Dear Dad – Music review and artist credits

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You can listen to the review of the album here – http://www.bbc.com/hindi/multimedia/2016/04/160429_bbc_music_review_vm.shtml

Music credits for the album

Song-1 ” Chota hoon main”

Music Composed by – Ujjwal kashyap

Singer – Jasleen kaur royal

Lyrics  – Neeraj rajawat

Arranged & Produced by – Ujjwal kashyap.

Harmonica – Jasleen kaur royal

Guitars – Ujjwal kashyap

Recorded by Ikramuddin lochoor at Studio Skull

Mixed by Ujjwal kashyap

Mastered by Ikramuddin lochoor

Song-2  “Girha”

Singer: Ali Noor

Lyrics: Deepak Ramola

Cello: Jacob R Charkey

Additional Vocals: Meghana Bhogle, Rini Chandra, SamIir S, Vea Kumar, Rashi Hemkar, Abhirup Das, Vikram Patkar

Mixed by Anish Gohil at Songbird Studios, Mumbai

Asst Engineer: Hemant Khedekar

Mastered  by: Nick Watson at Fluid Mastering, London, UK

Music and composition by Raghav & Arjun

 Song-3 “Jo Bhi Ho”

Singers: Arjun Prem Sangeet, Raghav M Kumar

Lyrics: Deepak Ramola

Guitars: Krishna Pradhan

Cello: Jacob R Charkey

Additional Drums: Akshat Shinde

Mixed by Anish Gohil at Songbird Studios, Mumbai

Asst Engineer: Hemant Khedekar

Mastered  by: Robin Schmidt at 24-96 Mastering, Karlsruhe, Germany

Music composed & produced by: Raghav & Arjun

Baaghi – Music review

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You can hear my music review of Baaghi here – http://www.bbc.com/hindi/multimedia/2016/04/160422_bbc_musicreview_vm

The good news is – the album doesn’t sound over processed and you can actually hear singers singing without autotune most of the time

The not so good – melody missing, needed a bit more effort from all the artists involved

Nil Battey Sannata – Music review

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Murabba – Is a pleasant song sung by Neuman pinto. Penned superbly by Manoj yadav, the song has a delicate sound yet the point where the song takes a flight doesn’t bother the ears. Easily one of the best songs of this year. Mad props to Rohan and Vinayak for keeping the sound so adorable.

Rohan and Aarti have sung a song that is really close to my heart. Maths Mein Dabba Gul is my life story in 4 words. The composition is playful and linear but doesn’t bore you. Yet again, the lyrics are super. Nitesh Tiwari, take a bow for ‘door tujhko jaana hai, kar le tunki full’. Much to the chagrin of office bearers in all institutions, I hope (and secretly pray) this song becomes an anthem for those who are like me. Zero in maths. Zero or negative? Ah! I don’t care!

Maula is sung by the ever so dependable Nandini Srikar and in spite of having excellent string section and solid singing, I couldn’t feel the pain of the song. May be it is because of the way the song is composed. I wish the composers would have given a bit more real estate for the tune to go out and play.

Maa – has got Mohan kannan behind the mic and aided with a splendid arrangement, he does an average job at best. There is an excellent sound to the composition and that is because a superb instrument that has been very wisely used in a song of this genre for the first time. Hear it to find it out yourself. There is another version of the same song sung by Hariharan. Since the arrangement and mood is identical in both the versions, hariharan’s version scores over Mohan’s, sounding more pucca and heartfelt. I know It is borderline blasphemy to say this but probably the most ordinary lyrics were allotted to this song in the album.

Maa Theme (Instrumental) sounds very nice because the tune isn’t as bad as the ordinary lyrics would have lead you to believe. Clearly, this tune would be used to get your handkerchief out in the film, A filmy piece but sounds nice thanks to excellent strings.  

May be because there weren’t any lyrics to cross reference to, the Chanda Theme sounds more layered in comparison to the Maa instrumental version. It’s delicate and has a lullaby like charm.

Aided by good lyrics (most of the times), Rohan and Vinayak have really done a good job because there are no hysterics in the album and sound conveys the mood of the film with ease and calm. Sometimes, this is the most difficult thing to do. So take a bow both of you with your team. An excellent album that is worth a buy and a big thumbs up!

The only grouse is (and that is really a reviewer’s rant) – The makers should at least make their albums available to everyone a month before the film releases. Helps in scheduling reviews on multiple platforms. I hope the message reaches to all the makers. (Or at least those who are confident about the music of their project!)

You can hear the music of the album here

Featured image credit – Internet


Music review – Laal Rang

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You can listen to my review here – http://www.bbc.com/hindi/multimedia/2016/04/160415_lal_rang_music_spk

A soundtrack that could have been so much more than what it eventually panned out to be, and this is note a classic ‘reviewer rant’, it is an obvious thing to expect given the kind of artists who are associated with the music of this project.


Ishq Haqiqi – Hans Raj Hans

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I have always liked Hans raj Hans (referred to HRH hereafter) because he is soothing and even when he takes his long taans, he doesn’t make a big deal of it and there is a unique control that he quietly displays in his singing. Never known to indulge in useless vocal acrobats, It breaks my heart to not come across his work in these times when everyone is busy lusting for likes and video views with song and singing quality being hung out to dry.

In what appears to be a live recording, the duma dum mast kalandar is powerful yet soothing – a pedigree that Hans raj hans possesses. No one is going crazy and there is no ‘forced soulfulness’ in the song. That HRH is a gifted live singer is not a revelation anymore but in this song he takes it a notch higher. His singing is brilliant and the accompanying artists are also spot on.  Heer is arranged and presented more like a studio song and with a beautiful flute for company, HRH’s singing evokes a deep sense of loss that heer is generally known for. Again, there is a lot of pain but if you don’t know punjabi, you would be tricked into believing that this is actually a simple song with no sadness. This is because HRH doesn’t cry out loud to get your attention. It’s this simplicity that really breaks linguistic barrier and will touch a chord with everyone.

A hugely popular composition Nit khair is sung and presented in what appears to be a live setting. The opening lines and the way they are recited by HRH reinforces the faith that there are still some singers who can touch your heart without indulging into full fledged ‘singing’. This one is paced more like a film song and doesn’t do a bad job at making you sway. In fact, you can actually dance to the song. It is just that good.  Saif ul maluk – A heartfelt ode to the beautiful lake in Pakistan, this composition has a light arrangement and free flowing vocals of HRH. Even if you don’t understand punjabi, you will still marvel at the nuanced and pucca singing of HRH. Suno Maharaja is a superbly sung song which is not in punjabi. It is also the only song in the album in which HRH pauses and recites some lines, something live singers take a lot of pleasure in. I am never high on ‘devotional’ songs but this one is a rare exception to that rule. Simply beautiful!

The lyrics are largely traditional so it’s a given that they fit right in with the earthy compositions of the album. What stands out (at the risk of repeating myself) is the singing by Hans Raj Hans and that should be the reason enough for those who love ‘khalis’ things to pick up this album.

Thumbs up to Hans Raj Hans and here’s hoping he gives us more to relish!

(Image courtesy – Internet)


Kailash kher – Ishq Anokha review

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This review appeared first here – https://www.thequint.com/entertainment/2016/04/08/kailash-kher-ishq-anokha-music-album

You can listen to my music review on B.B.C. here – http://www.bbc.com/hindi/multimedia/2016/04/160407_bbc_music_review

Ishq Anokha

The ‘title’ song is generally something that sets up the tempo for the entire album (and most likely the one that gets the first ‘video’). On the freshness count, the song is not exactly something that would make you want to reach out for the repeat button. Kailash Kher sounds lost and disinterested amidst the maze of confusing arrangement and tunes that sometimes fall short of accommodating words. Forget about splash, the title song here doesn’t even create a ripple.

O Jogi

O Jogi has a jive like sound but the disinterested singing and low energy of Kher in the beginning is just too out there. In terms of arrangement, this is the quietest and the most well behaved song and as a result in the later part, the song picks up but it is just not enough to dazzle you. Foot tapping? Just about.

Meherbaani Teri

With strings being the best part about the song, Meherbaani Teri has a unique tonal structure that doesn’t sound familiar ‘Kher-wise’ and that is refreshing. Not only that, the accompanying members of the band are also not bad on the mic in this one.


This is a good song because Kher is in familiar territory in terms of melody with contemporary fusion and earthy set of words. The sax in the song is really good but the overall arrangement (yet again) tries too hard when this could have been just a good song without the occasional noise that puts you off.

Vaari Vaari

I still cannot understand the shehnai like sound that repeats the first line of antrawith Kher in Vaari Vaari. Not only does it disturb you, it makes no sense because when you use an innovative technique too much in a song, it becomes tiring. There is just so much happening that you are overwhelmed. The electro version of this song is no different. It has a rather funny sound of the other members of the band and just in case you forget that it is an ‘electro’ version, there is way too much ‘electro-ness’ thrown in. Disappointing and disturbing

Siyaah Tara

With the most promising opening lines of the album, this song has a mystic character that gets horribly diluted and turns into a joke fairly quickly. The sheer cacophony of instruments and Kher going at it in the highest pitch fathomable might be mistaken for ‘range of the song’ but as a listener, it irked me because it wasted the fabulous start that the song has.

Guru Ghantaal

What is a Kher album without an ode to the biggest guru of all? The sound of the song has a ‘Kher of the past’ sound to it, which is again (surprise!) mixed and processed so much that it kills the earthiness which the lyrics promise you otherwise.

Turiya Turiya

A contemporary presentation of somewhat traditional lyrics (which is Kailash Kher’s forte) is nice but there isn’t a drop of newness in the song singing wise and add to it a rather annoying ending and it qualifies for a song that is inconsequential

With the body of work that Kher and his band have, we expected much more than what is presented here. A bit too much effort has gone into sounding ‘electro hip’ and interruption was probably mistaken as arrangement. While I try to make out why Kailash Kher sounds so disinterested at most places in all of the 9 songs, give this a try only if you are a Kailash Kher fan. If this is Ankoha, I’d rather have the Mamooli please!

Music review – Ki & Ka

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You can listen to the music review here – bit.ly/bbckika (B.B.C. Website)

This review appeared here first on Quint

Music: Meet Bros, Mithoon and Illaiyaraaja, 

Lyrics: Kumaar, Sayeed Quadri, Amitabh Bhattacharya

High heels – Meet Bros, Jaz Dhami, Aditi Singh – Agreed that the song is buried in the dance template of the only language that is allowed to have a dance number to its credit in most hindi films of today, still this song won’t do a bad job of giving adequate thump to your playlist. The star of the song is Yo Yo Honey Singh. Just kidding! The song is good in spite of Yo Yo Honey Singh and not because of him. Jaz Dhami and Aditi have emoted brilliantly, add to that an addictive hook and you have a winner!

Ji Huzoori – is an interesting song with a tonal structure that is part 1990’s Rahman and part contemporary Mithoon. Sung by Deepali and Mithoon himself, the song maintains a calm character throughout, with solid lyrics. Extra points for the kind of background vocals, which is a smart touch by Mithoon.

Most wanted Munda – What happens when Meet brothers play with Garageband to create loops, and then as a favour include some words so that the track isn’t confused for an ‘instrumental’ one? You get Most Wanted Munda. Earl Edgar sounds good though. The song doesn’t have a single quirk that you haven’t heard before, and that is why it tires you out. There is another version of this song which is called Kabir Most Wanted Munda – this one gets , Palak Muchhal’s singing and Arjun Kapoor’s rap (which isn’t bad) but overall these two attempts qualify for ‘Have heard, next song please’ in any playlist. A song which would need visual support to reach your lips and may be on your playlist for just a week.

Foolishq – After the laughable attempt in Shamitabh, Illaiyaraaja gets a grand total of one song titled Foolishq, which is sung by Shreya Ghoshal and Armaan Malik. The song belongs to Shreya because she emotes rather well in comparison to a near robotic Malik. The lyrics of this song are below average (Foolishq ka hai zamana, apparently) and the repetitive ‘Foolishq’ (which is an unenthusiastic attempt at sounding catchy to a wannabe crowd) irritates and is probably the reason why this one won’t make it to your ‘favourites’ playlist. Times have changed and repetitive phrases without solid lyrical support don’t get on top of music charts (remember Piddly?). Perhaps the composer here didn’t get the memo, because the pigeon who was to deliver it, is busy checking email on his handheld.

Pump it (The workout song) – Decorated rather well with good thump, average lyrics and promising vocals of Yash Narvekar, Pump It (The Workout Song) doesn’t try too hard to be anything more than a workout song. The energy of the song is infectious, but that’s just about it.

With the premise of the film being so interesting and new, we would have certainly liked some more effort to be put into its music. Overall, Ki & Ka is an average music album and that is not saying much, because the overall music scene in Hindi films off late, can at best be described as Boo & Bah!

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