Milliblog Weeklies, Week 228 – September 10, 2023

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 228: YouTube | Spotify

After a week’s break – 16 songs this week. The YouTube playlist has all the songs, while Spotify is missing just one – the short song from Sapta Sagaradaache Ello.

Mann – The Yellow Diary (Indipop/Hindi): Familiar, warm goodness from The Yellow Diary with Rajan Batra’s impeccable voice and singing, an easily likeable tune, and lush, fluid interludes. Perfect feel-good music! Surprisingly, the other 2 songs in the 3-song set (Kaun Mera and Sada) didn’t work for me at all!

Giddh – Thaikkudam Bridge (SoundChk S01) – Indipop/Hindi/Malayalam: Barring the fact that Thaikkudam Bridge’s Hindi lines also sound like Malayalam, this is every bit a song you’d expect from the band. The music is heady and hypnotic, the sound is pulsating, and the singing is superbly on point.

Podhum Podhum, Ragalaya – Chandramukhi 2 (M.M.Keeravani) – Tamil: When the first few songs from this sequel dropped, I was clearly surprised about what I was hearing, from a composer of Keeravani’s caliber! The classical song (Swagathaanjali), the happy Ra Ra, and that terrible ‘Moruniye’ just didn’t seem like Keeravani material at all. Thankfully, there are these two almost low-key songs that completely flip the soundtrack’s notion with how good they are! Podhum Podhum is the kind of melody that is a magnificent showcase of Maragadamani/Keeravani’s prowess. Aditi Bhavaraju, in particular, is phenomenal with her singing, ably supported by Pradeep Kumar. Ragalaya’s opening reggae makes it seem like (Rahman’s) Mustafa Mustafa’s extension, but Keeravani has a very different tune in his mind. The vocal chorus, all through the song, is really interesting, while the use of silences makes the song all the more enjoyable. Aditi scores in this song too, even as Niteesh Kondiparthi’s singing is pretty good too!

Annai Thanthai – Are You Ok Baby (Ilaiyaraaja) – Tamil: The song’s melody is a wonderfully nostalgic throwback to Raja’s music and even the interlude pieces took me down memory lane on assorted older songs from the composer’s mindboggling repertoire. The opening, though, seemed like a variant of his own 1979 classic sung beautifully by Vani Jayaram – Naane Naana, from Azhage Unnai Aaraadhikkiren (with an absolute killer prelude in flute).

Azhagai – Iraivan (Yuvan Shankar Raja) – Tamil: Within Yuvan’s repertoire, this is a weaker effort, but I won’t deny that it has a charm. But while the singing by Sanjith Hegde is very good, Kharesma Ravichandran spits out Tamil words with the same ease as Udit Narayan.

Pattasa – Jawan (Anirudh) – Tamil: I liked the Tamil version than the Hindi Farrata from Jawan. It’s probably because of Arivu, who I thought did a considerably better job (with the lyrics too) than the heavily familiar Badshah. The captivating rhythm and the tune seemed like what Anirudh usually reserves for Vignesh Shivn (I’m not sure how many more vowels he has decided to drop in recent times).

Kangal Edho – Chithha (Dhibu Ninan Thomas) – Tamil: When Karthika Vaidyanathan opens the song with sparse music in the background, it almost sounds like any classic Ilayaraja number from the 80s. But, from that point, Dhibu builds the song really, really beautifully! His singers, Pradeep Kumar and Karthika, are in truly amazing form to handle the song’s nuanced flow demanding quite a bit (the pallavi’s ‘Kangal yedho-dho-dho-dho or anupallavi’s ‘Nee l-ay-ay-ay-ay-sa’, for instance). The music behind the singing is the song’s real highlight, however – there’s so much happening in the background, for a song that starts with almost nothing! This is one heck of a song!

Sittharala Sithravathi – Aadikeshava (GV Prakash Kumar) – Telugu: Oh boy!!! Where was this GV Prakash Kumar all these days? It’s almost like Telugu film music has enabled the composer to, as they exclaim in Tamil, Erangi adichufy 🙂 To be sure, this is standard-issue Telugu masala music, but even such masala songs need to get the structure and flow right. And this one just delivers perfectly. Just observe the way the pallavi that, itself, sounds like a low-key version of a hook line but isn’t, and the movement from the pallavi to the ‘Naa rangula’ hook (which sounds like a tweak on ‘Butta bomma’ hook). Both Rahul Sipligunj and Ramya Behera do a terrific job.

Ek Dum Ek Dum – Tiger Nageswara Rao (GV Prakash Kumar) – Telugu: This week should be marked as GV Prakash Kumar’s, and that too, not in Tamil, but in Telugu! He has not one, but two incredibly catchy masala songs handled and delivered beautifully. The song feels like the usual GVP music in Tamil yanked 5X in every way, with a punchy hook to boot! Anurag Kulkarni’s delivery just accentuates the effect.

DJ Pilla – Sasivadane (Saravana Vasudevan) – Telugu: After the title song, the 2nd song from Sasivadane makes for a solid listen too, though both songs are polar opposites, tonally. The composer ropes Tamil singer Vaisagh and hands him a song perfectly suited to his voice and style. The hook seems a bit forced, but it is also insanely catchy 🙂

Koddi Koddiga Premistha – Ala Ninnu Cheri (Subhash Anand) – Telugu: The only thing that drew me into this song was the use of ReetigowLai raaga. I felt that the song construction, overall melody, and instrumentation were fairly middling, but the composer has an ace in the form of the base raaga that always makes its stunning presence felt. Good that he chose that raaga.

Chaala Bagunde – Tiragabadara Saami (JB) – Telugu: I recall mentioning quite a few songs by composer JB (Jeevan Babu) in the past and I’m surprised to hear his name again after quite some time. This is a more than competent song, with an energetic rhythm enveloping a lovely melody with many smaller stretches holding terrific appeal (like that ‘Aakaasam ayuvu kanna’ stretch, for example).

Neela Nilave – RDX (Sam CS) – Malayalam: Sam easily hits it out of the park in Neela Nilave! The song’s gentle opening hides a superbly punchy stretch in the middle and throws in so many instrumental layers so confidently – the guitar (Joseph Vijay) layer all through, a fantastic flute (Kiran) layer in the song’s catchiest segment, and sitar (that shadows the flute for the bouncy segment in the song’s opening, but merges with the flute towards the end. Kapil Kabilan handles the melody really well.

Eli Sanje Kadala Teera – Vaamana (B Ajaneesh Loknath) – Kannada: This is a classic filmy melody (along the lines of a classic masala song) with every melodic layer accentuated perfectly. The serene opening and the ‘Arey yaarivan’ melodic hook complement each other wonderfully. The song’s clear highlight is composer C R Bobby’s outstanding vocals!

Kadalanu – Sapta Sagaradaache Ello (Charanraj) – Kannada: That you feel this short song should have definitely been longer is the true mark of the song’s charm. With just Godfrey Emmanuel’s guitar and the background chorus by Pooja Rao and Meghana Kulkarni Joshi, Charanraj weaves an affecting melody that Srilakshmi Belmannu delivers so very well. I hope there is a longer version of this song, perhaps in Side-B.