Sunday April 3, 2011

Top recent listens – March 2011

Posted by Karthik

Beggin’ & Can’t take my eyes off you – Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, The Ultimate Collection
One of my favorite albums in recent times, with considerable repeat airplay in my car! Beggin’ has a fairly improved, remix’y version and is absolutely stunning! Hindi film fans would immediately recognize (and love) the other song; why not, after all, it was used as-is in Dillagi, by Jatin Lalit, for the song ‘Haan haan yeh pyaar hai’! Beautiful song with a beautiful hook!

Aisa to hota nahi hain – Barse Barse (Hindi – Suresh Wadkar, Vishal Bharadwaj & Gulzar)
I notice a definite Jaidev strain in this track; there’s even sitar or guitar being used like sitar that reminds me of specifically Gaman’s ‘Seene mein jalan’. Whichever way you look at it, this is a lovely song, the best track from Suresh Wadkar and Vishal Bharadwaj completely unnoticed album, despite massive popularity of the composer/director after Kaminey and Saat Khoon Maaf. Listen to the songs from Barse Barse, here!

Natpin kadhaigalai & Enakkaaga unakkaaga – Kadhal 2 Kalyanam (Tamil – Yuvan Shankar Raja)
I did like ‘Idhu kaadhalai irundhidumo’, that lively techno-track, but was appalled at how the song was literally butchered in the pallavi and anupallavi – it was shocking as I heard the song more and more since the tune seems to be going completely haywire. On the other hand, Natpin kadhaigalai is a fabulous gem – bloody cool track with even more interesting lyrics on friendship. Enakkaga works mainly because of Naresh Iyer’s lovely vocals.

Aale bale & Sri Ganga – Teenmaar (Telugu – Mani Sharma)
It is to Mani’s credit that he reuses elements of Love Aaj Kal’s ‘Chor bazari’ very well to create ‘Aale bale’! Even Sri Ganga is a great listen, balancing the filmy pious and massy in perfect combination. Hemachandra’s confident ‘Jagamelu shivashankara’ call works wonderfully well!

Midiva ninna & Tottilu – Rajadhani (Kannada – Arjun Janya)
The former is rather simple, but loads a lovely melody aced by Sonu Nigam; even the interludes remind me of Harris Jeyaraj, at some level! Tottilu is very soulful and packs in great verses.

Evan di unna pethan – Vaanam (Tamil – Yuvan Shankar Raja)
Yes, I completely abhor this song’s lyrics. But it is Yuvan who rocks the song, not Simbu’s words. The way Simbu overpowers this film is apparent – the original (Vedam) had a fabulous soundtrack with many songs spread between the case (which also had a major star like Allu Arjun). In Tamil? Most songs seem to pander exclusively to Simbu – this song, Cable raja (since Simbu plays a cable-guy)…only ‘Who am I’ seems to be created, as a last resort, for Bharat’s musician role. Simbu-like attention hoggers need to be shown their place, eventually.

Chinni chinni & Vadakku vadakku – Urumi (Malayalam – Deepak Dev)
I confessed earlier – I love Chinni chinni (the CD says Chimmi chimmi, for some reason) precisely because it reminds me so much of Rahman’s Uzhavan music…every bit of it. Vadakku vadakku is a fabulous track too, Prithvi’s vocals and the hyper-enthusiastic tune all working in unison.

Mazhayudhirkaalam – Etthan (Tamil – Taj Noor)
This is the most obviously pleasing song in the soundtrack and it seems to be constructed to hit all the predictable buttons; works well!

Dum maaro dum remix, Thayn thayn & Jiyein kyun – Dum Maaro Dum (Hindi – Pritam)
Jiyein kyun is my clear favorite in this soundtrack, thanks to Papon and the Coldplay’eseque structure. Yes, someone reminded me that this song is constructed like Coldplay’s ‘Fix You’ (from the album X&Y) – there’s truth in that allegation, but not enough to call it plagiairism since the tunes are different. The use of the guitar mid-way seems like a startlingly similar tactic. The Dum Maaro Dum remix works for me, though its lyrics have come under heavy drubbing. The surprise of the soundtrack of Abhishek’s Thayn thayn – very catchy and loaded with attitude! And no, it is not lifted off Timbaland’s ‘Give it to me’ – at least, I do not feel so.

Vizhigalile & Kadhal enbadhai – Kullanari Koottam (Tamil – Selvaganesh)
I’ve gotten over Kaadhal enbadhai after the initial few plays, but there’s no denying it is a wonderful song. Vizhigalile is the clear winner in this soundtrack, however. Karthik and Chinmayi rock this divine melody – that ‘unnodu irukkum ponnaana nimidam’ part is pure magic!

Nee akaleyaano & Prayam – City of God (Malayalam – Prashant Pillai)
Both these songs are eclectic, in my opinion. The kind of prelude Prayam offers is sheer magic, while Nee akaleyaano has such a serene and focused format that its bewitching! Great tunes, both!

Kuthikkira kuthikkira & Poovakkelu – Azhagarsaamiyin Kudhirai (Tamil – Ilayaraja)
Raja’s magic. It’s strange actually – initially, it was Gautam Menon who was producing this film and his association with Raja was something interesting. When the film’s music released, he was nowhere in sight, perhaps having sold the film lock, stock and barrel. Raja’s modulated vocals in Kuthikkira displays an amazing range of emotions, particularly that denial towards the end and that throaty addendum ‘aanaa paya usiru yengudhilla?’. Poovakkelu is Raja’s Malayalam repertoire in large parts…that ‘ennodu nee’ turn is thoroughly enjoyable.

Do pal – Na Samajhna (Kamran Ahmed)
The only song that I was able to retain and go back to, in Kamran’s new album, Na Samajhna. The album is loaded with songs that are part of a standard Hindi filmy Pakistani-pop template and end up competing with each other and fading into oblivion. Do Pal does stand out for some reason.

Mazhayil ninn & Pichiyum kudamullayum – Mazhanritham (Malayalam – Pradip Somasundaram)
I did not know Manoj K Jayan can sing! And he does a mighty good job in Mazhayil ninn! Pradip Somasundaram, despite not being as impressive in the overall soundtrack, does show promise.

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