NA PASAND AANA HAI MUSHKIL! (AE DIL HAI MUSHKIL – Music Review)

So, like two days before the movie releases, Sony Music decides to finally release this album! Good job, Sony and Keep it Up! 😠


Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Pritam Chakraborty
♪ Lyrics by: Amitabh Bhattacharya
♪ Music Label: Sony Music
♪ Music Released On: 26th October 2016
♪ Movie Releasees On: 28th October 2016

Ae Dil Hai Mushkil Album Cover

Ae Dil Hai Mushkil Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Ae Dil Hai Mushkil is an upcoming Bollywood romantic comedy / drama, which stars Anushka Sharma and Ranbir Kapoor in lead roles, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Fawad Khan in cameos, and special appearances by Shahrukh Khan, Lisa Haydon, Alia Bhatt and Imran Abbas. The film has been directed by Karan Johar, and produced by him along with Hiroo Yash Johar, his mom. The film’s storyline has been well debated on throughout the days of its promotions, and that leaves me with nothing to write about it here, and since the album has been released so “early”, I need to get on with the review like right away! So as you all may know, Karan Johar’s movies have always had awesome soundtracks that become the definition of his films. Be it ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’ by Jatin-Lalit, ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham’ by Jatin-Lalit, Sandesh Shandilya & Aadesh Shrivastava, ‘Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna’ & ‘My Name Is Khan’ by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, or ‘Student of The Year’ by Vishal-Shekhar, Karan has struck a great rapport with each music composer he’s worked with and the results have always turned out to be outstanding. This time, he chooses the hit machine Pritam Chakraborty to do the honors, and I think that was a great decision after the music of his production ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’ which had music by Pritam, became such a blockbuster. I also suspect that that was when he roped in or started thinking about Pritam scoring for his next film, that turned out to be ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’. Well, five of the music videos have already released, and from the last two months, the songs of the movie have been all over, literally! Pritam has scored six songs for the movie. So without further ado, let’s see how mushkil (difficult) it is to like this album! 😀 Or rather, how difficult it is not to like it! 😉


1. Ae Dil Hai Mushkil
Singer ~ Arijit Singh

The album kicks off with melancholy galore! And I really don’t usually like melancholy with a typical Bhatt wrapping in Bollywood music, but this song, is so different! First of all, forget about that Bhatt wrapping! Because this time, the Bhatt wrapping itself, has been given a very different touch! Pritam uses the same style he would use to compose songs for the Bhatt movies, but in the process, sheds all typicality. The melancholy represents the Bhatt style so much, but the arrangements all scream “Grand!!” The song seems like a put-together of ‘Janam Janam’ (Dilwale), and a very Bhatt-ish sound to it. I’m not complaining! The result is fantabulous! The composition is wonderful. Pritam starts off with an enticing mukhda that just screams at you to jump into the song, just as your grandmother tells you to jump into her house when you visit! 🙂 Everything about it is so alluring and convincing, that nothing could go wrong. A grand opening makes way for the very mellow hookline, which has become the daily food of most of the nation’s population over the two months since it has come out. The high-pitched line “Mujhe aazmaati hai teri kami…” is so fantastic, that it hurts to wonder how Pritam put together such contrasting lines as this and the starting line and the hookline. The first antara follows the high-pitch and angst and takes it to a whole new level, where it seems that Arijit seems uncomfortable touching those notes, but the result still sounds amazing. Pritam’s vision can’t go wrong, can it! 😀 The second antara follows a more sombre approach to being angsty, and the different, low-pitched composition is sooooooo beautiful, that it just immediately grows on you. The low pitch eventually gives way to more high-pitched lines, this time also, very magical. The hookline, which has different lyrics each time, is so wonderful, that you just can’t forget any of its versions. Pritam’s arrangements surpass everything else. The reason the song reminded me of ‘Janam Janam’ (Dilwale) was solely because of the arrangements. The nice little piano loop at the beginning of the song are so, so grand! On top of that, the grandeur is accentuated even more by wonderful, ostentatious, orchestral strings. The string orchestra consists of violins (Rolf Wilson, Morvin Bryce, Natalie Klauda, Ian Humphries, Raja Halder, Jan Regulski, Charles Sewart, Michelle Fleming, Debbie Widdup, Kate Robinson), violas (Meghan Cassidy, Timothy Grant, Eoin Schmidt Martin) and cellos (Ashok Klauda, Will Scholfield, Peter Gregson). The whole orchestral recording has been produced by Nikhil Paul George, and I must say, he has done a brilliant job putting together those wonderful sounds of the orchestra, not to mention the awesome job that Pritam did in composing them! The trumpet (Neil Brough) in the first interlude is so wonderful, and it imparts a kind of jazzy feel to the song. The oboe (Alison Teale) has been done very nicely, and it plays in the second interlude. Throughout the second antara, wonderful digital beats give the beats, and it sounds so otherworldly! Arijit’s vocals are amazing. He might be struggling a bit with the high notes, but manages to pull it off, and leave us spellbound with the magic of his voice. The way he mellifluously goes through the composition, both low and high portions, is commendable. Amitabh’s lyrics are quite ordinary, not bad and not excellent. They are, however, nice on the ears, due to a good use of Urdu. 😀 grand beginning to the album! Arijit is going to get his second career boost after ‘Tum Hi Ho’ with this one! And Pritam’s melody is just so… PERFECT!! 😀 #5StarHotelSong!!

 

2. Bulleya
Singers ~ Amit Mishra & Shilpa Rao, Backing Vocals ~ Arjun Chandy, Himanshu, Ashwin & Geet

The second song in the album is a more upbeat, fast-paced, rock-Sufi ballad. Pritam starts it off with a wonderful guitar strum, and then that strum breaks into a very impressive riff, which makes you groove to it right away. The dynamic nature of this composition perfectly contrasts the mellow nature of the previous one, and while that one was perfect as a soother, this one works as an energizer, in a very heavenly way. The composition instantly gets stuck in your head, with Pritam very nicely constructing it with traditional Sufi songs in mind. The mukhda is immensely catchy, and the magic of Pritam is infused into it in such a way, that it doesn’t take long for you to get tripping over it. Right from the beginning, Pritam might have been using some kind of telepathic connection, and as the song progresses, you’ll find that it unfolds just as you want it to, and that’s because you really love what’s going on! 😀 The mukhda is quite sober, but it’s not until the hookline when the composition gets really intoxicating. It reaches its peak there, and rises up to the mountain of high notes so easily, that you have no option but to listen with your jaw open in surprise and wonder. The first antara, sees the song get even better, with a very freely flowing tune that is something to fall for. This is definitely my favourite part of the song, and the way Amit Mishra brings a smile into his voice while singing it, is so cool! It gives way to the hookline perfectly. The second antara, is composed on a different set of notes, and is sung by Shilpa Rao very beautifully. The composition of this stanza is so heavenly, and perfectly suited for a female voice, especially that of Shilpa. I just loved the way it makes the energy of the song come to a complete halt for a while and the way it lets us in on a glimpse of heaven. The vocals by both singers are amazing. Amit Mishra is slowly emerging as a very versatile and well-ranged singer, with his voice perfectly acing those high notes in the hookline as well as the more mellow notes in the first antara. The vibe that his voice sends out while singing the words ending with “aaaar” like “yaar“, “pukaar“, “parvardigaar“, is just soooooo applause-worthy!! Shilpa Rao, who Pritam has made to sing after quite some while now (last being ‘Malang’ from ‘Dhoom 3’) sings the second antara angelically. Amit also ends the songs brilliantly with a portion that gives you goosebumps. The backing vocals by Ashwin, Himanshu, Geet and Arjun Chandy are great, and they complement Amit superbly in the main hook of the song – “murshid mera, murshid mera“. Amitabh’s lyrics are wonderful here as well — romantic and a hint of devotion. Pritam’s arrangements though, are the star of the song. That rock guitar (Roland Fernandes) is the biggest attraction of the song, and it plays almost everywhere! It is what makes the arrangements sound so energetic and dynamic. The drums, of course, are there, and can very well be missed due to everything else happening, but make their presence very well felt during the beginning of the hook every time, when they do a kind of rapid beat which is something to die for. The dholaks, on the other hand, sound very calming and soothing — resulting in a very smart fusion of rock and Sufi. Energetic, dynamic and something of an extravagant nature. Amit becomes the new rockstar of bollywood music, as Pritam presents this wonderful rock and Sufi clash! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

3. Channa Mereya
Singer ~ Arijit Singh, Backing Vocals ~ Keshia Braganza & Gwen Dias

It is the next song, that keeps up the emotional quotient of the album, with which we had started off the album in the title song, but this one takes that emotion to a whole different level. The composition has the capability to touch the strings of your heart and how! ❤ The song has been composed on a very trademark dholak beat, which can be heard in many such songs, and which instantly reminds me of Pritam’s own ‘Kabira (Encore)’ (Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani). The composition is very sweet and heart-touching, and though it seems like it has been heard many times before, it still refreshes you quite magically from the inside, along with giving you this weird sense of sadness as it ends. The song starts with the mukhda sung by Arijit in an unplugged style, with nothing but the guitars supporting him, and then it gives way to that very touching dholak backing loop. The mukhda has a very emotional tune, and it just makes you want to sit and listen to it in peace, without any disturbances. Such songs are always masterpieces. Pritam did it last time in ‘Kabira’ and now here he is, at it again. The hookline is sooooo enchanting, that it just doesn’t get out of your head after hearing it for just one time. It is so immensely catchy, that it just sticks in there and all you can do about it, is to pamper it by singing it and humming it all day. You might not even realize when you start singing this song, it just comes so spontaneously to me. Now that’s a sign of a masterpiece. The first antara too, has such a sweet and lovable tune, that it is hard to ignore or forget, on hearing. The second antara actually takes the form of a kind of traditional style of singing folk Punjabi songs, and Arijit kills it! Pritam’s arrangements are masterclass. The dholak rhythm (Played by Iqbal Azad & Sanjiv Sen) keeps you listening, while the acoustic guitars (Roland) support the dholaks very well. Rock guitars (Roland & Amandeep) infuse the pathos into the song, making it sound trademark Pritam. In the first interlude, a very soul-stirring shehnaai (Omkar Dhumal) just connects with your heart, and the tune gets stuck in your head. Pritam employs some very sweet and angelic voices (Keshia Braganza & Gwen Dias) to sing the backing vocals, and you can hear them sing the hookline in a very heavenly tone. In the second interlude, they rule, and while they’re at they’re hookline, working to pave their way into our hearts with their awesome voice, there’s a very short and wonderful sarangi (Ghulam Ali Khan) in the background, which you would miss unless you’re hearing very carefully. It comes back during Arijit’s second antara, and once again, is very soft, so you have to strain your ears to hear it! Arijit’s vocals are fabulous, with each and every note making itself a home in your heart (God, your heart must be full now.. How will the blood enter and exit? 😦 ) With each of his variations, you can’t help but let out a “Waah“, and during that conclusion paragraph of his, well, he just aces it! The lyrics by Amitabh are mostly in Punjabi, but they are veryyyy touching. With lines like “Andhera tera, maine le liya, mera ujla sitaara tere naam kiya” (I took your darkness, and gave you my bright star, in exchange) and “Kitni dafaa, subah ko meri, tere aangan mein baithe, maine shaam kiya” (I turned so many of my days into evenings, waiting in your yard), Amitabh proves his mettle as a songwriter. Each line just makes its way so gracefully into your lungs. (Remember, your heart is full!) Heart-touching, and a masterstroke by Pritam! One of the best songs of the year for me! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

4. The Breakup Song
Singers ~ Arijit Singh, Badshah, Jonita Gandhi & Nakash Aziz, Rap by ~ Badshah

After those three songs that constitute the heartrending, emotional and cry-worthy songs of the album, things become lighter with a song that is another emotional, sobby song, disguised in a sweet, upbeat, club number. Pritam is an expert at such club numbers, and just two months ago, he gave us ‘Sau Tarah Ke’ (Dishoom) which was more of a sensuous song. This one here, is completely clean and sanskaari so much so, that the girl is actually happy about breaking up with her so-called ‘saiyaan ji‘! Pritam brings together his arrangements for songs like ‘Blame The Night’ (Holiday) and ‘Hey Mr. DJ’ (Phata Poster Nikhla Hero), and adds to it, a very desi melody, reminding one of the Kishore Kumar-Asha Bhosle duets of the 50s and 60s, where all the nok-jhok and cute teasing would please the listener. The song starts off very quirkily, with Nakash Aziz singing an introductory couplet in the voice of a chipmunk. And then the chipmunk, thanks to the clever vocal programming done by Pritam, goes on to sing a very funny and catchy tune, which turns out to be the characteristic tune of the song. (The one that starts at 0:18 and keeps playing occasionally throughout the song) After the froggy/duck-y tune in “Premika” (Dilwale), Pritam makes this chipmunk tune very nicely. 😂 And then we are introduced to the main character, a girl who’s just broken up with her saiyaan that morning, and she recites a quite interesting couplet, about how her boyfriend left her for a foreigner. And then, the tune that follows, is why I love Pritam so much! 😀 It is a very attractive tune that just lures you into the song right away. The mukhda is very catchy, and it plays entirely after every antara, too. The hookline is the best part of the song though. That tune!! The antara is a good continuation of the sweetness of the song, and keeps up the catchiness very well. There is a rap by Badshah in between the two antaras, and that, however, is so mediocre, that you don’t really pay attention to it. It seems like a forced addition into the song. The arrangements by Pritam are signature Pritam club song arrangements, with the EDM working its magic on you very strongly. The techno sounds become quite entrancing at certain points. The folk percussion is what infuses that wonderful desi feel to the arrangements, and Tapas Roy excels with that. The dholaks (Iqbal Azad & Yusuf Sheikh) are wonderful, and at places, wonderful jugalbandis of the dholaks and Techno sounds give birth to very impressive pieces of music. Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics are funny, and give you a nice entertainment throughout the song. His clever Hinglish gives your brain something cool to chew on, after all those philosophical and emotional lyrics in the previous three songs. I personally loved the part where he writes “Kalti hua jo saiyaan stupid tera, jeevit hua hai phir se cupid tera!” 😀 Unfortunately, Badshah’s rap becomes the only vulgar (or on the border of vulgar and profane) stuff in what would have been a very clean club number! :\ Last but definitely not the least, the vocals. Jonita wonderfully carries herself throughout the song as a girl who’s happy telling the world about how she got over her breakup, while Arijit very cutely essays the role of the boy who was clearly waiting for this breakup to take place! 😀 The way Arijit sings “Humko bin bataye toone yeh kab kar liya“, girls and ladies will die for him all over again! Jonita, once again, shows a different side of her voice, this time, a very sweet voice that we would fall for anytime! A sweet melody carried very impressively by Jonita and Arijit, whose chemistry turns out to be just amazing! And Pritam, please don’t stop experimenting like this!! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

5. Cutiepie
Singers ~ Pardeep Singh Sran, Nakash Aziz, Meenal Jain & Antara Mitra, Backing Vocals ~ Neetu Bhalla, N.K. Deep Kaur, Bhabita, Sunny, Himanshu, Ashwin, Kaushik & Sachin

The next song of the album, at first listen, seems like your everyday, typical KJo, Punjabi wedding song. But it is so much more than just that, which I understood by listening to it again and again. Pritam uses the Punjabi bhangra style to make this the most templatized song of the album, but the way he has played with the notes, is just too entertaining, enjoyable and outright fun! The song starts wonderfully with very typical Punjabi beats, a very fun ukulele loop, couple with the beats of a dhadd-like instrument. The composition is a fun-filled, energetic one, that reminds you of the craziness that Pritam is capable of infusing into his songs and subsequently, into us. This composition too, is a successor to his earlier crazy songs like ‘Saree Ke Fall Sa’ (R… Rajkumar), ‘Dhating Naach’ (Phata Poster Nikhla Hero), ‘Badtameez Dil’ (Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani), ‘Tukur Tukur’ (Dilwale), ‘Chor Bazaari’ (Love Aaj Kal) and sooo many others. The mukhda, which, as Pritam has generously written in the song credits, was based on a concept by the lyricist, Amitabh Bhattacharya, is very energetic and spunky, making a very effusive start to the song. The line just before the hookline, which goes “Boyfriend ki tujhe koi fikar nahin…” has been composed in such a fun way, that it will get you up and dancing. The Punjabi ladies sangeet that starts off the song, is so sweet and catchy, and also reminds me of two of Pritam’s earlier hits, ‘Saj Dhaj Ke’ (Mausam) and ‘Nagada’ (Jab We Met). The hookline is also very differently composed, but it doesn’t stand out in the song, rather it blend in with the rest of the song, and that is very good! The antara is a bit weak, but since it is so short, and works as the antara to a dance song, you ignore it, and the awesome cross line comes back to take you to the hookline. The arrangements by Pritam are top class, and the omnipresent Punjabi flavour brings a different kind of sweetness to the song. At the same time, some strong techno sounds help to enhance the quality of the sound, and the keys (Firoz Khan) tune is an awesome tune to catch onto. The guitars & ukulele (Mohit Dogra & Dev Arijit) help to bring the missing tumbi feel to the Punjabi song. The percussion, probably some electronic dholaks and dhadd, is fascinating. Towards the end, a very high-energy dhol rhythm supports the composition. There’s a part in the song when the dholak is played so rapidly, and beautifully (hear it at 1:22 and 2:56 in the song) that it just makes you go “Wow!” The main vocals by Pardeep, former ‘Raw Star’ contestant and singer of ‘Allah Hoo Allah’ (Dharam Sankat Mein) are very extravagant (Loved the way he sings “aaaye haaaye“), while Nakash supports him well (I don’t even know if Nakash has his solo portions or backing vocals, but I don’t think he has sung any solo portions, because it doesn’t sound like him). Pardeep is very vivacious in his treatment of the song, but it is at times like this, when I can’t help but wish that Labh Janjua was still here with us; he would ace the song! The additional backing vocals by Meenal Jain and Antara Mitra are awesome. (that’s the ladies sangeet!) Other backing vocalists Neetu Bhalla, N.K. Deep Kaur, Bhabita, Sunny, Himanshu, Ashwin, Kaushik and Sachin, do a good job with the “haay“s here and there in the song. Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics are a laugh fest, right from the ladies sangeet, to the actual lyrics of the main body of the song. His quirkiness from ‘The Breakup Song’ just seems to have increased, and the DESI-ness in his lyrics perfectly complements the desi composition by Pritam. A song that will cater to the masses, but won’t be dismissed by the classes, either! Quirky! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

6. Alizeh
Singers ~ Arijit Singh, Ash King & Sashwat Singh

The last song of this much-awaited album, is a very sweet and divine-sounding romantic track, sung by three men whose voices sound more or less the same! 😀 The song starts off with a brilliant vintage Pritam electric guitar riff, and then progresses very seamlessly to the melody of the mukhda, which is opened by Ash King, but a wonderful relay is played between Ash and Arijit as Ash hands over the baton to Arijit after one line! Anyway, the composition is heavenly, and the mukhda wonderfully provides a start to the song. The hookline just brings that magic forward, and the way Pritam has broken the word ‘Alizeh’ (Which is Anushka’s character’s name in the movie) is spectacular! The composition instantly grabs you and you start humming it immediately. Pritam brings back his old-world charm, that we heard in so many of his songs (the most prominent coming to my mind right now being ‘Mere Bina’ from ‘Crook’). The antara wonderfully brings the song forward. The antara is very simple and sweet, but appeals to you very pleasantly. At the end of the antara, Sashwat does a wonderful vocal piece, and he can be distinguished from the other two with his bold and clear voice (kinda like Nikhil D’Souza’s voice). Towards the end of the song, he does a very interesting rap portion, which is very attractive, and finally, some rap that makes sense and fits into the song. Pritam’s arrangements are grand and match the grandeur of the rest of the album, this time, bringing a pleasant Western / European touch to the arrangements because of the wonderful sound of a church-flavoured organ instrument. The beats are digital, and very attractive. The drums too, are quite beautifully played, while Pritam uses his typical Western choir to enhance the sound of the hookline, complete with claps and a Western chorus. The guitars of course, play throughout and don’t fail to let you down. The vocals are very intriguing, and I must say, Ash King overshadows Arijit here, and that can be very well heard when they sing the same lines one after the other in the antara. On the other hand, Sashwat seems to say a lot with his two portions, one Hindi, and the other an English rap. The way Ash sings the lines in the hookline that go “Tera hun main, tujhe yaad hai naa” is just mind-blowing. His mellifluous voice really does a different kind of magic in the song. Amitabh writes perfect romantic lyrics, which are sweet and simple to understand. With this, the album ends of the same grand note as it began, with a very opulently arranged, melodious piece! Arijit, Ash and Sashwat complement each other very well, and Pritam makes the track a pleasant listen, full of love. #5StarHotelSong!!


Ae Dil Hai Mushkil turns out to be an album full of variety. The album has Pritam, the hit machine, showing his various sides of composing, and with two very emotional tracks, one high-energy romantic track, one dulcet romantic melody and two upbeat dance tracks, the album ends up being one of the best commercial albums of the year! With Arijit being the voice of Ranbir in the movie, I was expecting myself to get bored with his voice after the album would end, but Pritam’s wonderful melodies and the ways he made him sing differently in each song, didn’t make me do so. Also, the two songs that are sung by other male singers are fantastic respites from Arijit, while the last track where two other singers accompany Arijit, is also mind-blowing. So, all in all, this is an album which makes it difficult for you to choose your favourite song, and also makes it difficult not to love it! Pritam is truly back with a bang now!

 

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: Channa Mereya > Everything else 😀

 

Which is your favourite song from Ae Dil Hai Mushkil? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂

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