Top recent listens – May 2011

Hona tha pyar, Din pareshaan hai & Sayyan bolain – Bol (Pakistani OST – Atif Aslam, Sajjad Ali & Shoaib Mansoor)
Sayyan bolain is a triump of the vocals by Shabnam Majeed, Sahir Ali Bugga and Bina Jawad, even as the film’s director, Shoaib Mansoor has a haunting thumri-style composition to his credit. Atif’s Hona tha pyar, featuring his own and Hadiqa Kiani’s vocals seems custom-crafted to match his unique tune deviations – great listen, but! Sajjad Ali’s Din pareshan hai is somber and lilting and you can literally feel the anguish in Sajjad’s expressive voice.

Ekkadekkada & Hossanam – Veera (Telugu – Thaman S)
I’m quite fond of Thaman’s musical senses, but as many of you have pointed out, he is getting repetitive. But, like Yuvan, he had a phase where his output sounded quite bad, but at some point he turned things around and has ever since stuck to that groove. Veera is one of his weaker works, but I do love NS Ramya’s energy in Ekkadekkada and that cheesily super remix of NT Rama Rao’s song from Driver Ramudu, Mavilla. Here’s the original and the remix…the video of both the songs are sure to make you ROTFL, particularly NT Rama Rao’s oh-so-gentle dance movements created to match his age!

Ithanai yugamai & Ring ting – Udhayan (Tamil – Manikanth Kadri)
Ithanai yugamai is Karthik’s show all the way – the arrangements start out to be a tad blah but start to get lovely during the interludes. Baba Sehgal, Suchitra and Lock-Up’s Ring Ting is a rollicking affair – outright massy and foot-tapping mish-mash!

Dance like a Punjabi & Mohe machli – Love Express (Hindi – Jaidev Kumar)
Listen to Dance Like a Punjabi and try guessing the composer. If you didn’t know the composer, chances are that you’ll immediately say Pritam! Mohe machli is the surprise element in the soundtrack – Narinder Singh Lucky brings out a pious sound with his expansive vocals.

Chirakengu – The Train (Malayalam – Sreenivas)
As a casual viewer of TV (I hardly watch it!), even I know of Alka Ajith’s vocal prowess via Vijay TV’s Airtel Super Singer show. The way she carried a complicated song like ‘Singaravelane Deva’ in the show is something that I would never forget. So, I was really looking forward to what she’d do in a film song, particularly, what kind of song will she get to sing…was something I was curious about.

And singer/composer Sreenivas gives her a cracker of a song in this film…something that utilizes her mesmerizing voice to stunning effect! The combination of that tune and Alka’s rendition make it one of the best songs I have heard in 2011, so far, across languages.

Bhaag D.K.Bose, Saigal Blues & Jaa Chudail – Delhi Belly (Hindi – Ram Sampath)
I love this soundtrack. It has something that is missing from many soundtracks these days – attitude. It’s a different thing that this attitude borders on the irreverent, but Ram Sampath does a brilliant job in mixing assorted genres to produce an eclectic package.

Nasha, Fareeda, Hawa Hawai – Shaitan (Hindi – Prashant Pillai & Mikey McCleary)
Raja Sen tweeted that the song titles in Shaitan sound better than the actual songs themselves and I agreed via a response tweet. Trust me – I love Nasha and Fareeda…and that delightful reggae-reworking of Hawa Hawai…but even as the film is garnering stupendous praise from all quarters, I’m personally underwhelmed by the soundtrack as a whole. Maybe I’ll start loving it after I see the film…I don’t know!

Every Tear Is a Waterfall – Coldplay (New Single)
I like. Somewhat staid, but the Coldplay sound is intact!

Vasudhara – Badrinath (Telugu – MM Keeravani)
My favorite track from this soundtrack…has an ethereal quality to the tune and Shweta Pandit’s voice!

Miles – Christina Perri (Lovestrong)
The only song that I liked from Christina Perri’s largely tepid debut album.

California Dreaming – Beach Boys
Strange addition, this…I know. I also know that this is originally a song by The Mamas and Papas, but I personally heard the Beach Boys version first. I recently stumbled on the original in a compilation – Greatest Ever Driving Songs (a fabulous 3 CD Box Set) Now, I’m not a big fan of Beach Boys’ cover versions but perhaps because I heard their version first, I love the cover more than the original. Peculiar, I guess. Happens! Here’s the Beach Boys’ version, followed by the original!