Vijay Prakash’s superb vocals and Ajaneesh’s playful chorus parts add to Belageddu‘s frothy, likeable feel. In Katheyonda helide and Thirboki jeevana, Rakshit’s nostalgic lyrics stand out; the former has a mostly predictable rock-infused tune, but the latter’s bouyant jazz feel is solid fun. For Neenire saniha, Ajaneesh layers lovely interludes and a really tuneful anupallavi, while Shreya Ghoshal rocks, as usual. Last Bench Party‘s foot-tapping, street-smart tune and sing-along’ish lyrics work smoothly. The soundtrack’s best is Hey Who Are You?, a joyous and funky ode to Hamsalekha’s music from the 90s; immensely catchy, and nostalgic! Ajaneesh hits bullseye, mostly, again!

Keywords: Kirik Party, Ajaneesh Loknath

PS: The soundtrack is supposed to have 10 songs, but the remaining four are likely to be released only after the film’s release.

Listen to the songs:

Damaalu dumeelu is a punchy gimmick at best, stringing together iconic punch dialogs into a manic kuthu. Luksimi Sivaneswaralingam’s vocal prowess helps Senthoora, an otherwise standard-issue Imman material. Inno Genga’s reprise, handled differently, manages to sound better, though! Kooduvittu is a competent rehash of Imman’s own songs, with coolth flowing from Jyoti Nooran, and Arvind Swamy’s dialogs. Vijay Prakash is fantastic in the background’ish Yaro yaro. The soundtrack’s best is Vaarai, possibly set in Dharmavathi raaga, led by Shankar Mahadevan and Shreya Ghoshal’s incredible singing. The Spooky Bogan theme is pulsating. Listenable stuff from Imman that doesn’t push any boundaries.

Keywords: Bogan, D.Imman

Listen to the songs on Saavn:
screen-shot-2016-12-04-at-2-54-12-pm

Kadhal pennae rides on Karthik’s dependably excellent vocals and the little nuances Sam layers, like the dramatic change in rhythm to start and end the anupallavi, and that really short and fast, ‘Kanavula needhaan’ piece that he uses just once, to great effect! Theera oru and Yaeno are outdated in every conceivable way; routine pathos packaging from the 80s/90s. Sam’s awkward vocals in both songs makes things worse. Pattasu Vedingada, despite highly enthusiastic singing by Mukesh, Antony Dhasan and Velmurugan, and an upbeat tune by Sam, is patchy at best. Kadhal penne is the lone savior of Kadikara Manithargal’s soundtrack.

Keywords: Kadikara Manithargal, Sam C.S.

Listen to the songs:

Sunday December 4, 2016

Hitman – December 3, 2016

Originally published in The Hindu.

Yaenadi – Adhagappattathu Magajanangalay (Tamil – D.Imman)
Imman. Ilayaraja. Yes, that. Again! The composer takes his Raja’ish melody style a step further in Adhagappattathu Magajanangalay’s Yaenadi, and layers it with what is now easily associated as his signature-style – busy and delightfully engaging orchestration that peaks especially well during the interludes, reeking of Raja all the more! Karthik and Shreya Ghoshal are in brilliant form here in the duet version. In the song’s solo version, sung by Shreya (so, ‘Yaenada’!), Imman craftily strips the busy’ness of the orchestration to present an equally alluring variant! This time around, the guitar-led interludes and orchestrations sound like Ilayaraja even more!

Lamhon ke rasgulle – Kahaani 2 (Hindi – Clinton Cerejo)
Amitabh Bhattacharya is the star of the utterly whimsical Lamhon ke rasgulle! It goes, “Lamhon ke rasgulle, Lazeez meethe meethe; Lamhon ke rasgulle, Free mein hain kharide”, much to our amusement. Clinton concocts an easily catchy, synth-driven pop sound that could be mistaken for an 80s one-hit wonder! Sunidhi Chauhan sounds wonderfully happy and child-like, singing this feel-good song while Bianca Gomes gives her company for the largely corny English lines.

Koluse sol koluse – Vallavanukkum Vallavan (Tamil – Raghu Dixit)
Kannada, Hindi and Indipop musician—and Baba Sehgal’s replacement for larger-than-life intro and item songs in Telugu, mostly composed by Devi Sri Prasad—Raghu Dixit made his Tamil debut with the title song Aviyal. In Vallavanukkum Vallavan, he gets to compose 4 songs, but still has to share credits with Ajesh who has a tiny, single song. Raghu produces the album’s best, Koluse sol koluse, where he suffixes a joyous, Calypso’ish medley to Mangalyam thandhunane, with exuberant singing by Nakul Abhyankar and Manasi Mahadevan.

Kalkond bitte – Sundaranga Jaana (Kannada – Ajaneesh Loknath)
That the title Sundaranga Jaana is a phrase from a popular 70s Kannada song, Dooradinda bandantha from the film Samshaya Phala, which was Salil Chowdhury’s Kannada debut is a minor trivia. The song Kalkond bitte, on the other hand, is proof that Ajaneesh Loknath is emerging to be a wonderfully consistent and exciting composer (he is making his Tamil debut in Kurangu Bommai, incidentally). Ajaneesh opens the song with what sounds like African/Saharan guitar and hands over the song’s reign to Haricharan. Hari, for his part, is in blistering form, seamlessly moving from the loverboy opener to a superbly tapori-style delivery. Sticking to just one anupallavi, Ajaneesh also alternates the rhythm pattern for maximum impact.

24k Magic – Bruno Mars (Album: 24k Magic)
In 24k Magic, Bruno Mars plays the role of nostalgia curator more than a hit-maker that he is, otherwise. The sound is very 80s and 90s funk and soul, and some of the sounds in the album are so, so reminiscent of Michael Jackson’s lush, percussive style. In the title song, he even sounds like Jackson, launching straight into the title song confidently. The R&B infused song is easy on the ears and infectious in its appeal, with a call and response pattern that makes it easy to sing along with.

A single playlist of all these songs, courtesy Saavn:
screen-shot-2016-12-03-at-5-35-48-pm

(This playlist does not include songs from Sheesh Mahal and Jomonte Suviseshangal)

Hindi

Ishaara – Force 2 (Amaal Mallik)

Mehram and Lamhon ke rasgulle – Kahaani 2 (Clinton Cerejo)

Tu hi hai, Taareefon se and Aye Zindagi (Arijit Singh version) – Dear Zindagi (Amit Trivedi and Ilayaraja)

Nashe si chadh gayi and Labon ka karobar – Befikre (Vishal-Shekhar)

Tamil

Hola amigo, Kadavule vidai, Pori pathi vizhum and Alladhe siragiye – Rum (Anirudh)

Hey penne and Kangalai sutrum kanavugalai – Kattappava Kanom (Santhosh Dayanidhi)

Koluse sol koluse – Vallavanukkum Vallavan (Raghu Dixit)

Neeyum naanum, Nee uravaaga and Ichukatta – Paambhu Sattai (Ajesh)

Elanthaari and Kannadikkala – Maaveran Kittu (D.Imman)

Kannungala chellangala, Maalai varum and The Good, Bad & Ugly theme – Nenjam Marappathillai (Yuvan Shankar Raja)

Enda ippadi, Nee indri, Innum enna solla, Maatrangal ondre thaan and The Happiness of Pursuit – Kootathil Oruthan (Nivas K Prasanna)

Telugu

Chitramaaga, Rainbows in the Sky and Babarag – Sheesh Mahal (Vivek Sagar)

Pareshanura and Neethoney dance – Dhruva (Hiphop Tamizha)

Chirunama thana chirunama – Ekkadiki Pothavu Chinnavada (Sekhar Chandra)

Malayalam

Aarum and Sadirumai – Ore Mukham (Bijibal)

Nokki nokki and Neelakasham – Jomonte Suviseshangal (Vidyasagar)

Kannada

Kalkond bitte, Nandana, Ee santhelu and Fly fly fly – Sundaranga Jaana (Ajaneesh Loknath)

Tinnada unnada – Tiger (Arjun Janya)

Nan yede beedige – Jalsa (Veer Samarth)

International

Inshallah – Sting (Album: 57th & 9th)
Listen to the song on Saavn.

24k magic, Versace on the floor and Chunky – Bruno Mars (Album: 24k Magic)
Listen to the songs on Saavn.

Nokki nokki is good old Vidyasagar – the kind with a tune that reminds one of Ilayaraja, with Vidyasagar’s own nuances added. The anupallavi’s rhythm takes too simplistic a route, but the bridge back to the pallavi is rather neat. Neelakasham, the soundtrack’s best, is even better, evoking pleasant memories of Vidyasagar’s classic, Thankathinkal, from Indraprastham. Sujatha Mohan and Najim Arshad are perfect for the job, with a particularly lovely second interlude! Balram’s soulful singing is the soul of the simple, lilting and folksy tune of Poonkaattey, though Vishnu’s flute plays a significant part too. Dependably good music from Vidyasagar.

Keywords: Vidyasagar, Jomonte Suviseshangal

Listen to the songs:

Nashe si chadh gayi, barring the annoying chipmunks’ish intrusions, is a lovely listen, with a hypnotic, Middle-Eastern tune and wonderfully voiced by Arijit. More Middle Eastern sound in the title song, but it is also significantly more predictable. Je T’aime is exotic European sound and that charm alone carries it easily, while You and Me‘s cool electro swing sound gets monotonous soon. Labon ka karobar seems like an inventive and engaging—thanks to Papon—spin-off from Bimbo Jet’s cult hit El Bimbo. Khulke dulke is utterly pointless and Love is a dare instrumental is a background’ish melange. Mostly customary soundtrack from Vishal-Shekhar.

Keywords: Befikre, Vishal-Shekhar

Listen to the songs on Saavn:
screen-shot-2016-12-02-at-7-43-23-pm

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

Jeevitham ithu has a pleasant—albeit rather generic—sound that borders on EDM, and Najim Arshad handles it well. Kadha parayana flows even better, with a nice pop-ghazal-sufi mix-like sound, really well sung by Rijisha and Aalaap Raju. Roopa Revathy’s vocals is phenomenal in Olangal moodum, a moody, somber and sparsely orchestrated lullaby where her singing, and her violin playing skills too, comes out wonderfully. Thaarattan endhe, the song’s other version is equally good. Unaru ussirode is the soundtrack’s weakest, with an awkward mishmash sound. Gemini’s soundtrack is largely good enough, but suffers from a sound that is mostly harmless and ordinary.

Keywords: Gemini, Shaan Rahman

Listen to the songs:

Helped me articulate many things on music, my music listening preferences and habits, music reviewing and social media.

SP Balasubrahmanyam sounding like his 80s/90s self in Enda ippadi is reason enough to love the song! Nivas adds a lot more – the tune has a nice repetitive ring, besides the nadaswaram layer, the occasional kuthu rhythm and catchy rap by Emcee Gonsales! The song’s pathos variant Or naal kaadhal is an awkward listen, though the instrumental spin-off, The One is mighty inventive! The ethereal melody in Nee indri evokes distant memories of Ilayaraja’s Hey Ram classic, Nee paartha! It’s similarly evocative, with excellent singing by MM Manasi, and a beautifully restrained orchestration by Nivas. Innum enna solla is solid fun! A simple, lively tune, remarkably sung by Haricharan, gets infinitely more interesting thanks to the assortment of sounds Nivas infuses – a short captivating Muslim-style sound, a constant strings layer and a horns section atop kuthu… all working in perfect sync! Maatrangal ondre thaan too is on similar lines! Nivas leads it himself, aiming for an anthemic and hummable sound with a catchy ‘Don’t worry be happy’ hook. Nivas transforms the same melody into a stunningly beautiful instrumental piece in the cleverly titled The Happiness of Pursuit! Thegidi, Zero and now Kootathil Oruthan… Nivas is on a roll!

Keywords: Nivas K Prasanna, Kootathil Oruthan, 200, #200

PS: Yes, I’m aware of the fact that Nivas scored music for Sethupathi too.

Listen to the songs on Saavn:
kootathil

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

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