Four Magical Soundtracks of 2016 (Jugni-Fitoor-Mirzya-Dangal)

The year 2016 in music will although be remembered by one and only Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, some of the best soundtracks this year will sadly be not getting the recognition they deserved, particularly because they were not as massy as Ae Dil Hai Mushkil or Befikre. There have been some excellent albums in Hindi films this year which include Udta Punjab, Dear Zindagi, M.S. Dhoni – The Untold Story, Baar Baar Dekho, Sultan, Rustom and many others.

 I have been so inconsistent this year. Actually I have been so consistent in not delivering my reviews. So, I thought of having atonement for my sin by writing about these four soundtracks of this year which according to me, were experimental, content-oriented, melodious and far beyond the formulaic music which most of albums in Hindi Film Music do have. These four gems, which I am going to talk about, were outstanding in every sense. Their compositions, their lyrics, and their arrangements, and their non-formulaic approach made them stand separate from others. The albums are Jugni, Fitoor, Mirzya and Dangal (in the order of release).


1. Jugni by Clinton Cerejo

The folksy Punjabi flavor that the album has is just an appealing element but the way Clinton has handled this album is way beyond our imagination. From Dilaan De Saudey to Bolladiyaan to Dugg Duggi Dugg, all the ten songs were superbly creative ranging from traditional Bhangra to Semi-Classical. AR Rahman and Vishal Bhardwaj also contributed their vocals for this highly underrated gem – Jugni.

2. Fitoor by Amit Trivedi

An album by Amit Trivedi for Abhishek Kapoor’s adaptation of Great Expectations, set in Kashmir, Fitoor is basically a love story. Amit and Swanand Kirkire must have kept in mind the basic essence of the movie and that is so well reflecting in the music. Pashmina and Hone Do Batiyaan being my personal favorite, the album had some terrific work in Huminastu, Ranga Re, Tere Liye and the title track.

3. Mirzya by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy

Mirzya, I am sure, if not today, will be counted among the classics in future. It was such a brilliant work by SEL that arguably it was their career best. The instrumentation, the arrangements, the compositions and the experimentation were flawless. Unfortunately music bombed along with the film and it couldn’t even reach to those who would have given it a certain recognition. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy repented all of their poor performances in the past, if any, with this stunning album.

4. Dangal by Pritam

Pritam is on a roll! Soon after Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, he came up with Dangal. While the former is something he is a master of, the latter is what actually the composer needs to challenge himself and keep growing. Dangal as an album was highly challenging. A song on a situation of Haanikaarak Bapu is really tough to make. Pritam and Amitabh showed that they deserve nothing less than awards. All the songs were melodious and catchy as well as experimental.

These four albums in 2016 were worth listening, replaying, and worth including in your playlist. The year, otherwise filled with average soundtracks, we can only hope for better in 2017!

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Trance-scending Folk to EDM!! (Udta Punjab – Music Review)

Abhishek Chaubey is finally out of his Ishqiya zone and is ready for his dark comedy which has Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Kareena Kapoor and Diljit Dosanjh in lead roles. Music is given by Amit Trivedi.

CLICK HERE to buy the Soundtrack of Udta Punjab from iTUNES!!

CLICK to Listen Full Songs


Music: Amit Trivedi;  Music Label: Zee Music Company


1. Chitta Ve – Singers: Babu Haabi, Shahid Mallya, Bhanu Prtap;  Lyrics: Shellee – A full on hardcore EDM track that does not have much space for the lyrics and relies mainly on the beats that really groove you to the extreme. The lyrics, if any, is in the form of two raps that fail to work yet the atmosphere that has been created by Amit is commendable.


2. Da Da Dasse – Singers: Kanika Kapoor, Babu Haabi;  Lyrics: Shellee – Kanika is used quite late by Amit but he has made sure that he uses her uniquely. She sounds very justifying to the composition which is a blend of folksy melody and EDM treatment. The rap again is not able to live up to its expectation and Babu Haabi again fails to impress though the atmosphere that has been created might remind you of Dev D.


3. Ikk Kudi / Ikk Kudi (Reprise) – Singer: Shahid Mallya / Diljit Dosanjh;  Lyrics: (from the poem by) Late Shri Shiv Kumar Batalvi – This non-EDM track, the lyrics of which has been adapted from a poem by the same name, Amit has nicely made this Punjabi poem his own by using Guitars and Drums in his very own style which is witnessed in many of his songs. Reprise is somewhat has a Rock background while Mallya’s version is more bassy. Both the arrangements go well with the vocals. #WelcomeSong


4. Ud-Daa Punjab – Singers: Amit Trivedi, Vishal Dadlani;  Lyrics: Varun Grover – Sounding like Angreji Beat in the beginning, this song does not have Yo Yo or Badshah for the rap but Vishal Dadlani who handles the part impressively giving the apt emphasis on each word. Amit sings the main portion with utmost zeal and Varun’s lyrics thoroughly entertains.


5. Hass Nach Le – Singer: Shahid Mallya;  Lyrics: Shellee – Amidst those high voltage EDM tracks, this soulful Sufi stands out with brilliance. Shahid Mallya shows his excellence in this beautifully written song which has bass inserted by Amit at such an appropriate place that the sound glorifies the track wonderfully. Soothing.


6. Vadiya – Singer: Amit Trivedi;  Lyrics: Shellee – It does not remain just an EDM track; Amit has taken it to the Trance level. The song has familiarity with Queen’s O Gujariya in arrangements while Amit’s singing too gives the heard-before feeling which unfortunately does not make it a complete package though in terms of Trance, it is promising.


Amit Trivedi promises a cocktail of EDM and Punjabi folk and he delivers the best in that. 


The Final Verdict:  POSSIBLE

The Verdict Order: DISAGREE < NOT A PROBLEM < OKAY < POSSIBLE < AGREE


Musical Sameekshaa Monthly Awards (June 2016)

Singer of the Month (Female): Monali Thakur – Dhanak (Dhanak)

Singer of the Month (Male): Devu Khan Manganiyar – Dum-A-Dum (Dhanak)

Singer Jodi of the Month: Chet Dixon & Devu Khan Manganiyar – Dum-A-Dum (Dhanak)

Composer of the Month (Song): Tapas Relia – Dum-A-Dum (Dhanak)

Lyricist of the Month: Amitabh Bhattacharya – Kyun Re (TE3N)

Composer of the Month (Album): Tapas Relia – Dhanak 

Song of the Month: Dhanak – Dhanak (Tapas Relia, Mir Ali Husain)

Album of the Month: Udta Punjab – Zee Music Company

Subtle like Pashmina!! (Fitoor – Music Review)

Director Abhishek Kapoor is back with his third directorial. Just like his previous Kai Po Che, this too has Amit Trivedi as the composer. The film is set in Kashmir and is based on Charles Dicken’s Great Expectations.

CLICK HERE to buy the Soundtrack of Fitoor from iTUNES!!

CLICK to Listen Full Songs


Music: Amit Trivedi;  Lyrics: Swanand Kirkire;  Music Label: Zee Music Company


1. Yeh Fitoor Mera – Singer: Arijit Singh – The title track has a nice Western melody which starts from a very beautifully played Guitar. Arijit owns the melody with his rasping vocals giving the enough grandeur to the melody which Amit has beautified with chorus and the parwardigaara effect.


2. Pashmina – Singer: Amit Trivedi – A quite loving melody which grips you right from the start. Amit has nailed it not just with the composition but with the singing too. This is his one of the best sung songs. Violin has a prominent role along with a lilting Flute that provides this otherwise westernized melody an earthy touch. Hugely impressive melody. #WelcomeSong 


3. Haminastu – Singer: Zeb Bangash – A very different kind of a song having traditional Kashmiri elements and hugely used Drums with Zeb of “Zeb and Haniya” before the mic justifying the intense folksy mood of the track completely.


4. Hone Do Batiyaan – Singers: Nandini Srikar, Zeb Bangash – Along with Drums, another very different kind of melody which Amit has chosen Nandini and Zeb for. It doesn’t appeal at once, instead it takes a little time to get habitual with the melody but once you get habitual, it’s a melody to be loved.


5. Tere Liye – Singers: Sunidhi Chauhan, Jubin Nautiyal – A nice romantic track with terrific lyrics, sung beautifully by Sunidhi and Jubin though Amit would have managed it equally well on mic. With dreamy Violins, the song keeps you engaged thoroughly. 


6. Rangaa Re (Hindi) / Rangaa Re (English) – Singers: Sunidhi Chauhan, Amit Trivedi / Caralisa Monteiro, Amit Trivedi  (English Lyrics: Caralisa Monteiro) – Amit again tries to do some experiment here and mostly succeeds. The song is indeed terrific if not very appealing. Sunidhi does the job superbly and so does Caralisa. Amit remains to be the common ingredient in both the versions and sings with much effort. The best element in this song is the use of techno sounds at end of each stanza which makes it somewhat appealing 


Amit Trivedi goes for both – appeal and experiment, while trying to remain himself, and mostly succeeds in all. 


The Final Verdict: POSSIBLE

The Verdict Order:  DISAGREE < NOT A PROBLEM < OKAY < POSSIBLE < AGREE

 

 

3rd Annual Musical Sameekshaa Awards 2015 (Results)

Thank you everybody who voted. May the most deserving nominee win in every category.

Here are the Results: 


TECHNICAL Awards:

Best Engineer: DJ Phukan, Sunny MR, Nikhil Paul George, Tanuj Tiku, Jim Satya – Premika (Dilwale)

Best Arranger: Sanjay Leela Bhansali – Deewani Mastani (Bajirao Mastani)


DEBUT Awards:

Best Debut Singer (Female): Payal Dev – Ab Tohe Jane Na Doongi (Bajirao Mastani)

Best Debut Singer (Male): Sayed Asrar Shah – Afghan Jalebi (Phantom)

Best Debut Composer: Tanishk-Vayu – Banno (Tanu Weds Manu Returns)

Best Debut Lyricist: Kunal Vermaa – Hasi (Humari Adhuri Kahani)


MAINSTREAM Awards:

Best Singer (Female): Shreya Ghoshal – Deewani Mastani (Bajirao Mastani)

Best Singer (Male): Mohit Chauhan – Matargashti (Tamasha) & Arijit Singh – Aayat (Bajirao Mastani)

Best Singer Jodi: Shreya Ghoshal & Vaishali Made – Pinga (Bajirao Mastani)

Best Composer (Song): AR Rahman – Matargashti (Tamasha)

Best Lyricist: Irshad Kamil – Agar Tum Saath Ho (Tamasha)

Best Composer (Album): Amit Trivedi – Bombay Velvet & Sanjay Leela Bhansali – Bajirao Mastani

Best Song: Matargashti – Tamasha (AR Rahman, Irshad Kamil)

Best Album: Bajrangi Bhaijaan – T-Series

Singers: Vishal Dadlani, Nakash Aziz, Atif Aslam, Adnan Sami, Imran Aziz Mian, Mika Singh, Mohit Chauhan, Palak Muchhal, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Rekha Bhardwaj, Jubin Nautiyal, KK, Javed Ali & Papon

Music: Pritam

Lyrics: Amitabh Bhattacharya, Kausar Munir, Neelesh Mishra, Mayur Puri & Shabbir Ahmed


SPECIAL Awards:

Best Backing Vocals / Chorus: Shashi Suman, Kunal Pandit, Prithvi Gandharva, Kanika Joshi, Rashi Raagga, Geetikka Manjrekar – Albela Sajan (Bajirao Mastani) 

Best Use of an Instrument: Accordion by AR Rahman – Matargashti (Tamasha)

Song That Provided Wholesome Entertainment: Matargashti – Tamasha (AR Rahman, Irshad Kamil, Imtiaz Ali, T-Series)

Golden Melody of the Year: Janam Janam – Dilwale (Pritam, Amitabh Bhattacharya)

Height of Consistency: Amitabh Bhattacharya (Singer & Lyricist)

Most Unique Soch: Heer Toh Badi Sad Hai – Tamasha (AR Rahman, Irshad Kamil)

Surprise of the Year: Piku – Zee Music Company 

Singers: Anupam Roy, Shreya Ghoshal, Sunidhi Chauhan

Music: Anupam Roy

Lyrics: Manoj Yadav, Anupam Roy

Most Underrated Album of the Year: Bombay Velvet – Sony Music / Zee Music Company

Singers: Shefali Alvares, Neeti Mohan, Papon, Mohit Chauhan

Music: Amit Trivedi

Lyrics: Amitabh Bhattacharya


 

Musical Sameekshaa Crown:

ARTISTE OF THE YEAR: Neeti Mohan (for her outstanding performance in Bombay Velvet)

 

The Superb Seven!! (Musical Recap – 2015)

The year 2015 has successfully ended with a super hit album Dilwale through which we relived the 90s era in through modern glasses. It was the year which gave many successful albums and hit numbers though these seven albums were worth writing about. All these seven albums got the highest verdict AGREE. So, what actually was there in these albums which keeps in a superior position to rest of the albums? Let’s relive this year once again with these superb seven albums.


Hawaizaada – This multi-composer album flied with creativity in the very beginning of the year. The album was filled with nine amazing compositions. Out of nine Mangesh Dhakde, a debutante, had four songs to his credit. He quite well understood the flavor of the album and delivered three songs according to that and impressed in just one go! Rochak Kohli got three, out of which Daak Ticket was the most impressive composition sung by Mohit Chauhan. Out of the rest two, one was by Ayushmann, who composed a song out of a Mirza Ghalib ghazal, and the other by Vishal Bhardwaj which created quite an impression. Unfortunately, the film sank at the box office and hence the music could not get the due recognition. Some of them which aired on TV got noticed by people, like Daak Ticket, Maaza My Lord and Dil-E-Nadaan.


Badlapur – The very next month came Sachin-Jigar’s Badlapur. This album was filled with surprises as one never expected an action packed film to have such wonderful compositions. The album got the highest verdict inspite of having just three songs. But those three songs were outstandingly brilliant. The album consisted of a revenge song Jee Karda fabulously sung by Divya Kumar, a simple acoustic romantic track but with a very strong melody Jeena Jeena sung by Atif Aslam and a very experimental sad song Judaai, which had Rekha Bhardwaj singing on an unbelievably low scale along with Arijit Singh making the much needed emotional appeal. An album with just three songs, won the hearts of many.


Bombay Velvet – This is undoubtedly the best work of Amit Trivedi till date. This album was a complete Jazz album, and a very pure one, not at all adulterated with Bollywood style. Amit’s fabulous use of instruments, orchestration, arrangements and above all, Neeti Mohan, created a huge benchmark for others. Neeti Mohan with six out of nine songs, sprinkled her charm and showed what a valuable singer our industry has got. But it came with really bad fate. Film sank badly at the box office and except Mohobaat Buri Bimaari, none of the songs actually got recognition. But we just hope that in the coming years, this album will be counted among the magnum opus in our music industry and Amit’s effort will not go in vain.


ABCD 2 – Another Sachin-Jigar album that was filled with immense creativity, mostly in the way the songs had been programmed. It was a big album with ten songs each of which have ability to impress you with tremendous potential of sounds, arrangements and composition. The album had a Sun Saathiya, Chunar which has become my favorite song based on motherhood, and also an out-and-out commercial track like Tatoo. People thinking that with ABCD they got enough, were proved wrong in the sequel. ABCD 2 was another example to show the tremendous growth of Sachin-Jigar with each album.


Phantom – Pritam made a comeback this year after one year of rest and he came back with a bang! After delivering a totally commercial stuff Bajrangi Bhaijaan, he got into a very technical classy stuff in another Kabir Khan film Phantom. The album had just three songs but all three had enough potential to be included in this list of superb seven. Pritam introduced a fabulous singer Asrar in Afghan Jalebi which became quite a hit but unfortunately other two song Saaware sung by Arijit Singh and Nachde sung by Shahid Mallya went unnoticed. But with this album Pritam again showed that a massy composer like him can do wonders in these edgy soundtracks too.


Tamasha – AR Rahman never stops impressing. With Tamasha, his third collaboration with Imtiaz Ali, he came out with some of the massy stuff after quite a long time. Songs like Matargashti, Agar Tum Saath Ho, Wat Wat Wat and Heer Toh Badi Sad Hai, he proved everybody that he is still capable of producing catchy massy stuffs and has not forgotten what the ears of aam janta really want. The songs are being loved all over the country and yet again Rahman provided the much needed soul to this year’s music.


Bajirao Mastani – The soundtrack is still in the process of gaining popularity but Bhansali has delivered his career-best performance. This classically-tuned album has ten songs, each having beautifully composed tunes and arrangements, providing the much-needed indianness. With raga Poorvi and Bhopali Sanjay Leela Bhansali has shown what he is capable of and comfortably now secured a well-deserved place for himself among the country’s best composers. The year signed off with a classically rich soundtrack, hoping to come in notice of aam janta.


 

2015 – The year of Jazz and Classical

 

Grand in every way!! (Shaandaar – Music Review)

Vikas Bahl after his directorial Queen which won accolades, is returning with Shaandaar starring Alia Bhatt and Shahid Kapoor. The film has been backed by Dharma along with Phantom so it is being looked forward to. Music is given by the Phantom’s favorite Amit Trivedi.

CLICK HERE to buy Full Soundtrack of Shaandaar from iTUNES!!

CLICK to Listen Full Songs


Music: Amit Trivedi;  Lyrics: Amitabh Bhattacharya;  Music Label: Zee Music Company


1. Shaam Shaandaar – Singer: Amit Trivedi – Starts with a typical way of Dhol playing, and fluidly switching over the grand Trumpets lavishly arranged are unfortunately very few of the elements that are to be looked forward to. After a grand introduction, Trivedi gets into his comfortable zone, not letting any experimentation disturb the comfort. Amitabh too plays safe here, not getting into too much of quirkiness, rather using ordinary description of this grand evening. It is shaandaar indeed. But it is just that!


2. Gulaabo – Singers: Vishal Dadlani, Anusha Mani;  Guest Lyricist: Anvita Dutt – Vishal and Anusha nail this one with their vocals full of zest at their best. Amit’s obsession to Brass always works in his favor. In this song particularly, he plays with the instruments amusingly, bouncing them, halting them, and utilizing their sounds with winning arrangements on which Anvita’s quirkiness doubles the madness. Cucking frazy!


3. Nazdeekiyaan – Singers: Nikhil Paul George, Neeti Mohan – The grandeur of romance, when you present the romance in a glorifying yet matured manner. Amit somewhat pulls out the best of the arrangements, getting into the dreamy texture with brilliant orchestration where Neeti Mohan amazingly justifies the song’s demand, and Nikhil, though sounding odd at places, manages to captivate. Though it is felt at few places that the other Nikhil, the D’Souza one would have been more suitable. Amitabh’s lyrics start spreading its fragrance when you are done awing the melody, the arrangements and the singing. Simply Ecstatic! #WelcomeSong


4. Senti Wali Mental – Singers: Arijit Singh, Neeti Mohan, Swanand Kirkire, Amit Trivedi – A 9-minute qawwali which stands out basically for the wacky lyrics by Amitabh, creating an amusing fight between two groups of males and females, as the system of traditional qawwalis have always been. Arijit, Neeti and Swanand Kirkire make it work effectively with Amit Trivedi not having a specific role, not only as a singer but also as a composer as the song is lyric oriented, though using folk arrangements till a point is quite impressive. Entertaining!


5. Raitaa Phailgaya – Singer: Divya Kumar – Amit, when has to compose an out and out commercial track, either spoils it or ignites it, but never enters into mediocrity, rather prefers to go to the extremes. Surprisingly this track is so un-Amit as it is filled with ordinariness, nothing special, just the normal beats and decent arrangements with just Divya Kumar’s enjoyable singing and Amitabh’s creative writing that saves this song somehow. A line deserves a mention Gulzar ke geeton mein jab Yo Yo Honey Singh ghus gaya, toh raitaa phailgaya!


With the help of lyricists Amitabh Bhattacharya and Anvita Dutt, Amit Trivedi manages to pull out an impressive soundtrack.


The Final Verdict:  POSSIBLE

The Verdict Order:  DISAGREE < NOT A PROBLEM < OKAY < POSSIBLE < AGREE

Surprisingly Cute!! (Guddu Rangeela – Music Review)

If you remember how good Jolly LLB was or if you have even watched Phas Gaye Re Obama, well then you might be familiar with this name Subhash Kapoor. He is an amazing satirical filmmaker who now has come up with his new flick Guddu Rangeela. Unlike his previous films, he has this time, has given attention to music also and that’s why Amit Trivedi and Irshad Kamil have been invited on board to operate the melody in the soundtrack.

CLICK HERE to buy Full Soundtrack of Guddu Rangeela from iTUNES!!

CLICK to Listen Full Songs


Music: Amit Trivedi;  Lyrics: Irshad Kamil;  Music Label: Zee Music Company / Sony Music


1. Guddu Rangeela – Singers: Amit Trivedi, Divya Kumar – As soon as it begins, you notice some familiarity and in no time you succeed in guessing the familiarity to be with Allah Meherbaan (Ghanchakkar), another song by Amit, coincidentally sung by Amit and Divya only. It is so similar that this title track seems to be generated from the same seed with which that Ghanchakkar track was created. Similar beats with a slightly different arrangements and the almost similar mood of the tune. Anyway, both the songs are likable and fun to hear. Enjoyable!


2. Sooiyan – Singers: Arijit Singh, Chinmayi Sripada – Who else can write with such innocence-filled maturity than Irshad Kamil! Lyrics blend so beautifully with Amit’s utterly melodious composition, having two spectacularly soothing voices of Arijit and Chinmayi that it gets you addicted to it right from the first listen. The soothing arrangements using Matka and Banjo are something to fall for. The hook line is composed, written and arranged in the most adorable way possible which makes it worth listening#WelcomeSong


3. Sahebaan – Singers: Chinmayi Sripada, Shahid Mallya – If the previous one was playful, this one has some serious romance again featuring Chinmayi along with Shahid Mallya. It starts with Guitar and soon an ecstatically played Sarangi follows which paves the way for Kamil’s lovable lyrics. Yet the best part remains in the antara when Shahid’s vocals get awesomely blended with Daphli played on the Keherwa rhythm and as soon he ends his part, arrangement again turns to Guitar. Lovable!


4. Mata Ka Email – Singer: Gajender Phogat;  Guest Composer: Subhash Kapoor;  Guest Lyricist: Subhash Kapoor – After a numerous annoying attempts of spoofing a jagrata, director Subhash Kapoor does it efficiently by hiring the original jagrata singer who has made the atmosphere sound quite genuine. Also, the arrangements where Harmonium, Dholak, claps and the microphone effect add up to the likability of the song. Lyrics are fun and engaging. Its short duration acts as an advantage for it. Successful spoofing attempt.


This Amit Trivedi – Irshad Kamil combo is an adorable one!


  The Final Verdict:  POSSIBLE

The Verdict Order:  DISAGREE < NOT A PROBLEM < OKAY < POSSIBLE < AGREE