Friday September 2, 2011

Top recent listens (August 2011)

Posted by Karthik

Hey Arriba – Raydel
I can assure you here, before you hit play below…if this song was by Enrique Iglesias or Ricky Martin, this would have been a massive, massive worldwide success. While it sounds just like one of their tracks, it is unfortunately by a one-hit wonder named Raydel. I happened to catch this on the French music channel MCM while I was in Delhi, back in the end of 1998-99. It was a Spanish music program which I think was called Ritmo Latino. And having heard it just once, I got completely hooked. It’s a pity this song wasn’t promoted properly globally – I could see this as perfect material for a world cup soccer theme song or something like that!

Yaadein and Satrangi saathiya – Phhir (Hindi – Sharib Toshi)
Sharib Toshi do a coup on what is largely a Raghav Sachar soundtrack. The 2 tracks by are what makes the soundtrack, for me – Satrangi saathiya, in particular, has a very addictive ring to it!

Jagadananda karaka, Sri Rama lera, Devulle mechina, Sita seemantham, Ramayanamu, Rama rama ane and Kalaya nijama – Sri Rama Rajyam (Telugu – Ilayaraja)
This is a stupendous effort by Ilayaraja. Interestingly, as I had noted in the TFM forum earlier, the strange thing about this soundtrack is that it doesn’t sound ‘devotional’ in a conventional way. This is not the sound that someone like Keeravani would create (an assumption, going by his earlier devotional soundtracks). The most charming thing about this one is that if you remove the devotional lyrics and add conventional lyrics about love and heroism, the tunes will still work! It’s almost like a normal, incredibly tuneful Ilayaraja album and that’s the best part!

Musik bandh na karo, Hey na na na and Piya kesariyo – Hum Tum Shabana (Hindi – Sachin-Jigar)
Sachin-Jigar are fast becoming mainstream, after a fairly limited-run start. That’s a good thing, since they generally seem to get the sound right. Musik bandh na karo can be forgiven for misspelling ‘music’ since it’s an immensely catchy song. Hey na na na finally gives something worthwhile to Raghav Sachar (thankfully he doesn’t compose it) Mathur (thanks to Anand Singh Thakur for correcting me in the comments) and the best, Piya kesariyo is the soundtrack’s best! Good listen, these.

Rathathin rathame and Molachu moonu – Velayudham (Tamil – Vijay Antony)
Rathathin rathame has a surprisingly involving tune for what seems like a blatant self-promotion song, complete with ‘Neenga nalla irukkanum’ chant mid-way, most probably intended at Vijay. Composer Vijay Antony gets the tune right, but – it is lovely! Molachu moonu is the other track worth a listen from this soundtrack. For some reason, it uses phrases that sound very, very similar to Rahman’s Anjali anjali from Duet, however!

Main chali, Khwabon khwabon and Chahoon bhi – Force (Hindi – Harris Jayaraj)
Harris Jayaraj’s 2nd coming in Hindi is more interesting for its omissions. Just one song from the original Tamil film has been reused (Uyirin uyire becomes Khwabon khwabon) and the one song I desperately wanted to be included in Hindi – Ye chilipi, the heroine-intro song in the Telugu remake of the film (Gharshana) – isn’t featured in Hindi. But, except for one track from Harris and a pointless guest composition from Lalit Pandit, the other 3 (listed here) make this a pretty worthwhile soundtrack! Just that it hardly justifies Harris’ re-entry into Hindi after all these years.

Olleya reethiyalli and Kanna koodiruvaga – Maduve Mane (Kannada – Manikanth Kadri)
Manikanth is fast turning to be the most dependable composer in Kannada…that is, next only to Arjun Janya. Maduve Mane is another example of his tunes working most often. Olleya reethiyalli, with it’s folk touch and catchy outlook is a great listen!

Ek manzil and Banao – Soundtrack (Hindi – Midival Punditz, Karsh Kale, Vishal Vaid and Papon)
To be honest, I’m not a fan of Midival Punditz and Karsh Kale kind of music, but Soundtrack soundtrack (!) is something that I believe makes their brand of music widely accessible. Ek manzil’s repetitive style makes it quite addictive, while Papon is completely in control of the trippy Banao.

Guruvaram, Poovai poovai and Adara adara – Dookudu (Telugu – Thaman S)
A superbly massy soundtrack, Dookudu is a showcase of how far Thaman has come, in Telugu films. Poovai poovai, in particular, is a kick-ass track with superb R D Burman influence! Adara adara is my personal fave, for the sheer variety it offers in the tune!

Dil gaaye ja, Rehne de, Tauba tauba and Duniya ke samundar – Raasta-Man (Indipop – Lucky Ali)
I was wondering if Lucky Ali was cornering himself creatively with numerous failed attempts to release his music after a solid start a decade or two back. But Raasta-Man is a wonderful comeback sort of album – the kind of music the man is known for and offers us more of that!

Mallo malli – Mausam (Hindi – Pritam)
The only song I liked from Mausam. Going by the massively positive reviews elsewhere, I guess I was supposed to like more of this soundtrack, but I don’t. Mallo malli is a punchy Pritam track, however – thoroughly enjoyable!

Kaatu vazhi and Unna pol (and Enna pol) – Thandavakkone (Tamil – Ilayaraja)
The other Raja soundtrack that impressed me in recent times. There’s a world-weary feel to the entire soundtrack and it comes across more in Unna pol and it’s variant, Enna pol. Kattu vazhi seems more like a state of mind than a song and who better than the really-sorted-in-the-head Raja to create something like this.

Mankatha title song and Nee naan – Mankatha (Tamil – Yuvan Shankar Raja)
Mankatha is a nice, commercial album that works more for these 2 tracks than others, for me. The title song is superbly catchy, while it is the Raja touch in Nee naan that endears.

Chotta chotta – Engeyum Eppodhum (Tamil – Sathya)
Sathya, who created fairly interesting music in his Tamil debut, Sevarkkodi, recreates the feat at least to some extent in his second outing. Chotta chotta’s simple, hummable tune is the one that worked immediately for me. A special mention for Chinmayi’s singing, who, somehow manages to sound dramatically different every time she sings!

Thindaduren and Uyya uyya – Muthal Idam (Tamil – D.Imman)
Gone are the days when a film by AVM used to be eagerly awaited! I happened to see this film running in a nondescript theater in Coimbatore when I was there last month. And no one seems to know that this film released. Which perhaps explains why the songs sank without a trace too – they were actually good!

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