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! 🙂

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

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

Raees Album Cover

Raees Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


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


1. Laila Main Laila

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

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

– Javed Akhtar

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

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

Rating: 3/5

 

2. Zaalima

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

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

– Amitabh Bhattacharya

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

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

Rating: 3.5/5

 

3. Udi Udi Jaye

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

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

– Javed Akhtar

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

Rating: 4/5

 

4. Dhingana

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

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

– Mayur Puri

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

Rating: 3/5

 

5. Enu Naam Che Raees

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

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

– Ram Sampath & Hiral Brahmbhatt

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

Rating: 2.5/5

 

6. Saanson Ke

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

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

– Manoj Yadav

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

Rating: 2.5/5

 

7. Ghammar Ghammar

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

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

– Traditional

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

Rating: 3/5


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

 

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

Album Percentage: 61. 43%

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

Bal’KI’ GOES MULTI’KA’MPOSER!!! (KI & KA – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Meet Bros, Mithoon, Ilaiyaraaja & Yo Yo Honey Singh
♪ Lyrics by: Kumaar, Yo Yo Honey Singh, Sayeed Quadri & Amitabh Bhattacharya
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 25th February 2016
♪ Movie Releases On: 1st April 2016

Ki & Ka

Ki & Ka


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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Ki & Ka is an upcoming Bollywood rom-com, starring Kareena Kapoor Khan and Arjun Kapoor in lead roles. It is written and directed by R. Balki, and produced by Sunil Lulla, Ralesh Jhunjhunwala, R.K. Damani R. Balki himself. The film revolves around a young married couple whose relationship challenges the gender roles placed upon men and women by the society. R. Balki is back after a whole year, after his middling ‘Shamitabh’. I had reviewed the album to ‘Shamitabh’, and I found myself one of the rare few who liked it, though not loved it. That album had been composed by Balki’s favourite, Ilaiyaraaja. So it was pretty natural for me (and many others… I hope! Come on, who’s ready to own up? :p ) to think that the music for R. Balki’s next, ‘Ki & Ka’ would also be composed by Ilaiyaraaja, as were his previous ventures — ‘Cheeni Kum’, ‘Paa’ and ‘Shamitabh’. Until the first poster came out, which I’ve included in my post. It credits Ilaiyaraaja as the “Music Director” and further specifies that the Music is by Ilaiyaraaja, Meet Bros & Mithoon. Weird as it sounds, it is the truth. 😛 Ilaiyaraaja was expected but what wasn’t expected was tat he would get to compose merely one song. Instead Meet Bros (The duo has gotten their first realllllyyy big project after their split with Anjjan) get to compose more than a half of the album, with three songs and four tracks, one of them being a “so-called” remake of Yo Yo Honey Singh’s hit, ‘High Heels’. What is left goes to Mithoon, which is, as guessed, a calm song. 😀 More of this later, i.e, in the review! 😀 So lo and behold! Here is my first review after ‘Bhaag Johnny’ (Ya. Sorry for disappearing.) Read on to find out what I liked and what not about the ‘Ki & Ka’ music album! 🙂


1. High Heels Te Nachche
Singers ~ Aditi Singh Sharma, Jaz Dhami, Yo Yo Honey Singh & Meet Bros, Music by ~ Meet Bros, Original Music Riff & Rap By ~ Yo Yo Hoeny Singh, Lyrics by ~ Kumaar

{NOTE: I know you’ve already scrunched up your face because I wrote the title of the song like that, but that’s what they changed it to on iTunes, so I’ve no option 😛 }

Not technically a remake, but being propagated among the audience as one, this song has got an unfortunate fate. Meet Bros have actually worked pretty hard to make this “remake” unconventional. They have gone to such lengths as changing the whole hookline of the song. But Alas! People still think it’s a remake! 😦 Personally, I loved this one. If remakes are to be made, whether of old songs or of new ones, then they should be like this, not just revamping the old song and making it fast and adding club and techno elements here and there, but actually showing some creativity by altering it completely. Really, hats-off to Meet Bros for having the courage to offer this one to the producers, and the producers must be realllllly huge-hearted to have accepted it! This remake has nothing similar to the original, except the hook tune played on some computerized horn, which was in Yo Yo Honey Singh’s original, and of course, the rap in the interlude (If I can call it one??). The addition of Aditi Singh Sharma as a singer was a great move, making the song more acceptable for Bollywood, with voices for both male and female in a dance track. The new hookline has totally infected my mind, and has also totally overridden the original song in my head. Another thing I loved is when Aditi says “Shut up!” after Yo Yo’s rap. 😛 Thank God someone in this world has the guts to tell him that. 😀 The antara is owned by Aditi, who makes every possible effort to keep it to herself, and succeeds eventually. Jaz Dhami actually sounds good, unlike what he sounded in this year’s ‘Humne Pee Rakhi Hai’ (Sanam Re). Must be the impact of a good composition, that made him sound good too. Kumaar’s lyrics are typical Punjabi dance track lyrics, but one can’t ignore funny and punny stuff in the lyrics. All in all, a great and enjoyable start to this album. And again, I think this IS NOT A REMAKE!! But I Know in fact, that it is a #5StarHotelSong!!!!

 

2. Ji Huzoori
Singers ~ Mithoon & Deepali Sathe, Backing Vocals by ~ Arun Daga, Music by ~ Mithoon, Lyrics by ~ Sayeed Quadri

Next up is the song by Mithoon, again someone not expected to be composing in an R. Balki album! 😀 This year he already gave great soothing songs like ‘Mar Jaayen’ (Loveshhuda), ‘Sanam Re’& ‘Tere Liye’ (Sanam Re). So I expected something great from him in this album too. And it was no surprise when he gave me just that! 😀 The song starts off slowly with Mithoon singing, some introductory lines, which later, become the mukhda of the song. But before that, the hookline by A run Daga plays, which is such an essentially beautiful part of the song, that I wonder why Arun has been credited as the “Backing Vocalist!” Mithoon really knows how to create an attractive composition, and most of the time, he succeeds in creating a song just like a spiderweb that in this case, is trapping listeners. The notes in the antara have been woven together so comfortably, with the oh-so-mesmerising hookline interwoven after each line, sung by Deepali, who definitely has a smaller role than Arun in the song, yet she isn’t accompanying Arun in the backing vocals list! One thing I’d love to mention about Mithoon’s songs recently, are that the backing vocals are one of the main attractions of his songs! In ‘Sanam Re’, Anirudh Bhola had one or the best backing vocals I’ve ever heard, and here Arun Daga has been given the role of the magician, what with his incessant “Mohabbat hai yeh ji huzoori nahi” and “Ji haan” throughout the song. The “Ji haan” parts are just so irresistibly addictive! Mithoon too sounds great as the main singer, giving us a good break from the Arijit fever that has taken over Bollywood. Arrangements are top-notch, and Mithoon has to be commended for putting it all together so seamlessly. The percussion (all seems electronic) tablas and manjeeras make the song sound really Rahman-ish, and I wouldn’t be surprised if someone thinks this is a Rahman song. (Which they won’t, because nowadays, in Bollywood, Mithoon is more popular than Rahman in my opinion). The occasional piano pieces are enough to steal your breath. The second interlude has a wonderful shehnaai solo that is worth hearing again and again. Mithoon does his best to create a haunting impact through this song. It kind of reminds you of his early days in the industry (‘Lamhaa’, ‘Anwar’). Like always, saving the best for the last, now’s the time to talk about the lyrics. Smart lyrics by Sayeed Quadri, who usually writes great love songs, but all Bollywood-ish, whereas this one here actually sounds realistic. Even if you just read them without hearing the song, they would appeal to you, I swear! 🙂 A great composition by Mithoon, great singing by him, accompanied by Backing vocalists without which the song would have lost half its magic touch, and outstanding applause-worthy lyrics by the great Quadri saab, make this song a #5StarHotelSong!!!

 

3. Most Wanted Munda / Kabir Most Wanted Munda
Singers ~ Meet Bros / Meet Bros & Palak Muchhal, Rap By ~ Earl Edgar (Version 1) / Arjun Kapoor (Version 2), Backing Vocals ~ Thomson Andrews, Keshia Braganza, Gwen Dias & Ryan Dias, Music by ~ Meet Bros, Lyrics by ~ Kumaar

Meet Bros’ next song comes in two versions. This one is really quirky and groovy, just like their first song. This one starts with catchy synthetic sounds, that grabbed my attention at once. The backing vocals are awesome in this song as well, what with the girls singing “Nobody hega like him” and “Kehti hai har kudi”. Though the composition on its own practically has no power to attract listeners, it is all the other attractive decorations that help it do so. These include vocals, backing vocals, arrangements and the quirky and funny lyrics by Kumaar. Meet Bros have once again chosen themselves over Mika (Thank God!) and they sing the song really energetically as it should be. It reminds me of songs by almost all composers (except Rahman, who was always following his own trends 😛 ) during the 2006-2008 period. The arrangements are cool, as well, mainly digital, but then they’re to catchy to ignore. Especially the cool tune that starts off the song, which repeats many times throughout the song. A very Ilaiyaraaja-ish first interlude comes across as a pleasant surprise, with the typical train rhythm and beautiful strings. Earl’s rap is good and the lyrics are pretty funny too. 😀 The second version starts off with horns and alien-like voices singing “Most wanted mundaaa…” In this version, the lyrics have been reversed as if it is actually the munda singing about himself — “Main hoon most wanted munda” as opposed to the “Yeh hai most wanted munda”. Palak sounds good in the antara, which hasn’t been altered (probably the only part which has been kept as it is in terms of lyrics). I mean, even the backing vocals lyrics have been changed!! 😀 This one is the version I found more trippier, with more dynamic arrangements — the horns, the dhols. Also, Arjun’s really good at rapping. His accent sounds better in this rap. 😀 Once again, Kumaar writes really funny lyrics that instantly caught my attention. They totally go with the theme of the movie. 😛 Though they make no sense if you happen to randomly pick up this song out of the crores of Bollywood songs, its situational nature gives the assurance that it would become crystal clear if seen in the movie. A catchy dance track, highlighting the fact that men can do what women can — cooking, chopping (vegetables that is!), bargaining, shopping, blah, blah… It’s so quirky that it is a #5StarHotelSong!! 

 

4. Foolishq
Singers ~ Shreya Ghoshal & Armaan Malik, Music by ~ Ilaiyaraaja, Lyrics by ~ Amitabh Bhattacharya

So the next song marks the entry of the last composer in the album — Ilaiyaraaja. When a song is by Ilaiyaraaja, it is impossible to describe it without using the word ‘quirky’. Also, it is impossible not to hear synthetic sounds in it. This composition too, shows his quirky side (isn’t that his only side? 😀 ) and the arrangements are really cool too. You can even say they’re youthful. Shreya renders his composition with ease, being pretty used to his style of composing, but I felt Armaan was a bit out-of-place here. Raaja’s composition is not something that would appeal to the audience though, and it is so confusing for me to decide whether I liked it or not! One time I listen to it, I like it, and the next time it sounds annoying. 😥 It has a number of turns, getting out of beat too in some places (deliberately!) On top of that, it sounds pretty irritating when the singers sing “Foooolishq”. 😭 It isn’t a very smart coinage by Amitabh, from whom I was expecting a lot more! However, the arrangements are really good, with the flutes, finger snaps, rock guitars and xylophone-ish sounds, making the song sound pretty oriental Japanese. The antara has a much better tune than the mukhda which falls flat because of the not-so-catchy hookline. It is pretty much only the hookline which is in the mukhda. The other line in the mukhda too isn’t so catchy. Though Shreya and Armaan can’t be criticized for it, they could’ve sung it in a more enticing way. Amitabh’s lyrics, as I said earlier, disappoint, and one wonders where Swanand Kirkire went! (See the irony. This year Amit Trivedi worked in ‘Fitoor’ with Swanand Kirkire, who has worked with Ilaiyaraaja and R. Balki many times previously, whereas Amitabh, who worked with Amit many times, is working with Ilaiyaraaja and R. Balki 😛 ) The lyrics hardly make any sense. 😦 The song which I was really excited about, disappoints in many departments except the music arrangements, which are the saving grace of the song for me! A song which has confused me so much that I don’t know whether I like it or not!

 

5. Pump It (The Workout Song)
Singers ~ Yash Narvekar & Meet Bros, Music by ~ Meet Bros, Lyrics by ~ Kumaar

The quintessential barnyard instrument — the banjo — starts off this song, which is the last offering from Meet Bros in the album, and also the finale of the album itself. Debutant Yash Narvekar starts off and you can’t help but think about Benny Dayal — He sounds so similar to Benny. Meet Bros support him in mainly the hookline. The composition is groovy and actually such that it will motivate you to workout. It has been arranged like a club song, with techno beats and all. Some EDM stuff too has been kept in store for us, and especially the tune of the antara sounds suitable for a club song, I don’t know why. :p The hookline is pretty weird, and not as catchy as the rest of the composition. The catchiest part in the song in my opinion was the antara. The song surely does engage you, but it isn’t one that stays with you for a long time afterwards. Kumaar’s lyrics aren’t great, but typical, and work for the song. Though nothing is ‘bad’ as such in the song, it makes for a weaker song than all the others, in the sense that it doesn’t stay with you after it’s over.


Ki & Ka was an album that I wasn’t expecting so much from after I learnt that it is a multicomposer album. I was expecting Ilaiyaraaja to compose all the songs, but what a surprise that the others overshadow him in this album. Mithoon scores an ace with his one and only song, the best in the album for me, and Meet Bros don’t disappoint with any if their songs, though the last falls a bit short of being a great one. Ilaiyaraaja comes up with a confusing song, which, instead of growing on me, went backward and (what should I say??) ‘ungrew’ on me. All in all, the album for ‘Ki & Ka’ is one that is suitable for the rom-com genre, and way better than Balki’s last album ‘Shamitabh’, if I were to compare. R. Balki made a great choice by going the multicomposer way!!! 🙂

 

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: Ji Huzoori > High Heels Te Nachche > Kabir Most Wanted Munda > Most Wanted Munda > Pump It > Foolishq

 

Which one is your favourite song from Ki & Ka? Please vote for it below! 🙂

 

Next “dish”: Baaghi, Chefs: Meet Bros, Amaal Mallik, Ankit Tiwari & Manj Musik

THE CASE OF THE UNCONVENTIONAL BOLLYWOOD SOUNDTRACK! (DETECTIVE BYOMKESH BAKSHY – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Madboy/Mink (Imaad Shah & Saba Azad), Sneha Khanwalkar, Dibakar Banerjee, Blek, Peter Cat Recording Co. (PCRC), Mode AKA, Joint Family & IJA
♪ Lyrics by: Madboy/Mink (Imaad Shah & Saba Azad), Sneha Khanwalkar, Dibakar Banerjee, Rishi Bradoo, Suryakant Sawhney, Sandeep Madhavan, Akshay De & IJA
♪ Music Label: YRF Music
♪ Music Released On: 16th March 2015
♪ Movie Releases On: 3rd April 2015

Detective Byomkesh Bakshy Album Cover

Detective Byomkesh Bakshy Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Detetctive Byomkesh Bakshy is an upcoming Bollywood detective thriller film, starring Sushant Singh Rajput in the titular role of the fictional detective Byomkesh Bakshy, created by Bengali writer Sharadindi Bandyopadhyay, upon whom he wrote many stories, and many films and TV shows have already been made in Bengali, this one being the first in Hindi! Supporting him are actors like Anand Tiwari playing his sidekick, Swastika Mukherjee and Meiyang Chang playing characters with grey shades. Thanks to director Dibakar Banerjee, those of us who aren’t familiar with Bakshy babu, like me, will be introduced to this sleuth. Those of us who have read his stories in Bengali, will get to see a new adaptation of the two stories ‘Satyanweshi’ and ‘Pother Kanta’, which are the stories which the film showcases. The film is a joint production between Dibakar Banerjee and one of the biggest production houses of Bollywood, Aditya Chopra’s Yash Raj Films. Going by the trailers, which were very intriguing, the movie is sure to have something unique and not just a regular detective flick. The music, I had thought, before the album released, would mostly consist of Background pieces, and therefore, wouldn’t be something that would make much of a mark. When the album released, I saw that SEVEN different names of people or groups were responsible for the music. Even though I saw that it is a multi-composer, I had some hopes, because this year, we’ve seen some brilliant cases of multi-composer albums that have triumphed like ‘Hawaizaada’, ‘NH10’, ‘Khamoshiyan’ to some extent. Seeing Sneha Khanwalkar having composed a song increased my expectations as she was the only person who I recognized. And last but definitely not the least, I thought about how prestigious both the production houses are, and how they can ever fail in giving a good album. So, did they meet my expectations? Read on to find out!


1. Calcutta Kiss
Singers ~ Imaad Shah & Saba Azad, Music by ~ Madboy/Mink, Lyrics by ~ Madboy/Mink

The strong percussive beats really give a wrong impression at he starting of the song, because who would think a retro jazzy, foot-tapping number would follow those beats, which could pretty much make their place in any upbeat song of these days as well. Anyways, as soon as that rhythm starts which takes you back to the 50s – 60s era, the song starts to fall into place. The sound effects in the prelude are very well-appointed, and they do give the retro feel, which works in favourite of the song, given the era that the film is set in. Saba and Imaad, who are the members of this Madboy/Mink band, themselves come behind the mic to create an atmosphere that’ll surely get you up and dancing to the enthusiastic rhythm. Saba sings in her trademark style, the Bartender voice, and helps the song become what it is, a catchy cabaret-ish number with shades of jazz. Had it been anyone else (except maybe Shalmali) the effect wouldn’t have been even half of this. The band has remade one of their songs from their album ‘All Ball’, which was called ‘Taste The Kiss’, adding some Hindi vocals in it, and also making Saba (or Mink) sing most of it. In the original, Imaad (or Madboy) had sung everything. The composition is just as lively and groovy as the rhythm, and has that mysterious element in it. The line “Do you know what time it is” is the peak of the song, and ensures the listeners to be humming along. Trumpets, piano, guitars and those sound effects, all create a queer, but wonderful environment. And that percussion is just awesome throughout the song. Even the lyrics build up a sense of suspense and mystery. Due to the beats, composition, vocals and to some extent, the Hindi lyrics, this song would probably be the closest to Bollywood music that there is on this soundtrack, and the most commercial as well. An impressive retro jazz number, which will make you tap your feet and nod your head along to its beats! Fabulous! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

2. Bach Ke Bakshy
Singers ~ Gowri Jayakumar, Big Deal, Thomson Andrews, Trevor, Rap by ~ Smokey the Ghosht, Craz Professa, Music by ~ Sneha Khanwalkar & Dibakar Banerjee, Lyrics by ~ Sneha Khanwalkar & Dibakar Banerjee

The next song is jointly composed by Sneha Khanwalkar (Probably the most well-known person on this soundtrack for Bollywood listeners) and Dibakar Banerjee, the director himself. So, wonder what this song has, that he had to contribute something to Sneha’s sole composition? Well, to tell you what it has would be a pretty long thing to do, so you better ask what it doesn’t have! Right from addictive rap, to a catchy, suspenseful composition, to dubstep, to some weird programming, it has everything that would just instantly appeal to your ears, which might be craving for something so unconventional for ages now! Smokey the Ghosht & Crazy Professa open up with their rap, which is quite a lot unlike the rap that is getting famous in India by some people (hinting at Honey Singh, Raftaar, Badshah, Dr. Zeus and the lot of Punjabi rappers that have been ruining the Bollywood industry with their only-they-think-it-is-cool rap) However, this rap really sounds awesome, and not an irritant. The hookline which follows, is some really mysteriously composed one and instantly stands out as something innovative. Gowri with her classical-based parts, balances out the song. Arrangements have been done just amazingly by Sneha. We already know how great she is at that. Mostly techno sounds, because that is what she is known for, and she uses them excellently. Disco beats also sound awesome in Gowri’s line. The weird breaking that she does with the vocals is evident here too, and works for the song. The lyrics are also well-suited to the theme of the movie, and provide for an interesting listen, so listen carefully! Overall, the song is a perfect theme song for a detective movie, which can arouse in the listeners, a sense of curiosity and eagerness to watch the movie. Innovation is her middle name, and she proves it yet again with this haunting track!! Great going Sneha! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

3. Byomkesh In Love
Singers ~ Rishi Bradoo, Anil Bradoo & Usri Banerjee, Music by ~ Blek, Lyrics by ~ Rishi Bradoo

Electric guitar starts off this song vibrantly, followed by some lively English lines, which sound very much like a full-fledged English song. It will surely appeal to you, though, even if you don’t like English songs. Because what comes next will blow your mind. Usri Banerjee comes in with her traditional classical Indian part, and provides the second aspect of this song. Two genres from across the world, when are fused together in one song, sound brilliant. The band Blek, an alt punk band consisting of Rishi Bradoo, Jared Creado and Linford D’Souza, has amalgamated both the genres very naturally, as though they were meant to co-exist. However, here’s the truth: the English part of this song is Blek’s 2012 song ‘Fog + Strobe’, and now, three years later, for Bollywood, they have infused a Thumri by Usri Banerjee into it, so it fits into the script and yet appeals to the audience! Really, hats off to them for accomplishing this! The arrangements are awesome, as well. The regular drums, electric guitars of English punk music, backs even the classical parts, giving a great contrast. The vocals have been done as well as international artists. And Usri stuns with her amazing rendition of the classical part. A romantic song, which is really unconventional! Kudos to Dibakar for fishing out such a weird and unusually extraordinary song from Indie artists like Blek! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

4. Jaanam
Singer ~ Suryakant Sawhney, Music by ~ Peter Cat Recording Co. (PCRC), Lyrics by ~ Suryakant Sawhney

The retro waltz beats with which this song starts, are enough to divert your attention from whatever you are doing at the moment, and do nothing else but solely hear this wonderful romantic number. Peter Cat Recording Co. (PCRC) is a Delhi based psych rock band, and they have revamped their song ‘Pariquel’ from their album ‘Sinema’, by making it into a full Hindi song, with Hindi lyrics. Suryakant Sawhney, a member of the band, had sung the original version in English and he sings and writes the Hindi version for this album very efficiently. The arrangements are really very captivating, and you can’t help but nod your head to those waltz beats. Even the clattering sounds like those castanets, as used in old Bollywood films’ cabaret songs like the music of O.P. Nayyar and the lot, has been used magnificently! But here, I think they are just two drumsticks (not the vegetable) which are being hit on each other. (If you can’t hear them, hear closely when the singer says “Ye din toh aayega..”) The occasional sound of a cymbal, and drums, sounds good in the song. The composition is very, very sweet and addictive, and Bollywood is already familiar to this type of composition, thus giving it more of a Bollywood audience to appeal to. The whole song seems to have been intentionally muffled, to make it sound more like it has been recorded in the 50s or so. That is why, when the song ends, you feel awkward, because of the sudden silence. 😀 Suryakant’s vocals are a bit off tune at some places, but it wouldn’t have sounded that good if they hadn’t been, and would’ve sounded very artificial. And the lyrics have shades of betrayal in them. Definitely hear this one, for its beautiful tune, thought-provoking lyrics and awesome arrangements!! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

5. Chase In Chinatown
Singers ~ Vyshnav Balasubramaniam, Sandeep Madhavan & Manas Ullas, Music by ~ Mode AKA, Lyrics by ~ Sandeep Madhavan

This is one of the original songs on this score, a song which breaks any previous conception that metal is something which Bollywood is not cut out for at all. You must have heard it in the trailer of the movie, and must have fallen in love (let’s say fascination, because it doesn’t sound right to fall in “love” with a metal song 😂 ) So you must’ve got fascinated by it right when you heard it in the trailer. And fascinate you is all it does! It hardly has any intelligible words, so the lyrics don’t count here. The vocals have a very small role to play, when the guys yell some things, and half of them since you can’t make out, you subconsciously ignore the vocals too. But they are full of angst wherever they do exist. So all your attention goes to the stellar arrangements — the brilliant electric guitars, the bass sounds, the techno synth sounds, which just impress you more and more each time you hear the song. The mic feedback sound effects also sound awesome. The rhythm which the song is on, is one that, yet again, manages to make you dance. The various sounds that the band has used in this track, never fail to catch your attention. Yet another brilliant and unusual composition, this one introducing metal genre into Bollywood, with a whole lot of cool new sounds!! A must-listen!! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

6. Life’s A Bitch
Singer ~ Akshay De, Music by ~ Joint Family, Lyrics by ~ Akshay De

The next track on the soundtrack is yet another metal song, this time more full-fledged, open and bold than the previous track. Again, the lyrics and vocals play very less part as compared to the arrangements and composition. Unlike the previous track, this one won’t instantly appeal to all listeners. Joint Family very conveniently just picks up their 2007 song with the same name and gives it to Dibakar to make it a part of his film’s soundtrack. The attempt to create a Metal song in India in 2007, that too, such an open one, has to be appreciated! It might come across as too loud for some, but awesomely cool to others. As for me, I fall in between these two categories. I’ve been impressed by the wonderful arrangements on the track and the awesome , but those monstrous vocals of the lead singer kinda put me off. I get that this is the whole idea of Metal, but the yelling was a bit too much to bear. 😂😂 Moving on, the accent of Akshay De seems like he’s an Australian. 😜 A great attempt to introduce heavy metal to India, but I guess it’s a bit too heavy. Nevertheless, it deserves at least one listen!

 

7. Yang Guang Lives
Singer ~ IJA, Music by ~ IJA, Lyrics by ~ IJA 

This song (or background piece) is composed by band IJA, and showcases some stunning sound effects. It starts with the sound of a gong, followed by some percussion beats, after which it falls silent for quite some time. The vocals are nothing but a man whispering some things in anger, which arouse the sense of suspense and mystery inside you. The whole song is pretty silent, with nothing much to hear or describe in a review, for the first two minutes, after which a catchy techno tune starts, which slowly gains pace and intrigues you as it progresses. Meanwhile the members of IJA keep whispering stuff. It eventually takes a rock form, and the electric guitars have been played in an awesome way. The composition seems to be one that would be played in the climax of the movie, in the background, when things are tense, when the detective is very, very close to solving the mystery. Drums also complement the guitars, making it end as something which makes you think what you just heard. Something different from the usual background pieces included in Bollywood albums. Hear it for the awesome sound effects and the marvelous arrangements towards the end!! A silent ending to the album! #5StarHotelSong!!


Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! Whatever I say about this album, it would be an understatement. Dibakar Banerjee has stayed true to his convention of doing the unconventional, whereas Aditya Chopra has broken all the stereotypes that had been given to YRF by including such tracks in this album and producing the album. Both of them together have picked out in total, seven songs from artists from a music scene that barely gets the importance it needs in India. By doing this, they have taken it upon themselves to promote such talents, and they have done so with utmost excellence. Each of the artists have very efficiently delivered what was needed from them, and definitely what was unexpected. Dibakar stays true to his film’s tagline i.e, EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED!! And this was indeed unexpected!! 

 

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: Jaanam > Byomkesh In Love > Calcutta Kiss > Chase In Chinatown > Bach Ke Bakshy > Yang Guang Lives > Life’s A Bitch

 

Which is your favourite song from Detective Byomkesh Bakshy? Please vote for it below! 🙂 Thanks!

 

Next “dish”: Ek Paheli Leela, Chefs: Dr. Zeus, Amaal Mallik, Meet Bros. Anjjan, Tony Kakkar & Uzair Jaswal

MULTI-COMPOSERS KI OONCHI UDAAN!! (HAWAIZAADA – Music Review)

Greetings! I just thought that it would be sensible to post this review on Republic Day as the movie is about the achievement of an Indian, after all! So Happy Republic Day and enjoy the music review of Hawaizaada!


Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Rochak Kohli, Mangesh Dhakde, Ayushmann Khurrana & Vishal Bhardwaj
♪ Lyrics by: Vibhu Virender Puri & Mirza Ghalib (Dil-E-Nadaan)
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 19th January 2015
♪ Movie Releases On: 30th January 2015

Hawaizaada Album Cover

Hawaizaada Album Cover

 

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

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Hawaizaada is an upcoming Bollywood film which is the directorial debut of lyricist Vibhu Virender Puri (‘Guzaarish’, ‘Chor Chor Super Chor’), produced by Vishal Gurnani, Rajesh Banga & Reliance Entertainment and starring Ayushmann Khurrana, Pallavi Sharda & Mithun Chakraborty in key roles. The movie is based on the life of Shivkar Bapuji Talpade, who had allegedly invented a flying machine (the world’s first unmanned plane) here in India six years before the Wright Brothers did so in U.S.A. Since very little information is known about Talpade, Vibhu Puri decided to explore this topic further and make a film about it! The story really seems very interesting, and I just wish the movie also gets all the love and positivity from the audience when it releases on 30th January. Coming to the music, because this is a music review, it has been composed by four composers, thus making it a multi-composer album. The composers are a Marathi composer Mangesh Dhakde, who has composed a Hindi album in 2013 called ‘Chor Chor Super Chor’, Rochak Kohli, Ayushmann Khurrana and a guest composition by the one and only Vishal Bhardwaj! So you can see now why I am so excited about this album. And now, the time has come to review it! Let’s see exactly how high this plane flies! 😉


1. Hawaizaada Dil
Singer ~ Rochak Kohli, Music by ~ Rochak Kohli

The soundtrack is opened up by Rochak’s light and heartwarming rhythmic vocals (pbrooo-pbroo-pbru-pbru-pbru), after which the actual words start. Rochak sounds a lot like Mohit Chauhan, and sings the song in a very lively way. Western-styled guitar has a prominent role in the track; it makes sure the listeners do not get bored, and also keeps the track lively and also very quirky and different. The antaras have the charm in them which makes us groove to the tune and the guitars which Rochak has equipped in the background, also sound great in this composition. Lyrics by Vibhu Puri are also sweet. I also found ththough the composition does not instantly hook you, it grows with time and then it couldn’t be any better! I found myself humming it all day! 😀 Nice, lively opening to the album by Rochak! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

2. Daak Ticket
Singers ~ Mohit Chauhan & Javed Bashir, Music by ~ Rochak Kohli

So here, along comes the actual Mohit, after the first song sung by Rochak who sounded like Mohit. And as always, Mohit impresses and how! His metallic voice proves to be very effective for the song, and half the battle is won there itself. His voice is supported by Javed’s Sufi-esque vocals, which enhances the already great song even more. Going on to Rochak’s composition, I believe that it is one of the sweetest and most motivational songs of the year so far. A beautiful traditional melody mounted on a catchy tabla rhythm just makes you delighted when you hear it. Arrangements are fabulous and make great use of mostly traditional style of playing instruments like the tablas, daflis and flutes. Occassional trumpets and drumrolls give the British rule feel. Again, Vibhu Puri excels with the lyrics, which are so very motivational and radiate that unmistakable positivity. It’s all about the confidence Shivkar Talpade had in himself that he would surely make history. Full marks to Vibhu for the lyrics! A beautiful song, impossible to hate. Full marks for composition, lyrics, arrangements and vocals!! #5StarHotelSong!!!

 

3. Maazaa My Lord
Singers ~ Mohit Chauhan & Neeti Mohan, Portuguese Vocals ~ Thomson Andrews & Gwen Dias, Music by ~ Mangesh Dhakde

The next composer Mangesh steps in with yet another song drenched in brilliance. Mangesh Dhakde had composed a very retro-style tune, one which reminds you instantly of the 50s era of Bollywood music. Mohit and Neeti’s fabulous singing reminds you of the classic Rafi-Asha duets of the time. Right from the beautiful prelude which the song opens up with, wonderfully sung by Mohit Chauhan, you can sense something different and unique about the song. The accordions and Spanish guitars are the main attractions of the song, and they have been equipped mastermindedly by Mangesh. The Latin feel has been brought out awesomely because of the unique composition and music. Neeti sounds a class apart in the song even though she has a comparatively smaller part than Mohit. Her part in the antara is just too lovely. One of the interludes, has a splendid Portuguese chorus which takes your breath away. This song has a very distinct Victorian feel to it. Lyrics are even better in this song, comparing the whole love process to a court case. Unique concept! Words like “my lord”, “vakaalat”, “hukumat”, “kachehri”, “daleel”, “mukaddama”, “binaah” and many more make the song sound more sophisticated. Finally, Neeti’s grand conclusion to the song leaves you wanting more even after 5 and a half minutes! Everything about this song is truly stupendous, and Mangesh very impressively gets his big break in the Bollywood industry! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

4. Dil-E-Nadaan / Dil-E-Nadaan (Reprise)
Singers ~ Ayushmann Khurrana / Ayushmann Khurrana & Shweta Subram, Music by ~ Ayushmann Khurrana, Poetry by ~ Mirza Ghalib

Ayushmann gets his first credit as a music composer in a Bollywood film with this film, and what he has given us, really proves that he deserves this honour! Actually, this should’ve happened ages before, is what we think! Mirza Ghalib’s immortal poetry, which has already been recreated many times before, gets yet another variation to it. Ayushmann has composed a completely different tune to the poem, and it is one which will give you goosebumps, literally! The use of tablas really enhances the composition throughout, and a lot! Santoor notes each time in the hookline, really give a calming effect. Guitars have not been used as prominently as in other Ayushmann songs, but this time the classical instruments have overshadowed it. Violins and a sitar interlude also impress greatly, not to mention waterdrop sounds in the second antara. Ayushmann’s performance is awesome, with his usual sweet sounding variations. The reprise version takes the classical song to rock level, giving it an altogether different feel. Do watch out for the twist in the second antara in this version. Shweta Subram, newcomer, starts off wonderfully with the couplets of Jigar Modarabaadi’s “Aag Ka Dariya Doob Ke Jaana”. She sounds awesome! Though it is rock song, it still sounds very soothing somehow! Hats-off to Ayushmann for giving such a beautiful composition!!! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

5. Udd Jayega
Singers ~ Sukhwinder Singh & Ranadeep Bhasker, Backing Vocals ~ Rahul Mukherjee, Ranadeep Bhasker, Aanandi Joshi & Moumeeta Choudhury, Music by ~ Mangesh Dhakde

A folksy string instrument welcomes us into the nest song with Sukhwinder’s unique rustic vocals following. The song is another motivational and inspirational one, feeling even more so because of the energetic composition by Mangesh. Actually, the composition reminded me a lot of A.R. Rahman’s songs from ‘Lagaan’. Awesome job by Mangesh to accomplish something like this. His arrangements are also outstanding. The wind instruments and Daflis placed each time the hookline comes, makes you get hooked to the song instantly. The lyrics by Vibhu enhance the inspirational feeling even more. He has compared the plane (which is being designed by the scientist in the film) to a swan or hans. What a great comparison! Of course, we can also take it to mean that the hans is the scientist, who will accomplish his dream of building a flying machine and fly to the heights (as in, get famous). That has been left to us to decode. 😃 The vocals by Sukhwinder, are as always great, and Ranadeep’s short recitation from the Bhagavad Geeta has been wonderfully incorporated into the song. The backing vocalists also do a brief but great job. Catchy arrangements enhance the composition to levels which are unbelievable! Kudos to Mangesh! Yet another #5StarHotelSong!!!

 

6. Dil Todne Ki Masheen
Singer ~ Rekha Bhardwaj, Music by ~ Vishal Bhardwaj

The senior to all the other composers, and a musical genius according to me, Vishal Bhardwaj, finally enters this till-now superb album, to add some magic of his own to it. And what he presents in front of us, is something very amazing and stunning. For a female item or dance number, what better choice has he than to take his own better half, Rekha Bhardwaj? And she renders his awesome, catchy composition with ease and expertise. Here, he has composed a very traditional Maharashtrian folk song, a Lavani, in a very professional way, as if he himself is a Maharashtrian. The introduction to the song itself assures you that the song will definitely have something incredible to offer you. The contrast between the mukhda, which is very raunchy and masaaledaar, and the antaras, which are a bit milder and have a easier-to-the-ears tune, has been balanced expertly. Traditional lavani instruments like lezim and dholkis have been used by Vishal to make the song sound like a genuine lavani. Both the male and female backing vocals appointed by Vishal have done great to take the song to another level. The unusual Spanish guitars in the lavani also work in favourite of the song! That was an interesting fusion! Vibhu’s lyrics also go with the theme of the song. 😃 Vishal gives us one of the most dhamaakedaar item/dance numbers of late! Finally a song for the masses in this classy album! Not that the classes won’t appreciate it, though! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

7. Yaadien Gatthri Mein
Singer ~ Harshdeep Kaur, Music by ~ Mangesh Dhakde

Mangesh returns with a shorter and more soothing version of ‘Udd Jayega’, this one sung peacefully by the Sufi queen of today, Harshdeep Kaur. Though she has very little lines to sing, she does present them with extreme serenity and showcases her immense talent even in these one and a half minutes. Mangesh supports her with beautiful backing orchestrations consisting of violins and flutes. Short and sweet, sure to bring a smile on your face! Nevertheless, it is definitely a #5StarHotelSong!!

 

8. Turram Khan
Singers ~ Papon, Ayushmann Khurrana & Monali Thakur, Music by ~ Rochak Kohli

Rochak returns towards the end of the soundtrack after his two brilliant opening songs, bringing back with him, his quirk and individuality. Ordinary, soft, contemporary guitar riffs kick off the song, composed mostly on the country template. An abrupt and unexpected tempo switch not too far into the song, surprises, but also makes you smile. Lively arrangements made up of impressive banjos and whistles, have been awesomely managed by Rochak. The hookline with the rhythmic “Tu Tu Tu Tu turru Tu..” also sound great. Lyrics by Vibhu Puri give a clear insight as to what situation this song must have been placed in the film, with the scientist’s peers not quite believing in him, and dismissing his dream as nonsense. Of course, since the song is situational, it might not impress all at once, but the vocalists and energetic tune take care of that. Ayushmann and Monali, do not have very big parts as compared to Papon, who does very well, but even they impress in their short portions. A wonderful glimpse of country music is displayed in this song, with awesome vocals, lyrics and quirky music! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

9. Teri Dua
Singers ~ Wadali Brothers, Lakhwinder Singh, Harshdeep Kaur, Ravindra Sathe, Backing Vocals ~ Ranadeep Bhasker, Rahul Mukherjee, Aanandi Joshi & Moumeeta Choudhury, Music by ~ Mangesh Dhakde

‘Udd Jayega’ once again gets a makeover, and this time, with a divine Qawwali and Bhajan touch. The Wadali Brothers, Lakhwinder and Harshdeep bring in the beautiful Sufi touch required and Mangesh does a brilliant job in giving a Qawwali twist to the already magnificent composition. A wonderful Bhajan touch has also been given towards the middle of the song. Qawwali instruments like harmonium, tablas, pakhawaj make the composition sound even more angelic. Vibhu’s altered lyrics, in my opinion, are the best lyrics of any song in the album! Again, the song radiates a lot of positive and supreme energy. Backing vocals have been equipped and managed expertly in this song as well. In the Bhajan portion, sacred manjeeras and bells do the job of grasping our attention very well, before giving way again to the Qawwali. All the singers have been aptly chosen and do an outstanding to provide a memorable ending to the album! The best version of ‘Udd Jayega’ in my opinion, solely for the Qawwali-Bhajan fusion and the vibrant arrnagemnts and vocals! Brilliant ending to this fabulous album! #5StarHotelSong!!


As you can see, Hawaizaada can easily be called a #5StarHotelAlbum, as all songs in it are #5StarHotelSongs! With the numerous multi-composer albums releasing nowadays, which didn’t quite impress, Hawaizaada is the first in months that we actually had faith in to break the stereotype and prove that, of well-managed, even a multi-composer album can do wonders! Director and lyricist Vibhu Puri has done a great job in selecting apt songs for all the situations which would sound great with the narration as well as sound great when heard individually! Hawaizaada turns out to be a special case, in the sense that it is the first multi-composer album in which all the songs impress, and all the composers seem to be complementing each other very well, unlike others in which the composers seem to be conflicting in musical style and genres! The multi-composers have shown their ability to embark on a flight to the musical heights!!

 

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: No order as such, as all the songs are gems, but make sure you do not miss even a single one!

 

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

 

Next “dish”: Khamoshiyan, Chefs: Jeet Gannguli, Bobby-Imran, Naved Zafar & Ankit Tiwari