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!

Dishoom – Music review 

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Forgot to post it here earlier. You can listen to my review of the music of Dishoom here


Music review – Fever

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You can listen to the music review here – http://www.bbc.com/hindi/multimedia/2016/07/160707_bbc_music_review_spk.shtml

An album that has as many as 15 songs, misses the melody point completely.

Hai apna dil to awara – Music review

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You can listen to the review here – http://www.bbc.com/hindi/multimedia/2016/07/160701_bbc_musicreview_spk.shtml

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

Music review – Fitoor

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This review appeared first here – http://www.thequint.com/entertainment/2016/01/20/music-review-fitoor-sounds-above-average-at-best

You can listen to the music review here – http://www.bbc.com/hindi/multimedia/2016/01/160129_music_review_vm.shtml

Once the ‘it’ kid on the Bollywood music scene, Amit Trivedi has matured rather well, thanks to some soulful melodies and a refreshing presentation through varied genres. Every project of his is welcomed by music lovers almost the same way they used to wait for a new album by AR Rahman in the 1990s. In Fitoor, he teams up with Swanand Kirkire for lyrics and some of the finest musicians around.

The title song of a film is generally expected to make a strong point for the album as a whole but I am not sure what transpired into assigning a ‘predictable as ever’ tonal treatment to ‘Yeh Fitoor mera’. Arijit sings songs like these by the dozen and there is nothing new here except the use of ‘parvardigara’, which appears to be an attempt to sound ‘serious’ and pucca, because the album is devoid of any ghazal-like composition and the boring back-up vocals towards the end don’t help either. In the end, it sounds like a formularized Arijit song with elaborate arrangement.

With a rich rabaab running around like an excited kid all throughout the song,‘Haminastu’ is perhaps the best composition of the album. Zeb’s enthralling range is on ample display here. Her subtle throaty variations in the song are reminiscent of someone narrating a story with multiple characters and altering the voice for effect.

The contemporary percussion is subtle in ‘Hone do batiyaan’ and what envelops the composition is playful singing by Zeb and Nandini Srikar along with an unmistakeable Kashmiri charm, thanks to the excellent rabaab play. The sheer congruity between the singers is endearing to say the least and effective to put it mildly. Without doubt, the lyrics for both Haminastu and Hone do batiyaan are the best in the album.

In Pashmina, I don’t think Trivedi’s voice needed the polishing it was subjected to because the sensuous fragility of the song hits a speed bump every time one uses synthetic autotune, that too in a song that’s called Pashmina! Add to this the sameness of Triviedi’s singing and the song doesn’t leave the impact it could have because of its unique arrangement.

 What is possibly the weakest song in lyrical department, Tere liye never really touches your heart in spite of the grand presentation. Sunidhi and Jubin are let down by an excessive sanitised arrangement and weak lyrics which left me unaffected.

Just when you thought the song couldn’t get more laboured, Amit Trivedi joins Sunidhi Chauhan and makes Rangaa re (Hindi version) unbearable although it has few sparks of excellent arrangement. The English version of the same song sounds better largely because Caralisa Monteiro is more in sync with the mood in comparison to a near robotic Amit Trivedi.

The album has 3 songs that put the ‘it’ in Amit but the rest are plain, at times boring like grown-ups with no spark, now where is the fun in that? I give the soundtrack 3 Quints out of 5.

Talvar – artist credits (full)

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Easily the most anticipated film of the year, Talvar will hit the screens October 2. Last year it was Haider that appeared on the same date. Here are the full artist credits, the music is out on iTunes.  You can stream all the songs for free here

Thank you @NotsoSnob and Junglee pictures for the credits



Music Producer:​​​KETAN SODHA


Recorded By:​​​SALMAN KHAN AFRIDI@ Studio Satya, Mumbai.

Mixed By:​​​STEVE FITZMAURICE for 365 Artists

Assistant Mix Engineer:​​DARREN HEELIS

Mixed at:​​​THE PIERCE ROOMS,LondonMastered by:​​​CHRISTIAN WRIGHT@ Abbey Road Studios,London. 





Music Producer:​​​KETAN SODHA




Percussions:​​​DEEPAK BORKAR 

Music Assistant:​​​MAYUKH SARKARRecorded By:​​​SALMAN KHAN AFRIDI @ Studio Satya, MumbaiMixed By:​​​STEVE FITZMAURICE for 365 Artists

Assistant Mix Engineer:​​DARREN HEELISMixed at:​​​THE PIERCE ROOMS, LondonMastered by:​​​CHRISTIAN WRIGHT@ Abbey Road Studios,London. 



Singer:​​​​AROOJ AFTAB

Music Producer:​​​KETAN SODHA

Sarangi:​​​​SABIR KHAN

Choir Arrangements:​​RAJIV SUNDARESANMusic Assistant:​​​MAYUKH SARKAR

Recorded By:​​​SALMAN KHAN AFRIDI@ Studio Satya, Mumbai 

Mixed By:​​​STEVE FITZMAURICE for 365 ArtistsAssistant Mix Engineer:​​DARREN HEELISMixed at:​​​THE PIERCE ROOMS, LondonMastered by:​​​ CHRISTIAN WRIGHT @ Abbey Road Studios, London. 






Flute:​​​​PARAS NATH

Recorded By:​​​SALMAN KHAN AFRIDI @ Studio Satya, Mumbai


Assistant Mix Engineer:​​NAREN KAPOORMixed at:​​​Studio Satya, Mumbai

Mastered by:​​​CHRISTIAN WRIGHT @ Abbey Road Studios, London. 

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