The year 2017 was an underwhelming year for both, Films and Music. With the exception of Pritam who delivered the ensemble “Jagga Jasoos” featuring about 20 songs and “Jab Harry Met Sejal”, no other Music Director stood out, not even A R Rahman.
Year 2017 began with A R Rahman’s recreated soundtrack for “OK Jaanu” from Mani Ratnam’s 2015 “Oh Kadhal Kanmani”. Though the music was fresh, vibrant and absorbing for the Hindi remake but the lyrics by Gulzar failed to lighten the energy. Nevertheless, it is Rahman’s best recent ensemble ranging from classical, sufi, contemporary to hip hop. Followed by the multilingual soundtrack of “Sachin: A Billion Dreams” which had three tracks, with “Hind Mere Jind” being the typical composition and my favorite. Though “Sachin Sachin” was lost amidst the craze of the maestro Cricketer, the theater evoked to celebration over that song. “Mom” which released in July had an interesting soundtrack but wasn’t sufficiently utilized in the film except for “O Sona Tere Liye” sung by Rahman himself, also “Chal Kahin Door” sounding on the track of “Kahaan Hoon Main” from “Highway” (2014). “Partition: 1947”, the Hindi dubbed version of “Viceroy’s House” had a memorable song but a momentary one sung by Shreya Ghosal and Hariharan named “Do Dilon Ke”.
T O P 5 S O N G S
5. Yeh Ishq Hai (Rangoon)
Music: Vishal Bhardwaj | Lyrics: Gulzar
Singers: Arijit Singh and Rekha Bhardwaj
Gulzar’s lyrics in search of transcendence matched up the somberly interesting music by Vishal Bhardwaj especially the flute interlude makes the song the best composition of “Rangoon”. Uplifted by obvious voice of Arijit Singh, he croons it with cracks whole-heartedly.
4. Prem Mein Tohre – Reprise (Begum Jaan)
Music: Anu Malik | Lyrics: Kausar Munir
Singer: Kavita Seth
Anu Malik’s one of the rare original beauties, the song has two versions: one atrociously sung by Asha Bhosle and one sung magnificently by Kavita Seth (though many may find her version flattering). Here, the winner is Kausar Munir’s in-depth lyrics which just blow the senses (reminiscent of Gulzar?). The song produced to fit in the periodical setting of the 1950s, it treasures the golden era.
3. Sahiba (Phillauri)
Music: Shashwat Sachdev | Lyrics: Anvita Dutt
Singers: Romy, Pavni Pandey
The love-ballad has brilliant musical setting with the smooth blend of Sufi-Punjabi mix. From the day I heard the song, it just kept growing over on every second hearing. It has relentlessly mellifluous and beautiful crescendo which will transcend into a devotional zone making one fall for it. And Pavni Pandey’s angelic voice spurs the hearts along with husky voice of Romy.
2. Musafir (Jagga Jasoos)
Music: Pritam | Lyrics: Amitabh Bhattarcharya
Singer: Tushar Joshi
Falling into the lines of Ranbir Kapoor’s travel songs, “Safarnama” and “Phir Se Udd Chala” – the soulful crooning by Tushar Joshi is lovely. While it gives a sense of a travel song which can be interpreted into different meanings, Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics also dive into a melancholic zone but the larger perspective is powerful. Accompanied primarily with drums, Pritam intersects acoustic guitars and electronic guitars with piano smartly. I’m sure one will play the song on loop and seep into breezy romance.
1. Maana Ke Hum Yaar Nahi – Duet (Meri Pyaari Bindu)
Music: Sachin-Jigar | Lyrics: Kausar Munir
Singers: Sonu Nigam and Parineeti Chopra
Easily casting a spell over the listener, this is Sachin-Jigar’s most soulful composition till date. While it pleases and soothes the ear buds, Parineeti Chopra’s voice may not be the best choice – nevertheless, she puts efforts by making it heartfelt. But, here the winner is Kausar Munir – narrating a heartbreaking venture of two former lovers. “Maana Ke Hum Yaar Nahi” also features in the best sequence of 2017, the song uplifts “Meri Pyaari Bindu” onto a different level.
T O P 5 A L B U M S
5. Meri Pyaari Bindu by Sachin-Jigar
“wins heart with variations ranging from romantic, retro to indi-pop”
4. Secret Superstar by Amit Trivedi
“not exceptional or up to Trivedi’s mark, the soundtrack certainly befitted the film especially Meghana Mishra’s voice”
3. Jab Harry Met Sejal by Pritam
“a perfect ensemble in a miserable film which didn’t help the soundtrack to flourish”
2. Rangoon by Vishal Bhardwaj
“eclectic and dazzling, the Vishal Bharwdwaj-Gulzar has never failed to impress the ear buds”
1. Jagga Jasoos by Pritam
“hailed by powerful notes, the experimental soundtrack befits the madness of the Anurag Basu’s musical adventure film”
End Note: I’m not a music expert, above lists are very much based on personal bias.
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