Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Money Hai to Honey Hai is the best Bollywood soundtrack of Summer

How good is the soundtrack for Money Hai to Honey Hai? Created by relative unknowns to the masses, Nitin Arora and Sony Chandy, it is good enough to redefine Bollywood soundtracks.

At the core of this goodness are a bunch of sensuous, languorous beats. Arora-Chandy construct them with the confidence of seasoned professionals. They constantly tinker with their tracks - including terrific turns and changes of pace.

They repeatedly use a construct that pays off big: they tend to use a female vocalist for interludes that give their songs a seductive lilt. In addition the composers cast their singers really well - in particular the female vocals are thrown at some interesting choices that make for very interesting listening.

On a major release like this for them, these risks are nothing short of ballsy.

By forsaking tight melodies for complex tunes, Arora and Chandy make this CD sound very different than what has being coming down the pike lately.

Take the title track for instance. Forget that little Chinese ditty in the beginning or the obligatory boings and toings to inject humor in the song. The song starts with a beat that resembles a car sputtering to a start - which blends into an anthemic clap. The composers use Harshdeep Kaur here - who brings an impish cool to the song by incorporating a simmering chuckle in her voice.

If you thought Arora and Chandy made one brave choice, they bring another delicious mid tempo beat - built with an alternating piano and knocking percussion - to Awaara Dil where they hire Adnan Sami and ask him to clip his warbling. Here Arora-Chandy use Shruti Pathak to provide the interlude. Later on the same track they alternate an Island rap with a Mumbaiya rap - both of which give the song a distinct third act.

Switching gears on Rangeeli Raat, Arora-Chandy use Daler Mehndi and Master Saleem to alternate vocals and produce some cool breakbeats on what is a bhangra dance track. And since the bhangra overload of the new millennium I tend to avoid these. But I had no problems listening to this. Female relief on this song - Sunidhi Chauhan.

On Ta Na Na, the digworthy Kunal Ganjawala sings a seduction song with Rekha Bhardwaj - but its done with such humor over a slow DNB jam with whoops, flutes and a whistle - that it instantly alleviates the roteness of the situation.

There is more worth discovering on the soundtrack - Labh Janjua, so sensational on Soni De Nakhre from Partner sings a stabbing, entertaining song called Chhuriyaan which contains sweet backup vocals from Sunidhi and enough minor digressions in bhangra vocal arrangements that make the song stand out.

Suraj Jagan handles the surprisingly tricky, derivative but hugely catchy power ballad No Big Deal - about a man refocusing on hope to negotiate a particular dark juncture in life - with feel and panache. Once past the initial violin intro - No Big Deal is a spare 3 piece rock track done well. This song is also translated into an instrumental theme titled Hope - where Arora-Chandy notably and successfully employ a rasping electric flute.

Finally Shaan and Shivamani pair up on Dance Master. But enough from me. Go have a listen and hear it for yourself.


Anonymous said...

Great review Aspi. The only song I've heard so far is the Rangeeli Raat and I must say, it's damn catchy! Plus, I just realized, it's the first time I've seen Celina Jately smile...generally she's got that botox expression on her face AT ALL TIMES!

Cant wait to hear the rest of the songs!!

Anonymous said...

Hey, how about a review of Singh is King. Heard there is a song by Snoop on the album.

Anonymous said...

I saw a random song of Money hai to honey hai called "Japphi pa" or somethin like that and it was truly hilarious to watch cuz of Hansika's constipated expressions.


Unknown said...

Its a shame really that that CD is going be ruined by a Govinda movie. Life is just not fair.

But I hope to hear more from these guys in the future. (I read somewhere Nitin Arora is a TV actor)

Unknown said...

j, Singh is King has Snoop? I'm there. Hopefully tonight.

Also have been listening to Amir. Hmmm...interesting. Perhaps I need to see the movie to fully appreciate it because that is one stylistic soundtrack (and I know stylistic is a much abused word).

Anonymous said...

About the Dawgg here is the video:

Anonymous said...

The suggested Song from Singh Kingg to Master Blogger Aspi is
* Teri Ore by Rahat FAK & Shreya

Unknown said...

j, just checked out the Sing is King vid. Is it just me or is Snoop's piece in there not the song he is singing at all. They spliced some other song's visuals in there.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...."honey" is slang for a certain female body part.
Haven't heard the music but is the title meant to have hideen meaning?

Unknown said...

And here I thought Honey was a generic term for sweetness, comfort and the good things in life.

Mind Rush, which school did you go to?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, that video does seem spliced. I read a review of Singh is King (I believe it was rediff) that talked about Snoop singing one of the songs. They were all rah-rah on the album.

My guess is that the producers must have bought the rights of one of snoops songs and added it in there.

Kind of like when Jerry Bruckheimer bought rights to play "Chaiya Chaiya" a few years ago he added it to everything he was producing (a movie, a tv serial).