Music Album Details ♪ Music by: Amit Trivedi, Tanishk Bagchi, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan & Shankar-Jaikishan ♪ Lyrics by: Irshad Kamil & Hasrat Jaipuri ♪ Music Label: T-Series / ‘Badan Pe Sitare’ on Saregama ♪ Music Released On: 19th July 2018 ♪ Movie Released On: 3rd August 2018
Fanney Khan is an upcoming Bollywood film starring Anil Kapoor, Pihu Sand, Rajkummar Rao and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in crucial roles. The film is directed by Atul Manjrekar and produced by Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra, Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Kussum Arora, Nishant Pitti, Anil Kapoor, P.S. Bharathi and Rajiv Tandon. The film is an adaptation of the Dutch film ‘Everybody’s Famous’, and it deals with the issue of body-shaming. The music of the film has been composed by Amit Trivedi, with one guest composition, (#NotARemake) by Tanishk Bagchi. This is Trivedi’s fifth album of the year, and out of the four previous ones, ‘Bhavesh Joshi Superhero’ and ‘Pad Man’s were the only solo albums, whereas in ‘Raid’ and ‘Blackmail’, T-Series had forced songs by other composers. Thankfully, in both the albums, the guest songs weren’t bad or frustrating. In fact, in ‘Blackmail’, it was Trivedi who wasn’t at the top of his game. Well, seeing as to how this album is 6/7th his, maybe this will be one of the better ‘multicomposer’ albums of his this year. Let’s dive in!
As is the norm, I usually get the guest composition done with at the beginnjng, or leave it for the very end; here, I will get it over with. So Tanishk’s guest composition Mohabbat, which has left many confused as to whether it’s a remake of Noor Jehan’s ‘Jawaan Hai Mohabbat’, (but which clearly isn’t a remake of that, if you pay attention to the tune), starts the album off. And it is one of the most disappointing original songs by Tanishk. First of all, he creates some weird sounds that hurt the ears, and continues it with grating programming of Sunidhi’s voice that makes her sound horrible! The composition is quite simple, and a bit catchy on and off, but for the most part, it is a very forgettable tune, that could’ve been propped up by Sunidhi’s vocals, if the composer hadn’t programmed it so badly! Irshad Kamil’s lyrics are nothing great, and when the song isn’t interesting, the lyrics don’t really matter that much.
Amit Trivedi too, uses Sunidhi for his first song, Halka Halka, an EDM reimagination of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s famous Qawwali. The difference in Sunidhi’s voice itself shows you what Tanishk had done wrong in the first song. Anyway, the song as a remake, is quite creative — the composer adds a pacy drop to the song after the hookline, and I love the new padding he has composed before the hookline, as the mukhda; it has a beautiful tune, which Sunidhi delivers fascinatingly. However, I didn’t quite like that the hookline has been extended to four lines. The original hookline with two lines was good enough! Divya Kumar complements Sunidhi well, and against the EDM backdrop, both of them, a duo not yet tested by composers, sound magical, and I’m glad Trivedi did try such a contrasting pair for a song.
Trivedi is also made to remake Shankar-Jaikishan-Mohd. Rafi’s iconic Badan Pe Sitare and who better than Sonu Nigam to sing a version of that song? We’ve been hearing the man sing his take on the song ever since I can’t even remember when, and to hear a proper mixed and mastered audio version of him singing the song is a treat for his fans. Amit Trivedi does an awesome job recreating the actual raw orchestra touch of the original song — drums and trumpets owning the arrangements. And obviously, Sonu Nigam owning the song with his energetic and boisterous performance!
The original part of the album is not as exciting as the remake part, sadly, but Amit still manages to give one beautiful song, Achche Din, which has a sweet middle-class touch to it, in both lyrics and tune. Amit’s heartfelt rendition helps the song sound genuine as well, and it suits the setting of Anil Kapoor playing a taxi driver waiting for his fortune to get better. Irshad KamilsK lyrics have a sense of genuineness in them, which propels the song further and Amit’s use of clarinets (I.D. Rao) and flutes is wonderful. But what keeps the song together is the strong composition. The reprise version type of song, Achche Din Ab Aaye Re is the same audio file with a little additional coda at the end, where the lyrics have been tweaked to let us know that Anil Kapoor’s character’s fortune has sparkled.
The rest of the album is sung by Monali Thakur, who is the voice for Pihu Sand, who plays Kapoor’s daughter in the film. The first of the songs, Tere Jaisa Tu Hai, is straight out of the ‘Secret Superstar’ soundtrack, with a less stronger voice than Meghna Mishra. Monali Thakur seems to be struggling with the high notes in this song; the song itself has nothing new to offer beyond the soaring trumpet portions, but then, we heard something similar in ‘Main Kaun Hoon’ (Secret Superstar), so it doesn’t strike me as anything special. Irshad KamklsK lyrics are meaningful, but only good to listen to as long as the song plays; they are easily forgotten after the song ends.
The last song Fu Bai Fu is like those Bollywood medleys that used to feature in our movies, except, since the music label might not possess rights to all the songs, the composer has composed a song and the lyricist sprinkles different lyrics throughout that tune. The songs featured are quite fun to listen to, but nothing beyond that. The use of the Marathi folk song ”’ Bai Fu’ merely raises eyebrows — why was it needed? And was it needed? The arrangements are some of the most bland arrangements Trivedi has provided in recent times — a repetitive loop of the same sounds plays all throughout the song. Monali’s rendition is good in this song, though, and so are her imitations in the interlude. But again, why?
The whole album seems like the producers were way too overconfident with their movie, and in the process, their halka halkaghuroor seems to have made them pay no attention to the quality of the music album! A letdown of a music album for a movie that revolves around music!
Total Points Scored by This Album: 6 + 7 + 7 + 7.5 + 7.5 + 6.5 + 6 =
Album Percentage: 67.86%
Final Rating for This Album: सा < रे < ग < म < प < ध < नी < सां
Note: The letter which is underlined is the final rating.
Recommended Listening Order: Achche Din = Achche Din Ab Aaye Re > Badan Pe Sitaare = Halka Halka > Tere Jaisa Tu Hai > Mohabbat = Fu Bai Fu
Music Album Details ♪ Music by: A.R. Rahman, Rohan-Rohan & Vikram Montrose ♪ Lyrics by: Irshad Kamil, Shekhar Astitwa, Puneet Sharma & Rohan Gokhale ♪ Music Label: T-Series ♪ Music Released On: 29th June 2018 ♪ Movie Released On: 29th June 2018
Sanju is a Bollywood biopic starring Ranbir Kapoor, Paresh Rawal, Manisha Koirala, Dia Mirza, Vicky Kaushal, Sonam Kapoor, Karishma Tanna, Jim Sarbh and Anushka Sharma among others. The film is directed by Rajkumar Hirani, and produced by him along with Vidhu Vinod Chopra. We all know how Sanjay Dutt features in almost all of Hirani’s films, save ‘3 Idiots’. However, Hirani says he never got to know him personally until one day he started talking about all his hardships during an emotional breakdown. That lit a lamp in Hirani’s mind, and he decided to make a biopic. Now, I can’t comment on the movie as I haven’t watched it yet, but I can sure do a music review, right? 🤣 The music of the film has been composed by three composer entities (one being a duo), Rohan-Rohan, Vikram Montrose and A.R. Rahman. It’s surprising to see Rahman first of all in a multicomposer album, because whenever he did those in the past, it was because he left midway due to other commitments. But here, he was the last addition reportedly! Rohan-Rohan have two songs, and it isn’t their Hindi debut; that happened four years ago with ‘Mumbai Delhi Mumbai’, but it is Vikram’s Hindi film debut — he has done some Hindi pop songs and a Marathi album called ‘Bhay’, which was mediocre. Also, I’ve noticed that Hirani uses music as a prop to take the story forward, but not even in the way other filmmakers do (they’ll have a song play in the background and all). No, Hirani will have a full-fledged four-minute song sequence, but it’ll make the moment fun and enjoyable. However, the music itself isn’t always up to the mark. His favourite film album of mine is ‘Pk’, because the music actually was good there. Let’s check out how the music is with ‘Sanju’, though you might already know by my review’s headline. Sorry. I’m dimwitted that way.
Rohan-Rohan are the ‘chosen ones’ who get to begin this album. And they do it in quite a quirky manner too! Main Badhiya Tu Bhi Badhiya is a song that is supposed to be an old song that the character are singing in the 80s, so the song is composed like a 50s nok-jhhok number. It starts with a wonderful opening prelude, which instantly sucks you into the 50s. Sunidhi’s voice modulation is fantastic, and is obviously one of the best vocal renditions of the year. Sonu Nigam, in comparison seems weak, but I wonder, since he can mimic so well, why didn’t he sing in a nasal tone, as well? He still has sung in one, but it could’ve been more pronounced I feel. Rohan-Rohan’s composition is fun, but takes some time getting used to. And Puneet Sharma’s lyrics are very quirky and funny, especially the part when they talk about ‘family planning’ or rather, the lack of it. The song somewhat addresses Sanjay Duty’s commitment issues, and it’s the typical Hirani way of presenting a serious topic in such a flippant and casual way.
Rohan-Rohan’s second song doesn’t fare too well. Bhopu Baj Raha Hain tries to start with a retro sound as well, trumpets blaring, bhopus belting out weird noises, but it soon transcends into a very weird zone. Nakash Aziz was the obvious choice for the song, and I must say Rohan-Rohan’s arrangements are enjoyable, but I’m sure nobody will listen to this song again. There’s not magnetism or attractiveness to it. The antaras are poorly structured, and I’d never expect this song to be in any big commercial film. The worst part is that this is a Hirani film. Though the duo has tried to create the Hirani zone in this song as well, I feel it could’ve been less effervescent. The lyrics by Rohan Gokhale and Shekhar Astitwa are just a bunch of words you never think much about.
Vikram Montrose, the debutant, also starts off his share of the album with a song that everyone would love because of the motivational touch, the powerful vocals and the inspirational lyrics. Kar Har Maidaan Fateh does carry thag irresistibly moving sound, I agree. The choice of Sukhwinder Singh wasn’t surprising, but the choice of Shreya Ghoshal was surprising, and the way she sings is even more surprising — she sings quite lower than she usually sings. She shines even then, though. Sukhwinder Singh’s parts sound almost heard-before and nothing new, but because of the freshness Shreya brings through her low pitch, the song reaches different levels of awesomeness. Vikram arranges is quite standardly, with rock guitars, percussions, and drums. However, the violin playing the hookline in the interludes, is amazing. Also, the composition took some time to grow on me, but when it did, I couldn’t get it out of my head. All in all, it was a good debut for Montrose.
His second song Baba Bolta Hain Bas Ho Gaya, is hinged on the quirky lyrics by Puneet Sharma and Rohan Gokhale. Papon brings a different, rough texture to his otherwise smooth voice, but I enjoyed Ranbir’s parts more. And Supriya Pathak (not the one you’re thinking of) sings her lines quite funnily. The groove and gun sounds throughout the song have been overused so many times in so many gangster movies in Bollywood, that it sounds boring here. The song is also unbearably long, at just under than 5 minutes. However, I’m sure this song is for the theatres.
And then enters A.R. Rahman, who gets two songs too. Ruby Ruby starts with that irresistible bass line, followed by the wonderful guitars (Keba Jeremiah) and a grungy voice keeps whispering “Rrrrrubyy”. When the actual melody starts, you are initially confused, and the song takes some listens to get used to, but since it depicts Dutt’s drug addiction phase, I think it’s deliberately composed like that — so many lines repeating so many times; there’s actually three discernible different parts in the song that keep repeating over and over. And it sends us into a trance. The percussions are amazing too, as are the strings! Shashwat Singh masters the grunge very well, and I especially loved the part when he does the descension from ‘Tu bhi, ruby, ruby…’. Poorvi Koutish is a capable backing vocalists, and her ‘la la la’ is so haunting, it sucks you in.
Speaking of haunting, Rahman’s next song Mujhe Chaand Pe Le Chalo is just that. A sensuous composition, rendered just perfectly by Nikhita Gandhi, the song immediately has you hooked. It has a number of lines ending with high notes, which Nikhita holds so wonderfully. The rhythm Rahman employs in the background is intriguing, and reminds you of ‘Muskaanein Jhoothi Hai’ from ‘Talaash’ with the shakers, the subtle percussion, and very muffled strings that give the song an even more sensuous atmosphere. Irshad Kamil writes lyrics that suit the ambience of the song, and I feel that the song itself can transport you to the moon. Also, Nikhita hums so brilliantly at the end of the song. 😍
Sanju turns out to be the weakest Hirani album for me, due to the meaningless quirks from the newer songs by the younger composers, that just brings the album down. The music field has sadly not been conquered by Hirani this time.
Total Points Scored by This Album: 8 + 5 + 8 + 6 + 8.5 + 9 = 44.5
Album Percentage: 74.17%
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: Mujhe Chaand Pe Le Chalo > Ruby Ruby > Main Badhiya Tu Bhi Badhiya = Kar Har Maidaan Fateh > Baba Bolta Hain Bas Ho Gaya > Bhopu Baj Raha Hain
Which is your favourite song from Sanju? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂
Music Album Details ♪ Music by: Vishal-Shekhar & Julius Packiam ♪ Lyrics by: Irshad Kamil & Raftaar ♪ Music Label: YRF Music ♪ Music Released On: 12th December 2017 ♪ Movie Released On: 22nd December 2017
Tiger Zinda Hai Album Cover
To hear the full songs of this album on Saavn CLICK HERE
Tiger Zinda Hai is a Bollywood action film starring Salman Khan and Katrina Kaifin lead roles. The film is directed by ‘Mere Brother Ki Dulhan’, ‘Gunday’ and ‘Sultan’ fame Ali Abbas Zafar, and produced by Aditya Chopra.The film is a sequel to 2012’s ‘Ek Tha Tiger’, which was directed by Kabir Khan. The music to that instalment was given by Sohail Sen, with a guest composition by Sajid-Wajid, but this time, despite the director’s past associations with Sohail Sen, he goes for his the duo who made the music for ‘Sultan’, Vishal-Shekhar. Now, Vishal-Shekhar’s last album was ‘Befikre’ around the same time last year. After a whole year, they are returning to the scene with such a huge film. Also, seeing that the YRF-Vishal-Shekhar combo has been such an amazing one, I’m sure the album will be great too. Though an action film doesn’t have much scope for great music, it sure can be appreciable! Let’s see whether they build on Sohail’s base of a good commercial album, or go the unconventional and experimental way!
Vishal-Shekhar’s year-long hiatus seemed long, but with the first song of their comeback album, Swag Se Swagat, it seems they returned with all the wrong music. The song sounds like a hastily made Sajid-Wajid-Salman number, with a hook that is utterly banal and another line that desperately goes ‘Kuchnikuchnikuch‘. Lyrically it is one of the most mediocre works coming out of Kamil’s pen. A nice incorporation of Julius Packiam’s theme music for ‘Ek Tha Tiger’ makes the song at least a little catchy. Neha Bhasin’s vocals are great, but Dadlani’s usual energy doesn’t come across this time. The second song Dil Diyan Gallan, marks the duo’s first time working with Atif Aslam, and though there’s nothing new in the way they present his voice, what is new is that he is made to sing in Punjabi — a quite interesting combination, and sounds beautiful too. The composition is soothing and fit for listening on loop. The slightly retrograde arrangements can’t be a good sign: I’ve noticed so many composers falling back on the tried-and-tested tabla rhythm this year. The strings do make their presence felt though — reminds me of Vishal-Shekhar’s ‘Naina’ (Gori Tere Pyaar Mein). Irshad’s lyrics are good too. The song is seen in a much earthier Unplugged Version sung by Neha Bhasin, back in her ‘Jag Ghoomeya’ mode, and her amazing diction of the Punjabi phrases sounds yummy once again. The arrangements here are beautiful too, with a lilting Kashmiri vibe to them. There are places even, when Neha sounds like Kavita Seth. I would’ve also loved another version by Harshdeep Kaur, who suits the Punjabi template amazingly.
The next song, called Zinda Hai, can be called the title track, except it never says ‘Tiger’. Anyway, the song is an electrifying rock number, with Sukhwinder back in his energetic form, and Raftaar complementing him well. Vishal-Shekhar’s composition is good, but not great. Arrangements are also good, but will inevitably be compared to ‘Sultan’s title track, in front of which they pale in comparison. The rest of the album is a very different zone of music than that which one would expect in a Salman Khan entertainer. Daata Tu sees Vishal-Shekhar in the ‘Kahaani’ mode, a beautiful divine melody with Shreya touching the heart strings effortlessly. A wonderful Sufi portion towards the end redeems the song for those who got bored in the beginning. The soundtrack’s best is cleverly saved for the last, and it is Jyoti Nooran’s Tera Noor, a hard-hitting Sufi number, with amazing lyrics by Kamil. The rock is hard-hitting, and though Sufi Rock is almost always great, Vishal-Shekhar take it a notch higher with this one. The adlib at the beginning is heavenly. But beware that this one is highly experimental and will take at least a couple of listens to develop a liking to.
Vishal-Shekhar’s music has beautifully inverted the course of the ‘Tiger’ franchise. Where Sohail Sen & Sajid-Wajid were religiously commercial in the first album, Vishal-Shekhar dare to go experimental and melodious in this one!
Total Points Scored by This Album: 2.5 + 3.5 + 4 + 4 + 4 + 4.5 = 22.5
Album Percentage: 75%
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: Tera Noor > Daata Tu = Dil Diyan Gallan (Unplugged Version) = Zinda Hai > Dil Diyan Gallan > Swag Se Swagat
That was the last album for the year!! Wow, time flies fast! Do watch out for the December monthly awards, followed by the end of the year round-ups and lists!!
Newton is a Bollywood black comedy film, starring Rajkummar Rao, Pankaj Tripathi, Raghubir Yadav and Anjali Patil, directed by Amit V. Masurkar, and produced by Manish Mundhra of Drishyam Films. The movie, as we all know, has garnered great response from cinema-lovers and *most* critics, and we also know it is India’s official entry for “Best Foreign Language Film” in the 90th Academy Awards. Best of luck to us for that! Anyway, back to the point. The film revolves around a government clerk, Newton (played by Rao) who is sent for election duty in a naxal-controlled town in the jungles of Chhattisgarh. His struggle to ensure a fair election and educating the locals about election is what constitutes the base of the film. Of course, the film, as many of these films are, doesn’t have music, save for a promotional song by Rachita Arora. It comes in two versions in the album, so let’s check it out! Hopefully, Rachita makes a smashing debut with this film!
1. Chal Tu Apna Kaam Kar
Singer ~ Amit Trivedi, Backing Vocals ~ Satish Badoliya
Rachita starts off the song with a promising whistle, intriguing listeners right away. As Amit Trivedi starts with the song’s first note, an immediate whiff of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s music hits your ears, and the song has you hooked from there onwards. The new composer has made sure her composition is intriguing, because usually, satirical songs fall flat due to their compositions not begin up to the mark. Thankfully, here, Rachita’s composition is really quirky and very catchy and fun to listen to — with the beautifully mellifluous hookline doing the trick for her nicely. It is her arrangements that outdo the composition though. A groovy beat supports the song throughout, only to be joined by catchy finger snaps, quirky technological sounds, nice bass, cool guitars (Meghdeep Bose), drums, beautiful strings, and even an unexpected flute (Tejas Vinchurkar)! The dumroo and the harmonium, coupled by a wacky folksy backing vocal (Satish Badoliya) in the second antara, help the song sound more massy. What really surprised me was the oud/rabaab in the first interlude, giving the song a nice and folksy touch! Rachita’s digital programming too, is amazing — she proves her mettle in programming with her first ever Bollywood song! Amit Trivedi was the perfect choice for the vocals, and he always carries such songs with a lot of confidence and spunk. His heavy voice really makes for an interesting listen. Irshad Kamil’s lyrics work on the protagonist’s catchphrase “Chal Tu Apna Kaam Kar”, and spin it into a nice satirical piece! Things look sunny for this talented new composer. Welcome to Bollywood, Rachita Arora!
The second version of the song is nothing like the first version; it is a more folksy rendition invoking memories of the ‘Gangs Of Wasseypur’ songs that Sneha Khanwalkar had recorded from local artists. Here, Rachita does quite the same thing, but instead of looking for some new singers, she decides to let Raghubir Yadav, acting in the film, sing it. And he does immense justice to the folksy nature of this version. First of all, Rachita has changed the composition to make it more suited for a folk song, and though the composition this time isn’t extraordinary, it is good. It is also more soulful. Raghubir Yadav aces the vocals, while Rachita’s arrangements are cool — the harmonium and folksy percussion (Dipesh Verma), along with the folksy backing vocals, provides a nice ambience to the song. The plucked instruments (probably iktara) and chimtas too provide a nice folk touch. As mentioned before, the lyrics are awesome! A folksy reprise of the previous song, with slightly less repeat value, but who cares about repeat value?
So, Newton is a short album, with two tracks, both the same song at least lyrically. Rachita makes a smashing debut and it seems she will soon establish her as a composer who does not really care about the mass appeal and popularity of her songs, since both her songs here are true to the film, and not made to attract people. (The same category as people like Mikey McCleary, Sneha Khanwalkar etc). Also, the fact that Eros Music released the music late here (which is fine, since this isn’t a film like “Shubh Mangal Saavdhan” which relied heavily on music) shows that they didn’t really want to reveal the songs early. Newton gives us an amazing new composer!
Total Points Scored by This Album: 4 + 3.5 = 7.5
Album Percentage: 75%
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: Version 1 > Version 2
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
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! 🙂
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
“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
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
“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 RahaHai 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
“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
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
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)!!
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 andBoney 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!
“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!
2. Kooke Kawn
Singers ~ Sukhwinder Singh, Blaaze, Suzanne D’Mello, Lyrics by ~ Irshad Kamil & Traditional
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.
“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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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! 🙂
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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 < ध< 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