Milliblog Weeklies, Week 100 – Jan.5, 2020

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 100: On | On
100 weeks of Weeklies!! Wow!
15 songs this week. YouTube has all the songs (with an extra song from the Marathi soundtrack of Dhurala since it is a full album jukebox)! JioSaavn is been giving me a lot of trouble – despite having a pro account, the login doesn’t hold and keeps logging me off. So, I’m giving Apple Music another chance. It has 14 songs and is missing only Dagaalty’s Paaren Paaren. Star Music, that owns the rights seems to have shared the song only on YouTube and not Apple Music or JioSaavn!

Muqabla – Street Dancer 3D (A.R.Rahman and Tanishk Bagchi) – Hindi: I loved this new-age recreation of an iconic song that I hold very close. What Tanishk has done is akin to what happens to a full-page article on Twitter: he picks up a line from the antara to open the song, and then the 3rd line from the mukhda… and then the memorable opening line. It’s a wonderful mish-mash of the original, almost as if Tanishk visualized each part of the original in Lego blocks, scattered them throughout his studio and picked piece by piece to reconstruct a new variant that at once sounds like the original and doesn’t too. It’s a pulsating recreation, no doubt!

Here’s the original, for nostalgia’s sake 🙂

Ghamand Kar – Tanhaji The Unsung Warrior (Sachet-Parampara) – Hindi: Ajay-Atul’s output so far in the film seemed very templatized and in their usual style. Surprisingly, the composing duo of Sachet and Parampara not only use that very template, but go one up on the Marathi-music duo in their home territory! That ‘tara rara’ chorus around which the song is built, is incredibly haunting and addictive.

Nok Jhok – Chhapaak (Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy) – Hindi: The ‘Nok jhok’ hook reminded me of some other song by the trio (that I’m not able to place immediately), but the generally amiable and warm tune makes is a lovely listen. Siddharth Mahadevan is superb, as usual… truly a chip off the old block.

Kadhaippoma – Oh My Kadavule (Leon James) – Tamil: I have been mildly disappointed with the music of this film so far, and Leon’s middling form in recent times (including a terrible Telugu debut in Next Enti. Thankfully, comes this song! Much of the charm lies in Ko Shesha’s lovely lyrics that I first thought was by Madhan Karky, given the penchant for purer/bygone Tamil! And then there’s Sid Sriram, who carries the melody so beautifully.

Azhagu – All About Love Series (Ghibran) – Tamil/Indipop: Ghibran, who debuted with a bang in Vaagai Sooda Vaa and went on to produce some phenomenal music has lately been stuck in the same trend as Rahman. Both started with incredibly layered music, but lately, their music seems much simpler, removed of all the layers and complexity that defined the earlier style of music. This new song, a non-film song at that, fits the newer pattern, no doubt, but is also charmingly pleasant. It’s the song’s and the background music’s simplicity that carries it through, ironically.

Paaren Paaren – Dagaalty (Vijaynarain) – Tamil: Singer Vijaynarain makes his debut as a composer and his first song seems to doff a hat at the composer he has sung for often, Santhosh Narayanan. Subu’s lyrics make you sit up, particularly that ‘Parakka thaan’ chorus line that Vijay employs to great repetitive effect. The overall orchestration (led by the guitar) demonstrates excellent music sense and I really look forward to Vijay’s other songs in the film. Also, this is perhaps the most un-Santhanam song that you may expect for a film featuring him! And that is a compliment.

Yaavum Yaavumey & Paakkurappo Paakkurappo – Thamezharasan (Ilayaraja) – Tamil: First off, it is a surprise that Vijay Antony stars in a film that doesn’t have music by him! I thought he was like a package deal, acts and composes music, like GV Prakash Kumar. Recently, he has been letting others compose too, like Simon K King for Kolaigaran.

Musically, Thamizhanoda Veeramellaam made my jaw drop and I couldn’t catch it for a long time. It has Raja regurgitating his 90s template ‘folk’ song and Sid Sriram sounds so incredibly awkward singing it! It reminded me of Riya Sen playing ‘Machakanni’ from Sengulam village in Bharathiraja’s Taj Mahal. The whole soundtrack feels like a time warp, with K.J.Yesudas and S.P.Balasubrahmanyam singing tunes that befit some other era. Yaavum Yaavumey is one of the better tunes, vintage Raja style that Raja modernizes aptly without dropping it as-is. It does suffer from relatively poorer singing by Vibhavari Apte-Joshi. That singer choice harms the otherwise enchanting tune of Paakkurappo Paakkurappo too. Raja chooses to sing what was essentially called as ‘matter song’ in the 80s and 90s, a genre the composer absolutely excelled in, with class. Still, the song’s innate melody carries it despite the man’s weathered singing.

Kamini – Anugraheethan Antony (Arun Muraleedharan) – Malayalam: Composer Arun Muraleedharan was impressive in earlier works like Adventures of Omanakuttan and Kakshi: Amminippilla. His sweeping melody with a smattering of classical music gets a massive fillip from singer Harisankar KS, who completely owns the delivery. Rithu Vysakh’s violin solo and the addictive ‘Mulle mulle’ hook are fantastic.

Tehqeek – Govind Vasantha (Indipop) – Malayalam: Honestly, this is not up to Govind’s current lofty standards. But given his standards are quite high, this is not bad either. Sreeranjini Kodampally’s powerful singing keeps the song together. An interesting irony in the video is the casting of Neeraj Madhav as the male lead… someone the Police is looking for, because of his alleged terrorist activities. If someone had seen the Prime Video series, The Family Man, Neeraj played a deadly and ruthless terrorist, Moosa, in that show 🙂

Rada Dhurala, Jalmachi Vaari, Baari Baari & Kaakana Kinkin – Dhurala (AV Prafullachandra) – Marathi: After last year’s outstanding work in Kaagar, AV Prafullachandra strikes rich again! The film has 5 songs of which only one is composed by Utkarsh Anand Shinde (Naad Kara), and that is also the soundtrack’s weakest. Rada Dhurala, Jalmachi Vaari and Baari Baari, all three songs feature fantastic vocal layering for their highly rhythmic structures. That alone makes these songs so listenable. Kaakana Kinkin is the soundtrack’s sole softer melody, sung beautifully by Aanandi Joshi and Abhay Jodhpurkar, that soars impressively as Prafullachandra mounts the ending on a grand scale!

Liggi – Ritviz (Indipop): A curiously catchy song 🙂 Ritviz’s singing style weirdly zoned out, but with this tune and the dropping beat, even that Badshah-style monotony in singing sounds good! But this is a song that must be seen with the video given the smashing performance by Vedika Pinto with her uninhibited shenanigans! Also worth noting: Ritvik’s song from last year, Sage, too had the same grandpa who dances drunk 🙂