Music reviews used to be regular here until a year ago. I stopped it when good albums stopped coming by. I used to like an album once in a few months, and listening to the rest wasn’t worth it. Not to say that the rest of the music was bad — perhaps it wasn’t creative enough at times, or it didn’t appeal to my taste.

I rely on recommendations now, although I give albums by A.R. Rahman, Amit Trivedi, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and a few others one listen before I decide whether I want to keep the songs. Some albums I liked recently were Mrigya’s World Harmony, Just Math Mathalli, Udaan and several assorted songs.

I picked up some great Español music while in Mexico, and I would’ve posted it but I’m still waiting for translations.

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The movie Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey (KHJJS) received mixed reviews, but the music was uniformly praised by everyone (including Karthik of ITWOFS whose views I respect). I gave it a thorough listen and while this is not a detailed music review, I loved the album. After a long time, KHJJS is a fresh sound in Hindi film music. We ought to watch out for Sohail Sen in the future.

The music of KHJJS sounds like vintage A.R. Rahman who used strong melodies and rhythm — for those who still remember. KHJJS relies on period instruments, so almost no guitars. If I wasn’t told the music was written by Sohail Sen, I’d reckon this was one of A.R. Rahman’s better albums. It is that good.

If I had to nitpick, strings might be overdone in the arrangement. However, the strings are of rich quality. Most composers use a synthesizer for strings as opposed to a violin ensemble. Sohail Sen uses the services of the Cine Musicians Association Strings Section in almost every song, and the grandiose is unmistakeable.

Good music of great technical quality is rare, and that is why I recommend this album.

Update: Another reason why KHJJS sounds like vintage Rahman — the title song does away with the mukhda/antara structure, reminiscent of Dil Se Re by A.R. Rahman.

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Here’s the title song. I hope you like it as much as I did:

Also check out Long Live Chittagong and Teenager’s Whistle.

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