Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 223: On Spotify | On YouTube
Back after another week’s break. This week is packed with good music – as many as 19 songs. The YouTube playlist has all the songs, but Spotify has only 16, with the 3 Marathi songs from Zee Music, composed by Gulraj Singh, missing. Gulraj alone should make you hit the YouTube playlist and not miss those 3 songs!
Incidentally, last weekend (July 22) Milliblog completed 18 years in existence! That’s a really long time to pursue a hobby 🙂
Barkha – Arijit Singh, ft. Sunidhi Chauhan (Hindi/Indipop): After the stupendously good music of Pagglait (in 2021), I did wonder why Arijit Singh does not compose more. Thankfully, there is Barkha! Not only does Arijit compose this song, but he ropes in Sunidhi Chauhan to sing against her usual type – where she is usually called to sing on the higher range, here she sounds completely different—and magnificently in control—in the lower range. The way Arijit conceives the melody, with 2 different antaras, and the way he allows for that ‘Boloon kya boloon’ verse that accentuates Sunidhi’s vocal prowess… it all works wonderfully well! And when Arijit makes a very brief appearance—vocally—in the video, that is both an inventive and apt cameo!
Jujubee – Jailer (Anirudh) – Tamil: Phew! Finally, there’s at least one song that worked for me in Jailer! Yes, I have heard the full album. I thought Anirudh was producing sub-par stuff one after another where his nifty music was buried under the weight of producing music for a Super Star film. Thankfully, Jujube is that song where Anirudh stands out a bit more than Rajinikanth even though it is named after a word the star is famous for 🙂 The pulsating techno sounds work wonders and Dhee’s superb singing is always a delight to listen to! Sometimes I think Dhee is the female version of B Praak – very similar, stunningly stand-out voices and singing styles!
Thaavi Odudhey En Manam/Saagave Manasa/Befikar – Indosoul (Indipop): Considering I have really liked some of the past work by Indosoul by Karthick Iyer, it is no surprise I loved this one! What was more interesting is the ambition behind this pop single – it’s trilingual, in Tamil, Telugu, and Hindi, at the same time! Sathyaprakash’s Tamil version was my favorite, but Sreerama Chandra’s Telugu and Hindi versions are almost equally good, with Malavika Sundar being the constant across all 3 versions. The melody’s semi-classical tone does sound better, and more suited to the Telugu version, but the harmony is beyond any specific language and plays like world music!
Chanuvuga Chusina – Peddha Kapu 1 (Mickey J Meyer) – Telugu: That typical Mickey J Meyer template, but it does work, thanks to the involved singing by both Anurag Kulkarni and Chaitra Ambadipudi. The rhythm is quite engaging, keeping me consistently hooked.
Title Song – Kushi (Hesham Abdul Wahab) – Telugu: Hesham almost seems to be on track towards another Hridhayam! Every song from Kushi has worked wonderfully so far and the title song is no exception! I thought there was more of Mickey J Meyer’s style in this song, but Hesham holds his own as the song progresses, particularly in the interludes with the distinctly Middle Eastern style.
Sammohanuda – Rules Ranjann (Amrish) – Telugu: The driving force behind this song is entirely Shreya Ghoshal’s brilliant singing! Amrish’s melody harks back to the Ilayaraja style of sensuous music and the tune even hints at Rahman’s VeNNilave. But it is Shreya’s singing that stands out and how!
Welcome To Baale – Bhagavan Dasante Ramarajyam (Vishnu Sivasankar) – Malayalam: Vishnu Sivasankar does something interesting in his music – he confidently fuses funk with Indian sounds like thavil and nadaswaram and the result is quite alluring! The tune too gets more interesting with that ‘Baala, welcome to my baale’ hook! The singing, by Pranav CP, Kishan Sreebal, and Vishnu himself, lifts the song considerably. Sandeep Mohan’s guitar is the other element that effortlessly stands out.
Halaballoo – RDX (Sam CS) – Malayalam: This is the song template, sound-wise (and music video-wise) from the 90s where one or more heroes are introduced 🙂 Think ‘Jagada Jagada’ (Vidiya Vidiya) from Geetanjali, for just one—among many—example. But Sam CS works hard in crafting a fairly engaging tune that is energetic and holds interesting nuances like the ‘Taun taun’ line!
Kaalame – Kirkkan (Manikandan Ayyappa) – Malayalam: When the song starts with Mridula Warrier’s soulful vocals, it betrays what’s to come! That is the segment sung by Mohammed Maqbool Mansoor, and the way Manikandan handles the jarringly different segments makes the song both unique and interesting.
Kalapakkaara – King of Kotha (Jakes Bejoy) – Malayalam: The retro sound that Jakes infuses seemed middling in the beginning but things pick up with the Kalapakkaara hook that Benny Dayal delivers very well. And when Shreya Ghoshal joins the song, it reaches a new high with the rhythm taking on an extra jolt of energy.
Yeda Mandola, Hori Jayee Re & Mann Taara – Unaad (Gulraj Singh) – Marathi: Aah finally! Gulraj Singh (of Ganaraj Adhiraj and Tutiya Dil fame), one of the more underrated composers from the Hindi film industry resurfaces again, in a Marathi soundtrack! Yeda Mandola and Hori Jayee Re are instantly catchy and hugely enjoyable, with terrific vocals by Nakash Aziz and Divya Kumar, respectively, and Gulraj himself joining them in both songs. Both tunes actually shine with the inventiveness of AV Prafullachandra’s music, but the chords in the background are the work of Gulraj, and so is the frenetic ending in Yeda Mandola! Mann Taara is the complete opposite of Yeda Mandola! The soft, dreamy sound belongs to the Shankar Ehsaan Loy School of Music (to which Gulraj belongs anyway), and Gulraj layers in the strings and cello so beautifully! Gulraj’s own singing is excellent, but when Shashaa Tirupati joins him mid-way, it gets even better.
Kya Loge Tum – B Praak (Album: Zohrajabeen) – Punjabi pop: Oh wow… what a song! B Praak’s phenomenal voice is a good enough reason, first things first, but the composer Jaani ropes in Rajhesh Vaidhya, of all people, in a Punjabi pop song! And the result is astounding! The melody has a powerful combative tone, on the lines of a qawali, and Praak’s voice is a perfect vehicle for this tone! However, none of the other songs from the new album, Zohrajabeen, worked for me.
Heeriye – Jasleen Royal, ft Arijit Singh (Hindi/Indipop): A simple and charming melody from Jasleen that gets a jolt of appeal from Arijit’s singing! There’s also a nice contrast in the vocal ranges of Jasleen and Arijit, the former’s usually flat singing finds the perfect counter in Arijit’s highly expressive singing style.
Funkari – Aima Baig (Shiraz Uppal) – Pakistani Pop: A largely conventional pop song by Shiraz and even Aima’s singing is adequately functional at best… but, the ‘Funkari’ hook does hold an appeal, however simplistic it is.
Guli Mata – Saad Lamjarred & Shreya Ghoshal (Arabic + Hindi/Indipop): While the opening and ending exposition of the music video’s story is mildly annoying, the song itself is a pleasant surprise! An Arabic + Hindi collaboration where Shreya sings in Hindi and Moroccan singer Saad Lamjarred sings in Arabic, with the song composed by another Moroccan composer Mehdi Mozayine. The melody is adequately ‘exotic’ to my Indian ear and when the 2 singers exchange lines at one point, the song gets even more interesting.
Necessary disclosure on Saad Lamjarred: Saad Lamjarred Leaves Prison on Provisional Release.