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

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

Jab Harry Met Sejal Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


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

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


1. Radha

Singers ~ Sunidhi Chauhan & Shahid Mallya

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

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

 

2. Beech Beech Mein

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

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

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

 

3. Safar

Singer ~ Arijit Singh

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

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

 

4. Butterfly

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

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

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

 

5. Hawayein / Hawayein (Film Version)

Singer ~ Arijit Singh

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

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

 

6. Parinda / Parinda (Search)

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

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

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

 

7. Ghar

Singers ~ Nikhita Gandhi & Mohit Chauhan

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

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

 

8. Yaadon Mein

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

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

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

 

9. Raula

Singers ~ Diljit Dosanjh & Neeti Mohan

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

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

 

10. Jee Ve Sohaneya

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

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

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

 

11. Phurrr (Film Version)

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

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

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

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


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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

Toilet – Ek Prem Katha Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


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


1. Hans Mat Pagli

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

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

 

2. Bakheda

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

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

 

3. Gori Tu Latth Maar

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

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

 

4. Subha Ki Train

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

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


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

 

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

Album Percentage: 77.5%

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Raag Desh Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


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


1. Hawaaon Mein Woh Aag Hai

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

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

Rating: 4/5

 

2. Tujhe Namaami Ho

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

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

Rating: 5/5

 

3. Ghar Chhaado

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

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

Rating: 4/5

 

4. Teri Zameen

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

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

Rating: 5/5


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

 

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

Album Percentage: 90%

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

MULTICOMPOSERS GIVE A HUGE, BUT NANHA-MUNNA ALBUM!! (MUNNA MICHAEL – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Tanishk Bagchi, Javed-Mohsin, Vishal Mishra, Pranay M. Rijia, Gourov-Roshin, Meet Bros. & Tanishk-Vayu
♪ Lyrics by: Kumaar, Danish Sabri, Sabbir Khan & Tanishk-Vayu
♪ Music Label: Eros Music
♪ Music Released On: 21st June 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 21st July 2017

Munna Michael Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Munna Michael is an upcoming Bollywood dance/action film starring Tiger Shroff, Nidhhi Agerwal and Nawazuddin Siddiqui in central roles. The film is directed by Sabbir Khan, and produced by Viki Rajani and Eros International. The film revolves around a dance competition, in which a vagabond played by Shroff decides to participate, until he is entangled into teaching the local villain how to dance, and they both fall in love with the same girl. So, the typical *yaaaaaawwwwwwwnnn* Bollywood plot. The music is by multiple composers, featuring songs by Tanishk Bagchi, Javed-Mohsin, Vishal Mishra, Pranay M. Rijia, Gourov-Roshin, Meet Bros. & Tanishk-Vayu. I’m not excited about anybody’s song particularly, except maybe Tanishk’s solo song and Tanishk’s song with his ex-co-composer Vayu, who he partnered up with again for this song after 2015’s smashing debut for them, ‘Banno’ (Tanu Weds Manu Returns), so let’s just see what the album is about and we might just get surprised!


1. Main Hoon

Singer ~ Siddharth Mahadevan, Music by ~ Tanishk Bagchi, Lyrics by ~ Kumaar

This is a tribute to Michael Jackson, since the film is a dance film and the main character is probably an MJ fan, if we can deduce anything from his name. Tanishk’s composition is bland. Hookline is oddly-placed, but the Antara has a bearable tune. Arrangement and mixing are chaotic, as if Tanishk was adamant on using all techno sounds there are. The impactful vocals dont help either. Lyrics worth avoiding. When an oddly placed hook spoils almost the entire song!

Rating: 2/5

 

2. Ding Dang

Singers ~ Amit Mishra & Antara Mitra, Rap by ~ Parry G, Shivi & Danish Sabri, Music by ~ Javed-Mohsin, Lyrics by ~ Danish Sabri & Sabbir Khan

A tribute to Jackie Shroff (atleast lyrically). The generic composition leaves you unflinched. Typical tapori arrangements with random backing vocals of “Aah-aah”. Both vocalists fail to make the song better, and the rappers fail miserably. Lyrics are cheap, trying-to-be-funny but failing miserably again. The hook lyrics make you go, “Sorry, what???” Ding dung?

Rating: 2/5

 

3. Pyar Ho

Singers ~ Vishal Mishra & Sunidhi Chauhan, Music by ~ Vishal Mishra, Lyrics by ~ Kumaar

A very soothing romantic composition but quite heard-before, and the arrangements too remind of some songs heard in the past. The strings, guitars and digital arrangement still win your heart, though. The composer himself has sung as if he wanted Arijit to have sung it and Arijit would have been apt. Sunidhi is her usual perfect self while Neeti Mohan seems to have done backing vocals, but hasn’t been credited! Lyrics are very staid and nothing new. Best of the album but nothing creative.

Rating: 3.5/5

 

4. Swag

Singers ~ Brijesh Shandilya & Pranay M. Rijia, Music by ~ Pranay M. Rijia, Lyrics by ~ Kumaar & Sabbir Khan

A very situational song for a performance of Nawazuddin’s character. And they have tried to make it sound so-called “cool”, but it doesn’t work much. That instrumental loop that keeps repeating throughout the song is catchy, and the digital beats are cool, but sound very similar to an English song that I can’t recall. Brijesh’s vocals are the fun part of the song, but Pranay’s interruptions could have been avoided. Lyrics are bad, again. Except for Brijesh and that instrumental loop, a forgettable song.

Rating: 2.5/5

 

5. Beparwah

Singers ~ Siddharth Basrur & Nandini Deb, Music by ~ Gourov-Roshin, Lyrics by ~ Kumaar

This is one of Gourov-Roshin’s rare songs that are not recreations, and surprisingly, it starts off quite promisingly, in a retro-sounding prelude. The composition is still good, but a duration of six minutes is way too far-fetched, because the song is also very repetitive, and after one antara the song gets too boring. Arrangements are the same techno sounds that featured in the other songs, and many times in the past too. A rock interlude somewhere in the middle makes your ears bleed. Siddharth Basrur does a good job, but his cosinger, Nandini Deb, doesn’t impress. Again, lyrics are unimpressive. It is a song Hrithik Roshan should have got in 1999. 

Rating: 2.5/5

 

6. Shake Karaan

Singers ~ Kanika Kapoor & Meet Bros., Music by ~ Meet Bros., Lyrics by ~ Kumaar

I see the credits for this song.. and I prepare myself for another ‘Baby Doll’. And sure enough, those pop sounds and ladies shrieking feature in this song. I admit that the composition is catchy but not as much as previous Meet Bros-Kanika songs. The sound is a welcome change from the overpowering disco theme of the rest of the songs. Kanika’s voice is enjoyable as always. Lyrics continue to be the sloppiest they can be! A welcome change from the overbearing techno sounds of the album, but not innovative at all! 

Rating: 2.5/5

 

7. Feel The Rhythm

Singer ~ Rahul Pandey, Music by ~ Pranay M. Rijia, Lyrics by ~ Pranay M. Rijia & Sabbir Khan

Pranay’s next song is actually quite impressive. The composition is a perfect example of a catchy MJ-ish tune, complete with glitzy arrangements that Pranay aces. The techno sounds here and the techno sounds in the other songs differ so much in the freshness quotient. This one is on the lines of ‘Iss Tarah’ (Meri Pyaari Bindu) and that’s how it impressed me. Rahul Pandey sings a bit like Yash Narvekar and Benny Dayal, and sings impressively too. Again, the lyrics are the usual. A nice and fresh-sounding dance song!

Rating: 3.5/5

 

8. Beat It Bijuriya

Singers ~ Asees Kaur & Renesa Baadchi, Music by ~ Tanishk-Vayu, Lyrics by ~ Tanishk-Vayu

Tanishk-Vayu return after two years (‘Banno’; ‘Tanu Weds Manu Returns’) with another folksy song, this time with a techno twist, obviously. The song has a very superficial tune, and hard to grip. Also it sounds inspired from Tanishk’s own ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’ Title track. The arrangements match those of their first song; folksy harmonium, dhols and other techno sounds make for an entertaining listen. There’s an amazing fiddle interlude. Asees sings like never before, with a grunge in her voice in the hookline. The lyrics are a kind of funny Hinglish that I couldn’t grasp at once. Entertaining but limitedly.

Rating: 2.5/5

 

9. Pyar Ho (Redux)

Singer ~ Sunidhi Chauhan, Music by ~ Vishal Mishra, Lyrics by ~ Kumaar

Sunidhi sings this Redux of ‘Pyar Ho’ solo. It has a melancholic arrangement, with those slow and mellow piano notes, that gets quite boring to hear after some time. The strings are good enough though. Sunidhi’s solo rendition though, is a treat to the ears. The composition is the same, and the lyrics have been tweaked to make it sound sad. Not something I’d like to listen to often.

Rating: 2.5/5

 

10. Swag (Rebirth)

Singer ~ Pranay M. Rijia, Music by ~ Pranay M. Rijia, Lyrics by ~ Kumaar & Sabbir Khan

‘Swag’ had apparently died while the rest of the songs were playing, so its ‘Rebirth’ appears now. Now, whatever little elements ‘Swag’ had going for it, are all removed in this Rebirth. It has even been stripped of all melody (whatever little it had) and now sounds like a funky instrumental that makes you cringe because of the way Pranay chants those lines creepily. The arrangements are fresh here, but there’s nothing like a good tune or good vocals to accompany it. So that’s a wasted opportunity. I prefer the song in its last life.

Rating: 1.5/5


Munna Michael sounds like a very badly done ‘ABCD’ album. Then again, if ‘ABCD’ would’ve had such music, we wouldn’t have had a sequel. The overdose of (badly done) techno music really sounds useless. One song gets it right, but no others impress. When you can groove to only one song in a dance film’s album, the album’s got problems. Also, when a director or producer asks for “Give me one Kanika song, one tribute to Jackie Shroff, one to Michael Jackson, one funky Hinglish song, many wannabe retro songs”, the results are bound to be bad. ‘Munna’ is a name usually used for small kids. So may I say that these Munna Multicomposers failed miserably? 

 

Total Points Scored by This Album:  2 + 2 + 3.5 + 2.5 + 2.5+ 2.5 + 3.5 + 2.5 + 2.5 + 1.5 = 25

Album Percentage: 50%

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: Pyar Ho = Feel The Rhythm > Swag = Beparwah = Shake Karaan = Beat It Bijuriya = Pyar Ho (Redux) > Main Hoon = Ding Dang > Swag (Rebirth)

 

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

SHREYA + SUNIDHI = SHABANA!! (NAAM SHABANA – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Rochak Kohli, Meet Bros. & Bappi Lahiri
♪ Lyrics by: Manoj Muntashir, Kumaar & Anjaan
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 9th March 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 31st March 2017

Naam Shabana Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


P.S. The song ‘Dil Hua Besharam’ can be heard on Saavn, while its reprise ‘Baby Besharam’ can be heard on the YouTube audio jukebox. The Saavn link doesn’t have the latter whereas the YouTube jukebox doesn’t have the former. Thought it necessary to inform in case you get confused! 😀


Naam Shabana is a Bollywood thriller, starring Taapsee Pannu in the titular role, and Manoj Bajpayee, Prithviraj Sukumaran, Elli Avram and Taher Shabbir in supporting roles. The film has been directed by Shivam Nair, whose ‘Bhaag Johnny’ flopped in 2015. The film has been produced by Neeraj Pandey and Shital Bhatia. It is a spin-off to the 2015 super-hit film ‘Baby’, and shows the journey of Taapsee Pannu’s character Shabana from ‘Baby’, before she was roped in to be a part of the mission. The movie is definitely awaited, because of it being the first of its kind; Bollywood has been free of any spin-offs as such, and it is just wonderful that the first Bollywood spin-off is that of such a wonderful thriller. Anyway, let’s go over to the music, because we have a little more time to wait for the movie. We all remember that ‘Baby’ had been touted to be a songless film. Nevertheless, three songs had been included in its album — technically two, because one of the songs had a male and female version. Meet Bros. Anjjan had composed one promotional track, while M.M. Kreem, had composed the two-version track in question. The soundtrack was like an accessory to the film, and not something to cherish in your playlist for a long, long time. This movie seems to be different, in that it has four original tracks, with one having two versions, thus making it five songs. Rochak Kohli, who of late, just composed single additional songs that released after the albums of ‘M.S. Dhoni – The Untold Story’ and ‘Wazir’ released, comes back with a substantial chunk of an album after a long time. He last composed three songs out of the five-track ‘Welcome 2 Karachi’ (which were quite ignorable) and before that, three out of ten in ‘Hawaizaada’ (which I still listen to!) So I am not quite sure what he can give in this album, where he has three out of five songs. The other two songs are two versions of the same song, composed by Meet Bros, without Anjjan. Hopefully, they don’t give something too-hard-to-grasp like ‘Baby’s ‘Beparwah’. So let’s see what kind of music this album to a much-awaited thriller, holds in hand!


1. Rozana

Singer ~ Shreya Ghoshal, Music by ~ Rochak Kohli, Lyrics by ~ Manoj Muntashir

“Inn aankhon se yeh bataa, kitna main dekhun tujhe,
Reh jaati hai kuchh kami, jitna bhi dekhun tujhe,
Rozana main, sochun yahi,
Ki jee loongi main besaans bhi,
Aise hi tu mujhe, milta rahe agar, rozana, rozana!”

– Manoj Muntashir

Rochak decided to start the album off with a mellow, soothing song that would be enough to transport us to dreamland. The first song in the album is a romantic song that has a very beautiful composition; Rochak gets everything right in that he composes this one with the perfect Bollywood ideals of ‘romance’. Each and every note hits your heart and hits hard. The mukhda gives a nice headstart to the song, and the hookline is one which doesn’t care much about imposing itself on you but grows on you like slow poison just as I like it. The antaras hold all the magic of the song; the very powerfully lilting tune of the antaras just leaves you spellbound. The arrangements are quite minimal, but Rochak gives an impressive strings backdrop for most of the song, especially the strings in the interlude are very impressive. Guitars and piano soothe your senses like nothing else can. And also, Rochak has employed a kind of Marching rhythm to the antara. I don’t know why that’s there, but it doesn’t hamper the song in any way. The arrangements provide for a nice nighttime lullabyish listen. And the vocals are by none other than the melody queen, Shreya Ghoshal. She handles each word with utmost care, and the whispery way in which she sings the song proves yet again how wonderful she is as a singer. Unnecessary bouts of loudness can never be found when she is behind the mic. The lyrics by Manoj Muntashir are mind blowing, especially the paragraph I’ve showcased above! A MINDBLOWING start to the album, and it will definitely consolidate Rochak’s career in Bollywood.

Rating: 5/5

 

2. Zinda

Singer ~ Sunidhi Chauhan, Music by ~ Rochak Kohli, Lyrics by ~ Manoj Muntashir

“Ziddi raaston se paanv yeh, aaj bhi, jhagadna toh bhoole nahin,
Haare hain kayi dafa toh kya, aaj bhi, hum ladna toh bhoole nahin,
Aaj bhi dil baaghi hai, bas yehi kaafi hai,
Zinda hoon abhi, baaki hoon abhi,
Meri har saans mein thodi si zindagi hai abhi!”

– Manoj Muntashir

After the lulling romantic song, Rochak throws in a motivational kind of song next. This time, the composition is a bit weak. It sounds great in the first listen, but later on I found that it is quite typical and offers nothing new. The mukhda starts off the song on a slow pace, which only speeds up when the hookline arrives: the only portion of the song that remains with you after the song ends. Wonderfully composed on pensive sounding high notes, that part will definitely hook you on to the song and assure that you don’t leave it halfway. The antara that follows is also quite sombre, and doesn’t leave an impact on you, unless you hear it many times. On a whole, the song’s tune has nothing much to lap up. The arrangements also fail to offer anything different or innovative. The tune is already so laidback, but the arrangements refuse to make it more interesting, staying very minimal until, again, the hookline comes. Strings and guitars can be heard, but nothing stands out very boldly. Sunidhi Chauhan provides to the song, everything that the tune and arrangements could not. Her energy, though diffused in the song, manages to make the song repeat-listenable, even if only once or twice. Lately, she seems to have gotten stereotyped to these kind of songs. The lyrics by Muntashir, too, are good in their purpose of being motivational. A motivational song that fails to motivate a lot, but is functional to an extent. 

Rating: 3.5/5

 

3. Zubi Zubi

Singers ~ Sukriti Kakar & Rochak Kohli, Original Composition by ~ Bappi Lahiri, Music Recreated by ~ Rochak Kohli, Original Lyrics by ~ Anjaan, New Lyrics by ~ Manoj Muntashir

“Mere dil, gaaye jaa, zoo zoo zoobi zoobi zoobi,
Masti mein gaaye jaa, zoo zoo zoobi zoobi zoobi!”

– Anjaan

Next up we have Rochak’s final song for the album, and it happens to be an upbeat club number. This one is a remake, of Bappi Lahiri-composed ‘Zooby Zooby’ (Dance Dance), and it is quite a decent remake too, at that. The composition, though faltering at the beginning, turns out to be quite catchy. The mukhda is what I have a problem with — it seems forced and a bit childish. But right from the first time the hookline is sung, till the end of the song, it is an enjoyable track! The great thing is that, like it used to happen before, only the hookline of the original song has been taken, while the rest has been composed afresh. The antara is a nice continuation of the sensuous dance song, but then that line from the mukhda, “humko hai jaan se bhi pyaari aashiqmizajiyaan“, comes back to irritate. The arrangements are fantastic discoesque arrangements, recreating the Bappi Lahiri era in today’s style. Rochak has added groovy beats, and that amazing programming effect he has added to his own voice when he sings the hookline, keeps me waiting for his parts to come! It makes him sound like an awesome robot. 😀 Sukriti also, has sung well, except the mukhda. (Again!) She sounded a lot like a fake Shefali Alvares there, and I found it quite irritating, as I would have if Shefali herself had sung it. The rest of the song, she shines. Kumaar reworks around Anjaan’s original hookline, and pens down aptly enjoyable lyrics. A good remake, spoiled by a mediocre first stanza.

Rating: 3.5/5

 

4. Baby Besharam / Dil Hua Besharam

Singers ~ Jasmine Sandlas & Meet Bros / Aditi Singh Sharma & Meet Bros, Music by ~ Meet Bros, Lyrics by ~ Kumaar

(Nothing to showcase, thanks to Kumaar’s lyrical masterpieces which you’ll read of later on in the passage)

The next song is yet another club song, this one by Meet Bros. The composition sticks quite close to Bollywood’s conventions of composing a ‘catchy’ club song. Right from the beginning Meet Bros “try” to get us caught on to the composition, which, unfortunately, is very staid. The mukhda is bad, and the hookline follows suit. The antara doesn’t provide much respite in this respect either. The arrangements are typical club beats, and it sounds like it should’ve released a year or two ago. Meet Bros have added this weird synthesiser tune, which sounds like the song is part of a comedy movie, an adult comedy to be precise. I wonder if this song was actually composed for some other movie before, and then moved over to ‘Naam Shabana’ Because it couldn’t find a place anywhere else. The vocals are what differentiate one version of the song from the other. It actually had released first in Jasmine’s voice, and that one is outright banal, sounding like it is trying to imitate ‘Yaar Na Miley’ (Kick). Aditi Singh Sharma, though not eligible to win a Best Singer prize or anything for her rendition, provides respite MERELY IN COMPARISON TO Jasmine Sandlas. At least her voice is more club-environment-friendly. Yes, she does spoil some lines with her unnecessarily stylish accent. Oh yeah, and she knows how to pronounce the “Baby” as “Bebe” (which you need to practise if you ever want to make it big in Bollywood as a club singer!), as opposed to Jasmine singing “Baby” as “Bebi”. The way they sing “beyyyyyysharam” is quite torturous. I guess it was first going to be included in ‘Besharam’ as the title track (that would explain the comedic arrangements), until Ishq Bector & Shree D saved us by stepping in. Kumaar’s lyrics feature lyrical masterpieces like “Rafaa dafaa sufi bandon ko karke nasha vasha karlo“, and “Thoda sa bigadne mein bolo na kya harz hai?“. *Slow claps*

Rating: 1/5 for Baby Besharam, 1.5/5 for Dil Hua Besharam


Naam Shabana is a decent album, but not great. Its predecessor had two songs, so it was okay that only one worked. This has four songs, out of which only one works perfectly, the others are decent, and one is bad. For a thriller, the album is apt, with a romantic song, a motivational song, and two situational club songs. However, it will have less of a connect with the audiences. Rochak has done a commendable job though! The only good thing I might remember about this album years later is that it has both Shreya and Sunidhi, modern stalwarts of the Bollywood music industry, lending their voices to the songs.

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 5 + 3.5 + 3.5 + 1 + 1.5 = 14.5

Album Percentage: 58%

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: Rozana > Zubi Zubi = Zinda > Dil Hua Besharam > Baby Besharam

 

Remake Counter:
No. Of Remakes: 08 (from previous albums) + 01 (from Naam Shabana) = 09

 

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

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! 🙂

CAREFREE EUROPEAN EXPERIMENTATION!! (BEFIKRE – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Vishal-Shekhar
♪ Lyrics by: Jaideep Sahni
♪ Music Label: YRF Music
♪ Music Released On: 1st December 2016
♪ Movie Releases On: 9th December 2016

Befikre Album Cover

Befikre Album Cover

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Befikre is an upcoming Bollywood rom-com film starring Vaani Kapoor and Ranveer Singh. The film is written, directed and produced by Aditya Chopra, who returns to the director’s chair after 8 years, after his last film, ‘Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi’. This new film of his celebrates being carefree in love, and looks like a light-hearted and fun romantic comedy. The film is scheduled to release on 9th December 2016, and prior to a film’s release, as always, it is solely the music and the occasional dialogue promos that provide it that extra boost in the pre-release week, that will take the public to the theatres. The duo behind the music is none other than Vishal-Shekhar, who have had a fantastic year, what with the single from ‘Fan’, the ‘Sultan’ album, the ‘Akira’ album and the ‘Banjo’ album. Though the last album was a bit disappointing as compared to the others, this one is bound to have great music, with the film having been set in Europe, and more particularly, in Paris, and we know how good the duo are with Western-styled music. The film’s music has had a long promotional period, starting on September 9th 2016, and spanning to December 1st, when the whole album released. Till then, the makers released five singles and just when I started to think that they will follow the strategy that Sony Music followed for ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’, the full album released, but just a week before the film does. That’s better than two days before the film though! During the long span of time for which the makers have been promoting the songs, many songs have already struck a chord with the public. So without further ado, lest the movie should release before I finish writing (as you know by now how I tend to overflow with words), let’s jump into this album!

By the way, I’m starting something new from this album onwards.. I noticed that lyrics haven’t been getting their due in my reviews unless they’re very bad (😂) so before the review of every song begins, I will add some of my favourite lines from the song as a kind of showcase! 😀 They might be lines I love, or lines I want to ridicule or lines that are simply humorous! Or they can be lines that sum up the whole song for me! So look out for those! Hope you like them! 😀


1. Nashe Si Chadh Gayi
Singers ~ Arijit Singh & Caralisa Monteiro

“Oh, udti patang jaise, mast Malang jaise,
Masti si Chadh gayi humko turant aise,
Lagti current jaise nikla warrant jaise,
Abhi abhi utra ho net se torrent jaise!”

The first song of the album is the one that has been making the most buzz lately, and it certainly deserves to be on the tip of everyone’s tongues! The song is a nice mélange of Punjabi and European musical elements, and the result is fascinating and quite intoxicating. The composition by Vishal-Shekhar is just the most basic thing you can hear these days, yet it surprises me how beautiful it ends up sounding for some reason! At first listen, it sounds like a very typical, run-of-the-mill Punjabi tune, but later grows on you so much, that the name of the song just suits the song! Vishal-Shekhar have overdone themselves, and also made an awesome and trippy song by using just three choruses that keep on repeating throughout the song, with a conclusion that concludes it on a very good note. Before this, I’ve never seen any other composer (of course, other than Himesh Reshammiya) do the whole repeating-the-tune-all-throughout-the-song thing so well! Vishal-Shekhar take three main tunes, the first being the hookline, “Nashe Si Chadh Gayi oyeee..” the second being the French counterpart of the hookline with those cute and funny “Kaale-oh, Kaale-oh” chipmunk voices, and the last being the wonderful fast-paced portions. The concluding stanza is just an awesome revamp of what traditional Punjabi songs usually comprise. It takes the song from the trippy and upbeat portions to a lilting, but still trippy, romanticised portion, which yet again makes way for the upbeat part before the song ends. Of course, we must compliment the arrangements too, for making a tune that might otherwise be seen as repetitive, into something so intoxicating. The Spanish/Arabic trap music, complete with that Arabic percussion, is just too irresistible. Also, the way the song starts off, with a drop of whatever-you-want-to-assume, is suchhhhhh an apt beginning to the song, which is clearly about intoxication. :p The techno sounds that the duo has added in between the lines of the hookline, are amazing, especially the “Kaale-oh” which I mentioned earlier. The club beats that might be a commonplace thing in the West, do sound quite innovative as per Bollywood’s standards, and yet bring some kind of old-world charm to the song due to the very earthy Punjabi composition. Also, it is interesting how the duo has kept the song sounding quote pleasant to the ears and not too loud, in spite of the beats! Now, on to the vocals! First of all, Arijit sheds his goody-two-shoes image, and renders this with all the spunk and gusto he can muster, which, not surprisingly, is a lot!! Whatever he has done seems to have worked so well, that people I know have actually asked me whether the singer of the song is Adnan Sami or Benny Dayal! Also, the way Arijit says “oyeee”! Too good! Caralisa on the other hand, gets the best portions of the song, and though they are in French, I find myself singing the hookline in French rather than the one in Hindi! Jaideep Sahni’s Lyrics are fun and very intelligently pleasant. Take this for example: “Khulti basant jaise, Dhulta kalank jaise, Dil ki daraar mein ho Pyaar ka cement jaise, Akhiyon hi akhiyon mein Jung ki front jaise, Mil jaye sadiyon se atka refund jaise”! Jaideep’s lyrics acually reminded me of ‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga’ (1942- A Love Story) because of the descriptions of the girl followed by the word “jaise”! A song that will actually get you grooving on it for many days to come! Nashe sa chadh gaya oyeee.. gaana nashe sa chadh gaya! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

2. Ude Dil Befikre
Singers ~ Benny Dayal & Sophie Choudry

“Dard mein yeh nikhre, haath mein jo pakde,
Banke rooi bikhre, armaan hain roohon ke nakhre!”

The next song is the much-awaited title song of the film, which we all heard in the trailer, and which increased everybody’s expectations from the album! So, the composition could otherwise be a very common Bollywood tune, but since the setting of the movie is Paris, the tune sounds all the more European, and we actually start to think of it as a folksy European tune! Anyway, those earlier Bollywood songs of Raj Kapoor’s era were inspired by European music! Back to the song, it takes on a much louder feel than the first song. The composition, as I said, is a nice and folksy European one if you look at it that way. The mukhda is basically the hook of the song, and it is marvellous! The youthful feel to it makes it gain this youth appeal that will really work in its favour. The antara is even better, with its European folksy nuances added perfectly by the duo to a very old-fashioned-sounding composition and delivered impeccably by Benny Dayal. The part where they count in French and end on a blasting Un! (meaning ‘one’) is so good! The opening tune, too, is good — the one played on those folk instruments. Speaking of instruments, let’s go on to the arrangements! The song starts off with awesome Balkan sounds, one sounding a lot like a bazooka. Also, a wonderful oud/rabaab can occasionally be heard there, while the rest is probably synth sounds. However, that amaziiiiinnng percussion just takes away your breath! Not that I doubt Vishal-Shekhar have the ability to do it, but Mikey McCleary is the music producer for the album, and maybe that’s where that distinct European feel has come into all the Bollywoodish tunes! Later in the song we can hear nice claps that go along with the beats, and that bazooka tune keeps repeating, only to please the listeners! 😀 The second interlude has a wonderful rabaab solo which is definitely not to be missed! What’s more, the second antara that follows is completely arranged on that rabaab! Towards the end, Benny evokes a very nomadic folksy voice that tops the whole European setting! Benny is absolutely marvellous throughout the song. His husky voice proves just right for the nuances in Balkan folk music (which of course, does meet the Turkish/Arabic music in some way — Europe and Asia being close as they are). Sophie Choudry is supposed to have sung the French vocals, but the only French vocals I hear are a whisper at the beginning of the song, before the mukhda begins, and that’s kind of minimal. But I guess she also joins Benny in the French counting. Jaideep’s lyrics here aren’t something extraordinary, but good for a situational title track. It definitely does describe the carefree nature of the main characters! A spunky title track, with an old-world tune but livening arrangements and vocals, which make this one a winner! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

3. Je T’aime
Singers ~ Vishal Dadlani & Sunidhi Chauhan

“Na dis jamais je T’aime, je T’aime, Na dis jamais je T’aime,
Kehna na yaar pyaar hai, na dis jamais je T’aime!
Phir dil niklega haathon se, Kar le khud pe reham,
Neendein phislengi raaton se, Kar le khud pe reham!”

The next song takes the form of a dreamy, lilting melody that befits the city of Paris in all ways! The song starts with a dialogue from the movie, and I hate when movie dialogues are incorporated into the audio tracks even in today’s world of editing and autotune. So I will have to ignore those dialogues, which are thankfully backed by a nice guitar, and get on to the actual song. A nice and soothing whistle starts off the song, and it abruptly stops to make way for the hook line of the song, which is started off very nicely by Vishal Dadlani. The duo’s composition is the first and foremost reason for the song instantly appealing to your ears. It is impossible to not love this song! 😀 The lilting melody that the duo has crafted in a very European style, sounds both catchy and sensual at the same time. The part after the mukhda which goes “Dard mein royega tu, yaar bhi khoyega tu..” sounds as dreamy as dreamy can get! Also, the line before the hookline is beautifulllll! Towards the end, a wonderful concluding stanza shows how the duo can keep up a certain kind of romance in the air throughout the song. The hookline itself overflows with romance and passion. The arrangements help just as much in making the song worth hearing again and again. A wonderful burst of classical French-styled music, complete with the orchestra, finger snaps, acoustic guitars and whatnot, brings a smile to your face. The saxophone wonderfully bridges stanzas to each other, while the violins excel in the interlude. Again, the duo (and McCleary) do a wonderful job at the instrumentation. The xylophone-thing in the antara, is just tooooooo adorable! The vocals are amazing and couldn’t have been any better! Vishal sounds very sensual, while Sunidhi sounds unusually young, to a great effect. The romance between the two characters can be feel even though the song, and that’s kind of rare in a song! Jaideep’s lyrics are wonderful here too, and the “Never say I love you” theme is very beautifully conveyed. A wonderful piece of art, possibly Vishal-Shekhar’s best romantic song of this year! And Sunidhi is just 😍😍😍😍! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

4. You And Me
Singers ~ Nikhil D’Souza & Rachel Varghese

“Raste, tedhe medhe raste, jab bhi ho jaaye kabhi yahaan, dal-dal lage jahaan,
Hass le, baahon ko phaila ke, thodi pi jaaye khuli Hawa, free mein mili hawa!”

As soon as this next song starts with its funky beats, you can’t help but get up and groove! A wonderful Mikey McCleary-ish guitar piece warmly welcomes you into the song, and then the crazy elements start appearing one by one. First of all, a weird-sounding bazooka-like sound, which gives way to an awesome and zany vocal rhythm that goes “wave it up up pom wayyy owww” and really gets you into the feel of the song. The composition turns out to be quite a simple one, in that it has not much going on, but it is really fun to hear. The mukhda is really nice, and though it has the same tune repeating eight times, it doesn’t seem monotonous at all. The antara might lose some of your attention, but as soon as it gets to the part where it is about to join the hookline, it gets its act together, and gets saved by a narrow margin! Also, since its short, it doesn’t really matter! The duo’s arrangements are really fun and enjoyable. That foot-tapping beat is just something you can’t forget easily, and see Ranveer and Vaani dancing to it in the video and the step won’t leave your head either. 😛 The drums have been put a really good use, while that aforementioned bazooka-thing (maybe a mouth organ) really excels throughout the song. Even in the interlude, it takes centre stage. The ukulele is awesome throughout the song. Vocals are topnotch yet again. Nikhil D’Souza gets a song he deserves after a long time, and seizes the opportunity, shining throughout. Rachel Varghese, a singer who has been singing for Mikey McCleary quite often, gets her big break after songs in small albums, that went unnoticed, though good. She sings her lines with the required amount of spunk. Jaideep writes fun lyrics that scream “friendship”. It is fun to listen to those situational lyrics. A teddy-bear song i.e, one that you can cuddle with as if it’s a teddy bear, because it’s so cute! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

5. Labon Ka Karobaar
Singer ~ Papon

“Dhoop mein ishq chaaon, dard mein aaraam,
Makhmali har raat, sharbati har shaam
Ishq ka leke naam, dil se nikle salaam
Na chhupa na dabaa, hoja tu belagaam”

After the zany and funky beats, yet another dreamy song comes our way, and just as the former romantic song on the album, this one too, is high on European music conventions! However, no complaints, because in this one, everything falls into place right away. The composers start the song right away, and as Papon takes over right from the first second of the second, you cant help but remember his wonderful rendition of ‘Bulleya’ from Vishal-Shekhar’s other album with YRF this year, ‘Sultan’. Anyway, back to this song. The tune is entrancing. From the first note to the last, the duo makes sure the listener’s attention is on nothing but the song, and they go to great lengths to do so. The song starts off with a nice and cute piece that verges on opera. The same tune repeats in a more quick tempo, and it sounds just as beautiful there too. And at the end of the verse, we get the title of the song. 😀 The “Rooh gaaye, jhoom jaaye…” line is just pure blisssssss! NOTHING could have taken its place on the song, and I’m so glad the duo has asse!bled the song the way they did. And then we go on to the antara, which just leaves no doubt that the song has turned out as fascinating as could ever be! The lines of the antara are just so captivating and sensual, that you just can’t not like them! Not to mention that they’ve been penned down wonderfully by Jaideep as well! The arrangements are something else that stun you from the first second of the song. The mandolin and harmonica just don’t know their limits! They keep on playing, yet make you crave for more. The violins are just opulent. The güiro, which is what’s making that croaking sound at 1:14 and 1:19, and at many, many other places in the song, is just an unsung hero! The violins in the antara actually make it sound silky! The way the antara has been abruptly glued to the hookline, in all its abruptness, seems such a seamless transition and I can’t praise Vishal-Shekhar enough for that! Towards the end, the various degrees of “Jebon mein bikhre hain taare” are a delight to hear! Papon’s voice is heaven! This man sings hardly three to four songs every year, but makes sure all of them are spectacular gems. Sadly, they’re some of the least promoted songs in their respective movies. 😦 In this song, he has taken on a wonderfully pleasant, sultry voice that suits the theme oh-so-well! Jaideep Sahni’s lyrics are something that can’t be spoken enough about! The way each line glides into the other, thanks to the duo Vishal-Shekhar’s expertise, makes them even more pleasant to listen to. The way he has described “kissing” as “Labon ka Karobaar” (the affairs of the lips) is innovative as well as super-genius. A gem!! Nothing less, nothing more! Please YRF, use this in the movie so that everyone can hear it!! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

6. Khulke Dulke
Singers ~ Gippy Grewal & Harshdeep Kaur, Backing Vocals by ~ Vishal Dadlani, Kunal Ganjawala & Ankur Tewari

“Ik jindadi na Kar haanji-hunji,
Maar de chhalanga with a bungee, bungee”

Everything about this album was European till now. There were some glimpses of Punjabi in ‘Nashe Si Chadh Gayi’, but that too was overshowed by internationally-appealing club beats. But now, we get a full-too, completely Punjabi song. The song does appear as an incongruity in the otherwise European-themed album, but if I were to judge it as a fun song, it stands proudly in its place. The composers try their best to give it a tune that will attract listeners even after the Western-ness of the previous tracks. And, Indians since we are, the song surely does appeal! The Punjabi-flavoured composition really gives the song a very fun theme and something that can be easily danced on. The song has this sinister sound, unlike the light sound of most Punjabi dance songs. The line “Ishq Di bungee baandh le yaaaaar…” is just so catchy, that you will find yourself singing it all day if you hear the song enough. The hookline too, is fun and enjoyable. The antara is nice and relieving from the loudness of the mukhda. The backing vocalists singing the “Ik jindadi na Kar haanji-hunji” line really surprised me and I found that part really funny, in a good way! The overall tune of the song smelled strongly of Vishal-Shekhar’s own ‘Dil Dance Maare’ (Tashan), but I didn’t find this as irritating as that one. 😛 The arrangements are just as required — loud and quirky. The brass band really squeezes its own life out by overworking itself. The tumbi tune at the beginning is so catchy, as are the horns. The dhols really sound great on earphones. The arrangements might seem like a mishmash at first listen, but in earphones they sound very clear, so do try that experience. Vocals are where the song falters a bit, with Gippy singing in a painfully high-pitched voice. However, you get accustomed to that too, thanks to the other wonderful elements of the song. Also, Harshdeep Kaur is there as the female vocalist, so what can go wrong! She sings her parts very efficiently, and for some reason, reminded me of Shreya Ghoshal’s voice! I don’t know why! 😛 Vishal Dadlani, Kunal Ganjawala and Ankur Tewari in the backing vocalists do an awesome job and provide nice entertainment just when the song seems to be dipping downwards. Jaideep’s lyrics here are quite situational, but that use of the ‘Bungee’ as a metaphor for love is hilarious!!! 😀 Enjoyable! Seems like a black sheep, but is actually a fun respite from the heavy romance in the previous song! I enjoyed it! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

7. Love Is A Dare

(Instrumental), Vocals ~ Rachel Varghese & Sophie Choudry

The album ends on a pact note, with an instrumental track, which is essentially a mélange of all the upbeat tracks we heard in the album. The track starts on a hard-hitting note, with rock guitars starting it off and the “kaale-oh” chipmunk sound from ‘Nashe Si Chadh Gayi’ accompanying it. Later on, it turns into a very thrilling instrumental rock version of the song, which sounds just as infectious as the original song itself. The techno sounds having been used quite generously, the instrumental version really does sound great. After that, not so seamlessly, the song switches to the title song, and this time, Sophie’s French vocals are audible clearly. Against the backdrop of wonderful Spanish guitars, Sophie’s French part from the title track makes for a good variation from the hard rock sound of the initial song. A nice tap-dance music follows, with the tune of the title track played on Spanish guitars, violins gracefully accompanying. And then we switch to the next track, with Rachel Varghese reprising the “wave it up up pom” from ‘You and Me’ for a very short time period, before the song switches yet again to ‘Je T’aime’, the only lilting and lulling piece in the whole instrumental track. Wonderful violins play the main melody of the song, while trumpets wonderfully complement it. Before you know it, the instrumental, which was almost as long as a complete song in itself, is over! Though the medley as such wasn’t very fluid, it was a pleasure to hear all the great songs from the album again. A good finale to the album! #5StarHotelSong!!


Befikre is easily Vishal-Shekhar’s best album this year. Seven tracks full of variety make for a nice repeat-listen album. The last time we had such a good, wholesome commercial album was not too long ago, in ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’. With two dreamy romantic ballads, four fun and enjoyable songs and one instrumental, the album has a lot to offer, and succeeds in its intention. The carefree attitude of the main characters is reflected well in the album, and it is nice to see an album that both sticks to the film’s requirements as well as caters to the audiences. Vishal-Shekhar close their account for 2016 with a winner — a carefree mix of experimental tracks that offers songs according to Bollywood’s music sensibilities, but with an European twist!

 

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: Labon Ka Karobaar > Je T’aime > Whatever order suits you! 😀

 

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