Best of 2011 – Top Songs

Hey guys, the below songs are my personal favourites. In a sense, it essentially means that I would prefer listen to these 10 songs than any other song from a Hindi movie this year. Do post your top list as well! Essentially, Other than the last 2 entries, I have refrained from ranking , as just the top 3 really matter 🙂

Format – Song [ Music Director, singer, movie, lyrics]

Tere Bin (Reprise) [Pritam, Naresh Iyer, DTBHJ, Neelesh Mishra] – The Reprise version by Naresh Iyer is better than the Sonu Nigam normal version. It is a typical Pritam melody, easy on the ears and very melodious. Naresh’s vocals take the song to another level altogether. His rendition is full bodied and makes you feel one with the emotions. Lyrics are simple & soulful. Best line – “Jo Paas hai tu to yakeen apne hone pe hota hai”. Below link for the Reprise as it was not in the movie.

Teri Meri Prem Kahani [HR, Rahat/Shreya, BG, Shabbir Ahmed] – This is an instantenoulsy addictive song. The lyrics are unusual (“Do lafzon mein yeh bayan naa ho paye”) and arrangements are grand. Probably the best song by HR in a long long time. The highlights are the vocals by Shreya & Rahat. While Shreya sings at low pitch, Rahat compliments wonderfully with high pitch & “aaaa..” in between. The song triumphantly conveys the emotions of the protagonists and elevates the movie. Definitely the best thing in BG. Best line: Har ehsaas mein tu hai har yaad mein tera afsana, do lafzon mein yeh bayaan naa ho paaye.

DK Bose [Ram Sampath, Ram Sampath, DB, Amitabh Bhattachrya] – Probably the best different song to come out of Bollywood this year. It’s like any song you have heard this year. It’s pacy, whacky, expletive, zany, cool & addictive. The lyrics are just amazingly refreshing. A triumph for Ram Samath and worthy of a nomination at the very least. Best Line: Sabun ki shakal mein beta to nikla keval Jhaag.

Te Amo (Duet) [Pritam, Ash King/Sunidhi, DMD, Jaideep Sahni] – Pritam again with what he does best – extremely melodious flowy ode to love. This time Ash King towers above all with the different voice and is the highlight of the song. Jaideep Sahni’s choice of “Te Amo” instead of I Love You elevates this song considerably. Best Line: “Kabhi lage chhuoon tumhe yuhin khayalon mein, kabhi lage nahi nahi chori nahi”. Again, the song is the best part of the movie.

Rabba Main to Mar gaya re [Pritam, Rahat & Shahid, Mausam, Irshad Kamil] – Well Pritam yet again! This is a stock Pritam tune, in the league of “Teri Ore”, but more soulful with the music arrangement. Mostly classical instruments are used throughout. The starting music peace (like ambulance sound) itself hooks you to the song, and it only gets better with Rahat’s vocals and heartfelt poetry by Irshad Kamil (words like Shaddai, mehram are hardly used in hindi songs). Again the best thing in the movie. Also, hats off to Shahid for matching up to Rahat in the other version. Best line: Mere pyaar ka mausam bhi hai lage meri mehram bhi hai, jane kya kya do aankhon mein padh gaya main.

Ishq Sufiyana [Vishal Shekhar, Kamal Khan, TDP, Rajat Arora] – A very Pritamish song from Vishal-Shekhar. Full of melody and soulful lyrics, and simple lilting arrangements. The highlight though is the awesome rendition by a novice Sa-re-ga-ma-pa 2010 contestant Kamal Khan, what a great find. Great future ahead for this talent. Best line/hook: Rab ki qawali hai ishq koi…subah ki lali hai ishq.

Isq Risk [Sohail Sen, Rahat, MBKD, Irshad Kamil] – Good to see Sohail Sen being given the rightly deserved break in the big league with YRF. Extremely talented composer, as evident in What’s your Rashee, Sohail composes a sufiyana qawalyish jugalbandi-type perfect fusion song. The use of “Isq” instead of “Ishq” is a masterstroke as it gives an earthy feeling to the song. Rahat as usual does complete justice. It is amazing to see Rahat excel in all types of songs. Easily the best song from all YRF films this year. Best line: Kaisa yeh isq hai, ajab sa risq hai (Very different indeed by Irshad Kamil, just compare to the previous song in the list, what a u-turn!)

Kyun Main Jagoon [SEL, Shafqat, PH, Anvita Dutt] – An underrated gem of a song in an undderrated movie. It is one of the best songs by SEL in recent times. Shafqat croons soulfully to some heartfelt lyrics by Anvita Dutt (whos she, damn really touchy words). It is the perfect sad song full of pain, anguish, depression, anger. How one wishes SEL would produce more such gems. Cant single out any best line here, the entire song is incredible. The unplugged version is great too. The link for unplugged is below.

Dildara [Vishal-Shekhar, Shafqat, Ra.one, Kumaar] – Brilliant inspiration & reworking of a classic song by Vishal Shekhar. And lovely soulful rendition by Shafqat. Definitely the best song in the movie. Perfect fusion of the original “Stand by me” with melody, rapping, classical touch & modern arrangements. Words are awesome too, “Tu manzil hai aur tu hi us manzil ke aage ka rasta”, “rehbara”.  The classical chorus along with the “Stand by me” hook is masterstroke.

Saathiya [Ajay Atul, Shreya, Singham, Swanand Kirkire] – again it’s a typical Pritamish song but composed by Ajay Atul. Melody, simplicity, soul & lovely singing. Instantly likeable and sugary sweet. Best Line/hook: badmaash dil to thag hai bada…badmaash dil meri sune na zid pe ada.

Tum Ho & Nadaan Parindey [A.R.Rehman, Mohit Chauhan & ARR, Rockstar, Irshaad Kamil] – Awesome, enough said. Words cant describe these songs. Second best this year. Best line: Kagar Kagar mori itni araj tose, chun chun khaiyo maas, arajiya re khaiyo naa tu naina more, do naina more, piya ke milan ki hai ehsaas (Nadaan Parindey) ; Tum Ho’s background music arrangement is the most soulful this year.

Phir Mohabbat & Aye Khuda [Mithoon, Mithoon & Kshitij Tarey/ Mohammed Irfan, Arijit & Saim Bhat, Murder-2, Mithoon] – These are my personal favs of this year. I can listen to these songs over and over again and more than any other song this year. I wont describe these, listen for yourself and comment!

As evident, all the songs above are love songs – as I prefer love songs above all other dhin-chak songs! Some of the good other genre tracks I liked are Chhammak Chhallo & Criminal from Ra.one, Bodyguard Title track, Ooh Lala from TDP, Dhunki from MBKD, YPD title track, Laung Da Lashkara from PH, Saada Haq from Rockstar, Singham Title song, Ek Manzil & Ruk Jana Nahi (well done reprise) from Soundtrack.

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Year End Round-up 2 – Top 10 Bollywood Music Albums

1. Rang De Basanti – From the rocking Pathshala to the euphoric Title track, to the haunting Tu Bin Bataye, to the raunchy Khalbali, this album weaves the magic of AR Rehman yet again. But the real gem is Lukka Chhupi, the melcancholic touching poetry about mother-son relationship. Lata Mangeshkar and Rehman at their best! The best score hands down!

2. Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna – Most of you hate this movie, and hence the music too, but this is a complete score, with the soulful title track, to the discoish Wheres the Party Tonight, to BIG B’s rocking Rock n Roll Soniye. Again the hidden underrated gem is Tumhi Dekho Naa, a song which owns you more and more with every hearing. SEL at their best in this song, and Alka Yagnik deserves nominations (if not awards) for the amazing rendition fo this beautiful number.

3. Omkara – Nothing was expected from this album, and it is completely different from other Film Music. But nonetheless, it works big time! The raunchy Bipasha items numbers, Beedi and Namak are a rage, and pretty addictive. The haunting O Saaathi Re is a lyrical and musical jewel. But the title track takes the cake. Sukhwinder Singh sings with authority and passion, with the perfect rustic accent, and great command. The chanting of “Omkara, He Omkara” remains with you forever onece you have heard it.

4. Woh Lamhe – If you want soulful, painful, melodious, emotional, and a song for your first/Nth date, this is the album. It has the entire gamut of emotions one goes through when he loves someone. Happiness, sorrow, ecstacy, pain, dissapointment, solitude, theres everything here. The best of the lot has to be Jawad Ahmed’s Bin Tere Kya Hai Jeena, posted here . Pritam rehashes KYa Mujhe Pyar hai perfectly from soem Indonesian tune, James rocks with passion and love in Chale Chale (listen here ), Glen John explores solitude and sorrow perfectly in Tu Jo Nahin Hai.

5. Ankahee – One of the rare albums which flopped despite every song being a gem. I was hard pressed to put it right at the top, but then decided otherwise! Actually nowadays, its promotion only which decides on the saleability of the album! Anyways who cares for soulful, emotional songs. But I just loved this album. Each and every song had a feeling, a raw emotion, and it touched myriad chords in your heart. Try this different and refreshing Tumse Yoon Milenge here . Ek Pal Ke Liye by KK summed up the way to live in the best possible manner. But the best song, which I heard most this year was Aa Paas Aaa. Here I have posted it below. Hear it and decide!

[odeo=http://odeo.com/audio/4628223/view]

6. Jaaneman – Anu Malik returned to his best with this one. Humko Maloom Hai in typical Rehman style even surpassed Rehmans style and Gulzar’s innocent lyrics made it an instant classic. Ajnabi Shaher showed Sonu Nigam’s amazing repertiore and brilliance, and Jane Ke Jane Naa was another good Qawwali after Main Hoon Naa’s Tumse Milke. But the best of the lot was Sau Dard Hain. Wont say much about it, makes me emotional all the time! Just hear it!

7. Gangster – Naa Jane Koi was a rage the moment it was aired. And why not, it marked the debut of James, who can croon only after drinking potfuls! But Gangster offered a lot more than that, though Pritam again plagiarised to perfection with Tu hi Meri Shab Hai. Heck, the song still rocks! Abhijeet showed his prowess in Lamha Lamha, and Guitara’s popular Ya Ghali was sung to perfection by Zubin as Ya Ali in the garb of Sufi Rock! Well I dont care for originality as long as it sounds lovely! A must have!

8.Aksar – Himesh Bhai makes a late entry, mainly because there was too much of him in too little time, and only this one stood out as an album! Jhalak Dikhlaja is the second best song of Himesh the singer till date after Aashiq Banaya Aapne. Perfect Sufi Rock! Soniye was a typical love duet in trademark HR style! Lagi Lagi Lagi, another Sufiyana song, was nice timepass, and Janabe Jaaniya was painful for the ears! But overall, a deserved place in my humble opinion.

9. Don – Ok so what if the remixes were not so good, the original tracks, including the title track, Aaj Ki Raat, Moriya, and the theme by Medeival Punditz made sure that this album found a place in the top 10. Talking of the remixes, Yeh Mera Dil was pretty good, and SRK”s rendition in Khaike was a nice change. But it was Shaan’s Main Hoon Don which was addictive. The theme by Medieval Punditz is one of the best techno lounge tracks to have come in recent times!

10. Lage Raho Munnabhai – Pal Pal was lifted from somewhere, Bande Mein Tha Dum wasnt original either, but they were still lovely. Aane Char Aane by Karunya (remember Indian Idol 2 runner up?) inspired your soul, while the title track was fulltoo timepass and brought a smile to your face. Similarly Samjho Ho Hi Gaya, with the conversation between Munna n Circuit was just howlarious and feel good! Nice Album overall!

I dont know why, but I just liked two tracks in Fanaa, so I have not included it in my list. I am sure it will be there in most lists.

Some Good Numbers: Koi Tumsa Nahi from Krissh, Touch Me form Dhoom 2, Tere Bin from Bas Ek Pal, Salam Karne Ki Aarzoo from Umrao Jaan, Kaabul Fiza from Kabul Express, Ahista Ahista from the same movie, Chand Sifarish & Mere Haath Mein from Fanaa.

I did not consider Guru and Salam-e-Ishq since the movies are releasing next year, otherwise they would be in the list too!

Guru – Music Review

Mani Ratnam is back after Yuva, along with A.R. Rehman and Abhishek Bachchan. And this time, we have Aishwarya, Madhavan, and Mithun added in the mix too. A most awaited movie, the music was also most awaited. Does it match up to ARR/Mani Ratnam standards? Read this short peice to find out.

The album opens with Barso Re, another song about rain by ARR, sung very well by Shreya Ghosal. There is a singature “nanna re nanna re”, which is addictive, but sounds like you heard it somewhere. It is vintage ARR song, in the league of his other rain songs, like the one from Lagaan. It grown on you with time. Nice opening to the album.

Tere Bina, sung by ARR is in one word, fabulous. It is a classic, probably beating his tunes in RDB. This is ARR at his best, both at vocals and melody, and great lyrics by Gulzar Saab. Again there is a signature tune, “dam dara dam dara mast mast”, which you keep humming for long. The female voice supporting ARR is sweeter than sugar!

I remember its a mini review, but I had to explain the two best songs in the album!

I am onto the third song, Ek lo Ek muft, sung extremely aptly by Bappi Lahiri. Its a “lafanga, drunk” song, which brings a smile to your face, and makes you “jhoomofy” like a drunk. Typical earthy song, with “desi” beats. Sample the words “Babu Bhai Pranam, Raju Bhai Salaam, Kanta Ben Ramram”. Great variety here in the album.

Mayya, the next song, is unlike any other song you have heard in Guru so far, it is in the league of the dark item songs. I noticed an interlude from Asoka here, which also ends the song! Looks like Mallika Sherawat will be making this song memorable. The song is likeable, but not in the league of the previous three. It is more in the league of Khalbali.

And what a great song to follow the average Mayya. Aye Hairathe, sung by Hariharan and Alka Yagnik, is another masterpiece in every sense of the word. The song begins with the Tere Bina tunes, and is interspersed with the siganture line from that song “dum dara dum dara”. Great earthy classical melody, and the 2nd best song in the album.

Baazi Laga, is a situational song to celebrate money and hard work. This one has the same tempo and feel as Chori Pe Chori from Sathiya, and is enjoyable. It will surely be best viewed in the movie. A fast paced song, well sung and arranged.

Which brings us to the last song in the album, Jaage Hain. It is a minimum arrangements song, more of a theme music, sombre, soothing and melodious. ARR comes in the middle of the song, beginnning at a low pitch and dark voice, and then elevates the proceedings. Must mention the lyrics here, just amazing. The most fitting way to end a great album.

So, to sum up, except Mayya, all the songs are praiseworthy, and different from each other. I would be tempted to say this is better than Rang De Basanti. All the songs complement the main theme and setting of the movie, and you can actually imagine where the song would be palced in the movie.

Buy this CD folks, its one helluva score. And to entice you even further, it inlcludes 5 great Rahman hits from his previous films.

Ankahee (Music)

Ankahee.. magnify

Tumse yoon milenge, humne socha na tha..
Aur yeh Zindagi..

Ek Pal ke liye, ghadiyan humko mili, makhmali pyar ki,
Ao is pal ko jee lein zara..

Aaa Paas aaa, aa paas aa sanam
saha na jaye dooriyon ka gam.. tujhe hai kasam..

Lamha, har lamha, lagta hai kyun naya
Dil ko, mere dil ko, jane kya ho gaya..

guys these are the lyrics of a few songs in Ankahee..

Its the most original and touching score I have heard in a long long time, and have been hearing it since the last 5 months. Thought it would be worthwhile to share it with you all.
Hear it! Thank me if I you think this was just that one score you wanted to hear always.. (I feel so!)

Umrao Jaan (New) – Music

Cast: Shabana Azmi, Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, Suniel Shetty, Divya Dutta, Himani Shivpuri, Puru Raaj Kumar & Kulbhushan Kharbanda

Director: J.P.Dutta

Music: Anu Malik

Lyrics: Javed Akhtar

The expectations from this movie have been enormous, as it stars some of the biggest names in Bollywood currently, and has been directed by J.P. Dutta, who has given us some memorable films, with equally memorable music. The choice of Anu Malik for the music of this period classic came as a shock to many, including myself. But then, if you look at Malik’s work for J.P. Dutta, you cannot question his obvious choice. What remained then was how authentic and original will the music be.

I must say, Anu Malik has outdone himself here. The music is mesmerizing to say the least!

Song: Salaam Karne Ki Aarzoo..

This is an instantly likeable song, moving at a smooth pace, and engulfing you with its melodious simplicity. Alka Yagnik’s voice is touching, and Javed Akhtar writes simple yet powerful poetry. Sample this: Jise Bhi Hum Dekh Le Palat Ke, Usi Ko Apna Ghulam Kar Lein. I wonder how did Anu compose this absolutely awesome track, which is classical, soothing, touching, and popular at the same time. It only proves Anu has class, you just have to harness him.

Song: Pehle Pehel..

This song is slow and haunting. Once again having a classical base, it has really meaningful words, which are yet again very simple. Alka Yagnik again shines with a controlled voice. She surely shows she is the best when it comes to Indian Classical music. The song conveys the aura of the first meeting between lovers in a very subtle and touching manner. Sample this: Dekha Ye Khwab To, Dil Hai Betaab To, Dono Ghabra Gaye, Tum Bhi Pehle Pehel, Hum Bhi..

Song: Jhoote Ilzaam..

This is the best song among the previous ones. The trademark in this album so far has been classical music with simple yet effective words, and topped with exquisite singing. This song follows the same tradition, but manages to touch just a bit more, with the words conveying pain while being understandable. Sample: Tum Kisi Aur Ki Kismat Mein ho, Tum Mere Nahi.. Yeh Agar Sach bhi Hai to Mujhko Bataya Na Karo..Dil Hai Nazuk Ise Tum Aise Dukhaya Na Karo. The song is basically a complain by the girl, requesting the boy not to play with her emotions. Alka Yagnik rules.

Song: Main Na Mil Sakoon Jo Tumse

This song makes it difficult to rank the songs, a fantastic number again. Yet again, it is classical, relaxed, simple, and conveying the ethos so well. It is about the girl explaining her helplessness to the guy and telling him to forget her, while complaining about his behaviour also. Remarkable song, once again. This makes it 4 on 4 so far, which is reason enough to buy the album. Alkya Yagnik is the soul of this album. Sample: Maine Chaha Tha Kisiko, Mera Haal Kya Hai Dekho… Jo Kasoor Kiya Tha Maine, Woh Tum Kabhi Na Karna..

Let me make it clear at this point that this album is classy, having slow haunting numbers, and not the high octane type, with thumping beats. It is simple, Indian classical music at its best. So take your pick.

Song: Pooch Rahe Hain

This song takes time to grow on you, unlike the other instantly likeable songs. But it slowly owns you with repeated hearings, with its sheer melody and pain. This song has more classical background, in terms of Tabla and other instruments playing in the background. Basically, it has more instruments in its arrangement. Yet again slow, simple, yet touching. I am at a loss of words here, using the same words everytime, but beleive me, this itself the hallmark of this album. The song is again about the girl sighing about the pain in love. Sample: Kaun Yaha Hai Sunne Wala, Dil Ki Baat Sunayein Kya, Daag Yeh Dil Mein Aaye Hain Kaise, Unko Hum Samjhaye Kya.

Song: Agle Janam Mohe Bitiya

This song really makes you cry, with its emotions. This is about a mother requesting hte God not to give her a girl child. It has two versions, one by Anu’s daughter Anmol, and the other by Richa Sharma. Anmol’s version doesnt register the same impact as the other version does, though she does well for a debutant. For the first time, Alka Yagnik gets a break in the album. I guess one version is sung by young Aishwarya, and the other by Shabana Azmi. The melody is once again brilliant with minimal arrangements, which is in sync with the demands of the song. The lyrics have a UP touch in terms of lyrics, which makes it even further rooted to reality. Brilliant, Mr. Malik and Javed Saab!

Song: Dekha Humein Aise Ke

For the first time, we have a male voice, in the form of Sonu Nigam, along with Alka.Sonu does wonders in this song, proving his worth yet again. This song is the least classical among the lot, and grows on you with repeated hearings. This song is a love song, yet manages to be different than the routine love songs, thanks to the lyrics and the music. This is probably the most upbeat and happy song in the album. Another gem. Sample: Aankhon Mein Hai Nasheele Bhanwar, Zulf Mein Lahar, Dariya Yeh Kaisa Husn Ka, Dikhla Diya Humein.

Song: Ek Toote Hue Dil Ki..

This is a small song by Alka (yet again!), with absolutely minimal arrangements, and yet it conveys the pain with the combination of lyrics, music and voice. It makes you look forward to a great song, but ends just when you have warmed upto it. Kind of deceives you, with its small length.

Overall, the music is fabulous, and a welcome break from what we have been getting in recent past. Though it might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but none can deny the honesty and sincerity of the people involved. Anu Malik deserves yet another National Award, for being so true to the period, and living upto the original’s music. Javed Akhtar shows his class yet again. Alka Yagnik makes an indelible impression.

I cant judge which Umrao Jaan has better music, and there should not be any comparisons made between the two. This music has its own identity, and it recreates the bygone era in the most infectious manner. Another winner for Anu Malik after Janeman.