Sunday December 4, 2016
Hitman – December 3, 2016
Originally published in The Hindu.
Yaenadi – Adhagappattathu Magajanangalay (Tamil – D.Imman)
Imman. Ilayaraja. Yes, that. Again! The composer takes his Raja’ish melody style a step further in Adhagappattathu Magajanangalay’s Yaenadi, and layers it with what is now easily associated as his signature-style – busy and delightfully engaging orchestration that peaks especially well during the interludes, reeking of Raja all the more! Karthik and Shreya Ghoshal are in brilliant form here in the duet version. In the song’s solo version, sung by Shreya (so, ‘Yaenada’!), Imman craftily strips the busy’ness of the orchestration to present an equally alluring variant! This time around, the guitar-led interludes and orchestrations sound like Ilayaraja even more!
Lamhon ke rasgulle – Kahaani 2 (Hindi – Clinton Cerejo)
Amitabh Bhattacharya is the star of the utterly whimsical Lamhon ke rasgulle! It goes, “Lamhon ke rasgulle, Lazeez meethe meethe; Lamhon ke rasgulle, Free mein hain kharide”, much to our amusement. Clinton concocts an easily catchy, synth-driven pop sound that could be mistaken for an 80s one-hit wonder! Sunidhi Chauhan sounds wonderfully happy and child-like, singing this feel-good song while Bianca Gomes gives her company for the largely corny English lines.
Koluse sol koluse – Vallavanukkum Vallavan (Tamil – Raghu Dixit)
Kannada, Hindi and Indipop musician—and Baba Sehgal’s replacement for larger-than-life intro and item songs in Telugu, mostly composed by Devi Sri Prasad—Raghu Dixit made his Tamil debut with the title song Aviyal. In Vallavanukkum Vallavan, he gets to compose 4 songs, but still has to share credits with Ajesh who has a tiny, single song. Raghu produces the album’s best, Koluse sol koluse, where he suffixes a joyous, Calypso’ish medley to Mangalyam thandhunane, with exuberant singing by Nakul Abhyankar and Manasi Mahadevan.
Kalkond bitte – Sundaranga Jaana (Kannada – Ajaneesh Loknath)
That the title Sundaranga Jaana is a phrase from a popular 70s Kannada song, Dooradinda bandantha from the film Samshaya Phala, which was Salil Chowdhury’s Kannada debut is a minor trivia. The song Kalkond bitte, on the other hand, is proof that Ajaneesh Loknath is emerging to be a wonderfully consistent and exciting composer (he is making his Tamil debut in Kurangu Bommai, incidentally). Ajaneesh opens the song with what sounds like African/Saharan guitar and hands over the song’s reign to Haricharan. Hari, for his part, is in blistering form, seamlessly moving from the loverboy opener to a superbly tapori-style delivery. Sticking to just one anupallavi, Ajaneesh also alternates the rhythm pattern for maximum impact.
24k Magic – Bruno Mars (Album: 24k Magic)
In 24k Magic, Bruno Mars plays the role of nostalgia curator more than a hit-maker that he is, otherwise. The sound is very 80s and 90s funk and soul, and some of the sounds in the album are so, so reminiscent of Michael Jackson’s lush, percussive style. In the title song, he even sounds like Jackson, launching straight into the title song confidently. The R&B infused song is easy on the ears and infectious in its appeal, with a call and response pattern that makes it easy to sing along with.