Originally published in The Hindu.
Yennamma Ippadi Panreengalema
Rajini Murugan (Tamil)
Music: D. Imman
In the much-loved tradition of Tamil film songs that offer harried men a post-alcohol expression of musical outrage, aimed at women who dither in reciprocating the feelings of the (above) said men, joins yet another song. This one is powered by the patron saints of this genre — D. Imman and Sivakarthikeyan (the 3rd patron saint, Gaana Bala is missing, however), and by now, they have mastered this activity to the hilt. It is instantly sing-along’ish, given that it uses a now-mega-meme’d expression first uttered in all seriousness by TV anchor and director Lakshmy Ramakrishnan in her TV show Solvathellam Unmai. And Imman sings it with a certain mocking twang that makes it endearing.
Guddu Rangeela (Hindi)
Music: Amit Trivedi
Sooiyan is a typical Amit Trivedi ear-worm. It has Arijit Singh and Chinmayi sing out a simple, lilting tune, mouthing Irshad Kamil’s Gulzar’ish verses. Amit has so much going in the background of such a simple tune — Rashid Khan’s banjo, a beautiful strings set that kicks in at the end of the antara and delightfully nuanced backing vocals that accompany the ‘Sooiyan sooiyan’ line.
Yeya En Kottikkaaraa
Given Ghibran’s ‘setting’ (more like settling!) with Kamal Haasan (this is Ghibran’s second film with Kamal after Uttama Villain), it is interesting that the soundtrack has just two full songs and the rest are background themes. It is also comforting, oddly, since the script doesn’t really need songs to break the flow of the tense thriller (a smart decision in the Malayalam original Drishyam, by director Jeethu Joseph). ‘Yeya En Kottikkaaraa’ is the soundtrack’s pick, with its easily appealing tune harking back to the sound from Ghibran’s own ‘Aruvaakkaara’, from Kutti Puli. Ghibran’s musical layering is, as always, impeccable, and so is Sundar Narayana Rao and Malavika Anilkumar’s vocals.
Talk About You
Album: No Place in Heaven
Lebanese-British singer, songwriter Mika is back with a new album, a follow-up to his 2012 The Origin of Love. While Mika doesn’t stray away from trademark sound of stomping, uplifting pop riffs, sweeping piano motifs and ebullient harmonies, it all feels a bit disappointingly derivative, almost as if this was the B-side compilation to one of his earlier albums. Still, stoking pleasant memories of smashing past albums isn’t such a bad thing, as ‘Talk About You’ proves and it gladly regurgitates a lot of backgrounds from Mika’s global hit ‘Love Today’ (from his debut, Life in Cartoon Motion; not to be confused with a middling, late 90s Vijay starrer).
Ora Oppi Bokka
Music: Abhishek S. N
Software engineer-turned-music composer Abhishek SN has two Tulu film soundtracks to his credit, including this one. Dhand (means ‘army’ in Tulu) has a fairly conventional soundtrack in that if you replace the lyrics with say Kannada or Tamil, it’d work perfectly fine, given the kind of music it comes with. That doesn’t take anything away from the album, particularly this lively wedding song, with an addictive rhythm. Of course, what makes the song endearing is the sheer ‘sound’ of it — to ears that haven’t heard Tulu, the words and pronunciation can be mighty interesting, with half-sounds for almost all e and a ending words.