Back after 2 weeks, so a packed 19 songs playlist this week. The YouTube playlist has all the songs, while Spotify is missing one song – Ilayaraja’s song from Ninaivellam Neeyada! It’s a lovely song, so please don’t miss it in the YouTube playlist.
Ordinary Person, I’m Scared – Leo (Anirudh) – Tamil/English: Oh yes, there are generous strains of Otnicka’s ‘Where Are You’ in Ordinary Person and I wish Anirudh (and Sony Music) had sought permission officially while regurgitating the sound. What Anirudh adds, in terms of the melody that Nikhita Gandhi sings makes it so unique that it’s a shame that the song has been marred by plagiarism allegations (rightly so). If Lokes can credit ‘A History of Violence’ for Leo, why can’t Anirudh credit Otnicka legitimately and then compose his variant? I’m Scared sounds great in the movie, and as a standalone song too, it is a really interesting song, particularly inside a Vijay film! It’s to Lokesh’s credit that a Vijay film, usually the massiest of mass vehicles, has unabashedly English (and English-sounding) songs!
Maamadura – Jigarthanda DoubleX (Santhosh Narayanan) – Tamil: This is one totally zany song!! There are literally 3-4 lines of melody in the entire song and even that has only 2 lines of actual lyrics. But the so-called anupallavi is where Santhosh goes berserk in an inspired way 🙂 The frenetic rhythm keeps everything wonderfully together!
Fun Maaro – Sila Nodigalil (Masala Coffee) – Tamil: Varun Sunil’s vocals sound perfect for the catchy tune he and his band composed. Amal Sivan’s violins and Varun’s own work on the Darbuka do much of the background music’s heavy lifting.
Iru Perum Nadhigal – Minmini (Khatija Rahman) – Tamil: Well, this is a surprise! People from A R Rahman’s immediate family (except GV Prakash Kumar, of course) haven’t been able to make a mark musically though they have all tried to use his clout to either debut or sustain whatever they are trying (like his son). After having not been adequately impressed with Khatija’s singing (she was good in Farishtha, but either joining the chorus, in songs like Moopilla Thamizhe Thaaye or Iravin Nizhal’s Kaayam; or introduced as a novelty, to middling effect, like in Coke Studio’s Sagavaasi; or outright bad, as in PS-2’s version of Chinnanjiru Nilave that she was given to sing), I had relegated her as Rahman’s version of Ilayaraja’s Bhavatharini. But I’m glad to see that Khatija’s composing skills do have a spark! Her debut song from the film Minmini doesn’t have anything dramatically new or different, but does have a soulful melody (and Halitha Shameem’s poignant lines) that Shakthisree Gopalan handles beautifully.
Minnal Pookkum Undhan Kangal – Ninaivellam Neeyada (Ilaiyaraaja) – Tamil: Listening to this song, I was transported to a 1990s period and if I closed my eyes, I could picture a young Prashant singing the song on-screen 🙂 Amidst the profusion of new sounds, this simple and parse melody is such a pleasant, nostalgic trip!
Hey Bujji Bangaram – Aadikeshava (GV Prakash Kumar) – Telugu: GV Prakash Kumar infuses a gorgeous Mandolin (played by Vagu Mazan) phrase into an otherwise good-enough song and elevates it significantly! Armaan Malik and Yamini Ghantasala’s singing too helps immensely.
Gnapakaalu – Spark (Hesham Abdul Wahab) – Telugu: After the spate of soaring melodies, it’s good to hear Hesham compose something different. But even here, his trademark sounds, like the Veena interlude, assert his style.
Srungara – Aakasam Dhaati Vasthaava (Singer Karthik) – Telugu: After the impressive first single from this film, Karthik gets it right again by channeling the sound that he usually reserves for Gautam Menon, with a tinge of Ilayaraja. The melody is constantly unpredictable, with a terrific musical base. The singing, led by Malavika Shankar, gets superb support when Sanjith Hegde joins.
Imakalil Neeye – Rahel Makan Kora (Kailas) – Malayalam: I have heard 3 more songs from Rahel Makan Kora, and barring the devotional song, Ammakkai, the other 3 songs (including this one) definitely belong to the ‘listenable’ category thanks to Kailas’s more-then-decent tunes. But both Mindaathe and Angoonnengandoru don’t make the cut for me as far as Weeklies go – thankfully, Imakalil does. There’s a genuine sense of inventiveness in the melody here – that ‘Vaidooryame… Aarum Kaana’ line in the opening stretch is a great example. The chorus that both Nithya Mammen and Abhijith Anilkumar sing together at the end of the pallavi is another lovely touch. Both the singers do a terrific job; Nithya, in particular.
Kunnum Keri – Cheena Trophy (Sooraj Santhosh & Varkey) – Malayalam: Parvathy A G’s singing is the song’s instant appeal. But the tune, by Sooraj Santhosh and Varkey, has a Western pop sensibility (at least in the pallavi, and in the vocal chorus parts of the anupallavi) that seems to help in Parvathy’s style of singing. Sooraj’s Masala Coffee days is clearly the base for this hummable song and I’d love to see him composer a lot more.
En Kaadal Nadiye, Parakkum Parava Poley – Otta (M. Jayachandran) – Tamil/Malayalam: En Kaadal Nadiye’s melody sounded like Hamsaanandhi raaga to me, with its deeply resonant sound. It is sung beautifully by Shankar Mahadevan and Shreya Ghoshal, for added effect! Parakkum Parava Poley, with its faux-train sound, is a joy to listen to, with its spritely tune! What’s particularly interesting is the mix of languages – Parakkum Parava Poley has Malayalam and Telugu, while En Kaadal Nadiye is fully in Tamil!
In Search Of The Dark Lord – Mahesh Raghvan, ft. Kalyani Menon (Indipop): Mahesh’s modern interpretation of Swati Thirunal’s iconic Surrutti raaga composition retains the soul of the original thanks mainly to Kalyani Menon’s impeccable vocals. But the modern strains in terms of the instrumentation definitely add to the charm without being intrusive.
Jaa Kaga – Abby V, Ricky Kej, ft. Benny Dayal (Indipop): Even as the composition by Abby V and Ricky Kej, based on Nat Bhairav and Madhuvanti, is enchanting enough given both raagas absolutely exotic signature, it is the singing that takes the song to spectacular heights! Abby takes care of the carnatic style while Benny takes charge of the Hindustani style and both explore grahabedham in a heady jugalbandi of sorts!
Bairi Birhaa, Shariyat-E-Dil, Fursat, and Jumme Raat – Songs of Trance 2 (Amit Trivedi) – Indipop: Amit’s follow-up to this 2020 album (Songs of Trance) is as good as the former, if not a shade better! Bairi Birhaa sounds straight out of any decent Amit Trivedi soundtrack and could even fit Dev.D soundtrack effortlessly. Excellent singing by Varsha Singh Dhanoa and Geet Sagar. Shariyat-E-Dil is the album’s best and is a massive surprise at the song’s style, mixing a ghazal-like opening to the trance sound that eventually takes over! It sounded a bit like Viju Shah’s Gupt chartbuster, Bechainiyaan, but with less glitzy techno music. Papon is stupendously good, as usual, with Rupali Moghe for company. Rupali gets a lovely solo in Fursat and totally aces its lazy drawl of a melody! There’s considerably less ‘Trance’ in this song, though. Amit takes up Jumme Raat for himself and does a great job all through. The trance’ish build-up in this song works far more seamlessly, thanks also to the rap portions handled by Shalmali Kholgade.