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!