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.

Gulzar: Unke alfaaz kya, parinde hain…

I don’t know if I’m good enough to write something about Gulzar. But I love him, and somehow feel that it’s something that makes me fit to write. And hence, I write.

The thought probably came when I was listening to 7 Khoon Maaf, more precisely when I was listening to O mama, and then Aawara. I don’t exactly know what the thought was, but I will try to put it into words anyway. The thought was of Gulzar, his age, his words, and more thoughts that I do not remember or may not want to talk about.

Well, first thing was, who ever thought Gulzar will be writing Rock songs? Listening to O mama, while I was mesmerized by Vishal’s music and KK’s singing, Gulzar’s words fit in there as if water in a jug. I was thinking that the person who wrote ‘Mora Gora Ang Lai Le’ almost fifty years ago, and then ‘mera kuch saamaan’ two decades after that, is writing O mama today, and with his words alone, is as much a part of today’s generation as a someone born after his fifth filmfare award.

I remember his words from the filmfare awards this year about Vishal Bhardwaj as he said, ‘Ek naujawan ka shukriya ada karna bahot zaroori hai.. isne mere lafzon ko jawan rakha hai’ (It’s necessary to thank a youngster.. he has kept my words young), and I do agree with him. But what is most wonderful is how Gulzar has been able to write those young words while maintaining the same quality that he was known for, say, three-four decades ago. Yes, he still writes lines like ‘Dushman jiye mera, wo bhi gair to nahi,’ in that rock song itself.

And then, there is that thing I yearn for, the way he can use the language. He was the one who came up with things like humne dekhi hai in aankhon ki mehekti khushboo and surili ankhiyon wale, and even though today’s lyricist try to come up with such things sometimes and to some extent, are successful too, Gulzar has that command on language that is still missing with them all. I have loved the lyrics of Prasoon Joshi and Amitabh Bhattacharya innumerous times, but I do not know someone who can write ‘saara din sadkon pe khali rikshe sa, peechhe peechhe chalta hai’ and ‘chhod aaye hum wo galiyaan’ with equal ease, or someone who can even imagine the lines ‘aankhen tez tatayya dono jeebh saanp ka phunkara’ or ‘chaddi pehen ke phool khila hai’ or even a simple sounding ‘dil to bachcha hai ji.’

No, I don’t know anyone who can write ‘ek hi lat suljhane mein saari raat guzari hai.’

That is what I fear. For a life when I will not be able to listen to Gulzar’s songs, because it’s almost sure that during my lifetime a day will come when that pen will no more be writing.

And so, I wish he lives past hundred in all health. And that pen keeps going, on and on, forever.

And here I’ll finish for now the unending topic, with something that I wrote with him in my mind:

bharte hain Roz hawaon mein Udaan,
phir bhi kabze mein unke rehte hain,
unke alfaz kya, parinde hain..

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?

Kalinka. The origin of Vishal Bhardwaj’s Darling.

Oh No, I’m not talking about the Australian river Darling. I’m talking about Vishal Bhardwaj’s already famous song Darling from the movie Saat Khoon Maaf.

The song is actually very much based on Russian song Kalinka, a song written in 1860.

I have no idea how much Vishal is going to acknowledge this in the movie/soundtrack (I hope he does acknowledge), but that sounds very much true. You can listen to the song at the Wikipedia page, and also find a few more links to the song there.

Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge: Music Review

Atithi tum kab jaoge is not the music album you were expecting. But then, it gives you an idea of what you can expect from the movie. Before anything else, I would like to say one thing: Be it composer, lyricist or singer, they all know what they are doing. Something that is not very common if not rare.

Atithi tum kab jaoge has six songs out of which none is a ‘typical’ song. Here is a review of the album.
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Ishqiya: Movie Review

Frankly, after watching Rann, Ishqiya is quite out of my mind. But one thing which I can surely tell you is that when I was watching it, I was loving it.

Ishqiya is an entertainment package. While the story of the film is okay with an old cliche given a new form, the direction of the movie is good, acting of Naseer, Arshad and Vidya is high quality, Vishal’s music is awesome and Rekha’s voice is beyond words.

And then, there is Dil to Bachcha hai ji. 🙂
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Dil To Bachcha Hai Ji: Full lyrics and Translation

I think this is my first ‘on-demand’ post. I talked about Dil to bachcha hai quite at length when I first heard the song in a promo. The song was loved by people and somebody asked me if I could give an English Translation of the lyrics. So I am giving it a try here.
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Striker: Music Review

Striker is the new movie of actor Siddharth, the guy known for Rang De Basanti among Hindi cinema followers. The music for the album is created by various composers from Vishal Bharadwaj to Amit Trivedi to AR Rahman’s favorite Blaaze to Yuvan Shankar Raja who is composer of many Tamil and Telugu albums.

The best thing about the album is that it has six different composers and still manages to be good. Something that is not really common with music albums.
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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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Dil to Bachcha Hai Ji: Ishqiya

The reason lot of people don’t listen to Hemant Kumar is not that his singing and that music doesn’t appeal to them, but simply because it’s old. In fact it’s not just about Hemant Kumar but many other old composers who are liked even now but not paid attention by many of us only because their music is old now and we want to listen to new music.

But then, we can always have old back here in new form. Something like that is done by Vishal Bharadwaj in Ishqiya’s song Dil to Bachcha hai ji. No, the song is not picked up from some old movie or something. But he comes up with a composition which sounds as old as some tune of fifty or sixty years back from now.

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Paanch: Movie Review

As the sentence of some guy at PFC goes, we started watching the film as critics, but Paanch turned us into mere audience very soon. I think the sentence describes Paanch quite well. I must say, had I seen Paanch before all Anurag’s movies, I would not need a Black Friday and a Dev.D to be his fan.

Paanch starts with prologue that says Evil is perhaps a child and that the film is a warning to the society in which urban ambitions and estrangement are always on the rise.

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Ibnbatuta.. Bagal mein Joota.. Phurr Phurr..

It’s addictive. And I’m loving it.

Yes, the one odd minute trailer of Ishqiya is out and the one minute is enough to get you humming phurr phurr. Vishal Bharadwaj, Gulzar and Sukhwinder Singh. After giving a Dhan te nan, team Omkara is here again with a new magic. And my guess is that one partner of this magical song is Mika Singh too as the voice before Sukhwinder sounds like that of Mika only.

Here is the video released by Shemaroo.
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Poll: Composer of the year 2009

Here comes another poll. This one should not be very difficult for you. There have been a number of music directors with a number of movie albums this year. You have to select who is the music composer of the year according to you. I have given the names of their composed albums in front of composers, finally Pritam too. 🙂

So here is your poll.

Who is the composer of the year 2009?

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The Year of Singing Composers

Composers have been singing their compositions from time immemorial. Be it a legendary SD Burman singing wahan kaun hai tera musafir in Guide or a rock-popping Anu Malik trying Ek Garam Chai ki Pyali ho, composers have always found their share of singing, especially when they compose single. But for past some years, the trend has cathed up more and more, Himesh Reshammiya gave it a boost and now almost every composer is singing. This year, some more composers came behind the microphone, and more seriously than ever before.

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