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

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

Toilet – Ek Prem Katha Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


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


1. Hans Mat Pagli

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

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

 

2. Bakheda

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

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

 

3. Gori Tu Latth Maar

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

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

 

4. Subha Ki Train

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

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


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

 

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

Album Percentage: 77.5%

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Mom Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE

 


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


1. O Sona Tere Liye

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

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

– Irshad Kamil

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

Rating: 4.5/5

 

2. Kooke Kawn

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

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

– Irshad Kamil

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

Rating: 4/5

 

3. Raakh Baakhi

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

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

– Irshad Kamil

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

Rating: 3.5/5

 

4. Freaking Life

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

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

– Rianjali, Raja Kumari & A.R. Rahman

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

Rating: 2.5/5

 

5. Chal Kahin Door

Singer ~ Shashaa Tirupati, Lyrics by ~ Irshad Kamil

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

– Irshad Kamil

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

Rating: 5/5

 

6. Muafi Mushkil

Singer ~ Darshana KT, Lyrics by ~ Irshad Kamil

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

– Irshad Kamil

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

Rating: 3.5/5

 

7. Be Nazaara

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

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

Rating: 4/5


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

 

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

Album Percentage: 77.14%

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

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

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

 

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

FROM THE MOZART OF MADRAS TO THE MASTER BLASTER… (SACHIN: A BILLION DREAMS – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: A.R. Rahman
♪ Lyrics by: Irshad Kamil & Kaly
♪ Music Label: Junglee Music / Times Music
♪ Music Released On: 18th May 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 26th May 2017

Sachin: A Billion Dreams Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Sachin: A Billion Dreams is an upcoming docu-drama starring Sachin Tendulkar, directed by James Erskine and produced by Ravi Bhagchandka and Shrikant Bhasi. The film is a biopic that covers many aspects of Sachin’s professional and personal life, as narrated by the cricketer himself. Sachin is probably the most phenomenal star in the history of cricket, since he has so many fans and followers and well-wishers. For a biopic of such an important personality in sports, the makers make an apt decision for the music director of the film by finding his equivalent in the music industry — A.R. Rahman. Now, I know this won’t be a conventional Hindi film album with song-and-dance routines. What I’m expecting is a heart-moving and soulful score for this film. So let’s see whether Rahman, with his three songs in the film, can bring out the greatness of Tendulkar through his music!


1. Hind Mere Jind

Singer ~ A.R. Rahman

“Abb sabhi maan lo, baat yeh pyaar se,
Maante ho bhala, kyun sadaa haar se,
Jo shikhar ke liye hai bana Hind hai,
Woh meri jaan hai, with meri jind hai,
Aa rahi hai sadaa, dil ki har taar se,
Abb sabhi maan lo baat yeh pyaar se!”

A.R. Rahman kicks off the album with an aptly placed patriotic song. Sachin Tendulkar is probably one of the most well-known idols of the country and he is also very dedicated towards his country, and so it is no surprise that the first track in the album happens to be a patriotic number. What is a surprise, though, is the manner in which the Mozart of Madras composed this patriotic number. The song is composed in a very tranquilizing manner, something Rahman very often likes to work with. At first, the composition seems odd, but after a couple of listens you get used to it, and it grows on you. And after that it sounds magical!  The mukhda is a bit odd in the way it abruptly starts off with the “Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh, oh beliyaa” but it gradually gets better. The hookline is alsp quite commonplace. But the part that hooked me to the song, is the Antara which takes a delightfully tranquil Qawwali-ish mode, a la ‘Kun Faaya Kun’ (Rockstar), something that Rahman excels in. Also, who would’ve expected that kind of a treatment to be given to a patriotic song! But then, it was Rahman himself who did it years ago, in ‘Yeh Jo Des Hai Tera’ (Swades). The “Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh” loop is very catchy and it is probably the line that will hook most people to this song. Rahman’s arrangements are grand without being over-the-top. The song starts with a wonderful sound, like a flute. And after that, a synthetic shehnaai-like portion steals the breath away. When the melody of the song actually starts, there is predominantly piano arrangements, with a metronome ticking in the background. How simple, but the piano chords really make it sound grand. The sitar addition is just beautiful, while the claps during the “Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh” interlude are some booming arrangements. It is in the antara, again, when everything becomes more scintillating. A beautiful female chorus hums a trademark Rahman-ish melody, and then the Qawwali-ish portion starts, where Rahman, the mastermind that he is, adds the harmonium which increases the depth of the antara manifold. Rahman’s voice has a certain resonance, which no other singer in Bollywood at this point of time, can emulate. His voice gives the song another dimension altogether; it is so impactful. Irshad Kamil’s lyrics are aptly patriotic, of course. A very soothing patriotic song, on the lines of ‘Yeh Jo Des Hai Tera’ (Swades).

Rating: 4/5

 

2. Sachin Sachin

Singers ~ Sukhwinder Singh & Kaly, Rap Lyrics by ~ Kaly

“Raste chaahe hon ghane hi,
Hai ujaala tere haathon mein,
Ho adhoora khwaab toh phir,
Neend kaise aaye raaton mein?
Abhi aadhi kheli toone baazi,
Abhi chotein dil ki taazi taazi,
Abhi dil ko hai karna raazi,
Teri hauslon ne paa leni hai manzilein!”

After that heart-moving patriotic song, Rahman comes up with a ‘Sachin’ anthem. And the song is quite cool. Yes, the composition is quite blander than I would’ve expected somebody like Rahman to compose, but what made the day for me, was the way he used the ‘Sachiiiin, Sachiiin’ chants that make the stadium vibrate, as the hookline of this song. The sheer innovativeness with which that portion is done, made me think about the song completely differently. The padding around the hookline, though, is a bit underwhelming, and it has a quite run-of-the-mill sports anthem-like sound to it. Sukhwinder Singh’s vocals are topnotch, and he creates the ambience that will remind us of all of Sachin Tendulkar’s amazing feats in the history of cricket. As always his energy level is unmatchable. Kaly, the rapper, too does a fine job. Rahman’s arrangements are mostly digital percussion again, but I must say, the beats are very groovy, though at the same time, very typical and clichéd. There’s another uncredited female portion in the interlude, which was the peak point of the song, next to the “Sachin” chants. Irshad Kamil very appropriately praises the God of Cricket in his writing. An anthem that works only partly with its composition, but has a top-class hookline, and amazing vocals!

Rating: 3/5

 

3. Mard Maratha

Singers ~ A.R. Ameen & Anjali Gaikwad

“Dam dam dam Tain Tain Tain Tain Mard Maratha Tain Tain re!”

A vocal loop that reminds me of so many of Rahman’s Tamil songs kicks off the last song on the album, a fun and enjoyable children’s song that will surely make you get up and dancing to its beats. Rahman composes it in a way that will instantly appeal to the listeners, and especially the younger children. That vocal rhythm keeps repeating throughout the song, and keeps the listeners glued to the song. The mukhda is quite catchy as well, and very effectively leads to the vocal rhythm again, which serves as the song’s hookline. Rahman keeps the catchiness constant throughout the song; the antara is also very impressive. Not just the composition, but even the arrangements and vocals stand out in the song. The composer employs a very typical Maharashtrian dholki beat, that works in favour of the song and sets up a nice Maharashtrian feel to the song, apt because Sachin is from Maharashtra. The beginning has a nice Irish flute, that helps in getting the listener hooked. The interlude has a nice dhol-taasha part, coupled with nice Indian banjo after that. And of course, the dholki remains constant. Rahman’s guitars help infuse amazing energy to the song wherever they play. The vocals are very impressive, with two children singing joyously, but perfectly. They hit the right notes everytime, and even showcase for us, some very impressive rapid aalaaps. Rahman’s son, Ameen, does a good job, but his female co-singer, Anjali Gaikwad steals the show when she sings mind blowing aalaaps. Irshad Kamil’s lyrics are fun and enjoyable, just like the song. Sachin’s young fans will love this one!

Rating: 4/5


Sachin: A Billion Dreams is aptly short, sweet and simple. With a patriotic song, an ode to Sachin, and a children’s song, the album is quite a mixed bag.However, it doesn’t seem like one of those albums that I will listen to over and over again, and it is definitely not one of Rahman’s best. He showcases his experimentalist side in ‘Mard Maratha’, but the other two songs lack that.Nevertheless, they are good songs for a film in which I least expected songs. The Mozart of Madras puts aside his garish orchestration and complex compositions and delivers a sweet and simple album for the Master Blaster!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4 + 3 + 4 = 11

Album Percentage: 73.34%

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: Hind Mere Jind = Mard Maratha > Sachin Sachin

 

Please vote for your favourite song from Sachin: A Billion Dreams! Thanks! 🙂

LOOK, THEY RELEASED THE BGM!! (SARKAR 3 – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Ravi Shankar, Niladri Kumar & Rohan-Vinayak
♪ Lyrics by: Rohit Teotia, Sirasri & Mandar Cholkar
♪ Music Label: Eros Music
♪ Music Released On: 2nd May 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 12th May 2017

Sarkar 3

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


Sarkar 3 is an upcoming Bollywood political crime thriller, starring Amitabh Bachchan, Jackie Shroff, Manoj Bajpayee, Amit Sadh, Rohini Hattangadi and Yami Gautam in crucial roles. The film is directed by Ram Gopal Varma, and produced by Rahul Mittra, Anand Pandit, Gopal Shivram Dalvi, Krishna Choudhary and WeOne. It is the third instalment in the “Sarkar” franchise, and it is the story of a girl who has set out to avenge her father’s death, which she blames “Sarkar” (Bachchan) for. The franchise is not really known for its music; music is like a side business for the franchise (Except the “Govinda” theme), and practically every Ram Gopal Varma film after his collaborations with A.R. Rahman and Sandeep Chowta. If at all any money arises from the sale of the music album, it is well and good for the film. 😂 After having Bapi-Tutul (last heard in ‘Saat Uchakkey’ last year) compose for the first two films, RGV ropes in a Ravi Shankar for this instalment, someone I’ve never heard of, and the only Ravi Shankar I could find in Google is the Indian Classical composer who died in 2012. So I don’t know who exactly this Ravi Shankar is. Along with him are 2016’s amazing finds, found by Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari in “Nil Battey Sannata”, Rohan-Vinayak, and another musician who debuted in 2016 with “Shorgul”, Niladri Kumar. I have substantial expectations from these two, and whatever Ravi Shankar gives will be an added bonus. So here’s the review for “Sarkar 3”!


1. Angry Mix

Singers ~ Sukhwinder Singh & Mika Singh, Music by ~ Ravi Shankar, Lyrics by ~ Rohit Teotia

The album starts with a song that starts with Sukhwinder singing “Sarkaaaaaaarrrrr….”, followed by club beats that were the thing in around 2002-2003. The beginning of the song itself fails to raise eyebrows, and I assure you, none of the rest will surprise you either. The composition is so dated and haphazard, you don’t even know what you’re listening to. Ravi Shankar has tried to co pose it in a chantlike manner, but fails due to the datedness and blandness of the composition. The arrangements are nothing but an overdose of techno music that doesn’t fit in today’s era of techno music. But it suits the crime theme of the film, and that’s pretty much all that it gets right. The vocals are by Sukhwinder Singh and Mika Singh, who are two people that can make boring songs sound slightly better, but here, even they can’t succeed in saving the dead composition. The “Govinda Govinda” chants by Sukhwinder sound blatantly dull. The lyrics are the normal, run-of-the-mill lyrics that usually feature in such tracks. What a bore.

Rating: 0.5/5

 

2. Ganpati Aarti

Singer ~ Amitabh Bachchan, Music by ~ Rohan-Vinayak

Okay, so it’s weird to be reviewing an Aarti, but I will have to judge it only on the basis of vocals and arrangements. This song is basically the Ganpati Aarti, as the name suggests. Rohan-Vinayak, who made a smashing debut last year with “Nil Battey Sannata”, get to helm this one. And I must say, they do it with utmost integrity and respect. The dignity of the Aarti is retained, and nothing is changed except the arrangements, and those too, are very simple and traditional. Claps, bells, Mridangam, manjeeras, strings and other traditional instruments are used to enhance the Maharashtrian feel of the song, and much like any well-arranged devotional song, it gives you goosebumps. Amitabh Bachchan’s deep and resonant voice just complements the wonderful arrangements and gives the Aarti a very respectable touch, which might not have been there, if someone else had sung it. The chorus singers are wonderful, and play an important role in making the song what it is! Your everyday Aarti, treated with utmost care and presented to you with the Maharashtrian flavour intact.

Rating: 5/5

 

3. Gussa

Singer ~ Sukhwinder Singh, Music by ~ Ravi Shankar, Lyrics by ~ Rohit Teotia

This is the original version of the track that arrived previously as Angry Mix. The track is the same as far as the composition goes. If it isn’t, I was too lazy to make out the difference. To hear that boring and banal composition yet again is a punishment to the ears. What makes this one slightly better than the “Mix”, is the arrangements. Very aptly, they provide a BGM-like quality to the song, the kind of music that would play when you’re watching a thriller and a crucial moment arrives. The brass instruments provide a regal quality to the song, but they get monotonous after a while. Later, a very clichéd sound sets in, with the dholaks and manjeeras, as if a politician’s procession is going through town. Who would want to hear that in a song? Sukhwinder reprises the vocals, and the song actually sounds better without Mika, as Sukhwinder’s voices oozes of command and power. The “govinda govinda” chants are even more pronounced here, and because of the dholak-manjeeras rhythm, it sounds all the more commonplace. A song only apt for being a background piece. 

Rating: 1/5

 

4. Sam Dham

Singers ~ Kailash Kher & Saket Bairoliya, Music by ~ Ravi Shankar, Lyrics by ~ Rohit Teotia

The “Sam Dham Dand Bhed” chants from “Sarkar” return here, coupled with the “Govinda Govinda” chants. And then Kailash Kher comes and sings a strictly lifeless composition that will bore you to infinity. Ravi Shankar’s composition doesn’t deserve to be heard; at the same time, the arrangements are the usual dholak rhythm, with those bells that are supposedly trying to intimidate us with their sound. The brass and strings get sidelined due to the overbearing sound of the dholaks. (They only manage to make you go to sleep, though) Kailash sounds least interested in singing this one. And I am least interested in listening it to it over and over, so I am stopping the review here.

Rating: 0.5/5

 

5. Thamba

Singer ~ Navraj Hans, Music by ~ Ravi Shankar, Lyrics by ~ Sirasri

This one starts with the famous “Mujhe jo sahi lagta hai…” dialogue in Big B’s voice, and what follows is a formulaic crime song that sounds like so many of those gangster-themed songs of Bollywood that try to showcase gangsters as superheroes, except here, it is a politician and not a gangster. The composition seems to be trying hard to be cool, but succeeds not even one bit. Things are a bit better in the arrangements department, but that’s because Ravi Shankar takes the help of techno sounds, and regal brass tunes to uplift the song. The beats are good but very laidback, and get very monotonous after a point. The electric guitar parts are impressive to an extent, until it gets all weird. The “govinda govinda” chants haven’t been kept out of this song either. And then those random outbursts of “thamba” (Which means “Stop” in Marathi) are so miserable. How boring. Navraj Hans brings in an avatar of his that I have never heard, and after hearing it, I wish I never had! There is a rap somewhere in the middle by someone who is unfortunately uncredited. The lyrics by Sirasri (??) are something that we have heard so many times already. Another epic fail, and it isn’t even funny.

Rating: 0.5/5

 

6. Shakti

Singers ~ Mika Singh, Adarsh Shinde & Saket Bairoliya, Music by ~ Ravi Shankar, Lyrics by ~ Mandar Cholkar

The “Govinda Govinda” chants start off the next song, and then a random shout of “Go! Win! Da!” (Which is “Govinda” horribly pronounced). As soon as Mika starts rambling out the words of this sing, and as soon as the dhols and bells start playing, you roll your eyes and press the “Next” button. At least you can press that. I can’t. I have to review it. The composition is yet another clichéd composition that suits only in a Ram Gopal Varma film. And it is tailor made for Mika Singh. Adarsh Shinde, a singer we hear mostly in the Marathi industry singing folksy numbers, supports him ably, and the best parts in the song are by him, like the aalaaps. The arrangements are the typical fare of dholaks and bells, but I loved the stop-and-play manner in which the dholak is played in the antaras. A song that seems extra long just because all the songs before it sounded just like it. 

Rating: 1/5

 

7. Sarkar Trance

(Instrumental), Music by ~ Niladri Kumar

Niladri Kumar’s instrumental arrives at the very end of the album, as instrumentals usually do. The Zitarist produces a very hodgepodge mix of Sarkar dialogues and techno sounds with this track. And no, the “Govinda govinda” isn’t absent. A minute into the track, it changes from a dull dialogue delivery of Bachchan’s, to a cool, sinister-sounding track, where the synthesiser tune actually does sound deserving of some attention. And then some uncredited lady very sinisterly sings something that sounds like a mantra. The racy nature of the song makes it feel more like a track from an Anurag Kashyap film, than a RGV film. Impressive, but far from excellent.

Rating: 2/5


Sarkar 3 is an album you’d best not listen to. Unless you want to be bombarded by “Govinda govinda” chants. Unless you want to hear all the dialogues and chants that were already heard in ‘Sarkar’ and ‘Sarkar Raj’, again, like revision, to prepare you for the third film. Unless you want to hear songs that sound the exact same and you can’t differentiate one from another. Unless you want to hear a unidimensional soundtrack. Unless you want to just hear dholaks and bells. And finally, unless you want to miss a wonderful Ganpati Aarti sung by the effervescent Bachchan and arranged by the wonderful Rohan-Vinayak. {Hint: Just hear that song, and that’s it}. A movie that could’ve gone without a seven-track music album!!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 0.5 + 5 + 1 + 0.5 + 0.5 + 1 + 2 = 10.5

Album Percentage: 30% {In case you want to know, Without the Aarti, it  18.33% 😂}

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: Ganpati Aarti > Sarkar Trance > SKIP THE REST!

 

I’m not bothering to make a “What’s Your Favourite Song?” poll.

REVISIT THE BLACK-AND-WHITE ERA! (RANGOON – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Vishal Bhardwaj
♪ Lyrics by: Gulzar & Lekha Washington
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 19th January 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 24th February 2017

Rangoon Album Cover

Rangoon Album Cover

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Rangoon is an upcoming period film (read war action romantic epic drama) starring Saif Ali Khan, Shahid Kapoor and Kangana Ranaut in lead roles. The film has been directed by Vishal Bhardwaj, who is back after his super-hit, ‘Haider’, and produced by himself, along with Sajid Nadiadwala and Viacom18 Motion Pictures. The movie is set during the World War II, and is a love triangle including an actress Julia (played by Ranaut), her lover Rusi (played by Saif Ali Khan) and an Indian soldier, Nawab, (played by Shahid Kapoor) whom the actress falls in love with. As is the usual case with all Vishal Bhardwaj directorial, the director himself has scored the music for the movie, and as usual, the man has provided a huge soundtrack for music lovers like us. With twelve tracks, this album surpasses all his previous albums to his directorials in terms of number of songs, and that’s what makes me all the more eager to jump into the album! With Gulzar’s lyrics, the album is sure to be yet another album like ‘Haider’, that we’ll be able to cherish for long! Also, given the setting of the film, I am expecting a lot of jazzy, funky and retro music, something along the lines of Bombay Velvet, and I’m also looking forward to something oriental, only because the movie is named ‘Rangoon’ which is the city in Myanmar now known as Yangon. And Myanmar means east, and east means ‘Close to China’!! So I’m expecting that eastern touch in the music too! 😀 So, with these colossal expectations, let me dive into the music of ‘Rangoon’!


1. Bloody Hell

Singer ~ Sunidhi Chauhan, Choir ~ Nisha Mascarenhas, Marianne D’cruz Aiman, Shazneen Arethna, Rishikesh Kamerkar, Suhas Sawant, Vikas Joshi & Rajiv Sundaresan, Lyrics by ~ Gulzar

“No no, sorry sorry, karte ishq Kiya angrezi mein,
Arre khullam khulla do hothon ka jaam piya angrezi mein,
Baji ek bell, tring trring! Bloody hell!”

– Gulzar

The unusual sound of a whip starts off the first song on the album, and unless you know that Kangana Ranaut’s character in this song is based on Fearless ‘Hunterwali’ Nadia, you might be quite confused on hearing the song. Anyway, I knew it and now you do too, so on with the review. As I said, the very interesting but odd sound of a whip starts the song off, and one wonders what innovations Vishal Bhardwaj intends to have put into the song. The beginning of the song makes it very clear that the song is going to be used in a stage performance, with the audience’s applauds and whistles and other sounds. It is when the melody of the song starts, that you find yourself thinking why you are listening to the song; it is kind of weird at first. Especially the “Talk Talk Talk” and “Walk Walk Walk” might discourage you from listening any further, right away. However, the song opens up later, and how! Vishal’s composition, though very clichéd as far as such stage performances go, manages to make you cling on to it, and hum it after it is over. The line before the hookline (“No no sorry sorry…”) is just such a beautiful tune! The hookline itself is another bit of underwhelming notes, but I guess it doesn’t hamper the song as much as the flawed beginning does, as the mood of the song has already set in by the time it plays. The antaras are what smell strongly of Vishal Bhardwaj, as they have a strong Vishal Bhardwaj feel to them. The second one, which was quite short, reminded me of ‘Bismil’ from ‘Haider’, maybe because of the storytelling style of Gulzar’s lyrics. The first antara has a cool repetition of the lines Sunidhi sings by a harmonious backing chorus. Vishal’s arrangements are enjoyable, with the trumpets playing an utterly important role in them, especially in the hookline. The piano played in a very upbeat manner gives a nice beat to the song. I’m sure you’ll hear the piano where you would least expect it, in the song. Strings are used well too in places. The use of bass has been done generously, and it makes the song sound modern even though it has a retro styled composition. And of course, the male and female choruses both do an amazing job with their respective parts. Sunidhi, a once-in-four-years singer for Vishal Bhardwaj, owns the song, with her efficacious voice, and it reminds you of the days when Sunidhi used to sing numerous songs of this type. She gets the grunge in her voice right when needed, and gets her voice soft and sweet when needed, all so seamlessly. Gulzar’s lyrics are a fun take on what it would’ve been like at a soldier’s camp during the World War II, though they are quite the whimsical. Some parts make entire nonsense. 😛 A good start to the album, and probably the most commercial Vishal Bhardwaj’s music can get!

Rating: 4/5

 

2. Yeh Ishq Hai / Yeh Ishq Hai (Female Version)

Singers ~ Arijit Singh / Rekha Bhardwaj, Choir in Female Version ~ Mahesh Kumar Rao, Nazim Khan, Subhan Sultani & Sonu Khan, Lyrics by ~ Gulzar

“Sufi ke sulfe ki, Lau utthi Allah hoo! Allah hoo, Allah hoo, Allah hooooo!
Sufi ke sulfe ki, Lau utthi Allah hoo!
Jalte hi rehna hai, Baaki na main na Tu.. yeh ishq hai re… Yeh ishq hai!”

– Gulzar

Vishal Bhardwaj tries to tone down the craziness that the first song caused, by giving us a dulcet romantic song as the next song on the soundtrack. And what we get is a soothing, calm melodious romantic piece in a typical Vishal Bhardwaj style of composition! Now I always love this typicality of Vishal Bhardwaj, and nothing changed this time. The composition seemed slow and ‘different’ at first, but later it grew on me very quickly. The mukhda dives right into the hookline, and then continues to very low-pitched notes that soothe your senses as much as they can be soothed. The hookline does have very slight shades of Rahman’s ‘Dil Se Re’ (Dil Se), but barring that slight uncanny resemblance, I wouldn’t really go all bonkers about that similarity. The mukhda intrigues you so much that you don’t even realise when the interlude is over and the antara has started. The antara is a melodious, high-pitched piece that reminds me of ‘Khul Kabhi’ (Haider), another vintage Vishal Bhardwaj-styled melody from the composer. The way the high notes fall back to low notes and continue with the hookline, is just amazing. It is the second Antara that holds all the magic though. Although the tune of both is the same, Vishal introduces pleasant variations in the second antara (I’m talking about the “Allah hoo” part!) and it is just so heavenly! And at the end, when the hookline plays, it is such a beautiful high pitch, that you can say nothing but “Waah!” Saying so much about the composition, I must say that it wouldn’t have sounded this great without the wonderful arrangements. Guitars (Ankur Mukherjee) lead the way, with nice wind instruments (Ashwin Shrinivasan) following. And that magnificent digital beat that sounds like jingles, is toooooo good! The first interlude has a beautiful flute piece, while the second goes with a nice rustic rabaab, which you can also hear faintly playing in the background in other parts of the song. Arijit’s voice suits the song perfectly, and though I wished Vishal himself had sung it during the first couple of times I heard ths song, I am now totally convinced that there was no voice other than Arijit’s, that could’ve done justice to the composition, and also, I so trust Vishal now with Arijit’s voice. He always gives him the best songs, and doesn’t hesitate to experiment with his voice. Arijit too, has introduced a husky quality in his voice here, and it sounds mesmerizing, quite like it did in ‘Khul Kabhi’ (Haider). He hits the high notes with such intensity and perfection, that it is hard to believe he was the same man who was made to drone out songs like ‘Raat Bhar’ (Heropanti) and ‘Saanson Ko’ (Zid) in such a disturbingly low pitch. That much was what I thought about the male version of the song. But if you skip to the track number 9 on the soundtrack as it is shown on Saavn or iTunes or the YouTube jukebox, you will find hidden there, a gem in the form of the female version of the same song. Now that version is pure bliss. And of you thought the male version was heaven, you will find this to be pure salvation. Vishal Bhardwaj has given it a complete makeover, adding a nice Sufi-style Qawwali arrangement. Tablas (Navin Sharma), dholaks (Raju Sardar & Navin Sharma) and harmoniums (Firoz Shah) replace the guitars that were so prominent in the original song. It makes the song sound so spiritual all of a sudden. The tune has been tweaked when the antara joins to the hookline, where, instead of going to the high notes as Arijit did, the tune goes back down to the low notes. And Rekha Bhardwaj renders this version majestically. Nobody else could’ve done it and produced the same effect. And she is ably supported by a nice backing chorus, giving a very mehfil-ish feel to it all. Gulzar’s lyrics are amazing! I think you will have to listen to them to experience it yourself, but I must say they are a nice depiction of love. And in the female version, a beautiful introductory piece has been added by the veteran lyricist, which is not to be missed! A romantic piece that takes your breath away. Special points to the female version that makes romance sound so spiritual.

Rating: 4/5 for Male Version, 5/5 for Female Version

 

3. Mere Miyan Gaye England

Singer ~ Rekha Bhardwaj, Choir ~ Deepti Rege, Mayuri Patwardhan, Archana Gore, Pragati Joshi, Aditi Prabhudesai, Aparna Ullal, Arun Ingle, R. N. Iyer, Mandar Apte & Nitin Karandikar, Lyrics by ~ Gulzar

“Saat samundar paar gaye par paanv nahin bheege,
Aise pahunche huye piya hai, aji gaanv nahin bhoole!
Jo utre kheton mein, wahin par padi hoon main,
Jahan par milte thhe, wahin par khadi hoon main!
Aji itna hai bas bhool na jaaye mera bus ishtand,
Conductor chooke na! Conductor chooke na!
Conductor chooke na… Driver chaunke na!”

– Gulzar

When a movie’s name is ‘Rangoon’, one isn’t surprised when the makers decide to come up with a spin-off of the old classic ‘Mere Piya Gaye Rangoon’ from the 1949 film ‘Patanga’. And mind you, I said ‘spin-off’, and not ‘remake’. And no, spin-off is not the new euphemism I’ll be using for remakes, so there’s no need to be releasing yourselves, composers making bad remakes! Anyway, back to the point. The song has been composed entirely differently, with only the first line of the hook bearing whatsoever resemblance to the old song. Instead of ‘Rangoon’ from the old song, Vishal Bhardwaj has cleverly changed it to ‘England’ (given the fact that the film is set against the backdrop of the World War II) and changed ‘Piya’ to ‘Miyan’. He has composed an entirely new song, no mater what people say about it being a remake, because it isn’t. The composition is instantly catchy and has a very happy-go-lucky tune to it, which makes it all the more likeable. The ‘ha-ha-ha’ that sets the song going, is very mesmerising in a fun way, and after that, it is a full-of-fun, enjoyable song, probably another of Julia’s performances, given its situational nature. The mukhda starts off from the hookline (and is entirely composed of the hookline itself, I must say), which starts off quite similar to the old song’s hookline, but then goes on into one of those endless lines that stops unexpectedly, making it so fun the first time you hear it! The “kahan karenge land” part is what I’m referring to. The antaras are beautiful, with a very tangible, traditional touch to them. The composition of those parts is indescribably enjoyable, something similar to Vishal’s work in ‘Oye Boy Charlie’ (Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola). The part in the antaras which is the bridge from the antara to the hookline, (“Jo utre kheton mein…”) is brilliantly fast paced, and brings back the tempo fabulously after the slowdown in the antara! Vishal’s arrangements are a class apart. Again, ‘Oye Boy Charlie’-like instrumentation can be observed, with harmoniums leading the way, and tablas (Musharraf Khan & Sanjiv Sen) and dholaks (Mohd. Yusuf, Hafeez Khan, Sharafat Khan, Raju Sardar) leading the fantastic percussion. A beautiful detour from the main fun-filled ambience of the song occurs in the form of the second interlude, when a very heart-moving shehnaai (Sanjeev Shankar) piece suddenly changes the whole feel of the song, and the antara that follows seems like a very emotional part of the song (more so because of Gulzar’s lyrics), until the hookline comes back to cheer things up again. Not that it is going to be make you rather teary-eyed though; it is a very subtle emotional detour in the song, and certainly a magical move by Vishal Bhardwaj. Rekha Bhardwaj is very effervescent in her delivery of the upbeat composition. Who could be a better replacement (though this is a spin-off and not a remake) than her, for the legendary Shamshad Begum? She is always such a pleasure to listen to, and the fact remains true here as well. Her rendition makes her sound like a very young and boisterous person, and it suits to the theme of the song perfectly. Gulzar’s lyrics are amazing, about a lady missing her love, who is away fighting the war in England. References to Hitler and Churchill really, really enrich the listening experience and it also makes the song interesting for History lovers (who isn’t one?) And the second antara, of course, has been written beautifully! A nice SPIN-OFF to an old classic, and one of the most fun and quirky songs of recent times!

Rating: 5/5

 

4. Tippa

Singers ~ Rekha Bhardwaj, Sunidhi Chauhan, Sukhwinder Singh & O.S. Arun, Choir ~ Vivienne Pocha, Marianne D’Cruz Aiman, Neuman Pinto & Rajiv Sundaresan, Lyrics by ~ Gulzar

“Aaja uchhalenge, pakdenge paani ki boondein, aa bhi jaa..
Geeli hawaayein agar paani maange, toh kyun de, kyun bhala?
Tupur tupur, naach re nupur paayi.. tupur tupur naach re nupur paayi,
Googly Jhinak jhaayi..
Hey, tap tap gol gol tippe mein jo doobe, far far farmaaish dekhe hain ajoobe..!”

– Gulzar

What follows, is an even more enjoyable, situational track that proves wrong all notions that situational songs never grip you before you watch them in the movie. Because this one here, is a stellar example of a song that intrigues and fascinates you so much, yet you do not understand what exactly is going on, but get a vague idea. Of course, to understand you’ll have to watch it in the movie, but for now, the song is not something that you will have to keep on hold till the movie releases! The song is an perfect example of a brilliant onomatopoeic song, with sounds like “Tap Tap”, “Chhuk Chhuk”, “Bud Bud”, “Jhinak Jhayi” making up the gist of the lyrics. And the spectacular arrangements help propel the otherwise very undecipherable song, to new heights. The composition on its own sounds like a 90s Vishal Bhardwaj composition {And turns out it is a reuse of one of Vishal Bhardwaj’s title songs for an animated television series, “Alice in Wonderland”} and intrigues you the way it would have in the 90s, when Vishal’s songs werw way ahead of their time. It has many layers, just like ‘Haider’s ‘Bismil’, and it seems that there is some hidden story in it, which of course, will unfold on 24th February. The song starts with a very haunting, but catchy tune, and as the hookline arrives you are fascinated by the various sound effects. But when the hookline does arrive, you notice how wonderful a tune it is. Hear it again in entirety, and the mukhda also sounds better the next time. The first antara follows the same tune as that of the mukhda, but of course, when it is Vishal Bhardwaj, it means variations, so the variations are evident here as well. The second antara has a more commercially appealing tune, but it still appeals just as much as the other unconventional parts of the song. Sukhwinder’s “Maajhi Re” interlude touches your heart. And whenever they build up the suspense before the hookline by saying “tap tap tap, tap tap tap“, it is so fun to just guess when the climax will arrive and the hookline reveals all the suspense. (And this happens every time you hear the song, just like a good thriller movie). Vishal’s arrangements are splendid, a mélange of great sound effects and beautiful orchestration. The violins (Suresh Lalwani) are the most prominent instruments throughout the entire song, and they are played in those vivid strokes, making them sound so regal. Of course, there are sound effects in such magnitudes that I’ve very rarely heard in a Bollywood song, and even if I have, they hadn’t been used to such a good effect. But here, sound effects like the raindrops, and train sounds start off the song so intriguingly! That creaking noise gives such an awesome beat, and it is joined by the raindrops and later on, the “tap tap” chorus, making it sound ever-so-harmonious. Also, that sudden outbreak of percussion when the hookline finally starts after the endless “tap tap“, is amaziiiiinnng! The vocals are amazing, with four lead singers and a choir supporting them. I would especially like to point out O.S. Arun, a professional Carnatic singer, who has sung his parts so majestically! And he sounds a bit like Suresh Wadkar, so I’m surprised Vishal Bhardwaj didn’t think of Suresh Wadkar. The others are all seasoned Bollywood singers — Sukhwinder (bringing the “Chaiyya Chaiyya” touch in yet another train-themed song!), Rekha Bhardwaj (at her mesmerizing best) and Sunidhi (carrying the hookline with such marvellous finesse). The choir is amazing in its parts. Gulzar’s lyrics make it clear that the song is about rain, trains and dimples, but I’m sure there’s a deeper meaning to it; the movie might reveal that! However, I loved the striking use of onomatopoeia! That in itself is a masterstroke. Innovative, yet nostalgia-inducing! A song about rains, trains and dimples!

Rating: 5/5

 

5. Ek Dooni Do

Singer ~ Rekha Bhardwaj, Choir ~ Vivienne Pocha, Bianca Pinto, Marianne D’Cruz Aiman, Crystal Sequeira, Rajiv Sundaresan, Thomson Andrews, François Casstellino & Neuman Pinto, Lyrics by ~ Gulzar

“Jaagti hoon, aankhein khole, khwaab ke maare, khwaab ke maare,
Ungli jal gayi, ginte ginte, raat ke taare, raat ke taare!
Ek bujhe toh ek jalta hai, ek tamasha sa lagta hai,
Kab tak ginti rahun pahaadein?”

– Gulzar

A Spanish touch hits you right as the next song starts, with a nice Spanish guitar starting the song off on a very energetic note. The song is yet another song that you cannot ascertain what it is about yet, and we must only guess that it is another stage performance by the leading lady. The composition by Vishal Bhardwaj loyally sticks to the Spanish theme, thus automatically sticking to the European theme of the movie too. It is quite similar to what we heard Rajesh Roshan give recently in ‘Mon Amour’ (Kaabil), but has more dark shades than that one. The song starts off slowly, with Rekha Bhardwaj singing one line, with a nice touch of intimacy and sounding great. After that, the tempo elevates quite abruptly and fumbles you for a moment until the song takes on its pace and goes steadily ahead after that. The hookline is the only part of the song that sounds out of place and distracting, if you will. The hookline doesnt quite fit in too well with other parts of the song, especially the extraordinary tune of the antara, which is an enjoyable part of the song. Because of the less appealing tune, this song might not appeal as much as the others. And then of course, the situational nature acts as a barrier here. Anyway, Rekha has rendered the song beautifully, and in the process lets us enjoy the song solely due to her amazing singing. Arrangements by Vishal range from guitars to the traditional Spanish castanets and harmonicas. The backing vocalists do a fantastic job at those weird Spanish interjections, and they sound so much like an actual Spanish song! Gulzar’s lyrics do not disclose at all, what the song is going to be for in the movie, and otherwise, aren’t much of a remarkable feat either. They are just fun and simple words, nothing to place on a pedestal! A good one, but lacking that patchiness that the others; it sounds rather odd.

Rating: 4/5

 

6. Alvida

Singer ~ Arijit Singh, Lyrics by ~ Gulzar

Alvida, alvida, toh nahi… Alvida, alvida toh nahi!
Jism se Jaan juda toh nahi!
Rooh mein beh raha hai Tu, rooh mein beh raha hai tu!
Aye kahin tu khuda toh nahi!”

– Gulzar

After the relatively disappointing song, Vishal Bhardwaj comes up with yet another typical trademark Vishal Bhardwaj composition. And this one follows his own template to the tee. Complete with a morose tune, and minimal arrangements, with a hint of soft rock instrumentation here and there, this one is a package custom-made for Vishal Bhardwaj’s diehard fans and appreciators! The composition, as I said before, is highly melancholic, but it appeals to you after a couple of listens. The mukhda is something that might suck the energy out of you the first time you hear it (I’m not lying, it was so beautiful, it actually did do that!) and you might dismiss it as too exhausting and heavy music, but later, you realise the beauty it contains. The composition has shades of ‘Jhelum’ from ‘Haider’ (which I remember describing as a trademark Sanjay Leela Bhansali-styled melody! Both of these stalwarts, SLB and VB sure know how to make us teary-eyed now, don’t they?) which are evident in the darkness of the tune. The antaras see the composition calm down a bit, traversing notes that are more gentle in their sound. In the first antara, comes that small soft rock interlude, that was characteristic of Vishal Bhardwaj years ago. The second interlude has a wonderful Sufi interlude, and that is the main reason why you’ll come to love the whole song after a couple of listens — only because of a wonderfully placed Sufi portion that comes unexpectedly from nowhere. When Arijit sings “jaaniyaaa..” in the second antara, my mind suddenly remembered a song I haven’t heard for years — ‘Haal-e-Dil’ from “Haal-e-Dil”, another Vishal Bhardwaj composition, in which Rahat Fateh Ali Khan sings “Jaaniyaaa..” in quite a similar way! And also, when Arijit sings “Sab chhod chhad taaron ki aadh mil lenge“, it sounds so much like the antara of Vishal’s song ‘Dum Ghutta Hai’ from ‘Dirshyam’! Funny how your subconscious mind remembers stuff at just the right time, eh? 😀 Vishal’s arrangements are so minimal, that you pay more attention to the melody, something you wouldn’t have done if there would’ve been more pompous arrangements. Vishal cleverly keeps the instrumentation down, so that the beauty of the composition can be beheld. Still, I hear the saxophone (I.D. Rao) in the first interlude, and it doesn’t bleat itself out so that you know its there; it has been played so gently, in a way you would never imagine a saxophone able to be played! The harmoniums and Tablas/dholaks in the Sufi interlude have to be one of the best touches given to any song in recent times! It is so beautiful how that Sufi portion agrees with the rest of the song so well and gels in seamlessly. Arijit’s vocals are impeccable! They are what make the song sound all the more wholesome and different from any other Vishal Bhardwaj song (but then again, Arijit sings so many songs for Vishal that after a few years it might be hard to separate the two sounds!) Gulzar’s lyrics are amazing for the theme of the song and are heart touching. A typical Vishal Bhardwaj affair, that doesn’t fail to impress!!

Rating: 5/5

 

7. Julia

Singers ~ Sukhwinder Singh, Vishal Bhardwaj, Kunal Ganjawala & K.K., Choir ~ Clinton Cerejo, Dominique Cerejo, Vivienne Pocha, Bianca Gomes, Neuman Pinto, Rishikesh Kamerkar & Asif Ali Baig, Lyrics by ~ Gulzar

“Tune Jaan ko jind ko chhoo liya, humein teri ghulami qubooliya,
Tu hi aaka hai usooliya, tu hi aaka usooliya,
O Julia! Pa pa pa pam pam pam! Miss Julia! Pa pa pa pam pam!”

– Gulzar

Whatever magic Vishal Bhardwaj has created in the former part of the album, he overdoes all of it with this next piece, a foot-tapping, vaudevillian melody in which the operatic theme is taken quite seriously! And the result is a song that sounds like a genuine male opera piece. Four singers behind the mic, this one is a pleasure to hear not only because of the great tune or arrangements, but also because of the differing vocal styles of all four singers. So let’s begin from the beginning! I always start talking about the composition of the song, but here, I would like to start with the arrangements — some splendid European-themed arrangements that tread over multiple musical territories. First of all, the booming percussion just hits you hard, and leaves you shocked by the end of the song, in a mesmerizing way. Of course, the brass band follows suit, with just as intriguing instrumentation. And the strings orchestra doesn’t fail to impress either! It is the ravishing strings that infuse life into the song, which would’ve sounded incomplete without it. And in the antara, the arrangements break out into Latino-flavoured ones, while in one of the interludes, a mystifying Arabic musical piece intrigues you, and that’s when you notice how many different styles of music the song is composed of. The composition itself would sound half as great without the larger-than-life arrangements! The composition isn’t one that would hook you immediately, and definitely not if you are one of the multitude of Bollywood fans who like the meaningless rap we hear in every other song nowadays. The composition is made up many, many sets of tunes, which make up the mukhda, a strong and hard-hitting hookline, and an antara that is a good continuation of the magic. The mukhda is very slow to start off, but when it does pick up pace, it does so mind-bogglingly! The “Julia jaaye, jaaye re..” line is some spectacular black magic! Well, I must say, the whole composition itself is! The hookline is, as it should be, the main attraction of the song, and it has valid reasons to be so. It has a genuinely catchy tune, and that pompous sound to it makes it sound all the more catchy! That “Pa Pa Pa Pam Pam Pam” after each time they sing “Julia“, is just tooooooooooooo good!! It all sounds so grand, that it is unbelievable after a few listens, after which you will skip all the songs of the album to listen to this one. The antara is a bit damped considering the beauty of the rest of the song, but it soon moulds its way into the hookline, and the magic goes on. So it serves as a good respite from too much regality in the goings-on of the song. Now, what I’ve been waiting to talk about — the vocals! Never in recent times have I seen a song with so many singers (of the same gender!), executed so wonderfully! It must’ve taken weeks to compile each one’s parts together and entwine them to make a composition that sounded appealing and also fit the lyrics (if they were written before the composition process). Sukhwinder is at his efficacious best, while Vishal Bhardwaj sounds great in a song of the type which he usually never sings. K.K. and Kunal Ganjawala (two singers I used to confuse with each other when I was younger! What a coincidence!) are a bit underused, but whatever they get to sing, they sing marvellously! K.K. has not more than four lines (maybe even less), but he makes sure he makes those lines beautiful, while Kunal has a bit more than him. The lyrics by Gulzar depict very nicely the immense fan following Kangana’s character in the film has! Situational again, but they have a nice ring to them! MARVELLOUS! This one is like an opera performance!

Rating: 5/5

 

8. Chori Chori

Singer ~ Rekha Bhardwaj, Choir ~ Vivienne Pocha, Bianca Pinto, Marianne D’Cruz Aiman & Crystal Sequeira, Lyrics by ~ Gulzar

“Nukkad nukkad dekh rahe ho tum, thode se khoye thode se gumm,
Nukkad nukkad dekh rahe ho tum, thode se khoye thode se gumm,
Peeche peeche aate ho, bin aavaz bulaate ho,
Moongphali ke daane aise phenka na karo, piya ji Chori Chori!
Chori Chori Dekho aise dekha na karo!”

– Gulzar

Once again, we are transported to the 1940s with this song, another solo song by the albums leading lady, Rekha Bhardwaj. The song is a throwback to the black-and-white era of Bollywood, when O.P. Nayyar churned out all these melodies that were clearly inspired by European music. This one is a similar piece, particularly reminding me of ‘Leke Pehla Pehla Pyaar’ (C.I.D. – 1956). It starts with wonderful European-flavoured accordion and mandolin, making you ready for a retro-themed composition. And sure enough, the composition by Vishal is so evocative of the old songs I mentioned above! It is almost like a throwback to that era. The antara slows down the tempo a bit, and for a while everything is quiet, but then the Spanish touch returns with finger snaps and whatnot! Speaking of which, the arrangements of fabulous! The strings and the accordion is magical! The occasional drums contribute to the fun flavour of the song, and that fun second interlude is a must-listen! Rekha’s vocals are beautiful, reminding you of Asha Bhosle’s songs of that era. The lyrics by Gulzar, once again, do not disclose too much, except that there is yet another possibility that it is one of Julia’s stage performances! The lyrics are quite cute as well. Everything about this track is like a throwback to the black-and-white era of Bollywood!

Rating: 4.5/5

 

9. Rangoon Theme

(Instrumental)

Finally, that theme we heard in the trailer arrives on the soundtrack! And what a treat to the ears it is! An astounding mélange of wonderful strings and brass instruments, it sounds aptly and perfectly oriental! It starts off subtly with the strings of a harp being plucked in a quite mellow way, and soon, the lead viola (Suresh Lalwani) starts playing a very heart-rending tune, which has a distinctly Chinese touch to it. (Fair enough, because China is close to Myanmar.) The other violas and violins join it soon, and add to the majesticness of the song. Later on cellos, and brass instruments like trumpets, French horns , tuba and trombones join. The gong sounds amazing, too. The one-and-a-half minute track is definitely going to let those goosebumps have a party in the movie hall! Magnificent!!

Rating: 5/5

 

10. Be Still

Singer ~ Dominique Cerejo, Lyrics by ~ Lekha Washington

“Be still, my heart, be still!
Come down from the windowsill of my throat,
Don’t jump to the gut!”

– Lekha Washington

The next song is the first of the two English songs that bring up the caboose of the album. This one is a waltzy melody that intrigues you with its calm notes. Vishal has tried his best at a convincing waltz, and succeeds just as well. The hookline is what grabs your attention right away, as the song starts with it. The piano has been put to great use, as are the strings, and whatever is giving those waltz beats in the background! Dominique Cerejo has sung gloriously, and it actually makes you feel as if you’re hearing her perform live, such is the conviction in her voice. Lekha Washington lyrics are good, too, and cute too, at that! A fantastic waltz!

Rating: 4/5

 

11. Shimmy Shake

Singer ~ Vivienne Pocha, Lyrics by ~ Lekha Washington

“A little Shimmy shake, a little double take,
Time’s a-running out, so kiss me!
I am alive now, so are you Amour,
Remember this somehow, so kiss me!”

– Lekha Washington

The last song of the album happens to be an outright fun song about the Shimmy, a very fun dance form of the era shown in the movie. The composition is fun, and Vivienne delivers in a just as fun way. The arrangements, aptly jazzy, are a nice mix of piano, trumpet and guitars. The lyrics are fun as well, and I can’t really think of any more to say about this! 😀 Seize the opportunity and dance away!

Rating: 3.5/5


Rangoon is marvellous! Vishal Bhardwaj delivers a theme-based album just as he always does, with nothing out of place and everything sounding great even though he has tried some experiments here and there. The 40s/50s flavour is evident in most songs, and the result is a fun soundtrack with no single song I can call bad as such. With his, it is probably the most fulfilling Bollywood album of the year so far, and I must say, there wasn’t much of a doubt that it would be! Another masterpiece from VB!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4 + 4 + 5 + 5 + 5+ 4 + 5 + 5 + 4.5 + 5 + 4 + 3.5 = 54

Album Percentage: 90%

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: From Track 1 to Track 12 nonstop 🙂

 

Remake Counter
No. Of Remakes: 04 (from previous albums) + 00 = 04

 

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

JOLLY GOOD ALBUM!! (JOLLY LL.B 2 – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Manj Musik, Nilesh Patel, Chirantan Bhatt, Meet Bros. & Vishal Khurana
♪ Lyrics by: Manj Musik, Raftaar, Junaid Wasi, Shabbir Ahmed & Earl Edgar
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 13th January 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 10th February 2017

Jolly LL.B 2 Album Cover

Jolly LL.B 2 Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Jolly LL.B 2 is an upcoming comedy courtroom drama starring Akshay Kumar, Annu Kapoor, Saurabh Shukla and Huma Qureshi in prominent roles. The film has been directed by Subhash Kapoor, who earlier directed ‘Phas Gaye Re Obama’, ‘Jolly LLB’ and ‘Guddu Rangeela’, and produced by Fox Star Studios. The film revolves around the story of a small-time lawyer Jagdishwar Mishra a.k.a. Jolly, who earns a living by fighting small cases. In his desires to become a full-fledged lawyer though, Jolly ends up committing a mistake that could just as well destroy his career as a lawyer. The film deals with how Jolly gets himself out of this predicament. The film is the sequel to 2013 sleeper hit ‘Jolly LLB’. While the earlier film had a music album which can hardly be counted as one of Krsna’s best works, or even good works, as it was as middling a fare as your everyday T-Series multicomposer album, the sequel has an album which is just that — your everyday T-Series multicomposer album. And as it almost always is, there is one song composed by one team of composers. Manj Musik, who has the full support of Akshay Kumar now, what with him composing for Akshay in ‘Gabbar is Back’ and ‘Singh is Bliing’ in 2015, gets the first song. Helping him is Nilesh Patel, who has been credited as “Co-Composer”! Expectations are not too high but not zero either, as he has given good songs in the past, but just messed up a couple of times, thus earning my anger. Next up is Chirrantan Bhatt, another composer whose Bollywood career is strongly backed by Akshay. He gave hits for Akshay in both ‘Boss’ (2013) and in ‘Gabbar is Back’ (2015). This time too, he is back to perhaps give yet another path breaking romantic song. Meet Bros. feature as the third composers on board, and their association with Akshay has started long ago in 2012 when they scored the beautiful ‘Mere Nishaan’ in ‘OMG – Oh My God!’ After that, they went on to score for Akshay in so many films like ‘Boss’ (2013), ‘Baby’ (2015) and ‘Singh is Bliing’ (2015). But that was when Anjjan too was a part of the team. After the split with Anjjan, this is Meet Bros’ first song for Akshay; hopefully, it is just as good. And lastly is one-album old, Vishal Khurana who debuted last February with the stellar album to ‘Neerja’. Thankful that he has got another project finally, (after like ages!) I hope he takes good advantage of it and gives a great song. So let’s see what this multicomposer assortment has in store for us! Because Akshay Kumar and multicomposer have this very nice relationship which more often than always, impresses me! (Take any of the albums mentioned above for example!)


1. Go Pagal

Singers ~ Raftaar & Nindy Kaur, Additional Vocals ~ Girish Nakod & Manj Musik, Music by ~ Manj Musik, Co-composed by ~ Nilesh Patel, Lyrics by ~ Raftaar & Manj Musik

(I didn’t find any lyrics worth mentioning here!)

The album starts with the song I was least excited to hear — a Holi song titled ‘Go Pagal’. Okay, so Manj Musik has given some pretty good songs in the past, but only sticking to one kind of songs — fast, update rap songs (with the exception of the awesome ‘Aaja Mahi’ from ‘Singh Is Bliing’) As such, all his songs sound almost the same and you can really predict what’s going to come next in each song. This song too falls into the same category, but it goes a bit too overboard with the craziness. The composition is a typical Manj composition, though there are some nice folksy lines in the middle, (‘Bheegi bheegi lage lovely lovely…‘) which I suspect are composed by the co-composer Nilesh Patel. Anyway, the composition is quite all round the place and it is kind of hard to grasp on to. And that hookline is just yuck! I was fine till it played. It was such an abrupt end to the flow of the song, that it spoiled all the fun, or whatever fun was there. Also, it is quite similar in sructure to ‘Let’s Nacho’ (Kapoor & Sons) where they ‘say’ the hookline, not sing it, and then some weird tune plays in some very annoyingly high digitized pitch. And what’s worse, the person who says ‘Go Pagal’ here (That’d be Raftaar, I guess) sounds like he’s burping it. It sounds eww. In some places, the composition resembles ‘Tamanche Pe Disco’ (Bullett Raja). The arrangements are very mediocre, though that nice rapid dholak beat is something for which I would listen to the song over and over again, despite everything. And that chipmunk voice that says ‘Goli Re’ in the mukhda is just so cute! Every other thing regarding arrangements is strictly banal. It sounds like it has been thrown out of 2013 and should’ve been in ‘Jolly LLB’, but it forecasted that Akshay Kumar would star in the sequel, which is why it is here for us to get troubled by it. The vocals sound like robots have done it. Raftaar tries to sing charmingly, but how can he? He has to carry the entire song on his shoulders, and though he does quite well, it just sounds very monotonous. And Nindy Kaur in her part initially sounds as if she’s so shy, she can’t sing at all. (She’s trying to sound naughty, but it sounds shy…) Her voice sounds as robotic as ever. The lyrics (Raftaar and Manj) are as banal as possible. A Holi song has never been so trashily written in the history of Bollywood, I guess. Okay, maybe ‘Ang Se Ang Lagana’ from ‘Darr’ is an exception, but in recent times they’ve all been very well-written and fun. Though the makers might think this is fun too, it isn’t. A mediocre start to the album, and a disappointment from Manj and his team.

Rating: 2.5/5

 

2. Bawara Mann

Singers ~ Jubin Nautiyal & Neeti Mohan, Aalap by ~ Rheek Chakraborty, Music by ~ Chirrantan Bhatt, Lyrics by ~ Junaid Wasi

“Bawra Mann raah taake tarse re, Naina bhi malhar banke barse re!
Aadhe se, adhoore se, bin tere hum huye, feeka lagey, mujhko saara jahaan!”

– Junaid Wasi

Chirrantan Bhatt, another composer that Akshay Kumar seems to be backing these days, enters the soundtrack, with his song. Usually, the composer impresses us with nice Bhatt-ish melodies. This time though, he follows the path of one of his earlier songs, ‘Coffee Peetey Peetey’ from ‘Gabbar Is Back’, and presents a breezy, feel-good melody that could not have sounded better. Previously, ‘Coffee Peetey Peetey’ was my favourite song by him, but now I have to say, that it is this one. The composition is, as I said before, very breezy and happy-go-lucky. And I just love it when such songs come out. The mukhda starts off right away with the hookline, a wonderful tune with a light touch to it. It’s as if Chirrantan is saying, “Want to cut down on fat in your musical diet? Well then, listen to this song, with 80% less musical fat than other songs out there!” The antara goes into a nice and soothing low scale, as opposed to the cute high pitch of the mukhda. The composition kind of reminded me of Pritam’s ‘I’m Sorry Par Tumse Pyaar Ho Gaya’ (Shaadi Ke Side/Effects), in that it is a toned down version of the peppy and breezy composition of that song. Arrangements are fantastic, with the ukulele (Shomu Seal) and guitars (Shomu Seal & Sanjoy Das) really winning your heart by the end of the song, and giving the song its quirkiness. Piano notes occasionally bring the sobriety to the song, while wonderrrrrrful harmonicas throughout the song provide that heavenly touch, accompanied by a wonderful vocal choir. The vocals by both singers are fabulous as well. Jubin, who has already sung so many songs this year, ranging from mediocre to beautiful, has emerged as the superstar of the beginning of the year with another fantabulous rendition from his side. Neeti, on the other hand, only strengthens her charming image by singing the second antara, with as much expertise as possible. Her characteristic feathery voice elevates her portions to other levels. Junaid Wasi, who returns to writing lyrics after like four-and-a-half years (His last was in Chirrantan Bhatt’s album ‘1920: Evil Returns’) writes a splendid poetry-like piece. Hindustani classical terminology meets modern romance in his writing, and it actually proves to be a nice and pleasant fusion. This is where the album starts, in my opinion!

Rating: 5/5

 

3. Jolly Good Fellow

Singers ~ Meet Brothers, Additional Vocals by ~ Purnima Solanki, Sanchita Sakat, Rap by ~ Shabbir Ahmed, English Rap by ~ Earl Edgar, Music by ~ Meet Bros., Lyrics by ~ Shabbir Ahmed, English Rap Written by ~ Earl Edgar

“Hello, how are you, mera Naam hai Jolly,
Manaane jashn nikli yaaron ki toli..
Bada colourful sa swag hai mera…
Karun jab use apni meethi si boli..
Nature mera hai cool, baaton mein banadoon fool,
Gopiyan bhi line mein hai karte Hi hello!
He’s a Jolly Good Fellow, He’s a Jolly Good Fellow,
Jai kanhaiyalaal ki, bolte chalo!”

– Shabbir Ahmed

What made me freak out even before starting the song was that the folk song ‘He’s A Jolly Good Fellow’ had been recreated! I mean if Bollywood can’t handle its own classics’ recreations, how will a British song be recreated well enough!! But then, the first note of the song played and all my worst doubts disappeared into thin air. The song starts with this uber-cool, smooth flute portion, played to the tune of the nursery rhyme! And from that moment on, you are hooked completely! The Meet Bros. have done an appreciable job in successfully recreating a Western song to suit the Indian music standards. A suitable “Chinta Ta Chita Chita” (Rowdy Rathore) based rhythm makes its way into the song and surprisingly provides an apt background beat for the English folk song. Of course, the duo has added their own composition for the mukhda and antara, and I can’t really say it is bad! The mukhda starts off the song well, showcasing the main character of the movie as a very sacrosanct person, and I must say, the tune is quite sanctimonious-sounding too. I mean, in Janmashtami, you will hear such tunes everywhere in India. The sound effects included by the duo are probably the most enjoyable I’ve heard in recent times. Yes, the sound of the song is very generic and heard-before. But I don’t really have any qualms in liking something that is likeable even though it has been heard before. The arrangements are booming and fun, with the aforementioned beats really infusing a lot of fun into the song. Different instruments, and especially the flute that plays occasionally, sound awesome. Whistles and the like make for nice “roadside attractions”. The vocals are good too,and the Meet Brothers sound at ease rendering the spunky song. The female backing vocalists provide nice entertainment with their cute inputs. Meanwhile the two rappers, (Shabbir Ahmed in Hindi and Earl Edgar in English) do not fare as well, with their commonplace rap. Shabbir, rapping to his own words, sounds confused. You can barely hear what he is saying. That being said, his lyrics are quite decent! It is a perfect character introduction song, and the incorporation of the “Jolly Good Fellow” phrase followed by “jai Kanhaiya laal ki, bolte chalo” is so interesting! It is a theme song that is quite entertaining. Might be irritating for some, but interesting for most!

Rating: 3/5

 

4. O Re Rangreza (Qawaali)

Singers ~ Sukhwinder Singh, Murtuza Mustafa & Qadir Mustafa, Music by ~ Vishal Khurana, Lyrics by ~ Junaid Wasi

{I do not know why T-Series is always so adamant on writing “Qawaali” in the title of their songs! I think this is like the third time they’ve done this, and once, the song wasn’t even a Qawwali! I think we are quite competent to make out whether a song is a Qawwali or not, and if they want to continue this, I advise them to write in brackets stuff like “Romantic Song” or “Dumb Party Song” too, why only Qawwali?}

“Rooh ne arzi lagaayi hai, Sahi kadam chala maula,
Mann ko ainth ke baati kar, tera charaag jala maula!”

– Junaid Wasi

Bollywood hasn’t churned out a single satisfying Qawwali as far as I can remember, after Tanishk Bagchi’s splendid rock-qawwali ‘Allah Hu Allah’s (Sarbjit). Now here comes another proper Qawwali, by which I mean a Qawwali without any unnecessary Bollywood elements. The young and talented composer Vishal Khurana (‘Neerja’ fame) has been roped in to compose this Qawwali, and going by the innovative work he did in ‘Neerja’, I was expecting a very, very impressive Qawwali. Unfortunately, I got quite a regular and ordinary one. The composition is good, and suits the situation (one of those situations that often arrive in Bollywood films where the protagonist has lost all hopes and has to leave it all up to God, and then a Qawwali or Bhajan plays) but goes awfully slow. It is not something that one would find themselves listening to too much. Because of these drawbacks, I expect the song to gain momentum only after the movie released, but the prospects of that are less too, because Qawwali isn’t a genre that finds many takers in today’s world. (Though I get fascinated and mesmerized by a good one, when it comes!) Anyway, that’s that in the composition. The “Mushkil kusha o re noor-e-khuda…” hook, though, is very beautifully composed, as are the antaras, slow speed notwithstanding. The arrangements follow a mesmerizing Roopak taal, with the tablas sounding spectacular, as does the Bulbultarang or Indian banjo. Vocals, thankfully, help the listener ignore the slow pace of the song, as Sukhwinder pours  his entire soul into the rendition, sounding very soulful in the process. Supported ably by the Mustafa brothers, he provides a nice, relaxing ambience with his voice. However, the main reason I would listen to this song again, even before the movie releases, is the spectacular writing by Junaid Wasi. He impressed in the romantic song and now impresses in a spiritual one as well. The line I’ve “showcased” is just one of the portions out of the many splendid lines in the song. A déjà-vu inducing Qawwali as far as the composition and arrangements go, but vocals and lyrics make this one an exemplary piece of art.

Rating: 4/5


Jolly LL.B 2 turns out to be quite a good album, if you judge it as a multicomposer album, which it is. Akshay Kumar almost always impresses whenever his music albums are scored by multiple composers. (Glaring exception being ‘Housefull 3′) The six individuals (counting Nilesh Patel and two Meet Brothers) come together to make an album that is definitely not perfect, but functional as a feel-good (or shall I say feel-jolly?) album, that will propagate the buzz of the movie before release. Yes, Manj and Meet Brothers’ songs could’ve been better, but they are still partially enjoyable. And I must say, this album is better than the album by Krsna to the first instalment of the franchise! A jolly jolly album! 😛

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 2.5 + 5 + 3 + 4 = 14.5

Album Percentage: 72.5%

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: Bawara Mann > O Re Rangreza (Qawaali) > Jolly Good Fellow > Go Pagal

 

Remake Counter
No. of Remakes: 04 (from previous albums) + 00 = 04

 

Which is your favourite song from Jolly LL.B 2? Please vote for it below! Thanks!

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING!!! (RAEES – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Ram Sampath, JAM8, Omgrown Music & Kalyanji-Anandji
♪ Lyrics by: Javed Akhtar, Indeevar, Amitabh Bhattacharya, Mayur Puri, Ram Sampath, Hiral Brahmbhatt & Manoj Yadav
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 24th January 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 25th January 2017

Raees Album Cover

Raees Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Raees is an upcoming Bollywood action / crime thriller film starring Shah Rukh Khan, Mahira Khan and Naseeruddin Shah in prominent roles. The film has been directed by Rahul Dholakia, and produced by Gauri Khan, Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar. The movie sees Shah Rukh Khan playing a gangster, and that’s pretty much all that we all know about it. The album has released one DAY before the movie, and that’s been frowned upon a lot, mostly by me, and I hated this promotion strategy, if you can call it a strategy. The film had three songs running around TV till the album decided to release a day before. Anyway, the music is by Ram Sampath and JAM8, which is Pritam’s Artiste & Repertoire company promoting new talent. One song by JAM8, it hasn’t been specified who has composed, while the two others are by someone named Aheer. So without further ado, (I mean, how can there be any further ado…) let’s see what this latecomer album has to offer, and whether it was worth the suspense.


1. Laila Main Laila

Singer ~ Pawni Pandey, Additional Vocals ~ Chaandni RMW & Team Omgrown, Original Composition by ~ Kalyanji-Anandji, Music Recreated by ~ Ram Sampath, Original Lyrics by ~ Indeevar, New Lyrics by ~ Javed Akhtar

“Mohabbat ka dasta, tumhe naag hai kya,
Tumhare bhi dil mein, lagi aag hai kya?
Mere liye bhi, tadapte ho tum bhi,
Main betaab jaise, tumhare liye hoon?”

– Javed Akhtar

The first song on the album takes the form of a (yes, again!!) remake of a popular old song. This time, ‘Laila O Laila’ from ‘Qurbani’ gets brought to the slaughtering counter. (Or is it? Let’s see..) Anyway, Ram Sampath takes charge of this ambitious remake. Ram Sampath is somebody I never have seen remaking songs. (Correct me if I’m wrong, but the only remake I remember him doing before is that remake of a folk song, ‘Ambarsariya’ in ‘Fukrey’). So he gets to do the remake to this hit club song of the Disco era. Kalyanji-Anandji’s tune for both mukhda and antara get retained, and that is always a pleasure to know. Not that I was a huge fan of the old song, but all celebrations in India (and please note that that is just figurative) are incomplete without this song playing at least once. With the original tune retained, remaking a song properly almost always becomes a piece of cake. Or so I thought. The tune has been retained, and the item-ish flavour has been retained, so as to keep as much similarity with the original and not make an out-of-place remake, but something still seems missing in the song. The arrangements are fantastic. What else can we expect when Taufiq Qureshi is in charge of percussions! Nothing but awe overcomes you when you hear the wonderful and grand percussions — they are so earthy! They make the song which was originally a disco song, a rural number. And that “Bubuchikum, boom bubuchikum” with which the song starts is just crazy! Thats probably one of the best parts of the song. The arrangements of course, like any item song, are incomplete without whistles and a backing chorus going “hey hey“. And everything’s been done here. Even the legendary trumpets (Ed Gibson) have been used and that epic trumpet tune to the hookline has been played throughout the song. But still, something seems missing! Pawni Pandey, who shot to fame with ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li’l Champs’, has clearly left behind her Li’l-champ-ness. She tries very hard to get the nuances and various little bits of an item song right, but to no avail. (Similar to how Chinmayi couldn’t quite sing ‘Mera Naam Mary’ from ‘Brothers’ well). She only sounds very heavenly when she sings the line, “Laila o Laila Laila, aisi tu Laila“, (she sings in her actual voice there) but not in the lines where she actually sings AS Laila. (On retrospection, I think that might be backing vocalist Chaandni RMW.. So she sounds better than Pawni!) However, that backing vocalist who sings the “phabak phabak” part in this version somewhere in the second interlude, really aces his part! 😀 The lyrics to the antaras have been changed though the tune has been retained, and they carry on the spirit of the old song. At least Javed Akhtar has written something sensible and non-vulgar for such a song too, and not something yucky and stupid. Of course, Indeevar’s classic lyrics for the mukhda can’t really be replaced, can they? Ram Sampath tries his best to deliver a smashing remake, and I must admit, this is better than other recent remakes, (first and foremost, it has no rap! Yay!) but something still lacks, and I can’t seem to understand what!

Note: As I’m writing this review, this song seems to have volatilized from my brain! I mean, it released like a month ago!

Rating: 3/5

 

2. Zaalima

Singers ~ Arijit Singh & Harshdeep Kaur, Music by ~ JAM8, Lyrics by ~ Amitabh Bhattacharya

“Deedar tera Milne ke baad hi chhooti meri angdaai,
Tu hi bataade kyun zaalima main kehlaayi?
Kyun iss tarah se duniya jahaan mein Karta hai meri ruswaai?
Tu hi bataade kyun zaalima main kehlaayi!”

– Amitabh Bhattacharya

Pritam Chakraborty’s Artists and Repertoire company, JAM8 get charge of the romantic song of the album. Now isnt it such an honour to compose a romantic song for THE Shah Rukh Khan? And I must say, the team has made a good effort in keeping with the star’s legacy. Before you start hurling curses at me, I will stop judging music by star value and let’s get on with the review! So the composer(s) [I don’t really know who it is exactly for JAM8] composes this song with a very evident feel-good vibe to it, and who doesn’t like such breezy music? The mukhda has a very sunshine-ish tune to it, and the hookline is so nicely inserted into it, just like a jigsaw puzzle piece that fits into another piece perfectly. (Must be some great quality cardboard that that jigsaw puzzle is made of! Sorry.) The mukhda contains some nice couplets followed by the interjection “zaalima“, and these couplets have been put to such a nice and playful tune, you can’t help but groove to it, though it isn’t the most conventional of tunes. It reminded me of ‘Aaj Dil Shaayraana’ (Holiday)! It also has PRITAM written all over it; the composer(s??) have done a good job of recreating his style. The mukhda also has another line, which has the most brilliant of tunes, in a high scale of notes. (It’s the part that goes “Aankhein marhaba, baatein marhaba“, in case you’re wondering.) The first antara is yet another playful tune that you just can’t get enough of, especially the seamless way the tune goes from low notes to high, in a very clever bridge note. And then the tune of that “marhaba” part comes back with different words, and so do the goosebumps! After the first antara, you think that the song would end, but JAM8 had more in store. When it continues you wait for another antara or the mukhda repeated (like most songs have nowadays) but what you get is even better. A brilliant conclusion comes in the form of nice Sufi-style lines, put to a heavenly tune and Harshdeep’s awesome vocals. The arrangements are fantastic, what with the trademark Pritam guitars and dholaks on a very breezy melody. Some techno sounds are very impressive, like that nice sound at the beginning of the song, playing all the time before Arijit starts, and after each “O zaalima” hook, and in the first interlude. A nice rhythm of daflis (Iqbal Azad), quite similar to the one Pritam himself had given in ‘Gerua’ (Dilwale), gives a nice and traditional touch to the composition. The first time the “O zaalima” hook crops up, there’s a nice hit of drums (Alan Hertz). The acoustic guitars that start the song (Pawan Rasaily & Arijit Singh) are wonderful and lure the listener into the song perfectly. Even the rock guitars actually rock whenever they play. The first antara has this wonderful ‘Tum Jo Aaye’-ish tabla rhythm, taking you back to the ‘Tum Jo Aaye’ days. The second interlude is phenomenal with a nice harmonium-led (Feroz Shaikh) traditional piece. Vocals are topnotch, with both vocalists impressing. Arijit is his usual charming self, and how I love his voice in such cheerful songs. I think even composers do, because I’m hearing less of his bawling and drawling nowadays. Harshdeep is fantastic too, and her husky voice was a perfect choice to get that small amount of rustic-ness required for the song. She also sings that conclusion stanza very convincingly. The lyrics by Amitabh Bhattacharya are a good, fine example of clever poetry and have a nice ring to them, especially when Arijit sings it. The fact that the lyrics are great has been proved already, when the makers resorted to lyrics for building up pre-release buzz for the song, instead of releasing teasers of the audio or stills from the video! “Jo tere ishq mein behka pehle se hi, kya use behkaana, O zaalima!” or “Jiski har dhadkan, tu ho aise, dil ko kya dhadkaana, O zaalima!” It is just, perfectly exemplary writing. A good attempt by ‘almost’ newbies JAM8, to create a good romantic track for SRK, and what they will get in return for this is exposure i.e, exposure that being in an SRK film gives you. Surely, bigger projects are in store for them now after the middling ‘1920 London’ last year!

Note: I’m not too sure whether it is the same people behind this song for JAM8, who were behind the songs for ‘1920 London’ (Kaushik-Akash).

Rating: 3.5/5

 

3. Udi Udi Jaye

Singers ~ Sukhwinder Singh, Bhoomi Trivedi & Karsan Sagathia, Music by ~ Ram Sampath, Lyrics by ~ Javed Akhtar

“Kehne ko toh khel hai yeh tera mera sanjha,
Par mera dil hai patang aur teri nazar manjha,
Manjhe se lipti yeh patang judi judi jaaye!”

– Javed Akhtar

Ram Sampath re-enters into the album that was rightly his before JAM8 were taken on board. His next song is a garba track, but it has shades of a romantic track. And this blend has been done so well, that at one point you think it’s a dance number you’re listening to, and at another point, you think it is an out-and-out romantic song. The composition, though quite typical to the genre, is very sweet and innocent, especially the wonderfully crafted hookline. Yes, it has a bit of a 90s touch to it, but that makes it sound all the more charming. The mukhda is a direct plunge into the melody of the song, with the hookline ‘hooking’ you from the very start, just like a hookline is supposed to. That one line that Ram has composed so that we can actually say there is some kind of mukhda (The ‘kehne ko toh khel hai…‘ part) is just sooooo sweet, and whenever it repeats in the chorus, you just can’t help but smile. The antaras have been composed in a just as melodious tune, with an even more evident 90s feel to it, and that touch makes it sound as good as it does! (You see, I have no qualms with 90s touches when they’re well done!) In the second interlude, there’s a wonderful very folksy Gujarati part, crooned by Karsan Sagathia, and that is something to look out for in the song. I like the way Ram has composed such a flavourful Gujarati track, though he isn’t Gujarati himself. That just reflects the unity in diversity of India once again, I guess? 😀 The arrangements are wonderful, and make the song sound grand. If you close your eyes and listen to them, you might just feel you are in the middle of a big Navratri function in the heartlands of Gujarat itself. The powerful, booming percussion (Nitish Ranadive) just can’t be ignored, as it provides such a foot-tapping beat throughout the song. The Gujarati folksy string instruments have been put to great use. That mandolin (Tapas Roy) is just too splendid to ignore! Overall, the arrangements by Sampath set up this very happy and grand ambience, and transport you to Gujarat. Vocals are too impressive to be true. Sukhwinder, as always, is great, but his voice sounds exceptionally well here — barring those small autotunes I can hear occasionally! And the “Chaiyya Chaiyya” (Dil Se) magic is recreated! Bhoomi Trivedi gets her next big song right after her debut in ‘Ram-Leela’, and making great use of the space she gets here, she shines. Her husky voice proves just right for the track, and at places, she sounds just like Sunidhi Chauhan. Karsan’s small interlude, is fantastic, and I don’t know whether it’s a new recording, or a recording of one of his old songs. Probably the former. I don’t know. I don’t think it should matter too. 😛 Javed Akhtar’s lyrics are good; a nice romantic touch is added to the Garba setting with his words. Other than that, there wasn’t anything too exceptional about them. 🙂 A song that will go down as one of the best Garba songs of Bollywood, joining the *recent* hits like ‘Nagada Sang Dhol’ (Ram-Leela), ‘Shubhaarambh’ (Kai Po Che).

Rating: 4/5

 

4. Dhingana

Singer ~ Mika Singh, Additional Vocals by ~ Team Omgrown, Music Composed by ~ Aheer for JAM8, Music Produced by ~ Omgrown Music (Ram Sampath’s company), Lyrics by ~ Mayur Puri

“Farzi, duniya hai farzi, tedhi jab kar di ungli, toh seedhi chali,
Marzi, apni marzi, jab Hoti gardi, kismat gale lagi
Dhingana dhingana, dhandhe ka dhingana!”

– Mayur Puri

JAM8 comes back with yet another song on the album, this one credited specifically to new composer Aheer composing for JAM8. The song is your everyday gangster song, something full of attitude and loud beats that you might expect to play everywhere around for a while after the film releases. The composition by Aheer is quite good, getting the attitude and spunk quotient right, with the mukhda particularly starting the song off on a note that would get the listener hooked. As it progresses towards the hookline, the composition does get a bit heard-before and tedious, but bearable. It isn’t like the composition would bore you. The hookline itself is full of that gangster attitude. The one antara that follows too, has a nice retro-styled composition, and reminds one of Amitabh Bachchan’s Angry young Man days. One thing is for sure though, that this song will be played numerous times in parties and functions. The arrangements are your normal massy song fare, with loud masala movie styled percussions (that sound a bit too loud, thus reminding me of Sajid-Wajid’s ‘Madamiyan’ from ‘Tevar’), and cool guitars (Shon Pinto). The star of the arrangements, though, has to be the rock guitars tune, the one we heard in the trailer, and what people were calling the “Raees Theme”. They should’ve released an instrumental track based on that trumpet-and-guitars piece! Vocals by Mika are surprisingly not as irritating as they could’ve been, and that’s saying quite something! He adds a bit of a grunge to his voice in places, and it sounnds great! The song’s duration has been kept very short, under three minutes, and rightly so, situational as it is. Mayur Puri, returning in a film album as Lyricist after quite some time, writes functional lyrics, and from what I gather, it is a song where the gangster and his henchmen are celebrating about the success of their business. Enjoyable, but to an extent, that unfortunately gets reached quite soon.

Rating: 3/5

 

5. Enu Naam Che Raees

Singers ~ Ram Sampath & Tarannum Malik, Additional Vocals by ~ Team Omgrown, Music by ~ Ram Sampath, Lyrics by ~ Ram Sampath & Hiral Brahmbhatt

“Enu naam chhe Raees, Enu naam chhe Raees,
Akkhi duniya mein yeh single piece, single piece!
Heilo haalaro, hulle hullare ho!!!”

– Ram Sampath & Hiral Brahmbhatt

Here comes another theme song revolving around the central character, Raees. This one has been composed by Ram Sampath and I’m guessing, was part of the album before SRK started making amendments in the album. I say that because it is horribly disappointing! The composition is a typpppppical Ram Sampath composition. But that’s not bad, is it? Well, it isn’t but the result isn’t too satisfactory either. Yes, the composition does have certain hooks that make it work, like the “Heilo haalaro hulle hullare ho…” loop, which is family catchy, but as a whole, it just doesn’t work out as a theme song which it is meant to be. The hookline seems like something that has been composed for an advertising campaign, and doesn’t seem like something you would add into a Bollywood album. Okay, even if it were sounding like an advertising campaign and sounded good, it would be fine. However, the result is a mishmash of confused sounds and tunes. Barring the vocal loop I pointed out, everything seems below the standards. I don’t even get how the track, which is heavy on trippy Latino and club beats, has found a place in such a folksy (till now) album. It is a bit too far-fetched, no? Arrangements are just that: A confused mash of techno beats and Taufiq Qureshi-ish percussion by Farai Arendse and Dayo Afolayan. Also, I don’t know where the Salsa-style beats came from in this song! Vocals by Ram Sampath sound good, but again, it really does not go well with the rest of the album. Again, the vocalists who have sung the vocal loop, fascinate. Ram Sampath and Hiral Brahmbhatt’s lyrics are a good description of Raees’s character, but could’ve done with a much better comoosition. Sadly, so underwhelming a theme song, that I don’t know if it even will be remembered as one.

Rating: 2.5/5

 

6. Saanson Ke

Singer ~ K.K., Additional Vocals by ~ Thomson Andrews, Ryan Dias, Dean Sequeira, Murishka Dcruz, Shazneen Arethna, Gwen Dias, Music by ~ Aheer for JAM8, Lyrics by ~ Manoj Yadav

“Main kis manzil ka raahi hoon, tu kinn raahon pe laayi hai
Samajh paaun na main tujhko, naa tu mujhko…
Jo na manzoor hai mujhko, wohi manzoor hai tujhko
Samajh paaun na main tujhko, naa tu mujhko…”

– Manoj Yadav

As soon as the next song starts, you wonder whether you accidentally opened the “Raaz 5” album. The piano notes that the song starts with evoke memory of everything pertaining to the Bhatts. JAM8 returns yet again, with Aheer helming it yet again. And what follows is a very mediocre sad song, that would have (okay, might have) sounded better in any Bhatt album! The composition has been delivered strictly according to the Bhatts’ needs and requirements, and that template has been followed perfectly. Melancholia, check. Acoustic guitars and strings, check. K.K., check. However, was there any need of such a song here? A wonderfully earthy sad song a la ‘Naina’ (Dangal) could very well have been made as well. And my frustration about this song is much less about it being a trademark Bhatt-ish melody, than it is about it being such a mediocre composition! I mean, Shah Rukh had called in JAM8 to enhance the album, as he thought it was underwhelming, but in such short notice, all that JAM8 too, could offer, is this underwhelming song too! Everything about the composition sounds too heard-before and gives you the feeling that you could just as well hear all of this song’s elements in some other, better, actual Bhatt movie song! That much about the composition. Arrangements fare much better, what with a haunting chorus joining in to make it sound all the more pensive (and also dated, at times). The guitars (Roland Fernandes) help the song nicely throughout the duration. The strings very majestically grace the hookline. The best part of the arrangements are the clarinets and flutes (both by Shirish Malhotra), which you might need to strain your ears to listen to. K.K. as usual, aces the vocals, but again, I can’t help but thinking how bored he must’ve been singing this — a melody, the type of which he has sung a thousand times before! Manoj Yadav’s lyrics are a pleasure to hear, and provide the respite that the other aspects of the song do not. A misfit.

Rating: 2.5/5

 

7. Ghammar Ghammar

Singer ~ Roshan Rathod, Music Produced by ~ Ram Sampath, Composition & Lyrics ~ Traditional

“Ghammar Ghammar maru valonu gaaje,
Shaam aavi ne maari matuki phode!”

– Traditional

The last track on the album is a fun Gujarati folk song recreated by Ram Sampath. And I must say, it is quite impressive! The traditional composition has been given a nice techno revamp, and Roshan Rathod has rendered quite zestfully. What’s most impressive is that the techno sounds and the folk instruments blend perfectly and the techno sounds do not tamper the folksy feel of the song whatsoever. I really have nothing much more to say about this! Just enjoy this one! A short track to dance on in Navratri and/or Janmashtami! 😀

Rating: 3/5


Raees turned out to be quite some disappointment. First of all, you would think an album releasing so late (ONE DAY BEFORE THE MOVIE!!) must be so good for it to be delayed so much. After hearing the album, I could gather that the delay must be due to last-minute additions that clearly went wrong. Ram Sampath’s original music for the film getting scrapped, and JAM8’s new songs (out of which one is great, one is above average, and the other is average) being added like one month before the film releases, takes its toll on the album itself. Whatever was the idea behind this last-minute change of music really backfired on the music itself. And all the pre-release hype that could’ve been created by music has just been wasted. I can just say, Much ado about nothing!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 3 + 3.5 + 4 + 3 + 2.5 + 2.5 + 3 = 21.5

Album Percentage: 61. 43%

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: Udi Udi Jaye > Zaalima > Ghammar Ghammar > Dhingana > Laila Main Laila > Saanson Ke = Enu Naam Che Raees

 

Remake Counter
No. Of Remakes: 03 (from previous albums) + 01 (from Raees) = 04

 

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