TANISHK-VAYU KI SHAANDAAR DAAVAT!! (SHUBH MANGAL SAAVDHAN – Music Review)

How clever, how innovative and how unconventional! In keeping with the unconventional theme of this movie, the music company Eros Music (who before this, have never disappointed me in releasing music on time!) have thought of a very innovative music release strategy i.e, to not release the album as a “full album” even after the movie has released! Wow!! How nice! One of the composers of the album, Vayu Srivastava, (@purevayu on Twitter) though was kind enough to assure me that this was the last song; so going ahead with the review!

UPDATE (5th September 2017): Eros Now has now released the full OST, and it does indeed, only have five songs.


Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Tanishk-Vayu
♪ Lyrics by: Tanishk-Vayu
♪ Music Label: Eros Music
♪ Music Released On: 5th September 2017
♪ Movie Released On: 1st September 2017

Shubh Mangal Saavdhan Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Shubh Mangal Saavdhan is a Bollywood film, starring Ayushmann Khurrana and Bhumi Pednekar in the lead roles, directed by debutant R.S. Prasanna and produced by Aanand L. Rai and Krishika Lulla. The film revolves around the film’s leading man, who suffers from ‘erectile dysfunction’, what he calls a ‘Gent’s Problem’. The madness and mayhem that follows in the already engaged to be married couple’s life is the premise of the story. (Because the adults have found out as well!) So the theme is quirky and the film has been getting RAVE reviews, but there was no sign of the music album, even after the film had released! Eros Music seems to be following a certain promotional strategy, and I must say, it’s the worst promotional strategy ever, where the promotion carries on even after film release! At least Sony Music releases the album 11-12 hours before the film, leaving the music lovers satisfied! This irresponsible type of music release where the music released after the movie, is just plain weird. Anyway, the music album happens to be fast-coming-to-the-top composer duo Tanishk-Vayu’s first solo album, in which they’ve composed all songs, and even written all the songs! And whatever I’ve heard of Tanishk-Vayu’s music, it is always quirky and zany, and a brilliant mix of Indian and Western sounds, so I’m sure that they would provide amazing music for this film, about the wedding of two people from small middle-class families in Delhi! Let’s dive in and see how sumptuous their wedding feast turns out to be!


1. Rocket Saiyyan

Singers ~ Ritu Pathak, Brijesh Shandilya & Tanishk Bagchi

“Duniya palat doonga, tu na lena tension,
Tere hi liye hai meri sagli attention,
Dekho na baby dil ki wire ke length ko,
Chhukar dekho pyaar waale current ko!
Baatein kare phenke gulaab, hamare saiyyan,
Aisi velocity janaab, phawware saiyyan,
Rocket hamare saiyyan!!”

Tanishk-Vayu start their first solo album, with a quirky romantic song, with the peppiness quotient very high. The song is a quirky take on the quintessential Indian Wedding songs, and the duo’s small experiments all throughout the song make it so appealing. The composition, for one, is so crazy and zany, it appeals instantly, to people who are open to loving weird stuff, and I’m one of them! Right from the beginning, the duo uses quirky sounds to catch the attention of the listener, and it works in a weird way. The actual composition is very simple, and in some places I could tell they’re just trying to be overtly crazy and weird, but it just works so well, you don’t have time to think about it. The song has a mukhda and an antara, the mukhda by the female singer, while the antara is by the male. Both have the same, crazy kind of tune, and the hookline is very catchy, as it should be. However, it might just be reduced to a “Comedy” song. There is a certain quality in the arrangements as well — the quirk creeps into the music too, and alongside the usual wedding percussion, we get funny sounds like babies crying, and other computerised noises, that just act as nice attractions throughout the short song. The use of the shehnaai (Seems digital) in the interlude produces quite a humorous effect. The vocals are good for the type of song it is — Ritu Pathak, returning to sing after a long, long time, manages it very well, and a bit off tune too, producing a good, imperfect effect that suits the song very well. Brijesh Shandilya, the composers’ favourite, also does an amazing job, but has a very little portion. The lyrics by the duo too, are funny and cute. A song that might irritate a lot of people, but the quirk is what you have to look out for!

Rating: 4/5

 

2. Kanha / Kanha (Unplugged)

Singers ~ Shashaa Tirupati / Ayushmann Khurrana

“Roke mohe, toke mohe, kaate re dagar o re Yamuna ke tatt ki,
Laaj nahi, kaaj nahi, maare jo kankariya, toh phoote mori matki,
Vaak chatur bharmaave, prem jaar arjhaave,
Jo bhi kare, kare sab quick, quick, quick, quick!
Kahun main piya ji thoda karlo sabar par na, maane na,
Kanha, maane na!”

This next song happens to be Tanishk-Vayu’s most straightforward song of their career, conforming the most to conventional standards than any of their other songs that have all been quirky! Of course, that was called for here, since they had to compose a thumri, and you can’t really mess with thumris. They have a particular fixed structure, and a way of making them. That being said, the duo does a wonderful job in making their first semi-classical song, and they win half the battle with the strong composition itself! The composition is so free-flowing, like so many of the Radha-Krishna songs of Bollywood. I can just predict that this will make its place in the list of Great Bollywood Krishna songs. The hookline is just so sweet, and instantly likeable, and the composition of the entire thumri has a very tangible Rahman touch to it; it is impossible to dislike that. It freshens your mind up instantly, as good Indian classical music always does. The song is presented to us in two versions — one by a professional, and a female version, as conventional thumris usually are. That version is sung by the awesome Shashaa Tirupati, who uses her sweet voice to melt your heart singing the thumri. She’s getting really good classical based numbers in the Rahman camp as well this year, and now she gets to sing this one, which almost sounds as if it’s a spawn of the Rahman songs. The duo give the female version a beautiful, traditional arrangement, with amazing tablas, sarod, and awe-inspiring flute solos. It is a delight to the ears, and the richness of the music just can’t be forgotten for a long time. It starts so richly too, with the background vocalists singing a nice vocal rhythm, alongside the playful combo of the santoor and flute! But even with all the conventional-ness of the arrangements, the duo tries something unconventional, and adds drumbeats every time before the hookline, and that’s what makes the song even more interesting! The second version is by the leading man of the film, Ayushmann Khurrana, who seems to be singing at least one song in every film of his nowadays. Of course, since he can sing so well, he aces the song, but I never knew he could sing classical this well. Of course, it doesn’t sound professional, but it is good enough! The duo decorate this one with a beautiful guitar riff (Tapas Roy) and a nice loop on the ukulele that’s so captivating! So while one version is completely semiclassical, the other one follows a more “Unplugged” (as it is named) route, with the guitar playing the lead role. Last but definitely not the least, the lyrics of both versions are beautiful. I commend the duo for using traditional words like “sakhi“, “laaj“, “panghat“, “badra“, and making it sound more rooted. And on the other hand, the duo uses English words, creating a fun contrast. The Radha-Krishna story has been kept intact, and the romance of the protagonists uses that as a backdrop, and it is so beautiful to listen to! Kudos to Tanishk-Vayu for a wholesome semiclassical number, in two delightful versions!!

Rating: 5/5 for Shashaa’s Version, 4.5/5 for Ayushmann’s Version

 

3. Laddoo

Singer ~ Mika Singh

“Boli aisi ke, tamatar bhi mangayein toh lage jaise mushaayaron mein
Baitha sunn raha hoon usko!
Aankhein aisi ke, milaayein jab nigaahein, ye nigaahein dagmagayein,
Kuch samajh mein bhi na aaye dil ko!
Ho, jab se mohabbat uthi, seene mein ghus gayi Gupti,
Iss dil ke laddoo bant gaye!”

The duo bring back the quirkiness and unconventional quality of the album with this song, a romantic song sung by Mika! Now, before we start complaining about how Mika isn’t suitable for romantic songs, I would like to remind you about “440 Volt” (Sultan) last year, which was a romantic song that wouldn’t have sounded half as good if Mika hadn’t sung it. This time, Tanishk-Vayu compose a very quirky number and rope Mika in to sing it. The composition is again, a very desi composition, that will appeal to your sense if you love traditional tunes with an innate quirk. The mukhda is amazing, the antaras make sure you don’t make your attention wander elsewhere, but the hookline is the best part — it is so short and simple, as if they’re stating an obvious fact, “Iss Dil Ke Laddoo Bant Gaye!” and it’s over as soon as it starts. That’s the best part of this hookline; it doesn’t hover around for long and waste your time. The arrangements are very beautiful — a very traditional beat of manjeeras and dholaks among rich guitar riffs sounds very interesting, and never before heard. The shehnaai-like sounds are also very fun to listen to. The manjeeras give the song a very unconventional and traditional rhythm, and that is what made me listen very closely to the arrangements in the first place! Towards the end we get a fun shehnaai portion, and it seems to be a sweet conclusion to the fun-filled romantic song. The vocals by Mika are surprisingly amazing; the duo seem to have done a good job in giving him the right brief, and so he doesn’t eat up many of his words here! The way he sings the hook is a way nobody else could’ve done it! Tanishk-Vayu’s lyrics are fun as well, and the comedy element is intact even in this song. The quirkiest romantic song I’ve heard in a while!!!

Rating: 4.5/5

 

4. Kankad

Singers ~ Raja Hasan, Shashaa Tirupati, Rajnigandha Shekhawat & Arman Hasan

“Mere liye tu Ram na Ranjha, utna bahut hai, jitna sanjha,
Chhote bade sab tere, sapne hain mere abb,
Mere wale sapne toh, sach mein hain mere abb,
Tu jo rahega toh, saath dega toh, Rab se kya mangungi main,
Sab kuch toh paa lungi main,
Dil yeh kahin ladkhadaye agar toh thaam le na please!
Kankad bhi kabhi koi aa nahi sakta tere mere beech!!”

The duo wind up the album with a wedding song, but again, it is a very traditional wedding song, and full of emotion! The composition is very heavy on emotion as well; and it focuses on the emotion much more than it does on the enjoyment factor! At the end it basically just freshens your mind and makes you feel good. The makers had kept this song hidden until even after the movie was released, but I don’t understand why, because it was such a beautiful number!! The composition showcases Tanishk-Vayu’s versatility, and they prove that they can compose emotional numbers just as well as those upbeat comic numbers. The hookline especially is steeped with emotion — you can just feel the emotion through the earphones as it plays. The arrangements too, represent some of the duo’s most rich arrangements in terms of folk instruments and traditional sounds. The quintessential wedding chorus starts the song off, with a tumbi sound, and your interest is peaked right there. The dholaks, dafli, strings and a surprise element of the shehnaai in the interlude all provide an amazingly rich arrangement, at the same time keeping things very enjoyable and danceable on! The whole composition and arrangements have a very distinct Rahmanish touch to them! The vocals are beautiful, with Raja Hasan (after a long time, yo!) taking care of the male portions well, keeping the emotion intact. However, he could have been better in certain places.  The female singer, Shashaa Tirupati, has a very small part, but still manages to steal the lightning, as that part has been composed so thoughtfully by the composers, and it is full of tangible emotion. The various backing vocalists like the small child singing at the end, provide a nice “grand Indian wedding” feel to the song. But still, the lyrics which are so full of emotion, do not make you feel as if it is a conventional Bollywood wedding song; it is just too sweet for that! The lyrics are what make you realise the true meaning of the song, and I salute the makers for making this emotional song against the backdrop of the wedding. Last month we saw an emotional song against the backdrop of the Holi festival, ‘Gori Tu Latth Maar’ (Toilet: Ek Prem Katha), and this time, Tanishk-Vayu follow the same template, to make another beautiful wedding song full of love and emotion! A commendable job, to create an emotional wedding song! Not your everyday Bollywood Wedding song!! This ends the album on a very high note!!

Rating: 5/5


Shubh Mangal Saavdhan really proved how talented Tanishk-Vayu are. Usually, they appear in multicomposer albums where they hardly get enough scope to show their talent in composing for an entire movie, with a particular theme running throughout the movie. Here, when they get the chance finally, they make great use of the opportunity and provide us with an enjoyable album full of quirky music, and also some emotional music. Their method of fusing quirky sounds with traditional desi beats and tunes, really is the hallmark of their music, and it is what makes their music light, fluffy and a delectable treat to listen to! Thank you, Tanishk and Vayu, for treating us to such a delicious wedding feast of an album!!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4 + 5 + 4.5 + 4.5 + 5 = 23

Album Percentage: 92%

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: Kanha = Kankad > Laddoo = Kanha (Unplugged) > Rocket Saiyyan

 

Which is your favourite song from Shubh Mangal Saavdhan? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂

NECESSITY IS THE “MOM” OF EXPERIMENTATION!! (MOM – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: A.R. Rahman
♪ Lyrics by: Irshad Kamil, Rianjali, Rajakumari & A.R. Rahman
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 27th June 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 7th July 2017

Mom Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE

 


Mom is an upcoming Bollywood thriller, starring Sridevi, Sajal Ali, Akshaye Khanna and Nawazuddin Siddiqui. The film has been directed by Ravi Udyawar, and produced by Zee Studios, Sunil Manchanda, Naresh Agarwal, Mukesh Talreja, Gautam Jain and Boney Kapoor. The film revolves around a mother and her daughter, and as the daughter never reciprocates the love which her mother gives her, the mother, played by Sridevi, just waits patiently for that day. However, an unfortunate incident (not revealed because this is a thriller, duh!) widens the gap between the two, to a point of no return. Now the mother has to make a choice between what is wrong and what is very wrong, in order to fight for her daughter’s love. So the story seems quite intense, and way at the other end of the spectrum than Sridevi’s previous film ‘English Vinglish’, though that too had a “Mother” subplot. What is another attraction in this film, is that it has A.R. Rahman giving music. Now, it has been a long time since Rahman has signed such a small film, and I’m very glad he did, because it’ll just go to prove that he provides his best to any film (that is, if the music is good). He has given seven songs for this soundtrack, and Boney Kapoor calls it one of his best works. Let’s check for ourselves!


1. O Sona Tere Liye

Singers ~ A.R. Rahman & Shashaa Tirupati, Lyrics by ~ Irshad Kamil

“Aaye na kabhi, aankhon mein nami,
Khushi ka jahaan, laayenge hum hi,
Yeh toh baat hai, jeene ke liye,
Hoon zaroori main, tu bhi laazmi!
O Sona, tere liye, duaaon se jalte diye,
O Sona, tere liye, farishton ne sajde kiye!”

– Irshad Kamil

The beginning song of the album is aptly, a lullaby, from a mother to her daughter. Yes, it is sung by a male voice, with a small stanza by a female voice, but the sentiments come forth nevertheless! I personally never think the gender of the singer matters, when the lyrics say what they want to. Anyway, the song starts off quite slow, and reminds you of many a Rahman composition, with its dulcet, slow-paced yet heart-moving sound. The structure of the composition is quite similar to earlier this year’s ‘Hind Mere Jind’ (Sachin: A Billion Dreams). The composition is very, very moving; it starts off like a soothing Western tune, high on Western arrangements, like the guitars. As soon as the hookline kicks in, the song starts gaining pace, and the composition of the hook is just so beautiful, you just can’t help but get a bit emotional. The antaras both having the same tune, have been composed so calmingly, and their soothing vibe is what makes the song sweet and simple. Rahman keeps the arrangements simple, with a basic piano melody and guitar riff (Keba Jeremiah) forming the base of the arrangements. The piano chords throughout the song give the song more gravitas. As soon as the hookline starts, a wonderful guitar riff takes centre-stage. The first interlude has a wonderfully done strings piece, by the Chennai Strings and Sunshine Orchestra, conducted by VJ Srinivasa Murthy, and that is intertwined later with Kamalakar’s beautiful flute piece. And it is at interludes like this, where you can truly appreciate Rahman’s arrangements. The second interlude takes an unexpectedly Pritam-ish turn, with the digital notes, playing in a loop, in the trademark Pritam way. Again, a nice guitar piece is superimposed on that. Mind you, this is the only song on the soundtrack without any kind of experimentation in arrangements whatsoever, so it’ll probably be the most popular and public-friendly song from the film, or maybe not. As far as the vocals are concerned, Shashaa outdoes her mentor and co-singer, the composer himself, in her small stanza. Rahman’s voice doesn’t really suit the composition, but there are some places where you think nobody else could’ve sung it. Shashaa, on the other hand, manages her lines well, with a beautifully pitched voice, and not only does she do her solo portion well, but she enhances the song with her various backing vocal inputs as well. That “Tere Liye, Tere Liye” she sang once, after Rahman had sung the hookline, has stuck in my head! Irshad Kamil’s lyrics are beautiful, beautiful and beautiful. The fact that, due to Rahman’s diction, some of it is unclear, is different though. A nice and dulcet start to the album, which is now going to take an experimental turn, so brace yourselves!

Rating: 4.5/5

 

2. Kooke Kawn

Singers ~ Sukhwinder Singh, Blaaze, Suzanne D’Mello, Lyrics by ~ Irshad Kamil & Traditional

“Kothe utte kooke kawn! (Kooke kawn, Kooke kawn!!)”

– Irshad Kamil

This song onwards, the soundtrack becomes purely experimental; some things are such that we’ve never heard experimented with before and others are merely an everyday experimentation for us, which Rahman too happened to do in this album. This song falls into the second category. A Punjabi club number isn’t a new idea to Bollywood music listeners. In fact, Rahman himself has given a Punjabi experimental number ‘Jugni’ in Tamil album ‘Kaatru Veliyidai’. This one is different, though. The song starts with the cawing sound of a crow, and that makes you think, “WHHATT?” (For the uninitiated, “Kawn” in the song’s title actually means “crow”). And then a typical club setting is set up by Rahman, and Sukhwinder’s initial lines, though they aren’t a very strong start to the song, sound fascinating due to their incongruity. The folk song (apparently some of the lyrics are “traditional”, as per T-Series) sounds mismatched as well as perfectly fitting into the club setting, at the same time. But it isn’t until the “oh-oh-ohhhh” portion arrives, that you actually get the addictiveness of the song. There is one antara, that sounds like Rahman tried to give his trademark sound to a Punjabi song. The composition isn’t too strong; most of the addictiveness of the song arises from its fabulous arrangements. The guitars (Keba Jeremiah) during the aforementioned “Oh-oh-ohhhh” part sound very good, and help to make the song appeal to a very niche audience, that likes guitars in Punjabi songs. 😂 Of course, Rahman doesn’t keep out the dhols that characterize a Punjabi song. He ropes in Taufiq Qureshi (Feat. Arun Solanki, Deepak Bhatt, Dipesh Varma, Omkar Salunkhe, Gautam Sharma, Shikhar Naad Qureshi) to control the amazing percussion and rhythms. But still, it is the guitars that shine. An interlude has a very rowdy-sounding, Naagin-dance type of sound, which must’ve been introduced because Sridevi is in the film. (Though she won’t be dancing on it, but it seems like a kind of tribute! 😄). To conclude, Rahman puts in an odd end in the form of a brass band kind of sound, which only reminds me of ‘Zingaat’ (From Marathi Movie ‘Sairat’). Sukhwinder handles the song well, and especially the rapid-paced portion in the antara. Blaaze has a short rap towards the end, and I can’t say the clichéd line that it’s better than the Punjabi rappers we hear these days, because it isn’t, frankly! 😂 But Suzanne D’Mello really shines in her backing vocals portions. Irshad Kamil’s lyrics and whatever the Traditional lyrics were, are hardly intelligible. An experimental song, and probably the most addictive Club song from Rahman after ‘Pappu Can’t Dance’ (Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na) way back in 2008. 

Rating: 4/5

 

3. Raakh Baakhi

Singers ~ Jonita Gandhi & Rianjali, Lyrics by ~ Irshad Kamil

“Aag toh hai yeh magar dil ki, jalaaye, kisko jalaaye,
Cheekh seene mein hai dabi jo, bulaaye, kisko bulaaye,
Zindagi mein toh teri jaan, kahin chalaaki, kahin chalaaki,
Roz bun-bun ke tu humdard, banaaye, kisko banaaye,
Raakh baaki thi jisse, leke chali hai aandhi,
Phoonk maari hai kisse waqt bujhaaye, kisko,
Ashq dete na mujhe koi, nazar kuch din se,
Dard mera hausla hai toh rulaaye kisko?”

– Irshad Kamil

Next up is a thoroughly experimental, rock song, with very less rock elements! The composition by Rahman is a proper composition you would expect to be in a rock song, embellished heavily with electric guitar strums and drums, with a pulsating rhythm! Not that the rhythm of the song that Rahman has used here, isn’t pulsating! In fact, it is quite thrilling, considering that only a few rock guitar portions are helping it stand up. A techno loop provides the rhythm throughout the song, which is very low on the composition front; it is more like a song that is completely whispered by Jonita Gandhi. She seems to get the weirdest (but beautifully experimental) songs from Rahman! ‘Implosive Silence’ (Highway) was a reverse of her humming, and now this is a whispered song, barring some English lines that are more like an angsty outburst. The few instances where the rock guitars do show up, are amazing. Though the song has no tune as such, the words are chanted in such a way, that it almost sets up a catchy rhythm, like the parts when she says “Jalaaye, Kisko Jalaaye“, or “Bulaaye, kisko bulaaye”. Jonita herself, sounds very different from her usual voice, even in the parts where she properly sings those English lines. Or maybe the English lines are by backing vocalist Rianjali, who has given great supporting vocals. The song seems like it will be placed in the background score somewhere, during a crucial point in the film. There are more frequent electric guitars towards the end of the song, and those parts are really fun to hear. At first when I heard this song, I thought, “What a waste of six minutes, when this is all you have to hear.” Now I see how amazing it would sound at the cinemas. However, I must say, it sounds quite repetitive after some time; you just have to wait it out in some parts when it gets boring, because it gets better towards the end. Irshad Kamil’s lyrics are full of angst, and appropriate for the thrilling setting of the film. A thrilling song, that would sound amazing in the film itself, but still sounds catchy even now. Less repeat value, though.

Rating: 3.5/5

 

4. Freaking Life

Singers ~ Rianjali, Raja Kumari, Suzanne D’Mello & Darshana KT, Lyrics by ~ Rianjali, Raja Kumari & A.R. Rahman

“All my life I’ve been trying to run,
And now I can’t see,
Now I can’t breathe,
All the time I had, I just faded away,
All this time I was scared of me,
But now I’m just me,
And I won’t leave,
No, I can’t go back,
I’m just flying free!”

– Rianjali, Raja Kumari & A.R. Rahman

Another youthful song is up for us to listen to, after that thrilling BGM-kind of song. This one starts off in a very staid manner, with an electric sound that starts it off quite vaguely. And as the singers start off, with that very cheesy-sounding line, you just wait for it to get better. And it does. A very cheerful composition follows, and especially Suzanne’s portions (“All my life I’ve been trying to run…”), the mellifluous one before the hookline, is amazing. The hookline itself, is again, very boring and sounds as if the singers are taking out their frustration on the listeners for some reason. The “It’s my, it’s my, it’s my” is so irritating. I mean, one moment, they’re happy, and the other, they’re frustrated with their lives. The four singers (one is Darshana KT, the backing vocalist) sound great as a whole, but I could separate Suzanne D’Mello being her usual awesome performer self, and singing beautifully. It is her part of the song, which is the best, coincidentally. The song also reminded me of the other such song that released this year, “Buri Buri” (Dear Maya), which followed quite the same template, but wasn’t so long. A.R. Rahman, along with two of the singers, Rianjali and Raja Kumari, pen down the lyrics, which are a clichéd depiction of teenagers. The arrangements are a bit better, with nice techno sounds embellishing the frustrated singers’ outbursts. This song isn’t going to stay with me for long; it is befitting as an English pop single.

Rating: 2.5/5

 

5. Chal Kahin Door

Singer ~ Shashaa Tirupati, Lyrics by ~ Irshad Kamil

“Ranjishon, ruswaaiyon se, bewajah bechainiyon se,
Uljhe raaston se, dard ke sab bandhanon se,
Khush nahi hai dil tu jin se, apni hi unn uljhanon se,
Chal Kahin dooooor chale!!”

– Irshad Kamil

Now this song, is what we were waiting for, from Rahman, ever since he gave us “Agar Tum Saath Ho” (Tamasha). The way he fused Indian classical with Western sounds in that song, is now an example of excellent fusion, without it having to be rock. This one too, is along the same lines. The composition starts off like an offspring of “Kahaan Hoon Main” (Highway), and continues being so for about one minute, until a very, very unexpected turn arrives, which has a very sanctimonious-sounding tune, and then it bursts into a Western orchestral piece. The composition is a very beautiful one, taking many such unexpected twists and turns, and by the time it ends, we are just awestruck. The antara is so charmingly cute, and again, it breaks into a waltzy tune somewhere in the middle, which makes you feel as of you’re floating in the sky, if I were to be sounding the most clichéd I can. The number of time Rahman seamlessly switches genres and rhythms in the song, is just amazing. The arrangements follow the composition and change with it everytime. The song starts off with the peaceful sound of water flowing in a stream, and this is when the prelude similar to ‘Kahaan Hoon Main’ is sung. To increase the serenity, Rahman’s piano chords, as always, provide the required soothing quality. Soon enough, the stream vanishes, and, in a very ‘Chali Kahani’ (Tamasha) way, the composition changes tune and rhythm, and I would describe this portion as a bhajan-like portion, because of the wonderful chimes, Manjeeras and harp that Rahman has employed on the arrangements. As the hookline actually breaks out, the Chennai Strings & Sunshine Orchestra comes back to awe us with its ravishing strings, and a string guitar strum ends the long Mukhda. Only to bring yet another fascination in the form of a BEAUTIFUL flute (Kamalakar) portion that leaves you spellbound. The Antara brings back the bhajan-like part, but later on, it changes course again, into a waltzy tune, decorated with a beautiful flute piece in the background. And then the violins start up yet again, as soon as the hookline returns. Actually the song ends here, but Rahman throws in a bonus one-and-a-half-minutes of music to leave us spellbound before we end the song. The guitars provide a nice rhythm to Shashaa’s humming in this portion, which is like an interlude, and the flute returns to kill us yet again. The hookline is repeated once more after that ravishing interlude, and then the song (which was surprisingly 6½ minutes long, but never felt so long) ends, sadly. Shashaa sings something that I think is her best yet. After ‘Sarsariya’ (Mohenjo Daro) and ‘Sunn Bhavara’ (Ok Jaanu), she gets yet another masterpiece with Rahman, and she seizes the opportunity to showcase her singing prowess yet again. Her talent is so properly utilised by Rahman everytime, as he seems to direct her talents to bring out her best each time. And now I am yearning for her to sing a proper Bhajan with Rahman’s music, because we all know what masterpieces Rahman makes in the name of bhajans! Irshad Kamil’s lyrics are wonderful here too! Quite like the lyrics of his recent song “Sune Saaye” (Dear Maya) with Anupam Roy, this one too, is about forgetting your worries and staying happy! 😍 A song that leaves you utterly spellbound and speechless. One of the best experimentations of the year!

Rating: 5/5

 

6. Muafi Mushkil

Singer ~ Darshana KT, Lyrics by ~ Irshad Kamil

“Chehre pe Khalish hai baaki,
Yaad mein woh tapish, hai baaki,
Bante bante bante banta hai,
Mausam matam jaisa phir,
Hote hote hote hota hai,
Hansna bhi ghum jaisa phir,
Koi ho hum jaisa phir,
Andhera, uthaale, ujaala, sambhaale,
Aankhon ki jheel mein, subah hai jawaan!
Subah se rootha toh, Maafi, maafi, maafi, maafi mushkil!”

– Irshad Kamil

This song starts off in a very distinct way, very, very different from any song (at least any song in a Bollywood soundtrack) that I’ve heard, ever! The a cappella style takes a never before heard form, with a very quiet and soft sound. The composition is good, but again, very experimental, and will appeal only to a niche audience. The part where it goes high in a crescendo, is just mind blowing, and singer Darshana KT carries it out amazingly. Again, it reminds me of ‘Kahaan Hoon Main’ (Highway)! The first half comprises only Darshana singing in the foreground and singing the a cappella portions in the background, while the piano leads the second half of the song, making it sound more intense and beautiful from that point. It aptly sounds mysterious when the piano enters, and it sounds like a sad song; but I’ll have to watch the film to know what exactly it is. Darshana’s vocals are amazing, and she makes a smashing debut in singing, under Rahman’s experimental sound. Now this isn’t a song to go on playing on loop, but as many times as you listen to it, you’ll get something more out of it. The first time, you will definitely not love it. The second time is better, and the third time is (as always) the best. Irshad’s lyrics are good, while I think some of the backing vocals she does in the a cappella portions, is Arabic. The song is interesting, with many layers to unfold each time you listen to it!

Rating: 3.5/5

 

7. Be Nazaara

Singer ~ Sudeep Jaipurwale, Composition & Lyrics ~ Traditional, Music by ~ A.R. Rahman

The finishing song to the album is a traditional classical melody, with traditional lyrics, arranged by A.R. Rahman. Sudeep, a singer from the Jaipur Gharana of singing, gets to debut in Bollywood, and I must say, what a brilliant vocal texture he has. It’s not exactly the earthy, folksy texture you find in usual folk singers, but it is surprisingly very clear and smooth, because of which he can do perform the intricacies of the composition with perfection. The composition itself is so strong, it won’t go without leaving your mouth hanging, and making you leave whatever you are doing at the moment to concentrate only on the song. Again, the nuances of it are so beautiful, and that is the beauty of folk compositions! Rahman adds a modern touch with his digital arrangements, also adding beautiful chimey sounds that make the song even more deep-sounding. In the true nature of a classical song, it is 7 minutes and 35 seconds long, but you never get bored for one second. A perfect, spine-chilling (because of its intricacy) finale to the experimental album!

Rating: 4/5


Mom is an album that is quite brave in its presentation. Never before have I seen such an unconventional album, that is half made out of songs that we would usually never hear except in the theatre, in the Background music of a film. But Rahman and the makers of ‘Mom’ have tried it and emerge successful too. There is such a variety even in the experimentation — with a Punjabi club song, a whispered-out rock song, an a cappella sad song, a semiclassical song which has numerous twists and turns and a purely classical song. Yes, it is less on repeat value, but this album will be remembered for standing out as an unconventional one. The makers needed such experimental music for a thriller like this, and so I would just tweak the age-old saying and say that “Necessity is the Mother (or rather, MOM) of Experimentation!!” 

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4.5 + 4 + 3.5 + 2.5 + 5 + 3.5 + 4 = 27

Album Percentage: 77.14%

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: Chal Kahin Door > O Sona Tere Liye > Be Nazaara = Kooke Kawn > Raakh Baakhi = Muafi Mushkil > Freaking Life

 

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

THODI DER AUR THEHER JAAUN??? (HALF GIRLFRIEND – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Mithoon, Tanishk Bagchi, Rishi Rich, Farhan Saeed, Rahul Mishra & Ami Mishra
♪ Lyrics by: Manoj Muntashir, Arafat Mehmood, Tanishk Bagchi, R. Rekhi, Veronica Mehta, Yash Anand, Yash Narvekar, Ishita Moitra Udhwani, Kumaar, Anushka Shahaney, Laado Suwalka & Kunaal Vermaa
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 27th April 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 19th May 2017

Half Girlfriend Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Half Girlfriend is an upcoming Bollywood romantic drama film, starring Shraddha Kapoor and Arjun Kapoor. The film is directed by Mohit Suri, and produced by Shobha Kapoor, Ekta Kapoor, Mohit Suri and Chetan Bhagat. The film is an adaptation of Chetan Bhagat’s 2014 super-hit novel {In that everyone started hitting it after reading it, so it became super hit} of the same name. I have read that book and didn’t think much of it. And I’m not going to waste time on the plot. So let’s see who is behind the music this time. Now Mohit Suri is always up for new musical talent, and he brought Arijit Singh, Ankit Tiwari and Ami Mishra into the limelight with his previous film albums. I must say, ‘Ek Villain’ and ‘Hamari Adhuri Kahani’ were better off than ‘Aashiqui 2’, which was full of clichés. And now this movie seems like it will be a complete detour from the usual type of music we hear in his other films. Maybe, just maybe, the songs with the lead characters staring at each other for infinite amounts of time, and shots of Shraddha Kapoor crying her eyes out, will not be removed and maybe we will be spared the melodrama that exists in all other Suri movies. But then again, maybe not. Maybe Mohit Suri will make Chetan’s rom-com into a romantic drama just like his other films. And of course, maybe the music will follow suit. That is confirmed as soon as I read the name of the first music director, Mithoon. He has collaborated with Mohit Suri in almost all of his movies, and the only collaboration I didn’t like of theirs, was ‘Tum Hi Ho’ (‘Aashiqui 2), after which I loved the sings from the next two movies. He gets three tracks here, but all are based on the same song. Tanishk Bagchi, the latest composer going tons of places this year, gets a single song here, and hopefully he opens his account with Mohit Suri fabulously so that we get to hear him in more Mohit Suri albums. Rishi Rich, after a long hiatus after the ‘Hum Tum’ song, returns {he has two more albums upcoming this year!} and he gets two tracks. Next up is Ami Mishra, who debuted with ‘Hasi’ from ‘Hamari Adhuri Kahani’ in 2015, and vanished after that. He gets one song too. Then we have the debutants. Rahul Mishra with one song (I have never heard of him so can’t say what I’m expecting), and Farhan Saeed, who is debuting only as a composer; he has sung a couple of songs previously, and in this album, he gets to compose two tracks, out if which one is a version of the other. So with an astounding ten tracks to review, I must start right away.


1. Baarish

Singers ~ Ash King & Shashaa Tirupati, Music by ~ Tanishk Bagchi, Lyrics by ~ Tanishk Bagchi & Arafat Mehmood

Tanishk gets to open the album with his only song in the film. The song is a romantic song, with a tune that will have any Bollywood music lover hooked right away — because it adheres to all Bollywood sensibilities so obediently. The composition is like a trademark Bollywood romantic composition, and sweet too, at that. The mukhda makes the song start in a very sweet way, but that bridge from the mukhda to the hookline, which goes “Aankhon Ke Darmiyaan…” comes so abruptly, you are baffled for a moment. But afterwards, it is nothing but an uphill journey for the composition. The antara is how antaras in romantic songs traditionally are — calm and soothing. Again, an abrupt pause has been added at the end of the antara, which could’ve been avoided since the two lines fit together perfectly even without a pause! The tune for the mandolin loop that plays throughout the song is just so lovely! The hookline itself is yet again, something that will appease all Bollywood lovers, especially 90s music lovers. The arrangements which Tanishk has used in the song work in favour of the song, and as I said, that mandolin loop is sooooo catchy and hummable. The santoor starts off the song wonderfully, and it suits the ‘rainy’ theme of the song. The flute and strings too, add to the beauty of the song. As for the vocals, Ash King does well, but we have heard more outstanding renditions from him, in front of which this seems so ordinary. Shashaa just has to hum a line in an interlude. Tanishk & Arafat Mehmood wield the pen and produce utterly nonsensical words, defying all the laws of grammar. And however serious they might be trying to sound, it just sounds ridiculous. A song that sticks to those criteria that would make it a hit in Bollywood, but doesn’t dare to go experimental.

Rating: 3.5/5

 

2. Thodi Der

Singers ~ Shreya Ghoshal & Farhan Saeed, Music by Farhan Saeed, Lyrics by ~ Kumaar

The next song in the album is another romantic song; the only difference is that this time, both of them love each other — in the first song it was like one-sided. Like tape. This song marks Farhan Saeed’s Bollywood debut as a composer, and it is actually a re-work of his own pop single of the same name. Thank goodness, he brings in a female singer to sing this one with him, and it is none other than Shreya Ghoshal. She handles the nuances very well, and her saccharine voice suits the composition very well. Farhan too, sings his parts well, but it doesn’t have the same impact. The composition itself, sounds very nice to the ears, but clearly has something missing and like the last song, only caters to people who like traditional, typical, same-old-kind of music. The hookline has a great tune though. The arrangements are better off here, with a wonderful sarangi taking care of the people who want variation in the song, and that sarangi solo in the interlude is not to be missed. The guitars are evidence of the fact that the song would’ve sounded so bland without the sarangi — they’ve been played that boringly. It would’ve been quite nice to hear a Sufi treatment given to the song, like tablas/dholaks and the like. A harmonium can be heard, but in very miserly quantities. Occasionally the sarangi reminds you of ‘Roke Na Ruke Naina’ (Badrinath Ki Dulhania), and I even started humming its antara, after the mukhda of this was over. Kumaar’s lyrics are not great, and there are places where they’re about the day not being able to live, and the night not breathing when the two characters aren’t together. Good for a couple of listens, but not something to repeat over and over again.

Rating: 4/5

 

3. Tu Hi Hai

Singer ~ Rahul Mishra, Music by Rahul Mishra, Lyrics by ~ Laado Suwalka

The piano notes of the next song start and instantly you think ‘Bhatt’. Even though they aren’t in any way associated with this film, the piano notes just scream ‘Bhatt’ at you — “BHATT! BHATT! BHATT!” And when you continue listening to the song, you realize that the piano notes were right and you should have listened to their warning cries. Rahul Mishra, a debutant helms this track, and tries to make it as bland and dead as ever. The composition is a trademark Bhatt-ish one, and even though those songs sometimes do impress me, this one falls into category of them which I utterly despise right from the first time I hear them. The hookline is something decent, and that’s pretty much it, because it has been composed so drearily. Dreadfully slow, the song seems to get nowhere and leaves no impression on you after it ends. And the duration doesn’t help, because five and a half minutes is pretty long, for a staid composition. The only part of the song that seems impressive (only to an extent, because it is nothing new) is when the chorus singers try to make the song a Sufi song, and they succeed, but then Rahul starts with the Pakistani pop stuff again. Rahul Mishra’s vocals are quite good; he should carry forth his singing in the industry. The arrangements sound like a terribly-slowed-down version of the arrangements of the ‘Sanam Re’ title track. That tablas and electric guitars arrangement got old after just one song — ‘Sanam Re’. The lyrics by Laado Suwalka are even more typical than the composition. Not a very impressive debut, but hopefully somebody likes it and gives Rahul Mishra another chance.

Rating: 1.5/5

 

4. Phir Bhi Tumko Chaahunga / Pal Bhar (Chaahunga Reprise)

Singers ~ Arijit Singh & Shashaa Tirupati / Arijit Singh, Music by ~ Mithoon, Lyrics by ~ Manoj Muntashir

Mithoon steps in with the next track, and that’s something I was looking forward to, because he has been giving somewhat impressive songs in Mohit Suri’s film albums. However, when I played the song, the result was so anticlimactic I can’t express it in words. Mithoon’s composition sounds like a very desperate attempt to recreate the magic of ‘Tum Hi Ho’ (Aashiqui 2), a magic which I was immune to anyway, so this song too, didn’t affect me with its supposed magical composition. Of course, the song will become a rage nevertheless. Come on! It is Arijit and Mithoon after all! The song fares well for the mukhda, after which it seems to disassemble itself and both antaras sound like a different song altogether. Especially the female antara, seems like Mithoon strung together some completely unrelated notes to construct it. The first antara is slightly better, and it is a relief they’ve repeated it like thrice in the Reprise Version. But the drawback of the Reprise is that there’s no mukhda there. Also, the words and tune don’t match, creating that “Dubbed Music” effect, when you understand the song is dubbed because the words don’t fit well into the composition. Arijit gets into his dull mode here, and in some places you really feel that he drifted off to sleep. Shashaa in her antara does well, but not excellent. The arrangements are also boring. In the first version, they are fine, until those ‘Tum Hi Ho’ beats take over and you go like “Oh Goddddd! Not again!”. I loved the piano notes in the beginning though, and the santoor interlude. There’s a place before Shashaa’s antara where a wonderful flute mesmerizes you. But after that, there’s a staccato piano piece that sounds so random, haphazard and horrible. The Reprise gets the arrangements better. It starts with some weird harp-like sound, and a sound like water dripping from a leaking pipe, and Arijit’s voice is programmed such that you’ll actually believe he’s in some dingy underground basement where a pipe is leaking. But the better part of the arrangements is later, when strings are added in. Otherwise, everything is almost the same as the first version. So both versions have their own plus points. Manoj Muntashir’s lyrics are definitely the highlight of both the tracks. They surpass Mithoon’s arrangements, his dull composition and Arijit’s dreary rendition. One read through them and you’ll be stunned. Mithoon in his uncreative form.

Rating: 2.5/5 for the Original Version, 2.5/5 for the Reprise

 

5. Lost Without You

Singers ~ Ami Mishra & Anushka Shahaney, Music by ~ Ami Mishra, Lyrics by ~ Kunaal Vermaa & Anushka Shahaney

A bit of freshness seems to enter the album with the next song, Ami Mishra’s contribution to the album. It is a song with half-English, half-Hindi lyrics, and with a rock backdrop. The composition of the Hindi parts again, sticks to the normal Bhatt music criteria. The only way the song sounds fresher is due to the English parts, which are interspersed with the Hindi portions quite gratuitously. There’s a catch to that too, though. The “singer” behind those English parts, Anushka Shahaney, seems to be putting on a very artificial accent, something that will barely impress you once you hear it, and it sounds like nonsense because you can’t make out her English. Meanwhile, Ami continues droning on his Hindi portion, which isn’t quite different from his other song ‘Hasi’ (Hamari Adhuri Kahani). Especially the “aaaaa aaaaa” sounds very similar to ‘Hasi’. The arrangements consist of very typical rock elements, the guitars and drums playing throughout the song. There is an interlude where Ami has added some oriental sounding guitar-like sound. The Hindi lyrics by Kunaal Vermaa, are again, nothing innovative, and you barely pay attention to them as the song continues to play. Anushka Shahaney, who has written whatever she rambles herself, should’ve sung in such a way that we could’ve understood what she had written. Ami Mishra disappoints this time, but at least something is fresh here — the addition of English parts, even though they’re unintelligible. The album is just going more and more downhill.

Rating: 3/5

 

6. Stay A Little Longer

Singer ~ Anushka Shahaney, Music by ~ Farhan Saeed, Lyrics by ~ Anushka Shahaney, Additional Lyrics ~ Ishita Moitra Udhwani

Farhan Saeed returns, this time with Anushka Shahaney. And they spoil ‘Thodi Der’ for us. This song is basically an English version of that song, as is evident from its name.. a direct translation from Hindi to English. The composition, I already liked before, but here, even the little nuances that featured in the Hindi version have been gotten rid of, because it’s English right? And English songs can’t have nuances in them right? The song just sounds mediocre, even more so because of the way Anushka sings them in that accent. Her lyrics this time can at least be made out — but they sound very ridiculous. And of course, they don’t fit into the tune, so she has to sing “come” as “cu-uhm”, “love” and “lu-uhv”, “new” as “nyu-oo”, and she has to add “Oh”s and “Ah”s anywhere randomly. Ishita Moitra Udhwani helps her with “additional lyrics”, a term which I don’t understand because can’t two people write a song together? Or did she just replace one word by another so she deserves less credit? 😏 The only thing better here, is the arrangement, which has not only sarangi, but a very opulent symphonic orchestra towards the end, something that wouldn’t have suited in the Hindi song, but something which this English version didn’t deserve, frankly. Supposed to be soothing, but the singer makes sure it is anything but that. At least the arrangements respect us.

Rating: 2/5

 

7. Mere Dil Mein / Mere Dil Mein (Dialogue Version)

Singers ~ Yash Narvekar & Veronica Mehta / Yash Narvekar & Veronica Mehta, Music by ~ Rishi Rich, Hindi Lyrics by ~ Yash Anand & Yash Narvekar, English Lyrics ~ R. Rekhi & Veronica Mehta, Additional Lyrics ~ Ishita Moitra Udhwani

Rishi Rich comes into the album very, very late, with a song you can call the title song of the film. And it is the only so-called upbeat number in the entire album. As such, we are bound to love it, especially people like me who were bored to death by the previous songs. The song is essentially a hip-hop number, with a groovy beat, and Rishi Rich informs us right at the beginning, “This is the Rishi Rich beat”. The song starts with some dialogue by someone sounding like Kangana Ranaut… Don’t miss it! The hookline is insanely catchy, and that “I gotta let you know…” line too, is very catchy. The composition is very repetitive though, and these two things are repeated over and over again so many times, you get annoyed after some time. There are not many more things constituting the arrangements, except that trippy beats and various weird sound effects. Veronica Mehta, who also featured in Rishi Rich’s “Hum Tum” song, at least sings in a more believable accent, but again, many of the words are not decipherable. Yash Narvekar, on the other hand, sings the male portions well, and I think Bollywood has a new Benny Dayal now. In charge of the lyrics are two people each for English and Hindi lyrics. 😂😂 And again, that additional lyricist, Ishita Udhwani, helps them, but they seem to not want to place her in the main lyricist’s list. Poor girl. There’s another version called the Dialogue Version, which has some of the most cringe-inducing dialogues from the film. That ‘Sentiyaa Gaye Hum Toh‘ dialogue is so cheesy! The dialogues come across as very annoying, and it is so evident that Arjun Kapoor wasn’t the right choice for playing this village boy. 😑 At least this song breaks the seemingly neverending spree of depressing songs!

Rating: 2.5/5 for the Original Version, 1.5/5 for the Dialogue Version

 

8. Half Girlfriend (Love Theme)

(Instrumental, Music by Mithoon)

An instrumental track by Mithoon arrives to finish the album off. Mithoon provides us with a love theme, similar to the love theme he gave in ‘Aashiqui 2’, which was, I admit, a soul-stirring track. Here, he gives us an instrumental with selected lines from “Phir Bhi Tumko Chaahunga” played on the piano. Since I loved the piano notes in the song, I loved the first part of this track, where everything is just on plain piano. Later on, the orchestra pitches in, and brings a haunting and grand feel to the track. A choir can be heard as well, trying to make it sound even more haunting. After that comes a flute part which is beautiful. The orchestra returns to support the flute, and the song ends on a very grand note, like every instrumental should. Though I didn’t like the actual song which this track is based on, I thoroughly enjoyed the instrumental, and four and a half minutes just flew by.

Rating: 3.5/5


Half Girlfriend is a half-baked album. You know, when you fry something and it remains raw inside? That’s what this album is like. The makers have gone into such trouble making ten tracks for this movie, and sadly, not even one is memorable. All of them stick to typical clichéd song-making styles, and even a simple would be memorable, only if the composition were better. Tanishk and Farhan’s songs stand out by far, the rest seem to lag behind. I’ve heard a lot of good things going around about this album, and I waited. I heard it thrice like I do for any album before writing its review. And then I heard it while reviewing and that’s when I really understood how good (read bad) it is. Now I can’t wait any longer for my brain to like this album, can I? Thodi Der Aur Theher Jaaun? No way!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album:  3.5 + 4 + 1.5 + 2.5 + 2.5+ 3 + 2 + 2.5 + 1.5 + 3.5 = 26.5

Album Percentage: 53%

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: Thodi Der > Baarish = Half Girlfriend (Love Theme) > Lost Without You > Phir Bhi Tumko Chaahunga = Pal Bhar = Mere Dil Mein > Stay A Little Longer > Tu Hi Hai = Mere Dil Mein (Dialogue Version)

 

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

KAATRU VELIYIDAI (MUSIC REVIEW) : Southern Spice – Tamil (Tamil Special)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: A.R. Rahman
♪ Lyrics by: Vairamuthu, Madhan Karky, Navneet Virk & Shellee
♪ Music Label: Sony Music
♪ Music Released On: 20th March 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 7th April 2017

Kaatru Veliyidai Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Kaatru Veliyidai is an upcoming Tamil language drama/romantic thriller which stars Karthi and Aditi Rao Hydari in the lead roles, and written, directed and produced by Mani Ratnam. The film is a romance between a military pilot and a doctor. Since I do not know Tamil, I cannot make out anything else about it, but I can make out that the film is a Mani Ratnam directorial and that means that it is also an A.R. Rahman musical. Scoring six songs for this movie, Rahman is expected to have taken the magic of the Ratnam-Rahman combo even further. So let’s see how far this album sticks to that!


1. Nallai Allai

Singers ~ Sathya Prakash & Chinmayi, Backing Vocals ~ Arjun Chandy, Lyrics by ~ Vairamuthu

Rahman starts off the album with a charming love song, that will surely please your senses. The composition is a breezy romantic one, with all the elements of a successful romantic song included in it. The mukhda is an apt introduction into the song, with a very soft and soothing sound, and very minimal arrangements. The hookline, when it comes, blows your mind. It is vintage Rahmanish magic — the kind where he gives something utterly simple (and which fake Rahman fans will call ‘Rahman being out of form’) and making it extremely catchy and soothing at the same time. The antara is wonderful, with its low and sombre notes. One bar of notes in that stanza sounds a lot like a bar from ‘Tu Hai’ (Mohenjo Daro). There are two antaras, composed in the same way, something we find Rahman doing very less — sticking to this convention. The arrangements are just as breezy and soothing as the composition, especially the guitars (Keba Jeremiah) which are the highlight of the arrangements. The first interlude has that guitar piece, which resembles the guitar piece in the interlude of ‘Enna Sona’ (Ok Jaanu) so much! Again, I’m not complaining. The vocals are amazing, Sathya Prakash hits the nail right on the head, and his variations and nuances are amazing. Chinmayi, though having no words as such to sing, hums a beautiful tune in the second interlude once, and once at the end of the song. Both times, her voice gives you the goosebumps very efficiently. As I’m not well-versed (what well-versed? I’m not even versed) in Tamil, I cannot comment on the lyrics, but I’ve heard from many people that Vairamuthu has used very archaic Tamil, from the Sangam Age, in this song. That is interesting, Tamil being one of the oldest languages of the world. 🙂 A breezy, love ballad that will soak you with its sweetness.

Rating: 5/5

 

2. Azhagiye

Singers ~ Haricharan, Arjun Chandy & Jonita Gandhi, Backing Vocals ~ Sid Sriram, Bawa Sahni & Keerthi Sagathia, Lyrics by ~ Madhan Karky, Punjabi Lyrics by ~ Navneet Virk

After the breezy romantic track, we have an upbeat youthful romantic song, and whatever Tamil albums I’ve heard, I’ve heard atleast one such song in each of them. And yeah, most (maybe even all) of them were by Rahman, so I guess Rahman loves to add such songs in his Tamil albums. Anyway, the composition redefines the meaning of ‘fresh’. A breeze of fresh air blows over you as you immerse yourself in this youthfully magical song. The hook composition is insanely catchy, and without understanding it, I loved it more than a lot! The way Rahman seems to have composed separate, individual mini-songs and put them all together into one song, is amazing. The seamless flow from Tamil to Punjabi and back, is something that I’ve experienced for the first time! (Yes, my mother tongue, Marathi, does have songs where Marathi and Hindi are mixed into one song, and it sounds horrible!) The humming portions by Jonita have been composed so majestically! She provides a splash of water in the fresh air that the song is. (Sorry if that was cheesy, but get my feelings!) The composition isn’t all-in-your-ears and determined to be on top of the charts, and that’s what I appreciate about it. Rahman has very humbly put a very medium-sized guitar riff (Keba Jeremiah) in the background, and decorates the rest of the composition with amazing strings (Murali, Mohan, Basker, John). The digital beats too, sound great. The harmonium and dholaks in the Punjabi interlude sound amazing, and I wish Rahman had composed such a song (I mean a whole song out of the Punjabi part) in Bollywood before the Tamil industry! The a capella backing vocals are amazing, and I wish more of it would’ve been there. The vocals are simply awesome. Arjun Chandy is in charge of the hookline, and he renders that beautifully, and charmingly. Haricharan does well in the Tamil portions, while Jonita hums her part impeccably well! Those nuances!! 💘 I wish she had more portions! (I guess I just wish everything was of more quantity in this song!!) A song effervescing youthfulness from every note.

Rating: 5/5

 

3. Vaan

Singer ~ Shashaa Tirupati, Backing Vocals ~ Arjun Chandy & Poorvi Koutish, Lyrics by ~ Vairamuthu

After two breezy romantic songs, it is time to get more intense, because here comes the vintage Rahmanish heavy composition, that just manages to find its way into every one of his albums. This composition is surreal, something that you just can’t ignore or dismiss as boring. It has some divine energy in it, which makes it universally appealing. The song has been composed on a very slow pace, and that makes it grow like slow poison. It starts with repetitions of “vaan varuvaan varuvaan…” which fade off. The sultry composition picks up even more at the “kadhal vandhaal..” part. The antara is just more entrancing. The magic is just unbelievable; it soothes you from head to toe. The arrangements are a masterpiece. There are no live instruments, except the flute (Kiran) and the piano, and the rest is digitally produced sound, which sounds amazing. I like the reverse sound effect that Rahman has added at olaces, where the sound seems to be sucked in towards the end. Sparkling, heavenly sounds accompanying the melody are just beautiful ‘tune-side’ attractions. The interlude with the vocal “ta ta ra…“, Sounds odd at first, but sets in later. The vocals by Shashaa are amazing; she has sung it very soulfully. An amazingly intense romantic song, that will leave the listeners in a trance.

Rating: 5/5

 

4. Saarattu Vandiyila

Singers ~ A.R. Raihanna, Tipu & Nikhita Gandhi, Backing Vocals ~ Arjun Chandy, Nivas, Santhosh, Aparna, Deepti Suresh, Abhay Jodhpurkar, Lyrics by ~ Vairamuthu

A traditional Tamil wedding song is up next on the soundtrack, and this is something I’ve never heard before. It is so beautiful to drown into some other wedding song, than the typical Punjabi wedding songs we hear in Bollywood. The composition is aptly upbeat, and trademark Rahman composition styles find their way into this one too. The hookline is really catchy, and the folksy beat really makes you dance hard. The arrangements are really vast, and awe-inspiring. The percussions (T.Raja, Yash, Kumar) are what stand out right away, the thavil resounding beautifully. Right from the beginning,the percussions are present. The santoor (Subhani) enters next, and its folksy sound makes everything sound even more beautiful. The flute (Kamlakar) is really sweet, and the solo interlude on the flute is amazing, where the ukulele (Lokesh) joins it. Again the guitar (Keba Jeremiah, Chris Jason) plays an important part in the arrangements. The vocals are really energetic, and the way the female singers, A.R. Raihanna and Nikita Gandhi, bring that sharp edge to their song, to sound more rustic, is really commendable! Tipu is great as the male singer. Backing vocalists play an integral role in the song too. A nice trip to a traditional Tamil wedding.

Rating: 5/5

 

5. Tango Kelaayo

Singers ~ Haricharan & Diwakar, Lyrics by ~ Vairamuthu

Now, from here, I felt the album slipping out of my hands. (Or ears.) The next song is a Tango, named ‘Kelaayo’. Rahman has provided a very efficient tango song, and the composition is aptly sensuous, and sultry. The sharp pauses and smoothly flowing notes, that usually define Tangos, are all present, yet I felt some barrier preventing me from loving the song to infinity, like I did the previous ones. Might be because of the composition, which is a quite typical one, if you compare it with other Tangos. The “unnai pirindhaal” effect has increased the song’s viability, without which it might just have become staid. The antara is a bit below expectations too, but that crescendo taken by Haricharan is beautiful. The arrangements are heavenly, getting the Spanish theme right. The accordions (Karthik Devaraj) and the strings hit the bullseye. The jingles and castanets too, are intriguing. There is one complete musical piece at the end which is basically a Spanish music showcase, and it provides a hard-hitting end to the song. Haricharan sings it well, and as Rahman cleared in one of his Facebook replies to a fan, Haricharan’s voice itself has been tweaked and pitch modulated to sound like that female voice you can hear in the song. Interesting fact! A song that is good, but you connect to it only partly.

Rating: 4/5

 

6. Jugni

Singers ~ A.R. Rahman & Tejinder Singh, Rap Vocals ~ Rajakumari, Shikara, Lyrics by ~ Shellee

The last song is the song I liked the least, from the album. Yes, it is also the only song from the album I totally understood as far as language goes. However, I guess I didn’t understand it as far as its composition and arrangements go. The song is such a typical Punjabi affair, that I am confused whether I like it or not! The composition is very, very monotonous, and that “JUGNI! JUGNI OH!” hook sounded quite irritating. The beats are groovy, but that didn’t make up for the flawed composition, which I just couldn’t catch up with. It goes all over the place, in the usual Rahman way of composition, but this time, I couldn’t grasp any of the tunes, except the aforementioned one, because it was irritatingly catchy. The arrangements consist of gratuitous bass, which sounds good for some time, and gets boring later on. The stereotypical “oye oye” which has been added in many places, is weird. But Rahman has used more great flute work here, and an entrancing sound. The arrangements on the most part are intriguing, but the composition is at fault. Tejinder Singh, “Voice India 2” finalist, excels with his rendition, but again, the composition doesn’t let him marvel too much. Rahman’s parts are those irritating outbursts of “jugni!“. Shellee’s lyrics make it out to be some kind of introductory song for the female lead, where she’ll be shown as a badass main character. A song where the composition plays the spoilsport, and how!

Rating: 3/5


Kaatru Veliyidai is an album that radiates the Rahman-Ratnam combo’s magic out-and-out. With the exception of one and a half songs, all songs are something that will go down in Tamil music industry’s history. Rahman has tried to finish up that small link which was missing in his last album for Mani Ratnam, ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’, and covers it up beautifully with this, which definitely supersedes ‘OKK’. For me, as a Hindi music listener, I found this album an intriguing mix of Western tunes, Tamil folk rhythms, romantic tunes and mixes of world music. Another masterstroke from the Mozart of Madras! 

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 + 4 + 3 = 27

Album Percentage: 90%

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: Nallai Allai = Azhagiye = Vaan = Saarattu Vandiyila > Tango Kelaayo > Jugni

 

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

A TRIED-AND-TESTED MACHINE! (MACHINE – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Tanishk Bagchi, Dr. Zeus & Viju Shah
♪ Lyrics by: Arafat Mehmood, Niket Pandey, Ikka, Mohammed Irfan, Jasmine Sandlas, Shabbir Ahmed & Late Anand Bakshi
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 21st February 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 17th March 2017

Machine Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Machine is an upcoming Bollywood romantic thriller starring Kiara Advani and Mustafa Burmawalla, who is the son of Abbas Burmawalla. The directors of the film are Abbas-Mustan themselves, and the movie has been produced by Jayantilal Gada, Haresh Patel, Pranay Chokshi, Abbas-Mustan Films productions, and Dhaval Jayantilal Gada. The film revolves around two racing enthusiasts who fall in love. Abbas-Mustan’a films are known as very massy thrillers, and this seems to be no exception. Music seems to play a very important part in their films, and they make it a point to promote their films’ albums heavily before the movie’s release. And they’ve worked quite well with whatever compoosed they’ve worked with in the past. With the exception of their latest movie before this, ‘Kis Kis Ko Pyaar Karoon’ which had quite a dull album (and it wasn’t a thriller), many of their albums have been hits. They’ve collaborated with Jatin-Lalit (‘Khiladi’), Anu Malik (‘Baazigar’, ‘Baadshaah’, ‘Soldier’, ‘Ajnabee’), Himesh Reshammiya (‘Humraaz’, ‘Taarzan: The Wonder Car’, ‘Aitraaz’, ’36 China Town’) and Pritam (‘Naqaab’, ‘Race’, ‘Players’, ‘Race 2’). All of these albums were quite popular. However, the album to ‘Kis Kis Ko Pyaar Karoon’ was below even that. And it was a multicomposer album! This time around, the duo try to change that by roping in a single composer for five songs of the album, and a guest composer for one song. The man behind most of the album here is Tanishk Bagchi, who is currently riding on the success of his two enjoyable songs from ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’. He has worked with the duo in ‘Kis Kis Ko Pyaar Karoon’, for one song (the best song of that album). The guest composer is Dr. Zeus, who also had a song in ‘Kis Kis Ko Pyaar Karoon’. I’m expecting quite a lot from Tanishk though, so let’s jump right in!


1.Itna Tumhe

Singers ~ Yasser Desai & Shashaa Tirupati, Music by ~ Tanishk Bagchi, Lyrics by ~ Arafat Mehmood

(Can’t find any lyrics worth this space)

The soundtrack opens wih a romantic song filled with the Bhatts’ templated sound, but also paying “homage” to another old song, which, since it hasn’t been credited, has to be a “coincidence”. The song’s first line itself makes you instantly think of “Aakhir Tumhe Aana Hai” (Yalgaar), but all the coincidences flee at the end of that line, as composer Tanishk Bagchi sets the song to its very own composition that is quite catchy in itself. Now, Tanishk has never really given such a templated song before, at least not in the romance genre of songs, so it takes a little time to get accustomed to the fact that Tanishk has composed it. Till then, though, the song grows on you. The similarities in the first line of the mukhda notwithstanding, the rest of the song fares quite well as a romantic Bollywood song. Some places sound very heavily heard-before, but that doesn’t lessen the likeability in any way. The antara with its high notes sounds a bit uncomfortable to the ears at first, but sets in after a couple of listens. As a whole, it sounds like a song that the Bhatts had reserved but then never got a film to add it into. The English interlude by Shashaa Tirupati sounds very generic, but again, good enough. The arrangements are what makes the song even more likeable — the strings at the beginning are nice, and the digital beats are charming. Not to mention the cool twinkling sounds that Tanishk had added, which adds considerably to the ‘mechanical’ sound of the song, given that the name of the movie is “Machine”. Yasser Desai (who had dented last year with a couple of songs in ‘Beiimaan Love’ which I had no time to review) doesn’t quite fit in with the song, and his voice is kind of hard to digest; it sounds too robotic. Autotuned heavily, it is quite weird to listen to at first, but as everything else does, his voice also sets in later. Shashaa does her English interlude beautifully, but other than that, doesn’t have any other lines. Arafat Mehmood’s lyrics are quite laidback, not to mention that the conscious effort to add the “..aana hai” and other rhyming stuff at the end of every hookline sounds a bit too forced! An above average start to the soundtrack, but gets the “Machine” theme right, because of the great arrangements and accidentally mechanical vocals.

Rating: 3/5

 

2. Chatur Naar

Singers ~ Nakash Aziz & Shashaa Tirupati & Ikka, Music by ~ Tanishk Bagchi, Lyrics by ~ Niket Pandey, Rap by ~ Ikka

(Utterly banal lyrics!)

Next up we get a party song, which is mandatory in every Abbas-Mustan film, so that they can show the actor driving up in a cool Lamborghini, and then the branded sunglasses of the actress. This time, without Pritam, they have to resort themselves to a quite low-standard party song (I believe that Pritam has given them the best party songs in the past) which tries to be a remake of the classic ‘Ek Chatur Naar’ (Padosan) but fails, because it sounds nothing like it except in bits and parts. And since they haven’t credited the old song’s musicians, I’m taking it to be a ‘spin-off’ like I did for ‘Mere Miyan Gaye England’ (Rangoon). The composition is upbeat and might (notice that I say MIGHT) get Gen Y dancing to its beats, which I still think are too loud for today’s music sensibilities. Though the composition is something I wouldn’t care to listen to again, the arrangements are quite youthful and lively. The beats really do make the song enjoyable, and Tanishk’s offbeat additions make the arrangements all the more weirdly likeable. Weird vocal tweaks added in the weirdest places are quite funny to hear. Otherwise, the composition is quite generic. The vocals are enjoyable as well. Nakash Aziz is enjoying himself in this party track, and his variations make the song worth listening. Shashaa Tirupati sings her lines like a typical club song singer, and she gets her voice programmed heavily as is the tradition in such songs. Ikka’s rap is very short thankfully, and it is not that great either. The other lyrics by Niket Pandey are another set of words more bent towards rhyming instead of making sense. Heard as a club song, it might work. But if you hear it thinking it is a remake, it will spoil the song.

Rating: 2/5

 

3. Brake’An Fail

Singers ~ Jasmine Sandlas, Rajveer Singh & Ikka, Music by ~ Dr. Zeus, Lyrics by ~ Jasmine Sandlas, Rap by ~ Ikka

“Teri Meri Kahaani, duniya yaad karegi soch le,
Brake’An ne mereya fail te sajjna, rok saki te rok le!”

– Jasmine Sandlas

Dr. Zeus enters the soundtrack with his guest composition, another club/party song. Abbas-Mustan seriously can’t go without adding at least two of these in their albums! The song surprisingly, shows no resemblance to previous Dr. Zeus songs, and I was really surprised when I couldn’t find any of those screeching ladies and that trademark Dr. Zeus shattering glass in the song! The composition is quite a melancholic one, considering that it is for a club song. I mean, if he removed the club beats, it could just as well go as an undercover agent and place itself in a Sanjay Leela Bhansali soundtrack as the melancholic track. (Okay, just kidding!) The hookline “teri meri kahaani…” is quite catchy, and the rest of the song too, isn’t bad at all. The composition is actually catchy for once. It is one of those Dr. Zeus songs (probably the only one?) that doesn’t irritate. The arrangements are suitable for the song, and this time, Dr. Zeus aptly replaces those screaming ladies (from ‘Happy New Year’s ‘Lovely’ and ‘Ek Paheli Leela’s ‘Desi Look’) with car brake sounds, according to the theme of the movie, car racing. Jasmine’s vocals suit the song well, and the song wouldn’t have had the same impact with somebody else singing it. Rajveer Singh has quite little to contribute but Ikka has an extra long rap in the middle somewhere, which we just have to wait for it to end. Jasmine herself writes the lyrics for this one, and they are completely in Punjabi, and they seem quite meaningless, considering that it is a Club song. A good song from Dr. Zeus after all those screaming ladies and all that shattering glass.

Rating: 3/5

 

4.Tu Hi Toh Mera

Singer ~ Yasser Desai, Music by ~ Tanishk Bagchi, Lyrics by ~ Arafat Mehmood

(Very staid lyrics!)

Tanishk re-enters wih the fourth track of the album and one can’t help but think of Disney Princesses when this track starts. The arrangements really increase the Disney feel of the song. The composition is quite likeable until that jarring Pakistani pop styled line comes up and the hookline that follows too, follows the same template. The parts where the tempo is slow and everything actually sounds like a ballroom dance, are the best parts of the song, while everything else sounds below average, straight out of a Bhatt movie. The arrangements too, excel in the ballroom portions of the song. The sparkling sounds, coupled with the extravagant strings, set very fantastic arrangements to the song, and especially the beginning of the song, which is very waltzy, sounds amazing. But again, the parts before and during the hookline, sound very laidback and clichéd. There is a nice Spanish interlude which is enjoyable as well. Again, Yasser tries to be Arijit desperately, and one can’t help but sit and point out parts where he sounds a LOT like Arijit, which is almost the entire song. It would’ve been better for the makers to have just called in Arijit. Arafat Mehmood’s lyrics here too, are very very heard-before and offer nothing new. A Bhatt-Disney fusion doesn’t work so well.

Rating: 2/5

 

5.Tera Junoon

Singer ~ Jubin Nautiyal, Music by ~ Tanishk Bagchi, Lyrics by ~ Arafat Mehmood & Mohammed Irfan

“Jeena muhaal hai abb, tera sawaal hai abb,
De bataa, tu zara, kya naam loon main tere pyaar ka!”

– Arafat Mehmood & Mohammed Irfan

Finally, here comes what I was expecting from Tanishk after he showed us his versatility in ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’. The composer takes his much-used desert-nomadic styled arrangements (he used it before in ‘Rabba’ from ‘Sarbjit’) and weaves a wonderful melody through it. The composition is just so melodious, it hooks you right away. It is one of those songs that you end up loving even though they are so ordinary, simple and heard-before. However, what made me love this one in spite of all these factors, was the simplicity of the composition, the fact that the déjà vu in the composition didn’t matter to the makers, and they just presented this song with a very simple coating. The arrangements are fascinating, with the mandolin rising high above everything else, even the strings. The claps give wonderful beats that are the highlight of the song. The overlying Arabic flavour works wonderfully in favour of the song. And the vocals are beautiful! Jubin sings in a way I’ve never heard him sing before, so much so that I hardly recognized him the first time I heard the song, until I read the credits! Well, it just goes to show his versatility. Arafat Mehmood is joined by Mohammed Irfan the singer to write this one, and I must say, the composition saved the lyrics, which resort to weird-sounding words to make it work. A great song hidden in an album of songs that are concentrated more in the “average” zone!

Rating: 4.5/5

 

6. Cheez Badi

Singers ~ Udit Narayan & Neha Kakkar, Original Composition by ~ Viju Shah, Music Recreated by ~ Tanishk Bagchi, Original Lyrics by ~ Late Anand Bakshi, New Lyrics by ~ Shabbir Ahmed

“Tu Cheez Badi hai mast mast, tu cheez badi hai mast!”

– Late Anand Bakshi

The last song of the album was a later addition in that it released much later than the other five tracks did. And since I’m always so late in writing reviews, I get the advantage of adding such latecomer songs in my reviews. 😉 Anyway, about the song. As you might already have gauged by reading the name, the song is a remake (this time an official one) of the 1994 super-duper hit track by Viju Shah (who was one of the most innovative young composers of the time) ‘Tu Cheez Badi Hai Mast Mast’ (Mohra). And the man who has been churning out one remake after another, Tanishk Bagchi, is in charge of this one. It was a relief to see him remaking it, instead of T-Series’ other go-to’s for remakes these days, Gourov-Roshin. So after two great 90s songs remade, Tanishk remakes this one with the club theme in mind. It starts off like an ordinary club song, but then that trademark “Pa ni saaaa…” from the old song comes in to indicate that it is a remake of that song. The composition contains almost nothing new except for a short line that Udit Narayan sings (he has redubbed everything for this song; his voice clipping hasn’t been retained from the old song). And yes, that line sounds quite odd in the song. It doesn’t gel in well with the rest of the song. The previous two remakes by Tanishk of course, had the old song’s tune retained, so this one is an odd one out that way. I liked the way he brought the old song’s antara’s tune to become the mukhda and then the antara too, of this version. The arrangements disappoint, with very everyday club beats. The mandolin playing the hookline’s tune provides respite, and so do the electronic tabla beats, but otherwise, the EDM is quite heavy, and too loud as well. The interludes both consist of very heavy EDM that is tough to digest with one of your favourite old songs. I enjoyed the small portion where Tanishk incorporated the old song though, in the second interlude. Vocals by Udit Narayan are awesome; he always manages to sound young! Neha Kakkar too, sings her parts well, without adding unnecessary nuances anywhere. Shabbir Ahmed’s additions to Anand Bakshi’s original lyrics are not any more crazy than the original, and the part which goes “zabardast dast” really calls for a cringe. Not one of Tanishk’s best remakes, but I would say it isn’t his “dosh dosh” as new lyrics have been added, unlike his other remakes (with the exception of the “Badrinath” title song).

Rating: 3/5


Machine seems to be an album miserably bowing down to supposed public demands. There’s a remake, three club songs, three Bhatt-ish romantic songs (of which one excels). Tanishk’s songs range from one sode of the spectrum to the other. If some are utterly boring, some are just as beautiful. Dr. Zeus gets it right with his sole song, but it won’t be something on my playlist for long. A tried-and-tested machine!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 3 + 2 + 3.5 + 2 + 4.5 + 3 = 18

Album Percentage: 60%

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: Tera Junoon > Brake’An Fail > Itna Tumhe = Cheez Badi > Tu Hi Toh Mera = Chatur Naar

 

Remake Counter:
No. Of Remakes: 07 (from previous albums) + 01 (from Machine) = 08

 

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

NOT JUST ‘OK’, BUT FANTASTIC! (OK JAANU – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: A.R. Rahman, Tanishk Bagchi & Badshah
♪ Lyrics by: Gulzar, Hard Kaur, Navneet Virk, Aaryan Dinesh Kanagaratnam, Kaly, Mehboob & Badshah
♪ Music Label: Sony Music
♪ Music Released On: 4th January 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 13th January 2017

Ok Jaanu Album Cover

Ok Jaanu Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Ok Jaanu is an upcoming Bollywood rom-com / drama, starring Shraddha Kapoor, Aditya Roy Kapur, Naseeruddin Shah and Leela Samson. The movie has been directed by Shaad Ali, and produced by Mani Ratnam, Karan Johar, Apoorva Mehta and Hiroo Yash Johar. The movie is a remake of Tamil film ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’ directed by Mani Ratnam, and like ‘Saathiya’ (which was a remake of Ratnam’s ‘Alaipayuthey’) Shaad Ali has taken it upon himself to successfully tell the story to the Hindi audience. The music of the film has been composed by A.R. Rahman, and it is primarily a dubed version of the ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’ soundtrack minus a few tracks and plus some new songs to fill in their places. Young talent Tanishk Bagchi, along with Badshah, has recreated one of Rahman’s own 90s hits, ‘Hamma Hamma’ (Bombay) for the film. Skeptical as I am about this, I really hope that the makers have made a good decision about that. Rahman last composed ‘Mohenjo Daro’s Album, which, as good as it was, was a bit underwhelming. Also, the last time he could oosed for a rom-com like this in Bollywood was ‘Tamasha’ and before that ‘Lekar Hum Deewana Dil’, both of which were awesome. I have heard the Tamil album when it released in 2015 itself, and it was good, but I didn’t really hear it much afterwards, because of the language. I just hope the dubbing has been done good!! Rahman has used 5 tracks from that album, and composed two new songs, and then Tanishk-Badshah’s one song, make this album an eight-song album! Just right!

{The names of the original Tamil songs from the Tamil album have been written below the respective song’s name}


1. OK Jaanu

(‘Mental Manadhil’ from ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’)

Singers ~ A.R. Rahman & Srinidhi Venkatesh, Music by ~ A.R. Rahman, Lyrics by ~ Gulzar

“Dheere dheere zara dum le naa,
Pyaar se jo mile gham le naa,
Dil pe zara woh kam le naa,
Ok jaanu, tu dhin dhin na! Hey!”

– Gulzar

One of my favourites from the Tamil album, ‘Mental Manadhil’ gets redone as the title track of this movie, and I cant tell you how happy that made me! 😀 The song is a wonderful mocktail of techno sounds from Rahman, something that will drive you crazy, in a positive way. The composition is something that instantly grabs you and needs no time to invade your mind. It starts off with a nice ‘Jaanuuuu’ (and I know that sounds a bit cheap compared to the awesome ‘Lailaaaa’ from the Tamil song) and then transcends into an entrancing, but catchy tune that gets you grooving right away. The tune has been tweaked a bit from the original Tamil tune, which had this jumpy feel to it, especially in the “Mana mana mana” parts, which have been strung together to make a continuous tune in this version. However, after a couple of listens, this starts incorporating itself in your brain. (Read: my brain, and others who care about listening to music that isn’t in either their mother tongue, their national language or English) So I’m probably one in a ten-thousand people in North India who have heard the Tamil album. Yay me. Anyway. The antara is as catchy as the song is, and acts as a nice filler. Most of the song is composed on the same lines that constitute the mukhda, and I don’t know how many times the hook repeats. But it never gets boring! The arrangements are what make it more interesting than anything else does. That techno backdrop really makes the song sound pacy and makes it an apt song for a ‘carefree-and-youthful-couple-roaming-the-streets-of-Mumbai-on-a-motorbike-as-if-there’s-no-tomorrow’ situation. The interesting sounds that Rahman throws at you over the three-and-a-half-minute time span of the song, is enough to make you trip over the song. Especially that loop at the beginning!! The beats are so trippy, that it’s hard to explain in words. What does play a bit of a spoilsport in the song, are two things. First of all, Rahman’s vocals. I know they have a different kind of twang to them, and nobody else could have sung it like that, but some of the words have been mailed by his diction. (“Badi na tu kisi se” sounds like “Baaadiii na tuksi se”!) Srinidhi replaces Jonita from the original, to no actual effect — Jonita sounded much (!!!) better. (Which reminds me, there’s no female version!! The female version of ‘Mental Manadhil’ was awesome!!! Jonita’s nuances were to die for!) Also, Srinidhi has only one line that comes like two times in the whole song. The second spoilsport is (surprisingly!) Gulzar’s lyrics. The words in the antara (‘aayu-vaayu’, ‘mangal-dangal’) have merely been penned down to make them rhyme. And who addresses their friend as ‘kanya’? The lyrics were a big letdown, especially after Gulzar wrote the spectacular lyrics to ‘Mirzya’! I would’ve thought he would dub better! Nevertheless, a major portion of this song is awesome, as the tune and music is what matters the most. Some damage done by the lyrics can be overlooked by listeners.

Rating: 4/5

 

2. Enna Sona

(Newly composed song, replacement for ‘Aye Sinamika’ from ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’)

Singer ~ Arijit Singh, Music by ~ A.R. Rahman, Lyrics by ~ Gulzar

“Kol hove te sekh lagda ae,
Door jaave te dil jalda ae,
Kedi agg naal, rab ne banaaya,
Rab ne banaaya, rab ne banaaya!
Enna sona kyun rab ne banaaya?”

– Gulzar

Next up, we get a fresh song, by which I mean that it isn’t a song from the Tamil album. And I must say, how thankful I am that ‘Aye Sinamika’ was dropped! 😛 I say this because what Rahman has produced in the bargain proves to be a spectacularly dulcet romantic ballad, that you just start loving instantly. Though I didn’t at first. Here’s my journey to liking this song: After 1st listen, “This is by A.R. Rahman?? Are you sure it isn’t Pritam..? I mean, there’s guitars, there’s Arijit…”. After close speculation in the second listen, “No. That flute in the first interlude is signature Rahman.. so it has to be Rahman. But what has he composed? A Pritam song!”. After 3rd listen, “Rahman!! Aaye ho kis bagiya se… Tummmm! 😍😍😍” And then I fell in love with the song. What can be better than a Punjabi love song, composed by Rahman and written by Gulzar? The composition is a verrrryy down-to-earth composition; so much so that the majority of its duration is taken up by that hookline that keeps on repeating, but never sounds repetitive! The antara with it’s inexplicably beautiful high notes just steals your heart away. (You’ll get it back he next time a beautiful Arijit song comes out. Don’t register any F.I.R. or anything and land yourself into trouble.) That leads us to the vocals. Arijit’s soothing voice is an excellent proof that he really is the only one out there these days who has the power to sing any type of song, but especially rocks it in the romantic song genre every single time. The arrangements are divinely soulful. PMK Naveen Kumar with his flute, impressed like always, and Keba Jeremiah on the guitars is exceptional. The flute and guitar in the first and second interludes respectively sound utterly charismatic! When the flute plays the hookline’s tune behind Arijit’s voice, a smile mischievously appeared on my face. (It was no use telling it to go away or grounding it.) Gulzar’s lyrics here, were a good exchange for the losses incurred in the first song, because they’re double beautiful. Though there are (and I counted) only 14 lines in the song, (Hey! It’s a sonnet!) each line has its own beauty. “Taap lagge na tatti Chandni da, saari ratti main os chhidkavan, kinne dardaan naal rabb ne banaaya” is the entire second antara, and the first is up there… Both are so marvellous! Enna Sona (gaana) kyun Rahman ne banaaya?

Rating: 5/5

 

3. Jee Lein

(‘Theera Ulaa’ from ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’)

Singers ~ Arjun Chandy, Neeti Mohan & Savithri R. Prithvi, Music by ~ A.R. Rahman, Lyrics by ~ Gulzar

“Bichhad bhi gaye, toh bhi kya hai,
Tera dard toh saath hoga,
Gar aa gaye aansu, toh kya, mera chehra
Toh yaad hoga, toh yaad hoga…”

– Gulzar

Now this is another song that has been dubbed from its Tamil counterpart, from the original Tamil album. And I must say, it has been remade quite well! Let me remind you that the man behind this is A.R. Rahman, and so a Kollywood to Bollywood transition isn’t going to be as straightforward as it seems! And sure enough, the man has introduced some significant changes in the song, which we’ll come to later on. Firstly, the composition. The composition is a dreamy, anthem-like tune for the most part, until a nice and soothing interjection in the form of a female portion comes (Which is that significant change I was talking about, because it was a Carnatic piece in the Tamil song) and brings the melancholia into the song. Upbeat for the most part as the rest of the song is, this part very wonderfully and seamlessly brings a nice and emotional touch to the song — something Rahman is an expert at. The rest of the song is mostly the same time repeating again and again, but it doesn’t sound boring (except a bit when you hear it for the first time). It all has a very harmonic sound to it. The arrangements just elevate this entrancing feeling. Nice beats go with the chorus part, making the song upbeat in the right concentration. The occasional veena strums really reach out to your heart. (Which has been stolen by ‘Enna Sona’, don’t forget!) The melodious female portion in the middle has the upbeat beat toned a bit down, but the tune of that part definitely overrides the beats. And the seamless transition from that part, back to the chorus part, is awesome! Vocals are amazing, and I would like to have a list of everyone who was on the chorus! Arjun Chandy is clearly on there, and I can hear Neeti’s feathery voice, I the background. But Neeti has the aforementioned female portion to her credit, which is definitely the best part of the song, and she has rendered with her magic touch. Gulzar’s lyrics are wonderful. Especially in the same female portion that’s definitely going to be on my tongue and in my mind for a long time! Different and lovable, but might take some time to grow on you!

Rating: 4.5/5

 

4. Kaara Fankaara

(‘Kaara Attakkaara’ from ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’)

Singers ~ Paroma Das Gupta, Shashaa Tirupati, Hard Kaur, Aaryan Dinesh Kanagaratnam, Kaly & Ashima Mahajan, Music by ~ A.R. Rahman, Lyrics by ~ Hard Kaur, Navneet Virk, Aaryan Dinesh Kanagaratnam & Kaly

“Kaara fankaara kab aaye re, kaara fankaara tarsaaye re” 🙉

– Whichever one of them wrote it

In a film targeted towards the youth, how can there not be a youthful number? The next song is just that. The song is a mishmash of sounds that are supposed to attract the youth. And it succeeds to quite an extent. The main composition is only during the hookline, the title of the song. I’m not sure if it even means anything, but the tune is likable. The composer has tried his best to make the song sound like many of his earlier such songs, and it does, but you can’t help but lose the link somewhere in the middle. The rap is amazingly rapid-going, and better than Badshah and Raftaar for sure, but I’m not sure the public is going to lap this rap up like they do for Raftaar and Badshah! Nevertheless, Kaly (How do I know it’s him? He says it in the song.. see if you can find it!) delivers it perfectly, so that it sounds rad. The ‘nama nama nama neiiii’ gets a bit repetitive after some time, and the song is almost 6 minutes long, so keep your seatbelts on! The vocals by so many people make it sound like a very hastily put-together song trying to sound unconventional. And unconventional it sounds, but doesn’t work! Hard Kaur, after a long time in some big Bollywood song, gets drowned amidst Shashaa’s ‘kaara fankaara kab aaye re, kaara fankaara tarsaaye re’ and Kaly’s English rap. Also, she isn’t recognizable thanks to programming. One thing I really loved is hat quirky nadaswaram like thing that plays when Kaly raps, somewhere in the initial two minutes of the song. The digital beats are commendable, but not commercially viable, especially not in Bollywood. The lyrics to the rap are good, but the hookline makes no sense. It is also the only song (except ‘The Humma Song’), that hasn’t been written by Gulzar. A good attempt at making a youthful rap number, but I wouldn’t recommend this, as it is quite heavy to the ears.

Rating: 3/5

 

5. Saajan Aayo Re

(‘Naane Varugiraen’ from ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’)

Singers ~ Jonita Gandhi & Nakash Aziz, Music by ~ A.R. Rahman, Lyrics by ~ Gulzar

“Saajan aayo re, saavan laayo re,
Main poori bheegi re, Mann behkaayo re”

– Gulzar

Now comes the Rahman I was waiting for! Also, the song I was waiting for. My favourite song from ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’, ‘Naane Varugiraen’ gets remade in Hindi as ‘Saajan Aayo Re’, and rendered by one of the most promising female singers of this generation, Jonita Gandhi. Of course, Shashaa sung this song in Tamil, and did a great job too. But with Rahman, it can never be anything simple… He has to put in challenges here and there, and so he ropes in Jonita, though Shashaa could’ve very well done it too! Anyway, more on the vocals later! The composition starts off with a wonderful free-flowing introductory stanza, which reminds me of Kathak songs like ‘Pyaar Kiya Toh Darna Kya’ (Mughal-e-Azam). The wonderful classical tune is just so bewitching! And what follows, is a classic example of why Rahman is such a master at classical songs. The nuances in the composition, especially at the word “saajan” are top-class! And the tune that follows is definitely one of the most beautifully haunting tunes I’ve heard since a long time. The interruptions by Nakash have been composed beautifully, too. The arrangements are heaven on earth. When the harp plays, when Jonita first starts the hookline, you get goosebumps, that might just stay till the whole song is over. And that wonderful percussion that follows…! The strings are exceptional, and techno music plays a big role in making the song sound unconventional for a classical melody. The vocals by Jonita surely make up her most wholesome perfromance out of all. Last year, Pritam gave her many songs, but this is not even similar to any of those. Jonita, for the first time, has taken up a classical song to sing, and she aces it with perfection! The way she sings the “Naa dir dinna tom tana na” reminded me of Shreya Ghoshal singing ‘Silsila Ye Chaahat Ka’ (Devdas) for some reason. She has really sung that part beautifully. Nakash, too, complements her very well! Gulzar’s lyrics suit the classical theme very well. An exceptional melody! Classical to the core, but modernized with some nice touches in the arrangements! Signature Rahman!

Rating: 5/5

 

6. Maula Wa Sallim

(‘Maula Wa Sallim’ from ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’)

Singer ~ A.R. Ameen, Music by ~ Traditional, Lyrics ~ Traditional

Next up comes the traditional Arabic track that was in the Tamil album, as it is. There was no need to dub this one; it was Arabic and stays Arabic. And it’s traditional. The song is a simplistic but ethereal prayer song, sung by A.R. Rahman’s son, A.R. Ameen. The boy carries out the song with a nice aura of spirituality around his cute voice (goosebumps when he sings “Habib-allah, rasul-allah”), but it is very obviously autotuned. Rahman’s programming on his voice sounds good, when towards the end, he triples and quadruples his voice track, giving it a very nice echo effect. The song is a perfect night time song, sublime as it is. Rahman’s own voice can be heard humming in the background, and I just love it when he hums in the backgrounds of his songs. There’s not much more to say about this one, except that it should be given a chance, before being dismissed as boring.

Rating: 4/5

 

7. Sunn Bhavara

(Newly composed song, replacement for ‘Malargal Kaetten’ from ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’)

Singer ~ Shashaa Tirupati, Music by ~ A.R. Rahman, Lyrics by ~ Gulzar

“Roshan roshan bhor dikhaye, roshan roshan bhor dikhaye,
Prem ki paalki laaye, laaye, prem ki paalki laaye,
Udann khatole pe aaye bhavara, Kartab kar dikhlaye bhavara,
Sunn sunn bhavara, kaisi baatein banaaye!”

– Gulzar

This song’s counterpart in the Tamil movie, was a Carnatic classical piece, and the makers must’ve thought (and rightly so) that Carnatic music won’t have much takers in Bollywood, and so they intelligently replaced it with a wonderful Hindustani classical piece, taking the style of a nazm. Rahman’s composition is a very soothing one, the mukhda giving the most pleasant goosebumps ever imaginable. The antara is just a wonderful continuation of where the mukhda left off. The classical composition is just as heavenly as the one for ‘Saajan Aayo Re’, but this time, very pleasantly soothing instead of haunting. The composition reminded me of ‘Saathiya’s ‘Naina Milaike’. The arrangements are divine, with the tablas taking centre-stage. It actually reminded me of the beautiful nazm from ‘Haider’, ‘Aaj Ke Naam’. The tanpura at the beginning, gives a nice launchpad to the tablas. Listen for the transition from the tanpura to the tablas. Shashaa’s rendition of the classical composition is as soothing as the composition itself. Her magical voice makes the song sound all the better. This song is four and a half minutes of bliss that can’t be replaced by anything else. Finally, Gulzar’s lyrics are awesome! As always (except the title song 😛 but I think we’ve forgotten and forgiven that already!) A short review because I can’t really explain more about it! It’s too divine! Soothing!

Rating: 5/5

 

8. The Humma Song

(Remake of ‘Hamma Hamma’ from ‘Bombay’, replacement for ‘Parandhu Sellaa Vaa’ from ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’)

Singers ~ Jubin Nautiyal & Shashaa Tirupati, Rap Written & Performed by ~ Badshah, Original Composition by ~ A.R. Rahman, Music Recreated by ~ Tanishk Bagchi & Badshah, Lyrics by ~ Mehboob

“Ek ho gaye hum aur tum, toh udd gayi neendein re,
Aur khanki Paayal masti mein, do kangan khanke re!”

– Mehboob

The finale to the album takes the form of a remake to a classic Rahman dance track. The song that created waves in the 90s when it released, probably the first dubbed song to do so, ‘Hamma Hamma’ from ‘Bombay’ has been recreated by Tanishk Bagchi and Badshah. The original composition and lyrics have been left as it is. The only changes made are the singers, the arrangements of course, and that a rap portion is added (Badshah is there, so what else can you expect?) Anyway, the new programming by Tanishk and Badshah gives the song more of a lounge feel, and where the vocals in the original were raw, here they have been toned to perfection, as in, auto-tuned and polished, so as to make them sound sensuous. The remake is good when you look at it, as it serves as a nice and enjoyable song perfect for the situation. (I didn’t want to be stating that I actually wanted ‘Parandhu Sellaa Vaa’ remade, as I had loved it a lot, but yeah, I’ll not say that) The tempo has been slowed down, in order to make it more of a romantic track than a dance track, and the vocals actually sound good, if not better. (Not that I loved Remo Fernandes’ original vocals either..) Jubin takes over most of the song, while Shashaa complements him well, and the occasional ‘Hamma hamma hamma’ whispers are awesome. The arrangements have more of a club sound to them, but that signature tune has been retained and used gratuitously. The sounds have gone under a lot of treatment, but emerge as good as the old one. The Rap in the middle plays the spoilsport, and it’s like Badshah is trying to say, “Look, I featured on a Rahman album.” Our answer is, “Good. Now feature in a Rahman song!” The nadaswaram part at the end is just whacky! Of course, it was here in the original. It is insane, and ends the song on an offbeat note. Remade quite well, but could’ve done with another stanza instead of the rap.

Rating: 4/5


OK Jaanu actually turned out to be quite an ear-friendly album. I wasnt expecting it as I was thinking about the repercussions of making those Tamil songs into Hindi. However, after hearing it, I feel that part went down really well. Even the bonus song by Tanishk doesn’t take away anything from the album. Rahman uses his innate intelligence to cleverly tweak some parts of the songs that he thought wouldn’t suit in Bollywood, and the results can be seen! The only song that underperforms is ‘Kaara Fankaara’, which I don’t think I’ll be hearing much. But the others are fabulous. The second album of 2017, turns out to be worth listening on repeat!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4 + 5 + 4.5 + 3 + 5 + 4 + 5 + 4 = 34.5

Album Percentage: 86.25%

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: Saajan Aayo Re > Enna Sona > Sunn Bhavara > Jee Lein > OK Jaanu > The Humma Song > Maula Wa Sallim > Kaara Fankaara

 

Remake Counter
Number of Remakes: 02 (from ‘Kaabil’) + 01 = 03 (Dubs not counted)

 

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

SINDHU MAA KA SANGEET!! (MOHENJO DARO – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: A.R. Rahman
♪ Lyrics by: Javed Akhtar
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 6th July 2016
♪ Movie Releases On: 12th August 2016

Mohenjo Daro Album Cover

Mohenjo Daro Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Mohenjo Daro is an upcoming epic adventure drama/action film starring Hrithik Roshan and Pooja Hegde in lead roles, and Kabir Bedi and Arunoday Singh in supporting roles. The movie is directed by the ‘Lagaan’, ‘Swades’, ‘Jodhaa Akbar’, ‘What’s Your Raashee?’ director, Ashutosh Gowariker, and produced by Siddharth Roy Kapur, Sunita Gowariker and Ashutosh Gowariker himself. The film is set in 2016 B.C. in the ancient city, Mohenjo Daro. It revolves around a farmer, Sarman (Hrithik Roshan), who falls in love with his enemy’s daughter, Chaani (Pooja Hegde), a dancer. After seeing the trailer, the historical accountability of the film has been doubted by almost everyone, and to me, everything looks over the top. That leaves only one thing for me to be waiting for, and that is something you get no prizes for guessing. It is the soundtrack to the movie, composed by the genius A.R. Rahman, whose Tamil album just received a great response from me. Now it’s time to see how his first Hindi album of the year fares, and being an album for an Ashutosh Gowariker film, it is expected to be great and extraordinary, going by the albums to ‘Lagaan’, ‘Swades’ and ‘Jodhaa Akbar’, all of which were beautiful albums. Rahman composes eight songs for this movie, and the lyrics are penned by Javed Akhtar. My excitement is engulfing me, so here I proceed with the actual review!!


1. Mohenjo Mohenjo
Singers ~ A.R. Rahman, Arijit Singh, Bela Shende & Sanah Moidutty

The album starts off with a grand theme song to the movie, a title song, and also an introduction to the ancient folksy music which we will get a glimpse of in the album. The song starts off with some rustic, earthy chants in an unintelligible language, probably the language which the makers of the film have made up as the language of the Mohenjodaroans gives the song a distinct earthy feel. What’s more, Rahman uses the perfect percussion to make it feel even more ancient. We have to keep in mind that the civilization is one of India’s first civilizations, that existed in the Before Christ era, and Rahman takes that into account and tries to make a song which matches the criteria, as well as appeals to the Bollywood audience. The composition, though it seems very simple and straightforward for a Rahman song at first, works its magic on you after a couple of listens. A good maze of lines that are composed in different manners make up the composition, a variety of twists and turns, even in the simplicity, being its feature. The mukhda is simple, while the antara is very enchanting. The mukhda repeats towards the end, in a female voice, probably Bela’s. The hookline is anthemic, and suitable for the theme of the film, with an ancient civilization to describe. Reminiscent of ‘Azeem-O-Shaan Shahenshah’ (Jodhaa Akbar), this one too, is a great introduction to the ways of Mohenjo Daro and summarizes the album and the city in 6½ minutes. Rustic wails and vocal noises grace the song, and make it all the more worthwhile. Arijit leads the song gracefully, and is wonderfully supported by a chorus of male and female singers, which I guess are A.R. Rahman, Bela Shende & Sanah. Bela does get a stanza to herself and she does good, though she is not very impressive either. The chorus is what makes the song sound even more lively and junglee, especially the chorus that goes something like “mil Jul aur ghul mil…” Rahman’s arrangements are mind-blowing, a wonderful show of rustic percussion, probably African drums in reality, though I can hear thavils and the like. The fiddle makes a nice special appearance in the interlude, which is rich with the sound of the chorus, which just can’t stop impressing throughout the song. And then there’s the flute. 😍😍😍😍 Rahman always creates magic with the flute, and that’s evident here as well! The clapping beats are also catchy and addictive. At the end, we get a nice dhol-taasha conclusion to the energetic track. Javed Akhtar writes words that aren’t really extraordinary, but they very well describe the city in the eyes of its citizens. All I feel is that it sounds too much like one of Rahman’s dubbed songs, because of the irregular tune. A song that is so energetic, but takes time to grow. Rahman succeeds in transporting us to an era that nobody can imagine to be transported to, except through music! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

2. Sindhu Ma
Singers ~ A.R. Rahman & Sanah Moidutty

It is a romantic song that comes next in the album, and it starts with some wind instruments followed by Rahman making tribal noises with his tongue, and these same noises later sound so magical and enchanting that it seems unbelievable. The song proceeds with a stanza sung enchantingly and marvelously by Sanah, who I’m glad has at last got a song where she will be noticed, after that small part in the ‘Gori Tere Pyaar Mein’ song with Vishal-Shekhar. She sings with as much divinity as possible, and Rahman follows with some lines that are irregular in structure but the magic is in their irregularity, first in that Mohenjodaroan language and then in Hindi. 😀 I loved it how each line has a different tune and tempo, yet everything sounds so soothing in Rahman’s distinct voice. It has that deep, nasal quality that impresses so much, and transports you to another world. Rahman’s composition too, is something that takes time to grow, but again, after it has grown, you can’t forget it. It stays there forever. A divine, sweet, innocent, pure romance is indicated through the composition, which is unusually slow-paced, but its slow pace is what appeals. There are lines where the singers have to sing rapidly, and it fits in too well with the surroundings. The pitch change towards the end works well, and the song ends with you feeling fresh and relaxed. The hookline actually has nothing to do with the title, which just comes once in the beginning of the song. Instead, the hookline is the title of a song that is going to come later on in the album, and that song is a version of this or vice versa. Again, it is not a conventional hookline where the listener gets a buy one get one free treat of it, but it comes very humbly and leaves its mark on you. The first time you hear the song, the tribal language in the starting, sung by Rahman might seem over-the-top, but after a few listens, you understand that it gels in inconspicuously with the rest of the song. Rahman’s arrangements are stellar. Guitars lead the arrangements, and of course, a flute impresses with its playful nature in the interlude. Rahman has a chorus singing little attractions throughout the song, and again, this chorus changes the entire listening experience. They add their magic in places which would’ve sounded bland without them. The percussion is wonderful, as well. Strings accompany all this, rather conspicuously, though. Brass instruments and bells are welcome attractions in the song as well. Javed Akhtar’s lyrics are good, but it requires a lot of courage to focus on them, leaving the heavenly composition alone. It is a song that doesn’t actually need great lyrics to propel it along! A ravishing, surreal experience. Both the singers bring out the charm in the composition beautifully! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

3. Sarsariya
Singers ~ Shashwat Singh & Shashaa Tirupati

It is a very enticing folksy rhythm that paves the way into the next song, an enjoyable-to-the-core dance track, which has Rahman in his top form. It is such tracks that even you know, that I love Rahman the most in. On the lines of ‘Kilimanjaro’ (Robot) and a bit of ‘Barso Re’ (Guru) and the whackiness of ‘Mawaali Qawwali’ (Lekar Hum Deewana Dil) and ‘Mona Gasolina’ (Lingaa), this is Rahman with all of his creativity. So as I was saying, the wonderful percussion that makes the song sound so inviting and catchy, takes the listener with surprise, surprise that is born out of the sheer rawness of the rhythm. The tambourines, flutes and the ethnic drums make the prelude something that is very promising. The rest of the song doesn’t disappoint after that promising prelude, though. Rahman comes up with a tune that is so rustic, raw and earthy in its presentation, that you may even believe that Mohenjo Daro’s folk music was like this! The mukhda has a weird addictiveness, and the antara is what gets into the contemplative mode, with a very lilting tune, brought to life by those ravishing drums, once again. And the hookline, oh! It is the hookline that is the USP of the song, a great mix of whacky sounds and those clever tribal lyrics, of which nobody understands neither head nor tail. The “Emase-nana-maya” after the antara makes a very, very clever bridge to the hookline, though completely changing the lulling mood of the antara to a lively one. About the arrangements, whatever I say will not do justice to them. Rahman has employed exquisite and lively instruments to make the song sound genuinely ancient, tribal and folksy. The percussion, that is quite close to the Rajasthani or Kutchi folk, is what infuses life into the song. Charming flutes and strings too, in the latter part of the song, gives it the sweetness required for it to flourish completely. Mandolin scattered throughout in the background captures your attention whenever it plays. An oud-like instrument makes up a wonderful first interlude, while an engrossing rhythm backs the lilting first antara, and makes you sit back and enjoy the song with closed eyes. Matkas and dandiya, typical of the Kutchi folk, have been used generously, and work in favourite of the song. Flute and guitars help the second interlude keep the listener entertained, while the song ends with a wonderful violin conclusion. Coming to the vocals, nothing can be more impressive than what Shashwat and Shashaa have done here. Shashaa particularly, who sings that little gibberish prelude before the Hindi parts start, impresses right away, and we know she is going to impress all throughout the song, which she does! She modulates her voice beautifully, so it sounds just as great in the upbeat portions, as it does in the lilting melodious parts. Shashwat’s voice sound perfectly clear and smooth, unlike what it did in ‘Wat Wat Wat’ (Tamasha), where it sounded folksy. And he impresses highly, though overshadowed by Shashaa. Javed Akhtar has written enjoyable lyrics, especially the alien ones!! A cracker of a song from Rahman, though not outwardly loud and blaring. It proves that dance songs don’t have to be loud and blaring in order to be catchy and addictive! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

4. Tu Hai
Singers ~ A.R. Rahman & Sanah Moidutty

The next song, we are familiar with. It is the part of ‘Sindhu Ma’ without the actual prelude that was an ode to River Sindhu (present-day Indus), which was the sacred river of the Mohenjodaroans. The presence of this version gives a whole different meaning to that song. I had thought while hearing that song, that it is the romantic song of the album. However, it is this version which has the romantic connotation to it. And after hearing this version, we realize that that version was more of a devotional song, an ode to the river, and Javed Akhtar’s lyrics really suit as a romantic as well as a divine song. 😀 Vocals, arrangements, composition and everything else is exactly the same as the latter part of ‘Sindhu Ma’, so no use repeating the review again! 😀 The only thing I could notice that was different, is the starting prelude, which is a beautiful guitar strum here, while it was blended into the devotional prayer in that song. It is all in the different perspectives of the two versions — the former devotional, while this one is romantic. #5StarHotelSong!!

 

5. Whispers of The Mind / Whispers of The Heart
Vocals ~ Arjun Chandy

These two tracks are background scores, which are the essence of the film’s setting. The setting of the film is perfectly described and conveyed to the listeners, with those weird tribal-sounding noises amidst a background of chirping crickets and birds, and it sounds like you are out in the wild. Perfect for the theme of the story but not exactly something to enjoy in a music album. Arjun Chandy chants the “whispers” very slowly and mysteriously, and makes the track sound genuine. The “Zoooaaaa” did sound irritating at first, but if the theme of the movie is taken into mind, it fits in well. The “Heart” version has more happening in the form of a divine female chorus singing in the background, and tribal drums playing a wonderful beat towards the end. And, its shorter than the “Mind” version! The “Mind” version runs over four minutes and bores until the end, while there’s a lot to look forward to at the end of the “Heart” version!! It just proves that what your heart says, is better than what your mind does! 😛 LISTEN TO THE HEART! And by that, I mean that the second version is a #5StarHotelSong!!

 

6. The Shimmer of Sindhu
Guitars ~ Keba Jeremiah, Flute ~ Kareem Kamalakar

It is a Rahman album. It cannot finish without an instrumental of at least one of the tracks! And so, we have an instrumental of ‘Tu Hai’ presented to us, with guitars, strings and flutes carrying the heavenly tune on their shoulders. Rahman employs wonderful guitars played by Keba Jeremiah, for the base melody of the song, and it sounds sooooo idyllic! Imagine what  would happen when beautiful flutes and orchestral strings join that melody! You don’t need to imagine, however, as Rahman saves you the effort of doing so, by adding them himself! The flutes by Kareem Kamalakar are well-done, and played in the most unexpected places, in a delightful classical way. It is the strings that infuse grandeur into the already a majestic instrumentation. The blissful melody, when played in that slow pace, sounds as pretty as ever. A heavenly reprise of the entrancing love ballad. #5StarHotelSong!!

 

7. Lakh Lakh Thora
Instrumental by ~ Tapas Roy & P.M.K. Naveen Kumar

A very oriental-sounding Oud opens the last song on the album, and before you think of anything else, that addictive tune of ‘Sarsariya’ comes back to you, and you realize it is the same tune. Therefore, this song is an instrumental version of that one, which was my favourite vocal song out of the three. Tapas Roy with the oud and the mandolin, impresses highly, and the glory of the song lies in the brilliance with which he plays them! It has the power to attract your attention, and even though it is a background piece, it is just as great as an actual song — can be played, hummed and danced to. 😀 Rahman many other attractions like the percussion (the djembe is really great!) and water drops. The way the string instrument has been played in what’s supposed to be the interlude of the song (you can’t make out as all it is, is just instruments 😛 ) is sooooo beautiful. Naveen Kumar joins in quite late, and plays a few lines on the flute before the song ends. Whoever has done the percussions, really knows his or her job very well! They’re engaging and help the song stay to its catchy nature. CATCHY!!! The Oud and Mandolin make things way more catchier! #5StarHotelSong!!


Mohenjo Daro completely lives up to expectations. I mean, I was expecting a lot more, and was quite disappointed during the first time I heard it, but later I realized how each song has been made to suit the film and its ancient setting and not even one song extra has been crammed into the album, which explains why it’s just three-tracks-long (if you practically see it). Rahman uses a great blend of traditional and even modern instruments to make songs sounding ancient and folksy! Though we never imagined Mohenjo Daro and its music like this when we were taught about in school, thanks to Rahman, that information about the recreation of the Mohenjodaroans has got some life now! 😛 I also noticed that he has used relatively new singers in most of the songs — Arijit and Bela being the only exceptions, and of course, himself. Sanah Moidutty, Shashaa Tirupati and Shashwat Singh are the singers he has used, and they literally infuse life into the album, while at the same time, they’re gonna establish themselves in Bollywood with this album. And then there are those ravishing background pieces, out of which one bored me (frankly speaking…! Sorry!!) but the other three really fascinated me! Rahman has really given us a glimpse of Sindhu Ma’s sangeet! 

 

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: Sarsariya > Sindhu Ma > Tu Hai > Lakh Lakh Thora > Mohenjo Mohenjo > The Shimmer of Sindhu > Whispers of The Heart > Whispers of The Mind

 

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