devaiah and cricketer S. Sreesanth in lead roles. The film is directed by debutant Kaustav Narayan Niyogi and produced by Pooja Bhatt. The film is based on the struggles in the life of a cabaret dancer, and I strongly guess that the film is set in the past. When the film is about a dancer, and that too, cabaret dancer, one expected great music. This time, the music has been given by newcomers though. The director of the film, Kaustav Narayan Niyogi, is one of the music directors, while actor Munish Makhija is another. The only name in the music directors list who is known for music, is Tony Kakkar. If the director felt the need of composing songs himself, it must be required and he must’ve given his best shot! He has composed three songs along with Munish, while Munish composes or rather, remixes, two songs all by himself, both remakes of traditional songs. Tony gets only one song, and thankfully, it isn’t a club song, so we can expect something beautiful. With that, I start reviewing the music of ‘Cabaret’!


1. Paani Paani
Singer ~ Sunidhi Chauhan, Music by ~ Kaustav Narayan Niyogi & Munish Makhija, Lyrics by ~ Kaustav Narayan Niyogi

The first song of the album is composed by Kaustav and Munish together as a duo. Sunidhi being credited as the singer of the song really increases expectations, and they are eventually met. The song starts with a techno tune, which is really hooking. As Sunidhi bursts in with her bold and heavy voice, the song shines even more. The composition treads familiar item song territory, reminding heavily of ‘Kamli’ (Dhoom 3), yet charms in its own way. Kaustav-Munish do come up with stuff that serves as an instant earworm. Though the composition does invoke memories of other Sunidhi songs, it does impress nevertheless. The hookline, mainly, has the power to attract listeners. Sunidhi’s vocals are the main attraction in the song. The song would have sounded boring, had another singer sung it. She has infused right amounts of energy and feel to the song and doesn’t make it sound cheap, which is the usual tag given to songs in this category. Her vocal nuances and variation do impress, and after all, she is one of the best today. The duo’s arrangements are really cool, and though they are a LONG way from cabaret, they appeal, and so it makes the song worth listening. Electronic tablas before the hookline impress, as do electric guitars wonderfully throughout the whole song. Other than those, everything else is digital, and it still sounds great! It is commendable how the duo has made the song classy by adding all the techno elements and rock elements. Kaustav’s lyrics are typical to item songs, but as I said, the arrangements plays the gamechanger and elevates the lyrics, not making it sound like one. A good fusion by the newcomers! Catchy and groovy, with the wonderful Sunidhi’s great voice! Good start to the album! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

2. Phir Teri Bahon Mein
Singer ~ Sonu Kakkar, Music by ~ Tony Kakkar, Lyrics by ~ Tony Kakkar

Tony steps in next, for his sole composition in the album. Just a few days ago, I had really thrashed his song ‘Do Peg Maar’ (One Night Stand), which was really very cheap. However, this time he is here with a romantic song, sung by his second sister Sonu, whose voice I really enjoy more than Neha’s. The song has been styled like a ghazal and has been composed really soulfully. Tony seems to have put all his soul into the composition and also seems to want to apologise for the blunder that was his last song. The composition is one of those rare gems that arrive once in a while, which is really, really, slow-paced, yet it appeals to you. It makes you want to keep hearing again and again on loop, and that is what means the song has been successful. Sonu sings with all her heart and soul, and impresses like never! The arrangements are highly subtle, with almost nothing but acoustic guitars and digital beats. They sound beautiful with the slow-paced song, and the soulful vocals. Tony has worked really hard to make this composition mind-blowing, and his sincerity is evident in the heart-rending resulting composition. I just thought one line in the antara resembled the antara of ‘Sunn Raha Hai’ (Aashiqui 2). The mukhda, or you can say the hookline, is really emotional and soulful, while the antara just keeps those emotions intact until the end of the song! Tony writes as soulfully as he composes, with wonderful ghazal-like lyrics that accompany the song really well! I just have one real complaint against the song, which is that it is wayyyyy too small at 3 minutes and 32 seconds! 😀 A complete winner in all departments! Composition is stellar, arrangements are fabulous, while the vocals and lyrics are heart-touching. What more can I ask for?? The album just got better with Tony’s song! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

3. Do Anjaane
Singer ~ Roopkumar Rathod, Music by ~ Kaustav Narayan Niyogi & Munish Makhija, Lyrics by ~ Kaustav Narayan Niyogi

The next song is a haunting, yet scintillating piece by Kaustav and Munish. A haunting start with a whistle creates the perfect ambience for the song, after which a synthesizer tune builds up to the actual melody of the song. The duo has taken the retro path for this one, making the song sound like a Bollywood 70s or 80s song. The overall composition is very soulful and lovely. The mukhda makes the perfect start to the song, with a hooking tune. The antara is even better and sounds more retro. All in all, the composition is very impressive and goes with the theme of the movie. It reminded me a bit of early Rahman songs. The duo has done a really good job at making it feel that they aren’t newcomers in this field at all. Techno sounds don’t sound weird here, as they are neither overused nor are they too raw. They are just perfect so they do appeal. There are literally no more arrangements other than techno sounds, which do the job of keeping listeners’ ears glued to the song. There is a wonderful wind instrument solo in the second interlude, and though it is pretty soft to the ears, it does impress. Roopkumar, who we are hearing after a pretty long time, impresses with his seasoned vocals, and we can just sit back and relax throughout the song, thanks to his perfect rendition of the song. He doesn’t fail to impress in any part of the song, though it is a pretty simple composition. Kaustav’s lyrics are good, not great. A great song, with a beautiful tune and impressive vocals. The bonus is that, the techno arrangements don’t disappoint#5StarHotelSong!!

 

4. Mohe Na Aaye Na Jag Se Laaj
Singer ~ Neeti Mohan, Music by ~ Munish Makhija, Lyrics by ~ Qateel Shifai (Traditional)

For the next song, Munish wears the cap of the sole music director. The song is a classical mujra-styled song, but not the usual one, as it is fused with techno arrangements. The composition is traditional, and legends such as Pankaj Udhas, Abida Parveen, Anuradha Paudwal, Salma Agha have all tried a go at it. For Gen-Y though, here it is, remastered and rearranged, much to my disappointment. I hadn’t heard the old versions of the song before this, but the composition was the same, so actually, Munish has done nothing on the composition front. The composition, whoever has done it and passed it down generation to generation, is splendid. A soothing feeling overcomes you as the song plays, and this is all because of the traditional composition. Neeti gets to do the vocals, and shines like always, her husky voice being the star of the song. She does complete justice to the composition. What a fabulous rendition she’s done, and that would only be believed when heard. A wonderful aalaap towards the end makes your day. That is all that is good about the song, and also the traditional lyrics by Qateel saab. Everything else is just a trick on the ears. By adding various annoying techno sounds, Munish plays with our brain, tricking us into thinking he’s done a very extraordinary renovation of the song. However, it is just an obstacle in the otherwise great song. A mujra done in a rock template has been heard before (Dil Mera Muft Ka from ‘Agent Vinod’ and Hamari Atariya Pe from ‘Dedh Ishqiya’). A techno-mujra would be so interesting, but only if very well-done! Munish has just added weird beats everywhere, and since the composition is traditional, a traditional approach was expected, at least some fusion like tablas and sitar with the techno sounds would have been better. I can’t do anything but commend Munish for his efforts, but I would’ve liked it, had he not spoiled the song. An original techno-mujra or a rock-mujra would’ve been better! In spite of all that, award-winning rendition from Neeti Mohan!! Hear it only for her and the soothing composition!

 

5. Aakhri Shaam
Singer ~ Bhoomi Trivedi, Music by ~ Kaustav Narayan Niyogi & Munish Makhija, Lyrics by ~ Kaustav Narayan Niyogi

After a techno-item song, a ghazal-styled romantic song, a haunting song, and a mujra, here comes a disco cabaret number. Bhoomi Trivedi gets to do the honours of singing the track. The song starts off with haunting piano notes, and a voice saying “I love you” very weirdly. As soon as the mukhda starts, you get the feeling that something is missing in the track. And that something is, innovation in the composition. The tune seems really typical to disco cabaret numbers of the past (except of course, with more digitalization). The tune is so heard-before, you feel like listening to a Bappi Lahiri 80s number instead of this. Secondly, on top of the heard-before tune, it isn’t well-polished and put together well either! It seems like a mashup of so many cabaret songs. And when the composition is weak, there is practically no hopes for the song to survive for long in our playlist, forget in our minds. Bhoomi does her work with great responsibility, and ends up being the star of the song. Her rendition is at par and maybe even better than her rendition of ‘Ram Chahe Leela’ (Goliyon Ki Rasleela — Ramleela), but due to the weak and dated composition, it hasn’t been exploited to its fullest. The arrangements are great as well, but again, a bit too dated. I mean, Bollywood has been there and got over that a few years ago! The disco era has been revisited many times in the recent past, and Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy seem to have given it its best tribute with many songs in the Don franchise. The techno sounds are typical (and frankly, this album has started to make me hate techno!! It is so overdone here!!) and the strings and piano try to survive among those noises, but can barely be noticed. Kaustav’s lyrics again, are typical with the essential rhyming words of ‘shaam’ and ‘jaam’ and ‘mere naam’ in many disco songs of the past. When disco was introduced to Bollywood, nobody would have thought such an overdone tribute would be made in the future! A miserable composition whose only saving grace is Bhoomi’s bold vocals! Plus, one of those songs that gets stuck in your mind unwantedly, so you decide whether to hear it or not!

 

6. Bibi Sanam
Singer ~ Usha Uthup, Backing Vocals by ~ Bianca Gomes & Shazeen Arethna, Music by ~ Munish Makhija, Lyrics by ~ Traditional, Additional Lyrics by ~ Kaustav Narayan Niyogi

The last song on the album is another remake. This time a traditional Afghani folk song has been remade. The song has got a complete pop makeover, and Munish has employed some hip-hop arrangements to complement the composition, which is traditional. It is the song that most suits the cabaret theme, and it has been remade decently too. However, what it lacks is spunk and style, and instead seems to be trying way too hard to sound cool. The backing vocalists, who are usually a great accessory in songs, bring down the song’s quality. What I felt about the arrangements was that they were pretty cool, yet a bit undercooked. They didn’t seem perfect and it left the song sounding a bit incomplete. The horns are a great choice though! And so are the hip-hoppish beats. Usha Uthup, with all due respect, doesn’t sound as good as normal, but I’m sure that’s not her fault! The lyrics are traditional, and the additional lines added by Kaustav are in tune with the theme and work. Weak composition, weak arrangements, and weak vocals — weak song. Another folk song ruined by experimentation.


I was expecting a lot from Cabaret. Little did I know that the makers wanted to overdo it with the experimentation. Great compositions have been spoiled by weird techno sounds. At first it was fine, but when the whole album practically turned out like that, it got pretty annoying. But that’s not why I liked the first three songs and not the last three. I liked them because they were good, and the others were trying to be too good! Munish Makhija with his remakes does decently in both, but spoils them with the arrangements. Out of Kaustav-Munish’s three songs together, ‘Do Anjaane’ got most of my love, while ‘Paani Paani’ closely follows, and ‘Aakhri Shaam’ takes the last position. Tony Kakkar is the star of the album with his one and only song scoring full marks from me. 🙂 This album is a classic example of why sweet and simple wins the race; too much experimentation ruined the album.

 

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: Phir Teri Bahon Mein > Do Anjaane > Paani Paani > Mohe Aaye Na Jag Se Laaj > Bibi Sanam > Aakhri Shaam

 

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

 

Next “dish”: Sarbjit, Chefs: Shail-Pritesh, Tanishk Bagchi, Amaal Mallik, Jeet Gannguli & Shashi-Shivamm