Sheer Brilliance!! (Rangoon – Music Review)

Vishal Bhardwaj is a music director who happens to direct films too, and not otherwise. Hence, music is an integral part of his films. His collaboration with Gulzar has been extraordinary. Rangoon, their latest, seems to be yet another more-than-ordinary album. Surprisingly, Vishal Bhardwaj has collaborated with another lyricist Lekha Washington for two tracks in English.

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Music: Vishal Bhardwaj;  Music Label: T-Series

1. Bloody Hell – Singer: Sunidhi Chauhan;  Lyrics: Gulzar – Those who know the nuances of Bhardwaj’s style of composition, they would be in love with this track instantly. The rest would take the time to sink in this fantastically composed and arranged track that Sunidhi owns so spontaneously. That Guitar pause just before the hook line has all the charm one usually wants to have in a song like that. Bloody Hell is bloody addictive once it sinks in you.

2. Yeh Ishq Hai / Yeh Ishq Hai (Female Version) – Singer: Arijit Singh / Rekha Bhardwaj;  Lyrics: Gulzar – This man is getting better with every song. On the lines of Haider’s Khul Kahin Toh, this song has intensity in the notes which Arijit buys really well. Gulzar, on the other hand, does not seem to be following the above-mentioned track and is going his way. He makes sure that the romance goes many notches intense, not just horizontally but vertically when he comes up with this line – Bekhud sa rehta hai, Yeh kaisa Sufi hai, Jaage to Tabrizi, Bole to Rumi hai. The surprise lies in its female version where the composer has gone in a qawwali mode though keeping the bass intact. It becomes more like devotional track than a romantic which anyway is good, for the lyrics talks about the love of Tabriz and Rumi.

3. Mere Miyan Gaye England – Singer: Rekha Bhardwaj;  Lyrics: Gulzar – At the time of remakes, Vishal Bhardwaj makes sure he too comes up with one, a very intelligently remade track that is more likely to come under the ‘inspired’ list of songs, taken from 1949 released Patanga’s Mere Piya Gaye Rangoon. Rekha’s retro sounding vocals totally do justice to the track. Gulzar shows his quirky side which he makes sure to do in at least one song of every album he does. Enjoyable.

4. Tippa – Singers: Sukhwinder Singh, Rekha Bhardwaj, Sunidhi Chauhan, O. S. Arun;  Lyrics: Gulzar – How brilliantly he captures the rhythmic sound of the train and utilizes by blending with his composition which is indeed catchy if heard properly. All the four amazing voices together make a strong ensemble, one complementing the other. The second interlude is a transition from a more earthy to a more dreamy sound which something to listen for.

5. Ek Dooni Do – Singer: Rekha Bhardwaj;  Lyrics: Gulzar – Rekha’s third track in the album is a salsa sounding number full of mathematic tables of 3 and 4 (Not kidding). The way Gulzar connects the tables to the rest of the mukhda is amusing and creative. Arrangements lacks novelty but the composition, particularly in the antara, makes up a really interesting experience. The way Rekha Bhardwaj renders those tables in such a style is phenomenal. 

6. Alvida – Singer: Arijit Singh;  Lyrics: Gulzar – A typical Bhardwaj composition containing those familiar unusual notes that begin the song. Arijit, as I said earlier, is getting better with every song to such an extent that he sounds even better here compared to how he did in Yeh Ishq Hai. The transition after the first anatara to a more qawwali ambiance is one of the points that makes the song engaging. And, Arijit sounds brilliant in that transition. This is that Bhardwaj show one usually expects in his albums. 

7. Julia – Singers: Sukhwinder Singh, K.K., Kunal Ganjawalla, Vishal Bhardwaj;  Lyrics: Gulzar – Such a grand appeal it has while going through multiple transitions. Vishal makes such interesting combos of all the four singers including himself in every line that the song totally holds your attention till the end. It is one of those songs in which you won’t remember anything except that it’s on Julia and I guess that’s the sole motive of the makers. Somehow Vishal Bhardwaj couldn’t equate the portions and Sukhwinder lands up getting much more than the other two and the composer himself. Superb arrangements and instrumentation.

8. Chori Chori – Singer: Rekha Bhardwaj;  Lyrics: Gulzar – Another retro sounding track on Rekha Bhardwaj which she seems quite comfortable in handling. It’s a foot-tapping peppy track that is catchy and has interesting elements to dance upon. Compared to other tracks in the album, it lacks that standout quality but manages to be an engaging one. The way the instruments are played reminds you of Raj Kapoor’s Aawaara tracks.

9. Rangoon Theme – Instruments – Well, in this one and a half minute theme track, you wish if those Violins could continue playing for a longer time. It has a great emotional appeal. Strangely, the notes, as beautiful as they sound, strongly resemble Dear Zindagi theme.

10. Be Still – Singer: Dominique Cerejo;  Lyrics: Lekha Washington – This is a non-Gulzar track which Lekha has written quite aptly with respect to the mood of the song. A lovely Jazz by Vishal Bhardwaj where although the arrangements are typical and no experimentation has been tried there, Dominique handles the song so beautifully that it’s almost captivating for a listener.

11. Shimmy Shake – Singer: Vivienne Pocha;  Lyrics: Lekha Washington – Here he goes pure 50s Western Rock ‘n’ Roll with Vivienne’s great singing, almost making believable that it really is a song from that era. Lekha’s second and the last track which is written unfashionably and hence, authentically.

Rangoon is yet another example of how Bhardwaj-Gulzar jodi is ever flowering. 

Worth Listening: Yeh Ishq Hai, Alvida, Julia

The Final Verdict: 4/5

Public Ki Sameekshaa


More than Okay!! (OK Jaanu – Music Review

Overwhelming is something that AR Rahman tries to do in every album. While this is a remake of a critically and publicly acclaimed Tamil flick Ok Kanmani, Rahman has tried to keep the deja vu aside and create something fresh for Hindi listeners. His music has always been unpredictable and that’s exactly what OK Jaanu has – unpredictability.

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Music: A.R. Rahman;  Lyrics: Gulzar;  Music Label: Sony Music

1. OK Jaanu – Singers: A.R. Rahman, Srinidhi Venkatesh – An antara-less track that is upbeat, catchy and has a nostalgic Rahman hook. Srinidhi unfortunately has got just one line, the song belongs to the composer whose singing has always been an appealing element in a song. Vintage Rahman.

2. Enna Sona – Singer: Arijit Singh – A breezy romantic Arijit lending his voice for a song which doesn’t sound like a Rahman composition, just because it’s so simple. No experimentation has been done in this Guitar-led arranged song which is so impeccably rendered by Arijit. It could have been a Tanishk or an Arko composition. Not-so-Rahman.

3. Jee Lein – Singers: Savithri R. Prithvi, Arjun Chandy, Neeti Mohan – This is something that is highly experimental. It contains n number of techno sounds upon which Savithri’s vocals create a sort of enchanting atmosphere. Neeti Mohan keeps giving her special appearances which is the most melodious and reliable part of the song. A well-crafted interlude could have worked more.

4. Kaara Fankaara – Singers: Paroma Das Gupta, Shashaa Tirupati, Hard Kaur, ADK, kaly, Ashima Mahajan – A hook which is dragged through the entire song with Dubstep giving an edge to it. Lots of well-arranged vocals and lots of EDM sounds create a pretty good impact, though one wishes if the hook could be more elaborate espcially when the track crosses three minutes. The duration should have been shorter, unless there’s some latent intention to it. 

5. Saajan Aayo Re – Singers: Jonita Gandhi, Nakash Aziz – A raga based song that Jonita has efficiently managed though I personally felt that a maturer voice was needed. Nakash potentiates the song as soon as he enters with quite an un-Nakash singing. More work on instrumentation was expected. Surprisingly, the song approaches towards fusion, though thankfully it doesn’t reach there.

6. Maula Wa Sallim – Singer: A.R. Ameen – An aptly pious creation from A.R. Rahman, sung by his son A.R. Ameen which is a devotional song that Rahman has directly kept from the original Tamil film Ok Kanmani. His vocals are as pure as the composition. The song says – “O Mawla! Send prayers and peace always and forever. Upon Your beloved, the best out of all of Creation.” An extremely well-programmed track as well.

7. Sunn Bhavara – Singer: Shashaa Tirupati – Another raga based song which is accentuated by Shashaa’s fitting vocals. Tabla has a prominent role, aptly supporting her vocals at definite pauses. This is arguably the best track in this album. It’s a delight to hear, and a delight for the ears. 

8. The Humma Song – Singers: Jubin Nautiyal, Shashaa Tirupati, Badhshah;  Recreated by Tanishk Bagchi, Badshah (Original Composition: A.R. Rahman);  Lyrics: Mehboob – So, the famous Rahman’s Humma Humma has been recreated by Tanishk and Badshah and that has been done with sheer delight! One of the best remade songs I have heard in recent times. The way the song has been programmed, and I am sure that would have been done under Rahman’s guidance, is praiseworthy. Shashaa shows how amazingly versatile she is, and Jubin has finally got a big ticket to rise high now.

A Romantic mainstream film, set in present time, having raga based classical songs, well that’s surprising. And well, A.R. Rahman is surprising. 

Worth Listening: Enna Sona, OK Jaanu, The Humma Song

Worth Trying: Sunn Bhavara, Mawla Wa Sallim, Saajan Aayo Re

The Final Verdict:  4/5

Public Ki Sameekshaa



Timeless!! (Mirzya – Music Review)

Rakeysh Mehra after a successful collaboration with Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, teams up again with the trio on a classic Punjabi romantic tale of Mirza Sahiban, and this time with Gulzar.

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Music: Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy;  Lyrics: Gulzar;  Music Label: T-Series

1. Mirzya – Singers: Daler Mehndi, Sain Zahoor, Akhtar Chinnal, Nooran Sisters – With the title track, the album promises hugely by presenting its varied range from instruments to arrangements and ultimately the chorus, which is the best element in the album. Daler Mehndi predominantly leads with his unbelievably high range of vocals. Percussion adds a remarkable charm to the song. Grandeur.

2. Teen Gawah Hain Ishq Ke – Singers: Siddharth Mahadevan, Sain Zahoor – A breezy romantic track that is away from all the cliched structures or melodies. Sain and Siddharth build a great experience along with the chorus which at times give you goosebumps. The track is mostly on acoustic but the arrangements give it a much grander feel. Gulzar’s lyrics impress you the most. Particularly, the line Teen Gawah Hain Ishq Ke, Ek Rab Hai, Ek Tu Aur Main. 

3. Chakora – Singers: Mame Khan, Shuchismita Das, Akhtar Chinnal – A traditional folksy track that has a tinge of EDM as percussion. Mame Khan, who has been heard in Coke Studio before, responsibly handles what he is best at, although he sounds very familiar to Shankar Mahadevan. Supported by Suchismita and Akhtar, both were last heard with Pritam in different songs, deliver terrific performances. 

4. Aave Re Hitchki – Singers: Mame Khan,Shankar Mahadevan – The rhythmic texture which the song has, is a delight for everyone. Shankar and Mame Khan have pulled the song so flawlessly that it is evident in the song very well. Lyrics metaphorically say a lot which would eventually be more impactful once the film comes. Go for the rhythm!

5. Hota Hai – Singers: Nooran Sisters, Sain Zahoor, Akhtar Chinnal, Daler Mehndi – It’s always a pleasure to hear Nooran Sisters carrying the song with their harmonic energy. I am sure the EDM touch in the beats must have some meaning but I wish if the beats were represented by some instrument with Rajasthani arrangements. The best element in the song is tun-tun-a which the sisters really nailed!

6. Ek Nadi Thi – Singers: Nooran Sisters, K. Mohan – First of all, the melody. The melody is what drives this song, as the arrangements are simply done on Guitars with Claps as rhythm. The melody is so lovable that it keeps you engaged completely. Mohan Kanan’s vocals play a vital role. The melody in his voice sounds even more effective. Plus, Nooran Sisters help in sounding the song not-so-filmy.

7. Doli Re Doli – Singers: Shankar Mahadevan, Mame Khan – What I like about this song in particular is its subtle arrangements having Piano and Trumpet along with soft sounding percussion, all this on a melody that is really praiseworthy. The song is a peaceful melancholy, having Shankar Mahadevan’s voice creating the deserved impact along with Mame Khan who aptly supports.

8. Kaaga – Singer: Kaushiki Chakraborty – A song that creates impact on that very short duration it has. Kaushiki on mic impresses, taking amazing harkats in between. Arrangements are again, something that is worth hearing. 

9. Mirzya Theme (Broken Arrows) – Instrumental – A lovely piece which Sarangi in the first half and Flute in the second half predominate.

Mirzya is Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Gulzar at their best. 

The Final Verdict:  AGREE


Pensive!! (Talvar – Music Review)

With Talvar, Meghna Gulzar is returning to direction after almost a decade. Made on the infamous Arushi Murder Case, this film is written and produced by Vishal Bhardwaj and hence composed the music too with his regular partner in lyrics Gulzar.

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Music: Vishal Bhardwaj;  Lyrics: Gulzar;  Music Label: T-Series

1. Insaaf – Singer: Aooj Aftab – Very few songs are there which prove to be a cracker inspite of having extremely simplistic tune and flat notes. It is the haunting that creates a huge impact on the listener that comprise of singer Arooj Aftab’s heavy impacting vocals on the candid lyrics by Gulzar who hardly goes wrong. Hard-hitting! #WelcomeSong

 2. Patli Gali – Singer: Sukhwinder Singh – One doesn’t expect humor in the soundtrack of a thriller unless there’s Gulzar who has an expertise to find humor in any serious situation. Vishal has perfectly given it the folk essence which Sukhwinder Singh has justified it amazingly, definitely giving you a reason to smile. 

3. Zinda – Singer: Rekha Bhardwaj – On a shallow but haunting Guitar refrain, Rekha Bhardwaj has completely lived Gulzar’s pain-attaining lyrics, comfortably going into its very essence. The use of Accordion in phases producing alternatively noticeable and negligible sounds is lovely! Well arranged!

4. Shaam Ke Saaye – Singer: Arijit Singh – Arijit whispers magnificently, creating a mystical atmosphere all around with terrific Guitar being used. Vishal’s extremely complicated composition is not so compelling though, still sets the mood. The mukhda is too complex to be liked in one go. A beautiful melody which needs time to grow on ears.

Vishal Bhardwaj – Gulzar combo delivers yet another heavy intense soundtrack.

The Final Verdict:  POSSIBLE



Dark! Unpleasant! Monotonous! (Drishyam – Music Review)

Drishyam belongs to a unique genre called family thriller which was originally made in Malyalam, then in Tamil, Telugu and Kannada. Finally it arrives in the Bollywood scene and this Hindi version is directed by Nishikant Kamat. The music is given by Vishal Bhardwaj and lyrics is penned by his partner Gulzar.

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Music: Vishal Bhardwaj;  Lyrics: Gulzar;  Music Label: Zee Music Company

1. Kya Pataa – Singer: Arijit Singh – Vishal Bhardwaj with his cliche style starts off the soundtrack utilizing Arijit Singh in a very effective way. The slow moving track with ever-changing notes, constantly make you hooked to it. Just like a good thriller with twists and turns in almost every scene, each note in this song comes with a twist. Gulzar has written brilliant lyrics, will possibly be one of his most underrated work. It needs edge-of-the-seat attention for its beauty to be discovered and felt. #WelcomeSong

2. Carbon Copy – Singer: Ash King – A very ordinary tune with ordinary lyrics and arrangements that give the feel of late 90s Bhardwaj when he used to compose for Ram Gopal Verma. Ash King is the only saving grace in this otherwise boring track who brings amazing variations with his vocals in the antara as well as in the interlude. Not upto the mark!

3. Kab Kahan Se – Singer: K.K. – Vishal Bhardwaj can’t resist making atleast one weird track. the weirdness in this particular track has gone too higher with lots of variations in the notes that were sounding good in Kya Pataa, fail to make it likable. It is somewhat another version of that previous song by Arijit as the lyrics are also similar at places. The same words have been described with a different emotions in two different songs. You can afford to skip!

4. Dum Ghutta Hai – Singers: Rekha Bhardwaj, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan – Unfortunately this song has no saving grace even after having Rahat and Rekha and two pieces of Flute. It’s quite monotonous and lyrics are too ordinary to notice. It has elements that have already been done in the past in numerous songs. Hence it provides nothing new.

One of the weakest soundtracks of Vishal Bhardwaj.

The Verdict Order:  OKAY


Musical Sameekshaa Monthly Awards (July 2015)

Singer of the Month (Female):  Chinmayi Sripada – Sahebaan (Guddu Rangeela)

Singer of the Month (Male):  Arijit Singh – Kya Pataa (Drishyam)

Singer Jodi of the Month:  Arijit Singh & Chinmayi Sripada – Sooiyan (Guddu Rangeela)

Composer of the Month (Song):  Amit Trivedi – Sahebaan (Guddu Rangeela)

Lyricist of the Month: Varun Grover (Adapted) – Tu Kisi Rail Si (Masaan)

Composer of the Month (Album):  Pritam – Bajrangi Bhaijaan

Song of the Month:  Sooiyan – Guddu Rangeela (Amit Trivedi, Irshad Kamil)

Album of the Month:  Bajrangi Bhaijaan – T-Series

Musical Sameekshaa Trimester-IV Awards 2014 – Results (October, November, December)

Hope you all must satisfied with the nominees. Here are the results.


Best Backing Vocals/Chorus:  Shekhar Ravjiani – Meherbaan (Bang Bang)


Best Recorded Song:  Manali Trance (The Shaukeens)


Best Arranged Song:  Bismil (Haider)


Best Use of an Instrument:  Rubab by Vishal Bhardwaj – Bismil (Haider)


Song That Provided Wholesome Entertainment:  Paaji Tussi Such A Pussycat (Happy Ending)


Best Singer (Female):  Shreya Ghoshal – Manwa Laage (Happy New Year)


Best Singer (Male):  Swaroop Khan – Tharki Chokro (PK)


Best Singer Jodi:  Shankar Mahadevan & Sonu Nigam – Kill Dil (Kill Dil)


Best Composer (Song):  Mikey Mccleary – Gannu Rocks (Sonali Cable)


Best Lyricist:  Gulzar – Bismil (Haider)


Best Composer (Album):  Vishal Bhardwaj – Haider


Best Song:  Sajde – Kill Dil  (Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Gulzar)


Best Album:  Haider  (Junglee Music)

Singers: Vishal Dadlani, Sukhwinder Singh, Arijit Singh, Vishal Bhardwaj, Alaap Majgavkar, Sourabh Joshi, Mayukh Sarkar, Muzamil Bhawani, Bashir Bhawani. Bashir Lone, Suresh Wadkar, Shraddha Kapoor and Rekha Bharadwaj

Music: Vishal Bhardwaj

Lyrics: Gulzar


Next:  2nd Annual Musical Sameekshaa Awards 2014

Differently and Definitelly a Killler!! (Kill Dil – Music Review)

Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy if team up with Gulzar, that means it’s a Shaad Ali Sehgal film. From Bunty Aur Bubbly to Jhoom Barabar Jhoom to now Kill Dil, this team is again promising to deliver something really awesome.



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Music: Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy;  Lyrics: Gulzar;  Music Label: YRF Music


1. Kill Dil – Singers: Sonu Nigam, Shankar Mahadevan, Gulzar

Starting with Gulzar’s verse narrated by the man himself, this song tributes the Classic Western music perfecting in Brass section, a lovely rendition by Sonu Nigam with Shankar, doing the yodelling brilliantly well, performing almost the whole song in the false voice. Whistle and the Guitar in cowboy-ish style is worth tempting. It addicts you and makes you hear Sonu doing the creative stuff after a long time.


2. Happy Budday – Singers: Sukhwinder Singh, Shankar Mahadevan

This is not exactly a birthday song that you can sing out on a birthday party. It’s a situation based track for which Gulzar has written nice fun lyrics. Composers have also tried doing fun stuffs like the amusing way of playing Sitar in the starting. Sukhwinder has just nailed it in his very style that impresses in a minute. A song that grows.


3. Sajde – Singers: Arijit Singh, Nihira Joshi Deshpande, Gulzar

Gulzar comes up behind the pic with another shaayari which provokes your mood for romance and without any moment further, Arijit, the ladies man, preserves his energy to be used later in crooning a beautiful Punjabi folk inspired lines, confidently covered with sounds like of a pebble being thrown into the water which has been used as a steady rhythm and a subtle Violin. The hook line has a brilliant energy that Arijit manages fantastically. Nihira who has done a decent job, joins him in the later part. One of the most unique romantic tracks!! #WelcomeSong


4. Bol Beliya – Sunidhi Chauhan, Siddharth Mahadevan, Additional Vocals: Shankar Mahadevan

It gives you an instant 80’s feel, particularly the Sholay feel in the Strings section. A lovely and strong hook by Shankar Mahadevan is a treat here. Already energetic Sunidhi and Siddharth, get highly energized on the wonderful foot-tapping beats laid with dynamic Dhol in the typical trio style. What Hulla Re was for 2 States, Bol Beliya is for Kill Dil just that the latter is less appealing for masses. Nice rhythmic track!


5. Sweeta – Singer: Adnan Sami

Adnan Sami after a long time renders lovably with utter cuteness in his voice, making all the one-sided lovers dance like mad. It’s a song when the lover adores his girl and sings and dances within that module. Gulzar’s lovingly weird lyrics make it more interesting along with the help of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s swinging tune. Such a sweeta track with such a short duration is a thing to be upset.


6. Daiyya Maiyya – Singers: Udit Narayan, Shankar Mahadevan, Rasika Chandrashekhar

Starts with lavish Trumpets and suddenly takes a turn into a deep Punjabi mode, playing Tumbi all the way. Harmonium paves the way for Udit Narayan, who has been singing quite often this year but this song in particular is suiting him perfectly. Trio has used the backing vocals very efficiently in the hook line that surely provides a smile. Rasika is decent in her portion. The rap by Javed Jafferi is worth listening. It’s a song with weird twists and turns.


7. Baawra – Singers: Shankar Mahadevan, Nihira Joshi Deshpande, Gulzar

Gulzar begins with his nice poetry and a haunting Guitar piece joins him which is the highlight of this track. The song has a semi classical touch and the trio has intelligently infused some ingredients of Rock. The line Zindagi uljha hua sauda hai will stay with you for very long. Apt use of Sarangi and Flute and the controlled use of Electric Guitar. Nihira performs quite well but Shankar Mahadevan as always just nails it. Not a regular sad song.


8. Nakhriley – Singers: Shankar Mahadevan, Ali Zafar, Mahalakshmi Iyer, Gulzar

Unfortunately, this one last track neither leaves a good impact of Gulzar’s poem nor appeals any further to listen the composition. All the three singers fail to create any impact. It sounds very 80’s and doesn’t have the much needed freshness in the arrangements as well as in the composition. Ending note is a disappointing note.


Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy when team up with Gulzar, the album is bound to be a killer one! Barring Nakhriley, not a single track should be skipped.


The Final Verdict:  POSSIBLE



Next:  Happy Ending