I recently became the proud owner of an iPod Shuffle, thanks to the benevolence of my brother who decided to give me his older model (thanks bro! I love you!) My Shuffle is one of my favourite possessions at the moment – I really love the fact that it’s a bit battered – it makes me think of my lovely, lovely big brother and all the hours he's spent with it. I’ve had a Creative mp3 player for quite a while now, and I love it, but the sound quality the iPod delivers is definitely superior, and the Shuffle gives me twice as much room as my Creative does – much more space to cram lovely, delicious, wonderful songs in. So much sheer bliss!!
My new (well, new to me) gadget gives me a new reason (as if I needed one) to rave about the music I’m digging at the moment. Music is not only my drug of choice, it keeps me barely sane and somewhat balanced and makes me a much better and happier human being overall – so I think it’s definitely time to celebrate it again on this blog – it’s been a while.
While I’d really love to rave about my how funky and cool I think Lucy Pearl were on their first album, my ongoing love affair with the ‘Dreamgirls’ soundtrack, my re-discovery of Michelle Branch (‘Tuesday Morning’ is fantastic) and The Cranberries (‘Linger’ is still amazing as ever), how much I love the smoothness of Justin’s voice on ‘Summer Love’, how much I love Common (I really need a man like him to write me some beautiful poetry and look extremely hot while delivering it – actually, no I don’t but I still think he’s very hot), how much I like Awillo’s ‘Ndombolo Cache Cache’, how MJ still is and will always be the king of pop even if he needs a lot of help, how great Mariah Carey’s voice is even if she knows absolutely nothing about age-appropriate dressing, how much I like Lagbaja’s sound, how fabulously and effortlessly delicious Aretha F. and Gladys Knight always are, how very cool I think Sound Sultan’s ‘Area’ is (very strange since I don’t like Sound Sultan normally – thanks Uzo for the hook-up), how there is just something so amazingly inspirational about Donnie McClurkin’s voice, how much I love Joann Rosario’s ‘I Hear You Say’, how much I love Jill Scott’s poetry, how catchy and cool I think Rihanna’s new stuff is (she definitely needs more ‘Umbrella’s and less tacky ‘I don’t wanna be a murderer’ stuff), how much I love the ad libs at the end of ‘Umqombothi’ and the way Yvonne goes ‘Um-qom-bo-thi’, separating all the syllables like that, how brilliant Brenda Fassie was (‘Memeza’ and 'Vulindlela' are beautiful), how Keyshia Coles and a killer backbeat and strings made ‘Last Night’ one of the only good songs on P. Diddy’s ‘Press Play’ album, how much No Doubt’s ‘Spiderwebs’ reminds me (in a very good way) of Blondie’s ‘Hanging on the Telephone’, how much Twista and Kanye always crack me up with ‘Celebrity Overnight’ although it’s WRONG, how crazy D-Banj is with his ‘no long ting’, how John Legend just might live up to his name, how Jay-Z has madd skillz and is super-talented despite my disagreement with most of what he says, how much I dig Keane’s ‘Everybody’s Changing’ and Athlete’s ‘Half Light’ and still go a little crazy for Franz Ferdinand’s ‘Take Me Out’ and ‘Michael’, how Robin Thicke can do no wrong in my book, how much I love Annie Lennox’s voice and ABBA’s songwriting skills, how much I miss Lauryn Hill and almost feel like crying whenever I hear ‘Just Like Water’, how much I enjoy the Sugababes and their corny but ballsy kind of pop, how sweet I think Styl Plus are on ‘Olufunmi’ and ‘Call my Name’, how much I love David Bowie’s ‘Thurday’s Child’ and ‘Life on Mars’, how much I enjoy hearing Bey really let it rip on ‘Lost Yo Mind’ (the song that proves that – OMG! She really has lost her mind – just kidding, but it is kinda crazy), how sexy Eric Benet’s songs were (maybe that should’ve tipped Ms. Halle off – anyone who looks that hot ( remember that so-sexy stride down the street, with girls on each arm, in the ‘Love Don’t Love Me’ video? So not very PC of me to find that super-cool, but I so do) and sounds that hot (e.g. his riffs on ‘Georgy Porgy’ which, BTW, remind me of Ms. Evans, who’s really coming into her own now) just might be, umm, a little TOO hot), how much I am feeling Kano (‘it’s just one of those days’) and Estelle (does she have new album out?), how much Corinne Bailey Rae’s voice reminds me of summer, picnics and warm moments, and how much The Osmonds’ ‘Love Me For a Reason’ still makes me smile every darned time (somebody make me stop!!), as does ‘God Only Knows’ by the Beach Boys (such a perfect song)… this IS a Bollyblog after all (maybe I need to start a music blog – but heck no, there are not enough hours in the day), so I’m going to talk about the Hindi movie music that’s making me very happy at the moment. Can’t believe I actually just wrote all that, guess I really needed to let it all out.
I’ll start with my more recent discoveries – I’m not one to listen to music from a movie before actually seeing the movie (I just don’t get the whole concept of doing that), but I made an exception for ‘Salaam-e-Ishq’, which was probably the first movie soundtrack I got this year. It was love at first listen. I love all the songs although I’m not too crazy about ‘Babuji’ (recently found out that it was a remake of a much better song from the 70s – not surprised). I think S-E-L have really outdone themselves with this absolutely brilliant set of songs. I love the Highland feel to the title song, the plaintive cries of ‘Rabba’ at the end of ‘Ya Rabba’, the fun playground feel of ‘Tenu Leke’, the danceability of ‘Saiyaan Re’ (so perfect for Priyanka), the way ‘Dil Kya Kare’ reminds me of how cute Vidya and John were rubbing noses on the train in the movie… I love everything about this soundtrack. It makes me happy. Bas.
Speaking of fun and upbeat music, I also really love the songs from ‘Honeymoon Travels Pvt.’ I think they are really ‘different’, borrowing from interesting influences – ‘Albela Albela’ has a fantastic soulful James Brown feel to it, and is really well done – kudos to the singer. I love the salsa feel to ‘Pyaar Ki Yeh Kahani Suno’ – I don’t know why but I especially love the ‘ek ladka tha, ek ladki thi’ line. For me, though, the ultimate jam of the soundtrack is ‘Sajanaji’ with that fab repeated line ‘aisa mera pyaar hai’– it never fails to get me dancing. Totally infectious. A great set of songs.
Still on the upbeat tip, I recently saw Saif Ali Khan and Rani Mukerji in ‘Tara Rum Pum’. For any fans of Saif and Rani (and I am one of them), this movie is a must-see. Rani looks fabulous and it’s great to see her (in the first half of the movie) showing Preity Zinta that she can do young and sassy just as well (don’t get me wrong, I love Preity, but Rani just rocks – go, Rani!). Both Rani and Saif were really good in this film – very nice acting, although the script could definitely have given them more to work with. But on to the music. My gem from this soundtrack (I downloaded it the following day, couldn’t wait to hear it again) is the fun, highly danceable, pop-rock song ‘Ab To Forever’, which was beautifully picturised in the movie, with Saif and Rani really getting down in the street at night in New York (I love the whole ‘West Side Story’ feel of the picturisation, love the way the number was lit and shot – it’s just, for want of a better word, hot).
‘Hey Shona’ is the token romantic ballad of the soundtrack, it’s an ok song, and the picturisation is so cute (love the little jig Rani and Saif do – and I just think they’re so adorable together) – but it’s just a regular ok song. The second half of the movie takes a dark turn (a bit too dark, some scenes were actually rather disturbing for a family movie) and featured some questionable moments that really should’ve been left out (maybe I’ll do a proper review sometime), and the songs from that half are less remarkable. The two ‘family’ songs (one of them, the title song, is semi-animated) are ok but nothing special. What I really liked, though was the sweet version of the title song that Rani teaches to the kids (who, by the way, are just too cute) – it’s stuck in my head now and won’t go away.
This year Uzo and I also saw ‘Eklavya’ – a movie that really features only one song (‘The Moon Song/Chanda Re’) – but what a song it is. I love that song, it’s beautifully sung and just so hauntingly evocative yet somehow so soothing at the same time. Love it. Another slow one I am really feeling is the charming and beautiful ‘Gudgudee’ from ‘Just Married’ (‘Baat Pakki’ from the same soundtrack is a nice jam BTW). And how can I fail to mention ‘Tere Bina’ from ‘Guru’, which I just cannot stop listening to? Fantastic, brilliant music – I love everything about that song from start to finish – everything. I also like ‘Barso Re’ from ‘Guru’ – always makes me think of Ash’s beautiful dancing and the great scenery at the start of the film. But back to slower numbers – I really, really love ‘Bole Re Papihara’ from ‘Guddi’, a charming Jaya Bhaduri movie I saw this year and loved to bits. The song is so simple, but so pretty and so sweetly sung. Lovely, lovely music.
I recently downloaded ‘O Sathi Chal’ from ‘Seeta aur Geeta’ (another recent viewing for me), and it never fails to make me smile. Fun song, and putting the hero and heroine on skates for the picturisation was a very nice – and memorable – idea. I am currently also loving the title song from ‘Do Aur Do Paanch’ which I recently downloaded (although in a way I guess it’s not really the title song, as it’s called something different). The soundtrack from ‘Namastey London’, another movie I saw this year (and surprisingly, liked a lot) can be summed up in one phrase: ‘waaay too much of Himesh Reshammaiya’ – but there’s one song from it I really liked, ‘Chakna Chakna’. And of course ‘Beedi’ from ‘Omkara’ is a fabulous song.
Ok, so that’s some of the newer (i.e. newer to my music collection) Hindi movie music I’ve been rocking to, smiling to, and just adoring in every way. But I have not forgotten my older loves, some of which I talked about in a previous post. I’ll highlight a couple here. Kishore Kumar’s voice on ‘O Saathi Re’ still does something to me – and it’s something wonderful; R. D. Burman’s music from ‘The Burning Train’ I still find totally genius and so great, the music from ‘Hum Aapke Hain Koun’ – wow, just thinking about it makes me smile and makes me want to sing each and every 10-minute song on that soundtrack – ‘Dhiktana Dhiktana’ is crazily long but I never tire of it, nor of ‘Joote Dedo’ or ‘Didi Tera Dewar Deewana’ or anything else on that soundtrack.
‘Veer Zaara’ – not a popular choice, I know, but I just love and adore this soundtrack to bits, can’t get enough of the lyrics to ‘Main Yahaan Hoon’ – sure, I don’t understand most of it except ‘I’m here’ (or something), but I just know Javed saab was saying something powerful. (One day I must make time to seek out translations of my fave Hindi songs.) I usually hate Bollywood remixes – it seems like they often just take a nice song and spoil it with some out-of-place bhangra beats, but there is this wonderful, gently soulful remix of ‘Tere Liye’ that I just can’t get enough of – it really lifts and (to borrow a Beyonce-ism) ‘bodies’ the song.
I still love ‘Main Hoon Don’ from the new Don and am still shocked that Shaan did not win awards for his rendition (although he did for ‘Chand Sifarish’ from ‘Fanaa’, which I must say he also did extremely well). Shaan, I think you were brilliant in this one – you definitely get my award, absolutely worthless though it might be.
I could go on (and on) but I think this is long enough – I still can’t get over the crazily long paragraph I did on non-Bollywood songs, can’t bring myself to delete it though…