Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist. Week 28:
On Apple Music | On Saavn | On YouTube
A packed week, with 26 songs! Apple Music is missing 3 – Bhuvan Bam’s Safar, and 2 Tamil songs – from Traffic Ramaswamy and Raja Ranguski. Saavn is missing 2 – songs from Traffic Ramaswamy and Raja Ranguski. And YouTube is missing just one – Koode’s Vaanaville.

A note on the songs in the playlist.

Orey Oru (Kolamaavu Kokila, Tamil): A sparsely orchestrated song with a highly engaging melody, and Keba’s guitar is a legitimate 3rd voice. Anirudh scores in the way he layers Jonita’s singing in a different pitch besides his own, and then reverses it. Imaginative nuance.

The entire soundtrack (Katheyondu Shuruvagide, Kannada): Fantastic Kannada composing debut by Sachin Warrier. My music review of the soundtrack:

Anhad Naad (Sona Mohapatra, Ram Sampath): Ram first explored this song by Munna Dhiman in Coke Studio Season 4, featuring Sona and Shadab Faridi. This solo version by Sona is decidedly more earthy in comparison, with a folksy percussion to add to the joie de vivre.

Bodhai Kodhai (Indipop, Tamil): The Gautham Menon, Karthik & Madhan Karky trio gets it right the 3rd time! The tune is enticing, lyrics meaningful, and a scintillating music video, featuring Atharvaa & Aishwarya Rajesh. Glad to hear Sanjith Hegde again in Tamil, after Kalakalappu 2.

Kanulalo Thadiga (Sammohanam, Telugu): The last single from Vivek Sagar’s soundtrack. Chaitra Ambadipudi is stupendously good. Full soundtrack review here:

Aararo, Vaanaville (Koode, Malayalam): Anne Amie is fantastic with her vocals in Aararo’s intimate, guitar-led melody, reminiscent of Raghu Dixit’s own Kannada song from Happy New Year, Preetiya Hesare Neenu. (His other song, Paranne is a hat-tip to the same film’s Adda Bidde Madesaa, btw). Jayachandran’s Vaanaville is Karthik’s show all the way, with him lifting the gentle breezy tune significantly.

TV In The Morning (DNCE): The best song from the ‘Cake By The Ocean’ band’s surprise new 4-song EP (People to People).

Kar Har Maidaan Fateh (Sanju, Hindi): Composer Vikram Montrose’s biggest outing, after some decent, but little-heard work in films like Bhay, in Marathi. Sukhwinder’s familiar voice, as also Shreya Ghoshal’s, powers this energetic track, along with Ishaan Das’s spirited guitar work.

Safar (Bhuvan Bam, Indipop): There’s steady progress in YouTuber Bhuvan Bam’s quality of music, from Teri Meri Kahaani to Sang Hoon Tere, and now Safar that’s the most accomplished of the 3. Energetic tune and music, well sung, and a lovely video shot in Kerala, as well.

Thandora Kannaala (Kadaikutty Singam, Tamil): Kadaikutty Singam’s soundtrack is largely on predictable lines of what one expects from Imman, with one standout, in singer V.V.Prassanna’s Thandora. The jaunty rhythm and gorgeous melody is intact, in true Imman style.

Orasaadha (Indipop, Tamil): The 2nd single from Sony Music’s 7UP Madras Gig, after the first one featuring Imman. Vivek-Mervin brand of electro-pop is like their usual arsenal of film music – catchy, with a simple, likeable and persistent hook that lifts the overall package.

Nigara Than Nigara (Aan Dhevathai, Tamil): Haunting melody by Ghibran that immediately took me to Raja’s Karpoora Bommai Ondru (KeLadi KaNmaNi) and Dheere Se Aaja, from Albela. Raaga similar? Sung by Vineeth Srinivasan who I’d love to hear more in Tamil.

Dope track (Pyaar Prema Kaadhal, Tamil): A very, very typical Yuvan Shankar Raja track! His singing is, as usual, middling; his Tamil diction, even more so. But the tune is vintage Yuvan, beautifully lush and thoroughly involving. The music, with an EDM explosion, is fantastic.

Pattukutty Neethan (Raja Ranguski, Tamil): More Yuvan. Similar electronic glitz on top of his uncomfortable Tamil diction and often bad singing. If only he roped in better singers, his fantastic tunes could be infinitely better.

Aayiram Pournamigal (Traffic Ramasamy, Tamil): A somewhat too obvious and too familiar use of Reetigowlai raaga by composer Balamurali Balu. But the raaga’s inherent beauty carries it through, along with Aishwarya Ravichandran and Srinidhi’s vocals.

Arey Arey (Pedavi Datani Matokatundhi, Telugu): Zenith Reddy is definitely a unique name 🙂 The composer’s song is not bad at all – I hear strains of Joshua Sridhar style music in it. Pleasant and nice, as Sathyaprakash carries it well with his singing.

Marayatholi Kannal (Ente Mezhuthiri Athazhangal, Malayalam): This is one soundtrack that has only one singer – Vijay Yesudas! Quite a feat in these days of multiple composers and singers. Like Neela Neela Mizhikalo, this song too, by composer M.Jayachandran, is a lush melody, with a profusion of violins.

Aagi Aagi (Ee Nagaraniki Emaindi): Trademark Vivek, with a breezy, guitar-led sound, and a melody that is so easy on the ear. Anurag Kulkarni holds fort till the anupallavi when Manisha Eerabathini saunters in, amidst Vivek’s favorite soft, jazzy sound.

Calypso (Luis Fonsi, Stefflon Don): The Despacito star’s latest mixes reggaeton and Caribbean, within his usual stock of incredibly foot-tapping sound. And he has British rapper Stefflon Don for company. Excellent summer pool party material.

Talk Fast, Better Man (5 Seconds Of Summer, Youngblood): The Australian pop band is older and wiser, and their new album goes—older—back to the 80s sound! Talk Fast is a good example, with its lively 80s R&B vibe, while Better Man’s groove is snappy 80s too.

Born To Be Yours (Kygo, Imagine Dragons): Typically Kygo-style tropical house synth, combined with Imagine Dragons’ brand of lush pop.

Daariya Kaledukondide is such a well-rounded, melodious package! Leon de Souza opens it beautifully, with his poised singing, even as Inchara Rao joins him in the anupallavi to offer a new flavor to the song. Sumesh Parameswar’s guitars easily stand out in the serene song, and the pitch changes in the anupallavi are especially fantastic! The tranquil feel continues in Bhoomi Baana Kaadambari too, this time Sachin himself handling the singing duty. The lullaby’ish song even evokes Neelanbari raaga, known to induce sleep, in the lyrics. S Nathan’s clarinet, in the interludes, add to the gently sedate nature of the song! Dheemtha starts, surprisingly, with a hat-tip to Bhoomi Baana, as a prelude, before moving to Deepak Doddera’s lead vocals, with the really catchy ‘Manase manase’ phrase. When Sangeetha Ravindranath joins in what is an unusually tangential tune in the anupallavi, she picks up the phrase, and both the singers join to close it in a warm union! The soundtrack’s most energetic song is aptly called Good Morning! Sumesh’s guitar and Jeevan Thomas’s trumpet add to the bouncy song’s enthusiasm, sung brilliantly by Sachin. After impressive Malayalam outings (Aanandam, Orayiram Kinakkalal), Sachin’s Kannada debut sees him confidently scale new heights.

Keywords: Katheyondu Shuruvagide, Sachin Warrier, #200, 200

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

Oohalu Oorege Gaalanthaa is every bit of a Vivek Sagar song, and that’s something, given the young composer’s relatively limited repertoire. The gentle jazzy feel is something Vivek does so well. Plus, he has Haricharan’s spellbinding singing (along with Keerthana) to go with it. The other song featuring Haricharan is top notch as well – O Cheli Thaara, with a melody that is delightfully lush. Vivek adorns it with some interesting instrument choices in the interludes – in the first, he opts for what sounds like mandolin, along with violin, while in the second, he goes for a wond-instrument, after an extended violin phrase. Manasainadedo is almost Mickey J Meyer, with a dash of world music exotica in the prelude humming! Varun’s electric guitar and Vivek’s own work on the banjo adds considerable heft to the already wonderful melody. Vivek handles the singing too particularly well. The soundtrack’s only female point of view is Kanulalo Thadigaa. Chaitra Ambadipudi is stupendously good, and considering Vivek’s tune is at once memorable and affecting, the package works wonders. From Catharsis to Pelli Choopulu, Sheesh Mahal, Yuddham Sharanam, and now Sammohanam – it’s heartwarming to witness the steady, confident progress of a promising composer!

Keywords: Sammohanam, Vivek Sagar, #200, 200

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist. Week 27:
On Apple Music | On Saavn | On YouTube
16 songs, this week. Apple Music has 15, and is missing Yug Bhusal’s Ab Dil Zara Zara. Do check the list below to listen to the songs missing in the YouTube and Saavn playlists.

A note on the songs in the playlist.

Clandestino (Shakira and Maluma): The 3rd song from the duo, after Chantaje and Trap, from Shakira’s 2017 album El Dorado. Irresistibly catchy reggae + reggaeton mix.

Maya (IYKU, ft. Nikhita Gandhi): The new single by Kolkata-based electro-hiphop act, with frontman/lyricist EPR Iyer (alias Santhanam Srinivasan Iyer) and producer/guitarist Kuntal De, featuring Nikhita Gandhi. A heady mix of electronica, dubstep, with Nikhita bringing in Indian exotica.

Main Badhiya (Sanju, Hindi): Composing duo Rohan-Rohan’s (Rohan Pradhan and Rohan Gokhale) big Hindi entry, after a considerable body of work in Marathi (and a minor Hindi debut in Mumbai Delhi Mumbai). The song, though, symbolizes more of Rajkumar Hirani’s whimsical style, with superb work by Sonu and Sunidhi.

Ab Dil Zara Zara (Indipop, Hindi): Composer Yug Bhusal is back! His new song, ft. Devika Bandana has that strong, instantly likeable Ilayaraja flavor yet again, like Chitrafit – 3.0 Megapixel’s Yeh Dil Madmast Malanga.

Ishq Ka Silsila (Indipop, Hindi): Composed by Kshitij Tarey, the pleasant and serene melody makes full use of Shashaa Tirupati’s vocal prowess. Interestingly, the song opens with ‘Meherbaan meherbaan’, and the actual title (Ishq Ka Silsila) appears way down the song!

O Cheli Thaara (Sammohanam, Telugu): Vivek Sagar has a winner, already, after 3 songs! His tune, accentuated by Haricharan’s fantastic singing, envelops you beautifully, adorned with carefully chosen instruments for the interludes!

Nachuthunnade Vachi & Andhamaina Chandhamaama (Tej I Love You, Telugu): Gopi’s 2015 Telugu form playing peekaboo, again. Nachuthunnade Vachi is a testimony to that, with Haricharan in blistering form. Andhamaina Chandhamaama is a close 2nd, with its winsome lilt.

Avuna Nena (Ala, Telugu): Even though the song meanders into a typical-Bollywood segment, debutant composer Srinivasa Sarma (of Kougillalo, from last week’s playlist) definitely has a winsome tune. Karthik, as usual, owns the rendition.

Dhooram (Jamba Lakidi Pamba, Telugu): The 2nd Gopi Sundar Telugu song of the week. That 2015 form, again! Wonderfully enthusiastic and energetic tune with the typical Gopi flourishes. And Karthik wins yet again.

Azhake Azhake, Kannane Kannalane & Kadhanam (Nieraali, Malayalam): The soundtrack’s music review on Milliblog.

Hoye Jetey Paari (Fidaa, Bengali): This could have easily been a Hindi film song! Arijit is singing it too 🙂 Composer Arindom has a simple, rhythmic and engaging tune, with a foot-tapping EDM layered into it.

Keh Do Na (Indipop, Hindi): Indian Idol Season 1 fame Rahul Vaidya is still around. His own composition is very, very competent, albeit it a tad too formulaic within the Hindi pop ballad style. It’s his singing that holds the song together.

Made In India (Guru Randhawa, Punjabi): T-series’ Golden Eyed boy (for now) is on a winning streak! Simple, foot-tapping fluffy Punjabi pop that checks all the standard boxes.

Azhake is classic Stephen-style soaring and serene melody. Mohanlal, despite the occasional quiver in his voice, does mighty well, while Shreya is wonderful, as always. Kannane extends Mohanlal’s current trend of having a highly-rhythmic very-Malayalee folk song – it checks all boxes admirably. Stephen produces a flamboyant package in Neeralippidutham, a cool Bond-style number, handled brilliantly by Vijay Yesudas. Neerali Reloaded, with a similar Neeralippidutham hook, offers a completely different, upbeat sound. The short Kadhanam, closes the soundtrack on an ominous note, with some fantastic percussion and Baburaj Menon’s involved vocals. 5 years after KQ, good comeback by Stephan Devassy.

Keywords: Neerali, Nieraali, Stephen Devassy

Listen to the songs on Apple Music:

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist. Week 26:
On Apple Music | On Saavn | On YouTube
14 songs, this week. Who Are You from Who Movie and the Malayalam song from Orange Valley are YouTube exclusives (so not part of Apple Music and Saavn playlists). The YouTube playlist is missing Yaaradhu from Kalari and Nee Yaaro Nanage from Amma I Love You. The Saavn playlist is also missing Lenny Kravitz’s new single Low.

A note on the songs in the playlist.

Girls Like You (Maroon 5, ft. Cardi B): Back when Maroon’s album Red Pill Blues released, not many reviews even bothered to mention this song. It’s a middling song at best, with a nice strummy guitar. But this song gets a new version that adds Cardi B’s rap to the mix, and also a hugely watchable surprise in the music video – it’s packed to the hilt with successful women from assorted professions in the USA. Kinda like Drake’e Nice For What. It’s a nice guessing game to keep watching and wonder who’s next every time the camera pans. My fave was Gal Gadot. Yours?

Low (Lenny Kravitz): The new single from Lenny’s upcoming album Raise Vibration starts off on a sedate note, but progresses very nicely with guitar and the slap-bass. And if you thought Lenny is channeling his inner Michael Jackson, nope. That’s Jackson himself! It’s a duet!

Bandeya (Kshitij Tarey): Kshitij is still known for his song from Anwar, Javeda Zindagi. This song, composed and sung by him, even sounds like a Mithoon song, particularly the hauntingly repetitive antara! Gurpreet Saini’s lyrics nicely riff off Baba Farid’s iconic Vekh Fareeda Mitti khulli.

Sarasaku Ra (Rajugadu, Gopi Sundar): Beyond the corny rap, it’s Mohana Bhogaraju who literally carries the song on her seductive vocals. When Saketh Komanduri enters with his ‘Premotsavam’ line, you know you are hearing a Gopi Sundar song! Nicely done!

Kougillalo (Ala, Telugu): Srinivasa Sarma, of Andhra Super Star and Super Singer fame, makes a confident film composing debut with this single from the upcoming film, Ala. A very Vidyasagar’ish melody, atmospheric and soft, amply accentuated by Chinmayi’s serene vocals.

Yaaradhu (Kalari, Tamil): Another Vidyasagar’ish melody, this week! VV Prassanna, who had earlier impressed with Kedaya, follows up nicely with this song, with soaring flute phrases in the interludes, and roping in Hariharan and MM Monissha to sing the melody. Works flawlessly.

Aparaada Panka (Maradona, Malayalam): After Kaadhale, the 2nd single from the film. Sushin Shyam’s rhythmic hip-hop featuring Fejo’s compelling rap builds itself very nicely, leading to that anthemic hook.

Who Are You? (Who Movie): UAE-based EDM musician Mangal Suvarnan gets Dhanusha Gokul to sing this ambient EDM track with a mysterious sounding hook. The sound is very close to Mangal’s repertoire and layers in the flute mid-way too, extending his sound from Winds of Destiny.

Alayumi Paravakal (Orange Valley, Malayalam): Rhithwik S Chand who was last heard in composer Sreeraj Sahajan’s Kolumittayi makes his composing debut, and sings this one too! The soft and pensive song builds very gradually, with Rhithwik’s voice leading the melody beautifully.

Snehapoompadathe (Ningal Camara Nireekshanathilaanu, Malayalam): Composed by Arun Raj (not to be confused with Arun Raj from Tamil film Thadam), this is a positively old-worldly and calming Malayalam melody, sung by Vijay Yesudas and Akhila Anand, and I mean it in a good way.

Thillana Harmonised (Ramya Thiyagarajan): Ramya picks up Dr.Balamuralikrishna’s famous Brindavani-raaga thillana in and presents it in a wonderfully ambient harmony in 3 voices (sung by herself). The singing is pitch-perfect and the production of this recreation is brilliant.

Queen Banja (Preet Harpal, ft. Harry Anand, Punjabi): Harry Anand seems to be in a longer haul than his brother Anand Raaj Anand. The song, composed by Harry is typical of his many remixes in Bollywood – simple, catchy and very easy-on-the-ear.

Nee Yaaro Nanage (Amma I Love You, Kannada): Great to hear Gurukiran again, with this lovely melody wrapped in an energetic package! Would love to know the raaga used – to my untrained ear, seems like Madhyamavathi. Excellent singing by Mahalakshmi Iyer and Santhosh Venky.

I Like It (Cardi B, ft. J.Balvin, Bad Bunny): The 2nd Cardi B song this week! A very catchy and heady remake of Pete Rodriguez’s 1967 “I Like It Like That” (composed by Tony Pabon and Manny Rodriguez) that samples Tito Nieves’ “Yeah, I Like It” and the original’s “I Like It Like That” chorus.

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist. Week 25:
On Apple Music | On Saavn | On YouTube
23 songs this week. No playlist has all the songs 🙁 YouTube has almost all of them barring one – Rasthe Pakka Boddi Haida from the Kannada film, Kannadakkagi Ondannu Otti. Apple Music is missing 2 songs from Kannadakkagi Ondannu Otti, the single from Vaasu Naan Pakka Commercial (Pancharangi Audio needs to get its distribution act together!), the 2 songs from Race 3 (missing in Saavn too, since they are Gaana exclusives) and Navneeth Sundar’s Kanavile (missing in Saavn too).

A note on the songs in the playlist.

Nervous, Lost In Japan & Queen (Shawn Mendes): Shawn is just 19!! His new 3rd album is a solid step forward. In Nervous, he gets help from Julia Michaels, and like in Lost In Japan and Queen, these are excellent R&B funk that would make Justin Timberlake proud! If you add Youth, Shawn’s collaboration with Khalid, that I had written about, here’s a great new album to savor!

Peligrosa & Machika (Vibras, J.Balvin): Colombian reggaetón superstar J. Balvin’s new album is out and it extends reggaetón with a particularly fantastic dancehall vibe. The album has the incredibly catchy Mi Gente anyway, but it moves to the smooth Peligrosa, and the superb Machika, which has DJ Chuckie layering in Dutch Bubbling genre of dancehall. Move over, Gasolina… Balvin’s is in town!

Tafreeh (Bhavesh Joshi Superhero, Hindi): Amit Trivedi’s new soundtrack is a bit of a dampener (particularly the cringe-inducing Chavanprash song!), but Tafreeh proves that the composer we all love is intact, hitting an anthemic high in his own voice!

Kannanin Leelai (Vanjagar Ulagam, Tamil): Sam C.S. is pushing his boundaries and how! Mixing Dharmavathi raaga with frenetic EDM sounds odd on paper, but he pulls it off in superb style, amply aided by Swagatha S. Krishnan’s stellar vocals.

Veera Thamizhan (7UP Madras Gig, Tamil): Imman is back after a break, but in a non-film format this time! The Tamilian anthem has the necessary verve and powerful sound to excite and enthuse the already easily excitable Tamils!

Manasainadedo (Sammohanam, Telugu): Vivek Sagar upcoming soundtracks is turning out to be good, based on last week’s single and this one! This one’s decidedly more Mickey J Meyer but that’s hardly any reason to complain.

Rendu Kalla Ninda (Rajugadu, Telugu): I wasn’t impressed with the other songs in Rajugadu, but Gopi manages to impress at least with this one song… and this despite the incredibly familiar strings-based interludes!

Yunhi Rastay Mai (7 Din Mohabbat In, Pakistani): Composed by Shuja Haider, with lyrics by Piyush Mishra! This is a lovely, soft song that is simple and easily likeable. Sung by Ali Sethi and Aima Baig, so it’s no wonder!

Yella Halli Love Story, Title Song, Rasthe Pakka Boddi Haida & Nana Mele Nanageega (Kannadakkagi Ondannu Otti, Kannada): One heck of a soundtrack by Arjun Janya. Full review, here.

Helubaa Yenadena (Vaasu Naan Pakka Commercial, Kannada): After Rangeride, yet another winner from Ajaneesh for this film! This one has a heartfelt pathos melody with a catchy rhythmic base. The highlight is no doubt Ajaneesh’s singing that hits a new high.

Heeriye & Selfish (Race 3, Hindi): Salman’s next is a multi-composer soundtrack! Meet Bros do well dropping the beat predictably in Heeriye’s catchy tune, while Vishal Mishra does much better than Salman’s lyrics in handling Selfish’s pleasant melody, featuring Atif’s vocals.

Kanavile (Indipop, Tamil): Guppedantha Prema-fame Navneeth Sundar resurfaces again, along with Aalaap Raju! Very, very nice melody, aptly orchestrated! Reminded me a bit of Devan Ekambaram-composed Aaraadha Kobamillai from Bale Pandiya, at least in the anupallavi.

Rise (Jonas Blue, ft. Jack & Jack): “We’re gonna ri-ri-ri-ri-rise ’til we fall”…clever use of repetitive ‘rise’ and a beat drop make this song an easy listen. Uplifting, summery pop done well.

Glory (R.O.S.E., Jessie J): Jessi J’s 4th album is actually 4 EPs! R.O.S.E. stands for Realisations, Obsessions, Sex & Empowerment, each being one LP! Glory, from Empowerment is my favorite, giving her a solid opportunity to showcase her vocals, set to some catchy horns.

Call Me Sir (Train, ft. Travie McCoy & Cam): Veteran rockers join Gym Class Heroes rapper Travie McCoy, and country singer/songwriter Cam to produce this song with an addictive chorus and some neat guitar riffs.

Life on Earth (Snow Patrol): That soaring chorus is intact. So is the gradual build-up. The new album in 7 years from the British alt-rock band is more of their usual sound, closely mirroring Coldplay, as always. My favorite is the single, Life on Earth.

Episode 5 of Milliblog Monthlies, featuring the music of Mithoon.

I found the music (multi-composer) of Bas Ek Pal promising, in my review (August 2006). I had liked Mithoon’s 2 songs in the film, and had even built my review of Anwar (November 2006) on that foundation. I loved the 2 songs by Mithoon in Anwar and expected big things from him.

I was so enamored by his music that I wrote a rare non-review note on Milliblog in early April 2007 when the promos of The Train started airing, with just a snatch of Woh Ajnabee.

For The Train, this is what I wrote in my review (April 2007) : “Mithoon composes and sings his way through this soundtrack and emerges as one of the most promising musical stars from India, next only to A R Rahman. This kid is on the threshold of superstardom!”

I have been consistently tracking his music since then.

No composer is consistent, there are good films and bad films. This is the case even with Amit Trivedi who I started tracking ever since he composed 4 songs for Abhijeet Sawant’s second album, Junoon. But Mithoon not hitting it big time is particularly depressing. He has become a somewhat consistent multi-composer album staple. Plus, many of his newer songs sound similar and fill a template that is so uniquely identified with him. Here’s hoping we see Mithoon with his high from The Train days again! Here’s my top 20 from Mithoon’s repertoire. I played this at home for almost a week, soaking into the music and I loved every moment of it. There’s so much to reminisce and enjoy here!

Playlist on Apple Music | Saavn | YouTube

Note #1: The Apple Music playlist is missing Samrat & Co,’s ‘Shukr Tera’. Guess Rajshri music hasn’t shared their catalog with Apple yet. Saavn and YouTube have all 20 songs.

Note #2: There’s a surprise song No.21 that is not available in the 3 playlists… at the end of this post!

01. Woh Ajnabee – The Train (2007)
Even though Bas Ek Pal released earlier, this is the second song (after the 2 songs from Anwar, obviously that came before this soundtrack) I fully fell in love with Mithoon music. The music is dramatically different from Anwar. I found Bas Ek Pal promising, back in 2006 when the music released, but this song truly marked the arrival of Mithoon in my view. Incredibly catchy, with a lovely ‘Dhadkan dhadkan’ line, this song, and the soundtrack got a 200 on Milliblog, deservedly so. Mithoon’s own singing, and in particular, Shilpa Rao’s singing are easily the song’s highlights.

02. Javeda Zindagi – Anwar (2007)
I like this song a tad more than the much-more-popular Maula Mere. Shilpa Rao strikes again – in fact, I started associated Shilpa Rao more with Mithoon with this song. The song’s melody is wonderfully serene, with Kshitij hitting the ‘Mohobbat toh ek javeda zindagi hai’ high so beautifully. The way Mithoon adds Kshitij’s humming over the chorus in the first interlude and leaves it out in the 2nd interlude and letting Shilpa’s humming take over is a lovely imagination in the composition.

03. Bas Ek Pal – Bas Ek Pal (2006)
Mithoon has given KK some really great songs. This one sure ranks as one of the best in the combo. Dominique Cerejo’s ‘Bas Ek Pal’ hook is addictive as much as KK’s ‘Tere pyaar mein’ line.

04. Keh Bhi De – Traffic (2016)
This is one of the many overlooked songs of the year (not on Milliblog, though – No.13 in Hindi, in my annual music list) and deserved better recognition considering it came in a period when Mithoon was seriously stereotyped, stuck in a rut!

05. Kinna Sona – Bhaag Johnny (2015)
This could easily be mistaken for a Kailasa song. Sunil Kamath’s incredibly expressive voice is quite like Kailash Kher’s! When Mithoon starts the guitar and tabla combo after Sunil’s Kailasa-like prelude, the warmth in the sound is unbelievable! The serene melody builds steadily and so beautifully that the ‘Kinna sona’ refrain reminds in my mind long after the song is over. The little touches by Mithoon, like that sax note behind ‘Kinna sona’ make the song all that more memorable.

06. Ji Huzoori – Ki and Ka (2016)
I least expected Balki to go for a multi-composer soundtrack given his penchant for exclusive soundtracks featuring Ilayaraja’s music (and much to the delight of his fans, recreations of Raja’s golden oldies). But I suppose the T-series machinery had a defining say in Ki and Ka’s soundtrack, so T-series usuals like Meet Bros and Mithoon joined Raja! Ironically, my favorite song from the soundtrack, even more than Raja’s Foolishq, was Mithoon Ji Huzoori! The repeated use of ‘Mohobbat hai yeh ji huzoori nahin’ is brilliant, as is the small ‘Jee haan’ in the background! Mithoon’s own singing, along with Deepali Sathe’s, props the song very well.

07. Kuch Is Tarah – Doorie (2006)
Atif Aslam’s expansive voice nails the song’s melody so impressively. Mithoon’s tune is so calming and sedate! The song’s main motif (Kuch is tarah) is so powerful and memorable that I can’t even remember, however much I try, the antara!

08. Tere Bin – Bas Ek Pal (2006)
There’s a reason why I added this right after Kuch Is Tarah 🙂 Both are by Atif and it fits perfectly one after the other. This is one track that was literally everywhere during that period! The flow of the melody, ignoring conventional mukhda-antara patterns, is a lovely touch by Mithoon.

09. Teri Tamanna – The Train (2007)
The energetic rhythms that layer the tune builds slowly and steadily, even pausing for dramatic effect for a ‘Teri tamanna’ call-out by Zubeen Garg. Between Zubeen and KK, and a bit of background humming by Shilpa Rao, they hold the song’s engaging melody perfectly.

10. Maula Mere Maula – Anwar (2007)
This is an iconic song, by now. The ‘Maula mere’ refrain is absolutely hypnotic. To many, this is the definitive Mithoon song, marking his arrival with a stamp. The choice of Roop Kumar Rathod for this song is very well thought of. Like many of Mithoon’s songs, this one is incredibly calming too, almost like a deeply devotional prayer.

11. Ke Bin Tere – Aggar (2007)
The song fits into Mithoon’s mid-2000s form and can easily be part of The Train’s soundtrack too! I was really impressed with the song’s unusual structure! The ‘Bheed mein bhi hum…’ part is completely different from what comes next: ‘Aankhon ki talash jo hai…’! And then the call-out – ‘Ke bin tere jeena nahin’. Very vibrant imagination!

12. Tum Hi Ho – Aashiqui 2 (2013)
Unlike a majority of Indians, I’m not a big fan of the Aashiqui 2 soundtrack, and I said so as well. My favorite from the soundtrack is, however, Mithoon’s song. Beautifully expressive vocals by Arijit, soaking in love and this is as good a ballad as it can get!

13. Mausam – The Train (2007)
I confuse between this song and Aggar’s Ke Bin tere a lot. The tunes mix and match and go between each other in my head! The pensive mood this song sets, particularly in Mithoon’s voice, is so encompassing! The keyboard in the interlude is a personal favorite!

14. Shukr Tera – Samrat & Co. (2014)
Mithoon picking Chinmayi for this song works wonders! She brings a certain sense of innocence and serenity to the lead vocals of the song that is so warm and addictive. Arijit does join her mid-way but it is her voice that carries the gentle whiff of a melody so effectively.

15. Aaj Zid – Aksar 2 (2017)
This song deserved more last year. The build-up of music behind the ‘Aaj zid’ refrain is typical Mithoon style. And Arijit, as always, was a phenomenal run during this phase. The change in tunes for the 2 antaras is a neat idea by Mithoon – ‘Kahin khud ko mujhme tu’ flows naturally as an antara, but the way ‘Bepanah tujhpe fida hoon’ flows after a thumping interlude is worth noticing!

16. Beete Lamhein – The Train (2007)
The KK magic! The melancholy in the song is affecting, particularly when Kshitij goes his long ‘Beete lamhein’ refrain! Mithoon’s repeated use of the ‘Dard mein’ lines makes the song quite an earworm.

17. Aawari – Shab (2017)
Breezy song by Mithoon last year that perhaps got missed due to the film’s tanking. I keep imagining Arijit’s voice in the song, though Mithoon sings it (and very well, at that).

18. Madno Re – Lamhaa (2010)
Though Mithoon tries to recreate the Anwar magic (featuring Kshitij again, but with Chinmayi instead of Shilpa Rao), it doesn’t quite reach that high. Still, not to take anything away from the song, the melody is typical Mithoon – very calming and pleasant. Chinmayi is a particularly good choice, as we listen to the song.

19. Phir Mohabbat – Murder 2 (2011)
Sayeed Quadri’s lyrics stand out wonderfully in this almost-spoken song! “Dil… Sambhal ja zara… Phir mohabbat karne chala hai tu” by Mohammad Irfan gets an aptly expansive tune by Mithoon and he uses it consistently to great effect!

20. Kaise Bataaoon – 3G (2013)
The main refrain of ‘Kaise bataoon tujhe’ is used in so many ways all through the song that it remains etched after the song ends. In particular, the melody gets a lovely expression through a chorus as the mukhda ends… and that chorus, oddly and interestingly, ends on an ominous note! Sonal Chauhan’s voice and singing is quite a surprise in the song, though KK’s is not, the fantastic singer he is!

Bonus! Very few people know or remember that Mithoon composed music for a Malaysian film too. Called Diva, the music is not easily available though I had bought the soundtrack long ago when it released, to review it for Milliblog. Here’s the best song from the soundtrack

In Yella Halli Love Story, Vijay Prakash, the adept singer he already is, adds an affecting edge in his voice, while also playing around with falsettos and some fantastic free-form vocalizing in the interlude! Arjun’s music is an enjoyable mix of soul, searing electric guitars, a dollop of jazz and most interestingly, tabla! It all comes together so beautifully! The title song is typical Arjun Janya-Sharan material. Rhythmic, catchy, with brilliant singing by Vijay Prakash, yet again. The guitars here too speak volumes for Arjun’s imagination! Rasthe Pakka Boddi Haida changes the soundtrack’s tone effortlessly, with its breezy rock flavor. Sanjith Hegde is particularly very good with his humming in the interlude and the anupallavi to charanam bridge! For the other song featuring Sanjith, Neene Geechida Saalina, Arjun produces an even more impressive sound – the booming chorus is astounding as the song ends. Even though Nana Mele Nanageega has strong traces of Rahman’s Rhythm number Kaatre En Vaasal, the melody comes into its own with Sonu Nigam’s scintillating vocals and the serenely sound Arjun conjures. The song’s Shreya Ghoshal version, Ommomme Nannannu, is equally delightful. Like Raaga last year, Kannadakkagi Ondannu Otti is a stupendously good soundtrack by Arjun!

Keywords: Arjun Janya, Kannadakkagi Ondannu Otti, 200, #200

Listen to the songs on Saavn:

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist. Week 24:
On Apple Music | On Saavn | On YouTube
An incredibly packed musical week – 32 songs in the playlist! 4 of them are only on YouTube – Neela Neela Mizhikalo from Ente Mezhuthiri Athazhangal, Sanah Moidutty’s cover of Shyama Meghame and the 2 songs by Sparsh Quartet, while the YouTube playlist misses one song – Paravayai, from Thobama – the makers haven’t uploaded it on YouTube, but it is available on Saavn and Apple Music. Do check the list below and try listening to all the songs, across playlists 🙂

A note on the songs in the playlist.

The Way I Am, Attention, How Long & BOY (Voicenotes, Charlie Puth): Puth’s sophomore album took me back to the days of George Michael and Wham! The production is fantastic and the tunes are easy-on-the-ears, with some of them going the extra mile and sounding wonderfully catchy.

Sangria Wine (Pharrell Williams, Camila Cabello): Sangria, wine, salsa, reggae, Spanish, English, Pharrell and Camila. Perfect summer hit!

Oohalu Oorege Gaalanthaa (Sammohanam, Telugu): Vivek Sagar is back dipping into his favorite soft jazz style he used in songs like Chitramaaga (Sheesh Mahal) and Adedo Maayalley (Yuddham Sharanam). Lovely song, with superb vocals by Haricharan and Keerthana!

Chala Chala (Ammammagarillu, Telugu): M.M.Keeravani’s vastly under-rated and name-changing brother, Kalyana Ramana aka Kalyani Malik aka Kalyan Malik aka Kalyan Koduri is back too! He sings along with Geetha Madhuri, and the song’s lively lilt is addictive.

O Sari Try Chei & Bijili (Nela Ticket, Telugu): Shakthikanth Karthick, who was very promising in Fida seems to have gone in another direction to fit Ravi Teja’s image. The result is mixed, with at least these 2 songs making the cut with aptly corny funk.

Madhilo Unna Prema (Jamba Lakidi Pamba, Telugu): Gopi Sundar has 2 upcoming Telugu soundtracks. While Rajugadu’s 2 singles seem middling, this one, though sounding a LOT like Majnu’s Kallu Moosi, is far better. Raghu Ram’s vocals add a lot, incidentally.

Rangeride (Vaasu Naan Pakka Commercial, Kannada): The song by Ajaneesh has a distinct Thaman-sensibility. But, not to take anything away from Ajaneesh, very catchy song that has really good singing by Puneeth Rajkumar and C.R.Bobby.

Inayae (Thadam, Tamil): Composer Arun Raj’s tune is a breezy ballad that has wonderful vocals by Sid Sriram (though that makes it a bit too familiar). Adithya’s flute that almost acts as a parallel layer all through the song and Madhan Karky’s lyrics prop the song well.

Kalyaana Vayasu (Kolamaavu Kokila, Tamil): Anirudh’s tune and singing is his usual self—incredibly catchy. Sivakarthikeyan’s lyrics seem very influenced by Simbu, particularly that ‘Wait pannava’ twist in tune! Yogi Babu, channeling his inner Senthil, adds to the fun in the video 🙂

Engum Pugazh Thuvanga (Pariyerum Perumal, Tamil): Santhosh’s 1st song from the film (Karuppi) was incredible. This one, with its authentic folk sound and lyrics, brings forward a lively village fest! Anthony Daasan and Mariappan singing, and Dayanandham’s urumi stand out!

Mazhai Pozhindhidum (Oru Kuppai Kathai, Tamil): Had covered the 1st song (Vilagaadhe Enadhuyirae) from the film in Milliblog Weeklies’ February 18th playlist. This song is typical Joshua – sedate, likeable melody, with an enchanting mandolin-based interlude by Prakash and lovely singing by Madhu Iyer, though Joshua’s singing has annoying issues with his diction. But that ‘Yaeno ennulle yedho aanadhadaa’ is directly similar to Joshua’s own Paranthu Sella Vaa song ‘Manmeedhu’ line, ‘Pennai thozhi pol nee eNNu nanbane’.

Dil Beparwah (Phamous, Hindi): Composers Sundeep Gosswami & Surya Vishwakarma weave a delightful melody, while Jubin Nautiyal & Jonita Gandhi breathe life into it effortlessly. Interestingly, the 1st single from the film was by Krsna, and this one sounds like his repertoire too!

De De Jagah & Shubh Din (Parmanu, Hindi): Parmanu’s soundtrack is a mixed, background’ish bag, barring these 2 songs. De De Jagah perhaps needed an Arijit, though Yasser Desai is very competent. Shubh Din’s ebullient outburst of a line by Jyotica Tangri is a joy to listen to!

Title song (Bioscopewala, Hindi): Gulzar’s lyrics are, as always, amazing the way they tell a story. Sandesh Shandilya’s music props the lyrics really well, and K.Mohan’s singing accentuates it to a new high, coupled with Chintu Singh’s Rabab!

Thug Ranjha (Akasa, Punjabi): Composer Vayu has a breezy and incredibly catchy in the offing in Thug Ranjha. Singer Akasa’s vocals are confident, and that addictive shehnai hook stands out easily!

Tu Pari (Bucket List, Marathi): Composers Rohan Pradhan and Rohan Gokhale have a winner in Tu Pari. The song, reminiscent of early A R Rahman music, is an easily likeable duet featuring the voices of Rohan Pradhan and Shreya Ghoshal, set to some beautiful backgrounds.

Alle Alle & Madhuvilum Madhuramai (Premasoothram, Malayalam): Close on the heels of Kamuki, Gopi has excellent music in Premasoothram as well. Ramsi Ahamad’s Alle alle, with its serene and softly rhythmic nativity, and Madhuvilum, with a very-Gopi melody are easy winners.

Paravayai (Thobama, Malayalam): After The Trip Song, Rajesh Murugesan follows up with Paravayai in Thobama. The song has an enticingly slow and Raja’ish outlook and the choice of singers, Kalyani Nair and Pradeep Kumar, takes the song to a new plane.

Neela Neela Mizhikalo (Ente Mezhuthiri Athazhangal): Composer M.Jayachandran lets Vijay Yesudas’s involved singing do the magic for his beautiful melody. It works very, very well. But East Coast audios should seriously look at working with Apple Music and Saavn urgently.

Shyama Meghame (Sanah Moidutty, Malayalam): The original composed by Shyam for the 1989 Mohanlal starrer Adhipan is a classic. But Sanah’s cover (produced by Prasanna Suresh & Rahul Prabhakaran) builds on the original superbly, with a steadily tantalizing rhythmic lilt.

Paluke & Varamu Logic (Sparsh Quartet): Sparsh Quartet is Praveen Kumar (Percussion), Ananth Krrishnan (Violin), Ravi Shankar (Keyboard) and Sumesh Narayanan (Mridangam). The band’s approach to carnatic music with a twist is hugely refreshing! Paluke’s Anandhabhairavi raaga melody sounds fabulous in Ananth Krrishnan’s violin, while Ravi’s keyboard leads the incredibly stylish approach to Papanasam Sivan’s Thunai Purintharul, set to Varamu Raaga (also known as Shuddha Hindolam or Hindola Gamini). Good music; I look forward to an album from the band.

Wasted On Each Other, Wild Love, Just For Tonight, In My Head (James Bay): His debut album Chaos and the Calm was all acoustic ballads and bluesy folk. He reinvents himself confidently in his sophomore album and opens it with Wasted, with its blues-inspired guitar swagger and his own swinging falsetto. Wild Love’s sensuous Prince-like sound, Just For Tonight’s easy Springsteen’ish rock’n’roll and the soulful, gospel-style choruses of In My Head make for excellent listening! Electric Light is a great album, quite different from Bay’s debut, and a good step ahead.

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