Summa irukkuruthu and Pachi paranthiruchi are Imman template-reuse all the way – pounding rhythm and vocal effects, with simplistic catchy tunes. In Ammani, despite Diluckshan Jeyaratnam and Shashaa Tirupati, the melody suffers from being too similar to umpteen Imman songs. Yennaannu solveno has a painfully obvious pathos melody, but Imman invests a lot in the backgrounds. Things come together—backgrounds, led by Kaviraj’s outstanding Indian percussion mix, and a sweeping tune resembling Andy Williams’ Love Story song, Where do I begin?—pretty well in Singakutty, though, along with excellent singing by Rajaganapathy and Niranjana. The tedium in Imman’s music is now obvious.

Keywords: Pothuvaaga Emmanasu Thangam, D.Imman

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Ela ela flows like any other Thaman song – that slow and steady rhythm is an effortless head-shaker, and carries the simple tune along with it. Thaman brings back his Eeram-style ambient sound—with a generous dose of Harris Jayaraj’esque melody—in Ninne nenu premisthunna, aided superbly by M.M.Manasi’s vocals. Ka ka ka kaakulu is, at best, background’ish, and in Sare sare, Thaman gets Geetha Madhuri to confess she is Vasco da Gama set to a noisy, pointless and obviously-item’ish tune. Sushela sushela gets even worse, pounding on the rudderless music hopelessly. Veedevadu starts reasonably well but then degenerates into complete irrelevance.

Keywords: Veedevadu, S.S.Thaman

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Barring that energetic rhythm and Sonu Nigam’s singing, Goggle Song is painfully generic. Amaal Mallik’s second song Jatt Jaguar is no different – that breezy interlude featuring Apeksha Dandekar is a good diversion, though. Rishi Rich and Yash Anand’s title song is completely banal while trying something Pancham’y in the background. Gourov-Roshin’s Haathon mein is pathetic pathos, but they get the traditional folk mix well with the mod sound in Dil dhadke louder louder, handled brilliantly by Rinku Giri and Puja Basnet! But their Hawa hawa remix is just hot air. The music hardly gives any reason to go Mubarakan.

Keywords: Mubarakan, Amaal Mallik, Rishi Rich, Yash Anand, Gourov-Roshin

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The Dulquer Nivin Fahad song is a one-trick pony that rides on a simple pop tune that Gopi usually composes in his sleep. The Kalyanam song is no patch on Gopi’s earlier Mangalyam song from Bangalore Days. The title song seems to be composed by Gopi’s auto-tuning machine that listened to some random 80s one-hit wonder, but, despite the predictable Goan rhythm and borrowing a hook from Oopiri, Hey kilipenne manages to impress. The soundtrack’s best is the short Ithu nava sumasara, oozing with Gopi’s retro funk sound and Divya’s aptly put-on oomph! Chunkzz is a sorry show by Gopi.

Keywords: Chunkzz, Gopi Sundar, Gopi Sunder

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Laayire could fit in any 90s Chiranjeevi potboiler seamlessly, with its heady faux-Punjabi mix. Bheems’ second song, Ey papa could be easily mistaken for Mani Sharma’s, with its whispery vocals and exotic sounds. But his last, Time ledu, beyond the catchiness, is pedestrian. Bharath Madhusudhanan’s Pedaviki nuvvante has a quaint, put-on retro sound, but the tune, brought alive by Nayana Nair and Anuraag Kulkarni make it work! Bharath’s other song, Hello pillagada is frivolous, but easy-on-the-ears techno. Hari Gowra’s Sudigalalley, with its booming sound and sitar, feels a bit outdated. Krishna Vamsi extracts a hardcore masala mix from his composers.

Keywords: Nakshatram, Bheems Ceciroleo, Bharath Madhusudhanan, Hari Gowra

PS: Is this Hari Gowra the same ‘Hari Gaura’ who composed for Thungabhadra?

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Ammukuttiye seems like a deft use of Jog raaga and in Pradeep Kumar’s compelling vocals and Prakash Hariharan’s electric mandolin phrases, the melody comes out beautifully. Kanmani finds itself in a piquant situation – the tune is pleasant enough and Abhay Jodhpurkar’s vocals add considerable heft, but the rhythm seems incongruous. That problem is rectified in Vennila thangachi and Thambi cuttingu, following standard Imman templates with catchy, all-too-familiar sound. Aahaa aahaa is the soundtrack’s most inventive, that Imman—understandably—hands over to Shreya Ghoshal, and Haricharan. With its Raja’ish melody and unusual rhythm structure, it’s an easy winner. Gemini Suruli Ammukutti Aahaa!

Keywords: Gemini Ganeshanum Suruli Raajanum, D.Imman

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The Mahashay Paean (Bham Bham Siva) starts off with Murali Gopi’s frenzied devotional call and blazes off in a grand mix of pulsating rhythms, a chant-like structure, and Sivaranjani raaga. Murali’s diction strikes an odd note, though. Naiharva (credited as Nayee harvaa) is the complete opposite, with an ambient, minimal sound – apt for Kabir’s iconic Nirguni bhajan. Bindu handles the somber piece with her vocals beautifully. And despite the occasional, energetic electric guitar, Nethi nethi—in both versions, by Murali Gopi and Vijay Yesudas—plays out faithfully like an incantation. Gopi Sundar’s soundtrack for Tiyaan strictly sticks to the film’s theme.

Keywords: Tiyaan, Gopi Sundar, Gopi Sunder

Listen to the songs on Saavn:

Single Saavn playlist of all the songs: (barring Role Models, in Malayalam, and Ek Haseena Thi Ek Deewana Tha, in Hindi, that are not available on Saavn)

Hindi

Freaking Life, Chal kahin door, Muafi mushkil and Be nazaara – Mom (A R Rahman)

Ik vaari aa and Main tera boyfriend – Raabta (JAM8, T-Series)

Radio, Tinka tinka, Naach meri jaan and Main agar – Tubelight (Pritam)

Main hoon, Feel The Rhythm and Beparwah – Munna Michael (Tanishk Baagchi, Pranaay and Gourov-Roshin)

Aawari – Shab (Mithoon)

Title song – Ek Haseena Thi Ek Deewana Tha (Nadeem)

Tamil

Paathum paakkaama and Annamaare ayyamaare – Kurangu Bommai (B.Ajaneesh Loknath)

Sandalee, Uruttu kannala and Nenje nenje – Sema (G.V. Prakash Kumar)

Karuppu vellai, Oru Katha Sollatta?, Tasakku tasakku, Yaanji, Pogatha yennavittu and Ghetto Chase – Vikram Vedha (Sam C.S.)

Iraivanai thandha and Dhooram nillu – Velai Illa Pattadhaari 2 (Sean Roldan)

Vaadi nee va – Meesaya Murukku (Hiphop Tamizha)
The soundtrack is more of what one expects from the Hiphop Tamizha duo, but this one song, at least, has an incredibly mind-worm’ish hook that makes for a compelling listen!

Telugu

Kaadhal kaadhal – Kaadhali (Prasan Praveen Shyam)

Gudilo badilo – DJ: Duvvada Jagannadham (Devi Sri Prasad)

Unnatundi gundey and Adiga adiga – Ninnu Kori (Gopi Sundar)

Ye vaipu choostunna, Baanisa, Eppudu Modalaindo, Party Just Started, Kaalam Nippulaa Kaalchutunde and Praayam Inthera – Chandamama Raave (Shravan)

Ninnu chudaganey – June 1:43 (Shravan)
Cheesy lyrics, yes, but Karthik infuses enough life into the likeable, lilting melody. Shravan’s music is predictable, but also has the spark.

Milamilamila mandari and Anukundantha – Rendu Rellu Aaru (Vijai Bulganin)
Vijai who made a non-descript debut in Sapthagiri Express seems slightly more in control in Rendu Rellu Aaru. His chocie of Pradeep Kumar for Anukundantha gets him fantastic results for the soulful, minimally orchestrated melody while Milamilamila mandari’s glitzy techno sound amps up the pleasant tune it holds.

Malayalam

Ozhukiyozhuki – Oru Cinemaakkaran (Bijibal)

Vaa kuruvi and Nirame maayalle (both versions) – Vilakkumaram (Sanjeev T)

Thechille penne, Theru there ororo and Kootukettu – Role Models (Gopi Sundar)

Kannile poika and Varum varum – Thondimuthalum Dhriksaakshiyum (Bijibal)
Kannile poika could almost be the soul sister to the director-composer’s earlier, Idukki, from Maheshinte Prathikaaram given the sound of water enveloping both songs set to a simpler, nostalgic whiff of a tune. Varum varum’s classic rock format is very appealing too, though a tad plain barring Bijibal’s excellent vocals.

Kannada

Mula mula and Janaganamana – Rajahamsa (Joshua Sridhar)

Marete hodenu and Marete hodenu (Unplugged) – Dayavittu Gamanisi (Anoop Seelin)
Anoop’s (most possibly) Charukesi raaga coated melody is an easy listen. V.Pradeep Kumar seems to be everywhere these days, but not composing and focusing on singing! After Anukundantha from the Telugu soundtrack of Rendu Rellu Aaru (above), here he is in Kannada, elevating a song with his endearing vocals! The other version is a lovely listen too, featuring leading man Vasishta N. Simha’s more raw’ish voice that adds a new dimension to the song.

Marathi

Chuktay, Maze tuze and Aga aik na – Muramba (Hrishikesh-Saurabh-Jasraj)

Punjabi

Hawa vich, Ho gaya talli and Glorious gallan – Super Singh (Jatinder Shah)

Indipop

The entire album! – Notun Puhor (Papon)

There’s that oft-repeated Mickey J Meyer sound in Ye vaipu choostunna‘s flow! Sai Charan is fantastic with his singing and that Tamil ‘Paarukkulle nalla naadu’ phrase is a big surprise, along with the lovely celtic-style ending! Kaalam nippulaa has shades of Mickey too, particularly the world music’ish sounds, and Shravan sings this one darn well, besides infusing it with some brilliant guitar. Baanisa sees Shravan add a “U” to every word and the throbbing sound is very catchy, like the wordless trance version. After a misleading Middle Eastern’ish prelude Eppudu modalaindo proves itself to a fantastic melody! Vedala Hemachandra is delightfully adept with the vocals. In Party Just Started, Shravan’s sound is sedate and very catchy, helping Lalitha Kavya and Sai Krishna create an ambient mood! Shravan goes wonderfully inventive in the soundtrack’s best, Praayam inthera with a superbly zany mix of semi-classical, kuthu and some lounge’ish trance! Lalitha Kavya’s rendition lifts it all up mighty impressively. The two short pieces, Santho’s Trauma and Paasugula are really eclectic, particularly the latter, with its fusion-folk sound that Shravan sings with a crazy edge! Shravan has been producing consistently good music in Telugu. In Chandamama Raave, he goes to the next level!

Keywords: Chandamama Raave, Shravan, 200, #200

Listen to the songs on Saavn:

Thechille penne is a lot of fun! Gopi Sundar gets Niranj Suresh to sing with a detached, I-am-high twang – perfect for the catchy tune! Gopi’s imagination in the interludes and the dubstep intrusions add to the song’s charm. Theru there ororo is trademark Gopi! Everything about the song is familiar, but the man’s sense of melody works wonders in Najim Arshad and Sreya Raghav’s impressive vocals. Gopi gets behind the mike for Kootukettu, and the pulsating, classic-rock sound seems tailor-made for him! After faltering in Sathya and gaining ground in Georgettan’s Pooram, Gopi picks up speed in Role Models.

Keywords: Role Models, Gopi Sundar, Gopi Sunder

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

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