AAI SHAPPAT, A NAADKHULA ALBUM FROM SLB AND TEAM!! (MALAAL – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Shreyas Puranik & Shail Hada
♪ Lyrics by: Prashant Ingole, A.M. Turaz & Vimal Kashyap
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 21st June 2019
♪ Movie Releases On: 5th July 2019

Malaal Album Cover

Listen to the songs: JioSaavn | Gaana

Buy the songs: iTunes


Malaal is an upcoming romantic drama starring Meezaan Jaffery and Sharmin Segal in lead roles; the film is directed by Mangesh Hadawale and produced by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar and Mahaveer Jain. The film revolves around two youngsters “from different backgrounds who experience the innocence of true love”, as per its official synopsis. In short, it is an everyday Bollywood romance. The film has songs composed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, and two of his assistants who have been around in the music credits for his directorials for quite some time, Shreyas Puranik (who composed a song for ‘Bajirao Mastani’) and Shail Hada (SLB’s usual arranger/programmer). While Bhansali handles the major chunk of the album (five out of seven songs), the other two get charge of one song each. It isn’t everyday that Sanjay Leela Bhansali composes for his non-directorials (in fact, I believe it is the first time he is composing for one of his non-directorial productions), so it will be interesting to see what he offers, especially because he has been in this period/folk musical world for his previous two to three films, so I’m quite excited how he returns to the contemporary setting.


Bhansali’s first song on the album is the techno-tapori dance number Aila Re, an amalgamation of sorts, of ‘Tattad Tattad’ (Goliyon ki Raasleela Ram-Leela) and ‘Malhari’ (Bajirao Mastani). If the cacophonous programming is ignored in this song (which isn’t as easy as it sounds) it has the potential to be a hit among the masses; a catchy hookline is all it needs to catch public attention. Obviously, my attention isn’t grabbed by just a catchy hookline. For me, it is the antara‘s composition that redeems the song for me. The dhols are remnants from ‘Tattad Tattad’ and ‘Malhari’, and that’s where the music gets a bit heard-before and stale. But the other elements like the piano in the prelude and interlude, and the crazy bass and synthesizer sounds, make it listen-worthy, at least once. Vishal Daldani puts his irresistibly grungy voice to good use — the singing by him makes the song suitable for the setting the film is shown to be in. Shreyas Puranik’s Marathi rap is cringeworthy, being a Marathi speaker myself, and could have been avoided. Prashant Ingole’s lyrics are also suitable for the song’s setting; can’t really comment more on that.

Providing much more fun to my Maharashtrian ears is the love song with an aarti backdrop to it, Udhal Ho. The song is a mishmash of cliches from many traditional Marathi numbers, but in entirety, it seems to work as an enjoyable folksy number. Adarsh Shinde, the vocal boombox of the Marathi music industry, finally gets his solo singing debut in Bollywood, and he seizes the opportunity and makes the most of it. His voice texture being so fresh and raw, would provide something new for Bollywood music listeners. The arrangements are traditional Maharashtrian folk arrangements, with the banjo (bulbultarang) and dhols being the most prominent. The comoosition by Bhansali becomes really catchy after a few listens, and the ladies’ choruses in the hookline, interlude and towards the end, where the song detours down a wonderful aarti path (“Dono ka hoga kalyaan…”) provide a fresh touch. The use of the Fu Bai Fu refrain is cool too! Prashant Ingole’s Marathi+Hindi lyrics are refreshing; most Marathi film songs nowadays are a mix of Marathi and Hindi, but it is nice to see so much Marathi in a Hindi film song for once.

Another traditional Marathi-sounding song, Aai Shappat, takes the Koli route, what with the dholkis (Sanjeev Sen) and guitars (Rutvik Talashilkar) being plucked in the Koli fashion. Sanjay Leela Bhansali introduces a new singer, Rutvik Talashilkar, with this one, and he sings the song well, except that he seems to be struggling with his Marathi diction even with the one line of Marathi he sings in this song. The composition of the antara is charming in this song, but something seems forced or missing in the first half. The song is just two and a half minutes long, and is probably the least appealing of all the songs in the soundtrack, composition-wise. Prashant Ingole, once again, pens down very regular but functional lyrics.

The quintessential Shreya Ghoshal song of every Sanjay Leela Bhansali album cones next. Kathai Kathai is a beautiful romantic ballad for the monsoons; Bhansali’s composition is soothing, though very closely overlapping the composition of his own ‘Ishqyaun Dhishqyaun’ (Ram-Leela) in one bar of the song. (Dil pe mandraaye, bhanvre sa woh haaye) You half expect her to sing ‘Ishq yeh tera mera ishqyaun ki dhishkyaun..’! However, the next line “Dekho na dekho na” makes up for it big time. The use of mandolin (Tapas Roy) and flute (Paras Nath) in this song makes it sound all the more beautiful, Jackie Vanjari’s music production making the song stand a class apart. Melody queen Shreya traverses the dulcet melody with ease; then again, when does she ever sound off when it is with Bhansali, her mentor? A.M. Turaz joins Ingole for the lyrics for this song, and the use of the word ‘Kathai’ (meaning ‘light brown’) is an interesting choice to describe the eyes of the heroine’s love interest, because if I am not wrong, it has previously been used only to describe the eye colour of the girl in Bollywood songs — as in Anu Malik’s ‘Kathai Ankhiyon Wali Ek Ladki ‘ (Duplicate) and Sajid-Wajid’s ‘Rabba’ (Heropanti).

The last of the Bhansali compositions happens to be a very pensive and melancholic title song, Ek Malaal. Bhansali’s melody doesn’t flinch from touching the teevra and komal notes, giving it an overbearing haunting quality. The use of strings and the grand Bhansali-esque beats (the song has been arranged by Shail Hada, who arranged most of Bhansali’s latest albums, so that is where that touch comes from) makes the song sound more opulent. The composition of the antara is splendid, Shail handling the aalaaps with perfection. The slow tempo of the song only adds to the suspense and aura of the song, though it isn’t a song I would go and voluntarily play. Prashant Ingole’s lyrics are thoughtful, with the use of the titular word done quite well especially.

After the great singing performance by Shail Hada, we are treated to his entrée as a composer, a soft romantic duet, Zara Suno. The short duration and its adorably captivating composition work in its favour — the song doesn’t get to waste too much time in letting you like or dislike it, and that is what led me to like it, the honest and genuine attempt. Rutvik Talashilkar and Aanandi Joshi are in charge of the vocals, and though Aanandi does a great job (as she did earlier this year in her spectacular song ‘Anand Ghana’ from ‘Anandi Gopal’) with her portion, I couldn’t help but wish the male singer was somebody else. Shail’s composition being so honest and simple, didn’t need grand arrangements, but he tries to give it justice by adding guitars (Shomu Seal) and strings, and the tablas and sitar deserve special mention. Vimal Kashyap writes the lyrics as cute as Shail has composed the song, completing the package as a cute and simple affair, all in all.

Having saved the best for the last, Shreyas Puranik’s Nadhkhula seems to be the best romantic song I’ve heard in a long time, and just how I like it — a perfect mix of Indian instruments and a melodious tune. Shreyas sings the song himself, and his voice is brilliant; we did get a sneak peek of it towards the end of the Payal Dev-led ‘Ab Tohe Jaane Na Dungi’ (Bajirao Mastani), but this seems to be his first full-length solo song. As soon as it starts, with the piano and ethnic strokes (Tapas Roy), it evokes some kind of magical feeling that seems all the more magical because of the rains. The melody is decorated with sounds of running water, and a beautiful percussion loop (Prashant Sonagra and Mayank Shankar) props the hookline to a pedestal that just places it higher than the hooklines of any other recent Bollywood song. The interlude has a beautiful flute solo by Tejas Vinchurkar, and the flute follows into the antara, which by the way, is one of the most impeccably put together set of notes I have come across in a long time. But the real goosebumps moment is when you hear the Marathi chorus coupled with Vinchurkar’s flute towards the end of the song — which is when it really hits you, what a magical song you had been listening to for the past three minutes. Prashant Ingole’s lyrics are interesting again for the use of the word Nadhkhula, a Marathi slang word used to denote something awesome. This song would be the qualitative and musical equivalent of ‘Nainowale Ne’ (Padmaavat), in that it is in essence a ‘rainy season song’, if you know what I mean!


Total Points Scored by This Album: 7 + 8 + 6.5 + 8.5 + 7.5 + 8.5 + 9.5 = 55.5

Album Percentage: 79.29%

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: Nadhkhula > Zara Suno = Kathai Kathai > Udhal Ho > Ek Malaal > Aila Re > Aai Shappat

 

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

BHANSALI’S MUSICAL GRANDEUR!! (PADMAAVAT – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Sanjay Leela Bhansali
♪ Lyrics by: A.M. Turaz, Siddharth-Garima & Swaroop Khan
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 21st January 2018
♪ Movie Releases On: 25th January 2018

Padmaavat Album Cover

 

Listen to the album: Saavn

Buy the album: iTunes


Padmaavat is an upcoming Bollywood period film starring Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh in lead roles, and Aditi Rao Hydari, Jim Sarbh, Raza Murad and Anupriya Goenka in supporting roles. The film is directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and produced by himself along with Sudhanshu Vats and Ajit Andhare. So the film has been in the news for the past three months and so, and as happy as I am that it is finally releasing, I can’t stop wondering what Bhansali himself must have gone through during all this. Anyway, on to the music. Bhansali had started off in ‘Khamoshi’ with a composer duo that was quite famous back then — Jatin-Lalit. With his next film though, he started to push debutants, and we got Ismail Darbar and Monty Sharma. However, with “Guzaarish”, he started composing his films’ music himself, and that tradition has carried on to his fourth film after “Guzaarish”. The results were phenomenal everytime he composed for a film himself, and I’m expecting, of course, this one to be no less!!


Before going into the songs, two things I notice immediately are how late the music has released, since music plays such an integral part of Bhansali’s films, and the second thing I notice is corollary to that — it has only six songs, breaking the usual Bhansali tradition of ten songs — it seems this movie hinges more on its script than its music. That being said though, the album is a treat for lovers of music from different regions! Now, let’s see how the songs fared for me.
The minor blemishes in Ghoomar (will get to them) are wisely covered up by an enticing Rajasthani folk chorus and arrangement, which doesn’t make it necessary to delve deeper into the song for any criticism. The starting and end chorus portions let by Swaroop Khan, complemented by the wonderful female chorus — Aditi Paul, Tarannum Mallik, Pratibha Baghel & Kalpana Gandharv, are brilliant and rich in their sound, grand as an SLB song can only be. The blemishes referred to earlier are mainly whenever Shreya goes into ultra-high pitch, as in the antara. Percussions are delightful, with the dhols and khartals stealing the show, and the subtle sarangi and shehnaai too, make their presence felt. The only other song on the album that sounds Rajasthan-based is Holi, a folk song of the Manganiyar and Langa communities. Richa Sharma’s stupendous rendition figures well amidst the Mughal-e-Azam-esque music, with Shail Hada’s wonderful Aalaaps making the Mughal-e-Azam-esque feeling stronger! The tablas and all other percussions too, for that matter, are wonderful here, as is the sitar, and even the wonderful peacock sounds.
The next part of the album sounds wholly and solely Middle-Eastern, in keeping with the Khilji Dynasty sound. Khalibali seems to be a celebratory number in the villain’s lair, where the villain is lovestruck at first sight of you-know-who. And if the film had been produced by Disney, the song would not have been out of place. Not that it is out of place here too, but can’t imagine Khilji dancing to this just as I couldn’t imagine Bajirao dancing to ‘Malhari’ until I saw it. The song itself is quite enjoyable, with an overbearing Balkan touch, and nice Arabic warbling in the backing chorus. Shivam Pathak has a nice time crooning the song, and gets the evilness of Khilji quite perfect. Shail Hada complements him well. I just don’t know why it starts like a song from a movie like “Robot”. The arrangements are great — the Arabic violins, percussions give it an enjoyable touch.
More enjoyable as a Middle-Eastern themed song is Binte Dil by Arijit, breaking the usual Arijit-SLB song stereotype. The warbling by Arijit here is amazing, but gets awkward after a point. The oud and percussions are well done. The song starts promisingly but slows down in the middle portions, where Arijit sounds strained. The compositions of both these Khilji songs are quite ho-hum too, frankly.
The other two songs fit neither in the Rajasthan category nor the Middle-Eastern themed category. That being said, Ek Dil Ek Jaan is a wonderful Sufi romantic number, sung wonderfully by Shivam Pathak, the lucky man who gets to sing for both the male leads. The song is highly propped on his vocals, because otherwise it is a typical SLB Raag yaman number, almost a mix of ‘Laal Ishq’ (Ram-Leela) and ‘Aayat’ (Bajirao Mastani) in equal proportions. The best of the album also features here; Nainowale Ne by Neeti Mohan is a wonderful romantic number, which is heavily inspired by classical music. Neeti’s rendition is one of her most cute yet mature renditions yet. Bhansali increases the song’s richness by adding wonderful musical arrangements like the sitar, santoor, peacocks (again), matka, and the beautiful backing chorus towards the end and in the interlude. The song is way too short, and I wish it were much, much longer!! Siddharth-Garima’s lyrics are beautiful too, with a mix of innocence and sensuousness.

On a concluding note, you might have noticed I wrote almost nothing  about the lyrics in the album — thats because barring Siddharth-Garima’s ‘Nainowale Ne’, the lyrics are nothing but the usual, run-of-the-mill material.


Not as intriguing as Bhansali’s other albums, but definitely has a place of its own, with so much musical richness in the arrangements!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album:8.5 + 8.5 + 8 + 8 + 8 + 9.5 = 50.5

Album Percentage: 84.17%

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:  Nainowale Ne > Holi = Ghoomar > Khalibali = Ek Dil Ek Jaan = Binte Dil

 

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

NOVEMBER 2017 ROUND-UP #2 (QARIB QARIB SINGLLE, TUMHARI SULU, AKSAR 2 & DIL JO NA KEH SAKA – Mini Music Reviews)

NOVEMBER ROUND-UP #2

November 2017 Round-Up #2

This Round-Up covers the rest of the albums of the November 2017 releases. Due to ‘Padmavati’s withdrawal from the 1st December release date, ‘Firangi’ and ‘Tera Intezaar’, have moved their dates to 1st December, so they will be included in the December Round-Up. The albums featured in this post are:

1) Qarib Qarib Singlle – (Music: Vishal Mishra & Rochak Kohli)
2) Tumhari Sulu – (Music: Tanishk Bagchi, Guru Randhawa, Rajat Nagpal, Amartya Rahut & Santanu Ghatak)
3) Aksar 2 – (Music: Mithoon)
4) Dil Jo Na Keh Saka – (Music: Shail-Pritesh)



♦ Qarib Qarib Perrfect: QARIB QARIB SINGLLE Music Review

♪ Music by: Vishal Mishra, Rochak Kohli & Ali Merchant
♪ Lyrics by: Raj Shekhar & Hussain Haidry
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 10th November 2017
♪ Movie Released On: 10th November 2017

Listen to the songs: Saavn
Buy the songs: iTunes


Relative newcomer Vishal Mishra gets two songs in the film, and I must say, these two songs are definitely going to consolidate his place in the industry, even though I think it had been consolidated right from the moment he debuted (that spark that a good debutant possesses is always discernible). I say so because both his songs can be counted as his Bollywood career’s best music as yet. The opening track, Khatam Kahani, is outright hilarious, putting to great use the Nooran Sisters’ folksy voices to concoct a song with a strong Rajasthani folk element, and still having an amazing melody. Harmonium, khartals and dholaks provide us with the required expense to travel to the land of kings. Raj Shekhar’s comic lyrics enhance the listening experience, and they are quite comparable to the lyrics of ‘Haanikaarak Bapu’ (Dangal), when the lovers agree to kill each other. 😃 After the delightful and upbeat folksy number, Vishal puts in extra effort to create a sad song that is just as soulful as the first song is peppy. Jaane De, though nothing that we’ve not heard before — the seven-beat rhythm, on Atif’s sugar-sweet vocals — is a treat to listen to, mostly thanks to Mishra’s amazing composition, not to mention Raj Shekhar’s excellence that reflects in the lyrics. The words have such a poetic twinge to them, it just calms the soul. Arrangements are soulful too — the guitars and tabla being most prominently beautiful. A nice Spanish guitar interlude is a perfect interval from the melancholia.
Rochak Kohli also gets to present two songs, the first a journey-based one, again with amazing lyrics by Hussain Haidry. The unexpected twist midway through the song really puts one off guard, but it is really innovative. The composition of the rest is quite pleasant, with a nice and groovy lilt to it, and Rochak Kohli presents it with a nice drumbeat. {He is quite good with drum beats — ‘Rozana’ from ‘Naam Shabana’ earlier this year was another song where he presented great drum work!} Papon’s feathery voice is perfect for the song. Rochak’s second song Tanha Begum, is at the peak of experimentation, and is probably the most experimental song I’ve heard this year so far, which is at the same time so entertaining. It is a clever take on Nawab Wajid Ali Khan’s classical song, ‘Baabul Mora’, which was also remade earlier this year in ‘Poorna’ by Salim-Sulaiman. This time though, Hussain Haidry’s lyrics give it a modern twist. Actually, the modern lyrics are interspersed with some very old-school lyrics, and the contrast is brought out even better with Antara Mitra handling the old-school parts with an amazing imitation of Suraiya, while Neeti Mohan handles the modern portions with an amazing rock template supporting her. Rochak’s composition for the whole song is different, and quote innovative: only the lyrics of the hook from the Nawab’s old song have been taken.
Ali Merchant steps in last moment to make a hastily-made Qarib Qarib Singlle Mashup, which is probably the worst track on the album. Also, it is just a mashup of ‘Khatam Kahani’ and ‘Tanha Begum’. The beats are mismatching and don’t fit in with the folksy vibe of the songs. These two songs don’t even REQUIRE a remix!


An enjoyable album from two young composers, where both of them bring out the best in them! The album is (barring the mashup) Qarib Qarib Perrfect!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4.5 + 5 + 4 + 4.5 + 1 = 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: Jaane De > Khatam Kahani = Tanha Begum > Tu Chale Toh > Qarib Qarib Singlle Mashup

 

Remake Counter:
No. Of Remakes: 40 (from previous albums) + 01 (from Qarib Qarib Singlle) = 41

{Will have to count ‘Tanha Begum’ as a remake since I had counted ‘Baabul Mora’ (Poorna) as one}



♦ Light-Hearted Album Where the Mellow Song Scores High! : TUMHARI SULU Music Review

♪ Music by: Tanishk Bagchi, Guru Randhawa, Rajat Nagpal, Amartya Rahut, Santanu Ghatak, Laxmikant-Pyarelal & Haji Springer
♪ Lyrics by: Guru Randhawa, Javed Akhtar, Vayu Srivastava, Siddhant Kaushal & Santanu Ghatak
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 4th November 2017
♪ Movie Released On: 17th November 2017

Listen to the songs: Saavn
Buy the songs: iTunes


Remake specialist Tanishk Bagchi leads the album, with two out of the five songs. Since he is the currently in-demand remake specialist, it would be treason not to demand yet another rehash from him. This time, the song chosen is Mr. India’s ‘Hawa Hawai’, which has been named Hawa Hawai 2.0. If I’m not wrong though, this is Hawa Hawai 3.0 because Mikey McCleary remade it already in 2011. 😆 The song itself is peppy, and a perfect celebratory number. Kavita’s vocals being retained is the best part of the song, while I can’t figure out where Shashaa’s voice is. The composer plays around with technology and cleverly copies and pastes the gibberish bits into different parts in the song, creating an overall whimsical and enjoyable effect. His second song too, is, coincidentally, based on the metaphorical flying. Manva Likes To Fly is the standard Tanishk experimental song, where the composer plays around with technology to merge electronic sounds and Indian classical sounds. The classical instruments in particular here, sounds beautiful. Shalmali’s voice is perfect for the uplifting nature of the song, and Vayu Srivastava as usual writes positive lyrics that make you smile by default.
Next up is the much overrated, in my opinion, Ban Ja Rani, in which Guru Randhawa represents his pop song composed by Haji Springer, in a way that it doesn’t fit into the movie’s setting at all — but since when has that mattered? The whistling is the catchiest part in this song. Amartya Rahut too, in his song, Farrata, tries to create a nice and upbeat song complete with a children’s chorus (Adithyan leads and sounds very cute) and enjoyable ukuleles. However, the song fails to create an impact. Armaan Malik fails to make the song sound better, and the composition is many notches lower than what Amartya offered in the recent ‘Tu Hai Mera Sunday’.
What really grabbed my attention is newcomer Santanu Ghatak’s Rafu, a beautiful semiclassical number, which really gave me the goosebumps. Written as soulfully as it has been composed, and sung just as beautifully by Ronkini Gupta, who has sung previously in ‘Aankhon Dekhi’ under the music direction of Sagar Desai. She is a voice to counter Kaushiki Chakraborty’s classical singing prowess.


This blend of music directors manages to provide the film it’s required happy-go-lucky touch, although very superficial. It is ironically the most mellow song, by debutant Santanu, that steals the show.

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 3.5 + 4 + 3 + 3 + 4.5 = 18

Album Percentage: 72%

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: Rafu > Manva Likes To Fly > Hawa Hawai 2.0 > Ban Ja Rani = Farrata

 

Remake Counter:
No. Of Remakes: 41 (from previous albums) + 01 (from Tumhari Sulu) = 42


♦ Aksar Sune Huye Gaane: AKSAR 2 Music Review

♪ Music by: Mithoon
♪ Lyrics by: Sayeed Quadri
♪ Music Label: Tips Music
♪ Music Released On: 7th November 2017
♪ Movie Released On: 17th November 2017

Listen to the songs: Saavn
Buy the songs: iTunes


The only song from the album that stands out right away is Aaj Zid, a wonderful romantic song with a groovy techno rhythm. Mithoon proves he is not only able to just make addictive romantic songs, but also club numbers. Well we knew that if you remember ‘Woh Ajnabee’ from his earlier days. Arijit sings wonderfully, and it is all in all a very nice and upbeat song, without letting go of the sensuality that should be a part of such a film’s music. The other two songs are the usual pathos-filled Bhatt-ish songs I have started to get afraid of hearing nowadays. Jaana Ve is so crybaby-ish, it is sad, and Arijit’s voice being auto tuned in the hookline is sad too, because he is a singer who doesn’t need autotuning! The antara of the song gives signature Mithoon goosebumps though! About Tanhaiyaan, the lesser said, the better. Pakistani pop is one genre which composers never experiment with, and present it as it is every single time. Here too, the fake emotions fail to penetrate our eardrums and touch the heart. The album is not even magnificent lyrically, which I would usually expect from a Sayeed Quadri-written album! But he seems to have moulded in with the stereotypical Bhatt setting as well.


An album which we have ‘Aksar’ heard. Definitely not as good as Himesh’s album to the first film.

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4 + 3 + 2 = 9

Album Percentage: 60%

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: Aaj Zid > Jaana Ve > Tanhaiyaan



♦ Shail-Pritesh Sarbjit Mein Jo Kar Sake, Yahaan Nahin Kar Sake!: DIL JO NA KEH SAKA Music Review

♪ Music by: Shail-Pritesh
♪ Lyrics by: A.M. Turaz, Devshi Khanduri & Sandeep Singh Kamboj
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 7th November 2017
♪ Movie Released On: 17th November 2017

Listen to the songs: Saavn
Buy the songs: iTunes


With the title track of Dil Jo Na Keh Saka, I find that Shail Hada has lost that magic touch that used to be present in his voice until ‘Sarbjit’; he sounds terribly off tune in some places, while his co-singer, Shreya Ghoshal has been terribly miscast, and tries to fit into the mould of the song but fails. Shail-Pritesh’s composition is quite the typical 90s romantic song, and so fails to create much impact. However, the duo gets it amazingly right in the much more breezy and pleasant Bandh Khwabon Ki, in which Shail Hada thankfully returns to normal, barring some places. The composition here is thankfully, more contemporary and relatable. The finger snaps are really enjoyable, and the guitars are refreshing too.
Going to the retro portion of the album, Khwabon Ko Ankhon Mein is an enjoyable jazz number, and soulful too. The piano is splendid, as is the brass portion, because if the brass in jazz is bad, then it isn’t jazz. Aditi Paul sings beautifully too, touching the high notes effortlessly. The last romantic song on the album, Tanha Tanha Ghum Ke Dhunde Dil, is a pleasant and breezy love ballad, again, a bit more inclined towards the previous decade than the current. Nevertheless, it provides for a fun couple of listens, after which its beauty kind of wears off. Jubin handles the vocals well, and with the 90s-ish composition and his voice, it sounds like a runaway song from ‘Kaabil’. The guitars are good here too, and very simple. Aditi Paul has less to do here, so she pales in comparison to Jubin. Obviously.
Out of the upbeat songs, Band Viyah Da Baje, builds on Shail-Pritesh’s earlier ‘Tung Lak’ (Sarbjit), but still manages to turn out enjoyable — Divya Kumar & Pratibha Baghel with their energetic voices infuse life into the complicated composition — surprisingly the first really complicated tune on the album, and intricacy is the thing Shail-Pritesh and their mentor Sanjay Leela Bhansali are known for! The ‘Tung Lak’ hangover stays till the end though, especially in the female portions. The second upbeat song, Nadaniyan Kar Jaati Hai, is a youthful club song with a very avoidable composition and just as avoidable vocals. It turns out to be the worst on the album!


Shail-Pritesh can do much better than this, but I guess they are much, much better at those classical melodies like they presented in ‘Sarbjit’, and they must stick to that!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 2.5 + 3.5 + 3.5 + 3 + 3.5 + 1.5 = 17.5

Album Percentage: 58.33%

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: Bandh Khwabon ki = Band Viyah Da Baje = Khwabon ko Aankhon Mein > Tanha Tanha Ghum Ke Dhundhe Dil > Dil Jo Na Keh Saka > Nadaniyan Kar Jaati Hai



So that’s it for November, stay tuned for the Monthly Awards, which will be up in a moment!

INNOVATIVE! EMOTIONAL! ENJOYABLE! EXPERIMENTAL! BEAUTIFUL! (SARBJIT – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Amaal Mallik, Tanishk Bagchi, Jeet Gannguli, Shashi-Shivamm, Shail-Pritesh
♪ Lyrics by: Rashmi-Virag, Sandeep Singh, A.M. Turaz, Jaani, Late Haider Najmi & Arafat Mehmood
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 29th April 2016
♪ Movie Releases On: 20th May 2016

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Sarbjit Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Sarbjit is an upcoming Bollywood biographic drama film, starting Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Randeep Hooda, Richa Chadda and Darshan Kumar. The film is directed by ‘Mary Kom’ fame Omung Kumar, and produced by Vashu Bhagnani, Bhushan Kumar, Sandeep Singh, Omung Kumar, Deepshikha Deshmukh, Krishan Kumar, Jackky Bhagnani and Rajesh Singh. The film portrays the struggle of Sarabjit Singh (Randeep Hooda), an Indian national who was convicted of terrorism and spying by a Pakistani court, through the eyes of his sister, Dalbir Kaur (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan). Sarabjit’s wife, Sukhpreet is played by Richa Chadda. Sarbjit’s sister Dalbir fought with the Pakistani Government for nearly 23 years before Sarbjit being declared as innocent. Sarbjit’s case is fought by Awais Sheikh (Darshan Kumar). The film narrates the heart-wrenching story of Sarabjit and his sister and wife. In ‘Mary Kom’, I remember how I was expecting barely four songs, and I got the surprise of seven songs, and a stellar album (scoring a सां on the blog). Here, I expected many songs, because it’s natural looking at the long list of music directors. I expected a maximum of seven songs, and lo and behold! I get ten! 😀 I don’t know where so many songs will go in a biopic, but I can assume one thing for sure, that the songs will be mind blowing just like ‘Mary Kom’, which made me believe that Omung Kumar has a very great music sense. There are five entities, and seven people behind the music this time, and all have had successful stints in the past. The first is Amaal Mallik (with one song); I don’t have to introduce him, do I? And I don’t need to tell you about his past hits, because you already know! So I expect a lot from his as usual. The next is Jeet Gannguli, also with one song, who didn’t quite impress this year with ‘Sanam Re’, but impressed with his single in ‘One Night Stand’, so expecting a good one here too! The next composers are duo Shail-Pritesh, with their Bollywood debut. Shall Hada and Pritesh Mehta have been assistants of Sanjay Leela Bhansali, so again, expecting good music, if not great! Also, their maiden Marathi album ‘Carry On Maratha’ last year was spectacular! And they have five songs… So that explains it. 😀 Tanishk Bagchi, who scored this year with ‘Bolna’ (Kapoor & Sons), and had one of the greatest hits of last year ‘Banno’ (Tamu Weds Many Returns), has two songs in this album. Expectations are a lot from this youngster too! Last but definitely not the least, both the composers from ‘Mary Kom’, Shashi Suman and Shivamm Pathak, come together for a song, having worked separately in ‘Mary Kom’. Why would I expect great things from them, either? 😀 So, with this huge album’s huge introduction, I know you are already exhausted, but there’s lots more… Sorry!! 😀 Read on to see how emotionally right the album of ‘Sarbjit’ is!! 🙂


1. Salamat
Singers ~ Arijit Singh & Tulsi Kumar, Music by ~ Amaal Mallik, Lyrics by ~ Rashmi-Virag

Amaal gets to open the album, and wow! He takes full advantage of the fact that he has only one song in such a huge album, by giving something spectacularly good. To start with, electric guitars give a single blare, quickly followed by wonderful sarangi, harmonium and beautiful sparkling sounds. This is just the beginning of the soulful arrangements. The splendid arrangements continue throughout the whole song, and never fail to catch your attention. It is Amaal’s composition, though, which plays the lead role in the song, and that’s how it should always be! Have a strong composition, and the rest falls in place all by itself (of course, there are some exceptions!). A soulful song, with every note touching your heart deeply, is probably the best thing that you could ever find in an album. What’s more, Amaal composed it owhen he was just 17 years old! What a remarkable feat, because the composition is his most mature composition EVER, and it deserves nothing but many rounds of applause, which would also seem less. The antara, though, is the same tune as the ‘Hero’ theme song. 😀 Loved how Amaal incorporated that here! Going the Himesh way, who put ‘Desi Beat’ (Bodyguard) into ‘Son Of Sardaar’ title song, and ‘Main Jahaan Rahoon’ (Namastey London) into ‘Lonely’ (Khiladi 786). 😀 Amaal goes the traditional way for arrangements, of course, adding some modern twists, to create a pan-generational appeal. What I have to endlessly praise, is that, even though he has added some modern elements, like electric guitars and all, he has made sure not to go overboard, and that is what I appreciate about him —  he knows how much is right, and the songs are perfectly done. Traditional instruments include the tablas, woodwinds (they sound oh so beautiful!!!), dafli, harmonium and so many more instruments just making small cameos. The first interlude has a traditional string instrument which has been amplified and made to sound like an electric guitar, while the second interlude has been decorated wisely with the flutes. The flutes have to get a special mention for being used so beautifully all throughout the song, especially the last time the hookline is sung. Speaking about vocals, Arijit sounds as majestic as ever, possibly even more, and his low-pitched voice which I never like, suddenly appealed to me a lot! Tulsi, too, sings exceptionally well! She must sing like this more often!! Both of them score great together again, after ‘Soch Na Sake’ (Airlift). Rashmi and Virag write some soulful romantic lyrics, typical Bollywood style, but still appealing, especially the different words in the hookline each time. What a brilliant start to the album by Amaal! Amaal’s most mature composition hands-down! And the flutes!! 😘 #5StarHotelSong!!

 

2. Dard
Singer ~ Sonu Nigam, Music by ~ Jeet Gannguli, Lyrics by ~ Rashmi-Virag & Jaani

The next song starts similarly, with the sarangi notes touching each corner of the heart and making our eyes watery. (Okay, that’s exaggeration.. 😝) Anyway, the instrument always sounds very majestic, and so, it is an appreciated start to the song. Jeet composes this one, with Sonu behind the mic, ready to stun the audiences again. Jeet’s composition is totally emotional and it will make you emotional, especially when you try to sing along. The line ‘Jo tujhe lagta baarish hai, woh main hoon jo ro-oon’, has been crafted soooooo beautifully! I loved that line so much, it can’t be explained in words. The whole song, in fact, seems to be composed really carefully, unlike today’s timepass songs that are composed in seconds by adding techno beats and a repetitive rhythm, and become super-duper hits. Jeet has given such a composition last year too, with ‘Hamari Adhuri Kahani’ title song. He knows how to make songs emotional and heart-touching even if they sound overdramatic sometimes. Yes, this song does sound a bit too dramatic, but Jeet has somehow managed to make it very lovable! Both the mukhda and antara share this property. There is a paragraph that comes once in the song, and it is the peak point of the song, like the climax of a movie. The instrumentation suddenly intensifies there and the vocals go high-pitched and also, the composition is more intense there. This paragraph is “Pankh agar hote…” Marvelous! Jeet’s arrangements in the song are spectacular. Acoustic guitars, sarangi, cello, dafli and violins make up the main arrangements. Digital beats support the whole song. Sonu’s voice never disappoints me, and it appeals here too. He has one of those magical voices that nobody can ever match. He renders Jeet’s heart-wrenching composition with so much ease, that it is unbelievable, but believable only because it’s him! By the way, I can totally imagine Rahat Fateh Ali Khan singing this one; if only there was a reprise! Rashmi-Virag and Jaani team up to write brilliantly heart touching lyrics, and since they’re so good, I don’t care that it took three people to write them! It makes perfect sense, in fact. 🙂 A wonderful song from Jeet; I consider it as one of his best! And with it, the album gets yet another #5StarHotelSong!!

 

3. Tung Lak
Singers ~ Sukhwinder Singh, Sunidhi Chauhan, Shail Hada & Kalpana Gandharv, Backing Vocals ~ Deepti Rege, Mayuri Patwardhan, Roshni, Hargun, Music by ~ Shail-Pritesh, Lyrics by ~ Sandeep Singh

Shail-Pritesh step in for the next song, which will be their Bollywood debut song. The duo get an upbeat Punjabi bhangra number, which is pretty heavy for a celebratory song. I’ll explain. The song starts off with a high-pitched couplet sung by Shail, which is highly impressive. Then the song starts off, complete with the typical bhangra noises made from the mouth, which is impossible to explain. 😄 The hookline is catchy, but doesn’t have a universal appeal. The composition is, as I said, heavy on the ears. And a celebratory song should be light! The makers have tried to recreate the magic of ‘Gallan Goodiyaan’ (Dil Dhadakne Do), but that had a prominent modern sound to it, and hence appealed even though it was kind of heavy. I have to applaud the efforts, though! The duo has included many twists and turns in the composition, and it is quite difficult to understand what’s going on. Arrangements are awesome, with typical Punjabi dhols, dhadd, nagada, tumbi and the vocal sounds. There is a weird dubstep treatment in one paragraph, which leaves you wondering, “Is this 1990 (the time period of the movie, or rather, the starting period of the movie) or 2015?” The singers are spot-on with their rendition, though. Sukhwinder Singh never disappoints in such songs, and singing such a fast-paced composition with so much energy, is not an easy feat! Kudos to him! Sunidhi Chauhan sounds like what she sounded in the 2000s, maybe because the song sounds like that. The song also has a 90s feel (it’s supposed to, but I don’t think that’s deliberate! :P) Shail is good in additional vocals, while Kalpana (The Haryanvi ‘Old School Girl’ from ‘Tanu Weds Manu Returns’ singer) has a rap portion which she handles well, but again, it seems out of place. The lyrics are celebratory, and suit the occasion, but not so amusing as they were meant to be. The song has left me in a fix. I don’t seem to understand it. It seems a mishmash of tunes of various Punjabi songs, and it’s WAY TOO COMPLEX for a celebratory song!

 

4. Rabba
Singer ~ Shafqat Amanat Ali, Music by ~ Tanishk Bagchi, Lyrics by ~ Arafat Mehmood

Young composer Tanishk steps in with his first song of the album, and brings in Shafqat Amanat Ali, a voice we’ve not heard for quite some time now. The song is a melancholic song composed on a Middle-Eastern template, of which the beats are groovy. The composition itself, I found a bit overdramatic at places. It has quite a dated feel to it, but Shafqat takes it higher with his deep and silky vocals. Tanishk tries to do justice to the theme of the movie, but the composition is not something that you would call catchy. Arrangements are good, with flutes, santoor and some electric guitars too. However, again, they are heard-before and turn out to make the composition pretty dull and make it sound more monotonous. The antara gets really boring at a particular moment, and at that time, it seems like a task to continue with the song. The lyrics too, are not very impressive. Backing vocals seem to be trying hard to impress, but don’t. An exhausting composition, whose saving grace is Shafqat’s vocals and the Middle-Eastern template (a bit).

 

5. Meherbaan
Singers ~ Sukhwinder Singh, Shail Hada & Munnawar Masoom, Music by ~ Shail-Pritesh, Lyrics by ~ A.M. Turaz

Take a look at the singers and you get no prizes for guessing that the song is a Qawwali. Shail-Pritesh have done a wonderful job at composing a Qawwali that follows the traditional template, and also hooks you. Sukhwinder, again using his magical voice, starts off the song, to be joined by Munnawar in the AdLib. And after that, the real fun part of every Qawwali starts, when the tablas start all of a sudden, and everything falls into perfect rhythm. A wonderful sitar-tabla jugalbandi has been showcased by the duo, and that is what invokes the “waaah”, at the sheer beauty of it all. The duo has used such beautiful arrangements all throughout the Qawwali! Following the regular Qawwali template, they still manage to give something innovative, by using no, or very little, harmonium! I mean, I thought a Qawwali is nothing without a harmonium! This Qawwali, however, relies on the sitar mostly to do its job. And boy, does it work! The rapid way in which the sitar is played, it would take sheer concentration and talent to do that! And the duo is full of that, it seems! The composition, like all Qawwalis, will not appeal to all, but to me, it sounded realllly catchy. The hookline sounds better because of the arrangements, otherwise, such a simple hookline wouldn’t sound so good in a Qawwali. However, the other parts have been composed very well! Especially the line before the hookline, “Toh phir karde khatam yeh jo sarhad hai hamaare darmiyaan”. Wow!! What a stupendous tune! And it provides a seamless transition from the mukhda to the hookline. On the vocals front, Sukhwinder fortunately handles the most part of the song. Munnawar & Shail too have a good number of parts, yet it feels like Sukhwinder is that main singer, the one who sits in front of all the rest in a baithak. 😂😂 Towards the end, all three do a great jugalbandi, withh Munnawar and Sukhwinder handling aalaaps, Shail handling the hookline. And towards the end, this Qawwali breaks into full bhangra mode for some reason, with dhols and the nagada. Turaz’s lyrics are apt for a Qawwali, and like all Qawwalis, they are situational words, and suits a devotional Qawwali. A great harmonium-less Qawwali, with a great trio of singers, and a beautiful composition from the duo! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

6. Barsan Laagi
Singer ~ Shail Hada, Music by ~ Shail-Pritesh, Lyrics by ~ A.M. Turaz

A wonderful, feel-good sitar solo starts off the song, with Shail’s aalaaps accompanying it. Once he starts singing the real composition, you can’t help but go “Wooooowww!!!” Atleast, that’s what I felt! The song is a breath of fresh air after the heavy songs of the album up till now. Shail-Pritesh’s composition is sooooo beautiful, I really felt like it was one of Rahman’s 2000s compositions, and I also felt like it was one of those beautiful Lata Mangeshkar songs from the 1950s! There is a lot of magic in the composition, and when songs make you feel rejuvenated and refreshed, you have got to notice that there is a certain spark of magic in them. This song is one of those. The duo has put before us an exquisite, radiant, semi-classical composition, which is really hard to dislike. The hookline, which has nothing to do with the title of the song, “Aaj malang nu savran de, Khushiyon da pani barsan de”, is just simply charming. The antaras are sweet, but definitely not simple, nevertheless they shine like gems in the song. About the arrangements, what can I say?? They are just too captivating and enchanting for me to say anything. The aforementioned sitar has a prominent part, in both a low pitch and high pitch, and acoustic guitars have been used well in the hookline, along with ravishing strings. The matka sounds exceptionally sweet, too! There are shehnais at places too, waiting to astonish you with their wonderful sound. Shail’s vocals are beautiful too! No wonder he was Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s favourite! His voice has the right texture — a mix of rustic and smoothness. Turaz yet again, writes marvelous lyrics! A feel-good song, which will really lift up your mood! Shail-Pritesh excel in the composition, arrangements and Shail sing is it out beautifully! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

7. Allah Hu Allah
Singers ~ Altamash Faridi, Shashaa Tirupati & Rabbani Mustafa, Additional Vocals by ~ Arsh Mohammed & Supriya Pathak, Music by ~ Tanishk Bagchi, Lyrics by ~ Late Haider Najmi (Traditional), Additional Lyrics by ~ Arafat Mehmood

Tanishk’s next song is a fusion Qawwali, with a striking rock template. After a mediocre song, ‘Rabba’, he impresses highly with this second song of his. First of all, the composition is really complicated, yet it has the appeal to all kinds of people, especially music lovers! Many twists and turns in the composition ensure it to appeal even more. The chorus “Apna kar lijo mohe, daras de dijo mohe, karam kar dijo mope” has been composed so beautifully, it is impossible not to like it. And the whole song is just as likable and soulful. Each line holds something new in store, and the fact that it has been composed on the roopak taal, with seven beats, increases its attractiveness manifold for me. To me, that rhythm sounds very classy and I love any song composed on it! The offbeat treatment done in the antara, where the words don’t necessarily fit right into the rhythm, has turned out really beautiful. Arrangements are beautiful too. Qawwali instruments like tablas, harmonium, and then simple clapping blended gracefully with modern styles of music like rock with the rock guitars, drums, make for a very interesting listen. It sounds very enticing as long as it plays. The bulbultarang too, sounds great in the beginning. However, the tablas are what won my heart over. 😍 They have been beautifully done, and the rock guitars complement them BEAUTIFULLYYY! A wonderful flute interlude is not to be missed, either. Vocals are spot-on, and the two male singers can’t really be differentiated, while Shashaa sings only in the chorus with them; most of the song is a chorus song, though. Haider Najmi’s traditional lyrics have been really well-used, and thank God they have been used so wonderfully, while Arafat writes apt new lyrics too. So Tanishk makes up for his mediocre song with this highly awe-inspiring song! IMPRESSIVE is all I can say!! The Rock-Qawwali has never been done so well, without sounding too filmy! A winner in all departments! I can hear this one on loop! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

8. Mera Junoon
Singer ~ Shail Hada, Music by ~ Shail-Pritesh, Lyrics by ~ A.M. Turaz

The Sikh devotional song ‘Jo Mange Thakur’ starts off this song, along with some flutes plauign around the vocals. Shail-Pritesh’s fourth song, this one is a melancholic song but motivating nevertheless. The composition is painfully soulful, and touches the heart, quite unusually. Usually, such songs seem overdramatic, but here, the emotions have been well woven into the song, so as to make it seem justified. And it sounds a lot like a Sanjay Leela Bhansali composition. This composition too, has many twists and turns, so making it pretty difficult to follow it, yet striking some chord somewhere with the listeners. Especially the hookline, is something stellar. Shail’s heart-touching rendition makes the song all the more believable, and the spectacular lyrics by Turaz describe the determination and passion of a sister, still looking for her brother, even after so many failures. And Shail has brought the lyrics to life with his lively rendition. Arrangements done by the duo are fabulous as well. The percussion rhythm playing all throughout the song is the base of the song, while flutes and woodwinds join occasionally, only to add more magic into the already magical ambience. The guitars too, have been played well. As I said earlier, A.M. Turaz has written motivating lyrics that describe the feelings of a very strong-willed person. Another complete package! This is how melancholia should ideally be portrayed! Perfect! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

9. Nindiya
Singer ~ Arijit Singh, Music by ~ Shashi-Shivamm, Lyrics by ~ Sandeep Singh

Shashi Suman and Shivamm Pathak, the two masterminds behind the ‘Mary Kom’ album, come together for a single song, after having worked separately in that album. In ‘Mary Kom’, Shashi had composed a simple, sweet lullaby, ‘Chaoro’, which had been beautifully sung by Priyanka Chopra. This time, Shashi, along with Shivamm, goes a step further and cranks it up a notch higher. The composition this time is really complex and layered, unlike the one-dimensional lullaby that ‘Chaoro’ was. This one has many dimensions. On one note it sounds sweet and simple, while on the next, it suddenly sounds haunting. I really get the goosebumps WHENEVER I hear this song, no matter how many times I’ve heard it before. It has this magical feel to it, and this time, the magical feel surpasses the magical feel of all the other songs of the album — it actually sounds realistic! I really can’t explain it all, but you will have to hear it yourself! It is just a spectacular song from the two! Arijit’s vocals are a brilliant choice; when he sings in the soft and husky voice, his voice sounds really soothing, so here’s anothter thing in favour of the duo. Arrangements are splendid too. Strings make up most of the arrangements, be it violins or folk instruments. Other sound effects like chimes have been used properly to make the song sound like a lullaby, with the harp pitching in at places! The flute too, helps in making the song something to hear again and again. Sandeep Singh’s lyrics are calming too, and with the composition, it sounds even better! At under three minutes, this is the song that stands tall above them all! That’s all I can tell you!! For further information, hear the song!!! BRILLIANCE AT ITS PEAK! 👌👌 #5StarHotelSong!!

 

10. Sarbjit (Theme)
Vocals ~ Shail Hada, Music by ~ Shail-Pritesh

With all those extraordinary songs, there should be an instrumental theme to top it off, right? I mean, albums sound complete with an instrumental! 😀 So, the makers of ‘Sarbjit’ decide to give an instrumental theme to finish off the album. Shail-Pritesh manage to make a haunting piece of music, with the strings playing the major role in it. The sarangi in a very low pitch handle almost everything in the track. The percussion beats in the background are catchy too. Shail pitches in with some ravishing vocals and it sounds even better. Towards the end, the song starts going uphill until it reaches a climactic part where brass, strings and percussion all meet each other at their respective majestic bests. A three minute instrumental that will transport you to the BGM of any Sanjay Leela Bhansali movie, and also, a ravishing finish to the album by Shail-Pritesh, the stars of the album! #5StarHotelSong!!


Albums like Sarbjit are very rare nowadays. The makers of ‘Sarbjit’ have really been very brave by having such an album. By “such”, I mean an album which isn’t afraid of not being noticed, an album which clearly doesn’t rely on commercial stuff, and treads its own path, ignorant of the hullabaloo around it. Not all of the songs would appeal to the masses, except maybe ‘Salamat’ and ‘Dard’. The others are strictly instrumental in carrying the story forward. And that’s what I appreciated about the album. Innovative! Emotional! Enjoyable! Experimental! Beautiful!

 

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 {Ohhh this is gonna be tough!!}Nindiya > Allah Hu Allah > Salamat = Dard > Barsan Laagi > Meherbaan > Mera Junoon > Sarbjit (Theme) > Tung Lak > Rabba

 

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

 

Next: A Surprise! 😀