NO CHANGE IN THE JUGRAAFIYA OF AJAY-ATUL’S MUSIC!! (SUPER 30 – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Ajay-Atul
♪ Lyrics by: Amitabh Bhattacharya
♪ Music Label: Zee Music
♪ Music Released On: 9th July 2019
♪ Movie Releases On: 12th July 2019

Super 30 Album Cover

Listen to the songs: JioSaavn | Gaana

Buy the songs: iTunes


Super 30 is an upcoming Bollywood film starring Hrithik Roshan, Pankaj Tripathi and Mrunal Thakur in lead roles. The film is directed by Vikas Bahl and produced by Nadiadwala Grandsons Entertainment, Phantom Films and Reliance Entertainment. The film revolves around the life of mathematician Anand Kumar, who helps prepare 30 brilliant but underprivileged students for their entrance exams for Indian Institutes of Technology. Bahl’s previous two films have had music by Amit Trivedi, but here, surprisingly, he chooses Ajay-Atul, maybe due to the setting of the film in a rural backdrop, and Ajay-Atul’s music rides high on folk influences. The album is a short and situational one, with five songs, so let’s see how Ajay-Atul deliver as per the film’s theme!


In the mostly situational album, with its lyrics propelling it more than halfway, the only song with any semblance of universality happens to be Jugraafiya, a delightful and cheerful romantic duet, delivered to the point by Udit Narayan and Shreya Ghoshal, a duo we haven’t heard together in a proper duet song (obviously ‘Radha’ from ‘Student of the Year’ doesn’t count) in a long time! The song starts with a signature Ajay-Atul mandolin piece, followed by the melody which kicks in at a low pitch, only for the next line to go higher, until the cross-line and hookline lead to the musical peak, in typical Ajay-Atul style. From that peak, the notes are dropped into a signature Ajay-Atul strings section coupled with a woodwind. The antara is interesting in that it is a string of notes that seems neverending, but I found Udit’s antara better than Shreya’s, because Shreya sounds a bit uncomfortable to the ears with the unbelievably high pitch of her portion. But, as mentioned before, the tune and complexity of the antara is enough to keep you hooked. The second interlude too, follows the standard strings-and-brass template of Ajay-Atul’s. The hookline is quite similar to the “Aga jhannanala” portion from the ‘Sairat’ title track, another case of structural similarity in Ajay-Atul’s songs, the same way the hook of the ‘Dhadak’ title track was similar to the ‘Mere dil mein jagah khuda ki khaali thi..‘ refrain of ‘Sapna Jahan’ (Brothers). The singing by Udit and Shreya is great; it is refreshing to hear Udit after so long, with the same vivacious quality in his voice that made him the top singer in the 90s. Amitabh Bhattacharya provides funny, conversational lyrics, and the use of the Urdu word for ‘Geography’ — ‘Jugraafiya’ — is interesting.

Another track with fun lyrics is Basanti No Dance, a situational song that is used in the film as the backdrop of a street play the students are performing on Holi. Here, the composers had to take in the street play aspect, and the Holi aspect, while composing the song. And it has turned out quite well, but the song just didn’t fit together for me as a whole. The composition is catchy in parts, but the situational dialogue parts make it digress in intervals, making the catchiness intermittent and sporadic. The phrases I really enjoyed were the “No No No…” and “They throwing eenta, we throwing rocks..” Otherwise, the other portions of the song did not really work for me. Also, the lack of anything in the background throughout the first half of the song makes it sound bare and naked. The second half has Ajay-Atul add bass and the song ends with an arousing patriotic-sounding string+brass section, which is all good. The four singers, Divya Kumar, Prem Areni, Janardan Dhatrak and Chaitally Parmar, out of which only Divya Kumar is a known name, carry the song’s comic lines well, but it is Divya Kumar who stands out nevertheless, and none of the others. Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics try to tackle the language barrier that exists in the country, but that dissolves somewhere in the middle, and the song becomes a story about dacoits chasing Basanti, the character from ‘Sholay’, while you are left scratching your head trying to find the connection. The dholaks work in favour of the song as it is a Holi song, but again, I wish the first half wasn’t so bare.

In the same league is Question Mark, a jazzy and groovy song with quirky lyrics. The song is the most suitable for the film which is about a mathematician tutoring a group of underprivileged students. The drums, guitar and piano, coupled with the mandatory brass instruments make the song sound really creatively done, and Hrithik Roshan sounds really good; I never knew he sung so well. There are some places I almost thought the song was tailor-made for Sonu Nigam. Towards the end of the song, it turns into a retro chase sequence for some reason, with the bass guitars really cranking up the tempo, and a cool percussion beat being added to the proceedings. It provides the composers with a nice way to end the song on an intriguing level; ending it on the soft jazz note would’ve been less intriguing.

Paisa also rides on the 70s Bollywood template, but this time, it is the full song and not just the end of the song. You are instantly reminded of Kalyanji-Anandji’s music when the song is kicked off with that warped sound that dominated 70s Bollywood music, coupled with trumpets and drums, and those signature retro disco beats. With such an interesting prelude, the song follows a very staid template as it progresses. The duo’s composition is catchy, and so are the trumpets and beats and trademark retro strings, but the programming seems to be done lazily or it is just deliberately dated. The interlude is really intriguing; the retro touch helps it, but the song just gets lost in its antara — I found myself waiting for the hookline to come back, because that is, in short, the only catchy part of the song as far as the song’s melody goes. Vishal Dadlani sings the song with ease; it is not difficult for him to sing such songs — ‘Zaraa Dil Ko Thaam Lo’ (Don 2) bears testament to the fact. He is the go-to for composers to sing such songs, and thankfully, he doesn’t let Ajay-Atul down here and brings the song up a notch with his rendition. Bhattacharya writes lyrics as if the sole aim of the protagonist was to earn money and spend it overindulgently. The retro ‘Don’-like music also makes it sound like that and don’t even ask me about the song’s picturization. Of course though, I will not be judging the musical creation based on how wrongly it is used in the film — not my job.

A whole chorus of singers — Arohi Mhatre, Aditi Prabhudesai, Pragati Joshi, Maithili Panse, Sonal Naik, Rucha Soman, Deepti Rege, Deepanshi Nagar, Ann Fernandes, Dr.Pallavi Shyam Sundar, Shivika Rajesh, Riddhi Sampat, Kinjal Shah, Umesh Joshi, Vijay Dhuri, Mandar Pilvalkar, Vivek Naik, Rahul Chitnis, Saurabh Wakhare, Janardan Dhatrak, Gaurav Medatwal, Chaitanya Shinde, Abhishek Jhawar, Nimish Shah, Yash Kapoor and Mayukh Pareek —  leads the last song Niyam Ho, a melancholic orchestral piece that starts off like ‘Sapna Jahan’ (Brothers) and then progresses like ‘Vaara Re’ (Dhadak). The composition is really strong, probably the best composed song on the entire album. The music is beautiful — the orchestra gives you goosebumps, especially in the hookline, where things get really opulent. The brass and strings, yet again, work together to prop the song to a higher level. And the chorus gets the song’s intricacies beautifully. Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics are really beautiful too, and rely on inspirational lines to make the already moving composition sound even more emotional. Towards the end, a nice beat on the drums kicks in, giving it a more millennial sound. All in all, the song ends the situational album on a very grand note!


Super 30 is one of Ajay-Atul’s less musically brilliant albums; the duo focuses on the film’s theme and that is appreciable. Once again, the orchestra in their arrangements does half the work for them, and all in all it turns out to be a lyrics-led situational album with a few memorable musical moments and no song memorable as a whole.

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 7.5 + 6.5 + 7 + 6 + 8 = 35

Album Percentage: 70%

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: Niyam Ho > Jugraafiya > Question Mark > Basanti No Dance > Paisa

 

Which is your favourite song from Super 30? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂

TRIVEDI IN THE SAFE ZONE! (PAD MAN – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Amit Trivedi
♪ Lyrics by: Kausar Munir
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 26th December 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 25th January 2018

Padman Album Cover

 

Listen to the album: Saavn

Buy the album: iTunes


Pad Man is an upcoming Bollywood social drama directed by R. Balki, starring Akshay Kumar, Radhika Apte and Sonam Kapoor. The film is produced by Twinkle Khanna, SPE Films India, Cape Of Good Films, KriArj Entertainment and Hope Productions. The film revolves around the story of Arunachalam Muruganantham, a social activist from Tamil Nadu. The film is set to release a day prior to Republic Day, a day that is by default reserved for Akshay Kumar films. This time, Balki does not rely on his frequent collaborator Ilaiyaraaja to score music, but instead borrows his wife, Gauri Shinde’s go-to composer Amit Trivedi, who had scored for both of her films, ‘English Vinglish’ and ‘Dear Zindagi’. This is the first time he will compose for Balki and I believe, for Akshay Kumar too. I expect a lot from him after his successful ‘Qaidi Band’, ‘Secret Superstar’ and ‘Rukh’ last year! Let’s see how the music album for this film turns out!


After completing three albums last year, and using Arijit’s voice in two of them, Amit returns in the new year with his first song being an Arijit song. Aaj Se Teri is a heavenly romantic post-marriage number, whose lyrics by Kausar Munir (2017 is over but she’s still impressing us with her lyrics!) make it even better; the composition is a sweet 90s-ish tune, and Arijit sounding like Kumar Sanu in some parts makes it even better. The amazing arrangements include wonderful shehnaai (Omkar Dhumal) and Ethnic strings by Tapas Roy. The Pad Man Song shows that Amit really enjoys working with Mika, after ‘Sexy Baliye’ in ‘Secret Superstar’, and the result shows itself in an upbeat desi number, with an amazing ladies’ chorus (Deepti Rege, Mayuri Kudalkar & Pragati Joshi). The ladies’ chorus is in Trivedi’s ‘Ghanchakkar Babu’ (Ghanchakkar) zone, especially with the weird Chinese-sounding interruptions. The interlude is owned by the chorus though. The percussions in the song are amazing, and the harmonium (Akhlak Hussain Varsi) gives it a delightful U.P.-Bihar vibe, though Trivedi’s composition itself falls flat in places. The lyrics though, are a great subversion of the conventional image if a ‘superhero’, and make me believe that a ‘real superhero’ is nothing like that. Hu Ba Hu is a clubbish number that makes you wonder where the makers intend to place it in the film, but the signature Amit tune, vocals and arrangements (especially the mandolin, rabaab et al by Tapas Roy) hark back to ‘Queen’s ‘Badra Bahaar’ and ‘O Gujariya’ at the same time, and make it a very enjoyable listen. The onomatopoeia at the beginning is really catchy too, and works properly to suck you into the song. Also amazing are Munir’s lyrics, about two individuals striving to accomplish a joint mission, probably referring to the characters essayed by Akshay and Sonam.
Sayaani is the ‘Pad Man’ equivalent to ‘Dangal’s ‘Idiot Banna’, this time with four leading singers, including Yashita Sharma, Jonita Gandhi, Yashika Sikka and Rani Kaur. The backing vocalists also include Meghna Mishra, the young lead singer of “Secret Superstar”! The song itself seems like a mishmash of many wedding songs of Bollywood, and at one point it sounds exactly like a certain song, which I cant remember now! The ladies do sing amazingly though, and Trivedi’s arrangements make it more enjoyable, with the percussions yet again taking centre stage. Also enjoyable are the strings by Tapas Roy. The last song Saale Sapne is another trademark Trivedi affair, has shades of songs from “Queen” and the drums from ‘Gudgudi’ from “Secret Superstar” appear here too. Mohit Chauhan sings well, but the song seems too long to enjoy completely, and too typical. When the second antara starts, it starts to get tedious! Kausar’s lyrics are the only highlight of the song.


Amit continues to play safe, and stays in his comfort zone.

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 8.5 + 7.5 + 8 + 7 + 6.5 = 37.5

Album Percentage: 75%

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: Aaj Se Teri > Hu Ba Hu > The Pad Man Song > Sayaani > Saale Sapne

 

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

SURRENDER YOUR EARS TO THIS ALBUM!! (BADRINATH KI DULHANIA – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Amaal Mallik, Tanishk Bagchi, Akhil Sachdeva & Bappi Lahiri
♪ Lyrics by: Shabbir Ahmed, Kumaar, Akhil Sachdeva, Indeevar, Ikka & Badshah
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 14th February 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 10th March 2017

Badrinath Ki Dulhania Album Cover

Badrinath Ki Dulhania Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Badrinath Ki Dulhania is an upcoming Bollywood rom-com starring Alia Bhatt and Varun Dhawan. The film is directed by Shashank Khaitan and produced by Karan Johar, Hiroo Yash Johar and Apoorva Mehta. So we had a film in 2014 named ‘Humpty Sharma ki Dulhania’, which was a bit of a sleeper hit, and the cast and crew behind it happens to be the same that is behind this one. But according to the makers, it has no connection to the film except that the director, the producers and even the actors, are exactly the same. This film continues the ‘Dulhania’ franchise (If we can call it a franchise with just two films) in U.P., contrary to the setting in Punjab in the first film. Anyway, over to the musical department. Karan Johar has always delivered back-to-back hit soundtracks, and this should be no exception. I still feel guilty that I misjudged the ‘Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania’ album terribly when it released. After a month or so, it started growing amazingly. And now I love it. So I’ll be careful this time around not to make that mistake again. Here, we get a trio of composers, starting with Bollywood’s newest hit-machine, Amaal Mallik, who has composed two songs. Next up is a newcomer named Akhil Sachdeva, with one song, which hopefully is strong enough to bag him a debutant award this year, and lastly is young talent Tanishk Bagchi, who has been composing for so many multicomposer albums here and there that I’ve lost track. Both Amaal and Tanishk have delivered good songs in the past, and with Karan Johar both have a hit record, so I can’t expect anything more than catchiness (sticking to the rowdy look of the movie’s posters and all) in their tunes. As for Akhil, I hope he has something great in hand! So let’s jump right into this soundtrack!


1. Aashiq Surrender Hua

Singers ~ Amaal Mallik & Shreya Ghoshal, Music by ~ Amaal Mallik, Lyrics by ~ Shabbir Ahmed

“Arey bhagyawaan, maan bhi jaa, ladna befizool hai,
Pyaar dikhe na kya, aankhon mein padi dhool hai?
Pyaar dikhe na kya, aankhon mein padi dhool hai!!
Taj Mahal banvaana Shah Jahan ki bhool hai,
Uske paas paisa, apne haathon mein toh phool hai!
Tune gusse mein phone mera kaata toh aashiq surrender hua!”

– Shabbir Ahmed

The rowdiness starts from the very first song. And who better to get the catchiness in that rowdiness right than Amaal Mallik, who I believe is following Pritam’s footsteps in this regard? The song is an enjoyable chhed-chhad number, the type of which Bollywood’s music records of the past abound in. But very few fit the bill and actually get everything in the right place. And though this one isn’t PERFECT, it definitely gets you grooving. Amaal’s composition doesn’t rely on complicated turns and meanders for it to get famous. Instead, it takes a very heard-before but enjoyable tune, and carries it forward to make a song that impresses with its simplicity and innocence! The tune is of a type we Indians love to dance to; play it in any wedding and people will dance like crazy even if they don’t know it! And the song will propagate just like that! People will play it somewhere, it will catch on to someone else, and then to someone else, and someone else and someone else. Like a viral fever, but a good one. :p The antaras have been composed very playfully and one cannot miss that overlying South Indian flavour that the beats infuse into the song. That brings us to the arrangements. The aforementioned beats are full of heavy percussion (Dipesh Verma and team) following a kuthu rhythm, which has been laid down by Dipesh Verma, Keyur Barve and Omkar Salunkhe. As of that was not enough, the composer decides to let his assistant Krish Trivedi go all-out with the whistles. The noises with which the song starts off are just so instantly gripping! The occasional brass instruments really bring an Indian-wedding touch to the song. Other digital beats really decorate the song, which would otherwise sound like a recording from a wedding at a village. The song aptly ends with that quintessential ‘play-the-hookline-on-brass-instruments’ trick. Vocals are perfectly enjoyable and help the song to get through to the listener. The composer himself takes the mic and sings the song very efficaciously and mischievously. But of course, nobody sings such songs as well as Shreya Ghoshal, who was a great decision for it, considering that she isn’t getting too many songs like this these days! In her short one-stanza cameo, she does very well, while Amaal carries the rest of the song on his shoulders! Shabbir Ahmed’s lyrics are a clever kind of rowdy, and at least they’re decipherable and their meaning comes out clearly! Rowdy but classy!

Rating: 4/5

 

2. Roke Na Ruke Naina

Singer ~ Arijit Singh, Music by ~ Amaal Mallik, Lyrics by ~ Kumaar

“Haathon ki lakeerein do, milti jahaan hain,
Jisko pata hai bata de, jagah woh kahaan hai..
Ishq mein jaane kaisi yeh bebasi hai,
Dhadkanon se milkar bhi dil tanha hai,
Doori main mitaaoon kaise, jaane na manaaoon kaise, tu bataa?
Roke Na ruke naina, teri ore hai inhe rehna..”

– Kumaar

Next up is a pathos-filled romantic song composed by Amaal. And Amaal has composed this one in one of my favourite styles of composition for sad songs — rustic and earthy. Quite recently we heard ‘Naina’ from Pritam’s ‘Dangal’. Quite similar to that in that the song is a sad song with a traditional tune and traditional instruments. The song starts with a heart-rending sarangi piece, and gets to your heart right away. The composition by Amaal has to be one of his maturest compositions in this genre. The mukhda does a nice job in making the ambience damp and melancholic. The soothing piece is followed by an ethereal hookline, something that isn’t blurted out by the singer and forced onto the listener, but proceeds quite calmly. The antaras have yet some more beautiful notes strung together to make a heard-before but engaging stanza. Amaal treads over both high and low octaves with the antaras, and that one odd line in the antara which is made of high notes, just finds its way directly to your heart. The arrangements do half of Amaal’s work in making listeners teary-eyed. Of course the aforementioned sarangi brings in the Indian part of the pathos, as do the wonderful tablas and the oh-so-majestic flute. But Amaal cleverly tops it with acoustic guitars (Ankur Mukherjee) and drums (Debashish Banerjee), in a kind of soft rock template. When the drums interrupt out of nowhere in the till-then very traditional arrangements, I just couldn’t help but remember ‘Kabira’ (Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani). And then Amaal also puts to use nice oriental instruments like the mandolin (Tapas Roy) which sends chills down your spine when they play. The vocals are top-notch; Arijit infuses the rustic touch to them. He splendidly covers both low and high notes impeccably, as always. Kumaar has penned one of his finest lyrics for this song. A beautiful sad song, which excels in the instrumentation department!

Rating: 5/5

 

3. Humsafar

Singers ~ Akhil Sachdeva & Mansheel Gujral, Music by ~ Akhil Sachdeva, Lyrics by ~ Akhil Sachdeva

“Jitni haseen ye mulakatein hain, unse bhi pyari teri baatein hain
Baaton mein teri jo kho jaate hain, aaun na hosh mein main kabhi
Baahon mein hai teri zindagi, haaye
Sun mere humsafar, kya tujhe itni si bhi khabar?”

– Akhil Sachdeva

The new composer Akhil Sachdeva enters the album next, with his sole song, a romantic ballad, the type of which we haven’t not heard before in Bollywood. The composition follows the familiar template of Pakistani romantic songs, but nevertheless manages to tug at your heartstrings. The song starts with a nice Punjabi couplet rendered by Mansheel Gujral in her strong voice. The mukhda itself gets you swaying to the song, and it actually makes you feel happy. The hookline here too, is quite subtle, but you still get that forced feel. The antara is soothing, with its low notes, again, making you fall in love with them. But overall, there is nothing innovative in the composition. It kills with its simplicity. The arrangements are basically acoustic guitar (Veljon) riffs and digital beats that don’t really leave any scope for anything else. However, the newcomer adds a wonderful harmonica that magically uplifts the mood whenever it plays. The vocals by the composer are fine, not excellent. At places he sounds a lot like Atif Aslam, but doesn’t get the prolonged notes as right as Atif does. Also, his pronunciation needs a lot of improvement. He needs to work on his ‘jh’ sounds, which come across as ‘zzzzh’. I say this not in a demeaning manner though. On a whole, his rendition is soulful. Mansheel has more of a backing vocalist role here, but stuns in her parts. Akhil himself has written the lyrics here, and he uses all the possible Bollywood romance clichés in one song — ‘sunn mere humsafar’, ‘baahon mein teri kho jaate hain’, ‘tujhe maan loonga khuda‘ and whatnot. Nevertheless, the song makes for a good listen.

Rating: 4/5

 

4. Badri Ki Dulhania (Title Track)

Singers ~ Dev Negi, Neha Kakkar, Monali Thakur & Ikka, Additional Vocals ~ Rajnigandha Shekhawat, Music by ~ Tanishk Bagchi, Lyrics by ~ Shabbir Ahmed, Rap By ~ Ikka

“Khelan kyun na jaaye, tu hori re rasiya,
Khelan kyun na jaaye, tu hori re rasiya,
Poochhe hain tohe saari guiyaan kahaan hai Badri Ki Dulhania?”

– Shabbir Ahmed

And Tanishk makes a grand entry with the next song, which happens to be the title song of the movie. The song is an enjoyable one with a folksy rhythm and whose upbeat tempo makes you dance and sing along. The song starts with a wonderful folksy line, composed playfully. After that and a rap, Tanishk’s mukhda to the song begins, and it has all the required spunk for a successful Bollywood dance track. And then when we come to the hookline, he cleverly incorporates the tune of the folk number ‘Chalat Musafir’ to Shabbir Ahmed’s lyrics. (Or maybe Shabbir wrote it after he composed. Any which way, both of them went about it very cleverly!) The antara is a short stanza that efficiently carries forward the naughtiness and catchiness in the composition. Tanishk has to be commended for this composition, because I’ve never heard such a good song of this genre from him after ‘Banno’ (Tanu Weds Manu Returns) and that was what he composed with his friend Vayu. So hats off to him. The arrangements are amazing. The percussion (Dipesh Verma) is topnotch with a strong U.P. flavour to it, and the harmonium (Pradip Pandit) is another star of the song. The song is a holi song, and so the quintessential dhols (Deepak Bhatt) do the needful. The vocals are the strong point of the song. If someone doesn’t like the composition, they’ll fall in love with the song anyway, because of the vocals. Dev Negi, at his exuberant best, renders the male portions spot-on, while the three female vocalists all impress with their respective portions. Neha Kakkar, who takes the major chunk of the female portions, sounds cute, naughty and funny. The way she sings ‘muniya re muniya‘ is enough to melt your heart. Monali, whose ‘Cham Cham’ (Baaghi) is still on the majority of Indians’ playlists, and whose ‘Dhanak’ (Dhanak) is still on mine, renders the antara with ease, but doesn’t sound quite the innocent girl she always sounds, here! It is surprising that Neha sounds more innocent in this song! 😀 And when Neha takes over from Monali in the antara, I couldn’t even recognize Neha the first time I heard the song, and that’s saying something! The third lady vocalist is classical singer Rajnigandha Shekhawat, who sings the introductory folksy lines so beautifully, I’m in love with them. Ikka raps here, and his rap isn’t as irritating as it could have been. Maybe he toned it down a bit. He suits the rustic environment of the song, and doesn’t really rap anything odd. Shabbir Ahmed’s lyrics here are functional, if not good. An apt title song!

Rating: 4.5/5

 

5. Tamma Tamma Again

Singers ~ Bappi Lahiri & Anuradha Paudwal, Chorus ~ Dattatray Mestry, Archana Gore, Arun Ingle, Aparna Ullal, Mandar Apte, Mayuri Patwardhan, Nitin Karandikar, Deepti Rege, Voice-over ~ Ameen Sayani, Original Composition by ~ Bappi Lahiri, Music Recreated by ~ Tanishk Bagchi, Original Lyrics by ~ Indeevar, Rap by ~ Badshah

“Been bajaati hui…. NAAGIN!”

– Ameen Sayani

And Tanishk, with his second song, also closes the album, with another remake. If the previous song was a remake, then this one is definitely a remix. The makers have decided to rehash ‘Tamma Tamma’ (Thanedaar) for the movie. And thankfully, they retain the original track and just construct other additional around the sample. The composition by Bappi Lahiri (which was also ‘inspired’ by Mory Kante’s ‘Tama Tama’) was a rage in India when it released and the portion sampled in this song is the mukhda, hookline (obviously!) and one antara. Tanishk has rehashed this so well, I almost disliked it at first. He has used the song-break technique by stopping the song multiple times before actually getting to the hookline, something else which we hardly get to hear completely twice or thrice (or maybe more. I didn’t count!) But then, I realised that I had started liking the song. It happened spontaneously. One moment I was all about ‘Remakes are bad!’ and the next moment I was a freak dancing to a remake. Because it has been done very diligently, not to mention cleverly. Club beats have been added that really enhance the disco touch of the song, and the original voices have been muffled in such a way that actually does make the old song sound ‘old’! Tanishk has added very efficient beats to the hookline, like the electronic tabla. And the interlude, besides containing another interruption by Badshah, also contains a wonderful mandolin solo by Tapas Roy. The only tampering Tanishk has done with the original track is, he has added a new chorus to sing the hook, and it sounds pretty good too. Badshah’s rap does sound agitating at first, but Tanishk has enhanced that too with his nice electronic tabla beats. Ameen Sayani, the RJ of Binaca Geetmala, has done a voiceover, and the “been bajati hui naagin” part is particularly INSANE!!! Tapas Roy’s mandolin returns to play the hookline at the end of the song, and it sounds awesome then! An efficient remake!

Rating: 4/5


Badrinath Ki Dulhania is yet another feather in the cap of so many people. First of all, the composers, two relative youngsters doing so well in the competitive industry, Amaal and Tanishk, who have made two stellar songs each, and one newcomer, Akhil, who plays it safe in his debut. Next, the singers, who have really outdone themselves with their singing in this album! Dev Negi and Amaal Mallik for instance. After that, Karan Johar, because his productions always have enjoyable music, and he gets yet another successful album. Here is an album I would happily surrender my ears to. It is a kind of antidepressant album!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4 + 5 + 4 + 4.5 + 4 = 21.5

Album Percentage: 86%

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: Roke na Ruke Naina > and then any order you like

 

Remake Counter
No. Of Remakes: 04 (from previous albums) + 02 (from Badrinath Ki Dulhania) = 06

 

Which is your favourite song from Badrinath Ki Dulhania? 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! 🙂

INNOVATIVE! EMOTIONAL! ENJOYABLE! EXPERIMENTAL! BEAUTIFUL! (SARBJIT – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Amaal Mallik, Tanishk Bagchi, Jeet Gannguli, Shashi-Shivamm, Shail-Pritesh
♪ Lyrics by: Rashmi-Virag, Sandeep Singh, A.M. Turaz, Jaani, Late Haider Najmi & Arafat Mehmood
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 29th April 2016
♪ Movie Releases On: 20th May 2016

100000x100000-999 (73)

Sarbjit Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Sarbjit is an upcoming Bollywood biographic drama film, starting Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Randeep Hooda, Richa Chadda and Darshan Kumar. The film is directed by ‘Mary Kom’ fame Omung Kumar, and produced by Vashu Bhagnani, Bhushan Kumar, Sandeep Singh, Omung Kumar, Deepshikha Deshmukh, Krishan Kumar, Jackky Bhagnani and Rajesh Singh. The film portrays the struggle of Sarabjit Singh (Randeep Hooda), an Indian national who was convicted of terrorism and spying by a Pakistani court, through the eyes of his sister, Dalbir Kaur (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan). Sarabjit’s wife, Sukhpreet is played by Richa Chadda. Sarbjit’s sister Dalbir fought with the Pakistani Government for nearly 23 years before Sarbjit being declared as innocent. Sarbjit’s case is fought by Awais Sheikh (Darshan Kumar). The film narrates the heart-wrenching story of Sarabjit and his sister and wife. In ‘Mary Kom’, I remember how I was expecting barely four songs, and I got the surprise of seven songs, and a stellar album (scoring a सां on the blog). Here, I expected many songs, because it’s natural looking at the long list of music directors. I expected a maximum of seven songs, and lo and behold! I get ten! 😀 I don’t know where so many songs will go in a biopic, but I can assume one thing for sure, that the songs will be mind blowing just like ‘Mary Kom’, which made me believe that Omung Kumar has a very great music sense. There are five entities, and seven people behind the music this time, and all have had successful stints in the past. The first is Amaal Mallik (with one song); I don’t have to introduce him, do I? And I don’t need to tell you about his past hits, because you already know! So I expect a lot from his as usual. The next is Jeet Gannguli, also with one song, who didn’t quite impress this year with ‘Sanam Re’, but impressed with his single in ‘One Night Stand’, so expecting a good one here too! The next composers are duo Shail-Pritesh, with their Bollywood debut. Shall Hada and Pritesh Mehta have been assistants of Sanjay Leela Bhansali, so again, expecting good music, if not great! Also, their maiden Marathi album ‘Carry On Maratha’ last year was spectacular! And they have five songs… So that explains it. 😀 Tanishk Bagchi, who scored this year with ‘Bolna’ (Kapoor & Sons), and had one of the greatest hits of last year ‘Banno’ (Tamu Weds Many Returns), has two songs in this album. Expectations are a lot from this youngster too! Last but definitely not the least, both the composers from ‘Mary Kom’, Shashi Suman and Shivamm Pathak, come together for a song, having worked separately in ‘Mary Kom’. Why would I expect great things from them, either? 😀 So, with this huge album’s huge introduction, I know you are already exhausted, but there’s lots more… Sorry!! 😀 Read on to see how emotionally right the album of ‘Sarbjit’ is!! 🙂


1. Salamat
Singers ~ Arijit Singh & Tulsi Kumar, Music by ~ Amaal Mallik, Lyrics by ~ Rashmi-Virag

Amaal gets to open the album, and wow! He takes full advantage of the fact that he has only one song in such a huge album, by giving something spectacularly good. To start with, electric guitars give a single blare, quickly followed by wonderful sarangi, harmonium and beautiful sparkling sounds. This is just the beginning of the soulful arrangements. The splendid arrangements continue throughout the whole song, and never fail to catch your attention. It is Amaal’s composition, though, which plays the lead role in the song, and that’s how it should always be! Have a strong composition, and the rest falls in place all by itself (of course, there are some exceptions!). A soulful song, with every note touching your heart deeply, is probably the best thing that you could ever find in an album. What’s more, Amaal composed it owhen he was just 17 years old! What a remarkable feat, because the composition is his most mature composition EVER, and it deserves nothing but many rounds of applause, which would also seem less. The antara, though, is the same tune as the ‘Hero’ theme song. 😀 Loved how Amaal incorporated that here! Going the Himesh way, who put ‘Desi Beat’ (Bodyguard) into ‘Son Of Sardaar’ title song, and ‘Main Jahaan Rahoon’ (Namastey London) into ‘Lonely’ (Khiladi 786). 😀 Amaal goes the traditional way for arrangements, of course, adding some modern twists, to create a pan-generational appeal. What I have to endlessly praise, is that, even though he has added some modern elements, like electric guitars and all, he has made sure not to go overboard, and that is what I appreciate about him —  he knows how much is right, and the songs are perfectly done. Traditional instruments include the tablas, woodwinds (they sound oh so beautiful!!!), dafli, harmonium and so many more instruments just making small cameos. The first interlude has a traditional string instrument which has been amplified and made to sound like an electric guitar, while the second interlude has been decorated wisely with the flutes. The flutes have to get a special mention for being used so beautifully all throughout the song, especially the last time the hookline is sung. Speaking about vocals, Arijit sounds as majestic as ever, possibly even more, and his low-pitched voice which I never like, suddenly appealed to me a lot! Tulsi, too, sings exceptionally well! She must sing like this more often!! Both of them score great together again, after ‘Soch Na Sake’ (Airlift). Rashmi and Virag write some soulful romantic lyrics, typical Bollywood style, but still appealing, especially the different words in the hookline each time. What a brilliant start to the album by Amaal! Amaal’s most mature composition hands-down! And the flutes!! 😘 #5StarHotelSong!!

 

2. Dard
Singer ~ Sonu Nigam, Music by ~ Jeet Gannguli, Lyrics by ~ Rashmi-Virag & Jaani

The next song starts similarly, with the sarangi notes touching each corner of the heart and making our eyes watery. (Okay, that’s exaggeration.. 😝) Anyway, the instrument always sounds very majestic, and so, it is an appreciated start to the song. Jeet composes this one, with Sonu behind the mic, ready to stun the audiences again. Jeet’s composition is totally emotional and it will make you emotional, especially when you try to sing along. The line ‘Jo tujhe lagta baarish hai, woh main hoon jo ro-oon’, has been crafted soooooo beautifully! I loved that line so much, it can’t be explained in words. The whole song, in fact, seems to be composed really carefully, unlike today’s timepass songs that are composed in seconds by adding techno beats and a repetitive rhythm, and become super-duper hits. Jeet has given such a composition last year too, with ‘Hamari Adhuri Kahani’ title song. He knows how to make songs emotional and heart-touching even if they sound overdramatic sometimes. Yes, this song does sound a bit too dramatic, but Jeet has somehow managed to make it very lovable! Both the mukhda and antara share this property. There is a paragraph that comes once in the song, and it is the peak point of the song, like the climax of a movie. The instrumentation suddenly intensifies there and the vocals go high-pitched and also, the composition is more intense there. This paragraph is “Pankh agar hote…” Marvelous! Jeet’s arrangements in the song are spectacular. Acoustic guitars, sarangi, cello, dafli and violins make up the main arrangements. Digital beats support the whole song. Sonu’s voice never disappoints me, and it appeals here too. He has one of those magical voices that nobody can ever match. He renders Jeet’s heart-wrenching composition with so much ease, that it is unbelievable, but believable only because it’s him! By the way, I can totally imagine Rahat Fateh Ali Khan singing this one; if only there was a reprise! Rashmi-Virag and Jaani team up to write brilliantly heart touching lyrics, and since they’re so good, I don’t care that it took three people to write them! It makes perfect sense, in fact. 🙂 A wonderful song from Jeet; I consider it as one of his best! And with it, the album gets yet another #5StarHotelSong!!

 

3. Tung Lak
Singers ~ Sukhwinder Singh, Sunidhi Chauhan, Shail Hada & Kalpana Gandharv, Backing Vocals ~ Deepti Rege, Mayuri Patwardhan, Roshni, Hargun, Music by ~ Shail-Pritesh, Lyrics by ~ Sandeep Singh

Shail-Pritesh step in for the next song, which will be their Bollywood debut song. The duo get an upbeat Punjabi bhangra number, which is pretty heavy for a celebratory song. I’ll explain. The song starts off with a high-pitched couplet sung by Shail, which is highly impressive. Then the song starts off, complete with the typical bhangra noises made from the mouth, which is impossible to explain. 😄 The hookline is catchy, but doesn’t have a universal appeal. The composition is, as I said, heavy on the ears. And a celebratory song should be light! The makers have tried to recreate the magic of ‘Gallan Goodiyaan’ (Dil Dhadakne Do), but that had a prominent modern sound to it, and hence appealed even though it was kind of heavy. I have to applaud the efforts, though! The duo has included many twists and turns in the composition, and it is quite difficult to understand what’s going on. Arrangements are awesome, with typical Punjabi dhols, dhadd, nagada, tumbi and the vocal sounds. There is a weird dubstep treatment in one paragraph, which leaves you wondering, “Is this 1990 (the time period of the movie, or rather, the starting period of the movie) or 2015?” The singers are spot-on with their rendition, though. Sukhwinder Singh never disappoints in such songs, and singing such a fast-paced composition with so much energy, is not an easy feat! Kudos to him! Sunidhi Chauhan sounds like what she sounded in the 2000s, maybe because the song sounds like that. The song also has a 90s feel (it’s supposed to, but I don’t think that’s deliberate! :P) Shail is good in additional vocals, while Kalpana (The Haryanvi ‘Old School Girl’ from ‘Tanu Weds Manu Returns’ singer) has a rap portion which she handles well, but again, it seems out of place. The lyrics are celebratory, and suit the occasion, but not so amusing as they were meant to be. The song has left me in a fix. I don’t seem to understand it. It seems a mishmash of tunes of various Punjabi songs, and it’s WAY TOO COMPLEX for a celebratory song!

 

4. Rabba
Singer ~ Shafqat Amanat Ali, Music by ~ Tanishk Bagchi, Lyrics by ~ Arafat Mehmood

Young composer Tanishk steps in with his first song of the album, and brings in Shafqat Amanat Ali, a voice we’ve not heard for quite some time now. The song is a melancholic song composed on a Middle-Eastern template, of which the beats are groovy. The composition itself, I found a bit overdramatic at places. It has quite a dated feel to it, but Shafqat takes it higher with his deep and silky vocals. Tanishk tries to do justice to the theme of the movie, but the composition is not something that you would call catchy. Arrangements are good, with flutes, santoor and some electric guitars too. However, again, they are heard-before and turn out to make the composition pretty dull and make it sound more monotonous. The antara gets really boring at a particular moment, and at that time, it seems like a task to continue with the song. The lyrics too, are not very impressive. Backing vocals seem to be trying hard to impress, but don’t. An exhausting composition, whose saving grace is Shafqat’s vocals and the Middle-Eastern template (a bit).

 

5. Meherbaan
Singers ~ Sukhwinder Singh, Shail Hada & Munnawar Masoom, Music by ~ Shail-Pritesh, Lyrics by ~ A.M. Turaz

Take a look at the singers and you get no prizes for guessing that the song is a Qawwali. Shail-Pritesh have done a wonderful job at composing a Qawwali that follows the traditional template, and also hooks you. Sukhwinder, again using his magical voice, starts off the song, to be joined by Munnawar in the AdLib. And after that, the real fun part of every Qawwali starts, when the tablas start all of a sudden, and everything falls into perfect rhythm. A wonderful sitar-tabla jugalbandi has been showcased by the duo, and that is what invokes the “waaah”, at the sheer beauty of it all. The duo has used such beautiful arrangements all throughout the Qawwali! Following the regular Qawwali template, they still manage to give something innovative, by using no, or very little, harmonium! I mean, I thought a Qawwali is nothing without a harmonium! This Qawwali, however, relies on the sitar mostly to do its job. And boy, does it work! The rapid way in which the sitar is played, it would take sheer concentration and talent to do that! And the duo is full of that, it seems! The composition, like all Qawwalis, will not appeal to all, but to me, it sounded realllly catchy. The hookline sounds better because of the arrangements, otherwise, such a simple hookline wouldn’t sound so good in a Qawwali. However, the other parts have been composed very well! Especially the line before the hookline, “Toh phir karde khatam yeh jo sarhad hai hamaare darmiyaan”. Wow!! What a stupendous tune! And it provides a seamless transition from the mukhda to the hookline. On the vocals front, Sukhwinder fortunately handles the most part of the song. Munnawar & Shail too have a good number of parts, yet it feels like Sukhwinder is that main singer, the one who sits in front of all the rest in a baithak. 😂😂 Towards the end, all three do a great jugalbandi, withh Munnawar and Sukhwinder handling aalaaps, Shail handling the hookline. And towards the end, this Qawwali breaks into full bhangra mode for some reason, with dhols and the nagada. Turaz’s lyrics are apt for a Qawwali, and like all Qawwalis, they are situational words, and suits a devotional Qawwali. A great harmonium-less Qawwali, with a great trio of singers, and a beautiful composition from the duo! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

6. Barsan Laagi
Singer ~ Shail Hada, Music by ~ Shail-Pritesh, Lyrics by ~ A.M. Turaz

A wonderful, feel-good sitar solo starts off the song, with Shail’s aalaaps accompanying it. Once he starts singing the real composition, you can’t help but go “Wooooowww!!!” Atleast, that’s what I felt! The song is a breath of fresh air after the heavy songs of the album up till now. Shail-Pritesh’s composition is sooooo beautiful, I really felt like it was one of Rahman’s 2000s compositions, and I also felt like it was one of those beautiful Lata Mangeshkar songs from the 1950s! There is a lot of magic in the composition, and when songs make you feel rejuvenated and refreshed, you have got to notice that there is a certain spark of magic in them. This song is one of those. The duo has put before us an exquisite, radiant, semi-classical composition, which is really hard to dislike. The hookline, which has nothing to do with the title of the song, “Aaj malang nu savran de, Khushiyon da pani barsan de”, is just simply charming. The antaras are sweet, but definitely not simple, nevertheless they shine like gems in the song. About the arrangements, what can I say?? They are just too captivating and enchanting for me to say anything. The aforementioned sitar has a prominent part, in both a low pitch and high pitch, and acoustic guitars have been used well in the hookline, along with ravishing strings. The matka sounds exceptionally sweet, too! There are shehnais at places too, waiting to astonish you with their wonderful sound. Shail’s vocals are beautiful too! No wonder he was Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s favourite! His voice has the right texture — a mix of rustic and smoothness. Turaz yet again, writes marvelous lyrics! A feel-good song, which will really lift up your mood! Shail-Pritesh excel in the composition, arrangements and Shail sing is it out beautifully! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

7. Allah Hu Allah
Singers ~ Altamash Faridi, Shashaa Tirupati & Rabbani Mustafa, Additional Vocals by ~ Arsh Mohammed & Supriya Pathak, Music by ~ Tanishk Bagchi, Lyrics by ~ Late Haider Najmi (Traditional), Additional Lyrics by ~ Arafat Mehmood

Tanishk’s next song is a fusion Qawwali, with a striking rock template. After a mediocre song, ‘Rabba’, he impresses highly with this second song of his. First of all, the composition is really complicated, yet it has the appeal to all kinds of people, especially music lovers! Many twists and turns in the composition ensure it to appeal even more. The chorus “Apna kar lijo mohe, daras de dijo mohe, karam kar dijo mope” has been composed so beautifully, it is impossible not to like it. And the whole song is just as likable and soulful. Each line holds something new in store, and the fact that it has been composed on the roopak taal, with seven beats, increases its attractiveness manifold for me. To me, that rhythm sounds very classy and I love any song composed on it! The offbeat treatment done in the antara, where the words don’t necessarily fit right into the rhythm, has turned out really beautiful. Arrangements are beautiful too. Qawwali instruments like tablas, harmonium, and then simple clapping blended gracefully with modern styles of music like rock with the rock guitars, drums, make for a very interesting listen. It sounds very enticing as long as it plays. The bulbultarang too, sounds great in the beginning. However, the tablas are what won my heart over. 😍 They have been beautifully done, and the rock guitars complement them BEAUTIFULLYYY! A wonderful flute interlude is not to be missed, either. Vocals are spot-on, and the two male singers can’t really be differentiated, while Shashaa sings only in the chorus with them; most of the song is a chorus song, though. Haider Najmi’s traditional lyrics have been really well-used, and thank God they have been used so wonderfully, while Arafat writes apt new lyrics too. So Tanishk makes up for his mediocre song with this highly awe-inspiring song! IMPRESSIVE is all I can say!! The Rock-Qawwali has never been done so well, without sounding too filmy! A winner in all departments! I can hear this one on loop! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

8. Mera Junoon
Singer ~ Shail Hada, Music by ~ Shail-Pritesh, Lyrics by ~ A.M. Turaz

The Sikh devotional song ‘Jo Mange Thakur’ starts off this song, along with some flutes plauign around the vocals. Shail-Pritesh’s fourth song, this one is a melancholic song but motivating nevertheless. The composition is painfully soulful, and touches the heart, quite unusually. Usually, such songs seem overdramatic, but here, the emotions have been well woven into the song, so as to make it seem justified. And it sounds a lot like a Sanjay Leela Bhansali composition. This composition too, has many twists and turns, so making it pretty difficult to follow it, yet striking some chord somewhere with the listeners. Especially the hookline, is something stellar. Shail’s heart-touching rendition makes the song all the more believable, and the spectacular lyrics by Turaz describe the determination and passion of a sister, still looking for her brother, even after so many failures. And Shail has brought the lyrics to life with his lively rendition. Arrangements done by the duo are fabulous as well. The percussion rhythm playing all throughout the song is the base of the song, while flutes and woodwinds join occasionally, only to add more magic into the already magical ambience. The guitars too, have been played well. As I said earlier, A.M. Turaz has written motivating lyrics that describe the feelings of a very strong-willed person. Another complete package! This is how melancholia should ideally be portrayed! Perfect! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

9. Nindiya
Singer ~ Arijit Singh, Music by ~ Shashi-Shivamm, Lyrics by ~ Sandeep Singh

Shashi Suman and Shivamm Pathak, the two masterminds behind the ‘Mary Kom’ album, come together for a single song, after having worked separately in that album. In ‘Mary Kom’, Shashi had composed a simple, sweet lullaby, ‘Chaoro’, which had been beautifully sung by Priyanka Chopra. This time, Shashi, along with Shivamm, goes a step further and cranks it up a notch higher. The composition this time is really complex and layered, unlike the one-dimensional lullaby that ‘Chaoro’ was. This one has many dimensions. On one note it sounds sweet and simple, while on the next, it suddenly sounds haunting. I really get the goosebumps WHENEVER I hear this song, no matter how many times I’ve heard it before. It has this magical feel to it, and this time, the magical feel surpasses the magical feel of all the other songs of the album — it actually sounds realistic! I really can’t explain it all, but you will have to hear it yourself! It is just a spectacular song from the two! Arijit’s vocals are a brilliant choice; when he sings in the soft and husky voice, his voice sounds really soothing, so here’s anothter thing in favour of the duo. Arrangements are splendid too. Strings make up most of the arrangements, be it violins or folk instruments. Other sound effects like chimes have been used properly to make the song sound like a lullaby, with the harp pitching in at places! The flute too, helps in making the song something to hear again and again. Sandeep Singh’s lyrics are calming too, and with the composition, it sounds even better! At under three minutes, this is the song that stands tall above them all! That’s all I can tell you!! For further information, hear the song!!! BRILLIANCE AT ITS PEAK! 👌👌 #5StarHotelSong!!

 

10. Sarbjit (Theme)
Vocals ~ Shail Hada, Music by ~ Shail-Pritesh

With all those extraordinary songs, there should be an instrumental theme to top it off, right? I mean, albums sound complete with an instrumental! 😀 So, the makers of ‘Sarbjit’ decide to give an instrumental theme to finish off the album. Shail-Pritesh manage to make a haunting piece of music, with the strings playing the major role in it. The sarangi in a very low pitch handle almost everything in the track. The percussion beats in the background are catchy too. Shail pitches in with some ravishing vocals and it sounds even better. Towards the end, the song starts going uphill until it reaches a climactic part where brass, strings and percussion all meet each other at their respective majestic bests. A three minute instrumental that will transport you to the BGM of any Sanjay Leela Bhansali movie, and also, a ravishing finish to the album by Shail-Pritesh, the stars of the album! #5StarHotelSong!!


Albums like Sarbjit are very rare nowadays. The makers of ‘Sarbjit’ have really been very brave by having such an album. By “such”, I mean an album which isn’t afraid of not being noticed, an album which clearly doesn’t rely on commercial stuff, and treads its own path, ignorant of the hullabaloo around it. Not all of the songs would appeal to the masses, except maybe ‘Salamat’ and ‘Dard’. The others are strictly instrumental in carrying the story forward. And that’s what I appreciated about the album. Innovative! Emotional! Enjoyable! Experimental! Beautiful!

 

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 {Ohhh this is gonna be tough!!}Nindiya > Allah Hu Allah > Salamat = Dard > Barsan Laagi > Meherbaan > Mera Junoon > Sarbjit (Theme) > Tung Lak > Rabba

 

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

 

Next: A Surprise! 😀

A JASOOS WHO NEEDS TO DO A BIT MORE HOMEWORK! (BOBBY JASOOS – Music Review)

Album Details
♪ Music by:- Shantanu Moitra
♪ Lyrics by:- Swanand Kirkire
♪ Music Label:- T-Series
♪ Music Released On:- 10th June 2014
♪ Movie Releases On:- 4th July 2014

 

Bobby Jasoos Album Cover

Bobby Jasoos Album Cover

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Bobby Jasoos is an upcoming comedy thriller film, directed by Samar Shaikh and produced by Dia Mirza and Sahil Sangha under their banner, Born Free Entertainment. Vidya Balan is the playing the lead role in this women-centric film, and supporting her are many actors including Ali Fazal (‘Fukrey’ fame), Supriya Pathak, Arjan Bajwa, Zarina Wahab to name a few. Vidya is playing an aspiring detective in the film, and it would be interesting to see her carry out the role. The music composer who has composed great soundtracks for many of Vidya’s earlier films, like ‘Parineeta’, ‘Lage Raho Munnabhai’ and ‘Eklavya: The Royal Guard’, has been roped in to score for this film and he is Shantanu Moitra. Nowadays absent from composing for mainstream commercial Bollywood movies, and his last movie being ‘Madras Café’, this movie would mark his comeback to commercial films, and so a great soundtrack like that of ‘Parineeta’ and ‘3 Idiots’ was expected from him. Accompanying him as the lyricist is the great Swanand Kirkire, from whom exceptional lyrics are always expected. So, with that, let’s start to investigate the soundtrack of Bobby Jasoos. (Get it? Get it? “Investigate”? 😂 Okay, I’ll cut it with the Sajid Khan-level jokes, but let’s seriously start “investigating” this soundtrack!)


1. Jashn:- Singers ~ Shreya Ghoshal & Bonnie Chakraborty

The kick-starter to the album is a peppy, full-of-energy, high-spirited track, supposedly an ‘Eid ka chaand’ song, with many Carnatic touches, thanks to the brilliant use of nadaswaram and thavil. The very high energy quotient in Shreya’s voice helps this song a lot, and she provides the required amount of energy and aces the song. The tune, which is a bit dated, does not disappoint fully, but sounds a bit too outdated at parts like in the antaras. The flute part has been executed brilliantly, and the electric guitars also appear in a cameo towards the end of the song. The song reminded me of Shantanu’s own ‘Bandey Mein Tha Dum’ from ‘Lage Raho Munnabhai’ at places. The peppiness in the song just cannot be ignored and will get you dancing (it depends 😛 ) in no time. In the antara, the arrangements are hushed a bit, and again pick up the peppiness after some lines, the transition so smooth and perfect that you won’t even notice it. Bonnie Chakraborty also makes a cameo appearance in one of the antaras and though he sings good, it didn’t quite work for me, and he was overshadowed by Shreya. Swanand’s lyrics are also suitable. A nice peppy track, with a few disappointing elements, which can be ignored because of the positive points! Go for it!

 

2. Tu:- Singers ~ Papon, Shreya Ghoshal (Original Version), Shreya Ghoshal, Papon (Reprise)

The instant it starts with magical guitar strums followed by Shreya Ghoshal’s sweet voice, I could tell that this song would have something different and that it would give me another reason to love classical music. It starts like a contemporary romantic track with guitars, and then suddenly the composition changes course altogether and transforms into a full-fledged semiclassical heavenly song. Papon, Shantanu’s new favourite now that Sonu Nigam won’t sing for T-Series, brings in the tablas with him, and they have been played so beautifully, that Papon himself must have been compelled to sing in a heavenly voice. The veena has been played very beautifully too. The people who don’t like classical music will get a reason to like it after hearing this song, while the people who do like it might just decide to never stop listening to classical music. The mukhda as well as the antaras have a great tune which will transport you to paradise for seven minutes. The lyrics by Swanand are also exceptional, with dashes of the Hyderabadi (where the film is set) culture, reflecting in the Urdu. Papon’s voice is so clear that I wonder why he doesn’t get more songs. In the reprise, another seven minutes of blissful paradise is granted to all the people who are still not satisfied with the first seven minutes, and this time, the roles of both the singers have been reversed, with Shreya singing the main classical parts, and Papon supporting her. The musical arrangement is pretty much the same, and yet the song still has the freshness, and you won’t get sick and tired of it at all. I seriously cannot stop praising this son ever since its release! Shreya’s aalaaps are another must-not-miss feature of this song. I liked the reprise more than the original version, because, well of course because of the sukoon in Shreya’s voice! Shantanu has given us fourteen minutes of bliss, in the form of a beautiful, too good, indescribable semiclassical eternal melody! #5StarHotelSong!

 

3. B.O.B.B.:- Singers ~ Neeraj Shridhar, Deepti Rege, Mayuri Patwardhan, Archana Gore, Aparna Ullal

This song is the title song of the film, and Shantanu has created a pretty enjoyable track, with fun lyrics by Swanand, which describe our main character, Bobby. He has created an interesting fusion of classical and retro jazz, with the Carnatic instruments and brass instruments complementing each other pretty well. The harmonium and thavils have been seen along with brass horns. The female chorus sounds very annoying when they sing that particular line ‘B.O.B.B. Ki jasoosi’. I guess T-Series is obsessed with spelling out the name of their films or characters in the theme songs, like in ‘The Xposé’ and now in this. I think we know how to spell, T-Series! And that too, they have spelled Bobby wrong in this song! 😝 Neeraj Shridhar’s voice sounds very feminine and that reminded me of the ideal choice for this song, and that would be Usha Uthup. She would have done total justice to this song. Though it is entertaining, it is just as much annoying thanks to Neeraj singing in a female-ized voice, and the female chorus consisting of four never-heard-of-before singers, who should get a Master’s degree in Irritating People. What’s more, the song is over five minutes long, and it makes for a very monotonous listen. The only part worth listening to this otherwise annoying song for is the interesting fusion and the lyrics.

 

4. Sweety:- Singers ~ Aishwarya Nigam & Monali Thakur

The banjo loop from the title song of ‘Gunday’ forms the starting of this song, and though it must be a music sample, I don’t think it was a good decision to use it here, in a Desi wedding track. The first impression the song gave me was BAD, so I guess that impression continued its negative work, and contaminated my brain, ordering it to keep having a bad impression on the song afterwards also. Anyways, the song doesn’t deserve to be praised or anything. It is just a tad bit less annoying than the previous track. Aishwarya Nigam (no, that’s not his real surname, he just kept it because he is a fan of Sonu Nigam) seems to have established himself as a wedding track and item song singer in Bollywood. This time though, his usual partner Manta Sharma is absent from the scene and she is replaced by the latest Filmfare Award for Best Female Singer recipient, Monali Thakur. They both sing great as usual (I have always liked both their voices in their songs) but the tune fails in this song. What’s more, the hookline has redefined “sappy” with its sappy lyrics which are a mix of modern and Shakespearean English. I mean who says “thee” in a Hindi song? Leave that, even the modern English words sound very odd in this track! The arrangements are okay. The brass shaadi interlude starts very dully, but then it turns into a Spanish/Brazilian beat, which is pretty interesting. The song ends interestingly too, with Aishwarya singing oral rhythms in the background while Monali sings the sappy hook. Lacks an engaging tune, lacks innovative lyrics, but vocals are the only good aspect of the song.


Bobby Jasoos is an album which has one eternal melody, ‘Tu’, one entertaining song to an extent, ‘Jashn’, a song scoring in arrangements and disappointing in vocals, ‘B.O.B.B’, and a song scoring in nothing much except vocals, ‘Sweety’. Shantanu has retained a certain amount of quality in the first two tracks, which drops drastically in the last two tracks, so we can call the soundtrack misleading, too. Shantanu’s comeback to mainstream commercial Bollywood films has been a mediocre one, but he has given us an unforgettable song too with all the easily forgettable ones. Swanand doesn’t disappoint as much with the lyrics, only underperforming in the last song. The songs do entertain, but barring ‘Tu’, none will be permanently stuck in your memory. When a single song’s quality is equal to the total quality of the other tracks, you know that the soundtrack has a problem, and that is exactly the case with this album. I seriously think that Bobby should have done more homework on music. 😛 An album with very less shelf life, or playlist life, save for the blissful ‘Tu’. 

 

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

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

 

Which is your favourite song from Bobby Jasoos? Please vote for it!

 

Next “dish”:- Hate Story 2, Chefs:- Arko Pravo Mukherjee, Rashid Khan, Meet Bros. Anjjan, Mithoon