Music directors these days are pushing the boundaries of vocal phenomenon with timbre, pitch, frequency, volume, bass, voice and rhythm, among others. My yardstick for the 2013 top ten albums is simple: Does the music have emotional appeal? Does it make me want to hit the repeat button? What about rhythm and lyrics?

Vidya Sridhar works at NASA and is a mom of two elementary school children. She lives and breathes all things filmi.

10. Phata Poster Nikhla Hero


Music: Pritam

This is an all out fun album, which lives up to all its expectations. Almost all the songs are good. The “Agal Bagal” number is fun and so is “Hey Mr. DJ.” It helps that my youngsters adore it. The album balances out with Rahat’s “Mere Bina.”

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Music: Salim-Sulaiman, Indian Ocean, Meet Bros Anjjan, Aadesh Shrivastava


The album kicks off with a contemporary version of “Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram.” The mood of rebellion is conveyed with the music, but made more memorable with Prasoon Joshi’s lyrics. The album has a classical base to it. “Aiyo Ji” and “Raske Bhare Tore Naina” are the most memorable tracks.

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8. Lootera


Music:  Amit Trivedi
This album opens with “Sawaar Loon” and you fall in love with the Hindustani sounds. The songs aptly suit the historical aspect of the movie and are lovely, lilting numbers. Not for your dance enthusiast, though. The songs remind me of 1942—A Love Story. The music is memorable; the songs are delightful and totally original.

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7. Gori Tere Pyaar Mein


Music: Vishal Shekhar
This Karan Johar production will probably deliver if the music is anything to go by. (The movie hasn’t been released at the time of this writing.) A fun soundtrack with peppy dance numbers and slow romantic ones. The track features 9 songs and the ones that jump out almost literally are “Tooh” and “Chingam Chabake.” The lyrics are clever and amusing. “Naina” is the most beautiful song on the album. It’s lower on my list because it’s up and coming but definitely noteworthy.

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6. Ram Leela


Music: Monty Sharma, Sanjay Leela Bhansali

This audio is reminiscent of Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and, like its predecessor, is a treat for all music lovers. Sanjay Leela Bhansali turns music composer and this album is a mix of folk and fusion songs. All ten songs are culturally nourishing, there is no room for remixes or pop flavor in this album, but all of the songs deserve to be heard and enjoyed. “Nagada Sang Dhol,” in particular, is my favorite both for the visual and cultural treat it provides.

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5. Once Upon a Time in Mumbai Dobaara


Music: Pritam
This movie takes us on a journey through a bygone era and the soundtrack aptly has a retro feel to it. Pritam has paired traditional qawwali numbers with lovely Hindustani music and this sequel delivers. We even have an old
favorite “Tayyab Ali” with a new flavor.

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4. Raanjhanaa


A.R. Rahman delivers with Raanjhanaa. The album has multiple tracks that showcase a
fusion of Hindustani classical music with western symphony. The title track “Raanjhanaa” carries all the essential Rahman elements, marks a significant beginning, and doesn’t disappoint throughout. Incredibly noteworthy are the tabla, flute and sitar interludes. This is definitely an album for the old school and takes you on a musical journey to Benares.

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3. Chennai Express


Music:  Vishal Shekhar
The music complements the flavor of the movie which is fast paced and full of masti. We start with “One, Two, Three, Four” and you have the marriage of North and South Indian dance music and lyrics, which continue all the way to the very end. The album is replete with heart pounding music and some moments of romance thrown in. Upbeat and catchy is how I would sum it up. The original album does not include “Lungi Dance,” which is featured during the credits and is performed by Honey Singh, but it is definitely worth an honorary mention.

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2. Aashiqui 2


Music: Mithoon, Jeet Ganguly, Ankit Tiwari
The sequel to one of the most popular musical albums ever is one of the best soundtracks of this year. This album is a musical treat especially in this age of fairly repetitive tracks. It has beautiful instrumental numbers, romantic ballads and mesmerizing music. Long after you stop dancing to this years dance numbers you will have these songs on your playlist.


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1. Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani

Music:  Pritam


The most popular album of the year with chart topping dance numbers and soul searching slow numbers has to be the Karan Johar’s blockbuster Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani. High on energy, it is a totally catchy and fun album, with its share of emotional songs. Both the movie and the album are a completely satisfying Bollywood package. Dharma Productions delivers again.

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