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! 🙂

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PARTIAL MUSICAL ROBBERY!! (BANK CHOR – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Rochak Kohli, Kailash Kher, Shamir Tandon, Baba Sehgal & Shrikanth Sriram
♪ Lyrics by: Adheesh Verma, Gautam Govind Sharma, Kailash Kher, Ambili Menon, Varun Likhate & Baba Sehgal
♪ Music Label: YRF Music
♪ Music Released On: 24th May 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 16th June 2017

Bank Chor Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Bank Chor is an upcoming Bollywood crime comedy, starring Riteish Deshmukh, Vivek Oberoi, Bhuvan Arora, Sahil Vaid, Vikram Thapa and Rhea Chakraborty in lead roles. The film is directed by ‘Luv Ka The End’ fame Bumpy, and produced by Ashish Patil. The film is apparently a comic caper about someone who chooses the wrongest day possible, to rob a bank. Along with two sidekicks who do not know how to even pick a lock. It looks like a spoof on YRF’s own ‘Dhoom’ franchise, and it would be hilarious, I’m sure. The music album is another multicomposer album, as is the norm nowadays. Kailash Kher, Rochak Kohli, Shamir Tandon, Baba Sehgal and Shrikanth Sriram are behind the music. Kailash Kher knows how to compose for comedies, as he proved to us in ‘Chandni Chowk To China’s, so expecting something just as cool as ‘Phatte Chak Lein De’ which was in that film. Rochak Kohli takes the lead, as he has three songs in the album, and after his cool music for ‘Naam Shabana’, a thriller, it will be interesting to see how he moulds himself for a comedy. It’s not that he hasn’t composed for a comedy before, though — remember ‘Welcome 2 Karachi’? Hopefully his songs here are better than those. Shamir Tandon, who has barely impressed me ever before, gets one song, while rapper Baba Sehgal is back with this album, with a single song. Shrikanth Sriram has an instrumental piece to his credit. Hopefully these five men have put together an album that is catchy as well as humorous and sticking to the theme of the movie. Let’s see!


1. Hum Hain Bank Chor

Singers ~ Kailash Kher & Ambili Menon, Music by ~ Kailash Kher, Lyrics by ~ Kailash Kher, Rap Written by ~ Ambili Menon

Kailash Kher, known for his legendary Sufi songs, kicks off the album with its title track, a song that banks on repetitive shouts of the movie’s “clever” title, to propel it forward. Sure enough, the continuous repetition of the title of the film in the way Kailash does it, manages to elicit a few guilty laughs from the audience. The tune as such is very, very artificial and generic, something that wouldn’t have got even one listener if it hadn’t been for the repetitive gag that is the repetition of the “hook”. And I must specify one thing: if you come across this song and you’re like “Oh, how nice, Kailash Kher is back at composing! Let’s give this a go, maybe it’s a Sufi fusion track!”, I’m sorry to tell you that you will be disappointed, so it’s better not to dive into this one with those outrageous expectations, because you know this is a comedy film. And anyway, he has done music for another comedy film in the past, “Chandni Chowk To China”, in which his songs were quite enjoyable too! Looking at it from that point of view, the song is quite enjoyable. The only fun part in the actual composition is the “Jab chori kar loon, chor ke ghar chori, chori karke khoob karoon munhjori!” That line in the antara is the only catchy part of the tune. The arrangements are quite cool, too, by the way. The saxophone is just amazing, and some comedic sound effects entertain the listeners throughout. Kailash’s husky, high-pitched voice is perfect for the song, and he manages to at least sing his faulty composition right. And yeah, since “Bank chor” doesn’t really sound like what he clearly intends it to sound like, he pronounces “Bank” as “Bhank” so that it does. His companion, Ambili, raps something somewhere in the middle that really doesn’t go well with the rest of the song. Kailash pens down the lyrics himself, and I must admit, some of the lyrics are just as hilarious as a song’s lyrics can be. {Which isn’t much; I mean, how loud can you laugh out because of a song!!} An apt song for the film, but not a repeat-listen song! 

Rating: 3/5

 

2. Tashreef / Tashreef Unplugged (Cups Version)

Singer ~ Rochak Kohli / Rochak Kohli, Music by ~ Rochak Kohli, Lyrics by ~ Adheesh Verma

Rochak Kohli steps in now, with his first song out of the two he has composed for the film. And this song, is one of the most innovative stuff we have got from a comedy film of late. If only the makers of ‘Housefull 3’ had roped in Rochak. Anyway, the song is a breezy, feel-good song, about the protagonist who is clearly not feeling very good. The composition is highly innovative and creative, with a country flavour that I’ve lately noticed Rochak uses a lot, like he did in most of his songs from “Hawaizaada”. The composition sounds odd at first, but later, it grows on you amazingly. The arrangements really stand out right away. The guitars are what bring in a nice Goan flavour, similar to that “Crazy Mode” of Pritam’s songs, like ‘Agal Bagal’ (Phata Poster Nikhla Hero), and ‘Chicken Kuk-Do-Koo’ (Bajrangi Bhaijaan). The very weird additions of noises like “Toing toing toing” and other hen and pigeon sounds make the song sound lovely in a very different way. And also cute! The ukulele also sounds beautiful, and makes the arrangements sound very creative. Rochak sings in various different noises, as told earlier, but even when he’s singing in the normal way, it sounds very different from how he usually sings, and it is amazing! He keeps the pitch low, and it makes the song even more effective in bringing out the stress of the protagonist. An unplugged version is actually true to its name (sounds a lot like an unrefined cover version), and the cups that were used in the original too, are more prominent here, due to it being unplugged. It has less of a repeat value though. Adheesh Verma’s lyrics are very impressive, because they’re actually funny in an intellectual way. A highly creative song from a composer who has always meddled around with this kind of arrangement, but never gone up to this level. And now I doubt whether he can outdo himself after this!!

Rating: 4/5 for the Original, 3/5 for Unplugged Version

 

3. BC Rap Knockout: Mumbai Vs Delhi

Singers ~ Naezy & Pardhaan, Music by ~ Shamir Tandon, Lyrics by ~ Varun Likhate

Next up we get something, which at least I have only seen in YouTube videos till now. And it is a Rap Battle. Yes, it is perfectly alright to add the word ‘Epic’ in there, because the song is really an epic showdown between a resident of Mumbai and one of Delhi. There’s no composition as such, as the whole song is a Rap Battle. The arrangements by Shamir Tandon are cool as the backdrop of the battle, and they’re completely digital. What is actually worth hearing the song for, though, are the two amazing rappers behind it. Naezy stands for Mumbai, and Pardhaan for Delhi, and then we get to hear a hilarious competition about which city is the best. The whole attitude which the two rappers carry about themselves is what hooks the listeners to the song, even if it is merely on audio (as of now). Some of the lines they throw at each other are so outlandish, you end up laughing out loud, or at least smiling. And all the credit for that goes to the Lyricist, Varun Likhate. He has penned down an efficient rap battle, and it really sounds very genuine. A nice rap battle.

Rating: 3.5/5

 

4. Jai Baba Bank Chor

Singer ~ Nakash Aziz, Music by ~ Rochak Kohli, Lyrics by ~ Gautam Govind Sharma

This song is the second song by Rochak Kohli on the soundtrack, and after the very creative song, ‘Tashreef’, I bet nobody would have qualms in saying that this one disappoints big-time. The composition is very mediocre, and something we have heard many times. On top of that, Rochak equips a very stale Mumbaiya rhythm to act as the arrangements. Very loud arrangements, and not programmed well enough, makes it sound even more irritating. Nakash’s singing is as usual, energetic and full-hearted. Sadly, the composition doesn’t support him. Gautam Govind Sharma’s lyrics are sad to hear too. A disappointment from Rochak Kohli.

Rating: 1.5/5

 

5. Bae, Baba Aur Bank Chor

Singer ~ Baba Sehgal, Music by ~ Baba Sehgal, Lyrics by ~ Baba Sehgal

This song starts with beats making it sound as if it is a song from an English zombie film. Baba Sehgal is back in Bollywood after quite some time, and he has made this rap song. That makes it the second complete rap song in the soundtrack. This one grips you from the beginning just because of that Zombie-ish background. The rap isn’t too impressive, but you manage to keep listening just because of that background sounds. There is a nice rap in the interlude where Baba Sehgal sings random Spanish names. There isn’t much more by way of arrangements, either, other than that Zombie-ish background, and random sounds of people shouting, lions roaring and whatnot. This time, the shouts of ‘Bank chor!’ aren’t as effective as they were in Kailash Kher’s song. Baba Sehgal raps fine, but the lyrics are very boring. Another stale track, relying on a tune in the background and Baba Sehgal’s name to make it work.

Rating: 2/5

 

6. Mela – The Bank Chor Theme

(Instrumental), Music by ~ Shrikanth Sriram

Someone called Shrikanth Sriram produces this instrumental piece which is so boring, you will be surprised. It is basically the same sounds playing over and over again for five and a half minutes. There is a weird trumpet-like sound playing the main part, and cool percussion in the background, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, but the same thing over and over for such a long duration, … You get the point.

Rating: 1/5


Bank Chor‘s music album starts off quite promisingly, but then just diffuses into a typical, monotonous and trying-to-be-funny kind of zone. I must salute Rochak Kohli though, for his creativity in ‘Tashreef’, and Kailash Kher for his versatility in the title song. The other songs, barring the rap battle by Shamir Tandon, are easily forgettable. An album that only partially manages to steal your heart

Total Points Scored by This Album:  3 + 4 + 3 + 3.5 + 1.5 + 2 + 1

Album Percentage: 51.43%

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: Tashreef > BC Rap Knockout: Mumbai Vs Delhi > Hum Hain Bank Chor = Tashreef Unplugged (Cups Version) > Bae, Baba Aur Bank Chor > Jai Baba Bank Chor > Mela – The Bank Chor Theme

 

Which is your favourite song from Bank Chor? 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! 🙂

THE ‘HAUNT’ AND SOUL OF PUNJAB! (PHILLAURI – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Shashwat Sachdev & Jasleen Kaur Royal
♪ Lyrics by: Anvita Dutt, Shellee, Aditya Sharma & Neeraj Rajawat
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 6th March 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 24th March 2017

Phillauri Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Phillauri is an upcoming Bollywood romantic / comedy / fantasy film starring Anushka Sharma, Suraj Sharma and Diljit Dosanjh in lead roles. The film is directed by Anshai Lal, and produced by Anushka Sharma, Karnesh Sharma and Fox Star Studios. The film is about a man named Kanan who is born under an ‘unlucky star’, and has been told he needs to marry a tree before marrying his love, so that his soul can be cleansed. To his horror/amazement/shock/whatever you might feel if you were in such a situation, he finds a spirit who used to live in the tree following him, unable to go back to her own realm. He needs to help her go back there, but before that she needs to feature in a film and all, so you better watch it, or else she will have come out of the tree for nothing. :p Enough movie promotion, let’s steer on to the music. A newcomer (I believe; and every other website I checked says the same — they also only believe, nobody knows??) Shashwat Sachdev has composed the majority of the album, and the baby-fairy-like sounding girl Jasleen Royal has composed two more. Now, if such a well-known person like Anushka Sharma decides to launch a comooser with her movie, it must mean he has something in him. Clean Slate Films (Anushka’s production company) has previously produced ‘NH10’ and boy, was its music album phenomenal, and also full of composers who has never quite made it big in the industry. This movie seems to have more of a mass appeal, and Jasleen has made it big in the industry already, so the debutant must be really good at his job! Let’s see!!


1. Dum Dum / Dum Dum (Punjabi Version) / Dum Dum (Reprise) [Diljit Dosanjh Version]

Singers ~ Romy & Vivek Hariharan / Romy & Vivek Hariharan / Diljit Dosanjh, Backing Vocals ~ Anurag Sharma, Pawni Pandey, Vibha Saraf, Varsha Tripathi, Abhiruchi Singh, Gaia, Meera Chandy / Anurag Sharma, Pawni Pandey, Vibha Saraf, Varsha Tripathi, Abhiruchi Singh, Gaia, Meera Chandy / Vivek Hariharan, Pawni Pandey & Anand Bhaskar, Music by ~ Shashwat Singh, Lyrics by ~ Anvita Dutt / Shellee / Anvita Dutt

“Aankhein kitaabi, tu khole toh padh loon,
Kaajal si likkhi chhaapi, kahaaniyaan teri mere saiyaan!
Baatein bataashon si zubaan pe rakh doon,
Halke se pighlengi, bole tu chakh loon main saiyaan!”

– Anvita Dutt

Shashwat starts off his Bollywood debut with one of the most soulful folksy numbers I’ve ever heard in recent times. ‘Dum Dum ‘ starts off like a purely soulful Punjabi / Sufi song, with amazing instrumentation giving the perfect introduction into the song. The composition is an aptly folksy one, with numerous twists and turns throughout the song. The hookline is catchy, but some might get a bit annoyed by the fact that it repeats too many times — in the true sense of a Sufi song, if you ask me. So that didn’t bother me too much. The mukhda follows a very lilting tune, and the high-pitched antara really helps to consolidate the listeners’ interest in the song. It is the conclusion of the song which is really impressive, and Shashwat slows the pace down there, only to increase it towards the end beautifully ending the song on a high tempo. The arrangements are fantabulous, as said before. The folk instruments have been put to great use — especially the tablas, dholaks, the plucked string instruments and the other folksy percussions. The first two versions have primarily the same arrangements, but it is Diljit who gsts to sing against the backdrop of an almost unplugged instrumentation in his version. That makes things lively and ‘different’ and innovative; it is a bliss to the ears to hear such a grounded composition backed by digital music. But towards the end of the Diljit version, there’s a wonderful sitar piece that is to die for!! That part is sheer brilliance on the part of the music programmer. The vocals in all three version are very impressive. Romy makes his Bollywood debut (Although I think I’ve read his name somewhere, he calls this his debut.) with this wonderful Punjabi song. His voice has been reminding everybody of Shahid Mallya’s voice, and I felt that too, with a tinge of Divya Kumar as well. He gets extremely loud at parts, but the soul of the song doesn’t diminish in any way. Vivek Hariharan effectively joins him in the latter part of the song which I earlier described as the ‘Conclusion’, and his voice texture is sooooo beautiful, it is hard to not love his portion. And of course, the “dum dum dum dum dum dum hai dua” part which everyone should love so much. The singers reprise their roles in the Punjabi version, except with different Punjabi lyrics penned by Shellee, as opposed to the Hindi ones by Anvita Dutt. It kind of reduced the appeal of the song, and I couldn’t make myself to love that version, with different lyrics, which i couldn’t understand nor sing along to. Save an extra ad-lib at the beginning by Romy, this one is a carbon copy of the first version as far as arrangements go. Diljit’s rendition of the same is a bit toned-down, and could’ve been better, but the arrangements by Shashwat make up for the little void that his voice couldn’t fill. Guitars in this version sound more of the modern acoustic guitars than folk instruments, and it gives a nice and modern touch to the song. (Which is clearly for promotional purposes). The disappointing part of this version is that it doesn’t have the “conclusion” which I loved! The lyrics of the Hindi version are amazing, and I’m sure the ones by Shellee in the Punjabi version are too, but I couldn’t understand them! Unusual, because I usually grasp most of the Punjabi in other Punjabi Bollywood songs! A soulfully folksy start to the album!

Rating: 4.5/5 for the Hindi Version, 3/5 for the Punjabi Version, 3.5/5 for the Reprise Version by Diljit Dosanjh

 

2. What’s Up

Singers ~ Mika Singh & Jasleen Royal, Music by ~ Jasleen Royal, Lyrics by ~ Aditya Sharma 

“Ajj haathan di takiyan te khil aayi kaliyaan,
Surma laan akhiyan ch vekhe teri galiyaan,
Hansdi ae jachdi ae sohneya ve sachhiya
Nazraan na laggan ke khairan ne mangeya!”

– Aditya Sharma

The second song of the album is Jasleen Royal’s first out of the two she has composed in the album. This one is an upbeat Punjabi wedding song, and going by Jasleen’s list of songs, she has only one such song to her credit, which is ‘Nachde Ne Saare’ (Baar Baar Dekho), which is one of my favourite Punjabi wedding songs of all time now. Now this song is also just as catchy and infectious. The energy just gets to you in no time. At first, the composition might seem very ordinary for a Punjabi wedding song, following the same template to the tee. But, as usually happens, later on I started loving the song just because of its immense simplicity. Jasleen’s composition is a sprightly one with nothing coming in the way of the listeners’ happiness. Especially the interludes she sings herself, are very cute and mood-uplifting. The other stanzas have been composed well too, and rendered boisterously by Mika, the go-to for such songs. Finally, he gets a song where he actually was required to sing it! The arrangements are as upbeat as can be, and Jasleen doesn’t necessarily recycle her ‘Nachde Ne Saare’ arrangements, but tries to make this sound different with more dhols. And the brass band makes an unignorable appearance in the song. It makes the song very breezy and happy-go-lucky. Of course, Jasleen also follows the traditional ‘play-the-hookline-on-brass-instruments’ method that Amaal Mallik recently followed in ‘Aashiq Surrender Hua’ (Badrinath Ki Dulhania). The vocals are amazing. As I mentioned, nobody but Mika could’ve sung this wih the same energy, and he sings like the old Mika, the Mika everybody enjoyed! So it is very enjoyable. Jasleen, in her fairy-like voice, sings her two stanzas very well, and though they are mere interludes, they get etched into your memory. They are very cute and sprightly. Aditya Sharma’s lyrics are fun and enjoyable, describing a Punjabi wedding beautifully! One of the more catchy Punjabi wedding songs of recent times!

Rating: 4/5

 

3. Naughty Billo

Singers ~ Diljit Dosanjh, Nakash Aziz, Shilpi Paul & Anushka Sharma, Backng vocals ~ Vivek Hariharan, Romy, Shilpi Paul & Surya Raghunathan, Music by ~ Shashwat Sachdev, Lyrics by ~ Anvita Dutt

“Malmal wala kurta rang firozi tha,
Uss par kaatil ik button tha Chaandi da,
Do nainon ka woh hamla, phass gaya bhola jatt yamla,
Marta kya na Karta!”

– Anvita Dutt

This song is Shashwat’s ticket to getting more and more offers from more and more producers and directors later on. Why? Because of the sheer innovativeness with which he has handled this song. Okay, so let me start from the beginning. The song is an experimental Punjabi dance song, quite similar to so many of the Punjabi pop numbers of today. However, there’s a nice catch in here. And that is the fact that Shashwat has so cleverly infused funky groove into the Punjabi song. The composition could’ve been better, but everything else covers that up, because the song excels in all other departments. I’ve not heard such a perfect Punjabi pop -ish number in quite a while. The song starts with a traditional old-fashioned Punjabi portion and we as listeners think the entire will follow suit. However, just as we are sure that will happen, Shashwat takes us by surprise and introduces a catchy (and purely modern, mind you) hookline that just makes you listen on! It is kind of a reprise to the old ‘Jhooth Boliya’ song. The arrangements are so experimental, and offbeat, that you just end up loving them. The funky beats are enough to make you dance without any inhibitions. Shashwat adds nice dhol percussion, and awesome brass instruments add the necessary funky element, not to mention the quintessential tumbi. So many backing vocalists randomly add their portions into the song as the song progresses, and it sounds like a free-for-all jam. Whatever the result is though, it is really innovative. The vocals are great too, with Diljit handling the Punjabi parts well, and Nakash the hookline. Shilpi Paul does well in her short parts, but Anushka steals the thunder with her full-of-attitude rap towards the end of the song. And it’s not even the “I-will-do-anything-just-to-make-my-movie-work” kind of stint! She actually sounds awesome in this new rapper form of hers! Anvita Dutt’s lyrics are fun and enjoyable. A fun funky song!

Rating: 4.5/5

 

4. Sahiba

Singers ~ Romy & Pawni Pandey, Backing Vocals ~ Vivek Hariharan, Anurag Singh, Vibha Saraf, Abhiruchi Singh, Pawni Pandey, Varsha Tripathi & Gaia, Music by ~ Shashwat Sachdev, Lyrics by ~ Anvita Dutt

“Tujhse aisa uljha, dil dhaaga dhaaga khincha,
Dargah pe jaise ho chadaron sa bichha,
Yun hi roz yeh udhadha buna,
Kissa ishq ka kai baar, humne phir se likha!
Sahebaan, sahebaan, chal wahaan jahaan Mirza!”

– Anvita Dutt

The way this song starts, reminds me of the starting of ‘Deewani Mastani’ (Bajirao Mastani). Anyway, the song is no doubt the best song of the album. Shashwat comes with yet another earthy folksy melody with this song. The mukhda starts quite slowly, but you will definitely start loving the song after you hear the hookline, which has a catchy and attractive old-world charm to it. Pawni Pandey’s antara has been composed very soulfully, in heart-rending low notes. Later the male part once again takes the song on a wonderful folksy route. However, it is the ‘conclusion’ of the song, that steals the spotlight. The song breaks into a Qawwali-esque mode there. Right from the “ohh sahibaaaaa…” till the end of the song, the song goes on a never-ending high, until the song itself ends. The “tere bina” verse is marvellous! Arrangements in this track are fabulous. The plucked strings (David Sinchury, Sanjoy Das, Youngmin Kim, Shashwat Sachdev) at the beginning, that oh-so-majestically reminded me of ‘Deewani Mastani’, are so gripping; they just pull you into the song. Also, Shashwat introduces a jingling sound in the beat after that, and it sounds so rustic and folksy! Lovely like never before. The percussions that break out in the hookline are wondrous as well. dholaks (Manoj Kumar) very well put the Punjabi theme of the song into action. The orchestra (Czech National Symphony Orchestra) works wonderfully throughout the song to give it a regal tinge, and they’ve accomplished it, I’m glad to say! The vocals by Romy are ravishing. The part he sings after Pawni’s, he has sung that so beautifully! And the Qawwali part too! It just gave me goosebumps! Pawni comes across as decent; she doesn’t seem to be managing the low notes too well. However Romy covers it with his magnificence in handling both high and low notes. The lyrics by Anvita Dutt are amazing here as well. Soul-stirring!

Rating: 5/5

 

5. Bajaake Tumba

Singers ~ Romy & Shehnaz Akhtar, Backing Vocals ~ Vivek Hariharan, Music by ~ Shashwat Sachdev, Lyrics by ~ Anvita Dutt

“Bajaake tumba, saare pind ki kudiyon ka, phillauri nachda!”

– Anvita Dutt

The folk doesn’t seem to get over just yet. Shashwat has yet another song left, and he makes sure the Punjabi folk influence doesn’t leave his songs until the last one. This one is a fun and enjoyable, but clearly situational song, which we listeners won’t be able to make heads or tails of as of yet, but it is fun to hear at least! It is an upbeat traditional bhangra number with an amazingly catchy tune considering its situational nature. It starts off quite odd, but gets better and better as it goes on. The hookline comes as an unexpected one with odd notes, that don’t match the fun nature of the other notes. That’s where the song gets interesting and experimental. The best part I loved in the song was the “oh yaara mere phirrrr na pooochooo aage kya hogaa…” part which was so smoothly sung by the singer!! The ‘timb lakk lakk timb’ loop is fun as well. The arrangements are just as fun as the composition. Of course dhols, dhadd, nagadas and the tumba make an integral part of the arrangements. A wonderful flutes assortment plays through the interlude. And the harmonium is splendid, too! The tempo increase towards the end is amusing as well! The two singers, Romy and Shehnaz Akhtar, do an amazing job in bringing forth the celebratory nature of the song through their singing. Though I’m not so qualified as to know who sang what, what I heard sounds good, and so I’m assuming both sang well. :p The backing vocalists play an important part in this song too, and their inputs make the song fun to listen to. About the lyrics, it seems that it is a kind of a story-telling session like we commonly see in films, where the man tells his friends about his experiences in winning the girl’s heart… Maybe? I don’t know. Enjoyable, but to an extent that can be crossed only after watching the film.

Rating: 3.5/5

 

6. Din Shagna Da

Singer ~ Jasleen Royal, Music by ~ Jasleen Royal, Lyrics by ~ Neeraj Rajawat

“Jaavan na main bin shehnaiyan
Satrangi rubaiyaan,
Sunaa ja tu harjaiyaa..
Shamiyaana sajavan
Doli leke main aavan
Aatishbazi karaake
Tenu leke main jaavan”

– Neeraj Rajawat

Jasleen re-enters the soundtrack with her second track, which is actually her pop single which she has released in 2013. The song has been incorporated as it was into the soundtrack. It is a bidaai song with its own merits. The composition lies quite close to most of her previous songs, but is also instantly likeable; you don’t get time to compare it with the others because it is so emotional and heart-moving. Also, she takes the help of wonderful instrumentation to uplift the sound of this song. Instead of her usual acoustic guitar arrangements, she also adds apt dholaks, a sarangi, and I was surprised to hear a nice piano introduction to the song, and that plucked string instrument in the interlude is amazing! The magic lies in the second stanza, where she has programmed everything with a nice sound effect to it (can’t describe, but hear from 2:30 to the end) The composition is so heart-rending, (and I’ll say that it is already a common song that plays at weddings!) that it is perfectly apt for the situation. The vocals are beautiful. Jasleen sounds sweet and nothing less. Neeraj Rajawat’s lyrics, or whatever I could make out of them, are beautiful. A great depiction of the “sad” side of a wedding!

Rating: 4/5


Phillauri is an album full of the heart and soul of Punjab. No rapper comes to degrade Punjab’s honour, and create a dismal image of Punjab in our heads. On the other hand, two talented youngsters don the captain’s hat and compose some wonderful songs with the essence of the real Punjab. It is so true to the folk music of Punjab that it gets haunting at some point! Shashwat and Jasleen present, the heart haunt and soul of Punjab! 🙂

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4.5 + 3 + 3.5 + 4 + 4.5 + 5 + 3.5 + 4 = 32

Album Percentage: 80%

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: Sahiba > Naughty Billo > What’s Up = Din Shagna Da = Dum Dum > Dum Dum (Reprise) = Bajaake Tumba > Dum Dum (Punjabi Version)

 

Remake Counter:
No. of Remakes: 08 (From previous albums) + 00 (from Phillauri) = 08

 

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

 

A TRIED-AND-TESTED MACHINE! (MACHINE – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Tanishk Bagchi, Dr. Zeus & Viju Shah
♪ Lyrics by: Arafat Mehmood, Niket Pandey, Ikka, Mohammed Irfan, Jasmine Sandlas, Shabbir Ahmed & Late Anand Bakshi
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 21st February 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 17th March 2017

Machine Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Machine is an upcoming Bollywood romantic thriller starring Kiara Advani and Mustafa Burmawalla, who is the son of Abbas Burmawalla. The directors of the film are Abbas-Mustan themselves, and the movie has been produced by Jayantilal Gada, Haresh Patel, Pranay Chokshi, Abbas-Mustan Films productions, and Dhaval Jayantilal Gada. The film revolves around two racing enthusiasts who fall in love. Abbas-Mustan’a films are known as very massy thrillers, and this seems to be no exception. Music seems to play a very important part in their films, and they make it a point to promote their films’ albums heavily before the movie’s release. And they’ve worked quite well with whatever compoosed they’ve worked with in the past. With the exception of their latest movie before this, ‘Kis Kis Ko Pyaar Karoon’ which had quite a dull album (and it wasn’t a thriller), many of their albums have been hits. They’ve collaborated with Jatin-Lalit (‘Khiladi’), Anu Malik (‘Baazigar’, ‘Baadshaah’, ‘Soldier’, ‘Ajnabee’), Himesh Reshammiya (‘Humraaz’, ‘Taarzan: The Wonder Car’, ‘Aitraaz’, ’36 China Town’) and Pritam (‘Naqaab’, ‘Race’, ‘Players’, ‘Race 2’). All of these albums were quite popular. However, the album to ‘Kis Kis Ko Pyaar Karoon’ was below even that. And it was a multicomposer album! This time around, the duo try to change that by roping in a single composer for five songs of the album, and a guest composer for one song. The man behind most of the album here is Tanishk Bagchi, who is currently riding on the success of his two enjoyable songs from ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’. He has worked with the duo in ‘Kis Kis Ko Pyaar Karoon’, for one song (the best song of that album). The guest composer is Dr. Zeus, who also had a song in ‘Kis Kis Ko Pyaar Karoon’. I’m expecting quite a lot from Tanishk though, so let’s jump right in!


1.Itna Tumhe

Singers ~ Yasser Desai & Shashaa Tirupati, Music by ~ Tanishk Bagchi, Lyrics by ~ Arafat Mehmood

(Can’t find any lyrics worth this space)

The soundtrack opens wih a romantic song filled with the Bhatts’ templated sound, but also paying “homage” to another old song, which, since it hasn’t been credited, has to be a “coincidence”. The song’s first line itself makes you instantly think of “Aakhir Tumhe Aana Hai” (Yalgaar), but all the coincidences flee at the end of that line, as composer Tanishk Bagchi sets the song to its very own composition that is quite catchy in itself. Now, Tanishk has never really given such a templated song before, at least not in the romance genre of songs, so it takes a little time to get accustomed to the fact that Tanishk has composed it. Till then, though, the song grows on you. The similarities in the first line of the mukhda notwithstanding, the rest of the song fares quite well as a romantic Bollywood song. Some places sound very heavily heard-before, but that doesn’t lessen the likeability in any way. The antara with its high notes sounds a bit uncomfortable to the ears at first, but sets in after a couple of listens. As a whole, it sounds like a song that the Bhatts had reserved but then never got a film to add it into. The English interlude by Shashaa Tirupati sounds very generic, but again, good enough. The arrangements are what makes the song even more likeable — the strings at the beginning are nice, and the digital beats are charming. Not to mention the cool twinkling sounds that Tanishk had added, which adds considerably to the ‘mechanical’ sound of the song, given that the name of the movie is “Machine”. Yasser Desai (who had dented last year with a couple of songs in ‘Beiimaan Love’ which I had no time to review) doesn’t quite fit in with the song, and his voice is kind of hard to digest; it sounds too robotic. Autotuned heavily, it is quite weird to listen to at first, but as everything else does, his voice also sets in later. Shashaa does her English interlude beautifully, but other than that, doesn’t have any other lines. Arafat Mehmood’s lyrics are quite laidback, not to mention that the conscious effort to add the “..aana hai” and other rhyming stuff at the end of every hookline sounds a bit too forced! An above average start to the soundtrack, but gets the “Machine” theme right, because of the great arrangements and accidentally mechanical vocals.

Rating: 3/5

 

2. Chatur Naar

Singers ~ Nakash Aziz & Shashaa Tirupati & Ikka, Music by ~ Tanishk Bagchi, Lyrics by ~ Niket Pandey, Rap by ~ Ikka

(Utterly banal lyrics!)

Next up we get a party song, which is mandatory in every Abbas-Mustan film, so that they can show the actor driving up in a cool Lamborghini, and then the branded sunglasses of the actress. This time, without Pritam, they have to resort themselves to a quite low-standard party song (I believe that Pritam has given them the best party songs in the past) which tries to be a remake of the classic ‘Ek Chatur Naar’ (Padosan) but fails, because it sounds nothing like it except in bits and parts. And since they haven’t credited the old song’s musicians, I’m taking it to be a ‘spin-off’ like I did for ‘Mere Miyan Gaye England’ (Rangoon). The composition is upbeat and might (notice that I say MIGHT) get Gen Y dancing to its beats, which I still think are too loud for today’s music sensibilities. Though the composition is something I wouldn’t care to listen to again, the arrangements are quite youthful and lively. The beats really do make the song enjoyable, and Tanishk’s offbeat additions make the arrangements all the more weirdly likeable. Weird vocal tweaks added in the weirdest places are quite funny to hear. Otherwise, the composition is quite generic. The vocals are enjoyable as well. Nakash Aziz is enjoying himself in this party track, and his variations make the song worth listening. Shashaa Tirupati sings her lines like a typical club song singer, and she gets her voice programmed heavily as is the tradition in such songs. Ikka’s rap is very short thankfully, and it is not that great either. The other lyrics by Niket Pandey are another set of words more bent towards rhyming instead of making sense. Heard as a club song, it might work. But if you hear it thinking it is a remake, it will spoil the song.

Rating: 2/5

 

3. Brake’An Fail

Singers ~ Jasmine Sandlas, Rajveer Singh & Ikka, Music by ~ Dr. Zeus, Lyrics by ~ Jasmine Sandlas, Rap by ~ Ikka

“Teri Meri Kahaani, duniya yaad karegi soch le,
Brake’An ne mereya fail te sajjna, rok saki te rok le!”

– Jasmine Sandlas

Dr. Zeus enters the soundtrack with his guest composition, another club/party song. Abbas-Mustan seriously can’t go without adding at least two of these in their albums! The song surprisingly, shows no resemblance to previous Dr. Zeus songs, and I was really surprised when I couldn’t find any of those screeching ladies and that trademark Dr. Zeus shattering glass in the song! The composition is quite a melancholic one, considering that it is for a club song. I mean, if he removed the club beats, it could just as well go as an undercover agent and place itself in a Sanjay Leela Bhansali soundtrack as the melancholic track. (Okay, just kidding!) The hookline “teri meri kahaani…” is quite catchy, and the rest of the song too, isn’t bad at all. The composition is actually catchy for once. It is one of those Dr. Zeus songs (probably the only one?) that doesn’t irritate. The arrangements are suitable for the song, and this time, Dr. Zeus aptly replaces those screaming ladies (from ‘Happy New Year’s ‘Lovely’ and ‘Ek Paheli Leela’s ‘Desi Look’) with car brake sounds, according to the theme of the movie, car racing. Jasmine’s vocals suit the song well, and the song wouldn’t have had the same impact with somebody else singing it. Rajveer Singh has quite little to contribute but Ikka has an extra long rap in the middle somewhere, which we just have to wait for it to end. Jasmine herself writes the lyrics for this one, and they are completely in Punjabi, and they seem quite meaningless, considering that it is a Club song. A good song from Dr. Zeus after all those screaming ladies and all that shattering glass.

Rating: 3/5

 

4.Tu Hi Toh Mera

Singer ~ Yasser Desai, Music by ~ Tanishk Bagchi, Lyrics by ~ Arafat Mehmood

(Very staid lyrics!)

Tanishk re-enters wih the fourth track of the album and one can’t help but think of Disney Princesses when this track starts. The arrangements really increase the Disney feel of the song. The composition is quite likeable until that jarring Pakistani pop styled line comes up and the hookline that follows too, follows the same template. The parts where the tempo is slow and everything actually sounds like a ballroom dance, are the best parts of the song, while everything else sounds below average, straight out of a Bhatt movie. The arrangements too, excel in the ballroom portions of the song. The sparkling sounds, coupled with the extravagant strings, set very fantastic arrangements to the song, and especially the beginning of the song, which is very waltzy, sounds amazing. But again, the parts before and during the hookline, sound very laidback and clichéd. There is a nice Spanish interlude which is enjoyable as well. Again, Yasser tries to be Arijit desperately, and one can’t help but sit and point out parts where he sounds a LOT like Arijit, which is almost the entire song. It would’ve been better for the makers to have just called in Arijit. Arafat Mehmood’s lyrics here too, are very very heard-before and offer nothing new. A Bhatt-Disney fusion doesn’t work so well.

Rating: 2/5

 

5.Tera Junoon

Singer ~ Jubin Nautiyal, Music by ~ Tanishk Bagchi, Lyrics by ~ Arafat Mehmood & Mohammed Irfan

“Jeena muhaal hai abb, tera sawaal hai abb,
De bataa, tu zara, kya naam loon main tere pyaar ka!”

– Arafat Mehmood & Mohammed Irfan

Finally, here comes what I was expecting from Tanishk after he showed us his versatility in ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’. The composer takes his much-used desert-nomadic styled arrangements (he used it before in ‘Rabba’ from ‘Sarbjit’) and weaves a wonderful melody through it. The composition is just so melodious, it hooks you right away. It is one of those songs that you end up loving even though they are so ordinary, simple and heard-before. However, what made me love this one in spite of all these factors, was the simplicity of the composition, the fact that the déjà vu in the composition didn’t matter to the makers, and they just presented this song with a very simple coating. The arrangements are fascinating, with the mandolin rising high above everything else, even the strings. The claps give wonderful beats that are the highlight of the song. The overlying Arabic flavour works wonderfully in favour of the song. And the vocals are beautiful! Jubin sings in a way I’ve never heard him sing before, so much so that I hardly recognized him the first time I heard the song, until I read the credits! Well, it just goes to show his versatility. Arafat Mehmood is joined by Mohammed Irfan the singer to write this one, and I must say, the composition saved the lyrics, which resort to weird-sounding words to make it work. A great song hidden in an album of songs that are concentrated more in the “average” zone!

Rating: 4.5/5

 

6. Cheez Badi

Singers ~ Udit Narayan & Neha Kakkar, Original Composition by ~ Viju Shah, Music Recreated by ~ Tanishk Bagchi, Original Lyrics by ~ Late Anand Bakshi, New Lyrics by ~ Shabbir Ahmed

“Tu Cheez Badi hai mast mast, tu cheez badi hai mast!”

– Late Anand Bakshi

The last song of the album was a later addition in that it released much later than the other five tracks did. And since I’m always so late in writing reviews, I get the advantage of adding such latecomer songs in my reviews. 😉 Anyway, about the song. As you might already have gauged by reading the name, the song is a remake (this time an official one) of the 1994 super-duper hit track by Viju Shah (who was one of the most innovative young composers of the time) ‘Tu Cheez Badi Hai Mast Mast’ (Mohra). And the man who has been churning out one remake after another, Tanishk Bagchi, is in charge of this one. It was a relief to see him remaking it, instead of T-Series’ other go-to’s for remakes these days, Gourov-Roshin. So after two great 90s songs remade, Tanishk remakes this one with the club theme in mind. It starts off like an ordinary club song, but then that trademark “Pa ni saaaa…” from the old song comes in to indicate that it is a remake of that song. The composition contains almost nothing new except for a short line that Udit Narayan sings (he has redubbed everything for this song; his voice clipping hasn’t been retained from the old song). And yes, that line sounds quite odd in the song. It doesn’t gel in well with the rest of the song. The previous two remakes by Tanishk of course, had the old song’s tune retained, so this one is an odd one out that way. I liked the way he brought the old song’s antara’s tune to become the mukhda and then the antara too, of this version. The arrangements disappoint, with very everyday club beats. The mandolin playing the hookline’s tune provides respite, and so do the electronic tabla beats, but otherwise, the EDM is quite heavy, and too loud as well. The interludes both consist of very heavy EDM that is tough to digest with one of your favourite old songs. I enjoyed the small portion where Tanishk incorporated the old song though, in the second interlude. Vocals by Udit Narayan are awesome; he always manages to sound young! Neha Kakkar too, sings her parts well, without adding unnecessary nuances anywhere. Shabbir Ahmed’s additions to Anand Bakshi’s original lyrics are not any more crazy than the original, and the part which goes “zabardast dast” really calls for a cringe. Not one of Tanishk’s best remakes, but I would say it isn’t his “dosh dosh” as new lyrics have been added, unlike his other remakes (with the exception of the “Badrinath” title song).

Rating: 3/5


Machine seems to be an album miserably bowing down to supposed public demands. There’s a remake, three club songs, three Bhatt-ish romantic songs (of which one excels). Tanishk’s songs range from one sode of the spectrum to the other. If some are utterly boring, some are just as beautiful. Dr. Zeus gets it right with his sole song, but it won’t be something on my playlist for long. A tried-and-tested machine!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 3 + 2 + 3.5 + 2 + 4.5 + 3 = 18

Album Percentage: 60%

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: Tera Junoon > Brake’An Fail > Itna Tumhe = Cheez Badi > Tu Hi Toh Mera = Chatur Naar

 

Remake Counter:
No. Of Remakes: 07 (from previous albums) + 01 (from Machine) = 08

 

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

NOT JUST ‘OK’, BUT FANTASTIC! (OK JAANU – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: A.R. Rahman, Tanishk Bagchi & Badshah
♪ Lyrics by: Gulzar, Hard Kaur, Navneet Virk, Aaryan Dinesh Kanagaratnam, Kaly, Mehboob & Badshah
♪ Music Label: Sony Music
♪ Music Released On: 4th January 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 13th January 2017

Ok Jaanu Album Cover

Ok Jaanu Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Ok Jaanu is an upcoming Bollywood rom-com / drama, starring Shraddha Kapoor, Aditya Roy Kapur, Naseeruddin Shah and Leela Samson. The movie has been directed by Shaad Ali, and produced by Mani Ratnam, Karan Johar, Apoorva Mehta and Hiroo Yash Johar. The movie is a remake of Tamil film ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’ directed by Mani Ratnam, and like ‘Saathiya’ (which was a remake of Ratnam’s ‘Alaipayuthey’) Shaad Ali has taken it upon himself to successfully tell the story to the Hindi audience. The music of the film has been composed by A.R. Rahman, and it is primarily a dubed version of the ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’ soundtrack minus a few tracks and plus some new songs to fill in their places. Young talent Tanishk Bagchi, along with Badshah, has recreated one of Rahman’s own 90s hits, ‘Hamma Hamma’ (Bombay) for the film. Skeptical as I am about this, I really hope that the makers have made a good decision about that. Rahman last composed ‘Mohenjo Daro’s Album, which, as good as it was, was a bit underwhelming. Also, the last time he could oosed for a rom-com like this in Bollywood was ‘Tamasha’ and before that ‘Lekar Hum Deewana Dil’, both of which were awesome. I have heard the Tamil album when it released in 2015 itself, and it was good, but I didn’t really hear it much afterwards, because of the language. I just hope the dubbing has been done good!! Rahman has used 5 tracks from that album, and composed two new songs, and then Tanishk-Badshah’s one song, make this album an eight-song album! Just right!

{The names of the original Tamil songs from the Tamil album have been written below the respective song’s name}


1. OK Jaanu

(‘Mental Manadhil’ from ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’)

Singers ~ A.R. Rahman & Srinidhi Venkatesh, Music by ~ A.R. Rahman, Lyrics by ~ Gulzar

“Dheere dheere zara dum le naa,
Pyaar se jo mile gham le naa,
Dil pe zara woh kam le naa,
Ok jaanu, tu dhin dhin na! Hey!”

– Gulzar

One of my favourites from the Tamil album, ‘Mental Manadhil’ gets redone as the title track of this movie, and I cant tell you how happy that made me! 😀 The song is a wonderful mocktail of techno sounds from Rahman, something that will drive you crazy, in a positive way. The composition is something that instantly grabs you and needs no time to invade your mind. It starts off with a nice ‘Jaanuuuu’ (and I know that sounds a bit cheap compared to the awesome ‘Lailaaaa’ from the Tamil song) and then transcends into an entrancing, but catchy tune that gets you grooving right away. The tune has been tweaked a bit from the original Tamil tune, which had this jumpy feel to it, especially in the “Mana mana mana” parts, which have been strung together to make a continuous tune in this version. However, after a couple of listens, this starts incorporating itself in your brain. (Read: my brain, and others who care about listening to music that isn’t in either their mother tongue, their national language or English) So I’m probably one in a ten-thousand people in North India who have heard the Tamil album. Yay me. Anyway. The antara is as catchy as the song is, and acts as a nice filler. Most of the song is composed on the same lines that constitute the mukhda, and I don’t know how many times the hook repeats. But it never gets boring! The arrangements are what make it more interesting than anything else does. That techno backdrop really makes the song sound pacy and makes it an apt song for a ‘carefree-and-youthful-couple-roaming-the-streets-of-Mumbai-on-a-motorbike-as-if-there’s-no-tomorrow’ situation. The interesting sounds that Rahman throws at you over the three-and-a-half-minute time span of the song, is enough to make you trip over the song. Especially that loop at the beginning!! The beats are so trippy, that it’s hard to explain in words. What does play a bit of a spoilsport in the song, are two things. First of all, Rahman’s vocals. I know they have a different kind of twang to them, and nobody else could have sung it like that, but some of the words have been mailed by his diction. (“Badi na tu kisi se” sounds like “Baaadiii na tuksi se”!) Srinidhi replaces Jonita from the original, to no actual effect — Jonita sounded much (!!!) better. (Which reminds me, there’s no female version!! The female version of ‘Mental Manadhil’ was awesome!!! Jonita’s nuances were to die for!) Also, Srinidhi has only one line that comes like two times in the whole song. The second spoilsport is (surprisingly!) Gulzar’s lyrics. The words in the antara (‘aayu-vaayu’, ‘mangal-dangal’) have merely been penned down to make them rhyme. And who addresses their friend as ‘kanya’? The lyrics were a big letdown, especially after Gulzar wrote the spectacular lyrics to ‘Mirzya’! I would’ve thought he would dub better! Nevertheless, a major portion of this song is awesome, as the tune and music is what matters the most. Some damage done by the lyrics can be overlooked by listeners.

Rating: 4/5

 

2. Enna Sona

(Newly composed song, replacement for ‘Aye Sinamika’ from ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’)

Singer ~ Arijit Singh, Music by ~ A.R. Rahman, Lyrics by ~ Gulzar

“Kol hove te sekh lagda ae,
Door jaave te dil jalda ae,
Kedi agg naal, rab ne banaaya,
Rab ne banaaya, rab ne banaaya!
Enna sona kyun rab ne banaaya?”

– Gulzar

Next up, we get a fresh song, by which I mean that it isn’t a song from the Tamil album. And I must say, how thankful I am that ‘Aye Sinamika’ was dropped! 😛 I say this because what Rahman has produced in the bargain proves to be a spectacularly dulcet romantic ballad, that you just start loving instantly. Though I didn’t at first. Here’s my journey to liking this song: After 1st listen, “This is by A.R. Rahman?? Are you sure it isn’t Pritam..? I mean, there’s guitars, there’s Arijit…”. After close speculation in the second listen, “No. That flute in the first interlude is signature Rahman.. so it has to be Rahman. But what has he composed? A Pritam song!”. After 3rd listen, “Rahman!! Aaye ho kis bagiya se… Tummmm! 😍😍😍” And then I fell in love with the song. What can be better than a Punjabi love song, composed by Rahman and written by Gulzar? The composition is a verrrryy down-to-earth composition; so much so that the majority of its duration is taken up by that hookline that keeps on repeating, but never sounds repetitive! The antara with it’s inexplicably beautiful high notes just steals your heart away. (You’ll get it back he next time a beautiful Arijit song comes out. Don’t register any F.I.R. or anything and land yourself into trouble.) That leads us to the vocals. Arijit’s soothing voice is an excellent proof that he really is the only one out there these days who has the power to sing any type of song, but especially rocks it in the romantic song genre every single time. The arrangements are divinely soulful. PMK Naveen Kumar with his flute, impressed like always, and Keba Jeremiah on the guitars is exceptional. The flute and guitar in the first and second interludes respectively sound utterly charismatic! When the flute plays the hookline’s tune behind Arijit’s voice, a smile mischievously appeared on my face. (It was no use telling it to go away or grounding it.) Gulzar’s lyrics here, were a good exchange for the losses incurred in the first song, because they’re double beautiful. Though there are (and I counted) only 14 lines in the song, (Hey! It’s a sonnet!) each line has its own beauty. “Taap lagge na tatti Chandni da, saari ratti main os chhidkavan, kinne dardaan naal rabb ne banaaya” is the entire second antara, and the first is up there… Both are so marvellous! Enna Sona (gaana) kyun Rahman ne banaaya?

Rating: 5/5

 

3. Jee Lein

(‘Theera Ulaa’ from ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’)

Singers ~ Arjun Chandy, Neeti Mohan & Savithri R. Prithvi, Music by ~ A.R. Rahman, Lyrics by ~ Gulzar

“Bichhad bhi gaye, toh bhi kya hai,
Tera dard toh saath hoga,
Gar aa gaye aansu, toh kya, mera chehra
Toh yaad hoga, toh yaad hoga…”

– Gulzar

Now this is another song that has been dubbed from its Tamil counterpart, from the original Tamil album. And I must say, it has been remade quite well! Let me remind you that the man behind this is A.R. Rahman, and so a Kollywood to Bollywood transition isn’t going to be as straightforward as it seems! And sure enough, the man has introduced some significant changes in the song, which we’ll come to later on. Firstly, the composition. The composition is a dreamy, anthem-like tune for the most part, until a nice and soothing interjection in the form of a female portion comes (Which is that significant change I was talking about, because it was a Carnatic piece in the Tamil song) and brings the melancholia into the song. Upbeat for the most part as the rest of the song is, this part very wonderfully and seamlessly brings a nice and emotional touch to the song — something Rahman is an expert at. The rest of the song is mostly the same time repeating again and again, but it doesn’t sound boring (except a bit when you hear it for the first time). It all has a very harmonic sound to it. The arrangements just elevate this entrancing feeling. Nice beats go with the chorus part, making the song upbeat in the right concentration. The occasional veena strums really reach out to your heart. (Which has been stolen by ‘Enna Sona’, don’t forget!) The melodious female portion in the middle has the upbeat beat toned a bit down, but the tune of that part definitely overrides the beats. And the seamless transition from that part, back to the chorus part, is awesome! Vocals are amazing, and I would like to have a list of everyone who was on the chorus! Arjun Chandy is clearly on there, and I can hear Neeti’s feathery voice, I the background. But Neeti has the aforementioned female portion to her credit, which is definitely the best part of the song, and she has rendered with her magic touch. Gulzar’s lyrics are wonderful. Especially in the same female portion that’s definitely going to be on my tongue and in my mind for a long time! Different and lovable, but might take some time to grow on you!

Rating: 4.5/5

 

4. Kaara Fankaara

(‘Kaara Attakkaara’ from ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’)

Singers ~ Paroma Das Gupta, Shashaa Tirupati, Hard Kaur, Aaryan Dinesh Kanagaratnam, Kaly & Ashima Mahajan, Music by ~ A.R. Rahman, Lyrics by ~ Hard Kaur, Navneet Virk, Aaryan Dinesh Kanagaratnam & Kaly

“Kaara fankaara kab aaye re, kaara fankaara tarsaaye re” 🙉

– Whichever one of them wrote it

In a film targeted towards the youth, how can there not be a youthful number? The next song is just that. The song is a mishmash of sounds that are supposed to attract the youth. And it succeeds to quite an extent. The main composition is only during the hookline, the title of the song. I’m not sure if it even means anything, but the tune is likable. The composer has tried his best to make the song sound like many of his earlier such songs, and it does, but you can’t help but lose the link somewhere in the middle. The rap is amazingly rapid-going, and better than Badshah and Raftaar for sure, but I’m not sure the public is going to lap this rap up like they do for Raftaar and Badshah! Nevertheless, Kaly (How do I know it’s him? He says it in the song.. see if you can find it!) delivers it perfectly, so that it sounds rad. The ‘nama nama nama neiiii’ gets a bit repetitive after some time, and the song is almost 6 minutes long, so keep your seatbelts on! The vocals by so many people make it sound like a very hastily put-together song trying to sound unconventional. And unconventional it sounds, but doesn’t work! Hard Kaur, after a long time in some big Bollywood song, gets drowned amidst Shashaa’s ‘kaara fankaara kab aaye re, kaara fankaara tarsaaye re’ and Kaly’s English rap. Also, she isn’t recognizable thanks to programming. One thing I really loved is hat quirky nadaswaram like thing that plays when Kaly raps, somewhere in the initial two minutes of the song. The digital beats are commendable, but not commercially viable, especially not in Bollywood. The lyrics to the rap are good, but the hookline makes no sense. It is also the only song (except ‘The Humma Song’), that hasn’t been written by Gulzar. A good attempt at making a youthful rap number, but I wouldn’t recommend this, as it is quite heavy to the ears.

Rating: 3/5

 

5. Saajan Aayo Re

(‘Naane Varugiraen’ from ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’)

Singers ~ Jonita Gandhi & Nakash Aziz, Music by ~ A.R. Rahman, Lyrics by ~ Gulzar

“Saajan aayo re, saavan laayo re,
Main poori bheegi re, Mann behkaayo re”

– Gulzar

Now comes the Rahman I was waiting for! Also, the song I was waiting for. My favourite song from ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’, ‘Naane Varugiraen’ gets remade in Hindi as ‘Saajan Aayo Re’, and rendered by one of the most promising female singers of this generation, Jonita Gandhi. Of course, Shashaa sung this song in Tamil, and did a great job too. But with Rahman, it can never be anything simple… He has to put in challenges here and there, and so he ropes in Jonita, though Shashaa could’ve very well done it too! Anyway, more on the vocals later! The composition starts off with a wonderful free-flowing introductory stanza, which reminds me of Kathak songs like ‘Pyaar Kiya Toh Darna Kya’ (Mughal-e-Azam). The wonderful classical tune is just so bewitching! And what follows, is a classic example of why Rahman is such a master at classical songs. The nuances in the composition, especially at the word “saajan” are top-class! And the tune that follows is definitely one of the most beautifully haunting tunes I’ve heard since a long time. The interruptions by Nakash have been composed beautifully, too. The arrangements are heaven on earth. When the harp plays, when Jonita first starts the hookline, you get goosebumps, that might just stay till the whole song is over. And that wonderful percussion that follows…! The strings are exceptional, and techno music plays a big role in making the song sound unconventional for a classical melody. The vocals by Jonita surely make up her most wholesome perfromance out of all. Last year, Pritam gave her many songs, but this is not even similar to any of those. Jonita, for the first time, has taken up a classical song to sing, and she aces it with perfection! The way she sings the “Naa dir dinna tom tana na” reminded me of Shreya Ghoshal singing ‘Silsila Ye Chaahat Ka’ (Devdas) for some reason. She has really sung that part beautifully. Nakash, too, complements her very well! Gulzar’s lyrics suit the classical theme very well. An exceptional melody! Classical to the core, but modernized with some nice touches in the arrangements! Signature Rahman!

Rating: 5/5

 

6. Maula Wa Sallim

(‘Maula Wa Sallim’ from ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’)

Singer ~ A.R. Ameen, Music by ~ Traditional, Lyrics ~ Traditional

Next up comes the traditional Arabic track that was in the Tamil album, as it is. There was no need to dub this one; it was Arabic and stays Arabic. And it’s traditional. The song is a simplistic but ethereal prayer song, sung by A.R. Rahman’s son, A.R. Ameen. The boy carries out the song with a nice aura of spirituality around his cute voice (goosebumps when he sings “Habib-allah, rasul-allah”), but it is very obviously autotuned. Rahman’s programming on his voice sounds good, when towards the end, he triples and quadruples his voice track, giving it a very nice echo effect. The song is a perfect night time song, sublime as it is. Rahman’s own voice can be heard humming in the background, and I just love it when he hums in the backgrounds of his songs. There’s not much more to say about this one, except that it should be given a chance, before being dismissed as boring.

Rating: 4/5

 

7. Sunn Bhavara

(Newly composed song, replacement for ‘Malargal Kaetten’ from ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’)

Singer ~ Shashaa Tirupati, Music by ~ A.R. Rahman, Lyrics by ~ Gulzar

“Roshan roshan bhor dikhaye, roshan roshan bhor dikhaye,
Prem ki paalki laaye, laaye, prem ki paalki laaye,
Udann khatole pe aaye bhavara, Kartab kar dikhlaye bhavara,
Sunn sunn bhavara, kaisi baatein banaaye!”

– Gulzar

This song’s counterpart in the Tamil movie, was a Carnatic classical piece, and the makers must’ve thought (and rightly so) that Carnatic music won’t have much takers in Bollywood, and so they intelligently replaced it with a wonderful Hindustani classical piece, taking the style of a nazm. Rahman’s composition is a very soothing one, the mukhda giving the most pleasant goosebumps ever imaginable. The antara is just a wonderful continuation of where the mukhda left off. The classical composition is just as heavenly as the one for ‘Saajan Aayo Re’, but this time, very pleasantly soothing instead of haunting. The composition reminded me of ‘Saathiya’s ‘Naina Milaike’. The arrangements are divine, with the tablas taking centre-stage. It actually reminded me of the beautiful nazm from ‘Haider’, ‘Aaj Ke Naam’. The tanpura at the beginning, gives a nice launchpad to the tablas. Listen for the transition from the tanpura to the tablas. Shashaa’s rendition of the classical composition is as soothing as the composition itself. Her magical voice makes the song sound all the better. This song is four and a half minutes of bliss that can’t be replaced by anything else. Finally, Gulzar’s lyrics are awesome! As always (except the title song 😛 but I think we’ve forgotten and forgiven that already!) A short review because I can’t really explain more about it! It’s too divine! Soothing!

Rating: 5/5

 

8. The Humma Song

(Remake of ‘Hamma Hamma’ from ‘Bombay’, replacement for ‘Parandhu Sellaa Vaa’ from ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’)

Singers ~ Jubin Nautiyal & Shashaa Tirupati, Rap Written & Performed by ~ Badshah, Original Composition by ~ A.R. Rahman, Music Recreated by ~ Tanishk Bagchi & Badshah, Lyrics by ~ Mehboob

“Ek ho gaye hum aur tum, toh udd gayi neendein re,
Aur khanki Paayal masti mein, do kangan khanke re!”

– Mehboob

The finale to the album takes the form of a remake to a classic Rahman dance track. The song that created waves in the 90s when it released, probably the first dubbed song to do so, ‘Hamma Hamma’ from ‘Bombay’ has been recreated by Tanishk Bagchi and Badshah. The original composition and lyrics have been left as it is. The only changes made are the singers, the arrangements of course, and that a rap portion is added (Badshah is there, so what else can you expect?) Anyway, the new programming by Tanishk and Badshah gives the song more of a lounge feel, and where the vocals in the original were raw, here they have been toned to perfection, as in, auto-tuned and polished, so as to make them sound sensuous. The remake is good when you look at it, as it serves as a nice and enjoyable song perfect for the situation. (I didn’t want to be stating that I actually wanted ‘Parandhu Sellaa Vaa’ remade, as I had loved it a lot, but yeah, I’ll not say that) The tempo has been slowed down, in order to make it more of a romantic track than a dance track, and the vocals actually sound good, if not better. (Not that I loved Remo Fernandes’ original vocals either..) Jubin takes over most of the song, while Shashaa complements him well, and the occasional ‘Hamma hamma hamma’ whispers are awesome. The arrangements have more of a club sound to them, but that signature tune has been retained and used gratuitously. The sounds have gone under a lot of treatment, but emerge as good as the old one. The Rap in the middle plays the spoilsport, and it’s like Badshah is trying to say, “Look, I featured on a Rahman album.” Our answer is, “Good. Now feature in a Rahman song!” The nadaswaram part at the end is just whacky! Of course, it was here in the original. It is insane, and ends the song on an offbeat note. Remade quite well, but could’ve done with another stanza instead of the rap.

Rating: 4/5


OK Jaanu actually turned out to be quite an ear-friendly album. I wasnt expecting it as I was thinking about the repercussions of making those Tamil songs into Hindi. However, after hearing it, I feel that part went down really well. Even the bonus song by Tanishk doesn’t take away anything from the album. Rahman uses his innate intelligence to cleverly tweak some parts of the songs that he thought wouldn’t suit in Bollywood, and the results can be seen! The only song that underperforms is ‘Kaara Fankaara’, which I don’t think I’ll be hearing much. But the others are fabulous. The second album of 2017, turns out to be worth listening on repeat!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4 + 5 + 4.5 + 3 + 5 + 4 + 5 + 4 = 34.5

Album Percentage: 86.25%

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: Saajan Aayo Re > Enna Sona > Sunn Bhavara > Jee Lein > OK Jaanu > The Humma Song > Maula Wa Sallim > Kaara Fankaara

 

Remake Counter
Number of Remakes: 02 (from ‘Kaabil’) + 01 = 03 (Dubs not counted)

 

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

OM VISHAL-SHEKHARAAY NAMAH! (BANJO – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Vishal-Shekhar
♪ Lyrics by: Amitabh Bhattacharya
♪ Music Label: Eros Music
♪ Music Released On: 23rd August 2016
♪ Movie Releases On: 23rd September 2016

Banjo Album Cover

Banjo Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Banjo is an upcoming Bollywood comedy/drama film starring Riteish Deshmukh, Nargis Fakhri and Dharmesh Yelande in prominent roles. The film has been directed by renowned Marathi director Ravi Jadhav, and produced by Krishika Lulla. The movie revolves around a street band living in the Mumbai slums, which plays the banjo (here, the banjo means the Indian banjo or the bulbultarang). The band is glowered upon and their talent is not appreciated due to their societial status. As they are on their quest for respect and success, a musician (Nargis) from abroad discovers them and offers them to be a part of two of her songs for an international music competition, and their fate changes. What follows is what ‘Banjo’ is all about. The story seems interesting, and more interesting is the fact that the movie is completely music-centred. Therefore, it goes without saying, that the songs are going to play a key role in the progression of the story. And that leads us to wonder who the music directors of the movie are. And the answer is, none other than the rocking duo who just gave us a superb theme-based album for the action thriller ‘Akira’, Vishal-Shekhar. Having huge expectations that their music for the film will be outstanding, I jump into this album, which, if it is to be judged by its cover, looks like a mélange of experimentation and roadside Mumbai-style music!


1. Bappa
Singer ~ Vishal Dadlani

The electrifying sound of the bulbultarang (henceforth referred to as banjo — don’t mistake it for the countryside wala banjo!) starts off the ‘Banjo’ album, in a very rock way. The drums kick in soon, just to show that they haven’t disappeared, though the rock guitars have been replaced by the banjo. 😀 And the dynamic start to the album gets you tapping your feet. The song is an apt one to start the album with, what with Ganpati Bappa being the one with whose name all auspicious occasions begin in the Hindu faith. Also, with the song having released just before the Ganpati festival, it has been a foot-tapping song to dance to in these ten days. Keeping all these things aside, and proceeding to review the song technically, I would start by saying how fitting a choice it was to have Vishal sing this one. His energy (world-renowned by now, I’m sure) is something that takes such songs to whole new levels. His voice is a perfect blend of softness and power. Vishal-Shekhar’s composition is nothing new; we’ve all heard similar things in various other Ganpati songs that have released over the years. The mukhda starts the song off on quite a faltery note, being dicey because of the not-so-gripping tune, but it soons recovers and pulls you in. The “Ayyyy re Bappa tu!” hook is enticing. The antara is the peak point of the composition, something that makes you feel happy and surging with energy to dance at the same time. The duo take the liberty of repeating the mukhda after the antara, and at this time, it suddenly sounds perfectly fine! 😀 The song has established itself by that time. The arrangements are fascinating, with the street band touch perfectly infused into the song. The banjo is indeed the main attraction in the song, while drums and the occasional rock guitars (they don’t wanna miss any chance they get, do they?) pop in, and the dhols are amazing. The first interlude is an awesome banjo melody played on an invigorating dhol-taasha rhythm. (No wonder Nargis Fakhri wants this band to perform with her! 😂😂😂) Amitabh’s lyrics are perfectly suitable for a Ganpati song, and are amazingly well-written, what with nothing left to write in Ganpati songs nowadays. And he takes full liberty to use pure Hindi words at places, making the song sound ever so rich. A good start to the album, and an energetic Ganpati song to dance to, but could’ve done with a better composition!

 

2. Udan Choo
Singer ~ Hriday Gattani

The next song is a very innovative romantic song, with a pulsating rhythm backing it up. The duo composes a sweet melody, with a strong Spanish feel to it. The hookline is something that I doubt anyone other than Vishal-Shekhar could’ve thought of. It is just so catchy, even in all its serenity. The mukhda sucks the listener in, and perfectly starts off the song with a seductive tone. The way the composition elevates from the mukhda to the hookline, is worth hearing on loop. The antara on the other hand, is graceful and serene, and highly impressive work from Vishal-Shekhar. The way it glides over the high notes is highly impressive, and the line “De, Milan ka mauka Dena, yun, sajna ko dhokha Dena” is just too beautifully composed. The arrangements are, as I said earlier, pulsating. Who ever thinks of composing a romantic song on a kuthu rhythm, slowed down?? Well, Vishal-Shekhar just did, and it sounds amazing! The strings in this song are stupefying, playing wonderful European-sounding pieces, and oh-so-gracefully. But then, there’s the accordion too, stealing the entire show and sitting there hogging the spotlight. The accordion is something that infuses a sense of sophistication to any song it features in, and with a European composition as this, and a tapori beat, the accordion was an unexpectedly awesome addition. Towards the end of the song, the banjo kicks in, and takes the song to a fast-paced tempo, with the dhol-taashe also kicking in with whistles, giving it that strong Marathi flavour. So much fusion of musical styles in one song, left me stupefied. It is really a very commendable job that the duo has done on arranging this song. The innovative idea behind it has to be applauded. The vocals are beautiful; they have Hriday Gattani featuring in some song two years after his debut, with two songs in A.R. Rahman’s ‘Lekar Hum Deewana Dil’, and he proves yet again what a wonderful singer he is. His voice has the right amount of sweetness that is required to pull off this song, and the antara sounds breathtaking in his mellifluous voice, which is so smooth! Amitabh writes good tapori lyrics here, and makes us imagine how a roadside Romeo professes his love. 😂 Mt. Innovation gets taller with the fusion of so many different musical flavors, as Vishal-Shekhar deliver a beautiful, enjoyable and memorable romantic song! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

3. Rada
Singers ~ Vishal Dadlani, Nakash Aziz & Shalmali Kholgade

And next up we have an electrifying, thrilling rock song, and after Vishal-Shekhar’s great Indie rock in ‘Sultan’s title track, it is time for yet another stupendous rock show from Vishal-Shekhar, now with more roadside attractions. The composition instantly hooks onto you, but will not really be liked by everyone. For me though, it is enjoyable to the core. It is one of those songs that forms the grand finale at a rock concert, and which leaves the crowd chanting “Once more! Once more!”, even though the performers are dead tired and want to go home and watch the latest episode of ‘Game of Thrones’ before going to sleep. The duo’s hook composition is something that will definitely get everyone from newborns to corpses grooving to its tune. It is full of energy and is so infectious, that you can’t escape it. The duo composes everything else fantastically too, and I personally loved the mukhda a lot! It is a perfect start to a rock song, and in a female voice, sounds even more amazing! More about that later! The line “bajaake ye dhamaal kamaal dhamaal kamaal dhamaal gaana!” is enough to get you on your feet and tapping them so that you look more professional than Aamir Khan does at tap-dancing. (Haven’t seen him tap-dance? Watch ‘Dhoom Tap’ from ‘Dhoom 3’!) Of course, the antara just keeps up the energy, and the continuity is maintained so wonderfully, that it is surprising for a rock song. The mukhda repeats at the end, on a different scale of notes, and it sounds good in that scale as well. The arrangements go to show you how much fun Vishal-Shekhar had while composing this one. The rock guitars, drums and the necessary banjo wonderfully mix together and get you foot-tapping music to dance to. The banjo interludes and the wonderful dhol-taashe put the tapori-ness into the song while the guitars and drums make it sound more like an international rock song. It is the vocals that work the best. Shalmali, in an amazingly high pitch, carries out her parts very well, with all that energy inside her waiting to burst out. On the other hand, Nakash sounds less tapori as usual as he sings the male portion of the mukhda at both the beginning and start of the song, but he still sounds amazing. Vishal very energetically carries out the hookline and the antara, and at the end of the song, you are satisfied that the singers have done justice to the song, and their parts have been well-assigned and distributed amongst them. Amitabh’s lyrics are enjoyable as well, with the carefree touch to them, and that awesome Marathi hookline “Khulla karaycha rada, rada!” A song that will really make you cause a rada (commotion) wherever it plays! A perfect rock song from Vishal-Shekhar! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

4. Pee Paa Ke
Singers ~ Vishal Dadlani & Nakash Aziz

A very quirky brass band sound starts off the next song, and let’s you know tat you’re up for something zany and insane. As if to confirm your doubts, Vishal-Shekhar add some catchy, but definitely unconventional noises like that bird noise in the prelude. 😀 The song happens to be a celebratory song of some sort, with the Banjo gang drinking away to glory. The duo’s composition is very upbeat and catchy, and really gets you hooked. The mukhda is something that instantly makes you wonder what is going to follow, and having it repeated completely right at the beginning of the song, is a good move by the duo. However, it is the hookline that really spoils the fun. The hookline doesn’t actually hook you, though it is meant to — Vishal-Shekhar seem to have been confident it would hook the listeners, but all it does is irritate after a couple of times it plays. It is the antara that saves the duo, with a very happy-go-lucky, signature Vishal-Shekhar tune all over it. But then, the hookline comes back, and the latter part of the mukhda plays all over AGAIN! (It is part of some extra-long hookline, and not a mukhda at all, I guess!) Vishal-Shekhar seem to have relied solely upon this tune to make their song work, but it gets tedious to hear it after some times, and that extra-jumpy hookline gets on your nerves after some time, what with the ‘pee pee pee pee pee’ repeating way too many times. The most annoying thing being that after you hear the song, it gets stuck in your head, and you don’t want it there!!! The arrangements, thankfully, are enjoyable, and the dhols help you to forget the hookline, for some time. There is a cool rap in the interlude, where Vishal Dadlani raps in both English and Marathi+Mumbaiya tapori; the Marathi+Mumbaiya one sounding way more interesting. The whole song’s arrangements are not thing but dhols, the brass band and those weird bird whistles. At the end, the brass band sheds all inhibitions and plays more openly. It is Vishal’s zealous singing that helps you to concentrate on the positive parts of the song. Nakash does well with the backing vocals, and I could hear him clearly in only one word, that is “Humkoooo…” in the mukhda. Amitabh’s lyrics are good here too, and he brings out the taporipana well, here too. Enjoyable, but would’ve been better if Vishal-Shekhar hadn’t relied so much on that irritating hookline, and added some more attractions!

 

5. Rehmo Karam
Singer ~ Ajay Gogavale

The mandatory emotional pathos song that every Bollywood album must have, comes up next, and as it starts, with a lovely flute and piano melody, you are sure that the brief that the makers gave to Vishal-Shekhar must’ve been something like “Make something like ‘Abhi Mujh Mein Kahin’ (Agneepath)”. And the duo try to do just that, and succeeding brilliantly. The composition is something that instantly works its magic on you, and is extremely touching. The mukhda does its important job of making the listener attracted to the song, and the purpose is served by a beautiful tune. The hookline is quite heard-before, but it is still wonderful and peaceful to the ears. The antara is soulful and towards its end, there’s a good high-pitched portion, that is wonderfully sung by Ajay. The way the duo has connected the antara to the hookline again, is so sweet, and touching as well. After the antara, there is an invigorating street band portion, which cranks up the tempo wonderfully. It serves as a perfect emotional ending to the song, grand in all respects. Vishal-Shekhar’s arrangements are fantastic. The aforementioned flute impresses throughout the song, while the very clichéd dafli rhythm plays out the roopak-taal, a very common rhythm for such songs. (‘Abhi Mujh Mein Kahin’ from ‘Agneepath’ and ‘Bhagwan Hai Kahan Re Tu’ from ‘PK’, both were arranged on the same rhythm!) However clichéd it is though, it manages to touch your heart. The first interlude has a wonderful strings orchestra followed by a flute solo, while the musical piece after the antara is made of an energetic band, with the banjo and dhols returning, but not exactly to make you dance here. Here, they manage to touch your heart even better than they made you dance in the previous songs. Also, a shehnaai plays a very intense tune towards the end, which is quite easy to miss unless you strain your ears. Vishal-Shekhar aptly use the voice of Ajay Gogavale (though I somewhere feel that it was an order from Ravi Jadhav — not that he’s sung bad!), whose voice is rarely used by other composers in Bollywood, in spite of it being so, so magnificent. He wonderfully brings the rustic feeling into a song that could otherwise have been very well sung by Sonu Nigam. He touches the high notes with such ease, and in the fast-paced conclusion of the song, he sings some very intense lines that end the song on a very grand note! He sings the hookline with a perfect blend of softness and harshness. Amitabh writes lyrics that are perfect to the type of song that it is, and perfectly describes the condition of someone who has nothing left but to felt on God to guide him through the tough phases of his life. A gem from the studio of Vishal-Shekhar, and though the composition treads on familiar territory, it still manages to gain your attention and love! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

6. Om Ganapataye Namaha Deva
Singers ~ Nakash Aziz & Vishal Dadlani

The grand finale to the album, too, very smartly, is a Ganapati song. This time however, things are far different from the first song. This song has been composed with more care and intensity and arranged on a lighter beat. For this song, the duo composes a thought-provoking melody, not the usual loud types. The result, is a very slow-paced and entrancing Ganapati song, that might not be perfect for dancing to, but is definitely a delight to listen to when you feel low! The hookline perfectly opens up the song, instantly telling the listener that what he’s gonna listen to isn’t his everyday Ganapati song. The hookline is chanted so effectively by an uncredited backing chorus (whose lead singer might be Vishal Dadlani, I guess by the sound) that it just makes a home for itself in your mind. The mukhda arrives, and your thoughts that this is a different Ganapati song, are just further consolidated. The tune, being so slow-paced, sets you into some kind of a trance, and then a very unexpected rap by Vishal Dadlani starts, which is so cool, and actually forms the real hookline of the song, along with the line which is the name of the song. The antara too, is composed on the same notes as the mukhda, and keeps on entertaining you. The whole entrancement sounds much like it is a song set for the Ganapati immersion situation in the movie. Towards the end, there is an increase in tempo here, too! And it is awesome!! It is so well-executed, and gels in with the rest of the song so well, that it seems as though we should’ve expected that twist right from the beginning of the song! The arrangements by the duo are captivating as well as scintillating, in a different sort of way. The usual banjo doesn’t really open up till the final conclusion of the song (the one with the fast tempo), until then it is a very beguiling rhythm of lezims and dhol-taashe, playing in a very slow pace, signifying the farewell of Ganapati, that is, his immersion. A very bewitching touch of a rock guitar, very subtle, has been used in places, and that is amazing. Towards the end, everything breaks free, and the banjo kicks in, and it turns into a traditional Ganapati song. Nakash sings the song with a different, smooth voice texture, while Vishal sings the English portions with an unmatchable style. Nakash is definitely at his best here; something we rarely get to hear him do is singing an emotional but devotional farewell song for Ganapati, so cherish it until he comes up with his next ‘Jaaneman Aah’ (Dishoom) 😀 Amitabh’s lyrics perfectly describe the feelings of the people during Ganapati immersion, while smartly infusing a motivational and inspirational message in the song, which helps the song appeal more to the listeners. A perfect end to the album; something that all music lovers would appreciate, just because of the wonderful idea that Vishal-Shekhar have put behind it! A Ganapati song that might not be noticed by masses, but will definitely be cherished by those who like experimentation in music!! #5StarHotelSong!!


Banjo sure does live up to expectations. Though there are a few minor faults in some songs due to which they lack appeal, but as a whole, the album is something that will be remembered for the hard work Vishal-Shekhar have actually put into it. The way they’ve tried to maintain the banjo-centred tapori flavour in the album, is highly commendable. And the result is mind-blowing, what with songs of so many variety, that all have one thing in common, and that is, an enjoyable banjo band section! 😀 At the end of this album, I can say nothing but Om Vishal-Shekharaay Namah for Vishal-Shekhar’s excellence in arrangements as well as composition!

 

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: Udan Choo > Rada > Rehmo Karam > On Ganapataye Namaha Deva > Bappa > Pee Paa Ke

 

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