Sunday July 22, 2018


13 years of Milliblog. That’s 13 years of a hobby!

From the post where I wrote about completing 12 years, where I had briefly alluded to the point, 13th has been significant. As I had reflected in my post last year, I finally took the plunge and stopped doing reviews for all/most soundtracks. And moved to a different format.

There are some solid reasons for this change.

First is that Milliblog has always put my own ways of consuming music first. I’m the first reader of Milliblog since I started the blog to answer my own question – ‘What should *I* listen to?’. In the process, I figured that others may want to utilize that information too, and it became a blog. In any case, I have been writing about one form of music or other since 1999, given I have been working on ItwoFS since then. So, back in 2005, my form of consumption of music was through soundtracks and albums. I listen to them, store them (physical CDs or digital copies) and Milliblog helped me remember what I liked, what I didn’t and most importantly, what should I listen to when I want to.

The second reason is the way film music is handled now. Audio labels, which had enormous power at one point, producing consistent ‘produce’ from the houses of TIME and TIPS (TIPS continues on this journey if you include Race 3), have withered away (T-series remains a solid player with enormous clout even today). Film music doesn’t have the same clout as it did earlier. So the primacy of the film soundtrack has faded too. Many films these days are considering lesser number of songs (as against the usual 5-6 songs), or looking at narratives that do not include songs at all. Simply put, songs are not the most preferred form to move the story in films anymore. It is seen as a vestige of the past, an unreal and artificial way of moving the plot. Filmy way! How odd that our films don’t want anything filmy anymore!

The third reason revolves around the commercial considerations of a soundtrack, if at all there is one. Earlier a soundtrack gave the opportunity to producers to do a few things. One was the introduce the film and crew through an ‘audio launch’. Second, it was a PR opportunity to talk more about the film through the music. Now, individual singles serve the same purpose. In a digital-first marketing world, every touch point with audiences is important since there is an overdose of content online already. Most such content has an interest value of about 24 hours after which newer content comes and takes over our interest. So, it makes sense to launch one song a week or a month, and keep the interest in a film’s opening week sustained for a period of time. The result is that there is no soundtrack anymore, not in the way it was assumed earlier. There are just a collection of singles, now. This also means that by the time I wait and write about a full soundtrack, people (and I) have heard the singles many times over, and there’s far less interest to read about something that is 4 weeks old.

The fourth reason is a byproduct of the death of the film soundtrack. Very few films these days have a single composer who works like the musical extension of the film’s and the director’s vision. This was a norm earlier, but an anomaly these days. Finding a single composer for a film (a T-series film, at that!) is a surprise in the current times. The logical extension could be that if the producers (not necessarily the director or composer, given the horror stories I have heard from composers and directors who came to know that their film’s soundtrack had more than one composer on the day a new single launched!) don’t care for a unified product that augments the film’s narrative as much as it works like a marketing tool, why should others care?

The fifth, and final reason is the way we (and I, primarily) consume music. I don’t open a soundtrack on a streaming platform and let it play. I mean, I do that to form opinions about it given Milliblog, but from the perspective of ‘listening’ to music, I open playlists, made by me or others and start playing them. The truth is, a playlist is the format we all discover new music. This has been the case for a very long time, incidentally, if you consider how we discovered new film music back in the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. The primary method was through radio, and then TV. A Binaca Geetmala was a playlist on the radio, while a Chitrahaar was a playlist on TV. Geetmala aggregated interests of people and formed a countdown-based playlist, while its’s TV equivalent was the Superhit Muqabalas and the likes. Chitrahaar was a vanilla playlist with no criteria set beside the fact that the song is fresh.

When the internet truly happened – meaning much better bandwidth for most people – there was a LOT of music for everybody. We all needed to know what to listen to. Playlists were easy to make and share now, on a streaming platform. Anybody can. And most playlists were around a theme – motivation, workout, rain, friendship, patriotism etc. Or, there were automated playlists for new music. My approach was to offer myself an editorial-led playlist for new music.

On an average, if you include the most prolific film industries in India, there are about 40-50 songs released every single week. That’s a lot of music to discover, locate and listen to. So what are the 10-20 songs every week I should listen to? And most importantly, why should I listen to them? That’s the idea behind the change in Milliblog from late 2017.

So, Weeklies, for a weekly playlist.

Monthlies for a theme (my chosen theme for this year is composers in Hindi).

Quarterlies for a summary of the Weeklies, each quarter.

And there are the Annual round-ups which aggregate the entire year into individual language playlists.

The idea is that if I put myself as the reader no.1 of Milliblog, I play my Weeklies 2-3 times or more over a week. I read Milliblog once on a Sunday or a Monday to know what the songs are that week that deserve my attention and why they do. In a way, it removes the serendipity from discovering new songs. I don’t depend on random friends or people online letting me know what I need to listen to and random points in time (that does happen too since I’m hyper-tuned to discovering new music). I make these lists to organize what I want to listen to, every single week, predictably through one playlist (3 playlists, across 3 platforms, however, to account for music availability being so terrible in terms of streaming platforms).

That’s quite a big change from the 12 years of doing the same thing… I understand 🙂 I had tons and tons of people writing to me across multiple modes asking to continue doing soundtrack reviews. And I do try to do that, mainly where the soundtrack as a whole deserves a note, and every small effort in talking about it could help the artists involved.

Weeklies is the primary product of Milliblog now. Not reviews of individual soundtracks. I have already completed 30+ Weeklies and accumulated thousands of subscribers for the Weeklies by Email.

In the process of continuing to manage Milliblog, the exercise has given me a lot, and almost all of them non-monetary (some monetary too, like the writing gigs I did for The Hindu, and now, for Filmcompanion). It has put me in touch with many, many music artists, directors and producers. Most of them just want to have a conversation about my views. I have declined so many offers to go to audio launches, meet composers, sit with composers through a recording session, live gigs (I did attend one, in Bangalore, by Shankar Ehsaan Loy, though) etc.

The reason I keep my Milliblog in the front and not me as an individual is that I’m acutely aware of the fact that I’m musically untrained (in any form) and just a slightly more articulate and passionate music enthusiast. A listener and a fan first. A vocal fan, if I may add. And I love being in the periphery observing things, trends, new composers worth backing and talking about and simply enjoying music.

I intend to continue doing just that 🙂

Yuvan’s first interlude in Dhooramaai is quite literally like soaking into the beauty of a cool, green mountain, as the music simply flows. Vijay Yesudas adds to the effect with his exquisite singing too, while Vairamuthu’s lyrics imaginatively allude to the maternal instincts, in both the anupallavi (“Inge thondrum siriya malai, iyarkkai thaayin periya mulai, parugum neeril paalin suvai…“) and charanam (“Thaaippaal pondra neerootru…“)! Karthik does equally brilliantly in Anbe Anbin! Yuvan’s music here is reminiscent of his Celtic-infused melodies—particularly the backgrounds and interludes—that he used to produce with alarming regularity earlier. The simple clap-like sound in the background helps accentuate the beautiful orchestration. In Vaanthooral, an otherwise fantastic Sriram Parthasarathy seems oddly out of sorts, in the beginning, and particularly towards the end! Barring that minor impediment, Yuvan’s melody, despite seeming like an after-thought for the lyrics, uses the tried and tested goodness of Kalyani raaga and manages to be deeply engaging. Setthu Pocchu Manasu too has that feel of a tune being an after-thought to the lyrics. But, just like Vaanthooral, Yuvan’s evocative melody and the simple, ghatam-based percussion help Madhu Iyer deliver wonderfully well. Director Ram and Yuvan Shankar Raja reach their Katradhu Tamizh high once again!

Keywords: Peranbu, Yuvan Shankar Raja, 200, #200

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist. Week 32:
On Apple Music | On Saavn | On YouTube
33 songs, this week. Yes, these days are full of fantastic music! Saavn comes close, with 29 songs (still missing Coke Studio Explorer, which are YouTube-only as of now). The only other song missing in Saavn is the Bengali song from CrissCross (that’s available on YouTube and Apple Music). Please do check the notes below to cover/listen to as many songs as you can.

A note on the songs in the playlist.

Summer Pack (Childish Gambino): It may be the monsoons here in India, but it’s summer in the USA! So, after a politically charged This Is America, Childish Gambino aka Donald Glover drops a 2-track summer pack! Both are wonderfully summery. While Summertime Magic’s laidback R&B vibe and Glover’s repetitive ‘Do love me do love me do’ hook are easy on the ear, Feels Like Summer is even cooler and relaxed, straight out of the 80s summer catalog!

16 Steps (Martin Jensen, Olivia Holt): Danish DJ Martin Jensen, of ‘Solo Dance’ fame, returns with another possible hit here. The tropical house number with a catchy sonic beat gain a lot from Olivia’s singing, with that airy vocal edge.

Vaara Re (Dhadak, Hindi): The last song from Dhadak, and a Hindi original, thankfully. Like the title song, this one expands on Ajay-Atul’s brilliant repertoire, with its beautifully encompassing orchestral sound, with an enjoyably identifiable strand of sitar.

Paniyon Sa (Satyameva Jayate, Hindi): Rochak Kohli’s tune is good enough, on predictable lines, but the charming ‘Paniyo sa’ hook lifts it. And while Atif Aslam sounds his usual, likeable self, that Tulsi Kumar does too is a pleasant surprise.

Tera Fitoor (Genius, Hindi): Himesh Reshammiya is back! And he is not singing… not yet. His dependence on Arijit Singh pays him very well, as much as the simple, sweet melody he composes, along with that mildly lilting rhythm.

The full soundtrack (Karwaan, Hindi): Read the album review here.

Mohobbat (Fanney Khan, Hindi): Tanishk Bagchi uses just one hook from Naushad’s Jawaan Hai Mohabbat (Anmol Ghadi) and builds an entirely new, bling’y song. Excellent work that expands on the meaning of a remix.

Thallipora (Pakshi, Tamil): After Thallipogathey… Thallipora! Composer Girishh Gopalakrishnan’s song truly comes alive in singer M.M.Manasi’s fantastic singing, even as his music adds to the pace and spirit, particularly the highly imaginative backdrop to the hook.

Adhiroobaney (Saamy Square, Tamil): Perhaps the best song by Devi Sri Prasad, who moves from Singham to Saamy franchise, usurping Harris Jayaraj’s position! Sung by M.M.Manasi, the lively tune and the mighty ambitious orchestral interludes add to the song’s charm.

Pappara Pappaa, Nilladhey Nilladhey & Iraiva Iraiva (Lakshmi, Tamil): Read the full soundtrack review here.

Thirudathey (Marainthirunthu Paarkum Marmam Enna, Tamil): The best song from the short 4-song soundtrack. Achu picks up the singing duty and handles Pa.Vijay’s humorously colloquial lyrics in style. The jazzy sound is absolutely tantalizing, though reminiscent of Santhosh Narayan.

Kanne Kanne (Indipop, Tamil): Ok, 7UP Madras Gig has a really good thing going! The 4th song, by composer Leon James, is fantastic! Leon is on top of the incredibly catchy tune that comes delightfully alive twice; first when he drops the beat, and again, when Jonita joins in absolute style, to turn the song into a lively duet!

Dung Dung (Saakshyam, Telugu): Before Vijetha hit the market, this was Arjun Reddy-background music composer, Harshavardhan Rameshwar’s full-fledged composing debut. This one’s an ok affair, with Soundarya Lahari being the best. The other listenable song is Dung Dung, with its racy, faux-folk sound mixed with a nice, upbeat electronic sound. The highlight-on-paper 12-minute song featuring K.J. Yesudas, S. P. Balasubramaniyam and Hariharan is a background’ish medley at best, while that song spawns multiple smaller variants that fall into the same category.

Kalyanam Vybhogam (Srinivasa Kalyanam, Telugu): Veteran S. P. Balasubrahmanyam gets a much better song here! Mickey J. Meyer’s ambient, expansive sound is intact and makes for a highly interesting backdrop for the otherwise-austere prayer-like melody that SPB aces.

Mellaga Mellaga (Chi La Sow): There’s a frothy lightness to composer Prashanth R Vihari’s melody that takes shape wonderfully with the Mellaga hook. The song’s clear highlight is singer Chinmayi, though, who breezes through it, giving it life.

Inkem Inkem Inkem Kaavaale (Geetha Govindam, Telugu): This is Sid Sriram’s astounding show! He is so, so good with the vocals, and literally carries Gopi’s unusual, lush, slow-burn melody. The choice of veena for the interludes works wonders too.

Udaya Sandhyayil (Prashna Parihara Shala, Malayalam): Composer Pramod Bhaskar’s orchestration seems from a different, milder decade. The tune too goes with that feel, and much of the sound reminded me of M.M.Keeravani’s body of work, particularly the strings. Pleasant listen.

Moovandan Manchottil (Oru Pazhaya Bomb Kadha, Malayalam): Sung by Vineeth Sreenivasan, Arunraj’s dreamy melody goes old-style, with stellar work by Cochin Strings. A shade of Ilayaraja’s Senthoora Poove (16 Vayathinile) makes it all the more interesting.

Yenammi Yenammi (Ayogya, Kannada): Even though the super-catchy rhythm that goes ‘Chumpa chikka chikku jum’ seems predictable and familiar, Arjun Janya’s tune, and the singing by Vijay Prakash and Palak Muchhal, together elevates the song.

Duniya (Crisscross, Bengali): It’s great to see Pritam’s JAM8 doing good work across languages. In Duniya, the tune by Subhadeep Mitra (for JAM8) has a lively, rhythmic energy that gets accentuated by Nikhita Gandhi’s singing and Nyzel Dlima’s guitar and mandolin.

Teri Mustang (D. Cali featuring Fateh Doe, Punjabi): Typically glitzy Punjabi hiphop mix which, when you replace the Punjabi lyrics with English, could easily be heard anywhere in the US. The production and singing are top-notch, as expected.

Tere Bin Soona, Naseebaya & Ha Gulo (Coke Studio Explorer): Toronto-based Mishal Khawaja’s Tere Bin Soona pulls her out of the Instagram world and showcases her phenomenal vocal prowess. The haunting tune goes perfectly with her range. Naseebaya, is of Baloch traditional folk origin. The dambora, played by Darehan and Shayan, layered over Mangal’s almost prayer-like tune, creates a hypnotic effect. Add to it the show producers’ electronic sounds – a fantastic fusion! Ha Gulo, written by Kashmiri poet Ghulam Ahmad Mehjoor, gets an energetic new backdrop, despite working with sarangi and the Kashmiri tumbaknari. Muhammad Altaf Mir and his band (Qasamir) keep the rendition very, very authentic.

Of the two songs by Anurag Saikia, Chota Sa Fasana is an easy winner. Written by the film’s director Akarsh Khurana, it plays beautifully on the ‘safar’ theme of the film, and mellow tune is right up Arijit Singh’s alley. Anurag’s other song, Heartquake, is interesting for two reasons: one, the 2 variants he presents are completely different. The first is a breezy melody, while the second is a faux-qawali of sorts that’s foot-tapping. The second reason is that when Papon sings “Main aashiq hun koi creep nahi”, it just sounds incredibly awkward given recent news surrounding him. The two songs by Prateek Kuhad belong perfectly to the Prateek Kuhad-style of music – intimate, introspective and very personal. Saansein, with its expansive sound scores over the guitar’y Kadam. Dhaai Kilo Bakwaas, composed by SlowCheeta and Shwetang Shankar, is a zany—and catchy—mix that adds a bit of Malayalam extra corniness. The soundtrack’s best is by Imaad Shah, who produces a kickass Mikey McCleary Bartender-style Bhar De Hamaara Glass, reminiscent of Dr.Hook’s When You’re In Love With A Beautiful Woman, sung superbly by Saba Azad. Despite 5 composers, director Akarsh Khurana confidently pulls all of them together and produces an enjoyable soundtrack.

Keywords: Anurag Saikia, Prateek Kuhad, Imaad Shah, SlowCheeta, Shwetang Shankar, Karwaan, Kaarwaan, 200, #200

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

Morrakka Mattrakkaa is a beautifully constructed joyous outburst of a song. Uthara Unnikrishnan’s exuberant and innocent voice carries it as much as Madhan Karky’s inventive lyrics cheekily inverting the genders of famous dancers like Michael Jackson, Hrithik Roshan, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Prabhu Deva himself! Pappara Pappaa goes one step ahead, imbibing the energy of present-day adipoli Malayalam film songs and acts like the exact kind of song meant for a TV Dance Challenge! Very good singing by Praniti, Riyaz, Sri Vishnu and Pranav. But Dreamy Chellamma, sung mighty well by Saindhavi, despite the liveliness, seems a bit templatized. In Ala ala, singer-composer couple, Saindhavi and GV Prakash Kumar’s singing, as well as the splendid work with Cochin Strings and Chennai Strings Orchestra shows magnificently! Nilladhey Nilladhey sees Sam utilizing Sindhu Bhairavi raaga’s Middle Eastern connect beautifully, aptly supported by Sathyaprakash who renders the inspirational tune. Even Iraiva Iraiva is a superbly punchy—and rhythmic—prayer of sorts, brilliantly exploiting its Ahir Bhairav raaga origin, and sung with a full-throated verve by Sam. The soundtrack closes on a high with the well-crafted dance medley, The Rhythm of Dance. In his 4th release of 2018 already, and Sam seems to be on a roll!

Keywords: Lakshmi, Sam C.S., #200, 200

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist. Week 31:
On Apple Music | On Saavn | On YouTube
One more packed musical week – 28 songs! All 3 platforms come up short, though Saavn is the best among the 3. Please do read the notes and do check out the ones that are YouTube-only (Njan Communist, Hope For A Change and the 2 Coke Studio songs) and the Apple Music-only (Achint & The Khan Brothers)

A note on the songs in the playlist.

Pardesiya (Soorma, Hindi): Ehsaan Noorani (making his singing debut!!) opens Pardesiya and hands it over to Shehnaz Akhtar, starts off like a prayer and literally turns into one when Hemant Brijwasi joins in! A lovely song from the trio!

Reppalaninda, Pillaa Raa & Manasunipatti (RX100, Telugu): I got curious about this film’s music earlier because it was credited to Tunemeone! I then figured it’s a studio in Hyderabad and the composer is Chaitan Bharadwaj. Pillaa Raa is my favorite from the promising soundtrack, with Anurag Kulkarni breezing through the energetic ballad. Reppalaninda sounds a lot like DSP’s sound, with that catchy rhythm and excellent singing by Haricharan. Manasunipatti blends the violin notes so well with the captivating rhythm, with Haricharan and Umaneha in great form. The bridge from the anupallavi to pallavi is particularly very good. Chaitan shows a lot of promise in his debut. Would love to see how he’d build on it now.

Shaakuntle Sikkalu, Kannu Kannu & Ele Vayasina (Naduve Antaravirali, Kannada): Very listenable soundtrack by Manikanth Kadri, Read the full review here:

SoulMate (Justin Timberlake): Justin’s latest album, Man Of The Woods, was just in February! A new single, already? The single is a nice-enough, groovy-enough, catchy-enough affair. The laidback rhythm and superb production (by Drake’s Nineteen85) is top notch.

Chan Kitthan (Indipop, Punjabi): The dependable combo of Rochak Kohli and Ayushmann Khurrana strikes yet again! Taking on a well-loved classic song, Rochak makes a solid attempt to give it his own flavor, and Ayushmann’s earthy delivery, as usual, is the strongpoint.

Tere Naal Nachna (Nawabzaade, Hindi): Looks like T-series is loading this film starring non-names with one starry song after another! Badshah takes on Yo Yo Honey Singh’s preferred route of making ‘spirited’ music and rolls it along with Sunanda Sharma effortlessly.

Cha Cha Charey (Party, Tamil): 1st surprise – the music is NOT by Yuvan Shankar Raja. 2nd surprise – thankfully, it is by the underrated Premgi Amaran. This single could have easily been composed by Yuvan – one groovy, glitzy party track sung with verve by brothers Suriya and Karthi.

Kaadhal Gaana (Raja Ranguski, Tamil): Yuvan’s very competent recent soundtrack. Read the review here:

Kabiskabaa Coco – The Gibberish Song, Thittam Poda Theriyala & Gun-In Kadhal (Kolamaavu Kokila, Tamil): Fantastic soundtrack by Anirudh. Read the full album review here:

Vaa Vaa Kaama, Kalavarame (Tamizh Padam 2, Tamil): The ultimate ‘EngaLa vechu kaamidi keemidi seyyaliye?’ question! Full album review here:

Dheemthana Thomthana (Happy Wedding, Telugu): Shakthikanth Karthick, who was very good in Fida, but only ok’ish in Nela Ticket, produces a neat single here. He adds a nice and groovy mod version of the traditional ‘mangalya dharanam’ wedding tune, in nadaswaram.

Haalu Haalu (Oru Pazhaya Bomb Kadha, Malayalam): Composer Arunraj, who recently impressed with Snehapoompadathe, from Ningal Camara Nireekshanathilaanu, has an instantly catchy song here. The repetitive musical phrase and the energy of the song makes it a winner!

Spark a Fire Songs (Shalmali Kholgade, Indipop): Shalmali Kholgade and her friends Riya, Simran, Pratiksha and Neha are having fun and it shows! A song straight out of the Veere Di Wedding vibe, but was missing in that film’s soundtrack. Easy-on-the-ears, Mikey McCleary sound.

Ninnadhe Hessarannu, Manase & Roo (Yel Yel Aledaru) (Trataka, Kannada): Composer Arun Suradhaa’s songs (4th composed by Shivaganesh) easily lift this little-known soundtrack. Ninnadhe Hessarannu is Vandana Srinivasan’s show, as much as Manase being Nandini Srikar’s splendid show. The former’s breezy and likeable melody, and the latter’s sweeping, mysterious sound with a wonderful, ominous chorus make them memorable. Roo is the most commercial and filmy of the 3 songs, but is a great listen as well, with a foot-tapping lilt and a psychedelic vibe.

Njan Communist (Indipop, Malayalam): The tune and sound is very reminiscent of Shaan Rahman’s repertoire. Not too take anything away from Hesham Abdul Wahab, he employs Kollam Ajith’s violin very effectively and produces a punchy melody, and sings it too really well. The video, produced almost like a movie in one music video, is a great watch too.

Hope For A Change (Tapas Roy, Indipop): Tapas Roy and Joell Mukherjii’s mandolin-guitar duet is a heady, mesmerizing affair. Tapas, as always, literally makes his mandolin talk and sing, within the tune’s structure. The highly engaging composition is Yanni’esque.

Hichki, Saavan Mod Muhara & Railgaadi (Achint & The Khan Brothers, Indipop): This is one of the most impressive pop albums I have heard in recent times. The way Achint Thakkar layers in his eclectic fusion on The Khan Brothers’ earthy Rajasthani folk is phenomenal. Railgaadi is a simple and straight intro the kind of fusion he attempts, but it comes out best in Hichki, when Achint adds the punchy sound after the first half minute (Aavey hichki). The energy is even better in Saavan Mod Muhara, with Achint amping his orchestration significantly!

Pareek & Faqeera (Coke Studio Explorer): The prelude to the new season of Coke Studio Pakistan, called Coke Studio Explorer launched last week! It’s a 5-episode music travelogue where producers Zohaib Kazi and Noori’s Ali Hamza travel to different parts of Pakistan and discover folk music and singers. The format reminds one of Dewarists, while the local music artists’ collaboration seems straight out of MTV Sound Trippin’. The first is from the Kalash Valley, located in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, sung by Ariana and Amrina. The song, Pareek (meaning Let’s Go), is a folk love song that gets a superb electronic backing, in line with Zohaib’s musical sensibilities. The second song, Faqeera, featuring the voices of brother-sister duo of Shamu Bai and Vishnu is almost Rajasthani in sound and feel, given its Sindhi folk origin. Absolutely mesmerizing tune, and equally fantastic orchestration that accentuates the folk tune with its electronic sounds, benjo chords and dholak rhythm.

Simbu seems particularly in great form with his exaggerated singing in Mr.X, amidst the flashy EDM that Yuvan unleashes! Pattukutty Neethan is Yuvan at his vintage best! The melody is incredible, the music is almost hypnotic, and the singing… well, abysmal, courtesy Yuvan himself! Kaadhal Gaana is Yuvan letting V.M. Mahalingam belt out a superb gaana that Deva would be proud of. Gift of Life is hauntingly beautiful, orchestrated with appropriate austerity by Yuvan, with Faridha’s excellent vocals. The Shadow Theme is short and adequate. Raja Ranguski is very good work from Yuvan, in line with his Semma Botha Aagathey.

Keywords: Raja Ranguski, Yuvan Shankar Raja

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

Sean Roldan’s grungy voice goes wonderfully with the moody tune of Edhuvaraiyo! Anirudh rolls out his mysterious, Moby-style backgrounds only after the first minute, raising the stakes! Kalyaana Vayasu, sung by Anirudh himself, is incredibly catchy. Sivakarthikeyan’s lyrics seem influenced by Simbu, particularly that ‘Wait pannava’ line! In Orey Oru, when Anirudh goes, ‘Sathamaai naan azhudhithaan’, the melody harks back to his Naanum Rowdy Thaan association with Vignesh ShivN who wrote the lyrics for this one! Keba’s guitar is a legitimate third voice, and the composer scores in the way he layers Jonita’s singing in a different pitch besides his own. Anirudh also handles Thittam Poda Theriyala exceptionally well. The repetitive hooks are addictive, while the sitar-led interludes are scintillating. Kabiskabaa Coco – The Gibberish Song and its soul twin, Gun-In Kadhal, are absolutely zany and delightful! The former kicks in with a Raja-style retro prelude, but moves on to R.D.Burman’s zone even as Arunraja’s singing itself is much like MS Viswanathan style! The latter has Vijay Yesudas tempering the glitzy sounds with his softer verses, while Arunraja Kamaraj goes delightfully berserk, including the punchy Kabiskabaa Coco hook! Kolamaavu Kokila (CoCo) is Anirudh at his best, producing massively entertaining music!

Keywords: Kolamaavu Kokila (CoCo), Anirudh, 200, #200

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

In Sanjith Hegde’s dreamy voice, the waltz’y Shaakuntle Sikkalu sounds delightful, with a soft lilt that is immediately addictive. Supriya Lohith does the honors for Kannu Kannu, a saccharine-sweet melody that evokes pleasant memories of A R Rahman’s Kissa Hum Likhenge, from Doli Saja Ke Rakhna. Ele Vayasina is decidedly more energetic than the earlier songs and offers some fantastic sounds as the interludes kick in. Of the 2 pathos songs, Mythri Iyer’s wonderfully involved singing lifts Paraaga Sparsha and Oh Olave‘s Charukesi raaga backdrop makes it highly listenable. After 2016’s Run Antony, the vastly-underrated Manikanth Kadri resurfaces again, confidently!

Keywords: Naduve Antaravirali, Manikanth Kadri

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

Diljit Dosanjh brings his own earthy Punjabi-ness to Ishq Di Baajiyaan; the tune gets incredibly immersive with the antara, neat touches like the reverberating ‘Na ja’ phrase and the delightful chorus. The title song is goosebumps-inducing, with a superbly building tempo, and a rousing chorus. In Pardesiya, the trio produce a heart-wrenching folk song with phenomenally involved vocals by Hemant Brijwasi and Shehnaz Akhtar. Good Man Di Laaltain and Flicker Sing, despite their ebullient Punjabi sounds, do not rise beyond their templates that the trio have already perfected earlier. Raazi, and now Soorma – the trio is on a spree!

Keywords: Soorma, Shankar Ehsaan Loy

Listen to the songs on Saavn:

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