Sun Aye Mili & Tum Bhi Raahi – Mili (A R Rahman) – Hindi: Sun Aye Mili starts deceptively soft, but goes on to being a thrumming, lively melody with fabulous singing by Vishal Mishra! There is a breathless, non-stop quality to the song that pulls you in and engages you relentlessly. Manisha Rai’s Sitar adds a lovely layer to the song while Javed Akhtar’s lines are a class apart. In comparison, Tum Bhi Raahi feels a bit too familiar within Rahman’s oeuvre though it is an engaging listen nonetheless marred only by the choice of the composer opting to sing it himself.
Pacha Elai – Love Today (Yuvan Shankar Raja) – Tamil: This is one insanely catchy song that is also completely absurd – probably that was the intent 🙂 But Yuvan and lyricist Pradeep Ranganathan, the film’s director and lead star, not only commit themselves to this absurdity wholeheartedly but also revel in it. The result is quite a trippy dance number!
Paathi Nee Paathi Naa – Nitham Oru Vaanam (Gopi Sundar) – Tamil: When the line ‘Arundhum Ariyaadha Irulagil’, you know you are listening to a Gopi Sundar song 🙂 The man’s trademark sound is all over this song, and yet it sounds gorgeous given how well Krithika Nelson handles both the lyrics and the singing!
Aathi En Mela – Sembi (Nivas K Prasanna) – Tamil: Director Prabhu Solomon has had a very long and fruitful association with composer D.Imman over as many as 5 films from 2007 (Lee) to 2016 (Thodari, their last film together). His last film, Kaadan, was produced as a trilingual and perhaps hence had a Hindi composer, Shantanu Moitra. But his new film Sembi doesn’t feature Imman who has been, of late, sounding rather too templatized. But Nivas, always dependable and very underrated, does a terrific job with the melodic highs of Aathi En Mela. In fact, the song has the hallmark of Imman-style lush melody too, and Vandana Srinivasan’s singing accentuates it beautifully.
Anandha Thavame – Driver Jamuna (Ghibran) – Tamil: Probably owing to the same star—Aiswarya Rajesh—playing the title role (Driver Jamuna and Farhana), I keep getting confused between the 2 films, and hence, the composers 🙂 While Justin Prabhakaran knocked it off the park for Farhana’s first single, Ghibran’s first single for Driver Jamuna, a promo song called ‘Cool Dude’ was a pretty tame affair. Thankfully, Ghibran does considerably better in the 2nd song, with his excellent rhythm sense coming to the fore. Rajeevi Ganesh’s singing lifts the song up to a large degree, and Ghibran’s touch is evident in the way he bends the tune in surprising ways, like that ‘Araijurai vaarthayaai’ line!
Tara Na Tara – Krishna Vrinda Vihari (Mahati Swara Sagar) – Telugu: The composer has a solid melodic block in the ‘Tara Na Tara’ hook (aided generously by Nakash Aziz’s singing) and that keeps the song likeable. It’s the other parts of the song that don’t quite add up as much as they should.
Evariki Vaarae – Ori Devuda (Leon James) – Telugu: After the other listenable songs from this album, Leon tops them with this brilliant number sung superbly by Harish Sivaramakrishnan. You hear the song and then realize why Leon chose Harish for this! Do I hear strains of Reetigowlai raaga in the melody?
Andhala Chandhamamave – Geeta Sakshigaa (Gopi Sundar) – Telugu: A gorgeously lively melody from Gopi Sundar that gets better with the choice of the singer – Sid Sriram. There’s also a Mandolin (or is it Guitar?) layer that plays carnatic-style interludes that add to the song’s flavor considerably.
Madhuramey – Neetho (Vivek Sagar) – Telugu: What would a song co-composed by Micky J Meyer and Sandeep Chowta sound like? That ‘Aanandhaaley Alay Na PaineeVaaleley’ line is straight out of Sandeep’s severely underrated Kedi song, ‘Short and Sweet’, while Aditi Bhavaraju and Lipsika Bhashyam’s overall, whispery singing is Mickey’s trademark! And yet, Vivek makes the whole package his own!
Pakaloli – Adiyaan (Sreerag Suresh) – Malayalam: I found an odd combination of musical vibes in this song: the opening of the song right up to the beginning of the first interlude was very Gopi Sundar’ish. But you hear the interlude alone in isolation, led by Sravan Krishnakumar’s viola, there’s a distinct Ilayaraja touch! Sreerag has a lovely tune to underline the song and in Najim Arshad’s lush vocals, it works well.
Mandarappoove – Kumari (Jakes Bejoy) – Malayalam: The ‘heroine introduction’ in Indian films used to be a predictable song situation as much as ‘hero introduction’, at one point. Now, even as the latter remains, the former has quitely ceased to exist. But Kumari, probably because it is a heroine-oriented film, retains the heroine introduction with a spritely ‘Barso re’ (Guru) style song. Jakes uses the predictable tropes of the musical genre in appropriate quantities and produces a lively song that is easy to like, thanks also to singer Aavani Malhar.
Belakina Kavithe – Banaras (B. Ajaneesh Loknath) – Kannada: The sweeping strings are, by now, Ajaneesh’s signature that one can effortlessly identify! Ajaneesh takes a Waltz-style melody and adds more unique layers in the background to produce a pretty enjoyable melody. Sanjith Hegde (along with Sangeetha Ravindranath) does his job well, as always.
Nain Ronde Rehnde – Composed by Ahen Vaatish, Music by Gurmohh (Punjabi/Indipop): Jackky Bhagnani may not have the acting career he craved but he does have a pretty good music sense, besides an extra K in his name – this song is presented by him in his music label! Ahen Vaatish’s sounds very good (besides being the lyricist and composer of the melody too) and the tune blends a folk tune with a more modern orchestration punctuated by that captivating rhythm.
Vaar – Raashi Sood (Punjabi/Indipop): While I had to overlook the obviously audible digital additions and distortions made to Rashi’s vocals, her composition does hold a charm that is undeniable. And that tune sits comfortably on top of the electronic music she conjures.