banaras

Music review analysis of Himesh Reshammiya's album Banaras (2006).

Kitna Pyar

Critic: But your music is loud, your singing is screaming n shouting, and to top it up your voice is nasal!

Himesh: It is high-pitched, that's why.

Critic: No, Still!

Himesh: Ok buddy, now I am going to teach you a lesson of your life.

That is what this song is all about. It is truly an exception to the norm.

A newish voice of Himesh with soothing feel opens the song in unplugged mode.

There is hardly any trace of nazal twang.

Most often than not, a piano piece playing at the start indicates that Himesh has set his heart into the song.

The male vocals from 0.32 to 0.40 depict feelings of tadap and ehsaas.

The piano and haunting male vocals play intermittently behind Himesh's vocals.

The raga tune from 1.06 to 1.10, 1.28 to 1.29, 1.47 to 1.50, 2.05 to 2.08 conveys emotional feel.

The trumpet from 1.17 to 1.20 adds to the feel factor.

Himesh's lines MERE from 1.01 to 1.02, 1.30 to 1.31, 1.40, 1.59, 2.08 (utter soothing feel) and PU-UUU(up down classical twist)-CH from 1.04 to 1.05, 1.13 to 1.14, 1.32 to 1.33, 1.42 to 1.43, 2.11 to 2.12

Himesh's line puchloNAAAAAAAAA (prolonged note variation) from 1.50 to 1.55, from 2.03 to 2.06 is utter soothing, a stark contrast to his usual high-pitched voice.

The tabla beats from 2.01 to 2.04 are very gentle as opposed to a heavy dose and this is done very consciously to match the vision of the song.

Between mukhda & 1st stanza, a likeable piano piece plays followed by haunting male vocals that threaten to go the ABA way (Himesh's croons in beginning). The raga and male haunt vocals convey the emotional feel.

1st stanza

Himesh continues his good work of subtle feel singing with emphasis on KAR DEE.

The composition pattern is very laidback with emphasis on SADHGI BHARDI which is best stanza tune.

The trumpet (feel) and raga tune (emotion) play intermittently.

Between 1st & 2nd stanza, the shenayi pattern and male haunt vocals depict more pain.

2nd stanza

Himesh continues his good work of subtle feel singing.

His line AASHKON is sung with meaning emphasis and his line SADAYE SITAM are plain classical singing.

The composition pattern is very laidback with emphasis on WHO MULAKATEIN which is best stanza tune.

The trumpet (feel) and raga tune (emotion) play intermittently.

Himesh gets carried away to his usual natural antics in line KAISE KATH TI from 4.50 to 4.51 and he had done extremely well to curb them all the way. For a person who is always itching to rwak the world with his default singing style, this stuff is exemplary!

The combined effect of Himesh's lines along with haunt male croons from 5.42 to 5.48 is great.

The song finishes with shehnayi and piano piece.

Highlights of this song:

1. Himesh's the singer is the winner all the way.

2. The male haunt vocals.

3. The underlying traditional setting beats, the gentle tabla, trumpet, shehnayi and piano piece.

If Himesh sings / or would have sung his 'each and every' song in this fashion, there would be doubt that there would be any haters.

But the typical Himesh fan just so very much loves the usual voice, so kya kare!

Till date, this lone song stands out from all Himesh's sung n composed songs in terms of different voice and singing style.

A KEY thing to be noted is the DEPTH (GOONJ) in his voice and this can also be traced in JAANEMAN (RADIO).

This is quite an achievement because Himesh's usual voice is SHARP KNIFE EDGE.

This song haz an underlying soul to it, also Himesh - the singer sings in a self-composed restrained mode with thehrav which is quite contrary to hiz usual fulltu sufi rwak style. Hence, this song can be singled out to show another facet of Himesh - da singer (up until he used da same singing style in Ek Haseena Thi - Karzzz, some songs in Radio album like Jaaneman, Piya Jaise Ladoo, Shaam Ho Chali Hai and Rafa Dafa, and some songs in Damadamm like Yun Toh Mera Dil and Mango).

Ishq Mein Dilko

This is a very feel good soothing song. It is in the 'semi-classical' genre.

Sunithi chauhan is not her usual herself and enhances her reputation as a subdued herione lover's voice, thus showcasing her versatility.

The song begins with a synth piano piece until 0.12

The CUTE sounding flute theme piece from 0.12 to 0.24 is a pleasant treat to the ears and builds up the tempo of the song.

Jayesh gandhi croons SA RE GA PA are well justified since the song belongs to Banaras (classical) setting.

Jayesh's croons, aaaaEEEEEEIIIIIIAAAA (zabardast passionate feel twist) from 0.35 to 0.38

Sunithi's line, PAAGAL PAAGAL PAAGAL (mesmerizing feel) from 0.45 to 0.50

Jayesh Gandhi pours his heart out in catchy vocal alaap from 0.55 to 0.58 behind Sunithi's lines.

The underlying beats kick in from 1.05 onwards, the ending part of underlying beat is REPETETIVE QUICK HITS ON MATKA / POT, that were similarly used from 1.32 to 1.34 in JAB JAB DIL MILE from SILSILAY

The 2 key (normal note, up note) tune at 1.08, 1.14 &1.23 gives great sur.

Sonu nigam pours his heart out and sings with passion and feel.

His lines, HUM TO, HUM TO (subtle feel vocals) HUM TO (desperation feel twist at 1.36) along with awesome continuous background tune. 

Jayesh's line, UUUUOOOOO (OFF-DA-HOOK catchy croon) from 1.40 to 1.42 just wins over the listener.

Sonu's line, NAZAREIN (off-da-hook feel twist) from 1.48 to 1.50

Jayesh's line, KYA MILEE (pleasant laidback feel good croon) from 1.50 to 1.53

Majestic keyboard flick from 1.53 to 1.56

Between mukhda & 1st stanza, the traditional flute piece from 1.56 to 2.08 is pleasant, followed by synth piano piece from 2.08 to 2.13 in semi-plugged mode.

1st stanza

Sonu sings with middle-octave vocals with great emotions.

The SUR given in entire stanza by tune instruments (along with the underlying beats).

From 0.22 to 0.23, pal pal jeEEEeTEEEEEEEE (shakes voice ek dum classical style), at 2.40, DHEERE DHEERE (great).

At 2.48, bhula baithe, JAYESH croons, OOOOO (up) OOOOOO (normal) OOOOOOO (UP) OOOOOO (normal) OOOOOO (down) from 2.48 to 2.50 (mind blowing stuff this).

The line, unse naazeriyn, VERY CUTE BANJO INSTRUMENT plays at 2.52 after the word naazeriyn.

Between 1st & 2nd stanza, the CUTE FLUTE returns from 3.13 to 3.24, followed by catchy bazz instrument along with Jayesh's classical croons from 3.25 to 3.36

2nd stanza

At 4.10, SAPNE SAPNE SAPNE is great & note the very faint female chorus in the background.

From 4.17 to 4.18, JAYESH, OOOOOOOO (twist).

At 4.30, sonu croons paagal, jayesh croons 'yeeeaaaah' behind sonu and does his uuus aas in the ending part of the song.

Highlights of this song:

1. Jayesh Gandhi's vocals at the right timing giving terrific effect.

2. A subdued sunithi that breaks free from her usual racy vocals to accomodate a shy herione's vocals.

3. The quick matka beat effect.

4. All the backrgound tune instruments (apart from the usual beats) since this song has been very well musically arranged.

Kudos to ustad himesh reshammiya.

This is one of best works of Himesh - Sonu combo, whereby Sonu gives it everything in terms of feel, passion and emosan [re: emotion].

Rang Daalo

The song starts with Sonu's feel good croons.

The female and male vocals from 0.42 to 1.11 give a traditional folk feel.

A traditional folk tune plays from 1.12 onwards.

The tabla hits from 1.14 to 1.18, 1.13 to 1.37, 2.03 to 2.06 are good build up and give good intermittent effect.

The energetic chants HAAI depict the mood of the festive season of holi.

The male and female adapt a classical touch on lines DAALO at 1.39, KARDO at 1.52
The drum beat effect from 1.58 to 2.02 gives a traditional outdoor feel.

Shreya's line SA RA RA RA from 2.13 to 2.15

Between mukhda and 1st stanza, the underlying beat skip giving a traditional outdoor feel plays aong with a rajasthani tune and male croons similarly used in JHATKA MAARE from KYUN KI.

1st stanza

Sonu sings with feel good vocals on a simple tune followed by feel good male vocals.

Shreya's vocals are melodious on a catchy tune pattern along with underlying drum skip beat from 2.52 to 3.00 (best part of the song), with emphasis on RAAAR (quick twist) at 2.55 & VAAR (quick twist) at 2.59.

Between 1st and 2nd stanza, classical male chants play followed by a feel good traditional tune along with daffli effect.

2nd stanza

Sonu sings with feel good vocals on a simple tune followed by feel good male vocals.

Shreya's vocals are melodious on a catchy tune pattern along with underlying drum skip beat from 4.21 to 4.29 (best part of the song), with emphasis on lines MAD (classical feel) at 4.24 & JAADU (quick twist) at 4.28, LAAL (feel) at 4.59

Shreya suddenly gets naughty from 5.01 to 5.03

The song ends with a feel good rajasthani tune along with energetic male and female croons followed by Sonu's and Shreya's alaap with feel factor.

Highlights of this song:

1. Sonu's feel good vocals amd Shreya's innocent melodious vocals.

2. The tabla hit pattern, the drum beat skip effect, rajasthani tune.

3. Energetic male and female croons/chants.

This is a song that HR fans can play on Holi and have fun with their mates.

Purab Se

The song starts with an oriental flute that was used in beginning of AAKHIYAAN LADA JAA from BLACKMAIL.

The male croons from 0.20 to 1.13 are hard core classical along with sounds heard in a baba's shrine and the beat effect and underlying bazz sound from 0.37 onwards is similar in terms of overall desired effect to the male croons, beat effect and underlying bazz sound from 0.36 to 0.54 from KYUN KISI KO from TERE NAAM.

The wind effect followed by shank and temple bells from 1.44 to 1.50 is great.

The additional female chorus croons along with sherya's croons OM NAMAH SHIVAYE from 1.50 to 1.55 give an overall pleasant subtle effect.

Shreya's line OOOOOM (feel good twist) from 1.56 to 1.57 & 2.08 to 2.09

The lines OM NAMAH SHIVAYE from 1.56 to 2.13 is the core tune of the mukhda.

The 3 lazy beats from 1.57 to1.58 give sahi desired effect.

The underlying beats kick in from 1.59 onwards and they are free flowing and in SYNC with the vocals.

Between mukhda and 1st stanza, the subtle traditional flute pattern is catchy along with male and female croons followed by a shank piece.

1st stanza

Shreya croons with her innocently melodious vocals on a simple yet effective tune and the subtle flute gives an overall pleasant effect.

The 3 lazy beats from 3.02 to 3.03 & 3.24 to 3.25 give sahi desired effect.

Between 1st and 2nd stanza, male and female haunt chants followed by a raga tune and shreya's likeable croons.

2nd stanza

Shreya croons with her innocently melodious vocals on a simple yet effective tune and the subtle flute gives an overall pleasant effect.

The 3 lazy beats from 4.40 to 4.41 & 5.01 to 5.02 give sahi desired effect.

The male and female haunt chants join in from 4.54 onwards along with male croons from 5.15 onwards.

The song ends with pleasant flute and shreya's subtle chants in unplugged mode.

Highlights of this song:

1. The starting build up similar to KYUN KISI KO (TERE NAAM) that gives a hard core classical feel.

2. The underlying beats, shank piece, temple bells, wind effect, traditional flute, raga tune and 3 lazy hits.

3. Shreya's innocent melodious vocals.

4. The male and female haunt vocals, subtle female chorus and classical male chants.

This is a pleasant, subtle and laidback classical melody.

If Himesh composed MUKHUNDA MUKHUNDA from DASHAVATAR, it doesn't come as a surprise or out of the blue since he has borrowed a leaf out of this song in terms of donning a classical hat.

Yeh Shaan Hai

The composition pattern of tune is hard core classical.

The song starts with subtle male croons along with underlying tune in a baba's shrine until 0.58

An unimaginable surprise is in store with a TECHNO instrument hits from 0.58 onwards and thus changes the tempo of the song.

The techno instrument instrument is OFF-DA-HOOK from 0.58 to 1.18, especially from 1.06 to 1.09 (effect), and 1.10 to 1.12 (hard core cult techno).

The bazz trumpet hits at 1.13 & 1.16 are great.

The raw heavy drum hits in the underlying beat and vocals are great.

A flute piece plays in between 1.34 and 1.58

The male singer fully expresses himself in line HAAI (rising classical twist) SHAAM (high pitched) from 2.08 to 2.10, 2.43 to 2.46, 4.22 to 4.24 & 5.53 to 5.56

The dhol beat pattern from 2.27 to 2.29 is what one expects in a Mataji ka mandir.

The bazz trumpet plays along with an oriental flute piece from 2.29 to 2.38

The beat skip pattern from 2.43 onwards is CLASSICAL OFF-DA-HOOK and gives great overall effect to vocals until 3.20

The beat and vocal effect along with bazz trumpet hits from 3.21 to 3.28 is off-da-hook.

The raw drums hit it good from 3.36 to 3.39

The alaap in between 3.43 and 4.00, 5.14 to 5.31 enhance the classical touch.

The shank, bells and water sound effect play along with subtle drum beat pattern from 4.32 to 4.47 followed by male croons as if bhakths from a nearby temple are worshipping and offering their prayers to ganga.

Raw fast paced drum beats play along with a traditional tune from 4.48 to 5.10

The song ends with male chants and shank piece followed by wind effect and temple bell.

Highlights of this song:

1. HR shows his command over ragas and this song depicts by what he means when he says that his usual songs are simpler versions of complicated ragas in which he adds commercial elements (unlike this one).

2. The orchestration of this song that would only have made it easier for HR to score the music arrangement for OM NAMO NARAYAN from DASHAVATAR that required heavy classical orchestration due to its magnum opus stature.

3. The interesting unique mix of western techno instrument with heavy Indian classical raga orchestration.

Baajuband

The song begins with a continuous harmonium piece along with a raga tune.

Fast paced tabla pattern along with daffli join in from 0.51 onwards to give a classical feel.

This fact is confirmed by the male classical croons from 1.01 to 1.06

The male singer's lines JAAYE (lower octave classical twist) from 1.10 to 1.11, BAJU (classical twist) BAND at 1.12

Things get hard core classical from 1.37 to 1.47 with male croons followed by good company of fast paced tabla beat pattern.

The fast paced tabla beat pattern is in SYNC with classical male vocals from 1.48 to 1.55

The variation of tempo in the fast paced tabla beat is great from 1.58 to 2.13

This song caters to a limited segment of those that love their hard core classical music i.e. purists and upper age segment.

Despite this fact, it is commendable that a composer turned singer who was turning on the heat by giving sufi-rwak hits also composed such a hard core classical song like this, which shows his versatility of music talent that has no bounds and limits of genres.

Verdict

Banaras in post-ABA era equates to Kuch Meetha Ho Jaaye (2005) in pre-ABA era whereby Himesh focused on da semi-classical genre to cater to da elite niche segment i.e. da co-called classes and purists.

Unfortunately, both these albums did not get their proper due and recognition and were also overshadowded by other himesh albums at that time.

This luke warm thanda response by junta detered himesh from concentrating on full fledged semi classical albums in commercial terms and prompted him to start a trend of merging n mixing both sufi rwak n semi classical genre in his own filmi albums when he decided to also sing all his songs i.e. da first couple of songs are sufi rwak n subscequent slot fillers here n there are semi classical.

In this way, he would showcase his versatility as well as kill two birds with one stone, rather than carry all his eggs in one basket in terms of risk level.

My Picks

From Himesh's "sung n composed" songs:

1. Kitna Pyar Karte Hain (male)

From Himesh's "composed only" songs:

1. Ishq Mein Dil Ko

In the beginning, the way Ashmit Patel tells Urmila "ab me tumhaare bina jee nahi sakta" and then holds her hand, after which she stands up and he hugs her from start to 0.14 along with prolonged male croons is very reassuring and heartwarming...dekh ke dil koh sukoon deta hai. The whole scenery, locations n environs are laidback and have a sense n calmness of spirituality...dil karta hai ki aisi jagah pe jaaya jaaye, for peace of mind n solace. The various postures and chemistry between both lovers throughout the song depicts the innocence and purity of love. Soulful male croon from 0.50 to 0.53 & 1.54 to 1.56 konnekts with da listener. It is a song with a semi classical touch and its audio visuals create a nostalgic mood and a thehraav which gives calming vibes. After spending a hectic tiring day, what better way to spend a pleasant laidback relaxing evening other than listening to this song.

2. Kitna Pyar Karte Hain (female)

3. Purab Se

4. Rang Daalo

5. Baajuband Khul Jaaye

6. Yeh Shaan Hai Banaras Ki

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