Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Majestic Five!

I know its been soooo long since i've updated my blog but kya karen,rukhaavat ke liye vajah to zaroor hai! Anyways I've been contemplating for a long time to write about how musically rich the last five years were.So this is a post that has a list of the most compelling and some absolutely scintillating soundtracks that blew me away in the last five years in Indian Music.You should probably go live under a bridge if you've not heard any of these soundtracks/albums!;)

I know I haven't heard every single soundtrack/album that has released over the past five years,so this is just a list from the ones I've heard(And the list of ones i've heard is quite big!..Hey iam not bragging.Read this blog's masthead!:P)The list is in the order of my preference.

1.Aamir(2008,Hindi,Amit Trivedi):
I had a tough choice to make between Aamir and Pudhupettai for the top spot but finally settled for Aamir.Amit Trivedi's debut is absolutely mind numbing,the soundtrack comprises tracks that bend genres and has few that create new genres.Whether it is the Sufi-tinged Ha Raham or the poignant Ek Lau,this soundtrack is soaked with variety and Amit exposes his creativity big time with his very first soundtrack!Of all the gems,my favourites are Haara and the climax theme.Haara truly heralds a new trend in the indian film music and is breathtaking,while the climax theme is oh-so-appropriate for the movie and takes the already-riveting-climax to a completely different level.This list has some soundtracks that have as many as 10 to 18 songs and yet a 6 song OST makes its way to the top spot..This soundtrack is seriously that amazing!

2.Pudhupettai(2006,Tamil,Yuvan Shankar Raja):
I still remember a week after Pudhupettai released,a leading newspaper had a huge billboard size poster of the film occupying quarter of a page with reviews from various critics and other sites which said stuff like "Music and Background Score of Pudhupettai is a milestone in Tamil film music"..And that really made my day! Yuvan's imagination goes wayyy beyond the confines of a tamil music OST in Selling
Dope,Survival of the fittest and the main theme.The background score is just world class to say the least-One flute piece that comes when Dhanush dances hysterically while fighting a bunch of thugs is a particularly memorable one! My favourites in this soundtrack are Oru Naalil(especially the composer's dream mix) and Neruppu Vaayinil(Roping Kamal Hassan to croon this song is a masterstroke!) while the
orchestration of Pulpesum is completely mindblowing and deserves a special mention! Pudhupettai is a stirring triumph of Yuvan's composing skills and it is very very difficult for the composer to match Pudhupettai's standards in the future..nearly impossible!

3.Dev D(2009,Hindi,Amit Trivedi):
Two Amit Trivedi soundtracks in the top! Usually an 18 song soundtrack is a recipe for disaster and can lead to a tremendous tedium but Amit gets everything right in Dev D..This soundtrack manages to be spectacularly accessible and addictive even while being true to the films theme..Anurag Kashyap deserves credit for fantastic conceptualisation of the soundtrack.My favorites from this soundtrack are
Saali kushi,Duniya,Pardesi And Aankh Micholi and I have a special soft corner for Paayaliya..don't know why!..This soundtrack released along with Delhi 6 and managed to be a more compelling listen than Delhi 6..that itself is quite an achievement according to me!

4.Delhi 6(2009,Hindi,AR Rahman):
This list is certainly incomplete without a Rahman's soundtrack! Rahman's world music infusion in Masakkali is nothing short of amazing and
he also hits the bulls eye with massy numbers like Kaala Bandar and the super cool title song.The fact that the movie received major drubbing is a killjoy but this film got wide recognition ONLY for it's music..Even among some scorchers like Arziyaan and Masakkali,my favorites are Rehna Tu and Dil Gira Dafatan.While Rehna Tu has a killer tune with Rahman weaving magic in the orchestration,Dil Gira is a
complete goosebump material-it has a gorgeous free flowing tune with mesmerizing backgrounds and only gets better with each listen.This is Rahman at his very best!

5. Om-The Fusion Band(2005,Indipop,Amartya,Sriram and other assorted artists):
I heard this album very late and have been majorly kicking myself for that! This album is a celebration of young talent and is vibrant and completely refreshing.It is very sad that the band dissolved after this album and is even more sad that this album did not receive the recognition it deserved.My favorites from this album are Maula,Tum Tana and Samjhaun Kaise..The full on rock'ish Maula kicks some serious butt but I so love the classical dig that the singers engage in Tum Tana..Makes for a lively and a compelling listen!

6.Junoon(2007,Indipop,Abhijeet Sawant):
The fact that this soundtrack finds a place in this list might be considered laughable by many,but I've been listening to this album for I-don't-know-how-long-now.This album has some mighty addictive songs and Abhijeet Sawant's voice is just magical and is a major highpoint.Even though the album is undone by unabashed lifts in the form of Tanha and Mahi Mahi,this album finds a place in this list
because of the four Amit Trivedi's compositions-title track,Dhoondein,Meri Aankhein and Tere Bina.These four tracks have left an indelible impact on me and are still on my playlist.If I were to pick one from the four,it would be Dhoondein-It has a totally hum worthy refrain and the part where Abhijeet goes "Rahi Meri Jaane Kyon" till the end of the paragraph is just too good for words!

7.No Smoking(2007,Hindi,Vishal Bharadwaj):
Anurag Kashyap,Vishal Bharadwaj and Gulzar-Just think about this combination!..I've always been a huge huge fan of Vishal style of music and I had to make a choice between Kaminey and No Smoking and picked No Smoking for it's sheer variety and
vibrancy.Scoring music for a theme like this can be very arduous and Vishal does it with panache.Every song from this soundtrack makes for a super listen and amongst them,I totally love Ash Tray and Kash Laga..the repetitive hook in Kash Laga is absolutely delightful while Ash Tray manages to be super addictive even while being daringly different!

8.Thaalam(2008,Malayalam Pop,Yakzan,Charan,Job Kurian):
This is yet another album that I heard very late and have been listening a looot since then.Apparently the trio haven't even been paid for this album which is so unfair!..This album is rocking in every sense of the word-Be it the high pitched lovely title track or the Middle eastern base in Kanneer Padam or the typical malayalam'ish Innite,this album is an amazing blend of some mighty tuneful music.But the highlight of this album is Iruthala Pakshi-Nedumudi Venu is sizzling in this song and the panchatantra story that it narrates is so imaginatively tuned..Do yourself a favor and DO NOT miss this album!

9.Avial(2007,Malayalam Rock,Assorted Artists):
Avial gave a completely new dimension to rock music with their maiden album and Iam very excited about their second too! Their Nada Nada,Sancharam and Adu were such a rage and the tune structure along with the raw energy of the songs was something new that time and totally blew me away!..But my favorites from this album are the mellow tracks,Njan Aara and Ettem Pattu-They have such gorgeously catchy hooks along with some spirited singing that it is hard to not fall in love with them!

10.Cafe Fluid(2010,Indipop,Naveen Kumar):
Cafe Fluid was a stupendous follow up to a breathtaking debut,Fluid by Naveen Kumar..He is completely magical with his flute and there is an added bonus in the form of Sivamani's percussion to make the songs all the more accessible.I think Cafe Fluid was better than Fluid just for those two songs,the title track and Uileann Pipes-While the title track's prelude is enough to make your hairs in the neck stand up,Uileann Pipes is another complete goose bump material and is THE song of the year for 2010 for me..I do not know how many times I have listened to this song and I still do!..This album is one complete scorcher!

The soundtracks that missed out on the top 10 are:


12.Boondh-A Drop Of Jal(2008,Pakistani Pop,Jal)

13.Rock On(2008,Hindi,Shankar Ehsaan Loy)

14.Life in a metro(2007,Hindi,Pritam)

15.Striker(2010,Hindi,Assorted Artists)

16. Jodha Akbar(2008,Hindi,A R Rahman)

17.Kattradhu Thamizh(2007,Tamil,Yuvan Shankar Raja)

18.Jhootha Hi Sahi(2010,A R Rahman)

19.Taare Zameen Par(2007,Hindi,Shankar Ehsaan Loy)

20.Leader(2009,Telugu,Mickey J Meyer)

I know I inluded Boondh-A Drop of Jal here but I just couldn't resist putting it in this list..It is one spellbinding album! There are soundtracks like Jodha Akbar which is there as low as the sixteenth in the list but after so long,there are some soundtracks that stay with you and leave a huge impact even though they may not appeal to you in the beginning..Those soundtracks score over the more popular soundtracks usually! But that does not take away the fact that JA is a completely stunning soundtrack!

The last five years was a magical period for Indian music and it is only bound to get better,what with so many composers around and also lots of new composers joining the party.Looking forward to an even better 2011-15!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


May 26,2010.After a relatively dull and a lonely afternoon(Like its been for a while now,without mom and sis!)my dad gives me a call saying "Hey,You wanna meet Yuvan Shankar Raja?"..Was I psyched or what?..I was like "Are you serious?" and then he said Yuvan was gonna come to Sathyam Cinemas to give an interview for the S Magazine.He said he had to pull some strings,but apparently the main spokesperson of Sathyam Cinemas(And a colleague of his)instantly agreed and asked me to come as soon as possible.

And then it happened.At Ecstasy in Sathyam Cinemas.The funny thing was,after i entered the place,I was talking to dad's colleague and dint even notice Yuvan,who was standing alongside her!(This was because Yuvan is really short.He can easily be camouflaged with the crowd and can make himself inconspicuous!)And then I went all "Oh Dear God" and she introduced me to him as a 'Huge Fan' and we shook hands.And we took a picture.And then I kinda let slip that Iam one of the select few people who is a major fan of his,predominantly because of his background scores for films and also for soundtracks like Pudhupettai,Azhagai Irukkirai Bayama Irukkiradhu,Raam,Kattradhu Thamizh and Yogi.He seemed to be pleasantly surprised by my little confession(I desperately wanted to tell him that because these soundtracks are terribly under rated.And I also find it deeply amusing when some people think that his scores for Paiya and Chennai-28 are his career best till now)And then we spoke for 5 mins and he seemed to be quite cheerful!

And then Yuvan had to give the interview,so I left him for a while.Meanwhile,I was preparing a questionnaire in my mind and I ordered a coffee which tasted like piss.After my initial outburst,I swore to myself that I'll hold my urge to say stuff like "God Iam such a huge fan of yours" or "Cant believe Iam talking to Yuvan Shankar Raja!:O" and thought I should rather have a mature conversation and not make a fool of myself.And then,the interview was over and next thing I knew,both of us were sitting and we were talking a lot about mainstream music!..And I couldnt have asked for a cozier place than Ecstasy(And no was in the near distance and it became almost like a rendezvous!)..Surprisingly,I was shooting some blatant right-on-the-money questions and he dint budge.He answered them all!(I actually had the nerve to ask him "How many soundtracks do you think you'll last?" when we were talking about tune fatigue!)..

We talked for about 20 minutes and I asked all about his forthcoming projects,his Hindi and Telugu projects and about other stuff(Including Harris Jeyaraj!).Even though Iam not gonna reveal anything about the projects here,Yuvan fans,make no mistake-He has some fantastic projects lined up and he's really kicked about them!..Iam tempted to continue more about the conversation,but I dont think Iam gonna.Sorry!

There were two things that made my day-First,obviously having a conversation with Yuvan!..And the second was because of the answer he gave to my "How many soundtracks do you think you'll last?" question.I was completely blown away by the confidence with which he answered that question!(We've seen innumerable instances of composers doing a good job at first,and then slowly fading into the oblivion.And we have another word for composers who do not fall in this category-LEGENDS!)And even though I wanted to act all mature,before leaving I couldnt help but say "You've made my day!"..And Iam glad I did!

After all the head-ache that my friends usually give when it comes to booking tickets as my dad works there(And they're gonna be so mad after reading this!:P) For the first time,I was genuinely glad that my dad worked in Sathyam Cinemas!

P.S:After coming back to my house,I realized I forgot to pay for my coffee!:P

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Prince(Hindi,Sachin Gupta)

What impresses big time in this soundtrack is Sachin roping Atif Aslam to sing for as many as 4 tracks!..While Abhija Sanam and O Mere Khuda are sure-shot winners with a groovy tune,Atif's fantastic vocals and excellent arrangements,Sachin's version of Tere Liye works better than Atif's-With a beautiful tune,Sachin towers over the vocals and adds a completely new flavour to it.Kaun Hoon Mein has Atif weaving magic with his rousing vocals and makes this track work single handedly.While Jiyara Jiyara has a staid tune that doesnt make an impact,Ishq Mein for sure provides some fun with a simple catchy tune.With some promising soundtracks from Sachin Gupta earlier,the composer takes giant leaps with this soundtrack.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Maro Charitra(Telugu,Mickey J Meyer)

Ranjith and Varun Sandesh are good in We Dont Care-But even though it has its elements,the song is so dated and familiar to strike an impact.Prema Prema also seems to be straight out of Mickey's repertoire,but this song works,mainly due to the honey-coated tune and Karthik's vocals.Shweta Pandit's Ninnu Nannu is astoundingly beautiful-While Shweta rocks completely with her vocals,it is the surreal backgrounds that hits the bulls eye in this song.In the last 2 tracks,Mickey retunes two MS Vishwanathan's tracks and they are the highlights of this soundtrack-Shweta Pandit is again at the thick of the things in Ye Teega Poovuno and the mesmerizing tune is a sure-shot winner.The other track,Bale Bale Mogadivoy with its groovy arrangements and a mighty impressive tune is maha-addictive.Mickey J Meyer delivers another winner with Maro Charitra!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Shaapit(Hindi,Chirantan Bhatt,Aditya Narayan,Najam Sheraz)

Chirantan Bhatt composed Ajnabee Hawayen has amazing rendition by Shreya Ghoshal,but the brooding tune however doesnt make the desired impact.Chirantan Bhatt's other song,Hayaati Ye is quite catchy mainly due to Hamza's vocals while Aditya Narayan's Chaahta Dil is more like it-Even with a sugar-coated tune,it is Aditya's brilliant vocals that is mighty impressive(Which is best heard in the paragraphs!).Aditya and Sunidhi Chauhan combine together and steal the show in Shaapit Hua-With a catchy tune and rocking vocals,this track is very addictive.Najam Sheraz's Tere Bin Jiya Na Jaye tries too hard to be soulful and succeeds only partially.Vikram Bhatt surely has a winner in Aditya Narayan but the other 2 composers fail to live upto the desired standards.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Toh Baat Pakki(Hindi,Pritam)

Even Mika Singh's vocals doesnt help Is Din which is so jaded and annoying while Sonu Nigam's Phir Se starts off really well,but lacks the punch to sustain interest throughout the song.Rahat Fateh Ali Khan's version isnt great either.Dil Le Jaa is dreadful-It has an atrocious tune and Javed Ali and Shilpa Rao are utterly wasted.But Pritam reaches his Life in a Metro high with Karle Mujhse Pyaar,the only solace of the soundtrack-Rana,Soham and the composer himself chip in with some fantastic vocals and the rousing tune is blended with some amazing sounds.The soaring sounds in the end of the song deserves a mention for sure!..Time warped soundtrack,except for Karle Mujhse Pyaar!

Thambikku Intha Ooru(Tamil,Dharan)

Javed Ali's pronunciation in Mudhal Pen Neeye is horrible but the song works,mainly because of the delectable 'Undhan Kangal Unnaipol' chorus.Koothadu Machi is wacky stuff from Dharan-Even though the tune is familiar enough,composer packages some catchy elements to make the track work.Naresh Iyer's pathos song,Yennai Yaar tries too hard to make up its bad tune with the orchestration but ultimately fails.The title song is predictably a hero-worship track and predictably fails,with an age-old tune which is outright banal.Hariharan and Shreya Ghoshal's Yaaradi is a neat melody but has nothing novel about it while Benny's woefully short Ore Minsaram is the best song of this soundtrack-One rap on the knuckle for Dharan for making this track so short!..Thambikku Intha Ooru is average stuff from Dharan.