2015 has been a year of some really big Bollywood releases. However, on the music front, some albums haven’t as big as the hype around the films themselves. The best way to describe the music of 2015 would be consistent. It’s been above average but consistent. The year has been packed with mediocre to above average music being produced and delivered throughout the year but none that over delivered but none that were terrible either. The standard has been good this year with producers showing maturity in the music which is truly representative of what the audiences and music aficionados really want to hear. This is of course a good sign and promising for the future of Bollywood music and could thus make 2015 a memorable year in that way. The year has also delivered a lot of cross over international music influencing the Bollywood sound ranging from Arabic to Spanish to Scottish pipes which reinforces the maturity in music taste and the expertise of our music directors to mould them in making it palatable for the South Asian masses.
With some really big film releases, all more so recently, the sound of the second half of 2015 dominates our charts here as we look back at the top 5 Bollywood music soundtracks of 2015. The first half of the year is really representative of the sound of 2014 as an overflow into the new year. Overall there have not been any clear winner albums that have created landmark successes or dominated the airwaves but considering the chart success, variety in the album and innovative approaches to musical expression here are our top 5 albums of the year.
We have a tie at the 5th position.
=5 ��� ��Dil Dhadakne Do�۪ (2015) ��� One can always expect the award winning team of Javed Akhtar saab, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Zoya Akhtar to not disappoint listeners when it comes to music. For A short album with just five songs, the soundtrack of ��Dil Dhadakne Do�۪ does pack a punch and creates a good impact. It is difficult to top a ��Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara�۪ (2011) or a ��Dil Chahta Hai�۪ (2001) for that matter but this was a really good attempt from the team. Overall, ��Dil Dhadakne Do�۪ was a great fun album to listen to with class and quality. Except one, all the songs on DDD album were distinguished with a great sound to them that make them each a possible hit within their genres and they did deliver. Gallan Goodiaan and Pehli Baar were the easy big tunes from the album in the dance and romantic categories with a fresh new take on them that is very vibrant and well written by Javed Akhtar saab. The title track Dil Dhadakne Do is special in itself with a nicely done composition that has a confident personality for an album lead song. SEL proved once again that they know how to get the right balance between the commercial aspects of music and delivering the feel of the film. Their genius work on Girls Like to Swing is worth the praise and became a cult song this year. The vocals were good throughout the album with new-comers Siddharth and Sukriti delivering a good impression on Pehli Baar while Farhan and Priyanka are great on the title track.
=5 ��� ��Tamasha�۪ (2015) ��� The artistic brain of director Imtiaz Ali and the musical genius of A R Rahman combined with the lyrical brilliance of Irshad Kamil is tough to beat. The soundtrack of ��Tamasha�۪ proved that. When these three come together one can be rest assured that the outcome will be unique and innovative in a lot of ways. Tamasha is unlike anything heard before and just like the film combines commercial aspects with arty moments. It goes high and it goes low but manages to impress at every turn. Rahman as always makes it sound grand with his detailed compositions and grand orchestrations while ensuring the music even works as a background score truly representative of the film as if reciting the story through its music. While Matargashti and Heer toh Badi Sad Hai delivered commercial success even though they sounded so different than the typical stuff, Chali Kahani brought traditional theatre alive in a cinematic score. Wat Wat Wat delivered the goofy aspect while Agar Tum Saath Ho and Tu Koi Aur Hai reinvented the soft romantic style of music. Kamil�۪s lyrics are so 2015 with the use of English and Hindi words that are snappy and very cleverly done and keep getting better with every song. The depth in the male singer�۪s line-up is truly epic as well ranging from Mohit Chauhan to Mika to Lucky Ali to Arijit Singh to Sukhwinder Singh to even Rahman himself. Overall a great innovative album that is very creative and unique.
4 ��� ��Shaandaar�۪ (2015) ��� When it comes to delivering unique off-beat music, Amit Trivedi has a style and sound of his own that he uses wisely to impress every time. The dynamic team of Vikas Bahl and Amit Trivedi produced magic yet again in ��Shaandaar�۪ continuing the success of ��Queen�۪ in two consecutive years. The album was a treat to listen to as Amit gave it a range and variety in genres with creativity even within just five songs. Gulaabo is perhaps one of the biggest hits of the year and is a piece of genius work and a dream song for every DJ to pick a party up with its naughtiness and fun beat vibes, while Shaam Shaandaar is a good standard electronic party tune. Nazdeekiyaan is a gorgeous romantic ballad that is soft and melodic while Raitaa Phailgaya and Senti Wali Mental are refreshingly different and bring a new style of wedding music to the scene. Amitabh Bhattacharya and Anvita Dutt are at the top of their game with their lyrical work on each song. Vishal Dadlani, Neeti Mohan and Nikhil George stand out with their vocal performances. This is what one wants on a soundtrack… no long list of songs and no remixes but a good listen on each track.. and that is what this album delivers.
3 ��� ��Roy�۪ (2015) ��� If we talk about the biggest hit songs of the year then this is the album that had them. The soundtrack of ��Roy�۪ was expressive and complete in many ways with something for everyone in it. Sooraj Dooba Hai is one of the biggest party tunes of the year only in competition with another song on this album itself Chittiyaan Kalaiyaan that works like a charm be it in a wedding or in a club. The album also has a gorgeous romantic melody in Tu Hai Ki Nahi that makes this a commercially good album to listen to. The combination of Ankit Tiwari, Amaal Malik and Meet Bros Anjjan works well with each delivering in the category they are really good at with the support of lyricists Kumaar, Sandeep Nath and Abhendra Kumar Upadhyay. These 3 songs have personality and good talented vocal deliveries with Arijit Singh, Kanika Kapoor, Tulsi Kumar and Ankit Tiwari himself. The success of these 3 songs throughout the year overshadows two other mediocre songs on the album that one could simply ignore with the presence of these three mammoth hits. This was a great OST to start 2015 with and is perhaps the only stand out album for the first half of the year and easily the most successful one on the charts and airplay.
2 ��� ��Bajrangi Bhaijaan�۪ (2015) ��� Perhaps the toughest choice for the number 1 & 2 position in our top 5, one would argue if ��Bajrangi Bhaijaan�۪ actually deserves to be number one! Easily the biggest blockbuster of the year and one of the top grossing Bollywood films of all time, the music clearly and surely played a major role in getting the film to that position. After a gap of a year Pritam returned to the scene with a wholesome album with 11 songs on this OST. The expectations were a lot more from him to deliver an album packed with commercial hits all through but it gets there more or less. With a couple of big party tunes including Selfie Le Le and Aaj Ki Party that have ruled the club scene since their release, and beautiful emotional songs in Tu Jo Mila and Zindagi the album has managed to touch a few heart strings with listeners clearly amplified by the success of the film and its touching story. The album disappoints on the romantic front with a super ordinary Tu Chahiye but then has a fantastic traditional qawali in Bhar Do Jholi Meri and a super cute Chicken Song to make up for it. One thing that Pritam has done really well in this album is pack all his favourite singers into this album. From Papon to Rahat to Rekha to Mika to Vishal to Atif to Adnan.. they are all here delivering their best. This is truly a masses album and it is what it is thanks to its excellent cast & story delivering the overall success on the back of the film.
1 ��� ��Bajirao Mastani�۪ (2015) ��� Considering this soundtrack has just come out and the film has not even hit the screens, this album might not turn out to be a commercial success but it surely is the grandest and the most meticulously done album of the year. The amount of effort that Bhansali has put in the music of this detailed 10 track album is simply commendable! The attention to detail in instrumentation, compositional style and cultural lyrics proves once again the kind of director he is��_ a perfectionist. What he has managed to achieve here is go back to the roots of what Bollywood music is today by rounding up the strong heritage of Hindustani Classical music and make it current. The music is perfectly in sync with this epic historical story from the great land of Maharashtra of one of its greatest heroes and Bhansali leaves no stone unturned to make each song of ��Bajirao Mastani�۪ relevant and an aural masterpiece individually. The precision in recording techniques creates such strong melodies that make each song a treat to listen to. Normally a historical soundtrack would fit in world music category but Bhansali delivers songs like Deewani Mastani, Malhari and Aayat that are also commercially significant in 2015. Aaj Ibaadat and Ab Tohe Jaane Na Doongi are two other great songs worth listening to. Lyrics by Siddhart-Garima are consistently brilliant in every song while some great vocals feature constantly on every song. All-in-all Bhansali does a fabulous job on this album with grand musical production of epic standards expected from him that is worth listening to for musically discerning audience of all ages. Considering he is a part time music director his effort overshadows the likes of Pritam, Trivedi and Rahman which is why this is our number one.
Other soundtracks worth a mention include the recent ��Dilwale�۪ (2015) missing our top 5 by a very small margin. This might turn out to be a bigger commercial success thanks to the cast of the film but the songs are average to be honest. Gerua and Daayre are the good songs worth a mention while Manma Emotion Jaage and Tukur Tukur are decent party songs. This is not Pritam�۪s best work as such.
��Hamari Adhuri Kahani�۪ (2015) is surely one of those epic soundtracks that should have made it to the top 5 but considering the lack of depth and variety in the album missed out. With all slow romantic and heart break songs, the album is a bit of a drag listening to it half way in. But still Humnava is perhaps the most romantic song of the year and deserves a standing ovation!
Another strong and intensive album with 10 songs is ��Tanu Weds Manu 2�۪ (2015). Powerful songs including two big wedding party favourites Banno and Ghani Bawri, with romantic Ho Gaya Hai Pyaar and a dynamic Sunidhi Chauhan delivery in Move On this album had something good to listen to all through.
��All Is Well�۪ (2015) is one of the good albums of the year that was overshadowed considering how bad the film was. But with party songs like Chaar Shanivaar and Nachan Farrate with romantic numbers including Mere Humsafar and Baaton Ko Teri, this album managed to pick up a lot of radio air play and truly appreciated by listeners.
Finally, ��Prem Ratan Dhan Payo�۪ (2015) deserves a mention as well with a super classical music score. Himesh delivered a good attempt in trying to revive an old sound in 2015 but in its full entirety without giving it a touch of 2015 which makes it sound a little too old skool, cheesy and pass̩. But it surely deserves a mention for being a strong attempt to bring back the Sooraj Barjatya era.