Saturday February 19, 2022

Milliblog Weeklies, Week 174 – Feb.20, 2022

Posted by Karthik

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 174: On Spotify | On YouTube
11 songs, this week! All the songs are available on both YouTube and Spotify!

Aaya Ye Jhund Hai, Lafda Zhala, Laat Maar & Baadal Se Dosti – Jhund (Ajay-Atul) – Hindi: Aaya Re is one heck of a catchy song, like a Mumbaiya ‘kuthu’ song and who better to compose it than the Gogavale brothers! The steadily pulsating rhythm paves the way to a stupendously raucous towards the end! I thought Atul’s singing was a bit too soft for the tone the song was aiming for. Lafda Zhala too is insanely catchy and rhythmic, with a captivating synth-pop sound to start with, and even sounded a bit Middle-eastern when the first interlude started playing. Ajay’s singing fits perfectly here.

Sid Sriram’s Hindi debut happens in superb style with the remaining 2 songs in Jhund! In Laat Maar, while he is supported by a terrific chorus, and rap (Sourabh Abhyankar), the man himself is spectacular on his home turf, a sweeping soul-style melody. Ajay-Atul mount a mindboggling frame for Sid’s towering singing to work and it all works so well! Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics too stand out with searing lines like,
“Tu gareeb hai toh log sochte hai teri kya aukaat hai,
Woh jaante nahi naseeb ne tujhe bhi de rakki saugaat hai”
In contrast, Baadal Se Dosti is Sid’s solo, largely… since there’s a fantastic chorus that joins him in the latter portion of the song. But the duo’s melody aids Sid alternating between extremely mellow phrases (a note in which the song ends too) and a pulsating ‘Jeena’ that breaks from the soft flow in magnificent style. Overall, Ajay and Atul have a very familiar motivational/inspirational theme in their hands, but they craft hugely listenable and inventive soundscapes even within this template all over Jhund!

Shikayat – Gangubai Kathiawadi (Sanjay Leela Bhansali) – Hindi: Considering it’s been quite some time we heard a full-fledged qawali in Hindi films, it is good to hear a well-written one (lyrics by A.M.Turaz) in Shikayat. The qawali, sung by Archana Gore, with an excellent backing chorus by Tarannum Malik Jain, Aditi Paul, Kalpana, Dipti, Ruchna, Pragti, and Archana, is a great listen given the melody that Sanjay lavishes on the effort.

Halamithi Habibo – Beast (Anirudh) – Tamil: This is Anirudh having unabashed fun given his comfort level with director Nelson (as evidenced in the previous 2 films – Kolamaavu Kokila and Doctor). The result is a riot of a fun song that makes mincemeat of faux-Arabic written by actor Sivakarthikeyan (and has the potential to incite a diplomatic fracas between the Middle East and Tamil Nadu/India) 🙂

Kalaavathi – Sarkaru Vaari Paata (Thaman S) – Telugu: Kalaavathi is clearly Thaman reusing this Samajavaragama template, but he makes it work somehow. The core tune is charming enough, but the ‘Maangalyam thandhunaane’ phrase seems forced, though I’m sure we may come to imbibe it eventually. Sid Sriram, if you have not seen him overacting in the video released (for now), is fantastic with this singing, as always.

That ‘Maangalyam thandhunaane’ musical expression also took me on a different thought: how many other songs, in any Indian language, have a tuned/musical (properly musical; and not just recited as-is) version of those famous Hindu wedding-centric verses? I clearly recall Rahman’s tune for the lines as part of the Endrendrum Punnagai prelude in Alaipayuthey. Any other songs that you can recall?

I started a running thread to crowdsource and track this:

Heli – SebastianPC524 (Ghibran) – Telugu: Ghibran’s last Telugu outing (Hero) was largely disappointing, but he shows promise in the next… this one! Kapil Kapilan’s singing holds the melody together wonderfully, and the backgrounds, particularly the prelude, showcase a lot of Ghibran’s early form.

Sinnavaada – Ashoka Vanamlo Arjuna Kalyanam (Jay Krish) – Telugu: I used my familiarity with Jay Krish’s music from 2019’s Raja Vaaru Rani Gaaru to assess the first song from the film. But despite the plethora of interesting sounds, it didn’t work for me in unison. But Jay does far better in this faux-folk melody! The song mainly rests on Ananya Bhat’s fantastic command over the melody (with a smaller part sung by Gowtham Bharadwaj).

Chillumani Kayalinte – Upacharapoorvam Gunda Jayan (Bijibal) – Malayalam: I have been missing Bijibal’s music of late and this one comes as a pleasant whiff of fresh air! His daughter Daya sings it with the charm of a child, as expected (though I don’t see a context in the music video for a child singing the song). The melody reminded me of yesteryear’s Ilayaraja – very beautiful and simple, with an innate sweetness coming out of the simplicity.

Aakasham – Bheeshma Parvam (Sushin Shyam) – Malayalam: This is the soundscape that I associate most with Sushin’s music and it continues to deliver so well! The singing, by Hamsika Iyer and Kapil Kapilan (Kapil’s 2nd song this week!), accentuates the haunting nature of the melody incredibly well. Sushin’s choice of backgrounds keeps that in sync too, particularly Nathan’s Clarinet that so wonderfully stands out. I loved the tabla-based anupallavi too that crescendoes towards the pallavi brilliantly!

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