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Commando 2 – Music Review

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The insufferable music of Commando 2 has nothing new to offer.

My review – http://www.bbc.com/hindi/media-39083013

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!

CokeStudio 9, Episode 2

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Bholay bhalay saiyya – starts with the autotuned (or whatever the hell it is called) voice of shani Arshad. It didn’t put me off because experiments are important aren’t they? I am quite keen to understand how the song was conceptualised. In a bid to sound a bit too ‘desi’, the nasal calls of ‘saiyyan’ look plain silly and we know Meesha Shafi can do much better than this. That said, I absolutely loved the crisp production of the song. Apart from a minor part when Sitar enters the composition, there isn’t an instance where the arrangement is over powering the designated sound in a song. Now coming to the video. Those who say ‘why are people concentrating on video?’ are probably unaware that Cokestudio is just NOT an audio property. Had it been the case, we wouldn’t have seen so many ‘red mushrooms of nescafe and what not’ try to copy the way Cokestudio videos are made. So yes, I found the video absolutely silly and repulsive and by GOD the heart called out for the subtle days of Rohail Hyatt. Did I like the song? Yes! Will I go looking for the song in a playlist? Absolutely not!

Afreen Afreen – has been re-imagined by Faakhir Mehmood and boy has he aced it! Rahat fateh ali khan is in top form as he lures you to sleep with his sugar dipped singing and what adds to the sing songy feel of the song is the beautiful singing by Momina Musteshan…I wish she sings another song in the season and I wish she had more sing time in this song. The arrangement of the song is delicate and God those strings! There is a strong sentiment of ‘how dare they change the song of the great NFAK’, I don’t subscribe to it. If we cannot play with classics, then what are we? Play, change, interpret, use, mix and open everything for being retold to the generation that ‘listens song on youtube’. Not everyone would come around to the soulful yet classically heavy grand compositions of our times. So take them, mix them with whatever is contemporary and leave others to explore the original gems…Trust me, you will do a big service to the classics which would otherwise remain un-heard and would be in a folder that would be named as ‘Maa-Papa ko pata nahi kya pasand hai iss type ke songs mein’. Loved it, loved it so much!

Baliye (Laung gawacha) – composed by Noori  and sung by Haroon Shahid (HS) and Quratulain Baloch (QB) has infectious energy all throughout especially the first part of the song when Haroon plays with an interesting tune. I didn’t like QB and HS interplaying each other’s lines. It was almost comical to hear HS sing ‘mera laung gawacha’ and it was tiring to hear QB sing HS’s lines right before her solo part comes in. Nothing sexist intended, just that it diluted the attitude of the song and turned a supposedly rock song (the HS part) into a mushy romantic song which was awkward. QB’s part is the one that could make me explore the song again. I wonder when the hell will she get her solo song? I am yet to hear a more controlled song from her than ‘Ankhiyan nu rein de’. Some might find the Noori band’s sing-along as cute, I find it silly and just a failed attempt to hold the urge to hog the screen…alas! not everyone can see others taking a centerstage. Funny thing – Do we remember Rohail Hyatt? Could we see this on-screen circus when he was there? Think. Overall, a song high on energy (full points to the band and composers for that) and extremely dull on melody and content.

Mann Kunto Maula is composed by the talent powerhouse Jaffer ali zaidi and predictably, the song has a smooth start, a start that is perhaps too perfect. I loved the way Ali Amat has started the song in a pop mood. The way Bashir enters the song is plain calming to the soul. After that the song goes southwards in terms of energy. It is perhaps the most underwhelming Mann kunto maula you will hear thanks to the dip in the energy…but right about 7:16 mins in the song, the energy comes back and how! I wish they would have just made it a simple ‘mann kunto maula…aum tum ta na na na re’ tarana on repeat and it would have worked wonders. Liked it, didn’t love it.

Quite a depressing episode and thanks to the onscreen circus of what appears like lightsabers in the hands of a drunk chimpanzee, there is way too much distraction and subtlety has possibly been forcefully evicted from the studio.

Pick – Afreen afreen

 

Review #CokeStudio8 Episode 6

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Previous Episode review here – 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

Ve Baneya  is a song that is fused brilliantly with an old song of Reshma. All of us have a film song for which we have bought an entire album at some stage in our lives. Mulazim Hussain’s part reminds you of that song. He is a good singer and the ease with which he sank his teeth to his part speaks volumes about his talent. Not once would you miss the feel of the song and that is just brilliant. Fizza Javed owns the song  by simply staying close to the classical brief oh her part. It is a part so nice, I wish she got more songs this season. She reminded me a bit of Humeira Channa though. I am surely looking forward to more from her in the days to come. Sajid ali and Arsalan keep the setting simple yet stick quite close to the song and create an armosphere which will have you swaying to this simple yet effective song.

Hare Hare Baans by Shazia Manzoor and Rizwan-Muazzam was the most anticipated song for me for the simple reason that I am yet to get out of the magic of Sakal Bann. (I still feel that is the best song of the season and would remain that way). Add to that the honey dipped voice of Shazia Manzoor and the wait was just unbearable. Fair to say, the song did exactly what I was expecting it to do. The voice and rendition of Shazia hits the bulls eye with ease. Rizwan-Muazzam and party are probably a gift to us listeners who like to listen to pucca music and not get carried over by cacophony. Easily one of the best songs of the season. There is a subtle tribute to piya tose naina laage re I feel in between 5:29 to 5:32 mins in the song, but then I am not a raga knowing chap, so please excuse me if you feel otherwise. Songs like these make it easy to wait for the next season of CokeStudio Pakistan…Thank God for that!

Jiya Karay – Truth be told, I was never a fan of anything except Purani jeans by Ali Haider. I remember while growing up, I used to have serious reservations listening to the voice and somewhat average gayaki of Ali. Still, I remember smiling ear to ear when I saw him in the artist line up. Nostalgia, may be. In this song, he teams up with Sara raza. Age doesn’t seem to have done anything wrong to Ali Haider because he sounds exactly the same (and goes slightly out of tune the way he used to!). Sara raza is the star of the song in my view. What is undoubtedly the star of the song is the arrangement. Be it the splendid Sitar from Shehroze or the harmonica or the flute by Abid ali and Sajid Ali. The song has a beautiful retro feel to it and even if I won’t play it again and again, it will surely become  a song that you won’t skip if you are on a long drive. Not giving a solo song to Ali Haider tells us that Strings learnt from the massive embarassment of getting Zohaib Hassan last year and giving him a lot of songs, including a solo. Old stars look and sound even better when they acknowledge and model their sound/work around the limitations age brings with it.

Kadi aao ni – All the fusion movements in the present day are about bringing mukhtalif artists/sounds and creating something which was not fathomed so far by most of us. With this song, Mai dhai and Atif Aslam came together. The promise of something exciting was always there. Just like Strings avoided the temptation of going berserk with Rizwan Muazzam in a simple babul song in hare hare baans, they have done a good job by keeping the pop feel in tact and keeping the wonderful Mai Dhai relatively subtle than her previous outing in the studio. The song has a pop feel to it but if you ask me, I would probably not listen to it again and again. Part of the reason is below average lyrics (Atif’s part). It is strictly average. Atif is good especially towards the end but somehow it didn’t come together very well for me. That said, I am in love with the first 14 seconds of the song and that wonderful harmonium which very quietly moves along the voice throughout the song.

Over all an average episode with 2 songs making the cut and going on the loop (Ve Baneya and Hare hare baans) and the remaining  two just about hummable but nothing much at that.

Now we have just one episode left and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out who all will make an appearance in that. Still, am unable to figure out one name (or several names depending on the line up per song). The probable line up looks likes this

Malika-e-ghazal Mohtarma Farida khanum

Alicia Dias with siege

Malang party 

Who else?

Bangistan Music Review and Artist Credits

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Hear it on the B.B.C. Website here

 

Full credits for the music album (Thank you Sona Mohapatra and the celebrity blogger @Musicaloud)

ALL SONGS COMPOSED by :- Ram Sampath

ALL LYRICS by :- Puneet Krishna

ALBUM ARRANGED & PRODUCED by :- Ram Sampath
PROGRAMMING AND CHIEF MUSICAL ASSISTANT :- Vrashal Chavan
RECORDED and EDITED at OMGROWN STUDIOS by :- Yash Divecha and Nitesh Bisht
MIXED at OMGROWN STUDIOS by :- Yash Divecha
ALBUM EXECUTIVE PRODUCER :- Sona Mohapatra
LINE PRODUCER :- Avneet Gujral
ASSISTANT ENGINEERS :- Nitesh Bisht , Sai Prasad Raman , Harshad Jadhav

Ishq Karenge (Qawwali Version)
Singers – Sona Mohapatra , Abhishek Nailwal , Shadab Faridi
Additional Arrangements – Vrashal Chavan , Emon Goswami, Harmonium – Feroz Shah, Tabla – Hitesh Prasad

Song – Ishq Karenge (EDM Version)
Singers – Sona Mohapatra , Abhishek Nailwal , Shadab Faridi
Arrangements – Aatur Soni, Harmonium – Feroz Shah, Tabla – Hitesh Prasad

Song – Saturday Night
Singers – Aditi Singh Sharma , Benny Dayal , Neeraj Shridhar , Janusz Kruciński
Arrangements – Subhajit Mukherjee, Additional Arrangements – Vrashal Chavan , Yash Divecha, Violin – Jitendra Thakur

Song – Maula
Singers – Rituraj Mohanty , Ram Sampath
Additional Arrangements – Vrashal Chavan, Guitars – Shon Pinto , Prakash Sontakke, Bass – Keshav Iyengar, Tabla – Hitesh Prasad , Shankar Kamble

Song – Hogi Kranti
Singers – Ram Sampath , Abhishek Nailwal
Additional Arrangements – Vrashal Chavan, Charango / Mandolin – Tapas Roy, Violin – Sanchit Choudhary

Song – Ladna Hai
Singers – Suraj Jagan , Abhishek Nailwal
Arrangements – George Joseph , Vrashal Chavan, Guitars – Pratyush Pillai

Song – Meri Zidd
Singers – Siddharth Basrur and Ram Sampath
Additional Arrangements – Harshad Jadhav, Guitars – Pratyush Pillai

Masaan – Music review

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Finally! Music of Masaan is here. Listen to my music review of the same here

You can see the lyrics here

Music review – Hamari Adhuri Kahaani

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Like it or not, Mohit Suri gives out contemporary melodies which resonate long after the film leaves.

Hamari Adhuri Kahani music is no different. With a new talent ‘Ami mishra’ giving out the ‘teri galiyan-sque’ song for the film and Arijit in top form in the title song (Thanks to his collaboration with the soothing melody pied piper Jeet Ganguly), here is an album that will pick up with the fate of the film.

If you are a fan of new albums, you are likely to finish the album without much of an issue

My B.B.C. music review can be heard here – http://www.bbc.com/hindi/multimedia/2015/06/150605_bbc_music_review_vm

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