Music Reviews


By Samir Shukla

Vandana Vishwas
Monologues (A Bouquet of Indian Melodies…)

Canada-based singer Vandana Vishwas has a voice that’s somber and reflective, the kind that’s custom-made for singing ghazals. She breathes life into poetry, and when the music is added an aura of elegance, a visage of India’s musical heritage blooms. She recently released her second recording, Monologues, which starts off with the somber “Raah Niharoon (The Wait)” and ends with the reflective “Mai Kya Hoon? (What am I).” The rest of the recording is filled with thumris and ghazals that linger and evoke Indian melodies and memories. Among the strongest tracks is the wonderful “Des Se Door (Away from the motherland)” which takes its time to unfold. Her vocal modulations flavor the recording throughout.
Most lyrics are written by her husband, and multi-instrumentalist, Vishwas Thoke, but the album also includes a song each by Jigar Muradabadi and Mirza Ghalib. The lyrics range from philosophical to love songs and longing for home. She fuses Hindustani classical and traditional music with a touch of jazz.  Her roots are in thumris and ghazals but there’s a joyous free spirit in her music as well. “Ever since we came to Canada, we have been listening to every kind of music style. Toronto is a mini world for us. I have taken a special liking for jazz, and it has become a bit of an obsession,” she reflects. “It didn’t change my vocal rendering that much, but it has influenced the way I arrange my music. I had never thought I will ever use bass and chords in my songs before; I’ve especially come to love the way bass sounds and feels with Indian melodies.” For more details visit www.vandanavishwas.com.
 


By Amanda Sodhi

Cocktail - Original Soundtrack

  Well, the promos of Homi Adajania’s Cocktail sure seem exciting and promise an entertaining romcom. Let’s see if the soundtrack, by Pritam, is also as entertaining to the ears. Cocktail stars the Love Aaj Kal  pair Saif Ali Khan and Deepika Padukone, in addition to Diana Penty and Randeep Hooda. Dimple Kapadia and Boman Irani are also along for the ride. There are ten compositions, so without wasting any more time, let’s jump right into the soundtrack.

“Tum Hi Ho Bandhu” (4.42) is a catchy, positive beginning to Cocktail’s soundtrack. It has a really upbeat, electronic-synth feel to it. Irshad Kamil’s lyrics are warm and adequate. Kavita Seth’s husky vocals really stand out and are a clever choice for this composition, perhaps the best thing about the song. Neeraj Shridhar’s vocals offer an interesting contrast to Kavita Seth’s.

“Daaru Desi” (4.30) is another super cool composition. Benny Dayal and Shalmali Kholgade’s (“Pareshaan”) vocals are extremely breezy and youthful sounding. The acoustic guitar and percussion arrangements are pleasant on the ears and the entire composition has a chilled out, seductive touch. Benny and Shalmali’s vocal pairing has a nice, laidback feel. This is a feel-good song with feel-good lyrics.

“Yaariyaan” (6.18) is a much mellower composition. The drum solo at the beginning followed by the electric guitar riffs sounds great, but what really makes the song special is Agnee’s lead vocalist Mohan Kannan’s vocals. The man’s got a really soulful voice with a captivating, soothing texture. The lyrics are beautiful and capture the feelings of heartbreak and wishing one’s beloved the best nonetheless very well. Shilpa Rao also does justice to her portions. Both Mohan and Shilpa, are without a doubt, two very gifted vocalists with very deep voices. The semi-classical touch Mohan offers is really quite lovely.

“Yaariyan (Reprise)” (5.14) is an interesting alternate version. Sunidhi Chauhan’s vocals are jazzier and Arijit Singh’s accompanying vocals are a treat to hear, as well. This acoustic version focuses more on the piano and cello, but it sounds too upbeat compared to the original which blended better with the mood of the lyrics.

Party time, Miss Pooja style oye! “Second Hand Jawaani” (4.02) is the dance number of the year. I mean how can one not get up and shake it with fantastic beats like this. Miss Pooja and Neha Kakkar’s vocals gel together rather well. The dholak and hip-hop beats are irresistible and the lyrics are amusing. Nakkash Aziz’s vocals are average but that doesn’t matter too much since the ladies steal the show here anyway. C’mon go have some masti and set the dance floor on fire with this energetic number.

So, looks like the party is here to stay with “Tera Naam Japdi Phiran” (3.39). Let’s pretend we didn’t hear the lame English portions by Shefali and Nikhil D’Souza—they are both good vocalists but this song is strictly a Javed Bashir show. The man’s pure desi vocals are glorious. Check out his previous work with Mekaal Hasan Band if you haven’t yet. Ok, back to “Tera Naam Japdi Phiran”—another song perfect for the clubs. The electronic-pop track oozes joy, positive energy, youthfulness and hipness. C’mon, bring on the party. “Tera Naam Japdi Phiran (Version 2)” (4.11) also works quite well, actually—the tempo is faster and is even better to dance to.

“Luttna (Saif Ul Malook)” (5.01) is a really innovative Sufi composition—who could have thought rock and dubstep could work for a Sufi number? The song has a psychedelic feel and the chorus is brilliant. Masuma Anwar, Sahir Ali Bagga and Anupam Amod all do a wonderful job collaborating as vocalists. The reverb is awesome and the electric guitar riffs give the song an appropriate dark feel. This track is totally awesome. “Luttna (Version 2)” (4.44) is way too subdued compared to the original to leave as much of an impact. But, that’s just my opinion. Listen and decide for yourself.

“Jugni” (6.57) certainly stands out in the album thanks to two very strong vocalists—Arif Lohar and Harshdeep Kaur—both roped in for one composition. Arif Lohar’s “Jugni” on the Pakistani Coke Studio was really haunting, too. It’s a wonderful rendition, with gorgeous melody and gorgeous lyrics.

Well, Pritam certainly is back in full form as they’d say in India. Cocktail is an interesting concoction—give it a gulp, erm, listen, for “Second Hand Jawani,” “Tera Naam Japdi Phiran,” “Luttna,” “Jugni,” “Yaariyaan” and “Tum Hi Ho Bandhu.” It’s good to finally have a soundtrack where more than half the songs are very enjoyable and there’s not much filler. 
 


Shanghai
Original Soundtrack

Dibakar Banerjee is no doubt among the few talented and innovative Bollywood directors, and the soundtracks of his films are usually quite good, whether it was for Khosla Ka Ghosla, Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! or L.S.D. Banerjee is back, and this time with the eagerly awaited political thriller Shanghai. This time around he has roped in the Vishal-Shekhar duo which recently did a great job with the soundtrack for the hit film Kahaani. Here’s taking a look at the soundtrack of Shanghai to see what surprises are in store.

“Bharat Mata Ki Jai” is a rather energetic, tapori-feel composition. It makes a statement. Images of street dances come to mind. The lyrics are sarcastic and are penned down by Dibakar Banerjee himself.  The satirical lyrics offer a take on the corrupt, useless Indian political system. The dhol, drums, trumpets and other beats provide lots of infectious energy to the composition. Keeri Sagathia provides confident vocals with ample support from Vishal Dadlani, Mandar Apte, Chintamani Sohoni, RN Iyer and Dibakar Banerjee. There is also a Remix version of the composition.

“Imported Kamariya” is the quintessential item number in the soundtrack. Actually, it is rather catchy and has a nautanki feel to it. Memories of “Ranaji” from Gulaal are brought back, although the songs in Gulaal were something levels way more magical. Even though it’s not too innovative nor does it showcase the Vishal-Shekhar duo’s complete potential in the item number territory (“Sheila Ki Jawani,” “Munnu Badnam”), it does maintain interest thanks to Richa Sharma’s solid vocals. She sounds a bit different this time—a bit more subdued of a rendition. Lyrics are by Anvita Dutt Guptan, and offer more satirical commentary, in this case about how popular foreign, “imported” beauties are in the world of Bollywood. The composition will be featuring British model Scarlet Mellish Wilson.

Next up is the best and most melodious track in Shanghai—“Duaa.” The composition is soothing, touching and soulful. Talented singer and guitarist Nandini Srikar (“Bhare Naina,” “Dil Mera Muft Ka”) is a versatile artist. Her rendition in this composition is gorgeous and showcases how she is a complete singer. Arijit Singh (“Raabta” from Agent Vinod) also provides beautiful vocals. The song focuses on outstanding vocals and a lovely melody. Kumaar’s lyrics are fairly decent too. Shekhar Ravjiani provides an alaap as well. Be sure to check out this tear-jerker of a composition. Good stuff, indeed!

“Khudaaya” is another must-hear song. It’s simply gorgeous thanks to the lovely melody and beautiful vocals by Shekhar Ravjiani. What a captivating number! Throwing in qawwali sections in songs seems to be the latest trend, and thus that trend continues with “Khudaaya,” too. Nice mish-mash of various music genres. It all comes together and works well. Raja Hasan also offers great supporting vocals. It’s nice to see the Vishal-Shekhar duo supporting a reality show contestant. Lyrics are by Neelesh Misra—wish more composers would utilize his talent! There is a Remix version of this song, as well, but let’s not get into remixes since by now I’m sure you all know my view on that, right? 

Next up is “Morcha,” full of manjeeras, nagaddas, and energy. Raja Hasan takes the mic again for this song, but this time with Shekhar. Vishal Dadlani pens down lyrics for this composition as well. “Morcha” presents a vision for an improved India, with amenities for everyone and no corruption, in, erm, “morcha” style. While the composition is one of the weakest in the Shanghai soundtrack, the points raised through the lyrics are valid, no doubt.

Last in the soundtrack is “Mantra Vishnu Sahasranamam,” a devotional track. Lovely to hear the sitar featured so prominently, and it’s interesting a Sanskrit mantra was included—definitely not the “safe” route most people try to play when composing. Srivatsa Krishna’s classical vocals and crystal-clear diction is impressive. Just his vocals and the sitar in the background—let’s see how this mantra is used in the film.

Eight compositions out of which two are remixes, grr, so really there are six “real” compositions in Shanghai. While there aren’t any true surprises nor does the music match the entertainment and innovation quotient of Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! or even L.S.D., (Sneha Khanwalkar, you are missed!) it is a complete package, overall. Give the soundtrack a listen for “Bharat Mata Ki Jai,” “Imported Kamariya,” and without a doubt for “Duaa” and “Khudaaya.” 
 


Jannat 2
Original Soundtrack

The music of Kunal Deshmukh’s Jannat 2 starring Emraan Hashmi, Esha Gupta and Randeep Hooda is out and of course the Bhatt camp’s favorite composer Pritam has been roped in, along with lyricists Sayeed Quadri, Sanjay Masoomm, and Mayur Puri.

The songs “Zara Sa” and “Lambi Judai” were chartbusters in the original Jannat, and showcased diversity in terms of composition range. Let’s see if the film’s sequel Jannat 2 has the same variety in compositions. It’s very rare that something being backed by the Bhatt camp has poor music, and it’s even rarer something starring Emraan Hashmi has songs lacking melody, so obviously one expects Jannat 2’s soundtrack to be enjoyable. So, sit back. Here’s taking a listen at all nine tracks.

“Tu Hi Mera” (4.33) is a good way to begin this musical outing. Breezy melody. Check. Shafqat Amanat Ali. Check. Memorable lyrics. Check. Ok, we have another chartbuster here. The tabla, drums, piano, bluesy guitar feel all sound wonderful. Although, one has to admit it has that “heard it somewhere” before feel, in particular, it brings back memories of “Pee Loon” from Once Upon a Time in Mumbai. Leave this song on loop for hours and just experience the heavenly vocals of Shafqat—his vocals work wonders in any composition—which is why we are hearing more and more of him in Bollywood—and same holds true for “Tu Hi Mera.” It’s a perfect way to kick off soundtrack!

“Tera Deedar Hua” (5.48) is another winner of a composition. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s vocals are very uplifting. Even the acoustic guitar riffs are upbeat. The “haaye” “a-ha” interception build upon the mehfil mood of this semi-qawwali song. “Tera Deedar Hua” is another superb romantic song. While Rahat’s vocals are always a joy to listen to, this time around it does sound a bit overbearing and lacks some mithaas. And, that brings me to “Tera Deedar Hua—From the Heart” (5.46)—Javed Ali’s vocals take the romance in this song up a few notches. Javed is one of the few vocalists who can take a Rahat Fateh Ali Khan song and leave an even longer lasting impression than the original version. A very filmy composition indeed this is.

“Tujhe Sochta Hoon” (5.14) is a bit darker in its feel. KK’s haunting vocals are lovely to hear after quite some time. Sadly, we don’t hear much of him these days. Sigh. The piano is the predominant instrument in this track and has a very chilled out feel despite being dark and mysterious. It’s a simple composition that remains in your mind even hours after the song is over. KK’s diction is very clear, something lyricists would be proud of.

“Rab Ka Shukrana” (5.00) is another catchy composition with beautiful vocals by one of Bollywood’s top singers, Mohit “Rockstar” Chauhan. The song has some techno elements helping to maintain an interesting beat. The song has a Sufi feel to it with references to “azaan,” “deen,” “imaan,” “kalma.” The song thanks God for bringing a beloved into one’s life and how the beloved has become one’s new God. This is good stuff. There is the “Rab Ka Shukrana—Reprise” (4.38) version, too, however Anupam Amod’s vocals are way too brooding in vocal texture and is a slight turnoff.

“Jannatein Kahan” (3.48) brings back KK again. The track pays homage to Jannat and has plenty of references to “Zara Sa.” The song has an aggressive, nightclub feel to it. Overall, it’s an average composition. There is also the “Jannatein Kahan—Power Ballad” (4.31) which presents Nikhil D’Souza as the vocalist. His rendition is chilled-out but the composition has an over-melodious feel to it that is a bit over-done and lacking in emotion. Perfection isn’t always a good thing.

“Sang Hoon Tere” (4.25) has a haunting feel to it. Nikhil D’Souza is the vocalist once more in Jannat 2 and does a great job of providing a youthful feel. The lyrics are simple and involve a lot of repetition, but are romantic, and make for great light listening. This time around it’s more about pleasant vocals and beats and emotions rather than words. This is a perfect song to have in the background when driving alone at night.

Overall, Jannat 2 presents nine melodious compositions. The only thing that really lacks in Jannat 2’s soundtrack is variety and innovation. All of the songs seem to be rehashes and variations of elements of Pritam’s previous work. He plays it safe this time and while it works, the overall sound does leave a little more to be desired.  
 


Agent Vinod
Original Soundtrack

   After delivering the very memorable film Johnny Gaddaar (2007), Sriram Raghvan is back with the Saif Ali Khan-Kareena Kapoor starrer Agent Vinod, and the soundtrack is finally out. The soundtrack features eleven compositions by Pritam and lyrics by the talented Amitabh Bhattacharya. Let’s see how the music fares!

“I Will Do the Talking Tonight” is an adaptation of “Rasputine,” and, thankfully this time Pritam credits the original source. While sheer originality would have been hoped for, “I Will Do the Talking Tonight” is still an enjoyable song. Techno beats, rap, middle-eastern elements, electronica and breezy vocals by Neeraj Shridhar, Aditi Singh Sharma, Shefali Alvaris, and Barbie Amod all go together well and create a pulsating track perfect for the clubs.

“I Will Do the Talking Tonight Remix” is a faster-paced arrangement equally as enjoyable as the original, which is nice because usually remixes have a tendency to sound super-annoying.

Four versions of “Raabta” does seem a tad bit overdone. Seriously? Four versions? Anyway, the Shreya Ghoshal-Arjit Singh-Joy version is the weakest of the four perhaps because Sherya’s vocals sound too filmy, chirpy and not as soulful and meaningful as the other versions. No, that doesn’t mean she’s a bad singer by any means, but too much of a good thing can also be bad.

The Hamsika-Arjit Singh, Joy version, Arijit Singh-Joy version, and Aditi Singh Sharma-Arijit Singh versions are way more pleasant to listen to. Pritam sure does have a flair for composing melodious romantic numbers. The percussion arrangements, soft rock feel, with inspirational, optimistic lyrics and chilled out, soothing vocals are a delight to listen to. Out of all the versions Aditi Singh Sharma’s rendition leaves the longest lasting impression. Hopefully more composers will utilize her distinct voice in upcoming soundtracks!

“Dil Mera Muft Ka” is the highlight of the soundtrack and seems to be helping the film generate buzz through being used heavily in promos. There has been lots of buzz surrounding both versions of the song due to it falling under an innovative category of mujra rock. The Nandini Srikar version (also features supporting vocals by Muzzam, Rizwan, Shadab Faridi, Altamush Faridi, and Shabab Sabri) is oozing energy. Nandini’s vocal texture is unique and her rendition is flawless and full of attitude. Neelesh Misra’s lyrics are clever, as well and help build upon the mehfil mood.

The Remix version is also an awesome version to listen to because Malini Awasti’s rendition is very different from Nandini’s and has a very rustic feel to it. Good stuff!

And, now things get a bit quirkier with “Pungi.” Mika Singh’s rendition, the melody, choice of instruments and Amitabh’s lyrics are very comical and catchy. The pace of the song is fast and maintains interest throughout.

The Remix version isn’t quite earth-shattering but makes for good soundtrack filler material.

“Agent Vinod Theme” is an ordinary instrumental piece that has the I-think-I’ve-heard-this-before feel to it. It’s ok while it lasts and certainly establishes the “thriller” mood of the film clearly.

Overall, Agent Vinod‘s soundtrack is a mixed bag. There are plenty of remixes and variations of original compositions making it less of a must-have collector’s item. However, the soundtrack is worth a listen, no doubt, for “Dil Mera Muft Ka” (both versions), “Pungi,” and “Raabta” (Aditi Singh Sharma version).
 


Will You Marry Me?
Original Soundtrack

It’s the usual case of a film soundtrack with non-superstars in the cast slipping under the radar yet again. I’m talking about the soundtrack of Aditya Datt’s (Good Luck!, Dil Diya Hai, Aashiq Banaya Aapne: Love Takes Over) upcoming film Will You Marry Me? Featuring Shreyas Talpade (Om Shanti Om, Welcome to Sajjanpur, Dor, Iqbal), the talented Rajeev Khandelwal (Aamir, Soundtrack), Mugdha Godse (Jail, Fashion), Celina Jaitley (Thank You, Golmaal Returns, No Entry) and Muzamil Ibrahim (Dhoka), the romantic comedy revolves around a beach wedding.

The soundtrack consists of eight tracks out of which two are remixes. Sharib-Toshi (Raaz: The Mystery Continues, Jashnn) and Sachin Gupta (Chalo Dilli, Prince) work their magic as composers and Shabbir Ahmed (Wanted, Bodyguard) contributes to the lyrics department. There are barely any reviews of the soundtrack, so, well, here goes!

“Kalma” (5.53) has the Sharib-Toshi stamp all over it, with vocals by Toshi Sabri, and it surely works, no doubt. The young duo is carving a niche for their work slowly and steadily with their Sufi rock compositions. Guest lyricist Turaz offers breezy lyrics that flow well—“tere naam kaa kalmaa paddhtaa hoon…chalti saansein ruk jaati hai jab yaad teri mujhe aa jaati hai…Aankhon mein tujhko bhar ke, Jee uthtaa hoon main marr ke.” The composition is oozing with energy.
There is also “Kalma—Remix” (4.46) which is pretty good for a remix—the use of the violin is very pretty. Although, oddly enough, the original is probably more danceable than the “remix” version!

“Soniye” (4.45) is another strong composition in Will You Marry Me?’s soundtrack, thanks to the amazing Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. He may not be a Nusrat, but there is no denying Rahat’s vocals are also quite distinct, captivating and soulful. A melancholic composition, the melody is very engaging and easy on the ears.

The lyrics might not be earth-shattering but get the point across in a simple yet beautiful manner, and Rahat’s earnest vocals do complete justice to the lines—“Sar pe meelon dhoop hai, Chaaon naa hai kahin raah mein. Tapti reit pe phirte hain hum toh teri hi chaah mein. Kyun mere toote khwaab ko maujo ne saahil pe laa diya? Ab toh khudaa se hai duaa mere pyaar ka kar de haq adaa…Sohneya, dil toddna hi thaa toh bataa dil kyun lagaaya?”

“Superman” (4.00) is a bit of an amateur attempt to be a club number. Not much of a memorable techno track. Talented vocalists Sukhwinder Singh, Kshitij Tarey and Jaspreet Jasz don’t really have much vocal skills to showcase in this irritating composition. The lyrics are quite trashy, too.

“Superman—Remix” (4.05) is a tad bit better than the original in maintaining interest…but only a tad bit.

The awesome Master Saleem takes the mic in “Danke Ki Chot” (3.53)! A cool, peppy bhangra track, the song works solely because of the enthusiasm Master Saleem renders all the lines with. Shweta Pandit does a decent job, as well, although she doesn’t have many lines to croon to leave a lasting impression. 

“Danki Ki Chot—Duet” (4.51) works well, too, offering a different attitude with lovely tabla arrangements and a slower tempo at the beginning. 1.23 into the song Daler Mehndi also joins in, adding more Punjabi tadka. The duet version works better than the original, as seems as the case with most of the songs in this soundtrack.

Sachin Gupta and Monali Thakur try to breathe some melody into the soundtrack with “Tu Ru TuRu Tu” (3.53). But it all seems too forced where the singers trying to be too cutesy with their vocals and a few too many “na-na-na’s” to the point it all sounds nagging. Lyrics are ordinary, too.

   Overall, Will You Marry Me? Is worth a listen, for sure—“Kalma” and “Soniye” should make it to your playlist for this month, and “Danke Ki Chot” deserves a few listens, as well!.
 


Kailasa
Rangeele

The talented group Kailasa (Kailash Kher, Naresh Kamath, Paresh Kamath) is back with their sixth album, Rangeele. They have many memorable compositions to their credit from previous albums including Aawargi, Kailasa, Jhoomo Re, Chaandan Mein, and Yatra. Their last album Chaandan Mein was released in 2009, and now, in 2012, fans can finally hear the magic of Kailasa again. Rangeele consists of eleven compositions. Here’s diving right into the music!

“Rangeele” (5.16) is a nice start to the album—the acoustic guitar, saxophone, flute, triangle, steady drumming and Kailash Kher’s wonderful vocals all come together very well. Naresh and Paresh provide good backing vocals, as well. All of the lyrics in Rangeele are by Kailash Kher, and the title track is rich with positive imagery, too, as usual—“uchlaa toh ambar ki koli bhar ke chipkaa…bhar bhar ghoont hosh ke toh pee le.”

“Tu Kya Jaane” (5.10) is a more serious, meaningful composition with a gorgeous melody. The strings, piano, acoustic guitar are used among several interesting percussion instrument choices including the ghungroos. Naresh and Paresh’s choral vocals blend in amazingly well, adding more liveliness to the composition. Kher’s lyrics are very thoughtful, revolving around a patthar-dil aashiq—“tu bin dil bin jazbaat, Allah jaane, mere dil ki baat tu kya jaane?...Un ki aadat hi hai woh toh khelte hain khel ke phir todd dete hain, Ya toh tum hi mere dil ko patthar kar do jee.”

“Albeliya” (4.47) has a mellow feel with a folk touch to it. The piano and acoustic guitar stand out as well as the percussion arrangements. Once more, lyrics really stand out, especially the lines—“main toh aazaadi mein bhi qaid ho gayi.” The song is an ode to one’s beloved and the beauty of destroying oneself in love—“haaye lutnaa mei kitna mazaa hai kaise bataaoon?”

“Yadaan Teriyaan” (3.54) is a somber, angst-filled composition about being haunted by the memories of one’s beloved. “Koi dil waala mere sajjan nu modd le aao…Maddat karo koi birhaa agan bujhaao.” The arrangement of an electric guitar, piano, strings, and drums all helps add to the melancholic feel of the composition. The Acoustic (3.40) version of the song is even more haunting than the original.

“Daaro Na Rang” (3.28) is one of the strongest compositions in the album after “Tu Kya Jaane,” and “Babbaji.” The vocals maintain a classical feel, as there is disciplined restraint. The harmonium, piano, banjo, harmonica, drums, shakers all sound catchy and maintain a more rustic feel. The lyrics use color in a symbolic way. A bit confused why the protagonist is asking to not be colored at all, I asked Kailash about the context of the song and he explained the protagonist, even though she is shyly asking to not be teased with colors is actually conveying the exact opposite and wants her “beloved to paint her senses in the passionate colors of love.”

“Kathagaan” (3.55) incorporates an interesting selection of instruments including the banjo, guiro, triangle, and other folk percussions. Memories of “Show Me Your Jalwa” do come to mind initially. “Kathagaan,” is a really upbeat, lively composition, the lyrics telling a story. There are lots of references to mystery and illusions—“jaadugarni hai ya maaya…chhaliyaa ho…saudaagar.” The phrase “meethe meethe bol lagge jaise barfi” is really cute! There are vocal percussions towards the end of the composition, too.

“Babbaji“ (5.01) is a softer composition, initially sung almost like a lullaby. Initially, on the Kailasa Rangeele Website, Kher mentioned the song is a dedication to his son. The lyrics are full of rich imagery—“ek achambha gaaon, main mann ke that sunaaoon, jab kabhi kabhi mere babaji nihaarein aasmaan se.” 40 seconds into the song the composition picks up pace and takes a louder, more intense twist 1.38 into the track.

“Hudkaan Maan Bitti” (2.56) is a really clever, masti-filled song with funny, satirical lyrics. Kher modulates his voice in many styles and his two-year-old son Kabir also lends his cute vocals here.

“Dharti Pe Jannat (2.07) conjures up a semi-qawwali feel with the use of the harmonium, ghungroos and clapping. In addition to Kailash Kher, Amitabh Bachchan also offers his vocal presence in this song. There are several interesting lines here including, “majmaa umeedo ka lagaa hai, khwaabo ke par lag gaye, bola zehen ne socha dil ne, soye asar jag gaye. dharti pe jannat ka nazaara chalo jee chalo ghoom aaye hum.”

“Ujaale Baant Lo” (5.06) has a very somber feel to it, with the sitar, flute, harp, and traditional folk percussion instruments used. Kher’s vocals are full of emotions. The song is about trying to find hope when it’s on the verge of being lost. “Mausamo ne rooth ke jahaan se keh diya, bujh na jaaye roshan haan umeedon ka diya. Toote toote taaron ne nazaaron se kakhaan, karni ko tumhaari humne hans ke sahaa…Andherein kahin jamm naa jaayein ujaale baant lo.”

It’s great to hear more of Kailasa after so long! Since most of 2011 was a musical disaster, its nice 2012 is beginning on a melodious note. Check out Rangeele, especially for “Tu Kya Jaane,” “Daaro Na Rang,” and “Babbaji.”
 


5 Ghantey Mien 5 Crore
Original Soundtrack

Every now and then soundtracks by lesser known names release and go unnoticed—usually those are the soundtracks filled with gem-like compositions. The same holds true for composer-singer Leonard Victor’s soundtrack of 5 Ghantey Mien 5 Crore, a film directed by Faisal Saif which stars Meera, Abhishek Kumar, Shahwar Ali, Rashid Khan, Kavita Radheshyam, Ranjeet and Nassar Abdulla. The soundtrack features nine compositions and lyrics by a lot of artists—Faisal Saif, Rustam Fateh Ali Khan, Devshri Khanduri, Tony Kakkar, Saajan Aggarwal, Hari Shankar, and Hasan Amin. Here’s a rundown of all nine compositions.

“Kya Wajah Thi Tere Jaane Ki” (4.51) features the melodious Javed Ali along with some supporting vocals by well-known Assamese singer Bandana Sharma. Javed Ali’s humming at beginning, the guitar and strings’ arrangements…it’s all very captivating and establishes a mood of pathos and intensity. The lyrics pose the question of why did one’s beloved abandon them and walk away—“Kya wajaah thi tere jaane ki, phir laut ke naa aane ki?” After a minute, the tabla enters into the composition. Sharma is a talented singer, no doubt, but her vocals sound too chirpy and emotionless in this song. Nonetheless, Ali works wonders—1.46 into the composition his classical rendition of the word “saiyaan” is so beautiful it pierces your heart. “Kya Wajah Thi Tere Jaane Ki” is a song all about heartbreak, distance and longing. “Itnaa bhi naa socha tum ne baad tumhare jaane ke hum kaise jeeyengey, jaan-e-jaana. Nahn jeenaa, marr jaayengey.” Tissues, please.  

Rustam Fateh Ali Khan puts his classical sangeet training to use in “Aaye Nahi Chain Kate Nahin” (4.27). He has good control over his vocals, and at the end of the composition he displays great gaayaki with his alaaps. But, the percussion arrangement and the use of the electric guitar 2.25 into the song is extremely out of place and clashes with Khan’s soft vocals.

“O Sone Ke Kangna-Female” (3.05) is the strongest and most memorable song from this soundtrack. Shibani Kashyap’s vocals are deep and stand out even if the Punjabi flavor doesn’t come across perfectly—her vocals definitely leave an impact regardless. The strings and piano are prominent and maintain a serious tone that keeps you hooked the entire time. Even after you’re done hearing the song you can’t get the melody out of your mind! The lyrics are cute and revolve around giving up your heart and mutual affection and all the good things that come with two-way love! “Dil denaa dil lehenaa, hai sauda ek jaisaa.” Leonard Victor’s “O Sone Ke Kangna-Male” version is also gorgeous.

“Kamsin” (3.29) is a seductive song with lust-filled lyrics and husky vocals by Manjira. Everything about this song is oozing attitude and naughtiness.

“Mashah Allah Kya Kehna” (3.25) has interesting, youthful vocals by Sourish. It’s a peppy song, alright, and one that you should check out for sure to put a smile back on your face.

“Yadein Yadein” (5.02) is one of the weaker compositions in 5 Ghantey Mien 5 Crore. Although Rustam Fateh Ali Khan is a talented singer, Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan would have probably provided more soulful vocals. Furthermore, the electric guitar is really clashing with the vocals, once again. Yes, the song is about memories and pathos and angst, but the instrument arrangements should be so loud you can barely hear the singer.

“Kya Jadu Hai Yeh” (4.34) brings back Victor as the singer along with Suzane. It’s another song full of attitude. The percussion arrangements are awesome, the melody is intact throughout, and the composition explores the magic of being in love. Not an earth-shattering song at all, but it makes for good, light, temporary listening.

“Zindagi Kahun” (4.21) falls into more stereotypical Sufi rock music territory and has a very dated feel. Hasan Amin’s vocals are raw but the manner in which he is trying to express emotions is a bit overdone.

People, give this soundtrack a listen and do not let it slip through your radar! It’s totally worth it for “O Sone Ke Kangna” and “Kya Wajah Thi Tere Jaane Ki.”

And, on this musical note, here’s hoping 2012 has lots of more rocking soundtracks in store!
 


Ladies VS Ricky Bahl
Original Soundtrack

After a very successful Band Baaja Baraat, director Maneesh Sharma is back with Anushka Sharma and Ranveer Singh for Ladies VS Ricky Bahl. The film introduces Priyanka Chopra’s cousin Parineeti Chopra, and revolves around Ricky Bahl (Ranveer Singh), a charming conman who has conned over twenty-eight women, taking their money and leaving them, but has finally decided to live an honest life until Ishika (Anushka Sharma) enters into the scene, planning to con him but not realizing he has another plan in mind. Riding on the success of Band Baaja Baraat’s successful soundtrack, the Salim-Sulaiman duo is roped in this time as well for the OST, with Amitabh Bhattacharya (Azaan, Delhi Belly, Ready, Luv Ka The End, No One Killed Jessica, Band Baaja Baaraat, Udaan, Dev D, Aamir) as the lyricist. Let’s see if S-S can work their Band Baaja Baraat magic again this time in Ladies VS Ricky Bahl’s seven compositions.

“Aadat Se Majboor” (4.37) is a very catchy composition honed with the saxophone, techno sounds, harmonium, and rap by Ranveer Singh. The breezy vocals are by Benny Dayal (“Pappu Can’t Dance Saala,” “Dum Dum Mast”). The lyrics do a good job of establishing Ranvir’s on-screen character as a player and con-man ready to break women’s hearts. The composition definitely is a winner and is bound to appeal to the urban youth. There happens to be a remix version (4.34) which is ordinary as most remixes are.

“Jazba” (4.39) showcases Shilpa Rao and her (“Toh Se Naina,” “Dhol Yaara Dhol”) soulful vocals and has some light classical sangeet influences and lovely percussion arrangements. The lyrics incorporate some interesting phrases such as “kaante rehne de, gulaab todd le.” Salim Merchant sure has a thing for providing backing vocals since doing so in Fashion in 2008, and once again his backing vocals also add something extra to this composition. There is an average remix version (4.02) of this composition, too.

The violin played Indian style offers a promising start to “Thug Le” (3.39), another fun, chilled out composition bringing together Vishal Dadlani and Shweta Pandit (“Rang Deeni”). The melody here is charming, although the lyrics, once again, revolve around warning girls about a guy ready to fool them. The words, “simple yeh funda hai kuddiyo ko bataana…kuddiyan nu thug le,” just sound stale.

“Jigar Da Tukda” (4.14) is another one of those S-S compositions bringing back a killer Punjabi flavor, although the composer duo really needs to start branching out of their comfort zone before their work sounds monotonous. Nonetheless, the track is enjoyable, the iktara sounds cool, and Salim Merchant’s (“Rab Rakha”) vocals are delightful to listen to. Shweta Pandit (“Awara Mann,” “Charha De Rang”), who is a pretty talented vocals, unfortunately sounds ordinary this time with not much to do in the song. Even though the lyrics are pretty boring—“you are my sohna sohna mukhda, my jiggar da tukda haaye”—you have to hand it to the duo for putting together a chartbuster dance number.

“Fatal Attraction” (3.34) brings back memories of the 80s with synths present throughout. It’s a techno instrumental track with decent backing vocals by Natalie Di Luccio (“Aadha Ishq” from Band Baaja Baraat). 

Salim-Sulaiman haven’t had that great of a year with the compositions from Aazan and Love Breakups Zindagi faring purely average and the films’ fate being even worse. However, they do bring back memories and magic from their Band Baaja Baraat days with Ladies VS Ricky Bahl’s soundtrack. They may not have been able to prove their versatility with this OST, and they may play it rather safe musically, but hey, they sure get the job done, with “Jazba,” “Thug Le,” “Jigar Da Tudka,” and “Aadat Se Majboor” the strongest out of the seven compositions. 

The music of Ladies VS Ricky Bahl is all set to release on December 9, 2011. 
 


Music Reviews: Miley Naa Miley Hum and Ye Stupid Pyar

Okay, let’s face it; besides AR Rahman’s Rockstar most of the Bollywood soundtracks that have been released recently are extremely, extremely depressing and horrendous in terms of quality. Here’s a look at two recent soundtracks that just released—Miley Naa Miley Hum which features music by the Sajid-Wajid duo and lyrics by Javed Akhtar, and Ye Stupid Pyar which features music by Vipin Patwa, Reeky Dev and lyrics by Sanjay Mishra and Arafaat. Aright, let’s take a look and give a listen to see how the songs fare.

Miley Naa Miley Hum
“Haan Yahi Pyaar Hai” (4.42) offers a nice, soothing melody. It’s a breezy, romantic song with delightful, sunshine vocals by Shaan and Shreya Ghoshal, but what could have really helped take the song to the next level are some decent lyrics. What is up with Javed Akhtar? Tsk, tsk.

“Katto Gilehri” (4.28) brings together Daler Mehndi and Mamta Sharma. It’s a fun, tapori, folksy dance number with nonsense “chammak challo raani” lines and “oye hoyes” thrown in. But whatever, it brings back memories of Govinda days when songs like “kurtaa phaadd ke” were the rage.

“Mahi Mahi” (3.38) is quite a disaster of a wannabe Punjabi number. Wajid and Richa Sharma are talented singers but the song fails miserably. There are Punjabi elements along with techno beats and sound of the shehnaayi. Javed Akhtar’s lyrics are absolutely eww—“main hoon teri heer tu hai mera ranjheyaa.” Really? Oh please!

“Nazar Se Nazar Mile” (5.02) is the winner here, and Sajid-Wajid know that, too, because it features twice in the soundtrack. While the Waji, Abhilasha Chellam and Anupama Raag version is also nice, it’s the Rahat Fateh Ali Khan version which really rocks thanks to his soulful, attention-grabbing vocals. Of course, the pace and melody is quite charming, too, and Anupama’s child-like vocals are cute.
“Wake Up Now” (4.43) begins with a classical sangeet feel, tablas and ghungroos and all, but then the techno elements take over and Wajid and Suzanne D’Mello’s vocals are wasted. And the lyrics…wake up Javed! “Wake up, wake up now. Come to the party now. Aa ja re aa ja re.” Sigh.

The soundtrack is only worth a listen for “Nazar Se Nazar Mile” and “Haan Yahi Pyaar Hai.” Enough said.
Moving on to…

Yeh Stupid Pyar
“Lamha Lamha” (4.43) is a nice romantic song about the beauty of falling in love with lovely vocals by Nikhil D’Souza (Aisha, Kucch Luv Jaisaa). Lyrics are a bit stale, though—“hosh ho rahe hain gum…sab kuch hai badla badla lagne laga naya naya.” Lyrics toh nayaa likho!

“Tere Naam Se” (4.37) brings back memories of “Tera Hone Laga Hoon” from Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani, and even starts off with English lyrics. It’s another one of those soft, breezy, light-listening numbers which draws in the flute, techno sounds, guitar, keyboard and even chimes. It’s nice to hear the talented K.K.’s vocals, too.

“Aana Phir Se Aana” (2.50) is a nice, pathos-filled rock number by Reeky, and his vocals are husky and stand out. The melody is decent and angst is conveyed well. Lyrics are ordinary but get the point across about wondering why loved ones enter into your life only to leave—“kyun hue ho tum mujhse door? Aa ke mujhe bataana.”

“Ishq Da Mausam” (3.29) is a pretty catchy dance number blending Punjabi beats with techno elements and even the harmonium! Neat stuff here. Master Saleem’s vocals are always rocking and Ritu Pathak’s vocals also fit in well in this song.

“Mehroom Hoon Main” (3.32) sounds a bit dated with use of a chorus, and the song seems to have a hard time constraining itself to a genre, but Shaan and Manjeera’s rendition is heartfelt, so brownie points for that.

“Stupid Pyar” (3.37) is a stupid composition. The song is about the stupidness of falling in love when there is so much heartbreak and disappointment that follows. The song has rock elements but Vipin Patwa’s semi-classical style of rendition sounds totally out of place.

There are Remixes of “Aana,” “Lamha,” and “Tere Naam Se” as well as an instrumental theme piece “Romantic Theme.” The only composition that stands out among these is the remix of “Aana,” thanks to Arun Daga’s decent rendition.

Arun Daga is also back in “Maskara” (3.47), although this song isn’t so happening and Sasha and Sadhu don’t have much of a chance to shine, either. The lyrics are pathetic—“saali ne le li meri jaan,” and the entire composition sounds put together in a rush.

Nonetheless, do listen to “Lamha Lamha,” “Tere Naam Se,” Aana Phir Se Aana,” and definitely “Ishq Da Mausam.”


Ae Dosheeza
Original Soundtrack

    Kshitij Tarey’s debut album Ae Dosheeza has finally released under the Times Music label, which is quite exciting since the talented singer has lent his voice to several soulful compositions in the past including “Aye Khuda,” “Madno,” “Tose Naina,” “Dhol Yaara Dhol,” and “Mushkil Khushaa.” The album was recently launched by Salim Merchant, and several well-known names from the music industry were present including Raghav Sachar, Shilpa Rao, Aditi Singh Sharma, Sachin Gupta, Sumedha, Pandit Bhabdeep Jaipurwaley and Pandit Rattan Mohan Sharma. Ae Dosheeza contains seven songs and brings together the team of lyricist Sayeed Quadri and composer Gaurav Dagaonkar. Let’s see what the album has in store.

“O Meri Jaane Jaan” is an upbeat and romantic soft-rock song that takes an optimistic and positive approach to falling in love. The music video is quite cute and innovative, too, showcasing video clips in a digital collage.

The Remix version is actually a very pleasant surprise. Usually remixes suck, but this one is even better than the original version and captures the carefree spirit of the song very well and enhances the song further.

“Ae Dosheeza” begins on a somber note with the piano for 25 seconds and then picks up pace taking the rock flavor route. The lyrics focus on heart break and separation, “Teri yaad mein aksar raat raat bhar jag kar rote hum rahe baarha, Kaate they jo tere sang lamhey woh sabhi aakar dil ko kar gaye gamzadhaa, Kabhi kar tu idhar ka rukh phir zaraa, Kabhi le tu humaari sudh phir zaraa.” The Remix version is not very appropriate for a song like this though.

“Bulle Nu Samjhavan Aayiaan” is a lovely composition and an interesting, catchy adaptation of this folk song. The musical arrangement is pretty chilled out with a blend of genres ranging from rock and middle-eastern influences coming into play here. Tarey’s vocals are stunning and his Punjabi rendition is great. This song is definitely worth plenty of repeat listens.

“Yaad Piya Ki Aaye,” is the most memorable composition in this album. It’s absolutely gorgeous, soul-stirring and magical. Tarey’s voice is the emphasis in this composition, which blends classical Hindustani with blues.

He has excellent command over his vocals starting in this song, beginning with the very first opening alaap, and sings beautiful lyrics such as “Yaad piyaa ki aaye, Yeh dukh sahaa naa jaaye, Haaye raam, Yeh dukh sahaa naa jaaye,” in a meaningful way. The melody is beautiful and the finale at the end is really nice.

There is also a cover version of “Saanware” which was originally composed by Harpreet and sung by Roop Kumar Rathod. Tarey’s version is a more simplified and a charming take on the song, and is an interesting alternate rendition than the original.

Although it would have been nice if Ae Dosheeza had more songs since two of the tracks happen to be remixes, the album is still worth a listen for some really impressive renditions by Kshitij Tarey in “Yaad Piya Ki Aaye,” “Bulle Nu Samjhavan Aaiyaan,” and “Saanware.”


Love Breakups Zindagi
Original Soundtrack

   One can always expect the Salim-Sulaiman duo to come up with fairly decent, foot-tapping music. Remember Band Baaja Baaraat, Aashayein, Rocket Singh, Luck, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Fashion, Aaja Nachle, Dor, Iqbal and Kaal? Yup, the Salim-Suaiman duo worked their magic with those OSTs, and once again they provide a melodious, chilled out musical offering for director Sahil Sangha’s upcoming film Love Breakups Zindagi which stars Dia Mirza, Zayed Khan, Cyrus Sahukar and Tisca Chopra.

“Rozaana” is an instant winner thanks to Salim Merchant’s breezy vocals and some kick-ass acoustic guitar riffs coupled with techno beats. The song takes a really positive approach to life with loads of sunshine imagery—“jahaan hain hum wahaan koi gham nahin hai,” “jaagi si zindaggi hai,” “rangon ki baarishein hain,”  “subaah leke aati hai roshani.” There is a Remix version, too, by DJ A-Myth.

“Rab Rakha” is a simple yet charming romantic composition sung by Sonu Nigam, Shreya Ghoshal, Shradha Pandit and Salim Merchant which relies mainly on the catchy repetition of the phrase “rab raakhaa.” The percussion arrangements are steady and the Punjabi twist is pretty neat.

“Love Love Love” is the only weak song in this soundtrack mainly because it tries too hard to sound cool and youthful. Benny Dayal and Shradha Pandit’s vocals are wasted because they really don’t have anything memorable to sing. Time to move on to the next song in the soundtrack!

“Chhayee Hai Tanhayee” is a gorgeous qawaali sung by Shafqat Amanat Ali, Salim Merchant, and Shruti Pathak. It bears a very strong resemblance to “Tujhe Bhulaa Diyaa” from Anjaana Anjaani, though. Although some of the lines are clichéd, there are also some interesting phrases such as “jis ko hai kho jaanaa woh miltaa hi kyun hain? dil ko hai murjhaanaa tho khiltaa hi kyun hai?”


Mausam
Original Soundrack

Pankaj Kapur’s Mausam is definitely one of this year’s most awaited films, not only because he is directing his own son Shahid Kapoor opposite Sonam Kapoor for the first time, but because it is Kapur’s debut as a director and everyone is curious to see if India’s finest actor is also capable of being one of India’s finest directors. The Mausam soundtrack features 13 compositions, and music composer Pritam and lyricist Irshad Kamil are roped in.

“Rabba Main Toh Mar Gaya Oye” is an innocent awakening to love, the use of the flute and traditional percussion instruments conjuring up a simple village setting. Shahid Mallya’s vocals are pleasant to hear and the acoustic guitar arrangements are easy on the ears.

There is another version of this composition rendered by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. His rendition does bring back memories of “Aaj Din Chaddehya” from Love Aaj Kal but it’s a more joyful variation of the original composition, and certainly worthy of multiple listens. There’s something about Khan’s vocals that always grabs one’s attention.

“Sajh Dhaj Ke” is a playful Punjabi number sung by Mika Singh and Pankaj Kapur. It begins with a Punjabi wedding boli and then changes into a dance number. Although the song succeeds in being upbeat, it fails to leave an impression because it simply tries way too hard to sound cool. Furthermore, the lyrics are very superficial and boring.

There are two very average remixes of this composition, too. A “Tiger Style Mix” and a “Club Mix Tiger Style.“ Yawn.

“Ik Tu Hi Tu Hi” begins with a lovely alaap by Ustad Sultan Khan and then Hans Raj Hans takes the mic. Hans Raj Hans sure needs to be utilized more by Bollywood. The song is full of pathos and explores the emotional, melancholic side of love when you are distanced from your beloved. The inclusion of the chorus is also nice. What’s interesting is that there is this underlying later of optimism through the composition, perhaps symbolic.

“Ik Tu Hi Tu Hi” has two more versions—a reprise by Shahid Mallya and a “Mehfil Mix” by the Wadali Brothers. Both versions are really amazing. While the Wadali Brothers’ version presents more of a relaxed, chilled-out, upbeat feel, Shahid Mallya’s version captures the cry of a heart to perfection. The lyrics are so beautiful—“Jab jab chaahaa tu ne rajh ke rulaayaa, Jab jab chaaha tu ne khul ke hansaayaa.”

Rashid Khan, the man behind “Aao Ge Jab Tum” from Jab We Met is back with “Poore Se Zara Sa Kam Hain,” one of the soundtrack’s strongest compositions. It’s an emotion filled semi-classical composition about how one is incomplete without one’s beloved. The lyrics are beautiful—“Pore se zara sa kam hai…Tu Fiza humaari hai hum mausam hai, Tu nadi hai kinara tera hum hai.”

“Aag Lage Us Aag Ko” is composed and rendered by Karsan Das Gupta, and it maintains a rustic feel throughout and is heavy on percussion arrangements. The composition is situational and can best be summed up as an outburst of emotions.

Tochi Raina is always a treat to hear! Remember “Gall Mitthi Mitthi” and “Pardesi”? Yup, those were sung by Tochi, as well, not to be confused with Toshi. “Mallo Malli” is a fun dance number blending in techno elements, sounding very different from the simple, village image conjuring compositions present in Mausam’s soundtrack. The composition presents an optimistic and playful point of view about taking one’s beloved away.

There are also two remix versions of this composition including one by Lehember Hussainpuri (“Saddi Gali”) and Hard Kaur, which is an equally as enjoyable composition as the original.

Overall, yes, Mausam’s soundtrack does explore various “seasons” of love ranging from an innocent awakening to falling in love, to a more playful feel, to pathos, to optimism. Not all thirteen compositions are consistent in terms of quality, and it would be nice if Pritam tried to break out of the Love Aaj Kal and Jab We Met mould. Nonetheless, here’s looking forward to see what magic Kapur works in his film!


Aarakshan
Original Soundtrack

    The music of the highly anticipated Prakash Jha film Aarakshan has been released, and the news that lyricist Prasoon Joshi has also composed a song for the film, in addition to the Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy trio, definitely sparks some curiosity. The soundtrack consists of six compositions out of which one is a solo version and the other is a remix.

Sung by Mohit Chauhan and Shreya Ghoshal, “Acha Lagta Hai” is a very upbeat number with amazing lyrics rich in happy imagery—“Jhatak kar zulf jab tum tauliye se baarishein aazaad karti ho acchaa lagtaa hai.” Both singers definitely get into the mood of the song and sound carefree and playful. It’s a very cute song, with a catchy beat and cheerful melody. The only problem is that the words “Acha lagta hai” will remind many listeners of the song “Acchi Lagti Ho” from Kuch Naa Kaho.

Unfortunately, “Mauka” is a bit too loud and more of a situational song, I guess. Mahalaxmi Iyer, Raman Mahadevan, Tarun Sagar, Gaurav Gupta and Rehan are roped in for this composition. There’s really not much to say about this composition, except that it tries a bit too hard to establish a playful mood. There is also a “Remix” version of “Mauka” as if the original version wasn’t bad enough.

Wow, Prasoon Joshi sure is a powerhouse of talent. Not only can the man write really gorgeous lyrics, but he also knows a thing or two about composing as demonstrated in the classical composition “Kaun Si Dor” which also has another version titled “Saans Albeli.” Pandit Channulal Mishra and Shreya Ghoshal shine. Pandit Channulal Mishra sounds amazing even at the age of 75! The song has a melancholic and serious feel to it, the strings offering additional dramatic impact.

“Roshanee” is an enjoyable Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy track with the trademark youthful S-E-L stamp all over it. Shankar Mahadevan sings the composition very well. The song is quite melodious, although not too earth-shattering. It’s more of an enjoy-it-while-it-lasts song.
Well, while there are not too many compositions in Aarkashan’s OST, “Acha Lagta Hai,” and “Kaunsi Dor”/“Saans Albeli,” definitely do stand out, with “Roshanee” also sounding fairly decent.
 


Album Review: Nickk

A Delhi based music production and sound recording company has recently launched singer-composer Nickk’s debut album titled Nickk. Two of the music videos were filmed in Ukraine, and are being promoted on MTV, Channel V, 9XM, Bindaas, and B3U.

The album kicks off with “Janasheen” written and composed by Gaurav Dayal, with vocals by none other than, of course, Nickk.
“Janasheen” is a nice pop-rock romantic composition with pleasant percussion arrangements, cool guitar riffs, a steady pace, and fairly romantic lines. The composition has a warm, cheerful feeling to it.

Next comes up “Guzarish Rock” written by Neeru Mehta and composed by Gaurav Dayal. It’s a nice chilled-out rock song with a neat melody that makes up for the average lyrics. The “Guzarish Dance” is a lot catchier, though, and highly recommended to check out!
Nickk demonstrates his composition skills with “Jaane Kyun” which he also co-writes with Saurabh Dev Karan. The composition is a rock ballad with a somber, emotional feel to it. Nickk showcases his vocal range very well. The incorporation of the flute further establishes a mood of pathos. While the composition is quite memorable, the lyrics are a tad bit clichéd—“Aa meri jaan tanhaa hoon yahaan pe akelaa khaddaa hoon.”

“Iqteza” is a real winner in the entire album. The song is written by Nickk and composed by Gaurav Dayal. Well, this is one awesome dance number and is bound to do well at all the desi clubs. All of the techno elements in the song add to its repeat value.
Do give this album a listen, especially for “Iqteza,” “Janashenen,” and “Guzarish Dance.”


Murder 2
Original Soundtrack

After the success of Murder, Vishesh Films is back with the steamy sequel Murder 2, directed by Mohit Suri. Now, since Murder boasted a killer soundtrack, the expectations from Murder 2’s soundtrack are high, but as the wise ones say, high expectations lead to disappointment. Let’s dive right into the eight compositions composed and sung by Harshit Saxena.

The track “Hale Dil” has a Pritamesque quality to it and has been used heavily in the film’s promos. Although the lyrics by Sayeed Quadri are very simple and breezy - “nazaara ho tera hi nazaara ab har din hai lagtaa,” – which are unlike his usual poetic self. The use of the accordion, however, is quite innovative, and the melody is youthful, energetic and pleasant, compensating for what lacks in the lyrics department.

 The “Acoustic Version” of “Hale Dil” is much, much more enjoyable than the original, and the guitar riffs are very catchy.

Even Harshit’s vocals are clearer and more consistent in this particular rendition.  Composed by Sangeet Haldipur and Siddharth Haldipur, “Aa Zara” is a seductive composition sung by Sunidhi Chauhan. Although her vocals suit this composition perfectly, and the acoustic guitar riffs are nice, the overall composition is ordinary.

Kumaar’s lyrics are very simplistic and stale—“yeh raat ruk jaaye, baat tham jaaye, teri baahon mein…Aa zaraa kareeb se jo pal mile naseeb se.” The emphasis and focus is more on the hummable melody, so the composition is passable in that sense.
The “Reloaded” version of the composition by Kiran Kamath has an interesting techno beat to it, giving the song an added groovier dimension, making it easier to maintain listeners’ attention.

Mithoon Sharma (Anwar, Lamha) comes up with the two strongest compositions in Murder 2. “Aye Khuda” is not only composed by Mithoon but also has lyrics by the talented, young composer, and he sings along with Kshitij Tarey and Saim Bhat. The composition, vocals, and lyrics are soul stirring and meaningful. The balance of rock and classical elements is well-done.

Listen to these really amazing lines by Sharma, touching upon spirituality, falling, realization and redemption — “Kaisi khalaa yeh dil mein basi hain? Ab tho khataayein fitrat hi si hai. Main hi hoon woh jo rehmat se ghiraa, eh khudaa ghir gayaa, ghir gayaa, main jo tujhse door huaa, lut gayaa…”

The remix version by Kiran Kamath stands out as one of the best remixes this year—it’s amazing how he transforms a serious, pathos-filled composition into something more foot-tapping.

Also composed by Mithoon Sharma, “Phir Mohabbat” is a mesmerizing song, and lyricist Sayeed Qadri is back in full-form for the lyrics. Mohd. Irfan, Arjit and Salm Bhat sing this composition very well with pathos. The composition takes its time to unfold at a nice, steady pace, and is very emotional. Qadri’s lines really stand out — “Jab jab tere paas main aaya ek sukoon milaa. Jisse main thaa bhooltaa aayaa woh maujood milaa. Jab aaye mausam gham ke tujhe yaad kiyaa…Dil sambhal jaa zaraa, phir mohabbat karne chalaa hai tu.”
“Tujhko Bhulaana” is a mediocre composition by Sangeet Haldipur and Siddharth Haldipur. Although they try to appeal to the younger generation, they try too hard to create an energetic composition, and end up going a bit overboard so that the composition ultimately sounds quite jarring. Sangeet Haldipur and Roshni Baptist’s vocals are average because they are not given a strong composition to shine in and demonstrate much vocal talent.

While four composers are roped in for Murder 2’s soundtrack, unfortunately with the exception of Mithoon Sharma and Harshit Saxena’s compositions, the rest of the compositions are strictly average, time-pass material. Let’s hope the soundtrack isn’t a reflection of the film’s quality!
 



Kucch Luv Jaisaa
Original Soundtrack

Starring Rahul Bose and Shefali Shah, Kucch Luv Jaisaa tells the interesting story of a housewife who meets a criminal on the run. The compositions are by Pritam Chakraborty and the lyricist is Pritam’s favorite wordsmith Irshad Kamil.

Bringing back memories of another Pritam OST Raajneeti, ”Naina” (5.31) presents Mohit Chauhan and Monali Thakur, reminding us of “Bheegi Si Bhaagi Si” again. The composition is romantic, the vocals are sweet, the whistling is upbeat, and the lyrics reflect on the initial stages of falling in love. However, it is a bit weird that even though there is a female vocalist Mohit also sings the female version of the lyrics, too!

“Thoda Sa Pyaar” (4.53) features in the soundtrack not one, not two, but three times! Although Anupam Amod, Mannan Shah, Naresh Iyer, Shefali Alvaris all take turns behind the mic, it is Sunidhi Chauhan who stands out the most by giving a restrained performance. There are techno and rock music elements working here, and, overall, the chilled out pace of the composition works rather well and Sunidhi shines! There happen to be two more versions of this song—the “Thoda Sa Pyaar—Raghav’s Search For Love” (5.13) version which is a bit more melancholic than the Sunidhi version, and the “Thoda Sa Pyaar—Madhu’s Search For Love” (5.31) version which is a bit more upbeat.

“Baadlon Pe Paon” (4.19) is an upbeat song with the electric guitar adding in more energy. The lyrics are optimistic and refer to joyful ideas such as that of walking on the clouds and touching the sky, desires being fulfilled, and doing what one hasn’t done before. Mannan Shah’s vocals are pleasant to listen to.

“Khwab—Rock” (4.41) is a really strong composition full of pathos. Nikhil D’Souza sings this song amazingly well with a lot of emotion and his voice captures a variety of feelings ranging from confusion and bewilderment to angst. There is a buildup of tension in the song and the electric guitar further contributes to this. There is also the “Khwab—Raghav’s Confession” (5.52) version of the track, which is more upbeat and longer and has a different feel from the original.

While the Kucch Luv Jaisaa soundtrack doesn’t really boast of any chartbuster material, the compositions are still pleasant and make for great light time-pass listening.

Kashmakash
Original Soundtrack

The Hindi version of critically acclaimed filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh’s movie Noukadubi titled Kashmakash has really amazing, soulful, classical compositions by the Sanjoy-Raja duo and lyrics by the immensely talented Gulzar.

“Manwa” (4.13) proves once again how very gifted Shreya Ghoshal is. She sings this classical composition with perfection and her voice captures pathos very well. The sitar and violins also build a somber mood.

“Khoya Kya” (5.20) is a real treat to listen to because Hariharan is back after a being away from recording. The composition is very dramatic and intense almost reminding one of the types of music you’d find in a Bhansali production. The lyrics are really amazing—“Khoyaa kyaa jo paayaa hi nahin, Khaali haath ki lakeerein hain, Kuch likhaa hi nahin.”

“Teri Seemyen” (4.47) is another slow-paced classical composition with sweet vocals by Shreya Ghoshal once more. The emphasis is on her vocals, so instrument arrangements are not as prominent. Like the rest of the compositions, this one, too, is a bit melancholic with reference to “dard” and “dard…sehte janaa hai” even though the vocals are not brooding.

“Nau Meri” (5.29) is a very powerful composition that brings together two very talented singers—Hariharan and Madhushree. The duet has deep lyrics by Gulzar, which deal with one’s boat finding its destination and stopping, but in a more metaphorical sense.
“Anandaloke” (2.42) is a rather short, choral piece sung by Sudeshna Chatterjee in Bengali along with a chorus—the violins make this composition even more dramatic.

Although there are only five compositions in Kashmakash, it is definitely a soundtrack worth cherishing because it presents classical compositions after quite some time, has gorgeous lyrics by Gulzar, and brings together some of the finest singers including Hariharan, Madhushree and Shreya Ghoshal.


Shor In The City (Soundtrack)
 
The Krishna DK and Raj Nidimoru directorial duo (Flavors, 99) returns with their new soundtrack for the film Shor in the City.  The film’s soundtrack and songs have been getting a lot of positive buzz.  There are a bunch of composers brought in, and two old tracks are also incorporated. Nonetheless, all eight compositions are pretty enjoyable.

“Saibo” (3.15) is a beautiful romantic ballad composed by the Sachin-Jigar duo and sung by the extremely talented Shreya Ghoshal and Tochi Raina. The composition was officially launched on the Indian soap opera Pavitra Rishta.  The use of the acoustic guitar and violins is pleasant and some of the phrases are cute such as, “nainaa navaabi jee.”  It’s the perfect song for all the lovebirds out there.

There is also a Remix (3.21) of this song with techno elements and a faster beat.  The original is far more enjoyable, though.  Remixes usually tend to come across as being filler material.

“Karma Is a Bitch” (3.18) brings back memories of Amit Trivedi’s “Aali Re” from No One Killed Jessica.  Composed by Sachin-Jigar, “Karma is a Bitch” is an energetic and playful track where Suraj Jagan’s loud vocals get the song’s message across perfectly along with the help of backing vocals by Priya Panchalm and Swati Mukund.  The electric guitar, tabla, techno sounds, car tires screeching sound are interesting and the lyrics revolving around the woes of karma are witty—“yahaan jo karegaa woh tu yehi pe bharegaa…karmaa noch noch ke khaayegaa.”

Composed by Sachin-Jigar “Shor “(4.08) utilizes the awesome voice of Agnee’s lead singer Mohan.  The composition is intense and has a cool and catchy feel to it.  Even the lyrics are quite well thought out—“Tu raakh hai, tu aag hai, teri kabr tu hi re, tu aanch hai, tu saanch hai, tera hashr tu hi re, tu sab se juddaa tho khud se judaa hai kyun?  Shor mei hai sukoon.”

Harpreet Singh’s “Deem Deem Tana” (2.43) is a creative composition that blends together classical sangeet elements with rock music elements, making it a fun song to listen to.  Shriram Iyer does a good job of singing the lyrics at such a fast pace.

“Teri Justajoo” (Saaware) (4.36) brings back memories of Mithoon Sharma compositions, probably due to having a soft, sweet melody and roping in Roopkumar Rathod as the singer.  Composer Harpreet Singh comes up with a lovely melody, and the use of the tabla adds a semi-classical feel.  Lyrics are decent—“Saanware tere bin sooni sooni hai ankhiyaan tere bina lamha lamha hai sadiyaan.”

Agnee’s “Ujale Baaz” (4.04) and Kailasa’s “Babam Bam” (5.18) are previously released compositions which are included in the CD.  “Ujaale Baaz” is a superb composition with a captivating melody and interesting lyrics about dreams and preparing to break free out of a cage—“Pinjare mei they bandh uddne ki tayaari ho gayi re.” And, of course “Babam Bam” is a pretty catchy and mesmerizing composition that transports you into a cave-like setting, while presenting a dialogue between Parvati and Shiva.

Shor In The City has seven neat compositions— the remix track doesn’t really count —which are bound to appeal to musical preferences of all music listeners.  Whether it’s soft romantic songs, or rock compositions or fusion tracks that you enjoy, Shor In The City’s soundtrack has got it all, with “Saibo,” “Shor,” “Ujale Baaz,” “Babam Bam,” and “Teri Justajoo” being the songs with the most repeat value.
 


F.A.L.T.U.
(Original Soundtrack)

By Amanda Sodhi

F.A.L.T.U is an interesting soundtrack because it contains 11 compositions without any remixes, which is a miracle considering that nearly every Hindi OST has a lot of remixes and reprise tracks as filler material. Furthermore, it is only available as a digital download for only forty rupees. The compositions are by the Sachin-Jigar duo (Teree Sang, Krantiveer: The Revolution), lyrics are by Sameer, and choreographer Remo D’Souza makes his debut as a film director.

“Le Ja Tu Mujhe” (5.31) is a lovely soft rock ballad crooned by none other than the very popular Atif Aslam. The incorporation of a sarangi in a soft rock track is pretty neat, the use of a chorus from time to time sounds surprisingly pleasant, and Sameer’s lyrics are quite good for a change—”Ab dabi dabi awaaz hai, Khoye sabhi alfaaz hain, Naraaz kyun saaz hai gaanon se mere?” A real winner of a song!

“Char Baj Gaye—Party Abhi Baaki Hai” (3.33) is another one of those classic Hard Kaur masti-filled dance numbers to rock discos and youngsters’ parties. The lyrics are in Hinglish and establish a carefree, fun mood—”Hello mister DJ, meraa gaanaa please play.”

“Rab Sab Se Sona” (4.16) brings back memories of “Chor Bazaari.” Neeraj Shridhar and Apeksha Dandekar sound ok in this average soft, breezy number which has random forced Punjabi “oye oye’s” in the background, a harmonium and whistling, too. Sameer’s lyrics are also a bit boring and the English lines are funny in a bad way—”You are beating my heart today.” C’mon, now how cheesy is that?

Jigar Sariya sounds awesome in “Awaaz” (4.28). The acoustic guitar arrangements are great, Jigar sings this composition from the heart, and the tabla arrangement offers a nice, subtle classical sangeet arrangement, as does the flute. Sameer’s lyrics are beautiful this time around—”Zubaan pe taale rakhengey kab tak?...Awaaz kaa apne dil ko aazaadiyaan haasil ho.”

Mika Singh and Hard Kaur take the mic for “Fully Faltu” (4.44), which is rather addictive and danceable. Mika dominates in this track whereas Hard Kaur’s rap is scattered now and then. Sameer’s lyrics are enjoyable and will make you smile—”Tension-vension chhodd de bacchaa ho jaa fully faaltu.”

“Gale Lagaa Le” (3.54) is a strong composition and Vijay Prakash and Priya Panchal both sound superb. The use of strings offers a dramatic build-up of emotions and Sameer’s lyrics stand out—”Kitaabon mei likhaa jo humne kab woh paddaa hai? Likhtey hai hum falak pe khud humaari daastaan.”

Jigar Saraiya takes the mic again for “Nayee Subaah” (3.37), a loud rock number with equally loud and prominent electric guitar use. But, the composition fails to offer anything special or distinct.

“O Teri” (3.16) is a fun mish-mash of various elements ranging from alaaps to the sitar to even Punjabi words sprinkled in. This short composition takes many twists and turns and is full of surprises, which makes it an enjoyable, light listen.

“Percentage” (4.08) is also a rock number, but the only thing going for this composition is the lead singer Neuman Pinto’s vocals. Other than that, it’s a strictly average track about the horrors of grades and percentages.

Neeraj Shridhar, Sameer, Jigar and Sachin all join together for “Beh Chala” (3.14), an attempt to recreate the magic of Elvis. It’s a neat composition but lacks the repeat listen factor compared to stronger compositions such as “Awaaz” and “Gale Lagaa Le” and “Le Jaa Tu Mujhe.”

“Bhoot Aaya” (3.42) brings together Lehmber Hussainpuri (“Sadi Gali”/Tanu Weds Manu), Sameer, Jigar and Sachin and begins with the sound of baby crying, and the lyrics are quite hilarious comparing and contrasting how a guy turns more mischievous as he gets older—”jab main chhotaa bachaa thaa superman pe marrtaa thaa ab jo main baddaa ho gaya supergirl pe marrtaa hoon.”

Overall, F.A.L.T.U is a refreshing album in 2011. It isn’t a simple feat to offer so many good-quality original compositions and offer so much variety in an OST, but F.A.L.T.U has many memorable songs, with “Le Ja Tu Mujhe,”  “Char Baj Gaye,” “Awaaz,” “Fully Faltu,” “Gale Laga Le,”  and“ Bhoot Aaya” being the top picks.
 


Madhushree
Kuch Pal
(Royant Music)

By Amanda Sodhi

Although it isn’t everyday we get to hear Madhushree’s sweet, mellifluous voice, her songs “Kabhi Neem Neem” from Yuva, “Tu Bin Bataye” from Rang De Basanti, “Hum Hain Iss Pal Yahaan” from Kisna, “Mahi Ve” from Kal Ho Na Ho, “In Lamhon Ke Daman Mein” from Jodhaa Akbar, “Sau Janam” from What’s Your Raashee?, “Yaar Mila Tha Saiyaan” from Blue, and “Pal Pal Hai Bhaari” from Swades are remembered and listened to fondly by Bollywood music fans. Launched by filmmaker Subhash Ghai, her second album, Kuch Pal is finally out. Here’s the rundown of the nine compositions by her husband Robby Badal who also composed her debut album Lagi Lagan earlier.

“Hero” featuring Tale Spin does sound a bit dated, especially since using the word “hero” in song lyrics is old-fashioned. The rap by Tale Spin seems out of place, too. However, the use of the strings is nice and the simple percussion arrangements and melody is easy on the ears. Lyrics by Satyendra Khare build up upon the concept of a girl adoring her lover—“Meri har chaah mei eh sanam tum ho, Meri har khwaab mei eh sanam tum ho.” There is also a Tamil Version of this song with lyrics by Dinesh Scaran.

”Chal Kucch Pal” is a laid back composition. The pace is very slow and the soft rock feel is nice to chill out to. Tanveer Ghazi’s lyrics are ordinary, though—“Chal kuch pal mere saath chal…Shaayad yeh lamhe phir aaye naa kal.”

“Ishq Ne Aisa” featuring Sachin Tyagi has a more somber yet very lovely melody. The incorporation of the flute and saxophone is creative. Madhushree sings all the notes perfectly, however Sachin Tyagi could have (and should have) easily been replaced by a better male vocalist. This time around Tanveer Ghazi’s lyrics actually make an impact—“Ishq ne aisaa shankh bajaayaa goonj uthi tanhaayi meri. Dhoop se har deewar pe teraa naam likhey parchaayi meri.”

”Pal” follows in suit of “Chal Kuch Pal” and even Shyam Raj’s lyrics fail to offer anything innovative—“Pal har pal mere saath chal, Jaanaa naa mujhse tu aage nikal.” The piano stands out in this song, and overall, the composition maintains a soft, steady pace. 

While the mood and lyrics of “Shabnami” are upbeat, surprisingly Madhushree’s voice does not convey these emotions too well—the song could have been rendered with more feel. Even the techno sounds and electric guitar sound forced—a case of forced fusion, I guess. Tanveer Ghazi’s lyrics are also ordinary—“Tu zubaan se mujhe jo nahin keh saka teri dhadkan woh baatein bataati rahey.”

“Tum Bhi Ekbaar” is the strongest composition in Kuch Pal. The use of the strings, saxophone, and tabla arrangements are fused together wonderfully, and Madhushree sings this composition with a seductive tone. Sardar Anjum’s lyrics certainly stand out—“Tum bhi ek baar mujhe dost banaakar dekho, Apni khusboo meri khusbhoo mei milaakar dekho…Shamaa ki taraah mujhe aag lagaa kar dekho.”

While the saarangi sounds quite beautiful in “Aaj Ki Raat,” the choral vocal percussions are unnecessary. Nonetheless, it is a decent track. Niren Bhatt’s lyrics are seductive and build upon feelings of passion, desire and longing—“Aaj ki raat mujhe hadh se guzar jaane de, Tere saanson ke samundar mei utar jaane de.”

”Jane Kya Hua” featuring Robby Badal explores the more melancholic phase of the love cycle—heartbreak. The piano arrangement is good and Robby Badal provides decent backing vocals. Tanveer Ghazi’s lyrics question what went wrong in a relationship, although it sounds a bit clichéd—“Ek aandhi si aayi sab khushiyaan le gayi.”

Romantic songs are what Madhushree excels at, and Kuch Pal explores the different moods and moments of love and romance. While “Hero” and “Shabnami” are ordinary, the album does boast of some memorable compositions such as “Ishq Ne Aisa,” and “Tum Bhi Ekbaar.” Even the remaining compositions are quite easy on the ears.
 


Tera Kya Hoga Johnny
Original Soundtrack

By Amanda Sodhi

Out of the recent music releases—Tees Maar Khan, Yamla Pagla Deewana, Impatient Vivek, Toonpur Ka Superrhero, No Problem, Turning 30—Tera Kya Hoga Johnny is one of the few Bollywood OSTs that stands out. There are seven compositions by Pankaj Awasthi, Ali Azmat and Abhishek Ray, and with the exception of one composition the rest of the songs are quite enjoyable.

”Tera Kya Hoga Johnny” (3.36) is a really peppy, feel-good, motivational number. Sukhwinder Singh sounds lively as usual. In addition to composing this song, Pankaj Awasthi alsoprovides decent vocal backing. There are brief dialogues inserted in the song such as “chaai pilaa ek dum kaddak,” and a bizarre “la la la la la” inserted as well. The pace of the songis nice and steady, fitting in with the song’s theme of building up confidence in the lead protagonist. These particular lines by Junaid Wasi stood out—”Yeh cheentiyon ki kataar hai,Ek parde ki deewar hai. Har parde ki aadd mein, Ek dhokaa tayaar hai. Dream nagar ke beech bhanwar mein, Phas naa jaanaa tu. Chance pe kar bharosaa, Kuch tho hogaa, Sab tere favor meihai. Sikkaa nikaal, Tu kismat ucchaal, Luck tere favor mei hai.”

“Teri Parchhaiyan” (5.30) is a soft, melancholic song for the first minute of the track. Ali Azmat sings, composes and writes this song almost like a whisper, giving a haunting, soul-stirring feeling. The acoustic guitar and steady drumbeats are nice. Lyrics are average, though—”Dil kyun apnaa jalaate rahey? Sapney bhi humko dikhaate rahe…Suntaa rahaa, kuch naakahaa, jo dil mei thaa…” It’s a decent, somber song to listen to during lonesome nights.

”Shab Ko Roz” (3.59) is an awesome Pankaj Awasthi composition sung very nicely by him as well. Awasthi approaches this ghazal in a very innovative way, and the tabla arrangements andalaas are excellent. It’s a real treat for Pankaj Awasthi fans, and the lyrics by Surender Chadurwedy are absolutely wonderful—”Shab ko roz jagaa detaa hai, Kaisi khwaab sazaa detaahai. Mujhe bandh kamre mei rakh, Jo tu pankh lagaa detaa hai, Shab ko roz jagaa detaa hai…Rooh mei jab main dhalnaa chaahoon, Tu ek jism banaa detaa hai…Jab bhi poochoon main haaluskaa, Meri hi ghazal sunaa detaa hai.”

”Heeriye” (3.32), composed by Pankaj Awasthi and sung by Labh Janjua is a fun, yet average, techno-Punjabi dance number complete with Punjabi percussions such as the dhol and theiktaara. Lyrics by Neelesh Misra are playful but ordinary—“main Maruti teri tu petrol kuddiyeh.”

Also composed and sung by Ali Azmat, “Tore Naina” (7.12) is a nice semi-classical song with rock music elements. Azmat sings this song with emotion, and Sabir Zafar pens down some nicelines such as—“Tore nainaa le gaye chainaa rainaa…Jaagtaa shaam bhi kho gayaa so gayaa taare…Raankh mei iss taraah mil gayaa dil meraa.”

Pankaj Awasthi also composes and sings “Lehron Ne Kaha” (4.10), which begins on a soft note with chimes and piano sounds, and then transitions with the bass and techno sounds to a more attitude-filled techno-rock song. Awasthi’s diction is commendable—he pronounces each word clearly. Neelesh Misra’s lyrics are pretty good—“Lehron ne kahaa koodh zaraa, Kismat kaa daao lagaa, Jo doob gayaa doob gayaa, Jo paar huaa jag jeet gayaa. Saadaa panhaa hai zindaggi, Jo chaahe kismet likh zaraa.“

Composed by Abhishek Ray, “Shehar Ki Rani” 4.12 is an annoying song sung by Shreya Ghoshal—the gunshot imitating sounds “dhishkyaaon dhishkyaaon” is irritating. Sandeep Nath’s lyrics are mediocre—“goliyaan chal jaaye, raaste ruk jaayein.” There is a middle-eastern touch to the composition and Shreya sings this song as an item number.

With the exception of “Shehar Ki Rani” and “Heeriye,” Tera Kya Hoga Johnny has a decent soundtrack with songs from various genres—ghazal, rock, Punjabi, item number. The OST also happens to be the first time Pankaj Awasthi attempts more commercial-sounding music.
 


No One Killed Jessica
Original Soundtrack

By Amanda Sodhi

National Award winning music composer Amit Trivedi is back with the soundtrack for Rajkumar Gupta’s upcoming film No One Killed Jessica which stars Rani Mukherjee and Vidya Balan.  Trivedi debuted as a Bollywood film music composer with Rajkumar Gupta’s previous project, Aamir. Consisting of six extremely innovative compositions, the soundtrack of No One Killed Jessica is certainly among one of the most memorable OSTs of 2010, and demonstrates the composing prowess of musical genius Amit Trivedi, who is already being compared with living legend AR Rahman so early on in his career.

Trivedi teams up with lyricist Amitabh Bhattacharya, with whom he has collaborated on several projects including Dev D and Uddaan, and the results…well, the results are simply magical.  Don’t believe me?  Well, let’s delve right into the soundtrack!

”Aali Re” (4.54) kicks off with a rather energetic vocal “dhinchak dhinchak dhinchak” along with steady percussion build-ups. Following in Rahman’s footsteps, Trivedi also ropes in a vast array of singers for this song—Tochi Raina, Biswasjit Chakraborty, Shriram Iyer, Raja Hassan, Anushka Manchanda, Sonu Kakkar, Aditi Singh Sharma and Sonika Sharma. The entire song is oozing with attitude, energy and Amitabh Bhattacharya pens down extremely witty phrases including “thoddi si kamini…thoddi zehrili,” “baddi hi-fi…jissne mooh lagaayi shamat aayi,” “raampoori chhooraah,” “temper hai bhayankar,” “dil kaa pinjraa khaali re.” Inclusion of whistles and a techno sounding xylophone sound 1.56 into the song stands out. The attitude with which the female vocalists croon “chal hat!” is catchy, and the entire song is addictive. The use of bagpipe sounding instruments, bongos, and vocal “doom doom dhaddakka re” towards the end is along the wildness and creative madness of “Kata Kata” from Raavan.

”Dilli” (3.52) is an intense, hard-hitting track which is bound to warrant zillions of replays on your playlist. The techno and shehnaai sounds, the manner in which the singers sing “d-d-d-d-Dilli” with energy, the loud electric guitar and fast-paced instrument arrangements all make Dilli fun to listen to. The composition blends rock and folk music elements and maintains a somber feeling. Tochi Raina (Pardesi/Dev D, Gal Mitthi Mitthi/Aisha) is an excellent choice for rendering Punjabi lines, and Shriram Iyer provides a decent vocal backing. Bhattacharya’s lines, “meraa kaat kalejaa leh gayi Dilli, meri jaan vi le jaan vi le jaa Dilli, phir jaan vi le jaa susri,” and the inclusion of words such as “japtti,” “moohi” are unique.

The Dilli Hardcore (3.50) version, also sung by Tochi Raina, Shriram Iyer and Aditi Singh Sharma sounds rather similar to the original, except this version is two seconds shorter.

”Aitbaar” (4.41) is another stellar composition. Despite being angst-filled, it manages to abstain from being overtly brooding. The song fuses folk, rap and rock music elements and the cowbell sound, percussion arrangements, bagpipes along with Vishal Dadlani, Mame Khan and Robert Omulo (Bob)’s energetic, loud, angst felt vocals are a real winner. The song is hard to put into words…the fact that various music genres are meshed gives the track a mysterious and haunting feel along the lines of “Nayan Tarse” from Dev D. There is something in the track that just tugs at your heart, perhaps because it revolves around the universal emotion of feeling anger, sadness and disbelief all at once, while one’s trust is being betrayed.

Bhattacharya simply continues to work wonders with his lyrics—”tukdde hazaar hue aitbaar…kyun taar taar hua aitbaar?…seene mei yaar chubtaah ghubaar ho ke…dil aitbaar kar ke ro rahaa hai aitbaar kar ke,” chooseh hai khoon,” “khunkhaar…gandaa mazaak hua aitbaar.” Along with “Dilli,” “Aitbaar” is bound to be on your lips for a very long time. The perfect post-break-up along with “Emosonal Attyachaar” (Dev D)!

The remaining two tracks in No One Killed Jessica’s soundtrack offer a much more calm and serene ending.  “Yeh Pal” (6.01) is the only solo in the OST and is given to Shilpa Rao. The viola dominates the song for 40 seconds and then enters Rao’s deep vocals. Techno sounds 3.38 into the song along with a sitar/mandolin sound marks a transition in the composition to a much more fast-paced intense orchestration, reminding one of the Ishq Bina (the Kavita Krishnamurthy version) ending from Taal. In fact, it would have been wonderful if there was a separate inclusion in the CD of just that portion. Rao struggles a bit with the higher notes, though. Nhattacharya’s lines “Yeh pal jo hai woh haadse hain yaa phir likhe yunhi they? Teh hue they pehle hi yaa phir yeh teh nahin they? Kyun ghire hain toot ke jab judde hum kabhi bhi nahin they? Iss pe naa jaane kin ghaltiyon ki hai jurmaanaa?” are meaningful.

Meenal Jain’s delicate vocals are an interesting choice for “Dua” (5.57), which is also supported by Joi Barua, Raman Mahadevan and Amitabh Bhattacharya’s vocals. There are no vocals up until 1.20 into the composition. The use of the piano is optimistic and the lines “dard mei nikle dil se duaa” maintains the song’s message of hope in tough times. The song has a serene feel until a rock feel is forced later on, serving as a jarring contrast to Jain’s vocals—however, it may be intentional and symbolic choice, maybe to represent the clash of hope amidst dire situations. In the end, it is Jain’s optimistic vocals which prevail.
 


Dus Tola
Original Soundtrack
(Times Music)

By Amanda Sodhi

With soundtracks by “big” names such as Pritam, Vishal-Shekhar, Shankar-Ehsaa-Loy and AR Rahman hogging much of the attention of audiences, it is no surprise that the soundtrack of Dus Tola, composed by the highly underrated Sandesh Shandilya, has probably been unnoticed by most Hindi music lovers. Dus Tola has lyrics by Gulzar, and has vocals by ace singers Sonu Nigam, Sukhwinder Singh, Sunidhi Chauhan and Mohit Chauhan. The film is directed by Ajoy. Here is a rundown of the songs.

“Aisa Hota Tha” (4.19) offers a positive start to the film’s soundtrack as this is one heck of an upbeat composition. The flute sounds very cheerful in this composition, and the folk-style “aa-re-re-re-re” backing vocals, dhol, guitar, kazoo-type instrument and peppy harmonium are all rather fun to listen to. Mohit Chauhan sounds very at ease and carefree throughout the song. Gulzar’s lines are interesting, as usual, of course—“Naa meri chali naa dil ki chale, jo chale so chalti rahe. Woh dhoop chaddeh jo deewaar par, yaad jo aaye toh kyaa kare? Log toh uth ke chal diye, saayaa naa jaaye toh kya kare?...Do badan do rooh thi, ek zamaane mei ek they. Haan wafaa mei koi dosh thaa…Nazar kaa taar koi todd le, chott si lagti hai.”

Sukhwinder Singh sounds great in “Lal Lal Aag Hua” (4.15) and is the perfect choice to render this song since the composition conjures up a feeling of a village setting. The flute is present in this composition, as well. The sounds of the banjo, chimes, tabla and string instruments are all an interesting combination. Gulzar’s lyrics mainly focus on the state of waiting for one’s beloved—“Gin gin gin gin din din intezaar kaa…Akhiyon mei bandh hai woh palko se kholnaa hai…Arrey inch inch ghoomtaa hai chakaa intezaar kaa.” The reference to “jhuggiyon” (poor person’s tent) also stands out, as use of this particular Punjabi word is rare in Bollywood soundtracks.

The emphasis in “Tumse Kya Kehna” (5.32) is on Sonu Nigam’s voice and Gulzar’s lyrics. The instrument arrangements are soft and kept to a minimum. Gulzar’s lines are meaningful —“Tumse kya kehna hai sonuu? Tumse ab kya sunnaa? Chodd diyaa ab chaandni raat mei maine sapney bunnaa. Main apni tanhaayi se ab sab keh letaa hoon…,” “Raat ko jab chaand poochegaa, woh kaisi lag rahi thi? Chaand se keh doongaa mujh ko teri jaisi lag rahi thi—uss mei bhi ek daag niklaa; tu bhi toh ghattaa hai baddtaa hai, der saver se chaddtaa hai, teraa sonaa kab kharaa thaa? Sirf asharfi ki taraah thaa,” “Ajnabi phir ajnabi hai, gehne bahut pehenoge, yaad ka zevar nayaa hai. Dard jo ghulte nahin hai, rang woh dhulte nahin hai…”

There are two versions of “Jee Na Jalaiyo.” The Female Version (4.43) is rendered by Sunidhi Chauhan who sounds very energetic as she did in her previous songs “Sajna Ve Sajna” and “Manchali.” The composition begins with children singing. The use of the harmonium, xylophone, and sitar are all cool to listen to and help build a steady, catchy pace. Gulzar’s reference to “jee naa jalaiyo re” may remind one of the song “Jiyaa naa jalaiyo re” from Maqbool which was also written by him. Gulzar fills this song with wonderful imagery, as well—“Jee naa jalaiyo re, jiyaa mein jaan basi hai re…Tere khayaalon ke paron par chitthiyaan rakhi aur uddayi, kohre lifaafe likh likh ke honton se mohre lagaaye…Palak palak pal ghirte hai, pairon ke tale samay chaltaa hai...Tan kaa dhuaan tan mein rahe, jaan naa jaaye woh kahin.” The Male Version (4.19) is sung by Sukhwinder Singh and is slightly more chilled-out and playful.

Dus Tola is a pleasant, small original soundtrack definitely worth giving a listen. Although Dus Tola only has five compositions, four of the five songs—“Aisa Hota Tha,” “Lal Lal Aag Hua,” “Jee Na Jalaiyo” Female Version, “Jee Na Jalaiyo” Male Version—are extremely catchy and are bound to maintain the interest of listeners. “Tumse Kya Kehna” is a bit too somber to listen to regularly, but is memorable nonetheless for Sonu’s excellent vocals and Gulzar’s touching poetry.
 


Allah Ke Banday
Original Soundtrack

By Amanda sodhi

The soundtrack for director Faruk Kabir’s film Allah Ke Banday which stars Sharman Joshi, Faruk Kabir, Naseruddin Shah, Atul Kulkarni, Anjana Sukhani, Rukhsar, Zakir Hussain, Saksham Kulkarni, Suhasini Mulay, and Vikram Gokhale has been released. The film focuses on children from slums dabbling in crime and how they eventually attain redemption and the soundtrack offers six distinct sounding compositions by an eclectic collection of music composers and lyricists.

Composed by Chirantan Bhatt, “Maula” (3.31) is a catchy Sufi rock number with energetic vocals by Hamza Faruqui and Krishna. The use of the electric guitars combined with a fast tempo creates a slightly dark melody fitting perfectly with the song’s theme of turning to God for help which Sarim Momin’s lyrics establish through phrases such as “bhool bhulayiaa,” “darr se darre,” “maulaa, uljhey hain, suljhaa de,” “marham ke talaash mein,” and “ab saans bhi jab letaa hoon, nafrat ko hawaa detaa hoon, marr marr ke yahaan jeetaa hoon.” Overall, Maula is very easy to get into right away.

Written and sung by Kailash Kher and also composed by Kailash Kher, Naresh and Paresh, “Kya Hawa Kya Baadal” (3.31) is a trademark Kailasa style, soulful composition. The use of the sitar is beautiful and the guitar, electronic sounds and steady percussion arrangements are also pleasant. Kher sings in a lower octave for parts of the song, giving his voice a more thoughtful feel. His lyrics which pose questions to God are also meaningful and devotional in nature—“Tu hi toh hai sab mein hai teraa chhaayaa,” “Kahin khushiyaan toh kahin dhukaddey,” “Tu hai rangon kaa jharokaa, yaa hai nazaron kaa dhokaa?” “Jab teri kirpaa se hai duniyaan ke dum mei dum…phir kyun hai maatam?,” “Hum toh hai naadaan, hum kyaa jaane teri maayaa?”
Composed by the duo Tarun and Vinayak, “Rabba Rabba” (1.58) is a very short, overly loud track which is heavily influenced by Western rock arrangements with harsh vocals by Ravi Khote and some slight middle-eastern touches. Given the rather short duration of the composition, lyricist Faruk Kabir does not get much of a chance to prove his poetic skills.

Sunidhi Chauhan shines in “Mayoos” (4.10), composed by Hamza Faruqui, and inspired by Alanis Morissette’s “Uninvited.” The emphasis is on Sunidhi’s deep, energetic vocals, with instruments such as the piano, violin, guitar and percussion sounds softer in the background. The composition is enjoyable, and Sarim Momin’s lyrics are thought-provoking—“Kyun koi hai rotaa, jaise khudaa nahin? Kyun koi zindaa hai hotaa, jeenaa yahaan jab hai sazaa?,” “Mayoos dil hai yahaan, seene mei jaise zakhm koi,” “Maa teraa woh aanchal hum dhoondengey kal yaadon mein…,” “They hum Allah ke bandey, ab naa rahe insaan bhi.”

Composed and sung by Ishq Bector, “Kaala Jaadu” (3.10) is a catchy, laid-back, comical number with satirical and funny lines by Sarim Momin such as “laathi khaa ke, jail mei jaa ke, Gandhi-ghiri karengey.

Duniyaan ko bhi do tukaddo mei aadhaa-aadhaa karengey” and “bhaayigiri ka license le lo.” The repetition of English lines—“It’s black magic” does bear resemblance to the technique used in the Mehengaayi Daayan Remix from “Peepli Live.”
There is also a full version of “Kya Hawa Kya Baadal” (7.07). The slightly slower pace and inclusion of the sound of wind blowing towards the beginning is a welcome addition.

With compositions such as the catchy, Sufi rock number Maula, the thought-provoking Mayoos, and two versions of the soulful Kya Hawa Kya Baadal, the music from Allah Ke Banday makes it into the small list of memorable OSTs from 2010.
 


Anjaana Anjaani
Original Soundtrack

By Amanda Sodhi

After a disastrous “Aladin” and an average “I Hate Luv Stories,” the Vishal-Shekhar musical duo are back with the music score of “Anjaana Anjaani,” which is the their fourth project for film director Siddharth Anand (“Salaam Namaste,” “Ta Ra Rum Pum,” “Bachna Ae Haseeno”). The soundtrack consists of nine compositions, including a remix and an unplugged version, where Vishal and Shekhar really redeem themselves as composers with a catchy youthfulness!

Peppy guitars, percussion arrangements and brass instruments mark an RD Burman style beginning to “Anjaana Anjaani Ki Kahani” (4.45). With English lyrics sprinkled throughout the song, “Anjaana Anjaani Ki Kahani” really caters to the youngsters, so it is no surprise that Nikhil D’Souza and Monali (“Zaraa Zaraa Touch Me”) are roped in to sing. Techno beats and a fast pace make this composition a lot of fun to jam with, however the song does not have much long-term repeat value. Neelesh Misra who usually pens down amazing lyrics (i.e. “Jaadoo Hai Nashaa Hai,” “Maine Dil Se Kahaa” and “Gulon Mein”) offers stale sounding phrases about love blossoming between two strangers.

“Hairat” (4.09) has really attention-grabbing electric guitar riffs throughout the composition that are full of attitude. The steady percussion arrangements also aid in maintaining listener interest throughout. However, it is the evergreen voice of Lucky Ali that is the real superstar of this song. His vocals sound younger than ever before in this track. Lyrics by Vishal Dadlani are also clever and do a great job of capturing the feelings of amazement and wonder at how everything suddenly seems so much more beautiful with the presence of a loved one… “hairat hai…tu hai toh har ek lamhaa khoobsoorat hai.”

“Aas Paas Khuda” (5.21) begins with a romantic, relatively slower tempo and the acoustic guitar is quite pleasant. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan sounds rather loud, though, and not in a good way. The man is stuck in a particular genre and needs to break out of it quickly! His classical interlude at 3 minutes 5 seconds into the song is nice, nonetheless, although the rock sounds feel a bit out of place. Vishal and Shekhar come up with meaningful, subtly spiritual sounding lyrics—“jhuk jaaye jahan sar wahi miltaa hai rab kaa raastaa…teri kismet tu badal de rakh himmat bas chal de…” The song does a decent job of emitting optimism—“Haathon ki lakeer ko moddtaa maroddtaa hai honslaa re…”

“Aas Paas Khuda Unplugged” (3.23) sounds much better than the original version, simply thanks to Shruti Pathak’s amazing, rich vocals.

“Tumse Hi Tumse” (4.23) is another appealing composition for the young generation. It has the V-S stamp all over it, bringing back memories of “Jaane Kyun” from “Dostaana.”  Shekhar Ravjjani’s vocals are earnest and lyrics by Amitabh Bhattacharya, Anvita Dutt Guptan and Caralisa Monteiro are lovely—“Ab se koi khushi nahin jis ki tum wajaah nahin. Ab se koi din nahin jis ki tum subaah nahin. Ab se koi baat nahin jo naa hogi tum se shuru…Ab ke abhi yeh ho gayaa yakeen yeh zindaggi meri ho gayi teri…” The ending with an almost a cappella vocals by Caralisa is innovative, and the echo effect stands out.

“Tujhe Bhula Diya” (4.41) is the strongest composition from this soundtrack. The somber, deep Punjabi vocals by Shruti Pathak (“Paayaliya”/”Dev D”) are absolutely haunting—“Nainaa lagiyaan baarishaan, teh sukhe sukhe sapney vi pijh gaye. Nainaa lagiyaan baarishaan, roye palkaan de kone vich neend meri. Naina lagiyaan baarishaan, hanju digdeh ne chott lage dil teh.” Mohit’s melancholic vocals really build upon the somber feel of this composition, and the Qawaali addition with Shekhar’s vocals and the harmonium and tabla joining in is quite interesting—a nice meshing of various genres, moods and vocals. Kumaar and Vishal Dadlani write very touching lines for heartbroken lovers out there—“Har pal, har lamhaa main kaise sehtaa hoon? Har pal, har lamhaa main khud se yeh kehtaa rehtaa hoon—Tujhe bhoolaa diyaa. Phir kyun teri yaadon ne mujhe rulaa diyaa?…”

The “Tujhe Bhula Diya Remix” (4.32) is a pretty good remix version. The piano stands out a lot more in this version, and it isn’t the usual case of throw in loads of “dhink-chak-dhin-chak” percussion arrangements for sake of remixing.

“I Feel Good” (5.23) is a lively, catchy duet bringing together Shilpa Rao and Vishal Dadlani, however the end result is average. The guitar sounds a bit too loud compared to the vocals and the duration of the song feels way too long. Lyrics by Vishal Dadani are also mundane—“Tere aane se maine jaanaa ki har safar ho gayaa suhaanaa. And, I don’t know why, but I feel good.”

Shilpa Rao and Vishal Dadlani are back again with “Anjaana Anjaani” (5.55), a smoother composition compared to “I Feel Good.” The use of a flute towards the beginning of the composition is a nice addition. Irshad Kamil and Kausar Munir’s lyrics are meaningful— “Dil ki raaho pe do ajnabi…Anjaanaa kehne ko hi thaa, Meraa hi thaa woh jo bhi thaa…Jab se sochaa ki ab naa sochenge phir kabhi bhi tumhe, Dil ne koi bahaanaa kar diyaa…”

While some of the compositions in this OST only offer a temporary high, tracks such as “Tujhe Bhula Diya”, “Hairat,” “Anjaana Anjaani,” and “Tumse Hi Tumse” do have repeat value.  In short, “Anjaana Anjaani” has a fairly enjoyable soundtrack, which the younger generation and fans of the V-S duo’s trademark style of music will certainly relish.
 


Aashayein
Original Soundtrack

By Amanda Sodhi

After much delay, the music of Nagesh Kukunoor’s Aashayein has finally released! With contributions by Salim-Suleiman, Pritam and Shiraz Uppal, the Aashayein OST boasts seven original compositions and six more tracks that are either remixes or variations of the original compositions.

Composed by Pritam Chakraborty and sung by one of Pritam’s favorites, Neeraj Shridhar, “Mera Jeena Hai Kya” (5.52) has a lovely opening consisting of the flute and piano. However, after 57 seconds into the song, the composition takes a predictable rock flavored route with electric guitars infused through the remainder of the track. Lyrics by Samir are decent and revolve around finding meaning in life by the arrival of a loved one: “Berang se din they, Tanhaa thi raatein, Kuch naa badaltaa, Jo tum naa aate.” There is also a remix version (6.35) included in the CD—however the remix version fails to offer anything worthwhile to listen to.

Also composed by Pritam Chakraborty, “Dilkash Dildaar Duniya” (3.54) is definitely an appealing composition which nicely makes use of the guitar and saxophone. The track maintains a steady, catchy pace. Shaan, who is heard in the Bollywood music scene very rarely now, sounds great. Tulsi Kumar, however, sounds out of breath and over-delicate as usual. Kumar does an adequate job of penning down lyrics about the lack of meaning in life without a loved one. The remix version (3.34) is ordinary. Nonetheless, “Dilkash Dildaar Duniya” is definitely perfect to listen to in late evenings.

Composed and sung by Shiraz Uppal, “Rabba” (4.31) was initially part of the Pakistani album “Ankahi” in 2009. Included in Aashayein’s soundtrack, the song is pleasant, maintains the listener’s interest and has a nice melody. “Rabba” has innovative lyrics by Shakeel Sohail such as “khwaab nigaahon mein ho gaye mehmaan.”

Sung very enthusiastically by Zubeen Garg, “Ab Mujhko Jeena” (5.14) is composed by the Salim-Sulaiman duo. The song was used in the promos a year back. “Ab Mujhko Jeena” is an upbeat, optimistic track. Lyrics by Mir Ali Husain are inspirational and lively: “Ab hai ujaalaa, Ab hai saveraa, Ab in hawaaon pe kar loon baseraa, Ab main zamaane ko humraaz kar loon…Naakaamiyo se darrna kyaa, Jeene se pehle marrnaa kyaa?...Zindaggi hai toh zindaa-dilli bhi rahe…”

Salim-Sulaiman’s “Shukriya Zindagi” (4.21) doesn’t offer anything unique or memorable—Shafqat Amanat Ali’s voice is soothing to listen to, but his talent isn’t utilized to its full potential in this particular song. Furthermore, the instrument arrangements do not complement his voice. Mir Ali Husain’s lyrics nicely build upon thanking life for whatever it brings, whether it is happiness or sadness: “Sirf ek rang se tasveer hoti nahin, Gham nahi hoti, Toh khushi ki keemat nahin.” There happens to be a “Shukirya Zindagi—Sad” (1.02) version and even a remix version (4.29). But, both fail to offer anything interesting either.

There are two versions of Salim-Sulaiman’s “Pal Mein Mila Jahan”—the Shreya Ghoshal version (5.30) and the Shankar Mahadevan version (5.28). Both Shreya and Shankar do a fairly decent job of singing this pathos and despair-filled composition in a meaningful manner. The instruments are used very softly so the main emphasis is on each singer’s voice. However, the “Pal Mein Mila Jahan” is simply too melancholic and brooding to warrant multiple listens, especially due to lack of an attention-grabbing melody.

Also composed by Salim Merchant and Sulaiman Merchant, “Chala Aaya Pyar” (5.17) is a lovely, melodious composition. Mohit Chauhan’s warm vocals are absolutely delightful and have a pacifying effect on the listener. Mir Ali Husain’s lyrics are excellent, and phrases such as “khushboon ki kiranein,” “yaadon ke naazuk paro pe,” “jo bekhauf doobaa, wohi toh pohanch paayaa paar” stand out. The classical tabala arrangements in the background are also innovative. “Chala Aaya Pyar” is one of the best compositions in the entire soundtrack as it excels in all three departments—melody, vocals and lyrics.

A mixed bag, Aashaiyen soundtrack offers fairly enjoyable compositions in the form of “Chala Aaya Pyar,” “Rabba,” “Dilkash Dildaar Duniya,” and “Ab Mujhko Jeena,” whereas “Pal Mein Mila Jahan,” “Mera Jeena Hai Kya” and “Shukriya Zindagi” fail to maintain interest. Nonetheless, given the fact that the overwhelming majority of Hindi OSTs in the market currently even fail to offer one decent composition, Aashaiyen is certainly worth a listen.

Amanda Sodhi is a Bollywood journalist, lyricist, screenwriter, and PR/marketing practitioner based in Washington, DC.
 




Aisha
Original Soundtrack


By Amanda Sodhi

The music of the much awaited film “Aisha”—an adaptation of Jane Austin’s “Emma”—starring Sonam Kapoor and Abhay Deol, is finally out, and it’s quite an exciting moment for music fans as the soundtrack marks the transition of the much sought after, talented, young composer Amit Trivedi (“Aamir,” “Dev D,” “Striker,” “Wake Up Sid,” “Admissions Open,” “Udaan”) into mainstream cinema projects. Here’s a breakdown of the songs appearing in the film and in the soundtrack. 

“Suno Aisha,” sung by Amit Trivedi, Ash King and Nakash Aziz is upbeat and breezy. Trivedi’s use of lively trumpets and the saxophone is innovative; however, one does get a bit bored with Javed Akhtar’s simplistic lyrics.
“Gal Mitthi Mitthi” is an outstanding, energetic Punjabi bhangra track that cleverly uses the shehnai. Tochi Raina’s rustic and enthusiastic vocals are superb. Even the lyrics are unique—“Aa sohni tenu chaand ki main chuddi pehnaavaan.” There is an average remix version by DJ Lloyd and Discreet.
Sung calmly by Nikhil D’ Souza with backing vocals by Neuman Pinto and Amit Trivedi, “Sham” (4.44) is a soothing track rich on melody with nice use of the acoustic guitar. Akhtar’s lyrics are romantic—“Sham bhi koi jaise hai nadhi, lehr lehr jaise beh rahi hai,” and there are plenty of references to “khamoshi,” “fizaayein,” and use of soft phonetics. The addition of “boom boom paaraa paaraa” chorus backing is catchy.
“Behke Behke” (4.43) immediately grabs your attention with the flamenco guitar followed by Anushka Manchanda’s Spanish flavored seductive vocals. This is one colorful, zesty fusion track in which one forgets to pay attention to the lyrics, which is a good thing as the lyrics aren’t that special anyway. Backing vocals by Samrat Kaushal and Raman Mahadevan and rap by Robert Omulo are decent.
“Lehrein” (4.50) is a melancholic, soft-rock number which incorporates the viola and violin. It’s sung soulfully by Anusha Mani with backing by Neuman Pinto and Nikhil D’Souza. Lyrics build upon a darker mood—“Saare gharondeh reith ke…Lehrein aayi, lehron mein beh gaye.” The remix version by DJ Lloyd and Discreet is disappointing.
Anushka Manchanda’s energetic vocals and the electric guitar in “By the Way” (3.31) will remind you of “Aye Bachchu” from the film “Ghajini.” Neuman Pinto’s supporting vocals are adequate. However, Akhtar’s lyrics are mediocre and the composition is one of Trivedi’s weaker efforts.

The only disappointing factor in Aisha’s musical offering is Javed Akthar’s lyrics, especially since Amit Trivedi’s compositions are known to have innovative lyrics. Nonetheless, with four youthful, feel-good, melodious compositions—Gal Mitthi Mitthi, Sham, Behke Behke and Lehrein—Trivedi offers audiences a real treat.

Amanda Sodhi is a Bollywood journalist, lyricist, screenwriter, and PR/marketing practitioner based in Washington, DC.

 


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