Sunday March 2, 2014

Top recent listens (February 2014)

Posted by Karthik

Happy, Brand new, Come get it Bae, Lost queen, Know who you are & Gust of wind – GIRL (Pharrell Williams)
First things first, if you haven’t heard Happy, do yourself a favor and listen to it! I think Coca Cola, with their Happiness pitch, should buy this song and make it their anthem.

Next, the kind of collaborations Pharrell pulls off in this album is brilliant. There is a Justin Timberlake’ish sound all through the album, but the man himself joins Pharrell in Brand new! Miley Cyrus in Come get it Bae, and Alicia Keys in Know who you are are other collaborations, but the one that rules all is Daft Punk featuring Gust of wind. This is one kick-ass song – those violins make me swoon everytime I listen to it!

Pharrell’s new album is streaming on iTunes radio now, and is available for purchase starting March 3, 2014.

I’m sorry tumse pyar ho gaya, Desi romance, Yahaan wahaan & Bawla sa sapna – Shaadi Ke Side Effects (Hindi – Pritam)
Pritam is on a roll, clearly! Ear-friendly, good music with an alarming consistency! The Diva version of Bawla sa sapna is a slow burner that stays on for a long time, as also Yahaan wahaan, for the smart way it utilises Farhan’s vocals.

Tere layi – Mr and Mrs 420 (Punjabi – Jassi Katyal)
Jassi Katyal’s music is decent and lilting enough with a lovely smattering of harmonium and an earthy tune (he’s not the only composer of the film; Jaidev Kumar has also composed a few songs), but the highlight is clearly the lead male vocals, by Yuvraj Hans, son of the legendary Hans Raj Hans. I expect him to sing for a A-list Bollywood composer soon. A R Rahman, perhaps?

Suno na sangemarmar & Daata di diwani – Youngistaan (Hindi – Jeet Ganguly & Shiraz Uppal)
Suno na sangemarmar is predictably good, considering Jeet reuses his own Bengali tune to be safe. It is Shiraz’s second song that is surprisingly good – a serene, qawali’ish song very well sung by Shiraz and Rafaqat Ali Khan. This is the kind of song that could easily have been part of Rahman’s Jodha Akbar, though the song has not been composed for this film and is an older song by the duo!

Kanna munche, Male marethu, Gaatiya ilidu, Paper paper & Kaakig banna – Ulidhavaru Kandante (Kannada – Ajaneesh Loknath)
The best Kannada soundtrack in recent times. The range of music is bafflingly wonderful. Acts as a superb teaser to the film. Highly recommended! The video for Gaatiya ilidu is beautiful too – very Myshkin-style in its approach with some surreal imagination!

Gulcharrey, Title song, Khaamakaan & Aye jigida – Bewakoofiyan (Hindi – Raghu Dixit)
A lovely, short soundtrack by Raghu. The tunes are consistently frothy and likeable. And then there are those nifty touches like the extended Oooo in the title song, the music-less Neeti Mohan intro of Khaamakaan and the bluegrass sound in Aye jigida… neat mix, all through.

Manasula soora kaathey, Potta pulla, Aagaasatha & Kodayila – Cuckoo (Tamil – Santhosh Narayanan)
One of the best recent soundtracks in Tamil! First Milliblog 200 for Santhosh and he has really earned it this time. Having written so much about this soundtrack already, let me just say that Manasula soora kaathey is the song of the year, so far, for me, in Tamil!

Ee kadha & Payaname – Chandamama Kathalu (Telugu – Mickey J Meyer)
Unusually short soundtrack from Mickey, but he leaves his mark here too! Listen to the songs here, on Raaga.

Po indru, Title song, What a Karuvad & Udhungada sangu – Velaiyilla Pattadhaari (Tamil – Anirudh)
The same old, likeable and catchy Anirudh. Good kuthu variations in songs like Udhungada sangu, but I get a feeling that he is losing his novelty very fast. But he’s barely a few films old and hope that he doesn’t go the Harris Jayaraj way.

Title song & Palat meri jaan – Total Siyapa (Hindi – Ali Zafar)
Ali Zafar’s composing skills seem better than his singing skills, in general. But he uses his voice cleverly in songs like Palat meri jaan.

Pogadhae – Damaal Dumeel (Tamil – Thaman S)
This lady, Remya Nambeesan, is quite a package. Besides looking beautiful, she can sing really well too! Pogadhae is yet another winner from her and from Thaman, who scores a lovely tune here! Listen to the song here, on Saavn.

Paaripothunna & Pratheekshanam – Basanthi (Telugu – Mani Sharma)
A Telugu return to form of sorts for the once-prolific Mani Sharma who seems to have given his throne to younger ones like Thaman! Listen to the songs here, on Raaga.

Vinmeen vidhayil & Yaar ezhudhiayadho – Thegidi (Tamil – Nivas K Prasanna)
Good debut by Nivas. The tunes are impressively interesting and the music too, while being a bit too rooted in present day film music, is endearing enough. Looking forward to this composer to produce good work in Tamil.

Nee jothe iru – Endendu Ninagagi (Kannada – V.Harikrishna)
For the Kannada remake of Engeyum Eppodhum, Hari produces a completely different set of songs and this song, in particular, with its Thenmerku paruvakatru-style tune, is a great listen, complete with Sonu Nigam’s fantastic singing. Listen to the song here, on Raaga.

Hooked on a feeling – Blue Swede
No, this is not a new song, but the song originally sung by BJ Thomas in 1968 and later popularized by the Swedish band Blue Swede is seeing a resurgence of interest in pop culture thanks to it featuring in the first trailer of Guardians of the Galaxy. And as Billboard helpfully explains, this isn’t the first time the song’s seeing a sporadic race to the top of the charts and interest levels! True to its name, this is a song one can easily get hooked on to, particularly the Oogachaka chant!

Vaanathila nilavu – Bramman (Tamil – Devi Sri Prasad)
That typical Devi Sri Prasad number – immediately catchy rhythm that has now become his hallmark!

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