Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 74: On JioSaavn | On YouTube
16 songs this week. JioSaavn has 15 and is missing Raakaachi Rangamma from Sivappu Manjal Pachai (surprising since Think Music is very prompt in sharing new music with streaming platforms!). YouTube is a bit of a mess (has 13 songs) since a few songs are inside jukeboxes.

Bekhayali – Kabir Singh (Sachet-Parampara) – Hindi: A great start to the Hindi remake of Arjun Reddy. The song has the sweeping, grungy outlook of the original, with a distinctly Bollywood vibe. Sachet Tandon’s singing is a large part of that effect.

Matvaare – India’s Most Wanted (Amit Trivedi): Surprisingly, India’s Most Wanted isn’t something you can say about Amit’s music in the film. The soundtrack has been strangely tepid so far. Even Matvaare has a rhythm that is instantly recognizable as Amit’s, but thankfully, he has a lovely tune and fantastic singers (Jubin Nautiyal and Sanah Moidutty) to bring it to life.

Tere Do Naina – Gourov-Roshin (Hindi): Composing duo Gourov-Roshin have a new 3-song album called Naina. I wasn’t that impressed with Kitthe Jave or Jindri, but the duo get Tere Do Naina very right. Sung by Ankit Tiwari, the song is a haunting melody that could fit right into a Mohit Suri film. Kookie Gulati-directed video too is a good watch, featuring Aparshakti Khurrana!

Kulirudha Pulla – Oththa Seruppu (Santhosh Narayanan) – Tamil: Santhosh’s melody is deeply affecting and even borders on the ominous, particularly the lines in the saranam: “Pagala Paakkaadha Koondhal” and “Kazhuthu Kotoram Yeri”. Sid Sriram’s singing sells most of the emotion, superbly complemented by Sangeetha Karuppiah.

Raakaachi Rangamma – Sivappu Manjal Pachai (Siddhu Kumar) – Tamil: Siddhu’s 2nd song is considerably more inventive than the first. Anitha Karthikeyan’s faux-twang leads the song’s charm. Mohan Rajan’s hilarious lyrics are definitely worth a special mention; I burst out laughing at, “Ranveer-um Ranbir-um mix aaki ketkuraan, ivanoda akka enna Deepika Padukona?”

Kaathellam, Desaandhiri, Manamengum Maaya Oonjal, Theevira Vyaadhi, Venpura, Aasai Mugam & Ullam Uruguthaiyaa – Gypsy (Santhosh Narayanan) – Tamil: Milliblog music review of the soundtrack.

Jeevakilli Jeevabete – D/O Parvathamma (Midhun Mukundan) – Kannada: Pineapple Express’s lead vocalist Karthik Chennoji Rao powers the song and how! The song has an edgy vibe and Midhun’s sound is brilliantly produced to add an enveloping effect over it.

Enthoram & Omanathinkal – Children’s Park (Arun Raj) – Malayalam: Arun Raj of Ningal Camara Nireekshanathilaanu and Oru Pazhaya Bomb Katha fame gets the 2 songs so far in the film very, very right! Enthoram has a lovely Raja’ish feel, particularly in the anupallavi, handled fantastically by Najim Arshad. Omanathinkal starts off deceptively with Mridula Warrier’s soft lullaby, but then the babies wake up and the song picks up a lilting pace! Karthik then takes over with the song efficiently with brilliant support by Francis Xavier’s violin.

Meene Chembulli Meene – Thottappan (Leela L Girish Kuttan) – Malayalam: Girish follows up last week’s Pranthan Kandalin with another excellent song in the film. This one’s Nikhil Mathew’s show, with good support by Josy John’s guitar. The tune takes on fairly unusual turns (particularly in the anupallavi) and that adds to the song’s appeal.

Pradeep Kumar gets out of his comfort zone of soaring, beautiful melodies and delivers (along with Santhosh himself) a searing anti-establishment anthem in Very Very Bad. It’s just that Santhosh’s tune is perfunctory at the service of Yugabarathi’s angry lines. Musically though, the mixing of Karthick Devaraj’s jazz piano and Ganapathi’s dholak makes for a fascinating combination. Kaathellam is in Pradeep’s familiar territory and the man gets it so beautifully right! With a thrumming percussion and wonderfully dulcet sounds, Santhosh’s tune easily helps us imagine the moonlit night of Yugabarathi’s thoughtful verses.

Even as actor Siddharth is credited for Desaandhiri, I hear more of Santhosh, who is credited alongside. It’s an enchanting tune nevertheless, with a rousing Morricone-style sound, particularly with Telfie’s guitar! Manamengum Maaya Oonjal is the soundtrack’s best, easily. The trio of Ananthu, Dhee and Haricharan hold together Santhosh’s enthralling musical package that harks back to Manasula soora kaathey, from Rajumurugan’s debut, also with Santhosh’s stellar music. The melody here is similarly lush and incredibly layered. The nuances make the song infinitely more enjoyable – like the Hindustani interludes and the different tunes for saranam 1 and 2, but both being so, so good! And it ends with a lovely, harmonious almost-qawali style.

Arivu writes and sings (along with oFRO) the blistering Theevira Vyaadhi, a punchy and virulent rap that calls hate as a disease in a superbly abrasive way. Naveen’s synth bass adds to the mood of the song perfectly. And then there is Venpura, featuring… surprise!… T.M.Krishna! It’s a sprawling anthem of sorts, with what seemed like a delightful mix of Maand raaga and rock music, lyrically hammering on belief in humanism as the purest form of faith. With an assortment of speeches (including Abdul Kalam, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have a Dream’) and music that constantly rouses, Krishna holds sway, with an equally impactful chorus.

The bonus songs by Susheela Raman, not featured in the main soundtrack (music label conflict?) tell a story on their own too! Bharathiyar’s Aasai Mugam gets a radically unique, and mystical, reinterpretation that makes the other simple and familiar version sound tame, in comparison! This is Susheela’s zone all the way, and with especially alluring use of Manos Achalinotopoulos II’s clarinet, and KV Balu and Saravanan Agoram on percussion. The other song by Susheela is a recreation of T.M (the other T.M. in this soundtrack!) Soundararajan’s iconic Ullam Urugathayya (one of the most soulful songs on Lord Murugan, written by Tamil female poet, Maragathavalli aka Maragathamma aka Aandavan Pichai). Musically, it treads the same tune as the original, with a lovely nadaswaram phrase by Hemanathan Balu, but the interpretation goes awry only because of Susheela’s bizarre accent (that was not so pronounced in Aasai Mugam!). But together, these 2 songs add a dramatically new vibrancy to the soundtrack, on top of Santhosh’s already fantastic work.

Cuckoo, with Santhosh Narayanan, Joker, with Sean Roldan and now Gypsy with Santhosh again – Raju Murugan’s sense of music is a beauty to behold! Santhosh Narayanan understands the demand from his director and delivers a musical wallop!

Listen to Santhosh Narayanan’s 6 songs on YouTube:

Listen to Susheela Raman’s 2 songs on JioSaavn.

Read the post on Filmcompanion.

Saturday May 18, 2019

Milliblog Weeklies – MAY19.2019

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 73: On JioSaavn | On YouTube
17 songs this week, and after a really long time, all 17 are present in both the playlists! I have embedded the folk version of Ambersar De Papad by Dolly Guleria for comparison, below (while the new song is on both playlists).

Turpeya – Bharat (Vishal-Shekhar) – Hindi: In the style of ‘Tu Hi Re’ (Dil Se), with a similar hypnotic melody. The composing duo layer a fantastic, punchy rhythm and snazzy EDM to go with it and Sukhwinder Singh owns it like he usually does.

Ambersar De Papad – Chandigarh Amritsar Chandigarh (Jatinder Shah) – Punjabi: Jatinder Shah takes the popular Punjabi folk song made popular by Dolly Guleria and makes it a catchy pop song. He has excellent help from the film’s leading man + singer Gippy Grewal, and particularly Sunidhi Chauhan!

Pularaadha – Dear Comrade (Justin Prabhakaran) – Tamil: Close on the heels of Monster’s Andhimaalai Neram comes another Justin-Sid combo! Considering this was the song featured in the teaser, contrastingly playing over an ultra violent scene (that did end in a passionate kiss), this may have been the first song by the combo, I assume.

There’s a certain sense of serenity when the song starts… it fits perfectly with Karthik Netha’s delightfully clear and rich Tamil lines (who also wrote Andhimaalai Neram, btw!). “Pularaadha kaalai thanile, nilavodu pesum mazhayil” is incredibly rich imagination, expanding on early morning that hasn’t seen light yet, with a rain that speaks to the still-on-the-sky moon! And the creativity in ‘Nanayaadha nizhalai pole yengum kaadhal’, signifying the early tentativeness of love like the shadow that hasn’t got wet in the rain yet! This is brilliant stuff. Justin’s music is incredibly apt, and Sid’s singing just takes it to a newer plane!

The other interesting connect between Pularaadha and Andhimaalai Neram (besides Justin Prabhakaran, Sid Sriram and Karthik Netha): while the former connects early morning with the moon, the latter connects late evening with the moon (though you could argue that in the latter, Karthik is referring to the lover as ‘nila’ and not the literal moon) 🙂

Karadu Moradu Poove (Joyful Version) – Bakrid (D.Imman) – Tamil: After the Sid Sriram-sung Aalankuruvigalaa, I really wanted to like Lorry Lucky Lorry, with its Iktara-backdrop used in a bluegrass-style, but the tune hardly worked for me. Karadu Moradu Poove, however, fares much better. The sarangi-prelude and the song’s melody accentuated by Narayanan Ravishankar work well in tandem. When Narayanan lands the ‘Tarararum’ hook, the song takes off wonderfully. The song’s other version (called ‘sober’) has excellent singing by Punya Selva, but the tune doesn’t sound that nice in the sober variant.

Avizhaai – Madras Gig Season 2 (Darbuka Siva) – Tamil: Mr.X-fame Darbuka Siva produces a smashingly funky song featuring Sanjana Kalmanje’s groovy singing. The true hero of the song, however, is Madhan Karky’s verse that feature very good Tamil. “Aadai Thurandhum Ingu Nirvaanam Illai. Mei Neengiyum Ingu MaraNam Illai”.

Oru Naal – Angelina (D.Imman) – Tamil: Imman’s tune is typically his template but what works in his favor is the current ruler of playback in the South, Sid Sriram’s singing. Sid breathes life into what could be a good-enough song in another singer’s voice and owns the song completely. Imman does help too, with the catchy instrumental hook.

Un Kadhalai – Penin Velai 999 Mattume (Judah Sandhy) – Tamil: After ABCD (Telugu), Kannada composer Judah makes his Tamil debut too, in a short span! The song is not on the level of his Kannada/Telugu music, but does have spunk. I look forward to more songs from the oddly titled film’s soundtrack. Special mention to Lahari Tamil for not listing the singer names in the YouTube upload, and not sharing the song with streaming platforms (they did only last week, across Gaana, Wynk, Saavn etc.) despite having added the song on YouTube in February.

Mailaanjiye – Sivappu Manjal Pachai (Siddhu Kumar) – Tamil: Debutant Siddhu has a more-than-serviceable melody here. It sounds a bit like Imman’s style when the Mailaanjiye hook appears, and that’s a compliment.

Yevathive & Hey Yela – Hippi (Nivas K Prasanna) – Telugu: Nivas’s Telugu debut song is nice to listen but not particularly different or inventive. Steve Vatz’s guitar and the calypso’ish sound keep it lively and likeable. Hey Yela falls on the same zone too – very breezy, without sounding different or new. Sathya Prakash carries it along with Keba’s guitar.

Koyilamma – Sita (Anup Rubens) – Telugu: Koyilamma’s sound is very reminiscent of Laxmikant-Pyarelal’s dholak music that even Tamil composer Bharadwaj used to great effect in Roja Koottam’s Apple Penne Neeyaaro. It’s catchy and very easy on the ears, thanks also to Armaan Malik’s singing.

Theeru Maaruthondhe – 28°C (Shravan Bharadwaj) – Telugu: A surprisingly Yuvan-style composition from Shravan, largely due to the ear-worm’y celtic musical base. The pitch change towards the end is also a neat twist!

Parayuvan – Ishq (Jakes Bejoy) – Malayalam: Sid Sriram’s Malayalam debut? Very well sung by Neha S Nair too. And Jakes back in Malayalam. Very pleasant (albeit a bit too predictable) tune, and the backgrounds are even better.

Pranthan Kandal – Thottappan (Leela L Girish Kuttan) – Malayalam: After last month’s Athippoovin from Oronnonnara Pranayakadha, composer Leela L Girish Kuttan strikes again! The immersive melody is a beautiful musical conversation between Pradeep Kumar and Sithara Krishnakumar, with Nathan’s clarinet interfering to stupendous effect! Keba’s guitar backdrop is perfect too! Lovely music!

Udalodu Uyirupol – Oronnonnara Pranayakadha (Anand Madhusoodanan) – Malayalam: Composer Anand Madhusoodanan follows up his Malabari Penne with another very listenable song from Oronnonnara Pranayakadha! The tune and packaging reminded me of Mudhal Kanave from Harris Jayaraj’s Majnu, including the 2nd interlude that also seemed reminiscent of the ‘sololeyo’ 2nd intelrude chorus in the older song.

Joru Paattu – Amar (Arjun Janya) – Kodava: A Kodava dance song! That’s a wonderfully welcome thing. And they get a Malayalee (Jassie Gift) to sing the song… even better! Catchy song that delivers on the simple promise. The video promises to be a multi-starrer!

Rescue Me – OneRepublic: A brand new single from the band that produces earworms with alarming consistency. This upbeat song is no exception. Plus that video, featuring Cody Bingham of Dancing with the Stars: Juniors! Truly cinema-style, using dance and superpowers to face-off with bullies – hugely imaginative and thoroughly enjoyable!

Read the post on Filmcompanion.

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 72: On JioSaavn | On YouTube
11 songs, this week. JioSaavn playlist has 10 and is missing only Benny’s Funky Lambo. YouTube has all 11 songs.

Menaminiki – Mr.Local (Hiphop Tamizha) – Tamil: Finally, a song worth listening to, from the so-far underwhelming Mr.Local. The song’s disco and funk base is very reminiscent of Benny’s own musical style, and it is no surprise he leads the vocals, along with Snigdha Chandra. The tune is incredibly catchy!

Pasappukkalli – Devarattam (Nivas K Prasanna) – Tamil: This is a song I heard when it came out first and I didn’t really like it. But, despite not listening to it after that, it stayed in my mind for some reason, particularly the almost-breathless 2nd anupallavi that ends in rock style, joining the pallavi! I think Nivas has something really interesting going on here!

Anthimaalai Neram, Theera Kadhal & Ennai Theadi – Monster (Justin Prabhakaran) – Tamil: Justin’s musical range in Monster is baffling! There are 3 phenomenally good songs, peppered with 2 middling songs and 2 instrumentals! The 3 good songs make up for everything though! Ennai Theadi, featuring Sean Roldan and Shalini, has a truly memorable chorus section that stays after the song is over. The main tune too is gentle pathos laid beautifully. Theera Kadhal is a nice, mid-tempo pop melody sung brilliantly by Sathyaprakash. The highlight of the soundtrack is easily Anthimaalai Neram! With an inventive vocal background chorus, the melody stands out in Sid Sriram’s punchy singing.

Kadhakal Neele (Paadhi Raavaagilum) – Kadhakal Neele (Mejjo Joseph) – Malayalam: This is the kind of song that makes you wonder why Mejjo isn’t more active with newer projects! Mejjo hands Haricharan and Shweta Mohan a wonderfully calming and pleasant tune that both handle beautifully. The rhythm is so unhurried and studied, and that ‘Vaa Vaazhve Vaa’ connecting bridge is absolutely lovely. The use of flute reminds me of Rahman’s style, but that’s only a compliment.

Mothirakkallu – Hesham Abdul Wahab, ft. Sithara Krishnakumar (Malayalam): Sithara completely owns this one, even as Hesham’s use of Pilu raaga (my guess) is the real winner. The raaga’s deeply involving melody makes it a beautiful listen.

Onde Aetige – Amar (Arjun Janya) – Kannada: Almost a template that belongs to Arjun, but thanks to Armaan Malik and Shreya Ghoshal, and the steady, lilting rhythm, the song works.

Funky Lambo – Benny Dayal Ft. Jonita Gandhi, Brodha V, Funktuation, The Hornflakes: Benny’s funk touch transforms the massively popular Punjabi song and how! The change is incredible and completely changes the genre! Jonita is superb, over the original’s Ragini.

I Don’t Care – Justin Bieber, Ed Sheeran: That persistent rhythm sounds like a vocal sound but it probably isn’t. The tune is spiffy and very catchy. That these 2 are singing about social anxiety makes it all the more interesting!

Tough Love – Avicii featuring Agnes, Vargas & Lagola: A surprisingly Indian sounding track from the forthcoming album (posthumous) by Avicii! The track supposedly emanates from one of his India trips!

Read the post on Filmcompanion.

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 71: On JioSaavn | On YouTube
13 songs, this week. JioSaavn playlist has 12, and is missing the one song from Dharma Prabhu (Lahari Music hasn’t yet shared the song with Saavn?). YouTube is, as usual, trouble, with playlists. Have embedded the 2 playlists below for easier access – NGK and Dharma Prabhu. The YouTube playlist has 9 songs.

Chale Aana – De De Pyaar De (Amaal Mallik) – Hindi: Trust Amaal to infuse life into an otherwise terribly stereotyped (T-series’ish) soundtrack. Armaan Malik relishes the tinge-of-pathos in the melody and it shows. Simple, heartwarming tune, done well.

Chashni – Bharat (Vishal-Shekhar) – Hindi: From the flashy and catchy Slow Motion, Vishal-Shekhar move to a completely different end of the sound with Chashni. The guitar accompanying the Chashni hook (by Aman Moroney) along with the simple lilting rhythm literally makes the song. Abhijeet Srivastava’s soft, pleasant singing seems perfect for the tune.

Thimiranumda & Anbae Peranbae – NGK (Yuvan Shankar Raja) – Tamil: Yuvan’s full musical fervor seems reserved for directors like Selvaraghavan! He produces a cracker of a soundtrack that is short but impactful! Thimiranumda’s soundscape is stunning, with its punchy rhythm and exotic instrumental choices that sits comfortably with the rousing tune. Jithin Raj is perfect for the lead vocals though I wish they had credited the backing vocals too, given their role extends quite considerably for the hook. Anbae Peranbae wears its Vennilave Vennilave flavor very obviously and proudly. Still, with Sid Sriram and Shreya Ghoshal around, the familiar backgrounds gets a fantastic boost, with Yuvan’s melody working effortlessly.

Kanne Kanne – Ayogya (Sam C.S) – Tamil: Well, well, well… this is a surprise! Sam recycles his already lovely, recent Telugu song (called Kanne Kanne too!) from Arjun Suravaram (both owned by Lahari, thankfully, unlike Hip Hop Tamizha’s recent misadventure with Vandhaa Rajavathaan Varuven where he recycled his Telugu song Dhari Chuddu from Krishnarjuna Yudham, in Tamil as Modern Muniyamma… only to see the song being yanked most possibly at the best of the Telugu song’s label, T-series Telugu, again most probably because Saregama owns the Tamil song!). But the recycle is done very craftily. The original Telugu song’s pallavi and anupallavi are missing in Tamil; instead, only the Kanne Kanne hook is used and even more interestingly, that hook is used as the lever to construct an entirely new song. Well played, Sam!

Maalai Saatrinaal – Jasmine (C.Sathya) – Tamil: Another song that’s a wonderful surprise! Sathya remixes the incredibly familiar Andal Purappdu ‘Maalai Saatrinaal’ tune and lyrics that’s fairly common in Tamil Brahmin weddings! The treatment is decidedly modern and interesting enough. If I have a quibble, it’s only with Kharesma Ravichandran’ fangled accent while singing perfectly fine.

Idhivarakepudu – 7 (Chaitan Bharadwaj) – Telugu: Chaitan Bharadwaj’s 2nd single from 7 is not as good as the first one but it definitely sounds good.

Usurula Ethayo – Dharma Prabhu (Justin Prabhakaran) – Tamil: It’s mildly distressing to see very promising composers like Justin Prabhakaran and Nivas K Prasanna produce mediocre stuff like Nivas’ Devarattam and Justin’s single from Monster and 2 more songs from this film (Dharma Prabhu). Thankfully, there’s Usurula Ethayo that holds up Justin’s standard very impressively. The melody starts off slow but Justin layers a lovely and energetic rhythm in the background! And when I saw Yogi Sekar’s name as singer, for a second I confused it with Yogi Babu and was mighty impressed with the singing quality. Then I realized my folly – Sekar vs. Babu 🙂

Oru Pakal – Gramavasees (Prince Rex & Sooraj S Nair) – Malayalam: The song’s Ennavale Adi Ennavale vibes make it a great listen, besides Najim Arshad’s delightful singing. I wonder why he doesn’t sing more, in other languages!

Paadi Njan – Thamaasha (Shahabaz Aman) – Malayalam: Shahabaz composes and sings this song that Rex Vijayan arranges and produces. The tune is earthy and very likeable, but the magic happens beautifully in the music that also includes a string quartet. The sound, as a result, is fantastic, pitching the song to a new high than what the fairly basic tune aims for.

Sunbeam, Hello & Summer Skin – Science City (Parekh & Singh): If Wes Anderson was a musician, he’d perhaps see his films in Parekh & Singh’s soundscape. The duo’s dreampop continues to evoke a mist-filled grassland filled with flowers where you frolic in slow-motion. It’s immensely pleasurable music, though after a point, the tedium does set in given the sameness of sound.

See the list and listen to the songs on Filmcompanion.

See the list and listen to the songs on Filmcompanion.

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