Milliblog Weeklies, Week 245 – April 21, 2024

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 245: YouTube | Spotify

A bumper 20 songs this week, given last week’s no show. All the songs are available on both playlists.

Ta Ra Ta Ra Ta – Do Aur Do Pyaar (Subhajit Mukherjee) – Hindi: I have already listed 2 songs from this film’s soundtrack in earlier Weeklies (The Local Train’s Tu Hai Kahaan and Lost Stories’ Jazbaati Hai Dil), but I did expect more from the 7-song soundtrack. The only other song I liked was Subhajit’s Ta Ra Ta Ra Ta, with its gently lilting melody and Vishal Dadlani sounding totally unlike himself! This is not his usual vocal range that I’m used to and it sounded like a new singer with that name!

Tilasmi Bahein – Heeramandi (Sanjay Leela Bhansali) – Hindi: With its Middle eastern exotica, Sanjay’s captivating melody gets a jolt of electricity in Sharmistha Chatterjee’s fantastic singing. This genre (Middle Eastern-tinged tune) has been done to death in Indian films across languages but that Sanjay still managed to do something unique in this template is admirable!

Dil Nahi Todenge – Maidaan (A R Rahman) – Hindi: Since he already has a modern-sounding ‘Team India Hain Hum’ as a rousing, inspirational song, for another stab at the same theme, Rahman seems to have opted for a period’ish sound, given the film’s timeline. It almost sounds like what a Salil Chowdhury may have composed in his heydays. It also seems to have a steady, thrumming marchpast’ish rhythm, much like the American Civil War song, ‘When Johnny comes marching home again’ which was the direct inspiration for Rajesh Roshan’s 1979 number from Baton Baton Mein, ‘Na Bole Tum Naa Maine Kuchh Kaha’.

Jiya Mera – Lafz (Garvit-Priyansh) – Hindi/Indipop: Oh boy, what a pleasant surprise this song is! The effortlessly likeable melody felt like the Indipop music of the early 2000s (what we used to watch on Channel V and MTV!). The singing by Garvit Soni and Priyansh Srivastava is excellent, while Aditya Kulkarni makes his presence felt with the Guitar in the first interlude. As composers Garvit-Priyansh lavish attention even on the antara (with the off-the-tune ‘Poori ho har justujoo’ twist) that sounds as good as the lovely mukhda.

You & Me, Saturday, It’s Your Birthday, Dance With Me, Together Forever, and Tonight – Dance With Me (Ankur Tewari and SOBO House Of Music) – Hindi/Indipop: What a mindboggling blast from the past! The entire album, with 6 song sounds straight out of the 1980s, with funky music that is guaranteed to remind you of the best of 80s funk. Excellent listen, the entire album! The singers, from Mumbai’s SOBO House Of Music, couldn’t have asked for a better launchpad!

Telisi Rama – Kappa Karnatics (Wazim-Murali, ft. Sadhika KR) – Indipop: Using Thyagaraja’s original composition based on Poornachandrika raaga, Wazim and Murali concoct a delightful musical layer around the already beautiful tune that Sadhika KR handles brilliantly! This is the kind of happy, ebullient raaga that can appeal instantly and Wazim-Murali’s music does total justice to the fusion.

Pookkakombathum – Vayassethrayayi Muppathi (Sibu Sukumaran) – Malayalam: The song’s melody and interlude took me on a whirlwind journey of so many songs – Bombay’s Kuchi Kuchi Rakkamma, 7G Rainbow Colony’s KaNN Pesum Vaarthaigal, and so on. Is it the Keeravani raaga connection, I wonder. Firoz Kunnamparambil does a great job with the catchy tune with his singing as does Sibu with the spritely rhythm that kicks in roughly at the 1-minute mark.

Kireedam – Nadikar (Yakzan Gary Pereira & Neha S Nair) – Malayalam: While the first song from the film (Omal Kanave) didn’t work for me, Yakzan and Neha get the next one right. With an incredibly catchy hook at the center of the tune, this one’s a great listen!

Nadanna Sambavam – Nadanna Sambavam (Ankit Menon) – Malayalam: Ankit’s pulsating techno music took me back to Neeraj Shridhar/Bombay Vikings’ Kya Soorat Hai (another remnant from our Channel V/MTV days). The female chorus (Siji Davis, Mable Prince, Melin Livero, and Rincy Martin), in particular, lifts the song up considerably.

Armadham, Adholokam – Aavesham (Sushin Shyam) – Malayalam: So there are 9 songs in the album, and considering I loved Jaada and Illuminati from it already, I expected more from the soundtrack, much like Do Aur Do Pyaar above, particularly the Kannada’ish songs (Galatta and Odimaga). But barring Armadham (with an addictive hook and excellent chorus) and Adholokam (sounded like a captivating fusion of Rahul Raj’s and Prashant Pillai’s schools of music).

World Malayalee Anthem – Malayalee From India (Jakes Bejoy) – Malayalam: A delightful mish-mash from Jakes where he channel’s Alisha Chinoy’s Made in India to suit a Malayalee anthem. In between this, there’s also Asal Kolar’s Tamil rap that brings the house down!

Yaar Chal Chaliye – Salim-Sulaiman, ft. Gurdas Maan (Punjabi/Indipop): In the era of so many genres taking over Punjabi music, it is great to listen to Gurdas Maan’s earthy singing with Salim-Sulaiman keeping the folksy feel of the melody intact while only mildly tampering with the sound to infuse modern sounds. Gurdas Maan proves why he is the OG with his stupendously spirited singing!

Tati – Coke Studio Bangla, Season 3 (Bangla/Pop): This is the kind of music Coke Studio India used to produce at one point – truly multicultural, multidimensional sound rooted on a theme that is inherent to the country and its culture. Brilliant effort by Shayan Chowdhury Arnob who brings it all together impeccably.

Aayi Aayi – Coke Studio Pakistan, Season 15 (Sindhi/Pop): What a surprise! A Sindhi song opens Coke Studio Pakistan’s new season! And given the video’s innate Rajasthani influence (or the other side of the border, Sindh – divided by geography, united by music), it almost feels like a Coke Studio India production! Using the Sindh folk take of Umar Marvi as the inspiration, Xulfi, along with Noman Ali Rajper, Babar Mangi, and Abdullah Siddiqui weaves a wonderfully captivating song that comes alive with superb singing, particularly by Marvi and Saiban.