Saturday July 13, 2013

Top recent listens (June 2013)

Posted by Karthik

Dirty paws, Mountain sound, Little talks, Six weeks, Your bones, Sloom, Lakehouse & Yellow light – My Head Is An Animal (Of Monsters and Men)
My Head Is An Animal is the debut album of the Icelandic band Of Monsters And Men. Whereas Bjork was the only successful musical import from Icelandic till now, this band fills that gap fairly well. The sound is effervescent and seems like a younger, less grungy and significantly more Indi-folk version of Florence + The Machine. The clincher is the kind of sound they produce, layering instruments like horns, melodica, glockenspiel and accordion. Thoroughly engaging debut that I got around listening to an year late!

Alvida – D-Day (Hindi – Shankar Ehsaan Loy)
The first thing that captivated me in this song is the unusual backgrounds, particularly the minimal but memorable rhythm pattern. Then there is the superb vocals by Nikhil Dsouza, Sukhwinder and particularly Shruti, who completely sweeps the rug from the feet of other singers! Lovely package, this!

Yaar indha & Vaanganna vanakkanganna – Thalaivaa (Tamil – GV Prakash Kumar)
While Yaar indha is pleasant, it is also something that is routinely pleasant… something that GVP seems to be adept in creating in his sleep, along with his now-wife, Saindhavi. The real kick in this soundtrack is the Vijay-sung Vaanganna that reinvents the drunk-song theme with Vijay doing the honors in his own unique style. That it is wonderfully foot-tapping is an added bonus!

Issaq tera, Jheeni re & Enne unne – Issaq (Hindi – Sachin-Jigar & Krsna)
Issaq, despite 3 composers, is Sachin-Jigar’s show. Their two songs make the soundtrack really work, despite the fact that both their songs seem to be modelled in the time-honored Pritam tradition. The other composer who makes a cut is Krsna – and that is disappointing because, after Tanu Weds Manu, one expects a LOT from him, despite the follow-up disappointment that was Jolly LLB.

Not that kind, Silver mine, Cologne, It’s going down, Bleeding knees, Houston – Irrational (Jack Beauregard)
Jack Beauregard, for the uninitiated, is a duo, not one person. The name is taken from a 1973 Spaghetti Western comedy called My Name Is Nobody! The duo is Daniel Schaub and Pär Lammers. Their music is highly hummable retro pop, with a lot of Euro sensibilities thrown in. The tunes are consistently absorbing and there’s a mild hint of Coldplay all over that doesn’t hurt at all! Good, warm listen all around!

Cheliya, Endukila & Holi holi – Om 3D (Telugu – Achu)
Like Issaq, one composer – Achu – overpowers the 2 composer soundtrack of Om 3D… and easily. Achu’s 3 tracks may not be groundbreaking, but they are immensely listenable even within prescribed templates.
Listen to songs from Om 3D here.

Kulu kulunguthu – Retta Vaalu (Tamil – Selvaganesh)
I had a LOT of expectations from Selvaganesh, but he seems to be steadily going downhill, for some odd reason. At best, he delivers one lovely track in each soundtrack while the rest is barely functional. In Retta Vaalu, it is this song. Chinmayi’s vocals is one major reason why this song works, incidentally, besides the tune.

Podhum podhum – Virattu (Tamil – Dharan)
This has been my earworm for about 2-3 weeks recently. Andrea is simply astounding in this song that brings Dharan back in vogue after his intermittent work in Tamil.

Ammadi ammadi, Nelavattam & Oru ora ora – Desingu Raja (Tamil – D.Imman)
More Raja’esque goodness from Imman. I’d love to know what changed in Imman after his sorry form for the longest time – he started as a Rahman clone in Vijay’s Tamizhan and went steadily from worse to worst. But I guess it was Mynaa, despite the plagiarism, that brought his music a new flavor and style that firmly marries the modern sound to what is essentially Raja-style melodies. I for one love this face of Imman – he has been fairly consistent in this style and that means at least 2-3 very good tracks per album!

Slow motion Angreza, O rangrez, Mera Yaar & Zinda – Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (Hindi – Shankar Ehsaan Loy)
One powerhouse of a soundtrack from the trio! Zinda is a personal favorite not just with me, but my family as well, including my 2+ year old daughter who can easily hum the tune and sing it with her own gibberish beyond ‘jindha’! The other 3 tracks mentioned here too are great listens – the trio continue to make their presence felt!

Andaaje siguthilla – Tony (Kannada – Sadhu Kokila)
Sadhu’s first smart work was in roping Sonu Nigam and Sunidhi for this song. The tune per se is standard, but is pleasant in the mainstream scheme of things… there are tiny nuances like the extended humming’ish way the singers start the mukhda… it helps make a difference.

Kannadi silaye & Kaadhal kiliye – Iruvar Ullam (Tamil – Vijay Antony)
This film, with a title that makes it sound like a 50 melodrama, actually boasts of fairly interesting music – the kind that Vijay reserves for not-so-big projects, definitely not his projects for larger stars like Vijay. The last time he did something like this was for the Bharath-starrer Yuvan Yuvathi. While Kannadi silaye is typically engaging in Vijay’s now-trademark style, it is Kaadhal kiliye, with its Mayamalavagowlai base that rocks the soundtrack!

Bisilu kudure, Neenirade & Yeno yeno – Googly (Kannada – Joshua Sridhar)
I’m really glad Joshua has found a second home in Kannada film industry. He definitely had a spark in his music, but Tamil film industry has perhaps failed to utilize it… or it could be that he got himself embroiled into way too many non-music controversies. Whatever it is, he has been delivering pretty well in Kannada!
Listen to the songs from Googly here.

Oh mahiyave, Yeno onthara & Kaage kannu – Barfi (Kannada – Arjun Janya) AND Yakka nin magalu, Kanna minche & Khali quarter – Victory (Kannada – Arjun Janya)
Arjun has firmly cracked the Kannada film music code and his consistency is amazing! His work in Barfi and Victory, while strongly evoking the flavor of Harris Jayaraj’s earlier form, is fantastic!
Listen to the songs from Barfi here.

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