I am writing this post with my poll, best music of 2009, in the next tab. The poll results yet are almost the same as I expected, except for a few changes caused by one factor, a species called fans, which I had almost never seen until I started the poll. Anyway, today I am planning to give MY view on the topic.
I had originally put 14 albums on the poll. Love Aaj Kal, APKGK, and Tum Mile of Pritam, Luck by Chance, Wake Up Sid, and London Dreams by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Toshi-Sharib’s Jashnn and Raaz TMC, Vishal’s Kaminey, Piyush Misra’s Gulaal, Salim-Sulaiman’s Kurbaan, Himesh’s Radio and Amit Trivedi’s Dev.D. And while I loved the music of ALL these movies, I was almost sure people would vote for Dev.D, and my Twitter-mates (with a huge exception of aagan21) made my view stronger.
But public is public and it rarely reacts the way you expect. You watch a movie called Paa, you love it, but you find people who do not watch it just because they think bearing with a unique nasal voice for two hours is not possible, just for example. So people do vote Delhi 6 above Dev.D, (36/35 right now) which is a bit not-what-i-expected. So I think it’s a good idea to tell people WHY I think Dev.D was the Best Music Album of 2009.
First of all, it may be a straight fight for the best between Delhi 6 and Dev.D, but there have been some really wonderful albums this year. Vishal Bharadwaj’s Kaminey, Pritam’s Tum Mile and APKGK, and Piyush Misra’s Gulaal are definitely worth a mention here. But then, while A R Rahman created one of his best albums this year as Delhi 6, Amit Trivedi finally came up with the bumper soundtrack of Dev.D which actually turned out to be the baap of all genres as he had claimed.
So finally, I AM ASSUMING that there are just two nominations in front of me (and that is what the poll results say, too) as Delhi 6 and Dev.D. I will select Dev.D because:
1. Dev.D was NEW. This is by far the biggest reason I think of Dev.D as the best album of 2009. It was high on standards, but at the same time it was completely new and fresh. On the other hand, however hard you try, you can not prove Delhi 6 had something that was unheard of. Genda Phool was a high quality remix of a folk song and Rehna tu a typical Rahman material. Dil Gira Daffatan was the only thing that was actually new as Rahman had not done such wonders with male voices previously. Though Mayya Mayya would fall in kind of same category. Foreign voices, Indian lyrics, and a new way of fusion. Arziyaan, however good, was yet another deeply moving song by Rahman. One more name in the list that starts with Piya Haji Ali and goes through Khwaja mere Khwaja. Masakkali and title were of course regular. But I had not heard a song like Emosanal Attyachar in my life and the song’s rock version was an unheard of thing in the Indian Cinema until Dev.D came. Every song, be it Pardesi, Nayan Tarse, Saali Khushi, or Paayaliya, was not only new but was wonderfully good. The album had every mood – happy, sad, angry, reclusive, philosophical, excited, dancing, whatever, and was still not boring or too heavy. I guess I have not seen anything that NEW from Rahman for a long time now.
2. Dev.D had Emosanal Attyachar. And it was so different, probably I could suggest the album for an award just for those two versions of Attyachar. While Emotional Attyachar, rock version is something that I love at any time any day, THE Emosanal Attyachar is something without which I would have missed an entire genre of music.
3. We do not want Rahman Awards. OK. Change in that. ‘I’ do not want Rahman Awards. Now you might ask what a Rahman award is. Take for example, Filmfare awards. It has been only once in the history of Filmfare when Rahman lost an award to someone else. That for Swades (and unfairly I’d say, to me Swades was any day better than Main Hoon Na, talking music too). Otherwise, once nominated, Rahman does get an award, be it a Lagaan against a fresh Dil Chahta Hai or a very usual Guru against a rocking Life in a Metro. I still remember Rahman receiving the Filmfare in 2008 and praising Monty and Pritam from the stage for their wonderful albums (Saanwariya and Metro). This shows the greatness and humility of Rahman but it also shows the fear and close-mindedness of organizers and juries. I do not want all new and fresh to ultimately get just consolation awards from Rahman. So every deserving person, be it Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, or Monty Sharma, or Pritam, or Amit Trivedi, should get their share of appreciation.
4. It’s NOT about Oscars. When I put the ‘composer of the year’ poll on my blog, somebody asked me if ‘two Oscars were not enough to decide.’ And then I asked the guy a simple question. If Oscars were the only measure, would he rate Slumdog Millionaire as Rahman’s best? Of course it was not Rahman’s best. In fact Slumdog Millionaire was not anywhere even close to Rahman’s best. To me, Oscars are not the standard. Oh, to me even Filmfare is not the standard but I mean Bombay’s Hindi film Industry here, the one popularly known as Bollywood. If we have our own film Industry, we should have our own standards and we should be confident enough to rely on them and stick to them.
So these are my reasons for counting Dev.D as the best album of the year 2009. What is your say?