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.