RGGiri on Amit Trivedi

Insofar as Bollywood Music Directors are concerned, I remember a time when every alternate album was done by Nadeem Shravan. And then Anu Malik, and then Jatin Lalit. Within a few movies, their sound would become repetitive, and one would wonder if they have exhausted their tricks already. And then A R Rahman happened. The world seemed a better place. He made others innovate and compete for the top dollars. One waited for A R Rahman to create magic over and over again. And he obliged.

And then, Amit Trivedi made a quiet entry with Aamir. Since the world was not ready to acknowledge his brilliance yet, he blasted the doors open with Dev D. And has continued to go strong. Or, at least, that’s what it feels like as I started typing this post. Latest – Kai Po Che. So, I decided to look at his list of albums (movies only) and do RG giri. RG Giri is relative grading giri for the uninitiated. Majorly potent if you want to humiliate the studs, by telling them that you’re cool, but not cool enough. Or, as a friend pointed out long back – “If I lose because of RG Giri,  then I wouldn’t have lost at all. That’s why I don’t feel bad about my grades Macha!”

In 2008, he came on to the scene with Aamir. Excellent movie backed by an excellent track. Ha Raham continues to be one of my favorites till date. Ek Lau, Chakkar Ghumyo, and Phas Gaya were excellent tracks as well.

In 2009, DevD happened. And not much should be debated about the album being one of the finest of the last decade. My favorite – probably, Payaliya. However, in that year itself, the honors were well split between DevD (that won him the National Award) and that solitary song in that movie where the primary music directors were the brilliant Shankar Ehsaan Loy. Pushing all the songs from Wake Up Sid to the background, Iktara became one of the most requested songs on all radio shows.

In 2010 – He gave me Udaan. I consider Udaan to be one of the best OSTs I have heard in Indian cinema. There are few tracks that have done as much justice to the movie as Udaan. It’s difficult to pick a favorite from this album. Aazaadiyaan might have done more on the loop, but I am totally in love with the spontainety of Motumaster. Then came Aishaa. I don’t think its as good as Udaan, but it’s  important to understand how Trivedi was able to move away from being predictable. Aisha is a formulaic soundtrack – a punjabi number (Gal Mitthi Mitthi Bol), an acoustic romantic ballad (Shaam bhi koi), a peppy track (Suno Aisha), an excellent latin beat in Behke Behke Nain, and a sad song (Lehrein).  Fairly complete album with enough of his own brand stamped on it. Just to round up 2010, there was that one song in Striker too (Bombay Bombay). Decent, but not the best.

In 2011, No One Killed Jessica topped the charts. Intezaar, Dilli, Aali Re, Dua. #Nuffsaid. Then came “I Am”. Which had Baangur. He did only three songs in Baangur, but probablyt the most recognizable ones. 2011 also had Chillar Party. I haven’t paid much attention. It had that Ranbir Kapoor item song (Tain Tain Phiss) that did well. But as an album, I found it to be just OK. (Mental note- go check it again).

2012 – The tribe is growing now. Ishaqzaade, Ekk Main Aur Ek Tuu, English Vinglish, Aiyaa, Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana. Five remarkably different from each other soundtracks. Aiyyaa didn’t work for met at a broader level. But had some good peppy numbers and a reasonable amount of justice done to Laavni and Marathi folk. Aga Bai and Dreamum Wakeuppam became quite big hits. I was supremely impressed by the track of Ishaqzaade. Again, formulaic in a way, but extremely fresh. Had two item numbers (Jhalla Wallah and Chokra Jawan Re), both of them very sticky and very un-gross. The music of Luv Shuv was pleasant punjabi folk. A big departure from the non-Punjabi’s perception of Punjabi music being just Bhangra. Let it grow on you. It’s beautiful. Tere laiyon haazir biba luv shuv tey chicken khurana. English Vinglish and Ek Main were decent. I won’t go crazy praising them, but they were better than average. My favorite track from English Vinglish is Dhaak Dhuk. From Ek Main, its Gubbare. Though both the title tracks are quite catchy as well. Key point. I am not getting tired of his sound yet.

2013 has a lineup. But for now, we have Kai Po Che. Manja already has me hooked. Though I must say that it has the 2009 Amit Trivedi feel to it. Shubharambh is excellent too. I am eagerly waiting for the rest.

So, in terms of the top 10 –

#10 – English Vinglish

#9 – Ek Main Aur Ek Tuu

#8 – Aishaa

#7 – Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana

#6 –I Am

#5 – Ishaqzaade

#4 – No One Killed Jessica

#3 – Aamir

#2 – Dev D

#1 – Udaan

I am sure many of you like Dev D better than Udaan. But what tilts it in Udaan’s favor is the quality of poetry in Udaan. And that takes me to a special mention for Amitabh Bhattacharyaa who has fantabulously supported Amit Trivedi with some awesome lyrics. The quality of lyrics has improved with Swanand Kirkire, Amitabh Bhattacharyaa and Piyush Mishra.

I have not included Wake Up Side here (just one song) and Kai Po Che (whole album isn’t available yet). The dude has a long way to go from here before his body of work is significant. But then, there is hope that he will deliver.

p.s. Just realized that Amit Trivedi composed for Trishna as well, a movie that sank without a trace. Should try and get hold of the soundtrack.

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