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CokeStudio Season 8 Episode 3 #CokeStudio8

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You can read the Episode 1 review here and Episode 2 review here

Man Amadeh amGul and Atif give us a folk-pop-routine fused song which is brilliant in bits but cacophonous in the rest. I would have loved a slightly subtle arrangement in the middle portions of the song. Absolutely loved the way the song started and last 2:45 mins of the song. Gul is superb and she should get a solo song soon. I guess the producers weren’t confident that an out and out folk song would fly. I won’t hear this song in repeat but am sure if you do, you will like it more times than the times you will dislike it. Still, could have been better, much better. Meanwhile, while we are at it, please see the inspiration behind the song by GooGoosh (what a cute name!)   (Observe how the arrangement follows the singer and not the otherway round). Also, observe how I didn’t know about the song before this song came out from CokeStudio. So thank you again CokeStudio!

Ali Sethi and Nabeel Shaukat had so so much fun and it rubs off on you when you hear and see Umran Langiyaan. The voice of Ali Sethi opens the song with a call that is so melodious you might not believe. The song defines perfection. Be it the subtle flute all throughout Nabeel’s part in the song, the simple yet effective harmonium or be it the impeccable Ali Sethi. I don’t know about you but the song took me to a village with perfectly combed gardens and a pond and then right about then Ali Sethi added the rock/pop touch to the song. Oh yea, I also loved the way Nabeel took to the microphone. A pat on the back of the producers to merge two excellent songs the way they did.

Neun La LeyaJaffer is much more than a keyboard player and that was established in CokeStudio long back when he mesmerised us with Nindiya re. Here, he gives us a hypnotic song. It is a relief to note that the song is not over produced and lends prominence to the voice because Jaffer has a throw that is quite controlled and doesn’t come across as someone trying to prove a point and yes! he keeps it all melodious, very melodious. His voice touches your heart and you can empathise with the helpless emotions of the song. It took a while for Kaavish to do another song for CokeStudio, and it was worth the wait. So worth it!

Rung Jindri – With the name Arif Lohar comes a tank full of expectations that he would rock the video and the song. In a somewhat poignant presentation here, the tiger from punjab keeps the tune slow and focusses more on the lyrics. A song that talks about life and that too in a somewhat ‘pind meets pop’ treatment. The arrangement is fine and the excellent additional backup singers lend a unique character to the sound of the song which reminds you of Chakwal group, only quieter (because they are in background). The strings section in this song elevates the song without dominating the sound. I especially loved the last few minutes of the song. Don’t expect a ‘jugnee ji’, you will get something similar energy wise but with much more meaning. A good genre for Lohar to touch. Watch out for the clinks of the chimta towards the end. Fantastic touch that!

Overall a super episode which wobbled a little bit in Atif-Gul song but just soared higher and higher post that. The effort is clearly there and the results melodious. A special word for the talented as ever, only quieter and more subtle houseband (when compared to the last year) – Kudos! I love the Aahad Nayani now. For me, he was the star in Atif-Gul Song.

Waiting for next episode of CokeStudio Pakistan is how life is being lived these days and for that, I am thankful to everyone associated with the project.

Main Kurbaan!

The Shah Hussain Project – Vasundhara das (Review)

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Hun Nai Hatda – A peppy number starts with Vasundhara das crooning in right measure although somewhat uncomfortable with high notes. The song has a very pleasing feel to it overall. This is the Vashundhara das we all have been waiting for since sometime. The song features Mukhtiyar Ali who recites the traditional ‘Heer’ and remains in sync with the song. A good start to the album. It can be called the ‘Music video’ song of the album.

Saiyyon Assi – Piano and Vasundhara das make another effort to treat a traditional song imaginatively. This might grow on repeated listening (not because this version is bad but for the simple reason that the traditional version of this composition is too engraved on the mind). If you haven’t heard other versions, chances are you will like it.

Sajan Bin – Simple notes of guitar start this composition. Mukhtiyar ali takes the lead in this. Excellently arranged and simply composed the problem with this track could be its simplicity itself! The track sounds very amateurish (especially the ‘Mukhda’). Vasundhara das gets some English lines in between as well. Just an average song.

Range So Range – Yet another song that touches some uncomfortable notes for Vasundhara das to perform. The Piano however, saves the song. For those who don’t understand Punjabi, there are good amount of English lines as well. The composition overall feels very cluttered.

Tum Se – A light arrangement coupled with lovely singing by Vasundhara das gently starts the song. This composition feels more like it! Words woven nicely within the tune and lightly arranged. Mukhtiyar ali accompanies Vasundhara very well. This is easily the clearest composition of the album, very clear on what it wants to sound like and thankfully remains uncluttered.

Man AtkiyaMukhtiyar ali starts yet another Punjabi song with a tune that is oddly familiar. A simple composition.

Mera Sona Sajan – Stars very much like the Hum dil de chuke sanam’s Albela sajan. While the base tune remains consistent, the composition, in an attempt to sound layered goes haywire in between when Vasundhara das makes what can be called ‘fusion attempt’. Yet again, the Piano in this song is just top class! Mukhtiyar ali owns the song and how!

Kahun Na Powe Chain – The song is the mandatory ‘bad world what to do?’ song of the album. This song again attempts way too many things altogether. Vasundara das tries too hard. The composition sounds cluttered, yet again. In fact, to state the truth, this song tests your patience!

With most of the songs in Punjabi, the overall take up of the album remains to be seen anyway.

Overall a below average ode to Hazrat Shah hussain, but I am at pains to remember anyone else attempting this in India and hitting it mainstream. So, I will take it!

Vashindara das and Mir Mukhtiyar ali deserve a thumbs up for the attempt. Fusion might not work all the time but the effort is certainly well worth it, always.

As the album marks the return of Vasundhara das, I hope she sings more and more because she holds so much promise!

My Picks – Hunn nahi Hatda, Saiyyon Assi, Tum se and Mera Sona Sajan

The album is available on iTunes for INR 96 (with individual songs priced at INR 12), and at flipkart for INR 120 (with individual songs priced at INR 15). So your excuse for downloading it from ‘free’ sources is?

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

Jab tak hai Jaan – Music review..Almost

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The way ‘Saans’ starts, one does feel the sound of A.R. Rahman trying to hit you. Shreya Ghosal comes up with an echo (and a lot of ‘dhafli’ in the background and some unnecessary violins that more or less go on and on). Mohit Chauhan has probably done a doctorate in such slow mood songs and remains flat and predictable. (Couldn’t help but feel the point where Mohit chauhan makes an entry in the song sounds terribly same like the line ‘Do pal ruka’ from Veer zara). Both the singers take turns to go out of tune (mostly in the all the ‘antraas’). The unbearable shrill alaap of Shreya Ghosal isn’t good enough to keep you in the song. There are bagpipers playing too..Yes, Someone mentioned A.R. Rahman has done music for this film. Very ‘Subhash ghai’ sort of song. Uselessly grand (as far as music album is concerned) and falls flat.

Ishq Shava – Guitars. Peppy start with a very thorough Raghav and the usually brilliant Shilpa Rao behind the microphone. The unnecessary ‘Say what’, ‘Yeah’ and ‘hey’ do their bit to spoil this song. ‘Paani pe chal ke dekho zara, badalon mein zameen nahi hoti….’Yes this sounds like it has been penned by Gulzar sahab. Foot tapping song. Will this go on to my playlist? No.

Heer Harshdeep kaur puts so much soul into this! The excellent use of ‘Mirza’ has Gulzar sahab written all over it. The soul piercing violins are very A.R. Rahman. Yes, this is more like it. There is an element of ‘Yash chopra presents’ finality and drama in the music arrangement. Not complaining at all. The song just fades towards the end and will invariably have you reaching for the repeat button. Goosebumps stuff even if you don’t understand punjabi. The faint electric flute, the pace of the song, the feel, the atmosphere, easily my pick of the album.

Jiya re – The start, although no way related to ‘ni main samajh gayi’ did remind me of it. First hearing made it sound like – chaiyya re but it is ‘Jiya re’. References to loving herself and a general happy feel is what characterises the song. Sung very well and you will feel the singer Neeti mohan has put in a lot of effort. Probably an intro song (with a lot of english vinglish phrases in the background), the song lacks continuity in my view. It’s tiring to listen to this song in it’s entirety.

Jab tak hai jaanJaved ali, Sitar and some violin in good measure start this song. Probably the loudest arrangement of all songs. The moment we try to settle with the pace of the song the ‘sajid wajid like’ break disrupts the pace of the song. Very filmy song. Shakthisree Gopalan makes a splashing entry (but pauses the pace of the song only to pick it up again). Would love to hear more from her because the voice is just beautiful. The typical song that you can imagine has a lot of ‘Hero turning and heroine turning…and heroine turning again and hero turning again….and the hair flying all around’. Whether we like it or not, this song (looks like) will pick when the film hits the theatres. Did I like it? Shamelessly, Yes!

Saans (Reprise) – Oh yes…a ‘reprise’ (generally referred to as ‘Part 2’ in previous films of Yash chopra). Shreya ghosal. Sounding very much like ‘do pal ruka’ song again like from Veer zara, the song ends. (Music by Yash chopra or the stock of old madan mohan tunes?).

Ishq danceInstrumental (of course!) – Completely undecided on this piece. Doesn’t sound like the typical ‘ARR’ instrumental track. In between an all male chorus of ‘hey hey hey hey’ is disturbing but the bass it is accompanied with is very theatrical. bass doesn’t dip for a moment from here and is joined by a brass band like sound towards the end. Not catchy but this shall remain in my playlist for a while.

The PoemShahrukh khan, if only you were given better words to recite! Pedestrian poetry accompanied with excellent music arrangement has done it for the track! The filmy (of course it’s a film soundtrack, I know) end of this track is what ARR can do to you. Hear the music and tell me if you don’t get goosebumps?

Challa – Sounding more like the work of Rabbi shergill than ARR. The song has grown from the time it was launched. ‘The voice doesn’t suit SRK’ is probably a lame argument against the song so I won’t go there. The choir like chorus mixed smartly does speak of ARR a bit though. The song is again in punjabi so the uptake of the same might not be instant, but as the case with ‘90s A.R. Rahman’ remains, this song will grow.

Not an entirely impressive album by Gulzar sahab/ARR/YRF standards, the album falls in the ‘listen and buy only if you want to’ category. Probably Gulzar sahab and ARR stuck to the ‘instructions’ by YRF. If this is the last film of Yash Chopra as a director and if You know Yash Chopra well, trust me he will have you crying buckets thanks to ‘Heer’, the song, and for old times (and some classics that he has given us) sake, I hope he succeeds in doing that.

Pick of the album – Heer, Challa, recital by SRK and Ishq dance.

Rating – 3 on 5

Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster – Music review (and a loud Brrrrrrruuuaaaaah!)

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1. Right from the word go, You know what you will be getting from jugni, a quick pace superb dance number. Thanks to hindi film music, we always imagine a punjabi song to be ‘dance and balley balley’  and while some songs try very hard to be ‘different’ but this one is what i will call a ‘genre definining’ punjabi! Do give an ear to the wonderful lyrics…they are not just brrruah! They are telling you about a character! Instant favorite…unlikely to fade for a long time and certainly a ‘Deeejay’ hit oye!

Lot of so called ‘stars’ will lust after this song wishing it was pasteurised on them.The Inlay credits lyrics to Sandeep Nath & Babbu Mann and it’s very very easy to find out who has penned this one, it is the singer…Babbu mann!

2. Chu chu – Ok the title of the song gives you some ideas? They are all wrong. Sung by Parthiv Gohil(Recently featured in Coke studio India version and has sung for saawariya as well among other songs), this one is a soft ‘by the guitar’ song accompanied with soft chorus. A very Sonu-Nigam-ish song but Parthiv Gohil does a very good job in melting with the music like someone hopelessly in love…Must mention that the ‘Yes!’ in between the song is a bit different and might not be appreciated by everyone. It gives you a feel of ‘digressing’ from the mood but then, it could be situational, so let’s leave the jury out on this one till the film hits theatres.

3. Main ek bhanwara Shail ‘Sawariya’ hada comes back and hums along a medious song with a lot of classic instruments like mouth organ, voilin (And an almost continuous electric flute in the background). The pronunciation of each word is stressed and you will easily notice it in this song. I am itching to put this here that this song in the middle has a ‘theatrical’ sound to it which is welcome. All and all a good song. Not a dramatically melodious effort though. Might grow on the listeners.

4. Raat mujhe – An echoing Shreya Ghosal complains of the night teasing her with a song setting which is beautifully classical and melodiously a work of fusion. A very stop and go guitar gives company to Shreya. Easily a song very good on ears. Has a very ‘tumhein yaad kartey kartey’ (from the film – amrapali) feel to it. Very much recommended. Guess it is raga kalavati….not sure (damn! i should read and learn music)

5. Sahib bata hatilaAnkit and vipin get behind the microphone to deliver easily one of the best songs of this year so far in terms of playing with innovative sounds. The song is a narrative (won’t bbe surprised if it is featured during the opening credits). I have a thing for this kind of innovation so I will be totally biased towards this song but you should not believe me,  check it out for yourself. 2 Thumbs up!

6. Arif  lohar – Ankhian – Oh wait! did I interchange the title of the song and the artist name? Ah well! This song has the ‘jogi’ from pakistan Arif lohar who tells us a thing or two about a ‘mistake’ called as love. This is no ‘Jugni ji’, its a song with a painful undertone. Just so happy to hear such a song after ages in a hindi film. Pure punjabi might be a put off for few but your soul is likely to identify with the haunting tune of the song. In love with this song. TOTALLY.

7. I love to love you – Jazz is it? well I won’t know since I have no music sense anyway. Her highness Rekha Bharadwaj comes and rocks you like ONLY SHE CAN. The first two lines will catch you off guard not only by the words used but the way Rekha Bharadwaj speaks! The way Rekha says ‘arey bolo’ (and the chorus follows) will remind you of crowd regulating ‘JOR SE BOLO’ used to be said which was eventually followed by – JAI MATA Di..!!  A north Indian thumka with Jazz!! Bhains ki Poonch this is Oh-so-beautiful! An all time PHAVORITE ho gaya hai bas ji!

8. Chu chu (Accoustic) – A more fast paced version (of course decorated with accoustics!) has Parthiv Gohil going hysterical at times and repeating the irritating ‘Yes!’ in between the antraas. Didn’t touch me much but am sure it will have it’s audience. It’s not painfully long and fades peacefully.

Concluding thoughts – An awesome album worth a buy. 6 out of 8 songs stand out demand your attention which is a bloody awesome score! This album has done one thing…made me more impatient about seeing this movie. If the movie delivers half of what the music promises, it will be a riot and a good one at that!

*Goes back to play Jugni*

Requests

1. Grammatical mistakes aplenty..Pliss excuse because I was getting blown away by this album as I was typing this write up

2. Do not check the ‘tags’ I have put in for this blog post 🙂

and lastly….Brrrrrrrrrrrrrruaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

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