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Anarkali Of Arrah – Music review

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You can listen to my music review of this album here http://www.bbc.com/hindi/media-39302349

Te3n Music review

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After Jugni, Clinton gets another album as a solo composer and the songs are penned by Amitabh Bhattacharya. Let’s find out if the music is as thrilling as the premise of the film.

Haq Hai

Haq Hai by Clinton Cerejo is a call to never give up on what is yours, even if the universe tells you otherwise. The song has a constant undercurrent of self belief and lyrics compliment the mood so well that you want to congratulate Clinton for not giving in to the temptation of giving a ‘punch the air with confidence’ tonality to the song. You might not play this song in the gym but you would want to listen to it when you are out on one of your long walks.

Rootha

Rootha is a fabulous song because structure wise, I haven’t heard such a layered film song in a while. It is always reassuring to find a composer who can ‘control’ Benny’s enthusiasm and channel it into a solid effort. To compliment Benny, we have Divya Kumar who is at ease in spite of those long taans and Bianca Gomes (who to my mind, is one of the most under-utilised singers we have today), adds the goosebumps to the song by spotlessly singing lines from a folk song which echo in your mind long after the song ends.

Kyun Re

Kyun Re by Clinton Cerejo is a beautifully composed and solidly worded soft ballad, the kinds that you have your favourite ‘guitar friend’ in the group repeatedly sing for you. I absolutely loved the way a word like ‘choorey’ has made it to a mainstream song. The arrangement is minimal that accentuates the singing and achieves the right effect on the listener. There is another version of this song sung by highly emotive Amitabh Bachchan. Tune and lyrics wise, this version is identical to Clinton’s, but where Clinton focuses on perfect singing presentation, Bachchan’s singing sounds more like a private speech that one indulges in to regulate the pain and fails miserably at it. The pain of losing a loved one, that is. How else can you explain the quiver in his voice at ‘rasta dekhungaa…’? As a composer, the manner in which Clinton makes the helplessness and resignation affect you easily makes this, one of the best songs of this year. It is impossible to pick a favourite between these versions and thank god for that!Nawazuddin Siddiqui in Te3n

Grahan

Vishal Dadlani’s energy and passion are exquisitely matched by a super tune set that has some good guitar play. The song sounds like a tune on which a wounded soul dances, till it passes out. The song is meant to be heavy but in spite of that, it doesn’t weigh you down, perhaps because of the excellent arrangement and programming at play here. Will I listen to this on repeat? No. Is it a good song? Absolutely!

Clinton has achieved a lot in a project that is produced by Sujoy Ghosh who gave us a cracker of a soundtrack in Kahaani and then forgot to include the songs in the film. Do explore the music of this film, it is well worth your time and money!

This review first appeared on Quint here

Haider – Music Review And Artists/Technicians Credit

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Here is to the album of the year! Haider
You can read the review here –  http://moifightclub.wordpress.com/2014/09/17/haider-music-review-right-shades-of-dark/
You can listen to the music review @ BBC here – http://www.bbc.co.uk/hindi/multimedia/2014/09/140919_bbc_music_review_vm.shtml
Most importantly, here are the track wise music credits for the people who make it all work.
The list is shared by Rekha Bharadwaj. Thank you Ma’m! 🙂

1. Aao Na (Gulzar, Vishal Bhardwaj)
Singer - Vishal Dadlani
Music Producer - Ketan Sodha
Guitars - Ankur Mukherjee
Music Assistant - Mayukh Sarkar
Recorded by - Salman Khan Afridi @ Studio Satya, Mumbai
Mixed by - Steve Fitzamaurice (365 Artists)
Assistant Mix Engineer - Darren Heelis
Mixed at - The pierce rooms, London
Mastered - Christian Wright @ Abbey road Studios, London

2.Bismil (Gulzar, Vishal Bhardwaj)
Singer - Sukhwinder Singh
Music Producer - Ketan Sodha
Choir Arrangements - Neuman Pinto
Choir - Neuman pinto, Bianca Gomes,Francis Castellino, R.N. Iyer Vivienne Pocha, Rajiv Sunderesan, Kaustubh date, Mandar Apte and Arun Ingle
Music Assistant - Mayukh Sarkar
Recorded by - Salman khan Afridi @ Studio Satya, Mumbai
Mixed by - Steve Fitzmaurice (365 artists)
Assistant mix engineer - Darren heelis
Mixed at - The Pierce rooms, london
Mastered by - Christian Wright @ Abbey road studios, london

3. Khul Kabhi to  (Gulzar, Vishal Bhardwaj)
Singer - Arijit Singh
Music producer - Tushar parte, Ketan Sodha
Guitars - Tushar Parte
Music assistant - Mayukh Sarkar
Recorded by - Salman Khan Afridi @ Studio Satya, Mumbai
Mixed By - Steve Fitzmaurice (365 artists)
Assistant mix engineer - Darren heelis
Mixed at - The pierce rooms, London
Mastered by - Christian wright @ Abbey Road Studios, London

4. Jhelum (Gulzar, Vishal Bhardwaj)
Singer - Vishal Bhardwaj
Music Producer - Simaab Sen
Guitars - Mayukh Sarkar
Music Assistant - Mayukh Sarkar
Recorded by - Salman Khan Afridi @ Studio Satya, Mumbai
Mixed by - TRE Nagella
Mixed at - Luminous Sound, Dallas, USA
Mastered by - Christian Wright, abbey road

5. Gulon Mein Rang (Faiz Ahmad Faiz)
Additional Composition - Vishal Bhardwaj
Original Composer - Mehdi Hassan
Singer - Arijit Singh
Music Producer - Ketan Sodha
Guitars - Arijit Singh
Music Assistant - Mayukh Sarkar
Recorded by - Arijit Singh
Mixed by - Steve Fitzmaurice (365 artists)
Assistant Mix engineer - Darren Heelis
Mixed at - The Pierce rooms, london
Mastered by - Christian Wright @ Abbey Road Studios, London

6. Do Jahan (Gulzar and Kashmiri folk, Vishal Bhardwaj)
Singers - Suresh Wadkar and Shraddha kapoor
Music Producers - Tushar Parte, Ketan Sodha
Guitars - Tushar Parte
Music Assistant - Mayukh Sarkar
Recorded by - Salman Khan Afridi @ Studio Satya, Mumbai
Mixed by - Steve Fitzmaurice @ Studio Satya, Mumbai
Assistant Mix engineer - Darren Heelis
Mixed at - The Pierce rooms, London
Mastered by - Christian Wright @ Abbey road Studios, London

7. Ek aur Bismil (Gulzar, Vishal Bhardwaj)
Singer - Sukhwinder Singh
Music Producer - Ketan Sodha
Music Assistant - Mayukh Sarkar
Recorded by - Salman Khan Afridi @ Studio Satya, Mumbai
Mixed by - Steve Fitzmaurice (365 artists)
Assistant mix engineer - Darren heelis
Mixed at - The pierce rooms, London
Mastered by - Christian Wright @ Abbey Road Studios, London

8. So Jao (Gulzar, Vishal Bhardwaj)
Singers - Bashir Lone, Bashir Bhawani, Muzamil Bhawani, Mayukh Sarkar, Aalaap Majghavkar & Sourabh Joshi
Music Producer - Ketan Sodha
Music Assistant - Mayukh Sarkar
Recorded by - Salman Khan Afridi @ Studio Satya, Mumbai
Mixed by - Ketan Sodha & Salman Khan Afridi
Mastered by - Christian Wright @ Abbey Road Studios, London

9. Aaj ke Naam (Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Vishal Bhardwaj)
Singer - Rekha Bhardwaj
Music Producer - Ketan Sodha
Tabla - Vinayak Netke
Music Assistant - Mayukh Sarkar
Recorded By - Salman Khan Afridi @ Studio Satya, Mumbai
Mixed by - Salman Khan Afridi & Ketan Sodha
Mixed at - Studio Satya, Mumbai
Mastered by - Christian WrighT @ Abbey Road Studios, London

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Ghanchakkar – Music review

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Staying close to the premise of the film is not something most music composers know in our lovely industry. Recently though, Music albums of Go Goa Gone and few others have successfully wrapped themselves around the feel of the film and boy were they good!

Amit Trivedi’s latest offering – Ghanchakkar joins the league of such wonderful attempts and how!

1. Ghanchakkar babu – Sax, percussions, brass bands and a superb army of female backup singers accompany Amit trivedi who rocks, hip hops and basically makes a superb song that briefly appears to be on ‘motorwada’ template but the words penned here take the song miles ahead of any fun song we have heard this year so far. Amitabh bhattacharya is clearly enjoying his work and HOW! The double track sound in the second part of both the antraas is just an excellent touch by Trivedi! I don’t think I will get over this song for a long time to come.

There is a remix of this song as well but it didn’t do anything except sound very ‘remixy’ 🙂

2. Allah meherbaan – A techno qawwali that stays far from any ‘filmi qawwali’ template except the usage of Bulbul tarang (and a sabri-sque ‘Allah’ from Amit Trivedi). Divya Kumar appears very comfortable and the beats in the song will actually send out confusing signals to those who like to view things in a set template. Experimentation that doesn’t go out of sync. Not the strongest song of the album, yet immensely enjoyable.

3. Lazy Lad – The brilliant Richa Sharma gets into the skin of the song right from the word ‘Aaain’ err! I mean right from the word ‘Go!’. A superb percussion arrangement and a brief use of bagpipes with a lot of whistles constantly, the song has fun written all over it. Richa sharma is capable of a lot of good things and emoting the way she does here is just one of it. I hope she is flooded with songs. Excellent song this! A special word for Amitabh bhattacharya for painting a lazy bum (who is always complaining!) like it has never been done in hindi films, ever!

4.Jholu ram – Brass bands o how lovely you are! Here, they are used in the naughtiest manner possible. Altaf raja returns with a very good song that paints a vivid picture of someone who is Mr. Fixit! (Oh IPL Joke!), for everything in a not necessarily legal manner! The wordplay is topclass! One might feel that Altaf Raja is not exploited well and fully here. Brass bands on the other hand are used wooofer phaad ke!

An album that gives out the feel of the film to which it belongs and NOT the feel of the ‘composer’ who has composed it…Amit Trivedi, thy name is adaptation!

5 thumbs up!

Buy it from flipkart and later on iTunes

Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana – Music review

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A Chimta coupled with slow beats and a naughty punjabi flute..all this along with an excellent group of back up vocals (the ‘hac! hac!’…marvellous!) arrest you when Kikli Kaler di starts. Naughty without being loud the song instantly profiles a casanova who has too many ‘balls in the air’. Pinky Maidasani Yo Yo Honey Singh & Amit trivedi give us a rib tickling kick a$$ track which is Punjabi in a very un-bollywood style! Liked liked super liked!

Mouth organ starts off Motorwada and before you think it has a very ‘country moojic’ sort of ‘pheel’, the lyrics will make you sit up and take notice. Dekh jaaat ke thaaat sort of music! Tochi and Amit Trivedi are clearly enjoying their life out (wearing lot of gold and black goggles and nodding to each other, clearly). Repeat rap by Amit Trivedi is so bloody pleasing to ears..Did I mention ‘naughty’ lyrics? Another super like to this album.

Luv shuv tey chicken khurana – Oh Punjab! Very Punjab-isque start to the song (Hear it out to know what I mean) Harshdeep starts the song with a lot of love and sweetness which is quite reminiscent of Punjab’s warmth. Then Shahid Mallaya joins in and (sounding very much like ‘choudhary’ from cokestudio Amit trivedi’s episode)and the sweetness gets multiplied by 1000! The song has, what we call a very rural (read pure) sense of naughtiness. ‘Nok-jhok’ in punjabi has never been better described musically in any hindi film. Super super liked!

Luni Hasi – Dual track Harshdeep kaur with Mandolin like sound, complimented with electric guitars and claps start this track. The mood of the album changes with this track. The instruments are all contemporary and the setting is very nightclub like. There are hindi lyrics in the antra which would relieve a lot of people who have issues with ‘Punjabi’ being used excessively in the album. Towards the end the song has a brief traditional interlude, with algoza and a very bold Harshdeep kaur alaap. Didn’t like the song very much.

Makkhan Malai – Probably the most ‘by the template’ punjabi song of the album. Excellent lyrics and peppy chorus heighten the mood of the song to some extent. Very cute. I feel it is one of those songs that would be fun to look at on the screen but won’t find place in your playlist for long. Oh yes and a hit in weddings! (Punjabi or otherwise!)

Farukha Baadi – Starts with a variation of the traditional Bari barsee and a lot of kyooooot punjabi girls giving out the warnings in swit punjabbbi to the guys! The guys are somewhat saved by Labh Janjua and Amit Trivedi who defend themselves melodiously. Again it’s the treatment of the song which is unusual. Special mention of the lyrics. Shellee is bang on! Mothers and sisters and jai jai…hear it, you will know what I mean. Not going head over heels about the song, still love it, and that amazing Algoza and ek taara use with good bass reflex! Magical!

Theme music – Again and unlike ‘Punjabi’ theme. Rabab is used exquisitely by Amit trivedi (with a beautiful ek tara in the background, continuously). This musical piece paints a ‘by the fields of prosperity and good people’ feel. Not loud. Very soothing. Superb!

Luni Hasi (Male Version) – Devender singh (Cokestudio tey Indian Idol wala Munda…haan wohi!) is in charge of giving us the male version of this song. This version sounds fresh and you can’t help but feel that Devender was nervous singing this song. Its cute actually. Would have liked a bit more ‘Masti’ in his voice. May be I am trying to fit the song with whatever ‘Bollywood’ has filled us in the name of all things Punjabi so far.

KikliKalerdi (Punjabi version) – Clearly dominated by Pinky Maidasani from the word go, this punjabi version gets us up close with Amit trivedi’s Punjabi Avatar. Insane Fun! Just hear the way Pinky lets go of the words like ‘Parwaaaah’ and ‘kyaaa’. Sala damn good! Rap is dissssaant (and not Yo yo honey singh ishtyle). The flute plays with a rapping Amit trivedi in between and that just adds to the flavor. By God ki kasam, this shall not leave the playlist for a long time. Kasam By God di! Who else heard the word ‘Womaniya’ being used in the song? Dassso chalo!

Special special mention for shelle, the lyricist. Punjab has never smelled so good in totality. Words like honey and usage like hot aloo parathas with lassi!

I am totally tired of praising this Amit trivedi I tell you. Aye ki gal hai? If the variations are anything to go by, Amit trivedi is going to fill in the void that was created with digital music orgasming over processed vocals since sometime. Give him Ishaqzaade, Ek Main aur Ekk tu, English Vinglish, Aiyya or Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana…this man doesn’t stop!

An excellent and a must have album for those who like the ‘pind di khushboo’. Not loud doesn’t mean not melodious/foot tapping and Amit trivedi shows us just that with so much ease that it’s not even surprising now! There was a time when music directors used to have their wishlist of film makers they wanted to work with…Amit trivedi won’t need to make such a list because very soon (if not already) will be in the list of all film makers, deservingly so!

More power and some chikkkkan to this boy whizard!

4.00/5.00

Barfi! Music review…almost

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Ala Barfi! – Right from the first moment when you hear the whistle, you know this song is all about fun! A narrative of the alleged ‘sad’ life of Barfi, the song takes a lighter take on the situation rather than brooding over it (Sanjay Leela bhansali, take note). There are 2 versions of this song. One is sung by Mohit chauhan and one by Swanand kirkirey. The version by Mohit chauhan is peppier and stays true to the mood that the song aims to create. Swanand kirkire on the other hand, gives a naughtier touch to the song (so much so that ‘Munna mute hee aansu bahaye’ part doesn’t leave any impact in his version as much as it does it Mohit’s). Both versions are good in their own right. I liked the Mohit chauhan version better because its easy on ears. At times, with Swanand Kirkire version the voice is too heavy for the song that is to be sung lightly. In Mohit’s version, in each ‘Antra’, you can listen to a brief ‘tom n jerry prank style music piece’ even as Mohit is singing. Kudos to Swanand Kirkire for penning superb lyrics though.

Main kya karu – the song starts very quickly and in a very kya karu (from ‘wake up sid’ ) mood. The song doesn’t have an elaborate music setting before which the singer starts. Nikhil Paul george starts the song with less than 6 seconds of music into the track. The ‘guitar resignation of a note’ at every ‘uff’ in the song is cleverly placed. The ‘antras’ have a ‘hopeless in love’ mood to them which is immensely relatable and melodiously performed. The song again is very easy on ears and has a lazy feel to it due to the absence of ‘orchestra overload’ sort of music setting. Liked. Super liked.

KyonPapon, (I mean THE Papon!) starts the song with a very 1970s beat accompanying him. You almost miss a romantic accordion from the setting. The sweet violin arrangement makes it up very well though. Excellently penned by Neelesh Misra, the song makes just enough space for Sunidhi chauhan to take over one antra and leave us mesmerized. Excellent display of two master artists at work. The only grouse I have is that I left wanted to hear Sunidhi chauhan for one more Antra. Thoroughly enjoyable and hummable. Papon, sing more for us, will you? Please! The 25 second odd simple twinkling music arrangement towards the end of the song puts us back to sleep and the song ends.

Phir le aaya dil (Reprise) – Sung by Arijit singh along with Contemporary music setting (yes, with faint table throughout the song) and ghazal like lyrics. This is what best sums up the song. The use of Piano in between and the general mood of this song is just too good. There is another version of this song as well and we will go there in a minute but this song has more layers because it’s not an out and ghazal. The vocals of Arijit are apt for the song (And reminded me of Shail hada. Where’s he by the way?). The song is just very nicely done. Pritam, is that you? Really? Pleasantly surprised! For me, the best song of the album.

Phir le aaya dil – Sung by Rekha bharadwaj, this composition is an out and out ghazal, very linear in it’s approach. Not many layers. Not sure if this will feature in the film. We have heard Rekha bharadwaj sing many a ghazals like this so it doesn’t come as any surprise that she hugs the lyrics, hi5’s the music setting and sings with aplomb.

Aashiyan – Excellent accordion play starts this song and shreya ghosal greets us smiling. Nikhil Paul george makes another appearance and compliments Shreya ghosal superbly. This is a happy song. There is flute and voilin play in between and it does to us just what good music to the ears! Puts you at ease, instantly. The adorable ‘almost’ yodeling is placed perfectly in the song and you cant help but smile everytime it comes up. Excellent arrangement, this.

Aashiyan (Solo) –Nikhil Paul george goes on and about in this solo version. The duet version sounds fresh with Shreya Ghosal and if you have heard that version already, you will miss her voice in this because the energy is a little low. The tempo, music arrangement (save for voilins) is pretty much the same. The only difference that I could make out was the spacing between the opening lines of Mukhda. The lines are spaced using violins so that the listener doesn’t feel that the male voice is singing the female part as well. Not a song that would make you buy this album on a stand alone basis but compliments the album very well.

Sawali si raat – Beautiful Piano starts the song and guitars drift away in the background. Arijit singh whisper-starts the song. The song talks about ‘sleep’ but the singer sounds clearly out of place in this song. Not comfortable with the subdued singing, Arijit perhaps wasn’t the right choice of the song. The tune nevertheless is quite hummable (Youtube ‘versions’ of this ahoy!). The only blip on the otherwise excellent album and for this, I can’t penalize Mr. Pritam.

Phir le aaya dil (Shafqat amanat ali khan) – A very ‘raabta’ like start (initial notes remind you of the siyah raatein version of raabta), piano and a gentle music arrangement, thankfully aided by Sarangi this time start this song and Shafqat amanat ali khan gets on with it. The moment you hear this song you feel it is the ‘cleanest’ arranged and presented song of all the versions. Best part – you cannot (And should not) compare the 3 versions of this song. Arijit Singh’s version is blessed with more ‘feel’. Rekha Bharadwaj and Shafqat’s version is more directed towards singing it right. I cannot get over the excellent use of our very own ‘Sarangi’ in this version though. Not nitpicking but please do pay chotu attention the way Shafqat amanat ali khan pronounces ‘Baaki’. This is the version that will make you cry a bit, yep.

Special mention – Shafqat amanat ali khan has to be appreciated for not choosing similar songs and falling into the ‘Rahat fateh ali khan’ sahab wala ‘typecast’ groove.
This song completes the album, even more.

It’s already been said, blogged and screamed a lot that Pritam has outdone himself with this album and I will just reiterate it shamelessly! You can visualize the film when you hear the songs. If the teaser of Barfi looked like a picture perfect frame, the music adds beautiful colors to it. Thrilled beyond words, Pritam has given us one of the best music albums of this year!

Take a bow, Pritam…I owe you a 5 star chocolate, for this tasty Barfi!

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