Saturday August 2, 2014

Milliblog monthly multilingual music reco – July 2014

Posted by Karthik

Rock and Roll Records, Someday, Cajun Moon, I’ll be there & Train to nowhere – The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale
Ever since I came to know about this album, I have been waiting for it, despite not being that ardent a fan of either Clapton or JJ Cale, or the many others Clapton collaborates with, in the album, like John Mayer, Tom Petty, Willie Nelson, Mark Knopfler etc. I found this album to be uniformly and thoroughly engaging. Train to Nowhere is a personal favorite and in some inexplicable way, I find it to be the soul-sister of Shankar Ehsaan Loy’s superlative song Mera yaar from Bhaag Milkha Bhaag.

Albeliya – Desi Kattey (Hindi – Kailash Kher)
I wouldn’t take the music of a Suniel Shetty starrer that seriously anymore (his, ‘Jhanjariya’ and ‘Shehar ki ladki’ days are firmly behind him!), but Kailash Kher’s music does warrant a listen. And he doesn’t disappoint, though I miss his partners, the Kamath brothers (Naresh and Paresh) who form part of Kailasa here. Albeliya, though, is very Kailasa, from its tune, though the orchestration is perfunctory. Shreya rocks this lovely tune!

Daffodil poove & Ulla ulla – Manglish (Malayalam, Gopi Sundar)
Daffodil poove’s rhythm is the real kicker – slow, and supports the melody brilliantly! Haricharan and Jyotsana are great singing it too. Ulla ulla, on the other hand, is a typically catchy Muslim tune, really well handled by Gopi. Ameena’s voice makes a great addition!

Pesadhe & Moodu panikkul – Thirudan Police (Tamil, Yuvan Shankar Raja)
Pesadhe is one of the best song of the year, in my opinion, in Tamil. The tune flows oh-so-beautifully and Yuvan’s addition of an extra dash of rock spruces up the song to a new level! Moodu panikkul sees the composer dip into Jean Michel Jarre’s style electronic music territory and he pulls it off really well.

Naanu righta & Usire usire – Tirupathi Express (Kannada, Arjun Janya)
Puneet gets a rocking track from Arjun in Naanu righta – it’s all templatized, but great fun while it lasts. Usire usire, on the other hand, is the kind of melody I strongly associate with Arjun Janya – he produces such good tunes so effortlessly. Getting Karthik and Chinmayi to sing it is an even better call.

Tere hoke (both versions), Kabhi ruhani & Dukki tikki – Raja Natwarlal (Hindi, Yuvan Shankar Raja)
I hear Pritam, the film’s first choice, was busy and suggested Yuvan’s name as his alternative for this film’s music. That, in some way, explains the very Pritam’ish Tere hoke, the reprise version by Arijit. If Yuvan’s name wasn’t mentioned, I’d have easily guessed it to be Pritam’s (or Arko’s, at best) – good song, no doubt, but very standard. Yuvan, though, leaves his stamp in the song’s original version, by Shweta Pandit – the minimal variant is very-Yuvan in its sensibility. I have a problem with Dukki tikki too – it is catchy, no questions, and has Yuvan’s own Variya (Pudhupettai) laid out in the beginning, but once the lively background rhythm kicks-in, my mind shouts, ‘Hey, that is Thaman’s trademark sound!’. Thaman has almost exhausted this sound that it is odd to find Yuvan using it now. Kabhi ruhani is faultless, really, but is something I’d have expected from Yuvan a few years ago too, from films like Deepavali. That’s what upsets me – for a celebrated and genuinely talented composer like Yuvan, his Hindi debut is so muted and low-key in terms of either ambition or sound. Hope Hindi audiences see it differently and give him more chances. On that note, a rap in the knuckles for Times/Junglee Music for not uploading all the songs of their catalog of Hindi films on YouTube. Raja Natwarlal has barely one song on YouTube and the same poor treatment is extended to other recent, good soundtrack slike Pizza 3D.
Listen to the song on Gaana.

Konji konji & Naan kaanum neram – Avatharam (Malayalam, Deepak Dev)
Konji konji does its magic with its relaxed rhythm, the background ghatam, and Shankar Mahadevan and Rimi’s vocals, besides oodles of nativity. Deepak works his guitar magic in Njan kaanum along with Harinarayanan’s ebullient singing – nice, pleasant song!

Saalai oram nindru – Vilasam (Tamil, Ravi Ragav)
I have no idea about Ravi Ragav as a composer and wasn’t keen on listening to this soundtrack either. But this song is a surprise – really fresh and simple, almost like a Vidyasagar song. Lovely vocals by Haricharan and Chinmayi that elevates the song to a new level.

Anirikshita & Haage ondhu – Fair & Lovely (Kannada, V.Harikrishna)
Haage ondhu sounds… rather, reminded me of Ilayaraja’s cult classic from Rettai Vaal Kuruvi, Raaja Raaja Chozhan Naan. Lovely tune that Hari adapts very well, along with Sonu’s vocals. Anirikshita is catchy stuff… particularly love the the way Hari uses an almost jarring silence in the interlude!

Mazhanila, Manassin thinkale & Megham – Vikramaidthyan (Malayalam, Bijibal)
Manassin thinkale sounds like a classical ghazal I may have heard in an 80s Hindi art film! Beautifully constructed with the santoor and flute in place, and very well sung by Shahbaz Aman. Mazhanila is spritely, with some clever sounds thrown in, including a lovely chorus in a language that I couldn’t place – Arabic? Megham is seemingly more mod, but has a nice ring to it, moving off its mod roots to some good violin and flute phrases. And it is sung well by Jyotsna and Madhu Balakrishnan. And yes, that female backup voice going, ‘Woh woh woh’ at 0:23-0:24 instantly reminded of Shilpa Rao’s Woh Ajnabi from The Train! 🙂

Tum chal diye – Pizza 3D (Hindi, Gaurav Godkhindi & Ramon Ibrahim)
For a film that flopped, despite its Tamil original being hailed as a fantastic thriller, the Hindi version had fantastic music, a tad better or, at least as good as Santhosh’s music in Tamil. Every song is highly listenable and different from each other – and obviously is composed by different people! Saurabh Kalsi’s Tum chal diye is my favorite, both versions -the kind of song that has me asking, ‘Who is this Saurabh Kalsi?’.

Hannagabeku kaayi – Paramashiva (Kannada, Arjun Janya)
With an open-haired Ravichandran in the poster, I was expecting different kind of music in Paramashiva, but going by the songs, it looks like yet another brother-sister saga. Rajesh Krishnan – that severely under-rated Kannada singer – gets the best song of the soundtrack, Hannagabeku kaayi, not to forget Akanksha Badami’s vocals!

Saalaigal & Oliyin – Thirunthudaa Kaadhal Thiruda (Tamil, Ranjith Meleppatt)
Saalaigal, in particular, had me starting on songs like Malargale malargale from Love Birds, MSV’s ‘Iravum nilavum malarattume’ from Karnan and even Thyagaraja’s Bantureethi Kolu, set to Hansanaadham raaga, though Malargale is generally assumed to be a combination of Saraswati and Hamir Kalyani, while the Karnan song is Shudh Sarang. Lovely song, fabulously sung by V V Prasanna that also reminded me of a few Hariharan ghazals, particularly Sheher Dar Sheher’s mainly because of the sarangi (or, is it sarod?)! The other song, Oliyin, is Rahman’ish all the way… and you can’t go wrong combining that with vocal powerhouses like Karthik and Chinmayi.

Open harisu & Phonu illa – Adhyaksha (Kannada, Arjun Janya)
Open harisu sees Vijay Prakash singing almost like Arjun and he does a great job of it. The rhythm is energetic and the composer keeps the tune engaging too. Vijay handles Phonu illa too well, and again, it’s Arjun’s rhythm that keeps the song enjoyable.

Aasaiyaparu, Kalla payale, Vada dai & Title song – Mosakutty (Tamil, Ramesh Vinayagam)
Ramesh, after a period of complete silence, has 2 releases in one year, almost back-to-back. Ramanujam was stupendous, and Mosakutty is a worthy follow-up, though the sound is a bit too familiar, like most of Rahman’s faux-rustic music. The man gets his tunes very, very right however, across the 3 gorgeous melodies. It’s in the title song that he lets himself go and produces a frenzied kicker!
Listen to the song on Raaga.

Enathu ulagil & Naan indru – Kadavul Paathi Mirugam Paathi (Tamil, Rahul Raj)
If Gopi Sundar is composing in Tamil, why should Rahul Raj be left behind? Rahul’s Tamil debut is pretty good. Enadhu ulagil can rarely go wrong, with its Reetigowlai creds, but Naan indru really surprised me over a period of time. Sooraj’s singing is brilliant, as are some lines that stayed in my mind unusually long, like, ‘Migachiridhaaga thondrum dhoora malaichigaram’ and the absolutely scintillating guitar usage all through the song!

Oru kan jaadai & Ek do teen – Anjaan (Tamil, Yuvan Shankar Raja)
No, Suriya’s singing debut is not impressive, but he gets generously propped by Yuvan’s stylish tune and that helps Ek do teen sail through easily. It’s in Oru kan jaadai that Yuvan truly comes on his own, far beyond the mediocre masala album that director Lingusamy inspired him to deliver.

Naan naanaga – Thagadu Thagadu (Tamil, Balamurali Balu)
Debutant composer Balamurali Balu has something going in the interludes and backgrounds of this otherwise merely pleasant melody that makes it more interesting than usual.
Listen to the song on Raag.

Title song & Shayarana – Daawat-e-ishq (Hindi, Sajid-Wajid)
The power qawali sound in the title song is pitch perfect and getting Javed Ali is a great decision – he pulls off the energetic tune really well. The soundtrack’s best is however Shalmali’s Shayarana. To be fair, she starts off too Westernized, but as the song progresses I notice that the tone is primarily that of a lilting Western pop ditty, but I loved the way the composing duo infused some mild qawali tone to it too!

Johnny Johnny – Entertainment (Hindi, Sachin-Jigar)
It’s easily the tipsiest and catchiest song of the year – the composing duo load one hook after another in the song that is absolutely silly with its lyrics, but is also insanely addictive!

Yaarduda machan – Thottal Thodarum (Tamil, P.C.Shivan)
This is one review that has gone into a talespin with the comments alleging that I didn’t appreciate the lyrics in Yaaruda machan and instead found it ‘awkward’. Oddly enough, it wasn’t the lyrics per se that I was referring to, but the flow of lyrics in this particular tune. This is an easily likeable tune and it reminded me instantly of Deva’s Konja naal poru thalaiva, which led me to veer towards Aanandha Bhairavi raaga, but there’s Reetigowlai too in there somewhere.

Jumme ki raat – Kick (Hindi, Himesh Reshamiyya)
The song’s infectitious outlook is hard to ignore, thanks largely to the RD Burman soul that Himesh has infused into it – there’s Samundar mein nahake (Pukar) that I can definitely hear. Any other Pancham song you can hear in it?

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