Milliblog Weeklies, Week 225 – August 13, 2023

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 225: YouTube | Spotify

Surprisingly busy musical week – 18 songs this week!! All 18 are in the YouTube playlist, but only 16 are in the Spotify playlist – Ghoomer is with the only music label not available on Spotify – Zee Music.

Ghoomer, Dil Dum Chhalla – Ghoomer (Amit Trivedi) – Hindi: Balki’s filmography shows that he has chosen to work with only 2 composers alternatingly – Ilayaraja (Cheeni Kum, Paa, Shamitabh, and Ki & Ka which was an Ilayaraja+ soundtrack ft. other composers), and Amit Trivedi (English Vinglish, Pad Man, Chup). Amit doesn’t let the direction down in this film, though, at least with 2 excellent songs. The title song’s lively, rousing lilt is backed by Dipakshi Kalita and Altamash Faridi’s singing. My pick of the soundtrack is the trademark-Amit sound in Dil Dum Chhalla with its warm melody accentuated by Varun Jain’s brilliant singing.

Adiyaathi – Paramporul (Yuvan Shankar Raja) – Tamil: This is the kind of bouncy foot-stomper that only Yuvan can come up with 🙂 Effortlessly catchy!

Soodanathu Rattham, Saaya Sanjale – PS/Ponniyin Selvan Original Score (A R Rahman) – Tamil: While I wasn’t impressed with Ponniyin Selvan’s background score overall, some smaller bits did work for me. Saaya Sanjale easily tops the list, with its haunting melody and brilliant singing by Nakul Abhyankar, while Deepthi Suresh’s rendition in the alternate version of Soodanathu Rattham (a vocal chorus version was part of Devaralan Aattam) is a captivating listen.

Pet Lovers Anthem – Shot Boot Three (Rajhesh Vaidhya) – Tamil: Rajhesh has a winner in terms of his composition, amply aided by Madhan Karky’s brilliant lines! The deeply melodic opening (“Paal mazhaiyin thooralil, vaal mulaitha vaanavil”) gets a lovely mirror later in the song, “Enathu vizhiyoram eeram nerumpothu thaanum vaaduvaan”! The lines are so wonderfully imagined starting with the treatment of the pet dog as a human equivalent with the ‘aan’ usage. I loved the line, ‘Avan thaai pol ennai velai vaanguvaan’ (He—the pet dog—will make me work like my mother!).

Cargaalamey – Sweet Kaaram Coffee (Govind Vasantha) – Tamil: I had already picked my favorites from Govind’s soundtrack for this TV series but while listening to it recently, I realized that I had missed Cargaalamey from my list even though I have been listening to it myself and love it! This is perhaps what I would call an ‘administrative omission’, that is, a song I had added in my weekly list to write about, but forgot to write about it because of—what I presume—some copy-paste blunder, and hence forgot to add it to my playlist too 🙂 So, let me make amends at least now. I do that further down this Weeklies list for 2 Kannada songs too, though not an ‘administrative omission’ 🙂 This is perhaps the best song of the soundtrack, with its delightfully optimistic sound and Sathyaprakash and Keerthana’s excellent singing.

Unna Paathaley Pudikkuthu – Red Sandal Wood (Sam CS) – Tamil: It was a surprise to hear a deeply affecting tune like this. My mind went back to Ilayaraja’s incredibly affecting ‘Anba sumanthu sumanthu’ from PonnumaNi (sung phenomenally by S.P.Balasubrahmanyam). Since that song is based on Sivaranjani raaga, I’m assuming this too may be, and that explains the depth in the melody. Sam plays around with the melody really well, aided perfectly by Bhuvana Ananth’s singing.

Ee Theruvile – Achanoru Vazha Vechu (Bijibal) – Malayalam: This is perhaps the most ebullient (in relative terms) song from Bijibal that I recall hearing in recent times. And the tune holds surprises at many points! After the first line (Ee Theruvile), when I thought the liveliness would carry along, Bijibal introduces the ‘Aakaashankal’ line that has Vineeth drag the melody in a new direction! And then the ‘O o’ chorus is a surprising choice too since it is an integral part of the song. The anupallavi’s tune is equally good, generously aided the chorus and Vineeth does a smashing job all through!

Title song – Sapta Sagaradaache Ello (Charan Raj) – Kannada: As a fan of Charan Raj’s music, I so wanted to like the first song from this film (Horaata), but it just wasn’t my kind of song. Thankfully, Charan Raj hits it out of the park with the title song! The synth-laden 80s sound is both dreamy and lofty, and the way he infuses Punya Srinivas’s Veena takes the song to a new high. Kapil Kapilan’s singing is absolutely brilliant. The way he enunciates the title phrase is particularly so very evocative!

Preethisuve, Shivani – Kousalya Supraja Rama (Arjun Janya) – Kannada: I recall hearing Arjun’s songs from Kousalya Supraja Rama earlier, but they didn’t work for me adequately. But after the film’s release (and after watching the film, actually), I thought I would go back to the music and come down from my own lofty standards a bit 🙂 If I did that, it’s only fair I add these 2 songs in Weeklies. Preethisive’s energetic melody is an interesting concoction by Arjun, blending what is actually a lush melody with unusually rousing music, punctuated by Amalraj’s solo violin. The singing is top-notch – both Sonu Nigam and Prithwi Bhat are in great form. Shivani’s hook is almost Arjun’s trademark by now – I heard it the first time and my mind said, ‘Arjun Janya?’ 🙂 Good singing by Nishan Rai.

Muddu Raakshasi – Vaamana (B. Ajaneesh Loknath) – Kannada: As a fan of Ajaneesh’s music, I was disappointed with the title song from this film last week. It hardly had Ajaneesh’s nuanced musical style that came out only in the 2nd interlude that made me sit up. But Ajaneesh gets this song right. It’s a gorgeous melody lifted by Vijay Prakash’s fantastic singing along with Harshika Devanath. The ‘Muddu Raakshasi’ hook is a lovely touch, in particular, layering both voices in sync.

Toke Niye Bilet Jabo Re – Oh! Lovely (Suvam Subhankar) – Bangla: It’s hard to believe that this is actually a Bangla song. Except for the language in which they sing, everything else – the music, the nature of landing the hook, the dance, the sound – everything is so very Hindi, or Telugu, or Tamil… in a way, this is the kind of mainstream masala music (with a definite not to Pritam, I thought) that can pass off easily across multiple language film industries in India. But, to be fair to Suvam, he has a terrific song here – it’s a total earworm and is aptly foot-tapping.

Baadal – Sanjith Hegde (Hindi/Indipop): Sanjith Hegde, like Arijit Singh, is steadily proving himself to be an excellent music composer too beyond just singing! His Coke Studio song, Geejaga Hakki, was an excellent example. And here comes Baadal! Sanjith’s composition skills come to the fore in the way he opens the melody before introducing the rhythm, the way he infuses the guitar and tabla, and of course, in the way he crafts the tune to bring the best of his stellar vocals, complete with semi-classical layers and a falsetto. It is not a simple or instantly catchy melody, but one that takes time for you to unpeel and eventually enjoy.

Kasam Se – Shekhar Ravjiani, ft. Arijit Singh – Hindi/Indipop: Shekhar Ravjiani has been steadily releasing singles in the past few months and the recent ones like Kamal Khan-sung Vasdaa and the ghazal, Labon Se Baat, written by Priya Saraiya and sung by Madhubanti Bagchi, just did not work for me. But I’d tend to be a lot more generous with Kasam Se and not just because of Arijit Singh’s singing (which is, as expected, excellent). Shekhar’s tune shows adequately inventive flourishes like the “Ho gaye meherbaan” line that immediately comes after the opening.

Kaikku Ettinadhu – Vijaynarain (Tamil/Indipop): Vijaynarain has already proven himself to be a nifty composer in films like Dagaalty. But while his earlier compositions seemed to sound a bit like Santhosh Narayanan’s music, this one is straight out of Sean Roldan’s soundscape. It’s a totally catchy song with a bluegrassy backdrop (Bruce Hoffman’s fiddle, in particular) and excellent singing by Vijaynarain himself, even as the music video, albeit very funny and whimsical, felt like a serious distraction to enjoying the music. While on the music video, I was amused at one scene where the corny lead characters are trying to evade the cops and are hiding behind a wall that had posters of 2 Tamil films – Kakkai Sattai and Oomai VizhigaL. The former came out in mid-1985 and had ‘Indru Mudhal’ on it, meaning, ‘From today’. The latter was released in 1986. The most probable explanation for this temporal anomaly is that the video is set in present times in a small village where the sole ‘Tent kottayi’ is re-releasing these films (in these days of unlimited free internet?) and these are outdated posters being re-used by the already hapless theater owner (imagine V.K.Ramasamy from AaN Paavam).

Ammamma – Sahi Siva (Tamil/Indipop): I did listen to Sahi Siva’s earlier 2 songs from his upcoming album but they did not work for me. This 3rd single did, however. It’s a catchy song that I wouldn’t be surprised if it is appropriated, either officially or unofficially, into a Tamil film soon (hopefully with Sahi Siva singing it and credited). The ‘Ammamma’ hook is the song’s best part even though the lead-up to that is quite imaginative as well.