IMPRESSIVE TEAMWORK!! (DAAS DEV – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Sandesh Shandilya, Vipin Patwa, Arko Pravo Mukherjee, Anupama Raag & Shamir Tandon
♪ Lyrics by: Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Deepak Ramola, Dr. Sagar, Bulleh Shah, Arko Pravo Mukherjee, Munir Niazi, Gaurav Solanki & Sameer Anjaan
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 21st February 2018
♪ Movie Released On: 27th April 2018

Daas Dev Album Cover

 

Listen to the songs: Saavn

Buy the songs: iTunes


Daas Dev is a Bollywood political thriller starring Rahul Bhat, Aditi Rao Hydari and Richa Chadha in lead roles. The film is directed by Sudhir Mishra, and produced by Saptarishi Cinevision. The film has tanked as Such it Mishra’s weakest film, but we concern ourselves with the music, and let me tell you, this album is probably the dark horse album of the year! The music is composed by Sandesh Shandilya, Vipin Patwa, Arko Pravo Mukherjee, Anupama Raag and Shamir Tandon. Read on to find out why I call it the dark horse album of the year so far! 🙂


Sandesh Shandilya and Vipin Patwa are the lead composers for the film: both have two songs each while the other three composers present us with one song each. Let’s start with Vipin Patwa’s portion of the album, since he hasn’t been active for so long!
Sehmi Hai Dhadkan is a melancholic but intense romantic song, that really works opposite to how these songs usually work with me. I actually liked the song. The tune is gripping, the instrumentation deep and likeable, and Atif’s vocals strong. The cello and piano work together against the digital beats, and Vipin’s composition is really captivating, especially with the hook, and the line before it, where Atif performs an impeccable aalaap. Dr. Sagar’s lyrics are good, but run of the mill. Vipin’s other song, Tain To Uttey, is a nice reimagination of Bulleh Shah’s verse, set against an electrifying folksy-rock fusion. Javed Bashir performs in a way that equals his rendition of ‘Piya Tu Kaahe Rootha Re’ (Kahaani), and he sounds amazing in those aalaaps, and in the hookline, when the composer brings in amazing rock elements accompanied by nice classical music elements. The interlude with Javed’s SARGAM is unforgettable.
Sandesh Shandilya though, takes the album to a different plane, with clever folk-techno fusion in both his songs. The relatively weaker (in no means a bad song), Raat Youn Dil Mein Teri, is a sensual romantic song sung by Papon and newcomer Shraddha Mishra. Two of Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s poems get amalgamated into this song, where Papon delivers an amazing performance as always, and even newcomer Mishra supports him and does her part beautifully with her distinct voice. The composition stands out as sensuous and experimental, while the techno sounds give it an even more intense lounge-ish sound. It reminds me of ‘Behroopia’ (Bombay Velvet) with its soundscape. The composition of the antara is mind blowing and tough to not love!
Sandesh’s other song, my personal favourite of the album because of its quirkiness and happy-go-lucky sound, is Challa Chaap Chunariya. The composition is essentially that of a folksy dance song, and it gets really catchy in the hookline and the cross line before it, and even more captivating with Rekha Bhardwaj’s stylish vocals. But the real magic here is the fusion by Shandilya. It’s so surprising this is the same Shandilya who made songs like ‘Suraj Hua Maddham’ (Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham) and ‘Aaoge Jab Tum’ (Jab We Met) in the 2000s, but now he has reinvented his style so drastically! The sarangi pairs beautifully with the psychedelic sounds, and the quirky programming makes it even more addictive.
Arko Pravo Mukherjee also breaks out of his spree of composing sugary sweet romantic songs, to create a nice rock ballad. Rangdaari has all the elements of a catchy rock song. Navraj Hans gets a short prelude in Punjabi, that we wish lasted longer, or featured once more in the song, until Arko takes the mic and sings his addictive composition. The arrangements are just like any rock song you’d hear, but nevertheless, very likeable. The hookline has a catchy composition as well; I just wish some more established singer had sung it. The guitars in the interludes are amazing, and so are the romantic lyrics by Arko Pravo Mukherjee.
Debutante composer Anupama Raag presents Azaad Kar, a song composed on that oh-so-heart-warming seven beat rhythm that is so prevalent in Bollywood, mainly for sad songs. The Indian tune is beautiful, as are the arrangements, with one digital plucked instrument playing throughout, coupled with jingle bells and tablas later on. The choice of Swanand Kirkire for singing it is really perfect; kudos to Anupama for remembering him. Gaurav Solanki’s lyrics are good too.
The weakest song of the album comes from Shamir Tandon; he composes a very heavy pathos-filled rock song, Marne Ka Shauk, that does not connect at all, with cringeworthy vocals (surprisingly by Papon and not so surprisingly by Krishna Beura) and very cringeworthy lyrics (as expected from Sameer Anjaan by now). It’s probably what the Devdas in this retelling sings when he starts drinking. 😂


All in all, this album turns out to be a surprisingly great album from multiple composers, but each pitch in to do their best, as per the script of the movie.

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 7.5 + 8 + 8.5 + 9 + 7.5 + 8 + 5.5 = 54

Album Percentage: 77.14%

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: Challa Chaap Chunariya > Raat Youn Dil Mein Teri >
Azaad Kar = Tain To Uttey > Sehmi Hai Dhadkan = Rangdaari > Marne Ka Shauk

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

NOVEMBER 2017 ROUND-UP #1 (ITTEFAQ, THE HOUSE NEXT DOOR, RIBBON, RAM RATAN, SHAADI MEIN ZAROOR AANA & JULIE 2 – Mini Music Reviews)

November 2017 Round-Up #1

NOVEMBER 2017 ROUND-UP #1

This round-up covers the following albums of November 2017 releases: ‘Ittefaq’ by Tanishk Bagchi, ‘The House Next Door’ by Girishh G, ‘Ribbon’ by Mikey McCleary & Sagar Desai, ‘Ram Ratan’ by Bappi Lahiri, ‘Julie 2’ by Rooh Band, Viju Shah & Javed-Mohsin, and ‘Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana’ by Arko Pravo Mukherjee, Kaushik-Akash-Guddu for JAM8, Zain-Sam-Raees, Rashid Khan & Anand Raj Anand.

The ones that haven’t been covered in this post will be included in the next round-up for November, or will be written about in a separate post all for themselves.



♦ Intense & Intriguing, Ittefaq Se: ITTEFAQ Music Review

♪ Music by: Tanishk Bagchi & Bappi Lahiri
♪ Lyrics by: Anjaan, Tanishk Bagchi & Groot
♪ Music Label: Saregama
♪ Music Released On: 23rd October 2017
♪ Movie Released On: 3rd November 2017

Listen to the song: Saavn
Buy the song: iTunes


The only song from this film is a Atmos-Pop remake of “Raat Baaki” (Namak Halaal), named Ittefaq Se. Tanishk Bagchi is back to his remaking streak, after some nice original music in “Shubh Mangal Saavdhan” with partner Vayu. He keeps the original song intact, and that’s good, and he mysterious vibe that accompanies the song goes well with the setting of the film. The beats are nice as well. The only place the song lacks is the vocals, where Jubin sounds like he always does, and is starting to sound monotonous now, and Nikhita eats up her words while producing an over-stylish voice. I would have preferred Neeti Mohan on this one. The change in lyrics from “Pyaar Se” to “Ittefaq Se” actually fits in really well!


A good remake, that called for better voices behind it!

 

Total Points Scored by This Song: 3.5 

Song Percentage: 70%

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

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

Remake Counter:
No. Of Remakes: 38 (from previous albums) + 01 (from Ittefaq) = 39


♦ As Always, Romance Predominates: THE HOUSE NEXT DOOR Music Review

♪ Music by: Girishh G
♪ Lyrics by: Shakeel Azmi, Vayu Srivastava & Chen-Yu Maglin
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 16th October 2017
♪ Movie Released On: 3rd November 2017

Listen to the album: Saavn
Buy the album: iTunes


Girishh G starts the album off with a dulcet Mithoon-with-Bhatts-like melody, O Mere Sanam, that impresses because of its complexity, like every other Mithoon melody. Benny Dayal sings in his trademark husky tone for romantic songs, and the hookline is something that gives you goosebumps. Girissh’s piano is the highlight of the arrangements, while Shakeel Azmi’s lyrics are beautiful with a delicious assemblage of Urdu words. Ye Waqt Maut Ka Hai is aptly disturbing, demonic as it is, and the composition is frankly very bad. It is Vayu Srivastava’s lyrics that make the song disturbing, and not because it is scary! Because it is cringeworthy. Suraj Jagan spoils the vocals, his co-singer Shilpa Natarajan could’ve done just fine without him. Xiao Xiao Ma is a haunting Chinese lullaby-ish number, which is good as long as it lasts, volatilizing shortly afterwards. The last track, The House Next Door, is a short instrumental piece, which again has the problem of not being captivating, despite the wonderful use of strings.


Not the best album for Girishh to debut in Bollywood with!

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4.5 + 1.5 + 3 + 3 = 12

Album Percentage: 60%

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: O Mere Sanam > The House Next Door = Xiao Xiao Ma > Ye Waqt Maut Ka Hai

 



♦ Cute Little Ribbon: RIBBON Music Review

♪ Music by: Mikey McCleary & Sagar Desai
♪ Lyrics by: Dr. Sagar & Puneet Sharma
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 31st October 2017
♪ Movie Released On: 3rd November 2017

Listen to the songs: Saavn
Buy the songs: iTunes


Mikey McCleary presents a Sufi rock song, Charkha Ghoom Raha Hai, to start off the album, and also introduces a new singer Aniket Mangrulkar, a singer who is a much better tuned rock singer than the much-in-demand Amit Mishra. The composition by McCleary is irresistible, especially in the hook parts. The rhythms are spot on, and the lyrics too, are meaningful. Sagar Desai, the second composer, comes with a dulcet number, Har Mod Par Umeed Hai, which couldn’t have been better sung by anyone other than Jasleen Royal with her sweet voice. The composition is slow and jazzy, and so it takes some time to love, but it is at par with the first song on the lyrics front.


This seems to be the season for short and sweet (and most importantly, script-driven) soundtracks.

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4 + 3.5 = 7.5

Album Percentage: 75%

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: Charkha Ghoom Raha Hai > Har Mod Par Umeed Hai



♦ Bappi’s Music Ratan Has Lost Its Shine!: RAM RATAN Music Review

♪ Music by: Bappi Lahiri
♪ Lyrics by: Deepak Sneh
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 12th October 2017
♪ Movie Released On: 3rd November 2017

Listen to the songs: Saavn
Buy the songs: iTunes


So, I only heard this album because the music composer was Bappi Lahiri, and I should’ve realised he is so irrelevant these days as far as composing goes. Nevertheless, here’s the “review” — a highly uninterested one, at that. Nand Lala starts off thinking it is ‘Bairi Piya’ (Devdas), but then goes off into a ‘Maiyya Yashoda’ (Hum Saath Saath Hain), and then becomes cheesier than any Krishna song ever. Palak’s cheap vocals do not help. The composition is bad, as expected, and Bappi doesn’t give anything great in the arrangements either. Instead he adds a cringeworthy English “rap” in the interlude! 😣 Nagada Nagada is the most dated 2000s Gujarati dhol mix, and Raja Hasan and Bhoomi Trivedi are made to sing like pop artists making a Garba album to be sold outside temples. Yeh Hai Dance Bar is as cheesy as its name — and Bappi is singing it himself. He tries to make it full of techno sounds but it flops. Jal Jal Jal Rahi Hain Raatein, starts off as if it could be the best of the album, with the irresistible sensuous tabla beats that R.D. Burman used in ‘Jaane Do Na’ (Saagar), but as soon as Sadhana starts with her outdated voice, it goes downhill. Mohammed Irfan too, sings like Bappi Lahiri! It turns out to be the most cringeworthy song on the album.


Bappi Lahiri clearly has lost his Music Ratan!

Total Points Scored by This Album: 2.5 + 1.5 + 0.5 + 2 = 6.5

Album Percentage: 32.5% 

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: Why don’t you just skip it? I might be the only one in the world to have had the honour of listening to it!



♦ Reprise Versions Zaroor Sunna: SHAADI MEIN ZAROOR AANA Music Review

♪ Music by: Arko Pravo Mukherjee, Kaushik-Akash-Guddu for JAM8, Raees-Zain-Saim, Rashid Khan & Anand Raaj Anand
♪ Lyrics by: Arko Pravo Mukherjee, Kunaal Vermaa, Shakeel Azmi, Kumaar & Gaurav Krishna Bansal
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 24th October 2017
♪ Movie Released On: 10th November 2017

Listen to the songs: Saavn
Buy the songs: iTunes


Out of the three versions that Jogi appears in, any layman would pick Shafqat’s version as the best – owing to his seasoned voice and classical prowess, and amazing nuances, not to mention Arko’s clever usage of wedding sounds at the beginning. The duet version is spoiled by Yasser trying to ape Shafqat’s singing style, and Arko’s typical duff rhythms with harmonica. The female version by Aakanksha Sharma is good too, where Aakanksha sounds like a better version of Palak Muchhal. The overall composition, though, is typical of Arko now, and he needs to move on from this. It is the sister of ‘Tere Sang Yaara’ and ‘Nazm Nazm’. Kaushik-Akash-Guddu compose Main Hoon Saath Tere for JAM8, another song that relies on the company’s previous success, ‘Zaalima’. The digital tune is tweaked, and Harshdeep gets kicked out, and some notes undergo permutations and combinations, and voila! We get this song. The hookline reminds me of some song, but I cannot remember at all which one! Arijit’s singing is very dull and he seems asleep, but Shivani Bhayana’s female version is pretty good, with different arrangements. The song falls flat in the antara though. It is Pallo Latke by newcomers Raees-Zain-Saim, which surprisingly becomes the song of the album, as an individual song (not including the various versions). As a remake of a Rajasthani folk song, it is surprisingly good, and will do until we get to hear some real Rajasthani folk music in “Padmavati”. Jyotica Tangri sounds amazing here, sweeter than she does in her Neha Kakkar avatar. Yasser spoils the song again, along with Fazilpuria’s annoyingly interrupting rap. The Dr. Zeus-esque tumbi seems out of place in a Rajasthani song though. Rashid Khan returns after a loooooooooong time, to give another typical romantic song Tu Banja Gali Benaras Ki, again in three versions, out of which once again, Shafqat’s steals the thunder. The composition is nothing special, it is Rashid’s usual sweet as sugar tune which is oh-so-predictable. Asees sounds sweet in her version, while newcomer Asit Tripathy also does well. Asit’s version scores high because of the beautiful Rajasthani arrangements — the ravanhatta being most prominent. The lyrics resemble those of ‘Main Rang Sharbaton Ka’ (Phata Poster Nikhla Hero), and are good enough until they become very cringeworthy with the Hinglish portion. Last on the album is veteran Anand Raaj Anand’s angsty rock song (in two versions) Mera Intkaam Dekhegi about a boy warning his girlfriend (ex-girlfriend??) that if she rejects him, she will have to see his revenge. Oh, the melodrama. She should just say, “Oh alright, let me get my camera too so the world can see it too.” Krishna hurts the ears with his painful rendition, and Anand’s was skip-worthy right from the beginning.


An ensemble of composers bring five pleasant, but heard-before songs, and are forced to make innumerable versions of them, to make sure we never forget them. No wonder the newcomers steal the cake. 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4.5 + 4 + 4 + 3 + 3.5 + 4 + 4 + 3.5 + 4 + 1.5 + 1 = 37

Album Percentage: 67.27%

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: Jogi (Shafqat Version) > Pallo Latke = Jogi (Duet) = Jogi (Female) = Tu Banja Gali Benaras Ki (Asit) = Tu Banja Gali Benaras Ki (Shafqat) > Main Hoon Saath Tere (Female) = Tu Banja Gali Benaras Ki (Female) > Main Hoon Saath Tere (Male) > Mera Intkaam Dekhegi (Krishna) > Mera Intkaam Dekhegi (Anand)

Remake Counter:
No. Of Remakes: 39 (from previous albums) + 01 (from Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana) = 40

 



♦ Raunchy Diaries: JULIE 2 Music Review

♪ Music by: Viju Shah, Rooh Band, Atif Ali & Javed-Mohsin
♪ Lyrics by: Sameer Anjaan & Shabbir Ahmed
♪ Music Label: Divo Music / VMS Music / Publishing Sdn Bhd
♪ Music Released On: 18th September 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 24th November 2017

Listen to the songs: Saavn
Buy the songs: iTunes


Rooh Band & Atif Ali’s debut in Bollywood starts off with quite a corny title song Oh Julie, which is good enough as far as the arrangements and rhythm go, but the vocals and lyrics pull it down; stuff we have heard time and again. Their second song Koi Hausla Toh Hoh, also sung by their leading vocalist Anupam Nair, is the everyday Pakistani pop, something even the Bhatts would resist from including in their albums now, with staid lyrics like “Saanson Ka Chalte Rehna Hi Toh zindagi nahin”. Veteran composer Viju Shah’s stint of three songs for this album is devoid of much electronic disturbance. The romantic song Kabhi Jhootha Lagta Hai, is a typical 90s melody, in which the singer Mistu Bardhan sounds like Sadhana Sargam does in her live concerts. The voice is harsh to the ears. The reprise version Aise Kya Baat Hai, in Palak Muchhal’s voice, is better only because the voice is more ear-friendly. Otherwise, the song is just as flat and dated. His third song happens to be a raunchy item number, Kharama Kharama, sung by Pawni Pandey, and which surprisingly fares much better, thanks to the irresistible South Indian rhythm. Again, it is bogged down by a typically 90s composition, and the lyrics obviously. Javed-Mohsin, nephews of Sajid-Wajid, present the last song, Mala Seenha, sung by Mamta Sharma, a tedious rehash of their uncles’ item songs with the singer. Again, the rhythms are the only worthy parts of the song.


An album that you will automatically avoid.

Total Points Scored by This Album: 2.5 + 2 + 2 + 2.5 + 3 + 3 = 15

Album Percentage: 50%

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: Kharama Kharama = Mala Seenha > Aise Kya Baat Hai = Oh Julie > Kabhi Jhootha Lagta Hai = Koi Hausla Toh Hoh



 

Hope you enjoyed this Round-up! Second one coming soon!!

CATCHY TUNES IN A COVER OF EARTH!! (ANAARKALI OF AARAH – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Rohit Sharma
♪ Lyrics by: Ramkumar Singh, Ravinder Randhawa, Prashant Ingole, Dr. Sagar & Avinash Das
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 6th March 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 24th March 2017

Anaarkali of Aarah Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Anaarkali Of Aarah is a Bollywood film starring Swara Bhaskar, Pankaj Tripathi and Sanjay Mishra in lead roles. The film has been directed by Avinash Das, and produced by Sandiip Kapur. The film is about a singer in Bihar who earns a living by singing songs at village functions. As she gets entangled into a spat with the Vice Chancellor of a prestigious university, she seeks justice, and the movie is about her struggle for justice. The movie has opened to great reviews, but as usual, my writing speed has fallen behind, and so here I am. The music for the movie has been composed by Rohit Sharma, who is NOT a cricketer; you can find him over at @rohitdecomposer on Twitter. He has composed for a music album for a movie I was aware of, but didnt pay much attention to, Jimmy Sheirgill’s ‘Shortcut Safaari’, but now he comes with a definitely bigger album, and with ten tracks it is definite that the music will be completely situational and plot-oriented, which is to say, it will be quite rustic and earthy. Is it a problem for me? No! As long it is catchy, I will like anything! 😀 So let’s dive into this ten-track album!


1. Dunaliya Mein Jung (Anaarkali’s Umph)

Singer ~ Swati Sharrma, Lyrics by ~ Ramkumar Singh

The album starts with a song alternatively called “Anaarkali’s Umph”, which is probably a misspelled version of ‘oomph’, but I get the point. Anyway, the song is clearly for one of Anaarkali’s performances, and as soon as it starts, you get the situational feel of it radiating out of it. The composition is quite toned-down, with not much by way of catchiness, but goes on quite a clichéd route. I’m sure if you go to Aarah itself, this is the kind of folk songs you will hear. So it was a smart move to keep it simple. The tune does make you dance like crazy later on, but one problem is its duration. Over five minutes, the song is quite daunting to sit through because of its monotony. The arrangements are aptly folksy. The bulbultarang (let’s call it the ‘Indian banjo’ henceforth in the review because it is a common instrument in the songs and I’m too lazy to add the italics effect.) has been used gratuitously, as is the harmonium, and very aptly too, because it replicates the folk performances of the region. Swati Sharrma sounds very different from what she usually sounds like in songs, and it is nice to hear her powerful vocals yet again after ‘Banno’ (Tanu Weds Manu Returns), after which she hardly got any substantial songs. Again, she seems mellowed down in some places, and you wonder how the song is supposed to be so ‘oomphy’ because Bollywood has seen much more oomph that this. Maybe it is because of Ramkumar’s lyrics, which aren’t really creative. A decent start to the album; not-so-oomphy, but catchy to an extent.

Rating: 3/5

 

2. Lahanga Jhaanke (Accidental Firing)

Singer ~ Indu Sonali, Lyrics by ~ Ravinder Randhawa

Now this song is alternatively titled ‘Accidental Firing’ and I wonder what that means, unless there’s some situation in the movie. The song starts abruptly with the nice pungi/shehnai sound followed by the Indian banjo played in a very catchy tune. The composition for this one is quite more ‘oomphy’ than the last song, and you instantly get caught on to the rhythm, especially the percussion which has been done wonderfully! The composition is quite sultry and catchy, and the various twists in it really help propel it forward. The “sarak sarak sarakaile” hook is catchy. The antara takes a different route than the rest of the song, and the percussion changes very nicely; the seamless transition from one rhythm to another is a marvel to behold in this song. From rapid, it goes to slow and sultry, just to go back to rapid in a while. I think I’ve given enough away about the arrangements, so now about the vocals. Indu Sonali, a Bhojpuri singer, is an apt singer for the song and her nuances give the song an interesting touch, fun to listen. The lyrics here too are quite the same as the previous track, and I think it’s going to go on like this till the end of the album. A catchier song, that excels especially in arrangements.

Rating: 3.5/5

 

3. Aye Sakhi Ooh (Keh Mukri)

Singer ~ Pawni Pandey, Lyrics by ~ Ramkumar Singh

Next up comes the ‘keh mukri‘, which is basically a song where a lady describes qualities that sound like she’s praising her lover, and then denies it and says that she is talking about something else. We heard it in ‘Raanjhanaa’ too, if you remember! 🙂 This one is more sensual however, than that one, which seemed as sanctimonious as sanctimonious can get. The composition is, relevantly to the theme of the movie, quite sultry and sensual. The mukhda gives a perfect start to the song, while the antaras just continue it, and the hookline does its job. The arrangements are similar to the previous song, with a lot of amazing percussion consisting of dholaks and tablas. The Indian Banjo works its way amazingly throughout the upbeat song. Pawni Pandey’s vocals here sound very impressive, and not fake like they did in ‘Laila Main Laila’ (Raees). Rohit Sharma has also very interestingly tweaked her voice pitch in some places, providing a comic touch in those places. The backing vocalists efficiently do their job as men who are smitten by Anaarkali. Lyrics are the same. 😀 I should tell you though, that it isn’t like I was expecting better lyrics; it is perfectly fine here given the movie’s theme! Another catchy one!

Rating: 4/5

 

4. Badnaam Jiya De Gaari (Thumri)

Singer ~ Rekha Bhardwaj, Lyrics by ~ Ravinder Randhawa

Next up we have a thumri, and who better than Rekha Bhardwaj to pull it off!? So Rohit treats us with an aptly folksy, earthy and rustic Thumri, that, at the same time, pulls at our heartstrings. The composition is so beautiful, and has a very heavy old-world-charm to it. The melancholic notes hit the right part of your heart, and instantly. The mukhda has been composed on the common kaherwa taal, while, quite interestingly, the antara has been composed on the three-beat dadra. And the transition between the two different taals, which are individually so commonly (or were so commonly) used in Bollywood songs, is so seamless! It brings you shivering with goosebumps everytime that transition occurs. That brings us to arrangements. Of course, these taals have been played marvellously on the tablas. However, he interludes are something to watch out for, where the sitar will transport you back to Naushad’s music in ‘Mughal-e-Azam’. A wonderful sarangi interlude is something you shouldn’t miss. The harmonium gives a very light background music, and if you are listening carefully, you might catch it. Rekha Bhardwaj pulls off the thumri, with as much finesse as she always does. Nobody on today’s list of singers (and active singers) could’ve replicated what she did in this song. Her nuances are to die for, while the rest of the song, she carries with an aura of power and yet, sounds very simple. Here, the lyrics by Ravinder Randhawa are wonderful. A strong and powerful thumri that needs to be promoted!!

Rating: 5/5

 

5. Mann Beqaid Huva (Anaarkali’s Adieu)

Singer ~ Sonu Nigam, Lyrics by ~ Prashant Ingole

A guitar strum which starts off the next song, immediately tells you that it is quite different from he other songs of the album! And sure enough, this one is quite different in theme and therefore stands out. It has very little by way of earthiness, but there definitely is a gentle caressing breeze in the song. The breeziness can be credited to Sharma’s sweet composition. I was reminded of Anu Malik’s and Sonu Nigam’s collaborations in the 90s and early 2000s by this song. The line before the hookline, and the hookline itself, are so calming, and accentuated by the ravishing instrumentation. Usually such songs have very little in terms of orchestration, but this one is backed by a heavy strings orchestra, wonderful sarangi and if course, the acoustic guitar. Still, wonderful percussion of tablas can be heard in a line hat goes marvellously high-pitched in the antaras. Shakers too, are scintillating additions to the arrangements. Sonu Nigam carries the song with a charming aura, and his old songs are brought to mind instantly; not the middling compositions he had started singing in the middle. This song could have easily fit into a rom-com set in a rural region, and had it had some more urban arrangements, it could have also passed in an urban love story, and that’s why it becomes the odd one out in the album! Prashant Ingole (after a long time) writes marvellous, poetic lyrics, and it is a pleasure to hear him after a long time! Charming!

Rating: 4.5/5

 

6. Mora Piya Matlab Ka Yaar (Anaarkali in Studio)

Singer ~ Swati Sharrma, Lyrics by ~ Dr. Sagar

This song starts with a kind of sher, in Bhojpuri, and proceeds to form a rather staid melody, which only sounds impressive occasionally. The composition is not so innovative, and could’ve been better, if not excellent. The whole thing sounds very heard-before and hence, fails to raise eyebrows. The antara doesn’t make things quite better, and is quite dull. The only thing that can pass as catchy, might be the hookline. The arrangements take the form of heard-before Qawwali arrangements, the harmonium leading the way with dholaks following. The Indian banjo too, has been utilised in a very clichéd way. Swati Sharrma doesn’t sound as good as she sounded in her previous song, but still sounds better than all her other songs in other albums. The lyrics are cute, but you hardly have the scope to notice them, as the song won’t compel you to hear it again! A staid melody ruins everything.

Rating: 2/5

 

7. Sa Ra Ra Ra (Anaarkali’s Revenge)

Singer ~ Pawni Pandey, Lyrics by ~ Ravinder Randhawa

This track seems to be a crucial scene from the film, included in the music album. And it is a Reprise of “Lahanga Jhaanke”. The differences between the two songs are plenty though. This one aptly starts with dialogues, probably as they are from the movie. And it gives a better setting to the song, than the abruptly starting ‘Lahanga Jhaanke’. The premise of the song, we can easily gauge, thanks to the dialogue parts by the emcee of the event and Swara Bhaskar as Anaarkali. The composition, atleast for the first half of the seven-and-a-half minute long song, is the same as ‘Lahanga Jhaanke’ song, but the actual ‘Sa Ra Ra Ra’ part starts four minutes into the song, after a cutting outburst by Anaarkali at a particular man in the audience. And that part is savage! The tune is apt as ut sticks to the whole ‘revenge’ theme, and has a quite sinister feel. Rohit Sharma has added better arrangements in this version, than he did in the original. It is basically the same, but a wonderful backing chorus makes up for whatever void was left unfilled in the first version. In the new portion, booming percussion helps the Anaarkali’s anger come out even better, with the chorus supporting her very well. Strings work well to intensify that portion of the song, while Swara’s dialogues really work in favour of the revenge theme; of course, the great actress that she is, she has rendered the dialogues veryyyyy convincingly! The vocals by Pawni Pandey are very impressive! This is one of Pawni’s best performances, and she just infuses a lot of power into the rendition. The lyrics are well-written, and so are the dialogues. A nice song to go with the revenge situation!

Rating: 4/5

 

8. Mera Balam Bambaiya (Rehearsal Song) [Bonus Track]

Singer ~ Pawni Pandey, Lyrics by ~ Avinash Das

The next three songs have been titled as “Bonus Songs”, probably because they aren’t in the film, and if you notice, they haven’t been mixed, mastered and developed further than a mere scratch version. The songs do sound like scratch versions, and the makers seemed to have included them in the album just for the music lovers. Anyway, this particular song has a nice and catchy tune, another folksy tune that grips you instantly. It is a short song, and again, sounds like a scratch version, as is evident from the minimal arrangements, which makes the song sound raw. However, it doesn’t take anything from the song. Rohit’s composition nevertheless, is very catchy. The hookline is something everybody would enjoy at first listen itself. The arrangements, though minimal, with mainly a harmonium and tablas/dholaks, are enjoyable, giving a feeling as if you are actually at an event in a village, and the song is being sung there by the villagers. Pawni yet again, aces the vocals, sounding as fun as ever. She seems to be enjoying herself, and Rohit Sharma himself (I believe) accompanies her in some parts. The lyrics are functional, situational again. A catchy one, which is not hampered by the raw sound — I wonder why they didn’t develop it further!

Rating: 4/5

 

9. Hamre Jobna Pe (Anaarkali’s Swag) [Bonus Track]

Singer ~ Indu Sonali, Lyrics by ~ Avinash Das

The second “Bonus Song” has more of a generic tune, heard-before, and not-too-catchy either. The composition sounds quite like “Mora Piya Matlab Ka Yaar” in many parts; maybe this was its precursor, and not finalised. Again, it is very short, and hasn’t been developed further than a stanza. There’s not much to say about the composition, so talking about the arrangements, I must say that the synthetic sounds added to it actually make it sound like a Bhojpuri film song. And the dholaks and harmonium lead the arrangements here too. Indu Sonali sings the song aptly, in her husky voice. The lyrics are something I didnt quite understand for the most. Middling.

Rating: 2/5

 

10. Laal Laal Cheekwa (Anwar’s Intro) [Bonus Track]

Singer ~ Rohit Sharma, Lyrics by ~ Ravinder Randhawa

The last song of this long album starts off quite simply with a simple dholak rhythm, which I’m sure you’ve heard somewhere before. The composition again, is not up to the mark, and the song lasts for a short one minute. The dholak arrangements break into a digital beat halfway through the track, and I wonder why the song hasn’t been polished before that; it sounds odd to hear a song that has been only half polished. Rohit Sharma’s vocals sound like Udit Narayan in places. The lyrics are situational yet again, and nothing to rave about. Dissatisfying.

Rating: 2/5


Anaarkali of Aarah was an album that bravely stuck to it’s script’s demands. It didn’t feel the requirement to rope in a famous pop singer to make it commercially viable. And as it is, it impressed me because of it’s honesty. The tunes are catchy, and aptly rustic, and clearly stick to the script. Rohit Sharma must have done lots of hard work researching about this style of music from Bihar and U.P. Kudos to that. Last but not the least, kudos to the makers for keeping the tunes as they were needed. Of course, the rating might go down due to the three bonus tracks, but this album was one with catchy tunes, covered with a coat of earth! 

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 3 + 3.5 + 4 + 5 + 4.5 + 2 + 4 + 4 + 2 + 2 = 34

Album Percentage: 68%

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: Badnaam Jiya De Gaari > Mann Beqaid Huva > Sa Ra Ra Ra = Aye Sakhi Ooh = Mera Balam Bambaiya > Lahanga Jhaanke > Dunaliya Mein Jung > Mora Piya Matlab Ka Yaar = Laal Laal Cheekwa = Hamre Jobna Pe

 

Remake Counter
No. of remakes: 08 (from previous albums) + 00 (from Anarkali of Aarah) = 08

Which is your favourite song from Anaarkali of Aarah? Please vote for it below! 🙂 Thanks!