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.

Ra.One: Music Review (Vishal-Shekhar)

To start with, Vishal-Shekhar have tried to created an album as international as possible. Out of the fifteen tracks, there are a number of themes, and some four of the songs have good amount of English.

The album starts with Chhammak Chhallo, about which I don’t think I need to write much as the song has been there for long now. The only two things I’d say are, one, Akon’s pronunciation of Hindi words is quite impressive, and two, love the song or hate it, it’s addictive. Highly so.

The second song, Dildara Dildara, based on Ben King’s Stand by me, is nice. Shafqat’s rendition of the song makes it a regular but very much lovable song. May sound templated on Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s patterns, but it’s great to listen to anyway.

The third track, Criminal, sung by Akon again, with Shruti Pathak and Vishal Dadlani, is addictive as papappap, as well as dhinna dhinna. Addictive again, though the album seems to be getting a bit repetitive here.
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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.

Anjaana Anjaani. Musical Surprise.

The very first on Anjaana Anjaani. After IHLS I was somehow expecting pretty high from the album, but Vishal-Shekhar go beyond my expectations. It’s certainly worth a listen.

The album starts with Anjaana Anjaani ki Kahani which is already there on televisions for quite sometime. While the short promo of the song rocks, the song, sung by Monali and Nikhil D’Souza offers a bit more and you get something that is sure shot party material.

The second, Hairat, is a hairat for me. I mean, surprise. Not that I was expecting anything less with Lucky Ali there but the way he sings so lively at the age of 51 simply amazes me. And then, before I start on Lucky’s singing, another thing that amazed me in the album was Vishal Dadlani’s lyrics. He’s always been good with lyrics of kinda fun and rocking songs, but here he impresses with his poetry. As for Lucky’s singing and V-S composition, will it suffice to say that I find it difficult to move to the next song?

Anyway, I move to the next and I’m welcomed by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s Aas Paas Khuda is typical and good. Something that I’m repeating about Rahat songs a lot, but then I guess Rahat is being kinda stereotyped compared to his immense talent for whatsoever reasons. Still, like most of the times, Vishal-Shekhar add some bits here and there trying to make things more interesting, and I’d say it works. In short, a typical Rahat song of the times we live in.

I have always been a fan of Vishal and Shekhar’s voices, and so the next song Tumse hi Tumse is a treat for me. As the song starts with guitar, I think for a moment if something like Bin Tere unplugged was coming, but the moment passes quickly and the song turns into what I’d say a Lucky’ish mode as soon as Shekhar starts singing. Caralisa’s quite fast English (rap?) sounds interesting to say the least, but the hero of this one is Shekhar Ravjiani. He’s going to get more people saying, ‘This is for you Shekhar!’ Oh, btw, the end of the song has some nice effects on Caralisa’s voice. This simple but beautiful one is a must listen.

As far as I remember, while the world was (and is) standing in queue outside Mohit Chauhan’s home, Vishal-Shekhar were doing it pretty fine without the guy and now that they make him sing a composition of theirs, he gets more than what you can say a typical Mohit Chauhan song. This time Mohit comes with a sad song, Tujhe Bhula Diya. The best part of the song though, for me, was Shruti Pathak’s wonderful start where she sings with near-zero background music. From here on Mohit picks up and where he comes to a still, Shekhar comes with an entry somewhat like Jogi Mahi, with the difference that here things don’t get high like that. Anyway, the point is that the song sounds good from the very first time and the more you hear it, the more you like it.

The next song, I Feel Good, goes on the well-known rock abilities of Vishal and equally unknown rock abilities of Shilpa Rao. Vishal starts singing the song in his soft voice in a way that for once can sound like Shankar Mahadevan’s voice. And then Vishal and Shilpa both completely rock me with the song. The interesting thing is that while the song is something normal for Vishal, it’s strange how Shilpa Rao never (with an exception of Woh Ajnabee, to some extent I guess) sang such a song and was kept to soft numbers with (her) heavy voice. I hope to see her to get more rocking numbers now.

Even more interestingly, the next song, which is the title, Anjaana Anjaani, again has Vishal and Shilpa, this time in a bit different mood. It’s not exactly rock but falls somewhere nearby, something like Sadka Kiya. I never had doubts about Vishal’s abilities as singer but the way he goes singing such wonderful songs, I’m bound to say he’s more a complete musician rather than a composer.

The next track happens to be the remix of Tujhe bhula diya. The track doesn’t impress me, but strangely, it strengthens my belief in the original track. Never mind.

And after a noisy sounding remix, the end comes as a beautiful unplugged version of Aas Paas hai Khuda by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Shruti Pathak. Strange to see an extra name in an unplugged version, but then, nobody questions a miracle. Though, for some reason unknown to me too, I didn’t find this one as great and superb and marvelous as Shekhar’s version of bin tere in IHLS. Maybe I’m too fascinated by his voice.

Overall, Anjaana Anjaani is a superb soundtrack. V-S align a bit towards rock, and on the negative side, there are a few things that sound repetitive from them (like one inside Tujhe Bhula Diya) but the overall end result is something that you can rock yourself on, dance to, or simply cherish in a relaxing mood, in short, a perfect soundtrack. As I said, more than I expected.

My favorites (as of now): Hairat, I feel good, Anjaana Anjaani (Vishal-Shilpa), Aas Paas Khuda unplugged, Tumse hi Tumse. And the best part, it’s not easy to decide.

Update: As anticipated (written too), Tujhe Bhula Diya is sounding better every time I hear it. So much so that it is probably the most heard song of the album now, beyond the rest.

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Admissions Open (Amit Trivedi): Music Review

Amit Trivedi’s next. Oops! That must be big. But as I start listening to the album, I get a bit disappointed, because the poply popping Aasmaan ke paar chalo doesn’t sound all that good for the first time, and certainly not that Amit Trivedi’ish (Read Dev.D’ish). But after listening to the song quite a few times, one is bound to bounce on the beats of this number. It’s not a Trive.D song and does take some time to be liked. Some.
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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.