Read the post and listen to the songs on Filmcompanion.

Saturday March 23, 2019

Milliblog Weeklies – MAR24.2019

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 65: On JioSaavn | On YouTube 
28 songs, this week too, like last week – incredibly loaded playlist! YouTube has 25, which is not bad at all! JioSaavn has 27 and is missing just one song – the Malayalam song from Neermathalam Poothakalam.

First Class & Ghar More Pardesiya – Kalank (Pritam) – Hindi: First Class is Pritam unleashing his South Indian style masala much like how he did in R… Rajkumar (or Rambo Rajkumar). Arijit handles the vocals confidently, and Neeti’s entry too is full dhinchak, but despite the effortless catchiness of the song, it is surprising to listen to this familiar a package in such a huge project! In Ghar More Pardesiya, Pritam literally enters Sanjay Leela Bhansali territory! In Shreya Ghoshal and Vaishali Mhade-Bhaisane’s spirited singing, he has a lovely semi-classical winner that is both lively and highly melodious.

Reppa Kuda Veyaniva & Idi Chakkani Vela – Evvarikee Cheppoddu (Sankar Sharma) – Telugu: Shankar Sharma of Malayalam films like Avarude Ravukal and Darvinte Parinamam makes his surprise Telugu debut! Reppa Kuda Veyaniva works on the back of Divya S. Menon singing and the lovely bluegrass’y sound Shankar assembles. Idi Chakkani Vela is an interesting affair. The singing by Sanoop Kalarikkal and Anju Joseph is a bit inconsistent, but the tune has spunk and traverses really interesting phases with a lovely thavil backdrop! Good debut by Shankar, in Telugu.

Tikamaka Makatika – Arjun Suravaram (Sam C.S.) – Telugu: Sam’s Telugu debut is on a good sprint. After last week’s Kanne Kanne, his 2nd single from the film is quirky, with a hugely catchy Tikamaka hook that leads the rest of the song’s flow extensively, amidst punchy music that’s almost Sam’s trademark.

Parugu Parugu – Chitralahari (Devi Sri Prasad) – Telugu: This is DSP’s home-stretch! A simple and sedate tune, orchestrated with a superbly punchy rhythm! David Simon handles the singing darn well!

Dasu Bindasu – Falaknuma Das (Vivek Sagar) – Telugu: Vivek’s new single from the film is a fantastic throwback to the Chandrababu style music of the 60s. The retro feel is beautifully layered in both the tune and also the delightfully vibrant backgrounds.

Yedetthu Mallele & Ye Manishike Majiliyo – Majili (Gopi Sundar) – Telugu: Yedetthu Mallele could easily be the ultimate ode to Rahman’s Rasathi! The feel and sound are very similar, and the sparse, lovely tune too alludes to the Thiruda Thiruda classic. Kaala Bhairava and Nikhita Gandhi are stupendously good with the singing. Ye Manishike Majiliyo is straight out of Gopi’s Malayalam repertoire and the spritely melody truly takes off when Chinmayi’s portion starts!

All 5 songs – Vinara Sodara Veera Kumara (Shravan Bharadwaj) – Telugu: Milliblog music review.

Palke, Kurangu Paattu & Hey Man Maze – College Diary (Daniel-Suhith-Smith, Revaa) – Marathi: This film’s soundtrack is quite the conundrum, in so many ways. One, the soundtrack has been released by Ultra Marathi in January and later by iDreamz Filmcraft (that has also been releasing the singles, more recently!). Secondly, this Marathi film has songs in Hindi, Tamil, English, Sanskrit and Marathi! Third, one of the composers in the film is Revaa. Revaa has composed 2 songs – a Tamil song and a Marathi song. Now, there’s a Marathi singer-composer names Revaa Tejare, but this Revaa is different! She happens to be a Tamil/Kerala person, and is the grand daughter of renowned mridangam player, Palakkad Seshamani, who had earlier composed for Mangalyam Thanthunanena in Malayalam! She also has no knowledge of Marathi, and yet composed a Marathi song for the film! Fourth, the film has a song by a trio – Daniel, Suhith, Smith; another trio in Marathi, after Hrishikesh-Saurabh-Jasraj!

Daniel, Suhith, Smith’s Palke is a lovely listen! Simple, uncluttered sound and melody, beautifully sung by Shaan and Aanandi Joshi. The soundtrack’s highlight is Revaa, though. Her Tamil song, Kurangu Paattu is almost a bluegrass song, but with the sensibilities of Tamil music! Benny Dayal is impeccable in his singing, as usual! Her other song, Hey Man Maze, is a lot more conventional, but still highly listenable, with its catchy rhythm, and superb singing by Shalmali. The song’s structure and sound did remind me of Rahman’s Thakshak number, Boondon Se Baatein.

Vennilavin Thaliralle – Neermathalam Poothakalam (Sheron Roy Gomez) – Malayalam: How many composers are working on this one film? After the first single by Sangeeth Vijayan (Anivaga Poothoren) and the 2nd single by Nahoom Abraham (Chenthamara Poovin), here’s the 3rd single with a 3rd composer – Sheron Roy Gomez. The tune sounded like Reetigowlai raaga to me and that perhaps explains my instant liking for it! The song’s veena, konnakol, violin and veena mix keeps the feel beautifully semi-classical.

Gas Balloon – Vinci Da (Anupam Roy) – Bengali: This is Anupam Roy zone all the way. Breezy melody that he sings himself. You let the song play fully once, and then play it all over again almost instantly. The film’s title is quite something – almost like a Tamilian is being all proud about Leonardo Da Vinci – ‘Vinci Da’. But, given the ‘da’ it also works as a Bengali title 🙂

Baduku Jataka Bandi, Yenda Yedathi & Ninna Premada Pariya – Padde Huli (Ajaneesh Loknath) – Kannada: Milliblog music review of the soundtrack.

Anisuthidhe – 99 (Arjun Janya) – Kannada: This sounds like the possible equivalent of Kaathale Kaathale, given the focus on one night, the chorus and the pathos in the tune. But this one’s a duet, featuring Sanjith Hegde and Shreya Ghoshal, interestingly. Nice melody with a tinge of sadness, much like the other songs so far.

Samshaya – Kavaludaari (Charanraj MR) – Kannada: This is almost like the Charanraj version of the Poirot theme! The cues for both are built around mystery and this one treads the Bond theme zone as well. Aditi Sagar’s singing is stylishly on top of the tune!

Kelabyada, Mullu, Puksatte Life & Agalla Anbeda – Vasu Dixit (Vasu Dixit) – Kannada Pop: Vasu Dixit finally collects all his singles that he has been singing all over the place into one eponymous album! Much of the album is familiar Vasu Dixit material and these four songs stood out for me for the sheer variety they bring beyond his trademark sound.

Kelabyada is a song about the plight of a person from North Karnataka who feels trapped in an urban life style in Bengaluru. The brass section of the song, in particular, and the unusual twang in the tune makes it really interesting.

Purandara Dasa-inspired Mullu has a fantastic Middle Eastern tune akin to his brother Raghu Dixit’s Kodagana Koli Nungita from Jag Changa. I’m assuming the connecting thread is Vakulabharanam raaga.

Puksatte Life is the most whimsical of all the songs in the album, with an equally whimsical music video to boot! The song is one heck of a trippy experience! Agalla Anbeda is the funkiest song of the album, with a flamboyant Latino sound for the Kannada lyrics.

Shravan opens the soundtrack with a pulsating Thirugude that does away with the conventional pallavianupallavi and has just one long phrase repeated twice, followed by the repetitive Thirugude hook. He also layers an extra punch in the rhythm for the hook and that makes it so much more interesting. In the other song that Shravan sings himself, Hey Oh Matter Telusa, his vocals sound labored, though the kuthu tune is adequately entertaining. The tune’s conversational, almost-spoken style is its strength, complete with a raucous orchestration that ends in a superb high.

The other spoken-like song, Parugai Sagindi Nee Kosame, reminded me of Imman’s musical signature, almost like a song from his Kumki/Mynaa repertoire. Even as Saicharan Bhaskaruni’s brittle voice holds the song well, it’s Shravan’s beautiful orchestral backdrop that is the song’s real strength.

Naa Priyasakhi Nee Prema goes back to Shravan’s Chandamama Raave form! The tune is lush and Sai Krishna has an affective way of singing that gives the melody heft. And when the first interlude starts with his free-form vocalization, it sounds a lot like Yuvan Shankar Raja’s music – has the similar feel in terms of the mix of sounds and imagination! Sayam Chiru Sayam is Shravan’s trademark! Fantastic melody that has a touch of Devi Sri Prasad when it comes to the simple, lilting rhythm. The melody’s steady build-up is lovely, and so is Sri Krishna Vishnubhotla and Kavya’s singing.

After the disappointing Manchukurisevelalo, Shravan strikes back with his top form again.

Tags: Shravan Bharadwaj, Vinara Sodara Veera Kumara, Telugu, #NoMoreWordCount

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

Nan Tumba Hosaba Bossu is a standard-issue hero-worship song that promises that the lead man mixes ‘mass-u’ and ‘class-u’. It eventually moves to idol worshipping Vishnuvardhan, though! Ajaneesh’s music is racy, but the whole package is utterly predictable. Choor Choor, sung by Ajaneesh himself, is no different. A manic kuthu that checks all the necessary kuthu necessities. Ondu Mathali is Sanjith Hegde’s show! The tune is breezy and aptly pop’ish and the singer carries it in his inimitable style. Ji Ji Ji is the one song that seems to be used thematically from the original film the Kannada film is inspired from – Meesaya Murukku and Seth Ji (changed to Great Ji, eventually). The Kannada version is a faux-qawali mix that barely works. The title song is all swag, thanks to Chandan Shetty’s pulsating rap.

But where the soundtrack truly soars and makes a phenomenal difference is the way Ajaneesh recreates Kannada Bhavageethegalu (folk music) into powerhouse, new-age versions!

Kannada poet G.P.Rajarathnam‘s Yenda Yedathi Kannada Padgol is already widely known in the Bhavageethegalu circles, but Ajaneesh spikes the music and tune brilliantly to make it appeal instantly to a new generation of listeners. Narayan Sharma puts his life into the rock version of the familiar folk song and aces the new rendition!

Most possibly set to Charukesi raaga, DV Gundappa‘s iconic Baduku Jataka Bandi too gets a beautiful new variant. The recreation looks at the song completely differently from the familiar, austere rendition by Mysore Ananthaswamy and is sung incredibly energetically by Siddharth Mahadevan. The chorus in this song, in particular, was astounding.

K.S.Narasimhaswamy‘s Ninna Premada Pariya is popular thanks to C.Ashwath’s memorable Pilu-raaga based creation in the film Mysore Mallige (sung by S.P.Balasubrahmanyam for the film), and by C.Ashwath in his Bhavageethegalu compilations. Ajaneesh treads new ground yet again by reimagining the verse in what sounded to me like Nandanamakriya raaga. The choice works wonderfully since the new mix is powerful, with exotic Middle Eastern background humming.

In Kalabeda Kolabeda, Basavanna’s vachana gets a mindbogglingly fresh and modern adaptation, while also retaining the soul. The package is a brilliant way to introduce the vachana to a younger audience who may start singing this without even realizing the iconic lyrics that they are memorizing in the process! Ajaneesh’s work in the rhythm is particularly note-worthy, while Narayan Sharma’s voice booms beautifully all through, with a lot of feeling!

Heli Hogu Kaarana’s verse, by B.R.Lakshman Rao is well known Kannada Bhavageethe circles given C.Ashwath’s searing version. This one too gets a significantly spruced up, Latino-infused new version that is a superb effort by Ajaneesh in bringing classic Kannada music to the younger audiences in a way they can adopt and appreciate this music. Siddharth Mahadevan’s fantastic singing and the tune’s raaga (most probably Subhapantuvarali Raaga) add to the song’s charm.

More than the modern songs in the soundtrack, it’s in these 5 recreations that Ajaneesh stands out confidently, introducing iconic and familiar Kannada folk music to a younger audience like never before.

I have added the original, familiar renditions of the folk songs above, not for comparison, but to showcase the progress made to make them appeal to a new generation. Both versions have their appeal and respective place.

Tags: Padde Huli, Ajaneesh B Loknath, Kannada #NoMoreWordCount

Listen to Padde Huli’s songs on YouTube:

Read the post on Filmcompanion.

Saturday March 16, 2019

Milliblog Weeklies – MAR17.2019

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 64: On JioSaavn | On YouTube 
28 songs, this week – fully loaded!! YouTube has 24, while JioSaavn has 26 (missing the Gaana-exclusive Romeo. Akbar. Walter and the Malayalam song, Kaattil Poomkaattil, from the film Sachin.

Rappan Rappi Rap, Kitthon Da Tu Superstar, Tere Liye, Nakhrewaali, Life Mein Fair Chance Kiska (Jimmy Mani Song), Dreamtime & Shaolin Sky – Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota (Karan Kulkarni) – Hindi: Milliblog music review.

Bairaagi Mann & Khalipan Shor Kare – Paharganj (Ajay Singha): After the fantastic Kyun Dil Mera (sung by Mohit Chauhan, and there’s even a reprise by Mohit Pathak that’s half as interesting), the full soundtrack of Paharganj released last week. Romy’s Bairaagi Mann is something that works immediately with its spritely guitar and lilting folk tune. The other song works for a very different reason – Khalipan Shor Kare is drenched in sadness, possibly owing to the use of Todi raaga I guess, since it reminded me of Kalyanji-Anandji’s Main Toh Ek Khwaab Hoon, from Himalay Ki God Mein. Kavita Seth is outstanding with her rendition that demands a hugely impactful voice.

Teri Mitti – Kesari (Arko) – Hindi: This could easily be Arko’s best song, so far, in his limited Bhatt-infused career. What works phenomenally in the song’s favor is B Praak’s goosebumps-inducing singing! Arko keeps the background soft and poignant to truly let his voice come through and offer the full impact of the song!

Bulleya – Romeo. Akbar. Walter (Sohail Sen) – Hindi/Punjabi: Amidst the lovely lilt of Chandrakant Lakshpati’s mandolin, who do you hear? Oh yes, Rabbi Shergill himself! Sohail’s music is simple and joyful, with Shahid Mallya adding to the vocal mix pretty well.

Kollathey Kollathey, Idhamaai Idhamaai & Andavane Thunai – Kolaigaran (Simon K King) – Tamil: It’s surprising to see a Vijay Antony starrer having music by another composer. It’s like a G.V.Prakash Kumar starrer having music by another composer (like Sarvam Thaala Mayam, recently). Composer Simon has always seemed promising, though he vanished after Aindhaam Thalaimurai Sidha Vaidhiya Sigamani and Ainthu Ainthu Ainthu, only to resurface in Sathya, in 2017. Kolaigaran builds on Sathya’s promise, and Kollathey is even Harris Jayaraj’esque in its approach, with its persistently catchy rhythm (Vasanth David) and scintillating veena (Haritha Raj) and violin (Shravan) interludes! Yazin Nizar gets the high-pitched rendition wonderfully right. In Karthik and Keerthana Vaidyanathan, the serene Idhamaai is a lovely listen, though a tad predictable. Andavane Thunai is the soundtrack’s surprise, with a pulsating sound and an anthemic hook! The chorus is truly wonderful, and memorable!

Lesa Valichudha – Jasmine (C.Sathya) – Tamil: One more to add to the Sid Sriram earworms! But more than Sid, Sathya’s music does the magic here impressively in a way that you even overlook Sid’s already delightful singing! The sprawling strings and thavil mix is a lovely touch. If there’s something that annoys me, it is the lyrics, going stupendously overboard, asking if the lady love felt a mild pain when she cleans the drop of ice cream off her lips! Too much, I say.

Priyathama Priyathama & Naa Gundello – Majili (Gopi Sundar) – Telugu: Gopi is at his best with melodies in Telugu. This one is reminiscent of his work in Ninnu Kori, with its haunting melody that Chinmayi absolutely aces! That, “Ishtamaina sakhuda, okkasari choodara pillada” sounded very familiar. Then I got it! Gopi’s own Malayalam song from Kaamuki, ‘Neeyam Sooryan’ – “Sundari sakhiye, avanonnu mozhiye, manasoru puzhayaayi ozhukee”! Naa Gundello is a lovely listen too—adequately familiar Gopi sound and tune, with the strings flourish that is his trademark—yet, an endearing listen, thanks to Yazin Nizar and Nikhita Gandhi spirited vocals.

Kanne Kanne – Arjun Suravaram (Sam C.S.) – Telugu: Is this Sam’s Telugu (direct) debut, considering NOTA was a bi-lingual? Looks like it. Chinmayi rules, again, though both she and Anurag Kulkarni have been given much lower pitches to sing in, by Sam. It makes her, at least, sounds very different from her usual self. Sam’s pulsating rhythm adds to the fun.

Yentha Kottagundi Premalona – Mouname Ishtam (Vivek Maha Deva) – Telugu: Yentha Kottagundi Premalona really made me sit up and notice who the composer was. This is apparently his debut! It sounds like raaga Kharaharapriya to me (shades of Rahman’s Pachai Nirame), and Masala Coffee’s Sooraj Santhosh, and Nayana Nair do a great job with the vocals. The other 3 songs in the soundtrack are not bad, incidentally, but didn’t stand out that much that I felt compelled to add it in Weeklies. Still, I will be tracking this composer given the promise.

Navilugari – 99 (Arjun Janya) – Kannada: Looks like Arjun is on his way producing a solid Kannada equivalent for 96’s Kannada remake. The song defies comparison with the Tamil songs simply because there was no song in the Tamil film that had the lady singing a swooning song on the man. This is perhaps keeping with ‘Golden Star’ Ganesh’s star value and ‘image’ I assume. Different language film industries, different sensibilities. The song is very, very good, however. I thought it was Kaathale’s equivalent, but it turned swiftly into a more pulsating melody, eventually leading to a chorus high.

Ide Dina – Kavaludaari (Charanraj MR) – Kannada: The 2nd song from the film! As good as the first one – expectedly so, given it is Charanraj’s music. Trumpet Babu’s trumpet is almost a parallel voice all through the song. Siddhant Sundar’s voice carries so much emotion that works brilliantly for the song.

Kaattil Poomkaattil – Sachin (Shaan Rehman) – Malayalam: Dependably breezy melody by Shaan, along with his favorite singer in tow, Vineeth Srinivasan. Simple, lilting and rhythmic song with an easy singalong’ish tune.

Dil Mera Dolda, Ibadat & Tere Karke – Jazbati (Jaidev Kumar): Dil Mera Dolda is an excellent blend of Nooran Sisters’ usually super-expressive singing and vibrant pop music. The mix is really catchy! Ibadat is straight out of the Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan remix sound, but composer Jaidev Kumar does significantly well by also layering the harmonium in the mix. The singers, Feroz Khan and Shaukat Ali, ace the singing. Tere Karke is the 3rd song that works effortlessly in the album – almost Coke Studio’is in its sound, with brilliant vocals by Kanth Kaler. Overall, the album is a pleasant surprise from Jaidev Kumar who has always been a very, very interesting composer to look for, but also vastly restricted to Punjabi music, with his limited mainstream Hindi music not working as much as they should have.

Mirzaye (Ved Sharma) – Hindi: Ved’s debut, Heer, was a very good effort. He follows that up with an equally good song in Mirzaye. It’s rather familiar in its pop sound, but the booming ‘Mirzaye’ hook is an easy winner.

Two Of Us – Louis Tomlinson: A heart-wrenching pop ballad by the One Direction star follows his journey as he grieves his mother, who passed away in 2016 after battling Leukemia, at the age of 43! “I know you’ll be looking down, swear I’m gonna make you proud”, he sings, even as the music soars to an anthemic high towards the end. Good stuff!

Recognise – Lost Frequencies Ft. Flynn: Tropical meets dance would be one way to describe the uptempo sound that’s instantly captivating. Flynn’s vocals is just the cherry on top.

Karan Kulkarni opens the soundtrack on a blistering 80s pop note with Rappan Rappi Rap. In a way, it extends Benny Dayal’s (who sings it) own brand of music layering funk and disco. That it is also loaded with film titles, dialogs and corny pop culture references (like the 4 Nirma girls’ names) makes it all the more enjoyable. Kitthon Da Tu Superstar carries the retro vibe, but this one’s 90s Punjabi dance-pop, evoking the Malkit Singh high. The song’s Shooter Version (co-composed by Dipanjan Guha) oozes a lot more funk, with far less lyrics and singing.

Tere Liye takes a surprisingly ballad’ish turn with brilliant singing by Kamakshi Rai and Vishal Mishra. The music is lush, tantalizing and seductive! Nakhrewaali is absolutely electric! With a soft opening, a staccato bridge and the ‘Nakhrewaali’ hook, the song moves to phenomenally interesting territory with what sounds like Udukkai!! The percussion all through the song is particularly fantastic, even as the second interlude goes completely funky! Kamakshi Rai is incredibly good in Dreamtime, a stunningly beautiful bluesy song that you’d expect Saba Azad to pull off given how little of her voice is in Nakhrewali. But, full marks to Kamakshi.

Tumhari Sulu’s director Suresh Triveni (Karan Kulkarni did the background music for that film) is outstanding as the South Indian-accented singer, pulling a S.P.Balasubrahmanyam effortlessly in Life Mein Fair Chance Kiska (Jimmy Mani Song). Karan music generously alludes to The Venturers, but the mix is decidedly more The Venturers Have A Benne Masala Dosa at MTR. Using the ‘Ude Ude’ hook from Rappan Rappi Rap, Karan builds an intriguing electronic mix in Shaolin Sky, featuring his own rap. It’s heady and delightfully punchy.

Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota is, hands down, the most eclectic Hindi film soundtrack in recent times. Karan Kulkarni literally does a Phata Poster Nikhla Composer entry into mainstream Hindi film music with this film.

Tags: Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota, Karan Kulkarni, #NoMoreWordCount

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

Read the post and listen to the songs on Filmcompanion.

Sunday March 10, 2019

Milliblog Weeklies – MAR10.2019

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 63: On JioSaavn | On YouTube 
16 songs this week. JioSaavn has 14, and is missing Chenthamara Poovin from Neermathalam Pootha Kaalam and Ashram’s Swans of the East… both of which are available on YouTube and hence the YouTube playlist has all 16 songs!

A note on the songs in the playlist:

Bajaa Bajaa Dhol Bajaa – Mere Pyare Prime Minister (Shankar Ehsaan Loy) – Hindi: What an outstanding remix! The trio show how beautifully a remix can be created, layering Gulzar’s tipsy, danc’y lyrics over C.Ramchandra’s Navrag classic, Ja Re Hat Natkhat. The result, in Shankar Mahadevan, Divya Kumar, Asha Bhosle, Rekha Bhardwaj, Shrinidhi Ghatate, Neela Mulhekar’s singing, is an eclectic and delightful mix!

Din Dahade – Milan Talkies (Rana Mazumder) – Hindi: The film’s soundtrack has 5 songs by Rana and one by Akriti. Because of Tigmanshu Dhulia (the director), I so wanted to like this soundtrack, but it simply refused to stick despite my trying pretty hard. The one song that worked for me is this one with a lovely whiff of the retro. For some reason, it reminded of Rakesh Roshan and Rishi Kapoor dancing together in their college 🙂

Vaa Vaa Penne – Uriyadi 2 (Govind Vasantha) – Tamil: The song clearly harks back to the days when he was Govind Menon… and specifically to his Malayalam soundtrack 100 Days of Love. No, not that soundtrack’s best song, Arike Pozhiyum, but to the film’s theme and the 2 other songs, Manjiloode and Hridayathin. The melody is fresh of Govind’s Vasantha days that he is in an extended, inspired run. It’s beautiful, and Sid Sriram’s enchanting singing makes it even more so.

All 5 songs – July Kaatril (Joshua Sridhar) – Tamil: Milliblog music review.

Aalankuruvigalaa – Bakrid (D.Imman) – Tamil: Sid Sriram seems to be everywhere! His new song for Imman is a great combination of the Sid Sriram style song and the Imman style of music. Imman’s music, with those jaunty rhythms and lush melody is intact and Sid’s singing takes it a notch higher!

Spirit Of Jersey – Jersey (Anirudh) – Telugu: A superbly rousing track with booming backgrounds and brilliant singing by Kaala Bhairava. The chorus too adds to that effect. Anirudh’s Telugu original output continues to be very good (after Agnyaathavaasi, though I understand this one’s a bi-lingual).

Tholi Tholi Paluke – Jessie (Sricharan Pakala) – Telugu: Besides singer Vidhya’s vocals, Sricharan does mighty well for himself in the backgrounds using a wonderfully atmospheric orchestration and contrasting sounds at times for great effect.

Chenthamara Poovin – Neermathalam Pootha Kaalam (Nahoom Abraham) – Malayalam: This Satyam record label is so bad that they name the same film differently in 2 music videos (besides not making their new music available on JioSaavn)! I had listed composer Sangeeth Vijayan’s Anivaga Poothoren 2 weeks ago on Weeklies and here’s another song that easily makes the cut! A different composer, Nahoom Abraham, but the song is lovely, with an almost Raja’esque melody (that ‘Orey kanavu thedi naan’ line, in particular, is haunting!). Haricharan is outstanding in the affecting melody.

Nigooda Nigooda – Kavaludaari (Charan Raj M.R) – Kannada: Charan’s first in 2019! And it is every bit the lush, indulgent melody that one expects from the composer. It takes some fantastic stylish turns that take time to absorb, but are immensely satisfying once you do! Sanjith Hegde, the other singer who seems to be everywhere (like Sid Sriram), is stupendous with this vocals.

Kalabeda Kolabeda – Paddehuli (Ajaneesh Loknath) – Kannada: Basavanna’s vachana gets a mindbogglingly zingy and modern adaptation, while also retaining the soul. The package is a brilliant way to introduce the vachana to a younger audience who may start singing this without even realizing the iconic lyrics that they are memorizing in the process! Ajaneesh’s work in the rhythm is particularly note-worthy, while Narayan Sharma’s voice booms beautifully all through, with a lot of feeling!

Kushiyo Kushiyu – Badri VS Madhumathi (Ellwyn Joshua) – Kannada: Armaan Malik’s continued influence in Kannada music! He gets yet another breezy number that harks back to early-Rahman style music, complete with a serene ghatam-based background. Very listenable melody that somehow also took me back to Shankar Ehsaan Loy’s Armaan song, Meri Zindagi Mein Aaye Ho.

Swans of the East – Ashram: Ashram is Arko Mukhaerjee and Kanishka Sarkar, German-based Indian musicians. The Indian part comes across beautifully in the song, given its raaga Hamsadhwani backdrop. That, and the electronic music make for a fascinating mix.

Merkilae Merkilae is such a welcome relief. That Joshua Sridhar is still around and is able to get an opportunity! It’s such a breezy melody, accentuated by Sathyaprakash’s superb singing. The pallavi is incredibly addictive, but when Johsua layers the strings in the anupallavi when Sathyaprakash goes, ‘Idhu pudhiya arimugam’, you know you listening to something brilliant. The first and second interlude’s contrast, with the latter being more semi-classical, is worth noting.

Kayathe Kanagathe is almost what Harris Jayaraj was, before he got stuck into a painful loop. The tune’s zing reminded me of early Harris when his music was so much more alive and vibrant. It is interesting to note Joshua picking on that. On the other hand, in Kaatre Kaatre, Joshua does a perfect blend of early Rahman and early Harris! The semi-classical tone of the song works wonders in Sharanya Srinivas’s incredible singing. The predominant ghatam backdrop is the early Rahman-cue and lends the song a serene aura.

The singers, Syed Subhan, M.C. Chethan and Pragathi Guruprasad do a competent job. Kangalin Oramai is the single launched long before the soundtrack, back in August 2018. It’s a nice R&B’ish melody, with Suzanne D’Mello’s accented Tamil mixing a bit uncomfortably with Ramya NSK’s significantly better Tamil. Vaa Alaipol is perhaps the soundtrack’s weakest, but only among the 5 songs in this soundtrack, in comparison. The rhythm is a bit too predictable and simplistic, but within that constraint too, it works effortlessly since it is catchy. Haricharan and Varshini Muralikrishnan keep it mighty listenable, incidentally.

July Kaatril is one of Joshua’s best complete soundtracks, despite very good songs in soundtracks like 2018’s Oru Kuppai Kathai, 2016’s Parandhu Sella Vaa or 2015’s 54321. I really hope he is here to stay.

Keywords: Joshua Sridhar, July Kaatril, #NoMoreWordCount

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

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