Music Review: Rush (2012 film, music composed by Pritam)

Pritam and Ash King is turning out to be a winning combination. Once again Pritam gives Ash a similar kind of song, though this time Muazzam Beg n Rizwan Ali Khan make it all interesting. Kahin ye tere dil se to chhup chhup ke milta nahi is definitely worth listening to. Nicely composed. Even better arrangements and that chorus’ singing.

The next, Fukraa is a catchy one sung by Jazzy B with Hard Kaur. The song is simple, with an average melody, but the catchy elemnt is taken care of with some okay arrangements. Not a blockbuster, but will work, especially on dance floors, in remix versions.

The second highlight of the album is called Mumkin Nahi. Instead of reading this, you can listen to the song. Though I didn’t so much like Tulsi’s average singing in the song. The song has a flavor of Tum Mile, with its long, lovely melody, and touching lyrics. But I was most surprised by Anupam Amod, who though sings well always, this time seemed to be kinda close to KK in this rendition. DO listen.

O re khuda is a ballad with some wonderful lyrics again. Don’t yet know the lyricist, though the maqta of the sher at the end names Faraaz. Interestingly, Javed Bashir seems to sing here somewhat in Adnan Sami’s style. Listen to this one for the lyrics, and also Javed’s singing.

With Rab ka Junoon, Pritam brings in full-fledged hard rock (is this metal? not sure.) to Bollywood, the track with very little lyrics and a lot of music was okay for me, though I am hardly into rock. Try this one if you want to try rock. If you’re here, I doubt you’d be someone into full-fledged rock.

The last song, Hote Hote, is a beat based one, more of a pop piece, and again brings in Ash, this time with Hard Kaur. Ash’s part of the song, jo bhi ho, jo bhi ho, is catchy, and does attract you. Also the beats of the song are not unheard, but still okay, will be liked after repeated listening.

The end comes with a repeat of chhup chhup ke, the opening song, with Shaan replacing Ash King. Didn’t really feel a need for this one, but Shaan sounds okay.

Overall, Rush has some really good songs, chhup chhup ke and Mumkin Nahi are must listen. Rest aren’t bad too. Worth a try for all, and worth a buy if you’re a music lover.

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.

Ghost: Music Review (Toshi-Sharib)

I don’t know how many today are interested in listening to an album with Shiney Ahuja as the main lead of its movie. But I certainly have interest in listening to a Toshi-Sharib album. And hence, a review.

Toshi and Akram Sabri’s Jalwanuma shows the good and the bad of the brothers. The song is just like almost all the other hits from the brothers, but still the song sounds as nice as any of them and sticks like anything. Basically, couldn’t help liking it, even with nothing new in it.

The next song, Sunidhi’s Aaja Khatam Sabr kar de, is a nice number again, and though the song doesn’t have anything too interesting or new, it’s a simple, nice number on a good melody.

Song number three Salame Salame gets Shaan singing with Sharib. And the song is the type that would need quite some publicity before it can be popular, which I presume is not gonna be there easily. Shaan almost gets into the color of Sharib-Toshi here. And yeah, I was wondering how come so many of Shaan’s song have that word ’tishnagi.’

The next singer happens to be Javed Ali, who in Dil ke Liye once again sounds a lot like Sonu Nigam, especially in the higher notes. In fact Javed’s singing here, though quite good, reminds me of Kumar Sanu and even hints of Udit Narayan. Still, the song doesn’t sound like coming from ’90s, but has effects of Toshi-Sharib quite clear. Still, worth listening to.

The last song of the album Kahan hai tu is sung by Sharib alone. The rock number with some sad lyrics has some nice sounds that make it worth a listen again.

Overall, Ghost is a VERY Sharib-Toshi album with almost nothing new but still almost everything very much listenable. Somehow Sharib-Toshi are still able to maintain interest in their songs even with their repetitive style. Big deal I guess.

Ye Stupid Pyaar: Music Review (Vipin Patwa)

The album begins with Nikhil D’Souza’s Lamha Lamha, and though the song doesn’t seem to be one for a long life, Nikhil’s voice is nice and the music and lyrics are average, making the song an okay one.

Second song in a row begins in such a way that you are bound to think if the composer is some old follower of Pritam. Anyway, KK sings the simple tune of Tere naam se in his lovely voice, almost reminding me of hothon se chhoo lo tum, mera geet amar kar do. I mean, I wonder how many songs have risen in standard simply because of the voice and the way of singing of KK. Not an exceptionally good track, but you’d most probably like to listen to it.
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Stand By (2011): Music Review (Aadesh Shrivastav)

With Aadesh’s so-enthusiastic music, Ladd baapu is excruciatingly long with its five and a quarter minutes, even though the lyrics are not bad. The song is a bit noisy but maybe some good publicity and a good video can make it likable. As of now, strictly okay.

Khel Khel mein, again sung by Aadesh and Shaan with Harshit added, is a nice one, especially for background purpose. The song isn’t too fast paced, so it won’t be instantly liked, but in its own time it should work well with the good lyrics and the kind of melody it has. Worth a try.

When Sunidhi’s Din duba started, for some time I felt that with a little different arrangements (with a slight acoustic touch to it) and Sunidhi’s vocals, the song might be something quite new, but the quality did not last for the entire four and half minutes, going banal especially at the end of first antara. Still the song is not bad, if you listen to it for a few times.

The album also has three instrumentals for all three tracks, and while they’re not bad, I didn’t understand why they run for the entire length of the song.

Anyway, the album overall is of course not too great, but that wasn’t expected either. With a good Khel Khel mein, an okay din duba and a noisy ladd bapu, the album is just okay.

Music Review: Chitkabrey – Shades of Grey (Akshay Bafila)

The small album of total five tracks starts with Aaj Chalein hum, sung by Shaan and Pamela Jain. Somehow I did not have much expectations from the song and as the song unfolded, it came true. Though the lyrics are fine, the arrangements are banal and tune is not too great. Passable.

The next song, Chinese Khushi sung by Sumitra Iyer, has a short, commonplace melody on which Sumitra seems to be trying too hard. Anyway, the lyrics of the song may sound a bit interesting as they go ‘Chinese khushi saali nikli meri,’ but I guess that lasts for two lines only.

Now let me come to what made me write this review. Rekha Rao’s Dhoop Chhaon is not something hugely interesting, but the melody of the song is good and the lyrics are kind of nice, to some extent even like typical romantic shayari but still interesting. Rekha Rao, singer of mostly regional movies, sings a good song here.

The other thing I liked in the album is Prarthana sung by Pamela Jain. The light music with easy arrangements, chorus, and old echo-like effects may remind you of old songs, like the one in Guddi, but the main thing here is that the song is nice. In fact heard a good song of this type in long time.

And after that, I would leave Chinese Khushi remix where it is. In noise.

Overall, Chitkabrey, as expected, is not really an album to listen to, but still the two songs, Dhoop Chhaon, and more than that Prarthana, are good. You can try them if you have ears for old kind of songs made in this new age.

Bodyguard: Music Review (Himesh Reshammiya, Pritam)

In Bodyguard title song, Salman tries to get a Dhinka chika done by Himesh and of course, success doesn’t come, not properly at least. But then the song can do well as a ‘title’ song, making a good background for the movie, and trailers.

Mika’s Desi beat is a nice try at a dance number, and the song should do fine, but again, Himesh doesn’t do any magic here, leaving me a bit disappointed.

What beats everything though, is Pritam’s I love you, sung by Ash King with Clinton Cerejo. Ash is not the best when it comes to diction and things like ‘main’ becoming almost ‘mein’ are common, but still his version sounds better than Shaan’s Unplugged. Typical of Pritam but lovely.

The next, Rahat and Shreya’s Teri meri meri teri prem kahani is a song with a complex, but lovely melody. The Himesh Reshammiya composition might take some time to grow on one, but sounds lovely nonetheless. In that context it reminds me of Anjaana Anjaani title track (by Vishal n Shilpa) though there is hardly any similarilty between the two. The unplugged version of the song is a little more interesting, though it doesn’t really seem necessary with the actual song quite easy on ears already. Nice sung by Rahat.

Overall, Bodyguard is not as good as I had expected, especially from Himesh. Though Pritam tries to make things better. And does that.

Buy Bodyguard Audio CD Here.

U R My Jaan: Music Review (Sanjeev Darshan)

The album starts with Shaan’s feel-like-’90s Kya kare dil bechara. The song has an okay melody and doesn’t sound really good, but doesn’t sound bad either. An okay one, reminding me of Anu Malik days of the ’90s.

The next song, that is the title track, is very Nadeem-Shravan’ish in its arrangements and is sung by Sanjeev himself with Shilpa Rao to support. The song is a good listen if you put it a few years back, but today, it seems the song could have been worked on a little more. Also, bringing in a professional singer instead of Sanjeev could be helpful.

The third track, Mera Maula Kare, sung by Roop Kumar Rathod, is a good one. The only thing that disappoints a bit is the climax of the melody after the lovely build up, but once you have heard it, the song does sound good. Sanjeev Darshan do create something worthy of their uncle’s voice here.

The next song, Shreya’s Main Zameen pe hoon, sounded like the most complete song of the album to me. Not that the song is the best of the album, but the way the composer duo have made this one, it doesn’t feel like there is anything left to do, hence giving a feeling of completion for the type of the song it is. Peppy, well sung, nice.

The Next track, bin tere we mahi, sung by Master Salim and Richa Sharma is a nice Qawwali’ish composition and though there is nothing much new in the song, it’s worth a listen as the singers have done a good job here.

The last track of the album, Chand wahi hai, is a nice sounding, seen and heard so many times, romantic track sung by Javed Ali and Shreya Ghoshal. Okay end to the album.

Overall, the album is not great and is kinda insignificant, but is not as bad as I had expected it to be. Sanjeev Darshan are yet to be good enough to compete with today’s composers and to an extent, still have to come out of ’90s phase, but it was a nice try from them here.

Bin Bulaye Baraati: Music Review (Anand Raj Anand)

After Dev.D, Bin Bulaye Baraati is probably the first album which started with a ‘Baaja’ but the comparison ends there. Aa gaye Bin Bulaye Baraati is an average affair on a too simple but potentially addictive tune while addition of Brass band seems a good step. Still, don’t hope too high from the song. You can wait for it to reach your TV sets.

Kismat is a bit too techno by Anand Raj’s usual standards, but the good part is that the song does sound fine. Ritu Pathak seems to be doing good here in the item’ish club song. Okay.
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Always Kabhi Kabhi: Music Review (Pritam, Aashish, Shree D)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Me Mamu and 7: Music Review (Chander Makwana, Sanjay)

The title track of the album, sung by Shaan, is a really avoidable number. Raja Hasan’s Billo Rani seems to have some nice beats from the start but then probably that’s the only nice thing about the song, again, making it sound like a Bhojpuri movie’s song, with some added noise.

Pyar kiya hai by Shaan is one bearable song in the album, that, mostly because of Shaan’s soothing voice and the music which doesn’t threaten you with its noise quotient. In fact listening to the song, it seems that the song could even be worth something if treated with some better lyrics, and a probably a little better arrangements.

Raja Hasan’s sab kya jaane is a sad song with a Sufi touch to it, another not bad piece of music in the album, with lyrics better than others, too.

Amit Hotchandani’s Ae Rab Zara is another good song in the album. It’s a nice composition with not much noise and even though the song is not given to a professional singer (and it almost shows at times) the song is easy on ears.

In short, the album is almost completely avoidable except for the songs sab kya jaane and to some extent, Ae rab zara, which can be worth a try.

Shivam: Music Review (Ramen Barua)

The album starts with a hopeless sounding Bam Bam Bhole. The song can only give you confidence that you too can compose and write lyrics. And probably sing too.

Gusse mein O soni lagti ho kya is an interesting piece though. There is hardly anything new to the song but the way the old elements are used, they make the song passable. Okay kind. The quality of recording is a questionable thing here. I mean in a time when Farhan Akhtar can sing, I wonder why the singers sound bad here.

The next song, Khoye se tum Khoye se hum, though, is something that would remind you of good old days of ’90s when we listened to Udit Narayan and Alka Yagnik singing words which probably had no meaning, or the same meaning all the time. The best I can say about the lyrics is that it was a nice use of Anupraas (alliteration) in khoya-khoya-khoye. Still, not bad, at least giving some standard to the album.

The next song is a solo by Alka Yagnik. Something I am getting to hear after a long, long time. Kyun ye nazrein hain gumsum is probably the second best track in the album. This one is a kinda sad, romantic number, and though a bit too slow by today’s standards, it almost stands out in the album.

And the best track of the album happens to be Zindagi aye zindagi, sung by Shaan and Mahalaxmi Iyer. The song is a heard-so-many-times, effervescent (in a Rajesh Roshan kind of mood) track, where music sounds almost in the background as Shaan and Mahalaxmi almost decide to take the song ahead on their own. Likeable one there.

So overall Shivam is almost as ignorable as I had thought earlier, but not so much as Bam bam bhole had made me think. After Alka’s solo and Shaan-Mahalaxmi number, I’d say the album deserves more than one star, probably one and a half.

Skylight’s Shaan Live in Concert at Palace Grounds, Bangalore

Kal Shaam, it was Shaan. I have seen Shankar, Sonu, KK, Euphoria, and a few more before this, and this was probably not better than either of them, but then, it wasn’t much less than most of them, and after this long, it was a treat to watch that concert.

The show started at eight. First there was June Bannerjee for a couple songs and then Shaan came in with Behti Hawa sa tha woh, to merge it soon into Don title track. The next song happened to be Jab se tere naina and then, it was good old Shaan for some time, from Tune Mujhe Pehchana Nahin to Woh Pehli baar and then even to a much newer Hum jo chalne lage hain from Jab We Met.

At the time, things were going really good as a nostalgic feeling goes with those good old Shaan songs, but then he jumped to Main Aisa kyun hoon, which was, disappointingly, badly sung, with some mixed-up lyrics and less-than-perfect-for-the-song band. Things again got a bit better when Shaan started singing Chanda Mama so gaye in the mid of main aisa kyun hoon and went on to sing one love, followed by some songs of Sajid-Wajid (Partner n Welcome title) and Rahman composed Humdum Suniyo re.

He also sang two lines of Life bahot simple hai from Stanley ka Dabba before starting a lovely Bum bum bole, but couldn’t sing a third line of the former. Then there was a fast paced, remix version of Musu Musu and a well-subhanallah-ed Chand Sifarish.

After this he was joined by June for some duets that included a not-so-beautiful Hey Shona followed by a train of apna har din – gazab bhayo rama – u r my love – aa khushi se khudkushi karle, after which June broke into a exceptionally well sung Beedi. Exceptionally well sung cuz June wasn’t performing too good and more than that I didn’t expect anyone other than Sunidhi to sound well in that song. She later made things worse with Desi girl and I once again felt that she probably sounded more unconvincing than ever when it came to singing English words.

Anyway, as June left the stage around 9:40, Shaan went on to sing a new series of songs that went like rock n roll soniye – dus bahane – deewangi (OSO) – rock the dance floor – bindass – koi kahe and all is well.

Then Shaan went all emotional about a song that would probably be remembered even when he was gone (this was the time people were shouting for Bhool ja and Tanha dil) and started singing Behti Hawa sa Tha Woh. I was a bit irritated when he mixed up a few lyrics in that one as well, after saying so much about the song. If you are reading this by any chance, Shaan, please remember that song well, if u think it will be remembered well after you’re gone.

After this, when it was almost ten, or probably a few minutes past that, he started singing Tanha dil, and with every note I knew this was what I was waiting for, and I guess the response from the public was quite the same. The disappointment came when I realized after the first para that he wasn’t going to complete the song because of the time restrictions. Then he sang some lines of Bhool ja as well, after which I started walking, applauding the band members whose names I unfortunately don’t remember now. And while out of sight, I realized he was playing Where’s the party tonight to end the show.

In all, the show was good and though there were a few negatives like his not too wide range (as compared to Sonu Nigam and Shankar, I’d say) and some mixed-up lyrics, I did enjoy the show and if you were there, I hope you did enjoy as well.

PS: Somewhere in between, he also sang a para of Eno Onthara, which made a pop corn seller sit down in an empty chair n watch the show for a minute, instead of roaming around and selling. 🙂

Stanley ka Dabba: Music Review (Hitesh Sonik)

Life bahot simple hai. If you are not yet humming this, you’ll soon be, that much I can tell you for sure. Shaan almost does a bum bum bole without exactly getting into that mood and pitch. A soft, innocent, lovely song that is good for you, whatever age you are.

Sukhwinder’s Dabba has some trying-to-do-a-Gulzar lyrics and while the lyricist Amole Gupte gets some on and off success, the overall effect of music, lyrics, and Sukhwinder’s singing is quite likeable. The innocence in Sukhi’s voice once again tells you how that man of hiiiiighhhhh notes can be humble with his voice too. Nice.

The next comes Nanhi si jaan, a light rock number sung by Shankar Mahadevan with a melody that sounds somewhat like that of the ’90s to me. Still, Shankar makes the song worthwhile to an extent. And then, after listening to the entire album, I expect that the song will find its place as the movie comes up. Hopefully.

The next song, Tere andar bhi kahin, is sung by Vishal Dadlani. The song is a light rock number again, but this one is quite different in its treatment and words take precedence over everything in this one. Somehow Vishal’s voice seems to be doing justice to the poetry in this one. Not too ‘musical,’ but it’s lovely and I expect the movie will make this one a favorite.

The next song, the only one in the album with a female voice, Jhoola Jhool by Hamsika Iyer is a short lullaby that sounds lovely if you’re patient enough. A small piece of good work by Hitesh.

The next small piece, Aditya rox, a version of tere andar bhi kahin, is not really very musical, but I liked it nonetheless. Though I don’t think I’ll be listening much to this one.

The last piece of the album is an instrumental which makes me feel once again that Amole Gupte is not yet out of Taare Zameen Par as ‘Thirsty‘ or Stanley Theme definitely more or less reminds you of Kholo Kholo darwaze more than anything. And then of course, going back to the first song may prove that Amole is at least trying to give people an idea that it’s something, in some way, close to or related to TZP.

Still, the overall impact of the album is good. The music is fresh and Amole’s lyrics definitely speak for his movie only. The good part is that even though you can relate the music to the children’s movie, you can enjoy it anyway, something I’d consider a huge achievement for a debutant album composer in Bollywood.