Two days ago I read this post about the best Hindi film soundtracks of 2010. I must say, I was disappointed with the article. Maybe my musical tastes do not match those of majority of the Indians and the site too, but missing out on a few really good soundtracks of the year after including Tees Maar Khan, Prince and Action Replayy is ridiculous, I feel. I was anyway about to write my post regarding my favourite Hindi film soundtracks of this year. Now I get an added reason to do so.
Not in any particular order, here we go.
1. Udaan (Composer: Amit Trivedi) - Can this guy ever get it wrong? After Aamir, Dev.D and Iktara in Wake Up Sid he came up with the soundtrack of perhaps the best Hindi film of 2010, Udaan. An untypical film demanded an untypical soundtrack, and that Amit Trivedi provided. My favourite from Udaan is Aazadiyan. The lyrics speak about freedom and liberation and that is exactly what the music feels like: liberation from the routine, monotonous music that composers in Hindi films had been providing. And although music in the rock genre may be his forte, he sure is adept at other genres too; fusion especially (more on this in the a little later.) Listen to Naav and Nadi Mein Talab Hain as well. The list mentioned above missed Udaan. Well, this list ensures that you shouldn't miss out on it like they did.
2. Aisha (Composer: Amit Trivedi) - And after Udaan, Trivedi followed it up with a commercial soundtrack in Aisha. But by 'commercial', he did not go to the ludicrous extents that other composers go to make their music commercial. Mixing various genres here (yes, that fusion I mentioned) he created a really eclectic soundtrack. From the rock of By the Way to the Punjabi folksy Gal Mitthi Mitthi Bol and from the acoustic Sham to the pop-ish title track, and how can one forget the soft-rock of Lehrein where he brought the piano and the violin together: absolutely melodious! This guy is here to stay.
3. Break Ke Baad (Composer: Vishal-Shekhar) - Vishal-Shekhar (VS) had composed music for I Hate Luv Storys (sic!) and Anjaana Anjaani before coming in to Break Ke Baad. All three films are romantic comedies and I didn't exactly like the music that the former two had. For Break Ke Baad, surprisingly though, VS went in for a more Western sound. The Indian feel was there too in Ajab Leher (where VS employed Neeraj Sridhar to sound amazingly different), but it was songs like Dhoop Ke Makaan, Dooriyan and Main Jiyoonga that had me swooning. It was probably the effect of working with a lyricist they had never worked before: Prasoon Joshi. But the results showed. And how!
4. Ishqiya (Composer: Vishal Bhardwaj) - Bhardwaj last composed music for his own film Kaminey last year and the music was a breakthrough hit. He composes again for debutant director Abhishek Chaubey and keeping with the rustic feel, yet thriller atmosphere of the film comes up with a suitable soundtrack. From the Spanish strumming of Dil Toh Bachcha Hain Jee to the electric guitar sounds on Ibn-E-Batuta, Bhardwaj really creates a fragrant blend. Badi Dheere Jali presents a classical tune in a slightly modern avatar. My favourite, though, remains Ab Mujhe Koi. A very soft track made even more soothing because of Rekha Bhardwaj's smooth voice. Enchanting.
Peepli [Live] - The songs were not the typical Hindi film sound again. Indian Ocean collaborated on the soundtrack and provided an amazing track in Des Mera.
This was my list for 2010. Two songs that do not make my list, but I'm sure will make others' lists for Best Hindi song of 2010 will be Munni Badnaam Hui and Sheila Ki Jawani. Well, to each his own. But I really do not endorse the use of people's names in such a lyrical context. Freedom of expression, too, has its limits.
Looking ahead, 2011, I hope will be a good year for music too. Amit Trivedi has already started it on a bright note with the music for No One Killed Jessica. Watch out for him; this man knows no bounds. Next year, then.