Thursday May 31, 2012

Top recent listens (May 2012)

Posted by Karthik

Pathirayo pakalai – Bachelor Party (Malayalam – Rahul Raj)
While I love the song per se, even the video is mesmerizing. Amal Neerad presents the lead pair (Nithya Menen and Asif Ali) brilliantly and choreography is top class.

Indha vaan veli – Aarohanam (Tamil – K)
Composer K’s second soundtrack after the stunning Yudham Sei. While the soundtrack is yet to release, this song makes a wonderful impact!

Topiwalleh, Koorane & Naane daari – Topiwalleh (Indipop – Swarathma)
Swarathma’s 2nd album is a significantly better piece of work, compared to the debut. The lyrics are surprisingly thought-through and actually demonstrate their interest in communicating something of real meaning. The tunes are very good too, with excellent use of violin, like their earlier effort. Koorane and Naane daari are my favorites.

Duaa, Khudaaya & Bharat mata ki jai – Shanghai (Hindi – Vishal Shekhar)
Vishal Shekhar are in top form in Shanghai, after the impressive Kahaani. Nandini Srikar is a wonderful choice for Duaa, while Khudaaya’s gradual build-up is absolutely fantastic! Bharat mata ki jai is a thoroughly enjoyable, sarcastic let-your-hair-down mix!

Hunter, O womaniya, Keh ke loonga, Ek bagal & Manmauji – Gangs of Wasseypur (Hindi – Sneha Khanwalkar & Piyush Mishra)
This is one of the most inventive soundtracks in recent times. Piyush Mishra’s two songs are, as expected, phenomenal, but Sneha’s songs are incredibly vibrant and ingenious. O womaniya is a superb example!

Allah jaane – Teri Meri Kahaani (Hindi – Sajid-Wajid)
I agree that this is a very, very templatized song, but something in Rahat’s voice makes it almost seem almost like a prayer.

Mala jau de & Good night – Ferrari Ki Sawaari (Hindi – Pritam)
For some reason Pritam sounds a lot like Shantanu Moitra and that could be directly attributed to Vidhu Vinod Chopra. Still, whatever Pritam delivers for this film is a wonderful mix. The nuances that he adds even in a largely standard Marathi item song like Mala jau de is commendable.

Kelaamale & Kaalangal – Thadayara Thaakka (Tamil – Thaman)
Thaman…doing his usual. Kelaamale is the standard auto-tune heaven with a tune that is designed to please, but it is in Kaalangal that the composer makes a wonderful difference, with a engaging tune.

Yele yepulla & Asathum azhagu – Raattinam (Tamil – Manu Ramesan)
Raattinam is no patch on some of Manu’s earlier work, but it is endearing, at some level. Particularly Yele yepulla.

Idhayam & Madura ponnu – Billa 2 (Tamil – Yuvan Shankar Raja)
Beyond the glitzy masala tracks that Yuvan assembles for Billa 2, it is only these two tracks that make a cut. Madura ponnu is Andrea’s show, even as Yuvan cranks up the rhythms wonderfully, while Swetha Pandit completely owns Idhayam.

Nee choopule – Endukante Premanta (Telugu – GV Prakash Kumar)
The only song that made the cut for me in Endukante Premanta. That ‘tadupari janmakaina jaali chuse…’ line a wonderfully imagined tune!

Charkha nolakha, Larsha pekhawar ta & Tum kaho – Coke Studio Pakistan, Season 5 – Episode 1 (Atif Aslam & Qayaas; Hamayoon Khan; SYMT)
Trust Coke Studio Pakistan to up the stakes, season after season. While Larsha pekhawar and Tum kaho are obviously and instantly likeable, that ‘Mera Eh Charkha No Lakha Kurray’ ending in Charkha nolakha takes on Nusrat’s legendary track to a new level!

Larho mujhey & Pere pavandi saan – Coke Studio Pakistan, Season 5 – Episode 2 (Bilal Khan; Tahir Mithu)
And Coke Studio Pakistan does it again, in the 2nd episode! Bilal Khan’s Larho mujhey is such a fabulous melody and flows oh-so-gorgeously! And Tahir Mithu! Man…this is one incredibly well sung track…there’s something very African about it, but I’m not able to pin it down!

Queen of California, Speak for me, If I ever get around to living & Walt Grace’s Submarine Test, January 1967 – Born and Raised (John Mayer)
John Mayer takes the route that most singers take, after the initial success – they go somewhere away from the busy city and come back with a pensive, acoustic and contemplative album. Born and Raised is exactly that – and it works! Speak for me is my favorite, particularly that free flowing humming he offers. He refers to Neil Young nad Joni Mitchell in Queen of California, an almost Grateful Dead number. This is a good, easy on the ears album…I’m guessing I’ll dig in more layers for a long time, as I listen to it more and more.

Kalla paarvai – Mirattal (Tamil – Pravin Mani)
Mirattal has three songs, from what I have seen and does not have a formal soundtrack. That’s so Malayalam, you Tamil film industry – please don’t take that route of adding 3 songs per film and not release the darn soundtrack. Despite the miserable singing, Kalla paarvai is a gorgeous track. Particularly that ‘En aasai thooral neeyadaa’ line is enchanting…so is the song picturisation…though I was left wondering who is driving that car once Vinay and Sharmila get up to dance in the front seat! (On a side note, can you imagine a Tamil film with the hero and heroine from Karnataka! Not bad, huh?)

Shape shifter, Never the same again, Canela & Ah sweet dancer – Shape Shifter (Santana)
Compared to his recent albums which had Santana sharing stage with vocal artists like Rob Thomas, Shape Shifter has just one lyrics-based song. The rest have him perform magic on guitar, as usual. Canela is my favorite!

Appangalembadum – Usthad Hotel (Malayalam – Gopi Sundar)
One heck of a pulsating number from Gopi. Anna Katherina’s vocals…super!

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