Striker: Easy Listening

22 Jan

I have no idea what the movie Striker – or Strikah as the title song calls it – is about other than it stars Siddharth, but if I had to make a guess I’d say kirkit? Or maybe it’s about an assassin because it apparently also has Aditya Panscholi in it and I don’t think he’s played anything else in forever.

What I do know is that it has some pretty amazing music. From an eclectic mix of people including my least favorite rapper ever: Blaaze.

Knock me down with a feather. Maybe he only sucks when he gets with AR Rahman? I’ll even forgive him the gratuitous remix of his title song – those things are pretty much the rule these days aren’t they? I don’t know why. Are the honchos of the music companies under the impression that the audience craves them in some way or are they just getting more bang for their buck by scuttling whatever plans someone else might have had for remixing their oh-so-special tracks? Do they have special acoustics in their offices that makes it perpetually sound like the 1970s? Coz not every song is worth it, you know.

Anyhoo…Amit Trivedi keeps up the excellent work from last year with Siddharth’s spoken word effort in Bombay Bombay. And sounding like Trivedi and Blaaze’s love child is Yuvan Shankar Raja’s Haq Se.

Moving towards the more traditional end of the spectrum is Swanand Kirkire with Maula, which is an enjoyable track but is terribly outshone by its company who definitely brought their A-game. However, Kirkire makes up for lost ground with his wordsmithing skills.

Vishal Bhardwaj then teams up with Gulzar to show him how it’s done with Yun Hua. When the man can take a song that by rights belongs on a Hallmark commercial – or some other product that makes Young Love flip their hair a lot and punch the air in celebration – and melt your heart with it, you know things are good. Could anybody stand up to these two?

Funny you should ask. Because the person who does the most interesting work on Striker is Shailendra Barve. He gets two songs and he makes them count. After what seems like a long time, Sunidhi Chauhan gets to do something different with her voice  in the quietly reflective Pia Sanvara. And it is Barve who composed what is the standout track on this album for me: the semi-classical Chham Chham. Here’s something after a good long while that actually asks Sonu Nigam to do more than coast.

To me, it sounds like the song I always wanted AR Rahman’s Kehna Hi Kya from Bombay to be. If it manages to capture the zeitgeist a la Amit Trivedi’s Kavita Seth-crooned Iktara from Wake Up Sid, I bet you’re all going to be mighty sick of this song in the near future. The good news is that I’ve been listening to this song, alongside that other recent Vishal Bhardwaj gem, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s rich caramel-y Dil to Bachcha Hai from Ishqiya, on a near constant loop for the past week and it still hasn’t palled.

This is something I would buy. If the movie’s even half as interesting as its album, you can sign me up. But then you already knew that. 2010’s off to a flying start. What’s everybody else listening to these days? I need weekend recommendations!


Posted by on January 22, 2010 in Entertainment, Movies, Music, Review, Video


30 responses to “Striker: Easy Listening

  1. Empowerment Engineer

    January 22, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    Okay, Amrita, you need to tell me where you get your movie/song/tvshow recommendations from. Because you usually come up with things that I haven’t even heard of before. I have been listening to Ishqiya for a bit now (my favorite is Ab mujhe koi, Rekha’s smoky voice is awesome), but this movie Striker.. when did this come out? Okay so this is my long winded way of saying that I don’t have recommendations for you 😦

    Btw, I totally enjoyed watching the first two episodes of Mahi Way.. though, how long can they sustain this momentum is the question. I loathe to think about the time when I will have to wait for expression-reflection sequences to get over instead of marveling at the plastic face of Pushtie (seriously, how cute of a name is that?)

    • Empowerment Engineer

      January 22, 2010 at 5:47 pm

      I feel the need to qualify my statement: “Plastic” in science is what “elastic” is in colloquial usage.

  2. fromherewegosublime

    January 22, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    “Are the honchos of the music companies under the impression that the audience craves them in some way or are they just getting more bang for their buck by scuttling whatever plans someone else might have had for remixing their oh-so-special tracks?”

    Honestly wtf is up with this?? I’ll admit that I took a break from Bollywood movies and music for a while but how long has this been going on for ?? The last album I heard that had so many remixes was the soundtrack for “Musafir”. It has two cds – club version and lounge version. The latest victim for awful remixes is the soundtrack for Ishqiya. The album contains only four tracks which are spectacular but they included three more remixes which are completely unnecessary. I would rather have them include the background score. I guess quantity over quality is the norm. “Dil to Bacha hai ji” is on heavy rotation but another track that has left me in awe is “Badi Deheere Jali” sung by V Bhardwaj’s wife Rekha Bhardwaj. Thats one talented family right there. So lets see, here is what Ive been listening to a lot lately.

    1) Ishqiya – Vishal Bhardwaj + Gulzar. Thats all you need to know.

    2) Dev D – Ive said it before but this is one of the best OSTs of 2009

    3) Gulaal – I am surprised this OST didnt get more attention. The track “Aarambh” always gives me goosebumps.

    4) My Name is Khan – I haven’t listened to it a whole lot yet but I already love the track Sajda. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan can do no wrong.

    5) Omkara – I am pretty much obsessed with anything Omkara related and the soundtrack is amazing. Vishal Bhardwaj is a genius etc etc etc.

    I can always use some more music suggestions as well. I will check out Striker soon.

    – Piyush

  3. pitu

    January 22, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    It’s about carrom actually. I know coz I saw the trailer. Siddharth looked cute for 2 seconds and then morphed into that effete creature from that lame Sonali Bendre movie (can’t be bothered to remember the name) but it was a copy of You’ve Got Mail. And also, Dil to bacha = addictive.

    • MP

      January 25, 2010 at 1:09 am

      OMG – thats exactly what I thought – the umm…guy from Kadhalar Dhinam (Dil something or the other in Hindi) – the only reason the movie’s stayed with me is the song Ae Nazneen Suno Naa which my brother played thru the day for about 3 weeks (dont ask me about my childhood, please..)
      How did Siddharth from Nuvvu Vastavante turn into this!??!?!

      • pitu

        January 25, 2010 at 2:33 pm

        I don’t remember that one so much as ‘Aaj garbe ki raat hai’ which they blared at EVERY dandiya/garba. It’s still played at some dandiyas!

  4. En List

    January 22, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    Even before I read Pitu’s comment (haven’t watched the trailer; like EE, I too had no idea this movie existed), carrom was what struck me the instant I saw the word “Striker” (guess I must be among the target audience then!). 😀

    Clicked on that promo song video and liked what I heard. Will def. check out the rest, thankee!

    And since you ask, my ears are steeped in Tamil songs since last week or so; let’s say Kannukkul Kannai (from ARR’s latest Tamil album, VtV) is to me what Dil to Bachcha hai is to you (speaking of the latter, I’m reminded of a Vijay song lyric that goes “Kaadal oru kuzhandhai” from a godforsaken movie of his named Shahjahan, speaking of which, I have this song from that movie on my playlist this week… oh I could go on). I also checked out a cute Trisha song on Youtube today that I think you might like as well.

  5. Sakshi

    January 22, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    Will pass on the lovely compliment to Shailen. They are my favorite tracks, too. But then I am a tad biased 🙂

  6. Gradwolf

    January 23, 2010 at 12:19 am

    Striker is awesome, isn’t it? Usually having so many composers results in suicide but it has worked beautifully in this one. But I don’t understand what’s the whole fuss about Ishqiya. Good soundtrack, definitely, but people are raving like it’s the next big thing since DevD or something like that. It’s just okay.

    I am going to repeat what En List just said. Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya is the soundtrack recommendation of the month. Or the year so far(Just 23 days, you know I am a ARR fanboy :P) But yes, listen to Aaromale,Omana Penne, Hosanna (you’re fav Blaaze interlude notwithstanding), Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya and Kannukul Kannai in that order. Thank me, but only after five listens! 😛

  7. Gradwolf

    January 23, 2010 at 12:28 am

    And Amrita, nooooooooooooooooo! How can you? That guy is Ilaiyaraja’s son for chrissakes! Yuvan Shankar Raja! Not Jha! Oh my kadavule!

  8. aroon

    January 23, 2010 at 1:48 am

    Listen to coke studio on youtube..

  9. soin

    January 23, 2010 at 2:29 am

    something different-

  10. Bala

    January 23, 2010 at 9:18 am

    One more vote here for Aaromale from V.V( I assume you listen to Tamil music occasionally ) and ummm Hey ya from Karthik calling karthik 😀

  11. M

    January 23, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    ooh yeah, the songs from Ishqiya are lowely…and Vidya looks very earthy and very good, and I already covet a couple of outfits I’ve seen her in 🙂

    Poor Blaaze…I actually liked him in Boys…but yeah, he tends to be bad otherwise…at this point though I will listen to *anything* by Vishal Bharadwaj – even a recitation of the telephone directory!


  12. Amrita

    January 23, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    EE – Pushtiie is tres cute! And I’m so glad that plastic has a different meaning for you coz I was about to strap on my sword and challenge you to a duel! Re: music – well, i just usually go to a site like Dishant or Raga or Radio Sargam or whatever and check the new additions. 99% of the time it’s indifferent fare. But that 1% is totally worth it. And that’s what I buy. 🙂 Support quality, pirate quantity!

    Piyush – glad to see I’m not the only one. At least with Musafir they had an actual plan and reason for what they were doing and took some trouble with it. I enjoyed that album in fact. Sanjay Gupta is a hack but he’s a hack who mostly knows his limitations and strengths and plays to them.
    I did listen to My Name is Khan and I felt it was a bit too conventional. One of the reasons Dil To Bachcha Hai appeals so strongly to me is that it makes Rahat Fateh Ali Khan do something different. He himself does a lot of that in his albums and I’ve always thought it criminal that more Bollywood composers dont ask him to do it coz the man is a genius. He + VB+ Gulzar = My life is made.
    Oh, and you’re right, Dev D was fucking phenomenal. A very good year for Amit Trivedi last year.

    Pitu – carrom? BWAHAHAHHA! Er, sorry. Now I have to check it out. Oh my god @ Sonali Bendre movie: can you believe the Tamil version was all the rage when it came out? Thakela to the max.

    En List – ah, I was never part of that subculture. So I had no idea. Is it wrong that I find it hilarious? Striker: the story of an angsty carrom player! :mrgreen: It sounds so insane, it might actually be good.

    Sakshi – ooo, is he your friend? Tell him I’m very hard to please and a total meanie when I don’t like something but I loved his work here and look forward to more from him! And I bought this album largely based on his work.

    Adithya – HAHAHAHHA! I dont even know why I typed that. Typo to end all typos! Its fixt now.
    I have to disagree about Ishqiya – they’re just four songs if you dont count the remixes (and I dont) and each of them grows in complexity as you listen. It isn’t as varied and sprawling as Dev D but it’s exciting work. Also a lot of us have VB+ Gulzar-itis. 😀
    Thanks for the recs! I needed them!

    Aroon – will do!

    Soin – thanks! 🙂

    Bala – yes I do! It’s like listening to Malayalam for me though: the lyrics trip me up and I need to stumble through. 🙂 So shameful!
    I wasn’t sure if I liked Karthik Calling Karthik but it’s been growing on me.

    M – Girl looks good in sarees! Esp with minimum jewelry. After Paa this is the second movie in which she looks good after Parineeta. So shocking. 😀 Could the days of Vidya Balan: National Lampoon be over?
    Blaaze wasn’t all that bad in Delhi 6 I thought. Maybe age is making him better?

    • pitu

      January 23, 2010 at 11:35 pm

      Sadly I already know one person who will totally see Striker first day first show even though he usually rants on and on abt ‘movies these days’, ‘music these days’ ,anything ‘these days’ actually. It’s my Sudhir uncle who apparently was a major carrom ‘champion’ in his Shivaji Park-Dadar teenage years and many, many (far too many) stories about his ‘victories’ have been recited. So I have a feeling the story of an angsty carrom player will totally get him all excited/riled up/tormented/screechy. Chalo ek to audience member milega :p

      • sunil

        January 24, 2010 at 1:43 pm

        Hey don’t underestimate how big carrom still is. Suffice to say that if girls get angsty about how they look, I get angsty about why do I suck at carrom. :-p

  13. Bala

    January 23, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    oops..that is Malayalam in Aaromale…one quick jump back in time I assume you listen to mallu music occasionally ? 😀 oh and the most irritating song from recent movies…10 on 10 from Pyaar Imp…( did you notice that it has three ex-viva girls outta the 5 songs ? )

  14. pri

    January 23, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    i’ve been obsessed with uff teri ada from karthik calling karthik. it’s such a happy song. it’s like fanaa from yuva meets koi kahe from dil chahta hain.

  15. Praveen

    January 23, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    I loved the Vishal Bharadwaj and the Yuvan Shanker Raja number.

  16. bala

    January 25, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    @pri : fanaa meets koi kahe ?For some reason it just reminds me of their club songs in Kal ho na ho and…the other movie escapes me :/

  17. sachita

    January 30, 2010 at 2:49 am

    ditto as others, i am still exploring vtv as of now. and as i write this ishqiya is already getting rave reviews.

  18. Prats

    January 31, 2010 at 10:12 am

    superb song selection … dnt know if u will like it .. but the song “surili ankhiyon wale” from veer has managed to stay in my playlist for a week now and i guess that makes it a decent number !! 🙂

    ps: came to ur log wen it showed up a post of urs in the google search for “hindi swear words” ! but ur blog is indeed lovely .. even if it did not had that post 🙂 n oh.. that post was niice !!

  19. Piyush

    February 9, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    “Cham Cham” has won me over. I cant seem to get enough of it lately. “Maula Ajab Teri Karni Maula” is really great as well but it suffers from mediocre background music and there is not enough variation to warrant the length of five minutes.

    Have you seen the movie Amrita?? Its actually released on Youtube for free by the moviemakers. Its all in HD 🙂

    I watched it yesterday and loved it. Its not about Cricket (thank God) but about Carrom.

    P.S – siddharth is pretty easy on the eyes as well.

  20. radhika

    July 4, 2010 at 3:48 am

    Interesting music review, Amrita. Amit Trivedi’s music is excellent – the range of genres he experiments with in DevD was simply amazing. I thought his work in Aamir also was fabulous and didn’t get enough of a response. The sufi Ha Raham and Chakkar Ghumyo were both excellent and Ek Lau had this almost mesmeric effect. By the way, you said Yun Hua Raat Ye reminded you of Dil to Bachcha Hai – it reminded me more of the superb title song Kaminey – also sung by VB with Gulzar’s lyrics.

    • Amrita

      July 4, 2010 at 2:29 pm

      ITA about Aamir. Have you heard Mithoon’s work in Lamhaa? I’m currently obsessed with “Madhno”.

  21. radhika

    July 4, 2010 at 3:50 am

    Sorry, re-read your article. My mistake. You didn’t say Yun Hua reminded you of Dil To Bachcha – just that you were playing the latter in a loop.

  22. fromherewegosublime

    August 7, 2010 at 2:09 am

    was listening to Striker OST again and thought about coming back to this thread.

    As far as new music is concerned, I am listening to a lot of Aisha (Amit Trivedi does it again) and Lamhaa (Mithoon). The only problem with Lamhaa soundtrack is that some of the tracks are way too long. Madno/Sajnaa is amazing although

    ohh and Raavan is still on heavy rotation….

    • Amrita

      August 7, 2010 at 3:58 pm

      Aisha and Lamhaa are definitely my favorite albums right now. Madhno is absolutely mesmerising. However, i just saw Aisha and the soundtrack is largely wasted on it. I also liked Peepli Live and a couple of tracks from Lafangey Parindey as well as one from Dabangg if you can believe it.

      I dont have a account 🙂 Should I get one?

  23. fromherewegosublime

    August 7, 2010 at 2:10 am

    P.S – Do you have a account Amrita??

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