ROCHAK’S Ph.D IN PUNJABI FOLK! (KHANDAANI SHAFAKHANA – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Rochak Kohli, Tanishk Bagchi, Badshah, Payal Dev, Jasbir Jassi, Shyam Bhateja & Anand-Milind
♪ Lyrics by: Tanishk Bagchi, Mellow D, Shabbir Ahmed, Kumaar, Badshah, Gautam G Sharma, Gurpreet Saini, Davinder Khandewal & Deepak Chaudhary
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 26th July 2019
♪ Movie Released On: 2nd August 2019

 

Khandaani Shafakhana Album Cover

Listen to the songs: JioSaavn | Gaana

Buy the songs: iTunes


Khandaani Shafakhana is a Bollywood comedy film starring Sonakshi Sinha, Varun Sharma, Badshah and Annu Kapoor. The film is directed by Shilpi Dasgupta and produced by Bhushan Kumar, Mahaveer Jain, Mrighdeep Singh Lamba, Divya Khosla Kumar and Krishan Kumar. The film revolves around a woman who has to take over her uncle’s infamous sex clinic. The music of the film has been given by the remake expert Tanishk Bagchi, the rapper who is acting in the film Badshah, Rochak Kohli, fresh from the success of his brilliant work in ‘Music Teacher’ earlier this year, and Payal Dev, Who is surprisingly debuting as a composer, making it another mainstream female singer doing so after Kanika Kapoor last year with ‘Chhod Diya’ (Baazaar). So let’s see how this multicomposer album to this film turns out to be.


Music promotions for any film these days start with remakes, and ‘Khandaani Shafakhana’ makes sure it isn’t the norm-breaker. Tanishk Bagchi’s interpretations of old Bollywood super hit songs and/or Punjabi pop songs are a norm these days: another norm this album shies away from breaking.
The album hence starts with Koka, a Tanishk Bagchi remake of Jasbir Jassi’s pop song ‘Koka Tera Kuch Kuch’ from the album ‘Just Jassi’. Tanishk does add his own composition to the hookline from Jassi and Shyam Bhateja’s original, and manages to present us with a catchy and groovy remake. Badshah’s presence in the film warrants a rap from him, while Jasbir Jassi is called to dub the rest of the vocals, and he delivers them in top form. Dhvani Bhanushali, taking the support of oodles of autotune, however, sounds odd; not that singing prowess matters so much in a dance track like this. The beats are catchy, and there’s also a T-Series advertisement thrown in very abruptly in the beginning. If that’s your kind of thing, ‘Koka’ is for you.
Tanishk’s second remake happens to be that of a 90s Bollywood song. Sheher Ki Ladki is a highly unimaginative, though still attractive, recreation of Anand-Milind’s ‘Shehar Ki Ladki’ (Rakshak), with Badshah donning the singer’s cap, obviously coming nowhere close to the original singer Abhijeet Bhattacharya in doing so. His ‘Hi, how are you?’ and ‘How do you do’ sounds so bland as compared to Abhijeet’s (which also features in this song as a bonus addition, I guess, as Tanishk likes to sample the original singers’ voices like Kumar Sanu in ‘Aankh Maarey’ from ‘Simmba’ and Kavita Krishnamurthy in ‘Hawa Hawai 2.0’ from ‘Tumhari Sulu’). Chandana Dixit too, gets her original line featured behind an extremely loud and high-pitched Tulsi Kumar. The latter gets her own original verse too, sounding not as bad! Badshah’s rap is more irritating here than in ‘Koka’, where it actually went with the flow of the song. Also irritating is how Bagchi never lets the hook of the song complete, always interrupting it with that jarring electronic loop that plays so many times throughout the song. A good attempt to revive the song, but people would obviously go for the original!
Apart from acting in the film and rapping in two remakes, Badshah also gets selected to prepare his own original song for the film, which, not surprisingly, tops the two remakes by Tanishk. Saans Toh Le Le is a groovy song with the trademark Badshah beats, but with a retro Punjabi folk twist, a la ‘Naughty Billo’ (Phillauri) and ‘Bhangra Ta Sajda’ (Veere Di Wedding), both songs by Shashwat Sachdev. The programming really makes the song interesting, especially Tejas Vinchurkar’s folksy flute pieces, and makes the middling composition sound more interesting to listen to. Badshah, along with Rico, deliver the lines well, too, making it an all in all fresh listen.
Payal Dev makes her composing debut with this album, in a song called Dil Jaaniye, a very sweet romantic duet by Jubin Nautiyal and Tulsi Kumar. The composition, though reminiscent of many romantic Punjabi songs Bollywood has churned out over the years, still makes a mark, and especially the mukhda gets you gripped enough to listen forth. Aditya Dev’s arrangements are soothing, the Indian percussions (Chari, Shashi, Mushtaq and Sharafat) taking centre stage, along with the wonderful Pianica piece by Aditya Dev himself. The antara sung by Jubin is great, but the one with Tulsi sounds a bit unnecessary, because it stretches the song a bit too long, and then we have to listen to it in Tulsi Kumar’s double-layered, badly processed voice. Shabbir Ahmed, a rare choice for romantic songs as this, writes functional lyrics. However, the stars of the song are definitely Payal with her composition, Aditya with his arrangements and Jubin with his part of the vocals.
Two more soft songs follow, both by Rochak Kohli. In Bheege Mann, he goes back to the style of music he composed for the songs he did for Luv Ranjan films, ‘Tera Yaar Hoon Main’ (Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety) and ‘Dil Royi Jaaye’ (De De Pyaar De). The same kind of dulcet melody decorated with guitar riffs, piano notes (arrangements courtesy Aditya Dev) and stray aalaaps, but this time Arijit Singh is replaced by an equally efficient Altamash Faridi, thereby giving the song a rustic touch with his earthy voice. The composition is strong, and will have you enraptured for its entire duration, in spite of its similarities with Kohli’s previous numbers. Gautam G Sharma and Gurpreet Saini write pensive lines to accompany the serious composition, but all-in-all, it is a pleasant song to listen to.
Rochak’s second song, Udd Jaa, is a delight to listen to, because it starts with ethnic strokes of the bouzouki, mandolin and rabab (Tapas Roy), immediately blending into a folksy dholak rhythm, very Rochak-ish (reminding one of ‘Meer-e-Karwaan’ from ‘Lucknow Central’!) which is then followed by the beautiful voice of Tochi Raina (where was the man for so long!?) which suits the motivational and inspirational nature of the song so well! Rochak churns out a very creative composition, which sounds straight out of Coke Studio thanks to the gratuitous folk sounds. While listening to this song, I realise how heavily Rochak relies on folk music to make his songs sound rich, right from the initial days (I think he started using it mainly with ‘Mera Yaar Funtastic’ from ‘Welcome 2 Karachi’) to his songs in ‘Hawaizaada’, to the earlier mentioned ‘Meer-e-Karwaan’ (Lucknow Central), the beautiful Punjabi romantic song ‘Nain Na Jodeen’ (Badhaai Ho), right to the very recent songs in ‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga’. Rochak is incomplete without presenting Punjabi folk music in a very flattering way in his songs! Back to the song, Kumaar’s lyrics in the song suit the inspirational aspect of it, and complement the melody well, and put together, Tochi, Rochak and Kumaar end this album on a high note, with a strong folksy melody!


This album turns out to be one of the better-compiled multicomposer albums by T-Series after a while, the last ones being ‘Kabir Singh’ and ‘De De Pyaar De’ in my opinion! All four composers here try to bring what the movie needs, Tanishk with his mass-attracting remakes with club beats, Badshah with his trademark catchy beats, Payal Dev with her great composing debut and finally Rochak with his astounding use of Punjabi folk music.

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 7.5 + 6 + 7 + 8 + 8.5 + 9 = 46

Album Percentage: 76.67%

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: Udd Jaa > Bheege Mann > Dil Jaaniye > Koka > Saans Toh Le Le > Sheher Ki Ladki

 

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

CRYBABYIEE WEDS NRI!! (SWEETIEE WEDS NRI – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Arko Pravo Mukherjee, Jaidev Kumar, Palash Muchhal, Raaj Aashoo & Shah Jahan Ali
♪ Lyrics by: Arko Pravo Mukherjee, Dr. Devendra Kafir, Late Shyam Bhateja, Palak Muchhal, Shakeel Azmi & Banjara Rafi
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 24th May 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 2nd June 2017

Sweetiee Weds NRI Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE

{P.S. The song “Shiddat (Reprise)” is sung by Mohd. Irfan on Saavn and YouTube, and Sharad Patel on iTunes. Since the former is there on two sites, I will review that}


Sweetiee Weds NRI is an upcoming Bollywood rom-com, with the clichéd theme of a wedding. The film stars Himansh Kohli and Zoya Afroz in the lead roles, and is directed by Hasnain Hyderabadwala, and produced by Cyrus Dastur, Dhaval Patel, Sada Bhuvad, and Tariq Mohammed. I couldn’t care less about the plot of the film, so heading on towards the music front. We have a multicomposer album, as is the norm for T-Series, but it is shocking to not see any of the T-Series protégés working for the film. Except maybe Arko. Jaidev Kumar, Palash Muchhal, Raaj Aashoo and newcomer Shah Jahan Ali are the other composers for the film. Jaidev just gave us a better-than-the-original mata-ki-chowki recreation of Badshah’s ‘Kala Chashma’, and he gets one song here. Palash, back after doing nothing in films for three years, gets five songs all of a sudden in this film. Let me break the suspense. It is actually two songs, one of them having four versions. Raaj Aashoo, who has composed quite passable music before, gets a song and its reprise too, while Shah Jahan Ali, newcomer, gets one song too. Let me specify that even Arko has one song only. So with five composers and ten tracks, let’s see whether this grand wedding is just all quantity or has some substance too.


1. O Saathiya

Singers ~ Armaan Malik & Prakriti Kakar, Music by ~ Arko Pravo Mukherjee, Lyrics by ~ Arko Pravo Mukherjee

Thankfully, the first song is composed by the person whose song I was waiting for and at least expecting something from, Arko. And sure enough, the song is a pleasant and enjoyable listen. The composition is a breezy one, and starts off quite pleasantly. The soothing quality of the song continues as it progresses, and the  peak point of the song is the “Humrahi” hook, which is like fresh air. (Don’t watch that part in the video song though! 😂) There is no antara as such, the mukhda is repeated twice in the song, once by the male singer Armaan and the other time, by the female singer, Prakriti. That’s why the song ends up sounding shorter than it is, because the mukhda is repeated twice and that’s it. The arrangements are breezy as Arko’s arrangements usually are. The Acoustic guitars, and shakers and those digital beats in the hookline, giving a ballroom feel, are amazing. The interlude consists of a nice, feel-good, guitar piece, followed by a refreshing flute portion, which is in turn followed by a sweet piano piece. The vocalists carry the song out with ease, Prakriti sounding amazing with the nuanced singing. Armaan sings in that slightly uncomfortable low pitch which he rarely sings in, in the beginning, but gets better in the high pitched hookline. Arko’s lyrics are typical romantic song lyrics, but suit the ambience of the composition. A simple but sweet and effective song.

Rating: 4/5

 

2. Kudi Gujarat Di

Singers ~ Jasbir Jassi, Sonia Sharma, Akasa Singh & KD, Music by (Original and Recreation) ~ Jaidev Kumar, Original Lyrics by ~ Late Shyam Bhateja, New Lyrics by ~ Dr. Devendra Kafir, Rap Written by ~ KD

Jaidev Kumar steps in here, and with another remake, after his remake of ‘Kala Chashma’ in the recent ‘Behen Hogi Teri’. As we know, this music company’s latest fad is to remake hit Punjabi pop numbers of the 90s, and after they remade ‘Ishq Tera Tadpaave’ by Sukhbir, in ‘Hindi Medium’ last month, they choose ‘Dil Le Gayee’ by Jasbir Jassi to remake this month. And the ingenious naming system of T-Series starts again, naming this one ‘Kudi Gujarat Di’, which are just the words that appear right after ‘Dil le gayee’ in the song’s lyrics. However, I’m quite pleased with this remake. The main reason is that Jaidev Kumar, who had composed the original, which was in fact his debut, has recreated it. So he keeps the flavour of the song intact, and yet manages to add a pleasant club touch. The composition has been kept the same, and lyrics have been changed. Unlike the ‘Ishq Tera Tadpaave’ remix, this one actually is a remake. The arrangements have been changed to good club arrangements that are actually enjoyable. The techno sounds here, make the song more viable for today’s audience, who is only behind club songs. The vocals are great too, with Jasbir showing that he is still sounding as young as ever. The female singers, get very less scope, and I don’t even know which of them has sung what. A rap by someone called KD sounds very spoofish and amateurish. The new lyrics by Dr. Devendra Kafir, who wrote ‘Bolna’ (Kapoor & Sons) before this, are fun but typical. An enjoyable remake. 

Rating: 3.5/5

3. Musafir / Musafir (Reprise) / Musafir (Remix)

Singers ~ Atif Aslam & Palak Muchhal / Arijit Singh / Atif Aslam & Arijit Singh, Music by ~ Palash Muchhal, Lyrics by ~ Palak Muchhal

The next song witnesses Palash entering film music after a long time; his last release was ‘Amit Sahni Ki List’ in July 2014 if I’m not wrong. And this song, he provides in as many as three different versions. The composition is a very typical, Bhatt-ish composition that at first seems very bland and boring, but sounds better the next time. And when you start liking it, you start listening to it frequently, and after listening to it a lot, you start hating it. So like almost all Bhatt-ish songs, this song has a quite uninteresting life story. Jokes apart, Palash’s composition, though nothing innovative, provides temporary relief like Zandu Balm and sticks in your head for that short while as if it has been stuck with Fevicol. (There, I managed to put ‘Dabangg’ references in my review.) The mukhda is very typical, and so is the hookline, so much so that the first time I tried to listen to the song, I didn’t go past the hook. The antara is nothing great either. But despite all this, the song somehow manages to get in your head. So it’s like a Rohit Shetty film — not perfect, but manages to get you watching ahead. The arrangements must be the reason we are able to go forward. Both actual versions (not counting the remix for now) have different arrangements. While the Atif Aslam version has a clichéd-to-the-core acoustic guitar setting with occasional electronic tabla beats, the Arijit Singh version has better arrangements, starting off with a flute, and progressing with a more unplugged-ish acoustic background, piano and guitars. The flute really impressed throughout the song, and Palash isn’t stingy with the use of the flute. Atif’s diction is very irritating in his version, and when he says “Gira” for “Ghira”,Batakta for “Bhatakta“, and “Dikka” for “Dikha“, you can’t help but cringe. Palak joins him to repeat the mukhda at the end of the song. Arijit goes solo in his version, and he rectifies all of Atif’s diction mistakes. However, Palash makes another mistake here, which is making Arijit sing the repeated mukhda at the end, making the song seem extra long. He could have stopped after the antara, or made Palak sing it for some respite from the overbearing drowsiness. The remix is a miserable attempt to quieten the two ever-at-war fan bases of Atif and Arijit, by cramming both into one song. But why would anyone want them to be together in a remix. And I can’t even say how sappy the vocal programming sounds when Palash uses it on Atif, making him sound like a goat. The beats are typical remix beats that make your ears explode. The lyrics by Palak are suitable for the song, but again, very typical and nothing innovative. I don’t even know whether I like this one or not, so I’ll say it’s somewhere in the middle.

Rating: 2.5/5 for Musafir, 3/5 for Musafir Reprise, 0.5/5 for Musafir Remix

 

4. Wedding

Singers ~ Shahid Mallya & Palak Muchhal, Music by ~ Palash Muchhal, Lyrics by ~ Palak Muchhal

Palash’s second song is the wedding song of the album, very uncreatively titled “Wedding”. The composition is something that totally belongs to an Indian animated film for children. Come on, even children’s songs are composed more thoughtfully than this. The “Saiyaan Oh Saiyaan” refrain by Palak is very cheesy. Some of it is way too sweet to digest, and the lack of usual Punjabi arrangements, makes it even more bland. Instead, Palash uses weird-sounding techno sounds that make it sound very over-the-top. And of course, the typical brass band, which is also, unfortunately, digital. A weird EDM-ish interlude tries to makes things “cool”. Palash tries to bring in a folksy feel to the song by roping in Shahid Mallya to sing it, but he sounds so uninterested, it comes out through his singing. And the lines he’s made to sing! 😵 Palak sounds too, too, sweet, like the syrup in Gulabjamun if someone adds too much sugar. Her lyrics too, are straight out of a fairy tale; the cringeworthy Hinglish takes a toll on you by the time the song ends. When EDM and an overly sweet melody spoil everything.

Rating: 1.5/5 

 

5. Shiddat / Shiddat (Reprise)

Singers ~ Armaan Malik / Mohd. Irfan, Additional Vocals by ~ Priyanka Negi, Seepi Jha & Bhuvan Ahuja, Music by ~ Raaj Aashoo, Lyrics by ~ Shakeel Azmi

With Raaj Aashoo’s song, things take an even more downhill turn. Totally overloaded by a very overbearing melancholic sound, the song exhausts you by the time it is over. The composition is something even the Bhatts would shy away from nowadays. What’s more, the song spans for over five minutes, something utterly unbearable. And two versions. So it sadly has eleven minutes of unmerited footage in this already long album. The arrangements are typical digital beats that would be a rage if it were 2007 right now. The vocalists in neither version could keep the interest of the listener in place, till the end. Armaan, trying to be K.K., disappoints like never before. On the other hand, Mohd. Irfan in his version sings in a voice that defies the beauty of his real, silky smooth voice. The female backing vocalists are irritating throughout. I would rather not talk about the unstylish lyrics. Welcome to 2007.

Rating: 1/5 for Shiddat, 1/5 for Shiddat Reprise

 

6. Zindagi Bana Loon

Singer ~ Palak Muchhal, Music by ~ Shah Jahan Ali, Lyrics by ~ Banjara Rafi

Newcomer Shah Jahan Ali comes into Bollywood with this song, and brings yet another old-fashioned, slow-paced song into the album, much to the dislike of the audience. The tune is so complicated, with so many pauses in random places, and no indication as to whether it is a happy romantic or a sad romantic song, that you just forget about it after you hear it once. Shah Jahan Ali must have been feeling like Roop Kumar Rathod felt while composing ‘Agar Tum Mil Jao’ (Zeher), or M.M. Kreem while composing ‘Jaadu Hai Nasha Hai’ (Jism), because the song is like a wannabe version of those. The slow pace doesn’t help either. Neither do the arrangements. The guitars are played so typically, the lack of innovation makes you go crazy. Palak tries to bring nuances like Shreya Ghoshal into her singing, succeeding at none of them. She sings in such an unnaturally high-pitched voice, it even surpasses the cheesiness of ‘Kaabil Hoon’ (Kaabil). The lyrics of the song are cringeworthy again. Another staid composition.

Rating: 1.5/5

 

7. Kinara

Singer ~ Palak Muchhal, Music by ~ Palash Muchhal, Lyrics by ~ Palak Muchhal

Finally the album comes to an end. But waiting right at the end for us, is another version of ‘Musafir’ by Palash Muchhal. This time it has been disguised under another name, ‘Kinara’ because the word ‘Musafir‘ doesn’t come in the new lyrics. But it is a version of ‘Musafir’. This album has so many versions of ‘Musafir’, which means tourist. As if the album is a tourist destination! The composition and lyrics are much the same, except one line in the hook, where the lyrics have been changed. The arrangements comprise an overtly sentimental combination of violin, piano and jingle bells. Palak tries again to imitate Shreya, when she does her Female Versions, like the one of “Sunn Raha Hai” (Aashiqui 2) and that of “Hasi” (Hamari Adhuri Kahani). Even Palash tries to imitate the arrangements of the former, with those jingles and the occasional tabla. Clearly, the makers were under the false impression that the public would love ‘Musafir’ so much that they would hover around long enough to wait for a mediocre female version. 

Rating: 1.5/5 


It looks like the album of Sweetiee Weds NRI was finalized years ago. Dated melodies, arrangements that originated sometime before the dinosaurs, and a tracklist trying to imitate ‘Aashiqui 2’ with vocals that sound bland to say the least and the same vocalists used over and over again, this album isn’t really as good as the makers made it out to be when they were promoting it. Instead of Sweetiee Weds NRI, the name should’ve been Crybabyiee (you can throw a few more e’s in there if you want) Weds NRI!!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4 + 3.5 + 2.5 + 3 + 0.5 + 1.5 + 1 + 1 + 1.5 + 1.5 = 

Album Percentage: 40%

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:  O Saathiya > Kudi Gujarat Di > Musafir (Reprise) > Musafir > Wedding = Zindagi Bana Loon = Kinara > Shiddat = Shiddat (Reprise) > Musafir (Remix)

 

Remake Counter:
No. Of Remakes: 14 (from previous albums) + 01 (from Sweetiee Weds NRI) = 15

 

Which is your favourite song from Sweetiee Weds NRI? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂