Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana: Music Review (Amit Trivedi)

Kikkli Kaller di. Hatt gayi heer di. Ranjha kare cheat ji. Kare heer kya!

If you know what Kikli kaleer di is, then may be you already know what’s up in the song. But if not, let me give you an idea. Kikli kaleer di is a ‘traditional’ dance game for little girls. You can guess what’s happening there when this is what comes out of a traditional thing. And after this, there is standard Amit Trivedi, the singer, singing with very visible stress on certain words.

And if this was not enough, there is Yo Yo Honey Singh saying Main tera Raja Hoon, Tu meri Raani Hai, Baby suraksha hi Saavdhani hai.

Amit Trivedi. All fun.

The second song is called Motorwada. I mean Motorwala. I mean, I can’t give that mix of L and D in English that Haryana uses for their motorists. But then Tochi Raina totally knows how to say it, and how to sing this song. Trivedi goes a little too experimental in interludes, but that’s what makes him what he is. Love it again, though not as impactful as the opening track.

Amit Trivedi makes a simple, melodius Punjabi track next as the title song of Luv Shuv tey Chicken Khurana. So let’s see how he goes.

1. Brings the real, earthy Punjabi voices: Shahid Mallya and Harshdeep Kaur.
2. Makes a simple tune and pours in the superb, lovely, even touching, lyrics of Shellee.
3. Keeps it simple, doesn’t do any Amit Trivedi stuff. Not even average composer stuff of today, just the basics.
4. Brings in some dhol towards the end.

Makes it perfect. Taste and let us know how you liked it.

Looni Hansi. Another earthy song gets the electronic touch that Rahman used to give, to say things like Sasural Genda Phool. Don’t know why I can’t remember an Amit Trivedi song for example, though it sounds very typical of him. Btw, don’t expect genda phool here, it’s not that dance-y from the base itself. Well done Harshdeep, again.

Makkhan Malai by Dilbahar. OK don’t ask me why I say so, but this suddenly sounds like a song of early ’90s. No, not even late ’90s. Maybe would have liked the song, but haven’t been able to remove the ’90s effect from the song and see it outside that. I can still see number of dancers doing PT exercises behind the hero. Sorry for that one, cuz the lyrics sound kinda interesting.

And with Farukhabaadi, we’re back. OK let me take a new angle. For the non-Punjabi, the song would go like this. Sound of girls laughing. Some traditional Punjabi things, some wedding songs maybe. Second line is on, wait, did they say FO? Continue, Teri maa-behen ki ma-behen ki kar doon main jay jay abhi. OK, they WERE saying FO. This is interesting.

Well, that was for someone who knows almost no Punjabi. And if you know the language, it definitely cannot make the song less interesting. In fact from then on, it’s Labh Janjua who is in the lead, but the girls, credited as chorus, the unheard-of-nowadays people, leave a strong impact. In the beginning as well as end.

What do you take from the song after listening to it once? ‘Teri ma-behen-ki-ma-behen-ki’ something something. And you get a music for that. 😉

And then there is an instrumental piece. Somehow Amit keeps it very simple, but still very intriguing, not allowing me to forward it. Great work I’d say. Loved the iktara there. And Rohwit tells me it was Rabab that they’ve used there.

Devender Singh’s version of Luni Hansi is nice, innocent. Not as good as Harshdeep, Devender sounds a little nervous, like he could do better, going by his performances I have seen. Still, worth listening to.

The end of the album comes with Kikkli Kaleer Di, Punjabi version. The song, despite my love for the Hindi version which I have heard numerous times, sounds more natural, lovely. The only thing I miss here is ‘Baby Suraksha hi Savdhani hai!’

Overall, Amit Trivedi is here. Not throughout in his regular colors, but the colors he is wearing are almost all nice. Better than some of his recent works.

Jab Tak Hai Jaan: Music Review (A R Rahman, Gulzar)

Challa ki labhda phire.

When I heard that one, I was struck by a small shock. I was hoping that the movie shouldn’t suddenly become what became of Gulzar n Rahman’s last big thing with a big producer, the Taal guy, Subhash Ghai. n the movie was Yuvvraaj.

The good part is that it’s not that bad. The bad part, it’s not a Rockstar.

Well, so you all have heard the song, and must know by now how SRK taking on Rabbi’s voice looks strange, despite the good song and an otherwise ok video. And yes, the interlude of this song reminded me of Yuvvraaj too, when I heard it first. Bad omens?

Anyway, the second song Saans had Mohit Chauhan and Shreya, and turned out to be good. A little touch of Tum Ho maybe, but the slow, romantic song is nice, and Gulzar’s lyrics are touching, though they don’t so much sound like a free flowing Gulzar. Still, worth listening to.

Ishq Shava. Well, I have some hopes from this song. Ask me why. Because on the first listen, the song sounds like a disaster, and after listening to it for a few times, it’s getting better. So this may be one of those Rahman songs that get stuck, though after their time when they’re considered a failure. Btw, the arrangements are nice, and Gulzar is a little in his ‘touch’ in some lines, for sure. Could be better, but whatever it is, give it some time.

Harshdeep Kaur’s Heer comes next, and that’s a lovely one again. Nice one, with a lot of Punjabi in there. The biggest thing about the song is its naturality, as neither music, nor lyrics sound at all forced. And Harshdeep is equally natural. So that’s one for you, especially if you love Punjabi.

Jiya Jiya re. Doesn’t sound like one from a Yash Chopra’s movie, but this one is nice nonetheless. Gulzar’s lyrics get a little different, slight rock feel here, and the result is not bad. Tells me Neeti Mohan is an underrated singer actually. Good again.

And here is the best of the movie. The title song.

Yes, I am liking the songs of the movie, but this is the one that I expect from Yash-Rahman-Gulzar. Javed Ali sings this one with Shakthisree Gopalan, a known name in Chennai for her rock, but heard little otherwise. And what do I say for the song, it goes right from some rocky feel to downright dholak. This is that This-is-it-Perfect-Blockbuster one. Okay, maybe I am saying too much. Do listen.

Saans reprise, sung by Shreya, is a small one, that would most probably come at the end of the movie. Short and slow, the song somehow touched me more than the original version. Good one.

The instrumental, Ishq Dance, sounded un-great, simple. And then there was Shahrukh’s recitation of a little-too-hyped poem of Aditya Chopra. Nice recitation though.

Overall, the trio of the greatest lyricist and musician of India with one great director comes out okay, but this is not what was expected of them. Hope things get a little better. But somehow I feel disappointed one year after Rockstar.

(All Links point to Lyrics with Translations. You can check All translated Lyrics HERE)

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.

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.

Guzaarish: Music Review

When I heard the songs of Guzaarish for the first time (I’m not talking of the promo here), my first reaction was of disappointment. I could see that there were songs very similar in nature, to each other, and to that of Saanwariya. But I could see that given time, some of the songs could grow on me, or anyone who would listen to them. So I have taken my own time writing a review, hoping I can do justice to Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s first attempt at music composition.

The album starts with the title song, bas itni si tumse guzaarish hai. The song, sung by KK and Shail Hada, is a slow, beautiful plea with not too much of music, but some really lovable words. The music is the type you would like to listen to while sitting in your balcony with no work troubling your mind. I don’t think you can appreciate the song if you have something else on your mind and just trying to soothe yourself with the track. It’s just not that involving. So the verdict is simply ‘good.’

The second track of the Guzaarish gets a bit Gulzar-ish with the words. Sau gram zindagi treats human life very tangibly and talks about it very poetically. At the same time, the music is almost like supporting the poetry and not going much ‘musical.’ Bhansali gets the required softness in music quite aptly at times but you can feel it’s lack of experience that right after quite a melodic line you get a very banal melody. Anyway, the whole song does sound okay.

Tera Zikr Hai is one of the very highly poetic songs of the album and Bhansali gives quite some interesting music to the few words in every line of poetry. The song makes me feel Bhansali can be a composer even though the song is just likable.

The next song, Saiba, sung by Vibhavari Joshi and Francois Castellino (the guy sings Nakhre of Action Replayy too) is a very soft, little thing, that doesn’t have a lot to show off in terms of music or lyrics but just its sweetness and the beginning parts sung by Francois. Since Bhansali sells the sweetness in three minutes and doesn’t stretch things beyond limits, it’s not bad. Likable stuff.

The next song, or rather track, is Jaane kiske Khwaab, a three minute piece sung by KK. This one is almost a poem recited as there is hardly any music and quite minimal instruments. The negative point about the song is that the lyrics, which make the majority of the song, aren’t too great and hence the song fails to affect.

The next, Sunidhi’s Udi is definitely something to listen to and sounds quite different from the entire album. Bhansali n his team understand that well too and that’s the reason you can see the song being promoted quite highly on television. The song has some fast and different music even though the arrangements have similar touch as the rest of the album. Sunidhi is definitely good with the song and it sounds attractive from the very first time. Most important of all, the song gives you a break from all the similar songs.

Next song is Shail Hada’s solo piece, Keh na Sakoon. This one is quite a touching one and somehow my favorite from the album right now. The song has some good lyrics like most of the songs in the album and while the music is kinda minimal again, Shail’s voice feels touching in this one, especially at the beginning lines of the song, keh na sakun-seh na sakun. I recommend.

The next song of the album is Chaand ki Katori Hai, sung by Harshdeep Kaur. Harshdeep is one of those singers whose name still makes me curious and in Guzaarish once again I loved her voice. The music of the song is not that great but this one is sung beautifully and one can listen to the song for that alone. Overall, the song is okay.

Shall I say that Daayein Baayein is Bhansali’s tryst with modernism here? The next track, daayein baayein, sung by KK, is a bit different from the album and some minor resemblances to what we hear all the time, i.e. Pritam etc. I’m not asking you to expect a complete Pritam song, but this is probably the closest Bhansali as a composer can get to Pritam’s style, or so I feel after listening to Guzaarish. Not bad. Nothing great either though.

Dhundhli Dhundhli Shaam hui, ab to wapas aa jao, ke is samay to parinde bhi laut aate hain, rendered by Shankar Mahadevan. Frankly, such beautiful words and that great singer can make something worth listening to even without any music. To add to this, Sanjay Leela Bhansali gives some very lightly arranged, but deep music to the words and the effect that comes with Shankar’s voice is almost mesmerizing. Somehow I’m expecting more from the little song in the movie as I hope it’ll sound even more beautiful with fitting scenes. Btw, the song in some of its corners reminds me of refugee, probably some notes in the song.

Overall, I have quite a mixed opinion about Guzaarish. The major negative of the album is that many songs of the album sound quite similar in style and arrangement and there’s a lack of variety. The positives include the lyrics, some light, touching music in places and some good work done by singers, the last one matters here more because with the type of songs here, this is one very important requirement. Another positive is that even though many songs of the album are not instantly likable, many songs slowly grow on you and I guess that the songs should anyway have a longer shelf life.

As far as Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s work as a composer is concerned, I’ll have to agree that he is talented here too and he CAN compose, but I think he’s not good enough to compose complete albums with ten songs. Especially when he has a history of movies like Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and Devdas.

Kajraare: Music Review (Himesh Reshammiya)

Himesh Reshammiya is back. On and off the screen. I mean, he is there, composing, singing, and as they are writing there, acting too. The only thing before starting the review, he’s back in his old mode, in the one before Radio.

Kajraare opens with your very own Kajraare. No, don’t be angry. By your very own I mean like it or not, this song is going to be there with you. Very, Very Himesh. The only interesting thing in the song is that he has used both western and traditional instruments in the song, if only you can notice that behind Himesh’s voice. If you think you don’t like the song and can keep away from the song, I can only smile.

The second song of the album is again the one you might have heard already on TV, Rabba luck luck luck luck rabba luck barsa. Oops. Who is that in the voice over? Mahesh Bhatt I guess.. Well, whatever, the song is a typical Himesh song again which might easily stick to your tongue and you can be found cursing yourself for humming the song sometime. I won’t say it’s good but Himesh certainly what he’s doing. So not bad.

The third song of Kajraare, Aafreen, is actually one of the best songs of the album. Some good music with Indian traditional instruments and Dholak beats sound pretty good and if you don’t mind Himesh Reshammiya’s voice, the song is definitely worth listening to, and more than once. The slow song
also has Harshdeep Kaur singing near the end for sometime but most of it goes to Himesh only. Good but Himesh’d.

Before you listen to the fourth song of Kajraare, REDUCE VOLUME. Because if you don’t, you may get shocked by the sudden high voice of Himesh Reshammiya in Bhindi-lelo-aalu-lelo-paalak-lelo mode. I don’t know why he does that in the song which runs comparatively much smoother after the literally killing start. Tujhe Dekh ke armaan jaage is a soft number with beats, or something that can be close to it in Himesh’s voice. By the way, the song also has Shreya Ghoshal in there and she sings really soft and sweet in the song. You can listen to the song just for her.

Next comes Teriyaan Meriyaan which has some good, soft, music again. The interludes are really beautiful, especially the Santoor part of them, and the melody is good too. Himesh is nasal but doesn’t keeps his voice comparatively low, not going too high, while chakhne-pakne sound a bit interesting. With some other singer, the song could probably be a real interesting thing. Shreya doesn’t get to sing much of this one.

Wo Lamha Phir se Jeena hai sung by Himesh and Harshdeep is the next song of the album. This one is a beat based, typical song of Himesh Reshammiya that really isn’t ‘good’, to say the least. The melody isn’t bad but then Himesh packs the song with instruments and his voice doesn’t help much. I wonder if the song could have done well in the Himesh era but for now, chances are almost negligible, mostly because people not really look interested in his voice.

The last song of the album is again a traditional type, dholak based, and nose-talgic Sanu Guzra Zamana yaad aa gaya. Frankly, the song is good and the music is definitely worth listening to, and had anybody else sung the song, it would have been a hit for sure. In fact, the song doesn’t sound that bad to me with Himesh even but on a few points he just goes too nasal. Another Himesh’d, but good song. Btw, we have Sunidhi here too, if that matters.

Overall, Kajraare is totally a Himesh Reshammiya album where he sings from his nose almost everywhere. Still, if you don’t mind his voice for some good songs, go for Aafreen and Sanu Guzra Zamana. Teriyaan Meriyaan sounds okay too while Tujhe dekh ke armaan jaage has some really beautiful parts sung by Shreya.

In even more short, the Himesbhai is back. Be happy if you’re a fan. Beware else.

Aafreen – Kajraa re: Lyrics and more

And Himesh Reshammiya continues. We have some good music by Himesh Reshammiya in Afreen but the voice remains the same, old, supernasal, which is definitely ‘the’ repelling thing for most of the people.

The song, Aafreen, is a slow, duet song with dholak beats and kinda old background. As a result, the song reminds the listener of Dhoom tere ishq ki from Karzzz. Also, the song has long interludes and given the slow speed of the song, the song reaches almost 7 minutes, making the song sound way too long.

The song also has Harshdeep Kaur singing near the end but she doesn’t get to sing much. In short, the song reminds me of old Himesh, the one that existed before Radio.

Here are the lyrics of the song.
Continue reading “Aafreen – Kajraa re: Lyrics and more”