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:

Sunday September 9, 2018

Milliblog Weeklies – SEP09.2018

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist. Week 40:
On Apple Music | On Saavn | On YouTube
26 songs this week. YouTube has the most – 24 songs, and is missing only the 2 songs from A.R.Rahman’s Harmony that is available only on digital streaming platforms. Saavn fares well, next – 20 songs, and is missing Tere Bin Nai Lagda by Shashaa Tirupati, Paravaigal Naam by Chennai Street Band, the Coke Studio song, Konjam Sirikkirean from Amutha, Samayamaa from Geetha Govindam and Rave, the Malayalam pop song. Apple Music really needs to get its act together.

A note on the songs in the playlist.


Electricity (Silk City, Dua Lipa featuring Diplo, Mark Ronson, Diplo & Mark Ronson): The pulse-pounding bass and the 90s house sound works effortlessly. Dua Lipa, of course, literally lights up the song with her powerful singing.

Just Got Paid (Ella Eyre, Meghan Trainor, Sigala featuring French Montana): British DJ Sigala is responsible for the song’s cool retro funk, while Ella and Meghan launch the wonderfully enthusiastic song with their vocals. Fantastic stuff that ups the mood easily.

Be Somebody (Steve Aoki, Nicky Romero featuring Kiiara): The synth melody with a delightfully bouncy hook, handled by Kiiara, is a great party listen!

Sober (Chic, Nile Rodgers featuring Stefflon Don, Craig David): Chic, the 70s band, is back! Their new album in 26 years, It’s About Time, is due mid-September. The new single from the album, Sober, is upbeat and bouncy with its catchy riff and a generous dose of 80s R&B that reminded me so much of Michael Jackson.

Title Song (AndhaDhun, Hindi): Is the song really composed by Raftaar and Girish Nakod? Because it sounds so much like Amit Trivedi’s music (who is the official composer for the film)! The answer perhaps lies in Girish, who had a single released earlier in July this year, called Dhoka Hai Tu, that sounds a lot like Amit Trivedi’s music (the song starts mid-way: http://bit.ly/2CJUKNR). But, along with Raftaar’s racy singing, Girish does provide a fantastic title song for AndhaDhun!

Hello Hello (Pataakha, Hindi): The quintessential Vishal Bhardwaj item song. With Gulzar and Rekha Bhardwaj in tow, it just can’t go wrong, it looks like. It’s a riot of a song with a generous dash of telecom keywords, though they don’t go into the post-Jio world’s mobile internet keywords.

Tere Bin Nai Lagda (Shashaa Tirupati): Shashaa not only sings this new interpretation of Nusrat’s iconic song, but she also composes/produces the music. And it’s a very finely done piece of composition, particularly the way the Keys by Crehyl Pereira and Guitar by Sid Paul is utilized!

Tumba Wajda Aye (Shalmali Kholgade): Harpreet Singh’s music, taking excerpts from Baba Bulleshah’s verses and familiar sufi musical idioms, hands a fantastic tune to Shalmali, who breezes through the searing melody confidently.

Malang (Coke Studio Season 11, Episode 5): An incredibly ebullient reimagiantion of a classic folk song! The singing, by Sahir Ali Bagga and Aima Baig, really lifts the song, as also the splendid music by the house band. The rousing hook, ‘Mahi mera sona sona’ (which used to be ‘Tauba tauba’ in the original folk variants, stays long after the song is over. Here are some of the other, older versions: Sindhi: http://bit.ly/2wU6ZSt | Pashto: http://bit.ly/2wUgReR

Paravaigal Naam (Chennai Street Band, Indipop): Srihari Jagannathan’s composition, sung by himself, is high on melody, with a lovely hook. The pronunciation could be better, though – ‘Un ninaivu ennai koLLa’, goes Srihari.

Yaaradi Nee (Jarugandi, Tamil): A nice, upbeat EDM’ish melody by composer Bobo Shashi. And as is the norm, Yuvan sounds considerably better singing it than his own songs that he chooses to sing. The digital correction is apparent, but it doesn’t jar. Uma Devi’s lyrics stand out too, incidentally!

Kannadi Nenjan & Kirukkan (Vanjagar Ulagam, Tamil): Kannadi Nenjan extends Sam’s music from Iravukku Aayiram Kangal, with a similar ominous sound and edgy tune, made more interesting and edgy by Santhosh Narayanan’s singing and the blistering guitar that enter mid-way into the song! Sam handles the flashy tune of Kirukkan himself and the song comes alive with its brilliant orchestral sound!

Konjam Sirikkirean (Amutha, Tamil): I hear shades of Reetigowlai and/or Karaharapriya raagas and that’s enough for the song to work effortlessly. But, of course, Vineeth Srinivasan’s phenomenal voice adds to the song’s charm. Composer Arun Gopan has a winner here.

The Karma Theme (U Turn, Tamil): Good old Anirudh magic at work. Catchy tune, a good dose of EDM and the lovely score by FAME’S Macedonian Symphonic Orchestra. Excellent package.

Mazhai Kuruvi/Neeli Kanumallo & Bhoomi Bhoomi (Chekka Chivantha Vaanam/Nawab, Tamil/Telugu): A.R.Rahman is back with Mani Ratnam, yet again! Mazhai Kuruvi is the easier one to absorb and like, even though the tune goes on unusual directions that take a few listens to comprehend. The Telugu version is far better, given much more proficient singing by Nakul Abhyankar compared to the Tamil version sung by Rahman himself. Bhoomi Bhoomi works because of Shakthisree Gopalan’s splendid singing, and the roaring guitar, layered on top of the sparse and interesting orchestration that even adds a fantastic vocal chorus.

Samayamaa (Geetha Govindam, Telugu): A bit song from Geetha Govindam that the official music label doesn’t care much about! So, Gopi shares it in his own YouTube channel. Cute, melodic and short. Wekk sung by Anurag.

Pathiye (Ranam, Malayalam): This is easily one of composer Jakes Bejoy’s best number! Vijay Yesudas beautifully holds the melancholic tune together, while Donan Murray’s guitar and Cochin Strings offer fantastic backgrounds.

Rave (Malayalam pop song): Composed by Jubair Muhammed, who also sings it along with Safeer V Jabbar, Rave has an easily likeable and simple melody. The music is what especially makes it stick, complete with Sumesh Parameswar on the guitar.

Nayanake Ninna Nodo (Karshanam, Kannada): Popular singer Hemanth Kumar, still known for his debut song from Preetse (the title song, music by Hamsalekha) makes his debut as composer in Karshanam. The soundtrack didn’t work for me, largely, but for one song – Nayanake Ninna Nodo. The song, with a lovely tinge of Hamsalekha-style music is a beautiful listen, including that sax-based 2nd interlude.

Kshana Kshana (Relax Satya, Kannada): Composer Anand Rajavikraman made an impressive debut in 2017’s Lee. In this song, there are shades of what he did well back then, particularly in the semi-classical mix of Thaliru thoranadi. Here, he also has Supriya Lohith’s lead vocals, supported by Sanjith Hegde!

Karo Karo Chokhe Bhoy & Poshla Ador (Drishyantar, Bengali): Karo Karo Chokhe Bhoy does sound like a standard-issue Mohit Suri style song, but composer Indraadip Dasgupta goes beyond, with a tinge of Latino in the melody, aptly handled by singer Ishan Mitra. Poshla Ador is even better, with its spritely tune, lively backgrounds, guitar work and Madhubanti Bagchi’s lead vocals.

Sunset Malkauns & Rainmaker (Harmony with A.R. Rahman): I’m not a particularly big fan of instrumental music. Amongst the many songs from Rahman’s new show, I liked these 2 the most. Sunset Malkauns’ obvious charm is Hindolam raaga (Malkauns in Hindustani) that Rahman significantly and splendidly expands with an array of instrumental exotica, while Rainmaker brings me back memories of Kitaro’s splendid music!

Not enough songs in Malayalam (understandably), and not enough good (in my view) songs from Kannada, in August 2018.

Check out the list on Filmcompanion.

Check out the list on Filmcompanion.

Wednesday September 5, 2018

Top 10 Telugu Songs Of August 2018

Check out the list on Filmcompanion.

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