Posts Tagged ‘Amit Trivedi’

Anurag Kashyap is back, this time with a love story, teaming up with Aanand L Rai as producer. Manmarziyaan is going to premiere at the TIFF 18. While we keep wondering about the actual release date (21, 14, or 7th September?), why don’t you read the review from Rohwit below, while listening to the official playlist?

Mast ali has a voice which sounds aptly familiar yet fresh, filmi punjabbbi songs wise. In Fyar he has been credited along with Vicky Kaushal and Sikandar Kahlon. I love the way song starts and credit to Amit Trivedi for smartly manipulating the pace of the song and even though the difference between ‘Pya’ and ‘Fya’ is not super easy to understand when you hear it, the song is just spot on. I didn’t care much about the rap part but it didn’t disturb my Foncentration.

Daryaa has ‘udaan types (Yes i am looking at you ‘hooo oo oo oo’) meeting Punjabi love’ sound which works like a charm. I have always been at pains to see Shahid Mallya not getting the kind of uptake that he deserves. He sounds madly in love and it sets the emotion of the song perfectly. Ammy Virk sounds powerful yet quite hurt and because of him, the song soars, pity his name doesn’t appear in the youtube song title credits till the time this was written. What a delight it is to hear Amit’s ‘hoo ooo oo’ template complimenting Virk’s passionate singing and spilling emotions like two glasses brimming with wine falling to the ground. There is also an unplugged version of this song sung by Deveshi Sahgal. It has a headstrong sound which I absolutely loved along with the super Guitar play of the always dependable Sanjoy Das. Deveshi’s singing is fearless and it would be silly to compare her version with the other version because, well the other version is not unplugged to begin with. In fact, with the ‘Udaan type hoo ooo oo’ missing from the song, this version sounds rather fresh! Super like!

Jazim Sharma and Harshdeep Kaur are heard in Grey wala shade, a song that revels in mischief. The tune is intimate and lyrics are delightfully naughty. Jazim‘s voice has a soothing effect and it is a pleasant change to hear Harshdeep in a simple song. Jazim and Harshdeep Kaur team up again in an Esraj rich Choch Ladhiyaan. I love what Amit has done with the tune of this song and to me, this could easily be the most layered composition of the album. The near classical arrangement is more essential than decorative. Being someone who understands ghazal gayaki closely, Jazim uses all the thehraav in his rendition and is a delight to the senses. Harshdeep Kaur is again in top form and sounds even more playful due to absolute crazy lyrics by the magician Shellee, Bande andar, paigambar…naache!

Dhayaanchand shines because of its lovely tune structure. Vijay Yamla, Nikhita Gandhi, Amit Trivedi & Suhas Sawant are pretty good in the song yet my favorite parts are those with Amit‘s voice. On a related dhinchak note – Tumbi, Tumba, Been, Dhadd & Bugdu by Vijay Yamla and Dhol by Kukki Jogi are composition’s heart and soul. A song that is definitely going in my dinchak 2018 playlist.

Omkar Dhumal has made several appearances in good and not so good songs this year so far. Here, his Shehnai is used brilliantly by Amit Trivedi. I was almost not looking forward to the song because of Jyoti Nooran’s name. Of late, her songs are one note, one character, unwelcoming and filled with unnecessary ‘See I can do so many alaaps’. I can confirm that she is super steady in this song. Along with Romy, she holds your attention in the serious Hallaa. Don’t miss the faint Shehnai and those lovely backup vocalists especially towards the end of the song…a brilliant touch by Amit Trivedi.

Shahid Mallya & Jonita Gandhi sing Sachchi Mohabbat very well, a song that bitterly regrets love that ‘could have been’, a love where they could have celebrated ‘Them being them?’. The wordplay in this song is deceptively simple and credit to Amit Trivedi for keeping the tune light in spite of two geniuses at play here. I am of course referring to Arshad Khan (On Israj) and Omkar Dhumal (On Shehnai).

Jaisi teri Marzee is a little ‘Tujhe yaad na meri aayi‘ in its character and it is not a bad thing. I liked the fact that rather than presenting a track as ‘title song’, they have used the said phrase to name it. Did I like the song? Yes. Would i listen to it again? No. Harshdip Kaur is pitch perfect and Bhanu Pratap Singh sounds fresh and promising. Still, I found this to be a ‘credit rolling’ song and not very ‘playlist durable’

Bijlee giregi has Devenderpal Singh, Babu Haabi, Sikander Kahlon & Vaishali Sardana in top form. At the risk of sounding repetitive, I absolutely love Shellee and what he has done here. There is not a comma (let alone a word) that feels force inserted. Bhasudi, durachari, cutie pie nahi kutti pie hai, Vayusena ka vimaan, missile waali…I can go on and on. The tune structure flirts with my other favorite song from the year – Teri pappi le lu from ‘Veere di wedding’. That said, I am already conflicted whether this song should go in the dinchak 2018 playlist from this album instead of Dhayanchand?* Anyway, I love the song and extra points for NOT using Badshaah for the rap portion in this (or any song for that matter). Fun fact – If you have a heart rate monitor, you will see your heartbeats take off like a rocket in this song. Trust me, I checked.

Meenal Jain, Yashita Sharma, Yashika Sikka, Rani Kaur, Anita Gandharva, Meghna Mishra & Vaishnavi Mishra are heard in Kundali. Predictably, the song is high tempo with a good thump. Yet again, Shellee’s lyrics shine (Sunnn pyari simran, jaa ji le apna jeevan!). I didn’t dislike the song but I would not go looking for this one in the playlist.

I don’t want to jinx it but this year has been relatively better than last couple of years in terms of film music. Still, I was yet to come across a devilishly delicious album. Last week I came across one that was truly 5 star stuff yet it didn’t ‘bite’ enough. May be because that is a pretty straight forward love story and because Mannmarziyaan is ‘complicated’ and handled by Anurag Kahsyap, the search ended with Manmarziyaan. I am confident that the album will outlast the film for years to come.

Of course it is Anurag Kashyap‘s collaboration with Amit Trivedi. Of course they have delivered, big time. Still, I think the most critical factor of this blockbuster album is Shellee. His lyrics truly walk in beauty. Not once do you feel the lyrics are dumbed down so that junta doesn’t dismiss the album as being ‘too punjabi’. I just hope the film is worthy of the lyrics and music it has got. Actually, I don’t care about the film at all. I am just happy Anurag and Amit have got back to their winning ways and given us an album that we can listen to in our little cocoons and forget the world.

How’s the album?

Filmi Hindustaan jaise…Chhaye Gurdass maan jaise

Rohwit

*Of course I will use Bijlee Giregi in the playlist. Hashtag Girl power.

Fatema Kagalwala dives into the music of Bombay Velvet and comes out mighty impressed. In fact, it seems like she doesn’t want to come out of it. Read on.

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Disclaimer – This is not a music review. Just rambles. Just my experience of it.

Back in 2009 when Dev D music hit the market it hit me (and many of us) like a thunderbolt. I drew everyone around mad by listening to it like my life (and theirs) depended on it. The things it did to me, the things it evoked, the things it made me want to do – it was these unexplainable things that make the album unforgettable to me even today. And now it’s Bombay Velvet songs that are doing unthinkable things to me. Maybe its just me, but I thought it warranted an un-review, its too good for anything else.

I’ve been listening to Bombay Velvet songs, on loop since it came out. At first, I couldn’t differentiate one song from another except maybe Sylvia and Darbaan and the remaining 12 merged into one another like milk and water. Give it all to my complete ignorance of the jazz music harmony but I’ve never been the one to listen to music with anything but my heart. I connected to hard rock the same way, till date I don’t know anything about yet I love it because it speaks to me in ways nothing else does and I respond like I never knew I could. Bombay Velvet’s retro-jazz does something similar to me.

Is it the haunting darkness of it? The style, the retro-style which is very modern at the same time. Or the upbeatness of the track covering up the darkness? Every song reminds me of a lot of things, songs, references but when I try to pick one I can’t. The song suddenly gains a credential, an identity of its own. Which is when I realise how homogenous is Trivedi’s mixing of a multitude of elements, moods, strains into something with its own uniqueness.

It’s an album that is a visceral experience of ethos of the 60’s Mumbai, steeped in its still predominant Anglo-Indian culture that continued to give shape to the idiom of modernity in society and our films of those times. We may also call it neo-colonialism. And there are three things that when combined have created magic in the past as well. The resident Kashyap quirk, dystopia and desperation. The typical Trivedi touch of using prevalent sounds in new ways and hence fucking up mainstream music once again. And the staple Bhattacharya habit of taking us to newer worlds within amidst the commonest of commonalities.

Darbaan – Papon’s honey-soaked voice over uncluttered, single or two instruments only music track. Love the way the words melt into each other.

Baadshah sadko ka tu, sadke hi teri taqdeer hain,

daakhila oonche makaanon mein kuchh thekedaaron ki jaageer hain.”

Somehow, this refuses to leave me. It touches a little more, just a little than how much it is meant to and I am wondering if it’s the Papon-effect or the words or the sweeping, swaying nature of the tune. It’s got the ‘Hain apna dil toh awara’ abandon, the gypsy-fakir tone but with a disheartened voice. Also, it seems like it’s a 3rd person pov, commenting on the protagonist or the Everyman as we may want to see it, and that gives it one of those singing fakir kinda moods, which is what I love.

In the seductive and tempting mode, a male version of this is super interesting, such moral kind of songs are generally sung by women in films – the upholder of all things virtuous.

The Bombay Velvet Theme – Rarely do I listen to themes, I enjoy them while watching the film but hardly ever take them back home. Except the BV theme. I’ve been imagining Amitabh type swashbuckling fights over it, Humphrey Bogart-Cary Grant type chase sequences, Baz Luhrman type grand bars and ballrooms with a sweep of darkness, intrigue and debauchery. It’s what film theme music used to be back in the 60’s thrillers. Grand, sweeping, moody, dark. It literally takes me back to the 60’s, without any help of visuals. And I am already loving what it is making me expect from the film which I shouldn’t be doing. Let’s stop here.

P.S.: Take a bike ride while listening to it, Especially ghats. You won’t regret it.

Aam Hindustani – I was tickled no end when I first heard this –

“Roothi hain mehbooba, roothi roothi sharab hain,

Aam Hindustani teri kismet kharaab hain!”

*insert rolling on the floor and laughing my ass off smiley here*

Oh but it doesn’t end there!

Pyaar mein thenga, bar mein thenga,

Inki botal bhi goronki gulaam hain’.

Whoa! And I love the slightly scathing tone Shefali Alvares has sung it in. Of course, what else would do justice to this! But I’m thinking about the very idea of having a scathing song at all to mock the guy. Back in the 50’s and 60’s our filmy women, even in bars, only sang encouraging songs (Tadbeer se bigdi hui) or teasing ones (Babuji Dheere Chalna) to the man. Interesting subversion I really wanna know more about from the film.

Circus music! I laughed when I read this description of the unconventionally long prelude. Coz by then I had already started tripping on the soundtrack ‘like crazy’. The waltzy-jive feel is too good to ignore, feet begin tapping on their own. And then follows a sweet la la la and bang! There is that Trivedi whiplash – it is followed with a curt, snide ‘Dhobi ka kutta kaisa ghaat na gharka!’ in Shefali Alvares’ boisterous and refreshingly uninhibited vocals and you’re like ‘whaaaaa…’? . This is Bhattacharya in ‘paan mein pudhina’ zone 😛 full on quirk!

“Lalach ne tujhko aisi patti padhayi

Khwahish huyi hain degchi, khadai

Taqdeer teri abhi bhi chamach hain!”

In lesser hands this would have become ‘tujhko mirchi lagi toh main kya karoon’.

There are so many turns of the tune, dramatic ones that I wonder how the song has been used / picturised. Hide-n-seek, chase, robbery, in bits, in parts, in whole? Phew!

Behroopia – Of shadows, of doubts, of lies and half-hidden truths, mysteries and the subtle threat of it all…This is the wine of the album for me. Classy, seductive, romantic, moody, dark, a slow high. The fabulous trumpet giving way to almost minimalist vocals and that giving way to a full-blown orchestra is a transition I can’t get over right now. Between this, Darbaan and Sylvia what would I choose as the best? I’m still trying to figure out. And after Rockstar, in my imagination, Mohit Chauhan is to Ranbeer what Balasubraniam was to Salman at one point 😛

Dhadaam Dhadaam – This one is ‘Duniya’ level good. The operatic touch gives it that grandness of lost passions, a passion critical and deadly at the same time. Throughout the album Bhattacharya uses words we used to use in cinema back in time, but don’t anymore like ‘malaal’, ‘sehra’, ‘gila’, ‘daga’, (the Urdu influence fast disappearing from our films and lives today but immersive back then). This infuses a refreshing old-world-ness to the song only to be taken down with a dhadaam, literally! Someone, once said, everything that had to be discovered has been discovered, now we just create newer meanings and expressions by playing around with those discoveries. And AB puts a very quirky and unpoetic ‘Dhadaam’ bang in the middle of light and beautiful Urdu. The effect.

Ka Kha Ga – The fabulous trumpet makes an appearance again, with a band taking over. And then a seductive, drunk ‘Ay’. Geeta Dutt would have been so happy! This one I love singing! And I do, chilla chillake. (The corridors at Girls Hostel echo, all the more joy :P)

Naak Pe Gussa – Here’s my ‘Tadbeerse Bigdi Hui’ but as modern as it could get! Bhattacharya’s choice of words is so mellifluous, it’s a delicious thing to keep listening to. Teasing, warm, naughty, and one of those rare happy songs in the album. And it sounds like it has been literally sung with a smile on! (Like one feels about Ashatai’s songs!)

Sylvia – This is the true-blue retro song of the album, lovingly and truthfully recreating the O.P Nayyar-verse.

“Bhavra tha sayana, mukar hi gaya na,

Rusvayi reh gayi, (Oh ‘rusvayi’!)

Ghosla suhana, ujad hi gaya na,

Tanhai reh gayi

Tanhai…

Aankh ke surme ko daag banaya,

Kaanch ke aashiyan ko phook jalaya

Fitrat mein hi thi bewafai

Tu pyaar pe tohmat chhod gayi

Yeh kya kiya Sylvia !”

Rusvayi, aashiyaan, fitrat, tohmat haye!

Mohabbat Buri Beemaari – I’m not much of a fan of this, something is very laboured about it…something isn’t right and I can’t put my finger on it yet. I’ve simply stopped listening to it.

<detour> (Sylvia is playing right now. And yet again I am giving myself up to it. My first favourite of the album, its retro-ness calling out to those long-lost childhood memories. Growing up on O.P.Nayyar in a family that hailed him as a path-breaking musician when he was somewhat of an outcast in the mainstream more Indian-classical-is-music-alone world, the quality of his songs and sounds make me smile even today.(really wanna know if it’s a conscious hat-tip). There is something searing in the rendition and the use of march rhythmic chorus to underline that entire effect wanting to overpower…well, succeeded there!)

Shut Up – Drum rolls!!! Drum beats now, foot-tapping, jubilant trumpets and others follow. All upbeat and celebratory. And when things are about to settle down, Trivedi throws a spanner in the works. And then the song starts. Then you realise the effect this juxtaposition has on the expectation of the opening and the surprise in what follows.

Aisi kya, aisi kya, aisi kya bhookh hain…The first time I heard this I tripped on how the use of repetition fits in so beautifully! And lately I’ve been noticing how ‘harqatein’ almost sounds like ‘harqutein’ and suddenly it gains more quirk. Remember ‘sufed’?

And the merging of light, lilting, Urdu words with a crude ‘Shut Up!’ Why isn’t this today’s ‘Emotional Atyachaar’ of the youth yet?

Conspiracy – ‘Conspiracy’ is so well-named! And Trivedi plays with extremes once again, kabhi silent, kabhi ceiling-crashing, extremes – tempo mein, scale mein, aur emotion mein. Leaves me a little breathless every time I listen to it. And I love that feeling of anticipation as the music keeps picking up scale only to peter out, without any fulfilment, without any answers…letting a dullness set in that’s ‘safer’.

Out of 15 tracks, 12 are with vocals. Out of the 12, 11 are romantic songs. Only one is about the overarching ambitions of the protagonist, the central conceit of the film. Let’s see how the film treats the music and vice-versa.

For now, let the trumpets and trombones lull me to sleep, like they are used to by now. I wonder which one of these I will wake up singing tomorrow morning! Will let you know 🙂

Bombay-Velvet

There is so much that has already been ‘lectured’ to us on Bombay Velvet that I would refrain from saying anything else and just begin with whatever I thought of music of the film.

The film is 1960s and quite loudly so in whatever we have heard or seen so far and with whatever little I know, the words like tattu and nikhattu were surely not heard in the jazz of those days. To me, they dilute the feel of the song and even though it might go with the situation of the song, it is quite a put off for me. If you leave this slip aside, Aam hindustani is top class. Shefali has stressed on pronunciation a lot which is quite refreshing and goes with the attitude of the song. The tempo of the song varies teasingly and creates a great club like atmosphere.

Mohabbat buri beemari by Neeti Mohan is dominated by brass and even during the antraas, you can hear a faint notes of brass in the corner of your ear. The song is filled with tease which can, in terms of setting remind you of ‘mud mud ke na dekh’. Neeti mohan and her ‘come on!’ Is grey, purple and all shades of Stimulation. Another version of this song which is sung by Shefali Alvares is cute and sounds fancy but is not as aggressive as the one by Neeti Mohan. Both versions end with flourish and are of exact same duration.

Neeti Mohan’s Ka Kha Gha has an adorable tune but the words are a big let down. I am sure this would not be a common opinion but when you produce such a rich tune, you have got to have better choice of words than ‘sab bhula ke jo doob jaye kyu wo hee tair paata hai‘. Neeti Mohan cannot be praised enough for her exquisite singing. Sadly, she is stuck with ordinary lyrics in a song that has everything going for it otherwise. Easily the most ordinary song of the album and ONLY because of the lyrics.

An insightful guitar, quiet brass, whip-smart set of violins and a general evening-ish atmosphere is what makes up dhadaam dhadaam. Neeti Mohan has poured her heart out in the song and the part where she goes ‘malaal mein’ can actually be used as a ‘goosebumps checking device’ for all humans to see if their bodies are adequately producing goosebumps at right moments or not. Call me fussy, but the use dhadaam dhadaam is the only thing that put me off in the song. It sticks out like a sore thumb in an otherwise superlative song.

Naak pe jo gussa features a madly in love Neeti Mohan who is playful, yet stays within the ‘jazz’ brief of the song. Successful attempt is made to recreate a bar scene with the lead singer of the bar trying to cajole her love interest to give up anger. The lyrics of this song are terrific to say the least. A top class song.

Sylvia is an enjoyable song which has a generous pace and lyrics that tell us everything about a certain ‘Sylvia’ who enjoys a stranger’s touch more than someone who loves her. The song has a sad undertone to it in spite of being fast paced and that to me appealed a lot! Did I like the song? Yes. Will I hear it again and again? No.

Darbaan by Papon has a lot of sadness laced around a hummable tune. Generally the first hurdle between the disadvantaged and the rich of the society is the darbaan (gatekeeper) who doesn’t let the poor get as much as a peek inside the club where ‘mem log and babu sahabs‘ have fun, high society style. Singing wise, a strictly average song because the composition didn’t give much to Papon to play with. It might be a great spectacle on the screen (or not) but it is unlikely this would be a ‘repeat’ song in the playlist.

Shut up is an interesting song with Shefali Alvares asking the ‘lecturers’ to shut up. The bass lends good depth to the setting. Brass swivels along with Shefali and what we get is a thoroughly enjoyable song about something sinister, something vulnerable and someone being way too naughty.

Behroopia is perhaps the lightest song of the album, arrangement wise. Even here, you will find a quiet appearance of brass. The tune of the song is oddly familiar at times but nothing to complain here. In fact, it doesn’t sound like a typical Amit trivedi song and that is such a relief. An easy song, worth a play or two.

A nearly 5 minute Bombay Velvet theme is my favorite piece from the album without a doubt. Of course the film is touted, hyped, over propagated as noir and what not, and the theme heightens this feel to maddening levels! This could easily be one of the best theme music we have heard since Bombay Theme. The sense of occasion is palpable and the build up is magnificent. Kudos to Amit Trivedi for smartly using brass, clarinet and that Guitar…ooh la la! Such themes are the reasons we wait for films to be out! So filmy and so bloody good! You want ‘grand’? Here it is.

Conspiracy, like the name suggests has ominous written all over it. The violins build up the atmosphere and don’t be surprised if you start expecting a ‘twist’ in everything after you listen to this track. The clarinet keeps the track grounded and concludes it leaving an air of uncertainty. Nothing play worthy on repeat, but for film buffs, a track to re-live the film.

Tommy Gun in reality shuts up everyone forever so it isn’t surprising that a track with the same title will have nuanced presentation of the shut up song among other things. Again a film piece and good of makers to include it in the album.

There are two rather embarrassing remixes in the album and I would refrain from mentioning anything else about them. Perhaps, the makers wanted to see the name of McCleary in the film credits. In what is an extremely rare occurrence, McCleary makes you want to skip the tracks. The tracks are a misfit in the overall scheme of things and that is just what it is.

The film pertains to a set time period revolving around jazz music and to create the music of the film Amit Trivedi with his team have really given everything to the soundtrack and what’s more sound oozes the effort. My complaint is only with somewhat lazy lyrics and at times, the over produced sound. Unlikely that all the songs will remain in your playlist after the film goes out of theaters but a good effort which is worth an applause or two, club style!

For an ordinary music-booze lover and someone who is least bothered about jumping the ‘social class’, and who doesn’t care if it is a local, cheap beer or an expensive wine with an unpronounceable name, the songs might take a while to grow but they will grow for sure. The others are well, already busy revealing how they found the music to be ‘magnifique’.

Overall, a good album that fits the narrative.

@Rohwit

(Ps – Click here to get the credits for each song)

 

 

If you missed our earlier post in this 2013 flashback series, here’s the list – 20 Things We Learnt At The Movies and 13 Unanswered Questions is here, Top 10 Musical Gems We Discovered This Year is here, and 15 Film Fanatics on 17 Terrific Films That Have Stayed With Them is here.

In this post, Rohwit looks back at some of the best bollywood tracks that we looped this year.

Amidst the 100 crore musical disasters, few albums and some songs tried to stand tall, and that wasn’t tough even for a slightly above average song because thanks to the automatic tunes that come pre-fed in some expensive keyboards owned by some music composers, the ‘average’ bar is pretty low in Hindi films these days.

Here is our pick of 14 songs (ok 16! ok 17!) that made us sit up and sway! The order below is not in a ranking form. Some of the points contain 2 songs. So what? We cannot make up our mind. Yes, we get confused. Music does that to us.

 

1. Yes, it is based on a Beethoven symphony. Yes, it has a very ‘अरे ये पहले सुना है’ feel. Still, I haven’t heard a spookier lullaby in 2013. So take a bow Kumaar for penning this superb song and take a bow Sangeet Haldipur for singing it beautifully! Yes, it is one of the best songs I have heard this year. We are indeed referring to Aaja nindiya raina beeti jaaye rey from Aatma.

 

2. Khamakha hee-Badal Uthiya (Prem Dehati version) – from Matru Ki Bijli Ka Mandola. It took a local Harvanyvi singer (who hasn’t appeared on the again after this album by the way) Prem Dehati to mesmerize us with raw talent and touching melody. Not many songs have the longevity to survive in playlists these days but this song will be there for a long time.

In fact it was Prem Dehati’s splendid participation in Khamakha that lifted the already superb song to a level very few could match this year.

 

3. Manjha (Kai Po Che!) – Every Time A.R. Rahman’s music is about to hit the scene, there is so much anticipation and Amit Trivedi enjoys the same effect on music lovers at large. So it wasn’t a surprise when this splashed all across and we were treated to this song.

Swanand Kirkire has penned one of the best songs this year in Manjha. Simple lyrics, exquisite arrangement and we cannot get tired of Amit Trivedi’s studio singing. The other two songs were no less but somehow Manjha shall always be played before the other two.

 

4. Tum hi ho (Arijit Singh) – So it turns out that Arijit singh is turning everything into gold just by singing it! Easily a much better film to look at than it’s first part, Aashiqui 2 had this mother of a song that was overplayed to the extent of irritation. But can you dismiss it as being one of the stickiest song of 2013? No! Why is it featured on the list? Ask yourself if you don’t like humming it. We know some of you are humming it right now.

 

5. Khoon choos ley (Go Goa Gone) – There is a lot of Monday hatred (or so it seems on all social media platforms), so a Monday song was long overdue. The song in my view was wasted in the film Go Goa Gone and even the half-hearted music video wasn’t promoted well. Still, this has to be one of the best ‘I hate to wake up and go to work’ song we have heard in Hindi films. The nasal start, the ‘rrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrrr’ part and splendid lyrics by Amitabh Bhattacharya makes this one a treat!

 

6. Badtameez Dil (Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani) – More than anything, we cannot get over the fact that Amitabh Bhattacharya used ‘dhimka falana’, ‘paan mein pudina’ and ‘moorhi bhaat’ so effortlessly! While the song belonged to RK on the screen (deservingly so), Benny Dayal is no less a rockstar to sing this with so much zest that even people with two left feet were seeing dancing at the mere mention of this song. Kudos to the brass band and Pritam for this one!

7. Raanjhnaa hua main Tum Tak (Raanjhanaa) – Yes. While many of us (including yours truly) started out disliking the million ‘tum taks’ in the song, the second half of the song, the shehnai (and the excellent use of manjeera) redeems this  song and how!

Be it the faint guitar riffs or excellent Jasvinder Singh (who made a guest appearance in the song), the title song of raanjhanaa had all going for it. More so, the emperor ARR was at his yearly best in this album as a whole.

 

8. Ghanchakkar babu (Ghanchakkar) – Amit Trivedi was heard having a ball in this one. While the album was not bad at all, this song stood out (and was on the loop for a long time) thanks to excellent arrangement and superb back up vocals. Trust Amitabh Bhattacharya to give an insightful touch to ‘Nala Sopara’! Top class song! Muuuuuuuuuuwaaaaaaah!

 

9. Monta Re (Lootera) –  The ‘chik chiki chik’ whispers by Swanand Kirkire, the quiet atmosphere, exquisite lyrics and a delicate presentation. This is easily the best song of the album that sounded more like Udaan part 2 than anything. We mean it in a good way. No. Really.

 

10. Mera Yaar – From the fantastic album Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. Javed Bashir was given a song that was right up to his comfort zone and he hit it out of the park. We loved the entire album (without the ‘andar kaala bahar kaala PAR sachcha hai sala’ part) and were relieved that Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy are back to making good music, just like the good old days.

11. D-Day – A fantastic album overall. Be it the definitive Qawwali ‘Murshid khele holi’ or the heart breaking ‘Alvida’,  the album even made Mika tolerable when he attempted Dama dam mast kalandar. (Rekha Ji, सुन रही हैं ना आप?)

 

12. Shudh Desi Romance – Be it those tiny musical bits with Rajasthani sound or those lovely songs, Jaideep Sahni and Sachin Jigar served us a musical treat with  an adorable marriage of contemporary words and folksy-dinchik arrangement. Our pick from the album will remain ‘Tere mere beech mein kya hai’

 

13. Ram Leela – Though the album was filled with grand arrangement and excessive noise throughout, we really liked the adaptation of ‘Mor bani thangat karey’ and Lal Ishq (without the excessive noise towards the end).

 

14. Dil ki toh lag gayee (Nautanki Sala) – As an album, it had a distinct ‘townie’ sound to it (much like Bluffmaster). However, what blew the socks off the senses is Saba Azad’s super hot singing in ‘Dil ki toh lag gayee’. Ignore the horrible presentation of the song on screen though. A fantastic effort, insanely melodious at all times and very very saxxxay! Sing more Saba, we are listening!

We also enjoyed :

– Early morning (Chashme Baddoor) A lot of us debate where is Sonu Nigam and why isn’t he singing more. While we do not have anything to add to that, but we loved the way Mr. Nigam was having fun singing this wonderful song from a not so wonderful remake of a classic.

– ‘SPB ho ho!’ part from the title song of Chennai Express. There are very few occasions that compare to SP Balasubrahmanyam having fun in a song.

Ajnabi (Madras Cafe) The songs were wasted in an otherwise brilliant film but the whispering voice of Zeb left it’s mark. It’s a pity that this song went unnoticed.

 

Very Very Special Mention :

Padmanabh Gaikwad for singing Sapne rey sapna (from Ek Thi Daayan) . A fantastic voice that resonates innocence. We are way too tired of Gulzar saab doing splendid job every time he sits down to pen a song, so we won’t even stress the fact that we are in love with the ‘Bhoore bhoore baadalon ke bhaalu, Loriyaan sunaaye la ra ra ru’ part of the song. Hope to hear more from Padmanabh.

So which songs you looped this year? Let us know in the comments.

Coke Studio

Over to our MusicMan Rohwit for some saturday musings.

After a near disastrous season 1 and an ‘almost’ salvaging Season 2, Coke Studio At MTV is back with Season 3. This time the season boasts of big names like A R Rahman, Papon and Amit Trivedi. Other musicians include the very talented Ram Sampath, Salim- Sulaiman, Hitesh Sonik and Clinton Cerejo.

We all know that big names do not cut much if they aren’t used well. Still, below is what we know for sure.

7 episodes with one composer each, out of which 6 episodes have 6 songs and 1 episode has 5.

Last episode with 6 different producers/bands putting up one song each.

47 songs in the season.

No composer gets repeated across episodes.

Some vocalists get repeat episodes including Kailash Kher (please innovate this time?) and Vijay Prakash who feature as singers on more than one episode.

Some musicians of the band including (but not limited to) Warren, Rushad, Jarvis, Darshan, Lindsay, Sanjoy Das and Tapas get featured in more than one episode.

Even the website this time round has a complete feel to it and that’s a good thing.

http://www.cokestudioindia.com

We don’t know the full details of who all will collaborate with Amit Trivedi and AR Rahman. The  ‘Zariya’ video with Ani Choying Drolma and Farah Siraj was just splendid to say the least! The arrangement, the fusion and the  overall presentation didn’t lack anything.No one was posing for the camera and the lights weren’t distracting at all. Gushfest allegations aside, my heart raced at around 6:32 minutes when Farah air-removes the evil eye on A R Rahman to which he smiles.

It would be exciting to see the collaboration and presentation this season because the buzz has gone into almost an overkill with too many youtube ‘session videos’ around. Amidst all the names, what intrigues (and quite frankly scares us a little bit) is the inclusion of Salim-Sulaiman and it is not because of the composers, it is because of the bollywood fest the season 1 turned out to be. We certainly aren’t looking at a long session of ‘Shukran allah’ from the composers and hope they are aware of it. We love everything about the folk that is Rajasthani and Punjabi. Still, there is much more left to be explored (even within Rajasthani and Punjabi) and may be they will present it to us.

There isn’t just one way to present ‘fusion’. While our neighbours have raised the bar very high in a quiet and understated manner, we hope that season 3 gives us a little more of music and a little less ‘hype’ around the names. Showcasing talent from across the regions and that too melodiously, is what Coke Studio is all about and if after the end of Coke Studio India season 3, we remember fondly at least 7 new singers and some genres that we were unaware of previously (Thanks to excessive bollywood-ized in-take of music), we think the job of musically erasing season 1 completely from our minds would have been accomplished.

Trivia – Last year, in this interview, Rohail Hyatt (the creator of Coke Studio Pakistan) hinted at a joint presentation of India-Pakistan artists in a Coke Studio India Session. Whatever happened to that?

Still. NO. FREE. DOWNLOADS.

WHY?

So what are your expectations from this season of desi Coke Studio?

If you are also are in love with the latest Coca Cola jingle, here’s something just for fun. That crazy jingle has five different versions composed and sung by five different composers. Click play and enjoy.

Amit Trivedi

Hitesh Sonik

Clinton Cerejo

Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy

Papon

And once you have heard all the five versions, do vote for your favourite one. You can vote for more than one.

Tip – @beastOftrall

Lootera

The man behind one of the best debuts films in recent times Udaan, Vikramaditya Motwane is back with a new film titled Lootera starring Ranveer Singh and Sonakshi Sinha. And as the latest trend in bollywood goes, the first look of the film is just a teaser and not the full trailer.

The teaser doesn’t tell you much about the film but just gives you a sense of the place and the mood of the film. But close your eyes and watch the teaser again – i think it’s the music. Old world charm, silent glances, character introductions and then those last 30 seconds where it kicks in – snow, gun, letters, light, fire and dhickiyoon, credits and the hero limping on snow! Now, give me the full trailer.

This completely stands out from the garbage that Bollywood is churning out these days. There’s so much silence, and most importantly, there’s NO FUCKING TEXT on screen to explain it. But this also seems to be from school of Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Just hope that it’s less grand, less manipulative and more intimate.

The credit list seems to be the same as that of Udaan. DoP is Mahendra Shetty. Screenplay by Vikramaditya Motwane and Bhavani Iyer. Dialogues – Anurag Kashyap. Music – Amit Trivedi. Lyrics – Amitabh Bhattacharya.

Though the makers have been saying it publicly that it’s inspired/based on O Henry’s short The Last Leaf, why isn’t it mentioned in the credit plate?