“Without music, life would be a mistake”
There is limited scope of disagreeing with this insight on music by Friedrich Nietzsche. Life would be like a monochromatic painting lying unattended in a corner in the attic without music. As Satyajit Ray had famously said in Goopi Gyne Bagha Byne “Bhasha emon kotha bole, bojhe re sokole” (music speaks an universal language, understood by all). How can a middle-class Bengali dispute him?
Music is an inspiration for me. In the profession of writing, my productivity is at its best when I am plugged in to my earphones. A Rahmaniac by choice, I have grown tired of Bollywood music. English music does not excite me. However, over the last few years, Bengali music scene has evolved and matured. With a lot of experimentation, the sound of music has come of age.
In this listicle, I share with you all my favourite Bengali songs from 2018:
10. Amar Dukkhogulo – Composed by Anupam Roy and sung by Iman Chakraborty, this song from ‘Drishtikone’ communicates the pangs of love with ease.
09. Lokkhiti – Again from Drishtikone, and composed by Anupam Roy, this song will reverberate in your heart. Sung by Poulumi Majumder, Lokkhiti conveys the angst-filled-despair of separation.
08. Hridayer Rong – Yet another Anupam Roy composition. Sung by Lagnajita Chakraborty, the song evokes a passionate requiem of old love.
07. Tor Sathe – Arindom will melt your heart with this soulful melody celebrating the bonds of togetherness.
06. Bhule Jeo Amare – I had goosebumps and tears in my eyes when this song played in that particular sequence of ‘Generation Ami’. A songs that will make you miss your loved ones.
05. Bhutu Bhaijaan – The playful innocence of the songs will win your heart. Haami did not meet my standards of movie-viewing experience. But the film lives up to the music charts.
04. Duniya – A peppy and exuberant melody from Crisscross, the song will fill you with positivity and hope. The fresh sound of the composition is an added bonus.
03. Esho Hey – Despite being a die-hard fan of Shreya Ghoshal, this song struck a chord with me for Ishan Moitra. A semi-classical composition fetching nearly 2 million views on Youtube is a wonder in itself.
02. Monta Ahare – Srijit Mukherjee’s lyrics will pierce your heart. Neel Dutta’s composition complements the beauty of the words. Romance is personified in one of the cult romantic compositions of the year.
01. Uma – Entire soundtrack – When I started writing this listicle, I had decided to put Uma’s songs in the top four slots. And then I ran out of anymore slots. It is excruciatingly difficult to choose one song over another from this album. Thank you Anupam Da and Srijit Da.
All I can say is that 2018 was a musical year. And going by the trends of Bijoya and Shahjahan Regency, one can safely say 2019 will be too.
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I would not pretend to be a fair critic of music here or try to dissect the intricacies or technicalities gone into creating one of the most memorable albums of 2013 so far. It is not unknown to anyone that i am a blind fan of A R Rahman sir (my phone’s bluetooth is named Rahmaniac) but i hope and believe that everyone else will concur with me on my view of Raanjhanaa’s music.
After a disastrous album Jab Tak Hain Jaan (for which I blame Yash Chopra more than Rahman sir), Raanjhanaa comes as a breath of fresh air. Although we did get some mesemrising compositions in Kadhal or Maryaan, none can match the standards of Raanjhanaa in any way. Reminiscent of the ARR of the late 90’s and early 2000’s, every song in the album has an element of Rahman ingrained in them. Like the good old days, Rahman sir experiments with Indian instruments and sound, leaving me – a great admirer of Indian classical music (instrumental) – jumping with joy. The ensemble of artists that Rahman sir has put together in the album, would make any Rahman fan nostalgic – from teaming up again with Sukhwinder to a duet of Shreya Ghoshal and prodigy Anwesha Dattagupta, Rahman sir proves yet again he is a musical genius.
Raanjhanaa Title Track – Sung by Jaswinder Singh and Shiraz Uppal, the song has some brilliant interludes. At a point of time, the Sitar almost reminded me of Pt Ravi Shankar’s compositions for Pather Panchali. However, the song was ruined by a shoddy editing.
Banarasiya – As soon as I heard this song, i pinged Bham on Hangout to tell him about it. Reminiscent of Zubeidaa, the song is a brilliant mix of indian classical with western sound.
Piya Milenge – Sukhwinder is back with Rahman sir, and what a comeback it is! A soft Sufi rock, the composition has shades of Noor-Un-Ala from Meenaxi. The words will hit you in the soul, Sukhwinder’s enchanting singing being an added bonus.
Aye Sakhi – I wasn’t sure whether i like this song, until the portion came where Madhuree, Chinmayee and other singers start humming “Tyun Tyun”. THAT was the high point of the composition and made me listen to the number in a loop, with a child-like glee.
Nazar Laaye – You know what happens when Neeti Mohan and Rashid Ali are paired up for a song? History is created. A seemingly simple composition, with even the minutest details of the song expressed like a poem, this is one song you can cherish on a rainy day, trying to touch the droplets of rain on the other side of the glass pane of the window.
Tu Munn Shudi – Passionate, innovative and extremely seductive, Rabbi and Rahman add new dimensions of class to Indian film music. The blend of west and east is perhaps reflected best in this song, among the rest.
Aise Na Dekho – Anyone listening to the song for the first time would invariably think that it is similar to the title track of Jaane Tu Ya Jane Na. Well, the genre is same, but this song is more haunting. The first antara is so well written that it brings tears to your eyes! Rahman sir always reserves the best song of the album for himself 😉
Tum Tak – By now i must have listened to this song at least hundred times. Javed Ali’s voice and the shehnai make you wish you could dance!
All in all, a very romantic album by Rahman sir, Raanjhanaa surely breaks the saying that Rahman gives his best only for Mani Ratnam. 🙂
My Rating: 4/5 stars. Happy Listening 🙂
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