Originally published in The Hindu.
Puthitha – Thozha (Tamil – Gopi Sundar)
Gopi Sundar finally gets a bilingual *big* film and this is tremendous validation for the body of work he has produced in the last few years, steadily moving from Malayalam, to Tamil, and to Telugu. He seems to have tried a more commercial sound, without moving too away from his signature sound. Puthitha, sung by Karthik, gets the blend perfectly – starts softly, before opening up in an ebullient outbreak of a sound. Gopi loads the song with lovely solo violin pieces and a fantastic chorus hook.
Rehnuma – Rocky Handsome (Hindi – Sunny Bawra and Inder Bawra)
Sunny and Inder Bawra have been popular in the television circuit, and have also been composing background music for select films. Their film debut in Rocky Handsome is a notable effort. Rehnuma, sung by the ever dependable and always exceptional Shreya Ghoshal is the pick of the soundtrack, with its haunting melody and aptly restrained, ambient sound that the composing duo conjure.
Uyire un uyirena – Zero (Tamil – Nivas K Prasanna)
Nivas made a stunning debut in Thegidi, and his sophomore effort, Sethupathy, was a mighty different and patchy work. In Zero, he produces the true follow-up to Thegidi’s melodic high and Uyire exemplifies the soundtrack’s quality more than the other songs. Anirudh gets his diction beautifully right and breathes life into the ballad-style melody – his voice brings a certain vulnerability to the melody that is highly endearing.
Ji huzoori – Ki & Ka (Hindi – Mithoon)
Ki & Ka’s soundtracks comes as a huge disappointment to Ilayaraja fans given the director’s (Balki) prolific work in the past with the maestro, unearthing his cult songs for the larger, pan-Indian audience. While Balki manages to extract a fairly enjoyable mix from his 3 composers, he gets the best from Mithoon, in Ji huzoori. Mithoon sounds, at places, like Adnan Sami, and the tune too reminds one of Adnan’s style of music, as much as it does of Mithoon’s trademark sound he pioneered with Maula mere (Anwar). There are some lovely flourishes in this resonant melody, including a latent ‘Ji haan’!
Chella kutty – Rajinimurugan (Tamil – D.Imman)
The makers of Rajinimurugan have released 3 new bonus, short tracks to the soundtrack and one of them, Chella kutty, is the kind that you wish Imman had developed into a full song. Santosh Hariharan breezes through the lively tune that Imman hands over to him, amidst a profusion of violins and a punchy rhythm. Even with the short runtime, the song is captivating, with Imman’s use of violins being the clear, addictive highlight. Listen to the song on Saavn.