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! 🙂