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

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

Rangoon Album Cover

Rangoon Album Cover

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


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


1. Bloody Hell

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

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

– Gulzar

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

Rating: 4/5

 

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

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

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

– Gulzar

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

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

 

3. Mere Miyan Gaye England

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

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

– Gulzar

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

Rating: 5/5

 

4. Tippa

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

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

– Gulzar

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

Rating: 5/5

 

5. Ek Dooni Do

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

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

– Gulzar

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

Rating: 4/5

 

6. Alvida

Singer ~ Arijit Singh, Lyrics by ~ Gulzar

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

– Gulzar

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

Rating: 5/5

 

7. Julia

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

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

– Gulzar

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

Rating: 5/5

 

8. Chori Chori

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

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

– Gulzar

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

Rating: 4.5/5

 

9. Rangoon Theme

(Instrumental)

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

Rating: 5/5

 

10. Be Still

Singer ~ Dominique Cerejo, Lyrics by ~ Lekha Washington

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

– Lekha Washington

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

Rating: 4/5

 

11. Shimmy Shake

Singer ~ Vivienne Pocha, Lyrics by ~ Lekha Washington

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

– Lekha Washington

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

Rating: 3.5/5


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

 

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

Album Percentage: 90%

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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THE SULTANATE OF VISHAL-SHEKHAR IS BACK TO REIGN!! (SULTAN – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Vishal-Shekhar
♪ Lyrics by: 
Irshad Kamil
♪ Music Label:
 YRF Music
Music Released On: 31st May 2016
♪ Movie Releases On: 
8th July 2016

Sultan Album Cover

Sultan Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Sultan is an upcoming Bollywood sports drama film, starring Salman Khan and Anushka Sharma in the lead roles. The film has been directed by Ali Abbas Zafar, and produced by Aditya Chopra. The story revolves around a Haryanvi wrestler who goes by the name Sultan (Salman Khan), who has problems in his professional life. His struggle to get back into the wrestling scenario forms the story of ‘Sultan’. The story seems the usual Bollywood story for a sports film, but the execution is what matters. While we wait for the execution to come in front of our eyes, the music album is here for us to cherish. The album marks the comeback of duo Vishal-Shekhar, who disappeared after a mediocre album, ‘Happy New Year’ (2014). They gave that foot-tapping song in ‘Fan’, again for YRF earlier this year, again for a Khan, Shahrukh. This time they come back to compose for YRF’s ‘Sultan’, which is coincidentally their first Salman Khan film!! That’s kind of hard to believe isn’t it? Such a talented duo and composing for Salman for the first time! 😀 What was Salman doing all these years? Playing table tennis with Himesh and Sajid-Wajid? Apparently, he has moved on from his clichéd composers and after Pritam’s stylish and full-of-variety ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’, and Himesh’s old-fashioned, but enjoyable ‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’ last year, he comes back this year with a new choice of Vishal & Shekhar, who are geniuses when it comes to being innovative. Expectations are sky-high and there are so many reasons. a) Vishal-Shekhar’s comeback. b) Vishal-Shekhar’s first for Salman. c) Vishal-Shekhar composing for YRF.. (remember ‘Ta Ra Rum Pum’ and ‘Tashan’?) Something phenomenal indeed is expected. Something mind-blowing and something innovative — just because Vishal-Shekhar are on board. They have composed a big nine-track album, with seven songs, one version and one theme. Let’s see how many of them rise up like a real ‘Sultan’! Really hoping this comeback makes it really big (once again) for the duo after their rough patch recently, the last great album being ‘Hasee Toh Phasee’ (2014)! They must emerge as Sultans!


1. Baby Ko Bass Pasand Hai
Singers ~ Vishal Dadlani, Shalmali Kholgade & Isheeta Chakrvarty, Rap by ~ Badshah

The soundtrack opens up with a fun-filled dance number that has been composed by the duo to really suit Salman’s presence in it. The song starts off with a wonderful rhythm, that you can set your feete tapping to immediately, as soon as it starts. Composed of techno sounds, dhadd, and manjeeras,the rhythm really hooks you right away, and Isheeta’s folk portion doesn’t really help in making you run away from the song. In other words, the song starts off really catchily, just as it should!! Vishal-Shekhar have really moulded themselves into a complete folksy manner, and delivered a composition that would easily connect with the masses. It is very typical, very Salman types, yet it instantly catches onto you. The hookline, kind of composed on the base rhythm of ‘Selfie Le Le Re’ (Bajrangi Bhaijaan), impresses with its briskness. The techno noises after the short hookline are wonderful, and so is the playful flute! The mukhda by Vishal and Shalmali, really grabs your attention. Arrangements in the song are fabulous. The use of techno has been done really impressively. The brisk interventions of the flue are just lovely! They really stole my heart. Traditional instruments like harmonium, dholaks, manjeeras, tumbi, dhadd, impress as well in their small parts. Vishal-Shekhar really know how to fuse everything together into a catchy package. There is a rap by Badshah completely styled like an antara, as it is very cleverly joined with the hookline after it is over. Badshah’s rap is fun to hear, but I miss the very raw Haryanvi feel of Honey Singh’s Haryanvi rap here. Anyway, it is enjoyable. Shalmali sings in her soft voice, which I like better than her other, low-pitched voice. She does the Haryanvi accent very well. She too, has a small stanza to sing after a bit of Badshah’s rap, after which Vishal comes back for the hookline. For Vishal, I’ve no words to express how much I loved his rendition. He sings with the same infectious energy, that he puts into all his other songs, so it is not a surprise. The way he sings the hookline, though resembling his rendition of the hookline of ‘Selfie Le Le Re’, still sounds so mind blowing and cool. Irshad Kamil is back to his fun, enjoyable lyrics. He can easily mould himself to write so many different types of lyrics and they always appeal! He takes the hookline and writes such fun-plus-funny lyrics around it, a usual male v/s female battle as we have in Bollywood dance numbers many times. An infectious, catchy number, perfect as the first song in a Salman album. Vishal-Shekhar have composed a perfect song for Salman, right in their first stint for him! Energetic vocals, enjoyable lyrics, and booming arrangements all make this one a WINNER! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

2. Jag Ghoomeya / Jag Ghoomeya (Female)
Singers ~ Rahat Fateh Ali Khan / Neha Bhasin

A beautiful guitar loop starts off the next song, and you know Vishal-Shekhar are back at doing their thing with the soulful romantic songs. The song is a romantic song, with shades of Vishal-Shekhar’s style, yet suiting Salman’s style perfectly. The composition is a breezy, love ballad with a really happy-go-lucky touch to it, and graced with a beautiful folk rhythm. The mukhda is very charming, and the hookline really lives up to its name — it hooks you completely. The rhythm of the hookline is just too catchy to dislike. It is the antara though, where Vishal-Shekhar really work magic. It has been composed in a manner that reminds you of Vishal-Shekhar’s work in ‘Tashan’, for some reason unknown. Maybe the folksiness makes it connect to ‘Tashan’. The line “jaisi Tu hai vaisi rehnaa” is very pleasant, and my personal favourite from the song. It has some charm in it. The female version has the tempo cranked down a bit, and that appeals so, so much! The duo excels in the arrangements too, as always. In the male version, their brilliance in arranging music is seen in the way they add folk guitars, acoustic guitars and rock guitars into the same song. Percussion is brilliant, with a folksy but electronic dafli and dholak rhythm backing the song. Shakers have been used very cutely. The first interlude has a very majestic strings portion which reminds one of ‘Zehnaseeb’ (Hasee Toh Phasee). It has a strong hangover of that song. However, the mandolin is what steals the show. It is very cute and pleasant to the ears. In the female version, however, Vishal-Shekhar really impress. They have arranged it very beautiful with almost nothing but a folkish guitar in the background. Percussion is very beautiful, and very less and soft too. For me, this is the winner even though it offers less! To talk about vocals, Rahat’s soulful voice brings that rustic feeling to the song (and also brings the Salman-iyat 😛 ) and sounds very familiar, yet appeals. Again, it is the female version which emerges as the winner. Neha has tried something new this time, with an innocent romantic song. Her husky voice perfectly makes for the rustic setting of the movie. The accent is something to fall for! I couldn’t help but miss Harshdeep Kaur here, though! Not that Neha’s rendition is bad in any way!! 😀 Her voice simply reminded me of Harshdeep’s and then I started wanting to hear the song in her voice. 😛 Kamil’s lyrics are sweet, simple, innocent; in short, amazing. Amazing simplicity and innocence in this romantic song. Something worth hearing on loop! For me the female version is better, but both are a #5StarHotelSong!!

 

3. 440 Volt
Singer ~ Mika Singh

I saw the title and singer’s name of the next song and told myself, “Finished. The goodness of this album is over. It’s all over, dude. You were an idiot to think that the album would be so great.” After all, I’ve not been liking Mika’s songs of late; the same, old, repetitive meaningless party tracks. But boy, was I wrong! The song is utterly enjoyable! Nothing less than that. Enjoyable to the fullest. Each and every second is something to cherish and enjoy. I don’t know what Vishal-Shekhar fed Mika before recording the song, but here he sounds very, very different! He doesn’t belch out his words like always, he doesn’t eat any of the syllables, and neither does he try to sound like a pop star. Instead, he pronounces everything perfectly, sings in a very soft textured voice, and tries to sound CUTE! And it works! He does sound cute. Don’t believe me? Hear it! The duo have given him a song quite unlike his style, yet perfect for him! It is a slow-paced, but very catchy and groovy song based on the filmi Qawwali template. It is one of the most entertaining Qawwali spoofs I’ve heard this year. And then there’s that ‘Fake Ishq’ (Housefull 3). [Okay, now ‘Housefull 3’ has really become an example, hasn’t it? Sorry! 😅😅 Couldn’t resist from writing that, though!] Vishal-Shekhar have composed something that is immensely attractive, something that doesn’t only have a catchy hookline to do all the work, but a hardworking (in getting us addicted!) mukhda and very diligently composed antaras. The antara is a very weirdly addictive, slow piece that you can’t get out of your head. The part in the hookline when Mika repeats “Chhoone Se Terey” is just so crazily gooooddd! (Can’t think of a synonym for ‘good’. That’s why I elongated it. No time! 😂 ) The way Mika sings in a Haryanvi accent fulfills my dream of hearing him sing that ever since he didn’t sing the title track of ‘Boss’. (Which I had thought he had sung when I first heard it). The duo’s arrangements are very creative. The rock factor works really well in filmy Qawwalis, so there it is. The harmonium and tablas are also awesome. A wonderful electronic substitute for the tabla has been added by the duo, which you can hear at 2:47 in the song. That space is usually taken by the tablas in any Qawwali. While he first interlude has a full-on rock guitar solo, the second goes the calm way with a Spanish sounding tune on strings and tablas. Irshad Kamil writes very entertaining lyrics, perfectly suitable for a lovestruck Romeo. The hookline is so funny, yet creative. “Lagey 440 Volt Chhoone Se terey”. Now don’t say I unnecessarily hate the lyrics of ‘Hous– oops! ENTERTAINING to the core!! Something very creative and innovative! P.S. Mika as a Qawwali singer sounds awesome! #5StarHotelSong!! (P.P.S. Sorry for the essay)

 

4. Sultan
Singers ~ Sukhwinder Singh & Shadab Faridi, Backing Vocals ~ Abdul Sajjad, Zuber Hashmi, Arun Ingle, R N Iyer, Mandar Aapte, Kaustubh Datar, Rahul Chitnis, Nitin Tupe, Swapnil Godbole, Mangesh Chavan, Nitin Karandikar, Vijay Dhuri, Jitendra Tupe, Mayuresh Madgaonkar

The title song, arrives quite late into the album, and starts off very softly. Later, a voice quite like that of Vishal Dadlani joins the rock guitars that start off the song, and sing some motivational lines. We’re kind of figuring out what’s going on, when suddenly, an electrifying Sukhwinder Singh takes things into his hands and with him, the song goes uphill, and how! An energizing electric guitar hook starts playing, to be joined later on by energetic drums and a wonderful chorus. The composition is also just ad energetic, and definitely motivational. The duo redo their own ‘Tashan Mein’ (Tashan), but in a very different manner. A way better version of the seemingly unbeatable song, in terms of dynamism and vigour. The hookline is very unconventional as it ends abruptly with the chorus singing “Rre sultan”. The khoon and mitti refrain is very catchy, and suits the theme, doesn’t it? All the parts of the song are energetic, and full of the spirit to work and win. The rock arrangements are not over the top, and because of the commercial nature of the rock song, it will appeal to all, unlike other rock songs which aren’t so commercial. You can barely hear anything besides the rock guitars and drums, which I must say, are very classily done. There are some parts in the antara when the rock simmers down, but other than that, rock is everywhere. Sukhwinder and Shadab are a fit duo to sing the song, with Shadab getting very less in comparison to Sukhwinder. Sukhwinder is clearly the king of all this. A wonderful techno-sargam entertains highly in the first interlude. Irshad Kamil’s lyrics are highly motivational and more than a character-themed title song, like Salman’s other title songs where the leading hero is a larger-than-life supercop (Ahem, ‘Dabangg’!), the song sounds like a pure motivational and inspirational song. The energy of Sukhwinder and Shadab combined with the energy of Vishal-Shekhar’s guitars and drums, and the intelligence of Kamil’s pen, makes for an enjoyable and worthy listen! One of Salman’s best title songs!! He’ll be like “Achho title song paayo .. Paayo… Aayo.. Laayo… Gaayo.. Bio —” Where’d that come from? 😕 #5StarHotelSong!!

 

5. Sachi Muchi
Singers ~ Mohit Chauhan & Harshdeep Kaur, Backing Vocals ~ Marianne D’Cruz, Nisha Mascarenhas, Rajiv Sundaresan & Neuman Pinto

Now, the next song is really beautiful. Vishal-Shekhar create a very happy-go-lucky romantic song, very unconventional. The song starts with a wedding baaja type band, playing the tune of the hookline, which sounds really out-of-place, and confusing. However, things clear themselves up when the song starts after the band moves on. A wonderful banjo + harmonica instrumentation sets things into place, and creates a very American folk ambience. (You know, cowboys. 😛 ) Without thinking about what cowboys are doing in Haryana, I start grooving to the feel-good, breezy music. However, it took me very long to really start grooving a lot to the music. The song grows on you as slow as a snail. But when it finishes growing upto however much it wants to grow, it sounds very good to the ears. The same thing happened to me. The composition, though a little weak, sets in after a few listens and seems to very attractive. The Western breeze in the arrangements is something not heard recently in Bollywood. (I don’t really like it when it comes in Bollywood music, though. Sounds boring, generally, too!) Mohit and Harshdeep sing the composition perfectly, with the right amount of gusto. Especially in the hookline, “yeh khwaab hai, chaahatein…. Tere kehne Se li Maine parvaazein”, Mohit along with the backing chorus sings very awesome. The harmonica and banjo sound mind-blowing. The lighthearted composition works really well after some time, just that it takes some time to mark its place in the otherwise commercial album. Irshad’s lyrics are just as lighthearted as needed. This time, a two-sided love song. 😀 A song with less appeal, but will slowly emerge as an undoubted #5StarHotelSong!!

 

6. Bulleya
Singer ~ Papon, Backing Vocals ~ Altamash Faridi & Shadab Faridi

While Mika sang a filmy Qawwali earlier in the album, Papon is here with a full-fledged traditional Qawwali of his own. Vishal-Shekhar have composed a totally sweet, innocent composition for this Qawwali, fit for mehfils. Papon starts off with a very lovely AdLib, after which Vishal-Shekhar kick in with the beautiful Qawwali rhythm, complete with the Faridi brothers singing in a heavenly manner, and a harmonium striking the chords of our hearts. Papon rejoins with very sugary lines written wonderfully by Kamil. He renders them very beautifully, and those waah’s cant stop from escaping from your mouth. The way the duo connects this part to the hookline, is when you really get transported to another world. And the hookline is what keeps you there. And you stay there for the remaining duration of the song. A beautiful entrancing arrangement of dholaks, tablas, dafli, harmonium and chimtas, complements Papon during his heavenly rendition. The foot-tapping rhythm is what makes the song sound so beautiful. The rhythm in the hookline is indescribable. It is also the composition that has brought out the bliss in Papon’s voice. Vishal-Shekhar’s divine and spiritual composition is what makes you love everything about the song. The interlude has a wonderful rock guitar portion, which doesn’t sound out-of-place in the spiritual song at all. The Faridi bros are excellent in their spiritual interventions in the song. Lastly, Irshad is a genius. He has written such impressive romantic, spiritual and sad lyrics, which are excellent. It is like a request from the boy to his lover, instead of the usual sad romantic songs where the boy assumes that the girl is leaving him and starts wailing. 😂 The way the spiritual touch has been put into the lyrics, is wondrous. Divine, spiritual and blessed. Something to hear on loop! Perfect ‘Coke Studio’ material from Vishal-Shekhar! Papon, you are a rockstar!!! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

7. Tuk Tuk
Singers ~ Nooran Sisters & Vishal Dadlani

This song starts with a weird AdLib like one in a Qawwali. I am guessing that has been sung by Shekhar. Anyway, the AdLib makes way for some entrancing, divine techno music. It is so beautiful, that you can’t stop from swaying. Piano, chimes and techno sounds have been wonderfully fused together to make something really addictive and entrancing. The Nooran Sisters start off with their usual folksy Punjabi rendition, which starts off really promising. And then, it drops down so fast. The hookline arrives so fast, you are not sure what actually happened. Suddenly, the techno trance breaks and you find yourself in a very typical Punjabi tumbi-dhol arrangement (with very low volume, like Amit Trivedi’s style) with a very averagely composed hookline. It takes quite some time for the song to pick up pace again, and that is when Vishal comes in with his out-of-this-world rap! His rap is actually meaningful. The song is another meaningful, inspirational one, which completely grips you until the part I mentioned arrives. After Vishal’s raps though, the Punjabi part sounds perfectly fine and acceptable. It is the “re bole dhola dhol tadak dhin” line that plays the spoilsport in the song. It just sounds out-of-place here. Everything else falls into place perfectly. Even the antara, which has a Punjabi folk arrangement, sounds great. So why does that hookline sound odd? The flaw is in the abrupt composition. The EDM and techno music is really addictive, and the programming on the Noorans’ voices is very cool. The fusion is really something to appreciate, and something other composers must follow soon!! Irshad’s lyrics are very inspirational, and the metaphors are very clever. Something that would have been exceptionally innovative, but spoiled by the hookline!!

 

8. Rise of Sultan
Singer ~ Shekhar Ravjiani, Backing Vocals ~ Abdul Sajjad, Zuber Hashmi, Arun Ingle, R N Iyer, Mandar Aapte, Kaustubh Datar, Rahul Chitnis, Nitin Tupe, Swapnil Godbole, Mangesh Chavan, Nitin Karandikar, Vijay Dhuri, Jitendra Tupe, Mayuresh Madgaonkar

To close this very much awaited album, we have something on the lines of a theme song. Again motivational in spirit, this track takes the khoon-mitti refrain of the title song and has it crafted into a wonderful background piece. The composition as we know it, it purely motivational and so it has a very positive effect in this track. It makes the song sound so otherworldly. Shekhar leads the vocals with a horde of backing vocalists following him, without which it would’ve sounded lifeless. What I really want to praise is the MINDBLOWING percussion. They are so energetic and vigorous, you can’t help but love them. The rock guitars do not leave this opportunity of showing their prowess either, and impress yet again, along with their new companion, the percussion. The song suits the storyline of the film, as it starts slow and gets high-spirited towards the end, with the strings and brass kicking in later on. It is symbolic of the “Rise” of the character, Sultan. A perfect title, I must say! An INVIGORATING end to the impressive album! #5StarHotelSong!!


Sultan turns out to be way better than expected. Yes, I know my expectations were huge anyway, but not so high! I had never expected such a great album, especially when there is Salman’s commercialism to cater to. But Vishal-Shekhar really prove themselves. They are experts in music arrangements, and they use this plus point to raise the level of each and every song in the album. If there is a typical Salman dance number in ‘Baby Ko Bass Pasand Hai’, there is also a spiritual Qawwali in ‘Bulleya’ and an enjoyable track in ‘440 Volt’. An album full of variety, and I’m thinking, one of Salman’s best albums since 2010. Ali Abbas Zafar has brought out the best from the duo, considering the movie’s genre. If Vishal-Shekhar can deliver so well in a film that doesn’t need such good music, I can’t even imagine what they will do in films like ‘Banjo’ and ‘Befikre’ coming later this year! 😉 The sultans of Bollywood are back to reign!!

 

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: Bulleya > Jag Ghoomeya (Female) > 440 Volt > Sultan > Jag Ghoomeya > Rise of Sultan > Baby Ko Bass Pasand Hai > Sachi Muchi > Tuk Tuk

 

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

 

Note: ‘Sultan’ will be included in July 2016 monthly awards 🙂

Next “dish”: Raman Raghav 2.0, Chef: Ram Sampath

PURE MELODY, NIL SANNATA!! (NIL BATTEY SANNATA – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Rohan-Vinayak (Rohan Utpat & Vinayak Salvi)
♪ Lyrics by: Manoj Yadav, Nitesh Tiwari & Shreyas Jain (Sherry)
♪ Music Label: Eros Music
♪ Music Released On: 13th April 2016
♪ Movie Releases On: 22nd April 2016

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Nil Battey Sannata Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Nil Battey Sannata is an upcoming Bollywood comedy/drama film starring Swara Bhaskar, Ratna Pathak Shah, Pankaj Tripathi and child actor Ria Shukla. The film is directed by débutante Ashwini Iyer Tiwari, the wife of director Nitesh Tiwari (‘Chillar Party’ & ‘Bhoothnath Returns’) and produced by Aanand L. Rai, Ajay Rai and Alan McAlex under the Colour Yellow Pictures and JAR Pictures companies. The concept of the movie is really interesting, what with Swara playing a housemaid with a dream to educate her child, and in the events that follow, ends up educating herself too. A film on the lines of ‘English Vinglish’, this one is sure to be one of the best films of the year. Going by the film’s overall look and theme, one wouldn’t expect many songs — I was expecting 3 to 4 songs maximum. However, I was stunned to see that the album has 7 tracks in all, though there is one in three versions. (That makes four anyways 😛 ) The music has been composed by a duo that is debuting with this film, Rohan-Vinayak (Rohan Utpat & Vinayak Salvi). Hoping for a great debut for them with the album to this seemingly cute and sweet film! The music should likewise be sweet and simple as per my expectations! 🙂 Let’s see how it turned out! 😀


1. Murabba
Singer ~ Neuman Pinto, Lyrics by ~ Manoj Yadav

The first song in the album starts the album off on a light, but very thoughtful note. Neuman Pinto, who I’ve seen getting more backing vocals to sing in Bollywood than the actual song, gets behind the mic to convey this one to us. The vocal “Tu Ru Tu Tu Ru..” rhythm is very similar to the type of music Amit Trivedi would compose in his early days (‘Udaan’, ‘Aisha’, ‘Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu’). And Rohan-Vinayak’s composition is composed in the exact same style, so much so that it seems as if Amit had played an important part in making them composers. The composition, though very simple, has the power to hook you and it sticks in your head like anything, all because of its sweetness and simplicity. Neuman is spot-on with his vocals, and impressed a lot. It is a surprise he isn’t getting more songs to sing, which he should!! The breezy composition is supported by just as wonderful arrangements. The acoustic guitar is almost omnipresent, with occasional drums. A beautiful, unforgettable sarod solo twice in the song, which takes you back to last year to Piku’s BGM on sarod. The highlight of the song has to be the meaningful, metaphorical lyrics written by Manoj Yadav. He has wonderfully conveyed through his lyrics what is meant to be said, in a fun and sweet way. Kudos to him. The album starts off on a very high note, with a beautiful, thought-provoking song composed brilliantly. #5StarHotelSong!!

 

2. Maths Mein Dabba Gul
Singers ~ Rohan Utpat & Aarti Shenai, Lyrics by ~ Nitesh Tiwari

Next up is a fun-filled song describing the plight of helpless students having to study maths. The duo has succeeded to create a song that would fit into the situation, and attract the attention of kids and adults alike at the same time. Nitesh Tiwari has written a funny and fun song, rhyming perfectly despite the huge mathematical words present in it, and especially the first four lines in the starting of the song, have been written geniusly! Who would ever have thought that all these expressions and trigonometrical equations would find a place in a Bollywood song? But Nitesh has given a perfect place for them in this song, which Rohan-Vinayak have composed in an unbelievably cool manner, not making it too heavy on the ears, and not even too kiddish!! Ah, the brilliance! 😀 Some portions of the song have been composed in an extremely fast speed, and that deserves nothing but applause when you hear what the lyrics are in that portion! It just means the team must’ve racked their brains and worked really hard over that one. 🙂 The hook is extremely obsessive and addictive. Arrangements consist of techno sounds and guitars and other sound effects by backing vocalists. The Amit Trivedi touch has its presence felt all throughout the arrangements and the composition. Rohan sings great,and in a fun manner, with Aarti joining (as a backing vocalist) in places. However, Aarti has a sweet little portion in a slower pace, which she owns completely and succeeds in winning our hearts. So, brilliance in lyrics and composition as a start, and great vocals and arrangements to finish it off make this song a complete winner! Maths being my favorite subject, I shouldn’t say this, but the song is a #5StarHotelSong!!

 

3. Maula
Singer ~ Nandini Srikar, Lyrics by ~ Manoj Yadav

The next song goes back to being calm and soothing and meaningful. The rabaab opens, giving a slight Kashmiri touch, before Nandini with her rustic, yet soft and silky voice starts to sing. This song sounds more folkish than the others on the album, only due to the beautiful instrumentation and Nandini’s beautiful voice! The composition is slightly heavy on the ears, but with a couple of listens we get accustomed to it, and then there’s nothing that can be more addictive than it. Nandini handles the low and high portions of the song equally well, and with such grace — which isn’t surprising at all! 😀 Rohan-Vinayak have impressed by giving this slightly more mature composition than the others in the album. While the mukhda instantly steals your heart, the hookline is a heavenly experience with a great ensemble of Nandini’s voices in different pitches. The antara is just as beautiful too! The interludes are too wonderful to let go of them. Arrangements have a lot in store. With rabaab, tablas, and acoustic guitars forming the base of the song, it makes for a soothing listen that is pleasing to the ears. Manoj’s lyrics are beautiful too, mainly in Urdu. For me, the best song of the album!! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

4. Maa / Maa (Version 2) / Maa Theme (Instrumental)
Singers ~ Mohan Kannan / A. Hariharan / Instrumental, Lyrics by ~ Shreyas Jain (Sherry)

The last song in the album which actually has words, this one is an ode to mothers. The first thing that strikes you is the lyrics. Shreyas Jain, a newcomer, has evoked the right emotions into his writing. Most songs about moms try to go too melodramatic in the lyrics department, but this one has been kept sweet and simple and at the same time, it conveys the needed emotions. Arrangements are cute as well, only acoustic guitars joined occasionally by other instruments like saxophone, harmonica, drums and electric guitars etc. Mohan renders the composition with an awesome blend of energy and emotion. Hariharan’s version has the exact same arrangements, and his smooth, silky voice is perfect for the song, just as Mohan’s was. However, his version is less energetic, and since he is more classically inclined, there are more classical-based variations done by him, which are wonderful! The instrumental theme song is just as worthwhile, the tune being the same, played on violins more beautifully than you can imagine! Piano chords support the instrumental piece, with violins taking care of the melody part. Beautiful!! The simplest song on mothers I’ve ever heard!! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

5. Chanda Theme (Instrumental)
Instrumental

Another instrumental track, this one with a haunting sound to it, more melancholic. Beautifully played on violins, it is quick to grain your attention and love. Usually, instrumentals do not hook you as such, but this one has hooked me. Strings all the way, played in all sorts of manners — high, low, high, low — steal the show. Sitar too makes an entry towards the ending part. A beautiful instrumental piece! #5StarHotelSong!!


Nil Battey Sannata was unexpectedly brilliant and mind-blowing. Rohan-Vinayak being debutants, I was not expecting such a brilliant album at all! However, it turned out to be a dark horse album. With brilliant compositions, the album gradually went from light songs to heavier ones at the end, the heaviest being the last instrumental. I’m sure the duo is going to get critical acclaim as well as public acclaim for their spectacular work in their debut album itself. Waiting for more from them, I’ll sign off by saying that this album has pure, total, melody with no traces of sannata (silence)!! 

 

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: Whichever you want to, whenever you want to, wherever you want to, however you want to and whyever you want to!

 

Which is your favourite song from Nil Battey Sannata? Please vote for the same below! Thanks! 🙂