Milliblog Weeklies, Week 209 – February 5, 2023

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 209: On Spotify | On YouTube
13 songs this week. All the songs are available on YouTube, while the Spotify playlist is missing one song, Puthuthayorithu, from Iratta, the Malayalam film.

Kashni – The Marigold Project (Akshay & IP Singh) – Punjabi: An ebullient Punjabi wedding number that Asees Kaur totally owns! The build-up towards the Kashni refrain at the 1-minute mark is beautiful! The YouTube version is, oddly, truncated at under one and a half minutes for a song that is already short at a mere 2+ minutes. Listen to the full version on Spotify in my playlist.

Tere Pyaar Mein – Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar (Pritam) – Hindi: There’s something about Pritam’s music for a Ranbir Kapoor starrer! And when you add Arijit Singh into the mix, things get even more interesting. This song has a low-key vibe but it relentlessly holds onto that vibe making it a breezy listen! Nikhita Gandhi’s part, right in the middle, feels too little, though, even as she joins the ‘Beeghe’ refrain in the end with Arijit.

Mere Sawaal Ka – Shehzada (Pritam) – Hindi: The other breezy melody from Pritam this week! And much like Nikhita’s limited role in Tere Pyaar Mein, Shalmali Kholgade is underutilized here, though her part is a punchy touch! Shashwat Singh carries the overall song really well.

Uchathula Vennilavu – Thalaikoothal (Kannan Narayanan) – Tamil: A pensive, deeply affecting melody that I’d guess Santhosh Narayanan as the composer if I had known who was the music director. But Kannan throws up more than what I’d expect from Santhosh, particularly in the interludes, to highlight his uniqueness. Pradeep Kumar’s soulfully fragile voice is easily the best thing about the song.

Namma Satham – Pathu Thala (A. R Rahman) – It’s clear that the remake of the Kannada film Mufti—which had only 2 songs—has significantly expanded the musical scope in Tamil, given the presence of Rahman for music and a song to glorify STR’s (Shiva Rajkumar in the original) character. The song’s prelude (sung by Yogi Sekar) is at odds with the main tune, not very different from Ponni Nadhi, recently. The sound of Vivek’s lyrics (as in the choice of words that lend to the sound naturally) add more value to the melody than the slightly labored manner in which Rahman sings it.

Sagavaasi – Arivu, ft. Khatija Rahman (Coke Studio Tamil) – Tamil: Coke Studio’s first regional edition inside India starts off reasonably well. It wasn’t what I anticipated it to be, particularly Khatija’s parts. Her addition feels more like a name-value addition given her famous father and the song’s strength comes directly from Arivu who blazes through it with both his music and specifically searing lyrics, with lines with, ‘Mirugathil manidhathanmai, manidhathil mirugam uNmai…’.

Enno Ratrulosthayi – Amigos (Ilayaraja, Ghibran) – Telugu: Well, well, well… this was a big surprise! Ghibran remixes Ilayaraja’s iconic song from Dharma Kshetram which itself was originally created for the Tamil film Dharmadurai a year earlier (1991, Maasi Maasam). The Tamil original’s charm, besides the utterly captivating and highly sensuous melody, was Yesudas and particularly, Swarnalatha’s singing. To some extent, that charm was minimized in the Telugu original, sung by SPB and Chithra. But Ghibran’s clever decision to rope in SPB’s son, SP Charan, works very well for the recreation. Along with him, Sameera Bharadwaj too dwells aptly into the soul of the song. And as Ghibran doesn’t tamper with the original too much, it continues to work wonders 30+ years later!

Title song – Sasivadane (Saravana Vasudevan) – Telugu: A pleasant melody that gets better as it progresses, including the extended pallavi that ends with the Sasivadane refrain. The composer also has a pitch change in the middle and launches into a charanam differently tuned from the anupallavi, adding to the song’s surprise value. The singers are excellent too – Chinmayi and Haricharan!

Darshana – Vinaro Bhagyamu Vishnu Katha (Chaitan Bharadwaj) – Telugu: Another song for Darshana – not for the Malayalam actor, though 🙂 After Hridayam’s Darshana, here’s the Telugu Darshana! This one is the complete opposite, tune-wise, and tone-wise, with a spring in the tune that Chaitan beautifully accentuates in the interludes. Anurag Kulkarni’s singing is bang on target.

Puthuthayorithu – Iratta (Jakes Bejoy) – Malayalam: This is the VeNNilave VeNNilave zone as far as the tune goes, but Jakes adds a lovely touch to his melody – each line starts with a ‘Hmmm’ and ‘Hmmm Hmmm’. And when a singer as good as Shahabaz Aman handles this, it gets even better. The song’s lilt consistently keeps it interesting and engaging.

Paalmanam – Christy (Govind Vasantha) – Malayalam: A gorgeous melody that one would typically expect from Govind Vasantha! The singing, by Kapil Kapilan and Keerthana Vaidyanathan, is fantastic, as is the tastefully done instrumentation, particularly Keba’s guitar all through the song, and even more so, Naveen’s flute that closes the song in a wonderfully serene note.

Koode – Haya (Varun Sunil) – Malayalam: Masala Coffee’s Varun Sunil assembles a sound that I would have easily guessed as that of Hisham Abdul Wahab’s! But as the song progresses, the Masala Coffee influence becomes apparent. Aslam Abdul Majeed’s singing is excellent, as also the instrumental additions – Anuraag Rajeev Nayan’s electric mandolin and Sumesh Narayanan’s mridangam.

Memories & Solid – Layers (Ammy Virk, music: Jaymeet) – Punjabi: Ammy Virk’s new album, Layers, is an easy-on-the-ear affair with 2 standouts that are far less Punjabi in sound/soul. Memories has a groovy Weeknd-style groove that is incredibly catchy, while Solid is the real surprise! It sounds almost like a slowed-down reggaeton melody and has definite panache that Ammy Virk handles beautifully!