Ever since they made their debut in 1998 and made it to the big league with films like 'Mission Kashmir' (2000) and 'Dil Chahta Hai' (2001), Shankar Mahadevan, Ehsaan Noorani and Loy Mendonsa or Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy as the music composer trio is known as, has been one of the most prolific and in-demand composers in the Hindi film industry. They have delivered several hits for popular films but some of their albums and tracks did not get their due because of various reasons. In this segment, we track down some of their most underrated songs that definitely deserved to reach out to larger audience.
Bolo Na - Chittagong
Kya Yeh Sach Hai - Dillagi
Majority of the songs in 'Dillagi' were composed by Jatin-Lalit. Anand-Milind and Sukhwinder Singh, too, pitched in with a song each. Btu, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy did leave with mark with a couple of songs, with the best of them being 'Kya Yeh Sach Hai'. A dreamy song, sung wonderfully by Shankar Mahadevan and Mahalaxmi Iyer, this one had the kind of sound that one associated with A R Rahman in the 90s.
Kitni Narmi Se - Dil Jo Bhi Kahey
'Dil Jo Bhi Kahey' had a bunch of lovely songs by the trio. The film, which served as the launch pad of producer-director Romesh Sharma's son Karan, failed to do well at the box-office and the album was not promoted well by the label. As a result, the songs went unnoticed. The best track on the album was the Sonu Nigam sung 'Kitni Narmi Se' which had an inexplicable calming quality to it. The wonderful lyrics by Javed Akhtar served as an icing on the cake.
Tu Hi Bata Zindagi - Armaan
Though the songs had begun to get popular when the album was released, the dismal performance of the film at the box-office hampered its prospects in the long run too. If you hear the song carefully, you will realise that Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy had put a lot of emphasis on the orchestral arrangements. There are long interludes where you only get to hear some instrumental pieces. The song had two versions, one sung by Shreya Ghoshal and the other by Roop Kumar Rathod.
Dhoop Ke Sikke - Sikandar
Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy composed just one promotional song for 'Sikandar' and that was the best song on the album. The trio collaborated with Prasoon Joshi to create a song that talked about how young children are brainwashed, handed arms and turned into terrotists. Prasoon's poetry was one of the highlights of the track. Sample this 'barood jab bachcha thha tohtitli pakadta thha, who ambiya bhi pakadta thha, patangon par jhagadta thha, magar dhokhe se tumne uska bachpan hi toh loota hai, zara dekho tum uski aankhon mein who kabse rootha hai'.
Murshid Khele Holi - D Day
Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy have shared a good rapport with Nikkhil Advani what with all their collaborations resulting in a good or a very good soundtrack. Unlike 'Kal Ho Naa Ho' or 'Salaam-E-Ishq', 'D Day' did not have much scope for music but the director and the trio worked out a way to incorporate a couple of them in the film. 'D Day' was a very good album with the immersive qawalli "Murshid Khele Holi" turning out to be the best of the lot.
Chandni Roop Ki - Dus
'Dus' was Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy's first film but due to director Mukul Anand's demise, the film could not be completed and was shelved. The album was released though and the song 'Hindustani' was a huge hit and is popular till date. However, the rest of the songs went unnoticed. One such song was 'Chandni Roop Ki' which was sung by Shankar himself. "Chandni Roop Ki" was a slow romantic number that was backed by minimal orchestral arrangements that complimented the dulcet structure of the song.
Doli Re Doli - Mirzya
Though a couple of songs from 'Mirzya' managed some traction, the disastrous fate of the film did not let the album become popular beyond a certain point. One of the many songs that went completely unnoticed was 'Doli Re Doli'. It was a rather interesting track as it had a combination of a raga based tune backed by jazz-based arrangements. Listen to this when you are sitting alongside a beach and are in a sombre mood.
Yeh Pyaar Hai - Marigold
The vibrant and highly melodious love song from the Salman Khan starrer crossover film had the distinct Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy sound to it and was sung in a very spirited manner by Shaan. The orchestral arrangements have the song a very opulent scale and Javed Akhtar's lyrics were extremely poetic and a lovely ring to them. The much delayed film was a disaster, something which one cannot associate with a Salman Khan starrer now.
Yeh Sama - Yeh Kya Ho Raha Hai
Hansal Mehta is a very respectable filmmaker now but back then, he had some pretty awful films. 'Yeh Kya Ho Raha Hai' was one of them. The film had a bunch of youthful and peppy songs by the trio. The Shaan and Sowmya Raoh sung 'Yeh Sama' is my favourite of the lot. Even if you hear the song for the first time, you will immediately recognize it as an SLB track as it is the kind of melody they are known for. The soft, romantic number has a dreamy vibe to it and gives one a sense of being on a beach.
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