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Noor – Music Review

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You can listen to my music review of Noor here – http://www.bbc.com/hindi/media-39601934

Baad-e-saba jaisa album…breezy and filmy. Thumbs up!

MSD – Template overload yet surprisingly good at times!

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Thoughts on the music album – M.S. Dhoni – The Untold story

Music – Amaal Malik and Rochak Kohli

Lyrics – Manoj Muntashir

M.S. Dhoni has done many a good things for the aspirational small town cricketer because of  which he will always be a shining star in the narrative of modern day cricket. In a bid to tell his story, let us find out if the music has been able to keep up with the man who loves bikes and helicopter shots.

BesabriyanArmaan malik sounds real and understated in what is probably the best song of the album. No one is shouting about how they will change the world, In fact, there is a quiet determination in the mood and the grit of the song is ‘all dhoni’. I won’t be surprised if one particular part of the string section in the song is used repeatedly in the film as ‘theme music’.

Kaun tujhe – In ‘kaun tujhe’,palak muchhal tries her best to sound delicate and somewhat succeeds but she is trapped in what can be conveniently called as predictably dull template of a modern day bollywood love song. Giving her company are good words from Manoj muntashir but the tune appears to be content with its limitations resulting in a plain forgettable song.

Jab tak – If you think the predictability of tunes is restricted to just one song of the album, you are wrong. With the gap filling ‘hoo oo’ in the picture, Jab Tak is reduced to an elaborately arranged song that is short on emotions. Armaan Malik’s voice is good but it is becoming increasingly difficult to find a single differentiating factor from his ever increasing body of work. The ‘redux’ version is arranged lightly and doesn’t weigh you down and will probably be liked more than the original version.

Phir Kabhi – Yet another Arijit song, that sounds same. Yet. another. This ‘sameness overload’ is frustrating and doesn’t move you as a listener even when the words are good, which is the case here.

Parwah nahi – The song with electrical guitars. Siddhartha basrur soars in the song but at times you do feel that the energy is a bit controlled and as a result the song falls one step short of being a desi tubthumper. At best it is a sanitized attempt at being wild.

Padhoge Likhoge – is a delightful banter between Ananya Nanda and Adithyan A Prithviraj. The central theme of the song is the age old ‘warning’ that parents (or elder siblings) used to handout freely to unsuspecting young ones about the devastating effects of not studying. This is a kid song like they should be, utterly enjoyable with lots of repeat value. Thumbs up!

Har gully mein dhoni hai – is composed and sung by Rochak Kohli. The near grunge feel in the beginning of the song might lull you into believing that this is a lazy song. In spite of my problems with ordinary back up vocals of the song, this is a song that actually makes you root for the main character. Rochak sounds low on confidence sporadically but makes you soar especially when he goes ‘awaazon mil jao…’ Their is a distinct small town pride in the way the singer goes ‘aa rahey hain hum..’ Trust the this song to outlast the film.

The O.S.T. has 8 songs filled with good lyrics and while most tunes lack soul, 3 out of 8 make the cut – Besabriyan, har gully mein dhoni hai and Parhoge likhoge. How we wish the other songs were more than album fillers! We will all remember M.S. Dhoni as someone who got disruptive courage to the game,  How I wish he could compose music for indian films because we could do with some courage there!

An album that starts well, loses its way horribly in between and ends with a flash!

Music review – Kapoor & Sons (Estd. 1921)

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The review first appeared in text here – http://www.thequint.com/entertainment/2016/03/09/kapoor-and-sons-music-review-badshah-alia-bhatt-fawad-khan-sidharth-kapoor

You can listen to my review on B.B.C. here

http://www.bbc.com/hindi/multimedia/2016/03/160310_music_review_vm

Music – Amaal Mallik, Badshah, Arko Pravo Mukherjee and Tanishk Bagchi.

Lyrics  – Badshah, Kumaar, Manoj Muntashir, Dr. Devendra Kafir and Abhiruchi Chand

In a song that would lead a lot of ‘Posh’ people to believe ‘OMG whatay crazy thing we did by calling beautiful as beautiphul’, Kar gayee chul is your typical party song with laughable lyrics (Ladki nahi hai tu hai garam maamla…haha really?) but extremely addictive hook thanks to superb brass use. Although the song is credited to Badshah, Amaal Mallik, Fazilpuria, Sukriti Kakar & Neha Kakkar, the female voice that comes in the second part of the song will remind you of what you would hear when you torment a voice by putting it into complex voice correction and mixing program and then process it endlessly.Clearly, the makers weren’t interested in what they could have achieved with a nice hook.

So we have the hottest Pakistani actor in our film as one of the leads, why not look to get inspired (wink wink) from pakistan in more ways than one. Enter Bolna. In a song that is confused between becoming a ‘Main tainu samjhawan part 2’ and ‘laiyya laiyya’, we get a typical ‘Oh man..so much feels, very many reals’ love song. Arijit has a lot of ‘Arijit-ness’ on display because the tune doesn’t give him much to play with but Asees Kaur is good and sounds promising.

A song that has a serious ‘Sooraj dooba hai’ hangover, we get some interesting lyrics to smile to in ‘Buddhu sa mann hai’. Amaal and Armaan clearly had a good time making the song and that is evident in the sound of the song, although if you hear it closely the beat progression is totally reminiscent of the title song of ‘kk main aur ekk tu’. Ah! the lure of playing safe!

Sung by Arko, Saathi rey is an Ankit tewari song sans ankit tewari. The tune has the same sadness and the singing is ‘Half wannabe Ankit tewari and half Arijit singh’. The lyrics of the song though not stupendous surely deserved a much better and less tiring composition. A forgetful attempt at best.

What do you do when the maker tells you to compose a song within an hour and the brief goes – “It has to be a dance song and you have now 58 mins to complete the song”? You make a song that is literally called ‘Let’s nacho’. It is tough to choose who is bearable of the two. I guess Benny would be our choice because Badshaah is busy ‘attituding’ with lyrics so ordinary, they make passenger announcements sound like a work of Ghalib. Probably the closest synonym of #KuchBhi song this year. So far.

With so much star power and a solid studio backing, it breaks my heart to hear such bad compositions because music gives away the mindset of the makers ‘Let us never bloody experiment and keep the sound familiar’. Listeners deserve much better, (Since forever)

1.5 quints

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