MY FAVOURITE A.R. RAHMAN SONGS (PART 1: 1992-1999)

So, I had asked my followers on Twitter which composer they would like me to make a list on about my favourite songs by that composer. The options were A.R. Rahman, Jatin-Lalit, Anu Malik and Nadeem-Shravan, four of the most prominent Bollywood composers in the 90s. Of course, only one of them is just as relevant now as he was then, and that is Mr. A.R. Rahman, and maybe that’s the reason he ended up winning this poll.

My Favourite A.R. Rahman Songs from 1992-1999

But then I thought, How am I ever, ever going to cover my favourite ARR songs in one post? The man has so far had a very illustrious career in the music industry, ranging from Tamil to Hindi and even making us proud by composing entire soundtracks for so many Hollywood feature films! So I thought of splitting my post about him into four parts. Or maybe three. Let’s see. Also I’m sure I can’t limit myself in number of songs in such posts, so for whatever composer it may be, I will list as many songs as I feel, really deserve to be listed! So let’s get started with my favourite songs of A.R. Rahman from 1992 to 1999!

P.S. The following list is in order of release of the movies.

P.P.S: Including dubbed Hindi versions of the songs as well, because there are some real gems in those albums. 🙂

Here’s the Saavn playlist so you can listen along.

Song titles listed in pink have been added on 15/7/2019 — a few songs I missed in 2018 and had to add now that I have caught up on them. They have been added on the Saavn playlist as well 🙂


1. Chhoti Si Asha (Roja; 1992)

Singer: Minmini, Lyrics by: P.K. Mishra, Music Label: Magnasound Media Pvt. Ltd.

Well, Wikipedia tells me that initially, Alka Yagnik was going to sing this song, one of my most favourite songs from when I was a child, but due to date issues, it had to be sung by Minmini, who sang the original Tamil version as well. And little did I know then that this song marked the debut of a young composer who would later on be so influential and bring a sound revolution to Bollywood! This song’s composition is like a dream realised in the mode of a song, and the lyrics, even though they’re dubbed, resonate in some way with each and every one of us! And that iconic opening flute just fills you with happiness whenever you hear it. Enjoy!

2. Yeh Haseen Vaadiyaan (Roja; 1992)

Singers: S.P. Balasubrahmanyam & K.S. Chithra, Lyrics by: P.K. Mishra, Music Label: Magnasound Media Pvt. Ltd.

Another classic from the historic debut album of the maestro, this one is a lilting romantic number that gives me goosebumps everytime I listen to it. SPB and Chithra complement each other oh so well, and the song really reaches its peak when the singers sing “Mere jaane jaan…” The sensuous composition by Rahman and the digital beats that accompany it, are well managed, and Mishra’s lyrics are spot on!

3. Roja Jaanemann (Version 2) [Roja; 1992]

Singer: Hariharan & Sujatha Mohan, Lyrics by P.K. Mishra, Music Label: Magnasound Media Pvt Ltd.

I promise, the 26 years late ‘Roja’ madness will be over; this is the last one! But I love them all so much, especially this one and especially one of the songs I’m cutting out (Bharat Humko) and just had to insert this one here because… It’s so good!! Deliberately listing the Hariharan version because hey, his aalaaps are goosebumps-inducing and also, SPB got his Roja song on this list. Sujatha Mohan’s haunting humming throughout the song is just 😍.

After that he did a number of Tamil films, which definitely were dubbed in Hindi, but I’ve heard only some of those songs, and I like even fewer.

4. Muqabala Muqabala (Hum Se Hai Muqabala; 1995)

Singers: Mano & Swarnalatha, Lyrics by P.K. Mishra, Music Label: Venus

This has become a dance anthem, thanks to Prabhudheva’s moves in this song, and the beats are just as worthy of making this song so popular. The quirky (though bad) lyrics help the song sound silly but likeable, and Rahman’s tune is really catchy — the song isn’t so famous for nothing!

5. Sun Ri Sakhi (Hum Se Hai Muqabala; 1995)

Singer: Hariharan, Lyrics by P.K. Mishra, Music Label: Venus

Rahman experiments a lot with strings and tablas in this one, a beautifully charming romantic number that melts your heart by sweetness. Hariharan gracefully renders Rahman’s just as sweet tune, and it results in a song that I’d listen to for years to come.

6. Kehna Hi Kya (Bombay; 1995)

Singer: K.S. Chithra, Lyrics by Mehboob, Music Label: Universal Music India Pvt. Ltd.

I don’t think I know a soul on this planet who has heard this song and doesn’t like it, except for the 567 souls who have disliked it on YouTube. God bless their ears. This song is a showcase of Rahman’s versatility, composing such a heart touching composition and adorning it with splendid tablas, santoor (I believe) and the Qawwali part which he sings (again, I believe) is so beautiful. Chithra’s voice us as sweet as honey, and the way she pronounced “Unhe” is adorable. The most iconic portion of the song is probably the rushed female chorus, awkwardly trying to fit Mehboob’s lyrics into Rahman’s tune that goes too fast, but it’s an immortal classic by now and we all enjoy it so, nothing more can be said!

 7. Tu Hi Re (Bombay; 1995)

Singers: Hariharan & Kavita Krishnamurthy, Lyrics by: Mehboob, Music Label: Universal Music India Pvt. Ltd.

Now don’t tell me you came here looking for my favourite Rahman songs and didn’t expect me to include this gem. Yes, it’s highly popular and it’s quite surprising to see such craze for a dubbed Hindi song! I mean, the recent dubbed albums by Rahman almost went unnoticed! Rahman’s lilting composition gives me the goosebumps everytime and Hariharan’s silky smooth voice is the USP of the song, coupled with Kavita Krishnamurthy’s strong “Aayi re..” followed by a whole stanza sung by her. The plucked strings give the song its necessary haunting touch, and that high portion in the antara is composition at its best.

8. Hai Rama (Rangeela; 1995)

Singers: Hariharan & Swarnalatha, Lyrics by: Mehboob, Music Label: Tips Music

Yet again, another song you should have expected to feature here even before clicking the link. Indian Classical music is one of the best pacifiers in the world, and in ‘Hai Rama’, Rahman creates a very sensuous atmosphere with the opening music itself — a Bandish from the Raaga Puriya Dhanashree starts the song off supported by the ever faithful tanpura, followed by addictive percussion (Thavil?) and again, immersive strings. The melody only starts and makes things even better. Here, Hariharan sounds quite different from what he did in his previous songs with Rahman, all the gentle qualities shed off and he assumes more of a bold voice here, while Late Swarnalatha does wonders with her voice. 😍 The interludes in this song are amazing, again relying on percussion, flutes and low pitched vocals that are so haunting. The sound Rahman has introduced with this song should have been utilised more by other composers, but I somehow think they would never have accomplished it and hence, didn’t try.

9. Pyaar Yeh Jaane Kaisa Hai (Rangeela; 1995)

Singers: Kavita Krishnamurthy & Suresh Wadkar, Lyrics by Mehboob, Music Label: Tips Music

Now this song is a showcase of Rahman’s splendid work with strings. The same string loop plays repeatedly in the background, never sounding tedious, but making the song more inmersive and accentuating the melody along with enhancing the listening experience. The thumping sounds Rahman included alongside that violin loop, are great and the interludes yet again, are a class apart, especially the violin solo from 2:40 to 3:10 in the video below. And what can one say about Kavita Krishnamurthy’s voice? The great Suresh Wadkar himself, with all due respect to him, fizzles out in front of her. Rahman must make such songs again!

10. Tanha Tanha (Rangeela; 1995)

Singer: Asha Bhosle, Lyrics by Mehboob, Music Label: Tips Music

Again, splendid work with strings and flutes makes this song stand out. With a distinct oriental sound, this one is a great song to listen to when you want to chill out. Asha Bhosle’s naughty voice makes her sound younger than she ever had before, and every time I listen to the song, she reminds me why she is my favourite Mangeshkar sister. I’ve spoken less about Rahman with this song, because the maestro very graciously sits back and let’s Asha ji do her thing while he adds mere digital beats during her vocal portions, and steps forward for the mind blowing prelude and interludes.

11. Yaaron Sun Lo Zara (Rangeela; 1995)

Singers: Udit Narayan & K.S. Chithra, Lyrics by Mehboob, Music Label: Tips Music

Hey, stop complaining about this whole list being about ‘Rangeela’! It is my favourite album from the 90s and I’ve no qualms in including all the songs from it on the list (don’t worry, I won’t!) Also how can I ignore Aamir Khan? All the others have been picturized on Jackie Shroff. This song is one of my favorites for a reason — the upbeat composition by Rahman doesn’t impend him from adding cool stuff with strings, especially in the interludes, where the entire orchestra pitches in. And that quirky sound at the beginning is so iconic! Again, Chitra sounds so cute with her Hindi pronunciation, and Udit Narayan as always sounds young. He still does. That doesn’t mean we should remake this song, Bollywood.

12. Telephone Dhun Mein (Hindustani; 1996)

Singers: Hariharan & Kavita Krishnamurthy, Lyrics by P.K. Mishra, Music Label: Tips Music

One of the most exemplary songs when it comes to bad Tamil to Hindi dubbing, this one actually has a strong and catchy ‘Dhun’, and it seems like a sign for things to come as Rahman would compose something similar five years later for ‘Lagaan’ in the song ‘Ghanan Ghanan’. Hariharan again, changes all preconceptions about him, and sings wonderfully even in a calm but fun dance number. Rahman does his job great with the nice percussions.

13. Awaara Bhanwre (Sapnay; 1997)

Singers: Hema Sardesai & Malaysia Vasudevan, Lyrics by Javed Akhtar, Music Label: Saregama 

Thankfully this dud of a movie had good music. This song is an ode to nature of sorts, and Rahman’s catchy composition is so beautiful. Sadly, my friends think that this song is an original song from the Pears (or was it Ponds) TVC. Rahman’s inclusion of the hill tribe folk music in the interludes is engaging, as are the catchy but minimalistic beats which the melody is based on. Hema Sardesai sounds a lot better here than she does in Anu Malik songs.

14. Chanda Re (Sapnay; 1997)

Singers: Sadhana Sargam & Hariharan, Lyrics by Javed Akhtar, Music Label: Saregama

If this list were in the order of my favourite song to my least favourite song, this one would be somewhere at the very top. The beautiful santoor tune that follows the hook line each time, is goosebumps-inducing, and Hariharan singing the high notes along with Sadhana Sargam’s beautiful voice, are a treat to listen to. The composition of ‘Inn dhundhli dhundhli..” is so ravishing! Javed Akhtar’s lyrics are heart warming as well.

15. Shabba Shabba (Daud; 1997)

Singers: Ranu Mukherjee, Sonu Nigam & Neeraj Vora, Lyrics by Mehboob, Music Label: Tips Music

This song is just as addictive as the characters in the film find whatever it is they’re drinking. I’ve never heard of the singer Ranu Mukherjee, but I commend ARR for finding her because her voice is so perfect for this song. Sonu Nigam seems to be struggling to create a husky voice texture, but Rahman’s addictive tune and wonderful tribal folksy music makes up for it. And don’t miss interlude 2, with an amazing, amazing violin portion!

16. Yeh Jaan (Daud; 1997)

Singers: Kavita Krishnamurthy & Vinod Rathod, Lyrics by Mehboob, Music Label: Tips Music

Another one along the lines of ‘Pyar Yeh Jaane Kaisa’ (Rangeela), this one is another sensuous romantic song. This time though, substituting the strings that repeated in that song, is a low pitched tuba, that sounds just as majestic. The legendarily low pitched Vinod Rathod complement Krishnamurthy well, and the slow and haunting tune by Rahman works wonders. Also, is it just me or does the tube remind you of ‘Roja Jaanemann’ too?

17. Ajooba (Jeans; 1998)

Singers: Hariharan & Sadhana Sargam, Lyrics by Javed Akhtar, Music Label: T-Series

One of my childhood favourites, this song is as beautiful as whatever the most beautiful thing you can think of is. Name it, and this song is more beautiful if not as beautiful, as it. With that impressive flute melody, you cant really go wrong. And Hariharan. And Sadhana Sargam. What can go wrong? And nothing seems to have, even in the picturization. Aishwarya Rai. The seven wonders of the world. What else can you ask for! 😍

18. Tauba Tauba (Jeans; 1998)

Singers: Hariharan & Anuradha Sriram, Lyrics by Javed Akhtar, Music Label: T-Series

Yet another song that looks as wonderful as it sounds, with Rahman doing a great job with the percussion and the intermittent Qawwali touches. Hariharan obviously sounds great; by the end of this list it’ll probably be 1000 times I say it. Again, great work with the folksy sounds that Rahman has produced for the song, especially the Dandiya and the claps etc. The female chorus is wonderful and Anuradha’s haubting humming is a nice addition. Javed Akhtar’s lyrics make it all the better!

 

19. Kehta Hai Mera Yeh Dil (Jeans; 1998)

Singer: Kavita Krishnamurthy, Lyrics by Javed Akhtar, Music Label: T-Series

This one being based on a Carnatic raaga, it is, I believe, Rahman’s forte. And right from the vocal rhythm by Krishnamurthy, to the flute, to the melodious composition, this song is brilliant. There is some funky stuff going on in the video, what with two Aishwaryas, skeletons and whatnot. But the song as a song, is something I’ve loved since childhood. A pure Carnatic song.

20. Jiya Jale (Dil Se; 1998)

Singers: Lata Mangeshkar & M.G. Sreekumar, Lyrics by Gulzar, Malayalam Lyrics by Girish Pulthenchri, Music Label: Venus

Now this is where the actual Rahman magic actually starts, for me. Picking a singer who was almost towards the end of her career, and giving her a boost by making her sing a song with the essence of Kerala in its beats, and knowing it would do so well, I wish every composer had brains like Rahman. While others composers during this period were miscasting Lata Mangeshkar and making her sound too old for the songs she sung, Rahman skillfully managed to create this song in such a pitch that the songstress wouldn’t have to sound strained. And what can I say about Sreekumar’s Malayalam portions? They’re heavenly! And probably the only Malayalam most Indians know. Gulzar’s poetic lyrics (I believe a first for Rahman) served the song well, and wow. Just wow. This song is wow.

21. Ae Ajnabi (Dil Se; 1998)

Singers: Udit Narayan & Mahalakshmi Iyer, Lyrics By Gulzar, Music Label: Venus

If this list seems generic, it’s because it is. Nobody can ignore these songs when it comes to talking about the best Rahman songs! ‘Ae Ajnabi’ is one of those, complete with its haunting classical melody, especially in the antara, where Udit Narayan goes mind bogglingly high, and manages to pull it off effortlessly. Rahman equips a minimalistic duff rhythm in the backdrop, which has been heavily overused these days when composers want to evoke pathos. But some things work only once.

22. Satrangi Re (Dil Se; 1998)

Singers: Sonu Nigam & Kavita Krishnamurthy, Lyrics by Gulzar, Music Label: Venus

The Arabic influence in this song is spectacular, and Sonu Nigam’s vocals, spot-on. The little nuances in his voice are wonderful to listen to, while Kavita’s haunting whispery portions send chills down your spine. Rahman creates a catchy tune, with the accordion (?) that plays the Arabic tune over and over again throughout the song. This song is goosebumps.

23. Dil Se Re (Dil Se; 1998)

Singers: A.R. Rahman, Anuradha Sriram, Anupama & Febi Mani, Lyrics by Gulzar, Music Label: Venus

The iconic title song for ‘Dil Se’ was I believe, Rahman’s singing debut in Hindi (@phanishankar reminds me his Hindi singing debut is ‘Mangta hai Kya’ from ‘Rangeela’), and the man did sing as well as he composed. The way this song goes from soft to loud in a fraction of a second, is worthy of compliments, and especially the classically inclined bits like ‘Piya piya…’ are beautiful. Again, the composer has done amazing work with strings, percussions and made the song sound grand. The song starts with minimalistic bass doing the whole job but goes on to include some really cool percussion.

24. Chhaiyya Chhaiyya (Dil Se; 1998)

Singers Sukhwinder Singh & Sapna Awasthi, Lyrics by Gulzar, Music Label: Venus

Yeah, that’s pretty much the entire album of ‘Dil Se’ I have on this list, but I couldn’t help it! No introductions for this song, just sit back and groove to that irresistible groove that Rahman has equipped it with. And of course, the vocal powerhouses that Sukhwinder and Sapna are!

25. Taram Pum Taram Pum (Doli Saja Ke Rakhna; 1998)

Singers: Babul Supriyo & Srinivas, Lyrics by Mehboob, Music Label: T-Series

A fun song, but Rahman never compromised melody in his songs, so in this song, we get a strong, actually, very strong, melody that not only is catchy, but also melodious. Babul Supriyo and Srinivas have a blast singing it, but the melodious portions in the second stanza onwards are the best. Rahman’s percussion again, is mind blowing and the flute is beautiful. This was one of my favourite songs as a child!

26. Bol Sajni Mori Sajni (Doli Saja Ke Rakhna; 1998)

Singers: Sonu Nigam & Kavita Krishnamurthy, Lyrics by Mehboob, Music Label: T-Series

Now this is a song I discovered a year or two ago, and immediately fell in love with it, making it one of my favourite Rahman songs ever. The way he starts the song with a trademark Kathak portion, complete with Bola and Tablas, and switches over to an immersive romantic melody, decorated with his signature flutes, is commendable. Sonu Nigam has delievered one of his best renditions, and Kavita Krishnamurthy takes control of the song because her portions are quite louder and higher pitched than Sonu’s, making them stand out among the calm rest of the song.

27. Kissa Hum Likhenge (Doli Saja Ke Rakhna; 1998)

Singers: Anuradha Paudwal & M.G. Sreekumar, Lyrics by Mehboob, Music Label: T-Series

The first time T-Series maanaged to ‘let’ Rahman use the melodious voice of Ms. PaudwalThe first time T-Series managed to ‘let’ Rahman use the melodious voice of Ms. Paudwal (I’m just glad they haven’t managed to do so with today’s equivalent of Ms. Paudwal, as of now) resulted in a beautiful romantic song. The lilting composition was supported very well by addictive tabla beats, and the flute in the first interlude, and the orchestra with the veena in the seocnd, are worthy of high praise, as are the old-world-charm lyrics by Mehboob. The male singer could’ve been better, though;my only grouse with the song.

28. Tu Hi Tu (Kabhi Na Kabhi; 1998)

Singers: M.G. Sreekumar, K.S. Chithra, Lyrics by Javed Akhtar, Music Label: Shemaroo

A pacy romantic song in Tamil-movie Rahman style, it was probably the first time such an experiment was heard in Bollywood. It starts like a cranked up version of ‘Yeh Haseen Vaadiyaan’ (Roja), and goes on to a haunting melodious piece delivered meticulously by Chithra against the tanpura’s magical sound. Again, the male singer could’ve been replaced by somebody else. The magic Rahman does with strings (both Western and Indian classical) in this song, is remarkable!!

29. Tum Ho Meri Nigaahon Mein (Kabhi Na Kabhi; 1998)

Singers: Hariharan & Sujatha Mohan, Lyrics by Javed Akhtar, Music Label: Shemaroo

The waltzy start to thustsong instantly plugs you back to two songs that have already been listed on this list — ”Sun Ri Sakhi” (Humse Hai Muqabala) and “Bol Sajni” (Doli Saja ke Rakhna). The flute and strings provide a playful start to the song, and Hariharan’s silky voice is a delight to listen to as always. The interludes too, are delightful with the strings. Sujatha’s aalaap in the second interlude is lovely! This is a song to cherish.

30. Mil Gayee Woh Manzilein (Kabhi Na Kabhi; 1998)

Singers: Alka Yagnik & Kumar Sanu, Lyrics by Javed Akhtar, Music Label: Shemaroo

This goes down in history as Kumar Sanu’s only song with A.R. Rahman, a big thing because both were so huge and prominent in that decade, one would expect more! Still, I remember this song more for the pleasant melody by the maestro, and Alka’s sweet-as-sugar voice (her first released song for Rahman, am I right?), than for anything by Sanu. This could’ve been sung by Hariharan and I wouldn’t have minded, obviously. There is a lot going on in the flutes section in the song, even though the beats backing the main melody are standard 90s beats. The antara has a beautiful tune that harks back to ‘Tanha Tanha’ (Rangeela). Turns out I knew this song but never knew the name or movie, and so in my mind it was an Anu Malik song. 😂

 31. Ishq Bina (Taal; 1999)

Singers: Sonu Nigam, A.R. Rahman, Anuradha Sriram & Sujatha, Lyrics by Anand Bakshi, Music Label: Tips Music/Zee Music Company/Mukta Audio

Here comes the Titan of a soundtrack, Taal, but don’t worry, I won’t include all 12 songs on the list. The most popular song from ‘Taal’, and it truly deserves to be that. Rahman fuses Qawwali elements with other Indian sounds like ‘Manjeeras’, instruments you’d normally hear in bhajans and the like. But this is a Rahman song and nothing is demarcated within rigid rule barriers. Anuradha takes the female lead quite charmingly, but it is Sonu towards the end who takes the song away, and Rahman with his Qawwali portions, provides a nice break from the repetitiveness (not in a negative way) of the female part. The bass in the female part accentuates the composition, while the violin before Sonu Nigam’s part is wonderful. And who cannot notice Anand Bakshi’s metaphorical lines? 👌

32. Nahin Saamne (Taal; 1999)

Singers: Hariharan & Sukhwinder Singh, Lyrics by Anand Bakshi, Music Label: Tips Music/Zee Music Company/Mukta Audio

This song. This song. This song. What can I even say? Probably the best use of piano and sitar (in a non classical song, of course) in any Bollywood song till now. And the beautiful humming, that haunting portion, that goosebumps-inducing portion, and Hariharan’s silky voice, never faltering even one bit, and that beautiful antara. Sorry if that was incoherent. It was, but, I can’t gather ny thoughts about this song just yet. NOTE: Sounds best when heard when it’s raining.

33. Taal Se Taal Mila (Taal; 1999)

Singers: Alka Yagnik, Udit Narayan & Sukhwinder Singh, Lyrics by Anand Bakshi, Music Label: Tips Music/Zee Music Company/ Mukta Audio

Another quite obvious choice, another rain song, another song where Sukhwinder is relegated to the background but does an amazing job. In this song he is the harbinger of the entire song, singing that classical portion before the song starts, before the female chorus starts, backed by Rahman’s wonderful Indian beats comprising matkas and whatnot, the sounds of raindrops, paayals, ghungroos, how beautiful the soundscape of this song is! And then that BEAUTIFUL flute! The rhythm of the song is really passionate, so befitting for a rain song. And that SARANGI, Wow! Listening to it after so long, in the monsoon season itself, is such an experience! Alka Yagnik (isn’t it her first with Rahman?) sounds cute to say the least, while I just keep waiting for Udit’s part to play, because it is one of my favourite portions of the song, when I could see Akshaye Khanna on screen,an actor I somehow sensed was a good actor, in my childhood. 😂 Even if I write 1000 more words on this song, they won’t do justice to the song. So listen to it yourselves. And also, special shoutout to the Western Version of the song — another auditory “sight” to behold.

34. Kahin Aag Lage Lag Jaaye (Taal; 1999)

Singers: Asha Bhosle, Aditya Narayan & Richa Sharma, Lyrics by Anand Bakshi, Music Label: Tips Music/Zee Music Company/Mukta Audio

A spectacular song in all fronts, this one has the same passion that is carried in the title song, but this time, not in so pronounced of an Indian way, if that makes sense. Sure,there are those very adorable Aditya Narayan interactions and tribal portions throughout the song, but it really hinges upon the symphonic arrangements by Rahman — the orchestra, African drums and whatnot. Not that he doesn’t include a lot of Indian music elements. And of course, once they had Asha Bhosle on board, other composers sat back and relaxed, but Rahman has clearly not taken it for granted.

35. Kariye Na (Taal; 1999)

Singers: Sukhwinder Singh & Alka Yagnik, Lyrics by Anand Bakshi, Music Label: Tips Music/Zee Music Company/Mukta Audio

Another recent acquisition for me wih respect to favourite Rahman songs,this song was very badly overshadowed because of the popularity of the other songs. Again,Rahman uses many Indian music elements like the Matka to make the song sound beautiful,abd Sukhwinder’s voice amongst that minimal background is a must-hear. And Alma’s Punjabi portion is so cute! Anand Bakshi’s lyrics though, are the highlight of the song for me.

36. Ruth Aa Gayee Re (1947 Earth; 1999)

Singer: Sukhwinder Singh, Lyrics by Javed Akhtar, Music Label: T-Series

The Sukhwinder-ARR collaboration was going really strong in the 90s. This song is yet another example of how beautiful the two were together. Here, Rahman takes a typical Qawwali-ish rhythm and composes a motivating song around it, very Indian in its sound, and Sukhwinder’s booming vocals do the rest. No wonder this song became so popular!

37. Dheemi Dheemi (1947 Earth; 1999)

Singer: Hariharan, Lyrics by Javed Akhtar, Music Label: T-Series

The song starts with a piano piece interlaced with Hariharan’s beautiful humming, joined by a beautiful flute portion, and as the melody starts, you can see how the Rahman of ‘Roja’ and the Rahman that was yet to come — say, of ‘Swades’ and ‘Saathiya’, kind of come to a confluence in this song! The composition is so addictive, with the piano arpeggio going on throughout the song, along with the flute!

38. Rang De (Thakshak; 1999)

Singer: Asha Bhosle, Lyrics by Sukhwinder Singh & Tejpal Kaur, Music Label: Saregama

This song is the quintessential Bollywood grand dance number. Rahman has included everything that is necessary for a hit number, in this song. Asha Bhosle going into the low notes quite effortlessly and sensuously, a captivating tune harking to folk music, engaging arrangements and a wonderful backing chorus. And who knew Sukhwinder Singh was the lyricist for this song? I didn’t! The percussions in this song are marvellous, and so is that flute in the interludes. Ah, sweet memories. If only Tabu could dance better.

39. Ae Nazneen Suno Na (Dil Hi Dil Mein; 1999)

Singer: Abhijeet Bhattacharya, Lyrics by Mehboob, Music Label: Sony Music 

Disclaimer: I knew the songs from ‘Dil Hi Dil Mein’ even last year when I did this feature. Maybe I thought the film is a 2000 film, so I hadn’t included them back then. This one is magical. Abhijeet’s first with Rahman, this one is a soaring love song, the word used because of the soaring strings that kick it off. When the rhythm kicks in you can’t help but groove along to it. The antara is splendidly composed, lots of twists in the melody, and Abhijeet renders it beautifully — probably the perfect choice for the song. The Duff rhythm throughout the song is addictive.

40. Imtihaan Hum Pyaar Ka Deke (Dola Dola) [Dil Hi Dil Mein; 1999]

Singers: Srinivas & Swarnalatha, Lyrics by Mehboob, Music Label: Sony Music 

This is a trademark Rahman composition, and the duet by Srinivas and Swarnalatha is astounding, especially the breathless parts in the antara. The Qawwali-esque arrangements are astonishing, with the claps and flute dominating the soundscape, and a beautiful flute and violin interlude. The haunting composition, as mentioned before, is trademark Rahman, and this has been a song I’ve loved since childhood, so can’t dissect it technically and start unloving it now!


Those were my favourite Rahman songs from 1992 to 1999! I hope I wasn’t too obvious and you got to learn some new songs. If not, you’re already an encyclopedia that contains all the knowledge about every Rahman song ever. Stay tuned fir the next part of the series, where I’ll cover songs from 2000 onwards (most probably till 2008)! And thanks for reading such a long post! 😁

COMPLETELY REBELLIOUS!! (BAAGHI 2 – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Sandeep Shirodkar, Arko Pravo Mukherjee, Mithoon, Gourov-Roshin, Pranay M. Rijia, Laxmikant-Pyarelal & Panjabi MC
♪ Lyrics by: Ginny Diwan, Javed Akhtar, Arko Pravo Mukherjee, Sayeed Quadri, Kumaar & Channi Khannewala
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 20th March 2018
♪ Movie Released On: 30th March 2018

Baaghi 2 Album Cover

 

Listen to the songs: Saavn

Buy the songs: iTunes


Baaghi 2 is a Bollywood action film (read comedy) starring Tiger Shroff, Disha Patani, Manoj Bajpayee, Prateik Babbar, Darshan Kumar, Randeep Hooda and Deepak Dobriyal in crucial roles. The film is directed by popular dance choreographer Ahmed Khan, and produced by Sajid Nadiadwala. If you remember, the first film (which I hated) had a quite likeable album, by Meet Bros., Amaal Mallik and Manj Musik. A “bonus” song by Pranay Rijia was released later. For this album, the music composers of the first film are completely forgotten, and except for Pranaay, they have all been replaced, by Sandeep Shirodkar, Gourov-Roshin, Arko Pravo Mukherjee and Mithoon. Now, I basically know that there will be a horde of remakes in this album, just by looking at the composers’ names — Sandeep Shirodkar and Gourov-Roshin have basically just created almost only remakes ever since they debuted. Arko and Mithoon’s songs do pique my interest, but nothing like “Oh, I’m so excited, I’m dying of excitement”.. nothing of that level. Anyway, let’s see just how well this album upholds the reputation (or demolishes it) of its predecessor.


Just because he has two songs, both remakes, Sandeep Shirodkar becomes lead composer for Baaghi 2. (It was Meet Bros. in ‘Baaghi’). His first remake is Mundiyan, a remake of Labh Janjua’s ‘Mundiyan Toh Bachke Rahi’. I must say, though, the song is quite enjoyable. Sandeep gets the Bhangra vibe right, and that’s the most important in such songs. Navraj Hans and Palak Muchhal make for some interesting vocals — especially Palak, who explores such songs once (okay, maybe twice, but not more) in a blue moon. She even raps! Navraj Hans is a vocal powerhouse as it is; there’s no use writing that he’s done well (it was taken for granted that he would). The one place Sandeep does mess up though, is the uncountable vocal breaks, disturbing proceedings many times, slowing down the pace of the song.
He doesn’t fare as well in his second song Ek Do Teen, remake of the song with the same name from ‘Tezaab’. Now, this is a very iconic song, not so much for its composition and music, (which was quite clichéd, if I may say so) than for Madhuri’s iconic moves on the dance floor. But even then, the flak the song is receiving is quite unjustified. Maybe it’s because the dance moves have been slaughtered (they have), or maybe it’s because the remake trend has achieved this abominable level these days. But the song isn’t that bad. Shreya substituting for Alka is a great decision; she sounds okay in the mukhda but amazing in the antaras. At least we haven’t gotten somebody like Neha Kakkar in charge of this song. The music is functional at best, with nothing remarkable in Sandeep’s new arrangements, except the easy-to-miss electric guitar riffs, and the spunky Bappi-ish disco sounds. Also, why does she only count till 20 here! That’s destroying the point of the song! 😂
Mithoon’s Lo Safar is a better result of his composition sung by Jubin Nautiyal, than the last one, which was ‘Tum Mere Ho’ (Hate Story IV). Here, at least, the composition isn’t overly sensuous, and not even trying to be. It is just a humble typical Mithoon melancholic melody, supposed to be a romantic song but playing more like a sad song. Jubin sings it well, and Mithoon’s arrangements consisting of nice guitar riffs, an amazing rap on many drums at the same time, and a serene flute, work wonders. Sayeed Quadri’s lyrics are just not the kind of lyrics he’s known for. Having written so many beautiful lyrics (especially the amazing ‘Ji Huzoori’ from ‘Ki & Ka’) for Mithoon, this should have been much better.
Gourov-Roshin’s Soniye Dil Nayi is also a remake of some T-Series pop single, whose credits on YouTube are so vague, they don’t credit the original composer, even in the video for the original song! The only good thing about this song, is that it doesn’t let Ankit Tiwari’s lazy voice get too much control over the song, because Shruti Pathak arrives at the right times to save us, with amazing aalaaps. Her portions are amazing, but the composition both of these singers have to sing is lazy, boring, dull and any other negative adjective you can think of. The composers try their best to ape Ankit’s composing style, so that his lines always end with us expecting a “Sunn Raha Hai Na Tu..” or a “Teri galliyan..” to follow. Too much said about this song.
The only composer repeated from ‘Baaghi’ is Pranaay Rijia, whose song ‘Get Ready To Fight’ from ‘Baaghi’ I neither reviewed nor heard (except in the movie) because it released late as a single track. Here he comes back to present Get Ready To Fight Again a song which you should be ready to fight again. That’s about it. I won’t tell you about the horde of singers roped in to sing a worthless song, and I won’t tell you about the actionless arrangements, even though this is probably the background song for when Tiger Shroff is showing off his stunts. This time the song gets a more folksy vocal treatment, thanks to Jatinder Shah’s vocals. Benny Dayal in the original song sounded terrible. (Let’s just put that out there since I hadn’t reviewed that.)
The best song of the album, more out of helplessness, than actually on its merit, is Arko’s O Saathi, a romantic melody sung by Atif Aslam, which fits perfectly into the Arko template of romantic songs. It might be a rehash of ‘Nazm Nazm’ (Bareilly Ki Barfi) and ‘Tere Sang Yaara’ (Rustom), with the exact same duff rhythm, and strings, and everything else, but it nevertheless sticks with you, because it is charming in spite of being heard before. Payal Dev’s humming lends the song a serene quality. The antara of the song is amazing; it follows a really unconventional composition, at least unconventional for Arko’s music. Atif sings it impeccably, especially the “Allah Mujhe” line. The hookline’s tune seemed forcibly stretched to cover about fifteen seconds of runtime each time it plays.. that’s about a minute that could’ve been spent in adding another antara! But I must say, Arko’s lyrics are beautiful, especially the mukhda!


While I still listen to ‘Baaghi’s music album sometimes even now, when I’m bored, I doubt I’ll listen to this album even one month from now. While “‘Baaghi’s album had zero remakes, this has four. While “‘Baaghi’s album was not a ‘BAAGHI’ (rebel) at all, this one totally is!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 7.5 + 6.5 + 7.5 + 5.5 + 4 + 8 =

Album Percentage: 65%

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: O Saathi > Lo Safar = Mundiyan > Ek Do Teen > Soniye Dil Nayi > Get Ready To Fight Again

 

Which is your favourite song from Baaghi 2? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂

Remake Counter:
No. Of Remakes: 06 (from previous albums) + 04 (from Baaghi 2) = 10

NOVEMBER 2017 ROUND-UP #2 (QARIB QARIB SINGLLE, TUMHARI SULU, AKSAR 2 & DIL JO NA KEH SAKA – Mini Music Reviews)

NOVEMBER ROUND-UP #2

November 2017 Round-Up #2

This Round-Up covers the rest of the albums of the November 2017 releases. Due to ‘Padmavati’s withdrawal from the 1st December release date, ‘Firangi’ and ‘Tera Intezaar’, have moved their dates to 1st December, so they will be included in the December Round-Up. The albums featured in this post are:

1) Qarib Qarib Singlle – (Music: Vishal Mishra & Rochak Kohli)
2) Tumhari Sulu – (Music: Tanishk Bagchi, Guru Randhawa, Rajat Nagpal, Amartya Rahut & Santanu Ghatak)
3) Aksar 2 – (Music: Mithoon)
4) Dil Jo Na Keh Saka – (Music: Shail-Pritesh)



♦ Qarib Qarib Perrfect: QARIB QARIB SINGLLE Music Review

♪ Music by: Vishal Mishra, Rochak Kohli & Ali Merchant
♪ Lyrics by: Raj Shekhar & Hussain Haidry
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 10th November 2017
♪ Movie Released On: 10th November 2017

Listen to the songs: Saavn
Buy the songs: iTunes


Relative newcomer Vishal Mishra gets two songs in the film, and I must say, these two songs are definitely going to consolidate his place in the industry, even though I think it had been consolidated right from the moment he debuted (that spark that a good debutant possesses is always discernible). I say so because both his songs can be counted as his Bollywood career’s best music as yet. The opening track, Khatam Kahani, is outright hilarious, putting to great use the Nooran Sisters’ folksy voices to concoct a song with a strong Rajasthani folk element, and still having an amazing melody. Harmonium, khartals and dholaks provide us with the required expense to travel to the land of kings. Raj Shekhar’s comic lyrics enhance the listening experience, and they are quite comparable to the lyrics of ‘Haanikaarak Bapu’ (Dangal), when the lovers agree to kill each other. 😃 After the delightful and upbeat folksy number, Vishal puts in extra effort to create a sad song that is just as soulful as the first song is peppy. Jaane De, though nothing that we’ve not heard before — the seven-beat rhythm, on Atif’s sugar-sweet vocals — is a treat to listen to, mostly thanks to Mishra’s amazing composition, not to mention Raj Shekhar’s excellence that reflects in the lyrics. The words have such a poetic twinge to them, it just calms the soul. Arrangements are soulful too — the guitars and tabla being most prominently beautiful. A nice Spanish guitar interlude is a perfect interval from the melancholia.
Rochak Kohli also gets to present two songs, the first a journey-based one, again with amazing lyrics by Hussain Haidry. The unexpected twist midway through the song really puts one off guard, but it is really innovative. The composition of the rest is quite pleasant, with a nice and groovy lilt to it, and Rochak Kohli presents it with a nice drumbeat. {He is quite good with drum beats — ‘Rozana’ from ‘Naam Shabana’ earlier this year was another song where he presented great drum work!} Papon’s feathery voice is perfect for the song. Rochak’s second song Tanha Begum, is at the peak of experimentation, and is probably the most experimental song I’ve heard this year so far, which is at the same time so entertaining. It is a clever take on Nawab Wajid Ali Khan’s classical song, ‘Baabul Mora’, which was also remade earlier this year in ‘Poorna’ by Salim-Sulaiman. This time though, Hussain Haidry’s lyrics give it a modern twist. Actually, the modern lyrics are interspersed with some very old-school lyrics, and the contrast is brought out even better with Antara Mitra handling the old-school parts with an amazing imitation of Suraiya, while Neeti Mohan handles the modern portions with an amazing rock template supporting her. Rochak’s composition for the whole song is different, and quote innovative: only the lyrics of the hook from the Nawab’s old song have been taken.
Ali Merchant steps in last moment to make a hastily-made Qarib Qarib Singlle Mashup, which is probably the worst track on the album. Also, it is just a mashup of ‘Khatam Kahani’ and ‘Tanha Begum’. The beats are mismatching and don’t fit in with the folksy vibe of the songs. These two songs don’t even REQUIRE a remix!


An enjoyable album from two young composers, where both of them bring out the best in them! The album is (barring the mashup) Qarib Qarib Perrfect!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4.5 + 5 + 4 + 4.5 + 1 = 19

Album Percentage: 76%

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: Jaane De > Khatam Kahani = Tanha Begum > Tu Chale Toh > Qarib Qarib Singlle Mashup

 

Remake Counter:
No. Of Remakes: 40 (from previous albums) + 01 (from Qarib Qarib Singlle) = 41

{Will have to count ‘Tanha Begum’ as a remake since I had counted ‘Baabul Mora’ (Poorna) as one}



♦ Light-Hearted Album Where the Mellow Song Scores High! : TUMHARI SULU Music Review

♪ Music by: Tanishk Bagchi, Guru Randhawa, Rajat Nagpal, Amartya Rahut, Santanu Ghatak, Laxmikant-Pyarelal & Haji Springer
♪ Lyrics by: Guru Randhawa, Javed Akhtar, Vayu Srivastava, Siddhant Kaushal & Santanu Ghatak
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 4th November 2017
♪ Movie Released On: 17th November 2017

Listen to the songs: Saavn
Buy the songs: iTunes


Remake specialist Tanishk Bagchi leads the album, with two out of the five songs. Since he is the currently in-demand remake specialist, it would be treason not to demand yet another rehash from him. This time, the song chosen is Mr. India’s ‘Hawa Hawai’, which has been named Hawa Hawai 2.0. If I’m not wrong though, this is Hawa Hawai 3.0 because Mikey McCleary remade it already in 2011. 😆 The song itself is peppy, and a perfect celebratory number. Kavita’s vocals being retained is the best part of the song, while I can’t figure out where Shashaa’s voice is. The composer plays around with technology and cleverly copies and pastes the gibberish bits into different parts in the song, creating an overall whimsical and enjoyable effect. His second song too, is, coincidentally, based on the metaphorical flying. Manva Likes To Fly is the standard Tanishk experimental song, where the composer plays around with technology to merge electronic sounds and Indian classical sounds. The classical instruments in particular here, sounds beautiful. Shalmali’s voice is perfect for the uplifting nature of the song, and Vayu Srivastava as usual writes positive lyrics that make you smile by default.
Next up is the much overrated, in my opinion, Ban Ja Rani, in which Guru Randhawa represents his pop song composed by Haji Springer, in a way that it doesn’t fit into the movie’s setting at all — but since when has that mattered? The whistling is the catchiest part in this song. Amartya Rahut too, in his song, Farrata, tries to create a nice and upbeat song complete with a children’s chorus (Adithyan leads and sounds very cute) and enjoyable ukuleles. However, the song fails to create an impact. Armaan Malik fails to make the song sound better, and the composition is many notches lower than what Amartya offered in the recent ‘Tu Hai Mera Sunday’.
What really grabbed my attention is newcomer Santanu Ghatak’s Rafu, a beautiful semiclassical number, which really gave me the goosebumps. Written as soulfully as it has been composed, and sung just as beautifully by Ronkini Gupta, who has sung previously in ‘Aankhon Dekhi’ under the music direction of Sagar Desai. She is a voice to counter Kaushiki Chakraborty’s classical singing prowess.


This blend of music directors manages to provide the film it’s required happy-go-lucky touch, although very superficial. It is ironically the most mellow song, by debutant Santanu, that steals the show.

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 3.5 + 4 + 3 + 3 + 4.5 = 18

Album Percentage: 72%

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: Rafu > Manva Likes To Fly > Hawa Hawai 2.0 > Ban Ja Rani = Farrata

 

Remake Counter:
No. Of Remakes: 41 (from previous albums) + 01 (from Tumhari Sulu) = 42


♦ Aksar Sune Huye Gaane: AKSAR 2 Music Review

♪ Music by: Mithoon
♪ Lyrics by: Sayeed Quadri
♪ Music Label: Tips Music
♪ Music Released On: 7th November 2017
♪ Movie Released On: 17th November 2017

Listen to the songs: Saavn
Buy the songs: iTunes


The only song from the album that stands out right away is Aaj Zid, a wonderful romantic song with a groovy techno rhythm. Mithoon proves he is not only able to just make addictive romantic songs, but also club numbers. Well we knew that if you remember ‘Woh Ajnabee’ from his earlier days. Arijit sings wonderfully, and it is all in all a very nice and upbeat song, without letting go of the sensuality that should be a part of such a film’s music. The other two songs are the usual pathos-filled Bhatt-ish songs I have started to get afraid of hearing nowadays. Jaana Ve is so crybaby-ish, it is sad, and Arijit’s voice being auto tuned in the hookline is sad too, because he is a singer who doesn’t need autotuning! The antara of the song gives signature Mithoon goosebumps though! About Tanhaiyaan, the lesser said, the better. Pakistani pop is one genre which composers never experiment with, and present it as it is every single time. Here too, the fake emotions fail to penetrate our eardrums and touch the heart. The album is not even magnificent lyrically, which I would usually expect from a Sayeed Quadri-written album! But he seems to have moulded in with the stereotypical Bhatt setting as well.


An album which we have ‘Aksar’ heard. Definitely not as good as Himesh’s album to the first film.

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4 + 3 + 2 = 9

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: Aaj Zid > Jaana Ve > Tanhaiyaan



♦ Shail-Pritesh Sarbjit Mein Jo Kar Sake, Yahaan Nahin Kar Sake!: DIL JO NA KEH SAKA Music Review

♪ Music by: Shail-Pritesh
♪ Lyrics by: A.M. Turaz, Devshi Khanduri & Sandeep Singh Kamboj
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 7th November 2017
♪ Movie Released On: 17th November 2017

Listen to the songs: Saavn
Buy the songs: iTunes


With the title track of Dil Jo Na Keh Saka, I find that Shail Hada has lost that magic touch that used to be present in his voice until ‘Sarbjit’; he sounds terribly off tune in some places, while his co-singer, Shreya Ghoshal has been terribly miscast, and tries to fit into the mould of the song but fails. Shail-Pritesh’s composition is quite the typical 90s romantic song, and so fails to create much impact. However, the duo gets it amazingly right in the much more breezy and pleasant Bandh Khwabon Ki, in which Shail Hada thankfully returns to normal, barring some places. The composition here is thankfully, more contemporary and relatable. The finger snaps are really enjoyable, and the guitars are refreshing too.
Going to the retro portion of the album, Khwabon Ko Ankhon Mein is an enjoyable jazz number, and soulful too. The piano is splendid, as is the brass portion, because if the brass in jazz is bad, then it isn’t jazz. Aditi Paul sings beautifully too, touching the high notes effortlessly. The last romantic song on the album, Tanha Tanha Ghum Ke Dhunde Dil, is a pleasant and breezy love ballad, again, a bit more inclined towards the previous decade than the current. Nevertheless, it provides for a fun couple of listens, after which its beauty kind of wears off. Jubin handles the vocals well, and with the 90s-ish composition and his voice, it sounds like a runaway song from ‘Kaabil’. The guitars are good here too, and very simple. Aditi Paul has less to do here, so she pales in comparison to Jubin. Obviously.
Out of the upbeat songs, Band Viyah Da Baje, builds on Shail-Pritesh’s earlier ‘Tung Lak’ (Sarbjit), but still manages to turn out enjoyable — Divya Kumar & Pratibha Baghel with their energetic voices infuse life into the complicated composition — surprisingly the first really complicated tune on the album, and intricacy is the thing Shail-Pritesh and their mentor Sanjay Leela Bhansali are known for! The ‘Tung Lak’ hangover stays till the end though, especially in the female portions. The second upbeat song, Nadaniyan Kar Jaati Hai, is a youthful club song with a very avoidable composition and just as avoidable vocals. It turns out to be the worst on the album!


Shail-Pritesh can do much better than this, but I guess they are much, much better at those classical melodies like they presented in ‘Sarbjit’, and they must stick to that!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 2.5 + 3.5 + 3.5 + 3 + 3.5 + 1.5 = 17.5

Album Percentage: 58.33%

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: Bandh Khwabon ki = Band Viyah Da Baje = Khwabon ko Aankhon Mein > Tanha Tanha Ghum Ke Dhundhe Dil > Dil Jo Na Keh Saka > Nadaniyan Kar Jaati Hai



So that’s it for November, stay tuned for the Monthly Awards, which will be up in a moment!

A RISHI RICH BEAT SAVES THE POSTER BOYS!! (POSTER BOYS – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Tanishk Bagchi, Daler Mehndi, Dilip-Sameer, Rishi Rich, Sunai Marathe, Shreyas Iyengar & Sonny Ravan
♪ Lyrics by: Shabbir Ahmed, Javed Akhtar, Kumaar, Saurabh Pandey & Sonny Ravan
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 19th August 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 8th September 2017

Poster Boys Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Poster Boys is an upcoming satirical Bollywood film, starring Sunny Deol, Bobby Deol and Shreyas Talpade in lead roles. The film is an official remake of Shreyas-directed Marathi film ‘Poshter Boyz’, and is also directed by Shreyas Talpade himself. The film is produced by Sunny Sounds Pvt. Ltd., Shreyas Talpade and Deepti Talpade. The film revolves around three men who suffer humiliation in their village when they appear on an advertisement for vasectomy, without their knowledge or permission. The film seems like a comic caper, at the same time trying to create awareness about this. The music, which I actually expect to be bad, just because this film seems like one of those films where music plays a minuscule role, is by four composer entities. Remake master Tanishk Bagchi comes back with a remake here, while Rishi Rich gets to compose an original. The album also serves as the debut vehicle for three new composers, a duo, Sunai Marathe Shreyas Iyengar, and an individual, Sonny Ravan. So let’s see how this album with half its songs by known personalities, and half by newcomers, fares!


1. Kudiyan Shehar Diyan

Singers ~ Daler Mehndi & Neha Kakkar, Original Composition by ~ Dilip-Sameer & Daler Mehndi, Music Recreated by ~ Tanishk Bagchi, Original Lyrics by ~ Javed Akhtar, New Lyrics by ~ Shabbir Ahmed

So T-Series messes up with credits again — the old song ‘Kudiya Shehar Di’ (Arjun Pandit; 1999) which this song is a remake of, was credited to Dilip and Sameer Sen, but now they credit Daler Mehndi as its composer! Anyway, Tanishk (the go-to recreator these days) tries to infuse more life into the already lifeless and staid Punjabi number (or so I personally feel), by giving it a better mixed dhol arrangement, and having Neha Kakkar sing the female parts. But replacing one screechy singer (Alka Yagnik in the original) with another screechy singer, is not too wise! The only energy in the song is because of Mehndi’s amazing singing. Tanishk hasn’t actually newly composed anything; the song is just permutation and combination of the parts in the old song. Lyrics are functional, nothing great. An okayish remake of an okayish song.

Rating: 2.5/5

 

2. Kendhi Menoo

Singers ~ Yash Narvekar, Sukriti Kakar & Ikka Singh, Music by ~ Rishi Rich, Lyrics by ~ Kumaar

Rishi Rich is in charge of the next song: a nice hip hop number with a peppy and groovy beat that instantly has you hooked. The composition too, is quite catchy. Especially the hookline’s tune. The antara isn’t great, but good enough to go with the amazing beats. The arrangements are the highlight of the song, and those trumpet sounds are some of the best beats in a Bollywood hip-hop song this year. That being said, it isn’t like the song is extraordinary either, just surprisingly good enough and compared to the others in the album, it is a masterpiece. The vocals are nice too, with Yash Narvekar and Sukriti carrying the hip-hop vibe very well. I wish Sukriti wouldn’t mumble though. Ikka’s rap is good too! The lyrics are understandably ordinary. A good hip-hop number with a groovy “Rishi Rich beat”.

Rating: 3.5/5

 

3. Noor-E-Khuda

Singer ~ Kailash Kher, Music by ~ Sunai Marathe & Shreyas Iyengar, Lyrics by ~ Saurabh Pandey

This song is the typical Bollywood sad Qawwali, which gets played in movies whenever things are going wrong. Usually it’s Sukhwinder Singh or Kailash Kher singing these Qawwalis, and sure enough, here, the newcomer duo, Sunai Marathe & Shreyas Iyengar, present the song in Kher’s voice. The composition itself is very maudlin and typically dramatic. The roopak rhythm, as overused as it is, sounds very heavy here, and I am beginning to feel like it should be used less often now! The tablas and claps too, are very typical — nothing new. The lyrics are good as they should be, but again, very typical. Kailash Kher has the tendency to bore in such songs, but here it’s everything else that draws you away from the song.

Rating: 2/5

 

4. The Posterboys Anthem

Singer ~ Shree D, Music by ~ Sonny Ravan, Lyrics by ~ Sonny Ravan

Now the second debutant gets to end the album with something called the “Poster Boys Anthem”, and I must say, it is quite a tedious anthem. And also one of the saddest debuts I’ve seen. The composition is dead, and seems like someone who doesn’t know much about what it takes to make a good song, came out and composed a song for an everyday morcha, and decided to use it here. I don’t even know where this kind of a song would fit as the theme song to a satire as this. The vocals are so bad, it’s unbelievable. SKIP!

Rating: 0.5/5


Poster Boys is yet another bad multicomposer album. It pains us reviewers when our point is proved that the multicomposer trend is slowly corroding the quality of music. Well, actually, the trend isn’t to blame here. The makers could’ve gone for more established and seasoned artists, who would’ve composed some good music!!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album:  2.5 + 3.5 + 2 + 0.5 = 8.5

Album Percentage: 42.5%

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: Kendhi Menoo > Kudiyan Shehar Diyan > Noor-E-Khuda > The Posterboys Anthem

 

Remake Counter:
No. Of Remakes: 30 (from previous albums) + 01 = 31

 

Which is your favourite song from Poster Boys? 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! 🙂

THE LITTLE FORCE OF TECHNO MUSIC!! (FORCE 2 – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Gourov-Roshin, Laxmikant-Pyarelal & Amaal Mallik
♪ Lyrics by: Kumaar, Javed Akhtar & Rashmi-Virag
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 27th October 2016
♪ Movie Releases On: 18th November 2016

Force 2 Album Cover

Force 2 Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Force 2 is an upcoming Bollywood action thriller film, starring John Abraham and Sonakshi Sinha in lead roles, and Tahir Raj Bhasin in a negative role. The film has been directed by ‘Game’ and ‘Delhi Belly’ fame Abhinay Deo, and produced by Vipul Amrutlal Shah, Viacom18 Motion Pictures, and John Abraham himself. The film is a sequel to Nishikant Kamat’s directorial, ‘Force’, which released in 2011. The music of ‘Force’, by South composer Harris Jayaraj, was quite nice, with many romantic songs being the best ones, and ‘Khwaabon Khwaabon’ being the thrilling USP of the album. With only one underwhelming song in that album, ‘Dum Hai Toh Aaja’, it turned out to be one of the most underrated albums of the year. This time, though, composers Gourov-Roshin take hold of the music. Earlier this year, along with Shaan, they had composed a song for ‘Great Grand Masti’, under the name Superbia. For this movie, Gourov Dasgupta and Roshin Balu, without their partner Shaan, have been roped in. The song from ‘Great Grand Masti’, I didn’t like much, so I can’t say much about my expectations from the duo. However, a guest composer in the form of Amaal Mallik also increases the chances of the album being a success. With just four songs, three by the duo and one by guest composer Amaal, I am sure the makers of the movie are more interested in the storyline than the music, but still hoping with crossed fingers that the music lives up to the music of the first film nevertheless! So let’s get ready to measure the force in the music of ‘Force 2’!


1. Rang Laal
Singers ~ Dev Negi & Aditi Singh Sharma, Voiceover by ~ John Abraham, Music by ~ Gourov-Roshin, Lyrics by ~ Kumaar

The first song on the album shouts patriotism right in your ear. The way it gets there though, is quite mediocre and average. Let me explain. The song starts off with a voiceover by John, after which comes a rap by Dev Negi. The actual melody composed by Gourov-Roshin comes after the rap, and it is good till there. I don’t deny it. But then the hookline comes and takes away whatever goodness the son had established. The hookline sounds so outdated and worn-out, and on top of that, it arrives so abruptly. The mukhda and hook don’t really blend in well with each other. There is practically no antara, and if I were to call some part of the song as one, it would be a part that consists of only a rap portion and the same tune that comes before the hookline in the mukhda. It all gets so predictable after a certain time. The song seems to rely mostly on the rap, and the patriotic voiceovers by John Abraham. The arrangements are techno sounds, that have fortunately been kept not so loud. The rock guitar that plays occasionally is impressive though. The vocals are just fine. Dev Negi impresses with the rap, but due to the very short part that he actually has to sing, he can’t shine in those parts. In the hook, he is joined by Aditi Singh Sharma, who can hardly be heard. John Abraham’s voiceovers sound out-of-place in an audio song. They could’ve just added it in the promos if they’d wanted. I really don’t like this method of including dialogues in songs. Kumaar’s lyrics are good, full of patriotism, and might be the only thing on the song meeting the requirements and expectations from this patriotic track. A disappointing start to the album.

 

2. O Janiya
Singer ~ Neha Kakkar, Original Composition by ~ Laxmikant-Pyarelal, New Composition and Music Recreated by ~ Gourov-Roshin, Original Lyrics by ~ Javed Akhtar, New Lyrics by ~ Kumaar

The second song on the album is a remake of ‘Kaate Nahin Kat Te’ (Mr. India). The song gets a club makeover from Gourov-Roshin, and as it starts, you get to know that it isn’t going to work out well, and it isn’t going to do justice to the original. The song starts off with some weird Arabic, (??) French (??) Or Spanish (??) lyrics that seem to be aping the way ‘Lovely’ (Happy New Year) started, with some similar Arabic words. (Or maybe gibberish). It is a horrible starting, with some lady sounding like she’s saying “serret lekhh baybee“, with too much emphasis on the “baby“. After that, it is pure techno music that follows. Thankfully, the duo has only used the hook of the old song, and tried to form a new song around that. Sadly, that seems to have failed. The mukhda is a typical club song composition, which fails to really create any interest. Cleverly, T-Series have named the song after the first line of the mukhda, so that no old song aficionados judge the song by its name and thereby proclaim that they’ve ruined the original. Which they have, anyway. The hookline is the same hookline that so many of us already love, but it doesn’t even sound good in the song, much less, sound good with that mukhda. The antara is a bit better in terms of composition, but you really can’t do anything when half the song engages you and not most of it. Neha Kakkar was practically expected to sing this song. She provides the little relief in the song, singing it with the required spunk. But she spoils the hookline, adding too much of nuances into it, and trying to sound a bit too cool. The last time the hook repeats, her love basically overflows, and she sings “I looovvve you love you love you love you” (at 4:03 in the song), which is enough to spoil the hookline for one last time. The arrangement is mainly techno music, that depends on a loop, to make itself noticeable. That tune plays all throughout the song, and it is quite an annoying tune. The techno music in the hookline spoils the sound of the hook as well. It all seems like such an overdose of techno music. Kumaar’s new lyrics are quite unbelievable. “O janiya, Tu nahin tha, Teri yaadon Se kiya Maine pyaar“. 😂 A song that could very well have been remade into a good romantic song, gets a club makeover and gets spoiled forever.

 

3. Ishaara
Singer ~ Armaan Malik, Music by ~ Amaal Mallik, Lyrics by ~ Rashmi-Virag

Amaal Mallik finally enters the album, after the duo Gourov-Roshin fail to create any magic. I expected Amaal to make up for the missing magic, but I must say, the result is quite underwhelming here too. Don’t get me wrong, I really love Amaal’s music. The composition this time around, too, is very soulful and emotional. Perfect for a romantic song that will grow on you like slow poison. However, I also couldn’t help but feel it was quite similar to many of his previous songs, like ‘Kuch Toh Hai’ (Do Lafzon Ki Kahani) and ‘Kaun Tujhe’ (M.S. Dhoni). The humming, he has used many times, and that particularly, was the setback for me. The mukhda is beautiful, while the hookline is so mellifluous that it just gets stuck in your head. The antara sounds very similar to the mukhda, it is hard to differentiate between the two, but it is well composed. The arrangements are minimal, with the acoustic guitars and strings really doing a great job. In an interlude, a rock guitar with a muffled voice, sounds like a lounge treatment has been given to it, and it sounds great! The star of the song, though, is definitely the mandolin. Every time it plays, it sends a chill down your spine. The entire feel of the song is all in all, quite haunting, and I would’ve enjoyed it more, had it been a bit different-sounding from Amaal’s earlier compositions. Armaan is a star, and he proves again how merely his voice can elevate a composition to another level. He adds little nuances to the composition which really make it stand out in those parts. Rashmi-Virag, as always, write awesome lyrics, and become yet another reason to listen to the song. Their writing is always full of soul and emotion, and that’s proved here too. One of Amaal’s weaker songs, due to the overlap with his previous songs. However, his arrangements, Armaan’s voice and Rashmi-Virag’s inexplicable writing, make this worth hearing at least a couple of times!

 

4. Catch Me If U Can
Singer ~ Amaal Mallik, Music by ~ Gourov-Roshin, Lyrics by ~ Kumaar

Gourov-Roshin come back into their album, with yet another overdose of techno music. The song is suitable for the thriller genre, and with the pacy techno arrangements, it has its things right. However, it falls flat in the composition. The mukhda starts off very flatly, so much so, that the listener can even get bored right away. It actually sounds like something composed just for the fun of it, and not meant to feature in a major motion picture soundtrack. The duo’s composition is painfully non-creative, and follows the path of many previous failed techno thriller songs. The hookline is just plain bad, I can’t put it any other way. The antaras have just as much in their favour as a child who hasn’t studied for the Maths exam. The duo try to cover their mediocre composition with some techno music, but it only sounds good at the beginning, where it does some nice little disco thing that is impressive and reminiscent of the 80s disco era. All throughout the rest of the song, are stale and boring techno sounds that fail to interest the listener. Some occasional Arabic drums do the trick though, being the only catchy sounds in practically the whole album. Amaal’s vocals haven’t been tuned properly, and firs of all, he shouldn’t have sung this song. Someone with a more strong voice like Suraj Jagan or the like should have been approached. Even Amaal seems uninterested in singing the song, as I can make out from his voice. The duo could’ve done some autotuning there, because other people even use it for singers who don’t even require it. Kumaar’s lyrics are pretty mediocre. SKIP!


Force 2 seems to be one of the worst albums of the year. With not even one track being completely lovable, the album falls short of expectations from every which way. What Harris Jayaraj did in the first installment, and what Gourov-Roshin give in the second, have many miles’ difference between them. Amaal’s guest song does become the best song of the album, but could’ve been better in itself too. But with T-Series relying on what the audience wants and depending on old songs remade to do the trick, I doubt that could’ve been possible. A FORCELESS ALBUM, WITH AN OVERDOSE OF TECHNO MUSIC!

 

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: Ishaara > Rang Laal > O Janiya > Catch Me If U Can

 

Which is your favourite song from Force 2? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂

SINDHU MAA KA SANGEET!! (MOHENJO DARO – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: A.R. Rahman
♪ Lyrics by: Javed Akhtar
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 6th July 2016
♪ Movie Releases On: 12th August 2016

Mohenjo Daro Album Cover

Mohenjo Daro Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Mohenjo Daro is an upcoming epic adventure drama/action film starring Hrithik Roshan and Pooja Hegde in lead roles, and Kabir Bedi and Arunoday Singh in supporting roles. The movie is directed by the ‘Lagaan’, ‘Swades’, ‘Jodhaa Akbar’, ‘What’s Your Raashee?’ director, Ashutosh Gowariker, and produced by Siddharth Roy Kapur, Sunita Gowariker and Ashutosh Gowariker himself. The film is set in 2016 B.C. in the ancient city, Mohenjo Daro. It revolves around a farmer, Sarman (Hrithik Roshan), who falls in love with his enemy’s daughter, Chaani (Pooja Hegde), a dancer. After seeing the trailer, the historical accountability of the film has been doubted by almost everyone, and to me, everything looks over the top. That leaves only one thing for me to be waiting for, and that is something you get no prizes for guessing. It is the soundtrack to the movie, composed by the genius A.R. Rahman, whose Tamil album just received a great response from me. Now it’s time to see how his first Hindi album of the year fares, and being an album for an Ashutosh Gowariker film, it is expected to be great and extraordinary, going by the albums to ‘Lagaan’, ‘Swades’ and ‘Jodhaa Akbar’, all of which were beautiful albums. Rahman composes eight songs for this movie, and the lyrics are penned by Javed Akhtar. My excitement is engulfing me, so here I proceed with the actual review!!


1. Mohenjo Mohenjo
Singers ~ A.R. Rahman, Arijit Singh, Bela Shende & Sanah Moidutty

The album starts off with a grand theme song to the movie, a title song, and also an introduction to the ancient folksy music which we will get a glimpse of in the album. The song starts off with some rustic, earthy chants in an unintelligible language, probably the language which the makers of the film have made up as the language of the Mohenjodaroans gives the song a distinct earthy feel. What’s more, Rahman uses the perfect percussion to make it feel even more ancient. We have to keep in mind that the civilization is one of India’s first civilizations, that existed in the Before Christ era, and Rahman takes that into account and tries to make a song which matches the criteria, as well as appeals to the Bollywood audience. The composition, though it seems very simple and straightforward for a Rahman song at first, works its magic on you after a couple of listens. A good maze of lines that are composed in different manners make up the composition, a variety of twists and turns, even in the simplicity, being its feature. The mukhda is simple, while the antara is very enchanting. The mukhda repeats towards the end, in a female voice, probably Bela’s. The hookline is anthemic, and suitable for the theme of the film, with an ancient civilization to describe. Reminiscent of ‘Azeem-O-Shaan Shahenshah’ (Jodhaa Akbar), this one too, is a great introduction to the ways of Mohenjo Daro and summarizes the album and the city in 6½ minutes. Rustic wails and vocal noises grace the song, and make it all the more worthwhile. Arijit leads the song gracefully, and is wonderfully supported by a chorus of male and female singers, which I guess are A.R. Rahman, Bela Shende & Sanah. Bela does get a stanza to herself and she does good, though she is not very impressive either. The chorus is what makes the song sound even more lively and junglee, especially the chorus that goes something like “mil Jul aur ghul mil…” Rahman’s arrangements are mind-blowing, a wonderful show of rustic percussion, probably African drums in reality, though I can hear thavils and the like. The fiddle makes a nice special appearance in the interlude, which is rich with the sound of the chorus, which just can’t stop impressing throughout the song. And then there’s the flute. 😍😍😍😍 Rahman always creates magic with the flute, and that’s evident here as well! The clapping beats are also catchy and addictive. At the end, we get a nice dhol-taasha conclusion to the energetic track. Javed Akhtar writes words that aren’t really extraordinary, but they very well describe the city in the eyes of its citizens. All I feel is that it sounds too much like one of Rahman’s dubbed songs, because of the irregular tune. A song that is so energetic, but takes time to grow. Rahman succeeds in transporting us to an era that nobody can imagine to be transported to, except through music! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

2. Sindhu Ma
Singers ~ A.R. Rahman & Sanah Moidutty

It is a romantic song that comes next in the album, and it starts with some wind instruments followed by Rahman making tribal noises with his tongue, and these same noises later sound so magical and enchanting that it seems unbelievable. The song proceeds with a stanza sung enchantingly and marvelously by Sanah, who I’m glad has at last got a song where she will be noticed, after that small part in the ‘Gori Tere Pyaar Mein’ song with Vishal-Shekhar. She sings with as much divinity as possible, and Rahman follows with some lines that are irregular in structure but the magic is in their irregularity, first in that Mohenjodaroan language and then in Hindi. 😀 I loved it how each line has a different tune and tempo, yet everything sounds so soothing in Rahman’s distinct voice. It has that deep, nasal quality that impresses so much, and transports you to another world. Rahman’s composition too, is something that takes time to grow, but again, after it has grown, you can’t forget it. It stays there forever. A divine, sweet, innocent, pure romance is indicated through the composition, which is unusually slow-paced, but its slow pace is what appeals. There are lines where the singers have to sing rapidly, and it fits in too well with the surroundings. The pitch change towards the end works well, and the song ends with you feeling fresh and relaxed. The hookline actually has nothing to do with the title, which just comes once in the beginning of the song. Instead, the hookline is the title of a song that is going to come later on in the album, and that song is a version of this or vice versa. Again, it is not a conventional hookline where the listener gets a buy one get one free treat of it, but it comes very humbly and leaves its mark on you. The first time you hear the song, the tribal language in the starting, sung by Rahman might seem over-the-top, but after a few listens, you understand that it gels in inconspicuously with the rest of the song. Rahman’s arrangements are stellar. Guitars lead the arrangements, and of course, a flute impresses with its playful nature in the interlude. Rahman has a chorus singing little attractions throughout the song, and again, this chorus changes the entire listening experience. They add their magic in places which would’ve sounded bland without them. The percussion is wonderful, as well. Strings accompany all this, rather conspicuously, though. Brass instruments and bells are welcome attractions in the song as well. Javed Akhtar’s lyrics are good, but it requires a lot of courage to focus on them, leaving the heavenly composition alone. It is a song that doesn’t actually need great lyrics to propel it along! A ravishing, surreal experience. Both the singers bring out the charm in the composition beautifully! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

3. Sarsariya
Singers ~ Shashwat Singh & Shashaa Tirupati

It is a very enticing folksy rhythm that paves the way into the next song, an enjoyable-to-the-core dance track, which has Rahman in his top form. It is such tracks that even you know, that I love Rahman the most in. On the lines of ‘Kilimanjaro’ (Robot) and a bit of ‘Barso Re’ (Guru) and the whackiness of ‘Mawaali Qawwali’ (Lekar Hum Deewana Dil) and ‘Mona Gasolina’ (Lingaa), this is Rahman with all of his creativity. So as I was saying, the wonderful percussion that makes the song sound so inviting and catchy, takes the listener with surprise, surprise that is born out of the sheer rawness of the rhythm. The tambourines, flutes and the ethnic drums make the prelude something that is very promising. The rest of the song doesn’t disappoint after that promising prelude, though. Rahman comes up with a tune that is so rustic, raw and earthy in its presentation, that you may even believe that Mohenjo Daro’s folk music was like this! The mukhda has a weird addictiveness, and the antara is what gets into the contemplative mode, with a very lilting tune, brought to life by those ravishing drums, once again. And the hookline, oh! It is the hookline that is the USP of the song, a great mix of whacky sounds and those clever tribal lyrics, of which nobody understands neither head nor tail. The “Emase-nana-maya” after the antara makes a very, very clever bridge to the hookline, though completely changing the lulling mood of the antara to a lively one. About the arrangements, whatever I say will not do justice to them. Rahman has employed exquisite and lively instruments to make the song sound genuinely ancient, tribal and folksy. The percussion, that is quite close to the Rajasthani or Kutchi folk, is what infuses life into the song. Charming flutes and strings too, in the latter part of the song, gives it the sweetness required for it to flourish completely. Mandolin scattered throughout in the background captures your attention whenever it plays. An oud-like instrument makes up a wonderful first interlude, while an engrossing rhythm backs the lilting first antara, and makes you sit back and enjoy the song with closed eyes. Matkas and dandiya, typical of the Kutchi folk, have been used generously, and work in favourite of the song. Flute and guitars help the second interlude keep the listener entertained, while the song ends with a wonderful violin conclusion. Coming to the vocals, nothing can be more impressive than what Shashwat and Shashaa have done here. Shashaa particularly, who sings that little gibberish prelude before the Hindi parts start, impresses right away, and we know she is going to impress all throughout the song, which she does! She modulates her voice beautifully, so it sounds just as great in the upbeat portions, as it does in the lilting melodious parts. Shashwat’s voice sound perfectly clear and smooth, unlike what it did in ‘Wat Wat Wat’ (Tamasha), where it sounded folksy. And he impresses highly, though overshadowed by Shashaa. Javed Akhtar has written enjoyable lyrics, especially the alien ones!! A cracker of a song from Rahman, though not outwardly loud and blaring. It proves that dance songs don’t have to be loud and blaring in order to be catchy and addictive! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

4. Tu Hai
Singers ~ A.R. Rahman & Sanah Moidutty

The next song, we are familiar with. It is the part of ‘Sindhu Ma’ without the actual prelude that was an ode to River Sindhu (present-day Indus), which was the sacred river of the Mohenjodaroans. The presence of this version gives a whole different meaning to that song. I had thought while hearing that song, that it is the romantic song of the album. However, it is this version which has the romantic connotation to it. And after hearing this version, we realize that that version was more of a devotional song, an ode to the river, and Javed Akhtar’s lyrics really suit as a romantic as well as a divine song. 😀 Vocals, arrangements, composition and everything else is exactly the same as the latter part of ‘Sindhu Ma’, so no use repeating the review again! 😀 The only thing I could notice that was different, is the starting prelude, which is a beautiful guitar strum here, while it was blended into the devotional prayer in that song. It is all in the different perspectives of the two versions — the former devotional, while this one is romantic. #5StarHotelSong!!

 

5. Whispers of The Mind / Whispers of The Heart
Vocals ~ Arjun Chandy

These two tracks are background scores, which are the essence of the film’s setting. The setting of the film is perfectly described and conveyed to the listeners, with those weird tribal-sounding noises amidst a background of chirping crickets and birds, and it sounds like you are out in the wild. Perfect for the theme of the story but not exactly something to enjoy in a music album. Arjun Chandy chants the “whispers” very slowly and mysteriously, and makes the track sound genuine. The “Zoooaaaa” did sound irritating at first, but if the theme of the movie is taken into mind, it fits in well. The “Heart” version has more happening in the form of a divine female chorus singing in the background, and tribal drums playing a wonderful beat towards the end. And, its shorter than the “Mind” version! The “Mind” version runs over four minutes and bores until the end, while there’s a lot to look forward to at the end of the “Heart” version!! It just proves that what your heart says, is better than what your mind does! 😛 LISTEN TO THE HEART! And by that, I mean that the second version is a #5StarHotelSong!!

 

6. The Shimmer of Sindhu
Guitars ~ Keba Jeremiah, Flute ~ Kareem Kamalakar

It is a Rahman album. It cannot finish without an instrumental of at least one of the tracks! And so, we have an instrumental of ‘Tu Hai’ presented to us, with guitars, strings and flutes carrying the heavenly tune on their shoulders. Rahman employs wonderful guitars played by Keba Jeremiah, for the base melody of the song, and it sounds sooooo idyllic! Imagine what  would happen when beautiful flutes and orchestral strings join that melody! You don’t need to imagine, however, as Rahman saves you the effort of doing so, by adding them himself! The flutes by Kareem Kamalakar are well-done, and played in the most unexpected places, in a delightful classical way. It is the strings that infuse grandeur into the already a majestic instrumentation. The blissful melody, when played in that slow pace, sounds as pretty as ever. A heavenly reprise of the entrancing love ballad. #5StarHotelSong!!

 

7. Lakh Lakh Thora
Instrumental by ~ Tapas Roy & P.M.K. Naveen Kumar

A very oriental-sounding Oud opens the last song on the album, and before you think of anything else, that addictive tune of ‘Sarsariya’ comes back to you, and you realize it is the same tune. Therefore, this song is an instrumental version of that one, which was my favourite vocal song out of the three. Tapas Roy with the oud and the mandolin, impresses highly, and the glory of the song lies in the brilliance with which he plays them! It has the power to attract your attention, and even though it is a background piece, it is just as great as an actual song — can be played, hummed and danced to. 😀 Rahman many other attractions like the percussion (the djembe is really great!) and water drops. The way the string instrument has been played in what’s supposed to be the interlude of the song (you can’t make out as all it is, is just instruments 😛 ) is sooooo beautiful. Naveen Kumar joins in quite late, and plays a few lines on the flute before the song ends. Whoever has done the percussions, really knows his or her job very well! They’re engaging and help the song stay to its catchy nature. CATCHY!!! The Oud and Mandolin make things way more catchier! #5StarHotelSong!!


Mohenjo Daro completely lives up to expectations. I mean, I was expecting a lot more, and was quite disappointed during the first time I heard it, but later I realized how each song has been made to suit the film and its ancient setting and not even one song extra has been crammed into the album, which explains why it’s just three-tracks-long (if you practically see it). Rahman uses a great blend of traditional and even modern instruments to make songs sounding ancient and folksy! Though we never imagined Mohenjo Daro and its music like this when we were taught about in school, thanks to Rahman, that information about the recreation of the Mohenjodaroans has got some life now! 😛 I also noticed that he has used relatively new singers in most of the songs — Arijit and Bela being the only exceptions, and of course, himself. Sanah Moidutty, Shashaa Tirupati and Shashwat Singh are the singers he has used, and they literally infuse life into the album, while at the same time, they’re gonna establish themselves in Bollywood with this album. And then there are those ravishing background pieces, out of which one bored me (frankly speaking…! Sorry!!) but the other three really fascinated me! Rahman has really given us a glimpse of Sindhu Ma’s sangeet! 

 

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: Sarsariya > Sindhu Ma > Tu Hai > Lakh Lakh Thora > Mohenjo Mohenjo > The Shimmer of Sindhu > Whispers of The Heart > Whispers of The Mind

 

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