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.

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.

Saheb Biwi aur Gangster: Music Review (Various)

I was wondering whether to write a review or leave it for tomorrow when the second song of the album, Shail Hada’s Main ek Bhanwra caught my attention. A composition of Amit Sial and penned by Sandeep Nath, the simple song reminds me of the songs of Kishore Kumar’s days, should I say the ’70s if I am not exaggerating too much. Anyway, I think I have said a lot about the song. So listen and decide for yourself.

The next comes Rekha Bharadwaj’s I love to love you, composed by Anuj Garg. The lyrics of the song remind me of Gulaal to some extent, while the music of the song has a retro touch. Rekha is perfect here.

Chu Chu Acoustic version, which is sung by Debojit Saha, sounds a bit strange in the beginning though the song sounds like quite a nice composition going further. A slow number, with a retro feel again. Nice.
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I am. Music Review.

Amit Trivedi. 3/6. Vivek Philip. 1/6. Rajiv Bhalla. 2/6. And a good album. Onir does it quite well it seems. A review.

The album starts with Amit Trivedi’s Baangur, sung by Mame Khan and Kavita Seth. The song has that typical Amit Trivedi beat in the background but even though the album bears Amit’s signature, it is completely worth listening to. While Mame sounds a bit like Mohan only, Kavita makes things interesting for sure. A good combination of singers and music.

When the second song Isi baat pe starts, for once you may feel it’s the first song going to be repeated, but then in comes probably the first big name of an Amit Trivedi composition, KK. But somehow, since the song has the same background as Bangur, it doesn’t leave so much of an effect. A good song, nonetheless.

The next song Bojhal se, is sung by KK again, but is a composition of Rajiv Bhalla. The song is definitely one for KK though as there is very minimal music in the background and the whole ballad is lifted by KK alone. The lyrics are wonderful and all I want to say is, listen to it when u are at leisure, and you’d love it.

The next, Aankhein, is a Vivek Philip composition, and sounds like one. The song seems to follow the same style composition as in Jalte hain of Sorry Bhai. A soft, romantic, slow, but beat based song that will probably be liked the very first time you listen to it. And then, some really wonderful singing by Karthik. Do try.

In his next song, Saye Saye, Amit Trivedi gets a bit experimental and keeps Rekha Bharadwaj and Mohan singing kind of separately from the background beats. My guess is that the song is gonna be loved much by people in due time. Sounds like a slow addiction to me. Do listen to this one as well.

The last song Wandu yerudu (means one two), composed by Rajiv Bhalla, has some Hindi/Punjabi/Telugu words, in fact for the first half minute, one may think the song is Telugu only, after which Punjabi words start appearing. Not a great composition and definitely nothing like the other songs of the album. Probably an addition to the album for those who wanted a dance number, but I wonder how much it’ll work.

Anyway, overall the album is great and out of the six original tracks, five are definitely worth a listen, while Bangur and Aankhein are something to be loved. And then, Saye Saye can be the big surprise. Lovely album.

7 Khoon Maaf: Music Review: Saat Khoon Maaf

Vishal Bhardwaj is here again.

Well, Darling, the Russian connection of Vishal Bhardwaj is definitely a well composed, well sung piece and similarities as well as differences from Kalinka are quite beautifully done. While Vishal gets the music catchy and haunting, Rekha Bharadwaj sings the song once again with a new touch to her voice. But the voice that gets it the best there is that of Usha Uthup. Kudos to Vishal for using her voice with such precision. The last word on the song: Daaaarrrrrling…

Bekaraan hain bekaraan, aankhein band keeje na, doobne lage hain hum, saans lene deeje na. Well, if I tell you that the song is sung by Vishal Bhardwaj, you’d probably be able to even guess the tune. I mean, so very predictable, and predictably lovely and beautiful too.

Vishal Bhardwaj is back. From the days of Paanch. Yeah, Vishal gets KK back after years, and for something similar. KK rocks in this one, and though Vishal rocks, the slight negative is that like other songs of the album, you have something to compare with it already. This time I was thinking about Sar jhuka khuda hoon main while listening to the song. But then, khuda hoon main didn’t have Gulzar. The lines here are just awesome in some places. Like Gulzar. After all, he can rock too.

Awaara Awaara Awaara. Master Salim sings this one for Vishal and comes up with one of the best things of the album. The music, the words, and the depth in Saleem’s voice go along, making it an experience worth experiencing. Interestingly while the song reminds me of albela sajan ghar aayo re, it also reminds me of Naina and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. And the greatness of the two songs is proof enough to how good the song would be. Na shaakh jude, na jad pakde, mausam mausam banjara.. aawara awara awaara.

The next in the album comes Suresh Wadkar’s solo Tere Liye. The six minute song is definitely a piece of poetry more than a song. Quite typical, but anybody who listens to the song probably knows in advance what it’s gonna be and expects it to be precisely what it is. Humne to parindon se, baagon ke saude kiye, tere liye. Yes. It’s all Gulzar.

Dil dil hai dil dil hai dil hai dil, Suraj Jagan, and Rock. Well, Vishal Bhardwaj completely goes into Paanch mode with raw rock as he composes dil dil hai. I won’t say it’s similar to any song, but just reminds me that if an average composer can compose in N genres Vishal Bhardwaj can do it in N square.

Rekha’s Yeshu is definitely NOT what I was expecting it to be. A prayer, that somehow doesn’t sound that heartfelt, and somehow gets a bit boring too, but then the song sounds fine, and maybe even good for the times when you actually want to listen to it.

The next in the album is Doosri Darling, which comes up with the original darling, that is Kalinka-Kalinka-Malinka-Moya. In case you don’t yet know, the song Darling is based on a Russian folkish song of 1860s, Kalinka. Actually this is the one you have been listening to in the promos.

Overall, Vishal Bhardwaj is as good as ever in 7 Khoon Maaf, but then, a little disappointment comes from the fact that there is nothing as new as was there in Ishqiya, or even Kaminey. Still, there is quality, and this time, some quantity too.

Oh, did you notice there is no Sukhwinder Singh in a Vishal Bharadwaj album, after years?

Raavan: Music Review

maaguvanjalo.. aagubenjaaaalo…
a aen aen aen e eo.. a aen aen aen e eo..

Got what is that? Start of a good album, and a wonderful song. The album is called Raavan, and the song is, yes, you get that. Beeera. Beera, beera beera beera, beera beera beera beera beera, beera ke dus maathe, beera ke sau naam, chhede jo beera ko, dhama dham dham dham. If there was anything that could ever be compared to beera, it was probably Omkara, but seems Omkara also stays behind beera when it comes to being musical.
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Raavan: Soundtrack

So finally Mani Ratnam’s Raavan is here. Or so it will be, on April 24th, when Rahman’s music is out. Abhishek Bachchan can be seen in the video of Beera sets up a high expectation from the album, as well as the movie. Here is the soundtrack listing of the movie as found yet.

Behene De – Karthik
Beera Beera – Vijay Prakash
Kata Kata – Ila Arun, Sapna Awasthi & Kunal Ganjawala
Khilli Re – Reena Bhardwaj
Ranjha Ranjha – Rekha Bhardwaj & Javed Ali
Thok De Killi – Sukhwinder Singh

So hopes from the songs of Raavan are high. Check the video of the first song Beera too.

Sadiyaan: Music Review

Raj Kanwar’s Sadiyaan has Adnan Sami as its music director. Now while most of the songs of the song are quite usual, Adnan ropes in a lot of singers in what seems like a try to make it look varied. Many of the song can also be found using Adnan’s trademark Tabla/other instruments with restrains, somewhat like in Bheegi Bheegi raaton mein or most songs of Lucky. The only thing I liked in the compositions of Adnan here is that the tunes are mostly melodious and some of his songs are likable even with his typical style’s strong presence.
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Waqt ne jo beej boya: Sadiyaan (Rekha Bharadwaj)

So after Rahman, Sajid-Wajid and even Dabboo Malik, Adnan Sami comes up with a tune he thinks deserves the voice of Rekha Bharadwaj and gives her an eight minute and forty seconds long Sadiyaan ve, credited as Waqt ne jo beej boya, on the cover of the album, Sadiyaan.
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ab mujhe koi intezar kahan (Ishqiya)

Rekha Bharadwaj is one great talent. And the best part is that she gets to sing Gulzar’s words on Vishal’s tunes. And while many singers might have reasons to be jealous, she keeps on proving her talent again and again. Ab mujhe koi intezar kahan is one such instance. The song is a great one by Gulzar and has been sung as deeply by Rekha. A slow, soft, deep song you’d love to listen to.
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Ishqiya: Music Review

Genius + Genius = Superb Work. Mostly.

Well. Ishqiya is something like that only. Here you have Vishal Bharadwaj and Gulzar. And with them come Sukhwinder Singh, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Rekha Bharadwaj, and, Mika. The result is certainly good.

OK. First, the bad thing about the album. That there are just four songs in the album (packed as seven tracks though) which was a bit disappointing when I saw the track listing. Second, will be updated when found. 😉

Enough, a seriously good album and here comes a serious review. As good as I can right now.
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Veer Music Review

Salman Khan’s Veer was my first surprise of the year. When I saw the credits, I was surprised, nah, almost shocked to see the name of Rekha Bharadwaj and Sharib-Toshi with Shabaab Sabri, and I confirmed again that it was composed by Sajid-Wajid. And it was. And then, I heard it. Yes, it was a surprise. So here is my music review of Veer.

Composers: Sajid-Wajid
Lyrics: Gulzar
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