Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Hindi Film Songs: Best of 2008

In continuance of an annual tradition, I am back with the fifth edition of the list of my best Hindi film songs from the year (previous lists: 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007).

Reiterating the disclaimers:
1. The songs aren't listed in any particular order. I have just listed them in the order in which I came across 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. In particular, I have not followed any of the December releases well since I was busy with the birth of my son. Hence, Raaz 2 and Chandni Chowk to China will be reviewed in next year’s list.
3. Some of the movies will be releasing next year but since their songs have released this year before I decided to clamp down on the list, I am including them. Similarly, movies that released in 2008 were covered in the 2007 list if their music was out then
4. I am going to attempt to limit the number of songs per movie to three. That does not imply that there aren’t any more on the movie’s list that I like. I follow that rule under most circumstances just to keep the length of the list in check.

I have included links to each of the songs on the list. Caution: I have noticed that musicindiaonline tends to be very flaky at times, so if the link doesn’t work, scoot over to other sites, but do listen to the songs.

Adding a year end assessment this time round: It has been a mixed year for Hindi film music with a lot of music directors like Pritam and Mithoon producing nothing of substance. Overall, the year belonged to A. R. Rehman. He produced as varied as Jodha-Akbar and Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na. However, his best work was not for a Hindi film (which is why it isn’t on this list). Slumdog Millionaire has an absolutely brilliant sound track and you absolutely must hear it and then hear it again when you watch the movie to realize its quality. As I write this, the Golden Globes and Oscars aren’t out and I am hoping he wins both. However, the best Hindi film OST of the year was Rock On without a doubt. The setting was very unique for a Hindi film and the success of the soundtrack lies in its ability to fit in effortlessly with the theme. Even the lyrics in Hindi never seemed awkward. The Mangeshkar sisters weren’t heard much, Sonu Nigam had a good song or two and Alka Yagnik came in and impressed intermittently. Sunidhi and Shreya continue their challenge for the top spot while the male singers don’t have any such contention going on. There’s too many of them and none of them are getting stand out songs bar maybe Sukhwinder. Lyrically too, nothing substantially outstanding either from Gulzar, Javed Akhtar or Prasoon Joshi like the previous year. I guess while there were one or two good songs in different films, there weren’t that many great albums one could point to. Overall, it wasn’t the best of years, nor was it the worst of years.

I am open to suggestions on songs that you think should be on the list but are missing. I am also open to debates on my choices but as is the nature of blogging, one who owns the blog has the final say. Hope you enjoy it.

Song : Vaada Tumse Hain Vaada
Movie Name : 1920
Singer : Parveen Sultana
Music Director : Adnam Sami
Lyrics : Sameer
Why is it on the list? : You rarely get to hear this fine singer in Hindi films. Sole reason why this song is on the list. Interestingly, Adnan seems to get amazing singers to sing his songs. There is another version of this song by Pt. Jasraj, but it didn’t register with me. Adnan needs to up the ante on his compositions to do justice to the singers he gets to sing them.

Song : Ek Lau
Movie Name : Aamir
Singer : Amitabh , Shilpa Rao
Music Director : Amit Trivedi
Lyrics : Amitabh
Why is it on the list? : Beautifully written and rendered composition. Seems appropriate for the victims of the Mumbai terror, doesn’t it?

Song : Ha Raham (Mehfuz)
Movie Name : Aamir
Singer : Amit Trivedi, Amitabh, Murtaza Qadir
Music Director : Amit Trivedi
Lyrics : Amitabh
Why is it on the list? : Another lilting composition from this rather unconventional movie.

Song : Khuda Jaane
Movie Name : Bachna Ae Haseeno
Singer : Kay Kay, Shilpa Rao
Music Director : Vishal-Shekhar
Lyrics : Anvita Dutt Guptan
Why is it on the list? : Best song of the movie. Kay Kay and Shilpa Rao shine in this song.

Song : Ahista Ahista
Movie Name : Bachna Ae Haseeno
Singer : Lucky Ali, Shreya Ghoshal
Music Director : Vishal-Shekhar
Lyrics : Anvita Dutt Guptan
Why is it on the list? : Reminds me in part of Khuda Haafiz from Yuva, but that may also be influenced by Lucky Ali’s presence.

Song : Desi Girl
Movie Name : Dostana
Singer : Shankar Mahadevan, Sunidhi Chauhan, Vishal Dadlani
Music Director : Vishal-Shekhar
Lyrics : Anvita Dutt Guptan
Why is it on the list? : Yes, Yes. As a true blue desi boy, I whole-heartedly agree with the lyrics!

Song : Khabar Nahi
Movie Name : Dostana
Singer : Amanat Ali , Shreya Ghoshal, Vishal Dadlani
Music Director : Vishal-Shekhar
Lyrics : Anvita Dutt Guptan
Why is it on the list? : Amanat does a good job with this composition that doesn’t particularly rise above the ordinary

Song : Bandagi
Movie Name : Drona
Singer : Roop Kumar Rathod, Sunidhi Chauhan
Music Director : Dhruv Ghanekar
Lyrics : Vaibhav Modi
Why is it on the list? : Gem of a composition on an otherwise ordinary album. Sunidhi and Roop Kumar are fantastic here.

Song : Guzarish
Movie Name : Ghajini
Singer : Javed Ali
Music Director : A.R. Rahman
Lyrics : Prasoon Joshi
Why is it on the list? : Prasoon/Rahman team up after RDB for an album that doesn’t aspire to be very different. This is a conventional composition but well executed by Rahman and his current favorite Javed Ali.

Song : Latoo
Movie Name : Ghajini
Singer : Shreya Ghoshal
Music Director : A.R. Rahman
Lyrics : Prasoon Joshi
Why is it on the list? : Catchy composition (how can you argue with the word Lattoo being used?). I like Shreya’s energy in this song. Typically, you’d expect this song to go Sunidhi’s way.

Song : Jaane Tu Mera Kya Hai
Movie Name : Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na
Singer : Runa Rizvi
Music Director : Rahman AR
Lyrics : Abbas Tyrewala
Why is it on the list? : I actually liked this rendition more than Sukhwinder’s version. The new singer has done a fine job with this. I believe they shot a video for this and played it in theaters once the movie picked up.

Song : Kabhi Kabhi Aditi Zindagi
Movie Name : Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na
Singer : Rashid Ali
Music Director : Rahman AR
Lyrics : Abbas Tyrewala
Why is it on the list? : Breezy, light, goes with the mood of the film.

Song : Pappu Can’t Dance
Movie Name : Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na
Singer : Anupama Deshpande, Benny Dayal, Blaze, Darshana, Mohd Aslam, Satish Subramanium, Tanvi
Music Director : Rahman AR
Lyrics : Abbas Tyrewala
Why is it on the list? : I believe this has been written for me and many others that I know

Song : Jashn E Bahaara
Movie Name : Jodhaa Akbar
Singer : Javed Ali
Music Director : Rahman AR
Lyrics : Javed Akhtar
Why is it on the list? : Rahman has had a prolific year and this soundtrack heralded it. Not sure why he didn’t go with Sonu for this track, but Javed Ali did a very good job. Even though he was part of ‘Kajrare’, this was his breakthrough song.

Song : In Lamhon Ke Daaman Mein
Movie Name : Jodhaa Akbar
Singer : Madhushree, Sonu Nigam
Music Director : Rahman AR
Lyrics : Javed Akhtar
Why is it on the list? : Very well sung and the chorus has been used to very good effect to vary the tempo of the song.

Song : Aai Paapi (Tu Hai Meri Soniye)
Movie Name : Kismat Konnection
Singer : Neeraj Shridhar
Music Director : Pritam
Lyrics : Shabbir Ahmed
Why is it on the list? : I love the use of trumpets at the start of the song. One of those foot-tapping numbers where the lyrics make little sense.

Song : Bakhuda Tumhi Ho
Movie Name : Kismat Konnection
Singer : Alka Yagnik
Music Director : Pritam
Lyrics : Sayeed Quadri
Why is it on the list? : I especially liked Alka in this song. You can see that Aziz Mirza misses having Jatin Lalit as his composers. This is something you’d expect from them.

Song : Meelon Ka Jaisa Tha Fasla
Movie Name : Love Story 2050
Singer : Kay Kay
Music Director : Anu Malik
Lyrics : Javed Akhtar
Why is it on the list? : When you have a debut movie with so much money poured in, great music is a must, especially if your main hero is attempting to copy Hrithik Roshan. The music disappointed and Anu missed a golden chance to get back in the big league again. This was a decent composition.

Song : Mausam Achanak Ye Badala Kyu
Movie Name : Love Story 2050
Singer : Shaan, Alka Yagnik
Music Director : Anu Malik
Lyrics : Javed Akhtar
Why is it on the list? : The other good melody from the movie.

Song : Haule Haule
Movie Name : Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi
Singer : Sukhwinder Singh
Music Director : Salim-Sulaiman
Lyrics : Jaideep Sahni
Why is it on the list? : A song that gradually grows upon you on multiple hearings. It certainly did on me. The beauty of the song is enhanced with the picturization, done in all of three shots.

Song : Tujh Mein Rab Dikhta Hai
Movie Name : Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi
Singer : Roop Kumar Rathod
Music Director : Salim-Sulaiman
Lyrics : Jaideep Sahni
Why is it on the list? : Perplexed by the choice of singer, but Roop Kumar does a decent job with a good melody.

Song : Alvida
Movie Name : Dasvidaniya
Singer : Kailash Kher
Music Director : Kailash Kher
Lyrics : Kailash Kher
Why is it on the list? : Kailash Kher dons all three hats and you can see how the composition reminds you of his hugely successful ‘Teri Deewani’ from his private album. The song is in sync with the theme of the movie and holds you from the start to the finish.

Song : Zindagi Ye
Movie Name : Dil Kabaddi
Singer : Rahat Fateh Ali Khan
Music Director : Sachin Gupta
Lyrics : Virag Mishra
Why is it on the list?: A song with an addictive rhythm. Rahat owns the song.

Song : Race Saanson Ki
Movie Name : Race
Singer : Neeraj Sridhar, Sunidhi Chauhan
Music Director : Pritam Chakraborty
Lyrics: Sameer
Why is it on the list?: A number that grabs you from the start and does not let go. The movie was entertaining with all its twists and turns and Pritam comes up with a power-packed number to best represent the movie. The guitar pieces in the song are used effectively

Song : Pehli Nazar Mein
Movie Name : Race
Singer : Atif Aslam
Music Director : Pritam Chakraborty
Lyrics : Sameer
Why is it on the list?: Atif excels in his usual full throated style in a number created for him

Song : Phir Dekhiye
Movie Name : Rock On
Singer : Caralisa Monteiro
Music Director : Shankar Ehsaan Loy
Lyrics : Javed Akhtar
Why is it on the list?: The best soundtrack of the year, hands down. Rahman had a productive year for sheer versatility but SEL hit the jackpot with the perfect soundtrack for an unusual setting. I like almost all the songs of this movie (barring Zehreelay), but for the purposes of the list, I am going to pick my favorite three. This one tops the list. What dreamy lyrics for a simple composition.

Song : Pichle Saat Dinon Mein
Movie Name : Rock On
Singer : Farhan Akhtar
Music Director : Shankar Ehsaan Loy
Lyrics : Javed Akhtar
Why is it on the list?: Hard to imagine Javed Akhtar writing lyrics for this and an untrained singer like Farhan rendering it. But they do, and we have an anthem.

Song : Sinbad The Sailor
Movie Name : Rock On
Singer : Farhan Akhtar, Raman Mahadevan
Music Director : Shankar Ehsaan Loy
Lyrics : Javed Akhtar
Why is it on the list?: Again, unusual lyrics by Javed Akhtar and great arrangement by the composers.

Song : Tashan Mein
Movie Name : Tashan
Singer : Saleem, Vishal
Music Director : Vishal Shekhar
Lyrics : Piyush Mishra
Why is it on the list?: One of the most anticipated movies and biggest debacles of the year had music that was good in fits and starts. The arrangement for this song was good and the choice of Saleem and Vishal as singers for this song gave it the stand out effect it needed.

Song : Dil Haara
Movie Name : Tashan
Singer : Sukhwinder Singh
Music Director : Vishal Shekhar
Lyrics : Piyush Mishra
Why is it on the list?: Very good lyrics rendered with gusto by Sukhwinder. The way the drums up the tempo at the end is fantastic.

Song : U Me Aur Hum
Movie Name : U Me Aur Hum
Singer : Shreya Ghoshal
Music Director : Vishal Bhardwaj
Lyrics : Munna Dhiman
Why is it on the list?: After Omkara, I was expecting another smash-hit score from Vishal, but was disappointed. This was the only tune that really stayed with me. Perhaps he needs Gulzar to get the best out of him?

Song : Mastam Mastam
Movie Name : Yuvvraaj
Singer : Alka Yagnik, Benny Dayal, Naresh Iyer, Sonu Nigam
Music Director : Rahman AR
Lyrics : Gulzar
Why is it on the list?: The Gulzar-Rahman combo has set such high standards that it must be getting to near impossibility for them to repeat it. Yuvraj was one such score which, while being good, isn’t Dil Se. I like the gypsy style music arrangement of this song. Catchy.

Song : Tu Muskura
Movie Name : Yuvvraaj
Singer : Alka Yagnik
Music Director : Rahman AR
Lyrics : Gulzar
Why is it on the list?: This should put Alka Yagnik in contention for a Filmfare this year. She is fantastic in this beautifully written and composed song.

Song : Tu Meri Dost Hain
Movie Name : Yuvvraaj
Singer : Benny Dayal, Rahman AR, Shreya Ghosal
Music Director : Rahman AR
Lyrics : Gulzar
Why is it on the list?: This song just makes it to the list, because of the lyrics. I have mixed feelings for Rahman as a singer, and this song does nothing to tilt me either way. The tune is hummable.

Song : Dhoom Tere Ishq Ki
Movie Name : Karz
Singer : Himesh Reshammiya
Music Director : Himesh Reshammiya
Lyrics : Sameer
Why is it on the list?: An annual list without Himesh? Even the worst critic has to grant him some leeway for this song.

Song : Lambi Judai
Movie Name : Jannat
Singer : Richa Sharma
Music Director : Pritam
Lyrics : Sayeed Quadri
Why is it on the list?: The guitar piece sets the tempo for the song and Richa does a good job with the rendition.

Song : Mar Jawaan
Movie Name : Fashion
Singer : Shruti Pathak, Salim Merchant
Music Director : Salim-Sulaiman
Lyrics : Irfan Siddique
Why is it on the list?: I like Shruti Pathak’s voice in this song. No other song from Fashion really hit it home for me.

Song : Shabad Gurbani
Movie Name : Halla Bol
Singer : Sukhwinder Singh
Music Director : Vanraj Bhatia
Lyrics : Mehboob Kotwal
Why is it on the list?: Sukhwinder does a fantastic job and I particularly like the harmonium. You could have been hearing this in a gurudwara.

Song : Mannata
Movie Name : Heroes
Singer : Sonu Nigam, Kavita Krishnamurti
Music Director : Sajid Wajid
Lyrics : Jalees Sherwani
Why is it on the list?: Rare appearance by Kavita Krishnamurti. Good composition, light on the years.

Song : Phir Wohi Raastey
Movie Name : Ramchand Pakistani
Singer : Shafqat Amanat Ali, Shubha Mudgal
Music Director : Debajyoti Mishra
Lyrics : Anwar Maqsood
Why is it on the list?: Remember the songs of Raincoat? Haven’t heard anything else from the music director until now. Good songs in the movie overall, and this one in particular stood out for me.

Song : Teri Ore
Movie Name : Singh Is Kinng
Singer : Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Shreya Ghoshal
Music Director : Pritam
Lyrics : Mayur Puri
Why is it on the list?: The only soft song in the movie. Everything else was bombastic. Easy melody.

Song : Jee Karda
Movie Name : Singh Is Kinng
Singer : Labh Janjua, Suzie Q
Music Director : Pritam
Lyrics : Mayur Puri
Why is it on the list?: I debated between choosing this or having Snoop Doggy Dog on the list. I am going with the former for its catchy tune. Grant it to Katrina and Akshay for continuing to shoot in 45 degree temperatures in Egypt and surviving sessions of fainting on the sets.

Song : Bheeni Bheeni Mehki Mehki
Movie Name : Welcome To Sajjanpur
Singer : Krishna Kumar, Shreya Ghoshal
Music Director : Shantanu Moitra
Lyrics : Swanand Kirkire
Why is it on the list?: The melody reflects the lyrics so well. Swanand is in fine form in this song. The team returns to give Shyam Benegal a very fresh soundtrack to work with.

Song : Jugni
Movie Name : Oye Lucky Lucky Oye
Singer : Des Raj Lachkani
Music Director : Sneha Khanwalkar
Lyrics : Dibakar Banerjee
Why is it on the list?: Female music director turns in a fantastic soundtrack for a very well made movie. You have to watch the movie to know how well it blends with the milieu of the movie’s characters.

Song : Mere Khuda
Movie Name : Sorry Bhai
Singer : Kay Kay
Music Director : Gaurav Dayal
Why is it on the list?: Reminds you of ‘Bas Ek Pal’. Same combination. Good, but not in the same class as that effort.

Song : Manzar
Movie Name : Sunday
Singer : Earl Edgar
Music Director : Raghav Sachar
Lyrics : Aditya Dhar
Why is it on the list?: I was surprised to see Raghav Sachar’s name in the music director’s column. Could do without the English lyrics, but its hard to find a song these days without them.

Song : Lazy Lamhe
Movie Name : Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic
Singer : Anusha Mani
Music Director : Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy
Lyrics : Prasoon Joshi
Why is it on the list?: So much was expected of this album, but it was a rare disappointment from SEL and Prasoon Joshi. This is a good foot-tapping number. Like the phrase ‘Lazy Lamhe’ as well.

16 comments:

Dhruv said...

Ah, the list! Thanks Parth!

Totally agree about the 'it wasn’t the best of years, nor was it the worst of years' comment. Was browsing through last year's list and I instantly feel 2007 was better than 2008.

It was very unfortunate there were nothing from Mithoon, and there seems to be just one album in the pipeline for him.. Incredibly bad!

Rock On was the best album for me too, but it's a tie with Jodhaa Akbar and Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na :)

My pick in Rock On would be the title song, followed by Tum Ho Toh.. the latter is such a beautiful composition.. And in JTYJN, the other Rashid Ali number Kahin Toh Hogi Woh was my favorite.. What lyrics! Abbas Tyrewala is one talent.

Didn't you like anything from Superstar? I thought Aankhon se Khwab sung by Rekha Bharadwaj was a fabulous song. Mann tu Talbat was good too.

PS: I liked O Saya and Jai Ho the best from Slumdog Millionaire. What are your picks?

RTD2 said...

So happy to see this list. For so many reasons :)
This should keep me busy for some time...Thanks!

Parth said...

@Dhruv: Aah, the comment. I was wondering if anyone is reading :)

1. Totally agree about Mithoon. Actually, even Vishal-Shekhar were not top of the charts, beyond Dostana

2. For Rock On, honestly, I'd pick all the songs except for Zehreeley :) I was just trying to pick the best three that appealed to me.

3. Good point about Superstar. I had thought of it and then I completely forgot. I'll revisit and add songs and let you know. Thanks so much.

4. O Saya is brilliant. No way. Jai Ho didn't appeal to me because I saw traces of several other songs that Rehman has done. The sitar piece (can't remember the name) was stunning.

Glad to read your detailed response.

Parth said...

@RTD2: You should tell me the reasons sometime :) Let me know what songs appealed to you

siri said...

What about "Manmohini Morey" of Yuvvraaj? I think it should trump "Mastam Mastam" in your list.
Will have to check some of the songs which I ignored in your list.

Parth said...

@Siri: I like Man Mohini, but I found Mastam very fresh, especially Alka in it.

Sneha said...

Did you like 'Kuch Kum' and 'Jaane Kyun' from Dostana?

Parth said...

@Sneha: Nope, liked neither.

Extempore said...

I tend to just nitpick with you about the vacuous ones but where is Maa da Laadla!? I'm still going through the post at my rather slow pace but until then, pls to explain this!

Parth said...

@Extempore: Isn't Ma Da Laadla a fairly vacuous one? :-) Not sold on it. In fact, I just have trouble with Dostana's music. All of it was Vacuous. Priyanka tilted the Desi Girl song for me. That's about it.

Sneha said...

Finally, reviewed the list in thorough detail today. Great picks, must say! My list (if I were ever to get over the laziness and make one)would probably be pretty similar to yours. :-)

Have added you to my blogroll, since I've started to visit your blog more often of the late. Hope you don't mind!

Parth said...

@Sneha: Thanks, and of course, no issues with being blogrolled. Happy to have an addition to the small list of regular readers :-)

Nocturne said...

@Parth:
oh glee - i was just parched for some decent music, so this is a gourmet banquet.

hey, i'm appalled that not even ONE from Khuda Ke Liye made it! Don't tell me you didn't like Bandeya or Allah Hoo, or even Tilak Kamod?

Parth said...

@Nocturne: One that slipped away. Guilty as charged. Can I blame it on the economy? :-) (that being the common point of blame in today's world). Will hear and add. Thanks.

rajeshonnet11 said...

Nice post on the best songs of 2008.
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हिंदी गाने said...

Gr8 list....!!!