Milliblog Weeklies, Week 226 – August 20, 2023

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 226: YouTube | Spotify

This Zee Music vs. Spotify war is getting on my nerves now – 4 out of 10 songs this week missing from Spotify 🙁

Chaleya – Jawan (Anirudh) – Hindi: It’s such a huge relief to listen to what feels like the return of Anirudh! After being adequately disappointed with the music of Jailer (Jujube being the lone exception), and the first single from Jawan, Chaleya comes across as a complete—and very pleasant—surprise. This is the kind of vibrant and inventive sound that I loved from Anirudh, in songs like Megham Karukatha, from Thiruchitrambalam. There is a genuine effort in creating a fresh background sound, and it works wonders with the breezy tune! Plus, he ropes in Arijit and Shilpa to sing the song (unlike the first song that he sang himself, to middling results) – what could go wrong? (Nothing!). The musical style took me back to Anirudh’s outstanding score in Nani’s Gang Leader – ‘Hoyna Hoyna’, in particular.

Dono, Agg Ladgi & Khamma Ghani – Dono (Shankar Ehsaan Loy) – Hindi: Phew! A new soundtrack from Shankar Ehsaan Loy after quite some time! And a full album that dropped in one go! Given the Rajshri backing, I expected more from the soundtrack than what I heard. But there are at least 3 songs that make for excellent listening. The title song is the first one that works effortlessly with the trademark Shankar Ehsaan Loy sound! The singing is impeccable – Armaan Malik in super form. The music builds gradually and progressively with nifty touches like the title hook’s reverb effect. When the backing chorus kicks in the 2nd interlude, the song gets even better. The brilliant chorus stays on and elevates the song towards a lovely closure! Agg Lagdi’s cal-and-response hook screams the trio’s sound… and in a way, something I have missed 🙂 With Siddharth Mahadevan and Lisa Mishra’s vocals, this dance song throws in surprises aplenty! The instrumental fusion in the interlude is one great surprise. The way the antara is structured is a brilliant surprise – that ‘Yeh zamana toh begana’ zigs and zags in surprising ways and leads to the ‘Agg lagdi’ hook in an entirely unusual way! Khamma Ghani is the soundtrack’s best song! The melody is so very earthy and the ‘Khamma Ghani’ hook is an absolute delight! You can hear the song and immediately go, ‘Shankar Ehsaan Loy?’ – that’s the nature of the trio’s music that continues to work wonders.

Naach – Dream Girl 2 (Tanishk Bagchi) – Hindi: Largely predictable Tanishk-style music, but it’s handled with such sincerity and pomp that it manages to impress!

Oru Vari Kadhai – Lucky Man (Sean Roldan) – Tamil: First things first, I’m mildly glad that Sean did not choose to sing this song himself. His voice does work for certain songs, but a line like ‘Manam adhan oru niram sinam’ needed a more adept, smoother voice, and Pradeep is perfect here. Balaji Venugopal and Sean Roldan’s lyrics add a lot to the song that exudes positivity in both musical and lyrical ways.

Suttamla Soosi – Gangs of Godavari (Yuvan Shankar Raja) – Telugu: That Yuvan is composing for a direct Telugu film was the first surprise, but that he choose a easily crowd-pleasing package is a better surprise! This is an instantly likeable song with everything working in its favor – that insanely catchy rhythm, Anurag Kulkarni’s singing, and the easily likeable melody!

Yedhaki Oka Gaayam – Kushi (Hesham Abdul Wahab) – Telugu: There’s a lot of Gopi Sundar in this song, particularly in the way Hesham sues the strings. And this is, relatively, a weaker song compared what I have heard from this soundtrack so far. But it definitely works, particularly when Hesham moves to the anupallavi.

Ganagana Mogalira – Mangalavaaram (B Ajaneesh Loknath) – Telugu: That ‘Aaa aaa’ chorus (by CR Bobby, I presume) is Ajaneesh’s signature sound! And he envelopes that chorus in a pulse-pounding rhythm, giving the song a hypnotic allure perfect for the religious fervor being aimed here.

Keh Do Na – The Rish, Dropped Out, BLUK (Indipop/Hindi): The song’s frenetic rhythm for what was otherwise a soulful melody reminded me of Ram Sampath’s stupendous work in Let’s Talk. I found the singing to be a bit constrained, almost as if the lead singer was trying his best to sing with his mouth as closed as possible, but the melody keeps the song in great stead along with the addictive background sound.