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Music,Musings et al

Month: August, 2009

Music Review:Radio(Himesh Reshammiya)

The most heartening aspect of Himesh Reshammiya’s latest foray is that his music is devoid of the crass commercialism that had come to become his definition after a spate of ludicrous releases like Red,Apne,Shakalaka Boom..not to mention two dozen other unpardonables.My problem with the guy was never with his *nasal* voice as so many others testify to but my grouse(s) with Himesh were always his manipulative tune structures and rhythm patterns.So when I first listened to the title track of Aashiq Banaye Aapne I was immediately struck by the marked freshness the guy offered from a dozen other singers who aped each other.His originality hooked me on…and yet it was this same originality that disillusioned me.Slowly I could see through his monotonous subterfuge-The guy repeated the hook lines so many times,it was only natural you would be humming it a little while later(This even Himesh admitted to in an interview).

But Radio,atleast partially,attempts to set aside this issue.Himesh,for one, has sung many of the songs in a lower octave so as to minimise his nasal influences.And most importantly there seems to be a whole hearted attempt on the part of Himesh towards re-structuring the way he makes music.So there is no more of manipulation in the kind of the incessant repetition of the refrains.

After going through my (unnecessary;yes,but I thought the context is important in this case)ramblings you must be impatient to hear the verdict.So here it goes…Though admirable for reasons cited above,the album is comme ci,comme ca(so so in common parlance) at best.The title track,named Mann Ka Radio,is refreshingly good.Himesh’s considerable effort to not sound nasal passes off in flying colours.The music is tuneful and the orchestration catchy.The folkish Zindagi Jaise Ek Radio is mediocre.Afterall,it is based on a premise that lends itself so very well to the creative vision of the lyricist(Subhrat Sinha in this case) that the actual lyrics are glaringly underwhelming(The song attempts to make a comparision between one’s life and a radio).Thankfully the next,Jaan-e-Mann,is comforting though passable.Set to a lilting tune,the song meanders through Reshammiya’s as well as Shreya’s vocals.An extended shehnai burst opens the very earthy Piya Jaise Ladoo Motichur Wale after which Rekha Bharadwaj takes over through her inimitably rustic vocals.With minimal orchestration a soulful Himesh makes an impact in the leisurely paced Koi Na Koi Chahe.Shreya vocals sounds amazingly gossamer in another languorous albeit melodious number Teri Meri Dosti Ka Aasmaan.Yet, from here on it seems as if Reshammiya got into an auto pilot mode to race against an impending deadline.So,the rest to follow(Damadji Angna Hai Padhare,Shaam Ho Chali Hai,Rafa Dafa Kiya Nahin Jaaye) seem hackneyed and contrived,rather,unimaginatively.

Radio,on the whole,turns out to be a par-boiled effort.

My Picks-Mann Ka Radio(if you’re able to care-a- damn for the lyrics)

My Rating-One Cheer!

Blue OST listing-Go Drool!

Found this OST listing of AR Rahman’s Blue on Wikipedia.Music,appparently,releasing on September 2.The wait has just got longer.It’s releasing on September 12.

For song listing click here.

For music review,click here.

Music Review:What’s Your Rashee(Sohail Sen)

For once,Gowariker without his ablest concomitant at hand,AR Rahman,fails to muster the haunting,soulful melodies that have been a hallmark of all his previous enterprises.It is not that Sohail Sen has done a bad job,it is just that the bar has been set high,way too high by Rahman.But where Sen falters is in not aggregating a wholesome album.Here,the sprawling soundtrack(it has 13 original tracks) comes across more as a ramshackled assemblage of lilting as well as annoying sounds which for most part do not amalgamate together.That Sen is obviously impressed by Rahman and Ismail Darbar is more than evident for it is from these names he draws his influences.The title track with it’s Sax and Piano interludes passes off well.The jazz template,rarely used in Bolly songs,brings in a waft of freshness as does Sen’s languorous and protracted singing.Jao Na is undoubtedly the best of the OST,though the refrain still remains a mystery for me.Sohail’s fledgling vocals are apt for the song with the furious guitaring being the defining feature of the track.Aaja Lehraate is painful with it’s exasperatingly raucous backgrounds and the liberal sprinkling of inane hummings.The baroque melody,Bikhri Bikhri,puts the OST back on track even as a facetious Maanunga Maanunga set to a rasping tune and sung by You Know Who?(Ashutosh) pummels it down.Apparently Madhushree is a bad choice for Sau Janam.Nothing wrong with the song,it even has a lilting melody to it,it’s just that her saccharine sweet vocals sound shrill and screechy here.Aa Le Chal worsens the situation with it’s staccato pacing that doesn’t go down well.The tuneful Pyaari Pyaari,again,has confounding lyrics.After the entire mukhda is sung the tune simply reverts back to the beginning and goes through with the drill again.Su Che has irritating Gujju lyrics that often make untimely and unwise appearances.Salone Kya with a rhythm pattern akin to Kala Bandar(Delhi 6) doesn’t wash for it’s mediocre lyrics.The dated sound of Dhadkan Dhadkan accentuates the misery.Passe and jaded.Rajab Ali Bhartia shines through in the melancholic yet dulcet Koi Jaane Na.The pungent jazz of the title track is rehashed into a different techno tune for the closing title track.The interludes are drawn from the various tracks from this OST.

After going through the tedium of wading through the entire OST more than twice,I can only pronounce it as mediocre fare.The other failing of this erratic score is that when it falters,it falters badly.The bad numbers are downright chafing.For all the promise of a Gowariker film,this one’s a falsetto.Sen takes us on a tour of some beautiful ruins just when we were expecting a tour of something grand and monumental.

My Picks-What’s Your Rashee,Jao Na,Bikhri Bikhri,Koi Jaane Na

My Rating-Two Cheers!!

Music Review:Wake Up Sid(Shankar,Ehsaan,Loy & Amit Trivedi)

It is amazing how the composer trio of Shankar,Ehsaan and Loy make deja vu sound dew fresh.It is no different with Wake Up Sid,as here too they,seemingly, churn out subtle variants of songs picked out from their own oeuvre.So no surprises when,Shankar,diligently,launches into the title song in the distinctly seasoned and sobered tone of his,that so easily transports his ardor into exuberance.The song,also,captures as much of the bounce of a youngster’s carefree ways as it encapsulates one of the trio’s joyous musical leitmotifs.The lilting-soft melody of Kya Karoon pervades slowly as if like slow poison.Nay,it is not one of those that make an impact in the very first instance that they start unspooling.Partly,it is Clinto Cerejo’s naturally restrained abandon while singing that works in favour of the song and the rest is taken care by the simple hummable tune,with harmonica throwaways thrown in for good measure.With shades of Kaisi Hai Ye Rut Ki Jisme(DCH), Aaj Kal Zindagi, in the umpteenth subtle-nuanced rendition of Shankar,beautifully speaks of  soaring optimism in the face of despondence.Special Mention:The electric guitar that pitches in,in the latter parts of the refrain,adding a gorgeous layer of resurgence and gravitas.Life Is Crazy brings back the joie de vivre of some of the earlier tracks.Some distinct resemblances with Yuvan’s Oy(the title song) apart,it retains an identity of it’s own with Uday Benegal punching in a blithe rendition.All said and done,it is guest composer Amit Trivedi’s contribution to OST,Iktara,that leaves a resounding impact.Right from the start,when the exquisitely done guitar riffs start chiming in,there is a downbeat pathos that engulfs this track.Perhaps,this austereness is also attributable to Kavita Seth’s striking vocals which are rooted in an earthy timbre and the hypnotic,almost transcendental,poetic refrain.Another concomitant with Trivedi’s music,Amitabh Bhattacharya lends the requisite poise and composure with his dextrous contribution(Writing the lyrics as well as singing).Spellbinding.

Wake Up Sid as expected is an effervescent album,with the lighter songs firmly ensconced in the frivolous gaiety ness associated with youth.The heavier ones,meanwhile,find their feet in the somber lyrics of Javed Akhtar and Amitabh.Overall it is the lightness of this soundtrack’s being that makes listening to it a cinch,though I have nagging thoughts on SEL day-by-day getting stereotyped and predictable,especially after their defining(may I add seminal)Rock On effort.

My Pick-Iktara

My Rating-Three Cheers!!!

Music Review:Daddy Cool(Raghav Sachar)

Looks like Raghav Sachar has already run out of ideas.For only that would explain the inexplicable insipidness of this entire soundtrack,barring probably the title song.And even that is no great shakes either;It merely has an addictive lilt that Sachar models to frenzied infectiousness.Nasha Nasha cloaked in a faux seductiveness sacrifices coherence at the altar of catchiness and falls flat.But wait,Life Life another asinine track will even make the previous one sound good.This one’s a truly exasperating song with bakwass lyrics.Shaan and Adnan are listless in the disharmonious,Dekho Dekho Dil Ye Bole.The lyrics suggest that probably Indra Kumar is still stuck within the confines of Dhamaal.Sami returns to helm Miss India Marti Mujhpe-a line that so very well explains how the song is i.e. cringe worthy.
Daddy Cool has a vapid soundtrack;totally devoid of inspiration and imagination,it is hackneyed to the core.And no,even the mediocre title track is no redemption.

My Picks-None
My Rating-Three Tears!!!

Music Review:Quick Gun Murugan(Sagar Desai & Raghu Dixit)

With a title like that,you expect either of the two outcomes from this soundtrack-A drudge or A delight.Thankfully,the experience is a rather enjoyable one.And this isn’t a mean achievement for this is no two song wonder(it is an 8 track album,excluding the remixes) that fleetingly excites and tapers off even before one can settle down to appraise and appreciate it.
First and foremost,Sagar Desai and Raghu Dixit(guest composer for the title song,Murugan Superstar) surmount the undeniable challenge of imbibing and perfecting the retro sound(something V-S did admirably for Om Shanti Om).This evocative sound,particularly,shows up in three songs-Chat Mangni Lover,Kuchi Kuchi Twist and Naam Mera Mango Dolly.Chat Mangni Lover is,peculiarly,amusing with it’s cheesy lyrics that euphemistically liken the heroine to a flower.In a way it is also a trip down memory lane;the mukhda is predictably long and protracted as if to fit in a dozen synonyms to overwhelm the lover,the heroine here, into submission.Kuchi Kuchi Twist is the other song that imaginatively retains the crux of retro.In fact it is so flush with the soul of Eastman colour romance,that it is hard not to suppress that silly chuckle that blurts out spontaneously while istening to it.The singular para para para chorus aids the feeling of nostalgia;if only things were as simple and innocent in today’s world.Naam Mera Mango Dolly starts promisingly what with that chintzy popping sound effect and the sultry cabaret singing(Geeta John).But later on,indescribably,it begins to feel too predictable and simplistic to engross.Paying an unabashedly burlesque tribute to the Madrasi hero of the 60s,who descended onto the screen bashing up a thousand thugs and goons,the Dialogue Mix is a riot.The pace is frenetic and the massy music almost trancelike in appeal and add to it the funny exchanges between Quick Gun Murugan(QGM) and some thugs.Here’s one dialogue,which I found to be specifically rib tickling-
QGM:”Rascal,main sikhayega how to behave”.
Some thug (with a menacing laugh):”Need not to worry abe gadhe,main correspondence se seekh loonga”.

Murugan Superstar is the other song in a similar mould,though it is not so over the top and loud.Raghu Dixit succeeds in amalgamating the passe and the new.Interesting it is,but is largely an unabsorbing pastiche.Meanwhile,Sagar Desai recreates the cowboy song(Ek Tha Murugan)while keeping all it’s vital elements of the genre intact,except that the lyrics here poke fun at the hero himself.For one,the sinuous guitaring is still there as also is the drawl self-narrating vocals that tell a story within a story.Kyoon Keeda Hai Aapko is undoubtedly the crème de la crème of the album for the side-splitting employment of classical singing to utter some,well,really side splitting lyrics.Vijay Praksh truly excels in this one transcending the octaves with felicity even while emphasizing the pun words to good effect.Mika rounds off Mind It(Tamil Bhangra) with his characteristic hyper-pompous rendition.The song itself is bogglingly addictive(the hook,especially) for one with mindless lyrics.

Quick Gun Murugan is a notable addition to the category of good mock-parody soundtracks.

My Picks-Dialogue Mix,Kyoon Keeda Hai Aapko
My Rating-Three Cheers!!!

Music Review:Dil Bole Hadippa(Pritam,Joshilay)

Singh Is King Redux…..

2008 was one of Pritam’s most successful years at music composing and featuring primely and primly in it would be the annoyingly infectious Singh Is King.Dil Bole Hadippa is no different:It is an out and out Punjabi soundtrack that goes all out to pander to the foot tappers in us.

Pritam marshalls all the appropriate ingredients to conjure the wildly boisterous title track that plays out with such energy and verve it’s hard not to take notice,although it works within the confines of preset conventions.Delightfully,what is uniform throughout the soundtrack are the riotously funny lyrics(Jaideep Sahni dishing out some colloquial goofball lyrics).And even in that Discowale Khisko,Gym Shim and Bhangra Bistar take the cake.While Gym Shim by Joshilay is complete LOL material somewhat reminiscent of the foolish absurdity of Emosanal Attyachaar,it is Bhangra Bistar,with it’s rip roaring and farcical take on everything Punjabi,that stands out.Sample this..

Inke Uche Uche dream,Cooker maare jaise steam

Also,the choice of singers is what makes it work.Alisha Chinoy,singing for Pritam after a long hiatus,drolls hilariously while Sunidhi provides the masculine tinge with felicity.Hard Kaur does an efficient cameo.KK and Sunidhi light up Discowale Khisko,a song with shades of Dance Pe Chance, with their spunky singing.Even amidst all this mirth,the soulful ditty Ishq Hi Rab Hai manages to create a niche for itself with Shreya and Sonu holding their own,aided by the lilting tune.

Dil Bole Hadippa is an appeasement for the hoi polloi.So even while reviewing,I didn’t look for much sense in it.Yes it gets tedious after a point of time but enjoy the fun as long as it lasts.

My Picks-Bhangra Bistar,Ishq Hi Hai Rab

My Rating-Two Cheers!!!

PS:Loved the opening interlude of Ishq Hi Hai Rab,especially from the 14 sec mark to the 29 sec mark.Excellent use of guitar and backup vocals.Also Discowale Khisko’s remix sung by Master Saleem is worth a listen.

PPS: Here’s a link for the audio listing.

Music Review:Fox(Monty Sharma)

First up,a trivial comment I can’t help but make and,also, something all of you must have noticed;This movie has a,rather,queer title-A title that one would sprobably attribute to a *Los Angeles* big budget action flick *ing Matt Damon,Brad Pitt,George Clooney or any one of these….Moving on from trifles to the matter on hand:Fox has a pretty mediocre score with none of the songs particularly leaping out to hold attention.Akruti Kakkar is one singer whose vocals I have come to adore in recent times what with Mohabbat Aapse still finding a place in my playlist.Her gossamer husky vocals sit well on the sensuous number Jashn Jashn but if only the tune was more exciting and less generic.Yaadein,sung by KK, is somewhat of a throwback to those frenetic,techno laced songs the singer used to thrive on.Evidently,it has shades of Door Se Paas and Zahreeli Raatein.Peppy but not memorable.Sung by Kunal Ganjawala and Sunidhi Chauhan,Josh Josh,is quotidian stuff with the energetic backgrounds only camouflaging a very vanilla track.Advocate Dasatan is no great shakes either.The curious title and the ominous score notwithstanding it is,well,a corny track.Kunal Ganjawala’s special ability to ring in those subtle variations while rendering a song transform Zindagi into a ballet of overflowing goodiness and cheer.

My Picks-None

My Rating-One Tear!

Music Review:Wanted(Sajid-Wajid)

Surely there must have been a mistake.Or else,how would you explain the persisting presence of the composer duo Sajid-Wajid whose single point agenda probably resembles this:Blast the living daylights of people through loud,uncouth and abominable music.Did someone say Salman Khan?Never has anyone producing so annoying a yield survived in the industry for so long,so in a sense you have got to commend them for not only hanging on but also for thriving.Wanted is the silliest and dumbest(This is one soundtrack that warrants an excessive use of extreme adjectives in a negative sense) of OSTs I have encountered(Yes it is at par with Agyaat,if not worse).Agreed this is the kind of blaring music that works in a guns & gore flick like Wanted,but the problem is even the romantic numbers which are supposed to be wee bit likeable come across as a bedlam of disonance.Even the somewhat toned down of the numbers Dil Leke is orchestrated so dryly and is wrapped in so moth eaten a tune,it is galling.And the Ippatikinka Naa Vayasu number from Pokiri,which was partly bearable for it’s unabashedly corny lyrics,mutates into a queer mix of reggae and middle eastern in this album(Le Le Mazaa Le).Ishq Vishq has a dash of hip hop thrown in for good measure but also thrown in is some grating load of gibberish and overly technoified vocals(terrible).Wajid wrecks havoc in the remaining pieces,Jalwa(chafingly servile hero worship number),Love Me Love Me(monotonous and dim-witted) and Tose Pyar Karte Hai(another dull as dishwater song).And as if this wasn’t sufficient to bleed a man’s ears,Salman Khan puts in an appearance in the clamorous Most Wanted Track that is filled with so chintzy a music,it’s downright laughable.This is the second time Khan has decided to appropriate an entire track for himself.The first was in Yuvvraaj where he rendered in his sui generis affected and faux accent a few vapid lines,with Beethoven’s fifth symphony for company,to dreadful affect.It’s time someone told him.

My Picks-Are you kidding?

My Rating-Four Tears!!!!

PS:Compared to this I would take Mani’s Pokiri score any day.

Music Review-Ruslaan(Raeess Jamal Khan)

Talk about bolts from the blue.On the face of it Ruslaan appears to be one of those innocuous albums that appear and disappear even before one takes notice.But the fact is that many of such obscure OSTs really deserve a better acceptance if not appreciation.

The OST opens with the zestful Har Ek Lamhe what with the imaginative fusion of classical Indian and zingy Western percussion rhythms.Javed Ali is also a fresh departure from the usual KK fixation(No way denigrating the man) and he traverses the nuances with admirable ease.It is an incongruous listen in the beginning when the commingling sound comes across as jarring,but do go through the entire song and you might,just as well,find yourself a good song to savour upon.Maula Maula,which will inevitably be bracketed as a sufi song, takes wings in the accomplished vocals of Master Saleem.The man is evidently gifted as is seen from his subtle and skillful changes of inflection and timbre.(Saleem is equally brilliant in Teri Sajni and the Kadi Te Hass Bol Ve bit in LAK.For the junkies though it has to be the monotonously dry Maa Da Ladla).Hariharan and Sadhna Sargam make listening to Pyar Ki Parsayee an immensely edifying experience.Both,adroit in their craft bring a certain impetus and,to borrow a phrase from Joginder Tuteja, thehrav to the track.

Ruslaan,in the end, is a deeply rewarding soundtrack for those who care to dig into the uncut gems it has on offer.

My Picks-Har Ek Lamha

My Rating-Three Cheers!!!