VISHAL-SHEKHAR’S STRONG MUSICAL KICK!! (AKIRA – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Vishal-Shekhar
♪ Lyrics by: Manoj Muntashir & Kumaar
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 16th August 2016
♪ Movie Releases On: 2nd September 2016

Akira Album Cover

Akira Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Akira is an upcoming Bollywood action film starring Sonakshi Sinha in the titular role, and Konkona Sen Sharma and Anurag Kashyap in other prominent roles. The movie has been directed by A.R. Murugadoss and produced by himself along with Fox Star Studios. It is the first time Murugadoss isn’t remaking his own movie into Hindi (remember ‘Ghajini’ and ‘Holiday’?) But he’s still remaking somebody else’s movie. And that somebody and his move happens to be Santha Kumar’s 2011 Tamil flick ‘Mouna Guru’. But there’s a twist, which is that, the main character in this movie has been shown as a strong female character, going on the lines of woman empowerment, replacing the male character in the original. The story is about a girl named Akira who finds it difficult to adjust to the society she lives in, and ends up displaying her anger, by which she often ends up in trouble. Troubled by her trouble, she is sent to Mumbai, where she gets into trouble again, as we can guess from the trailer. What trouble, how trouble, why trouble and which trouble (and who trouble, too, if you will) is what we will discover in the movie, but I see a corrupt cop played by Kashyap in the trailer so that would change things a lot, I guess. 😛 Anyway, I’m here to talk about the music. After going for A.R. Rahman in ‘Ghajini’ and Pritam in ‘Holiday’, Murugadoss experiments again and tries out a duo that is working with him for the first time, and a duo that is just done with giving one of the best commercial albums of the year, ‘Sultan’. Yup, behind the music of ‘Akira’ are none other than Vishal-Shekhar, who surely have worked hard for the album, and after ‘Sultan’, I’m expecting a lot from them, though the movie isn’t music-oriented at all. The duo has made four songs, with one of them featuring in two versions, making that a total of five tracks. Without further ado, let’s see how much of a kick or punch the music of ‘Akira’ is!


1. Rajj Rajj Ke (Version 1) / Rajj Rajj Ke (Version 2)
Singers ~ Sonakshi Sinha & Vishal Dadlani / Nahid Afrin & Vishal Dadlani, Lyrics by ~ Kumaar

The duo starts the album off with a power-packed theme song, that automatically goes and makes itself a place with songs like ‘Jee Karda’ (Badlapur) and ‘Chhil Gaye Naina’ (NH10). The angst and frustration takes the form of a catchy, heart-touching and foot-tapping song that showcases the nature of the main character very well. The duo has excelled with the composition, gathering various notes that sound pretty energetic and full-of-fury when put together. The song starts with Vishal singing a line that is so soft, yet it is a wonderful opening to the energy and power that is to follow in the rest of the song. The mukhda is a beautifully haunting tune which lures you into the song, in quite a spooky way, but all the spookiness is enjoyable and awe-inspiring. The antara is something that will leave you in shock, with your jaw wide open; it treads on a wide range of notes, starting high and ending low, and how beautifully! The hookline is what you would call a power-packed line. All the fury and emotions of the singer gets poured out in just that one line, and it is sooooo touching, in a unique way! Vishal-Shekhar’s booming arrangements are another reason to hear the song on loop, what with rock guitar strums helping to increase the energy, while drums help the hookline sound marvelous. The first interlude is a wonderful Spanish guitar solo, which sounds astounding! The whole song is placed on an upbeat and groovy beat, which you would love to hear on loop! On the vocals front, the song, featuring in two versions, gets a different treatment from each of the two female singers. While Sonakshi, singing just as a publicity stunt, surprisingly pulls off the song quite commendably (sounding like a non-autotuned Kanika Kapoor), ‘Indian Idol Junior’ Season 1’s finalist Nahid Afrin stuns in her Bollywood debut, and steals the show in her version. The way she sings “Dard bedarrrdaaaa” at the end of the hookline, is so haunting! Her rendition of the wonderfully composed antara is something you can’t afford to miss! Vishal Dadlani, on the other hand, sings his one line, “Dard Bedardaaa, Dard Bedardaaa” in a very rustic voice, with two tracks of his voice over later upon each other, and sounding great! Kumaar’s lyrics display very well the misery/fury of the protagonist and suits the theme very well. Vishal-Shekhar score with the very first song on the album, which is definitely an energetic high! Though both versions are good, I would recommend Nahid’s version to the music lovers! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

2. Purza
Singer ~ Arijit Singh, Lyrics by ~ Manoj Muntashir

With the next song, it seems like Vishal-Shekhar have totally forgotten the angst and fury of the first song, and have drowned themselves into complete romantic mode, but again, when it is Vishal-Shekhar, you can never expect a straightforward, in-your-face romantic song, and that’s just the case with this one, too. The duo has composed a very upbeat and feel-good romantic song, which definitely leaves you puzzled at its unexpected twists and turns; as I said, you can never expect anything straightforward from this duo! The mukhda very beautifully introduces the listener to a very happy-sounding romantic song, which has shades of 90s IndiPop music. The hookline is just bliss, with a very cute repetition of a fabulous line, which will just make your day with its wide range of notes, ranging from low to high. The antaras are just as beautiful, with a very distinct Vishal-Shekhar touch, and reminding me a bit of their ‘Taxi No. 9211’ days, with love songs like ‘Ek Nazar Mein Bhi’. The instrumentation is another marvel by the duo. Acoustic guitars galore, they set the right ambience for the song, while the drums kick in to infuse the spunk into the song. Later on, we witness a wonderful fusion of European-styled harmonica with Caribbean percussion. The interlude after the first antara is one of the most diverse ones I’ve seen in such a breezy romantic song! Starting with apt techno sounds, and going back to the regular acoustic guitars, that interlude is a marvel to hear and believe! Vocals by Arijit are smack-on-the-bulls-eye, and in spite of the various dim-witted people on YouTube commenting stuff like, “Sorry, Arijit, this one wasn’t for you brother”, and “Arijit, itna ghatiya gaana kyun gaaya??” (which, in short, means, “Arijit, why did you sing such a horrible, terrible, nasty, unpleasant song?!”) I would like to believe that Arijit has sung with all his charm, and those who are open to Arijit singing songs other than songs from the ‘Raaz’, ‘Jannat’, ‘Murder’, and ‘Aashiqui’ franchises, would definitely appreciate hit vocals in this one! Manoj Muntashir’s lyrics reach another high, with very charming and cute romantic lyrics, and coupled with Vishal-Shekhar’s cute tune, they sound even more beautiful! A wonderful romantic song that not only defines how great Vishal-Shekhar are at making unique romantic songs, but also how to make a romantic song with Arijit, without relying on a melancholic tune to do the work for you! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

3. Kehkasha Tu Meri
Singer ~ Shekhar Ravjiani, Lyrics by ~ Manoj Muntashir

It seems that Vishal-Shekhar are finding it harder to leave the romance behind, than the fury! Because here they are, back with a romantic song, the second in an album where you would least expect even one of them! The song happens to be a remake of the duo’s own ‘Haravali Pakhare’, one of their two songs from the album of the Marathi movie ‘Balak Palak’. The composition is a gem of a composition, with every note touching the bottom of your heart, and stubbornly refusing to get out from your mind. The mukhda is bliss, North-Eastern folk screaming at you froim every note, and the way it connects with the hookline, with a brisk “Roshani Se bhari”, is spectacular and a delight to the ears. The hookline itself, though sounding very, very heard-before, is very charming. The antara takes a rather mellow route, with the notes taking unexpected downward twists, before things go back to the heavenly “Roshani Se Bhari” line, and the wondrous hookline. The arrangements are also not very unique or different, but manage to leave you in a very calmed state. Scintillating sounds of chimes and sparkling sounds lighten your mood up, while things crank up a bit during the hookline, with the duffs playing a nice Assamese rhythm. The piano and strings accompany each other very well in the interlude, and you are free to just drown in the bliss! Shekhar, with his soft and silky voice, renders the song with ease and charm; then again, when does he not sound charming!? I couldn’t help but remember Javed Ali’s voice, and how I wish there was another version sung by him too! 😀 Manoj yet again, impresses you with his lyrics, though simple. I contradict my own statement, and say that Vishal-Shekhar make straightforward romantic songs too, but just as beautifully as the twisted ones!! This is a perfect example of that! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

4. Baadal
Singer ~ Sunidhi Chauhan, Lyrics by ~ Manoj Muntashir

The pathos enters the album with the final song on it, and in a very IndiPop manner. The duo ends the album with a melancholy tune, which fails to impress as much as the other songs, but still manages to stay with you for quite a good amount of time. The duo’s composition actually sounds like they’re stuck in the early 2000s and forgot to change things in the song to make it sound like it is new. The mukhda is painfully stale-sounding, but the antara makes up for it with a cool assortment of notes that actually touch your heart. Otherwise, the song’s emotion is quite hollow and not so touching. The arrangements constitute not much but a guitar loop that sounds quite trippy, but overdone so much, that you find it kind of irritating towards the end! The arrangements could have had much more happening back there, but the duo seems to have been in a time constraint to deliver this track, hence the shortcomings! Sunidhi, however, manages to leave her mark, as always. Her bold voice is perfect for the song, and the confident way she does her aalaaps, even though she hasn’t been trained in classical music, is commendable! She sings the hookline very charmingly, and you can’t help but fall in love with her voice yet again! Hernhigh notes are a pleasure to hear too! Manoj seems to have been struggling to write something emotional, so that it seems to come out as a desperate attempt to turn the protagonist’s eyes into clouds — we don’t know if it is the black ones or white ones, mind you! 😀 A decent melody, rescued by Sunidhi’s confident carriage!


Akira is an album which definitely wasn’t supposed to have such astounding music, as I had thought when it was announced itself! Without having much scope to do so, Vishal-Shekhar manage to create four songs, with two romantic ones that will surely stay with you for long, an energetic song that redefines the meaning of anthems, and a sad song that doesn’t work as much as the makers would’ve wanted it to! Anyway, these three songs are more than enough to shine in an album where even two astounding songs would be a surprise! After the great and commercially appealing album to ‘Sultan’, Vishal-Shekhar deliver a power-packed kick with this album as well!

 

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: Purza > Kehkasha Tu Meri > Rajj Rajj Ke (Version 2 — Nahid) > Rajj Rajj Ke (Version 1 — Sonakshi) = Baadal

 

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

 

Next “dish”: Baar Baar Dekho, Chefs: Jasleen Royal, Amaal Mallik, Arko Pravo Mukherjee, Bilal Saeed, Badshah, Prem Hardeep

A TEVAR-IFFIC START TO 2015!! (TEVAR – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by:- Sajid-Wajid, Shafqat Amanat Ali & Imran Khan
♪ Lyrics by:- Kausar Munir, Danish Sabri, Sajid & Imran Khan
♪ Music Label:- Eros Music
♪ Music Released On:- 9th December 2014
♪ Movie Releases On:- 9th January 2015

Tevar Album Cover

Tevar Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


As the year 2014 is coming to an end, and as I (very slowly) finished the reviews of movies of 2014, it is now time to turn our attention towards the music of movies of the coming year 2015. The first album I got my hands on was Tevar, a romantic action movie releasing on 9th January, 2015. The film stars Arjun Kapoor and Sonakshi Sinha in lead roles, with Manoj Bajpayee appearing in a negative role. The film has been directed by debutant Amit Ravindernath Sharma and produced by Boney Kapoor, Sanjay Kapoor, Sunil Lulla, Naresh Agarwal and Sunil Manchanda. The film is the official Hindi remake of the 2003 Telugu film ‘Okkadu’. Now, considering that the film is a South remake, everyone would naturally expect a masala soundtrack to the film, and who better than Sajid-Wajid for just that!? This year, the duo has been at a peak point in their career, giving albums like ‘Main Tera Hero’, ‘Heropanti’ and ‘Daawat-e-Ishq’ that took me by surprise after the disastrous ‘Bullett Raja’ last year. What’s more, when the duo had teamed up with Boney Kapoor for the last time, the result was a splendid, enjoyable soundtrack — ‘Wanted’. Now, one can only expect the same from the music of this movie, and hope that Sajid-Wajid just continue their spree of making hit songs that cater to the audience. This time, there is one guest composer too, that is Dutch rapper Imran Khan. The soundtrack also consists of an old (not OLD old, but not new either) composition by Shafqat Amanat Ali, recreated by Sajid-Wajid. So let’s just hope my reviews for 2015 releases start off on a good note with ‘Tevar’!

ALSO: Remember how I reviewed the albums ‘Titoo MBA’ and ‘Zed Plus’ back in November? CLICK HERE if you don’t… Well, many people suggested me to keep writing all reviews that way and told me that they liked that method.. So this year, let me try a little something different! 🙂 


1. Superman
Singer ~ Wajid, Music by ~ Sajid-Wajid, Lyrics by ~ Sajid, Kausar Munir & Danish Sabri

• Composition: The film, which revolves around a theme of ‘Attitude’ has to have at least one song full of just that, and that is presented to us in the form of this song. Sajid-Wajid’s composition is very catchy, and in spite of trying to sound ‘cool’ deliberately like ‘Baaki Sab First Class Hai’ from ‘Jai Ho’, it really works in sounding cool unlike the former song, thanks to the powerful and punchy tune which the other song lacked. The hookline also has that ability to make you hum it over and over, unknowingly. The rhythmic hook tune by the backing vocalists also grabs your attention when it opens the song.
• Vocals: Wajid’s full-of-attitude rendition really takes the composition to another level, making this the first time I must’ve ever praised his weird voice with that slight nasal twang in it. Backing vocalists do a good job and actually sound like the buddies of a guy trying to show off. Impressive vocals that work in favor for the song.
• Lyrics: Again, though the lyrics certainly don’t deserve awards, they sure do deserve to be praised for their relevance to the theme. Danish, Kausar and Sajid together have written lyrics that would be lapped up by today’s audience and that youngsters these days can relate to. The references to Superman and Salman Khan have been very smartly added.
• Music/Arrangements/Recording: You can always rely on one thing from Sajid-Wajid, that is, however bad be the composition, their arrangements are always enjoyable and groovy. This time too, they have put in efforts to make the arrangements sound great, and succeeded. Mostly supported by techno beats, the music of the song makes for a nice listen even if you didn’t like the song much. Recording is fab too.
• Mass Appeal: Definitely! The song will mostly appeal to children, youngsters and teenagers, but you might see some middle-aged people humming it as well. (Personal experience 😂 )
• Anything Special Worth Hearing? Nothing special as such, but the song overall makes for an enjoyable listen.
• #5StarHotelSong or Not? Yup.. #5StarHotelSong!!

 

2. Radha Nachegi
Singers ~ Ritu Pathak, Shabab Sabri & Danish Sabri, Music by ~ Sajid-Wajid, Lyrics by ~ Kausar Munir, Additional Lyrics & Rap by ~ Danish Sabri

• Composition: Sajid-Wajid, whom I consider to be experts at delivering traditional dance music, have done exactly what was expected in the next track, but they’ve added an unexpected, but very welcome Western-ish twist in the hookline, turning the song into a fusion dance number. The composition turns out to be predominantly engaging.
• Vocals: When I saw that Ritu Pathak was the lead singer, I was ready for a typical Ritu itemish song. After hearing the song, though, all I can do is praise her! Her voice is a perfect blend of the classical plus western elements needed for this song and kudos to Sajid-Wajid for finally dishing out her real talent and maybe just giving her a chance to finally prove herself in the industry. The backing chorus by Shabab & Danish Sabri in the prelude and interludes increases the spunk of the song as well.
• Lyrics: Lyrics here aren’t that impressive, mainly because of the déjà vu factor that they carry; we’ve heard such lyrics in too many Bollywood “Radha-Kanha” songs, and so frankly, hearing them once more doesn’t really make them sound any more fresh. Good attempt by Kausar though. The rap written by Danish, though totally irrelevant to the song, sounds good when heard with the song.
• Music/Arrangements/Recording: Again, Sajid-Wajid have left no stone unturned when it comes to arrangements. The arrnagements done by them here are fabulous as well. They give a sense of grandeur to the sing and create an ambience of an actual dance performance happening live in front of you. The sitars, tablas, tanpura, nagadas and all such instruments increase the traditional quotient in the song, while on the other hand, instruments like rock guitars and other techno sounds help to keep balance between traditionalism and modernity of the song. Grand percussion by the duo really makes the song sound huge.
• Mass Appeal: The song definitely has the power to strike a chord with semi-classical and fusion lovers. And of course, it will become huge amongst the masses.
• Anything Special Worth Hearing? The way the duo has composed and arranged the antaras of the song is something not to miss! Half the beauty of the song lies in those parts itself!
• #5StarHotelSong or Not? Surely.. A ticket for Ritu to re-enter Bollywood with renewed name and fame! #5StarHotelSong!

 

3. Madamiyan
Singers ~  Mika Singh & Mamta Sharma, Music by ~ Sajid-Wajid, Lyrics by ~ Kausar Munir

• Composition: With the next song, in walk the deadly combination of Sajid-Wajid and Mamta Sharma. The same old annoying item compositions which we’ve heard many times from Sajid-Wajid are rehashed and revived in the form of this song, resulting in a song that doesn’t impress much itself as an individual song. You can call it a revisitation of ‘Dhadhang Dhang’ from ‘Rowdy Rathore’ with a rowdier and raunchier (though not necessarily better) tune.
• Vocals: Mika hasn’t left us very much to expect from him, after his many disastrous releases last year, and as expected, he fails to impress. Mamta just comes and does her everyday thing, that is, try to be rowdy and succeed, but do it in such a way that you will get nothing but insults from listeners. Her voice literally pierces your eardrums. 😂
• Lyrics: From an item song, it is futile to expect some meaningful lyrics, and though it is Kausar with the pen here, she does nothing but disappoint in a way she has never done before.
• Music/Arrangements/Recording: Seems like Sajid-Wajid did have some self-respect left, and decided to at least arrange the song in a better way than they composed it. The beats, have the power to at least keep you listening through the whole song before pressing the ‘SKIP’ button. However, they make blunders here too, by adding those maddening horns! It’s as if they’re torturing us by purposely playing those harsh-sounding horns.
• Mass Appeal: Not a song that will appeal to everyone, but only a limited section of the audience! For the front-row seaters!
• Anything Special Worth Hearing? Nope!
• #5StarHotelSong or Not? Not at all!!

 

4. Joganiyan
Singer ~ Shruti Haasan, Music by ~ Sajid-Wajid, Lyrics by ~ Kausar Munir

• Composition: Well, who would have ever expected such a classy tune from Sajid-Wajid?! They have very effectively composed a beautiful tune, which is capable of bringing your hair stand upright because of the slight underlying haunting feeling to the composition. The song actually sounds like it would fit in a Bhatt album! The sincerity with which the duo has composed the song is really evident in the song. The impact that the hookline has is enough to take away your breath. The antara has been composed with proficiency by the duo. It emerges as one of the most complete and fulfilling composition of Sajid-Wajid.
• Vocals: Shruti singing, in spite of not being a member of the cast, is really a great thing. I wonder from where Sajid-Wajid got the genius idea of picking her up to do the honors of singing this song. However, one thing is sure, that they do not need to worry about whether they have chosen the right singer for the song. Shruti has sung each and every line with splendour and grace, and being a trained classical singer, her variations too, sound complete. Wajid, who sings along with her in the hookline, really makes a lasting impact.
• Lyrics: Finally, Kausar leaves her mark in the album, and spins wonderful words, that stay with you for long, also helping to improve the tune that Sajid-Wajid have come up with.
• Music/Arrangements/Recording: The magnificent composition has been accessorized by great orchestral strokes, wonderful percussion, and not to mention the impressive rock guitar pieces infused into the song. The buildup to the hookline has been done in the most striking way possible, with great impactful arrangements to provide the required effect. Strings are prominent throughout the song, and I have to praise Sajid-Wajid for using them so brilliantly!
• Mass Appeal: With proper promotion, the song will surely became a rage amongst lovers of soulful music.
• Anything Special Worth Hearing? The antara is the most impressive part of the whole song, in my opinion. Beautiful arrangements by the duo will keep your ears tuned to the song till it ends.
• #5StarHotelSong or Not? This one definitely deserves to be one, for being one of Sajid-Wajid’s most mature songs, so here goes… #5StarHotelSong!

 

5. Main Nai Jaana Pardes
Singer ~ Shafqat Amanat Ali, Original Music by ~ Shafqat Amanat Ali, Music Recreated by ~ Sajid-Wajid, Lyrics by ~ Kausar Munir

• Composition: The song, originally composed by Shafqat Amanat Ali for an album of his, gets recreated by Sajid-Wajid, and hopefully, will gain immense popularity (which it deserves!) after its inclusion in such a big-banner film. Though Shafqat had already done all there can be done to make the composition intact, credit has to be given to Sajid-Wajid for representing it to us, in a way that it will cater to Bollywood audiences.
• Vocals: Shafqat is top-notch in the song, and he delivers the variations with utmost ease, very smoothly. No other singer could have sung it better than he himself, and it kind of sounds reasonable to let Shafqat sing his own composition. His voice radiates a sense of peace and serenity to the listener.
• Lyrics: Lyrics have also been modified here and there by Kausar Munir, keeping the overall theme the same as the original song. The new lyrics by Kausar have been written such that it could appeal to the audience of Bollywood films as well.
• Music/Arrangements/Recording: Sajid-Wajid just never fail to make the arrangements awesome! Even in this song, they have done everything impressively. The tablas and rock sounds awesome together! Sitars and guitars as used together in the song are to die for! Recording has been done fabulously too.
• Mass Appeal: One can just hope that since it has been included in a Boney Kapoor production, it will get the deserved recognition, but that all depends on the audience! It surely does have the capability though!
• Anything Special Worth Hearing? The repeating chorus by Shafqat and Wajid is really soothing and worth hearing again and again!
• #5StarHotelSong Or Not? Definitely a #5StarHotelSong!!

 

6. Let’s Celebrate
Singers ~ Imran Khan & Sonakshi Sinha, Music by ~ Imran Khan, Lyrics by ~ Imran Khan

• Composition: Imran Khan, the Dutch rapper debuts in Bollywood to compose a club number, which he fails to make as catchy as his previous non-film songs. The composition doesn’t leave much of an impression and is likely to be forgotten after a month or so.
• Vocals: The vocals by him are no better, either. Though engaging at places, they do not help to grasp your attention as they should fpr the whole song. Sonakshi’s small cameo part doesn’t make much of a difference, as it is all autotuned, and anyone could have sung it.
• Lyrics: The song is full of weird lyrics, half the time not even making any sense, and contradicting themselves in every other line! This is really proving to be a tiresome debut by Imran!
• Music/Arrangements/Recording: Techno beats and nothing else fill up the song, but the recording has been done pretty good. Some of the beats attract while others just seem bland and dull.
• Mass Appeal: Will surely be enjoyed thoroughly by the party freaks out there, but if you ask me, it shouldn’t deserve that, either!
• Anything Special Worth Hearing? Nothing!
• #5StarHotelSong Or Not? Not this time, Imran!


Tevar sees Sajid-Wajid continue their hit run which they were on since last year, and yet again, they prove to listeners, that if they are determined, they surely can deliver a great album! Though the item song doesn’t impress (when do item songs impress nowadays!?) and Imran Khan fails to debut memorably in Bollywood, the album as a whole has variety, which is most important. There is a song for every kind of music lover in the album, and that is the best part about it. With this album, 2015 has been kicked off with an impressive, TEVAR-IFFIC start!!

 

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

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

 

Which is your favorite song from Tevar? Please vote for it below! 🙂

 

Do share your feedback whether I should continue reviewing this way, or stick to my original format! 🙂 Thanks for taking your time to read my review! 🙂

Next “dish”:- I (Hindi Version), Chef:- A.R. Rahman