DANCE, ROMANCE AUR GANGSTERPANTI!! (SAHEB BIWI AUR GANGSTER 3 – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Rana Mazumder, Siddharth Pandit, Anjjan Bhattacharya & Madan Mohan
♪ Lyrics by: Kumaar, Revant Shergill, Sandeep Nath, Kausar Munir & Raja Mehdi Ali Khan
♪ Music Label: Saregama
♪ Music Released On: 26th July 2018
♪ Movie Released On: 27th July 2018

Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster 3 Album Cover

 

Listen to the songs: Saavn | Gaana

Buy the songs: iTunes


Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster 3 is a Bollywood action / crime thriller starring Sanjay Dutt, Jimmy Shergill, Chitrangada Singh and Mahie Gill in lead roles, directed by Tigmanshu Dhulia and produced by Rahul Mittra and Tigmanshu Dhulia. The film opened to mostly negative reviews, but thankfully, we music reviewers don’t have to poke our little noses into that. The music album of the film is primarily composed by Rana Mazumder, who made a spectacular  debut last year with Tigmanshu Dhulia’s ‘Raag Desh’, in which the guest composer was Siddharth Pandit, also featuring as guest composer here. They are joined by Anjjan Bhattacharya too, the second guest composer. Now, I barely remember any tracks from the previous installments of this franchise, showing how short their repeat value was. Let’s see whether the tracks in this instalment are any better.


Let’s get the songs by the two guest composers covered first — just my OCD, nothing else. 😂

Kesariya Jugni is another of the countless takes on the ‘Jugni’ folk song, but other than the tumbi nothing reminds me of the original, so I don’t think I’d classify it as a recreation! Anjjan Bhattacharya, who I always believed to be the melody master when Meet Bros. Anjjan was still a trio, takes the opposite path here; he relies more on the sound to propel his song forth. The aforementioned tumbi gives the song its required Punjabi energy, while other techno sounds help give it a universal connect. Dhols and all are present, but don’t contribute much. My favourite touch was the “Aao ji aao sarkar…” portion sung by Amit Gupta. The Nooran Sisters (whose surprisingly it is the first song of the year ONLY! 😕) carry the entire song on the shoulders; whenever it starts getting remotely repetitive, the Noorans keep it interesting and listen-worthy. Kumaar’s lyrics are something that would fit into a ‘Tanu Weds Manu 3’ as well, but Anjjan’s music it what makes it suit the vibe of this franchise.

The other guest composer Siddharth Pandit creates the Baba Theme, which succeeds as a gangster song, but fails to keep the listener attentive. Revant Shergill’s rendition is weak, the composition is closer to a recitation of sorts, and the arrangements are way too repetitive (more than Sanju’s ‘Baba Bolta Hai’ too!) for my liking. Revant Shergill even pens the lyrics, which again, are unsatisfactory. This song is something to skip if you get bored of repetitive sounds in songs.

Rana Mazumder starts his portion of the album with a recreation (more like a cover) of Lag Ja Gale from ‘Woh Kaun Thi’. After Lata Mangeshkar, the only singer who’s gotten even close to her rendition was Shreya Ghoshal, who I’ve been fortunate enough to hear singing this live! Rana Mazumder though, ropes in Jonita Gandhi, who had me floored by her rendition! Obviously not close to Lata di’s rendition, but from the current crop of singers, it’s only Gandhi who can get even this close to Shreya’s rendition too. What’s an added bonus, is that Mazumder keeps the arrangements really, really wonderful. The calmness and emotion of the original song has been kept intact, since Rana has used a beautiful orchestra, wonderful twinkling sounds, a mellifluous flute, chimes, and even a well-placed, iconic sitar. Of course, Madan Mohan ji‘s song is immortal, but I’m pleasantly surprised with this presentation of it. It is definitely a recreation I’d want to reach a million views in a day, but sadly, that kind of ‘recognition’ is in some other song’s fortune. 😦

As we veer over to Rana Mazumder’s original part of the album, we see a shift in the music from the modern, gangster-y music which the two guest composers had used in their songs, to a noticeably Pancham-ish vibe in Mazumder’s original songs. Three of the next five songs have that distinct Pancham touch, the first one being Andheron Mein Rishtey, which features in two versions, both with the same jazzy arrangement, which was a staple arrangement for detective/gangster films in the 70s or so. The trumpets are fascinating, as is the bass, and the composition is aptly sinister, as are Sandeep Nath’s lyrics. The Male Version by Arijit Singh falls below the Female Version by Mandakini Bora (newcomer?) though; Arijit’s sleepy voice just didn’t suit the theme of the song. Mandakini renders the song sensuously; such songs are best in female voices, I feel. That said though, her voice isn’t something I’d listen to the song solely for.

More along the Panchamda vibe is Dil Ka Parinda, which is crooned by the composer along with Usha Uthup. It starts with a pacy Latin rhythm with amazing Spanish guitars and Caribbean-style percussions. The first time around, the song sounds a bit pretentious, but it grows on you with the number of times you listen to it; Usha Uthup as usual is at her best in such songs; she leaves no stone unturned in making it her own song. Even composer Rana Mazumder tries to pull off a Pancham, but he doesn’t do it as well as he had done under Vishal-Shekhar’s music direction in ‘Twinkle Twinkle’ (The Dirty Picture). Even if you don’t like retro songs, you should listen to this song if only for the guitars and percussions. Sandeep Nath’s lyrics, yet again, are fun, though nothing exciting.

Rana departs from the Pancham vibe gradually, but Aye Huzoor still has some distinct Pancham touches in the arrangements. Rana uses sitar wonderfully again, and a very commendable use of muffled tabla sounds makes it a very delightful composition. The ‘Hey Shona’ (Ta Ra Rum Pum) duo Shaan and Sunidhi Chauhan render the song beautifully; Sunidhi is singing in the same voice which she had sung in, in that song as well. Though the composition is listener-friendly, I don’t think I see myself revisiting it many times in the future. Kausar Munir has written some cliché Bollywood romance lyrics, but they’re not dated as in irritating at all.

The last song, Davaa Bhi Woh, is drastically different from the previous songs of the album. It is entirely reminiscent of the Ismail Darbar – Sanjay Leela Bhansali combinations in ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’ and ‘Devdas’, especially the latter. Right from the female chorus in the beginning, to the overbearing tablas and kathak sounds, like the ghungroos and bols, this song is splendid. The new singer Saberi Bhattacharya is wonderful as well, and reminds me of Alka Yagnik in places. Rana Mazumder spins a beautiful melody based on Raag Khamaaj (I believe; don’t quote me) and reminds you of other songs like ‘Jagaave Saari Raina’ (Dedh Ishqiya). The conclusion to the song is magnificent as it should be, and I wonder what it is doing here in this soundtrack. 🙄


Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster 3 turns out to be the most memorable album of the franchise; I can see myself humming most of these tunes in the near future at least! Rana Mazumder manages to churn out entertainingly varied songs even for a gangster flick!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 6.5 + 4 + 8.5 + 6 + 6.5 + 7 + 7.5 + 9 = 55

Album Percentage: 68.75%

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: Davaa Bhi Woh > Lag Ja Gale > Aye Huzoor > Dil Ka Parinda > Andheron Mein Rishtey (Female) = Kesariya Jugni > Andheron Mein Rishtey (Male) > Baba Theme

Remake Counter:
No. Of Remakes : 29 (from previous albums) + 01 = 30

Which is your favourite song from Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster 3? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂

WELCOME TO 2012!! (WELCOME TO NEW YORK – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Sajid-Wajid, Shamir Tandon & Meet Bros.
♪ Lyrics by: Kumaar, Kausar Munir, Sajid Khan, Danish Sabri, Charanjeet Charan & Varun Likhate
♪ Music Label: Pooja Music / Sony Music
♪ Music Released On: 16th February 2018
♪ Movie Released On: 23rd February 2018

Welcome To New York Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Welcome to New York is a Bollywood comedy starring Sonakshi Sinha, Diljit Dosanjh, Karan Johar, Boman Irani, Lara Dutta, Riteish Deshmukh and a bunch of whoever turned up at the 2017 IIFA Awards held at New York City. The film is directed by Chakri Toleti and produced by Vashu Bhagnani and Jackky Bhagnani. Now, the film seems to be a huge two hour long advertisement for IIFA, and no wonder it flopped. On top of that, the music is by people who aren’t very famous for giving great music (at least not anymore) — Sajid-Wajid, Meet Bros & Shamir Tandon. So let’s see whether the music of this film is just as farcical as the film itself seems to be!


A film that seems to be made on a whim, just because people happened to be available to make a film with, has music too, that seems to be made on a whim. What else can justify the creation of a song called Pant Mein Gun? Maybe the fact that Sajid-Wajid have composed it makes it a bit less shocking. The only good that comes out of this one, is that we know that Sajid-Wajid know how to play with EDM now. But that’s not good, either, considering how great they are at doing the live instruments thing. Diljit Dosanjh and Sajid himself belt this one out as if they’re robots, repeating the same lines over and over again. This is definitely one of those songs that are so bad that they are good! Highly recommended.
The other one by Sajid-Wajid is Nain Phisal Gaye, a quite entertaining song about a tailor fantasizing that she is stitching clothes for Salman Khan. How interesting. 😐 Well, Sajid-Wajid’s composition is purely desi thankfully; they get the best out of themselves when they go the desi way, and has a kind of retro vibe to it. The lyrics by Kausar Munir are fun, though situational, with ample references to words that come across everyday in a tailor’s business. Payal Dev sings it effectively, and thankfully doesn’t repeat her horrific act from ‘Haseeno Ka Deewana’ (Kaabil) last year.
Shamir Tandon gets two songs as well, with Ishtehaar turning out to be the best of the album, but only because of it adhering to the conventional Bollywood sad song template, and roping in Rahat Fateh Ali Khan makes it all work. Dhvani Bhanushali, debuting in Bollywood with this song, makes it sure that she is here to stay for some time. Her voice is perfect for Bollywood! The flute has been played wonderfully in this song, and that’s pretty much all that is noteworthy!
Shamir’s other song, Smiley Song, is a song where the composer himself, along with Dhvani Bhanushali and Boman Irani take it in turns to try and imitate the laughter of a number of Bollywood celebrities — it gets highly irritating after a point.
The last song is by Meet Bros, a Punjabi number which sounds like we have all heard it many times before, bearing the name Meher Hai Rab Di. The song itself doesn’t have “rab di mehr” because of its laidback sound and typical lyrics and whatnot. Also, it is sung by Mika (don’t need to explain why that is an excuse for it’s being bad) and Khushboo Grewal, who hardly gets anything to sing.


As a means of timepass also, this album fails miserably! Welcome to 2012 I would say, when songs like these were oh-so-prevalent.

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4 + 6.5 + 7.5 + 5.5 + 6 = 29.5

Album Percentage: 59%

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: Ishtehaar > Nain Phisal Gaye > Meher Hai Rab Di > Smiley Song > Pant Mein Gun

 

Which is your favourite song from Welcome To New York? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂

TRIVEDI IN THE SAFE ZONE! (PAD MAN – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Amit Trivedi
♪ Lyrics by: Kausar Munir
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 26th December 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 25th January 2018

Padman Album Cover

 

Listen to the album: Saavn

Buy the album: iTunes


Pad Man is an upcoming Bollywood social drama directed by R. Balki, starring Akshay Kumar, Radhika Apte and Sonam Kapoor. The film is produced by Twinkle Khanna, SPE Films India, Cape Of Good Films, KriArj Entertainment and Hope Productions. The film revolves around the story of Arunachalam Muruganantham, a social activist from Tamil Nadu. The film is set to release a day prior to Republic Day, a day that is by default reserved for Akshay Kumar films. This time, Balki does not rely on his frequent collaborator Ilaiyaraaja to score music, but instead borrows his wife, Gauri Shinde’s go-to composer Amit Trivedi, who had scored for both of her films, ‘English Vinglish’ and ‘Dear Zindagi’. This is the first time he will compose for Balki and I believe, for Akshay Kumar too. I expect a lot from him after his successful ‘Qaidi Band’, ‘Secret Superstar’ and ‘Rukh’ last year! Let’s see how the music album for this film turns out!


After completing three albums last year, and using Arijit’s voice in two of them, Amit returns in the new year with his first song being an Arijit song. Aaj Se Teri is a heavenly romantic post-marriage number, whose lyrics by Kausar Munir (2017 is over but she’s still impressing us with her lyrics!) make it even better; the composition is a sweet 90s-ish tune, and Arijit sounding like Kumar Sanu in some parts makes it even better. The amazing arrangements include wonderful shehnaai (Omkar Dhumal) and Ethnic strings by Tapas Roy. The Pad Man Song shows that Amit really enjoys working with Mika, after ‘Sexy Baliye’ in ‘Secret Superstar’, and the result shows itself in an upbeat desi number, with an amazing ladies’ chorus (Deepti Rege, Mayuri Kudalkar & Pragati Joshi). The ladies’ chorus is in Trivedi’s ‘Ghanchakkar Babu’ (Ghanchakkar) zone, especially with the weird Chinese-sounding interruptions. The interlude is owned by the chorus though. The percussions in the song are amazing, and the harmonium (Akhlak Hussain Varsi) gives it a delightful U.P.-Bihar vibe, though Trivedi’s composition itself falls flat in places. The lyrics though, are a great subversion of the conventional image if a ‘superhero’, and make me believe that a ‘real superhero’ is nothing like that. Hu Ba Hu is a clubbish number that makes you wonder where the makers intend to place it in the film, but the signature Amit tune, vocals and arrangements (especially the mandolin, rabaab et al by Tapas Roy) hark back to ‘Queen’s ‘Badra Bahaar’ and ‘O Gujariya’ at the same time, and make it a very enjoyable listen. The onomatopoeia at the beginning is really catchy too, and works properly to suck you into the song. Also amazing are Munir’s lyrics, about two individuals striving to accomplish a joint mission, probably referring to the characters essayed by Akshay and Sonam.
Sayaani is the ‘Pad Man’ equivalent to ‘Dangal’s ‘Idiot Banna’, this time with four leading singers, including Yashita Sharma, Jonita Gandhi, Yashika Sikka and Rani Kaur. The backing vocalists also include Meghna Mishra, the young lead singer of “Secret Superstar”! The song itself seems like a mishmash of many wedding songs of Bollywood, and at one point it sounds exactly like a certain song, which I cant remember now! The ladies do sing amazingly though, and Trivedi’s arrangements make it more enjoyable, with the percussions yet again taking centre stage. Also enjoyable are the strings by Tapas Roy. The last song Saale Sapne is another trademark Trivedi affair, has shades of songs from “Queen” and the drums from ‘Gudgudi’ from “Secret Superstar” appear here too. Mohit Chauhan sings well, but the song seems too long to enjoy completely, and too typical. When the second antara starts, it starts to get tedious! Kausar’s lyrics are the only highlight of the song.


Amit continues to play safe, and stays in his comfort zone.

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 8.5 + 7.5 + 8 + 7 + 6.5 = 37.5

Album Percentage: 75%

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: Aaj Se Teri > Hu Ba Hu > The Pad Man Song > Sayaani > Saale Sapne

 

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

KAUSAR MUNIR – THE SECRET SUPERSTAR! (SECRET SUPERSTAR – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Amit Trivedi
♪ Lyrics by: Kausar Munir
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 18th October 2017
♪ Movie Released On: 19th October 2017

Secret Superstar Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Secret Superstar is a Bollywood drama starring Zaira Wasim, Meher Vij, Tirth Sharma, Raj Arjun and Aamir Khan. The film is directed and written by debutant Advait Chandan, and produced by Aamir Khan, Zee Studios and Akash ChawlaAfter the success of ‘Dangal’, Aamir Khan once again casts Zaira Wasim in the lead role here, in a story which is basically a young girl, Insia’s, journey to fulfilling her dream of becoming a famous singer. Great reviews have already started pouring in for the film, and I’m not going to rant about how Zee Music should’ve released the album for a musical movie much earlier than one day before the movie. Anyway, the music this time has been scored by a composer who has never composed for Aamir Khan. Amit Trivedi is choosing much more music-oriented scripts nowadays, as is evident from his choices of ‘Qaidi Band’ and now this. In ‘Qaidi Band’ he impressed a lot, managing to give the whole album a distinct rock touch, without making it sound monotonous. But this time, he needs to keep in mind the point of view of a 14-year old school going girl, and compose from her point of view. That might be tough, it might be easy, but we know it would not be something unconventional, like Trivedi is known to do. His quirkiness is expected to stay out of the album, but the soulful side of his is definitely expected to show itself in this particular album. So without further ado, because most of you are already in theatres watching the movie, or have already watched it, or are going this weekend, let’s jump into the music of ‘Secret Superstar’!


Main Kaun Hoon is the perfect self-discovery song to suit the film’s story and though the composition turns out to be quite underwhelming, barring the uplifting portion towards the end, it is debutante (15-years old only, at the time of recording the song) Meghna Mishra’s amazing vocals that redeem the song. The hookline is good, but very conventional at the same time. Given that the song has been written and composed by a young teenager though, it is perfect. The strings and drums and guitars by Trivedi make the song worthwhile. Kausar Munir’s lyrics here are just a snippet of the beautiful words that are to come in the rest of the album. Meri Pyaari Ammi follows with another staid composition, with unnecessary pauses that break the continuity of the song, and a hookline that is high-spirited but manages to get tiresome towards the end. Again, Meghna’s vocals are beautiful, but here it is lyricist Kausar Munir who makes the song cherishable due to her wonderful lyrics!
It is only in the beautiful folk-based Sapne Re that we remember that the album’s music is by Trivedi, because he bases it on a wonderful North-Eastern rhythm, one that we loved in his ‘Sawaar Loon’ (Lootera; 2013). Wonderful guitars and strings accompany the innocent composition; something that we would never have heard from Trivedi had it not been for this film which gave him the chance to compose from the point of view of a teenage girl. The folksy music gels well with Meghna’s sugary sweet vocals, and Kausar’s lyrics also keep the innocence of childhood intact. While in this song, the protagonist encourages her dreams to come true, she wills them to get locked up inside her heart in the polar opposite O Re Manwa. It is a beauty how two opposite situations arise in the same album, and through Kausar’s lyrics it is almost like a story unfolding in front of us. The composition itself is another one that doesn’t scream ‘Trivedi’, but can still be deciphered as a Trivedi song by the wonderful rock base, especially the way the guitars have been played. And as I juxtapose ‘Sapne Re’ with ‘O Re Manwa’, Amit also introduces a musical segment from ‘Sapne Re’ into ‘O Re Manwa’, as if trying to consolidate my assumption that these two songs are linked somehow! Meghna’s singing is toned down in a very subtle manner here, and she sounds so much different from her other songs here, mostly due to the lack of high octave notes.
The best song of the album though, is the dreamy Nachdi Phira, a song that stands out due to its motivational and inspirational sound. The composition starts off beautifully, with serene piano and strings working together to soothe your senses, until it breaks out into a high-spirited rock ballad, centred around Kausar Munir’s lyrics that create a nomadic touch. The antara of this song in particular, is beautifully composed, amazingly traversing the high octaves and hitting the heart at the right places. The lyrics of the mukhda of this song are used again in the cheesy Sexy Baliye, a song used to bring out the corniness of Aamir Khan’s character Shakti Kumaarr, a veteran music composer who isn’t in form anymore, as is evident from Trivedi’s spoofy composition. The arrangements are a mishmash of all kinds of sounds from all sorts of Bollywood songs — Punjabi pop, Bhangra and whatnot. It reminds me of ‘Switty’ (Delhi Belly). Mika sings aptly, and even if this weren’t a spoof song, he would’ve sounded the same. 😆
The only other male song on the album, I’ll Miss You is by another debutant, Kushal Chokshi. He gets to sing the romantic song which brings out the romance between Insia and Chintan. The song is refreshing, and has a trademark Trivedi touch, especially in the guitars in the hookline. Kausar’s lyrics will be especially loved by those who miss their school days. The school romance she cooks up in the lyrics is just so sweet, you will be reminded of your school days. Sunidhi Chauhan, who, coincidentally, I was thinking of when I thought who could have sung Meghna Mishra’s songs if this wasn’t a film with a teenage protagonist, gets the most lively song on the album, Gudgudi — a feel-good number that once again stands out because of its quirky lyrics. Amit’s composition is a wonderfully sprightly one, in trademark Amit Trivedi style, especially in the line before the hook. Mandolins and banjoes and harmonicas and brass instruments stand out among others, and give it a wonderful country sound. Sunidhi, ever-energetic, was the best choice for the song. Kausar pens amazing lyrics with so many everyday references, it is so fun to listen to.


Keeping in mind the setting of Secret Superstar, and the fact that the protagonist stirring up all this music is a young girl of fourteen of fifteen, the music is aptly conventional. Though I was a bit disappointed after Trivedi made that awesome rock album ‘Qaidi Band’, I soon came to terms with the fact that not always can he try something new like that. Here though, what actually shines is the amazing singing by debutante Meghna Mishra (I must say, great find, and also Kushal Chokshi!) and the splendid lyrics by Kausar Munir! The secret superstar here is the lyricist!!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album (in the order they appear in the review): 4 + 3.5 + 5 + 4.5 + 5 + 3.5 + 4.5 + 4 = 34

Album Percentage: 85%

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: Sapne Re = Nachdi Phira > O Re Manwa = I’ll Miss You > Main Kaun Hoon = Gudgudi > Sexy Baliye = Meri Pyaari Ammi

 

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

ROCK WITH A DESI TWIST! (QAIDI BAND – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Amit Trivedi
♪ Lyrics by: Kausar Munir, Habib Faisal, Sidhant Mago & Peter Muxka Manuel
♪ Music Label: YRF Music
♪ Music Released On: 25th July 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 25th August 2017

Qaidi Band Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Qaidi Band is an upcoming Bollywood musical drama, starring debutants Aadar Jain and Anya Singh in lead roles. The film is directed by ‘Do Dooni Chaar’, ‘Ishaqzaade’ and ‘Daawat-e-Ishq’ fame Habib Faisal, and produced by Aditya Chopra. The film tells the story of seven innocent under-trials, who form a musical band in prison. They get the chance to perform on Independence Day and their song becomes a national sensation. However, their hopes of acquittal are dashed when a local politician cancels their trials in hopes of winning the upcoming elections using their songs. The film explores how they secure their release with the help of their music. The director has made delightful films before, and I am sure this one will be great too. Meanwhile, the strength of a musical lies in its music. This time Habib teams up with his ‘Ishaqzaade’composer Amit Trivedi. Having been absent from the Bollywood music scene for eight months after ‘Dear Zindagi’ last year, Trivedi will finally open his account this year, before his music for yet another musical ‘Secret Superstar’, releases. This film was announced out of the blue, and what is special is that YRF relleased the album in one go! That made it all the better to pounce on it right away and gulp all the songs down together! So it was rather fun how the poster, trailer and album of this film released in such close succession! Anyway, let’s see how the Band of “Qaidi”s (Captives) fares!

P.S. Thanks to the AMAZING Vipin Nair over at www.musicaloud.com for the musician credits!


1. I Am India / I Am India (Escape Version)

Singers ~ Arijit Singh & Yashita Sharma / Amit Trivedi & Yashita Sharma, Lyrics by ~ Habib Faisal

Amit Trivedi starts off the album with a song that has the least amount of rock elements you would expect,in a film about a rock band. The song is basically a patriotic street-play kind of song, with an insanely catchy rhythm and composition, quite closely following the usual composition style of Trivedi. The composition is simple, very Trivedi-ish (if that’s an adjective now, after ten years of Trivedi being in the industry). The composition, though, isn’t what catches you at the first listen. The hook composition is cool and catchy, but the rest grows on you in successive listens. What really grabs you in the first place are the arrangements, vocals and lyrics. The song appears in two versions, differing in arrangements and vocals. The first version by Arijit & Yashita is what will get more famous among the public, because, obviously, it’s Arijit. But, plot twist! Arijit’s vocals have been kept so raw and untouched, that he sounds exactly like Amit Trivedi. The required amount of naughtiness, though, is present in his vocals. Yashita too, complements him well, with her nice and husky voice. This version has a nice prelude with a lot of percussion sounds (Sanket Naik) that resembles Taufiq Qureshi’s style of percussion a lot. A wonderful beatbox, by Alan D’Souza, something that we rarely hear in desi songs like this, also accompanies the prelude. And when the harmonium (Akhlakh Hussain Varsi, Feroz Khan) pitches in, you know Trivedi has some awesome street-smart song waiting for us. The percussion remains for he whole song, to entertain us, and what an entertaining percussion it is! The fusion between that percussion and he harmoniums, in the interlude, is a sight to behold. Towards the end we get the tempo upped, and that portion really sums up the song — the patriotic flavour comes out the best in those lines. The second version is nice too; here, Amt Trivedi himself takes over as the male vocalists, complemented by Yashita again. It doesn’t make much of a difference with his voice, because even Arijit had sounded like him. In this version, Yashita sings what Arijit sang in the first version, and Amit sings what she had sung over there. The arrangements are better here, with a nice dhol-taasha Maharashtrian touch given to the arrangements. The prelude is sloughed off here, and the song plunges directly into the mukhda. The harmonium and percussions, as stated above, are way more prominent, making it sound much more like an actual street performance. Habib Faisal’s lyrics are aptly patriotic; the comparisons are unthinkable, but when you listen to them it’s just a matter of fact. For example, India is a gol gappa, and Indians are the water inside! A patriotic song with quirky lyrics and a fun arrangement!

Rating: 4/5 for the Original Version, 4.5/5 for the Escape Version

 

2. Hulchul

Singers ~ Arijit Singh & Yashita Sharma, Lyrics by ~ Kausar Munir

The rock kicks in, in full swing, with this next song, a rock ballad full of pain and emotion. The starts in a mellow way, characteristic of Trivedi’s romantic songs, so much so that you almost are sure that something calm is about to follow. But then a strain of melancholia, accompanied by the first bar of the mukhda, appears, and then the tune just breaks into a very energetic and hard-hitting rock song. The transition is very quick, but very seamless. The hookline is amazing, and the way the male and female vocalists alternate their lines, making it a true-blue duet, is amazing. More on the vocals later though. The composition continues to amaze — the lilting portions really stand out in the very high-octane arrangements. The electric guitars are the stars of the song, and the way they start, in the first hookline, is just shockingly beautiful! They keep playing throughout, and never fail to amaze. The drums (Jai Row Kavi), naturally, are amazing too. The interlude is all electric guitar, and it sounds amazing, as if we really are in a rock concert. The strong composition just helps the song to be put forth better to the listeners. The vocals are pitch perfect. Arijit’s raw and grungy vocals have been retained yet again, and his voice sans programming is such a beauty to listen to, especially in this era where composers can’t go without tweaking voices. Yashita Sharma complements him very well. Both of them sing the song so intensely, the emotion is almost tangible. Backing vocalists give a good push to the song. The lyrics are amazing here as well, with the band members expressing the desire to be let free. A touching song, but might take time to grow.

Rating: 4.5/5

 

3. Phir Nayi

Singer ~ Yashita Sharma, Lyrics by ~ Kausar Munir

Yashita gets a solo song to sing next; and I must say, she deserved it, and shines in it! Amit’s composition is fresh yet nostalgic. It doesn’t have any shades of his previous song (or not that I can think of) but it still seems so nostalgic and evokes a sense of happiness in the listener. The mukhda starts the song off very promisingly, and Amit, as usual, lives up to that promise, because what follows is no less beautiful. The hookline is nice, and I like the way the drums pause when the hook appears. It gives it a very important feel, and lets the magic of the composition be heard on its own. The antaras are wonderful as well, and it just helps more that Kausar Munir’s lyrics are so beautiful. It makes the song such a delight to listen to. The arrangements are splendid; the usual drums (Jai Row Kavi) are accompanied this time by mellifluous strings (Chennai Strings Orchestra — conducted by M. Kalyan). Of course, the guitars do appear, but here, they are relatively relegated to the background, as the strings and the flute (Naveen Kumar) are more intriguing. A wonderful santoor portion (Tapas Roy) is what draws the listeners into the song, and also features in the interlude; it seems so surreal in an album about a rock band! Yashita herself, carries the beautiful composition with elegance, never making the listeners get bored or lose interest. The grace with which she handles the notes is pleasantly surprising, as almost all her previous songs have been these upbeat numbers, whereas this one is a lilting feel-good melody! Full marks to everyone for this beauty of a song!

Rating: 5/5

 

4. Junooni

Singers ~ Arijit Singh & Yashita Sharma, Lyrics by ~ Sidhant Mago & Kausar Munir

Another high-octane rock song follows that surreal melody. This one too, starts off very melodiously, and suffers from a sever hangover of ‘Pashmina’ (Fitoor), as is clear from the guitar and flute beginning. Of course though, the flute (Naveen Kumar) is what makes us listen more enthusiastically, curiously, to know how this will turn into a rock song. Sure enough, with Trivedi’s genius, he manages to swerve the melody into a nice and energetic rock song. Though the full-fledged rock doesn’t arrive till the hookline here (unlike ‘Hulchul’ where it hardly took one line), it still works wonders. And the portion before he rock breaks too, is just magical. Amit’s composition for the antara, is just mesmerizing, and it is his trademark compositional style hat reflects in that antara. It is kind of noticeable how the composition style of the rest of the song is clearly non-Trivedi-ish, and follows the rock template to the tee. Nevertheless, the song turns out to be one of my favourites of the album. The second antara, is just another repetition in the same tune as the mukhda, but somehow it sounds better in the middle of the song, than it did at the beginning. And what can I say about the hookline! As soon as that rock hits you, you suddenly get goosebumps. Of course, it is a romantic rock song, and so it should be haunting and melodious along with the trademark rock characteristics. And it packages both the qualities perfectly. Arijit and Yashita yet again, prove their mettle, and this is actually one of the rare songs on the album where Arijit sounds like himself! Yashita sounds a lot like Neeti Mohan in her sweet and sugary voice, and that’s a plus point for the song. Again, both of their voices’ intensities drive the song way ahead of what it could have been, if it had been sung in a lifeless manner. Kausar and Sidhant Mago write a nice mix of romantic and passionate lyrics. A rock song that follows the rock template very sincerely, yet manages to impress!!

Rating: 4.5/5

 

5. Udanchoo

Singers ~ Arijit Singh & Yashita Sharma, Lyrics by ~ Kausar Munir

This next song was a bit weird, after the very templated sound of the previous three songs. That’s because this one is a clear Amit Trivedi song, which dates to go unconventional. Sadly, the composer seems to have gotten it topsy turvy. Not that it is a bad song, it is just less impressive than the others. The composition is an upbeat one, again, relying on rock guitars and drums to give it a good beat — and it succeeds. The composition is a bit weak, Especially the hookline, which seems forced. The antaras are amazing, fortunately. The arrangements have a retro touch — an 70s-80s rock touch. The kind of rock that was prominent in the West at that time. And that’s the strongest point of the song; that’s what will trick people into loving the song! Vocals are great again, with a lot of enthusiasm. I loved Arijit particularly in this song. The lyrics are clearly about escaping. Experimental, but doesn’t go the right way.

Rating: 3.5/5

 

6. Jag Mag

Singers ~ Arijit Singh & Yashita Sharma, Rap Written & Performed by ~ Peter Muxka Manuel, Lyrics by ~ Habib Faisal

Amit goes the experimental way with the next song as well. And I’m happy to say that this time, it works fantastically, as it usually does with Trivedi. The composition is a feel-good one, and instantly brings a smile to your face! The characteristic style of Trivedi shows itself right at the beginning of the song, and you start loving it then and there. The hookline is one of the cutest things I’ve heard recently. The antaras are nice and along the same lines — happy-sounding and pleasant. The arrangements are so minimal, but a continuous beatbox (Alan D’Souza) keeps going on in the background. Of course, Trivedi garnishes the song with guitars, percussion and his signature quirky digital sounds. (Something I’ve heard after a long time!) The vocals are string here as well — now I’m beginning to think I should just let you take it for granted that the vocals are beautiful in every song!! There’s a nice Caribbean-styled English rap midway into the song, and it is one of the most refreshing raps I’ve ever heard! At least it is something different! Peter Muxka Manuel renders it with a huge amount of confidence! The cute patriotic lyrics that feature in the song are the USP of the song. They’re so fun! A patriotic song that tells you that it doesn’t always have to be heavy and preachy to make a good patriotic song!

Rating: 4/5

 

7. Poshampa

Singers ~ Arijit Singh & Yashita Sharma, Lyrics by ~ Kausar Munir

Now the next song bursts into a very different side of the album; a very enjoyable, retro feel accompanies the catchy composition. It sounds like something out of an R.D. Burman album, and recreated by Amit Trivedi. The composition is vey catchy, and instantly has you grooving to the music. What draws you in at first though, is the amazing musical prelude that seems like a continuation of the wonderful ‘Mehbooba’ (Sholay), complete with the amazing trumpets (Kishore Sodha), rabaab (Tapas Roy), and of course, drums (Jai Row Kavi). It is this prelude that makes the listener keen on listening to the rest of the song, with rapt attention. The rabaab keeps on playing throughout the song, everytime the hookline is over, and it just gives amazing retro vibes. The amazing arrangements really help in transporting us to that era. The trumpet and percussion is what stands out prominently, and the interludes are amazing! I loved it when Trivedi decreases the tempo in one interlude, and graces it with a heavy Punjabi dhol, and it sounds amazing! Of course it goes back to the retro trumpet in no time! The vocals are amazing here (again!) and Arijit and Yashita sing at the top of their energies. The way Arijit sings the “I Don’t understand why” and “dafaa chaar-sau-bees boli” lines, is just so entertaining. The end of the song comprises an uptempo conclusion that just leaves the “jaa bhai jaa” hook permanently imprinted into your memory. The lyrics are evidently situational, but revolve around the escape theme again. A wonderfully catchy song, an entertaining mix of rock with a retro feel!

Rating: 5/5

 

8. Phir Wohi

Singer ~ Yashita Sharma, Lyrics by ~ Kausar Munir

After that electrifying retro number, Trivedi decides to end with a mellow melancholic number. The song is basically the sad version of ‘Phir Nayi’, and is renamed ‘Phir Wohi’. {What a coincidence; we just had another sad song called ‘Phir Wahi’ last month in ‘Jagga Jasoos’!} Trivedi has contrasted this song from its original in such a beautiful way — of course the tempo is a bit slower, the tone has completely transformed from a happy-go-lucky one to a very melancholic one. Some of the elements he uses to do this, are, of all the things you would expect, PERCUSSIONS! Yes. Trivedi employs an irresistible march-past-like rhythm to signify the sad tone of the song. And it works so wonderfully! Also, in that version, Yashita sang very flamboyantly, but here, she sings very differently — and it creates a great effect! Some places, I thought she went off-tune, but then I understood it must be intentional, to signify the character sounding like she was crying — the way Trivedi made Neeti Mohan “cry-sing” in “Dhadaam Dhadaam” (Bombay Velvet)! Flute (Naveen Kumar) is yet another beautiful attraction here. Another beautiful addition, is a very satisfying backing chorus, which, in its low pitch, wins your heart in a jiffy. Kausar reprises her happy lyrics to make them aptly sad. A very apt reprise of a song that I would never imagine, would sound so good with a sad version!

Rating: 4.5/5


Qaidi Band is one of those Amit Trivedi albums, in which the composer doesn’t quite experiment too much, and plays with already established musical styles. Of course, he manages to make it sound amazing even then. The album is full of variety, and follows a very prominent rock theme throughout. Patriotism, fun, romance, happiness and melancholia is portrayed wonderfully through the songs, and that’s what makes it so special.  Habib Faisal and Amit Trivedi hit the jackpot yet again, this time with a desi rock theme!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4 + 4.5 +4.5 + 5 + 4.5 + 3.5 + 4 + 5 + 4.5 = 39.5

Album Percentage: 87.78%

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: Phir Nayi = Poshampa > Phir Wohi = Junooni = Hulchul = I Am India (Escape Version) > I am India = Jag Mag > Udanchoo

 

Which is your favourite song from Qaidi Band? 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! 🙂

SACHIN-JIGAR’S PYAARA, AFEEMI ALBUM!! (MERI PYAARI BINDU – Music Review)

I would like to start by thanking YRF for releasing the full album early, but giving no such indication by uploading a jukebox or a complete OST on iTunes so that we don’t keep waiting for more! And thanks (this isn’t sarcasm) to Jigar Saraiya for confirming on Twitter, in reply to my question, that it is indeed the full album.

Update — 11th May 2017 — Today YRF released the “full album” on iTunes.


Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Sachin-Jigar
♪ Lyrics by: Kausar Munir, Priya Saraiya & Rana Mazumder
♪ Music Label: YRF Music
♪ Music Released On: 25th April 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 12th May 2017

Meri Pyaari Bindu Album Cover

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Meri Pyaari Bindu is an upcoming Bollywood rom-com starring Parineeti Chopra and Ayushmann Khurrana in lead roles. The film is directed by Akshay Roy and produced by Maneesh Sharma. The film is about a writer played by Ayushmann, who, after being frustrated at the lack of critical appreciation his novels get, despite him being a successful writer, moves back to his hometown Kolkata to find inspiration to write better literature. Well, he has been writing his new book for three years. It so happens that he is reminded of one of his best friends, and stumbles upon a cassette of their favourite songs’ playlist. It is from here, that he gets Inspiration for his new novel. So, the crux of the film is quite interesting — it seems sweet and simple, and a look at the many “mini-trailers” (or chapters) they’ve released for the film will reveal that it is a bit quirky and very musical too. All in all, it is something I’m waiting for, and I believe everyone is waiting for. So without ruminating any more upon the movie, let us cherish the music till then, as that is the only way to get closer to the movie before the release. The music for the film has been given by a duo whose music I appreciate and adore, and they’ve got a fair share of high ratings on this blog (not to mention a few forgiveable not-so-good ones), and that duo is the dynamic duo Sachin-Jigar. So last year, since they concentrated on Gujarati film music, they could only manage to do one Bollywood film, ‘A Flying Jatt’s, an album which was amazing musically, but lacked repeat value. Of course, this year they are the busiest music directors on the block, with five films including this one. For this music album, they’ve composed six tracks, a perfect number for a musical in Bollywood. Hoping that these men surprise us just as they always do (though it won’t be much of a surprise) I’m diving into this expected-to-be awesome album!


1. Maana Ke Hum Yaar Nahin

Singer ~ Parineeti Chopra, Lyrics by ~ Kausar Munir

“Raaste mein tum milo toh,
Haath milaane ruk jaana!
Saath mein koi, ho tumhare,
Door se hi tum muskaana,
Lekin muskaan ho aisi,
Ki jismein ikraar nahi,
Lekin muskaan ho aisi,
Ki jismein ikraar nahi,
Nazron se naa karna tum bayaan,
Woh jisse inkaar nahin!
Maana ke hum yaar nahin!”

– Kausar Munir

The album starts off with a song we have heard about a year ago, in the video where YRF announced the film. Parineeti was talking about how the makers insisted that she should sing the song. And right from that day, when I heard how beautifully she sings, I couldn’t wait for this day, when I would listen to the full song and review it. The song is essentially a ghazal, and Sachin-Jigar have composed it sooooo beautifully, that it reminds you of many 90s songs, or the 90s era in general, with its tune. The poetic words by Kausar Munir (more on them later) have been put to such a charmingly delightful tune by the duo, that it hardly seems like a sad song. The mukhda is so spectacular, it just pulls you into the song, and you won’t emerge out of it until the song is over. It is the antaras, though, that amazed me the most. Again, a spectacular tune, but this one sounds very layered, as if there are deeper meanings to it, which get revealed one by one, each time you replay the song. Also, Parineeti adds different nuances and variation in both antaras, so it almost feels as if both antaras are composed on the same tune, but still different. That brings us to her vocals. Parineeti’s voice has this rawness to it, which I haven’t heard in any of the actress-singers’ voices. (Well, maybe Priyanka Chopra and Shruti Hassan, but not beyond these). Her husky voice suits the ambience of the song so well, that it just transports you to another world. Of course, she is a trained classical singer, but her command over the tune is amazing considering that she must’ve not been in touch with singing for a long time. And an added bonus is that her voice hasn’t been autotuned! That’s brave, and I appreciate it. Not that it sounds bad anyway. Sachin-Jigar’s arrangements are out of this world. They recreate the 90s through the arrangements — that flute loop (Shreeram Sampath) is spell-binding! It has you hooked right from the first time it plays, and then it keeps on amazing you throughout the song. The folksy percussions (Arun Solanki) in the song are mystifying too. And the piano (Rinku Rajput), played so gracefully right when we don’t expect it, in small pieces all over the song, is so sweet! A special appearance by the sarangi (Dilshad Khan) in the second interlude is something you must not miss at any cost. (In other words, hear the full audio, not just the video promo!) Beside all these wonderful nostalgic instruments, the hardworking guitars (Krishna Pradhan) are sidelined, but they give a constant rhythm throughout, and if you listen carefully, they have an important contribution indeed. Now, I have saved the best for the last. And that is Kausar Munir’s lyrics. She gave us a wonderfully written album, “Begum Jaan” just last month. And she’s already at it again! Her words are so heartbreaking, it gives a whole new definition to sad songs. Both the antaras, not to mention the mukhda, have been written wonderfully! And Sachin-Jigar very cleverly knew how to put a tune to those words so that they don’t sound maudlin and melancholic. Splendid work by Sachin-Jigar and Kausar Munir. A sad song with a refreshing feel! My intuition tells me this will go on to be one of my favourite songs of the year, and probably all time.

Rating: 5/5

 

2. Haareya

Singer ~ Arijit Singh, Lyrics by ~ Priya Saraiya

“Khuli aankhon se dekha woh, haseen khwaab hai tu,
Dil mein jo utar jaaye woh, pyaari baat hai tu,
Tere naam ka nasha, nasha, hai zubaan pe chhaa gaya,
Iss bekhudi mein doobne se main khud ko na rok sakeya!”

– Priya Saraiya

While we had a wonderful old-world-charm in the first song, Sachin-Jigar bring in their favourite, a nice modern touch, to the next song. The composition is odd! And I say that in the best way possible! It has this offbeat touch to it, a tune that is mostly associated with rock songs these days. But no, Sachin-Jigar, the experimentalists that they are, use it for a romantic song! And it works, and succeeds with distinction. The mukhda starts, and you start to get interested in what will come next. When a song compels you to listen to it further because of that reason, it has to be interesting! And then the hookline starts. So low-key, so modestly, so inconspicuously and oh-so-subtly! Unlike the hooklines in which the tempo, instrumentation and vocals go higher in pitch, loudness and whatnot, this one is exactly the opposite. It gets subtle and quiet after a huge and suspenseful buildup to it. It takes a genius to pull that off successfully, and therefore Sachin-Jigar must be geniuses! They could very well have added some rock elements in that hookline, but they refrained from doing so. And it just increased the appeal of the song manifold! Yes, a composition that suits the rock genre, has nothing but a simple (but very infectious, mind you) guitar riff in the arrangements. And I must mention Indrajit Chetia here, for his AMAAAAZZZZING guitar work throughout the song! Ayushmann’s Arijit’s (you’ll see why I did that) vocals are so impressive! The man brings in such a convincing imitation of Ayushmann’s voice, like the way he pronounces each word while singing and the slight nasal twang, that one would initially be confused whether Arijit has sung the song or Ayushmann. He gives his own voice a complete makeover and modifies it just to suit Ayushmann, and how crazy is that? I’ve not seen this happen in quite a while. These days, either a singer’s voice suits an actor by default, or it doesn’t. But a singer tweak his voice for an actor? That’s so 90s! And so amazing! In the antara, he does that amazing transition between the low octave and high octave, so effortlessly, that he does perfect justice to Sachin-Jigar’s composition, which I doubt anyone else could’ve pulled off. Guest lyricist Priya Saraiya writes in a mix of Punjabi and Hindi, and presents yet another amazing piece from her side. A lovestruck man’s emotions are depicted clearly by her writing. A nice experimentation, where a composition tailor-made for rock, is given an acoustic and unplugged type of arrangement. Of course, special mention to Arijit!

Rating: 5/5

 

3. Ye Jawaani Teri

Singers ~ Nakash Aziz & Jonita Gandhi, Lyrics by ~ Kausar Munir

“Yeh jawaani teri, yeh jawaani meri,
Yeh jawaani teri, yeh jawaani meri,
Yeh jawaani teri, yeh jawaani meri,
J – j – jeene nahi deti!”

– Kausar Munir

Well, we had two romantic songs, one mature and the other slightly more youthful. Be prepared to go even further down memory lane, as we go back to the main characters’ college days and are treated to an amazing retro treat from Sachin-Jigar’s music bank. So basically this is the fun song of the album where the two protagonists are in college, having fun, without a worry. And Sachin-Jigar’s track reflects the same attitude in it. The composition sounds odd at first, but once you realize what it is, you’ll be like “Ohhhhhhh”, and then realize the cleverness of the music directors. The hookline is what the song relies on to propel it, and very aptly, it has been composed to the tune of the iconic Shammi Kapoor guitar riff. After you realize that, the padding, like the mukhda and antara, start sounding amazing thanks to you having discovered the theme of the song. Particularly the line that Jonita sings before the hookline arrives, with that nasal touch, has an amazing tune! The arrangements stick to the retro theme very well, and the guitars (Shomu Seal) steal the show, aptly supported by amazing trumpets (Kishore Sodha), saxophone (Shyamraj) and drums (Debashish Banerjee). It all gives that required retro feel that the song needed. In places, it reminded me of ‘Let’s Talk About Love’ (Baaghi), another good song of the same genre, but one which was suppressed by mediocre vocals and composition. The vocals too, suit the song well, though I thought Nakash could’ve been substituted by Vishal Dadlani and the song would’ve gone miles higher. Jonita sounds very different from what we have heard from her in the Rahman and Pritam camps. She does that aforementioned retro-nasal thing superbly, and ditches her thin and sweet voice to bring in a tinge of naughtiness and youthfulness for this one. Kausar Munir’s lyrics here are purely situational, and I can’t really praise them or the opposite. A fun youthful number, that might take some time to grow.

Rating: 4/5

 

4. Iss Tarah

Singers ~ Clinton Cerejo & Dominique Cerejo, Lyrics by ~ Kausar Munir

“Tu ret si haathon se, aisi phisal jaati hai,
Mujhe rokna nahi aata, tujhe theherna nahi aata,
Tu sarphiri hawaaon mein, phirki si kyun phiri jaaye,
Mujhe baandhna nahi aata, tujhe thaamna nahi aata!”

– Kausar Munir

Another retro-themed number joins the album, this time a disco song, composed in a trademark Michael Jackson way. Sachin-Jigar take their experimentalism further ahead with this one, and produce a crackling dance song. The composition in the beginning is so less, it almost sounds as if the singer is reciting the lines like a little child recites a poem in front of the class. However, that’s what increases the appeal of the song. And then when the line by Dominique comes in, you are dazzled by its brightness. Brightness as in, Sachin-Jigar’s smart use of the disco elements to make the composition beautiful. And then comes the hard-hitting hookline, which is one of the best I’ve heard in a while, and also something very similar to Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s composition style, a trio who I believe established this style of music in Bollywood. The arrangements are entrancing, especially the trumpet (Kishore Sodha) that plays in the hookline, and steals the limelight right away. The disco-themed digital beats are amazing, and set up a groovy beat even before the tune of the song starts. The guitars (Paresh Kamath) are great too, as are Sachin-Jigar’s clever additions of finger-snaps and the trademark disco sounds. The hookline’s arrangements are out of this world. The vocals too, are mind blowing. Clinton Cerejo, after his successful stint as a music director in Bollywood last year (in three movies) returns to the mic, and nails the song. But the one who steals the spotlight is his better half, Dominique, in her very short portion, that repeats just twice in the entire song, but leaves a lasting impression, and makes you love her voice so much! And that part, as mentioned above, has been composed just as well! Kausar’s lyrics are full of contrast, and it is very interesting to listen to. A successful disco-based retro number, which I can’t wait to watch in the movie! 

Rating: 5/5

 

5. Khol De Baahein

Singer ~ Monali Thakur, Hindi Lyrics by ~  Kausar Munir, Bengali Lyrics by ~ Rana Mazumder

“Barse jo saawan, toh daudke tu aana,
Khud ko tu bheegna sikha de,
Barse jo saawan, toh lautke tu aana,
Khud ko tu bheegna sikha de…”

– Kausar Munir

After a sad song, a romantic song and two dance numbers, it is romantic time again, and this time we get a rather unconventional romantic song. The composition is so beautiful and cute, and it reeks of the Bengali culture with its tune. It has this lilting, lulling tune that just doesn’t let you get bored. Yes, it does take some time to fully grow on you, but when it does, it does so very fulfillingly, and you end up loving the song unconditionally. The mukhda in Bengali, starts off the song wonderfully, while the hookline in Hindi is cute and harmonious. There’s a beautiful short stanza in Bengali after that (“kokhono kokhono…“) which just sounds so endearing. And the antara too, keeps you listening. All in all, Sachin-Jigar’s composition is a winner. The arrangements are no less. On the most part, it is a soothing guitar-led instrumentation (Guitars by Krishna Pradhan), and though the guitars aren’t hard-hitting they are just as amazing as the guitars in ‘Haareya’. The piano notes at the end of the song are beautiful as the conclusion of the song. Monali is the perfect choice as the singer; she goes back and forth between high and low notes effortlessly, and pronounces the Bengali words immaculately. She sounds very cute as always in this lulling romantic song. Kausar’s Hindi lyrics are great, but when I asked one of my friends for a translation of the Bengali lyrics, I got to know that Rana’s Bengali lyrics are just as endearing. Modest and simple, but very strong in terms of composition and arrangements and especially vocals!

Rating: 4.5/5

 

6. Afeemi

Singers ~ Sanah Moidutty & Jigar Saraiya, Lyrics by ~ Kausar Munir

“Dhaani si, dhaani si, sharbati paani si,
Dheere se dheere se, teri chaahat chadhti hai,
Thodi naadaani si, thodi shaitaani si,
Dheeme se dheeme se, teri aadat badhti hai,
Tu hai toh mere roobaroo, par kya karoon,
Yakeen hi nahi aata,
Shaam se subah karoon, dekha karoon,
Raha bhi nahi jaata!
Afeemi, afeemi, afeemi hai yeh pyaar,
Afeemi hai tera mera pyaar!”

– Kausar Munir

A very simple and humble song brings up the rear of the album. This song is a very sweet and beautiful romantic song, composed in a very trademark Sachin-Jigar way, keeping things sweet and simple. The composition starts off so effervescently, with that sprightly mukhda. And the hookline is a typical Bollywood romantic song hookline, nevertheless, it hooks you right away. The antara has been composed beautifully as well, one line strictly sounding very similar to a line from ‘Maana Ke Hum Yaar Nahin’ itself, but that’s alright. Also, the hookline sounds like the line “Pooche jo koi, toh tera naam doon“, from Sachin-Jigar’s own ‘Tera Naam Doon’ (Entertainment). Overall though, the song is addictive! Such a simple romantic song, which was also great in its composition, was long-needed in Bollywood. The arrangements follow conventional arrangements, in that it contains everything you would expect in a contemporary romantic song — guitars (Kalyan Baruah), piano (Rinku Rajput), drums (Lindsay D’mello). But the flute by Hamtu is unexpectedly amazing, as are the strings that pitch in occasionally. I personally loved the way the hookline is arranged, on that simple guitar riff, and I love those small rattle-like instrument additions that sound so lovely! Vocals are perfect, with Sanah Moidutty finally getting a song where she is allowed to sing more than or equal to her male co-singer (who in this case happens to be Jigar himself) which she couldn’t do in her previous two songs, ‘Moto Ghotalo’ (Gori Tere Pyaar Mein) and ‘Tu Hai’ (Mohenjo Daro). Her voice is a nice and sweet voice with the vocal quality of someone who has the potential to make it big in Bollywood, where such voices are lapped up by music directors. Jigar himself accompanies her fantastically, and I believe the duo has programmed his voice less than they normally do, and that adds to the natural touch in the song. Kausar’s lyrics are fascinating, and it also marks the first time (probably; I’m not a database) that someone has compared love to opium (‘afeem’ = opium), after comparing it to stuff like alcohol, and hookah bars. A very ‘Afeemi’ (addictive) song!

Rating: 4.5/5


Meri Pyaari Bindu turns out to be just as great and musically rich as I expected it to be. Sachin-Jigar, after a hiatus in which they scored for one Bollywood film ‘A Flying Jatt’, which sadly didn’t have the potential to stay with us for long, they give us yet another taste of their awesomeness, after they had given us two of my favourite albums of theirs, ‘Happy Ending’ in 2014, and ‘Badlapur’ in 2015. Another feather in their cap, ‘Meri Pyaari Bindu’ might just be one of their best performances!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 5 + 5 + 4 + 5 + 4.5 + 4.5 = 28

Album Percentage: 93.34% {Surpassing ‘Poorna’ at 92.5%, that makes it this year’s best album so far!!}

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 start to finish in the same order.

 

Which is your favourite song from Meri Pyaari Bindu? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂