Saturday July 4, 2020

Milliblog Weeklies, Week 117 – Jul.05, 2020

Posted by Karthik

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 117: On JioSaavn | On YouTube
15 songs this week. JioSaavn has 14 songs and is missing Job Kurian’s Kaalam. YouTube has only 10 songs and is missing the chunk of the Bangla album, Tansener Tanpura. I highly, highly recommend this album – do listen to the full album via JioSaavn (in the playlist) or Hungama/Amazon Prime Music – links below.

Nund Banye – Uzer Khan, ft. Vibha Saraf (Indipop): Uzer, who has produced music for many TV advertisements, picks up a Kashmiri folk by Mohan Lal Aima and creates an enchanting and soulful modern recreation. The sound is haunting and Vibha’s singing accentuates it beautifully.

Thumbi Thullal – Cobra (A.R.Rahman) – Tamil/Malayalam: Thumbi Thullal is as much a Malayalam+ combination as Rahman’s Jiye Jale from Dil Se. That was a Malayalam+ Hindi, while this Malayalam+ Tamil, with Jithin Raj writing the Malayalam lines. The song has a great tune that sucks you in with its sweetness almost immediately, thanks also to Shreya’s wonderful singing. The tune’s unpredictable flow is in keeping with Rahman’s style – it throws you off gear trying to follow it and in the legendary way Rahman’s songs sink in, “it takes time to” register 🙂 And despite the profusion of sounds and instruments, it’s the rhythm that continues to be a bugbear, being trite and seeming largely regurgitated. Rahman os yore was known for coming up with vibrant sounds in this department.

And a special note on the Kochadaiyaan-style music video that I’m sure was a decision forced by the pandemic. The animation was atrociously bad.

Alavaate Ledhemo, Love-O-Ishq-O, Oh Kaadhal & Tellaare Lope – Bhanumathi & Ramakrishna (Shravan Bharadwaj) – Telugu: Shravan Bharadwaj is that composer in Telugu film industry who has fantastic music that he keeps proving movie after movie, but seems destined to be hidden, without ever reaching the big league! I have written so much about his past, impressive works, like Chandamama Raave, Malli Raava, Meeku Meere Maaku Meeme, Savitri, Okkosari, Prema Ishq Kaadhal, Alias Janaki and his debut back in 2013, Eyy. His film last year, Vinara Sodara Veera Kumara, had good songs too! Yet, big-time success eludes him!

Anyway, he pitches once again with Bhanumathi & Ramakrishna. The 5-song soundtrack is eminently listenable! In Alavaate Ledhemo, Shravan builds the backing rhythm layer by layer letting Lalitha Kavya’s sweet vocals dominate in the earlier portions. It’s a simple, captivating tune with the ‘Prema Prema Prema’ refrain remaining memorable. There’s a touch of retro in Love-O-Ishq-O’s interludes and Hemachandra keeps the melody highly engaging. The rest of the 3 songs are sung by Shravan himself, and in Oh Kaadhal, you can hear shades of his familiar style from his earlier films, particularly the way he extends after ‘Oh Kaadhal….’. This one’s closer to his incredible form from Chandamama Raave, one of my favorite albums by Shravan. The title track’s comic tone didn’t work for me, but Shravan closes the soundtrack on a high with Tellaare Lope, an instantly catchy song.

Kaalam – Hope Project (Job Kurian) – Indipop/Malayalam: Job has been silently releasing singles under the ‘Hope Project’ (or Songs of Hope) brand in his own YouTube channel. Kaalam is the 4th song, after Enthavo in July 2017, Parudeesa in April 2018 and Mulla in September 2018. As expected, Job offers very high-quality music in his independent pursuits and Kaalam is a wonderful listen, with his soaring vocals and fantastic backing from guitar and keyboard.

Rumaal Ambili – Lalbagh (Rahul Raj) – Malayalam: A somber and moody melody by Rahul. His choice of singers, the film’s lead, Mamta Mohandas, is excellent – she carries the melody really well. And Zia Ul Haq provides excellent backing vocals. A good bonus is shots of Bengaluru in the video – Outer Ring Road, Church Street etc.!

Alhamdulillah – Sufiyum Sujatayum (Sudeep Palanad) – Malayalam: The 2nd song from Sufiyum Sujatayum is not by composer M.Jayachandran but Sudeep Palanad! It’s a nice, rhythmic track that riffs on popular perceptions of sufi music, and works purely on the lilt and the voices, by Sudeep himself, and Amrita Suresh.

All 6 songs – Tansener Tanpura (Joy Sarkar) – Bangla: Tansener Tanpura is a musical-thriller web series on the Bangla OTT platform Hoichoi. For an OTT series, it has phenomenally good music by composer Joy Sarkar, probably owing to it being billed also a musical, besides a thriller! This is a wonderful labor of love music-wise, with an undercurrent of classical music presented in a more film-friendly way inventively. Aguun Choriye’s haunting tune seemed like Puriya Dhanashree/Pantuvarali to me, handled exceptionally well by Asmita Kar, Arunita Kanjilal and Pt. Tushar Dutta, backed by a spirited chorus. Pt. Tushar Dutta and Asmita work their magic in Shey Je Kon Pothe Gyalo that has all the simplicity and melodic sweetness of a song straight from Sai Paranjpye’s Chashme Buddoor! The melody reminded me of A.R.Rahman’s Pavitra number ‘Uyirum Neeye’ and I’m assuming is based on the raaga Khamaas.

Tomake Bhalobeshe is a sprawling construct! Joy’s classically rooted tune comes live in the vocal interplay between Piu Mukherjee and Jimut Roy. Even Shurey Shurey Taakey seemed to be invoking Hamsadhwani, and even Jimut Roy’s vocals are outstanding, Joy’s lilting rhythm in the background is phenomenal.

The 2 songs that don’t fit into the classical scheme include Man Kunto Maula, where Joy tunes Amir Khusrau’s verse that was made popular in Coke Studio Pakistan’s season 9 too, in recent times. Joy’s version is almost like a Coke Studio song, with a sufi-style hypnotic rhythm. Totodur Prem is the most modern-Bangla pop song in the album, and it too does manage to endear with Somlata Acharyya Chowdhury’s earnest vocals, backed by Jimut.

Listen to Tansener Tanpura on Hungama | Amazon Prime Music

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