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Indian Music today : Dial M for melody... Not found....

Gone are the days when the Indian music used to be melodious. What I’m writing here might seem a rant to you but that this is the truth today and specially on the movie front. Its a mixture of various things- the music being composed today, the singers, the very absurd lyrics, the not so melodious compositions, the repeat mode of a single track all through the day or year, the extinction of the indian pop music scene... there is so much to talk on so many things, even I don’t know where to start. Let’s take it as it comes to my mind . Keep the Indian classics out of this… they are melodious, no question about it.

My reference point for this is music from 2000 till 2008 – 2009 or maybe even a few years after that. 2000 was when we really did start having some really melodious music. You had Dil chahta hai, Kaho na pyaar hai and so many melodious soundtracks that it was always a tough choice which album to buy? The decline on the music front started when you actually had to think that why should I buy this album?? In the yesteryears, out of the standard 8 tracks, if you even liked 6, that was probably reason enough. As the years passed on and the movies started to come out of the 3 hour duration timeframe the songs also declined but at least give us something good to sing and hum about.. Right??

The last movie album I remember buying in CD format was Love Aaj Kal. After that, no music was good enough for me to buy the disc. These days movies focus on a single track and ignore the rest of the songs, so many times you miss hearing the really awesome ones. Jannat was a super blockbuster music wise and the songs are loved even today. “ Door na jaa” was never known that much because it was never in the movie, it was in the album though. Listen that song, you can trace its location in the climax . I talked to my friend about this and she said that younger generation likes current songs. My question is that when the lyricists are penning down, “ Char botal vodka” or “Selfie le le re” would the so-called generation would have ever known “Aashayein” from Iqbal or even “Awarapan Banjarapan” by KK both in terms of music and lyrics? These are just 2 songs I have quoted. Even “ Main kya hoon” from Love Aaj Kal is a sleeper hit, just hear it. These days when you ask people what is melodious music to them, prompt comes the reply “Sufi”. It is melodious, but we really did have melodious music and lyrics even before it came to the centrestage. Qawalli I think has gone totally extinct like the dinosaurs. The last time I remember hearing that was in Veer Zaara years back. Music these days is the ` फटाफट Chinese माल की तरह बिक जाए` types, not long lasting. The Bhatts are known for giving awesome music, be it Gangster`s Ya Ali , Jannat. Recently though they have fallen just short of giving a complete album. All the movies today run on just one 1-2 songs only. 

Kumar Sanu and Alka Yagnik

Sonu Nigam and Udit Narayan

As I talk about music, one thing to be noted is the lack of quality singers. Today Arijit Singh is the `one man fits all` singer. In virtually every movie he sings in the same style, with less or virtually no modulation. He might be melodious, but variety... No. The best of the lot are nowhere to be seen now - Sonu Nigam, Udit Narayan, Alka Yagnik, Kumar Sanu, Abhijit etc. Shankar Mahadevan is the only exception for his versatility both as a singer and music director. The music directors of today churn out run-of-the-mill songs with nothing new. Can any of them recreate the magic of say “Tanhayee” from DCH or even Kal Ho Na Ho title track? I doubt it. Remember that viral video in which Sonu Nigam sang in a disguised on the streets of Mumbai. In the interview following days after that, he said that directors approached him now only if they need something special. He still has that magic, listen to his song from Agneepath. Kumar Sanu’s fans would swear by his track in Dum Laga ke Haisha. 

I don’t even want to comment on the lyrics front. Majority of them is “throw it in a blender and let’s see what comes up” types. Any ऐरा गैर ऐवेही type lyrics become a “ chartbuster/blockbuster song. 

Now let’s turn a bit of attention towards the `God knows where` indipop scene which exploded with a bang. Junoon, Euphoria (although they are still there), Colonial cousins , Silk Route, Aryans have all vanished sort of. My very first album was Daler Mehendi`s Tunak tunak tun but I truly truly loved “ Tanha Dil”. Be it the title track, Bhool jaa, Gumsum ho kyun…it was all really good. Over the years I have heard bands coming up with singles for movies but not full albums. Across the border Strings. Just on a whim I heard “Dhaani” many many years back and become a fan, it was so good a track. Then they came up with another track “Najaane kyun” for Spiderman 2 and Sanam repeated the same thing with The Amazing Spiderman 2 “ Main hoon”. Kuch is tarah is still the prime choice for many who have heard Atif Aslam`s `Doorie` (there would always be a debate between Doorie and Kuch is tarah). I have heard Faridkot and Kaash some years back but even they don’t come out so frequently now as they did before. Even KK is absent from the scene. 

My friend Geetanjali Kaul had this to say – “ We don't have good music composers and lyricists now. Use of mechanical music and not real musical instruments have changed the quality of music. It is very good but has lost the essence. No audience is left for our kind of oldie music.” 

We had so much good music more than 1.5 decade – 7 years back which now comes in trickles. I am not saying that the music these days is not good but it somehow doesn’t give you that feel good feeling. These are just my thoughts on the wait for good music which is still going on…. 

Few honourable mentions which were also the base of this post ( the list is not exhaustive ) – आसमान के पार , यारों दोस्ती (Rockford), आसमान के हैं सारे तारे (KK), अब न जा, महफूज़, माएरी (Euphoria), बुल्ला की जाना ( Rabbi Shergill), धड़के जिया ( Aloo Chaat ), धूप के सिक्के ( Sikander ), जाने क्या चाहे मन ( Pyaar ke side effects), मेरा बिछड़ा यार , यह है मेरी कहानी (Strings), मौला मेरे मौला ( Anwar) , मेरा पहला पहला प्यार (MP3), अनजाना दिल क्या चाहे, रोया रे ( Dhokha ), तेरा मेरा प्यार ( Kumar Sanu), तो फिर आओ (Awarapan), तिनका तिनका (Karam), बीते लम्हें, खुदा जाने, सजना आ भी जा, and many many more…

Like this broken vinyl, no longlasting melody in
today`s music...
Indian Music today : Dial M for melody... Not found.... Indian Music today : Dial M for melody... Not found.... Reviewed by Shwetabh on 7:49:00 PM Rating: 5


  1. I absolutely agree with you. The lyrics and the music supporting them are unbearable these days :-( They might get instant likes as they hit the stand but they are forgotten in a jiffy as well...never to be heard again!

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