Bollywood music has changed drastically over the last few years. The abundance of EDM and club numbers have dominated the music industry with some nonsensical lyrics. The less said, the better. The emphasis on creating tracks which will be popular in clubs was a trend until it got saturated with mediocre Bollywood numbers. 2015 revived the magic of melodies and offered various lyrically rich numbers that made peace with our soul although there was nothing groundbreaking but still there were compositions which melted hearts.
Here is my list of some of the better melodies which released in 2015. It has to be mentioned that not all compositions gathered the commercial success which they deserved but they are definitely worth a listen!
1. Bezubaan (‘Piku’)
Composer, singer, lyricist – Anupam Roy – made his dignified debut in Bollywood with this soundtrack. This composition is not your usual commercial Bollywood music albeit it sounds like a breezy sunset evening with a hot cup of tea and your thoughtful imaginative world. A slow build up that grows on you and something that gives your philosophical thought process wings. A special mention to the in-depth lyrics (‘Nange Paanv Daudi Aankhen Meri’) and the gorgeous arrangements, especially when the sarod is heard at 01:53 and then goes solo from 03:50 to 04:30. What a gorgeous amalgamation of classical and western arrangements. Pure musical bliss!
2. Aayat (‘Bajirao Mastani’)
Remember “Laal Ishq” from ‘Ram-Leela’? This composition takes that legacy one notch higher. It starts off and ends too on a ghazal’ish alaap with classical instruments in the backdrop, elegantly arranged and orchestrated. Arijit Singh joins in and pierces your heart at first go. The two minute interlude of gorgeous tabla beats and Qawwali sounds, beautifully interwoven around a poetry that simply justifies that “Love needs no boundaries, no religion, no reason. In fact love is a religion itself”.
3. Agar Tum Saath Ho (‘Tamasha’)
As a soundtrack ‘Tamasha’ was not at par with A.R. Rahman and Imtiaz Ali’s previous ventures but the songs justified the director’s vision. This composition takes your breath away with the innocent charm that it carries. The extraordinary overlapping effect where the renditions of Arijit Singh goes at unfamiliar vocal territories is quite innovative. This is one of those serene pieces from Rahman that stucks in your heart and mind for a long time. The box office result of the movie limited its popularity but connoisseurs of music and Rahman’s fans have new material to rejoice before his next release.
4. Humnava (‘Hamari Adhuri Kahani’)
Although this song lands in the familiar trademark territory of Mithoon, the presence of Papon imparts a refreshing aura where the melody captivates you and tugs at your heartstrings. Being slow-paced, the track relies heavily on Papon and the apt programming gives it, the required feel it needed. Special mention to the ‘antara’ which beautifies the song further. Melodically intoxicating to the core!
5. Jeena Jeena (‘Badlapur’)
Sachin-Jigar and Atif Aslam make a deadly combination and hardly disappoint. Guitar strums dominates this song with some painful lyrics that makes you hit the ‘repeat’ mode straightaway. The track strike all the right chords and is considered as one of the best compositions of the duo. The long ‘mukhda’ is further enhanced by the quality singing and its soft flow ensures a smooth listen throughout.
6. Kinna Sona (‘Bhaag Johnny’)
Sung by Sunil Kamath, this obscure track is not the usual-melodious-Mithoon and in fact the composer revisits the old world sufi charm. He spells the same magic that he unleashed with “Maula Mere Maula” (‘Anwar’). The track didn’t receive the right due.
7. Sapna Jahan (‘Brothers’)
An engaging melody with some terrific arrangements (especially the second interlude and the use of tabla), add to that the magnetic charm of Sonu Nigam, sprinkle some sublime renditions by Neeti Mohan and some beautiful lyrics by Amitabh Bhattacharya, this composition leaves you in trance. Furthermore, it takes you through a journey where you discover the beautiful feeling of love – a feeling that is the most beautiful gift of God!
8. Moh Moh Ke Dhaage (‘Dum Laga Ke Haisha’)
Anu Malik surprised everyone with this classical composition that rides high on Papon’s pretentious singing (what a classically trained textured voice!) and some fabulous orchestra lead by flute and harmonium. What a spellbinding, peaceful work by all the artists involved!
9. Main Hoon Hu Hero Tera (‘Hero’)
Amaal Mallik became a household name this year with several hits in his kitty. If not for the melody, definitely “Sooraj Dooba Hai” (‘Roy’) would have been on the top of my list but this soft romantic number touches heart; be it the simple, yet effective lyrics or saccharine filled vocals of Armaan Malik. Everything about this song creates a soothing aura that makes you feel the warmth of love.
10. Tu Hai Ki Nahi (‘Roy’)
This composition by Ankit Tiwari ruled the first quarter of 2015 with his trademark auto-tuned lazy vocals, a soaring melody and some wonderful arrangements, not to forget the haunting whistle part.
As far as innovation is concerned Amit Trivedi’s ‘Bombay Velvet’ was a killer of a jazzy soundtrack that quenched the listeners who were in search for something ‘hatke’. I also loved how beautifully Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy orchestrated “Girls Like To Swing” from ‘Dil Dhadakne Do’. If I were to choose my best melodious heart touching soundtrack, it would be ‘Hamari Adhuri Kahani’ where each and every composition was soul stirring and came with a strong repeat value. Sadly the movie bombed at the box office and as a result the soundtrack didn’t receive the appreciation that it deserved.
Let’s see what these artists have to offer us in 2016!
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.