Friday April 24, 2015

Bombay Velvet (Music review), Hindi – Amit Trivedi & Mikey McCleary

Posted by Karthik

After 3 minutes of lively ‘circus music’ in Aam Hindustani, Shefali Alvares arrives in smouldering style, mouthing Amitabh Bhattacharya’s amusing Mumbaiya filmy verses, with the brass band offering solid backdrop. Shefali does a redux in Shut Up too, an essentially Amit Trivdedi’esque tune, but with a really smooth jazz makeover. Shefali’s 3rd song, Mohabbat buri bimari is her best though, her casual drawl and vocal shenanigans going one step above Neeti Mohan’s comparitively good-girl variant of the same song (Version 2), a flamboyant, expansive tune that truly picks up steam mid-way when the piano, that accompanied the ‘Mohabbat buri’ line, paves way for the brass band to offer similar, more engaging accompaniment. In comparison, Shalmali and Mikey’s version 1 seems overdone and too stylistic.

Mikey’s other, outside-the-soundtrack remix of C.I.D’s Jaata kahaan hai is a remnant of his Bartender series, with Suman Sridhar in super form, as usual. Papon is in his elements in Darbaan, a contemplative tune that gains as much from Amitabh’s lines, as it does from the fantastic interludes and melancholic backgrounds.

And then, Neeti Mohan comes back with a vengeance. In Ka kha ga, she literally has a conversation with the jazzy backdrop, while she does even better in Dhadaam dhadaam, a sweeping, crushing melody where she cries out like a diva. Naak pe gussa sees her working impressively with the OP Nayyar’ish tune, while the brisk, circus (again!) sound offers her perfect cover in Sylvia, a playful tune that uses pauses beautifully. Behroopia, the only ‘modern’ song of the soundtrack is a mesmerizing tune in true Amit style, fabulously sung by Mohit Chauhan and Neeti. The 3 instrumental pieces are really immersive, particularly the theme. Bombay Velvet eschews Bollywood-style for a more international jazz flavor and comes out as Amit Trivedi’s phenomenal labor of love!

Keywords: Bombay Velvet, Amit Trivedi, Mikey McCleary, #300, 300



  • karthik c

    This is absolutely a knockout album by AT. Great to see him back to his best.

  • Kartikeya Juneja new

    this is the album of the year. Amit trivedi is the best musician the world has ever seen

  • VirtuallyReal

    I did not got soaked into the songs as of now…… It is new kind music to me totally remixes are good …. Sylva and theme music are good

  • bhanu agrawal

    CONSPIRACY and THE FINAL PITCH from million dollar arm sounds so much similar in end
    It’s a complement

  • Anoop C Nair

    Amit Trivedi had started working for this album right after Dev D.. So it was expected to be spectacular and it is…

  • Bhanu

    Where can I find this music? Cant find more than a song or two on itunes or spotify globally

  • Aakash

    I recommend listening to this album at least three times to comprehend the beauty. The intricacy with which he’s woven the songs is mindblowing.
    Another giant leap towards ARR for Amit!

  • NKC

    Why is Fifi missing from the album?

    • Sharang

      That’s the same song as ‘Jaata Kahaan Hai’ by Mikey McCleary

  • Jimi Hndrx

    The “Aam Janta” will not like this kind of they are so accustomed to Ankit Tiwari’s templatized songs and Honey Singh’s Vodka-Daroo songs nowdays(pun intended)

  • Somadri Chatterjee

    Well, at the risk of being the odd one out amongst such raving reviews, the album sounded like cacophony to me. Only Fifi worked. But the rest were really jarring on the ears. I dont know if its the noisy jazz template which disturbed or something else. Sorry Karthik, I am usually on the same page with your reviews, but not this one…. For the records, I am a fan of AT’s sound and feel Lootera and Queen deserve a place among the top 20 albums of all times.

    • milliblog

      No need to be sorry at all- there’s nothing universal (nor should it be) about music. We like some, we don’t like some.

  • Samhan Sal

    I hate how everyone who doesn’t like this album is being dissed as some pleb who only enjoys Honey Singh.

    And to see it awarded a #300 when the only other albums to be ever awarded that honour on this blog are Roja , Rockstar , Dev D and just a few more , that’s a pretty high standard to beat.

    While this album is quite good , most of the songs don’t really work. It’s like ARRs Raavan album which was an impressive technical feat but most of the songs just didn’t capture your imagination or got tiring very quickly. This is a certain vibe or X-Factor which can’t be put into words . Maybe the frisson is the closest word to it. And here it’s just missing.

    Ultimately , whether people still listen and remember the songs, even 5 – 10 years from now will be the real measure of whether it deserves such a high honour. I’m not so sure about that.

  • rnjbond

    What a fantastic album. I love the contrast between Bombay Velvet and Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!: both are more film noirs movies. Bombay Velvet’s soundtrack uses sounds that are perfect for the era, while Byomkesh Bakshy’s music is decidedly anachronistic. And both were fantastic soundtracks.

  • Kishore Prakash Menon

    Very good album. But felt Trivedi was too loyal to standard jazz templates of the sixties. Nothing path-breaking.. But still, something very different in Hindi cinema, and each track is elaborate. Trivedi’s career best!

  • Kishore Prakash Menon

    Wonderful album. But felt Trivedi was too loyal to standard jazz templates of the sixties. Nothing path-breaking.. But still, each track is long and elaborate. Takes you back to the Bombay of the sixties (A time neither Trivedi, Kashyap or I have been in)

    Trivedi’s career best!!! Kudos to his 6-year long hard work on this album.

    Couldn’t help wondering how epic this would have been if Rahman was on board for the project, because as the trailers indicate, the film as a whole is a very promising package.

    • Jaydeep

      Two things that struck me after a couple listens are 1 ) the authenticity of the 60s jazz/cabaret sound and 2) detail in the arrangements. I cannot think of any parallel to such super accomplished cinematic work by any Indian composer neither in recent times nor in that era itself.
      No offense meant but If that is not path breaking, then what is?

      • Kishore Prakash Menon

        No offense to you too bro! I too appreciate the detailed arrangements. But the most superior soundtrack in terms of detailed worldclass arrangements (and tunes of course) is ‘Rockstar’.

        Besides, ‘path-breaking’ means not sticking to conventions. The ‘jazz’ in Bombay Velvet is too standard.

        It’s a long and elaborate soundtrack of course!! No parallel to this??? That sentence seems to be put in haste! It’s unbelievably puerile!

        Nevertheless, I agree it’s Trivedi’s career best and very different from commercial Bollywood film music.

  • Say Something

    Liked it but soon started feeling like Chicago OST the style, too loud etc.,

  • rahulrd14

    Great album. Though Dhadaam Dhadaam sounds a bit like a mixture of Aage bhi jaane na tu from Waqt and Deewana Tera from Sonu Nigam’s Deewana.

  • rmalur

    Aam Hindustani has too many similarities with All that Jazz from Chicago…

  • Kartikeya Juneja new please read my music reviews

  • leocolehugo

    Bombay Velvet movie is about the lives of a boxer and jazz singer collide in the story based on Gyan Prakash’s book- Mumbai Fables, which gives the information regarding the Bombay history.


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