Saturday July 10, 2021

Milliblog Weeklies, Week 153 – Jul.11, 2021

Posted by Karthik

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 153: On Spotify | On YouTube
13 songs this week. YouTube has all 13, while Spotify is missing just one – Thaikkudam Bridge’s Backyard Sessions single.

Jaadoogari – Anand Bhaskar Collective (Indipop/Hindi): Even if I found Anand Bhaskar’s singing and the overall sound to be like Indian Ocean Lite, that’s probably a compliment in my head 🙂 Anand’s singing also has that Piyush Mishra’ish edge that makes it really interesting. The tune has a lively ebbing and flowing movement topped by that heady ‘Kaisi ajab si’ hook!

Piya Re Piya Re – Backyard Sessions (Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Thaikkudam Bridge) – Indipop: The 2nd song in Thaikkudam Bridge’s Backyard Sessions is as good as the first medley. Nila Madhab Mohapatra’s singing is astounding, no doubt, but it took me some time to adjust to his relatively thinner voice compared to Nusrat’s original. The band’s music is fantastic!

Pudhu Vidha Anubavam, Semmaan Magalai, Vaazha Vaa & Naan – Vaazhl (Pradeep Kumar) – Tamil: Considering Vaazhl is director Arun Prabu Purushothaman’s second film after Aruvi, and given that Aruvi had a stupendous soundtrack, I did expect a LOT from this film too. While I’d rate this below Aruvi as a soundtrack, Pradeep still does very well! Apart from the two songs I have already written about (Aahaa and Feel Song), I really liked Pudhu Vidha Anubavamo – it seemed like the love child of Santhosh Narayana’s Cuckoo soundtrack and Ramesh Vinayakam’s Ramanujan! The way Pradeep uses vocal layering is beautiful! Semmaan Magalai, the Kandar Anubhuthi verse by AruNagirinaadhar (that I recall hearing in the form of a song by PithukuLi Murugadass long ago) gets an enchanting, albeit mighty abstract, version by Pradeep, including that surreal chorus layer in the middle! But it fits perfectly within Pradeep’s deeper exploration of AruNagirinaadhar in the form of Poorvaa, the soundtrack accompanying his documentary, AruNagiri PerumaLe. Vaazha Vaa defies descriptions, really! I found it to be a new-age, ambient variant of Simon & Garfunkel’s sound, for some reason I cannot pinpoint. But this is probably the most conventional and accessible song in the album that is considerably less abstract despite throwing enough surprises. Finally, Naan—that Pradeep writes and composes—is so very spartan in its sound and literally has one single line of a tune that Pradeep repeats over and over again almost like in live, unplugged mode. The vaudevillian sound picks up a few other layers to become a lilting song eventually!

Navarasa Title Theme – Navarasa (A R Rahman) – Instrumental: The title theme of Navarasa, the upcoming Netflix show is haunting for 2 reasons. One is of course the striking visuals by Bharatbala that capture the many leads of the 9 stories in extreme close-ups, almost like the video version of a photoshoot. The second is Rahman’s deeply affecting musical score. Led by Prabakar and Vignesh’s violin layer, the sweep of the theme is indicative of the working relationship of Rahman and Mani Ratnam (Navarasa’s producer) and how it still has that spark after almost 30 years!

Maya – Three Songs For The Night (Sean Roldan) – Tamil/Indipop: Much like Amit Trivedi, Sean Roldan seems to be moving past films as a form to produce music untethered by script boundaries! Like Namadhaan Raja, the earlier song from this album, this one too see Sean singing the song himself and that song’s funky sound is replaced with a more bluesy sound. As always, Sean’s singing/voice seems like a compromise but the man’s musical sense more than makes up for it! The prominent brass instrument that plays a key role in the interludes has not been credited – I wonder what that is and who is playing it.

Enthinanente Chenthamare – Karnan Napoleon Bhagat Singh (Ranjin Raj) – Malayalam: I recall being impressed with Ranjin’s music in Nithya Haritha Nayakan and Joseph, and this film’s earlier music was good too. This one’s a bit too conventional, but in Ranjin’s own voice the earthy lilt comes through quite well, particularly that gorgeous hook that unfortunately sounds a bit processed (vocal) for my comfort.

Mandhuloda – Sridevi Soda Center (Mani Sharma) – Telugu: A raucous song (if you disregard the bawdy video) that feels like spicy hot Andhra biryani! Mani Sharma gets the rhythm and hook perfectly while it’s good to see the lyrics being mentioned as ‘inspired by Uttarandhra folk’ after many recent songs being inspired by rural Andhra folk songs without credit.

Varavayi Nee – Sara’s (Shaan Rahman) – Malayalam: A very sweet tune by Shaan, made more interesting by the choice of singers – Mr. and Mrs. Vineet Srinivasan (Divya Vineeth). The ‘Nyaanum Neeyum’ hook is really catchy!

Jealous & Permission – Double Standards (Avanti Nagral) – English: The first thing that I noticed in Avanti’s new 4-song EP is the production quality – the EP is co-created with LA-based songwriter Natania and producer Austin Armstrong. The sound is brilliant and Avanti sounds incredibly confident too with her excellent singing. The tunes seemed conventional enough but they pop out with a lively rhythm.



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