This year was mostly dull, film songs wise. The clutter was celebrated by digging the same old formula to return a fake spectacle of sanitized arrangement, auto-tune overload, and, in most cases zero relevance to the film which the album represented. My ‘top film songs’ are as under. Yes, it features a song from a Sunny Leone film and another song from a film you might not have heard about. These songs remain in my playlist, till today as we close the year.
I would suggest you click the play button and then keep scrolling down to read the post. The songs will play in the sequence you will read about them.
Dug dugi dug (Jugni) – Vishal bhardwaj‘s voice, Clinton‘s free flowing composition and Shellee‘s beautiful poetry, all made up for a fantastic song that lasted the whole year in spite of the fact that the film released in January. The album was quite ok but nothing lasted longer than Vishal’s balm of a voice in this song.
Dil mein hua ghotala (Saala Khadoos) – Now I am mindful that there is an ‘original’ of this song in another language, but I don’t think most songs retain their charm when they are reborn as a Hindi film song. Ok jaanu? That said, the frisky vocals of Monali and the ‘toom toom’ in the song made it impossible for me to take the song off my playlist. Santosh Narayanan gets full marks for using strings which are intertwined beautifully in the song. Monali Thakur, sing more?
Haminastu (Fitoor) – Rarely have I come across a song so beautiful about Kashmir. Tapas’ superlative string play, Zeb‘s spirited singing and Amit Trivedi‘s talent culminated into a magnificent song that will outlast us all.
Bollywood Diaries* – I wish I could write a recco post about this beauty. Oh wait! I did! You can read me raving about the album here. Vipin Patwa‘s music and Dr. Sagar‘s lyrics were beautiful and devastating in equal measure. Hear Titli (By Papon), my pick of this album. It might have escaped your attention but tell me if it doesn’t affect you as a song, as an album. Highly recommended.
Single chal reya hai – Mohit chauhan got the bhopali accent right and Krsna‘s composition made the song even more adorable. I do suspect that the lyricist Rajshekhar has paid a tribute to Javed Akhtar by mentioning him, subtly. Anyway, the cute song’s high point is – Tu hai ab tak akeli, humko khal reya hai…ha! what fun!
Le chala (One Night Stand) – Jeet Ganguli can melt us with his romantic tune is old news. For One Night Stand (the film), he teamed up with Jubin Nautiyal for a song that deserved much wider audience than it got. This is one of the better penned songs by Manoj Muntashir and even if you are rolling eyes thinking ‘Sunny Leone’s film? really?’, give this song a listen, you will know what I mean. A romantic song, done right.
Waiting* – Mike Mccleary is much more than someone who makes ‘English-type’ songs. He has a distinctive sound and it is time for the ‘gyaani’ mainstream people to fuse his sound with good lyrics. The effect of that would be something to look forward to, just like it was in this album. My pick is tu hai to main hu, of course.
Mehandi (Dhanak) – While the album didn’t set my playlist on fire, this song from Dhanak rocked and how! Tapas Relia‘s earthy fusion and raw singing by Anwar, Swaroop & Niyaz sounded just too good to miss. Do not miss the khadtal all throughout! This is just a glimpse of what we can achieve in bollywood music if our neeyat is at right place.
Udta Punjab* – This album by Amit Trivedi didn’t soar exactly but gave us the delightful Kanika Kapoor in memorable da da dasse, Splendid re-imagination of ik kudi, and my favorite title song of the year – Udta Punjab. Disclaimer – Now the lyricist is somewhat related to our blog, but trust me when I say this – Haven’t heard such wildness in a song this year. Andar da kutta, rifle dikha ke mushayre lutiye forever! Also, fuck disclaimers! Amit trivedi and Vishal dadlani should be fined for sounding this good with a song that has Bakaiti written all over it.
Jag Ghoomeya (Sultan) – Salman, err! Sultan had some decent tunes to its credit but Neha Bhasin’s affectionately sung version stole my heart and hid it somewhere in those strings that accompany her throughout the song. A song for bonfires and those mushy evenings. Kudos to Vishal-Shekhar and Irshad Kamil as well.
Chu liya (Hai Apna Dil Toh Awara) – We don’t come across such simply composed songs anymore. So kudos to Ajay Singha for creating this song. Papon and Neha Rajpal sound like fragile lovers. (Fun fact – The central riff of this song is pretty similar to Bipul Chettri‘s asaan from the album that we featured here 2 years ago. Still it is a damn good song.)
Mirzya* – If only music could save the fate of a film! I was quick to pronounce Mirzya as the album of the year in my post here and it pretty much remained so till someone else invaded the playlist. More on that later. Mirzya, if not the best, can be surely called as the most experimental album of the year. We have included the title song of the film in the playlist but the entire album remains our favorite.
Dariya (Baar Baar Dekho) – Granted that the song is a case study in excessive auto-tuning, still, I love the way Arko has retained the emotion so well in lyrics and the way he has sang this. Hopelessly in love, flowing like a dariya.
Besabriyan (MSDhoni – The Untold Story) – Amaal- Armaan Malik are good guys but it is becoming increasingly difficult to find out which song of theirs belongs to which album. Still, this gem from ‘Dhoni’ makes me soar the way Udaan‘s music did. Yes, big statement, but Manoj Muntashir has penned a beauty and full marks to Amaal and Armaan for such a fabulous effort.
Ae Dil Hai Mushkil* – For me, the album of the year. For me, the album that should get Amitabh Bhattacharya and Pritam all the awards. The way songs came together and helped the narrative was unparalleled this year. Channa mereya is where I have been living since I heard it for the first time, I don’t think I will ever relocate from there. It has a destructive pleasure that lucky few among us have experienced. Give all the awards to Arijit Singh already!
Haanikaarak bapu (Dangal) – While I love Raftaar‘s Dhaakad a lot, I go crazy at the smart lyrics and crisp presentation of this song. Sarwar Khan & Sartaz Khan Barna are such a treat! Also, Amitabh Bhattacharya should be weighed in gold for every word, and the way he has used them here – haanikarak, baapu, torchar, vaahanchalak, mogambo, khalnayak…wooot! Total riot.
This does it! Yes, this year had Mr. Rahman coming out with an inconsequential album that neither sounded true to its time nor the present. This year also had Neerja which fit the film well but sadly didn’t stay in my playlist beyond the film’s release and stay in theaters. We had almost Sanam Re which was almost instructive in telling us not to expect much from the songs as it is. Then we had embarrassing attempts like Zubaan, Terra Surrooor, Fever and so on.
That said, we have a ‘Dhinchak Bollywood’ playlist as well that we will share in our post about the non-film songs of the year. Till then, share your favorites and let us know what you think of this playlist.
(* signifies that I liked the entire album but in the interest of keeping the post shorter than an Ashutosh Gowarikar film, I had to pick one song)