Rocky Handsome – Music review

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You can listen to my review of the music of Rocky Handsome on B.B.C. here –


Bombay rockers are back but the rest of album leaves a lot to be desired.


Music review – Neerja

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This review was first featured here – https://www.thequint.com/entertainment/2016/02/10/review-the-music-of-neerja-is-disarmingly-good

I am a big fan of the music of Ram Madhvani’s Let’s Talk. Back in 2002, when people were coming to terms with fusion music, Ram delivered fused genres in this album with thumri-sque melody and funk in equal measure. The film of course had good scope for music. When I came across Neerja’s music, I didn’t know what to expect. How much can you accommodate, music-wise, in a film that’s character driven film, which revolves around a hijack?

For Neerja, Ram has teamed up with Vishal Khurana for the music, while Prasoon Joshi has penned the lyrics and all of them have showed that they can, in fact do a lot with the soundtrack.

Jeete Hain Chal – Seconds into Jeete Hain Chal, you come across a fragile chanting of mantras. While it might not arrest your attention immediately, be rest assured that the fearless chanting of these very mantras towards the end of the song will ensure an adrenalin rush like you haven’t had in a long time . It is a bonus to hear Kavita Seth (along with a talented bunch of singers including – Arun Ingle, Mandar Apte, RN Iyer, Archana Gore, Mayuri Patwardhan and Pragati). The violin encore towards the end is a touch of sheer class.

Aankhein Milayenge Darr Se has a very ‘annual day song’ feel to it. K Mohan and Neha Bhasin are in a ‘no fear’ mood but you don’t feel for one second that the song is trying too hard to get noticed. A lot of credit for this should go to those talented set of backup vocalists who add a lot to the song without really getting in the way of the composition.

Gehra Ishq is the romantic song of the album. The composition is slow in the beginning and almost puts you to sleep owing to a papery arrangement. The high point of this song is not the qawwali-like treatment in between but the way in which ‘claps’ welcome the tonal change. It is a cleverly composed song because you find traces of the ‘typical bollywood song’, but chances are this one will last throughout the year in your playlist, purely because of Shekhar’s singing and that leisurely note on which the song ends.

Don’t be too hard on yourself if you are reminded of Luka Chupi (from Rang De Basanti), when you hear Aisa Kyun Maa. A song which thankfully takes a daughter’s POV (with an affectionate yet haunting call from her mom twice in the song). This is easily the song that will have you reaching for tissues as you sniff and try to hum it. Sunidhi Chauhan is more or less comfortable in the song and delivers it with her signature aplomb.

What stands out in the album are those tiny flashes of brilliance, take the ‘Laado’ call in Aisa Kyun Maa, or those faint claps in Gehra Ishq or those mantras in Jeete Hain Chal. All of this shows that the film’s music was not composed just for the heck of it and how rare that is, these days!”

The brilliance of this album is that it features songs which will not hijack and/or disrupt the flow of the narrative. The sound is delicate, fearless, vulnerable and always intimate.

With the braveheart as the main character, the music might not get its due, but Vishal Khurana has ensured we must engage in the discussion about music. So let’s talk about music of Neerja, it’s well worth it.


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. 

BBC music reviews

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It’s been a while since I have put anything on this blog.

To those 2 people who read my posts here, happy to inform that I have been asked by BBC guys to do some audio music reviews for them. Have pasted the links below for some review which I have already done for them. Will keep updating the blog with BBC links (as long as BBC guys are able to tolerate me) 🙂

Ek villain – Music review http://www.bbc.co.uk/hindi/multimedia/2014/06/140606_music_review_sb.shtml
Humpty Sharma http://www.bbc.co.uk/hindi/multimedia/2014/06/140627_musicreview_vm.shtml
Hate Story 2 http://www.bbc.co.uk/hindi/multimedia/2014/07/140704_music_review_hate_story2_sb.shtml
Amit Sahni ki list http://m.bbc.co.uk/hindi/entertainment/2014/07/140711_bbcmusicreview_vm
Kick http://www.bbc.co.uk/hindi/multimedia/2014/07/140718_music_review_sb.shtml
Its entertainment http://m.bbc.co.uk/hindi/multimedia/2014/07/140725_music_review_sb
Dawat e ishq http://www.bbc.co.uk/hindi/multimedia/2014/08/140801_music_review_dawat_ssm.shtml
Raja Natwarlal http://www.bbc.co.uk/hindi/multimedia/2014/08/140808_music_review_raja_natwarlal_ssm.shtml
Singham returns http://www.bbc.co.uk/hindi/multimedia/2014/08/140814_bbc_music_review_singham_returns_ssm.shtml
BBC Azaadi – 2014 🙂 (a short feature on things from which Hindi film music still needs freedom) https://t.co/VSIB5eHb9Z

Queen – Music Review


An abridged version of the review first appeared here http://www.timeoutmumbai.net/music/cd-review/album-review-queen

Amit Trivedi teams up with the lyricst Anvita Dutt to give us the music of Phantom films’ Kangna Ranaut – Raj Kumar Rao starrer Queen.

True to the film’s theme, London Thumakda starts in Punajbi celebration mood and Labh janjua doesn’t miss a single beat in giving us a foot tapping song. Neha and Sonu Kakkar sing along as well. Even in this done to death genre of punjabi wedding/celebration songs, Amit Trivedi experiments. The excellent use of back up vocals and punjabi words in between are refreshing. Badra bahar features Amit Trivedi behind the microphone amidst a cluttered music setting. Somehow the song and the music comes across as ‘heard before’ and even though it might sound ‘trippy’ thanks to a clever use of Sitar in between, the song is at best average. O Gujaria starts with a club setting and techno sound. Shefali Alvares and Nikhil D’Souza try their best with whatever they are given, tune and lyrics wise. Frankly, the ‘Show me how to party’ bit sounds irritating in a song marred by it’s predictable overalls.

Taake Jhaanke gets the romantic Arijit Singh to croon on a (we repeat) Amit trivedi template. The song has an easy feel but ends up sounding like a very recent outing of Amit Trivedi (Remember English Vinglish?). Jugni starts very nicely and Amit Trivedi sings a peppy number which (again!) sounds like a song straight out of the folder titled ‘Udaan’. We have heard so much of Amit trivedi that you can almost second guess the turns in the tune and treatment. Harajaiyaan has a mysterious sound right from the beginning and even though you feel you have heard this song before, it’s the voice quality of Nandini Srikar that elevates the song. Creativity within the walls of Amit trivedi’s now standardized garden  has worked in this case.

Kinare has the brilliant Mohan Kannan on the mic and while we cannot get enough of Mohan Kannan, we would have liked to hear a song that doesn’t sound like one out of the album Udaan again! The song is good no doubt, just not something new. Ranjha that features a near silent music arrangement with solid vocals of Rupesh Kumar Ram is a song that will make you long for more, just like Heer longed for Ranjha. How we wished this was more than a 2 minute piece! There is a distinct smell of melody in this song that we cannot get enough of!

The makers are clearly depending on the new found oomph of Kangna Ranaut for this film. We would have liked them to stretch the limits of the Amit Trivedi who still remains Bollywood’s most promising music director.

So which song reminds us of what? Read On…

Badra bahar – Dev D as a whole. More So the O Pardesi treatment
Harjayeyaa – Dil dhuduk dhuduk beats From English Vinglish + Main Pareshaan Pareshaan Feel overall
O Gujaria – Ek main aur ek tu title song, O templates!
Taake jhaanke – English vinglish title song and the album
Jugni  – Udaan
Kinare – Udaan Udaan Udaan!

Our Picks – Ranjha, London Thumakda and Harjaiyan

(If 2 out of 3 songs are traditional template song and the third one is a mash up of something we have already heard, you can imagine the album’s score on ‘innovative’ index. Come On Amit Trivedi, Jazz it up with Bombay Velvet soon!)

2.00/5.00 (If you are looking for rating) 🙂

Shuddh Desi Romaaaaaaaaaaaans – Music review


Tere mere beech is a breath of fresh air largely due to the singing of Sunidhi Chauhan and Mohit Chauhan. The use of brass bands is always a welcome and in the ‘not so party’ song like this, the use of the same is clever! The arrangement is just right and the excellent use of mouth organ is refreshing! Not to forget the friendly banter (and queries) by Parineeti chopra throughout the song. The title song Shudh desi romance is racy but has an eerie similarity to this song here and that’s about it! Benny dayal and Shalmali are clearly having a lot of fun! The song has a 90s feel to it. Didn’t work for me though. Chanchal mann ati random barring the street sounds in the beginning gives you a feel of havan karengey (from Bhaag milkha bhaag) but the moment Divya kumar takes the microphone, everything is clear and crystal clear (hear the koyal go kooo in the background!) The superlative use of ‘ati random’ in the lyrics is top class and even though the song (especially in both the antraas) sounds a bit cluttered, this is the song that creates a lot of wolf whistles on the dance-floor (and the ‘ara ra ra ra’ bits are perfect to make a train on the dance floor by the way). There is some Harmonium as well! Too much in one song and that too, done brilliantly! Gulabi is what will remind a lot of people of Amit trivedi-sque tunes and S.E.L.-sque treatment, but the song belongs to Sachin Jigar and has a sway sway fly awaaaaaaaaaaaay feel to it. The main hook, constructed around the Rajasthani folk tune is excellent! jigar and Priya do well to add to the pep factor and this is another song that is very very dance-floor friendly.

The other half of the album contains some ‘randomly’ titled instrumental tracks. Tez wala attraction is racy and sounds a bit like ‘humka peeni hai’ from Dabangg. Bhanwara maa bhatkey is a cute little piece with a lot of local sounds and Divya kumar going at it. Before you can make an opinion on what is going on, the track ends. Boyfriend banogey uses the folk part (that’s the hook in the Gulabi song) and goes on and about without making much of a splash. The folk hook, honestly speaking is too infectious though. Love in Jaipur has Priya Saraiya going on and about having hiccups and singing a folk tune. The clever use of Harmonium is again on display here for all to hear. Mujhe kiss kar saktey ho has a good bass arrangement and gives out a Spanish (No not Senorita spanish!) feel. I particularly the lovely start to this track.

The lyrics penned by Jaideep Sahni are good, in fact, very good! When you hear the full album at one go, you cannot help but feel that In addition to the work that is done in the studio, there is a good amount of effort to capture street sounds including kids chatting up, birds twittering etc.

With Go Goa Gone and a guest appearance in Issaq already done and dusted, here is another album that hugs the genre and storyline to give out the complete feel of the film. Well done Sachin – Jigar!

Go Goa Gone – Music review

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With the O.S.T. of some films ‘celebrating 100 years of cinema’ hooked and cooked with, here comes an unashamedly party album that is not confused about it’s identity and presentation.

Slowley Slowley – Heavy bass arrangements and a ‘phunk’ start scream ‘party song’ right from the word go! The atmosphere is created superbly within the first minute of the song. Excellent back up vocals ensure that this shall be a ‘long play’ song at the dance floor and I am quite sure it shall be used well in the film as well. The film deals with Zombies and trust me the way the song ends, you will know it. Excellent touch, that!

Khoon choos ley – Oh the excellent start to the song! Surprising enough the song DOES NOT deal with Zombies! It is a song for our beloved ‘Monday’! The blood sucking Monday that we all love to hate! Penned smartly, arranged smartly, everything is spot on for this ‘Monday anthem’. There is a good amount of graphical description of what and how to itch and where. Fun! fun! freaking fun! (woo woo woo woo!). There is that addictive tune that will make a lot of people twist and turn on the dance-floor. DJ’s shall have an easy crack at this song. 2 thumbs up!

Babaji ki booty – We talk about Goa, party and no mention of ‘jadi booty’? Not possible! A slow reggae like treatment and an overdose of shaitaani lyrics make this song what it is. Bakar filled joyride! Quite easy to imagine the way the song is filmed thanks to ample *cough* and dialoguebaazi in the song. Special word of appreciation for Anand tiwari and his ‘discourse’ towards the end. Pass the joint and let this play! Listen to the pronunciation of ‘है’ by Anand tiwari to know how jagrata singer-sque he is :). Superbly done!

Khushamdeed – A soothing guitar riff starts the song and you know this isn’t going to be a party song. A song that is paced rather fast but isn’t quick when it comes to rendition by the singer. Shreya ghosal does full justice to the excellent tune. A special thing to note in songs that are penned around a word (example – saiyyara, mashallah and what not in the recent times!), this song doesn’t over-stretch the usage of the word in the song and that’s such a relief! A lesson for others to learn. The song is thankfully not tailor made for shreya (that has been the case most often), it is a different style of singing to which shreya ghosal has adapted and adapted well. Excellent lyrics as well!

I keel dead peeepal – A fun mix of dialogues (with an acquired accent wala Saif ali khan and the rest of the cast) with some dubstep! The best part? Yes, the way it ends!

Have always believed that a soundtrack that adds positively to the film is better than a soundtrack that is good ‘stand alone’ with not much role to play in complementing the overall feel of the film. Additionally, none of the songs are excessively long and that’s just superb!

Sachin-Jigar have presented an album that stays very close to the film’s premise and gives us a good peek of the fun it would be (hopefully!) on screen. With this album, I am happy to confess that I am looking forward for the duos next work!

The craziest album of the year so far, has arrived!

My pick – entire album. Entirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrre. Album.

Babaji, I love you.

Full credit list (Confirmed by the composers)

1. Slowley Slowley
Jigar Saraiya and Talia .
Lyrics : Priya Panchal .

2. Khoon choos le
Arjun Kanungo , Suraj Jagan and Priya Panchal .
Lyrics : Amitabh Bhattacharya, Sachin-Jigar

3. Babaji ki booty
Anand , Kunal , Sachin , Jigar , Raj , Dk and Bornalee Deuri .
Lyrics : Amitabh Bhattacharya .

4. Khushamdeed
Shreya Goshal .
Lyrics : Priya Panchal

All Songs composed and arranged by Sachin-Jigar
Additional programming by Hyacinth D’souza and Abhijeet Nalani .
Backing voices : Priya Panchal , Megha , Neuman Pinto , Francois Castellino , Divya Kumar , Sachin and Jigar .
Guitars : Krishna Pradhan , Randolph Correa , Kalyan Baruah
Ukele and Backpacker : Sanjoy Das (Bapi)
Clarinet , Oboe and Eng. Horn : Michael Schandler .
Vibraphone : Sukesh Gupta .
All Songs mixed and mastered @ Future sound of Bombay by Eric Pillai

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