Sunday September 4, 2022

Milliblog Weeklies, Week 195 – September 4, 2022

Posted by Karthik

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 195: On Spotify | On YouTube
15 songs this week! All the songs are available on both YouTube and Spotify.

Unna Nenachadhum & Mallipoo – Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu (A R Rahman) – Tamil: Considering I have already written about the 2 songs released earlier (Marakkuma Nenjam and Kaalathukkum Nee Venum), let me focus on the other songs from the full soundtarck released recently. Thamarai’s lyrical reference for Unna Nenachadhum clearly seems to be Parthaal Pasi Theerum’s Kodi Asainthadhum. It almost seems like the composer and lyricist had decided to use the older song’s lyrical flow and change the tune intentionally and obviously, considering the hat tip to retro-style music in ‘Dhooram kuraindhadhum pesa thoNuthe’. It’s a gorgeous song, however, with the connected lyrics adding to the song’s likeability as much as the excellent singing by Shreya Ghoshal and Sarthak Kalyani.

Mallipoo is a total and complete shocker coming from Rahman!! I’d associate the song’s style, sound with the 90s peak output by a Sirpi or Deva, when those composers were on the top of their game. The many nuances like ‘tring tring’, the mild distortion in the sound (like water flowing) after ‘Eppo varappora’ in the 2nd interlude, or that ‘machan machan’ chorus shortly after that… everything takes me back to the mid-90s! The only thing linking it to Rahman is Madhushree’s voice! But there’s an undeniable charm in the gentle tune, and Madhushree’s singing is a large part of that gentle charm!

Paruvame & Perinba Kadhal – Natchathiram Nagargirathu (Tenma) – Tamil: Natchathiram Nagargirathu is the first Pa.Ranjith film to not have music by Santhosh Narayanan (if you ignore his short film, Dhammam, which was part of the Tamil anthology called Victim; this too had music by Tenma). While I’d have loved to have heard Santhosh for Natchathiram Nagargirathu too, Tenma does bring his own uniqueness to the film, though not all songs worked for me. Beyond Rangarattinam, about which I had written earlier, let me come to the other 2 songs. Paruvame has a terrific 80s funk sound that Tenma fully commits to musically with superb strings in the background. Benny is perfect, given this is his forte. Perinba Kadhal is on the other end of the spectrum – a tantalizingly slow melody that has immense swagger in the interludes. The only issue I had with this song is Tenma’s Tamil diction – for instance, ‘KaalangaL’ is pronounced with a softer ‘l’. These are table-stakes.

Nenjai Kelu – Pisasu 2 (Karthik Raja) – Tamil: This is a phenomenally engaging melody that carries the best of Ilayaraja’s musical soul, plus Karthik Raja’s imagination, making it a unique mix. There are places where the Raja soul comes to the fore – like that tune shift in ‘Sargaaga alaigiren’ (with the background music changing) is so evocative of Raja. The interludes too scream ‘Ilayaraja’! But overall, this is a Karthik Raja number, and the man delivers beautifully. While Priyanka NK does handle the solo melody very competently, I did wish the melody was handed to a singer with more depth in her voice. Chinmayi’s voice, for instance.

Thanuvoka Thella Kagitham – Kotha Kothaga Songs (Sekhar Chandhra) – Telugu: I had associated Sekhar music with a specific style that I did not expect anything going into this song, but he surprised me! This is a female solo, like Pisasu 2’s Nenjai Kelu above, and Sireesha Bhagavatula handles the lilting melody wonderfully. The tunes for the anupallavi and charanam are particularly great.

Madhura Jeeva Ragam, Maya Moham & Paaduvaan – Sundari Gardens (Alphons Joseph) – Malayalam: Of the 3 songs that Alphons hands over to singer Mridula Warrier, she is outstanding in the solo outing of Madhura Jeeva Raagam. It’s a hugely tuneful melody with a tastefully limited musical background while she sings. The interludes, on the other hand, are a delightful cornucopia of sounds! In her other song, Paaduvaan, she joins Alphons in a wonderfully semi-classical melody punctuated by a soft, patient rhythm. The singing by both Mridula and Alphons is the clear highlight of this song. Sithara Krishnakumar is in her element, as usual, in Maya Moham, a lovely melody aptly adorned with Durwin D’souza’s guitars.

Ambili Ravum – Palthu Janwar (Justin Varghese) – Malayalam: More than Justin’s tune, the singer, Arun Ashok’s voice and singing carries a particular warmth that elevates this considerably!

Na Na Na & Aakashame – Mike (Hesham Abdul Wahab) – Malayalam: There are 6 songs in the soundtrack, but as much as I really wanted to like many songs, particularly after Hisham’s outstanding work in Hridhayam, I wasn’t able to, despite a broadly likeable sound. The 2 songs that stood out for me beyond the generic sound are these two. Na Na Na’s rhythmic appeal is terrific and Benny is usually on-the-dot with such songs. In Aakashame that Hesham sings himself, and there’s a soaring musical backdrop that keeps the song consistently enjoyable.

Baaton Baaton Main – Shashwat Sachdev, ft. Anumita Nadesan (Indipop/Hindi): Even though I totally loved the melody scored by Shashwat, but was let down by his droning delivery, Anumita punctuates the song with her delightful ‘Kehdo dil mein jo chupe jo baat hai’ part! Between Shashwat and Anumita, they have a wonderful duet!

The music video too is a wonderful slice-of-life drama featuring a family of three with a particular focus on the relationship between the father and son!

Door Akhiyon Se – Rochak Kohli, ft. Lisa Mishra (Indipop/Hindi): Another breezy duet, much like the one above, but this one is a bit too mainstream and filmy. But let that not deter you at all since Rochak has a confident and winsome melody, beautifully handled by himself and Lisa. There are some nifty touches in the tune, like that antara line “Doori Mein Hi Jaana Hai” follows a similarly tuned line “Teri Aankhon Ke Dariya Mein” that turns out differently with Lisa joining with her humming!

Aaj Na – Mimmi (Ritviz) – Indipop/Hindi: If you are able to make peace with Ritviz’s droning delivery (several shades more grating than Shashwat, mentioned above!), there’s a curiously enjoyable song here that also seems to prominently feature the sound of what I felt was a calling bell 🙂 When the ‘Pehli pehli baar’ line kicks in after the extended 1-minute intro, that’s when the song perks up!

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