It’s that time of the year again. And we are back with our year end “Rewind” series.
Here is a list of songs and albums that kept us hooked to film music, in the order we heard them, beginning from the oldest all the way down to the latest.
Dil-e-Nadaan (Hawaizaada) – Ayushmann Khurrana draws extreme opinions for his singing, and, I am the last one to like his work. Still, I was pleasantly surprised at his contemporary tribute to Ghalib’s classic. In Dil-e-nadaan, Shweta Subram and Ayushmann were fluid and the result was quite hummable . The song was released in January, and it continues to be in my playlist. The slight guitar riff in the background of ‘humko unse’ is what the rush of first love feels like. The entire album was actually quite good!
Jee Karda (Badlapur) – The trailer gave me an inkling to wait for the song that has the lionhearted guitar riff. Truth be told, I was underwhelmed by the album but this song is what I felt defined the tone of the film. Divya kumar is what Sukhwinder Singh used to be. More often than not, his presence in a song means the song would be good. For me, the guitar riff of the year…badass!
Dum Laga Ke Haisha (Album) – The music of DLKH is a case study in sticking to the feel of the subject without compromising on anything. While Rahul Ram, Kumar Sanu and Sadhna Sargam were reasons enough to hear the album on the repeat, Moh moh ke dhaage gets my vote. I like the Monali Thakur version better. Delicate, unbelievably sweet and durable! Kudos to a certain Mr. Anu Malik! I don’t know why I kept on thinking about the music of ‘Mrityudand’ while listening to this album, in a good way that is.
Kya karein (NH10) – I became a fan of Rachel Varghese on the first hearing of Kya karein from NH10. Savera Mehta & Ayush Shrestha kept the sinking feel of the song with a harmony like treatment, and I absolutely loved the way the song ends, abruptly. Haunting, heartbreaking, and so beautiful!
Chori chori (Hunterrr) – While I am still a proud lover of the title song of Hunterr, this song grew quietly on repeated listening for the simplicity of composition and emotive singing by Sona and Arijit Singh. Isn’t it reassuring to hear Arijit in a song that isn’t filled with ‘made-to-order-for-Arijit’ long taans?
Detective Byomkesh Bakshy (Album) – Having the courage to have such varied contemporary genres in a film album itself is so crazy, and add to the fact that the film was based in 1940s, you get what I call the definitive album of the year! The album was filled with right amount of hysteria, melody, joie de vivre, and sensuous sparks. I don’t think we will have a better album than this for a long time, not only in terms of music but how the music came together in accentuating the feel of the film as a whole.
Journey Song (Piku) – I like the way Anupam Roy has made his debut in Bollywood with Piku. The entire album is musically light and lyrically rich. While it was tough for me to pick between ‘Bezubaan’ and this song, I picked the journey song because it is such a happy song and that bangla in between by Shreya Ghoshal is so charming, it nearly took me to ‘Learn Bengali in one week’ course coaching!
Dhadaam dhadaam (Bombay Velvet) – No other song this year can be called ‘Majestic’. In dhadaam dhadaam, Neeti Mohan has done what our people up north refer to as ‘Kaleja nikaal ke rakh dena’. Marvelous composition, excellent music arrangement got almost overlooked thanks to Neeti. The regular forceful rhythm of the composition is addictive to say the least. It would be wrong to call this a swan song for someone as promising as Neeti, but i feel this song would take some getting to be surpassed. Magnificence and pain in equal measure. Take a bow, Neeti and Amit Trivedi!
Mann Kasturi (Masaan) – is a song that will outlive us all. Future generations would keep coming back to the song to get the meaning of life. I don’t think anyone else could have done justice to the cogent lyrics than Indian ocean and talking of Indian Ocean, my senses swirl like a lattu every time I hear Rahul ram in the song. These are the kind of songs which, when we grow old would be a reference point to the ‘music of our times was so good’ argument.
O saathi mere (Tanu Weds Manu Returns) – The song that was too good for the film, and I say this because this is a song that would have worked wonders had it been included in the film and film’s promotion. Sonu Nigam has gone choosy in picking up his songs, but if he wants to give us songs like this, I have no problems with that. The layered composition and easy lyrics just needed the gayaki of Sonu nigam to capture our imagination, and boy, did the song did just that or what!
Bhor bhayo (Bezubaan Ishq) – Osman Mir wasn’t a new name to come across, thanks to my mum who played some of his songs over last few years and insisted that I like him because he was singing in Morari bapu’s baithaks. Anyway, in a film like Bezubaan Ishq, catching his name in the credit was intriguing and once you hear his powerful voice with the magical flute in the minimal music arrangement that adorns this song, you will know why he is one of the most exciting voices we have. Hope he gets noticed a lot and goes mainstream.
Sapna jahan (Brothers) – A film as inconsequential and boring as Brothers had one good thing, and that was this song. Neeti Mohan and Sonu Nigam gave us a very 90-ish Jatin-Llalit-sque dreamy song with Ajay-Atul’s signature splendour. The lullaby like treatment of the stanzas is a super touch. Sonu Nigam, please sing more!
Insaaf insaaf insaaf hoga (Talvar) – I didn’t know Arooj Aftab. I heard ‘Insaaf Insaaf’ from Talvar, and now I cannot wait for her next outing. Trust Gulzar-Vishal to come up with a song that gives us hope in a prejudiced backdrop of our logical society. Arooj’s voice gave newness to pain. I don’t think this song was talked about as much as it should have been, because here is a song that lifts the feel and leaves that sense of loss we can all empathize with if we just look around.
Tamasha (Album) – I couldn’t find anything ‘Level-ARR-outstanding’ about the album but it did give us four good songs, and for the same, it deserves a mention. Parade de la bastille is breezy, Wat wat wat is a riot, and so is Heer to badi sad hai. What surprised post-viewing the film was the ‘Agar tum saath ho’ song. I pretty much like it the way I used to like it before watching the film. I disliked the fact that the ‘composed-to-be-liked-after-watching-the-film soundtrack’ forgot to make good use of the moans in ‘wat wat wat’ 🙂
There is a lot to look forward to in 2016, and we hope there is more innovation than routine, more melody than soulless grandeur, more masti than item number driven chutiyapa.
What are your favorites? Comment section is all yours.
(Disclaimer – One of the editors of the blog was part of Talvar. Two of the contributors of this blog were part of Masaan. Also, fuck disclaimers)
You can hear the playlist here
Now that the ‘rewind’ is done, allow me to share the ‘other’ list that consists of songs which might not get you RT’s and endorsements from thinkers, but they are amazing when you play them and sing in your car, bathroom or any other place you think you are alone 🙂
In no particular order, here we go!
Chittiyan kalaiyan – (Roy) – If there were an award for wasting a song by badly filming it (and there were way too many this year), this song would win it hands down! Kanika kapoor can make you dance just by reading out daily newspaper and if you give her a tune that has 1990s ‘dance music’ touch, you are asking for a murderous dance song and this was it!
Hunterr 303 – Nothing and absolutely nothing can cause the same level of ‘let’s dance banjo’ mood like Bappi lahiri’s voice in a new film song treated with junk food level of sinfulness. This song had everything going for it especially the backup vocals and Bappi ‘cowboy’ lahiri giving it like only he can! Insanely enjoyable!
Tera happy budday (ABCD2) – Yet another party song by Sachin Jigar where they took a conventional song and twisted it. In this case, it worked and the ‘saarey bolo’ chants…heeeehaw!
Banno tera swagger (Tanu weds Manu returns) – Mix of Rajasthani folk, sprinkled with intelligent choice of english words and treated with punjabi craziness..I say Winner!!!
Guddu Rangeela title song – While I love the ‘jagrata’ treatment and excellent word choice in ‘Mata ka email’, I keep going back to the title song of the film. I cannot get enough of Amit Trivedi’s yodel and his mischievous singing!
Hogi Kranti (Bangistan) – Never before sarcasm and repressed anger sounded better. Kudos on the lyrics!
Afghan jalebi (Phantom) – Asrar is amazing as we have already mentioned so earlier and this year he took the ‘dhaasu’ film dance song to another level with this belter of a track…Still addictive…Still infectious!
Neeli bullet ( Main aur Charles) – With so many ‘nouveau riche’ making laddakh trips on it, we feel bullet the bike, deserved a song and it was long overdue (much before the ‘nouveau riche’ were born, to be precise). Lyrics might be a bit cringeworthy at times but my word the hook!
Neendein khul jaati hain (Hate story 3) – Yes! Hate story 3! Kanika Kapoor being herself in a naughty song with Mika singing so clearly that you can actually understand every single word…Junky tune and it works!
And here is the playlist…Let’s hear your favourites we have missed!
Disclaimer – All the editors of the blog have sometime or the other danced a bit (in public or alone) on one or more songs mentioned above 🙂
Happy new year everyone!