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

Sarbjit – Music review

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This review first appeared on Quint – http://www.thequint.com/entertainment/2016/05/04/music-review-sarbjit-aishwarya-rai-randeep-hooda-richa-chadda-arijit-singh-amaal-malik

You can also listen to my music review of Sarbjit on B.B.C. here – http://www.bbc.com/hindi/multimedia/2016/05/160513_bbc_music_review_vm.shtml

The makers of Sarbjit have a solid subject and a star at the helm to make it a substantial film, however they decided to take things up a notch by adding music that tries too hard to be grand and reflective. Here’s a review of the music of Sarbjit starring Aishwarya Rai, Randeep Hooda and Richa Chadda.

Salamat has a beautiful beginning and its tonal structure is that of a typical 90s love song. What stands out though is the pace and arrangement of the song. Arijit Singh and Tulsi Kumar sound comfortable and that’s always nice.

In Dard, Sonu nigam is at his signature best. The tune doesn’t challenge him enough, yet he is not complacent at all. It’s a treat to listen to Sonu singing a sad song and this song albeit not a classic, will certainly not harm your ears.

Tung Lak is a high voltage composition. In spite of the earthy treatment and unprocessed sound, the song doesn’t have durability stamped to it and that could be due to its lyrics. Sunidhi Chauhan, Sukhwinder Singh, Shail Hada & Kalpana Gandharva try hard though but it comes across as a patchy effort at best.

Rabba by Shafqat Amanat Ali sounds hurried and in spite of the vocal depth of Shafqat, you do get a feeling that things could have been a bit slow. The overall sound is cluttered and that’s it.

Meherbaan starts off giving the impression of being a typical filmi qawwali and tries a lot to sound a little different. Having said that, you can actually feel the excessive effort put in by Sukhwinder Singh, Shail Hada & Munnawar Masoom for the song. Meherbaan weighs you down and would perhaps be redeemed on screen because you cannot listen to this on repeat.

In Barsan Lagi although at places Shail Hada does fall short in antras, the overall vibe of the song is beautiful and you will certainly smile at the call of rain that feels like a call for freedom. It is a beautiful song especially the ‘aaj malang nu’ part which actually makes your heart soar.

Allah Hu Allah also sounds cluttered and derivative. It might be composed with good intentions but you get tired barely 1.45 mins into the song and want it to end. Altamash, Shashaa Tirupati & Rabbani Mustafa certainly deserved a better tune to deliver what they are capable of.

Mera Junoon is perhaps the most layered composition of the album. Shail Hada sounds solid yet vulnerable. At his disposal are excellent lyrics and a somewhat neat arrangement and all this comes together rather wonderfully well.

Nindiya not that we are against the million songs of Arijit that have made their way to our ears off late, we do feel the sameness of presentation over a period of time robs subsequent songs of their intended character.  Nindiya wants to be a memorable song but in spite of good lyrics, you will fall asleep at the dullness of the presentation.

Sarbjit is hauntingly composed, the theme gets its ‘hmm, hooo and aaaa’ from Shail Hada. The tune is helped with ample violins and cello which create a resonating echo of gloom and is actually a good effort.

The entire album tries too hard to be serious which is because of the subject of the film. However, not a single song stands out as the one you would end up humming by the time you get through the album. The effort is really good but I would have certainly liked some more investment in melody.

Rating: 2.5 Quints

Music review of Tanu Weds Manu returns

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you can find my music review of Tanu weds manu returns here..https://moifightclub.wordpress.com/2015/05/11/twmr/ 

B.B.C. Link shall be uploaded this friday.

An absolute belter of an album.

AgneePath – Music review


Yes, it’s here. The much awaited (Ok not much awaited album but what the heck!). Let’s hear it all out shall we?

1. Chikni Chameli – A rehash of a popular Marathi Song. Yep no points for guessing it because the beginning is pleasantly very very ‘Marathi’. Never been a fan of such songs but have to give it where it’s due so Ms. Shreya Ghosal, take a bow. The cheeky lyrics are superbly sung by Shreya and for once she is not trying too hard to convey ‘look how sweet I sound’. Kudos to Shreya for this song. Just listen to her when she says ‘Pauuwa’. Every time.

2. O Saiyyan – Beautiful start to an interesting track with Piano and in comes Roop kumar Rathod accompanied by a group of soothing background singers. The song has a pinch of ‘Saware’ (shor in the city) in the beginning, but a very theatrical song otherwise. A song which talks about pain. Lots of it. The heavy violins featuring in every antraas add up to the theatrical feel of the song. I love the way Roop Kumar’s voice echoes. The song starts with a lot of promise but fails somewhere in between. My view.

3. Gun Gun Guna – Hello Sunidhi chauhan! Err wait! Why the song is so below average right from the start? Wait wait! Please lift it up. Ok. Failed! No problem. We know you are capable of much more. The song is an attempt to be the ‘Why so serious?’ item in the film. Might work. Didn’t for me. Udit Narayan is present just for the sake of it.

4. Shah Ka Rutba – Qawwali like starting and Sukhwinder confirms that it is a song to praise a human being as he is the special one to be blessed by the powers that be. Anand Raaj Anand & Krishna Beura give a good support to Sukhwinder and try their best to lift the song. The song is supposed to be ‘inspirational’. It might look like a treat on the screen and grown then, not now. Again, my view.

5. Abhi Mujh meinSonu Nigam! An instrument light beginning with Sonu nigam taking the song to the peak and then calming things down almost instantly. Powerful lyrics and the tune which is similar in some respects to the track sung by Roop Kumar Rathod. Still one can actually visualize a pained Male Protagonist looking back in time and breathing, or at least trying to. Do catch the slow tabla and how it flirts with Sonu Nigam in the second antraa. Post the title song of Kal ho na ho, this is the song that would surely be a career milestone for Sonu Nigam and rightfully so. My pick of this album. Quite simply.

6. Deva Shree Ganesha – Yes, the anticipation of it all! Loads of chanting and an explosion of nagadas and other ‘Arti’ like instruments. Atul  sorry it is Ajay. Error pointed out rightly by the @mpmainka in the comment section. (One of the music directors for this film) goes behind the mic and blares it out, in style. The music setting is shouting only two things – Blood and revenge. The last 56 seconds of this song is what will remind us all of the iconic Aarti in the film Vaastav, the difference however is that in Vaastav, the male protagonist starts his final ‘run’ to hide from his adversaries, in the case of AgneePath the male protagonist will take his enemies HEAD ON! This difference comes out quite clearly in the last 56 seconds. Good job!

To be fair to this album, how many of us remember the songs of AgneePath 1? I remember ‘Ali baba…mil gaya chalees choron mein’ and nothing else (I am not talking about the iconic poetry of the film because that belongs to another league completely).

If we give some allowance to the fact above, the soundtrack isn’t all that bad. Ajay Atul (music directors) are definitely here to stay and the Lucknow lad Amitabh Bhattacharya (Lyricist) is a boon to the hindi film industry.

Not a musical treat but certainly worth a ‘listen’


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