V Kumar has been writing on Bollywood movies and music for several years, highlighting perspectives that are often missed out or ignored.
Best of Bollywood Music in 21st Century
Bollywood music has constantly undergone transformations. Beginning from humble roots in the nineteen thirties with actors who sang their own songs with very little orchestral or technological support, and sometimes with only modest singing skills, the Bollywood music has gradually evolved to become an industry that rules the world of music in India.
In the Twenty First century, the Bollywood music has so far been less dependent on the Indian classical and reflects a greater influence of Western, folk and Sufi traditions, as budding stars strive to create their individual niche and identity in a very competitive but highly remunerative industry.
The best of this century is still from those who made their beginnings in the last century. They are some new ones who seem to be the future, but whether they will be able to stand in the leagues of all time greats .... only time will tell.
Even though the flavours of these times are a little different, the latest music of Bollywood has enough gems to keep you mesmerized .... and addicted to it !!
movie: JISM (2002)
Awarapan Banjarapan ....
The soft music of this number has an intensity that belongs more to the traditions of the century gone by. Coming from a path breaking movie on sexual liberation in Bollywood, the song is surprisingly traditional in its approach. Perhaps the best rendering by KK till date, backed by an extremely melodious piece of music composed by M M Kreem that is well synchronised with some very meaningful lyrics by Sayeed Quadri to make it an all time great number.
movie: HUM TUM (2004)
Hum tum ......
This song can be considered the most melodious composition made in this century, if we exclude compositions that were actually created by Madan Mohan a few decades back. The highlights of this number are its great instrumental orchestration, equally complemented by its beautiful visual effects that make this number a lasting treat to watch on the screen. The music of Jatin Lalit for once does justice to their immense and probably untapped talent and the lyrics of Prasoon Joshi fit into it like sugar in a glass of water. Both the singers, Alka Yagnik and Babul Supriyo are superb making it their best ever duet together. All in all, a melodious masterpiece and a pride for contemporary Bollywood music.
Hubs on Best Bollywood Music...
- Best Hindi Bollywood Songs of All Time
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movie: KAL HO NA HO (2003)
Har ghadi badal rahi hai ....
A song that can be the defining point of Sharukh Khan's acting career as well as the peak of Sonu Nigam, the singer who may not have actually fulfilled the great expectations that surrounded him during the last two decades. This great touching number has an identity of its own that stands and sustains itself even while the melodrama of the plot unfolds. The lyrics of Javed Akhtar achieve in this number, what his stories used to achieve for Amitabh Bacchan starrers three decades ago. The most refreshing part is the music by Shankar Ehsan Loy - almost their best!
movie: VEER ZARA (2004)
Tere liye.. humne jiye ...
One can possibly object to the inclusion of this number in this list. Its music was composed by the great Madan Mohan many decades ago. His music stands out by its virtuosity and riches of vibrations that perfectly depict the platonic love of two birds unfortunately caught in the vicious destruction of India-Pakistan divide, who chose to pay with their lifelong suffering rather than give up their feelings. In Lata Mangeshkar (female singer) and Javed Akhtar, who has written the lyrics of this great masterpice, there are two living legends associated with it. Roop Kumar Rathod (male singer) has done full justice to his role in making this number one of the all time best.
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movie: KALYUG (2005)
Jiya dhadak dhadak jaye...
If there is any one song that captures the flavour of the twenty first century Bollywood music, it is this number. With a touch of Sufi musical tradition forming its basic foundation, this number builds on the great singing prowess of Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and the music that is credited to Anu Malik. The lyrics written by Sayeed Quadri play a significant role in the evolution of this song as an original masterpiece of latest Bollywood music. One of the best examples of fusion of Sufi music with Western style beats.
movie: YADEIN (2001)
Nagme hain shikve hai kisse hain ....
The song has its spirit firmly entrenched in the great musical tradition of the last century. The fact that it is one of the best numbers by Hariharan in his illustrious musical career is enough to highlight the great heights that this song has achieved. Soft, touching and mindblowing - that is how one can describe it. The music is composed by Anu Malik - one of his best masterpieces, while the touching lyrics are written by Anand Bakhshi - another legend in his own right.
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movie: KYON ... HO GAYA NA (2004)
One of the most romantic pieces of melody that has been created since the advent of this century, this song epitomises all that love can make you feel. The soft, flowing melody, drowned in innocence of youth and filled with strong bonds of affection takes you to another plane - a world that is not real but a consequent illusion of some great music that makes this number. Sadhna Sargam is almost at her best, and Udit Narayan reminds you of his legendary status. The lyrics of Javed Akhtar complement the great music that was the hallmark of Shankar Ehsan Loy during those years.
movie: OMKARA (2006)
Naina thug lenge ...
This song could not be created in the last century - it could only result in this one, under the influence of Sufi musical tradition that harmoniously combines with regional folk music of India. It also highlights what Bollywood music has achieved after the great classical era of last century got over. The lyrics of Gulzar are instrumental in its greatness as is the innovative music of Vishal Bhardwaj, but at the end of the day, it is a masterpiece that belongs to Rahat Fateh Ali Khan- a number that any singer would be proud to possess!
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movie: MOHABBATEIN (2000)
Humko humein se chura lo...
The title of the movie to which this number belongs literally means "Love", and there is nothing more lovable in the movie than this number itself. It brings back to fore the legend of Lata Mangeshkar that has been regaling music lovers for over six decades now, joined by Udit Narayan, who was almost a legend when singing this song. The music of Jatin Lalit belongs to the era when they reached new peaks, and the lyrics of Anand Bakhshi only add to the strengths of this twenty first century masterpiece.
movie: ROG (2004)
Maine dil se kaha ....
A song which reminds one of the golden period of Bollywood music - the sixties. The number is not purely classical, but has the touch of that era. Excellent lyrics of Neelesh Mishra have the intensity to dominate the soft flowing music of M M Kreem and party. KK has sung it to greatness. A great number talking about how destiny can play strange and painful games with our lives, and how one needs to bear it with a smile - after all, sublimation is the best form of psychological defense!
Your views ?
HUB IN FOCUS THIS WEEK...
- Best Hard Hitting Songs of Bollywood
Ten great songs that make a strong and hard hitting points on important issues... but melodiously... songs that extend beyond music to become a statement of the society ... calls for introspection !!!
© 2012 V Kumar
Akshay on May 03, 2014:
You have missed my personal favourite "Yeh jo des hai tera"-AR Rehman in Swades
sameer on October 05, 2013:
Must say a Good List!!! Contain all my favourites
V Kumar (author) on May 28, 2013:
Thanks for the encouraging words.
Asad on March 14, 2013:
Not a Complete List
s k g on February 06, 2013:
Gous Ahmed from Muslim Nation on January 24, 2013:
You've missed out 'Khabie Khushi Khabie Gham'!
Otherwise a good list, but i'm sure there are so many other classics that can be added to that list.