Posts Tagged ‘Safar’

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

We continue our “Rewind 2012” series with a music post this time. To read our previous post in the series, click here (Coming of age for desi indies – Miss Lovely and Ship Of Theseus), here (So what happened to Agent Vinod? Part 2. Now read the script), here (What kind of bird are YOU?) and here (A for Allah duhayee hai, B for Bakchodi, C for Chutiyapa).

And if you are regular reader of the blog, you probably know that if it’s music, it’s over to Rohit. The only rule we followed here is “NO BOLLYWOOD” because there is nothing left to explore there as we have heard everything possible that Bollywood had to offer in terms of music. So over to Rohit and see if you have heard these gems. If not, do check out all the audio/video links and let us know what gem you discovered this year.

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So its another ‘top this’ ‘2012 that’ post. Yes, you are right. This year though, we have tried to move out of our shell and yet stay there. Confused? So were we, so we decided to look around for music that hasn’t been tweeted much, shared much and made much noise on the otherwise ‘forever active’ social networks/forums.

1. Faran Ensemble, the band – is a 3 player group who got together and are exploring music via some of the best teachers around the world. With a distinct Arabic sound, the group plays mostly instrumental music. We are putting a link to one of their music presentations titled ‘Dune’ (click on the link, go to youtube page and click “show more” under “About” section)

Faran, is a dry desert wadi, which fills with water and life only in rainy winters; and in the hot season, otherwise silent. It crosses Israel on its way from Sinai, ignoring all borders. More on the group on the link. Explore and you shall not be disappointed. For their FB page, click here.

2. Safar, the band – Their single ‘Khoye hain’ came out earlier this year. Granted, the video was a little too cute but the song is light and easy on ears. We would ideally like to listen more from them. Their webpage has been surprisingly static since months (this in spite of the fact that they have got over 90,000 youtube hits since April 2012 which is a big deal!). Click on the play button and check out the song/video. You can visit their home page here. Go check!

3. Thumri Funk, the album – Pandit Ajay Pohankar and Abhijit Pohankar might not have given us the ‘pia bavri’ again but with this album, they gave a contemporary touch to Thumris. A delightfully innovative album to bring thumris to the masses. The album sadly wasn’t publicised much (but can be bought for a mere INR 63 from Flipkart, you can play the sample audio tracks also), features good tracks all around, our special picks remain – Ab ke sawan ghar aaja (that’s a mix of 2 thumris in one), Ras ke bhare torey nain, Yaad pia ki aaye and Balamwa tum kya jaano.

4. Tera Bayaan Ghalib, the album – Taking the trademarked and owned style of recitation along with some intelligent use of ghazals/songs, Gulzar saab presented this gem to us. Those familiar with his book (Mirza Ghalib by Gulzar) and the T.V. Serial would quickly identify with the text of this presentation (in which Gulzar saab recites some letters posing as Ghalib) and for the others, it’s a fantastic peep into the life and times of Ghalib and India. The album is put here only because of the fact that this genre has been revived by Gulzar sahab this year and we are hoping some more albums like these are on their way to our iPods/Music players.

5. Chakwal Group, Pakistan – Gifted to us by Coke Studio Pakistan (Season 5) and hailing from Chakwal, Pakistan, this is typically a 16 member group that stands and sings to a single dhol almost every time. Powerful poetry and excellent rendition is their trademark. Be it collaborating with the wonderful Meesha shafi or Bohemia, he group stood it’s ground effortlessly. A treat to hear 16 men singing and emoting so well without missing out a single beat. (Hear the Kandyaari Dhol Geet and you will know what we mean) Thank God for music, really! Can’t wait to hear more from them in the coming years.

6. Mauje Naina, the song – performed by Bianca Gomes, Shadab and Altamash and was featured in the BIG BANG season 2 Episode 1 of the cokestudio India version that was orchestrated by Clinton Cerejo. The song deserves a mention because it marries the mood so dangerously! A song about a man who is pulled by the dark yet tempting persona of the ‘other lady’. For us, this was the song of the year for Coke Studio India (Yes, including Amit trivedi’s excellent episode, but then no points to Amit Trivedi because his second name is excellence anyway!). What mood! A song that scares you, literally.

7. Neray Aah, the song – Performed by the wonderful Rachel Viccaji & Farhad Humayun, this song (Via CokeStudio Pakistan, Season 5) is a case study on how to ‘reinvent’ a filmy song to the fusion/new age setting. The original song is here  that was launched in 1998 and this version by Rachel and Farhad is embed here  – Do we remember any filmy songs being ‘adapted’ by Coke Studio India so well? We give up. Oh wait! We remember the near disgusting ‘Jugni ji’ that Cocktail ‘borrowed’ from Coke Studio (Without Meesha Shafi) and how bad it fell on our ears. Case. Study. This. Discovery? HELL YEAH!

8. Somrass, the album – Remember Pankaj Awasthi? Remember khuda ka wasta? Remember ‘Tera hee karam’? Blessed with a powerful voice, Pankaj doesn’t stop at that. Experimenting with jazz, electronica, Sant Kabir, poetry recitation, old Hindu mantras and so much more, he gives us arguably the BEST Indi-pop album of the year. Surprisingly, Times Music decided to leave the music album on Flipkart and may be a music shop or two. Do check it out!

9. Thagni, the album – Launched by SaReGaMa, Shreyas and Abhas gave a beautiful twist to age old poems/bhajans by Sant Kabir and Kamali. The album takes a fresh look at bhajans like ‘Udd jayega hans akela’, ‘jheeni re’ and ‘Moko kahan dhundhey re bandey’ among others. Superlative strings and percussions coupled with soothing singing style of the duo, this album, we feel needs to be heard and publicised. Not surprisingly, the album hasn’t been publicised much. Flipkart Link.

10. Reidi Gul, the song – showcased first by Ufone (Pakistan) in their reality show, Yasir & Jawad Khan were eventually asked to make a music video of this beautiful pashto poem by Abdul Ghani Khan saab. The tune is typically pashto but the affectionate style of singing and a clever tune of the song stays with you for a long time. We discovered it earlier this year, hence this features in the list. Here is the entire episode (11 minutes, including the song)  We hope Yasir and Jawad come back with many more gems!