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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Soundtrack (2011): Music Review (Midival Punditz, Karsh Kale, Papon)

Welcome to Soundtrack.

That’s something Atomizer says. Not a great track, but I put the theme on loop and didn’t get bored for quite some time as it just kept going in the background. Repeatedly, giving me some typical Midival Punditz-Karsh Kale music.

The next, Banao banao by Papon is already one of his famous tracks, and his magic doesn’t leave him in this light, experimental, dopey track. Liked it.

It’s Ek Manzil though that made me take the music of this album seriously. The song sung by Vishal Vaid, has not just a lovely beginning music, but some wonderful lyrics as well. Rocking.

Fakira, next track, sung by Vishal Vaid again, has a nice start and some addictive music with words repeated such that they stick in your head. You can probably call it an Electronica-Sufi number, if you can get what I am trying to say.

Kailash Kher sings the next song Main Chala, which is full of enthusiasm and josh, that Kailash sings in his signature voice, with a little rocky music. Will sound okay without a video/background detail but should look much better once you have an idea of the background of the song.

Papon comes again to sing Naina Laage, who, after an wave-y start, moves on to some lovely singing on a nice rhythm. There are not too many words in the six and half minute song, but it sounds wonderful nonetheless. One of the best songs of the album.

The next track is a remix of Kishore Kumar’s ruk jaana nahi, sung by Suraj Jagan, who surprisingly fits well in the track, though the live mood of the song could be lessened a bit in my opinion. But I get a feeling that those who haven’t heard the song before would find this one lovely, and those who have, won’t really be offended. A nice try in short. Well done rockstar boy.

The next in line is Symphony of the Streets by Midival Punditz and Karsh Kale, is a kinda easy on ears cacophony, comprising of sounds of horns, trains, planes, and more. Try this one.

The Soundtrack Theme is again something that seems to have a kinda similar sound, though there is no cacophony involved, but instead, a nice, soothing melody can be found in the background.

Anushka Manchanda’s What the F is going on sounds promising in the beginning, but gets a little banal from where the punch line kicks in. Still not really bad.

Lastly comes Malini Awasthi sung Ye Jeevan hai, who doesn’t sing the song in a sweet-loving voice, but in a more serious-solid tone, that may seem a bit harsh too, but then ye jeevan hai, and thus it goes. Liked it. Cannot prefer it to Kishore of course, but I don’t think I’d mind listening to this version. Do try, unless you totally cannot not hear Kishore songs sung by others.

Overall, Soundtrack is something new, which was kinda expected from Midival Punditz and Karsh Kale. But then Papon’s added contributions give some more variety and sweetness to the album. I am not sure how many would love the album, but if you like Electronica, are a fan of Midival Punditz/Karsh Kale, or want to try something new, I think you should go for this one.

Update: Both the songs that belong to Papon are Midival Punditz compositions. Since I had heard the song Banao Banao much before the movie, I considered it a Papon composition, which is not the case. Thanks to Vipin of MusicAloud for this one.

Bubblegum (2011): Music Review (Bapi-Tutul, Hanif Sheikh)

Bubblegum starts with the title song, Bubblegum, sung by Salim Merchant. The peppy-poppy song sounds okay and may work well as a background number.

The next number, Holika, is a Holi song sung by Kailash Kher, with very typical-traditional dholak based song with Indian style rap in between, something that reminds me of Raghubeer Yadav in Kailash’s voice. Nice one if you are up for this.

Javed Ali’s soft, romantic ‘nostalgia‘ is ready to talk one into childhood with very light music, just supporting the words. Totally liked even though the song is hardly musical. Nice job by Javed.

The last track, Party song, is a three minute parody by Hanif Sheikh with just one to two lines taken from every song, more of them of before ’90s. A little funny, okay.

If you ask me in one word, Bubblegum is ‘different.’ Not exactly good, but not really bad for an album from which I was expecting almost nothing, mainly because of Javed’s Nostalgia.

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.

Zokkomon: Music Review (Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy)

Creating music for a children’s movie is definitely not a child’s play. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy compose here for Darsheel Safary starrer Zokkomon. Here is a review.

The album opens with an Eena Meena Myna Mo sung by Yashmita Sharma. Quite an experimental tune, Eena Meena Myna Mo has touches of earlier works of the trio, but the song is quite fresh and Yashmita Sharma has certainly sung it beautifully. And the lyrics made me go back to the credits once again. Yes, it’s Javed Akhtar. Good one to start with.

The next, Suraj Jagan’s rocky, uplifting Suno Brother somehow seems potent to fit in a children’s movie. I guess SEL did something similar in Taare Zameen Par with Bheja Kam as well, but then the 3 minute track here is not so much rock as was Bheja Kam, and is kinda less experimental. An okay song, well sung by Suraj.

The title song Zokkomon has two versions. While the four plus minutes’ version is wonderfully sung by Shankar and does sound good with its slightly uplifting lyrics and part zealous-part beatful music, the smaller version sounds more like a background piece. Not too good, but the longer version is worth a try.

The next song, jhumjhunmakadstrma (no, I didn’t copy-paste), is sung by Kailash Kher, and while the song reminds me of Jajantaram-Mamantaram with its name, the song is a lovely tune with some easy on ear beats. Kailash Kher may not seem like such a good idea for a children’s song, but he does a wonderful work there. After all, Raghubir Yadav has done so much story-telling and singing for children with a similar kind of voice. Do try this one if you are interested in children’s songs.

Darsheel Safary, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Shaan. Anyone would think of Bum Bum Bole, but then if that was your thought, you may be in for a slight disappointment as you listen to tum bin ye dil ghabraye. This one from Shaan is a slow, soft, slightly sad song, which I guess is way too slow for a children’s movie, even though the song has quality. Do try this one without thinking of the movie. Nice, but probably a misfit, at least until I watch the movie.

Overall, Zokkomon is a nice try by Shankar Ehsaan Loy, a try at that tough thing that is to create music for a children’s movie. But then it’s much better than the music that is offered by most of the children’s movies coming up today. I’m not too hopeful from the movie, but this standard of music certainly gives the movie some edge over other children’s movies and there is at least some hope building up.

Allah ke Banday: Music Review

Allah ke Banday is an album with various composers coming up together while Chirantan Bhatt seems to be leading with his Maula running already. Here is a review.

The album starts with a Sufi-rock Maula Samjha de Inhe, the song composed by Chirantan Bhatt and sung by Hamza Farooqui and Krishna. A combination that I have never seen yet but the way the song sounds all good and is running successfully, I will not be surprised if I see Hamza and Krishna singing together more in future. A complete like, with the plea made by the two leads showing up in the right attitude and the words sounding perfectly matching in the context of the movie.

The next song, kya hawa kya baadal, is composed by Kailasa, that is Kailash Kher, Naresh and Paresh, and sung by of course, Kailash himself. The song has Kailasa touch quite clear, with added electronica effects, which make the song align more to a theme type than a typical lyric-based song of the band, though the song still is a good deal about the lyrics, which is another good thing about the song. A thumbs up again.
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Ten ‘Pop’ songs you shouldn’t miss

‘Pop’ is a genre of music, but for me, it’s been private albums and bands, which made all the ‘pop’ for me in childhood, and I still use the word like that many times. Hence, today I present a list of my favorite ‘pop’ songs, in no particular order, hoping that some of the songs that deserve to be heard reach a few more people.

Tere Naina (Jhoomo re/ Kailasa): One song I love like anything. I can listen to this one at any time, anywhere. And I just love it always. Deep, soulful, moving Kailasa.

Kothay Uttay (Saari Raat/ Devika): A song based on Hindustani Classical music as per the album cover of Saari Raat. A piece with some soft beats and lovable music. Barkha Bahar of the same album is a close too.

Meri Tarah (Fitoor/ Mohit Chauhan): It’s difficult choosing one song in this nostalic-ish album of Mohit. My guess is I picked this one for its awesome lyrics, which are again penned by the singing genius himself. A soft, lovable one in that super voice.

Har Jagah mein (Tu hi mere Rab ki tarah hai/ Mithoon): Mithoon’s album never made it big, but there were some good song in the debut album of this little master of music and this one is probably one of them. I’d say a typical Mithoon song with him at his best.

Mann Chandre (Connections/ A R Rahman): A R Rahman. Sukhwinder Singh. And a bit-sad, bit-philosphical, punjabi song. Do I need to say more? I guess not. Still I’d say, listen to the awesome chorus in the song. Rahman is not one who uses a chorus too much, but when he does, the effect is something like you can see here.

Mehfooz (Mehfooz/ Euphoria): Euphoria at its best is not always euphoric. Sometimes it’s sad, sometimes it cries out loud. Mehfooz might not be the top selling album of the band but the title song of the album is as deep and touching as any of their best hits. At par with mayeri and ab na ja, mehfooz is something to cherish forever.

Rain bhai kaari kaari (Humsafar/ KK): I don’t know what I should call this song, but it’s like a mix of somewhat classical stuff with some rock mood. KK, in his album Humsafar, sings this wonderful song called rain bhai kaari kaari din ujiyara. All I’d say is, listen to it, at least once.

Kaise jiye hain hum (Maheroo/ Jojo): I remembered Jojo for that mad song called Woh Kaun thi since my childhood, and then there was Maheroo, his other album after a long time. Hoping for a great album, I did listen to the whole album. Well, album wasn’t all that great but there was a song that I completely fell in love with. Kaise Jiye hain hum. A nostalgic song from someone destroyed in love (line copied from Fanaa), it has a nostalgia mix too, with the sound of a train. Interestingly, the mix is worth a try too.

Saiyyan (Jhoomo re/ Kailasa): Another song of the best of Kailash Kher. Came after Teri Deewani. Though popular, the song couldn’t do so well as Teri Deewani, but I think I love this one more. Only two words for the song – Kailash Kher.

Door Kahin (Nine): I hope you reach the end of this post, because Door kahin of Pankaj Awasthi is not only a favorite of mine, it’s different too. It’s a romantic song, with lyrics deep dpwn in romanticism, but it’s nothing like a typical romantic song. A wonderful thing to listen to.

Just do tell me if you like the songs. And also if u don’t.

Tip: I’m bookmarking this page myself. 🙂

Paathshaala: Music Review (Hanif Shaikh)

After waiting for ages, Paathshala is finally coming. But not like an old piece work. In fact the album sounds quite fresh with all the songs sung by Salim Merchant, Vishal Dadlani, Lucky Ali and Kailash Kher. Frankly, composer Hanif Shaikh has done some good work and the album is certainly worth listening to, and many of the songs worth a dance too. No wonder the movie has Shahid Kapoor. Here is a review of the album.
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Love Sex Aur Dhokha: Music Review

Movie: Love Sex aur Dhokha
Composer: Sneha Khanwalkar (When was the last time u heard a female composer?), Dibakar Bannerjee for one song.
Lyrics: Mostly by Director Saab, Dibakar again.
Singers: Kailash Kher. With composer singing one song, and Ameya Date n Nihira Joshi singing another.

I think there is enough of curiosity value attached to Love Sex aur Dhokha, the LSD, for a majority of people to listen to the soundtrack as soon as it comes to them. And not without reason.
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Mittal vs Mittal: Music Review (Shamir Tandon)

The soundtrack of Mittal vs Mittal, India’s first movie based on marital rape, is hardly a thing I was expecting much from, even though I expect something from the movie made on a such a strong topic. But then, the small soundtrack is not as bad as I thought. In fact all three songs of the album are worth a try. The soundtrack of the movie has three songs, two remixes, and a theme piece. The soundtrack also has a song by former Sa Re Ga Ma Pa contestant Mauli Dave. Here is a review of the album.
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Road to Sangam: Music Review

All I was expecting here was a good film without much, or maybe any music. But I got a good album too. As can be expected, the songs of the album believe more in good lyrics but the music is good enough not to get you bored, IF you are interested in words. The music is composed by Sandesh Shandilya, Nitin Kumar Gupta-Prem Hariya, and Vijay Mishra, and I still haven’t been able to figure out who has composed which song. So we’ll simply move to the review.
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Karthik Calling Karthik: Music Review

You are free to disagree with me, but I do not think Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy are the best in Bollywood. It’s Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy-Farhan who are the best. Be it Dil Chahta Hai, Lakshya, Rock On, or Karthik Calling Karthik. Yes, you know what I mean, they rock. Once again. So no more bakbak. Straight to the review.
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Karthik Calling Karthik: Music Preview

(REVIEW of the album Karthik Calling Karthik is HERE.)

Karthik calling Karthik is the new movie of Farhan Akhtar and Deepika Padukone directed by Vijay Lalwani. The music, composed by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, will be out on 18th January 2010. The promos of the movie are already out and we already have good reviews on Hey ya, the first song out.

So here is a preview of the music album, with some guesses as to what it may have to offer.
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Kurbaan: Music Review

It was something I was waiting for a long time now. And now that it has reached me, I think it should reach you too. So here we go, with my review of Kurbaan’s music, that happens to be the third release of Salim Sulaiman in this year.

Shukran Allah: You hear the chorus, you love the music. You hear Sonu, you love the song. A wonderful love song by Sonu Nigam and Shreya Ghoshal with a beautiful chorus and Salim Merchant for backing vocals. Listen to this and you’ll be found trying to sing the words Shukran Allah Walahamidulillah soon.

Dua: In dua, Salim-Sulaiman bring the Fatak combination, Sukhwinder Singh and Kailash Kher along with Marianne DCruz Aiman for background vocals. Dua hai dua hai is again a good song with music lying somewhere between a spiritual song and a dance number. In fact the same can be said about the song’s lyrics too.

Ali Maula: In the third song, Ali Maula, that happens to be the only song in the album with a remix, Salim Merchant has done almost a Maula mere le le meri jaan again. Though, this time he doesn’t have a Krishna with him and he has sung the song alone. The lyrics of the song are a bit more Urdu-ish than Maula mere. But the song goes deep and will turn out to be one with longer shelf life. Good again.

Rasiya: Background music is important. Not just in movies but in songs too. Yes, the specialists of background music have almost added background music to a semi-classical song sung by Shruti Pathak. The song will be liked in its own time and not everyone is going to like this part-classical thing. But I’d have to say, Salim-Sulaiman are great.

Kurbaan Hua: Even if it’s not rock, it’s rocking. Vishal Dadlani sings this rock-like-Bollywood-song for Salim-Sulaiman this time and I can tell you, not after listening to the song but after seeing the trailer itself that the song is going to be a hit.

Ali Maula Remix: I generally don’t write about remixes nowadays but since Kurbaan has just one remix and fashion had some good remixes, I was tempted to write this one. Well, the remix starts bad, but as it nears the mid of the seek bar, it goes a bit better, and then starts going bad again and experiments done don’t save the remix. In short, the remix by Abhijit Vaghani was not much was required, not at least with the song. They could have better done it with Shukran Allah but they probably wouldn’t have not tried to take that risk with the superb song.

Overall, with just five songs, Kurbaan is a wonderful album which has not just good songs but quite a variety available. Where Shukran Allah is a love song as good as Jatin-Lalit used to make, Ali Maula gives the album a serious tone and Rasiya gives the album a light classical touch. And finally it all completes with a rocking song by Vishal. Ten on Ten. Can say that.