Nadiyon Paar (Let the Music Play) – Roohi (Emanuele Marascia, Alessandro Murru/Sachin-Jigar) – Hindi: The composing duo produce a very competent recreation of the iconic 2008 hit by Shamur. The recreation remains loyal to the source, but the minor flourishes in the song’s construction helps.
Avan Paathu Sirikala – Kodiyil Oruvan (Nivas K Prasanna) – Tamil: An absolutely gorgeous melody that is so very Nivas! The lilting rhythm adds so much to the overall feel of the song, while Malvi Sundaresan’s singing lifts it significantly! The first interlude took me to Rahman’s style from Pudhiya Mugam – Kannukku Mai Azhagu, for some reason – similar tune/instrument perhaps.
Yaaraiyum Ivlo Azhaga – Sulthan (Vivek-Mervin) – Tamil: That ‘Modha Mora Paarthen’ hook sounds like an ad jingle, so it’s no wonder the composing duo place it as often as possible! Largely predictable song, with middling singing (by Silambarasan), but it is the kind that you may hum unconsciously as it ends… at least the hook.
Naa Kanulu Yepudu – Rang De (Devi Sri Prasad) – Telugu: Oh boy! After Uppena, DSP seems to be in some form! The song sounded to me like Hamsanadham, and took straight back to Geetanjali’s Om Namaha. The melody is enchanting in an Ilayaraja’ish way and Sid Sriram’s singing it makes it even better!
Saranga Dariya – Lovestory (Pawan Ch) – Telugu: What would a Telugu song composed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali sound like? This song could be the answer! The song is mounted on a larger-than-life frame even at the musical level, with so many interesting and lively things happening at the same time, topped by Mangli’s hyper-enthusiastic singing!
Papa O Papa – Gaali Sampath (Achu) – Telugu: Barring the fact that the song’s backgrounds instantly remind one of BeeGee’s Stayin’ Alive, this is a pretty good song – effortlessly catchy and foot-tapping. Benny Dayal is perfect for the song’s feel and he is great form!
Baby Dance Floor Ready – Roberrt (Arjun Janya) – Kannada: This is an unabashed item song template that you can easily identify – it would seem to be built on the back of a hook that you could remember like a brand name. Sometimes the construction is so hackneyed that it evokes exhaustion in me (for example: Mass Biryani from Krack). But when it works, it gets going effortlessly. Arjun Janya has used this drawl’ish singing a lot in the past to embellish many of his songs and most have been courtesy singer Vijay Prakash. But here, Aishwarya Rangarajan does the honors, supported by Nakash Aziz. Good masala fun song.
Dil Hawaai Hai – Bickram Ghosh, Ft. Hariharan (Hindi/Indipop) – The last time Hariharan joined a percussionist, the result was pure magic: Hariharan and Ustad Zakir Hussain’s ghazal album Hazir from 1992. Bickram Ghosh has in the past produced some fantastic music – I recall his work with Sonu Nigam in the album The Music Room very fondly. Together, Hari and Bickram’s new single is good enough too, like a fusion between Hari’s ghazal style and Colonial Cousins.
RagAroma – V.Selvaganesh, ft. Swaminathan Selvaganesh (Indipop): Vikku Vinayakram’s son Selvaganesh has already proved himself to be a pretty good composer in films. His latest single is billed as Electronic Carnatic Music and features the 3rd generation of Vinayakram family – his son, Swaminathan and 5 more grandsons and granddaughters! It’s a vibrant track, giving a pulsating, rhythmic spin to the base carnatic melody, and sounds fantastic.
Banarasiya & Harinamakeerthanam (Sooraj Santhosh) – The Gypsy Sun (Indipop): The first single from Sooraj Santhosh’s new album The Gypsy Sun was released way back in 2020 August. Here are 2 more songs from the album! Banarasiya, released in December 2020, is a punchy ode to river Ganga with excellent singing by Sooraj (understandably) and backed brilliantly by Bhavani Prasad’s Mohan Veena. INSANOID’s rap phrases in the middle adds a new dimension to the song. Harinamakeerthanam, on the other hand, is Sooraj’s backyard! Deeply resonant tuning of Thunchath Ramanujan Ezhuthachan’s verse that comes alive with Sooraj’s phenomenal intonation and the backing chorus.