Pyaar Hota Kayi Baar Hai – Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar (Pritam) – Hindi: This is clearly a song that started as recreating the Badtameez Dil magic from Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, but it falls short somewhere. It’s catchy and uptempo, no doubt, but the hook doesn’t land as smoothly as Badtameez Dil’s and feels a bit forced and flat. Arijit’s voice is the one thing that powers this song confidently.
Kal Kahin – Fursat (Vishal Bhardwaj) – Hindi: I gave this short film’s soundtrack an extra week; saw the film too, just in case. The basic sci-fi idea was really good, but the film’s entire premise seems to be outside-in, from Apple’s (the film’s producer) point of view. It’s clear that Apple wanted a “desi song and dance” feel even inside a short film of a 30-minute run time! That completely spoils the narrative tension generously interrupted by songs and dances – it may seem palatable in a 2.5-hour movie, but in a 30-minute film, it’s painful. The songs too seem bloated and labored. Kal Kahin’s soaring melody is the only one that worked for me. The high-pitched lines are typical of Vishal.
Onnoda Nadandhaa – Viduthalai Part 1 (Ilayaraja) – Tamil: As the latest fad goes, adjusted for poor diction and singing that completely lacks nuance, Dhanush is an excellent singer 🙂 For a tune this good—and vintage, in a way, as far as Raja’s goes, particularly the anupallavi—a better singer would have worked wonders, significantly amping the song’s feel even more than what it is now. In a way, Dhanush’s singing feels like ChatGPT’s generative output – it/he is supremely confident about the output though it is fairly easy to find what is wrong with it. There are many places in the song where the singer’s limited range comes in the way of elevating the song: “alla irulai” instead of “irLai”, “un thoNaikku naandhaan, enthoNaikku needhaan, endrum idhu maaraadhey” where “maaraadhey” gets a rough enunciation, among others. What Dhanush lacks in singing nuance, he makes it up with his wonderfully earthy voice, and I assume this is the reason why Raja chose him in the first place for this melody.
Aval Oru Varam – Run Baby Run (Sam CS) – Tamil: Sam has been oddly out of sorts in quite a few recent films, including where I thought he would produce something really interesting (like the multi-lingual Michael). Surprisingly, here’s a song that comes after the film’s release that stands like no other recent song by Sam! Wonderfully sung by Kapil Kapilan, the melody is such that it deserved minimal music to let the voice carry through and Sam handles it perfectly.
Yelelo Yelelo – Shaakuntalam (Mani Sharma) – Telugu: Usually, such mythological films land in M.M.Keeravani’s territory. And even as Mani tries his best in songs like Mallika Mallika and Rushivanamlona, the impact is considerably lesser; the latter is the kind of song I wanted to like, but the twist in the anupallavi completely led me astray, killing the overall feel of the song set up pretty well by the pallavi. That leaves me with the relatively simpler boat-man folk-style song, Yelelo Yelelo. This is the kind of song Keeravani would effortlessly score in, and Mani doesn’t falter either. Anurag Kulkarni’s soulful voice takes the song to a wonderfully serene high.
Poovar – Christy (Govind Vasantha) – Malayalam: After Paalmanam, the second song from Christy too is a lovely listen, but with a very different tone. The naadaswaram and thavil portions seamlessly blend with the warm Kerala folk sound lending the song a very-Thaikkudam Bridge feel!
Kisa Parayanatharo – Dear Vaappi (Kailas) – Malayalam: I really liked Pathu Njori from this film’s soundtrack, but the other songs didn’t work as much. This new song, though, passes the test for me. The Kisa Parayanatharo hook is easy on the ear and the overall singing by KS Harisankar and Haritha Balakrishnan is very good too.
Gold Fish – Baanadariyalli (Arjun Janya) – Kannada: This film seems to have a lot going for it, including the evocative title, from the iconic 80s Bhagyavantha song featuring Puneeth. And after the first song, Ninnanu Nodida, this second song too is remarkably good! The song’s feel takes me to Shankar Ehsaan Loy’s music-making. Aishwarya Rangarajan is superb with her part, and Nishan Rai’s delivery of the unusual hook (“My Gold Fish girl”!) is layered in beautifully by Arjun!