This mid-year report looks at the 10 Best Songs released from January to June 2015 and have been categorized as above-average in regards to composition, tune, lyrics, singing and arrangements.
The following list is not in order of preference and solely represents the views of the author.
Lyrics: Dinesh Vijan and Priya Saraiya
Singers: Rekha Bhardwaj and Arijit Singh
Bringing two talented singers together in one song is one thing, but combining the explosive vocals of Rekha Bhardwaj and Arijit Singh in a duet is another thing. Sachin-Jigar’s tune captures pathos. The song delves deep into the emotional state of the characters. Despite the presence of two singers, both get equal space to shine. Arijit Singh’s rendition from 2:55 onwards is magnificent. While Rekha Bhardwaj tackles the lower octave parts with aplomb, Arijit handles the high-pitched portions in his usual style. The track relies on a few instruments and the arrangements are very clean. Special mention to Eric Pillai (Future Sound of Bombay) for the mixing and mastering.
Song: “Shaitaaniyan (Encore)”
Lyrics: Shabbir Ahmed
Singer: Anupam Amod
While the Ankit Tiwari’s version was more publized, it is actually this version which oozes romance, soulfulness and love. Anupam Amod reaches the high-pitched parts with so much comfort. A much welcoming change from the typical Arijit Singh’s numbers, the soft acoustic guitar, the soulful chorus which doesn’t get too much in the way and the careful musical arrangements render the whole experience highly enjoyable. Shabbir Ahmed’s lyrics deserve applause. Bobby-Imran’s tune is simple, captivating and it has a natural feel to it.
Music: Anupam Roy
Lyrics: Manoj Yadav & Anupam Roy
Singer: Anupam Roy
The intro is dreamy, breezy and tender. Composed by Anupam Roy, who made his debut in Bollywood with ‘Piku’, it is the song’s light structure combined with the composer’s soulful voice which make the track so easy on the ears. He seduces with a sweet tenor that conveys a broad range of emotions. The musical instruments are used wisely in the background. The song really picks up from 1:11 which sets its tone, groove and feel. The interludes are simple and they combine a rich musical extravaganza.
Music: Jaidev Kumar
Singer: Arijit Singh
This is a power-packed performance from Arijit Singh, who once again reaches the high notes in no-time and in the manner listeners adore. The track starts with some romantic piano notes and progresses into an intense love song, filled with emotions and the accompanying music moves it forward to better romantic pastures. Lyrics by Kumaar get straight into the separation’s poetry. The arrangements follow smoothly, culminating to a point of bliss. The use of the piano in the “antara” is simply magnificent.
Movie: Dilliwaali Zaalim Girlfriend
Music: Jatinder Shah
Singers: Arijit Singh and Sunidhi Chauhan
Once in a while, “filmy” songs are still required as Bollywood will become too experimental. “Janib” has a predictable tune but it packs a lot in this duet version. Kudos to whoever had this idea of bringing Arijit Singh and Sunidhi Chauhan together in one song! The excellent arrangements followed by the heavy structure of the song make it a complex number with many layers. It is also wonderful to hear Sunidhi Chauhan’s voice in a love song after a long while. The chorus used in the last part of the song is an absolute delight to the ears.
Song: “Moh Moh Ke Dhaage”
Movie: Dum Laga Ke Haisha
Music: Anu Malik
Lyrics: Varun Grover
Diverting from his trademark style, Anu Malik is back into the game with “Moh Moh Ke Dhaage”. Papon delivers a superb performance – a heart-felt one with lots of emotions. The song clicks because it captures the right vocal chords, the music is not complicated and the tune reminds us of the music of ‘Refugee’ (2000). The second part of the “antara” where he reaches the high notes is simply fantastic.
Movie: Hamari Adhuri Kahani
Lyrics: Sayeed Quadri
Papon’s voice represents class and he is a natural singer. Unlike Arijit Singh who has been a little all over the place due to his popularity, Papon is selective and is less heard. The tone in his voice gives each song an edge. The way this song has been structured sounds complicated at the first listen but it turns out to be almost perfect. The first “antara” connects so well with the “mukhda” from 1:55. Heavy on emotions, Papon carries the song on his shoulders all the way. The track takes an unexpected turn with the second interlude which is quite long and gives the song a deep romantic twist that was earlier missing as it started too abruptly. That replicates with the violins taking the centre stage and this is the first time, Papon’s voice takes the backseat. Mithoon, for a change perfects his own style and uses the soft acoustic guitar in the background and skillfully doesn’t interfere with the vocals of Papon. Sayeed Quadri’s poetry stands out.
Song: “Chori Chori”
Music: Khamosh Shah
Lyrics: Khamosh Shah
Singers: Arijit Singh and Sona Mohapatra
It might sound like a song from the 50s, but it actually doesn’t matter that much as the current musical scenario is so bad that a simple tune will win hearts. This is exactly what “Chori Chori” did! A soothing, care-free and non-pedantic number, composed by Khamosh Shah, an ex-student of music meastro A.R Rahman. The beauty of the song is that it doesn’t rely on any gimmicks and can be briefly described as simplicity at its best. Arijit Singh sounds more relaxed, for a change and Sona Mohapatra is so natural. The 90s chorus in the second part make it a more enjoyable listen. Overall, the track relies a lot of instruments and the orchestration blends naturally with the overall state of affairs. Not to be taken too seriously, the track doesn’t break any grounds but the word “ping-pong” is out of place!
Song: “Pehli Baar”
Movie: Dil Dhadakne Do
Lyrics: Javed Akhtar
Singers: Siddharth Mahadevan and Sukriti Kakkar
“Pehli Baar” is a true signature tune from the stable of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy (SEL), who have composed at least a dozen of such similar tunes over their decade long career. Basically, it is a mish-mash of many previous SEL’s numbers, but it works because of two main reasons – the picturization and the tempo. Packed with zingy beats and matching the energy levels of Ranveer Singh, the song has a youthful appeal and is infectious. It has received more success after the movie’s release because of its choreography.
Movie: Khamoshiyan – Silences Have Secrets
Music: Jeet Gannguli
Lyrics: Rashmi Singh
Singer: Arijit Singh
Sung with a voice like Arijit Singh, where all the emphasis is laid on the voice of the singer, who displays a range of vocal chords and expertise. The arrangements are very much in sync with romantic feel of the song. A level of harmonic and rhythmic complexity is at work and this gives the track an equilibrium. The guitar acoustics, the romantic musical pieces and the smooth “antara” which is not forced, just evoke sensitivity and a strong caring feeling. Jeet Gannguli exercises great attention into not turning the song into an overly dramatic one but maintains the Bollywood aspect throughout the track.
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