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Music Review – Dear Zindagi


Music Review – Dear Zindagi

Dear Zindagi-121

EXPECTATIONS

Though a couple of songs from Dear Zindagi have been on air for a while, surprisingly the entire soundtrack has been unveiled just a couple of days back. Considering the fact that the film is a biggie, one would have expected a much sooner arrival for the music which has composer Amit Trivedi and lyricist Kausar Munir at the helm of affairs.

MUSIC

Jasleen Royal has been making her presence felt of late and she does well yet again with the opening number of the album, ‘Love You Zindagi’. A beautifully written and composed track, this one is sung quite well too, hence making it a complete package affair. While the start is fantastic, it is also the chorus portion that makes the song all the more special. Hear this one on a ride down the highway and you would fall in love with it. There is a ‘club mix’ version of the song too that has Alia Bhatt coming behind the mike. She does well too and gives a good account of herself as a singer. This is one double whammy that you like.

It is the sound of guitar that kick-starts the proceedings for ‘Tu Hi Hai’. Just the kind of song that you would like to pick up when the name Arijit Singh appears on the credits, this one revels in simplicity and you wonder if it could well have made a straight entry into an Imtiaz Ali-Ranbir Kapoor film! With the kind of flow to it that makes you croon along as it plays, this one is for an evening with friends around a bonfire.

Guitar and Arijit Singh go hand in hand for ‘Taarefon Se’ as well, though this time around there is saxophone playing a vital role as well. With an old world feel to it, this one has a trademark Amit Trivedi stamp to it. One is almost transported to a stage where a live performance is on the way in a nice and cosy lounge with a candle light dinner in the offering. Though this one isn’t the kind that emerges as a chartbuster, it should play on well with the film’s narrative.

Remember ‘O Pardesi’ [Dev D]? Well, there is a similar vibe here too, at least in the beginning portions. Vishal Dadlani is the one behind the mike for ‘Let’s Break Up’ which, as the title suggests, is about moving on in life when things aren’t really working out in the lives of a couple. There was a ‘Break Up song’ heard very recently in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil too which was more on the peppy side with a ‘desi’ touch to it. This one is more Western in its theme and has its play restricted to the film’s run.

Given the film’s theme and treatment, it seems imperative that the central protagonist Alia Bhatt seems to be finding her way into finding out (or moving away from) love. This is evident in the next track too which has been titled ‘Just Go To Hell Dil’. The song sees the arrival of Sunidhi Chauhan on the musical scene after some time and this time around it is the conversation with a ‘dil’ which is in the motions.

Last to arrive is the legendary track ‘Ae Zindagi Gala Laga Le’ from Sadma [Composer: Ilaiyaraaja, Lyricist: Gulzar] which has been recreated by Amit Trivedi. What seemed to be an exception till a year ago has now almost become a trend where practically every second film has a song from the past being recreated. While one waits to see whether this trend would continue in time to come as well, one wonders if originality would take a back seat eventually. That said, the original song in this case is thankfully not tampered with much in the Arijit Singh version and later the Alia Bhatt version doesn’t sound odd either!

OVERALL

Dear Zindagi primarily has a series of situational songs that should sound good in the film’s narrative. With half a dozen songs in there, one waits to see if they all feature in the film.

OUR PICK(S)

‘Love You Zindagi’, ‘Tu Hi Hai’, ‘Ae Zindagi Gale Laga Le’



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Music Review: Kahaani 2


Music Review: Kahaani 2

Kahaani 2

EXPECTATIONS 

Considering the fact that Kahaani 2 is a thriller with a central plot to it which is suspenseful and intriguing, one doesn’t really carry any set expectations from the film’s music. Sujoy Ghosh’s last production Te3n had theme based music and now with composer Clinton Cerejo and lyricist Amitabh Bhattacharya coming together for Kahaani 2, you brace up for something similar in this short soundtrack.

MUSIC 

It is the sound of guitar that accompanies Arijit Singh as he goes about rendering ‘Mehram’. Since the film has Vidya Balan as the central protagonist, one would have expected a female singer to croon a track which narrates her life. However, Arijit is roped in instead and one doesn’t mind that since as always, he does a wonderful job in coming up with a sweet and simple rendition that goes with the flow of the film.

The song that comes next, ‘Aur Main Khush Hoon’, is pretty much a continuation of ‘Mehram’ and this time around it is Ash King who takes centre-stage. Boasting of some simple and beautiful lyrics with a poetic feel to them, the song is just the kind which you would like to sing during a bonfire outing with just a guitar in hand. A happy song which could be set between a couple in love or a family with a kid with them, this one is again for the film’s narrative.

The album concludes with an upbeat number ‘Lamhon Ke Rasgulle’ and though it seems like a little offbeat when compared to the couple of tracks heard before it, you still want to check out what it has to offer. The lyrics take a very different tangent in this song which is about living life to the fullest and at the end of the day; the final impact is just about okay. One wonders how this Sunidhi Chauhan and Bianca Gomes number would fit into the storytelling of Kahaani 2.

OVERALL 

The music of Kahaani 2 is strictly situational and one waits to see how they are incorporated in the film for better impact.

OUR PICK(S) 

‘Mehram’, ‘Aur Main Khush Hoon’



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Music Review: Befikre


Music Review: Befikre

Befikre-3

EXPECTATIONS

There are very good expectations from the music of Befikre. After all, the man who is in charge is Aditya Chopra and now that he has roped in Vishal-Shekhar and lyricist JaideepSahni to do the job for him, nothing less than spectacular would do. Music of his films DilwaleDulhaniya Le Jayenge and Mohabbatein are played till date while Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi had a couple of songs doing well too in the long run. Now it has to be seen whether Befikre works instantly or takes time to grow on you.

MUSIC

It is a fantastic start for the soundtrack as Arijit Singh kick-starts the proceedings with ‘Nashe Si ChadhGayi’. The song has a smooth free flowing feel to it and you indeed get a sense of intoxication with the way it unravels. The song has a good fusion of ‘desi’ and ‘videshi’ music coming together, hence making it truly interesting. JaideepSahni’s lyrics are truly different too and one can sense that the words have been designed especially for an Aditya Chopra film. All in all, a well packaged affair where Arijit Singh excels once again, this time with Vishal-Shekhar as the composer duo.

The fun continues the song that follows, ‘UdeDilBefikre’, is just the kind that you instantly associate with a Yash Raj film. It is apparent that Aditya Chopra was quite clear about what he wanted to hear for his title song and it is remarkable how Vishal-Shekhar, JaideepSahni and singer Benny Dayal give him exactly that with this song. With an Arabian feel to it, this one actually has the kind of style that was prevalent in the films from the 60s where Shammi Kapoor, Biswajeet or Joy Mukherjee would have been happy to lay their hands on it.

‘Je T’aime’ is the song that follows and it basis its situation in the film where both protagonists decide that they would ‘Never Say I Love You’! The title of the song here is in French and the overall feel, theme and unravelling has its base set in European musical setting too. Vishal Dadlani brings himself behind the mike for this one and Sunidhi Chauhan, the most experienced female singer in the current musical scenes, is roped in as well to give him company. A situational number, this one is the kind that takes time to grow on you and should be able to cover a distance if the film turns out to be successful commercially.

Nikhil D’Souza has Rachel Varghese for company as the duo gets behind the mike for a fun celebration number ‘You And Me’. This one has a youthful feel to it and yet again, it is unconventional lyrics on play here. A happy song which is about two young ones coming together and just having some good times on the streets of Europe, ‘You and Me’ is situational as well and turns out to be an easy hear.

Befikre-1

There isn’t any musical preamble at play here as Papon comes to the point right from the very first second as his voice is heard in ‘LabonKaKarobaar’. This one too has a 60s feel to it and one does get an impression that the Bollywood composers of the era gone by were truly influenced from their Western counterparts back then. Surprisingly though, the song has a lazy feel to it and the manner in which Papon sings it doesn’t bring in much energy into play as well. One waits to see how this song appears in the narrative of the film.

Thankfully, there is some good energy on play once Gippy Grewal takes centre-stage for ‘KhulkeDulke’. This one has the kind of sound that reminds one of the music that Vishal-Shekhar had put together for Tashan, which was also an Aditya Chopra production. A fun celebration track that has a good pace to it, ‘KhulkeDulke’ is a ‘bhangra’ track that has beauties from Paris no less shaking a leg or two. As for the female voice, it is Harshdeep Kaur who does the honours and along with Gippy Grewal there is a winner in the offering. In fact the song also makes one wonder why it wasn’t one of the first to be unveiled.

The soundtrack concludes with the instrumental track ‘Love Is A Dare’ which basically amalgamates the theme of all the songs that have been heard so far in the album. It is after a while when a track like this has been heard in the music of a Hindi film and you don’t mind that at all as ‘Love Is A Dare’ has been woven well.

OVERALL

The music of Befikre goes well with the spirit and theme of the film and one can be sure that even with half a dozen tracks out there, the snappy duration (the soundtrack lasts just 26 minutes) would help it all fit in well into the narrative.

OUR PICK(S)

‘UdeDilBefikre’, ‘Nashe Si ChadhGayi’, ‘KhulkeDulke’



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Music Review: Dangal


Music Review: Dangal

Dangal-1

EXPECTATIONS

Finally, soundtrack of one of the biggest films of 2016 has arrived. This is practically the last major album for film releases of the current year, and hence, one just hopes that composer Pritam and lyricist Amitabh Bhattacharya churn out something interesting. There are four songs from the film that are already out along with the videos and hence you have a fair idea of the kind of Haryanvi flavor that the music carries.

MUSIC

It is a supremely fun start for Dangal as kids Sarwar Khan and Sartaz Khan Barna come together to croon ‘Haanikaarak Bapu’. Soaking in Haryanvi folk sound, this one is about kids wondering if their father (Bapu) is out for their lives by putting them through a series of gruelling sessions in order to get fit. A foot tapping number with some real fun lyrics, this one is a chartbuster from the word ‘go’!

The manner in which ‘Dhaakad’ begins, you are instantly reminded of ‘Banno’ (Tanu Weds Manu Returns). Well, that is understandable too considering the fact that both films had Haryanvi characters taking the centre-stage. This time around, it is Raftaar who gets into Haryanvi rap and the way he sets the base for ‘Dhaakad’ catches your attention straightaway. A ‘desi’ number all the way, it also has an ‘Aamir Khan version’ where the actor does well all over again to give a good account of himself as a singer. He sings this one at a low pitch and ends up making a high impression all over again.

The song that brings in a different sound in the course of the flow of the soundtrack is ‘Gilehriyaan‘. A sweet sounding number with a poetic feel to it, this one is sung quite well by Jonita Gandhi. She expresses the thoughts and emotions of a girl who is just exploring the sense of youthfulness after moving on from being a teenager. A situational song that should bring in some ‘thehrav’ in the narrative, it works well.

Next to arrive is the title song and the man who has been entrusted to do the job, Daler Mehndi, is in his characteristic thumping form. There is good build up to ‘Dangal‘ which has a good chorus going for it before Daler Mehndi takes centre-stage. Expect the sound of this song to play right through the narrative of the film, especially at the interval point and then during the climax. This one has an arresting sound.

As for those who need their regular dose of Arijit Singh in every soundtrack, there is ‘Naina’. Though the song is not the kind that gets on your lips after the first hearing itself, it sounds pleasant every time you play it around. A sad song which has Pritam delivering a kind of tune which doesn’t lend a usual platform to Arijit, it has quite some variation going for it which warrants that the song is given a close hearing.

Nooran sisters (Jyoti and Sultana) come together for ‘Idiot Banna’ and somehow end up sounding like Mamta Sharma. In fact the manner in which the song begins also reminds one of songs like ‘Munni Badnaam’, ‘Fevicol Se’ and ‘Tinku Jiya’ to name a few. Nonetheless, it is Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics with Pritam’s setting of the song in the Haryanvi ambience that makes all the difference. The song is about a newly married woman wondering how her husband has entirely different ideas of romance and one can well expect this to be set in a flashback where Sakshi Tanwar remembers her earlier days with Aamir Khan.

OVERALL

The music of Dangal is largely entertaining and while it has a predominantly situational feel to it, all credit to Pritam and Amitabh Bhattacharya for still going ahead and adding good enough ingredients to the songs that are set to keeps the pace of the narrative flowing.

OUR PICK(S)

‘Haanikaarak Bapu’, ‘Dhaakad’, ‘Gilehriyaan’, ‘Dangal’



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Music Review: Kaabil


Music Review: Kaabil

Kaabil

EXPECTATIONS

Director Sanjay Gupta isn’t quite known to make love stories. Pick up his films and most of these, except for his last release Jazbaa, have macho characters taking centre-stage. That leads to high decibel music as evidenced in films like Kaante, Musafir and Shootout at Wadala, to name a few. Hence, when he makes a love story cum revenge tale Kaabil with Hrithik Roshan in the lead, one looks forward to what he has to offer. More so since Rakesh Roshan steps in as a producer and brings Rajesh Roshan on board as the composer, hence promising a good fusion of timeless melodies with contemporary sound.

MUSIC

Kaabil sees a fantastic start with the title song ‘Kaabil Hoon’. It is remarkable to see how Rajesh Roshan brings to fore the kind of tune that he had offered way back in films like Khudgarz and Khoon Bhari Maang, and there is similar sound in ‘Kaabil Hoon’ as well which has simplicity written all over it. One has to compliment Nasir Faraaz for the kind of poetic words that he puts together which makes you fall in love with the characters. This is further accentuated by some brilliant singing by Jubin Nautiyal and Palak Muchhal which makes ‘Kaabil Hoon’ a complete package affair in its original as well as the ‘sad version’.

One begins to play ‘Haseeno Ka Deewana’ with an element of apprehension. After all, Amitabh Bachchan’s ‘Saara Zamaana’ from Yaarana has been iconic and one continues to enjoy Kishore Kumar rendering this Anjaan written track. However, all these apprehensions are quashed once Gourov-Roshin recreate this track in a new ‘andaaz’ with Payal Dev and Baadshah lending complete justice to their version. They bring in an element of spice to this track with fusion lyrics by Kumaar. Eventually ‘Haseeno Ka Deewana’ turns out to be a foot tapping outing which manages to establish an identity of its own after three to four hearing.

Manoj Muntashir steps in as a lyricist with a couple of back to back songs at this point in time. Along with singer Jubin Nautiyal, he creates ‘Kuch Din’ – yet another love song – which has a trademark Rajesh Roshan stamp to it. With mushy lyrics going with it, this one has a smooth sailing feel which lets the song go past by in a jiffy. Though between the two romantic numbers so far my pick would be the title song ‘Kaabil Hoon’, it would be interesting to see how some lively picturisation makes ‘Kuch Din’ further stand out.

The manner in which Vishal Dadlani begins to render the next song, you imagine another heart-warming love song to follow next. In fact the words that are heard right at the onset, ‘Kadam Se Kadam Jo Mile’ are the ones that play in the theatrical promo and the sound of saxophone is haunting too, something that immediately reminds one of many a Rajesh Roshan composition from the era gone by. However, soon enough French words ‘Mon Amour’ (which stands for My Love) are heard and the song takes a different route altogether by turning into a Spanish carnival outing. A fun celebratory foot tapping track.

Kaabil gets a grand finale for itself as Rajesh Roshan’s chartbuster composition ‘Dil Kya Kare Jab Kisi Se’ from Julie is recreated as ‘Kisi Se Pyar Ho Jaye’ by Gourov-Roshin. Lyricist Kumaar brings on his own touch to the immortal words penned by Anand Bakshi and the team makes sure that the essence of the original is retained in entirety. Jubin Nautiyal gets his third track in the album and makes sure that the kind of confidence shown in him is completely justified through his effort. He is effortless behind the mike and the spirit of ‘Dil Kya Kare Jab Kisi Se’ ends up being loveable all over again. A chartbuster all over again.

OVERALL

The music of Kaabil is a big winner and has a consistent sound to it. In fact it is good to see the mix of timeless melodies with today’s sound integrating well into a fulfilling experience. The musical team has clearly given Sanjay Gupta his best soundtrack since Musafir and for Hrithik Roshan too, this is a complete album that he would be proud of.

OUR PICK(S)

‘Kaabil Hoon’, ‘Haseeno Ka Deewana’, ‘Kuch Din’, ‘Kisi Se Pyar Ho Jaye’



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Music Review: OK Jaanu


Music Review: OK Jaanu

okjaanudec20

EXPECTATIONS

It has been a while since A.R. Rahman came up with a wholesome musical album. While no one can deny the fact that he has experimented each time around, one has waited for long to hear a complete soundtrack from him which becomes popular with the masses as well as class segment. Hence, with OK Jaanu coming from Karan Johar as the producer, one expects music (with lyrics by Gulzar) to carry good mass appeal as well. Yes, ‘The Humma Song’ has made it to the charts already but one looks forward to what does the rest of the album with seven additional songs has to offer.

MUSIC

As a singer, A.R. Rahman has traditionally come up with something truly different and exciting. That is the case with the title track ‘OK Jaanu’ as well which has him sharing the mike with Srinidhi Venkatesh. Together, they keep the tempo up with this lively number that comes to the point right away and maintains a good pace right through. A peppy love song for the teenagers, this one has a good hook to it.

It is the sound of guitar that kick-starts the proceedings for ‘Enna Sona’ which has A.R. Rahman roping none other than Arijit Singh to do the honors. A beautiful melody which has almost been presented as an unplugged track, ‘Enna Sona’ is about a guy serenading his girl and showering praises on her. With a sweet charm to it, this is the one for a candle light outing and has a Punjabi base to it. Do listen to this one!

For those hunting for a vintage A.R. Rahman sound, there is ‘Jee Lein’, an upbeat track, which makes you remember the kind of music that one had heard in the late 90s and early 2000s. It is the manner in which A.R. Rahman lays down his acoustics which gives this Savithri R Prithvi, Arjun Chandy and Neeti Mohan an edge over many other ‘high on life’ tracks. This one works well as a fusion outing and impresses.

As for those in a party mood, there is ‘Kaara Fankaara’ which could well be the most difficult track for the composer to have put together. While Paroma Das Gupta and Shashaa Tirupati take the lead as the lead singers, the song wouldn’t have been what it eventually turns out to be if not for its rap portion. A rare track where rap truly works in the ambience, stage and setting, this one has Hard Kaur, ADK, Kaly, A.R. Rahman and Ashima Mahajan coming together to create a deadly foot tapping appeal.

There is an absolute change in proceedings though with Jonita Gandhi crooning to a semi-classical ‘Saajan Aayo Re’. There is an extended ‘alaap’ with A.R. Rahman adding fusion bits to this love song which sets the stage for the six minute long track to take on shape. Of course, it takes time to get used to the sound as this isn’t one of those instantly catchy numbers. However, it eventually settles down with Nakash Aziz joining the show as well.

Another surprise that comes soon after is ‘Maula Wa Sallim’, a devotional song which is in Arabic. This is rendered by A.R. Ameen, son of A.R. Rahman, and one can pretty much sense the purity that the track carries. With practically nil interruption by means of any other musical instruments, it is just Ameen’s voice that holds centre-stage and works well for the situation.

After ‘Saajan Aayo Re’, another semi-classical track to find its way into the soundtrack is ‘Sunn Bhavara’. Yet again, it is the voice of the lead singer that holds prominence as you just hear ‘tabla’ in the background. Shashaa Tirupati, who has been around for a while now in the industry, gives a good account of herself all over again and demonstrates her command over the medium. A good situational track.

The album concludes with ‘The Humma Song’ which is a designated chartbuster all over again even after almost a couple of decades since it was heard in Bombay (1998). The base sound of ‘Humma Humma’ has been kept intact though the arrangements are relatively low key with sensuality taking over a dance setting. While Tanishk Bagchi, Jubin Nautyal and Shashaa Tirupati (in an entirely different ‘avtar’) come together to make this number popular, Baadshah arrives too with his rap interspersion. Yes, purists are expected to disagree with a new version but ‘junta’ says otherwise and eventually this is what that matters.

OVERALL

OK Jaanu is a well-rounded album and has its fair share of catchy, soulful and situational tracks. Considering the fact that music by A.R. Rahman traditionally takes time to grow on you, one would have expected the soundtrack to have arrived much earlier (at least three weeks back) so that all songs would have got their due credit. One now hopes that the film turns out to be a winner so that the music too becomes much more popular and not just rely on ‘The Humma Song’.

OUR PICK(S)

‘The Humma Song’, ‘OK Jaanu Title Track’, ‘Enna Sona’, ‘Kaara Fankaara’



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Music Review: Jolly LLB 2


Music Review: Jolly LLB 2

Akshay kumar

EXPECTATIONS
Three years ago when Jolly LLB had released, the music had just been an added accessory to the overall narrative of the film. Now that the second in the series, Jolly LLB 2 is arriving, one again expects a largely situational score. Yes, there is Akshay Kumar in there which means expectations are a tad higher around the overall entertainment quotient. Moreover, with a separate set of composers and lyricists for each of the four songs in the album, you look forward to some variety too.

MUSIC
There is an addictive hook right at the start of Manj Musik and Raftaar written ‘Go Pagal’ which gets to the point within first 10 seconds itself. A Holi celebration number’, this one has Raftaar leading the show as a regular singer instead of being in his rapper avtar. He does quite well in keeping up the pace with Manj Musik’s catchy tune that has its hook being a steady companion. Moreover, Nindy Kaur is in her naughty self for this dance number that has Nilesh Patel chipping in as a co-composer with Girish Nakod and Manj Musik stepping in too as additional vocalists. The only regret? The song wraps up in just three minutes!

Soon enough, things turn sober with Jubin Nautiyal and Neeti Mohan uniting for a soulful track ‘Bawara Mann’. A ‘desi Hindustani’ number which has Chirrantan Bhatt experimenting with a style different from his usual self, ‘Bawara Mann’ is a poetic track written by Junaid Wasi which has a leisurely pace to it and could well be suited for a candle light dinner. Intermittently, one also hears an ‘alaap’ from Rheek Chakraborty. If you liked ‘Aankhen Coffee Peete Peete’ from Akshay Kumar’s Gabbar Is Back, you would like ‘Bawara Mann’ as well.

Remember the age old popular track ‘For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow’? Well, the opening line and the tune is picked well by Meet Bros who give it a Jolly LLB spin to it by making it ‘Jolly Good Fellow’. A foot tapping number that could well be the introduction number for Akshay Kumar in the film, this one is written by Shabbir Ahmed who also pitches in with a rap portion (with support from Earl Edgar for the English rap). Rendered by Meet Bros themselves, ‘Jolly Good Fellow’ – which has Purnima Solanki and Sanchiti Sakat as the additional vocalists – reminds one of the music from the 80s when Govinda and Mithun ruled.

Last to arrive is the situational track ‘O Re Rangreza’, a ‘qawalli’, which is the kind that usually comes in the second half of the film when a dramatic moment ensues and the central protagonist tries to get his way out of it. A devotional ‘sufi’ track by Junaid Wasi, this has some usual music by Vishal Khurana with Sukhwinder Singh leading the show and Murtuza Mustafa & Qadir Mustafa as his accompanying partners.

OVERALL
Music of Jolly LLB 2 is on expected lines. While there are a couple of situational tracks, the ones that should cover some distance are ‘Go Pagal’ and ‘Bawara Mann’. While former should get widely popular by the time Holi arrives, latter should enjoy a much longer shelf life in weeks to come.

OUR PICK(S)

‘Go Pagal’, ‘Bawara Mann’



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Music Review: Raees


Music Review: Raees

UDI-UDI-

EXPECTATIONS
A Shah Rukh Khan film is special, and so is the music of his films. His last release Fan was a song-less affair (much to the disappointment of his fans) and though there was a promotional track, it wasn’t in the film. Surprisingly, even though Raees has a half a dozen odd songs in it, the music was released just a day before the film’s release. Ram Sampath and Jam8 [Pritam’s company] has put together the music.

MUSIC
The song that kick-starts the proceedings is ‘Laila Main Laila’, a recreation of Kalyanji-Anandji and Indeevar’s cult classic from Qurbaani. This time around, the ball is in Ram Sampath’s court (along with Javed Akhtar) to get the feet tapping as he ropes in newcomer singer Pawni Pandey. What strikes most is the signature tune which is used in abundance right through the proceedings to lend it a classic touch. The beats are all there which ensures that the pace is intact right through the song’s five minute duration. This one is a chartbuster already and what helps is the manner in which it is included in the narrative.

Next to follow is a quintessential Shah Rukh Khan song that could well have been a part of a Karan Johar directed film. There are signature Shah Rukh Khan moves in this JAM8 created love song that has the kind of flavour to it which became prominent right from the days of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics carry a mature flavour to them and the moment Arijit Singh starts rendering these words, ‘Zaalima’ goes to a different level altogether. Moreover, Harshdeep Kaur’s voice is an added asset to this wonderful song that has in it to find running on a repeat mode after it has been heard once.

Ram Sampath returns to the soundtrack with ‘Udi Udi Jaye’ which could well have been together for a ‘Navratri’ outing. With traditional Gujarati beats to the song, singers Sukhwinder Singh, Bhoomi Trivedi and Karsan Sagathia let their hair down and croon behind the mike in an energetic manner. Javed Akhtar’s lyrics fit in well into the mode and flavour of this love song which is situational to the core. Though one doesn’t see it covering much of a distance after the film’s run is through, it is not the kind that would make you look the other way while it is on.

Mika Singh brings his characteristic tonality and pitch into play for ‘Dhingana’, a Mayur Puri written number which has been put to tune by Aheer [JAM8]. The manner in which this song is composed, it reminds one of the music from the 80s when Mithun Chakraborty, Anil Kapoor and Govinda had a horde of such numbers to their credits. Almost coming close to being a ‘tapori’ track, this one is again a situational song and keeps you engaged while it is on.

The song which follows, ‘Enu Naam Che Raees’, is pretty much a continuation of ‘Dhingana’ when it comes to the overall mood and flavour on the fore. Ram Sampath is back in action and this time around he writes as well as sings this number. Placed into the film at a juncture when the character of Raees is in its full fervour, this one is fast paced with a strong Gujarati flavour to it. Tarannum Malik and Hiral Brahmbhatt give support to Ram Sampath in the singing and music departments respectively.

As is the scenario in this soundtrack, majority of numbers in Raees are situational and the songs which follow, ‘Saanson Ke’ and ‘Ghammar Ghammar’ are no different. Former is a composition by Aheer [JAM8] and has a sad feel to it, which gets the right sound by singer KK. Written by Manoj Yadav, it is placed during the film’s narrative when Raees is at his mighty low in personal as well as professional life while trying to find a way out. On the other hand ‘Ghammar Ghammar’, a traditional track, is sung by Roshan Rathod. This one has a more upbeat feel to it though there isn’t much that you remember after listening to it.

OVERALL
The music of Raees is primarily situational and though a couple of songs do stand out, one just expects an all-around score from a film featuring Shah Rukh Khan. It is understandable though that the film’s genre has its limitations and in that aspect, Ram Sampath as well as JAM8 deliver as per the need and situation.

OUR PICK(S)
‘Zaalima’, ‘Laila Main Laila’, ‘Dhingana’



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Music Review: Rangoon


Music Review: Rangoon

Music review – Rangoon

EXPECTATIONS

When you pick up a soundtrack that has names like Vishal Bhardwaj and Gulzar attached, you do expect certain quality to it. There is no place for anything frivolous whatsoever and originality also holds true. However, when the film is in a commercial arena with names like Kangana Ranaut, Saif Ali Khan and Shahid Kapoor in there, and a mainstream producer like Sajid Nadiadwala, you expect good entertainment quotient to music as well. No wonder, when Rangoon arrives with as many as 12 songs in there, you brace up for a solid musical in store.

MUSIC

Fearless Nadia was nicknamed Hunterwali when she appeared in films back in the 30s. It is the sound of a hunter being unleashed that plays right through the four minute playing time of ‘Bloody Hell’. Sunidhi Chauhan is just the right singer for a song which carries the kind of fun element to it that carries the nostalgia of the era gone by and yet has enough power in it to go well with today’s commercial sensibilities.

Next to arrive is an Arijit Singh solo ‘Yeh Ishq Hai’. A love song which is right from Vishal Bhardwaj’s territory, it carries a quintessential sound that the composer has time and again created in the two decades gone by. While Arijit (and later Rekha Bhardwaj in her solo version) take it upon themselves to lend a laidback rendition, the team behind the sound of ‘Yeh Ishq Hai’ does the rest to keep it all soft-n-subtle.

As for those looking forward to some fun element, there is ‘Mere Miyan Gaye England’ which is a spin-off of legendary track ‘Mere Piya Gaye Rangoon’ [Patanga – 1949]. Considering the fact that the film is titled Rangoon, it is good to hear an inspiration with Rangoon changing to England. Rekha Bhardwaj does quite well to sing in a manner that has made the Shamshad Begum sung track so popular even after 50 years.

From here on, Rekha Bhardwaj practically takes over as the female singer in almost all songs. Remember ‘Chai Chappa Chai’ from Suniel Shetty and Tabu’s Hu Tu Tu which again had Vishal Bhardwaj collaborating with Gulzar? Well, a similar sound is adopted for ‘Tippa’ which has Sukhwinder Singh going unconventionally low key with good company of Rekha Bhardwaj, Sunidhi Chauhan and O.S. Arun. A very good song.

The fun element continues with Rekha Bhardwaj going solo for ‘Ek Dooni Do’ which could well have been a cabaret number set in the 40s. This one has a clear Geeta Dutt inspiration and if you have loved songs like ‘Mera Naam Chin Chin Chu’, ‘Tadbir Se Bigdi Hui’ and ‘Jata Kahan Hai Deewane’ amongst other such gems from the era gone by then you would pick ‘Ek Dooni Do’ as well. Looking forward to its picturisation.

It is back to hardcore Vishal Bhardwaj zone soon after with Arijit Singh rendering ‘Alvida’, a pathos filled number. This could well have been sung by Vishal Bhardwaj himself as Arijit carries similar tonality and pitch in this Gulzar written number that is about separation and the loss of love attached to it. While the song has a soulful feel to it, one just hopes that it doesn’t slow down the narrative of the film.

Thankfully, it is back to a spirited outing soon after with Sukhwinder Singh going what he is best at. He gets into a full throated avtar for ‘Julia’, presumably a song set as a stage number. Though the song starts on a slow note with a horde of singers coming together [K.K., Kunal Ganjawalla, Vishal Bhardwaj] in their tryst to introduce the character of Julia, Sukhwinder binds it all together with his forceful rendition.

As for those who wanted the mood and fervor of ‘Ek Dooni Do’ to continue, there is Rekha Bhardwaj’s ‘Chori Chori’. This one could well be inspired by Geeta Dutt’s ‘Jaane Kahan Mera Jigar Gaya Ji’ as it pretty much carries the same flavor and takes you through the nostalgia lane. As a matter of fact the song has such kind of programming that if presented as a forgotten 40s song, it could well have been accepted.

What follows next is ‘Rangoon Theme’ and while it sticks to the oriental sound that goes well with the mood and ambience, surprisingly it lasts under 100 seconds. Wish it was more as it ends just when it had begun to grip the listener. There are a couple of English songs to conclude the album and both are written by Lekha Washington. First to arrive is Dominique Cerejo rendered ‘Be Still’. A jazz outing which could well be the one playing in the background at a posh dining hall for a dinner outing, it truly holds you ‘still’. On the other hand Vivienne Pocha’s ‘Shimmy Shake’ is good fun with a jingle sound to it and stays lively.

OVERALL

It is always a pleasure to have a single composer/lyricist ‘jodi’ for a soundtrack as it promises certain consistency. Yes, variation is always the need of the hour, especially when there are a dozen songs in there. However, even that needs certain consistency to it, which is what turns out to be the core strength of Rangoon. Of course it takes time to get used to the sound, considering the fact that it is set in the period era and also it is largely unconventional. However, as you listen to Rangoon on a loop, you do get immersed in its sound. This one is set to find greater appreciation after it has been seen and heard in the film.

OUR PICK(S)

‘Bloody Hell’, ‘Yeh Ishq Hai’, ‘Mere Miyan Gaye England’, ‘Ek Dooni Do’, ‘Julia’



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Music Review: Running Shaadi.com


Music Review: Running Shaadi.com

Running Shaadi.com

EXPECTATIONS
Since the film has a North Indian setting to it with its base in Punjab, one expects heavy dose of Punjabi influence in the soundtrack of Running Shaadi.com. A bunch of composers – Abhishek-Akshay, Anupam Roy, Keegan Pinto, Anjana Ankur Singh and Sandeep Madhavan – come together to create a song or two in this musically heavy album that has more than half a dozen songs.

MUSIC
The soundtrack begins with a 80s style ‘Pyar Ka Test’ which has none other than Bappi Lahiri klick-start the proceedings. The song instantly reminds one of ‘Main Tera Tota, Tu Meri Maina’ [Paap Ki Duniya] which incidentally had music by Bappi Lahiri himself. This time around he steps in as a composer and with support of some wacky lyrics goes all out in front of the mike with company of Kalpana Patowary.

Sukanya Purkayastha, who had sung the female version of ‘Paani Da Rang’ [Vicky Donor], is heard in a different avtar for ‘Mannerless Majnu’ which pretty much carries forward the mood and flavor of ‘Pyar Ka Test’. With a North Indian milieu to it, this one could well have featured in an Aanand L. Rai film, given the kind of setting that it has. Overall though, this one turns out to be an average outing.

There is a different kind of spunk that is evidenced soon after though once the voice of Late Labh Janjua is heard in ‘Dimpi De Naal Bhaage Bunty’. Expect this one to be a montage sequence in the film once the master plan of Running Shaadi.com, as laid down by the lead protagonists of the film, are put into action. With good pace, singing and fun lyrics to it, this one is a good winner and should enjoy a good shelf life.

A different kind of spin off to ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag‘ is evidenced in ‘Bhaag Milky Bhaag’ and somehow one doesn’t quite get the sound of the song even after hearing this one repeatedly. At best situational, this one has Sanam Puri taking the lead with Sonu Kakkar as his accompanying partner behind the mike. Strictly average, one waits to see how this fits into the film’s narrative.

Jubin Nautiyal gets a couple of songs to his name in the film and the one that arrives first is ‘Faraar’. A soft rock outing, this one has guitar as an accompanying factor and suddenly changes the ‘sur’ of the soundtrack. Though it seems like a rather abrupt, one does get used to its sound as it plays on for a while. Expect this one to play on in the film during a road journey of sorts that is placed in the narrative.

Coincidentally, there are a couple of songs with the word ‘Faraar’ in there. It is an uncommon word in Hindi film music parlance and hence it is rather surprising to find one again, this time as ‘Main Faraar Sa’. Rendered by Anupam Roy along with Hamsika Iyer, this one is a smooth continuation to ‘Faraar’ that was heard earlier, though yet again it predominantly carries a situational appeal.

Last to arrive is ‘Kuch To Hai’ which is a Jubin Nautiyal solo. In its spirit, theme and execution, it is in line with the last couple of tracks. With good Western influence to it, this time in the pop genre, ‘Kuch to Hai’ is also basically situational and has a shelf life which would primarily be restricted to the film’s play in theaters.

OVERALL
The music of Running Shaadi.com could well be divided into two halves. While the first predominantly carries a Punjabi flavor to it, latter has Western influences with a soft appeal. In terms of popularity though, it would be songs in the former bracket that would still allow the soundtrack to cover some distance.

OUR PICK(S)
‘Dimpi De Naal Bhaage Bunty’, ‘Pyar Ka Test’, ‘Main Faraar Sa’



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