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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Musical Sameekshaa Five First-Class!! (January, February, March)

As we entered the third month of the year, many albums released, some making their mark with incredible creativity while some leave without marking an impression about the listeners.

Musical Sameekshaa had been conducting Trimester Awards after every three months. Now, replacing that system, comes another which is going to give you a summary of three months and the Five First-Class in which you will be recommended Five best songs out of all the albums that released in these three months, that you immediately need to hear.


 

The Report:

January – The month started with multi-composer Wazir that turned out to be extremely below average followed by even more annoying albums like Sajid-Wajid’s Kya Kool Hain Hum 3 and the multi-composer Mastizaade. Amaal Mallik with Airlift and Santhosh Narayan with Saala Khadoos left with pretty good impact while the standout performer was the folksy album Jugni by Clinton Cerejo.

February – This valentine month came up with numerous romantic albums though very few of them were decent enough to hold on to, namely Sanam Re and Himesh Reshammiya’s Sanam Teri Kasam. The most impressive one was by Amit Trivedi in the form of Fitoor while Vishal Khurana tried his hands on Neerja and Vipin Patwa with Bollywood Diaries left a good impression.

March – March was the most decent month having neither a standout album or an annoying soundtrack. Ashutosh Pathak’s Zubaan was the most impressive along with Salim-Sulaiman’s Jai Gangaajal. The albums that were good enough to attempt were Himesh Reshammiya’s Teraa Surroor, multi-composer Dharma album Kapoor & Sons, and Rocky Handsome. 


 

Five First-Class (Not in any order or rating): 

1. Tu Bhula Jise – Airlift (Singer: KK; Music: Amaal Mallik; Lyrics: Kumaar; Music Label: T-Series)

Song Review


2. Dilaan De Saudey – Jugni (Singer: Javed Bashir; Music: Clinton Cerejo; Lyrics: Traditional; Music Label: Sony Music)

Song Review


3. Pashmina – Fitoor (Singer: Amit Trivedi; Music: Amit Trivedi; Lyrics: Swanand Kirkire; Music Label: Zee Music Company)

Song Review


4. Titli – Bollywood Diaries (Singer: Papon; Music: Vipin Patwa; Lyrics: Dr. Sagar; Music Label: Zee Music Company


5. Saathi Rey – Kapoor & Sons (Singer: Arko; Music: Arko; Lyrics: Manoj Muntashi; Music Label: Sony Music)

Song Review

 

A Coke Studious Soundtrack!! (Jugni – Music Review)

Jugni (Firefly) symbolizes the free-flying spirit. The film is all about dealing with the hardships in life and the search of a place which one can call home; where the firefly is at her brightest. A Shefali Bhushan film which has Clinton Cerejo as the music director of the film featuring legends like AR Rahman, Vishal Bhardwaj for the first time as just singers.

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

CLICK  to Listen Full Songs


Music: Clinton Cerejo;  Music Label: Sony Music


1. Jugni / Jugni (Unplugged) – Singers: Javed Bashir / Javed Bashir, Neha Kakkar;  Lyrics: Shellee – Starting the album with the title track, this song seems to have been a leftover of Clinton’s Coke Studio episode which Javed Bashir with his typical folksy vocals filled with enormous classical style handled superbly. Neha Kakkar to everybody’s surprise showed her other side in singing which has nothing to do with peppy-pop kind of music and she has justified her part in the unplugged effortlessly. Javed’s solo version has Guitar and the duet version has the beauty of Harmonium and both are capable enough to hold you for long. Infact, the Harmonium in the unplugged is so amazingly played that you do not want it to end so soon. Folksy attraction! 


2. Dugg Duggi Dugg – Singers: Vishal Bhardwaj;  Lyrics: Shellee – Vishal Bhardwaj’s first song as a singer for another composer, and for a composer who has arranged numerous compositions of Vishal. A subtle melody with appropriate lyrics and a wonderful use of onomatopoeia in that by Shellee along with simplistic arrangements that work as icing on cake summing it up as a melodious treat from Clinton.  


3. Hatt Mullah / Hatt Mullah (Reprise) – Singers: Bianca Gomes, Clinton Cerejo;  Lyrics: Shellee, Baba Bulleh Shah (Traditional), Clinton Cerejo (English) – On Baba Bulleh Shah’s verse, Clinton has impressively given the Western outfit with Bianca singing the English lines charmingly and Clinton himself singing the traditional lyrics in a completely different avatar from the original Clinton who gets to be heard only when he starts singing the part written by Shellee. A nicely blended song. 


4. Bolladiyaan – Singer: Rekha Bhardwaj;  Lyrics: Shellee – A song highly depending on strings, typically sung by Rekha Bhardwaj has been impressively arranged particularly the latter half of the song. What stands out in this song is its lyrics by Shelle. Beautifully expressed. 


5. Dil Ke Sang – Singer: Nakash Aziz;  Lyrics: Shellee – A mood-shifting song that diverts you from the classical zone to this Bhangra mood. The song is well sung by Nakash but it doesn’t have the capability to hold you for long. Very soon, it starts loosen up the listener’s interest. The not-so-appealing hook line makes the song quite ordinary. 


6. Zarre Zarre Mein Noor Bhara – Singers: Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Jazim Sharma;  Lyrics: Shellee – It’s a singers plus chorus show. Brilliant ensemble having Rahat and Jazim leading the troop with utter sincerity, constantly keeping you interested in the seven-minute long track. Clinton shows his versatility by presenting this qawwali in an appealing way which does not have a strong melody to captivate but strong arrangements for sure.


7. Dilaan De Saudey – Singer: Javed Bashir;  Lyrics: Traditional – Another Javed Bashir song. The basic melody if is traditional, or if it belongs to Clinton, either way, what a melody! This is the song which is the most enjoyable one for a music listener who prefers melody over everything. And even if the melody doesn’t belong to Clinton, he deserves appreciation for fabulous arrangements with Guitars, particularly in parts where Javed Bashir chants his sargam. Another brilliant track! 


8. Joban Hai Shawaa – Singer: Neha Kakkar;  Lyrics: Shellee – A less appealing song because the composition is weak but Neha shows her enormous potential to keep listeners engaged with her singing. Among the weaker tracks of the album. 


9. Lakhon Salaam – Singer: AR Rahman;  Guest Composer: Kaashif Sahib;  Lyrics: Kaashif Sahib – The only non-Clinton song in the album and the first song sung by Rahman for some other composer. Kaashif Sahib is the man who had penned Rahman’s Khwaja Mere Khwaja (Jodha Akbar). Besides the song featuring AR Rahman, there’s nothing special or appealing in this. It’s a regular prayer song that is ofcourse played and arranged well. AR Rahman just as a singer, yes deserves an attempt. 


10. Heer – Singer: Nakash Aziz;  Lyrics: Waris Shah – Just a one and half minute melancholic track that has been crooned by Nakash in a very uncliched manner, and he is worth applauding for this attempt. Aziz!! 


A soundtrack by Clinton Cerejo worth buying!! 


The Final Verdict:  AGREE

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