Edhola‘s sprightly tune, led by Revanth, mixes effortlessly with the semi-classical piece by Ranjani Sivakumar. Oohale‘s sparse instrumentation lets Shaktisree’s captivating voice do the work with the melody. Bagundayya chandram, Chelliyo chellako and Gummadikaya halwa, despite their likeable tunes, meander in too many directions and appear less interesting. Nikitha Gandhi’s Malik tere is too commonplace as a generic sufi-style song. Manavyalakinchara has nothing to do with Thayagaraja’s original, but is still an interesting fusion that sees Pradeep Kumar do his magic with his involving vocals! Prashanth R Vihari, who showed promise in Velipomakey, occasionally follows up on that here too.

Keywords: Mental Madhilo, Prashanth R Vihari

Listen to the songs on Saavn:

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

Amidst rollicking thavil and a captivating ‘va va’ chorus, Vidhu Pratap and Sreya ask Shekara the elephant to shake that booty – lovely listen! In Sunnath kalyanam, Shaan shifts the traditional Muslim wedding sound to vibrant rock, in style! Neeyum njanum changes the tone dramatically, with its serene melody that Sachin Balu literally whispers, to great effect! The short Sthothram, with jubilant outbursts of Amen and Hallelujah is so very-Kerala Christian! Shaanthi has that harmonious Christian hymn-like sound too, with Vineeth’s vocals being fantastic, as usual. Godha, Velipadinte Pusthakam and now Aana Alaralodalaral – Shaan’s in good form this year!

Keywords: Aana Alaralodalaral, Shaan Rahman

Listen to the songs on Saavn:

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

Friday November 24, 2017

Milliblog Weeklies – NOV19.2017

Milliblog Weeklies playlist, on Saavn and Apple Music – Week 2.

Below the links, you’d find a Tweet-style (since I share it on Twitter first as a Milliblog-Twitter-Exclusive; do follow me on Twitter at @milliblog) commentary on each of the songs.

On Saavn:

Marugelara (Hampi, Marathi): Thyagaraja’s Jayanthasri raaga-based Marugelara has seen a lot of fusion variants and this one, sung superbly by Rupali Moghe and composed by Aditya Bedekar is one right on top, with its frenetic rhythms and scintillating ambient sound!

Helicopter (Ranchi Diaries, Hindi): The Kakkar siblings—Tony and Neha—hit it out of the park with this heady hip-hop mix. The lyrics are equally heady and literally intoxicating: “Maarenge dope udega Helicopter… Dope shope tere sang mein baby, Karne ka mera plan hai”

Bhalobasar gaan (Samantaral, Bangla): Actor-singer Parambrata Chattopadhyay and composer Indraadip Dasgupta seem far more comfortable in handling the Latino classic Besame mucho than Lalon Fakir’s Ke Kotha Koy. But the mix actually works thanks largely to the former!

Hai baaki (Rukh, Hindi): One of Amit Trivedi’s lesser known and heard soundtracks! Arijit sounds like himself (unlike the Amit-self as in Qaidi Band) and Amit’s tune build itself steadily like a classic tune that could easily be part of Udaan’s soundtrack.

Sodakku (Thaanaa Serndha Koottam, Tamil): Anirudh is truly on a roll! His sense of rhythm here is riveting and mighty different from usual kuthu idioms. Anthony Daasan, the go-to man for such adipoli (thank you comrades, for the word!) songs is effortless with this vocals.

What Amma (Vunnadhi Okate Zindagi, Telugu): Of the limited range that composer Devi Sri Prasad peddles, this is one of the best! A hyper-catchy simple rhythm and an easily likeable tune that confidently meanders into a fantastic kuthu mid-portion. Devi makes it seem effortless 🙂

Ek Dil (Padmavati, Hindi): Sanjay’s compositions have a steady Ismail Darbar-hangover from Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and Ek Dil sonorous, Rajasthani percussion is proof of that yet again. Splendid singing and a lovely, earthy sound keeps the song very, very likeable!

O Mere Sanam (The House Next Door, Hindi): Remarkable how composer Girishh differentiates this from the Tamil equivalent while also keeping each uniquely relatable in those milieus. The Hindi ver. is a classic Mohit Suri-melody but with so much more to it, thanks to Benny Dayal.

Edhola (Mental Madhilo, Telugu): Composer Prashanth R Vihari who showed quite a promise in Velipomakey picks up a similar path here too! The sprightly tune, led by Revanth, mixing with the semi-classical piece by Ranjani Sivakumar is ample showcase of that promise!

Ishtam (Good Bad Ugly, Telugu): The prelude to this song is so, so incredibly Ilayaraja! I only wished the composer Harsha Vardhan didn’t sing this song (though he manages his best) but this is such a time-travel Raja-of-80s melody that it’s hard to see it as a contemporary song!

Anukunnadi (Balakrishnudu, Telugu): After so many soundtracks and literally being sidelined by leading Telugu heroes, composer Mani Sharma shows he still has the goods and how! This is such a simple, familiar and engaging melody that you wonder why the man is not in demand now!

Okka Chinukulo (Prematho Mee Karthik, Telugu): Shaan Rahman has seen his Malayalam tunes being reused in Telugu, but this is perhaps his first direct Telugu soundtrack! He carries his winsome style easily with Sachin Warrier and Anne Amie as dependable partners!

Kaarkala megham (Oru Kadhai Sollatuma, Tamil): The 2-soundtrack album is intriguing given it stars sound designer Resul Pookutty! Malayalam composer Rahul Raj sings this one himself along with Sunitha Sarathy and the song’s steadily building, thrumming energy is easily its asset.

Azhagile Enai (Kathiruppor Pattiyal, Tamil): Sean Roldan’s music is never substandard; at best it can be less interesting. Even among such work, there are sparks like (Aalangiliye, Neruppuda) Azhagile that significantly props the entire soundtrack!

The title song is effortless Yuvan at his best – addictively cool EDM mix! Itemkaaran is no different, with its insanely catchy hook and a steadily raucous kuthu rhythm, delivered with the perfect verve by Ranjith and Anita! Idhayathai oru nodi joins the long list of Yuvan songs that should have been sung by a better singer! Yuvan’s appallingly offkey and labored singing pulls down what is otherwise a pretty neat melody! Ramya Nambeesan’s slurring Gaali pannura is on similar lines, though she handles the inebriated tune with a bit more charm. Very-Yuvan soundtrack; catchy tunes, terrible singing, all included.

Keywords: Semma Botha Aagathey, Yuvan Shankar Raja

Listen to the songs on Saavn:

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

Entha varalaina is dated in every way; even Revanth sounds unusually bad! Thariraa thariraa‘s rather generic Latino tune is made tolerable thanks to Ramya Behara infectitious energy in the vocals. The song’s other version, by Rashi Khanna, pales in comparison. Ramya pulls off the same thing with the mighty generic Andhra kuthu Ardharathri sureedu effortlessly. Rende rendu kallu‘s sobering and serene melody is all the more interesting given that expansive strings-led backdrop. The soundtrack’s easy highlight is Anukunnadi, with its incredibly cool tune and sound, and excellent singing by Surya Pavan Bonila and Sahithi Chaganti. Anukunnadi saves this ho-hum soundtrack.

Keywords: Balakrishnudu, Mani Sharma

Listen to the songs on Saavn:

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

The title song works due to Sunidhi Chauhan’s charming vocals, Jatinder’s hammering of repetitive title hook and the steadily shifting sound, from earthy folk to a punchy EDM and eventually ballroom waltz! Jyoti Nooran and Daler Mehndi ace their wonderfully energetic folk songs, Sajna sohne jiha and Tu jit jawna, respectively; both are aptly foot-tapping! That rhythmic energy carries Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s melody Sahiba russ gayiya too, while Jatinder handles even the standard-issue item song, Gulbadan with panache, infusing in it a Viju ‘Tu cheez badi hai’ Shah vibe. Pleasant folk tunes with a neat edge, all through Firangi!

Keywords: Firangi, Jatinder Shah

Listen to the songs on Saavn:

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

Aaro kannil, despite Job Kurian’s involved singing, gets all murky with the disparate breakbeats and electronica. Aromale could very, very easily be identified as a Shaan Rahman song. Considering debutant composer Jovey George Sujo did work with Shaan in Ormayundo Ee Mukham, it comes as no surprise. Hesham Abdul Wahab sings it well, though the similarity with Shaan’s Vettah number Raavumaayave is hard to ignore. Maari Peyyunna fares better, with sprightly keys and a pleasant melody handled well by Najim Arshad. Puthumazhayitha‘s highlight is easily Vaikom Vijayalakshmi portions, even as the song meanders along. Unremarkable debut by Jovey George Sujo.

Keywords: History of Joy, Jovey George Sujo

Listen to the songs on Saavn:

Kaathirukkum koottathukku is so typically Sean; a whiff of Celtic, fantastic guitar and a lively tune rendered enthusiastically by Hariharasudhan. Azhagile enai has Pradeep’s vocals, enough said! The beautiful melody has an almost-spoken flow with each line ending in a contemplative pause! Thee thee has the charm of a 90s pop track with a lovely sax layer and punchy vocals. Sean sings in an obviously nasal twang and a forced Tambrahm accent in the hilarious Call mela, while the theme music is non-descript. Sean Roldan’s music is never substandard; at best it can be less interesting, like in Kathiruppor Pattiyal.

Keywords: Sean Roldan, Kathiruppor Pattiyal

Listen to the songs on Saavn:

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

Prem & Hardeep’s O meri mehbooba remix is a terrible khichdi. Peh gaya khalara fits in Jasleen’s 2nd template (the 1st being the child-woman melody) – generic, highly rhythmic Punjabi folk. Sumeet Bellary scores well with Tu mera bhai and Bura na mano; adequately funky, with eclectic musical mix. Shaarib & Toshi’s soulful Punjabi ballad Ishq de fanniyar is significantly better in Jyotica Tangri’s female version than the male variant. Gulraj’s Fukrey Returns is the soundtrack’s weakest, while Shree D and ishQ Bector’s Raina is painfully, pointlessly maudlin. Aptly titled soundtrack that’s a far cry from Ram Sampat’s superior original.

Keywords: Fukrey Returns, Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Prem & Hardeep, Jasleen Royal, Sumeet Bellary, Shaarib & Toshi, Gulraj Singh, Shree D & ishQ Bector

Listen to the songs on Saavn:

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

Sunday November 19, 2017

Milliblog Weeklies – NOV12.2017

Given the proliferation of singles over full soundtracks and considering the fact that I make playlists for myself every week consisting of new music (both singles and songs part of fully released soundtracks), I have decided to share those playlists as well without being constrained by the full soundtrack release or reviewing that first. I intend it to be the kind of playlists I have always made and enjoyed for myself – multilingual and runs for about an hour.

Here’s the first Weeklies playlist, on Saavn and Apple Music. Below the links, you’d find a Tweet-style (since I share it on Twitter first as a Milliblog-Twitter-Exclusive; do follow me on Twitter at @milliblog) commentary on each of the songs.

On Saavn:

Bewajah (Anirudh, Hindi): Technically, his 3rd Hindi song, after ‘Yun hi re’ (David, 2013), and the Kolaveri-redux Sachin Anthem (featuring Dhanush, 2012). This one’s a total earworm – has an incredibly catchy hook and an eye-popping vertical video!

Rafu (Tumhari Sulu, Hindi): The soundtrack’s best, easily, with Santanu Ghatak, making his Hindi debut after after the Bangla album Hingtingchhot. Delightfully mellow, featuring involved vocals by Ronkini Gupta.

Silk Song – Armaan Malik, Shirley Setia: Composed by Clinton Cerejo, the memorable ad jingle now has a slighty longer version feat. Armaan & Shirley. The song is cloyingly sweet, just like the chocolate, but it’s likeable because of the innate familiarity.

Tanha begum (Qarib Qarib Singlle, Hindi): Hussain Haidry aces lines like “Saari saari raatiya charkhe atariya; bijli vali racket se maru macchariya”. Antara Mitra does a pitch perfect retro-style rendition aided wonderfully by Rochak’s spiffy tune.

Ban ja rani (Tumhari Sulu, Hindi): Guru Randhawa spruces up his Tu meri rani (2016), with help from the former’s mixer Rajat Nagpal; this is a significantly better version that smoothens out some of the earlier version’s quirks. A cutesy Punjabi ballad.

Kukkotti kunaatti (Aruvi, Tamil): Moves seamlessly from child’s pov—Praniti’s delightfully innocent & sweet singing—to the duo singing about the child herself. Wonderfully imaginative vocal harmonies and sparkling orchestration by Bindhumalini & Vedanth.

Asaindhadum mayil (Aruvi, Tamil): Oothakkaadu Venkata Subbaiyer and Ray Charles go to a bar and order something potent! The Simhendramadhyamam-raaga original morphs into a bewildering pastiche featuring Bindhumalini’s freestyle scatting!

Hawa Hawai 2.0 (Tumhari Sulu, Hindi): Tanishk Bagchi, Hindi film music’s undisputed recreation-master thankfully uses Kavita’s original vocals in Hawa Hawai 2.0 (like Badrinath’s Tamma tamma where he used Bappi Lahiri and Anuradha Paudwal’s vocals) and hits another remix jackpot.

Jaane de (Qarib Qarib Singlle, Hindi): A serene melody by composer Vishal Mishra, befitting Atif’s dreamy voice. That “aadatan toh sochenge… hota yun toh kya hota” detour in the melody is a lovely touch!

Oru veettil (Theeran Adhigaaram Ondru, Tamil): Good old Ghibran, with a multi-layered sound, splendid chorus and strings, and excellent singing by Shashaa Tirupati and Inno Genga.

Kulebaa vaa (Ippadai Vellum, Tamil): The soundtrack’s best, with its exotic and immensely catchy sound that Imman has mastered as a template by now. Malaysian singer Kumaresh Kamalakannan and Nalini Krishnan deliver the song wonderfully.

Iraiva (Velaikkaran, Tamil): Anirudh first literally begs and prays, but soon loses patience and delivers an angry, vocal chord busting missive to God! And then Jonita joins and they both sing about each other, forgetting all about God! Thoroughly engaging tune, though!

Sevatha pulla (Theeran Adhigaaram Ondru, Tamil): Ranjith holds the song in great stead with his singing, and Ghibran’s reggae-ish sway and a particularly neat anupallavi makes the song work easily.

Baitikochi Chuste (PSPK25, Telugu): The 3rd Anirudh song in this week’s playlist, in the 3rd language! He sings this one himself and the tune is typical of his music – breezy and easy to get hooked on to.

Hasi bisi (College Kumar, Kannada): Arjun Janya usually pulls a lot of Harris Jayaraj’ish elements in his music. As soon as the energetic rhythm kicks in, you’d know what I’m talking about 🙂 Shweta Mohan handles the lush melody beautifully.

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