Sunday August 12, 2018

Milliblog Weeklies – AUG12.2018

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist. Week 36:
On Apple Music | On Saavn | On YouTube
19 songs, this week. Saavn scores best, with 16 songs – it is missing the Coke Studio Pakistan Season 11, Episode 1 song (that’s only available on YouTube), Vidyasagar’s Tamil song from Aaruthra (only on YouTube, thanks to Trend Music) and Kanniveyil from Vaarikkuzhiyile Kolapathakam, that’s available on Apple Music and YouTube!

A note on the songs in the playlist.

F For Fyaar, Daryaa & Grey Walaa Shade (Manmarziyaan, Hindi): Mast Ali’s heady vocals lift the already giddy-in-love Punjabi tune in F For Fyaar. Daryaa is vintage Amit Trivedi! When the mukhda soars, along with the chorus, it goes right back to Amit’s Dev.D days! Fantastic vocals by Ammy Virk and Shahid Mallya. Grey Walaa Shade comes alive in Shellee’s heartwarming Punjabi+English mix. Amit’s music is pleasant, supporting the highly engaging melody and the singers, Harshdeep Kaur and Jazim Sharma.

Nazarbattu (Yamla Pagla Deewana Phir Se, Hindi): Sachet-Parampara started poorly in Toilet: Ek Prem Katha score much better in this single. The tune is charming and Sachet’s singing adds to the allure.

Title Track (Happy Phir Bhag Jayegi, Hindi): The song is adequately heady and ebullient given it features Daler Mehndi. Sohail Sen’s music, with that prominent instrumental hook, is infectious and bouncy.

Kamariya (Stree, Hindi): One heck of a raucous song, featuring the vocals of Aastha Gill, Sachin, Jigar and Divya Kumar. The composing duo, Sachin- Jigar, keep the music consistently catchy, with a fantastic hook. The video, however, seems embarrassing, in this day and age, with boisterous men leching after one skimpily clad woman. This was the 80s staple, in the villain’s den. I had assumed we had moved on.

Aahista (Laila Majnu, Hindi): Niladri Kumar made a very good film composing debut in 2016, with the Kannada film Niruttara, and a song in the Hindi film Shorgul (better known for Kapil Sibal’s lyrics!). His new single from Laila Majnu is on similar lines – a sweeping melody that you can sink into. Arijit Singh and Jonita Gandhi are great choices for the vocals.

Pesugindren Pesugindren (Aan Dhevathai, Tamil): Besides Nigara Than Nigara that I wrote about earlier, the only other song worth a listen in this Ghibran soundtrack is this one, sung exquisitely by Chaitra Ambadipudi. The build-up to the song, as it moves to the sprawling semi-classical first interlude and gets steadily more interesting. Surprisingly, the other song are very un-Ghibran’ish, particularly Roattu Kadai that seems more than merely similar to Vidyasagar’s Madurey song, Pambara Kannu!

Vilambara Idaiveli (Imaikkaa Nodigal, Tamil): Hiphop Tamizha’s tune is interesting given it doesn’t start with the Vilambara Idaiveli phrase but a completely unrelated prelude that is not the song’s actual pallavi at all and appears just once in the beginning! The Vilambara Idaiveli phrase, the catchiest part of the song, is the faux-pallavi of sorts, followed by a legitimate anupallavi that appears twice. The way the format has been reimagined makes it a highly interesting song!

Chellamma (Aaruthra, Tamil): Vidyasagar is back! The melody is familiar, but also comfortably familiar. Young Varsha Ranjith sings with the necessary innocence to hold the song, while Karthik adds heft. The interludes and backgrounds are vintage Vidyasagar that increasingly mirror Raja.

Egireney Manasu (@Narthanasala, Telugu): Music by Mani Sharma’s son. And it shows. It can easily be mistaken for one of Mani’s sweeping, engaging melodies! Besides Sameera Bharadwaj who opens the song, Mahathi Swara Sagar sings the anupallavi rather well too. That prominent veena interlude is very good.

Mounam Maatathoti (Nannu Dochukunduvate, Telugu): Ajaneesh Loknath’s first direct Telugu film? (after the dubbed version of his music in Kirik Party used in Kirrak Party). Mounam Maatathoti is an interesting Telugu-Kannada mix music-wise. The soaring humming at 0:30 is so very Telugu, while the musical interlude at 0:38 is so very Kannada and so Ajaneesh. He sings it well too. Promising start by him in Telugu!

Kanniveyil (Vaarikkuzhiyile Kolapathakam, Malayalam): Old-world, charming melody by composer Mejjo Joseph who seems to be getting a couple of new songs out. I wasn’t that impressed with the first single from the film (Kalakaanji), but this one works!

Puthiyoru Pathayil (Varathan, Malayalam): Sushin Shyam’s melody and the beat drops keep the song steady even as Nazriya Nazim’s singing falters only occasionally. She is, by and large, pretty good.

Shikwa/Jawab-e-Shikwa (Coke Studio Season 11, Episode 1): My pick of the first episode that I thought was otherwise middling. This is scintillating qawali-rock mix with fantastic singing all around, and a pulsating rhythm. The production is superb, as usual.

Ganja Burns, Majesty & Thought I Knew You (Queen, Nicki Minaj): Nicki’s new album, after the 2014 album The Pinkprint. 19 songs!! There’s a lot to like, and some middling ones too. My favorite is the terrific show of attitude in the highly rhythmic, weed-filled Ganja Burns. Majesty pits Nicki against Eminem, and he doesn’t disappoint, with his lightning fast rap and lots of F words thrown in! Thought I Knew You is very Nicki and very Weeknd!

Side Effects (The Chainsmokers ft. Emily Warren): Alex Pall and Drew Taggart, along with Emily Warren do what they are known for best in Side Effects. That’s producing catchy, groovy EDM Pop. There’s a tinge of disco too, to add to the fun.

I wrote about the South Indian melting pot, led by music, movies and playlists, for The Ken. Read the story here.

Saturday August 11, 2018

Top 10 Kannada Songs Of July 2018

Check out the list on Filmcompanion.

Saturday August 11, 2018

Top 10 Malayalam Songs Of July 2018

Check out the list on Filmcompanion.

Friday August 10, 2018

Top 10 Telugu Songs Of July 2018

Check out the list on Filmcompanion.

Wednesday August 8, 2018

Top 10 Tamil Songs Of July 2018

Check out the list on Filmcompanion.

Tuesday August 7, 2018

Top 10 Hindi Songs Of July 2018

I’m starting a new monthly series for Filmcompanion. Since I do weekly and quarterly playlists, a lot of people felt that a monthly list would also be useful. So, starting that as a series on Filmcompanion starting July 2018. This is the Hindi top 10 (my opinion, of course). Other languages will follow.

Read the post on Filmcompanion.

I’m starting a new weekly series for Filmcompanion – a spin-off from ItwoFS, in a way. There are some fantastic stories behind connecting the dots between many countries’ music, and Indian film music, particularly when seen from a pan-Indian, multi-lingual point of view. This series, called Carbon Copy, will take a look at such instances.

The first one in the series is about the Italian song Bella Ciao.

Read the post on Filmcompanion.

Sunday August 5, 2018

Milliblog Weeklies – AUG05.2018

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist. Week 35:
On Apple Music | On Saavn | On YouTube
35 songs this week. Apple Music comes on top this week, with 33 songs, even though it doesn’t have my most favorite song from the week – Maati Baani’s Tum Jo Mile! (available on Saavn and YouTube). The only other song it doesn’t have is the Kannada song from Ayogya (available on Saavn and YouTube, again). YouTube does well too, with 32 songs!

A note on the songs in the playlist.

Milegi Milegi (Stree, Hindi): Fun song, but with the oh-so-familiar voice of Mika. But, Sachin-Jigar do have a winner here for the song’s sheer energy!

Swag Saha Nahi Jaye (Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi, Hindi): Heady tune, with a jaunty rhythm, albeit a bit too obvious/templatized. Shadab Faridi’s enthusiastic lead vocals help.

Maula (Farhan Saeed, Rishi Rich): Former Jal vocalist’s collaboration with Rishi Rich doesn’t produce anything ground-breaking, but it is in-line with the kind of music Jal is known for. That’s not bad at all.

Kaathalae Kaathalae (96, Tamil): Govind Menon seems to be having a much better luck with the name ‘Govind Vasantha’, in Tamil. With the former, his debut Oru Pakka Kadhai did not progress beyond one single, but the new name got his debut (Asuravadham) out! And now this song! The teaser song has been expanded into an absolutely scintillating, ethereal melody that is tantalizingly short to make us want more! The atmospheric sounds and Chinmayi’s superb singing lifts to song significantly.

Onnavitta Yaarum Yenakilla, Varum Aana Varaathu & Machakkanni (Seemaraja, Tamil): Imman’s return to big, flashy masala soundtracks after quite some time. Some of it is way over-the-top and garish, like the title song and Paraak, but the Imman-style melody with busy rhythms and quasi-classical interludes is more than evident in Onnavitta. Machakkanni too is high on melody, with its heady faux-qawali sound (with a subtle nod to Ilayaraja, with ‘Moochula vesha oosi pottu pora nee Isaigyaani paattu’!). Varum is an enormously enjoyable masala song! Imman rocks the bombastic sound with a lot of nuances like the ‘Ramaaa’ callout, the use of a famous funny dialog to build the song around… and layers it all with a superbly catchy orchestration.

Mughaiyazhi (Boomerang, Tamil): Radhan’s return to Tamil, after the super successful Arjun Reddy is short and patchy. Mughaiyazhi is a nice enough song, though the Hindi interlude seems straight out of early 2000s. Even the overall sound is akin to Dharan’s (Sivi).

Thee Yazhini (Vanjagar Ulagam, Tamil): Second song from Sam C.S’s upcoming soundtrack. The choice of Yuvan Shankar Raja is odd, given he is not a particularly good singer, though Sam has evened out his voice to a large extent. Yuvan even sounds like A R Rahman in the opening portions!! The tune is lovely, with a fantastic Latino flourish.

High On Love, Dope Track, Hold Me Now, Never Let Me Go, Let’s be Friends?, Secret Window & Hello (Pyaar Prema Kaadhal, Tamil): Full soundtrack review:

Bombay Pothava Raja (Paper Boy, Telugu): I did expect a lot from composer Bheems Ceciroleo, but he hasn’t picked up steam… yet. This song pitches his music strongly (though generously inspired by the popular ‘Riva riva rivala matha’ song) – racy, colloquial and good fun.

O Cheli (Neevevaro, Telugu): Achu pitches in with song No.2 from the film (that Ghibran scored for, in Tamil – Adhe Kangal) and it’s very competent. The way he adds layers in the orchestration, towards the anupallavi and the choice of Kaala Bhairava as singer for the mellow tune, in particular.

Vachindamma & Yenti Yenti (Geetha Govindam, Telugu): Full soundtrack review:

Luklukle Swapna (Truckbhar Swapna, Marathi): A nice, pleasant melody that soars along with Sonu Nigam’s always likeable voice. Composer Shreyashh keeps the sound consistently enjoyable.

Jaadugari (Savita Damodar Paranjpe, Marathi): Nilesh Moharir’s tune is deep and haunting, using what sounded to me like Pantuvarali raaga. Swapnil Bandodkar’s singing is very good.

Piriti Baindheche Holdi & Mehendi Song (Maati, Bengali): Rageshri Das’s spritely singing and Debajyoti Mishra’s foot-tapping folk sound lifts the former, while the latter is a lovely melange of 7 singers, together producing an affecting and highly harmonic folk song.

Alo Chhaya & Momer Shohor (Crisscross, Bengali): Alo Chhaya is composed by Shubham Shirule For JAM8, this is an affecting tune with an equally haunting arrangement (music produced by Shubham Shirule & Sunny M.R.). Armaan Malik is very, very good with the vocals! Momer Shohor, composed by Keeran For JAM8 has a Pritam’ish rock sound (from Life In A Metro) and is very listenable too, particularly thanks to Tushar Joshi’s engaging vocals.

Yenee Karmakalaa (Ayogya, Kannada): It’s hard to believe the song is by Arjun Janya, given how much it sounds like a D.Imman song! Sunil Gujagonda keeps the song engaging with his lead vocals, even as Arjun steps in with his hook and incredibly rhythmic sound.

Arere Avala Naguva, Dadda Song, Nooraaru Bannagalu, He Sharade & Balloon Song (Sarkari Hi. Pra. Shaale, Kasaragodu, Kannada): Full soundtrack review:

Tum Jo Mile (Maati Baani, Indipop): From Maati Baani’s upcoming album Ru Ba Ru. A gentle, immensely likeable tune that demonstrates how talented the duo is, in composing and singing. They should really compose and sing more!

Kalariyadavum (Kayamkulam Kochunni, Malayalam): Sacharine-sweet melody, with the usual Gopi Sundar’ish flourish. A really lovely pallavi that gets accentuated with Vijay Yesudas and Shreya Ghoshal’s voices.

Calling Your Name (Shor Police, Indipop): The 2nd original song from Shor Police, consisting of Clinton Cerejo and Bianca Gomes. A very seamless English-Hindi mix with a throbbing electronic sound.

Vasuki Vaibhav composes and sings Arere Avala Naguva, a lively rock number with noticeably good guitar work by Karthik Chennoji Rao and sax by Nathan. The tune is thoroughly engaging and so is the backing choir (Rohith Bhat, Narayan Sharma, Shwetha Devanahalli and Esha Suchi). Vasuki is equally good in the hilarious Dadda Song, with a brilliantly imaginative put-on nasal twang. In Nooraaru Bannagalu, Vasuki goes one up on what Arjun Janya usually pulls off in a more commercial manner – a spoofy tune (excellently sung here by Madhuri Sheshadri), complete with a neat Kerala boat song interlude. He Sharade, a beautifully composed prayer of sorts really comes alive in the earnestly wonderful singing by Asha and Sunidhi. Karthik’s guitar, and Venkatesh’s tabla (that joins in eventually) add value. Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li’l Champs Season 14 contestant Jnanesh Ballari makes a fantastic debut with Balloon Song, a superbly swinging tune loaded with Nathan’s clarinet, a hugely enjoyable chorus (Tanush, Ashwin Sharma, Madhwesh, Vasuki Vaibhav and Gokul Abhishek) and Goddfrey Immanuel’s electric guitar. Sarkari Hi. Pra. Shaale, Kasaragodu’s soundtrack is a delightful follow-up to Vasuki Vaibhav’s composing debut, Rama Rama Re, even if Ondalla Eradalla’s soundtrack didn’t scale up.

Keywords: Sarkari Hi. Pra. Shaale, Kasaragodu, Vasuki Vaibhav, #200, 200

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

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