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

NOVEMBER ROUND-UP #2

November 2017 Round-Up #2

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

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



♦ Qarib Qarib Perrfect: QARIB QARIB SINGLLE Music Review

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

Listen to the songs: Saavn
Buy the songs: iTunes


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


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

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4.5 + 5 + 4 + 4.5 + 1 = 19

Album Percentage: 76%

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: Jaane De > Khatam Kahani = Tanha Begum > Tu Chale Toh > Qarib Qarib Singlle Mashup

 

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

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



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

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

Listen to the songs: Saavn
Buy the songs: iTunes


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


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

 

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

Album Percentage: 72%

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

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

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

 

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


♦ Aksar Sune Huye Gaane: AKSAR 2 Music Review

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

Listen to the songs: Saavn
Buy the songs: iTunes


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


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

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

Album Percentage: 60%

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: Aaj Zid > Jaana Ve > Tanhaiyaan



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

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

Listen to the songs: Saavn
Buy the songs: iTunes


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


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

 

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

Album Percentage: 58.33%

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

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

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



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

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TWO GENTLEMEN WHO HARDLY EVER DISAPPOINT!! (A GENTLEMAN – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Sachin-Jigar
♪ Lyrics by: Vayu, Priya Saraiya & Raftaar
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 17th August 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 25th August 2017

A Gentleman Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


A Gentleman is an upcoming Bollywood action comedy, starring Sidharth Malhotra, Jacqueline Fernandez, Suniel Shetty and Darshan Kumar in lead roles. The film is directed by Raj Nidimoru & Krishna DK and produced by Fox Star Studios. The film features Sidharth Malhotra in a double role, one being Sundar Susheel, and the other ‘Risky’. Hence the tagline of the film, ‘Sundar Susheel Risky’. The music of the film is given by the go-to music composers for Raj & DK, Sachin-Jigar. Going by the music of ‘Shor In The City’, ‘Go Goa Gone’, and ‘Happy Ending’, I’m sure this one’s also going to be a treat for people who love quirky music, and the genre of action comedy would give amazing song situations as well! Sachin-Jigar’s discography this year boasts of as many as seven film albums (with ‘Hindi Medium’ being a multicomposer one), and this one is the third to release. ‘Meri Pyaari Bindu’ remained my favourite album of the year until Pritam’s gigantic ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’ released. I can just hope that this one follows suit and becomes another favourite of mine this year!


1. Disco Disco

Singers ~ Benny Dayal & Shirley Setia, Lyrics by ~ Vayu

“Aaja ve hila denge hum aaj angana,
tere naal karke beat drop nachna,
Dil disco disco bole saari raat SAJNA!!” 

– Vayu

Sachin-Jigar’s third album of the year starts off with a very filmy disco song. Is filmy bad or good? Let’s find out. The composition is very catchy, especially the cross line that goes “Aaja Ve Hila Denge Hum Aaj Anganaa“. That part sounds so much like a retro number. The hookline is a typical Bollywood fare, but still manages to hook the listeners. I, for one, found this song more instantly appealing than any of the others on the album (because they took time to grow). The mukhda and antara follow suit, and don’t let the interest of the listener waiver. The major reason you are hooked to the song till the end, must be the short duration. Sachin-Jigar keep the song at a crisp 2:47, neither too long nor too short. The arrangements are great: the disco-esque feel comes out through the nice bass,drums and guitars, and a totally unexpected tumbi (Tapas Roy). The tumbi is what actually makes the song sound very experimental. It gets a nice solo portion in the interlude and towards the end. The vocals are entertaining; Can Benny Dayal ever disappoint in a club number? I love how he pronounces “sajna” as “sajjena“! Sachin-Jigar help Shirley Setia get her first Bollywood song, and despite everything against her on social media, she really handles the song well, and Sachin-Jigar with their genius thoughts, know how to use her voice to the best effect — in a club song! However, she does mumble a bit in the antara, but I guess the song called for that. Vayu’s lyrics are the usual Hinglish lyrics of Bollywood, but work quite well in the filmy song. A totally filmy disco song!

Rating: 4/5

 

2. Baat Ban Jaaye

Singers ~ Siddharth Basrur & Priya Saraiya, Lyrics by ~ Priya Saraiya

“Hum dono aur yeh saari raat, sharaabi ho jaaye toh,
Band ho kamre mein hum do, aur chaabi kahin kho jaaye toh!
Toh baat ban jaaye!!” 

– Priya Saraiya

Here onwards in the album, things get a bit more Sachin-Jigar-ish, in that you take more time to get accustomed to the song and like it. The time may be two listens, three listens or even more, but the song is actually are wonderful once you listen to them, with close attention to the music. This one here, is a beach party number, and again, it has a bit of a retro touch. It starts off with a very contemporary vibe, the composition flowing like a romantic song. However, it takes an unexpected turn in the cross line (“hum dono aur yeh saari raat“) where, if you pay close attention to the music, a retro vibe kicks in. The composition for the hookline is a trademark Sachin-Jigar one, and makes you groove instantly, especially the hoots after the words “baat ban jaaye” have been sung. The antara is where the song loses pace and we lose interest; that composition is quite heard-before. Luckily enough, this song is short too, which makes the cross line come back soon enough. The arrangements are fantastic here, and suit as a beach party number. Acoustic guitars start the song off, giving the freshness to the song, as a beach number should be. The retro vibe I talked about consists of amazing guitars played in a retro manner. The digital beats are more heavy in this song, and quirky sounds decorate the song. The vocals are good, Siddharth Basrur leading the way in getting the listeners hooked. However, Priya Saraiya seems a bit too much autotuned here, and it loses the charm of her actual voice. Her lyrics too, are an ordinary fare, but suit the situation well, especially the hookline. A party song that seems ordinary, but will grow!

Rating: 4/5

 

3. Chandralekha

Singers ~ Vishal Dadlani & Jonita Gandhi, Lyrics by ~ Vayu

“Maari tuney aisi entry, hil gayi poori country,
Mere dil pe dent permanent pad gayi, nazrein jo mili,
Hadd se bhi zyaada cute tu, mere karmon ka fruit tu,
Koi hai gagan mein toh heaven jahaan se aakar tu giri!”

– Vayu

The next song throws us back into the years, with a characteristic rock and roll/hard rock vibe to it. It slightly resembles what Sachin-Jigar had done in ‘Yeh Jawaani Teri’ (Meri Pyaari Bindu), but in a more Westernized manner. The composition again, takes time to grow, and till then all you can really focus on is the music. The guitars and drums are groovy as expected in a rock and roll song, but of course, Sachin-Jigar add a surprise element every time, and here, it is that sensuous saxophone, which sounds amazing every time it plays. The composition is good too, and like I said, it just takes time for you to catch on. The hookline is the mukhda, making it very short yet again. Two antaras follow, and also an interlude by Jonita. I loved the effect Sachin-Jigar have given to the last line of each antara — “Mud Mud Ke Na Dekha“, and “mujhe ek bhi paise ka”. There’s another amazing saxophone solo in the interlude before Jonita’s portions, and that’s even more impressive. The characteristic piano played in that retro manner, is mind blowing too. The vocals are amazing. I mean, how can Vishal Dadlani fail to crank up the energy? His husky voice is all you need to make this song entertaining. Jonita gets a very small part to sing, which is more like an interlude, but she nails it, in the traditional ‘Bollywood girl’ ‘I’m-Not-Interested’ manner. Vayu’s lyrics are fun as well, and kudos to him for using a name like Chandralekha for the girl, and also to Sachin-Jigar for fitting it into the tune so perfectly! A retro rock song that is really stress-busting!

Rating: 4/5

 

4. Laagi Na Choote

Singers ~ Arijit Singh & Shreya Ghoshal, Lyrics by ~ Priya Saraiya

“Iss tarah chaahun tujhe,
Chaahun bhi toh tujhse main,
Ik pal ko bhi door na reh sakun..
Chaahe judaa,tere mere, raaste hain magar,
Aa main manzilein jod doon!
Rishta sa hai yeh, judne lagaa jo,
Chahoon kabhi na yeh toote!
Laagi na choote… Laagi na choote!”

– Priya Saraiya

After three upbeat numbers, and after much thought about whether the album does indeed have a soft and mellow number or not, here pops up a romantic song. Actually, this song was the last to release, so the makers successfully kept the romantic song a secret till the very end. The song falls into the category of ‘Slow Poison’ romantic songs — as you can tell, the song does take time to grow again! However, this time, the amount of time it takes is relatively less, thanks to the amazing composition! It has shades of Sachin-Jigar’s own ‘Thoda Thoda’ (Jayantabhai Ki Luv Story), but is way more intense. The mukhda is very trademark Sachin-Jigar, and the way the female portions are composed in the lower octave, is also, very characteristic of Sachin-Jigar’s previous works. It increases the magic manifold. The hook is something you just can’t forget soon! It has been made to stun us, and stun it does! The flow of the song is just so powerful, you are attentive till the end. Again, a short duration helps that to happen; your attention doesn’t wander somewhere in the middle. The arrangements are minimal and digital beats make up most of the background of the song. But the piano at the beginning and throughout is just so captivating, that you can’t dislike it. The guitar in the interlude also sounds unconventional. As for the vocals, Arijit and Shreya always make a good pair, and this time, Arijit takes the high portions while Shreya quite expertly handles the low portions, a role we see her taking up quite rarely. Well, Sachin-Jigar even made Rekha Bhardwaj (who is know for her beautifully high-pitched voice) to take up an amazing low-pitched voice in ‘Mileya Mileya’ (Happy Ending) and ‘Judaai’ (Badlapur), so I guess it’s just an innate trick that they use! Priya Saraiya’s lyrics are good too, and she keeps them simple and sweet, avoiding heavy philosophical ideas. A beautiful romantic song, with nothing new, but really has you hooked!

Rating: 5/5

 

5. Bandook Meri Laila

Singers ~ Ash King & Jigar Saraiya, Rap Performed by ~ Sidharth Malhotra & Raftaar, Lyrics by ~ Vayu, Rap Written by ~ Raftaar

“Aaye haaye haaye, yeh goli daayein baayein jaaye,
Har disha mein yeh visphot kardi ae,
Jaaye jaaye jaaye, jiya na jaaye jaaye jaaye,
Meri jaan pe yun chot kardi ae,
Seene mein tuney, bullet utaari toh,
Udey jugnu haan, udey jugnu,
Le gayi dil ko, kudi tu shikari,
Bana Majnu main, bana Majnu!
Bandook meri Laila!”

– Vayu

Now this was the song everybody was waiting for ever since the motion poster of the film had released. It is described by the makers as an action song, and an action song it is! The song is probably some of the most addictive stuff to have released in the recent years. The hook has had everyone grooving to it for a long time. I don’t know why, maybe because of high expectations, the song seemed very flat the first time I heard it. However, with every subsequent listen, it grew more and more. The composition is addictive; the mukhda is awesome, and the hookline is world-famous now. The rest of the song is mostly rap. Now, about the rap. The rap by Sidharth Malhotra seems very odd, and it seems like a publicity stunt. Earlier this year, Sachin-Jigar made Parineeti sing a ghazal ‘Maana Ke Hum Yaar Nahin’ (Meri Pyaari Bindu), and she aced it. However, here Sidharth seems a bit dull, and when Raftaar performs his rap, you can tell the huge difference between both of them. Of course, Raftaar is a professional rapper and that’s the reason, and I feel he should’ve gotten to sing the entire rap. The ‘Ban meri Laila‘ hooks are very addictive, and the way they sing ‘Laila!!‘ after that line is amazing! The arrangements are international sounding, and very impressive. It falls into the Tropical house genre which Pritam introduced earlier this year with the ‘Raabta’ title track. The EDM is highly impressive. It starts like a Chainsmokers track, and gets better than any Chainsmokers track as it progresses! The action theme is brought out amazingly through the arrangements. Ash King as the leading vocalist, does a fabulous job; it’s been a long time since we’ve heard him in such a groovy song! And Jigar Saraiya sounds great on the hookline. Vayu’s lyrics are fun and interesting as well. The song has a proper international touch to it, but it could’ve been better without Sidharth’s rap! 

Rating: 4/5


A Gentleman is yet another Sachin-Jigar album that doesn’t disappoint. It’s so tough to have an album in which all the songs have repeat value, and especially for an action film. Thankfully enough, Sachin-Jigar and Raj & DK always make a good team, and all of their albums together have been quirky and cool, not to mention catchy. And such albums are the ones that become chartbusters right away. After ‘Meri Pyaari Bindu’, Sachin-Jigar provide another wholesome album with ‘A Gentleman’! Sachin-Jigar are two gentlemen who hardly ever disappoint!!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4 + 4 + 4 + 5 + 4 = 21

Album Percentage: 84%

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: Just listen to the album! 🙂

 

 

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

APTLY SIMPLE AND MINIMALISTIC!! (PARTITION: 1947 – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: A.R. Rahman
♪ Lyrics by: Navneet Virk
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 4th July 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 18th August 2017

Partition: 1947 Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Partition: 1947 is an upcoming historical film, starring Hugh Bonneville, Gillian Anderson, Manish Dayal, Huma Qureshi and Late Om Puri in central roles. The film is directed by Gurinder Chadha, and produced by Paula Mayeda Berges, Gurinder Chadha and Deepak Nayar. The film has already released as ‘Viceroy’s House’ in the United Kingdom, and is ready for a Hindi release in India, in the Independence month, August. A.R. Rahman has scored the background music for the English version, but in the Hindi album, T-Series released only three songs, all the vocal songs (which are also not in the English soundtrack). So we get a short album. Let’s see whether it does justice to the movie’s theme.

P.S. I don’t know whether the Traditional songs are by Rahman, so I’ve not credited him for them. If you have any idea, do let me know.


1. Do Dilon Ke

Singers ~ Shreya Ghoshal & Hariharan, Music by ~ A.R. Rahman, Lyrics by ~ Navneet Virk

The only A.R. Rahman-composed song makes its place as he first song of the album, and ironically, it is going to be the end credits song for the movie. Just like any other A.R. Rahman song, this one takes time to grow, but eventually grips you. The composition is very similar to Rahman’s songs of the 90s, and particularly has a great hangover of ‘Tu Hi Re’ (Bombay). The antaras are beautiful, while the mukhda takes time to get accustomed to. What increases the déjà vu of the song, is Hariharan’s beautiful voice. It takes you back to the 90s Rahman vibe, and you just drown into his voice. Even better is Shreya, singing for him after quite some time. Her voice is the perfect mixture of sweet and silky and grave and solemn. The solemnity with which both of them render the song gives it an amazing aura. The arrangements are good, and very minimal. The piano stands out wonderfully, and strings towards the end make the song sound more rich. The richest part of the song, are the lyrics, by Navneet Virk, which are a beautiful metaphor seeing the 1947 Partition as a heartbreak. A good song, but lacks repeat value, as I believe it should!
Rating: 4/5

 

2. Duma Dum Mast Kalander

Singer ~ Hans Raj Hans, Music & Lyrics Traditional

The most famous folk song, probably, in India gets yet another recreation here. This is not much of a recreation though, as Hans Raj Hans is just singing the folk song in the least innovative manner possible. Of course, the experience of hearing the song yet again is wonderful, but I would’ve appreciated it had there been some variations, as Mikey McCleary had done in ‘David’. But since this is a historical film, I guess it is fitting they didn’t do that. The arrangements are jovial, with the amazing tablas and dholaks, accompanied by the harmonium, sounding rich and earthy. The tumbi and chimta, an essential part of Punjabi folk, make their way in here too. Hans Raj Hans’ vocals are amazing, as expected. Would this song have sounded any better if Rahman had been given the opportunity to recreate it? That is, assuming, he hasn’t!
Rating: 3/5

 

3. Jindwa

Singer ~ Hans Raj Hans, Music & Lyrics Traditional

Another folk song, one that I’ve never heard this time, makes its way into the album. This one sounds much better than ‘Duma Dum Mast Kalander’ because of the freshness and the fact that it is not something we have heard before. Of course, the composition overlaps many other songs we have heard that are based off of Punjabi folk songs, and now we know where those songs were inspired from. The arrangements here are so beautiful, with rich ethnic flutes and that tabla percussion going on throughout. Guitars also make it sound more fresh. The harmonium is an obvious part of it. There are sudden portions that escalate into high-octane dhols and bhangra. The flute actually sounds like the flute in ‘Chalo Chale Mitwa’ (Nayak), which was by Rahman, so I do suspect that Rahman was indeed, in charge of these two folk songs. Who knows!
Rating: 3.5/5


Partition 1947 is another one of those albums that sticks true to the film’s script. If all the songs are by Rahman, and there’s no way to know if they are or not, thanks to T-Series’ vague crediting style, the album is a letdown, particularly with the folk songs, because we know that Rahman can compose folk songs beautifully. Anyway, the album is aptly short, and situational!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4 + 3 + 3.5 = 10.5

Album Percentage: 70%

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

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

Recommended Listening Order:  Do Dilon Ke > Jindwa > Duma Dum Mast Kalander

 

Remake Counter
No. of Remakes: 22 (from previous albums) + 02 = 24

 

Which is your favourite song from Partition 1947? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂

A TRIPLE-DEBUT TREAT TOILET!! (TOILET: EK PREM KATHA – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Vickey Prasad, Manas-Shikhar & Sachet-Parampara
♪ Lyrics by: Siddharth-Garima
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 13th July 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 11th August 2017

Toilet – Ek Prem Katha Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Toilet – Ek Prem Katha is an upcoming Bollywood satire, starring Alshay Kumar, Bhumi Pednekar, Divyendu Sharma and Anupam Kher,  directed by Shree Narayan Singh, and produced by Aruna Bhatia, Shital Bhatia, Abundantia, Viacom Motion Pictures, Arjun N. Kapoor and Hitesh Thakkar. The film comes in support of PM Modi’s ‘Swacchh Bharat Abhiyaan’ by raising fingers at the issue of open defecation, prevalent in remote and underdeveloped parts of the country. Now it is a really good topic, but somehow, by the trailer and promos, I am not sure whether it will be carried out in a humorous way without looking dramatic. Anyway, the music, very surprisingly, has been scored by three debutant music composers, two duos and one individual. Vickey Prasad, Manas-Shikhar and Sachet-Parampara are the five lucky people who got to debut in Bollywood with an Akshay Kumar album, and how wonderful an opportunity is that!! I hope they make great use of it though, and provide us with a nice and clean ‘Toilet’! {Sorry for the desperate joke!}


1. Hans Mat Pagli

Singers ~ Sonu Nigam & Shreya Ghoshal, Music by ~ Vickey Prasad

The first newcomer starts off the album with a cute romantic song which sends off a great rural-setting vibe. The song’s composition is nothing innovative as such, but it still manages to hook the listeners, since it is so cute and such a throwback to Bollywood of the 90s. The only grouse I have with the composition is that the hookline sounds a lot like the antara of ‘Pardesi Pardesi’ (Raja Hindustani), which would be where the 90s vibes are coming from. The song is structured quite oddly, with a male mukhda, a male antara, and then a female mukhda followed by a female antara. Why couldn’t they just club the mukhdas together and the antaras together? That way, the listener would get some variation from male to female and then back to a male voice. Anyway, as they wish. The composition for all these stanzas is very cute again. The recording seems a bit faulty and raw, but that’s probably deliberate? The arrangements are again, not anything new or innovative, but that soft Qawwali setting to the hookline gives a soothing feeling, and the dholaks have been played beautifully, as are the plucked string instruments throughout the song, and the guitar itself. There is a wonderful rapid tabla piece before Sonu sings his antara. The rhythm is heard before, but the cuteness of the composition helps you listen to such a rhythm yet again without complaining. The vocals send you back to 2005-2007, when Sonu-Shreya duets were the thing. Every director wanted a Sonu-Shreya duet in their film; sadly, nowadays, that happens only in films where the director knows only about the old singers, and hence his music ends up sounding outdated. But here, there is no datedness whatsoever. It is more like a nostalgia. Both singers do an amazing job, though I somewhere thought that Shreya was struggling with such a high-pitched line in the antara. Siddharth-Garima choose the perfect line for the hookline; it increases the cuteness quotient of the song. The rest of the lyrics are cute too, but not too innovative. A good song to start the album with, but it has its own faults.
Rating: 4/5

 

2. Bakheda

Singers ~ Sukhwinder Singh & Sunidhi Chauhan, Music by ~ Vickey Prasad

Vickey has the second song to his credit as well, making him the main composer on this album. This song takes a more lively route, but stays a romantic song. As soon as it starts, the folksy vibe hits you, and you are also relieved that Vickey has used a more modern recording style for this one; it proves that the recording was deliberately done that way for the previous song. The composition is a lively one, but the hookline is really a letdown — it is so staid and bland. Also, we have heard such a hook so many times where the mukhda builds up to it, and then after a pause, the hookline takes the song forward. The antaras are very well composed. Sukhwinder, at his usual energetic self, renders the song with ease, and creates a good impact on the listeners. The problem lies in Sunidhi’s vocals, which seem less energetic as usual. It really sounds like she wasn’t interested, or maybe the pitch was too low. That makes her portion sound very odd, despite the beautiful composition of the antara. The arrangements are lively folksy arrangements with the percussion leading, and a nice plucked instrument entertaining throughout. A sarangi can also be made out occasionally. The percussion is the star of the song though. Siddharth-Garima, again, write an effective song to go with the film, but the impact of the lyrics doesn’t reach the audience out of the film. A functional song, but won’t really stay with you for long.
Rating: 3/5

 

3. Gori Tu Latth Maar

Singers ~ Sonu Nigam & Palak Muchhal, Backing Vocals ~ Umesh Joshi, Vijay Dhuri, Swapnil Godbole, Karan Kagale & Rishikesh Patel, Music by ~ Manas-Shikhar

The Rahman vibe hits you as soon as this one starts with the beautiful chimey music at the beginning. Manas-Shikhar, another debutant duo, enter the album with this song, and with only one song to prove their worth, they seize the opportunity and let me tell you, they make the best use of it, better than both of the other composer teams on this album! They employ a very lively setting to a supposed-to-be sad song. It is the festival of Holi, but of course, Bhumi Pednekar’s character is mad at Akshay’s character, because of we know what! So this is a situational song, in which Akshay pleads to her for forgiving him. Against the backdrop of a Holi song, a very emotional song, and I’ve heard something like this for the first time. Siddharth-Garima’s lyrics reveal all the emotion in the best way possible. Now let’s go back to Manas-Shikhar’s music. Their composition is just so catchy, especially the mukhda, which should be catchy in order to hook the listeners right away. It sounds like something straight out of a Rahman song. The hookline also succeeds in being a very beautiful, and catchy line. The antara is the female part of the song, and it has a very beautiful tune as well, which will remind you of the 90s songs, that used to slow down in the middle for the female parts. There’s a nice tempo-rise towards the end, in which we hear the already popular “Radhe Radhe” chorus. Sonu Nigam renders the tune with such brilliance, knowing when to emote which emotion, and wonderful aalaaps. Palak too, sings beautifully, and the brilliant composition of her portion helps her do that wonderfully. The arrangements are ever fluctuating, with the emotional and soft sound from the mukhda alternating with the usual Holi sound of the dholaks and other percussions. The shehnaai is played in a very beautiful tune. Those bells at the beginning are the most beautiful though. A wholesome song that defines what Bollywood is all about — colour, festivity, emotion and dance! Oh, and congratulations to Manas-Shikhar for a smashing debut!
Rating: 5/5

 

4. Subha Ki Train

Singers ~ Sachet Tandon & Parampara Thakur, Backing Vocals ~ Sukriti Kakar & Rituraj Mohanty, Music by ~ Sachet-Parampara

The last of the debutants bring up the finale of the album, which happens to be yet another cute romantic song. This one is a little less folksy than the others, but it does have the effect that it should. Sachet Tandon and Parampara Thakur have composed a lilting melody, that, though situational, and very predictable, still makes you smile and feel good. The prelude gave off some vibes of “Tere Sang Yaara” (Rustom). The mukhda is very sweet and simple, and instantly grabs your attention. The letdown here is the hook, which is as staid and heard-before as imaginable. But the antara is mind-blowing; especially the second line of it. The arrangements too, follow a very simple template, with that cute Duff rhythm, and in a wonderful second interlude, the flutes assortment and strings orchestra just mystifies. The first interlude with the mouth organ is splendid too. Sachet and Parampara handle the vocals themselves, and strangely enough, employ Rituraj Mohanty and Sukriti Kakar as backing vocalists for the aalaaps. Parampara’s is a voice to look out for, while Sachet’s voice just blends in with the multitude of new male voices we have in Bollywood, other than Arijit. 😅 Again, Siddharth-Garima stick to situational yet catchy lyrics; the hook lyrics made me smile. A good finale, and a promising debut, but not a song that will stay in my head for more than a month.
Rating: 3.5/5


Toilet – Ek Prem Katha is an album just like Akshay Kumar movie albums usually are — fun, vibrant and groovy, but with an overbearing romantic theme. What makes it even more special is that all the composers are debutants and it is commendable of the makers to have accepted the three for a film which will reach so many people! Seizing the opportunity, all three newcomers do a good job, and especially Manas-Shikhar do an amazing one. The album is a triple-debut treat!!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4 + 3 + 5 + 3.5 = 15.5

Album Percentage: 77.5%

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: Gori Tu Latth Maar > Hans Mat Pagli > Subha Ki Train > Bakheda

 

Which is your favourite song from Toilet – Ek Prem Katha? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂

A PATRIOTIC VIBE THAT TOUCHES THE HEART!! (RAAG DESH – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Rana Mazumder, Siddharth Pandit & Ram Singh Thakuri
♪ Lyrics by: Sandeep Nath, Revant Shergill, Rana Mazumder & Pt. Vanshidhar Shukla
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 25th July 2017
♪ Movie Released On: 28th July 2017

Raag Desh Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Raag Desh is a Bollywood period drama, based on the Indian National Army set up by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, and the war fought to liberate India from the British Government, which was fought on the shores of Irrawaddy in Burma. The film stars Kunal Kapoor, Amit Sadh and Mohit Marwah as the three INA soldiers who were court-martialled, Colonel Prem Sehgal, Colonel Gurbaksh Singh Dhillon, and Major Shah Nawaz Khan. The film is directed by Tigmanshu Dhulia and produced by Gurdeep Singh Sappal. This film, right from when its first look came out, I was not even expecting it to have music album. However, it does have four songs. The composers are relative newcomers. The leading composer, Rana Mazumder, is somebody we have heard singing in various albums for a long time, but with this film, he ventures into music direction and composed two songs, one in two versions. The second composer, Siddharth Pandit, debuted with ‘Laali Ki Shaadi Mein Laaddoo Hua Deewaana’ earlier this year; as a member of composer duo (Revant-Siddharth). Here, only he has composed, but Revant has written the lryics and sung the song so practically, they’re still together. I do not know what to expect from the album yet, but hopefully, it is a good patriotic album!


1. Hawaaon Mein Woh Aag Hai

Singers ~ K.K. & Shreya Ghoshal, Music by ~ Rana Mazumder, Composition of INA Anthem by ~ Ram Singh Thakuri, Lyrics by ~ Sandeep Nath, Lyrics of INA Anthem by ~ Pt. Vanshidhar Shukla

The album dives right into the patriotism, with a hard-hitting, anthemic song that just makes you feel proud to be an Indian. (Assuming you are one, otherwise, hello from India!) The composer cleverly makes use of INA’s anthem, “Qadam Qadam Badhaaye Jaa”, in a way that seems as if the two songs were meant to be together. The seamless transition from Rana Mazumder’s new composition, to the INA anthem, is wonderful. The song starts with an amazingly patriotic sound, with trumpet fanfare, progressing into a vibrant marching beat. The composition is just as abrupt and staccato as the beats; it jumps right into the patriotism with no dilly-dallying. It lifts your spirits instantly. A wonderfully melodious stanza in the middle by Shreya Ghoshal wins your heart. The instrumentation is grand and royal; with the brass band and the drum beats being the most prominent. The orchestra does a wonderful job playing the short notes in the upbeat portions, and the drawn-out and dreamy notes in the short melodious portion. Even rock guitars make their presence felt. Rana’s composing finesse is exposed when he goes seamlessly from the upbeat to the melodious portions. And the clever usage of the INA anthem is something I can go on and on about. The vocals are splendid. K.K. and Shreya Ghoshal, two vocalists we are used to having heard together so many times in the late 2000s, do a wonderful job. It isn’t a duet as such; K.K. leads the proceedings with a strong anthemic resonance to his voice, and the Backing chorus repeats after him. Shreya gets that one portion in the middle, but she aces it. When she sings her aalaap at the end of the song, though, you feel that it was worth hearing her for just that small portion! The lyrics by Sandeep Nath are aptly patriotic. A wonderful and motivating start to the album!

Rating: 4/5

 

2. Tujhe Namaami Ho

Singers ~ Sunidhi Chauhan, K.K., Shreya Ghoshal & Rana Mazumder, Music by ~ Rana Mazumder, Lyrics by ~ Sandeep Nath

As soon as this song starts, you know there’s something brilliant in store for you. The xylophone (santoor?) notes are enough to make you engrossed right away. And then, as Sunidhi Chauhan starts singing, you just get a chill sent through your body; it is so beautiful! Rana composes yet another mind blowing song; this time very heavily depending on the composition. The composition doesn’t let you down, and with its calm and composed nature, wins over your heart. The mellifluous tune is enough to have you listen to the song on loop. The antara beautifully traverses the high notes, and the four vocalists do great justice to the composition. The instrumentation is heavenly as well. Strings, santoor, and the sitar make up the main part of the arrangements. The orchestra especially, does an amazing job. The “Janmabhumi, Matrubhumi” hook has a wonderful show of strings in the background. About the vocals, whatever can be said is not enough. Rana’s decision to have four singers sing this song is quite a less-opted-for decision these days, but he manages all four of them very well, without using any autotune for any of them. Sunidhi sounds a lot like Kavita Krishnamurthy when she starts! She handles the calm notes beautifully like she always does. K.K. sounds great as always, and so does Shreya. The voice that stands out though, is Rana’s. We have heard him in many songs, and his earthy and raw voice is such a boon to this song; it give it such a humble feel! The chorus vocals are haunting, and give the song an amazing feel. The lyrics are as beautiful as patriotic lyrics can get! A heart-moving patriotic number that should get the recognition it deserves!

Rating: 5/5

 

3. Ghar Chhaado

Singers ~ Rana Mazumder & Shreya Ghoshal, Music by ~ Rana Mazumder, Composition of INA Anthem by ~ Ram Singh Thakuri, Lyrics by ~ Rana Mazumder, Lyrics of INA Anthem by ~ Pt. Vanshidhar Shukla

The next song is just the Bengali version of “Hawaaon Mein Woh Aag Hai”, and the song sounds so relevant in Bengali, Subhash Chandra Bose being a Bengali man himself. Rana replaces K.K. as the lead singer here, and sings it wonderfully. The Hindi lyrics from “Qadam Qadam” though, haven’t been replaced. Shreya’s Bengali is to die for, as always! Here, however, Rana does away with the earthiness in his voice, and renders it straightforwardly. A relevant reprise of the anthem.

Rating: 4/5

 

4. Teri Zameen

Singers ~ Shriya Pareek, Revant Shergill & Siddharth Pandit, Music by ~ Siddharth Pandit, Lyrics by ~ Revant Shergill

Siddharth Pandit, from composer duo Revant-Siddharth, another relatively new composer, brings up the caboose of the album, with a song that haunts you with its intensely patriotic vibe. The composition is just as lilting as that word can get. It starts right away, giving us goosebumps right from the first note. The line “desh ke maathe pe..” has been composed in such an ethereal way, and it shakes you with its haunting vibe. The song is more like a background number, but it sounds amazing in headphones. The “Qadam Qadam” song gets a little portion of this song as well, but Pandit gives it a different tune, unlike how it was incorporated with its own tune in ‘Hawaaon Mein Woh Aag Hai’. The mukhda’s tune repeats in the last stanza, and it haunts yet again. Though the song has almost the same hook running throughout (It has three hooks that repeat), it doesn’t feel boring even once. The arrangements are just as haunting as the composition. The percussion is breathtaking, and the chimey sounds, and the sounds of the plucked string instruments, all set up a very sublime ambience. The way the song starts, like a classical song, with the hum of the tanpura, and then folksy strings accompanying it, is probably the most catchy start to such a song ever. The vocalists do proper justice to the composition — Shriya Pareek, debutante, sounding a lot like Neeti Mohan, sings her portions in a spellbinding manner! The two male vocalists do well too, especially the one singing “Elaan kar Kakkar bhar”. The lyrics by Siddharth’s companion, Revant, are top notch as well, again, having to do with patriotism, of course! A perfect haunting finale to the wonderful patriotic album!

Rating: 5/5


Raag Desh was an album I was expecting very less from, to be frank. However, the outcome just blows my mind. Two newcomers (one almost newcomer), and both giving such heart-rending melodies to the album, is quite a rare thing to hear! I wish to hear more from them now!! All three songs (and the Bengali version) are beautiful and full of patriotic vibes, keeping with the theme of the film. A short and sweet album, with also serves as the medium for a smashing debut for Mazumder!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4 + 5 + 4 + 5 = 18

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: Tujhe Namaami Ho = Teri Zameen > Hawaaon Mein Aag Hai = Ghar Chaado

 

Remake Counter:
No. Of Remakes: 20 (from previous albums) + 01 (from Raag Desh) = 21

 

Which is your favourite song from Raag Desh? 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! 🙂

PURAANA ZAMAANA NAYA HO GAYA!! (BEGUM JAAN – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Anu Malik
♪ Lyrics by: Kausar Munir & Rahat Indori
♪ Music Label: Junglee Music / Times Music
♪ Music Released On: 7th April 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 14th April 2017

Begum Jaan Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE

To hear “Murshida” on Saavn CLICK HERE

To buy “Murshida” on iTunes CLICK HERE


Begum Jaan is an upcoming Bollywood period film, starring Vidya Balan, Ila Arun, Gauhar Khan, Pallavi Sharda, Mishti Chakraborty, Raviza Chauhan, Priyanka Setia, Flora Saini, Ridheema Tiwary, Poonam Rajput, Gracy Goswami, Pitobash Tripathy, Ashish Vodyarthi, Chunky Pandey and Naseeruddin Shah. The film has been directed by National-Award-Winnig Director Srijit Mukherji, and produced by Mahesh Bhatt, Vishesh Bhatt and Play Entertainment. The film is the official Bollywood remake of Srijit’s Bengali film, ‘Rajkahini’. The film, set in 1947, is about a brothel, and how the Radcliffe line that decided the borders of India and Pakistan during Independence, passes right through the middle of it. The struggle of the ladies at the brothel, and their fight for their home, os what constitutes the story. The concept seems great, and with great actors, it is sure to get amazing response. The music of the film has been composed by Anu Malik, and it is a perfect choice; he would be able to do the music of the era better than most of the younger composers. Anu himself says he hasn’t heard the music of the Bengali original film, so as not to be influenced by it, and I haven’t heard it either, so as not to compare. Anu Malik has composed five songs for the movie, with one of them having two versions, making it a total of six tracks. So let’s see how the album turns out!


1. Prem Mein Tohre / Prem Mein Tohre (Reprise)

Singers ~ Asha Bhosle / Kavita Seth, Lyrics by ~ Kausar Munir

“Parde mein tohre, Chori chori chori chori, jiya jaaye na,
Parde mein tohre, chori chori chori chori, mita jaaye na,
Aata hai chhupke tu mere dar par,
Ghayal dil aur dhadkan banjar,
Ghayal dil aur dhadkan banjar!
Haldi mali jo ghaanv pe tohre, har zakhm mera hara ho gaya,
Yeh kya ho gaya?”

– Kausar Munir

Of course, this song was the one about which rumours were pouring in right from the day Anu Malik must have recorded it. And why? The answer is simple — none other than living legend Asha Bhosle had sung it. So headlines like “ASHA BHOSLE, LIVING LEGEND, GIVES VOICE TO VIDYA BALAN”, or “ANU MALIK AND ASHA BHOSLE COMBO BACK TOGETHER” popped up at me many a time. Yes, the song has been sung by Asha Bhosle, who was last heard in a forgettable (and already forgotten) song from ’31st October’. This song, however, has no chance to be forgotten. The composition is a serene, classical composition, which just touches your heart right away. Yes, it might take time to grow for some, because it is quite slow-paced, and, being a classical song, it has quite a paucity of aalaaps and murkis, but then, you can’t expect all classical songs to be replicas of each other, can you? So the tune that Anu Malik finally presents to us is amazing, though it has got some barriers in some places, like I said before, the slow pace. The composer makes up for this with the wonderful classical arrangements, which make a breeze of fresh air blow against your (ears???) face. The tanpura paves the way for something marvellous right in the beginning, and surely, a wonderful oud takes over, and booming, grand percussions join after some time, accompanied by the innocent sound of the paayals. One highlight in the arrangements is the wonderful second interlude, which features a RAVISHING sitar instrumental piece which just steals your breath! And the antara that follows is a musical masterpiece; something that only the old composers of Bollywood are capable of doing. That stanza has a wonderful tune, a wonderful strings background, and then, when the tabla finally joins the song (quite late, but still worth it!) you feel utterly satisfied with the song! The paayal jingle at the end of the song signifies a beautiful end to it. The song has two version, both of which have the same arrangements but differ in the vocals. One is by Asha Bhosle, while the other is by Kavita Seth. (By the way, I didn’t see any headlines saying “KAVITA SETH SINGS A SONG FOR ‘BEGUM JAAN'” before the album released.) Asha Bhosle’s version sounds more like a romantic song, with her very sweet voice, which is quite intact, as it was even twenty years ago, considering her age! When I first heard her version when it released I thought she hadn’t done some of the aalaaps properly, but then I heard Kavita’s version and automatically started liking Asha’s. Kavita sings the song more impactfully, demolishing any traces of it being a romantic song — she has sung a bit too loudly, and she misses even more aalaps and sings in a very plain and straightforward tone. It sounded weird at first, but it is passable. Kausar Munir’s lyrics are good but could have been better, more layered. A wonderful classical romantic song to start the album off.

Rating: 4/5 for the Original Version, 3/5 for the Reprise Version

 

2. Aazaadiyan

Singers ~ Rahat Fateh Ali Khan & Sonu Nigam, Lyrics by ~ Kausar Munir

“Reh gayi rassi pe chunari,
Reh gayi khoonti pe kurti,
Reh gayi woh laaj kahaan?
Reh gaya gumbad mein Allah,
Reh gaya furqat mein Rabba,
Reh gaya woh Ram kahaan?
Hain hari se woh kahaan, hain galeeche woh kahaan?
Pehle chaman woh bataao kahaan?
Hind pe tha naaz jinko, hain woh kahaan?”

– Kausar Munir

A pathos-filled, heart-rending melody is what follows the semiclassical romantic song. This song describes the pain and suffering of the people, who had to migrate to the other side of the border, after the partition of India. And very graphically, Anu Malik has brought that pain right into his composition. Right from the moment it starts, till the moment it ends, the song has a composition that will make it hard for you not to flinch in pain, just by hearing it. The mukhda is wonderful, and the “aah nikli hai yahaan” verse is very pleasant-sounding, but it has been written cleverly, sarcastically. Clearly, the distress that the people felt on leaving their homes was paramount. The antara is what makes the song as heart-rending as ever; it has strings of melancholic notes that hit right at the heart. The way each line sounds different from the other is amazing. It reminds you of Anu Malik’s ‘Border’ and ‘Refugee’ days. The only drawback I can think of about the song is its duration — over six and a half minutes long. (Almost all of the songs of ‘Border’ and ‘Refugee’ too, were that long! 😄) But it is kind of repetitive to be listening to for so long. Anyway, since the composition is good, I’m cool with it. The arrangements are very impressive. The beautiful use of the shehnaai throughout the song leaves you amazed. Furthermore, the second antara has a wonderful Sufi rhythm to it, and the percussion throughout the song is just ravishing. The nagadas at the beginning are really great in giving you the feel that something epic is going to follow. The twinkly (xylophone??) sounds that the song abounds in, are pleasures to the ears. Anu Malik has outdone himself wih the use of strings and percussion in the song. The two singers make this song enrapturing. Rahat’s rustic voice sets the atmosphere for a pathos-filled song, while Sonu Nigam accompanies him with an aptly moving rendition — his parts reminded me a lot of ‘Sandese Aate Hain’ (Border). Finally, it is time to talk about Kausar Munir’s colossally great lyrics. I must not spoil it for you; so please listen to them very carefully! This song won’t be noticed by too many people, at least not in this era dominated by raps and club songs, but whoever does notice it, would definitely love it!

Rating: 4.5/5

 

3. O Re Kaharo

Singers ~ Kalpana Patowary & Altamash Faridi, Lyrics by ~ Kausar Munir

“O re kaharon, Doli utaaro, pal bhar ko thehro toh zara,
Dil se lagaake, bas ikk dafaa ve, dene do gudiyon ko dua,
Teri bindiya nikharke, choodiyan bikharke, chunari mein chehke,
Tera kajra ho kaara, gajra ho pyaara, angana tera mehke.”

– Kausar Munir

Another poignant melody makes its way into the soundtrack, and this time it is a bidaai song, but of course, metaphorically. More about that later. The composition is a sinister and melancholic melody that effectively transfers its sadness to the listener. Anu Malik has composed this one with all his heart and soul, and again, it reminds me of some 90s song which probably Jaspinder Narula would’ve sung for him. The “teri bindiya nikharke…” verse is amazing, and very soulful. The title of the song comes as a bridge between two verses, or an ending to a verse, instead of using it as a hookline. The antara too has been composed very soulfully, and it instantly hooks you, especially the “soja soja gudiya soja” part. The arrangements infuse even more grandeur, in a very earthy way, into the song. The star of the arrangements is hands-down, the flute, which Anu has interspersed in between the poignant melody. The percussion is booming and very thought-provoking, and whatever is the intention of having it so booming and powerful, that intention has been served; the song is as impactful as it can get. I can just imagine what an impact it’ll have in the theatre. Again, Anu makes wonderful use of the paayals, and the strings, especially that wonderful crescendo of the strings in the beginning of the song, which really reminded me of Rahman’s ‘Rangeela’ songs. Kalpana Patowary, who is known as the Bhojpuri queen, has done such a song for the first time in her life, I guess! And she aces it! This avatar of hers is way better than all those weird songs she has sung before in Bollywood, and she handles all the nuances so expertly, that it is something to wonder why no composer has tried it out before. A big thanks to Malik for doing it. Altamash has a single line that plays multiple times, and it is like an interlude, not making much difference to the grand performance that Kalpana has already stolen away. Kausar Munir’s lyrics are literally bidaai lyrics, but there’s definitely a deeper meaning that could only be discerned after the film releases. I even have a theory, but let’s not hypothesize here. And I’m sure, wherever this song fits into the film, that scene would be enhanced manifold. Anu Malik concludes the song with a grand symphonic strings and flutes and percussion intersection. An extremely captivating composition, that amazes with its sinister sound.

Rating: 5/5

 

4. Holi Khelein

Singers ~ Shreya Ghoshal & Anmol Malik, Lyrics by ~ Kausar Munir

“Mor pankhudi udi udi,
Natkhat bansi baji baji,
Gagan giri, gopi saji,
Vrindavan ki gali gali,
Kanha ke rang khili khili, kanha ke rang khili khili,
Holi, holi, holi, khelein brij ki har bala, brij ki baaalaaa!”

– Kausar Munir

The moment this song starts, you know that it is a playful song, and after all that serious romance and pathos that filled the previous songs, you are nothing but ready for it! And what a pleasant surprise you get when you find that it is a purely classical Holi song (as if that wasn’t discernible from the title, but then… Whatever.) Anu Malik composed this song very intrinsically, every note resounding in your ears after it plays. The overall sound of the song itself, is so delightful, and it just goes to tell you, that Anu has gone a long way after he did that ‘Do Me A Favour Let’s Play Holi’ (Waqt) song that is oh-so-infamous among Indians. Yes, it has an old-world-charm to it, but happens to please you very much, with its happy-go-lucky tune. Every line sounds different from the preceding one, and again, just as in ‘Aazaadiyan’, that’s what makes the composition so special. The antara is even better in terms of composition, where things calm down, and it is extremely soothing. The arrangements make the song sound even more exquisite. The percussion throughout the song gives a very grand feel to the celebratory song, and folk instruments like the nagadas, bansuri, rabaab, tablas, and dholaks. The rhythm is a very traditional Holi rhythm, being played in so many Holi songs, but it doesn’t bore you due to the more modern way it has been arranged. The vocals are great, but Anmol’s amateurish parts seem like an interruption into Shreya Ghoshal’s professional-sounding parts. Shreya sounds as ravishing as ever, and as always, hits the high notes beautifully. She sang the “holi holi holi yeh kyaaaa ho gaya” so beautifully, no wonder she is called the Nightingale. Anmol doesn’t sound hideous, but still serves as a kind of unwanted interruption. At the end wonderful kathak bols make up a beautiful conclusion. Kausar’s lyrics are very sweet, and the Krishna connection she has made makes the song even more beautiful to hear. A treat for classical music lovers!

Rating: 5/5

 

♪ Bonus Song

5. Murshida

Singer ~ Arijit Singh, Lyrics by ~ Rahat Indori

“Pehli shart judaai hai, Ishq bada harjaai hai
Dil pe kisne dastak di, Tum ho ya tanhaai hai
Tujhe bhoole baithe thhe, Phir se teri yaad aayi hai
Dil pe kisne dastak di, Tum ho ya tanhaai hai?”

– Rahat Indori

So this song just only released today, as a bonus track. It is a beautiful, breezy Sufi melody, and has a very charming touch to it. Anu Malik’s composition barely sounds like an Anu Malik composition, it sounded more to me like something composed by a Salim-Sulaiman, or a Pritam. The reason will be clear to you after you hear its mukhda. The same charm that accompanies the songs of the two aforementioned composers, is present in this song. Until of course, Anu Malik takes the unconventional route and switches track to an amazing Sufi detour, which is probably the most welcome detour of the world. The antaras are amazing, but a bit ordinary as compared to the rest of the song. One line in the antara gets all sinister and dark, reminding one of Vishal Bhardwaj. But then the mukhda, with its beautiful notes, returns. The rhythm in the mukhda, where the guitars are played so soothingly, in a play-stop-play-stop manner, is so infectious, you just nod your head along to that rhythm. The other arrangements too, are very impressive, especially that majestic sarangi that starts off the song. In the Sufi detour that makes up the hookline, amazing tablas play, and that guitar keeps rocking. Arijit sings in his trademark charming voice, and changes from a feathery whisper of a voice to a blooming voice very easily. His effortless rendition really etches a place for itself in your heart. This song has been penned by Rahat Indori, the Lyricist who has worked with Anu Malik so many times in his peak time in the 90s, and the latest in ‘Gali Gali Chor Hai’ (2012). He has written such a poetic song, as he always has done in the past, and I just became so happy on hearing the lyrics. A perfect song to close the album!

Rating: 4.5/5


Begum Jaan is like a throwback to the songs of yore. Barring the new bonus track, the album has evident shades of nostalgic melodies that remind one of the old Bollywood songs, and Anu Malik does a great job in recreating the 1947-ish era with his music. The album is full of poignant melodies that are high on the musical quotient, if not high on repeat value (for some). All I can say is, puraana zamaana naya ho gaya, yeh kya ho gaya! 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4 + 3 + 4.5 + 5 + 5 + 4.5 = 26

Album Percentage: 86.67%

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: O Re Kaharo = Holi Khelein > Aazaadiyan = Murshida > Prem Mein Tohre > Prem Mein Tohre (Reprise)

 

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