Milliblog Weeklies, Week 241 – March 3, 2024

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 241: YouTube | Spotify

Back after a week’s break and what a bumper playlist it is, this weekend! 17 songs, and all songs are available on both playlists.

Ishq Mitaye – Amar Singh Chamkila (A R Rahman) – Punjabi/Hindi: There’s an almost obvious nod to Rockstar’s Sheher Mein (also the Mohit Chauhan connection) in this song. And I am amazed at the fact that neither does Imtiaz Ali get his hero-composer (Diljit Dosanjh) to compose for the film, nor A R Rahman get the film’s hero-singer to sing for this song! But this is an addictive song, no doubt. The melody builds gradually, first to land that punchy ‘Jeeve Agg Meri’ phrase and then, towards the middle (and again at the end), that incredibly powerful ‘Main Hoon Punjab’ line!

Ishq Tera, Main Hoon – Article 370 (Shashwat Sachdev) – Hindi: Shashwat Sachdev produces surprisingly—for a film of this nature where I assumed there would hardly be any scope for interesting/strongly melodic songs—wonderful music here! And he is ably supported by Sanjith Hegde who handles both songs brilliantly like only he can. Ishq Tera does get a bit heavy on the music as it progresses and I wish Shashwat had toned down the sound after the antara. He does calm the sound by bringing in the harmonium in a lovely touch, but then ends the song again in a louder sense. Main Hoon is a fantastic tune, with a relentlessly busy sound and providing Sanjith with a pulsating tune to croon. Shashwat’s music is outstanding here!

Mast Malang Jhoom – Bade Miyan Chote Miyan (Vishal Mishra) – Hindi: This is a banger of a dance track that seemed very “South Indian” kuthu to me 🙂 Not a Hindi-centric kuthu, but the way Pritam brilliantly appropriated Southern kuthu in songs like R… Rajkumar’s Gandi Baat and Saree Ka Fall Se. Vishal does a terrific job of keeping the backgrounds muted, in the beginning, to help land the hook with total impact!

Ping Pong/Aa Bhid Jaa Re, Paayum Theeye/Baadal – Por/Dange (Sanjith Hegde) – Tamil/Hindi: Sanjith is turning out to be quite a composer, that too for films in 2 languages where the tune and the singing need to work across those languages at the same time, for different sets of people! Of course, in the era of every film imagining itself to be a pan-Indian film, this has become a default expectation, but the effort Sanjith puts into his dual language compositions reminds me of how Rahman used to do it when he was perhaps one of the very few composers doing this double language effort, mostly because Mani Ratnam started imagining every film of his as a bilingual (leading to a ‘ghar kaa na ghaaT kaa’ problem for many of his films till he stopped that force fit). The tunes here are Rahman’ish too – not present-day Rahman, though. The tunes have so many layers to unpack that it needed multiple listens for me to fully absorb its flow and appreciate it. And of course, Sanjith sings it impeccably well across both versions. In Paayum Theeye/Baadal, in particular, Sanjith makes full use of his unique range and goes the whole hog with the semi-classical melody. And yes, Baadal was released by Sanjith as a single last year, and now we have a Tamil version of the song too.

Also, it’s a pity that Bejoy hasn’t been able to release a cohesive, single soundtrack for the film! The official ‘soundtrack’ by T-series has only 4 songs, while Paayum Theeye/Baadal is by Warner Music and is released as a single! Are there more songs?

Kadala – Nalla Perai Vaanga Vendum Pillaigale (Pradeep Kumar) – Tamil: I don’t know why Pradeep doesn’t compose more! This song, with corny lyrics by Pradeep Kumar and Senthur Pandian, has a tune that sounds like it may have been composed by Ilayaraja, particularly the anupallavi! But the zany, modern sound is not Raja’ish, even though the song’s signature is very Raja. The singers, Pradeep Kumar, Bharath Sankar, Sean Roldan, and Shahid Hameed, seem to be having a stellar time singing it! But yes, the other 3 songs in this soundtrack don’t pass muster for me, sadly.

Nammalani Undi – Jayamundhi Bhayamela Manasaa (Kalyan Nayak) – Telugu: This is the kind of tune and sound that made me look up who the composer is! I remember not being impressed with Kalyan Nayak’s songs in last year’s Mem Famous, and hence, this song is a total surprise! I think I hear strains of Gambheera Naattai raaga in the melody and Cochin Strings’s work in the background adds a gorgeous layer to the song. You can trust Haricharan to do a great job with a tune like this, and along with Ramya Behara, who joins him in the beautifully imagined anupallavi, the singers do really well.

Emito Emito – Sasivadane (Saravana Vasudevan) – Telugu: This is the 3rd song from Sasivadane (after the title song and DJ Pilla), and I have to say the composer is doing a good job so far! Like those 2 songs, this one is not earth-shakingly different or new but flows nicely enough to stand out and is generally likeable. There’s a gentle rhythmic backdrop that carries the song and the PVNS Rohit’s singing—and the melody—is considerably better in the anupallavi, with its faux-classical approach, propped by the lovely strings layer.

Kanulara – Alanaati Ramachandrudu (Shashank Tirupati) – Telugu: This is the second song this week that made me sit erect and do a serious search for the composer, after Kalyan Nayak’s Nammalani Undi from Jayamundhi Bhayamela Manasaa! I don’t think I have heard of, or heard anything from Shashank Tirupati yet, but was truly blown away by Kanulara! The way he blends the lovely tune with Sandeep Mohan’s guitar works wonders here! Anjana Balakrishnan does a superb job all through, particularly in the anupallavi even as the interludes to shine!

Madhu Pakaroo – Varshangalkku Shesham (Amrit Ramnath) – Malayalam: Bombay Jayashri’s son, Amrit Ramnath, makes his film composing debut, moving from independent music! The melody is a throwback to a slightly older period of music-making, almost sounding like a Vidyasagar song (that’s a huge compliment!). Vineeth Sreenivasan’s dependable singing powers this pleasant tune propped by a hugely imaginative rhythm.

Nebulakal (Travel Song) – Manjummel Boys (Sushin Shyam) – Malayalam: The first song from the film (Kuthanthram) didn’t work for me, but this one is a brilliant offering from Sushin! The music gets progressively eclectic, belying how it starts off, with Pradeep Kumar’s soft vocals that continue as if unmindful of the many interesting directions the music takes!

Jaada – Aavesham (Sushin Shyam) – Malayalam: Close on the heels of Manjummel Boys’ Nebulakal (Travel Song), here’s another Sushin Shyam number that does the trick effortlessly! In a way, what did not work for me in Manjummel Boys’ Kuthanthram, Sushin seems to have done a once-over and approached it differently! The tune and the rhythm are hypnotic and Sreenath Bhasi’s rendition adds to the song’s charm, peaking at the ‘Jaada’ hook!

Chandasina Chandadalli – Somu Sound Engineer (Charanraj MR) – Kannada: I was going to skip the song after seeing the film’s name, but that would have been a blunder, and I know well by now to sample any song no matter what I think of the film’s title. And this has Charanraj’s music! As I had expected, this is almost an Ajay-Atul style song and Charanraj does not disappoint at all! The Ajay-Atul signature comes alive in the jaunty rhythm too, but the soulful tune is a Charan stamp!

Ishq Mehfooz (Waiting On You) – Shekhar Ravjiani (Indipop/Hindi) – Sheykhar/Shekhar conjures a melody that took me to the Hindi film music style of the 1990s! After a bit of mental prodding, I landed on Anand-Milind’s ‘O Rabba Koi To Bataye‘ from Sangeet (1992) as a sort of spirit precursor to Shekhar’s melody. But Shekhar does present a considerably more modern version of the lovely tune he has in hand, eschewing flowing melody to a more staccato melody punctuated by the catchy rhythm.