Sunday February 3, 2013
Top recent listens (January 2013)
Manjha, Shubhaarambh & Meethi boliyaan – Kai Po Che (Hindi – Amit Trivedi)
Kai Po Che is only the 2nd time (or is it the 3rd) that I’m adding a soundtrack in the Top Recent Listens list of a previous month even though its Milliblog review was in the subsequent month (though, in the first 3 days of the subsequent month). This is that kind of a soundtrack that loses a 200 worder because of the limited number of songs. The music is consistently Amit – layered, uses wonderful instruments aptly (Esraj, Shehnai, Bagpipes, Continuum…) and all coming together with fabulous tunes! Here’s to the most exciting composer in Indian cinema today (sorry, Rahman fans…and going by recent outbursts, Ilayaraja fans!).
I still have you, Whisper & Ooh wee – Love, Charlie (Charlie Wilson)
After fighting addiction and prostate cancer, the former lead vocalist of The Gap Band makes a comeback with the solo album Love, Charlie. The result is a charming collection powered entirely by the man, despite his recent collaborations with current faves like R.Kelly, Justin Timberlake and Snoop Dogg, that do not feature in the album. The singing and style is firmly old world and that lends a lot of charm!
Pothi vecha & Nariga uranga – Annakodiyum Kodiveeranum (Tamil – GV Prakash Kumar)
This film is the 2nd of GV Prakash Kumar’s Big 3, this year – if you add Bala’s Paradesi and Vijay’s Thalaiva in the list. Like Paradesi, the result is low-key – functionally apt, but not something that stands out. Nariga uranga is a personal favorite, for the music and Vairamuthu’s lyrics.
Krishnudi varasulantha, Adi enti okkasari, Edu vaadu evado ledu & Life ante – Swamy Ra Ra (Telugu – Sunny M.R)
Swamy Ra Ra is the one of the best debut efforts I have heard in some time. Everything about the soundtrack poised and confident; besides the tunes, even the sound quality is impeccable. The composer offers 3 songs to Arijit, and though language purists may find fault with his diction (that I cannot understand given my limited Telugu knowledge), purely as a singer, he is amazing – with 3 dramatically different songs.
Bezubaan & Man basiyo saawariyo – ABCD Any Body Can Dance (Hindi – Sachin Jigar)
For a Dance-based film, it is heartening to see the makers and composers not loading the soundtrack with music that is suited only to dance; instead they opt for a wider range of songs and perhaps are looking to add a diverse variety of dances. That’s clever strategy, actually, since the focus seems to be not on dance, per se, but on overall choreography. From that perspective, more than the obviously dancy tracks, my favorites are Bezubaan and Man basiyo saawariyo!
Ali ali, Roya & Main tere paas hun – Press Play (Indipop – Adnan Sami)
Adnan’s comeback album is a mighty competent effort. The punchy prayer in Ali ali is a great listen, while Roya and Main tere paas are the kind of tracks that would do enormously well if shot as videos with a leading heroine in each… a strategy that worked very well for Adnan earlier.
Lat lag layee – Race 2 (Hindi – Pritam)
This is one of my favorite recent songs by Pritam. His choice of Shalmali Kholgade is bang-on target and the way she croons the Aa aa aaye after Lat lag layee is particularly enticing, almost as if she was ad-libbing with an accent!
Arere arere & Allah allah – Jabardasth (Telugu – Thaman S)
Actress Nithya Menen competely rocks the very-Pritam’esque Arere arere – she sings it like a pro! The other song that works big time in the soundtrack is the hyper catchy Allah allah that is Shreya Ghoshal’s superb show!
Tujh sang lagee & Kaun mera – Special 26 (Hindi – M.M.Kreem)
Everytime some Bollywood director brings back M M Kreem aka Keeravani (Telugu) aka Maragadhamani (Tamil), I’m astounded at the fact the man is so less heard in Hindi. The strange thing is that is Hindi music sounds diametrically different from his Telugu staple! However, as Uday K Panthagai points out in the review’s comments, Keeravani seems to have used the base of his lovely Telugu song Poothavesini (from the film Sangamam) to create Kaun Mera… though the result is decidedly Bollywood!
Title song & Rubaru – Saadi Love Story (Punjabi – Jaidev Kumar)
Jaidev has all that a Bollywood composer needs… his music is increasingly crossing boundaries. It’s time the man makes his Bollywood efforts more pronounced.
Pandagala & Idhedho bagundhe – Mirchi (Telugu – Devi Sri Prasad)
Pandagala stands out for its unique rhythm structure, besides Kailash Kher’s vocals. Idhedho bagundhe, to be honest, uses the standard build-up to a now-familiar hook, but Devi has by now mastered this format that it continues to sound pleasant!
Theeradhu poga poga (Tore matwaare naina), Manamay (Rab di) & Iravinil ulavavaa (Tere mere pyar ki) – David (Hindi/Tamil – Maatibaani, Prashant Pillai)
David’s soundtrack is one of the most eclectic and diverse in recent times. The sheer range of artists assembled by Bejoy Nambiar is baffling, but the result is a superb amalgamation breaking the ‘too many cooks…’ adage. But yes, besides Maatibaani’s brilliant Tamil/Hindi-French mix in Theeradhu poga poga (Tore matwaare naina), my favorites remain Prashant Pillai’s compositions.
Quizàs Quizàs Quizàs – Passione (Andrea Bocelli)
Andrea Bocelli’s new album is largely disappointing, given the Italian tenor opting to rehash some well known Mediterranean and Latin American cult faves. The only thing that stands out for me is his duet with Jennifer Lopez, Quizàs Quizàs Quizàs (Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps).
Jhalkiyan – Kaafiron Ki Namaaz (Hindi – Advait Nemlekar)
The soundtrack itself was largely pensive, perhaps owing to the film’s theme and what stood out for me in debutant Advait Nemlekar’s music is Jhalkiyan, a song that reminds you of Rahman’s Yeh rishta kya from Meenaxi (in terms of the basic backgrounds), but holds it own going by its tune.