Saturday January 6, 2018

ARR51 – A playlist for your feet

I’m the 2-left-feet type. So, I decided to pick 20 songs of Rahman across his repertoire that made even me move (a bit, not too much – 2-left-feet, remember?). Obviously, there are so many more songs, but let this be a starter for the dude’s birthday today!

On Apple Music:

On Saavn (click on the image):

Between the energetic tabla and iktara-like strains, Anirudh handles Naana thaana‘s likeable tune in his inimitable style. The title song‘s gangsta-style music is engaging, while the anthemic Engae endru povathu‘s poignant lyrics and somber tune keep it listenable. Peela peela‘s is inherently catchy, with calypso’ish sound and clever retro-product mentions. The soundtrack’s best is, of course, Sodakku, with a blistering rhythm that reinvents the kuthu like never before! Anthony Daasan’s high-spirited delivery is the icing on the cake. Thaana Serndha Koottam’s music is a far cry from the duo’s—Anirudh and Vignesh ShivN—Naanum Rowdy Dhaan, though Sodakku is an easy winner.

Keywords: Thaana Serndha Koottam, Anirudh

Listen to the songs on Saavn:

Guleba makes up for the generic Latino carnival tune by being super enthusiastic about it, and this includes Anirudh’s ebullient singing and Maxwell’s splendid brass section. Seramal ponal‘s melody is very Vivek-Mervin, with an expansive sound, featuring Chennai Strings Orchestra and a lush melody sung very well by Mervin and Sameera Bharadwaj. The song’s other version, You’re the One, is equally good, featuring fantastic vocals by Inno Genga and an extra punch in the orchestration. Heartukulla is perfectly concocted to fit Prabhudeva’s dance moves and the energetic rhythm is addictive, beyond the functional tune. Winsome score by Vivek-Mervin, yet again!

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

Listen to the songs on Saavn:

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

Rex Vijayan and Neha S Nair’s vocals effortlessly sweep through the pleasant synth riff in Uyirin nadhiye, while Arun Suradhaa’s Dilruba sneaks in beautifully in the interlude. Neha, in particular, in her portions, is extraordinary, breathing life into an intimate, almost conversational verse. Rex goes completely Indian in Mizhiyil. It’s almost Rahman’ish when Neha’s humming starts in the first interlude, but it’s Shahabaz Aman who holds the song’s reign all through, amidst the serene Hindustani-style base with haunting Sarod by Kishore Kumaar. Rex teases the ghazal style melody for almost a minute and a half without the percussion, before allowing Chandrajith’s tabla to engage. Shahabaz Aman is absolutely in command in Kaatil as well, lifting the sonorous melody significantly with his fantastic singing, while Sushin and Yakzan offer superb support in the backgrounds. Between Atul’s Hang Drum, Benny Abraham’s Oud and Raghavasimhan’s electric violin, the immersive melody of Neha’s Kiliye flows scintillatingly. The orchestration is decidedly more exotic and adds to the song’s charm. Mayaanadhi is a delightful coming-together of incredibly talented artists like Neha S Nair, Sushin Shyam, Yakzan Gary Pereira among others. After his spectacular Parava, Rex Vijayan hits it out of the park yet again in Mayaanadhi!

Addendum to the full soundtrack that was surreptitiously released 10 days after the film’s release:
Much like Parava, Rex Vijayan expands on his core tunes of the full songs, with a particular focus on Uyirin nadhiye. So, while Remembering Appu, Mathan and Appu Meets, A Walk to Remember are direct riffs off Uyirin, The Surrender and The Encounter are more despondent riffs with a strong melancholic tinge. Escape and Accident, and The Police are both moody and expansive, possibly alluding to Mathan’s misfortunes, and the music flow a bit reminiscent of George Michael’s Older. The simple and linear Mathan’s Theme & Rejection, the brooding Mathan in Trouble are short and alluring as well. Lift fight is the sole ominous, discordant piece possibly meant strictly as a background piece. Appu’s audition is the lone riff off Kiliye, while Shahabaz-sung Title song is the lone riff off Mizhiyil.

Keywords: Mayaanadhi, Maayanadhi, Rex Vijayan, 200, #200, #Still200

Listen to the songs on Apple Music:

Listen to the songs on Saavn:

Swagpur ka Chaudhary borders on Psychedelic Funk and carries the same irreverent swag from Abhinay Deo’s Delhi Belly (which Akshat, Kaalakaandi’s director wrote). Abhishek Nailwal ups the ante with the zingy Electro Swing Jive With Me, while also giving fantastic company delivering the sedate hook to Vishal Dadlani lead in Aa bhi jaa. In comparison, Kaala doreya, remix of the traditional Punjabi complaining-about-in-laws song seems almost clinically plain. Shashwat Sachdev’s lone title song is a far cry from his Phillauri and is decidedly less zany than Sameer Uddin’s material. Director Akshat Verma’s madcap vibe’s intact in at least 3 songs.

Keywords: Kaalakaandi, Sameer Uddin, Shashwat Sachdev

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

When a man truly and completely adopts his woman’s electricity bill, you get Aaj se teri! Kausar Munir’s zingy lines lend this gently lilting ballad by Arijit significant heft even as Amit’s melody is reminiscent of Shankar Ehsaan Loy’s Bhimplas-raag number Bol na halke. Hu ba hu ushers us into Amit Trivedi’s comfort zone, though only the tune stands out in the faintly disco-style backdrop. The title song makes too much out of a ‘Supper hero’ and is barely functional. Saale sapne and Sayaani are no different, with strictly serviceable tunes. Amit Trivedi’s soundtrack for PadMan is mere hygiene level.

Keywords: PadMan, Padman, Pad Man, Amit Trivedi

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

Dhaga dhaga maney, with its searing guitar backdrop (Prasanna, Rex Vijayan and Keba Jeremiah) and Anirudh’s vocal-cord busting singing is a pulsating listen! The classical guitar interludes and Anirudh’s work on the keyboard, in particular, significantly amps up the song. Baitikochi chuste is playful Anirudh at his best! The song is breezy and highly engaging, with the little musical nuances that one expects from the composer, with Keba’s guitar and Kamalakar’s flute leading the way. In Swagatham Krishna, Anirudh retains Oothukkadu Venkata Subbaiyer’s original Mohanam-raaga base, but transforms the serene classical piece into an ambient orchestral variant. The build-up to introduce the jathi, mid-way, is especially fantastic and Niranjana Ramanan is absolutely splendid in her singing. Gaali vaaluga is incredibly catchy, with its foot-tapping calypso rhythm, Saroja’s Dilruba interludes and splendid guitar by Keba. On top of all this Anirudh’s tune has a free-flowing nature that he programs and sings really well. AB yevaro nee baby is a fantastic musical melange! Anirudh ropes in Nakash Aziz (with excellent backing vocals by Arjun Chandy) for this entertaining track that has a gentle swing seemingly tailor-made for Pawan’s trademark steps. Anirudh’s long overdue Telugu debut is a zingy and thoroughly entertaining affair!

Keywords: Agnyaathavaasi, Anirudh, 200, #200

Listen to the songs on Saavn:

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

Paintra is as combative as the sport the film portrays. Nucleya’s vibrant music fuses pan-Indian kuthu sounds effectively to let Divine deliver a grungy song. Mushkil hai apna is a triumph of Dr.Sunil Jog’s lyrics! His verse, with hilarious lines like, ‘Tum diwali ki bonus ho, main bhookon ki hartaal’ comes alive with phenomenal humor and colloquial wordplay, even as Brijesh Shandilya’s delightful delivery is top-notch. Rachita Arora brings all these together in a funky package. Vijay Arora’s handling of Chhipkali is equally spirited—superb lines by Hussain Haidry—and this time, Rachita’s tune is Gulaal-style retro. Bahut hua samman opens on an ambient note, but Rachita transforms it into an entertaining protest song, with Swaroop Khan leading the charge. Rachita’s best is the Puriya Dhanashri-based Bohot dukha mann! The raaga carries the sensuous melody beautifully while Rachita sings it incredibly, along with Dev Arijit. Khushbu Raaj’s earthy and playful singing and Rachita’s background guitars lift Sade teen baje significantly from its folk origin, while Vineet Kumar Singh’s lone composition (his lyrics too) in Adhura mann is a wonderfully sparse folk melody brilliantly sung by Deepak Thakur of Gang’s of Wasseypur fame. Anurag’s stellar musical run continues, this time with Rachita Arora!

Keywords: Mukkabaaz, Rachita Arora, Nucleya, Udyan Sagar, Vineet Kumar Singh, 200, #200

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

Vaaniluyare has everything one expects from Gopi – pleasant melody and his trademark strings, but somehow, it all sounds too familiar. The song’s other expression, Anthimaanam, by Nandini Srikar is the soundtrack’s best, with a somber, soaring melody and excellent guitar by Sumesh Parameswar. Anthike varikente‘s serene carnatic base is a beautiful setting for the mother-daughter duet featuring Divya S Menon and Kavya Ajith. The same duo sings Megha kanavinu too, but this time, Gopi’s tune is far less interesting. Ditto with Vaanamakalunnuvo, that Sithara Krishnakumar handles very well, but the melody is predictable. A relatively weaker soundtrack by Gopi.

Keywords: Vimaanam, Gopi Sundar, Gopi Sunder

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

Sunday December 17, 2017

Milliblog Weeklies – DEC17.2017

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist. Week 5:
On Apple Music | On Saavn

A note on each song in the playlist.

Paintra – Mukkabaaz, Hindi: Edgy, punchy and catchy… and a brilliant hip-hop mix. This is Nucleya’s domain all the way, with a generous dose the hinterland, thanks to Divine’s singing. The song has Anurag Kashyap written all over!

Crown – Bright (OST): Grey, the American electronic music duo (Kyle and Michael Trewartha), and Fifth Harmony band member Camila Cabello produce a splendid tabla-meets-trap mix for the lead song of Netflix original Bright, starring Will Smith.

Gaali vaaluga – Agnathavasi, Telugu: Anirudh composes and sings this really incredibly catchy and likeable song where the music seamlessly flows and his vocals have an effortless edge as well! The video featuring Anirudh (on YouTube) is an apt effort as well.

Kush kush – Chamak, Kannada: Judah’s electronic mix is incredibly cool, with an addictive, sedate lilt. Sanjith Hegde, sounding a bit like Sid Sriram, is terrific! Judah also adds in Indian sounds for Deeksha Ramakrishna’s entry and this adds to the song’s allure.

Nee nanna olavu – Chamak, Kannada: Judah pulls off a lush, thoroughly engaging melody, layered beautifully with the right dose of electronic elements, and the singers—Abhinandan Mahishale and Supriya Lohith—doing a splendid job!

O sanjeya hoove – Chamak, Kannada: a searing, sweeping melody that Haricharan completely relishes singing even as Priya Hemesh gives him company mid-way and amps up the song’s appeal, which is a classic pathos tune in the tradition of Andy Williams’ Where Do I Begin.

Avalakki buwalakki – Chamak, Kannada: Solid fun, with its swinging blues flavor and Judah assembling the voices of Chethan Naik and Eesha Suchi to brilliant effect. That ‘Chammakku’ chorus is a nifty, lovely touch!

Rana priya – Rachyitha, Telugu: Shaan’s melody has a haunting and sweeping quality that is hard to shake off! That Shaan hands over the song to Gowry Lekshmi is a masterstroke since she is incredible in her rendition!

Nalla rangugala – Rachyitha, Telugu: has the soul of a Bangla boat song, with its serene and understated orchestration. Shaan’s singing, stressing on the slow, deliberately lengthy phrases adds to the Bangla feel and sounds absolutely wonderful.

Ye yadhalo – Rachyitha, Telugu: depends on a mighty sparse orchestration, and Hemachandra hands Shaan’s simple, soulful and rhythmic melody perfectly. This is the most Telugu of the 3 songs in Rachayitha.

Dil diyan gallan – Tiger Zinda Hai, Hindi: has a lovely lilt for the earthy Punjabi verse, on top of Atif’s dreamy vocals! Simple, hummable song and sung very well.

Tera noor – Tiger Zinda Hai, Hindi: a power-qawali that roars with its electric guitars. But it’s Jyoti Nooran’s commanding vocal presence and spirited rendition that gives the song the gravitas!

Uyirin uyire – Mayaanadhi, Malayalam: the makers of Mayaanadhi have been using a typically Bollywood tactic of one song-per week, but Rex Vijayan’s songs are consistently engaging. Rex and Neha S Nair’s vocals sweep through the pleasant electronic riff.

Mizhiyil – Mayaanadhi, Malayalam: Rex goes completely Indian in the other song. Almost Rahman’ish when Neha’s humming starts in the first interlude, but it’s Shahabaz Aman who holds the song’s reign all through, amidst the serene Hindustani-style base.

Choosi chundangane – Chalo, Telugu: the most interesting aspect is featuring a Kannada actress (Rashmika Mandanna) as a Tamil girl in the Andhra-TN border lover story 🙂 The song by Mani Sharma’s son, Mahati Swara Sagar is very Devi Sri Prasad’ish – fluffy, likeable song.

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