Thursday, July 1, 2010

Udaan - Music review (5 OUT OF 5)

Music - Amit Trivedi
Lyrics - Amitabh Bhattacharya and Anurag Kashyap

Aankhon ke pardon pe – Faint violin with a lot of ‘sounds’ from morning typically suddenly elevate and shake hands with heavy notes of the guitar and before you know the heaviness turns into sweet sound of a ‘boyish’ chorus (comprising of Joi Barua and Neuman Pinto) who are remembering a serene scene which has suddenly evaporated into thin air and all what remains is ashes. Is it a sad song? Hell NO!!! the moment you go gloomy drums wake you up and you know it is an Anurag Kashyap philosophy wondering and interpreting the dance of day and night and what it means…you wont help but hum and shout with them…I bet! A fitting song number 1 for an album which is a flight of dreams…

Geet mein – 2 notes on piano play with each other (accompanied by a naughty kid’s humming sound) graduate into a ‘ek hulchul si’ (from Dev D) tempo and the ‘boys’ (Amit Trivedi and Amitabh Bhaattacharya) get along with what can be called as ‘living like this because we know no other way’ outlook. The way in which the guitar comes and does a tango with your senses is a treat. Wonderful lyrics. A very positive song.

Nadi mein talab hai – Ah! The beginning of this song!! Hear it to know what I mean. Faint flute whistles pick you up along with strings and the ‘boys’ (Amit, Joi and Neuman) get on with the faith that they are not far from success and wont mind getting burnt in the bargain. Ek Udaan – When Amit Trivedi sings these words, you know why he is the only hope for good hindi film sound in the days to come. Continuous guitar negotiates the turns and twists which Amit Trivedi introduces in the song and as a result the tempo picks up without you even knowing about it.  ‘Boys’ again break into the familiar Aankhon ke pardon pe tone humming and verbal jabbing…What a song!!

Naav chadhti (lehren)– Here is the winner for all the fans of Indian ocean moods!! Mohan starts in the front and in the background….sitar and electric guitar pick you up just in a way a sad child is picked up by the angels of heaven. The sound mixing of this song is what a lot of ‘bloody others’ (copy cat music directors) will copy without any shame. MUST HEAR. I actually don’t want to write much on this song because I want you to explore this on your own. Don’t miss out the alaap  of Mohan in the background. What soul! What hope! What music! Thank you God for Anurag Kashyap and Amit Trivedi. Thank you!!

Motumaster – Anurag Kashyap picks up the pen to write and microphone for this song. The boys (Raman Mahadevan, Amitabh Bhattacharya, Bonnie Chakraborty, Kshitij, Shriram Ayyar, Tochi, Amit Trivedi & Anurag Kashyap) take you on a humorous rollercoaster ride on how ‘Motumaster’ INFLICTED pain on it’s family and it’s village…and how his mother was felicitated by ‘Ashok Chakra’ (hear the song to know why!!!) The winner though is Anurag Kashyap when he recites some lines…hear this hear this hear this….!!

Azaadiyan Pairon ki - Strings lead you (with faint miracle in the background giving it company) to a piece sung by Amitabh Bhattacharya, Amit Trivedi and Neuman pinto. Such soulful lyrics coupled with a traditional Sitar have never graced the ears of any hindi film music listener. The chorus effect (Amitabh and Neuman mostly) gives the 'youth effect' while slowly the violin takes you to zenith and makes us meet the familiar tone of the first song (Kahani…). As the song celebrates life and hope and urges you to live and explore your dreams, strings come back and the chorus gets mixed with the instruments..and losing the prominence as Violin and Sitar steal the show for some moments (with electric guitar humming slowly by the way) and goosebumps come back as the trio just repeat – kahani khatam honey ko hai…MAGICAL!!!!! A song which will not leave us for a long time…..or may be longer….

Udaan theme – Piano…Ah! Piano…be it the love story theme or Jim brackman or our own Brian Silas, the sweetness of Piano can never be over stated. Add to it the faint note on just one string of the guitar and you will know what this piece is all about. For most of the time, heavy as well as a light violin gives company to the piano…a  very different theme music for a movie. A simmer of hope…that’s what this piece is all about

Not a very 'routine' offering by bollywood standards - and that's why I urge all of you (who like real stuff rather than botoxed music) to buy this album. Only and ONLY Anurag Kashyap could have got this music to our lame, over-inspired hindi film music arena

Skeptics, please continue to make a mockery of yourself by attempting to criticise Anurag Kashyap and his creations..

Peace and equanimity

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Athithi tum kab joagey - movie review (0/5) (posted Mar 06, 2010 11:50 AM)

The story

The promos have given it away...literally! It is about a guest who comes, stays, messes up (or so it seems) the lives of a couple urbane and how they cope with him. Yes, there you have it. In less than 2 lines, the plot of this movie which is 2 hrs 20 mins long but feels like a never-ending soap opera!

The actors

D
elightfully though, almost everyone in the cast was above average. Paresh rawal as the guest was O.K but I couldn’t help feel he was totally mechanical. The director should have done a bit more to extract a pound of performance from this immensely talented actor. Ajay Devgn shines yet again in a somewhat comic role along with Konkana sen who plays the nagging wife with consummate ease. All the others (including Mr. Mishra from All the best!! and Kaliya from Sholay) do their bit but never succeed in making any sort of impact on you.

The music

Almost like a third grade musical album is full with horrible singers and an equally horrible chorus is a torture on the ears. The title song does make a splash but fails to create an impressive one at that!

The direction, editing, screenplay and all the other technicalities which I don’t understand but feel I am wise enough to comment upon

The
film comes across half baked with poorly drawn side characters who could have given the film some ’pace’. Sadly, it comes across as a movie which could have been so much more. The direction is kiddish and even silly at times, editing strictly average and screenplay is test of your patience. Too many silly events find their way to the screen which are superficial and don’t bond with the viewers at all.(back-aches/ganpati pooja/loan EMI default...the list is endless!). The auditorium was 80% occupied and all I could hear was - Boooooooooooooo!

To conclude


I
n the modern day lives of a power couple (who are busy making money and have no time for relatives), there has to come someone who will take them back to their roots. This is what the film conveys in its painful journey of 2 hrs 20 mins. I was fooled by the promos and have to admit that if the makers of the film could have put same smartness in the making of the film, that they have put in the making of the promos, It could have been a tad better.

Watch it only if you have nothing else to do on your weekend.

Going with 0 out of 5...and still wondering about the levels to which hindi comedies have stooped...they are just not funny anymore!

Peace and equanimity

Pros:
first 20 minutes at the most, Ajay, Konkana, Paresh rawal
Cons:
The next 2 hrs of the movie!

Friday, January 8, 2010

My name is Khan - Music review (rated - 3/5)

Lyrics - Niranjan Iyengar


Music - Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy (SEL)

1. Sajda - (Richa Sharma- Rahat fateh ali Khan) - Low and continous notes on the keyboard immediately tell you it is a karan johar movie music album and whatever doubt remains is cleared by Richa Sharma's rendition of typical 'I will die but love will remain' words. RFAK comes in takes the song to somewhat different level but the chorus, in 'oh-so-very-massy' manner starts chanting 'Sajda karu' giving the song a very massy and 'Philmy' feel. Not one of RFAK's best but that's not his fault. He had a mediocre chorus to tackle. Richa sharma is as usual good. Yes you will hear 'Beliya, Ranjhna, mahiya' a lot...after all it is Karan Johar's movie..no! (Typical Shankar Mahadevan is singing in the background, same sound..so many times...arrgh!)

2 Noor E Khuda (Shankar-Adnan Sami) -O Wow! The songs with a lovely Azaan like sound from Shankar and backed with a soothing guitar and even more soothing Adnan Sami comes the most innovative song of this album. Deep words, deeper wordings. This song will take your breath away if you have ever fantasised about a world in which GOD is one and all are friends. Adnan Sami is just brilliant and Kudos to the composers because the song takes a qawwali touch the moment you get used to the guitar which gets replaced by a faint Tabla, eventually all leading up to deep bass notes giving the song a very very mystical yet known feel. Shreya gets in and again does well...she wasn't required here though (but welll it is a Karan Johar movie..everyone must come in every song...no?) The Sarangi which ends the song is breath-taking and very very touchy! Good work!

3. Tere Naina (Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan) – Starts off as a typical SEL album. Shafqat does try to impress us with some lovely variations. Typically a song in which parents would take their kids out and the smokers will have their fag. If I am right (I doubt though) this would be somewhere near to the post-intermission time. Nothing special except the qawwali setting and some mediocre chorus. Not one of Shafqat's best

4. Allah hi Rahem (Ustaad Rashid Khan Saab) - Finally Rashid saab re-appears on the hindi film music scene (after jab we met 'aaogey jab tum'). He is accompanied by a unique instrument used by the wandering faqirs called as Chimta. A faint Harmonium never leaves his company as Ustaad ji dives into the descriptions of Allah and his presence everywhere...pure divine. I might be a bit positively biased to Ustaad saab because I am just an awestruck fan of Ustaad saab since 8 years now, but by all means a lovely qawwali. No hysteria, just pure bliss as Ustaad saab ends this number slowly, almost putting us to face to face with Allah himself.

5. Khan Theme (Strings) - Sounds more like the casting music of the film with heavy Violins and elaborate musical setting. (Ah! the fascination with 'all things big' of Mr. Johar!)

6. Rang de (Shankar Mahadevan - Suraj Jagan) - The song with a beautiful message but arguably the weakest execution as you will feel the 'soul' is missing. The best part is the fusion of 'sarangi' with electric guitar. Nice!. Could be a climax sort of a song wherein the audience arent paying much attention to the song anyway! Suraj Jagan comes in and goes out with consummate ease. Thank God for singers like him are getting more work. We need to hear you more Suraj!

Finally

A music album which is very filmy albeit with a qawwali feel to the music and mystical lyrics. wont be a part of my regular hearing. Could catch up marginally when the film releases. Am I surprised? No! The film is supposed to carry a good message and isn't a typical Karan Johar-ish ice candy drama. Honestly, the music does convey the same and evaluated purely as a musical album, my rating is 3.5/5

Peace and equanimity

Veer - Music review (rated 4/5)

Lyrics - Gulzaar

Music - Sajid-Wajid

1. Taali (Sukhwinder,Sonu Nigam, Wajid, Neuman Pinto) - The album starts and how! The song is a high energy party with 2 of the greatest singers who have gone behind the microphone for hindi film music. Sukhwinder is GOD when it comes to the high pitches and Sonu gets the flow just right. Gulzaar saab has played with words like never before and pens the mood of a warrior and his friends who are fondly describing how a well ornamented girl of their dream will look like. Oh hell! press the repeat button and come on the dance floor! Do try and catch the elephant cry in the song!! Nice and neat!!

2. Surili Ankhiyon waali (Rahat fateh ali khan) - RFAK comes in and does what he does best. Sweet sugar voice with murderous command over all the nuances of raagas coupled with Gulzaar saab's pen creates an utterly romantic atmosphere and whatever was left is completed by the lovely accordion which comes in almost to surprise you. Lot of operah-like music is interwoven (am sure for cinematic display of varied locations at the same time in the song). Deja-vu feeling will hit you when you hear Suzzane coming in with english words in between (Lagaan anyone?). All in all a superb song.

3. Salaam aaya (Roop K. Rathod - Shreya) - Without wasting anytime, Roop k. Rathod comes in with his ever soothing voice accompanied with tabla and indulges in a romantic discussion with Shreya Ghoshal. The metal flute in the background along with electric piano (and some more operah-like sound) gives a very classy (and never over-the-top) feeling. Voila! there is Sitar as well. Each stanza starts with 2-track voices of the singer which is a first in hindi film music. There is a hint of the 'surili ankhiyon waali' tune in between which sounds sweet! and vanishes before you realise it. Good work here. Here it on evenings...Magical!

4. Meherbaniyan (Sonu nigam) - Drums, slow dhols and bagpipers!! Only Salman khan movie can have this fatal combination eh! Sonu nigam gets you the goose-bumps immediately and the catchy tune with lovely words of Gulzaar saab creates a 'lovable tapori' effect in the song! This is one song which can make anyone dance..even people like me who are born with 2 left legs! The stanzas of this song will take you on the icy floor of music where survival is possible only if you can dance and the second stanza will take your breath away..PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION - Do check this one out!! (Am actually sad at the slow dance of Salman khan in this song...what a treat it would have been to see Hritik dance on this one eh!)

5. Kanha (Rekha Bharadwaj - Sharib-Toshi with Shabaab Sabri) - A thumri basically with loads of ghungroos in the background, killer of a sarangi, adorable tabla and the haunting and supremely talented Rekha Bharadwaj. Toshi and sabri give background vocals and must be complimented as they set the tone of this lovely lovely lovely composition. Is this the same sajid wajid who have given us most forgetful (and irritating) music off late!! The superb description of Virah (separation) is marvellously penned by Gulzaar saab.The way sarangi plays the 'salaam aaya' song tone in between will haunt your senses like no other. Magical again...do check this out!

6. Taali (Sukhwinder) - Basically same as the song number 1 mentioned above. Just that Sonu nigam is missing from this version. Everything else is same. I guess this one is included to increase the number of songs in the CD.

7. Surili Ankhon wali (RFAK - Sunidhi chauhan) - Again, almost the same 'sound' as the song no. 2. The exception is that this song has the talented Sunidhi chauhan as well. After you will hear this you will get a feeling that Sunidhi hasn't put in 'good' effort in this number. She is found wanting on the high notes and you will know it immediately. Good part is that she comes in very late in the song and by then RFAK would have mesmerized you enough to like this song as well!

8. Theme of Veer - Now this is what I call a theme! Bagpipers play with good amount of drums and your feet will automatically tap the ground because of the music! A very happy mix of claps and cheers is mixed for good. Quite an innovative sound and a must listen! It is just 45 seconds long!

Finally

Sajid-Wajid must be complimented and complimented well for this lovely effort. Of course, having Gulzaar saab write the lyrics also does help but the credit of scoring such lovely tunes cannot be ignored. I dont know about the movie, but the soundtrack of Veer shall play in my car for a long time!

Cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeers!

Ishqiya - Music review (Rated 5/5)

Not even A.R Rahman (hereafter referred as GOD) generates the excitement which Gulzar-Vishal do to me and the way this magical duo is giving us all musical treats, I was quite sure that ‘Ishqiya’ would be another masterpiece. Is it so? Let us find it out


4. Badi Dheere Jali – (Rekha Bharadwaj) – Faint Sitar and fainter Tabla open this song. A dense feel overall with a sense of stillness is delivered almost effortlessly by Rekha Bharadwaj. In between the listener is presented some intense notes on Sarod which are just breathtaking and contribute to the ‘static’ mood of the song. Anyone who has appetite for ‘Gulzary blues’ (now don’t ask me what’s that? If you don’t know it, you probably won’t get it anyway) will rush to the ‘repeat’ button almost every time this song ends. Not a kind of song which you would like to play in a party or a social gathering. This one is for those soulful moments (often mistaken as ‘sadness’). Thank Vishal for introducing a more mature sound in hindi film music.

3. Ab Mujhe Koi – (Rekha Bharadwaj) – Soothing notes on the piano start the song with lyrics so purely ‘Ghalib’ like that you are bound to remind yourself of ‘Wo firaq aur wo visal kahan’ from Mirza Ghalib album sung by Jagjit Singh. The mood is what is common between the two compositions and not the music setting. This song has a welcome mix of acoustic and electric guitar which sets the mood just right. Special mention of the stanzas which are sung ‘just right’ by Rekha Bharadwaj who is fast becoming a synonym for a ‘pakka’ singer. Trust Gulzar saab to gently slip a word or two of the romantic Urdu language to gradually raise the intellect of people who are busy with words like singh, king etc and blend them perfectly in the song.

2. Dil to Bachcha hai (Rahat Fateh ali Khan) – Ah! The Sufis shall play! Well nearly! The ever so fantastic Rahat Fateh ali khan is well accompanied by the claps and accordion giving a perfect sufi feel to the song which deals with the magical dilemma of a grown up man who is in love with a somewhat younger dame. I use the word ‘grown up’ man because the heart, well cannot grow old can it? The lyrics, the music, the singer…everyone seems in perfect harmony in this song. You will smile when Rahat fateh ali Khan uses word like ‘Kamina’ and ‘Paaji’ with perfect aplomb. The arresting feature of the song is the beginning (guitar) and the end (accordion). While a mischievous guitar treads like a little child who must pass the sleeping adults (without making any sound of his footsteps) the closing notes from the accordion are touching and have a classic retro feel. All in all a fantastic song!

1. Ibn-e-Batuta (Sukhwinder & Mika) – Woooooooohoooooooooooo! Here comes the killer! The song starts with the sound of a horn being honked on the road (if you listen to this in your car, you are bound to look back by the way because It sounds damn neat and real!) and almost immediately a wild and totally ‘boyish’ electric guitar swoops in! Sukhwinder and Mika go behind the microphone and run a ruckus which is just melodiously wild! Gulzar saab again comes at it with lovely hindi words like ‘Durghatna and Gati-rodhak’ (meaning accident and speed-brakers). The rendition of ‘Churrrrrrrrrrrr’ is just so typical Sukhwinder having fun. It’s actually a good mix - Mika as always has a sticky feel and doesn’t have any throw in his voice and for the same reason, Sukhwinder sounds even more melodious and talented! A ‘road’ song by all means!

Remixes

A) Dil to bachcha hai remix – is done with class. Very nice to hear Rahat fateh ali khan with some heavy music in the background. Not to be missed is the guitar who is no longer mischievious but au contraire very bold in this song!

B) & C) – Ibn-e-batuta remix and Ibn-e-batuta nucleya remix – Am sure these numbers are added to give the album a very ‘wholesome film music album’ feel but they aren’t all that bad. Especially the pure remix version which has the vocals of Sukhwinder and Mika in 4X speed at times!

Finally

Thank God that Gulzar saab continues to write for hindi films

Thank God Vishal’s talent is out in the open and he is at a place where he can experiment!

Thank God for Rekha Bhaaradwaj! If she can sing sufi Qalams like ‘Ishqa Ishqa allah hu’ she can also singh ‘Raat ke Dhai baje’ and she can also make your heart sink with the kind of songs she sings in this album!

Peace and equanimity