Saturday September 5, 2020

Milliblog Weeklies, Week 126 – Sep.06, 2020

Posted by Karthik

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 126: On JioSaavn | On YouTube
16 songs, this week. YouTube has all of them!! JioSaavn is missing just one – Vivek Sagar’s song from Amazon Prime Music Hyderabad Gig. This week is one of the best musical mixes of this year – I had a really good time listening to them, multiple times and soaking into the melodies!

Daata Shakti De – Atkan Chatkan (Drums Sivamani) – Hindi: Drums Sivamani has already composed music on his own – his pop album Mahaleela was a phenomenal effort, and his film debut in Arima Nambi was a competent effort. In 2016’s Kanithan, things were relatively less interesting. He composed 2 songs for this Zee5 film, and one of the (the title song) is a percussion-heavy hodge-podge. The other song, sung by Amitabh Bachchan, is the more interesting one! It—a soulful prayer song—seemed to be based on Dharmavathy raaga to me – reminded me of Ilayaraja’s Yem Debba Teesavura, from Aswamedham and Rahman’s Edhu Sugam Sugam Adhu, from Vandicholai Chinrasu.

Mudhal Nee Mudivum Nee – Mudhal Nee Mudivum Nee (Darbuka Siva) – Tamil: Darbuka Siva delivers an absolute knockout with what is easily one of the finest new film songs in Tamil. That it happens to be in his directorial debut… is a pleasant surprise. The combination is as good as it gets – Siva, Sid Sriram and Thamarai. Siva’s melody is energetic and melodious at the same time, with a spritely pace that sounds so very Gautham Menon, for some reason! Thamarai’s lines, in particular, are gorgeous – “Un punnagai, pon minnalai, naan kortthu aangaangu neidhen”! Debasmita Bhattacharya’s sarod is a steady backbone to the melody, while that guitar in the second interlude by Keba is outstanding! If there’s anything worth nitpicking it is, once again, a surprise – Sid’s Tamil diction usually is decent enough, but to hear him sing, “Paadhi kaaNagam” (kaanagam, meaning forest, in Tamil) or “Un maNNippai koruven”. Unusual and needed more diligence.

Odhukka Nenacha, Vazhve Neelade, Inda Somabanam & Enge En Santosham – Paris Paris (Amit Trivedi) – Tamil: I presume the L-O-N-G pending Southern remake of Queen is heading straight to OTT – otherwise, there’s no pressing reason for the makers to release all 4 Southern language versions’ soundtracks in one go, after releasing one song in January 2019!! The Southern variants aren’t as impressive as the very, very lofty quality of Amit’s own original, but still, they do make for a great listen.

Interestingly, while the Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam versions have 8 songs, the Telugu version has only 7 – it is missing the shorter song, Inda Somabanam (Tamil), Sukhaveeva (Kannada), Madhurasudha Paanasugham (Malayalam). This song, going by the lyrics and feel, seems to be equivalent of the 9th song in Hindi, that was not part of the main soundtrack since it was a remix from an older song from Saregama’s repertoire – Hungama Ho Gaya. And, for some odd reason, besides the other singers, Amitabh Bachchan is credited for it too, across all 3 languages! It’s a catchy song, with Vijay Prakash/Jassie Gift and Shashaa Tirupati/Vidya Vox indulging in some drunken-style singing set to pulsating rhythms.

Enge En Santosham seems to the equivalent of Badra Bahar, going by the sound and lyrics. Makes for a fairly competent equivalent if being compared, but a very good standalone song without the comparison. The singers lift the song in all 4 languages – Haricharan (Tamil), Kallara Chusthunna (Anurag Kulkarni), Chandulli Cheluve (Vijay Prakash) and Ellarum Pirinjhu (Abhay Jodhpukar).

The 2 softer, mellow songs – Odhukka Nenacha (Katha Modalavake – Telugu, Mella Kai Hididu – Kannada, Ini Vida Parayaam – Malayalam) and Vazhve Neelade (Raathe Marindaa – Telugu, Koorade Mooleyalli – Kannada, Bhoomikum Meethe – Malayalam) – are possibly stand-ins for Harjaiyaan and Kinare, I presume. The tunes are very good – Odhukka Nenacha holding a steady, 80s pop style sound and Vazhve Neelade punctuated with a soaring ‘Anbaale dhaane’ hook that lifts the song quite literally! The profusion of singers for these 2 songs, across languages, makes it a great listen across all 4!

Thedal – Sachin Warrier (Indipop/Malayalam): Singer Sachin Warrier has been highly consistent with the quality of his compositions so far and he doesn’t disappoint at all, here! His melody is warm and pleasant, with a beautiful Hindustani-sounding base, layered with tabla and sarangi. The voices are pure magic – both Sachin and Mamta Mohandas (who also stars in the video) are outstanding!

Once Upon A Time In Ranni – Saajan Bakery Since 1962 (Prashant Pillai) – Malayalam: Trust these Malayalees to come up with the most interesting film and song names! The song is almost like a running radio advertisement for Saajan Bakery, Since 1962, the film’s title! And the song’s title almost makes it seem like a sequel/prequel to C U Soon considering Anumol Sebastian is from Ranni, as confirmed by Kevin Thomas! Prashant’s tune is a superb throwback to the 80s pop, with excellent brass support! It took me back to Redbone’s Come and Get Your Love, made immensely popular by Peter Quill dancing to it in Avengers: Endgame!

Engo Ninnu, Thornidathe & Vidacholi – Maniyarayile Ashokan (Sreehari K Nair) – Malayalam: In Engo Ninnu, composer Sreehari seems to be attempting an old-fashioned sound, one that would have been fitting in the 80s Malayalam films. But he aptly modernizes the sound while retaining the soul of an older style, particularly in the choice of instruments and the melody. Suchith Suresan handles the tune with immense grace! As if this song, and last week’s 2 fantastic songs are not enough, Sreehari absolutely excels in the 2 songs he sings too – Thornidathe and Vidacholi! Both offer incredibly nuanced and sweeping melodies that are worth getting immersed in. I found myself thinking how these 2 songs reminded me of Mithoon’s early form where he was stupendously good. The tunes are similarly lush, and beautifully realized, with sparse, but tasteful background music.

Indumathi – Gopi Sundar, ft. Sithara Krishnakumar (Indipop/Malayalam): Oh boy! Gopi employs Darbari Kanada raaga to an impeccably beautiful composition that gets completely aced by Sithara’s splendid singing! OK Gopi’s nadaswaram, the calm rap portions, mounted tastefully in the voices of Niranj Suresh and Gopi himself, and the phenomenal backing vocals by Christakala, Bhadra Rajin… everything just works perfectly! The music video is a lovely watch too – very Kerala and a great ode to Onam!

Sanchari – Amazon Prime Music Hyderabad Gig (Vivek Sagar) – Indipop/Telugu: This is an excellent surprise! Vivek Sagar, beyond his fantastic run in Telugu, and despite using the mandolin here (unlike his bluegrass’s usage in many songs that is bordering on being too familiar) in a different setting, produces a non-film single that sounds distinctly more Malayalam pop than Telugu pop! But for the language, I’d have guessed the tune to be from Kerala and someone like Sooraj Santhosh singing it, complete with vocal layers that bring Malayalam pop to the mind! Vivek’s Catharsis-band member Sanjay Das (they composed together for the Telugu film Race in 2013, before Vivek went independent with Pelli Choopulu in 2016) joins him in the song. It’s a wonderfully upbeat and rhythmic number, with a superb 2nd interlude.

Sojatiya Sirdar – Divya Kumar, ft. Vidhya Gopal (Indipop): Divya Kumar, who is often called for the ‘high-pitched’ songs in Hindi films, is a fantastic singer, even beyond that stereotyping. Here, his composition is outstanding too, with a beautiful Rajasthani sound that comes alive with a jaunty rhythm that can so easily be identified with the state. Vidhya Gopal is brilliant with her vocals, and it is good to see Divya Kumar complementing her perfectly. A lovely song!

Kheryaan De Naal – Pranita Nair Pandurangi (Indipop/Punjabi): Pranita’s debut album, Rang, is an eclectic mix – you have Punjabi, Rajasthani and Bhojpuri folk songs, Kabir’s Naiharva, a Marathi abhang and a ghazal! Her singing style is intimate and raw, something that I did not think worked for the ghazal or Naiharva. But I loved the Heer-Ranjha epic Kheryaan De Naal that seemed perfect for her beautiful style of singing where she labors on delivering every word with a loving punch! The soft and unintrusive music in the background elevates the song.

Over Now – Calvin Harris, The Weeknd: Calvin Harris produces an incredibly cool and groovy new single along with The Weeknd’s fantastic vocals. The sound is decidedly retro RnB and soul, and I thought I picked some vibe from the sound of George Michael’s I Want Your Sex too!

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