Saturday September 19, 2015

Hitman – September 19, 2015

Posted by Karthik

Originally published in The Hindu.

Hemanthamen – Kohinoor (Malayalam – Rahul Raj)
Hemanthamen (it is not about a Malayalee named Hemanth, incidentally) is what you get when a composer re-imagines a quintessentially 80s Malayalam filmy melody (the film is set in the 80s) in present times, with the trappings of a more modern sound to accentuate the retro feel. So you do have a wonderfully indulgent and soft melody, beautifully sung by Vijay Yedusas, almost like he’s standing in for the 80s version of his father. What Rahul Raj does in the background is even more interesting – the primary sound is waltz’ish, but it also has a generous dose of sweeping violins and flute that brings back the nostalgia to the fore.

Naina tose lage – Meeruthiya Gangsters (Hindi – Siddhant Madhav)
There used to be an implied understanding in 80s and early 90s Hindi film music that a song sung by certain singers will conform to a specific kind of music and offer markedly better value to listeners. Ghazal singers like Jagjit Singh and Pankaj Udhas topped this list. In current times, it is Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and he seems to be a lot more choosy with his songs, possibly because of the pain of getting a visa to sing in India, besides other organic reasons. Naina tose lage fits into the template perfectly – it is the only song in this film’s soundtrack that is even worth a mention; it is an eminently listenable melody and joins the list of above-average quasi-sufi songs.

Aathi adi aathi – Beedi (Tamil – Ganesh Raghavendra)
Aathi adi aathi is the kind of inoffensive melody that just escapes being generic. For one, it is incredibly pleasant, thanks largely to Saindhavi’s vocals, even as the male singer—Sunandhan—seems to be taking his job as seriously as someone in an interview for the first time – in other words, trying too hard. Ganesh Raghavendra has been composing for quite some time, but with this song, he seems to be heading somewhere.

Neetho aithe – Kundanapu Bomma (Telugu – M.M.Keeravani)
Neetho aithe is every bit a Keeravani song. It features his favorite singer, Ramya Behara (besides Kaala Bhairava and PVSN Rohith) and alternates between interesting sounds as if following his template to the tee. At its core, it is a lovely melody, that starts with an almost-whispery Ramya reciting verses before opening the song with the catchy Neetho aithe hook. The song also gains from uniquely endearing interludes and pallavi-anupallavi bridges.

Journey of truth – Album: Silence Is Bliss (Naveen Kumar)
Silence Is Bliss is the 4th album by the talented flautist (and composer) Naveen Kumar, a long-time A.R.Rahman associate. Like his earlier albums (Fluid, Cafe Fluid and Fluteronics), he collaborates with quite a few musicians (like Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Sivamani, Shillong Chamber Choir etc.). The standout song is the one featuring the mighty underrated Stephen Devassy (who has also arranged and programmed the album for Naveen) on acoustic piano. For almost 2:30 minutes, Journey of truth is Stephen Devassy’s show on acoustic piano. Naveen joins in with his flute and expands on a Shanmukapriya-based tune, bringing the raaga’s nuances beautifully towards the end.
Listen to the song on Saavn.

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