Saturday August 7, 2021

Milliblog Weeklies, Week 156 – Aug.08, 2021

Posted by Karthik

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 156: On Spotify | On YouTube
13 songs this week. YouTube has all 13, while Spotify has 11, and is missing Maestro’s Vennello Aadapilla and Moonwalk’s Oh Kinakaalam.

Ranjha – Shershaah (Jasleen Royal) – Punjabi/Hindi: Along with Bell Bottom’s Marjaawaan (the next song in this playlist), the Punjabification of Bollywood seems to be in full flow… as if it ever subsided 🙂 Jasleen’s melody isn’t all that inventive, playing to safe Punjabi melodic ideas, but her background music is very good, as is her singing along with B Praak.

Marjaawaan – BellBottom (Composed by Gurnazar Singh, Music by Gaurav Dev & Kartik Dev) – Punjabi/Hindi: Gurnazar’s melody and singing have a certain earthy charm that carries the song mighty well. Asees Kaur offers perfect company to his singing. Gaurav and Kartik Dev’s music, on the other hand, is standard-issue Bollywood ballad style.

Naanga Vera Maari – Valimai (Yuvan Shankar Raja) – Tamil: Given the gargantuan hype for the film, the first single seems tepid. But it has it own charm, with its persistent, rolling rhythm, though it is considerably more Anirudh-zone than Yuvan-zone. Anurag Kulkarni, a Telugu regular, infuses freshness in the song with his vocals. Vignesh Shivan’s lyrics, though well-intended, are the new-age equivalent of MGR-style do-gooder sermon.

Namah Shivaya – Natyam (Shravan Bharadwaj) – Telugu: As a very big fan of the severely underrated Telugu composer Shravan Bharadwaj, I was pleasantly surprised to hear this new song from him. First off, I’m so glad that he continues to get opportunities for composing despite his splendid music in the earlier movies hardly getting the recognition they truly deserved (search his name on Milliblog!). Shravan’s composition treats Aadhi Shankaracharya’s Ardhanareeswara Stotram as base lyrics, but musically, it infuses a vibrant and pulsating sound and rhythm that brings the stotram to a new-age outlook. Kaala Bhairava, and Lalitha Kavya, in particular, are outstanding in handling the singing, with the right pronunciation and intonation.

Vennello Aadapilla – Maestro (Mahati Swara Sagar) – Telugu: Mani Sharma’s son proves that he is a chip off the old block with a sweeping melody that hits the vaudevillian notes beautifully. Sweekar Agasthi sounds a lot like Sonu Nigam and that’s a plus for the song.

Dosti – RRR (M.M.Keeravani) – Telugu: For Baahubali, there was an understated focus on the music that helped it earn praise (deservedly) organically. With RRR, the makers seem to be banking on Baahubali’s mega-success and are going with mega marketing even for the first single, what with 5 different singers being featured in the promo music video, along with the two lead stars! Musically, while it sounds largely background’ish, Keeravani has a perfect grasp on the soundscape that seems expansive and large, befitting the film’s ambitions.

Digu Digu Digu Naaga – Varudu Kaavalenu (Thaman S) – Telugu: That trademark Thaman sound is all over the song in the backgrounds 🙂 His tune, which seems to intentionally mirror the 50-60s Southern film song sound (specifically, ‘Senthamizh ThenmozhiyaaL’ from Maalayitta Mangai (1958, with music by Viswanathan Ramamurthy), comes alive in Shreya Ghoshal’s phenomenal vocals!

Hey Rambha Rambha – Maha Samudram (Chaitan Bharadwaj) – Telugu: An instantly catchy song with a brilliant hook that seems to be built like an infinite loop 🙂 Chaitan’s sound and singing are perfectly on the mark for a fun, masala song!

Oh Kinakaalam – Moonwalk (Prashant Pillai) – Malayalam: The first song from the nostalgia-laced ‘dance’ movie and Prashant doesn’t disappoint at all. It doesn’t contain musical cues about the period it is intended to be set in, but it carries more than enough visual cues. I was a bit disappointed about the former, but I’m assuming that there’d be musical cues in the period too in other songs, particularly the ones that directly allude to the dancing part. This one’s period-agnostic, musically, but a fantastic melody led by Shahabaz Aman’s soulful singing and Prashant’s captivating yet simple music.

Vetta Mrigam – Kuruthi (Jakes Bejoy) – Malayalam: The pulsating and eerie sounding song that has the same feel and energy as Dil Se’s Tu Hi Tu Satrangi Re is phenomenally sung by Zia Ul Haq and Resmi Sateesh. Jakes nails the sound and even if it is probably going to be played in the background, the overall package is fantastic! That ‘Njaano Vettmrigam, Neeyo Vettamrigam’ hook, in particular!

Tininga Miniga Tishaa – Salaga (Charan Raj) – Kannada: Oh boy… what a song!!! Charan’s musical imagination soars and how! Not only does he rope in Girija Siddi and Geetha Siddi, two powerhouse singers belonging to the Siddi ethnic group in India that has African ancestry, but his music places them within a sound that has a distinctive African sound and rhythm! Result? A powerhouse song with immense swagger!

Sagara Shayana – Prithvi Chandrasekhar & Saindhavi: Considering Agam has already done a splendid new-age version of this MD Ramanathan classic in Bageshri raaga, I approached this new attempt with skepticism. But Prithvi does pretty well in the backgrounds and Saindhavi elevates the version significantly with her hugely involved and proficient singing.

Na Cher Malangaan Nu – Farhan Saeed & Aima Baig (Pakistani Pop): Bilal Saeed’s melody is immediately charming, with a Punjabi-Pakistani flavor but over a considerably modern musical layer that turns the folkish tune into a catchy and highly rhythmic number. The singers, Farhan Saeed and Aima Baig (who also star in the music video!) are the song’s strengths.

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