DISCLAIMER – This is a list of my personal favorite 30 film songs and 20 non filmy songs. You won’t find a SINGLE song of Himesh Reshammiya and Sajid-Wajid in this list. And yes. Out of the 27 songs of Gangs of Wasseypur (the album of the year according to many), only 2 have made it to my list. If that’s okay, read on.
2012 has been one of bollywood’s best years in a long time. The Indian audience witnessed a big number of hit films ranging from the mindless 100 crore comedies to the small budget brilliant ones to the minimal budget films. 2012 has also been a fantastic year for music buffs. Some great albums were released, some fantastic new finds (composers and singers) and some superb stuff from few ever reliable composers.
For me the singer of the year was Arijit Singh. Except for one song of his (kyun dooriyan from players), all his remaining songs are a part of my top 30.
As far as the best composer is concerned, Pritam, Vishal Shekhar and Amit Trivedi stood out for me. While Pritam gave two huge hits – "Barfi" and "Cocktail", his "Ferrari ki sawaari" was one beautiful album. And "Agent vinod" was good too. Only "Players" proved to be a dud. On the other hand, Vishal Shekhar delivered awesomeness in "Kahaani" and "Shanghai", but it was a pity that most of their songs weren’t a part of the film. "Arjun" was good too, but "Student of the year" was a sore thumb compared to their other albums, in my opinion.
But when it came to versatility, Amit Trivedi was miles ahead of the other two. "Ek main aur ekk tu", "Ishaqzaade", "English vinglish", "Aiyyaa" and "Luv shuv tey chicken khurana" – every single album diverse from the others.
30. MUJHKO TERI ZAROORAT (JODI BREAKERS)
Looks like the Salim Sulaiman who gave us DOR and AAJA NACHLE have vanished somewhere. Among their recent mediocre albums, this one stood out for me. Sung by Salim himself and by Shadab Faridi, this one worked big time for me courtesy the piano and the brilliant singing.
29. DEEWANA KAR RAHA HAI (RAAZ 3)
From an otherwise disappointing album from the Bhatt camp, this was the only song I liked. Allegedly composed by Rashid khan, this one is a must hear, courtesy Javed ali. He is at his melodious best and it is only his singing which made the difference.
Read my music review of Raaz 3 HERE
28. TUJHE SOCHTA HOON (JANNAT 2)
The Pritam – K.K – Emraan trio never fails, do they? And that’s exactly what they do here – create a brilliant melody which works. With some serene and soothing piano, Pritam composes a standard Bhatt tune which K.K takes to a new level with his singing. This one is vintage Bhatt stuff
Read my review of Jannat 2 HERE
27. MOORA (GANGS OF WASSEYPUR 2)
Well I hadn’t contemplated this song being a part of my top 30, but my view changed after I recently watched the movie. Such is the excessive yet brilliant use of this song in the movie that it ultimately made me fall in love with it. I already liked it since I first heard it, but post the movie, I fell in love with it. Sneha Khanwalkar is here to stay.
Read my music review of GOW2 HERE
26. MANN JAAGE (BITTOO BOSS)
This was a relatively less known gem from composer Gajendra Verma (The man who sang and composed that song “Emptiness”). From an otherwise average album, this song stood out mainly for its lovely tune and the superb singing by Shahid Mallya.
25. KYUN (BARFI)
With arrangements reminding us of O.P Naiyyar, Pritam and Papon create sheer audio delight. Papon is first rate. Sunidhi Chauhan too is brilliant. A special mention for the extra “antara” of this song which features in the movie but sadly is not a part of the OST. Here papon goes high scale and the result is awesome
24. SHAH KA RUTBA (AGNEEPATH)
One of the best qawalis in a long time, this song is absolutely awesome. With Sukhwinder Singh and Krishna Beura singing, they are soon joined by Anand Raaj Anand (Rishi kapoor’s voice) who is fantastic. It has been repeatedly proven that he is a better singer than a composer. The song is grandeur personified. It has a powerful arrangement, with some really good use of tabla and other instruments. And most importantly, it gives that goosebumpy feeling a qawali should give.
23. SAIYAAN (AGNEEPATH)
Ajay Atul create a beautiful and gorgeous melody as they rope the amazing Roop Kumar Rathod to sing. And he is simply awesome. He delivers this complex tune with such ease and perfection that the result is too good. A love ballad which stays with you for a long time.
22. IK BAGAL (GANGS OF WASSEYPUR 1)
Piyush Mishra continues with his similar sounding songs. This one is a superb amalgamation of lyrics and singing – both by Piyush. Those who are fans of his style of music will love this song. He needs to bring some change – slowly but surely he’s getting repetitive.
Read my music review of GOW HERE
21. SAANS (JAB TAK HAI JAAN)
The lone A.R Rahman song to feature in my top 30, this one I loved. From the first time I heard it, I was swept by it. Grand arrangements and some fab singing by Shreya Ghoshal and Mohit Chauhan made this the “Romantic song of the year” for me.
Read my music review of JTHJ HERE
20. PAANI DA RANG (VICKY DONOR)
How can one not include this song? Composed by Ayushman khurana and Rochak kohli, actor Ayushman displays his singing skills and HOW!
With lovely guitar and Ayushman’s melodious voice, he sings this one with finesse and delivers a beautiful romantic love song. A song which definitely deserved the “rage” status it achieved.
19. YAARIYAN (COCKTAIL)
Mohan is in top form as he sings this soft rock ballad along with Shilpa Rao. His voice is tailor made for the song and he makes the song one hell of a soothing experience. The reprise by Sunidhi Chauhan and Arijit Singh is equally good.
Read my review of Cocktail HERE
18. JIYA LAAGE NA (TALAASH)
She is soon going to sweep away all the best singer female awards. Wait and watch. Sona Mohapatra sings this one superbly. Ably assisted by Ravindra Upadhyay, they create one very good classical based song.
Read my review of Talaash HERE
17. USKA HI BANAA (1920 EVIL RETURNS)
Chirantan Bhatt continues giving melodious stuff for cousin Vikram Bhatt’s movies. This one, sung by Arijit Singh is one hell of a song. With a sombre background score, Arijit’s singing is brilliant. The lovely tune only enhances the overall melody of the song.
Read my review of the album HERE
16. BOLO NA (CHITTAGONG)
The trio of SEL had only two releases this year – Delhi safari and Chittagong. While the former was highly forgettable stuff, Chittagong saw some fine compositions. “Bolo na” stood out among the rest. With Prasoon Joshi's awesome lyrics, Shankar Mahadevan behind the mike and a classical tune, he made this song a beautiful and soulful number.
Read my review of Chittagong HERE
15. AAHATEIN UNPLUGGED (EK MAIN AUR EKK TU)
Not that the original version by Karthik and Shilpa Rao was bad, but when you have Shekhar Ravjiani singing an unplugged version, you are transported into heaven. This one sung by Shekhar and Shilpa Rao, is much better than Karthik’s version. Wonder why Amit Trivedi didn’t let him sing the original version. With soothing guitars and a lovely composition, this one is a perfect song for pining lovers.
14. BADLA NAZAARA (ENGLISH VINGLISH)
This song should have been titled – “AFLATOON”. That would have been the appropriate title for this one. Sung by Shilpa Rao and Amit Trivedi, this one is a light breezy track which is instantly likeable. The superb lyrics by Swanand Kirkire make a huge difference. Plus the lovely singing by Shilpa Rao and the fantastic “Aflatoon” loop by Amit, and add to that the gorgeous Sridevi on screen – bliss!
Read my review of english vinglish HERE
13. APNA MUJHE TU LAGAA (1920 EVIL RETURNS)
Sonu Nigam sings few songs these days, but whichever ones he sings, are totally brilliant. And with Vikram Bhatt, he gives his second beautiful song in a row. (The first was from the movie LANKA, named “Aapki aahat”).
This one has gorgeous piano in the background (with Sonu even in the video) and a lovely melody to accompany. Typical Chirantan Bhatt material, Sonu is at his melodious best.
12. AASHIYAAN (BARFI)
No offence, but this is one song where newcomer Nikhil Paul George surpasses Shreya Ghoshal. While Shreya’s version is cute, melodious and very hummable, it is Nikhil’s different singing which made me love his version more. Note how he pronounces “T” in “Tukda” chaand ka – too cute.
11. RAABTA (AGENT VINOD)
It is hard to decide which version is the best – I love all versions. But finally it is Arijit’s main version which I settled for. The guy is a phenomenon. Backed by one of Pritam’s best romantic compositions, Arijit sings this breathless (try singing it and you’ll know) track with ease and flawlessness. Even in the other versions, Arijit’s antara portions are brilliant, especially the aalaaps (saa, ni saa dha).
10. AE MERE MANN (FERRARI KI SAWAARI)
The most neglected album this year has been “Ferrari ki sawaari”. In fact, Vidhu vinod chopra’s switchover from Moitra to Pritam was highly pleasant. The composer gives one of his most honest works till date. Sung by child singer and participant of saregamapa Shyamantan Das, “Ae mere mann” is soulfulness at its very best. The hair rising chorus coupled with Shyamantan’s honest rendition makes this one of my favorite tracks this year, as well as one of my favorite songs to come from Pritam.
Read my review of FKS HERE
9. JEE LE ZARAA (TALAASH)
After the superb “Satyamev Jayate”, Ram Sampath strikes with a gem of an album in the form of “Talaash”. And Jee le zaraa is my favorite song from the album. With Vishal Dadlani doing the singing, we are served one of the most haunting yet melodious songs of the year. Vishal’s raspy voice is perfect. And shon pinto’s guitars are addictive.
8. TORE BINA (KAHAANI)
With lyrics describing the dilemma of a female longing for her husband, Sukhwinder Singh creates sheer magic along with Vishal Shekhar’s fantastic composition. Sukhwinder is flawless, and Vishal Shekhar complement him with some really classy arrangements.
7. DHAK DHUK (ENGLISH VINGLISH)
One of the most soothing songs this year, Amit Trivedi enchants us with his voice, and the use of drums and flute. With a light garba beat, the antara is even better, making the entire song a brilliant one. Soft, soothing and something which makes you feel at peace.
6. ABHI MUJH MEIN (AGNEEPATH)
Ajay Atul create the most soothing song of the year. And who else could have done more justice than Sonu nigam? With a superb piano beginning, Sonu tugs your heart with his singing. Plus the accompanying video only escalates the emotional quotient of the song. As for Sonu, there is no one like him in the industry today. And he proves it in style. No other singer could have done justice to this song.
5. LUTTNA (COCKTAIL)
It would be difficult to categorize this song under a particular genre, as it belongs to a totally new one. With a mind blowing tune sung brilliantly by Masuma Anwar, Sahir Ali and Anupam Amod, Pritam makes this song techno. Add to that Irshad kamil’s superb lyrics and we get an enthralling five minute experience. One of Pritam;s best ever.
4. PARESHAAN (ISHAQZAADE)
Be assured that Amit Trivedi will male you fall in live with his compositions. Pareshaan is a striking example of how beautiful any song can get. Sung by newcomer Shalmali Kholgade, I can go on and on describing this beautiful song. And WHAT AWESOME HARMONIUM! (Sigh!)
Read my review of Ishaqzaade HERE
3. DUA (SHANGHAI)
When I first heard it, I could literally not stop the hair on my arm rising in respect. Such is the brilliance of this number that I fell in love with it the first time I heard it. Vishal Shekhar’s awesome tune and melody do wonders, but the two lead singers totally own this song. If you thought Nandini Srikar was very good in “Bhare naina”, wait till you hear her in this song. She is simply superb. And Arijit Singh is outstanding. Together they create sheer magic. A song which could have been slightly longer and could have done without the rock portions towards the end, and yet it is fantastic.
2. PHIR LE AAYA DIL (BARFI)
I am sure this one will feature at the top of all lists of the best songs of 2012. And rightly so! The song appears in three versions – each one beautiful in its own way, but the song which I loved the most was Arijit’s version. He is again superb. He renders this light ghazal with such melody and depth that this is easily his career best song. Pritam makes brilliant use of the tabla and composes one of his best tunes ever!
Read my music review of Barfi HERE
Read my movie review HERE
1. PIYA TU (KAHAANI)
I can use all the adjectives I know to describe this song, but to describe it in one word, it is IMPECCABLE. Be it the constant loop of the manjeera in the background, or the fusion element, every single second of this song is to die for. And no one else but Javed Bashir could have done it. He is as usual out of this world. The variations he makes in singing or the tihaai (Singing the same portion three times) with which he ends – are simply fabulous. He isn’t made for songs like “Tera naam japdi phiroon (cocktail)”. Those are too simple for someone of javed’s caliber. And full marks to Vishal Shekhar for bringing out the best out of him.
TOP 20 (NON FILMY, INDIPOP, INSTRUMENTAL, NON HINDI)
20. ISS TASAVVUR (EK DIN – KAVITA SETH)
19. SEHRA SEHRA (PIYA BASANTI...AGAIN)
Singers – Ustaad Sultan khan, Chitra
Music – Sandesh Shandilya
18. MALHAR JAM (COKE STUDIO AT MTV – AGAM)
Singer – Harish Sivaramakrishnan
17. GORI TUNE (PIYA BASANTI...AGAIN)
Singers – Ustaad Sultan khan, Chitra
Music – Sandesh Shandilya
16. DO GALLAN (COKE STUDIO AT MTV – HITESH SONIK)
Singers – Vijay Prakash, Alisha Batth
15. JAYA JAYA HO (GANARAJ DHIRAJ 2012)
Singers – Vijay Prakash, Siddharth Mahadevan
Music – Gulraj Singh
14. YATRA (COKE STUDIO AT MTV – AMIT TRIVEDI)
Singers – Mili Nair, Sriram Iyer,
13. MAUJE NAINA (COKE STUDIO AT MTV – CLINTON CEREJO)
Singer – Bianca Gomes, Shadab and Altamash Faridi
12. BOLO NA BOLO (GANARAJ ADHIRAJ 2012)
Singers – Shivam Mahadevan, Loy Mendonsa
Music – Gulraj Singh
Read my review of Ganaraj Adhiraj HERE
11. MASOOM SI NAAV (SATYAMEV JAYATE)
Music and singer – Ram Sampath
Read my music review of Satyamev jayate HERE
10. MADARI (COKE STUDIO AT MTV – CLINTON CEREJO)
Singer – Vishal Dadlani, Sonu kakkar
9. RAHOON TERE PEECHE (PAANCH ADHYAAY) (BENGALI)
Singer – Kaushiki Chakraborty
Composer – Shantanu moitra
Read my music review of paanch adhyay HERE
8. SWADES SUITE (CLASSIC INCANTATIONS – A.R RAHMAN)
7. TU AMBAR KI (THE MASTER AND HIS MAGIC – JAGJIT SINGH)
6. AAJ JAANE KI (MTV UNPLUGGED – A.R RAHMAN)
Read my review of MTV unplugged (A.R Rahman) HERE
5. PHIR SE UDD CHALA (MTV UNPLUGGED – A.R RAHMAN)
Singer – Arun H.K
4. O RI CHIRAIYYA (SATYAMEV JAYATE)
Singer – Swanand Kirkire
Composer – Ram Sampath
3. YEH JO DES HAI TERA (MTV UNPLUGGED – A.R RAHMAN)
2. RUPAIYYA (SATYAMEV JAYATE)
Singer – Sona Mohapatra
Composer – Ram Sampath
1. HUSNA (COKE STUDIO AT MTV – HITESH SONIK)
Singer – Piyush Mishra
I have included 3 songs from Rahman's unplugged episode which actually are film songs. But i just couldn't resist myself from including them.
A special mention to the gujarati album KEVI RITE JAISH whose music was outstanding. A treat for all music lovers. My music review for the same HERE
I am not too much into Tamil songs, but /i heard two albums recently - Shankar Ehsaan Loy's VISHWAROOPAM and Rahman's KADAL. While the former is brilliant, the latter is fantastic. Rahman is in splendid form and this is one of his best albums in the last few years. It is clear that he saves his best for Mani Ratnam. A highly recommended soundtrack.
This is my list. You may write your favorite songs or any other songs apart from this list (which I'm sure will be many) in the comment section below. Thanks.