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 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)

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.


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)


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)



  • vinayderock

    Nice Roundup Karthik, agree with most of your ratings !

    Pretty sad you didnt like hindi Ghajini songs, I guess its music will take steam when movie is released and at least one song will be in the year’s top 10 hindi songs

  • Dhruv

    Great list!
    I would have loved to see
    Tum ho toh from Rock On
    Kahin toh from JTYJN
    Everything from Jodhaa Akbar
    Aankhon se and Mann Tu Talbat from Superstar
    Judai from Jannat

    Was it a deliberate decision to include just one song per film in the top 10 (and make an insinuation about the others) or do you really prefer Tu muskura to, say, Jashn e bahaara? 🙂

    In telugu, nothing from Avakai Biryani makes the cut? Otherwise, completely agree with the list- Jalsa, Ullasanga Utsahanga, Bujjigadu, Ankith Pallavi and Friends, Kotha Bangaru Lokam (and AB) were the albums of the year.

  • Arun

    Exhaustive list here, Karthik! Thanks!

  • Arun

    Apart from some songs here and there, the exclusion of ‘Classically Mild’ is the biggest surprise.

  • viraajan

    Nice roundup. Good list. I completely agree with your list except for few change. You could have replace either of Yuvan’s track or Vidyasagar’s track with one song from Anjathey. Kathala Kannala or Kannadasan Karakudi could have been included. Both are equaly good and definitely deserves a place in the list. 🙂

    Composer of the year Vidyasagar? Well, I may not agree 🙂

    Nobody gave consistent hit this year. IMO, with VA album being the best of the year, HJ is the Composer of the year 🙂

    Vidhya Rajan

  • Sriram

    Would put in JA among the top 3 OST of the year.

    Dunno what’s so great about ‘Zara si’ to be in the top 10. ‘Ha raham’ from Aamir would definately be there, so would ‘mumma’ from Dasvidanya and ‘Tere naina’ from CC2C! even ‘tum ho toh’ from Rock on – ‘Aahista Aahista’ wouldn’t make the cut, it reminds me of khuda hafiz from Yuva, esp when Lucky ali goes Ooo… prolly replace it with ‘Jaane kyun’ by VS. Have also had ‘Meherbaan’ from ADA – the forgotten album.

    Would have ‘Tero ore’ or ‘Jee karda’ from Sing is Kinng rather than ‘Aye pappi’ from Kismat Konnection.

    SEL (even though TPTM sucked) or AR Rahman as the composer of the year – Ghajini and Yuvvraaj weren’t upto his ‘extraordinary’ standards, but nevertheless had some very good tracks. JA was outstanding and Jaane tu… was good too.

    In Tamil – ‘may be’ HJ as the composer of the year.


    Obviously everyone’s got a different list, and it’s great to know what others think!


  • Karthik

    vinayderock: Ghajini….hmmm….not caught on it yet!
    Dhruv: It was tough to choose one from Rock On, like them all. But the title song is the one that makes me sing along every time I listen to it…almost instinctively. Mann tu was in the list – had to sacrifice it to make a top 10. So was Avakai Biryani.
    Arun: Classically Mild was most definitely present in my list – at no. 6 🙂
    viraajan: Anjathey was a no go – the movie and the soundtrack, personally. While HJ’s VA was super, Vidyasagar was amazingly consistent in delivering very listenable melodies all through the year.

  • arunm

    Zara si in 2nd place..? 🙂 …such a typical song… u killed my mood..

  • ravihno

    My top 3 hindi would be JA,rock on,Aamir.

    top 10 songs: no khuda jaane?? instead of phas gaya i would have had ek lau on the list. rest my list would also be more or less same.
    composer of year would be Rahman.

    In telugu, my best song is Karthik’s adigadigo from Aavakai..That’s the best i have heard this year.

    In tamil, i would have had where is the party right at the top.Ya best album is VA for sure

  • msrikantt

    My humble opinions-
    Would definitely prefer Dhadak Dhadak or Sudu Sude in place of Guchi Guchi(Very off putting song)….
    Sariga Padani from Hare Ram(How did you miss it…You even drew parallels with Rahman music?????
    Songs from Parugu represent Mani Sharma better than songs from Yuvatha….
    Judai from Jannat doesn’t find a place(I know its not Pritams composition..was that why it didn’t find a place????)
    Now the big miss-Pehli Nazar Mein(Come on how did you miss it)
    Haule Haule RNBDJ(Deserving song) For that matterDance Pe Chance was quirky..equally deserving..
    Khuda Jaane and Teri Ore are big misses from the list..

  • pman

    Karthik, Vishal Dadlani has conveyed his thanks for declaring V-S as the composers of the year.

  • Karthik

    Huh…where? 🙂

  • pman

    He has a forum on Orkut where I mentioned about your column.

  • arunm

    Hi Karthik,
    Before moving to next year, i am suggesting you to hear this malayalam album.No doubt best of 2008.Highly critically acclaimed.Perfect malayalam pitch.I would like to hear more these kind of songs in malaylam.
    Let me know if u likes it or not.Take ur own time. :).
    Movie is ‘Laptop’
    Composer : Sreevalsan J Menon.
    Jalashayayil – Kalyanimenon,Maymaasa tops.
    Truly soulful.

  • SureshS

    I thought ‘Kallai Irunden’ from ‘Uliyin Osai’ will replace any track from the Tamil Top 10. I believe the same about either ‘Mallepoovula’ or ‘Chandama Raave’ replacing any Telugu Top 10 track. Unfortunately Illayaraja is too old fashioned to be included in these lists I guess 🙁


  • ravihno

    I agree with you that pritam was last year’s best composer but this year i thought definitely in any list/compilations, JA would be in top 3. I agree with Amir and rock on but Tashan? VS were good this year and they had 1/2 good songs in every album. That’s it. best composer..I can’t agree with that. I remember you saying JA deserved 5/5

    Wonder what Rahman should do to be the composer of year!!

  • Karthik, as Arun said, Laptop has splendid music by Carnatic singer Sreevalsan Menon. Here is an amazing review of Laptop’s music from varnachitram
    I mentioned about it in my blog too, its celestial music, especially Etho Jalashankkil & Maymassame!

  • Karthik

    After all that recco, I’ll definitely listen to Laptop’s music!

  • sridhar270

    In Tamil, Satish Ramalingam’s Kaalai Pani was easily the best of the year. Give it a listen!

  • pman

    ‘Phas gaya’ is a gem of a song. Looking forward to Dev D. I am also looking forward to SEL’s. ‘Luck by Chance’. Have heard good buzz around the soundtrack.

  • Kkp1

    karthik : Whats your Top 5 Rahman’s Hindi Soundtracks ?

  • cskk03

    surprised to c vidyasagar’s name as composer of the year…

    just now i came to know that sagar and mani sharma duo has composed another album together in telugu..

    i dint find that in ur archive.. all r freshly composed songs. u can give it a try..

    movie’s name is “sasirekha parinayam”…

    though the “yedho yedho” song in the album gives a dejavu feel, its my pick of the album…

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  • gokulpai

    hmmm.. Gud list.. But what about the songs from Race n “Kahin Naa lage mann..” from Kismat Konnection!??

  • shriramece

    Either Nenjathiley/ Iru vizhio (Pirivom santhippom) deserves a mention in top 10.

  • sarasa

    How come you missed out Mundhinam parthane by naresh iyer and prashanti in Top 10 songs of the tamil films.

  • I wonder why you missed Uliyin Oosai songs? also no place for Siru Thoduthalilae and Enthan Vaanamum?

  • Dasher
  • Hi Karthik,

    This morning brought me a happy news. Your name is on Chennai Times (A supplement of Times of India, Chennai Issue) Dated 25th Dec.

    “Says Karthik S of a popular website, “My choice for the No 1 slot is Mazhai Nindra… from Raman Thediya Seethai for its simplicity and lyrical beauty, though Kangal Irandaal from Subramaniapuram was a strong contender.” ”

    Great Dude!!! 🙂 🙂

  • gandhiji

    Thank you very much. You rock!

  • sun2fs

    My list..

    Top 10 Hindi OST

    1. Jaane Tu Ya Jaane na
    2. Jannat
    3. Oye Lucky Lucky Oye
    4. Woodstock Villa
    5. U Me aur Hum
    6. Yuvvraaj
    7. Race
    8. Kismet Konnection
    9. Black & White
    10. Aamir

    Top 10 Hindi Songs
    1. Jaane Tu Mera Kya Hai – (Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na)
    2. Ek Lau (Aamir)
    3. U Me aur Hum (Shreya Ghosal)
    4. Mar Jaava (Fashion)
    5. Pappu Cant Dance (Jaane Tu..)
    6. Aaja Main Hawaon (Yuvraj)
    7. Manmohini (Yuvraj)
    8. Phir Dekhiye (Rock on)
    9. Jo Gumshuda (Mission Istambul)
    10. Hai Pappi (Kismet konnection)
    11. Zara Sa (Jannat)

  • iyerdeepak

    My 2 cents on the topic :

    Glad to see that Amit Trivedi is getting due recognition ! Even I thought Aamir was the best album. I have given the reasons in the post.

  • crazyvinoo

    awesome post man…s..definitely aamir songs are worth listening…nice work mate..his latest “devD” is also rocking..but in tamil taxi taxi deserves 7th place…mate it has made a record that it has been played the most no of times in fm’s in a period of time..harris jeyaraj ok…but his tunes are christian songs..james vasanthan should have got the credit for subramaniapuram…his mundhinam paarthanae resembles the faith song..(youtube videos)..paartha mudhal naale(yesu azhaikinrar)…many copied tunes…not even inspired..totally copies..adiyae kolludey s the direct copy of “ennai konjam matri and endrendrum punngai”(fast paced”)..anjala song is the masla mix of “jail song in boys movie”…although some people might not know that harris jeyaraj copies tunes from english and rahman’s old adv jingles…due to his cathchy melody no’s..we must accept the fact..when i knw for the first time,my frnd showed, tat harris jeyaraj copied blue-allrise song as exactly for june ponal..i was shocked,such a rahman’s keyboard player and good composer(wat i thought) to do like tis…people may hum to the melodies of HJ,but we should wake not against harris,but after knowing that many songs were christian carols aand english melody copies(blogs are there)…am dissappointed…without strong contenders like yuvan ..its a pity that harris is no:1..telugu..i listened to jalsa n parugu comments..and on hindi “ada’ ,pehli nazar mein from race…and i think 2nd position shud goto kabi kabhi fron college song tat friends told tat its rockin tamilnadu college people also..kannada idea..u missed slumdog millionaire..haule haule-rnbdj,kaise mujhe-ghajini…imo..JA or jtjyn should be on the top ost lists..even pritam has told in an article..”as a music director..i only know that “jaane tu” is very mind refreshing tracks of this year…credit should goto rahmanji”…in telugu i dont think so…a tough competition b/n devisri prasad n manisharma…taz good..overall very good rating karthick..i appreciate..but newcomer james vasanthan should have been given the 1st place” in go out to stores and must buyzzzz are amit’s devd..18 tracks..a long list…but something new…rahman’s “delhi-6” after rang de baSANTHI..wat an ost man..i think rahman is back wid a bang…must hear..tamil idea…yuvan is facing a critical time..i think such big hits in 2008 for him.lez c…padikathavan…hmmm…vijay antony”biggest copycat-“unakena naan-rihanna’s unfaithfull..guys plz check youtube for harris jeyaraj and vijay antony’s copy songs..then u ppl should give the credit to these copycats..yuvan,u copied the title track of “i think u can dance” for “Aegan aegan song”…people have changed..they listen to all music now..better our music directors should be aware of that…am a music lover…my teacher sankaran always say”music is an only should be created recreation….one who creates shoul be credited…and hailed…for 2008…the stunning music awards goto(my opinion)-fresh music–tamil-james vasanthan,sskumaran..hindi–a.r.rahman and talented amit trivedi…tnx karthick for allowing to post my comments

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