Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Words Worth

It feels funny to write a post that criticizes a lyricist, just after a post that praises another. Now it so happens that, I constantly keep having arguments with my dad over the quality of today's music. Though I manage to put a strong argument in favour of today's music, I have to admit that when it comes to the quality of lyrics, contemporary music has taken a beating. Because apart from an occasional poetic gem by Javed Akhtar or Prasoon Joshi, we are now frequently subjected to horrendous Hinglish lines being passed off as lyrics. The modern-day dominance of Western instruments like the electric guitar and drums over traditional Indian instruments has only aggravated the situation. The nature of music in Hindi movies is predominantly Western, and to compliment that, most songwriters - Javed Akhtar being a noteworthy exception(thank god) - lose all their poetic instincts, and come up with gross lines containing a mix English with Hindi, and a bit of Punjabi (mainly the staple words like chakde, shava, etc) thrown in for added misery.

Sample these lines from a song in the recent movie 'Race' :

Teri baaton se mila Temptation (!),
Tere pyaar ne diya Vibration (!!),
Ye mere dil ne kiya Confession (!!!),
Chori Chori akhiyaa ne dil tera le jaana (somebody save me)

Now that's what I call absolutely uninspiring, emotionless lyrics. Probably the lyric writers ran out of words that rhyme in Hindi, so they had to go overseas searching for words.

A popular romantic song from Boyzone goes -

"You think that I don't even mean
A single word I say
It's only words, and words are all I have
To take your heart away!"

Well, if words were anything to go by, the hero in the movie Race has scant chances of taking away someone's heart with lyrics like that.

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