Saturday August 17, 2019

Milliblog Weeklies, Week 85 – AUG18.2019

Posted by Karthik

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 85: On JioSaavn | On YouTube
25 songs this week, given that this is after a week’s break 🙂 All 25 are available on JioSaavn. YouTube has 2 songs missing, kind of. Ratchakan Sridhar’s Paayum Oli Kannamma (highly recommended) has just a teaser on the YouTube channel of Vasy Music, the record label. They have given the song to Saavn, but haven’t uploaded it on their YouTube channel (perhaps intentionally, to drive traffic to streaming services). The other missing song is Takkaru, from Ayngaran – it’s inside a YouTube jukebox so haven’t been able to add it in the playlist.

Dilruba – Aki Kumar: What a riot of a song!! 🙂 When he is introduced in American accent, I should have seen it coming! Aki Kumar delivers a pulsating and totally funky rock and roll number, complete with a guitar interlude featuring a man playing (play acting) a sitar! That it alludes to Eena Meena Deeka is a bonus!

Shaabaashiyaan & Tota Udd – Mission Mangal (Amit Trivedi and Tanishk Bagchi) – Hindi: After Dil Mein Mars Hain, Amit pitches in darn well with 2 more songs in the film. Shilpa Rao (along with Anand Bhaskar, Abhijeet Srivastava) is easily the highlight of Shaabaashiyaan, a moody and expansive inspirational number. The anthemic Shaabaashiyaan call is lovely, in particular. Tota Udd is a complete contrast, given that it is by Hindi film industry’s favorite guest composer nowadays, Tanishk Bagchi, with its upbeat hip-hop rhythm and super energetic vocals by Raja Hasan and Romi, as if the song flew off Amit’s Manmarziyaan’s soundtrack and landed here.

Prada – The Doorbeen (Punjabi): The highlight of the song is that this is Alia Bhatt’s first music video. Having cleared that, let’s move on to the actual song. I wonder if luxury brands like Prada and Lamborghini realize how much they are used in Punjabi song lyrics; Doorbeen’s earlier smash hit was called ‘Lamberghini’, btw! Also, Jass Manak already has a super smash hit called Prada, from 2018, with 500+ million views on YouTube! Doorbeen’s Prada is a great listen, with a catchy hook that harks back to older/80s style Punjabi pop music.

Radhe Radhe – Dream Girl (Meet Bros) – Hindi: No more ‘Meet Bros Anjjan’, only Meet Bros? Anyway, they have an effortless winner in Radhe Radhe. It’s a riotously enjoyable folk’ish song that I’m sure will be a smash hit during the upcoming Krishna Janmashtami season! Perfect timing. But yes, the main hook is a smart reinterpretation of Hasee Toh Phasee’s Drama Queen 🙂

Jako Rakhe Saiyan – Batla House (Rochak Kohli) – Hindi: And here’s Ayushmann’s musical partner hitting it out the park with this song from Batla House! What a lovely song!! The feel is decidedly hitting at the Pakistani Pop style and Rochak nails it beautifully! A special note on Navraj Hans’ hugely involved singing – literally lifts the song to a new plane.

Paayum Oli Kannamma – Ratchakan Sridhar (Tamil): Who is Ratchakan Sridhar? That’s the question I had when I listened to this song! This is fantastic work, setting music to Bharathiyar’s iconic and memorable verse. And Sridhar’s tune is heartfelt and impactful, with a tinge of pathos. Impressive!

Takkaru – Ayngaran (G.V.Prakash Kumar) – Tamil: First things first, it’s kinda sad that Ayngaran is not producing a film titled Ayngaran 🙂 Of the 4 songs, GVP’s sound is not bad at all; but the one song that worked for me was Takkaru, with an almost-Yuvan-like, catchy tune. The real hero of the song is Siddharth Mahadevan, who sings like the chip off the old block he is.

Thiru Thiru Gananatha – 100% Kadhal (G.V.Prakash Kumar) – Tamil: Another GVP soundtrack in the same week, and this one has 10 songs! Ironically, the original Telugu film, 100% Love, had very good music by Devi Sri Prasad, and some of the song titles are reused (That Is Mahalakshmi, A Square B Square, Oh/Aho Balu etc.) in Tamil too, even though GVP seems to have taken a lot of effort in retuning those titles as completely different songs. But the effect isn’t as good as, or better than the Telugu original. The one song that worked for me in Tamil was Thiru Thiru Gananatha; this too was a far better song in Telugu, but GVP uses the original’s feel and possibly the same raaga to evoke a similar appeal. And Harini is the other common point between both songs.

Avan Varuvaan – Adutha Saattai (Justin Prabhakaran) – Tamil: Adutha Saattai seems so unlike a Justin soundtrack, particularly coming after the stupendous Dear Comrade! The tunes are largely bland, though the sound does indicate the Justin-stamp. The one song that stood out amidst the middling soundtrack was Avan Varuvaan, that cleverly alludes to Avalukkena Azhagiya Mugam in the lyrics, and is propped by very good singing and chorus, by Sathyan Ilanko and Aishwarya Ravichandran.

Hoyna Hoyna – Gang Leader (Anirudh) – Telugu: That Anirudh magic, yet again! No, not the one that wasn’t present in Petta, but the one that he seems to reserve for Telugu! Along with Inno Genga’s cool vocals, and the catchy, repetitive Hoyna hook, the song is a great listen!

Yegire Yegire – Madhanam (Ron Ethan Yohann) – Telugu: Yes, there is Sid Sriram singing this song, but even beyond his alluring voice/singing, Ron’s music is very good too! Particularly the anupallavi’s tune is mighty impressive, almost playing in a contrast to the pallavi!

Idi Nijamena – Jodi (Phani Kalyan) – Telugu: A breezy, waltzy melody by Phani Kalyan! Yazin Nizar is fantastic, and when he goes on the extended ‘Kallolam… Bhoogolam… golam golam’ phrase, it is particularly neat!

Evaro Evaro & Kummeyra – Ranarangam (Prashant Pillai and Karthik Rodriguez) – Telugu: Evaro is Prashant’s 2nd song from the soundtrack, and he scores really well! Along with Preeti Pillai, this could easily be one of this Malayalam songs, with its lush soundscape and haunting melody. Kummeyra is Karthik Rodriguez’s second song too, in the soundtrack. Much like Kannu Kotti, his earlier song, the tune is unusual and funky, with unpredictable turns and sounds. He sings this one too, like the other song, and does a pretty darn good job!

[Back In Time] Emani Ne – Mantri Gari Viyankudu (Ilayaraja) – Telugu: This is easily one of my all-time favorite non-Tamil songs by Ilayaraja. If I were to list his non-Tamil songs, this would rank right up on the top, in the list of songs from Malayalam, Telugu and Kannada, by the Maestro. I believe the song is set in Mukhari raaga. The background female chorus brings to my mind the very 80s feature of women dressed in white gowns (like angels) dancing besides the lead pair. But the way Raja uses the chorus is absolutely fascinating; after each line in the first 2 lines, there’s a chorus anchoring the tune! The anupallavi is a force of wonder by itself, with such a mesmerizing tune, and that bridge back to pallavi is pure gold!

Yaake Anta Gottilla Kanree – Kapata Nataka Paatradhaari (Adil Nadaf) – Kannada: There’s this famous phrase that Appu Kamal Haasan calls circus-owner Mouli, in Aboorva Sagodharargal: “Kabada Naadaga Veshadaari” (courtesy dialog writer Crazy Mohan, of course). I had no idea there was a Kannada equivalent to that phrase with vesham translated to paatra – sounds beautiful, to link the 2 languages so smoothly. Anyway, that title literally drew me to this song by a relative newcomer composer I had not heard of. It’s a wonderful song, on the back of Haricharan’s fantastic singing. The melody and lilt are addictive and there’s a lot of Raja’ish imagination that has gone into the interludes too! Plus, that Facebook timeline style lyrics flow is a neat little idea in the video!

Dorassani – Pailwaan (Arjun Janya) – Kannada: This is Arjun’s Harris Jayaraj impression. The backgrounds, in particular, reek of Harris’ minimal, formerly-alluring style. And Arjun is far too smart to not update that sound, and the interludes, in particular, come out beautifully with a Reetigowlai raaga base. And you can always trust Vijay Prakash to deliver!

Oru Cheru Kiliyude – Ambili (Vishnu Vijay) – Malayalam: Vishnu scores yet another winner effortlessly in Ambili! And this is the 3rd one in a row! Babu’s trumpet is literally another hero of the song, besides an unusually different sounding Benny Dayal, besides Vishnu’s own flute that plays for a very small, but beautiful part! The chorus hook that the trumpet plays along to is such an earworm!

Nee Aara – When Chai Met Toast: Is this the band’s first full-Malayalam song? I have heard their earlier largely-English songs that occasionally have Hindi and Tamil. While their sound is consistently interesting, with a happy vibe, this one is perhaps their best, mostly because they sing in Malayalam! There is an Avial’ish outlook, with a lovely trumpet and mandolin use. This is my favorite among the band’s songs so far!

Khari – Khari Biscuit (Suraj-Dhiraj) – Marathi: Kunal Ganjawala’s singing is flawlessly good, as always, but what surprised me is the composing duo’s sound that not only is imaginative in its use of retro’ish sounds, but also has a Ajay-Atul’ish flourish! Very nice!

Virala – Khichik (Abhishek-Datta) – Marathi: What are the odds! The 2nd Marathi song this week, featuring a child actor in the lead and composed by a duo! Not just that, this song too features a retro’ish sound, but not the filmy retro of Khari Biscuit, but more of a Chaplinesque retro that makes it all the more interesting. And it is beautifully sung too, by Savani Kulkarni.

Jurajuri – Oriplast Originals S01 E09: After a few middling songs, the series bounces back with this vibrant Odiya-Bangla-Hindi mix! The flow, moving from the lilting folk song, to the pop-style breezy sound and eventually filmy Hindi is very neat. Anushree Gupta is particularly fantastic with her folk part.

Vacilón – Don Omar: Puerto Rican artist Don Omar’s latest single is a phenomenally addictive reggaeton done the old-fashioned way. It has a slow and steadily rhythmic sound that has you shaking your head along the lilt almost as soon as it starts! The background vocal chorus are lovely too!

You Ain’t the Problem – Michael Kiwanuka: The song, that doesn’t start till 1:20, has a wonderfully indulgent and extended prelude that reminded me of Lord Shorty’s vibrant music. Michael Kiwanuka has a highly engaging vocal style and the thrumming musical rhythm gels perfectly with that.

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