Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 163: On Spotify | On YouTube
15 songs this week. Spotify has all 15, while I haven’t been able to add the 3 specific songs from Oh Manapenne since only the full jukebox is available. So, have added the jukebox to the playlist.

Mauj-e-Karam – Hum Do Hamare Do (Sachin-Jigar) – Hindi: A tune that sounds literally like kumbaya! It’s accentuated by the vocal ‘na-na-na’ chorus that repeats the title hook. The singers do the trick very effectively delivering the easy-on-the-ear melody – Sachet and Parampara, composers themselves. This is the only song that surfaced above the middling stuff in the soundtrack.

Oh Manapenne, Nee Yenadharuginil Nee & Sakiye – Oh Manapenne (Vishal Chandrashekhar) – Tamil: I had added both Lazy Song and Bodhai KaName to Weeklies earlier when they were released. Barring Aao Ji Aao (that, I felt, was a bit too obviously gimmicky), this is one heck of a soundtrack by Vishal! The title song’s soul is Sinduri’s incredible singing. Vishal’s melody is grace personified and if I hadn’t known the composer’s name, I’d have guessed it as A R Rahman, for a Mani Ratnam film! Punya Srinvas’ Veena too adds significant value to the song. Shakthisree Gopalan lifts Nee Yenadharuginil Nee haunting melody with an intimate performance. Vishal’s tune is thoroughly engaging, with a lovely Latino layer. In Sakiye, the melody seems to start from an anupallavi’ish tune, with Yazin Nizar backed by an impressive chorus layer. The song is warmly enveloped in guitar, complimenting the vocals brilliantly.

Mazhai – Yennanga Sir Unga Sattam (Guna Balasubramanian) – Tamil: After the earlier song from the film, Jeeraga Biriyani, composer Guna impresses again with this new song! It’s a breezy melody with a very simple, and repetitive structure. But it’s how Guna layers the two voices, Guna Balasubramanian and Malvi Sundaresan, is where the song scores beautifully. Guna’s vocals are inside a 3-line phrase that gets repeated, while it is Malvi who does the heavy-lifting around it. Even the anupallavi’s male vocals have the same sound effect that makes it a great listen.

Nenjae Nenjae – Borrder (Sam CS) – Tamil: Sam, after a period of mighty impressive work, seems to have been stuck in a rut of late. This song is considerably better than most of his recent work, and yet there seems to be something mildly off. For instance, the anupallavi, the way it starts with ‘En Kaalai Maalai’ clearly seems off and the male voice hardly sounds like Karthik! Overall though, the broader melody works.

Knockout Song – Arasiyalla Idhellam Saadharnamappa (Madley Blues) – Tamil: The song has two heavyweights behind it – no, not the composing duo, Harish Venkat and Prashanth Techno… but singer Anirudh and lyricist Vignesh Shivn! But, the composing duo too have something interesting going for the tune that sounds like a modern-day Chandrababu song with its spartan, Vaudevillian sound, but layered with some imaginative, lilting rhythm.

Preme Aakasamaithe – Rowdy Boys (Devi Sri Prasad) – Telugu: This is one of those kinds of songs that DSP hands over to a Baba Sehgal or Raghu Dixit in an earlier period, but now it goes to Jaspreet Jasz. It is built around a simple, hummable tune with one prominent hook that DSP mines for maximum impact. Here, it is the ‘Alale’ hook. Catchy while it lasts.

Mutyala Chemma Chakka – Love Story (Saluri Rajeshwara Rao and Pawan Ch) – Telugu: While the rest of the film’s soundtrack is on Aditya Music, this one song alone is on Saregama. Reason? It’s a remix! Pawan recreates Saluri Rajeshwara Rao’s 1964 song from Bobbili Yuddham in a spritely, mod version, and in Rakshita Suresh’s confident singing, it works effortlessly. I’m very surprised, though, that Saregama did not bother crediting or mentioning Saluri Rajeshwara Rao in their YouTube upload.

Modati Rojullo – Vinay S (Indipop/Telugu) – Modati Rojullo is Vinay’s debut song, but the overall package demonstrates the imagination and creativity far beyond a debut. Karunya’s voice accentuates the melody, but the song’s considerable appeal is Vinay’s tune that springs a surprise all through the pallavi the same way Sandeep Chowta’s ‘Short and Sweet’ (Kedi) did!

Ollulleru – Ajagajantharam (Justin Varghese) – Malayalam: Justin takes a traditional melody from the Mavila Community and produces a pulse-pounding electronic version that uses the vocals of Hinsha Hilari, Himna Hilari, and Salima PS very well. It’s a simple, repetitive tune with a catchy sound, and Justin’s treatment mixes the old and the new impressively. In a way, it reminded me of Charan Raj’s Salaga song Tininga Miniga Tishaa, in terms of the approach since that song utilized Siddi ethnic group’s musical style in a similar way. Also Rahul Raj’s famous song from Bachelor Party, Kappa Kappa, in terms of the sound and packaging.

Ja Ja Re – Bhoomi 2021 (Sadarang and Salim-Sulaiman) – Indipop: The composing duo pick up Naimat Khan aka Sadarang’s 18th-century bandish and in line with their musical style, produce a snazzy recreation while retaining the original’s Bhimpalasi raaga base. It’s a funky affair with the vocal prowess of Sattar Khan Langa (with backing vocals by Habib Khan Langa, Saadiq Khan Langa) and Vishal Dadlani.

Churaya – Amit Trivedi (Indipop/Hindi): I missed this song back in June. Amit composes and sings this himself, and it has the spring of a catchy ad jingle, built around the ‘Churaya’ hook. But the way he expands on the jingle-like brevity in the antara demonstrates his imagination! The backgrounds, in particular, the brass section, brings the song alive wonderfully.

Tedo Tedo & Mooch – ŠKODA Sonic Roots | Songs of Soil (Amit Trivedi) – Indipop: Amit has already dabbled heavily in Gujarati and Rajasthani folk music and sounds in his film songs. In a new series for Skoda, he goes deeper into the folk soundscape much like the Coke Studio approach. The Gujarati wedding lagna song Tedo tedo is an incredibly rhythmic affair in sync with the State’s rich dandiya musical tradition, featuring none other than Kirtidan Gadhvi. The Rajasthani track Mooch is a joyous affair building on the State’s obsession with the famous facial appendage. Amit takes a bit more creative liberty in this song and the result is something we could have easily heard in any of his film songs too. Mame Khan leads this one brilliantly with this energetic singing, complimented by Ruchika Chauhan.

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 162: On Spotify | On YouTube
11 songs this week. YouTube has all 11, while Spotify is missing Thaikkudam Bridge’s new medley single.

Yaathi Yaathi – Abhishek CS (Tamil/Indipop): Ashwin Kumar seems to be the Tamil equivalent of Mouni Roy, featuring in pop single after pop single with alarming consistency and all of them raking in massive views on YouTube (Unakkena Naan/Shades of Kadhal – December 2019, Kannam Veesi – January 2020, Kutty Pattas – March 2021, Criminal Crush – April 2021, Adipoli – August 2021), and now this! But, if I look at all these songs (none of them featured in Milliblog Weeklies), this is the first time one of them is part of this list. Musically, I wasn’t entirely convinced or impressed with them, though I understand why they work with others – reasonably good/catchy music to showcase Ashwin’s prowess. But Yaathi seems to be the first song, in my view, to have a really coherent and good musical layer – Abhishek’s tune could have easily been in a Sivakarthikeyan big-budget movie.

Backyard Sessions (Ilayaraja) – Thaikkudam Bridge (Tamil): The band mixes two of Raja’s iconic songs that are a decade apart (1981 – 1991). The mix seemed incomplete and too short for my comfort, but whatever they do pick and mix sounds magical given how beautiful the original songs themselves are. The singers – Christin Jos Vadasseril and Vipinlal C K do a terrific job, accentuating the melodies of the originals as if they are brittle artefacts that may break if mishandled!

Gandharva Lokala – Pelli SandaD (M M Keeravani) – Telugu: Keeravani recreates the quintessential K Raghavendra Rao song template (while the video stops short of rolling fresh fruits on the heroine’s belly; or it is probably present in the full video) musically. It’s a lovely throwback, and the voices of Hemachandra and Ramya Behara build on that beautifully.

Srivalli – Pushpa (Devi Sri Prasad) – Telugu: DSP does it again! If the first single from the film was a floor-stomper, this one is such a wonderful contrast – a lush melody that makes its tune an earworm almost instantly. He uses Manonmani’s Sarangi in such a way that it becomes a signature sound. Sid Sriram’s choice is brilliant – the small variations he brings to the same line (Choope Bangaaramaayane) are lovely!

Hey Thikamaka & Jagadale Raani – Maha Samudram (Chaitan Bharadwaj) – Telugu: Chaitan’s music for the movie is shades ahead of his first outing with the director, Ajay Bhupathi (RX100). Like the director’s expanded scope and canvas, Chaitan’s music too offers a significantly wider soundscape. Haricharan and Nutana Mohan prop Hey Thikamaka’s lilting melody perfectly, while Hemachandra and Chaitan himself handle the 80s style friendship anthem fabulously.

Gicchi Gili Gili – Rathnan Prapancha (Ajaneesh Loknath) – Kannada: Ajaneesh builds his tune around the ‘Gicchi Gili Gili’ hook and that crow-like sound – even though that sounded like a gimmick to me in the beginning, he goes on to layer the main melody very well on top. The result is a catchy song that seems like a very sophisticated version of a Govinda tapori song, but in Kannada. And because of that, Puneeth Rajkumar’s vocals are a great match for the tune!

Higher Power, Humankind, People of the Pride & My Universe – Music of The Spheres (Coldplay) – International: If Higher Power sounded like Coldplay channeling their inner Weeknd, that’s because of the producer – Max Martin, who also Blinding Lights. But it does sound great, framing Chris in a sound I usually do not associate with. Humankind is a great listen given how familiar it is within the Coldplay soundscape, though the lyrics are cringeworthy, offering pithy insights like we are called ‘humankind’ because we are kind! People of the Pride too is a stupendous listen even as it sounds less like Coldplay (barring Chris’s voice) and more of a Depeche Mode or Muse sound. And My Universe is, as expected, sugary-sweet boyband goodness featuring BTS and Coldplay – predictable in every way, sound-wise, hooks-wise, and appeal-wise.

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 161: On Spotify | On YouTube
A bumper musical week – 19 songs, this week! YouTube has all 19, but Spotify is missing 3 songs – Annaatthe’s Saara Kaatrae, Maddy Engira Madhavan’s Yarathu, and Honsla Rakh’s Guitar.

Aasai – Enna Solla Pogirai (Vivek – Mervin) – Tamil: Vivek and Mervin are usually very, very dependable and they deliver yet again with this absolutely gorgeous melody! Debutant lyricist Maathevan’s verse deserves a special mention – soaked in pure Tamil with an ‘aaga’ edge adding to the charm. When Mervin goes ‘EnnaaLum theera kaadhalaaga’ in the anupallavi, completely outside the melody’s ecosystem, I started to wonder how the composition would get back to the original melody. But the composers beautifully bring it back to the ‘Kattikondu mutham vaithu ondraaga’ line! Excellent stuff!

Adiye – Bachelor (Dhibu Ninan Thomas) – Tamil: I warmed up to the song a bit slowly. I did not particularly get drawn to the way it opens, but Dhibu adds so many layers in the background—a fantastic chorus part and a wonderfully rhythmic vocal layer—that makes the song so much enjoyable as it progresses. Much of the credit should also go to the singer, Kapil Kapilan, who, given his solo outing, does a stellar job!

Uchanthala Regaiyile – Pisasu 2 (Karthik Raja) – Tamil: I have seen a lot of people link this song with Ilayaraja’s Psycho song, Unna Nenachu (that too sung by Sid Sriram), but barring the singer, I couldn’t trace any direct connection. The sound is probably similar given that Karthik Raja works closely with his father. But he carves a unique song on his own here, with a superb violin profusion in the background that is as good as his old man!

Yarathu – Maddy Engira Madhavan (Hesham Abdul Wahab) – Tamil: It’s so good to see Hesham get more opportunities to compose, that too outside Malayalam films. Yarathu scores very well with its engaging rhythm and a really-high pitched melody that both Haricharan and Chinmayi are more than adept at handling.

Annaatthe Annaatthe & Saara Kaatrae – Annaatthe (D.Imman) – Tamil: I was very curious to hear what Imman would do for his first film for Rajinikanth and I see, at least based on the title song, that he has decided to channel his inner Deva. Barring some of the conversation-styled phrases and the modern sounds, this could have been a Deva-Rajini song. But it sounds adequately energetic, thanks largely to the man we’d all miss for a very, very, very long time – S.P. Balasubrahmanyam (though he’d live forever through his many, many songs). In Saara Kaatrae, Imman is in his usual elements with a lush melody that he usually hands over to Shreya Ghoshal to do the honors. This one has Sid Sriram too, so even more enjoyable.

Mayakkathe Maaya Kanna – Sabhaapathy (Sam CS) – Tamil: A Navaratri song from Sam CS and it is timed quite well in terms of the release! I quite liked the opening and the overall sound, but as it progresses, I couldn’t get hold of the tune despite multiple listens. It probably heads in too many directions for my comfort and doesn’t come together coherently. But, a good attempt, nonetheless.

Madhura Nagarilo – Pelli SandaD (M.M.Keeravani) – Telugu: Considering the kinds of periods (in films and film music) that Keeravani would have witnessed given his experience since the late 80s, and given the musical style of director Raghavendra Rao, this song is a marvel! Keeravani mixes a semi-classical base on a Telugu masala style with such ease that it works wonders. Just as you soak into the melody of the opening lines, in comes Kaala Bhairava with his ‘Dorakka Dorakka Dorikindi’.

Thoorpu Padamara & Venuvulo – Natyam (Shravan Bharadwaj) – Telugu: The monumentally underrated Shravan already has some fantastic songs in this film, and Thoorpu Padamara confidently adds to that list. Beyond the highly likeable melody, Shravan plays around with the instrumental sound to great effect – there’s one specific sound that sounds like a morphed version of a guitar or a veena that is particularly lovely! And the choice of Chinmayi to sing this song – brilliant. In the other song, Venuvulo, Shravan uses the familiar, catchy melody of the famous Ganesha song ‘Bomma bomma tha’ (Tai tai ganapati) and crafts his melody entirely around it in a hugely inventive way. Anurag Kulkarni’s singing elevates the song considerably, particularly the phrases that sound like open questions even in the tune (beyond the lyrics).

Chettekki – Kondapolam (M.M.Keeravani) – Telugu: Besides Obulamma (about which I wrote about earlier), there are quite a few songs in the film, but the only other song that worked for me is this one, featuring Kaala Bhairava and Shreya Ghoshal. Keeravani has a fantastic rhythm in the song that is irresistible, and the singers do a superb job accentuating the melody. There are quite a few places in the song that took me to Ilayaraja’s music!

Idhi Nijamaa – Bathuku Busstand (Mahavir) – Telugu: There are some rough edges in the song that I’m willing to overlook, but this is a fairly competent effort by composer Mahavir – is it the same person who goes by the name Yelender Mahaveer in some of the earlier films? Even the earlier 2 songs from the film weren’t as good as this one.

Ninnu Chudagane – Atithi Devo Bhava (Shekar Chandra) – Telugu: I wasn’t impressed with Shekar Chandra’s first song from the film, despite Sid Sriram’s singing (Baguntundhi). But, interestingly, he seems to be using the same formula of that song—which was a softer melody—in this song which is more of a lilting and catchy song. The formula has shades of a catchy percussion layer repetitively and in this song, this works pretty well.

Allipoola Vennela – A R Rahman (Telugu) – Indipop: If I’m not mistaken, this is a direct Telugu song from Rahman after more than a decade (since 2010’s Komaram Puli). And that he chose to compose it for the Bathukamma Festival makes it very special! The song’s character has the Rahman of yore – this could easily be featured in, say a Telugu set-up Alai Paayuthey to replace the title song. The singing is largely a chorus, but the singers, together (Rakshita Suresh, Haripriya, Deepthi Suresh, Aparna Harikumar, and Padmaja), do a fantastic job!

Kantharipenne – Marathon (Bibin Ashok) – Malayalam: Bibin has a simple, very catchy melody that he layers with captivating musical phrases with an intentionally caricaturish sound… and it all works so well together! Mathayi Sunil’s singing is the one that lifts the song from being merely comical to something musically sound too.

Naale – Everafter (Malayalam) – Indipop: As a huge fan of Roby Abraham‘s music, I have definitely missed him! Thankfully, he gets back in style, with his band that also features Madonna Sebastian. The song fits perfectly within Roby’s repertoire and is a wonderful listen!

Premakke Kannilla – Sakath (Judah Sandhy) – Kannada: The last time Judah composed for Ganesh, the result was delightful (Chamak). The first single from Sakath seems promising too, with a lilting melody with a prominent ghatam-style backdrop with equally involving strings. I don’t think I have heard Pancham Jeeva’s singing this prominently (he was one of the singers in Avane Srimannarayana’s Hands Up, led mainly by Vijay Prakash), and he makes a terrific difference to the song (joined by Shreya Iyer, much later in the song).

Guitar – Honsla Rakh (Jsl) – Punjabi: A song featuring Diljit Dosanjh that is not composed or sung by him, considering he is playing the hero in the film. Jsl’s composition is a fun, bouncy affair, and Raj Ranjodh’s vocals seem perfect for it.

Supernova – Bada Boom (Ranjit Barot, ft. Mandolin U Srinivas): This is a 2010 song that I have already reviewed when I used to review full albums 🙂 Adding it now because I had made a passing mention of it inside a tweet in a totally unrelated blog post last week and quite a few people bothered enough to find the song and listen to it… and were totally mind blown by it!

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 160: On Spotify | On YouTube
A very satisfying musical week! 12 songs, this week. Both YouTube and Spotify have all 12 songs!

Barbaadiyan – Shiddat (Sachin-Jigar) – Hindi: There are quite a few songs in the film, but the only one that worked for me (got me interested even when it was fleetingly used in the trailer) is Barbaadiyan. The composers have a catchy tune with a pulsating bounce built around the Barbaadiyan hook. The voices – Sachet Tandon, Nikhita Gandhi and Madhubanti Bagchi, are perfect.

Ishq Fitoori, Kahe Muskaye Re & Bansuri – Bhavai (Shabbir Ahmed) – Hindi: Is Bhavai lyricist Shabbir Ahmed’s debut as a composer? I don’t recall hearing his music as much as I recall hearing his lines. Despite his sound seeming a LOT like Ismail Darbar’s body of music and reminding me of specific phrases from other songs, the music of the film is definitely noteworthy. Ishq Fitoori, with Mohit Chauhan’s incredible singing took me back to Chor Aur Chaand’s ‘Sapnon Mein Aana’ (Nikhil-Vinay), particularly that ‘Savere savere kapdon pe apne’. Imagine Kareeb’s Chori Chori Jab Nazren Mili composed by Ismail Darbar in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam? Difficult to imagine? Just listen to Kahe Muskaye Re!! But make no mistake – it’s a gorgeous song, mainly because of Shreya’s mindblowing singing. Bansuri too has a strong Ismail Darbar flavor (from Hum Dil Chuke Sanam, again) partly because of the Karsan Sargathiya-led portions. But the song’s charming rhythm and lovely tune makes it a great listen.

Maayakkara – Mughizh (Revaa) – Tamil: Good to see a new song from Revaa who had earlier composed Mangalyam Thanthunanena in Malayalam and Hey Man Maaze in the Marathi film College Diary. Revaa’s melody is spritely and has an ebullient sound that easily draws you in. Govind Vasantha and Malvi Sundaresan handle the singing really well, even as Balaji Tharaneetharan (the director, who has penned the song) offers warm and wonderful lines like, ‘piLLai pole ori vandhaai, thandhai pole thedi nindren’ to symbolize the relationship between a dog and its pet-father/owner.

Little India – Enemy (Thaman S) – Tamil: The structure of the song is very-Thaman, and very familiar too, but he infuses enough new elements, including Arivu’s rap portions to create a highly engaging song. Plus, the song’s perspective, of Singapore Tamilians, seems rather new and that’s vastly interesting too.

Two Two Two – Kaathuvaakula Rendu Kaadhal (Anirudh) – Tamil: It is perhaps better to ‘consume’ the song in 2 different ways: listen to the audio alone to get the nuances of the song better, and then see the music video. The latter, with its snazzy Rajini+Kamal antics by Anirudh distracts one from focusing on the tune 🙂 As an audio-only song, a lot more musical elements bubble up – the captivating percussion and Sunidhi’s and Sanjana Kalmanje’s superb singing, besides Anirudh’s own part and the nadaswaram-like (but it is not?) portions credited to Tapas Roy.

Leharaayi – Most Eligible Bachelor (Gopi Sundar) – Telugu: This is Gopi’s spectacular win! The kind of tantalizing melody that he excels creating in… and he gets Sid Sriram to sing it too! There’s a steady, rhythmic background that makes the tune come alive beautifully. Plus the use of nadaswaram and mridangam adds a unique layer too. Fantastic song!

Ekkesinde – Manchi Rojulochaie (Anup Rubens) – Telugu: Anup has a scorching winner here that would make Anirudh proud! The tune and sounds, at least in the pallavi, are reminiscent of Anirudh’s techno kuthu numbers, though the anupallavi gets a distinct Telugu flavor. Ram Miriyali seems to be having a rocking time singing it. The song’s appeal is considerably tied to the way Anup gets specific words repeated uncomfortably long – like ‘Ekkesinde’, ‘Missaina’ and ‘Chuttu chuttu’, besides the hugely engaging really-long pallavi.

Manasulone Nilichipoke – Varudu Kaavalenu (Vishal Chandrashekhar) – Telugu: The vastly underrated Vishal strikes again in what seemed to me like a song with a generous tinge of Karaharapriya raaga. Roping in Chinmayi to sing the song is a fantastic decision and she delivers the melody so well!

Munthiripoovo – Bhramam (Jakes Bejoy) – Malayalam: My first reaction was: how many more languages would they remake Andhadhun in? Considering the Telugu version, Maestro, has just been released, and ‘Top Star’ Prashant starring in the Tamil remake, here comes the Malayalam version, straight on Amazon Prime! That apart, lovely song by Jakes who I think generally has more misses than hits. But this is certainly the latter, with a wonderfully lively melody that works effortlessly. And he sings it too darn well.

Khali Khali – Puksatte Lifu (Vasu Dixit) – Kannada: A song that easily sounds like something only Vasu could have composed – it has his stamp all over. Did I hear strains of Gowri Manohari raaga in between? The core melody has a deep, resonant sound and Shilpa Mudbi’s singing accentuates that.

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 159: On Spotify | On YouTube
10 songs, this week. Spotify has all 10, while YouTube is missing just one – Khula Asmaan from Unbounded.

Tum Tum – Enemy (Thaman S) – Tamil: It’s probably more than a coincidence that this song’s overall sound seems reminiscent of Sarattu Vandiyila from Kaatru Veliyidai. Still, the song’s slow and steady rhythm has immense appeal, as also the singing by Sri Vardhini, Aditi, Satya Yamini, Roshini, and Tejaswini.

Anale Anale – Jango (Ghibran) – Tamil: A surprising composition that took me back to the earlier Ghibran that I was so very sold on, with the lush backgrounds that keep you constantly interested. The melody is lovely too, as also Idhaya’s lyrics too, including that refrain, “Nee Vaaliyin Paadale”! Haricharan, as always, owns the singing, particularly in the higher notes.

Title song – Bheemla Nayak (Thaman S) – Telugu: Considering the film’s original was framed as a dual-protagonist film, it did not have a song glorifying only one actor. But this is a Telugu remake. Starring THE Pawan Kalyan, at that, along with Rana Daggubati who seems to be given supporting-actor status rather than co-star status. So, it is understandable that we would get a hero-worship song and Thanam’s rhythmic, powerful music does justice to that brief. It’s a wonderfully mounted song with an addictive lilt!

Ishtam – Khiladi​ (Devi Sri Prasad) – Telugu: Even though Thaman frequently creates songs that evoke the Ilayaraja-style, in my view, they tend to be flat recreations that mirror the Maestro’s sound, to very good effect, however. But it is Devi Sri Prasad who occasionally drops a Raja-style song that truly imbibes the veteran’s sound and concocts something new. Ishtam’s prominent sound takes me straight to the 90s Raja, but the tune is very DSP. Hari Priya is in great form singing this fun song.

Jor Se – Republic (Mani Sharma) – Telugu: A super energetic song by Mani Sharma who keeps reminding us that he’s very much present in the Telugu music scene despite the young ‘uns steadily taking over. The ‘Jor se’ hook and the chorus work wonders for this festive song with a modern twist.

Cheppake Cheppake – Maha Samudram (Chaitan Bharadwaj) – Telugu: Much rides on singer Deepthi Parthasarathy given this is a solo to sing the woman’s expressions and she handles the melody really well. Chaitan helps her by mounting the likeable melody on a lilting backdrop and enjoyable hooks like that ‘Kalapakule, nilapakule’ and a profusion of strings!

Kanvaathil – Roy (Munna PM) – Malayalam: I did like the first song from Roy (Arikin Arikil), but not that much… or, at least not enough to add it to the Weeklies. But composer Munna definitely earns a Weeklies addition with his 2nd song from the film. The melody is wonderfully lush and reminded me of Pradeep Kumar’s music, though Munna’s style is quite distinctive too. The singing is top-notch, led by Neha Nair mainly, while Rakhil Shoukath Ali Rajesh joins in later in a nice touch.

Leke Pehla Pehla Pyaar – Kya Meri Sonam Gupta Bewafa Hai (Avvy Sra) – Hindi/Punjabi: Yes, it is a recreation of OP Nayyar’s memorable song, but Avvy has a neat, funky wrapper to launch the original. Much of the charm in this song is because of the original, of course, but the new layer is pretty enjoyable too, thanks to the singing by Jassie Gill and Surbhi Jyoti.

Shanmukhapriya & Khula Asmaan – Unbounded (Abaad) – Purbayan Chatterjee: The Sitar maestro’s new album is a dizzying affair in more than one way – the sheer star collaborators involved and the resultant sound, a cornucopia of genres that overpower at times, and work seamlessly less often. The 2 songs that worked for me include Shanmukhapriya that flaunt Shankar Mahadevan’s singing, U. Rajesh’s mandolin and more. The raaga’s inherent beauty is brought out with a vibrant jazz soundscape over Shankar getting into the middle portion of the Papanasam Sivan kriti, Parvati Nayakane. In Khula Asmaan, Javed Ali leads the vocals and has an impressive backing in the form of Taufiq Qureshi’s percussion, Paras Nath’s flute among others, besides the Sitar by Purbayan, of course. The Rajasthani folk melody gets a fascinating twist as the song progresses and merges into bandish-sufi stream.

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 158: On Spotify | On YouTube
12 songs, this week. YouTube has all 12, but Spotify is missing 2 – the fantastic Ilayaraja mash-up and The Veyil Song in Malayalam.

Ilayaraja mash-up – Sathya & Stanley, ft. Lavita & Sanjana – Tamil: This is an OUTSTANDING mashup! It reminded me of Crazy Mohan jokes coming thick and fast in a film where you don’t have time to assimilate them all – here the songs change rapidly and you are left breathless, trying to identify and cope up! I really liked that they have included musical pieces too, like that Poo Maalaiye (Pagal Nilavu) prelude at 3:00 or the interlude from Valaiosai (Sathya) at 3:56. Also, the seamless movement to a song’s middle parts is goosebumps-inducing – for instance, that call from Kaadhal Vaanile and response from Maalayil Yaaro!

Jeeraga Biriyani – Yennanga Sir Unga Sattam (Guna Balasubramanian) – Tamil: This is an unusual song, in terms of the combination of what is being sung and how it is tuned! Benny Dayal sings Jegan Kaviraj’s lines that call the lady love as ‘Jeeraga Biriyani’ (the Tamil-style biriyani that is made not with the ‘North Indian’ Basmati rice but with ‘Seeraga Chamba’ rice!) and the melody has a lovely Middle Eastern twang that keeps it steadily interesting.

Enakkenna Aachu – Kasada Tabara (Yuvan Shankar Raja) – Tamil: For an anthology with as many as 6 composers, I did not find the songs all that engaging. The one song that stood out for me is this one, by Yuvan. It’s a classic Yuvan template and he sings it himself too (about which I have said a lot already and won’t waste any more time 🙂 ) – a lush, thoroughly engaging melody with hugely enjoyable nuances in the background.

Obulamma – Kondapolam (M M Keeravani) – Telugu: There is SO MUCH 90s Rahman in this song that I had a tough time associating Keeravani’s name as composer! More than the tune (beautiful as it is), it is the backgrounds where that early-Rahman feeling comes through so much. Fantastic song, with excellent singing by Satya Yamini and PVNS Rohit.

Bandeena Bandeena – Raja Raja Chora (Vivek Sagar) – Telugu: As a fan of Vivek’s music, I really wanted to like the songs of Raja Raja Chora. This is also considering this film’s director worked with director Vivek Athreya in Brochevarevarura that had the same hero and Vivek’s excellent music. But, most of the songs, barring this one, don’t work for me. This one, probably thanks to Pradeep’s singing, stood out – Vivek’s melody makes it an easy listen.

So So Ga Lyrical – Manchi Rojulochaie (Anup Rubens) – Telugu: Anup nails both the tune and sound so well – a faux-classical melody accentuated with that veena-sounding instrument (electric guitar?). And Sid Sriram singing it can only make things even better!

The Hey Song – Veyil (Pradeep Kumar) – Malayalam: It’s great to see Pradeep branching out to languages other than Tamil… considering he debuted with an outstanding soundtrack in Telugu, this is hardly surprising. This song has the Santhosh Narayan trademark, though – that strings (Macedonian Radio Symphonic Orchestra) entry at the two-and-a-half minute mark is one instance! The song is powered largely by Aasha Sriram’s intimate voice and she handles Pradeep’s unusual melodic turns beautifully! The sound Pradeep conjures offers a lot to observe and enjoy – for instance, that shift to a thumping sound at 1:27, is a wonderful touch!

Maai Bappa Vithala – Nitin-Prasad – Marathi: Nitin’s melody, for a deeply devotional song, uses Charukesi raaga to stupendous effect given how much depth it offers to an expression of faith. And in Ajay Gogawale’s voice, the song gains tremendously, leading to a heady ending!

Luna, Lover & Vibe – Diljit Dosanjh; Music by Intense (Punjabi): Diljit’s new album is a very good listen overall, given the distinctly international, hiphop sound (barring Vibe, perhaps). My favorites include Vibe too, but Luna and Lover, with their synth-funk sound, are thoroughly enjoyable!

Manike Mage Hithe – Chamath Sangeeth, ft. Yohani & Satheeshan – Sinhala: The song, originally composed by Chamath, sung by Satheeshan and Dulan ARX, and released in July 2020 was a huge hit, but the cover version sung by Yohani and Satheeshan, and released in May 2021 has become so big a hit that there are hugely successful cover versions in so many Indian languages! The song’s gentle lilt is reminiscent of Anirudh’s Why This Kolaveri, and I reckon much of the cover version’s success is owing to Yohani and her enchanting voice.

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 157: On Spotify | On YouTube
A rather short playlist – only 8 songs and both YouTube and Spotify have all the songs!

Rammo Rammo – Bhuj: The Pride Of India (Tanishk Bagchi) – Hindi: That’s a pleasant surprise from Tanishk! He not only scores a very earthy Garba song but does it with a lot of grace and style. And roping in Udit Narayan to lead the song (along with Neeti Mohan and Palak Muchhal) is a masterstroke! This is one heck of a catchy song. And not just the audio part – the dance too is very gracefully handled, particularly that step by Sonakshi at the one-minute mark!

Dravida Kone & Kaami Kaami – Tughlaq Durbar (Govind Vasantha) – Tamil: Considering I have already written about Annathe Sethi in August 2020 (!), I quite liked 2 other songs in the full soundtrack just released. Dravida Kone has a raucous sound that somehow comes together coherently in Govind’s complex scheme of things. Harihara Sudhan’s lead singing has excellent support from the joyous chorus. The change in rhythm, though, instantly reminded of a favorite Malayalam song from the early 2000s – Ouseppachan’s Dhumthanakkadi from the 2003 film Mullavalliyum Thenmaavum!

Kaami Kaami is more of Govind’s comfort zone, though it is Madhan Karky’s hugely imaginative gimmick of the ‘K’ worded lyrics that stands out instantly – every word in the song starts with ‘K’! The melody has a steady lilt and the singing is fantastic too, by Govind Vasantha himself, and Swasthika Swaminathan, who is especially good!

Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum Reprise – Netrikann (Girishh Gopalakrishnan) – Tamil: I had written about the song’s original version sung by Sid Sriram back in June this year. But Girishh has an ace up his sleeve with this reprise version because of who he chooses to sing it – Bombay Jayashri (and her son Amrit Ramnath, who, together had most recently sung in the ‘Rivers of India’ song!). Bombay Jayashri’s voice adds a significantly different gravitas to the already likeable tune (and amazing lyrics by Karthik Netha).

Kaatrile – Prahalad Raghavendran, ft. Pradeep Kumar (Indipop) – Tamil: Trust Pradeep to sing the lovely song so beautifully, even if Prahalad’s melody is SO VERY similar to Vishal Chandrasekhar’s ‘Mazhai Nanaiya Vaithathu’ from Kaalidas. That could also be due to both songs being based on Aanandha Bhairavi raaga. At least for the lovely raaga usage, the song deserves a listen.

Daakko Daakko Meka – Pushpa (Devi Sri Prasad) – Telugu: That’s one heck of an unusual song! But DSP has a pulse of making the catchiest songs, and Sivam’s powerful vocals and Chandrabose’s lyrics progressively build the flow to lead to the curiously interesting hook, followed by that angry roar of a chorus! It all makes for wonderfully entertaining listening… almost like listening to a stage musical!

Gundello – Dear Megha (Gowra Hari) – Telugu: Despite the album having a Sid Sriram song (Bagundhi Ee Kaalame), the song that worked for me was this pensive melody sung by Harini. I recall Gowra Hari from his earlier spellings/names (Hari Gaura, and Hari Gowra from his films like Thungabadhra and Krishnamma Kalipindi Iddarini) – he seems to be competing with Kalyani Malik (MM Keeravani’s brother) when it comes to name changes. There is definitely a spark in the music of the soundtrack and this Harini song’s melody is ample proof.

Desire – Panodrama (Chirag Todi) – Indipop: This was a song that I liked instantly! It had a very Sean Roldan’ish funk and was so very catchy. The vocals, by Pushkar Srivatsal and Tanya Nambiar, are superb too, but it’s the overall composition by Chirag that totally rocks! A fantastic debut!

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 156: On Spotify | On YouTube
13 songs this week. YouTube has all 13, while Spotify has 11, and is missing Maestro’s Vennello Aadapilla and Moonwalk’s Oh Kinakaalam.

Ranjha – Shershaah (Jasleen Royal) – Punjabi/Hindi: Along with Bell Bottom’s Marjaawaan (the next song in this playlist), the Punjabification of Bollywood seems to be in full flow… as if it ever subsided 🙂 Jasleen’s melody isn’t all that inventive, playing to safe Punjabi melodic ideas, but her background music is very good, as is her singing along with B Praak.

Marjaawaan – BellBottom (Composed by Gurnazar Singh, Music by Gaurav Dev & Kartik Dev) – Punjabi/Hindi: Gurnazar’s melody and singing have a certain earthy charm that carries the song mighty well. Asees Kaur offers perfect company to his singing. Gaurav and Kartik Dev’s music, on the other hand, is standard-issue Bollywood ballad style.

Naanga Vera Maari – Valimai (Yuvan Shankar Raja) – Tamil: Given the gargantuan hype for the film, the first single seems tepid. But it has it own charm, with its persistent, rolling rhythm, though it is considerably more Anirudh-zone than Yuvan-zone. Anurag Kulkarni, a Telugu regular, infuses freshness in the song with his vocals. Vignesh Shivan’s lyrics, though well-intended, are the new-age equivalent of MGR-style do-gooder sermon.

Namah Shivaya – Natyam (Shravan Bharadwaj) – Telugu: As a very big fan of the severely underrated Telugu composer Shravan Bharadwaj, I was pleasantly surprised to hear this new song from him. First off, I’m so glad that he continues to get opportunities for composing despite his splendid music in the earlier movies hardly getting the recognition they truly deserved (search his name on Milliblog!). Shravan’s composition treats Aadhi Shankaracharya’s Ardhanareeswara Stotram as base lyrics, but musically, it infuses a vibrant and pulsating sound and rhythm that brings the stotram to a new-age outlook. Kaala Bhairava, and Lalitha Kavya, in particular, are outstanding in handling the singing, with the right pronunciation and intonation.

Vennello Aadapilla – Maestro (Mahati Swara Sagar) – Telugu: Mani Sharma’s son proves that he is a chip off the old block with a sweeping melody that hits the vaudevillian notes beautifully. Sweekar Agasthi sounds a lot like Sonu Nigam and that’s a plus for the song.

Dosti – RRR (M.M.Keeravani) – Telugu: For Baahubali, there was an understated focus on the music that helped it earn praise (deservedly) organically. With RRR, the makers seem to be banking on Baahubali’s mega-success and are going with mega marketing even for the first single, what with 5 different singers being featured in the promo music video, along with the two lead stars! Musically, while it sounds largely background’ish, Keeravani has a perfect grasp on the soundscape that seems expansive and large, befitting the film’s ambitions.

Digu Digu Digu Naaga – Varudu Kaavalenu (Thaman S) – Telugu: That trademark Thaman sound is all over the song in the backgrounds 🙂 His tune, which seems to intentionally mirror the 50-60s Southern film song sound (specifically, ‘Senthamizh ThenmozhiyaaL’ from Maalayitta Mangai (1958, with music by Viswanathan Ramamurthy), comes alive in Shreya Ghoshal’s phenomenal vocals!

Hey Rambha Rambha – Maha Samudram (Chaitan Bharadwaj) – Telugu: An instantly catchy song with a brilliant hook that seems to be built like an infinite loop 🙂 Chaitan’s sound and singing are perfectly on the mark for a fun, masala song!

Oh Kinakaalam – Moonwalk (Prashant Pillai) – Malayalam: The first song from the nostalgia-laced ‘dance’ movie and Prashant doesn’t disappoint at all. It doesn’t contain musical cues about the period it is intended to be set in, but it carries more than enough visual cues. I was a bit disappointed about the former, but I’m assuming that there’d be musical cues in the period too in other songs, particularly the ones that directly allude to the dancing part. This one’s period-agnostic, musically, but a fantastic melody led by Shahabaz Aman’s soulful singing and Prashant’s captivating yet simple music.

Vetta Mrigam – Kuruthi (Jakes Bejoy) – Malayalam: The pulsating and eerie sounding song that has the same feel and energy as Dil Se’s Tu Hi Tu Satrangi Re is phenomenally sung by Zia Ul Haq and Resmi Sateesh. Jakes nails the sound and even if it is probably going to be played in the background, the overall package is fantastic! That ‘Njaano Vettmrigam, Neeyo Vettamrigam’ hook, in particular!

Tininga Miniga Tishaa – Salaga (Charan Raj) – Kannada: Oh boy… what a song!!! Charan’s musical imagination soars and how! Not only does he rope in Girija Siddi and Geetha Siddi, two powerhouse singers belonging to the Siddi ethnic group in India that has African ancestry, but his music places them within a sound that has a distinctive African sound and rhythm! Result? A powerhouse song with immense swagger!

Sagara Shayana – Prithvi Chandrasekhar & Saindhavi: Considering Agam has already done a splendid new-age version of this MD Ramanathan classic in Bageshri raaga, I approached this new attempt with skepticism. But Prithvi does pretty well in the backgrounds and Saindhavi elevates the version significantly with her hugely involved and proficient singing.

Na Cher Malangaan Nu – Farhan Saeed & Aima Baig (Pakistani Pop): Bilal Saeed’s melody is immediately charming, with a Punjabi-Pakistani flavor but over a considerably modern musical layer that turns the folkish tune into a catchy and highly rhythmic number. The singers, Farhan Saeed and Aima Baig (who also star in the music video!) are the song’s strengths.

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 155: On Spotify | On YouTube
12 songs this week. YouTube has 10 and is missing the two songs from Sandeep Chowta’s new album. The Spotify playlist too has 10 songs, but a different 10 – it is missing Kudukku 2025’s Maaran and Jagaduddhaara.

Hum Dono Yun Mile – 14 Phere (Raajeev V Bhalla) – Hindi: I really like this song for an odd reason! The repeated ‘Hum Dono Yun Mile’ hook reminded me of some other song that I previously loved, and I had to really rack my brain to finally get it 🙂 ‘Woh Ajnabi’ by Mithoon, from The Train, where Shilpa Rao goes, ‘Woh woh woh Ajnabi’! Of course, this song’s tempo is slower and more lilting than danc’y.

Bodhai Kaname – Oh Manapenne (Vishal Chandrashekhar) – Tamil: I’m reasonably sure the song’s melody is based on a raaga that I love, though I cannot place it. Vishal has a thoroughly enjoyable tune and his choice of singers makes it work even better – Anirudh Ravichander and Shashaa Tirupati. And a special mention for that first interlude that starts with Punya Srinivas’s veena and then layers the guitar and violin!

Naanum & Adhirudha – Guitar Kambi Mele Nindru (Karthik) – Tamil: While Naanum’s tune is enchanting, particularly when it moves to the captivating ‘NaaNum neramidhu’ hook, it is Karky’s lyrics that really lift the song all through! There’s so much to enjoy in terms of the lyrics. ‘kuLambi kiLappaum maNamo’, ‘pudhinam pirikkum maNamo’ and ‘thuLasi ilayin maNamo’ are my favorites, offering a series of smells that we love! Adhirudha was a pleasant surprise! With the composer declaring openly that it is inspired by Beethoven’s Für Elise, he goes on to build a really interesting melody over that terribly familiar tune! At the end of the first phrase of Für Elise, before Adhirudha begins, the tune literally seems to be on a ‘Let’s see where this goes’ mode before finding a base to extend the melody and picks up brilliantly from there.

Kaalam Azhagai – Ward 126 (Varun Sunil) – Tamil: In typical Varun Sunil style (that I have started to like), the melody is lush and easily likeable. The singers lift the song effortlessly – KS Harisankar and Shweta Mohan. The song’s structure too seemed interesting – the pallavi is started by Harisankar, and is repeated with different lyrics in the end by Shweta. There is one anupallavi in the middle where Varun uses the very catchy ‘Unai enai iNaithidum jeevan’ line just once! I would have expected the composer to repeat the anupallavi as a charanam a second time given how melodic it is.

Ninne Nenila – Merise Merise (Karthik Kodakandla) – Telugu: Of the 4 songs in the film’s soundtrack, Ninne Nenila stood out for me immediately. The spritely tune, Lipsika’s singing (Karthik’s own is not bad at all), and the rhythmic background make it a great listen. Karthik has a very catchy hook in ‘Padhe Padhe’ where he and Lipsika sing in alternate pitches like a call-and-response pattern.

Idhi Chala Baagundhile – Sehari (Prashanth R Vihari) – Telugu: Prashanth takes a full minute to launch his ‘Idhi Chala Baagundhile’ hook, but the effort pays off really well since the build-up is both tasteful and tuneful. And with Sid Sriram singing, it was bound to be. A wonderfully sweet song.

Ala Ila – Stand Up Rahul (Sweekar Agasthi) – Telugu: Close on the heels of some impressive tunes in Middle Class Melodies, Sweekar does well again in this new single from Stand Up Rahul. The melody rides on Satya Yamini’s singing (Sweekar joins in mid-way) and the tune has a calm, unhurried sweetness to it.

Maaran – Kudukku 2025 (Bhoomee) – Malayalam: I was a bit confused when I first saw the song’s title on YouTube. It said, ‘A Bilahari experiment’, so my first thought was, ‘Wow, they have done something with Bilahari raaga?’. And when I started playing the song, it seemed more like Reetigowla raaga! Then I figured that the film’s director’s name is Bilahari! 🙂 It’s a nice song, of course, though the uncredited female humming part seemed both raw and forced in. Sid Sriram’s main part is perfect, as usual.

Jagaduddhaara – Uthara Unnikrishnan, Karthick Iyer & Gautam Sengupta: For a classic like Purandaradaasa’s Jagadoddhaarana, I’d have assumed that language is hardly a barrier to enjoy it. But Prof. Gautam Sengupta reimagines the original in Hindi, beautifully delivered by Uthara Unnikrishnan and Karthick Iyer, with the latter also handling his violin wonderfully. My Hindi knowledge, despite my Bhopal upbringing, is conversational and colloquial at best. The Hindi used in this innovative attempt seems too classical for my knowledge… which makes me wonder why this attempt at all in the first place. Musically, it sounds fantastic, of course, with Uthara’s singing being spellbinding.

For context, here is the original Kannada composition, sung by another young singer, Rahul Vellal.

Kaleidoscope & The Dune Tune – Fusion Fission (Sandeep Chowta) – Indipop: As always, Sandeep’s new album is a great listen overall, but the 2 songs that appealed to me instantly are the ones featuring Abhay Nayampally on the electric guitar that uses Patnam Subramania Iyer’s Raghuvamsa Sudha, and The Dune Tune that uses Purandara Dasa’s Venkatachala Nilayam. I couldn’t figure out who plays the flute in the latter, but it seemed less attuned to the original melody and interestingly rough around the edges. Not bad at all, but unique in its interpretation. Sandeep’s overall fusion ethos envelopes both songs to give them a warm, ambient outlook.

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 154: On Spotify | On YouTube
12 songs this week. Both YouTube and the Spotify playlists have all 12!

Param Sundari, Yaane Yaane, Hututu & Phuljhadiyon – Mimi (A R Rahman) – Hindi: Param Sundari could well be Rahman’s own ‘Rowdy Baby’ (Yuvan Shankar Raja) given the similar structure using a very prominent bassline to anchor the song. Rahman has a superbly catchy and addictive ‘Param Sundari’ hook that Shreya delivers incredibly. She is especially extraordinary in the more melodic antara and towards the end. Yaane Yaane is a wonderful surprise!! Rahman has had his share of Arabic-sounding songs earlier too, but this one takes the Arabic musical roots very seriously in every way. Rakshita Suresh sings it phenomenally too, totally holding the intricate Arabic-style melody.

There is SO MUCH of Rahman’s earlier musical style all over Hututu that it works equally as an Easter egg hunt as much as a lovely song. I could trace Gang Master’s Hello Hello Premalekha to Rang De Basanti’s Tu Bin Bataye at the outset before being entranced by the beautiful sitar-led ending! Shashaa Tirupati is, as usual, in excellent form! Phuljhadiyon is the real Rahman doing what he does best! The tune that seems more like an energetic march past song given the heavy brass segment morphs into newer territories in the interludes. Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics are truly delightful, most probably alluding to a pregnant woman’s swinging moods with references to ‘hormonal jwalamukhi’, share market’s ups and downs, being Paro and Chandramukhi, and wanting tamarind and chillies! The Spanish background chorus amps up the novelty while Shilpa Rao is an inspired choice for this song’s tempo – she’s absolutely fantastic.

Neeye Oli – Sarpatta Parambarai (Santhosh Narayanan) – Tamil/English (Warning: Explicit lyrics): I recall writing about Canadian Tamil artist Shan Vincent de Paul back in February 2020, for his song ‘Best Friend’ featuring Yanchan’s mridangam. In Neeye Oli, a pulsating song with obvious references to Muhammad Ali (“Float like a butterfly, Sting like a killer bee”) comes alive in Shan’s searing rap and Navz-47’s Tamil lines. Santhosh, as always, adds so much in the background that makes the song a brilliant experience, including that Tamil folk percussion that elevates the song to another level.

Bahubalikku Oru Kattappa – Sivakumarin Sabadham (Hiphop Tamizha) – Tamil: A simple, catchy song that revels in its lilting rhythm and that hilarious hook: “Bahubalikku Oru Kattappa, Adha Poladhaan Enga Sithappa” 🙂

Thooriga & Alai Alaiyaaga – Guitar Kambi Mele Nindru/Navarasa (Karthik) – Tamil: Thooriga’s clear highlight is Karthik sampling Agni Natchathiram’s Ninnu Kori, that iconic song by Ilayaraja. But, full marks to the composer for not making it stick out – the sampling fits perfectly into the new musical wrapper and in fact enhances the new song with an old, very familiar, and much-loved soul! In comparison, Alai Alaiyaaga is a beautifully calm melody that stands out because of Madhan Karky’s perceptive lines.

Kannoonjal – Payasam/Navarasa (Justin Prabhakaran) – Tamil: Considering the raaga Aanandabhairavi has been used so frequently and often in Tamil cinema, Justin’s use that carefully traverses an already familiar Tamil Brahmin-wedding song and its structure (with new lyrics extended by Uma Devi) still hold ample appeal given how the young composer uses his imagination in the backgrounds. And the way he initiates the solo violin to showcase what the character of Aditi Balan may be going through, as an ostracised young widow, is a wonderful musical touch.

Yaadho – Edhiri/Navarasa (Govind Vasantha) – Tamil: Govind’s 96 hangover is apparent but I’m not complaining… yet. The output is immediately familiar because of how monumentally good 96’s music was. Chinmayi (another 96 connection, of course), in her usual, splendid self, handles Madhan Karky’s poignant verse beautifully. Lines like ‘MaNNai cheraadha mazhaiyaagave… mannippillaadha pizhaiyaagave’ are so wonderfully articulated!

Pathala – Three Songs For The Night (Sean Roldan) – Tamil/Indipop: That’s the 3rd song in the album that mentions that there are only going to be 3 songs 🙂 Compared to the other 2 songs (Namadhaan Raja and Maya), this one seemed less interesting, but only in comparison to those songs. This one is more on the lines of Sean’s Idli Chutney song. The backgrounds are, as always, delightfully engaging and it’s only the tune that seems a bit bland.

Theerame – Malik (Sushin Shyam) – Malayalam: When Sushin opens the song with the long, beautiful passage sung so passionately by Chithra, I felt the melody actually sounded more like a Christian hymn! Then, the composer introduces sounds that are more attuned to the Muslim locale and situation of the scene and the blend seemed so perfect! Much of the melody’s charm is due to Chithra’s pitch-perfect rendition and the way she navigates the intricacies of the winding tune as it progresses is astonishingly lovely!

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