Milliblog Weeklies, Week 219 – June 4, 2023

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 219: On Spotify | On
Back after a month of extensive travel and hence, a whopping 47 songs this week!!! All the songs are available on YouTube and Spotify.

Tere Vaaste – Zara Hatke Zara Bachke (Sachin-Jigar) – Hindi: An obviously likeable number that gets the rhythm perfectly right. It’s all a bit too predictable, but the composing duo infuse freshness particularly in the antara, generously helped by Varun Jain’s fresh vocals, aided by Shadab Faridi and Altamash Faridi.

Yaayum Gnaayum, Peranbae (Yuvan Shankar Raja); Jingrudha Dhanga, Uravu (Sean Roldan); Nenjil Oru Minnal, Thee Inbame, Paavi Nenjae, Aanaal, Kaala Visai, Sooriyan Thondrudhu Saamatthilae, Endrum Endhan, Thendral, Kaamaththup Paal, and The Good Bye – Modern Love: Chennai (Ilayaraja) – Tamil: See .

Imaithidathe – Yaadhum Oore Yaavarum Kelir (Nivas K Prasanna) – Tamil: The female solo song used to be a standard fixture in Tamil cinema at one point where it is either the heroine being introduced, or she is dreaming about the hero. Good to see Malvi Sundaresan get a female solo here and her doing an outstanding job with Nivas’s warm melody. Lovely guitar work by Keba all through the song.

Vaa Senthaazhini – Adiyae (Justin Prabhakaran) – Tamil: Justin and Sid produce a highly listenable melody that I thought was mildly let down only by the fact that this lacked Justin’s signature sounds and inventions, and ended up more like any other new-age Tamil composer may have composed.

Ava Kanna Paatha – Kazhuvethi Moorkkan (D.Imman) – Tamil: Standard-issue Imman melody, but Jithin Raj handles it so very well. The melody is vintage Imman and when Jithin sings ‘Ava kaLLa sirippula’ line, backed by the violins, I couldn’t help but smile at the composer’s audacity of not bothering to update his template 🙂

Savaalpett – Neymar (Shaan Rahman) – Tamil: Shaan launches a pulsating sound to go with the ‘challenge’ theme of the lyrics. Even though the singers, Arunraja Kamaraj and Deepak Blue, scream the lines, it goes adequately with the feel the song is aiming for.

Pala Pattra, Po – Good Night (Sean Roldan) – Tamil: After Naan Gaali, Papa Pattra feels like the perfect follow-up (Chill Makka didn’t work for me as much as Pala Pattra). Deva’s singing seems uniquely suited for this fun tune. Po is Sean’s trademark all the way – a rock ballad of sorts punctuated by Rithu Vysakh’s violin and Vijay Ganesan’s electric guitar.

Kodi Parakura Kaalam, Nenjame Nenjame and Raasa Kannu – Maamannan (A R Rahman) – Tamil: Kodi Parakura Kaalam’s strength is the combined vocal prowess of Kalpana Raghavendar, Rakshita Suresh, Deepthi Suresh, and Aparna Harikumar, even as the deceptively sorrowful paving way to the ebullient victory shoutout has been handled brilliantly by Rahman. Nenjame Nenjame is a very nice listen for that soulful melody but still it felt a bit too simplistic and predictable given Rahman’s standards. Vijay Yesudas is particularly good at opening the song, though Shakthisree Gopalan is captivating as the song progresses. The other song that worked for me was more because of Vadivelu’s soulful singing – Raasa Kannu. There’s a searing earnestness in his voice that carries the pathos Rahman tries to infuse in this song. Overall, though, I missed Santhosh Narayanan’s music in this Mari Selvaraj film, considering how fabulous that combination has been across Pariyerum Perumal and Karnan.

Urudhi – Coke Studio Tamil (Sean Roldan, ft. Sanjay Subrahmanyan and Arifullah Shah Rafaee) – Tamil/Indipop: Sean attempts a mighty ambitious fusion in Urudhi, but I must say that he succeeds only partially. While Sanjay’s majestic voice and the Western choral elements blend beautifully, the Sufi part seems to be tacked on almost half-heartedly in the end. That it is handled by a relatively unknown newcomer makes things worse because this part pales in front of the earlier portion given Sanjay’s stature. This demanded a better-known singer, and that would have led to a more commanding layer for Sean. Still, much of the earlier part is beautiful, with Punya Srinivas’s Veena and Kalyani Nair’s strings creating a delightful harmony.

Gaalullona – Maama Mascheendra (Chaitan Bharadwaj) – Telugu: Nutana Mohan and Kapil Kapilan’s vocal interplay in this breezy melody makes it an excellent listen. Besides the melody Chaitan concocts for the pallavi, the interludes too are particularly good, while the effort he puts in to differentiate the anupallavi and charanam is noteworthy – the latter seems more complex and layered than the former and such small details make a big difference.

Na Roja Nuvve – Kushi (Hesham Abdul Wahab) – Telugu: It’s so good to see Hesham debuting for a Telugu – I’m guessing his stellar work in Hridhayam may have opened doors in other languages. Not just that – he sings this one himself too… really well, at that. It’s a jaunty, fun track made better by the hugely entertaining lyrics peppered with Maniratnam film names! Not just the ‘Na Roja nuvve’ 4 lines but all across the song too 🙂

Padham Parugulu – Maruva Tarama (Vijai Bulganin) – Telugu: Oh wow, what a wonderful song! Ironically, I was first drawn to the gorgeous chorus-based interludes sung by Lakshmi Meghana, Sindhuja Srinivasan, and Pavani Vasa, before warming up to the main melody. That wasn’t too difficult anyway, given the excellent singing by PVNS Rohit and the steadily energetic rhythm Vijai layers it in.

Premisthunna – Baby (Vijai Bulganin) – Telugu: The 2nd hugely impressive song by Vijai in this list, once again sung by PVNS Rohit. This time, Vijai adds Sandilya Pisapati violin solo and Chennai Strings Section’s musical backing to the soaring, heartfelt melody. The strings crescendo wonderfully in the first interlude and continue to blend intricately into each other all through the song.

Hillori – Anni Manchi Sakunamule (Mickey J Meyer) – Telugu: Mickey’s music is expectedly sweeping, with catchy, staccato lines delivered by Ritesh J Rao competently. Mickey complements the lines musically too, towards the song’s closure.

Veyillelam – Bullet Diaries (Shaan Rahman) – Malayalam: Very typical of a Shaan-style melody, with punchy backgrounds that beautifully accentuate Megha Josekutty’s singing. Sooraj Santhosh, of course, is the other singer, and together, they handle the soothing melody wonderfully.

Thinkal Poovin – Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum (Justin Prabhakaran) – Malayalam: Justin’s Rahman’ish flourish has always been quite apparent but it comes across in a far more pronounced manner in this song sung eloquently by Anne Amie. There are shades of Duet’s ‘Ini meeLvatha…’ (En Kaadhale), besides more from the body of work from Uzhavan too. But they all gel organically within Justin’s imagination without sticking out, in a warm, harmonious fashion.

Ini Enthoram Kaanan Kedakkanu – Khayaal Mary Nazreth, ft. Anuj Sekhar (Malayalam/Indipop): A surprisingly captivating song that is equally surprisingly shorter than what it should have been. The music video intersperses the song with dialogs, but the audio-only version, at the 2-minute run time, is the surprise. The ‘Mazha mazha’ opening leads to the ‘Endhoram’ hook and that’s the only thing the song stays on! It’s almost like Khayaal Mary Nazreth conceived this only as a single-paragraph song, intriguingly. But whatever is available, it sounds great!

Inni Ravil – Aromalinte Aadhyathe Pranayam (Sreekanth S Narayan) – Malayalam: The actual melody that Sreekanth creates is good enough, but when he layers in Manavyalakinchara (set to raaga Nalinakanthi) in the first interlude, things get infinitely more interesting. Brilliant singing by KS Harishankar, as always.

Panjimittai, Bhoomiyumilla, Noolamala, Dapper Maama and Thrishanku Swargam – Thrishanku (Jay Unnithan) – Malayalam: I haven’t heard of Jay Unnithan’s music so far and it’s hard to believe Thrishanku is his debut (I’m assuming)! There’s an edgy, hyper-inventive sound all through the soundtrack, something that reminded me of Prashant Pillai’s music. This is quite pronounced in Panjimittai, sung with the necessary verve by Nithinraj and Nithya Mammen. Bhoomiyumilla is a totally trippy ride, with the kids’ chorus enveloping Madhuvanthi Narayan’s lead vocals, producing an absolutely eerie sound! Noolamala sounded almost like a Vishnu Vijay song, but the background vocals, chorus, and sound gets progressively whimsical, and land on the ‘Where are you baby?’, topping the bizarreness (in a nice way). Dapper Maama’s lyrics extend that ‘Where are you baby?’ zaniness and Jonita Gandhi handles the song amidst a blazing, raucous rhythm. Dapper Maama’s manic rhythm extends into Thrishanku Swargam like a motif and completely mauls the sedate start of the song into a frenetic ending. It’s all insanely trippy, but even amidst the chaos, Jay seems to be a confident structure and idea!

Karagruham, Maanini, Ore Ore, Chikki Chikki and Ra Ra Rajasika – Little Miss Rawther (Govind Vasantha) – Malayalam: After Snehadweepile, Pyaare Pyaare didn’t work for me, but the entire soundtrack is out now, and it’s clear that, with 9 songs, Govind has had a riot composing this one! Karagruham’s effortless funk and Govind’s weepy singing make for a thoroughly entertaining combination, but wait for the ending as the Tanpura kicks in along with that mind-bogglingly zany sound! 🙂 Maanini is, surprisingly, in Hesham’s zone – could easily be a song in Hridhayam! Lovely listen, though, with predictably lovely singing by Haricharan amidst a rousing rhythm. Govind hands over Ore Ore to Shahabaz Aman’s trustworthy voice, and the man rules it in style. The way he builds a moody set-up and breaks out of it in true rock ballad style mid-way is a lovely touch by Govind, ably aided by his own violin in the backdrop. Chikki Chikki is straight out of Bruno Mars’ repertoire (he is referred to in the lyrics too!). Sachin Balu’s Mohan Veena and Sithara Krishnakumar’s voice blend effortlessly in Ra Ra Rajasika, an almost period-style melody that reminded me of MM Keeravani’s musical style.

Rah Gayee Adhooree – Manas Krishna (Hindi/Indipop): A Hindi song written, composed, and sung by Manas that deserves a listen. The sound is catchy, the music is confident and uptempo, even though the diction seems distinctly Malayali’ish. I hope Manas gets more opportunities to showcase his music.

Galla’n Ee Ney – Satinder Sartaaj, ft. Jatinder Shah (Punjabi/Indipop): Even though the song’s haunting melody seemed like standard-issue Charukesi to me (used very often to this effect), the quality of singing (by Jatinder) significantly elevates the song.

Left Right – Ali Sethi, Shae Gill, Abdullah Siddiqui & Maanu – Pakistani Pop: Pasoori-fame Shae Gill and Go-fame Abdullah Siddiqui… plus Ali Sethi! The melody is tantalizingly good and the singing is top-notch, exactly what you expect from the consummate singers’ line-up here. Superb listen!