Thursday September 24, 2015

Shaandaar (Music review), Hindi – Amit Trivedi

Posted by Karthik

In Gulaabo, Vishal Dadlani’s swagger rocks the song, but the horn section is no less impressive given how it holds the song. Anusha Mani comes out with guns blazing in ‘zara gandh pehlado’, as does Amit, on the keyboard, producing some zingy retro-pop. The abrupt title callout in Shaam Shaandaar is as pleasant as expecting a long commute in Bangalore that gets cut down by surprisingly benevolent traffic. The dhol and horns led backgrounds and interspersing them with the racy techno music works mighty well. For Nazdeekiyaan, Amit creates a beautifully dreamy soundscape that scales new, orchestral heights towards the end. While Neeti Mohan is pitch-perfect, Nikhil Paul George’s singing is oddly annoying. The marathon-length (9+ minutes!) Senti wali mental, at its heart, evokes memories of Pancham’s Nauker number, Pallu latke, but with a qawali’ish twist. It does get into a mish-mash mode, owing to the song’s duration and narrative style, and Amitabh Bhattacharya’s colloquial man vs. woman banter lyrics keeps the proceedings lively. Amitabh’s lyrics win again in Raitaa phailgaya, an instantly catchy, funky techno-Punjabi ditty powered effortlessly by Divya Kumar. Heady, fun soundtrack by Amit, almost like a, ‘Here, take this!’ to those who didn’t like Bombay Velvet.

Keywords: Shaandaar, Amit Trivedi, #200, 200

Listen to the songs:



  • Moriya

    I’d rather not take anything from the overrated Amit Trivedi, and the assembly-line praising reviews he only ever gets.

    I only heard the Gulaabo song and was rather disgusted by how horrible it was especially for a Johar. I immediately thought of Ek Main Aur Tu or w/e with Kareena Kapoor. However I will give the rest of the songs a much needed listen since I can’t imagine a Johar film not having at least one listenable song in it. I hope Amit actually composes one good song for once….

    • Malay Samant

      That is the exact problem with Karthik, his obsession to overhype even the worst work of ARR and Amit Trivedi makes you think does he really mean what he says

      • Moriya

        Everyone has their preferences. It’s just the sheer rabidness of the ARR/Amit fanboys that bothers but not the fact they enjoy their music

        • milliblog

          Could you please explain to me what I did to make you call me a ‘rabid’ fan of ARR or Amit? You do see negative reviews of both their albums in this blog, right? And I do not make fun of others who do not like their music. Like Malay did, to me.

          • Moriya

            Not defending Malay at all, and nor did I say you specifically were a rabid fan, but in general fanboys are rabid.

          • milliblog

            Aah ok. As much as possible, I’d like to be a non-rabid, sensible fan. I’m human too and may err at times, but would like to keep a check on rabidness consciously.

  • Amit recycles tunes from Gulaabo in Shaam Shaandaar in multiple places (play it on a piano and you’ll see). Also he just sounds super robotic on Shaam Shaandaar. That song was tailor made for Mohit/Atif/Arijit vocals.

  • Mola Jatt

    Poor music always overrated by Reviewer.

    • Malay Samant

      Satyavachan bhai

  • Say Something

    Very disappointed with the album and the “heady” word out. Is this some kind of a joke?

  • Shyam Narayanan TK

    Lovely album 🙂

    • Abhijit

      I completely agree broski! not sure why there’s so much of dislike in the comment section here
      @milliblog:disqus just so you know, some people do concur with your review

      • milliblog

        Arrey, it happens 🙂

      • Subodh

        I liked the album. Gulabo and Raita are enjoyable, but here’s the thing – With AR Rehman in decline, Trivedi is currently the best composer we have. If this is the best that the best composer of our times can compose, what does this say about current bollywood music? In the much-maligned 80’s, even a mediocre plagiarizing composer like Bappi Lahiri gave us “Namak Halal’ whose songs like “Jawani Janeman’, ‘Raat Baaki’ or ‘Pag Ghungroo’ are still popular. Both Gulabo and Raita Phail will be forgotten by next year. Where are albums like Qurbani, Jaanbaaz, Silsila, QSQT or Tridev?

        • Sai Prasanth

          AR Rahman in decline?? With albums like Raanjhanaa & Rockstar and Tamasha yet to come, certainly his music isn’t declining, considering the diversity & quality of music.

          • Subodh

            Can you see people enjoying “Ranjhana Ranjana’ or ‘Sada Haq’ 30 years from now? I can’t. How many people can even bear to listen to songs of Rangeela or Lagaan? His music hasn’t aged well (except for Vande Mataram, Roja, and few songs from Bombay, Taal, Dil Se and Delhi 6) while the songs of Shankar Jaikishan, SD/RD Burman, OP Nayyar, Shiv-Hari, LP or KA never get old.

          • Sai Prasanth

            I think that depends on the taste of the listener. The taste of a listener changes over the years. SJ, RDB songs are evergreen. No composer makes music with the intention of churning out classics. Time will tell that! Its simple. Enjoy Music!

          • TheTamarind

            Subodh, you are completely ignoring the fact that we are inundated with songs like they are a dime a dozen. Back in the 80s there wasn’t as much saturation as you see today. The other thing is it is way easier for us to choose our own music than back in the days. You were limited to hearing what the radio had to offer, and songs weren’t repeated as often. This is anecdotal, but an anecdote shared by many, many people I know (and this extends to beyond music as well). I fall in love with a song, I listen to it continuously until I start hating it. I mean there are just way too many variables and it is a significantly different world. The comparison, in my opinion, doesn’t stand.

          • Subodh

            What has my comment got to do with how much or how the music is accessed? Today, all songs from 40’s onward are available on youtube/MP3’s. The old songs are as accessible as current songs. As far as repetition is concerned, I can listen to songs of Qurbani or Jaanbaz repeatedly once I’ve downloaded them.

            We are not making evergreen classics anymore. In the last few years I haven’t discovered a single album that comes close to classics like Guide, Pakeezaah or Anand or Aashiqui. Even the remix/covers of old songs are terrible. “Dheere Dheere” was plagiarized but at least it was better than the original. The YoYo version makes me puke or as the raita song goes “Gulzar ke geeton me jab Yo Yo ghus gaya, to raita phail gaya”

            This verse by Amitabh is perhaps the best thing I’ve heard in this year and describes well both – the state of Bollywood music and Indian politics.

          • milliblog


            Soni does have a very important point. That is about overdose of content, not just music. When there is more music to choose from, we take in less. Back in 50s, 60s and 70s, there was a limited amount of music and even limited number of avenues to consume them – radio, limited ways of buying disks and perhaps live shows. Cassettes changed the dynamics in 70s and 80s and CDs in 2000s. Now, digital delivery + the sheer number of films made (more than ever) and music (almost 15 soundtracks are released every week across languages in India). This means we have a LOT more to consume, to pick from. This endless choice will devalue music. It’d become akin to use-and-throw. To stand out amidst use-and-throw, the music needs to phenomenally good.

            Finally, evergreen-classic is a frame of mind. It’s a point of view. It’s an opinion. One person’s or a few/lot of people’s opinion. It is not a fact.

          • Subodh

            Maybe you are right. But as far I’m concerned, I listen to lot less music than before because most songs, including western, sound very generic – similar templates repeated with minor deviations. It might have something to do with age – as you grow your brain stops getting pleasure from new music (read that in cracked).

            I believe you are in your late 30’s and I feel constantly surprised at the volume and the type of songs you enjoy listening to. Your appetite for new music is similar to that of teenagers. 🙂

            But, anyway, I got no replies to the main point I raised. Are there albums in recent years which will stand the test of time and will be enjoyed as much as the albums that I’ve mentioned in my posts? If you or anyone feels that some of albums will become all-time classics, then it simply means I’m getting old, otherwise my point that Bollywood music has deteriorated is valid.

          • R Soni

            Subodh, accessibility has a lot to do with consumption of music, which in turn affects the “evergreen” status of music.
            Laypeople do not create music. Those that do offer laypeople something to sing to, to hum to. When you give them 50 options in place of 5, the attachment to a song is less likely to happen. That has nothing to do with the “quality” of songs. I listen to many songs from the 80s/90s, and I cannot tell you the amount of times I cringe. However, for people who enjoyed their 80s and 90s, those songs were “in” and “cool” and those songs “caught on”. You enjoyed those moments, and when you listen to those songs, the pleasant memories come right back to you, and lo, you’ve suddenly ascribed evergreen status to a song. Like Karthik said, evergreen is a frame of mind (and even that has multiple variables like the time you first listened to the song, the background story to a song, people’s attitude to a given song at a given time and it catching on as a fad). One must understand the status quo and how it makes that much less possible for the present day songs to stand the test of time. Which is – again – independent of the “evergreenness” of a song.

          • rnjbond

            Jodhaa-Akhbar’s soundtrack is almost eight years old and it one hundred percent holds up well. Swades has held up fantastically and that’s over ten years old. I don’t see why Rockstar or Ranjhanaa can’t continue that trend.

          • Subodh

            ‘Yeh jo desh hai tera’ is a classic, the rest of songs from Swadesh are good but not evergreen songs. ‘Azeem o shan’ and “Khwaja” still sound good, but I doubt they will be last till 2050. As good as these songs are, you can’t compare them with music of Pyaasa or Guide or Chori Chori.

  • bukowskinerd

    This really really doesn’t deserve 200 words. I haven’t felt this way about most of your 200 worders, even the albums I didn’t personally enjoy.

    Gulabo is Shandaar recycled, didn’t like the rest, stale as hell.

    • milliblog

      And this is a perfectly justifiable and normal reaction to have, from your point of view. I loved the album the first time I heard it and looping the songs now 🙂

      • bukowskinerd

        Respect that, but just sayin’ 🙂

  • sameer

    Don’t get me wrong, I do respect your musical sense but your amit trivedi reviews are biased as hell.

    P.S.- Amit is getting damn repetitive and this album is no exception. Half of the album sounds like rejected ek main aur ek tu era songs. And I never thought I would ever say this but AMIT is getting overrated now. And I am his fan. 🙁

  • rnjbond

    Hmm, this is an interesting reaction brought out. I quite like this album, for what it’s worth.

  • asharma908

    I am a huge Amit Trivedi fan and was looking forward to this album. I have mixed reactions. At first listen it did not grab me and I feel that it will not grow on me over time, compared to, say, Dev D, Ishaqzaade and even Bombay Velvet, where things started slowly for me before reaching a state of unbridled euphoria and love for those albums. But I will keep an open mind. I do see his signature style becoming repetitive, some faint resemblance with his older songs, a few notes picked here and a few there. But rather than being disappointed, I have a feeling of forced detachment. I am ok with one of his albums turning out to be average (strictly IMO), especially if it follows a monumental piece of work. In my own twisted way of reasoning, I do not want to get over saturated with his or any of my other favorite musician’s music. As some other folks here have reasoned, we are in an era of over abundance of available content at our finger tips. So good music does not get time to be savored and nurtured over a sufficiently extended period of time under the ongoing onslaught of freshly minted material. I am still taking in the music of Bombay Velvet.

    • Malay Samant


  • I really like Gulabo song from Shaandaar. It’s a fun song.

    Gulaabo.. zara itr gira do
    Gulaabo.. zara itr gira do

    Tauba tauba, tu toh meetha sa muraba
    Tauba tauba, tu toh shehad ka dabba
    Bhen ki takhi oye
    Wow so lucky oye

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