Heroine: Music Review (Salim-Sulaiman)

If you had suddenly got some big hopes from Salim-Sulaiman like I did, this might be a disappointment for you.

Yes, Salim-Sulaiman seem to have got the best of their creativity in Halkat Jawani itself. Even though Heroine is not exactly something to discard and has a few good things, Salim-Sulaiman are finally looking like a spent force and probably not looking for a comeback.

With that negative note, let me start a review that I hope is not biased against them.

And so, let’s begin with Khwahishen, which is probably the best song of the album. A ‘new’ (all terms are relative) song from Salim-Sulaiman, sung by Shreya Ghoshal, it’s a nice compostion with some above good lyrics. Zindagi ko dheere dheere dasti hain khwahishen is something I’d go for. Nothing special for Shreya as such, but she anyway sings it well. Worth listening to, at least.

The next song, the last in the album (but not in the review) is Tujhpe Fida. A song that already sounds like a remixed pop number, but does sound nice. Benny Dayal is almost a default choice for the song, and Shaddha Pandit does fine here. Still, with all the arrangements in the song, cannot help feeling it lies a lot somewhere between Aadat se Majboor n Thug Le.

Halkat Jawani. Frankly, item songs in general don’t interest me much anymore. Don’t know if Mamta Munni Sharma (or excess of her voice, everywhere) is the cause, but the result is what it is. Still, Halkat Jawani was something that kinda gripped me. The composition is simple, catchy, and Sunidhi’s singing is just superb. I mean, I think to a large extent she’s the one responsible for making most of our heroines worth their ‘salt’, literally. Not saying much about the song, I liked the song and loved Sunidhi there. And yes Salim-Sulaiman, this was a nice one. Thanks for that.

Saaiyaan. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. Yeh Hausla Kaise Ruke.

I don’t know how much, but the song is a lot of ye hausla and I could only hear Dor in the song for the first few times. Or more than a few times. So much that I wasn’t able to like the simple lyrics. Salim-Sulaiman seem to have taken re-creation a little too literally here. However, other than that, the song in itself is good. With most other songs of this type (which sound like a clone/copy), it should find its place after some time of being called a clone.

Main Heroine Hoon. You can probably guess what type of the song it would be. Something like other Madhur Bhandarkar title songs. But somehow it sounds a little more ordinary, at least in the beginning. The song should go up slowly with promotion which I suppose will be there. As for Aditi, her singing is really nice here. From the uber-softness of katra-katra, she’s reached the attitude of Main heroine hoon quite well.

So overall, even though not really make me believe in Salim-Sulaiman, is fairly okay. Halkat Jawani and Khwahishen are nice, and despite problems, so is Saaiyaan. The rest are kinda okay. Short, crisp, not too good, but well, manageable.

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.

Cocktail Music Review (Pritam)

Heavy voices and Light rock, if mixed well, can be the key ingredients of a Bollywood hit today. And this time in Cocktail, Pritam seems to have kept this well in mind. No, not taking any credit away from him for this wonderful album, just trying to understand how it was made.

Tumhi ho Bandhu – what Pritam is.

With Neeraj Shridhar and a tune that catches you in literally seconds, not minutes, Pritam adds Kavita Seth’s voice to make a perfect cocktail of music in the very first song of the album. One that took the world by the storm, and is not going to go down too soon. It DOES make you tap your feet.

The good part about the song is that the more catchy part of the song – tumhi din chadhe..sakha tumhi – is not all that the song has. The soul of the song comes up with Kavita’s singing and Irshad’s words which seem to express a Meerabai like devotion even in the beach-madness-rock ambiance.

Daaru Desi – regular stuff from Pritam.

A song that would at one time happen to feature KK and can’t-guess-who comes up beautifully in Benny and Shalmali’s voices. After Ishaqzaade, Shalmali’s open voice singing works here too, though the song is not Pareshaan for sure. Good, worth a listen.

Mohan Kanan. Shilpa Rao. A little more Rock. And a good song. Na chhode yaariyan.

Actually people criticize me for being reminded of songs all the time while reviewing. And at times I feel that’s true. But I can’t help thinking of Kar Chalna shuru tu when I listen to Yaariyan. Not like the songs are same. It’s just the Amit Trivedi style processing of the song and the minor similarities in songs make me think of the former. However, Pritam takes a beautiful step in making Mohan sing this one. The depth in his voice is an expression in itself. Lovely that.

Second Hand Jawani. The compulsory single screen collection song.

The song with Meri behen-d jawani, second hand jawani type words. Catchy, Govinda-age music. Singers can be from India or Canada, you know what it is. Important for collection in single screen cinemas.

Tera naam japdi phiraan. Light rock, Heavy voices.

Javed Bashir here has been given a mammoth task. Of making an average song an awesome one. The track is good, and the experiment of using Javed’s voice and Sufi style singing with Nikhil’s full fledged English lyrics and some Barbie-doll style singing by Shefali turns out to be nice. However, this one could be added a unplugged kind version, with just Javed leading the song instead of the remix.

Luttna. Lovely singing. Killer lyrics.

Yep. Taking nothing out of the music, I’d say it’s the superb lyrics that make the song. Anupam Amod’s slow, shayari-ish singing is beautiful here, and the background rock track is just fine. But the overall mix gets heady, if you’re the one for it.

Welcome to India, Arif Lohar.

Heard the name and can’t place it? I bet it’s that one song of Coke Studio that you either didn’t hear much, or heard and just got stuck to. Jugni ji is here in India, in a new cover, but the packaging and the material, though changed, has not been altered too much, mostly keeping the soul of the song there. The lovers of Coke Studio might not like it too much, but Pritam has done some good work here, much of it by not working too much on the song. This one is something to listen to, a must-loop if you haven’t heard the original one. And yes, before I forget, good choice putting Harshdeep here, she is that one part of the song that’s probably better than that in original.

So that was the review that should have came ages ago. But better late than never. Hope you’re loving this Cocktail already.

Ishaqzaade: Music Review (Amit Trivedi, Lyrics: Kausar Munir)

And with Ishaqzaade, Amit Trivedi surprises you again.

After listening to Suraj Jagan’s rocking Aafaton ke Parinde, I was expecting some rock from the title song, but Javed Ali’s simple rendition of the title song not only caught me off guard, I knew that the song was going to grow on me. And so it was. Growing on me slowly, every time I heard it. The reasons were plenty. One, the song was quite new for me, as in, it was a simple, nice composition, very much Indian at the heart and Javed Ali sings it very much that way, but it has sax and western drums, which give way to Indian style beats. That was just some analysis I could do, I hope you get the essence. The song suddenly shifting from Javed to Shreya at the end is interesting, though nothing really new, yet Shreya once again surprises with her singing, or rather the voice here. Just listen to the song. A few times.

Hua Chhokra Jawan re. An Amit Trivedi desi song, with a touch of brass band effect, mostly from the drums used. Sunidhi Chauhan is the best part of the song, as the lyrics get full justice done to them the way she sings them. Vishal Dadlani is definitely not bad, but he didn’t here need the depth that generally comes with his voice, and I’m not such a big fan of his masti-mood songs, like Dhaeon-Dhaeon, and this. Still, interesting stuff, to say the least. Worth a try definitely.
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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.

Agneepath: Music P-review (Ajay-Atul)

Check Full Review HERE.

The music of Agneepath is supposed to released in 10 days still, but the promotional tracks are out, somehow the thirty second previews were enough to make me write a review, based on promo track, so you can call it a preview as well.

Kamsin kamariya saali ik thumke se lakh maare, note hazaaron ke khulle chhutta karane aayi. Well, Chikni Chameli, featured on Katrina Kaif, is not just interesting with lyrics, its music is attractive and more than everything, Shreya Ghoshal’s singing is surprising. Gonna wait for the song.

Ajay-Atul. Roop Kumar Rathod. A song that says ‘sehme hue sapne mere haule haule angdaiyaan le rahe, thehre hue lamhe mere nayi nayi gehraiyaan le rahe, zindagi ne pehni hai muskaan.’ Seriously, do you need to know more? Again, I am waiting for the album! 😐

Deva Shree Ganesh is one song that is a little regular, probably because of the subject as well. Reminds me of Don’s bappa moriya, and probably not as zealous, but can’t be sure about the latter in a 30 second preview again.

What again beats me is Sonu Nigam’s Abhi mujh mein kahin. Sonu’s singing is getting worth songs after some long break it seems. Recently he sang a nice song in Lanka and now this. Lovely.

Shah ka Rutba sung by Sukhwinder seemed to be Dabangg pattern from the name, but the song has a different flavor and goes more in Azeem o shaan shehenshah in terms of lyrics, and the music is a little qawwali’ish. Not too great from the promo, but definitely a like.

Gun Gun Guna ye gaana re sung by Sunidhi Chauhan and Udit Narayan seems to be a break from Sunidhi’s recent series of (mostly average) item numbers, as the song sounds like a light number. Also, Udit Narayan, who does not feature in the promo track should be something to cheer as he is not generally seen in albums nowadays and lately I have started missing his voice to some extent.

So all in all, Agneepath looks like something that can be bought on the day it gets launched. I don’t think anyone’s going to be disappointed. And yes, Ajay-Atul are definitely here to stay.

For Full Review, Check HERE.

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.

Jo Hum Chahein: Music Review (Sachin Gupta)

Sachin Gupta, the man behind Ehsaan itna sa kar de and Prince, is here again, with his new album, Jo Hum Chahein. Here is a review of the album.

The album starts with Aaj bhi Party sung by Suraj Jagan, which impresses with its sound from the very beginning. Yet another party song, Aaj bhi party is based on a nice tune and the sound of the song has been well worked on. Suraj Jagan once again does well.

The second song of the album, Ishq hothon se to hota nahi bayaan is a nice surprise from KK and Shreya Ghoshal, that goes a little in the ‘Ehsaan’ way, without the high notes. I mean, the song is a really soulful number with lovely lyrics and soft music on a nice melody, but the background has some rock’ish effects here and there. Well fused. Do listen.

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The Dirty Picture: Music Review (Vishal-Shekhar)

..and Vishal-Shekhar are almost back to being Vishal-Shekhar.

Ooh la la is, as it is supposed to sound, does sound like an average famous song of ’80s n earlier ’90s. Bappi Lahiri is a nice choice for the song and Shreya is not even questionable. The ‘gira ke apna pallu’ part is a total twenty-years-ago material. Awesomeness in its own way.

The first notes of Ishq Sufiana remind me of badmash dil, but from the very rendering of ‘rab ki kawali hai’ the song sounds like making of something big. The song is definitely nice, but as of now I am loving Sunidhi’s female version of the song more, a rare thing as I mostly prefer male versions of songs, just an observation. At the same time would like to tell that Kamal sings really well (expected after his performances in Saregamapa) for a new singer.
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Tell Me O Kkhuda: Music Review (Pritam)

The album starts with Oh-I-think-I-have-seen-this-on-tv Someone somebody. Well, I mean to say that most of you would have seen it on the TV but probably just don’t remember. Well, again, it seems what you saw on the TV was the remix version and the original version seems to be nice, decent. Sunidhi seems doing well here and the lyrics fit with the slow tune. Actually, I like, though at six minutes the song gets a little too long.

The next entry is that of Anupam Amod and Aditi Banerjee’s Love you Dad, and almost tells you the real life story of Esha Deol and Dharmendra, even though the story in the movie would be something else. Anupam Amod sounds like some singer of ’90s but sounds nice, a nice one after Saudebaazi. As for Aditi, it’s not her song really as she doesn’t get too much to sing here. Emo stuff, not bad if you like that.

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My Friend Pinto: Music Review (Ajay-Atul et al.)

Dhinchak Zindagi didn’t sound so dhinchak to me even with its not bad melody, probably because of its arrangements, and Kunal sounds a bit too enthusiastic here, but then that probably goes with the song. Overall fine, but not too great.

The next, do kabootar gets some reduction in noise levels, and even though it’s Kunal again, the song and the singing are both better. Even though the song is nice, if you listen to the lyrics, they seem worthy of a little more serious tune. Not bad still. Like it.
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Rascals: Music Review (Vishal-Shekhar)

The title song is not really a great one, and just passes the regular Neeraj Shridhar number mark. While the next, Tik tuk tik tuk is an interesting one, not just because of additive music and lyrics but also Daler Mehndi.

The next, Neeraj Shridhar and Sunidhi’s Pardaa Nasheen, again is not too impressive, even though the melody of the song is nice.

The last song of the album, Shake it saiyyan, sung by Sunidhi Chauhan with Haji Springer is more like a remix album of the early 2000s, but sounds fine nonetheless. In fact the arrangements of the song are nice too, and overall it is one of the better songs of the album.

Interestingly, the two remixes there, for title song and shake it saiyyan, are both not bad as well.

Overall, Rascals is okay to listen on radio or in the movie IF you watch the movie, but I don’t think there is much worth buying in the album.

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.

Chatur Singh Two Star: Music Review (Sajid-Wajid)

The album starts with Sajid-Wajid-Hard kaur sung Chandni Chowk se or Dekh Tamashe, which is pretty banal with Hard Kaur’s typical rap followed by a song just full-of-beats and so many instruments as I have heard them a lot. The next, Ishqan da Ishqan da has Sonu Nigam and Shweta Pandit singing. This one has a little OK tune and with Sonu singing, the song could be something worth listening to, with some better arrangements.

Jungle ki Hirni hoon is a typical ‘item number’ sung by Sunidhi Chauhan that is nothing too great but can work fine for yet another item song. The next, Murga anda dega, or the title song as you can call it, is again not a great one, but Sanjay Dutt sings this one, and the background arrangements have been added a few extra things that may sound interesting with the kind of lyrics it has. No, the rap wasn’t required.

The last song, Singh Singh Singh is again one sung by Sanjay Dutt himself, along with Wajid, Khurram Iqbal and Asif Ali Beg. But this one fails as well as the song looks more like background of those ’70s movies to me.

Overall, Chatur Singh Two Star is two star for true. Need say more?

Phhir: Music Review (Sharib-Toshi, Raghav Sachar)

The album starts with Sharib singing Yaadein, a song that goes in the typical Bhatt style, but with slight deviations from track, making it a little different, in a good way. Though the touches of Jashnn are there in the song, it does sound pretty good.

The second song, Satrangi Sathiya, sung by Toshi is a little more on the track and sounds more like a typical song, say maahi of Jashnn or Haal-e-dil or Murder 2. But then, the song sounds good and that is what matters. Can go for this one. Tried and tested.

Raghav Sachar’s first composition for the album, love is all I got is a nice one, with a likeable melody, and his typical style, with Hindi and English words mixed together. Like again.

The next by Raghav isn’t so good though. Karma Queen, sung by Sunidhi is quite unimaginative and boring. Could have been avoided I guess.

The next song, Gumsum by Shreya, is another feather in the cap of today’s melody queen, mainly because of the way she takes the song almost on her own. A nice composition by Raghav Sachar, a little unlike him, and well sung by Shreya. Try it, especially if you like the slow ones.

The last song Loot, from Raghav again, and sung by Neha Bhasin and Jankee Parikh with him starts kind of nicely but goes into have-heard-it-earlier mode quite soon and though Raghav seems to try hard with the arrangements, the song doesn’t impress too much. Passable for now, may consider with some promotion.

Overall, the album is okay with some typical Bhatt songs (the ones by young Sabri Brothers) which sound as good as they always do, and some good try by Raghav as well, especially in gumsum.

Buy Phhir Audio CD Here.