PRODUCERS KA HALKA HALKA GHUROOR!! (FANNEY KHAN – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Amit Trivedi, Tanishk Bagchi, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan & Shankar-Jaikishan
♪ Lyrics by: Irshad Kamil & Hasrat Jaipuri
♪ Music Label: T-Series / ‘Badan Pe Sitare’ on Saregama
♪ Music Released On: 19th July 2018
♪ Movie Released On: 3rd August 20181400x1400bb3

Listen to the songs: Saavn | Gaana

Buy the songs: iTunes

Listen to ‘Achche Din Ab Aaye Re’: Saavn

Listen to ‘Badan Pe Sitare’: Saavn | Buy on iTunes


Fanney Khan is an upcoming Bollywood film starring Anil Kapoor, Pihu Sand, Rajkummar Rao and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in crucial roles. The film is directed by Atul Manjrekar and produced by Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra, Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Kussum Arora, Nishant Pitti, Anil Kapoor, P.S. Bharathi and Rajiv Tandon. The film is an adaptation of the Dutch film ‘Everybody’s Famous’, and it deals with the issue of body-shaming. The music of the film has been composed by Amit Trivedi, with one guest composition, (#NotARemake) by Tanishk Bagchi. This is Trivedi’s fifth album of the year, and out of the four previous ones, ‘Bhavesh Joshi Superhero’ and ‘Pad Man’s were the only solo albums, whereas in ‘Raid’ and ‘Blackmail’, T-Series had forced songs by other composers. Thankfully, in both the albums, the guest songs weren’t bad or frustrating. In fact, in ‘Blackmail’, it was Trivedi who wasn’t at the top of his game. Well, seeing as to how this album is 6/7th his, maybe this will be one of the better ‘multicomposer’ albums of his this year. Let’s dive in!


As is the norm, I usually get the guest composition done with at the beginnjng, or leave it for the very end; here, I will get it over with. So Tanishk’s guest composition Mohabbat, which has left many confused as to whether it’s a remake of Noor Jehan’s ‘Jawaan Hai Mohabbat’, (but which clearly isn’t a remake of that, if you pay attention to the tune), starts the album off. And it is one of the most disappointing original songs by Tanishk. First of all, he creates some weird sounds that hurt the ears, and continues it with grating programming of Sunidhi’s voice that makes her sound horrible! The composition is quite simple, and a bit catchy on and off, but for the most part, it is a very forgettable tune, that could’ve been propped up by Sunidhi’s vocals, if the composer hadn’t programmed it so badly! Irshad Kamil’s lyrics are nothing great, and when the song isn’t interesting, the lyrics don’t really matter that much.

Amit Trivedi too, uses Sunidhi for his first song, Halka Halka, an EDM reimagination of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s famous Qawwali. The difference in Sunidhi’s voice itself shows you what Tanishk had done wrong in the first song. Anyway, the song as a remake, is quite creative — the composer adds a pacy drop to the song after the hookline, and I love the new padding he has composed before the hookline, as the mukhda; it has a beautiful tune, which Sunidhi delivers fascinatingly. However, I didn’t quite like that the hookline has been extended to four lines. The original hookline with two lines was good enough! Divya Kumar complements Sunidhi well, and against the EDM backdrop, both of them, a duo not yet tested by composers, sound magical, and I’m glad Trivedi did try such a contrasting pair for a song.

Trivedi is also made to remake Shankar-Jaikishan-Mohd. Rafi’s iconic Badan Pe Sitare and who better than Sonu Nigam to sing a version of that song? We’ve been hearing the man sing his take on the song ever since I can’t even remember when, and to hear a proper mixed and mastered audio version of him singing the song is a treat for his fans. Amit Trivedi does an awesome job recreating the actual raw orchestra touch of the original song — drums and trumpets owning the arrangements. And obviously, Sonu Nigam owning the song with his energetic and boisterous performance!

The original part of the album is not as exciting as the remake part, sadly, but Amit still manages to give one beautiful song, Achche Din, which has a sweet middle-class touch to it, in both lyrics and tune. Amit’s heartfelt rendition helps the song sound genuine as well, and it suits the setting of Anil Kapoor playing a taxi driver waiting for his fortune to get better. Irshad KamilsK lyrics have a sense of genuineness in them, which propels the song further and Amit’s use of clarinets (I.D. Rao) and flutes is wonderful. But what keeps the song together is the strong composition. The reprise version type of song, Achche Din Ab Aaye Re is the same audio file with a little additional coda at the end, where the lyrics have been tweaked to let us know that Anil Kapoor’s character’s fortune has sparkled.

The rest of the album is sung by Monali Thakur, who is the voice for Pihu Sand, who plays Kapoor’s daughter in the film. The first of the songs, Tere Jaisa Tu Hai, is straight out of the ‘Secret Superstar’ soundtrack, with a less stronger voice than Meghna Mishra. Monali Thakur seems to be struggling with the high notes in this song; the song itself has nothing new to offer beyond the soaring trumpet portions, but then, we heard something similar in ‘Main Kaun Hoon’ (Secret Superstar), so it doesn’t strike me as anything special. Irshad KamklsK lyrics are meaningful, but only good to listen to as long as the song plays; they are easily forgotten after the song ends.

The last song Fu Bai Fu is like those Bollywood medleys that used to feature in our movies, except, since the music label might not possess rights to all the songs, the composer has composed a song and the lyricist sprinkles different lyrics throughout that tune. The songs featured are quite fun to listen to, but nothing beyond that. The use of the Marathi folk song ”’ Bai Fu’ merely raises eyebrows — why was it needed? And was it needed? The arrangements are some of the most bland arrangements Trivedi has provided in recent times — a repetitive loop of the same sounds plays all throughout the song. Monali’s rendition is good in this song, though, and so are her imitations in the interlude. But again, why?


The whole album seems like the producers were way too overconfident with their movie, and in the process, their halka halka ghuroor seems to have made them pay no attention to the quality of the music album! A letdown of a music album for a movie that revolves around music!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 6 + 7 + 7 + 7.5 + 7.5 + 6.5 + 6 = 

Album Percentage: 67.86%

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: Achche Din = Achche Din Ab Aaye Re > Badan Pe Sitaare = Halka Halka > Tere Jaisa Tu Hai > Mohabbat = Fu Bai Fu

Remake Counter:
No. Of Remakes : 30 (from previous albums) + 02 = 32

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

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! 😉

UTTERLY UN’POSSESSIVE’!!! (1920 LONDON – Music Review)

Music Album Details:
♪ Music by: Sharib-Toshi, Kaushik-Akash (JAM) & Shankar-Jaikishan
♪ Lyrics by: Kunaal Vermaa, Hasrat Jaipuri, Sharib-Toshi, Kaalim Sheikh, Azeem Shirazi & Prashant Ingole
♪ Music Label: T-Series [‘Gumnaam Hai Koi’ on Saregama]
♪ Music Released On: 21st April 2016
♪ Movie Releases On: 6th May 2016

1920 London Album Cover

1920 London Album Cover

 

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

To hear ‘Gumnaam Hai Koi’ on Saavn CLICK HERE

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE

To buy ‘Gumnaam Hai Koi’ on iTunes CLICK HERE


1920 London is an upcoming Bollywood horror flick. It is the third installment in the “dreaded” 1920 franchise, and stars Sharman Joshi as the exorcist, Meera Chopra as the wife of the person who is possessed, and Vishal Kharwal as the person who is possessed. 😛 The film is written by Vikram Bhatt, and directed by Tinu Suresh Desai, who was supposed to debut with the upcoming Akshay Kumar flick, ‘Rustom’, but this happened to release first. The film is produced by Reliance Entertainment. There’s no point discussing the story, because there will be a twist somewhere or the other, so let’s move on to discuss about the music. The music has been composed by Sharib-Toshi (Now to be credits as Shaarib and Toshi) who haven’t really impressed highly with their previous works (maybe a bit in ‘Zid’ and ‘Jashnn’). Hopefully, this might be their best album, going by the music of the first and second parts of the franchise. The duo has three songs in the album. Debutants Kaushik-Akash are the guest composers, with two songs, representing a company known as JAM (Just About Music) which has been founded by Pritam. It is an A&R (Artists & Repertoire) venture by Pritam, under which he will launch new music directors and look after their development in the industry. This is his first go at the venture, and hopefully, it turns out successful, so that he will be motivated to introduce more newbies and we will get many new, talented composers! 😀 So, here I start hearing the music of ‘1920 London’ with great expectations! Let’s hope the music keeps up to expectations!


♪ BONUS SONG

♦ Gumnaam Hai Koi
Singers ~ Jubin Nautiyal & Antara Mitra, Original Song’s Singer ~ Lata Mangeshkar, Music Recreated and Composed by ~ Kaushik-Akash, Original Composition by ~ Shankar-Jaikishan, New Lyrics by ~ Kunaal Vermaa, Original Lyrics by ~ Hasrat Jaipuri, Music Label ~ Saregama

Saregama is still at its silly behaviour, claiming rights to their old songs, if remade. That’s absolutely right, but kinda irritating by now. 😛 Anyways, they should be proud of the wonderful collection of songs they have in their kitty and the first song of the ‘1920 London’ album is yet another one of such famous old songs from them. This time, since it is a horror movie, nothing could’ve been better than this song to pick, and the makers have chosen it perfectly. The song I’m talking about is the haunting old song composed by maestros Shankar-Jaikishan, and sung by none other than Lata Mangeshkar, ‘Gumnaam Hai Koi’ (Gumnaam). And the newcomers Kaushik-Akash get a chance to put forth to the world, their version of the classic haunting song. They get the general idea, which is to make the song haunting and totally ghoulish, right. The starting itself is wonderful with all kinds of sound effects — wind, screeching bats, and a whole lot of weird ghostly whispers. Antara starts the song with a line that sounds more of a backing vocal line. Once Jubin starts singing, you definitely will get goosebumps. His smooth voice has the right amount of haunt and romance and even dominance. He touches the high notes with such ease, it is hard to imagine. The duo has beautifully crafted his part of the song, which is their own composition. The only thing retained from the old song is the hookline, and that is helmed by Antara, not sounding like herself thanks to the heavy programming of whispers, trying to make her sound like a ghost, but kind of failing. I would’ve preferred it if she would’ve been allowed to sing freely without any programming done to her voice. Nevertheless, it has been sung great, in a whispery voice and I guess it was necessary to make it sound more scary. The duo has composed Jubin’s parts perfectly, and they’re the best parts in the song. The mukhda hooks the listener, while the antara does the job of not letting go, which means the attempt has been successful. Kunaal Vermaa (‘Hasi’ — Hamari Adhuri Kahani fame) writes nice lyrics here, but I can’t make out whether they’re romantic or haunting or both. The duo excel in the arrangements. As mentioned earlier, various sound effects grace the song, and it sounds awesome. They send chills down the spine, but of course it isn’t exactly spooky; after all, it is a song. Piano and strings gracefully lead the arrangements, while the rest is digital stuff. Owls, bats, ghouls form the sound effects part of the song, and it is commendable. A great first attempt for Kaushik-Akash, and a decent revamp of the classic. Jubin excels, while Antara gets very less scope to open up!


Now, the review of the ‘1920 London’ album, released by T-Series, consisting of four songs, with three by Sharib-Toshi and one by Kaushik-Akash. 🙂


1. Aaj Ro Len De
Singer ~ Sharib Sabri, Music by ~ Sharib-Toshi, Lyrics by ~ Sharib-Toshi & Kaalim Sheikh

The first song in the album starts off with a beautiful Middle-Eastern feel of the oud, starting off the song on a high. Sharib-Toshi go the familiar way, composing a song quite similar to all their previous works of this genre. I couldn’t help but think of all their other works. It is a romantic song with a very heavy melancholic touch. To be honest, I am already very tired and sick of all this from the duo. The hookline, though repetitive and typical, however, foes garner some interest from the listener, as do all of Sharib-Toshi’s melodies. It is in the parts surrounding the hookline, where the problem lies. Nothing has been composed in a very likable or catchy tune; in fact, it exhausted me to hear the song, which is just less than five minutes long (too long when the song has nothing new to offer!) The mukhda might interest listeners, but the interest wears off until the antara. Sharib’s voice is good, but I would’ve preferred somebody else to sing this song. His voice seems too soft and rustic for the composition, which hasn’t worked in its favour, sadly. The duo really works hard to make up for the lack in melody, by giving wonderful, awe-inspiring arrangements! The arrangements are something which I haven’t heard recently! With an Indian and Middle-Eastern touch, they touch the heart and sound really grand — the aforementioned oud, various string instruments, and I think a santoor, if that’s not the oud itself, being played on a higher note. The lyrics are exhausting and boring, too, trying to be too fancy. I wonder what Sharib-Toshi wrote and what Kaalim Sheikh wrote. 😁 This will be liked only by those who love the typical Bhatt-ish songs. I’m so drained out after hearing this song! 😦 A very disappointing start by the duo.

 

2. Rootha Kyun
Singers ~ Mohit Chauhan & Payal Dev, Music by ~ Sharib-Toshi, Lyrics by ~ Azeem Shirazi

The next song in the album does start off quite promisingly. As I have said before, piano notes are a wonderful way to start off a song. They have the power to grab the attention of the listener from the beginning of the song. This time, Sharib-Toshi do just that. They use the very diplomatic piano to lure listeners into the song. However, once the listeners are lured inside, the trap is quite pleasant. Unlike my expectations after hearing ‘Aaj Ro Len De’, this song fares better. Mohit Chauhan is a safe choice taken by the composers. He sings the heard-before-yet-appealing composition beautifully. Especially the way he sings the hookline, is impressive. Payal gets to sing the second antara along with the hookline. Let me say it takes time to get used to her voice there. She seems to have used an unnecessarily high-pitched voice, trying to ape Sadhana Sargam, but after a listen or two, it starts sounding beautiful, and then it seems nobody could have done better. i don’t know how that happened because until I wrote this, I had only heard the song once and didn’t like her voice, but now suddenly started liking it. Sharib-Toshi get it right with the composition, and play  it safe there too. Though typical, it is pretty catchy, unlike the first one, which only had a catchy hook. But this song has the mukhda and antaras catchy too. The main reason for the catchiness has to be the fast pace of the song, which does make a huge difference. The hookline has been composed really well, and as I said before, sang just as well by Mohit and Payal, later on. Again, arrangements are fabulous. I remember Sharib-Toshi’s fab arrangements in ‘Zid’ as well, and it is great how they always pay attention to their arrangements, though their compositions might not be so strong. Here, they have equally balanced both. The arrangements are a good mixture of a string orchestra, rock elements (guitars and drums), digital sounds and sparkling Indian instruments like the santoor. Azeem’s lyrics are typical too, but still go well with the song and sound good, so that’s is passable. When typicality meets genius, it sounds like this. A safe song from all angles! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

3. Tujhko Mein
Singer ~ Shaan, Music by ~ Sharib-Toshi, Lyrics by ~ Azeem Shirazi

Here Sharib-Toshi try to do what I’ve been ranting and rambling on about — something that isn’t the typical horror Bhatt-ish stuff. They rope in Shaan for this, and you will understand why, after you hear the song. Sharib-Toshi have composed a happy-go-lucky, sugary-sweet song, which tries so hard to be romantic without getting melancholic. The result? The duo fails miserably even there. The sweetness is overdone, just like an over-ripe fruit. Too sweet, and you start feeling nauseated. The same is the case with this song. The composition falls into the same category of songs which Shaan is getting nowadays, that sound pretty mild and kiddish. He does well, no doubt, but it has gotten boring hearing him sing the same types of songs, with no variations at all. In the hookline he sings “main aankhon mein” in a very irritating manner. Sharib-Toshi do try hard to  give a good composition, but as I sad, it sounds too goody-goody, and artificial. With the composition and vocals not making a deep impact, we can only expect the duo to add great instrumentation, but sadly, the arrangements here are pretty clichéd and banal. What with the seemingly forced finger snaps, and other weird digital beats. Guitars and the saxophone try to normalise things, but to a limited extent. A synthesiser tries to impress in the first interlude, but even that does not work. There is nothing new in the arrangements, and if the duo wanted to make an outstanding romantic track, there are many things they could have added to the otherwise boring composition. It is high time they realise that things have changed since their debut in ‘Raaz: The Mystery Continues’ in 2009, seven years ago, when all this seemed appealing. Azeem Shirazi’s lyrics are plain and simple, but not backed by a strong composition, they fall flat on their nose, if they have one. 😛 I wanted the duo to do something different. They did. But not very impressively. It is called Typicality in Experimentation.

 

4. Aafreen
Singers ~ K.K. & Antara Mitra, Music by ~ Kaushik-Akash, Lyrics by ~ Prashant Ingole

The newcomer duo comes back to finish off the album with their second song, a romantic duet. The song does have a heard-before tune, but it has been crafted so well, that it manages to appeal to the ears, and fits into the category of breezy romantic songs Bollywood used to produce in wholesale, until those melancholic romantic songs started arriving in bulk. So, this song provides a great respite from those melancholic songs of these days. Unlike ‘Tujhko Mein’, this is a great example of how such a song is done. Kaushik-Akash score with the composition. The distinct Pritam-ish touch is omnipresent in the song, and it sounds good. The hookline does remind of Salim-Sulaiman’s method of composing romantic hooklines, and is quite pleasant itself. As with the composition, the duo has made a great choice by roping in K.K. to do the male vocals. This is his territory, and he rules in such songs, as is evident in the song. Antara does seem out of place, and to be extremely honest, Tulsi Kumar would have carried it out beautifully too, as she has sung such songs before. Antara gets more scope to open up in this song than ‘Gumnaam Hai Koi’, but still she sounds too artificially sweet. It is all the fault of her having different voices in each song. Her parts have been composed beautifully, though, doing half of her job for her. The arrangements are mostly techno sounds, but electric guitars and a faint string orchestra are audible. The fingersnaps sound good in this song. In the line just before the hookline, a wonderful church-like choir joins in with great harmonious backing vocals. Prashant Ingole’s lyrics, which would seem dull and typical otherwise, are definitely saved by the composition. At last the finale is great, with the duo showing a lot of promise. Great for a debut! Vocals and composition holds all the magic! #5StarHotelSong!!


As much as I was expecting, 1920 London isn’t even half as good! The newcomers from the A&R project fare well, even if I don’t consider that it is their debut. While on one side, with the remake of ‘Gumnaam Hai Koi’, they give a quite hellish composition, on the other side they give a breezy, heavenly composition with ‘Aafreen’. Sharib-Toshi, the more seasoned artists of the two, however, disappoint. They stick to their old templates, out of which luckily, one turned out to be exceptional, while the other two are extremely avoidable. In 2014, when the duo had claimed that ‘Zid’ was their career best, I ignored it as it was unbelievably ordinary. But now I think they had said it right. In retrospect, their career best does seem to be ‘Zid’. Horror films are seemingly their forté, seeing their albums, but here they disappoint. And thoughh the newcomers do well, neither of their two songs will have a long life; they aren’t that strong either! So overall, the album is full of song that would not grip you, or shall I say would not ‘possess’ you?? 😀 👻👻

 

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: Aafreen > Rootha Kyun > Gumnaam Hai Koi > Tujhko Mein > Aaj Ro Len De

 

Which is your favorite song from 1920 London? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂

 

Next “dish”: Cabaret, Chefs: Kaustav Narayan Niyogi, Munish Makhija & Tony Kakkar