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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More Romantic, Less Sporty!! (Azhar – Music Review)

The life of the former Indian Cricket captain Mohammad Azharuddin has been extremely controversial and who better than Emraan Hashmi could play him in Tony D’Souza directed Azhar. Pritam had been hired for the music but due to some health issued, he had to leave midway and Amaal Mallik was called to the rescue. The one song by Pritam has been retained, and a Kalyanji-Anandji song that has been remade by DJ Chetas.

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

CLICK to Listen Full Songs


Music Label: T-Series


1. Bol Do Na Zara – Singer: Armaan Malik;  Music: Amaal Mallik;  Lyrics: Rashmi Virag – The best thing about this song is that Amaal is able to keep the ethos of Main Rahoon Ya Na Rahoon alive. With his brother Armaan, he has again delivered miraculously effortless melody that easily sails to your heart. Rashmi Virag’s lyrics deserve special mention. The lyrics have few lines that deserve attention. A melody full of charm!!


2. Itni Si Baat Hain – Singers: Arijit Singh, Antara Mitra;  Music: Pritam;  Lyrics: Manoj Yadav – The old wine Pritam after a long time has come with his late 2000s avatar where he delivers a free-flowing melody without much experimentation, and that structure of inviting the female voice only in the antara. The composition is tremendously beautiful, instantly likable, and unpretentious. Lyrics walk quite on the same route, saying as simply as could itni si baat hai, mujhe tumse pyaar hai. Extremely Pritam!


3. Oye Oye – Singers: Aditi Singh Sharma, Armaan Malik;  Music: Kalyanji-Anandji (Recreated by DJ Chetas);  Lyrics: Manoj Yadav – Manoj Yadav pens the next song which is a remake of a superhit Kalyanji-Anandji song from Tridev. Since the remake has been done by a DJ, the beats had to be the prime focus in the song. The composition is quite weak though. Nevertheless, Aditi and Armaan amazingly carry the song and make it decent enough to enjoy.


4. Tu Hi Na Jaane – Singers: Sonu Nigam, Prakriti Kakar;  Music: Amaal Mallik;  Lyrics: Kumaar – This is very different from what Amaal has been doing in past. Choosing Sonu Nigam for this song, seems to have proved a brilliant step in favor of Amaal. The composition carries a lot of depth in it. Prakriti quite responsibly supports Sonu Nigam, proving to be another right choice. When it comes to writing sad songs, one well knows how efficient Kumaar is. A mature composition, handled with utter maturity. #WelcomeSong


5. Jeetne Ke Liye – Singer: K.K.;  Music: Amaal Mallik;  Lyrics: Kumaar – The song seems to have been made especially for K.K. It has all the apt notes for him to hit and make his mark as he always does. The composition is quite predictable yet pleasurable to hear. Kumaar’s lyrics has the similar predictability, nevertheless, the song enormously carried by K.K. does make impact. 


With a decent remake, a song by Pritam, three by Amaal Mallik, Azhar manages to grip you quite effortlessly. 


The Final Verdict:  OKAY

 

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

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

 

If Pritam was in the 90s era…. (Dilwale – Music Review)

This is absolutely the biggest film of this year as Shahrukh and Kajol are romancing on screen after a long time. The songs that are released are already hit and the hit machine Pritam seems to have left no stone unturned in music making for this SRK-Kajol starer Rohit Shetty film Dilwale.

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

CLICK to Listen Full Songs


Music: Pritam;  Lyrics: Amitabh Bhattacharya;  Music Label: Sony Music


1. Gerua – Singers: Arijit Singh, Antara Mitra – The grandest song of the year starts very unusually but soon allows the beautifully tuned Flute to enter, giving hints of ecstasy soon to be found in the song. Pritam has attempted to deliver a typical SRK-Kajol track focusing on 90s-like Dafli that would make you remember of all those Yash Chopra melodies. The orchestration is brilliant in end with all those Violins echoing inside your head for quite long. There’s issue with Arijit’s tonal quality though. The song in the second antara sounds a bit monotonous due to the constant high notes which Arijit is seemed to be having trouble with. His vocals sound a bit stressed. Antara Mitra has not much to deal with though one surely misses Shreya here to bring the much needed effortlessness and genuineness in the song. Amitabh’s lyrics are already much talked about especially the word Gerua which is the color Saffron. Blockbuster and Memorable. 


2. Manma Emotion Jaage – Singers: Amit Mishra, Anushka Manchanda, Antara Mitra – A pretty cool Hip-Hop track which has a sufficient amount of desi-ness in the composition as well as in the lyrics. It has that 90s tapori feel in the required amount. Quite unique sounds have been used by Pritam and the programming is done with efficiency. The tune in the mukhda could have been catchier as Pritam has a great history with catchy tunes. The song however grows on you gradually. Amit is impressive in the track, Antara has a catchy desi typical saiyaan portion and Anushka handles the rap quite effortlessly. Desi typical 90s with experimental programming. 


3. Janam Janam – Singer: Arijit Singh, Antara Mitra – This is one of those melodies that can be termed “classic” from day one. Arijit and Antara superbly handles this lovable composition of Pritam which is based on the prelude of Gerua. If Gerua has 90s feel, it has 50s black & white feel which after the half mukhda becomes somewhat Bhatt-like. I wish if Arijit had avoided that aggressive alaap which spoils the sugary essence of the song. Antara has a more prominent role here and she justifies it completely. Magnum Opus #WelcomeSong


4. Tukur Tukur – Singer: Arijit Singh – This amusing Goan-flavor song brings a smile to face. The chorus saying tukur tukur is very impressively arranged. Arijit has justified the mood of the track which is so different from the other Arijit songs in the album. A fun-filled track.


5. Daayre – Singer: Arijit Singh – The only track which has been kept separated from any kind of 90s effect. It comes quite in the Saaware (Phantom) zone, having Guitar setting up the mood. It is a sad song but has a delightful mukhda, the rhythm giving the feel of a journey song. Arijit is flawless in this, being in his comfort zone. Delightful. 


6. Premika – Singer: Benny Dayal, Kanika Kapoor – Pritam has nailed this one, giving the 90s style composition his unique signature. A very catchy track with lots and lots of interesting sounds in the background that are sufficient to drive you towards dance floor. Benny and Kanika who are the complete dynamos seem to be a perfect choice for this song. More than just the composition, it has layers and layers of unique sounds. Better put on your headphones.


Dilwale is an answer to this question of how the songs would have been if Pritam had been composing in the 90s era. 


The Final Verdict:  POSSIBLE

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


Musical Sameekshaa Monthly Awards  (December 2015)

Singer of the Month (Female):  Shreya Ghoshal – Deewani Mastani (Bajirao Mastani)

Singer of the Month (Male):  Arijit Singh – Aayat (Bajirao Mastani)

Singer Jodi of the Month:  Shreya Ghoshal & Vaishali Made – Pinga (Bajirao Mastani)

Composer of the Month (Song): Sanjay Leela Bhansali – Mohe Rang Do Laal (Bajirao Mastani)

Lyricist of the Month:  A.M. Turaz – Aayat (Bajirao Mastani)

Composer of the Month (Album):  Sanjay Leela Bhansali – Bajirao Mastani

Song of the Month:  Janam Janam – Dilwale (Pritam, Amitabh Bhattacharya)

Album of the Month:  Bajirao Mastani (Eros Music) 

 

 

Musical Sameekshaa Trimester-III Awards 2015 – Results (July, August, September)

Results


Best Backing Vocals/Chorus: Afghan Jalebi (Phantom)

Best Recorded Song: Ishq Karenge (Bangistan)

Best Arranged Song: Sooiyan (Guddu Rangeela)

Best Use of an Instrument: Oud by Pritam – Nachda (Phantom)

Song That Provided Wholesome Entertainment: Selfie Le Le Re (Bajrangi Bhaijaan)


Best Singer (Female): Chinmayi Sripada – Sahebaan (Guddu Rangeela)

Best Singer (Male): Asrar – Afghan Jalebi (Phantom)

Best Singer Jodi: Arijit Singh & Chinmayi Sripada – Sooiyan (Phantom)

Best Composer (Song): Pritam – Nachda (Phantom)

Best Lyricist: Kausar Munir – Nachda (Phantom)

Best Composer (Album): Pritam – Phantom

Best Song: Afghan Jalebi – Phantom (Pritam, Amitabh Bhattacharya)

Best Album: Bajrangi Bhaijaan

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

Pritam’s classy texture!! (Phantom – Music Review)

Not even a month has passed after Bajrangi Bhaijaan hit the theaters, and Kabir Khan and Pritam are back yet again with Phantom. The former had lots of commercial stuffs, but the latter is an experimentally classy album with just three songs.

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

CLICK to Listen Full Songs


Music: Pritam;  Music Label:  T-Series


1. Afghan Jalebi (Ya Baba) / Afghan Jalebi (Film Version) / Ya Baba (Fitna Farebi) / Afghan Jalebi (Dumbek Version) – Singer: Asrar (Syed Asrar Shah) / Akhtar Channal / Nakash Aziz / Akhtar Channal;  Lyrics: Amitabh Bhattacharya – So there are four versions of a single song which are not too different from one another except some minor arrangements. This is surely one of the most addictive songs of this year. The line afghan jalebi is brilliantly catchy and the way the singer Akhtar and Asrar have sung it, makes it even more addictive. Amitabh’s lyrics is just outstanding, perfectly suiting to the mood of the song. Pritam has created a pure Afghani track primarily using Harmonium and the rest is done through percussion. The techno sound with which it begins, is highly compelling. The first version is devoid of the digital beats, the second is the most enjoyable one for every kind of listener, the third version is weakest among all and the fourth one is a weirdly impressive experiment. A likable classy track for mass. Outstandingly catchy!


2. Saware – Singer: Arijit Singh;  Lyrics: Amitabh Bhattacharya – It’s a heartwarming melody, breezy, catchy and sophisticated enough to be liked by the class. Arijit is the real power behind its beauty besides the tune. His vocal texture suits fabulously to this track. The Guitar work before the ending lines is terrific and so is Arijit’s style in the ending notes. Amitabh’s lyrics is philosophically beautiful with almost all the lines worth noticing. My favorite lines are dhalti raat ka ek musaafir, subah alvida keh chala, jeete jee tera ho saka na, marke haq adaa kar chala. An extremely impressive composition and writing.


3. Nachda – Singer: Shahid Mallya;  Lyrics: Kausar Munir – Another song with Arabic arrangements but this time a little brooding yet captivating, this song is superbly sung by Shahid Mallya with two antaras having entirely different notes, soulfully owing the whole atmosphere. This is not regular Pritam as he experimented Arabic instruments on Rock background with a hard-hitting tune. This is something you don’t often get to hear and definitely not from Pritam’s baggage! Grab it!


After fulfilling all the commercial needs in Bajrani Bhaijaan, Pritam delivers a brilliant classy album!


The Final Verdict:  AGREE

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


Musical Sameekshaa Monthly Awards (August 2015)

Singer of the Month (Female):  Shreya Ghoshal – Gaaye Jaa (Brothers)

Singer of the Month (Male):  Sonu Nigam – Sapna Jahan (Brothers)

Singer Jodi of the Month:  Sonu Niga & Neeti Mohan – Sapna Jahan (Brothers)

Composer of the Month (Song):  Pritam – Nachda (Phantom)

Lyricist of the Month:  Amitabh Bhattacharya – Sapna Jahan (Brothers) 

Composer of the Month (Album):  Pritam – Phantom

Song of the Month:  Afghan Jalebi – Phantom (Pritam, Amitabh Bhattacharya)

Album of the Month:  Phantom – T-Series

A Secular Soundtrack!! (Bajrangi Bhaijaan – Music Review)

Kabir Khan is back with Salman Khan again after Ek Tha Tiger and Pritam is back with Kabir Khan again after New York. So, the trio is into the scene for the very first time. As it has Salman Khan so you expect the sundtrack to be out and out commercial. Although it is, most of the songs are able to maintain the class too.

CLICK HERE to buy Full Soundtrack of Bajrangi Bhaijaan from iTUNES!!

CLICK to Listen Full Songs


Music: Pritam;  Music Label: T-Series


1. Selfie Le Le Re – Singers: Vishal Dadlani, Nakash Aziz, Pritam; Rap: Badshah;  Lyrics: Mayur Puri – The techno sound with which it begins, is a delight to hear. The tune is obviously catchy though very ordinary, something which we hear in 90s desi tracks. Arrangements are also surprisingly poor which is a very unexpected element in Pritam’s music. The saving grace is Vishal Dadlani. The effortless singing he has done, made the track sound special. His vocals gave this 90s sounding track a modern flavor. Mayur Puri’s lyrics are just a game of rhymes without yielding much sense. A decent desi track not of the Pritam-standard.


2. Tu Chahiye – Singer: Atif Aslam;  Lyrics: Amitabh Bhattacharya – It begins with a Pritam-ish Guitar riff, that you instantly fall in love with. The tune has that recognizable sweetness which you must have heard in many of the romantic tracks of Pritam. What amazes the most in this song is the Sarangi played in the interlude along with the heavy beats already going in the background. The antara makes you remember the similarity it has with the song Kyon from Barfi! The sudden old world charm in this extremely techno fused modern romantic track is a good surprising element. Lovable!


3. Bhar Do Jholi Meri / Bhar Do Jholi Meri (Reprise) – Singer: Adnan Sami, Imran Aziz Mian;  Music: Traditional (Recreated by Pritam);  Lyrics:Traditional (Recreated by Kausar Munir) – You don’t often expect a qawwali in a Salman Khan film so its presence is a surprise itself. Another astonishing fact is the bringing of Adnan Sami on board. Surprisingly, being a pop singer, he managed the song superbly. All the typical Qawwali instruments are used with a very cliche arrangements, ignoring all the experiments that could have been done. The composer has used the traditional qawwali famously rendered by Sabri Brothers. The antara has been changed to some extent but the rest has been kept safe. The Adnan Sami version sounds more filmy, hence more appealing, but for a true qawwali fan, the latter would be more appealing. A decent recreation.


4. Aaj Ki Party – Singer: Mika Singh;  Lyrics: Shabbir Ahmed – Here comes the typical Salman Khan film song with a very ordinary tune, below average lyrics and monotonous beats in the name of arrangements. Since it’s Pritam, it is atleast enjoyable if not creatively good. That dum-dum-dukud-dukud is enough creative stuff for a song like this. Mika is an obvious choice for these kind of tracks though it has now started sounding boring to hear his voice in every desi party track. A pure commercial stuff.


5. Chicken Kuk-Doo-Koo – Singers: Mohit Chauhan, Palak Muchhal;  Lyrics: Mayur Puri – It’s a situational song brilliantly written by Mayur Puri, showing a Hanuman devotee trying to make a Muslim girl happy by serving her Chicken. His writing instantly drives your attention towards the song when you hear lines like thodi biryani bukhaari, thodi fir nalli nihaari, le aao aaj dharam bhrasht ho jaaye. It’s a children song sweetly giving the message of secularism. Pritam has infused funny sounds of Chicken and given the Goanese flavor to the rhythm. Mohit Chauhan has handled the song with much ease, giving apt emphasis on the words that require. Something different yet catchy!


6. Zindagi Kuch Toh Bata / Zindagi Kuch Toh Bata (Reprise) – Singers: Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Rekha Bhardwaj / Jubin Nautiyal;  Lyrics: Neelesh Mishra – Did that sound similar? Yes, the second line of mukhda is very much similar to the notes of another Pritam track Good Night from Ferrari Ki Sawaari. Even if that’s repeated, it is such an endearing tune that you yet again fall in love with it. Both the versions are equally good though the original has Rekha along with Rahat which makes it more harmonious. Rekha’s portion is composed with utter subtlety which forces you to give attention to it. Jubin has too done a good job with his Reprise version. Neelesh Mishra’s lyrics about life are equally beautiful. It’s all about that endearing Mukhda. #WelcomeSong


7. Tu Jo Mila / Tu Jo Mila (Dekhna Na Mudke) / Tu Jo Mila (Reprise) – Singer: K.K. / Javed Ali / Papon;  Lyrics: Kausar Munir – Another melodious treat in this album comes in three different versions with three great singers, the one by K.K. being the best as the kind of song it is, seems to have been made just for K.K.’s vocals. The tune makes you remember Pritam’s days of Tum Mile where his melodies were as simple and catchy as it could be. The use of Sitar is an element to notice in this song. Javed Ali too mesmerizes us and Papon does no different in his version which is more melancholic. Still, K.K. wins as the song comes under his comfort zone. A delightful trademark Pritam stuff!


Inspite of being a Salman Khan film album, Pritam manages to retain his class.


The Final Verdict:  OKAY

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