Milliblog Weeklies, Week 179 – Mar.27, 2022

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 179: On Spotify | On YouTube
17 songs this week! All the songs are available on YouTube, but Spotify is missing 2 songs – A R Rahman’s Moopilla Thamizhe Thaaye and Vaanam Bhoomi from Kaliyuga Kaandu Mirugam.

Ye Luthrey, Boom Boom & Aaram Karo – Sharmaji Namkeen (Sneha Khanwalkar) – Hindi: Sharmaji Namkeen is a pretty good soundtrack by Sneha! Of the 4 songs, except for the Laung Gawacha redux, the other 3 see her bringing her A-game in terms of sound! To be sure, there’s the generous Amit Trivedi sound too in the songs, but Sneha’s backgrounds are brilliant! Jasbir Jassi is his ebullient self in the high-energy Ye Luthrey, while Kailash Kher and Raja Mushtaq handle the super catchy Boom Boom with the necessary comic touch it needs. Gopal Datt layers even more of the comic touch in Aaram Karo that, like Delhi Belly’s Saigal Blues, intentionally brings the old’ish sound in a spanking new sound.

DaFa Kar – Heropanti 2 (A R Rahman) – Hindi: This is passable by Rahman’s standards, and fits his recent musical style as heard in films like 2.0, Mersal, and Sarkar. But that he offers Tiger Shroff a song that barely has a rhythm he could dance to (he still does, of course) is interesting. The tune is decent-enough, though adequately predictable, the background music keeps things a bit unpredictable and lively.

Tera Saath Ho – Tanishk Bagchi, Ft. Zahrah Khan and Guru Randhawa) – Hindi/Indipop: Tanishk starts the song in the most unassuming style with Zahrah singing sedately. But then he infuses tremendous energy with the Punjabi folk ‘Mukhda Janda Mahiya’ phrase and the song takes on a totally different, phenomenally catchy tangent! Guru joins in much later, and this is largely Zahrah’s show!

Yaadein Wohi – Arijit Singh (Hindi/Indipop): Arijit recreates the 80s synth sound in the song so perfectly! Of course, his singing is, as always, terrific. Very catchy song!

Kathari Poovasam – Nadhi (Dhibu Ninan Thomas) – Tamil: This is a chorus song featuring 4 female (Sinduri Vishal, Deepthi Suresh, Soundarya Nandakumar, and Bhargavi Sridhar) and 4 male singers (Aravind Srinivas, Saisharan, Shenbagaraj, and Santhosh Hariharan). And it makes sense given the situation – a college song, something that used to be a regular musical genre in Tamil cinema (and perhaps in many other languages) at one point in time. Dhibu gets the opening very well, with the men and women singing one after the other, and then only the men launch into the hook (Kathari Poovasam). It’s only in the last version of the hook that everyone sings together. The hook has a catchy 90s feel to it and brings the melody together mighty well!

Moopilla Thamizhe Thaaye – A R Rahman (Tamil/Indipop): Rahman is no stranger to such thematic anthems and to be entirely honest, I had become a bit immune to his similar anthemic sound of late. But, after starting the song in his own voice (that made to expect a certain kind of sound), he throws a wonderful surprise with the female chorus (Saindhavi Prakash, Khatija Rahman, Amina Rafiq, Gabriella Sellus, and Poovaiyar) that not only holds but also directs the song incredibly. Rahman and Ameen (his son) do take over the later portions of the song, but the best parts remain the ones sung by the women. Thamarai’s lyrics are hugely imaginative and cover a whole spectrum singing Tamil’s praise. The video too is brilliantly conceived and choreographed, with a lovely visual backdrop of Tamil’s Aayidha Ezhuthu.

Vaanam Bhoomi – Kaliyuga Kaandu Mirugam (Jayakaran Wilfred) – Tamil: I was pleasantly surprised by this song! One, the film’s title seemed scary and odd, so I wasn’t expecting much. But composer Jayakaran Wilfred produces a very, very pleasant melody and holds that soft, lilting sound steadily. His choice of Jithin Raj is bang on target – Jithin adds life to the melody and makes it so much more enjoyable!

O Manuja – Djinn (Prashant Pillai) – Malayalam: Oh, how I have missed this Prashant Pillai! He gets Sithara Krishnakumar to sing what seems like a really old Malayalam song but his own music is packaged in a superbly modern avatar. The only hitch is that this package is very, very reminiscent of what Ram Sampath did with Saigal Blues in Delhi Belly (the 2nd Saigal Blues reference this week!). Still, this is a fantastic listen!

Puzhayarikathu Dumm – Jo & Jo (Govind Vasantha) – Malayalam: Govind produces an absolute banger in Puzhayarikathu Dumm(u)! It isn’t something far from Thaikkudam Bridge’s trademark sound, of course… and Milan V S’s singing props the energetic, folkish melody brilliantly. But it is Govind’s pulsating rhythm that totally rocks the song!

Manjin Thooval – Aviyal (Sharreth) – Malayalam: Whoa!! Trust Sharreth to take us straight back to the 80s and 90s with this incredibly lush melody! It felt like I was listening to a classic Ilayaraja song from the 80s or a Vidyasagar song from the 90s! The melody is delightful, and the singing, by Chithra and Unni Menon, adds to that effect, along with the ‘lalala’ interlude and the profusion of strings!

Ee Mazha/Barkha – Sreekanth Hariharan & Srinath Nair (Malayalam/Indipop): This is a gorgeous song! Sreekanth brings Malayalam while Srinath brings Hindi, and the mix works so neatly! The melody in the song keeps both elements perfectly in balance and they blend really well towards the end too.

Jhanjar – Deep Kalsi (Punjabi/Indipop): Bouncy Punjabi number that has a confident lilt and good singing by Deep Kalsi. Mudassir Khan’s Sarangi is a lovely touch!

Go – Abdullah Siddiqui x Atif Aslam (Coke Studio, Pakistan – Season 14): After Thagyan, here’s another total stunner from Coke Studio’s season 14! The song starts with what seems almost Carnatic in sound! It’s just a snatch repeated to create a persistent backdrop. Abdullah Siddiqui’s English lyrics (first time in season 14?) and pop sensibility beautifully blends with Atif’s always-enchanting vocals. That ‘Dil jaane na jaane’ phrase that both sing after the interlude in the middle and reach a stupendous crescendo (Atif’s trademark) is a lovely touch!

As I’m Getting Older – Tejas (English/Indipop): Very listenable and enjoyable rock sound with captivating guitar riffs and excellent singing. That extended musical interlude bang in the middle leads to a superb guitar phrase!

Bones – Imagine Dragons (English): I found it very similar to the band’s now-iconic Believer, in terms of the anthemic sound they gun for. It’s more tuneful than Believer, but the energy is very similar.