Ethetho‘s oh-so-gentle melody makes it a great listen, particularly in Vaisakh C Madhav’s vocals (as also Anju Joseph’s female version) where he sings as if the tune is brittle, amidst a beautiful flute phrase! Vaadaathe sounds like Shaan Rahman’s material! Good vocal harmony, barring that rap part. Vineeth Srinivasan is hilarious in singing his sorry state in Pettupokumo, with a lovely brass’y sound. The brass sound headlines the short Joker In Pattavayal too, while Ashik ashik is very Tamil and rides on OK Gopi’s nadaswaram. After Darvinte Parinamam, Sankar Sharma proves he’s no flash in the pan with Avarude Ravukal.

Keywords: Avarude Ravukal, Sankar Sharma

Listen to the songs on Saavn:
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Listen to the songs on YouTube:

South Indian film music’s current North Indian darling, Armaan Malik earns his standing singing Aalisu baa exceptionally well. His singing perfectly syncs with the song’s three layers, the other two being a slightly retro-reminiscent percussion and a brilliant layer of strings. Belakendare ups the ante significantly! In what seems like Hamsanadham raaga (Bantureethi kolu!), Arjun weaves a rich semi-classical melody with a fantastic tabla base. Haricharan and Indu Nagaraj seem to be genuinely enjoying the singing part and that shows! Manasina continues with the highly melodic tone of the soundtrack and has an aptly placed violin layer that adds considerable charm to Karthik and Anuradha Bhat’s vocals. The tune is spritely and easily likeable. Yaare nee, the ominous tune gets its alluring and minimal backgrounds right, and in a way, sounds like a classic Hamsalekha number at least going by the sound! Vyasa Raj’s deep vocals matche the song’s pathos, while Arjun slowly and steadily builds on the backgrounds. The Raaga theme picks on Manasina’s violin strains and ropes in Sudeep to add gravitas with his narration – short and sweet. Hebbuli and Chakravarthy were undoubtedly good, but in Raaga, Arjun guns for Mungaru Male 2 level quality and succeeds!

Keywords: Raaga, Arjun Janya, #200, 200

Listen to the songs on Saavn:
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Listen to the songs on YouTube:

Karuppadu throbs with inventive corniness, with a dash of Santhosh Narayanan! Arunraja and Dhibu’s singign augments the hilarious tone. Pradeep Kumar is perfect for Nee kavithaigala, a Sean Roldan’ish melody that is oh-so-gentle. Dhibu builds the song beautifully into a rock ballad of sorts. Sharanya Gopinath’s diva-style singing carries the Bond Theme style Aasai. The soundtrack’s best is Koattai aanda arasan, a brilliantly mounted song with absolutely captivating percussion and frenzied singing by Arunraja and the backing chorus! Usiredukkum closes the soundtrack in style, with Vijay Joseph’s guitar headlining the classic rock sound. Promising Tamil debut by Dhibu Ninan Thomas!

Keywords: Dhibu Ninan Thomas, Maragadha Naanayam

Listen to the songs on Saavn:
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Listen to the songs on YouTube:

Dhibu’s composing debut was the Malayalam song Sneham, sung by Job Kurian.

Mira mira mixes swanky guitar and a dash of Wild West in what is essentially a catchy kuthu. Laage laage is no different; that violin phrase is such a lovely touch to the captivating sound. Dhanunjay’s earthy vocals and the pulsating folk rhythm aids Jivvu jivvu, while his other song, Yelo yedarilo is the soundtrack’s best, with a lovely retro’ish feel and a cleverly repetitive hook. Armaan and Shreya breeze through the easy-on-the-ears Emo emo, with an addictive hook. Netha cheera, despite the foot-tapping lilt, and the Love theme are the soundtrack’s most generic. Simple, likeable commercial album by Anup.

Keywords: Katamarayudu, Anup Rubens

Listen to the songs on Saavn:
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Listen to the songs on YouTube:

Yaarivanu hilariously compares Puneeth Rajkumar to ‘loaded gun’ and ‘Kohinoor gem’ in a corny tune that seems completely incapable of any hero worship, its intended objective. Appu Dance is far worse, repeating the ‘Twinkle twinkle little star’ phrase amidst stunningly pointless music. Puneeth himself fares much better singing the Jackson-ode pop in Yaakingagidhe. The title song is a curious combination of Laxmikant-Pyarelal and SA Rajkumar; adequately templatized, but pleasant nonetheless, thanks mostly to Vijay Prakash. In Saagaradha, Sonu Nigam is relegated to crying his heart out for the largely generic Middle Eastern’ish music. Harikrishna seems listless and uninspired in Raajakumara.

Keywords: Raajakumara, V.Harikrishna

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

Sathya Prakash breathes life—as much as Chinmayi does with her humming—into Rahman’s evocative melody in Nallai allai. Vairamuthu’s beautifully Tamil verse sounds pitch perfect in Sathya Prakash’s careful diction. But for the ill-conceived Punjabi detour, Azhagiye works brilliantly, with a spritely energy, Haricharan’s (Or is it Arjun Chandy leading the singing?) lively vocals and Karky’s cleverly colloquial lines. Vaan varuvaan harks back to Rahman of Taj Mahal (Kulirudhu kuliridhu)! Shashaa Tirupati holds the song with her phenomenal singing even as Rahman adds her voice in multiple layers for added effect! The instantly catchy Saarattu vandiyila comes with an addictive lilt and Vairamuthu’s gently erotic man-woman banter. Raihanah and Tipu are in perfect sync with the lyrical exchange, significantly enhanced by the guitar in the background. Tango kelaayo‘s allegiance to Sway is a bit too obvious, but Rahman moves the song into highly interesting zones, including a markedly retro-style ‘Unnai pirindhaal’ and a dramatically more modern ‘Oh nee ennai piriyaai’ before flowing freely into a haunting combination of strings and accordion! Jugni is Rahman’s Ram Gopal Varma material, with a profusion of pleasant music that crescendos impressively amidst a passable tune. In the 25th year of their collaboration, Mani and Rahman prove that the spark is alive and kicking.

Keywords: Kaatru Veliyidai, A R Rahman, 200, #200

PS: Yes, I was wrong about the diminishing marginal utility part in my O Kaadhal Kanmani review. In hindsight, after Kaatru Veliyidai, it seems like a one-off middling work from the duo.

Listen to the songs on Saavn:
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Listen to the songs on YouTube:

Tukda tukda caresses like a gentle breeze, thanks to Asees Kaur’s thoroughly likeable vocals and Krsna’s gorgeous melody. Seene mein lagi and Teri razamandi are both Krsna channeling his usual qawali templates – rather generic, though the latter fares a shade better. Muhabbat ko misuse‘s quirky band-style sound is interesting, but it’s let down by the tune and Sandeep Nath’s lines are not match for Rajshekhar’s! DJ Notorious’s remix of the song, without the spunky percussion, is corny. Last year, same time, Krsna produced a cracker of a soundtrack in Cute Kameena. Mirza Juuliet is just a tukda, in comparison.

Keywords: Mirza Juuliet, Krsna Solo, Krsna

Listen to the songs on Saavn:
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Listen to the songs on YouTube:

Thaniye is markedly old-fashioned, but Chithra’s incredible handling of the indulgent melody—with a tinge of pathos—is the song’s highlight. Hrudayavaathil is Mejo attempting a Harris Jayaraj’ish song and in Vineeth and Jyotsna’s dependable singing, it is spunky and likeable. On the other hand, it’s Rahman in Aromale – Chinmayi’s singing is fantastic and so is the very-Rahman flute interludes. Kaushik Menon’s male version is an equally good listen. Chakkikkochamme is the soundtrack’s most inventive, tune-wise, with a conversational, faux-classical give-and-take between Yazin Nizar and Sithara Krishnakumar punctuated by brisk backgrounds! After 2014’s Law Point, Mejo makes a decent enough comeback!

Keywords: C/O Saira Banu, Mejo Joseph, Mejjo Josseph

Listen to the songs on Saavn:
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Single Saavn playlist of all the 51 songs below:
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Hindi

Aashiq surrender hua, Roke na ruke and Tamma tamma again – Badrinath Ki Dulhaniya (Amaal Mallik and Tanishk Bagchi)

Poori qaaynaat and Kuch parbat hilaayein – Poorna (Salim-Sulaiman)

Tamil

Enga pora Dora and Vaazhavudu – Dora (Vivek-Mervin)

Oxygen and Theeraadha vilayaattu pillai – Kavan (Hiphop Tamizha)

Sokki poraandi, Kannodu kannodu and Uyirile – Mupparimanam (G.V.Prakash Kumar)

Aagaayam and Pudavai nilave – Yaadhumaagi Nindraai (Ashwin Vinayagamoorthy)

Kuyile, Kanavugal aayiram and Vinnulaka devathai – Engeyum Naan Iruppen (Afzal Yusuf)

Telugu

Na BC centarlu – Winner (SS Thaman)

Pranam poye badha, Thelupana and Yemaindho yemo gani – O Pilla Nee Valla (Madhu Ponnas)

Johny Johny yes papa and Ardhamaina – Kittu Unnadu Jagratha (Anup Rubens)

Aa chandamama, Sarangi O Sarangi and Guchi guchi – Maa Abbayi (Suresh Bobbili)

Aanandham and Vayyari kalahamsika – Om Namo Venkatesaya (M.M.Keeravani)
Removed from a Rajamouli’s vision or demand in a film like Baahubali, Keeravani’s music in the film is rather generic. The listenable songs too have a predictable sound, beyond the other pedestrian sounding songs. So Aanandham evokes memories of S A Rajkumar’s Pallanguzhiyin vattam (from… surprise!! – Anandham!) and manages to sound catchy. Vayyari kalahamsika is the soundtrack’s best, with a breezy faux-classical melody that takes on interesting contours, layered with Keeravani’s strings all through. Revanth and Sunitha handle it brilliantly.

Boogie woogie and My wife – Showtime (M.M.Keeravani)
The other Keeravani soundtrack that falls flat, with minor succor. Boogie woogie has some spunk left in Sony’s (the female singer) parts, and the tune too is confidently offbeat. The soundtrack’s genuinely interesting song is My wife, with Kaala Bhairava’s fantastic baritone and a breezy jazz flavor that Keeravani aces with a lovely profusion of background strings and brass.

Anaghaa Anaghaa and Pranam Paravana – Aakatayi (Mani Sharma)
Sri Krishna’s voice is mauled beyond recognition using digital advancements in Anaghaa Anaghaa, but Mani has the tune sorted alright, particularly the anupallavi. Pranam is that whispery melody that Mani owns and produces mighty regularly. The rest of the soundtrack is oddly lackluster but, like his Gentleman last year, these 2 songs make up for it!

Malayalam

Onnurangi and Paripparakkum kili – Aby (Bijibal)

Ayalathe and Do naina/La vettam – Angamaly Diaries (Prashant Pillai)

Varminnal, Ilamai and Enthanu mone – Adventures of Omanakuttan (Arun Muraleedharan)

Aaro ee yathrayengo – Ayal Jeevichirippundu (Ouseppachan)
Aaro is a delightful cocktail as it moves from the main tune to a joyous Goan festivity phrase! Ouseppachan keeps the tune in perfect sync even with these vibrant deviations.

Emanmaraii and Ivalaro – Oru Mexican Aparatha (Ranjith Chittade and Manikandan Ayyappa)
The soundtrack of Oru Mexican Aparatha is throbbing with a revolutionary zeal. Ranjith Chittade’s lone song, Emanmaraii is the pick of the album, with its vibrant and powerful sound and Shebin Mathew’s punchy singing amidst a profusion of chendai drums. Manikandan Ayyappa’s composition Ivalaro is the opposite, with its breezy, romantic outlook and a guitar’y disposition. But the chendai base soon catches up to add spice!

Kannada

Thera haadu – Saheba (V.Harikrishna)

Adda bidde madesaa, Preetiya hesare neenu and Kaurava Theme – Happy New Year (Raghu Dixit)

Gapu gapalli, Ringa ringa and Kanasina – Srinivasa Kalayana (Midhun Mukundan and Raghavendra Thane)

Marathi

Antaricha – Rubik’s Cube (Vishal Mishra)
Except for the typically Marathi sound in the words, obviously because of the lyrics, the overall sound is very Bollywood! Vishal Mishra’s tune could have been part of a conventional Bollywood film, but the beauty of Marathi lifts the song significantly. Not that the melody is any bad – it is a lovely listen. As of on cue, the song goes Hindi mid-way with ‘Mahiya’ ‘Tere bina’ etc.

Rozana rides on Shreya Ghoshal’s vocals and the lady—as usual—handles it magnificently! Rochak Kohli’s choice of backgrounds is extremely interesting, in what sounds almost like a muted march past music! But it works to accentuate the lovely melody. Sunidhi does her best in Zinda, but the tune doesn’t really push beyond standard inspirational templates. Zubi zubi revisits Bappi Lahiri’s 1987 plagiarized version (Dance Dance) of Modern Talking’s 1986 song Brother Louie, in a funky techno package led by Sukriti Kakar’s cheerful vocals. Jasmine Sandlas’ singing elevates Meet Bros’ Baby besharam that is otherwise middlingly predictable. Rochak’s Rozana is Shabana’s highlight.

Keywords: Naam Shabana, Rochak Kohli, Meet Bros

Listen to the songs on Saavn:
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Listen to the songs on YouTube:

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