Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 148: On Spotify | On YouTube
14 songs this week. Both YouTube and Spotify are missing one song each, though not the same song! YouTube is missing the 2nd song from Sithara Krishnakumar’s Project Malabaricus (Pilleranu), while Spotify is missing Ilayaraja’s new song from Madurai Manikkuravan that is exclusively available only on his YouTube channel.

PS: Given the precariously rising second wave, I do expect a break in new releases. So, I may need to take a break like last year, in that case. The last 2 weeks’ break was owing to my own COVID-like symptoms that ended up as COVID-negative but kept me bedridden nonetheless!

Uttradheenga Yeppov – Karnan (Santhosh Narayanan) – Tamil: Uttradheenga Yeppov reminded me, thematically and sound-wise, of Pariyerum Perumal’s Naan Yaar. Both songs are very, very deeply meaningful within the context of the narrative arcs of the respective films, but both are also treated with a lightness that makes them very easy-on-the-ear first – like a pop song you cannot not like! That contrast, of a lighter sound to make them accessible, while conveying something so deep, seems like Mari Selvaraj’s touch, executed well by Santhosh across 2 films.

Unnale Unarndhene & Kavi Solla – Sarbath (Ajesh) – Tamil: After releasing 2 singles WAY BACK in 2019 (Karichaan Kuyile, Theera Theera), the makers of Sarbath got reminded that they have a movie to release, that too during the worst second wave, far removed from the now-seemingly-mild first wave of 2020! I do feel good for Ajesh though – he showed genuine promise also as a composer and these 2 new singles offer a great deal more of his composing mind. Unnale Unardhene is a light, racy melody that gains from Haricharan’s lead vocals and remains persistently engaging, right up to the very apt anupallavi! Kavi Solla is the opposite! A slower, more expansive ballad of a melody that Ajesh sings himself by thoroughly enjoying it. His singing and tune is a fantastic mix!

Kalyanam Senju – Madurai Manikkuravan (Ilayaraja) – Tamil: Ilayaraja has produced numerous songs based on Mayamalavagowlai raaga that another may not really make a difference… or so I thought. But the man produces yet another whopper in the raaga! The interlude is to die for, and unusually energetic coming inside this sober a raaga! Singer Karthik’s entry, in particular, is a lovely touch, while Vibhavari holds fort overall.

Thattiputta – Maamanithan (Ilaiyaraja and Yuvan Shankar Raja) – Tamil: This is a huge surprise! A new song co-composed by the father-son duo! Because Raja sings it, the simple, catchy tune does remind me of his own style. But Yuvan’s touch is all too evident in the interludes and the background rhythm, even though the violin in the first interlude is a vintage Raja touch all the way!

Kooda Vaa – Ghibran (Tamil/Indipop): Ghibran has been really busy with tons of non-film music. Beyond the many religious and folk songs he has been composing, this one stood the most for me – a very pleasant melody that’s not actually that complex (based on Ghibran’s own lofty standards) and is far simpler and easier to like!

Vaan Megam – Vasantha Mullai (Rajesh Murugesan) – Tamil: I had very mixed feelings about ‘Avalo Avalo’ from this film, earlier. But Rajesh scores far better in Vaan Megam – this is a fairly more conventionally likeable melody, and his singers (Shakthisree Gopalan, Vijay Yesudas) hold the tune effortlessly, particularly Vijay. And there are shades of Premam’s ‘Malare’ in the second interlude too!

Ayyayyayyo – Aakasa Veedhullo (Judah Sandhy) – Telugu: Good to hear Judah’s music after quite some time, and that too in Telugu! He has Sid Sriram for company, to deliver an effortless earworm!

Innale Mellane – Nizhal (Sooraj S Kurup) – Malayalam: Sooraj is perhaps the most consistently interesting new music composer from the South capable of producing within the template of large, showy film songs. His song from The Great Indian Kitchen (the final dance show song) did not work for me despite the grandness involved there, but here, in another film that perhaps doesn’t even demand anything big, his output is fantastic! The tune has an urgent edge and is constantly flipping ideas, while also being instantly catchy! Superb singing by Haricharan Sheshadri.

Kannil Minnum – Meppadiyan (Rahul Subrahmanian) – Malayalam: What starts off a predictable melody by Rahul takes off very impressively at 2 places – first at the ‘Neela veyil thaazhamidum’ phrase and then immediately, again, in the ‘oLimarantha manju kaalamo’ phrase! Singer Karthik lifts the songs considerably with this impressive singing.

Arutharuthu & Pilleranu – Sithara’s Project Malabaricus (Malayalam/Indipop): Two pulsating, powerful songs by Sithara Krishnakumar’s band, Project Malabaricus, from their new album Rithu (featuring only 3 songs). The sound is quite borders Thaikkudam Bridge’s (or even Agam, to some extent), and Sithara’s lead singing is a fantastic direction!

Chiri Paatu – Varkey (Malayalam/Indipop): Yet another Malayalam pop song in this week’s list that riffs off Thaikkudam Bridge to a large extent. The boost in the rhythm at the 1-minute mark spins a very different song from where it started! The song progressively gets more psychedelic!

Pyar Naiyon Mileya – Next Level (Bally Sagoo) – Punjabi/Indipop: THE Bally Sagoo has a new album! The album isn’t really ‘Next Level’ though, and pales in front of the man’s stellar past. The one song that stood out for me was Pyar Naiyon Mileya, with its snappy hook and brilliantly sung by Naaz Aulakh.

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 147: On Spotify | On YouTube
13 songs this week. YouTube has all 13, while Spotify is missing Ilayaraja’s Tamil song from Marutha (looks like he has restricted access only to his own label and YouTube channel) and Heeriye, by Subhadeep Mitra for JAM8.

Ishq Namazaa – The Big Bull (Gourov Dasgupta) – Hindi: It may be unrealistic to expect Harshad Mehta to sing duets with his wife, but this is a Bollywood film, and if the promos/script demands a duet, then so be it 🙂 Gourov’s melody is very pleasant, though simplistic, and built around the ‘Ishq namaazaa’ hook. Ankit Tiwari’s voice adds much to the song’s charm.

Main Aaj Bhi Wahin – Papon (Hindi/Indipop): A moody, reflective song by Papon with the melody complementing the psychedelic video (that Papon created with some Instagram filters!). His voice remains the song’s main draw even as the tune gets progressively more interesting.

Kanaa – Nucleya, 2jaym & Sublahshini (Tamil/Indipop): 2Jaym and Sublahshini were selected by Nucleya in January this year, as part of Bacardi Sessions, where the two would be mentored by Nucleya as they produce their new single. The result is Kanaa, a dreamy EDM track that has Nucleya’s stamp, particularly as it ends. Sublahshini’s singing, in particular, deserves a special mention.

Kaathadi – Anand Kasinath (Tamil/Indipop): It’s entirely coincidental that this is the second song by singer Sublahshini this week! Anand Kashinath’s music is lively and catchy, in a Tamil cinema’ish way, and it is to the director’s and the lyricist’s (Sublahshini herself) credit that they frame the song from the girl’s point of view, longing for the guy, a reasonably limited expression in Tamil Nadu.

Maruthamalli – Marutha (Ilayaraja) – Tamil: A few years ago, this song would have been composed exactly as-is featuring Pavatharini’s voice. Today, it is led by Vibhavari (and Jithin). The tune, melody, sound… everything is demonstrative of Raja’s present-day music-making style that is patchy, at best – this is less of a complaint or a rant and more of my own acceptance that people’s style evolves, for good or bad, from individual perspectives (Rahman seems to be in the same boat too, incidentally). Compared to the other song (by Sid Sriram, no less), this one at least has a tune that harks back to the better days of Raja.

Entha Entha Choosinaa – Gamanam (Ilayaraja) – Telugu: What a surprise and coincidence – two new songs from Ilayaraja, across Tamil and Telugu, in the same week, and both sung by Vibhavari! Raja seems to be reserving his better material to Telugu, and this song is a much, much stronger whiff of his best days from the past. Surprisingly enough, in the first interlude, I heard something that I could identify with Sandeep Chowta’s music, in that short bridge before Vibhavari starts the anupallavi!

Rangule – Rang De (Devi Sri Prasad) – Telugu: This soundtrack already has some fantastic music (Naa Kanulu Yepudu and Emito Idhi). While some of the other songs did not work for me, DSP easily has a 3rd winner in Rangule. Shweta Mohan is absolutely spectacular given that this is all the way her show – a solo that she carries beautifully.

Evo Evo Kalale – Lovestory (Pawan Ch) – Telugu: Pawan starts the song on a soft, melodious note and when he switches tracks to a punchy hook by dropping the beat in the background around ‘Ram pam tararampam’, the contrast works wonderfully. Jonita Gandhi and Nakul Abhyankar are in great form, and Pawan’s rhythmic music takes on a new dimension as the song progresses.

Milon Hobey Koto Diney – Shubham Shirule for JAM8 (Bangla/Indipop): Pritam’s JAM8 is on a recent Bangla pop spree, it looks like – I noticed at least 3-4 songs. This one, recreated from the original folk tune by Shubham Shirule, features lyrics by Lalon Fakir, has a wonderfully earthy Baul melody, but where it truly comes alive is in Goutam Das Baul and Shashwati Phukan’s singing, and Shubham’s lively techno musical additions. The bridge between folk tune and more modern music works beautifully.

Heeriye – Subhadeep Mitra for JAM8 (Bangla/Indipop): This is the 2nd Bangla song by JAM8 that worked for me in the recent lot. Unlike Shubham’s song, Subhadeep’s tune could have easily been in a Pritam film or even a mainstream Hindi film, without necessarily having any Bangla-centric element beyond the language in which it is composed and sung. But, not to take anything away from the song, it is still a good listen, and very well sung by Subhashree Das and Arnab Dutta.

Motoliya 2.0 & Xuronjona – Sannidhya Bhuyan (+ Aarxslan, Tonmoy Krypton) – Axomiya/Indipop: I discovered Sannidhya’s music by chance, with Motoliya 2.0, and figured out that it is in some way connected to Motoliya that he released in July 2020. Given my complete ignorance of the language and his body of music, I don’t know how the two songs are connected, but I really liked the slightly more pacy new song that musically seems to have some phrases from the older song. Sannidhya’s voice and singing is phenomenal… enough for me to go on a trip of his other songs. The other song from his repertoire that instantly worked for me was Xuronjona, from March 2020. This song showcases Sannidhya’s vocal prowess in full splendor and the tune is enchanting too. I do not understand a word being sung but the language sounds incredibly beautiful!

Milli-1 – Raf-Saperra (Desi Frenzy) – Punjabi/Indipop: A heady, ebullient, very-Punjabi song that has a catchy hook that seemed to me like the one from Mundian To Bach Ke (Panjabi MC, Jay Z) but with the pitch mildly tweaked!

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 146: On Spotify | On YouTube
18 songs this week! The YouTube playlist has all the songs, while Spotify is missing just one song – Mayakkannan from Innu Muthal. I recall Spotify missing the earlier song I had listed from this film as well (Mausam)… I see Spotify has added it now. Perhaps they’d add the new song too eventually/later. I have embedded the YouTube version of the song below since the video’s concept is really interesting too!

Dil Udd Ja Re (2 versions), Thode Kam Ajnabi (3 versions), Lamha (3 versions), Phire Faqeera and Pagglait (Title song) – Pagglait (Arijit Singh) – Hindi: In Dil Udd Ja Re, Neeti Mohan makes her appearance only close to the first minute – Arijit layers such a long, beautiful and deeply engaging prelude, befitting the sweepingly lovely melody! Sunny M.R’s production is all to obvious – this could be straight from one of his Telugu soundtracks! The song’s second version, featuring Meghna Mishra and Arijit is easily Amit Trivedi’ish material! The same soaring melody and the musical profusion is exhilarating.

Thode Kam Ajnabi and Lamha seem to be the soundtrack’s clear highlights, at least going by the 3 versions they both get. The song’s first version carries Dil Udd Ja re’s all-enveloping melodic sound, and in Himani Kapoor’s gorgeous vocals, Arijit has a winner again! But, not satisfied with one version, he goes on to produce 2 more variants, one where he sings along with Himani, and a 3rd one where he offers a spritely variation in the background and ropes in Chinmayi to do the singing. She, of course, aces the uniquely differentiated version.

In Lamha, Arijit does something very similar. The first version by Antara Mitra is a wonderfully pensive Latin-style melody. Antara’s singing is outstanding even as the guitar work in the background is so perfectly complementary. The song’s revisit is largely similar but for the fact that Arijit himself joins mid-way, to add a lovely touch. The 3rd version is most interesting, much like Chinmayi’s version of Thode Kam Ajnabi! Arijit eschews the Latin sound to layer a brilliant Indian classical sound along with an orchestral backdrop! The result, for the same melody, is a mesmerizing new dimension!

In Phire Faqeera, Arijit sounds almost like A.R.Rahman, and even Phire Faqeera’s tune sounds like something Rahman may have composed (straight out of Delhi 6’s soundtrack!), particularly at the 2nd minute given the way the many voices and sounds come together and pick on a harmonious high. Raja Kumari and Amrita Singh hold fort magnificently!

The title song is a splendidly ebullient affair! Arjit drops the beat and amps up the rhythm to produce an instantly catchy and bouncy song, brilliantly handled by Amrita Singh, Raftaar and himself. The effects concocted by Sunny M.R in the background lend themselves to elevate the song’s appeal considerably.

Arijit seems to have imbibed the best of musical influences from the many composers he has sung for, and it all shows up wonderfully in his labor of love debut! This is easily one of the best soundtracks of 2021 (and it’s only March, yet!) and probably one of the best composing debuts in recent times.

Muruga – Yaadhum Oore Yaavarum Kelir (Nivas K Prasanna) – Tamil: A punchy, energetic ode to Lord Muruga, complete with a fantastic Shanmukapriya raaga interlude in violin and a pulsating rap by MC Sai! Silambarasan and Nivas sing it with their hearts and it shows in the output.

Kadhile Kaalannadiga & Yendaro Mosina – Chaavu Kaburu Challaga (Jakes Bejoy) – Telugu: I have not been impressed with Jakes’ music for this film so far (based on the initial singles released) but I did end up liking 2 songs from the full soundtrack. Jakes has a wonderfully lilting rhythm for Kadhile Kaalannadiga and his choice of singers—Gowtham Bharadwaj and Shashaa Tirupati—truly works wonders for the engaging melody. Yendaro Mosina is the soundtrack’s true gem! Deepika V is spectacular with her singing, while Jakes’ tune, that drove me towards the iconic Humko Mann Ki Shakti Dena (raag Kedar) and Hamirkalyani raaga.

Kanti Papa – Vakeel Saab (Thaman S) – Telugu: A bit too familiar within Thaman’s predictable style, but I’d give it to him – it is a nice enough listen mainly because of Armaan Malik’s singing. Special mention for the classical harmony Thaman interjects in the middle, featuring Geetha Madhuri, Sahiti, Sruthi Ranjani, Haarika Narayan, Srinidhi, ML Gayathri, Nayana Nayar and Sruthi ML.

Aaraanu – Tsunami (Yakzan Gary Pereira & Neha S Nair) – Malayalam: The composing duo of Yakzan Gary Pereira and Neha S Nair have consistently delivered great music, though they also produce such limited music 🙂 In Aaraanu, the soothing melody gets particularly more interesting through the vocal effects the duo adopt, using Neha’s voice/singing. In fact, besides Keshav Vinod’s singing, Neha’s voice and humming is a constant accompaniment that lifts the song’s appeal considerably.

Mayakkannan – Innu Muthal (Mejjo Josseph) – Malayalam: An easy-on-the-ear, foot-tapping song that is built around the ‘Pahi Pahi Krishna’ hook. Mejjo sings it himself, besides composing it, and besides the catchy sound, the video too is really interesting – the hero seems to not be able to see Lord Krishna anywhere even in photos and the temple! 🙂

Baananchige Oduva Baara – Hero (Ajaneesh Loknath) – Kannada: This is so very Ajaneesh! A searing folk tune that he amps up through the roaring guitars midway. There’s an ominous tone throughout the song as if it is overseeing something utterly gruesome (and it perhaps is, in the movie). Vasuki Vaibhav handles the emotion part of the melody brilliantly, particularly in the higher notes.

Dhoom – Maati Baani (Indipop): A Holi special song by Maati Baani that is truly global in terms of the collaborations it showcases. Michalina Malisz’s Hurdy Gurdy was the most affecting sound amongst all, at least to me. But every other collaborator – Hadar Liaigre on the Baglama, Wiktoria Bualic on the drums, Shalini Mohan on the bass guitar, and of course, Kartik Shah on the guitar – work wonderfully together with Nirali’s splendid singing. Salim Khan, with his folk vocals, makes a superb appearance mid-way too. Fantastic song!

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 145: On Spotify | On YouTube
12 songs this week. Spotify has all the songs, while YouTube is missing 2 songs from the Hariharan-Bickram Ghosh album.

Enjoy Enjaami – Dhee ft. Arivu (Santhosh Narayanan) – Tamil/Indipop: This is as international Tamil music has gone in recent times. The musical production quality and approach is something that rivals the best of what US produces. Musically, it is scintillating! The steadily thrumming sound, the searing lyrics and the stupendous singing by both Dhee and Arivu… they all blend so incredibly well. Santhosh’s love for the oppaari’s (elegy, in literature) musical form, which materialized in a mesmerizing way in Pariyerum PerumaaL’s Karuppi, finds its way again in the way Arivu sings “Naan anju maram vechen, naan azhagaana thottam vechen… thottam sezhichaalum en thondai” and trails off. But Dhee beautifully picks up from where Arivu leaves and connects it to her, “Kadale, Karaye, Vaname, Saname, Nelame, Kolame, Edame, Thadame…”. And later, when Arivu sings “Pandhalila paavakka… vedhakallu vittirukku, appan aathaa vittadhunga…”, Dhee’s bridge is even more poignant, almost as if assuaging the oppaari-level lament of Arivu with a soothing ‘Aah aah’. Phenomenal stuff! And special kudos to A.R.Rahman for choosing this as the first song under his new label, Maajja.

Thattaan Thattaan – Karnan (Santhosh Narayanan) – Tamil: Santhosh’s melody is deeply resonant and very earthy, and Dhanush’s raw singing adds to that charm considerably. Joseph Vijay’s guitar in the background too adds a special flavor.

Usuraiye Ulukkuthey – Thaen (Sanath Bharadwaj) – Tamil: Sanath’s music reminded me of G.V.Prakashkumar’s body of work (and the song is sung by Saindhavi, incidentally!), though the song’s melody harks back to Raja’s classic Thendran Vandhu Theendumpothu from Avatharam (possibly owing to the raaga, Jaunpuri?). It’s a simple, sweet melody, that gets particularly more melodious in the anupallavi!

Baaton Baaton Mein, Mora Mann Mehka & Naina – Ishq-Songs of Love (Hariharan, Bickram Ghosh) – Hindi/Indipop: Beyond last week’s Dil Hawaai Hai, the full album produced by Hariharan and Bickram Ghosh is out, and is a great listen overall. Sugata Guha wrote Dil Hawaai Hai, besides Baaton Baaton Mein and Mora Mann Mehka. Baaton Baaton Mein is a very 70s Hindi film music style song that sounds warm and pleasant. For some reason, it took me back to the music of Chashme Buddoor and/or Golmaal. Mora Mann Mehka is very interesting – it seemed to be alluding to Raag Todi (Subhapanthuvarali), particularly in the interludes, and Hariharan carries it so well. Bickram’s music is a bit too 80s filmy – reminded me of Dilip Sen-Sameer Sen’s style of music. Naina is written by Sanjeev Tiwari, and is once again a great showcase of Bickram’s pulsating music and Hariharan’s stupendous command over the singing.

Dhoore – Mithun Mohan, Ft. KS Harisankar (Malayalam/Indipop): Even as the music video is a wonderful watch as bikers’ travelogue through dense, green Kerala, the music is surprisingly engaging too, with its classical and very-Kerala style undertones. The blend works well in Mithun’s production.

The Khamaj Connection & The Kapi Dance – Mahesh Raghvan and Nandini Shankar (Indipop): Oh, what a beauty! Nandini, with her violin, and Mahesh, through his… well, iPad’s GeoShred, expand on Khamaj raaga in all its splendour. The fusion is outstanding, and both their individual parts proficiently merge to produce hugely enjoyable music. I realized that I haven’t heard their first single, The Kapi Dance, that was released in late 2019. So let me add that too to this week’s Weeklies – the jugalbandi works even better here, but I’m probably partial to Kapi raaga given it is one of my personal favorites 🙂

Ragamaya & Merging Parallels – Intuition (Apoorva Krishna) – Instrumental: Violinist Apoorva Krishna’s new album is a dizzying array of musical genres that seems like a veritable showcase. While some of the more edgy fusion pieces did not work for me, I liked the two songs that featured singers (Shankar Mahadevan and Varijashree Venugopal) given the way Apoorva music, violin and the singers’ contribution blended appropriately. While Shankar is dependably superb in Ragamaya, Varishree is particularly very good at handling her Carnatic thillana in Merging Parallels.

The full album:

Rung – Ali Sethi (Pakistani Pop): I don’t know why the original music video was deleted off YouTube (despite being so well received), but the original audio is now up. Ali Sethi’s melody is extremely serene, and his voice carries it beautifully. The antara, constructed more like a classical song, is particularly fantastic!

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 144: On Spotify | On YouTube
11 songs this week, and both Spotify and YouTube have all the songs 🙂

Nadiyon Paar (Let the Music Play) – Roohi (Emanuele Marascia, Alessandro Murru/Sachin-Jigar) – Hindi: The composing duo produce a very competent recreation of the iconic 2008 hit by Shamur. The recreation remains loyal to the source, but the minor flourishes in the song’s construction helps.

Avan Paathu Sirikala – Kodiyil Oruvan (Nivas K Prasanna) – Tamil: An absolutely gorgeous melody that is so very Nivas! The lilting rhythm adds so much to the overall feel of the song, while Malvi Sundaresan’s singing lifts it significantly! The first interlude took me to Rahman’s style from Pudhiya Mugam – Kannukku Mai Azhagu, for some reason – similar tune/instrument perhaps.

Yaaraiyum Ivlo Azhaga – Sulthan (Vivek-Mervin) – Tamil: That ‘Modha Mora Paarthen’ hook sounds like an ad jingle, so it’s no wonder the composing duo place it as often as possible! Largely predictable song, with middling singing (by Silambarasan), but it is the kind that you may hum unconsciously as it ends… at least the hook.

Naa Kanulu Yepudu – Rang De (Devi Sri Prasad) – Telugu: Oh boy! After Uppena, DSP seems to be in some form! The song sounded to me like Hamsanadham, and took straight back to Geetanjali’s Om Namaha. The melody is enchanting in an Ilayaraja’ish way and Sid Sriram’s singing it makes it even better!

Saranga Dariya​​ – Lovestory (Pawan Ch) – Telugu: What would a Telugu song composed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali sound like? This song could be the answer! The song is mounted on a larger-than-life frame even at the musical level, with so many interesting and lively things happening at the same time, topped by Mangli’s hyper-enthusiastic singing!

Papa O Papa – Gaali Sampath (Achu) – Telugu: Barring the fact that the song’s backgrounds instantly remind one of BeeGee’s Stayin’ Alive, this is a pretty good song – effortlessly catchy and foot-tapping. Benny Dayal is perfect for the song’s feel and he is great form!

Baby Dance Floor Ready – Roberrt (Arjun Janya) – Kannada: This is an unabashed item song template that you can easily identify – it would seem to be built on the back of a hook that you could remember like a brand name. Sometimes the construction is so hackneyed that it evokes exhaustion in me (for example: Mass Biryani from Krack). But when it works, it gets going effortlessly. Arjun Janya has used this drawl’ish singing a lot in the past to embellish many of his songs and most have been courtesy singer Vijay Prakash. But here, Aishwarya Rangarajan does the honors, supported by Nakash Aziz. Good masala fun song.

Dil Hawaai Hai – Bickram Ghosh, Ft. Hariharan (Hindi/Indipop) – The last time Hariharan joined a percussionist, the result was pure magic: Hariharan and Ustad Zakir Hussain’s ghazal album Hazir from 1992. Bickram Ghosh has in the past produced some fantastic music – I recall his work with Sonu Nigam in the album The Music Room very fondly. Together, Hari and Bickram’s new single is good enough too, like a fusion between Hari’s ghazal style and Colonial Cousins.

RagAroma – V.Selvaganesh, ft. Swaminathan Selvaganesh (Indipop): Vikku Vinayakram’s son Selvaganesh has already proved himself to be a pretty good composer in films. His latest single is billed as Electronic Carnatic Music and features the 3rd generation of Vinayakram family – his son, Swaminathan and 5 more grandsons and granddaughters! It’s a vibrant track, giving a pulsating, rhythmic spin to the base carnatic melody, and sounds fantastic.

Banarasiya & Harinamakeerthanam (Sooraj Santhosh) – The Gypsy Sun (Indipop): The first single from Sooraj Santhosh’s new album The Gypsy Sun was released way back in 2020 August. Here are 2 more songs from the album! Banarasiya, released in December 2020, is a punchy ode to river Ganga with excellent singing by Sooraj (understandably) and backed brilliantly by Bhavani Prasad’s Mohan Veena. INSANOID’s rap phrases in the middle adds a new dimension to the song. Harinamakeerthanam, on the other hand, is Sooraj’s backyard! Deeply resonant tuning of Thunchath Ramanujan Ezhuthachan’s verse that comes alive with Sooraj’s phenomenal intonation and the backing chorus.

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 143: On Spotify | On YouTube
13 songs this week. YouTube has 12, and is missing only Raah Niharu, from Hum Dono (that is available on the Spotify playlist). The Spotify playlist is missing 2 songs – Pattu Rosa from Theethum Nandrum (this is odd since this film’s first song, released way back in 2018 is available on Spotify) and Keerthana Vaidyanathan & Prashanth Techno’s Thunai.

Panghat & Kiston – Roohi (Sachin-Jigar) – Hindi: Two completely different songs by the duo and both sound pretty good. Panghat is a familiar item-song template, but it manages to catch your attention enough to sway your feet. Kiston is a sweeping melody with a lovely waltz’y backdrop and in Jubin Nautiyal’s dependable voice, it comes alive perfectly.

So Baby – Doctor (Anirudh) – Tamil: What a vibrant song by Anirudh! The composer seems to be going from strength to strength, almost like Rahman in his peak, back in the days! Here, he produces what sounds like Hindustani Electronica, with its delightful fusion of Tamil lyrics, an energetic electronic sound, Ananthakrrishnan’s Hindustani style vocals and Rajhesh Vaidhya’s frenetic veena for added effect! It all works together darn well.

Lazy Song – Oh Manapenne (Vishal Chandrashekhar) – Tamil: Trust Vishal to go superbly zany for the Tamil equivalent of Pelli Choopulu’s Ee Babu Gariki (since this film is that Telugu film’s remake)! Sinduri’s lazy drawl sounds perfect for the song’s feel, and Vishal’s interventions in the form of Swati Tirunaal’s (Lalgudi Jayaraman-tuned) Dhanashree Thillana and Lady Kash’s rap amp up the song’s fun quotient significantly!

Pattu Rosa – Theethum Nandrum (C.Sathya) – Tamil: Composer C.Sathya has proven more than adequately that he has what it takes, and yet his career hasn’t really taken off the way it should have (there are way too many composers like that anyway, sadly). He pitches once again very, very competently in this song – this is an instantly catchy song, that he himself sings with the all swagger needed to carry it. Interestingly, the female portion is sung by Aparna Balamurali who stars in that part and that part seems disjointed from the male version sung by Sathya, even though the tune is the same!

Murukku Meesakaran – Vettai Naai (Ganesh Chandrasekaran) – Tamil: The film screams Grade-B, but Ganesh’s tune confidently pitches much higher. Giving him and the song credibility is Shakthisree Gopalan’s (and Sreekanth Hariharan’s) vocals – the tune itself is lively and lilting, and the anupallavi too pretty imaginatively handled, with that ‘Aasa adhigam vecha’ spoken-verse like phrase!

Thunai – Keerthana Vaidyanathan & Prashanth Techno (Tamil/Indipop): This is an astounding musical exposition of AruNagirinaadhar’s Kandhar Alangaaram! In Keerthana’s incredibly nuanced and goosebumps-inducing singing, songs 70 and 36 from Kandhar Alangaaram become ambient and ethereal musical expressions where Prashanth adds a haunting and mesmerizing musical layer that is so contrasting to what we may have usually heard along with these holy verses! The result of the experiment is something totally fresh and exciting!

Nee Podhumey – Shakthisree Gopalan ft. Akshay Yesodharan (Tamil/Indipop): Both Shakthisree’s tune (her own composition) and her singing are at once serene and sweet! The vocal humming (Ooooo) is used wonderfully to blend with the overall song’s dulcet tones, while the way the music crescendoes towards that humming (starting with Nee Kadal) makes for fantastic listen.

Kolu Kolu – Virata Parvam (Suresh Bobbili) – Telugu: After a string of not-yet Grade-A films where his music definitely stood out, it’s good to see Suresh Bobbili hit the big circuit! Kolu Kolu has a MM Keeravani’ish earthiness in the melody, but Suresh works his way in adding some lively touches to the backgrounds. Divya Malik’s singing works wonderfully too.

Alare – Member Rameshan 9aam Ward (Kailas Menon) – Malayalam: It’s good to hear Kailas Menon again after 2018’s Theevandi, and 2019’s Ittymaani Made In China and Finals! The song’s sound is straight out of Rahman’s Pudhiya Mugam – I almost started singing ‘Netru Illaadha Maatram’! The guitar in the background, the flute and sax phrases, everything evokes the early-Rahman sound so well, even as Kailas’s tune itself is rich and gorgeous! Excellent singing by Ayraan and Nithya Mammen.

Ormakkaalame – Thirike (Ankit Menon) – Malayalam: More than the title song that was released before this one, Ormakkaalame worked better for me. Benny Dayal’s lively singing, the song’s gradual start that steadily picks up a lovely bluegrass’y pace and the dreamy way it ends… lovely package!

Nenapina Hudugiye – Hero (B Ajaneesh Loknath) – Kannada: Much like ‘Gatiya Ilidu’ from Ulidavaru Kandante, Ajaneesh (along with singer Vijay Prakash) evokes a wonderful whiff of a different era of Kannada film music as defined by Hamsalekha. The violin strains evoke that feeling as also the chorus parts… and most importantly the beautifil melody that Vijay Prakash handles brilliantly!

Raah Niharu – Hum Dono (L.Subramaniam) – Hindi/Indipop: The album has 8 songs and features besides Kavita Krishnamurthy, singers like Sonu Nigam, Lucky Ali, Suresh Wadkar, Pandit Jasraj and Hariharan. Unfortunately, the tunes mostly sound as labored and sappy as a bad Dharmesh Darshan film soundtrack. The one song that stood out for me, ironically, was a solo by Kavita – Raah Niharu carries a semi-classical melody atop more modern sound, and her singing deftly traverses through the tune’s inventive flow.

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 142: On Spotify | On YouTube
15 songs this week. YouTube has all the songs, while Spotify is missing 3 – Saregama Caravan Tamil’s Kannaale Pesi Pesi, Staccato’s 80’s Soirée Medley and the Punjabi song Cooper.

Kandaa Vara Sollunga – Karnan (Santhosh Narayanan) – Tamil: What a song!!! Santhosh and Mari Selvaraj produced a whopper in Pariyerum Perumal, and this single in Karnan lives up to that pedigree very easily. The sound is electric and the tune is searing! Kidakkuzhi Maariyammaal’s voice pierces with feeling and emotion, with Santhosh Narayanan’s interventions adding gravitas when needed. That Thiruvannamalai Parai Kuzhu’s percussion is the song’s soul, keeping it steadily engaging! The song’s structure too helps in the impact – the repetitive ‘Kandaa Vara Sollunga’ interspersed with the longer exposition before it, in particular. This is a beautiful blend of Tamil Nadu’s earthy sound in a way that makes it globally relevant.

Rendu Kaadhal – Kaathuvaakula Rendu Kaadhal (Anirudh) – Tamil: A gentle and very inviting song about heartbreak! Anirudh eschews easy hooks and instead goes for a sweeping melody that works overall. The FAME’S Orchestra is the stellar backbone, accentuating the song’s feel and overall feel in a splendid way.

Yaazha Yaazha – Laabam (D.Imman) – Tamil: What starts as a pleasant melody gets even better when Imman induces the gently lilting rhythm after 1:12! It’s wonderful to hear Shruti Haasan get her Tamil diction very right, and her singing is outstanding too. This is the kind of song that Imman would have easily offered to Shreya Ghoshal, but it is good to hear Shruti ace it too.

PS: The Tamil film Titanic had a song called ‘Yaazhini’ – seems like the girl (Yaazhini) and the guy (Yaazha) are in different films 🙂

Per Vachaalum Vaikkaama – Dikkiloona (Ilayaraja & Yuvan Shankar Raja) – Tamil: While Yuvan is on very, very dicey territory trying to recreate an absolutely iconic song that remains evergreen even today, I have to say that he merely airbrushes the sound to make it a wee bit modern. Every element is left as-is, and is just modernized in the instrumentation. And the original voices are retained, thankfully. I also expected ‘Bheem Boy, Bheem Boy’ to appear in the second interlude, but Yuvan has dropped it 🙂

Vera Level Sago – Ayalaan (A R Rahman) – Tamil: I know in my heart that I’m being very generous adding this song in the Weeklies. I like the fact that it is lively and rhythmic but the tune, beyond the opening, doesn’t work for me at all. It seemed to me like a couple fo very catchy ad jingles strewn together – all individual jingles are catchy, but together, they seem like a hodge-podge. From that perspective, it reminded me of Maduraikku Pogathadi from Azhagiya Thamizh Magan.

Kannaale Pesi Pesi – P. Adinarayana Rao & Aruldev, Ft. Vijay Prakash (Tamil): The last recreation under Saregama Caravan Tamil was disappointing – Engeyum Eppothum, by Karthik and Rajhesh Vaidya, despite the excellent track record so far in the series. It seemed overdone to me, despite taking up such an easily likeable song. But things get better this week, with this song from Adutha Veettu Penn. Vijay’s ebullient singing fits perfectly, and Aruldev’s music too, with the creative flourishes in twisting the original tune, and the vocal chorus… all add great value!

Hey Manasendukila​ – Ichata Vahanamulu Niluparadu (Pravin Lakkaraju) – Telugu: A very soft and feathery melody that works mainly because of Armaan Malik’s lead vocals (Ramya Behara joins in much later in the song). Pravin keeps the sound to a minimum and complements the tune very well with the ‘Oooo’ humming line.

Kola Kalle Ilaa – Varudu Kaavalenu (Vishal Chandrashekhar) – Telugu: The melody didn’t work for me as much as I would like it to (for a Vishal Chandrashekhar song), but he packages the song well, with the choice of Sid Sriram working for him too. That ‘Malli Malli Raave’ line seemed very interesting as a closing phrase the pallavi!

Hey Abbayi – Sreekaram (Mickey J Meyer) – Telugu: After his brooding, sweeping, soulful songs in recent times, it is refreshing to hear a catchy, fun, mass’y song from Mickey. This is the standard masala film template song – the girl singing about the girl, and then the guy singing about the girl, with people dancing in the background. The template itself presents well for catchy, fun music and Mickey delivers well.

Yaare Yaare – Ek Love Ya (Arjun Janya) – Kannada: Beyond the racy melody that hits all the right notes, Arjun employs the Symphony Orchestra Budapest akin to the Australian/British string quartet Bond. The sound is very similar to the band’s and it adds to the charm, as a layer above Armaan Malik’s singing.

80’s Soirée Medley – Staccato, El Fé (Kannada): The choice of songs is a no-brainer, of course, but picking 3 memorable Kannada melodies from Raja’s repertoire is the first win. The 3 songs, Naguva Nayana from Pallavi Anupallavi, Jeeva Hoovagide from Nee Nanna Gellalare and Geetha’s iconic Jotheyali, are presented with minimal background sounds that brings the melodies’ beauty so, so well! And since they start each song from the anupallavi instead of the actual beginning, the enjoyment is even more pronounced. Both Gowtham Bharadwaj and Niranjana Ramanan are stupendously good with the singing.

Cooper – Desi Crew & Rammy Chahal, featuring Gulrej Akhtar, Jovan Dhillon (Punjabi): The song, credited to Rammy Chahal for ‘composition’ and to Desi Crew for ‘music’ is a catchy to-and-fro between Gulrej Akhtar and Jovan Dhillon, not in a call-and-response manner but as a conversation of sorts – you go first, done? Now let me respond… manner 🙂 It is thoroughly engaging and musically works very well too. That they both sing very well—particularly Gulrej—is a big plus.

Me, the Ocean and the Sea – I and Self feat. Malgudi Shubha and Amrit Ramnath (Indipop): Very catchy, fun song! Great to hear Malgudi Shubha after a while, and that Tamil phrase (Kadaloram Kathi Paadu) is a lovely touch!

Yaana & The Road Not Taken – The Immersive Experience (Sandeep Chowta): A new album by Sandeep and it fits perfectly in his recent musical repertoire – atmospheric, wordless and wonderfully ambient. Yaana features Varijashree Venugopal’s free-flowing humming as the base for Sandeep to unleash pulsating music, while The Road Not Taken gains phenomenally from Abhay Nayampally’s scintillating mandolin. The tune, though, took me to M.Jayachandran’s title song from the Malayalam movie ‘Akale’!

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 141: On Spotify | On YouTube
16 songs this week. YouTube has all 16, and Spotify is missing two songs – Maayangal from Kutty Story and Sokkuren Sokkuren from Chidambaram Railwaygate.

Roz Roz – The Yellow Diary ft. Shilpa Rao (Indipop/Hindi): What a combo – The Yellow Diary and Shilpa Rao! The tune is very Yellow Diary, and Shilpa carries the song, letting a very-Sid-Sriram’ish Rajan Batra (Yellow Diary’s lead vocalist) complement her beautifully. Thoroughly enjoyable song!

Mascara – Vayu (Indipop/Hindi): A fairly familiar and predictable tune, though made more enjoyable due to Paresh Pahuja’s singing. Surprisingly, Akasa Singh, another singer, is credited for additional composition and she doesn’t sing!

Angana Morey – Soumyadeep Ghoshal (Indipop/Hindi): Shreya Ghoshal’s brother Soumyadeep composes what seems like a Ismail Darbar’ish semi-classical melody. The classical notes of the melody has been mounted very impressively on the decidedly modern background that gets more and more interesting as the song progresses. The main flute note in the backgroudn took me back to the brief prelude flute from Satyam Shivam Sundaram’s Yashomati Maiyya Se Bole Nandlala that Viju Shah sampled in Gupt’s Yeh Pyaar Kya hai!

Lagan Laagi Re, Tu Kabhi Kabhi & Ajnabi – Songs of Love (Amit Trivedi) – Indipop/Hindi: After the 2 singles released earlier (Madhubala, Rusvaaiyaan), Amit releases the full album ahead of Valentine’s Day 2021. I’m really glad to see that Amit is finally able to release his unreleased song from the 2011 film Trishna, Lagan Laagi Re! The songs remains exactly the same, featuring Shreya Ghoshal and Kavita Seth’s voices, with its soft, warm Rajasthani lilt. Tu Kabhi Kabhi has a lovely rhythm and even has a line aptly summing it up, “Karo na, iss rhythm pe (dance/romance)”. Excellent singing by Amit and Jonita. Ajnabi is the other song that I really liked, featuring Abhay Jodhpurkar and Poorvi Koutish’s singing. I couldn’t figure out who the lyricist was, but the lyrics really made to sit up, with that line, “Ki dil hi dil mein gaaoon, Euphoria ke gaana” 🙂

Maayangal – Kutty Story (Karthik) – Tamil: The first single from the just-released anthology that I believe has more songs (hopefully in the coming weeks?). This song seemed like a new-age version of Rahman’s sound from Alai Paayuthey – I could trace ‘Sagiyaaaay’ at places. It’s a lovely song – very easily likeable and with a gorgeous lift in the ‘Maayangal’ hook that comes after an extended prelude of sorts.

Seevanuke – Aelay (Kaber Vasuki) – Tamil: The only song that worked from the soundtrack of Aelay. Kaber creates a dreamy sound with the guitar in the background, and the singing (by Yogi Sekar, and eventually by Roja Adithya, who appears much later) adds to that feathery feel. I was reminded a bit of Adityan’s style of music (Seevalapperi Paandi) in the overall sound, but that is only a mild reference since Kaber’s sound is fairly unique and interesting. The singers, though, seem to struggle – Yogi, in the higher notes, and Roja, almost all through.

Sokkuren Sokkuren – Chidambaram Railwaygate (Karthik Raja) – Tamil: Barring the VeNNilave VeNNilave reminiscence, this is vintage Karthik Raja, in terms of the sound and the singing (by Ilayaraja, of course… and they don’t even name the female singer!). It’s sad to see Karthik Raja, who had produced stellar music in films like Ullasam, be reduced to composing for such smaller/inconsequential films, though.

Avalo Avalo – Vasantha Mullai (Rajesh Murugesan) – Tamil: This is truly an odd one! I didn’t take as much to Rajesh’s tune—which seemed severely all over the place to cohesively appeal to me—as I did with Gowtham Bharadwaj V’s singing! Gowtham literally holds the fragmented song together with his excellent singing.

Jala Jala Jalapaatham – Uppena (Devi Sri Prasad) – Telugu: After the 2 mesmerizing songs, the new song by DSP too lives up to the film’s promise! The whispery melody is lovely and mid-way, the background gets wonderfully grand with the strings rising up to occasion wonderfully. The singing, by Jaspreet Jasz seems a bit labored, particularly in the higher notes, though Shreya Ghoshal is dependably excellent.

Neevevvaro – Boyfriend For Hire (Gopi Sundar) – Telugu: This is that lofty Gopi-style melody that he rarely gets wrong! The chorus’ish line is so very Gopi, by the way. Chinmayi sounds fantastic, and so does the sax backdrop that gently lifts the song.

Rendu Kannultho – Dil Se (Srikar Velamuri) – Telugu: Srikar has a lilting melody that works effortlessly, and the choice of Shreya Ghoshal works wonders too! Subhani’s mandolin, in the background, stand out beautifully too.

Inkosaari Inkosaari​ – Tuck Jagadish (Thaman S) – Telugu: Even though the tune and sound is a bit too familiar to Thaman’s template, the tune still comes alive thanks to the lively backgrounds and Shreya’s singing. Kaala Bhairava’s higher-pitched ‘Yegaresey Oohalne’ call-out is very catchy too.

Guche Gulabi – Most Eligible Bachelor​ (Gopi Sundar) – Telugu: Predictably familiar sound using every expected element from a standard-issue Gopi song… and yet, it ends up being an ear worm 🙂 Armaan Malik’s choice as singer works wonders.

Madhuradhari – Karlmarx Bakthanayirunnu (Manikandan Ayyappa) – Malayalam: Sooraj Santhosh is absolutely delightful, holding on to Manikandan’s pleasant and soft melody, enunciating the words with such care. This is the kind of tune where the choice of singer truly makes the song far more superior! K J Paulson’s sitar makes you sit up too, whenever it appears.

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 140: On Spotify | On YouTube
10 songs this week. YouTube has all 10, but Spotify fares very poorly this week with 4 missing songs 🙁 Have embedded them below so that you may not miss those 4 while playing only the Spotify playlist.

Sajan More Ghar – Maati Baani (Indipop): Maati Baani continues with their brand of incredibly soulful classical music coated beautifully with a modern outlook. This is fusion at its most elegant iteration. If Nirali enthralls with her command over the singing, showcasing raag Jog in all its splendour, then Kartik’s backgrounds and presence offers a very neat foil, making the combination so thoroughly enjoyable. For context, the band Filter Coffee had created a fusion variant of the same song for the 2017 film Solo, under World of Trilok.

Pon Ondru Kanden – Viswanathan–Ramamoorthy, Abby V & Venky V (Indipop/Tamil): Abhishek Iyer aka Abby V, from Canada, has already demonstrated his incredible vocal prowess through his videos. The one where he sings 73 raagas is a phenomenal watch. His latest, which he sings along with his father, expands on Viswanathan–Ramamoorthy’s iconic Padithal Mattum Podhuma (1962) melody and even with minimal background instruments, uses the duo’s voice to stupendous effect! The duo brings out the beauty of Brindavani Sarang raaga (on which the original song is based) wonderfully well, playing on each others’ strengths and voices.

Enil Paaindhidum – Sinam (Shabir) – Tamil: Even though I had difficulty in assimilating Shabir’s singing (he seems to be singing as if he is in some extreme pain), the choice of raaga for this tune does the trick for the song, and for him – Reetigowlai.

Unnai Kaanadha Kannum – K.V.Mahadevan, Girishh Gopalakrishnan (Indipop/Tamil): Continuing on Carvaan Lounge Tamil’s track record so far, Girishh’s reimagination of this classic Tamil song is excellent. Girishh’s choice of twisting the tune of ‘Nee Sollaadha Sollum Sollalla’ (which registered a higher note in the original) works wonders along with the song’s jazz-style packaging, and Tanvi carries the singing with a lot of grace.

Feel Song – Vaazhl (Pradeep Kumar) – Tamil: This is the second song in recent times that has composer Deva playing against type – the first was Mookuthi Amman’s Saami Kulasaami. Here, singing Arun Prabu Purushothaman’s poignantly funny Tanglish lyrics, Deva excels in bringing the necessary ‘feel’ to the Feel Song! Pradeep too surprises, by gently slowing the tempo at places, for an already trippy melody, and that makes for an interestingly disorienting listening experience.

Nailu Nadi – WWW (Simon K King) – Telugu: It’s good to see Simon moving to Telugu too (though some of his films have been dubbed in Telugu in the past) – this looks like a direct Telugu film considering the director (KV Guhan) had directed a Telugu film earlier (118). There are 2 lyricists credited: Ramajogaiya Sastry and Madhan Karky. Is Karky writing the Tamil (dubbed?) version of the song too, or is he credited for the smattering Tamil interlude/chorus verse in the middle? I’m not sure. But Simon’s semi-classical rock style music works effortlessly! Vasanth David’s drums is a fantastic background presence, and Sid Sriram and Kalyani Nair relish the singing part for the gorgeous tune.

Romance In Trance – Mr & Miss (Yashwanth Nag) – Telugu: The soundtrack of Mr & Miss is interesting, though for reasons I’m not able to pin, isn’t interesting enough. The tunes could be the reason – the sounds are good, but the tunes don’t stick. The one song where it did stick was the consistently engaging Romance In Trance that uses a Reetigowlai base in the backdrop to build its frenetic melody. The vocal interplay between Kamala Manohari and Yashwanth Nag also works very well.

Mausam – Innu Muthal (Mejjo Josseph) – Malayalam/Hindi: The Malayalam film industry occasionally surprises by producing songs in Hindi and they sound fantastic too! Like Shaan Rahman’s Raathein from Love Action Drama, for instance. And Mejjo surprises here by producing an almost ghazal-like semi-classical song, and Javed Ali’s incredibly affecting singing makes it even better!

Sajanaa – Pro Bros (Indipop/Punjabi): It’s a delight to hear Raghu Dixit sing in Punjabi – his high-pitched singing style works perfectly for the electro-Punjabi ballad conjured by the Pro Boys, Sunny Sharma and Karan Bhalla.

Ocean Calls My Name – Anupam Roy (Indipop): What a wonderful song! After my initial enthusiasm for Anupam’s style of music, I warmed up and settled on presuming that his music continues to play in one zone, inside a template of sorts. It was great initially, and then settled to harmless. I thought he broke open that ‘harmless’ zone here – the English-language lines seemed a bit odd on top of the Indian package in the background and the tune, but it gets better as the song progresses. Purbayan Chatterjee’s sitar and Joydeb Nandy’s tabla offer fantastic support to let Anupam sink into the melody so well.

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 139: On Spotify | On YouTube
9 songs this week. YouTube has all 8, and Spotify is missing just one – the Carvaan Lounge Tamil song that is usually sent late to the streamers.

Charkhe – Nyasa (Indipop/Hindi): What started like a Rabbi Shergill song suddenly takes off with that ‘Bolo bolo’ hook… and what a take-off it is!! The lyrics offer little hope though – desolate and asking us to struggle along, from whatever little I could comprehend, but the energy in the tune makes it a riveting listen!

Mera Hai Tu – Vasuda Sharma (Indipop/Hindi): A wonderfully soothing ballad composed and sung by Vasuda. The extended lines built around ‘Tu’ and the ‘Ooooo’ sounds accentuate the song’s charm considerably. Wonderful backing by Andrija Gavrilovic on the horn/trumpet, and Karan Sajnani on the guitar.

Dhakka Laga Bukka – Tandav (A R Rahman) – Hindi: A lot has happened since Tandav went live on Amazon Prime, but that’s a different tangent. I was surprised to see Rahman himself sort of remixing/recreating his Yuva number and I read that he made an exception for this (and perhaps not let anyone else do it, which he has said in the past is not something he appreciates/likes/prefers). The embellishments don’t sound particularly appealing, but the original song still sounds fantastic! The music has a verve that is hard to shake off!

Kaalai Adhikaalai – Naduvan (Dharan Kumar) – Tamil: One of those songs that seem specifically composed for Sid Sriram! Dharan’s melody is soft and easy-on-the-ear, layering a very soft melody with the racy rhythm at places. The swaram-based vocal interlude, though, seems a bit jarring for the song.

Thangamey – Paava Kadhaigal (Justin Prabhakaran) – Tamil: At last, the full audio jukebox of Paava Kadhaigal is out! Justin’s Thangamey is easily the pick of the soundtrack. Murugavel’s voice carries so much warmth that is so essential for the song – it reminded me of the late Shahul Hameed’s singing range/style.

Mannavanaanalum – Ghibran (Indipop/Tamil): Whoa! It’s great to see Ghibran expand his genre repertoire, adding electronic music to it. The lead hook, though, reminded me instantly of the incredibly famous and catchy song, “Rivara Riva” that I’m still trying to find the singer/band after finding that Tamil composer Vijay Ebenezer had sought generous inspiration from it for his 2012 song ‘Mokka Manusha’ from the film Kalakalappu (Masala Cafe). Still, Ghibran’s song is fairly different and could be similar from a genre point of view only. His mixing of the folk element, referring to a dialog from M.R.Radha’s Ratha Kanneer is a smart move and adds to the song’s appeal. There’s a manic energy in the song that is at once hypnotic and unnerving!

Aayiram Nilave Vaa – K.V.Mahadevan & C. Sathya, ft. Sooraj Santhosh and Saindhavi (Tamil): The 4th song from Carvaan Lounge Tamil is a winner too, picking the first (released) song by S.P.Balasubrahmanyam (that he sang along with P.Susheela). Both Sooraj Santhosh and Saindhavi do complete justice to the original melody that Sathya recreates with a reduced tempo to great effect. The little touches he adds, like swapping the 2nd anupallavi (sung by P.Susheela – “Mannavanin ThoL IranDai”) as the first (sung by Saindhavi) and then the actual song’s first anupallavi (NaLLiravu ThuNaiyiruka), plus adding a second vocal layer to “Indha Mayakam Ezhil Mugam” and “Illai Urakam Orae Manam”, while also flattening the tune of the latter (Sooraj is particularly fantastic here!) make the recreation so much more inventive and enjoyable!

Do listen to the original and then this recreation to appreciate the effort Sathya has put in.

Rusvaaiyaan – Amit Trivedi (Indipop/Punjabi): The song could have easily been a part of Amit’s Dev.D soundtrack! The ‘Yaariyaan tut gayee’ callout, and Shilpa Rao adding, “Ho gayee dil de rusvaaiyaan” is straight out of Amit’s style from a decade back. And it is thoroughly welcome! Shilpa Rao and Shahid Mallya, are, like always, superb with their vocals – and a fantastic pair to sing together!

Dil Da Khayal – Goldie Sohel (Indipop/Punjabi): A gorgeous ghazal in Punjabi! Goldie’s voice handles the soft, poignant melody beautifully, ably supported by Dilshad Khan and Sanjiv Sen’s tabla, among others. The simplicity of the song is its biggest strength!

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