Good-bye 2009, welcome 2010! As one more year goes down the history pages, here we are back with our customary exercise of looking back at the year's musical highlights. As usual, 2009 had its share of hits and misses but the hits were few and the misses galore! The overall quality of music dished out in 2009 was largely mediocre at best but there were quite a few flashes of brilliance, too! So here is a quick walk down the melody lane of Year 2009.
This was undoubtedly the year of Pritam Chakraborty. This bespectacled, bearded Bengali man looking like an IIT nerd was easily Bollywood's most prolific and most successful composer this year. His penchant for pilfering foreign tunes has often received brickbats but he also deserves the bouquets for his versatile song-making and excellent sound designing. His music in New York, Tum Mile, Love Aaj Kal, Ajab Prem Ki Gajab Kahani and Billu Barber was worth appreciating.
After his Oscar-winning performance last year, A.R. Rahman returned to Bollywood-scene with Blue, a multi-coloured soundtrack, which failed to strike big thanks to film's failure. Morning Walk (Jeet Ganguly), Gulal (Piyush Mishra) and What's Your Rashee (Soham) were some interesting soundtracks that missed the bus because of flop films. The failure of Radio proved that the Himesh Reshammiya- phenomenon is on its last legs!
Box-office-wise Shankar- Ehsan- Loy had a rather lackluster year but still their music in 13 B, Luck By Chance, Wake Up Sid and London Dreams provided many good songs. The last year's forerunners Vishal- Shekhar only had a rather forgettable Aladin to show in their kitty! In contrast, Salim Sulaiman (Kurbaan), Vishal Bhardwaj (Kaminey) and Shantanu Moitra ( 3 Idiots) made their mark with some imaginative tunes.
Amit Trivedi emerged as the most promising new composer on the scene. His refreshing brand of fusion-tunes made quite an impact in Dev D and even his guest composition Iktara stole the show in Wake Up Sid.
Neeraj Shridhar was easily the success-story of the year. A man who started his journey as a 'remix-version singer' has finally came into his own with multiple 'original' chartbusters such as Tum Mile, Chorbazaari, Twist and Prem Ki Naiya. Sonu Nigam made a welcome return to form with some popular tracks like Shukran Allah, Don't Say Alvida, Aal Izz Well and Zoobi Doobi. Shankar Mahadevan too made his presence felt with many nice songs like Baaware, Sapnon Ke Bhare Naina and Man Ko Ati Bhaaye Sainya. KK was steady as ever with hits like Dil Ibaadat and Hai Junoon.
Shreya Ghoshal enjoyed a golden run with a nice mix of melodious and sensuous numbers. Her duets with Sonu Nigam succeeded as always and she was sensational in songs of Blue and Morning Walk. Sunidhi Chauhan too maintained her grip on the box-office with trademark item-songs but her mellow Mere Sang Chal Zara (from New York) was her best song of the year. Rekha Bhardwaj (Aankhon Se Ashq Tootkar), Bela Shende (Su Chhe Su Chhe) and Kavita Seth (Iktara) proved that there were more talents waiting in the wings.
All in all, 2009 brought a fair mix of music but let's hope and wish that 2010 brings more cheer!
Top 5 Songs of the year
Tum Mile – Tum Mile – Neeraj Shridhar
Shukran Allah – Kurbaan – Sonu Nigam, Shreya Ghoshal
Iktara – Wake Up Sid- Kavita Seth, Amitabh Bhattacharya
Emosanal Atyachar – Dev D – Rangeela, Raseela
Dhan Te Nan – Kaminey – Sukhvinder Singh, Vishal Dadlani
Top 5 Soundtracks of the year
Kaminey – Vishal Bhardwaj
Kurbaan – Salim Sulaiman
London Dreams – Shankar Ehsan Loy
Blue – A. R. Rahman
Love Aaj Kal - Pritam