Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Hindi Film Songs: Best of 2006

Continuing an annual tradition (2004 and 2005), I am back with the list of Hindi film songs from the year. Reiterating the disclaimers:

1. The songs aren't listed in any particular order. I have just listed them in the order in which I remembered them.
2. I try to listen to each new album that comes out at least once. However, there are simply too many new movies and too many songs to follow. It is possible that some may have been omitted
3. Some of the movies will be releasing next year (eg. Salaam-e-ishq and Guru) but since their songs have released this year, I am including them. Similarly, movies that released in 2006 were covered in the 2005 list if their music was out then (eg. Rang De Basanti)
4. There are some songs that I like, but maybe not enough to make it to this list. There are some that I like enough, but have kept it to keep the list size in check.

I am open to suggestions on songs that you think should be on the list but are missing.

Song : Saiyyan Re
Movie : Salaam-e-ishq
Music Director : Shankar Ehsaan Loy
Singers : Shankar Mahadevan, Shilpa, Loy Mendonca
Lyricist: Sameer
Why is it on the list? : Very catchy number, and a good job done at not making another Kajra Re out of it. The newcomer Shilpa is impressive.

Song : Dil Kya Kare
Movie : Salaam-e-ishq
Music Director : Shankar Ehsaan Loy
Singers : Adnan Sami
Lyricist: Sameer
Why is it on the list? : Adnan infuses a lot of personality in this song. Fresh sounding composition from the trio.

Song : Signal
Movie : Bhaagam Bhaag
Music Director : Pritam
Singer : Remo Fernandes, Suzanne
Lyricist: Sameer
Why is it on the list? : You feel as if you are in a carnival. Perfect song for Remo to sing. What is tough to imagine is Remo singing for Govinda.

Song : Maula Mere
Movie : Anwar
Music Director : Mithoon
Singer : Roop Kumar Rathod
Lyricist: Sayeed Quadri
Why is it on the list? : The moment the chanting of Maula Mere starts in the background, you are hooked to the track. Beautiful amalgamation of Sufi style music with the robust singing of Roop Kumar Rathod. The climax of the song will refuse to leave your head. Mithoon is a talent to watch out for. BTW, he is all of 21.

Song : Javeda Zindagi (Tose Naina Lagey)
Movie : Anwar
Music Director : Mithoon
Singer : Kshitij,Shipa Rao
Lyricist: Hasan Kamaal
Why is it on the list? : This was a surprise package towards the end of the year. Very neatly arranged song, the two new singers take the lyrics to new heights. And yes, before you ask the question, 'javeda' means immortal.

Song : Tera Bina
Movie : Guru
Music Director : A R Rehman
Singer : A R Rehman, Chinmayee
Lyricist: Gulzar
Why is it on the list? : Despite the criticism earlier on my blog about how I was a tad disappointed with the score, this song scores. The new voice of Chinmayee is good. Husky female singers seem to be the order of the way. I still hold that Rehman is an ordinary singer and should employ better singers to render these really good compositions. To give him the benefit of the doubt this time, he recorded the song in the voice of Qadir Khan (his voice along with Murtaza Khan is used in the background rhythm). Last piece of trivia: this song was composed by Rehman as a tribute to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

Song : Ai Hairate Aashiqui
Movie : Guru
Music Director : A R Rehman
Singer : Hariharan, Alka Yagnik
Lyricist: Gulzar
Why is it on the list? : This song immediately stuck in my mind when it came up. Hariharan and Alka Yagnik are rarely heard together and the combination did a fabulous job to render this song. They bring out the romance and fun in the song very well to the fore, and the composition is excellent. The lyrics are well, Gulzar.

Song : Jaage Hain
Movie : Guru
Music Director : A R Rehman
Singer : A R Rehman, Chitra, Madras Chorale Group
Lyricist: Gulzar
Why is it on the list? : This song is the perfect way to cap off the album. Rarely do you get a symphony being used in an Indian movie setup. The crescendo is excellent, and I am very eager to see this used well in the movie.

Song : Baawri Piya Ki
Movie : Baabul
Music Director : Aadesh Shrivastava
Singer : Sonu Nigam
Lyricist: Sameer
Why is it on the list? : Sonu Nigam had a given a glimpse of his prowess with classical songs with the song 'Tujh sang baandhi dor' in Dev. This one goes down the path. Superbly rendered byt this singer who seems to be steering clearing of his competition by the day.

Song : Crazy Kiya Re
Movie : Dhoom 2
Music Director : Pritam
Singer : Sunidhi Chauhan
Lyricist: Sameer
Why is it on the list? : The lyrics are stupid, the choreography stale, but damn, I can't get it out of my head. Here's one from the biggest hit of the year. Interestingly, with this movie, the lyricist makes it into the Yash Chopra camp.

Song : Jaane Kya Chahe
Movie : Pyaar Ke Side Effects
Music Director : Pritam
Singer : Zubin Garg
Lyricist: Mayur Puri
Why is it on the list? : This is a beautiful composition that starts with a female voice over in English and continues on with an Indian classical bent. Zubin does a really good job, and the music is good too.

Song : Dil Mein Baji Guitar
Movie : Apna Sapna Money Money
Music Director : Pritam
Singer : Amit Kumar
Lyricist: Shabbir Ahmed
Why is it on the list? : This one's for all the Ganpati celebrations the next year. This is a throwback to the Anil Kapoor style songs in the early 90s. There is another version by the infamous Mika, but I like the Amit Kumar version better.

Song : Milan Abhi Aadha Adhura Hai
Movie : Vivaah
Music Director : Ravindra Jain
Singer : Udit Narayan, Shreya Ghoshal
Lyricist: Ravindra Jain
Why is it on the list? : The music of this movie reminded you of the days of Chitchor. While there's no harm in having that kind of music, the quality was definitely lacking. This is the only song that really caught my fancy.

Song : Salaam
Movie : Umrao Jaan
Music Director : Anu Malik
Singer : Alka Yagnik
Lyricist: Javed Akhtar
Why is it on the list? : I have expressed disappointment at the quality of the music in this movie too. Yet, it is definitely good enough to make it to this list. The Anu Malik-JP Dutta combo has been really good in the past, and I thought with this subject they could outdo Refugee. This still doesn't take away from the fact that the compositions are good.

Song : Behka Diya Hamein
Movie : Umrao Jaan
Music Director : Anu Malik
Singer : Alka Yagnik, Sonu Nigam
Lyricist: Javed Akhtar
Why is it on the list? : Have you noticed it is actually set to the beat of waltz? Sonu and Alka team up for a good rendition.

Song : Ajnabi Shehar
Movie : Jaan-E-Mann
Music Director : Anu Malik
Singer : Sonu Nigam
Lyricist: Gulzar
Why is it on the list? : One of the best songs of the year. Anu Malik shows us that he is an excellent composer. My general complaint has been that he composes his mukhdas better than his antaras. I think he did well here. Sonu's the man, and Gulzar shines in this song.

Song : Sau Dard Hai
Movie : Jaan-E-Mann
Music Director : Anu Malik
Singer : Sonu Nigam, Suzanne
Lyricist: Gulzar
Why is it on the list? : This song is especially there for the lyrics and the fact that I am fond of such compositions.

Song : Yeh Honsla
Movie : Dor
Music Director : Salim-Suleiman
Singer : Shafqat Amanat Ali
Lyricist: Mir Ali Husain
Why is it on the list? A very well written and composed song, Shafqat Amanat Ali shows how his strength in classical music translates to a powerful rendition. The music of this movie was a surprise coming from Salim-Suleiman, given that their first attempt at music in Hindi films was Kaal followed by Neal N Nikki.

Song : Kesariya Baalma
Movie : Dor
Music Director : Salim-Suleiman
Singer : Karsan Sargathia
Lyricist: Mir Ali Husain
Why is it on the list?: I believe that this is the state song of Rajasthan. I was very impressed with how the beats were rearranged for this song, and also by the choice of signers. This is a very different song from Lata's rendition in Lekin.

Song : Expression of Love
Movie : Dor
Music Director : Salim-Suleiman, Trilok Gurtu
Singer : Shankar Mahadevan, Shobha Gurtu
Lyricist: Mir Ali Husain
Why is it on the list?: This is an unexpected bonus from the master percussionist Trilok Gurtu. I can't remember having heard Shobha Gurtu sing in a Hindi film before. The percussion at the end of the song is mind-blowing. The piece has been taken from Gurtu's album "Remembrance".

Song : Main Hoon Don
Movie : Don – The Chase Begins
Music Director : Shankar Ehsaan Loy
Singers : Shaan
Lyricist: Javed Akhtar
Why is it on the list? : Everything about this movie was open to flak, including the music. I had seen the original well enough to recognize how superbly the theme music from the original had been woven into this song. Shaan does a very good job.

Song : Aaj Ki Raat
Movie : Don – The Chase Begins
Music Director : Shankar Ehsaan Loy
Singers : Sonu Nigam, Alisha Chinoy, Mahalaxmi
Lyricist: Javed Akhtar
Why is it on the list? : A brilliant throwback to the 'Raat Baaki Baat Baaki' kind of songs, I liked how they kept the singing low-key to let the beats and the music take over. The best song of the movie for me.

Song : Kya Mujhe Pyaar Hai
Movie : Who Lamhe
Music Director : Pritam
Singer : Kay Kay
Lyricist: Sayeed Quadri
Why is it on the list? : This song is lifted, but I'll keep it on here for Kay Kay's spirited rendition and the fact that Pritam does do a good job of sourcing his material from which he copies.

Song : Chal Chale
Movie : Who Lamhe
Music Director : Pritam
Singer : James
Lyricist: Sayeed Quadri
Why is it on the list? : The singing isn't brilliant, but there is something about the lead singer's voice that hooks you. Good lyrics and composition too.

Song : Tere Bin
Movie : Bas Ek Pal
Music Director : Mithoon
Singer : Atif Aslam
Lyricist: Sayeed Quadri
Why is it on the list? : The credit for this song should be shared by the singer and the composer equally. I think Mithoon uses Atif Aslam's voice very well to compose a song that carries a lot of emotion effortlessly.

Song : Zindagi Hosh Mein
Movie : Bas Ek Pal
Music Director : Vivek Philips
Singer : Zubin, Kay Kay
Lyricist: Amitabh Verma
Why is it on the list? : This is a situational song, but is well written and well rendered.

Song : Aap Ki Khaatir
Movie : Aap Ki Khaatir
Music Director : Himesh Reshammiya
Singer : Himesh Reshammiya
Lyricist: Sameer
Why is it on the list? : Ok. The man makes his entry. It's a challenge to decide how much of Himesh to have on this list. This one makes its entry because he proves that he doesn't have to sing with a nasal twang to make a song sound nice. Good composition, good lyrics. Don't trash him all the time without reason.

Song : Pal pal har pal
Movie : Lage Raho Munnabhai
Music Director : Shantanu Moitra
Singer : Sonu Nigam, Shreya Ghoshal
Lyricist: Swanand Kirkire
Why is it on the list? : Shantanu Moitra is not an original composer at all times by any stretch of imagination. This one is a copy too, as was 'Kaisi Paheli Zindagani'. But the song has been sung with saccharine sweetness the two lead singers.

Song : Afsana Bana Ke Bhool Na Jana
Movie : Dil Diya Hai
Music Director : Himesh Reshammiya
Singer : Himesh Reshammiya, Tulsi Kumar
Lyricist: Sameer
Why is it on the list? : The nasal twang is back, but the tune is fairly catchy. I like the rhythm to which the song has been set.

Song : Beedi
Movie : Omkara
Music Director : Vishal Bharadwaj
Singer : Sunidhi Chauhan, Sukhwinder Singh
Lyricist: Gulzar
Why is it on the list? : The anthem of the nation. Could you have imagined a more rustic song making it into discotheques? Need I say more.

Song : O Saathi Re
Movie : Omkara
Music Director : Vishal Bharadwaj
Singer : Vishal Bharadwaj, Shreya Ghoshal
Lyricist: Gulzar
Why is it on the list? : Great composition, great lyrics and Vishal can sing too!

Song : Namak
Movie : Omkara
Music Director : Vishal Bharadwaj
Singer : Rekha Bharadwaj
Lyricist: Gulzar
Why is it on the list? : Rekha Bharadway is outstanding in this song. Written and composed and sung brilliantly again. Its tough to keep any track from Omkara out of this list.

Song : Ishq Kiya Kiya
Movie : Anthony Kaun Hai
Music Director : Himesh Reshammiya
Singer : Himesh Reshammiya
Lyricist: Sameer
Why is it on the list? : Tour de force from Himesh.

Song : Golmaal
Movie : Golmaal
Music Director : Vishal-Shekhar
Singer : Anusha Manchanda, Vishal Dadlani
Lyricist: Vishal Dadlani, Kumaar
Why is it on the list? : Anusha Manchanda is a former member of the band Viva. She lends her viva-cious singing voice to this song. Vishal-Shekhar know how to use hip-hop beats effectively and the song is really catchy.

Song : Ahista Ahista
Movie : Ahista Ahista
Music Director : Himesh Reshammiya
Singer : Himesh Reshammiya
Lyricist: Irshad Kaamil
Why is it on the list? : Beautiful rhythm and well sung by Himesh.

Song : Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna
Movie : Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna
Music Director : Shankar Ehsaan Loy
Singers : Sonu Nigam, Alka Yagnik
Lyricist: Javed Akhtar
Why is it on the list? : The movie and the music had sky high expectations, especially from the title song since: (a) the title song of Kal Ho Na Ho was such a big hit. (b) a song by the same lyrics was a huge hit from yesteryears. I think the music directors over came that challenge to give us a new tune loaded with emotion. They had the best combination at hand to deliver that and they did deliver.

Song : Mitwa
Movie : Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna
Music Director : Shankar Ehsaan Loy
Singers : Shafqat Amanat Ali
Lyricist: Javed Akhtar
Why is it on the list? : Though Shafqat Amanat Ali was made to sound like Shankar Mahadevan, his rendition was good and the lyrics were well written too. A composition with a lot of depth.

Song : Lamha Lamha Zindagi Hai
Movie : Corporate
Music Director : Shamir Tandon
Singer : Asha Bhosle
Lyricist: Sandeep Nath
Why is it on the list? : Asha takes over from Lata's 'Kitne Ajeeb Rishtey Hain' and does a fine job of it.

Song : Ai Meri Zohra Jabeen
Movie : Phir Hera Pheri
Music Director : Himesh Reshammiya
Singer : Himesh Reshammiya
Lyricist: Sameer
Why is it on the list? : Blasphemy to associate Ai Meri Zohra Jabeen with anyone other than Manna Dey. Himesh's take of course does not compare, but the Indo-Western fusion of music is fairly catchy.

Song : Koi Tumsa Nahin
Movie : Krrish
Music Director : Rajesh Roshan
Singer : Sonu Nigam, Shreya Ghoshal
Lyricist: Nasir Faraaz
Why is it on the list? : Slow, melodious. Typical of Rajesh Roshan. I like the Big Band mix version of this as well.

Song : Chaand Sifarish
Movie : Fanaa
Music Director : Jatin Lalit
Singer : Shaan, Kailash Kher
Lyricist: Prasoon Joshi
Why is it on the list? : Shaan's ticket to the big league. His songs for Aamir and SRK this year have been big hits, off which, this is the big one. My first reaction to this song was that Udit should have sung it, but over time I have grown to accept Shaan's rendition and like it. Jatin-Lalit's composition was arranged by Salim-Sulaiman and so you'd be forgiven if you thought there was a bit of Rehman in Kailash's 'Subhan Allah's' and the heavy guitar through the song.

Song : Mere Haath Mein
Movie : Fanaa
Music Director : Jatin Lalit
Singer : Sonu Nigam, Sunidhi Chauhan
Lyricist: Prasoon Joshi
Why is it on the list? : Sonu and Sunidhi team up really well here for this well composed song. Prasoon Joshi does a good job with the lyrics.

Song : Bheegi Bheegi
Movie : Gangster
Music Director : Pritam
Singer : James
Lyricist: Sayeed Quadri
Why is it on the list? : This song will stick in your head and never leave. Awesome song to hear at a very loud volume in your car. Obviously, I have done it.

Song : Ya Ali
Movie : Gangster
Music Director : Pritam
Singer : Zubin
Lyricist: Sayeed Quadri
Why is it on the list? : The best song of the movie. Would you qualify this genre as Sufi-rock? Zubin soars in this composition and the rhythm keeps you riveted.

Song : Tuteya na tuteya
Movie : Shaadi Se Pehla
Music Director : Himesh Reshammiya
Singer : Daler Mehndi
Lyricist: Sameer
Why is it on the list? : Daler singing for Himesh? Interesting combo, and while the song is slow, I do the like the mukhda and the odd pairing.

Song : Humko Deewana Kar Gaye
Movie : Humko Deewana Kar Gaye
Music Director : Himesh Reshammiya
Singer : Himesh Reshammiya
Lyricist: Sameer
Why is it on the list? : Though the music of the movie was scored by Anu, Himesh had an alternate version of the title song which turned out to be really popular.

Song : Bombai Nagariya
Movie : Taxi No 9211
Music Director : Vishal-Shekhar
Singer : Bhappi Lahiri
Lyricist: Dev Kohli
Why is it on the list? : Whoever thought of the idea of getting Bhappi Da, hats off to him. This song works and how. A tribute to the great city with the trademark Bhappi Da inflections and pronunciations.

Song : Meter Down
Movie : Taxi No 9211
Music Director : Vishal-Shekhar
Singer : Adnan Sami
Lyricist: Dev Kohli
Why is it on the list? : Sung with a lot of enthusiasm by Adnan.

Song : Jhalak Dikhlaja
Movie : Aksar
Music Director : Himesh Reshammiya
Singer : Himesh Reshammiya
Lyricist: Sameer
Why is it on the list? : This song can invoke ghosts. Given that it is endowed with supernatural powers, I shouldn't offend it by leaving it out.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

@Parth: You've done a fantastic job of picking out the songs for your list (though I would not have picked some). Can't but notice your detailed and fine taste and observations. Kudos! Do you sing?

JVC1 said...

Thats a fabulous choice of songs! You do have a ear for good music and lyrics! As you rightly pointed out, Ai Hairate Ashiqui is a beautiful blend of Haiharan's and Alka Yagnik's rare combination. Their Bahon ke darmiyaan was enchanting. I'd add Bas Ek Pal (title track), Pyar karke (Pyaar ke side effets), Des Rangila(Fanaa), Ya Maula (Fanaa- though its only palyed in the background, it haunts you), Teri Diwani (non-filmy tho' soulfully rendered by Kailash Kher).

Anonymous said...

Visting from anocturne's "booklogging"! What a great list you have put together. I have only very recently started to appreciate Bollywood soundtracks, so this list will certainly come in handy as I figure out what movie albums I should be buying. The music of "Guru", "Gangster", "Omkaara" and "Dor" were my favorites, too. Many thanks!

Vi said...

Great list! I agree with almost all of them (there are few I haven't heard of.) I loved almost all of the tracks from Guru, Bas Ek Pal, and Umrao Jaan.

Parth said...

@Aabeirah: I am actually an instrumentalist. I play the tabla. I'd say I sing fair enough that people can at least identify what song I am attempting :-)

@JVC: Teri Diwani from Kailash Kher and Mehfuz from Euphoria were the best of non-filmi songs I heard last year. Try Mehfuz if you haven't heard yet.

@Lotus Reads: Welcome to my blog. I hope you like some of the other songs I have mentioned. I'd definitely recommend the two songs of Anwar given the other movies you have mentioned

@Vi: Do try the ones you haven't had a chance to try yet. Hopefully, some of those will click with you.

Anonymous said...

Darn! I posted a comment and don't know where it went. Anyway, thanks for making The List! I agree with most, and will listen to the remaining 2-3 now :)

Anonymous said...

@parth: If destiny ever permits, we must do a baithak together. I would love to...

Anonymous said...

How about a top ghazals list?Have been unsuccessfully trying to trace this track on google-'kiya hai deedar us sanam ko hazaar toofan utha uthakar'.All i know about the vocalist is that she's female and brilliant.Any ideas?

Parth said...

@RTD2: Let me know how you like the new additions

@Aabeirah: Sure. We recently had a small party at our place where he did exactly that. Did everything from accompanying people singing songs to others playing classical music on the guitar. It was a terrific experience.

@Mohit: The idea is good, but are there that many good ghazals being released every year now? I can't place the ghazal you mentioned. If you manage to procure a link to the song online, please do pass it on to me.

Anonymous said...

Parth, you're absolutely right! I took a listen to the two songs from "Anwar" earlier this morning, and I am floored! I am especially enamoured with "Javeda Zindagi"....I found it so sweet and melodious.

I've been enjoying the "Guru" soundtrack, too and can't wait to see how the songs have been picturised on screen. Hope Ratnam has done justice to "Tera Bina".

sd said...

Hi! think everyone has already mentioned it - fab job there. For some reason I had not heard the Omkara album carefully before, now I am listening it day -in-and-out thanks to you!

BTW I did not know(realise) that Pal Pal ... was a copy... which song was the "inspiration"?

30in2005 said...

deginitive list - shall use it to blag all the songs onto my ipod when I am in India!

30in2005 said...

I meant 'definitive'. I should learn to check my spelling and not be so rash when I press the publish button.

Stone said...

hi!!!
check this out http://www.itwofs.com/ :-)

Life Lover said...

ai hairate aashiqui is my current favorite.i would have liked madhushree in place of alka yagnik.hariharan is great as usual. watched guru yesterday and i loved where the song starts and then keeps playing through out the movie in the background.

Anonymous said...

New hindi songs , not my area. but I should rethink now after going thru exhaustive list of yours.

Vi said...

Snow in Seattle but not in NJ?

What has the world come to?

I DO miss it--winter's my favorite season; what's there without snow? Sigh.

Parth said...

@SD: Here's the original for Pal Pal Har Pal - http://havetoremember.wordpress.com/2006/09/10/lage-raho-munnabhai-pal-pal-har-pal-cheaters/

@Vi: Rains, rains and more rains. Not the Seattle kind. The ones that lash Mumbai every year. That's the 'more' that I need :-)

Col. Walter E. Kurtz said...

Disappointing to see Jag Ja from Omkara not in the list.

Makes me weep like some grandmother

mercy_seeker said...

awesome list... I am not indian but i have fallen in love with bollywood through a friend... i do not like to watch too many movies... 3 hours can be abit too much if i end up not liking the movie. :). but I am always looking for good songs... this list was perfect for my taste.. 50% of the songs i aleady knew and loved.
THANX!!