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The customary list as we close the year. It was a fantastic year for both Hindi movies and music, my personal favorites listed below (in no order of liking).

(Song – Music Director – Singer(s) – Lyricist)

Agneepath

O Saiyaan – Ajay/Atul – Roop Kumar Rathod – Amitabh Bhattacharya

Soulful singing by Roop Kumar Rathod to a quietly stirring composition from Ajay/Atul.

Abhi hai mujhme kahin – Ajay/Atul – Sonu Nigam – Amitabh Bhattacharya

Sonu Nigam excels in this pathos filled song. The piano and Sonu play a wonderful game of tag in the song.

Agent Vinod

Raabta – Pritam – Hamsika Iyer, Joi Barua, Arijit Singh, Shreya Ghoshal – Amitabh Bhattacharya

A beautiful melody from Pritam. There are a number of versions of the song in the album, I prefer Hamsika’s over Shreya’s.

Ishaqzaade

Pareshaan – Amit Trivedi – Shalmali Kholgade – Kausar Munir

What a kick-ass debut from this new singer – she exudes minty freshness combined with a tinge of mischief! Amit Trivedi is in full form mixing guitars, drums and harmonium with elan.

Shanghai

Bharat maata ki jai – Vishal/Shekhar – Keerthi Sagathia, Vishal Dadlani, Mandar Apte, Chintamani Sohoni, R N Iyer, Bhupesh – Dibakar Banerjee

A boisterous satirical song about the current state of Bharat maata. Dibakar pens some clever lyrics and the singers go to town with the street band energy of the song.

Khudaaya – Vishal/Shekhar – Shekhar Ravijani – Amitabh Bhattacharya

Vishal-Shekhar are master arrangers and mixers and this song is nothing if not for their creative arrangements. Had not heard much of Shekhar’s voice before and must say mighty impressed with his singing.

Cocktail

Tumhi ho bandhoo – Pritam – Neeraj Sridhar, Kavita Seth – Irshad Kamil

A frothy pop chartbuster that is fun and addictive. Both the singers exude a joie-de-vivre in their singing and Irshad Kamil mixes the old prayer “twamev maata cha peeta twamev” from the Bhagwad Geeta quite wonderfully to make a a quirky “cocktail”  (the religious zealots might call it blasphemy).

Luttna – Pritam – Masuma Anwar, Sahir Ali Bagga, Anupam Amod – Irshad Kamil

Pritam elevates himself from his template compositions and delivers a winner with creative arrangements. The singers do a rocking job as well.

Barfi

Kyon – Pritam – Papon, Sunidhi Chauhan -Neelesh Mishra

Such a fresh and melodious soundtrack this was! Papon and Sunidhi’s voices with Neelesh’s simple words make this song seem like a  fresh and fragrant cup of a hot Darjeeling tea. Pritam’s Barfi wins the ‘soundtrack of the year’ award from me.

Aashiyan – Pritam – Shreya Ghoshal, Nikhil Paul George – Swanand Kirkire

If Salil Chowdhury, SD Burman and OP Nayyar got together and created a composition, this is what it would sound like. An outright winner in all departments. Swanand dada kaay sundar ani saadhe shabd baandhalet!! Jab bhi sunata hoon, dil baag-baag ho jaata hain.

English Vinglish

Navraai maajhi – Amit Trivedi – Sunidhi Chauhan, Swanand Kirkire, Neelambari Kirkire, Natalie Di Luccio – Swanand Kirkire

A Bollywood wedding song almost always aligns with North Indian sensibilities. Not here,the Amit/Swanand pair create a catchy composition to Marathi words. Swanand’s mother lends her matronly voice which takes the song to a uniquely emotional place which might be familiar to the Marathi junta. Not to mention, the shehnai and the dhols at the end of the song took me way back to a day 10 years ago.

Gustakh Dil – Amit Trivedi – Shilpa Rao – Swanand Kirkire

Two words – Shilpa Rao! This, almost 5 feet of a human being is a rockstar!

Talaash 

Muskaane Jhoothi Hai – Ram Sampath – Suman Sridhar – Javed Akhtar

Suman Sridhar is certainly getting typecast in songs like this one, but then she knocks it out of the park every single time. Her voice brings the required mood of sensuality and mystique.

Jiya Lage Na – Ram Sampath – Sona Mohapatra, Ravindra Upadhyay – Javed Akhtar

A semi-classical composition. The composers of today work with some very creative arrangements of instruments and sounds – listen to how the tabla makes appearances every so often and is so bloody effective. The singers do a wonderful job with their open throat singing.

Gangs of Wasseypur

O Womaniya – Sneha Khanwalkar – Khushboo Raj, Rekha Jha – Varun Grover

The entire soundtrack of this two part movie is an eclectic mix of the sounds from the cow-belt of India. Sneha had demonstrated her knack of an understanding of the variety of sounds that seem to only exist in the backyards of small towns and villages of India previously in Oye Lucky Lucky Oye. She does a fine job uncovering these singers and their music from these obscure places. GOW has a number of such compositions. Sneha has definitely made this male dominated industry take notice of her. Looking forward to more of her work.

Ek Bagal – Piyush Mishra – Piyush Mishra – Piyush Mishra

An old world melody sung/written/composed with tragic gorgeous-ness by Piyush Mishra! This man can act, can write poetry, can compose music and can sing – totally unfair for one man to be so fucking talented. More power to him! BTW, if you care to understand the meaning of his words, search the internets – mega-impressive stuff.

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Album of the year: Barfi

Composer of the year: Pritam

Lyricist of the year: Swanand Kirkire

P.S.: This is the first time that A R Rehman does not make an appearance on the end of the year list.