Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 182: On Spotify | On YouTube
18 songs this week! All the songs are available on YouTube, while Spotify is missing the Malayalam song Santhwani, and Shankar Mahadevan’s Dil Ki Dhun for obvious reasons considering it’s a promo song from rival streaming platform, JioSaavn 🙂

Jordaar – Jayeshbhai Jordaar (Vishal-Sheykhar) – Hindi: It’s good to hear Vishal-Sheykhar’s music, though he is ‘Sheykhar’ now, the music remains the same! The song’s pulsating sound and Gujarati smattering go pretty well. The singing, by Vishal Dadlani and Keerthi Sagathia, is thoroughly enjoyable, and that ‘Bhai toh ek dum Jordaar’ is an earworm!

Maan Le – Chitrakut (Somesh Saha) – Hindi: Somesh’s melody, that tabla-laden backdrop, the strings that punctuate the first interlude, and the sitar that joins the song eventually… all make the song sound a lot like an Indipop song. Arijit’s singing is the star, though – he holds the song that already shines with Somesh’s confident, engaging melody.

Dil Ki Dhun – Shankar Mahadevan (Indipop/Hindi): The single has so many marketing tie-ups behind it – a song produced as part of JioSaavn’s current ‘Dil Ki Dhun’ campaign, a music video shot with OnePlus 10 Pro, and more! But, for a song that aims to showcase ‘My Country, My Music’, the song is way too short (under 2 minutes) and decidedly Mumbai + ‘North’ India. Shankar’s composition is fantastic, though. The way he drops the sound at the 1-minute mark and brings in a classical high with his impeccable vocals is a lovely touch!

Boli Tujhse – Amit Trivedi (Indipop/Hindi): This song is table-stakes by Amit’s standards, but still, is a listenable melody. The singers—Asees Kaur and Abhijeet Shrivastava—elevate the song considerably though that ‘Naam Tera Jo Mujhse Judd Gaya’ line screams so much of Amit’s template.

Maaman Magale & Nee Pirindhadheno – Kuttram Kuttrame (Ajesh) – Tamil: I have already expressed confidence in Ajesh’s composing skills more than once in this blog, and here he is, proving it yet again. Even though the Maaman Magale refrain harks back to ‘Aathangara Marame’ in a slightly slower mode, and even if the song reeks of early Rahman, this is still a very listenable song! Ajesh comes into his own in Nee Pirindhadheno that he not only composes but also sings extremely well! Viveka’s soulful lyrics add weight to this pensive melody too.

Naandhaana Naan Needhaana – Kathir (Prashant Pillai) – Tamil: It’s clear that Prashant is aiming for a ‘period’ sound to go with the sepia-toned visuals from the past. But instead of going the whole hog, he simply underlines the period’s musical style mildly while retaining a more modern sound, and this combo works wonderfully well for this melody. The choice of the singers has a lot to do with the song’s feel too – Gowtham Bharadwaj and Keerthana Vaidyanathan.

Dippam Dappam – Kaathuvaakula Rendu Kaadhal (Anirudh) – Tamil: To be sure, I was less impressed by the starting portions led by Anthony Daasan, but Anirudh concocts an incredibly catchy ‘Dippam Dappam’ hook that holds the song together.

Madichu Vecha Vethala – Buffoon (Santhosh Narayanan) – Tamil: What starts off as an authentic therukoothu escalates into something completely different at the 2-minute mark! It becomes a pulsating techno number using a familiar Tamil folk melody 🙂 Hugely enjoyable twist, that!

BulBul Tarang – Ramarao On Duty (Sam CS) – Telugu: After a series of non-starters, Sam seems to have a ‘big’ film in hand and he gets his recent best form, along with Sid Sriram in tow. The tune has a Western Classical base and a mysterious sound to it, a combination that works quite well!

Bullet Song – The Warriorr (Devi Sri Prasad) – Telugu: Trust DSP to produce the catchiest gimmicky songs 🙂 The bike sounds, the vocalization of bike sounds, the simple, hummable tune, and the catchy rhythm… everything simply works in this enjoyable masala song. And yes, the singers – Silambarasan and Haripriya!

Bhale Bhale Banjara – Acharya (Mani Sharma) – Telugu: Mani shows that he still has the goods to handle a ‘big’ film! The tune is a standard-issue hodge-podge, to be sure, but it takes its masala origins seriously enough and delivers adequately.

Aanandamo – Solamante Theneechakal (Vidyasagar) – Malayalam: Oh wow, the return of Vidyasagar! That too, in Malayalam, where he has a decidedly more melodic repertoire compared with Tamil and Telugu! The first single lives up to his legacy in Malayalam with excellent singing by Abhay Jodhpurkar and Anwesshaa, particularly in the anupallavi where Cochin Strings showcases its magic too.

Maayalle Maayalle – Makal (Vishnu Vijay) – Malayalam: Another ‘comeback’ film, but this has nothing to do with a musical comeback – Meera Jasmine’s comeback 🙂 But in a Sathyan Anthikad’s film! Vishnu’s first single is a breezy listen, particularly in Haricharan’s effortlessly good singing. The way Vishnu has constructed the anupallavi in a seemingly lengthy way is really charming as is the ‘Vattam vattam pottittu’ hook!

Santhwani – Ente Mazha (Sharreth) – Malayalam: Sharreth is such an anomaly in present-day film music—a much-needed anomaly! What was once a staple in Malayalam film music in the 80s, a classical carnatic composition, makes an appearance in all its splendor, sung brilliantly by Sharreth, as expected. I assume the raaga is Abheri.

Kanasallu Kaanada – Cutting Shop (KB Praveen) – Kannada: I figured that KB Praveen is not only the composer of the film, but also the film’s lead! That’s a fairly unique role that few actors have performed before him – my immediate references are T.Rajendar and K.Bhagyaraj in Tamil, though I’m sure there are quite a few more. The film’s first single, released last year (Yako Sisya), didn’t work for me, but both that one, and this new single have carnatic ‘sa ga ri pa’ style alaap as a key musical element despite being completely different genres, musically. I’m assuming Praveen’s musical knowledge is reasonably good that he is confident with his tunes, and it shows in Kanasallu Kaanada given that it is a more-than-competent melody handled beautifully by the couple, Nakul Abhyankar and Ramya Bhat Abhyankar. Praveen keeps the ‘Sa Ga Ri Ma’ refrain as the song’s main hook (in Ramya’s vocals) and this adds to the song’s appeal.

Bai Ga – Chandramukhi (Ajay-Atul) – Marathi: The film’s other 2 songs (Chandra and To Chand Rati) didn’t work for me, but this one’s classic Ajay-Atul! The melody is wonderfully lush and classical raaga-based, and Aarya Ambekar’s singing is fantastic! The chorus part towards the end was a wonderful surprise!

Bulbuli – Coke Studio Bangla, Season 1 (Bangla): The song picks up the famous Nazrul Geeti (by Kavi Nazrul Islam), Bagichay Bulbuli, and gives it an energetic Coke Studio treatment. The update is very interesting given that the original is a rather sedate ghazal while the new version is so very pop-music lively! Rituraj Baidya’s singing is scintillating. When Sanzida Mahmood Nandita joins him mid-way with her ‘Dol Dol Dol Diyeche’, the song becomes a delightful duet!

While listening to the song, and the original, I couldn’t help but notice how similar it sounded to Laxmikant-Pyarelal’s Khilona title song!

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 181: On Spotify | On YouTube
11 songs this week! All the songs are available on both YouTube and Spotify.

Intezaar – Lucky Ali, Mikey McCleary (Hindi/Indipop): Oh wow – the return of Lucky Ali! And Mikey seems to be the perfect guy for bringing him back to the elusive singer back to mainstream! The tune is very Mikey but Lucky makes it his own with his inimitable singing!

Beast Mode – Beast (Anirudh) – Tamil: This is Anirudh magic all through! Right from that ‘Meaner, Leaner, Stronger’ hook… to that captivating musical bit that starts the song… to the catchy rhythm… to Anirudh’s punchy vocals, this is a hero-worship song that is oozing swag and style.

Kaalai Maalai – Paper Rocket (Dharan Kumar) – Tamil: A very beautiful melody from Dharan who keeps the lilting rhythm at a tasteful minimum to let the tune shine through. Sid Sriram’s vocals elevate the song considerably and this becomes even more obvious when in the anupallavi, the tune goes into that ‘NaaLai enbadhu nilavaaga’ pivot. Vivek’s lyrics are a significant part of the song’s charm too.

Pogadhey – Nadhi (Dhibu Ninan Thomas) – Tamil: After Nadhi’s very, very promising first two songs (Theera Nadhi and Kathari Poovasam), Dhibu hits it out of the park yet again – that’s 3 fantastic songs in a row! Singer Anila Rajeev is clearly in fantastic control of the enjoyable melody even as Dhibu helps her with a really captivating melody that literally flows so beautifully! Some bits of the melody took me back to Ilayaraja’s style and panache!

Lawyer Papa – Nenu Meeku Baaga Kavalsinavaadini (Manisharma) – Telugu: Before I come to the song, I’m honestly surprised by the frequency of films starring Kiran Abbavaram! I quite like the chap’s disarmingly simple appeal, but he had SR Kalyanamandapam in August 2021 (which he also wrote!). Then, he had Sebastian P.C. 524 in March 2022. Even before that film released, promos and songs for his next, Sammathame, had started. And now, the first single from Nenu Meeku Baaga Kavalsinavaadini! A lot of films, in a short span of time! Good for him, though.

The song is an interesting kuthu tune by Manisharma. It seems like it was crafted out of a minor variation in Rowdy Baby’s ‘Ra, namma beach pakkam potham… Oru dappankuthu vesthaam’ hook! But Manisharma, the veteran he is, builds something very catchy out of that, and Ram Miryala is superb in handling the raucous song.

The Panchakattu Song – Ante Sundaraniki (Vivek Sagar) – Telugu: Oh my God! This is Vivek Sagar at his best in recent times! The way he uses Aruna Sairam’s superb voice in a heady, zany tune is brilliant! The tune itself is a completely whimsical affair that gets rooted in Aruna’s brilliant singing, particularly in the anupallavi.

Manju Thullikal – Four (Bijibal) – Malayalam: A typically Bijibal-style melody that is low-key and so very unassuming. But in Najim Arshad’s always-delightful singing, the simple melody comes alive along with the small nuances Bijibal infuses into the tune. Like that ‘Hridayam Vaanil… Uyarnne’ high towards the end of the pallavi that I thought would have a more rounded closure but it just ends with 3 different pitches for ‘Uyarnne’!

Aakasham – Aromal Chekaver (Malayalam/Indipop): An unusual and catchy song where the techno sound fuses with a faux-classical sound, and the mix, curiously, is very good! Siva Prasad’s Nadaswaram has also been used very well in this mix.

Sing To The Skies : Swararaaga – The Immersive Experience, Vol. 2 (Sandeep Chowta, ft. Varijashree Venugopal, John Connearn, Jonathan Huber & Seb Read) – Indipop: I remember writing about 2 songs from Sandeep’s first volume of The Immersive Experience back in February 2021. And I completely missed the 2nd volume that released in May 2021! The pick of the album is the take on the Shankarabharanam raaga-based Tyagaraja kriti, Swararagasudha. The song is a new-age recreation of the kriti that starts with the original’s charanam and yet retains the soul of the original, thanks to Varijashree Venugopal’s fantastic singing!

Reunion 1 – The Immersive Experience, Vol. 3 (Sandeep Chowta, ft. Abhay Nayampally, Seb Read) – Indipop: So, how did I come across the volume 2 of The Immersive Experience? Because I stumbled on volume 3, and then wondered when I missed the 2nd volume 🙂 Surprisingly, the new album (3rd volume) has 9 songs, unlike the previous 2 albums that had only 4 songs each! But oddly, enough, just one worked for me as a striking enough song, even though the album is a good listen overall. Reunion 1 is the only song that features Abhay Nayampally’s carnatic classical guitar and that alone makes this song a great listen! The song’s other version (Reunion 2) has more of Diego Hedez’s trumpet with only a smattering of Abhay’s guitar, though.

Prarthona – Coke Studio Bangla, Season 1: I’m really not sure about the frequency of songs in Coke Studio Bangla! The first song was released on February 23rd and the second song drops on April 1? The song is lovely, though. Using the Bangla folk song, ‘Allah megh de’, led by Momotaz Begom, as the base (famously ripped off by Bappi Lahiri twice – once for Runa Laila’s album, Superuna, and then for the film Sharabi), the song fuses ‘Baba Maulana’ too eventually, and the result is one hugely lilting song.

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 180: On Spotify | On YouTube
14 songs this week! All the songs are available on both YouTube and Spotify.

Jalwanuma – Heropanti 2 (A R Rahman) – Hindi: Whoa, this was a pleasant surprise! A very, very tuneful and classically filmy song from Rahman in a Tiger Shroff film! The lilting qawali style backdrop works mighty well, and the singers—Pooja Tiwari and Javed Ali—are fabulous.

Vaa KaNakku – Manmatha Leelai (Premji Amaren) – Tamil: Beyond all the on-screen shenanigans by Premji, I have always found him to be a very, very adept composer from the limited body of work he has produced. In Vaa KaNakku, he delivers on that promise again very, very confidently! That rhythm he concocts is incredibly addictive and the tune has a naughty edge to it, in line with the film’s theme. For some reason, Ajay Krishnaa sounds and perhaps imitates Udit Narayan, though it goes well with the tune. But Swagatha S Krishnan handles it in her usual, normal way that works perfectly.

Oh Reba – No Entry (Ajesh) – Tamil: When the song started with ‘Oh Reba Reba’ and a generous sprinkling of English words evoking Vaali’s lyrical style, both the tune and lyrics seemed less than interesting. But Ajesh turns the song around with his ‘Kanna pinna manasukku’ hook and after that, the song remains consistently interesting! I was a bit surprised he didn’t rope in the film’s lead, Andrea as the singer, and instead got in Jonita and Benny Dayal. Both do a terrific job, of course. Ajesh has been consistently promising and deserves better opportunities as a composer.

Colours of Love – Partner (Santhosh Dhayanidhi) – Tamil: When I heard the soundtrack of Partner, I had shortlisted 2 songs for the Weeklies addition – Raati and Colours of Love. Then I had a feeling that Raati sounded very familiar – figured eventually that Santhosh was reusing his own 2018 Madras Gig single 🙂 So, only Colours of Love for the Weeklies! There was a shade of Harris Jeyaraj, I thought, probably owing to the prominent flute phrase, but Santhosh has something original here. His choice of roping in Sean Roldan for the lead vocals is very, very good. Swetha Mohan adds weight too, as the song progresses and Santhosh layers the song with some brilliant strings in the interludes.

Elamalakaadinullil – Pathaam Valavu (Ranjin Raj) – Malayalam: Based on Ranjin’s previous work, I had expected more from this song. It does have a fantastic melody that Haricharan delivers wonderfully. But when the rhythm started, it sounded a bit too templatized. But don’t let that stop you from listening to the song given how good the tune and singing is.

Udd Gaya – Lekh (B Praak, Jaani) – Punjabi: B Praak has been credited for ‘music’ while Jaani has been credited as ‘composer’, so I’m not entirely how it works. But this is a gorgeous song, with a heartwarming lilt. B Praak’s voice is, as usual, incredibly powerful and carries the melody wonderfully.

Ghei Chand Makarand, Kaivalyagaan, Bindiya Le Gayi, Le Chali Taqdeer, Ram Ram – Lori (both male and female versions), Vithala… Darshan Deun Jaa & Aaj Sugandh – Me Vasantrao (Marathi): I heard the songs from this magnificent labor of love last month and have been desperately trying to get the complete credits since it includes original songs composed by Rahul Deshpande as well some traditional songs too. Suffice to say, my limited musical knowledge (if I can even call it that) doesn’t offer me any words to appreciate this film soundtrack’s music. All I can say is that I find the soundtrack incredibly, incredibly pleasing. I know that’s hardly a review or even a statement but that’s the best I can add 🙂 If you have even a passing interest in music, do give this phenomenal album a try.

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 179: On Spotify | On YouTube
17 songs this week! All the songs are available on YouTube, but Spotify is missing 2 songs – A R Rahman’s Moopilla Thamizhe Thaaye and Vaanam Bhoomi from Kaliyuga Kaandu Mirugam.

Ye Luthrey, Boom Boom & Aaram Karo – Sharmaji Namkeen (Sneha Khanwalkar) – Hindi: Sharmaji Namkeen is a pretty good soundtrack by Sneha! Of the 4 songs, except for the Laung Gawacha redux, the other 3 see her bringing her A-game in terms of sound! To be sure, there’s the generous Amit Trivedi sound too in the songs, but Sneha’s backgrounds are brilliant! Jasbir Jassi is his ebullient self in the high-energy Ye Luthrey, while Kailash Kher and Raja Mushtaq handle the super catchy Boom Boom with the necessary comic touch it needs. Gopal Datt layers even more of the comic touch in Aaram Karo that, like Delhi Belly’s Saigal Blues, intentionally brings the old’ish sound in a spanking new sound.

DaFa Kar – Heropanti 2 (A R Rahman) – Hindi: This is passable by Rahman’s standards, and fits his recent musical style as heard in films like 2.0, Mersal, and Sarkar. But that he offers Tiger Shroff a song that barely has a rhythm he could dance to (he still does, of course) is interesting. The tune is decent-enough, though adequately predictable, the background music keeps things a bit unpredictable and lively.

Tera Saath Ho – Tanishk Bagchi, Ft. Zahrah Khan and Guru Randhawa) – Hindi/Indipop: Tanishk starts the song in the most unassuming style with Zahrah singing sedately. But then he infuses tremendous energy with the Punjabi folk ‘Mukhda Janda Mahiya’ phrase and the song takes on a totally different, phenomenally catchy tangent! Guru joins in much later, and this is largely Zahrah’s show!

Yaadein Wohi – Arijit Singh (Hindi/Indipop): Arijit recreates the 80s synth sound in the song so perfectly! Of course, his singing is, as always, terrific. Very catchy song!

Kathari Poovasam – Nadhi (Dhibu Ninan Thomas) – Tamil: This is a chorus song featuring 4 female (Sinduri Vishal, Deepthi Suresh, Soundarya Nandakumar, and Bhargavi Sridhar) and 4 male singers (Aravind Srinivas, Saisharan, Shenbagaraj, and Santhosh Hariharan). And it makes sense given the situation – a college song, something that used to be a regular musical genre in Tamil cinema (and perhaps in many other languages) at one point in time. Dhibu gets the opening very well, with the men and women singing one after the other, and then only the men launch into the hook (Kathari Poovasam). It’s only in the last version of the hook that everyone sings together. The hook has a catchy 90s feel to it and brings the melody together mighty well!

Moopilla Thamizhe Thaaye – A R Rahman (Tamil/Indipop): Rahman is no stranger to such thematic anthems and to be entirely honest, I had become a bit immune to his similar anthemic sound of late. But, after starting the song in his own voice (that made to expect a certain kind of sound), he throws a wonderful surprise with the female chorus (Saindhavi Prakash, Khatija Rahman, Amina Rafiq, Gabriella Sellus, and Poovaiyar) that not only holds but also directs the song incredibly. Rahman and Ameen (his son) do take over the later portions of the song, but the best parts remain the ones sung by the women. Thamarai’s lyrics are hugely imaginative and cover a whole spectrum singing Tamil’s praise. The video too is brilliantly conceived and choreographed, with a lovely visual backdrop of Tamil’s Aayidha Ezhuthu.

Vaanam Bhoomi – Kaliyuga Kaandu Mirugam (Jayakaran Wilfred) – Tamil: I was pleasantly surprised by this song! One, the film’s title seemed scary and odd, so I wasn’t expecting much. But composer Jayakaran Wilfred produces a very, very pleasant melody and holds that soft, lilting sound steadily. His choice of Jithin Raj is bang on target – Jithin adds life to the melody and makes it so much more enjoyable!

O Manuja – Djinn (Prashant Pillai) – Malayalam: Oh, how I have missed this Prashant Pillai! He gets Sithara Krishnakumar to sing what seems like a really old Malayalam song but his own music is packaged in a superbly modern avatar. The only hitch is that this package is very, very reminiscent of what Ram Sampath did with Saigal Blues in Delhi Belly (the 2nd Saigal Blues reference this week!). Still, this is a fantastic listen!

Puzhayarikathu Dumm – Jo & Jo (Govind Vasantha) – Malayalam: Govind produces an absolute banger in Puzhayarikathu Dumm(u)! It isn’t something far from Thaikkudam Bridge’s trademark sound, of course… and Milan V S’s singing props the energetic, folkish melody brilliantly. But it is Govind’s pulsating rhythm that totally rocks the song!

Manjin Thooval – Aviyal (Sharreth) – Malayalam: Whoa!! Trust Sharreth to take us straight back to the 80s and 90s with this incredibly lush melody! It felt like I was listening to a classic Ilayaraja song from the 80s or a Vidyasagar song from the 90s! The melody is delightful, and the singing, by Chithra and Unni Menon, adds to that effect, along with the ‘lalala’ interlude and the profusion of strings!

Ee Mazha/Barkha – Sreekanth Hariharan & Srinath Nair (Malayalam/Indipop): This is a gorgeous song! Sreekanth brings Malayalam while Srinath brings Hindi, and the mix works so neatly! The melody in the song keeps both elements perfectly in balance and they blend really well towards the end too.

Jhanjar – Deep Kalsi (Punjabi/Indipop): Bouncy Punjabi number that has a confident lilt and good singing by Deep Kalsi. Mudassir Khan’s Sarangi is a lovely touch!

Go – Abdullah Siddiqui x Atif Aslam (Coke Studio, Pakistan – Season 14): After Thagyan, here’s another total stunner from Coke Studio’s season 14! The song starts with what seems almost Carnatic in sound! It’s just a snatch repeated to create a persistent backdrop. Abdullah Siddiqui’s English lyrics (first time in season 14?) and pop sensibility beautifully blends with Atif’s always-enchanting vocals. That ‘Dil jaane na jaane’ phrase that both sing after the interlude in the middle and reach a stupendous crescendo (Atif’s trademark) is a lovely touch!

As I’m Getting Older – Tejas (English/Indipop): Very listenable and enjoyable rock sound with captivating guitar riffs and excellent singing. That extended musical interlude bang in the middle leads to a superb guitar phrase!

Bones – Imagine Dragons (English): I found it very similar to the band’s now-iconic Believer, in terms of the anthemic sound they gun for. It’s more tuneful than Believer, but the energy is very similar.

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 178: On Spotify | On YouTube
10 songs this week! All the songs are available on both Spotify and YouTube. And no, Beast’s new single, Jolly O Gymkhana was way too generic for my taste.

Phir Se Zara – Attack (Shashwat Sachdev) – Hindi: Shashwat’s music reminded me of early Harris Jayaraj’s music. The almost-ominous backgrounds retain an ambient, ethereal feel and a solo, punchy voice (Jubin Nautiyal) leading a hugely impactful melody. Jubin’s singing is terrific for this particular tune and it gets better as the song progresses.

Kattikoda – Taanakkaran (Ghibran) – Tamil: It’s great to see Ghbiran get his mojo back occasionally after being so enormously promising in the earlier part of his career. This song has superb singing by Shweta Mohan but the real highlight is the gorgeous tune. The tune took me instantly to Ilayaraja’s Andha Oru Nimidam Charukesi-classic, ‘Siriya Paravai Siragai Virithu’, particularly that tantalizing line, ‘Udhadu uruga… amudham paruga (varugavae varugavae)’ that forms the base for ‘Otha vaartha… motha vaazhkka’!

Pottu Vaiththaan – Maha (Tamil/Indipop): I believe the raaga used is Hamsanadham, most probably. It is most definitely a raaga that I already love and I was able to trace a few known songs from this tune – Thendral vandhu ennai thodum (Hamsanadham), Swasame swasame (Hamirkalyani), and Nilavum malarum malarattume (Saaranga), among others. Surprising to hear this beautiful number, that too sung by singers like Harini and Tippu, being released by an unknown label with zero fanfare!

Adavi Gusagusalu – Bheemla Nayak (Thaman S) – Telugu: Bheemla Nayak is already a very, very good album. Now that the full album is out, the other song that I really liked was Adavi Gusagusalu. The steady background sound that is wonderfully ambient, the fantastic singing by Manisha Eerabathini and Sri Krishna, the chorus that kicks in the two-and-a-half-minute mark that alludes to Thyagaraja’s Entharo Mahanubhavulu… this is a lovely song!

Bullet La – Sammathame (Shekar Chandra) – Telugu: Much like some of Thaman’s or Gopi Sundar’s trademark sounds, Shekar Chandra too has his trademark sound that I wrote about in Atithi Devo Bhava’s Ninnu Chudagane. That familiar percussion-sound makes its appearance here too – it remains catchy for now.

Jada – Chor Bazaar (Suresh Bobbili) – Telugu: Suresh continues to impress, albeit occasionally. Here, he has singer Ram Miriyala handle a wonderfully warm, almost-Amit Trivedi’ish melody brilliantly. The tune’s is soft but has a folksy bounce that makes it thoroughly enjoyable.

Poya Kaalam – Lalitham Sundaram (Bijibal) – Malayalam: There are singers like Sid Sriram and Sanjith Hegde who have a voice that you cannot ignore at all. And then there are singers like Vineeth Sreenivasan who have a voice so warm and relatable. Bijibal dips into that warmth in Vineeth’s voice beautifully in this song, and layers it with an excellent vocal chorus and backgrounds that are straight out of the 60s MGR-style music!

Isolated (Part 1) – Arnab Bashistha, ft. Papon and Kaysee (Indipop): Despite being composed by Arnab Bashistha, the melody has the hallmark of a Papon composition, and this may be a feeling evoked by his singing style too. The overall ghazal’ish singing and composition style gets an added charm with Kaysee’s English phrases, Ustad Murad Ali Khan’s Sarangi and Subhankar Hazarika’s Sitar.

Thagyan – Coke Studio, Season 14 (Zain Zohaib x Quratulain Balouch): Thagyan is the quintessential Coke Studio Pakistan sound! An incredibly catchy qawwali that gets a phenomenal modern musical backdrop featuring swanky synths and horns section. And when Quratulain Balouch enters in style (quite literally, in the video), the song gets infinitely more interesting!

Sleepyhead – Parekh & Singh (Indipop): The classic Parekh & Singh sound is intact, as always! It’s instantly likeable, lulling you into the trippy music, with vocals to add to the mood!

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 177: On Spotify | On YouTube
14 songs this week! All the songs are available on Spotify, while YouTube is missing one song because it is inside a jukebox – the short track from SebastianPC524! I have embedded the jukebox below.

Ik Tu Hai – Attack (Shashwat Sachdev) – Hindi: For a film about a supersoldier, the first single is so very soft and melodious! Shashwat’s song starts wonderfully with what seems almost like the seconds of a clock amplified in the background, wonderfully handled by Jubin Nautiyal’s singing and interspersed by Salman Khan on sitar. But at the 2-minute mark, the song takes on a brilliant rock sound amping up the song’s appeal too!

Kannaatti – Nooru Kodi Vaanavil (Siddhu Kumar) – Tamil: Siddhu’s tune is pleasant enough but it is Anand Aravindakshan’s singing that makes a tremendous difference and elevates the song significantly. When he delivers the ‘Kannaatti’ hook, it seems to be coming from deep inside his heart, with so much conviction!

Va En Thozhi – Ben Human (Indipop) – Tamil: I recall being impressed with Ben’s earlier singles in 2019 – Hey Zara and Single Superstar. In Va En Thozhi too, his overall sense of sound and melody makes a pretty engaging song, produced well by Max Ulver. The song felt like listening to an early-Harris Jayaraj song, and that’s a compliment.

En Kadhal – Andhagan (Santhosh Narayanan) – Tamil: So, after the Telugu and Malayalam remakes of Andhadhun, and the not-Andhadhun-remake Kannada film Sakath, here is the Tamil remake of Andhadhun that has a similar-sounding title too. Considering the hero is a pianist (a blind pianist, at that), there is a piano-led lead song in all the versions. In Hindi, it was Amit Trivedi’s Naina Da Kya Kasoor, a fairly ebullient song unlike what one may expect from a piano-led melody. The Malayalam version mirrored that approach, with Jakes Bejoy’s Munthiri Poovo. But the Telugu equivalent composed by Mahati Swara Sagar used a sweeping, classic filmy melody in Maestro’s Vennello Aadapilla. Santhosh’s Tamil version too goes with the Telugu idea – a deeply melodic, piano-led tune, unless a different song exists in the Hindi and Malayalam template in the soundtrack. Sid Sriram is his usual self considering the melody’s highs are perfectly made for his range.

Imaikkariye – Selfie (G.V. Prakash Kumar) – Tamil: When the song started with ‘Look into my eyes’, I was ready to give up on it, but GVP quickly changes track into the ‘En Uyire’ and ‘Imaikkariye’ phrases that take the song on a very different zone. That, and the anupallavi’s melody, sung by GVP, and then by Manasvini Gopal (charanam?) keep the song consistently likeable.

Nee Kanulalo Daagundaa – SebastianPC524 (Ghibran) – Telugu: What a shame that this song is just one-and-a-half minutes long! I would rate this as the soundtrack’s best song, next to Heli, that has been found to be way too similar to Jathikkathottam from Thanneer Mathan Dinangal. Anudeep Dev’s voice is fantastic, and Ghibran’s melody is the real winner here, with a deeply resonant sound that reminded me of Ilayaraja’s melodies.

Manasutho Choodaleni & Chinna Maata – Clap (Ilayaraja) – Telugu: The first interlude in Manasutho Choodaleni took me straight to Raja’s 90s repertoire, and for some reason, I started singing ‘Kurta maxiyum salwar kameezum sumandha pengaLe’ and I realized that the tune is also perhaps mildly connected. Also, for some reason, I liked the Telugu version more than the Tamil version – Raja’s age-withered voice, to me, did justice to the Telugu verse better. Chinna Maata too is on similar lines – evoked Raja’s 90s music a lot at least to me. The melody is lush and the rhythm too played contrastingly nice on top.

Mizhi Arikil – Veyil (Pradeep Kumar) – Malayalam: Pradeep conjures a film song that almost sounds like a meditative experience! The sparse sound—involving Pradeep’s voice and the keyboard, mainly—remains largely intact barring the higher-pitched singing in the middle. Long after the song is over, the ‘Yelelelele’ refrain continued to haunt me!

Sellamma – PS Jayhari, ft. KS Harisankar (Indipop) – Malayalam: PS Jayhari, who had a couple of impressive tunes in 2019’s Athiran, has a very listenable melody here. Harisankar’s singing is perfect and amps up that ‘Sellamma’ hook beautifully.

Tandanano – Maati Baani, ft. Shubha Raghavendra (Indipop) – Kannada: Maati Baani’s first single under their new Folklore series sponsored by Target (O Re Jiya) did not work for me despite the heady confluence of Konnakkol, Hindustani music, and Kannada rap. But their 2nd single in the series hits the bullseye… and how! Tandanano too has a Kannada element, but unlike the first single, this entire song is in Kannada! But true to the band’s musical ethos, they mix Kannada folk with Mariachi and the result is an exuberant song that is instantly likeable and danceable!

Goriye – Darshan Raval (Indipop) – Punjabi/Hindi: It’s interesting to see Darshan enter Guru Randhawa territory, with DJ Lijo in tow. The catchy song has spunk and is very easy on the ear, with Darshan’s always-engaging singing helping things even more.

Ranjhé – Ikky, Lavi Tibbi (Indipop) – Punjabi: Canadian musician Ikwinder Singh aka Ikky produces a high-energy Punjabi track that shines with its global musical outlook! If you listen only to the 40-second segment right in the middle of the song starting with the 2nd minute, you may think you are listening to an international pop track! But that’s the song’s success – it seamlessly fuses the wonderfully enthusiastic Punjabi verse to truly global-sounding music. The result is hugely enjoyable.

Ellulleri Ellulleri – Ram Surendar (Indipop): The Mavila tribal folk song has been used and reused many times in Kerala. Most recently, Justin Varghese produced a pulsating techno recreation of the song in Ajagajantharam. Ram Surendar’s version is aptly pulsating too but in a more conventional danc’y outlook, sung well by Durga Viswanath.

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 176: On Spotify | On YouTube
18 songs, this week – a pretty satisfying week from a variety point of view! All the songs are available on YouTube, while Spotify is missing one song, from Lalitham Sundaram!

Mon Aar, Beh Jaana & Dhandhli – Jugaadistan (Assorted composers) – Bengali/Hindi: Mon Aar has an ebullient rhythm that kicks in early on and Anurag Saikia layers it with the verve that stays till the end. Roshni Saha and Gauranga Shekhar handle the Bengali lines (written by Roshni) wonderfully. Beh Jaana is the usual Yellow Diary magic! Rajan Batra’s lush, affecting voice sailing through the frothy melody effortlessly. The other song that stands out in the packed soundtrack is by Khamosh Shah. His Dhandhli is something straight out of Amit Trivedi’s earlier, more vibrant repertoire! Manish J Tipu delivers the necessary comic edge to the song while still making it musically engaging.

Meri Jaan Meri Jaan – Bachchhan Paandey (B Praak) – Hindi: B Praak’s distinct and powerful voice carries this one easily. But the composer in him layers the song with that lovely ‘O Meri Jaan Meri Jaan’ hook that is used repetitively to fantastic effect.

Nenjorama – Madhil Mel Kaadhal (Nivas K Prasanna) – Tamil: Nivas’s music and Pradeep Kumar singing? Oh wow! The music is tantalizingly good – no-frills, but a classic melody that occasionally brings to mind Ilayaraja’s music! Pradeep is stupendously good with the higher notes, as is Malvi Sundaresan when she joins in much later.

Parai – Sean Roldan (Tamil): A searing, touchingly sad song that makes one more angry than sad! Kumaran’s music video, though short, makes a tremendous impact in showcasing the mental disease called caste that we humans have invented for ourselves and which alters our perception to not let see each other as humans. Roja Adithya’s voice, along with Sean’s own singing, offers the necessary gravitas to bring the anger in the lyrics alive.

Kangal Oya – Sanah Moidutty (Tamil): Sanah’s singing is, as expected, terrific, but it is Sanah the music composer who impresses even more in this new single. The tune is slow and sedative and that ‘Ri ri ri ri’ hook is a captivating highlight.

Rathipushpam – Bheeshma Parvam (Sushin Shyam) – Malayalam: In line with the rest of the songs from the film, Sushin stays with this 80s synth sound, and in Unni Menon’s voice, this is a pleasant trip back to the disco days!

Maname – Veyil (Pradeep Kumar) – Malayalam: The other Pradeep Kumar song of the week – and this one is his own composition, after the terrific ‘The Hey Song’ that came out mid-last year. The song is instantly recognizable as Pradeep’s trademark sound, with that dreamy sound that was once the domain of Santhosh Narayanan too.

Meghajalakam – Lalitham Sundaram (Bijibal) – Malayalam: A vintage Bijibal song that is loaded with good-natured happiness in the melody that you cannot not nod your head along. Najim Arshad is so, so good a choice for the song, and that ‘Pazhayoru Paattinde’ hook is sheer joy!

Laagni, Vaadli, Tu Juhi Re, Kori Ne Kaachi, Navi Zindagi & Fari Fari – Prem Prakaran (Amit Trivedi) – Gujarati: After the extended prelude sung by Amit Trivedi, the 80s style synth music kicks in even as a gorgeous flute layer too wafts in. Ishani Dave’s sweet voice is perfect for the melody and Amit uses her vocals in the backgrounds too, towards the end, very effectively. There’s even more 80s synth in Vaadli too!! The tune is so very Amit, with a soaring hook that screams his predictable style… that sounds fresh enough given the synth package and Gujarati. In Tu Juhi Re, Amit has a beautiful melody that perhaps deserved a slightly better singer than Amit, with his relatively flat rendition. As if expecting that, the other version of the song, featuring Jigardhan Gadhavi delivers brilliantly! Kori Ne Kaachi took me to Jatin-Lalit’s style of music given the Pancham-style seeping in too 🙂 The rhythm, the charming tune, and the throwback to an older style of music, and Jigardhan Gadhavi’s singing make this one very enjoyable. Both Navi Zindagi and Fari Fari (sung by Siddharth Amit Bhavsar) are light, frothy, and thoroughly engaging. Amits music is uncluttered, understated, and lets the pleasant tunes stay at the forefront. Amit’s 10-song soundtrack for Prem Prakaran has a very consistent sound all through, and overall, makes for a very good listen as a package.

Paas Aa – Zaeden & Aakash (Indipop): Very summery vibe in an uncluttered, easy-on-ear melody.

Monster- Dhruv Visvanath (Indipop): I loved the song as soon as I heard it, but I was trying to pin it down to the ‘why’ (do I like it). The reason escaped me for over a week, and finally, I have been able to pin it down! It’s a fantastic melody, with a mysterious tinge in the tune, but my personal reason for getting drawn to it is because I thought it was almost like a composition from Rob Thomas (of Matchbox Twenty fame; has gone solo). Specifically, this song could easily fit in his album outstanding Cradlesong (2009)!

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 175: On Spotify | On YouTube
10 songs, this week! All the songs are available on both YouTube, while Spotify is missing the Coke Studio Bangla song!

Siragai, Viduthalai, Yaarisaikka & Title Song – Hey Sinamika (Govind Vasantha) – Tamil: If I had not known the name of this film’s composer, I’d have guessed Siragai to be Rahman’s – the rhythm is so reminiscent of a set of Rahman’s songs from the yore! The tune is very Govind Vasantha, though, with a very sweet opening and a somber turn in the anupallavi that gets Rahman’ish with the ‘KaariruL neekkum theeyaai’ line again 🙂 Keethana Vaidyanathan and Sai Prabha handle the tune’s many twists very well even as the song ends on a high with a lively rhythm-led closure that’s very Bollywood-style.

Viduthalai too carries a strong whiff of Rahman – the Alaipayuthey phase! But Govinda throws a lovely surprise in the ‘ViNNile Naan Mattume’ line that seems like a delicate strand of 96’s music dropped into this soundtrack set to a more bouncy background music! The chorus in this portion is very well handled, and Prarthana Indrajith’s main portion too is excellent. Bombay Jayashri is stellar, as always, in the soundtrack’s only pathos song, Yaarisaikka. The title song has an unenviable task of playing on a phrase (the film’s title) made incredibly popular by Rahman, but instead of going headlong, with lyrics and all, it cleverly aims at being a catchy piece of instrumental music. Within those confines, it does a superb job!

Considering I have already written about the 3 songs released earlier, and the fact that the soundtrack has 7 songs, this is a terrific album overall!

Thaaruzhiyum – Aaraattu (Rahul Raj) – Malayalam: The wonderfully melodious melody took me straight to Ilayaraja’s Pudhumai PeN classic, ‘Kaadhal… Mayakkam’. Is there a Sudha Saveri raaga connection, I wonder! Harishankar K.S and Poornasree Haridas are outstanding in the song rendition even as it traverses multiple phases.

Ondu Oorali, Yennegu Hennigu & Meet Madana – Ek Love Ya (Arjun Janya) – Kannada: I recall writing about Yaare Yaare, the first song released in February 2021. Post that I had missed the other songs that were released earlier. Now that the film has been released, it may be a good time to list the other 3 hugely listenable songs from the soundtrack. Shankar Mahadevan seemed like an unusual choice for Ondu Oorali – I would have expected Arjun to pick Vijay Prakash without a thought for this song. It’s very rhythmic and catchy, but the base melody is highly tuneful with a mildly sad edge to it! In hindsight, Shankar’s choice is quite a smart idea!

Yennegu Hennigu and Meet Madana too are incredibly foot-tapping, but the true stars of the songs are singers, Mangli (with support from Kailash Kher) and Aiswarya Rangarajan, respectively. The former’s folk-style melody is perfect for Mangli’s familiar singing template, while Aishwarya rules over the latter that has extended musical phrases that almost sound like sung lines!

Tu Na Aaya – Rahi Sayed, Nikhita Gandhi (Indipop): Kashmir-based singer and songwriter Rahi Sayed composes the song and sings it as a duet with Nikhita. It’s a simple, charming tune that gains tremendously from the two excellent singers. I’m assuming the ‘Rinda Rinda’ part is in Kashmiri – it’s a lovely hook in the song!

Nasek Nasek – Coke Studio Bangla: On the heels of Coke Studio Pakistan’s 14th season, here’s the first season of Coke Studio Bangladesh! The season started with a rousing recreation of Rabindranath Tagore’s Ekla Chôlo Re, and with the first song—Nasek Nasek—the season makes a brilliant start! In true Coke Studio style, the song mixes a Hajong dialect verse by Animes Roy and the Bangla folk song Dol Dol Doloni. The confluence is heady, with stupendous background music!

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 174: On Spotify | On YouTube
11 songs, this week! All the songs are available on both YouTube and Spotify!

Aaya Ye Jhund Hai, Lafda Zhala, Laat Maar & Baadal Se Dosti – Jhund (Ajay-Atul) – Hindi: Aaya Re is one heck of a catchy song, like a Mumbaiya ‘kuthu’ song and who better to compose it than the Gogavale brothers! The steadily pulsating rhythm paves the way to a stupendously raucous towards the end! I thought Atul’s singing was a bit too soft for the tone the song was aiming for. Lafda Zhala too is insanely catchy and rhythmic, with a captivating synth-pop sound to start with, and even sounded a bit Middle-eastern when the first interlude started playing. Ajay’s singing fits perfectly here.

Sid Sriram’s Hindi debut happens in superb style with the remaining 2 songs in Jhund! In Laat Maar, while he is supported by a terrific chorus, and rap (Sourabh Abhyankar), the man himself is spectacular on his home turf, a sweeping soul-style melody. Ajay-Atul mount a mindboggling frame for Sid’s towering singing to work and it all works so well! Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics too stand out with searing lines like,
“Tu gareeb hai toh log sochte hai teri kya aukaat hai,
Woh jaante nahi naseeb ne tujhe bhi de rakki saugaat hai”
In contrast, Baadal Se Dosti is Sid’s solo, largely… since there’s a fantastic chorus that joins him in the latter portion of the song. But the duo’s melody aids Sid alternating between extremely mellow phrases (a note in which the song ends too) and a pulsating ‘Jeena’ that breaks from the soft flow in magnificent style. Overall, Ajay and Atul have a very familiar motivational/inspirational theme in their hands, but they craft hugely listenable and inventive soundscapes even within this template all over Jhund!

Shikayat – Gangubai Kathiawadi (Sanjay Leela Bhansali) – Hindi: Considering it’s been quite some time we heard a full-fledged qawali in Hindi films, it is good to hear a well-written one (lyrics by A.M.Turaz) in Shikayat. The qawali, sung by Archana Gore, with an excellent backing chorus by Tarannum Malik Jain, Aditi Paul, Kalpana, Dipti, Ruchna, Pragti, and Archana, is a great listen given the melody that Sanjay lavishes on the effort.

Halamithi Habibo – Beast (Anirudh) – Tamil: This is Anirudh having unabashed fun given his comfort level with director Nelson (as evidenced in the previous 2 films – Kolamaavu Kokila and Doctor). The result is a riot of a fun song that makes mincemeat of faux-Arabic written by actor Sivakarthikeyan (and has the potential to incite a diplomatic fracas between the Middle East and Tamil Nadu/India) 🙂

Kalaavathi – Sarkaru Vaari Paata (Thaman S) – Telugu: Kalaavathi is clearly Thaman reusing this Samajavaragama template, but he makes it work somehow. The core tune is charming enough, but the ‘Maangalyam thandhunaane’ phrase seems forced, though I’m sure we may come to imbibe it eventually. Sid Sriram, if you have not seen him overacting in the video released (for now), is fantastic with this singing, as always.

That ‘Maangalyam thandhunaane’ musical expression also took me on a different thought: how many other songs, in any Indian language, have a tuned/musical (properly musical; and not just recited as-is) version of those famous Hindu wedding-centric verses? I clearly recall Rahman’s tune for the lines as part of the Endrendrum Punnagai prelude in Alaipayuthey. Any other songs that you can recall?

I started a running thread to crowdsource and track this:

Heli – SebastianPC524 (Ghibran) – Telugu: Ghibran’s last Telugu outing (Hero) was largely disappointing, but he shows promise in the next… this one! Kapil Kapilan’s singing holds the melody together wonderfully, and the backgrounds, particularly the prelude, showcase a lot of Ghibran’s early form.

Sinnavaada – Ashoka Vanamlo Arjuna Kalyanam (Jay Krish) – Telugu: I used my familiarity with Jay Krish’s music from 2019’s Raja Vaaru Rani Gaaru to assess the first song from the film. But despite the plethora of interesting sounds, it didn’t work for me in unison. But Jay does far better in this faux-folk melody! The song mainly rests on Ananya Bhat’s fantastic command over the melody (with a smaller part sung by Gowtham Bharadwaj).

Chillumani Kayalinte – Upacharapoorvam Gunda Jayan (Bijibal) – Malayalam: I have been missing Bijibal’s music of late and this one comes as a pleasant whiff of fresh air! His daughter Daya sings it with the charm of a child, as expected (though I don’t see a context in the music video for a child singing the song). The melody reminded me of yesteryear’s Ilayaraja – very beautiful and simple, with an innate sweetness coming out of the simplicity.

Aakasham – Bheeshma Parvam (Sushin Shyam) – Malayalam: This is the soundscape that I associate most with Sushin’s music and it continues to deliver so well! The singing, by Hamsika Iyer and Kapil Kapilan (Kapil’s 2nd song this week!), accentuates the haunting nature of the melody incredibly well. Sushin’s choice of backgrounds keeps that in sync too, particularly Nathan’s Clarinet that so wonderfully stands out. I loved the tabla-based anupallavi too that crescendoes towards the pallavi brilliantly!

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 173: On Spotify | On YouTube
11 songs, this week! All the songs are available on both YouTube and Spotify!

Beqaaboo – Gehraiyaan (OAFF and Savera) – Hindi: After Doobey, the title song did not work for me. But Beqaaboo does, courtesy of the laidback sound and the electronic elements. And trust Shalmali Kholgade to deliver a melody like this -she’s fantastic, as usual. Savera Mehta’s singing, on the other hand, was the odd one out, with the falsetto notes often hitting awkwardly instead of the intended effect.

Megham – Hey Sinamika (Govind Vasantha) – Tamil: Govind reuses Thaikkudam Bridge’s famous Fish Rock to produce a riveting recreation that continues to work wonders much like the original it is based upon. Madhan Karky’s Tamil lines flow perfectly in sync with the frenetic pacing of the interesting constructed melody. The musical additions, towards the end of the Tamil version, with the folk drums joining the rock rhythm, makes for a thoroughly enjoyable song. At a music video level too, the song is really interesting, with the leads dancing all the way through (given the film’s director’s choreographer profession) song for the various stages of their courtship makes for a fantastic watch!

Theera Nadhi – Nadhi (Dhibu Ninan Thomas) – Tamil: I was honestly starting to lose interest as the song’s first 4 lines played out. But then Dhibu introduces the ‘Jal Jal Golusoli’ line with the sparkling keys to back it up and that turns the song’s tone beautifully! Then Ballesh’s Shehnai adds more beauty to the first interlude! Excellent singing by Kapil Kapilan and Srinisha Jayaseelan.

Romeo Juliet – Ghani (Thaman S) – Telugu: The song’s video released for now (not the actual music video from the film) makes it seem like the singer is the film’s lead star! That’s understandable because the singer is director Shankar’s daughter, Aditi (who is making her acting debut in Tamil soon). Thankfully, Thaman gives Aditi (making her singing debut) a simple and catchy tune with a neat reggae-style sound that doesn’t tax her much. Aditi does pretty well overall!

Paathashalaloo – Ori Devuda (Leon James) – Telugu: Leon, after showing reasonable promise in Tamil, was a disappointment in Telugu (Next Enti?). But this song gives me some hope. It has his trademark ebullient sound and flows mighty well. Armaan Malik and Sameera Bharadwaj handle the singing well. Leon’s smaller nuances, like the layering of the flute for ‘Paatabadadu gaa’ towards the end, make it enjoyable.

Kottha Kottha Gaa – Aa Ammayi Gurinchi Meeku Cheppali (Vivek Sagar) – Telugu: What a gorgeous melody! Like the film’s title, the first line, by Chaitra Ambadipudi, seems unusually long. When Abhay Jodhpurkar interjects with his part and then leads to Chaitra’s ‘Kottha Kottha Gaa’ hook, the interplay is beautifully played out. I was mildly disappointed with some of Vivek’s recent work, but he is fantastic here!

Rode Rodaale Saam, Aaji, Roi Jaa Aakaax & Ghuri Suasunn – Jajabori (Papon) – Indipop/Axomiya: Papon’s new 4-song album is sheer delight! I believe the album’s name, ‘Jajabori’ means traveler/traveling (pardon my ignorance – Googled to understand whatever I could find). The song that best accentuates that feel is Rode Rodaale Saa which gains tremendously from his dreamy singing and a sweepingly calm melody! Aaji too has fantastic singing by Papon, and the tune remains soft and moody though the backgrounds offer a mildly more rhythmic sound that is however still downtempo without hitting any highs. Roi Jaa Aakaax goes a step ahead in terms of the rock sound it underlines particularly with the brilliant guitar that’s layered in. Ghuri Suasunn is the catchiest song of the album, with a lilting melody that is impossible not to sing along with!

Pasoori – Ali Sethi x Shae Gill (Coke Studio 14): Pasoori is perhaps the best of Coke Studio 14 so far! Not only do the vocals of Ali Sethi and Shae Gill merge so harmoniously as the song progresses, but the kind of musical influences (composed by Ali Sethi and Xulfi) that lift the song are phenomenal – that reggaeton-style beat and an incredibly soulful tune on top of it! The singing and the production are great examples of why Coke Studio Pakistan remains such a fantastic musical platform!

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