A LIPSTICK WITH SHADES OF WOMEN EMPOWERMENT!! (LIPSTICK UNDER MY BURKHA – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Zebunnisa Bangash (Zeb)
♪ Lyrics by: Anvita Dutt
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 14th July 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 21st July 2017

Lipstick Under My Burkha Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Lipstick Under My Burkha is an upcoming Bollywood film starring Konkona Sen Sharma, Ratna Pathak Shah, Aahana Kumra, Plabita Borthakur, Sushant Singh, Vikrant Massey, Shashank Arora and Vaibhav Tatwavaadi. The film has been directed by Alankrita Srivastava, and produced by Prakash Jha. I don’t think it is necessary to introduce the film to you; you’ve probably heard  lot about it, thanks to our beloved Mr. Nihalani. Without further ado, I’ll veer towards the music. The simple and short three-song album is composed by Zebunnisa Bangash (Zeb), who we have all heard singing many times before in Bollywood. But this is (I believe) her composing debut in Bollywood. So let’s give it up for her, and see what she has to offer in this women-uplifting soundtrack!


1. Jigi Jigi

Singer ~ Malini Awasthi

A ladies sangeet kind of song starts off the album, but of course, it has apt folksy vibes, considering that Zeb Bangash has composed it. It is actually an adaptation of a folk song by Haji Saifuddin, which Zeb had performed at the Sandaraa music concert in New York in 2015, a concert that was fronted by Zeb along with Brooklyn’s clarinet virtuoso Michael Winograd, which was a musical collaboration exploring a vast repertoire of South Asian musical traditions blended with the sounds and sensibilities of Eastern Europe, the Balkans and New York, according to the YouTube video that Michael Winograd has posted of this song. The Balkan flavour still appears prominent in Zeb’s Bollywood recreation of the song, but all the musician credits have changed, that is, she’s reworked the arrangements. First of all, the composition is a raunchy and catchy one, kind of like the songs from earlier this year’s ‘Anaarkali of Aarah’. The ‘Jigi Jigi’ hook seems like gibberish, or it could be something in Afghani, who knows, but it is catchy nevertheless. The composition traverses the sinister line of notes, and in befitting in such a strong film, which Anvita Dutt makes clear through her lyrics. What impresses me even more are the arrangements. The wonderful folksy sound that the rabaab (Siddiq Sameer), dholaks (Sharafat) and harmonium (Ankur Mukherjee) collectively exude, makes the song sound even more raunchy. The tambourine (Sharafat) gives a very unconventional rhythm throughout the song. There is a brief brass band (Shyam Raj & Friends) interlude that sounds like the only Bollywoodish cliché in the song, besides the harmonium, but still sounds great. The simple dholak-led rhythm is wonderful though. Malini is her usual folksy and raunchy self, and delivers the song with zest and zeal. A nice and folksy start to the album!!

Rating: 4/5

 

2. Ishquiya

Singer ~ Neeti Mohan

The next song in the album happens to be the only song which hasn’t been adapted from any other song like both of the other songs on the album. It takes the form of a retro, disco funk kind of song, a genre which really has seemed to have taken off quite abruptly in the past month or so, what with “Munna Michael” trying, and ‘Beech Beech Mein’ (Jab Harry Met Sejal) succeeding. This one is sung solely by Neeti Mohan, and that makes it all the more interesting somehow. Zeb’s arrangement is really sprightly, and light and frothy, something that instantly lightens up the ambience and mood. The composition is a lilting one, but perfect for the electrifying  music. There are crescendo notes all over the composition, and they make the song sound all the better, not making it he everyday retro funk song. Zeb makes the antara a bit more mysterious and suspense-holding, and sensuous. The drums and disco sounds have been done perfectly. You can’t really ask for a better done track. The backing vocalists help increase the intriguing feel of the song. The trumpets, guitars and occasional strings (what a surprise!) are amazing. The amazing arrangements are complemented very well by Neeti’s whispery voice, and she sets free of all inhibitions to render a no-holds-barred performance. Anvita Dutt’s lyrics seem situational, but they are functional nonetheless. A nice throwback to the REAL disco era, and not the Bappi Lahiri disco era!

Rating: 4/5

 

3. Le Li Jaan

Singer ~ Zebunnisa Bangash

For the finishing act, Zeb reprises yet another of her previous performances, this time, ‘Laili Jaan’ which she had sung at Coke Studio. The song was itself an adaptation of an Afghani folk song, and this one has the same composition, decorated with Hindi lyrics. The way it starts, you are instantly thrown back to the 1940s-1950s, the Charlie Chaplin era. And that effect is produced by Michael Winograd’s amazing clarinet. But Zeb retains the Afghani flavour by employing a wonderful rabaab (Siddiq Sameer) and accordion (Patrick Ferrel), making it sound a lot like the Balkan style of music, something that is so underdone and awfully underrated in Bollywood! More wonderful guitars and ethnic strings (Ankur Mukherjee), coupled with the drums (Kami Paul), throw in a modern touch. The composition itself is a sugar-coated raunchy one, exuding the folk feel as no other song ever did. It kind of reminds me of a couple of Vishal Bhardwaj’s songs from ‘Saat Khoon Maaf’. The hookline literally takes away your life, as Zeb sings “Le li le li le li jaan”, which means “You took my life!” 😍 The antaras are beautifully composed, reminding one of the wonderful 50s, when even Bollywood was heavily influenced by this kind of music, and it reflected in O.P. Nayyar’s music very highly. The treatment given to the song too, is highly unconventional, but it really wins your heart by the time it is over! Another clarinet portion ends the song on a bright and lively note for us. Anvita’s lyrics are cute and simple! A song that should serve as an example of how Balkan music must be done in Bollywood!

Rating: 4.5/5


Lipstick Under My Burkha is a short and sweet folk-oriented album that we hardly get to hear these days in Bollywood. Getting on board a composer from Pakistan herself was a great move, in order to get that folksy touch. The variety in the album is still so ranged, even though two out of three songs sprout from the same folk music. A disco funk song stands out among these folk songs as well, and all of them are unconventional in their approach. What’s most important, all the songs have been sung by women, and composed by a woman, which is so apt for the film. So the album is like a lipstick with different shades of women empowerment!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4 + 4 + 4.5 = 12.5

Album Percentage: 83.34%

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: Le Li Jaan > Ishquiya = Jigi Jigi

 

Which is your favourite song from Lipstick Under My Burkha? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂

SUR LAGA KE HAISHA!!! (DUM LAGA KE HAISHA – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Anu Malik
♪ Lyrics by: Varun Grover
♪ Music Label: YRF Music
♪ Music Released On: 9th February 2015
♪ Movie Releases On: 27th February 2015

Dum Laga Ke Haisha Album Cover

Dum Laga Ke Haisha Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Dum Laga Ke Haisha is an upcoming Bollywood romantic comedy, directed by debutant Sharat Katariya, produced by Aditya Chopra, and starring Ayushmann Khurrana along with debutante Bhumi Pednekar in the lead roles. The film is about a man, who ends up with an “oversized and mismatched” wife, who he thinks is a spanner in his life. However, he discovers that she will actually lead him to something quite cool. So, the story is something new, seems interesting. Oh, and I forgot to tell you, that the character of Ayushmann in the movie, has been shown as a huge fan of Kumar Sanu, and so it was clear that Kumar Sanu will have sung for the movie, and indeed, he does have TWO songs in this album, which is composed by none other than the person whose music (and probably voice, too) everyone was crazy for, in the 90s and early 2000s. That person is Anu Malik!! After composing two songs in ‘Shootout at Wadala’, and singing some hopeless songs sometime between ‘Shootout at Wadala’ and this album, he is back into the composing scene, with a YRF album. May I also note that it is his first YRF album even after so many years in the industry. Considering that fact, there really must’ve been some very valid reason to bring this man on board, and Aditya Chopra must have really called him in for some particular flavour to get included in his movie’s songs. So let’s go ahead and see, what exactly it was, that made Aditya opt for Anu Malik in particular, and whether Anu has satisfied his needs!


1. Moh Moh Ke Dhaage (Male Version) / Moh Moh Ke Dhaage (Female Version)
Singers ~ Papon / Monali Thakur

Anu Malik takes you back to his ‘Refugee’ days, in which there was a song ‘Mere Humsafar’. Well, this song very perfectly radiates the same romantic and calming feeling of that song. The composition by Anu Malik, based on Raag Yaman-Kalyan, is one of the best I’ve come across this year. It also has a tinge of a ‘Devdas’ touch to it, or may I say, it sounds like a proper Sanjay Leela Bhansali film song, what with the slightly haunting, yet appearing sweet tune, and the awesome traditional arrangements, like the manjeeras, shehnai, and flute. I also think there is some use of matka and certain parts with the extremely blissful sound if the waterdrops, enhance the composition a lot. The composition and arrangements both come to their peaks in the antara. The only thing you get by listening this song is bliss, nothing more (I don’t think there’s anything better than bliss, though) and nothing less. Papon sings the song perfectly, and he makes you feel that nobody except him, could do justice to the beautiful composition. His smooth and metallic voice doesn’t let you divert your attention anywhere else and keeps you glued to the song. Monali, in the female, sounds very sweet and charming, and once again after ‘Sawaar Loon’ from ‘Lootera’, she gets a chance to prove her immense talent in singing classical music, even though she’s being tagged as a club singer in Bollywood, pitifully. Surprisingly, her version works more as the song is from the point of view of a female. Cute lyrics by Varun increase the likability of the song even more. One of the best composition of the year, beautifully rendered by Papon and Monali in their respective versions! All credit to Anu Malik for giving us this must-listen, divine track! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

2. Dum Laga Ke Haisha
Singers ~ Kailash Kher, Jyoti Nooran & Sultana Nooran

When it comes to compose a title song, it is very difficult for composers, as the pressure is always looming over them, that the song has to be catchy, and instantly become an earworm of everyone. Here, Anu Malik tries his best to bring in that catchiness, and also some very enjoyable feel, but it doesn’t produce the required feel, and falls just a tad bit short of expectations. Though we can see awesome singers like Kailash Kher and the Nooran Sisters (whose second Bollywood song it is, after exactly a year from their superhit ‘Patakha Guddi’ with Rahman) we can’t help but lose interest halfway through the song. The composition is a bit loose and falls apart until we get halfway through the song. It just seems abrupt and incomplete at parts, and so doesn’t have much of a great impact. The singers, however, do well in their parts. Kailash with his very distinct hoarse folksy voice is the best choice for the song, while the Nooran Sisters complement him very well. Their solo part, which sounds very much like ‘Patakha Guddi’ itself, sounds amazing. Arrangements are also catchy and make up for the faults in the composition. Varun’s lyrics are fine, considering it is a title track. Though a faulty composition, the dynamic vocals and great arrangements make up for it, to result in an enjoyable track overall! Worth a listen!

 

3. Tu
Singer ~ Kumar Sanu

On your marks…Get Set…Go!! Back to the 90s! This next song will make you go back in time to the 90s, with exactly the same style of composition, the same style of arrangements, even the same style of lyrics! And above all, the same style of singing, and why does it seem so similar? Because it has been done by the same man, the man who holds the record of winning the Filmfare for Best Singer (Male 😛 ) FIVE times IN A ROW!! Yes, you guessed it! Kumar Sanu! The way he sounds after so many days, and in the same type of song that we all used to love him in, is just brilliant! The makers must have intentionally made Anu bring back the 90s, as the character of Ayushmann is a huge Kumar Sanu fan. Everything is just resemblant of the 90s, and very perfectly, too. The orchestra, the percussion, and the repetitive background music on loop, perfectly resemble those love songs everyone was crazy for back then. The short duration of the song (it only has a mukhda, not even an antara) might put some people off, because of course they were expecting a proper song when it is Sanu da’s comeback! Nevertheless, the song does engage the listener. The duration is a letdown, but everything else is PERFECT! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

4. Sunder Susheel
Singers ~ Malini Awasthi & Rahul Ram

Here comes another totally, purely, folksy song, sung by two singers whose voices have the right amounts of folksiness in them to make this song work. The composition doesn’t instantly call out to you, but takes some time for you to get accustomed to and set in. The arrangements, however, are awesome, and again, they manage to keep the listener busy inspite of the composition which didn’t do what it was supposed to. The percussion consisting of daflis, dholaks and whatnot, really attracts. And the harmonium has been used awesomely too. But I have to specially mention the ektara which sounds very catchy in the song. Malini Awasthi overshadows Rahul Ram here, because her voice has a certain sharp edge to it, which instantly appeals to the ears, whereas Rahul Ram fails to make a strong impact with his vocals. Malini’s solo piece after the first antara is something to hear! So are her Tanana Nanana Nanana parts throughout the song. But what is the highlight of the song are the lyrics, by Varun Grover. Very attractive, humorous and also suitable lyrics. Pay close attention to them. The Hinglish does a great job to keep us entertained. Great lyrics and vocals and arrange!ents save the not-so-attractive composition!

 

5. Dard Karaara
Singers ~ Kumar Sanu & Sadhana Sargam

Kumar Sanu comes back into the album for his second song, this time accompanied by Sadhana Sargam, to deliver another 90s-styled composition. The opening backing vocals remind you of the 90s, which proves that Anu Malik has succeeded once again, in bringing back the 90s. The dandiya-like instrumental loop is really catchy and gives a good start to the song. The violin strokes before the hookline, are just brilliant and perfectly placed! And the percussion, again hits the bulls-eye! The whole song is reminiscent of the 90s era, and seems as if it actually belongs to a 90s album! Sadhana Sargam sounds very sweet singing along with Kumar Sanu, and they both complement each other very well. The composition is also very beautiful and sweet, and it will surely have you hooked! It has been placed on a great Dadra rhythm, which was highly prevalent in the 90s songs. The lyrics have even more of the 90s flavour in them, and have been written very efficiently. So efficiently composed as a 90s reminder, that it actually seems as if it belongs to a 90s album! Wonderful! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

6. Prem’s Theme
Singer ~ Papon

It actually sounds like an instrumental version of ‘Moh Moh Ke Dhaage’, and Papon’s vocals make it sound even more so. This one is kind of low on the instruments, and Papon’s voice has been supported by just soft guitar strums in the background, while he sings a truly haunting vocal piece. All the Aalaaps, he takes with great ease and flexibility. This track just proves how immensely talented Papon is!! Do not miss this one!! #5StarHotelSong!!


Dum Laga Ke Haisha, the much hyped-about comeback of Anu Malik as a sole composer, and into the music composing scene after two years, turns out to be a very satisfying album! Though the two upbeat songs have faulty compositions, there are other aspects about them, that are very likable, such as the lyrics and arrangements. And in every single song, the choice of singers is PERFECT. Nowhere do the singers fall short of expectations, though Anu Malik does somewhere or the other. The romantic songs are all beautiful, and maybe that’s why I delayed this review till Valentine’s Day? 😉 😀 So, on a whole, Dum Laga Ke Haisha is an album that Anu Malik should be proud of making a comeback with!! 

 

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: Moh Moh Ke Dhaage (Female Version) > Moh Moh Ke Dhaage (Male Version) > Dard Karaara > Tu > Prem’s Theme > Dum Laga Ke Haisha > Sunder Susheel 

 

Which is your favorite song from Dum Laga Ke Haisha? Please vote for it below! 🙂

 

Next “dish”: Badmashiyaan, Chefs: Bobby-Imran