Most reviewers,however callous,would testify that separating the best from the rest is fraught with high risk and is akin to digging up your own grave and laying down in it.The mud is usually bombarded by scornful connoisseurs and purveyors of music who can’t sight their favourites in the list.Given that music is an art and art is abstract,it is indeed difficult to decide which one’s should make the cut.Perceptions play a vital role here.Yardsticks like the score,the lyrics,the singing can all be considered,but then even if the best features when amalgamated may not mean a beautiful face.
Here what I attempt to do is a centrifugation process wherein I separate the cream,the good ones, from the milk i.e. the year’s harvest.I haven’t tried to give them any rankings as that would be like setting them up against each other.
So,here they come,the creme de la creme-
HINDI (Not in any particular order)
*Emosanal Attyachaar(Brass Band)(Dev D,Amit Trivedi)–With captivating songs,one usually takes note of them.But,this was one song that grabbed at one,literally.”Who is this guy?” was my first reaction as I saw the now iconic and then comic gyrations of the two band masters,on TV,as the promos played out.Amit Trivedi it was.And as if he was making up for the impending drought(Dev D was the only he composed this year barring Iktara) Trivedi heaped on us an eclectic OST with no less than 18 different songs.The brass combined with the crass this one was for both the class and the mass.
*Yahi Meri Zindagi(Dev D,Amit Trivedi)–Another gem from the jewel encrusted OST,this one stands out for its ballet like singing and the extremely evocative Yahi Meri Zindagi Hai hook.
*Khudaya Khair(Billu,Pritam)–This was a charmer of a song with ideal ingredients from Gulzar,whose angelic lyrics make for true melting moments,and Pritam,who ensconced them into an eminently hummable package.
*Dil Gira Dafatan(Dilli6,AR Rahman)–This was a total surprise coming as it was even from Rahman.Set to the strains of a continuum,allegedly,Dil Gira paints an ethereal landscape,one that traverses from Chandni Chowk to Times Square.The soaring interludes and delicate renditions from Ash King and Chinmayee are out of the world.
*Aasma Odh Kar(13B,Shankar Ehsaan Loy)–Another divine song that many wouldn’t even have noticed after the film got of to an inconspicuous start.Shankar Mahadevan’s and Chitra’s vocal chemistry is magical and drips honey.There is a beauty,as well,to the stretched out pallavi which descends like a cascade and the consequent charanam that motors along at a leisurely pace.
*Sapnon Se Bhare Naina(Luck By Chance,Shankar Ehsaan Loy)–Arguably featuring the finest prose of Javed Akhtar,this year,this pseudo qawwali was immediately enrapturing.The execution of the song was remarkable in itself with an imaginative fusion of techno beats and classical accordion riffs.Mahadevan was in his best form and given that classical is his forte,he took to this one like a fish to water.
*Aisi Sazaa(Gulaal,Piyush Mishra)–Immensely atmospheric in its feel and classical in appeal,it’s lifeblood is Shilpa Rao’s dazzling singing.Piyush Mishra,take a bow for the ingenuity be it for composing or the lyrics.
*Aaj Din Chadheya(Love Aaj Kal,Pritam)–Pritam takes a pretty simple tune but throws in such a lush,teeming melange of sounds that the music is a song in itself.There’s the harmonica and the guitar colliding softly.Add to it the heartfelt rendition of Rahat.Deeply affecting,mainly,because of its childish innocence of an era gone by.
*Yeh Dooriyan(Love Aaj Kal,Pritam)–An effulgent show of singing by Mohit and a meaningful set of lyrics,signifying the distances between the protaganists,by Irshad Kamil light up this otherwise low-key track.A song that was largely overshadowed by its largely boisterous brothers,this one slowly grew and conquered.
*Dhan Te Nan(Kaminey,Vishal Bharadwaj)–Undoubtedly the big daddy of all club numbers,Dhan Te Nan was the loudest firecracker heard.Croonsters Vishal Dadlani and Sukhwinder create a riot with their combustible singing even as the queer mix of sound yanks one by the ears.Gulzar’s odd lyrics add to the razzmatazz.
*Kaminey(Kaminey,Vishal Bharadwaj)–A perfect counterfoil to the pulsating Dhan Te Nan,Kaminey actually surpasses it in terms of engagement.Mellow and restrained,the song has a vibrant,splash of a background score of which the serendipitious violins stand out.Gulzar is in familiar territory and his lyrics evoke a sense of biting irony.They are insightful and speak through a cryptic,brooding imagery.Gulzar clinically throws moth-eaten phrases out of the window and comes up with lines like- Kya Karen Zindagi Isko Hum Jo Mile…..Masoom Sa Kabootar Naacha Toh Moor Nikla….Spellbinding.
*Morey Saiyaan(Teree Sang,Sachin Jigar)–Sachin-Jigar made an inspired debut with Tere Sang of which this blend of Pritam and Pakistani pop stands out.The soaring zitar notes are pieces of art in themself.
*Iktara(Wake Up Sid,Amit Trivedi)–Strangely,in a soundtrack featuring SEL,Amit Trivedi was the man to provide the piece de resistance,completely overshadowing the trio in the process.Amitabh Bhattacharya does a stellar turn both as a lyricist and a singer.The lyrics shun platitudes and seek freshness,increasing this song’s appeal.Kavita Seth’s earthy vocals are a treat to listen to.
*Aaj Dil Gustakh Hai(Blue,AR Rahman)–In progression with the name of the movie,Aaj Dil was a very buoyant and bluesy concoction with an undercurrent of jazz .Rahman also stitches together a tender,luxurious sound with each note forming a wavy pattern.Shreya never sounded so gossamer and she sings with a gay abandon after a long time,probably after Barso Re(Guru),while Sukhwinder is effortless.The classical base,though not noticed,gives thrust to the song in the charanam portions.
*Tum Mile(Tum Mile,Pritam)–A striking song from Pritam,from arguably the year’s best OST,the song featured three variants of which I personally favour the Shafqat Amanant Ali rendered version.The song is bestowed with an impeccable tune,one that grows on one immediately.
*Barson Yaaro(London Dreams,Shankar Ehsaan Loy)–Vishal Dadlani and Roop Kumar Rathod make for a contrasting pair but contribute in one to the amazing intensity of this song.With a stadia feel to it,the Hanuman Chalisa adds to the zing at the end.
*Khwab Jo(London Dreams,Shankar Ehsaan Loy)–The OST grew slowly much like how Rahman’s music legendarily does(they are many who are listening to Shano Shano in the hope that it will grow on them.The only thing growing is,well,their age.).Suffice to say,here Rahat and Shankar set up a fascinating jugalbandi with each trying to outshine one another.Nuff said.
*Tu Jaane Na(Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani,Pritam)–Stuffed to the gills with euphony,this song leaves one with sweet feeling in the ears.Add to it Atif’s uniquely throaty caught-a-cold crooning.
*Kurbaan Hua(Kurbaan,Salim Sulaiman)–Dadlani blitzes through this one with his high voltage vocals.Also credit to Salim-Sulaiman for the pulsating techno additions.
*Mudhi Mudhi(Paa,Ilayraaja)–Ilayraaja makes a foray into hindi films for the umpteenth time and gives us this enchanting song.Shilpa Rao’s misty vocals add to the flavour while Shantanu Moitra’s lyrics are literally trippy!
TELUGU (Not in any particular order)
*Konchem Ishtam Konchem Kashtam (KIKK,Shankar Ehsaan Loy)
*Poovune (Ananda Thandavam,GV Prakash)
*Naa Maharani (Pista,Mani Sharma)
*Nuvvakkadunte (Gopi Gopika Godavari,Chakri)
*Seheri (Oy,Yuvan Shankar Raja)
*Oy (Oy,Yuvan Shankar Raja)
*Atu Nuvve Itu Nuvve (Current,Devi Sri Prasad)
*O Nene O Nuvvani (Kalavaramaye Madilo,Sharreth Vasudevan)
*Kadhile Padham (Baanam,Mani Sharma)
*Nalo Nelena (Baanam,Mani Sharma)
*Ek Niranjan (Ek Niranjan,Mani Sharma)
*Ringa Ringa (Aarya2,Devi Sri Prasad)
*Aunana Kadana (Leader,Mickey J Meyer)
*Chinna Polike (Om Shanthi,Ilayraaja) *Yele Yele(Ganesh,Mickey J Meyer)
Special Mention:-Maa Telugu Talliki (Leader)
Wish you all a melodious and joyful new year!