Bollywood 2011 – A Playback

Another year goes by. After having given us a lot of good music. Ya I know, I said the same about last year and the year before. But in 2011 the number of good songs was definitely more than in the previous years, I had such a painful time cutting the list down to the top 25! So below is a composer-wise analysis of a few prominent composers of the year in decreasing order of my rating of their performance. The top 25 songs of the year shall follow.


So Rockstar didn’t have much rock in it. True. But to those who saw the movie it would by now be clear why it didn’t have as much rock as it name might have signified to many people. And even if the movie was a letdown for many, one cannot dispute the fact that most of what Rahman created in the soundtrack was spot on with regard to the different situations (with the exception of Naadaan Parindey for me, I would have preferred something more passionate and climactic, something like an Aaromale). So with a lone soundtrack which made up for a whole year’s absence both in terms of numbers and quality, ARR deserves to lead the pack this year.


In my interview with Krsna he had told me that he used this pseudonym coz he wanted his music to do the talking. And it was quite a talking his music did in Tanu Weds Manu, one
of the best debuts in recent times. Just one soundtrack even he had for the year, but that one is enough to propel him to the top of the list. Here is hoping to hear much more of him in 2012 and ahead.

Sachin Jigar

The duo has been consistent from the time they started, just unfortunate to get the projects they did. This year they outdid their previous works with some spectacular works specifically in Shor In The City and F.A.L.T.U. Even Hum Tum Shabana had a couple of good songs. Again not the best of movies to have worked for, I just hope things get better in the coming year. These guys really deserve it.

Vishal Shekhar

Contrary to their past track record Vishal Shekhar had quite a mixed year this time. While they gave some excellent tracks in Ra One (no, not Chhammak Chhallo. I hated it the first time, I still do) and some decent songs in Bbuddah Hoga Terra Baap and The Dirty Picture, they also produced one horrendous score for the abomination called Rascals. I am not shocked that the movie had such music, it didn’t deserve any better. The shock is only that V-S did that project. Hope they don’t do such mistakes in 2012.

Hitesh Sonik

After a long stint as music producer/arranger, 2011 was the year Hitesh Sonik finally got to don the composer role, making the most of that debut with a fab score in Stanley Ka Dabba. Apart from that he played guest composer roles in a couple of movies where too he created some nice music, especially in My Friend Pinto where his Tu outshone Ajay Atul’s lead score. Hope he carries his good form into the new year.

Shankar Ehsaan Loy

The trio had a better year than last time, giving some good music in Patiala House, Game, Aarakshan and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, the topper of the lot. Not entire soundtracks of course, but each had its share of decent songs. Don 2 however, was quite a disappointment, given the hype that surrounded it, and that it was Farhan Akhtar. Nevertheless, the composers have quite a few lined up for 2012, so looking forward.


It was things as usual for the man, though not with as many soundtracks. His music in Mausam, Dil To Bachcha Hai Ji and Dum Maaro Dum sort of made up for the remaining tripe he did in the year.

The rest

Apart from Krsna and Hitesh there were also a couple of other sparkling debuts, the most prominent among them being Raghu Dixit with a super fun Mujhse Fraandship Karoge and Gulraj Singh doing an entry late into the year with Tutiya Dil but since it is releasing only next year the songs shall not feature in my top 25 list. Nevertheless, watch out for the soundtrack, it is one hell of a score! There were other one soundtrack wonders too – Vishal Bhardwaj (7 Khoon Maaf), Ram Sampath (Delhi Belly), Midival Punditz & Karsh Kale (Soundtrack), Sohail Sen (Mere Brother Ki Dulhan) et al.

The year was not without its share of disappointments. One of the major letdowns was Amit Trivedi who had had such a brilliant streak in 2010. Since No One Killed Jessica released in 2011 the songs would feature on my list, but his compositions that actually happened in 2011, Chillar Party and I AM¸ weren’t upto the high standards he has set for himself. Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu that released towards the end of the year was marginally better, but there too the Amit Trivedi factor was largely missing. The usually reliable Salim Sulaiman too weren’t in the best of form this year, with one of their better works happening in the flop movie Love Breakups Zindagi. Himesh Reshammiya’s year too was at best patchy, his obsession with singing his songs spoiling it for me in Damadamm. Bodyguard was better in fact, and Teri Meri would have been part of my top 25 if not for the plagiarism. Ajay Atul were another set of composers I had high hopes on, but their initial two works – Singham and My Friend Pinto, didn’t impress much. They did make up for all that with a stellar soundtrack in Agneepath, but that hasn’t been considered for my list due to the 2012 release. In any case, going by Agneepath I have renewed hopes in the composer brothers!

..and the roundup for 2011 is done. Keeping with the tradition begun last year, I shall be having the top 25 of 2011 list as a separate post. Which shall be up in a few minutes.