Top recent listens (April 2012)

Chokra jawan, Title song, Aafaton ke parindey & Pareshaan – Ishaqzaade (Hindi – Amit Trivedi)
The soundtrack of the season! If Chokra jawaan showcases Vishal Dadlani’s vocal prowess (the part where he makes Sunidhi go ‘Kya gata hai, kya gata hai is super, in particular), Aafaton ke parindey’s dubstep-inspired sound is brilliantly catchy, even as a Sukhwinder Singh-sounding Divya Kumar and Suraj Jagan lend fantastic support, vocally. The title song rocks in the choice of instruments, while Pareshaan is the soundtrack’s scintillating highlight, along with the find of the season – singer Shalmali Kholgade.

Ivaluga imsai & Mokka manusha – Kalakalappu (Tamil – Vijay Ebenezer)
Kalakalappu is one of the most fun soundtracks in Tamil, in recent times. Despite the terrible pronunciation in Ivaluga imsai, the tune and lyrics make it a compellingly catchy listen. Mokka manusha, on the other hand is an out-and-out fun number that is mindbogglingly catchy and dance-worthy. The song is superbly sung by Steeve Vatz A.K.A Roky and particularly Suchitra!

Ooraana oorukkula, Yenna solla & Po po po – Manam Kothi Paravai (Tamil – D.Imman)
A surprisingly strong offering from D.Imman, who has always been content with fiddling the sidelines. The tunes he puts together in this soundtrack and the way he builds on the music are stunning, to say the least. The tunes are strongly folk’ish, but the music is considerably modern and together they make up for a wonderful listen!

Pani da rang – Vicky Donor (Hindi – Rochak Kohli and Ayushmann Khurana)
The song of the season, quite literally. Everything about this song just works seamlessly – the lyrics in Punjabi, the vocals by Ayushmann and the music by the singer/actor and Rochak Kohli. What a wonderful debut!

Dil se – Gabbar Singh (Telugu – Devi Sri Prasad)
Karthik’s vocals and Devi’s melody, albeit very derivative, works to stand out in a largely disappointing soundtrack.

Cuckoo, Kickin in, Shady, Take back, Trespassing & Underneath – Trespassing (Adam Lambert)
Lambert offers a confident sophomore album with sounds influenced by 90s electronica and draws comparisons from artists like George Michael and Robbie Williams. Shady is almost both those artists merged in one song, for example. Lambert also shows off his impressive vocals in songs like Underneath.

Mann kunto maula & Zihale miskin – Rang (Amaan Ali Khan & Ayaan Ali Khan)
Rang is an interesting effort that mixes Amaan and Ayaan’s sonorous sarod sound with lilting qawwal by Sultan Niyazi and Party. Mann kunto and Zihale miskin, in particular, stand out with their lovely tunes.

Zindagi kah rahi hai – Qasam Se Qasam Se (Hindi – Shailendra & Sayanti)
For a soundtrack launched by Salman Khan, and has 10 original songs, this has hardly been noticed. That’s perhaps because only one song stands out – Zindagi kah rahi hai, sung by Mohit Chauhan. It’s a nice, breezy song accentuated by the choice of singer and the use of saxophone, to very good effect.

Oru kural, Vaanthaye & Theme music – Vazhakku Enn 18/9 (Tamil – Guitar R Prasanna)
This 3 track list actually is the entire soundtrack of the much-lauded film by Balaji Shaktivel. Guitar Prasanna makes his debut as the film’s composer, but it a a mighty unusual debut. The 2 songs are actually without any discernible music and is actually just 2 haunting tunes sung like an unplugged version by Karthik and Dhandapani, respectively. The theme reuses Oru kural’s main theme with Prasanna’s guitar playing the base. Very interesting debut, this!