JAB IMTIAZ MET PRITAM — AGAIN!! (JAB HARRY MET SEJAL – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Pritam Chakraborty, Diplo (Thomas Wesley Pentz) & Rocky Wellstack
♪ Lyrics by: Irshad Kamil
♪ Music Label: Sony Music
♪ Music Released On: 3rd August 2017, 10:30 pm
♪ Movie Released On: 4th August 2017

Jab Harry Met Sejal Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Jab Harry Met Sejal is a Bollywood rom-com film, starring Anushka Sharma and Shah Rukh Khan, directed by Imtiaz Ali, and produced by Gauri Khan. The film is about two strangers who meet in Europe, and try to find the engagement ring of Sejal (Sharma’s character). Obviously, as is the main theme in an Imtiaz film, they discover themselves through the journey. I think even more exciting than the movie itself, is the music. Imtiaz has said in many interviews that he enjoyed doing the music of this film, and that’s showing in the final outcome. The film is a musical (not full-fledged like ‘Jagga Jasoos’) and has 13 songs, by Pritam, who was Imtiaz’s go-to music composer before Rahman. With this film, they reunite, and after ‘Jab We Met’ and ‘Love Aaj Kal’, two super-hit soundtracks by both of them, this is their third collaboration! Expecting just as much variety in this album, and also expecting the elements of whatever Imtiaz has picked up from Rahman while doing the music of those films (namely ‘Rockstar’, ‘Tamasha’ and ‘Highway’)! So I hope this album will be like a blend of Pritamish Imtiaz and Rahmanish Imtiaz! Plunging into the album very positively, hoping it will astound me!!

P.S. Thanks to my friend Chiranjeev Gorur for acquiring and sharing the full musician credits to the album! 🙂


1. Radha

Singers ~ Sunidhi Chauhan & Shahid Mallya

“Main bani teri Radha, maine sakhiyon se, ankhiyon mein rakhna hai tujhko piya, thoda zyaada zyaada!
Main bani teri Radha, tuney sapnon tadapnon mein rakhna hai mujhko piya thoda zyaada zyaada!
Main bani teri Radha!”

Pritam starts off the album with an amazingly energetic song that makes you want to dance right along to its tune, right away. Now I know everyone has heard this song many times by now, and it’s a huge hit across the nation. It is essentially a Punjabi folk-plus-EDM fusion track, and the way Pritam employs these genres, is spellbinding. The composition itself follows a very desi compositional format, in that it appeals to us Bollywood music listeners right away with its inherent catchiness and energetic vibe. The hook, especially, leads the song, as it should. But it is the mesmerizing antara that was the best part for me. Pritam gives it this rapid tune that you are only able to sing after repeated listening, and that’s how it grows on you eventually. A very amazing Punjabi flavour has been given to the Punjabi portions sung by the male singer. The high pitch might bother some, but it is way more comfortable than listening to a high pitch song by Arijit Singh like the recent ‘Ik Vaari Aa’ (Raabta). And if the first antara takes you by surprise, the second antara, which just released with the album version of the song, is pure bliss. The harmony between the two singers is blissful! The arrangements follow suit and Pritam fuses folk and EDM, like I mentioned above. The flute and khartal (which is a Rajasthan folk instrument, but apparently being used in a Punjabi song) open the song in a very light-hearted and feel-good way. Throughout the mukhda, it’s the flute and khartals that play. Until Pritam introduces the mandatory dhol (Sukanto Singha & Sunny M.R.) in the hookline, you won’t be able to even tell that the song is a Punjab-based song. (Because even the lyrics aren’t proper Punjabi; they’re kind of like a mix between Punjabi and Hindi). Another awesome folksy instance in the song is the second interlude where the sarangi is played, and muffled by the programming! The EDM programming by Sunny MR, and Rohan Chatham’s vocal cuts during the “Raa-aa-aa-aaa” portion, serves for a wonderful catchy hook, which would definitely make people hit the repeat button! The coexistence of the dhols and EDM sounds so good. The vocals are a class apart. Pritam reverts to a singer that used to sing many songs for him back in the day, Sunidhi. This is her first song for Pritam after ‘Dhoom 3’, and we know how much Pritam’s music has boosted after that! She sings it so mellifluously, you don’t even realise the rapidity of the tune. Especially the antara, for which she should get standing ovations from all of us listeners! Shahid is top-notch too, his heavy Punjabi accent reflecting through his singing and making the folksy portions of the song what they are. Irshad Kamil’s lyrics are cute too, but there’s a certain Panipat line that had me surprised and worried and disappointed at the same time! 😂 It doesn’t even fit with the rest of the song! Anyway, overall he has written a cute little romantic song. Pritam’s experimentations almost never fail, do they?
Rating: 5/5

 

2. Beech Beech Mein

Singers ~ Arijit Singh, Shalmali Kholgade & Shefali Alvares, Backing Vocals ~ Arjun Chandy & Akashdeep Sengupta

“Hai safar mein zameen, chal raha aasmaan,
Dono ki jo kahaani, ho ki na ho bayaan,
Begaani jagah mein nadaani, karein na, karein toh kahaan?
Jal dheeme, yeh pal dheeme, kyun hai jalte hua?”

The next song on the album falls under a genre that I feel Pritam always aces. A club song. However, this time it is different. The club song isn’t the normal Pritam club you would expect, with heavy EDM and Benny Dayal. Instead, it has a completely retro feel to it, and has been composed as a retro funk song! I can’t remember the last time Pritam composed a retro funk number, because it’s always EDM when he does club songs. So this seems like a very new thing from him. The composition is instantly catchy, and the unconventionality of it all makes it even more appealing! It starts with a very insanely catchy vocal loop repeating the name of the song over and over again, and it is from there that your interest increases. The mukhda (which is the hookline too), is cool, and so is the ‘Shola Shola..’ line! The hook repeats many times throughout the song, but it doesn’t sound repetitive. The crux of the song’s composition lies in the antara, though, where Pritam makes a disco song, melodious! And the cross line which it takes to get back to the refrain, is extra cool!! That’s that about the composition. But it is the arrangements, as always, that really suck you into the song. A groovy guitar (Warren Mendonsa & Ernest Tibbs) riff starts the song off, behind the “beech beech mein” repetitions. The fun arrives, however, only when the drums enter, because they’re so amazing! The drums in this song are really some of the best drums I’ve heard (in non-rock songs) this year! The brass instruments (Trombone by Andrew Lippman, Trumpet & Flugelhorn by Ludo Louis) do their thing by fascinating us in the interludes, and in the antara, they have a really special role to play, when things get a bit melodious. Their harmony is just so enchanting. So now you get why the song can be called retro! 😀 For the vocals, Pritam uses his go-to female singers for club songs, Shalmali and Shefali, both. Of course the male portions are by Arijit. All three sing well; Arijit leads the way while each of the female singers are relegated to the background except for one or two lines. Irshad Kamil’s lyrics are fun. A song that should change the way we think about club songs in Bollywood!
Rating: 4.5/5

 

3. Safar

Singer ~ Arijit Singh

“Iss yaqeen se main yahaan hoon,
Ki zamaana ye bhala hai, Aur jo raah mein mila hai,
Thodi door jo chala hai, Woh bhi aadmi bhala hai,
Pata tha, zara bas khafa tha!
Woh bhatka sa rahi, mere gaanv ka hi,
Woh rasta puraana jise yaad aana,
Zaroori tha lekin, jo roya mere bin,
Woh ek mera ghar tha,
Puraana sa darr tha,
Magar ab main na apne ghar ka raha…
Safar ka hi tha main, Safar ka raha!!!”

Imtiaz’s favourite theme, travel, makes itself prominent right from the title of the next song, and all throughout it as well. The song is titled ‘Safar’ (meaning Journey), and it is a journey in itself for music lovers. Pritam’s composition is a slow and lilting composition that grows on you slowly surely. The mukhda is very beautiful and soulful, and sets off the song on a very jazzy and slow rhythm that is magically appealing. The hook is simple but sweet, and effective in the song. The antara is an amazing high-pitched portion where Pritam’s lines flow into each other so seamlessly, you can’t tell where one ends and the other starts! Towards the end, there’s almost a half-minute musical portion, where I feel Pritam could have added a small conclusion stanza, like he usually does in songs. The arrangements are very beautiful and impressive, with a very urban touch — acoustic and electric guitars (Arijit Singh & Aditya Benia), being the main instrumentation! The guitar riffs are wonderful throughout the song. Arijit’s vocals are very raw and rustic, with the gritty texture standing out very prominently; it actually gives the song a wonderful travel-esque feel. The places where his voice cracks, are actually some of the most brilliant parts of the song! Irshad Kamil’s lyrics are high on food for thought, and each and every line makes you think, connect and relate! The whole song is like a story that is being told about the character’s change of lifestyle. An unconventional song, which won’t be loved by one and all, but should be loved by the music lovers!
Rating: 5/5

 

4. Butterfly

Singers ~ Dev Negi, Jyoti Nooran, Sultana Nooran, Sunidhi Chauhan & Aman Trikha, Backing Vocals ~ Laddi Dhaliwal, Jelly Manjitpuri, Neetu Bhalla, Babita, Asa Singh, Amit, Tushar, Akashdeep, Abhishek, Manoj, Shubham

“Mujhmein ishq ya ishq mein hoon main,
Hua mujhe ehsaas re,
Khel raha hoon saath yaar ke,
Main khwaabon ki taash re,
Tu hi usko khoj raha hai, ae dil mere, yeh na soch,
Woh bhi tujhko dhoondh raha hai jiski tujhe talaash re!!”

This song starts right off with the boisterous Punjabi-ness that an Imtiaz Ali-Pritam combo always consists of. The song is a happy-go-lucky and cute Bhangra tune that really has you dancing to it right away. Pritam’s composition is very earthy and raw, and not superficial and hollow like most other Punjabi songs that release these days. The mukhda especially, starts the song off very beautifully, and you can imagine a village romance getting conjured before your eyes. The hook is the cutest part of the song, but catchy too. In the antara, things go haywire though, and you take time to understand the tune of those lines soon. The tune fluctuates so much, that it is quite difficult to grasp. However, both the parts of the Nooran Sisters, have been composed wonderfully, the one at the beginning, and the one that concludes the song on a very nice note. Both parts are heavy on the earthiness quotient and transport you to the fields of Punjab, with its melodious composition. The arrangements are the run-of-the-mill 2006-2009 era Pritam Punjabi arrangements, with loud dhols (Naseeb Singh), effervescent tumbi (Jelly Manjitpuri), a folksy alghoza (Gurpreet Singh) and of course, a nice technical production. The vocals are energetic, and Dev Negi as the forerunner makes things easier for the audience by not singing too loud, and keeping a gentle yet steady voice constant. Sunidhi disappoints, singing in such a high pitch that I can’t fathom. Nooran Sisters are the stars of the song, starting and ending it with a bang. Irshad Kamil’s lyrics are quite staid for the majority of the song, but again, the Nooran portions have been written very well, with the “Woh Bhi Tujhko Dhoondh Raha Hai Jiski Tujhe Talaash Re” line translating the film’s tagline ‘What you seek is seeking you’, very efficiently. A fun and cute Punjabi song, but falls flat in places where it tries to do too much.
Rating: 4/5

 

5. Hawayein / Hawayein (Film Version)

Singer ~ Arijit Singh

“Banaati hai jo tu, woh yaadein jaane sang mere kab tak chale,
Inhi mein toh meri, subah bhi dhale, shaamein dhalein, mausam dhale!
Khayalon ka safar, tu jaane tere hone se hi aabaad hai,
Hawayein haq mein, wohi hai aate jaate jo tera naam le,
Deti hai jo sadaayein, hawayein, hawayein,
Na jaane kya bataaye, hawayein, hawayein,
Le jaaye tujhe kahaan, hawayein, hawayein,
Le jaaye mujhe kahaan, hawayein, hawayein,
Le jaaye jaane kahaan, na mujhko khabar, na tujhko pata!”

The next song took my breath away, the first time I listened to it. It is just so marvellous and so ideal and so dreamy. It is the ideal romantic song. A trademark Pritam tune, with the trademark Pritam guitars and Sufi template, and the legendary Arijit Singh singing it. What more can you ask for, to obtain a wholesome and pleasant romantic song? Well, I know, I can’t ask for anything more! The composition by Pritam is utterly fascinating, and hooks you right from the first listen. The mukhda starts off quite slowly, but as soon as the hookline plays, you know that the song is one of the best songs of the year! The hookline is something that conforms to every Bollywood music lover’s music sensibilities! There are two antaras; one with a new tune, which is beautiful too, and one with the same tune as the mukhda. The first antara has a wonderful line that goes on and on, and merges with the hookline so seamlessly. The part where the backing vocalists go “Hawayein, Hawayein” has been structured and placed so beautifully. It reminded me of ‘Daayre’ (Dilwale). Overall, Pritam’s composition here is so much close to his usual style of composition, but still so lilting and dreamy! The vocals by Arijit are top-notch, and he repeats the magic of many previous Pritam-Arijit collabs, in one song. The vocals have shades of ‘Gerua’, ‘Channa Mereya’, ‘Daayre’ and ‘Saware’, and it just helps you love the song even more. Irshad Kamil’s lyrics are soothing too, and so poetic! Read out as a poem too, they will be just as impactful. In fact here, Pritam’s strong tune is overbearing. The song appears in two versions — an original, and a film version. Both have splendid arrangements. The first version sticks to Pritam’s trademark arrangement style, with the guitars strongly dominating the arrangements. The Acoustic guitars (Roland Fernandes) are relegated to the background as the electric guitars (also by Fernandes), do that wonderful neverending loop thing that they love to do in Pritam songs! 😄 The ethnic strings (Tapas Roy) provide an amazing first interlude that brings in the earthiness into the beautiful composition. Increasing the Indian-ness of the song, is the nice Sufi template employed in the hook portions, with the Duff and tablas sounding very appealing. The film version has a slightly more haunting arrangement, and sounds straight out of Coke Studio, with a beautiful Hang drum (Sunny MR), and ethnic strings (Tapas Roy) setting up a wonderfully haunting sound that sounds least like it is by Pritam. The Pritamish tune and the haunting Rahmanish arrangements really complement each other, though I never thought they could! A nice and charming wind instrument keeps playing throughout the song, and the guitars (Roland Fernandes) are amazing. All in all, both versions of this song are just as beautiful!!
Rating: 5/5 for Original, 5/5 for Film Version

 

6. Parinda / Parinda (Search)

Singers ~ Pardeep Singh Sran / Tochi Raina & Nikhil D’Souza

“Ikk pardesi, oh yaar banaya,
Main usnu dil de takht bithaya,
O seene de naal usnu laaya,
O apne dil da haal sunaaya,
O maar udaari kithe nikal gaya,
Maar udaari kithe nikal gaya,
Kade bigad gaya, kade machal gaya,
Kade nikal gaya ni hun taan,
Dhoondhan nain bichaare, ni aaj parinda maahi!”

Pritam ups the ante with the next song, a pulsating rock song that is really foot tapping. The composition is a nice, folksy, Punjabi-flavoured composition, that immediately grows on you. The hookline in particular is just beautiful, what with the amazing high notes. The mukhda and antara both have the same tune, and I love the fluctuations in the tune. The arrangements are high-octane rock arrangements, and it is probably the first time in a long time that I’ve enjoyed rock so much, in the first go! The drums by Alan Hertz are very, very exciting, and of course the guitars (Electric and Acoustic by Josh Smith & Nyzel D’Lima; Bass Guitars by Ernest Tibbs) complement the drums very well, as they always do! The lyrics by Kamil are completely in Punjabi, but very interesting, and I loved them. The two versions of the song only differ much in their vocals. Pardeep Sran in the first version oozes the Punjabi energy that should accompany such a high-energy song, and does an electrifying job! Tochi Raina, however, in the second version, brings a more toned-down version of the same, but still, it isn’t low in energy at all! Nikhil D’Souza has an English portion in this version, which sounds AMAZING! It also has an extra stanza at the end, which has a very energetic composition. Both these singers have worked with Pritam many times in the past, but this song marks them working with him after a long, long time, so I’m very happy!! The backing chorus in both versions is spot-on! Kamil’s lyrics actually contradict the upbeat nature of the song, and give a hint of emotion — the song is actually much more meaningful than it seems! A rock song that shows how fusion between Punjabi folk and Rock should be done!
Rating: 4.5/5 for the Original, 5/5 for the Second Version

 

7. Ghar

Singers ~ Nikhita Gandhi & Mohit Chauhan

“Khaali hai jo tere bina, main woh ghar hoon tera,
Ghoome phire, tu chaahe sab shehar, tu hai mera!”

The next song is what Pritam is all about. This is why people love his music so much. These kind of songs is why he has become so popular. It is a very soothing and calm, semi-classical kind of song, that depends solely on acoustics to propel it. The composition kind of resembles that of Pritam’s own ‘Tu Jaane Na’ (Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani) and ‘Daayre’ (Dilwale) and even the recent ‘Main Agar’ (Tubelight). The hook is what makes you get sucked into the song right away; it sounds so pleasing, that you just get lost in it. The first antara is the peak of the song, and the second one by Mohit is no less. The arrangements are very soothing too, with a lounge-ish treatment, complete with amazing electric and acoustic guitars (Warren Mendonsa) which give off the trademark Pritam touch, and a wonderful tabla (Jeetu Shankar) to complement that. The vocals are just too impressive. I think this is Nikhita’s career best, and after two hit songs from Pritam albums, she finally gets a huge portion in a mind blowing song! The way she introduces variations in the same line each time, shows her versatility, and hints at her classical training, if she has had any! Mohit, again, with Pritam after a long time (maybe because of the Imtiaz connection), does spectacularly in his high-pitched portions. Irshad’s lyrics are amazing, romantic lyrics with a thought-provoking concept. A soothing lounge-ish song that manages to touch your soul! The best of the album till now!
Rating: 5/5

 

8. Yaadon Mein

Singers ~ Jonita Gandhi, Mohammed Irfan & Cuca Roseta, Portuguese Lyrics by ~ Mario Pacheco

“Yaadon mein, jalte rehna, hai tera mera,
Yaadon mein, jalte rehne ko, miley hain kya?
Yaadon mein jeena toh sabse badi sazaa lagey,
Yaadon se, jaana ki faasley hain kya!”

A strong Latino vibe hits you right from the beginning of this next song, which happens to be a kind of Portuguese folk song kind of musical genre called “Fado”, and you get sucked in right away. The composition starts with a melancholic portion that sounds very similar to many Spanish/Portuguese folk songs we have come across in pop culture and other sources. And what a wonderful feeling it gives, to actually see a song like this being made for a Bollywood movie. Usually, whenever European or Portuguese styled music is used in Bollywood, it is for those dance numbers a la ‘Senorita’ (Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara), ‘Hawaa Hawaa’ (Rockstar), ‘Udi’ (Guzaarish), and though these were beautiful, too, the unexplored and soothing side of that compositional style really comes across beautifully here, and it sounds oh-so-operatic and chilling! The composition is beautiful, though it is mostly the hook repeating most of the time, but those variations in the hook just kill you then and there. The antaras are nice, especially the female one, and the Portuguese portion by Roseta is wonderful as well. That’s that for the composition. The arrangements by Pritam go beyond what Bollywood has tried in Portuguese music thus far, and goes to a more spine-chilling mixture of the traditional Portuguese guitars (by local guitarist Mario Pacheco) and Pritam’s wonderful strings. The beats get very Pritam-ish in Mohd. Irfan’s antara, but it is a refreshing turn of events. The Portuguese guitar obviously keeps us entertained throughout the songs, and instances of harmonicas are heard as well. The vocals are spot-on. Jonita starts off with a booming introduction, which I would never have believed was sung by her, if it weren’t for the credits! She has changed her voice so beautifully, to make it actually sound like a Portuguese singer. Sure enough, the actual Portuguese singer, Cuca Roseta, sounds very similar to Jonita, but gets a way smaller portion than her. Irfan does well in his parts, in what is also his first song for Pritam too! However, somehow, I felt a lack of connect during his part. The ladies bring that connect back. Irshad Kamil’s lyrics are heart-wrenching. Mario Pacheco, the guitarist, has written the Portuguese lyrics. All in all, a wonderful song that mixes up the pathos of a typical Bollywood song, and the richness of Portuguese folk.
Rating: 4.5/5

 

9. Raula

Singers ~ Diljit Dosanjh & Neeti Mohan

“Aankhon ne khwaabon pe aise hai aitbaar kiya,
Jaise do anjaanon ne khulke ho pyaar kiya,
Hota tha pehle jo door kabhi,
Abb woh mujhe paas lage,
Jaane kyun achha sa lagey,
Dil ne jo iss baar kiya!”

A very trademark Pritam feel-good vibe sets in as the next song rolls in, after that poignant melody. This is another song to go with Shah Rukh’s Punjabi character in the movie — a fun and upbeat Punjabi wedding song. The composition is one of the cutest I’ve heard this year, and instantly has you hooked. The hookline itself is so cute, that everything starts sounding beautiful due to it. The first antara, is something straight out of a 90s Bollywood album, with a noticeable Jatin-Lalit vibe. The bridge from the first antara to the hook is kind of bumpy, but things are great from there. Neeti has the second antara all to herself, and it is pure bliss. Pritam composed that one in trademark 90s Rahman style, and I can’t believe it is by Pritam; the variations in tune sound like the Rahman of the 90s has composed it! It was a pleasant surprise to see Pritam in that form. The vocalists have fun themselves and transmit the energy and boisterous nature of the song to us through the earphones. Diljit is clearly having the time of his life, and his additions like “chak de phatte naap de killi“, are so fun to listen to. Neeti sounds amazing, especially in her solo portion. The arrangements are fun as well, and in a traditional Imtiaz Ali pattern, they are high on dhols, and very interestingly, also have beautiful brass instruments interjecting, with a trademark Laxmikant-Pyarelal vibe. Flamenco Guitars (Josete Ordoñez) are audible in the second interlude. The dhadd and Plucked instruments (Tapas Roy) in Neeti’s solo portion, are so cute! The repetition of the hookline’s tune on those plucked instruments is too cute as well! Irshad Kamil’s lyrics are again, high on the fun quotient, and quirky as well, Especially with those “sangya” (noun), “visheshan” (adjective) and “sarvanaam” (pronoun) additions in Neeti’s parts. One of the most catchy Punjabi songs I’ve heard after ‘Nachde Ne Saare’ (Baar Baar Dekho).
Rating: 4.5/5

 

10. Jee Ve Sohaneya

Singers ~ Jyoti Nooran & Sultana Nooran, Music and A Portion of the Lyrics Traditional

“Kabhi kabhaar sandesa de de, Kya hai tera haal,
Rut pardesi rakhti hogi, shaayad tera khayaal,
Yahaan tere bin patjhad sa hai, har ek mausam hi..
Jee ve sohneya jee, chaahe kisi ka hokar ji!
Maana ke tu ab nahi mera, kabhi tha mera bhi!!”

The singers who enhanced ‘Butterfly’ manifold, Nooran Sisters, get a song all to themselves now, and coincidentally, the song is a built-up on their portion in that song. They sang “Jee Ve Sohneya Jee..”, in that song; here, the rest of the lines follow to make an entire song. The composition is traditional, but Pritam enhances it with his trademark Electric guitars (Roland Fernandes) and digital beats. That’s pretty much all for the arrangements. The stars of the song are actually its lyrics. Irshad Kamil takes the traditional lyrics as a basis to weave a poetic song that is about the relatives of a person who has gone and settled in a foreign land, pleading for him to come back. The lyrics just tug at your heartstrings and remind you of the iconic ‘Ghar Aaja Pardesi’ (Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge), which was also sung in an earthy manner. This song has increased the earthiness and rustic nature a lot, by having Nooran Sisters sing it. Their amazing voices really bring out the song’s essence even better! A song whose lyrics and vocals are what will help it to make its way into the hearts of everyone who listens to it!
Rating: 5/5

 

11. Phurrr (Film Version)

Singers ~ Mohit Chauhan & Tushar Joshi, All Hindi Melodic Compositions by ~ Pritam, Music Programming by ~ Diplo & Rocky Wellstack

NOTE: There was another version of this song which Sony Music released a day before the album. That one was a mix by Diplo, which was terrible compared to the ‘Film Version’. You can listen to it HERE. The one included in the album is actually Pritam’s mix, with Diplo’s drop used from the remix of ‘Agony’ by Pinchers.

“Teri hasrat ho, ya ibaadat ho,
Tujhko paana hai, jo bhi soorat ho,
Har taraf sach mein, sach ki chaahat ho,
Lafz na ho pyaar, balki aadat ho!”

The album finally sheds itself of all the folksiness it had built up for itself (almost every song had some Indian-ness to it) and goes outright Western for this finale. The only thing in this song that is remotely and typically ‘Indian’ is how they say “Phurrrrrrr” to signify a bird’s flying. The song is actually very cool and it is an effort that should be appreciated! The composition is by Pritam, and half of the production by Pritam’s team, and the rest by Diplo. The composition itself is very paltry, but still sounds amazing with the whole Western treatment. It is trippy, no doubt. I mean, if people can withstand trash like “Swalla”, they can go through this without flinching! The drop by Diplo suits here very well, and sounds like it was always meant to be for this song. The entire digital treatment is something Pritam rarely does; he usually takes the help of guitars and live instruments, but it actually turned out pretty good. I loved those electronic tablas sounds. And the programming between 2:02 to 2:24 in the song, is just rad! I would like to appreciate the idea of a collaboration too, however good or bad it has turned out. You like the drop of some song, you contact that person and get him on board — that’s the professional way of doing things! A round of applause for Pritam and Imtiaz here! The vocals are good too. Mohit Chauhan is back for the second time in one album, and he renders the fun song with a swag that is unmatched. Tushar Joshi, Pritam’s new blue-eyed boy, does well too! Irshad Kamil’s lyrics are very conveniently sidelined in the song, thanks to all that’s going on. If one were to still make a conscious effort to listen to them though, he wouldn’t find any hidden gem. A song that isn’t really enough to start a new collaboration wave in Bollywood, but will be remembered for its braveness.
Rating: 4/5


Jab Harry Met Sejal, no matter how late the album released, no matter how badly the film tanked, no matter how much Imtiaz disappointed everyone with the film, no matter how many people actually liked it, and no matter how late this review is going up, is really an album that should be applauded first of all, solely for the makers’ interest in creating an album that’ll cater to music lovers and music listeners. The amazing mix of world music and Punjabi music in this album, is spellbinding. It is such an excitement to listen to the album again and again, because every time, something new that we didn’t get before, pops up. The album also marks Pritam and Imtiaz’s reunion after eight years, and evidently, both Imtiaz and Pritam have evolved over the years. The knowledge Imtiaz got from Rahman’s style of work, has reflected in the album, and the sound that Pritam has developed for himself over the 2013-2017 phase of his career, also shows in the album. It is probably only “Butterfly” that smells of old Pritam and old Imtiaz. But in conclusion, I’m happy that Imtiaz met Pritam (Again)!!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 5 + 4.5 + 5 + 4 + 5 + 5 + 4.5 + 5 + 5 + 4.5 + 4.5 + 5 + 4 = 61

Album Percentage: 93.84% {Making it surpass ‘Meri Pyaari Bindu’ and making it secure the top rank now!! 🎉🎉🎉}

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: From Track 1 to Track 13 nonstop 🙂

 

 

Which is your favourite song from Jab Harry Met Sejal? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂

NECESSITY IS THE “MOM” OF EXPERIMENTATION!! (MOM – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: A.R. Rahman
♪ Lyrics by: Irshad Kamil, Rianjali, Rajakumari & A.R. Rahman
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 27th June 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 7th July 2017

Mom Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE

 


Mom is an upcoming Bollywood thriller, starring Sridevi, Sajal Ali, Akshaye Khanna and Nawazuddin Siddiqui. The film has been directed by Ravi Udyawar, and produced by Zee Studios, Sunil Manchanda, Naresh Agarwal, Mukesh Talreja, Gautam Jain and Boney Kapoor. The film revolves around a mother and her daughter, and as the daughter never reciprocates the love which her mother gives her, the mother, played by Sridevi, just waits patiently for that day. However, an unfortunate incident (not revealed because this is a thriller, duh!) widens the gap between the two, to a point of no return. Now the mother has to make a choice between what is wrong and what is very wrong, in order to fight for her daughter’s love. So the story seems quite intense, and way at the other end of the spectrum than Sridevi’s previous film ‘English Vinglish’, though that too had a “Mother” subplot. What is another attraction in this film, is that it has A.R. Rahman giving music. Now, it has been a long time since Rahman has signed such a small film, and I’m very glad he did, because it’ll just go to prove that he provides his best to any film (that is, if the music is good). He has given seven songs for this soundtrack, and Boney Kapoor calls it one of his best works. Let’s check for ourselves!


1. O Sona Tere Liye

Singers ~ A.R. Rahman & Shashaa Tirupati, Lyrics by ~ Irshad Kamil

“Aaye na kabhi, aankhon mein nami,
Khushi ka jahaan, laayenge hum hi,
Yeh toh baat hai, jeene ke liye,
Hoon zaroori main, tu bhi laazmi!
O Sona, tere liye, duaaon se jalte diye,
O Sona, tere liye, farishton ne sajde kiye!”

– Irshad Kamil

The beginning song of the album is aptly, a lullaby, from a mother to her daughter. Yes, it is sung by a male voice, with a small stanza by a female voice, but the sentiments come forth nevertheless! I personally never think the gender of the singer matters, when the lyrics say what they want to. Anyway, the song starts off quite slow, and reminds you of many a Rahman composition, with its dulcet, slow-paced yet heart-moving sound. The structure of the composition is quite similar to earlier this year’s ‘Hind Mere Jind’ (Sachin: A Billion Dreams). The composition is very, very moving; it starts off like a soothing Western tune, high on Western arrangements, like the guitars. As soon as the hookline kicks in, the song starts gaining pace, and the composition of the hook is just so beautiful, you just can’t help but get a bit emotional. The antaras both having the same tune, have been composed so calmingly, and their soothing vibe is what makes the song sweet and simple. Rahman keeps the arrangements simple, with a basic piano melody and guitar riff (Keba Jeremiah) forming the base of the arrangements. The piano chords throughout the song give the song more gravitas. As soon as the hookline starts, a wonderful guitar riff takes centre-stage. The first interlude has a wonderfully done strings piece, by the Chennai Strings and Sunshine Orchestra, conducted by VJ Srinivasa Murthy, and that is intertwined later with Kamalakar’s beautiful flute piece. And it is at interludes like this, where you can truly appreciate Rahman’s arrangements. The second interlude takes an unexpectedly Pritam-ish turn, with the digital notes, playing in a loop, in the trademark Pritam way. Again, a nice guitar piece is superimposed on that. Mind you, this is the only song on the soundtrack without any kind of experimentation in arrangements whatsoever, so it’ll probably be the most popular and public-friendly song from the film, or maybe not. As far as the vocals are concerned, Shashaa outdoes her mentor and co-singer, the composer himself, in her small stanza. Rahman’s voice doesn’t really suit the composition, but there are some places where you think nobody else could’ve sung it. Shashaa, on the other hand, manages her lines well, with a beautifully pitched voice, and not only does she do her solo portion well, but she enhances the song with her various backing vocal inputs as well. That “Tere Liye, Tere Liye” she sang once, after Rahman had sung the hookline, has stuck in my head! Irshad Kamil’s lyrics are beautiful, beautiful and beautiful. The fact that, due to Rahman’s diction, some of it is unclear, is different though. A nice and dulcet start to the album, which is now going to take an experimental turn, so brace yourselves!

Rating: 4.5/5

 

2. Kooke Kawn

Singers ~ Sukhwinder Singh, Blaaze, Suzanne D’Mello, Lyrics by ~ Irshad Kamil & Traditional

“Kothe utte kooke kawn! (Kooke kawn, Kooke kawn!!)”

– Irshad Kamil

This song onwards, the soundtrack becomes purely experimental; some things are such that we’ve never heard experimented with before and others are merely an everyday experimentation for us, which Rahman too happened to do in this album. This song falls into the second category. A Punjabi club number isn’t a new idea to Bollywood music listeners. In fact, Rahman himself has given a Punjabi experimental number ‘Jugni’ in Tamil album ‘Kaatru Veliyidai’. This one is different, though. The song starts with the cawing sound of a crow, and that makes you think, “WHHATT?” (For the uninitiated, “Kawn” in the song’s title actually means “crow”). And then a typical club setting is set up by Rahman, and Sukhwinder’s initial lines, though they aren’t a very strong start to the song, sound fascinating due to their incongruity. The folk song (apparently some of the lyrics are “traditional”, as per T-Series) sounds mismatched as well as perfectly fitting into the club setting, at the same time. But it isn’t until the “oh-oh-ohhhh” portion arrives, that you actually get the addictiveness of the song. There is one antara, that sounds like Rahman tried to give his trademark sound to a Punjabi song. The composition isn’t too strong; most of the addictiveness of the song arises from its fabulous arrangements. The guitars (Keba Jeremiah) during the aforementioned “Oh-oh-ohhhh” part sound very good, and help to make the song appeal to a very niche audience, that likes guitars in Punjabi songs. 😂 Of course, Rahman doesn’t keep out the dhols that characterize a Punjabi song. He ropes in Taufiq Qureshi (Feat. Arun Solanki, Deepak Bhatt, Dipesh Varma, Omkar Salunkhe, Gautam Sharma, Shikhar Naad Qureshi) to control the amazing percussion and rhythms. But still, it is the guitars that shine. An interlude has a very rowdy-sounding, Naagin-dance type of sound, which must’ve been introduced because Sridevi is in the film. (Though she won’t be dancing on it, but it seems like a kind of tribute! 😄). To conclude, Rahman puts in an odd end in the form of a brass band kind of sound, which only reminds me of ‘Zingaat’ (From Marathi Movie ‘Sairat’). Sukhwinder handles the song well, and especially the rapid-paced portion in the antara. Blaaze has a short rap towards the end, and I can’t say the clichéd line that it’s better than the Punjabi rappers we hear these days, because it isn’t, frankly! 😂 But Suzanne D’Mello really shines in her backing vocals portions. Irshad Kamil’s lyrics and whatever the Traditional lyrics were, are hardly intelligible. An experimental song, and probably the most addictive Club song from Rahman after ‘Pappu Can’t Dance’ (Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na) way back in 2008. 

Rating: 4/5

 

3. Raakh Baakhi

Singers ~ Jonita Gandhi & Rianjali, Lyrics by ~ Irshad Kamil

“Aag toh hai yeh magar dil ki, jalaaye, kisko jalaaye,
Cheekh seene mein hai dabi jo, bulaaye, kisko bulaaye,
Zindagi mein toh teri jaan, kahin chalaaki, kahin chalaaki,
Roz bun-bun ke tu humdard, banaaye, kisko banaaye,
Raakh baaki thi jisse, leke chali hai aandhi,
Phoonk maari hai kisse waqt bujhaaye, kisko,
Ashq dete na mujhe koi, nazar kuch din se,
Dard mera hausla hai toh rulaaye kisko?”

– Irshad Kamil

Next up is a thoroughly experimental, rock song, with very less rock elements! The composition by Rahman is a proper composition you would expect to be in a rock song, embellished heavily with electric guitar strums and drums, with a pulsating rhythm! Not that the rhythm of the song that Rahman has used here, isn’t pulsating! In fact, it is quite thrilling, considering that only a few rock guitar portions are helping it stand up. A techno loop provides the rhythm throughout the song, which is very low on the composition front; it is more like a song that is completely whispered by Jonita Gandhi. She seems to get the weirdest (but beautifully experimental) songs from Rahman! ‘Implosive Silence’ (Highway) was a reverse of her humming, and now this is a whispered song, barring some English lines that are more like an angsty outburst. The few instances where the rock guitars do show up, are amazing. Though the song has no tune as such, the words are chanted in such a way, that it almost sets up a catchy rhythm, like the parts when she says “Jalaaye, Kisko Jalaaye“, or “Bulaaye, kisko bulaaye”. Jonita herself, sounds very different from her usual voice, even in the parts where she properly sings those English lines. Or maybe the English lines are by backing vocalist Rianjali, who has given great supporting vocals. The song seems like it will be placed in the background score somewhere, during a crucial point in the film. There are more frequent electric guitars towards the end of the song, and those parts are really fun to hear. At first when I heard this song, I thought, “What a waste of six minutes, when this is all you have to hear.” Now I see how amazing it would sound at the cinemas. However, I must say, it sounds quite repetitive after some time; you just have to wait it out in some parts when it gets boring, because it gets better towards the end. Irshad Kamil’s lyrics are full of angst, and appropriate for the thrilling setting of the film. A thrilling song, that would sound amazing in the film itself, but still sounds catchy even now. Less repeat value, though.

Rating: 3.5/5

 

4. Freaking Life

Singers ~ Rianjali, Raja Kumari, Suzanne D’Mello & Darshana KT, Lyrics by ~ Rianjali, Raja Kumari & A.R. Rahman

“All my life I’ve been trying to run,
And now I can’t see,
Now I can’t breathe,
All the time I had, I just faded away,
All this time I was scared of me,
But now I’m just me,
And I won’t leave,
No, I can’t go back,
I’m just flying free!”

– Rianjali, Raja Kumari & A.R. Rahman

Another youthful song is up for us to listen to, after that thrilling BGM-kind of song. This one starts off in a very staid manner, with an electric sound that starts it off quite vaguely. And as the singers start off, with that very cheesy-sounding line, you just wait for it to get better. And it does. A very cheerful composition follows, and especially Suzanne’s portions (“All my life I’ve been trying to run…”), the mellifluous one before the hookline, is amazing. The hookline itself, is again, very boring and sounds as if the singers are taking out their frustration on the listeners for some reason. The “It’s my, it’s my, it’s my” is so irritating. I mean, one moment, they’re happy, and the other, they’re frustrated with their lives. The four singers (one is Darshana KT, the backing vocalist) sound great as a whole, but I could separate Suzanne D’Mello being her usual awesome performer self, and singing beautifully. It is her part of the song, which is the best, coincidentally. The song also reminded me of the other such song that released this year, “Buri Buri” (Dear Maya), which followed quite the same template, but wasn’t so long. A.R. Rahman, along with two of the singers, Rianjali and Raja Kumari, pen down the lyrics, which are a clichéd depiction of teenagers. The arrangements are a bit better, with nice techno sounds embellishing the frustrated singers’ outbursts. This song isn’t going to stay with me for long; it is befitting as an English pop single.

Rating: 2.5/5

 

5. Chal Kahin Door

Singer ~ Shashaa Tirupati, Lyrics by ~ Irshad Kamil

“Ranjishon, ruswaaiyon se, bewajah bechainiyon se,
Uljhe raaston se, dard ke sab bandhanon se,
Khush nahi hai dil tu jin se, apni hi unn uljhanon se,
Chal Kahin dooooor chale!!”

– Irshad Kamil

Now this song, is what we were waiting for, from Rahman, ever since he gave us “Agar Tum Saath Ho” (Tamasha). The way he fused Indian classical with Western sounds in that song, is now an example of excellent fusion, without it having to be rock. This one too, is along the same lines. The composition starts off like an offspring of “Kahaan Hoon Main” (Highway), and continues being so for about one minute, until a very, very unexpected turn arrives, which has a very sanctimonious-sounding tune, and then it bursts into a Western orchestral piece. The composition is a very beautiful one, taking many such unexpected twists and turns, and by the time it ends, we are just awestruck. The antara is so charmingly cute, and again, it breaks into a waltzy tune somewhere in the middle, which makes you feel as of you’re floating in the sky, if I were to be sounding the most clichéd I can. The number of time Rahman seamlessly switches genres and rhythms in the song, is just amazing. The arrangements follow the composition and change with it everytime. The song starts off with the peaceful sound of water flowing in a stream, and this is when the prelude similar to ‘Kahaan Hoon Main’ is sung. To increase the serenity, Rahman’s piano chords, as always, provide the required soothing quality. Soon enough, the stream vanishes, and, in a very ‘Chali Kahani’ (Tamasha) way, the composition changes tune and rhythm, and I would describe this portion as a bhajan-like portion, because of the wonderful chimes, Manjeeras and harp that Rahman has employed on the arrangements. As the hookline actually breaks out, the Chennai Strings & Sunshine Orchestra comes back to awe us with its ravishing strings, and a string guitar strum ends the long Mukhda. Only to bring yet another fascination in the form of a BEAUTIFUL flute (Kamalakar) portion that leaves you spellbound. The Antara brings back the bhajan-like part, but later on, it changes course again, into a waltzy tune, decorated with a beautiful flute piece in the background. And then the violins start up yet again, as soon as the hookline returns. Actually the song ends here, but Rahman throws in a bonus one-and-a-half-minutes of music to leave us spellbound before we end the song. The guitars provide a nice rhythm to Shashaa’s humming in this portion, which is like an interlude, and the flute returns to kill us yet again. The hookline is repeated once more after that ravishing interlude, and then the song (which was surprisingly 6½ minutes long, but never felt so long) ends, sadly. Shashaa sings something that I think is her best yet. After ‘Sarsariya’ (Mohenjo Daro) and ‘Sunn Bhavara’ (Ok Jaanu), she gets yet another masterpiece with Rahman, and she seizes the opportunity to showcase her singing prowess yet again. Her talent is so properly utilised by Rahman everytime, as he seems to direct her talents to bring out her best each time. And now I am yearning for her to sing a proper Bhajan with Rahman’s music, because we all know what masterpieces Rahman makes in the name of bhajans! Irshad Kamil’s lyrics are wonderful here too! Quite like the lyrics of his recent song “Sune Saaye” (Dear Maya) with Anupam Roy, this one too, is about forgetting your worries and staying happy! 😍 A song that leaves you utterly spellbound and speechless. One of the best experimentations of the year!

Rating: 5/5

 

6. Muafi Mushkil

Singer ~ Darshana KT, Lyrics by ~ Irshad Kamil

“Chehre pe Khalish hai baaki,
Yaad mein woh tapish, hai baaki,
Bante bante bante banta hai,
Mausam matam jaisa phir,
Hote hote hote hota hai,
Hansna bhi ghum jaisa phir,
Koi ho hum jaisa phir,
Andhera, uthaale, ujaala, sambhaale,
Aankhon ki jheel mein, subah hai jawaan!
Subah se rootha toh, Maafi, maafi, maafi, maafi mushkil!”

– Irshad Kamil

This song starts off in a very distinct way, very, very different from any song (at least any song in a Bollywood soundtrack) that I’ve heard, ever! The a cappella style takes a never before heard form, with a very quiet and soft sound. The composition is good, but again, very experimental, and will appeal only to a niche audience. The part where it goes high in a crescendo, is just mind blowing, and singer Darshana KT carries it out amazingly. Again, it reminds me of ‘Kahaan Hoon Main’ (Highway)! The first half comprises only Darshana singing in the foreground and singing the a cappella portions in the background, while the piano leads the second half of the song, making it sound more intense and beautiful from that point. It aptly sounds mysterious when the piano enters, and it sounds like a sad song; but I’ll have to watch the film to know what exactly it is. Darshana’s vocals are amazing, and she makes a smashing debut in singing, under Rahman’s experimental sound. Now this isn’t a song to go on playing on loop, but as many times as you listen to it, you’ll get something more out of it. The first time, you will definitely not love it. The second time is better, and the third time is (as always) the best. Irshad’s lyrics are good, while I think some of the backing vocals she does in the a cappella portions, is Arabic. The song is interesting, with many layers to unfold each time you listen to it!

Rating: 3.5/5

 

7. Be Nazaara

Singer ~ Sudeep Jaipurwale, Composition & Lyrics ~ Traditional, Music by ~ A.R. Rahman

The finishing song to the album is a traditional classical melody, with traditional lyrics, arranged by A.R. Rahman. Sudeep, a singer from the Jaipur Gharana of singing, gets to debut in Bollywood, and I must say, what a brilliant vocal texture he has. It’s not exactly the earthy, folksy texture you find in usual folk singers, but it is surprisingly very clear and smooth, because of which he can do perform the intricacies of the composition with perfection. The composition itself is so strong, it won’t go without leaving your mouth hanging, and making you leave whatever you are doing at the moment to concentrate only on the song. Again, the nuances of it are so beautiful, and that is the beauty of folk compositions! Rahman adds a modern touch with his digital arrangements, also adding beautiful chimey sounds that make the song even more deep-sounding. In the true nature of a classical song, it is 7 minutes and 35 seconds long, but you never get bored for one second. A perfect, spine-chilling (because of its intricacy) finale to the experimental album!

Rating: 4/5


Mom is an album that is quite brave in its presentation. Never before have I seen such an unconventional album, that is half made out of songs that we would usually never hear except in the theatre, in the Background music of a film. But Rahman and the makers of ‘Mom’ have tried it and emerge successful too. There is such a variety even in the experimentation — with a Punjabi club song, a whispered-out rock song, an a cappella sad song, a semiclassical song which has numerous twists and turns and a purely classical song. Yes, it is less on repeat value, but this album will be remembered for standing out as an unconventional one. The makers needed such experimental music for a thriller like this, and so I would just tweak the age-old saying and say that “Necessity is the Mother (or rather, MOM) of Experimentation!!” 

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4.5 + 4 + 3.5 + 2.5 + 5 + 3.5 + 4 = 27

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: Chal Kahin Door > O Sona Tere Liye > Be Nazaara = Kooke Kawn > Raakh Baakhi = Muafi Mushkil > Freaking Life

 

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

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!

FROM THE MOZART OF MADRAS TO THE MASTER BLASTER… (SACHIN: A BILLION DREAMS – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: A.R. Rahman
♪ Lyrics by: Irshad Kamil & Kaly
♪ Music Label: Junglee Music / Times Music
♪ Music Released On: 18th May 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 26th May 2017

Sachin: A Billion Dreams Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Sachin: A Billion Dreams is an upcoming docu-drama starring Sachin Tendulkar, directed by James Erskine and produced by Ravi Bhagchandka and Shrikant Bhasi. The film is a biopic that covers many aspects of Sachin’s professional and personal life, as narrated by the cricketer himself. Sachin is probably the most phenomenal star in the history of cricket, since he has so many fans and followers and well-wishers. For a biopic of such an important personality in sports, the makers make an apt decision for the music director of the film by finding his equivalent in the music industry — A.R. Rahman. Now, I know this won’t be a conventional Hindi film album with song-and-dance routines. What I’m expecting is a heart-moving and soulful score for this film. So let’s see whether Rahman, with his three songs in the film, can bring out the greatness of Tendulkar through his music!


1. Hind Mere Jind

Singer ~ A.R. Rahman

“Abb sabhi maan lo, baat yeh pyaar se,
Maante ho bhala, kyun sadaa haar se,
Jo shikhar ke liye hai bana Hind hai,
Woh meri jaan hai, with meri jind hai,
Aa rahi hai sadaa, dil ki har taar se,
Abb sabhi maan lo baat yeh pyaar se!”

A.R. Rahman kicks off the album with an aptly placed patriotic song. Sachin Tendulkar is probably one of the most well-known idols of the country and he is also very dedicated towards his country, and so it is no surprise that the first track in the album happens to be a patriotic number. What is a surprise, though, is the manner in which the Mozart of Madras composed this patriotic number. The song is composed in a very tranquilizing manner, something Rahman very often likes to work with. At first, the composition seems odd, but after a couple of listens you get used to it, and it grows on you. And after that it sounds magical!  The mukhda is a bit odd in the way it abruptly starts off with the “Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh, oh beliyaa” but it gradually gets better. The hookline is alsp quite commonplace. But the part that hooked me to the song, is the Antara which takes a delightfully tranquil Qawwali-ish mode, a la ‘Kun Faaya Kun’ (Rockstar), something that Rahman excels in. Also, who would’ve expected that kind of a treatment to be given to a patriotic song! But then, it was Rahman himself who did it years ago, in ‘Yeh Jo Des Hai Tera’ (Swades). The “Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh” loop is very catchy and it is probably the line that will hook most people to this song. Rahman’s arrangements are grand without being over-the-top. The song starts with a wonderful sound, like a flute. And after that, a synthetic shehnaai-like portion steals the breath away. When the melody of the song actually starts, there is predominantly piano arrangements, with a metronome ticking in the background. How simple, but the piano chords really make it sound grand. The sitar addition is just beautiful, while the claps during the “Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh” interlude are some booming arrangements. It is in the antara, again, when everything becomes more scintillating. A beautiful female chorus hums a trademark Rahman-ish melody, and then the Qawwali-ish portion starts, where Rahman, the mastermind that he is, adds the harmonium which increases the depth of the antara manifold. Rahman’s voice has a certain resonance, which no other singer in Bollywood at this point of time, can emulate. His voice gives the song another dimension altogether; it is so impactful. Irshad Kamil’s lyrics are aptly patriotic, of course. A very soothing patriotic song, on the lines of ‘Yeh Jo Des Hai Tera’ (Swades).

Rating: 4/5

 

2. Sachin Sachin

Singers ~ Sukhwinder Singh & Kaly, Rap Lyrics by ~ Kaly

“Raste chaahe hon ghane hi,
Hai ujaala tere haathon mein,
Ho adhoora khwaab toh phir,
Neend kaise aaye raaton mein?
Abhi aadhi kheli toone baazi,
Abhi chotein dil ki taazi taazi,
Abhi dil ko hai karna raazi,
Teri hauslon ne paa leni hai manzilein!”

After that heart-moving patriotic song, Rahman comes up with a ‘Sachin’ anthem. And the song is quite cool. Yes, the composition is quite blander than I would’ve expected somebody like Rahman to compose, but what made the day for me, was the way he used the ‘Sachiiiin, Sachiiin’ chants that make the stadium vibrate, as the hookline of this song. The sheer innovativeness with which that portion is done, made me think about the song completely differently. The padding around the hookline, though, is a bit underwhelming, and it has a quite run-of-the-mill sports anthem-like sound to it. Sukhwinder Singh’s vocals are topnotch, and he creates the ambience that will remind us of all of Sachin Tendulkar’s amazing feats in the history of cricket. As always his energy level is unmatchable. Kaly, the rapper, too does a fine job. Rahman’s arrangements are mostly digital percussion again, but I must say, the beats are very groovy, though at the same time, very typical and clichéd. There’s another uncredited female portion in the interlude, which was the peak point of the song, next to the “Sachin” chants. Irshad Kamil very appropriately praises the God of Cricket in his writing. An anthem that works only partly with its composition, but has a top-class hookline, and amazing vocals!

Rating: 3/5

 

3. Mard Maratha

Singers ~ A.R. Ameen & Anjali Gaikwad

“Dam dam dam Tain Tain Tain Tain Mard Maratha Tain Tain re!”

A vocal loop that reminds me of so many of Rahman’s Tamil songs kicks off the last song on the album, a fun and enjoyable children’s song that will surely make you get up and dancing to its beats. Rahman composes it in a way that will instantly appeal to the listeners, and especially the younger children. That vocal rhythm keeps repeating throughout the song, and keeps the listeners glued to the song. The mukhda is quite catchy as well, and very effectively leads to the vocal rhythm again, which serves as the song’s hookline. Rahman keeps the catchiness constant throughout the song; the antara is also very impressive. Not just the composition, but even the arrangements and vocals stand out in the song. The composer employs a very typical Maharashtrian dholki beat, that works in favour of the song and sets up a nice Maharashtrian feel to the song, apt because Sachin is from Maharashtra. The beginning has a nice Irish flute, that helps in getting the listener hooked. The interlude has a nice dhol-taasha part, coupled with nice Indian banjo after that. And of course, the dholki remains constant. Rahman’s guitars help infuse amazing energy to the song wherever they play. The vocals are very impressive, with two children singing joyously, but perfectly. They hit the right notes everytime, and even showcase for us, some very impressive rapid aalaaps. Rahman’s son, Ameen, does a good job, but his female co-singer, Anjali Gaikwad steals the show when she sings mind blowing aalaaps. Irshad Kamil’s lyrics are fun and enjoyable, just like the song. Sachin’s young fans will love this one!

Rating: 4/5


Sachin: A Billion Dreams is aptly short, sweet and simple. With a patriotic song, an ode to Sachin, and a children’s song, the album is quite a mixed bag.However, it doesn’t seem like one of those albums that I will listen to over and over again, and it is definitely not one of Rahman’s best. He showcases his experimentalist side in ‘Mard Maratha’, but the other two songs lack that.Nevertheless, they are good songs for a film in which I least expected songs. The Mozart of Madras puts aside his garish orchestration and complex compositions and delivers a sweet and simple album for the Master Blaster!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4 + 3 + 4 = 11

Album Percentage: 73.34%

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: Hind Mere Jind = Mard Maratha > Sachin Sachin

 

Please vote for your favourite song from Sachin: A Billion Dreams! Thanks! 🙂

COLOUR THAT HAS FADED AWAY!! (PINK – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Faiza Mujahid, Shantanu Moitra & Anupam Roy
♪ Lyrics by: Faiza Mujahid, Tanveer Ghazi, Anupam Roy & Irshad Kamil
♪ Music Label: Junglee Music / Times Music
♪ Music Released On: 30th August 2016
♪ Movie Releases On: 16th September 2016

Pink Album Cover

Pink Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Pink is an upcoming Bollywood courtroom drama / thriller film, starring Amitabh Bachchan, Taapsee Pannu, Kirti Kulhari, Andrea Tariang, Angad Bedi and Piyush Mishra. The film is directed by Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury and produced by Rashmi Sharma and Shoojit Sircar. After ‘Piku’, Shoojit is back; he doesn’t direct this, but gives the Bengali director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury (‘Buno Haansh’ fame) a break in Bollywood. The movie is based on women empowerment. Of course, great music for this film would be a pleasant surprise, although I’m not expecting much from it. The number of composers behind the album happens to be three. The first one is Anupam Roy, back to Bollywood after his debut in Shoojit’s previous film ‘Piku’, with two songs in this album. Second is Shantanu Moitra, another Bengali composer with his base in Bollywood, but he has been doing a not-so-well job in Bollywood after his last album that I enjoyed, ‘PK’ came out. All he composed for was ‘Wazir’ (only two songs, both above average) and hopefully, the one song by him in this album will restore my faith in him! 😀 Lastly we have débutante composer Faiza Mujahid, a Pakistani singer/composer, who has composed one song for the movie. Starting off the album with few hopes, let’s see how colorful it can become!!


1. Jeenay De Mujhe
Singer ~ Faiza Mujahid, Music by ~ Faiza Mujahid, Lyrics by ~ Faiza Mujahid

The album starts off with debutante Faiza’s entry into Bollywood, a feel-good, feel-free, rock anthem, with the central theme of freedom. The composer has tried to make an enjoyable anthem which all the girls throughout the world can relate to. The composition that results, though, tells you that this isn’t exactly what she would’ve wanted it to turn out to be. It is something that entertains on and off, something that has no tune that would make listeners love it. The whole thing seems to be rather over-ambitious. The way the composer tries to convey the idea is cringeworthy. After hearing the song, there is nothing that pulls you back to the replay button. The arrangements are ordinary rock arrangements, with guitars and drums placed exactly where you would expect them to be placed. Nothing else features in the song to male you like it. Faiza seems to have done very little effort in making the song memorable and the arrangements innovative, but she has done something innovative in the vocals of the hookline. Innovative in a negative way. She screams out the hookline at the top of her voice, to indicate the theme of freedom. Her lyrics too, fail to impress, sounding quite ordinary as well. The one thing I did like though, was the retro diversion in the second interlude, and the rock guitar solo after that. Quite a boring attempt to make a smashing entry into the industry.

 

2. Kaari Kaari
Singer ~ Qurat-ul-Ain Balouch, Music by ~ Shantanu Moitra, Lyrics by ~ Tanveer Ghazi

This next song brings in the instant feel of a very mature composition, right before the actual melody even starts! The prelude itself, makes you ready for a wonderful song ahead. The European strings open the song so attractively, that you can’t help but playing it over and over again just to hear that magic again and again. After the failed attempt by a debutante to open the album with a bang, Shantanu takes over and fixes things, with his experienced arrangements and composition skills. Whenever I think of Shantanu Moitra’s compositions, I am reminded of his happy-go-lucky composition style, where the happiness is overflowing and his sugary-sweet tunes. However, I’ve got to admit, he is just as good at composing dark, haunting tunes, just like this one here. Shantanu has come up with a composition that is apt for the situation here, and the haunting tone coupled with those wonderful plucks of the guitar, makes it sound even better. Shantanu’s composition is awe-inspiring. The mukhda is something that instantly hooks you onto it, while the antara perfectly keeps that feeling going. While the mukhda has those wonderful guitar plucks to give it its tempo, the antara has wonderful studio beats, with drums keeping beat. And then after it is over, the guitars kick in again. The composition of the antara is just too wonderful; something that you will most likely never forget. Shantanu’s arrangements too, are wonderful, and besides the guitar plucks throughout the song and the drums in the antaras, beautiful strings grace the rest of the song. A grand orchestra amazes even in the hookline, while it really opens up when the antaras end, when there is a wonderful orchestral piece. The first interlude has a wonderful sitar piece, while the second interlude actually takes you back to the Beethoven era, where there is a wonderful stop to the song with a very slow-paced orchestra. After that, the mukhda plays once more before the second antara, which is a really ingenious idea by Shantanu! After the second mukhda, yet another wonderful orchestral piece is played, this time accompanied by piano notes! The arrangements are just too good to explain completely! And then there are the vocals. Shantanu discovers a great find in Qurat-ul-Ain Balouch, a Pakistani singer, whose rustic voice is what appeals the most! The young singer has a very mature and deep voice, which is the highlight of the song. She sings every note of Shantanu’s touching composition with such emotion, that the song actually touches your heart, and doesn’t remain a song with hollow emotion. Tanveer’s lyrics are beautiful as well, giving more reasons to love the song and adding even more emotion in it. Shantanu strikes gold with this one: a wonderful emotional song following the women empowerment theme, and excelling in the arrangements department. And by excelling I mean EXCELLING! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

3. Tujhse Hi Hai Roshni
Singer ~ Anupam Roy, Music by ~ Anupam Roy, Lyrics by ~ Anupam Roy

With the next song, the last composer, Anupam Roy steps into the album. The song starts off quite abruptly, with a ordinary, but groovy piano loop introducing us to Anupam’s lovable composition. The composer uses his typical composition style, and weaves a tune which is easily appealing to the ears and light on the ears as well. It resembles his songs from ‘Piku’ quite a bit (not surprising, because they themselves resembled each other a lot!) The mukhda is sweet in its simplicity, while the antara sees things getting more interesting with variations in the tune and a more Westernized treatment to the song. The hookline is something that isn’t extraordinary, but manages to appeal to you anyway. The arrangements are more interesting here, though, than they were in ‘Piku’. While those songs were quite minimally arranged, or calmly arranged, this one has a lot going on in the background. The drums are the main attraction, obviously. And the piano loop is something that gets stuck in your head after you hear the song for a repeated number of times. The composition, though not something that people would like right away, manages to make you smile and feel good after it’s over. The rock elements have been added in the song very nicely, and it gives it more of an upbeat feel, like a pop song, rather than having a melancholic and nostalgic and very contemplative song. Anupam sings it well, with his slight nasal twang. His voice isn’t boring at all, and though not perfect technically, it manages to attract the listener’s attention. His lyrics too, are quite good, not too simple and not too complicated. Though reminiscent of Anupam’s debut album ‘Piku’, the composition works due to the new arrangements. #5StarHotelSong!!

 

4. Pink
Singer ~ Jonita Gandhi, Rap By ~ EPR Iyer, Music by ~ Anupam Roy, Lyrics by ~ Irshad Kamil

The last song on the album is the most upbeat of the lot; the most commercially viable of the lot. And though it is commercially viable, it is definitely not for those audiences of Bollywood music who love to dance on Punjabi songs. It is for that mass of Indians, who are constantly complaining about Bollywood music being bad, uninteresting, boring, bleh, etc, and go on praising songs from the West. Composer Anupam Roy here, has wonderfully tried to make a song that will be closest as possible to the English pop singles, and even succeeds to some extent! I mean, the composition is very groovy and catchy! The beats are groovy and the singing is energetic! The song in its treatment, is just like an English pop song, and kudos to Anupam for that! He has managed to bring that flavour into the song quite perfectly. The tune is so catchy, that you start grooving to it. However, it repeats itself twice and gets quite boring at some time in the song, and even sounds too outdated (by the standards of such pop songs) at some time. This is a tune we have heard many times before in various hit English pop songs! The anthemic ring of it definitely surpasses the first song of this album though! The arrangements are good, with techno sounds being the primary attractions here. Some very Latino styled horns in the hookline appeal to the listener a lot. They’re also the horns that start the song off. That tune is amazing! Coming to the vocals, Jonita is a wonderful choice for them. She proves yet again after ‘Sau Tarah Ke’ (Dishoom) that she is great at such songs, but the diva inside her is kind of suppressed here, while she was singing completely freely in that song! Her English diction is amazing, and there I get reminded that she’s an Indo-Canadian. She sings the hookline, “My world goes Pink!” wonderfully. The rapper EPR Iyer, on the other hand, puts in more of the feel of an English pop song, as he sings around Jonita throughout the song. He doesn’t even sound like he’s an Indian when he sings in English; more like an American! His rap is okay, but when he says “Put your hands up for the pink anthem” towards the end of the song, it sounds great! The lyrics by Irshad Kamil are average as well, but they put forth the freedom theme well. A better composition would’ve helped the awesome arrangements!


Pink is an album that definitely turns out to be as expected. Not many songs in total, and out of those too, only two are exceptional. The three composers try to get an album that conveys the themes of freedom and women empowerment very well, but it turns out to fail in its purpose. Two of the songs will help both to attract audiences and as great background pieces in the movie, while one song will serve as a club song, if it reaches the public, that is. The other song seems to be an odd one out in that nothing is going well in it, and it also turns out to be a bad debut for Faiza Mujahid. As for Anupam Roy, his outdated tunes are saved by good arrangements. The only winner in this album is Shantanu Moitra. Overall, the color of this ‘Pink’ has faded quite a bit!!

 

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: Kaari Kaari > Tujhse Hi Hai Roshni > Pink > Jeenay De Mujhe

 

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

 

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

QUITE A SHORT, BUT ENJOYABLE ‘MADAARI’ SHOW!! (MADAARI – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Vishal Bhardwaj & Sunny Bawra-Inder Bawra
♪ Lyrics by: Irshad Kamil
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 5th July 2016
♪ Movie Releases On: 15th July 2016

Madaari Album Cover

Madaari Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Madaari is an upcoming Bollywood social thriller film starring Irrfan Khan in a central role, and Vishesh Bansal, Jimmy Shergill, Tushar Dalvi, Nitesh Pandey and Sadhil Kapoor in other supporting roles. The film is directed by ‘Drishyam’ & ‘Rocky Handsome’ fame, Nishikant Kamat, and produced by Irrfan Khan, Shailesh Singh, Madam Paliwal, Sutapa Sikdar, and Shailja Kejriwal. The movie is about a man who loses everything he has in a man-made disaster, and his search for the answers as to the reasons for the disaster, during which he encounters shocking discoveries. His search for justice in a thriller manner, is the gist of the movie. After ‘Drishyam’, which was so thrilling, we are naturally expecting a lot from this. However, ‘Drishyam’ was lacking a bit in the music department in that its songs weren’t universally appealing. (Though I loved them except one). And I’m confident that the songs in this movie too, aren’t going to be the regular song-and-dance-routine songs that we get to see in Bollywood. They will be like those of ‘Drishyam’. Even ‘Rocky Handsome’ had some Bollywood-ish songs. What’s more, this movie, as opposed to the five songs in ‘Rocky Handsome’ and the four in ‘Drishyam’, has merely two tracks. After a long album like ‘Fever’, I should be partying at the moment, but I’m not because of the names attached to the music! Two songs by two musical entities, the first being the famous and renowned-for-his-unconventional-music Vishal Bhardwaj, who left us with unconventional but haunting songs in ‘Talvar’ (coincidentally, another thriller starring Irrfan). The second is duo Sunny-Inder Bawra, who debuted verrrrryyy impressively with ‘Rocky Handsome’, especially that gem of a haunting song, ‘Rehnuma’ by Shreya. So, I was let down seeing the number of songs after knowing the names behind them, but then I get all the more chances of calling it stuff like ‘chhota packet bada dhamaka’ and all that nonsense, so… Yeah. :p Let’s see what this two-track-long soundtrack offers! By the way, before we start, I noticed that there’s a single lyricist, Mr. Irshad Kamil, who has written for both the song, inspite of the songs being composed by different people! 😀 And I also noticed Vishal Bhardwaj has been separated from his partner-in-creating-great-songs, Gulzar!


1. Dama Dama Dam
Singer ~ Vishal Dadlani, Music by ~ Vishal Bhardwaj

It is a social thriller, so a satirical track is necessary! And this soundtrack starts (it is weird to say ‘starts’ when it is one-half of the album! 😂) with just that. With Vishal Bhardwaj {from now on in this song’s review, VB, to differentiate between the Vishals} in charge of the music and arrangements, and Vishal Dadlani {VD} behind the mic, nothing can go wrong, if we look at their past collaborations — ‘Dhan Te Nan’ (Kaminey) and ‘Aao Na’ (Haider). VD is like fluid — give him any container, he’ll take its shape. That’s evident here as well. Though he may have sung many satirical songs before, he sounds really good singing this one, and the sarcasm and mocking tone in his voice really stands out, as it should. His husky voice is perfect, and brings out the satire in Irshad’s words very well. VB however, disappoints with a tune that is not so gripping. In ‘Talvar’, he had treated us with a similar political satire, ‘Patli Gali’ sung by Sukhwinder. That had a catchy tune, and that made it work. These songs really need a catchy tune to work, and though the composer has tried to come up with a catchphrase, ‘Dama dama dam dam dam dam dam doo’, it comes across as weird, kiddish and kind of over the top. Arrangements are good, with great percussion, and the dumroo giving great beats throughout the song. That was expected given the name of the movie and the song. 😂 But the dumroo is hidden amongst other techno beats, rock guitars and a bit of EDM/dubstep tried by VB. The interlude houses a very nice and enjoyable rabaab-ish instrument tune, that is so beautiful. The tune of the antara is complex, which makes it sound better than the rest of the song. Towards the end, a slow-paced portion gets the hookline sung in chants by VD. And the claps in the background make it feel even more genuine. Irshad Kamil writes good and sarcastically funny satirical lyrics, with great use of metaphors, and makes it worth listening. The tune plays the spoilsport of this song, that would’ve become totally enjoyable if it hadn’t been so!

 

2. Masoom Sa
Singer ~ Sukhwinder Singh, Music by ~ Sunny Bawra-Inder Bawra

A haunting harp loop starts off the song, with a flute and xylophone combination joining it later on. Low-pitched humming starts off, with low-pitched cello strings adding depth to the ambience. Sukhwinder starts off in a voice quite different from what we imagine him singing in usually. The song is an emotional song, and Sunny-Inder, who gave another wonderful emotional song ‘Aye Khuda’ in their debut ‘Rocky Handsome’, are experts in haunting us with their melancholic music. Their composition is top-class and probably one of the most haunting sad songs I’ve heard after those in ‘Sarbjit’. The emotion is not just superficial, but it actually goes and touches your heart. It starts off softly, but quickly gets to its peak, and drops down from the peak at the hookline, which is also the best line in the whole song. Mukhda and antara, both have this wonderful vibe surrounding them, though melancholic. Coupled with a lavish blend of traditional instrumentation, the composition sounds even more deep and touching. The opulent orchestration consists of grand and authoritative strings, duff percussion that oh-so-cordially invites those goosebumps to come and have a look at what’s going on outside the body, and luxurious flutes, which always put the sugar into the bitterest of arrangements. However, here’s the sugar in the sugar, so don’t be surprised if you get Diabetes due to the arrangements! Sunny-Inder, who had arranged ‘Aye Khuda’ (Rocky Handsome) on very, very minimal instruments, making it practically unplugged, rectify that mistake here, by using the grandest of instruments there are. All of those put together give the song a template that is purely unbeatable! And coming to Sukhwinder (my keypad who is an expert at spelling just suggested to me to spell his name as ‘Sikh Wonder’, and I’m like, wow, he is a Sikh wonder indeed! The autocorrect is right for the first time! :P) Anyway, coming to Sukhwinder, he renders the song with such ease that it is almost impossible to believe it without hearing! The song has a vast range of highs and lows, and dynamics differ on each line, but Sukhwinder manages them all effortlessly, being the living legend that he is. He doesn’t seem to be bothered by transitions like those; he does it so seamlessly. Irshad’s lyrics are just stupendous. It is definitely describing the feelings of the father who lost his son. Sukhwinder gets a song worthy of his caliber after a LONG time! Sunny-Inder take you on a very emotional ride in this song, each and every moment of which gets encrusted into your brain!! A song to hear on loop! #5StarHotelSong!!


Madaari was not exactly supposed to have songs, and if it did, they were supposed to be situational and instrumental in carrying the story forward. Here, we get exactly such two songs, which help the story of the film. Vishal Bhardwaj, though upsets with his composition, gets everything else perfect in his song, while Sunny-Inder just ace their song. Making great use of their opportunity to create an emotional song, even when a stalwart like Vishal Bhardwaj was on board, they deliver a song that I will definitely cherish for long. Considering the genre of the movie, this ‘Madaari’ (meaning, street performer) show was supposed to be short, but though it’s short, it turns out to be quite enjoyable!

 

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: Masoom Sa > Dama Dama Dam 

 

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

THE SULTANATE OF VISHAL-SHEKHAR IS BACK TO REIGN!! (SULTAN – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Vishal-Shekhar
♪ Lyrics by: 
Irshad Kamil
♪ Music Label:
 YRF Music
Music Released On: 31st May 2016
♪ Movie Releases On: 
8th July 2016

Sultan Album Cover

Sultan Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Sultan is an upcoming Bollywood sports drama film, starring Salman Khan and Anushka Sharma in the lead roles. The film has been directed by Ali Abbas Zafar, and produced by Aditya Chopra. The story revolves around a Haryanvi wrestler who goes by the name Sultan (Salman Khan), who has problems in his professional life. His struggle to get back into the wrestling scenario forms the story of ‘Sultan’. The story seems the usual Bollywood story for a sports film, but the execution is what matters. While we wait for the execution to come in front of our eyes, the music album is here for us to cherish. The album marks the comeback of duo Vishal-Shekhar, who disappeared after a mediocre album, ‘Happy New Year’ (2014). They gave that foot-tapping song in ‘Fan’, again for YRF earlier this year, again for a Khan, Shahrukh. This time they come back to compose for YRF’s ‘Sultan’, which is coincidentally their first Salman Khan film!! That’s kind of hard to believe isn’t it? Such a talented duo and composing for Salman for the first time! 😀 What was Salman doing all these years? Playing table tennis with Himesh and Sajid-Wajid? Apparently, he has moved on from his clichéd composers and after Pritam’s stylish and full-of-variety ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’, and Himesh’s old-fashioned, but enjoyable ‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’ last year, he comes back this year with a new choice of Vishal & Shekhar, who are geniuses when it comes to being innovative. Expectations are sky-high and there are so many reasons. a) Vishal-Shekhar’s comeback. b) Vishal-Shekhar’s first for Salman. c) Vishal-Shekhar composing for YRF.. (remember ‘Ta Ra Rum Pum’ and ‘Tashan’?) Something phenomenal indeed is expected. Something mind-blowing and something innovative — just because Vishal-Shekhar are on board. They have composed a big nine-track album, with seven songs, one version and one theme. Let’s see how many of them rise up like a real ‘Sultan’! Really hoping this comeback makes it really big (once again) for the duo after their rough patch recently, the last great album being ‘Hasee Toh Phasee’ (2014)! They must emerge as Sultans!


1. Baby Ko Bass Pasand Hai
Singers ~ Vishal Dadlani, Shalmali Kholgade & Isheeta Chakrvarty, Rap by ~ Badshah

The soundtrack opens up with a fun-filled dance number that has been composed by the duo to really suit Salman’s presence in it. The song starts off with a wonderful rhythm, that you can set your feete tapping to immediately, as soon as it starts. Composed of techno sounds, dhadd, and manjeeras,the rhythm really hooks you right away, and Isheeta’s folk portion doesn’t really help in making you run away from the song. In other words, the song starts off really catchily, just as it should!! Vishal-Shekhar have really moulded themselves into a complete folksy manner, and delivered a composition that would easily connect with the masses. It is very typical, very Salman types, yet it instantly catches onto you. The hookline, kind of composed on the base rhythm of ‘Selfie Le Le Re’ (Bajrangi Bhaijaan), impresses with its briskness. The techno noises after the short hookline are wonderful, and so is the playful flute! The mukhda by Vishal and Shalmali, really grabs your attention. Arrangements in the song are fabulous. The use of techno has been done really impressively. The brisk interventions of the flue are just lovely! They really stole my heart. Traditional instruments like harmonium, dholaks, manjeeras, tumbi, dhadd, impress as well in their small parts. Vishal-Shekhar really know how to fuse everything together into a catchy package. There is a rap by Badshah completely styled like an antara, as it is very cleverly joined with the hookline after it is over. Badshah’s rap is fun to hear, but I miss the very raw Haryanvi feel of Honey Singh’s Haryanvi rap here. Anyway, it is enjoyable. Shalmali sings in her soft voice, which I like better than her other, low-pitched voice. She does the Haryanvi accent very well. She too, has a small stanza to sing after a bit of Badshah’s rap, after which Vishal comes back for the hookline. For Vishal, I’ve no words to express how much I loved his rendition. He sings with the same infectious energy, that he puts into all his other songs, so it is not a surprise. The way he sings the hookline, though resembling his rendition of the hookline of ‘Selfie Le Le Re’, still sounds so mind blowing and cool. Irshad Kamil is back to his fun, enjoyable lyrics. He can easily mould himself to write so many different types of lyrics and they always appeal! He takes the hookline and writes such fun-plus-funny lyrics around it, a usual male v/s female battle as we have in Bollywood dance numbers many times. An infectious, catchy number, perfect as the first song in a Salman album. Vishal-Shekhar have composed a perfect song for Salman, right in their first stint for him! Energetic vocals, enjoyable lyrics, and booming arrangements all make this one a WINNER! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

2. Jag Ghoomeya / Jag Ghoomeya (Female)
Singers ~ Rahat Fateh Ali Khan / Neha Bhasin

A beautiful guitar loop starts off the next song, and you know Vishal-Shekhar are back at doing their thing with the soulful romantic songs. The song is a romantic song, with shades of Vishal-Shekhar’s style, yet suiting Salman’s style perfectly. The composition is a breezy, love ballad with a really happy-go-lucky touch to it, and graced with a beautiful folk rhythm. The mukhda is very charming, and the hookline really lives up to its name — it hooks you completely. The rhythm of the hookline is just too catchy to dislike. It is the antara though, where Vishal-Shekhar really work magic. It has been composed in a manner that reminds you of Vishal-Shekhar’s work in ‘Tashan’, for some reason unknown. Maybe the folksiness makes it connect to ‘Tashan’. The line “jaisi Tu hai vaisi rehnaa” is very pleasant, and my personal favourite from the song. It has some charm in it. The female version has the tempo cranked down a bit, and that appeals so, so much! The duo excels in the arrangements too, as always. In the male version, their brilliance in arranging music is seen in the way they add folk guitars, acoustic guitars and rock guitars into the same song. Percussion is brilliant, with a folksy but electronic dafli and dholak rhythm backing the song. Shakers have been used very cutely. The first interlude has a very majestic strings portion which reminds one of ‘Zehnaseeb’ (Hasee Toh Phasee). It has a strong hangover of that song. However, the mandolin is what steals the show. It is very cute and pleasant to the ears. In the female version, however, Vishal-Shekhar really impress. They have arranged it very beautiful with almost nothing but a folkish guitar in the background. Percussion is very beautiful, and very less and soft too. For me, this is the winner even though it offers less! To talk about vocals, Rahat’s soulful voice brings that rustic feeling to the song (and also brings the Salman-iyat 😛 ) and sounds very familiar, yet appeals. Again, it is the female version which emerges as the winner. Neha has tried something new this time, with an innocent romantic song. Her husky voice perfectly makes for the rustic setting of the movie. The accent is something to fall for! I couldn’t help but miss Harshdeep Kaur here, though! Not that Neha’s rendition is bad in any way!! 😀 Her voice simply reminded me of Harshdeep’s and then I started wanting to hear the song in her voice. 😛 Kamil’s lyrics are sweet, simple, innocent; in short, amazing. Amazing simplicity and innocence in this romantic song. Something worth hearing on loop! For me the female version is better, but both are a #5StarHotelSong!!

 

3. 440 Volt
Singer ~ Mika Singh

I saw the title and singer’s name of the next song and told myself, “Finished. The goodness of this album is over. It’s all over, dude. You were an idiot to think that the album would be so great.” After all, I’ve not been liking Mika’s songs of late; the same, old, repetitive meaningless party tracks. But boy, was I wrong! The song is utterly enjoyable! Nothing less than that. Enjoyable to the fullest. Each and every second is something to cherish and enjoy. I don’t know what Vishal-Shekhar fed Mika before recording the song, but here he sounds very, very different! He doesn’t belch out his words like always, he doesn’t eat any of the syllables, and neither does he try to sound like a pop star. Instead, he pronounces everything perfectly, sings in a very soft textured voice, and tries to sound CUTE! And it works! He does sound cute. Don’t believe me? Hear it! The duo have given him a song quite unlike his style, yet perfect for him! It is a slow-paced, but very catchy and groovy song based on the filmi Qawwali template. It is one of the most entertaining Qawwali spoofs I’ve heard this year. And then there’s that ‘Fake Ishq’ (Housefull 3). [Okay, now ‘Housefull 3’ has really become an example, hasn’t it? Sorry! 😅😅 Couldn’t resist from writing that, though!] Vishal-Shekhar have composed something that is immensely attractive, something that doesn’t only have a catchy hookline to do all the work, but a hardworking (in getting us addicted!) mukhda and very diligently composed antaras. The antara is a very weirdly addictive, slow piece that you can’t get out of your head. The part in the hookline when Mika repeats “Chhoone Se Terey” is just so crazily gooooddd! (Can’t think of a synonym for ‘good’. That’s why I elongated it. No time! 😂 ) The way Mika sings in a Haryanvi accent fulfills my dream of hearing him sing that ever since he didn’t sing the title track of ‘Boss’. (Which I had thought he had sung when I first heard it). The duo’s arrangements are very creative. The rock factor works really well in filmy Qawwalis, so there it is. The harmonium and tablas are also awesome. A wonderful electronic substitute for the tabla has been added by the duo, which you can hear at 2:47 in the song. That space is usually taken by the tablas in any Qawwali. While he first interlude has a full-on rock guitar solo, the second goes the calm way with a Spanish sounding tune on strings and tablas. Irshad Kamil writes very entertaining lyrics, perfectly suitable for a lovestruck Romeo. The hookline is so funny, yet creative. “Lagey 440 Volt Chhoone Se terey”. Now don’t say I unnecessarily hate the lyrics of ‘Hous– oops! ENTERTAINING to the core!! Something very creative and innovative! P.S. Mika as a Qawwali singer sounds awesome! #5StarHotelSong!! (P.P.S. Sorry for the essay)

 

4. Sultan
Singers ~ Sukhwinder Singh & Shadab Faridi, Backing Vocals ~ Abdul Sajjad, Zuber Hashmi, Arun Ingle, R N Iyer, Mandar Aapte, Kaustubh Datar, Rahul Chitnis, Nitin Tupe, Swapnil Godbole, Mangesh Chavan, Nitin Karandikar, Vijay Dhuri, Jitendra Tupe, Mayuresh Madgaonkar

The title song, arrives quite late into the album, and starts off very softly. Later, a voice quite like that of Vishal Dadlani joins the rock guitars that start off the song, and sing some motivational lines. We’re kind of figuring out what’s going on, when suddenly, an electrifying Sukhwinder Singh takes things into his hands and with him, the song goes uphill, and how! An energizing electric guitar hook starts playing, to be joined later on by energetic drums and a wonderful chorus. The composition is also just ad energetic, and definitely motivational. The duo redo their own ‘Tashan Mein’ (Tashan), but in a very different manner. A way better version of the seemingly unbeatable song, in terms of dynamism and vigour. The hookline is very unconventional as it ends abruptly with the chorus singing “Rre sultan”. The khoon and mitti refrain is very catchy, and suits the theme, doesn’t it? All the parts of the song are energetic, and full of the spirit to work and win. The rock arrangements are not over the top, and because of the commercial nature of the rock song, it will appeal to all, unlike other rock songs which aren’t so commercial. You can barely hear anything besides the rock guitars and drums, which I must say, are very classily done. There are some parts in the antara when the rock simmers down, but other than that, rock is everywhere. Sukhwinder and Shadab are a fit duo to sing the song, with Shadab getting very less in comparison to Sukhwinder. Sukhwinder is clearly the king of all this. A wonderful techno-sargam entertains highly in the first interlude. Irshad Kamil’s lyrics are highly motivational and more than a character-themed title song, like Salman’s other title songs where the leading hero is a larger-than-life supercop (Ahem, ‘Dabangg’!), the song sounds like a pure motivational and inspirational song. The energy of Sukhwinder and Shadab combined with the energy of Vishal-Shekhar’s guitars and drums, and the intelligence of Kamil’s pen, makes for an enjoyable and worthy listen! One of Salman’s best title songs!! He’ll be like “Achho title song paayo .. Paayo… Aayo.. Laayo… Gaayo.. Bio —” Where’d that come from? 😕 #5StarHotelSong!!

 

5. Sachi Muchi
Singers ~ Mohit Chauhan & Harshdeep Kaur, Backing Vocals ~ Marianne D’Cruz, Nisha Mascarenhas, Rajiv Sundaresan & Neuman Pinto

Now, the next song is really beautiful. Vishal-Shekhar create a very happy-go-lucky romantic song, very unconventional. The song starts with a wedding baaja type band, playing the tune of the hookline, which sounds really out-of-place, and confusing. However, things clear themselves up when the song starts after the band moves on. A wonderful banjo + harmonica instrumentation sets things into place, and creates a very American folk ambience. (You know, cowboys. 😛 ) Without thinking about what cowboys are doing in Haryana, I start grooving to the feel-good, breezy music. However, it took me very long to really start grooving a lot to the music. The song grows on you as slow as a snail. But when it finishes growing upto however much it wants to grow, it sounds very good to the ears. The same thing happened to me. The composition, though a little weak, sets in after a few listens and seems to very attractive. The Western breeze in the arrangements is something not heard recently in Bollywood. (I don’t really like it when it comes in Bollywood music, though. Sounds boring, generally, too!) Mohit and Harshdeep sing the composition perfectly, with the right amount of gusto. Especially in the hookline, “yeh khwaab hai, chaahatein…. Tere kehne Se li Maine parvaazein”, Mohit along with the backing chorus sings very awesome. The harmonica and banjo sound mind-blowing. The lighthearted composition works really well after some time, just that it takes some time to mark its place in the otherwise commercial album. Irshad’s lyrics are just as lighthearted as needed. This time, a two-sided love song. 😀 A song with less appeal, but will slowly emerge as an undoubted #5StarHotelSong!!

 

6. Bulleya
Singer ~ Papon, Backing Vocals ~ Altamash Faridi & Shadab Faridi

While Mika sang a filmy Qawwali earlier in the album, Papon is here with a full-fledged traditional Qawwali of his own. Vishal-Shekhar have composed a totally sweet, innocent composition for this Qawwali, fit for mehfils. Papon starts off with a very lovely AdLib, after which Vishal-Shekhar kick in with the beautiful Qawwali rhythm, complete with the Faridi brothers singing in a heavenly manner, and a harmonium striking the chords of our hearts. Papon rejoins with very sugary lines written wonderfully by Kamil. He renders them very beautifully, and those waah’s cant stop from escaping from your mouth. The way the duo connects this part to the hookline, is when you really get transported to another world. And the hookline is what keeps you there. And you stay there for the remaining duration of the song. A beautiful entrancing arrangement of dholaks, tablas, dafli, harmonium and chimtas, complements Papon during his heavenly rendition. The foot-tapping rhythm is what makes the song sound so beautiful. The rhythm in the hookline is indescribable. It is also the composition that has brought out the bliss in Papon’s voice. Vishal-Shekhar’s divine and spiritual composition is what makes you love everything about the song. The interlude has a wonderful rock guitar portion, which doesn’t sound out-of-place in the spiritual song at all. The Faridi bros are excellent in their spiritual interventions in the song. Lastly, Irshad is a genius. He has written such impressive romantic, spiritual and sad lyrics, which are excellent. It is like a request from the boy to his lover, instead of the usual sad romantic songs where the boy assumes that the girl is leaving him and starts wailing. 😂 The way the spiritual touch has been put into the lyrics, is wondrous. Divine, spiritual and blessed. Something to hear on loop! Perfect ‘Coke Studio’ material from Vishal-Shekhar! Papon, you are a rockstar!!! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

7. Tuk Tuk
Singers ~ Nooran Sisters & Vishal Dadlani

This song starts with a weird AdLib like one in a Qawwali. I am guessing that has been sung by Shekhar. Anyway, the AdLib makes way for some entrancing, divine techno music. It is so beautiful, that you can’t stop from swaying. Piano, chimes and techno sounds have been wonderfully fused together to make something really addictive and entrancing. The Nooran Sisters start off with their usual folksy Punjabi rendition, which starts off really promising. And then, it drops down so fast. The hookline arrives so fast, you are not sure what actually happened. Suddenly, the techno trance breaks and you find yourself in a very typical Punjabi tumbi-dhol arrangement (with very low volume, like Amit Trivedi’s style) with a very averagely composed hookline. It takes quite some time for the song to pick up pace again, and that is when Vishal comes in with his out-of-this-world rap! His rap is actually meaningful. The song is another meaningful, inspirational one, which completely grips you until the part I mentioned arrives. After Vishal’s raps though, the Punjabi part sounds perfectly fine and acceptable. It is the “re bole dhola dhol tadak dhin” line that plays the spoilsport in the song. It just sounds out-of-place here. Everything else falls into place perfectly. Even the antara, which has a Punjabi folk arrangement, sounds great. So why does that hookline sound odd? The flaw is in the abrupt composition. The EDM and techno music is really addictive, and the programming on the Noorans’ voices is very cool. The fusion is really something to appreciate, and something other composers must follow soon!! Irshad’s lyrics are very inspirational, and the metaphors are very clever. Something that would have been exceptionally innovative, but spoiled by the hookline!!

 

8. Rise of Sultan
Singer ~ Shekhar Ravjiani, Backing Vocals ~ Abdul Sajjad, Zuber Hashmi, Arun Ingle, R N Iyer, Mandar Aapte, Kaustubh Datar, Rahul Chitnis, Nitin Tupe, Swapnil Godbole, Mangesh Chavan, Nitin Karandikar, Vijay Dhuri, Jitendra Tupe, Mayuresh Madgaonkar

To close this very much awaited album, we have something on the lines of a theme song. Again motivational in spirit, this track takes the khoon-mitti refrain of the title song and has it crafted into a wonderful background piece. The composition as we know it, it purely motivational and so it has a very positive effect in this track. It makes the song sound so otherworldly. Shekhar leads the vocals with a horde of backing vocalists following him, without which it would’ve sounded lifeless. What I really want to praise is the MINDBLOWING percussion. They are so energetic and vigorous, you can’t help but love them. The rock guitars do not leave this opportunity of showing their prowess either, and impress yet again, along with their new companion, the percussion. The song suits the storyline of the film, as it starts slow and gets high-spirited towards the end, with the strings and brass kicking in later on. It is symbolic of the “Rise” of the character, Sultan. A perfect title, I must say! An INVIGORATING end to the impressive album! #5StarHotelSong!!


Sultan turns out to be way better than expected. Yes, I know my expectations were huge anyway, but not so high! I had never expected such a great album, especially when there is Salman’s commercialism to cater to. But Vishal-Shekhar really prove themselves. They are experts in music arrangements, and they use this plus point to raise the level of each and every song in the album. If there is a typical Salman dance number in ‘Baby Ko Bass Pasand Hai’, there is also a spiritual Qawwali in ‘Bulleya’ and an enjoyable track in ‘440 Volt’. An album full of variety, and I’m thinking, one of Salman’s best albums since 2010. Ali Abbas Zafar has brought out the best from the duo, considering the movie’s genre. If Vishal-Shekhar can deliver so well in a film that doesn’t need such good music, I can’t even imagine what they will do in films like ‘Banjo’ and ‘Befikre’ coming later this year! 😉 The sultans of Bollywood are back to reign!!

 

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: Bulleya > Jag Ghoomeya (Female) > 440 Volt > Sultan > Jag Ghoomeya > Rise of Sultan > Baby Ko Bass Pasand Hai > Sachi Muchi > Tuk Tuk

 

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

 

Note: ‘Sultan’ will be included in July 2016 monthly awards 🙂

Next “dish”: Raman Raghav 2.0, Chef: Ram Sampath