Songs Old and New

I have never done cultural criticism in my blog. Have I? At least not of the type that grows into its full fledged self, independent of the base, i.e. the Kasi-I amalgam. So, when music knocked on my eardrums and I had to respond, I decided to start with Banaras. It was in 1990 that the galis of my city were filled with the fragrance of melody: the reason behind it was the return of good music to Hindi films after a long time. The eighties had remained dry for the lovers of Hindi film music, barring a couple of songs here and there. It had been the disco decade for Hindi film music, with the kind of music that suited such musical themes. 1990 had brought Aashiqui to the city, and its music cassettes were playing everywhere.

Mahesh Bhatt had taken the unknown Rahul Roy, Anu Agarwal and Deepak Tijori in Aashiqui. The story had a hackneyed theme and it was shot completely in India. What made the film a super hit was its songs. “Dil Ka Alam, Janejigar Jaaneman, Main Duniya Bhula Dunga, Nazar ke Samne and Dheere Dheere Se” were played everywhere for a long time. “Sanson ki Zaroorat and Tu Meri Zindagi Hai” gave Kumar Saanu a place amongst the greats of Hindi Film Singers and Nadeem-Sravan began their long and successful career from there. Gulshan Kumar and T-Series became major league over night: all because of that one film. They still pick up the songs of the movie and re-mix them to sell.

2013 saw “Tum Hi Ho, Sun Raha Hai and Chahun Main Ya Na” being played everywhere. “Bhula Dena and Hum Mar Jayenge” were liked too. Aashiqui 2 became a mega hit and its music an even bigger hit than the film. Arijit Singh was launched on to the centre stage, in a way reminiscent of Saanuda’s rise. The lead couple is declared as more talented than that of the previous one.

Two decades and three years, the gap between the two films, also mean  a kind of technology in music that is much advanced. That definitely benefits songs of the the second film. Now, I descend into the realm of the subjective when I claim that the songs are good and the quality of the voices of the male playback singers is at least at par with that of Saanuda, if not with Mr. Narayan’s. The female playback voices are definitely better than their counterpart in the previous movie. As we are still in the realm of the subjective, I take the liberty to add a “but”. But, the pleasure that I derive from listening to Saanuda’s “Sanson ki Zaroorat and Tu Meri Zindagi Hai” in Aashiqui can’t be compared to anything that arises after listening to the two best  songs of the second movie: “Tum Hi Ho and Sun Raha Hai”.

I am introspecting to get to the heart of the matter.

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