Sunday February 12, 2017
Hitman – February 12, 2017
Originally published in The Hindu.
Paarai mele – Sathriyan (Tamil – Yuvan Shankar Raja)
This composer is obsessed with singing his songs himself. He sings terribly too. You thought this is about Himesh Reshammiya? No, this is about Yuvan Shankar Raja. How else does one rationalize Yuvan singing ‘Paarai meLe thooraL poLe…’ or ‘ennai udaithavale’ (instead of ‘udaithavaLe’)? Or him going off key all across the song as if that is by design and done intentionally? The irony of this is the fact that his tunes remain compelling and his orchestration stellar! Paarai mele, for instance, is a great tune, with brilliant strings all over and a dash of his earlier obsession – Celtic sounds!
Mannerless Majnu – Running Shaadi.Com (Hindi – Abhishek-Akshay)
Shruti. Bittu. Band Baaja Baaraat. (Forget the Tamil remake, Aaha Kalyanam, starring Vaani Kapoor and Nani). Imagine Shruti singing about Bittu, momentarily forgetting “Business ka first rule… jiske saath vyapaar karo, usse kabhi na pyar karo”… no, not that mushy Aadhaa ishq, but a more pragmatic song! That song would be Mannerless Majnu! Abhishek-Akshay’s tune is playfully cute, but what truly sets it apart is Sukanya Purkayastha’s zingy vocals. You can’t help but smile when she goes, ‘Pakka namoona hai piya’ and you can’t help shake a leg for the ‘Mil gaya mannerless Majnu’ hook!
Ondu malebillu – Chakravarthy (Kannada – Arjun Janya)
Armaan Mallik seems to be having a Sonu Nigam’ish time in Kannada… he’s getting some amazing songs to croon recently. Arjun Janya handed him the delightful Devare in Hebbuli and in Chakravarthy, Armaan gets Ondu malebillu! The song’s backdrop is very quaint and vaudevillian, the kind Pritam made popular all over again in Barfi. Arjun adds a guitar-led lilt to the already lovely melody, besides accordion all through and particularly fantastic strings in the second interlude! This Arjun-Armaan combination is starting to seem as winsome as the Mano Murthy-Sonu Nigam combination!
Mhaari re mangetar – Maati Baani Ft. Alaa Wardi (Indipop)
Maati Baani is known for funky interpretations of folk tunes. And Alaa Wardi, the Saudi Arabian a cappella artist is known for his catchy a capella YouTube videos. They join forces in Mhaari Re Mangetar, a zany Rajasthani folk’ish song with a lively and quirky video that is Alaa Wardi’s hallmark. The song is infectiously catchy, with a cornucopia of curious instruments like Glove Bagpipe, Carrot Clarinet, Mr Curly Morsing and Bucket played by Linsey Pollak and Thongophone by Zaia Kendall! Alaa Wardi, along with Nirali and Karthik, leads the singing part with panache.
Ravera – Luckunnodu (Telugu – Achu Rajamani)
Achu Rajamani has just one song in Luckunnodu, but he makes that one song count, and how! The song’s base is EDM, but, for obvious reasons, like Indian Chinese food, this is desi-fied EDM. Achu makes some interesting modifications, like adding that Indian percussion as a layer and that makes a big difference. The song’s clear highlight is Lipsika’s singing… she aces the vocals like a diva, alternating between English and Telugu, and relegates Revanth to the prelude and the ending!