Posts Tagged ‘Arijit Singh’

So the film releases on 4th August and there is still no clarity on how many songs are there, and when will they release, just like what happened with Aye Dil Hai Mushkil music last year. My review went live on the day the film released if I am right. One of the things (call it old world ridiculousness) that I personally believe is that the music review shouldn’t go online on the day the film releases. That is the reason I pushed the editors of fightclub to make this review go live. I have also been off all social media platforms so I may have missed the tweets or systematic leaking of info about songs. After I posted the review, a kind soul pointed out that there are few more songs in the album for sure. But nobody knows when it will be out. As and when, and if at all they release, I will update the post accordingly.

One of the things you have to do when you review film music is to review almost every film album, and when you summarize the year, you get a real picture of the music scene – which is presently a device for caller tunes, among other things. Singers are called hot and auto-tune equipment is probably going to be credited as a valid artist sooner than all of us expect. It has become a routine to hear the ‘once-popular’ songs remixed and served usually to us in disgusting and shrill avatar. Not every routine is good. This particular routine reminds me of the uncle who used to punch me on my back really hard. It was as if he liked to hear me yelp – every time he used to come home. Every. Time.

Since last 3 years that I have been reviewing music for BBC, I have never witnessed such scarcity of fresh, not-a-remix-of-an-old-song, foot tapping madcap craziness in Hindi film albums. Radha arrives and breaks this unfortunate spell. Shahid Mallaya and Sunidhi Chauhan – a delicious combination on their good days make it impossible for us to not break into a dance (in metro, washrooms, during meetings, at dinner table, on dining table, during a corporate/personal dinner/lunch, to name few of real life situations where all this has already happened with the writer). Irshad Kamil, when not under pressure to invite bulla to come to his house and give him a hug kass ke, kicks ass with his pen (what a site to imagine, right?). Say what you will about the man, Pritam doesn’t try to turn the sound of a film album based on the compulsions of his ‘unused tunes’ folder. You hear radha and you couldn’t care less who has composed the music, because you are busy with the song and when that happens, music director has already won. There are way too many high points in one song here. Be it the moment you hear both singers together go ‘main bani teri/tu bani meri radha’, or that magnificent change of scale towards the end, this is way too much crazy tapped in one song. A monsoon shower of a song. Hello Pritam! Mwaaah! (This is a chumma).

There is a remix of Radha by DJ Shilpi Sharma and it even has variation in lyrics and structure (like almost all the remixes in the  album). Oh and by the way, do hear the Arabic, Telugu and Tamil versions of this as well to know exactly why Sunidhi Chauhan is a Goddess. No One can match her. Period.

Beech beech mein has a uniform disco mood that doesn’t bother me much and that’s my only problem with an otherwise decent song. I might not forward the song when it comes on screen but I won’t go looking for it. May be because it is a bit too decently arranged and composed. On the other hand, the remix of this by Lady Bee is the one that does it for me. Loved it!

Safar is a song that has a ‘Gulzar-Vishal-sque-evening-song-meets-raabta-night-in-motel vibe’. A disheveled character, walking, with no aim, no destination, and one who is not particularly remorseful for that. In my books, this would be one of the best songs by Arijit ever. Pay attention to a ghazal like repeat of ‘Jaana-maaine…’ in between, a first for me in a film song. It seems like Pritam saves his best songs for Arijit. Yet again, Irshad Kamil shines using simple words but what a context! Beautiful!

Butterfly is a regular Punjabi song and for some reason, Nooran sisters sound too hurried and excessive-soulful-per-square-feet. I missed Sonu Nigam in the song, I don’t know why. Aaman Trikha, Dev Negi and Sunidhi Chauhan are good. I LOVE the double flute in the song. Is it a good song? May be. Will I listen to this again? Nope!

There is a charm in Hawayein that we all like in a film song, be it Arijit Singh who suddenly becomes very present in the song or those blessed aching words by Irshad Kamil.  There is a drama loving, bollywood romantic in everyone. Karan Johar and his team brought that part out in the open with channa mereya, and with Hawayein, Team Imtiaz makes that part of us weep inconsolably. I doubt if visuals can match the beautiful sadness of this lovely composition. The tune is almost instructive in what to expect – Bring on the slow motions and quietly reach out for those tissues people, all while humming – hawaayein hawaayein…Yes, we are all mad. Also, Arijit singh, never stop please. There is a film version of hawayeiṅ and it sounds more spaced out and intimate – arrangement wise but it gets in Arijit’s way. He is more devastating in the first version and that’s why  my heart beats for the previous version more rhythmically. 

ParindaPradeep Sran is a star to put it mildly and Pritam-Irshad Kamil have given a perfect platform to Sran where he could soar, and soar he does. I am still confused who is a winner in the song. Jeene na ab degi, mahi di laparawahi. That fantastic drum set and guitar combo is breathtaking. A song for broken hearts with tonnes of Pizzaz. The search version of this song has Tochi Raina crooning in his familiar zone effortlessly and may be that’s why he ticks the ‘heard before’ box but I would pick Pradeep Sran’s earthy voice over Tochi’s voice for this song. That said, Nikhil D’Souza’s portion is plain superb! 

Gharkhali hai jo tere bina, main wo ghar hu tera ghoomey phire tu chaahe sab sheher, tu hai mera. Nikita gandhi gives this song so much pain, its infectious and will make you sad. It will mock the void in your soul and some of you would be amazed thinking how did the metaphor of your life get into a song? I love how Nikita is prominent yet always in background even when she is the only one singing. Imtiaz loves Mohit and we don’t dislike him either but here, the song belongs to Nikita. Hear her ‘intercept’ Mohit right before the song ends (at 3:12 mins), as if opening her hitherto unopened wounds, as if to make a point. It would take a long long time for to recover from this song. Art imitates life, did someone just say that?

Yaadoṅ meiṅJonita Gandhi is powerful and arrests your attention with her range barely seconds into the song. Mohammed  irfan attempts a pitch which is clearly new for him and even though I feel he is the most undervalued singer we have today, he seems more at ease on low notes which isn’t a crime. This is an intense song that gets ‘intensity’ right, perhaps that’s why I wont play it again. Mad props to Pritam for structuring the song the way he has. 

RaulaPagḍi ka rang bhi pink ho gaya. Diljit Dosanjh and Neeti mohan go through some interesting lyrics without much to take home to. The tune lacks sincerity and verve that you expect from an Imtiaz Ali brand punjabi song. It makes AṚ Rahman’s embarrassing Punjabi effort in highway sound like gold and that’s just awful. 

Jee ve SohaneyaNooran sisters scare me off late. You can almost imagine high notes and uncalled for aggression in simple songs. Thankfully, barring some mid antra alaaps, Nooran sisters don’t bother your senses much by clouding lyrics with excessive vocal circus. A song that aimed for Lambi Judai pathos, but doesn’t get close enough. Still, a good effort.

PhurrCringeworthy lyrics sung by a somewhat studio-sque Mohit Chauhan aside, the vibe of phurr is pretty dubstep-ey and breezy. The song is clearly a way to place the song in the minds of Amreekan/bidesi junta so that they can throng theatres. It ends too soon and to me, it sounds more like a strategic afterthought than anything else. There is a lot of forced pizaaaz with Bollywood tukbandi which doesn’t work whenever you hear Mohit’s part.  Being touted as the first song in hindi cinema to be put behind a paywall, I would buy the rest of the album twice than buying this once,  but then, we did buy the entire album all songs as ‘singles’ so that’s that! The film version sounds much better than the music video version because Tushar Joshi gets a larger play at things and honestly does a kickass job at it. 

In spite of having few ‘normal’ songs in Raula, jee ve sohneya, butterfly and beech beech mein, the album is a cracker because of the goodness of all the other songs including remixes! When 99% of film remixes these days are just ‘play-the-original-track-with-triple-jhankar-beats-and-add-few-scratches’, there is a clear effort in remixes of JHMS, and a big wolf whistle to Lady Bee and DJ Shilpi for that. Go ladies! I still cannot believe they took so MUCH time to release the songs and as I type this, album is still not available on iTunes. 

There is never a dull moment and the best part is it isn’t overwhelming either. You can stomp your feet and clap your hands in all the songs, with varied pace and trust me, it won’t feel awkward. Albums like JHMS are a ray of hope that all is not lost when a typical commercial film decides to include music for melody and not just for caller tunes and shitty tribute videos. Irshad Kamil, Pritam and the entire team is on fire, and this man Arijit Singh is raising the bar, one good song at a time. Dear Arijit, you are allowed a million ‘mohabbat barsa dena‘ for songs like Safar and Hawayeiṅ

In the world of mainstream Hindi films of 2017 so far, JHMS has a sound and rhythm that is like a distinctive click of a top class stiletto on a eerily quiet subway. Imtiaz Ali knows what he is doing with music, and there cannot be a more solid testimonial to this fact than this wonderful, wonderful album. If only this blogpost could scream how much I love this album! 

My picks – Hawayeiṅ, hawayeiṅ, safar, radha, ghar, parinda, all remixes and repeat!

– Rohwit

If you don’t know it by now, I am the mendicant who is always on a lookout for music and I must say, thanks to twitter, I have had great success in getting some great music over the years. A lot of it happens to be non-hindi as well. Katyar Kalijat Ghusali is different. I was told about this film by a co-worker who plays super tabla. Going to work has finally made sense!

Getting down to the music of the film, Divya kumar, Arshad Mahmud, Arijit singh and back up vocals participate in Yaar Illahi which is a qawwali. You cannot change how a qawwali is done but even then thanks to the first-rate lyrics by Sameer samant and solid tonal treatment, the qawwali doesn’t weigh you down. The opening chants in Sur Niragas ho are so well done that you would want to give out a grand salute to the backup vocalists. A layered marathi devotional song, this one has Shankar Mahadevan and Anandi Joshi at the top of their game. The super super super talented Rahul Deshpande teams up with a fluid Sarangi to arrest our senses in Dil ki tapish. Right from the opening alaap, the way Sarangi accompanies Rahul is heavenly. I would surely like to know who has played the Sarangi. ‘Spectacular’ is the word for Mahesh kale’s Aruni Kirani and the Sitar in the song has a character of its own in the song along with a very ‘by the beat’ Tabla. It transported me to a big hall where I was sitting in a corner marvelling at an artist who had the entire attendance spellbound. Shankar Ehsan Loy have so much left in them, I wonder why they haven’t been giving such a durable treatment to their hindi projects off late?

In Bhola Bhandari, Arijit Singh has given us a song that sounds familiar and earthy, setting wise. Arijit is real and not trying too hard and that is always good. Composed by Late Pt. Jitendra Abhisheki, Shankar mahadevan’s Din Gele sounds vintage thanks to the Long play disc ‘bite’ sound in the song. Ghei chhand, sung neatly and with a lot of character by Shankar mahadevan and Ghei Chhand Makarand sung breezily by Rahul Deshpande are also composed by Late Pt. Jitendra Abhisheki. Both these songs are a treat to the senses. The richly ornamented theme is simple and while the humming was a bit contemporary for me (almost AR Rahman-sque), the theme is soothing and leaves  you with a sense of calm amidst the echoes of friendly instruments in a way only Indian classical music can. In what is Pandit ji’s old and extremely popular composition, you will realise the beauty of moderate instruments and pakki gayaki. I am talking about ‘Lagi kalejwa kataar’ in Pt. Jitendra Abhisheki’s velvet voice. It was a task to move to other songs, trust me on that.

We know how infinitely gifted Shankar Mahadevan is. In Man Mandira, Shankar Mahadevan makes it sound easy to the point of deception. Deception because you can be easily tricked into singing along with him only to realise your limitations. Structure wise, I just loved the song. That said, Shivam Mahadevan’s Man Mandira will give you goosebumps right from the first second of the song. The innocent voice (which is not a note off, mind you) dazzles the senses to put it mildly. The slight harkat in his Mandiraaa at about 1:53 mins in the song is assuring that we have yet another voice that knows pakki gayaki. What a relief!

Muralidhar shyam sung by Shankar Mahadevan is a short piece but quite addictive and the ‘bite’ sound makes you long for it more. Rahul Deshpande’s Sur se saji is clean, grand and quite nicely penned by Sameer Samant and Prakash Kapadia. Surat Piya ki is yet again a piece that is grand in character and a riot melody wise. The variations presented by Rahul Deshpande & Mahesh kale will give you a high no LSD can ever provide, trust me on that. Tarana is short yet quite effective because of the gifted backup vocalists. Tojonidhi Lohagol by Shankar Mahadevan opens with a signature alaap by Shankar Mahadevan. The composition and singing is top class especially the short appearances by Sitar.

An out and out winner of an album with not a single second that is wasted on silly theatrics to sound grand. Don’t worry if you don’t understand the language, the excellent music setting of the album will not let you notice the linguistic limitations. I still cannot believe that such a rich album has come out in 2015. I cannot write enough words of appreciation for the makers for showcasing to us Pandit Jitendra Abhisheki. Somehow, all the artists who have built melodious legacies remain popular within their niche set of followers. I hope at least one listener who wasn’t aware of Pt. Jitendra Abhisheki earlier digs deeper and uncovers the gems he has left for all of us, and then passes them along to one more listener and so on. Nothing can be more exciting than to see our legendary artists being showcased again and again and that too for a wider audience. No praise can be enough for the entire band of technicians who have made this album possible. Sameer Samant, Mangesh Kangane, Mandar Cholkar, Shankar-Ehsan-Loy, take a bow. The sound piques your senses to find out more about the film and oozes melody. I cannot ask anything more from an O.S.T.

The film revolves around musical rivalry in the court of a king. It is playing with english subtitles in Mumbai. I know i am watching it. Are you?

Rohwit

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.