Lanka: Music Review (Toshi-Sharib, Gaurav Dagaonkar, Rishabh)

I wanted to write a review for Lanka since I heard it for the first time, say a week ago at least, but somehow couldn’t do it yet. Finally writing it now.

The album starts with Iltija, Rishabh Srivastava’s song from his debut album Iltija. The song on the Bhatt pattern is an okay composition and sung okay too, making an okay though a little unevenly spaced start.

The next song Aap ki Aahat, composed by Toshi-Sharib sounds like the beginning of Bhatt-camp-song again as the beginning seconds remind me of aye kaash, kash yoon hota, but then the young Sabri brothers get into a different mood as they compose a slower tune for Sonu Nigam to sing, with some interesting lyrics as well. Nice one, something that Sonu Nigam sounds nice singing.

Sheet Lahar, composed by Gaurav and sung by Shreya, is a slow, nice composition with simple lyrics. The slow pace of the song may not appeal to all and definitely not one for ‘quick listening’ but if you give it time, lyrics as well Shreya’s singing would appeal to you. Nice job by Gaurav Dagaonkar.

The next song is again by Gaurav Dagaonkar, and is my favorite from the movie. Yup, it’s KK singing, where the irritation claimed by the lyrics can almost be heard in his voice. Barham hain hum is something to listen to, definitely.

Qubool, the next, is a regular Toshi-Sharib song, sung by Toshi, but then the song has an added dose of good lyrics, that too in prayer to god, making the song nicer to listen. Liked.

Sheet Leher comes in a different version, this time sung by Tia Bajpai, and sounds okay.

The last one from the album, Sunidhi Chauhan’s Hai Rama Rama, composed by Toshi-Sharib, doesn’t seem to be any purpose more than being yet another item number in the movie.

Overall, however, the album is good, with Gaurav Dagaonkar giving some good numbers while Toshi-Sharib give more or less their average, which is good, to say the least. Do listen to the album especially for Sonu, Shreya, n KK’s songs.

Book Review: ‘Two Fates: The Story of My Divorce’ by Judy Balan

When I read the name of the book a few weeks ago on Flipkart’s list of Pre-Order books, I somehow found it interesting, and since it was for just Rs 105, I ordered the book right away.

Fast forward to December 1, when I got an email from office mail room saying there was a Flipkart for me and I should come and collect it (that’s what they wrote). While going, I suddenly realized it was the pre-ordered book (I still didn’t remember the name), and then after having scribbled something in the mail register I proceeded to remove the great Flipkart packing.

No, I am not a blurb reader, but those who did read the blurb in the office almost immediately queued themselves up for the copy. And then I had to make them read the absolute first page of the book, which I found interesting.

And then, through my busy schedule (you claim your schedule busy when you work Saturday, of course) I kept turning the pages of the book, which was happening quite fast and the book was over (with this schedule, surprisingly) in just two days.

That was the story of my well spent hundred and five rupees.

Yep. I did like the book. The beginning of the book was funny, and that again means the absolute first page which is Judy Balan’s introduction. After that, the first two acknowledgements made me a bit impatient and I simply moved to the last one, to find what I had expected. And then, the book started.

The Prologue was nice and made me think I was going to read yet another Chetan Bhagat novel. The first page of the first chapter, however, made me a little afraid that I was in for yet another round of the exact same things I had read in Two States. But thankfully, my fears never got realized.

No, not that the story or the way Judy tells the story here are different, but the book, simply is not what Chetan’s book was. It’s not the same two people that were there in that one, and then, the similarities are more the ones which make you laugh, than the ones which make up the real story of the book.

Now before my review goes completely haywire, here are the points that I noticed about the book.

  • It’s a page turner. Simple and entertaining.
  • In case you had any doubts even after the first one, here I say clearly, It’s funny. At least I found it so.
  • Characters of the book are interesting. Though Judy doesn’t describe them specially, their traits come out with the story going on. Liked that.
  • A few things (not many, really) are simply impossible to believe to have happened in reality, but they have been added to make things funny and mostly they pass.
  • Near the end things go a little too dramatic, but by the time you close the book, things are again mostly sane and real, so you don’t feel cheated, at least.
  • Overall, I totally liked the book, though it’s not something I’d read again, hopefully. Yet, I’d like to read the author’s next.

In short, Two Fates is something really good for a first novel and would not disappoint you if you like light reading. That’s all I have to say.

PS (with Spoiler alert): I do not think anyone who went to IIM may not know who O’Henry is. Hope I am right.

Players: Music Review (Pritam)

Ten tracks, five songs and rest reprises and remixes. Typical Pritam.

Jis jagah khatam sabki baat hoti hai is again a patterned one with Neeraj Shridhar, SIddharth, Mauli, and an almost chorus, and sounds quite like an Abbas Mustan movie song, but works fine.

The second song, Jhoom jhoom jhoomta tu ja, is not just a different one for Pritam, but a lovely one and a well chosen voice. The song has a little Turkish-Arabic touch, a hint of belly dance numbers, but still the tune doesn’t get all alien. Reminds me of Hawa hawa a bit too. But what I loved here was Ritu Pathak’s voice whose voice has been used by Pritam before but not so well.

The third one, however, did not sound that interesting to me. Yashita Yashpal’s Ho gayi tun has a tune that might sound addictive, but not so soon. Not on my list for now. Maybe promos or more listening change the opinion.

The next, Isko Buddhi Do Bhagwan, is a hit material, though quality might not be the aim here. The lyrics are too simple and so is the tune, but it’s Url (Earl)’s Abhishek Bachchan like voice that might do the trick here. As for Shruti Pathak, it’s probably her voice’s worst use till date.

Enter Pritam and Mohit, with Shreya, to make you go mad, again, like always. Dil ye bekaraar kyun hai, tujhpe aetbaar kyun hai, kyun hai ye khumaar kyun hai.. whatever. The whole point is that Pritam can do it with Mohit a hundred times and still get amazing results. God knows how. Just do listen. They do it for the umpteenth time.

Siddharth Basrur’s version of Jhoom jhoom goes with a very different style when compared to that of Ritu. While the first one was all about ‘nice’ singing, this is almost about mad singing. I mean Siddharth seems to be singing a song that was made for Atif here, and interestingly, still manages to sound good. Catchy and yet looks like it’ll have some good shelf life.

Dil ye Beqarar kyun hai appears again, this time with Nikhil D’Souza singing the reprise. Pritam once again keeps him with more techno version, but this time his voice has been processed a bit too. Still the song does sound nice. And though the first choice still is Mohit’s version, I don’t think I’ll be listening to this version very less. Priyani Vani sounds okay.

And then the final, film version of Jhoom Jhoom comes from Arijit Singh, who sings probably his first solo here, and does it really well for a beginner.

As for the remixes, there are two, for the first song of Neeraj and Mohit’s Dil ye bekaraar kyun hai. None too special, though I was wondering if it was Nikhil’s voice in the background of the latter.

Overall, Players is once again a lovely album from Pritam where he mostly creates what he is an expert at, with one or two new things here and there. Dil ye beqaraar and Jhoom Jhoom are definitely the two to look forward to.

Samsung Galaxy Note: Prices, Opinion

Frankly, I am not an expert at Phones and never thought of writing a phone’s review unless I saw Galaxy Note. I guess that’s a plus. Still, technically it’s not a review, but an opinion that I wanted to put here.

First thing, I saw the phone at Univercell, and they told me the phone was available for 33k and not 35k. My motive there mainly was to see what the difference was between S2 and Note, but I was surprised to see that beyond the ‘note’ features Samsung is talking about, the phone was nice, big of course, but somehow I didn’t have a problem with that, and I pretty much liked the things that the large size offered, be it the display, or the written input.

Yeah, being a blogger and Twitter addict, one of the most important things for me is a physical QWERTY, or at least that was what I used to think until two days ago. But with Galaxy note, I had some good space and good response to written input, and for the first time I was wondering about buying a phone which doesn’t have a physical QWERTY.

In short, as far as I could see, if you are okay with the size of the phone, compared to Galaxy S2, Note is worth the difference.

As for the prices, Univercell is offering the phone at 33k right now, with certain cards getting you 6 months’ Free EMI. Snapdeal seems to be getting it for almost 33k too, while Flipkart is offering the phone at 33.5k, with an offer that gives you a designer flip cover worth Rs 1799.

Buy SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE from Flipkart here.

It’s simple: Compose. Win. Be known.

Lorien Motion Pictures are coming up with a movie called Kaafiron ki Namaaz, and have announced a contest where You can can compose something for them.

Yes. With the movie, for which soundtrack recording is in progress, and names like Usha Uthup, Javed Ali, Najim Arshad, Kshitij Tarey are all set to be there on the covers, here is a chance for you or your band to share the space on the same cover with an original song of yours if you win the contest.

So if you are a musician looking for a chance, or a band, or know someone who might make it his or her big break, just reach Lorien Motion Pictures at http://www.facebook.com/lorienmotionpictures and get the details.

For any further details you may even tweet to @BhargavSaikia.

Dam 999: Music Review (Ouseppachchan)

Mujhe chhod ke kyun gayi, dil tod ke kyun chali.. when Hariharan starts singing, it sounds like an okay start. Okay because for once you feel that the lyrics have just been set on the music. Or something like that. And then you wonder whether the song will survive, because it’s really slow. But somehow it grows on you, and by the time you finish listening to it, you can play it again. At least I could.

Shreya’s version of the song is more or less the same, except that Shreya’s voice sounds more serious, a little heavier, than her regular voice. Nice.

The next song is a discovery. Of a singer. K Niran is the name and the guy reminded me of KK from the very start even though the voice did not sound much like KK’s. The song, Baat ye kya, is a slow number with very light, background’ish touch of rock in the arrangements. Frankly, the song is lovely, and the singer sings really nice. Problem: Pronunciation, diction. Hope it’ll get better with time, hoping he sings more Hindi.
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Don 2: Music Review (Shankar Ehsaan Loy)

So Farhan Akhtar makes SRK do a Salman in Don 2.

Well, I am not talking about acting, but like almost every Salman film, this time SRK starts the soundtrack of Don 2 with a dialog, that merges into the second track, Zaraa Dil ko thaam lo, beautifully sung by Vishal Dadlani and Anusha Mani. I mean Shankar Ehsaan Loy this time get a voice that sounds like that of a Don instead of Shaan, who sounded all nice, not too fit for a Don I’d say. The melody is nice even though SEL keep the arrangements much as in the previous Don. Nice start.

The thing that most interested me, however, was Usha Uthup’s mysterious voice singing na koi raat hai, na koi din yahaan, to start hai ye maaya. Shankar Ehsaan Loy come up with a nice melody again, though the arrangements have been kept very espionage-y, reminding me of Karthik calling Karthik where this job was entitled to Midival Punditz. Totally like. Precisely, it’s ‘more than background.’

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Ghost: Music Review (Toshi-Sharib)

I don’t know how many today are interested in listening to an album with Shiney Ahuja as the main lead of its movie. But I certainly have interest in listening to a Toshi-Sharib album. And hence, a review.

Toshi and Akram Sabri’s Jalwanuma shows the good and the bad of the brothers. The song is just like almost all the other hits from the brothers, but still the song sounds as nice as any of them and sticks like anything. Basically, couldn’t help liking it, even with nothing new in it.

The next song, Sunidhi’s Aaja Khatam Sabr kar de, is a nice number again, and though the song doesn’t have anything too interesting or new, it’s a simple, nice number on a good melody.

Song number three Salame Salame gets Shaan singing with Sharib. And the song is the type that would need quite some publicity before it can be popular, which I presume is not gonna be there easily. Shaan almost gets into the color of Sharib-Toshi here. And yeah, I was wondering how come so many of Shaan’s song have that word ’tishnagi.’

The next singer happens to be Javed Ali, who in Dil ke Liye once again sounds a lot like Sonu Nigam, especially in the higher notes. In fact Javed’s singing here, though quite good, reminds me of Kumar Sanu and even hints of Udit Narayan. Still, the song doesn’t sound like coming from ’90s, but has effects of Toshi-Sharib quite clear. Still, worth listening to.

The last song of the album Kahan hai tu is sung by Sharib alone. The rock number with some sad lyrics has some nice sounds that make it worth a listen again.

Overall, Ghost is a VERY Sharib-Toshi album with almost nothing new but still almost everything very much listenable. Somehow Sharib-Toshi are still able to maintain interest in their songs even with their repetitive style. Big deal I guess.

Jo Hum Chahein: Music Review (Sachin Gupta)

Sachin Gupta, the man behind Ehsaan itna sa kar de and Prince, is here again, with his new album, Jo Hum Chahein. Here is a review of the album.

The album starts with Aaj bhi Party sung by Suraj Jagan, which impresses with its sound from the very beginning. Yet another party song, Aaj bhi party is based on a nice tune and the sound of the song has been well worked on. Suraj Jagan once again does well.

The second song of the album, Ishq hothon se to hota nahi bayaan is a nice surprise from KK and Shreya Ghoshal, that goes a little in the ‘Ehsaan’ way, without the high notes. I mean, the song is a really soulful number with lovely lyrics and soft music on a nice melody, but the background has some rock’ish effects here and there. Well fused. Do listen.

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Ladies v/s Ricky Bahl: Music Review (Salim-Sulaiman)

Salim-Sulaiman once again do well for the Yash Raj banner. Here is a review of Ladies v/s Ricky Bahl.

Aadat se majboor has some experimental sounds with the regular Salim-Sulaiman pop pattern. The tune is catchy and the song sounds quite nice. Easy on ears. Salim-Sulaiman-Benny-YRF is a success again.

The next, Jazbaa sung by Shilpa Rao, has some nice lyrics and Salim-Sulaiman give some simple sounding music for this one, though the choice of instruments doesn’t sound that simple if you listen with attention. Salim’s backing vocals might remind you of Fashion or any other of their songs as well. Still, the song is overall a nice one and the hardwork the composers have put in is clearly audible.

Vishal Dadlani and Shweta Pandit’s poppy Thug le has a bit too simple tune in some parts, and even though the song is made to be catchy, I didn’t feel the song would last long. The lyrics aren’t Amitabh’s best either. Okay.

Salim finally enters with a full-fledged song called Jigar da Tukda, sung with Shradhha Pandit. The Punjabi song with a lot of pop in it, Jigar da tukda is interesting and should be a hit considering the amount of publicity YRF would give it.

Fatal Attraction, the theme, which has Salim in it with an unknown female voice which sounded like Sunidhi Chauhan’s at some points, and which hit me like Marjaava at 1.58 mins, is okay. The remix of Aadat se Majboor sounded nice too, though didn’t like Jazbaa remix much.

Frankly, in Ladies v/s Ricky Bahl, Salim-Sulaiman seem to have tried to do something more than their regular even though staying in their favorite region. So there is something new, a little new sound, but still the signature of Salim-Sulaiman is there. I’d say nice, because the album is definitely good, but yeah, I am still waiting for the duo to be less techno and rely more on melody some time, like they did earlier, in Dor and Aaja Nachle. Hope they’ll come up with something ‘that’ nice too.

The Dirty Picture: Music Review (Vishal-Shekhar)

..and Vishal-Shekhar are almost back to being Vishal-Shekhar.

Ooh la la is, as it is supposed to sound, does sound like an average famous song of ’80s n earlier ’90s. Bappi Lahiri is a nice choice for the song and Shreya is not even questionable. The ‘gira ke apna pallu’ part is a total twenty-years-ago material. Awesomeness in its own way.

The first notes of Ishq Sufiana remind me of badmash dil, but from the very rendering of ‘rab ki kawali hai’ the song sounds like making of something big. The song is definitely nice, but as of now I am loving Sunidhi’s female version of the song more, a rare thing as I mostly prefer male versions of songs, just an observation. At the same time would like to tell that Kamal sings really well (expected after his performances in Saregamapa) for a new singer.
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Fake Gulzar Account on Twitter!

For once, even I was bowled.

As reported by Pavan Jha, the person who is joked about knowing more about Gulzar than Gulzar himself, and Jitesh Pillaai, the editor of Filmfare, the account @MainGulzar is a fake one.

For the record, here are some tweets from the two.

@JiteshPillaai says:

“Oh shit got conned. @gulzarpost is the real deal. Don’t go by decoys.”

“Dear all @gulzarpost will not be active for a while. I will keep u posted as soon as the legend resumes tweeting. Spread the love.”

“As of now gulzar saab has deactivated his @gulzarpost on twitter. Do not follow any other fake handles please.”

Pavan (@P1J) tweeted:

“@MainGulzar is a fake account.. Just confirmed..”

The confusion was created also because even Jitesh Pillaai posted about @MainGulzar thinking the account was real and retweeted him. I myself was confused by the same and created a post about the account that is now deleted.

Tata Docomo: 2+ Years, Benefits going, Network still missing

I bought a Tata Docomo connection the day it was launched in Bangalore. And probably in India as well, which makes me one of the first few thousand customers of Docomo. On that day, there was no reason not to buy it and since I had an extra phone, I went ahead and put the SIM on my secondary phone. And so lovely were the plans of Docomo that within a week, my Airtel SIM was on the secondary phone, and in almost two months, every provider was counting the benefits of one second pulse. And probably that’s the reason I love DoCoMo, besides because it’s a Tata thing.

At that time, Docomo was good mainly because of its plans. The network was not too great, but it was as good as one could expect from a company just launched. It was not there in basements, lifts, remote areas and in some buildings, for example Manipal Hospital was one place where it wasn’t there in almost half the places inside the building.

But things were manageable and with the speed Docomo was putting their towers, I had expected that maximum within a year they’d have network as good as Airtel or Vodafone.

Guess I was wrong.
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Revolution 2020 by Chetan Bhagat: Book Review

Chetan Bhagat this time takes one of the most simple and highly used stories — A love triangle. And at the outset, there is nothing special in the story, except that it is written by him.

But then, this does make a difference. Chetan’s novels are known for their quality of engaging a person, and this one does that well, though it may not be as engaging as, say, Five Point Someone. Probably the main reason for that is this one doesn’t go in the same series as Five Point Someone and 2 States, the two of his better novels, which were both autobiographical in nature.

Like all other novels by Bhagat, this one too has a Prologue which keeps you hooked to the story, though this time you know that prologue is continued at the end of the story and not much before that, putting the entire story in the flashback. Interestingly, this time the prologue does is not as thrilling or even mysterious as some of his previous ones, but very few pages into the prologue and it sounds mature in a way.

As for the book, it is quite fast paced in the beginning, but becomes slightly dragged in the second half, that for a Chetan Bhagat book. But as a normal author of Indian Fiction, I think Chetan still maintains his distinction as he keeps the reader hooked throughout. Things happen a little predictably, but not too much.

One good thing about the book is that CB tries to add some serious stuff, in terms of country and society, but has not gone over the top like he did in 3 Mistakes. In fact, mostly he has been quite realistic in the way his characters deal with things.

In short, Revolutions 2020, the first book by Chetan that does not start with a number, is not really a revolution, but if you like his reading, I think you wouldn’t be much disappointed. He has been better that this before, and then I’m pretty sure, he has been worse than this too, and this would probably lie right in the center somewhere.

Jo Dooba So Paar, It’s Love in Bihar: Music Review

Of course, the movie is supposed to be interesting and so is the music in case of Jo Dooba So Paar, It’s Love in Bihar, if you have seen the promo even once. Here is a review of the album, composed by Manish J Tipu.

The album starts with Tochi Raina and Pia Sukanya’s Shiv ka baaje damru. The song, which is supposed to be romantic, has been added some linguistic elements which can make you laugh too, like ‘chanda bhi kankhi se dekhe tujhe, kudrat ka khela hai tu full too.’ The music and arrangements are simple but powerful and suit the settings of the movie.

The next song, Raghubir Yadav’s Andey garam garam is a satire with the basic tune of Andey garam garam going on that of Vande Mataram. The lyrics of the song, which are probably the most important thing here, are quite interesting, and in places quite thought-provoking. In short, even though this one is not as straightforward from the first line as Mehngai Dayan was, I’d say the song is bang on.

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