Saturday, August 30, 2014

Baran | PARVAAZ | Music Review

Album : Baran


Listen Here | Buy Here

I was initially reluctant to buy the album, mainly because I was told that the songs were mostly written in Urdu and Kashmiri, two languages I had no clue whatsoever. Luckily enough, the songs somehow appeared at and when I started listening, again reluctantly, the album surprisingly managed to hook me from the very first song. After three songs, I went straight to OKListen! and bought it. 99 bucks. Worth it? Totally. And how.

We are greeted with the sound of a siren with the opening song Beparwah, as if something is on fire. The song is truly on fire, Khalid Ahamed's searing vocals  and Sachin Banandur's brilliant drums gives a colossal high energy start. But Ab Ki Yeh Subah diverts from the initial set mood completely, taking a more tender route, led by the lazy guitar strumming on a breezy tune. It gains momentum midway, though maintaining the grace. Lyrics here are amazing, I have to say. Couldn't understand the lyrics of Gul Gushan much but the sound is inherently mysterious, spiritual and the song progresses like an enchanting prayer on the back drop of refreshing natural sounds. Kashmiri folk influences are evident in Roz Roz and the song works wonders in pushing the listener into an abyss of nostalgia. I myself found stuck in high school memories by the time the song ended. Enchantingly magical, the song is! The 13 minute title song is better heard lying down, your eyes closed. It changes sound several times, from a bluesy base to a  somewhat Bon Iver-ish mood. Not quite a fan of this one and couldn't quite understand the various voice overs. Ghaib is a younger brother to Ab Ki Yeh Subah, similar settings prevail. Guitr strums, a free flowing tune and broody vocals. Generic sounds could be heard in Fitnah, though the haunting vocals does the trick. Ziyankar on the other hand intrigues with slow-jazz sounds mixed with full blown guitars.

Baran, meaning rain in Urdu, is without doubt, an impressive effort. Like a fresh drizzle of rain, the songs hinges you one by one. The four piece band based on Bangalore are incredibly talented and have to be watched out for.


Friday, January 24, 2014

Highway Music Review

Highway Music Review
Music Direction : A R Rahman
Lyrics : Irshad Kamil

What I expected? : Rahman in his splendid form, after the brilliant Raanjhanaa and by the looks of initial releases, Patakha Gudi and Maahi Ve!

Maahi Ve, with towering vocals from Rahman and underlying hip hop beats, cannot get any more sexier! The spiced up arrangements adds to the beauty. The similarity in beats with Maahi Ve doesn't but affect the Punjabi-folk-hip-hop Patakha Guddi the slightest. Nooran Sisters enthralls and Rahman pulls out magic in the F and M versions respectively. Watch out for the amazing rock-revamp towards the middle in the M version, bloody awesome, that! Jonita Gandhi breaks into the Rahman league with Kahaan Hoon Mein and what a pure ear orgasm the piece is! Jonita's vocals fit perfectly into the keys led beauty of an arrangement in here. All hail Rahman! Wanna Mashup is not so lucky though. In parts it looks like an attempt to ape K-Pop style, from the reggae beats and rapping, but has gone horrible bad, Suvi Suresh, Krissy and Kash tries hard though. Sooha Sooha is neat, calm, soothing and fascinating, all at the same time. An ethereal lullaby tune that can take you back to the Rahman of the early 2000s, the folk track is here to stay. The real stunner comes through the vocals of Zebunnisa Bangash where she pulls a winner while Alia Bhatt sings one stanza, impressively! Tu Kuja, with Urdu lyrics, works big time, thanks to Sunidhi's singing and the deep and sonorous desi orchestration. Heera has a surreal beauty within, it is the violin and the smooth tune probably, and Shwetha Pandit's controlled whispery vocals add to it. Jonita Gandhi's haunting humming is spread all over Implosive Silence, an instrumental piece primarily, where Rahman apparently plays with his electronic production skills. Impressive!

Verdict : Highway music doesn't disappoint. It has plenty in store for us to hear and hear again and relish for the coming days. But when juxtaposed with expectations, the album is two notches lower. I mean it just doesn't click the way Rockstar or Raanjhanaa or even Jab Tak Hai Jaan did. Not that it is bad though, just that it won't be featuring among Rahman's best works years from now. May be this is the kind of music the movie demands, I don't know. Nevertheless, when compared to the current condition of mainstream Bollywood music, Highway is still a huge and welcome relief! Highway, high on music! Very Good.

Must Hears! : Sooha Saha, Maahi Ve, Patakha Guddi, Heera


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Gunday Music Review

Gunday Music Review
Music Direction : Sohail Sen

Less time, quick review

Jashn-e-Ishqa is adequately entertaining with the mood of celebration while Tune Maari Entriyaan is pleasantly spot on! Heard before, slightly, and I didn't quite understand the 'Yennadi Muniyamma' reference in between. Copied or inspired? The Bangla version intrigues, though not much different. Moving on, Arijit Singh pulls a neat effort in the sober and soulful Jiya but it is the brilliant orchestration which does the trick in Asalaam-e-Ishqum. Bappi Lahiri and Neha Bhasin plays along wonderfully! Saiyaan run out of luck as soon as it begins but the album gains through the superbly re-imagined Amir Khusro poem, Mann Kunto Maula. The Faridis stuns in the well composed, well arranged sufi-rock affair! The Classical version with the qawwali flair is as good! The techno title song is kind of functional and Rhythm Of Jashn-e-Ishqa doesn't really offer anything new.

Verdict : Gunday has good music! ;)

Must Hears! : Tune Maari Entry, Kunto Maula