Maine Pi Rakhi Hai – Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar (Pritam) – Hindi: This is a total Pritam banger – the kind where he mixes South Indian masala kuthu style and delivers really well 🙂 The starting was interesting enough but things get significantly more entertaining when the “Pi rakhi hai’ hook lands! Shreya Ghoshal, along with Divya Kumar, totally bring the roof down with their uninhibited singing. Raucous and addictive!
Barishon – Happi (Debojyoti Mishra) – Hindi: It’s good to see that the soundtrack of long, long, long-pending Happi is out now, officially. The songs, by Ilayaraja, are decidedly outdated in current times, given the decade that has passed since they were composed, but at least one song, Barishon, composed by Debojyoti Mishra at that, stood out for me for its serene, moody sound. Anchal Datta Bhatia handles the singing beautifully. The song took me to some George Michael song that I was unable to pinpoint.
Kaattumalli & Arutperum Jothi – Viduthalai Part 1 (Ilayaraja) – Tamil: Ilayaraja’s age-withered voice is not what it used to be, and he sings both these songs himself (along with Ananya Bhat in the former), but what he lacks in the singing department (in present times), he makes it up with a delightful journey back in time in the melodies and overall sound. Kaattumalli is perhaps the most soulful melody from the veteran in recent times – it is immediately likeable and evokes a strong whiff of his peak period. Arutperum Jothi, on the other hand, is sheer magic, and easily joins the many classic devotional songs he has composed in his magnificent career. It obviously evokes a strong recall of Thai Mookaambikai’s Janani Janani, and consequently, Mannan’s Amma Endrazhaikkaadha, not just because of the raaga used (Kalyani), but also the overall orchestration.
In context, I recently rediscovered a quasi-devotional Ilayaraja song I remember listening to as a child on radio, but also had totally forgotten it. The rediscovery brought back so many memories! – Pala Jenma Jenmaanthira, from director Mahendran’s Azhagiya Kanne (1982).
Vendum – Sean Roldan x Meenakshi Elayaraja (Coke Studio Tamil) – Tamil: The second song from Coke Studio Tamil just goes on to reiterate that this version is so much better than the current season of Coke Studio Bharat! Sean Roldan is totally at home base, with zingy blues and rock, and a flamboyant chorus backing his sweeping melody. Fantastic singing by Sean and Meenakshi Elayaraja, with the former beautifully adding his extra in the bridge (Manidham O-n-g-a… vendum).
Neetho Ee Gadichina Kalam & Title Song – Phalana Abbayi Phalana Ammayi (Kalyani Malik) – Telugu: Kalyani Malik sings both songs (along with Geetha Madhuri and Nutana Mohan, respectively), and his voice’s texture reminded me of early Ilayaraja, with a coarseness not heard in professional playback singers but while beautifully staying in tune. In fact, the melodies too have a Raja’ish quality to them. Neetho’s really long opening line, for instance. The Raja voice recall is more pronounced in the title song given that the song’s rhythm is straight out of Raja’s repertoire! Lovely songs, both!
Chamkeela Angeelesi – Dasara (Santhosh Narayanan) – Telugu: I was a bit concerned that both the songs from Dasara, released so far (Dhoom Dhaam Dhosthaan, Ori Vaari), did not work for me, despite my general liking for Santhosh’s music. Thankfully, the man drops a lovely new song! The singing, by Ram Miriyala and Dhee, is outstanding, getting the nuance of the wonderfully rhythmic sound really well. That rhythm change in the middle adds to the fun, as also Embar Kannan’s violin layer.
Jil Jil Jil – Sulaikha Manzil (Vishnu Vijay) – Malayalam: The song, based on a famous Mappila Paattu, ‘Ararum Manassil Ninnorikkalum’ (created by T K Kuttiyali and T K Ramamoorthy – credited in the film version), is wonderfully zingy. The song choreography adds to the charm too. The melody largely sticks to the original, but Vishnu’s arrangements are considerably more modern than the traditional version even though the pace is similar. In terms of singing, even though Vishnu starts off the song, it is Varsha Renjith and Meera Prakash who completely dominate the song. Very catchy, and totally joyous!
A reality show version of the original, sung by a contestant named Shahaja, became very popular a few years ago (44 million views on YouTube). Do listen to that too, after listening to the film version, for context.
Her Story – HER (Govind Vasantha) – Malayalam: Govind Vasantha delivers again, with a captivating tune that Sayanora Philip delivers impeccably. That ‘Ulagin ulaga’ hook is haunting and has been placed so well in the song.
Arre Idu Yentha Bhavane – Hoysala (B. Ajaneesh Loknath) – Kannada: What a fantastic melody! Ajaneesh’s melody is classy and lush, adding tremendous value to Yograj Bhat’s lines. Haricharan’s singing brings everything together brilliantly! Not just the pallavi, even the anupallavi and the interludes are so well constructed!
Title Song – Ghar Banduk Biryani (AV Prafullachandra) – Marathi: In keeping with the high quality of music Prafullachandra has already loaded in this oddly titled film, the title song too is excellent! Mohit Chauhan’s vocals and the tune’s long, winding phrases make for a lovely listen!
Ni Balliye – Sukhe Muzical Doctorz, Ft. Kambi Rajpuria and Musahib (Punjabi): A repetitive phrase/hook wrapped in a funky pop package. Simple, foot-tapping, and fun!