Friday April 6, 2012

Top recent listens (March 2012)

Posted by Karthik

Hello, Dancing on the ceiling & All night long – Tuskegee (Lionel Richie)
Lionel Richie’s new album after a very long time is an interesting experiment – he country’fies R&B classics and has some big time singers for company, as guest vocalists. Lionel’s most popular song, Hello, features him along with Jennifer Nettles, in imaginatively re-imagined backgrounds, while Rascal Flatt lends weight to Dancing on the ceiling.

O lilli, Ruler, Vasthu baagunde & Title song – Dhammu (Telugu, MM Keeravani)
Dhammu is a real surprise package from Keeravani. As I had tweeted, some Tamil producer with plans to make a mass film with someone like Vijay should buy the rights to the entire soundtrack – it’s a ready-made package deal of superb tunes and hyper catchy rhythms!

Tera deedar hua, Rab ka shukrana & Tujhe sochta hoon – Jannat 2 (Hindi, Pritam)
Tera deedar hua has a enthusiastic outlook within the sufi template Pritam cleverly builds, while Rab ka shukrana is the perfect Pritam-styled dreamy melody that both Mohit and Anupam Amod completely own and make it their own! KK’s Tujhe sochta hoon is fairly templatized as far as the backgrounds are concerned, but it is still a wonderful listen.

Jealousy, Come on, I just want a lover, Runaway, Losing myself & Happy now – Echoes (Will Young)
Will Young’s Echoes is a recent Western album that I thoroughly enjoyed, specifically because his music reminds me of many other artists that I like! Jealousy reminds me of Gary Barlow, Come on, I just want a lover, Runaway and Losing myself remind me a lot of George Michael’s early day music. The man’s voice is very goo too…what more do you want?

Yaarodum idhuvarai – Sollaakadhai (Tamil – Ramesh Vinayagam)
This song by Ramesh Vinayagm reminded me of the standard Ilayaraja template for retro-styled songs; specifically ones like Nayagan’s Naan siritthaal deepavali and En Raasavin Manasile’s Paarijaadha poove. I believe both are based on Mohana Kalyani raaga, which leads me to assume this song is also based on the same raaga. In any case, this is a lovely song and a superb twist to the Raja-retro template; wonderfully sung by Ramesh himself and Chinmayi. Listen to this song, online, here.

Ganga, Cabaret Weimar, Tu hae khubsurat, Tu hi & Song for Picku – III (Indipop, Rabbi)
To be honest, I did not immediately buy into this album. I heard it first and did not think much about it. But something was stopping me in putting down my review – I have no idea what; but it egged me from not doing the review and returning to this album after some time. I did and now I’m addicted. Wonderful set of tunes from this talented sardar!

Konchemu ardhamaina & Laava laava – Eega (Telugu, MM Keeravani)
Despite the hyped trailer, Eega’s music doesn’t really match the standards set by the visuals. But yes, Vijay Prakash is fabulous in Konchemu ardhamaina that almost rides on his dreamy vocals. Laava laava is the other standout track, with wonderful vocals by Anuj Gurwara.

Tremor, Gamapanipa, Dust, Mandirva & Mo Funk – The Silent Sea (Indipop, Advaita)
I invariably end up listening to this album by Advaita on all my home-office and office-home drives – the songs seem to soothe me immensely! Fabulous album.

Sookhi nadi, Ayrilik, Parda parda & Saahil hai kinara – Call Me Rashid (Indipop – Rashid Ali)
I do have some issues with Rashid’s vocals in his debut album, but I really cannot fault his composing skills – and that alone makes this album worth the 200 I gave it. I won’t be surprised if Rashid gets called for composing music, more than singing.

Aandelonde nere, Nisha Surabhi, Oh Marimaayan & Vishukili – Ivan Megharoopan (Malayalam – Sharreth)
Sharreth continues to stun me with his range – after 180 and Thalsamayam Oru Penkutti (both films flopped, I believe – quite sadly for the music), here’s another soundtrack where he works wonders with his tunes. I could listen to Vishukili non-stop!

Roundhre roundhre, Tistaan, Bikli baati & Ure jaak – Durbine Chokh Rakhbo Na (Indipop, Anupam Roy)
The stupendous IndiPop month isn’t over yet – March was truly IndiPop month of 2012 (so far!) and this includes Anupam Roy’s solo debut album (in Bengali, of course). Even if you don’t understand a word of Bengali, listen to this album purely for the tunes – totally worth it!

Vaa ingey, Kankaatchi & Urenna perenna – Vaazhkai DJ (Indipop, Benny Dayal and Charles Bosco)
Benny Dayal too works smartly with a good set of tunes and he also seems have learnt well from his composers on creating a knock-out kuthu (in Urenna perenna!). I say, he should immediately make a video out of the kuthu song and put it up on YouTube with transliterated subtitles like ‘Don’t punch wrongly’ (for Thappaa kuthaadhey..) 🙂 Would really help promote this cool album!

Oru vazhiyai & O ponthoovalai – Ee Aduthakaalathu (Malayalam, Gopi Sundar)
I have adequately drooled over O ponthoovalai, so not any more. It’s a lovely song – period!

Papa toh band bajaye – Housefull 2 (Hindi – Sajid-Wajid)
The film is getting mauled by critics (as it should, perhaps), but I still love this lively madcap song 🙂 This, despite the obvious references to Yolanda Be Cool and DCUP’s We No Speak Americano.

Kaadhal oru butterfly, Adadaa oru & Venaam machan – Oru Kal Oru Kannadi (Tamil, Harris Jayaraj)
A good commercial soundtrack by Harris; this has got everything Harris has perfected over the years in the right doses. Karthik’s Adadaa oru is the perfect example of that perfection.

Heaven, Maybe, Daddy, Next to me & Where I sleep – Our Version of Events (Emeli Sandé)
The other recent Western album that I liked quite a bit. She makes excellent use of her soul moorings in songs like Where I sleep.

Enthinee mizhi rendum & Sun sun sundari – Ordinary (Malayalam, Vidyasagar)
Vidyasagar’s comeback after a l-o-n-g time! Good tunes, overall despite the ennui; Sun sun sundari is a good example.

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