Monday, December 31, 2007

Top 10 Bollywood Music Albums of 2007

A month ago I started this poll to see which music album everyone thinks is the best this year. I picked 16 movies which had good music. I already had 10 music albums in mind which I thought were the best this year, but still wanted to see what everyone's opinions were. And this poll really helped me to come up with a list which I think will be agreed by almost everyone. Please note that this list doesn't take into account the success of a movie, but plainly goes by the level of excitement and enjoyment it provided in listening and the repeatability factor. Lets start with 10th best music album and go up from there -

10) Jhoom Barabar Jhoom ~ Shankar Ehsaan Loy
The title track was extremely addictive and so were its varied versions. This song rocked almost all dance floors and got played in TV and radio innumerous number of times. And then there was the beautiful pleasant number Bol na halke sung gracefully by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Mahalakshmi. Ticket to hollywood and Kiss of Love had catchy starts, but dragged a bit. But overall the album had a unique sound to it which was something different and that makes this album enter the top 10 albums of this year in the last place.

9) Salaam e Ishq ~ Shankar Ehsaan Loy
This was a very enjoyable album when it got released. It had really good tracks like the casual Dil Kya Kare, catchy title song with a celebration feel, the sweet melodious Mera dil which was cut out of the movie, the mellow remix Babuji, the energetic qawali Saiyyan Re and a shaadi number Tenu Leke. I didn't like Ya Rabba so much and I felt a little bit irritated too when it appeared all of a sudden in the movie. The songs were picturized beautifully, however many felt there was nothing new in the songs as they were typical Chopra or Johar Khandan ki songs..Nevertheless this is another quality SELs album which easily takes up the 9th spot.

8) No Smoking ~ Vishal Bharadwaj
For me this was the most daring album and a bold movie of the year 2007. The entire album is filled with Gulzar Saab's brilliant lyrics, which is one of the high points of the album. Till date I still listen quite often to the excellent smooth jazz number Jab Bhi Cigarette. Phoonk De and Kash Laga are equally fabulous numbers. While one is a haunting, dark and techno number, the other is rich in freshness and has a happy feel. Ash tray is another amazing song which I started to like even more after watching the video. Even the remixes are different and stand out. Vishal Bharadwaj totally excelled in this album. If the movie had become a decent hit, the album would have found more acceptance. I rate this album more than Salaam e ishq just for its sheer deviation from the usual Bollywood style of music and for trying to be different and original.

7) Saawariya ~ Monty
Claimed to be a musical extravaganza, Saawariya had a lot of promise and I believe it did fulfill most of it. Many thought the songs were dull and boring, but I felt they had a very young, contemporary and melodious feel. There were some sad songs without which any Sanjay Leela Bhansali's film is incomplete. But in the end it was a complete score wherein Monty had poured his heart and soul in each and every track. The songs which stood out in terms of high quality were the joyful title track, the mesmerizing and melodious Jab se tere naina, Masha allah, Pari, and Yoon Shabnami. The rest were ok. In future Saawariya might not be remembered for Ranbir or for Sanjay, but it'll surely be remembered for its songs, and thats the reason it takes up the 7th spot.

6) Johnny Gaddar ~ Shankar Ehsaan Loy, Daniel B George, Gulraj Singh & DJ Shane
This has got to be the most unconventional album of this year, of course followed by No smoking. Once again here's an album which does full justice to one specific genre instead of trying to cater to both masses and classes. The cool and stylish retro title track must be one of the most played songs by me this year. The stupendous sound of electric guitar accompanied by drums leaves an everlasting impact on the listener making him/her play it again and again. The highly charged club track Move your body pumps you up. Then there is the peppy number dhoka which completes SELs 3 original tracks for this movie. The rest of the album is filled with amazing instrumentals which form the background scores of the movie. I absolutely love Revenge of the 70s and Johny Breakbeat mera naam. The uniqueness and the distinctiveness of this album places it at the 6th spot.

5) Life in a Metro ~ Pritam
Pritam had an excellent year this time around. Metro has got to be one of his finest albums he's produced till date. I absolutely loved KK’s stunning vocals in Alvida & O meri jaan. The rock number Rishtey also rocked big time. Then there was the captivating song In Dino with beautiful lyrics. And finally Baatein Kuch Ankahee and energetic and fun track Kar Salaam rounded off the album in a grand fashion. Pritam often gets criticized for plagiarism, and with this movie he proved that he's a composer to watch out for in the coming years. I know many of my friends who absolutely adore this soundtrack. All the songs are dominated by some excellent guitar work. Its one of those subtle albums which has connected pretty well with everyone and thus it truly deserves to be in the top 5.

4) Om Shanti Om ~ Vishal Sekhar
Many might disagree with this, but for me OSO didnt meet the huge expectations it set. The problem with V-S in this album was their inconsistency. Some songs were very good while some were mediocre. And we don't want mediocre songs for big banner movies like Om Shanti Om. The songs which stood out were the bare bodied Dard e disco, exciting Deewangee, soothing melody Ajab Si, and sorrowful Jag soona. Dhoom tana was a bad song, while Main Agar kahoon was ok, however it was extremely well picturised. Dastaan had good lyrics, and great start, but middle portions were mediocre. However as we all know the movie did extremely well and also the music sales were phenomenal, but quality wise I would rate it 4th best album of this year falling behind some of the excellent scores.

3) Taare Zameen Par ~ Shankar Ehsaan Loy and Shailendra Bharve
Shankar Ehsaan Loy along with Prasoon Joshi have delivered a powerful and soul stirring album which surely has found a place in everyone's heart. 8 songs from this album talk beautifully about almost everything pertaining to the curious and innocent Child's World. Even the picturization did full justice to the feel of every song. Each and every song works at one level or the other, be it Shankar's heart-warming rendition of the title track, casual guitar-led song Kholo kholo, playful Bum Bum bole, entertaining Jame Raho, sensitive Maa, intriguing Mera Jahan or the torturous Bheja Kum. Its a complete album, which doesn't comprise of chartbursters wannabe, but rather try to do justice to the theme and be memorable numbers and thus for its sincerity, it finds itself in the respectable 3rd spot.

2) Jab We Met ~ Pritam , Sandesh Shandaliya
After Metro, this is Pritam 2nd entry into top 10 albums this year. Thanks to the variety in the soundtrack, I didn't even for once skip any song before it finished. The class of songs range from extraordinary to great. While absolutely melodious Tumse hi and Aao Milo Chale and the rocking Mauja Mauja fall in extraordinary category, the extremely soulful Aaoge Jab tum, catchy Yeh Ishq and Bhangra folk Nagada belong to the great songs categories. Added to them are the remixes and a brilliant instrumental version of Tum Se hi. This album is diverse, soulful, melodious, got some awesome dance numbers, beautiful lyrics, and great vocals. All in all a music both for masses as well as classes which is the reason it finds itself in the honorable 2nd position.

1) Guru ~ AR Rahman
There can be only one Guru in the town...and that has to be the man who has the capabilities to get everything right, and who can be banked on by anyone at anytime and he'll promise and deliver irrespective of the kind of movie. Its none other than AR Rahman who just gave one album this year and it turned out to be a masterpiece. Actually the album released in November 2006, but as the movie released this year and more people got to hear it this year, it makes more sense to include it in this year's list. If you are looking for the one perfect song of this year, its got to be Tere Bina for its delightful vocals, great arrangements and sugar coated melody. Aye Hairathen was another extremely well packaged song sung beautifully by Hari Haran. Barso was immensely catchy and picturised too very well. Mayya Mayya was a very experimental middle eastern number for our audience. And then we had the grand orchestration filled Jaage Hain which gave me goosebumps every time I heard it. Finally there were two songs one which wasn't used - the playful Baazi Laga and the other colorful and funny Ek Lo Ek Muft. There was also another soothing melody "Shauk Hai" which wasn't released in the album, but that also adds to this years best soundtrack. Guru might not be the best of ManiRatnam and ARR combo and thats also because of the standards they've set before, but it sure is the best soundtrack of 2007.

Apart from these albums there were also albums with one or two songs becoming big hits like Bhool Bhulaiyaa, Train, Kya Love Story hai, Chak De, Heyy Babyy and few more. But looking at the album as a whole, the variety it offered and the genres which it catered, I think they couldn't match up to the top 10 albums I chose. I'm sure there would be many who might have different opinions, and I thoroughly encourage you to leave your comments . Also you can leave reasons for why some other album deserves to be in top ten. I hope next year we have many more excellent soundtracks which will make it even more harder to pick the best of the best. Have a great new year ahead....

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Jodhaa Akbar new promos out

I don't know whats making UTV wait for such a long time to promote Jodhaa Akbar in all the channels. I know its happening, but for an epic movie like this, its way too slow and subtle. The way they released the first poster was amazing. Kept the tension going. But then from then till now, there was just 1 main trailor, of which a bad print was circulating all over the web. And now I hear the news of Big Music backing out from the music rights. In a way its good, now UTV would hand it to Sony BMG, who released the music of RDB and Guru in consecutive years and they went on to become huge hits. But I wonder why all this confusion in the very last minute. Now Ashutosh has removed Jan 25th date from the website. So we can expect some more delay in the movie release.

I just hope from this moment they aggresively promote the music and enticing visuals from the movie. On that note, here's the latest promo which I saw on youtube, featuring the song "Jashn bahaara". Sounds like a beautiful melodious song. I hope we don't wait long to hear the full song.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I Haaaave The Powerrrrr - HE - MAN

I don't know how all of a sudden I remembered He-man today, amongst all other things. I mean its been almost 20 years I guess since I watched it. Totally puzzling, but its good. Its good because it took me through a journey of my childhood. I used to wake up very early on a Sunday morning to watch it on TV. I love those days, I was so innocent and I believed in almost everything.

More importantly I believed in He-Man. I thought one day I'll get a similar sword, or something like that and turn into He-Man. Later I realised I had to go to this place called Gym to become like one...arrggghhh.. I so wanted to have the entire collection of all the characters and the castle. But it was so damn expensive. Something like Rs.300 I guess, which was a lot in those days. I think I did buy He-Man and Skeletor. Must have lost them though. I remember my younger brother even recited one full episode when he was 4 or something and my parents recorded it. lol...cracks me up when I think of it now.

The series had everything that grabbed kids attention. It had great action, music, magic and so many characters with varied powers. And best part was this whole story took place in an outer world called Eternia. Even if they play it now, I might probably watch it, even though some scenes might look a bit funny now. I even remember many characters from the series like Sorceress, Orko, Ram-man, Man at arms, Teela, the Cringer and my favorite Battle Cat, and Stratos, all being the good guys and few baddies Evil-lyn, Beast man, Tryclops and Skeletors Violet Jaguar ( forgot its name ).

This was also one of the cartoons which probably had the best ever opening song. I searched in youtube to see if I can find the introduction and yessss...god is gr8 :). Even now when I watch it, I get chills...Superb orchestration, especially when he goes I Haveeee the Powerrrrr....and then Cringer turns into Battlecat...All my memories are coming back. I'm sure it'll be the same for you too. However when I saw it now I was wondering why Prince Adam's parents could never recognize their son in He-Man....hmmm...See this is what happens when we grow up...we start to question everything...Anyways Youtube actually has lots of episodes of all you people who want to cherish one of your old moments...enzzzoy..

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Silambaattam - Simbu's new avatar...or is it inspired avatar

Ennappa Simbu, new look in Silambaattam sollitu, ippadi Anniyan byproduct kudukkariye.'s source of inspiration ...Vikram from Anniyan -

Ofcourse Simbu is an iyer in Silambaattam and Vikram was iyengar. Biggggg difference ha ? The story also is surprisingly similar to Anniyan. Its about how a temple priest who is forced to resort to violence to set things right. Are we really running out of ideas and not only remaking old movies, but also the new ones ??

Also btw, when I saw Simbu's dress, I remembered another movie where another big star had the same getup...Don't have to guess's another inspiration for Silambaattam -

Maniratnam Sir...we need you badly in South...

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Mission Ustaad - A unique show for a great cause

It feels great to see big stars such as AR Rahman, Aamir Khan, Sachin, and Dravid speak about India's commitment to UN and the new reality show Mission Ustaad, which is aimed at spreading the message. The show premiers today, Dec 1st, on 9X channel.

For those who are unaware of this show, here's a small preview - Mission Ustaad is a musical show where four celebrity singers will compose songs based on various themes to take forward the message of UN’s eight Millennium Development Goals (MDG). The best singer pair will be given a chance to cut an album co-produced by Endemol India, 9X television channel and UN. Its hosted by Musical Maestro A.R. Rahman, writer and poet par excellence Javed Akhtar and Miss Universe and actress Lara Dutta.

The following singing sensations will get together and battle it out for the title of Ustaad Jodi.

Roop Kumar Rathod and Sonali Rathod

Kailash Kher and Mahalakshmi Iyer

Vasundhara Das and Mohit Chauhan

Naresh Iyer and Shweta Pandit

The crux of Mission Ustaad is to create awareness about the UN Millenium Development Goals (MSGs) across the country. For more details on this show click here - Mission Ustaad

I heard the song Jaago Jaago...very inspiring and promising. I guess all the singers were chosen by AR Rahman as most of them are from his favorite list. I hope the show will achieve what it set forth for and I wish all the best to the entire team.

A comment on Aaja Nachle review by

As soon as I saw this poster I got a PJ in my mind which I have to share it with all of you -

Does this poster mean see ...Madhuri Dixit is Back or
Does it mean see ....Madhuri Dixit's Back :)

I know I know..its pretty bad joke...anyways moving ahead...I saw this movie review on Aaja Nachle @ website, which is pretty well known site, where the reviewer said

" Music by Vishal Shekar was just about OK; none of the songs remain with you when you come out. "

Whoever wrote that review must first get all his facts correct before publishing it as it'd be read by thousands of people who visit that site regularly. The music is composed by Salim-Suleiman and not Vishal Sekhar. I tried sending them an email, but I guess they either didn't consider it very important or they didn't get a chance to read it. And so I decided to put it in my blog. Having said that though, I do agree with them that music sucks. Its a dance based movie where all the songs have got to be catchy and the over rated and supposedly talented Salim-Suleiman give some boring and uninspiring tunes. None of the songs stick in your mind after hearing except for the title track which in parts reminds me of "Rang De" from Thakshak.

Anyways, its been a very bad year for Yash Raj Productions with almost every movie failing @ the box-office, barring one gem "Chak De", a movie which Aditya didn't have so much hope on. Quite Ironical right ? After producing duds like TRPP, JBJ and LCMD, now they are back with Aaja Nachle which quite surprisingly didn't create that much interest in movie goers. I know one time when a Yash Raj banner's movie trailer appeared on big screen people went gaga over it, and that would become like talk of the town. Not this time around though.

I don't know if its because of the subjects they are choosing or the directors they are working with or the music. Even with a huge star cast in JBJ and LCMD, and some nice music, the movies bombed. Now when thats the case how can one expect just Madhuri alone to pull it off. I've been reading everywhere that Madhuri's come back is a let down. Well as far as she's concerned, she must have done an excellent job. Its got to be another let down for Yash Raj banner and not for Madhuri. If at all anyone is going for this movie, its only because of her.

I havn't watched the movie and I don't have any interest to watch it either. From promo itself I kinda got an idea what its going to be so will wait for the DVD to come out.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Google going to bid in 700 MHz auction

No more more doubts...after releasing news about their GPhone, Google has announced today that they will be bidding in the 700 Mhz auction!

"We believe it's important to put our money where our principles are," said Eric Schmidt, Chairman and CEO, Google. "Consumers deserve more competition and innovation than they have in today's wireless world. No matter which bidder ultimately prevails, the real winners of this auction are American consumers who likely will see more choices than ever before in how they access the Internet."

This is great news. First internet, next various apps for mobiles, then a phone, and now into wireless industry. They are getting ready to take on the world. Google feels that there should be at least one mobile network where the operator does not restrict - or attempt to restrict - customers' choices of hardware or Internet services - so called 'open access'.

Will they win the auction? I don't know, but I hope so. They are ready to pay $4.6 Billion cash. And now if they win it, the whole wireless industry scene in the US is going to change. Already after just this announcement we see Verizon opening up their network to any compatible device. Imagine what would happen when they get the spectrum...However the question remains if they'll build and roll out their own network or partner with another company which is already into building a network.

Here's the official news from Google Press center

Thursday, November 29, 2007

MTV decides: All South Park episodes Free Online

MTV Networks now plans to make every clip from every episode of the hit animated comedy "South Park" available for free online next year as part of a strategy to reach consumers everywhere.

"Offering versions of TV shows online has not hurt television ratings, and may have actually helped. One does not diminish the other by any stretch of the imagination. That is kind of our hat trick," MTV Networks Chairman and Chief Executive Judy McGrath said at the Reuters Media Summit in New York on Wednesday.

Whats interesting here is Viacom is the same company which claimed in their multi-billion dollar suit of Youtube that online video hurts their shows. So pretty much to me it looks like they learnt a lesson from Youtube that online video increases popularity of shows, and then decided to sue Google, made them remove videos, and then now have decided to post it themselves online. What cheap legal tactics.

Also as far as I know all South Park episodes, all seasons have been available for free legal download since the show started in websites such as,,,,, whats new these people are doing here ?? Instead you know what they should do - just play Music videos, and cut all the crap celebrity reality shows, games they play these days...I miss old MTV :(

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Exit Hybrid view, Enter Terrain View in Google Maps

For the past few months I've been checking Google Maps almost everyday to see if they laid out the Street View feature for the entire Orange County. Right now only few areas have Street View like Long Beach, Anaheim and freeways.

Surprisingly today I found that Google has silently added another feature to its Maps. They've has replaced the Hybrid view option with Terrain View option. I didn't utilize Hybrid view so much anyways.

However good news is that they've included Hybid view in Satellite view which I think is a smart move.

The only problem I'm seeing in Terrain view is that I can't zoom in a lot as compared to other views. So for now it just seems to be an alternative to Map view, which pretty much shows everything as in Terrain view, except for 3D buildings and mountains.

Still waiting for Street view updates........

Monday, November 26, 2007

Whatever happens...happens for a reason

Have you ever come across an incident in your life where you felt...

Oh my God...What a coincidence !!

or something like..

this is what I call perfect timing..I'm glad I was at the place at the right time

Many of us stop thinking beyond that point...but i try hard to brood over those kind of incidents...whether it really was just a "coincidence" or was it "meant to happen". There's a thin line between these two statements but following either one of them puts you in totally two different categories. So if you don't analyze...good for is cool..If you analyze, you waste more time and effort and break your head like me who ended up writing this post. So here's a small incident which happened this thanksgiving weekend where me, my better half, my Kabob mein haddi bro-in-law and our two friends planned a trip to Alcatraz.

We had bought 5 tickets for Alcatraz Cruise for the 10:30 am slot on Saturday. And in the last minute there was a small problem and my bro-in-law couldn't make it. He had to go bring his girlfriend from another place to San Francisco and hence had to skip this. Priority wise that was obviously more important. So we dropped him at Central station and came to Alcatraz @ 10 am. Now came the real problem. We somehow had to sell this $25 ticket. But who would go alone to Alcatraz ?? There were many couples going, but there were absolutely none going alone. We tried asking the people at the booth whether they can sell it and give us the money, but unfortunately the answer was NO. So naturally we had to do the famous "dus ka thees, dus ka thees" in front of the ticket counter, which surprisingly they were cool with.

It was 10:15 am and the ticket counter said "All tickets sold for today", which was very good news for us as the probability of us selling the tickets increased. So we saw many couples coming and going back disappointed. We tried selling tickets to them, but in vain as they wanted more. Our friends said they would drop out so that we can sell 3 tickets, but I was sure that there gotta be a better way. And then there was a final call for boarding and all our hopes went down when we had to ditch the ticket and go in. We almost let it go when right at that time I saw this pretty lady standing in front of the Cruise, watching the ticket counter lady yelling "All tickets have been sold for today..come back tomorrow".

We didn't know if she needed ticket or not, but looking at her we somehow knew that she was disappointed for not able to get to Alcatraz island today. So my wife at once went to her and asked if she needs one, and you must have seen the happiness in her face right at that moment. It brightened up so much that I had to wear my glares immediately :). No seriously..she became so happy that she was ready to pay any amount to get the ticket. But we being very nice people, just wanted the actual price. And finally we were able to sell our single ticket. You know what she said when she got it ? She said " there's someone always there looking out for us. " I know we've heard this many a times from many sources, but at that moment, for me it meant something. I completely agreed to her.

Now going back to my thoughts, should we consider this as a mere coincidence ? or a perfect timing ? All the while I was wondering what if my brother in law hadn't gone to get his girlfriend ? We would all have happily gone to Alcatraz, but what would have happened to this lady who wouldn't have got a ticket ? What if we weren't standing at that place right at that time ? What if we had gone inside and not cared for selling the tickets ? So in a way it was good the way it ended. Everyone got what they wanted.

Whatever happened didn't happen according to our plan, but it all still looked like a perfect plan. How can that happen ? Whose plan is that ? These questions really bug me. I have a hard time always to accept certain things which don't have proof...or I believe in "A Posteriori" rather than "A Priori" judgement. But situations like these make me believe that there's someone beyond us, beyond this world who controls us, who has a plan laid out for us and we are mere chess coins being moved here and there to get the game moving. Now thats good right. I feel good in believing in something. However I'm also a huge fan of the more believable Darwin and his famous theory. Very contradicting statements right ?

So thats why at the end of the day I feel its better not to dig too much into these incidents, rather just accept that Whatever happens...happens for a reason....and leave it there.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Finally BCCI wakes up..

I just read this news in Indiafm website about BCCI not taking SRK’s appearance for cricket matches in ‘the right sense’. SRK is obviously upset on this comment, but I don't see anything wrong on BCCI's part. Instead I feel they are finally waking up.
This is what they had to say -

" The senior Cricket board officials commented that stars are using cricket matches to promote films. Ratnakar Shetty mentioned that use of the platform of cricket for promoting films by celebrities is "slightly debatable" in the wake of SRK's latest film, Om Shanti Om as it came up for discussion during a chat with TV commentator, Rameez Raja at the recent Jaipur ODI cricket match between India and Pakistan. "

However SRK added that he went to watch the match as a sports lover and that he does not have to depend on other's platforms to push his films. It is because his children are fans of Sachin, Dhoni, and Sourav. Meanwhile BCCI Vice President, Rajiv Shukla said that the Board has no objection to SRK or any other celebrity coming to watch the matches.

We've been seeing Khan off late appearing in matches involving the Indian team. He was there to cheer the team in the final of the Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa and then again at the Twenty20 match against Australia in Mumbai, where Deepika Padukone ( coincidence ??? ), his co-star in his recent movie Om Shanti Om, was also present. He was also seen wearing a T-shirt which read "Om Shanti Om". He was then seen at the last ODI against Pakistan in Jaipur and talked about his new movie ( obviously) in the commentary box. He wanted to see the Kanpur ODI as well, but the local authorities vetoed the move saying it would be difficult for them to arrange for security and control the crowd.

I read in many other websites that The Star is being considered a lucky mascot for the Indian cricket team. When did that happen ? After India winning Twenty20 ? What happened to the match at Jaipur where India didn't do the victory dance as our 'Men in Blue' lost to the 'Men In Green', Pakistan, by 31 runs ?

I had earlier written an article on this issue in my blog, and did mention that movies shouldn't get into sports.

Click here for my article on this - Cricket and Movies stars

I don't want to see Shahrukh in a sports column of any paper. C'mon.. We go to stadium to watch Cricket, not stars. Its our country playing. I don't wanna hear about OSO in a cricket match. If its about SRK trying to publicize his movie why not do it in an AIDS event, or may be in a no drinking, no smoking event ? Or for that matter in a Ranji Trophy which nobody watches. At least that part of cricket gets publicized.

SRK is a big big star in India. He has the capacity to pull crowds to anyplace he wants. Then why not involve people in places they generally ignore. At least he would do some good to the country instead of doing good to himself.

On the contrary, its also possible that this whole thing is a publicity stunt by Ratnakar Shetty himself. Now then thats a whole different issue. Anything is possible in this publicity and media crazy world.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tamil song video with Incredibly Funny Subtitles

OMG..this was hilarious..I literally fell down laughing after watching this video on youtube. I actually remember seeing this movie when I was in college and kind of know the actual lyrics.

But watching the same song with subtitles that say what the person thinks the song sounds like in english...lmao stuff

some insane subtitles in the song go like this....

Have you been high today
I see the nuns are gay
I told a high school girl
I love you inside me..

hahaha...check it out if you haven't laughed out loud in a while...

and yeah a small word of caution...this video has a lot of double meaning children...u better stay away from it else you'll get your ass whooped by your papa or momma..

Monday, November 19, 2007

Taare Zameen Par - Music Review

This is his first directorial debut and second movie from his production house. And he doesn't take the 'beaten to dust' path of making masala movie or a feel good entertainer, but rather he chooses a delicate subject, an area not explored so much in Bollywood, a story on the life of a dyslexic child whose world is filled with wonders that no one else seems to appreciate. Aamir Khan presents us "Taare Zameen Par" along with Amole Gupte who is also credited as the creative director and writer of the film.

We've seen quite a few movies on children off late. But most of them cater mainly to the younger generation. With this movie, I'm sure Aamir Khan would touch the hearts of both children and adults alike and would change the way adults look at children. Being a sensitive and touching subject, there can be only 2 names coming to mind as Music Directors who can do full justice to the theme - AR Rahman and Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. I believe Aamir approached AR Rahman to score the music, but eventually it was handed over to SEL due to reasons unknown ( Source : Wikipedia ). And SEL amaze us by giving an album which would remain a special one in their musical career. Before I started listening to the album I didn't what kind of songs to expect. I knew it would be about children, but how can a full album comprising 8 songs be only on children was the question on my mind. And thats where SEL, Prasoon Joshi ( Aamir's current favorite lyricist ), Amole Gupte and Aamir Khan completely surprise us by talking about almost everything pertaining to the Child's World in these 8 songs.

Taare Zameen Par - All about Children and their behavior
With a lilting sweet tune starts the title track. And what follows is a blend of beautiful poetry, Shankar's heart-warming rendition and SEL's impeccable music. If you think the Mukhda is great, then wait till the Antara portion starts. SEL take this song to a totally new level infusing sitar and tabla with piano and vocals making it a spellbinding song. Prasoon joshi mesmerizes with his poetic charm and similies throughout the song. While listening to it one can feel "khona jaaye hum saare zameen par".

Yeh toh hai sardi mein Dhoop ki kirane
Uthre jo aangan ko sunehara sa karne
Maan ke andhero ko roshan sa karde
Thiturti hatheli ki rangat badal de
Kho na jayee yeh
Taare Zameen par

Kholo Kholo - Encouragement for children
Next song starts of in an Enigma like fashion and in few seconds switches gears to a casual Guitar-led intro by Raman Mahadevan. Once again the star of this song is Prasoon with this simple yet heart-felt lyrics. Infact the lyrics not only encourage children, I felt they were pretty inspiring for me too. A song which can be listened whenever anyone is down, or at the end of a tired day. I would place it besides another amazing song belonging to similar forte "Roobaroo" from Rang De Basanti.
Kyun is kadar hairaan tu
mausam ka hai mehmaan tu
duniya sajee tere liye
khud ko zara pehchaan tu

Bum Bum Bole - Spread your wings and dream on Children
A track tailor made for children. Its got everything that kids love, fun, masti, Aamir's babble in the start, playful tune, and once again Prasoon's beautiful lyrics which entertains as well as enlightens. Sung very effectively by Shaan, this song would appeal more to kids in a large way than to adults. But hey, don't we all wanna be like kids sometimes and have some fun and masti time. So...
Khul Ke Sochein Aao
Pankh Zara Phailaao
Rang Naye Bikhrao
Chalo Chalo Chalo Chalo
Naye Khwaab Bun Le...

Jame Raho - Daily Life of children
For everyone who loved Johnny Gaddar's title track by the trio, here's another one following similar style, musically. I would call this a cool hep rock song for children. Lyrically it depicts the daily routine of kids starting with alarm clock ticking in the morning to their hardships throughout the day. This song is completely filled with very interestingly rhyming one liners. If we all thought Prasoon was at his chill-out best in "Masti ki paatshaala" with his funny lyrics " naata yei sannata hai, dekho lamboo shor hai, har dil mei bud bud kartha H2SO4 hai ",then he excels further in this one by imaginatively rekindling our childhood nightmares like heavy bags, tonics, tensions, exams, homeworks..and so on. Thank god I 'm done with my schooling :).
Ye Omlet Par Hi Jeete Hain
Ye Tonic Saare Peete Hain
Waqt Pe Sote Waqt Pe Khate
Taan Ke Seena Badhte Jate

Maa - A child's eternal companion
This is a song which is very close to my heart and I'm sure it'd be the same for many. A brilliant composition by SEL sung soulfully yet again by Shankar Mahadevan. The trio manage to beautifully intertwine music with poetry to produce a sentimental track which sends shivers through you when listening to it. The song talks about the fears and insecurities of child which he wants to share with his mother. A very touching song accompanied by simple beats arrangement and acoustic guitar giving lyrics more importance. Its a song which makes you think, smile, shed a tear or two, nostalgic.
Ghar Laut Ke Bhi Aa Naa Paoon Maa
Bhej Na Itna Door Mujkko Tu
Yaad Bhi Tujhko Aa Naa Paoon Maa
Kya Itna Bura Hoon Main Maa
Kya Itna Bura Meri Maa

Bheja Kum - The torture for a child...homeworks and tests
A situational background number, its a song or rather teacher's yelling and screaming on the poor performance of a child, most probably the main character, in his homeworks and exams. It packs in almost all of the scoldings which everyone might have got in their school days and SEL put together right set of sounds to create the desire effect. Damn, I can't forget the days when my parents were called to school because of my bad behavior. The song starts of in a similar fashion to Lucky Ali's song "Tu Kaun Hai" from Bhopal Express. Interestingly the song has 10 singers to its credit, all of them related to the movie in some way or the other.
Kya Hai Problem?
Kyun Tera Bheja Kum?
Kyun Maths Mein Ho Anda?
Kyun Roz Khate Danda?

Mera Jahan - Child's innocent universe
As the beautiful album comes to an end, Amole Gupte presents us in his own words his experience of working with children for 7 years in the penultimate song "Mera Jahan" guest composed by Shailender Bharve. Given just one song, Shailender makes sure that he delivers the best and gives us yet another soulful song in this album. The song starts of with Gleehive, the kids chorus group, reciting Amole Gupte's lyrics, later on followed by Adnan Sami's impressive rendition and Auriel Cordo along with Ananya Wadkar pitching in for chorus.
A Little Sweet, A Little Sour
A Little Close Not Too Far
All I Need, All I Need
All I Need Is To Be Free

The album ends with a beautiful Piano piece "Ishaan's theme". I know many might disagree with me on this but I feel Piano is the only instrument which can capture every aspect of human's emotions. This musical theme is a clear example of my statement. What starts of as a soothing melody later on gets to lower octaves becoming more complex and ruffled and finally ends with the same melody as the one in the start, depicting a full circle of life with happy and disturbing times.

When other actors and production houses are going and knocking almost every possible door in the name of publicity, Aamir chose to silently release this music in the residence of Shammi Kapoor. This is also the first movie in Bollywood which got a worldwide online release of its teaser trailer. I think he believes in Simplicity rather than Publicity by letting the content do the talking rather than himself. This is a great project with a lot of research behind it and looks like Aamir has poured his heart and soul into it. And Shankar Ehsaan Loy along with Prasoon Joshi have delivered a powerful and soul stirring album which surely would find a place in everyone's heart. SEL have so far had another consistent year with all of their albums turning out to be chartbusters. And what a way to sign off year 2007 with TZP. They are turning out to be another AR Rahman for the industry.

If in 2006 the most creative and brilliant music album was "Rang De Basanti" starring Aamir, in 2007 its got to be "Taare Zameen Par" once again with Aamir playing the main lead. I wish the music, the movie and the team behind it good luck and hope it achieves what it set forth for.

Every Child is Special....and so is this album..

Thursday, November 15, 2007

My OSO movie review on Rediff website

This is incredible...a news which has made my day.

My review on Om Shanti Om movie got to the front page on movies section of Rediff website today ...woohoo

They've done a good job in adding pictures, links, italics to few words and finally breaking down the whole review neatly into paragraphs. I'm very surprised and extremely happy. Also I'm glad that many readers shared the same opinion as mine, which is encouraging. The only small...very small thing which they missed was to put the blog name like indiafm website does. But thats ok...This being the first time I can't ask for more...

Gotto tell my papa and mummy and everyone in my family :).

Thank you very much Rediff for making this happen.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Assasin's Creed released today

I was waiting for this one to come out for a long time. Infact I managed to push myself to complete Halo3 just in time. Assasin's Creed has hit the stands today. I know there are many gamers who absolutely love Prince of Persia. Assasin's Creed is by the same people who made that game. Reading all the reviews, it looks like they've done an amazing job with graphics and gameplay. Wait no more...go get your copy from best buy or circuit city right away..and yeah before that you can check out its new trailer which features the song "God knows your Lonely Souls"

Here's a small synopsis of the game -

Assassin's Creed is a video game developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft. The game takes place during the Third Crusade, in the year 1191. The player assumes the role of Altaïr (الطائر, Arabic, "The Flying One"), a member of the Hashshashin sect (the original "assassins"), whose objective is to slay the nine historical figures who are propagating the Crusades. As the player finds and kills these targets, their conspiracy is unveiled. The player will be able to travel through three cities: Jerusalem, Acre and Damascus.

has given it a 9.0/10.0 rating.

has given it 5/5 rating.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Om Shanti Om......Dard-e-Mujhko

Like many I watched Om Shanti Om last weekend. I'd have to say that Shahrukh and Farah did an incredible job with the publicity of the movie. I could see it in the long line to the ticketing counter and another very long line to get inside the theater. This might not be something new for Indian Theaters, but believe me, for LA Naz8, its astounding. Also they were practically everywhere, be it TV, internet, newspapers or radio. And they wouldn't have found a better time to release the movie than Diwali. So good job guyz. Ok now coming to the movie, I wouldn't tell the story as its already out in many websites. Infact its an easy one to guess from the theme, but Farah Khan surprises in 2nd half, not in a good way though. There are a bunch of spoilers ahead so read at your own cost.

The things I loved about the movie :

1) Well undoubtedly, King Khan himself. This was the kind of character I was waiting to see for a long time from him. The funnier side of Shahrukh which we saw in Duplicate, Badshaah and Main Hoon Naa. 1st half he was phenomenal. And believe me, its not easy to get a 6 pack guyz..I'm struggling here to get rid of my 1 pack itself. He's given himself to this movie.
2) The picturisation of the 2nd song "Dhoom Tana" wherein we got to see Rajesh Khanna, Jeetender romancing with Deepika (thanks to graphics), and then the magical fairy tale'ish 3rd song "Main Agar Kahoon".
3) Deepika ...who was hot, beautiful, elegant and taller than SRK ;). She brought in freshness on screen.
4) Farah's brilliance in several parts of 1st half of the movie. The way the movie beings, with Rishi Kapoor's OSO song, the Aag scene where SRK shouts "Bhaago", the incredibly hilarious episode with Manoj Kumar, South Indian Om Swaminathan to name a few.
5) The awesome sets and costumes which take you through the nostalgic 70s.
6) The intelligent Filmfare award best movies which included "Main Bhi Hoona Na", "Phir Bhi Dil hai NRI", "Dhoom 5" and "Return to Khiladi".
7) The handicapped role of SRK in a shooting tickled almost everyone's funny bone.
8) The creative end credits.
9) Finally the entire spoof of 70s film industry, like the shooting, dances, acting, almost everything related to 70s was amazingly executed.

And now coming to the part which many are going to hate...the negative points of the movie according to me. And believe me, there were many who felt the same as I did after the movie ended.

1) Lack of chemistry between SRK and Deepika. There was absolutely no love angle between their characters. 1st half atleast SRK was in love, but 2nd half was a disaster in this department.
2) The abrupt realization of Om about his past. I mean c'mon, all of a sudden you see fire and you remember the dialogues of your past, that too when you were drunk saying those????
3) The big time flawed charaterization of Sandy a.k.a Deepika's punar janam. Her indifferent behavior even after realising she has the face of the famous star Shanti Priya. Don't we expect excitement knowing that we have the face of an all time star ??? Here instead we see her chewing on chiclets all the time.
4) The songs. I have to admit that songs were not gripping on screen. Jag soona didnt have any impact at all. The last song "Dastaan" was boring. Except for Dard-e-disco, Deewangee to a certain extent and Main Agar kahoon, rest fell flat. There was no song which I could hum going back home.
5) Farah Khan's sloppy screenplay in the 2nd half. One time she puts in comical twist when you expect seriousness and the next moment you think the scene is gonna be funny and it turns out to be really serious. So in the end there were many parts in 2nd half where audience neither laughed for funny scenes, nor cried for sad scenes.
6) Badly etched Kiron Kher's character. There was some maturity shown in Shreyas character, but I didn't find any in Kiron Kher's character in 2nd half. It was meant to be funny, but she trying to be funny trying to practice her lines, that wasn't really needed.
7) Ajab Si song was shortened, and played in background.
8) In Farah's movies we can't expect villains to be really scary. Same goes here. In fact Arjun Rampal was good in the movie, not as a villain, but as an actor. Even he didn't have any scope in the 2nd half, where in his role was like a man going to the graveyard to dig his own grave.
9) Although my favorite song before watching the movie was Deewangee, I thought it was a bit way too stretched in the movie. It was almost like a 25 minute song which went on and on in a loop.
10) And finally the complete 2nd half itself was a big letdown to a great build up given till the intermission. There were many scenes which could have been really powerful and hard-hitting, but rather they turn out to be damp squibs. There is nobody else to blame other than Farah for whom Overconfidence took over Creativity.

It looked like Farah spent a lot of time paying tribute to the long gone 70s era, which is commendable. But she should have concentrated a bit more on the plot. If she really wanted to make a spoof of Karz or for that matter a bunch of 70s - 80s movies, she should have done it completely, which would have made it a wholesome entertainer like Austin Powers movies which from start to finish are spoofs of Bond movies. Having said this however, there is no doubt that this movie is gonna make loads of money which is good for many people in this industry. But the sad part is that this movie had everything to make millions of people happy and smiling, but in return it has left many unsatisfied. I expected Farah Khan to prove to many that her first movie wasn't a fluke, and that she's capable in giving a total paisa vasool masala entertainer. She tried it with OSO, but I feel she's taken everyone for a ride. In these times when new directors are coming up with novel scripts, innovative ideas giving fresh direction to Bollywood, changing the viewers' perception of Indian movies, Farah Khan has dished out a tried and tested formula film which apparently has put the audience mindset back to where they were couple of years ago.

If you are a SRK fan, you'll love the movie. If you are an Aamir fan, you'll love to thrash the movie big time. If you love Bollywood movies as they were before, you'll enjoy this movie and won't mind the minus points. And if you belong to the group who believe and support the changing phase of Bollywood, you'll be disappointed.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Jodhaa Akbar's First Theatrical Trailer

Finally we get to see JA's First Theatrical trailer. After seeing it I have to tell you that it does make a whole lot of difference watching something taken from a cam and original high quality version. The trailer did look very grand. Many things were happening. Some scenes reminded me of "Troy" movie. One thing which really stood out in this original trailer was the grand background music by AR Rahman. Loved the songs Azeem o shaan and Marhaba. I don't know if they both are part of same songs or different ones. The duel between Hrithik and Sonu might be a fight to watch out for, if Ashutosh executed as good as Achilles and Hector's duel in Troy. I hope to catch this promo on big screen today, as I'm gonna check out Om Shanti Om.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

AR Rahman and Vijay Suntv interview - ATM movie

Great interview by ARR as usual. He seemed to be very relaxed, in a very jovial mood and humble as usual. Same is with Vijay as well, he was very calm and polite. Few confusions are cleared with this interview - ARR did do the BGM of this movie. Infact contrary to the rumors which always spread, saying any movie's release is delayed because of ARR's re-recording, we first time come to know that ARR always requests a movie before 2 months of release, to do background music. And he did that for this movie also. The truth was the movie's shooting was not completed. So the news created by Behindwoods about Sabesh & Murali covering for ARR is FALSE.

Also ARR did do the remix song "Ponmagal Vandhal". But whats surprising to me is how couldn't ARR fans find his stamp in this song? Why did this become a confusion in the first place?

When asked whether he'll do more tamil projects, he mentioned that meeting expectations have become hard. he stressed the importance of doing important projects. So that when all eyes are on them, his hardwork is noticed. I thought thats very true and its a very good decision considering many bad projects which he took up earlier.

One of the super funny moments in the interview was when Vijay said he was so impressed by the BGM that he called AR Rahman RR Rahman (Re-Recording Rahman) once Rahman was like.."appo paatu nalla illaya" ..hehe...Vijay was completely caught off guard..

He also showed respect for legends like MSV and Ilayaraja by saying that even a tea boy can learn music from them.

And finally we get to hear one more golden line from our man - "We have to believe in the same time work hard."

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

No Smoking - a Psychological Thriller

Before I start writing this post, lemme tell you that this is one Brilliant f*@#ing hell of a movie. For everyone who wanna watch it, here are few important things to keep in mind -

  • Its not a very easy movie to be thought of, to be made, and finally to be interpreted.
  • You can't take your family and kids to watch this movie.
  • You can't take your loved ones to this movie to have nice time escaping the hectic schedule and constant vigilance of parents.
  • Its not a movie which belongs to any Bollywood Genre of movies released so far.
  • Its not candy floss entertainment
  • There's neither Uday Chopra nor Arshad Warsi to do comedy sequences.
  • Its not a movie which will make you quit smoking after you watch it
  • Its not a movie that will either entertain or educate
  • Its not a movie for old fags like Khalid Mohammed.
  • Its not a movie for front benchers who ill treat their wives and then later drool over item numbers.
  • Its not for masses, neither it is for the so called Multiplex classes.
  • It does not have Himesh Reshammiya crooning Noooooooooooooooo in his usual nasal tone
  • And finally...Its not a movie for everyone.
So having said all this, one obvious question would be...who is this movie made for and why is it brilliant ???

Its for all who loved classic movies like Eternal Sunshine of Spotless mind, Fight Club, Memento, Vanilla Sky, Constantine, David Lynch movies and last but not the least..the Brilliant Matrix.

Its for all who like to analyze about a movie long after it has ended, to decipher meanings out of various incidents that took place.

Its for everyone who loves movies which let you interpret the movie in your own way thereby giving you more freedom to run wild with your imagination.

Its for everyone who cannot believe in their wildest dreams that movies such as Partner, No Entry, Dhoom2 are superhits.

Coming to Matrix, I know many of you love that movie, mostly for its amazing original trend setting special effects, in some ways for cool looking Keane Reeves, sexy glasses and jackets, and some mindblowing action sequences. For me that was the case when I first watched it. I had lot of "Wow" moments in the movie. But I had lot of questions when the movie ended which made me watch it again and again. And that led me to further discovery of the movie's hidden message, "The Revolution against Corruption prevailing in today's World".

And that was the exact feeling I had after the movie No Smoking ended. Many who watched with me felt let down. The reactions ranged from " Arey kya bakwaas movie banaya re", " Whats wrong with Anurag", "What the fuck was this movie about ??". But that was the best part. The "What ??" led to discussions, which further led to understanding more and more about the plot. When we thought some scenes weren't clear, we tried watching it again. And this time it made more clear sense. Only after watching it the second time did I understand that most of the movie takes place in K's mind (K = John Abraham's name in the movie or might possibly be Kashyap, the director himself).

No Smoking is a brave film with a dark hidden message which is engulfed in another open message that Smoking is Injurious to health. Throughout the movie we don’t know what's real and what's imaginary. It is for us to figure out or to interpret. Anurag leaves the film open ended and ambiguous, which gives people something to think about. And that’s what a good film does. Now let me jump straight to the story. Actually not so straight as I would be meandering between my interpretations and the actual sequences of the movie.

No Smoking is a movie about K, an over confident, arrogant 30 yr old man who has his own principles, who doesn't like others telling him what to do, and finally a big time chain smoker. Smoking is a symbolic representation of his arrogance and resistance to the world around him. He constantly wavers from real world to imaginative world whenever he takes time out having a smoke in his bath tub. He fears one day he'd be in a position where getting a smoke is going to be close to impossible, which is what his wife ( Ayesha ) and his friend (Ranvir) try to achieve out of him. To change him for good, to make him a part of the conformist society, headed by the demi god Baba Bengali (Paresh Rawal). K's wife decides to leave him for his smoking behavior which forces K to seek cure from Baba Bengali. From here the movie takes a dreamy absurd route where K enters the hidden world a.k.a. rehab center run by Baba Bengali, signs a contract and surrenders himself to the system, eventually by quitting smoking. For the most part of the movie, which takes place in K's mind, he's revolting against the therapy, the "Society", but slowly he gets transformed and the society pulls him towards them. In the end, which is shown beautifully, we get to see his dirty soul ( Smoking habit ) being trapped and evaporated, thereby implying he's quit smoking, or rather become part of the conformist society. K finally wakes up from his bed, to see his wife is still besides him, walks towards the mirror to see his changed and cleaned self. In short, the movie has nothing to do with smoking or how one quits smoking, rather its about how a person loses his freedom, wishes, desires and gets converted to a body who complies with the world's rules does what everyone is doing.

Every scene of the movie is a visual delight. The texture of the film belongs to the noir genre along with other visual formats including slapstick comedy from the 1930s and characters speaking their mind like in comic strips. The dreamy and nightmarish underworld he created leaves one spellbound. Several times throughout the course of the film the distinction between the real and the imaginary blurs; it may confuse in the beginning, but by the end the discerning can always put the bits together and get what the director wants to say. No Smoking is the visualization of an idea - a formidable challenge for any director and Anurag Kashyap has pulled it off like a brilliant masterstroke. The background music by Vishal Bharadwaj also compliments the movie pretty well, the song "Ash tray" is still lingering in my mind...dhuan lipat tha hai dhuaan....For more on the music, check out my Music Review.

Box office might speak a different story altogether, but that shouldn't change Anurag's way of making movies, or so I hope. In my opinion, these kind of movies should be made more often. It should be enacted by big stars and not every time by Rahul Bose or Konkona Sen. Look at Hollywood, where we get to see big stars like George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise act in non commercial projects thereby making many people to watch it. We've had enough of this huge sets, high budget meaningless love stories filled with 2 hrs of songs and fights and 30 mins of story. The failure of this movie is actually a failure of our Indian Cinema which has confined itself to mediocre, spoon-feeding of wafer thin plots, predictable outcomes, over the top histrionics for a long time and is finding it hard to come out of its own web. Just when they realized they've run out of stories, they've now started to recreate 80s and 70s movies, as a mere excuse to the lack of their creativity and imagination.

I think in the future if these kind of movies get worldwide online release along with theater release, then may be they would probably make more money. I know many might hesitate to watch this movie in a big screen, but nobody would mind paying $5 to watch it online. And imagine even if 70,000 people watch it online, the producers would recover their cost. That would encourage more producers to allow directors like Anurag, Sriram Raghavan and many others to make many such movies.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Dus Kahaniyaan Music Review

Whenever there is a Sanjay Gupta's movie round the corner, I'm thrilled for just one reason. And thats the Lounge album. He's the only Director who's so much passionate about Lounge music that he releases a 2 cd version everytime his movie releases, one being Lounge Cd, while the other being Club cd. With Dus Kahaniyaan he surpasses his feat by releasing 3 cd album, adding a Poems cd by Gulzar along with his usual. Kaante and Zinda are one of my favorite albums till date. Will Dus Kahaniyaan get in the favorite list. Lets find out...

The album kicks off with the title song "Dus". Not one of the best title songs, but not a bad one either. The Cirque De Soleilish start is excellent. But then the song meanders into a usual techno song. However being the title song, it'll get more publicity. When one says Dus, I'll easily remember "Dus bahane karke le gaya dil" than this one.

"Jaaniye" has a retro touch to it, something like Aap jaisa koi from Qurbani. But not as great or memorable as that song. A passable song. This is supposed to be a lounge cd, but so far these two songs don't fit in that category.

Now we get to the best song of this album, "Aaja Soniye". Gourov Dasgupta excels big time in this song. Right from the start he sets the mood right. The saxophone mellows the mood even more. Sudhanshu Pandey sounds very dreamy. Newcomer Shweta Vijay voice is very enigmatic..a perfect lounge song. I feel like I am standing in the beach and surrounded by no one and the sun has just set. Its just a flowing song.." lambi lambi bailon se " line is mesmerizing. The 2nd interlude is made interesting with addition of hindi folk tune.

These days any Hindi album is incomplete without a punjabi-influenced song. And so is this one, with Mika coming back after a very successful "Mauja Mauja" from Jab we met. While he rocked the dance floor with that one, here in "Nach le Soniye" he's very ordinary. This song just fails to register. And can anyone explain why is this in a Lounge album ?

Now we get to the second best song of this album, "O Mahiya". Shweta Vijay's digitized voice makes the song grooooovy. KK does a neat job as always. The beats and the arrangement are perfectly handled here and would be an awesome song for the dance floor.

"Mushkil kushaa" by Kshitij Tare is what "Maula" by Vinod Rathod in Zinda was, however not as effective in rendering emotions as the former. This was kinda old fashioned. Kshitij's voice sounds very fresh and he whole heartedly sings the mediocre song. Why did Bappa lahiri compose a track in the first place.

Next song is "Vichodeya Ne" by Shaqat Ali Khan. Well..what can I say about this song..Nothing !! as I didnt understand any word of it. It sounded like "Yaar Mangiyasi" from Kaante at places. Must be a background song. I'll let it go to background then. With "Kaala Peela" Shaqat elevates himself both as a singer and a composer. The song is enticing with a smooth beats and heart warming rendering by Shaqat himself. Once again didnt understand a word other than Kaala peela thola kya..ram raheem, mola...but still listened fully..I guess its the power of music. My third favorite song from this album.

"Bin Tum" has Anand Raj Anand taking over music director's chair. Considering the amount of love songs which have released lately like in Saawariya, Om shanti om, Jab we met, this one pales. This is a very good love song with nice lyrics but belongs to late 90s or early 2000's. The same is the story with "Bhula Diya". Can u believe Anand Raj Anand has scored for 62 movies so far. I expected songs like "Kaante", "Sandhya" which was once my favorite soundtrack for a while, and "Musafir". But the 2 songs turn out to be pretty mediocre. Indiafm says this sad track is entertaining. Well if its entertaining then its failed to be sad, which means its failed the purpose,didn't it?

The Poems CD by Gulzar is top notch. Every actor gets to recite one poem. I especially loved Anupam Kher's recital of "Bauchaar". All the poems carry some lilting background music with them. When you listen to most of them you feel like you are in an island or something. You can start with the first poem and get totally lost in the magical words and music until you realize that the CD is already over. All in all a great CD.

With the festive season coming, Dus Kahaniyaan might not find that many takers at the onset, but once things settle down people might take notice of this album. Its packed with way too many songs with remixes in Club CD. But sadly only 3 - 4 songs stand out, "Aaja Soniye", "O Mahiya", "Kaala Peela" and probably "Jaaniye". Others are not that much attention grabbers. But the Poems CD makes this entire 3 CD collection a special one by giving it variety.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Repair scratched CDs With A Microwave!!!

Finally we have a way we can remove scratches from CDs. All we need is a latest technology microwave and some other household items. Gosh, why didn't I know it before...I've heard that it worked for many..some even suggested to soak it chocolate milk before putting it in the microwave because the cocoa and lactoids softens the inner part of the disc and also prevent the sticker from being melted off.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Jodhaa Akbar Official Website Online now

As expected the site looks grand with green painting background and golden letters. And then there is the short intro music by ARR which involves drums and horn instruments. However I expected to see the good quality trailer, which unfortunately isn't going to release until November 9th. And surprisingly Ashutosh has put this note in the website where he requests us to refrain from watching the trailers going rounds in various websites as they are pirated. Good move. For now I guess movie theaters are the only place to watch the trailers.

Its interesting to see that Aamir Khan released his "Taare Zameen Par" Trailer first in the internet and then to theaters, while Ashutosh chose to do the opposite. But as this movie would release only on January 25th, 2008, which is a long way ahead, I think its good to keep the excitement building up slowly.

June Pona - Saxophone version

"June Pona July Katre" from Unnale Unnale is one song which has a very high repeat value. Everytime I play it in ipod I get absorbed. Many things work in its favor, the saxophone in the start, the groovy beats, catchy tune...its got a cool feel to it. I wanted to do an instrumental version of it for quite sometime. And after trying different instruments on my keyboard, I picked Saxophone as the main voice. Enough of my technical mumbo-jumbo...Enjoy the video

...and forgot to add..if there are any improvements needed, or you want any of your favorite song in instrumental version, lemme know.

Friday, October 26, 2007

A scene from Halo 3

"Kanna...Panneenge dhaan Koottama Varum, Singam....Single ah dhaan Varum"

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Happy Birthday iPod

This day, 23rd October, Apple celebrates the 6th birthday of its brainchild the "iPod". Its unbelievable how things have changed in these 6 years after its introduction. In fact I still very clearly remember. August 2001 was the time I came to US to do my masters, and I proudly carried my Sony CD player wherever I went. For many it was cool, but for me it was the purity and clarity in music which I loved. And come October I saw this news of Steve Jobs announcing a new music player which can store up to a 1000 songs and not only that, it can also fit in one's pocket. The only downside was the huge price of about $450 with tax. I mean c'mon ...that was the freakin money i made from my off campus job in a month...oops i hope i didn't say that out loud...aah well ..who cares now.

And ofcourse the other thing was I had all this cd collection which I couldn't let go off. I still have them, all scratched :(..but remain as memories. But that time I never ever in my wildest dreams though that iPod would dominate the market so much in the future. In fact so were many of them who were very skeptical after its first launch. If you remember, it had a very slow start in the very beginning. But then the rest is what you all know ...history. Now, there's no place where I don't take my iPod with me. Gym, shopping, long drives, office, and ofcourse my home where its always with me.

Take a look at the video from the Special Event, where iPod was officially brought to the world :

The best part about the whole event was that nobody applauded..Nobody had a minutest clue of whats happening. Everyone were like " Whattttt ?? Another music must be kiddin me...who's gonna pay so much for that thing ? " Everyone except one...Steve Jobs. For me I always feel he's way ahead of his time. His foresight is unbelievable. And I'm pretty sure he knows what people are gonna like 6 yrs from now. If I had a time machine of some sort I really feel I would have gone back to that event, stood up, clapped and said..."Hey you guyz know in the future...this thing would come in many forms, one of which can even be clipped to your clothes :)".

Happy Birthday iPod.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Azhagiya Tamizh Magan - Music Review

Days have gone by, things have changed, I've grown up from being a kid going to school, then to college, finally to actually start working and earning. Many things changed except for one. My anticipation and excitement for AR Rahman's new music albums. The only difference I would think is that when in Chennai, I used to call up the music store guy every now and then to check on the album status, and now I refresh TFMpage to see if the album is released in Malaysia or not and wait for the reviews. And there's not even a single time I've been ever disappointed in any of his albums. Its come to a point when I can confidently say that if I like a song in the first hearing, it's a hit and if I don't like it, its a Super hit. For a Vijay starrer, knowing his striking personality on screen and his mass appeal, I expected somewhere in the lines of hit quality music which people can hum quite instantly. And once again, I wasn't disappointed, infact I was pleasantly surprised to hear some above hit quality songs.

"Ellaapugazhum" is gotta be one of the best intro songs in the recent times for any actor. I think its even more powerful than "Balleilaka", and the credit for that equally goes to the grand Orchestration and highly energetic singing by ARR and inspiring lyrics by Vaali. Many things work in this song, the rocking guitar, the strings, the claps in the start, the high pitched Rahman's voice...everything except the beats which however sound familiar. Infact the 1st interlude follows similar pattern as "Katril" song's 2nd interlude from Varalaaru movie. Nevertheless this is an upbeat song light up the entire theater. I can imagine Vijay's delighted fans getting completely absorbed and singing in chorus when the song goes "thala dalapathi dalapathi nee dhaan nee dhaan...anbu thalaiva..vetri namake..azhagiya tamizh magan nee dhaane".

"Ponmagal Vandha" - I guess its become a customary thing to have a remix of an old song in Vijay's movies. I remember Rahman once mentioning about how he hates to remix an old song. I don't know if he was forced to do one in this movie or was it done by someone else. Nevertheless its an awesome remix which still preserves the olden golden beauty, giving it a cool trendy sound. The minimal usage of instruments along with a nice rhythms makes this song very beautiful and pleasant to hear. Special mention needs to be made about the cool rap by Ember rap (surprisingly not by Blaaze). "You're my diamond girl...You're smilin smilin girl"...loved it..Aslam sounds so much like one of those olden days singers. I saw many comparing this song with "Thottal Poo Malarum" and saying this is much better. Honestly speaking, I wouldn't compare both as this is a remix song while the other was a retune. Both are wonderful songs in their own ways.

"Nee Marlyn Monroe" - This song is sure to set the screen on fire with hot Namitha and stylish Vijay dancing in exotic locales. Rahman introduces two new singers in this song, Ujaini and Benny Dayal. Both of them do full justice to this cool and peppy song. Its been a while since Rahman has given this kind of peppy tune, the last I remember being "Hey hey enna aachi unakku". Thanks to its awful picturisation, that song has been completely erased from everyone's mind...except a few, which includes me. I was pleasantly surprised to hear Punjabi folk tune as the first interlude for such a hep song. Only Rahman can come up with such a mixing. Na Muthukumar's lyrics are very youthful. However what did he mean by the line "Pengal cricket...angal wicket...or Pengal mixie, angal chutney" ..hmmmm...anyways go boomshaka boom boomshaka with this song.

"Valayapatti" - AR Rahman is in top form in this song. This is a very catchy and a lively number. One can notice a lot of experimentation going on in this song. There's a classical jugalbandhi in between which is amazing. I love the charanams of this song. Once again lyrics by Muthukumar is interesting and pretty funny..he uses Harmonium and Hormone as rhyming words :). Naresh yet again gets a catchy line after "avalkenne anbasamudura iyer hotel alva maadiri". We know of classic rock genres...i think this belongs to Classical Rock genres :)..Rahman should have had lot of fun composing this song.

"Kelaamal Kaiyile" - This was the song i was waiting to hear after listening to samples. And boy what a beauty this song is. Its a haunting and mesmerizing melody with nice mellowed techno beats creating a dreamy atmosphere. The classical touch to the song elevates it to a new horizon. Many would say it reminds them of "Aagaya Vennilave" or "oru deivam thanda poove". I think it was meant to be that way as the lyrics say "Kettu rasitha paadal ondrai meendum indru nyabagam thoonde". If you listen carefully you'll hear a sound very similar to the droplets sound in "Thenmerku Paruvaikaatru" from Karuthamma, especially at the amazing second interlude. I see another new singer here...Saindhavi. My friend Sridhar feels this is an OK song right now. I've challenged him that he's gonna change his mind in less than 2 days.

"Maduraikki pogadhadi" - The final song of the album where we find Rahman back to his good old Kizhakku cheemayile days. Love the start of the song "Karpoora Kannigai vaarai". Excellent Tamil folk song with once again very catchy charanams. Nothing special in the tune, as it gives sort of heard before feeling, but the arrangements and thavil sound give freshness to the song. Its easily a classy mass song :).

AR Rahman..take a've struck Gold yet again. He's proved it with Sivaji, and he's proved it yet again with ATM that he's undoubtedly the Mighty Emperor when it comes to delivering music which can satisfy both masses and classes equally. This album is a conglomeration of 6 songs belonging to 6 different genres, all of which seem to be potential chart busters. Its also undoubtedly the most consistent and entertaining album for a Vijay's movie ever. Rahman rocks big time.

In short, ATM = ATtagaasaM

Saturday, October 20, 2007

AR Rahman's Azhagiya Tamizh Magan sample songs

Its celebration time in Chennai and probably the whole of Tamil Nadu...Azhagiya Tamizh Magan's (ATM) music samples have been released on the web and everyone are going completely bonkers over it...Actually the samples are really rocking. My favorites so far are Ellampugazhum (superb intro song) and Kettu Rasitha paadal (mesmerizing tune)..But i'm sure after the album releases every song will be in my favorites list..

Samplese ivalavu soopera irundhaa...full songs eppadi day seems to be very long now...can't wait...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Pencil + Animation = Pencilmation

Found this cool site with many creative cartoons developed by this guy called Ross Bollinger.This one's my personal favorite. I thought it was a very interesting concept where he draws something with his pencil and that comes to life and he plays around with it...very very creative...If you like it which I'm sure you will, check out his website for more Toons -

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Life Size Transformer @ West Hollywood

They've put an actual full-size Bumblebee robot prop from the movie Transformer in West Hollywood Gateway, in the shopping center located at the corner of La Brea and Santa Monica Boulevard. It looks big enough to distract the always easily distracted LA drivers. In fact its conveniently located in front of Target and Best Buy where after taking pictures, you can go buy your own copy of the new DVD or HD-DVD. Nice Marketing Strategy ...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Taare Zameen Par - a touching teaser trailer

I might have watched this trailer more than 50 times now...and i might continue to do so till the next one comes out. I'm completely moved by this touching trailer.

Its first part shows all the playful children, their expressions, their innocence, fun and then all of sudden this child(Darsheel Safary) with sadness in his expression and a feeling that he is different from others. For a moment I forgot that its Aamir's movie and was totally absorbed in the tear-filled eyes of the child. The best part comes in the end frame where we see Darsheel gazing at a board and behind him the actor, director and producer himself. I have to admit that every time I watch this trailer, my eyes water. I read in a website that this kid is retarded in the movie, which is completely wrong. He suffers from Dyslexia, specific learning disability that manifests primarily as a difficulty with written language, particularly with reading and spelling.

With a heart touching music by SEL in the background, this is one of the finest trailers I've seen in recent times. Hats off to Aamir for taking up movies which many would not even dare to consider.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Desi Dance parties - you are better off skipping them

Date n Time : Oct 13th, 2007, 10:00 pm.
Event : Ticket to Bollywood, a Desi party nite
Location : Tantra Restaurant n Bar, LA

There were two options to choose from this Saturday. Either Garba nite or Desi dance nite. Knowing that desi dance parties are a rarity here and some more Garba nites are gonna be there this month, we went for Ticket to Bollywood. Name sounded pretty funky and the poster was very attractive. The tag line read " Your Ticket to the ultimate mix of Bollywood and Bhangra beats ever ". Very impressive right ?? Well, we were very excited. The nite was supposed to start at 10:00 pm, but being in Sunset Blvd, which is about one and a half hr drive from my place, we left @ 8:00 pm.

At first I thought Tantra would be like another club here called Sutra Lounge, which is a more cozy club with a great dance floor, and nice ambiance. But when I reached the place I found that it was more of a restaurant wherein they were moving the tables to make way for the dance floor...hmmm..My first disappointment. Read on for more blunders committed by the so called Loose Control Productions, the organizers of this nite.

So it was 10:00 pm and we were already there. But where are the people ?? I saw few Americans, but not so many Desis...ohhh could I forget that Desis always come late for everything. And so the dance party started, and as there were more Americans than Indians, the DJ decided to play some American pop songs. As usual all desis were sitting on the couches surrounding the so called dance floor and just Americans were dancing. There were two TVs on the walls which were ironically playing Jaanemann sad song which had Salman Khan crying ...pathetic !! So we decided that this aint good, and went to have the next attraction of the nite...hookahs !! Now this was the best part of the whole nite. We tried the Exotic Apple flavor and it was amazing...the setting was arabic style and we were lucky to go there early and get a good place...Nirvana Attained ! We loved it so much that we stayed there for about 2 hrs...and that being jus 12 bucks, it was time and money well spent. Now we enter the dance floor again.

And hey!! we thought it was good to take the break as now the dance floor was pretty decently occupied. And also there was nice desi music playing. However as this was not a regular club, the acoustics were horrible and the songs were way too loud. Following were all the noteworthy incidents which made this desi nite a bummer :
1) The DJs sucked big time...there were two of them of whom one didn't know how to mix songs..from fast song like Mast Kalander from Hey Baby, he abruptly jumped to Salaam E Ishq title track. Now why would you play a slow romantic song right after a thumping bhangra song ?? ask DJ Karan.
2) There were breaks many a times. A song is playing and suddenly music stops. What the fcuk !!! Highly unprofessional. We later came to know that the cd was stuck..hehee...i guess that was their tag line..ultimate mix...hehehe...a mix which also has moments of silence.
3) Some desis were dancing in a way which cannot be can only be experienced. This one guy was so hyper that he was dancing like a robot / Kusthi fighter / Karate Champ / WWE wrestler. Anything but dance, and he was repeating the same moves for about 3 hrs. His wife was so embarrassed that she started dancing with other folks..hehe...and he was jumping and dancing so much that eventually he succeeded in creating a big circle for only himself to dance.
4) The Bar didn't have my favorite and popular drink..Jaeger Bomb...I was so damn pissed off...
5) Many Americans left in between as they were thoroughly disappointed. I wonder if they'd ever go to any Indian dance parties anymore.
6) In between people were going to the DJ and asking their favorite song and he was abruptly stopping a song and playing that...a total mess.
7) In between, the DJ was requesting everyone to make some noise, and in return everyone were booing him. In fact few were shouting " You Suck big time dope ". I was one of them :).
8) As we all know that best things come at the end, here it was the opposite. The worst thing came at the end when DJ Esque started playing Ek Do Theen from Tezaab...oh my god...what a blunder...everyone were laughing in the floor and didn't know what to do.
9) The music was so boring that many people left even before 3:00am, and so the DJ was forced to stop playing the music by 2:00 am. A total flop show by Loose control productions or rather Loosu pasange.

So there you go. I tried to cover as many disastrous moments as possible. I don't think I missed any. But thing is for sure, I wouldn't be going for another desi dance party, and I would advice everyone reading this post to be very cautious when deciding to head for one. See if its a proper club, and if not you would be better off staying away from it. Play nice music at home and dance to it. You'll have more fun . Desi dance parties are highly unprofessional and they might turn out to be nightmares. If you really wanna enjoy clubbing experience, go for some nice proper well known nightclubs. Like there's one called V2O in Long Beach. Great crowd, music and an upscale atmosphere. Two big dance floors and lot of room to walk around. They have amazing decor: comfy couches, modern furniture. And there would be enough people to make it fun, but not too crowded. And above all, very professional which would allow you to dance non stop for 4 - 5 hrs. If you live in LA or the OC it is definitely worth the drive to check V2o out rather than looking out for these over hyped desi nites.