Sandeep Shirodkar does a pretty good job in improvising the catchy sadak-chaap’ness of Anu Malik’s original in Chalti hai kya featuring Dev Negi and Neha Kakkar. In Oonchi hai building 2.0, Sandeep gets Anu himself to sing it again, in a confidently spruced up package, and Anu gains a new accent for words like ‘razawmand’. Sajid Wajid’s Suno Ganpati Bappa has Amit Mishra praying to a bachelor-God about girlfriend problems in a glitzy Latino bhajan. Meet Bros’ Aa to sahii is the soundtrack’s best, upgrading a Laung gawacha’ish Punjabi tune to glitzy and catchy new high. Typical David Dhawan’ish masala.

Keywords: Judwaa 2, Sandeep Shirodkar, Anu Malik, Sajid-Wajid, Meet Bros

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Tere bina, with its sparse, Father Figure-like (George Michael) rhythm works largely because of Arijit and Priya’s soaring vocals, even as the tune is largely perfunctory. Priya’s solo sad version perhaps brings the tune’s depth better! Bantai has that immediate Ganpat connection. Perhaps it was instigated by director Apoorva Lakhia who was behind that film too (Shootout at Lokhandwala). Passable Mumbaiya song, at best. Piya aa, the soundtrack’s best, closes things in swinging retro style, with Sachin-Jigar offering a fantastic Kalyanji-Anandji style mix that rocks in Sunidhi’s punchy vocals! Piya aa is the easy winner of this otherwise-muted Sachin-Jigar soundtrack.

Keywords: Haseena Parkar, Sachin-Jigar

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Rendu kallu has an easy charm, with a captivating hook and Armaan Malik handles it impeccably. M.M.Manasi and Geetha Madhuri are effortlessly good in Thaman’s Mayamalavagowla-raaga title song, with a lovely solo violin by Shandilya. In Kiss Me Baby, Thaman brings his brand of punchy electronic sounds and with that likeable tune, it works perfectly. Rahul Nambiar’s My Love is Back and Nakash Aziz’s Bammalu bammalluuu have similar, foot-tapping rhythm that adequately help their heady tunes, while Eppudainna is the soundtrack’s weakest, being a templatized pathos, despite Shweta Pandit’s confident vocals. Mahanubhavudu is Thaman’s best work in 2017, so far!

Keywords: Mahanubhavudu, Thaman S

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Mughlai biryani is Ghibran trying everything, including throwing in video game sounds into the mix. Hoo laa laa is passable, with lively singing by Dhanunjay and Yazin Nizar and a catchy hook, while Hitenshan teega‘s energetic pop sound segues beautifully into the core melody. The soundtrack’s two best songs feature Chinmayi – in Nuvve naa adhrushtam, she joins Revanth in a melody where Ghibran infuses generous dollops of Malayamarutham-raaga and works his magic in the interludes, while in Allari pillagada, a catchy melody reminiscent of early-Rahman, Ghibran’s Dharmavathy-raaga base offers instant joy! Ghibran opens his 2017 Telugu repertoire pretty well.

Keywords: Ungarala Rambabu, Ghibran

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Divya Kumar earnestly renders Raavana, an adequately pounding hero-intro song with nothing more. Jaspreet Jasz and Ranina Reddy’s vocals and DSP playing the electric guitar in Tring tring infuse some life into the otherwise severely templatized package that has the composer’s signature written all over it. Hemachandra is the sole savior of Nee kallalona that is yet again way-too-DSP, though the song takes on an interestingly ominous shade mid-way! The soundtrack’s best, Dochesta too doesn’t really stand out in any way, but it sure has an infectious energy. Jai Lava Kusa is Devi Sri Prasad sleepwalking through yet another soundtrack.

Keywords: Jai Lava Kusa, Devi Sri Prasad

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Ba baro‘s energetic rhythm and Vyasa Raj’s enthusiastic singing keeps it in good stead, though the tune is standard-issue. In Sanje hothu, Arjun infuses Thyagaraja’s Swara raaga sudha in Sankarabharanam-raaga seamlessly to create a lovely melody handled fabulously by Indu Nagraj. Besides Armaan Malik and Shreya Ghoshal’s presence, Mathadu nee also has a very-Bollywood sound even as it traverses a very-Kannada flow in the anupallavi. Armaan also does well in the pensive and melodious, Birugali yondige. Kudi maga is Arjun’s stock template, while amidst the pointless tune of Ta ta taraka, Neethi Mohan’s splendid singing stands out. Typical Arjun material.

Keywords: Tarak, Arjun Janya

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Minunundae mullapolae is an effortless winner. Ashwin concocts an expansive and immensely likeable soundscape led by guitar and strings. Karthik delivers the dreamy melody in his impeccable style even as it is noteworthy for its unusual structure sans any familiar pattern! The song’s other version, with a more electronic sound, is decidedly slower, handled beautifully by Neha Nair and is closer to Ashwin and Dominic Arun’s earlier effort, the short film Mrithyumjayam. Enthelum parayanundel has a winsome, drunk-conversation feel that Sajeev Stanley delivers well, though the frequent change in rhythm is disorienting. Ashwin Renju makes a confident debut in Tharangam.

Keywords: Ashwin Renju, Tharangam

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Despite all the kitchen-sink level cliches in Boom boom, the sound remains alluring, thanks to the fantastic brass he incorporates along with Nikhita Gandhi’s vocals. Ciciliya ciciliya too is a fairly good listen, with a lively melody, accentuated with Harris’ pet sounds, including gibberish chorus from exotic islands. Haricharan is dependably good handling the vocals, with a peekaboo Shakthishree. Harris dips into his Anniyan stock for Haali haali that, besides its heady hook and a lovely second interlude, has nothing much to add. Achcham Telugandham‘s only highlight is rhyming mysterious with Confuscious. Predictable Harris Jayaraj package with two good-enough songs.

Keywords: Spyder, Harris Jayaraj

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There’s something distinctly Harris Jayaraj about Kadhal Project, but Simon improvises to bring his unique stamp, with his own funky keyboard and Vasanth David’s drums. Keerthana Vaidyanathan, and Benny Dayal, in particular, blaze through the swanky vocals. Kalyani’s part in Yavvana is extraordinarily beautiful, but Yazin’s abrupt Yavvana hook demands time to get used to. They do gel well overall eventually, in an interesting tabla-guitar jugalbandi! Its reprise, though, gets incredibly maudlin. Sangu, both versions, offer a lot of grungy posturing but remain background’ish. The theme ends the soundtrack on a lovely high! After two fives, Simon’s music remains promising.

Keywords: Sathya, Simon K. King, Simon

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Karuva karuva payale is Imman regurgitating his stock, but between Shankar Mahadevan and Shashaa Tirupati, the energetic melody really comes alive, amidst brilliant work by Chennai Strings Section. It’s hard not to like Usure given the soaring Charukesi base and Ananya Bhat’s beautiful rendition, but the raaga use, with limited novelty, also makes it too familiar. Olaga vaayaadi and Azhagazhaga push their luck way too far on the familiarity scale, despite splendid singing by Benny and Pradeep Kumar, respectively. Murukku meesa ends the soundtrack on a clumsily inspired variant of M.S.Viswanathan’s Aadaludan paadalai kettu. Imman needs another bout of reinvention.

Keywords: Karuppan, D.Imman

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