A BREACH IN THE RAABTA!! (RAABTA – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: JAM8, Meet Bros., Sohrabuddin & J-Star
♪ Lyrics by: Irshad Kamil, Amitabh Bhattacharya, Kumaar, Jitendra Raghuvanshi, J-Star & Raftaar
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 3rd June 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 9th June 2017

Raabta Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Raabta is an upcoming Bollywood romantic reincarnation drama, starring Kriti Sanon, Sushant Singh Rajput, Jim Sarbh, Varun Sharma and Rajkummar Rao. The film is the directorial debut of already many times successful producer, Dinesh Vijan. The film is produced by him along with Homi Adajania, Bhushan Kumar and Krishan Kumar. The film’s official gist is this: “When a human being dies, they lose 21 grams from the body. This, they say, is the weight of the soul. The journey of a soul transcends over space and time… beyond the realms of this earth. This film tells the story of two seemingly ordinary individuals, going about their lives until their paths cross and they realize that they belong with one another. Unaware of a connection that was forged several hundred years ago, Shiv and Saira are inexplicably drawn to each other, and it takes them on a hysterical rollercoaster of love, intrigue, entertainment and life (twice over!). When two souls unite, they become one.” 😴 Hopefully, it is executed well. The music of the film is by JAM8, and a guest composition by Meet Bros. also features on the album. I guess we all know the controver(sies) surrounding the music of the film, due to that one guest song, so there is no point reiterating them. We all know who the actual composer of the songs credited to JAM8 is, but he wishes that his name shouldn’t be associated with ‘Raabta’ because of his policy to only compose for solo-composer albums, so there’s no point in naming him. I just hope the music company learns its lessons and reconsiders it’s actions!! On this grave (😄) note, let’s start with the music review of ‘Raabta’. 


1. Ik Vaari Aa / Ik Vaari Aa (Jubin Version)

Singers ~ Arijit Singh / Jubin Nautiyal, Music by ~ JAM8, Lyrics by ~ Amitabh Bhattacharya

“Hai pyaar toh kayi dafaa kiya,
Tujhse nahi kiya toh kya kiya,
Tera mera yeh vaasta,
Hai iss zindagi ki daastaan,
Ya phir koi hamaara pehle se raabta?
Toh ikk Vaari aa, aa bhi jaa!”

– Amitabh Bhattacharya

The album starts off with a very happy-go-lucky, romantic club number, with a lilting yet groovy sound. The composition has the stamp of Pritam all over it, and the way it flows is in the trademark way that almost all Pritam songs flow. The song’s melody starts off right with the hook, which is a wonderfully composed piece, that efficiently works in pulling you into the song. The antara following it, too, is very happy-sounding and charming, but it is the last stanza, which I call the ‘conclusion’ because it just doesn’t seem like an antara, is what steals the thunder. That part has been composed in a very entrancing manner, and is a major throwback to the corresponding ‘conclusion’ part in Pritam’s ‘Tu Chahiye’ (Bajrangi Bhaijaan). The high-pitched bridge line that leads to the hookline, is just amazing. The arrangements are quite similar to Pritam’s previous club song arrangements, with the upbeat EDM portions, and that wonderful “chipmunk” that we heard in ‘The Breakup Song’ (Ae Dil Hai Mushkil) last year. There is a Sajid-Wajid touch in the arrangements somewhere (‘Mukhtasar’ from ‘Teri Meri Kahaani’ and ‘Raat Bhar’ from ‘Heropanti’). But on a whole, the EDM has a very international touch to it, and it sounds like JAM8 is trying to recreate Pritam’s club arrangements in an international style. But because I always something out-of-this-world in a Pritam club song, and since this song is by his company, this song was quite underwhelming in that department. The pumped-up portions of the arrangements sometimes clash with Arijit’s super-high-pitch, and that sounds quite odd at times. That brings us to Arijit’s vocals. Definitely not the best he’s performed, but he still manages to carry the song in a quite charismatic way, and doesn’t drive you to sleep like he did in ‘Half Girlfriend’. But of course, the parts where he goes super-high-pitch, made me uncomfortable, and that doesn’t happen with every other singer. In the second version of the song which takes a sans EDM route, and is more reliant on guitars to propel it, everything that sounded wrong in the arrangements is set right. A slight rock guitar backdrop makes the song lighter than it was in the original version, and definitely more enjoyable. The company also replaces the fun chipmunk-like EDM with a nice vocal chorus, which gives off ‘Tum Mile’ vibes somehow,and immediatel removes all Sajid-Wajid vibes. As for the vocals, they have improved due to Jubin’s smooth treatment of the composition, taking care not to sound like he is straining his voice too much, and handling the high notes much better than Arijit did. And the small nuance he takes while singing “yaara” and all of its rhyming words, is just magnificent! In the conclusion stanza, Jubin gets to sing an entirely differently-tuned line that fits in perfectly and sounds as good as its counterpart in the original version. Oh, and it is a welcome change, considering that we have been hearing the original for over a month now. So this reprise is really one of the best reprises to have come out, ever! Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics are great, and suitable for a fun romantic number. I don’t know what I missed in the first version, but something is surely missing. To cover it up though, the Reprise takes a nice romantic twist!

Rating: 3.5/5 for Arijit’s Version, 4.5/5 for Jubin’s Version

 

2. Raabta (Title Track)

Singers ~ Nikhita Gandhi & Arijit Singh, Original Composition by ~ Pritam, Music Recreated by ~ JAM8, Original Lyrics by ~ Amitabh Bhattacharya, New Lyrics by ~ Irshad Kamil

“Hadd se zyaada mohabbat hoti hai jo,
Kehte hain ke ibaadat hoti hai woh,
Kusoor hai, ya koi yeh fitoor hai,
Kyun lage sab kuch andhera hai,
Bas yehi noor hai,
Jo bhi hai manzoor hai!”

– Irshad Kamil

The recreation craze continues as ‘Raabta’ (Agent Vinod) is recreated in this movie, which takes its name from that song. But how fortunate are we, that the man who made the original song, is the one who is remaking it (through his company, that is). The track, originally a romantic number, and probably the first time Arijit Singh actually came into large notice, though he had sung other songs before that, has now been remade into a dance track for the film. But this dance track is as far from a regular Bollywoodish dance track as you can imagine. It has a very quite and soothing vibe to it, and a very unexpected twist in the form of a nice interruption wherein JAM8 introduces to Bollywood, a new genre of music called ‘Tropical House’, which sounds like some techno Caribbean music. Anyway, the new composition that the group has made for the remake, is great. The mukhda, sung by newbie (in Bollywood) Nikhita Gandhi, is charming and scintillating, with its romantic vibes really reaching you. The way they have joined it to the hookline of the original song too, is quite cool. The time the song goes downhill is when, after the nice and refreshing Tropical interlude, Arijit comes back to reprise his portion, the antara from the original song, a part I felt didn’t quite merge with this song. Yes, I know that if the hookline adapted well into this song, every other part should too, but I just didn’t feel the antara this time. When it went back to the new composition, I started grooving to the beats again. So it was like a sudden disconnection from the song. But then, JAM8 makes up for it in the fantabulous (which is a very small word to describe it!) ‘conclusion’ part of the song, which has a lilting and entrancing tune. Especially the oddly-but-fantastically placed line, “Jo bhi hai manzoor hai!”, is a wonderful bridge from the ‘Conclusion’ to the hookline. And the continuous EDM beats, really infuse life into the song. The composers also add wonderful piano notes occasionally, and the guitars that start off the song are so vibrant! So I guess I have already spoken about the arrangements as much as I could. Moving on to the vocals, Nikhita Gandhi, another singer from the Rahman camp of singers, joins Pritam’s camp for this one (quite similar a story to that of the other well known ‘Gandhi’ singer, Jonita — not sisters!) And she totally owns her debut. Yes, Arijit gets the major part in the song, but because she opens it so smashingly, the listeners get hooked and keep waiting for her voice to return. Sadly, it comes back only for the hooklines. Arijit is his usual self, trying to be charming , succeeding and also acing that aforementioned ‘conclusion’ portion. Irshad Kamil writes the new lyrics for this song, wrapping Amitabh Bhattacharya’s already awesome lyrics with an awesomeness of his own. A song that takes itself miles away from its original, neither better nor worse, but just at par, in a different genre. Barring the copy-paste antara, the song is quite good.

Rating: 4/5

 

3. Sadda Move

Singers ~ Diljit Dosanjh, Pardeep Singh Sran & Raftaar, Additional Vocals ~ Ashwin Kulkarni, Music by ~ JAM8, Lyrics by ~ Irshad Kamil & Amitabh Bhattacharya, Rap by ~ Raftaar

“Bhangra ke rhythm mein, tuney Bharatnatyam kyun milaaya?
Mere mehboob, dekho sadda move!”

– Irshad Kamil & Amitabh Bhattacharya

In the next song, JAM8 cuts out the whole international feel that was looming over the album all this time, to replace it with a street hip-hop number in Punjabi style. And I must say, how disappointed I was, hearing this song. The composer takes a very weird route with this song. There isn’t much by way of composition, but whatever is, sounds like very often recycled Punjabi lines used innumerable times. Like the antaras. And the mukhda just starts off so abruptly, it takes time to adjust to it. Actually, a rap starts the song, and it is quite obnoxious. Raftaar. That “Sadda Move Move” line by Raftaar is so irritating. The hookline of the song, too, isn’t too impressive. Arrangements are what lift the song up for me. That flute loop that plays every now and then is just insane — a glimpse of the trademark Pritam-ish insanity that JAM8 has so far, cruelly kept out of this album. The digital beats are quite groovy, but they don’t really provide anything new and innovative, which is what I would like to hear when I listen to a Punjabi street hip-hop number. The tumbi and “burrrhhhaaaa“s are the typical Punjabi people clichés, thrust into the song just to stereotype Punjabi music. But I must say, the dhols are quite engaging. The vocals are above average — Diljit sounds good but not excellent; probably the composition is barring me from liking his rendition too. On the other hand, his co-singer, Pradeep Singh Sran, who made it big in Bollywood with his song ‘Cutiepie’ (Ae Dil Hai Mushkil), brings back his Labh Janjua-ish voice and steals the listeners’ hearts. Raftaar is strictly annoying, and his rap is least enjoyable. Overall the song has a strong Meet Bros-ish vibe. Legends Amitabh Bhattacharya & Irshad Kamil come together to write something that Kumaar or Shabbir Ahmed would’ve written by themselves, if they had been approached. Quite stereotypical, and ‘enjoyable’ would be an exaggeration. A clear dip in the level of the album. 

Rating: 3/5

 

4. Lambiyaan Si Judaiyaan

Singers ~ Arijit Singh, Altamash Faridi & Shadab Faridi, Music by ~ JAM8, Lyrics by ~ Amitabh Bhattacharya

“Tere nishaan, yaadon mein hai,
Tu kyun nahin, taqdeer mein?
Naadaan dil, hai dhoondhta,
Qurbat teri tasveer mein.
Mumkin nahin hai, tujhko bhulaana,
Mumkin nahin hai, tujhko bhulaana,
Dekhe khudaya, do aashiqaan diyaan tabaahiyaan
Ve badi lambiyaan si judaiyaan!”

– Amitabh Bhattacharya

After three relatively happy-sounding songs, it was necessary, I guess, for the composers to bring in a touch of pathos in the album. So they bring a sad song sung by Arijit, which I feel is loosely modelled on Pritam’s ‘Channa Mereya’ (Ae Dil Hai Mushkil), because of the slight Sufi touch to it. The composition, I have to say, is something that disappointed me highly. I just couldn’t find anything great in it. The song is trying so hard to be emotional, but manages to ve not even one bit emotional! And that almost never happens with Pritam songs. The first two stanzas are composed on the same tune, and that is a major drawback, because it is what makes the song sound very, very monotonous. The very first line of the song made me think, “What?” because the music that starts off the song is very promising! After that it becomes a crying fest, something so overdramatic I wouldn’t have expected it to be a song from a big banner films as ‘Raabta’. The hookline is so unidimensional, it hardly managed to touch my heart as an emotional song should. The composition ends with another “conclusion” stanza, and this time, that stanza is clearly trying to emulate the “conclusion” of ‘Channa Mereya’ (Ae Dil Hai Mushkil) with its composition, arrangements and Arijit’s singing style. The arrangements of the song are also very heard-before, and stale arrangements. The Dholak rhythm has gotten so old and typical, I wish no composer uses it in sad songs anymore! The music that starts the song though, the violin one, is very good! And that is what made me believe the rest of the song too, would follow suit. Arijit sings this one with utmost lack of expression, almost like a robot. It seems he spent all his energy in ‘Ik Vaari Aa’. The Faridi brothers pitch in for a good but again, clichéd, Sufi interlude, that only makes the song sound more artificial. Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics are good, but not amazing. A sad song that makes me sad that it had to be in this film.

Rating: 2/5

 

5. Main Tera Boyfriend

Singers ~ Arijit Singh, Neha Kakkar & Meet Bros., Original Composition by ~ J-Star & Sohrabuddin, Music Recreated by ~ Meet Bros., Original Lyrics by ~ J-Star & Jitendra Raghuvanshi, New Lyrics by ~ Kumaar

Na Na Na Na!

– J-Star & Jitendra Raghuvanshi

Guest composers, Meet Bros, step into the album now, for their remake of the popular track of J-Star’s, ‘Na Na Na Na’. Now there’s a huge controversy regarding who stole the song from whom and blah blah blah. But besides all that, I think the whole nation is raving about the song and how catchy it is. The original was definitely one of the catchiest pop songs of that year and even now, and Meet Bros try to keep its catchiness intact. They have built a typical Bollywoodish composition around it, which sounds least like a Meet Bros. composition, and more like a Pritam one. How coincidental because JAM8’s ‘Sadda Movie’s sounded like a Meet Bros song. The Mukhda starts the song off on a very nice tune, and expectations rise right away. It is the antara that could’ve been better, and repeating each Antara twice was not needed; it just made the song that much longer. The hook… Do I need to speak about it! 😀 The arrangements too, are very similar to Pritam’s, complete with the chipmunk noises here too. The club sounds are great as well, and make the song enjoyable at all points. The vocals are energetic, with Arijit replenishing all his drained energy, and giving a very spunky rendition of the song. Is it just me, or does anyone else also think he sounds amazing in upbeat numbers as well!? Neha cannot match up to her co-singer’s level and performs a bit disappointingly this time. Meet Bros. also come and sing an interlude that would have sounded better had it stayed out of the album. 😥 And after that, there’s a lady’s voice that says “I Wanna be your boyfriend.” 😮 Kumaar’s lyrics are the usual type of lyrics that go into such songs. A song that I didn’t expect much from, since it was a remake, turns out to be quite foot-tapping!

Rating: 3.5/5

 

6. Darasal

Singer ~ Atif Aslam, Music by ~ JAM8, Lyrics by ~ Irshad Kamil

“Inkaar mein jo chhupa hai woh ikraar ho!”

– Irshad Kamil

Finally, to finish off the album, JAM8 bring an Atif Aslam romantic melody, something that is quite quintessential in recent T-Series albums. As soon as the song started, it reminded me of ‘Jeena Jeena’ (Badlapur) because of the similar pattern of the guitar piece. The composition is actually very sweet, and it is also slow-paced like ‘Jeena Jeena’, and would suit well for a waltzy arrangement too. But JAM8 choose to keep things minimal and grace the song with nothing more than a nice and sweet guitar riff, and occasional amazing strings. The tune, though slow-paced, grows on you instantly. It is instantly likeable, unlike all the other JAM8 songs in the album, which I took some time to get accustomed to (Except the Jubin ‘Ik Vaari Aa’). I loved the way how they repeated the last line of every antara twice, and the last line of the song thrice. The antara itself is very calm and soothing, and gives a very breezy feel to the song. In the Mukhda, the line where he repeats the words twice, is just outstanding! (“Teri Ada, Ada Pe Marta…” etc.) This is actually what is expected from an ideal romantic comedy. Sadly, it comes in at the end of this album! 😪 Atif’s vocals are some of the best I’ve heard from him in quite a while; he sings the song with a totally different charm than he sung his other songs of late. It draws the picture of the typical boy-next-door image in Bollywood rom-coms. Kamil’s lyrics are just beautiful! Some of them are just salute-worthy, like the one I’ve featured up there at the beginning of this song’s review. Finally, a cute romantic song that befits the film’s romantic aspects. 

Rating: 4.5/5


Raabta is an album I wouldn’t have expected (read, I would have expected much more) from a romantic film like this. Most of the songs are prohibited to be the usual fun-and-frolic that we associate with Pritam, for no specific reason. In fact, the dance song from guests Meet Bros is better than the dance song from JAM8 itself. JAM8 sticks to a very conventional route, save the title track, and only manages to deliver well in two songs in that conventional barrier (‘Darasal’ and ‘Ik Vaari Aa’). But I can’t take away from the album that, as an entire album, it is full of variety and sounds good. It is just lacking on the innovative quotient, and likeability quotient, and hence, the repeat value. ‘Raabta’ means ‘connection’, but there is a slight breach in this Raabta!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 3.5 + 4.5 + 4 + 3 + 2+ 3.5 + 4.5 = 25

Album Percentage: 71.43%

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: Darasal = Ik Vaari Aa (Jubin Version) > Raabta (Title Track) > Ik Vaari Aa = Main Tera Boyfriend > Sadda Move > Lambiyaan Si Judaiyaan

 

Remake Counter
No. of Remakes: 15 (from previous albums) + 02 = 17

 

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

THE ‘HAUNT’ AND SOUL OF PUNJAB! (PHILLAURI – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Shashwat Sachdev & Jasleen Kaur Royal
♪ Lyrics by: Anvita Dutt, Shellee, Aditya Sharma & Neeraj Rajawat
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 6th March 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 24th March 2017

Phillauri Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Phillauri is an upcoming Bollywood romantic / comedy / fantasy film starring Anushka Sharma, Suraj Sharma and Diljit Dosanjh in lead roles. The film is directed by Anshai Lal, and produced by Anushka Sharma, Karnesh Sharma and Fox Star Studios. The film is about a man named Kanan who is born under an ‘unlucky star’, and has been told he needs to marry a tree before marrying his love, so that his soul can be cleansed. To his horror/amazement/shock/whatever you might feel if you were in such a situation, he finds a spirit who used to live in the tree following him, unable to go back to her own realm. He needs to help her go back there, but before that she needs to feature in a film and all, so you better watch it, or else she will have come out of the tree for nothing. :p Enough movie promotion, let’s steer on to the music. A newcomer (I believe; and every other website I checked says the same — they also only believe, nobody knows??) Shashwat Sachdev has composed the majority of the album, and the baby-fairy-like sounding girl Jasleen Royal has composed two more. Now, if such a well-known person like Anushka Sharma decides to launch a comooser with her movie, it must mean he has something in him. Clean Slate Films (Anushka’s production company) has previously produced ‘NH10’ and boy, was its music album phenomenal, and also full of composers who has never quite made it big in the industry. This movie seems to have more of a mass appeal, and Jasleen has made it big in the industry already, so the debutant must be really good at his job! Let’s see!!


1. Dum Dum / Dum Dum (Punjabi Version) / Dum Dum (Reprise) [Diljit Dosanjh Version]

Singers ~ Romy & Vivek Hariharan / Romy & Vivek Hariharan / Diljit Dosanjh, Backing Vocals ~ Anurag Sharma, Pawni Pandey, Vibha Saraf, Varsha Tripathi, Abhiruchi Singh, Gaia, Meera Chandy / Anurag Sharma, Pawni Pandey, Vibha Saraf, Varsha Tripathi, Abhiruchi Singh, Gaia, Meera Chandy / Vivek Hariharan, Pawni Pandey & Anand Bhaskar, Music by ~ Shashwat Singh, Lyrics by ~ Anvita Dutt / Shellee / Anvita Dutt

“Aankhein kitaabi, tu khole toh padh loon,
Kaajal si likkhi chhaapi, kahaaniyaan teri mere saiyaan!
Baatein bataashon si zubaan pe rakh doon,
Halke se pighlengi, bole tu chakh loon main saiyaan!”

– Anvita Dutt

Shashwat starts off his Bollywood debut with one of the most soulful folksy numbers I’ve ever heard in recent times. ‘Dum Dum ‘ starts off like a purely soulful Punjabi / Sufi song, with amazing instrumentation giving the perfect introduction into the song. The composition is an aptly folksy one, with numerous twists and turns throughout the song. The hookline is catchy, but some might get a bit annoyed by the fact that it repeats too many times — in the true sense of a Sufi song, if you ask me. So that didn’t bother me too much. The mukhda follows a very lilting tune, and the high-pitched antara really helps to consolidate the listeners’ interest in the song. It is the conclusion of the song which is really impressive, and Shashwat slows the pace down there, only to increase it towards the end beautifully ending the song on a high tempo. The arrangements are fantabulous, as said before. The folk instruments have been put to great use — especially the tablas, dholaks, the plucked string instruments and the other folksy percussions. The first two versions have primarily the same arrangements, but it is Diljit who gsts to sing against the backdrop of an almost unplugged instrumentation in his version. That makes things lively and ‘different’ and innovative; it is a bliss to the ears to hear such a grounded composition backed by digital music. But towards the end of the Diljit version, there’s a wonderful sitar piece that is to die for!! That part is sheer brilliance on the part of the music programmer. The vocals in all three version are very impressive. Romy makes his Bollywood debut (Although I think I’ve read his name somewhere, he calls this his debut.) with this wonderful Punjabi song. His voice has been reminding everybody of Shahid Mallya’s voice, and I felt that too, with a tinge of Divya Kumar as well. He gets extremely loud at parts, but the soul of the song doesn’t diminish in any way. Vivek Hariharan effectively joins him in the latter part of the song which I earlier described as the ‘Conclusion’, and his voice texture is sooooo beautiful, it is hard to not love his portion. And of course, the “dum dum dum dum dum dum hai dua” part which everyone should love so much. The singers reprise their roles in the Punjabi version, except with different Punjabi lyrics penned by Shellee, as opposed to the Hindi ones by Anvita Dutt. It kind of reduced the appeal of the song, and I couldn’t make myself to love that version, with different lyrics, which i couldn’t understand nor sing along to. Save an extra ad-lib at the beginning by Romy, this one is a carbon copy of the first version as far as arrangements go. Diljit’s rendition of the same is a bit toned-down, and could’ve been better, but the arrangements by Shashwat make up for the little void that his voice couldn’t fill. Guitars in this version sound more of the modern acoustic guitars than folk instruments, and it gives a nice and modern touch to the song. (Which is clearly for promotional purposes). The disappointing part of this version is that it doesn’t have the “conclusion” which I loved! The lyrics of the Hindi version are amazing, and I’m sure the ones by Shellee in the Punjabi version are too, but I couldn’t understand them! Unusual, because I usually grasp most of the Punjabi in other Punjabi Bollywood songs! A soulfully folksy start to the album!

Rating: 4.5/5 for the Hindi Version, 3/5 for the Punjabi Version, 3.5/5 for the Reprise Version by Diljit Dosanjh

 

2. What’s Up

Singers ~ Mika Singh & Jasleen Royal, Music by ~ Jasleen Royal, Lyrics by ~ Aditya Sharma 

“Ajj haathan di takiyan te khil aayi kaliyaan,
Surma laan akhiyan ch vekhe teri galiyaan,
Hansdi ae jachdi ae sohneya ve sachhiya
Nazraan na laggan ke khairan ne mangeya!”

– Aditya Sharma

The second song of the album is Jasleen Royal’s first out of the two she has composed in the album. This one is an upbeat Punjabi wedding song, and going by Jasleen’s list of songs, she has only one such song to her credit, which is ‘Nachde Ne Saare’ (Baar Baar Dekho), which is one of my favourite Punjabi wedding songs of all time now. Now this song is also just as catchy and infectious. The energy just gets to you in no time. At first, the composition might seem very ordinary for a Punjabi wedding song, following the same template to the tee. But, as usually happens, later on I started loving the song just because of its immense simplicity. Jasleen’s composition is a sprightly one with nothing coming in the way of the listeners’ happiness. Especially the interludes she sings herself, are very cute and mood-uplifting. The other stanzas have been composed well too, and rendered boisterously by Mika, the go-to for such songs. Finally, he gets a song where he actually was required to sing it! The arrangements are as upbeat as can be, and Jasleen doesn’t necessarily recycle her ‘Nachde Ne Saare’ arrangements, but tries to make this sound different with more dhols. And the brass band makes an unignorable appearance in the song. It makes the song very breezy and happy-go-lucky. Of course, Jasleen also follows the traditional ‘play-the-hookline-on-brass-instruments’ method that Amaal Mallik recently followed in ‘Aashiq Surrender Hua’ (Badrinath Ki Dulhania). The vocals are amazing. As I mentioned, nobody but Mika could’ve sung this wih the same energy, and he sings like the old Mika, the Mika everybody enjoyed! So it is very enjoyable. Jasleen, in her fairy-like voice, sings her two stanzas very well, and though they are mere interludes, they get etched into your memory. They are very cute and sprightly. Aditya Sharma’s lyrics are fun and enjoyable, describing a Punjabi wedding beautifully! One of the more catchy Punjabi wedding songs of recent times!

Rating: 4/5

 

3. Naughty Billo

Singers ~ Diljit Dosanjh, Nakash Aziz, Shilpi Paul & Anushka Sharma, Backng vocals ~ Vivek Hariharan, Romy, Shilpi Paul & Surya Raghunathan, Music by ~ Shashwat Sachdev, Lyrics by ~ Anvita Dutt

“Malmal wala kurta rang firozi tha,
Uss par kaatil ik button tha Chaandi da,
Do nainon ka woh hamla, phass gaya bhola jatt yamla,
Marta kya na Karta!”

– Anvita Dutt

This song is Shashwat’s ticket to getting more and more offers from more and more producers and directors later on. Why? Because of the sheer innovativeness with which he has handled this song. Okay, so let me start from the beginning. The song is an experimental Punjabi dance song, quite similar to so many of the Punjabi pop numbers of today. However, there’s a nice catch in here. And that is the fact that Shashwat has so cleverly infused funky groove into the Punjabi song. The composition could’ve been better, but everything else covers that up, because the song excels in all other departments. I’ve not heard such a perfect Punjabi pop -ish number in quite a while. The song starts with a traditional old-fashioned Punjabi portion and we as listeners think the entire will follow suit. However, just as we are sure that will happen, Shashwat takes us by surprise and introduces a catchy (and purely modern, mind you) hookline that just makes you listen on! It is kind of a reprise to the old ‘Jhooth Boliya’ song. The arrangements are so experimental, and offbeat, that you just end up loving them. The funky beats are enough to make you dance without any inhibitions. Shashwat adds nice dhol percussion, and awesome brass instruments add the necessary funky element, not to mention the quintessential tumbi. So many backing vocalists randomly add their portions into the song as the song progresses, and it sounds like a free-for-all jam. Whatever the result is though, it is really innovative. The vocals are great too, with Diljit handling the Punjabi parts well, and Nakash the hookline. Shilpi Paul does well in her short parts, but Anushka steals the thunder with her full-of-attitude rap towards the end of the song. And it’s not even the “I-will-do-anything-just-to-make-my-movie-work” kind of stint! She actually sounds awesome in this new rapper form of hers! Anvita Dutt’s lyrics are fun and enjoyable. A fun funky song!

Rating: 4.5/5

 

4. Sahiba

Singers ~ Romy & Pawni Pandey, Backing Vocals ~ Vivek Hariharan, Anurag Singh, Vibha Saraf, Abhiruchi Singh, Pawni Pandey, Varsha Tripathi & Gaia, Music by ~ Shashwat Sachdev, Lyrics by ~ Anvita Dutt

“Tujhse aisa uljha, dil dhaaga dhaaga khincha,
Dargah pe jaise ho chadaron sa bichha,
Yun hi roz yeh udhadha buna,
Kissa ishq ka kai baar, humne phir se likha!
Sahebaan, sahebaan, chal wahaan jahaan Mirza!”

– Anvita Dutt

The way this song starts, reminds me of the starting of ‘Deewani Mastani’ (Bajirao Mastani). Anyway, the song is no doubt the best song of the album. Shashwat comes with yet another earthy folksy melody with this song. The mukhda starts quite slowly, but you will definitely start loving the song after you hear the hookline, which has a catchy and attractive old-world charm to it. Pawni Pandey’s antara has been composed very soulfully, in heart-rending low notes. Later the male part once again takes the song on a wonderful folksy route. However, it is the ‘conclusion’ of the song, that steals the spotlight. The song breaks into a Qawwali-esque mode there. Right from the “ohh sahibaaaaa…” till the end of the song, the song goes on a never-ending high, until the song itself ends. The “tere bina” verse is marvellous! Arrangements in this track are fabulous. The plucked strings (David Sinchury, Sanjoy Das, Youngmin Kim, Shashwat Sachdev) at the beginning, that oh-so-majestically reminded me of ‘Deewani Mastani’, are so gripping; they just pull you into the song. Also, Shashwat introduces a jingling sound in the beat after that, and it sounds so rustic and folksy! Lovely like never before. The percussions that break out in the hookline are wondrous as well. dholaks (Manoj Kumar) very well put the Punjabi theme of the song into action. The orchestra (Czech National Symphony Orchestra) works wonderfully throughout the song to give it a regal tinge, and they’ve accomplished it, I’m glad to say! The vocals by Romy are ravishing. The part he sings after Pawni’s, he has sung that so beautifully! And the Qawwali part too! It just gave me goosebumps! Pawni comes across as decent; she doesn’t seem to be managing the low notes too well. However Romy covers it with his magnificence in handling both high and low notes. The lyrics by Anvita Dutt are amazing here as well. Soul-stirring!

Rating: 5/5

 

5. Bajaake Tumba

Singers ~ Romy & Shehnaz Akhtar, Backing Vocals ~ Vivek Hariharan, Music by ~ Shashwat Sachdev, Lyrics by ~ Anvita Dutt

“Bajaake tumba, saare pind ki kudiyon ka, phillauri nachda!”

– Anvita Dutt

The folk doesn’t seem to get over just yet. Shashwat has yet another song left, and he makes sure the Punjabi folk influence doesn’t leave his songs until the last one. This one is a fun and enjoyable, but clearly situational song, which we listeners won’t be able to make heads or tails of as of yet, but it is fun to hear at least! It is an upbeat traditional bhangra number with an amazingly catchy tune considering its situational nature. It starts off quite odd, but gets better and better as it goes on. The hookline comes as an unexpected one with odd notes, that don’t match the fun nature of the other notes. That’s where the song gets interesting and experimental. The best part I loved in the song was the “oh yaara mere phirrrr na pooochooo aage kya hogaa…” part which was so smoothly sung by the singer!! The ‘timb lakk lakk timb’ loop is fun as well. The arrangements are just as fun as the composition. Of course dhols, dhadd, nagadas and the tumba make an integral part of the arrangements. A wonderful flutes assortment plays through the interlude. And the harmonium is splendid, too! The tempo increase towards the end is amusing as well! The two singers, Romy and Shehnaz Akhtar, do an amazing job in bringing forth the celebratory nature of the song through their singing. Though I’m not so qualified as to know who sang what, what I heard sounds good, and so I’m assuming both sang well. :p The backing vocalists play an important part in this song too, and their inputs make the song fun to listen to. About the lyrics, it seems that it is a kind of a story-telling session like we commonly see in films, where the man tells his friends about his experiences in winning the girl’s heart… Maybe? I don’t know. Enjoyable, but to an extent that can be crossed only after watching the film.

Rating: 3.5/5

 

6. Din Shagna Da

Singer ~ Jasleen Royal, Music by ~ Jasleen Royal, Lyrics by ~ Neeraj Rajawat

“Jaavan na main bin shehnaiyan
Satrangi rubaiyaan,
Sunaa ja tu harjaiyaa..
Shamiyaana sajavan
Doli leke main aavan
Aatishbazi karaake
Tenu leke main jaavan”

– Neeraj Rajawat

Jasleen re-enters the soundtrack with her second track, which is actually her pop single which she has released in 2013. The song has been incorporated as it was into the soundtrack. It is a bidaai song with its own merits. The composition lies quite close to most of her previous songs, but is also instantly likeable; you don’t get time to compare it with the others because it is so emotional and heart-moving. Also, she takes the help of wonderful instrumentation to uplift the sound of this song. Instead of her usual acoustic guitar arrangements, she also adds apt dholaks, a sarangi, and I was surprised to hear a nice piano introduction to the song, and that plucked string instrument in the interlude is amazing! The magic lies in the second stanza, where she has programmed everything with a nice sound effect to it (can’t describe, but hear from 2:30 to the end) The composition is so heart-rending, (and I’ll say that it is already a common song that plays at weddings!) that it is perfectly apt for the situation. The vocals are beautiful. Jasleen sounds sweet and nothing less. Neeraj Rajawat’s lyrics, or whatever I could make out of them, are beautiful. A great depiction of the “sad” side of a wedding!

Rating: 4/5


Phillauri is an album full of the heart and soul of Punjab. No rapper comes to degrade Punjab’s honour, and create a dismal image of Punjab in our heads. On the other hand, two talented youngsters don the captain’s hat and compose some wonderful songs with the essence of the real Punjab. It is so true to the folk music of Punjab that it gets haunting at some point! Shashwat and Jasleen present, the heart haunt and soul of Punjab! 🙂

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4.5 + 3 + 3.5 + 4 + 4.5 + 5 + 3.5 + 4 = 32

Album Percentage: 80%

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: Sahiba > Naughty Billo > What’s Up = Din Shagna Da = Dum Dum > Dum Dum (Reprise) = Bajaake Tumba > Dum Dum (Punjabi Version)

 

Remake Counter:
No. of Remakes: 08 (From previous albums) + 00 (from Phillauri) = 08

 

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

 

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

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

Udta Punjab Album Cover

Udta Punjab Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


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


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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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


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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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