A PATRIOTIC VIBE THAT TOUCHES THE HEART!! (RAAG DESH – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Rana Mazumder, Siddharth Pandit & Ram Singh Thakuri
♪ Lyrics by: Sandeep Nath, Revant Shergill, Rana Mazumder & Pt. Vanshidhar Shukla
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 25th July 2017
♪ Movie Released On: 28th July 2017

Raag Desh Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Raag Desh is a Bollywood period drama, based on the Indian National Army set up by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, and the war fought to liberate India from the British Government, which was fought on the shores of Irrawaddy in Burma. The film stars Kunal Kapoor, Amit Sadh and Mohit Marwah as the three INA soldiers who were court-martialled, Colonel Prem Sehgal, Colonel Gurbaksh Singh Dhillon, and Major Shah Nawaz Khan. The film is directed by Tigmanshu Dhulia and produced by Gurdeep Singh Sappal. This film, right from when its first look came out, I was not even expecting it to have music album. However, it does have four songs. The composers are relative newcomers. The leading composer, Rana Mazumder, is somebody we have heard singing in various albums for a long time, but with this film, he ventures into music direction and composed two songs, one in two versions. The second composer, Siddharth Pandit, debuted with ‘Laali Ki Shaadi Mein Laaddoo Hua Deewaana’ earlier this year; as a member of composer duo (Revant-Siddharth). Here, only he has composed, but Revant has written the lryics and sung the song so practically, they’re still together. I do not know what to expect from the album yet, but hopefully, it is a good patriotic album!


1. Hawaaon Mein Woh Aag Hai

Singers ~ K.K. & Shreya Ghoshal, Music by ~ Rana Mazumder, Composition of INA Anthem by ~ Ram Singh Thakuri, Lyrics by ~ Sandeep Nath, Lyrics of INA Anthem by ~ Pt. Vanshidhar Shukla

The album dives right into the patriotism, with a hard-hitting, anthemic song that just makes you feel proud to be an Indian. (Assuming you are one, otherwise, hello from India!) The composer cleverly makes use of INA’s anthem, “Qadam Qadam Badhaaye Jaa”, in a way that seems as if the two songs were meant to be together. The seamless transition from Rana Mazumder’s new composition, to the INA anthem, is wonderful. The song starts with an amazingly patriotic sound, with trumpet fanfare, progressing into a vibrant marching beat. The composition is just as abrupt and staccato as the beats; it jumps right into the patriotism with no dilly-dallying. It lifts your spirits instantly. A wonderfully melodious stanza in the middle by Shreya Ghoshal wins your heart. The instrumentation is grand and royal; with the brass band and the drum beats being the most prominent. The orchestra does a wonderful job playing the short notes in the upbeat portions, and the drawn-out and dreamy notes in the short melodious portion. Even rock guitars make their presence felt. Rana’s composing finesse is exposed when he goes seamlessly from the upbeat to the melodious portions. And the clever usage of the INA anthem is something I can go on and on about. The vocals are splendid. K.K. and Shreya Ghoshal, two vocalists we are used to having heard together so many times in the late 2000s, do a wonderful job. It isn’t a duet as such; K.K. leads the proceedings with a strong anthemic resonance to his voice, and the Backing chorus repeats after him. Shreya gets that one portion in the middle, but she aces it. When she sings her aalaap at the end of the song, though, you feel that it was worth hearing her for just that small portion! The lyrics by Sandeep Nath are aptly patriotic. A wonderful and motivating start to the album!

Rating: 4/5

 

2. Tujhe Namaami Ho

Singers ~ Sunidhi Chauhan, K.K., Shreya Ghoshal & Rana Mazumder, Music by ~ Rana Mazumder, Lyrics by ~ Sandeep Nath

As soon as this song starts, you know there’s something brilliant in store for you. The xylophone (santoor?) notes are enough to make you engrossed right away. And then, as Sunidhi Chauhan starts singing, you just get a chill sent through your body; it is so beautiful! Rana composes yet another mind blowing song; this time very heavily depending on the composition. The composition doesn’t let you down, and with its calm and composed nature, wins over your heart. The mellifluous tune is enough to have you listen to the song on loop. The antara beautifully traverses the high notes, and the four vocalists do great justice to the composition. The instrumentation is heavenly as well. Strings, santoor, and the sitar make up the main part of the arrangements. The orchestra especially, does an amazing job. The “Janmabhumi, Matrubhumi” hook has a wonderful show of strings in the background. About the vocals, whatever can be said is not enough. Rana’s decision to have four singers sing this song is quite a less-opted-for decision these days, but he manages all four of them very well, without using any autotune for any of them. Sunidhi sounds a lot like Kavita Krishnamurthy when she starts! She handles the calm notes beautifully like she always does. K.K. sounds great as always, and so does Shreya. The voice that stands out though, is Rana’s. We have heard him in many songs, and his earthy and raw voice is such a boon to this song; it give it such a humble feel! The chorus vocals are haunting, and give the song an amazing feel. The lyrics are as beautiful as patriotic lyrics can get! A heart-moving patriotic number that should get the recognition it deserves!

Rating: 5/5

 

3. Ghar Chhaado

Singers ~ Rana Mazumder & Shreya Ghoshal, Music by ~ Rana Mazumder, Composition of INA Anthem by ~ Ram Singh Thakuri, Lyrics by ~ Rana Mazumder, Lyrics of INA Anthem by ~ Pt. Vanshidhar Shukla

The next song is just the Bengali version of “Hawaaon Mein Woh Aag Hai”, and the song sounds so relevant in Bengali, Subhash Chandra Bose being a Bengali man himself. Rana replaces K.K. as the lead singer here, and sings it wonderfully. The Hindi lyrics from “Qadam Qadam” though, haven’t been replaced. Shreya’s Bengali is to die for, as always! Here, however, Rana does away with the earthiness in his voice, and renders it straightforwardly. A relevant reprise of the anthem.

Rating: 4/5

 

4. Teri Zameen

Singers ~ Shriya Pareek, Revant Shergill & Siddharth Pandit, Music by ~ Siddharth Pandit, Lyrics by ~ Revant Shergill

Siddharth Pandit, from composer duo Revant-Siddharth, another relatively new composer, brings up the caboose of the album, with a song that haunts you with its intensely patriotic vibe. The composition is just as lilting as that word can get. It starts right away, giving us goosebumps right from the first note. The line “desh ke maathe pe..” has been composed in such an ethereal way, and it shakes you with its haunting vibe. The song is more like a background number, but it sounds amazing in headphones. The “Qadam Qadam” song gets a little portion of this song as well, but Pandit gives it a different tune, unlike how it was incorporated with its own tune in ‘Hawaaon Mein Woh Aag Hai’. The mukhda’s tune repeats in the last stanza, and it haunts yet again. Though the song has almost the same hook running throughout (It has three hooks that repeat), it doesn’t feel boring even once. The arrangements are just as haunting as the composition. The percussion is breathtaking, and the chimey sounds, and the sounds of the plucked string instruments, all set up a very sublime ambience. The way the song starts, like a classical song, with the hum of the tanpura, and then folksy strings accompanying it, is probably the most catchy start to such a song ever. The vocalists do proper justice to the composition — Shriya Pareek, debutante, sounding a lot like Neeti Mohan, sings her portions in a spellbinding manner! The two male vocalists do well too, especially the one singing “Elaan kar Kakkar bhar”. The lyrics by Siddharth’s companion, Revant, are top notch as well, again, having to do with patriotism, of course! A perfect haunting finale to the wonderful patriotic album!

Rating: 5/5


Raag Desh was an album I was expecting very less from, to be frank. However, the outcome just blows my mind. Two newcomers (one almost newcomer), and both giving such heart-rending melodies to the album, is quite a rare thing to hear! I wish to hear more from them now!! All three songs (and the Bengali version) are beautiful and full of patriotic vibes, keeping with the theme of the film. A short and sweet album, with also serves as the medium for a smashing debut for Mazumder!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4 + 5 + 4 + 5 = 18

Album Percentage: 90%

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: Tujhe Namaami Ho = Teri Zameen > Hawaaon Mein Aag Hai = Ghar Chaado

 

Remake Counter:
No. Of Remakes: 20 (from previous albums) + 01 (from Raag Desh) = 21

 

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

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A PERFECT, SOOTHING, SHAB-TIME ALBUM!! (SHAB – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Mithoon
♪ Lyrics by: Amitabh S. Verma & Mithoon
♪ Music Label: Tips Music
♪ Music Released On: 22nd June 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 30th June 2017

Shab Album Cover

 

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


Shab is an upcoming Bollywood romantic drama, starring Ashish Bisht, Arpita Chatterjee and Raveena Tandon in key roles. The film has been directed by Onir, the director of films like ‘My Brother Nikhil’, ‘Bas Ek Pal’ and ‘I Am’. The film has been produced by Sanjay Suri and Onir for Anticlock Films, WSG Entertainment and Surya Entertainment. So since I don’t know much about this film, let’s jump right into talks about the music. Onir’s one-time collaborator for ‘Bas Ek Pal’, Mithoon, has been roped in for the music of this film as well, and in the process, he bags his first solo album after 2013’s ‘3G’ {Yes, it too, had one background piece by Amar Mohile, in which case his last non-infiltrated soundtrack was 2010’s war film ‘Lamhaa}. The music of ‘Lamhaa’ (and even ‘3G’, at that) was amazing, and that just goes to show us how Mithoon can free himself in solo albums, unlike the restricted Mithoon we see in multicomposer albums. For this film, since he has composed the majority of the ‘Bas Ek Pal’, in which Pritam had played the infiltrative role, we know he shares a great rapport with Onir, and can just hope that this collaboration between the two turns out to be just as great. With no further ado, let’s get into this short soundtrack!


1. O Saathi

Singer ~ Arijit Singh, Lyrics by ~ Mithoon

Of course, along comes Arijit, right in the first track because this is a Mithoon soundtrack after all, which is rather incomplete without an Arijit song nowadays. (Then again, any soundtrack without Arijit these days, is deemed as incomplete, so I don’t really know what to say.) So Mithoon starts the album of ‘Shab’ (which means ‘Night’), with a song that is perfect to listen to at night-time, preferably just before going to sleep, and I say that because it is so soothing and emotional. Yes, it has a sensuous tinge to it too, and that soothing tinge is quite like that heard in many old Western songs. The composition itself starts off in a very Western manner, with those short lines with a nuance in the middle. And Arijit renders them spot-on. After those lines, though, there is the real black magic that starts, and black magic of a Mithoon song is superior to any other composer’s black magic for me, and when Mithoon is in the form, he will definitely produce a very successful, addictive composition that just haunts you. And the portion that gives you these amazing goosebumps, is the part that goes “Tuuuu Iss Jagah…”. 💜. Arijit’s intricate nuances during that part, really give you gooseflesh such as you might never have experience before, in any song, except in a Mithoon song itself. And yet, the composition isn’t something you could call ‘typical Mithoon’ either. He seems to mould himself accordingly, each time. But one thing is for sure: after the underwhelming music he gave in ‘Half Girlfriend’, he makes up for it highly, with this single song! The arrangements just help to increase the haunting nature of the song. A very soft guitar starts off the song, and that hooks you instantly. Later, a very templated Mithoon beat sets in, but it doesn’t hamper the song at all, because at the same time, the beautiful cross line starts. And how do I even explain the hookline? The amazing variations Mithoon has made Arijit take in the hookline, each time he sings it, are just so awe-inspiring! They touch your heart instantly. The guitar and digital beats continue for the rest of the song, and nothing much more by way of arrangements caught my attention, except a couple of drum beats occasionally. Arijit’s vocals are topnotch. I don’t know why composers hesitate to give him different types of songs, and though this isn’t completely different from his stereotype, it still shines because he sings in such a nuanced manner, and not in a templated manner, as if he is trying to recreate the magic of a former song of his. This song is trying to create history on its own merit, and that is what is amazing about it. One place where Arijit just stole my heart then and there was, when, in the ‘antara‘, which actually has the same tune as the mukhda, he sung the word “Zindagi” in such a professional way, with a nice variation on the “Gi” syllable at the end of the word. And of course, he sung the hookline so beautifully, I can’t imagine anybody else singing it; they wouldn’t have done as much justice to it. The lyrics by Mithoon too, are amazing! A perfect, soothing song to start the album off. 

Rating: 5/5

 

2. Musafir

Singer ~ K.K., Lyrics by ~ Amitabh S. Verma

The way the next song starts off, with a very highly promising harp portion, you would think that it would blow you off your feet by the time the melody starts off. However, after the harp portion ends, the song just goes downhill from there, barring some occasional interruptions of catchy music. I can say very confidently though, that the composition is the major spoilsport here. The hookline provides brief respite intermittently, with the “Aiyyayyaa Aiyyayyaa” loop that, though very heavily influenced by many such songs that have released over the past ten years, is catchy nevertheless. A line in the antara, goes abruptly low-pitched, and it sounds quite forced and awkward. Mithoon, once again, succumbs to peer pressure and tries to spin up a composition that reeks a lot of many other songs, and of course, using K.K. as the singer makes it sound even more clichéd. That having been said, I must admit, that K.K. has really done a great job at singing, as always. It is the music arrangements that redeem the song’s favour in our hearts. The harp in the beginning of course, is amazing, but all throughout the rest of the song, a nice drum-and-guitars rhythm stabilises the arrangements and make them listenable. A nice interlude on a mouth organ, is a nice and pleasant thing to listen to. The second interlude on the accordion is even better! Mithoon’s clever additions of chimey sounds, also helps in keeping us listening. The lyrics by Amitabh Verma are not excellent, but good enough. Quite disappointing after the first song which was a masterpiece, this one is a one-time listen; any subsequent listens will be due to the amazing arrangements!

Rating: 2.5/5

 

3. Awaari / Awaari (Reprise)

Singers ~ Mithoon / Neha Bhasin, Lyrics by ~ Amitabh S. Verma

The first note on the guitars, of the following song gives a feeling that a jazz song is about to follow. And the riff that follows is so catchy, you instantly get drawn into the song. The composition of this song is like a breeze of fresh air after the tedious composition of the previous song. The Mukhda starts a bit too abruptly to digest, but it steadies down as it approaches the hook. The hook is a very sweet and catchy one, reminding me of Hawaiian folk. The first antara follows the structure of the Mukhda, with that oddly-placed first line. But it is the second antara that has all the magic in it. That tune is so like a Mithoon trademark magical composition. The magic of the composition only comes out full-fledgedly, though, in the Reprise, and I’ll tell you why later. First, the arrangements. While the original version sung by Mithoon, has a very breezy and pleasant touch with the nice jazzy guitars mentioned before, and a very nice Caribbean touch through the percussion, the Reprise sung by Neha Bhasin has more of a lounge-ish feel, complete with calming guitars, and a slower pace and tempo. The lovely piano and finger snaps in Mithoon’s version make it seem more lively, and more of a daytime song, if you know what I mean. But Neha’s version is beautifully arranged so that it sounds like a perfect night-time, soothing song. The Reprise really won over my heart with its simplicity and less stuff happening in the background, giving more space for the listener to get drowned in its magical sound. Coming to the vocals, recently Neha expressed her desire to sing all-female songs in an interview, and surprisingly, one of her solos released not long after that. She aces the beautiful composition with a very layered and nuanced rendition of the song, in her trademark husky voice. This time, she takes up a higher pitch than she usually sings her songs in. The slow pace that she gets to sing the song in, make the composition sound better, and that’s how we finally get the gravitas of the composition in this version. After ‘Jag Ghoomeya’ (Sultan) last year, she gets another song to shine in, solo. Mithoon, on the other hand, sings his version with a lively and playful aura around him, and manages to connect with the listeners, but not quite as much as Neha could. Amitabh Verma’s lyrics are good here as well, mostly they are a description of the male protagonist’s dream girl. Experimentation by Mithoon pays off here, with a typical Mithoon composition arranged to a playful Caribbean rhythm in one version, and a serene and graceful arrangement in the other.

Rating: 3.5/5 for Mithoon’s Version, 4/5 for Neha’s Version

 

4. Afiya

Singers ~ Mohammed Irfan & Arun Daga, Lyrics by ~ Amitabh S. Verma

The final song on the album comes in form of a Qawwali-ish song, much similar to the types of songs Mithoon used to give us before the whole ‘Tum Hi Ho’ turnabout. The composition is a very strong sad song, and has every element of Mithoon’s beautiful composing skills. The song has heavy influences of Mithoon’s ‘Banjaara’ (Ek Villain), but still manages to stand tall. The hook is beautiful, and the antaras manage to keep you listening. That lower pitched line in the Antara is mind blowing, and the way it proceeds till the next interlude, has to be some of the best parts of the song. By way of arrangements, Mithoon employs a beautiful digitally-produced rhythm that really works in the Qawwali genre. The claps always work, and work here too. The Saarangi is one beautiful addition to the arrangements, as is the santoor. These were two instruments I would least expect in a Qawwali. The vocals by Mohammed Irfan and Arun Daga are very impressive as well. They harmonize with each other and complement each other spectacularly. Amitabh Verma has written great lyrics here too, but I don’t really know what “Aafiya” itself, means! A perfect end to the album; a trademark Mithoon Qawwali!

Rating: 4/5


Shab, is quite an impressive album from Mithoon, after a long time. It has been a long time since he has been allowed to compose solo for a film, like he used to back in the day, and he lives up to expectations. Though there is an overpowering romantic theme in the album, the album manages to escape from being monotonous or repetitive. And a reason for that is, that there are only four songs. But since only one of them is distinctly disappointing, I can say that Mithoon has really performed well, considering that he never gets solo albums nowadays. Overall, this is a perfect ‘Shab’ (Night) time album, full of soothing music! 

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 5 + 2.5 + 3.5 + 4 + 4 = 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: O Saathi > Awaari (Reprise) = Afiya > Awaari > Musafir

 

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

A SUPER-BRIGHT, LED TUBELIGHT!! (TUBELIGHT – Music Review)

CONGRATULATIONS!!! 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏🎉🎉🎉🎉 Guys, this calls for celebrations!!! After releasing the first song ‘Radio’ on May 17th, Sony Music stretches the music promotions till the eve of the film’s release! As I’m writing this, the time is 10:35 PM on Thursday, 22nd June, the night before the film releases. So Sony Music overtook Zee Music with this one. Zee Music had released the music of ‘Raees’ on the Thursday morning before the film, so now Sony goes one step further and rekeases this one roughly twelve hours before the film! Claps! A round of applause! Hats off! And the best part, the album has TEN songs. *Slow claps*. Before the album released Sony released five singles at tortoise speed and then left us hanging till 9:30 PM or so on 22nd June 2017. Wooosh! Phew! Geez.


Music Album Details
♪  Music by: Pritam Chakraborty
♪ Lyrics by: Amitabh Bhattacharya & Kausar Munir
♪ Music Label: Sony Music
♪ Music Released On: 22nd June 2017, 9:30 PM or so
♪ Movie Releases On: 23rd June 2017, 9:00 AM or so

Tubelight Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Tubelight is an upcoming Bollywood war drama film, starring Salman Khan, Sohail Khan, Mohammad Zeeshan Ayyub, Zhu Zhu and Om Puri, directed by Kabir Khan, and produced by Salma Khan, Salman Khan and Amar Butala. The film is set against the backdrop of the 1962 Indo-China War, which was fought over a disputed Himalayan border. The film is the official adaptation (no, not the “copy”, SRK fans!) of 2015’s “Little Boy”, an American film directed by Alejandro Gomez Monteverde. Of course, Salman Khan is looking very innocent in the promos, and the film seems to be another feather in the cap of the Kabir Khan-Salman Khan combo. Not just that, but even the music director of the film brings with him, many hopes and expectations from the audience. Pritam has been a constant collaborator with Kabir Khan, and right from their first album together, ‘New York’, he has been giving great music for Kabir’s films, and he has done three of Kabir’s films, making this the fourth film. The maestro gave an iffy soundtrack to ‘Raabta’ earlier this year, but then chose not to be associated with it for reasons we know. So for all practical purposes, this becomes his first album of the year. So, let’s see what Pritam has to offer in this long soundtrack that released twelve hours before the film!


1. Radio / Radio (Film Version)

Singers ~ Amit Mishra / Amit Mishra, Additional Vocals ~ Akashdeep Sengupta, Backing Vocals by ~ Tushar Joshi, Lyrics by ~ Amitabh Bhattacharya

“Aankhon mein aaye, aansoon khushi ke,
Phoola samaaun na main,
Haaye marr hi jaaun na main, haaye marr hi jaaun na main, ho ho,
Harkat ajoobe, Karne se khud ko, rok paaun na main,
Haaye marr hi jaaun na main, haaye marr hi jaaun na main!
Gaaunga Sur mein oonche, gaana yeh mera goonje,
Jammu se Jhumri-Talaiya,
Sajan Radio-oh-oh-oh-ohhhh, bajaiyo, bajaiyo, bajaiyo zara,
Sajan Radio-oh-oh-oh-ohhhh, bajaike sabhi ko nachaiyo zara!”

– Amitabh Bhattacharya

{NOTE: Sony had initially released a version of this song that actually had Kamaal Khan’s vocals in it, but later on it was replaced by a solo version by Amit. The Kamaal Khan Version was the film version, but now Amit has redubbed Kamaal’s parts. Even in the Film Version. Maybe Sony has credited him so that he doesn’t sue them or anything.}

So Pritam starts the album off with the quintessential, focus-the-cameras-on-Salman-Khan-dancing, sure-to-be-popular kind of song. This time, thankfully, it focuses less on Salman’s character, and stupid gimmicks like Bass and Selfies, but it apparently plays a role in the narrative. The protagonist gets a very good news, via the radio, the only source to get news of the war in those times, and hence, the whole village celebrates by singing this quite festive song, ‘Radio’. Pritam leaves no stone unturned in trying to compose this song in a catchy way, and still keeping the superhero’s image intact. 2015’s ‘Selfie Le Le Re’ (Bajrangi Bhaijaan) was low on the composition front, and Pritam fixes those problems and adds a more rich tune, here. The mukhda is the only odd thing; it might take time to get used to, but from the hookline to the end of the song, it takes you on a fun ride, showcasing Pritam’s trademark fun and desi side. The hook is something that will surely never leave my mind and heart, it has touched me with its cuteness. The way the word ‘Radio’ has been elongated with those intricate nuances, is just mind blowing. And extra marks to Amit Mishra, who rendered them just as perfectly. The antara, which is what Kamaal had sung in the initial version, which was taken down, has been composed just as charmingly, and I actually felt a nice old-world-charm in it. And the bridge from the antara back to the hookline, the part that goes “Jammu se Jhumri-talaiyya“, for some reason appealed to me a lot! The latter part of the song is just everything we had heard earlier in the song, played again, but I assure you, it doesn’t seem tedious or boring to listen to. Pritam has employed some wonderful arrangements to make this song sound as innovative as it can, in a Salman Khan movie. The accordion (Jeff Taylor) that starts off the song itself, draws you in so strongly, it is hard to stop listening right away. And then the composer brings in his usual upbeat Indian beats, the dholaks (Rhythms by Nitin Shankar & Dipesh Verma) standing out brilliantly especially in the hookline. The trumpets (Samuel Ewens) too, have a wonderful effect on the song. There’s a wonderful accordion (Jeff Taylor) solo in the second interlude which is something that can’t be missed at any cost! Sadly, people who will just be watching the badly-edited video song on TV, will miss it! The fiddle (Eli Bishop) is just lovely, standing out most prominently in the beginning of the antara, and as the antara progresses, we can hear one odd Banjo (Matt Menefee) note, which stands out like a sore thumb, but a good one, I guess!! Amit Mishra, Pritam’s latest blue-eyed boy, renders this one with amazing vocal prowess. It wasn’t always in his previous songs, that Amit hit the notes perfectly, but somehow, he manages to do so in an upbeat song where the melody plays the main game. Kudos to him for improving his vocals! Especially the low notes in the antara, he performs magnificently. The Film Version is basically the same song, but with Amit taking up different lyrics in the antara (this is what Kamaal had sung earlier, quite terribly too, at that, and I’m glad Pritam removed his voice. But then why have Sony credited him? May I say “LOL”?!). But that one gets a little less marks as the corresponding part in the antara of this song isn’t as hooking as the “Jhumri-talaiya” portion that I had loved! The situational lyrics by Amitabh are quite easy to decode, and we can easily understand what’s going to go on in the film when this song plays. It isn’t just a roadside attraction like ‘Selfie Le Le Re’ was in ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’. A solid start to the album; this song might not be the favourite of Salman Khan’s or Pritam’s fans, but it left me awestruck with its innocent and charming nature! 

Rating: 4/5 for Original Version, 4/5 for the Film Version

 

2. Naach Meri Jaan

Singers ~ Nakash Aziz, Dev Negi, Kamaal Khan & Tushar Joshi, Kumaow Backing Vocals by ~ Dev Negi, Anurag Saikia, Akashdeep Sengupta & Tushar Joshi, Lyrics by ~ Amitabh Bhattacharya

“Rishta humaara, jaise ki dori, se judi ho patang, patang, patang, patang!
Tujhse bichhadke chal na sakoonga, ek bhi main, kadam kadam kadam kadam!
Palkon pe mujhko bas toone bithaya,
Jeene ka nuskha yehi, toone bataya,
Chhed ghata ko, banke pavan tu, chhodke saare, kintu parantu,
Naach meri jaan, hoke magan tu, chhodke saare, kintu parantu!”

– Amitabh Bhattacharya

The second song comes across more as the commercial, show-off-Salman’s-stardom kind of song, than the first song. But this time, along with Salman, his real-life and reel-life brother, Sohail Khan, also gets the spotlight. The song is being touted as a ‘Brotherhood Anthem’, and that, it is. It is heartwarming to hear Pritam’s composition for this one. A very innocent composition at heart, it really suits the ambience of the film, and will set the base for the two brothers’ love in the film, perfectly. The prelude is a wonderful folksy instrumental on a folk instrument of the Northeast India. After the prelude ends, I found myself very tempted to sing “Jashnbaazi Ki Shaam Hai..“, the opening lines of Pritam’s ‘Tukur Tukur’ (Dilwale), because the feel of both songs is just so similar. Even after the mukhda plays, though, that song cannot be forgotten, and yet another Pritam song, ‘Chicken Kuk-Do-Koo’ (Bajrangi Bhaijaan), comes to mind. Pritam always does those slightly Goanese flavoured songs with utmost care and fun, in the process, making us get a very fun song to listen to. The composition of the mukhda starts off the song very beautifully though, despite all the throwbacks to his previous songs. And the hookline too, is amazingly charming. The antaras, both having the same tune, witness Pritam doing his (yet again) trademark repetition of one word many times, and that effect sounds really cute and catchy here. The composition overall gives out a very beautiful old-fashioned feel, and I mean it in a good way. Pritam does the Laxmikant-Pyarelal thing again, and scores. The arrangements in this song are much more richer, than the Pritam songs that it sounds like. The entire song is based on a folksy rhythm, with a strong whiff of the Northeastern flavour. The percussion stands out very prominently, as a quirky and catchy one. The folksy instrument keeps playing throughout the song, and you can’t help but keep humming the flute portions in the second interlude. That interlude is hands-down, the best part of the song for me. Close behind comes the folksy chorus part, sung in Kumaow, the dialect spoken in the hilly areas where the film is set. Dev Negi, Tushar Joshi, Anurag Saikia & Akashdeep Sengupta, do an amazing job singing those lines. As for the lead vocals, Nakash Aziz is his usual energetic self, whose best is always brought out by Pritam. Dev Negi sings the other brother’s portions in the audio song, or so I believe, because I can hear Kamaal Khan’s soft-and-unimpactful voice in the video, and that’s not the same voice in the audio song. 😂 So again, Kamaal gets replaced for the album version of the song, just as he was in the first song. Whoever has sung those parts in the audio then (though I’m guessing it is Dev Negi) has done an impressive job compared to what Kamaal sounds like in the video. Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics are a very cute take on the dynamics (in the song, very smooth and easy-going, which I don’t think it is like in real life… Right?? 😂😂😂) between two brothers. To sum it up, this song is something that touches your heart, as well as makes you tap your feet, at the same time!

Rating: 4.5/5

 

3. Tinka Tinka Dil Mera / Tinka Tinka Dil Mera (Film Version)

Singers ~ Rahat Fateh Ali Khan / Jubin Nautiyal, Chorus ~ Vivienne Pocha, Shazneen Arethna, Marienne D’Souza & V. Chandana Bala, Traditional Shepherd Calls by ~ Jubin Nautiyal, Vivienne Pocha & DJ Phukan, Lyrics by ~ Kausar Munir

“Tinka tinka dil mera, teri lau mein, jalta hai,
Jaaye tu chaahe kahin, mere dil mein dhalta hai,
Qatra qatra, dil mera, teri raah mein behta hai,
Jaaye tu chaahe kahin, mere dil mein rehta hai!”

– Kausar Munir

After two upbeat and foot tapping numbers, the pathos and poignance that eventually gets to all Pritam-Kabir Khan soundtracks, sets in. What is presented to us next, is a pensive melody that really brings tears to your eyes, and I’m not exaggerating! Pritam ropes in his long-time collaborator, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan from across the border, to sing this song, and I must say, he was the perfect choice for this song. Of course there is a “Film Version” by Jubin Nautiyal as well, but more on that later. The composition is essentially a heart touching one, complete with little nuances throughout its length. The mukhda, which is in its entirety, the hookline itself, hits you right where it should. The folksy bits in the interludes, (rendered powerfully by Jubin Nautiyal, Vivienne Pocha & DJ Phukan), are really impactful and provide a raw and earthy feel to the song. Even the basic composition by Pritam is very raw and rustic, not like Pritam’s usual alternative rock-styled sad songs a la ‘Saware’ (Phantom), ‘Daayre’ (Dilwale), etc. The antara does something inside you that not even the mukhda could do. The high notes it touches are just so heart-rending, it leaves a lasting impression, at least it left one on my heart. The slow pace really works in the song’s favour, and evokes memories of another such song by Pritam, “Ashq Na Ho” (Holiday), which was also, coincidentally, about the sentiments of family members of a soldier when he goes off to war. There is yet another “roadside attraction” as I call it, in the song, and that is the Chorus, singing like an English choir. Vivienne Pocha, Shazneen Arethna, Marienne D’Souza and V. Chandana Bala do that with a striking brilliance. It kind of resembles the similar chorus we had in ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’s ‘Zindagi Kuch Toh Bata’. Now, to talk about the leading man, Rahat. I think that if I say he has done extraordinarily in the song, it would be an understatement. His rustic voice produces a magic it has not produced of late, and reaches out to your heart. Jubin, on the other hand, not having the same vocal texture in other songs, tries impressively to produce it, and even succeeds to an extent. The way he has moulded himself to fit into the rustic standards of the song, is very impressive. But of course, some of the magic that Rahat could provide, is evidently missing in Jubin’s version. {Fun fact here: Even in ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’, Jubin had sung one version of ‘Zindagi Kuch Toh Bata’, and the other one was a duet between Rahat and Rekha Bhardwaj!} Pritam’s arrangements are some of the most beautiful arrangements I’ve heard for a sad song this year. Usually, composers while arranging the sad songs are of the (mis)conception that it would be fitting to arrange it very monotonously, with the same sounds repeating all throughout the song. They almost never try to experiment at it, but here, Pritam has experimented by adding touches of the folksy flavour (credited by Sony Music as “Traditional Shepherd Calls”) and a Western flavour through the Choir. Even in the instruments, he tries to bring variety, by gracing some parts of the song with nothing but a serene-sounding piano, making the song suitable for a lullaby, but other parts heavy with rich and lush instrumentation, especially the finale to the song, where the American choir starts to sound African (but I guess that’s how the Hill Regions’ folk music sounds). Interspersed throughout the song, is a string instrument that is very fascinating; that would be the Swedish Nyckel Harpa (played here by Emelia Amper). Regular orchestral strings too prevail in the song, and sound magnificent especially in the first interlude. The instrumentation doesn’t stop even at the percussion part of the song, where Pritam employs Dipesh Verma, Omkar Salunkhe & Backtracks to produce a very intriguing Afro kind of percussion section. The guitar, of course, is a nice and pleasant addition to everything else that sounds so heavy. Even though the song is very emotional though, it never sounds heavy to the ears, and that is definitely because the arrangements have been kept so soothing to the ears, especially the minimal piano/xylophone parts. Both version are the same in arrangements, only differing in the vocal department. Kausar Munir, guest lyricist, pens down this song as a very heart-moving depiction of one brother’s love for the other, who is obviously off at war. SPLENDID!!

Rating: 5/5 for the Rahat Version, 4.5/5 for the Jubin Version

 

4. Main Agar / Main Agar (Film Version)

Singer ~ Atif Aslam / K.K., Chorus in Atif’s Version ~ Vivienne Pocha, Shazneen Arethna, Nisha Mascarenhas & V. Chandana Bala, Lyrics by ~ Amitabh Bhattacharya

“Main agar, sitaaron se churaake laaun roshani,
Hawaaon se churake laaun raagini,
Na poori ho sakegi unse magar, teri kami,
Main agar, nazaaron se churake laaun rangatein,
Mazaaron se churake laaun barqatein,
Na poori ho sakegi unse magar, teri kami!
Yeh duniya paraayi hai, bas ek apna hai tu,
Jo sach ho mera woh savere ka sapna hai tu!
Dekhunga tera raasta, ho kuchh tujhe bas Khuda na Khaasta!” 💜

– Amitabh Bhattacharya

Finally, with the fourth song in the soundtrack, the TYPPPPPPICAL Pritam vibe enters, and by that I mean a very soft and dulcet melody, with rock arrangements that send you on a trip to dreamland. The song starts off very promisingly. Very, very promisingly. The mukhda starts off right away with the hookline, which is a haunting line, that you catch onto instantly! It takes these abrupt turns into that “Haunting Note” territory, and when a tune goes into that territory, you end up loving it right away! That part even reminded me of the same “Haunting Note” territory part in “Zindagi Kuch Toh Bata” (Bajrangi Bhaijaan). But after that nice and dulcet tune, in comes a very oddly placed high-octane rock portion that defies the era and time period in which the film is set; it sounds very much like the formulaic songs that Pritam sometimes composed for the Bhatts. But fortunately, the composition is so strong, you overlook the mismatch of the era and the musical style. The antara gets back into that Haunting territory, and in the high notes, it just sends chills along the length of your arms. But hands-down, the best part of the song is the part where the title comes into play. Again, towards the end, a wondrous chorus joins (Vivienne Pocha, Shazneen Arethna, Nisha Mascarenhas & V. Chandana Bala), giving a very goosebumps-inducing experience. The arrangements in this one, are quite different from the folksy feel that the album carried till now, as is clearly evident right when the first electric guitar riff plays. The guitars, nevertheless, are very engaging, and Pritam does that technique of his which we heard in ‘Kabira’ (Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani) and ‘Saware’ (Phantom), where the guitar just seems to play in a never-ending circular loop. The song starts off, however, with a very serene and soothing piano-driven instrumentation, and those first sixty seconds of the song are something to savour, because then, after that, the drums (Backtracks) and guitars (Warren Mendonsa & Oscar Foreleg Storm) overshadow everything else. Once in the antara, between the lines “woh lamha hoon main“, and “Phaagun Ke Mahine“, you can hear a very Indian Qawwali-ish instrument, like the chimta, and I wonder what that is doing in this song. Whatever it’s doing, I loved that it is doing whatever it is doing. 😍 The basic rhythm of the song is very engaging. One grouse I had during the finale of the song is that the chorus + guitars + Atif yelling at the top of his voice, gets so loud at one point, that you have to decrease the volume from whatever volume you are listening it at, because it just doesn’t sound consistent with the rest of the song. That brings us to Atif. He pronounces his words quite better than he does usually, and leaves no doubt in out mind that this song was tailor-made for him and solely him. Whatever has irked me about the loudness in the original song, isn’t quite set right completely in the Film Version by K.K., but as a song, this one is a more glitzy version of the melancholic song. This one has modern club beats (reminding one of “Tum Mile” title song), which sound like even more of an oddity considering that the film is set in the 1960s. And to think that a club version is the Film Version, is well, awkward. Pritam tweaks the tune a bit, adding a part where K.K. repeats the word “bepanah“, and uses his trademark neverending guitar loop there too. K.K.’s vocals are enjoyable, and I must say, he grazes the high notes way better than Atif does, in a very effortless manner. Pritam also does away with the female choir here, and ends the song softly, instead of loudly like the original version. Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics in this song, though, are what will make people to listen to it, even fifty years down the line. Such poetic lines, and so meaningful! Wow! He even writes different lyrics for two portions in the so-called “Film Version”. I still have a gut feeling that Atif’s version would be the Film Version, and Sony has just written it on the K.K. version by mistake. Both versions are slight misfits in the album, but a great song nevertheless. Despite a few grouses here and there, it is made up for by the SPECTACULAR lyrics!

Rating: 4/5 for Atif’s Version, 4/5 for K.K.’s Version

 

5. Kuch Nahi / Kuch Nahi (Reprised) / Kuch Nahi (Encore)

Singers ~ Javed Ali / Shafqat Amanat Ali / Papon, Lyrics by ~ Amitabh Bhattacharya

“Naa nabz, naa hi saansein, Kuch nahi, kuch nahi
Tere bina hai jeena, Kuch nahi, kuch nahi
Naa ashq naa hi aahein, Kuch nahi, kuch nahi
Tere bina hai marna, Kuch nahi, kuch nahi!
Tere bina main kyun, Tere bina main kya?
Har pehar darbadar, Kuch nahi, kuch nahi..
Naa aks naa hi saaya, Kuch nahi, kuch nahi
Tere bina hai mera, Kuch nahi, kuch nahi!”

– Amitabh Bhattacharya

The grand finale to this much-awaited and much-delayed album, appears in three versions. So it is as of Pritam is making up for all the time we spent waiting, by giving us a treat of two extra versions! Let’s remind ourselves that ‘Tu Jo Mila’ (Bajrangi Bhaijaan) also featured in three versions, one by K.K., one by Javed Ali and the last by Papon. Well here, Pritam follows a similar template, giving one version to Javed, one to Papon and the third to someone he has collaborated with many times, but has been absent from Bollywood for quite a long, long time, Shafqat Amanat Ali. So first version first. Javed Ali gets to sing the original version of the song, and what an apt choice that is, for, he renders it so beautifully with his voice that is the perfect blend of rustic and sweet. The composition immediately gives off fragrances of ‘Tu Jo Mila’, right from the first line, but Pritam takes detour from that similar tune quite soon in the proceedings of the song, only to make it sound like a different line of ‘Tu Jo Mila’. The bottom line was that, I couldn’t forget ‘Tu Jo Mila’ the whole time I was listening to this song. The guitar in the beginning is played very similar to that in ‘Tu Jo Mila’, and by very I mean very, very. Is that a complaint? No, not at all. The composition, despite all similarities, is very beautiful and has a soul of its own. The rest of the arrangements, too do not emulate ‘Tu Jo Mila’ either. While that song had more of an alternative rock setting, this one goes a more rooted way, with the use of traditional (by which I mean traditional Western) arrangements: the orchestra is phenomenal, you just have to keep your ears ready for phenomenal performances by the strings, especially in the antara. And can we take a moment to appreciate the impeccable beauty of the composition of the “tere bina main kyun, tere bina main kya?” line!? Even the antara is very soulful, but it is the hookline with its ‘Tu Jo Mila’-esque properties, that draws you in right away. Anyway, the arrangements are amazing, and a nice rhythm section, again, has been employed all throughout. A wonderful flute interlude plays the ‘Main Agar’ hookline, and that part reaches your heart instantly! This arrangement stays for the Reprise by Shafqat, but it is changed in the Papon version. Papon’s Version has a slightly different arrangement than the other two. A mellow piano, and a twinkly xylophone backdrop welcomes us into the song, with a cello following quite soon. And then the strings just free up so beautifully, and showcase their beauty right away. Here, Pritam does away with the percussion, and keeps it like a classical Western song, and you will get a feeling that you are in some authentic Symphony House in Prague. The interlude too, changes from the flute one to a string orchestra one, with piano leading us to the antara. The antara has hints of brass instrumentation as well, and the percussion returns, but not as pronounced at it was in the two other versions. All in all, this version has the richest arrangements of the three. As for the vocals, I’ve already mentioned how Javed’s high pitched voice helps him directly reach our hearts. Shafqat seems a bit out of form, and that vibrato that used to be the characteristic of his voice, seems to have vanished, making his singing sound duller than his former singing, but better than other singers nowadays!! How I wish the old singers that Pritam has used in this album get many more songs today. Papon in his version, uses his deep, metallic voice to awe his audience and fares way better than Shafqat, but again, I felt the composition only suited Jared’s high pitched voice. The other two have sung well, but the composition just doesn’t go with those low voices for me. But the arrangements helped to make those versions better. Amitabh Bhattacharya keeps the lyrics the same in all three versions, and that’s good too, because the lyrics are so wonderful and deep. 🙂 A perfect finale to this album, in three options! Choose your preferred option and enjoy!!

Rating: 5/5 for Javed’s Version, 4/5 for Shafqat’s Version, 4.5/5 for Papon’s Version


Tubelight turned out to be quite worth the excruciating wait. With only five original compositions, and each of them scoring in their own ways, Pritam has made this album a treat for music lovers. The typical Pritam practice of adding lots of reprises in albums has been revived, the last such album of his being probably ‘Dishoom’. But those reprises were so redundant. Here, each reprise has its own specialty. About the album on a whole, it is so full of variety, while also keeping the emotion of the film intact. Though there are three songs that are uninhibitedly sad/mellow songs, even the two upbeat songs have tinges of emotion in them hidden somewhere. Since this album took such less time to grow on me, at least, I would say that it is a superbright, LED tubelight, which of course, light much faster than the normal ones! 😉

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4 + 4 + 5 + 4.5 + 4.5 + 4 + 4 + 5 + 4 + 4.5 = 43.5

Album Percentage: 87% {Just 0.5% short of getting the top rating! Oh well.}

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: Kuch Nahi = Tinka Tinka Dil Mera > Tinka Tinka Dil Mera (Film Version) = Naach Meri Jaan = Kuch Nahi (Encore) > Radio = Radio (Film Version) = Main Agar = Main Agar (Film Version)

 

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

REVISIT THE BLACK-AND-WHITE ERA! (RANGOON – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Vishal Bhardwaj
♪ Lyrics by: Gulzar & Lekha Washington
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 19th January 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 24th February 2017

Rangoon Album Cover

Rangoon Album Cover

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Rangoon is an upcoming period film (read war action romantic epic drama) starring Saif Ali Khan, Shahid Kapoor and Kangana Ranaut in lead roles. The film has been directed by Vishal Bhardwaj, who is back after his super-hit, ‘Haider’, and produced by himself, along with Sajid Nadiadwala and Viacom18 Motion Pictures. The movie is set during the World War II, and is a love triangle including an actress Julia (played by Ranaut), her lover Rusi (played by Saif Ali Khan) and an Indian soldier, Nawab, (played by Shahid Kapoor) whom the actress falls in love with. As is the usual case with all Vishal Bhardwaj directorial, the director himself has scored the music for the movie, and as usual, the man has provided a huge soundtrack for music lovers like us. With twelve tracks, this album surpasses all his previous albums to his directorials in terms of number of songs, and that’s what makes me all the more eager to jump into the album! With Gulzar’s lyrics, the album is sure to be yet another album like ‘Haider’, that we’ll be able to cherish for long! Also, given the setting of the film, I am expecting a lot of jazzy, funky and retro music, something along the lines of Bombay Velvet, and I’m also looking forward to something oriental, only because the movie is named ‘Rangoon’ which is the city in Myanmar now known as Yangon. And Myanmar means east, and east means ‘Close to China’!! So I’m expecting that eastern touch in the music too! 😀 So, with these colossal expectations, let me dive into the music of ‘Rangoon’!


1. Bloody Hell

Singer ~ Sunidhi Chauhan, Choir ~ Nisha Mascarenhas, Marianne D’cruz Aiman, Shazneen Arethna, Rishikesh Kamerkar, Suhas Sawant, Vikas Joshi & Rajiv Sundaresan, Lyrics by ~ Gulzar

“No no, sorry sorry, karte ishq Kiya angrezi mein,
Arre khullam khulla do hothon ka jaam piya angrezi mein,
Baji ek bell, tring trring! Bloody hell!”

– Gulzar

The unusual sound of a whip starts off the first song on the album, and unless you know that Kangana Ranaut’s character in this song is based on Fearless ‘Hunterwali’ Nadia, you might be quite confused on hearing the song. Anyway, I knew it and now you do too, so on with the review. As I said, the very interesting but odd sound of a whip starts the song off, and one wonders what innovations Vishal Bhardwaj intends to have put into the song. The beginning of the song makes it very clear that the song is going to be used in a stage performance, with the audience’s applauds and whistles and other sounds. It is when the melody of the song starts, that you find yourself thinking why you are listening to the song; it is kind of weird at first. Especially the “Talk Talk Talk” and “Walk Walk Walk” might discourage you from listening any further, right away. However, the song opens up later, and how! Vishal’s composition, though very clichéd as far as such stage performances go, manages to make you cling on to it, and hum it after it is over. The line before the hookline (“No no sorry sorry…”) is just such a beautiful tune! The hookline itself is another bit of underwhelming notes, but I guess it doesn’t hamper the song as much as the flawed beginning does, as the mood of the song has already set in by the time it plays. The antaras are what smell strongly of Vishal Bhardwaj, as they have a strong Vishal Bhardwaj feel to them. The second one, which was quite short, reminded me of ‘Bismil’ from ‘Haider’, maybe because of the storytelling style of Gulzar’s lyrics. The first antara has a cool repetition of the lines Sunidhi sings by a harmonious backing chorus. Vishal’s arrangements are enjoyable, with the trumpets playing an utterly important role in them, especially in the hookline. The piano played in a very upbeat manner gives a nice beat to the song. I’m sure you’ll hear the piano where you would least expect it, in the song. Strings are used well too in places. The use of bass has been done generously, and it makes the song sound modern even though it has a retro styled composition. And of course, the male and female choruses both do an amazing job with their respective parts. Sunidhi, a once-in-four-years singer for Vishal Bhardwaj, owns the song, with her efficacious voice, and it reminds you of the days when Sunidhi used to sing numerous songs of this type. She gets the grunge in her voice right when needed, and gets her voice soft and sweet when needed, all so seamlessly. Gulzar’s lyrics are a fun take on what it would’ve been like at a soldier’s camp during the World War II, though they are quite the whimsical. Some parts make entire nonsense. 😛 A good start to the album, and probably the most commercial Vishal Bhardwaj’s music can get!

Rating: 4/5

 

2. Yeh Ishq Hai / Yeh Ishq Hai (Female Version)

Singers ~ Arijit Singh / Rekha Bhardwaj, Choir in Female Version ~ Mahesh Kumar Rao, Nazim Khan, Subhan Sultani & Sonu Khan, Lyrics by ~ Gulzar

“Sufi ke sulfe ki, Lau utthi Allah hoo! Allah hoo, Allah hoo, Allah hooooo!
Sufi ke sulfe ki, Lau utthi Allah hoo!
Jalte hi rehna hai, Baaki na main na Tu.. yeh ishq hai re… Yeh ishq hai!”

– Gulzar

Vishal Bhardwaj tries to tone down the craziness that the first song caused, by giving us a dulcet romantic song as the next song on the soundtrack. And what we get is a soothing, calm melodious romantic piece in a typical Vishal Bhardwaj style of composition! Now I always love this typicality of Vishal Bhardwaj, and nothing changed this time. The composition seemed slow and ‘different’ at first, but later it grew on me very quickly. The mukhda dives right into the hookline, and then continues to very low-pitched notes that soothe your senses as much as they can be soothed. The hookline does have very slight shades of Rahman’s ‘Dil Se Re’ (Dil Se), but barring that slight uncanny resemblance, I wouldn’t really go all bonkers about that similarity. The mukhda intrigues you so much that you don’t even realise when the interlude is over and the antara has started. The antara is a melodious, high-pitched piece that reminds me of ‘Khul Kabhi’ (Haider), another vintage Vishal Bhardwaj-styled melody from the composer. The way the high notes fall back to low notes and continue with the hookline, is just amazing. It is the second Antara that holds all the magic though. Although the tune of both is the same, Vishal introduces pleasant variations in the second antara (I’m talking about the “Allah hoo” part!) and it is just so heavenly! And at the end, when the hookline plays, it is such a beautiful high pitch, that you can say nothing but “Waah!” Saying so much about the composition, I must say that it wouldn’t have sounded this great without the wonderful arrangements. Guitars (Ankur Mukherjee) lead the way, with nice wind instruments (Ashwin Shrinivasan) following. And that magnificent digital beat that sounds like jingles, is toooooo good! The first interlude has a beautiful flute piece, while the second goes with a nice rustic rabaab, which you can also hear faintly playing in the background in other parts of the song. Arijit’s voice suits the song perfectly, and though I wished Vishal himself had sung it during the first couple of times I heard ths song, I am now totally convinced that there was no voice other than Arijit’s, that could’ve done justice to the composition, and also, I so trust Vishal now with Arijit’s voice. He always gives him the best songs, and doesn’t hesitate to experiment with his voice. Arijit too, has introduced a husky quality in his voice here, and it sounds mesmerizing, quite like it did in ‘Khul Kabhi’ (Haider). He hits the high notes with such intensity and perfection, that it is hard to believe he was the same man who was made to drone out songs like ‘Raat Bhar’ (Heropanti) and ‘Saanson Ko’ (Zid) in such a disturbingly low pitch. That much was what I thought about the male version of the song. But if you skip to the track number 9 on the soundtrack as it is shown on Saavn or iTunes or the YouTube jukebox, you will find hidden there, a gem in the form of the female version of the same song. Now that version is pure bliss. And of you thought the male version was heaven, you will find this to be pure salvation. Vishal Bhardwaj has given it a complete makeover, adding a nice Sufi-style Qawwali arrangement. Tablas (Navin Sharma), dholaks (Raju Sardar & Navin Sharma) and harmoniums (Firoz Shah) replace the guitars that were so prominent in the original song. It makes the song sound so spiritual all of a sudden. The tune has been tweaked when the antara joins to the hookline, where, instead of going to the high notes as Arijit did, the tune goes back down to the low notes. And Rekha Bhardwaj renders this version majestically. Nobody else could’ve done it and produced the same effect. And she is ably supported by a nice backing chorus, giving a very mehfil-ish feel to it all. Gulzar’s lyrics are amazing! I think you will have to listen to them to experience it yourself, but I must say they are a nice depiction of love. And in the female version, a beautiful introductory piece has been added by the veteran lyricist, which is not to be missed! A romantic piece that takes your breath away. Special points to the female version that makes romance sound so spiritual.

Rating: 4/5 for Male Version, 5/5 for Female Version

 

3. Mere Miyan Gaye England

Singer ~ Rekha Bhardwaj, Choir ~ Deepti Rege, Mayuri Patwardhan, Archana Gore, Pragati Joshi, Aditi Prabhudesai, Aparna Ullal, Arun Ingle, R. N. Iyer, Mandar Apte & Nitin Karandikar, Lyrics by ~ Gulzar

“Saat samundar paar gaye par paanv nahin bheege,
Aise pahunche huye piya hai, aji gaanv nahin bhoole!
Jo utre kheton mein, wahin par padi hoon main,
Jahan par milte thhe, wahin par khadi hoon main!
Aji itna hai bas bhool na jaaye mera bus ishtand,
Conductor chooke na! Conductor chooke na!
Conductor chooke na… Driver chaunke na!”

– Gulzar

When a movie’s name is ‘Rangoon’, one isn’t surprised when the makers decide to come up with a spin-off of the old classic ‘Mere Piya Gaye Rangoon’ from the 1949 film ‘Patanga’. And mind you, I said ‘spin-off’, and not ‘remake’. And no, spin-off is not the new euphemism I’ll be using for remakes, so there’s no need to be releasing yourselves, composers making bad remakes! Anyway, back to the point. The song has been composed entirely differently, with only the first line of the hook bearing whatsoever resemblance to the old song. Instead of ‘Rangoon’ from the old song, Vishal Bhardwaj has cleverly changed it to ‘England’ (given the fact that the film is set against the backdrop of the World War II) and changed ‘Piya’ to ‘Miyan’. He has composed an entirely new song, no mater what people say about it being a remake, because it isn’t. The composition is instantly catchy and has a very happy-go-lucky tune to it, which makes it all the more likeable. The ‘ha-ha-ha’ that sets the song going, is very mesmerising in a fun way, and after that, it is a full-of-fun, enjoyable song, probably another of Julia’s performances, given its situational nature. The mukhda starts off from the hookline (and is entirely composed of the hookline itself, I must say), which starts off quite similar to the old song’s hookline, but then goes on into one of those endless lines that stops unexpectedly, making it so fun the first time you hear it! The “kahan karenge land” part is what I’m referring to. The antaras are beautiful, with a very tangible, traditional touch to them. The composition of those parts is indescribably enjoyable, something similar to Vishal’s work in ‘Oye Boy Charlie’ (Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola). The part in the antaras which is the bridge from the antara to the hookline, (“Jo utre kheton mein…”) is brilliantly fast paced, and brings back the tempo fabulously after the slowdown in the antara! Vishal’s arrangements are a class apart. Again, ‘Oye Boy Charlie’-like instrumentation can be observed, with harmoniums leading the way, and tablas (Musharraf Khan & Sanjiv Sen) and dholaks (Mohd. Yusuf, Hafeez Khan, Sharafat Khan, Raju Sardar) leading the fantastic percussion. A beautiful detour from the main fun-filled ambience of the song occurs in the form of the second interlude, when a very heart-moving shehnaai (Sanjeev Shankar) piece suddenly changes the whole feel of the song, and the antara that follows seems like a very emotional part of the song (more so because of Gulzar’s lyrics), until the hookline comes back to cheer things up again. Not that it is going to be make you rather teary-eyed though; it is a very subtle emotional detour in the song, and certainly a magical move by Vishal Bhardwaj. Rekha Bhardwaj is very effervescent in her delivery of the upbeat composition. Who could be a better replacement (though this is a spin-off and not a remake) than her, for the legendary Shamshad Begum? She is always such a pleasure to listen to, and the fact remains true here as well. Her rendition makes her sound like a very young and boisterous person, and it suits to the theme of the song perfectly. Gulzar’s lyrics are amazing, about a lady missing her love, who is away fighting the war in England. References to Hitler and Churchill really, really enrich the listening experience and it also makes the song interesting for History lovers (who isn’t one?) And the second antara, of course, has been written beautifully! A nice SPIN-OFF to an old classic, and one of the most fun and quirky songs of recent times!

Rating: 5/5

 

4. Tippa

Singers ~ Rekha Bhardwaj, Sunidhi Chauhan, Sukhwinder Singh & O.S. Arun, Choir ~ Vivienne Pocha, Marianne D’Cruz Aiman, Neuman Pinto & Rajiv Sundaresan, Lyrics by ~ Gulzar

“Aaja uchhalenge, pakdenge paani ki boondein, aa bhi jaa..
Geeli hawaayein agar paani maange, toh kyun de, kyun bhala?
Tupur tupur, naach re nupur paayi.. tupur tupur naach re nupur paayi,
Googly Jhinak jhaayi..
Hey, tap tap gol gol tippe mein jo doobe, far far farmaaish dekhe hain ajoobe..!”

– Gulzar

What follows, is an even more enjoyable, situational track that proves wrong all notions that situational songs never grip you before you watch them in the movie. Because this one here, is a stellar example of a song that intrigues and fascinates you so much, yet you do not understand what exactly is going on, but get a vague idea. Of course, to understand you’ll have to watch it in the movie, but for now, the song is not something that you will have to keep on hold till the movie releases! The song is an perfect example of a brilliant onomatopoeic song, with sounds like “Tap Tap”, “Chhuk Chhuk”, “Bud Bud”, “Jhinak Jhayi” making up the gist of the lyrics. And the spectacular arrangements help propel the otherwise very undecipherable song, to new heights. The composition on its own sounds like a 90s Vishal Bhardwaj composition {And turns out it is a reuse of one of Vishal Bhardwaj’s title songs for an animated television series, “Alice in Wonderland”} and intrigues you the way it would have in the 90s, when Vishal’s songs werw way ahead of their time. It has many layers, just like ‘Haider’s ‘Bismil’, and it seems that there is some hidden story in it, which of course, will unfold on 24th February. The song starts with a very haunting, but catchy tune, and as the hookline arrives you are fascinated by the various sound effects. But when the hookline does arrive, you notice how wonderful a tune it is. Hear it again in entirety, and the mukhda also sounds better the next time. The first antara follows the same tune as that of the mukhda, but of course, when it is Vishal Bhardwaj, it means variations, so the variations are evident here as well. The second antara has a more commercially appealing tune, but it still appeals just as much as the other unconventional parts of the song. Sukhwinder’s “Maajhi Re” interlude touches your heart. And whenever they build up the suspense before the hookline by saying “tap tap tap, tap tap tap“, it is so fun to just guess when the climax will arrive and the hookline reveals all the suspense. (And this happens every time you hear the song, just like a good thriller movie). Vishal’s arrangements are splendid, a mélange of great sound effects and beautiful orchestration. The violins (Suresh Lalwani) are the most prominent instruments throughout the entire song, and they are played in those vivid strokes, making them sound so regal. Of course, there are sound effects in such magnitudes that I’ve very rarely heard in a Bollywood song, and even if I have, they hadn’t been used to such a good effect. But here, sound effects like the raindrops, and train sounds start off the song so intriguingly! That creaking noise gives such an awesome beat, and it is joined by the raindrops and later on, the “tap tap” chorus, making it sound ever-so-harmonious. Also, that sudden outbreak of percussion when the hookline finally starts after the endless “tap tap“, is amaziiiiinnng! The vocals are amazing, with four lead singers and a choir supporting them. I would especially like to point out O.S. Arun, a professional Carnatic singer, who has sung his parts so majestically! And he sounds a bit like Suresh Wadkar, so I’m surprised Vishal Bhardwaj didn’t think of Suresh Wadkar. The others are all seasoned Bollywood singers — Sukhwinder (bringing the “Chaiyya Chaiyya” touch in yet another train-themed song!), Rekha Bhardwaj (at her mesmerizing best) and Sunidhi (carrying the hookline with such marvellous finesse). The choir is amazing in its parts. Gulzar’s lyrics make it clear that the song is about rain, trains and dimples, but I’m sure there’s a deeper meaning to it; the movie might reveal that! However, I loved the striking use of onomatopoeia! That in itself is a masterstroke. Innovative, yet nostalgia-inducing! A song about rains, trains and dimples!

Rating: 5/5

 

5. Ek Dooni Do

Singer ~ Rekha Bhardwaj, Choir ~ Vivienne Pocha, Bianca Pinto, Marianne D’Cruz Aiman, Crystal Sequeira, Rajiv Sundaresan, Thomson Andrews, François Casstellino & Neuman Pinto, Lyrics by ~ Gulzar

“Jaagti hoon, aankhein khole, khwaab ke maare, khwaab ke maare,
Ungli jal gayi, ginte ginte, raat ke taare, raat ke taare!
Ek bujhe toh ek jalta hai, ek tamasha sa lagta hai,
Kab tak ginti rahun pahaadein?”

– Gulzar

A Spanish touch hits you right as the next song starts, with a nice Spanish guitar starting the song off on a very energetic note. The song is yet another song that you cannot ascertain what it is about yet, and we must only guess that it is another stage performance by the leading lady. The composition by Vishal Bhardwaj loyally sticks to the Spanish theme, thus automatically sticking to the European theme of the movie too. It is quite similar to what we heard Rajesh Roshan give recently in ‘Mon Amour’ (Kaabil), but has more dark shades than that one. The song starts off slowly, with Rekha Bhardwaj singing one line, with a nice touch of intimacy and sounding great. After that, the tempo elevates quite abruptly and fumbles you for a moment until the song takes on its pace and goes steadily ahead after that. The hookline is the only part of the song that sounds out of place and distracting, if you will. The hookline doesnt quite fit in too well with other parts of the song, especially the extraordinary tune of the antara, which is an enjoyable part of the song. Because of the less appealing tune, this song might not appeal as much as the others. And then of course, the situational nature acts as a barrier here. Anyway, Rekha has rendered the song beautifully, and in the process lets us enjoy the song solely due to her amazing singing. Arrangements by Vishal range from guitars to the traditional Spanish castanets and harmonicas. The backing vocalists do a fantastic job at those weird Spanish interjections, and they sound so much like an actual Spanish song! Gulzar’s lyrics do not disclose at all, what the song is going to be for in the movie, and otherwise, aren’t much of a remarkable feat either. They are just fun and simple words, nothing to place on a pedestal! A good one, but lacking that patchiness that the others; it sounds rather odd.

Rating: 4/5

 

6. Alvida

Singer ~ Arijit Singh, Lyrics by ~ Gulzar

Alvida, alvida, toh nahi… Alvida, alvida toh nahi!
Jism se Jaan juda toh nahi!
Rooh mein beh raha hai Tu, rooh mein beh raha hai tu!
Aye kahin tu khuda toh nahi!”

– Gulzar

After the relatively disappointing song, Vishal Bhardwaj comes up with yet another typical trademark Vishal Bhardwaj composition. And this one follows his own template to the tee. Complete with a morose tune, and minimal arrangements, with a hint of soft rock instrumentation here and there, this one is a package custom-made for Vishal Bhardwaj’s diehard fans and appreciators! The composition, as I said before, is highly melancholic, but it appeals to you after a couple of listens. The mukhda is something that might suck the energy out of you the first time you hear it (I’m not lying, it was so beautiful, it actually did do that!) and you might dismiss it as too exhausting and heavy music, but later, you realise the beauty it contains. The composition has shades of ‘Jhelum’ from ‘Haider’ (which I remember describing as a trademark Sanjay Leela Bhansali-styled melody! Both of these stalwarts, SLB and VB sure know how to make us teary-eyed now, don’t they?) which are evident in the darkness of the tune. The antaras see the composition calm down a bit, traversing notes that are more gentle in their sound. In the first antara, comes that small soft rock interlude, that was characteristic of Vishal Bhardwaj years ago. The second interlude has a wonderful Sufi interlude, and that is the main reason why you’ll come to love the whole song after a couple of listens — only because of a wonderfully placed Sufi portion that comes unexpectedly from nowhere. When Arijit sings “jaaniyaaa..” in the second antara, my mind suddenly remembered a song I haven’t heard for years — ‘Haal-e-Dil’ from “Haal-e-Dil”, another Vishal Bhardwaj composition, in which Rahat Fateh Ali Khan sings “Jaaniyaaa..” in quite a similar way! And also, when Arijit sings “Sab chhod chhad taaron ki aadh mil lenge“, it sounds so much like the antara of Vishal’s song ‘Dum Ghutta Hai’ from ‘Dirshyam’! Funny how your subconscious mind remembers stuff at just the right time, eh? 😀 Vishal’s arrangements are so minimal, that you pay more attention to the melody, something you wouldn’t have done if there would’ve been more pompous arrangements. Vishal cleverly keeps the instrumentation down, so that the beauty of the composition can be beheld. Still, I hear the saxophone (I.D. Rao) in the first interlude, and it doesn’t bleat itself out so that you know its there; it has been played so gently, in a way you would never imagine a saxophone able to be played! The harmoniums and Tablas/dholaks in the Sufi interlude have to be one of the best touches given to any song in recent times! It is so beautiful how that Sufi portion agrees with the rest of the song so well and gels in seamlessly. Arijit’s vocals are impeccable! They are what make the song sound all the more wholesome and different from any other Vishal Bhardwaj song (but then again, Arijit sings so many songs for Vishal that after a few years it might be hard to separate the two sounds!) Gulzar’s lyrics are amazing for the theme of the song and are heart touching. A typical Vishal Bhardwaj affair, that doesn’t fail to impress!!

Rating: 5/5

 

7. Julia

Singers ~ Sukhwinder Singh, Vishal Bhardwaj, Kunal Ganjawala & K.K., Choir ~ Clinton Cerejo, Dominique Cerejo, Vivienne Pocha, Bianca Gomes, Neuman Pinto, Rishikesh Kamerkar & Asif Ali Baig, Lyrics by ~ Gulzar

“Tune Jaan ko jind ko chhoo liya, humein teri ghulami qubooliya,
Tu hi aaka hai usooliya, tu hi aaka usooliya,
O Julia! Pa pa pa pam pam pam! Miss Julia! Pa pa pa pam pam!”

– Gulzar

Whatever magic Vishal Bhardwaj has created in the former part of the album, he overdoes all of it with this next piece, a foot-tapping, vaudevillian melody in which the operatic theme is taken quite seriously! And the result is a song that sounds like a genuine male opera piece. Four singers behind the mic, this one is a pleasure to hear not only because of the great tune or arrangements, but also because of the differing vocal styles of all four singers. So let’s begin from the beginning! I always start talking about the composition of the song, but here, I would like to start with the arrangements — some splendid European-themed arrangements that tread over multiple musical territories. First of all, the booming percussion just hits you hard, and leaves you shocked by the end of the song, in a mesmerizing way. Of course, the brass band follows suit, with just as intriguing instrumentation. And the strings orchestra doesn’t fail to impress either! It is the ravishing strings that infuse life into the song, which would’ve sounded incomplete without it. And in the antara, the arrangements break out into Latino-flavoured ones, while in one of the interludes, a mystifying Arabic musical piece intrigues you, and that’s when you notice how many different styles of music the song is composed of. The composition itself would sound half as great without the larger-than-life arrangements! The composition isn’t one that would hook you immediately, and definitely not if you are one of the multitude of Bollywood fans who like the meaningless rap we hear in every other song nowadays. The composition is made up many, many sets of tunes, which make up the mukhda, a strong and hard-hitting hookline, and an antara that is a good continuation of the magic. The mukhda is very slow to start off, but when it does pick up pace, it does so mind-bogglingly! The “Julia jaaye, jaaye re..” line is some spectacular black magic! Well, I must say, the whole composition itself is! The hookline is, as it should be, the main attraction of the song, and it has valid reasons to be so. It has a genuinely catchy tune, and that pompous sound to it makes it sound all the more catchy! That “Pa Pa Pa Pam Pam Pam” after each time they sing “Julia“, is just tooooooooooooo good!! It all sounds so grand, that it is unbelievable after a few listens, after which you will skip all the songs of the album to listen to this one. The antara is a bit damped considering the beauty of the rest of the song, but it soon moulds its way into the hookline, and the magic goes on. So it serves as a good respite from too much regality in the goings-on of the song. Now, what I’ve been waiting to talk about — the vocals! Never in recent times have I seen a song with so many singers (of the same gender!), executed so wonderfully! It must’ve taken weeks to compile each one’s parts together and entwine them to make a composition that sounded appealing and also fit the lyrics (if they were written before the composition process). Sukhwinder is at his efficacious best, while Vishal Bhardwaj sounds great in a song of the type which he usually never sings. K.K. and Kunal Ganjawala (two singers I used to confuse with each other when I was younger! What a coincidence!) are a bit underused, but whatever they get to sing, they sing marvellously! K.K. has not more than four lines (maybe even less), but he makes sure he makes those lines beautiful, while Kunal has a bit more than him. The lyrics by Gulzar depict very nicely the immense fan following Kangana’s character in the film has! Situational again, but they have a nice ring to them! MARVELLOUS! This one is like an opera performance!

Rating: 5/5

 

8. Chori Chori

Singer ~ Rekha Bhardwaj, Choir ~ Vivienne Pocha, Bianca Pinto, Marianne D’Cruz Aiman & Crystal Sequeira, Lyrics by ~ Gulzar

“Nukkad nukkad dekh rahe ho tum, thode se khoye thode se gumm,
Nukkad nukkad dekh rahe ho tum, thode se khoye thode se gumm,
Peeche peeche aate ho, bin aavaz bulaate ho,
Moongphali ke daane aise phenka na karo, piya ji Chori Chori!
Chori Chori Dekho aise dekha na karo!”

– Gulzar

Once again, we are transported to the 1940s with this song, another solo song by the albums leading lady, Rekha Bhardwaj. The song is a throwback to the black-and-white era of Bollywood, when O.P. Nayyar churned out all these melodies that were clearly inspired by European music. This one is a similar piece, particularly reminding me of ‘Leke Pehla Pehla Pyaar’ (C.I.D. – 1956). It starts with wonderful European-flavoured accordion and mandolin, making you ready for a retro-themed composition. And sure enough, the composition by Vishal is so evocative of the old songs I mentioned above! It is almost like a throwback to that era. The antara slows down the tempo a bit, and for a while everything is quiet, but then the Spanish touch returns with finger snaps and whatnot! Speaking of which, the arrangements of fabulous! The strings and the accordion is magical! The occasional drums contribute to the fun flavour of the song, and that fun second interlude is a must-listen! Rekha’s vocals are beautiful, reminding you of Asha Bhosle’s songs of that era. The lyrics by Gulzar, once again, do not disclose too much, except that there is yet another possibility that it is one of Julia’s stage performances! The lyrics are quite cute as well. Everything about this track is like a throwback to the black-and-white era of Bollywood!

Rating: 4.5/5

 

9. Rangoon Theme

(Instrumental)

Finally, that theme we heard in the trailer arrives on the soundtrack! And what a treat to the ears it is! An astounding mélange of wonderful strings and brass instruments, it sounds aptly and perfectly oriental! It starts off subtly with the strings of a harp being plucked in a quite mellow way, and soon, the lead viola (Suresh Lalwani) starts playing a very heart-rending tune, which has a distinctly Chinese touch to it. (Fair enough, because China is close to Myanmar.) The other violas and violins join it soon, and add to the majesticness of the song. Later on cellos, and brass instruments like trumpets, French horns , tuba and trombones join. The gong sounds amazing, too. The one-and-a-half minute track is definitely going to let those goosebumps have a party in the movie hall! Magnificent!!

Rating: 5/5

 

10. Be Still

Singer ~ Dominique Cerejo, Lyrics by ~ Lekha Washington

“Be still, my heart, be still!
Come down from the windowsill of my throat,
Don’t jump to the gut!”

– Lekha Washington

The next song is the first of the two English songs that bring up the caboose of the album. This one is a waltzy melody that intrigues you with its calm notes. Vishal has tried his best at a convincing waltz, and succeeds just as well. The hookline is what grabs your attention right away, as the song starts with it. The piano has been put to great use, as are the strings, and whatever is giving those waltz beats in the background! Dominique Cerejo has sung gloriously, and it actually makes you feel as if you’re hearing her perform live, such is the conviction in her voice. Lekha Washington lyrics are good, too, and cute too, at that! A fantastic waltz!

Rating: 4/5

 

11. Shimmy Shake

Singer ~ Vivienne Pocha, Lyrics by ~ Lekha Washington

“A little Shimmy shake, a little double take,
Time’s a-running out, so kiss me!
I am alive now, so are you Amour,
Remember this somehow, so kiss me!”

– Lekha Washington

The last song of the album happens to be an outright fun song about the Shimmy, a very fun dance form of the era shown in the movie. The composition is fun, and Vivienne delivers in a just as fun way. The arrangements, aptly jazzy, are a nice mix of piano, trumpet and guitars. The lyrics are fun as well, and I can’t really think of any more to say about this! 😀 Seize the opportunity and dance away!

Rating: 3.5/5


Rangoon is marvellous! Vishal Bhardwaj delivers a theme-based album just as he always does, with nothing out of place and everything sounding great even though he has tried some experiments here and there. The 40s/50s flavour is evident in most songs, and the result is a fun soundtrack with no single song I can call bad as such. With his, it is probably the most fulfilling Bollywood album of the year so far, and I must say, there wasn’t much of a doubt that it would be! Another masterpiece from VB!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4 + 4 + 5 + 5 + 5+ 4 + 5 + 5 + 4.5 + 5 + 4 + 3.5 = 54

Album Percentage: 90%

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: From Track 1 to Track 12 nonstop 🙂

 

Remake Counter
No. Of Remakes: 04 (from previous albums) + 00 = 04

 

Which is your favourite song from Rangoon? 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! 🙂

RAAZ TO SUCCESS: RECYCLE THE BHOOT!? 🙈 (RAAZ REBOOT – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Jeet Gannguli & Sangeet-Siddharth
♪ Lyrics by: Kausar Munir & Rashmi-Virag
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 19th August 2016
♪ Movie Releases On: 16th September 2016

Raaz Reboot Album Cover

Raaz Reboot Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Raaz Reboot is an upcoming Bollywood horror film, and the fourth installment of the ‘Raaz’ franchise. The movie stars Emraan Hashmi, Gaurav Arora (‘Love Games’ fame), and débutante Kriti Kharbanda. The movie is directed by Vikram Bhatt and produced by Mukesh Bhatt, Bhushan Kumar and Krishan Kumar. Of course somebody is possessed by an evil spirit and Emraan Hashmi loves that someone and all those clichés of a Bollywood horror-romance starrign Emraan Hashmi, must be there in the film. Who cares about the story though, when the music is the highlight? Music is definitely the highlight of a Bhatt film, and though I keep mocking it in some of my other reviews, I have to admit that sometimes, the songs are very beautiful. The third ‘Raaz’ movie had a wonderful soundtrack by Jeet Gannguli, and guest composer Rashid Khan had also composed (or ‘copied’) a wonderful song. This time too, things are quite like the last time. Jeet Gannguli is in charge of the full album, consisting of six tracks (three original songs, with one of those having two versions and one more having three, so 3+2+1=6) and guest composers are Sangeet-Siddhartha Haldipur, with one track. Jeet Gannguli has been impressing on and off this year, his last memorable song being the wonderful ‘Dekha Hazaro Dafaa’ (Rustom), while Sangeet-Siddharth gave a good album to ‘Love Games’ earlier this year, which was highly impressive and innovative. So, I expect some good things from these two, and hopefully, they give a good reboot to the ‘Raaz’ series!


1. Lo Maan Liya
Singer ~ Arijit Singh, Music by ~ Jeet Gannguli, Lyrics by ~ Kausar Munir

Jeet starts off the album with a song that evokes memories of Bhatt songs that have been entertaining us for the last two decades. This song is a perfect blend of the Bhatts’ sound in the 2000s as well as this decade. Jeet’s composition is something that instantly gets you hooked to it, despite the fact that it is oh-so-clichéd! The mukhda is something that sounds so sweet even in all its painfulness, and you immediately start humming it after the song is over. Making a successful typical melpdy is an art that Jeet seems to have mastered over the years. The song is reminiscent of his own ‘Dard’ (Sarbjit) in one line of the mukhda, (“ayyee yaar zara humko”) and it is also my favourite line from the song, composed beautifully. The hookline lies in the mukhda itself, and I’ve already said how catchy it is. The antara, however, takes the song to a whole new level. It is composed in a very 90s-ish manner. The haunting feel of the rest of the song flees away in this part, and a sweet and lovable tune sets in, until the hookline comes back. It kind of reminded me of the title track of ‘Khamoshiyan’ which was composed in the same style (a haunting mukhda followed by a sweet antara). Jeet aces the arrangements, with those ever-so-loyal guitar and flutes of his stealing the show. The beats in the rest of the song are quite ordinary, but work in favour of the song. The assortment of flutes play this sweet, but haunting hook tune, which always makes you feel awesome when it plays. However, the star of the song has to be the singer this time. I know how many times I’ve joked about Arijit singing songs from the one-thousand-and-fofty-eighth installment of the ‘Raaz’ franchise, but I’ve got to give it to him; he sings these songs perfectly! His voice has the right mix of sweetness, innocence and instensity with which to render this composition. The way he sings my favourite line of the song (which I pointed out above), is fantastic! And the first line of the antara!! He sings that so wonderfully! No wonder the nation is crazy after him. The lyrics seem like they’re written with the very harsh intention of hurting somebody with the taunt that they don’t remember you, and neither do you remember them. 😂 It’s a perfect song to sing when you’re mad at someone and want to taunt them or vice versa. Jokes apart, Kausar (after a long time; last she wrote were some songs in ‘Laal Rang’, I believe) writes lyrics suitable to the dard-judaai-with-a-bhoot-interfering theme! 🙂 A perfect kick start to the album; something Jeet is known for, and he delivers it perfectly once again!! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

2. Raaz Aankhein Teri
Singer ~ Arijit Singh, Music by ~ Jeet Gannguli, Lyrics by ~ Rashmi-Virag

The title song comes up next, with the maestro of title songs, Jeet Gannguli, behind it. The composer goes to new lengths to make this composition worth listening on loop. Keeping the haunting theme of the movie in mind, this song is perfectly composed. The composition once again, is very typical and heard-before, yet we can’t help but develop a liking towards it. In fact, it is a remake of Jeet’s Bengali song ‘Ki Kore Bolbo Tomay’ (from the movie ‘Ki Kore Toke Bolbo’) Once again, Jeet takes the help of a haunting mukhda to attract the audience, while the antara calms things down with a very charming and calm tune. This song perfectly blends together the horror and romance in the movie. Though not as hooking and gripping as ‘Lo Maan Liya’, it still manages to grab your attention, and there is nothing missing as such in the composition. The arrangements are not extraordinary, yet appeal to the listener. The guitars play the main role in making this happen. They’ve been played in a very Latin/Spanish way and are very attractive. The song starts with the hookline playing on a violin, which is a perfect haunting start to the song. The violin comes back to amaze us in the first interlude, while the piano takes over in the second interlude, only to be followed by a whole orchestra of strings. But again, the guitar is the central focus throughout the song. Arijit sings this one with a more hoarse throat, probably to get that horrorific expression in the song. He sings this one with just as prowess as he did the first, though both songs are composed with different tones altogether. The lyrics by Rashmi-Virag are also good for the song and haunting, but nothing beyond that. Another stellar title song by Jeet Gannguli! However much I may be teasing such songs, I must admit I loved this one!! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

3. O Meri Jaan
Singer ~ K.K, Music by ~ Sangeet-Siddharth Haldipur, Lyrics by ~ Kausar Munir

Here come guest composers Sangeet-Siddharth with their only song on the soundtrack. The song starts off in a very heavenly, blissful way with flutes luring the listener in. The flutes are so beautiful, that you expect nothing but a wonderful song to ensue. Unfortunately, things don’t turn out quite so good. The composers try to concoct a composition that would enforce listeners to hear it repeatedly on loop, but fail miserably because of the pitiful commonplace treatment. The composition starts off well in the mukhda, but almost immediately loses its charm in the hookline, because the line before it (‘Tere bina aadhe bhi kya, tere bina adhoore kya’) evokes memories of the duo’s song ‘Mohabbat’ from ‘Love Games’, and this time the tune doesn’t work. The hookline itself isn’t hooking. The antara takes things uphill once again, but doesn’t manage to keep it there sadly. The irony here is that, this song doesn’t sound typical at all, but fresh (not like the usual Bhatt song), but the composer miss the opportunity to make it noteworthy and extraordinary. The arrangements are quite applause-worthy, with some very calming and charming sounds interspersed throughout the song, like those wonderful xylophonic sounds, and the entertaining guitar riffs. The flute, of course, remains the star of the song. The strings also help elevate the ordinary composition. The first interlude is a wonderful, dreamy one, played on the mandolin, I suppose. The vocals by K.K., will manage to attract listeners to an extent, but they don’t really go out of their way to impress you. The only reason he’s the perfect choice for this song is that soothing texture of his voice. Lastly, the lyrics by Kausar too, are nothing special, but very typical of romantic songs. A decent attempt to make a lilting, dreamy romantic song, but the composition turns out to be flat and dull. Sangeet-Siddharth fail to live up to the great expectations they created after ‘Love Games’.

 

4. Yaad Hai Na / Yaad Hai Na (Unplugged)
Singers ~ Arijit Singh / Jubin Nautiyal, Music by ~ Jeet Gannguli, Lyrics by ~ Kausar Munir

A haunting, yet sweet piano loop starts off Jeet’s next song, and before you know it, you are sucked into a whirlpool of Jeet’s lilting and dreamy composition. Now this song is something very, very innovative from the composer. Being the last original song on the album, it definitely wins the race in being the best song of the album right away. Once you hear the composition, you would never forget it for quite some time. Jeet once again builds the hookline into the mukhda itself, so that the hookline starts the song. And this line is what sucks you into this dreamy experience. The antara, too, is something that calms you down as well as haunts you in a very unusually pleasant way! The real magic is in the arrangements, and the vast difference between the two versions of the song. In the first version, Arijit sings along very Celtic arrangements, complete with the claps and strings (played in a very Celtic-sounding tune). Jeet orchestrates the strings so well, that it seems to have been taken right out of some classical European song! And those claps!! All throughout the song, claps infuse that pleasant quality into the song; quite an innovative beat, if you ask me. The flute in the second interlude has been played oh-so-wonderfully, again in a Celtic manner. Arijit himself excels in the song, and though it is his third song in the very same album, I am not as much frustrated as I am awestruck at his voice! This time, pure romance displays itself in his voice. In the also-very-innovative unplugged version, Jubin gets to sing along the backdrop of a very, very weirdly attractive guitar arrangement. When you hear this arrangement of this song, you’ll be shocked that Jeet could have thought of such a thing! The way the guitars constantly keep the beat, but go off tune once in a while so randomly, is so unconventional. While hearing this song, I could see a cowboy sitting on a stack of hay on a lazy Sunday with his banjo, and singing this song! 😀 Jubin, too, sings wonderfully, and the humorous arrangements complement him well. Kausar excels in her writing here. The lyrics are simple, but sweet and heart-touching. Some very innovative stuff from Jeet, Arijit, Jubin & Kausar! Both versions are fabulous, and will definitely get you swaying to the beat. Both versions are #5StarHotelSongs!!

 

5. Hummein Tummein Jo Tha
Singers ~ Papon & Palak Muchhal, Music by ~ Jeet Gannguli, Lyrics by ~ Rashmi-Virag

The next song is a short reprise of the title track; this time meant as an aftermath-of-separation song. The composition is exactly the same as the title track, which was very impressive, keeping the horror theme in mind. Here too, it suits as a judaai song, but other things aren’t in place here. This time, Arijit is replaced by Papon, who sings the melody with emotion, but just doesn’t suit here as much as Arijit did in the original. He is complemented by Palak, who takes charge of the antara, and sings it beautifully, surprisingly. 😀 The arrangements too, are the same as those of the original. However, the lyrics have been changed to suit a sad romantic theme, and everything goes haywire. The lyrics are too simple to be appreciated, and also sound too melodramatic. A reprise of the title track which just doesn’t work as well!

 

6. The Sound Of Raaz
Singer ~ Jubin Nautiyal, Music by ~ Jeet Gannguli, Lyrics by ~ Rashmi-Virag

The album ends with a song perfectly suiting the horror theme of the movie. This song is also a reprise of the title track, and it takes the mukhda of the song in a very slow pace, making it suit the horror theme even more. The arrangements are nothing but haunting sounds like the wind blowing very creepily. Jubin’s voice is perfect for the song, as he sings each note with this heavy, haunting air. There’s pretty much nothing else to say about this one except that it is such a good background music piece and also a #5StarHotelSong!!


Raaz Reboot surprisingly turns out to be an album which doesn’t bore even though it follows the typical clichés of a Bhatt album. Jeet comes up with a good compilation of his songs for this movie, while the guest duo Sangeet-Siddharth doesn’t really live up to expectations. All in all, the album is enjoyable and cherishable, and not just something to be used for publicity, as it would live on longer than that. After years of observation, I finally believe that the raaz (secret) to the Bhatts’ success, is recycling the bhoot! (Ghost) And this reboot works by recycling the bhoot!

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: Yaad Hai Na > Lo Maan Liya > Yaad Hai Na (Unplugged) > Raaz Aankhein Teri > The Sound Of Raaz > O Meri Jaan > Hummein Tummein Jo Tha 

 

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

 

Next “dish”: Pink, Chefs: Anupam Roy, Shantanu Moitra & Faiza Mujahid

UTTERLY UN’POSSESSIVE’!!! (1920 LONDON – Music Review)

Music Album Details:
♪ Music by: Sharib-Toshi, Kaushik-Akash (JAM) & Shankar-Jaikishan
♪ Lyrics by: Kunaal Vermaa, Hasrat Jaipuri, Sharib-Toshi, Kaalim Sheikh, Azeem Shirazi & Prashant Ingole
♪ Music Label: T-Series [‘Gumnaam Hai Koi’ on Saregama]
♪ Music Released On: 21st April 2016
♪ Movie Releases On: 6th May 2016

1920 London Album Cover

1920 London Album Cover

 

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

To hear ‘Gumnaam Hai Koi’ on Saavn CLICK HERE

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE

To buy ‘Gumnaam Hai Koi’ on iTunes CLICK HERE


1920 London is an upcoming Bollywood horror flick. It is the third installment in the “dreaded” 1920 franchise, and stars Sharman Joshi as the exorcist, Meera Chopra as the wife of the person who is possessed, and Vishal Kharwal as the person who is possessed. 😛 The film is written by Vikram Bhatt, and directed by Tinu Suresh Desai, who was supposed to debut with the upcoming Akshay Kumar flick, ‘Rustom’, but this happened to release first. The film is produced by Reliance Entertainment. There’s no point discussing the story, because there will be a twist somewhere or the other, so let’s move on to discuss about the music. The music has been composed by Sharib-Toshi (Now to be credits as Shaarib and Toshi) who haven’t really impressed highly with their previous works (maybe a bit in ‘Zid’ and ‘Jashnn’). Hopefully, this might be their best album, going by the music of the first and second parts of the franchise. The duo has three songs in the album. Debutants Kaushik-Akash are the guest composers, with two songs, representing a company known as JAM (Just About Music) which has been founded by Pritam. It is an A&R (Artists & Repertoire) venture by Pritam, under which he will launch new music directors and look after their development in the industry. This is his first go at the venture, and hopefully, it turns out successful, so that he will be motivated to introduce more newbies and we will get many new, talented composers! 😀 So, here I start hearing the music of ‘1920 London’ with great expectations! Let’s hope the music keeps up to expectations!


♪ BONUS SONG

♦ Gumnaam Hai Koi
Singers ~ Jubin Nautiyal & Antara Mitra, Original Song’s Singer ~ Lata Mangeshkar, Music Recreated and Composed by ~ Kaushik-Akash, Original Composition by ~ Shankar-Jaikishan, New Lyrics by ~ Kunaal Vermaa, Original Lyrics by ~ Hasrat Jaipuri, Music Label ~ Saregama

Saregama is still at its silly behaviour, claiming rights to their old songs, if remade. That’s absolutely right, but kinda irritating by now. 😛 Anyways, they should be proud of the wonderful collection of songs they have in their kitty and the first song of the ‘1920 London’ album is yet another one of such famous old songs from them. This time, since it is a horror movie, nothing could’ve been better than this song to pick, and the makers have chosen it perfectly. The song I’m talking about is the haunting old song composed by maestros Shankar-Jaikishan, and sung by none other than Lata Mangeshkar, ‘Gumnaam Hai Koi’ (Gumnaam). And the newcomers Kaushik-Akash get a chance to put forth to the world, their version of the classic haunting song. They get the general idea, which is to make the song haunting and totally ghoulish, right. The starting itself is wonderful with all kinds of sound effects — wind, screeching bats, and a whole lot of weird ghostly whispers. Antara starts the song with a line that sounds more of a backing vocal line. Once Jubin starts singing, you definitely will get goosebumps. His smooth voice has the right amount of haunt and romance and even dominance. He touches the high notes with such ease, it is hard to imagine. The duo has beautifully crafted his part of the song, which is their own composition. The only thing retained from the old song is the hookline, and that is helmed by Antara, not sounding like herself thanks to the heavy programming of whispers, trying to make her sound like a ghost, but kind of failing. I would’ve preferred it if she would’ve been allowed to sing freely without any programming done to her voice. Nevertheless, it has been sung great, in a whispery voice and I guess it was necessary to make it sound more scary. The duo has composed Jubin’s parts perfectly, and they’re the best parts in the song. The mukhda hooks the listener, while the antara does the job of not letting go, which means the attempt has been successful. Kunaal Vermaa (‘Hasi’ — Hamari Adhuri Kahani fame) writes nice lyrics here, but I can’t make out whether they’re romantic or haunting or both. The duo excel in the arrangements. As mentioned earlier, various sound effects grace the song, and it sounds awesome. They send chills down the spine, but of course it isn’t exactly spooky; after all, it is a song. Piano and strings gracefully lead the arrangements, while the rest is digital stuff. Owls, bats, ghouls form the sound effects part of the song, and it is commendable. A great first attempt for Kaushik-Akash, and a decent revamp of the classic. Jubin excels, while Antara gets very less scope to open up!


Now, the review of the ‘1920 London’ album, released by T-Series, consisting of four songs, with three by Sharib-Toshi and one by Kaushik-Akash. 🙂


1. Aaj Ro Len De
Singer ~ Sharib Sabri, Music by ~ Sharib-Toshi, Lyrics by ~ Sharib-Toshi & Kaalim Sheikh

The first song in the album starts off with a beautiful Middle-Eastern feel of the oud, starting off the song on a high. Sharib-Toshi go the familiar way, composing a song quite similar to all their previous works of this genre. I couldn’t help but think of all their other works. It is a romantic song with a very heavy melancholic touch. To be honest, I am already very tired and sick of all this from the duo. The hookline, though repetitive and typical, however, foes garner some interest from the listener, as do all of Sharib-Toshi’s melodies. It is in the parts surrounding the hookline, where the problem lies. Nothing has been composed in a very likable or catchy tune; in fact, it exhausted me to hear the song, which is just less than five minutes long (too long when the song has nothing new to offer!) The mukhda might interest listeners, but the interest wears off until the antara. Sharib’s voice is good, but I would’ve preferred somebody else to sing this song. His voice seems too soft and rustic for the composition, which hasn’t worked in its favour, sadly. The duo really works hard to make up for the lack in melody, by giving wonderful, awe-inspiring arrangements! The arrangements are something which I haven’t heard recently! With an Indian and Middle-Eastern touch, they touch the heart and sound really grand — the aforementioned oud, various string instruments, and I think a santoor, if that’s not the oud itself, being played on a higher note. The lyrics are exhausting and boring, too, trying to be too fancy. I wonder what Sharib-Toshi wrote and what Kaalim Sheikh wrote. 😁 This will be liked only by those who love the typical Bhatt-ish songs. I’m so drained out after hearing this song! 😦 A very disappointing start by the duo.

 

2. Rootha Kyun
Singers ~ Mohit Chauhan & Payal Dev, Music by ~ Sharib-Toshi, Lyrics by ~ Azeem Shirazi

The next song in the album does start off quite promisingly. As I have said before, piano notes are a wonderful way to start off a song. They have the power to grab the attention of the listener from the beginning of the song. This time, Sharib-Toshi do just that. They use the very diplomatic piano to lure listeners into the song. However, once the listeners are lured inside, the trap is quite pleasant. Unlike my expectations after hearing ‘Aaj Ro Len De’, this song fares better. Mohit Chauhan is a safe choice taken by the composers. He sings the heard-before-yet-appealing composition beautifully. Especially the way he sings the hookline, is impressive. Payal gets to sing the second antara along with the hookline. Let me say it takes time to get used to her voice there. She seems to have used an unnecessarily high-pitched voice, trying to ape Sadhana Sargam, but after a listen or two, it starts sounding beautiful, and then it seems nobody could have done better. i don’t know how that happened because until I wrote this, I had only heard the song once and didn’t like her voice, but now suddenly started liking it. Sharib-Toshi get it right with the composition, and play  it safe there too. Though typical, it is pretty catchy, unlike the first one, which only had a catchy hook. But this song has the mukhda and antaras catchy too. The main reason for the catchiness has to be the fast pace of the song, which does make a huge difference. The hookline has been composed really well, and as I said before, sang just as well by Mohit and Payal, later on. Again, arrangements are fabulous. I remember Sharib-Toshi’s fab arrangements in ‘Zid’ as well, and it is great how they always pay attention to their arrangements, though their compositions might not be so strong. Here, they have equally balanced both. The arrangements are a good mixture of a string orchestra, rock elements (guitars and drums), digital sounds and sparkling Indian instruments like the santoor. Azeem’s lyrics are typical too, but still go well with the song and sound good, so that’s is passable. When typicality meets genius, it sounds like this. A safe song from all angles! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

3. Tujhko Mein
Singer ~ Shaan, Music by ~ Sharib-Toshi, Lyrics by ~ Azeem Shirazi

Here Sharib-Toshi try to do what I’ve been ranting and rambling on about — something that isn’t the typical horror Bhatt-ish stuff. They rope in Shaan for this, and you will understand why, after you hear the song. Sharib-Toshi have composed a happy-go-lucky, sugary-sweet song, which tries so hard to be romantic without getting melancholic. The result? The duo fails miserably even there. The sweetness is overdone, just like an over-ripe fruit. Too sweet, and you start feeling nauseated. The same is the case with this song. The composition falls into the same category of songs which Shaan is getting nowadays, that sound pretty mild and kiddish. He does well, no doubt, but it has gotten boring hearing him sing the same types of songs, with no variations at all. In the hookline he sings “main aankhon mein” in a very irritating manner. Sharib-Toshi do try hard to  give a good composition, but as I sad, it sounds too goody-goody, and artificial. With the composition and vocals not making a deep impact, we can only expect the duo to add great instrumentation, but sadly, the arrangements here are pretty clichéd and banal. What with the seemingly forced finger snaps, and other weird digital beats. Guitars and the saxophone try to normalise things, but to a limited extent. A synthesiser tries to impress in the first interlude, but even that does not work. There is nothing new in the arrangements, and if the duo wanted to make an outstanding romantic track, there are many things they could have added to the otherwise boring composition. It is high time they realise that things have changed since their debut in ‘Raaz: The Mystery Continues’ in 2009, seven years ago, when all this seemed appealing. Azeem Shirazi’s lyrics are plain and simple, but not backed by a strong composition, they fall flat on their nose, if they have one. 😛 I wanted the duo to do something different. They did. But not very impressively. It is called Typicality in Experimentation.

 

4. Aafreen
Singers ~ K.K. & Antara Mitra, Music by ~ Kaushik-Akash, Lyrics by ~ Prashant Ingole

The newcomer duo comes back to finish off the album with their second song, a romantic duet. The song does have a heard-before tune, but it has been crafted so well, that it manages to appeal to the ears, and fits into the category of breezy romantic songs Bollywood used to produce in wholesale, until those melancholic romantic songs started arriving in bulk. So, this song provides a great respite from those melancholic songs of these days. Unlike ‘Tujhko Mein’, this is a great example of how such a song is done. Kaushik-Akash score with the composition. The distinct Pritam-ish touch is omnipresent in the song, and it sounds good. The hookline does remind of Salim-Sulaiman’s method of composing romantic hooklines, and is quite pleasant itself. As with the composition, the duo has made a great choice by roping in K.K. to do the male vocals. This is his territory, and he rules in such songs, as is evident in the song. Antara does seem out of place, and to be extremely honest, Tulsi Kumar would have carried it out beautifully too, as she has sung such songs before. Antara gets more scope to open up in this song than ‘Gumnaam Hai Koi’, but still she sounds too artificially sweet. It is all the fault of her having different voices in each song. Her parts have been composed beautifully, though, doing half of her job for her. The arrangements are mostly techno sounds, but electric guitars and a faint string orchestra are audible. The fingersnaps sound good in this song. In the line just before the hookline, a wonderful church-like choir joins in with great harmonious backing vocals. Prashant Ingole’s lyrics, which would seem dull and typical otherwise, are definitely saved by the composition. At last the finale is great, with the duo showing a lot of promise. Great for a debut! Vocals and composition holds all the magic! #5StarHotelSong!!


As much as I was expecting, 1920 London isn’t even half as good! The newcomers from the A&R project fare well, even if I don’t consider that it is their debut. While on one side, with the remake of ‘Gumnaam Hai Koi’, they give a quite hellish composition, on the other side they give a breezy, heavenly composition with ‘Aafreen’. Sharib-Toshi, the more seasoned artists of the two, however, disappoint. They stick to their old templates, out of which luckily, one turned out to be exceptional, while the other two are extremely avoidable. In 2014, when the duo had claimed that ‘Zid’ was their career best, I ignored it as it was unbelievably ordinary. But now I think they had said it right. In retrospect, their career best does seem to be ‘Zid’. Horror films are seemingly their forté, seeing their albums, but here they disappoint. And thoughh the newcomers do well, neither of their two songs will have a long life; they aren’t that strong either! So overall, the album is full of song that would not grip you, or shall I say would not ‘possess’ you?? 😀 👻👻

 

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: Aafreen > Rootha Kyun > Gumnaam Hai Koi > Tujhko Mein > Aaj Ro Len De

 

Which is your favorite song from 1920 London? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂

 

Next “dish”: Cabaret, Chefs: Kaustav Narayan Niyogi, Munish Makhija & Tony Kakkar