Top 10 Songs of 2014

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There are some albums which are filled with songs that you instantly warm up to. Then, there is that really bad soundtrack that springs up a surprise by offering the listeners a gem of a song. The writer has compiled a list of ten of his favourite songs from last year.

This list is based on the personal choices of the writer and does not necessarily represent popular choices.

1. Bismil
Film: Haider
Music: Vishal Bhardwaj   Lyrics: Gulzar
Through the song “Bismil”, Haider (Shahid Kapoor) narrated a story to an audience – he invites his uncle and stepmother to a play he has created and from their expressions, he tries to gauge if what the ghost had told him is true. Vishal Bhardwaj took months to compose this song, which was an expression of the ‘Mousetrap’ sequence from Hamlet. He blended Kashmiri folk music with opera and the result was a unique song that would definitely be looked upon as a reference by composers in the future. Local musicians were hired to play the sarangi and the rabab, as the composer wanted an authentic Kashmiri feel in the song. Gulzar’s lyrics were full of meaningful verses and had some terrific wordplay to boast of. Sample this, ‘Mat Mil Mat Mil Gul Se Mat Mil, Aye Bulbul- e-Bismil’. Although some of the songs in the album, reminded one of a couple of songs composed by Vishal in the past, ‘Bismil’ was nothing like one had heard earlier. It is fresh, unique and brilliant.

2. Maloom
Film: Lekar Hum Deewana Dil
Music: A R Rahman   Lyrics: Amitabh Bhattacharya
“Maloom” was the best song from Lekar Hum Deewana Dil, the most under-rated Hindi film album of 2014. The song had influences of country music and had a very pleasant laidback feel to it. A highly melodious number, unlike anything one has heard in 2014, “Maloom” scores highly because of a free flowing tune that surprises with irregular patterns. The singers have been cast well, with Hriday Gattani and Jonita Gandhi giving a youthful feel to the song. Amitabh Bhattacharya writes lyrics such as ‘Main Ghair Mamooli Kartab Dikha Ke Ab Saabit Karoon Bol Kya, Kya Hai Tu Mere Liye Seedhe Saade Se Lafzon Mein Sun Le Zara’, that are highly poetic and successfully depict the carefree and audacious nature of young love.

3. Sajde
Film: Kill Dil
Music: Shankar-Ehsaan- Loy   Lyrics: Gulzar
With a couple of verses in Punjabi, a pleasant Sufi vibe and an old world charm to it, “Sajde” turns out to be a delectable number that’s hard to resist. The song also has elements of rock music, which further exemplifies the passion of two people in love. One gets to hear a song with Sufi lyrics (and not music, as it is widely believed) in almost every film these but “Sajde” towers above the other in the similar genre with an original, layered composition and brilliant lyrics by Gulzar.

4. Anhad Naad
Film: Rang Rasiya
Music: Sandesh Shandilya   Lyrics: Manoj Muntashir
Sandesh incorporated the sound of Rajasthani folk music in the song “Anhad Naad” which is is a very spirited number having a certain devotional quality to it. The title of the song refers to the internal sound within a being that calls for spiritual awakening. The song talks about the protagonist’s search for the same. Sandesh’s music and Manoj Muntashir’s lyrics bestow a wanderlust feel to the song. The song mesmerizes you with its spirited yet divine feel and makes you want to break into a spiritual dance. The earthy vocals of Anwar Khan, a folk singer from Rajasthan, and Kailash Kher work wonders for the song.

5. Patakha Guddi
Film: Highway
Music: A R Rahman   Lyrics: Irshad Kamil
The song “Patakha Guddi”, in Highway, marked Veera’s (Alia Bhatt) freedom; she felt liberated as she was far way from a world where darkness lurked in every corner. Rahman drew inspiration from Punjabi folk music and brought in the Nooran Sisters (Sultana Nooran and Jyoti Nooran) to sing the song with their raw, earthy voices. The song also had a male version sung by Rahman. The male version was more experimental with the infusion of EDM music and folk texture. Rahman’s rendition of the Punjabi words was flawed but his voice added to the cool quotient of the song.

6. Kya Hoga
Film: Dedh Ishqiya
Music: Vishal Bhardwaj   Lyrics: Gulzar
“Kya Hoga” which is an eight minute long qawalli, was the least promoted song from the album. That’s unfortunate because lot of people missed out on hearing the finest qawalli in a film in recent times. Master Saleem, Shahid Mallya and Jazim Sharma complement each others voices very well and their jugalbandi is absolutely spellbinding. Gulzar, as always, wrote some gorgeous lines like ‘Dil Toh Diya Hai, Jaan Bhi De Dein, Aur Nazrana Kya Hoga, Lau Ko Chhuke Laut Aaya Jo, Woh Parwana Kya Hoga’.

7. Zehnaseeb
Film: Hasee Toh Phasee
Music: Vishal-Shekhar   Lyrics: Amitabh Bhattacharya
Vishal-Shekhar delivered an above average album in the form of Hasee Toh Phasee. A couple of songs were lapped up by the listeners, while the rest did not click. However, the album had a song that would make you want to fall in love. The song in question is “Zehnaseeb”, a composition dipped in honey that was augmented by Amitabh Bhattacharya’s saccharine poetry. Oh! Not to forget, Chinmayi Sripada and Shekhar Ravjiani’s velvety vocals. How else can you describe a song that has sweetness pouring out from all corners? Sweet, simple and heartfelt, “Zehnaseeb” is the perfect love song!

8. Tu Sab Kuch Re
Film: Kaanchi
Music: Ismail Darbar   Lyrics: Irshad Kamil
One had expected a moon from an album that had Subhash Ghai coming together with Ismail Darbar, one of the most under-rated composers around. The album turned out to be a mega sized disappointment. But, there was one song that made one believe that Darbar has still some music left in him and he deserves another chance to prove himself. “Tu Sab Kuch Re” starts with Anweshaa humming a piece of sargam giving the listeners an inkling of the gorgeous melody that is in store for the listeners. Sonu Nigam joins Anweshaa soon after and both of them make a wonderful singing pair together. This raga based song has a very pleasant pahari feel to it, that reminds one of the several romantic songs from Ghai’s earlier films.

9. Jiya
Film: Gunday
Music: Sohail Sen   Lyrics: Irshad Kamil
Sohail Sen had composed a tune seven years ago which he thought could be used in the film Gunday. The tune was approved, Irshad Kamil wrote the lyrics and the song was called “Jiya”. The song has very heavy background music, which adds to its haunting feel. A romantic track, that oozes passion, was sung by Arijit Singh when he was a little sick. Sohail felt the singer’s infected voice would be appropriate for the song. He was right as Arijit’s voice, that sounded heavier than usual, worked very well for the mood of the song.

10. Dil Chaspiya
Film: Kochadaiiyaan
Music: A.R Rahman   Lyrics: Irshad Kamil
“Dil Chaspiya” was the only bright spot in the Kochadaiiyaan (Hindi) album. A breezy romantic number, it also benefits from Irshad Kamil’s mellifluous poetry. Giving Arijit Singh company is Jonita Gandhi, one of the brightest singers from the current crop of vocalists. The song sounds like a wonderful cross between a ghazal and a Carnatic classical piece. Indian percussions and sitar have been used very effectively, lending a very traditional sound to the song.

Disclaimer: The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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