Friday December 8, 2017

Milliblog Annual Music round-up 2017

Posted by Karthik

Update (December 24, 2017): If 160 songs across 5 languages and 5 different playlists seem taxing to you, here’s a single 50-song language-agnostic playlist. This is my own ‘Milliblog India 50, 2017’, a mix I made for myself to sample great music from 2017 in one playlist.
On Apple Music (all 50 songs) | On Saavn (47 songs, 3 songs from Satyam repertoire in Malayalam missing in Saavn)

[Original post below]

Here’s the 10th edition of Milliblog’s annual music list.

Wow… I’ve been doing annual music compilations for 10 years, huh? Anyway, as always, the lists are in order of preference. And, for the first time, I’m not adding YouTube playlists since it is impossible to add individual songs from playlists after YouTube removed the feature of being able to add starting and ending markers within playlists. So, only Apple Music and Saavn playlists this year. In a way, Apple Music and Saavn have made it really easy to discover and stream new music. The catalog across both platforms are updated very frequently and even though I still depend on YouTube for jukeboxes, beyond the initial listen, I end up sticking to Saavn or Apple Music on my mobile for listening to the songs, since the apps are hugely convenient. There are minor issues, in terms of availability, like in Malayalam, where Satyam Music’s entire catalog is usually not available on Saavn, but is available on Apple Music. This means, one of Malayalam’s biggest hit, Jimikki Kammal, from Velipadinte Pusthakam, is still not available on Saavn!

This list is based on soundtracks released between December 16, 2016 and December 07, 2017. This is NOT based on release date of films; this is based mostly on the release date of full/complete soundtracks.

And oh, before you start analysing these lists and wondering about why your list doesn’t look like my list and about how that song and this song made it to a list and why that and this song didn’t feature in the list, please read: Milliblog’s Three Laws of Music Appreciation Multiverse!

Hindi

2017 can easily be remembered as Pritam’s year! The composer who debuted as a solo composer back in 2004, eventually went on to be notoriously associated with plagiarism before turning over a new leaf with remarkable honesty and transparency! He truly had a mind-boggling year in 2017! Besides the only Hindi #300 worder of 2017, my long-list of Hindi songs had as many as 16 songs from Pritam. Clearly, Jab Harry Met Sejal is the kind of soundtrack you produce very, very rarely, loaded with incredible music from start to finish and it’s a monumental pity to see Sony Music bungle royally on the release of this soundtrack, relegating fantastic songs like Parinda, Ghar and Beech beech mein to a post-release sleepy launch. To top it, Pritam had Jagga Jasoos too in 2017! It’s no wonder he chose to take a long beak; fully deserved after a high like this.

After Pritam, the other remarkable rise is that of Tanishk Bagchi (and Vayu). For a composer known as remix/remake/recreation-Raja, it was wonderful to hear him evolve into better remixes (not counting the Humma remix, of course) and to delightful original compositions, including my choice for the song of the year, Kanha, from Shubh Mangal Saavdhaan. My long-list had 14 songs from Tanishk (and/or Vayu), incidentally! The other noteworthy rise is that of Rochak Kohli, once known as Ayushmann Khurrana’s co-composer. He came on his own with excellent music fairly consistently, in songs and soundtracks like Naam Shabana’s Rozana, Lucknow Central and Qarib Qarib Singlle.

There was also good consistency from Sachin-Jigar who produced some great music in Simran and Meri Pyaari Bindu, besides the occasional spark in films like Bhoomi and A Gentleman. It was a lean year for Milliblog favorites like Amit Trivedi and A R Rahman, but both had at least one standout album in Qaidi Band and Mom, respectively, even though the failure of those films pulled the soundtracks into oblivion too.

Gaurav Dagaonkar, the intermittent composer got a cracker of a soundtrack in Babumoshai Bandookbaaz, while my old favorites like Krsna (Tukda tukda – Mirza Juuliet) and Ram Sampath (Raees) proved their talent at least once. If I were to pick a debut composer of the year, I’d hand that title to Santanu Ghatak, for Tumhari Sulu’s Rafu!

Other mention-worthy composers (with some of them not in the top 30, but were definitely in my long-list) include Rohit Sharma (Anaarkali of Aarah), Amaal Mallik (Noor and Badrinath Ki Dulhaniya), Nadeem (yes, of Nadeem-Shravan fame! – Tum kahaan the, from Ek Haseena Thi Ek Deewana Tha), Abhishek-Akshay (Running Shaadi. com), Amartya Rahut (Tu Hai Mera Sunday, Tumhari Sulu), Zebunnisa Bangash (Lipstick Under My Burkha), Shashwat Sachdev (Phillauri) and Raghu Dixit (Chef).

Hindi music composer of the year 2017: Pritam

Top 3 Hindi film soundtracks of 2017:
01. Jab Harry Met Sejal (Pritam)
02. Jagga Jasoos (Pritam)
03. Mom (A R Rahman)

Top 30 Hindi films songs of 2017
(Apple Music and Saavn playlists at the end of the list)

01. Kanha – Shubh Mangal Saavdhan (Tanishk-Vayu)
02. Parinda – Jab Harry Met Sejal (Pritam)
03. Ullu ka pattha – Jagga Jasoos (Pritam)
04. Barfani – Babumoshai Bandookbaaz (Gaurav Dagaonkar)
05. Sapne re – Secret Superstar (Amit Trivedi)
06. Bandook meri laila – A Gentleman (Sachin-Jigar)
07. Single rehne de – Simran (Sachin-Jigar)
08. Tippa – Rangoon (Vishal Bhardwaj)
09. Iss tarah – Meri Pyaari Bindu (Sachin-Jigar)
10. Be nazaara – Mom (A R Rahman)

11. Ghar – Jab Harry Met Sejal (Pritam)
12. Jhumritalaiyyan – Jagga Jasoos (Pritam)
13. Udi udi jaye – Raees (Ram Sampath)
14. Tukda tukda – Mirza Juuliet (Krsna)
15. Saajan aayo re – OK Jaanu (A R Rahman)
16. Radio – Tubelight (Pritam)
17. Ik vaari aa – Raabta (JAM8)
18. Main hoon – Munna Michael (Tanishk Baagchi)
19. Tamma tamma again – Badrinath Ki Dulhaniya (Tanishk Bagchi)
20. Beech beech mein – Jab Harry Met Sejal (Pritam)

21. Rozana – Naam Shabana (Rochak Kohli)
22. Rafu – Tumhari Sulu (Santanu Ghatak)
23. Hans mat pagli – Toilet Ek Prem Katha (Vickey Prasad)
24. Poshamba – Qaidi Band (Amit Trivedi)
25. Ishquiya – Lipstick Under My Burkha (Zebunnisa Bangash)
26. Hawayein – Jab Harry Met Sejal (Pritam)
27. Itna tumhe – Machine (Tanishk Bagchi)
28. Helicopter – Ranchi Diaries (Tony Kakkar)
29. Meer-e-kaarwan – Lucknow Central (Rochak Kohli)
30. Thodi si jagah – Tu Hai Mera Sunday (Amartya Rahut)

Apple Music (all 30 songs)

Saavn (all 30 songs – click on the image below)

Tamil

In 2016, I had to offer the ‘composer of the year’ title to Santhosh Narayanan over Sean Roldan given the number of soundtracks the former excelled in and produced. But this year, the choice is very easy. Sean Roldan not only produced a knock-out of a soundtrack in Power Paandi, but also peppered the year with fantastic songs in other soundtracks like Neruppuda, Velai Illa Pattadhaari 2, Kathanayagan and Kathiruppor Pattiyal (including a total 13 songs in my long-list). My bet on composer Sam C.S. in the previous years paid off handsomely in 2017. He had definitely shown promise in 2015’s Mellisai (released as Puriyadha Pudhir in 2017) and more specifically the completely unheard Kadalai in 2016. But Sam moved forward tremendously with Vikram Vedha! With the success of the film and critical acclaim for the music, the whole world is wide open for Sam – really looking forward to what he will do next!

Veteran A.R.Rahman (I know it seems odd to call Rahman a ‘veteran’, but 25 years in the industry is long enough to be called that I suppose!) proved me completely wrong when he scored a kick-ass soundtrack for Mani Ratnam in Kaatru Veliyidai. As a music lover, I’m just very glad that the OK Kanmani musical misfire (strictly in my opinion, of course) was just a one-off event.

I had 10 songs from Imman in my long-list, but it is dismaying to see the talented composer slip consistently towards his templates. It’s really time for Imman 3.0 – he has reinvented his music once and there’s no reason why he cannot pull it another time. Other composers who are in a lean form, either numerically or quality-wise included Justin Prabhakaran (Kaalakkoothu) and last year’s favorites, Santhosh Narayanan (Server Sundaram and an above-average Meyaadha Maan) and Anirudh (decent enough outings in Vivegam and Velaikkaran).

Ghibran had 5 soundtracks this year, and Aramm, Maayavan and Adhe Kangal were very good additions from the composer, though Theeran Adhiragam Ondru and Magalir Mattum were relatively less interesting, even as Theeran’s background score was truly phenomenal. Karthik Raja’s comeback in Padai Veeran, Simon K.King’s comeback in Sathya, Vidyasagar’s comeback in Thiruttu Payale 2, Girishh G’s comeback in Aval, Yuvan Shankar Raja’s comeback (considering his relatively poor form in 2016) in Semma Botha Aagathey and Balloon (and to a lesser extent, Taramani) and G.V.Prakash Kumar’s comeback in Mupparimanam and particularly, Sema were other noteworthy highlights.

In terms of debutants, Kannada composer Ajaneesh Loknath made a solid debut in Kurangu Bommai and has even his excellent music from Ulidavaru Kandante seeing a resurrection in Richie. Ishaan Dev’s debut in En Aaloda Seruppa Kaanom, KP’s debut in Indrajith, Ashwin Vinayagamoorthy’s debut in Yaadhumaagi Nindraai, Indra’s debut in Tubelight and Dhibu Ninan Thomas’s debut in Maragadha Naanayam are definitely worth noting. The most interesting and outstanding debut of the year, though, is from Bindhumalini and Vedanth Bharadwaj, in Aruvi!

Holding on to the periphery are composers like Afzal Yusuf (Engeyum Naan Iruppen), Vivek-Mervin (Dora), Santhosh Dhayanidhi (Enakku Vaaitha Adimaigal), Hiphop Tamizha (a very high-profile Kavan that came a cropper, and a middling Meesaya Murukku), Leon James (Veera), Vishal Chandrashekhar (Simba, but who also did excellent work in the Telugu film, Kathalo Rajakumari), Ajesh (Thiri), Siddharth Vipin (Brahmma. com) and Dharan Kumar (Abhiyum Anuvum).

The year was also an interesting one for music labels. Think Music continued to make astute acquisitions, but it was Trend Music (with a path-breaking buy in the bilingual Solo) and Divo Music (with a really interesting strategy of not insisting exclusively ‘named’ rights and working as a release-partner with other newer, mostly composer-led and producer-led labels, like that of Yuvan Shankar Raja’s U1 Music and Dhanush’s Wunderbar Studios, and going truly pan-South Indian, including Kannada releases like Kirik Party) that pulled off very exciting titles. Divo’s strategy remains enormously interesting and their repertoire is also constantly increasing and improving! Sony Music continues to throw its weight occasionally and getting very few choices right.

Please note – for sheer matter of convenience, I have considered Solo under Malayalam, though I fully understand it was a bilingual and had Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi songs too. Very difficult to slot it into multiple languages or to even slot it in the first place!

Tamil film music composer of the year 2017: Sean Roldan

Top 3 Tamil film soundtracks of 2017:
01. Power Paandi (Sean Roldan)
02. Vikram Vedha (Sam C.S.)
03. Kaatru Veliyidai (A R Rahman)

Top 30 Tamil film songs of 2017:
(Apple Music and Saavn playlists at the end of the list)

01. Paarthen – Power Paandi (Sean Roldan)
02. Karuppu vellai – Vikram Vedha (Sam C.S.)
03. Kanna katti – Kaalakkoothu (Justin Prabhakaran)
04. Venpani malare – Power Paandi (Sean Roldan)
05. Azhagiye – Kaatru Veliyidai (A R Rahman)
06. Aalangiliye – Neruppuda (Sean Roldan)
07. Paathum paakkaama – Kurangu Bommai (B.Ajaneesh Loknath)
08. Abimaaniye – En Aaloda Seruppa Kaanom (Ishaan Dev)
09. Iraivanai thandha – Velai Illa Pattadhaari 2 (Sean Roldan)
10. Rail aaraaroo – Nenjil Thunivirunthal (D.Imman)

11. Enna naan – Meyaadha Maan (Pradeep Kumar)
12. Saarattu vandiyila – Kaatru Veliyidai (A R Rahman)
13. Adi vaadi thimiraa – Magalir Mattum (Ghibran)
14. Sandalee – Sema (G.V. Prakash Kumar)
15. Yaanji – Vikram Vedha (Sam C.S.)
16. Karuva karuva payale – Karuppan (D.Imman)
17. Mattikkiten – Padai Veeran (Karthik Raja)
18. Idho thaanaagave – Adhe Kangal (Ghibran)
19. On nenappu – Kathanayagan (Sean Roldan)
20. Iraiva – Velaikkaran (Anirudh)

21. Kukkotti kunaatti – Aruvi (Bindhumalini, Vedanth Bharadwaj)
22. Yavvana – Sathya (Simon K. King)
23. Tasakku tasakku – Vikram Vedha (Sam C.S.)
24. Itemkaaran – Semma Botha Aagathey (Yuvan Shankar Raja)
25. Nee paarkum – Thiruttuppayale 2 (Vidyasagar)
26. Melam kottudaa – Aramm (Ghibran)
27. Azhagile enai – Kathiruppor Pattiyal (Sean Roldan)
28. Kadhalada – Vivegam (Anirudh)
29. Mella mella – Maayavan (Ghibran)
30. Kaarigai kanne – Aval (Girishh G)

Apple Music (all 30 songs)

Saavn (all 30 songs – click on the image below)

Telugu

After 2 years of Gopi Sundar’s stellar ride (with a lone spark in Ninnu Kori in 2017), there’s a new rising star in Telugu town! I was hoping it would be Sunny M.R (who had a pretty good outing with Keshava), but he seems far more content assisting Pritam in Bollywood (and look at what it did to Pritam this year!!). The new star is Shravan Bharadwaj, someone I had noted as promising, in a list mid-2016 and been tracking for at least 4 years. Shravan produced 2 incredible soundtracks this year – Chandamama Raave and Malli Raava – a year that was almost eclipsed by Radhan’s brilliant soundtrack for Arjun Reddy. Ironically, I really don’t know whether Chandamama Raave released or if anyone really heard its music. Given Sumanth’s presence, I’m guessing at least Malli Raava will get slightly a more visible presence, music-wise.

The other composer who had a rise up was Vivek Sagar. After Sheesh Mahal, Yuddham Sharanam is a massive step up for the young composer and despite that film’s failure, here’s hoping he is able to sustain his presence. Ko Antey Koti-fame Shakthikanth Karthik too made quite a splash with his big ticket outing in Fida.

Radhan’s Arjun Reddy is, of course, the other big story of the year. After Andala Rakshasi in 2012, Yevade Subramanyam in 2015 (along with Ilayaraja), Radhan had 2 releases in 2017 – while Radha was average fare, Arjun Reddy, with its Amit Trivedi’esque score that pitched far beyond Trivedi for the Telugu Dev.D, was literally the Telugu soundtrack of the year for me. The music complimented the film so darn well!

But, as far as the composer of the year goes, it’d be mighty unfair of me to not include old-timer Devi Sri Prasad. I have been scathing about his form and he seems to hold on to his stock template like his life depended on it, but this year, the man has produced some entertaining (the best word I can use for his music) songs across the many films he has worked on. Gudilo badilo, from DJ: Duvvada Jagannadham easily tops that list, followed by the ebullient title song of Raarandoi Veduka Chuddam. The man ploughs on, for now, quite successfully.

The other composer who continues to chug along is Mani Sharma! Between LIE, Balakrishnudu, Fashion Designer s/o Ladies Tailor and Aakatayi, he had a pretty decent year! Keeravani, who had earlier said he would retire on December 8, 2016, thankfully did not and had a blockbuster outing with Baahubali 2. He also had lesser known soundtracks in Om Namo Venkatesaya and more importantly, the completely unknown Showtime!

Thaman is in the chugging boat too, with occasionally listenable stuff in films like Mahanubhavudu (his best in a long time), Jawaan, Veedevadu and Winner.

Veteran Ilayaraja had a fantastic 2-song mix in Kathalo Rajakumari (along with the rest by Vishal Chandrashekhar, who did much better in Telugu than in Tamil, with Simba).

Ghibran’s lone Telugu soundtrack, Ungarala Rambabu had at least 2 excellent songs. Other Tamil composers trying their luck in Telugu included Santhosh Narayanan with a newly added single in the Telugu remake of Irudhi Sutru, Harris Jayaraj for the bilingual/Mahesh Babu Tamil debut Spyder, Yuvan Shankar Raja in Oxygen and K, with Aanando Brahma. Malayalam composer Shaan Rahman made his full-fledged Telugu in Prematho Mee Karthik and Rachayitha, with the latter being a particularly fantastic 3-song soundtrack. Together, Shaan slowly seems to be taking on the mantle that the other Malayalam-to-Telugu composer, Gopi Sundar, owned, in Telugu films!

Other composers like Bheems Ceciroleo (Nakshatram), Harshavardhan (Good Bad Ugly), Prasan Praveen Shyam (Kaadhali), Bharath Madhusudhanan (Nakshatram), Prashanth R Vihari (Mental Madhilo and Velipomakey), Suresh Bobbili (Maa Abbayi), Achu Rajamani (Luckunnodu, Venkatapuram), DJ Vasanth (Gunturodu, Vaisakham), Anup Rubens (Paisa Vasool, Katamarayudu, Nene Raju Nene Mantri, Kittu Unnadu Jagratha), Vijai Bulganin (Rendu Rellu Aaru), Shekar Chandra (Oye Ninney), Praveen Lakkaraju (Luckunnodu), Naresh Penta (Sriramudinta Srikrishnudanta), Munna Kasi (Maama O Chandamama), Sai Karthik (Next Nuvve) and Sunil Kashyap (Sarovaram), Chirrantan Bhatt (Gautamiputra Satakarni) and Madhu Ponnas (O Pilla Nee Valla) had minor, occasional good songs through the year.

Telugu film music composer(s) of the year 2017: Shravan Bharadwaj and Devi Sri Prasad

Top 3 Telugu film soundtracks of 2017:
01. Arjun Reddy (Radhan)
02. Chandamama Raave (Shravan)
03. Kathalo Rajakumari (Vishal Chandrashekhar and Ilayaraja)

Top 30 Telugu film songs of 2017:
(Apple Music and Saavn playlists at the end of the list)

01. Gudilo badilo – DJ: Duvvada Jagannadham (Devi Sri Prasad)
02. Praayam Inthera – Chandamama Raave (Shravan)
03. Hamsa naava – Baahubali 2 – The Conclusion (M.M.Keeravani)
04. Title song – Raarandoi Veduka Chuddam (Devi Sri Prasad)
05. Vachinde – Fida (Shakthikanth Karthick)
06. Emitemitemo – Arjun Reddy (Radhan)
07. Yelugula teraley – Yuddham Sharanam (Vivek Sagar)
08. Miss Sunshine – LIE (Mani Sharma)
09. Thikkalodi vesham – Kathalo Rajakumari (Ilayaraja)
10. Telusa – Keshava (Sunny M.R.)

11. Unnatundi gundey – Ninnu Kori (Gopi Sundar)
12. Madhurame – Arjun Reddy (Radhan)
13. Welcome back to love – Malli Raava (Shravan)
14. Enno enno bhavaley – Yuddham Sharanam (Vivek Sagar)
15. Allari pillagada – Ungarala Rambabu (Ghibran)
16. Anukunnadi – Balakrishnudu (Mani Sharma)
17. Ishtam – Good Bad Ugly (Harshavardhan)
18. Laayire – Nakshatram (Bheems Ceciroleo)
19. Kaadhal kaadhal – Kaadhali (Prasan Praveen Shyam)
20. What Amma What Is This Amma – Vunnadhi Okate Zindagi (Devi Sri Prasad)

21. Rana priya – Rachayitha (Shaan Rahman)
22. Adiga adiga – Ninnu Kori (Gopi Sundar)
23. Manase thalupe – Kathalo Rajakumari (Vishal Chandrashekhar)
24. Telisiney na nuvvey – Arjun Reddy (Radhan)
25. Rendu kallu – Mahanubhavudu (Thaman S)
26. Edhola – Mental Madhilo (Prashanth R Vihari)
27. Okka chinukulo – Prematho Mee Karthik (Shaan Rahman)
28. Eppudu Modalaindo – Chandamama Raave (Shravan)
29. Kanulemito – Fashion Designer s/o Ladies Tailor (Mani Sharma)
30. Hello pillagada – Nakshatram (Bharath Madhusudhanan)

Apple Music (29 songs; missing – No.21, Rachayita)

Saavn (all 30 songs – click on the image below)

Malayalam

Let me start with the composer who had 16 songs in my long-list – Bijibal! The man was unstoppably prolific this year with more than 10 films! Of these, I’d rate Sarvopari Palakkaran and Matchbox as my personal favorite complete albums, though he had a great song or two in almost all this films. Bijibal’s music seems as low-key as the films he seems to choose – nothing big or flashy, just regular films that work in Malayalam so very often.

Gopi, on the other hand, is the opposite. He works on superstar (whatever that means in Malayalam) films and even on films where Bijibal’ish everyday actors are trying to be superstars (Role Models, Fahadh Faasil). I picked 17 of Gopi’s songs in my long-list, from 9 of his films (there were more!) and also decided to hand him over the title of the composer of the year for his stellar soundtrack in Udaharanam Sujatha!

But he’d need to share that along with Shaan Rahman, who also shared last year’s composer of the year tag along with Sooraj S. Kurup. Shaan was the proud owner of what could be 2017’s Kolaveri (or, to take another such Malayalam song, 2017’s Lajjavadhiye) – a language-busting, massively viral song, Jimikki Kammal. Not just that, he also produced consistently good music across other films like Godha and Aana Alaralodalaral.

As far as a full-fledged, complete soundtrack goes, there’s nothing more ambitious or interesting than Solo! The many-songs soundtrack put together by the director Bejoy Nambiar and composer Prasanth Pillai is a mega compilation of older and new songs and they all work so cohesively as a soundtrack!

The choice of the 3rd best soundtrack, in my view, would go to Rex Vijayan’s brilliant 3-songs + many background scores collection in Parava. Ex-Avial Rex has done films like Neelakasham Pacha Kadal Chuvanna Bhoomi, Lord Livingstone 7000 Kandi, North 24 Kaatham and Sapthamashree Thaskaraha, but in Parava, his craft comes together like it hasn’t, so far. The other guitarist who seems to be doing well in Malayalam is Sanjeev Thomas. His Vilakkumaram was a refreshingly good soundtrack!

Prashant Pillai has made a habit of having at least one song in the top 5 in Milliblog’s annual lists. Manogathambhavaan, from Anuraga Karikkin Vellam in 2016 and Vasanthamallike, from Chandrettan Evideya in 2015, for instance. This year is no exception – Solo’s eclectic Roshomon sure deserves a place right in the top 5! The other promising composers – Deepak Dev and Rahul Raj, had the random good songs at times – Deepak’s Unnikrishnan-sung Ekayaai nee from Kaattu was a real surprise, while Rahul pulled off something similar in E’s Pranavaakaram, both being specifically based on carnaticraagas. Deepak produced good stuff in Adam John, where he made Prithvi sing pretty decently, and in Sunday Holiday, where apart from his trademark Mazha paadum, he also had a really cool disco number!

Veteran M.Jayachandran definitely had noteworthy music in at least 2 soundtracks – Nawal Enna Jewel and Pullikkaaran Staara. Afzal Yusuf, while also doing good work in Tamil (Engeyum Naan Iruppen), had pretty good music in Theeram, while Hesham Abdul Wahab’s 2 versions of Enganepadendunjan in Cappuccino is his annual highlight. In terms of debutants, Ashwin Renju’s Minunundae mullapolae (Tharangam), Justin Varghese’s Enthavo (Njandukalude Nattil Oridavela) and Manikandan Ayyappa’s Ivalaro (Oru Mexican Aparatha) top my list.

Other composers with the occasional good song included Mejo Joseph (Hrudayavaathil – C/O Saira Banu), 4 Musics (Kandittum – Villain), Rahul Subrahmanian (Oruvakkinal – 1971 Beyond Borders), Aravind Chandrasekhar (Akkidi – Himalayathile Kashmalan), Vishnu Mohan Sithara (Penne penne – Basheerinte Premalekhanam), Arun Muraleedharan (Varminnal – Adventures of Omanakuttan) and Sankar Sharma (Avarude Raavukal).

Malayalam film music composer(s) of the year 2017: Gopi Sundar and Shaan Rahman

Top 3 Malayalam film soundtracks of 2017:
01. Solo (Assorted composers)
02. Udaharanam Sujatha (Gopi Sundar)
03. Parava (Rex Vijayan)

Top 30 Malayalam film songs of 2017:
(Apple Music and Saavn playlists at the end of the list)

01. Kasavu njoriyumoru pulari – Udaharanam Sujatha (Gopi Sundar)
02. Entammede jimikki kammal – Velipadinte Pusthakam (Shaan Rahman)
03. Roshomon – Solo (Prashant Pillai)
04. Nenjil nenjil – Parava (Rex Vijayan)
05. Ekayaai Nee – Kaattu (Deepak Dev)
06. Vaanam thilathilakkanu – Comrade In America CIA (Gopi Sundar)
07. Shaanti – Aana Alaralodalaral (Shaan Rahman)
08. Ozhukiyozhuki – Oru Cinemaakkaran (Bijibal)
09. Pranavaakaram – E (Rahul Raj)
10. Minunundae mullapolae – Tharangam (Ashwin Renju)

11. Madhumatiye – Sakhavu (Prashant Pillai)
12. Aaro nenjil – Godha (Shaan Rahman)
13. Do naina/La vettam – Angamaly Diaries (Prashant Pillai)
14. Enthavo – Njandukalude Nattil Oridavela (Justin Varghese)
15. Ikkaliveettil – Sarvopari Palakkaran (Bijibal)
16. Aaradyam – Matchbox (Bijibal)
17. Oru vaanchi paattu – Solo (Agam)
18. Mazha paadum – Sunday Holiday (Deepak Dev)
19. Vaa kuruvi – Vilakkumaram (Sanjeev T)
20. Neelambal nilavodu – Nawal Enna Jewel (M.Jayachandran)

21. Kandu nee – Solo (Abhinav Bansal)
22. Ormakal – Parava (Rex Vijayan)
23. Thechille penne – Role Models (Gopi Sundar)
24. Janah meri janah – Cappuccino (Hesham Abdul Wahab)
25. Veerangana – Crossroad (Amrutha Suresh, Abhirami Suresh)
26. Kilivathilin chare nee – Pullikkaran Staraa (M.Jayachandran)
27. Shekara – Aana Alaralodalaral (Shaan Rahman)
28. Joleem kooleem – Georgettan’s Pooram (Gopi Sundar)
29. Mele arimulla – Velipadinte Pusthakam (Shaan Rahman)
30. Chinthicho nee – Sathya (Gopi Sundar)

Apple Music (all 30 songs)

Saavn (24 songs; missing: No.2 Velipadinte Pusthakam, No.18 Sunday Holiday, No.20 Nawal Enna Jewel, No.23 Role Models, No.28 Georgettan’s Pooram, No.29 Velipadinte Pusthakam and No.30 Sathya. Click on the image below)

Kannada

In my 2010 annual music round-up, I wrote, “I have a lot of hope from AP Arjun in 2011 – he has shown consistent promise in the past few years and could be the dark horse that people are obviously missing”. AP Arjun became Arjun Janya and he went on to become the composer of the year on Milliblog for 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014! Harikrishna in 2015 and the combo of newbies, Charan Raj and Ajaneesh Loknath ruled in 2016. I’m glad to announce Arjun as the composer of the year once again, after 2 years, given his phenomenal score for Raaga, and for a fairly consistent year across films like Hebbuli, Chakravarthy, College Kumar, Raj Vishnu, Naane Next CM and Pataki. Last year’s stars – Ajaneesh and Charan Raj had a fairly tepid year, with Srikanta and Dalapathi, respectively, while the latter’s national award-winning score in the film Jeer Jimbe is nowhere in sight as far as a release is concerned. Ajaneesh also debuted in Tamil, incidentally, with Kurangu Bommai, and the Tamil remake of Ulidavaru Kandante, called Richie.

Manoj George’s comeback in Urvi, Raghu Dixit’s comeback in Happy New Year and Joshua Sridhar’s comeback in Rajahamsa definitely merit a mention. But, the year’s break-out artist would be Judah Sandhy, who finally made good on his promise – he has no doubt been an interesting composer to watch out for, with good songs in 2016’s Adbutha, Badmaash and Shachina Heggar’s pop single, Dibbaradindi, and this year’s Operation Alamelamma, though his big-ticket outing in Uppu Huli Haara was a damp squib. To see him score a knockout in Chamak is so heartening! Here’s hoping Judah does much better in 2018. The 2 noteworthy debutants of the year included Midhun Mukundan (with Srinivasa Kalyana, a song in Kaafi Thota and his best, Ondu Motteya Kathe) and Chetan Sosca (Kaal Kg Preethi).

Veteran Harikrishna had a lean year, with only Yogaraj Bhat’s Ganesh starrer Mugulu Nage being a talking point. An interesting trend I notice is little known composers producing some darn good songs on an occasional basis – Kiran Ranvindranath (Kodeyondara adiyalli – Raju Kannada Medium), Anand Rajavikraman (Thaliru thoranadi – Lee) and Vikram Varman, who actually debuted with a Tamil film, Ariyaan, in 2009 (Muddu hudugi and Baa neenenodu – Naanu Nammudgi Kharchgond Mafia). Hope these folks find a firmer footing in 2018. The other Tamil composer making his official debut in Kannada was Yuvan Shankar Raja, with Gowdru Hotel. Anoop Seelin, Bharath B.J and Ravi Basrur seem to be the ones ploughing on, though there’s a lot of music from Ravi Basrur lately, in particular, even as not much of it is all that interesting.

Kannada film music composer of the year 2017: Arjun Janya

Top 3 Kannada film soundtracks of 2017:
01. Raaga (Arjun Janya)
02. Ondu Motteya Kathe (Midhun Mukundan)
03. Chamak (Judah Sandhy)

Top 30 Kannada film songs of 2017:
(Apple Music and Saavn playlists at the end of the list)

01. Devare – Hebbuli (Arjun Janya)
02. Thili prema – Urvi (Manoj George)
03. Henne – Ondu Motteya Kathe (Midhun Mukundan)
04. Belakendare – Raaga (Arjun Janya)
05. Marete hodenu – Dayavittu Gamanisi (Anoop Seelin)
06. Ondu malebillu – Chakravarthy (Arjun Janya)
07. Kodeyondara adiyalli – Raju Kannada Medium (Kiran Ravindranath)
08. Roopasi – Mugulu Nage (V.Harikrishna)
09. O sanjeya hoove – Chamak (Judah Sandhy)
10. Hasi bisi – College Kumar (Arjun Janya)

11. Aalisu baa – Raaga (Arjun Janya)
12. Preetiya hesare neenu – Happy New Year (Raghu Dixit)
13. Chanda avalu – Ondu Motteya Kathe (Midhun Mukundan)
14. Saddillade – Kaal Kg Preethi (Chetan Sosca)
15. Alaga Alaga – Operation Alamelamma (Judah Sandhy)
16. Mula mula – Rajahamsa (Joshua Sridhar)
17. Kush kush – Chamak (Judah Sandhy)
18. Early morning – Dalapathi (Charan Raj)
19. Ondhe jeevana – Gowdru Hotel (Yuvan Shankar Raja)
20. Thaliru thoranadi – Lee (Anand Rajavikraman)

21. Suvvanna suvvanaare – Raj Vishnu (Arjun Janya)
22. Sanje hothu – Tarak (Arjun Janya)
23. Ninna haage – Gowdru Hotel (Yuvan Shankar Raja)
24. Matthe maleyagide – Chakravarthy (Arjun Janya)
25. Manasina – Raaga (Arjun Janya)
26. Ondondsari – Srikanta (Ajaneesh Loknath)
27. Muddu hudugi – Naanu Nammudgi Kharchgond Mafia (Vikram Varman)
28. Gapu gapalli – Srinivasa Kalayana (Midhun Mukundan)
29. Magariya – Anjaniputhraa (Ravi Basrur)
30. Jigidante Jeeva – Naane Next CM (Arjun Janya)

Apple Music (all 30 songs)

Saavn (29 songs; missing – No.8 Mugulu Nage. Click on the image below)

Marathi

Obviously, my awareness and the time I spend on Marathi music is rather limited (and it shows!), but I really like the music of the trio, Hrishikesh-Saurabh-Jasraj and look forward to their music. Ubuntu, by Kaushal Inamdar is another lovely listen this year.

Marathi film music composer(s) of the year 2017: Hrishikesh-Saurabh-Jasraj

Top 10 Marathi film songs of 2017:
(Apple Music and Saavn playlists at the end of the list)

01. Hich amuchi praarthana – Ubuntu (Marathi, Kaushal Inamdar)
02. Chukatay – Muramba (Marathi, Hrishikesh-Saurabh-Jasraj)
03. Marugelara – Hampi (Marathi, Aditya Bedekar)
04. Maze tuze – Muramba (Hrishikesh-Saurabh-Jasraj)
05. Aapla romance – Bus Stop (Hrishikesh Saurabh Jasraj)
06. Title song – Ubuntu (Kaushal Inamdar)
07. Gaaz yeta go – Mala Kahich Problem Nahi (Hrishikesh Saurabh Jasraj)
08. Vanava petala – Ghuma (Hrishikesh-Saurabh-Jasraj)
09. Aga aik na – Muramba (Hrishikesh-Saurabh-Jasraj)
10. Virlya kevha – Mala Kahich Problem Nahi (Hrishikesh Saurabh Jasraj)

Apple Music (6 songs; missing – No.2, 4 and 9 – Muramba, No.5 – Bus Stop)

Saavn (all 10 songs; click on the image below)

Indipop

2017 was the year when Channel V died (finally). It’s interesting that the channel that heralded the Indipop wave is dying in the year when Indipop has been reduced to virtually nothing, with only T-series willing to spend money on making splashy music videos of supposedly-pop songs and Zee music unleashing more pointless regional pop than what anybody has the mindspace for. Thankfully, there were the occasional highs, like Sony’s Bewajah, by Anirudh. The folks still holding out include Papon (with a fantastic new album in Notun Puhor, after last year’s Saavn original album), Agam (their sophomore album was announced in 2017 along with a prelude and one song) and old-timers like Maati Baani. There’s some amount of truly independent pop happening, like Raman Mahadevan’s new songs with Jirka, Job Kurien and bands like Street Academics. These are folks who don’t have a label backing yet and are trying it on their own, via YouTube and iTunes.

01. Bewajah – Anirudh
02. Mhaari re mangetar – Maati Baani Ft. Alaa Wardi
03. Enthavo – Job Kurian
04. Eri thoi oha mur, Pt. 2 – Notun Puhor (Papon)
05. Kalapila – Street Academics

Apple Music (4 songs; missing – Mhaari re mangetar – Maati Baani Ft. Alaa Wardi)

Saavn (4 songs; missing – Mhaari re mangetar – Maati Baani Ft. Alaa Wardi. Click on the image below)


Given top 30 count, I’m sure you’d obviously find some favorite song/songs of yours missing in my lists. But that’s the hallmark of my list v. your list, or another person’s list. Let me know your favorite songs I missed, in the comments section.

Enjoy the music! 🙂

Comments

comments

  • Sri Prabhuram

    Oh GOD! I literally scrolled down the bottom of the page just to comment about my excitement. I have not seen the page yet! So… I just do it slowly and start a thread of comments about whether I agree with your opinion. 🙂

    • Sri Prabhuram

      Hindi:
      I do agree with #1 & #3 and the fact that Pritam is composer of the year His prolific year was unstoppable this year. I’d put Rangoon ahead of Jagga Jasoos, because I felt that it was a vibrantly diverse, yet cohesive soundtrack from Vishal Bhardwaj.

      My Top 3:
      1. Jab Harry Met Sejal (Pritam)
      2. Rangoon (Vishal Bhardwaj)
      3. Mom (A. R. Rahman)

    • Sri Prabhuram

      Tamil:
      I felt that both Sean Roldan & Ghibran deserved the composer of the year title. Also, Aruvi’s soundtrack was the best one I’ve heard this year because their experimentation was a treat to admire and it worked beautifully for me:

      My Top 3:
      1. Aruvi (Bindhumalini & Vedanth Bharadwaj)
      2. Power Paandi (Sean Roldan)
      3. Vikram Vedha (Sam C. S.)

    • Sri Prabhuram

      Telugu:
      For me, Devi Sri Prasad had a terrible year with only a few songs that I liked. But yes, Shravan had a stellar year with the two soundtracks. Yuddham Sharanam, however, was almost as addictive as Arjun Reddy for me. And speaking of that, I couldn’t agree with you more that Arjun Reddy was the soundtrack of the year! So, I felt both Radhan & Shravan were the best!

      My Top 3:
      1. Arjun Reddy (Radhan)
      2. Yuddham Sharanam (Vivek Sagar)
      3. Chandamama Raave & Malli Raava (Shravan)

    • Sri Prabhuram

      Malayalam:
      I felt Bijibal was composer of the year because of his prolific year, but Gopi Sundar also deserved it too. And yes I agree with your Top 3 Soundtracks!

      My Top 3 is your Top 3! 🙂

    • Sri Prabhuram

      Kannada:
      I agree with you that Arjun Janya was composer of the year, but Raaga wasn’t in the Top 3 for me, let alone the best soundtrack of the year. I would make Ondu Motteya Kathe the best, Chamak the 2nd best, & Urvi the 3rd best. Urvi had scintillating stuff from Manoj George, from the adrenaline-pumping Adhura Madhura to the melodious Kanna Hanni.

      My Top 3:
      1. Ondu Motteya Kathe (Midhun Mukundan)
      2. Chamak (Judah Sandhy)
      3. Urvi (Manoj George)

    • Sri Prabhuram

      And I haven’t listened to the Marathi music this year. 😕

  • Sri Prabhuram

    Other than that thread, it feels awesome going a whole year with Milliblog. Although, there were a couple of differences between our opinions, keeping track of the #200s & #300s has never felt any better. I will continue to follow it, so please don’t leave this blog. It is the biggest asset to the Indian Music Industry in all those languages. I will continue those counters for the rest of the month, until 2018. Overall, thank you for this roundup (even though it was earlier than I expected!) and thank you for expressing your opinions through these music reviews! Without it, I would not have been exposed to these sweet multilingual musical gems! 🙂🙌🏼

    • milliblog

      Will continue as long as I can 🙂

    • Sri Prabhuram

      Also, this is the first time in this roundup where in all five languages, the Top 3 soundtracks have received at least a #200 review from you. Just wanted to point that out.

  • Sathya

    Can someone articulate how a critic views/rates/ranks music versus how a member of the “general public” views/rates/ranks music? Sathiyama Puriyale …. lol

    • Sri Prabhuram

      He’s not a music critic. He’s a common man who expresses his opinions through his 100 word reviews (sometimes 200 or 300 if he really loves them). Any person can have their own opinion and rank their own songs. Like what he said earlier, this is based on his own preference. The concept of “critic” vs. “public” is total garbage because at the end of the day, the “critics” are humans just like the public and are just expressing their own opinions based on how much they like or hate a certain soundtrack (or whatever they are giving an opinion on). Sure, there may be a lot of agreements amongst them, but there will also be a lot of disagreements, too. Hope this helps. 🙂

      • Sathya

        Thats oversimplifying it. Yes of course, everyone is general public and I am sure the critics do not think of themselves otherwise. I asked an academic question on where some of the big disconnects between ‘critic’ reviews (for lack of a better word) and general public reviews come from.

    • milliblog

      Music ranking and lists can only be done in 3 ways –
      1. by consensus (aggregated from groups of people, like a countdown, survey etc.) or
      2. by sales/downloads/streams (whichever platform, aggregated or random) or
      3. based on individual opinions (whether they call themselves critics, reviewers, listeners or whatever).

      There is zero point in trying to analyse them in both cases. And to be ‘academic’ about it 🙂 No matter how anyone tries, it is impossible to ‘explain’ academically or scientifically any list. Even the 2nd one, one can argue about flawed data sources, leakage in data in various points and the data itself.

      As for the ‘disconnect’, please read: Three Laws of Music Appreciation Multiverse http://bit.ly/29X9HZJ

      • Sathya

        Thanks for the link to the article. It partially answers my question.
        I don’t mean to beat this thread to death, but I do want to illustrate one example of a disconnect that worked the other way for me. And I am possibly the most neutral listener out there to review this song.

        (DISCLAIMER: I am not a head/tail/body fan type, no major tamil pattru, not watched a single scene of Vijay on screen – ever. I just know who he is,thats all).

        Take Aalaporan – The 15 seconds brilliance of the Kailash Kher bit and the way ARR attached it makes the whole song. Looking at the comments on youtube I see that a large portion of listeners share my opinion. And they appear to be non-tamil neutral listeners. So here is an isolated bit of music worked in a vacuum devoid of any external influence from the environment.

        • milliblog

          May I point to you that the sample size you’re considering is perhaps not really conducive to reach a conclusion? ‘worked’ is something we can conclude only using a conformational bias, when it comes to music (or any piece of art). The larger point, however, is that the list above is one person’s point of view, which is not based on larger consensus, popularity, commercial success or any other extraneous factor. It is literally one person’s ear and brain + the link I had shared.

          • Sathya

            Thanks for the additional info. This actually brings me back to the unanswered portion of my original ‘academic’ question, that I briefly forgot. Is there also a strictly music-only framework that plays a part in the reviews..Like an internal rating scale – orchestration, voice, freshness of a tune, x-factor etc.. Also, given that many songs make sense only when accompanied by visuals, it must be a pretty abstract exercise, therefore I am curious. Anyway Thanks. This feels like Anton Ego’s ‘perspective’ dialog in Ratatouille.. lol

          • milliblog

            I don’t think there is an academic, rules-based critique possible for film music given how delightfully it breaks all rules and acts as a vibrant amalgamation of multiple styles, genres and ideas.

            As for visuals accompanying the music, yes, that is one perspective. But then, film makers wouldn’t release the songs independently in audio-only forms if that were the case. But they do, so we are free to consume it in a way we think is appropriate for each of us.

          • Sathya

            Ok. Thanks for all the input on this topic. It was a couple of well-spent hours for me trying to understand an unfamiliar process. Have a good week everyone!

  • Jaydeep

    Great list, as usual. Pritam truly deserves to sit there on the top. Its sad to see how multi-composer trend has side lined or almost ousted some of the top league composers like SEL, V-S, Salim-Sulaiman & Sajid-Wajid.

    BTW, Check out Sachin-Jigar’s Love ni Bhavai gujarati movie OST, if you still haven’t. Especially title track Vhalam aavo ne.

  • navo

    “Simon K.King’s debut in Sathya”..

    Just FYI, he also did 555 and Aindhaam Thalaimurai Sidha Vaidhiya Sigamani.

    • milliblog

      You’re right. Sorry for that oversight. Updated.

  • Kiran Kumar Bandiatmakur

    Hey karthik

    No matter how many brickbats DSP receives from you, he still seems to head the top composer of the year in your world. You didn’t even review ‘Unnadi okate Zindagi’….but there are couple of songs from that movie in your top 30 list. That is kind of strange.

    Also, it is lucky for him that most of the (star) movies that he composes for are hits and his music whether you consider them as pedistrian/repetitive/rehash etc still manages to be on the tongues of general public long time, enough to be in the limelight.

    • milliblog

      I did listen to UOZ but except What Amma, didn’t like of the songs enough to bother writing about the album.

      As for DSP, in general, I find his music extremely repetitive. He is in a state where Mani Sharma was, a few months after his peak days. But, as I mentioned in my Telugu 2017 commentary, he knows what works, and within that limited spectrum continues to produce fleetingly entertaining songs. Not recognizing it would be my mistake and loss, and would be unfair too.

  • Noufal

    Comprehensive list again bro….Still to try out some albums but agree with most of your picks….don’t listen to Telugu or Kannada music. much but compared to Hindi and Malayalam music, the Tamil albums lacked quality this year barring power pandi….hoping for more good music and great reviews from you next year and more…. Keep up the awesome job you are doing…. PS my favourite song of the year was Sita kalyanam and album that I binged on the most was solo….

  • Dileep Kumar Shatdharshanam

    Gudilo Badlilo at Top 1 ? I think you must be joking. There are many plenty of good songs qualify at 1. Any number from Arjun Reddy can be set at top 1.

    Anyway , good song selection in Telugu catagory.

    • milliblog

      No, not joking 🙂 Arjun Reddy is definitely my top selection as the album of the year.

      • Dileep S

        Thats true, but my point was on Top 1 song gudilo badilo… which i think very inferior to be at top 1 song of 2017

        • milliblog

          I understand. Different perspectives, that’s all 🙂

    • Mj Rajan

      Agree wid u
      DJ was like more Fun n Entertaining Sound track
      It was Good Though but didn’t deserve #1

  • Sri Prabhuram

    Shaan Rahman’s songs from Rachayita are available on Apple Music.
    https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/rachayitha-original-motion-picture-soundtrack-single/1323955160

    • milliblog

      Thanks – Telugu playlist updated 🙂

  • Mj Rajan

    As far aa Telugu is concerned

    Arjun Reddy was the 2017 Soundtrack for Me

    #1 Teliseney/Madhurame/Oopiraguthunade

    Other good listens wer Fida, Bahubhali 2, Ninnu Kori and Mahanubavudu

    Some how i missed out on listening to Chandamama Ravey n Yudham Saranam

  • Mj Rajan

    It was the Tamil that offered Consistently Exciting Fun n Superior Soundtracks in 2017

    (Except for occasional brilliance from Hindi)
    Sure Pritam takes the Cake 🍰

    Best soundtrack could be
    #1 Vikram Vedha for the Versatility (atleast for me)

    Alapporan Tamizhan
    Yaanji
    Veratama Veraturiye
    Power pandi
    Kadhalaada wer Good listens

  • Mj Rajan

    Kudos n love to the Editor for penning a Long round up 2017

    Let Music Spread happiness n Peace
    Looking forward for 2018
    What it has to offer? 😍😋

  • Mj Rajan

    After an Average 2017 fare

    I wish AR Rahman to set 2018 Playlists on 🔥 Fire

  • Sri Prabhuram
  • rnjbond

    Funny enough, I was about to post and ask when we can expect the round-up… no idea how I missed this!

    Glad to see Pritam get his due. 2017 may have been his best year with Jab Harry Met Sejal, Jagga Jasoos, and Tubelight. Great year for Sachin-Jigar too and I’m glad they got their shot at several full soundtracks.

    Would love to see your “long list”, even if it’s just a text dump.

  • rnjbond

    Also, glad to see “Azhagiye” get its recognition! If a non-Tamil speaker like myself can get addicted to a song and listen to it non-stop without understanding a word (outside of the Punjabi interlude), then it’s something special!

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