Top recent listens (October 2010)

Marooned & Raindrops N Coffee – Rainchanted (Rahul Sharma)
I’m ideally not a fan of solo santoor albums though I love the instrument’s sound. But Rahul Sharma’s brand of fusion where he integrates santoor with ambient sounds is thoroughly enjoyable. This entire album is one of the best instrumental odes to the rain and these 2 tracks are absolutely delightful!

Kick Ass (Radio Edit) – Mika Vs. RedOne and Per Qualche Dollaro In Piu – Ennio Morricone (OST Kick-Ass)
Kick-Ass is a massively enjoyable film and I have gushed enough about it in my review. The soundtrack is great fun too and here’s a contrasting twosome from it that I love. Mika’s 10th single, the lead single of the OST, where he collaborates with Lady Gaga producer, RedOne is typical Mika material that is enjoyable within its limitations! The other track is the cult piece by Ennio Morricone and there’s much you can say about it anymore exceot that it rocks forever!

Yeh des hai mera, Sapney saloney & Title song – Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey (Hindi – Sohail Sen)
Despite all that underground popularity for Sohail’s debut, What’s Your Rashee, I’m not particularly fond of his work there. But he seems much more confident, perhaps due to a more assured script from his mentor, Ashutosh Gowariker. The Rahman base in Yeh des hai mera is unmistakable and could have been avoided, but the composer comes on his own in Sapney saloney and the brilliantly packaged title song.

Ninnu kori & Ni ni saa ga ma – Amogha: A Concert (Prudhvi Chandra, Geetha Madhuri, Pranavi and Dr. Vyzarsu Balasubrahmanyam)
I got a reference to this album from a friend (a link on Muzigle) and I love the kind of music the album produces. Ninnu kori has superb vocals by Prudhvi Chandra and Geetha Madhuri, while, as a ardent lover of the raag Reetigowlai, I cannot but fall in love with the fusion attempt in Ni ni saa ga ma, based on that raagam. This is a lovely album and I have evolved from Muzigle to the CD in a matter of days as soon as I was able to get it!

Nenu nuvvantu – Orange (Telugu – Harris Jayaraj)
Orange is what I’d call a safe soundtrack from Harris Jayaraj. His standard style is intact and rarely goes out of bounds. Even within that the man knows how to please with little flourishes. Nenu nuvvantu is one such beauty, helped in massive proportions by Naresh Iyer’s singing.

Shame & Heart And I – In And Out Of Consciousness: Greatest Hits 1990-2010 (Robbie Williams; these 2 songs co-written by Gary Barlow)
Gary Barlow is one artist who perhaps hasn’t got his big-time due despite being hugely talented. But again, ‘hugely talented’ is a point of view, I suppose! The reason why I like him? I’m not entirely sure – we all have/had our music idols while we grew up and mine was George Michael – from a sheer song writing and composing point of view, his orientation can go to hell! And one of the new artists who comes closest to that high of George Michael is, in my opinion, Gary Barlow! When I heard he has collaborated with his ex-Take That partner, Robbie Wiliams, for 2 songs in his hits album, I was really happy – just to hear some new material from Gary. And the man doesn’t disappoint, in the 2 songs he had created along with Robbie!

Kaadhal adaimazhai – Aanmai Thavarael (Tamil – mariya Manogar)
It is unfair to list this song here, but as a comment explains, this beautiful song is actually a note-to-note lift, from Shayne Ward’s Breathless! So, it seems fair that I leave a note for Breathless as a connector to the Tamil song that derives massive, uncredited inspiration from it!

Tabaah, Khwahish & Neela aasmaa – Tabaah (Indipop – Neha Bhasin & Gaurav Dayal)
It is easy to dismiss Tabaah after ‘Apple Bottom’, but the album does go beyond a flashy, albeit stylish show of the singer’s anatomy. Khwahish could well be mistaken for a Vishal Shekhar track, while the title song picks up the right amount of grungy rock. Neela aasamaa offers a great rock-ballad’ish sound that is instantly endearing.

Pannendella praayam – Baava (Telugu – Chakri)
This song makes it to the list not because of Chakri, but because of the singer, M M Keeravani. Chakri does embellish it with the perfect balance of minimal and classy orchestration, but it is the singer who makes all the difference!

If It Wasn’t For Bad, Hey Ahab & Monkey Suit – The Union (Elton John and Leon Russel)
This is one recent album that I have thoroughly soaked in. And, for some reason, I always play the first song, ‘If It Wasn’t For Bad’ twice, back to back. This is what good old tunesmithing is all about!

Megam vandhu & Enna kurayo – Mandhira Punnagai (Tamil – Vidyasagar)
Megam vandhu pogum is singer Anwesha’s show and what a show it is!! Vidyasagar gifts her a incredible tune and she takes it to all new heights. On Enna kurayo, though it is a beautiful raaga, its exploitation, in filmy style, does jar initially. But Sudha Raghunathan makes it hugely palatable.

Danthada bombena – Huduga Hudugi (Kannada – Joshua Sridhar)
This is trademark Joshua style song – simplistic but immensely catchy that puts a spring in your feet. And has Karthik ever gone wrong with such tracks?

Title song, Jaane kiske & Udi – Guzaarish (Hindi – Sanjay Leela Bhansali)
I have learnt to start liking Guzaarish – not too much, but a little, this glowing music review by Baradwaj Rangan notwithstanding. Udi is something that stays with me each time I play it, and the title song and Jaane kiske do make a mark and grow inside me!

Adhoore, Dhoop ke makaan & Dooriyan – Break Ke Baad (Hindi – Vishal Shekhar)
I liked Adhoore right from its promo – it’s what a perfect Vishal Shekhar track is made of. Dhoop ke makaan is testimony to Prasoon’s first film with the composing duo while Dooriyan is simply delightful – that fabulous hook that this duo creates with alarming regularity.

Tumse kya kehna – Dus Tola (Hindi – Sandesh Shandilya)
Tumse kya kehna is stunningly brilliant, particularly that haunting ‘Tum bolo na bolo’ hook and the use of Andean-style instruments, besides it’s soulful tune and Sonu’s vocals. This soundtrack may have lost out to its film’s fate, but Sandesh did have something special here, with this song towering over the rest.

Zor ka jhatka, Luk chup jaana – Action Replayy (Hindi – Pritam)
Now that we have read the reviews and actually noted that the much-dreaded Golmaal 3 may be actually better than this film, it is sad that its soundtrack is also being drubbed along with the film. Zor ka jhatka cannot be faulted – if this doesn’t move your feet, I don’t know what else will. And I’m going out of my way to plug the much ignored ‘Luk chup jaana’ over the more popular ‘I am dog gone crazy’…love the kaleidoscope of sounds Pritam assembles in this track!

En nenje & Thooral thedum – Uthamaputhiran (Tamil – Vijay Antony)
Thooral thedum is almost like Vijay Antony’s leftover from his most famous soundtrack, Kaadhalil Vizhundhen and is a great melodic listen. But the composer pulls off a Vidyasagar style song in En nenje completely with sweeping violins like the band Bond; lovely tune too!

Rock Dust Light Star, White Knuckle Ride, Hurtin’, Blue Skies & Two Completely Different Things – Rock Dust Light Star (Jamiroquai)
Jamiroquai was a habit I caught during the heydays of MTV and Channel V in India. Those were the days when both channels were about music, as they should be, unlike now. One of the bands that caught my attention back then was Jamiroquai and they haven’t gone out of my attention ever since. I was amused by their pointy caps and bizarre body contortions initially, but there’s something alluring about their music, which I later was given to understand is jazz-funk/acid-jazz. Love their sound and tunes! The new album is a treat, for a fan like me!