Milliblog Weeklies, Week 242 – March 17, 2024

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 242: YouTube | Spotify

Back after another musical weak week’s break 🙂 14 songs this week, and the Spotify playlist is missing only one song – the Kannada song from UI The Movie. It’s a surprise that Lahari Music hasn’t yet listed the song on Spotify!

Baby Bring It On – Madgaon Express (Ajay-Atul) – Hindi: Ajay-Atul recreate their own 2016 Marathi number by the same name from the film ‘Jaundya Na Balasaheb’, but after hearing the superior Marathi original, the Hindi version sounds a bit less interesting. It is appropriately frenetic and catchy, however.

The tune seems to be based on VakuLaabharaNam raaga (a Middle Eastern music staple!), something that Tamil composer MS Viswanathan made masterful use of in his iconic song, ‘Engeyum Eppothum’ from the 1979 film, ‘Ninaithaale Inikkum’.

Mann Lovely – Tera Kya Hoga Lovely (Amit Trivedi) – Hindi: A very, very typical Amil Trivedi tune… something that leaps out of the song when the line ‘Ab toh sachchi sachchi baattaan udiyaan’ lands in the middle of the song! It’s a lovely melody, of course, and handled really well by the singers, Abhay Jodhpurkar and Madhubanti Bagchi.

Qatra Qatra – Ae Watan Mere Watan (Mukund Suryawanshi) – Hindi: I recall Mukund Suryawanshi’s name from his song ‘Yaad’ that Sonu Nigam handled incredibly in a Roposo Jamroom song back in 2022. While Sonu did the heavy lifting in that song, here, Mukund’s composition is truly impressive, with energetic sound propelling the melody, thanks also to Sukhwinder Singh’s powerful vocals.

Naram Kaalja – Amar Singh Chamkila (A R Rahman) – Punjabi: It’s so good to hear Rahman’s almost free-flowing tune blend intricately with Irshad Kamil’s verse. The singers, led by Alka Yagnik, and including Richa Sharma, Pooja Tiwari, and Yashika Sikka, have a collegial vibe, giving and picking from each other’s voices. The antaras don’t necessarily fit into any larger patterns, but they call come back to the mukhda with that winsome ‘Daingad daingad’ bridge!

Kaanaathathai Naan Kandeney – Teenz (D Imman) – Tamil: After R Parthiban’s collaboration with A R Rahman for Iravin Nizhal, for his next, the oddly titled ‘Teenz’, he opts for D Imman! Imman delivers in the first single in style, with a lush melody, the kind that he is known for. Shreya Ghoshal is outstanding with her singing, as always.

Kalyani Vaccha Vacchaa – The Family Star (Gopi Sundar) – Telugu: After Nandanandanaa, Gopi hits it out of the park again! This is an instantly likeable and catchy song that gains tremendously from Mangli’s ebullient opening singing. While Karthik does his magic in the anupallavi, the male chorus (Nevin C Delson and Rajath Raveendran) deliver the song’s best part, the ‘Kalyani Vaccha Vaccha’ hook that Gopi lands so beautifully after a carefully constructed prelude.

Omane – Aadujeevitham—The Goat Life (A R Rahman) – Malayalam: The much-hyped soundtrack is such a monumental mess in terms of the release. When would the producers realize that a big, glitzy ‘music launch’ is not enough; they need to release the actual soundtrack cohesively, in a predictable manner so that people get to hear the songs? There is no proper music label behind this soundtrack and the songs are split between multiple pages on all streaming platforms! Are there only 6 songs? Are there more? Of the 6 songs, only Omana stood out for me as a song that I can listen to outside of the movie-watching experience (4 other songs seemed like they would fit the background, and the Hope Song seemed like a disjoint promo song). Chinmayi headlining Omana (along with Vijay Yesudas, and Rakshita Suresh) is such an affirming thought, in more ways than one. And, the melody itself is absolutely gorgeous, effortlessly crowd-pleasing. Rakshita Suresh’s portion in the middle is a discordant surprise, and its bridge back to Chinmayi’s portion doesn’t really flow.

Varaveena, Jeevithagaadhakale, Sangamam, Njaanaalunna, and Karakaana – Varshangalkku Shesham (Amrit Ramnath) – Malayalam: (I had written about Madhu Pakaroo, the film’s first released song, in the last Weeklies, on March 4th). In VaraveeNa, Amrit fuses a classic Mohanam-raaga based melody (by Appaiah Dikshitar; a melody that is so very Chinese in nature too, much like VakuLaabharaNam’s Middle Eastern twang) onto a distinctly and elegantly assembled Western Classical score. The result is a brilliant fusion that demonstrates Amrit’s musical imagination. Jeevithagaadhakale has the musical flourish of a veteran composer like Sharreth, and coming from a youngster like Amrit, this is a wonderful surprise. But, of course, given Amrit’s lineage, this is hardly surprising. The Budapest Scoring Orchestra forms an impeccable background to the soaring, lush melody handled expertly by K.S.Chithra, along with Sreevalsan J Menon and Mithun Jayaraj. Amrit mentions in the album notes that the rhythm of the song was intended to resemble the rhythm of a moving train. But the attempt is quite dramatically different from any other, conventional train-imititating songs in Indian films and doesn’t manifest explicitly.

Amrit ropes in Balram for the ghazal’ish Sangamam. It evokes memories of Vidyasagar’s brilliant Pakalonnu, from Neelathamara, possibly owing to Balram being the common link, besides the ghazal-like melody. Balram is dependably fantastic, and the melody is pleasantly persistent, with enchanting Sitar by Purbayan Chatterjee. Njaanaalunna is my pick of the album. As Amrit mentions in the album notes, the 10-beat cycle gives the otherwise soft melody considerably heft. Hesham’s singing only makes it more engaging. Karakaana closes the album on a serene note. An affable rock ballad sung by Vineeth and Divya, the strings in the background is what adds depth to the melody, even though Amrit mentions in the notes that it was intended as just an acoustic ballad!

Amrit makes a smashing composing debut in films with Varshangalkku Shesham! I really look forward to what he does next, and more!

Kavithe Kavithe – Yuva (B Ajaneesh Loknath) – Kannada: Ajaneesh makes wonderful use of Sanjith Hegde’s expansive vocal style and gives us a rock-style song that is layered with excellent violin phrases, courtesy Embar Kannan and Raghavendra. The violins’ interplay with the flute (Lalith) in the first interlude is particularly lovely!

Troll Song – UI The Movie (B Ajaneesh Loknath) – Kannada: Amidst minimal, almost outdated, background music with a distinct Middle Eastern twang, Ajaneesh blends his hypnotic tune expertly. The lyrics allude to modern day internet and social media slang very well! Also, the lyrics seem to relfect up-to-date current events. Take the Tamil version, for instance. Tamil star Vijay announced his new party ‘Tamizhaga Vetri Kazhagam’ on February 2, 2024. Accepting the criticism that it was missing the grammatically accurate ‘ik’ (Vetri-k-kazhagam), the name was updated on February 17, 2024. This episode is already part of the lyrics in the Tamil version (lyrics by Ve.Madhan Kumar), released in March 4, 2024!