Milliblog Weeklies, Week 218 – April 30, 2023

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 218: On Spotify | On YouTube
13 songs this week. All the songs are available on YouTube, but the Spotify playlist is missing 3 songs thanks to Zee Music’s fracas with the platform. So, Bad Boy’s Saajnaa, and the 2 songs from Ghar Banduk Biryani are missing.

Saajnaa – Bad Boy (Himesh Reshammiya) – Hindi: I don’t usually expect much from Himesh’s music even if the director is someone like Rajkumar Santoshi (far from his heydays, though). So this song comes across as a pleasant surprise! Himesh seems to have used Anu Malik’s Main Hoon Na title song’s tune to concoct his song’s opening line, but overall, it’s a lovely melody. Both versions, by Asees Kaur, and Shaan, are very good, but even as Shaan expands on the melody, the innate simplicity of Asees’s version is my favorite.

Raavana Kottathula, It Athu But Aanaal, Maayamma – Raavana Kottam (Justin Prabhakaran) – Tamil: Even at his most generic, Justin produces something a bit more unique in the title song. Listen to that ‘Ringa ringa’ chorus by Diwakar at the end of the pallavi – it is layered with another chorus that makes it so much more interesting. It Athu uses a famous Tamil phrase and Justin’s music harks back to A R Rahman’s Indira… almost like a sped-up version of Odakkaara Marimuthu (with a dash of lyrical nod to Vandicholai Chinraasu’s Senthamizh Naattu Tamizhachoye) 🙂 But even that may not prepare you for the second interlude – a delightful off-kilter twist by Justin! Maayamma beats these 2 songs (but a shade lower than the first song, Athana Per Mathiyila) with its hugely inventive sound that adds several more layers to what is presumably a conventional village song before the reigning deity.

Urime Kaalama – Malli Pelli (Suresh Bobbili) – Telugu: The song’s star cast or cover pic don’t prepare you for what you actually end up hearing 🙂 Composer Suresh Bobbili produces a punchy rock track sung brilliantly by Anurag Kulkarni with all the flourish of a consummate rock star!

Nuvve Nuvve – Ramabanam (Mickey J Meyer) – Telugu: The first 2 songs from the movie hardly sounded Mickey’s music – I may have as well been listening to Bheems Ceciroleo or Mani Sharma at their most generic. Thankfully, this new song brings out Mickey’s musical stamp undeniably! Ritesh G Rao sings/sounds a bit like Anirudh, but it helps this song’s tune that builds towards the catchy ‘Nuvve Nuvve’ hook.

Timeless Love – Custody (Ilayaraja, Yuvan Shankar Raja) – Telugu: What a difference it makes that Yuvan handles the arrangements! The tune is vintage Raja, taking me back to some of his cherished classics like ONNu Rendu (Dharma Dhurai), KeLadi En Paavaiye (Gopura Vasalile), and Paakku Vethala (My Dear Marthandan). I could hear myself singing ‘Akkam pakkam paarthu’ from ONNu Rendu or ‘Thannai thaane sutri vandha bhoomi pole’ from KeLadi En Paavaiye more than once! But Yuvan’s expansive and sharp arrangements make it seem so wonderfully current and fresh, something that I feel plagues many of Raja’s own (arranged) songs.

Chalte Raho, Nin Koode Njan Illayo – Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum (Justin Prabhakaran) – Hindi/Malayalam: Justin’s music in Chalte Raho, the Hindi song from the Malayalam movie, is evocative of what/how A R Rahman scored in Suhasini Maniratnam’s Indira. The sound, chorus, vocals… everything reminded me of Indira’s musical approach, and this is not the first time Justin’s excellent music takes me back to early-day Rahman, and I say this in a good way since Justin doesn’t just ape Rahman but brings out his own signature so confidently building on Rahman’s style. The singing by Chitralekha Sen and Gazi Khan Barna, and the vocal chorus, is outstanding. There’s marginally some Rahman influence in Nin Koode too (sung wonderfully by Gowtham Bharadwaj and Chinmayi), but even here, when the ‘Dheem tana’ chorus starts, it is Justin who stands out.

Palliperunnal – Jackson Bazaar Youth (Govind Vasantha) – Malayalam: Govind unleashes the song brass-band blazing even though the tune sounds like a Thaikkudam Bridge trademark! The contrast between the softer anupallavi and the way it leads us to the frenetic chorus gradually by first amping up the kuthu rhythm is truly imaginative! I’d assume Govind to reuse this song in Tamil for one of his projects – it’d work flawlessly as a kuthu song!

Premakkathu Pattu – Kadina Kadoramee Andakadaham (Govind Vasantha) – Malayalam: This is the female version of Swargakkathu Pattu about which I wrote last week. While Govind sang that one, Fathima Jahaan sings this version with equal elan, bringing the soulful tune to fruition.

Mariya – Ghar Banduk Biryani (AV Prafullachandra) – Marathi: The Marathi film is already loaded with some great music and this one effortlessly joins those! AV Prafullachandra not only composes the tune but also sings with a superb blend of serious pathos (if you listen only to the audio) and corny humor (when you watch the music video)! The backing vocals/chorus too is enormously enjoyable!