HAMARE PYARE SHANKAR-EHSAAN-LOY!! (MERE PYARE PRIME MINISTER – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy & C. Ramchandra
♪ Lyrics by: Gulzar & Bharat Vyas
♪ Music Label: Sony Music / Saregama
♪ Music Released On: 1st March 2019 / “Bajaa Bajaa Bajaa Dhol Bajaa Re” on 5th March 2019
♪ Movie Released On: 15th March 2019

Mere Pyare Prime Minister Album Cover

Listen to the songs: JioSaavn | Gaana

Buy the songs: iTunes

Listen to “Bajaa Bajaa Bajaa Dhol Bajaa Re”: JioSaavn | Gaana

Buy “Bajaa Bajaa Bajaa Dhol Bajaa Re”: iTunes


Mere Pyare Prime Minister is a Bollywood film starring Anjali Patil, Om Kanojiya, Atul Kulkarni and Makrand Deshpande. The film is directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, and produced by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, P.S. Bharathi, Navmeet Singh, Rajiv Tandon and Arpit Vyas. The film revolves around the journey of an eight-year-old boy who dreams of building a toilet for his mother, after she gets raped because of having to defecate in the open. The film follows his journey from Mumbai’s slums to Delhi, in order to deliver a letter to the Prime Minister of India, because he has taken it upon himself to improve the living conditions of the slum. One would not imagine that music would have a huge scope in this film, but where there’s Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Gulzar, there can be no doubt. After ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ and ‘Mirzya’, both top class albums for the director by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, and going by the director’s previous associations with A.R. Rahman in ‘Rang De Basanti’ and ‘Delhi 6’, this album too is no doubt, something we can expect a lot from. So let’s see, whether and how humare pyare Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy pamper Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra again!


The composer trio opens their third collaboration with director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra with a quirky and cute Title Song, one that starts with a very trademark Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy groove, and a catchy whistle. The breezy tune is something that I’d have loved to hear in Shankar or Siddharth Mahadevan’s voice, but the trio exercises its expertise in voice casting and brings a fresher option to the listeners, in Arijit Singh. The man renders the composition beautifully, with impeccable falsettos where needed, and the composers employ a well-appointed male chorus on the background in the interlude and hooklines. The arrangements are peppy, the brass band playing a major part in making them lively; and obviously the aforementioned whistle. Gulzar saab’s lyrics are a plea (an arzi) to the Prime Minister, as though written from a small child’s point of view, and that is so cute! Lines like “Chaali Toh Di Hai, Shauchaalay Bhi De De“, and “Arzi Meri, Marzi Teri“, speak volumes. What could’ve been improved on though, is the composition, only because we know Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy are capable of much better, and they had the scope!
That complaint is handled by the trio with the next song, Rezgaariyan, a groovy Qawwali-ish number with all the stock Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy elements you can think of — a rock guitar groove with a repeating couplet that also starts the song off, one that is again written spectacularly by Gulzar — “Daana Daana Uparwala Dega Dega, Neeche Wala Jo Bhi Dega, Paisa Lega!” The hookline is composition goals; it must be really tough to crack the tune for a word like “Rezgaariyan”, meaning “loose coins”, or the colloquial Hindi Chillar. And once you know the meaning of the central word of the song, everything fits into place quite beautifully; the song takes on a social message which is hard to dislike. Shankar and Shivam, the father-son duo, handle the vocals very well, and I’m surprised to see Arif Lohar mentioned in the credits, after the recent events concerning India and Pakistan, but I’m glad to see the taint of that hasn’t reached art. This one is a song that’ll play in your head on loop once you hear it once.
It’s time for more fun when Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy remake a very cute old Holi song, ‘Ja Re Hatt Natkhat’ (Navrang), a classic by C. Ramchandra. Rechristened Bajaa Bajaa Bajaa Dhol Bajaa Re, this one is the most fun a song can get these days. The lyrics mention dafli, khanjri, dhol and whatnot, and Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s sampling of the old song is just genius — I like how these seasoned composers always keep that in mind while recreating a song — Vishal-Shekhar in ‘The Disco Song’ (Student of The Year), Amit Trivedi in ‘Hungama Ho Gaya’ (Queen) retained the original singer’s voices, and so do Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy for this one, and in a very creative way. They spin an original mukhda which cleverly and unsuspectingly leads to the hook of the old song, making it sound all the more cute and fascinating. The vocals are a powerhouse on this track; Shankar Mahadevan leading the male portions while Rekha Bhardwaj delivers a spunky performance in the female portions alongside the sampling of Asha Bhosle from the old song. Other supporting singers include Divya Kumar, Shrinidhi Ghatate and Neela Mulhekar. The arrangements are amazing; the dhols, dafli and that whole ‘Dhadang Dhang’ (Rowdy Rathore) -esque rhythm, make the song really enjoyable all in all, as does the synthesiser playing the old song’s hook tune. And, however advanced we are getting in terms of quirky lyrics, it is only from the pen of Gulzar that we can still rely on hearing lines like “Thodi thodi bakri hansi, thoda thoda murga hansa, ekdum ek drumroll baja re!” All in all, this is one of the best remakes I’ve heard, forget in a long time, but in my whole life!
The trio decides to end the album on a sombre note, with Kanna Re Kanna, a beautiful lullaby that is rendered to perfection by Rekha Bhardwaj. The song starts with her humming, to be accompanied by mellow piano notes and a divine flute in a while. The trio’s composition is par excellence; even if it doesn’t pique the interest of normal listeners, it will surely interest the classical/semi-classical music aficionados, as they will find something to connect to in this five minutes of heaven. It is rare to get such an intricate lullaby from Bollywood, especially in the year 2019. Obviously, without Rekha Bhardwaj’s scintillating rendition, it would’ve remained just half as touching. The trio’s other lullaby this year, ‘Tak Taki’ (Manikarnika), suffered from lack of connect, because of the heavy orchestration and lyrics there, but this one is a direct heart-to-heart conversation, and will especially touch a chord in the hearts of all the sons out there. Gulzar writes lines like “Inch inch beta mera bada bhi hoga / Zindagi se chhota mota jhagda bhi hoga / Chot lagegi kabhi, lahu bhi girega / zindagi ghaseetegi toh tagda bhi hoga” — simple and very direct, but very emotional. A beautiful finale to the short and sweet album! 😊


As expected, Mere Pyare Prime Minister turns out to be yet another golden collaboration between the director and music directors, but this time, it will sadly go a bit less noticed than the previous two! Four songs spanning huge variety, in an album to a film with not much musical scope, is not a nominal feat, and just makes me believe that no matter how much of the new trends are setting in, Bollywood’s home composers, of which Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy constitute a substantial part, will always be there to supposedly salvage the wreckage.

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 8 + 8.5 + 9 + 9.5 = 35

Album Percentage: 87.5%

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: Kanna Re Kanna = Bajaa Bajaa Bajaa Dhol Bajaa Re > Rezgaariyan > Mere Pyare Prime Minister 

 

Which is your favourite song from Mere Pyare Prime Minister? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂

SHANKAR-EHSAAN-LOY KE TAGDE SUR!! (SOORMA – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy
♪ Lyrics by: Gulzar
♪ Music Label: Sony Music
♪ Music Released On: 3rd July 2018
♪ Movie Releases On: 13th July 2018

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Soorma Album Cover

Listen to the songs: Saavn

Buy the songs: iTunes


Soorma is an upcoming Bollywood sports biopic starring Diljit Dosanjh, Taapsee Pannu and Angad Bedi in lead roles. The film is directed by Shaad Ali and produced by Sony Pictures Networks Productions, Chitrangada Singh and Deepak Singh. The film doesn’t look like anything Shaad Ali has tried before, being an out and out biopic of professional Indian field hockey player and ex-captain, Sandeep ‘Flicker’ Singh. As always, Shaad Ali has roped in Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy for the music. Not only have they delievered some of their best soundtracks with Ali, but they’ve also opened their account in 2018 with ‘Raazi’, my favourite album of the year. So it goes without saying, that I’m rooting for the songs of this album to turn out extraordinary!


The album could well be considered to have two theme songs, but the one which stands out instantly is the Soorma Anthem, starting with an amazing flute, accompanied by a wonderful guitar loop, the tune of which becomes the tune of the first line of the song. The composition is quite low-pitched but Shankar Mahadevan’s range is so wide, he covers the low and high notes equally well. The composition by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy is an instantly distinguishable Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy composition, with numerous twists and turns and a 90s dharm that doesn’t seem tedious or drab at all. The high portions in the antara are beautiful, and meanwhile, the trio decorates the song with amazing arrangements like percussions which somehow suit the hockey theme so well, because it sounds like the sound you would get when two hockey sticks are tapped to one another. The Punjabi percussions and the strings have been orchestrated masterfully as well, and the backing chorus is one of the main highlights of the song; they’ve been used just as well as they’d been used in ‘Raazi’s ‘Ae Watan’, especially the way they sing ‘Sooormaa’ alongside the main man. What can one say about Gulzar saab’s lyrics? The inspirational value of the lyrics is so high, that it doesn’t feel pretentious, or dramatised even for one moment.

The second song that can be called a theme song for the album is Flicker Singh, which takes a more pronounced Shaad Ali-SEL route, in its composition and arrangements and overall sound. The Punjabi percussions are enjoyable, especially because the dhol resonates so wonderfully, and the trio uses the usual rock guitars, which is like a tradition for them in Shaad Ali soundtracks. The song takes you to the ‘Jhoom Barabar Jhoom’ title song, in the ‘Ding ding ding’ part that is euqivalent to ‘Jhoom jhoom Jhoom’ from the latter song. About two minutes into the song, it takes a folksy turn with nice dholaks and manjeeras, and the composition by the trio is so strong there, you instantly fall in love with it. Whenever Daler Mehndi comes with his portions, it brings the song to a new level altogether! Once again after ‘Mirzya’, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy make the most out of him, in an ensemble track again, like the title track of Mirzya! Each and every singer actually has done his part very well, and has left no scope for complaints in that department. Daler Mehndi, Hemant Brijwasi, Shehnaz and Sahil Akhtar, along with Shankar and Ehsaan, render this song perfectly. The second antara has another splendid portion full of aalaaps that takes your breath away.

The same set of singers, minus Daler Mehndi, return in Pardesiya, a sad song that is one of the most heavenly numbers I’ve heard since a long time, in Bollywood. I believe Hemant Brijwasi leads this one [EDIT: Ehsaan Noorani has confirmed on Twitter that Shehnaz Akhtar is the lead singer]. The song starts off slowly, but it serves as a setup for the listeners, and then you get sucked up into a beautiful Sufi sad song, with majestic tablas and sarangi taking over, and Shankar Mahadevan’s amazing sargam winning your heart. The composition is heart rending, and instantly has you feeling for the character, even though we don’t know what exactly has happened at the point this song will play in the film! Midway into the song, it changes into a magnificent bhajan with the beautiful manjeeras and tablas playing the Bhajan theka. The lyrics by Gulzar are just as heart-rending, and it makes the listening experience all the more inmersive and personal.

Good Man Di Laaltain becomes the second Gulzar song using that phrase in the second year, last year’s song being ‘Bloody Hell’s (Rangoon). Another coincidence is that Sunidhi is signing this song too. She gets two lines in the second verse, but as always, does well. The song belongs to the leading man Sukhwinder Singh, who never fails to spread his infectious energy all over every song he sings. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s composition is good, but grows with time and didn’t hook me instantly. But one thing I can say for sure is that, the composition isn’t bad at all! For a celebratory number, the trio has produced a functional song, and it works in its intent, especially the tangibly Indian hookline. Any true Indian will nod his head on the ‘Good man diiiii…’ line. The percussion again stands out, but the trio add some digital beats, which sound all the more quirky — kind of like ‘Iski Uski’ (2 States). Gulzar’s lyrics are fun, as required.

The song that defines the album for me, which released first and features on the album first, though, I will talk about now, at the end. Ishq Di Baajiyaan is the quintessential Punjabi romantic number, in which I could find nothing wrong! It’s very rare for a song to be so perfect, and this song has made that achievement, in my eyes. From the starting introductory Sufi-ish chorus chants by Diljit and Shankar Mahadevan, to the moving and intense composition, to the fresh Punjabi arrangements adorned with amazing violins and mandolin, to the head-nod-inducing dholak percussion which plays throughout the song, to Diljit’s impeccable rendition especially in the antara,  the composition of which harks back to Vishal Bhardwaj’s work in the 90s, this song has had me hooked since it released. Gulzar’s lyrics are so, so, so beautiful, I can’t help but wonder how he still comes up with such lyrics even after having written so much — clearly artistic ideas never get exhausted when you have the talent. 🙂


Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy in their first album of 2018 presented a soundtrack that went well with the movie, and showcased their talent at creating a Kashmiri sound. Now for their second film of the year, they reunite with a director they’ve worked with quite often, a director they know in and out, and for whom they’ve given some of their best soundtracks, and I can only say, their ‘tagde sur’ (strong melodies) will always stay immortal!

Total Points Scored by This Album: 9 + 8.5 + 9.5 + 7.5 + 10 = 44.5

Album Percentage: 89%

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: Ishq Di Baajiyaan > Pardesiya > Soorma Anthem > Flicker Singh > Good Man Di Laaltain

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

MY FAVOURITE A.R. RAHMAN SONGS (PART 1: 1992-1999)

So, I had asked my followers on Twitter which composer they would like me to make a list on about my favourite songs by that composer. The options were A.R. Rahman, Jatin-Lalit, Anu Malik and Nadeem-Shravan, four of the most prominent Bollywood composers in the 90s. Of course, only one of them is just as relevant now as he was then, and that is Mr. A.R. Rahman, and maybe that’s the reason he ended up winning this poll.

My Favourite A.R. Rahman Songs from 1992-1999

But then I thought, How am I ever, ever going to cover my favourite ARR songs in one post? The man has so far had a very illustrious career in the music industry, ranging from Tamil to Hindi and even making us proud by composing entire soundtracks for so many Hollywood feature films! So I thought of splitting my post about him into four parts. Or maybe three. Let’s see. Also I’m sure I can’t limit myself in number of songs in such posts, so for whatever composer it may be, I will list as many songs as I feel, really deserve to be listed! So let’s get started with my favourite songs of A.R. Rahman from 1992 to 1999!

P.S. The following list is in order of release of the movies.

P.P.S: Including dubbed Hindi versions of the songs as well, because there are some real gems in those albums. 🙂

Here’s the Saavn playlist so you can listen along.

Song titles listed in pink have been added on 15/7/2019 — a few songs I missed in 2018 and had to add now that I have caught up on them. They have been added on the Saavn playlist as well 🙂


1. Chhoti Si Asha (Roja; 1992)

Singer: Minmini, Lyrics by: P.K. Mishra, Music Label: Magnasound Media Pvt. Ltd.

Well, Wikipedia tells me that initially, Alka Yagnik was going to sing this song, one of my most favourite songs from when I was a child, but due to date issues, it had to be sung by Minmini, who sang the original Tamil version as well. And little did I know then that this song marked the debut of a young composer who would later on be so influential and bring a sound revolution to Bollywood! This song’s composition is like a dream realised in the mode of a song, and the lyrics, even though they’re dubbed, resonate in some way with each and every one of us! And that iconic opening flute just fills you with happiness whenever you hear it. Enjoy!

2. Yeh Haseen Vaadiyaan (Roja; 1992)

Singers: S.P. Balasubrahmanyam & K.S. Chithra, Lyrics by: P.K. Mishra, Music Label: Magnasound Media Pvt. Ltd.

Another classic from the historic debut album of the maestro, this one is a lilting romantic number that gives me goosebumps everytime I listen to it. SPB and Chithra complement each other oh so well, and the song really reaches its peak when the singers sing “Mere jaane jaan…” The sensuous composition by Rahman and the digital beats that accompany it, are well managed, and Mishra’s lyrics are spot on!

3. Roja Jaanemann (Version 2) [Roja; 1992]

Singer: Hariharan & Sujatha Mohan, Lyrics by P.K. Mishra, Music Label: Magnasound Media Pvt Ltd.

I promise, the 26 years late ‘Roja’ madness will be over; this is the last one! But I love them all so much, especially this one and especially one of the songs I’m cutting out (Bharat Humko) and just had to insert this one here because… It’s so good!! Deliberately listing the Hariharan version because hey, his aalaaps are goosebumps-inducing and also, SPB got his Roja song on this list. Sujatha Mohan’s haunting humming throughout the song is just 😍.

After that he did a number of Tamil films, which definitely were dubbed in Hindi, but I’ve heard only some of those songs, and I like even fewer.

4. Muqabala Muqabala (Hum Se Hai Muqabala; 1995)

Singers: Mano & Swarnalatha, Lyrics by P.K. Mishra, Music Label: Venus

This has become a dance anthem, thanks to Prabhudheva’s moves in this song, and the beats are just as worthy of making this song so popular. The quirky (though bad) lyrics help the song sound silly but likeable, and Rahman’s tune is really catchy — the song isn’t so famous for nothing!

5. Sun Ri Sakhi (Hum Se Hai Muqabala; 1995)

Singer: Hariharan, Lyrics by P.K. Mishra, Music Label: Venus

Rahman experiments a lot with strings and tablas in this one, a beautifully charming romantic number that melts your heart by sweetness. Hariharan gracefully renders Rahman’s just as sweet tune, and it results in a song that I’d listen to for years to come.

6. Kehna Hi Kya (Bombay; 1995)

Singer: K.S. Chithra, Lyrics by Mehboob, Music Label: Universal Music India Pvt. Ltd.

I don’t think I know a soul on this planet who has heard this song and doesn’t like it, except for the 567 souls who have disliked it on YouTube. God bless their ears. This song is a showcase of Rahman’s versatility, composing such a heart touching composition and adorning it with splendid tablas, santoor (I believe) and the Qawwali part which he sings (again, I believe) is so beautiful. Chithra’s voice us as sweet as honey, and the way she pronounced “Unhe” is adorable. The most iconic portion of the song is probably the rushed female chorus, awkwardly trying to fit Mehboob’s lyrics into Rahman’s tune that goes too fast, but it’s an immortal classic by now and we all enjoy it so, nothing more can be said!

 7. Tu Hi Re (Bombay; 1995)

Singers: Hariharan & Kavita Krishnamurthy, Lyrics by: Mehboob, Music Label: Universal Music India Pvt. Ltd.

Now don’t tell me you came here looking for my favourite Rahman songs and didn’t expect me to include this gem. Yes, it’s highly popular and it’s quite surprising to see such craze for a dubbed Hindi song! I mean, the recent dubbed albums by Rahman almost went unnoticed! Rahman’s lilting composition gives me the goosebumps everytime and Hariharan’s silky smooth voice is the USP of the song, coupled with Kavita Krishnamurthy’s strong “Aayi re..” followed by a whole stanza sung by her. The plucked strings give the song its necessary haunting touch, and that high portion in the antara is composition at its best.

8. Hai Rama (Rangeela; 1995)

Singers: Hariharan & Swarnalatha, Lyrics by: Mehboob, Music Label: Tips Music

Yet again, another song you should have expected to feature here even before clicking the link. Indian Classical music is one of the best pacifiers in the world, and in ‘Hai Rama’, Rahman creates a very sensuous atmosphere with the opening music itself — a Bandish from the Raaga Puriya Dhanashree starts the song off supported by the ever faithful tanpura, followed by addictive percussion (Thavil?) and again, immersive strings. The melody only starts and makes things even better. Here, Hariharan sounds quite different from what he did in his previous songs with Rahman, all the gentle qualities shed off and he assumes more of a bold voice here, while Late Swarnalatha does wonders with her voice. 😍 The interludes in this song are amazing, again relying on percussion, flutes and low pitched vocals that are so haunting. The sound Rahman has introduced with this song should have been utilised more by other composers, but I somehow think they would never have accomplished it and hence, didn’t try.

9. Pyaar Yeh Jaane Kaisa Hai (Rangeela; 1995)

Singers: Kavita Krishnamurthy & Suresh Wadkar, Lyrics by Mehboob, Music Label: Tips Music

Now this song is a showcase of Rahman’s splendid work with strings. The same string loop plays repeatedly in the background, never sounding tedious, but making the song more inmersive and accentuating the melody along with enhancing the listening experience. The thumping sounds Rahman included alongside that violin loop, are great and the interludes yet again, are a class apart, especially the violin solo from 2:40 to 3:10 in the video below. And what can one say about Kavita Krishnamurthy’s voice? The great Suresh Wadkar himself, with all due respect to him, fizzles out in front of her. Rahman must make such songs again!

10. Tanha Tanha (Rangeela; 1995)

Singer: Asha Bhosle, Lyrics by Mehboob, Music Label: Tips Music

Again, splendid work with strings and flutes makes this song stand out. With a distinct oriental sound, this one is a great song to listen to when you want to chill out. Asha Bhosle’s naughty voice makes her sound younger than she ever had before, and every time I listen to the song, she reminds me why she is my favourite Mangeshkar sister. I’ve spoken less about Rahman with this song, because the maestro very graciously sits back and let’s Asha ji do her thing while he adds mere digital beats during her vocal portions, and steps forward for the mind blowing prelude and interludes.

11. Yaaron Sun Lo Zara (Rangeela; 1995)

Singers: Udit Narayan & K.S. Chithra, Lyrics by Mehboob, Music Label: Tips Music

Hey, stop complaining about this whole list being about ‘Rangeela’! It is my favourite album from the 90s and I’ve no qualms in including all the songs from it on the list (don’t worry, I won’t!) Also how can I ignore Aamir Khan? All the others have been picturized on Jackie Shroff. This song is one of my favorites for a reason — the upbeat composition by Rahman doesn’t impend him from adding cool stuff with strings, especially in the interludes, where the entire orchestra pitches in. And that quirky sound at the beginning is so iconic! Again, Chitra sounds so cute with her Hindi pronunciation, and Udit Narayan as always sounds young. He still does. That doesn’t mean we should remake this song, Bollywood.

12. Telephone Dhun Mein (Hindustani; 1996)

Singers: Hariharan & Kavita Krishnamurthy, Lyrics by P.K. Mishra, Music Label: Tips Music

One of the most exemplary songs when it comes to bad Tamil to Hindi dubbing, this one actually has a strong and catchy ‘Dhun’, and it seems like a sign for things to come as Rahman would compose something similar five years later for ‘Lagaan’ in the song ‘Ghanan Ghanan’. Hariharan again, changes all preconceptions about him, and sings wonderfully even in a calm but fun dance number. Rahman does his job great with the nice percussions.

13. Awaara Bhanwre (Sapnay; 1997)

Singers: Hema Sardesai & Malaysia Vasudevan, Lyrics by Javed Akhtar, Music Label: Saregama 

Thankfully this dud of a movie had good music. This song is an ode to nature of sorts, and Rahman’s catchy composition is so beautiful. Sadly, my friends think that this song is an original song from the Pears (or was it Ponds) TVC. Rahman’s inclusion of the hill tribe folk music in the interludes is engaging, as are the catchy but minimalistic beats which the melody is based on. Hema Sardesai sounds a lot better here than she does in Anu Malik songs.

14. Chanda Re (Sapnay; 1997)

Singers: Sadhana Sargam & Hariharan, Lyrics by Javed Akhtar, Music Label: Saregama

If this list were in the order of my favourite song to my least favourite song, this one would be somewhere at the very top. The beautiful santoor tune that follows the hook line each time, is goosebumps-inducing, and Hariharan singing the high notes along with Sadhana Sargam’s beautiful voice, are a treat to listen to. The composition of ‘Inn dhundhli dhundhli..” is so ravishing! Javed Akhtar’s lyrics are heart warming as well.

15. Shabba Shabba (Daud; 1997)

Singers: Ranu Mukherjee, Sonu Nigam & Neeraj Vora, Lyrics by Mehboob, Music Label: Tips Music

This song is just as addictive as the characters in the film find whatever it is they’re drinking. I’ve never heard of the singer Ranu Mukherjee, but I commend ARR for finding her because her voice is so perfect for this song. Sonu Nigam seems to be struggling to create a husky voice texture, but Rahman’s addictive tune and wonderful tribal folksy music makes up for it. And don’t miss interlude 2, with an amazing, amazing violin portion!

16. Yeh Jaan (Daud; 1997)

Singers: Kavita Krishnamurthy & Vinod Rathod, Lyrics by Mehboob, Music Label: Tips Music

Another one along the lines of ‘Pyar Yeh Jaane Kaisa’ (Rangeela), this one is another sensuous romantic song. This time though, substituting the strings that repeated in that song, is a low pitched tuba, that sounds just as majestic. The legendarily low pitched Vinod Rathod complement Krishnamurthy well, and the slow and haunting tune by Rahman works wonders. Also, is it just me or does the tube remind you of ‘Roja Jaanemann’ too?

17. Ajooba (Jeans; 1998)

Singers: Hariharan & Sadhana Sargam, Lyrics by Javed Akhtar, Music Label: T-Series

One of my childhood favourites, this song is as beautiful as whatever the most beautiful thing you can think of is. Name it, and this song is more beautiful if not as beautiful, as it. With that impressive flute melody, you cant really go wrong. And Hariharan. And Sadhana Sargam. What can go wrong? And nothing seems to have, even in the picturization. Aishwarya Rai. The seven wonders of the world. What else can you ask for! 😍

18. Tauba Tauba (Jeans; 1998)

Singers: Hariharan & Anuradha Sriram, Lyrics by Javed Akhtar, Music Label: T-Series

Yet another song that looks as wonderful as it sounds, with Rahman doing a great job with the percussion and the intermittent Qawwali touches. Hariharan obviously sounds great; by the end of this list it’ll probably be 1000 times I say it. Again, great work with the folksy sounds that Rahman has produced for the song, especially the Dandiya and the claps etc. The female chorus is wonderful and Anuradha’s haubting humming is a nice addition. Javed Akhtar’s lyrics make it all the better!

 

19. Kehta Hai Mera Yeh Dil (Jeans; 1998)

Singer: Kavita Krishnamurthy, Lyrics by Javed Akhtar, Music Label: T-Series

This one being based on a Carnatic raaga, it is, I believe, Rahman’s forte. And right from the vocal rhythm by Krishnamurthy, to the flute, to the melodious composition, this song is brilliant. There is some funky stuff going on in the video, what with two Aishwaryas, skeletons and whatnot. But the song as a song, is something I’ve loved since childhood. A pure Carnatic song.

20. Jiya Jale (Dil Se; 1998)

Singers: Lata Mangeshkar & M.G. Sreekumar, Lyrics by Gulzar, Malayalam Lyrics by Girish Pulthenchri, Music Label: Venus

Now this is where the actual Rahman magic actually starts, for me. Picking a singer who was almost towards the end of her career, and giving her a boost by making her sing a song with the essence of Kerala in its beats, and knowing it would do so well, I wish every composer had brains like Rahman. While others composers during this period were miscasting Lata Mangeshkar and making her sound too old for the songs she sung, Rahman skillfully managed to create this song in such a pitch that the songstress wouldn’t have to sound strained. And what can I say about Sreekumar’s Malayalam portions? They’re heavenly! And probably the only Malayalam most Indians know. Gulzar’s poetic lyrics (I believe a first for Rahman) served the song well, and wow. Just wow. This song is wow.

21. Ae Ajnabi (Dil Se; 1998)

Singers: Udit Narayan & Mahalakshmi Iyer, Lyrics By Gulzar, Music Label: Venus

If this list seems generic, it’s because it is. Nobody can ignore these songs when it comes to talking about the best Rahman songs! ‘Ae Ajnabi’ is one of those, complete with its haunting classical melody, especially in the antara, where Udit Narayan goes mind bogglingly high, and manages to pull it off effortlessly. Rahman equips a minimalistic duff rhythm in the backdrop, which has been heavily overused these days when composers want to evoke pathos. But some things work only once.

22. Satrangi Re (Dil Se; 1998)

Singers: Sonu Nigam & Kavita Krishnamurthy, Lyrics by Gulzar, Music Label: Venus

The Arabic influence in this song is spectacular, and Sonu Nigam’s vocals, spot-on. The little nuances in his voice are wonderful to listen to, while Kavita’s haunting whispery portions send chills down your spine. Rahman creates a catchy tune, with the accordion (?) that plays the Arabic tune over and over again throughout the song. This song is goosebumps.

23. Dil Se Re (Dil Se; 1998)

Singers: A.R. Rahman, Anuradha Sriram, Anupama & Febi Mani, Lyrics by Gulzar, Music Label: Venus

The iconic title song for ‘Dil Se’ was I believe, Rahman’s singing debut in Hindi (@phanishankar reminds me his Hindi singing debut is ‘Mangta hai Kya’ from ‘Rangeela’), and the man did sing as well as he composed. The way this song goes from soft to loud in a fraction of a second, is worthy of compliments, and especially the classically inclined bits like ‘Piya piya…’ are beautiful. Again, the composer has done amazing work with strings, percussions and made the song sound grand. The song starts with minimalistic bass doing the whole job but goes on to include some really cool percussion.

24. Chhaiyya Chhaiyya (Dil Se; 1998)

Singers Sukhwinder Singh & Sapna Awasthi, Lyrics by Gulzar, Music Label: Venus

Yeah, that’s pretty much the entire album of ‘Dil Se’ I have on this list, but I couldn’t help it! No introductions for this song, just sit back and groove to that irresistible groove that Rahman has equipped it with. And of course, the vocal powerhouses that Sukhwinder and Sapna are!

25. Taram Pum Taram Pum (Doli Saja Ke Rakhna; 1998)

Singers: Babul Supriyo & Srinivas, Lyrics by Mehboob, Music Label: T-Series

A fun song, but Rahman never compromised melody in his songs, so in this song, we get a strong, actually, very strong, melody that not only is catchy, but also melodious. Babul Supriyo and Srinivas have a blast singing it, but the melodious portions in the second stanza onwards are the best. Rahman’s percussion again, is mind blowing and the flute is beautiful. This was one of my favourite songs as a child!

26. Bol Sajni Mori Sajni (Doli Saja Ke Rakhna; 1998)

Singers: Sonu Nigam & Kavita Krishnamurthy, Lyrics by Mehboob, Music Label: T-Series

Now this is a song I discovered a year or two ago, and immediately fell in love with it, making it one of my favourite Rahman songs ever. The way he starts the song with a trademark Kathak portion, complete with Bola and Tablas, and switches over to an immersive romantic melody, decorated with his signature flutes, is commendable. Sonu Nigam has delievered one of his best renditions, and Kavita Krishnamurthy takes control of the song because her portions are quite louder and higher pitched than Sonu’s, making them stand out among the calm rest of the song.

27. Kissa Hum Likhenge (Doli Saja Ke Rakhna; 1998)

Singers: Anuradha Paudwal & M.G. Sreekumar, Lyrics by Mehboob, Music Label: T-Series

The first time T-Series maanaged to ‘let’ Rahman use the melodious voice of Ms. PaudwalThe first time T-Series managed to ‘let’ Rahman use the melodious voice of Ms. Paudwal (I’m just glad they haven’t managed to do so with today’s equivalent of Ms. Paudwal, as of now) resulted in a beautiful romantic song. The lilting composition was supported very well by addictive tabla beats, and the flute in the first interlude, and the orchestra with the veena in the seocnd, are worthy of high praise, as are the old-world-charm lyrics by Mehboob. The male singer could’ve been better, though;my only grouse with the song.

28. Tu Hi Tu (Kabhi Na Kabhi; 1998)

Singers: M.G. Sreekumar, K.S. Chithra, Lyrics by Javed Akhtar, Music Label: Shemaroo

A pacy romantic song in Tamil-movie Rahman style, it was probably the first time such an experiment was heard in Bollywood. It starts like a cranked up version of ‘Yeh Haseen Vaadiyaan’ (Roja), and goes on to a haunting melodious piece delivered meticulously by Chithra against the tanpura’s magical sound. Again, the male singer could’ve been replaced by somebody else. The magic Rahman does with strings (both Western and Indian classical) in this song, is remarkable!!

29. Tum Ho Meri Nigaahon Mein (Kabhi Na Kabhi; 1998)

Singers: Hariharan & Sujatha Mohan, Lyrics by Javed Akhtar, Music Label: Shemaroo

The waltzy start to thustsong instantly plugs you back to two songs that have already been listed on this list — ”Sun Ri Sakhi” (Humse Hai Muqabala) and “Bol Sajni” (Doli Saja ke Rakhna). The flute and strings provide a playful start to the song, and Hariharan’s silky voice is a delight to listen to as always. The interludes too, are delightful with the strings. Sujatha’s aalaap in the second interlude is lovely! This is a song to cherish.

30. Mil Gayee Woh Manzilein (Kabhi Na Kabhi; 1998)

Singers: Alka Yagnik & Kumar Sanu, Lyrics by Javed Akhtar, Music Label: Shemaroo

This goes down in history as Kumar Sanu’s only song with A.R. Rahman, a big thing because both were so huge and prominent in that decade, one would expect more! Still, I remember this song more for the pleasant melody by the maestro, and Alka’s sweet-as-sugar voice (her first released song for Rahman, am I right?), than for anything by Sanu. This could’ve been sung by Hariharan and I wouldn’t have minded, obviously. There is a lot going on in the flutes section in the song, even though the beats backing the main melody are standard 90s beats. The antara has a beautiful tune that harks back to ‘Tanha Tanha’ (Rangeela). Turns out I knew this song but never knew the name or movie, and so in my mind it was an Anu Malik song. 😂

 31. Ishq Bina (Taal; 1999)

Singers: Sonu Nigam, A.R. Rahman, Anuradha Sriram & Sujatha, Lyrics by Anand Bakshi, Music Label: Tips Music/Zee Music Company/Mukta Audio

Here comes the Titan of a soundtrack, Taal, but don’t worry, I won’t include all 12 songs on the list. The most popular song from ‘Taal’, and it truly deserves to be that. Rahman fuses Qawwali elements with other Indian sounds like ‘Manjeeras’, instruments you’d normally hear in bhajans and the like. But this is a Rahman song and nothing is demarcated within rigid rule barriers. Anuradha takes the female lead quite charmingly, but it is Sonu towards the end who takes the song away, and Rahman with his Qawwali portions, provides a nice break from the repetitiveness (not in a negative way) of the female part. The bass in the female part accentuates the composition, while the violin before Sonu Nigam’s part is wonderful. And who cannot notice Anand Bakshi’s metaphorical lines? 👌

32. Nahin Saamne (Taal; 1999)

Singers: Hariharan & Sukhwinder Singh, Lyrics by Anand Bakshi, Music Label: Tips Music/Zee Music Company/Mukta Audio

This song. This song. This song. What can I even say? Probably the best use of piano and sitar (in a non classical song, of course) in any Bollywood song till now. And the beautiful humming, that haunting portion, that goosebumps-inducing portion, and Hariharan’s silky voice, never faltering even one bit, and that beautiful antara. Sorry if that was incoherent. It was, but, I can’t gather ny thoughts about this song just yet. NOTE: Sounds best when heard when it’s raining.

33. Taal Se Taal Mila (Taal; 1999)

Singers: Alka Yagnik, Udit Narayan & Sukhwinder Singh, Lyrics by Anand Bakshi, Music Label: Tips Music/Zee Music Company/ Mukta Audio

Another quite obvious choice, another rain song, another song where Sukhwinder is relegated to the background but does an amazing job. In this song he is the harbinger of the entire song, singing that classical portion before the song starts, before the female chorus starts, backed by Rahman’s wonderful Indian beats comprising matkas and whatnot, the sounds of raindrops, paayals, ghungroos, how beautiful the soundscape of this song is! And then that BEAUTIFUL flute! The rhythm of the song is really passionate, so befitting for a rain song. And that SARANGI, Wow! Listening to it after so long, in the monsoon season itself, is such an experience! Alka Yagnik (isn’t it her first with Rahman?) sounds cute to say the least, while I just keep waiting for Udit’s part to play, because it is one of my favourite portions of the song, when I could see Akshaye Khanna on screen,an actor I somehow sensed was a good actor, in my childhood. 😂 Even if I write 1000 more words on this song, they won’t do justice to the song. So listen to it yourselves. And also, special shoutout to the Western Version of the song — another auditory “sight” to behold.

34. Kahin Aag Lage Lag Jaaye (Taal; 1999)

Singers: Asha Bhosle, Aditya Narayan & Richa Sharma, Lyrics by Anand Bakshi, Music Label: Tips Music/Zee Music Company/Mukta Audio

A spectacular song in all fronts, this one has the same passion that is carried in the title song, but this time, not in so pronounced of an Indian way, if that makes sense. Sure,there are those very adorable Aditya Narayan interactions and tribal portions throughout the song, but it really hinges upon the symphonic arrangements by Rahman — the orchestra, African drums and whatnot. Not that he doesn’t include a lot of Indian music elements. And of course, once they had Asha Bhosle on board, other composers sat back and relaxed, but Rahman has clearly not taken it for granted.

35. Kariye Na (Taal; 1999)

Singers: Sukhwinder Singh & Alka Yagnik, Lyrics by Anand Bakshi, Music Label: Tips Music/Zee Music Company/Mukta Audio

Another recent acquisition for me wih respect to favourite Rahman songs,this song was very badly overshadowed because of the popularity of the other songs. Again,Rahman uses many Indian music elements like the Matka to make the song sound beautiful,abd Sukhwinder’s voice amongst that minimal background is a must-hear. And Alma’s Punjabi portion is so cute! Anand Bakshi’s lyrics though, are the highlight of the song for me.

36. Ruth Aa Gayee Re (1947 Earth; 1999)

Singer: Sukhwinder Singh, Lyrics by Javed Akhtar, Music Label: T-Series

The Sukhwinder-ARR collaboration was going really strong in the 90s. This song is yet another example of how beautiful the two were together. Here, Rahman takes a typical Qawwali-ish rhythm and composes a motivating song around it, very Indian in its sound, and Sukhwinder’s booming vocals do the rest. No wonder this song became so popular!

37. Dheemi Dheemi (1947 Earth; 1999)

Singer: Hariharan, Lyrics by Javed Akhtar, Music Label: T-Series

The song starts with a piano piece interlaced with Hariharan’s beautiful humming, joined by a beautiful flute portion, and as the melody starts, you can see how the Rahman of ‘Roja’ and the Rahman that was yet to come — say, of ‘Swades’ and ‘Saathiya’, kind of come to a confluence in this song! The composition is so addictive, with the piano arpeggio going on throughout the song, along with the flute!

38. Rang De (Thakshak; 1999)

Singer: Asha Bhosle, Lyrics by Sukhwinder Singh & Tejpal Kaur, Music Label: Saregama

This song is the quintessential Bollywood grand dance number. Rahman has included everything that is necessary for a hit number, in this song. Asha Bhosle going into the low notes quite effortlessly and sensuously, a captivating tune harking to folk music, engaging arrangements and a wonderful backing chorus. And who knew Sukhwinder Singh was the lyricist for this song? I didn’t! The percussions in this song are marvellous, and so is that flute in the interludes. Ah, sweet memories. If only Tabu could dance better.

39. Ae Nazneen Suno Na (Dil Hi Dil Mein; 1999)

Singer: Abhijeet Bhattacharya, Lyrics by Mehboob, Music Label: Sony Music 

Disclaimer: I knew the songs from ‘Dil Hi Dil Mein’ even last year when I did this feature. Maybe I thought the film is a 2000 film, so I hadn’t included them back then. This one is magical. Abhijeet’s first with Rahman, this one is a soaring love song, the word used because of the soaring strings that kick it off. When the rhythm kicks in you can’t help but groove along to it. The antara is splendidly composed, lots of twists in the melody, and Abhijeet renders it beautifully — probably the perfect choice for the song. The Duff rhythm throughout the song is addictive.

40. Imtihaan Hum Pyaar Ka Deke (Dola Dola) [Dil Hi Dil Mein; 1999]

Singers: Srinivas & Swarnalatha, Lyrics by Mehboob, Music Label: Sony Music 

This is a trademark Rahman composition, and the duet by Srinivas and Swarnalatha is astounding, especially the breathless parts in the antara. The Qawwali-esque arrangements are astonishing, with the claps and flute dominating the soundscape, and a beautiful flute and violin interlude. The haunting composition, as mentioned before, is trademark Rahman, and this has been a song I’ve loved since childhood, so can’t dissect it technically and start unloving it now!


Those were my favourite Rahman songs from 1992 to 1999! I hope I wasn’t too obvious and you got to learn some new songs. If not, you’re already an encyclopedia that contains all the knowledge about every Rahman song ever. Stay tuned fir the next part of the series, where I’ll cover songs from 2000 onwards (most probably till 2008)! And thanks for reading such a long post! 😁

NOT TOO JUNGLEE, BUT JUST RIGHT!! (DIL JUUNGLEE – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Tanishk Bagchi, Guru Randhawa, Rajat Nagpal, Anand-Milind, Sharib-Toshi & Abhishek Arora
♪ Lyrics by: Tanishk Bagchi, Arafat Mahmood, Guru Randhawa, Majrooh Sultanpuri, Vayu Shrivastav, Devendra Kafir & Abhiruchi Chand
♪ Music Label: T-Series / Pooja Music / Sony Music
♪ Music Released On: The music hasn’t released as a full album
♪ Movie Released On: 9th March 2018

Dil Juunglee

Listen to the T-Series songs: Gaana

Listen to the Pooja Music songs: Gaana


Dil Juunglee is a Bollywood rom-com starring Saqib Saleem and Taapsee Pannu in lead roles. The film is directed by Aleya Sen and produced by Jackky Bhagnani and Vashu Bhagnani. The film’s music is by multiple composers — Tanishk Bagchi, Guru Randhawa, Sharib-Toshi and Abhishek Arora. All of these composers have given something listen worthy in the past, and their style of music suits the romcom genre very well, so it’s probably going to be a fun music album.. let’s see!


Now, this album is somehow split between two music labels — T-Series, and the newly-conceived Pooja Music (belonging to Vashu Bhagnani’s Pooja Entertainment) whose digital marketing is being done by Sony Music. The makers probably wanted a remake of ‘Gazab ka Hai Din’ to feature in the album, but since its rights were with T-Series, that song had to be on T-Series as well, right? Because, obviously! And so I guess the Guru Randhawa song was a bonus add-on, like a ‘Buy one get one free’ kind of deal. So yeah, that’s how I guess this album ended up being on two different music labels. Anyway, since that has nothing to do with the music, let’s move on!
The first song on the T-Series part of the album happens to be composed by Guru Randhawa, along with co-composer Rajat Nagpal, the composers of ‘Ban Ja Rani’ (Tumhari Sulu) and ‘Suit Suit’ (Hindi Medium). While his previous songs in Bollywood have been rehashes of his pop singles, Nachle Na is an entirely original song, and no prizes to guess that it is his best and least contrived-sounding song in Bollywood.. (At the moment of writing this review, ‘Kaun Nachdi’ from “Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety” hadn’t released, which I now believe to be his best yet.) The beats are groovy, and the electronic loop, though harking back to ‘Aa Toh Sahi’ (Judwaa 2), is quite fresh-sounding. Vocals are good, and I’m surprised Neeti Mohan, of all singers was chosen for this song; she does a brilliant job, and surprises me at the same time. It is the lyrics that fall flat.
Now of course, since Guru Randhawa didn’t remake his own song, the music company had to call in someone who could remake some other song. So we have the more-than-part-time remake artist Tanishk Bagchi presenting Gazab Ka Hai Din, a remake of the song with the same name from ‘Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak’. I must say, he has done a good job providing the padding around the old hook; the mukhda is especially beautiful, but the antara is forgettable. But the addition of the old hook sounds so contrived, the beauty of the song ends there. For me, the mukhda of this song is the only memorable part! I wish he had been allowed to build a new song after this mukhda and not borrow from an old one! Jubin and Prakriti sound functional as always; nothing great in either of their renditions. The strings during the hookline are beautiful, they keep your interest intact through the boring parts of the composition. I also noticed that Tanishk has written the lyrics as close as possible to the old song, thereby keeping a small touch of it alive even in the new composition.
However, Tanishk’s other song Beat Juunglee, which features in the Pooja Music part of the album, is an amazing and instantly catchy one, and though he uses the iconic “Yaahooo!” from Shammi Kapoor’s ‘Chahe Koi Mujhe Junglee Kahe’ (Junglee), I’m happy that he hasn’t been made to recreate that number, because his original composition in this song is so insanely catchy!! Armaan Malik was the best choice for this, and the results show brilliantly. Prakriti Kakar gets not much to do, but does well in her one or two lines. Most insane though, is the programming by Tanishk, which has been getting better day by day. The electronic loop which starts the song is crazy and so are the percussions and horns throughout the song. Vayu’s lyrics are always entertaining and they are just that here as well. It just goes to show you how well Tanishk can actually compose when given the freedom. (As if last year’s ‘Shubh Mangal Saavdhan’ wasn’t proof enough!)
Sorry for rambling about that song, but the next song, by Sharib-Toshi, Bandeya, deserves just as much praise. Now this composer duo hasn’t been in the picture for a long time. And by in the picture I mean the way Tanishk is constantly in the picture, every month. The last song they composed was in the recently released “Fukrey Returns”, and now they return with another Punjabi song, this time a sad song sung by Arijit Singh. The composition is soulful, the arrangements heart-warming and the lyrics by Devendra Kafir amazing. The composition has the feel of Anu Malik’s ‘Mere Humsafar’ (Refugee) but the similarity is only in the first line of the hook. Arijit himself is quite at ease with this kind of a song, and is his usual soulful best.
The second best song of the album, after ‘Beat Juunglee’, has to be Abhishek Arora’s Dil Jaane Na, an amazing fusion track that starts off as a soft romantic number, but segues into a pumped-up electronic number with a groovy beat to it. Seasoned voices like Mohit Chauhan and Neeti Mohan are the perfect choice for the song, and they deliver well. I love the way composer Abhishek Arora makes the seamless transition from the soft portions of the song to the upbeat ones, and not just once but numerous times throughout the song. All in all, this song is a treat for people who like light and fluffy music!


The album was “Juunglee” after all, but I loved the Pooja Music part of it much, much, much more than the two songs on the T-Series label. Some things are just meant to be less “Juunglee” and hence less likeable than others!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 6.5 + 7 + 9 + 8 + 8.5 = 39

Album Percentage: 78%

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: Beat Juunglee > Dil Jaane Na > Bandeya > Gazab Ka Hai Din > Nachle Na

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

Remake Counter:
No. Of Remakes: 10 (from previous albums) + 01 = 11

WELCOME TO 2012!! (WELCOME TO NEW YORK – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Sajid-Wajid, Shamir Tandon & Meet Bros.
♪ Lyrics by: Kumaar, Kausar Munir, Sajid Khan, Danish Sabri, Charanjeet Charan & Varun Likhate
♪ Music Label: Pooja Music / Sony Music
♪ Music Released On: 16th February 2018
♪ Movie Released On: 23rd February 2018

Welcome To New York Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Welcome to New York is a Bollywood comedy starring Sonakshi Sinha, Diljit Dosanjh, Karan Johar, Boman Irani, Lara Dutta, Riteish Deshmukh and a bunch of whoever turned up at the 2017 IIFA Awards held at New York City. The film is directed by Chakri Toleti and produced by Vashu Bhagnani and Jackky Bhagnani. Now, the film seems to be a huge two hour long advertisement for IIFA, and no wonder it flopped. On top of that, the music is by people who aren’t very famous for giving great music (at least not anymore) — Sajid-Wajid, Meet Bros & Shamir Tandon. So let’s see whether the music of this film is just as farcical as the film itself seems to be!


A film that seems to be made on a whim, just because people happened to be available to make a film with, has music too, that seems to be made on a whim. What else can justify the creation of a song called Pant Mein Gun? Maybe the fact that Sajid-Wajid have composed it makes it a bit less shocking. The only good that comes out of this one, is that we know that Sajid-Wajid know how to play with EDM now. But that’s not good, either, considering how great they are at doing the live instruments thing. Diljit Dosanjh and Sajid himself belt this one out as if they’re robots, repeating the same lines over and over again. This is definitely one of those songs that are so bad that they are good! Highly recommended.
The other one by Sajid-Wajid is Nain Phisal Gaye, a quite entertaining song about a tailor fantasizing that she is stitching clothes for Salman Khan. How interesting. 😐 Well, Sajid-Wajid’s composition is purely desi thankfully; they get the best out of themselves when they go the desi way, and has a kind of retro vibe to it. The lyrics by Kausar Munir are fun, though situational, with ample references to words that come across everyday in a tailor’s business. Payal Dev sings it effectively, and thankfully doesn’t repeat her horrific act from ‘Haseeno Ka Deewana’ (Kaabil) last year.
Shamir Tandon gets two songs as well, with Ishtehaar turning out to be the best of the album, but only because of it adhering to the conventional Bollywood sad song template, and roping in Rahat Fateh Ali Khan makes it all work. Dhvani Bhanushali, debuting in Bollywood with this song, makes it sure that she is here to stay for some time. Her voice is perfect for Bollywood! The flute has been played wonderfully in this song, and that’s pretty much all that is noteworthy!
Shamir’s other song, Smiley Song, is a song where the composer himself, along with Dhvani Bhanushali and Boman Irani take it in turns to try and imitate the laughter of a number of Bollywood celebrities — it gets highly irritating after a point.
The last song is by Meet Bros, a Punjabi number which sounds like we have all heard it many times before, bearing the name Meher Hai Rab Di. The song itself doesn’t have “rab di mehr” because of its laidback sound and typical lyrics and whatnot. Also, it is sung by Mika (don’t need to explain why that is an excuse for it’s being bad) and Khushboo Grewal, who hardly gets anything to sing.


As a means of timepass also, this album fails miserably! Welcome to 2012 I would say, when songs like these were oh-so-prevalent.

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4 + 6.5 + 7.5 + 5.5 + 6 = 29.5

Album Percentage: 59%

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: Ishtehaar > Nain Phisal Gaye > Meher Hai Rab Di > Smiley Song > Pant Mein Gun

 

Which is your favourite song from Welcome To New York? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂

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

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

Jab Harry Met Sejal Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


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

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


1. Radha

Singers ~ Sunidhi Chauhan & Shahid Mallya

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

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

 

2. Beech Beech Mein

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

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

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

 

3. Safar

Singer ~ Arijit Singh

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

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

 

4. Butterfly

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

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

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

 

5. Hawayein / Hawayein (Film Version)

Singer ~ Arijit Singh

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

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

 

6. Parinda / Parinda (Search)

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

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

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

 

7. Ghar

Singers ~ Nikhita Gandhi & Mohit Chauhan

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

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

 

8. Yaadon Mein

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

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

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

 

9. Raula

Singers ~ Diljit Dosanjh & Neeti Mohan

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

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

 

10. Jee Ve Sohaneya

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

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

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

 

11. Phurrr (Film Version)

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

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

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

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


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

 

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

Album Percentage: 93.84% {Making it surpass ‘Meri Pyaari Bindu’ and making it secure the top rank now!! 🎉🎉🎉}

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: From Track 1 to Track 13 nonstop 🙂

 

 

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

A SUPER-BRIGHT, LED TUBELIGHT!! (TUBELIGHT – Music Review)

CONGRATULATIONS!!! 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏🎉🎉🎉🎉 Guys, this calls for celebrations!!! After releasing the first song ‘Radio’ on May 17th, Sony Music stretches the music promotions till the eve of the film’s release! As I’m writing this, the time is 10:35 PM on Thursday, 22nd June, the night before the film releases. So Sony Music overtook Zee Music with this one. Zee Music had released the music of ‘Raees’ on the Thursday morning before the film, so now Sony goes one step further and rekeases this one roughly twelve hours before the film! Claps! A round of applause! Hats off! And the best part, the album has TEN songs. *Slow claps*. Before the album released Sony released five singles at tortoise speed and then left us hanging till 9:30 PM or so on 22nd June 2017. Wooosh! Phew! Geez.


Music Album Details
♪  Music by: Pritam Chakraborty
♪ Lyrics by: Amitabh Bhattacharya & Kausar Munir
♪ Music Label: Sony Music
♪ Music Released On: 22nd June 2017, 9:30 PM or so
♪ Movie Releases On: 23rd June 2017, 9:00 AM or so

Tubelight Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Tubelight is an upcoming Bollywood war drama film, starring Salman Khan, Sohail Khan, Mohammad Zeeshan Ayyub, Zhu Zhu and Om Puri, directed by Kabir Khan, and produced by Salma Khan, Salman Khan and Amar Butala. The film is set against the backdrop of the 1962 Indo-China War, which was fought over a disputed Himalayan border. The film is the official adaptation (no, not the “copy”, SRK fans!) of 2015’s “Little Boy”, an American film directed by Alejandro Gomez Monteverde. Of course, Salman Khan is looking very innocent in the promos, and the film seems to be another feather in the cap of the Kabir Khan-Salman Khan combo. Not just that, but even the music director of the film brings with him, many hopes and expectations from the audience. Pritam has been a constant collaborator with Kabir Khan, and right from their first album together, ‘New York’, he has been giving great music for Kabir’s films, and he has done three of Kabir’s films, making this the fourth film. The maestro gave an iffy soundtrack to ‘Raabta’ earlier this year, but then chose not to be associated with it for reasons we know. So for all practical purposes, this becomes his first album of the year. So, let’s see what Pritam has to offer in this long soundtrack that released twelve hours before the film!


1. Radio / Radio (Film Version)

Singers ~ Amit Mishra / Amit Mishra, Additional Vocals ~ Akashdeep Sengupta, Backing Vocals by ~ Tushar Joshi, Lyrics by ~ Amitabh Bhattacharya

“Aankhon mein aaye, aansoon khushi ke,
Phoola samaaun na main,
Haaye marr hi jaaun na main, haaye marr hi jaaun na main, ho ho,
Harkat ajoobe, Karne se khud ko, rok paaun na main,
Haaye marr hi jaaun na main, haaye marr hi jaaun na main!
Gaaunga Sur mein oonche, gaana yeh mera goonje,
Jammu se Jhumri-Talaiya,
Sajan Radio-oh-oh-oh-ohhhh, bajaiyo, bajaiyo, bajaiyo zara,
Sajan Radio-oh-oh-oh-ohhhh, bajaike sabhi ko nachaiyo zara!”

– Amitabh Bhattacharya

{NOTE: Sony had initially released a version of this song that actually had Kamaal Khan’s vocals in it, but later on it was replaced by a solo version by Amit. The Kamaal Khan Version was the film version, but now Amit has redubbed Kamaal’s parts. Even in the Film Version. Maybe Sony has credited him so that he doesn’t sue them or anything.}

So Pritam starts the album off with the quintessential, focus-the-cameras-on-Salman-Khan-dancing, sure-to-be-popular kind of song. This time, thankfully, it focuses less on Salman’s character, and stupid gimmicks like Bass and Selfies, but it apparently plays a role in the narrative. The protagonist gets a very good news, via the radio, the only source to get news of the war in those times, and hence, the whole village celebrates by singing this quite festive song, ‘Radio’. Pritam leaves no stone unturned in trying to compose this song in a catchy way, and still keeping the superhero’s image intact. 2015’s ‘Selfie Le Le Re’ (Bajrangi Bhaijaan) was low on the composition front, and Pritam fixes those problems and adds a more rich tune, here. The mukhda is the only odd thing; it might take time to get used to, but from the hookline to the end of the song, it takes you on a fun ride, showcasing Pritam’s trademark fun and desi side. The hook is something that will surely never leave my mind and heart, it has touched me with its cuteness. The way the word ‘Radio’ has been elongated with those intricate nuances, is just mind blowing. And extra marks to Amit Mishra, who rendered them just as perfectly. The antara, which is what Kamaal had sung in the initial version, which was taken down, has been composed just as charmingly, and I actually felt a nice old-world-charm in it. And the bridge from the antara back to the hookline, the part that goes “Jammu se Jhumri-talaiyya“, for some reason appealed to me a lot! The latter part of the song is just everything we had heard earlier in the song, played again, but I assure you, it doesn’t seem tedious or boring to listen to. Pritam has employed some wonderful arrangements to make this song sound as innovative as it can, in a Salman Khan movie. The accordion (Jeff Taylor) that starts off the song itself, draws you in so strongly, it is hard to stop listening right away. And then the composer brings in his usual upbeat Indian beats, the dholaks (Rhythms by Nitin Shankar & Dipesh Verma) standing out brilliantly especially in the hookline. The trumpets (Samuel Ewens) too, have a wonderful effect on the song. There’s a wonderful accordion (Jeff Taylor) solo in the second interlude which is something that can’t be missed at any cost! Sadly, people who will just be watching the badly-edited video song on TV, will miss it! The fiddle (Eli Bishop) is just lovely, standing out most prominently in the beginning of the antara, and as the antara progresses, we can hear one odd Banjo (Matt Menefee) note, which stands out like a sore thumb, but a good one, I guess!! Amit Mishra, Pritam’s latest blue-eyed boy, renders this one with amazing vocal prowess. It wasn’t always in his previous songs, that Amit hit the notes perfectly, but somehow, he manages to do so in an upbeat song where the melody plays the main game. Kudos to him for improving his vocals! Especially the low notes in the antara, he performs magnificently. The Film Version is basically the same song, but with Amit taking up different lyrics in the antara (this is what Kamaal had sung earlier, quite terribly too, at that, and I’m glad Pritam removed his voice. But then why have Sony credited him? May I say “LOL”?!). But that one gets a little less marks as the corresponding part in the antara of this song isn’t as hooking as the “Jhumri-talaiya” portion that I had loved! The situational lyrics by Amitabh are quite easy to decode, and we can easily understand what’s going to go on in the film when this song plays. It isn’t just a roadside attraction like ‘Selfie Le Le Re’ was in ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’. A solid start to the album; this song might not be the favourite of Salman Khan’s or Pritam’s fans, but it left me awestruck with its innocent and charming nature! 

Rating: 4/5 for Original Version, 4/5 for the Film Version

 

2. Naach Meri Jaan

Singers ~ Nakash Aziz, Dev Negi, Kamaal Khan & Tushar Joshi, Kumaow Backing Vocals by ~ Dev Negi, Anurag Saikia, Akashdeep Sengupta & Tushar Joshi, Lyrics by ~ Amitabh Bhattacharya

“Rishta humaara, jaise ki dori, se judi ho patang, patang, patang, patang!
Tujhse bichhadke chal na sakoonga, ek bhi main, kadam kadam kadam kadam!
Palkon pe mujhko bas toone bithaya,
Jeene ka nuskha yehi, toone bataya,
Chhed ghata ko, banke pavan tu, chhodke saare, kintu parantu,
Naach meri jaan, hoke magan tu, chhodke saare, kintu parantu!”

– Amitabh Bhattacharya

The second song comes across more as the commercial, show-off-Salman’s-stardom kind of song, than the first song. But this time, along with Salman, his real-life and reel-life brother, Sohail Khan, also gets the spotlight. The song is being touted as a ‘Brotherhood Anthem’, and that, it is. It is heartwarming to hear Pritam’s composition for this one. A very innocent composition at heart, it really suits the ambience of the film, and will set the base for the two brothers’ love in the film, perfectly. The prelude is a wonderful folksy instrumental on a folk instrument of the Northeast India. After the prelude ends, I found myself very tempted to sing “Jashnbaazi Ki Shaam Hai..“, the opening lines of Pritam’s ‘Tukur Tukur’ (Dilwale), because the feel of both songs is just so similar. Even after the mukhda plays, though, that song cannot be forgotten, and yet another Pritam song, ‘Chicken Kuk-Do-Koo’ (Bajrangi Bhaijaan), comes to mind. Pritam always does those slightly Goanese flavoured songs with utmost care and fun, in the process, making us get a very fun song to listen to. The composition of the mukhda starts off the song very beautifully though, despite all the throwbacks to his previous songs. And the hookline too, is amazingly charming. The antaras, both having the same tune, witness Pritam doing his (yet again) trademark repetition of one word many times, and that effect sounds really cute and catchy here. The composition overall gives out a very beautiful old-fashioned feel, and I mean it in a good way. Pritam does the Laxmikant-Pyarelal thing again, and scores. The arrangements in this song are much more richer, than the Pritam songs that it sounds like. The entire song is based on a folksy rhythm, with a strong whiff of the Northeastern flavour. The percussion stands out very prominently, as a quirky and catchy one. The folksy instrument keeps playing throughout the song, and you can’t help but keep humming the flute portions in the second interlude. That interlude is hands-down, the best part of the song for me. Close behind comes the folksy chorus part, sung in Kumaow, the dialect spoken in the hilly areas where the film is set. Dev Negi, Tushar Joshi, Anurag Saikia & Akashdeep Sengupta, do an amazing job singing those lines. As for the lead vocals, Nakash Aziz is his usual energetic self, whose best is always brought out by Pritam. Dev Negi sings the other brother’s portions in the audio song, or so I believe, because I can hear Kamaal Khan’s soft-and-unimpactful voice in the video, and that’s not the same voice in the audio song. 😂 So again, Kamaal gets replaced for the album version of the song, just as he was in the first song. Whoever has sung those parts in the audio then (though I’m guessing it is Dev Negi) has done an impressive job compared to what Kamaal sounds like in the video. Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics are a very cute take on the dynamics (in the song, very smooth and easy-going, which I don’t think it is like in real life… Right?? 😂😂😂) between two brothers. To sum it up, this song is something that touches your heart, as well as makes you tap your feet, at the same time!

Rating: 4.5/5

 

3. Tinka Tinka Dil Mera / Tinka Tinka Dil Mera (Film Version)

Singers ~ Rahat Fateh Ali Khan / Jubin Nautiyal, Chorus ~ Vivienne Pocha, Shazneen Arethna, Marienne D’Souza & V. Chandana Bala, Traditional Shepherd Calls by ~ Jubin Nautiyal, Vivienne Pocha & DJ Phukan, Lyrics by ~ Kausar Munir

“Tinka tinka dil mera, teri lau mein, jalta hai,
Jaaye tu chaahe kahin, mere dil mein dhalta hai,
Qatra qatra, dil mera, teri raah mein behta hai,
Jaaye tu chaahe kahin, mere dil mein rehta hai!”

– Kausar Munir

After two upbeat and foot tapping numbers, the pathos and poignance that eventually gets to all Pritam-Kabir Khan soundtracks, sets in. What is presented to us next, is a pensive melody that really brings tears to your eyes, and I’m not exaggerating! Pritam ropes in his long-time collaborator, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan from across the border, to sing this song, and I must say, he was the perfect choice for this song. Of course there is a “Film Version” by Jubin Nautiyal as well, but more on that later. The composition is essentially a heart touching one, complete with little nuances throughout its length. The mukhda, which is in its entirety, the hookline itself, hits you right where it should. The folksy bits in the interludes, (rendered powerfully by Jubin Nautiyal, Vivienne Pocha & DJ Phukan), are really impactful and provide a raw and earthy feel to the song. Even the basic composition by Pritam is very raw and rustic, not like Pritam’s usual alternative rock-styled sad songs a la ‘Saware’ (Phantom), ‘Daayre’ (Dilwale), etc. The antara does something inside you that not even the mukhda could do. The high notes it touches are just so heart-rending, it leaves a lasting impression, at least it left one on my heart. The slow pace really works in the song’s favour, and evokes memories of another such song by Pritam, “Ashq Na Ho” (Holiday), which was also, coincidentally, about the sentiments of family members of a soldier when he goes off to war. There is yet another “roadside attraction” as I call it, in the song, and that is the Chorus, singing like an English choir. Vivienne Pocha, Shazneen Arethna, Marienne D’Souza and V. Chandana Bala do that with a striking brilliance. It kind of resembles the similar chorus we had in ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’s ‘Zindagi Kuch Toh Bata’. Now, to talk about the leading man, Rahat. I think that if I say he has done extraordinarily in the song, it would be an understatement. His rustic voice produces a magic it has not produced of late, and reaches out to your heart. Jubin, on the other hand, not having the same vocal texture in other songs, tries impressively to produce it, and even succeeds to an extent. The way he has moulded himself to fit into the rustic standards of the song, is very impressive. But of course, some of the magic that Rahat could provide, is evidently missing in Jubin’s version. {Fun fact here: Even in ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’, Jubin had sung one version of ‘Zindagi Kuch Toh Bata’, and the other one was a duet between Rahat and Rekha Bhardwaj!} Pritam’s arrangements are some of the most beautiful arrangements I’ve heard for a sad song this year. Usually, composers while arranging the sad songs are of the (mis)conception that it would be fitting to arrange it very monotonously, with the same sounds repeating all throughout the song. They almost never try to experiment at it, but here, Pritam has experimented by adding touches of the folksy flavour (credited by Sony Music as “Traditional Shepherd Calls”) and a Western flavour through the Choir. Even in the instruments, he tries to bring variety, by gracing some parts of the song with nothing but a serene-sounding piano, making the song suitable for a lullaby, but other parts heavy with rich and lush instrumentation, especially the finale to the song, where the American choir starts to sound African (but I guess that’s how the Hill Regions’ folk music sounds). Interspersed throughout the song, is a string instrument that is very fascinating; that would be the Swedish Nyckel Harpa (played here by Emelia Amper). Regular orchestral strings too prevail in the song, and sound magnificent especially in the first interlude. The instrumentation doesn’t stop even at the percussion part of the song, where Pritam employs Dipesh Verma, Omkar Salunkhe & Backtracks to produce a very intriguing Afro kind of percussion section. The guitar, of course, is a nice and pleasant addition to everything else that sounds so heavy. Even though the song is very emotional though, it never sounds heavy to the ears, and that is definitely because the arrangements have been kept so soothing to the ears, especially the minimal piano/xylophone parts. Both version are the same in arrangements, only differing in the vocal department. Kausar Munir, guest lyricist, pens down this song as a very heart-moving depiction of one brother’s love for the other, who is obviously off at war. SPLENDID!!

Rating: 5/5 for the Rahat Version, 4.5/5 for the Jubin Version

 

4. Main Agar / Main Agar (Film Version)

Singer ~ Atif Aslam / K.K., Chorus in Atif’s Version ~ Vivienne Pocha, Shazneen Arethna, Nisha Mascarenhas & V. Chandana Bala, Lyrics by ~ Amitabh Bhattacharya

“Main agar, sitaaron se churaake laaun roshani,
Hawaaon se churake laaun raagini,
Na poori ho sakegi unse magar, teri kami,
Main agar, nazaaron se churake laaun rangatein,
Mazaaron se churake laaun barqatein,
Na poori ho sakegi unse magar, teri kami!
Yeh duniya paraayi hai, bas ek apna hai tu,
Jo sach ho mera woh savere ka sapna hai tu!
Dekhunga tera raasta, ho kuchh tujhe bas Khuda na Khaasta!” 💜

– Amitabh Bhattacharya

Finally, with the fourth song in the soundtrack, the TYPPPPPPICAL Pritam vibe enters, and by that I mean a very soft and dulcet melody, with rock arrangements that send you on a trip to dreamland. The song starts off very promisingly. Very, very promisingly. The mukhda starts off right away with the hookline, which is a haunting line, that you catch onto instantly! It takes these abrupt turns into that “Haunting Note” territory, and when a tune goes into that territory, you end up loving it right away! That part even reminded me of the same “Haunting Note” territory part in “Zindagi Kuch Toh Bata” (Bajrangi Bhaijaan). But after that nice and dulcet tune, in comes a very oddly placed high-octane rock portion that defies the era and time period in which the film is set; it sounds very much like the formulaic songs that Pritam sometimes composed for the Bhatts. But fortunately, the composition is so strong, you overlook the mismatch of the era and the musical style. The antara gets back into that Haunting territory, and in the high notes, it just sends chills along the length of your arms. But hands-down, the best part of the song is the part where the title comes into play. Again, towards the end, a wondrous chorus joins (Vivienne Pocha, Shazneen Arethna, Nisha Mascarenhas & V. Chandana Bala), giving a very goosebumps-inducing experience. The arrangements in this one, are quite different from the folksy feel that the album carried till now, as is clearly evident right when the first electric guitar riff plays. The guitars, nevertheless, are very engaging, and Pritam does that technique of his which we heard in ‘Kabira’ (Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani) and ‘Saware’ (Phantom), where the guitar just seems to play in a never-ending circular loop. The song starts off, however, with a very serene and soothing piano-driven instrumentation, and those first sixty seconds of the song are something to savour, because then, after that, the drums (Backtracks) and guitars (Warren Mendonsa & Oscar Foreleg Storm) overshadow everything else. Once in the antara, between the lines “woh lamha hoon main“, and “Phaagun Ke Mahine“, you can hear a very Indian Qawwali-ish instrument, like the chimta, and I wonder what that is doing in this song. Whatever it’s doing, I loved that it is doing whatever it is doing. 😍 The basic rhythm of the song is very engaging. One grouse I had during the finale of the song is that the chorus + guitars + Atif yelling at the top of his voice, gets so loud at one point, that you have to decrease the volume from whatever volume you are listening it at, because it just doesn’t sound consistent with the rest of the song. That brings us to Atif. He pronounces his words quite better than he does usually, and leaves no doubt in out mind that this song was tailor-made for him and solely him. Whatever has irked me about the loudness in the original song, isn’t quite set right completely in the Film Version by K.K., but as a song, this one is a more glitzy version of the melancholic song. This one has modern club beats (reminding one of “Tum Mile” title song), which sound like even more of an oddity considering that the film is set in the 1960s. And to think that a club version is the Film Version, is well, awkward. Pritam tweaks the tune a bit, adding a part where K.K. repeats the word “bepanah“, and uses his trademark neverending guitar loop there too. K.K.’s vocals are enjoyable, and I must say, he grazes the high notes way better than Atif does, in a very effortless manner. Pritam also does away with the female choir here, and ends the song softly, instead of loudly like the original version. Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics in this song, though, are what will make people to listen to it, even fifty years down the line. Such poetic lines, and so meaningful! Wow! He even writes different lyrics for two portions in the so-called “Film Version”. I still have a gut feeling that Atif’s version would be the Film Version, and Sony has just written it on the K.K. version by mistake. Both versions are slight misfits in the album, but a great song nevertheless. Despite a few grouses here and there, it is made up for by the SPECTACULAR lyrics!

Rating: 4/5 for Atif’s Version, 4/5 for K.K.’s Version

 

5. Kuch Nahi / Kuch Nahi (Reprised) / Kuch Nahi (Encore)

Singers ~ Javed Ali / Shafqat Amanat Ali / Papon, Lyrics by ~ Amitabh Bhattacharya

“Naa nabz, naa hi saansein, Kuch nahi, kuch nahi
Tere bina hai jeena, Kuch nahi, kuch nahi
Naa ashq naa hi aahein, Kuch nahi, kuch nahi
Tere bina hai marna, Kuch nahi, kuch nahi!
Tere bina main kyun, Tere bina main kya?
Har pehar darbadar, Kuch nahi, kuch nahi..
Naa aks naa hi saaya, Kuch nahi, kuch nahi
Tere bina hai mera, Kuch nahi, kuch nahi!”

– Amitabh Bhattacharya

The grand finale to this much-awaited and much-delayed album, appears in three versions. So it is as of Pritam is making up for all the time we spent waiting, by giving us a treat of two extra versions! Let’s remind ourselves that ‘Tu Jo Mila’ (Bajrangi Bhaijaan) also featured in three versions, one by K.K., one by Javed Ali and the last by Papon. Well here, Pritam follows a similar template, giving one version to Javed, one to Papon and the third to someone he has collaborated with many times, but has been absent from Bollywood for quite a long, long time, Shafqat Amanat Ali. So first version first. Javed Ali gets to sing the original version of the song, and what an apt choice that is, for, he renders it so beautifully with his voice that is the perfect blend of rustic and sweet. The composition immediately gives off fragrances of ‘Tu Jo Mila’, right from the first line, but Pritam takes detour from that similar tune quite soon in the proceedings of the song, only to make it sound like a different line of ‘Tu Jo Mila’. The bottom line was that, I couldn’t forget ‘Tu Jo Mila’ the whole time I was listening to this song. The guitar in the beginning is played very similar to that in ‘Tu Jo Mila’, and by very I mean very, very. Is that a complaint? No, not at all. The composition, despite all similarities, is very beautiful and has a soul of its own. The rest of the arrangements, too do not emulate ‘Tu Jo Mila’ either. While that song had more of an alternative rock setting, this one goes a more rooted way, with the use of traditional (by which I mean traditional Western) arrangements: the orchestra is phenomenal, you just have to keep your ears ready for phenomenal performances by the strings, especially in the antara. And can we take a moment to appreciate the impeccable beauty of the composition of the “tere bina main kyun, tere bina main kya?” line!? Even the antara is very soulful, but it is the hookline with its ‘Tu Jo Mila’-esque properties, that draws you in right away. Anyway, the arrangements are amazing, and a nice rhythm section, again, has been employed all throughout. A wonderful flute interlude plays the ‘Main Agar’ hookline, and that part reaches your heart instantly! This arrangement stays for the Reprise by Shafqat, but it is changed in the Papon version. Papon’s Version has a slightly different arrangement than the other two. A mellow piano, and a twinkly xylophone backdrop welcomes us into the song, with a cello following quite soon. And then the strings just free up so beautifully, and showcase their beauty right away. Here, Pritam does away with the percussion, and keeps it like a classical Western song, and you will get a feeling that you are in some authentic Symphony House in Prague. The interlude too, changes from the flute one to a string orchestra one, with piano leading us to the antara. The antara has hints of brass instrumentation as well, and the percussion returns, but not as pronounced at it was in the two other versions. All in all, this version has the richest arrangements of the three. As for the vocals, I’ve already mentioned how Javed’s high pitched voice helps him directly reach our hearts. Shafqat seems a bit out of form, and that vibrato that used to be the characteristic of his voice, seems to have vanished, making his singing sound duller than his former singing, but better than other singers nowadays!! How I wish the old singers that Pritam has used in this album get many more songs today. Papon in his version, uses his deep, metallic voice to awe his audience and fares way better than Shafqat, but again, I felt the composition only suited Jared’s high pitched voice. The other two have sung well, but the composition just doesn’t go with those low voices for me. But the arrangements helped to make those versions better. Amitabh Bhattacharya keeps the lyrics the same in all three versions, and that’s good too, because the lyrics are so wonderful and deep. 🙂 A perfect finale to this album, in three options! Choose your preferred option and enjoy!!

Rating: 5/5 for Javed’s Version, 4/5 for Shafqat’s Version, 4.5/5 for Papon’s Version


Tubelight turned out to be quite worth the excruciating wait. With only five original compositions, and each of them scoring in their own ways, Pritam has made this album a treat for music lovers. The typical Pritam practice of adding lots of reprises in albums has been revived, the last such album of his being probably ‘Dishoom’. But those reprises were so redundant. Here, each reprise has its own specialty. About the album on a whole, it is so full of variety, while also keeping the emotion of the film intact. Though there are three songs that are uninhibitedly sad/mellow songs, even the two upbeat songs have tinges of emotion in them hidden somewhere. Since this album took such less time to grow on me, at least, I would say that it is a superbright, LED tubelight, which of course, light much faster than the normal ones! 😉

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4 + 4 + 5 + 4.5 + 4.5 + 4 + 4 + 5 + 4 + 4.5 = 43.5

Album Percentage: 87% {Just 0.5% short of getting the top rating! Oh 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: Kuch Nahi = Tinka Tinka Dil Mera > Tinka Tinka Dil Mera (Film Version) = Naach Meri Jaan = Kuch Nahi (Encore) > Radio = Radio (Film Version) = Main Agar = Main Agar (Film Version)

 

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