Best Music Director and Albums of Hindi Cinema in 2016
Music composer of the year
Amit Trivedi his Dear Zindagi, which was as breezy as the film, didn’t end up in the top 10 list, but with his other two soundtracks, ending up straight in top 3, he is definitely the composer of the year.
Pritam was in top form too with popular Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Dangal. But we are sure, 2017 will be his, as he is teaming up with ever-reliable Anurag ‘Barfi’ Basu and Imtiaz Ali with whom he has always delivered his best.
Vishal-Shekhar had great year too, with their best Sultan, and Befikre (nicely produced by Mickey Mc Cleary), Akira and Banjo.
Top 10 Music Albums:
Shankar-Ehasaan-Loy’s sprawling musical, like the film, fused multiple worlds – jazz with Hindustani classical, European classical with Hindustani, electronic with Rajasthani folk –but, unlike the film, the soundtrack is a soaring success. The album is designed like a story itself; with separate prelude tracks, it is 14 tracks strong.
Amit Trivedi’s indie spirit doesn’t die down with this Kashmir based soundtrack which has very Led Zeppelin-ish title track and other folk influenced tracks. Lyrics, by Swanand Kirkire, were a letdown though.
3. Udta Punjab
Trivedi in top form again, with an explosive soundtrack ranging from rock based, electronic, love ballad, dance and sufi-ish.
Clinton Cerejo’s debut album for which he got his mentors Vishal Bhardwaj (his Duug Duug is album’s best song) and A R Rahman to sing, for the first time, songs not composed by them. Punjabi folk fusion, top production.
Infectious and hilarious Haanikarak Bapu is still hitting the charts. Raftaar’s rap Dhakad is my pick of the album. Arijit’s Naina, as used in the film, is sheer poertry. Pritam ups his game with this one at the end of the year.
6. Mohenjo Daro
The A R Rahman album you didn’t hear, as the film made sure. Rahman is at his inventive best, imagining the ancient period sounds and vocals. It is the four instrumental tracks in the album that makes me put it in this list.
7. Ae Dil Hai Mushkil
Film with (initially) Pakistani characters also has very Pakistani sound. Junoon band-like Bulleya (though with forced Urdu lyrics); melancholy with production of early Bombay films sound – the trumpet and violins – in the title track (the title is also from a song which is an ode to Bombay city); catchy though pedestrian Break-up song; and a heartbreak song for the generation – Channa Mereya. This album, by Pritam, is packed with love.
Vishal-Shekhar’s best in a long time. The rousing title track, lovely Sachi Muchi, Papon’s Bulleya, Neha Bhasin’s Jag Ghoomeya, all are among the most memorable songs of the year.
9. Jai Gangaajal
Salim-Sulaiman reinvent themselves here, but unfortunately, most overlooked album of the year. 11-songs, richly-produced, rooted, inspired, and has eclectic mix of singers: from veteran Richa Sharma, Udit Narayan, Sukhwinder, Bappi Lahiri to young ones like Amruta Fadnavis, Arijit Singh and Pravesh Mallick. Do hear.
Another folk fusion album on this list. Composed by Tapas Relia, this has rich sounds, neatly produced. Mehandi, title track and instrumental theme are top picks of the album.