Saturday December 13, 2008

Milliblog Annual Music Round-up 2008

Posted by Karthik

Annual music round-ups are getting increasingly difficult. What should they be ideally based on? The number of times a song is played? By whom? Number of CDs sold? The Milliblog annual round-up is comparatively simpler – this is a list of songs, across the four languages (and Indipop) I track music in, that I seem to fondly recall at the end of the year, with gratitude that they filled my life with a lot of (musical) joy.

But I need to be honest here. I do not listen to every piece of music in Telugu and Kannada, but I do listen to almost everything that is released in Hindi and Tamil, besides Indipop. Malayalam music is something I need to get active in 2009, to make this blog and this list more comprehensive. Also, as you may have already noted, my musical interests are very, very composer-driven and composer-specific. Singers and lyricists are secondary, to me personally, so please don’t hold that against this list! I’m quite sure that there are many more tracks and soundtracks that you may have in mind and think that they deserved a place in this post – I sure would love to listen to your opinions…bring them on, in the comments.

As always, the lists here are in order of preference…no random lists in Milliblog!

Hindi
Hindi film music was heady, innovative and lively in 2008. While Rock On is my unrivaled favorite as the most preferred song of the year, as an overall soundtrack, I have to hand it out to Amit Trivedi’s striking debut film score for Aamir. The Rock On soundtrack is a close no. 2 and the under-appreciated Tashan is my choice for third spot. Its a pity the movie dragged this soundtrack down. But, beyond these scores, the composer(s) who made incredible progress this year were Vishal Shekhar. Even in an album like Dostana or De Taali, that doesn’t feature in the top 10 (De Taali narrowly missed the list and I had listed ‘Aaj main boond hoon’ at no. 11!), this duo was hyper innovative. The expert blend of appealing music with a lovely dose of imaginative sounds this year is what led me to crown them as the composer(s) of the year. Last year’s crown champ, Pritam, despite my constant volley of plagiarism accusation features at no. 2 and no. 9 – he deserves it. Jannat was actually at no. 4 at the list of top OSTs! Rahman, fresh from the musical high of Slumdog Millionaire OST, has 3 tracks in the list, though, in my opinion, his music was short of the extraordinary brilliance expected out of him each time, in 2008.

Composer(s) of the year: Vishal Shekhar

Top 3 Hindi OSTs
01. Aamir (Amit Trivedi)
02. Rock On (Shankar Ehsaan Loy)
03. Tashan (Vishal Shekhar)

Top 10 Hindi songs of 2008
01. Rock On (Rock On, Shankar Ehsaan Loy)
02. Zara si (Jannat, Pritam)
03. Khwaja mere khwaja (Jodha Akbar, A R Rahman)
04. Phas gaya (Aamir, Amit Trivedi)
05. Kabhi kabhi (Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, A R Rahman)
06. Mar jawan (Fashion, Salim Sulaiman)
07. Dil haara (Tashan, Vishal Shekhar)
08. Aahista aahista (Bachna Ae Haseeno, Vishal Shekhar)
09. Aai paapi (Kismat Konnection, Pritam)
10. Tu muskura (Yuvvraaj, A R Rahman)

Tamil
The most striking thing about Tamil film music in 2008 is the constant infusion of new talent. There are 3 debutants in the top 10 – James Vasandhan, SS Kumaran and Selvaganesh – and this is an incredible sign. To be fair, James Vasandhan’s sole ticket to fame was one song in Subramaniyapuram, while SS Kumaran’s Poo was a great soundtrack, overall. That is reason enough to give his Poo soundtrack no. 2 in the Top 3 OSTs list. No. 1 is of course Harris’ Vaaranam Aayiram – its a pity that he’s not going to work with Gautam Menon again. Their last outing together is a complete knock-out. The addition of GV Prakash Kumar’s Anandha Thaandavam at No. 3 may surprise many, but, this young composer’s music in the film is extremely addictive beyond the facade of being simply catchy! Yuvan, wit 2 tracks in the top 10 had a reasonably good year, but Vidyasagar deserves the composer of the year tag. Even non-top 10 tracks in films like Mahesh, Saranya Matrum Palar or Pirivom Sandhippom had overall enjoyable music that was seeped in heartwarming melody. My choice of the no. 1 song was conferred after a lot of thought – Kangal irandaal, with its gorgeous Reetigowlai was a strong contender, but the simplicity and lyrical beauty of Mazhai nindra from Raman Thediya Seethai is stunningly rare.

Composer of the year: Vidyasagar

Top 3 Tamil OSTs
01. Vaaranam Aayiram (Harris Jeyaraj)
02. Poo (SS Kumaran)
03. Aanandha Thaandavam (GV Prakash Kumar)

Top 10 Tamil songs of 2008
01. Mazhai nindra pinbu (Raman Thediya Seethai, Vidyasagar)
02. Kangal irandaal (Subramaniyapuram, James Vasandhan)
03. Kallil Aadum (Aanandha Thaandavam, GV Prakash Kumar)
04. Nenjukkul (Vaaranam Aayiram, Harris Jeyaraj)
05. Dosth bada dosth (Saroja, Yuvan Shankar Raja)
06. Aavaaram Poo (Poo, SS Kumaran)
07. Taxi taxi (Sakkarakatti, A R Rahman)
08. Pada pada (Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu, Selvaganesh)
09. Where is the party? (Silambaattam, Yuvan Shankar Raja)
10. Aavaaram poovukkum (Arai En 305il Kadavul, Vidyasagar)

Telugu and Kannada
As I had mentioned earlier, I do not listen to everything released in these languages. So, this is an indicative list of what I loved in 2008. Despite not being exhaustive, I hope it at least gives you the impetus to go beyond ‘But-I-don’t-understand-it’ reasoning and enjoy music for music’s sake.

Telugu

Composer of the year: Mickey J Meyer

Top 10 Telugu songs of 2008
01. Jalsa (Jalsa, Devi Sri Prasad)
02. Lalijo (Hare Ram, Mickey J Meyer)
03. Nijanga (Kotha Bangaru Lokam, Mickey J Meyer)
04. Baagunde (Chintakayala Ravi, Vishal Shekhar)
05. Guchi guchi (Bujjigadu, Sandeep Chowta)
06. Ammaho (Kantri, Manisharma)
07. Nenani Neevani (Kotha Bangaru Lokam, Mickey J Meyer)
08. Ullasangaale (Ullasamga Uthsahamga, GV Prakash Kumar)
09. Dost (Ankith, Pallavi & Friends, Vinu Thomas)
10. Kotikokatila ammayi (Yuvatha, Manisharma)

Kannada

Composer of the year: Raghu Dixit

Top 10 songs Kannada songs of 2008
01. Jinke Marina (Nanda Nanditha, Emil)
02. Eno ide (Psycho, Raghu Dixit)
03. Kodu kodu (Sangama, Devi Sri Prasad)
04. Aa bili bili (Athmiya, Manoj George)
05. Modala (Antu Intu Preethi Bantu, Gurukiran)
06. Haage Summane (Haage Summane, Mano Murthy)
07. Ninna poojege (Psycho, Raghu Dixit)
08. Shakalaka umma (Gulama, Gurukiran)
09. Baa maleye (Accident, Ricky Kej)
10. Patra bareyala (Aramane, Gurukiran)

Top 5 Indipop/ Non-film albums
01. Tabeer (Shafqat Amanat Ali)
02. Journey (Fuzon)
03. Raghu Dixit (Raghu Dixit)
04. Boondh – A drop of Jal (Jal)
05. Charkha (Rahat Fateh Ali Khan)

Top 5 Pakistani musical albums
01. Chahar Balish (Sajjad Ali)
02. Khuda Ke Liye OST (Assorted artists)
03. Qismat Apnay Haat Mein (Shehzad Roy)
04. Ramchand Pakistani OST (Debojyoti Mishra)
05. Chup (Zeb & Haniya)

Special mention
Slumdog Millionaire OST (A R Rahman & M.I.A)

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