For the Bollywood music scene, 2013 proved to be pretty good. For once, the industry was entirely devoid of plagiarism accusations and there was one one or another great song playing around at any arbitrary time chosen. Music Directors, the A and B listers both churned out good music, while few let down expectations.
Nevertheless, there was still a handful of quality tracks which did well in terms of popularity too.
The top songs will be enumerated in the next post. For now, I'll discuss my views on the performance of composers and singers this year as well as the best albums.
Top 5 Bollywood Albums 2013
1. Raanjhanaa (A R Rahman)
2. Lootera / Shuddh Desi Romance (Amit Trivedi / Sachin-Jigar)
3. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy)
4. David / Kai Po Che (Multiple Composers / Amit Trivedi)
5. Ram Leela (Sanjay Leela Bhansali)
They've been around for more than 4 years now, and 2013 was the year they got due credit for the fantastic skill they've shown in composing.(They finally got a Wikipedia page too :D )This has been their biggest year yet with 5 full film scores(ABCD: Any Body Can Dance, Jayantabhai Ki Luv Story, Go Goa Gone, Ramaiya Vastavaiya, Shuddh Desi Romance)and guest compositions in 3 movies(Himmatwala, I Me Aur Mein, Issaq) as well. And apart from the templated Jayanta Bhai Ki Love Story, all the others were an absolute delight, with the stand out work in Shuddh Desi Romance coming right at top! No matter what, one or more Sachin-Jigar song was on hit charts all the time, round the year and with no compromise in quality and with no lack of experimentation. Their music continued to be in their signature style, bright electronic with great focus on melody, and for that they righteously deserves the position of the Composers of the Year!
2. A R Rahman
How does he do it?!! This is the question me as well as the millions of fans around the nation ask seeing Rahman consistently churning out quality music. Even with the humongous amount of expectations set on him, Rahman somehow manages to surpass them, raising the bar higher with every attempt. His Coke Studio @ MTV appearance catapulted the shows rating and elevated the shows quality to unexpected heights that most other artists failed to match up, even while giving their best. Rahman did 3 albums in 2013, two(Kadal, Maaryan) in Tamil and Raanjhanaa in Bollywood. Needless to say, all three were bloody good with Raanjhanaa being the pick of the lot! For me Raanjhanaa is the most repeat-worthy album of the year with each and every song so blissfully endearing. 9 tracks, and with a streak of experimentation throughout the album, Raanjhanaa proved to be a five course meal to music lovers!
3. Amit Trivedi
Mr. Trivedi opened 2013 with the exceptional Kai Po Che, delivering 3 solid songs, doing what he does best. Though what followed, Bombay Talkies and Ganchakkar, were average, he swooped in with he excellent Lootera, giving us bite into the 60's! Lootera, for me, is undoubtedly one of the best albums of the year.
SEL remained in their usual goodness this year, with 3 albums(Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, D-Day, Vishwaroop) reeking with good songs. While Bhaag Milkha Bhaag rose to become immensely popular, D-Day too had a fair share of tracks heavily appealing to the music audience. Vishwaroop, intially done in Tamil, was satisfying enough.
5. Pritam/Sanjay Leela Bhansali
While commercialization of quality music isn't exactly a new thing, Pritam is among the few who actually managed to give commercial music quality. While he wasn't in the stellar form he had shown in 2012, Pritam ruled the popular charts with his hotshot catchy songs. With 9 film scores this year, Pritam's presence was there every time though quality was compromised in many albums. Nevertheless, most critics will agree that Priam's music had a majority role in making Yeh Jawani hai Deewani a box office blockbuster, with a large number of people flocking the cinema halls only for the terrifically massy music!
Sanjay Leela Bhansali had one release this year, the blindingly colorful Ram-Leela, which he directed as well as composed music. While he has evolved a lot from the Guzaarish days, his craft with his old style were noticeable. Ram-Leela was not a great album in overall, but it sure had some great songs!
1. Arijit Singh
Arijit has become a heartthrob, a common name, all thanks to Tum Hi Ho, the biggest hit of the year! He continued to rule through songs like Dilliwali Girlfriend, Ilahi, Kabira, Chaahun mein yaana(and most other Aashiqui 2 songs), Kabhi Jo badal and the exceptionally rendered Laal Ishq!
2. Benny Dayal
Benny Dayal has kind of become the default choice for the catchy dance tracks now and expectedly he delivered the one of the biggest hits this year Badtameez Dil, where his rendition was both critically and commercially welcomed. Dayal went on to sing other chart busters like Lat Lag Gayi, Hey Mr DJ and Shuddh Desi Romance, all of which were accepted by the masses wholeheartedly.
3. Javed Ali
For the extra-ordinary vocal variations he brought out in Tum Tak(Raanjhanaa)
4. Sachin Sanghvi
How can somebody forget the most pleasant song of the year, Gulaabi?! And Sachin's singing though a bit bit tampered with technology was absolutely lovable!
5. Siddharth Mahadevan
Official anthem of the year, Zinda, and the kid who sung it with perfect conviction both deserve praise!
1. Shreya Ghoshal
2013 was undoubtedly Shreya's year. Starting with Sun Raha Hai, she ruled through Khusamdeed, Banarasiya, O Rangrez, Jeene Laga Hoon, Samne hai Sawera, Dhoop and her career best act in Ram-Leela, Nagada Sang!
2. Monali Thakur
Monali won a lot of heats for her simplistic, yet sweet rendition of Sawaar Loon.
3. Sona Mohapatra
Sang one of the biggest hits of the year Ambarsariya(composed by her hubby Ram Sampath) with utmost sublimity, so that she easily comes among the best singers!
4. Mili Nair
Meethi Boliyan might as well be the meethiest song of the year! :D
The gorgeous Titli, equally mesmerizing Chinmayi!