A HAPPY WEDDING OF PUNJABI AND ELECTRONIC MUSIC!! (VEERE DI WEDDING – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Shashwat Sachdev, Vishal Mishra, Qaran Mehta & White Noise
♪ Lyrics by: Anvita Dutt, Raj Shekhar, Shellee, Shashwat Sachdev, Gaurav Solanki, Qaran Mehta, Rupin Pahwa, Badshah & White Noise
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 8th May 2018
♪ Movie Released On: 1st June 2018

Veere Di Wedding Album Cover

 

Listen to the songs: Saavn

Buy the songs: iTunes


Veere Di Wedding is a Bollywood coming-of-age film revolving around four friends played by Kareena Kapoor Khan, Sonam K. Ahuja, Swara Bhasker and Shikha Talsania. The film is directed by Shashanka Ghosh and produced by Ekta Kapoor, Shobha Kapoor, Anil Kapoor and Rhea Kapoor. Now, the film has been creating buzz right from its trailer release, and the music which has become a rage across the nation already (not all songs but a select few) has been composed by composers including Shashwat Sachdev, Vishal Mishra, Qaran Mehta and White Noise. Shashwat and Vishal are two young talents that haven’t yet disappointed with whatever they’ve composed. On the other hand, Qaran, who has been assisting music directors like Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Pritam for quite some time now, gets to make his composing debut with this film, and White Noise is actually Sachin-Jigar’s Artists & Repertoire venture like Pritam’s JAM8. So there is reason enough to believe this will be an enjoyable multicomposer album.


The lead composer, Shashwat Sachdev, actually has four songs in the album, which is half the number of original songs there are in the album, so let’s start with his songs. 😁
Pappi Le Loon, the album opener on all the streaming websites as well, is a fun-filled, catchy number, where, surprisingly, the vocals arrangements outdo the composition! You can even say there is almost nothing by way of composition; the entire stress is laid on the way the sound interacts with the booming vocals by Sunidhi Chauhan. Shashwat’s electronic music is impressive too, and as such, he didn’t need a strong tune, to make this song any better! Everything has been done by the entertaining vocals and arrangements. The Punjabi-flavoured portions nicely marry the electronic sound and make this song one to look forward to in the album — one of the main attractions in the album, I would say. And when has Sunidhi Chauhan ever underperformed? And Shellee’s lyrics are suitably quirky and fun.
In another Punjab-meets-electronic music fusion, Sachdev serves a folk song in modern packaging, quite the same way he did ‘Naughty Billo’ back in ‘Phillauri’, where he turned the folk song ‘Jhooth Boliya’ into a trippy hip-hop number. Here he gets to remake ‘Bhangra Ta Sajda’ into an EDM-Punjabi music fusion track named Bhangra Ta Sajda (No One Gives A Damn!). The song itself is really entertaining; it has everything you’d require to groove at a wedding, and out of one too — trippy EDM, entertaining dhols, and a nice touch of sarangi, something Shashwat seems to love hiding in each of his upbeat songs. Romy delivers an amazing performance, and Neha Kakkar delivers one which made me like her voice in a song after a long, long time. The initial retro-ish portion of the song has been done well, and Gaurav Solanki’s lyrics are just quirky fun. (I have a feeling I’ll be saying this about every song in the album)
Shashwat’s best comes with Bass Gira De Raja, where he composes, writes and sings the song! The song is standard Shashwat quirky fusion; the composition instantly has you hooked,and the lyrics actually had me smiling at certain points. The man sings amazingly too, and once the bass drops, the song becomes much more interesting than it was when it started. The way Sachdev plays and experiments with different sounds is what makes me look forward to his composing for many more films in the future. In ‘Phillauri’ he got to do a completely traditional Punjabi sound, and the fact that he is doing such experimental stuff here, showcases his versatility and talent!
His weakest song, and probably the weakest song of the album, Aa Jao Na, comes next, with its repetitive tune that is actually the typical Arijit melody. Even though it reaches a peak at one point, it just goes back to same droning nature over and over again — which gets really boring after a point. What’s more, composer Shashwat Sachdev doesn’t even give us much to chew on as Arijit belts out the repetitive tune — just digital beats and very few piano notes, which don’t really fill in the gaps well. Anyway, I know this song is going to be the biggest and most popular, so whatever I just wrote might just not matter.
The composer with the next largest number of songs is yet another upcoming talent Vishal Mishra, who still has me stunned by his amazing two songs in ‘Qarib Qarib Singlle’ last year. His part of the album starts with the song that everyone loved right from the trailer, Veere, which can best be described as the movie’s theme song. He takes the friendship theme of the film, and constructs such a positive composition using that idea, it’s quite surprising this song didn’t come from a Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy or a Pritam! It totally belongs to the rom-com age of Bollywood when they made happy songs like this for movies like ‘Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu’, ‘Anjaana Anjaani’, etc. The hookline has the listener in a trance the first time it plays, and keeps entrancing the listeners everytime it plays! To break the trance though, unfortunately, there are some elements that the song could’ve done without. First of all, the too-many-to-keep-track-of female singers! If you ask me, Aditi Singh Sharma was the only one who should have sung the female part, because I can unfortunately make out Iulia Vantur over there, and unfortunately, she starts the unfortunate female portion. How unfortunate. But happily, things are better in the second antara, where Vishal Mishra comes back to take things under control, and the female chorus here sounds amazing. He’s the second composer on the album now, who sings just as well as he composes! Wow! We have a cool future for Bollywood music! 🙂 Also, Anvita Dutt’s lyrics make for a really enjoyable friendship anthem, so that middle portion can easily be ignored!
Vishal Mishra sings his next song Dagmag Dagmag along with Payal Dev, who sounds like a less hyperactive version of Neha Kakkar. Anyway, the song could be easily mistaken for an Amit Trivedi song, with that amazingly catchy digital beat, and quirky tune. The hookline, which sounds the cheesiest the first time, really sets in with the passage of time (the number of times you listen to the song) and doesn’t sound as cheesy later on. The arrangements are mostly digital, as mentioned above, and that’s mainly where it resembles the Trivedi sound. Both the singers do an amazing job and seem to have had a fun time singing this track.
Qaran Mehta’s Tareefan, is an insanely catchy and addictive club track, Badshah sounding like he has never sounded before! Qaran’s programming is the main reason the song sounds so fresh, and that addictive hookline, and the loop that goes on behind it in the song, I can’t stop praising the song; it’s like a guilty pleasure listen of mine. 😂 The flak the song has been receiving is just so unjustified — how can you hate a song if you hate its music video? This song will probably remain the catchiest club song of 2018 for me, and even that cringeworthy rap of Badshah’s takes getting used to, but you end up ignoring that by the time you’re addicted to the song. Qaran, hor das kinni tareefan chaidi ae tenu?
The song appears in two more versions, one being a Remix By Dj Notorious, which is also quite addictive (as if the original song wasn’t sounding like a remix itself) and so it sounds like another version of the song, had DJ Notorious programmed it instead of Qaran himself. The Reprise Version acquaints us with a promising new singer, Lisa Mishra, whose voice seems weird on the song at first, but then it starts sounding better and better than that. The unplugged version required such a calm and soothing rendition, because the composition, which is quite strong, makes sure that it can stay fresh in any form, be it a club song, or a soothing number like this reprise.
As for the last song of the album, Laaj Sharam by Sachin-Jigar’s A&R venture White Noise, the song is also quite weak as compared to the rest of the album. Something seems off in White Noise’s fusion of Punjabi and electronic music, but the vocalists Divya Kumar and Jasleen Royal save the song with their entertaining rendition. Jasleen’s voice gets a makeover; she puts on a husky voice here, and I wish she uses this voice in more of her own compositions from now on; of course, when and if the need arises. The hookline for this song sounds unnecessarily repetitive, but the dhols do the job in pulling you through that. Enbee’s rap is passable, and it’s not like it ends soon, and the composers don’t add any entertaining music in the background during that either! Overall, this ends up as the second weakest song on the album for me.


A ten song album, this really delivers what was promised in such a huge scale wedding flick about friendship. The soundtrack has variety, and after listening to it so many times, I can say it has the potential to live even after the movie is watched and forgotten by everyone.The biggest achievement this soundtrack has made, is that, though it has multiple composers, they all have one set aim which they all succeed in — to make Punjabi music marry electronic music!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 8 + 7.5 + 6.5 + 9 + 8.5 + 8 + 8.5 + 6.5 + 7.5 + 7 = 77

Album Percentage: 77%

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: Just Listen to them all in the order given on Saavn. 😂

Which is your favourite song from Veere Di Wedding? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂

Advertisements

SHANTANU SCORES, OTHERS ARE FORCED!! (OCTOBER – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Shantanu Moitra, Anupam Roy & Abhishek Arora
♪ Lyrics by: Tanveer Ghazi, Swanand Kirkire & Abhiruchi Chand
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 28th March 2018
♪ Movie Released On: 13th April 2018

October Album Cover

 

Listen to the songs: Saavn

Buy the songs: iTunes


October is a Bollywood film starring Varun Dhawan, Banita Sandhu and Gitanjali Rao. The film is directed by Shoojit Sircar and produced by Ronnie Lahiri and Sheel Kumar. The film’s music is scored by Shantanu Moitra, Anupam Roy and Abhishek Arora, three composers who have recurring composed for Sircar’s films. Let’s see how well this album turns out!


Lead composer Shantanu Moitra really knows how to shed his Raju Hirani composition style when necessary. For Shoojit Sircar production “Pink” (2016), he created a pensive melody “Kaari Kaari”. This time, he starts the album off with the instrumental that has gained monumental success (especially since it is an instrumental), the October Theme. The track is full of beautiful violins (lead violin by Rohan Roy), a soulful piano (George Joseph, Artem Panteleev), not to forget the deep cello (Ilya Ten). Shantanu’s composition is beautiful, but the treatment he gives it with the instrumentation is what makes it redeeming.
That’s proved in the next song Chal, where the same tune, doesn’t create quite the same impact. Shantanu adds a very awkward 70s pop sound, not going quite well with the standard set by its instrumental version. Monali’s voice sounds very different, and Tanveer Ghazi’s lyrics create no impact whatsoever except a bit of occasional awkwardness. I must say though, the guitars (Ankur) are catchy.
It’s in Manwaa that the composer strikes gold. Sunidhi Chauhan’s voice is a perfect choice for the heart-warming semiclassical composition, and Shantanu’s trademark style of repeating an instrumental loop in the background works wonders as always. Swanand Kirkire pens soulful lyrics, while Shantanu accompanies Sunidhi’s voice with amazing arrangements — mostly digital beats, making it a wonderful fusion track. The composition of the antara is excellent, Sunidhi mastering the high notes as always. The song is hands down the best of the album, and most suited for the film!
Anupam Roy’s Tab Bhi Tu, in the initial couple of listens, sounds like the typical Bollywood Rahat cry fest, but after some time, I warmed up to it. It is definitely a new genre that Anupam Roy tried, and the composition, though maudlin and heavy to the ears, takes some getting accustomed to before you keep humming it all day. Shamik Chakraborty’s arrangements are the highlight here, with the electric guitars (Rishabh Ray) and drums (Sandipan Parial) standing out, and the flute (Sushanta Nandi) neutralising the rock. Tanveer Ghazi’s lyrics, again, create less impact.
Abhishek Arora’s song Theher Ja, is probably the one that suits the film the least, and though the composition is amazing, the composer ruins it with a techno beat, and electric guitars and the like. I would’ve preferred an unplugged version or a version with piano and violins against Armaan’s soothing vocals. Abhiruchi Chand’s lyrics are functional.


Considering that there were no songs in the film, the composers managed to give some good songs, but nothing more, except one I’ll love forever! What the result is, is that Shantanu, also the background score composer for the film, ends up composing within the film’s soundscape, but the others’ songs sound forced in just to create a music album! 

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 8 + 6.5 + 9.5 + 7 + 6 = 37

Album Percentage: 74%

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: 
Manwaa > October Theme > Tab Bhi Tu > Chal > Theher Ja

 

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

DIL RAAZI HAI, TO LISTEN ON LOOP!! (RAAZI – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy
♪ Lyrics by: Gulzar
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 18th April 2018
♪ Movie Released On: 11th May 2018

Raazi Album Cover

 

Listen to the songs: Saavn

Buy the songs: iTunes

 


Raazi is an upcoming Bollywood period espionage thriller (I swear I made that term up myself; what else can you call it?!) starring Alia Bhatt, Vicky Kaushal, Rajit Kapur, Jaideep Ahlawat, Amruta Khanvilkar and Soni Razdan in lead roles. The film is directed by ‘Talvar’ fame Meghna Gulzar, and produced by Karan Johar, Hiroo Yash Johar, Apoorva Mehta and Junglee Pictures. The film is based on the novel ‘Calling Sehmat’ by Harinder Sikka. Now, thrillers in Bollywood have very little scope for music. Meghna Gulzar, in her first movie ‘Talvar’, had roped in Vishal Bhardwaj for the music since he was the writer and producer for the film. Here though, she goes for Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, the trio who invented the Bollywood rom-com sound as we know it these days (by which I mean most of the rom-coms that stay obedient and don’t follow the multicomposer trend), which was a surprise. This is the trio’s first project after ‘Rock On 2’ in November 2016, and whose music released in September 2016, so that was a long wait. And even after the wait, it was a thriller film we were going to get their comeback album for, and not a rom-com as I would have liked. Nevertheless, expectations weren’t low! It’s Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Gulzar after all; what can go wrong?


Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, who we are hearing after more than one and a half years, do not make it that obvious. When you come back with a melody as strong as Ae Watan, you really don’t need to worry about whether audiences will remember you even after so long. Half the battle is won there itself! Now, the song comes in two versions, the male version by Arijit, and the female version by Sunidhi. Arijit’s Version has done a good job in attracting the masses towards the album, but that doesn’t mean Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy compromise on its quality. The song is reminiscent of olden day patriotic numbers, complete with a resplendent backing chorus (Raman Mahadevan, Ravi Mishra, Binaya Mohanty, Arun Kamath & Arshad Mohammed). Arijit is in his element, especially when he starts the song with that wonderfully seamless transition from the low to high octave! Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy help him with immersive arrangements that do not fail to appeal to the patriot within you. The strong melody too, makes its mark felt. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s strings and percussions are wonderful, with heavy hangovers from their “Lakshya” album. Just as he started, Arijit ends the song on a high note, literally!
Sunidhi’s Version, on the other hand, takes the folksy rote, making for a blissful and heavenly listen. Sunidhi, as always, sings brilliantly, but it doesn’t end there. She gets an even better backing chorus than Arijit. This time, sweet children accompany the lead singer (from Shankar Mahadevan Academy’s Children’s Chorus). The name that stands out is Satyajeet Jena, who had participated in the last season of “Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li’l Champs”, and he gets his own little solo performance towards the end, which he aces! The children’s chorus, and the tinny programming give the song a wonderful retro touch, like the songs from the era depicted in the film (something like ‘Humko Man Ki Shakti’ from ‘Guddi’). Tapas Roy’s rabaab creates a soulful Kashmiri sound, while Dipesh Varma and Shikhar Naad Qureshi do an amazing job with percussions!
Both versions have mainly the same lyrics, and when it’s Gulzar saab’s pen, you know it can’t go wrong! His lyrics evoke a patriotic feeling right away, and coupled with the beautiful melody, it is hard to ignore this song!
Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy continue the Kashmiri folk with Dilbaro, a bidaai song which sounds happy but is lyrically quite heart-wrenching. (Just like Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s ‘Chaandaniya’ from ‘2 States’ which I like to call the happy sad song.) The melody here is so cute, it’s impossible to not start humming along right away. (Part of that is also because it sounds very familiar, but you can’t pinpoint which song or songs it sounds like!) The lead vocalist here is Harshdeep Kaur, who as always, delivers a charming rendition, and sounds like Alka Yagnik in the high-pitched antara too! Shankar Mahadevan’s surprise cameo is wonderfully placed, as are the lyrics by Gulzar for that portion. Vibha Saraf is the one who should be credited though, for piquing your interest in the song, because it is her sweet Kashmiri lines that suck you in right away. On the arrangements front, Tapas Roy returns for wonderful work on the Rabaab, not to mention Arshad Khan’s heart-wrenching esraj; whenever that plays, it’s as if the strings of your heart are being tugged at. The hookline of the song is so powerfully soothing, cute and charming at the same time, it is difficult not to get the song stuck in your mind after just a couple of listens!!
At the end, we have Raazi, a song that equals the ‘Dangal’ title track in many uncanny ways. First of all, it is one of those rare title tracks where the title of the film actually makes sense in the song. Arijit Singh pulls off a ‘Binte Dil’ yet again in the one minute long prelude to the song, where he does the voice inflection impeccably yet again. It is only when the Esraj (again, splendidly performed by Arshad Khan) takes us back to the actual song, when we come back to trademark SEL sound — a repeating Bouzouki riff (oh so trademark SEL!) by Tapas Roy is wonderful. The repeating chants of “Agar Dil Raazi Hai” are equivalent to ‘Dangal’s “Dangal Dangal“. The folksy arrangements are similar to that of ‘Dangal’! I’m just so happy we have these two beautiful title tracks to cherish forever! They are so similar yet so different! Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy bring in even more of their signature marks when the second antara gets very melancholic, something only Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy can manage without making it over the top! And Gulzar saab’s lyrics manage to wow you yet again. The star of the song is definitely Arijit Singh, using different inflections each time he sings the hookline. No wonder he’s the top singer of today…just that some composers know how to use his talent to the best!


Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy return after a hiatus that seemed longer than it was, and it is only when this album came out when I realised what was missing from Bollywood music in 2018 — smart composers who can manage to compose as per the script, but whose songs have a life outside of it as well! Finally, we get a soundtrack this year, which I’ll be raazi to listen to on loop!!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 9 + 9.5 + 9.5 + 9.5 = 37.5

Album Percentage: 93.75% {I guess we got our Best album of the year so far!}

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: 
Don’t. Even. Ask.

 

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

A WEDDING TO DREAD!! (VEEREY KI WEDDING – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Farzan Faaiz, Jaidev Kumar, Ashok Punjabi & Meet Bros.
♪ Lyrics by: Chandan Bakshi, Deepak Noor, Devendra Kafir, Ramkesh Jiwanpurwala, Kumaar & Faaiz Anwar
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 27th February 2018
♪ Movie Released On: 2nd March 2018

Veerey Ki Wedding Album Cover

 

Listen to the songs: Saavn

Buy the songs: iTunes


Veerey Ki Wedding is a Bollywood comedy film starring Pulkit Samrat, Kriti Kharbanda and Jimmy Shergill. The film is directed by Asshu Trikha and produced by Rajat Bakshi and Parmod Gomber. The film’s music album contains music by Farzan Faaiz, Jaidev Kumar, Meet Bros and Ashok Punjabi. Let’s dive right in, I have no expectations as such from this album..!


So the album doesn’t start out as bad as expected; Mind Blowing, though suffering from an extreme case of Mika-ate-the-words-again syndrome, has an enjoyable South-flavoured rhythm by (newcomer?) Farzan Faaiz, with the ‘Chinta Ta Chita’ (Rowdy Rathore) rhythm being used for propelling the song further into the masses’ hearts. The backing chorus sounds so bad, it’s actually good. The typical horns are there too, so everything you need in a generic kuthu song is there — I just wish the lyrics (by two people.. quite talented, it seems, writing lines like “Maana Milky Milky Badi Hai Teri Kalaai“.) and singer were different!
Farzan’s other song Na Kasoor is a staid melody that isn’t bad, but isn’t good either. It’s more like an “Oh, it’s over already? When did it start?” song. While he borrowed the rhythm from “‘Chinta Ta Chita” for his first song, Farzan tries to make this one sound like “Jashn-E-Bahaara” (Jodhaa Akbar), and to that effect even ropes in Javed Ali for the vocals, and jingles bells in the background. Sadly, it turns out to be a disaster because he insists on including sounds like breaking of glass and other “modern” sounds. It’s just a mishmash of sounds that don’t go together. It’s like eating fish with tomato ketchup. (No offence if you do.)
Jaidev Kumar’s Hatt Ja Tau, a convenient remake of the Haryanvi folk song of the same name, is much more enjoyable, mostly due to Sunidhi’s powerhouse vocals. The musical arrangements sound fresh here, but Devendra Kafir writes lyrics that would make you blush. The composition too, being so happy-go-lucky, helps to make you ignore the lyrics, and Jaidev’s cheerful arrangements are fun too.
Another bad song on the album is given by Meet Bros. Talli Tonight, from the name itself you can tell that the song is doomed. Somebody called Deep Money (forgive me if he’s some sensation) sings the song very uniterestedly, while Neha Kakkar sings in a manner I’ve never heard her sing in — utterly bored and sleepy! The wannabe beats do not make you want to get up and groove, rather they would make you skip the song. Meet Bros’ rap is just cringeworthy. Or was that Deep Money?
The best song of the album, only because the others are so cringeworthy, is Ashok Punjabi’s Veerey Ki Wedding, which is essentially a 90s wedding song, that was destined to release in 2018. Navraj Hans provides the necessary spunk to the song, and the arrangements (dholaks, harmonium, tumbi) help make it fun and enjoyable. The ladies’ chorus led by Saloni Thakkar is also enjoyable. The backing vocalists though, sing so high pitched, as if they’re in some 90s song.


Some composers picked up from the middle of nowhere make this a wedding you should be dreading!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 6 + 5.5 + 7 + 5 + 7 = 30.5

Album Percentage: 61%

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: 
Veerey Ki Wedding = Hatt Ja Tau > Mind Blowing > Na Kasoor > Talli Tonight

 

Remake Counter:
No. Of Remakes: 13 (from previous albums) + 01 (from Veerey Ki wedding) = 14

NO MUSICAL SORCERY WHATSOEVER!! (AIYAARY – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Rochak Kohli & Ankit Tiwari
♪ Lyrics by: Manoj Muntashir
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 1st February 2018
♪ Movie Released On: 16th February 2018

Aiyaary Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Aiyaary is a Bollywood thriller starring an ensemble cast comprising Sidharth Malhotra, Manoj Bajpayee, Rakul Preet Singh, Vikram Gokhale, Pooja Chopra, Naseeruddin Shah, Kumud Mishra, Adil Hussain and Anupam Kher. The film is directed by Neeraj Pandey and produced by Reliance Entertainment and Pen Studios. Well, the fate of the film and its music has akready been decided, but for the record, I’m completing the albums I missed on my break– this being one of the first ones. The music is by Rochak Kohli and Ankit Tiwari, the former getting a lot of work nowadays, but the latter getting almost no work at all. Anyway, I expect an album that has nothing to do with the film, because it’s a Neeraj Pandey film after all. Hopefully, the songs will be listenable out of the film, if they’re in the film in the first place, that is. Let’s dive right in.


Rochak Kohli’s start to 2018 comes with Lae Dooba, a rehash of his 2017 hit ‘Rozana’ (Naam Shabana), this time in Sunidhi Chauhan’s voice. The song is great even by itself though, with Sunidhi slaying it as always with the calm tune, and the soothing arrangements playing their magic on you. The antara’s composition treads dangerously close to that of ‘Rozana’s antara, and Manoj Muntashir’s lyrics also become ‘Jab Chhooke Tu Nikle’ here, just like it was ‘Mujhe Chhooke Tu Guzar‘ in ‘Rozana’. Rochak is getting typecast now, but still manages to give great music. The arrangements are soothing too, with nice percussion (Sanket Naik) and amazing guitars (Mohit Dogra, Ankur Mukherjee).
His other song Shuru Kar has a nice anthemic vibe to it, harking back to Neerja’s ‘Aankhein Milayenge Darr Se’. Amit Mishra is the perfect rockstar to sing this song, and Neha Bhasin in her short role does well. It works in its intentions to rouse a certain motivation in our heart. Muntashir’s lyrics here are good too, going well with the patriotic and motivational vibe of the song. What will put one off instantly though, are the three stanzas with the exact same tune, making the song sound too repetitive, to top its already repetitive hookline.
Added later to the album, giving me a chance to review it now, is Lae Dooba By Asees Kaur, which is a clubbish interpretation of that song, where Asees graduates from her position as the backing vocalist, to the lead vocalist. Rochak’s lively electronic arrangement here is fresh and entertaining, and what’s best is that it has a life out of the movie. (Actually all Neeraj Pandey movie songs have lives outside the movie because they rarely fit into the movie – “M.S. Dhoni” being the exception!)
Ankit’s Yaad Hai sounds a lot like a Himesh Reshammiya composition, especially the parts the composer himself sings. Palak Muchhal sounds great here, except for a few blunders in diction that should have been rectified. (The first few lines are barely intelligible.) Arrangements are beautiful — especially the piano (Zafar Iqubal Ansari) and violins. Reading DJ Phukan’s name (one of Pritam’s frequent collaborators) in the credits as the arranger and producer doesn’t surprise me, because such beautiful arrangements can only be done by him! The lyrics of this song happen to be the best of the album; not surprising, seeing the past record of songs that Tiwari and Muntashir have made together.


A typical Neeraj Pandey short, simple and straightforward soundtrack with no ‘Aiyaary’ (sorcery) whatsoever.

 

Total Points Scored by This Album:8.5 + 6.5 + 7.5 + 8 = 30.5

Album Percentage: 76.25%

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: Lae Dooba > Yaad Hai > Lae Dooba By Asees Kaur > Shuru Kar

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

DECEMBER 2017 ROUND-UP (FUKREY RETURNS, FIRANGI, TERA INTEZAAR & MONSOON SHOOTOUT – Mini Music Reviews)

It is time for my Round-Up for December 2017, which is slightly delayed due to me being so busy, but better late than never, right?

December 2017 Round-Up

This Round-Up includes the following music reviews:

1) Fukrey Returns – Prem-Hardeep, Jasleen Kaur Royal, Sumeet Bellary, Shaarib-Toshi, Gulraj Singh, IshQ Bector, Shree D & Laxmikant-Pyarelal

2) Firangi – Jatinder Shah

3) Tera Intezaar – Raaj Aashoo

4) Monsoon Shootout – Rochak Kohli, Viveick-Mayur, Chinmay Harshe, Chetan Rao & Vikram Shastry

The music review for “Tiger Zinda Hai” will be posted separately.


♦ Fukrey Returns, But Ram Sampath Doesn’t! – FUKREY RETURNS Music Review

♪ Music by: Prem-Hardeep, Jasleen Kaur Royal, Sumeet Bellary, Shaarib-Toshi, IshQ Bector, Shree D, Gulraj Singh & Laxmikant-Pyarelal
♪ Lyrics by: Kumaar, Late Anand Bakshi, Aditya Sharma, Satya Khare, Raftaar, Rohit Sharma, Arsalaan Akhoon, Shree D, Mrighdeep Singh Lamba & Vipul Vig
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 16th November 2017
♪ Movie Released On: 8th December 2017

 

Listen to the songs: Saavn


So Fukrey has returned. Sadly, the man behind “Fukrey”s enjoyable music, Ram Sampath has not returned, and after his underwhelming stint in ‘Raees’, he doesn’t get a chance to bounce back with a franchise that was initially his. Anywho, let’s judge on what we have been given.
Prem-Hardeep, the original composers of ‘Kala Chashma’ before Badshah remade it in ‘Baar Baar Dekho’, get a chance now, to ruin somebody else’s song. Laxmikant-Pyarelal’s ‘O Meri Mehbooba’ (Dharam Veer) gets ‘remade’ into Mehbooba, a banal club song which starts and ends with the Fukras being rejected by a random girl in the club, who happens to be singing in Neha Kakkar’s voice. Yasser Desai gets one line that repeats over and over again, and it is frankly the best line of the song. Raftaar’s rap is too stereotypical. Jasleen Kaur Royal’s Peh Gaya Khalara, though fitting into her now-overused Punjabi dance number template, is quite enjoyable, with the sweet vocals by herself and Divya Kumar, Akasa Singh & Akanksha Bhandari accompanying them. The arrangements are what make the track more enjoyable, and also the quirky lyrics.
Familiar territory is entered in Ishq Bector & Shree D’s semiclassical Raina, which, though quite soothing, gets tedious due to its length (it is the only song on the album over three minutes long, and goes up to over four minutes long!) The arrangements help propel it forward though, and also Shree’s vocals. Shaarib-Toshi enter the Bollywood scene after a long time with a delightful Punjabi melody, Ishq De Fanniyar. The male version by Shaarib is great, but the Female Version has all the feels, hence scores higher. The beautiful melody seems like a wonderful sequel to the first movie’s ‘Ambarsariya’. The lyrics are sweet as well, not to mention amazing accordions in the arrangements.
The techno sounds come along with the last three songs, bunched up together, out of which two are by Sumeet Bellary (composed for ‘Fuddu’ last year), and one is by (another person who re-enters Bollywood as a composer after a loooooong time, longer than Shaarib-Toshi), Gulraj Singh.
Sumeet’s two songs rely on weird techno gimmicks, which fail to propel the songs forward. Tu Mera Bhai Nahi Hai is a quirky friendship anthem, but is pulled down by lack of catchiness in both music and composition. Bura Na Maano Bholi Hai is like a title song, but gets all over the place in no time. The arrangements are slightly better here. Both songs are sung by Gandharv Sachdev, wit Shahid Mallya joining him in the latter song, and aren’t all that well sung.
Gulraj does well in his title song, Fukrey Returns, with a nice catchy musical loop, and heavy use of brass and techno sounds which makes his song sound even better. Siddharth Mahadevan on the vocals is a bonus.


Not as great as the first movie’s album, but still a commendable album considering the amount of new talent on there. But nevertheless, I wish Ram Sampath had returned!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 2.5 + 3.5 + 3.5 + 4 + 4 + 3.5 + 3 + 3.5 = 27.5

Album Percentage: 68.75%

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: Ishq De Fanniyar = Ishq De Fanniyar (Female) > Peh Gaya Khalara = Tu Mera Bhai Nahi Hai = Raina = Fukrey Returns > Bura Na Maano Bholi Hai > Mehbooba

Remake Counter:
No. Of Remakes: 43 (from previous albums) + 01 (from Fukrey Returns) = 44


♦ Quite A Desi Album! : FIRANGI Music Review

♪ Music by: Jatinder Shah
♪ Lyrics by: Dr. Devendra Kafir, Ashraf Ali & Krishna Bhardwaj
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 21st November 2017
♪ Movie Released On: 1st December 2017

 

Listen to the songs: Saavn


The song with almost the least amount of Punjabi words (second only to ‘Gulbadan’, which comes later on in the album) in its lyrics, Oye Firangi, starts the album off, and Jatinder Shah steals your heart right away. The charming melody immediately gets you grooving — thanks to a little EDM twist in the hookline — and though it is very simple, it is amazing thanks to the programming, and Sunidhi’s marvellous voice. There comes a British-era ballroom style orchestral portion at the end, but I wish the composer had extended that into another antara instead of ending the song with it! Another charming but heard-before melody, Sahiba Russ Gayiya, starts from where ‘Channa Mereya’ ended, with a similar structure and arrangement. Rahat’s voice is a boon to the song, and it’s the first song of his in a long time that doesn’t get on my nerves.(Ahem, ‘Mere Rashke Qamar’!) I love the way he pronounces the hookline. The Unplugged Version sung by Shafqat Amanat Ali, is funnily named ‘Sahiba (Male)’, as if Rahat’s version wasn’t by a male singer. The song itself is an improvement on the original, in that we get to hear Shafqat’s impeccable aalaaps, and though the choice of Shafqat doesn’t make it sound less like a Pritam song in general [Shafqat is just as much of a Pritam camp singer as Rahat is!] it surely does sound less like ‘Channa Mereya’, because the electric guitars have been toned down. Acoustic guitars play the larger role here. However some factors make both versions balance out at the end.
If ‘Sahiba’ had ‘Channa Mereya’ written all over it, Tu Jit Jawna has ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’s title song all, and I mean ALL over it! Daler Mehndi, who I wish had sung the BMB number too, sings this one, and so it is quite bearable, but otherwise, it falls flat and sounds hollow in its emotion. It is also lyrically a counterpart to ‘Oye Firangi’, except Daler paaji doesn’t call him a ‘Firangi’ (foreigner), while Sunidhi did.
Gulbadan is a Qawwali-esque number, sung by Mamta Sharma. Good to hear her sing a different kind of song, though I’m sure the video will be the same kind of Bollywood ‘item number’. The hookline is greatly composed, with amazing arrangements by Shah, but again, falling into the too much tried-and-tested category of arrangements. I guess the best that comes out of this song is hearing Mamta Sharma’s gentle voice, because she thankfully hasn’t been made to sing in the annoying loud voice of hers.
But the album’s best is the wonderful folksy number, Sajna Sohne Jiha, which transports you back to the Punjab of the olden days. Wadali Bros’ Qawwali ‘Ve Sone Diya Kangna’ has been given a nice reinterpretation by Shah, and it works so well. The rhythms at the beginning really bring out the song’s folksiness, and Jyoti Nooran’s strong voice helps propel it to the finish line, where it emerges the winner compared to the other songs of the album!


A very desi album to the film ‘Firangi!’

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 3.5 + 3.5 + 4 + 3.5 + 3.5 + 5 = 23

Album Percentage: 76.67%

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: Sajna Sohne Jiha > Sahiba Russ Gayiya (Shafqat) > Oye Firangi = Tu Jit Jawna = Gulbadan = Sahiba Russ Gayiya



♦ No Intezaar for This Album! : TERA INTEZAAR Music Review

♪ Music By: Raaj Aashoo
♪ Lyrics by: Shabbir Ahmed
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 11th November 2017
♪ Movie Released On: 1st December 2017

 

Listen to the songs: Saavn


After a long time (or is it the first time?), one single composer gets a chance to compose an album for a film starring Sunny Leone. Somehow, she debuted smack in the middle of the multicomposer craze and so, got mainly multiple composers to compose for all her films! Raaj Aashoo handles the album.
The title track, titled Intezaar Title, instead of a more apt ‘Tera Intezaar’ (Obviously, because that’s the film’s name), is a dreary 2000s melody, sung by Shreya Ghoshal too, as if she is still in her debut year. Adding to the ennui, is the Qawwali-ish chorus. Raaj’s composition is good, but dated. The arrangement is the best thing about the song, especially the flute. Another very typically 90s melody, Khali Khali Dil, sees Payal Dev and Armaan Malik at their clichéd best. The digital sounds do not help make it more ‘modern’ or anything, and even the harmonica fails to create any impact. Quite a similar sound follows in the dreary Mehfooz, another song straight out of Nadeem-Shravan’s music-bank. The guitar work makes it sound like a version of Mithoon’s ‘Sanam Re’ title track, sans the tablas. Yasser gets a version, and, sounding like Arijit as always, manages to make it sound genuinely interesting. The arrangements here too make this song much more interesting than ‘Khali Khali Dil’. The song appears in two more versions, one by Palak Muchhal and the other by a new singer named Hrishikesh Chury. Palak’s 2½ minute long version fares better than Hrishikesh’s normal length one, because of the pleasant arrangements. Also, Hrishikesh tries to sound like Kumar Sanu.
The best song on the album, Abhagi Piya Ki, becomes the best only because the others don’t deserve it. It appears in two versions, a banal one sung jarringly by Kanika Kapoor and Raja Hasan, and a slightly better version sung much better by Payal Dev and Javed Ali. The tablas that went missing from ‘Mehfooz’ seem to have come to this song, and they play in surplus. The semiclassical touch to the song is good, but the 90s melancholia seems to have followed the composer like a thundercloud whenever he sat to compose for this film.
The only song that does not sound anything like a 90s song is Sexy Baby Girl, and it doesn’t work because it tries to sound uber-cool with its lead singer Swati Sharrma, like always, trying to add unnecessary style to her words, resulting in a disaster. Also, the lyrics are cringeworthy.


This is not an album anyone would have waited for. 

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 3 + 2 + 2.5 + 2.5 + 2 + 3 + 3.5 + 3 = 21.5

Album Percentage: 53.75%

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: Abhagi Piya Ki (Javed/Payal) > Abhagi Piya Ki = Intezaar Title = Sexy Baby Girl > Mehfooz = Mehfooz (Palak) > Mehfooz (Hrishikesh) = Khali Khali Dil



♦ Surprising Monsoon in Winter!!: MONSOON SHOOTOUT Music Review

♪ Music by: Rochak Kohli, Viveick Rajagopalan, Mayur Narvekar, Chinmay Harshe, Chetan Rao & Vikram Shastry
♪ Lyrics by: Sumant Vadhera, Kartik Krishnan, Deepak Ramona, Chinmay Harshe, Rohit Bhasy, Neeraj Sharma, Vinit Gulati, Nidhi Gulati
♪ Music Label: Saregama
♪ Music Released On: 19th December 2017
♪ Movie Released On: 15th December 2017

 

Listen to the songs: Saavn


Rochak gets two songs, and reminds us why he’s one composer that keeps popping up in numerous albums scattered over the year’s span. It is because of his strong melodies. Pal is a cherishable melody which, though predictable, does give you goosebumps, and makes you want it to rain. Arijit’s heart-touching rendition is enough to make anyone fall for the song. On the other hand Miliyo Re is a very Sachin-Jigar-ish romantic song, with Monali and Rochak behind the mic, with vocals that aren’t amazing, but are functional. The composition is good but very commonplace; not as distinct as Rochak’s other songs this year.
Viveick-Mayur present their only song Andheri Raat next, a haunting song with weird Marathi rap, and awesome Punjabi-flavoured male vocals. Neha Bhasin kills it behind the mic, as does her co-singer, Rajiv Sundaresan, doing the aforementioned Punjabi-flavoured portions. The Marathi rap by Aklesh Sutar is funny, and quite weird too.
The other three songs are quite situational, all by newcomers, with neither one exactly standing above the others. Chinmay Harshe’s Miss You Balma, by Akriti Kakar, is experimental but has you questioning “Why??” because the jazzy composition and the rock arrangements don’t really gel well with each other. Akriti aces the vocals though, singing in an unusually (for her) low pitch. The other duo, Chetan Rao & Vikram Shastry, present two songs, one being a folksy item song Maachis Ki Teeli, in which the very unconventional choice of singer, Bhavya Pandit, whi hasn’t ever sung such a song, proves to be great, as she adjusts to the song’s folksiness very well. Her co-vocalists provide good company as the loafers interjecting occasionally. The last song Faislay has a quite dated tune, and a very mismatching digital loop that starts it off, but Mandar Deshpande’s singing brings it up.


An album that is good, but still will be a wipeout.

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4 + 4 + 3.5 + 3 + 3.5 + 3 = 21

Album Percentage: 70%

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

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

Recommended Listening Order: Pal = Miliyo Re > Andheri Raat = Maachis Ki Teeli > Miss You Balma = Faislay



Hope you liked this section of reviews! The review for ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ will be out soon!

KAUSAR MUNIR – THE SECRET SUPERSTAR! (SECRET SUPERSTAR – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Amit Trivedi
♪ Lyrics by: Kausar Munir
♪ Music Label: Zee Music Company
♪ Music Released On: 18th October 2017
♪ Movie Released On: 19th October 2017

Secret Superstar Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Secret Superstar is a Bollywood drama starring Zaira Wasim, Meher Vij, Tirth Sharma, Raj Arjun and Aamir Khan. The film is directed and written by debutant Advait Chandan, and produced by Aamir Khan, Zee Studios and Akash ChawlaAfter the success of ‘Dangal’, Aamir Khan once again casts Zaira Wasim in the lead role here, in a story which is basically a young girl, Insia’s, journey to fulfilling her dream of becoming a famous singer. Great reviews have already started pouring in for the film, and I’m not going to rant about how Zee Music should’ve released the album for a musical movie much earlier than one day before the movie. Anyway, the music this time has been scored by a composer who has never composed for Aamir Khan. Amit Trivedi is choosing much more music-oriented scripts nowadays, as is evident from his choices of ‘Qaidi Band’ and now this. In ‘Qaidi Band’ he impressed a lot, managing to give the whole album a distinct rock touch, without making it sound monotonous. But this time, he needs to keep in mind the point of view of a 14-year old school going girl, and compose from her point of view. That might be tough, it might be easy, but we know it would not be something unconventional, like Trivedi is known to do. His quirkiness is expected to stay out of the album, but the soulful side of his is definitely expected to show itself in this particular album. So without further ado, because most of you are already in theatres watching the movie, or have already watched it, or are going this weekend, let’s jump into the music of ‘Secret Superstar’!


Main Kaun Hoon is the perfect self-discovery song to suit the film’s story and though the composition turns out to be quite underwhelming, barring the uplifting portion towards the end, it is debutante (15-years old only, at the time of recording the song) Meghna Mishra’s amazing vocals that redeem the song. The hookline is good, but very conventional at the same time. Given that the song has been written and composed by a young teenager though, it is perfect. The strings and drums and guitars by Trivedi make the song worthwhile. Kausar Munir’s lyrics here are just a snippet of the beautiful words that are to come in the rest of the album. Meri Pyaari Ammi follows with another staid composition, with unnecessary pauses that break the continuity of the song, and a hookline that is high-spirited but manages to get tiresome towards the end. Again, Meghna’s vocals are beautiful, but here it is lyricist Kausar Munir who makes the song cherishable due to her wonderful lyrics!
It is only in the beautiful folk-based Sapne Re that we remember that the album’s music is by Trivedi, because he bases it on a wonderful North-Eastern rhythm, one that we loved in his ‘Sawaar Loon’ (Lootera; 2013). Wonderful guitars and strings accompany the innocent composition; something that we would never have heard from Trivedi had it not been for this film which gave him the chance to compose from the point of view of a teenage girl. The folksy music gels well with Meghna’s sugary sweet vocals, and Kausar’s lyrics also keep the innocence of childhood intact. While in this song, the protagonist encourages her dreams to come true, she wills them to get locked up inside her heart in the polar opposite O Re Manwa. It is a beauty how two opposite situations arise in the same album, and through Kausar’s lyrics it is almost like a story unfolding in front of us. The composition itself is another one that doesn’t scream ‘Trivedi’, but can still be deciphered as a Trivedi song by the wonderful rock base, especially the way the guitars have been played. And as I juxtapose ‘Sapne Re’ with ‘O Re Manwa’, Amit also introduces a musical segment from ‘Sapne Re’ into ‘O Re Manwa’, as if trying to consolidate my assumption that these two songs are linked somehow! Meghna’s singing is toned down in a very subtle manner here, and she sounds so much different from her other songs here, mostly due to the lack of high octave notes.
The best song of the album though, is the dreamy Nachdi Phira, a song that stands out due to its motivational and inspirational sound. The composition starts off beautifully, with serene piano and strings working together to soothe your senses, until it breaks out into a high-spirited rock ballad, centred around Kausar Munir’s lyrics that create a nomadic touch. The antara of this song in particular, is beautifully composed, amazingly traversing the high octaves and hitting the heart at the right places. The lyrics of the mukhda of this song are used again in the cheesy Sexy Baliye, a song used to bring out the corniness of Aamir Khan’s character Shakti Kumaarr, a veteran music composer who isn’t in form anymore, as is evident from Trivedi’s spoofy composition. The arrangements are a mishmash of all kinds of sounds from all sorts of Bollywood songs — Punjabi pop, Bhangra and whatnot. It reminds me of ‘Switty’ (Delhi Belly). Mika sings aptly, and even if this weren’t a spoof song, he would’ve sounded the same. 😆
The only other male song on the album, I’ll Miss You is by another debutant, Kushal Chokshi. He gets to sing the romantic song which brings out the romance between Insia and Chintan. The song is refreshing, and has a trademark Trivedi touch, especially in the guitars in the hookline. Kausar’s lyrics will be especially loved by those who miss their school days. The school romance she cooks up in the lyrics is just so sweet, you will be reminded of your school days. Sunidhi Chauhan, who, coincidentally, I was thinking of when I thought who could have sung Meghna Mishra’s songs if this wasn’t a film with a teenage protagonist, gets the most lively song on the album, Gudgudi — a feel-good number that once again stands out because of its quirky lyrics. Amit’s composition is a wonderfully sprightly one, in trademark Amit Trivedi style, especially in the line before the hook. Mandolins and banjoes and harmonicas and brass instruments stand out among others, and give it a wonderful country sound. Sunidhi, ever-energetic, was the best choice for the song. Kausar pens amazing lyrics with so many everyday references, it is so fun to listen to.


Keeping in mind the setting of Secret Superstar, and the fact that the protagonist stirring up all this music is a young girl of fourteen of fifteen, the music is aptly conventional. Though I was a bit disappointed after Trivedi made that awesome rock album ‘Qaidi Band’, I soon came to terms with the fact that not always can he try something new like that. Here though, what actually shines is the amazing singing by debutante Meghna Mishra (I must say, great find, and also Kushal Chokshi!) and the splendid lyrics by Kausar Munir! The secret superstar here is the lyricist!!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album (in the order they appear in the review): 4 + 3.5 + 5 + 4.5 + 5 + 3.5 + 4.5 + 4 = 34

Album Percentage: 85%

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: Sapne Re = Nachdi Phira > O Re Manwa = I’ll Miss You > Main Kaun Hoon = Gudgudi > Sexy Baliye = Meri Pyaari Ammi

 

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