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Of the four songs by Niladri Kumar, Aahista is a sprawling song that starts slow and peacefully and builds itself up brilliantly. Niladri Kumar adds the music layer by layer, very creatively, while Arijit and Jonita hold forth with their vocals impressively. In Tum, it’s Atif all the way, amidst Niladri’s serene music that is encompassing in a mellow punch. The Kashmiri percussion sounds add to the song’s charm. In the song’s other version, Javed Ali’s semi-classical’ish rendition makes Atif’s seem decidedly more pop’ish. Hafiz Hafiz sees Niladri break the slow, sedate sound and move into a highly harmonious and rhythmic sound that is so-very Kashmiri! The children’s chorus that opens the song paves way for Mohit Chauhan’s splendid lead, and it moves steadily into a rousing climax! Shreya Ghoshal is mesmerizing in Sarphiri, breathing life into Niladri’s enchanting melody (where he joins in with sitar too) with splendid orchestration led by the keyboard. Babul Supriyo’s part in the middle offers a nice contrast along with the booming percussion.

Joi’s first song, among his three, O Meri Laila, has a catchy, Celtic-sounding hook. Atif Aslam, starting tentatively, gets better as the repetitive hook arrives. The song’s sparse Radio Version, sung by Joi, is a nice contrast. Gayee Kaam Se offers a compelling and superbly orchestrated qawali. The singing, by Dev Negi and Amit Sharma, is top notch. Meenal Jain joins mid-way, through a tantalizing break in the flow. Lala Zula Zalio is the soundtrack’s funkiest song! Joi’s recreation of the 80s disco-pop sound is delightful, as is the singing, by Frankie, Joi and Sunidhi. Alif’s lone track, Katyu Chuko, sung by Mohammad Muneem, is a short, evocative and ambient piece. The retelling of iconic doomed love-story brings together the highly promising Niladri Kumar and Joi Barua in a captivating soundtrack!

Keywords: Laila Majnu, Niladri Kumar, Joi Barua, Alif, #300, 300

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

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.

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