Sunday August 4, 2013

Top recent listens (July 2013)

Posted by Karthik

Osaka, Ailasa & Oh penne – Vanakkam Chennai (Tamil – Anirudh)
Anirudh is here to stay, no second thoughts on that. Just that I wish he was more here to stay the Rahman/Yuvan way than the Harris Jayaraj way. Not to demean Harris – he is enormously successful commercially (and if I were to trust radio plays of his songs) – but, to me, he is mind-bogglingly repetitive at least in recent times, He was producing much better music back when Jeeva was alive and kicking (and with Gautam Menon) – now, he seems like a pale shadow of himself.

On a similar vein, Anirudh, who is only 3 soundtracks old (barring a single in David), can’t afford to get his earlier work peeking in album no.3 – that’s a terrible trend. Still, his music has an individuality that you can’t ignore at all. Hope he capitalizes on it in other ways than regurgitate what he likes/knows. I loved the variations he brought between essentially similar tunes of Osaka and Ailasa – makes for a superb back-to-back listen! And the way he almost reintroduces Suchitra (one of my favourite singers in the current crop) in Ailasa is something else that I liked a lot. Oh penne, of course, is my fave – precisely the kind of music I associate with Anirudh, for now.

Kootti muttiya & Otta thumbi – Pullipulikalum Attinkuttiyum (Malayalam – Vidyasagar)
I have cribbed a lot about Vidyasagar reserving his best for Malayalam, but I guess it is ok – as long as he is producing such songs in some language. Kooti muttiya is a particular fave – such a lovely, lilting tune… and in Sujatha Mohan’s voice, it takes on a new life of its own!

Kootti Muttiya- A brand new Sujatha Song by sujathamohansinger

Ninnu chudugane & Bapu gari bomma – Atharintiki Dharedhi (Telugu – Devi Sri Prasad)
In Ninnu chudugane, Devi takes complete ownership of the song, right from composing it and particularly singing it really well with a drunk drawl. Bapu gari bomma is of course his trademark masala – simple, earthy and catchy!

Khulla sand, Muh meetha & Rabba main – Rabba Main Kya Karoon (Hindi – Salim Sulaiman)
Khulla sand is so, so, so Band Baaja Baraat – that perhaps makes it work too, in some way! Muh meetha is in many ways Benny Dayal’s show, but the duo do add a likeable techno wrap around it. The title song is my fave though – it has almost Lucky Ali’ish sound and is a great listen!

Chugliyan & Tayyab ali – Once Upon A Time In Mumbai Dobaara (Hindi – Pritam & Anupam Amod)
Despite all the ennui Chugliyan evokes, it is still a very good listen, in a predictably Pritam’ish way. My fave was Anupam-arranged remake of Tayyab Ali – I was prepared to not like it for some odd reason, but it surprised me with an addictive sound! Much of the credit for these 2 songs go to Javed Ali who sings it so darn well!

Yaarai kaettu – Thalaivan (Tamil – Vidyasagar)
Vidyasagar evokes memories of yesteryear Raja in the interludes and even the tune is something that only Vidyasagar continues to use in current scenario – a feathery melody that is not loaded with sounds and just does with perfunctory backgrounds that makes it oddly more satisfying!
Listen to Yaarai Kaettu here.

Oodha kalaru, Paakaadhae & Yennada – Varuthapadatha Vaalibar Sangam (Tamil – D.Imman)
Oodha kalaru is an ear worm – that instantly catchy! Paakkadhae and Yennada are trademark Imman tracks that he always gets right, in his present rocking form!

Thoda thoda & Title song – Endrendrum (Tamil – Dharan)
I still have very pleasant memories of what Dharan delivered in the that little heard horror flick Sivi, that Tamil freemake of Thai film Shutter. Somehow, Dharan hasn’t lived up to that standard after Sivi, but there are shades in almost every soundtrack of his that he can do more. Endrendrum has these 2 songs that showcase that the man can do a lot more, lot better. But yes, his excessive use of auto-tuning is next only to Joshua Sridhar – that’s mighty annoying.
Listen to Thoda thoda here and the title song, here.

Kaadhal prema – Alias Janaki (Telugu – Shravan)
I love the title hook – it takes some time arriving, but Shravan makes it happen at the perfect time! Lovely tune.

Kadalil kan mashi – Buddy (Malayalam – Navaneeth Sundar)
Divya Ramani’s rendition of this gorgeous Kaapi-raaga based tune works wonders! Very Vidyasagar’ish tune, this and that’s rarely a bad thing, particularly in Malayalam!

Koke & Nee venakale – Eyy (Telugu – Shravan)
Koke, if you have seen the picturization, is something I’d dare not recommend, but let me not get the song picturization in the way of liking what is otherwise a punchy item song’ish tune – extremely foot-tapping and ticking all boxes in funky sound! On the other hand, Nee venakale is breezy and immediately likeable! Wish to see more of composer Shravan in Telugu in the coming days.

Nee jathaga & Cheliya – Yevadu (Telugu – Devi Sri Prasad)
Nee jathaga is something Devi composes in his sleep and most of the times such he makes such melodies work. Cheliya is where Devi goes out of his comfort zone and makes a big difference in the orchestration of this fairly ambitiously framed song! Neat.

Ishq ki ada & Chad gayi – Sixteen (Hindi – Prashant Pillai)
But for Prashant’s 2 songs, this soundtrack is a washout. Ishq ki ada has Preeti Pillai ruling the rendition while Prashant gets his Shaitan mode in Chad gayi – cool techno, this.

Nandooruthu & Injathe – Nedunchaalai (Tamil – C.Sathya)
Palani Ammal rocks in Nandooruthu (no connection with the Ilayaraja song from the Rajinikanth starrer Bhairavi!) – the tune is captivating! Injathe, in comparison, is a multi-genre song mixing ghazal and the typical Kerala sound. Roop Kumar Rathod is super with his nuanced singing here, with great support from Madhushree and Yazin.
Listen to the songs from Nedunchalai here.

Tera rasta & Titli – Chennai Express (Hindi – Vishal Shekhar)
I do not like the soundtrack of Chennai Express – there, I said it as clear as possible. But, these 2 songs do deserve a listen and the fact that the other songs are so bad shouldn’t stop people from appreciating whatever is good in the soundtrack. Titli, in particular, is a gem of a song!

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