Saturday September 7, 2013

Top recent listens (August 2013)

Posted by Karthik

Beat It and Ilayaraja Medley – Thaikkudam Bridge (Music Mojo, Kappa TV)
I’m not a particularly big fan of cover versions of bands recreating older songs, but Thaikkudam Bridge blew my mind, in particular, with these two songs. I have heard other songs of theirs from Music Mojo and these are the 2 that stood out wonderfully well. The way they cover Jackson’s Beat It in reggae is mighty impressive, and the Raja medley, even more so, with the guy singing Thendral Vandhu ruling the rendition amidst minimal backgrounds that helps in getting the beauty of the tune out. I also realized that the vocalist, violist and music producer of this band is none other than Govind Menon, who was formerly part of the band called Malabar, and is slated to compose music for the upcoming Malayalam film, North 24 Kaatham.

Proper Patola – Diljit Dosanjh, feat. Badshah
I don’t have much idea about Diljit Dosanjh besides the fact that I have occasionally wondered about his surname’s jh combination and that he had sung the title song of Mere Dad Ki Maruti! For some reason I started seeing ‘Proper Patola’ everywhere early in August and got curious enough to listen to the single. Simple song with a catchy hook… kinda addictive!

Mugilo & Kalvane kalvane – Megha (Tamil, Ilayaraja)
The two songs I loved, from certain points of view, but was also equally desolate because they did not allow me to like them whole-heartedly. They, of course, include the choice of Yuvan to sing a lovely tune like Mugilo, adorned with mindblowing orchestration, and a seemingly innovative choice of changing something mid-way in Kalvane, beyond it’s gorgeous jazz sound! I do understand that they are the composer’s choices and there’s no point in expecting or asking for something else, but the least I can do is air my disappointment based on what could have been and not what is.

Listen to Kalvane Kalvane here.

Tu mere agal bagal hai, Main rang sharbaton ka (duet), Janam janam (Sunidhi) & Mere bina tu (duet version) – Phata Poster Nikhla Hero (Hindi, Pritam)
A pretty good commercial cocktail from Pritam, but with tunes that are very familiar and standard. The sound is heady and catchy and hence, things works well, but unlike say Cocktail, they don’t really push new boundaries. Still, some of the smaller touches are delightful – like the choice of Mika for Tu mere. The way he goes ‘agal bagal aaou’ and ‘aain’ is terribly in style and funny. And that duet version of Mere bina is a killer – really wonder what went through Pritam’s mind when he decided to change the sound of the tune from one to another!
Listen to the film’s songs here.

Hey baby, Angnyaade & Imaye – Raja Rani (Tamil, GV Prakash Kumar)
After a few iffy soundtracks, GV Prakash Kumar gets his groove back really well in Raja Rani. The sound is frothy and very likeable. Angnyaade is the clear winner… the choice of Shaktisree is brilliant and she carries the song wonderfully well.

Dil kaa jo haal hai & Tu hai – Besharam (Hindi, Lalit Pandit)
The two surprise elements of an otherwise dull soundtrack. That too, only because Lalit dips into Jatin Lalit’s history and recreate the duo’s earlier sound. It’s a nice one-time gimmick that worked within this soundtrack’s constraints, but may not be sustainable.
Listen to the film’s songs here.

Ai giri-nandini & Sundari komola (Coke Studio @ MTV, Season 3, Ram Sampath)
My two favorites from Ram Sampath’s Coke Studio episode! Having written a lot about them (beyond 100 words, that is)… moving on!

Nahnh na nah (Jack Swing Mix) & Mississippi – Biriyani (Tamil, Yuvan Shankar Raja)
A thoroughly enjoyable and funky soundtrack from Yuvan. It looks like he (and director Venkat Prabhu) are having a lot of fun making this soundtrack! Particularly loved the fantastic lounge sound of Nahnh na nah’s Jack Swing Mix and bringing Raja back in Mississippi!

Gulabi, title song, Chanchal mann, Tere mere beech mein, Love in Jaipur & Boyfriend banoge – Shuddh Desi Romance (Hindi, Sachin-Jigar)
After 300, you want me to write something more? Nah!
Listen to the film songs here.

Zariya & Jagao mere des (Coke Studio @ MTV, Season 3, A R Rahman)
It was befitting that MTV found Zariya to be the song to launch the new season – perfectly epitomizes the ethos of Coke Studio and takes the fusion pitch several notches high! Jagao mere des is another unique experiement that worked very well for me… it is also the only song where I actually liked what Blaaze was doing, and that’s saying a lot!

Mella thanji konji – Zachariyayude Garbhinikal (Malayalam, Vishnu-Sharath)
Confident debut by Mohan Sithara’s son, Vishnu and his nephew, Sharath. Getting Chithra to croon Mella thanji konji was very, very smart and she breezes through the lovely tune.

Free idheera – Sakkare (Kannada, V.Harikrishna)
From the main tune’s seemingly Lathangi-Hansadhwani combo and the first interlude’s Nalinakanti-based tune and the effort he has put into the interludes (the first, using what sounds like mandolin, and the 2nd in harmonica), Hari has a good thing going here!
Listen to the film’s songs here.

Ba bare cheluve – Jayammana Maga (Kannada, Arjun Janya)
This is Arjun cracking his template damn well – sung by himself, has a catchy rhythm, the tune is slow and hummable and the chorus works perfectly in cohesion, repetitively. Hope Arjun doesn’t overdo this, though.
Listen to the film’s songs here.

Kanimozhiye, En kaadhal thee, Mannavane & Pazhangalla – Irandam Ulagam (Tamil, Harris Jayaraj)
In these days when audio launch is quickly followed by videos on YouTube, I feel the makers of Irandam Ulagam are losing the opportunity to follow up on a good soundtrack. There’s a lot to like here and I’m glad to see Harris making great use of his first collaboration with Selvaraghavan.
Listen to the film’s songs here.

Sun le re, Khud se & Ajnabee – Madras Cafe (Hindi, Shantanu Moitra)
While the film garnered a lot of praise (but was trashed heavily in Southern India for misrepresenting certain sections it talks about), the soundtrack was largely ignored. I felt Shantanu Moitra had a good package here. His choice of singers was what makes a huge difference, besides aptly chosen tunes for them – Papon and Zeb. I have gone back to these 3 songs a lot in the last month, particularly Khud Se!
Listen to the film’s songs here.

Title song – Neelakasham Pacha Kadal Chuvanna Bhoomi (Malayalam – Rex Vijayan)
I loved the title song from this film, while the rest did not work that well for me. Rex sings the title song himself and gets a lot of things right – the curiously catchy instrmental interlude that he uses to great effect all through the song, the rhythm kicking in much later and a bare thread of a tune… all make a great impact together!

Aiyo ji – Satyagraha (Hindi, Salim Sulaiman)
The duo do well here, getting Shraddha Pandit to croon the semi-classical tune laced with racy techno music. Good listen! Terribly incongruous video, however.

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