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!

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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! 😉

FORMULA FOR SUCCESS: SIMPLE REHNE DE!! (SIMRAN – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Sachin-Jigar
♪ Lyrics by: Priya Saraiya & Vayu Srivastava
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 25th August 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 15th September 2017

Simran Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE

To hear “Baras Ja” on Saavn CLICK HERE

To buy “Baras Ja” on iTunes CLICK HERE

♪ To hear “Baras Ja” on YouTube:


Simran is an upcoming Bollywood drama film, directed by Hansal Mehta, produced by Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Shailesh R. Singh, and Amit Agarwal. The film stars Kangana Ranaut, Soham Shah, Mark Justice, Hiten Kumar and Esha Tiwari Pande in crucial roles. The film revolves around a Gujarati lady settled in the United States of America, who gets involved in crime. The film does seem quirky and very racy, and definitely very humorous. Now, Hansal Mehta usually does not rely on music to carry his films forward, as is evident from the fact that out of his recent film, ‘Shahid’ had just one song (not even released properly by a music label), and ‘Aligarh’ had no songs. Then there was ‘Citylights’, which, due to it being a joint venture with the Bhatts, had a stellar album by Jeet Gannguli. This film seems to be Hansal’s lightest film in a long time, and the result is that we can read the names of Sachin-Jigar in the credits, for music. Now, roping in Sachin-Jigar can’t mean anything except that Hansal wants great music for this film, doesn’t it? Accordingly, Sachin-Jigar have scored six songs for the film, and very situational too. Still, before I reveal much, let’s see how the music fares!!


1. Lagdi Hai Thaai

Singers ~ Guru Randhawa & Jonita Gandhi, Lyrics by ~ Vayu

“Doodho nahaao, phoolo phalo tum,
LED jaisi karna glow tum,
Sabko duayein yeh naseeb rakhna,
Jodi sada ye muskuraaye!
Maike ki photo ik kareeb rakhna,
Aisa na ho ki bhooli jaaye, jaaye, jaaye!
Jadon nache baby sajj dhajj, Lagdi hai thaai!”

– Vayu

It must be so difficult to compose for seven film albums in a year, but Sachin-Jigar are up and about, composing for the fourth album, which happens to be ‘Simran’. The first song matches Sachin-Jigar’s roots, as it is a Gujarati track by soul, but Punjabi by sound. Actually, it’s a beautifully thought out fusion of Gujarati and Punjabi, something nobody would ever be able to do this well and this seamlessly! The composition is perfectly suitable for a song that should make you get up and dance, and the desi touch, both Punjabi and Gujarati, add to the enjoyability of the song. Both the mukhda and the antara have been composed on the same tune, and Sachin-Jigar follow the trend to keep the song short and more appealing. The short length never hampers the beauty of the song. The hookline is amazing as well, but it is the arrangements that makes the song sound amazing. When it starts, you may be quick enough to dismiss it as yet another typical Punjabi number, added into the album just to be another ‘London Thumakda’ (Queen), but later you realise the magic, when the Gujarati dhols begin to awe you. The brass band (Trumpets by Kishore Sodha) is used very nicely here, and without sounding stale or heard-before, it provides a nice and fresh touch. But what is really amazing, is that wonderful flute (Naveen Kumar) which has been played in a very typical Gujju style, and it does nothing but inspire you to learn how to play flute! 😛 But I’m sure this kind of a flautist would take years to become so good! The vocals are amazing. At first, I thought Guru Randhawa has been chosen just because he has a history of many pop songs with T-Series, but turns out, he has given the Punjabi touch to the song very genuinely, and keeps aside all his pop song background for this one filmy song! Jonita is a surprise package; singing in Gujarati and all — though I think she is Gujarati. Anyway, she sings the old lady portions with as much ease as she does the lead heroine’s portions! In fact, she sings the Dadi Maa portions in Gujarati even better!! One thing I didn’t enjoy was the drunk part at the end, it seemed forced. Vayu’s lyrics are some of the most positive wedding song lyrics I’ve seen in Bollywood, a place where people come to weddings only to eat, drink and dance. But here, Vayu makes the characters sing things like “LED Jaisi Karna Glow Tum!” I swear, it is one of the most positive blessings I’ve heard in a Bollywood wedding song, and so less dramatic than the blessings they used to sing in songs like ‘Maahi Ve’ (Kal Ho Naa Ho) and all! All in all, this is a very enjoyable Gujju-Punjabi fusion, with amazing arrangements to accompany the energetic vocals!!

Rating: 4.5/5

 

2. Pinjra Tod Ke

Singer ~ Sunidhi Chauhan, Lyrics by ~ Priya Saraiya

“Jannat ke saaye, jannat le aaye hai,
Baahon mein, ab zindagi,
Kismat ki dori jo, baandhi woh kholi,
Jeene chali, main abb zindagi,
Pinjra tod ke, tod ke, udd jaana hai,
Baahein kholke, kholke, udd jaana hai!”

– Priya Saraiya

The next song starts off as a mellow composition, with piano notes almost assuring you that this is going to be a sad number. However, it is wonderful to see how Sachin-Jigar seamlessly change the mood of the song, making it uplifting and motivational as the song progresses. That is almost like a symbol infused into the song by Sachin-Jigar. The lyrics by Priya Saraiya talk about breaking free of restrictions, and flying freely — so Sachin-Jigar have probably structured the song in a way to resemble that, starting off very slowly, but breaking free subsequently! What a wonderful form the song takes on, once you realise that! Sachin-Jigar’s composition is nothing new, it is the usual Sunidhi pathos, but it works wonders even though it is heard-before. After all, it isn’t necessary for things to be complicated to like them, is it? The hookline is very motivating, as is the second antara, a sprightly conclusion to the otherwise soft song. It takes on a more energetic tempo and composition, and even has more energetic arrangements, since the electric guitars and drums truly break out in that part. The rest of the arrangements have a soothingly Western touch — starting off with amazing piano, progressing into a euphoric acoustic guitar-led arrangement, until the aforementioned second antara arrives. The interludes contain a wonderful “Oley Oley“, by a backing vocalist I suspect is Jonita Gandhi, she sounds exactly like her. This type of song nowadays, usually goes to Sunidhi, and she aces it, as always. It’s nice to see her finally getting recognised not only as a singer of those upbeat numbers she was terribly typecast for in the late 2000s. Priya Saraiya’s lyrics, as mentioned before, are motivating and uplifting, in the true sense! This is probably Priya’s best work in a long time! A beautiful song, with a simple and heard-before vibe, but still manages to impress monumentally!!

Rating: 5/5

 

3. Meet

Singer ~ Arijit Singh, Lyrics by ~ Priya Saraiya

“Tu hi mera meet hai ji,
Tu hi meri preet hai ji,
Jo labon se ho sake naa judaa,
Aisa mera geet hai ji!”

– Priya Saraiya

The next song happens to be a very happy-go-lucky romantic song, sung by Arijit, the kind of song Sachin-Jigar have usually done many times with Atif. Since their songs with Arijit have always been unconventional and never-heard-before, this comes as a surprise, as it conforms to the regular Arijit school of romance. However, the composition is really charming, and has you hooked (at least to the hookline) in the first listen. In the subsequent listens you “try” to get hooked to the mukhda and antara. Sadly, I still can’t recall the tunes of these portions immediately, even after having listened to the song at least six times by now. Does that mean the song is bad? Not at all. The song is amazing. Sachin-Jigar weave magic even with those notes that evoke memories of compositions by other composers, but doesn’t really evoke memories of any song in particular. It has the charm of an old Bollywood song, and it is the kind of composition to which we would say “Ah, the nostalgia”, after listening to it after a long time somewhere in the future. It is for this reason that the song gets such a huge repeat value even though it isn’t hooking as such. The hook has wonderful variations Arijit takes not every time, so they remain exclusive, but you keep waiting for the times he does take those variations! The arrangements are just as soothing as the composition; again, a wonderful piano piece opens the song, coupled with a magical and fairy-tale-like strings portion, until the Acoustic guitars come in to lighten up the mood. The whole thing sounds so fulfilling with that wonderful composition. The guitar riff repeats throughout the song. The interlude has a nice flute portion, which keeps you listening, if not hooked. Arijit aces such songs, and does so yet again. Again, I must mention those wonderful aalaaps of his, in the hookline. Priya writes amazing lyrics here too, but here they’re quite simple, even more simple than ‘Pinjra Tod Ke’, and has a plain and straightforward theme — love. A charming love song, with simplicity ruling it.

Rating: 4.5/5

 

4. Single Rehne De

Singers ~ Shalmali Kholgade & Divya Kumar, Lyrics by ~ Vayu

“Mere dad bole karle shaadi, varna marr jaayegi boodhi daadi,
Shaadi kar, shaadi kar, shaadi kar, aakkho din shaadi kar,
Aur koi kaam nahi hai kya??”

– Vayu

A laugh riot arrives next, with a song that’s evidently about the main character trying to convince her father to let her stay single. There is actually very less by way of composition in the song, whatever little there is, just keeps repeating. The song is more like a rap, but it is the lyrics that hold it higher than it would have been. Vayu cracks you up with humorous lines that usually don’t find their way into songs; they are typical to scripts of rom-coms, but I find it very cool for them to find their way into a song. The production too, is good, but very repetitive again. Nevertheless, it goes with the unconventional nature of the lyrics. Shalmali Kholgade renders the rap with a feisty attitude, and Divya Kumar, relegated to the background does his one line well. Shalmali says the conversational portions of the song, at the beginning in such a funny, humorous way, that you start to get interested in the song due to her! Not a very fresh composition, but fresh lyrics and vocals, and even arrangements, which are sadly repeated too much!

Rating: 4/5

 

5. Simran

Singer ~ Jigar Saraiya, Lyrics by ~ Priya Saraiya

“Chulbuli hai, chulbuli hai, nakchadhi hai, manchali hai,
Palak jhapakte falak churaa le apni Simran!
Jaani anjaani, thodi si deewaani,
Deewaana sabko banaa de apni Simran!
Ho, suljha ke hi khud hi yeh badhaye apne dil aur dimaag ki uljhan!
Oye oye oye Simran, alhad si Simran!
Na jaane tu chali re kahaan!”

– Priya Saraiya

The title song which we heard in the trailer is presented to us next, and it is this song which is actually the one that took the most time for me to like. The composition is very likeable, and has a lilting charm to it, in a very playful way, and has a charming ‘Barfi’-esque vibe to it, with the numerous sound effects and the whole description of the main character. The composition is great, if you look at it, but the arrangements confused me. Firstly, I was apprehensive about them because they were so similar to the ‘Barfi’ title track, with the whole accordion, mandolin and vocal sound effects, that I wasn’t sure if I liked them! I love ‘Barfi’, but I just felt weird about this song being so close to that. Later on, I started appreciating the arrangements, because of their lilting European touch and it was definite that Sachin-Jigar’s music would be inspired by Pritam’s as they were his disciples after all! Jigar has sung the song himself, and he has carried it out very well, and his raw, Un-autotuned vocals make the song even better as it sounds more natural and casual! The lyrics by Priya too, do a great job in acquainting us with the character of Simran, and her nature. A good title song, with an amazing arrangement.

Rating: 4.5/5

 

♪ Bonus Song

♪ Baras Ja

Singer ~ Mohit Chauhan, Lyrics by ~ Priya Saraiya

“Jo nainon mein hai boondein,
Inhe rukhsaar ko, jee bhar ke chhoone de zara…
Ae dil, baras jaa, baras jaa na!
Abb toh aakar bhigo de tu mujhe!”

– Priya Saraiya

Now this song released later, a few days after T-Series had released the “Full Album”. Coincidentally, it had flooded in Mumbai on that day, and they came with a song called ‘Baras Ja’ the same night, so maybe they were waiting. 😶 Anyway, the song is probably the best, and least simple song on the soundtrack. It has a very complicated tune, but in spite of that, it is so easily loveable! It starts with a very sublime sound of the matka, and again, a soothing flute portion (Sachin-Jigar have really gotten it right with the flute in this album!!) that ensures you that this song was worth the wait! The composition is beautiful, very 90s, and very earthy at the same time, being very soothing. The antara is very, very amazingly composed, and Sachin-Jigar mix elements of Pritam’s and Rahman’s style of composition, to present to us a song, that is rooted to Indian music, especially in the arrangements. The song is decorated with beautiful flute pieces, and the Indian percussion really helps give it that earthy feel. Wonderful piano notes provide the much needed Western touch to the song too, but the Indian-ness overpowers it. Mohit Chauhan reminds us of his ‘Tum Se Hi’ (Jab We Met) days, and croons the song just as mellifluously. He does get a beautiful song all to himself after a long time, after having two songs by Pritam in ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’, sharing space with a co-singer in both of them. This is his first solo song after a long time! Priya Saraiya’s lyrics again, are very effective in bringing out the romance, and help give the song another thing to boast about. If it had been released earlier, it would’ve been easier for people to find, with all the other songs of the album, and got more audience! I am sad because this is definitely the best of the album!!

Rating: 5/5


Simran is yet another beautiful album from Sachin-Jigar. After three albums this year, out of which one was a multicomposer one, they strike gold yet again with their fourth one. I definitely think we can attribute the beauty of this album to one and only one reason — that it’s a solo composer album, and the director Hansal Mehta was clear in what he wanted. The freedom and creative liberty given to Sachin-Jigar is evident, because they’ve made some of the most beautiful melodies, without making things too complicated. That shows us how things can be made more attractive by following a simple formula — “Simple Rehne De!!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4.5 + 5 + 4.5 + 4 + 4.5 + 5 = 27.5

Album Percentage: 91.67%

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: Baras Ja = Pinjra Tod Ke > Meet = Simran = Lagdi Hai Thaai > Single Rehne De

 

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

JAB IMTIAZ MET PRITAM — AGAIN!! (JAB HARRY MET SEJAL – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Pritam Chakraborty, Diplo (Thomas Wesley Pentz) & Rocky Wellstack
♪ Lyrics by: Irshad Kamil
♪ Music Label: Sony Music
♪ Music Released On: 3rd August 2017, 10:30 pm
♪ Movie Released On: 4th August 2017

Jab Harry Met Sejal Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Jab Harry Met Sejal is a Bollywood rom-com film, starring Anushka Sharma and Shah Rukh Khan, directed by Imtiaz Ali, and produced by Gauri Khan. The film is about two strangers who meet in Europe, and try to find the engagement ring of Sejal (Sharma’s character). Obviously, as is the main theme in an Imtiaz film, they discover themselves through the journey. I think even more exciting than the movie itself, is the music. Imtiaz has said in many interviews that he enjoyed doing the music of this film, and that’s showing in the final outcome. The film is a musical (not full-fledged like ‘Jagga Jasoos’) and has 13 songs, by Pritam, who was Imtiaz’s go-to music composer before Rahman. With this film, they reunite, and after ‘Jab We Met’ and ‘Love Aaj Kal’, two super-hit soundtracks by both of them, this is their third collaboration! Expecting just as much variety in this album, and also expecting the elements of whatever Imtiaz has picked up from Rahman while doing the music of those films (namely ‘Rockstar’, ‘Tamasha’ and ‘Highway’)! So I hope this album will be like a blend of Pritamish Imtiaz and Rahmanish Imtiaz! Plunging into the album very positively, hoping it will astound me!!

P.S. Thanks to my friend Chiranjeev Gorur for acquiring and sharing the full musician credits to the album! 🙂


1. Radha

Singers ~ Sunidhi Chauhan & Shahid Mallya

“Main bani teri Radha, maine sakhiyon se, ankhiyon mein rakhna hai tujhko piya, thoda zyaada zyaada!
Main bani teri Radha, tuney sapnon tadapnon mein rakhna hai mujhko piya thoda zyaada zyaada!
Main bani teri Radha!”

Pritam starts off the album with an amazingly energetic song that makes you want to dance right along to its tune, right away. Now I know everyone has heard this song many times by now, and it’s a huge hit across the nation. It is essentially a Punjabi folk-plus-EDM fusion track, and the way Pritam employs these genres, is spellbinding. The composition itself follows a very desi compositional format, in that it appeals to us Bollywood music listeners right away with its inherent catchiness and energetic vibe. The hook, especially, leads the song, as it should. But it is the mesmerizing antara that was the best part for me. Pritam gives it this rapid tune that you are only able to sing after repeated listening, and that’s how it grows on you eventually. A very amazing Punjabi flavour has been given to the Punjabi portions sung by the male singer. The high pitch might bother some, but it is way more comfortable than listening to a high pitch song by Arijit Singh like the recent ‘Ik Vaari Aa’ (Raabta). And if the first antara takes you by surprise, the second antara, which just released with the album version of the song, is pure bliss. The harmony between the two singers is blissful! The arrangements follow suit and Pritam fuses folk and EDM, like I mentioned above. The flute and khartal (which is a Rajasthan folk instrument, but apparently being used in a Punjabi song) open the song in a very light-hearted and feel-good way. Throughout the mukhda, it’s the flute and khartals that play. Until Pritam introduces the mandatory dhol (Sukanto Singha & Sunny M.R.) in the hookline, you won’t be able to even tell that the song is a Punjab-based song. (Because even the lyrics aren’t proper Punjabi; they’re kind of like a mix between Punjabi and Hindi). Another awesome folksy instance in the song is the second interlude where the sarangi is played, and muffled by the programming! The EDM programming by Sunny MR, and Rohan Chatham’s vocal cuts during the “Raa-aa-aa-aaa” portion, serves for a wonderful catchy hook, which would definitely make people hit the repeat button! The coexistence of the dhols and EDM sounds so good. The vocals are a class apart. Pritam reverts to a singer that used to sing many songs for him back in the day, Sunidhi. This is her first song for Pritam after ‘Dhoom 3’, and we know how much Pritam’s music has boosted after that! She sings it so mellifluously, you don’t even realise the rapidity of the tune. Especially the antara, for which she should get standing ovations from all of us listeners! Shahid is top-notch too, his heavy Punjabi accent reflecting through his singing and making the folksy portions of the song what they are. Irshad Kamil’s lyrics are cute too, but there’s a certain Panipat line that had me surprised and worried and disappointed at the same time! 😂 It doesn’t even fit with the rest of the song! Anyway, overall he has written a cute little romantic song. Pritam’s experimentations almost never fail, do they?
Rating: 5/5

 

2. Beech Beech Mein

Singers ~ Arijit Singh, Shalmali Kholgade & Shefali Alvares, Backing Vocals ~ Arjun Chandy & Akashdeep Sengupta

“Hai safar mein zameen, chal raha aasmaan,
Dono ki jo kahaani, ho ki na ho bayaan,
Begaani jagah mein nadaani, karein na, karein toh kahaan?
Jal dheeme, yeh pal dheeme, kyun hai jalte hua?”

The next song on the album falls under a genre that I feel Pritam always aces. A club song. However, this time it is different. The club song isn’t the normal Pritam club you would expect, with heavy EDM and Benny Dayal. Instead, it has a completely retro feel to it, and has been composed as a retro funk song! I can’t remember the last time Pritam composed a retro funk number, because it’s always EDM when he does club songs. So this seems like a very new thing from him. The composition is instantly catchy, and the unconventionality of it all makes it even more appealing! It starts with a very insanely catchy vocal loop repeating the name of the song over and over again, and it is from there that your interest increases. The mukhda (which is the hookline too), is cool, and so is the ‘Shola Shola..’ line! The hook repeats many times throughout the song, but it doesn’t sound repetitive. The crux of the song’s composition lies in the antara, though, where Pritam makes a disco song, melodious! And the cross line which it takes to get back to the refrain, is extra cool!! That’s that about the composition. But it is the arrangements, as always, that really suck you into the song. A groovy guitar (Warren Mendonsa & Ernest Tibbs) riff starts the song off, behind the “beech beech mein” repetitions. The fun arrives, however, only when the drums enter, because they’re so amazing! The drums in this song are really some of the best drums I’ve heard (in non-rock songs) this year! The brass instruments (Trombone by Andrew Lippman, Trumpet & Flugelhorn by Ludo Louis) do their thing by fascinating us in the interludes, and in the antara, they have a really special role to play, when things get a bit melodious. Their harmony is just so enchanting. So now you get why the song can be called retro! 😀 For the vocals, Pritam uses his go-to female singers for club songs, Shalmali and Shefali, both. Of course the male portions are by Arijit. All three sing well; Arijit leads the way while each of the female singers are relegated to the background except for one or two lines. Irshad Kamil’s lyrics are fun. A song that should change the way we think about club songs in Bollywood!
Rating: 4.5/5

 

3. Safar

Singer ~ Arijit Singh

“Iss yaqeen se main yahaan hoon,
Ki zamaana ye bhala hai, Aur jo raah mein mila hai,
Thodi door jo chala hai, Woh bhi aadmi bhala hai,
Pata tha, zara bas khafa tha!
Woh bhatka sa rahi, mere gaanv ka hi,
Woh rasta puraana jise yaad aana,
Zaroori tha lekin, jo roya mere bin,
Woh ek mera ghar tha,
Puraana sa darr tha,
Magar ab main na apne ghar ka raha…
Safar ka hi tha main, Safar ka raha!!!”

Imtiaz’s favourite theme, travel, makes itself prominent right from the title of the next song, and all throughout it as well. The song is titled ‘Safar’ (meaning Journey), and it is a journey in itself for music lovers. Pritam’s composition is a slow and lilting composition that grows on you slowly surely. The mukhda is very beautiful and soulful, and sets off the song on a very jazzy and slow rhythm that is magically appealing. The hook is simple but sweet, and effective in the song. The antara is an amazing high-pitched portion where Pritam’s lines flow into each other so seamlessly, you can’t tell where one ends and the other starts! Towards the end, there’s almost a half-minute musical portion, where I feel Pritam could have added a small conclusion stanza, like he usually does in songs. The arrangements are very beautiful and impressive, with a very urban touch — acoustic and electric guitars (Arijit Singh & Aditya Benia), being the main instrumentation! The guitar riffs are wonderful throughout the song. Arijit’s vocals are very raw and rustic, with the gritty texture standing out very prominently; it actually gives the song a wonderful travel-esque feel. The places where his voice cracks, are actually some of the most brilliant parts of the song! Irshad Kamil’s lyrics are high on food for thought, and each and every line makes you think, connect and relate! The whole song is like a story that is being told about the character’s change of lifestyle. An unconventional song, which won’t be loved by one and all, but should be loved by the music lovers!
Rating: 5/5

 

4. Butterfly

Singers ~ Dev Negi, Jyoti Nooran, Sultana Nooran, Sunidhi Chauhan & Aman Trikha, Backing Vocals ~ Laddi Dhaliwal, Jelly Manjitpuri, Neetu Bhalla, Babita, Asa Singh, Amit, Tushar, Akashdeep, Abhishek, Manoj, Shubham

“Mujhmein ishq ya ishq mein hoon main,
Hua mujhe ehsaas re,
Khel raha hoon saath yaar ke,
Main khwaabon ki taash re,
Tu hi usko khoj raha hai, ae dil mere, yeh na soch,
Woh bhi tujhko dhoondh raha hai jiski tujhe talaash re!!”

This song starts right off with the boisterous Punjabi-ness that an Imtiaz Ali-Pritam combo always consists of. The song is a happy-go-lucky and cute Bhangra tune that really has you dancing to it right away. Pritam’s composition is very earthy and raw, and not superficial and hollow like most other Punjabi songs that release these days. The mukhda especially, starts the song off very beautifully, and you can imagine a village romance getting conjured before your eyes. The hook is the cutest part of the song, but catchy too. In the antara, things go haywire though, and you take time to understand the tune of those lines soon. The tune fluctuates so much, that it is quite difficult to grasp. However, both the parts of the Nooran Sisters, have been composed wonderfully, the one at the beginning, and the one that concludes the song on a very nice note. Both parts are heavy on the earthiness quotient and transport you to the fields of Punjab, with its melodious composition. The arrangements are the run-of-the-mill 2006-2009 era Pritam Punjabi arrangements, with loud dhols (Naseeb Singh), effervescent tumbi (Jelly Manjitpuri), a folksy alghoza (Gurpreet Singh) and of course, a nice technical production. The vocals are energetic, and Dev Negi as the forerunner makes things easier for the audience by not singing too loud, and keeping a gentle yet steady voice constant. Sunidhi disappoints, singing in such a high pitch that I can’t fathom. Nooran Sisters are the stars of the song, starting and ending it with a bang. Irshad Kamil’s lyrics are quite staid for the majority of the song, but again, the Nooran portions have been written very well, with the “Woh Bhi Tujhko Dhoondh Raha Hai Jiski Tujhe Talaash Re” line translating the film’s tagline ‘What you seek is seeking you’, very efficiently. A fun and cute Punjabi song, but falls flat in places where it tries to do too much.
Rating: 4/5

 

5. Hawayein / Hawayein (Film Version)

Singer ~ Arijit Singh

“Banaati hai jo tu, woh yaadein jaane sang mere kab tak chale,
Inhi mein toh meri, subah bhi dhale, shaamein dhalein, mausam dhale!
Khayalon ka safar, tu jaane tere hone se hi aabaad hai,
Hawayein haq mein, wohi hai aate jaate jo tera naam le,
Deti hai jo sadaayein, hawayein, hawayein,
Na jaane kya bataaye, hawayein, hawayein,
Le jaaye tujhe kahaan, hawayein, hawayein,
Le jaaye mujhe kahaan, hawayein, hawayein,
Le jaaye jaane kahaan, na mujhko khabar, na tujhko pata!”

The next song took my breath away, the first time I listened to it. It is just so marvellous and so ideal and so dreamy. It is the ideal romantic song. A trademark Pritam tune, with the trademark Pritam guitars and Sufi template, and the legendary Arijit Singh singing it. What more can you ask for, to obtain a wholesome and pleasant romantic song? Well, I know, I can’t ask for anything more! The composition by Pritam is utterly fascinating, and hooks you right from the first listen. The mukhda starts off quite slowly, but as soon as the hookline plays, you know that the song is one of the best songs of the year! The hookline is something that conforms to every Bollywood music lover’s music sensibilities! There are two antaras; one with a new tune, which is beautiful too, and one with the same tune as the mukhda. The first antara has a wonderful line that goes on and on, and merges with the hookline so seamlessly. The part where the backing vocalists go “Hawayein, Hawayein” has been structured and placed so beautifully. It reminded me of ‘Daayre’ (Dilwale). Overall, Pritam’s composition here is so much close to his usual style of composition, but still so lilting and dreamy! The vocals by Arijit are top-notch, and he repeats the magic of many previous Pritam-Arijit collabs, in one song. The vocals have shades of ‘Gerua’, ‘Channa Mereya’, ‘Daayre’ and ‘Saware’, and it just helps you love the song even more. Irshad Kamil’s lyrics are soothing too, and so poetic! Read out as a poem too, they will be just as impactful. In fact here, Pritam’s strong tune is overbearing. The song appears in two versions — an original, and a film version. Both have splendid arrangements. The first version sticks to Pritam’s trademark arrangement style, with the guitars strongly dominating the arrangements. The Acoustic guitars (Roland Fernandes) are relegated to the background as the electric guitars (also by Fernandes), do that wonderful neverending loop thing that they love to do in Pritam songs! 😄 The ethnic strings (Tapas Roy) provide an amazing first interlude that brings in the earthiness into the beautiful composition. Increasing the Indian-ness of the song, is the nice Sufi template employed in the hook portions, with the Duff and tablas sounding very appealing. The film version has a slightly more haunting arrangement, and sounds straight out of Coke Studio, with a beautiful Hang drum (Sunny MR), and ethnic strings (Tapas Roy) setting up a wonderfully haunting sound that sounds least like it is by Pritam. The Pritamish tune and the haunting Rahmanish arrangements really complement each other, though I never thought they could! A nice and charming wind instrument keeps playing throughout the song, and the guitars (Roland Fernandes) are amazing. All in all, both versions of this song are just as beautiful!!
Rating: 5/5 for Original, 5/5 for Film Version

 

6. Parinda / Parinda (Search)

Singers ~ Pardeep Singh Sran / Tochi Raina & Nikhil D’Souza

“Ikk pardesi, oh yaar banaya,
Main usnu dil de takht bithaya,
O seene de naal usnu laaya,
O apne dil da haal sunaaya,
O maar udaari kithe nikal gaya,
Maar udaari kithe nikal gaya,
Kade bigad gaya, kade machal gaya,
Kade nikal gaya ni hun taan,
Dhoondhan nain bichaare, ni aaj parinda maahi!”

Pritam ups the ante with the next song, a pulsating rock song that is really foot tapping. The composition is a nice, folksy, Punjabi-flavoured composition, that immediately grows on you. The hookline in particular is just beautiful, what with the amazing high notes. The mukhda and antara both have the same tune, and I love the fluctuations in the tune. The arrangements are high-octane rock arrangements, and it is probably the first time in a long time that I’ve enjoyed rock so much, in the first go! The drums by Alan Hertz are very, very exciting, and of course the guitars (Electric and Acoustic by Josh Smith & Nyzel D’Lima; Bass Guitars by Ernest Tibbs) complement the drums very well, as they always do! The lyrics by Kamil are completely in Punjabi, but very interesting, and I loved them. The two versions of the song only differ much in their vocals. Pardeep Sran in the first version oozes the Punjabi energy that should accompany such a high-energy song, and does an electrifying job! Tochi Raina, however, in the second version, brings a more toned-down version of the same, but still, it isn’t low in energy at all! Nikhil D’Souza has an English portion in this version, which sounds AMAZING! It also has an extra stanza at the end, which has a very energetic composition. Both these singers have worked with Pritam many times in the past, but this song marks them working with him after a long, long time, so I’m very happy!! The backing chorus in both versions is spot-on! Kamil’s lyrics actually contradict the upbeat nature of the song, and give a hint of emotion — the song is actually much more meaningful than it seems! A rock song that shows how fusion between Punjabi folk and Rock should be done!
Rating: 4.5/5 for the Original, 5/5 for the Second Version

 

7. Ghar

Singers ~ Nikhita Gandhi & Mohit Chauhan

“Khaali hai jo tere bina, main woh ghar hoon tera,
Ghoome phire, tu chaahe sab shehar, tu hai mera!”

The next song is what Pritam is all about. This is why people love his music so much. These kind of songs is why he has become so popular. It is a very soothing and calm, semi-classical kind of song, that depends solely on acoustics to propel it. The composition kind of resembles that of Pritam’s own ‘Tu Jaane Na’ (Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani) and ‘Daayre’ (Dilwale) and even the recent ‘Main Agar’ (Tubelight). The hook is what makes you get sucked into the song right away; it sounds so pleasing, that you just get lost in it. The first antara is the peak of the song, and the second one by Mohit is no less. The arrangements are very soothing too, with a lounge-ish treatment, complete with amazing electric and acoustic guitars (Warren Mendonsa) which give off the trademark Pritam touch, and a wonderful tabla (Jeetu Shankar) to complement that. The vocals are just too impressive. I think this is Nikhita’s career best, and after two hit songs from Pritam albums, she finally gets a huge portion in a mind blowing song! The way she introduces variations in the same line each time, shows her versatility, and hints at her classical training, if she has had any! Mohit, again, with Pritam after a long time (maybe because of the Imtiaz connection), does spectacularly in his high-pitched portions. Irshad’s lyrics are amazing, romantic lyrics with a thought-provoking concept. A soothing lounge-ish song that manages to touch your soul! The best of the album till now!
Rating: 5/5

 

8. Yaadon Mein

Singers ~ Jonita Gandhi, Mohammed Irfan & Cuca Roseta, Portuguese Lyrics by ~ Mario Pacheco

“Yaadon mein, jalte rehna, hai tera mera,
Yaadon mein, jalte rehne ko, miley hain kya?
Yaadon mein jeena toh sabse badi sazaa lagey,
Yaadon se, jaana ki faasley hain kya!”

A strong Latino vibe hits you right from the beginning of this next song, which happens to be a kind of Portuguese folk song kind of musical genre called “Fado”, and you get sucked in right away. The composition starts with a melancholic portion that sounds very similar to many Spanish/Portuguese folk songs we have come across in pop culture and other sources. And what a wonderful feeling it gives, to actually see a song like this being made for a Bollywood movie. Usually, whenever European or Portuguese styled music is used in Bollywood, it is for those dance numbers a la ‘Senorita’ (Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara), ‘Hawaa Hawaa’ (Rockstar), ‘Udi’ (Guzaarish), and though these were beautiful, too, the unexplored and soothing side of that compositional style really comes across beautifully here, and it sounds oh-so-operatic and chilling! The composition is beautiful, though it is mostly the hook repeating most of the time, but those variations in the hook just kill you then and there. The antaras are nice, especially the female one, and the Portuguese portion by Roseta is wonderful as well. That’s that for the composition. The arrangements by Pritam go beyond what Bollywood has tried in Portuguese music thus far, and goes to a more spine-chilling mixture of the traditional Portuguese guitars (by local guitarist Mario Pacheco) and Pritam’s wonderful strings. The beats get very Pritam-ish in Mohd. Irfan’s antara, but it is a refreshing turn of events. The Portuguese guitar obviously keeps us entertained throughout the songs, and instances of harmonicas are heard as well. The vocals are spot-on. Jonita starts off with a booming introduction, which I would never have believed was sung by her, if it weren’t for the credits! She has changed her voice so beautifully, to make it actually sound like a Portuguese singer. Sure enough, the actual Portuguese singer, Cuca Roseta, sounds very similar to Jonita, but gets a way smaller portion than her. Irfan does well in his parts, in what is also his first song for Pritam too! However, somehow, I felt a lack of connect during his part. The ladies bring that connect back. Irshad Kamil’s lyrics are heart-wrenching. Mario Pacheco, the guitarist, has written the Portuguese lyrics. All in all, a wonderful song that mixes up the pathos of a typical Bollywood song, and the richness of Portuguese folk.
Rating: 4.5/5

 

9. Raula

Singers ~ Diljit Dosanjh & Neeti Mohan

“Aankhon ne khwaabon pe aise hai aitbaar kiya,
Jaise do anjaanon ne khulke ho pyaar kiya,
Hota tha pehle jo door kabhi,
Abb woh mujhe paas lage,
Jaane kyun achha sa lagey,
Dil ne jo iss baar kiya!”

A very trademark Pritam feel-good vibe sets in as the next song rolls in, after that poignant melody. This is another song to go with Shah Rukh’s Punjabi character in the movie — a fun and upbeat Punjabi wedding song. The composition is one of the cutest I’ve heard this year, and instantly has you hooked. The hookline itself is so cute, that everything starts sounding beautiful due to it. The first antara, is something straight out of a 90s Bollywood album, with a noticeable Jatin-Lalit vibe. The bridge from the first antara to the hook is kind of bumpy, but things are great from there. Neeti has the second antara all to herself, and it is pure bliss. Pritam composed that one in trademark 90s Rahman style, and I can’t believe it is by Pritam; the variations in tune sound like the Rahman of the 90s has composed it! It was a pleasant surprise to see Pritam in that form. The vocalists have fun themselves and transmit the energy and boisterous nature of the song to us through the earphones. Diljit is clearly having the time of his life, and his additions like “chak de phatte naap de killi“, are so fun to listen to. Neeti sounds amazing, especially in her solo portion. The arrangements are fun as well, and in a traditional Imtiaz Ali pattern, they are high on dhols, and very interestingly, also have beautiful brass instruments interjecting, with a trademark Laxmikant-Pyarelal vibe. Flamenco Guitars (Josete Ordoñez) are audible in the second interlude. The dhadd and Plucked instruments (Tapas Roy) in Neeti’s solo portion, are so cute! The repetition of the hookline’s tune on those plucked instruments is too cute as well! Irshad Kamil’s lyrics are again, high on the fun quotient, and quirky as well, Especially with those “sangya” (noun), “visheshan” (adjective) and “sarvanaam” (pronoun) additions in Neeti’s parts. One of the most catchy Punjabi songs I’ve heard after ‘Nachde Ne Saare’ (Baar Baar Dekho).
Rating: 4.5/5

 

10. Jee Ve Sohaneya

Singers ~ Jyoti Nooran & Sultana Nooran, Music and A Portion of the Lyrics Traditional

“Kabhi kabhaar sandesa de de, Kya hai tera haal,
Rut pardesi rakhti hogi, shaayad tera khayaal,
Yahaan tere bin patjhad sa hai, har ek mausam hi..
Jee ve sohneya jee, chaahe kisi ka hokar ji!
Maana ke tu ab nahi mera, kabhi tha mera bhi!!”

The singers who enhanced ‘Butterfly’ manifold, Nooran Sisters, get a song all to themselves now, and coincidentally, the song is a built-up on their portion in that song. They sang “Jee Ve Sohneya Jee..”, in that song; here, the rest of the lines follow to make an entire song. The composition is traditional, but Pritam enhances it with his trademark Electric guitars (Roland Fernandes) and digital beats. That’s pretty much all for the arrangements. The stars of the song are actually its lyrics. Irshad Kamil takes the traditional lyrics as a basis to weave a poetic song that is about the relatives of a person who has gone and settled in a foreign land, pleading for him to come back. The lyrics just tug at your heartstrings and remind you of the iconic ‘Ghar Aaja Pardesi’ (Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge), which was also sung in an earthy manner. This song has increased the earthiness and rustic nature a lot, by having Nooran Sisters sing it. Their amazing voices really bring out the song’s essence even better! A song whose lyrics and vocals are what will help it to make its way into the hearts of everyone who listens to it!
Rating: 5/5

 

11. Phurrr (Film Version)

Singers ~ Mohit Chauhan & Tushar Joshi, All Hindi Melodic Compositions by ~ Pritam, Music Programming by ~ Diplo & Rocky Wellstack

NOTE: There was another version of this song which Sony Music released a day before the album. That one was a mix by Diplo, which was terrible compared to the ‘Film Version’. You can listen to it HERE. The one included in the album is actually Pritam’s mix, with Diplo’s drop used from the remix of ‘Agony’ by Pinchers.

“Teri hasrat ho, ya ibaadat ho,
Tujhko paana hai, jo bhi soorat ho,
Har taraf sach mein, sach ki chaahat ho,
Lafz na ho pyaar, balki aadat ho!”

The album finally sheds itself of all the folksiness it had built up for itself (almost every song had some Indian-ness to it) and goes outright Western for this finale. The only thing in this song that is remotely and typically ‘Indian’ is how they say “Phurrrrrrr” to signify a bird’s flying. The song is actually very cool and it is an effort that should be appreciated! The composition is by Pritam, and half of the production by Pritam’s team, and the rest by Diplo. The composition itself is very paltry, but still sounds amazing with the whole Western treatment. It is trippy, no doubt. I mean, if people can withstand trash like “Swalla”, they can go through this without flinching! The drop by Diplo suits here very well, and sounds like it was always meant to be for this song. The entire digital treatment is something Pritam rarely does; he usually takes the help of guitars and live instruments, but it actually turned out pretty good. I loved those electronic tablas sounds. And the programming between 2:02 to 2:24 in the song, is just rad! I would like to appreciate the idea of a collaboration too, however good or bad it has turned out. You like the drop of some song, you contact that person and get him on board — that’s the professional way of doing things! A round of applause for Pritam and Imtiaz here! The vocals are good too. Mohit Chauhan is back for the second time in one album, and he renders the fun song with a swag that is unmatched. Tushar Joshi, Pritam’s new blue-eyed boy, does well too! Irshad Kamil’s lyrics are very conveniently sidelined in the song, thanks to all that’s going on. If one were to still make a conscious effort to listen to them though, he wouldn’t find any hidden gem. A song that isn’t really enough to start a new collaboration wave in Bollywood, but will be remembered for its braveness.
Rating: 4/5


Jab Harry Met Sejal, no matter how late the album released, no matter how badly the film tanked, no matter how much Imtiaz disappointed everyone with the film, no matter how many people actually liked it, and no matter how late this review is going up, is really an album that should be applauded first of all, solely for the makers’ interest in creating an album that’ll cater to music lovers and music listeners. The amazing mix of world music and Punjabi music in this album, is spellbinding. It is such an excitement to listen to the album again and again, because every time, something new that we didn’t get before, pops up. The album also marks Pritam and Imtiaz’s reunion after eight years, and evidently, both Imtiaz and Pritam have evolved over the years. The knowledge Imtiaz got from Rahman’s style of work, has reflected in the album, and the sound that Pritam has developed for himself over the 2013-2017 phase of his career, also shows in the album. It is probably only “Butterfly” that smells of old Pritam and old Imtiaz. But in conclusion, I’m happy that Imtiaz met Pritam (Again)!!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 5 + 4.5 + 5 + 4 + 5 + 5 + 4.5 + 5 + 5 + 4.5 + 4.5 + 5 + 4 = 61

Album Percentage: 93.84% {Making it surpass ‘Meri Pyaari Bindu’ and making it secure the top rank 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: From Track 1 to Track 13 nonstop 🙂

 

 

Which is your favourite song from Jab Harry Met Sejal? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂

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

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

Banjo Album Cover

Banjo Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


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


1. Bappa
Singer ~ Vishal Dadlani

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

 

2. Udan Choo
Singer ~ Hriday Gattani

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

5. Rehmo Karam
Singer ~ Ajay Gogavale

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

 

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

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


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

 

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

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

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

 

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

FEVER HO TOH AISA!! (FEVER – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Ranjit Barot, Tanishk Bagchi, Tony Kakkar, Onesia Rithner, Rahul Bhatt, Faizan-Agnel, Shamir Tandon & Rahul Jain
♪ Lyrics by: Rahul Bhatt, A.M. Turaz, Tony Kakkar, Rahul Jain, Subrat Sinha, Rajeev Jhaveri, Panchi Jalonvi, Arun Kumar & Onesia Rithner
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 24th June 2016
♪ Movie Releases On: 5th August 2016

Fever

Fever

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Fever is an upcoming Bollywood thriller film starring Rajeev Khandelwal, Gauahar Khan, Gemma Atkinson, Caterina Murino & Ankit Makwana. The film is directed by Rajeev Jhaveri, and produced by Ravi Agrawal, Ajay Chhabria, Rajath Manjunath and Mahesh Balekundri. The film revolves around a contract killer who takes on the identity of a writer to escape the police. He has two mysterious women following him, and according to the makers of the movie, “suspense builds as they uncover the lie”. The plot seems to be going to the Bahamas for vacation, but I’m concerned with the music!! So here we go. A few weeks ago, I reviewed ‘Sarbjit’ that had five music-making entities behind it. I thought that was a lot. Little did I know that two months later, a movie called ‘Fever’ would be releasing with as many as 8 musical entities behind it! And fifteen tracks (two versions, so thirteen songs)!! The number of sings makes me curious as to why so many needed to be crammed into the album, what they are about, whether there is any variety or not, and other things that music reviewers look at. 😛 The first composer for this album is Tony Kakkar, who we last heard from in ‘Cabaret’, where he composed the best song of the album, ‘Phir Teri Baahon Mein’. He is in charge of as many as four songs, and five tracks. Hoping he doesn’t get into a very clichéd mode, I am expecting good songs from him. The second composer is Rahul Bhatt, who we had heard three years ago co-composing the song ‘Eggjactly’ in the ‘Jackpot’ album, with Javed Jaffrey. Here he is back with a mere one song, too. Next is Tanishk Bagchi, whose success in composing comes forward with every other song he does. His last song was unbearably bad, in ‘Housefull 3’, so I’m guessing this is going to be better! Then we have Ranjit Barot, who we know more as a BGM composer, than one who composes songs, but he has composed for some films. He too, gets one song in the album. Rahul Jain is next with three songs, making his debut in Bollywood. The stellar duo, who left us with ‘Jigariyaa’, a soundtrack to cherish, Faizan Hussain-Agnel Roman, are back with a single song in this album, which I’m expecting to be good, like their last complete album. They had composed lackluster songs for other albums in between. Then there’s Shamir Tandon, who we know very well, and I don’t know what to expect from him, solely because he never is consistently good or bad. Lastly, there is Onesia Rithner, with two songs, a debutante and a French musician. Looking forward to what she offers! So let’s start off the album!


1. Bas Ek Baar
Singer ~ Arijit Singh, Music by ~ Rahul Bhatt, Lyrics by ~ Rahul Bhatt

Rahul Bhatt starts off the album with an Arijit Singh track. The song is a soothing, calming and feel-good, sad song that has been arranged very minimally. The composer has come up with a simple, heard-before, but heart-touching composition, that is bound to make you fall in love with it. He starts off right away with the mukhda, something that hooks you onto it because of the wonderful piano chords in the background. The hookline is interspersed throughout the song, but quite camouflaged with the other parts, and since the song is so slow-paced, you wouldn’t notice that it is the hookline playing. The first interlude has wonderful strings that will pave the way to the hookline, which stands alone as a stanza in itself. It sounds as if the antara is what starts with the hookline, instead of the mukhda ending with it. Rahul Bhatt has used good acoustic guitars and violins in the first half of the song. The second interlude has the same strings solo as the first, before it breaks out into the rock template that many Bollywood romantic songs have these days. The rock guitars and drums really sound good, especially as a special surprise in an unplugged style song! Again, the hookline stanza plays, this time, with a rock background.  After a while, the song goes back to its soft and mellow nature, and this transition is as seamless as the first. Arijit sounds like never before, and seems to be at comfort with such a soft composition. He sounds great singing in this voice texture. Rahul Bhatt has also written the lyrics of the song, and I must say he has done a decent job, as such songs can’t actually go beyond the clichés of Bollywood. A heart-winning start to the album! A soft, mellow composition that sounds very sweet! And Arijit is extraordinary! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

2. Besambhle
Singer ~ Arijit Singh, Music by ~ Tanishk Bagchi, Lyrics by ~ A.M. Turaz

Arijit features on the second track as well, this time, for another composer. New on the block, but quite some films old in just a year, Tanishk is back with an upbeat MJ-styled number whose beats would remind one of the ‘Bang Bang’ title track. The song starts off with those hip-hop beats, followed by cool strings and drums, that would make you groove to them. Tanishk has come up with an addictive concoction in the form of this song which appeals right away. The hookline actually has the title of the movie in it, so this song can be termed as the title song, too. That portion is catchy as well. The antara gets pretty calm, and the was it has been composed will win over your heart. Arijit sounds really good in this kind of song, younger than ever, as lively as ever, and the infectious tune seems to have brought out the best from him, too. I wish he sings like this in many more songs. He has deliberately left many of his words unfinished but it sounds awesome! Tanishk’s arrangements, though, are what make the song sound genuine in all aspects. Without the infectious beats, the song wouldn’t have been the same. The strings that oh-so-wonderfully carry forward the proceedings, bring the actual retro hip-hop era back. The MJ fans will rejoice on hearing this. The drums and the occasional brass instruments that are humble enough to stay in the background sound great, too, as does the piano. A.M. Turaz stuns with excellent lyrics in this genre as well, after writing many great Sufi/Qawwali songs. Of course, the Urdu is still predominant here! Without the hip-hop, this song would have been zero, Nada, zilch! Tanishk’s strings are the highlight, while Arijit brings out a hidden personality of his! Tanishk’s on-off spree continues with this song; this time, he’s in the ON mode. #5StarHotelSong!!

 

3. Mile Ho Tum / Mile Ho Tum (Reprise)
Singers ~ Tony Kakkar / Neha Kakkar & Tony Kakkar, Music by ~ Tony Kakkar, Lyrics by ~ Tony Kakkar

Tony Kakkar steps into the album next, with his first song, a sad, melancholic and drowsy romantic song. I use the word drowsy because.. Well, you’ll get to know when you hear the song. Tony has composed the song on very typical Himesh/Mithoon lines, with the beats particularly reminding me of the dark era when such songs were the only thing prevalent in any album. Tony has tried to evoke a feeling of sadness, an emotion of melancholia and romance (whatever that is supposed to mean for Bollywood) but it all turns out as a desperate attempt to ape songs that themselves, do not evoke any of the sympathy of the listener. Tony has got stuck on his song ‘Khuda Bhi’ (Ek Paheli Leela), and there are many times in the song when it sounds too similar to that song! Especially one of the lines in the antara. The beats sound miserably like what Mithoon and Himesh use, but the strings help the arrangements somewhat. Tony’s voice doesn’t actually suit the song, either. Either Mohit Chauhan or Arijit Singh would’ve sounded way better. It is the reprise version that scores above the original. Tony has arranged it beautifully, with a blend of flute, shakers, Spanish guitars, mandolin and a plethora of beautiful sounds. Neha sounds wonderful in this new avatar of hers, in a romantic and calm setting, which we’ve heard her singing in, only in her cover videos on YouTube. It is a pleasant surprise to hear her sing that way. Tony has set up a wonderful Indian classical interlude with the flute stealing the show. Tony sings a line in the reprise, and how I wish he had sung so nicely in his solo version too! The lyrics by Tony Kakkar aren’t anything to praise, but they seem to go well with the song. The original is a clichéd attempt, but the reprise fares better, and garners our love for it. The reprise is a #5StarHotelSong!!

 

4. Kharaa Kharaa
Singer ~ Sonu Kakkar, Music by ~ Tony Kakkar, Lyrics by ~ Tony Kakkar

Tony comes back with his second song, this time, a sweet romantic song sung by his other sister, Sonu. The composition is something that will instantly appeal to you, something that would infect your mind with its sheer sweetness. Tony has made a very cute, contemporary and simple romantic song, from the point of view of a girl in love. The composition is not at all difficult to understand, and you can easily catch hold of it. It is the simplicity that appeals. Sonu’s husky voice suits the mood and theme of the song, and she sounds very much like Neha here! I’ve never heard Sonu singing like this! It sounds great how she sings everything in a whispery and feathery voice. It really helps in making the song light to the ears. Tony obviously gets the credits for this. He had disappointed with a melancholic song before this, and he makes up for it with a happy-go-lucky song now. His arrangements too sound great. The acoustic guitar arrangements are predominant, while the harmonica entertains occasionally. Tony aptly introduces a jazzy brass instrument in the second interlude, which lifts up the mood even more. It is the antara which is the cherry on top. The very cute way Sonu sings the sentences rapidly, makes it so intriguing. Tony’s lyrics are definitely better than what he wrote for ‘Mile Ho Tum’, and are believable and realistic. They’re not over the top like those. A dose of sugar!! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

5. Teri Yaad / Teri Yaad (Unplugged)
Singers ~ Rahul Jain / Rahul Jain, Music by ~ Rahul Jain, Lyrics by ~ Rahul Jain

Debutant Rahul Jain marks his entry into the album and Bollywood too, for that matter, with the next song, a calm and dulcet romantic song, written by himself, composed by himself and even sung by himself. Going by the maturity of the song he gives us in his very first Bollywood outing, I can tell he is going to go a very long way! The man has composed a song that is so sweet, and pure in its romance, that it will captivate you for as long as it plays, an astounding six minutes (the original version). The composition has shades of Pritam’s ‘Barfi’ album in it, while also resembling Mithoon’s ‘Humdard’ (Ek Villain), in its treatment. The mukhda, which starts so softly, grabs you as soon as it takes off, something that is unusual with soft romantic songs, which usually take time to grow on you. The hookline is unique, with the small monosyllabic word “yaad”, broken up into many syllables, making it sound unusually great! The antara takes on the form of a simple romantic song, typical of Pritam’s style, and wonderfully presented by Rahul. Rahul’s arrangements are out-of-this-world. In the original version, he uses the quintessential acoustic guitars, and the occasional but very prominent flute. And then there is an interlude with an enchanting traditional matka instrumentation. Throughout the song, the composer uses striking strings. However, it is the second interlude where they stand out the most. The second antara has a different tune, and it is kind of like a climax; it changes the dulcet mood of the song into a kind of painful mood. However, the instrumentation is at its zenith here! And the song ends on a high with those resounding arrangements followed by the smooth and calm mukhda which repeats and concludes the song. The unplugged version, on the other hand, is more of an angst-filled version, and the composition except that of the hook, is completely different. The composition doesn’t appeal at once here, being the melancholia I normally despise. However, the composer does make great use of acoustic guitars to make the song sound grand, as well as a wonderful zitar interlude. However, this version fails to create as much impact as the original one, maybe due to the slower pace and less likable composition. Rahul croons with a soft and smooth voice, the original version of the song, resembling a mix of Arijit and Ash King, while he sounds like a mix of Gajendra Verma and Nikhil D’Souza, apparently shouting, in the unplugged version. The lyrics he pens down though, are good enough for the song, and work in favour of it. The calming, enchanting original version of the song is a must-hear, while the unplugged version is skippable. Rahul makes an impressive debut, though! So, the first version is a #5StarHotelSong!!

 

6. Nahi Nahi
Singers ~ Alisha Pais & Alisha Batth, Music by ~ Shamir Tandon, Lyrics by ~ Subrat Sinha

The jazz genre creeps into the album, in the form of a song composed by Shamir Tandon, and sung by two Alishas, whom I’ve never heard about! Shamir makes a cabaret/jazz number, similar to the one he had composed in ‘Pizza 3D’, and he aces it once again. The song follows the usual jazz template, but with a funky, groovy loop on the rock guitars, this one has everything to make you dance away to it. Shamir’s composition is not extraordinary, but he males sure that it is catchy at the end of the day. Especially that “doo, doo di dooba” loop, is sure to make you nod your head. The hookline is again, something concerned with the movie’s title, and it really grips you onto the song. The leech inside you really wakes up at that moment. Arrangements are entertaining as well — rock guitars, drums played in the regular groovy jazzy manner. The piano played in those fast staccato notes, is sooooo cute! The absence of brass instruments however, is notable! Both the Alishas do a great job in transferring the energy of the composition to the listener, and their voices are half the reason the song turns out so good. The lyrics seem to be complaints of a girl about her lover. Basically, she complains about him not showcasing his love in any way, but then describes how she herself has fallen for him. 😂 Ah, the irony! A groovy, upbeat jazz number by Shamir! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

7. Kuch Is Tarah
Singer ~ Divyam, Music by ~ Rahul Bhatt, Lyrics by ~ Rajeev Jhaveri

Rahul Bhatt, who started the album off with a subtle Arijit song, comes back with a female song, another melancholic song that tries to be goody-goody. The composition is pretty good, I have got to admit, but the execution is not. The song as a whole does not appeal after hearing it, and doesn’t compel you to hear it over and over. Moreover, it seems very basic and simple, and not actually attractive. The blandness of it, naturally acts against it. Rahul tries to make a European-styled composition, but it turns out pretty boring. Arrangements are good, though, with strings, guitars and harmonicas gracing the song and making themselves stand out in the stale composition. The singer goes off-note more than numerous times, and it makes you cringe when she touches — or tries to touch — the high notes. It is the lyricist therefore, who shines in the song, with decent lyrics saving the song. The first boring song of the album, which sinks due to its simplicity and vocals!

 

8. Kya Kasak
Singer ~ Sonu Kakkar, Music by ~ Tony Kakkar, Lyrics by ~ Tony Kakkar

The Kakkar siblings come back, with another melancholic romantic song. Again, Tony weaves magic with the instruments and composition, while Sonu infuses her magical vocals into the song. The song starts with a couplet sung slowly by Sonu in a beautiful tone, but it is when the hookline “Dil ashqon mein yun… ” starts, when the actual magic takes place. Tony’s composition, though melancholic and emotional, does not revolve around the same one or two lines to convey its melancholia, but traverses a wide range of notes that appeal to the ear when put together. He has crafted a very artistic hookline, that catches hold of your attention right away, while the mukhda silently builds up to the peak. The antara is just as marvellous, after which the mukhda and hookline play again. The whole thing just seems so blissful. Tony has used a wide variety of instruments that appeal like never before. I think it is one of his most diversely arranged songs, with acoustic guitars, drums, rock guitars and the like. The rock elements mainly, are what create the most magic in the hookline. The rock guitar riff, so Pritam-ish in form, appeals to the ears like always. The composition has that certain Indian-ness and mixed with rock, it sounds very innovative and appeals highly. Sonu Kakkar sings the song with the same ease with which she churned the ghazal-like ‘Phir Teri Baahon Mein’ (Cabaret), which was a gem of a rendition by her. Her voice has that edge which makes you cherish it, especially in a sad romantic song as this. Tony’s lyrics are mind-blowing as well! I can’t believe he’s the one who wrote ‘Do Peg Maar’ (One Night Stand) earlier this year. Something of a purely different class by Tony Kakkar! Both the siblings have given us a cherishable #5StarHotelSong!!

 

9. Mujhme Kabhi
Singer ~ Shalmali Kholgade, Music by ~ Ranjit Barot, Lyrics by ~ Panchi Jalonvi

The seniormost composer on the seemingly neverending composers list for the album, Ranjit Barot, dives in for the next song, an entrancing number very distinctly composed by him. The song has a composition that is pretty tough to follow, with its ups and downs making it pretty complex. The slow pace of the composition makes it even difficult to pay attention to it. Ranjit has no doubt made a melody that is meant to infuse grandeur into the soundtrack, but it ends up being so situational, that it is kind of difficult to understand it and like it. The composer has tried a bit too much to make it sound westernized. The arrangements are cool, complete with techno sounds and wonderful strings to lead it. A harp loop starts off the song, and keeps backing it throughout. Towards the end, the strings get to their climax and brisk strokes help them in accentuating themselves and in standing out. Drums and brass instruments are great additions as well. However, the song seems to end abruptly with some weird techno sounds. Shalmali sings the song gracefully, but the deliberate low voice doesn’t exactly sound good. She isn’t quite able to showcase her singing prowess with the confined low range of notes. Of course, her usual nasal and husky voice texture helps a bit. Panchi Jalonvi writes good lyrics, but without the support of the composition, they seem lost. Quite boring.

 

10. Look Look
Singer ~ Ash King, Music by ~ Faizan-Agnel, Lyrics by ~ Arun Kumar

The duo Faizan & Agnel, who had left us with an awesome album ‘Jigariyaa’ in 2014, are back with a single song in this album. Of course, I expected the song to be as impressive as their previous works, but it fails miserably. It is probably the duo’s worst song ever! The composition is not at all substantial, just a bit of lines repeating over and over. The composition goes all over the place and it is hard to track where it is going or what it is supposed to convey. The duo has given the song a heavy rock arrangement, which is probably the only interesting aspect of the song. Rock guitars and drums are the only instruments that can be heard here. Ash King, however, is in full form with his rendition, something I’ve heard from him for the first time. He sings in a grungy (or the grungiest his smooth voice can get) voice, and seems to be enjoying himself. If there’s a reason to hear the song a second time, it has to be Ash King and his vocals. Besides that, the lyrics by A run Kumar are just plain banal. It seems like there is a stalker singing, who is behind a girl. And it also seems like a mishmash of stuff that sounds “kewl”. SKIP!

 

11. D’accord
Singer ~ Onesia Rithner, Music by ~ Onesia Rithner, Lyrics by ~ Onesia Rithner

The last composer of the album, French composer Onesia Rithner, steps in with this song. This song is actually from her album “D’Accords”. The composition is pretty cool though. It has a noticeable French touch to it, and it is very light on the ears. It has a soothing touch to it, and the distinct European touch makes it sound even more addictive. The line “Where do you think it comes from” instantly grabs your attention and makes your ears glued to the song. The arrangements are blissful, with acoustic guitars being riffed wondrously throughout the song. The guitars infuse life into the song, and make it sound all the more great. With simply guitars as the arrangements, I must say, Onesia has done a great job to make the arrangements captivating! The riffs are beautiful and soothing. Occasional twinkling sounds make the song seem more lulling. Onesia’s voice, as well, is cute, and her accent will make you want to hear the song on loop! The way she says the title of the song “d’accord”, is something that will amaze you. The lyrics are perfect as well, and cute as ever. A cute English song, by a French composer, in a Hindi film! The guitars are the highlight of this one! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

12. Carried Away
Singer ~ Onesia Rithner, Music by ~ Onesia Rithner, Lyrics by ~ Onesia Rithner

Onesia continues her Bollywood stint with her second song in the same album, another lulling and gentle song that is purely in English. This one is as lulling as the previous one; in fact, I would say it is more so. The subtle and mellow composition is something that will soothe and calm you down. I have no idea whether this song, too, is an inclusion of her previous works, but all I can say is, Onesia has worked really hard to make this one a gem as well! This one has no distinct European touch as such, but it nevertheless appeals with its simple nature. The composition is enchanting and graceful, and enough to drive you to sleep. The arrangements in this song are beautiful as well, but ranges beyond guitars; here, it is the piano that assumes center-stage. The wonderful chords on the piano are what makes it stand out. Later on, the song rises due to a wonderful addition of a slow drum rhythm, that is surely electronic, and wonderful arrangements clouding the pacifying piano sound. Guitars join in too, this time electric guitars, and they make a great appearance in the interlude. Yet again, Onesia croons the lullaby-like composition with a hushed voice, oozing of sweetness and charm. And yet again, her lyrics are perfect!! I guess it’s easy to write good stuff in English, more specifically, calm English songs!! BLISS! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

13. Dil Ashkon Mein
Singers ~ Sonu Kakkar & Tony Kakkar, Music by ~ Tony Kakkar, Lyrics by ~ Tony Kakkar

If you remember the name of this song, it was the hookline in ‘Kya Kasak’, and therefore, no prizes for guessing that this is its reprise! This time, instead of Sonu singing solo, Tony joins her in the beautiful song. The lyrics have been tweaked a bit for the male parts by Tony, and the arrangements change and become even better than they were before, in the bargain. Here, strings lead the arrangements charmingly. The composition, as we already know, is a beautiful heartbreaking and heart-touching one, which reaches out to you and screams to you to keep hearing it on loop! Tony sings this song beautifully, with all notes in place and with a better voice texture, unlike that with which he sang ‘Mile Ho Tum’. Here he sounds a bit like Jubin Nautiyal! Sonu as always excels in the vocals! Tony, lyricist as well as singer and composer, writes just as good lyrics for this version, as he did for the first. The duet version of my favourite song from the album, which was really a must-make, and now it is a must-hear!!! With that, the loooooonnnnnggg album ends with a #5StarHotelSong!!


Fever really surprised me! From an album that just came out of the blue, even though there are some pretty big names associated with it, I never expected such a wonderful album! First of all, I never expected those astounding fifteen tracks. Almost every song is impressive, and I really appreciate how the composers actually worked very dedicatedly to make this album (which will probably be washed out by the soon-to-release ‘Rustom’ and ‘Mohenjo Daro’ albums and the already released ‘Sultan’ album) a successful affair. With this album, newcomers like Rahul Jain and Onesia Rithner prove themselves, with great debuts, while composers that debuted just a few years (or even months) ago, like Tanishk, Faizan-Agnel & Rahul Bhatt, try to continue their successful stints, out of which the duo failed, while the other two succeeded quite well! And then some composers that have been around for quite some time, like Shamir Tandon & Ranjit Barot, too, try their best to impress. Lastly, the composer to whom the major part of the album belongs, Tony Kakkar, who has made five tracks out of fifteen, and has really established his position with this album. Only using his sisters as the singers and himself, he impresses quite a lot! Therefore, I must say, a ‘Fever’ must be exactly like this!

 

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: Dil Ashkon Mein > Kya Kasak > Teri Yaad > Besambhle > Kharaa Kharaa > Mile Ho Tum (Reprise) > Carried Away > Bas Ek Baar > D’accord > Nahi Nahi > Mujhme Kabhi > Mile Ho Tum > Kuch Is Tarah > Teri Yaad (Unplugged) > Look Look

 

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

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

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

Sultan Album Cover

Sultan Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


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


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

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

 

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

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

 

3. 440 Volt
Singer ~ Mika Singh

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

7. Tuk Tuk
Singers ~ Nooran Sisters & Vishal Dadlani

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

 

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

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


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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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