Milliblog Weeklies, Week 79 – JUN30.2019

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 79: On JioSaavn | On YouTube
20 songs this week. JioSaavn has 19 songs! It’s just missing the Malayalam song, Mazhamukil from Prekashante Metro. YouTube playlist has 18 songs and is missing Bastar Awaits from Unda (I have embedded the playlist below) and Hidden Happiness from Weeping Strings by Manoj George.

Koka – Khandaani Shafakhana (Jasbir Jassi, Shyam Bhateja, Tanishk Bagchi) – Hindi/Punjabi: T-series at its game again, taking a simple, earthy Punjabi song and jazzing it up significantly. Sometimes, it sounds terrible, but this one, with that effortless catchiness of the original and Tanishk’s zing, works!

Main Deewana Tera – Arjun Patiala (Sachin-Jigar and Guru Randhawa) – Hindi: I’m getting increasingly confused between Khandaani Shafakhana and Arjun Patiala given the multiple points of commonalities – T-series, the heavy Punjabi bent, Varun Sharma! This one is supposedly composed by both Guru Randhawa and Sachin-Jigar – I wonder how they apportioned the composing duties. It sounds a lot like Sachin-Jigar’s music to my ears, though Guru’s lively singing props it up easily.

Vaanam Sumandha Megam – Chennai Palani Mars (Niranjan Babu) – Tamil: I was honestly underwhelmed by Niranjan’s music in this soundtrack, though Think Music’s record of new composers is pretty good. The one song that stood out was, ironically, so much like Harris Jayaraj’s tune! But it was handled well, with that minimal music and a very lush tune, sung brilliantly by Sujay Iswarian Isaac DP.

Magaraaniye – Pon Manickavel (D.Imman) – Tamil: A somewhat familiar and predictable tune by Imman is made better thanks to the choice of singer – Srinivas. The usual Imman-style jaunty rhythm and sound is intact and the anupallavi is a particularly nice diversion.

Canteen – Dear Comrade (Justin Prabhakaran) – Telugu: The Gold-standard in Telugu cinema canteen songs is still Botany Patamundi from Shiva, by Ilayaraja. Justin’s attempt is a very, very brave and solid attempt, incidentally. It seems to be picking a leaf out of Sam CS’s music in Vikram Vedha’s Tasakku Tasakku. But yes, the tune is earthy, folkish and effervescent with a lot of swag!

Undipo – Ismart Shankar (Mani Sharma) – Telugu: I haven’t liked any of the 3 songs released from the film so far, though I really like Mani Sharma’s music. This one is interesting since it seems to riff on Junoon’s Sayonee not directly in terms of the tune, but in terms of the overall aesthetics! That, and the Anurag Kulkarni’s singing (not so much Ramya Behara’s, though) make it work… into a catchy song!

Vaale Chinukule and Brochevare – Brochevarevarura (Vivek Sagar) – Telugu: While Vaale Chinukule is trademark Vivek song, with brilliant vocals by Sooraj Santhosh and the composer’s familiar alluring sounds, Brochevare hits it out of the park with its haunting and frenetic rock sound! Anurag Kulkarni is right on top of the pulsating song.

Andanike and Anaganaga – Burra Katha (Sai Karthik) – Telugu: This could easily pass for Devi Sri Prasad’s music particularly with that rhythm and use of Veena! But, credit to Sai Karthik, his tune is very efficient, with a faux-semi classical sound that occasionally gets down to the masala business very well. Anaganaga too is DSP’s signature sound, with that incredibly catchy and swanky rhythm that Sai Karthik alternates with an assortment of sounds, like the prayer’ish middle portion and an ebullient Bajrangi call-out towards the end! Dhanunjay’s singing is on the mark, with the casual ‘bro’ throw.

Evaro Evaro – Kalki (Shravan Bharadwaj) – Telugu: Shravan’s first song from Kalki was an unabashedly middling item song, but he thankfully showcases his form in Evaro Evaro. Shweta Mohan (singing along with Vedala Hemachandra) is in particularly great form too! The Rara Dasharadha Rajakumara interlude (by Thyagaraja’s set to Bhairavi raaga) is uncredited though! The musical breakout over the ‘Dorike Dorike’ phrase is lovely!

Neeyilla Neram – Luca (Sooraj S Kurup) – Malayalam: The 3rd hugely impressive song from Luca! This one, Sooraj takes it upon himself to sing it solo! The tune has an ethereal feel and the melody builds itself beautifully. That silence in the ‘Kaalam karuthidum’ and the off-tone phrase in ‘Doore Oraayiramirul’ lines are brilliant!

Nee Mazhavillu Polen – Finals (Kailas Menon) – Malayalam: Theevandi-fame Kailas Menon’s music! Nice enough song, with a pleasant pop’ish lilt. The surprise is wink-fame Priya Prakash Varrier’s singing – she’s not bad at all!

Sreeragamo – Sanah Modutty (Sharreth) – Malayalam: Sanah attempts Sharreth’s iconic song from Pavithram and does pretty well, I should say. It’s a testament to both the original’s beauty, in Karaharapriya raaga, and to Sanah’s refined cover version.

Bastar Awaits – Unda (Prashant Pillai) – Malayalam: This Prashant letting loose his creative instincts within the confines of the film’s plot! The song sounds like heady world music, with African’ish sounds thrown in, but uses local folk singers from Bastar, where the film’s plot is based. Result? Eclectic fusion!

Mazhamukil – Prekashante Metro (Rahul Subrahmanian) – Malayalam: I missed this song when it came out in April. Fantastic, ambient melody that perhaps has a similar raaga to Shaan Rahman’s stunningly beautiful song, Thennal Nilavinte from Oru Muthassi Gadha. That’s reason enough to like this new song too, besides Najeem Arshad and Shweta Mohan’s delightful singing!

Tu Hi Rani – Kakshi: Amminippilla (Arun Muraleedharan) – Malayalam: Arun Muraleedharan gets it right again, like last week’s Aval. Like that song hinged on Harisankar’s singing, this one rides on Arjun Krishna’s wonderful vocals. The melody is warm and endearing with a beautiful tabla backdrop.

Naaligege Jwara – Fan (Vikram-Chandana) – Kannada: I thought there was definitely a spark in Vikram-Chandana’s music, even though parts of this song reminded me of V.Harikrishna’s outstanding Paravashanadenu, from Paramathma. Still, this is a good song with smart, peppy orchestration, and Vijay Prakash’s singing makes it even better.

Awasara – Yaanaa (Joshua Sridhar) – Kannada: Joshua’s n’th return to Kannada cinema, after that outstanding, but sadly immediately-forgotten soundtrack in Tamil, July Kaatril! He even reuses Kayathe Kanagathe in Beauty Queen here – thankfully, the primary record label (Saai Media) seems to be the common owner so this Kannada version may not be rudely removed like it has happened with Hiphop Tamizha recently. Awasara is the only song that worked for me, with fantastic singing by Shashaa Tirupati over that breezy melody and the background sounds regurgitated from A R Rahman’s Neethaan En Desiyageetham from Parthale Paravasam.

Hidden Happiness – Weeping Strings (Manoj George): Manoj’s new album is a soft, serene and somber affair. My pick of the album was the very-Indian sounding Hidden Happiness, that took me to Sona and Ram Sampath’s Aaja Ve. A common raaga, perhaps.