Sunday July 4, 2010

Top recent listens (June 2010)

Posted by Karthik

Don’t look back and I can hear music – She & Him (Zooey Deschanel)
I can completely understand if those gorgeous eyes of Zooey Deschanel haunt you in your dreams, but have you heard her music? Her style is a complete throwback to the 60s and she has dedicatedly produced a sequel to her indie-hit album, She & Him. Lovely music, simple, heartfelt lyrics and a great listen!

Ai khuda and Loser’s theme – Mr.Singh Mrs.Mehta (Hindi – Ustad Shujaat Husain Khan & Shaarang Dev)
If you notice music reviews by Joginder Tuteja on BollywoodHungama, he always mentions a particular song in a soundtrack as bringing the ‘much needed thehrav’. This soundtrack brings that ‘thehrav’ to the music scene for Hindi films. It’s soft, mature and very serene. Ustad’s bariton’ish vocals do sound odd in Ai khuda, but you get used to it soon and the tune stays for a long time! Shaarang Dev’s themes are mighty good and the Abhogi raag based Loser’s theme is simply delightful.

Tarunam (the entire album!) – Sikkil Gurucharan and Anil Srinivasan
I became a fan of Anil Srinivasan’s piano back when I heard his work when he collaborated with Mandolin U Rajesh for his album, Into The Light – Mandolin Meets Contemporary Sounds. In Tarunam, much like his previous collaborations with Sikkil Gurucharan, Anil’s piano is a mighty prominent feature, almost ‘singing’ along with Gurucharan. The combination is mesmerizing and surprisingly blends beautifully with the classical Tamil verses sung by Gurucharan!

Paniye and Aathaadi aathaadi – Ayyanar (Tamil – Thaman S)
I have gushed enough about Paniye, which is rare for a single song, on Milliblog – so no more Paniye. Aathaadi is a lovely melody with a hardcore Yuvan-style that it is strange he didn’t compose it!

Khuda mere khuda – Krantiveer The Revolution (Hindi – Sachin Jigar)
This is that odd, small film that has, surprisingly, at least a couple of good numbers. Khuda mere khuda, featuring KK and Shreya Ghoshal is one such song, that has been completely swept under the carpet by the film’s poor prospects – worth a listen!

Nadi mein, Aazaadiyan, Geet mein and Kahaani – Udaan (Hindi – Amit Trivedi)
Even as I await Amit’s next (Aisha), this composer continues to surprise and impress, if you ignore that minor blot that was Admissions Open. Compared to other composers who I had hoped would be consistent (like Mithoon, in Hindi and Mickey J Meyer, in Telugu), Amit’s proven, at least so far, that he can be consistent. The trouble is not that I do not like the other two mentioned here – it is just that they, after what I have heard over the years, seems to have got themselves into a pattern of compositions. Amit too, many people allege, is stuck into rock, but the good news is that rock is a genre and he seems to be exploring quite well into it. It is the kind of accessible rock with a Bollywood’ish blend that Shankar Ehsaan Loy delivered so well in Rock On. With that as his signature style, I sure look forward to a really long innings from Amit – the fact that he is choosy about his films is perfect!

Laali paaduthunnadi – Jhummani Naadam (Telugu – MM Keeravani)
This is a lullaby straight out of the 90s! SPB is in superb form even now, while Geetha Madhuri’s anglicized singing adds a special charm to this simple, gorgeous tune.

Pee loon and I am in love – Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai (Hindi – Pritam)
Not an entirely convincing soundtrack, but Pritam delivers fantastically in these 2 tracks. Pee loon is something he may have got Rahat Fateh Ali Khan to sing for the lead portions, but he opts for Mohit Chauhan very smartly, and gives Rahat the backdrop and that makes a huge difference. I am in love is a typical Pritam ballad and despite a fabulous version by KK, Karthik too impresses big time in his own variant!

Galiye nodu baa – Sanchari (Kannada – AP Arjun)
In what seems like raag Darbari Kaanada to my untrained ears, Galiye nodu baa is the standout track in Sanchari. Composer Arjun was pretty good in Birugaali and promises more, in Sanchari.

Ullu da pattha – Tere Bin Laden (Hindi – Shankar Ehsaan Loy)
This is the only track that stays afloat in this messy, mish mash of a soundtrack. But it is solid, rocking fun with apt lyrics!

Chithira vaanam – Aanandhapurathu Veedu (Tamil – Ramesh Krishna)
This soundtrack is a landmark, among recent Tamil soundtracks. Who is Ramesh Krishna and who gave him the idea of composing and entire soundtrack in one single raag – Vasantha? Chithira Vaanam is absolutely beautiful – Karthik’s vocals, the lyrics that compare village life with the manic city life and Suchitra’s interjections…all add up to make a memorable song.

Nana chi taang – Khatta Meetha (Hindi – Pritam)
If Pritam had planned to have this Marathi pop song as the film’s highlight, he has achieved it! This is one heck of a cool, catchy track, very reminiscent of 80s pop. Can Kunal Ganjawala ever go wrong with such songs? Of course not!

Oh shala – Kaadhal Solla Vandhen (Tamil – Yuvan Shankar Raja)
One of the weaker Yuvan soundtracks in recent times, Kaadhal Solla Vandhen’s highlight is this Yuvan-sung song that is both terribly predictable and pleasant, at the same time – that is a dichotomy really!

Thelisinde ee kshanam – Em Pillo Em Pillado (Telugu – Mani Sharma)
Missing Mani Sharma’s delightful mod, techno ballads? He is an expert in this genre as much as Pritam is and this film’s Thelisinde ee kshanam, with Ranjith’s vocals is just that kind of song. Add to it, some Rahman-style orchestration in the interludes, you have a winner!

Oo lalali, Kanavugal ethuvarai and Missing something – Aridhu Aridhu (Tamil – Thaman S)
Even if the other Thaman soundtrack, Ayyanar, has my current fave, Paniye, at least going by the consistency of the soundtrack, Aridhu Aridhu deserved the 200 word review – a tag that I gave it after a LOT of contemplation since I do not want to water down the impact of a 200 word review! Missing something completely rules and literally forces me to sing along, every time.

Madno and Main kaun hoon – Lamhaa (Hindi – Mithoon)
The soundtrack that brings hope back…for Mithoon and about Mithoon. Face it – his pop album was really the pits, in his short illustrious career and before Lamhaa happened, it almost looked like the boy had quit composing altogether – there was such a dearth of information about him that a lone Chashm-e-baddoor remake was what many of his fans were holding on to! But Madno (despite that terribly-predictable Mithoon sound that he aced in Anwar) and specially, Palash Sen’s Main kaun hoon bring some much needed respite!

Lift me up, All I need, I hate boys – Bionic (Christina Aguilera)
Now, I’m not a huge fan of Christina Aguilera, but a few tracks in her latest album, Bionic, are interesting. It’s predominantly mainstream, big-production pop, but her range does come out beautifully in the more mellow songs like Lift me up and All I need, while I hate boys’ catchy rhythm makes for a good listen.

Meri duniya – Wajood Hai Mera (Wajood Band)
Wajood Band’s debut album, at least in my opinion, was saturated Paki rock/pop, but Meri duniya did stand out out for me. Give it a try!



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