Sunday September 22, 2019

Milliblog Weeklies, Week 90 – SEP22.2019

Posted by Karthik

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 90: On JioSaavn | On YouTube
13 songs this week. YouTube has all 13, but JioSaavn fares very poorly this week, with only 8 songs.

Dil Hi Toh Hai – The Sky is Pink (Pritam) – Hindi: This is Pritam of Life In A Metro level! The melody is so wonderfully warm and so convincingly adorned with lovely music! Interestingly, beyond Antara Mitra and Arijit Singh’s expectedly fantastic singing, it is Nikhil Paul George who shines most, in more than one aspect of the song – he handles the winsome guitar and handles the gospel choir beautifully as well! And then there’s Gulzar! The words literally pop out, calling for attention! “Na pucho ye dil hai munshi, magistrate, kaazi” definitely made me pause and ponder 🙂

Maheroo – The Zoya Factor (Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy) – Hindi: The song title of ‘Maheroo’ puts me in a wistful mood given how times move so fast. A few years ago—2007, to be precise—Bengali singer Jojo Nathaniel released a Indipop song titled “Maah-E-Ru” and I used quite like that song! Jojo is the same singer who became famous for ‘Subah Subah Jab Khidki Khole‘ from Yash (music by Tabun) and another Indipop song Woh Kaun Thi, starring Jimmy Shergill! Now, if you search for Maheroo, what you get is a Sanjeev-Darshan composed song from Super Nani with 35 million views, and now this song from The Zoya Factor. The new song is not bad at all, if not a bit too predictable from the trio’s repertoire, but made more enjoyable thanks to Yasser Desai’s singing.

[Back In Time] Tu Paas Hai – Breathless (Shankar Mahadevan) – Indipop: Shankar Mahadevan’s 1998 pop album Breathless is remembered for one song where he created the effect of singing in one breath. This was a gimmick that worked wonders for S.P.Balasubrahmanyam too, in the film, KeLadi KaNmaNi, with music by Ilayaraja (the song was, MaNNil Indha’). But, beyond Breathless, the rest of the album, with 6 more songs, was a fantastic listen that gets often overlooked and ignored in front of the album’s most celebrated song. My pick of the rest is Tu Paas Hai, where Shankar extends each line without a break, in a neat touch, before opening the melody with the ‘Harpal yahi’ connection. There’s some fantastic guitar work (most probably by Ehsaan Noorani) for the interludes, even as Shankar’s tune for the antara too being so good! And the percussion is by Taufiq Qureshi, no less!

Unakaga – Bigil (A.R.Rahman) – Tamil: Unakaga is one of the few recent Rahman songs that I liked almost immediately. The melody is simple, uncluttered and easily accessible, unlike Rahman’s trademark (from another period) which has the tune sinking in much later. The song’s highlight is the singers – Madhura Dhara Talluri and Sreekanth Hariharan!
PS: The rest of Bigil, the soundtrack, is alarmingly un-Rahman-like. Or, very Rahman-like, in his current awkward form.

Adhuva Adhuva (Rain Version) – Naadodigal 2 (Justin Prabhakaran) – Tamil: I had written about this song back in Week 82 Weeklies. But, now that the full soundtrack has released, and I found it largely middling, much like Justin’s other underwhelming recent soundtrack for Adutha Saattai—the common link being Samuthirakani!—unlike his stupendous soundtrack for Dear Comrade. But the Rain Version of this song is a beauty! Both versions seem similar till 1:32. In the original, after this point, you hear a phone dial sound and a whistling of the tune. In the Rain Version, the song takes on an exciting new tangent so removed from what came before! It could be an entirely new song on its own, and even moves on to a Rahman-style with the Sangamam-level rhythm!

Azhagu Azhagu – Sanga Thamizhan (Vivek-Mervin) – Tamil: The tune’s simple and obvious melody gets a serious fillip with the catchy, earworm’ish ‘Thithina Thithina Azhagu Azhagu’ hook that the composing duo put to great use. Shweta Mohan is delightfully good with her solo!

Kavarathi – Pranaya Meenukalude Kadal (Shaan Rahman) – Malayalam: The 4-song soundtrack by Shaan Rahman is a pleasant listen, though marred by a familiarity that seeps into the composer’s recent work more often than I’m comfortable with. Still, like Kavarathi, sung by Lekshmi S Nair and Anjaly Anand, and includes a lovely chorus backing by the Global Public School Chorus Group, is a delightful listen that lets the beautiful tune come to the fore even as Shaan keeps the backgrounds minimal.

Bhoomi – Minimal Sessions (Roby Abraham, ft. Madonna Sebastian & Deepak Kutty) – Malayalam: Roby was super promising in Malayalam films, but hasn’t been composing too many film songs lately. He has been busy with his non-film projects however and his work with singer/actress Madonna Sebastian has always been interesting. The latest, Bhoomi, is one such interesting experiment. Musically, it is really minimal, with an ambient, almost-hypnotic background sound. Madonna and Deepak lift the simple melody with their singing and wonderful diction; while the former is very good, as usual, Deepak’s lines are repetitive and offer a wonderful counterpoint.

Kaanumbol – Vikruthi (Bijibal) – Malayalam: Bijibal has been busy last week and that’s always a good thing. While I wasn’t that impressed with Aadya Rathri’s Onavillane, Vikruthi’s Kaanumbol is a total charmer! It has the hallmark of a Bijibal song – a simple, hummable (head-shakeable!) melody that is so perfectly handled by singer Ramshi Ahamed. Watch the video too, since it has the always-interesting Soubin Shahir!

Meri Meri Dilruba – Happy Sardar (Gopi Sundar) – Malayalam: That trademark Gopi Sundar sound. It works sometimes, and sometimes it doesn’t. This time, it does, thanks to Naresh Iyer’s vocals, and a lovely guitar backdrop by Sumesh Parameshwar.

Kinavo – Manoharam (Sanjeev Thomas) – Malayalam: Well-known Guitarist Sanjeev Thomas did a fantastic job with his compositions in the Malayalam soundtrack for Vilakkumaram in 2017. It’s good to see him back in Manoharam. Kinavo’s sound is breezy and thoroughly endearing. He not only sings it, along with Shweta Mohan, but also plays the guitar in the song, to great effect. That tune change in the anupallavi is a lovely touch!

Manmohiya – Maati Baani: Maati Baani brings its usual folk-flavored music once again. The Rajasthani folk infused in the song through the Sarangi (Sandeep Mishra) and vocals (Sugna Devi Bhopi) work beautifully in tandem with the song’s overall pop sound. The video, directed by Disha Noyonika Rindani makes for a compelling watch too, given the highly interesting story it sets to convey!

Sun – Dameer: Bangladesh teen Dameer’s new single is a surprisingly engaging funky alt-pop. The song has a groove that is thoroughly addictive.



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