Review Of 2009 – Part Four: My Favourite Soundtracks of the Year

The great thing about Bollywood is that even if there are some awful films, you can always count on some amazing music to soften the blow. In fact, there were some stinkers of films this year that had cracking soundtracks.  I generally find that with Hindi film songs that they either grow on me over a period of time or in some rare cases, are instantly put on my playlist and stay there for a good period of time. Music wise, there were some very strong albums though I doubt many of the Class of 2009 will make the leap into posterity -many soundtracks may feel dated after a while. So here are my favourite albums/soundtracks from 2009:

Billu – This was one album that became an instant favourite with me the first time I heard it – with the three item numbers taking pride of place on the album, the normal tracks were quite decent too. I loved the Arab-esque sound of Marjaani and the dramatic way the song begins. Then came what has to be my favourite song of the year, Love Mera Hit Hit, another Arab influenced track that was very catchy and demanded the repeat button many times. I also loved You Got Me Rockin and Khudaya Khair – both strong songs in their own right but equally work nicely when played alongside one another. When you don’t have to hit the fast forward button when listening to any album, you know its a good ‘un.

Delhi 6 – A.R Rehman had a fantastic 2008 with 3 amazing albums – Jodhaa Akbar, Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na and Ghajini and this year was no exception. Delhi 6 was a wonderfully underrated album that was affected by the film not doing so well at the box office but it still managed to find its listeners and still gets respectable airplay on the radio. First was the delightful Masakali with its French accordion and Mohit Chauhan’s vocals. Then there was Arziyan and Genda Phool which had Rahman at his best, with songs that are unique and full of soul and still leave you wanting more after hearing them – I also loved the CD cover which tied in neatly with the film’s theme (the mirror of truth)….

Aa Deke Zara – I’ll be honest, I didn’t like all the songs and remixes on this album (its rare that I do!)  But there were some good songs to be had here. First off was Gazab which still sounds fun on the dancefloor as does Let’s Rock The Party.  But the hidden gem here was Mohabbat Aapse which took some time to grow on me but once I was into it, it was a case of visiting it as a decent chill out tune. Again, box office performance affected this one but give it a listen if you get the chance…

New York – I’ll be honest,  there was only one song that I kept listening to from this OST – Hai Junoon. But it still sounds good and reminds me of a good time in life so I had to include it! I do recall there being another song on this album I liked but when it comes down to it, it was all about Hai Junoon for me…

Kambakkht Ishq – Here was one soundtrack that was blatantly commercial and has the sole purpose of entertaining the listener – which it does. There is the catchy Om Manglam song which amuses (and is quite fun to dance to), then the peppy title song and the upbeat funky Lakh Lakh and then, for me, the piece de resistance, Alisha Chinoy crooning the poptastic Bebo. This is one of those that won’t be for posterity but for now, is still enjoyable.

Love Aaj Kal – Like Billu, this one could be played from start to finish without the need to fast forward any of the tracks. Whether it was the more mellow tracks like Dooriyan, Aaj Din Chayeda, or Thoda Thoda Pyar or the upbeat funky Twist, Aahun Aahun and Main Kaun Hoon, this was just a great album and became the soundtrack to my summer. A fun album that seamlessly blurred the line between the film and the songs – always a good thing.

Kaminey Dhan Te Nan….like everyone else, this song on first hearing was a real WTF moment but after seeing the film, the penny dropped and its now a floor filler at the discotheque with boys finally able to call a song their own. There was plenty more on this album too – Pehli Baar Mohabbat was a lovely summer evening chill out track whilst Fatak and Raat Ke Dhai Bajje were fun tracks to dance around the house to. Another instant favourite.

Dil Bole Hadippa! – Yashraj can always be relied upon for brilliant music – surprisingly, I did skip some of the tracks but that could have been because I kept listening to the ones I liked on loop – Hadippa and Hadippa The Remix are both instantly catchy and fun to dance to. Discowale Khisko gets me onto the dancefloor whilst Ishq Hai Rab is a nice chillout song that always seems to be on the radio. I liked the soundtrack better than the film…hmmm

What’s Your Rashee? – There were three songs that I loved from WYR – the smooth sultry title song, Jao Na and Su Che. There were some other cool tracks on this album (Sau Janam comes to mind) but it was the first three songs I mentioned that I kept going back to and still sound good. A lot of the songs were situational which may account for why there were only a few standout tracks but still, a decent album.

Kurbaan – Now this really is an album of contrasts – on the one hand, we have the gorgeous Shukran Allah which is so Bollywood it hurts and sounds as fresh as the first time one heard it. Then we had Dua Hain which is also upbeat and a pleasant listen. In total contrast was the rock tastic Kurbaan Hua, which sounded gritty, urban and very cool – this is still my choice of song to walk down the street donning a moody look…

Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani – This one gets my surprise choice of the year – I really didn’t think I would like the songs as much as I do – with my favourite song being Tera Hone Laga Hoon, even the remix is as good as the original which shows what a great song it is. There was also Tu Jaana Na, and the endearing Prem Ki Naiyya which grew on me over time. Not to everyone’s taste but like Kaminey, those who got it, loved it.

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