Heroine: Music Review (Salim-Sulaiman)

If you had suddenly got some big hopes from Salim-Sulaiman like I did, this might be a disappointment for you.

Yes, Salim-Sulaiman seem to have got the best of their creativity in Halkat Jawani itself. Even though Heroine is not exactly something to discard and has a few good things, Salim-Sulaiman are finally looking like a spent force and probably not looking for a comeback.

With that negative note, let me start a review that I hope is not biased against them.

And so, let’s begin with Khwahishen, which is probably the best song of the album. A ‘new’ (all terms are relative) song from Salim-Sulaiman, sung by Shreya Ghoshal, it’s a nice compostion with some above good lyrics. Zindagi ko dheere dheere dasti hain khwahishen is something I’d go for. Nothing special for Shreya as such, but she anyway sings it well. Worth listening to, at least.

The next song, the last in the album (but not in the review) is Tujhpe Fida. A song that already sounds like a remixed pop number, but does sound nice. Benny Dayal is almost a default choice for the song, and Shaddha Pandit does fine here. Still, with all the arrangements in the song, cannot help feeling it lies a lot somewhere between Aadat se Majboor n Thug Le.

Halkat Jawani. Frankly, item songs in general don’t interest me much anymore. Don’t know if Mamta Munni Sharma (or excess of her voice, everywhere) is the cause, but the result is what it is. Still, Halkat Jawani was something that kinda gripped me. The composition is simple, catchy, and Sunidhi’s singing is just superb. I mean, I think to a large extent she’s the one responsible for making most of our heroines worth their ‘salt’, literally. Not saying much about the song, I liked the song and loved Sunidhi there. And yes Salim-Sulaiman, this was a nice one. Thanks for that.

Saaiyaan. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. Yeh Hausla Kaise Ruke.

I don’t know how much, but the song is a lot of ye hausla and I could only hear Dor in the song for the first few times. Or more than a few times. So much that I wasn’t able to like the simple lyrics. Salim-Sulaiman seem to have taken re-creation a little too literally here. However, other than that, the song in itself is good. With most other songs of this type (which sound like a clone/copy), it should find its place after some time of being called a clone.

Main Heroine Hoon. You can probably guess what type of the song it would be. Something like other Madhur Bhandarkar title songs. But somehow it sounds a little more ordinary, at least in the beginning. The song should go up slowly with promotion which I suppose will be there. As for Aditi, her singing is really nice here. From the uber-softness of katra-katra, she’s reached the attitude of Main heroine hoon quite well.

So overall, even though not really make me believe in Salim-Sulaiman, is fairly okay. Halkat Jawani and Khwahishen are nice, and despite problems, so is Saaiyaan. The rest are kinda okay. Short, crisp, not too good, but well, manageable.

Cocktail Music Review (Pritam)

Heavy voices and Light rock, if mixed well, can be the key ingredients of a Bollywood hit today. And this time in Cocktail, Pritam seems to have kept this well in mind. No, not taking any credit away from him for this wonderful album, just trying to understand how it was made.

Tumhi ho Bandhu – what Pritam is.

With Neeraj Shridhar and a tune that catches you in literally seconds, not minutes, Pritam adds Kavita Seth’s voice to make a perfect cocktail of music in the very first song of the album. One that took the world by the storm, and is not going to go down too soon. It DOES make you tap your feet.

The good part about the song is that the more catchy part of the song – tumhi din chadhe..sakha tumhi – is not all that the song has. The soul of the song comes up with Kavita’s singing and Irshad’s words which seem to express a Meerabai like devotion even in the beach-madness-rock ambiance.

Daaru Desi – regular stuff from Pritam.

A song that would at one time happen to feature KK and can’t-guess-who comes up beautifully in Benny and Shalmali’s voices. After Ishaqzaade, Shalmali’s open voice singing works here too, though the song is not Pareshaan for sure. Good, worth a listen.

Mohan Kanan. Shilpa Rao. A little more Rock. And a good song. Na chhode yaariyan.

Actually people criticize me for being reminded of songs all the time while reviewing. And at times I feel that’s true. But I can’t help thinking of Kar Chalna shuru tu when I listen to Yaariyan. Not like the songs are same. It’s just the Amit Trivedi style processing of the song and the minor similarities in songs make me think of the former. However, Pritam takes a beautiful step in making Mohan sing this one. The depth in his voice is an expression in itself. Lovely that.

Second Hand Jawani. The compulsory single screen collection song.

The song with Meri behen-d jawani, second hand jawani type words. Catchy, Govinda-age music. Singers can be from India or Canada, you know what it is. Important for collection in single screen cinemas.

Tera naam japdi phiraan. Light rock, Heavy voices.

Javed Bashir here has been given a mammoth task. Of making an average song an awesome one. The track is good, and the experiment of using Javed’s voice and Sufi style singing with Nikhil’s full fledged English lyrics and some Barbie-doll style singing by Shefali turns out to be nice. However, this one could be added a unplugged kind version, with just Javed leading the song instead of the remix.

Luttna. Lovely singing. Killer lyrics.

Yep. Taking nothing out of the music, I’d say it’s the superb lyrics that make the song. Anupam Amod’s slow, shayari-ish singing is beautiful here, and the background rock track is just fine. But the overall mix gets heady, if you’re the one for it.

Welcome to India, Arif Lohar.

Heard the name and can’t place it? I bet it’s that one song of Coke Studio that you either didn’t hear much, or heard and just got stuck to. Jugni ji is here in India, in a new cover, but the packaging and the material, though changed, has not been altered too much, mostly keeping the soul of the song there. The lovers of Coke Studio might not like it too much, but Pritam has done some good work here, much of it by not working too much on the song. This one is something to listen to, a must-loop if you haven’t heard the original one. And yes, before I forget, good choice putting Harshdeep here, she is that one part of the song that’s probably better than that in original.

So that was the review that should have came ages ago. But better late than never. Hope you’re loving this Cocktail already.

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.

Azaan/ Aazaan: Music Review (Salim-Sulaiman)

If you too feel that Salim’s Afreen is kinda repetitive and sounds a little like Fashion’s Marjaava, go listen to Rahat’s unplugged version of the song. Salim-Sulaiman once again do quality stuff with Rahat. My only say after the version is that the original version could have been given to Rahat as well.

The next track, Khuda ke liye, is again quite templated and very typical of Salim-Sulaiman, but is lovely nonetheless. Shraddha Pandit’s voice is innocent and sounds nice. The song might not be too fresh, but is certainly worth listening to.
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Mere Brother ki Dulhan: Music Review (Sohail Sen)

Sohail Sen for the first time gets something worthwhile outside Ashutosh Gowariker’s camp, and he looks keen on making it big. Here is a review of his entry into YRF, Mere Brother ki Dulhan.

The album starts with the title song Mere Brother ki Dulhan, a fast paced, quickly addictive, likable number with some interesting lyrics from Irshad Kaamil sung by KK.

I was still in the first song when a chorus broke into some rocky words and Neha Bhasin into Dhunki Dhunki Dhunki laage. While the music is lovely, it’s Neha who surprises me with her lovely singing here. She’s been good in some Salim-Sulaiman songs earlier, in Fashion, as well as Pyaar Impossible, but this could be the song that would restate her entry into Hindi film industry.

The next song Chhoo Mantar is, I would say, a typical Sohail Sen piece, with his signature beats, and if I didn’t know it from the cover, I’d say is sung by him as well. Yes, it’s bad how I still don’t get Benny Dayal’s voice after so many of his songs that I completely love. Aditi Singh Sharma is as soft and husky with her voice here as she always is.

Isq Risk, the next song, sung by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, gives a little small surprise in the beginning as you hear a radio (read AIR) style prologue to the song, telling whose music and words the song has. Sohail Sen’s melody is a bit ’90s in its treatment, but with Rahat singing, the song sounds pretty nice. Irshad Kamil’s words are lovely here.

Ali Zafar’s only entry in the soundtrack, Madhubala is simply enjoyable. I don’t think I want to use any other word for the song. It’s his signature ‘Masti’ that literally shows up here, nicely supported by Shweta Pandit.

Shahid Mallya, another name that is a bit new for me, is growing up quite fast nowadays. After Naina wali Whiskey in Sahi Dhandhe Galat Bande and with Mausam lined up for him, it’s the third place I have seen his name in this week, for Do Dhaari Talwar here. The song, with a little Punjabi flavor in it, mostly because of Shahid’s singing style and percussion based arrangements, is quite fast paced and enjoyable, though doesn’t look like very long lasting.

Overall, MBKD is a typical Yashraj album with songs that will be liked instantly by the public. Be it the title song or Dhunki, Isq risk or Madhubala, the composer is quite clear on what he wants the song to do and I feel that it would be a big plus for the movie. Go buy it if you like typical hit soundtracks of Bollywood.

PS: One interesting thing about the album is that even though Yashraj use a new composer here, many of the singers are the ones who have sung a lot for YRF, with their regular composers Salim-Sulaiman, especially Benny Dayal, Neha Bhasin and Shweta Pandit.

Always Kabhi Kabhi: Music Review (Pritam, Aashish, Shree D)

The album starts with Aashish Rego and Shree D’s only composition for the album, which happens to be the title track of the album. The song, sung by Bhavin Dhanak, Sanah Moidutty and Apeksha Dandekar, is a usual, funky-colleg-y number that is full of nice beats, but the less than four minutes’ track takes a lovely turn when a Sufiana voice enters the song almost a minute before the end of the song. Still don’t know which of the singers it is, but completely loved the entry, especially the way it happens there. Shame that the voice doesn’t sing much.

From the second song onwards, it gets Pritam. Antenna sounds a lot like some song from Ready, probably the sound matches character dheela hai. Also, the lyrics are written by Amitabh Bhattacharya, but didn’t like the concept of the song itself. Still, the sound of the song IS catchy and can catch up well with some good promotion.
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Coke Studio India. June 17th. 7 PM. MTV.

Coke Studio is finally in India. And while there may be questions about the credibility of the show and comparisons to its much older Pakistani counterpart, I am quite hopeful and almost sure that this will be a wonderful experience for us.

For now, here is some detail about the show, mostly about who all are gonna be there on the show.

The show will have twenty artistes. While the top Bollywood line of the show comprises of Shankar Mahadevan, Shaan, KK and Sunidhi Chauhan, we’ll also see Kailash Kher, Richa Sharma, Shruti Pathak, and Benny Dayal from Bollywood singers.

Besides, there will be Raghu Dixit, or should I say The Raghu Dixit Project, the well known name from Bangalore; once so popular Colonial Cousins – Hariharan and Leslie Lewis; comparatively lesser known Bollywood singers Harshdeep Kaur and Akriti Kakkar (Harshdeep is winner of two television reality shows and has even sung for A R Rahman in Rang De Basanti, Akriti has almost twenty movies to her credit where she has sung); and the singer of mora saiyyan, aankhon kay sagar, mitwa, and many more, Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan.

Then there are Sabri Brothers*, Aftab and Hashim Sabri, qawwali singers who have sung for Hindi films as well, my best memory being of Allah Allah from Yeh Dil Ashiqana (no idea how crappy the movie was but the songs were good, the qawwali being one of the best) and Tumse mil ke dil ka hai jo haal from Main hoon na.

Also the show will have Sufi singers Puranchand and Pyarelal Wadali i.e. Wadali Brothers there too. The pair has also sung a couple of songs for Bollywood, the latest being Rangrez in Tanu weds Manu.

In lesser known singers, which could and should make the real life of the show, there will be Assamese Bihu specialist Khagen Gogoi, Tamilnadu’s once-a-singer-at-thirteen Chinna Ponnu, another Assamese Mausam Gogoi, maker of boatmen band Majhi Mallah Saurav Mandal and New Delhi’s eclectic music group Advaita.

What is still a confusion though, is that while the list above is given on the ‘Artists’ page of the Coke Studio website, there is another sentence that says ‘The collaborations are so eclectic as to bring together Shafqat Ali and Shruti Pathak, Sunidhi Chauhan and Wadali Brothers, Kailash Kher and Papon, Shankar Mahadevan and Khogen Da, and Bombay Jayshree, Richa Sharma and Rashid Khan among others‘ while going by the list, I won’t find Papon, Bombay Jayshree and Rashid Khan on the show.

* My guess is that there is some mix up regarding them on the Coke Studio’s official website, they claim that Sabri Brothers are a Pakistani Qawwali party.

Band Baaja Baaraat. As Usual.

Band Baaja Baaraat is an album by Salim-Sulaiman after quite a long break, but the way the album starts, I just feel like they had never left, as the very first seconds sound so much like their typical. But then Salim starts singing, like some Labh Janjua, and gives quite a fast-track thing with Sunidhi Chauhan. One interesting thing about the song is that the background has some Amit Trivedi style band baaja effect though the song still sounds mostly Salim-Sulaiman composition as usual. Completely in sync with the movie’s name.

Tarkeebein, sung by Benny Dayaal, even though not bad, and quite good on lyrics, sounds quite a Pocket mein Rocket. Now all I’d say is that you have just two pockets. So even if this rocket can be adjusted, there is no room for more. 😉 Please get us something new, Merchants.

It’s Shreya Ghoshal. Saying this because when Adha Ishq starts you for once are quite convinced it’s Sunidhi. But it’s not, at least by the album cover. Frankly, I loved the song, and except that it’s almost Shukran Allah in the background, I think the song is just wonderful. Well done composers and awesome job Shreya. But Salim sir, try changing the voice a bit or change the styles, like you did in the title song. Will be liked more.

Dum Dum Dum mast, sung by Benny and Himani Kapoor is something I liked again. Though the composition is not huge, the simplicity and the simple highs and lows given to the melody are quite likeable. Except for that characteristic beat, the arrangement quite fine and the way the lyrics have been given an upper hand, it’s just beautiful, a good thing.

Mitra. Though I am a fan of many songs of his, Amitabh Bhattacharya for the first time sounds like a full fledged singer and I’d like to give the credit to Salim-Sulaiman, for giving him the beautiful song. Part sufi style, part rock, part typical merchants, Mitra is something that you’d like to listen to. Amitabh Bhattacharya almost goes into Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan way of singing here. Like like.

Labh Janjua’s name in Band Baaja Baaraat is something that people would just expect. Baari Barsi is something like what you would expect from the name, but not all that. The song is not all Punjabi style but also has some desi comic mode as well as Salim’s groove part. The highlight of the song is Harshdeep’s non-Harshdeep rendering in desi-mood, but somehow I felt she was given a bit too much time, in a very similar tone. Still, I have to see how much the song is liked in future, which will quite depend on the video.

Whatsay about the 2 minute theme of Band Baaja Baarat? Okay. Actually good. Quite.

Ainvayi, the first song, appears in a Dilli Club mix too, quite regular. Not bad though.

And the last thing, Dum Dum (Sufi Mix) is sung by Sukhwinder and Himani. Well, now I know I was right when I thought I could spot some Sukhwinder like voice in the original version. Well, a usual remix, and nothing Sufi about it, and almost nothing good, except Sukhwinder’s voice.

Overall, Band Baaja Baaraat sounds like a usual album in the series that YRF and Salim-Sulaiman have been creating for past some time. The songs are not bad, but then you won’t remember about most of them after a few days. Still, not a bad thing for short term. The only bad thing about the album is that Salim-Sulaiman, coming after such a long break too, sounded quite repetitive.

Best ones: Mitra, Aadha Ishq, Dum Dum.

Update: OK. It’s pocket mein Rocket but m loving it. especially for the lyrics. so add Tarkeebein too. Probably over dum dum.

Badmaash Company: Music Review

When Pritam composes for YRF, things somehow don’t happen to be his best. At least for past sometime, with an exception of New York to some extent. Dil Bole Hadippa went bad, and Badmaash Company doesn’t look too good, though the soundtrack of Badmaash Company is good enough to hear for some time. Here is a review.
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Rocket Singh: Music Review

Rocket Singh calls himself ‘salesman of the year.’ And his first test is here. Rocket Singh has just three original songs. If he still is able to sell the music CDs of the movie, he certainly is going to be the salesman of the year. Tough job, though.

All three original songs of Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year are composed by Salim-Sulaiman. The first song of Rocket Singh is Pocket mein Rocket, which you all must have heard long ago. This addictive song, sung by Benny Dayal, gives you a brief insight of the movie. But more than anything, it attracts viewers and sells the movie.

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