Saturday, December 29, 2012

Best albums of 2012

Hindi cinema thrives on music and so do I. As the year comes to a close, I choose my favorite albums from the past year. Though there weren't tons of albums that I had on replay, there were a few that took me over!
Jab Tak Hai Jaan

I've developed a theory on AR Rehman's music capabilities. His style of music direction and composition is so progressive that it takes time for audience members to fully comprehend and register the music, which he creates. In all honesty, the first few listens of the Jab Tak Hai Jaan soundtrack left me cold. I was left with sheer disappointment simply because the soundtrack was so different from what I had expected. It's only normal to compare the film's music with Chopra's earlier Veer-Zaara, which is undeniably a classic (and one of my all time favorites). However, despite my qualms with the discrepancies between Chopra's soundtracks, Rehman's tunes just can't help but grow on you with every listen. The instrumentals, the vocals, the melodies... everything is so very filmi, yet still, so very innovative. And that is precisely why AR Rehman is so respected in the musical world. Composers like Pritam and Himesh Reshamiya will always make popular, chart-busting songs, but who is going to fondly remember them, in the years to come. JTHJ pushes the bar and that is why it's one of my most beloved soundtracks of the year.

Also,  a standing ovation for Rehman, who despite being a full-blooded Tamilian, produced two of the most authentically Punjabi songs to come out of Hindi cinema, "Heer" and "Challa". Kudos to him! 

Student of the Year

SOTY, with music composed by duo Vishal-Shekhar and lyrics penned by Anvita Dutt Guptan, was probably my most listened to soundtrack of the year. The songs were definitely not "innovative" like JTHJ's songs were, but they surely gave me a dose of "filminess", which this year's other soundtracks were greatly lacking. After a long time, SOTY gave listeners "wholesome" dance songs, like"Radha" and "Disco Deewane", which weren't just the usual raunchy item numbers. Overall, the soundtrack succeeded in what it sought out to be: young and fresh. In these confusing times, those terms, "young" and "fresh" have unfortunately become synonymous with "western" or "American" for a fare share of music directors. However, tracks like "Kukkad Kamaal Da", "Ishq Wala Love", rightfully prove that "young" and "fresh" surely do not coincide with western, but also, good ol' Hindi rhythms.

Ekk Deewana Tha

This movie, starring Prateik Babbar and Amy Jackson, was a remake of the Tamil Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa, with music by AR Rehman. The Hindi remake retained the original music, but with Hindi lyrics, written by Javed Akhtar. To be honest, I am quite surprised that the music from the film was so easily forgotten by music lovers. I adored the soundtrack and found it extremely refreshing for the reasons, I had listed earlier for JTHJ. AR Rehman's chooses to fight against the waves, not ride with them. Ekk Deewana Tha's music is experimental, yet still extremely influenced by South Indian classical music. Various types of sounds and music styles are brought together into this album to form an amalgamation of pure romance. "Hosanna", "Sharminda Hoon", "Phoolon Jaisi Ladki" and "Sun Lo Zara"  have constantly been on my playlist. Thank you, AR Rehman. Keep at it!

Dabangg 2

The soundtrack from Dabangg 2 is heavily influenced by the original Dabangg's soundtrack. For every track in the first film, there's a new song that replaces it in the sequel; "Dagabaaz Re" revisits "Tere Mast Mast Do Nain", "Saanson Ne" rehashes "Chori Kiya Re", even "Fevicol Se" redoes a "Munni Badnaam". Though not every song from the sequel is as catchy as it's original counterpart, I'm definitely not complaining. With the exception of "Fevicol Se", Dabangg 2's track-list either enhances or largely measures up to Dabangg's songs. The album's soundtrack fulfills all my musical desires with fantastic romantic numbers, dance songs and adrenaline increasing remixes. I enjoyed the film very much, largely because of the music, which did full justice to this year's last film...last Salman film! Surely, an event in itself.

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