Arijit’s sullen rendition in O saathi doesn’t help at all. Or, it’s just Mithoon’s maudlin tune and lyrics combination. Things don’t improve in Musafir; despite KK’s singing making a difference, Mithoon’s tune just refuses to make any headway from the current rut he seems to be stuck in. Afiya is strike three! The faux-sufi sound is a painfully distant reminder of Mithoon’s heady days of Anwar! Thankfully, Aawari salvages the soundtrack, with Mithoon handling the singing of the spritely melody himself and letting Neha Bhasin handle the pensive reprise. A solo Mithoon soundtrack after ages and it is a disappointment.

Keywords: Shab, Mithoon

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Dhanush’s singing is like the Mofa he rides amidst Yogi B’s grunting in Nada da raja, featuring Josh Mark Raj’s scintillating guitar. Iraivanai thandha continues from Sean’s Power Paandi, with its beautiful melody—and that Raja swagger in the trumpets—brilliantly enhanced by Macedonian Symphonic Orchestra! Dhooram nillu has the throbbing vibe of an 80s Kamal-Ilayaraja combo and in Dhanush and Shaktisree’s punchy vocals, it works effortlessly. Ucchathula laces frenetic kuthu over a pathos situation, but unlike its predecessor—VIP’s Udhungada sangu—this one pales in comparison. Vasundhara theme is adequate background music. Anirudh’s flavor seems like VVIP in front of Sean Roldan’s VIP.

Keywords: VIP 2, Velai Illa Pattadhaari 2, Sean Roldan

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Main hoon‘s 80s dance-pop vibe comes wonderfully alive in Siddharth Mahadevan’s compelling vocals and Tanishk Baagchi’s easy-on-the-ears tune. In Tanishk’s other song, Beat it bijuriya, co-composed with Vayu, Asees Kaur’s singing keeps it reasonably likeable. Javed-Mohsin’s Ding dang and Meet Bros’ Shake karaan are mediocre T-series style masala mixes. Vishal Mishra’s Pyar ho (and Redux) is a generic, pointless Bollywood melody. Pranaay’s Swag (and Rebirth) is one for the physical education class, but he does better in Feel The Rhythm, a decent 80s synth-pop replica. Thankfully, Gourov-Roshin’s Beparwah offers marginal succor, with its catchy enough techno melody. Bas main hoon.

Keywords: Munna Michael, Tanishk Baagchi, Javed-Mohsin, Vishal Mishra, Pranaay, Gourov-Roshin, Meet Bros, Tanishk-Vayu

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After STR’s mental prelude rant, the Trend Song thankfully moves to a frenetic EDM package. Rottula vandi oodudhu faces the EDM heat too, layered with some foot-tapping kuthu. Simbu’s deep lyrics introspect on the prospects of a directionally challenged human’s life. And, poor Ilayaraja. In Ratham en ratham, STR outdoes Yuvan in the singing department. The target of the song’s love may find it difficult to place the emotion, given the dreadful way it’s rendered. Appalling Aural Assault! The 3 themes, with no words or singing, are wonderfully melodic and catchy – an infinitely better showcase of Yuvan’s real potential.

Keywords: Anbanavan Asaradhavan Adangadhavan, AAA, Yuvan Shankar Raja

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A dash of Middle Eastern and a cleverly clinical variance to Balam pichkari makes Radio a great listen. Amit Mishra’s vocals and the hyper-enthusiastic backgrounds help. Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lovely lines bring Naach meri jaan alive in a big, happy chorus. In Tinka tinka, the brilliant chorus designed by Vivienne Pocha and the jaunty strings overpower the middling tune, accentuated by Jubin Nautiyal’s poorer film version. Atif Aslam adeptly handles Main agar‘s endearing melody amidst dreamy orchestration and KK’s film version is livelier and better! Kuch nahi, in all three versions, is sappy and kuch nahi indeed. Adequately bright, this Tubelight.

Keywords: Tubelight, Pritam

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Janaganamana‘s easily catchy pop sound is significantly spruced up by Raghu Dixit’s endearing vocals. Rapper Chandan Shetty’s digitally processed version does a darn good job in Baramma baare‘s electro swing vibe, while Haricharan gets an easy winner in Mula mula, a lush melody with a strong whiff of Rahman’s Vennilave Vennilave. Pi pi pi‘s highly enthusiastic tune is marred by the hook, appropriated from Pritam’s Balam pichkari. Budubuduke‘s faux-Punjabi liveliness works wonders, while Ee banavara is an interesting attempt, with its retro-style pathos on top of backgrounds refreshingly new backgrounds! Joshua makes a confident return to Kannada after 2013’s Huchudugru.

Keywords: Rajahamsa, Joshua Sridhar

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Sivam’s weathered vocals go searingly high-pitched in Karuppu vellai. Given the song’s Revathi raaga base, Sam seems to be invoking Aigiri Nandini, with a hypnotic swag. Oru Katha Sollatta? is its hyper-inventive waltz equivalent! Sam ropes in Anirudh and Shakthisree for Yaanji, an immersive melody and does a splendid job with the interludes too. The ‘Oh nenjathiye’ refrain seems to be the base for the expressive Idhu emosion, layered with a Latino flourish. Pogatha yennavittu is a melancholic melody distantly evoking Raja’s folk idioms with a modern sweep, complete with splendid, strings-led orchestration. Pradeep Kumar and Neha Venugopal significantly help the song. Tasakku tasakku transports you to straight to a TASMAC bar with its heady hook and raucous singing reminiscent of Satya’s Goli maar! Mukesh, M L R Karthick, Guna and the chorus roar through the song in style. Sam’s imagination runs riot in Ghetto Chase, a spell-binding, racy instrumental piece powered by Chennai Orchestra, with a haunting chorus by Meghavarshini, Avantika and Monisha. Yethu dharmam? and Yethu nyayam? add to the soundtrack’s impressive orchestral splendor, while Sangu sattham‘s short folk piece is punctuated by excellent chorus. After the unheard, under-rated Kadalai, Sam hits the big league with Vikram Vedha!

Keywords: Vikram Vedha, Sam C.S., #200, 200

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Gana Bala’s Malayalam-kuthu, Thithaaro chirakadichu is stereotypical, but Sanjeev’s crafty sounds make a substantial difference, with the energetic rhythm, Gopi’s shrill nadaswaram and Sanjeev’s own guitar. Vaa kuruvi is wonderfully serene and deeply engaging! Ammu Indira and Sanjeev Thomas handle it with phenomenal grace, while Uday Jose’s piano stands out. Uday embellishes Nirame maayalle‘s ethereal melody too! 11 year old Sreya Jayadeep brings in a beautiful innocence to accentuate it, while in the other version, Amrutha Suresh gives it gravitas with her accomplished singing. After iffy film composing attempts like My Fan Ramu, guitarist Sanjeev Thomas finally gets it right!

Keywords: Vilakkumaram, Sanjeev T, Sanjeev Thomas

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Hawa vich‘s buoyant tune gets a mighty bump from Diljit’s, and in particular Sunidhi Chauhan’s, fantastic vocals, and the lively folk rhythm. Diljit rocks the joyous melody in Kalliyan kulliyan, though a minor musical phrase at 0:39 (commercial loop?) is a faster version of Ajaneesh Loknath’s Kalkond Bitte (Sundaranga Jaana) prelude! Ho gaya talli is straight out of Hiphop Tamizha’s repertoire – catchy while it lasts, with splashy brass sound. In Glorious (‘Guhllorious’) gallan, Diljit aces the vocals again with Jatinder’s slow, catchy rhythm while the uncredited ladies chorus rules through the thematic Super Singh ji aaya. Musically, Serviceable Singh.

Keywords: Super Singh, Jatinder Shah

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For a song that proclaims that they will blow the trumpet on Donald Trump, Dagalti dagalti is incredibly lackluster. The title song is even more pointless, with a flat droning tune that seems perfectly composed as elevator muzak. Medhakavitta medhakavitta takes upon itself to salvage the soundtrack, to some extent. The melody is likeable, but the way Yazin Nizar and Sanjana Kalmanje’s otherwise perfectly valid voices seem processed, the song makes it all the more harder to appreciate. Thankfully, the Medhakavitta theme, by nature of being an instrumental, elaborates on the melody better. Wonder what is wrong with composer Thaman!

Keywords: Ivan Thanthiran, SS Thaman

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