Sunday November 6, 2011

Top recent listens (October 2011)

Posted by Karthik

Only if for a night, Breaking down, Lover to lover, Strangeness and charm – Florence + The Machine (Album: Ceremonials)
Florence Welch has a voice to die for…period. The new album continues on the band’s expected tradition – mostly wonderful tunes and booming orchestration, all backed by Florence’s towering vocals. Total joy! Here’s a liver version of ‘Only if for a night’.

Ammamammo – Solo (Telugu – Mani Sharma)
My inadequate knowledge tells me that this song is based predominantly on Reetigowlai raagam. The singer Malavika, in the 3rd line utters ‘Bilahari raagallo’, so I wonder if Mani has any specific reason for inclusion of the raaga name. Anyway, I feel there are portions that are strongly reetigowlai and it makes for a lovely listen!

Kalsala – Osthe (Tamil – Thaman S)
I was frankly skeptical about the Tamil equivalent of the now iconic Munni, but trust Thaman to outdo the original. There are many things that go into it – superb choice of singers (T.Rajendar and LR Easwari); a stunningly foot-tapping rhythm and a tune that peekaboos the most catchy part (Kalsala refrain) only in the beginning and then bring it back only in towards the end. Killer!

Hurts like heaven, Paradise, Charlie Brown, Princess of China – Coldplay (Album: Mylo Xyloto)
As a fan of Coldplay, I’d perhaps rate the new album a rung below their last one. But, that doesn’t take anything away from this one…the tunes are highly accessible and quite catchy too. Spectacular arrangements all round, thanks to Brian Eno. In fact, his influence looms incredibly over the entire album and I’m not complaining at all, at that!

Gappu aappu, Ikkuthae & Kadalirandu – Vithagan (Tamil – Joshua Sridhar)
In a way, I feel this is Joshua’s comeback – remember, I didn’t really like Veppam and I know a lot of people loved it! But, along with Parthiban’s skillful word play, Joshua dishes out some beautiful tunes in this soundtrack.

Nazar se nazar – Miley Naa Miley Hum (Hindi – Sajid-Wajid)
What do you get when Sajid-Wajid suck the soul out of Vishal Shekhar’s Anjaana Anjaani song, Tujhe Bula Diya and rephrase it? The result is this song – it is a pretty good song, however and I have grown to like it a lot!

Nila nila poguthae & Unna kolla poren – Aravaan (Tamil – Karthik)
Another song that I have come to like after a lot of forced listens is Unna kolla poren – it does seem like using a ghatam-based folk template but there are some interesting things going for it…most prominently, the 3 repeat tune of ‘Neeyum naanum paartha porum’ that takes the song to a new high!. Nila nila is a wonderful listen too.

Peace – Rahul Sharma (Album: The Rebel)
I’ve generally given up on the sound of santoor; it is a lovely instrument, no doubt, but I find it a tad too monotonous. But Rahul Sharma’s musical inventiveness does shine in some of the tracks in his latest album despite the innate simple, naive tunes. ‘Peace’ is one such track!

Chemabaka vallikalil – Arabeem Ottakom P. Madhavan Nayarum (Also known as Oru Marubhoomikatha) – (Malayalam – M G Sreekumar)
Simple reason why I love it – Abheri base that is too obvious since Sreekumar adds a funky modern version of Nagumo right in between as if to make it obvious which raaga he’s using! Catchy, lovely listen!

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