Sunday December 20, 2020

Milliblog Weeklies, Week 136 – Dec.20, 2020

Posted by Karthik

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 136: On Spotify | On YouTube
11 songs this week. YouTube has all 11 songs, while Spotify is missing just one – Vijay Antony’s recreation of Namma Ooru Singaari.

I really wanted to add Kanne KaNmaNiye by R.Sivatmikha (sung by Ananthu and Sivatmikha herself) and Thangam by Justin Prabhakaran, both from Paava Kadhaigal, the new anthology show on Netflix. But the makers/Netflix have not bothered to release the songs officially. The singers of the songs featured in the episodes have not been credited either, from what I could notice in the end credits of each episode. The composers are credited – Justin’s name comes up much earlier in the credits for the first episode, directed by Sudha Kongara, but Anirudh, who composed music for the 2nd episode directed by Vignesh Shivan, gets credited after Vignesh himself, as the penultimate name (producer Ashi Dua Sara’s name is the last)! When the songs are released officially, I’ll add them to my playlist.

PS: This is the last Weeklies of 2020. Next Weeklies on the January 2021 2nd-3rd. Wish you a wonderful Christmas and a fantastic new year… though anything even slightly better than 2020 is a blessing 🙂

Dil Tera – Indoo Ki Jawani (Rochak Kohli) – Hindi: What Dil Chahta Hai’s Woh Ladki Hai Kahan attempted with only the video/visuals, Rochak attempts to add music to the same idea. So the song traverses multiple periods in Indian film song sequences, from the Shammi Kapoor era, to the 80s Disco era to a hat doff to Rangeela, much like Woh Ladki Hai Kahan’s Black & White, 60s/70s and 90s style cuts. But Rochak also plays around those periods’ (and films’) references with his music too, which the Dil Chahta Hai song wasn’t interested in doing and retained a single musical narrative. Rochak’s effort isn’t as interesting as the Dil Chahta Hai effort, I should add and ends up sounding like a hodge-podge, but overall it is worth a listen.

Harla Farla – Chakra (Yuvan Shankar Raja) – Tamil: A song that surprisingly sounds like Yuvan’s output from the beginning of his career… or even the period around Ameer’s Raam. The song’s ethos sounded similar to Raam’s Boom Boom. Catchy song with Yuvan sounding better than he usually does in his own songs.

Idli Chutney – Sean Roldan (Indipop/Tamil): After a series of relatively serious and well-meaning pop songs, Sean closes 2020 with a zany song that has the feel of a nursery rhyme and lyrics that sound like they were first written by Baba Sehgal and then translated to Tamil! It’s great fun overall and very catchy, and even enters some serious philosophy when Sean sings, “Without duality, no singularity”!

Namma Ooru Singaari – Vijay Antony (M.S.Viswanathan) – Indipop/Remix/Tamil: Vijay Antony has made a career out of acting where he barely emotes, remains stoic and unchanged all through any kind of situations, but chooses his scripts cleverly to suit his style non-acting. He seems to be extending that technique in this recreation where he removes all the nuances from SPB’s singing in the original and presents a flat version of the funky original! It is… well, different… is the best thing I can say. Vijay does what he knows and within that limitation, he does present a new variant of a much-loved song. On second thoughts, if he had perhaps tried to ape SPB or try to outdo him, the results would have been very different, so this sounds appropriate enough.

Isai Anjali (Tribute to S.P.Balasubrahmanyam) – Leon James – Indipop/Remix/Tamil: This is a surprisingly—and stunningly—well-produced recreation by Leon!! The base tune remains Rahman’s Anjali Anjali from Duet (sung by SPB, of course), but Leon ropes in four different singers to offer their own perspective of the well-loved melody – Srinivas, Anirudh Ravichander, Haricharan and Uthara Unnikrishnan. Madhan Karky’s new lines adorn the familiar tune in a completely new way and add significant heft to the effort. Anirudh’s part, in particular, is outstanding!

Nee Parichaya – Ninna Sanihake (Raghu Dixit) – Kannada: A Kannada song that credits Santhosh Narayanan as music programmer! Raghu’s tune is a lovely listen, with Abheri raaga seeming to the main base, though I could hear a couple of others too. Siddhartha Belmannu and Rakshita Suresh’s singing carries the song effortlessly.

Na Tutteya Ve – Coke Studio Season 2020, Episode 1: A pulsating, powerful all-woman star show! Shuja Haider’s tune follows a familiar Punjabi-Pakistani folk style, and the singers – Meesha Shafi, Fariha Pervez, Sehar Gul Khan, Zara Madani, Wajiha Naqvi and Sanam Marvi – carry it beautifully. Meesha Shafi’s rap towards the end adds another dramatic twist to the song. Brilliant!

Gal Sunn – Coke Studio Season 2020, Episode 2: Ali Pervez Mehdi leads the catchy, funky song, composed by himself and his brother Ahsan Pervez Mehdi. The tune’s energy is infectious and the backing vocalists, Nimra Rafiq, Kumail Jaffery, Shahab Hussain and Wajiha Naqvi deserve a special mention too in accentuating that! Meesha Shafi appears towards the end and spices things up incredibly. The song’s brass section is the true star, led by Marko Djordjević (Trumpet), Kosta Vukašinović (Trombone) and Ljumbomir Turajlija Tenor Saxophone.

Ishq Da Kukkar – Coke Studio Season 2020, Episode 3: Asim Raza’s composition uses the Middle Eastern-style prayer-like hypnotic melody handled phenomenally by the singer Sehar Gul Khan. Nicolas Nakhle’s Oudh is the standout sound in the background. Sehar’s range is mighty impressive and she showcases an entire spectrum that helps vary the phrases in the otherwise intentionally-repetitive melody.

Har Funn Maula – Coke Studio Season 2020, Episode 3: This is the quintessential Coke Studio sound! The fusion of the traditional dhol sound with rock elements is brilliantly blended and when Sanam Marvi enters after Umair Jaswal opening, the song enters a new high. The ‘Maula Maula’ utterance reminded me of something very, very familiar and after a few minutes of nerve-racking recall effort, I got it – Khaled’s ‘Didi Didi’!

Bhaktajana Vatsale – Oneness (Sant Namdev, Guruprasad Subramanian, ft. Revathy Kumar): Guruprasad and Revathy’s follow-up to their outstanding opening single from the Oneness collection is a delightful listen! Revathy’s highly involved singing is the first highlight. While the recreation uses the song’s original Brindavana Saaranga raaga beautifully, the way Guruprasad adds a new brief twist to the ‘Sajala Jalada’ phrase mid-way that seems use Puriya Dhanashree raaga is brilliant!

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