Music Review: ‘Holiday – A Soldier is Never Off Duty’

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After what feels like the biggest lull in big Bollywood releases there is finally the big release of ��Holiday ��� A Soldier is Never Off Duty�۪ starring Akshay Kumar and Sonakshi Sinha. Yet another Tamil remake by A. R. Murugadoss of Ghajini (2008) fame, ��Holiday�۪ has not managed to pull the anticipation with luke-warm trailers so far. Thus possibly the strategy of releasing the songs one-by-one with the album release only coming along now so close to the film release. This strategy sure has helped created an added buzz with due credit to Pritam who seems to have done a great job yet again collaborating with Irshad Kamil on the lyrics. For an army intelligence soldier with a romantic touch to him this is an easy job for Pritam to deliver well on as totally in his comfort zone.

Starting off with what sounds like the sweetest beat this spring is Aaj Dil Shayrana in the golden voice of Arijit Singh who has not only given it his voices depth but also a modern funky attitude to romantic ballads. His innovative vocal delivery combines hums with voice scatting and vocal harmonies to very fine instrumentation well composed by Pritam. The accordions, violins and a deep bass to a funky beat are just perfect together in creating a gorgeous melody that will work magic on radio and iPods worldwide. To top it all the very thought in the poetry penned by Kamil is very heart warming and engaging to put anyone in a good mood. Great listen!

Tu Hi Toh Hai in the voice of Kunal Ganjawala is a romantic party tune filmed on Kumar and Sinha together while the former chases her to impress the lady. Ganjawala delivers his typical vocal vibe that puts a very happy and upbeat swing to the song. Pritam combines deep electronic club beats with Scottish violins to create an interesting mix that should do well in the clubs. There is not much to the lyrics except typical run of the mill boy saying you are my all to the girl. It’s a decent listen!

Ashq Na Ho Naina is by far the most beautiful song to come out this year, forget being the best song on the album! A slow and soft melody that reminds you of Rahman�۪s compositions from ��Jodhaa Akbar�۪ (2008), this song really hits the heart deep and creates a place for it. Hear it once well and one will want to hear it on repeat all day to calm any disturbing moment. The magic lies in the combination of Kamil�۪s amazing sensible deep lyrics along with Pritam�۪s soft instrumentation and easy flowing composition with ofcourse the effortless and soulful vocal delivery by Arijit Singh. Singh and Kamil ride on the beautiful platform set by Pritam with a big violin ensemble and duff beats. Ironically, Kamil says Ashq Na Ho but this song is sure to bring a tear to any eye as it talks about a soldiers love and goodbye to a person they love. No one could have delivered more depth to this song to Singh. One could go on praising this song endlessly��_. Amazing!

Arijit Singh combines forces with Aditi Singh Sharma and Piyush Kapoor doing the rap on the next party song called Blame the Night. A total departure from Singh�۪s last two songs on the album, this song truly demonstrates his versatility and takes you straight to a bouncy club with its bouncy beats. Singh Sharma contributes equally well and adds a great vocal texture to her voice variations. A song designed totally for the clubs, Pritam lets electronic synths and a fast beat take the lead while Kamil keeps it simple cause who wants complications when they party! The Na-Na-Na song bridge is perfect to get everyone singing along and jumping together in a club. Ideal for DJ�۪s to pump a party up with.

Blame the night - 'Holiday'

Palang Tod is just a song from a different album and doesn�۪t fit in with the rest of the songs on the album but it sure adds variety on the album��_maybe not in a good way. Although not a bad song for its category of street fun cheesy songs, it lacks the punch and attitude that Pritam has delivered in his previous songs in this category. Mika and Ritu Pathak do what they do best within the limitations of the song both lyrically and musically. Some of the instrumental bits sound too fake and artificial on this song which is hard to believe coming from Pritam�۪s musical army. Kamil�۪s lyrics are fun but lack the sing-along ability.

Tu Hi Toh Hai (Version 2) in the voice of Benny Dayal is exactly the same song in a different voice which seems without purpose other than Pritam asking listeners to compare directly between Ganjawala and Dayal. Although Benny has a softer and smoother touch to his voice, Ganjawala has the fun and excitement that only he can deliver. This is a hard one to compare and not worth putting two exactly similar songs on the same album. This could have been a remix or a remake to add variety.

Palang Tod (Version 2) is a now in the right direction with a different instrumentation. Although vocally exactly the same with Mika and Ritu, the different arrangement and Punjabi beats and shouts make it sound more authentic for a street party song.

FINAL WORD

Pritam yet again comes clean and delivers a good album with ��Holiday-A Soldier is Never Off Duty�۪ with good entertainment variety. With 5 originals and 2 remakes the album is just a right mix of originality and has some of the best songs of the season. Nothing beats Ashq Na Ho Naina as that song is in a league of its own and by far a piece of genius. Aaj Dil Shayarana is a really good romantic ballad while Blame the Night and Tu Hi Toh Hai are good party tunes. The album is very fitting with the current music trends and at no point seems to be trying too hard to impress but does it naturally. Arijit Singh is the star of the album with his soulful voice while not to mention Irshad is who really gives soul with his lyrics on both his songs. Overall the album is a very good listen and worth buying the album for.

BizAsia Showbiz Rating ��� 8/10

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