Saturday December 19, 2009

Milliblog Annual Music Round-up 2009

Posted by Karthik

Here it is, finally! There are still some interesting soundtracks expected (particularly in Tamil – like A R Rahman’s Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya and Yuvan Shankar Raja’s Goa), but it’d be unfair to wait for them and decide on them in such limited time given that we have just 2 weeks more in 2009! 2009, in my opinion, has been a stellar year for Hindi and Telugu music, an average year for Kannada and Malayalam music and a sad year for Tamil music. Also, I considered posting the lists as 5 separate posts, but the point of Milliblog has always been uniting music across languages – so, a single, master post! So, without much ado, here goes!

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

Hindi

Hindi film music, in my opinion, had a fantastic year. It was so good that I found really difficult to come up with a final top 10 songs list! So, breaking usual tradition, besides the top 10, I also have a 11-20 list that did not make it to my top 10. Another reason for this extension is that people tend to ask me the ones that did not make to the top 10, in the comments section. Besides, the 11-20 list adds justification to my choice of the Composer(s) of the year, since that is not a mere result of being in one of the top 3 soundtracks or being a composer(s) of one of the top 3 songs. My choice of composer(s) of the year is more from the point of consistency, all through the year. After Aamir in 2008. Amit Trivedi continues to impress in 2009, even if he had just one soundtrack and a solo song in another soundtrack. Vishal Bharadwaj was, as usual, in incredible form in Kaminey, but the man who stole the year was A R Rahman, with a soundtrack that elicited Milliblog’s first ever 300 word gushing review! But, Shankar Ehsaan Loy deserve the title of Composer(s) of the year due to the sheer range of impressive songs they composed – 5 out of the top 20, to be specific.

Composer(s) of the year: Shankar Ehsaan Loy

Top 3 Hindi OSTs, 2009
1. Delhi 6 (A R Rahman)
2. Gulal (Piyush Mishra)
3. Dev.D (Amit Trivedi)

Top 10 Hindi songs of 2009
01. Masakali (Delhi 6, A R Rahman)
02. Kaminey (Kaminey, Vishal Bharadwaj)
03. Iktara (Wake Up Sid, Amit Trivedi)
04. Barson yaaron (London Dreams, Shankar Ehsaan Loy)
05. Kurbaan hua (Kurbaan, Salim Sulaiman)
06. Ek hulchul si (Dev.D, Amit Trivedi)
07. Rehna tu (Delhi 6, A R Rahman)
08. Yaara maula (Gulal, Piyush Mishra)
09. Tu hi haqeeqat (Tum Mile, Pritam)
10. Mudhi mudhi (Paa, Ilayaraja)

The 10 that did not make it!
11. Nayan tarse (Dev.D, Amit Trivedi)
12. Twist (Love Aaj Kal, Pritam)
13. Jao na (What’s your rashee?, Sohail Sen)
14. Aaj dil (Blue, A R Rahman)
15. Yeh zindagi bhi (Luck By Chance, Shankar Ehsaan Loy)
16. Aasma odh kar (13B, Shankar Ehsaan Loy)
17. Saanson ka rukna (Straight, Sagar Desai)
18. Dhoop ke sikke (Sikandar, Shankar Ehsaan Loy)
19. Life is crazy (Wake Up Sid, Shankar Ehsaan Loy)
20. Sabse peeche (Aao wish karein, Ankur Tewari)

Tamil

Tamil film music was very, very average in 2009. I found it difficult, unlike Hindi, to even come up with a credible top 10. But, even in the Tamil list, I’ve added a 11-20 given that there are some songs that are little known and could sure do with some minimal extra popularity that Milliblog can bestow on them. James Vasanthan made definite, confident strides in 2009, after a chart-buster track in 2008, while Yuvan’s track record continued to remain dotted – but he shows tremendous promise in the kind of sound he creates. The most promising climb is that of young Thaman, who, after a series of Telugu soundtracks, finally makes his mark with just 2.5 songs in Shankar’s Eeram. The most shocking omission in the list is however, Harris Jeyaraj, who after being the composer of the year in 2008, fails to get even a single track in not just the top 10, but even in the 11-20 list. Hope he does better in 2010.

Composer(s) of the year: Yuvan Shankar Raja

Top 3 Tamil OSTs, 2009
1. Sarvvam (Yuvan Shankar Raja)
2. Azhagarmalai (Ilayaraja)
3. Eeram (Thaman)

Top 10 Tamil songs of 2009
01. Needhaane (Sarvvam, Yuvan Shankar Raja)
02. Tharai irangiya (Eeram, Thaman)
03. Oh eesa (Aayirathil Oruvan, G V Prakash Kumar)
04. Oru vetkam (Pasanga, James Vasanthan)
05. Thuli thuli (Paiya, Yuvan Shankar Raja)
06. Vaanam pudhidhu (Ilamai idho idho, Vidyasagar)
07. Karuga mani (Azhagarmalai, Ilayaraja)
08. Kooda varuviya (Valmiki, Ilayaraja)
09. Ulagam ninaivil illai (Pokkisham, Sabesh Murali)
10. Oru kal (Siva Manasula Shakti, Yuvan Shankar Raja)

The 10 that did not make it!
11. Paadhi Kaadhal (Modhi Vilayaadu, Hariharan, Leslie Lewis)
12. Vaa chellam (Thoranai, Manisharma)
13. Yaaradhu yaro (Yaathumaagi, James Vasanthan)
14. Eppadi ennul (Kandha Kottai, Dheena)
15. Kodi kodi aasaigal (Kavalar Kudiyiruppu, James Vasanthan)
16. Ading ading (Odipolama, D. Imman)
17. Saarale saarale (Vedigundu Murugesan, Dheena)
18. Ka ka ka (Naanayam, James Vasanthan)
19. Mayilaattam oyilaattam (Malayan, Dheena)
20. Allah (Ninaithale Inikkum, Vijay Antony)

Telugu

As I had explained in my annual round-up in 2008, I do not listen to every single thing released in Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada. So, the lists below may not be exhaustive enough – still, they’re an opinion and I sincerely hope you dig up some gem from them which you may have missed otherwise. As far as Telugu film music, Mickey J Meyer ruled the roost in 2009 – he topped it all with a super soundtrack in Leader. But, long before Leader happened, Yuvan, making a state-shift, delivered a mind-blowing soundtrack in Oy, which deservedly takes top spot. Devi Sri Prasad, in his usual style delivered many soundtracks, but he truly evolves in the nuanced composition, Attu nuvve, from Current.

Composer(s) of the year: Mickey J Meyer

Top 3 Telugu OSTs, 2009
1. Oy (Yuvan Shankar Raja)
2. Leader (Mickey J Meyer)
3. Kavya’s Diary (Manu Ramesan)

Top 10 Telugu songs of 2009
01. Oy (Oy, Yuvan Shankar Raja)
02. Atu nuvve (Current, Devi Sri Prasad)
03. Maa Telugu talliki Remix (Leader, Mickey J Meyer)
04. Meghama (Prayanam, Mahesh Shankar)
05. Seheri (Oy, Yuvan Shankar Raja)
06. Danchave Remix (Ride, Hemachandra)
07. Egire (Konchem Ishtam Konchem Kashtam, Shankar Ehsaan Loy)
08. Kalavaramaye madilo (Kalavaramaye madilo, Sharreth Vasudevan)
09. Yenno yenno (Kavya’s Diary, Manu Ramesan)
10. Kadile padam (Banam, Manisharma)

Kannada

I’d easily say that it was Maestro Ilayaraja’s year in Kannada. He was extremely prolific in Kannada and delivered some genuinely good music. But, towards the end, Raghu Dixit swooped in and took the top honors with Just Maat Maathalli. You may find it odd that some of the more popular/ commercial hits from films like Love Guru or Raj The Showman are not in the list – well, when has Milliblog been about commercial success?

Composer(s) of the year: Ilayaraja

Top 3 Kannada OSTs, 2009
1. Just Maat Maathalli (Raghu Dixit)
2. Bhagyada Balegara (Ilayaraja)
3. Gokula (Mano Murthy)

Top 10 Kannada songs of 2009
01. Just Maat Maathalli (Just Maat Maathalli, Raghu Dixit)
02. Madhu magalu (Bhagyadha Balegaara, Ilayaraja)
03. Mauni naanu (Suryakaanti, Ilayaraja)
04. Haalada heartalli (Maleyali Jotheyali, Harikrishna)
05. Aaramaage iddenaanu (Gokula, Mano Murthy)
06. Hodadavne (Prem Kahani, Ilayaraja)
07. Nisapaa (Mukhaputa, Hamsalekha)
08. Alele savaari (Thaakath, Gurukiran)
09. Thanthane (Jhossh, Vardhan)
10. Koogi kuniyona (Venkata in Sankata, Ricky Kej)

Malayalam

I had promised in the 2008 round-up that I’ll include Malayalam, so here goes. But, it is a truncated lists and the best I could muster is a top 7! I really do not want to stretch the list (only 3 more, I know!), since that would amount to adding songs that did not actually make it to my personal playlist that often. I’ll try and do better next year! Ilayaraja, after Kannada, again features on top of the Malayalam heap, given how consistent he was in delivering good music – even if only 2 have featured in the lists below. Vidyasagar did a Raghu Dixit (in Kannada) and came in strongly with Nilathamara, towards the year end. But it was Deepak Dev who swooped in with splendidly massy music in the Prithviraj-starrer, Puthiya Mugham.

Composer(s) of the year: Ilayaraja

Top 3 Malayalam OSTs
1. Puthiya Mugham (Deepak Dev)
2. Nilathamara (Vidyasagar)
3. Bhagyadevatha (Ilayaraja)

Top Malayalam songs of 2009
01. Picha vecha (Puthiya Mugham, Deepak Dev)
02. Swapnangal kannezhuthiya (Bhagyadevatha, Ilayaraja)
03. Anuraaga (Nilathamara, Vidyasagar)
04. Venal kaattil (Ritu, Rahul Raj)
05. Kunnathe konnakyum (Pazhassi Raja, Ilayaraja)
06. Aaro nilaavayi (Ee Pattanathil Bootham, Shan Rehman)
07. Suryamugham (Puthiya Mugham, Deepak Dev)

Non-film

It was not that impressive an year for non-film music, but some of the pop artists did deliver decent stuff. Kailasa again gets top billing and after 2 really good albums, delivering a winner again is truly excellent. I opened up to Bangladeshi music big time this year and have made a note of them in the top 3 list for the subcontinent. On Western music, I really do not have the time to explore deeper, but have listed the 3 that I loved the most in 2009.

Indipop
01. Chaandan Mein (Kailasa)
02. Mahaleela (Sivamani)
03. Thaalam (Job Kurian, Charan & Yakzon)
04. Grounded in space (Advaita)
05. Fitoor (Mohit Chauhan)

The sub-continent
01. Huns Dhun (Saptak, Mekaal Hasan Band)
02. K-J Kar (3rd Person Singular Number, Prince Mahmud)
03. Amar Desh (Anan, Hashem, Zeeshan Zakaria, Sara Islam, Shithi)

International
01. Cradlesong (Rob Thomas)
02. 21st Century Breakdown (Green Day)
03. The Boy Who Knew Too Much (Mika)

So, there it is – my top of the tops in 2009. I had an incredible time with all these artists playing for me, in my iPod, my car, my mobile phone, my PC and my CD player. As I see, 2010 sounds really promising, with tons of interesting music lined up for release. I’m hoping it’d be another great year for Indian film music. Needless to add, any new soundtrack that releases in the rest of 2009, will be tagged along with the 2010 releases.

I may not be able to respond to every comment, but I’m committed to read every single comment posted in Milliblog. So, do let me know your feedback – it’d be fair to say that since every person’s taste is different, there would be tons of disagreements with my lists above. Do let me and Milliblog’s readers know of your top songs of 2009 – I may not change my opinion, but I’ll be richer with the awareness.

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