There’s that oft-repeated Mickey J Meyer sound in Ye vaipu choostunna‘s flow! Sai Charan is fantastic with his singing and that Tamil ‘Paarukkulle nalla naadu’ phrase is a big surprise, along with the lovely celtic-style ending! Kaalam nippulaa has shades of Mickey too, particularly the world music’ish sounds, and Shravan sings this one darn well, besides infusing it with some brilliant guitar. Baanisa sees Shravan add a “U” to every word and the throbbing sound is very catchy, like the wordless trance version. After a misleading Middle Eastern’ish prelude Eppudu modalaindo proves itself to a fantastic melody! Vedala Hemachandra is delightfully adept with the vocals. In Party Just Started, Shravan’s sound is sedate and very catchy, helping Lalitha Kavya and Sai Krishna create an ambient mood! Shravan goes wonderfully inventive in the soundtrack’s best, Praayam inthera with a superbly zany mix of semi-classical, kuthu and some lounge’ish trance! Lalitha Kavya’s rendition lifts it all up mighty impressively. The two short pieces, Santho’s Trauma and Paasugula are really eclectic, particularly the latter, with its fusion-folk sound that Shravan sings with a crazy edge! Shravan has been producing consistently good music in Telugu. In Chandamama Raave, he goes to the next level!

Keywords: Chandamama Raave, Shravan, 200, #200

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Thechille penne is a lot of fun! Gopi Sundar gets Niranj Suresh to sing with a detached, I-am-high twang – perfect for the catchy tune! Gopi’s imagination in the interludes and the dubstep intrusions add to the song’s charm. Theru there ororo is trademark Gopi! Everything about the song is familiar, but the man’s sense of melody works wonders in Najim Arshad and Sreya Raghav’s impressive vocals. Gopi gets behind the mike for Kootukettu, and the pulsating, classic-rock sound seems tailor-made for him! After faltering in Sathya and gaining ground in Georgettan’s Pooram, Gopi picks up speed in Role Models.

Keywords: Role Models, Gopi Sundar, Gopi Sunder

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Unnatundi gundey‘s melody is affecting and easily likeable, with the anupallavi and charanam’s tunes distantly reminiscent of Ilayaraja’s melodies. Karthik and Chinmayi are—as always—fantastic! Sid Sriram does his magic yet again in Adiga adiga! Gopi hands him a somber melody with minimal orchestration that allows Sid’s impressive vocals to hold fort. Once Upon A Time Lo, despite the energetic tune and the catchy ‘Break-uppu’ hook, seems contrived. Hey badhulu cheppavey too sounds comparatively less interesting, beyond Haricharan’s excellent singing. Unnatundi gundey and Adiga adiga are great, but overall, Gopi’s mighty impressive Telugu form takes a small break with Ninnu Kori.

Keywords: Ninnu Kori, Gopi Sundar, Gopi Sunder

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Nadeem gets an apt alternative to Kumar Sanu in Yasser Desai, with a similar nasal twang. Yasser does well in the title song and Hue bechain. The former has a likeable tune, with a catchy ‘Tum kahaan the’ hook, but Nadeem mauls Yasser’s singing with digital processing. The duet version (featuring Palak Muchhal) is badly put together, though. The latter is a vintage Nadeem-Shravan melody straight out of Barsaat. Hanste hanste‘s melody is a pretty good listen but for the staid orchestration. Nain and Aankhon mein, however, are repetitively dated melodies. Nadeem’s comeback is a minor nostalgic trip at best.

Keywords: Ek Haseena Thi Ek Deewana Tha, Nadeem Saifi, Nadeem

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O sona tere liye plays like a sedate—and soporific—lullaby, with Shashaa’s vocals clearly bettering Rahman’s trademark high pitch surges that seem labored. Kooke kawn‘s burst of faux-Punjabi energy seems rather generic in Sukhwinder’s over familiar vocals, while Raakh baaki, barring that psychedelic ending, remains uniformly bizarre. Freaking Life starts off tentatively, but steadily builds into a throbbing tune on teenage angst, led well by Rianjali, Rajkumari and Suzanne D’Mello. Shashaa Tirupati completely owns Chal kahin door‘s effortlessly flowing—literally, given the sound of flowing water it starts with—melody even as Rahman adorns it beautifully with strings and flute. Muafi mushkil is the soundtrack’s most experimental, with a trippy, extended prelude that takes off stunningly mid-way, all the while exceptionally handled by Darshana KT. The best song of the soundtrack isn’t even credited to Rahman! With the music and lyrics credited to ‘traditional’, Be nazaara is a veritable showcase of Hindustani classical singer Sudeep Jaipurwala’s splendid vocals. In what seems like Desh raag, Sudeep is incredibly dextrous with the free flowing classical melody, and the music gets increasingly and progressively mind-bending! From the familiar and the bizarre… to eventually the highly unconventional – Rahman covers an interestingly varied range in Mom’s soundtrack!

Keywords: Mom, A R Rahman, #200, 200

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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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