Yuvan’s first interlude in Dhooramaai is quite literally like soaking into the beauty of a cool, green mountain, as the music simply flows. Vijay Yesudas adds to the effect with his exquisite singing too, while Vairamuthu’s lyrics imaginatively allude to the maternal instincts, in both the anupallavi (“Inge thondrum siriya malai, iyarkkai thaayin periya mulai, parugum neeril paalin suvai…“) and charanam (“Thaaippaal pondra neerootru…“)! Karthik does equally brilliantly in Anbe Anbin! Yuvan’s music here is reminiscent of his Celtic-infused melodies—particularly the backgrounds and interludes—that he used to produce with alarming regularity earlier. The simple clap-like sound in the background helps accentuate the beautiful orchestration. In Vaanthooral, an otherwise fantastic Sriram Parthasarathy seems oddly out of sorts, in the beginning, and particularly towards the end! Barring that minor impediment, Yuvan’s melody, despite seeming like an after-thought for the lyrics, uses the tried and tested goodness of Kalyani raaga and manages to be deeply engaging. Setthu Pocchu Manasu too has that feel of a tune being an after-thought to the lyrics. But, just like Vaanthooral, Yuvan’s evocative melody and the simple, ghatam-based percussion help Madhu Iyer deliver wonderfully well. Director Ram and Yuvan Shankar Raja reach their Katradhu Tamizh high once again!

Keywords: Peranbu, Yuvan Shankar Raja, 200, #200

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

Saturday July 14, 2018

Milliblog Weeklies – JUL15.2018

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist. Week 32:
On Apple Music | On Saavn | On YouTube
33 songs, this week. Yes, these days are full of fantastic music! Saavn comes close, with 29 songs (still missing Coke Studio Explorer, which are YouTube-only as of now). The only other song missing in Saavn is the Bengali song from CrissCross (that’s available on YouTube and Apple Music). Please do check the notes below to cover/listen to as many songs as you can.

A note on the songs in the playlist.

Summer Pack (Childish Gambino): It may be the monsoons here in India, but it’s summer in the USA! So, after a politically charged This Is America, Childish Gambino aka Donald Glover drops a 2-track summer pack! Both are wonderfully summery. While Summertime Magic’s laidback R&B vibe and Glover’s repetitive ‘Do love me do love me do’ hook are easy on the ear, Feels Like Summer is even cooler and relaxed, straight out of the 80s summer catalog!

16 Steps (Martin Jensen, Olivia Holt): Danish DJ Martin Jensen, of ‘Solo Dance’ fame, returns with another possible hit here. The tropical house number with a catchy sonic beat gain a lot from Olivia’s singing, with that airy vocal edge.

Vaara Re (Dhadak, Hindi): The last song from Dhadak, and a Hindi original, thankfully. Like the title song, this one expands on Ajay-Atul’s brilliant repertoire, with its beautifully encompassing orchestral sound, with an enjoyably identifiable strand of sitar.

Paniyon Sa (Satyameva Jayate, Hindi): Rochak Kohli’s tune is good enough, on predictable lines, but the charming ‘Paniyo sa’ hook lifts it. And while Atif Aslam sounds his usual, likeable self, that Tulsi Kumar does too is a pleasant surprise.

Tera Fitoor (Genius, Hindi): Himesh Reshammiya is back! And he is not singing… not yet. His dependence on Arijit Singh pays him very well, as much as the simple, sweet melody he composes, along with that mildly lilting rhythm.

The full soundtrack (Karwaan, Hindi): Read the album review here.

Mohobbat (Fanney Khan, Hindi): Tanishk Bagchi uses just one hook from Naushad’s Jawaan Hai Mohabbat (Anmol Ghadi) and builds an entirely new, bling’y song. Excellent work that expands on the meaning of a remix.

Thallipora (Pakshi, Tamil): After Thallipogathey… Thallipora! Composer Girishh Gopalakrishnan’s song truly comes alive in singer M.M.Manasi’s fantastic singing, even as his music adds to the pace and spirit, particularly the highly imaginative backdrop to the hook.

Adhiroobaney (Saamy Square, Tamil): Perhaps the best song by Devi Sri Prasad, who moves from Singham to Saamy franchise, usurping Harris Jayaraj’s position! Sung by M.M.Manasi, the lively tune and the mighty ambitious orchestral interludes add to the song’s charm.

Pappara Pappaa, Nilladhey Nilladhey & Iraiva Iraiva (Lakshmi, Tamil): Read the full soundtrack review here.

Thirudathey (Marainthirunthu Paarkum Marmam Enna, Tamil): The best song from the short 4-song soundtrack. Achu picks up the singing duty and handles Pa.Vijay’s humorously colloquial lyrics in style. The jazzy sound is absolutely tantalizing, though reminiscent of Santhosh Narayan.

Kanne Kanne (Indipop, Tamil): Ok, 7UP Madras Gig has a really good thing going! The 4th song, by composer Leon James, is fantastic! Leon is on top of the incredibly catchy tune that comes delightfully alive twice; first when he drops the beat, and again, when Jonita joins in absolute style, to turn the song into a lively duet!

Dung Dung (Saakshyam, Telugu): Before Vijetha hit the market, this was Arjun Reddy-background music composer, Harshavardhan Rameshwar’s full-fledged composing debut. This one’s an ok affair, with Soundarya Lahari being the best. The other listenable song is Dung Dung, with its racy, faux-folk sound mixed with a nice, upbeat electronic sound. The highlight-on-paper 12-minute song featuring K.J. Yesudas, S. P. Balasubramaniyam and Hariharan is a background’ish medley at best, while that song spawns multiple smaller variants that fall into the same category.

Kalyanam Vybhogam (Srinivasa Kalyanam, Telugu): Veteran S. P. Balasubrahmanyam gets a much better song here! Mickey J. Meyer’s ambient, expansive sound is intact and makes for a highly interesting backdrop for the otherwise-austere prayer-like melody that SPB aces.

Mellaga Mellaga (Chi La Sow): There’s a frothy lightness to composer Prashanth R Vihari’s melody that takes shape wonderfully with the Mellaga hook. The song’s clear highlight is singer Chinmayi, though, who breezes through it, giving it life.

Inkem Inkem Inkem Kaavaale (Geetha Govindam, Telugu): This is Sid Sriram’s astounding show! He is so, so good with the vocals, and literally carries Gopi’s unusual, lush, slow-burn melody. The choice of veena for the interludes works wonders too.

Udaya Sandhyayil (Prashna Parihara Shala, Malayalam): Composer Pramod Bhaskar’s orchestration seems from a different, milder decade. The tune too goes with that feel, and much of the sound reminded me of M.M.Keeravani’s body of work, particularly the strings. Pleasant listen.

Moovandan Manchottil (Oru Pazhaya Bomb Kadha, Malayalam): Sung by Vineeth Sreenivasan, Arunraj’s dreamy melody goes old-style, with stellar work by Cochin Strings. A shade of Ilayaraja’s Senthoora Poove (16 Vayathinile) makes it all the more interesting.

Yenammi Yenammi (Ayogya, Kannada): Even though the super-catchy rhythm that goes ‘Chumpa chikka chikku jum’ seems predictable and familiar, Arjun Janya’s tune, and the singing by Vijay Prakash and Palak Muchhal, together elevates the song.

Duniya (Crisscross, Bengali): It’s great to see Pritam’s JAM8 doing good work across languages. In Duniya, the tune by Subhadeep Mitra (for JAM8) has a lively, rhythmic energy that gets accentuated by Nikhita Gandhi’s singing and Nyzel Dlima’s guitar and mandolin.

Teri Mustang (D. Cali featuring Fateh Doe, Punjabi): Typically glitzy Punjabi hiphop mix which, when you replace the Punjabi lyrics with English, could easily be heard anywhere in the US. The production and singing are top-notch, as expected.

Tere Bin Soona, Naseebaya & Ha Gulo (Coke Studio Explorer): Toronto-based Mishal Khawaja’s Tere Bin Soona pulls her out of the Instagram world and showcases her phenomenal vocal prowess. The haunting tune goes perfectly with her range. Naseebaya, is of Baloch traditional folk origin. The dambora, played by Darehan and Shayan, layered over Mangal’s almost prayer-like tune, creates a hypnotic effect. Add to it the show producers’ electronic sounds – a fantastic fusion! Ha Gulo, written by Kashmiri poet Ghulam Ahmad Mehjoor, gets an energetic new backdrop, despite working with sarangi and the Kashmiri tumbaknari. Muhammad Altaf Mir and his band (Qasamir) keep the rendition very, very authentic.

Of the two songs by Anurag Saikia, Chota Sa Fasana is an easy winner. Written by the film’s director Akarsh Khurana, it plays beautifully on the ‘safar’ theme of the film, and mellow tune is right up Arijit Singh’s alley. Anurag’s other song, Heartquake, is interesting for two reasons: one, the 2 variants he presents are completely different. The first is a breezy melody, while the second is a faux-qawali of sorts that’s foot-tapping. The second reason is that when Papon sings “Main aashiq hun koi creep nahi”, it just sounds incredibly awkward given recent news surrounding him. The two songs by Prateek Kuhad belong perfectly to the Prateek Kuhad-style of music – intimate, introspective and very personal. Saansein, with its expansive sound scores over the guitar’y Kadam. Dhaai Kilo Bakwaas, composed by SlowCheeta and Shwetang Shankar, is a zany—and catchy—mix that adds a bit of Malayalam extra corniness. The soundtrack’s best is by Imaad Shah, who produces a kickass Mikey McCleary Bartender-style Bhar De Hamaara Glass, reminiscent of Dr.Hook’s When You’re In Love With A Beautiful Woman, sung superbly by Saba Azad. Despite 5 composers, director Akarsh Khurana confidently pulls all of them together and produces an enjoyable soundtrack.

Keywords: Anurag Saikia, Prateek Kuhad, Imaad Shah, SlowCheeta, Shwetang Shankar, Karwaan, Kaarwaan, 200, #200

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

Morrakka Mattrakkaa is a beautifully constructed joyous outburst of a song. Uthara Unnikrishnan’s exuberant and innocent voice carries it as much as Madhan Karky’s inventive lyrics cheekily inverting the genders of famous dancers like Michael Jackson, Hrithik Roshan, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Prabhu Deva himself! Pappara Pappaa goes one step ahead, imbibing the energy of present-day adipoli Malayalam film songs and acts like the exact kind of song meant for a TV Dance Challenge! Very good singing by Praniti, Riyaz, Sri Vishnu and Pranav. But Dreamy Chellamma, sung mighty well by Saindhavi, despite the liveliness, seems a bit templatized. In Ala ala, singer-composer couple, Saindhavi and GV Prakash Kumar’s singing, as well as the splendid work with Cochin Strings and Chennai Strings Orchestra shows magnificently! Nilladhey Nilladhey sees Sam utilizing Sindhu Bhairavi raaga’s Middle Eastern connect beautifully, aptly supported by Sathyaprakash who renders the inspirational tune. Even Iraiva Iraiva is a superbly punchy—and rhythmic—prayer of sorts, brilliantly exploiting its Ahir Bhairav raaga origin, and sung with a full-throated verve by Sam. The soundtrack closes on a high with the well-crafted dance medley, The Rhythm of Dance. In his 4th release of 2018 already, and Sam seems to be on a roll!

Keywords: Lakshmi, Sam C.S., #200, 200

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist. Week 31:
On Apple Music | On Saavn | On YouTube
One more packed musical week – 28 songs! All 3 platforms come up short, though Saavn is the best among the 3. Please do read the notes and do check out the ones that are YouTube-only (Njan Communist, Hope For A Change and the 2 Coke Studio songs) and the Apple Music-only (Achint & The Khan Brothers)

A note on the songs in the playlist.

Pardesiya (Soorma, Hindi): Ehsaan Noorani (making his singing debut!!) opens Pardesiya and hands it over to Shehnaz Akhtar, starts off like a prayer and literally turns into one when Hemant Brijwasi joins in! A lovely song from the trio!

Reppalaninda, Pillaa Raa & Manasunipatti (RX100, Telugu): I got curious about this film’s music earlier because it was credited to Tunemeone! I then figured it’s a studio in Hyderabad and the composer is Chaitan Bharadwaj. Pillaa Raa is my favorite from the promising soundtrack, with Anurag Kulkarni breezing through the energetic ballad. Reppalaninda sounds a lot like DSP’s sound, with that catchy rhythm and excellent singing by Haricharan. Manasunipatti blends the violin notes so well with the captivating rhythm, with Haricharan and Umaneha in great form. The bridge from the anupallavi to pallavi is particularly very good. Chaitan shows a lot of promise in his debut. Would love to see how he’d build on it now.

Shaakuntle Sikkalu, Kannu Kannu & Ele Vayasina (Naduve Antaravirali, Kannada): Very listenable soundtrack by Manikanth Kadri, Read the full review here: http://bit.ly/2lSgj3j

SoulMate (Justin Timberlake): Justin’s latest album, Man Of The Woods, was just in February! A new single, already? The single is a nice-enough, groovy-enough, catchy-enough affair. The laidback rhythm and superb production (by Drake’s Nineteen85) is top notch.

Chan Kitthan (Indipop, Punjabi): The dependable combo of Rochak Kohli and Ayushmann Khurrana strikes yet again! Taking on a well-loved classic song, Rochak makes a solid attempt to give it his own flavor, and Ayushmann’s earthy delivery, as usual, is the strongpoint.

Tere Naal Nachna (Nawabzaade, Hindi): Looks like T-series is loading this film starring non-names with one starry song after another! Badshah takes on Yo Yo Honey Singh’s preferred route of making ‘spirited’ music and rolls it along with Sunanda Sharma effortlessly.

Cha Cha Charey (Party, Tamil): 1st surprise – the music is NOT by Yuvan Shankar Raja. 2nd surprise – thankfully, it is by the underrated Premgi Amaran. This single could have easily been composed by Yuvan – one groovy, glitzy party track sung with verve by brothers Suriya and Karthi.

Kaadhal Gaana (Raja Ranguski, Tamil): Yuvan’s very competent recent soundtrack. Read the review here: http://bit.ly/2u5dmRF

Kabiskabaa Coco – The Gibberish Song, Thittam Poda Theriyala & Gun-In Kadhal (Kolamaavu Kokila, Tamil): Fantastic soundtrack by Anirudh. Read the full album review here: http://bit.ly/2IW4Ics

Vaa Vaa Kaama, Kalavarame (Tamizh Padam 2, Tamil): The ultimate ‘EngaLa vechu kaamidi keemidi seyyaliye?’ question! Full album review here: http://bit.ly/2tYSZ7C

Dheemthana Thomthana (Happy Wedding, Telugu): Shakthikanth Karthick, who was very good in Fida, but only ok’ish in Nela Ticket, produces a neat single here. He adds a nice and groovy mod version of the traditional ‘mangalya dharanam’ wedding tune, in nadaswaram.

Haalu Haalu (Oru Pazhaya Bomb Kadha, Malayalam): Composer Arunraj, who recently impressed with Snehapoompadathe, from Ningal Camara Nireekshanathilaanu, has an instantly catchy song here. The repetitive musical phrase and the energy of the song makes it a winner!

Spark a Fire Songs (Shalmali Kholgade, Indipop): Shalmali Kholgade and her friends Riya, Simran, Pratiksha and Neha are having fun and it shows! A song straight out of the Veere Di Wedding vibe, but was missing in that film’s soundtrack. Easy-on-the-ears, Mikey McCleary sound.

Ninnadhe Hessarannu, Manase & Roo (Yel Yel Aledaru) (Trataka, Kannada): Composer Arun Suradhaa’s songs (4th composed by Shivaganesh) easily lift this little-known soundtrack. Ninnadhe Hessarannu is Vandana Srinivasan’s show, as much as Manase being Nandini Srikar’s splendid show. The former’s breezy and likeable melody, and the latter’s sweeping, mysterious sound with a wonderful, ominous chorus make them memorable. Roo is the most commercial and filmy of the 3 songs, but is a great listen as well, with a foot-tapping lilt and a psychedelic vibe.

Njan Communist (Indipop, Malayalam): The tune and sound is very reminiscent of Shaan Rahman’s repertoire. Not too take anything away from Hesham Abdul Wahab, he employs Kollam Ajith’s violin very effectively and produces a punchy melody, and sings it too really well. The video, produced almost like a movie in one music video, is a great watch too.

Hope For A Change (Tapas Roy, Indipop): Tapas Roy and Joell Mukherjii’s mandolin-guitar duet is a heady, mesmerizing affair. Tapas, as always, literally makes his mandolin talk and sing, within the tune’s structure. The highly engaging composition is Yanni’esque.

Hichki, Saavan Mod Muhara & Railgaadi (Achint & The Khan Brothers, Indipop): This is one of the most impressive pop albums I have heard in recent times. The way Achint Thakkar layers in his eclectic fusion on The Khan Brothers’ earthy Rajasthani folk is phenomenal. Railgaadi is a simple and straight intro the kind of fusion he attempts, but it comes out best in Hichki, when Achint adds the punchy sound after the first half minute (Aavey hichki). The energy is even better in Saavan Mod Muhara, with Achint amping his orchestration significantly!

Pareek & Faqeera (Coke Studio Explorer): The prelude to the new season of Coke Studio Pakistan, called Coke Studio Explorer launched last week! It’s a 5-episode music travelogue where producers Zohaib Kazi and Noori’s Ali Hamza travel to different parts of Pakistan and discover folk music and singers. The format reminds one of Dewarists, while the local music artists’ collaboration seems straight out of MTV Sound Trippin’. The first is from the Kalash Valley, located in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, sung by Ariana and Amrina. The song, Pareek (meaning Let’s Go), is a folk love song that gets a superb electronic backing, in line with Zohaib’s musical sensibilities. The second song, Faqeera, featuring the voices of brother-sister duo of Shamu Bai and Vishnu is almost Rajasthani in sound and feel, given its Sindhi folk origin. Absolutely mesmerizing tune, and equally fantastic orchestration that accentuates the folk tune with its electronic sounds, benjo chords and dholak rhythm.

Simbu seems particularly in great form with his exaggerated singing in Mr.X, amidst the flashy EDM that Yuvan unleashes! Pattukutty Neethan is Yuvan at his vintage best! The melody is incredible, the music is almost hypnotic, and the singing… well, abysmal, courtesy Yuvan himself! Kaadhal Gaana is Yuvan letting V.M. Mahalingam belt out a superb gaana that Deva would be proud of. Gift of Life is hauntingly beautiful, orchestrated with appropriate austerity by Yuvan, with Faridha’s excellent vocals. The Shadow Theme is short and adequate. Raja Ranguski is very good work from Yuvan, in line with his Semma Botha Aagathey.

Keywords: Raja Ranguski, Yuvan Shankar Raja

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

Sean Roldan’s grungy voice goes wonderfully with the moody tune of Edhuvaraiyo! Anirudh rolls out his mysterious, Moby-style backgrounds only after the first minute, raising the stakes! Kalyaana Vayasu, sung by Anirudh himself, is incredibly catchy. Sivakarthikeyan’s lyrics seem influenced by Simbu, particularly that ‘Wait pannava’ line! In Orey Oru, when Anirudh goes, ‘Sathamaai naan azhudhithaan’, the melody harks back to his Naanum Rowdy Thaan association with Vignesh ShivN who wrote the lyrics for this one! Keba’s guitar is a legitimate third voice, and the composer scores in the way he layers Jonita’s singing in a different pitch besides his own. Anirudh also handles Thittam Poda Theriyala exceptionally well. The repetitive hooks are addictive, while the sitar-led interludes are scintillating. Kabiskabaa Coco – The Gibberish Song and its soul twin, Gun-In Kadhal, are absolutely zany and delightful! The former kicks in with a Raja-style retro prelude, but moves on to R.D.Burman’s zone even as Arunraja’s singing itself is much like MS Viswanathan style! The latter has Vijay Yesudas tempering the glitzy sounds with his softer verses, while Arunraja Kamaraj goes delightfully berserk, including the punchy Kabiskabaa Coco hook! Kolamaavu Kokila (CoCo) is Anirudh at his best, producing massively entertaining music!

Keywords: Kolamaavu Kokila (CoCo), Anirudh, 200, #200

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

In Sanjith Hegde’s dreamy voice, the waltz’y Shaakuntle Sikkalu sounds delightful, with a soft lilt that is immediately addictive. Supriya Lohith does the honors for Kannu Kannu, a saccharine-sweet melody that evokes pleasant memories of A R Rahman’s Kissa Hum Likhenge, from Doli Saja Ke Rakhna. Ele Vayasina is decidedly more energetic than the earlier songs and offers some fantastic sounds as the interludes kick in. Of the 2 pathos songs, Mythri Iyer’s wonderfully involved singing lifts Paraaga Sparsha and Oh Olave‘s Charukesi raaga backdrop makes it highly listenable. After 2016’s Run Antony, the vastly-underrated Manikanth Kadri resurfaces again, confidently!

Keywords: Naduve Antaravirali, Manikanth Kadri

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

Diljit Dosanjh brings his own earthy Punjabi-ness to Ishq Di Baajiyaan; the tune gets incredibly immersive with the antara, neat touches like the reverberating ‘Na ja’ phrase and the delightful chorus. The title song is goosebumps-inducing, with a superbly building tempo, and a rousing chorus. In Pardesiya, the trio produce a heart-wrenching folk song with phenomenally involved vocals by Hemant Brijwasi and Shehnaz Akhtar. Good Man Di Laaltain and Flicker Sing, despite their ebullient Punjabi sounds, do not rise beyond their templates that the trio have already perfected earlier. Raazi, and now Soorma – the trio is on a spree!

Keywords: Soorma, Shankar Ehsaan Loy

Listen to the songs on Saavn:

Here’s the 2nd edition of Milliblog Quarterlies, a 7-playlist collection that is culled out from Weeklies from the 2nd quarter of 2018. There are 7 playlists, one each for Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Assorted Indian and International. As always, the playlists are on 3 platforms – Apple Music, Saavn and YouTube.


Hindi: Apple Music | Saavn | YouTube


Tamil: Apple Music | Saavn | YouTube


Telugu: Apple Music | Saavn | YouTube


Malayalam: Apple Music | Saavn | YouTube


Kannada: Apple Music | Saavn | YouTube

Assorted Indian

Assorted Indian (including Indipop, Marathi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Odiya & Bengali): Apple Music | Saavn | YouTube


Non-Indian: Apple Music | Saavn | YouTube

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