Sunday, June 30, 2013

D-Day Music Review

D-Day Music
Music Direction : Shanker-Ehsaan-Loy
Lyrics : Niranjan Iyengar

What I expected? : SEL-Nikhil Advani usually produces good melodies. Looking forward.

Duma Dum Mast Kalander is repeated the gazillionth time, this time through Mika's lead vocals. Nothing much impressive, though interesting choice of a singer for a song like this.
Alvida has an inherent Patiala House hangover, nevertheless simple yet super swayful composition with justified singing by Nikhil D’souza,Shruti Hassan, Sukhvinder Singh and Loy Mendonsa!
Murshid Khele Holi is Qawaali perfection(The Tabla and Harmonium throughout for instance, stands out) with a highly discernible sufi edge and singing by Munawar Masoom, Javed Ali, Shankar Mahadevan and the chorus gives perfect results! #Repeat
Ek Ghadi has Rekha Bharadwaj producing a real stunner in the form of a ghazal, wonderful classical based Hindustani composition, though its only a cake walk as far as Mrs. Bharadwaj is concerned. #Must hear
Dhuaan comes with that definite anthemic sound, the vocals works immensely(Rahul Ram, Siddharth Mahadevan, Alyssa Mendonsa and chorus) as well as the Violins, though track is strictly situational..

Verdict : What has an action thriller to do with good music, God only knows, but D-Day has definitely very good music. SEL shows their usual capabilities and D-Day turns out to be a pleasant experience. Recommended!

Must Hears! : Ek Ghadi, Murshid Khele Holi, Alvida


Friday, June 14, 2013

Bhaag Milkha Bhaag Music Review

Bhaag Milkha Bhaag Music
Music Direction : Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy
Lyrics : Prasoon Joshi

What I Expected? : Expectations sky rocketed when I first heard Zinda. Expecting some very good stuff on its lines.

Gurbani gives a fantastic start, the very patriotic sounding verse is sung to indefinable highs by Daler Mehndi!
Zinda is total killer, the elevated rock arrangements along with Sidharth Mahadevan's exalted vocals create a true blue electric atmosphere! #MustHear #Repeat
Mera Yaar carries the sufi sound well, and who better than Javed Bashir to take it hands down?! Result? The vocals as well as arrangements sounds wonderful! #MustHear
Maston ka Jhund has Divya Kumar singing dance Punjabi in its purest, raw form! The orchestration plays well, but for most part its Divya Kumar's on-man-show!
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag works well as a title song, nothing like repeat quality in it, but the arete arrangements and Arif Lohar's  raw vocals help immensely. Situational, but serves the purpose. The rock version sung by Siddharth Mahadevan is better, due to the overall perkiness and faster tempo!
Slow Motion Angreza has childish, quirky but nuanced sounds, where Sukhwinder Sigh takes things in his hands and delivers expectedly. Loy and Shankar provide needed support in the chorus.

They say that the best is yet to come, and this time it strikes truth with the last song.
O Rangrez. I guess I need some extra sentences to describe this song. I say that this song is a classic. And why? Mostly because everything is bloody perfect in it. The mood is set right by the strings and Harmonium in the beginning before it dives into Javed Bashir's controlled vocals accompanied by Tabla and Sarangi! Now enter Shreya Ghoshal and everything is heaven! The song sways between the sweetness of a ghazal and sharp sound of a Qawaali. The super breezy tune is executed wonderfully by everything above, and every second of the 6:24 run time of the song is crafted elegantly! #Classic #MustHear

Verdict : Bhaag Milkha Bhaag doesn't disappoint. It doesn't score by leaps and bounds either. While it has its share of situational songs, namely Maston ka Jhund and the title song, having their own merits, it has couple of tracks which are largely appealing! O Rangrez is a sturdy gem, one of the best songs by SEL ever, I'd say and as far as Zinda is concerned it has every potential to become the new youth anthem, thanks to the brilliant setting. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy gives us one of their better soundtracks, made more in sync with the movie I think. Very Good effort.

Must Hears! : O Rangrez, Zinda, Mera Yaar


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Radio Music Review

Radio Music
Music Direction : Himesh Reshammiya
Lyrics : Subrat Sinha

Listen to the album Here

Prelude: I know it is late, by almost 4 years! But couldn't resist writing a review after hearing the album once again this morning! This time my music tastes have matured and I hope I'll be able to scrutinize the album in a more quality, critic point of view than a HR fanatic point of view in which I enjoyed it back in 2009.

Mann Ka Radio, the title song, probably the only song of the movie which was promoted well, opens the soundtrack in a fantastic note! What with the new, fresh, urbane haunting sound of Himesh along with some uber cool beats and guitar riffs justifies the highly addictive slow tune! #Must Hear #Repeat
Koi Na Koi is reminiscent of the old post AshiqBanayaAapne Himesh, the composition has enough pain and thankfully minimal but lovely orchestration keeps the profile high! Shreya Ghoshal sounds pleasant and in sync with HR! #Repeat
Jaaneman was undoubtedly one of the sweetest melodies of 2009 and the controlled, non-nasal way Himesh sings it just shows his prowess as a singer. The song gets to another high with the entry of Shreya Ghoshal! #Must Hear #Repeat
Piya Jaise Ladoo is one perfect example to cement down Himesh's Hindustani classical abilities as a composer! Starting the note off in some brilliant Shehnai, this is one song tailor made for Rekha Bharadwaj where she essentially sings it with utmost grace and grief. HR provides ample support! Simply the best of the album! #Must hear #Repeat
Shaam ho Chali hai makes me skip a heartbeat. Probably one of the BEST romantic ballads of HR(yes, you heard it right, in par with Tere Naam) and one of the most under promoted! Particularly the brilliancy is seen towards the anupallavi(2nd stanza, I don't know the Hindi phrase) where the same lyrics are repeated in two totally different tunes, by Shreya and HR respectively but still stays in sync! The arrangements are top notch as well as the singing! Too bad and too sad that hardly anyone heard it! #Must Hear #RepeatForever
Damadji is total fun! The folk-ish compositions gets the best of vocals from Kailash Kher who totally captivates the song in the start before it turns into HR's somber vocals, which is as good! #Must hear #Repeat
Teri Meri Dosti is simply amazing for the sheer contrast of pitches it displays! While Shreya goes sweet, simple and low, HR gets the pitch high, so high, as high as it can get! And the cycle follows with the comely western arrangements! Interesting is the word! #Must hear #Repeat
Rafa Dafa has again HR gaining as a composer, a surprisingly eclectic compositions sung by HR in his cool voice avatar emits a fresh positive vibe and the good lyrics helps immensely! #Repeat
Zindagi Jaise completes the album with its Punjabi R&B pop sound. Considerably weakest of the lot, the song but does entertains you to a certain extent, if you ignore the mind boggling lyrics.

Verdict : I remember promoting the album and the movie alike vigorously back in 2009. Incidentally, that was the HR fan in me working, and some of the acts at that time, I agree, was biased. Now that my music tastes have matured(as I stated at the beginning, I have started hearing more world music, more Indian folk and classical, more languages) I look at the album with more of a critic's eyes and ha!! Nothing has changed whatsoever! Radio was a brilliant album for me back then, and four years later, after hundreds of songs I have heard in between, it still remains brilliant! In fact the re-hearing has only helped to elevate my admiration of the album. This is another outstanding album for me! Overly scintillating, particularly engaging, experimental, new-gen stuff from HR!

Must Hears! : All songs, except Zindagi Jaise

Listen to the album Here


Trivia : Here's what Shreya Ghoshal said about the album in an interview.

Q : Would you agree that your songs in Radio are among your best in recent times? 

Shreya : Completely - it is one of the most frequently-played CDs in my home for a good while, and not because four songs are sung by me. Himeshji is amazing. The clean sound and interesting lyrics - even if they are not uber-cool - keep you hooked. I also do not agree with those who say that Himeshji is a non-singer. Shaam ho chali hai was a challenge for me as I have never sung so low in my career - it was challenging to sing in kharaj here. The contrast he has managed between my portions in Teri meri dosti ka aasmaan and his high-pitched segments is awesome!

Alai Wave of Bliss | Sounds of Isha | Indipop Music Review

Alai - Wave of Bliss Music Review

Band : Sounds of Isha

Buy the Album Here at a 'Name your price' basis. Get it for free if you don't want to pay.

Prelude : For those who don't know, Sounds of Isha is the home band of the Isha Foundation, you can get more info Here.
Isha Foundation's or rather Sadhguru's spiritual influence is generally expected from the album. Written and composed by Sounds of Isha during a series of Mahasathsangs with Sadhguru across South India, Alai boasts of profound lyrics with deep inner meanings. Being made completely in Tamil, a dominance of native sounds and classical influence seems like an unavoidable element. A visit to Isha Foundations website thankfully gave the lyrics of all the songs and can't really help being a bit enchanted by the sheer eloquence of the lyrics!

Alai Alai is the perfect start, the fisherman's song presumably, a colloquial tune set to wonderful guitar riffs, enhanced with the nuanced sound of Mridangam and the spritely chants of the chorus!
Kanale Kanale is more folk in the core, both the singing style and instruments announces so, while the poetic lyrics of Sri Marabin Maindhan Muthiah gets a highly rhythmic and addictive tune!
Oru Anniyar is folk genre again, sounds more like a 'pulluvan song' going by the alluring sound of the violin like instrument(pulluvan pattu) and the constant beats of pulluvan kutam, but then the nadaswaram comes in between resulting in somewhat a hybrid natured song, yet engaging in every way!
Oru Murai has predominant Carnatic classical base, the free flowing composition sung to grace by Narayan Parasuram given lift off by VV Ravi's brilliant Violin with some inspiring lyrics!
September 23 is perhaps the most spiritual of the lot, the haunting vocals merged with the deeply rich lyrics given classical treatment produces something with a resilient divine mood!
The absolutely graceful tune of Something Something works big time, an ample melody strong in the composition department gets to another high with the confident yet soothing vocals!
Un Padham sounds like a fervid prayer, the traditional temple rhythm backed by apt instrumentation(Mridangam and Flute) gives highly pleasing results!

Verdict : Sounds of Isha doesn't go wrong anywhere in Alai. It is a wonderful ensemble of brilliant tracks with some equally brilliant lyrical backbone. Nothing below than a must buy, the album enchants you, inspires you and puts you to sleep, evoking questions about life we've chosen to ignore until now hovering in your head. If it is spiritual, then it is beautiful!

Must Hears! : The whole album!

Buy the Album Here 


Trivia : The name September 23 comes from the date on which the song was first performed!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Raanjhanaa Music Review

Raanjhanaa Music 
Music Direction : A R Rahman
Lyrics : Irshad Kamil

Buy the songs legally, Here
Listen to the songs legally, Here or Here

What I Expected? : Rahman, big time!

Raanjhanaa is sound fiesta! The impeccable vocals of Jaswinder Sing & Shiraz Uppal infused into the hugely energetic yet lovely desi arrangements,(the Sitar for instance, stands out) makes up for a wonderful hear! #Must Hear #Repeat
Banarasiya is where Shreya Ghoshal and A R Rahman scores together, in the singing and composition departments respectively, it is hard to say who outshines whom for the song is one perfect example why Shreya is called the modern Indian nightingale and why Rahman is the nemero uno with all the sweet Sitar merged to the perky Indian composition(Sangeet song), making it highly intriguing! Meena Jain and Anweshaa provide ample support. #Must Hear #Repeat
Piya Milenge is basically a bag of too many good things, strong vocals(Sukhwinder Singh and KMMC Sufi Ensemble), brilliant composition, profound sufi touch, lilting classical base, the predominant urbane beat given a Qawaali edge and the deep lyrics! #Too hard to miss #Repeat
Nazar Laaye is absolutely breezy with the urbane coolness! A romantic ballad, where the soulful vocals of Rashid Ali and Neeti Mohan doesn't go wrong! #Must Hear #Repeat
Aisa Na Dekho surfaces with that lazy-lazy feel, aided heavily by A R Rahman's mastered vocals led by jazz strings and homely lyrics! #Repeat
Tum Tak is truly experimentation at its peak, a purposefully less engaging start then recreates itself in to a cat and mouse race of swaying composition and unmistakable singing, with the apt arrangements and brilliant lyrics setting the divine mood right! #Must Hear #Repeat
Aey Sakhi is has a highly sonorous sound, with the four ladies(Madhushree, Chinmayi, Vaishali and Aanchal Sethi) enjoying themselves in the cheerful yet funny composition coated with the standout sound of Ghatam! #Must Hear #Repeat
Tu Mun Shudi is desi-techno, presumably the less engaging of the lot even with Rabbi Shergill getting a nice piece of music to engage in his own favorite area of music. Good hear!
The Land of Shiva, the instrumental piece, is functional with the Mahadev chants and rudra beats.

Verdict : #MustHear! #Repeat! #Creativity at its best! #Classic Rahman, big time!

Must Hear! : The whole album!

Buy the songs legally Here 
Listen to the songs legally, Here or Here


(This is the 2nd Outstanding! album rating in IndiBeats the first one being 'Thattathin Marayath'. With the test of time, 4.25 can translate itself into 4.5, for that we have to wait and watch.)