Top recent listens (November 2012)

Kaadhal enthan kaadhal, Stop the paattu & Aaha kaadhal – Moondru Per Moondru Kaadhal (Tamil – Yuvan Shankar Raja)
Nandini Srikar’s Aaha kaadhal starts almost abruptly but goes on to be a magical tune with wonderful complexeties that she handles so well. Neha’s Kaadhal enthan too is a winner from Yuvan in the way he blends Nadaswaram (that features in Stop the paattu too) in it. The unreleased song, Stop the pattu (only Gemini Music can answer why they actually left a song out and let it travel on its own online!) is YUvan doing what he does best – he gets Ramesh Vinayagam for a punchy and addictive track that is instantly catchy!

Olavina kiranake – Rajinikantha (Kannada – Arjun Janya)
I have significantly reduced my Kannada listens – partly because the CDs/music is inconsistently available (much like Malayalam – guessing they dn’t care enough), but the occasional brilliance does help. Like Arjun Janya’s Sonu Nigam-sung Olavina kiranake from Rajinikantha. Punchy melody!

Uyire uyire – Sattam Oru Iruttarai (Tamil – Vijay Antony)
The only song that stood out in the largely templatized soundtrack that I found too boring to review. The rhythm is straight out of Enigma that was in vogue a decade ago, but the tune passes through.

Un angelo disteso al sole, Noi, Questa nostra stagione, Fino all’estasi & Cosi (Album: Noi, Eros Ramazotti)
Veteram Italian pop superstar’s latest album Noi is completely along the lines of what one would expect from his music. Still, he manages to add spice to the proceedings, like the duet with Pussycat Dolls’ Nicole Scherzinger, in Fino all’estasi and the best of the album, Cosi, featuring Italian operatic pop trio Il Volo. Good, catchy pop-rock, this.

Yenai yenai – Vetriselvan (Tamil – Mani Sharma)
Another largely non-descript soundtrack! The only song that works is Yenai yenai, that too because Mani reuses his kick-ass Reetigowlai original, Kalagane vela (Vastaadu Naa Raju), from Telugu.

Chenthamara theno & Kiliye cherukiliye – 916 (Malayalam – M Jayachandran)
Chenthamara theno is a rather conventional very-Malayalam modern moeldy that sounds a bit like some vague Raja song too, but is a good listen nevertheless. Kiliye is special for the way Chitra makes the song her own, even as gets into a templatized mode eventually.

Dagabaz re – Dabangg 2 (Hindi – Sajid Wajid)
In a sense, this musical sequel to the first film’s Tere mast mast do nain is the best this otherwise-tired soundtrack can offer. But good to see the duo taking Tere mast mast’s tone ahead in similar and at the same time, different ways.

Money is so funny & Mella pookkudhe – Puthagam (Tamil – James Vasanthan)
Like Vijay Antony, James Vasanthan too has this knack of completely surprising listeners with interesting, but inconsistent sounds. Puthagam falls right into this sphere. But yes, Money’s rock flavor is thoroughly endearing as is Bellie Raj and Deepa Miriam’s Mella pookkudhe which doesn’t reach Kangal irandaal’s iconic levels, but is still a superb listen.

Avatha paiyya – Paradesi (Tamil – GV Prakash Kumar)
This is GV in his Veyil form – rhythmic and very catchy melody that stays in the mind for long.

Tanapichu beer & Nee nilavupol – Nee Ko Njaa Cha (Malayalam – Prashant Pillai)
Tanapichu beer is a riot. It hardly follows any structured format and is sung incredibly by Saju Srinivas. Even its appealing mix of kuthu rhythms and nadaswaram is a killer. The other song, Nee nilavupol, sung beautifully by Preeti Pillai is the other extreme – a super pleasant tune that the composer lovingly adds his music to! I did not catch on to this soundtrack’s music initially, for almost 3-4 days – I felt it was rather droning and low-key, but did hear something that stood dramatically out. After the 3 days however, I was able to grasp it and found what I earlier found to be standing out – it is so vibrantly unstructured… almost like Rahman’s music!