Main Toh Main Hoon – Mili (A R Rahman) – Hindi: Rahman seems to be on a roll these days! After the already engaging songs in Mili, here’s one more! Easy on the ears, with lovely little flourishes by Tapas Roy on the Mandolin in the background and fantastic singing by Abhilasha Sinha who has a superb hold of the song all the way.
Saath Hum Rahein – Drishyam 2 (Devi Sri Prasad) – Hindi: If you ignore the other songs that DSP has reused from his own Telugu repertoire in Hindi, this song—I believe—is his first direct Hindi film song! And unlike the recent, insipid pop song he released across multiple languages, he chooses a melodic base for this song – this works very well for him as it has done in Telugu. Jubin’s voice carries the necessary weight to bring the melody alive and the song’s repetitive nature keeps it engaging.
Hero Naan & Aasai Enbadhu – Kaiyum KaLavum (Satish Raghunathan) – Tamil: Kaiyum KaLavum is Tamil web series on SonyLIV and these 2 songs instantly stood out in the soundtrack by Satish Raghunathan. The reason? Obvious – they are intentional and obvious recreations of music from earlier eras of Tamil cinema! Aasai Enbadhu is from the Viswanathan-Ramamurthy (MGR-Sivaji) period, while Hero Naan has the unmistakable stamp of the peak of Ilayaraja. The imagination that has gone into the songs is pretty impressive since they take us back to the period they are from, but even beyond the period-hunting, they make for a good listen overall too thanks to excellent singing by an-almost SPB Milidhane Dinesh in Hero Naan and Karthika Vaidyanathan (along with Satish himself) on Aasai Enbadhu.
Pattuduthu Vannathum & Shilakal – Kumari (Jakes Bejoy) – Malayalam: Just when you are settling into that superbly racy, hypnotic, and pulsating rhythm, Arivu enters the song in his inimitable style and amps up the song’s vibe! Fantastic song! Shilakal, on the other hand, is the complete opposite – a gorgeously immersive and lush melody that seemed to be based on Reetigowlai raaga, beautifully sung by Vaiga Nambiar and Akhil J Chand.
Baruveya – Rupayi (Anand Rajavikram) – Kannada: I recall some good music from composer Anand Rajavikram in the past in films like Lee, Relax Satya, and Ramarjuna. Here, he has a tune and sound package that reminded me so much of early-Harris Jayaraj (think Minnale!). Breezy and very listenable, carried very well by singer Arvind Mukundhan (and Sriraksha D) and guitar by Abhishek Bose.
Khal Khal Goda, Bhokadi & Vaat Maher Chi – Godavari (AV Prafullachandra) – Marathi: After Kojagiri, the hugely likeable song that I wrote in my mid-October Weeklies, here’s the rest of the album by AV Prafullachandra. And true to the promise this composer has demonstrated in the past, he doesn’t disappoint at all. Khal Khal Goda rides on Rahul Deshpande’s magnificent singing, building on the intricate tune gradually but beautifully! The Sitar-Flute-Guitar-Shehnai combo in the background is brilliant. Bhokadi has the inventiveness of Ilayaraja in the way it is composed and orchestrated, though one can argue that it is Ajay-Atul’s sound (even as the duo is a big fan of Ilayaraja!). This one is a very enjoyable song thanks to its unusual and punchy sound, and excellent singing by AV Prafullachandra and Sahil Kulkarni. Vaat Maher Chi too is marked by a sparklingly creative orchestration that moves between the softer notes and a vibrant orchestral profusion, all the while handled wonderfully by singer Arati Ankalikar. AV Prafullachandra truly deserves a national stage for his music. And soon. (PS: However, his music in another new Marathi film, Bebhan, did not work for me at all!).