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

November 2017 Round-Up #1

NOVEMBER 2017 ROUND-UP #1

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

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



♦ Intense & Intriguing, Ittefaq Se: ITTEFAQ Music Review

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

Listen to the song: Saavn
Buy the song: iTunes


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


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

 

Total Points Scored by This Song: 3.5 

Song Percentage: 70%

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

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

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


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

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

Listen to the album: Saavn
Buy the album: iTunes


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


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

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

Album Percentage: 60%

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

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

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

 



♦ Cute Little Ribbon: RIBBON Music Review

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

Listen to the songs: Saavn
Buy the songs: iTunes


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


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

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

Album Percentage: 75%

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

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

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



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

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

Listen to the songs: Saavn
Buy the songs: iTunes


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


Bappi Lahiri clearly has lost his Music Ratan!

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

Album Percentage: 32.5% 

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

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

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



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

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

Listen to the songs: Saavn
Buy the songs: iTunes


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


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

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

Album Percentage: 67.27%

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

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

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

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

 



♦ Raunchy Diaries: JULIE 2 Music Review

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

Listen to the songs: Saavn
Buy the songs: iTunes


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


An album that you will automatically avoid.

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

Album Percentage: 50%

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

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

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



 

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

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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!

A BEHEN WHO CAN’T DANCE, BUT CAN ONLY ROMANCE! (BEHEN HOGI TERI – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Kaushik-Akash-Guddu for JAM8, Rishi Rich, Jaidev Kumar, Amjad-Nadeem, Yash Narvekar & R.D. Burman
♪ Lyrics by: Bipin Das, Yash Narvekar, Amit Dhanani, Late Anand Bakshi, Sonu Saggu, Rohit Sharma, Parry G & Raftaar
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 23rd May 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 9th June 2017

Behen Hogi Teri Album Cover

 

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Behen Hogi Teri is an upcoming Bollywood romantic comedy starring Shruti Hassan, Rajkummar Rao, Gautam Gulati and Gulshan Grover in lead roles. The film is directed by Ajay K. Pannalal and produced by Tony D’Souza, Amul Vikas Mohan and Nitin Upadhyaya. The film’s slogan is “All Indians are NOT Brothers and Sisters!” Well, going by the trailer and this slogan thingy, it seems like a quirky and light hearted romantic comedy, but you know Bollywood, they can add drama into anything and everything. The music of the film, as expected is by multiple composers, including Pritam’s A&R venture JAM8 (Kaushik-Akash-Guddu this time), Rishi Rich, Amjad-Nadeem (after a long time, huh!), Jaidev Kumar and Yash Narvekar. Out of these composers, none, I repeat none, have given anything outstanding in the past, so one can just hope that some miracle occurs and they give us great music for this film. Expectations are moderate, but hoping for the best, let’s explore the music of ‘Behen Hogi Teri’.


1. Jai Maa

Singers ~ Sahil Solanki, Jyotica Tangri & Parry G, Original Composition by ~ Prem Hardeep & Badshah, Music Recreated by ~ Jaidev Kumar, Lyrics by ~ Sonu Saggu, Rap Lyrics by ~ Parry G

Wow. So now the music industry has started remaking remakes. ‘Kala Chashma’ (Baar Baar Dekho), which was a quite banal remake by Badshah, of the Punjabi pop number ‘Kala Chashma’ by Prem Hardeep, itself, now gets remade into a mata-ki-chowki song. Jaidev Kumar, who had earlier remade ‘Subha Hone Na De’ (Desi Boyz) into a similar satirical devotional song, ‘O Meri Mata’ in ‘Bajatey Raho’, takes the same composition that Badshah had made. Nothing changed in the tune, and that’s why it would make the public even crazier. The arrangements seem more toned down and not as harsh and shrill as they were in the original (I mean the original remake). I guess they added the dhols here specially for the jagraata setting. And they’ve, quite to my immense pleasure, gotten rid of the EDM at the end, and the shouting ladies and breaking glasses from the ‘Baar Baar Dekho’ song. Vocals here sound good and aptly funny as per the Goddess prayer setting. Sahil Solanki sounds much better than Amar Arshi, the original singer of both the original and Badshah’s remake. A rapper called Parry G {I don’t know why these people like to write a single letter after a weird nickname; we are going to meet another one later in the album!} reprises Badshah’s “sadkon pe chale jab ladkon ke dilon mein tu aag laga de baby firrrreeeeee” with a rap that sounds much more pleasant. Jyotica Tangri is a nice replacement for Neha Kakkar, but with less of an edge in her voice. The replacement lyrics by Sonu Saggu are quite funny too, but not something that will make you “ROFL” or “LOL” either. Interesting how the remake of a remake turns out to be better than the original remake. Let’s start remaking remakes now. P.S. I hope a certain music company doesn’t read that or else we will be over-flooded with ‘Baby Doll’ remakes. (Then again, aren’t we already over flooded by them!)

Rating: 3/5

 

2. Tera Hoke Rahoon

Singer ~ Arijit Singh, Music by ~ Kaushik-Akash-Guddu (KAG for JAM8), Lyrics by ~ Bipin Das

Next up, we get a dulcet melody from Pritam’s A&R company, JAM8. This time, the composers of the two songs in ‘1920 London’, Kaushik-Akash, are joined by someone calling himself Guddu, thus making it a trio. And this way, they produce a song that I will remember as one of the best (and the best till now) from any composer for JAM8. The composition, for once, doesn’t sound like a Pritam composition; for once the composers working behind the JAM8 label do not try to emulate Pritam’s late 2000s style of composition. In fact, the composition kind of reminded me of Bobby-Imran’s songs in ‘Badmaashiyan’, or some of Jeet Gannguli’s works. The free flow of the hookline makes it instantly likeable, and the mukhda and antara has a calm, soothing but haunting touch to it, something I’m always ready for if it isn’t too maudlin. The arrangements are fabulous; they just add to the haunting characteristic of the song. The guitar has been played in such a subtle manner, in the beginning, that it is impossible to not be sucked in right away. And when the orchestra sets in, the song just gets many times better. The electronic tabla adds to the serenity, while that wonderful flute interlude is something you shouldn’t miss. In the antara guitars have been played in a wonderful play-stop-play-stop manner that is so comforting. And the tabla doesn’t stop either! Arijit, the first choice for any composer associated with Pritam, and Pritam himself, renders the mellow composition with such ease, in the voice of his that I love, as opposed to that droning voice he uses in sleepy songs. The way he sings the “uff tak na yaara karoon”, is so beautiful! Bipin Das (newcomer?) writes lyrics that are instantly lovable. The first time JAM8 do something that doesn’t resemble their mentor’s work heavily, and it turns out to be a success. 

Rating: 4.5/5

 

3. Jaanu

Singers ~ Juggy D, Shivi & Raftaar, Original Composition by ~ R.D. Burman, Music Recreated by ~ Rishi Rich, Lyrics by ~ Late Anand Bakshi, Rap Written by ~ Raftaar

So after the remake of a remake, we get a remake of another classic, in fact, one of my favourite songs by R.D. Burman. The likeable, sweet and fun-to-listen-to classic gets a makeover and now it looks horrendous. Rishi Rich seems to have struck a big deal in Bollywood after his long hiatus, because after he returned in ‘Half Girlfriend’, with a mediocre title song, he gets to do another (though horrible) song here. The man makes sure that somebody says “This is a Rishi Rich refix” before the song starts, and that is so annoying! We have the credits in front of us and we can read your name there. I know here are some music listeners out there who don’t care about who made a song, and they will continue not caring, so even if you say your name there, they wouldn’t care. And then comes the cliché of saying the names of the singer (Juggy D) and the rapper (Raftaar). And what I don’t understand is, why not say the name of the female artiste! Hasn’t she contributed anything to the song? They did the same thing in ‘High Heels’ from ‘Ki & Ka’ and they repeat it here. If anything, Shivi is shining in this song amongst the hackneyed renditions of the male artist and Raftaar. Oh by the way, Juggy D. 😄 Another artist naming himself like that. Rishi Rich has kept the composition intact, fortunately. But what he does instead, is even more unfortunate. He breaks up the hookline, making it sound like a cassette that is stuck at one point. And then it stops to make way for a weirdly-placed techno music piece. And then it proceeds and ends. How boring. There are so many raps in the song, it is hard to concentrate on the actual song. And Raftaar raps so oddly. Just to keep the “Behen” theme intact, he adds so many lines about sisters, that were so unnecessary. And now for thr vocals. Juggy D can’t sing at all. The proof? If someone isn’t able to sing the nuance in the word “Hindustan” in this song, he or she is definitely not a good singer. Shivi barely manages to sing that part, but does much better than her co-singers, making her stand out even with a mediocre performance. Of course, they don’t match the singing calibre of the legendary combination of Kishore Kumar, Mohammed Rafi, Asha Bhosle & Usha Mangeshkar from the original song. The arrangements are irritating club sounds, EDM thrown here and there. But I enjoyed the parts with the Spanish guitars, and the strings incorporated from the old song. A horrible remake of a song that deserved a much better remake, or no remake!

Rating: 1/5

 

4. Teri Yaadon Mein / Teri Yaadon Mein (Reprise Version)

Singers ~ Yasser Desai, Pawni Pandey & Yash Narvekar / Yash Narvekar & Sukriti Kakar, Music Composed by ~ Yash Narvekar, Music Produced by ~ Rishi Rich, Lyrics by ~ Yash Narvekar & Amit Dhanani

Rishi Rich comes back for the next song too, but this time, things are different. This time, the song is a romantic song. And this time, Rishi Rich has only produced the song. Rishi Rich gives a composing break to someone I’ve seen many times in the singer category in various Amaal Mallik, Meet Bros. and even Rishi Rich songs, Yash Narvekar. He gets to compose the tune. And I must say, it is quite a commendable tune! Yes,  does follow the usual Bollywood romance template, with its tune, but it manages to engage the listeners. However, the listener does lose interest in some places. The hookline is very typical, but still, it managed to garner my interest. The antara too, follows the same pattern. What really engages the listeners, though, is Rishi Rich’s beats and arrangements. In the first version, Rishi employs a nice and groovy beat, a hip-hop beat in a romantic song, which at first elicits a weird reaction from the listener, but it sets in perfectly after a couple of listens. Especially the tablas which Rishi has added occasionally, are amazing. The second version, the Reprise, takes a more templated route, with guitars and piano taking the lead, making for a more calm listen. A harmonium too pops up later on, quite oddly. The piano interlude in that version is a must-hear. The vocals are good in both versions. While Yasser, sounding as similar to Arijit as ever, and Pawni Pandey stir up a nice chemistry in the first version, the essence of the song only reaches us in the Reprise because the voices of Yash & Sukriti haven’t been touched. Programming ruins the feel of the voices in the first version. However, I loved Yash’s backing vocals in the first song, that sound like tabla bols. Yash & Amit Dhanani together write a song that is full of typical lines and phrases, like the song title itself. Experimental, but works to some extent. The Reprise version fares better!

Rating: 3.5/5 for Original Version, 4/5 for Reprise Version

 

5. Tenu Na Bol Pawaan / Tenu Na Bol Pawaan (Reprise Version)

Singers ~ Yasser Desai & Jyotica Tangri / Asees Kaur, Music by ~ Amjad-Nadeem, Lyrics by ~ Rohit Sharma

Amjad-Nadeem, back in the composing scene after quite some time, have been roped in for the final song on the album. Amjad-Nadeem are usually known to meddle in typical romantic songs or horrendous massy item songs. This time around too, they have provided a typical romantic song, but that typicality is very enjoyable. The composition is sugary-sweet, something that is very rare from Amjad-Nadeem, who usually produce melodramatic sounding songs. The hookline is so heard-before, so clichéd, yet it manages to click with the listener. There is a high-pitched line that just makes you love the song even more. The antaraa are a bit less engaging, but still manage to keep the flow of the song intact. There are two versions to this song as well; one being a male version (with female humming in the background, hence the credit for Jyotica) and the other being a female version, which is kind of unplugged. The male version has heavenly instrumentation. It starts off with nice chimey sounds, followed by the sweetest flute portion I’ve heard in quite a while. The melody is structured on a simple guitar riff that, though it is very simple and typical, engages the listener. Strings join in later, bringing the third dimension to the song, and how! The second version is, as I said before, unplugged, and has a nice acoustic guitar riff playing in the background, and nothing else. The minimalistic feel of it, makes it even more appealing. Vocals are perfect in both versions. This is no doubt, Yasser’s best performance ever, and he sounds so different than usual here! Jyotica does the humming in Yasser’s version. Asees Kaur, on the other hand, renders her unplugged version with such a beautiful aura around her, that it is mesmerizing. Though her track is longer by one minute than Yasser’s, it makes for a good calm listen. The lyrics by Rohit Sharma (I don’t know whether he’s the Sharma who composed the songs of ‘Anaarkali of Aaraah’ or any other one. He’s definitely not the cricketer, right?) are sweet too. A song full of sweet things. Sweetness lies in simplicity after all.

Rating: 4.5/5 for the Original Version, 4.5/5 for the Reprise Version


Behen Hogi Teri is an unexpectedly cool multicomposer album! Going by the composers’ names, I was least expecting such a good album. However, it seems like all the composers have pitched in to provide their best. For a romantic comedy, a good album is a must, and fortunately, this album delivers as expected, if not less than expected. Yes, one song is very bad, but the others make up for it. And since the finance theme predominates the album, maybe that’s why they managed to wrench out such good songs from the music directors. An album predominantly made of romantic songs, but still works fine!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 3 + 4.5 + 1 + 3.5 + 4 + 4.5 + 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: Tera Hoke Rahoon = Tenu Na Bol Pawaan = Tenu Na Bol Pawaan (Reprise) > Teri Yaadon Mein (Reprise) > Teri Yaadon Mein > Jai Maa > Jaanu

 

Remake Counter
No. of Remakes: 12 (from previous albums) + 02 = 14

 

Which is your favourite song from Behen Hogi Teri? Please vote for it below! Thanks!

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING!!! (RAEES – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Ram Sampath, JAM8, Omgrown Music & Kalyanji-Anandji
♪ Lyrics by: Javed Akhtar, Indeevar, Amitabh Bhattacharya, Mayur Puri, Ram Sampath, Hiral Brahmbhatt & Manoj Yadav
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 24th January 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 25th January 2017

Raees Album Cover

Raees Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Raees is an upcoming Bollywood action / crime thriller film starring Shah Rukh Khan, Mahira Khan and Naseeruddin Shah in prominent roles. The film has been directed by Rahul Dholakia, and produced by Gauri Khan, Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar. The movie sees Shah Rukh Khan playing a gangster, and that’s pretty much all that we all know about it. The album has released one DAY before the movie, and that’s been frowned upon a lot, mostly by me, and I hated this promotion strategy, if you can call it a strategy. The film had three songs running around TV till the album decided to release a day before. Anyway, the music is by Ram Sampath and JAM8, which is Pritam’s Artiste & Repertoire company promoting new talent. One song by JAM8, it hasn’t been specified who has composed, while the two others are by someone named Aheer. So without further ado, (I mean, how can there be any further ado…) let’s see what this latecomer album has to offer, and whether it was worth the suspense.


1. Laila Main Laila

Singer ~ Pawni Pandey, Additional Vocals ~ Chaandni RMW & Team Omgrown, Original Composition by ~ Kalyanji-Anandji, Music Recreated by ~ Ram Sampath, Original Lyrics by ~ Indeevar, New Lyrics by ~ Javed Akhtar

“Mohabbat ka dasta, tumhe naag hai kya,
Tumhare bhi dil mein, lagi aag hai kya?
Mere liye bhi, tadapte ho tum bhi,
Main betaab jaise, tumhare liye hoon?”

– Javed Akhtar

The first song on the album takes the form of a (yes, again!!) remake of a popular old song. This time, ‘Laila O Laila’ from ‘Qurbani’ gets brought to the slaughtering counter. (Or is it? Let’s see..) Anyway, Ram Sampath takes charge of this ambitious remake. Ram Sampath is somebody I never have seen remaking songs. (Correct me if I’m wrong, but the only remake I remember him doing before is that remake of a folk song, ‘Ambarsariya’ in ‘Fukrey’). So he gets to do the remake to this hit club song of the Disco era. Kalyanji-Anandji’s tune for both mukhda and antara get retained, and that is always a pleasure to know. Not that I was a huge fan of the old song, but all celebrations in India (and please note that that is just figurative) are incomplete without this song playing at least once. With the original tune retained, remaking a song properly almost always becomes a piece of cake. Or so I thought. The tune has been retained, and the item-ish flavour has been retained, so as to keep as much similarity with the original and not make an out-of-place remake, but something still seems missing in the song. The arrangements are fantastic. What else can we expect when Taufiq Qureshi is in charge of percussions! Nothing but awe overcomes you when you hear the wonderful and grand percussions — they are so earthy! They make the song which was originally a disco song, a rural number. And that “Bubuchikum, boom bubuchikum” with which the song starts is just crazy! Thats probably one of the best parts of the song. The arrangements of course, like any item song, are incomplete without whistles and a backing chorus going “hey hey“. And everything’s been done here. Even the legendary trumpets (Ed Gibson) have been used and that epic trumpet tune to the hookline has been played throughout the song. But still, something seems missing! Pawni Pandey, who shot to fame with ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li’l Champs’, has clearly left behind her Li’l-champ-ness. She tries very hard to get the nuances and various little bits of an item song right, but to no avail. (Similar to how Chinmayi couldn’t quite sing ‘Mera Naam Mary’ from ‘Brothers’ well). She only sounds very heavenly when she sings the line, “Laila o Laila Laila, aisi tu Laila“, (she sings in her actual voice there) but not in the lines where she actually sings AS Laila. (On retrospection, I think that might be backing vocalist Chaandni RMW.. So she sounds better than Pawni!) However, that backing vocalist who sings the “phabak phabak” part in this version somewhere in the second interlude, really aces his part! 😀 The lyrics to the antaras have been changed though the tune has been retained, and they carry on the spirit of the old song. At least Javed Akhtar has written something sensible and non-vulgar for such a song too, and not something yucky and stupid. Of course, Indeevar’s classic lyrics for the mukhda can’t really be replaced, can they? Ram Sampath tries his best to deliver a smashing remake, and I must admit, this is better than other recent remakes, (first and foremost, it has no rap! Yay!) but something still lacks, and I can’t seem to understand what!

Note: As I’m writing this review, this song seems to have volatilized from my brain! I mean, it released like a month ago!

Rating: 3/5

 

2. Zaalima

Singers ~ Arijit Singh & Harshdeep Kaur, Music by ~ JAM8, Lyrics by ~ Amitabh Bhattacharya

“Deedar tera Milne ke baad hi chhooti meri angdaai,
Tu hi bataade kyun zaalima main kehlaayi?
Kyun iss tarah se duniya jahaan mein Karta hai meri ruswaai?
Tu hi bataade kyun zaalima main kehlaayi!”

– Amitabh Bhattacharya

Pritam Chakraborty’s Artists and Repertoire company, JAM8 get charge of the romantic song of the album. Now isnt it such an honour to compose a romantic song for THE Shah Rukh Khan? And I must say, the team has made a good effort in keeping with the star’s legacy. Before you start hurling curses at me, I will stop judging music by star value and let’s get on with the review! So the composer(s) [I don’t really know who it is exactly for JAM8] composes this song with a very evident feel-good vibe to it, and who doesn’t like such breezy music? The mukhda has a very sunshine-ish tune to it, and the hookline is so nicely inserted into it, just like a jigsaw puzzle piece that fits into another piece perfectly. (Must be some great quality cardboard that that jigsaw puzzle is made of! Sorry.) The mukhda contains some nice couplets followed by the interjection “zaalima“, and these couplets have been put to such a nice and playful tune, you can’t help but groove to it, though it isn’t the most conventional of tunes. It reminded me of ‘Aaj Dil Shaayraana’ (Holiday)! It also has PRITAM written all over it; the composer(s??) have done a good job of recreating his style. The mukhda also has another line, which has the most brilliant of tunes, in a high scale of notes. (It’s the part that goes “Aankhein marhaba, baatein marhaba“, in case you’re wondering.) The first antara is yet another playful tune that you just can’t get enough of, especially the seamless way the tune goes from low notes to high, in a very clever bridge note. And then the tune of that “marhaba” part comes back with different words, and so do the goosebumps! After the first antara, you think that the song would end, but JAM8 had more in store. When it continues you wait for another antara or the mukhda repeated (like most songs have nowadays) but what you get is even better. A brilliant conclusion comes in the form of nice Sufi-style lines, put to a heavenly tune and Harshdeep’s awesome vocals. The arrangements are fantastic, what with the trademark Pritam guitars and dholaks on a very breezy melody. Some techno sounds are very impressive, like that nice sound at the beginning of the song, playing all the time before Arijit starts, and after each “O zaalima” hook, and in the first interlude. A nice rhythm of daflis (Iqbal Azad), quite similar to the one Pritam himself had given in ‘Gerua’ (Dilwale), gives a nice and traditional touch to the composition. The first time the “O zaalima” hook crops up, there’s a nice hit of drums (Alan Hertz). The acoustic guitars that start the song (Pawan Rasaily & Arijit Singh) are wonderful and lure the listener into the song perfectly. Even the rock guitars actually rock whenever they play. The first antara has this wonderful ‘Tum Jo Aaye’-ish tabla rhythm, taking you back to the ‘Tum Jo Aaye’ days. The second interlude is phenomenal with a nice harmonium-led (Feroz Shaikh) traditional piece. Vocals are topnotch, with both vocalists impressing. Arijit is his usual charming self, and how I love his voice in such cheerful songs. I think even composers do, because I’m hearing less of his bawling and drawling nowadays. Harshdeep is fantastic too, and her husky voice was a perfect choice to get that small amount of rustic-ness required for the song. She also sings that conclusion stanza very convincingly. The lyrics by Amitabh Bhattacharya are a good, fine example of clever poetry and have a nice ring to them, especially when Arijit sings it. The fact that the lyrics are great has been proved already, when the makers resorted to lyrics for building up pre-release buzz for the song, instead of releasing teasers of the audio or stills from the video! “Jo tere ishq mein behka pehle se hi, kya use behkaana, O zaalima!” or “Jiski har dhadkan, tu ho aise, dil ko kya dhadkaana, O zaalima!” It is just, perfectly exemplary writing. A good attempt by ‘almost’ newbies JAM8, to create a good romantic track for SRK, and what they will get in return for this is exposure i.e, exposure that being in an SRK film gives you. Surely, bigger projects are in store for them now after the middling ‘1920 London’ last year!

Note: I’m not too sure whether it is the same people behind this song for JAM8, who were behind the songs for ‘1920 London’ (Kaushik-Akash).

Rating: 3.5/5

 

3. Udi Udi Jaye

Singers ~ Sukhwinder Singh, Bhoomi Trivedi & Karsan Sagathia, Music by ~ Ram Sampath, Lyrics by ~ Javed Akhtar

“Kehne ko toh khel hai yeh tera mera sanjha,
Par mera dil hai patang aur teri nazar manjha,
Manjhe se lipti yeh patang judi judi jaaye!”

– Javed Akhtar

Ram Sampath re-enters into the album that was rightly his before JAM8 were taken on board. His next song is a garba track, but it has shades of a romantic track. And this blend has been done so well, that at one point you think it’s a dance number you’re listening to, and at another point, you think it is an out-and-out romantic song. The composition, though quite typical to the genre, is very sweet and innocent, especially the wonderfully crafted hookline. Yes, it has a bit of a 90s touch to it, but that makes it sound all the more charming. The mukhda is a direct plunge into the melody of the song, with the hookline ‘hooking’ you from the very start, just like a hookline is supposed to. That one line that Ram has composed so that we can actually say there is some kind of mukhda (The ‘kehne ko toh khel hai…‘ part) is just sooooo sweet, and whenever it repeats in the chorus, you just can’t help but smile. The antaras have been composed in a just as melodious tune, with an even more evident 90s feel to it, and that touch makes it sound as good as it does! (You see, I have no qualms with 90s touches when they’re well done!) In the second interlude, there’s a wonderful very folksy Gujarati part, crooned by Karsan Sagathia, and that is something to look out for in the song. I like the way Ram has composed such a flavourful Gujarati track, though he isn’t Gujarati himself. That just reflects the unity in diversity of India once again, I guess? 😀 The arrangements are wonderful, and make the song sound grand. If you close your eyes and listen to them, you might just feel you are in the middle of a big Navratri function in the heartlands of Gujarat itself. The powerful, booming percussion (Nitish Ranadive) just can’t be ignored, as it provides such a foot-tapping beat throughout the song. The Gujarati folksy string instruments have been put to great use. That mandolin (Tapas Roy) is just too splendid to ignore! Overall, the arrangements by Sampath set up this very happy and grand ambience, and transport you to Gujarat. Vocals are too impressive to be true. Sukhwinder, as always, is great, but his voice sounds exceptionally well here — barring those small autotunes I can hear occasionally! And the “Chaiyya Chaiyya” (Dil Se) magic is recreated! Bhoomi Trivedi gets her next big song right after her debut in ‘Ram-Leela’, and making great use of the space she gets here, she shines. Her husky voice proves just right for the track, and at places, she sounds just like Sunidhi Chauhan. Karsan’s small interlude, is fantastic, and I don’t know whether it’s a new recording, or a recording of one of his old songs. Probably the former. I don’t know. I don’t think it should matter too. 😛 Javed Akhtar’s lyrics are good; a nice romantic touch is added to the Garba setting with his words. Other than that, there wasn’t anything too exceptional about them. 🙂 A song that will go down as one of the best Garba songs of Bollywood, joining the *recent* hits like ‘Nagada Sang Dhol’ (Ram-Leela), ‘Shubhaarambh’ (Kai Po Che).

Rating: 4/5

 

4. Dhingana

Singer ~ Mika Singh, Additional Vocals by ~ Team Omgrown, Music Composed by ~ Aheer for JAM8, Music Produced by ~ Omgrown Music (Ram Sampath’s company), Lyrics by ~ Mayur Puri

“Farzi, duniya hai farzi, tedhi jab kar di ungli, toh seedhi chali,
Marzi, apni marzi, jab Hoti gardi, kismat gale lagi
Dhingana dhingana, dhandhe ka dhingana!”

– Mayur Puri

JAM8 comes back with yet another song on the album, this one credited specifically to new composer Aheer composing for JAM8. The song is your everyday gangster song, something full of attitude and loud beats that you might expect to play everywhere around for a while after the film releases. The composition by Aheer is quite good, getting the attitude and spunk quotient right, with the mukhda particularly starting the song off on a note that would get the listener hooked. As it progresses towards the hookline, the composition does get a bit heard-before and tedious, but bearable. It isn’t like the composition would bore you. The hookline itself is full of that gangster attitude. The one antara that follows too, has a nice retro-styled composition, and reminds one of Amitabh Bachchan’s Angry young Man days. One thing is for sure though, that this song will be played numerous times in parties and functions. The arrangements are your normal massy song fare, with loud masala movie styled percussions (that sound a bit too loud, thus reminding me of Sajid-Wajid’s ‘Madamiyan’ from ‘Tevar’), and cool guitars (Shon Pinto). The star of the arrangements, though, has to be the rock guitars tune, the one we heard in the trailer, and what people were calling the “Raees Theme”. They should’ve released an instrumental track based on that trumpet-and-guitars piece! Vocals by Mika are surprisingly not as irritating as they could’ve been, and that’s saying quite something! He adds a bit of a grunge to his voice in places, and it sounnds great! The song’s duration has been kept very short, under three minutes, and rightly so, situational as it is. Mayur Puri, returning in a film album as Lyricist after quite some time, writes functional lyrics, and from what I gather, it is a song where the gangster and his henchmen are celebrating about the success of their business. Enjoyable, but to an extent, that unfortunately gets reached quite soon.

Rating: 3/5

 

5. Enu Naam Che Raees

Singers ~ Ram Sampath & Tarannum Malik, Additional Vocals by ~ Team Omgrown, Music by ~ Ram Sampath, Lyrics by ~ Ram Sampath & Hiral Brahmbhatt

“Enu naam chhe Raees, Enu naam chhe Raees,
Akkhi duniya mein yeh single piece, single piece!
Heilo haalaro, hulle hullare ho!!!”

– Ram Sampath & Hiral Brahmbhatt

Here comes another theme song revolving around the central character, Raees. This one has been composed by Ram Sampath and I’m guessing, was part of the album before SRK started making amendments in the album. I say that because it is horribly disappointing! The composition is a typpppppical Ram Sampath composition. But that’s not bad, is it? Well, it isn’t but the result isn’t too satisfactory either. Yes, the composition does have certain hooks that make it work, like the “Heilo haalaro hulle hullare ho…” loop, which is family catchy, but as a whole, it just doesn’t work out as a theme song which it is meant to be. The hookline seems like something that has been composed for an advertising campaign, and doesn’t seem like something you would add into a Bollywood album. Okay, even if it were sounding like an advertising campaign and sounded good, it would be fine. However, the result is a mishmash of confused sounds and tunes. Barring the vocal loop I pointed out, everything seems below the standards. I don’t even get how the track, which is heavy on trippy Latino and club beats, has found a place in such a folksy (till now) album. It is a bit too far-fetched, no? Arrangements are just that: A confused mash of techno beats and Taufiq Qureshi-ish percussion by Farai Arendse and Dayo Afolayan. Also, I don’t know where the Salsa-style beats came from in this song! Vocals by Ram Sampath sound good, but again, it really does not go well with the rest of the album. Again, the vocalists who have sung the vocal loop, fascinate. Ram Sampath and Hiral Brahmbhatt’s lyrics are a good description of Raees’s character, but could’ve done with a much better comoosition. Sadly, so underwhelming a theme song, that I don’t know if it even will be remembered as one.

Rating: 2.5/5

 

6. Saanson Ke

Singer ~ K.K., Additional Vocals by ~ Thomson Andrews, Ryan Dias, Dean Sequeira, Murishka Dcruz, Shazneen Arethna, Gwen Dias, Music by ~ Aheer for JAM8, Lyrics by ~ Manoj Yadav

“Main kis manzil ka raahi hoon, tu kinn raahon pe laayi hai
Samajh paaun na main tujhko, naa tu mujhko…
Jo na manzoor hai mujhko, wohi manzoor hai tujhko
Samajh paaun na main tujhko, naa tu mujhko…”

– Manoj Yadav

As soon as the next song starts, you wonder whether you accidentally opened the “Raaz 5” album. The piano notes that the song starts with evoke memory of everything pertaining to the Bhatts. JAM8 returns yet again, with Aheer helming it yet again. And what follows is a very mediocre sad song, that would have (okay, might have) sounded better in any Bhatt album! The composition has been delivered strictly according to the Bhatts’ needs and requirements, and that template has been followed perfectly. Melancholia, check. Acoustic guitars and strings, check. K.K., check. However, was there any need of such a song here? A wonderfully earthy sad song a la ‘Naina’ (Dangal) could very well have been made as well. And my frustration about this song is much less about it being a trademark Bhatt-ish melody, than it is about it being such a mediocre composition! I mean, Shah Rukh had called in JAM8 to enhance the album, as he thought it was underwhelming, but in such short notice, all that JAM8 too, could offer, is this underwhelming song too! Everything about the composition sounds too heard-before and gives you the feeling that you could just as well hear all of this song’s elements in some other, better, actual Bhatt movie song! That much about the composition. Arrangements fare much better, what with a haunting chorus joining in to make it sound all the more pensive (and also dated, at times). The guitars (Roland Fernandes) help the song nicely throughout the duration. The strings very majestically grace the hookline. The best part of the arrangements are the clarinets and flutes (both by Shirish Malhotra), which you might need to strain your ears to listen to. K.K. as usual, aces the vocals, but again, I can’t help but thinking how bored he must’ve been singing this — a melody, the type of which he has sung a thousand times before! Manoj Yadav’s lyrics are a pleasure to hear, and provide the respite that the other aspects of the song do not. A misfit.

Rating: 2.5/5

 

7. Ghammar Ghammar

Singer ~ Roshan Rathod, Music Produced by ~ Ram Sampath, Composition & Lyrics ~ Traditional

“Ghammar Ghammar maru valonu gaaje,
Shaam aavi ne maari matuki phode!”

– Traditional

The last track on the album is a fun Gujarati folk song recreated by Ram Sampath. And I must say, it is quite impressive! The traditional composition has been given a nice techno revamp, and Roshan Rathod has rendered quite zestfully. What’s most impressive is that the techno sounds and the folk instruments blend perfectly and the techno sounds do not tamper the folksy feel of the song whatsoever. I really have nothing much more to say about this! Just enjoy this one! A short track to dance on in Navratri and/or Janmashtami! 😀

Rating: 3/5


Raees turned out to be quite some disappointment. First of all, you would think an album releasing so late (ONE DAY BEFORE THE MOVIE!!) must be so good for it to be delayed so much. After hearing the album, I could gather that the delay must be due to last-minute additions that clearly went wrong. Ram Sampath’s original music for the film getting scrapped, and JAM8’s new songs (out of which one is great, one is above average, and the other is average) being added like one month before the film releases, takes its toll on the album itself. Whatever was the idea behind this last-minute change of music really backfired on the music itself. And all the pre-release hype that could’ve been created by music has just been wasted. I can just say, Much ado about nothing!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 3 + 3.5 + 4 + 3 + 2.5 + 2.5 + 3 = 21.5

Album Percentage: 61. 43%

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: Udi Udi Jaye > Zaalima > Ghammar Ghammar > Dhingana > Laila Main Laila > Saanson Ke = Enu Naam Che Raees

 

Remake Counter
No. Of Remakes: 03 (from previous albums) + 01 (from Raees) = 04

 

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