Milliblog Weeklies, Week 145 – Mar.14, 2021

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 145: On Spotify | On YouTube
12 songs this week. Spotify has all the songs, while YouTube is missing 2 songs from the Hariharan-Bickram Ghosh album.

Enjoy Enjaami – Dhee ft. Arivu (Santhosh Narayanan) – Tamil/Indipop: This is as international Tamil music has gone in recent times. The musical production quality and approach is something that rivals the best of what US produces. Musically, it is scintillating! The steadily thrumming sound, the searing lyrics and the stupendous singing by both Dhee and Arivu… they all blend so incredibly well. Santhosh’s love for the oppaari’s (elegy, in literature) musical form, which materialized in a mesmerizing way in Pariyerum PerumaaL’s Karuppi, finds its way again in the way Arivu sings “Naan anju maram vechen, naan azhagaana thottam vechen… thottam sezhichaalum en thondai” and trails off. But Dhee beautifully picks up from where Arivu leaves and connects it to her, “Kadale, Karaye, Vaname, Saname, Nelame, Kolame, Edame, Thadame…”. And later, when Arivu sings “Pandhalila paavakka… vedhakallu vittirukku, appan aathaa vittadhunga…”, Dhee’s bridge is even more poignant, almost as if assuaging the oppaari-level lament of Arivu with a soothing ‘Aah aah’. Phenomenal stuff! And special kudos to A.R.Rahman for choosing this as the first song under his new label, Maajja.

Thattaan Thattaan – Karnan (Santhosh Narayanan) – Tamil: Santhosh’s melody is deeply resonant and very earthy, and Dhanush’s raw singing adds to that charm considerably. Joseph Vijay’s guitar in the background too adds a special flavor.

Usuraiye Ulukkuthey – Thaen (Sanath Bharadwaj) – Tamil: Sanath’s music reminded me of G.V.Prakashkumar’s body of work (and the song is sung by Saindhavi, incidentally!), though the song’s melody harks back to Raja’s classic Thendran Vandhu Theendumpothu from Avatharam (possibly owing to the raaga, Jaunpuri?). It’s a simple, sweet melody, that gets particularly more melodious in the anupallavi!

Baaton Baaton Mein, Mora Mann Mehka & Naina – Ishq-Songs of Love (Hariharan, Bickram Ghosh) – Hindi/Indipop: Beyond last week’s Dil Hawaai Hai, the full album produced by Hariharan and Bickram Ghosh is out, and is a great listen overall. Sugata Guha wrote Dil Hawaai Hai, besides Baaton Baaton Mein and Mora Mann Mehka. Baaton Baaton Mein is a very 70s Hindi film music style song that sounds warm and pleasant. For some reason, it took me back to the music of Chashme Buddoor and/or Golmaal. Mora Mann Mehka is very interesting – it seemed to be alluding to Raag Todi (Subhapanthuvarali), particularly in the interludes, and Hariharan carries it so well. Bickram’s music is a bit too 80s filmy – reminded me of Dilip Sen-Sameer Sen’s style of music. Naina is written by Sanjeev Tiwari, and is once again a great showcase of Bickram’s pulsating music and Hariharan’s stupendous command over the singing.

Dhoore – Mithun Mohan, Ft. KS Harisankar (Malayalam/Indipop): Even as the music video is a wonderful watch as bikers’ travelogue through dense, green Kerala, the music is surprisingly engaging too, with its classical and very-Kerala style undertones. The blend works well in Mithun’s production.

The Khamaj Connection & The Kapi Dance – Mahesh Raghvan and Nandini Shankar (Indipop): Oh, what a beauty! Nandini, with her violin, and Mahesh, through his… well, iPad’s GeoShred, expand on Khamaj raaga in all its splendour. The fusion is outstanding, and both their individual parts proficiently merge to produce hugely enjoyable music. I realized that I haven’t heard their first single, The Kapi Dance, that was released in late 2019. So let me add that too to this week’s Weeklies – the jugalbandi works even better here, but I’m probably partial to Kapi raaga given it is one of my personal favorites 🙂

Ragamaya & Merging Parallels – Intuition (Apoorva Krishna) – Instrumental: Violinist Apoorva Krishna’s new album is a dizzying array of musical genres that seems like a veritable showcase. While some of the more edgy fusion pieces did not work for me, I liked the two songs that featured singers (Shankar Mahadevan and Varijashree Venugopal) given the way Apoorva music, violin and the singers’ contribution blended appropriately. While Shankar is dependably superb in Ragamaya, Varishree is particularly very good at handling her Carnatic thillana in Merging Parallels.

The full album:

Rung – Ali Sethi (Pakistani Pop): I don’t know why the original music video was deleted off YouTube (despite being so well received), but the original audio is now up. Ali Sethi’s melody is extremely serene, and his voice carries it beautifully. The antara, constructed more like a classical song, is particularly fantastic!