Matru ki Bijlee ka Mandola: Music Review (Vishal Bhardwaj)

Vishal. Means Big. So he is, and this time, so is the soundtrack. Literally and figuratively.

The man who brought us rock way back in 2003 and Kalinka in 2011 (as Darling) is this time here with a soundtrack of no less than twelve songs, ranging from Prem Dehati’s renderings to Zulu.

Of course, you get the taste of Gulzar’s pen in the album.

The album begins with the heard-by-everyone title track, that does nothing but makes you dance. There is a madness in the tune, and Gulzar’s lyrics maintain that madness. My guess is that you would have danced to it already. If not, do that, cuz you need not be a dancer to dance to this tune.

The second song of the album, Khamakha Nahi has a foreign element (I dunno which country really) in the beginning chorus, and then it gives you a taste of something like Bekaraan. The romantic track has some simple lyrics by Gulzar, which one can almost identify as his. Loved it.

Oye Boy Charlie, sung by Rekha with Shankar Mahadevan and Mohit is one lovely piece from the album. The song has an English title, desi Gulzar’ed lyrics, desi music and earthy voices. To top it all, the visuals are quite interesting with a comic element. Listen to it. Watch it.

The next track, Hatt Lootnewale, has some lyrics against oppression, and the music isn’t too attractive. But the song has got the best of the singers, as Sukhwinder Singh and Master Saleem, something that may change the listeners’ perception in due time. The popularity of the song will depend a lot on the story/picturization and publicity.

Next comes Shara-ra-ra. A small, one n a half minute track, sung by Prem Dehati. The song is a earthy track with the music, lyrics, and even the brass-band based arrangements being village type. However, this doesn’t sound like Piyush Mishra earthy. So, good, but not exceptionally so.

Badal Uthya ri Sakhi. That’s what the best song of the album is called. The track, sung by Rekha (and later by Prem Dehati in Reprise) is ma’am singing in a full classic-folk mood, with minimal music, and a Sitar ruling the background. The song is actually an old folk song from Haryana and quite popular there. So you know what it is. Do listen. And listen. And let it grow on you.

The joke was, after his debut in Mausam, this guy gets two songs in Vishal Bhardwaj’s Matru ki Bijlee ka Mandola. His name is Pankaj Kapur.

Pankaj sings the next two tracks of the album, which are fun, but would be enjoyed actually when the movie comes out, or at least the video comes out. Pankaj’s singing shows you one side of theatre artist that has hardly been touched by cinema. Try the tracks, or wait for the videos.

The next track is a first in India. It’s called Nomvula, and it’s Zulu music, sung by Umoja [Umoja means Unity in Swahili]. Even the lyrics of the song have been imported, without any Hindi/English being added to them. The music is nice, but I guess an adaptation, maybe something like Kalinka, would be better.

The end of the album comes with a reprise version of Badal Uthiya by Prem Dehati, and a small one for Lootnewale, sung by Sukhwinder. Badal Uthya is ‘almost’ as good as by Rekha, and Sukhwinder’s Lootnewale sounds a little more less noisy than the original version.

Overall, the album has a lot in terms of variety, and some tracks are wonderful; Khamakha, Oye Boy, and Badal Uthya to name the best. But then a few elements were missing too. Both the songs by Rekha are good, but Sukhwinder this time doesn’t seem to have got his fair share despite the number of tracks. When the album was over, I even missed Suresh Wadkar who’s been there for most of Vishal’s albums, including 7KM.

So yes, the album is good. Vishal has done some good work. And it’s worth listening to. But the thirst that came with the big size, isn’t quenched.

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)

Barfi! Music Review (Pritam)

Anurag Basu and Pritam are a team. So much so for me that I generally tend to forget Kites as Anurag’s movie, going back dircetly to Metro, which the two worked on together, and literally rocked.

Here, they come once again, to give you an album, where not a single piece of a single song seems to be touching Metro. Yeah, it’s all, all new.

The album begins with Ala Ala Matwala Barfi. Mohit Chauhan makes some wonderful onomatopoeic noises here, but it’s the simple tune of Pritam that deserves equal credit. Ranbir this time seems to be doing even better than what he did in rockstar, though it’s not really good to compare as the two are very different movies.

Back to the song. I hope you have all heard the first, Mohit Chauhan version of the song. So more on the Swanand Kirkire version. This one didn’t sound THAT interesting to me after Mohit’s version, though Swanand’s solid voice gives a different touch to the song. Sounds more like an old composer singing his song.

Nickhil Paul George (or call him Nikhil if you so prefer) singing Main kya karoon has been my favorite since the day I heard it for the first time, mostly for the vocals, again other than the light, simple arrangements. The singer, who has sung with Ash King, does sound a lot like him, at least in style. Actually this was quite clear with these two songs that Barfi! is gonna be a much lighter album than Metro, or even an average album of nowadays, and so it is.

The third song, Papon and Sunidhi’s Kyon na hum tum is a simple one. Simple as in, with not too much of new elements. Just a simple song with some nice lyrics. The lyrics of the song are actually sweet, the way ‘roopak’ is used in that. Not sure if what exactly is roopak in English, but I can tell you ‘nazar ke kankadon se khamoshi ki khidkiyan yoon todenge’ is roopak twice. That’s the part I loved the most in this one, with Papon’s evergreen singing.

Arijit Singh is Pritam’s favorite singer nowadays. You can pick any of his past five albums to confirm that. And this time he gets a completely different assignment from his mentor. The song, phir le aaya dil, is more like a Ghazal in its treatment, with all the ‘thehraav’ and of course the tabla based arrangements. And Arijit sings it the lovely Urdu piece quite well.

Of course, Pritam doesn’t leave his beautiful song to Arijit alone this time, not in this Ghazal mode, and gets a perfect version done from none other than Rekha Bharadwaj. Need not say she is a killer yet again, right from the VERY first line. No surprises, it’s in her very forte. MUST listen.

One more experimental-beautiful-old-sounding piece is Aashiyan sung by Shreya and Nickhil. Shreya is a little different with her voice here, though Nickhil remains his regular voice only. The arrangement of the song is interesting, in all its old-western touch. So much so that I can see a girl in something like a polka-dotted frock, in almost black-n-white. Yeah, that’s what music can do to you. To me at least. Anyway, you can guess how much I am into the song, and it is worth it. Very sweet-cute types, nature touching lyrics.

The last song of the album (discounting all the repeat versions as I’ve talked about them all) is Saanwali si raat ho, once again sung by Arijit. This one is a very slow, very simple, and very minimally arranged number. The lyrics are wonderfully romantic in this one. Fall in love with them.

OK. So overall Barfi! is very much in tune with what you would have already heard from the album, almost continuing in the same mood (other than Phir le aaya dil), but still giving you enough to stick on to, for quite a long time. The good things about the album are: It’s simple arrangements, beautiful lyrics, quality compositions, and lastly, it’s lack of remixes. Actually remix is something you wouldn’t even think about in this album. It’s a Barfi that you’d like to savour for quite some time.

PS: At times, I felt like this was a Shantanu Moitra album, with all the slow-soulful-remixless music, and Swanand Kirkire’s lyrics. Special accolades for Pritam for doing something that I’d say out of his comfort zone.

Shirin Farhad ki Toh Nikal Padi: Music Review (Jeet Ganguli)

Shirin Farhad ki To Nikal Padi Music ReviewJeet Ganguli has been in Bollywood on and off. But since Jeet-Pritam’s separation, he’s not been in the top rated movies. After a long time, he gets to compose for Shirin Farhad ki To Nikal Padi, which, depsite its irregular star cast, should be a big one. And Jeet plays his part right here. Here is a review.

Ishq mein tere bina dil hi na lage. The opening song of the album is a regular romantic number, with a lovely melody, and KK and Shreya singing. The song sounds a lot like those of 1990s-2000s, and sounds good, something that we are not getting to see a lot these days. Good singers, good composition and a nice romantic track. And still a little rare today, that’s what the song is.

The second song, Khatti Meethi, again maintains the melody quotient, while adding some nicer vocals from Shreya as she goes on to sing again. The other feature of the song is Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics with lot of English words, but still keeping them from making the song anything other than natural. You get to hear ‘mausamon mein feel hai’ instead of ‘mausamon mein ehsaas hai’, something a person is more likely to say today. This may be start of something new.

The sad part is that Urdu is leaving us, and English is coming in, but then that’s exactly what is happening in our daily lives and the good part is that the song does it without going overboard. I’d say, good work by Amitabh here.

The next song of the album, Kaafir Andhere, is a treat for music lovers. The song is a love ballad, sad, a little rocky, and sung perfectly by KK. The lyrics of the song are good, as one can expect from Amitabh. The only negative, the song seems to have a hangover of ‘Jaane kyun tanha ho gaye’ of Bhram. Other than that, it’s just lovely.

And yeah, this one kind of makes up for the loss of Urdu out there.

Shirin Farhad ki Toh Nikal Padi. I love this title song. For two reasons. One, this gives something different to the album, something that is prevalent in the market today, and Jeet does it nothing less than Pritam or say, Sohail. And two, I love the simple, very slightly philosophical, but feel-good lyrics. OK, maybe I said a bit too much for the lyrics, but the song is nice. And makes me feel I should watch the movie. Me.

Guitars. Kuku duku. Again a little hangover’ish from here n there, but the sounds are nice, and until Mohit Chauhan enters with the strange, monologue’ish, ’90s type lyrics, you expect a nice romantic number. The good part is even with the comic-romantic lyrics, you like the song, just that it’s not a blockbuster. But nice. Especially for the movie.

Ramba mein Samba by Usha Uthhup has got some nice music, or I should say interesting music, as there were many other songs that fit the words ‘nice’ better. But the fusion of Electronic, Dhol and Spanish background vocals is something that gives a good feel. I like.

Overall, SFKTNP is an album with a lot of melody, something we don’t get a lot nowadays, some good lyrics, with some regular, nice tracks, and a little experimentation and some light comedy thrown in. I don’t think I could have asked for lot more flavors here. Welcome back, Jeet.

Ek Tha Tiger Music Review (Sohail Sen, Sajid-Wajid)

Should I start with Mashallah? Well, I think there is enough said about the song, and then everyone seems to have heard it, so let’s just say the song is probably going to be the weaker part of the album. Or maybe I can say the weakest, if Salman Bhai’s fans allow me to. Not because he’s wrong anywhere, cuz Sajid-Wajid HAVE given some good songs for him. How can I ever forget the small preview of Tere Mast Mast Do Nain I heard at IIFA. That number within seconds told us what a hit it was going to be. But then, this time they seem to have got it wrong. Not too wrong, but not as right as it has been earlier.

And I wrote again so much about that song. OK, leave that one. Let’s see others.

Sohail Sen’s part of the album begins with a KK song and the duo seem to maintain the rapport shared in their last album, Mere Brother ki Dulhan. KK here again plays the fast track, and sings a full fledged commercial number for Salman, this time with Shreya Ghoshal Palak Muchchal. The song, though not extraordinary as such, has a nice melody and the ‘main laapata‘ part is catchy as well. So be ready to hear many fans singing this one, and in due time, some non-fans too.

The next song of the album, Banjaara, is sung by Sukhwinder Singh. And will definitely be pictured on Salman Khan. That actually tells you a lot about the song. Let me spell it out a little more clearly. The song is full of energy, so much so that without even watching it, one can see Salman Khan dancing to the tune with full energy. This one is a hit.

Teri Meri Meri Teri Prem Kahani hai Naadan Parindey. Saiyyara Main Saiyaara. OK leave the name. Let’s just say there is a sad song sung by Mohit Chauhan for Salman Khan. Can there be a thing deadlier than this as of today? OK I may again be overselling it, but I would at least say that Saiyaara is the best song of the album. The song has a superb melody, touching lyrics, the singers are superb, be it Mohit or Tarannum Malik, and so is the singing. The orchestration is simple and beautiful. One cannot doubt about the presence of Salman Khan in the song. Basically there isn’t a thing that would leave me in doubt about the song, it just is going to be one of the best this year. The only minor hitch is that the lyrics of the song make me feel that the movie ‘may’ have a sad ending. Hope that isn’t the case. I want the Tiger to remain there.

And yeah, the Tiger Theme is something you have already heard a lot since the very first teaser trailer, most of it. So that one already makes a fan nostalgic, which is a little strange, but quite positive for the movie. Other than the heard part too, the theme has quite some shades and should work perfectly in the background, and once you have seen the movie, on the CD too.

So clearly, this Tiger is going to rock. As per the rumors, Salman may not be too happy about Sohail doing the score for the movie, but the result has come out really well, and Sajid-Wajid’s song turns out the not-so-good piece of the album. As for Sohail’s part, I’d just say, Mashallah.

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Tezzz: Music Review (Sajid-Wajid)

Recently I was watching an interview of Sonu Nigam. Money was being discussed and Sonu was asked if there are music directors for whom he sings for free at times. And the answer was yes, but the first name he took was a bit of a surprise for me. It was none other than Sajid-Wajid. Not like I don’t have reasons to believe they are good composers or Sonu Nigam shouldn’t enjoy great relationship with them (he got his biggest pop hit, Deewana, from Sajid-Wajid), but it just wasn’t a big enough name somehow. I think that’s gonna change now.

Yep. Sajid-Wajid sound like a very ’90s composers at times, but their greatness exists in the fact that even when they sound like ’90s, they are so good with it that you end up loving them. The only problems they have had is that they have not really been very consistent, and of course, they haven’t had very big names to work with, with a regular exception of Salman Khan. The latter is changing, and I hope that the former changes too.

OK that was a long prologue for a small album with just four original tracks, though there are twelve versions on the disk. So here we go on Tezzz.

The album starts with the gem of a song called Tere bina tere bina dil naiyo lagda, sung by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. A nice melody, and quite some Nadeem-Shravan’ish treatment is what the song has, but neither of the two is mediocre and some simple singing from Rahat is enough to make the song lovable. And that is what it is. Lovely.

Tezzz title song sung by Sunidhi is an average number, with a little Abbas-Mustan feel to it, which seems to be going with the movie. Sunidhi’s singing is good here, but the results are more or less just okay. Maybe the song will be liked a bit more with time and promotion.

Mohit Chauhan singing for Sajid-Wajid is something rare, if not a first. However, the duo give the master singer a song that fits his voice perfectly and the treatment is more or less the same as he generally gets from Pritam, with an added Chorus for him singing tere saaye mein, which makes the romantic song more devotional. A simple, light, romantic number, with the added chorus adding a little more to the song.

Laila, the next by Sunidhi is an average number again, and somehow after not liking it after listening to it a few times, didn’t feel like listening to it more. Passable.

For the next track, Shreya Ghoshal comes to sing Tere bina tere bina, which sounds perfectly good, but a little more ‘old’, a little more ’90s. Probably because Rahat’s adds a little twist to a song, you don’t feel it so much in the male version. However, worth a listen for sure. Do listen and decide for yourself if you like this one more.

Shaan’s version of Tezzz is not really great. Wondering if this could have been given to KK. Not sticking much on remixes, I shift towards the sad version of Tere Bina, which I presume could be better with a few more twists thrown in with that simplicity. The last thing I would like to say a little about is Tere Bina (Indian) version. Sudden thought: It’s still Rahat singing, so how’s it more Indian? Well, jokes apart, the version is a little more towards Aashiqui as beats come more from the Tabla here and that IS nice, but I think a little more Indianization of the version could make things more interesting.

Overall, Tezzz has got quite some nice music from Sajid-Wajid, even if it doesn’t go equally in all the songs. Other than that, the album has got a little too many versions. I think if you don’t want to go into much and want to get the sure shot numbers, go for Rahat’s version of Tere Bina and Mohit’s Main hoon shab. And if it’s a little more, you can try the Indian version and Shreya’s version as well.

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.

Rockstar (2011) Music Review (A R Rahman)

Rockstar starts with Mohit Chauhan singing Phir se ud chala. The song, that starts with a relatively light mood and gets a breezy effect from Mohit, like the words of the song, gets remixy by the end, actually a nice experiment that will catch on slowly. One very interesting part of the song, though, was the background vocals in the beginning and end.

Jo bhi main kehna chahoon, barbaad karen alfaaz mere. Frankly, I am a fan of this one line written by Irshad Kamil. And then A R Rahman in an experimental mood, composing like there is someone actually singing at a concert. And Mohit Chauhan singing that. I don’t think there was anything more required, but still, the song has a lovely video as an add-on. Seems I wrote a lot just praising the song, but guess it’s worth that. Do listen.

Katiya Karoon. Dangerous words. Rocking music. And superb vocals by Harshdeep. If she has managed to be not famous even after Rang De Basanti, this time Rahman is definitely gonna make her known. DO listen.

Kun Faaya Kun is once again Rahman at his regular divine stuff, sung by him with Javed Ali and Mohit. I sometimes wonder how Rahman is so easily able to create such wonderful songs in the same segment, one after the other, and all of them equally great. Yes, good is a small word here.

The next, Sheher mein, is a Very exceptional number, where one person tells how to sing, that is what to do, followed by lines, followed by Ranbir that is Mohit singing them again. While Karthick sings the song as a regular singer, Mohit takes every line in a stylish mood and you just enjoy the difference.

Hawa hawa, featuring Rahman’s Foreign language gang with Mohit Chauhan, has an Arabian touch in its music and arrangements, while Mohit again sings with some more experimentation. Wondering how much of experiment is going to be there with his voice in just one album. Not a quick catch, may be interesting with a video though, as the song has some interesting words with a conversational style.

Aur ho, the next song, that begins with Alma Ferovic’s voice, is the first true rock number of the album. Even though the background of the song is quite light in most of the song and has a very familiar Rahman touch, but Mohit’s voice gets incredibly high in some places, like an all new rockstar. Do listen for a nice glimpse of that old Rahman.

Rahman and Mohit’s O Naadan Parindey, which is already a lovely composition in itself, has got a LOT of experimentation done by Rahman in background and foreground, and unless you listen to the song a few times you’ll find a song a little difficult to follow. But whatever you do or do not, make sure you listen to Kaaga re kaaga re part sung by Mohit. Lovely, no, Very lovely one.

When I heard the 30 second preview of Kavita Krishnamurthy Subramaniam’s Tumko pa hi liya, I thought of it as a very regular song, and was wondering if Rahman should have given it to Madhushree to making it a little more interesting.

I was wrong.

Rahman makes a lovely slow number with a nice, light Indian-Western fusion with a lot of Tabla, while Kavita just sings the slow, long melody in the foreground. A song that will take some hours to get on, and a lot, lot more to get off.

Next to next after tum ko, comes tum ho, almost the same tune sung by Mohit Chauhan, with all different style and arrangements, so much so that it’s difficult to guess its the same song if you’re listening to both for the first time. Mohit sings the song much more beautifully, but not taking much away from Kavita’s version as what she sings is again equally different.

Tango for Taj, the three minute instrumental, is a common, but nice, and to some extent engaging track that one would actually like to dance on. While Dichtomy of Fame, based on Shehnai and guitars, is one instrumental piece in long time I really liked, even though I don’t think I have much of an ear for instrumental pieces.

The last track, The Meeting Place, is rendition of a single sentence by Ranbir, based on Rumi’s poem. All I have to say is that if they had not given this one, people probably would ask for it after watching the movie.

And if you are wondering where is Sadda Haq, it’s between Kavita’s Tum ko, and Mohit’s Tum ho, but had decided to avoid until the end. Have still to play it.

Orianthi. Superb guitars from the first second.

Besides that, I don’t know much about Sadda Haq aithe rakh. The song is completely anthem-ish. And it gives you a high like it should, even though the best part of the song is already listened by almost everyone, tens of times in my case. The song is expected to do well everywhere, including country, overseas, in Punjab and out of it (talking of the language), on youtube, and probably even on your website if you put it there. You can listen to it while exercising, or getting ready for an exam. If you’re going for some protest, it’s a must have, be it social, political, or emotional. In short, Sadda Haq aithe rakh is a song for many seasons. And you can probably buy the CD for this song alone.

Enough said.

Aarakshan Music Review (Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Prasoon Joshi)

After a long time, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy look in their full color. No, I won’t say ZNMD was bad, but somehow it was patterned, without much ‘new’ really. But they are back again with Aarakshan, with their old mate Prasoon Joshi, this time not just writing but also composing a number, which surprisingly, almost beats SEL’s compositions.

The album starts with ‘Mauka‘ which is, in a way, the theme song of the movie. The song, that basically talks about giving a chaanas (chance) is a song with enthusiasm and a wish to do something. Sung by five singers led by Raman Mahadevan and Mahalaxmi, the song has an item’ish, addictive touch to the music and zeal in the lyrics. Will get promotion, has to work.

Next comes Achcha lagta hai, sung by Mohit Chauhan and Shreya Ghoshal. The song that reminds me of rut aa gayi re in the first few moments, is a peppy number with some nice and fresh arrangements and while Mohit Chauhan is as great as ever with his lovely voice, Shreya is completely into the conversation happening in the song. Liked it. Very much.

Still, Kaun si dor/ Saans Albeli, the composition of Prasoon Joshi, is the surprise of the album. While I had no idea what to expect from him in his first ever composition (at least to my knowledge, in and out of movies), he completely took me by wonder with the song that, sung by Pt Channulal Mishra (with Shreya in case of the duet version Kaun si dor), goes almost completely classical, and the best part is that once I started listening to the song, I did not feel like stopping it for even once in the quarter to six minutes’ run of the song. Completely loved Prasoon’s debut as a composer.

The last song of the album is Roshanee, sung by Shankar Mahadevan, which starts in a slightly ‘Uff teri adaa’ style, but shifts totally to a passionate, ‘joshila’ number very soon. Again some new arrangements from Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy with some good words by Prasoon.

In short, the album is a small treat of four songs from Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Prasoon Joshi. Prakash Jha, who got four different composers to create four songs in Raajneeti has once again got it right, in fact better this time.

Chillar Party: Music Review (Amit Trivedi)

The album starts with Tayn Tayn Phiss that sounds more like a song played on Ganpati Puja due to its arrangements, but my guess is once the video is out, the song should work, and look somewhat like aali re, though with a lesser punch, of course.

Somehow the second song of the album, Aa rela hai apun, sounds like you’re listening to the first song again. It surprises all the more because in the third song…

…you meet yet another facet of Amit Trivedi. The guy not only brings Mohit Chauhan in his breezy way, he even creates some wonderful arrangements with children and various sounds that give you something new. And Mohit Chauhan rocks with Amit Trivedi as he sings Ek hi thaali ke Chatte batte.

The fourth song of the album, Ziddi Piddi, is almost like a rockish war cry and has been sung by Amit himself along with Armaan Malik, Tanmay and Gaurika. The way song is made, it may not be liked instantly, but then with the movie it should work as a perfect background.

One of the best things Amit does in the album is his work with children. In this track called Ek School banana hai, there is some wonderful use of children’s voice, and more than that their chorus. Touches of Udaan may be visible here, but the lyrics and the way children take up the song create difference.

The next track of the album is some hard rock, coming from two children again, but in some tough tone. ‘Behla do, fusla do, baalon ko sehla do, hum chup ho jayenge.. bachchon ka dard koi dard hi nahi’ are lyrics that attract you enough before you can get engaged by the music. Liked this. Do listen to the words here.

Liar Liar Pants on Fire. The song has three main elements, some simple music, the (bit-too-)witty lyrics, and the innocent voice of I suppose Gaurika Rai. Add to that the addictive kind chorus and result is the song. I don’t know how much I liked the song but definitely is not ignorable, especially the chorus.

The album ends with a little more experiment on the best of the album as Mohit comes up with a sad version of Chatte Batte, which deep down, sounds like Taare Zameen Par title song, in terms of lyrics. There is nothing really ‘sad’ about the song, but it’s slightly touchy and Mohit’s voice works perfectly with the little background music. A perfect end to the worth-a-try album with its ups (Chatte-batte, followed by ek school) and downs (probably the second sound, more for being a repeat of the first).

Zindagi na Milegi Dobara: Music Review

Kab tak ginen hum dhadkanein, dil jaise dhadke dhadakne do has that soul that is found in Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy-Farhan combos, that gives you the confidence to ‘do’ something, a Lakshya thing. Joi Barua sings for SEL in this one. Ik Junoon (Paint it Red) is a poppish one that goes to its limited highs in a way that it will be slowly, but highly addictive.

Khwabon ke Parindey has Alyssa singing a beautiful song in her sweet, eclectic voice, while Mohit supports her. Alyssa does a Caralisa in this one, almost going the Phir dekhiye style, though the song is slightly higher on notes compared to that one.

Senorita sung by Hrithik, Farhan, Abhay and Maria Del Mar Fernandez is gonna be the attraction of the album as the three actors seem to be doing good not only in singing but dancing as well. Lovely.

Shankar Mahadevan gives his first solo appearance in Der Lagi Lekin, Maine jeena seekh liya. I think the line says a lot about the song. Javed Akhtar’s positive lyrics have been sung by Shankar with all ease and in a way that the song appeals to you the very first time, to grow on you more, every time you listen to it. DO listen.

Loy, Dominique, Clinton Cerejo. You know what type the song is gonna be as soon as you read the names. A techno-techno Sooraj ki Baahon mein is nothing too new as far as arrangements are concerned, but the composition has got some simple-addictive-good beats and you learn four lines the first time you listen. You know what it means, don’t you? Hey Yeah!

In To Zinda ho tum. Farhan Akhtar renders his dad’s words as a poem with some music in the background, something that tends to inspire you, but though the words are good and well rendered, probably they are a bit too less. Could have been more, and thus better.

As for remixes, Ik Junoon remix is even more addictive than the actual song I guess, though Senorita Remix is not as interesting as the original.

Overall, ZNMD is something to celebrate, like you see in the movie. Do go for it. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy are there again.

Love u Mr Kalakaar Music Review (Sandesh Shandilya)

I don’t really look forward to Tusshar Kapoor’s movies. Or their music. But recently, it seems things are becoming different. Last week it was Shor in the City and this time it’s none other than Sandesh Shandilya’s Love u Mr Kalakaar that seem to have changed things for at least now. Here comes a review.

Sandesh’s album starts with a song called Sarphira sa hai dil, sung by Shreya and, wait-for-it, Neeraj Shridhar. Well, Sandesh seems to be doing things more market-way in this one (and hence comes Neeraj) but not in a negative way. A soft-romantic and good melody but with some not-so-typical-of-him arrangements from the composer. Sounds more like a good work of Pritam, definitely worth a try.

The next song, Tera Intezaar, brings in Vijay Prakash and Gayatri Ganjawalla and while this one may not be loved by some fans of Sandesh Shandilya’s fans (I hope he has some), it’s a good one again. The beats may sound a bit too much but Vijay Prakash gets to sing a lovely one and I think the song can pick up quite fast.

The next song, Bhoore Bhoore Badal has Kunal Ganjawalla and Shreya doing some back-to-Shandilya singing. Nice and kinda experimental one with some good lyrics, but somehow this poetry doesn’t take off as well as I expected at the start. Still do listen to the song if you like Shandilya’s music. You might like it as well.

Kunal-Gayatri Ganjawalla sung title song is the, well, boring title song, for probably the credits. Kunal in his typical style and not too bad, but nothing really musical.

Next comes a Mohit Chauhan-Shivangi Kashyap sung Kahin se Chali aa, which is attracting from the very first word. I need not say that Mohit Chauhan and Sandesh can be a deadly combination, and in this one Mohit seems to be just gliding his voice on the music in a very natural style without any special treatment. Kinda soothing, though I probably won’t say the same for Shivangi.

Again, Reeky Dev’s revisited Tera Intezaar isn’t bad. The Mumbai-based-Bangladeshi singer (says FB) does sound good here. Will probably look for the name going further.

The last, Reaching for the Rainbow sung by Jenice Sobti and Vinnie Hutton, is a soothing all-English melody, which somehow enticed such a hardly-ever English listener. Not bad, I guess.

Overall, Love u Mr Kalakaar seems to be a good step as it definitely goes beyond my expectations, which was actually a big naught (I didn’t know it was a Barjatya’s thing) and even though the album is not something huge, the songs are okay and almost all are at least worth a try. So do listen to the album and decide how many songs would stick to your playlist. I expect a few, at least kahin se chali aa, and probably a version of Tera intezaar.

Dum Maaro Dum: Music Review

Abhishek and Earl’s Thayn Thayn somehow sounds so much like a piece from Bluffmaster even with a different composer here. I guess this will sound good and look great once it comes out. Watch out for it.

Te Amo, the song sung by Ash King, is definitely a lovely one and Pritam does his own good thing with Ash’s voice, as long as you don’t compare this one to Dil gira daffatan. While Ash is lovely in the soft romantic song and natural with the English parts of the song, Sunidhi is not bad either. One song you would love.

Like in all Pritam albums, there is another version of Te Amo, a reprise by Pritam. I guess I need not tell you how a soft version of a soft romantic song would sound when Mohit sings it. The slight acoustic setting Pritam has given to the song is nice.

Mit Jaaye Gham. Dum Maaro Dum. Shirt. Potty. Nanga. Well, It’s like that only. All I can say is that after this song is on air, the censor board won’t have to do much to decide the audience. Families are NOT going to watch this one. Oh, as for the music, it’s okay. As expected, it’s made in kinda addictive mood. But lyrics, oh, well..

If there is something in the album that I was able to hear in a loop from the first time itself, here it is. Jiyein Kyun is not only good on music and singing, the lyrics are so lovely, I just fell for the song very soon.

As for the music, Pritam is almost in Metro mood here and Papon sounds so much like James in his singing. And Mr Sahni Jaideep, I love you. DO Listen to this one.

And then Zubeen Garg’s Jaana hai is a signature Pritam song in Zubeen’s very typical voice. Nothing too great, but there is definitely a special kind of depth in Zubeen’s voice that Always attracts you, which especially suits songs with a, what would I say, kashish, with a longing to go ahead and achieve something. And here is one such song. Liked it.

Overall, Dum Maaro Dum may be an album to hide from your parents (yes, at any age) after listening to that title song, but there are a few good songs in the album and while you love everything from Jiyein Kyun to Te Amo, Jaana hai and Thayn Thayn aren’t disappointing. In short, cool. In fact a bit too much in a some places, you know.

Tanu weds Manu (aka Mannu Bhaiyya)

When ten seconds into an album you know that you’re almost going to dance to this tune, you know what quality it is going to be. Well, Tanu Weds Manu happens to be something like that. As Lehmber Hussainpuri croons a Very Punjabi Saddi Gali in a Pritam-meets-Amit-Trivedi way, one is bound to dance to his tune. Yet another wonderful tune and arrangement from RDB, adding to their list of singles in Bollywood.

The next thing out there is Mohit Chauhan’s Kitne dafe dil ne kaha, that is Yun hi. The song isn’t so typical Mohit Chauhan, but has a slight ’90s-early 2000s element attached to the music, with all the Tabla, flute and more of Indian instruments. At the same time, lyrics are wonderful and Mohit unquestionably has to be beautiful in such a song. Do listen to the song, and give it time if it does need that.

The next song Piya, sung by Roop Kumar Rathod, has a classical feel to it. While the song may not sound all that great for the first time, after listening to it for a few times, it’s quite a treat to listen to. Especially some parts of the song (for example ‘Pal na kate ab sakhi re piya bin’) are really beautiful.

The next is Wadali Brothers’ Rangrez mere, a qawwali that takes you into old times with its very real arrangements. While I don’t know how much people are going to like it, the thing I loved in the song is the real Qawwali feel you get. Except that in a few places the Qawwali needed to pause a bit more, everything seems to be quite fine. Do try this one.

MANNU BHAIYA. When I talk of the album, THIS is the song I talk about. While a friend of mine (who also happens to write reviews) thought it had a Vishal Bhardwaj touch, I felt, and still feel that the song has a similarity with the early songs of A R Rahman. While Mannu bhaiyya ka karihen has got an addictive beat, rest of the song is a good mix of some easy-going music and lets-talk-about-it lyrics. A must listen thing, like it or not is your decision.

The last original song of the album is Mika’s Jugni, another Punjabi song in the album that is not so happening as Saddi Gali, but good nonetheless. A typical Mika song, Jugni will make you dance to it, but not precisely the first time you listen to it. First you listen to the song, take the words in, and then your feet go on the techno-tunes of the song.

As the last track comes Krsna’s own version of Rangrez, where he puts the qawwali arrangements in almost background, giving more emphasis on words. While one good thing about the song is that you get every word clear, Krsna sings the composer’s track, with its unmistakable truthfulness. For example, by the time he comes to sing karvat bhi rang.. salvat bhi rang, he’s almost lost in the song and when you’re not writing a review, you’re lost in the song too. 🙂 Definitely engaging. Completely loved it.

Overall, Tanu Weds Manu is a complete surprise package and while one was expecting a good movie, the wonderful album has raised the expectations from the movie even further. As for the album, the other surprising thing besides quality is the variety present here. Accolades for Krsna for such a debut.

Dil To Baccha Hai Ji: Music Review (Pritam)

Abhi Kuch Dino se is a typical Mohit Chauhan made-to-be-hit. Music is good and lyrics are fine too. Overall something new for a few months. Go for it.

Beshubaha is again a beautiful song where Antara Mitra proves herself once again and Kunal is good to listen. Pritam seems to be going on the track of Once Upon a Time in Mumbai as I could feel a touch of I’m in love here. Good one again.
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