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!

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.

CLICK HERE to buy the soundtrack from iTUNES

CLICK to Listen Full Songs


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

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

An album of just two songs!! (Ghayal Once Again – Music Review)

Ghayal has Once Again arrived as a remake to the superhit Sunny Deol starer film which is written and directed by Sunny Deol only. Music is given by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy consisting of just two songs.

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Music: Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy;  Lyrics: Amitabh Bhattacharya;  Music Label: Zee Music Company


1. Lapak Jhapak – Singers: Siddharth Mahadevan, Yashita Sharma, Armaan Malik – The choice of the singers is appreciable with Siddharth clearly leading the other two in this youth(full/less) song with a mediocre approach in lyrics by Amitabh. The weirdness in the way lapak jhapak has been said is extremely annoying if not unintentional. Lazy attempt.


 

2. Khuda Hai Tere Andar – Singer: Arijit Singh – Arijit as always is near to perfect in this inspirational track which SEL are expert in. Though in this genre the masters do not seem to be in full form this time. The track is well composed but could have been more decorative through some exciting arrangements which the trio have already done and proved million times before. Lyrics though stand out! Lacks presentation. #WelcomeSong


With just two songs, this album is too small to be analysed. 


The Final Verdict:  NOT A PROBLEM 

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

 

 

 

 

When Lyrics supersedes the Compositions!! (Katti Batti – Music Review)

It has just been a week for Hero soundtrack to be out, and here another soundtrack of Nikhil Advani’s directorial releases. Hero, being an exception, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy have the composers for all of his films and Katti Batti is their another teamwork. Gulzar is surprisingly absent this time who is also a regular member of this team and in place of him, the ever-ready Kumaar is the lyricist.

CLICK HERE to buy Full Soundtrack of Katti Batti from iTUNES!!

CLICK to Listen Full Songs


Music: Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy;  Lyrics: Kumaar;  Music Label: Zee Music Company


1. Lip To Lip – Singers: Ritu Pathak, Nikhil D’Souza – Kumaar’s lyrics is too weird to be liked in the first attempt. This is a song written on kiss. It seems to be a lustful song. Music is catchy and foot tapping with appropriate beats and likable arrangements. The groove they tried using baby is a pretty cool attempt. Saxophone adds more likeness. Nikhil is the perfect choice but Ritu doesn’t seem an obvious one. A fun track, needs a little time to grow.


2. Sarfira – Singers: Neeti Mohan, Siddharth Mahadevan – It’s that typical club track from the trio where the beats are too monotonous to enjoy for a long time. Neither the rhythm changes, nor the pattern. Particularly in this track, it gets even worse as along with the beats, mukhda is also plain, flat, monotonous which you while listening wonder where the song is actually going and suddenly appears a catchy hook line to make you feel good about the song. Siddharth and Neeti have just fulfilled their respective roles, not adding any charm to the song. Glamorous outside, hollow inside.


3. Sau Aasoon – Singers: Rasika Shekhar, Shankar Mahadevan – The Guitar which you hear in background is one of specialties of the trio witnessed in their many previous compositions, one of their very own ways to beautify their compositions. Shankar Mahadevan is as good as always with his singing. Rasika seems unneeded, her vocals not fitting into the mood of the song totally. Kumaar’s lyrics stands out, impressing in almost every line. Truly melancholic.


4. Jaago Mohan Pyaare – Singers: Rasika Shekhar, Siddharth Basrur, Digvijay Singh Pariyar, Raman Mahadevan – A song which you won’t believe to have been composed by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy as it sounds completely a Ram Sampath composition!! The Rock background with the similar way of giving a slight Metal touch through Guitars and singing style. Although it’s a decent composition, one won’t be eager to listen to it again and again. It’s again Kumaar’s writing that has some interesting elements to give it a hear. Listen, enjoy and forget.


5. Ove Janiya / Ove Janiya (Female) – Singer: Mohan Kannan / Sayani Palit – Trio often saves their best for the last. A simple yet soulful composition rendered phenomenally by Mohan Kannan who is just perfect for these type of compositions which begins with a mild Piano piece and Guitars aptly support the whole song. Sayani Patil is an Indian Classical and Semi-Classical vocalist and her debut in Bollywood is very impressive. Kumaar’s lyrics adds immense charm into it. Go for it! #WelcomeSong


More than Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, it is Kumaar’s lyrics that entertains throughout the album.


The Final Verdict:  OKAY

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

Sophisticated!! (Dil Dhadakne Do – Music Review)

Zoya Akhtar is back with yet again a classy multi-starer about a millionaire Mehra family. You need not have a second thought in guessing the composers as Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy are fixed forever for Zoya Akhtar’s films. Let’s see what the most reliable trio have come up with.

CLICK HERE to buy Full Soundtrack of Dil Dhadakne Do from iTUNES!!

CLICK to Listen Full Songs


Music: Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy;  Lyrics: Javed Akhtar;  Music Label: T-Series


1. Dil Dhadakne Do – Singers: Priyanka Chopra, Farhan Akhtar – The title track starts off with a dazzling mood created by Trumpets quite well and Priyanka Chopra sounds lovingly confident, making a little extra husky Farhan Akhtar’s vocals sound proficient but the sudden arrival of the hook line dulls the atmosphere. It doesn’t match the mood of the whole song resulting in oddness. Why such a dull hook line!!!


2. Pehli Baar – Singers: Sukriti Kakkar, Siddharth Mahadevan – This is a typical soft rock composition from the trio managed perfectly by Siddharth and Sukriti, efficient beats being the centre of attraction and the ever-awesome Guitar arrangements develop the addiction with the help of addictive tune found in the line “dil mera kehne laga…” Surprisingly, its name “Pehli Baar”, appears the least in the song. Typically lovable S-E-L track!


3. Gallan Goodiyaan – Singers: Yashita Sharma, Manish Kumar Tipu, Farhan Akhtar, Shankar Mahadevan, Sukhwinder Singh – The trio always shows their mastery in these ceremony-related tracks by their catchy composition but here, barring the hook line, the song is hardly impressive. The hook line also sounds very familiar to their previous tracks and also that Guitar, though lovely, depict familiarity. Catchy hook line but nothing else to boast about.


4. Girls Like To Swing – Singer: Sunidhi Chauhan – It’s Sunidhi’s show all the way. A very different jazz style composition which Sunidhi handles with utter smoothness. She takes the already amazing composition to another level by her vibrant singing where when she says “swing”, it actually seems like we are “swinging” while listening to it. Stylized!


5. Phir Bhi Yeh Zindagi – Singers: Farhan Akhtar, Vishal Dadlani, Divya Kumar, Alyssa Mendosa, Sapna Pathak –  Now this is something lovable as well as highly innovative. Such a great ensemble of singers getting appropriate portions suitable for their vocals. Each one of them has done extremely impressive performances along with the lovely chrous part, easily contributing to the song to be the best of the lot. Highly innovative, highly recommended #WelcomeSong


Inspite of having some disappointing experimentation, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy deliver a decent soundtrack!


The Final Verdict:  POSSIBLE

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

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.

 

 

CLICK HERE to buy Full Soundtrack of Kill Dil from iTUNES!!

 

CLICK to Listen Full Songs

 

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

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

 

Next:  Happy Ending

 

Musical Sameekshaa Trimester-II Awards 2014 – Results (April, May, June)

These are the results for the Trimester-II Awards of this year.

 

Best Backing Vocals/Chorus:  Shankar Mahadevan – Chaandaniya  (2 States)

 

Best Recorded Song:  Banjara  (Ek Villain)

 

Best Arranged Song:  Soney Do  (Citylights)

 

Best Use of an Instrument:  Ektara in Ek Charraiya (Citylights) by Jeet Ganguly

 

Song That Provided Wholesome Entertainment:  Locha-E-Ulfat  (2 States)

 

Best Singer (Female):  Shubha Mudgal – Jal De  (Jal)

 

Best Singer (Male):  Arijit Singh – Ek Charraiya  (Citylights)

 

Best Singer Jodi:  Chimayi & Gajendra Verma – O Humnavaa  (Samrat & Co.)

 

Best Composer (Song):  Pritam – Ashq Na Ho  (Holiday)

 

Best Lyricist:  Mithoon – Banjara  (Ek Villain)

 

Best Composer (Album):  Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy – 2 States

 

Best Song:  Locha-E-Ulfat – 2 States  (Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Amitabh Bhattacharya)

 

Best Album:  2 States – T Series 

Singers: Aditi Singh Sharma, Amitabh Bhattacharya, Benny Dayal, Arijit Singh, Chinmayi, Akriti Kakkar, Shahid Mallya, Shankar Mahadevan, Siddharth Mahadevan, Gaurav Gupta,

K  Mohan, Yashita Sharma and Rasika Shekhar

Music: Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy

Lyrics: Amitabh Bhattacharya

 

Next:  Lekar Hum Deewana Dil