Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 166: On Spotify | On YouTube
11 songs this week. Both Spotify and YouTube playlists have all the songs.

Kheench Te Nach – Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui (Sachin-Jigar) – Hindi/Punjabi: After exhausting the quota of true-blue Punjabi songs, the composing duo finally get down to business and produce a genuinely interesting song for the film. The tune is mighty unusual and the singers—Vishal Dadlani, Shalmali Kholgade and Brijesh Shandilya—sometimes seem to break off whatever the tune is, but all that only adds to the charm!

Shukar Manavaan – Velle (Yug Bhusal) – Hindi: There are a lot of songs in Velle, and the only one that stood out for me is Shukar Manavaan. Composer Yug (he had produced outstanding music in the Marathi film Chitrafit 3.0) doesn’t do anything dramatically new, to be honest, and the melody fits in the current Bollywood scheme adequately. But the short song has an engaging melody that Armaan Malik handles very well.

Voice of Unity – Maanaadu (Yuvan Shankar Raja) – Tamil: Yuvan delivers a frenetically paced song that sears with superb lines by Arivu! Silambarasan’s usually poor singing has been used cleverly by Yuvan (since he himself is a singer on the same lines!) in a tune that doesn’t require staying on the tune as much as delivering the short staccato lines with a punch. Arivu joins too with his part and does a smashingly good job!

Cute Ponnu – Enna Solla Pogirai (Vivek-Mervin) – Tamil: I thought the song was actually a Punjabi song that I stumbled upon on T-series’ YouTube channel 🙂 The hook seemed very Punjabi-style, but Vivek and Mervin add their own stamp and the song has an undeniable charm thanks to Anirudh’s vocals. Also, Arivu’s lyrics upend the usual trait of the Tamil (or Indian?) cinema hero of following ‘cute girls’ and instead simply has him asking the said cute girl to follow him! Seems like a tiny step for the male kind in Tamil cinema in acknowledging that women have agency too 🙂

Magizhini – Govind Vasantha (Tamil/Indipop): What a brilliant song! Even if the song was conjured around the theme (billed as ‘First Tamil LGBTQ Song’), the music stands on its own. Of course, together—the theme, music, and the lyrics by Madhan Karky—the experience is accentuated at a different level. Starting with Keba’s fantastic guitar work and a distinctly Latin-style background, Govind traverses different musical contours and finally lands in two extended outros of almost a minute each—one with vocals and one without, led by Nikhil’s flute—that breaks free from the earlier melody that he so exquisitely created. All through the song, Keerthana Vaidyanathan confidently handles every twist the tune offers her.

Ra Ra Linga – Skylab (Prashanth R Vihari) – Telugu: An actor from Kerala (Nithya Menen) co-produces a Telugu film called Skylab (after the first space station launched by NASA) and the composer ropes in another Tamil composer, Sean Roldan, to sing it! Says a lot about how seamlessly things come together in the Southern film industries! After what I had mentioned about Sean’s vocals last week, with this song, it almost seems like Prashanth R Vihari makes adept use of the same voice to great effect in mining mirth out of it by accepting what it is, instead of making him sing a genuinely melodious tune to evoke a different mood 🙂 The chorus deserves a special mention too – Pavani and Lakshmi Meghana.

Edo Edo – Shyam Singha Roy (Mickey J Meyer) – Telugu: A quintessential Mickey song! That trademark soaring vocals—Chaitra Ambadipudi is fantastic!—and ambient sounds in a perfect mix. Mickey throws in unusual lines like the one in the anupallavi – Ee Chali Chelitho Ila Ee Thondaraloh…! And oddly, despite seeming like an eclectic addition, even the English lyrics fit quite well!

Uyire – Minnal Murali (Shaan Rahman) – Malayalam: Looks like the very-Hindi trend of multiple composers is rapidly catching up with multiple film industries in India. So after Sushin’s first song, here’s Shaan’s second song from the film! This is a rather unusual song for Shaan who doesn’t seem to have done something that sounds more like Pradeep Kumar-style melody! The voices too make it unique – Narayani Gopan and Mithun Jayaraj.

Ilaveyil – Marakkar (Ronnie Raphael) – Malayalam: What starts off almost as a mirror image of Chinna KaNNan Azhaikkiraan, thanks to the Reetigowlai raaga usage, morphs into something more imaginative given the world music influences that Ronnie infuses, most probably owing to the film’s theme bringing in outside-Indian collaborators of Marakkar. It’s so good to hear M.G. Sreekumar in this song, while Shreya Ghoshal is her usual self – exceptional!

Sojugada Soojumallige – Garuda Gamana Vrishabha Vahana (Midhun Mukundan) – Kannada: Midhun picks the popular Janapada Geethe on Lord Shiva and adds a haunting musical layer over it that comes alive with that incredible percussion mix. Chaithra J Achar handles the soaring vocals beautifully and makes her mark on a song that so many others have sung already.

Shuruvaagide – Sakath (Judah Sandhy) – Kannada: Judah has a gorgeous melody here that is confident being slow and very relaxed in the way it flows. He has many words in the lyrics that drawl (including Shuruvaaa-aaaa-gide!) and that becomes the main hook of the song too – not just that word but many such words drawled. Sid Sriram is a great choice for this tune and he really sells the lazy drawl! And Judah keeps the background sounds so minimal that the vocals shine even better!

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 165: On Spotify | On YouTube
A bumper musical fortnight! 24 songs this week. All 24 are, thankfully, available on both Spotify and YouTube playlists 🙂

Tere Siva Jag Mein – Tadap (Pritam) – Hindi: The song took some time to get used to. Pritam layers a very soft melody (that took me back to Deewana’s ‘Miloge humein tum jaanam, kahin na kahin…’) on backgrounds that decidedly sounds like dance-floor material and the contrast works mainly because of the singers, the always-fantastic Shilpa Rao, and Darshan Raval (Shashwat Singh and Charan are also credited!).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NB08FBUqw3Q

Polladha Ulagathiley – Jai Bhim (Sean Roldan) – Tamil: When I hear Sean singing, I feel so very tempted to gently offer him, “Are you feeling ok, why don’t you take a break and sit down and drink some water?”. It’s just that he seems to be genuinely laboring on the higher notes, even though he is completely in tune and sync, unlike a Yuvan who simply goes off-key in similar situations. But much like Yuvan, Sean too makes up spectacularly with his sense of melody. That ‘Vaadi vadhungum ezhaiyai, neeyum vadhaithaal aaguma’, for instance, is an enchanting line in terms of both the tune and lyrics (Yugabharathi)!

Nagarodi – Jail (G.V. Prakash Kumar) – Tamil: G.V. Prakash Kumar brings his A-game, probably because of director Vasanthabalan’s influence (who got monumental music out of him in Veyil). The tune is immediately affecting, the backgrounds are thoughtful and brilliant… and the singing is outstanding, featuring GV himself along with Arivu and Ananya Bhatt, both contributing superbly!

Meenaatchi Meenaatchi – ŠKODA Sonic Roots (Amit Trivedi) – Tamil: A Tamil pop song by Amit Trivedi!! Even though the start of the song seems like a hat-doff to Meenakshi Sundareshwar level Tamil/Tamil Nadu appropriation, things get significantly better when Anthony Daasan enters, and in Madhan Karky’s trustworthy lines. As a whole, this is a great combination of Amit’s catchy kuthu-laced tune and the rootedness brought in by Anthony and Madhan.

Thaalatum Mounam – Kuruthi Aattam (Yuvan Shankar Raja) – Tamil: This is one of those tantalizingly slow melodies, with minimal, but imaginative, background sound, that Yuvan generously conjures from time to time, and thankfully avoid the temptation to sing it himself and reduce the song’s pull as a result. I hope this doesn’t have a male version that he sings – the perspective in the lyrics, by Karthik Netha, seems gender-neutral, so you never know 🙂 Swetha Mohan is, as always, fantastic!

La La Bheemla – Bheemla Nayak (Thaman S) – Telugu: While the song’s promo video clearly seems to take cues from Karnan’s Kanda Vara Sollunga, the song Thaman conjures is tonally different. This one’s ebullient and heady, with a stupendously mounted rhythm section. Arun Kaundinya’s singing is top class, but Thaman seems to have added some digital effects to his voice too to make it sound more than what it actually is.

MBA MCA – Chalo Premiddam (Bheems Ceciroleo) – Telugu: I had a lot of hopes from Bheems early in his career, but somehow he didn’t sustain the initial promise where I thought he could take the place left open by Manisharma. After quite some time, Bheems gets back to his earlier form in this college song that has a brilliantly spiked rhythm that remains consistently unpredictable, and Bheems sings it himself with a captivating folk edge!

Naatu Naatu – RRR (M M Keeravaani) – Telugu: Keeravaani brings his rich experience with an incredibly foot-tapping song that is mounted around the ‘Naatu Naatu’ hook unabashedly. The song has an almost hypnotic sound and you cannot help not be swayed by the manic rhythm!

Thee Minnal – Minnal Murali (Sushin Shyam) – Malayalam: Sushin’s first single from the Malayalam superhero film shines with its retro-synth pop sound. Even within the short song, after the first minute (sung by Marthyan and Sushin Shyam), the rest is a punchy instrumental phase led by a superb brass section!

Paathira Kaalam – Kurup (Sushin Shyam) – Malayalam: After the first single from the movie, the full soundtrack launched too rather soon possibly owing to the film’s release. But while the other songs did not work for me, this one, featuring the Kottayam-born, Nigeria-bred singer Anna Katharina Valayil aka Tribemama Marykali, is a complete stand-out! Sushin’s deeply resonant and haunting melody seems perfect for her stupendous vocals!

Promo Song – Kanakam Kamini Kalaham (Yakzan Gary Pereira & Neha S Nair) – Malayalam: This may be the wackiest song composed by the duo yet – it’s a hoot! 🙂 Using a sound that was in vogue back in the 50s/60s in films, the duo layer Jassie Gift’s vocals on a truly pulsating melody! That ending with an extended ‘Siddique’ reference, in particular, is hilarious!

Hijabi – Meow (Justin Varghese) – Malayalam: What a lovely melody!! Justin’s tune just flows so beautifully, and in Adheef Muhamed’s measured vocals, it attains a new high. The anupallavi is even better than the pallavi, incidentally!

Endo Bareda – Garuda Gamana Vrishabha Vahana (Midhun Mukundan) – Kannada: Midhun’s tune is mellow and pleasant, and Vasuki Vaibhav handles it mostly well, barring the start of the anupallavi where something seems mildly off. But the short anupallavi’s melody makes up for that.

FataFaati – ŠKODA Sonic Roots (Amit Trivedi) – Bangla: Amit’s cross-country musical trip makes a stop in West Bengal too and the lyrics seem almost like a sweeping introduction to the state to an outsider! The tune is gently lilting infused with baul folk sound and the collaborators, Rana Mazumder and Goutam Das Baul, add much to the composition.

Rushing Water, If It’s Love, The Book of Numbers, Harmony Road, The Bells of St. Thomas, Captain Bateman’s Basement & For Her Love – The Bridge (Sting) – English Pop: Rushing Water is very Police… and also Sting! I could easily stop at some point and go, ‘If I ever lose my faith in you…’! The upbeat If It’s Love, despite the brass section throwing me off the scent, takes me back to ‘If you love somebody…’! The Book of Numbers starts slow, but that hook is a fantastic leap! Harmony Road has powerful lyrics that Sting beautifully aces those long sentences along with Dominic Miller’s superb guitar. The Bells of St. Thomas too features Miller’s guitar and is decidedly jazzier (as also the instrumental Captain Bateman’s Basement) and reminded me of George Michael’s Cowboy and Angels, from Listen Without Prejudice, tonally. The background chorus that arrives mid-way in For Her Love brings a warm new layer to an otherwise pensive, soulful melody that Sting handles wonderfully. Sting’s pushing 70 now and doesn’t seem to have run out of steam at all given how thoroughly engaging his new album is and how it only alludes to his earlier work without either repeating or aping them.

Leave The Door Open, Fly As Me & Skate – An Evening With Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak and Silk Sonic): Considering both Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak are in their mid-30s, their idea of dipping into 1970s soul is vastly interesting since they do not have lived-in nostalgia of that period. But they do a more than competent job of recreating that period’s music. The duo alternates their vocals in Leave The Door Open where the lines are beautifully stretched out to groovy effect. Anderson brings his James Brown-style swag for the rapping in Fly As Me and the vocal interplay is even better here, with Anderson playing the perfect vocal counterpoint to Mars’. And Skate is perhaps the album’s best, perfectly reimagining a Motown roller-disco vibe!

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 164: On Spotify | On YouTube
16 songs this week. All 16 are available on both Spotify and YouTube! 🙂

Tumse Bhi Zyada – Tadap (Pritam) – Hindi: I do know that Tadap is a remake of the Telugu film RX100 but it is uncanny how much Ahan Shetty looks like/made to look like Kartikeya Gummakonda from the original! The similarity in look is perhaps intentional given the character arc. But there doesn’t seem to be any point in trying to map the songs to the original – Pritam’s first single is a rather generic T-series material, but the music is energetically melodic and Arijit, as usual, breathes life into it so well.

Mann Kesar Kesar, Vaada Machaney & Tu Yahin Hai – Meenakshi Sundareshwar (Justin Prabhakaran) – Hindi: Justin has an almost A R Rahman’ish flavor and sound all through the soundtrack that seemed so very surprising given that he hasn’t demonstrated this trait in his earlier Tamil work or even the Telugu debut in Dear Comrade, a phenomenal soundtrack! I recall reading about Karan Johar being very interested in remaking Dear Comrade in Hindi but dropping that idea eventually after the film’s Southern misfire – is that the route how Justin landed in Karan’s/Dharma’s line of sight? Regardless of the ‘how’, this is an excellent outcome in every way!

In Mann Kesar, while I had a really difficult time managing Shashwat Singh’s ‘Suno kanmani’ instead of ‘Suno kaNNmaNi’ even as he pronounced the other Tamil line properly… or was that Tamil line sung by (a different) chorus team? But Justin’s melody is fantastic and is something you may have expected from his Tamil work too! That’s the trait with immensely lilting Vaada Machaney too – almost language-agnostic melody that could work across languages. The only awkward North-looks-at-South flavor was the ‘Vaada Machaney’ callout in the lyrics, but Benny has a way of selling that too so well! Tu Yahin Hai is the strongest ‘is-this-Rahman?’ flavor in the soundtrack, though! The dreamy and sweeping backgrounds, in the beginning, indicate that but Justin makes the song his own with the punchy beginning of the first interlude, something I may not have expected from Rahman. The song’s antara is such a melodious follow-up to the mukhda!

And while Tittar Bittar, Ratti Ratti and Down and Dirty (and the other instrumental and shorter songs) didn’t work for me as well as the first 3 songs, I still thought this was leagues ahead of what Hindi film industry produces these days counting the success based on 2-3-digit million YouTube views. I hope Justin gets more opportunities that are pan-India, if not Hindi.

Luv Ju, Tattoo Waliye & Dhik Chik – Bunty Aur Babli 2 (Shankar Ehsaan Loy) – Hindi: Without a doubt, the sequel’s music doesn’t seem to be a patch on the original, but there’s also a 15-year gap between the two because of which liking the original’s music could also be categorized as nostalgia 🙂 The 3 new songs in the album also seem low-key, literally, compared to the original that (in hindsight) seems louder and unabashed! Even Dhik Chik, the dholak-tabla-driven folk sound that SEL is known for, seems lesser amped compared to Kajra Re. But within the low-key’ness, the trio gets their tunes quite well for these 3 songs.

Sendumalli & Thala Kodhum – Jai Bhim (Sean Roldan) – Tamil: The two songs that worked for me in the soundtrack are both very Pradeep Kumar and Raju Murugan in feel; the latter is written by Raju Murugan and sung by Pradeep too, incidentally. In Sendumalli, Sean has a lot going on in the background in multiple layers that require a few listens to fully absorb and unpack the beauty. The singing is excellent though Ananthu sounds like Sean Roldan Lite (in a good way) and is a good foil to Kalyani Nair’s sweeter voice, particularly because of the unusual tune shifts that demand so much from both. Yugabharathi’s lyrics are striking, with lines like ‘Kodam Kodama Vervayil KuLikkayilum Thodaithida NeeLum KaikaLaal Asadhiyilla’! Thala Kodhum is comparatively simplistic but is equally melodious and pleasant and something you may expect from a Raju Murugan film.

Chenguna Chenguna – Varudu Kaavalenu (Vishal Chandrashekhar) – Telugu: The soundtrack is already very good, with songs like Kola Kalle Ilaa and Manasulone Nilichipoke by Vishal, and Digu Digu Naga by Thaman. Now that the full soundtrack is out, there are two more songs by Vishal, but out of the two, I liked only one (and What To Do didn’t really work for me). Chenguna is every bit a Vishal song, with its faux-Carnatic/classical melody and Sinduri’s singing… besides that catchy hook!

Darshana – Hridayam (Hesham Abdul Wahab) – Malayalam: The song joins a niche genre in Indian film music that are songs using the name of the leading lady in the lyrics. Examples include Vaazhve Maayam’s Devi Sridevi, Annamalai’s Kondayil Thaazhampoo, Naattaamai’s Meena Ponnu, Poovellam Un Vasam’s Yuktha Mukhi, Ghatothkachudu’s Jajjajja Roja, Gang Master’s Nagumomu Naghma, Nanbenda’s Oorellaam Unnai Kandu, among others. This one’s a bit extra special because Darshana has sung parts of the song too, along with Hesham’s lead vocals. It’s so good to see Hesham get the kind of opportunities he deserves and with this song, he composes and sings a wonderful melody that gains so much from his high-pitched rendition.

Pakaliravukal – Kurup (Sushin Shyam) – Malayalam: Sushin really hits it out of the park with this song! Not only does he have Neha Nair beautifully handling a mesmerizing melody, but his background music amps up the mood significantly. The rhythm is haunting and the interludes are so very unique and memorable!

Eeran Nila – Meri Awas Suno (M.Jayachandran) – Malayalam: There are 5 songs in this film’s soundtrack that I gave a spin after being adequately amused by the spelling of a Hindi title for a Malayalam film (that’s not a typo – that’s how it is spelt online!) 🙂 Also, the 5th song, Vellichillum Vithari, stopped me in my tracks! After a bit of Googling, I figured it is a recreation of a 1982 Malayalam song (with the same name/lyrics) by the composer A.T.Ummer from the film Ina (supposedly a remake of The Blue Lagoon). The reason it stopped me in my tracks was because it sounds adequately like Ilayaraja’s cult classic Putham Puthu Kaalai from Alaigal Oivathilla that came out in 1981! And the recreation’s recreation is released in 2021!

Anyway, back to Eeran Nila – Jayachandran layers guitary goodness to accompany Haricharan’s likeable singing. The melody, particularly in the anupallavi, seems old-fashioned in a good way.

Pinnenthe – Ellam Sheriyakum (Ouseppachan) – Malayalam: I understand this is composer Ouseppachan’s 200th film – that’s quite a record! I did get a more-than-generous hint of Vidyasagar in this song, though 🙂 It’s a lovely melody, though, with K S Harisankar anchoring the song’s considerable appeal in the high-pitched ‘En ViNNile Thaarame’ anupallavi!

Maruthai – Renuka Arun (Malayalam/Indipop): While Renuka’s tune shifts tone and mood more often than I can trace, I could, within my untrained ear, discern a couple of raagas including what sounded to me like Dharmavathy, particularly in the beginning, before the melody progresses to a calmer zone. The switch makes the song constantly interesting as also Renuka’s impeccable vocals, besides the majestic backdrop mounted by Fames Macedonian Symphonic Orchestra.

Thonnal – Govind Vasantha (Malayalam/Indipop): Thonnal is a very, very unique audio-visual experience that starts like an extended ad film for Taj Green Cove Resort & Spa in Kovalam, but goes on to prove what an imaginative story-teller actor Ahaana Krishna is considering she is the music video’s director. Haniya Nafisa’s sweet vocals and Govind’s serene melody almost seem like side attractions in the music video’s narrative that is set around a tantalizingly and exquisitely filmed food item that is best seen and not described by me 🙂 Ahaana’s imagination comes to the fore beautifully when she connects her childhood memory and ends the video with a wonderfully surreal touch (connecting the earlier shots when the vessels operate on their own)! I know this is a music playlist, but here, the music and the visual story-telling are integral to each other!

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!

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