Of the five gaana-style songs, Sandhanatha and Goindhammavaala get significantly spruced up sounds. The former is incredibly rhythmic, sung with giddy enthusiasm by Ka Ka Balachander, while the latter is aided beautifully by the chorus, even as the music is simple and foot-tapping, to match Dhanush’s appropriately raw vocals. Between the other three, Arivu’s Mathiya Seraiyila stands out as a catchy jail-gaana. Maadila Nikkura Maankutty is Gana Bala’s voyeuristic serenade that Dhee turns into a consenting arrangement. The song’s vibrant orchestration and chorus is delightful! Led by Sriram Parthasarathy, Kaarkuzhal Kadavaiye is a complete change in sound and the soundtrack’s best. The song’s guitar and flute mix, interludes ideated by Sean Roldan, the change of tune in the anupallavi and the background vocal mix are enchanting! Ennadi Maayaavi Nee extends that sound, with Sid Sriram’s expressive singing elevates it significantly, along with the sprawling orchestral background. The victorious, thematic King Of The Sea is superbly mounted, using FAME Macedonian Symphonic Orchestra, Martin Vijay’s brass section and Ananthu’s soaring vocals. VadaChennai Theme, though, portends more ominous things, but in a wonderfully grand manner. With Kaala, Pariyerum Perumal and now VadaChennai, his 25th soundtrack, Santhosh Narayanan hits a new high this year.

Keywords: VadaChennai, Vada Chennai, Santhosh Narayanan, Tamil, 200, #200

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

Sunday September 23, 2018

Milliblog Weeklies – SEP23.2018

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist. Week 42:
On Apple Music | On Saavn | On YouTube
23 songs this week. Apple Music has 20; is missing Vidya Vox, Madhan Karky & Shankar Tucker’s Kaadhal Thozhi, Sharanya Srinivas & Shravan Sridhar’s Muralidhara Gopala and Bhale Manchi Chowka Beram’s Seedha Gundelloke. Those 3 songs are only on YouTube (for now). Saavn is missing those 3, plus Jass Manak’s Suit Punjabi.

A note on the songs in the playlist.


Aap Se Milkar Reprise & Woh Ladki (AndhaDhun, Hindi): A sweet, old-fashioned melody from Amit that gains a lot from Ayushmann’s singing. The instrumentation is decidedly gentler and from a different era, particularly the way it follows the line, ‘Tuk tuk lagakar’ in the antara. In comparison, the normal version, by Abhijeet Srivastava & Aakanksha Sharma seems less interesting. Woh Ladki’s infectious vaudevillian sound, Arijit’s voice and The Chennai Strings fuse together to create a captivating song!

Bhare Bazaar (Namaste England, Hindi): When the song is composed by Rishi Rich and Badshah, you could be reasonably sure that it would be catchy. And it sure is! The song has an easy, bouncy vibe and the singing by Vishal Dadlani, Payal Dev and Badshah is on the dot, accentuating that feel.

Badhaaiyan Tenu (Badhaai Ho, Hindi): Tanishk Bagchi scores one more original (increasingly more often, alongside his recreations) with the song’s quirky tone and the singers, Brijesh Shandailya, Romy and Jordan, handle it aptly, with the right fun feel.

Mujhme (Jalebi, Hindi): The only other song that worked for me, in Jalebi’s sprawling, maudlin soundtrack (ok, Tanishk Bagchi’s Tera Mera Rishta wasn’t maudlin). Mujhme is nothing but the female version of Tum Se, sung beautifully by Shilpa Rao. Tum Se’s tune, by Samuel Shetty and Akanksha Nandrekar, is incredibly affecting and addictive. The female perspective is an equally good variant!

Anaganaganaga, Peniviti & Reddy Ikkada Soodu (Aravindha Sametha, Telugu): Thaman is back and how! The song’s melody has a superb verve, and that electric violin by Dandilya is a superb addition! Naveen’s flute too joins the mix, and in Armaan Malik’s likeable vocals, this is an easy winner! Peniviti is Thaman-style all the way; it’s familiar and predictable, particularly when the strings accompany the main tune in the first interlude. But, even within the familiarity, the tune is captivating, thanks t Kaala Bhairava’s fantastic singing. And in Reddy Ikkada Soodu, Thaman does way with the conventional need for a pulsating masala Telugu track and instead creates a more global-music’ish masala mix that is instantly appealing. The song’s prelude, Pendyala Nageswara Rao-composed iconic song, Veyi Subhamulu Kalugu Neeku from the 1963 film, Sri Krishnarjuna Yudham is a nice touch.

Hey Babu, Chettu Kinda Doctor & Emo Emo Emo (Devadas, Telugu): The song fits perfectly with the first song from the film, Vaaru Veeru. There’s a similar retro’ish swing here too, and Karthik is perfect for the lively tune that has a kick-ass 2nd interlude featuring a superb brass section. Chettu Kinda Doctor is completely wacky, with Padmalatha perfectly managing the comical affectation needed for the song. The hook is kick-ass! 🙂 Emo Emo Emo is, of course, Sid Sriram’s show, even as Mani beautifully layers it with a stupendously sweeping strings layer akin to early Rahman. It’s great to see Mani Sharma back in action so confidently.

Vagachi (Amala, Telugu): Gopi’s tune is tantalizingly slow and sedate, and a lot of credit should go to the singer too, Anarkali Marikar who handles it so well! Gopi keeps the music calmly in the background to let her singing take precedence, and the effect is brilliant!

Seedha Gundelloke (Bhale Manchi Chowka Beram, Telugu): Composer Hari Gowra, who was last heard in a middling single from Nakshatram, does significantly better here! The guitar-led, breezy tune works well in Hemachandra and Ramya Behara’s vocals. The anupallavi is particularly tuneful.

Suit Punjabi (Jass Manak, Punjabi): A typically templatized Punjabi hiphop’ish number, but as usual, the package works thanks to Jass Manak’s likeable vocals, and the repetitive phrases.

Kaadhal Thozhi (Vidya Vox, Madhan Karky & Shankar Tucker): Shankar has proved to be a very, very good composer (if you haven’t heard his debut album, Filament, you are missing something! See Milliblog review of the album: http://bit.ly/2NvfYnm). Kaadhal Thozhi immediately stands out for 3 things – the first is Madhan’s verse, in beautiful Tamil! The 2nd is Vidya’s diction – it delightfully gets the language’s inherent appeal perfectly. And then there’s Shankar’s breezy and highly engaging melody, that includes a lovely chorus layer. Fantastic song!

Muralidhara Gopala (feat. Sharanya Srinivas & Shravan Sridhar): The Maand raaga classic comes alive magnificently in Mahesh Raghavan’s wonderfully modern packaging, using the geoshred! Sharanya’s singing is exquisite, and Shravan adds a beautiful violin layer to complete the experience!

Ikadun Tikade (Home Sweet Home, Marathi): Santosh Mulekar’s tune is incredibly charming. It starts off predictably enough, but as soon as the make-shift antara paves way to a change of pace, the song takes off in a wonderfully exciting route! Ajay Gogavale’s voice is an asset to the whimsical song, that even touches a techno vibe eventually!

Freak Penne (Oru Adaar Love, Malayalam): I didn’t quite like the Munnale Ponaale teaser song, but Shaan does better as a follow-up to the incredibly popular Manikya Malaraya Poovi in this rap song. Its racy music and Sathyajith’s singing keeps it spritely, along with Neethu Naduvathettu. It’s the lyrics that’s quite silly, though 🙂

Nooru Vattam (Mandharam, Malayalam): A nice ballad’ish song that reminded me of Phil Collins’ Another Day In Paradise. No, not the tune directly, but the way it feels. Mujeeb is promising, all through Mandharam’s soundtrack (except Mittayi).

Mounam (Mangalyam Thanthunanena, Malayalam): Read full soundtrack review here: http://bit.ly/2PVNAaM

Maathado Taareya, Oh Kshana & Just Fly (Ambi Ning Vayassaytho, Kannada): Maathado Taareya seemed to be like raaga Madhyamavathi, and Gummineni Vijay Babu sings it with a particular warmth that’s so endearing. The veena interludes too add to the song’s charm. Oh Kshana works mainly because of Anirudh’s breezy vocals. Arjun comes to the fore with a tune that’s equally fresh and pop’ish, and the little nuances like the ‘La la’ chorus backdrop in the anupallavi is really good. And Vijay Prakash lifts Just Fly to a new plane, even as Arjun plays around with the sounds, infusing the Kerala Chendai sound and Malayalam phrases in between, possibly to signify the bike travels of Ambi! Lovely, lilting listen.

Revaa’s Melle Mulle is delightfully folk’ish and spritely, with an ensemble to handle the joyous vocals. Her Chase Theme too is captivating, turning kuthu in style. Sujesh and Sunadh Sankar’s Ariyathe is straight off the Bhatt-brigade style, but the folk percussion and flute mid-way punctuate the song confidently. Azim Roshan’s Azikumbol is Vaikom Vijayalekshmi show, amidst the catchy mish-mash tune! Sayonara Philip composes the soundtrack’s best – Mounam! The tune’s Latino twang is tantalizing, which gets accentuated in her searing Unplugged version! For a soundtrack where director Soumya Sadanandan invited entries and picked 3, this is a remarkably well-assembled soundtrack!

PS: The film’s director had invited entries from new composers for three tracks. Of the 1,200 tracks the team received via email, the chosen ones were Revaa, Azim Roshan and Sunadh Sankar-Sukesh Sankar. Sayonara Philip had already made her impressive composing debut earlier this year, with Kuttanpillayude Sivarathri.

Keywords: Mangalyam Thanthunanena, Revaa, Sujesh Sankar and Sunadh Sankar, Azim Roshan, Sayonara Philip

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

Read the post on Filmcompanion.

Saturday September 15, 2018

Milliblog Weeklies – SEP16.2018

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist. Week 41:
On Apple Music | On Saavn | On YouTube
32 songs this week. Saavn is the best, with 31 songs (it’s missing just one – Pathinmakaala Vaanam, from the Singaporean Tamil TV series Guru Paarvai. That song is only available on YouTube. Apple Music has a lot of songs missing. Please do see the notes below to listen to all of them. It’s a particularly very good week of music! One of my favorites, this year!

A note on the songs in the playlist.


Naina Da Kya Kasoor (AndhaDhun, Hindi): An instantly likeable shake-your-head’ish tune that is so lively. That ‘Kasoor, bekasoor’ hook is thoroughly addictive and Amit’s own everyman voice goes so well with Ayushmann’s personality.

F For Fyaar, Daryaa, Grey Walaa Shade, DhayaanChand, Chonch Ladhiyaan, Hallaa, Bijlee Giregi & Kundali (Manmarziyaan, Hindi): See the full album review: http://bit.ly/2NaiWO6
(Since I have added the songs from this soundtrack in the earlier Weeklies, not adding them again, this week)

Naina Banjare (Pataakha, Hindi): Full album review here: http://bit.ly/2MonfQE

Tere Liye (Namaste England, Hindi): Composer Mannan Shah, who impressed with Saawan Bairi in Commando, makes a comeback of sorts after a middling Commando 2. The song is an easy listen, thanks to the pleasant melody and Atif Aslam, but it is Akanksha Bhandari who enters mid-way and makes a big impact!

Tum Se (Jalebi, Hindi): In what reminded me of Mithoon’s outstanding song from The Train, Zindagi Ne Zindagi Bhar Gam Diye, Tum Se, composed by Samuel & Akanksha, is standard-issue Mohit Suri-sound that the Bhatts have nailed into an art form. The vastly underrated Jubin Nautiyal holds the sweeping melody together impressively.

Chinna Machan (Charlie Chaplin 2, Tamil): A rather nice, catchy and folksy song from composer Amrish, who is earlier known for abominations like Motta Siva Ketta Siva and Bhakar Oru Rascal. The real-time banter between the 2 singers is the song’s charming highlight. When I came to know that it is not his own tune, it made perfect sense. The original seems to belong to the 2 singers themselves (or is perhaps a folk/traditional song; listen here: http://bit.ly/2NhBawW) – Senthil Ganesh and Rajalakshmi.

Idhu Varai Naan (Zhagaram, Tamil): Lovely melody from the under-rated Dharan. The tune is great, has a fantastic hook and the interludes too are very pleasing. Haricharan and Shweta, as always, are super! But Trend Music, the label, needs to find better people to add lyrics on screen/in-video – for a film that’s titled ‘Zhagaram’, they can’t spell ‘sirippoliye’ as ‘sirippozhiye’!

Thean Puthu Thean (Party, Tamil): Gangai Amaren’s lyrics using the ‘thaen’ word all over the song appeals easily and instantly. Such word usages used to be common earlier in Tamil cinema (the most famous ‘thaen’ song is of course, ‘Paarthaen Sirithaen’ from Veera Abhimanyu with music by K.V.Mahadevan and lyrics by Kannadasan) but seem missing lately. Good to see the nuanced focus on language again. GV Prakash Kumar and Saindhavi are very good with the duet. I have always believed that Premgi is a better composer than he is as an actor or comedian. Good to see him do what he does well.

Enakenna Yaarum Illaye – Zingaroe Remix (7UP Madras Gig, Tamil): Enakenna Yaarum Illaye was a single (http://bit.ly/2NfJEoz, belonging to a film called Aakko) released way back in February 2015 when the song’s lyricist was still called ‘Vignesh Shivan’ with an ‘a’ (now, of course, he is ‘ShivN’). Zingaroe’s remix puts the sing into the original tune almost as good as Anirudh would have. Sony should release this 7UP Madras Gig as a full album – got fantastic tunes!

Potta Kaatil Poovasam, Vaa Rayil Vidapolama & Naan Yaar (Pariyerum Perumal, Tamil): Full album review here: http://bit.ly/2wZwbXP (Not adding Karuppi this week since I had added it in Weeklies earlier)

Kalaila Sayngaalam & Ulagam Ennai (Vandi, Tamil): Sooraj R Kurup, who made a spectacular composing debut in Valleem Thetti Pulleem Thetti and excellent singles in films like Alamara and Solo, makes his debut in Tamil! It’s an oddball soundtrack that opens with Gana Bala’s Kalaila Sayngaalam that sounds like a nursery rhyme, but has an addictive edge! It reminded me of the droning addictiveness of Joshua Sridhar’s Manmeedhu from Parandhu Sella Vaa. Ulagam Ennai has the same call-and-respond format (both sung by Sooraj himself) and manic energy as Valleem Thetti Pulleem Thetti’s Vaathe Poothe, but without the outburst of the hook. Sooraj’s music continues to remain extremely interesting.

Enna Pulla Senja (Kalavaani Mappillai, Tamil): A simple, heartwarming melody from N.R.Raghunanthan. Ranjith sings it effortlessly, while Raghu’s backgrounds, consisting only of guitar and the simple rhythm, adds to the song’s charm.

Pathinmakaala Vaanam (Singaporean Tamil TV series Guru Paarvai): Composed by Govind (Menon) Vasantha, for the Singaporean TV series, with lyrics by Madhan Karky, the song instantly reminded me of Agam’s body of work. Govind’s violin and Mithun Raju’s spell-binding guitar standout amidst the soulful melody.

Crazy Little Thing Called Chakravakam (Thayir Sadam Project): The whimsically called ‘Thayir Sadam project’ consists of Dr. L. Subramaniam’s son and daughter, Ambi Subramaniam and Bindu Subramaniam, plus Akshay Anantapadmanabhan and Mahesh Raghvan. This song features Ranjani-Gayatri, and is a spell-binding expansion of Chakravakam/Ahir Bhairav raaga. The singing, the backgrounds that fuse the modern sounds within the raaga’s framework… everything is absolutely fantastic! As a raaga-ignorant listener, so many Ilayaraja songs and well-known songs tumbled into my memory listening to this.

Kaadhal Kadal Dhana (Ratsasan, Tamil): Ghibran strikes again! A wonderfully relaxed and sweeping melody with the usual Ghibran-style layered orchestration. The singing, by Sathyaprakash and Chaitra Ambadipudi, is brilliant.

Sevandhu Pochu Nenju (Chekka Chivantha Vaanam, Tamil): The 3rd song from Mani Ratnam’s new film is very interesting for the vibrant soundscape, even as the tune seems functional/background’ish. The ending (starting 4:00) is particularly fantastic!

Nee Nanna Bhagavathgeethe (Bhairava Geetha, Kannada): Ravi Shankar’s tune reminded me of Dharmavathy raaga, if you consider songs like Raja’s Meendum Meendum Vaa (Vikram) or Rahman’s Edhu Sugam Sugam Adhu (Vandicholai Chinrasu). The song works mainly because of the fantastic singing by Chinmayi and Vijay Yesudas.

Haniye Haniye & Ardha Chandra (8MM Bullet, Kannada): Judah Sandhy is back with his irresistible Chamak form! The song’s melody is oh-so-beautiful, and Judah pulls off Sanjith Hegde-style singing himself, along with a phenomenal Shreya Sundar Iyer. The Coldplay’ish chorus is entrancing, as is the lovely violin interlude! In Ardha Chandra, Judah produces a beautifully soft rhythm that helps the whispery melody to come alive perfectly. Supriya Lohith and Abhinandan Mahishale sing it darn well, particularly the way the latter offers the counterpoint in the anupallavi.

Cheap & Best (Victory 2, Kannada): The successful combination of Sharan and Arjun Janya continues! This is a tune that Arjun reserves for himself, but he ropes in Divya Kumar for a faux-qawali tune that is foot-tapping and raucous. The second interlude (which also ends the song), however, reminded me of Ilayaraja’s iconic background theme from Pallavi Anupallavi (it’s magical! Listen to it here: http://bit.ly/2MvoEVx). Raja also used as a song by himself in Tamil – Mella Mella, from Vaazhkai: http://bit.ly/2MvZhTE

Ini Raave (Ranam, Malayalam): I’m a complete sucker for Charukesi raaga. When Sumesh Parameshwar enters with his guitar, mid-way playing a bit of Charukesi, I just melt! The tune is fantastic – deep and engaging, with fabulous singing by Vidhu Pratap. This is probably the best album by composer Jakes Bejoy yet.

Oduvile Theeyayi (Varathan, Malayalam): A classic Latino-style (Bossa Nova’ish?) melody from Sushin Shyam! He sings it, along with Neha S Nair. The interludes, in particular, are delightful!

Inthe Inthenaa, Nijamga Kothaga & Okadhaari Lona (Nannu Dochukunduvate, Telugu): Inthe Inthenaa is absolutely lovely! Naresh Iyer superbly holds the deeply involving melody with his singing, while Ajaneesh’s musical flourish shows in the orchestration. Maarten Visser’s sax, in particular, is brilliant, and so is the very-Ilayaraja’ish anupallavi! Nijamga Kothaga is Harshika Devanathan’s stellar show! Ajaneesh’s rhythm is addictive, though the song opens exactly like Chaiyya Chaiyya’s
“Jinke sar ho ishq ki chaaon
Paaon ke neeche jaanat hogi
Jinke sar ho ishq ki chaaon”.
And Okadhaari Lona is a great listen as well, with its Bond-style (the all-women string quartet) violin phrases and the energetic tune. That second line where Haricharan goes with the tune step by step is a lovely touch.

Mon (Kuasha Jakhon, Bengali): Composer Chirantan Banerjee’s tune is ballad-style and gorgeous. Raj Barman’s singing is very good, significantly enhanced by Anirban Das’s guitar.

Burn Out (Justin Mylo, Martin Garrix featuring Dewain Whitmore): Axe’s content marketing effort, under Axe Music, in association with Martin Garrix. The song is typically likeable House – the guitar riffs and drop are predictable but fun.

Heavy, California & Beat 54 (For Ever, Jungle): Jungle’s 2nd album is out and it has more of their trademark disco-soul-funk sound in abundance. It does get a bit tedious at the end of the entire album, but these 2 songs stand out with their highly infectious groove.

Smile (Sanjeev T, Indipop): A.R.Rahman’s guitarist Sanjeev Thomas, who made an impressive film composing debut in the Malayalam film Vilakkumaram, is back with his new EP featuring 4 songs. Titled St., my pick of the EP is Smile, which, intriguingly, starts with the sounds of a school classroom before Sanjeev enters with his superb guitar! And when the flute (Tejasvi Raghunath) and thavil (Raju Kodanda) make its entry, the song reaches a new plane!

Mast Ali’s heady vocals lift the already giddy-in-love Punjabi tune in F For Fyaar. In Daryaa, when the mukhda soars, it goes back to Amit’s Dev.D! Fantastic singing by Ammy Virk and Shahid Mallya. But the Unplugged version hardly works, with contrasting vocals by Deveshi Sahgal. Chonch Ladhiyaan is a delightful, earthy melody with Shellee’s lovely lyrics and that addictive ‘Nache’. DhayaanChand starts off on a sedate Punju note, but really kicks off when Nikhita Gandhi strolls in with ‘Jhalli Jhalli Jhalli’. Grey Walaa Shade comes alive in Shellee’s heartwarming Punjabi+English mix. Amit’s pleasant music props the engaging melody. In Halla, Amit’s choice of Jyoti Nooran is perfect. She carries the beautifully built tune that gets progressively exciting. Sacchi Mohabbat and Jaisi Teri Marzi sound conventional, but they’re also a heartfelt—albeit filmy—melodies that gain enormously from wonderful singing. Bijlee Giregi and Sherni both offer entrancing rap tributes to the lead female character. Kundali is predictably-Amit, but the energetic rhythm over the folk’ish tune keeps the tune engaging. In Jala Di, the otherwise standard-issue melody gets a rousing EDM boost, while Fyaar Pe Duniya‘s retro sound works because of Alamgir Khan. Amit offers a riveting follow-up to Udta Punjab in Manmarziyaan!

Keywords: Manmarziyaan, Amit Trivedi, 200, #200

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

Balma gets better progressively, and Sunidhi joining Rekha lends it a lively banter-style fun. Rekha owns Hello Hello in her inimitable style! The song’s riotous tune, raucous chorus, and Rekha rolling the ‘r’s make it a great listen! The title song‘s frenetic energy is addictive – Vishal sings it with great flair. The song’s instrumental layer is particularly fantastic! Sukhwinder’s Gali Gali plays out like its companion piece, with a joyous folk rhythm. Arijit gets the soundtrack’s best, Naina Banjare. Amidst Ankur Mukherjee’s spectacular guitar work, Arijit’s handling of Vishal’s beautifully lush melody is outstanding. Pataakha explodes in typical Vishal-style.

Keywords: Pataakha, Vishal Bhardwaj

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

Read the post on Filmcompanion.

Check out the list on Filmcompanion.

Karuppi is a searing hip-hop melody that Santhosh sings with intensity. The tune and the rap, along with the ending, offer a haunting, modern oppaari (elegy) of sorts! Vanakkam Vanakkamunga is authentic, austere Tamil folk with no shade of anything cinematic. In comparison, Engum Pugazh Thuvanga fares better with its authentic folk sound and lyrics, bringing to life a lively village fest! Anthony Daasan and Kallur Mariappan’s singing, and Dayanandham’s urumi stand out. Potta Kaatil Poovasam is jaw-droppingly beautiful! Santhosh produces an incredibly orchestrated melody that even takes a heart-stopping pause right in the middle! The vocal harmony between Yogi Sekar and Fareedha is scintillating, even as Ananthu’s backing vocal offers a superb parallel layer (complete with an incredible classical vocalization towards the end). The last two songs are decidedly Coldplay’ish! In Vaa Rayil Vidapolama, Prithika’s (sounding much like Dhee Venka) serene voice lifts the sobering melody. Naan Yaar closes the soundtrack on an uptempo note, with a thrumming rhythm and soaring vocal choruses, and fantastic singing by Vijaynarain, Ananthu and Santhosh Narayanan. Mari Selvaraj’s lyrics, with a vignette of ‘Who am I?’ questions, is highly absorbing. After Kaala, Pariyerum Perumal is the second whopper from Santhosh Narayanan this year!

Keywords: Pariyerum Perumal, Santhosh Narayanan, #200, 200

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

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