Saturday February 20, 2021

Milliblog Weeklies, Week 142 – Feb.21, 2021

Posted by Karthik

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 142: On Spotify | On YouTube
15 songs this week. YouTube has all the songs, while Spotify is missing 3 – Saregama Caravan Tamil’s Kannaale Pesi Pesi, Staccato’s 80’s Soirée Medley and the Punjabi song Cooper.

Kandaa Vara Sollunga – Karnan (Santhosh Narayanan) – Tamil: What a song!!! Santhosh and Mari Selvaraj produced a whopper in Pariyerum Perumal, and this single in Karnan lives up to that pedigree very easily. The sound is electric and the tune is searing! Kidakkuzhi Maariyammaal’s voice pierces with feeling and emotion, with Santhosh Narayanan’s interventions adding gravitas when needed. That Thiruvannamalai Parai Kuzhu’s percussion is the song’s soul, keeping it steadily engaging! The song’s structure too helps in the impact – the repetitive ‘Kandaa Vara Sollunga’ interspersed with the longer exposition before it, in particular. This is a beautiful blend of Tamil Nadu’s earthy sound in a way that makes it globally relevant.

Rendu Kaadhal – Kaathuvaakula Rendu Kaadhal (Anirudh) – Tamil: A gentle and very inviting song about heartbreak! Anirudh eschews easy hooks and instead goes for a sweeping melody that works overall. The FAME’S Orchestra is the stellar backbone, accentuating the song’s feel and overall feel in a splendid way.

Yaazha Yaazha – Laabam (D.Imman) – Tamil: What starts as a pleasant melody gets even better when Imman induces the gently lilting rhythm after 1:12! It’s wonderful to hear Shruti Haasan get her Tamil diction very right, and her singing is outstanding too. This is the kind of song that Imman would have easily offered to Shreya Ghoshal, but it is good to hear Shruti ace it too.

PS: The Tamil film Titanic had a song called ‘Yaazhini’ – seems like the girl (Yaazhini) and the guy (Yaazha) are in different films 🙂

Per Vachaalum Vaikkaama – Dikkiloona (Ilayaraja & Yuvan Shankar Raja) – Tamil: While Yuvan is on very, very dicey territory trying to recreate an absolutely iconic song that remains evergreen even today, I have to say that he merely airbrushes the sound to make it a wee bit modern. Every element is left as-is, and is just modernized in the instrumentation. And the original voices are retained, thankfully. I also expected ‘Bheem Boy, Bheem Boy’ to appear in the second interlude, but Yuvan has dropped it 🙂

Vera Level Sago – Ayalaan (A R Rahman) – Tamil: I know in my heart that I’m being very generous adding this song in the Weeklies. I like the fact that it is lively and rhythmic but the tune, beyond the opening, doesn’t work for me at all. It seemed to me like a couple fo very catchy ad jingles strewn together – all individual jingles are catchy, but together, they seem like a hodge-podge. From that perspective, it reminded me of Maduraikku Pogathadi from Azhagiya Thamizh Magan.

Kannaale Pesi Pesi – P. Adinarayana Rao & Aruldev, Ft. Vijay Prakash (Tamil): The last recreation under Saregama Caravan Tamil was disappointing – Engeyum Eppothum, by Karthik and Rajhesh Vaidya, despite the excellent track record so far in the series. It seemed overdone to me, despite taking up such an easily likeable song. But things get better this week, with this song from Adutha Veettu Penn. Vijay’s ebullient singing fits perfectly, and Aruldev’s music too, with the creative flourishes in twisting the original tune, and the vocal chorus… all add great value!

Hey Manasendukila​ – Ichata Vahanamulu Niluparadu (Pravin Lakkaraju) – Telugu: A very soft and feathery melody that works mainly because of Armaan Malik’s lead vocals (Ramya Behara joins in much later in the song). Pravin keeps the sound to a minimum and complements the tune very well with the ‘Oooo’ humming line.

Kola Kalle Ilaa – Varudu Kaavalenu (Vishal Chandrashekhar) – Telugu: The melody didn’t work for me as much as I would like it to (for a Vishal Chandrashekhar song), but he packages the song well, with the choice of Sid Sriram working for him too. That ‘Malli Malli Raave’ line seemed very interesting as a closing phrase the pallavi!

Hey Abbayi – Sreekaram (Mickey J Meyer) – Telugu: After his brooding, sweeping, soulful songs in recent times, it is refreshing to hear a catchy, fun, mass’y song from Mickey. This is the standard masala film template song – the girl singing about the girl, and then the guy singing about the girl, with people dancing in the background. The template itself presents well for catchy, fun music and Mickey delivers well.

Yaare Yaare – Ek Love Ya (Arjun Janya) – Kannada: Beyond the racy melody that hits all the right notes, Arjun employs the Symphony Orchestra Budapest akin to the Australian/British string quartet Bond. The sound is very similar to the band’s and it adds to the charm, as a layer above Armaan Malik’s singing.

80’s Soirée Medley – Staccato, El Fé (Kannada): The choice of songs is a no-brainer, of course, but picking 3 memorable Kannada melodies from Raja’s repertoire is the first win. The 3 songs, Naguva Nayana from Pallavi Anupallavi, Jeeva Hoovagide from Nee Nanna Gellalare and Geetha’s iconic Jotheyali, are presented with minimal background sounds that brings the melodies’ beauty so, so well! And since they start each song from the anupallavi instead of the actual beginning, the enjoyment is even more pronounced. Both Gowtham Bharadwaj and Niranjana Ramanan are stupendously good with the singing.

Cooper – Desi Crew & Rammy Chahal, featuring Gulrej Akhtar, Jovan Dhillon (Punjabi): The song, credited to Rammy Chahal for ‘composition’ and to Desi Crew for ‘music’ is a catchy to-and-fro between Gulrej Akhtar and Jovan Dhillon, not in a call-and-response manner but as a conversation of sorts – you go first, done? Now let me respond… manner 🙂 It is thoroughly engaging and musically works very well too. That they both sing very well—particularly Gulrej—is a big plus.

Me, the Ocean and the Sea – I and Self feat. Malgudi Shubha and Amrit Ramnath (Indipop): Very catchy, fun song! Great to hear Malgudi Shubha after a while, and that Tamil phrase (Kadaloram Kathi Paadu) is a lovely touch!

Yaana & The Road Not Taken – The Immersive Experience (Sandeep Chowta): A new album by Sandeep and it fits perfectly in his recent musical repertoire – atmospheric, wordless and wonderfully ambient. Yaana features Varijashree Venugopal’s free-flowing humming as the base for Sandeep to unleash pulsating music, while The Road Not Taken gains phenomenally from Abhay Nayampally’s scintillating mandolin. The tune, though, took me to M.Jayachandran’s title song from the Malayalam movie ‘Akale’!

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