Kahani – Laal Singh Chaddha (Pritam) – Hindi: Oh wow! This is Pritam taking us back to his frothy Barfi sound! And the choice of Mohan Kannan for the singing (as against a Papon, for instance, who too could have been great for this melody) makes a big difference in adding freshness to the tune. Lovely song.
Dil Ki Gali – Jayeshbhai Jordaar (Vishal and Sheykhar) – Hindi: If I hadn’t known the composer of this song, I’d have guessed, instantly: Shankar Ehsaan Loy! Vishal and Sheykhar produce a cracker of a song that’s pleasant and captivating, and includes some fantastic singing! Sheykhar’s singing of his one line, in particular, is a lovely touch! On the other hand, Katyayani holds the song in total style!
Keetraadum Vaaanam, Nigazhe Sadhaa & Naan Pookalaalae Unnai – Kathir (Prashant Pillai) – Tamil: Kathir’s soundtrack is a lovely little surprise by Prashant. It’s perhaps his most mainstream, non-experimental sound in recent times, but even in this zone, his work is fantastic! Sreekanth Hariharan is excellent in Keetraadum Vaaanam, handling the sax-loaded melody, while Preeti Pillai joins him in Nigazhe Sadhaa, another lilting and pleasant melody with lovely lyrics by Karthik Netha. The vocal interplay between Sreekanth and Preeti is particularly lovely! Preeti is stupendously good in her solo, Naan Pookalaalae Unnai, evoking Rahman’s melody-style.
Kaalathukkum Nee Venum – Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu (A R Rahman) – Tamil: What a pleasant surprise! Rahman, after all these years, produces a song that sounds like something that we have heard long, long ago from his early films! There is an innate simplicity in the tune and the backgrounds that hark back to early Rahman. What does not go back to those days is the choice of singers. Despite Silambarasan’s valiant effort, he is singing against type, and the strain shows, both in his singing and in the song itself. Rakshita Suresh does a stupendous job handling Thamarai’s evocative lyrics, and I’d love to hear another version of the song in the album perhaps sung by a singer who deserved this kind of a melody.
Maayava Thooyava – Iravin Nizhal (A R Rahman) – Tamil: What Rahman doesn’t do in the above song with regard to the choice of singer, he does incredibly well in this song! In a beautiful melody that may fit perfectly in a film like Kaaviya Thalaivan, he ropes in Shreya Ghoshal to sing the song. And what a fabulous job she does!
Soorathenga – Koogle Kuttappa (Ghibran) – Tamil: A terrific, ebullient song, with a superb hook reminiscent of Ghibran’s electrofolk series. Very well sung by Gold Devaraj.
Emundi Ra – Krishna Vrinda Vihari (Mahati Swara Sagar) – Telugu: The first song from the film, Varshamlo Vennella, didn’t work for me; I found it rather generic. But Mahati Swara Sagar gets this one right! In Haricharan’s dependably excellent singing, the lively tune is a lovely listen! And did I hear a Nordic-style interlude too? Seemed so, and was interesting as an addition and the way it was Indianized!
Ee Veduka – Ashoka Vanamlo Arjuna Kalyanam (Jay Krish) – Telugu: A gorgeous melody from Jay where his choice of singer—Haripriya—too works tremendously to the song’s advantage. Jay gives her a tune that involves extending the sound of each word all through the pallavi and the sweet melody comes alive right here.
Kothaga Ledhenti – Ranga Ranga Vaibhavanga (Devi Sri Prasad) – Telugu: This is the side of DSP who produces Raja-style melodies while he is not busy churning foot-tapping songs with repetitive hooks! Arman Malik and Haripriya are very good with the singing. That 3rd line, ‘Intha Daggarunna Nuvvu Nenu Kothaga Ledhenti’ tune took me back to some Ilayaraja song that I couldn’t place!
Sottala Buggallo – Ramarao On Duty (Sam CS) – Telugu: Before Sam lands the catchy hook, he layers the song with a lovely melody! After Sam’s recent, less-interesting work, this song is a relief and a welcome change!
Ma Ma Mahesha – Sarkaru Vaari Paata (Thaman S) – Telugu: Very, very catchy, but also something Thaman could compose in his sleep these days 🙂
Bhala Thandhanana – Tholi Choopu (Mani Sharma) – Telugu: It’s perhaps ages since Manisharma produced melodies like this! But I’m so glad to hear him create this! Darn good singing by Anurag Kulkarni and Sahithi Chaganti.
Paathi Paathi – Night Drive (Ranjin Raj) – Malayalam: I missed this song from December 2021 and found it only now after the film’s release. While the basic tune is interesting enough, and very well sung by Kapil Kapilan and Nithya Mammen, Ranjin’s musical additions are even more engaging, particularly those pulsating interludes interjected beautifully by the flute.
Kannil Pettole – Thallumala (Vishnu Vijay) – Malayalam: Relatively less interesting as a tune, but Vishnu Vijay gets the music and sound very right! The glitzy, captivating music, along with Irfana Hameed’s rap makes it a good listen.
Aaraanu Athu – Jo & Jo (Govind Vasantha) – Malayalam: Govind seems to be having solid fun composing, and particularly singing this song 🙂 The song’s build-up is brilliant and that nadaswaram (by Balasubrahmanium) layer is a groovy touch!
Laage Re Nain – Paras Nath (recreated bandish), ft. Pratibha Singh Baghel – Indipop: The familiar bandish set to Raag Bhopali gets a modern, bouncy fusion version in Paras’ imagination. It works perfectly for Pratibha’s skills since her singing is impeccable even as the music makes itself distinct from Coke Studio Pakistan’s 2013 recreation.