Top 10 Film Songs of 2017

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2017 was a year where every second Hindi film had one or more recreated/remixed/rearranged/rehashed version of an old, popular Hindi song. From old classics like “Keh Dun Tumhein” (‘Deewar’) to ten year old songs like “Hare Rama Hare Krishna” (‘Bhool Bhulaiya’), none was spared. While some remixes like “Raat Baaki” (‘Ittefaq’) and “Socha Hai” (‘Baadshaho’) were nice, others made us realize that classics are best left untouched. The original tracks, too, made their mark. Amit Trivedi, who did some really good work last year, did not have a single release this year and Sachin-Jigar, who delivered a good but under-appreciated album for ‘A Flying Jatt’ last year had five releases this year. Here is a list of the best film songs of 2017.

1. Ghar – ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’
Music: Pritam
Lyrics: Irshad Kamil
Singers: Nikitha Gandhi and Mohit Chauhan
While the Coldplay-inspired sound is evident in the track, it, for some reason, it reminds one of the musical sensibilities of A.R. Rahman and Sandesh Shandilya, the other two composers Imtiaz has worked with. Perhaps, it is the haunting and sonorous texture of the track that makes one feel that. Nikitha Gandhi’s icy chilled voice and Mohit’s Chauhan’s moony voice work fantastically for this sombre and dreamy song which is the best track from the best album of the year.

2. Udi Udi Jaaye – ‘Raees’
Music: Ram Sampath
Lyrics: Javed Akhtar
Singers: Sukhwinder Singh, Bhoomi Trivedi and Karsan Sagathia
“Udi Udi Jaaye” carries the flavour of Garba, a dance form which originated in Gujarat, the state which the film is set in. A seasoned performer like Sukhwinder Singh and a relative newcomer Bhoomi Trivedi (“Ram Chahe Leela” – ‘Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram Leela’) pair up for the song and lend exuberance to this song which has an infectious energy and an addictive tune to it. Unlike the songs composed by JAM8, Pritam’s A&R company, which sounded like standalone/promotional pieces, you get a feel of the film in “Udi Udi Jaaye” which does a good job at represents the milieu of the film.

3. Ik Vaari Aa – ‘Raabta’
Music: JAM8
Lyrics: Amitabh Bhattacharya
Singer: Arijit Singh
A ‘happy separation song’, as the marketing team chose to describe it, “Ik Vaari Aa” had some easy-on-the-lips verses penned by Amitabh Bhattcharya that encapsulated the bitter-sweet feeling of longing for your loved one. Pritam’s composition had a bouncy and vibrant appeal accentuated by an EDM based sound. Pritam/JAM8, Amitabh and Arijit Singh brought out the emotions in the song without letting the vibrancy of this catchy track fade away. It is a pity Pritam chose to dissociate himself from an album which featured some of the best songs done by him in the recent past.

4. Jhumritalaiya – ‘Jagga Jasoos’
Music: Pritam
Lyrics: Neelesh Misra
Singers: Arijit Singh and Mohan Kanan
Amitabh Bhattachrya did a great job on the tracks of ‘Jagga Jasoos’ but the best song in the album was credited to guest lyricist Neelesh Misra, who seldom writes film songs these days. Like most of the songs in the album, ‘Jhumritalaiya’ had a warm and laidback vibe to where Pritam’s music, Neelesh’s lines and Arijit Singh’s voice were perfectly in sync with each other and gave the song a lovely, free-flowing vibe. The song made us wish the talented and hugely underrated Neelesh Misra writes more songs for Bollywood in the future.

5. Dil Diyan Gallan – ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’
Music: Vishal and Shekhar
Lyrics: Irshad Kamil
Singer: Atif Aslam
The song, which has the best sonic appeal in ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’, was undoubtedly “Dil Diyan Gallan”. It is hard to imagine somebody else’s voice to suit the song the way it matches Atif Aslam. In fact, the song infused with an old-world charm and Punjabi lyrics, is reminiscent of several songs the singer has recorded for his private albums in the past. The infectious tune, Indian arrangements and some heart-rending poetry by Irshad Kamil make sure that this song finds your way into your playlist as soon as you hear it.

6. Enna Sona – ‘OK Jaanu’
Music: A.R. Rahman
Lyrics: Gulzar
Singer: Arijit Singh
“Enna Sona” is a slow paced romantic song sung by Arijit Singh that boasts of a kind of a sound you expect to come across in a Salim-Sulaiman composed number. The rustic Punjabi lyrics (Gulzar) serve as a wonderful contrastive element in a song dominated by a westernised sound. Unlike most of A.R. Rahman’s compositions that have a complex structure to them, this one has a simple and sing along-ish tune which gets on your lips in no time. This one was a contemporary love song with an old-world charm to it.

7. Hoor – ‘Hindi Medium’
Music: Sachin–Jigar
Lyrics: Priya Saraiya
Singer: Atif Aslam
“Hoor” is the kind of song you associate with Atif Aslam but Sachin-Jigar skillfully added their own touch to it. The track had a mixture of western and Indian orchestral arrangements led by the soothing sound of harmonium which drove the basic tune. Your heart starts melting as Atif goes “Koi hooooor”. Though Sachin-Jigar do full albums as a rule, they had just contributed just two tracks to this album, the other one being “Ik Jindari”.

8. Kanha – ‘Shubh Mangal Saavdhan’
Music: Tanishk-Vayu
Lyrics: Tanishk-Vayu
Singer: Shasha Tirupathi
Tanishk Bagchi has come to be known as ‘Remix King’ because of the number of old classics he has remixed this year. He also comes up with some good original tracks, the best one being “Baarish” (‘Half Girlfriend’) this year. And, he also teams up with Vayu Shrivastava to write and compose tracks for films. The much underrated Shasha Tirupathi did a fantastic job on the vocals on this track which had lyrics written in chaste Hindi with a bit of quirkiness in them.

9. Tere Bina – ‘Haseena Parkar’
Music: Sachin-Jigar
Lyrics: Priya Saraiya
Singer: Arijit Singh and Priya Saraiya
Sachin-Jigar used a variety of influences in this unusual love song, sung by Arijt Singgh and Priya Saraiya, that also ranks as one of the most underrated songs this year. For a film that was set in the 80s, they cleverly used some Indian string instruments and packaged them in a subtle electronic driven sound that made us reminiscent of some romantic numbers composed by Biddu back in the day.

10. Jaane De – ‘Qarib Qarib Singlle’
Music: Vishal Mishra
Lyrics: Raj Shekhar
Singer: Atif Aslam
The third Atif Aslam sung number to grace this list, “Jaane De”, composed by Vishal Mishra, has a very unpredictable tune that surprises you and keeps you thoroughly engaged as you listen to it. Raj Shekhar, arguably the most underrated lyricists around, shows why it is important for young composers to get professional lyricists on board and not write songs, filled with grammatical errors, themselves. Vishal Mishra, who has a cope of songs, credited to him as composer in the past shows a lot of promise with this track.

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