Saturday October 10, 2015

Milliblog’s Top Recent Listens – September 2015

Posted by Karthik

Hindi

Insaaf & Shaam ke saaye – Talvar (Vishal Bhardwaj)

Gulaabo, Title song, Nazdeekiyaan & Raitaa phailgaya – Shaandaar (Amit Trivedi)

Singh aur Kaur – Singh Is Bling (Manj Musik)

Naina tose lage – Meeruthiya Gangsters (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.

Tamil

Kalakkattu kannaala – Kathukutty (Aruldev)
Beyond the simple lilt Aruldev loads in the song, and even beside the Raja’ish flute he employs, the song works for one very simple reason – Hamir Kalyani raaga (or Kedar, in Hindustani)! As a result, invoking everything from Hum ko mann ki shakti dena, to Viswanathan-Ramamurthy’s Karnan classic, En uyir thozhi, to MSV’s Chandradhayam oru pennaanadho.. to Rahman’s Malargale malargale, the raaga comes alive yet again, in another package. That’s also the function of the raaga anyway, to be used again and again in newer variants. And Aruldev, first by selection of the raaga and eventually by packaging it in a simple and elegant way, has a clear winner here.

Kannaana kanne, Yennai maatrum kadhale, Neeyum naanum & Thangamey – Naanum Rowdy Dhaan (Anirudh)

Mayako – Asurakulam (C.Sathya)

Kohila, Kannamma, Kannamma Reprise, Unnai maatrinaal & Vidaadha – Ko 2 (Leon James)

Kuiyyo muiyyo, Panjumittai & Un swaasam – Eetti (G V Prakash Kumar)

Oh Madhu – Saahasam ( Thaman S)

Aathi adi aathi – Beedi (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.

Telugu

Andamaina lokam – Shivam (Devi Sri Prasad)

Itu itu ani chitikelu & Nijamenani nammani – Kanche (Chirantan Bhatt)

Nennekkadunte & Hey Akhil & Zara zara navvaradhe – Akhil (Anup Rubens)

Neetho aithe – Kundanapu Bomma (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.

Malayalam

Mele mele – Life of Josutty (Anil Johnson)

Kannondu chollanu, Iruvanji puzhapenne, Ee mazhathan & Mukkathe penne – Ennu Ninte Moideen (M.Jayachandran, Ramesh Narayan and Gopi Sundar)

Aayiram kaalamai & Dheera charitha – Lord Livingstone 7000 Kandi (Rex Vijayan)
Listen to the songs on Saavn.

Padiyirangunnu & Ithu paro swargamo – Pathemari (Bijibal)

Pathukke entho, Killathe & Magar tum – Kanal (Ouseppachan)

Hemanthamen – Kohinoor (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.

Kannada

Nenape nithya mallige – Kendasampige (V.Harikrishna)
After Vidyasagar (primarily in Malayalam) and D.Imman (in Tamil), Kannada composer V.Harikrishna is the other current-day composer who seems to have truly imbibed the ‘Ilayaraja-sound’, in that while he adds something on his own, the soul seems to be that of the quintessential Raja melody. Nenape nithya mallige is a fantastic example of this. When the second interlude plays, you’d automatically go, ‘Is this by Ilayaraja?’. And yes, Karthik does a brilliant job of handling the soulful tune.

Endho kaanadha – Mast Mohabbat (Kannada – Mano Murthy)
After the superhit Kannada soundtrack of Mungaru Male, Mano Murthy’s career has been on a steady decline, leaving newer composers like Arjun Janya and Harikrishna to take over. Mano makes a decent enough pitch again in Mast Mohabbat, with his regular fixture Sonu Nigam singing the soundtrack’s best, Endho kaanadha. It’s a simple and familiar tune that at times sounds like it’s from the Laxmikant Pyarerlal School of 80s Dholak music.

Marathi

Sur niraagas ho & Dil ki tapish – Katyar Kaljat Ghusali (Shankar Ehsaan Loy)

Non-film

Title song, Journey of Truth & Like a Prayer – Silence Is Bliss (Naveen Kumar)
Listen to the songs on Gaana.

Paabandiyaan, Inayat & Haal-e-dil – Ananthaal (Clinton Cerejo, Bianca Gomes & Vijay Prakash)
Listen to the songs on Saavn.

International

Stolen Car – Sting, featuring Mylene Farmer
Stolen Car was part of Sting’s 2003 album, Sacred Love. The song, which started its life as a Radio Version (was called ‘Stolen Car – Take Me Dancing’), a pop-Middle Eastern mix, later had a Studio (original) version too, that spruced up and got the Middle Eastern exotica right, by also heavily referring to Sting’s own Fragile, in an unusual set-up. The new version featuring French superstar Mylene Farmer (the song will reportedly be featured on the Farmer’s upcoming album Nébuleuses), amps up the world music’ness of the song significantly, adding French to the mix, and sounds better than ever.
Listen to the song online.

Saturday night gave me a Sunday morning – Burning Bridges (Jon Bon Jovi)
This is supposedly a ‘fan’ album – as if every other album is not meant for fans! Much has been said about Bon Jovi’s split from their music label Mercury (Burning Bridges, the title, is symbolic of that, it is believed!) and the fact that this is the first album without guitarist Richie Sambora! Oddly enough, Richie is credited with co-writing the best song of the album, Saturday Night Gave Me A Sunday Morning, a neat companion piece of sorts with one of Bon Jovi’s biggest hits, Someday I’ll Be A Saturday Night (1994).

Unbreakable, BURNITUP!, Dammn Baby, The Great Forever, Shoulda Known Better, Night, Take Me Away – Unbreakable (Janet Jackson)
Unbreakable is Janet Jackson’s first album since her iconic brother’s death and there are so many cues to Michael Jackson all through the album which sees Janet reunite with her 80s and 90s R&B producers, Jimmy Jam and Timmy Lewis. She even eerily sounds like MJ in The Great Forever. The title song sounds almost like it’s 1989 again, with Janet even announcing ‘Side 1’ to start the song, in the era of singles, iTunes and Spotify! It’s cool, laid-back R&B at its best, all over again. Janet dabbles in Calvin Harris’esque electropop/EDM sweetness in Take Me Away, while Shoulda Known Better is wonderfully constructed, alternating between slower phrases and techno sounds. Excellent comeback from the lady!
Listen/buy the album on iTunes.

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