Monday February 27, 2017

20 years of Yuvan Shankar Raja!

Yuvan completes 20 years producing music today! So, here is an updated version of the list I had prepared in 2010 – 30 songs this time! 30 songs that define Yuvan’s music for me. But yes, I’m increasingly disappointed with his horrendous singing, but there’s no doubt that he is continuing to produce some great tunes!

Here’s the list of songs:
01. Idhu varai – Goa
02. Chidithar aninthu – Poovellaam Kettuppaar
03. Sanjaram – Kannamoochi Yenada
04. En kannodu – Arinthum Ariyamalum
05. Neethaane – Sarvvam
06. Aaha kaadhal – Moondru Per Moondru Kaadhal
07. Pesadhe – Thirudan Police
08. Kaatriley nadanthene – Aadhi Bhagavan
09. Iragai poley – Naan Mahaan Alla
10. Seheri – Oye
11. Saroja samaan nikalo – Chennai 28
12. Irava pogala – Poovellaam Kettuppaar
13. Ninaithu ninaithu – 7G Rainbow Colony
14. Variya – Pudhupettai
15. Kannan varum velai – Deepavali
16. Nahna na – Biriyani
17. Para para – Tamizh MA
18. Adada vaa – Sarvvam
19. All day jolly day – Manadhai Thirudivittaai
20. En Kandhal sola – Paiyya
21. Kurunthogai – Idam Porul Yaeval
22. Vilayadu mankatha – Mankatha
23. Chinna chinnathai – Mounam Pesiyadhe
24. Panithuli – Kanda Naal Mudhal
25. Namma kaattula – Pattiyal
26. Konjam konjam – Arinthum Ariyaamalum
27. Loosu penne – Vallavan
28. Parapara – Yatchan
29. Nee kidaithai – Chennai 600028 II Innings
30. Gulabi – Govindudu Andarivadele

I Love You and the title song have nice enough tunes, but the lyrical drought—nothing but those words alone!—in both are adequately off-putting. Yemaindho yemo gani plays like a rough-around-the-edges Mickey J Meyer number; Suchith Suresan’s vocals hold the gentle melody well. Thelupana‘s guitar’y goodness helps accentuate the melody as well, while Pranam poye badha is a mighty interesting Charukesi raaga interpretation, expertly managed by Yazin Nizar! Bill Gates passes muster, but Soda buddi, in Gold Devaraj’s punchy vocals, is a funky, guitar-heavy kuthu. There are rough edges in Madhu Ponnas’ music, but he seems fairly confident with his tunes.

Keywords: O Pilla Nee Valla, Madhu Ponnas

Listen to the songs on Saavn:
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Listen to the songs on YouTube:

Kuyile and Kanavugal aayiram are so very Vidyasagar! Not to take credit away from Afzal, both melodies are wonderfully involving, with Haricharan-Shwetha Mohan and Najeem Arshad-Latha Krishna handling it brilliantly, respectively. Afzal ups the ante in Vinnulaka devathai, showcasing fantastic orchestration with superb folk percussion in the interludes and letting Najeem Arshad ace the immersive lovely tune. Vaada thozha, Afzal’s last, is middling mass material. Of E S Raam’s 3 songs, Vithiyo and Enna petha drone on, but Kaatrodu deepam stands out given its Charukesi raaga base. 3 songs from Afzal Yusuf prove that this composer deserves a lot better.

Keywords: Engeyum Naan Iruppen, Afzal Yusuf, ES Raam

Listen to the songs on Saavn:
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Listen to the songs on YouTube:

Yazin Nizar and Sanjana seem to be struggling to sing the otherwise-catchy Sitara! Pichonne aipoya has that Thaman signature – busily layered music with generously digitized vocals! Suyaa too is Thaman-style techno kuthu that has stopped sounding interesting anymore, though Suma Kanakala tries her best to infuse life into it. Bhajarangabali‘s booming sound is offset by the fact that it is perhaps the only song that has Lord Hanuman and Che “Guvera” (Che Guevara) in the same sentence. The soundtrack’s easy winner is the raucously enjoyable, Andhra-kuthu Na BC centarlu, with Nakash Aziz rocking the rendition! Consolation prize winner, this.

Keywords: Winner, SS Thaman

Listen to the songs on Saavn:
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Listen to the songs on YouTube:

Aritharam poosi sounds interesting as long as it traverses the blues’y piano, but outside of it, the rest of the fusion sounds clumsy at best. Aagaayam is Sid Sriram’s show all the way! The singer is completely in control of the dreamy ballad. But composer Ashwin Vinayagamoorthy’s best is Pudavai nilave! He ropes in Dhanush to sing the snazzy tune and together, they bring the roof down! Of Achu’s 2 songs, Shakthishree Gopalan lifts Kannurangu‘s lullaby sound on her singing while the title song drones on middlingly. Ashwin Vinayagamoorthy leads this soundtrack, with generous help from Sid Sriram and Dhanush!

Keywords: Yaadhumaagi Nindraai, Ashwin Vinayagamoorthy, Achu Rajamani

Listen to the songs on Saavn:
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Listen to the songs on YouTube:

Let’s Go Party and Yaar ivano sound woefully dated, including lyrics that allude to AB Positive and Android in the former, as if cementing that dated’ness. Sokki poraandi is no different, evoking Rahman’s brief faux-village music phase, but GVP has a lovely melody that plays interestingly with the percussion. Kannodu kannodu is fantastic! Sathya Prakash rocks the easily likeable melody amidst some snazzy orchestration. Vijay Prakash produces an encore in Uyirile uyirile, in what seems like Nalinakanthi raaga, particularly that beautiful first interlude. 3 songs from Mupparimanam showcase GV Prakash Kumar the composer, away from GV Prakash Kumar the composer-turned-hero.

Keywords: Mupparimanam, G.V.Prakash Kumar

Listen to the songs on Saavn:
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Listen to the songs on YouTube:

The profusion of atmospheric sounds in Ayalathe is both disconcerting and alluring! Shreekumar Vakkiyil’s involved vocals sit on top of Prashant’s lively, impromptu’ish backdrop! The three traditional songs, sung by Angamaly Pranchi, are incredibly natural, more so because of the brass-band orchestration – the approach being similar to composer Balabarathy’s string of gaana songs used to great effect in Thalaivaasal (1992). The soundtrack’s stunning highlight is, of course, the 5-version’ed Do naina (La vettam)! It’s a tantalizingly short, dreamy melody that sounds like something plucked out of Shankar-Jaikishan’s Pyaar hua iqraar hua (Shree 420)! Prashant’s music continues to be delightfully unslottable!

Keywords: Angamaly Diaries, Prashant Pillai

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

Gapu gapalli‘s light, frothy sound makes it a breezy listen. In Bettadmele Srinivasu, Midhun starts with faint strains of Sivaji’s Ballelakka and layers a punchy brass-based kuthu, led confidently by Sooraj Santhosh. Ringa ringa‘s cool reggae base is intriguingly paused in that tantalizing interlude, while Vijayprakash is absolutely brilliant in the faux-qawali Weldingu! Midhun closes his innings in the captivating fusion of the Theme. Of Raghavendra Thane’s 3 songs, Kanasina is a gorgeous ballad, with an unnecessary remix, while Full busy is very Arjun Janya’ish, handled brilliantly by Vijay Prakash. Kahi composer Midhun Mukundan shows tremendous promise in Srinivasa Kalyana!

Keywords: Srinivasa Kalyana, Midhun Mukundan, Raghavendra Thane

Listen to the songs on Saavn:
srinivasa

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

Raghu sings the breathless Adda bidde madesaa with a quirky twang amidst racy country music. Nakul Abhyankar lifts the already bouncy, exuberant Sa re ga ma to a new high. Baduke neenentha‘s innate appeal includes Charukesi raaga, Raghu’s deeply resonant orchestration and Kapil Nair’s fantastic singing. Preetiya hesare neenu is an intimate ballad that the composer/singer aces with his voice and guitar! Kaurava theme is high-energy kuthu with Master Vishwas going ballistic! The soundtrack’s weakest—the much hyped title song—is passably and generically catchy. After Kote (2010), Raghu Dixit’s return is in sync with the positive changes sweeping Kannada film music!

Keywords: Raghu Dixit, Happy New Year

Listen to the songs on Saavn:
hny

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

Aashiq surrender hua is a dedicated Bollywoodisation of an infectious, foot-tapping South-Indian kuthu song! Amaal’s second, Roke na ruke, is the complete opposite! The song transcends conventional Dharma pathos templates riding on Arijit’s affecting singing. Akhil Sachdeva’s—Nasha Band’s vocalist making his Bollywood debut—Humsafar is a passable Pakistani-pop knockoff. Tanishk Bagchi closes the soundtrack with 2 appropriations. Uncredited: The title song, from Shankar Jaikishan’s iconic Teesri Kasam number Chalat musafir*! Adequately lively! Credited: Bappi Lahiri’s Mory Kante lift, Tamma tamma! Superbly kitschy, pulsating and inventive remix that retains the original voices for fantastic effect, barring Badshah’s annoying rap! Jolly good Badri!

Keywords: Badrinath Ki Dulhaniya, Amaal Mallik, Tanishk Bagchi, Akhil Sachdeva, Bappi Lahiri

* …which was based on a folk number too, incidentally. That, however, shouldn’t stop any composer from calling the source as ‘Folk’ and call the composition as a recreation.

Listen to the songs on Saavn:
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Listen to the songs on YouTube:

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