Sam builds Iravukku Aayiram Kangal’s soundtrack by splitting the mood literally in two equal parts. Uyir uruvaatha and Yean penne neeyum are pleasant and so full of love, while Yea pa yeppappa (and Nights Of Neverland) and Winds Of The Darkest Hour are ominous and portending. Uyir uruvaatha, structured around that instantly likeable hook, gains enormously from the fabulous singing of Chinmayi and Sathyaprakash. The second interlude, akin to a classical carnatic jugalbandi where Sam makes two instruments converse, is a particularly fantastic touch. In Yean penne neeyum, Manoj’s violin and Kishore’s sitar jostle for equal attention along with Haricharan’s dependably wonderful rendition of Sam’s charming melody that pleads the woman in question. Yea pa yeppappa has Sam grunging his way through the vocals, in a showy, superbly orchestrated package, punctuated by Swagatha S. Krishnan’s humming in the latter half. Sam picks the first interlude from Yea pa skilfully to create Nights Of Neverland and it works beautifully as a standalone instrumental variant, reaching a stupendous high and ending on a serenely and completely ominous note! Winds Of The Darkest Hour is equally good, if not a bit more flamboyant and pulsating. Sam effortlessly reaches his Vikram Vedha-high, once again.

Keywords: Iravukku Aayiram Kangal, Sam C.S., #200, 200

PS: If, by any chance, you start wondering that 1:03-1:07 in Winds Of The Darkest Hour sounds very familiar, look no further. Listen to 0:31-0:35 here 🙂

Listen to the songs on Saavn:

Saalaagi‘s sweeping melody seems perfect for Saindhavi’s range, and the frenetic breakbeats lift the song to a new high! Amit’s vocals don’t help the song’s reprise Kaanada preethi, but the tune’s instrumental extension is pretty good! Neenondu ashcharya could have easily come from Judah Sandhy’s mind! Lovely melody and excellent orchestration as well! VTU We Love You has Raghu Dixit going through the nostalgic college-anthem wonderfully. Kadalaache seems too sappy in comparison, but Raghuram’s entry props the tune well. Composer Amit Anand showed promise in his 2011 album, 2 Way. With Gultoo, he makes a promising and confident film debut.

Keywords: Gultoo, Amit Anand

Listen to the songs on Saavn:

Saturday February 3, 2018

Milliblog Weeklies – FEB04.2018

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist. Week 10:
On Apple Music | On Saavn
(Songs that are not available on Saavn or Apple Music are in the form of YouTube embeds, below)

A note on each song in the playlist.

Vaadi (Arjun, Pop): What a surprise listening to Vidyasagar’s superhit Tamil song from 2001 (, Alli Thandha Vaanam)! Sri Lankan-born UK-based Arjun uses the Tamil song as a base to layer his bubblegum pop. It works for sheer nostalgic value!

Sauce (Man of the Woods, Justin Timberlake): This Timbaland, Danja and Timberlake-produced song’s prelude is the viral 2017 Best Buy employee video (! The song, with adequately enjoyable and ample funk that’s so very Timbaland!

Midnight Summer Jam (Man of the Woods, Justin Timberlake): The only other song that appealed to me from Justin Timberlake’s brand new album. It fits right into his last album, The 20/20 Experience, with a 70s funk reimagined for current times, with a fantastic, extended outro.

Edo Jarige (Needi Naadhi Oke Katha, Telugu): Suresh Bobbili, who scored pretty good music in 2017’s Maa Abbayi, has everything going for in this Rahman’ish song, right up to the violin interlude and the Thenkizhakku Cheemayile’ish melody! Chinmayi rocks the rendition, as usual.

Oka Nuvvu (Gayatri, Telugu): Thaman is in in a pretty confident form these days. Gayatri is above average work too, with Oka nuvvu being the best song. Gorgeous violins on serene keys, and a lovely melody sung so well by Jubin Nautiyal & Shreya Ghoshal.

Sarasamaha (Gayatri, Telugu): There’s a Vidyasagar’ish flourish in this song that’s so alluring! Ramya Behara is the song’s stunning highlight given the way she sings it so confidently, while also imbuing the semi-classical melody with an impish edge.

Thella Thella (Gayatri, Telugu): The melody of Thella Thella is deeply engaging! It reminded me of the Nada Nama Kriya raaga-based bhajan, Paahi paahi jagan. Madhu Balakrishnan, in his best Yesudas-mode, seems the perfect fit for this tune, accentuated by Thaman’s percussion.

Gazab ka hai din (Dil Juunglee, Hindi): Tanishk Bagchi remixes Anand-Milind’s masterful inspiration from Neil Diamond’s Play me. The remix using Tanishk’s own original phrases more than the source, layers it pretty well together! Jubin Nautiyal & Prakriti Kakar are fantastic!

Jeeva sakhi (Tagaru, Kannada): Tagaru is turning out to be one phenomenal soundtrack. Charan Raj takes up the vocals himself for the haunting tune, with some superb guitar and a stupendous solo flute outro, played by Varijashree Venugopal!

Pushpa (Touch Chesi Chudu, Telugu): Pritam’s JAM makes its Telugu debut with Touch Chesi Chudu! Ashish Pandit for JAM8 composes Pushpa, a faux-retro style tune that goes perfectly with Ravi Teja’s well-known onscreen shenanigans. Nakash Aziz sings it with appropriate zing.

Neer maathalam (Aami, Malayalam): M.Jayachandran’s tune is a serene Malayalam melody harking back to a different period, brilliantly sung by Shreya Ghoshal, punctuated by Arnab Dutta’s Bengali phrases, reflecting Kamala Das’s Calcutta days.

Oru mozhi parayam (IRA, Malayalam): That very Gopi Sundar melody! The second interlude, in particular, is so symbolic of Gopi’s template! The melody is nice enough, albeit a bit too familiar, though Vijay Yesudas & Mridula Warrier make a difference.

Saarae (Queen, Malayalam): Monsoon Mangoes-fame Jakes Bejoy’s recent Tamil film Mannar Vagayara was middling too! But, he does score in this song from Queen, using the Rama rama pahimam bhajan line as a hook for a catchy engineering college song!

Vidiyarkaalai nilave (MaMaKiKi, Tamil): M S Jones Rupert’s debut is a pretty listenable melody, with a simple, likeable tune, orchestrated appropriately too. Vijay Bhaskar’s lyrics and Vimal Vijayan’s singing props the song considerably.

Saturday February 3, 2018

Milliblog Weeklies – JAN28.2018

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist. Week 9:
Playlist on Saavn.

(Only on Saavn this week, given the absence of quite a few songs on Apple Music. Some songs are missing on Saavn too, so have added them as YouTube embeds.)

A note on each song in the playlist.

Kareja (Indipop): The sparse music and the repetitive hook make it almost hypnotic! The minor nuances added—at one point Badshah goes ‘Ruk mat’ and the song completely stops, only to start with Badshah berating generally, ‘Kisi ne kaha rukne ko?’—are entertaining.

Nainowale ne (Padmaavat, Hindi): This is the soundtrack’s best, much better than the promo songs like Ghoomar and Ek dil, with its lilting retro’ish sound and Neeti Mohan’s fantastic vocals! The sitar (by Dhimant Varman) backdrop makes it all the more engaging and retro-style.

Arumbey (Kaali, Tamil): Composer, now full-time actor, Vijay Antony springs surprises often in his music. This one, possibly Kalyani raaga based has an easily likeable melody. The orchestration is rather generic, but Nivas and Janaki Iyer’s vocals sell us this song convincingly.

Izhutha izhuppukku (Pakka, Tamil): C.Sathya’s last audio release was Koditta Idangalai Nirappuga in 2016. This song is a lovely listen, with a neat faux-rural sound that’s commonplace nowadays. Shivai Vyas, though, competes with Udit Narayan, in resurrecting Tamil.

Azhagae (Irumbuthirai, Tamil): Good old Yuvan Shankar Raja. That’s both a good and a bad thing. Good because, this is a very nice melody. Bad because this is literally his template that he has already exploited heavily already. But, good thing he doesn’t sing it himself.

Kaadhoram (Kee, Tamil): As if to make up for the disappointment of calling a song ‘Raaja Paattu’ and having nothing to do with Raja in it, Vishal Chandrashekar has this song. The tune is reminiscent of his music in Kathalo Rajakumari, with a neat celtic chorus too!

Balma (Tagaru, Kannada): It starts ominously disorienting, before segueing into the captivating ‘Balma’ hook amidst sedate electronica. It eventually scales so beautifully when Siddharth Belmannu starts his classical parts to end the song on a high. Well done, Charan!

Badukina bannave (Tagaru, Kannada): This is good old Charan, handing over a lush melody to Siddharth Belmannu while he, in the background, produces an ambient cocktail to wrap the whole thing, complete with a heady folk outro.

Munniloru swargam (Rosapoo, Malayalam): Malayalam film music has seen a steady influx of some really cool funk and disco songs. Sushin Shyam tries his hand on the style and gets it mostly right too, supported very well by Suchith Suresan on the vocals!

Rosapoo (Rosapoo, Malayalam): Sushin picks an exotic vaudevillian sound for the title song and nails the tune and orchestration so beautifully. The whistling interlude and the ‘Sundari’ call out are memorable, besides Sushin’s engaging vocals.

Swamy ra ra (Achari America Yatra, Telugu): A fun song! Thaman layers his own style of catchy rhythm to add to the fun and the many voices (Sri Krishna, Dhanunjay, Mohana Bhogaraju, Sahithi Chaganti), besides using familiar folk musical phrases.

Nisa shalabhame (Hey Jude, Malayalam): The film has 5 songs and 4 composers! This song by M.Jayachandran is my fave. It makes tremendous use of Shakthisree Gopalan’s splendid vocals, even as the music builds gradually, sounding a bit like Serial podcast’s theme tune!

Yemaindhi (Rangula Ratnam, Telugu): Composer Sricharan Pakala’s inspiration from Raja’s Ram bam bam is obvious, but he does improvise on the jazzy flavor pretty well. In particular, the differently handled anupallavi is a neat touch, as also the violin moving to a carnatic sound.

Blonde balma (Mukkabaaz, Hindi): As if the variety composer Rachita Arora offers in the soundtrack wasn’t enough, there’s this deleted song too! Such a catchy & ebullient song that mixes the desi where needed, perfectly! Superbly sung by Kalpana Patowary.

Samaya nodade (Churikatte, Kannada): Vasuki Vaibhav, who was very impressive in Rama Rama Re returns! Largely okay’ish soundtrack, but this song is darn good! Pleasant melody, sung well by Vasuki himself along with Supriya Lohith.

Thanna thaane (Carbon, Malayalam): Vishal Bhardwaj’s Malayalam soundtrack! This is the one song that makes the cut (the other one sung by Rekha Bhardwaj doesn’t!). This is straight out of his Hindi repertoire and has the hallmark of a typical Vishal song.

Episode 2 of Milliblog Monthlies, featuring 30 songs by composing duo Vishal-Shekhar.

Playlist on Apple Music | Saavn | YouTube

For the heart:

01. Zehnaseeb – Hasee Toh Phasee (2014)
Probably my most favorite song from the duo’s repertoire! A song that best showcases the duo’s approach to melody making, in my view. The way they add a lilt to kick-start the percussion after, “Iss kadar hum dono ka milna ek raaz hai”, where Shekhar starts with, ‘Hua ameer…”. The bridge from antara to mukhda is a lovely touch too – from, ‘Hona likha tha ‘ to the main tune with, ‘Jo bhi hua’. The melody here is impeccable, and Shekhar does an exemplary job with the vocals, and the choice of Chinmayi takes the song to an all new level.

02. Suno na – Jhankaar Beats (2003)
Shaan has some incredibly tuned numbers with Vishal-Shekhar! And it started right from the beginning when Vishal composed ‘Woh pehli baar’ in Pyaar Mein Kabhi Kabhi (1999) along with Samrat and Shiraz Moti (the reason why that lovely song is not part of this playlist). Suno na, though, is the duo’s best with Shaan, in my opinion. It is really hard not to sing along with Shaan in this one; it’s that tuneful and immersive! Fantastic bridge from antara to mukhda yet again – “Tanha tanha sama, mehki mehki hawa” and “Muskurati fiza gungunati hawa” to seamlessly “Keh raha hai jahaan jo… suno na”. ‘Tu aashiqui hai’ from the same film is a great song too, but if I were to pick one song to represent the film, this is easily it.

03. Tujhe bhula diya – Anjaana Anjaani (2010)
When Mohit Chauhan, in his honey-dew voice, sings, ‘Kaali kaali khaali raaton se, hone lagi hai dosti’, it is very, very difficult not to close your eyes and picture the feeling of being desolate and alone. Not to be left behind, Shruti Pathak’s Punjabi verse not only start the song but also pave way for the song’s tantalizing mix that blends the two disparate genres effortlessly with Shekhar handling the sufi-style parts. Also, almost 3 and a half minutes into the song comes the solo antara – a smart way to close the tune!

04. Khuda jaane – Bachna Ae Haseeno (2008)
Bachna Ae Haseeno is arguably the best soundtrack by the duo for a Yash Raj production. And this song is a stupendous example of how much the duo have imbibed Pancham’s music (even though I consider Jatin-Lalit an equally good duo that has beautifully kept Pancham’s style alive) and something they had explicitly done in Jhankaar Beats. What starts like a really catchy, frothy melody transforms into a uniquely R D Burman’esque track when the ‘Tu kahe to tere hi kadam ke’ antara and keeps throwing uniquely turning tunes line after line that would make Pancham proud (before joining the title hook). And placing Shilpa Rao’s and KK’s humming (‘aa aaa’) strategically at various places significantly enhances the song’s appeal.

05. Allah ke bande – Waisa Bhi Hota Hai – II (2003)
I can never believe that this song is composed by Vishal-Shekhar! I don’t think I have heard another song from the duo’s repertoire that comes even close to this song’s sound. It could be because of Kailash Kher’s overpowering impact in the song and that he himself composes (along with Naresh and Paresh Kamath, via Kailasa). But, the duo did compose it and what a song this is! The sparse, guitar-only backdrop and Kailash’s beautifully earthy voice make sheer magic together, while the tune is thoroughly engaging… something that would make any listener try singing it inside his/her head immediately. The one small thing that irks is the backing vocal chorus that accompanies Kailash towards the end, starting 3:20 – it always seemed jarring to me.

06. Merupula – Chintakayala Ravi (2008)
Chintakayala Ravi would have been the only Vishal-Shekhar Telugu soundtrack, but the duo is composing music for the Allu Arjun starrer, Naa Peru Surya (due in 2018). This song’s prelude usually reminds me of Viju Shah’s style. But then those irresistibly foot-tapping rhythm starts and things change. While Shreya is, as always, impeccable, it is the SPB-clone Rajesh Krishnan who literally runs away with the song; he sounds particularly like SPB in the background vocals during the ‘You make my heart go’ chorus! I love the saccharine-sweet melody in this song, where the lines extend almost breathlessly.

07. Bhare naina – Ra.One (2011)
This is a mighty ambitious song, in terms of its structure, perhaps going with the flow of the film itself. The main semi-classical part juxtaposed with Gregorian-style chants, actual Sanskrit chants and some fantastic rock layered on top of it for the hook. The second interlude featuring the flute is a particular favorite. The song works spectacularly because of Nandini Srikar’s towering vocals. Nandini is not a Hindi cinema regular and her unique sensibilities accentuate the song’s appeal immensely.

08. Tinka tinka – Karam (2005)
After being a top pop star during the beginning of mainstream pop music in India (led by Channel V and MTV, of course) and after completing one proper round of film music singing (aided a lot by Anu Malik), this is one of Alisha Chinai’s best in her second innings, 10 years after Made in India! The song seems to be built as a literal showcase of her vocal prowess, and she delivers so, so well! There’s a delicate edge to her singing that is absolutely tantalizing. The composing duo keeps the backgrounds minimal and functional, with lovely interludes, of course, but it’s the tune that works wonders.

09. Haravali pakhare – Balak Palak (2013)
I’m glad the duo reused the tune of this Marathi song in Hindi too (Kehkasha tu meri, Akira) because the original Marathi album and song is not available on Apple Music and Saavn! The jaunty rhythm lends a beautifully lilting, almost pahaadi-style feel to the melody. Shekhar owns the vocals – his range seems perfectly fit for such bordering-on-mellow melodies. I prefer the Marathi original (available on YouTube playlist) for the language’s inherent beauty, compared to the Hindi version.

10. Khoya khoya – Shabd (2005)
The song is such a delightful listen, with that gentle, almost-reggae backdrop. Sonu Nigam usually aces such songs and this no different, with him putting in an extra effort in the word ‘khoya’. The antara is a particularly lovely piece of construction, making it conversational, with Sonu and Sunidhi literally taking up one line each, answering each other. I wish there was a version of this song without Sanjay Dutt’s dialogs. Within the context of the film’s plot, they make some sense, but as a standalone song, they seem like random mumbo-jumbo and spoil the song’s flow.

11. Falak tak – Tashan (2008)
Falak tak is the most un-Tashan song in the Tashan soundtrack oozing with hinterland-rock. This could have been part of any other Yash Raj film featuring music by the duo – it is that generic. But it is also gorgeous! An easy-on-the-ear melody, with a lush, indulgent rhythm, and wonderfully sung by Udit Narayan and Mahalakshmi Iyer. I’m quite fond of the 2nd interlude featuring santoor and flute, and the sans-percussion first line in the antara.

12. My Dil Goes Mmmm – Salaam Namaste (2005)
This is an easy entry in this playlist. There’s a gently energetic lilt in the percussion in the backdrop that is so easily likeable. And that hook is a very clever idea, blending the hmmm with the humming seamlessly. I always hear some bits of ‘Woh pehli baar’ in the background of the antara, but that could also be because of the Shaan-connection! And this is one of the fewer songs by the duo that has 3 antaras!

13. Khabar nahi – Dostana (2008)
After hearing more than the adequate number of songs featuring the ‘Maula’, I’m reasonably tired of its predictable use…. this song included. But the main melody (Kis taraf hai aasmaan) of the song is very, very good. And I’m glad Vishal takes it upon himself to handle that. The duo’s typical English verses playing up as interludes is a nice touch too.

14. Bahara – I Hate Luv Storys (2010)
If it was ‘Maula’ in Khabar nahi, it is the generic folk phrases in Bahara. Yes, Sona Mohapatra does a lovely job there (what was once Ila Arun’s exclusive domain), but it is the main melody that I love. Shreya sounds extra sweet here. The antara’s construction is something worth observing closely – the way ‘woh’ extends and moves to ‘kabhi dikhe zameen pe, kabhi woh chaand pe’ and the way ‘yeh’ extends too and moves to ‘nazar kahe use yahaan main rakh loon baandh ke’ and this one doesn’t end as seamlessly as the earlier line, but helps move further into the antara. Love it!

15. Udan choo – Banjo (2016)
The accordion-based sound lends a distinctive vaudevillian feel to the song. Hriday Gattani’s voice is easily the highlight of the song… something that may have gone to a Shaan, in an earlier period. The percussion accompanying the hook is the song’s most attractive part, though the 2nd interlude jumping to the disparate and louder Mumbaiya rhythm and paving way for the song’s ending irks me mildly, always 🙂

For the feet:

16. Aahista aahista – Bachna Ae Haseeno (2008)
Lucky Ali! The way he goes ‘Yun gira gira hai chand’ like only he can… that’s perhaps enough for this song. But the song is so much more! Shreya Ghoshal leads the song brilliantly, offering a perfect foil for Lucky Ali. And the song’s racy rhythm and guitar is instantly addictive. The ‘ho ho ho’ hook is something one can’t not sing along!

17. Dhat teri ki – Gori Tere Pyaar Mein (2013)
A vastly under-rated Vishal-Shekhar song. I was trying to pick between this one and ‘Dil duffer’ from the same soundtrack and decided to go with this one simply for its heady funk. Sanam Puri’s fresh voice adds to the song’s appeal and the hook is a killer. Plus, song is shot in Bengaluru – at the Hard Rock Cafe in Bangalore, India Shot at Hard Rock Cafe at St.Marks Road and at Skyye Lounge, UB City 🙂

18. Hairat hai – Anjaana Anjaani (2010)
Lucky Ali!! A lot more flashy guitar work than Aahista aahista. But the tune is the winner here, along with the fact that the duo get Lucky Ali to sing it. The way they layer in a chorus line behind ‘Tu hai toh har ek lamha khoobsurat hai’ is highly imaginative and it is things like this that really take this song to the next level.

19. Ajab leher – Break Ke Baad (2010)
It was this song or Adhoore tum adhoore hum from the same soundtrack and I pick this because I believe it offers more variety in terms of musical sensibilities. The really captivating horns section, for one, is a great addition. And Neeraj Shridhar rarely goes wrong with such songs.

20. Sheila ki jawani – Tees Maar Khan (2010)
This is a genuine foot-stomper! The hook comes after adequate teasing which literally goes, ‘What’s my name… what’s my name?’ and comes amidst what seems almost like a drumroll! Sunidhi is in complete control all through the song, though Vishal’s entry in the antara, with that desi twist, is a fantastic diversion. The other really interesting feature is the fact that the duo actually conceived 2 different antaras! The 2nd one, ‘Paisa gaadi mehanga ghar’ seems considerably less popular than the first, ‘Silly silly silly silly boy’.

21. Chammak challo – Ra.One (2011)
This song is as good a foot-stomper as Sheila ki jawani, with the difference being this one going pan-Indian and beyond India too, given Akon’s vocals. The hook is a killer, staying in my mind long after the song is over. And that Tamil infusion mid-way is highly imaginative too! Those four Tamil lines by Hamsika Iyer and the subsequent four Hindi lines really build on the song beautifully.

22. Tu meri – Bang Bang! (2014)
A song that seems tailor-built for Hrithik Roshan! That ‘Tu meri’ hook is an absolute delight, though also seems like a one-trick pony given how the rest of the song literally vanishes in the background. The ending, with the EDM reaching a crescendo and the hook turning into a chorus, is a fitting finale.

23. Shake It Like Shammi – Hasee Toh Phasee (2014)
The duo really crank up the horns section in this one! The ode to Shammi Kapoor rock ‘n roll sound is massive fun and the hook is a guaranteed feet mover. If there’s one complaint about the song, it’s beyond the music – I’d have loved to see a more involved and flamboyant dancer like Ranbir Kapoor dance to this one. Sidd’s dance seemed very tame to me, though the song has more than enough scope for a scorching dance (though Sidd seemed much more at ease much later, in A Gentleman’s Chandralekha)!

24. Subah subah – I See You (2006)
Subah subah, with those neat guitar riffs, catchy chorus vocals (that comes all across the song, including the first interlude, followed by that addictive whistle phrase) and an incredibly energetic tune, is instantly catchy and typical Vishal-Shekhar material! This is the quintessential spring-in-the-step song that, in a morning, can put the mood back into your system! That superstar making a surprise guest appearance in the video as Arjun Rampal gets out of a building starts to trot happily is a reason enough to see the song video if you haven’t already 🙂

25. Dil haara – Tashan (2008)
Tashan was Vishal-Shekhar’s own Omkara (music by Vishal Bhardwaj). But while Vishal Bhardwaj gunned for a more authentic hinterland sound, the duo, also given the Yash Raj brand behind it, go for a broadly appealing masala music while sticking to the hinterland rock sound very convincingly. The grungy vocal chorus that starts the song and appears in the second interlude again is an inspired idea! Sukhwinder Singh, who has a heavily stereotyped voice like Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, actually is an asset in this song, because his tone and way of singing aids the song brilliantly!

26. Dus bahane – Dus (2005)
I recall this song (and Deedar de) literally being played everywhere (in Bengaluru) back in 2005 when the soundtrack came out. Both songs were total earworms that you just cannot escape from! The Dus bahane song, in particular, had this bizarrely interesting sound that starts when Shaan starts singing the first ‘Dus bahane’ hook. It plays in the background like a grating, extended wail and then plays a shorter version again for the next ‘Dus bahane’! It also plays like a longer version during the first interlude. Once you hear this intriguing sound specifically, almost like an angry dinosaur screaming at you, you simply cannot ‘unhear’ it 🙂

27. Happy Diwali – Home Delivery (2005)
This is a seriously underrated song by the duo! The vocal harmony in this song is simply brilliant. The ‘Mere tumhare’ hook, even more so! The kids chorus and Sunidhi’s lead, and the generally happy and bouncy tune make it a phenomenally fun song! This is also perhaps the most un-desi Diwali song with no traditional flavor whatsoever while also being such a solid song.

28. Golmaal – Golmaal (2006)
The easiest way to gauge the song’s appeal is the fact that 11 after the original (in 2006), the song is still being used (in remixed formats) in all the sequels! I’m sure the proposed sequel (to be released in 2021, according to Wikipedia) will have a new variant of the same song, 15 years after it was first composed. The original is a fluffy, incredibly catchy song that’s good bubblegum pop.

29. Everybody Put Your Hands Together – De Taali (2008)
De Taali had a pretty good soundtrack. This song is actually an interesting and clever variant of the Golmaal title song. Plus, it has Anushka Manchanda, much like that song! The rhythm is also similar – measured and precise, almost like a march-past. After the first antara, there’s a tiny (lasting just 4 seconds!) desi, harmonium-style phrase that is totally unexpected – always used to wonder who came up with that idea and why!

30. Sajanji vari vari – Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. (2007)
My original choice for the last of the ‘for the feet’ 15 was Sultan’s Baby ko bass pasand hai. But I figured that a song from the duo’s repertoire that literally works like the Sultan chartbuster’s precursor is Sajnaji vari vari! Even though the tempo of both the songs is different, both seem, to me, to be part of an extended continuum. The Sultan song is significantly amped up to allow Salman’s dance moves, while Sajnaji is, in my view, a much better song, with a more natural flow that is an unbridled joy. Sunidhi is simply superb here!


Apple Music:

Sunday January 28, 2018

Milliblog Weeklies – JAN21.2018

A new playlist, after a week’s break (because of the Shankar Ehsaan Loy playlist!). Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist. Week 8:
On Apple Music | On Saavn

A note on each song in the playlist.

Koova (Indipop, Tamil): Singer Karthik, as composer, nails the song’s delightful electro-swing structure! Madurai Chinna Ponnu, in a Queen Latifa’ish makeover, is simply superb! The video, with fantastic dance moves by Sathish is a compelling watch!

Manavyalakinchara (Indipop): Agam’s sophomore album is turning out to be quite something! This familiar Nalinakanthi-raaga song by Thyagaraja gets a scintillating new mod in Harish’s incredible vocals and some awesome backgrounds, including that vocal chorus ending!

The Greatest Show (Film OST): The title song of the film’s OST is as grand as a P.T.Barnum spectacle! The build-up is slow and steady, with thumping crescendo! To hear stars like Jackman and Efron sing so well compares so poorly with Indian films’ ‘playback’ singing style!

Yaenadi (Nimir, Tamil): This is Darbuka Siva basking in the post-Gautham Menon glow, away from his La Pongal days! The song could easily fit in the director’s film too! Breezy melody, phenomenally sung by Haricharan and a particularly lovely anupallavi-to-pallavi bridge!

Geedhaara kiliye (Nimir, Tamil): This song is the pièce de résistance of the soundtrack! Sathyaprakash is superb with the wonderfully affecting melody that has an instantly-recognizable homage to Ilayaraja’s Poomaalai (Sindhu Bhairavi), in the anupallavi! Don’t miss this song!

Mizhi (Eeda, Malayalam): My pick of the 3-song soundtrack of Eeda, composed by John P Varkey. The melody is often pensive and haunting, but is undeniably affecting! Roshni Suresh and Amal Antony handle it in a sedate way that makes it a great listen!

Mazha (Shikkari Shambu, Malayalam): Mazha‘s melody is wonderfully dreamy, worth soaking in, with the sound carried from the composer Sreejith Edavana’s earlier combo with Sachin (Yuvvh and Madura Naranga). Haricharan and Roshni Suresh pull it off brilliantly.

Ninnila (Tholi Prema, Telugu): The best from this latest soundtrack by Thaman. Armaan Malik is finding himself getting the best of Telugu and Kannada soundtracks recently. Thaman hands him a sweeping melody, with a brilliant effort from the Chennai Strings section.

Dhaari Choodu (Krishnarjuna Yudham, Telugu): Nothing much has changed in Hiphop Tamizha’s music in Telugu. The same style continues, with its focus on repetitive structures & catchy music with a generous nadaswaram-base. Penchal Das croons the song well, Anthony Daasan-style.

Iskoot zhala (Chitthi, Marathi): The energy in this song is fantastic, particularly the ‘Peremacha Mazya’ hook! Composer Onkarswaroop Bagde leads the vocals enthusiastically, while the chorus, Umesh Joshi, Vijay Dhuri, Swapnil Godbole & Varun Likhate offer excellent support.

Jeevana kali (Idam Premam Jeevanam, Kannada): Judah Sandhy’s tune is really good, nuanced and highly melodious. What transforms the song beyond that likeable tune is Shashank Seshagiri’s highly involved vocals! The use of sitar (sounded like sitar to me) is a great touch too!

Preethi Endarenu (Jayamahal, Kannada): In a tune that could fit within Judah Sandhy’s Chamak body of work, he gets Sanjith Hegde and Eesha Suchi for this pleasant song that does more with the lush tune, while the strings in the background offer a classy, sweeping sound!

Mazhamukile (Kalyanam, Malayalam): Najim Arshad reminded me of Karthik, while Prakash Alex’s tune reminded me of Maragadhamani’s Marakka mudiyavilla from K.Balachander’s Jadhi Malli! Similar raaga, perhaps. The sound eventually goes very Gopi Sundar’ish, and is quite catchy!

Pande Nee (Kalyanam, Malayalam): There’s a lot of early Rahman and of course Gopi Sundar in this song too. Given Prakash has worked as a keyboard player with Gopi, among other composers, this is expected. Lovely tune with a neat veena-layer, very well sung by Siddharth Menon.

Kalyanam (Kalyanam, Malayalam): The title song is easily a milder version of Bangalore Days’ Thudakkam maangalyam! It’s not as lively, but is no less likeable, with a catchy hook, a neatly modded nadaswaram sound and excellent singing by Suchith Suresan and Joju Sebastian.

Dhrithangapulakithan (Kalyanam, Malayalam): What Dulquer Salmaan, the singer, lacks, composer Prakash Alex makes up with a super lively tune! Dulquer is barely functional in this song, as a singer, but I do understand the value in roping him in as a star attraction!

Taufiq Qureshi’s gradual build-up in the percussion really kick-starts Tu paas hai beautifully. Shankar’s handling of Javed Akhtar’s lovely lines, by extending each line without a break is a neat touch before he opens the melody with the ‘Harpal yahi’ connection. There’s some fantastic guitar work for the interludes, even as Shankar’s tune for the antara too being so good! Taufiq effortlessly works his magic in Jane kya hua too! Shankar’s tuning of Javed Akhtar’s reminiscing verses in staccato sentences is really catchy, closing with the almost-Bhajan’ish kumbaya!

Tere khayalon se‘s exotic sound is perhaps owing to its possible use of the Middle Eastern’ish Vakulabharanam raaga and the music is early Rahman-style, complete with a pulsating ‘Deewana’ interlude. Mano ya na mano is an early sign of the music that we eventually came to identify with the Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy trio! The sound is still very Indipop of that late 90s, but the racy desi tune is very reminiscent of what the trio produce so often. Koi nahin hai‘s desolate sound and lyrics combination takes flight when Shankar splendidly reaches for the higher pitch with the ‘Ik gehra dukh’ line! That ad-jingle style ‘Woh din bhi kya the’ interlude is an interesting diversion before closing the song with classy violin backdrop!

Ghul raha hai‘s melody is really affecting and pleasant. It seems to me like Mohanam raaga and it gets even better with the Pahadi-style interludes. The album’s magnificent achievement is, of course, Breathless! Transcending the gimmick of breathless, non-stop singing, Shankar produces a highly engaging Yaman Kalyan raaga based melody and adorns it with some scintillating music that keeps the sound steady and unwavering, to prop the breathless idea. Breathless—the concept and the tunes—was ahead of its time in 1998 and also seems to have aged very well, 20 years later!

Composer, vocals, arranger: Shankar Mahadevan
Lyrics: Javed Akhtar
Guitar solos: Rupert Fernandes and Ehsaan Noorani
Percussion: Taufiq Qureshi
Bass: Karl Peters
Music co-produced by Indrajeet and Parikshit Sharma
String arrangement – Shiv Mathur
Engineered by Shantanu Hudlikar

Keywords: Breathless, Shankar Mahadevan, Javed Akhtar, 300, #300

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Athiradi is more posturing than a cohesive song, though that retro-style interlude (Vanmurai pazhi) is a nifty touch. Ditto with Yaar ivan – less of a ‘song’ and more background’ish. Mudhal murai is good at places – the anupallavi is really melodious and that nadaswaram-phrase is smart work by Yuvan, but something seems off, overall. Angry Bird is painfully outdated, with cringe-worthy Tanglish. But, Azhagae is a splendid song! Trademark Yuvan-style slow-burner melody that he—thankfully—doesn’t sing and lets Arun Kamath and Jonita handle beautifully. After decent work in Semma Botha Aagathey and Balloon, this is a step down for Yuvan.

Keywords: Irumbuthirai, Yuvan Shankar Raja

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Raaja paatu is far away from any Ilaya’raja’ song, with lyrics sounding as free-flowing as the Tequila at the pub the song refers to. But the song is heady, with a spirited EDM sound. That ‘Raja’ paatu flavor actually appears in Kaadhoram, with a gorgeous melody at the center, built with a lovely ‘Puyal mazhai’ chorus! Pattikichu pathiya, despite the generally amiable sound, is a fairly dated ‘friendship’ song template. Kattappa is no different – oft-used Goan baila template to the hilt! Kudutha paru kee is too bizarre to even comment on. Raaja paatu and Raja’ish paatu (Kaadhoram) help Kee.

Keywords: Kee, Vishal Chandrashekar

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Hey is decent-enough R&B, though the English verse is cringe-inducing. Benny Dayal infuses a lot of life into Bomb Figure Lady (cringe, again!!) that’s passably catchy at best. Youtube La Melam‘s folk infusion and that nadaswaram base makes it much better than its otherwise poor form (the lyrics are atrocious!). Mohini’s Rage is the soundtrack’s most interesting! Classical singer Nithyashree Mahadevan makes her occasional filmy appearance and she literally holds the angry, racy song together, even as the tune is functional pop-prayer material at best. Middling work by the composing duo who had a much better outing in Gulaebaghavali recently.

Keywords: Mohini, Vivek-Mervin, Vivek Siva, Mervin Solomon

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Listen to the songs on YouTube:

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