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! 🙂

HAMARE PYARE SHANKAR-EHSAAN-LOY!! (MERE PYARE PRIME MINISTER – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy & C. Ramchandra
♪ Lyrics by: Gulzar & Bharat Vyas
♪ Music Label: Sony Music / Saregama
♪ Music Released On: 1st March 2019 / “Bajaa Bajaa Bajaa Dhol Bajaa Re” on 5th March 2019
♪ Movie Released On: 15th March 2019

Mere Pyare Prime Minister Album Cover

Listen to the songs: JioSaavn | Gaana

Buy the songs: iTunes

Listen to “Bajaa Bajaa Bajaa Dhol Bajaa Re”: JioSaavn | Gaana

Buy “Bajaa Bajaa Bajaa Dhol Bajaa Re”: iTunes


Mere Pyare Prime Minister is a Bollywood film starring Anjali Patil, Om Kanojiya, Atul Kulkarni and Makrand Deshpande. The film is directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, and produced by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, P.S. Bharathi, Navmeet Singh, Rajiv Tandon and Arpit Vyas. The film revolves around the journey of an eight-year-old boy who dreams of building a toilet for his mother, after she gets raped because of having to defecate in the open. The film follows his journey from Mumbai’s slums to Delhi, in order to deliver a letter to the Prime Minister of India, because he has taken it upon himself to improve the living conditions of the slum. One would not imagine that music would have a huge scope in this film, but where there’s Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Gulzar, there can be no doubt. After ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ and ‘Mirzya’, both top class albums for the director by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, and going by the director’s previous associations with A.R. Rahman in ‘Rang De Basanti’ and ‘Delhi 6’, this album too is no doubt, something we can expect a lot from. So let’s see, whether and how humare pyare Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy pamper Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra again!


The composer trio opens their third collaboration with director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra with a quirky and cute Title Song, one that starts with a very trademark Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy groove, and a catchy whistle. The breezy tune is something that I’d have loved to hear in Shankar or Siddharth Mahadevan’s voice, but the trio exercises its expertise in voice casting and brings a fresher option to the listeners, in Arijit Singh. The man renders the composition beautifully, with impeccable falsettos where needed, and the composers employ a well-appointed male chorus on the background in the interlude and hooklines. The arrangements are peppy, the brass band playing a major part in making them lively; and obviously the aforementioned whistle. Gulzar saab’s lyrics are a plea (an arzi) to the Prime Minister, as though written from a small child’s point of view, and that is so cute! Lines like “Chaali Toh Di Hai, Shauchaalay Bhi De De“, and “Arzi Meri, Marzi Teri“, speak volumes. What could’ve been improved on though, is the composition, only because we know Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy are capable of much better, and they had the scope!
That complaint is handled by the trio with the next song, Rezgaariyan, a groovy Qawwali-ish number with all the stock Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy elements you can think of — a rock guitar groove with a repeating couplet that also starts the song off, one that is again written spectacularly by Gulzar — “Daana Daana Uparwala Dega Dega, Neeche Wala Jo Bhi Dega, Paisa Lega!” The hookline is composition goals; it must be really tough to crack the tune for a word like “Rezgaariyan”, meaning “loose coins”, or the colloquial Hindi Chillar. And once you know the meaning of the central word of the song, everything fits into place quite beautifully; the song takes on a social message which is hard to dislike. Shankar and Shivam, the father-son duo, handle the vocals very well, and I’m surprised to see Arif Lohar mentioned in the credits, after the recent events concerning India and Pakistan, but I’m glad to see the taint of that hasn’t reached art. This one is a song that’ll play in your head on loop once you hear it once.
It’s time for more fun when Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy remake a very cute old Holi song, ‘Ja Re Hatt Natkhat’ (Navrang), a classic by C. Ramchandra. Rechristened Bajaa Bajaa Bajaa Dhol Bajaa Re, this one is the most fun a song can get these days. The lyrics mention dafli, khanjri, dhol and whatnot, and Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s sampling of the old song is just genius — I like how these seasoned composers always keep that in mind while recreating a song — Vishal-Shekhar in ‘The Disco Song’ (Student of The Year), Amit Trivedi in ‘Hungama Ho Gaya’ (Queen) retained the original singer’s voices, and so do Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy for this one, and in a very creative way. They spin an original mukhda which cleverly and unsuspectingly leads to the hook of the old song, making it sound all the more cute and fascinating. The vocals are a powerhouse on this track; Shankar Mahadevan leading the male portions while Rekha Bhardwaj delivers a spunky performance in the female portions alongside the sampling of Asha Bhosle from the old song. Other supporting singers include Divya Kumar, Shrinidhi Ghatate and Neela Mulhekar. The arrangements are amazing; the dhols, dafli and that whole ‘Dhadang Dhang’ (Rowdy Rathore) -esque rhythm, make the song really enjoyable all in all, as does the synthesiser playing the old song’s hook tune. And, however advanced we are getting in terms of quirky lyrics, it is only from the pen of Gulzar that we can still rely on hearing lines like “Thodi thodi bakri hansi, thoda thoda murga hansa, ekdum ek drumroll baja re!” All in all, this is one of the best remakes I’ve heard, forget in a long time, but in my whole life!
The trio decides to end the album on a sombre note, with Kanna Re Kanna, a beautiful lullaby that is rendered to perfection by Rekha Bhardwaj. The song starts with her humming, to be accompanied by mellow piano notes and a divine flute in a while. The trio’s composition is par excellence; even if it doesn’t pique the interest of normal listeners, it will surely interest the classical/semi-classical music aficionados, as they will find something to connect to in this five minutes of heaven. It is rare to get such an intricate lullaby from Bollywood, especially in the year 2019. Obviously, without Rekha Bhardwaj’s scintillating rendition, it would’ve remained just half as touching. The trio’s other lullaby this year, ‘Tak Taki’ (Manikarnika), suffered from lack of connect, because of the heavy orchestration and lyrics there, but this one is a direct heart-to-heart conversation, and will especially touch a chord in the hearts of all the sons out there. Gulzar writes lines like “Inch inch beta mera bada bhi hoga / Zindagi se chhota mota jhagda bhi hoga / Chot lagegi kabhi, lahu bhi girega / zindagi ghaseetegi toh tagda bhi hoga” — simple and very direct, but very emotional. A beautiful finale to the short and sweet album! 😊


As expected, Mere Pyare Prime Minister turns out to be yet another golden collaboration between the director and music directors, but this time, it will sadly go a bit less noticed than the previous two! Four songs spanning huge variety, in an album to a film with not much musical scope, is not a nominal feat, and just makes me believe that no matter how much of the new trends are setting in, Bollywood’s home composers, of which Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy constitute a substantial part, will always be there to supposedly salvage the wreckage.

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 8 + 8.5 + 9 + 9.5 = 35

Album Percentage: 87.5%

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: Kanna Re Kanna = Bajaa Bajaa Bajaa Dhol Bajaa Re > Rezgaariyan > Mere Pyare Prime Minister 

 

Which is your favourite song from Mere Pyare Prime Minister? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂

PRODUCERS KA HALKA HALKA GHUROOR!! (FANNEY KHAN – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Amit Trivedi, Tanishk Bagchi, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan & Shankar-Jaikishan
♪ Lyrics by: Irshad Kamil & Hasrat Jaipuri
♪ Music Label: T-Series / ‘Badan Pe Sitare’ on Saregama
♪ Music Released On: 19th July 2018
♪ Movie Released On: 3rd August 20181400x1400bb3

Listen to the songs: Saavn | Gaana

Buy the songs: iTunes

Listen to ‘Achche Din Ab Aaye Re’: Saavn

Listen to ‘Badan Pe Sitare’: Saavn | Buy on iTunes


Fanney Khan is an upcoming Bollywood film starring Anil Kapoor, Pihu Sand, Rajkummar Rao and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in crucial roles. The film is directed by Atul Manjrekar and produced by Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra, Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Kussum Arora, Nishant Pitti, Anil Kapoor, P.S. Bharathi and Rajiv Tandon. The film is an adaptation of the Dutch film ‘Everybody’s Famous’, and it deals with the issue of body-shaming. The music of the film has been composed by Amit Trivedi, with one guest composition, (#NotARemake) by Tanishk Bagchi. This is Trivedi’s fifth album of the year, and out of the four previous ones, ‘Bhavesh Joshi Superhero’ and ‘Pad Man’s were the only solo albums, whereas in ‘Raid’ and ‘Blackmail’, T-Series had forced songs by other composers. Thankfully, in both the albums, the guest songs weren’t bad or frustrating. In fact, in ‘Blackmail’, it was Trivedi who wasn’t at the top of his game. Well, seeing as to how this album is 6/7th his, maybe this will be one of the better ‘multicomposer’ albums of his this year. Let’s dive in!


As is the norm, I usually get the guest composition done with at the beginnjng, or leave it for the very end; here, I will get it over with. So Tanishk’s guest composition Mohabbat, which has left many confused as to whether it’s a remake of Noor Jehan’s ‘Jawaan Hai Mohabbat’, (but which clearly isn’t a remake of that, if you pay attention to the tune), starts the album off. And it is one of the most disappointing original songs by Tanishk. First of all, he creates some weird sounds that hurt the ears, and continues it with grating programming of Sunidhi’s voice that makes her sound horrible! The composition is quite simple, and a bit catchy on and off, but for the most part, it is a very forgettable tune, that could’ve been propped up by Sunidhi’s vocals, if the composer hadn’t programmed it so badly! Irshad Kamil’s lyrics are nothing great, and when the song isn’t interesting, the lyrics don’t really matter that much.

Amit Trivedi too, uses Sunidhi for his first song, Halka Halka, an EDM reimagination of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s famous Qawwali. The difference in Sunidhi’s voice itself shows you what Tanishk had done wrong in the first song. Anyway, the song as a remake, is quite creative — the composer adds a pacy drop to the song after the hookline, and I love the new padding he has composed before the hookline, as the mukhda; it has a beautiful tune, which Sunidhi delivers fascinatingly. However, I didn’t quite like that the hookline has been extended to four lines. The original hookline with two lines was good enough! Divya Kumar complements Sunidhi well, and against the EDM backdrop, both of them, a duo not yet tested by composers, sound magical, and I’m glad Trivedi did try such a contrasting pair for a song.

Trivedi is also made to remake Shankar-Jaikishan-Mohd. Rafi’s iconic Badan Pe Sitare and who better than Sonu Nigam to sing a version of that song? We’ve been hearing the man sing his take on the song ever since I can’t even remember when, and to hear a proper mixed and mastered audio version of him singing the song is a treat for his fans. Amit Trivedi does an awesome job recreating the actual raw orchestra touch of the original song — drums and trumpets owning the arrangements. And obviously, Sonu Nigam owning the song with his energetic and boisterous performance!

The original part of the album is not as exciting as the remake part, sadly, but Amit still manages to give one beautiful song, Achche Din, which has a sweet middle-class touch to it, in both lyrics and tune. Amit’s heartfelt rendition helps the song sound genuine as well, and it suits the setting of Anil Kapoor playing a taxi driver waiting for his fortune to get better. Irshad KamilsK lyrics have a sense of genuineness in them, which propels the song further and Amit’s use of clarinets (I.D. Rao) and flutes is wonderful. But what keeps the song together is the strong composition. The reprise version type of song, Achche Din Ab Aaye Re is the same audio file with a little additional coda at the end, where the lyrics have been tweaked to let us know that Anil Kapoor’s character’s fortune has sparkled.

The rest of the album is sung by Monali Thakur, who is the voice for Pihu Sand, who plays Kapoor’s daughter in the film. The first of the songs, Tere Jaisa Tu Hai, is straight out of the ‘Secret Superstar’ soundtrack, with a less stronger voice than Meghna Mishra. Monali Thakur seems to be struggling with the high notes in this song; the song itself has nothing new to offer beyond the soaring trumpet portions, but then, we heard something similar in ‘Main Kaun Hoon’ (Secret Superstar), so it doesn’t strike me as anything special. Irshad KamklsK lyrics are meaningful, but only good to listen to as long as the song plays; they are easily forgotten after the song ends.

The last song Fu Bai Fu is like those Bollywood medleys that used to feature in our movies, except, since the music label might not possess rights to all the songs, the composer has composed a song and the lyricist sprinkles different lyrics throughout that tune. The songs featured are quite fun to listen to, but nothing beyond that. The use of the Marathi folk song ”’ Bai Fu’ merely raises eyebrows — why was it needed? And was it needed? The arrangements are some of the most bland arrangements Trivedi has provided in recent times — a repetitive loop of the same sounds plays all throughout the song. Monali’s rendition is good in this song, though, and so are her imitations in the interlude. But again, why?


The whole album seems like the producers were way too overconfident with their movie, and in the process, their halka halka ghuroor seems to have made them pay no attention to the quality of the music album! A letdown of a music album for a movie that revolves around music!

 

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

Album Percentage: 67.86%

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: Achche Din = Achche Din Ab Aaye Re > Badan Pe Sitaare = Halka Halka > Tere Jaisa Tu Hai > Mohabbat = Fu Bai Fu

Remake Counter:
No. Of Remakes : 30 (from previous albums) + 02 = 32

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

THE MUSICAL SUPERHERO RESURFACES!! (BHAVESH JOSHI SUPERHERO – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Amit Trivedi
♪ Lyrics by: Amitabh Bhattacharya, Anurag Kashyap, Babu Haabi & Naezy
♪ Music Label: Eros Music
♪ Music Released On: 21st May 2018
♪ Movie Released On: 1st June 2018

Bhavesh Joshi Superhero Album Cover

 

Listen to the songs: Saavn

Buy the songs: iTunes


Bhavesh Joshi Superhero is a Bollywood action film starring Harshvardhan Kapoor, Priyanshu Painyuli and Nishikant Kamat, directed by Vikramaditya Motwane and produced by Reliance Entertainment, Eros International, Anurag Kashyap, Madhu Mantena and Vikas Bahl. The film is about a group of friends who set out to expose the water scams and other wrong activities in the city. When one of the friends dies, Sikandar (played by Harshvardhan Kapoor) sets out to become a vigilante and avenge his friend’s death and stop the corruption in the city. The film is quite different from what Motwane has made in the past, and it shows he is a versatile filmmaker, never repeating his formula. Of course, for music, he ropes in Amit Trivedi, after that one movie, ‘Trapped’, where he didn’t compose the music. Let’s see, what with all the soundtracks of his releasing this year, can Trivedi do a great job for a director whose films he is known to have done great music for?


The soundtrack starts off with a song called Hum Hain Insaaf that actually summarises the entire theme of the movie in three minutes — in a groovy rap track set to catchy beats and music by Trivedi, and rendered just as addictively by Babu Haabi and Naezy. Babu Haabi sounds much more amazing than he did two years ago in the songs of ‘Udta Punjab’, while Naezy sounds great as usual. Trivedi’s digital beats are catchy, especially the opening bars, which immediately attract your attention. The rap in this song actually doesn’t get boring at any point; it is fun also to listen to the lyrics, which are meaningful (written by Anurag Kashyap, Babu Haabi and Naezy together). The hookline has an anthemic ring to it, perfect for such a movie.

The other song that carries the change-the-world theme in its lyrics is Qasam Kha Li, because Bollywood superheroes can’t go without a dramatic oath ceremony. Just kidding, Phantom ‘Ph’ans. 🙂 Anyway, the song seems to have been quite easy for Trivedi, having composed ‘Jhuk Na Paunga’ (Raid) just recently. Maybe he called Papon over and said, “Let’s record two songs, both having the same blood running through them, and let’s see which one ends up in which movie.” That being said, this song is just as soulful and beautiful as the other, and clearly this fits into the ‘Bhavesh Joshi Superhero’ soundtrack more than the other song, and again, I was just joking about the “Let’s see which movie blah blah.” The strings and drums used by Trivedi are captivating throughout the song, and Papon’s sombre rendition is perfect for this retrospective number. Towards the end, Trivedi sets right what went wrong in Blackmail’s ‘Nindaraan Diyaan’ — he uses the rock template in a much better way than he did there (where he spoiled the entire climax of the song by overdoing the rock)! Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics are beautiful, and just perfect for what I’d imagine an Indian common man superhero to sing. 🙂

It is Chavanprash which has probably polarised audiences about this soundtrack; it is a super-cheesy and typical Trivedi qawwali-ish number with just as cheesy lyrics by Bhattacharya, but hey, I did enjoy it! Trivedi, first of all, is an expert at making such songs catchy, and he brings back his ‘Ghanchakkar’ self to make a kind of amalgamation of three songs from that soundtrack — ‘Ghanchakkar Babu’, ‘Allah Meherbaan’ and ‘Jholu Ram’. Divya Kumar’s effusive vocals make it known that you’re supposed to have fun listening to and crooning this song. And Amitabh’s lyrics, even the cringeworthy hookline, are fun! Trivedi adda those qawwali elements like the bulbultarang, and rock elements, and his signature quirky female chorus (Arohi Mhatre and Pragati Joshi) are ever loyal and give yet another enjoyable performance. The ‘satak’, ‘jhatak‘ effect in the antaras are so fun. Anyway, I love this song and you can judge me for it.

The best of the soundtrack comes with Tafreeh, where Trivedi starts the proceedings with a heady digital rhythm coupled with a nice guitar loop, and the Vikramaditya Motwane side of Amit Trivedi surfaces for the first time in this Vikramaditya Motwane soundtrack; the song instantly sends you back to the ‘Udaan’ soundtrack, more so because of Trivedi’s dreamy melody, than the arrangements. Also, he sings the ‘Chal Zaraa…” portion so amazingly, it’s hard not to get addicted! That beat he keeps up for the entire song in the background never gets repetitive. He even uses marching rhythms later on! Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics have a certain message we all need to understand; the ‘carpe diem‘ philosophy resounding very vehemently throughout the song. Again, Trivedi does the rock parts well, and ends the song on a very entrancing high.


I won’t have many supporters for this statement, but I’m going to go ahead and call this Trivedi’s best soundtrack after a long time! Motwane really brings out the musical superhero that Trivedi really is! 😊

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 7.5 + 8 + 8.5 + 9 = 33

Album Percentage: 82.5%

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: Tafreeh > Chavanprash > Qasam Kha Li > Hum Hain Insaaf

 

Which is your favourite song from Bhavesh Joshi Superhero? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂

A HAPPY WEDDING OF PUNJABI AND ELECTRONIC MUSIC!! (VEERE DI WEDDING – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Shashwat Sachdev, Vishal Mishra, Qaran Mehta & White Noise
♪ Lyrics by: Anvita Dutt, Raj Shekhar, Shellee, Shashwat Sachdev, Gaurav Solanki, Qaran Mehta, Rupin Pahwa, Badshah & White Noise
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 8th May 2018
♪ Movie Released On: 1st June 2018

Veere Di Wedding Album Cover

 

Listen to the songs: Saavn

Buy the songs: iTunes


Veere Di Wedding is a Bollywood coming-of-age film revolving around four friends played by Kareena Kapoor Khan, Sonam K. Ahuja, Swara Bhasker and Shikha Talsania. The film is directed by Shashanka Ghosh and produced by Ekta Kapoor, Shobha Kapoor, Anil Kapoor and Rhea Kapoor. Now, the film has been creating buzz right from its trailer release, and the music which has become a rage across the nation already (not all songs but a select few) has been composed by composers including Shashwat Sachdev, Vishal Mishra, Qaran Mehta and White Noise. Shashwat and Vishal are two young talents that haven’t yet disappointed with whatever they’ve composed. On the other hand, Qaran, who has been assisting music directors like Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Pritam for quite some time now, gets to make his composing debut with this film, and White Noise is actually Sachin-Jigar’s Artists & Repertoire venture like Pritam’s JAM8. So there is reason enough to believe this will be an enjoyable multicomposer album.


The lead composer, Shashwat Sachdev, actually has four songs in the album, which is half the number of original songs there are in the album, so let’s start with his songs. 😁
Pappi Le Loon, the album opener on all the streaming websites as well, is a fun-filled, catchy number, where, surprisingly, the vocals arrangements outdo the composition! You can even say there is almost nothing by way of composition; the entire stress is laid on the way the sound interacts with the booming vocals by Sunidhi Chauhan. Shashwat’s electronic music is impressive too, and as such, he didn’t need a strong tune, to make this song any better! Everything has been done by the entertaining vocals and arrangements. The Punjabi-flavoured portions nicely marry the electronic sound and make this song one to look forward to in the album — one of the main attractions in the album, I would say. And when has Sunidhi Chauhan ever underperformed? And Shellee’s lyrics are suitably quirky and fun.
In another Punjab-meets-electronic music fusion, Sachdev serves a folk song in modern packaging, quite the same way he did ‘Naughty Billo’ back in ‘Phillauri’, where he turned the folk song ‘Jhooth Boliya’ into a trippy hip-hop number. Here he gets to remake ‘Bhangra Ta Sajda’ into an EDM-Punjabi music fusion track named Bhangra Ta Sajda (No One Gives A Damn!). The song itself is really entertaining; it has everything you’d require to groove at a wedding, and out of one too — trippy EDM, entertaining dhols, and a nice touch of sarangi, something Shashwat seems to love hiding in each of his upbeat songs. Romy delivers an amazing performance, and Neha Kakkar delivers one which made me like her voice in a song after a long, long time. The initial retro-ish portion of the song has been done well, and Gaurav Solanki’s lyrics are just quirky fun. (I have a feeling I’ll be saying this about every song in the album)
Shashwat’s best comes with Bass Gira De Raja, where he composes, writes and sings the song! The song is standard Shashwat quirky fusion; the composition instantly has you hooked,and the lyrics actually had me smiling at certain points. The man sings amazingly too, and once the bass drops, the song becomes much more interesting than it was when it started. The way Sachdev plays and experiments with different sounds is what makes me look forward to his composing for many more films in the future. In ‘Phillauri’ he got to do a completely traditional Punjabi sound, and the fact that he is doing such experimental stuff here, showcases his versatility and talent!
His weakest song, and probably the weakest song of the album, Aa Jao Na, comes next, with its repetitive tune that is actually the typical Arijit melody. Even though it reaches a peak at one point, it just goes back to same droning nature over and over again — which gets really boring after a point. What’s more, composer Shashwat Sachdev doesn’t even give us much to chew on as Arijit belts out the repetitive tune — just digital beats and very few piano notes, which don’t really fill in the gaps well. Anyway, I know this song is going to be the biggest and most popular, so whatever I just wrote might just not matter.
The composer with the next largest number of songs is yet another upcoming talent Vishal Mishra, who still has me stunned by his amazing two songs in ‘Qarib Qarib Singlle’ last year. His part of the album starts with the song that everyone loved right from the trailer, Veere, which can best be described as the movie’s theme song. He takes the friendship theme of the film, and constructs such a positive composition using that idea, it’s quite surprising this song didn’t come from a Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy or a Pritam! It totally belongs to the rom-com age of Bollywood when they made happy songs like this for movies like ‘Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu’, ‘Anjaana Anjaani’, etc. The hookline has the listener in a trance the first time it plays, and keeps entrancing the listeners everytime it plays! To break the trance though, unfortunately, there are some elements that the song could’ve done without. First of all, the too-many-to-keep-track-of female singers! If you ask me, Aditi Singh Sharma was the only one who should have sung the female part, because I can unfortunately make out Iulia Vantur over there, and unfortunately, she starts the unfortunate female portion. How unfortunate. But happily, things are better in the second antara, where Vishal Mishra comes back to take things under control, and the female chorus here sounds amazing. He’s the second composer on the album now, who sings just as well as he composes! Wow! We have a cool future for Bollywood music! 🙂 Also, Anvita Dutt’s lyrics make for a really enjoyable friendship anthem, so that middle portion can easily be ignored!
Vishal Mishra sings his next song Dagmag Dagmag along with Payal Dev, who sounds like a less hyperactive version of Neha Kakkar. Anyway, the song could be easily mistaken for an Amit Trivedi song, with that amazingly catchy digital beat, and quirky tune. The hookline, which sounds the cheesiest the first time, really sets in with the passage of time (the number of times you listen to the song) and doesn’t sound as cheesy later on. The arrangements are mostly digital, as mentioned above, and that’s mainly where it resembles the Trivedi sound. Both the singers do an amazing job and seem to have had a fun time singing this track.
Qaran Mehta’s Tareefan, is an insanely catchy and addictive club track, Badshah sounding like he has never sounded before! Qaran’s programming is the main reason the song sounds so fresh, and that addictive hookline, and the loop that goes on behind it in the song, I can’t stop praising the song; it’s like a guilty pleasure listen of mine. 😂 The flak the song has been receiving is just so unjustified — how can you hate a song if you hate its music video? This song will probably remain the catchiest club song of 2018 for me, and even that cringeworthy rap of Badshah’s takes getting used to, but you end up ignoring that by the time you’re addicted to the song. Qaran, hor das kinni tareefan chaidi ae tenu?
The song appears in two more versions, one being a Remix By Dj Notorious, which is also quite addictive (as if the original song wasn’t sounding like a remix itself) and so it sounds like another version of the song, had DJ Notorious programmed it instead of Qaran himself. The Reprise Version acquaints us with a promising new singer, Lisa Mishra, whose voice seems weird on the song at first, but then it starts sounding better and better than that. The unplugged version required such a calm and soothing rendition, because the composition, which is quite strong, makes sure that it can stay fresh in any form, be it a club song, or a soothing number like this reprise.
As for the last song of the album, Laaj Sharam by Sachin-Jigar’s A&R venture White Noise, the song is also quite weak as compared to the rest of the album. Something seems off in White Noise’s fusion of Punjabi and electronic music, but the vocalists Divya Kumar and Jasleen Royal save the song with their entertaining rendition. Jasleen’s voice gets a makeover; she puts on a husky voice here, and I wish she uses this voice in more of her own compositions from now on; of course, when and if the need arises. The hookline for this song sounds unnecessarily repetitive, but the dhols do the job in pulling you through that. Enbee’s rap is passable, and it’s not like it ends soon, and the composers don’t add any entertaining music in the background during that either! Overall, this ends up as the second weakest song on the album for me.


A ten song album, this really delivers what was promised in such a huge scale wedding flick about friendship. The soundtrack has variety, and after listening to it so many times, I can say it has the potential to live even after the movie is watched and forgotten by everyone.The biggest achievement this soundtrack has made, is that, though it has multiple composers, they all have one set aim which they all succeed in — to make Punjabi music marry electronic music!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 8 + 7.5 + 6.5 + 9 + 8.5 + 8 + 8.5 + 6.5 + 7.5 + 7 = 77

Album Percentage: 77%

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: Just Listen to them all in the order given on Saavn. 😂

 

Remake Counter:
No. Of Remakes: 20 (from previous albums) + 01 = 21

Which is your favourite song from Veere Di Wedding? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂

A MUFFLED SOUND EXPLOSION!! (PARMANU – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Sachin-Jigar & Jeet Gannguli
♪ Lyrics by: Vayu Srivastava, Dr. Kumar Vishwas, Sachin Sanghvi & Rashmi-Virag
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 15th May 2018
♪ Movie Released On: 25th May 2018

Parmanu Album Cover

 

Listen to the songs: Saavn

Buy the songs: iTunes


Parmanu is a Bollywood drama/thriller film starring John Abraham, Boman Irani and Diana Penty, directed by Abhishek Sharma and produced by Zee Studios, JA Entertainment and Kyta Productions. The film revolves around the 1998 bomb test explosions conducted by the Indian Army at Pokhran, Rajasthan under the leadership of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam during PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s tenure. The film has opened to mixed reviews, but what had me most excited about the film (since the subject matter isn’t really the kind I like) was the music by Sachin-Jigar. Well, Sachin-Jigar and Jeet Gannguli, as I learned after the album released.


Sachin-Jigar April start the album off with a refreshing song Shubh Din, which follows the folksy Gujarati/Rajasthani template to the tee, but still manages to turn out as an entertaining number. They recreate their own ‘Aavi Re Hoon Aavi Re’ (from the Gujarati movie Carry On Kesar), and the song has a catchy instrumental loop after the hookline, which Sachin-Jigar have made sure, hooks the audience. The arrangements give the impression that the makers were going for something grander, but had to settle for less than what they intended. The folksiness doesn’t come out full-fledgedly as one would expect from Sachin-Jigar, but ends up sounding muffled. The vocals by Keerthi Sagathia and Jyotica Tangri are amazing though, as is Sachin-Jigar’s composition, so at least the song is entertaining for as long as it plays.
The next folksy number by Sachin-Jigar, Thare Vaaste, is like a patriotic recreation of their song ‘Chunar’ (ABCD 2), especially lyrically. Vayu Srivastava’s lyrics are aptly poignant and patriotic, but sadly, the composers’ tune doesn’t match up to that level; it fails to move the listener. The anthemic tune gets repetitive after some time, and though Divya Kumar does well in trying to make the song sound energetic, it is again the fault of the muffled-sounding arrangements, that the song doesn’t come to life as would be expected.
Kasumbi, the best song of the album, also sees the duo follow the folksy template, but this time Vayu’s lyrics are Punjabi, in a film set in Rajasthan. This one starts off like another ‘Chunar’ spawn, but soon sets in as a moving patriotic number — the shehnaai is the most remarkable instrument used here; it harks back to the old patriotic songs. Again, the arrangements sound muffled here too (what’s with the poor programming throughout the album?) but Sachin-Jigar’s tune is so strong, it can be overlooked. Also, Divya Kumar gives an amazing performance, especially in that gem of a hookline. Vayu’s lyrics are beautiful, incorporating the word ‘Kasumbi’, which is probably the name for the saffron colour associated with patriotism in Gujarat and Rajasthan.
The last two songs composed by Sachin-Jigar in this album, have soothing tunes and less of a folksy impact than the previous songs. Sapna is the trademark Sachin-Jigar romantic melody (a la ‘Meet’ from ‘Simran’) in its composition, but the lyrics by Sachin Sanghvi are not romantic at all. Overall it is a pleasant listen, which Sachin-Jigar doing their signature method of repeating an instrumental loop after the hookline. (The loop in this song sounds a lot like the one in ‘Maana Ke Hum Yaar Nahin’ from “Meri Pyaari Bindu”). Arijit Singh is himself in the song, and carries it off like he carries off every song he’s ever carried off. The guitars are enjoyable and soothing, and the sarangi is beautiful, and the song itself is fortunately short — any longer and it would’ve been too long.
The last song by Sachin-Jigar, De De Jagah, is yet another in the same vein as ‘Sapna’, but this time, the lyricist (poet and politician Dr. Kumar Vishwas) complements it with romantic lyrics. What strikes me right away, yet again, is that something is wrong with the mixing, making Yasser Desai’s voice sound like it has been recorded on WhatsApp. Sachin-Jigar’s vibrant composition is one of the best of theirs over the period of 2016-2018, and Yasser Desai, barring the bad use of his vocals, tries to do his best, and succeeds fairly enough. The guitars and tablas complement each other surprisingly well, and the harmonium provides the soul in the song. The tune of the hookline is what will get you hooked to this song, just like songs traditionally are supposed to do.
Now, the reason I described that as Sachin-Jigar’s last song, is because there’s a kind of guest composer we have in the album; he has been waiting patiently for his turn, and I’m more than happy to talk about his song. The man in question in Jeet Gannguli, who has somehow bagged a romantic (read Mohit Suri-like sob-inducing) song in a movie like this. Jitni Dafa is one of those songs we have heard enough of in Bollywood, and I can’t believe the makers would proactively damage their own music album by including such a song in the album. It starts off painfully simple, and until those ‘Aashiqui 2’-ish beats start, it isn’t that painful, but when they do start, you keep waiting for the song to end. Rashmi-Virag write great lyrics, but hey, I’m quite sure John’s character in the film has time to weep like this at such a critical time and dire situation. And the singer is Yasser Desai, trying his best to be a mix of Mustafa Zahid, Arijit Singh, Saim Bhatt and Atif Aslam.


Parmanu has a soundtrack that mostly sticks to the point (barring that guest song) but something is definitely wrong with the arrangements; if they had been better mixed and mastered, the sound would’ve been grander and more enjoyable!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 8 + 7 + 8.5 + 7 + 7.5 + 5 = 39

Album Percentage: 71.67%

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: Kasumbi > Shubh Din > De De Jagah > Thare Vaaste = Sapna > Jitni Dafa

 

Remake Counter:
No. Of Remakes: 19 (from previous albums) + 01 = 20

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

NOT A VERY SWEET KHAJOOR!! (KHAJOOR PE ATKE – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Bickram Ghosh
♪ Lyrics by: Harsh Chhaya & Kumaar
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 7th May 2018
♪ Movie Released On: 18th May 2018

Khajoor Pe Atke Album Cover

 

Listen to the songs: Saavn

Buy the songs: iTunes


Khajoor Pe Atke is a Bollywood comedy film starring Manoj Pahwa, Seema Pahwa, Vinay Pathak, and Sanah Kapur in lead roles. The film is directed by Harsh Chhaya, and produced by Amrit Sethia. Now, I least care what this movie is about; it seemed like a rip-off of the 2016 Marathi film “Ventilator”, but what made me interested to review it was that the music was by Bickram Ghosh, the tabla player who used to compose along with Sonu Nigam back in 2013-14. Well, let’s see how well his music for this one goes, when he goes solo. Not that he has never gone solo, but I’ve never heard his film music for when he has gone solo. 😂


Bickram Ghosh’s first album after a long time starts with a signature Bickram Ghosh song Aao Na Dekha, with impressive Indian percussions taking centre stage, along with a nice mandolin riff. The vocalists Timir Biswas and Ujjaini Mukherjee do a nice job sticking to the Bickram Ghosh style of singing, which is a kind of folksy style, and it sounds entertaining for sure, just not unforgettable. The “Na Re, Na Re, Nanna RE” sounds quite familiar, if you’ve heard a certain A.R. Rahman-Shreya Ghoshal song. 😛
The next song that entertains at least a bit is Duniya, where Divya Kumar and Ujjaini Mukherjee croon the quirky melody with a nice mixture of fun and enjoyability. Bickram’s arrangements here do not work much, and the programming is meh, if I may say that word in a review. 😂 The lyrics make it sound like some feel good song, and at least it works to that intent.
Sumdi Mein Jhol is a passable number by Kalpana Patowary, and the most unnecessarily long song in terms of duration. I must say Ghosh’s arrangements are slightly better here, especially the dholaks, and the harmonium. However, the composition and the vocals are just ignore-worthy. I also don’t know where this kind of song fits into the script, but filmmakers these days seem to conjure such situations just for the heck of it.
Dhoka, “sung” by director Harsh Chhaya, is another passable song, that is supposedly a sad song, but ends up making you laugh, thanks to Bickram’s insistence on making everything sound quirky! The arrangements are fun, but the composition is just so boring, that it’s funny. The vocals are not too great, either!


That album wasn’t even ‘Khajoor Pe Atke’; at least a ‘Khajoor’ (date) tastes sweet and not as bland as this album!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 7 + 6 + 5 + 5 = 23

Album Percentage: 57.5%

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: Aao Na Dekha > Duniya > Sumdi Mein Jhol = Dhoka

 

Which is your favourite song from Khajoor Pe Atke? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂