Saturday July 31, 2021

Milliblog Weeklies, Week 155 – Aug.01, 2021

Posted by Karthik

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 155: On Spotify | On YouTube
12 songs this week. YouTube has 10 and is missing the two songs from Sandeep Chowta’s new album. The Spotify playlist too has 10 songs, but a different 10 – it is missing Kudukku 2025’s Maaran and Jagaduddhaara.

Hum Dono Yun Mile – 14 Phere (Raajeev V Bhalla) – Hindi: I really like this song for an odd reason! The repeated ‘Hum Dono Yun Mile’ hook reminded me of some other song that I previously loved, and I had to really rack my brain to finally get it 🙂 ‘Woh Ajnabi’ by Mithoon, from The Train, where Shilpa Rao goes, ‘Woh woh woh Ajnabi’! Of course, this song’s tempo is slower and more lilting than danc’y.

Bodhai Kaname – Oh Manapenne (Vishal Chandrashekhar) – Tamil: I’m reasonably sure the song’s melody is based on a raaga that I love, though I cannot place it. Vishal has a thoroughly enjoyable tune and his choice of singers makes it work even better – Anirudh Ravichander and Shashaa Tirupati. And a special mention for that first interlude that starts with Punya Srinivas’s veena and then layers the guitar and violin!

Naanum & Adhirudha – Guitar Kambi Mele Nindru (Karthik) – Tamil: While Naanum’s tune is enchanting, particularly when it moves to the captivating ‘NaaNum neramidhu’ hook, it is Karky’s lyrics that really lift the song all through! There’s so much to enjoy in terms of the lyrics. ‘kuLambi kiLappaum maNamo’, ‘pudhinam pirikkum maNamo’ and ‘thuLasi ilayin maNamo’ are my favorites, offering a series of smells that we love! Adhirudha was a pleasant surprise! With the composer declaring openly that it is inspired by Beethoven’s Für Elise, he goes on to build a really interesting melody over that terribly familiar tune! At the end of the first phrase of Für Elise, before Adhirudha begins, the tune literally seems to be on a ‘Let’s see where this goes’ mode before finding a base to extend the melody and picks up brilliantly from there.

Kaalam Azhagai – Ward 126 (Varun Sunil) – Tamil: In typical Varun Sunil style (that I have started to like), the melody is lush and easily likeable. The singers lift the song effortlessly – KS Harisankar and Shweta Mohan. The song’s structure too seemed interesting – the pallavi is started by Harisankar, and is repeated with different lyrics in the end by Shweta. There is one anupallavi in the middle where Varun uses the very catchy ‘Unai enai iNaithidum jeevan’ line just once! I would have expected the composer to repeat the anupallavi as a charanam a second time given how melodic it is.

Ninne Nenila – Merise Merise (Karthik Kodakandla) – Telugu: Of the 4 songs in the film’s soundtrack, Ninne Nenila stood out for me immediately. The spritely tune, Lipsika’s singing (Karthik’s own is not bad at all), and the rhythmic background make it a great listen. Karthik has a very catchy hook in ‘Padhe Padhe’ where he and Lipsika sing in alternate pitches like a call-and-response pattern.

Idhi Chala Baagundhile – Sehari (Prashanth R Vihari) – Telugu: Prashanth takes a full minute to launch his ‘Idhi Chala Baagundhile’ hook, but the effort pays off really well since the build-up is both tasteful and tuneful. And with Sid Sriram singing, it was bound to be. A wonderfully sweet song.

Ala Ila – Stand Up Rahul (Sweekar Agasthi) – Telugu: Close on the heels of some impressive tunes in Middle Class Melodies, Sweekar does well again in this new single from Stand Up Rahul. The melody rides on Satya Yamini’s singing (Sweekar joins in mid-way) and the tune has a calm, unhurried sweetness to it.

Maaran – Kudukku 2025 (Bhoomee) – Malayalam: I was a bit confused when I first saw the song’s title on YouTube. It said, ‘A Bilahari experiment’, so my first thought was, ‘Wow, they have done something with Bilahari raaga?’. And when I started playing the song, it seemed more like Reetigowla raaga! Then I figured that the film’s director’s name is Bilahari! 🙂 It’s a nice song, of course, though the uncredited female humming part seemed both raw and forced in. Sid Sriram’s main part is perfect, as usual.

Jagaduddhaara – Uthara Unnikrishnan, Karthick Iyer & Gautam Sengupta: For a classic like Purandaradaasa’s Jagadoddhaarana, I’d have assumed that language is hardly a barrier to enjoy it. But Prof. Gautam Sengupta reimagines the original in Hindi, beautifully delivered by Uthara Unnikrishnan and Karthick Iyer, with the latter also handling his violin wonderfully. My Hindi knowledge, despite my Bhopal upbringing, is conversational and colloquial at best. The Hindi used in this innovative attempt seems too classical for my knowledge… which makes me wonder why this attempt at all in the first place. Musically, it sounds fantastic, of course, with Uthara’s singing being spellbinding.

For context, here is the original Kannada composition, sung by another young singer, Rahul Vellal.

Kaleidoscope & The Dune Tune – Fusion Fission (Sandeep Chowta) – Indipop: As always, Sandeep’s new album is a great listen overall, but the 2 songs that appealed to me instantly are the ones featuring Abhay Nayampally on the electric guitar that uses Patnam Subramania Iyer’s Raghuvamsa Sudha, and The Dune Tune that uses Purandara Dasa’s Venkatachala Nilayam. I couldn’t figure out who plays the flute in the latter, but it seemed less attuned to the original melody and interestingly rough around the edges. Not bad at all, but unique in its interpretation. Sandeep’s overall fusion ethos envelopes both songs to give them a warm, ambient outlook.

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