OCTOBER 2017 ROUND-UP (CHEF, TU HAI MERA SUNDAY, RANCHI DIARIES, GOLMAAL AGAIN, JIA AUR JIA — Mini Music Reviews) + Important Announcement!!


The Important Announcement

Due to the scarcity of time, from now on, I will sum up the entire month’s reviews in a set of two articles each month, one usually around the 15th of the month and the other towards the end. Of course, certain albums that I feel need a separate post (either because they might have many songs, or be spectacular albums, or even if the movies are highly awaited ones) I will do so for those albums. I will reveal the chosen album for this month — it’ll be “Secret Superstar” — I don’t guarantee it’ll be rated very high, but because of the buzz surrounding it, it requires a separate post, I feel! Meanwhile, the usual monthly awards posts will sum everything up once again at the end of every month in the form of awards. I really hope this format helps me balance my schedule! And I can’t wait to return to my normal long posts — till then enjoy your luck of getting to read short reviews from my side!!


October 2017 Round-Up

So this post will cover the reviews for the all but two of October releases that have already released — ‘Chef’ by Raghu Dixit & Amaal Mallik, ‘Tu Hai Mera Sunday’ by Amartya Rahut (Bobo), ‘Ranchi Diaries’ by Nickk, Jeet Gannguli, Tony Kakkar & Bobby-Imran, ‘Golmaal Again’ by Amaal Mallik, Thaman S., Lijo George-DJ Chetas & Abhishek Arora, and ‘Jia Aur Jia’ by Sachin Gupta, Nisschal Zaveri & Sameer Nichani. There will be separate reviews for ‘Secret Superstar’ and ‘Rukh’, both by Amit Trivedi.



♦ A Delectable Treat For The Ears: CHEF Music Review

♪ Music by: Raghu Dixit & Amaal Mallik
♪ Lyrics by: Ankur Tewari & Rashmi-Virag
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 26th September 2017
♪ Movie Released On: 6th October 2017

Listen to the songs: Saavn
Buy the songs: iTunes

Listen to ‘Tere Mere’: Saavn
Buy ‘Tere Mere’: iTunes


Raghu Dixit starts off the album with Shugal Laga Le, a song having a heavy folk influence from Kerala. The backing vocalists provide that freshness associated with Kerala, and Raghu’s characteristic voice makes it all the more intriguing to listen to. In his arrangements too, he adds a dash of everything, and especially those percussions are mind blowing, along with the banjo. Ankur’s lyrics made me acquainted with a new phrase “Shugal Laga Le” meaning “find a hobby, or find something to do”. The next song by him is also reliant on folk music, this time Celtic/Irish. Banjaara is steeped heavily on the beautiful flutes that characterise Irish music, with amazing percussion and backing vocals yet again. Vishal Dadlani does great justice to the sing with those power-packed vocals. The song is one of those many motivational songs that Vishal gets to sing in Bollywood, except that this time, it has a whole new style to it. The mellow Darmiyaan, exudes a positivity in spite of the fact that it is a sad song — mostly because of Raghu’s ebullience. A splendid guitar backdrop makes it simple and sweet, and Raghu’s diction has to be lauded. Raghu takes forth the melancholia in a more Bollywood-ish way in Khoya Khoya, which I rank as the best of the album — underrated Shahid Mallya taking charge of the vocals in a very beautiful way, and Dixit’s composition has that old-world-charm to it. The sarangi is quite impressive here! The alternative rock set up will make this one loveable to many! Raghu’s last song on the album is the effervescent Tan Tan, rendered with spunk by Nikhita Gandhi, the only female vocalist on the album. In her texture, she gives off vibes of Shalmali and Shefali. Guest composer Amaal Mallik, whose song Tere Mere was also removed from the album later, produces a song you can immediately tell is by him. That doesn’t make its richness diluted, though — it’s still wonderful, with the nice dholak rhythm accompanying Armaan Malik’s beautiful voice. Also, Rashmi-Virag’s lyrics are amazing!
All in all, Chef is one of the best albums of the year in that it is a clever mix of melancholia, inspiration and romance. Raghu Dixit must sign more and more Bollywood films — I firmly believe that this is his best Bollywood album yet!

Total Points Scored by This Album (in the order mentioned in the review): 4 + 5 + 4 + 5 + 4.5 + 4 = 26.5

Album Percentage: 88.3%

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: Banjaara = Khoya Khoya > Tan Tan > Tere Mere = Shugal Laga Le = Darmiyaan



♦ A Perfect Sunday Album: TU HAI MERA SUNDAY Music Review

♪ Music by: Amartya Rahut
♪ Lyrics by: Milind Dhaimade
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 29th September 2017
♪ Movie Released On: 6th October 2017

Listen to the songs: Saavn
Buy the songs: iTunes


Out of Arijit’s two songs, the classically-steeped sad song Dhundlo Tum fares better, with an addictive strings orchestra accompanying it, and it quickly steers away from the Bhatt-ish genre that it starts off with. Had that continued, it wouldn’t have been half as good. The digital Sitar is beautiful. His other song, Thodi Si Jagah, is also classical-based for some initial parts, before it turns into an upbeat number that loses itself halfway through the song. The rock backdrop ofthe hook line couldn’t have been more clichéd. Arijit’s vocal prowess is clearly showcased in the song though. It is Amartya’s violin solo that impresses though, with its distinct classical tune. The title song, Tu Hai Mera Sunday, takes a pleasant Christmassy turn, with soft jazz making your ears happy. Shalmali renders it with a familiarity that makes you feel amazing. The brass portions have been done really well here, as are the drums. The clarinet and piano is wonderful too. It is nothing more than the lyrics that make it sound even more personal though. Ash King’s Yeh Mera Man is a pleasant departure from his previous song ‘Bandook Meri Laila’ (A Gentleman) and brings him back to his comfort zone. Again, a jazzy tune gives the song a kind of spring, and that whistle portion is so pleasantly surprising and charming, it is hard to dislike. The guitars are impressive here. Yeh Jo Pyaar Hai, a clubbish number sung by Nandini Srikar, is probably the weakest of the album, where the tune and the arrangement are just mismatched; the hookline sounds like this song was pitched for the situation of ‘Aaj Ki Raat’ (Don) before ‘Aaj Ki Raat’ was finalised.
Amartya’s best album to date provides us with a nice mix of classical music, jazz music and a banal club number! This album will go highly underrated and unnoticed though!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album (in order mentioned in the review): 4.5 + 4 + 4 + 3.5 + 3 = 19

Album Percentage: 76%

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: Dhundhlo Tum > Thodi Si Jagah = Tu Hai Mera Sunday > Yeh Mera Man > Yeh Jo Pyaar Hai



♦ Uninteresting Diaries: RANCHI DIARIES Music Review

♪ Music by: Nickk, Jeet Gannguli, Tony Kakkar & Bobby-Imran
♪ Lyrics by: Nickk, Manoj Muntashir, Tony Kakkar & Sattwik Mohanty
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 7th October 2017
♪ Movie Released On: 13th October 2017

Listen to the songs: Saavn
Buy the songs: iTunes


Some newcomer Nickk is — he has just been made to make another ‘Baby Doll’, now that Meet Bros. just be refusing to do it. However, Fashion Queen has something in addition to the usual ‘Baby Doll’ sequels — an Arabic strings backdrop that just helps it as much as a car can help you fly. The new singer Raahi seems disillusioned with the ideals that it is okay to sing like Kanika Kapoor if you aren’t her. The composer’s rap is dumb. Helicopter‘s lyricist and composer Tony Kakkar uses the word ‘helicopter’ as a metaphor for ‘getting high’. 😶 Siblings Tony and Neha render it with as much mediocrity as they can muster. I can’t believe Tony is the same guy behind ‘Saawan Aaya Hai’ (Creature 3D) and ‘Khuda Bhi’ (Ek Paheli Leela), but then he has made ‘Ek Do Teen Chaar’ (Ek Paheli Leela) and ‘Do Peg Maar’ (One Night Stand). Jeet Gannguli’s Thoda Aur is the composer’s usual pathos-filled romantic number — you would think that after a year-long break, he would return with something pleasant. But it is the same old Arijit-Palak love story. And the irony is that this song sounds like ‘Saawan Aaya Hai’ (Creature 3D). So did Tony help him here instead of making his own song better? 😏 The last song is a banal Mika solo Godfather, composed by Pritam’s former assistants Bobby-Imran, which I couldn’t even finish once when I started to listen to it.
This is a Hodge-podge of the worst songs from the weirdest mix of composers ever.

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 2 + 1.5 + 3 + 0.5 = 7

Album Percentage: 35%

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: Thoda Aur > Fashion Queen > Helicopter > Godfather



♦ Amaal Ka Kamaal (Again): GOLMAAL AGAIN Music Review

♪ Music by: Amaal Mallik, Thaman S., Lijo George, DJ Chetas, Abhishek Arora, Anu Malik & Raamlaxman
♪ Lyrics by: Kumaar & Rahat Indori
♪ Music Label: T-Series [“Aate Jaate Hanste Gaate” on Saregama]
♪ Music Released On: 6th October 2017
♪ Movie Released On: 20th October 2017

Listen to the songs: Saavn
Buy the songs: iTunes

Listen to “Aate Jaate Hanste Gaate”: Saavn


The album to the much-awaited fourth instalment to the ‘Golmaal’ series starts with the Title Track, where South film composer Thaman S. is called in just to do that clichéd Kuthu rhythm we are all bored of. Brijesh Shandilya does well as the lead male singer, but Aditi Singh Sharma sounds utterly replaceable. She gets another song, Itna Sannata Kyun Hai, composed by Lijo George and DJ Chetas, where her part towers over her male co-singer Amit Mishra’s parts. The hookline is like a desperate scream in our ears, to make noise. The EDM after the hookline is so bad, I can’t describe it. Amaal Mallik, lead composer, gets two songs, where one is obviously a 90s remake. ‘Neend Churayi Meri’ (Ishq) is the privileged song, named by the company as Maine Tujhko Dekha. The song’s best part is that Neeraj Sridhar returns after a long time to sing a song that is tailor-made for his song. Sukriti Kakar complements him well, but the song is better as an individual song than it is as a remake. Had the hookline been original, it would have been amazing! Amaal’s second song happens to be the album’s best — Hum Nahi Sudhrenge gives those rays of positivity like ‘Apna Har Din’ did in ‘Golmaal 3’. Though the song is similar to Amaal’s other EDM numbers like “Sooraj Dooba Hai”, “Buddhu Sa Mann” and “Zindagi Aa Raha Hoon Main”, it works well because of its positivity and Armaan yet again sings charmingly! What Saregama holds of the album is an unplugged, slow-paced version of ‘Maine Pyaar Kiya’s Aate Jaate Hanste Gaate, sung very simply by Nikhil D’Souza and Anushka Manchanda, and arranged soothingly by Abhishek Arora (of Abhishek-Akshay) and Samyuktha Narendran. It doesn’t work too much though, in spite of not changing much from the old song.
The worst Golmaal album is held up solely by Amaal’s songs (or song).


Total Points Scored by This Album: 2.5 + 2.5 + 3.5 + 4 + 3.5 = 16

Album Percentage: 64%

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: Hum Nahi Sudhrenge > Maine Tujhko Dekha = Aate Jaate Hanste Gaate > Itna Sannata Kyun Hai = Golmaal Again (Title Track)

 

Remake Counter:
No. Of Remakes: 35 (from previous albums) + 02 (from Golmaal Again) = 37


♦ Nisschal O Nisschal, Aur Compose Karo! : JIA AUR JIA Music Review

♪ Music by: Nisschal Zaveri, Sachin Gupta, Sameer Nichani & Shankar-Jaikishan
♪ Lyrics by: Mudassar Aziz, Raqueeb Alam, Vachaspati Mishra & Hasrat Jaipuri
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company [“Jia O Jia Reprise” on Saregama]
♪ Music Released On: 17th October 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 27th October 2017

Listen to the songs: Saavn
Buy the songs: iTunes

Listen to “Jia O Jia Reprise”: Saavn


The songs by Sachin Gupta start off the album, and though they do not impress you immediately, you do get attuned to them on hearing them for a couple of times. Na Shukre is a wild rock song about carefree girls, and Smita Malhotra makes a rocking debut with her vocals in this, the rock guitars played wonderfully. Shivani Bhayana’s Naach Basanti, on the other hand, is a bit too rowdy to go with its amazing club arrangements, but apparently by the lyrics, it is supposed to be some sort of an ode to “Sholay”. Many of the small additions by Gupta in this song happen to catch your attention, like the techno sounds at the beginning, and the folksy portion at the end.
The newcomer composer, Nisschal Zaveri, steps in for the rest of the songs (with lyrics) and I must say, he does quite an amazing job in his first album itself. His lullaby-ish, classical-based Na Jaa appears in two versions, one in Asees Kaur’s voice, with a stark resemblance to her singing in ‘Kaari Kaari’ (Dobaara), while the other is in Nandini Srikar’s voice. Obviously, Nandini’s version wins my heart because of her seasoned voice and more classically inclined singing. The Tabla in this song has to be mentioned, as do the strings, guitars and mandolin. The arrangements overpower the voice of Asees in her version, another drawback of that version. Nandini’s version has everything that the music buff longs for in a good song.
Zaveri’s other song, released by Saregama, is a reprise of Shankar-Jaikishan-Mohd. Rafi classic Jia O Jia, and is an apt remake of the song, with an upbeat clubbish sound, one of the freshest remakes I’ve heard this year. The song feels like a splash of water on your face — despite being a remake, Zaveri uses his creativity to make it a bit unconventional, without being bogged down by the thought of what’s popular these days. The synth has been used amazingly, and the backing chorus singing “Jia O” after every hook is just sweet! Jyotica sounds amazing in this song, the least she has sounded like Neha Kakkar ever! But Rashid Ali, being heard after a long time, falls flat due to the excessive programming done to his voice. The Latino turn of sound midway into the song takes time to get used to, but is awesome!
The background score composer for the film, Sameer Nichani, gets one of his instrumental pieces added to the album, and it is called Jia Aur Jia Theme, and is heavy on Spanish guitars, played in a very sensuous way. It is extremely short at one and a half minute, but soothes your senses for all its worth.
A hidden gem of an album, wherein we find a new composer who must get many, many more songs in Bollywood!! Zaveri scores higher than Gupta here.


 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 3.5 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 4 + 4 = 23.5

Album Percentage: 78.33%

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: Na Jaa By Nandini > Jia O Jia Reprise = Na Jaa = Jia Aur Jia Theme > Na Shukre > Naach Basanti

 

Remake Counter:
No. Of Remakes: 37 (from previous albums) + 01 (from Jia Aur Jia) = 38


I hope that wasn’t too long (though I know it was) but this is what I’m going to have to do until I am a bit more free. I personally liked this method of reviewing and don’t mind continuing it forever too! So maybe, just maybe, you might get the “Secret Superstar” and “Rukh” reviews in this format too, but in separate posts and not clubbed together! Lets see! Till then, enjoy music! 😉

PURAANA ZAMAANA NAYA HO GAYA!! (BEGUM JAAN – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Anu Malik
♪ Lyrics by: Kausar Munir & Rahat Indori
♪ Music Label: Junglee Music / Times Music
♪ Music Released On: 7th April 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 14th April 2017

Begum Jaan Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE

To hear “Murshida” on Saavn CLICK HERE

To buy “Murshida” on iTunes CLICK HERE


Begum Jaan is an upcoming Bollywood period film, starring Vidya Balan, Ila Arun, Gauhar Khan, Pallavi Sharda, Mishti Chakraborty, Raviza Chauhan, Priyanka Setia, Flora Saini, Ridheema Tiwary, Poonam Rajput, Gracy Goswami, Pitobash Tripathy, Ashish Vodyarthi, Chunky Pandey and Naseeruddin Shah. The film has been directed by National-Award-Winnig Director Srijit Mukherji, and produced by Mahesh Bhatt, Vishesh Bhatt and Play Entertainment. The film is the official Bollywood remake of Srijit’s Bengali film, ‘Rajkahini’. The film, set in 1947, is about a brothel, and how the Radcliffe line that decided the borders of India and Pakistan during Independence, passes right through the middle of it. The struggle of the ladies at the brothel, and their fight for their home, os what constitutes the story. The concept seems great, and with great actors, it is sure to get amazing response. The music of the film has been composed by Anu Malik, and it is a perfect choice; he would be able to do the music of the era better than most of the younger composers. Anu himself says he hasn’t heard the music of the Bengali original film, so as not to be influenced by it, and I haven’t heard it either, so as not to compare. Anu Malik has composed five songs for the movie, with one of them having two versions, making it a total of six tracks. So let’s see how the album turns out!


1. Prem Mein Tohre / Prem Mein Tohre (Reprise)

Singers ~ Asha Bhosle / Kavita Seth, Lyrics by ~ Kausar Munir

“Parde mein tohre, Chori chori chori chori, jiya jaaye na,
Parde mein tohre, chori chori chori chori, mita jaaye na,
Aata hai chhupke tu mere dar par,
Ghayal dil aur dhadkan banjar,
Ghayal dil aur dhadkan banjar!
Haldi mali jo ghaanv pe tohre, har zakhm mera hara ho gaya,
Yeh kya ho gaya?”

– Kausar Munir

Of course, this song was the one about which rumours were pouring in right from the day Anu Malik must have recorded it. And why? The answer is simple — none other than living legend Asha Bhosle had sung it. So headlines like “ASHA BHOSLE, LIVING LEGEND, GIVES VOICE TO VIDYA BALAN”, or “ANU MALIK AND ASHA BHOSLE COMBO BACK TOGETHER” popped up at me many a time. Yes, the song has been sung by Asha Bhosle, who was last heard in a forgettable (and already forgotten) song from ’31st October’. This song, however, has no chance to be forgotten. The composition is a serene, classical composition, which just touches your heart right away. Yes, it might take time to grow for some, because it is quite slow-paced, and, being a classical song, it has quite a paucity of aalaaps and murkis, but then, you can’t expect all classical songs to be replicas of each other, can you? So the tune that Anu Malik finally presents to us is amazing, though it has got some barriers in some places, like I said before, the slow pace. The composer makes up for this with the wonderful classical arrangements, which make a breeze of fresh air blow against your (ears???) face. The tanpura paves the way for something marvellous right in the beginning, and surely, a wonderful oud takes over, and booming, grand percussions join after some time, accompanied by the innocent sound of the paayals. One highlight in the arrangements is the wonderful second interlude, which features a RAVISHING sitar instrumental piece which just steals your breath! And the antara that follows is a musical masterpiece; something that only the old composers of Bollywood are capable of doing. That stanza has a wonderful tune, a wonderful strings background, and then, when the tabla finally joins the song (quite late, but still worth it!) you feel utterly satisfied with the song! The paayal jingle at the end of the song signifies a beautiful end to it. The song has two version, both of which have the same arrangements but differ in the vocals. One is by Asha Bhosle, while the other is by Kavita Seth. (By the way, I didn’t see any headlines saying “KAVITA SETH SINGS A SONG FOR ‘BEGUM JAAN'” before the album released.) Asha Bhosle’s version sounds more like a romantic song, with her very sweet voice, which is quite intact, as it was even twenty years ago, considering her age! When I first heard her version when it released I thought she hadn’t done some of the aalaaps properly, but then I heard Kavita’s version and automatically started liking Asha’s. Kavita sings the song more impactfully, demolishing any traces of it being a romantic song — she has sung a bit too loudly, and she misses even more aalaps and sings in a very plain and straightforward tone. It sounded weird at first, but it is passable. Kausar Munir’s lyrics are good but could have been better, more layered. A wonderful classical romantic song to start the album off.

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

 

2. Aazaadiyan

Singers ~ Rahat Fateh Ali Khan & Sonu Nigam, Lyrics by ~ Kausar Munir

“Reh gayi rassi pe chunari,
Reh gayi khoonti pe kurti,
Reh gayi woh laaj kahaan?
Reh gaya gumbad mein Allah,
Reh gaya furqat mein Rabba,
Reh gaya woh Ram kahaan?
Hain hari se woh kahaan, hain galeeche woh kahaan?
Pehle chaman woh bataao kahaan?
Hind pe tha naaz jinko, hain woh kahaan?”

– Kausar Munir

A pathos-filled, heart-rending melody is what follows the semiclassical romantic song. This song describes the pain and suffering of the people, who had to migrate to the other side of the border, after the partition of India. And very graphically, Anu Malik has brought that pain right into his composition. Right from the moment it starts, till the moment it ends, the song has a composition that will make it hard for you not to flinch in pain, just by hearing it. The mukhda is wonderful, and the “aah nikli hai yahaan” verse is very pleasant-sounding, but it has been written cleverly, sarcastically. Clearly, the distress that the people felt on leaving their homes was paramount. The antara is what makes the song as heart-rending as ever; it has strings of melancholic notes that hit right at the heart. The way each line sounds different from the other is amazing. It reminds you of Anu Malik’s ‘Border’ and ‘Refugee’ days. The only drawback I can think of about the song is its duration — over six and a half minutes long. (Almost all of the songs of ‘Border’ and ‘Refugee’ too, were that long! 😄) But it is kind of repetitive to be listening to for so long. Anyway, since the composition is good, I’m cool with it. The arrangements are very impressive. The beautiful use of the shehnaai throughout the song leaves you amazed. Furthermore, the second antara has a wonderful Sufi rhythm to it, and the percussion throughout the song is just ravishing. The nagadas at the beginning are really great in giving you the feel that something epic is going to follow. The twinkly (xylophone??) sounds that the song abounds in, are pleasures to the ears. Anu Malik has outdone himself wih the use of strings and percussion in the song. The two singers make this song enrapturing. Rahat’s rustic voice sets the atmosphere for a pathos-filled song, while Sonu Nigam accompanies him with an aptly moving rendition — his parts reminded me a lot of ‘Sandese Aate Hain’ (Border). Finally, it is time to talk about Kausar Munir’s colossally great lyrics. I must not spoil it for you; so please listen to them very carefully! This song won’t be noticed by too many people, at least not in this era dominated by raps and club songs, but whoever does notice it, would definitely love it!

Rating: 4.5/5

 

3. O Re Kaharo

Singers ~ Kalpana Patowary & Altamash Faridi, Lyrics by ~ Kausar Munir

“O re kaharon, Doli utaaro, pal bhar ko thehro toh zara,
Dil se lagaake, bas ikk dafaa ve, dene do gudiyon ko dua,
Teri bindiya nikharke, choodiyan bikharke, chunari mein chehke,
Tera kajra ho kaara, gajra ho pyaara, angana tera mehke.”

– Kausar Munir

Another poignant melody makes its way into the soundtrack, and this time it is a bidaai song, but of course, metaphorically. More about that later. The composition is a sinister and melancholic melody that effectively transfers its sadness to the listener. Anu Malik has composed this one with all his heart and soul, and again, it reminds me of some 90s song which probably Jaspinder Narula would’ve sung for him. The “teri bindiya nikharke…” verse is amazing, and very soulful. The title of the song comes as a bridge between two verses, or an ending to a verse, instead of using it as a hookline. The antara too has been composed very soulfully, and it instantly hooks you, especially the “soja soja gudiya soja” part. The arrangements infuse even more grandeur, in a very earthy way, into the song. The star of the arrangements is hands-down, the flute, which Anu has interspersed in between the poignant melody. The percussion is booming and very thought-provoking, and whatever is the intention of having it so booming and powerful, that intention has been served; the song is as impactful as it can get. I can just imagine what an impact it’ll have in the theatre. Again, Anu makes wonderful use of the paayals, and the strings, especially that wonderful crescendo of the strings in the beginning of the song, which really reminded me of Rahman’s ‘Rangeela’ songs. Kalpana Patowary, who is known as the Bhojpuri queen, has done such a song for the first time in her life, I guess! And she aces it! This avatar of hers is way better than all those weird songs she has sung before in Bollywood, and she handles all the nuances so expertly, that it is something to wonder why no composer has tried it out before. A big thanks to Malik for doing it. Altamash has a single line that plays multiple times, and it is like an interlude, not making much difference to the grand performance that Kalpana has already stolen away. Kausar Munir’s lyrics are literally bidaai lyrics, but there’s definitely a deeper meaning that could only be discerned after the film releases. I even have a theory, but let’s not hypothesize here. And I’m sure, wherever this song fits into the film, that scene would be enhanced manifold. Anu Malik concludes the song with a grand symphonic strings and flutes and percussion intersection. An extremely captivating composition, that amazes with its sinister sound.

Rating: 5/5

 

4. Holi Khelein

Singers ~ Shreya Ghoshal & Anmol Malik, Lyrics by ~ Kausar Munir

“Mor pankhudi udi udi,
Natkhat bansi baji baji,
Gagan giri, gopi saji,
Vrindavan ki gali gali,
Kanha ke rang khili khili, kanha ke rang khili khili,
Holi, holi, holi, khelein brij ki har bala, brij ki baaalaaa!”

– Kausar Munir

The moment this song starts, you know that it is a playful song, and after all that serious romance and pathos that filled the previous songs, you are nothing but ready for it! And what a pleasant surprise you get when you find that it is a purely classical Holi song (as if that wasn’t discernible from the title, but then… Whatever.) Anu Malik composed this song very intrinsically, every note resounding in your ears after it plays. The overall sound of the song itself, is so delightful, and it just goes to tell you, that Anu has gone a long way after he did that ‘Do Me A Favour Let’s Play Holi’ (Waqt) song that is oh-so-infamous among Indians. Yes, it has an old-world-charm to it, but happens to please you very much, with its happy-go-lucky tune. Every line sounds different from the preceding one, and again, just as in ‘Aazaadiyan’, that’s what makes the composition so special. The antara is even better in terms of composition, where things calm down, and it is extremely soothing. The arrangements make the song sound even more exquisite. The percussion throughout the song gives a very grand feel to the celebratory song, and folk instruments like the nagadas, bansuri, rabaab, tablas, and dholaks. The rhythm is a very traditional Holi rhythm, being played in so many Holi songs, but it doesn’t bore you due to the more modern way it has been arranged. The vocals are great, but Anmol’s amateurish parts seem like an interruption into Shreya Ghoshal’s professional-sounding parts. Shreya sounds as ravishing as ever, and as always, hits the high notes beautifully. She sang the “holi holi holi yeh kyaaaa ho gaya” so beautifully, no wonder she is called the Nightingale. Anmol doesn’t sound hideous, but still serves as a kind of unwanted interruption. At the end wonderful kathak bols make up a beautiful conclusion. Kausar’s lyrics are very sweet, and the Krishna connection she has made makes the song even more beautiful to hear. A treat for classical music lovers!

Rating: 5/5

 

♪ Bonus Song

5. Murshida

Singer ~ Arijit Singh, Lyrics by ~ Rahat Indori

“Pehli shart judaai hai, Ishq bada harjaai hai
Dil pe kisne dastak di, Tum ho ya tanhaai hai
Tujhe bhoole baithe thhe, Phir se teri yaad aayi hai
Dil pe kisne dastak di, Tum ho ya tanhaai hai?”

– Rahat Indori

So this song just only released today, as a bonus track. It is a beautiful, breezy Sufi melody, and has a very charming touch to it. Anu Malik’s composition barely sounds like an Anu Malik composition, it sounded more to me like something composed by a Salim-Sulaiman, or a Pritam. The reason will be clear to you after you hear its mukhda. The same charm that accompanies the songs of the two aforementioned composers, is present in this song. Until of course, Anu Malik takes the unconventional route and switches track to an amazing Sufi detour, which is probably the most welcome detour of the world. The antaras are amazing, but a bit ordinary as compared to the rest of the song. One line in the antara gets all sinister and dark, reminding one of Vishal Bhardwaj. But then the mukhda, with its beautiful notes, returns. The rhythm in the mukhda, where the guitars are played so soothingly, in a play-stop-play-stop manner, is so infectious, you just nod your head along to that rhythm. The other arrangements too, are very impressive, especially that majestic sarangi that starts off the song. In the Sufi detour that makes up the hookline, amazing tablas play, and that guitar keeps rocking. Arijit sings in his trademark charming voice, and changes from a feathery whisper of a voice to a blooming voice very easily. His effortless rendition really etches a place for itself in your heart. This song has been penned by Rahat Indori, the Lyricist who has worked with Anu Malik so many times in his peak time in the 90s, and the latest in ‘Gali Gali Chor Hai’ (2012). He has written such a poetic song, as he always has done in the past, and I just became so happy on hearing the lyrics. A perfect song to close the album!

Rating: 4.5/5


Begum Jaan is like a throwback to the songs of yore. Barring the new bonus track, the album has evident shades of nostalgic melodies that remind one of the old Bollywood songs, and Anu Malik does a great job in recreating the 1947-ish era with his music. The album is full of poignant melodies that are high on the musical quotient, if not high on repeat value (for some). All I can say is, puraana zamaana naya ho gaya, yeh kya ho gaya! 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4 + 3 + 4.5 + 5 + 5 + 4.5 = 26

Album Percentage: 86.67%

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: O Re Kaharo = Holi Khelein > Aazaadiyan = Murshida > Prem Mein Tohre > Prem Mein Tohre (Reprise)

 

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